TNA: Hi, Margie, I’m so glad to have you here with us today. Let’s start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.
M.C.: Thanks for hosting me! It’s always fun to be at a new place. About me? I promise not to answer the door wearing lingerie. It scares the visitors and embarrasses my teenager and husband. You will find me in the stands cheering on my oldest son who plays snare drum in a world-class drum corps. I prefer my beer and my whiskey to have plenty of flavor. No light beer for me. Irish and Canadian straight up, please. My flower gardens are my summertime passion and if you follow me on social media, you’ll see plenty of gorgeous photos of them. I’m a native Minnesotan and love snow.
By day, I work at a nuclear power generating plant in the communications department. I write the station’s news, produce videos, and share info about events and inspections going on at the plant. It’s a strange environment to be sure, but this is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. It hits all my professional triggers.
I’ve been writing romances for six years. I started in the Days of Our Lives fandom – hey EJAMI fans! Mwha! I’ve written 20 books (including a nursery rhyme). Most of them are on the market now – a couple are in cue with Ellora’s Cave and my newest publisher (can’t share the name until I receive the signed contract back). I’m a USA Today recommended author and was 2011 GLBT Author of the Year for my book, Hard as Teak, which also won Book of the Year.
In addition to gay romances, I write BDSM, ménage, polyamory, M/F, women’s fiction and new adult. My vampire series is currently off the market.
TNA: What drew you to the M/M genre?
M.C.: Gay men drew me to it. As an author, you have to promote your own books pretty heavily. My editors were transgender and bi. I started meeting a lot of gays online and I became close friends with some of them. I was scared to try this genre – after all, who thinks a middle-aged, Midwestern, married mom named Margie (did I hit all the Ms? LOL) could do that believably? Apparently I do because Hard as Teak stayed on Amazon’s Top 100 gay romances for 100+ days. What a thrill. The Camera Never Lies is the updated version of this book and its upcoming sequel, Coming Back for Drew, are now published by Ellora’s Cave. I’m so pleased that they asked for these titles. I’ve always wanted to be an EC author.
My newest book, Boston Boyfriends, is dedicated to my friends Paul and Robert. Paul passed away from a stroke complicated by AIDS. Their love inspired me and I’ll never forget them.
TNA: If you could go back in time to the moment you started writing Hard as Teak, what advice would you give yourself now that you’ve got the benefit of some experience?
M.C.: Believe in yourself. Believe in your talent and your ability to listen to valuable input without destroying the story.
TNA: Do you remember the first M/M book you ever read? If so, what was it, and what about it made the most lasting impression upon you?
M.C.: David’s Dilemma by Lynn Lorenz. The story was an honest, believable portrayal of David’s struggles to live his gay lifestyle in the face of condemnation and homophobia. It is beautifully written. Books like this made me understand that love is genderless. The heart wants what the heart wants.
TNA: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t read them yet? Do your characters share common qualities? What’s your idea of a great protagonist?
M.C.: My books portray people like those you may know. They have strengths, faults, and a tremendous capacity to understand and love. They are adventurous in their relationships, risk-takers in life. You’ll also find elements of suspense in my books, in keeping with my moniker: Romance With SASS – Suspense, Angst, Seductive Sizzle. If you appreciate stories that are off the beaten path, that are unpredictable and fresh, please give my back list a look. I know you won’t be disappointed.
My idea of a great protagonist is one will go to the mat for the one he/she loves. Come hell or high water, this person is going to eventually do the right thing to protect and love the one who has his/her heart.
TNA: Let’s chat a little bit about your latest novel, The Camera Never Lies. Being with women is Kevin’s way of denying his sexuality. What is it you find most emotionally satisfying about writing a novel that allows your MC to gradually embrace who he truly is?
M.C.: Kevin is a celebrity and like the high school quarterback, no one believes him to be gay. He was living the way others expected him to. At his north woods cabin, away from those who know him, Kevin examines his frustrations. Meeting Teak is the most powerful sexual magnet he’s ever had. He is scared of moving forward. When Kevin makes the choice to love Teak, it’s with an open heart and mind. He’s challenged by important people in his life who try hard to undermine the relationship but neither man wavers in their commitment. I really enjoyed creating a believable journey for Kevin with an ending that is immensely satisfying.
