TNA: Hi, Joy Lynn, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things we might not know about you but should?
Joy Lynn: Hi, and thanks so much for having me. I live near Oxford in the UK, where I indulge my passions for M/M romance, military aviation history, gardening, and horseriding, though not all at the same time.
TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something that came along later in your writing career? What is it that drew you into wanting to explore gay relationships in your writing?
Joy Lynn: I started out writing M/F romance, though never got as far as thinking about publication for any of my stories. Some years ago I discovered gay romance and have written it exclusively ever since.
As for why….the truth is that I don’t know why I choose M/M over other genres. It’s like my love for daily mugs of coffee and the fact that I enjoy a cup of tea perhaps once every four years. I don’t know why I prefer one to the other; I just know that I do.
TNA: What was your first published M/M title? Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told? What was that moment of inspiration like?
Joy Lynn: My first book was a M/M/M menage, Changing Gear. I’m not sure where the idea came from in the first place, but I do remember being very excited at the prospect of untangling the intricate relationships between three men, none of whom would actually talk to one another.
TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing that first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of experience?
Joy Lynn: Use speech recognition software! Don’t wait until your hands start hurting. More substantively, I’d want to save my editor the trauma she went through by pointing out to myself that convoluted sentence structures help no-one.
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?
Joy Lynn: It was E. M. Forster’s Maurice, long before I knew there was such a thing as an M/M genre. Despite the ultimate triumph of love and hope, I came away feeling terrible sadness and anger at the prevailing attitudes towards homosexuality portrayed in the book and with a fresh resolve to do what I could to counter such attitudes.
TNA: How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t read them yet? Do your characters share common qualities? If so, what’s your idea of a great protagonist?
Joy Lynn: One thing a number of readers have mentioned is that my books tend to be quite angsty, though there’s always a happy ending. Another theme I’ve noticed coming through is that romantic love isn’t the only important kind of love in our lives.
As for common qualities, I’d say most of my characters are damaged in some way and some are quite good at deceiving themselves about their feelings and/or motivations. But then a character like Tristan shows up, well-adjusted and clear-sighted, and blows that theory out of the water!
My idea of a great protagonist is one the reader can root for.
TNA: You’re here with us today promoting your latest release, Shifting Sands, book four in the Strength of the Pack series. Tell us a little bit about your shifters and what makes them and their world unique.
Joy Lynn: The series is set in a world that’s almost exactly like our own, with the difference that shifters have been known to exist from ancient times. It’s now thought they’re the result of genetic differences rather than any more mystical reason. In modern-day USA, they’ve only been granted equal rights within the last few decades, and there’s still mistrust between shifters and non-shifters as a result. That uneasiness has particular resonance for this book as the shifter politicians disagree with one another about whether or not they should integrate into non-shifter society.
TNA: Do you have the series planned out to a set number of books, or will you continue to write in this world until you run out of stories and characters to write about?
Joy Lynn: So long as the characters co-operate with me, I intend the series to have six books. I’m currently working on book five.
TNA: If you were to describe your MCs in a few sentences, what would you say about them, what are a few things about them that make up the core of who they are?
Joy Lynn: I think they’re all fundamentally decent people. There’s a courage at the heart of each of them that enables them to keep going and not give up, even if sometimes it takes a metaphorical boot up the ass from someone else to get them there.
TNA: What would you say are some of the things that attract you the most to writing paranormal romance?
Joy Lynn: This series is the first time I’ve written paranormal romance and I’ve loved the freedom it’s given me to set it in the contemporary world but to go slightly AU – exploring the ramifications that follow from just one little change in how things actually are. Also, and I don’t whether it’s just my shifters or if this is true in general, they do seem to attract an awful lot of drama, which is great fun to write!
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Shifting Sands with us?
Joy Lynn: Thank you—I would. 🙂 This is Tom and Bryce’s first meeting:
BLURB: The visit to Elk Ridge is just another assignment for Tom Barrington. Then he encounters Bryce Reynolds, a generous, warm-hearted cowboy who has the easiest smile he’s ever seen. It doesn’t take long for Tom to break all his rules and end up in Bryce’s bed.
Bryce Reynolds believes there’s no such thing as a hot politician, right up until he meets Tom Barrington. Tall, dark, and principled, Tom overturns all of Bryce’s prejudices, and Bryce starts to forget that he doesn’t do serious and he doesn’t do commitment.
As Bryce and Tom struggle to make sense of what’s happening between them, they’re drawn into a political battle—one which could affect the future of every shifter. And when long-buried secrets start coming to light, things turn deadly. Nothing will ever be the same again for the Elk Ridge pack.
