TNA: Hello, Hayley, many thanks for being here with us today. We’re thrilled to have you visit.
Hayley: Thank you for having me today. I’m excited to be here.
TNA: Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, odds and ends things that make you, you.
Hayley: Aside from the obvious things like reading, I also enjoy watching anime and falling into a time hole popularly known as tumblr. I have a small (not really that small) obsession with all things related to police and law enforcement.
TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something you began exploring only recently? What is it that compels you to not only read but write about M/M relationships?
Hayley: I started writing M/M in 2005, I think, and my first book was published in 2011. I’ve tried to understand my enjoyment of MM stories for many years and I still can’t explain it to my satisfaction. I know I prefer it over any other type of romance, but I can’t pinpoint the reason. Maybe it’s because I prefer to imagine men and men and more men while reading. Does that make me obsessed with men? Oh well.
TNA: Speaking of reading, do you recall the first M/M book you ever read? What was it, and how did it influence your views on the romance genre?
Hayley: The first actual published MM book I read was The Price of Temptation by Marlys Pearson. I bought it because the cover was just so…amazing and a little on the campy side. If I could, I’d get that cover as a poster and hang it in my bedroom. The plot hasn’t stayed with me over the years, but I think it reminded me of the yaoi genre that I had been reading before I found MM romance (Yaoi is Japanese MM romance genre…more or less) and encouraged me to find more novels.
TNA: What is your concept of the ideal romantic lead? Do you feel your men need to be terribly flawed in order to be absolutely perfect?
Hayley: I love to read characters with flaws because who doesn’t have flaws? I have flaws. My friends have flaws. So I want fictional romantic partners to be flawed too. How those flaws are treated by the character will either make him perfect despite his flaws, or flawed despite his perfection.
TNA: If you could go back in time to the moment you sat down to begin writing your first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Hayley: Slow down. I like the plot and characters in my first book but I’ve learned so much between then and now, and I could really make that first novel much better today with just a little more time put into each page.
TNA: Let’s chat a little bit about your new book, Polyester Prince, the second book in the ABQ Heat series. First of all, the title, which I love! How did you come up with it? Were you just typing along and said, “Yep, that’s it, I’ll pay homage to synthetic fabrics,” or did you have the book titled before you began writing it?
Hayley: I’m so glad you love the title! I also love it. Polyester Prince was the working title during the writing process and I just had to keep it. The story started from the idea of Kyle searching all of Albuquerque for the finest ass on the police force. He got a bump on the head and remembers the butt but not the face. Albuquerque police officers wear a polyester blend and since the officer sort of saves Kyle he’s deemed a prince in polyester—a polyester prince.
TNA: Albuquerque, New Mexico is an interesting choice of settings. How is it you came up with the inspiration to add a little romance to the Albuquerque PD?
Hayley: I grew up in Albuquerque and still live here. As a teenager I couldn’t wait to leave this small town for a massive metropolitan, but now that I’m older, I’ve come to appreciate the medium size city for the perks—ample and free parking. In 2011 I took a course offered by the Albuquerque PD to teach citizens about the department and police procedures. After my ride along, and my discontent with the local media’s portrayal of the police got worse, I had an urge to write. Paid Leave is more serious and highlights some of the negative parts of the job, but Polyester Prince keeps the story light and fluffy.
TNA: Tell us a little bit about Kyle and his polyester-clad love interest. Did either of them give you trouble as you were writing their story, not wanting to cooperate with where you saw them going? If so, which one and how so?
Hayley: Out of all my stories, Kyle and Isaac were the easiest characters to write. But with that said, I’m willing to admit Kyle frustrated me a few times. He hides his true feelings behind sarcasm and jokes, so the hardest part was getting his emotions across without placing them in neon lights. A character that would rather ruin everything to save himself from admitting he’s in love can be quite frustrating.
TNA: What exactly is it that makes these two men click?
Hayley: Their personalities complement each other in a way that eases Kyle out of his shell of jokes. Isaac’s humor fits with Kyle’s and he too can communicate serious topics in less than serious ways. Isaac’s extra patience also helps when dealing with Kyle.
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from the book with us?
Hayley: I would love to!
Kyle Lived closer, but Isaac’s house lacked the possibility of a noise complaint from the downstairs neighbor who Kyle believed had a personal vendetta against him. They decided to return to Isaac’s, but that added a twenty-minute drive. Kyle tried to wait patiently, but that simple tap of Isaac’s foot had set off his desire, and a car ride wasn’t going to stamp it out.
“Since you’re a cop, I’m not even going to ask about road head.” Kyle pulled his foot up and unlaced his shoe.
“Road head?” Isaac grinned, but his eyes never left the horizon. “Are you suggesting we engage in an illegal activity on my day off?”
“No. I think just thinking about it might be enough for you.” Kyle removed his other shoe and tucked his socks inside before dropping it. “Am I right? Does imagining me sucking your cock make you hard?”
