TNA: Hi, Riley, 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?
Riley: Hello. Thanks for having me. I’m obsessed with all things book related. I’m almost always reading or writing. I have an awesome husband, two great kids, and I love tattoos! I’m also a total and complete romantic.
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 toward wanting to explore gay relationships in your writing?
Riley: I’ve always known m/m is something I wanted to write. I love men, and exploring relationships between them. I love writing men falling in love. It’s a beautiful thing.
TNA: Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea for Collide and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told? What was that moment of inspiration like—terrifying, anxiety inducing…?
Riley: It didn’t really hit me. I knew I wanted to write a m/m book and wanted it to be a friends to lovers story. From there Noah and Coop led the way and told me their story.
TNA: Did Noah and Cooper go easy on you, or was theirs a difficult story to tell? How was it simple/challenging?
Riley: They went pretty easy on me. They wanted their story told very badly. Those guys were impatient. 🙂 I couldn’t get them to slow down.
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?
Riley: I keep going back and forth. I can’t remember if it was Hot Head by Damon Suede or Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels. They’re both incredible stories but in different ways. I’d also read some YA gay romances before those, though.
TNA: Did it inspire you to write in the genre yourself?
Riley: I think it definitely helped. I know it did but like I said, it was something I’ve always wanted to do. LGBT equality is something close to my heart.
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?
Riley: I think my books are very character-driven. That’s usually one of the first things I tell people. And romance is always a large part of them. I like a sense of humor and loyalty, so I think that is a common quality my men have.
TNA: Stay is the second book in the Blackcreek series, this time around featuring Wes and Braden? Had you always planned to write their story, or did they evolve unexpectedly as you wrote Collide?
Riley: I didn’t plan it! Wes showed up on the scene unexpectedly but once he did, I knew he had a story to tell. Before that moment, I never planned for this to be a series.
TNA: How many books do you have the series planned out to? Or are you more of a pantser and will simply tell the stories until there’s nothing left to tell?
Riley: As far as I know, there will be three books in the Blackcreek series.
TNA: Were they at least as much fun to write as Noah and Cooper? More fun? Did your approach to writing their story differ in any significant ways?
Riley: They were different than Noah and Cooper. I definitely had as much fun, but everything wasn’t new for Wes and Braden the way it was for Cooper, and in a way, Noah too, because he was with his best friend for the first time and Coop with a man for the first time. Braden and Wes had more experience 🙂 so that made it a little different.
TNA: If you were to put together a few sentences about Wes and Braden, what would you say makes them click? What’s that special spark they have that drew them to each other?
Riley: Wes loves that Braden can make him laugh. He always keeps himself closed off, but Braden doesn’t accept that and he finds a way around Wes’s defenses. As for Braden, Wes makes him feel settled, at home, in a way he never had. He respects Wes a great deal.
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Stay with us?
Riley: Sure! A little backstory… they’re in bed talking during this scene.
Blurb: Wes Jensen just lost the sister who raised him, and gained custody of his niece. The last thing he needs to add to his full plate is dealing with Braden Roth, the one-night-stand who continues to try to push his way into Wes’ life. He has a kid to raise now, and Wes isn’t great at getting close anyway.
Braden has never had a woman or a man sneak out on him the morning after. From the start, Wes intrigues him, and Braden isn’t one to deny himself something he wants. And he wants Wes. The more time he spends with Wes and the little girl who constantly keeps them on their toes, the more Braden realizes this isn’t just about getting the guy who walked away.
As their lives intertwine more and more, Wes discovers Braden isn’t as shallow as he thought. But after everything Wes lost in his life, he isn’t sure he can risk his heart, and truly want Braden to stay—and if he did, would Wes’ quiet life be enough for Braden?
Excerpt: Braden knew he’d gone too far when Wes stiffened again.
Open mouth, insert foot.
“I’m kidding. I have a big mouth. Put your dick in it so I stop talking.”
Unfortunately for Braden, Wes didn’t listen. “She likes you. She’s lost too much already. This can’t affect her in any way, or it stops right now. Jessie comes first.”
Braden leaned up so he could look Wes in the eyes, so the man could see how serious he was. “First of all, I want you to know I get it. She’s a great kid and I would never hurt her. We’re grown men. We like sex. We like sex together. To her I’ll just be the guy her uncle is friends with. It’s not like either of us are looking for anything more than that, so it’s all good. And second…those words that just came out of your mouth? Fucking remember them. When you feel like you’re not doing a good job or you’re upset because you don’t think you’re what she needs, remember what you just said. Remember how you always put her first. Remember that you would sacrifice anything for her. And remember that Chelle knew that, which is why she wanted you to have her. I respect the hell out of you, man. I want you to know that.”
Wes visibly bit down. His eyes held Braden in a way that they never had. Not with anger or annoyance or even desire. Maybe gratitude; and a little bit of respect, too. It hit Braden right in the chest, little twitches of something he had never felt before coming to life where it touched. The crazy thing was, though he knew he could handle what he’d just told Braden—that they would just be friends who respect each other but also like to fuck—he thought he might be willing to try more with the man, too.
“Can we shut up now so I can suck your dick before I go?”
Wes nodded, gave him a half smile. “As normal, you’re the one talking, not me.”
He was right, so Braden stopped talking, leaned over Wes and sucked him deep. Cock in his mouth was much better than a foot.
TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of the books you’ve written thus far, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?
Riley: AHHHH! That I so hard. LOL. I love them all for different reasons. I can’t choose.
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?
Riley: It would be Teo from Broken Pieces. He stole my heart. He is so noble in so many ways yet willing to do anything, even the wrong thing, if it will protect someone he loves. He has the heart of a lion. He’s brave and there is nothing he wouldn’t do for Josiah, and Tristan. I respect him for that and what he’s been through.
TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Riley: The ability to go off less sleep so I could write more!
TNA: If time travel were possible, to what time period would you most like to travel and why?
Riley: Either the 1960’s or Regency time period. Totally different, I know. I would love to be a part of protests, and standing for what you believe in, in the 60’s and love the dances and pretty dresses of Regency. LOL.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs with us?
Riley: I am just about to start FULL CIRCLE, which is the sequel to Broken Pieces. It’s a continuation of Mateo, Josiah and Tristan’s story.
TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED