Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! Jeff & Will wish everyone celebrating this week a happy, joyful, and safe holiday.
E.M. Lindsey discusses what got them started writing m/m romance, what keeps them inspired to write, and how their eclectic reading habits leads to writing across multiple romance subgenres. We also get the details on Loose Lips Sink Ships, their recently released duology, and Madly Ever After, a “why choose” romance trilogy that releases in January. They also talk about the collaborations they’ve done, which authors are go-tos for them, and more about what’s coming up in 2023.
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Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase. These links are current at the time the episode premieres, however links are subject to change.
- E.M. Lindsey Interview:
- E.M. Lindsey: website | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Patreon
- Shades of Winter by E.M. Lindsey
- Time and Tide (Through the Ages Book 1) by E.M. Lindsey
- Monsters and Men (Through the Ages Book 2) by E.M. Lindsey
- Verismo (Magnum Opus Book 1) by E.M. Lindsey
- Free Hand (Irons and Works Book 1) by E.M. Lindsey
- Check Please Book 1 #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
- Kiki Clark on Amazon
- Until His Last Goodbye (Scythe Book 1) by Kiki Clark & E.M. Lindsey
- Between the Pipes (The Sin Bin Book 1) by E.M. Lindsey and Marina Vivancos
- Malicious Compliance (Loose Lips Sink Ships Book 1) by E.M. Lindsey
- Instant Regret (Loose Lips Sink Ships Book 2) by E.M. Lindsey
- Sins That Find Us (Madly Ever After Book 1) by E.M. Lindsey (pre-order through January 12, 2023)
- Sins That Bind Us (Madly Ever After Book 2) by E.M. Lindsey (pre-order through January 30, 2023)
- Sins That Define Us (Madly Ever After Book 3) by E.M. Lindsey (pre-order through February 16, 2023)
- The Never King (Vicious Lost Boys Book 1) by Nikki St. Crowe
- Oak King Holly King by Sebastian Nothwell
- Blue Blood (The Godbearer Book 3) by L.C. Davis
- Mia Monroe on Amazon
- Katherine McIntyre on Amazon
- Merry Farmer on Amazon
- John Solo on Audible
- Only One Bed Anthology by various authors (pre-order through June 13, 2023)
- Snakebites (An Irons and Works Novella) by E.M. Lindsey
- Irons and Works Special Edition Paperback on E.M. Lindsey’s website
- Illustrator Tal Lewin / Caravaggia on Instagram
- A Kiss from Santa by Mia Monroe
- Taste of Greed (The Carnal Tower Book 3) by E.M. Lindsey (pre-order through March 18, 2023)
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast Links
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Will: Coming up on this episode, author E.M. Lindsey is here to talk about two brand new series.
Jeff: Welcome to episode 409 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, the show for avid readers and passionate fans of queer romance fiction. I’m Jeff, and with me, as always, is my cohost and husband and holiday elf… It’s Will.
Will: Hello, Rainbow Romance Reader we are so glad that you could join us for another episode of the show.
And we want to wish a happy Hanukkah to everyone celebrating this week and hope that you have a joyous and safe festival of lights. And we also wish a very Merry Christmas to those celebrating this coming Sunday.
Jeff: And now let’s get right into our interview with E.M. Lindsey. I fell in love with their work when I read “Shades of Winter,” which is a great forced proximity, age gap, romantic suspense story. It’s so wonderful to talk with E.M. to find out how they got started and how they keep their creative well filled to bring out so many amazing books, including the “Loose Lips Sink Ships” duology that’s just been released and the forthcoming “Madly Ever After” series that will kick off the new year.
E.M. Lindsey Interview
Jeff: E.M., welcome to the podcast. It is wonderful to have you here.
E.M.: Thank you for having me.
Jeff: Before we get into your newest books, because you’ve got quite a lot coming out here at the end of the year, rolling right into 2023, let’s talk about your beginnings a little bit. Your first books came out in 2015 and then there was a bit of a gap until 2018, and since then, you’re out there multiple times a year with books. What got you started in m/m romance?
E.M.: So, I actually started publishing in 2012 under a different pen name. I was writing urban fantasy and working for a small press publisher, and I was writing a lot of fanfic, like, in my off time, which is really at the time in 2012 really one of the few places you could find a lot of m/m romance. And so, somebody had read one of my fanfics, and was like, “This would make an amazing original story.” And I was like, “Okay.” So, I kind of started working on it, and then the publisher was working at, kind of had to deal with their employees, like, “If you write a book, let us look at it first and we’ll see, you know, if we can publish it.” And they were like, “No, it’s too much of a risk. You know, it’s not a big market.”
So then I looked into self-publishing and took some time with it, rewrote it a couple of times because it was not great. And then, the first one that I ever wrote was “Verismo,” and then I sat on that for a while and then I wrote “Time and Tide,” and “Monsters and Men,” which are two historical romances because I’m a historian, and so I figured I have to do that at least once. Yeah, and so I did that. They did not sell well at all. I didn’t know anything about marketing and I had no online presence, and so I just kinda let them sit. And I was in academia for a while, and that’s where that big gap comes from because I just had no time to write.
And then I was inspired by one of those little memes that was like, “Imagine somebody comes into a florist and says, ‘How do you say fuck you in flowers?'” And so, I was like, I can make that work, and that’s what inspired “Free Hand,” the first book of “Irons and Works.” And it took off.
I didn’t even know. I was still not online. So, my husband was the one to tell me that it was number one in gay romance. He just, like, burst into the room and he’s like, “You’re number one on gay romance.” And I was like, “Haha, very funny.” And he’s like, “No, no, I’m serious.” And so, it kind of snowballed after that, and I decided I could do this full-time, so I quit my job and started writing full-time.
Jeff: That is a wonderful story. I love that your husband is the one who got to tell you that you got the orange banner. It’s so cool.
E.M.: I thought he was just messing with me. Like, I was like, “That’s not funny.”
Jeff: What were your fandoms?
E.M.: I really don’t wanna say one of them, but I will because I didn’t know at the time. Harry Potter. That one, way back in 2003 is when I first found it on LiveJournal. And then I moved to Marvel and then, and I’ll always plug this everywhere I go, the webcomic, “Check, Please!” about the little hockey baker, yeah. Yeah, I was there from, like, the conception of that. I followed it religiously, wrote a ton of fanfic. And then a little bit of “Captive Prince.” So yeah, that was pretty much it. But the one I was super, super popular in was “Check, Please!”
Jeff: That is one of my favorite stories, not just favorite graphic novels but favorite stories. It’s such a wonderful series.
You write all over the place. I mean, you mentioned you started at urban fantasy, there’s historicals, you know, in some of your first E.M. Lindsey work. Through all the novels you’ve written all sorts of different subgenres. Is it just to keep you interested or because you just wanna keep branching out? Or where does that come from?
E.M.: I think probably because my reading habits are really eclectic as well, and so, you know, I get inspired to do something and, you know, and then it’s like an itch, you have to scratch, and it’s like you get this idea, so you write it down. And sometimes, I do burn out and I need to do something really different, which is I think why I got into…I’m kind of slowly dipping my toes into paranormal romance, and I think that was a little bit, like, kind of burning out a little bit on contemporary and wanting to play around with magic, you know, and stuff like that. So, yeah, I think, you know, that’s pretty much it. I’ve never been, like, a one-genre kind of person, so…
Jeff: What keeps your creative well filled? I’m always inspired and just love to see people who can just put out so much work that people just flock to. What does that look like for you to kind of keep yourself engaged to keep going?
E.M.: I think honestly for me, like, to keep going, I write a lot every day. My typical word count’s about 10,000 words a day, because if I stop for a period of time, I can kind of lose the momentum. But I get inspired from just the most random stuff. Like, I’ll see a person walking down the street and my brain will just come up with an idea of, like, what they’re doing, where they’re going, and what their story is. Again, I’ve been inspired by, like, memes. And I’ve always been like that since I was little, like, in my head. I would just write stories for everything that was around me, and that kind of stuck with me growing up, I think.
Jeff: I love that it goes back that far, and that you’ve always kinda had that knack to just get inspired by, you know, whatever you might see in the day.
E.M.: Yeah, I think I’ve always had a really, like, kind of a hyper imagination, and I’m glad I kept it. My kids don’t have it at all. So, like, they don’t like reading and they don’t like writing. So, yeah, I guess I just got all the…
Jeff: You have all of it and you did not pass it on.
E.M.: I didn’t share. I didn’t share.
Jeff: You’ve got some co-writing titles in your backlist as well. What brought you into co-writing the first time? And how has it been working with different co-authors over time? You know, kind of balancing different ways of doing it.
E.M.: Well, I mean, I had seen a lot of my favorite authors do co-writes, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge for me because I’m a little bit of a control freak. So, I thought, well, you know, it would be…like, it’s something that I wanted to work on, and, yeah, it was surprisingly more fun than I thought it was gonna be. Like, my current projects are with Kiki Clark, and we are in the middle of working on what will be a rapid-release trilogy. I don’t know when it’s coming out, because we wanna get it all finished before we even start putting it out there.
But one of the biggest challenges, again, is how fast I write versus…because I know it’s totally abnormal, so trying to aim, match, like, kind of slow my pace a little bit, and also not let my co-author feel like I’m pressuring them to write as quickly as I do. You know, but it’s really nice because it’s like I don’t… A long time ago, back in, you know, my undergrads in creative writing classes, we would do, like, round robins, and I loved that a lot, you know, because you got to see different styles and then other people would inspire you, and I think that’s what I enjoy the most is, like, my co-authors, you know, like, they help me see things a little bit differently and maybe consider things that I wouldn’t have considered before, and I love that.
Jeff: Yeah, co-writing is so interesting because you do get that insight into somebody else’s thoughts, and you get to see their plotting process and how they go about creating and working to, you know, make the story.
E.M.: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean, like, I was a huge fan of Kiki, and, like, I ended up becoming friends with her because I just sent her this flailing instant message about how much I loved her new book, you know, and I was really intimidated. I was like, “I can’t believe I’m gonna do this,” because I’m really, really shy. I’m really a shy person. And then we just became friends, and when we kind of brought up the idea, it was like, I was really surprised that she wanted to, because, you know, we didn’t know each other that well. But, yeah, it was really fun getting to kind of get to know somebody else’s process, too, and it’s kind of helped me. Like, my books used to be very long, and working with her, like, it was able to help me kind of say things a little bit shorter and not be so wordy, so… And that’s really actually helped a lot in my individual books as well.
Jeff: Does your plotting style tend to mesh well with your co-authors? Because I know sometimes if you put a plotter and, like, a discovery writer together, that can get a little interesting in trying to figure out the balance.
E.M.: Yeah, I mean, for me, I am kind of, like, a quick bullet point plotter because my characters kind of just tend to do whatever they wanna do in the scene. I like to have, like, the basic points laid out. Kiki’s a little bit…like, she’s a little more thorough than me, but we have a very similar style. We generally get on at Zoom and we kind of plot everything together, and then we will make, like, major changes and then just send, like, a quick DM like, “Hey, I just changed the entire plot of this. I hope you’re okay.”
When I worked with Marina Vivancos on the hockey book, she’s much more in-depth than me, so it took a lot longer to plot it and it was very different, but it was kind of nice to get to see somebody else’s process, you know? And it’s easier for me because I’m not very attached to my process, so it was easy for me to kind of work with her, you know, in her comfort zone because for me it didn’t matter.
Jeff: That’s cool. And then you could just take bits and pieces for your own process and you could go on.
E.M.: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff: Now as this interview comes out, you’ve got a brand new series that launched in the previous week. Tell everybody what they’re gonna find in “Loose Lips Sink Ships.”
E.M.: Yeah, so it’s a duet. They’re releasing on the same day because I’m one of those people that hates a cliffhanger, and then you have to wait for it. And book 1 does have a little bit of a cliffhanger. It’s something that I don’t normally do. I usually write dual point of view, but for these two, book 1 and book 2, they’re the same couple with different points of view. And honestly, I don’t really remember what inspired it, but it was an idea that I had written down. I have, like, a plot document. And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to, like, have a couple fall in love without meeting?”
