Midnight Seductions Guest Interview
1. Tell us about your most recent release.
I’d love to. It’s titled “Solitude & Sea Glass” and is a modern twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast scenario. Once again I was lucky enough to team with the amazing Terry Wylis to delve into true romance. We were able to explore the lives of two very different men who come to need each other at an almost cellular level.
For a decade and a half, Holland Faust has locked himself away in a house without mirrors, seeing no one from the outside but his agent and his summer interns. A former child star renowned for his beauty, Hol's world imploded when a crazed fan, incensed that Hol starred in a sensitive portrayal of a young gay man, slashed Hol's face. His beauty destroyed and along with it all sense of self-worth, Hol's retreats from the world. He now lives alone on a island off the coast of Maine with just his groundkeeper and cook, his Wheaten terrier as his only companion. Though his island is a place of beauty, it's also a place of deep solitude and loneliness.
Ruby Keagan is a free spirit with an unparalleled zest for living. Impossibly beautiful, he's determined to devote his life to bettering the lives of those in need. Fresh from helping with the aftermath of Katrina, he takes a position as Holland's intern, helping the retired actor administer his vast charity foundation. He doesn't want to believe the rumors about the celebrity he crushed on so hard as a teenager. There's only one problem -- the rumors are true. Hol never hires men; his interns are always female.
And with good reason, Holland's gay but hiding that as securely as he hides his scarred face. Infuriated that his wishes have been ignored, he initially orders Ruby to leave but Ruby's as stubborn as Hol and arranges a bet. He has three days to prove he's the best assistant Holland's ever had. Along the way, Ruby discovers he wants to prove much more than that.
2. What genre do you prefer to write?
I don’t actually think about genre when I write. Terry’s the same. We get ideas for a story. And we write that story. We’ll have some idea of how it will be categorized as we decide on protagonists and setting and plot but we don’t write with any genre elements in mind. We just write.
Is there a genre you’d like to write in that you haven’t tried yet? Oh, I’m sure there is. I come up with new things all the time. I’ll just have to see what the next plot egg hatches out to be.
3. What do you like to read?
Non-fiction. I read a lot about criminal profiling and historical dress—talk about diverse tastes. Since I edit and do acquisitions screening for Red Rose Publishing, as well as cover art and my own writing, I don’t have a great deal of time to read much so I tend to a lot of reference material when I do have free time.
4. What do you feel is your strength as an author? For instance: characterization, dialogue,
sexual tension, sex scenes????
Emotions. I like for the reader to be able to immerse themselves in the characters and feel everything right along with them. If you can’t get into a character’s head, how can you care about them? If you don’t care what happens to them, there’s no reason to read the book. All those other elements are important but you have to have that emotional link. Even for the sex scenes. As my favorite profiler once told me, sex is 95% mental any way.
5. How did you choose your pen name? Does it hold some significance special to
It’s not a pen name. That’s my real initials. I used a pen name briefly—Jacqueline Quaid—but discovered almost immediately that concealing my identity just isn’t me. LOL – I’ve always said never do anything you’re ashamed of and never be ashamed of anything you do.
6. Where do you see your writing career taking you? Goals for two, four, six
Oh lord – I want that New York Times best seller now! Not two years from now. LOL. “Solitude & Sea Glass” is my tenth release in two years. I’d like to have another ten by 2012. What I’d like is to be able to devote myself to writing full time. Right now, I have a day job. I love it and the people I work with but I’d rather be home writing.
7. Do you ever use people you know as characters in your book, or composites?
Sure. Sometimes friends even ask to be put in books. I’m currently writing one based on a friend who’s a former FBI agent. He wanted to be the hero in a novel. Not hard to do since he’s amazingly heroic and looks the part, too. I even let him pick his character name.
8. Do you find that your creativity is more active mornings, afternoon, or
I can write anytime, anywhere. I just need my laptop (which is usually with me everywhere I go much to everyone’s dismay) or something to write on. Stories are in my head constantly.
9. What well-known author would you compare your work to or hope that you've
achieved the same level of excitement?
I try very hard not to compare myself to anyone else or be influence by them. I don’t want to subconsciously “steal” from anyone. I don’t want to pick up their voice or borrow a minor character, or end up as derivative. Another reason I don’t read a lot of fiction.
10. What’s your favorite leisure activity? Writing. Why? Because I have to. It’s like crack. You gotta have it. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. It is my drug of choice. So to just be able to sit somewhere quiet or exotic and write – it’s wonderfully relaxing. Of course, sitting somewhere hectic and loud writing is great, too.
About T.D.: T. D. McKinney writes Gay Romance, Romance, Mysteries, and Crime stories. Her publications have garnered three EPIC award finalist designations and a Dream Realms finalist designation.
Growing up on the American Gulf Coast, T.D. McKinney gained a great appreciation for all things Southern and a fascination with what the community around her. There is very little she doesn’t find interesting whether it’s art, music, history, vampires, web design, or forensic science. Everything is there to be explored, investigated, and attempted at least once. This trait often carries over into her writing. She loves exploring characters that are not afraid to take a risk or step outside the constraints of society or family. And if the character doesn’t want to take that chance, she likes creating situations that require they do so.
T. D. lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of north Texas with her husband and young daughter. In her spare time, she studies criminal profiling and shares her husband’s interest in vampires, the internet, science fiction, collecting swords, and all things Japanese.