TNA: Teak is the man who finally allows Kevin the freedom and desire to be himself. How would you explain the chemistry between these two men? What makes them so good for each other, especially Teak for Kevin?
M.C.: Besides being cover-model gorgeous, Teak is loving and patient with Kevin. He’s loved women in the past too and understands the confusion Kevin feels. Their sexual chemistry is blistering. They are romantic, adventurous and totally hot for each other. They also have great senses of humor. Kevin’s profession makes him take a measured approach to coming out but he does it with integrity. Teak respects him for that.
TNA: Would you like to share an excerpt from The Camera Never Lies with us?
An Excerpt From: THE CAMERA NEVER LIES
Copyright © MARGIE CHURCH, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Having sex with his girlfriend has begun to feel like a job to nature photographer Kevin Marks. A year of sexual ennui prompts him to head for the solitude of his Minnesota cabin, in search of his lost passion-which he finds in the form of Teak Hidalgo. Kevin can’t resist the gorgeous Texan. Their fateful meeting takes Kevin’s life in a new direction, professionally and personally. Before long, Teak resuscitates Kevin’s flat-lined libido, becoming the perfect tour guide to a sexual territory Kevin has only fantasized about. Teak provides the safety Kevin needs to finally be who he truly is, and the men embark on a romance better than anything Kevin ever imagined. But their sexy seclusion can’t last forever. All too soon, reality, obligation and envy threaten to sever the couple’s fledgling connection.
While Teak used the bathroom, Kevin grabbed his camera and went outside. The half-moon provided perfect illumination on the frost clinging to the wildflowers. Careful not to breathe on the tender crystals, Kevin knelt next to his subject and adjusted the camera for the moonlit conditions.
The front door opened and shut. Teak rubbed his hands together and then shoved them under his arms. “What are you doing? It’s freezing out here.”
Kevin clicked the shutter one last time and rose. The effects of his last beer made him stumble back a step and Teak grabbed his arm. Kevin broke into alcohol-induced laughter. “Just what I need, to drop this camera and break it—or my shutter finger.” Kevin wiggled his index finger a few times while laughing at his own joke.
“I suppose that thing is pretty expensive.”
“Very. Let’s go inside before I die of thirst.”
“We’ve probably both had enough beer for one night but I won’t argue about going inside. There’ll definitely be a hard frost tonight.”
Opening the cabin door let out a blast of warm air. The sharp temperature contrast hit Kevin in the face, making him woozy. “Shit, it’s hot in here.” He peeled off his jacket and shirt, tossing them one at a time onto a nearby chair. “Do you want a bottle of water or some coffee or something?”
“I’ll take the water. Wouldn’t hurt to sober up a bit,” Teak said. “I hate hangovers.”
“You and me both.” He retrieved two bottles of water from the fridge and handed one to Teak. “And if the night’s still young, we can get drunk again later.” Kevin laughed with his half-smashed friend and took a swig of water. “I’m going to make up the guest bed.” He couldn’t resist throwing in another wisecrack. “The maid service sucks around this joint.”
“You probably look stupid as hell in an apron anyway. Go make the bed.”
“You’re not helping? Shit, the assistant to the maid service sucks too.” Chuckling, he walked to the closet to find the bed linens.
Kevin turned on the light. He’d used this bedroom countless times growing up and even got laid in here a couple of nights. The fitted sheet snapped as he shook it open. He made his way to the headboard to tuck in the corners.
He couldn’t believe what a turn-on Teak was. He’d never been so sexually attracted to a man he’d actually met. He’d enjoyed watching guys getting friendly with each other while they were messing with women in videos. He’d lapped up his own cum often but that was from a cum-soaked pussy. Sucking dick was a favorite fantasy too, but Kevin never thought he’d act on that desire, given the chance. The urge to be intimate with Teak was both heady and unsettling. He unfolded the flat sheet and heard Teak walking around in the cabin.