“It might.” Isaac glanced at Kyle. “But not right now. Why’d you take off your shoes?”
“That’s not all I’m taking off.” Kyle unzipped his jeans, lifted his hips against the pull of the seat belt, and lowered his pants to the floorboard.
“Why are you undressing in my car when I’m driving seventy miles an hour on the freeway?”
“I had no idea officers were allowed to speed.”
“It’s only five over.”
“Can you go faster?”
“I really shouldn’t get pulled over.”
“Too bad. Because the moment you take our exit, I’m reaching over to check on you. Fondling you on surface streets will be safer, right?”
Isaac laughed and shifted in his seat. “It’s broad daylight. How do you plan on getting into the house from the car in your underwear?”
“You have a garage. Use it.”
“My patrol car is inside.”
“I guess you’ll have to park beside it.” Kyle smoothed his hand around Isaac’s thigh and smiled at the restrained groan it coaxed out of him. “I admit this started out as a tease, but it’s actually turning me on now. Not that I wasn’t already turned on. Do you think your neighbors will complain if they see a man in pink briefs run across your front yard to get inside?”
“Yes. I’ll park in the garage. But keep your hands to yourself. I don’t want to cause a traffic incident.”
“Fine.” Kyle moved his hand to his own lap. “A car accident would mean more time before I have you in my mouth, anyway.” A softer, pained groan escaped Isaac’s throat, and Kyle smiled in triumph. “Should I also stop talking?”
“When I spotted you at that parade, I never would have guessed the things that come off your tongue.”
Kyle snorted. “You purposely set up a blowjob joke, right?”
Isaac tilted his head, and after a moment, he laughed. “Not on purpose, no, but I’m going to claim that was intentional anyway.”
TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve written so far, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?
Hayley: I think I’m in love with Neal McCoy from ABQ Heat. He’s a coffee expert with the patience of a saint and a heart made of gold. But my favorite one to write is Kyle from ABQ Heat because his smart ass can exasperate any character. My love of writing Kyle is the reason the sequel happened.
TNA: If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would you choose, and why do you think s/he’s someone who should exist outside of your imagination?
TNA: What would you say are the best and worst parts of the writing process for you?
Hayley: The bouts of self-doubt are the absolute worst and they always seem to strike with bad timing. The best part is seeing characters from my imagination come to life through words.
TNA: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Whichever you are, why do you feel that method works best for you?
Hayley: I’m a little of both. When I plan and plan again, I write a lot faster. Both Paid Leave and Polyester Prince had detailed outlines and the stories flowed from start to finish. When I ditch the plan and just write, surprise awesome plots might happen, but it will take me ten times as long to get less done.
TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Hayley: I could have all the time in the world to procrastinate if I could only control time. But such a power might make me a villain instead of a hero.
TNA: If time travel were possible, would you do it? If so, where would you go and why?
Hayley: I think the past should stay in the past, so I would use a time machine to go forward in time and see the advances in technology and science. And maybe grab some lottery numbers while I’m there.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?
Hayley: My current WIP is another sequel, but this one is for Undercover Sins. It’s untitled right now and it shares similar themes with Undercover Sins—an undercover police officer, a human trafficker, and confusion caused by love and misplaced trust.
TNA: Hayley, will you tell our readers where they find you on the internet?
TNA: Thanks so much for being here with us today, Hayley, And, dear readers, don’t forget to enter Hayley’s Rafflecopter giveaway below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hayley B. James is a lifelong resident of New Mexico with no plans to pack up and leave just yet. Writing is her part-time job and full-time hobby. She works in a small office during the day and lives in her written worlds at night.
When she isn’t writing, Hayley is reading m/m romance, mystery, real-life crime, fantasy, and yaoi novels, and can be found cruising Tumblr and webcomics. She may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with police officers. It’s still up for debate.
BLURB: Kyle Edington built his life around clubs, alcohol, nameless sex, and turning a blind eye to his future, but having front row access to his best friend’s perfect relationship leaves him wanting something he doesn’t understand—the white picket fence. After an ankle injury hinders his plans for PrideFest and puts his day job selling furniture at risk, Kyle attends Pride anyway to cheer himself up. Leaving his crutches at home was a mistake, though, and he’s shoved off balance and hits his head.
A bike officer keeps him safe until the paramedics arrive. Kyle’s memory of the event is foggy. He doesn’t recall the name or face of his guardian angel, but he definitely remembers the finest polyester-covered ass in all of Albuquerque.
But when he goes in search of his polyester prince, Kyle realizes relationships take hard work. After he learns the name of that perfect ass, a lifetime of avoiding serious boyfriends leaves Kyle second-guessing himself and making difficult decisions about what he wants for his future.
THE GIVEAWAY: Hayley B. James is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a set of paperback copies of Paid Leave and Polyester Prince.