When Coop and Sam finally reveal their secrets to one another, the bonds of friendship expand in ways neither thought possible. As his relationship with Coop grows stronger every day, Sam feels his life is finally on course, especially when he rediscovers his love for photography and envisions a new career behind the camera. But an infernal stable fire changes everything and forces shocking, long-hidden truths into the light, changing Sam’s life forever.
I've already ordered what is sure to be a top M/M read. Please welcome the very diverse author, Donya Lynne.
What is one trait you share with your heroine in this book?
Since this is a m/m romance, there is no heroine, so I’ll have to use one of my heroes. I think I’m like Sam in that I’ve always been the oddball or the black sheep. I’ve never been one to follow a crowd. Instead, I do my own thing. While Sam struggles with his identity in this book, he realizes he’s the black sheep, too.
Sorry, I should have updated my questions.
One thing you have learned as a writer this year?
One very powerful thing I learned this year—just recently, in fact—is that I function well within structure but completely crumble when I try to keep a schedule.
Last week, I completely revamped how I work. I created a structure where I do whatever I want from 6:00AM to 7:00AM, then devote 7:00-12:00 completely to writing. I have a word goal to achieve during that time. I don’t stop writing until I’ve hit that goal, and then I can use the remaining time to either continue writing or work on other tasks, such as editing or research. These five hours are also distraction-free. I shut down email, turn off my phone, and shut off all social media. I take noon to 2:00 to shower, eat lunch, and tend to my dogs, and then I’m back at it at 2:00PM. The afternoon is devoted to all things non-writing (book-related writing). Maybe I’ll write a blog post. Or perhaps I’ll work on research or plot/character notes for my next book so I’m ready to start writing it when I finish my current WIP. This time is also reserved for judging contest entries, updating my website, registering for copyrights, reading and answering email, reading messages in my yahoo groups, or whatever else needs to be done. But the writing comes first. Nothing else gets done until the word goal is met.
I find I am much more clear-headed now that I’ve instituted this structure. My writing is more inspired, too. And I’m not as stressed.
But the BEST part about my new structure is that I’m writing in two hours what it used to take me all day to write. Before, I allowed email, my phone, Facebook, and everything else to distract me. Now, I dedicate those five hours to me. The world can live without me until noon. And thank God for that. My productivity has doubled, maybe even tripled. I’m hitting my daily writing goal in less than two hours when it used to take me eight. And for only the fourth time since September 1, I wrote over 4500 words in one day without even trying…and I wasn’t even inspired when I did this. Can you imagine how many words I could have written had I been inspired?
I agree structure is important. Writing is a full-time job so laying out a schedule is a fantastic idea.
One writer, you'd LOVE to have lunch with?
Stephen King, because he pulls no punches and says it straight. I love that. But if I had to pick someone within my own genre, I would say Liliana Hart or Marie Force. Those ladies know what they’re doing. I’d love to have an hour or two to glean some of that wisdom.
You'll have a chance to meet Liliana Hart this year through IRWA. Woot!
Winter's Fire Excerpt:
Around four o’clock, the sound of an engine brought his gaze around, and he took off his brown cowboy hat as Cooper’s truck broke the ridge of the hill that kept the back of his property hidden from the road.
Sam leaned on the post hole digger and palmed sweat off his forehead.
“What are you doing here?” Coop got out of the cab and set his own hat on his head. He wore only a white T-shirt and faded jeans over dusty cowboy boots. The front of his shirt was smudged with dirt. Looked like Cooper had been working hard today, too.
“What’s it look like I’m doing? I’m working.” Sam trudged to the bed of his truck and filled a plastic cup with water.
“Yeah, well, you were supposed to be working at your dad’s today, from what I understand.”
“Fuck him.” But he knew there’d be hell to pay when he got home.
“He wasn’t happy when he asked me where you were and I told him I hadn’t seen you.”
“Like I said, fuck him.” Sam returned to gouging out an earthen hole with the post hole digger. “I’ve got other things to do. I don’t have time to do the shit work my dad wants to throw on my shoulders.” He grunted as he slammed the digger into the soil.
But his dad had him by the short and curlies. He couldn’t avoid working for him forever. Until Sam figured out what he was going to do to make his own way, he was stuck. He had nowhere else to go, no way to make money, and no prospects for either. Maybe he would have to go back to college. But then that would keep him under his father’s thumb for even longer as he worked on a degree. But a degree in what? No matter where Sam’s mind took him for answers, more questions—more obstacles—popped up.
“Need a hand with that?”
Sam looked up to find Cooper standing beside him. He’d been so consumed by his thoughts that he hadn’t even heard Coop approach.
Coop reached for the post hole digger. “I think you’ve killed this one already.” A crooked grin spread over Coop’s mouth.
Sam looked down at the mangled hole he’d chopped out of the dirt. “Yeah. I guess I got a little carried away.” He took a step back and let Coop take over.
Coop’s biceps and triceps cut into the underside of his skin as he plunged the digger into the hole and worked the soil, making the muscles on the backs of his shoulders and down his torso ripple like those of a lean predator tackling its prey.
“You seem pretty pissed off at your dad.” Coop glanced at him as he pulled up a load of dirt and tossed it aside. “Want to talk about it?”
“Not really.” Because talking about it would involve revealing why he and his dad were more at odds with one another than usual, and he wasn’t ready for that. At the moment, he just wanted to watch Coop work, because…yeah…he liked watching him. Liked the way his jeans clung to the curves of his ass and thighs as his muscles flexed.
As Coop circled the hole and kept digging, Sam noticed a small, frayed patch in the denim just below his crotch. It was big enough to reveal a touch of skin.
Sam licked his lips and cleared his throat as he poured himself another cup of water. As he drank, he glanced toward Cob’s Creek gurgling between the trees in an effort to distract his mind from the naughty thoughts threatening to consume him.
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NOTE: For purchases made by December 31, a free erotic m/m short story will be included. After December 31, the freebie will only be available in the print book anticipated to come out sometime next summer.
Donya Lynne is the author of the award winning All the King's Men Series and a member of Romance Writers of America. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age that she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first short story contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic stories for her friends, and by her sophomore year, they had dubbed her Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she made that dream come true by publishing her first two novels and two novellas. Her work has earned her two IPPYs, one gold and one silver, as well as two eLit Awards, also one gold and one silver. Donya has many more novels and novellas planned for years to come.