Lisa: We’re so pleased to welcome author RJ Scott back to The Novel Approach today, on the tour for the newest installment in the Montana series, The Rancher’s Son.
Thanks for joining us, RJ! Let’s get right into the thick of things. Why Montana? What made you decide to set this series in Big Sky Country?
RJ: I read a book, a long time ago, by Nora Roberts, and fell in love with the description of this vast place with mountains and rivers and blue skies. So, I began to research, and when I wanted a state to set my Cowboy/ranch series in it was a decision I made easily!
Lisa: What do you find particularly attractive/sexy/romantic about cowboys?
RJ: Oh my… fans self… rugged, handsome, strong, hard-working, worn jeans… I need a moment. They have this quality about them, the absolute certainty of who they are, and their connection to the land, that just leaves me all hot and bothered.
Lisa: Having written both series and standalone novels, do you have a preference for one or the other? What do you find satisfying about writing more than one book based in and around one particular setting or theme?
RJ: I was thinking about this earlier for another blog post. The Heart of Texas was supposed to be a standalone book, but the theme of ‘family’ was one I wanted to expand on. I loved that series. With Montana I have the mystery of the missing boys, which was the catalyst for Marcus to lose focus in life and cause the ranch to begin to falter. In book 2 we find out much more, and leave some questions for book 3. I think from all of this I love linked books, and I think a lot of readers would agree with me. When I read romances I love to revisit old characters and see how they are getting.
Lisa: Of all the romantic tropes, do you have an absolute favorite to write? What would that be, and why do you love writing it?
RJ: Hate and anger to love and hope. My absolute favorite. The angry kiss, the resolution, the intense sweetness of that angry kiss becoming something more. I love writing it!
Lisa: On the opposite side of that coin, are there any you avoid writing, and why?
RJ: Misunderstandings. I am reading a story and wanting to shake the characters and telling them to ‘talk already!’. I think a couple of my books have had stubborn characters, but to keep it going for a whole book with misunderstanding after misunderstanding, nope… not for me.
Lisa: Knowing you’re a busy wife and mum, describe your ideal writing day: where do you write, what time of day you feel most productive, do you write to music or do you need quiet?
RJ: I write with headphones on, my playlist stays for a whole month and is music I know and love, that I am familiar with. I’m not even sure I hear the music but it forms a level of noise where I can think. I write as soon as Matt is off to school, and I write as much as I can until he comes home. I catch up on interviews, marketing, blog posts etc, in the evenings and after he is home, if I can. I feel most productive in the hours Matt is at school (bless his wee heart and his general noisiness).
Lisa: I think you and I came into the M/M genre at roughly the same time—you as an author and me as a reader, obviously. What are some of the most remarkable changes you’ve seen in the genre over the course of those years?
RJ: Oh wow, well… the sheer amount of writers, and readers, astounds me. KU has rocked us all a bit. The quality of stories has been double sided, the rise of the quick-buck micro read to fool KU was a big bump in the road. Publishers have come and gone, writers have come and gone. But, me and you, we’re still here. You think maybe we should get a medal or something? LMAO x
Lisa: You’ve built a prolific body of work since your first published book, not to mention starting your own small press. Of all the advice you’ve received along the way, especially when you were new to all of this, what pearls of wisdom would you pass along to an author just starting out?
RJ: Write. That is all. Just keep your head down and write. As soon as you sub something, write something else. Always write. Oh, and read. Read like your life depends on it, because I don’t think you can be a writer unless you read.
Lisa: What can we expect from you next, any new WIPs or projects you’d like to share news about with readers?
RJ: This year is manic busy. Bodyguards 6, Kissing Alex is out in April, Boy Banned (a standalone) is out in May. The Legacy series (Kyle, Gabriel, Daniel, a spin off series to Texas) are all out this year. I have my next MF book out under Rozenn Scott. Sanctuary 9, Ghost is out this year. Oh, and Montana 3 which will be out in time for GRL. My Christmas MM book is The Road to Frosty Hollow, and my Christmas MF book is Snow & Secrets. I also have co-authored books with Amber Kell, Meredith Russell, Chris Quinton, and others! Yep… busy…
Lisa: Thanks again for stopping by, RJ, it’s always a pleasure!
RJ: Nope, Lisa, the pleasure is all mine. Hugs hard. RJ XXXXX
Blurb: A man without memories, and the cop who never gave up hope.
When he wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a brutal beating, John Doe has no memories of who he is or who hurt him. The cops can find nothing to identify him and he can’t remember anything to help… except the name Ethan and one recurring place from his dreams. Two words, and they’re not much, but it’s a start: Crooked Tree.
Detective Ethan Allens has never stopped searching for the two boys who vanished. When a report lands on Ethan’s desk that may give new leads, he jumps at the chance to follow them up. The man he finds isn’t his brother, but it’s someone who could maybe help him discover what happened twelve years ago.
What neither man can know is that facing the very real demons of the past could destroy any kind of future they may have together.
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