With the sheets tucked in, he reached for the comforter and spread it on the bed. Lost in his lusty thoughts, he didn’t hear Teak arrive until he stumbled against him. Teak’s arms wove around his ribs, preventing him from falling.
Like the proverbial deer in the headlights, Kevin froze and didn’t say a word. Pleasure shot to his dick. His heart hammered. Resting his head against Teak’s bare shoulder, Kevin wondered when he had taken off his shirt. His trimmed hair felt stiff and foreign; only his father had held him this way, when Kevin was a little boy. He noticed rough calluses between softer patches of skin on Teak’s hands. He soaked in the new sensations, enjoying them.
Silence thundered in Kevin’s ears as he turned and met Teak’s gaze. The intensity he saw nearly choked the breath right out of his lungs. What little air remained ran for cover when Teak’s lips met his. The feelings reminded him of his very first kiss, heady and foreign. His lips twisted with Teak’s. He’d never experienced the force of a man’s tongue in his mouth or the scrape of another man’s beard. Kevin uttered the sounds of an aroused man. Except I’m being aroused by another man. The knowledge made his head spin.
Teak’s hands kept a loose hold on Kevin’s waist, giving him free reign to accept or deny him. For a long minute, he participated in the kiss as though moving with a partner in a choreographed dance. He knew what to do but his brain and his dick were going in opposite directions. Kevin’s cock was so hard, he wanted to take it out and come. Confusion filled him. He broke from the kiss and focused on Teak’s tattoo, glad for the distraction.
“Aren’t you going to say something?” Teak asked in a soft voice.
“This is the most amazing tattoo.” How fucking lame is that for an opener?
With his index finger, Kevin traced the pronounced veins on the dragon’s side, and higher to its curved neck. Following the dragon’s neck led to Teak’s nipple. The hardened nub looked ready to be clenched in the dragon’s sharp teeth. Or mine.
Kevin frowned, still conflicted about what he was doing in another man’s arms. He lowered his head, hovering over the erect flesh. Teak made the decision for him when his hand pressed against Kevin’s head, ushering his lips to the dragon’s mouth—to his nipple. Teak held him close with his right hand, while his left dug into Kevin’s ribs.
The rumbling groan from Teak’s chest propelled Kevin’s desire. He envisioned Teak, eyes closed and slack-jawed as one throaty moan after another left his lips. Kevin swirled his tongue around the pebbled flesh, teasing it gently with his teeth. The delicate nub popped from between his lips. Using the tip of his tongue, he traced the pattern of the fiery dragon’s neck. Trimmed hairs around Teak’s nipple created an interesting friction. Kevin’s cock filled ramrod hard and pressed tightly against his jeans. All the signs he needed were there to prove he was enjoying himself.
When Kevin rose from his erotic play, Teak’s lips crushed his. Kevin’s hips pressed tightly against Teak’s, leaving no question he was just as turned-on. Fuck! What’s going on here? Their beards made soft scraping noises between their deep breaths and moans.
Teak backed Kevin up to the bed.
TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, whom would you choose and why?
M.C.: Jolene from Deep Enough to Bleed. I really identify with her – she’s a street fighter. A disastrous childhood has left scars on her body (she’s a cutter), her heart and soul. But she doesn’t use those experiences as an excuse to be a bitter person. She is determined to conquer her past, be a productive adult, and most importantly find love and be loved. This is a new adult book from Tirgearr Publishing.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?
M.C.: Of course! I’m writing a short story entitled A Night in Minneapolis, which is part of the City Nights series at Tirgearr Publishing. Vince and Skyler knew each other in high school and she is the one who got away. Their 10-year class reunion brings Skyler back to Minneapolis and into Vince’s arms for only 24 hours. Their reunion is passionate and kinky every step of the way. When it ends, who will miss whom more?
TNA: Thanks so much for being with us today, M.C., would you give us all the places we can find you on the internet?
M.C.: Please connect with me and look at the great books I’ve written for you!
Contest: Describe your favorite gay character—real or imagined—and you could win a copy of The Camera Never Lies.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
M.C.: Thank you very much for giving me a platform for talking about my work. I look forward to your questions and replies!