Available at Siren Bookstrand
Bryce pushed open the door, prepared for another snotty pen pusher like Taylor Cufflinks the Third, or whatever his stupid name had been. Because of that, it took him a moment to process that he was seeing what he thought he was seeing and that he hadn’t found himself in the middle of a really good dream. Except if it was a dream, presumably this guy would already be naked rather than pouring himself a cup of coffee while dressed in a crisp white shirt, open at the neck, and gray slacks that should have been illegal given the way they clung to the curves of a frankly spectacular ass.
If Tom Barrington was a pen pusher, it was a pretty heavy pen he pushed on a regular basis, because those were definite muscles betrayed by the fit of his shirt. His hair was dark and just a little wavy, his cheekbones were sharply defined beneath flawless skin, and there was the suspicion of a five-o’clock shadow on his jaw, which somehow emphasized just how strong that jawline was.
Bryce was still staring when Tom looked up and gestured with the mug he was holding. “Hope you don’t mind,” he said, then paused.
Bryce was aware that he was being studied in return and stood a little taller, opening himself up for inspection by rich brown eyes. It seemed Tom liked what he saw, because he looked for longer than was strictly polite. Bryce grinned at him when his eyes returned to Bryce’s face, and Tom suddenly looked away, biting his lip slightly as if he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t have been. Even that didn’t stop him sending another look sideways at Bryce, and the combination of that with the way his teeth were sinking into his plump lower lip had Bryce’s stomach tightening with arousal. This security check might be a hell of a lot more pleasurable than he’d figured. And he was not thinking about Tom Barrington and body searches in the same breath, because that wasn’t helping things settle down in the least.
“Sorry to have kept you,” he said, and sat down at the table. “I figured you’d be another twelve-year-old.”
Tom stared at him, and then he grinned. It was a really good look on him. “I forgot—you had Bressingham visit you, didn’t you?”
“I wondered if it was ‘take your son to work day’ but mom or dad got lost en route,” Bryce said.
“He’s one of Cheung’s protégés,” Tom said, sitting down opposite Bryce. “He’s got potential, apparently.”
“Or a daddy with deep pockets to contribute to a re-election campaign,” Bryce said, and pushed the sugar bowl across the table. Tom nodded in thanks and took a spoonful.
“So what do you need to know?” Bryce asked, all business again. The thought that the sooner they got business done, the sooner they might get to other things was not in his mind at all. No way.
Joy Lynn: At the moment, I would pick out Red Moon Rising, book three in this series, because, amid all the drama, the heart of the story is about a guy who just won’t give up. He keeps going no matter what life does to him, and I admire that in him enormously. I’m also fond of A Gilded Cage, which is an erotic historical set in 1790s Venice. I really enjoyed playing with more formal language and customs—and then of course there are the breeches. Breeches are always a good thing!
TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, whom would you most like to spend time with, and what makes him/her someone you think you could be friends with?
Joy Lynn: Oh, what a difficult question! Perry from the Masquerade series is an absolute sweetheart and I think we could easily be besties if only I could tear him away from Jack for long enough. And then there’s Tom from Shifting Sands; he’s sincere, a good conversationalist, and he’s well-mannered enough to mow the lawn if I asked him to. But I’d probably get on best of all with Sam from the Elk Ridge diner. I think she’d be a loyal, true friend and a great person with whom to share a bottle of wine and gossip about the Elk Ridge pack!
TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Joy Lynn: A power that got all my housework done with the click of my fingers. It may not be an official superpower, but it should be. Because it’s housework.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?
Joy Lynn: I’m currently working on the next book in the Strength of the Pack series, which is the story of the trip that Christian and Dave take during Shifting Sands. It’s turned out differently from how I envisaged, primarily because Christian decided he’d like to join an illegal cage-fighting ring. And then he refused to co-operate with the rest of the book unless I let him.
TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?
Joy Lynn: Of course – I always love hearing from people!
Thanks again for having me on your blog today.
TNA: Thanks so much for being here, Joy Lynn, it was our pleasure! 🙂
Author Bio: Joy Lynn Fielding is a sucker for happy endings. She believes, however, that if characters don’t suffer along the way, they won’t fully appreciate being happy. Not all of her characters thank her for
this viewpoint, but what do they know?
Joy lives in a small English market town, but also inhabits a number of fictional worlds at any one time, reflecting what she’s writing and what she’s reading. She has a tendency to share enthusiastically with anyone who will listen to the latest fascinating facts she’s stumbled across in her research for books. Thankfully she has a very patient Labrador, who has a gift for looking as though he’s interested in what she’s saying while he waits for the food to arrive.
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