And so, they’re neighbors in an apartment, and they’re in separate building blocks, but they share a wall, and it’s kind of an enemies-to-lovers thing. Like, one guy’s been there for a long time, the other guy moves in. You know, the guy who’s been there for a while hates it, he’s had his peace disrupted, you know, by this cellist who’s teaching kids making, you know, angry cat noises on their violins, you know. And then they slowly start to get to know each other without ever having met face to face. And they don’t meet face-to-face until the second book. It was an interesting…you know, it was something different, and I had a lot of fun writing it.
Jeff: What led you to have a duology rather than just one long book since you’re already known for long books anyway?
E.M.: You know, I think because I wanted to be able to tell the story from each point of view. And the character in the second book, his name is Forrest, and a lot of his plot sort of happens a little bit later than Jules from the first book, and it kind of just worked out better when you put them together, because the plots overlap a little bit, but it’s not a…like, book 2 is not a retelling of book 1 from a different point of view. And it just kind of worked out better that way. I don’t know, it just seemed to fit for whatever reason, so…
Jeff: And what an amazing way to approach a story to where you’re gonna tell most of this romance without them actually getting to meet. I mean, there’s been some classic ones obviously over time where they’ve done that, but that just adds a whole new level because it’s like you could never put them in the same place, but yet you’ve gotta get the feels across, too.
E.M.: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, as everybody probably knows, I’m very well known for angst, so there’s a lot of that, a lot of emotional stuff that they’re going through, and I think that’s how they end up connecting, is through overhearing what’s going on in the other person’s apartment. So, they start to realize that there’s a little more to them than just all their annoying habits that are getting on their nerves.
Jeff: As readers start to dig into “Malicious Compliance,” which is the first of the duology, can you share one of the favorite scene was to write within that book that, you know, isn’t too spoilerly?
E.M.: Well, okay, my favorite scene, that one probably has too many spoilers, but there’s one scene where Jules decides, like, he just really, really has had enough and he wants to meet Forrest face-to-face. So, he goes over, he gets into his building, and, you know, he knocks on his door, and then Forrest won’t come to the door, so he gives him this, like, really long, heartfelt speech, which I won’t repeat now. But digging into that, like, emotional, because he comes to the realization that it’s okay that Forrest won’t open the door because he’s finally trusting that, like, they’ll be ready when they’re ready, and they don’t need to rush it. And so, you know, he leaves without feeling like something’s broken. And I really had…I had a lot, I don’t wanna say, fun, but I really enjoyed being able to explore, like, kind of the emotional growth because he has a lot of trust issues.
Jeff: That sounds amazing. I’m excited for this duology, because I haven’t been back to one of your books in a while, so it’s kind of time to come back, and this one seems like a really nice package deal to get and to dig in.
E.M.: Yeah, it’s a little… You know, and it’s kind of cozy romance, and then there’s a freebie at the end of “Instant Regret” that tells a little New Year’s love story of two of the side characters.
Jeff: Aw, fun. I love that.
E.M.: It’s called “Petty Revenge,” so…
Jeff: These are fun titles. You know, the two in the duology, and then that freebie as well.
E.M.: Yeah, I was inspired by Reddit posts, not the plot but the titles.
Jeff: As you start off 2023 in a few weeks, you’ve also got another new series coming out that looks like it’s gonna go in a different kind of direction for you a little bit with “Madly Ever After.” Tell us a little bit about what’s going on there.
E.M.: So, that one’s a “why choose” romance. I read a lot of “why choose” romance. I enjoy the dynamics. I can be kind of picky about them because I don’t enjoy the ones where it’s one person and then they don’t have relationships with each other. I like the kind of the polyamory aspect. So, those are the ones…and that’s what I really wanted to explore to see if I could make it work. So, it’s kind of…and I wanted to dip my toes to dark romance. I’m not a very dark romance… Like, it’s not taboo, but it’s definitely, like, it’s a mafia story, you know, so they’re morally gray, and it starts off a very sort of typical “why choose” as she gets kidnapped by the mafia, and then, you know, they slowly sort of all start to fall for each other. And the four men in the group are already in an established relationship, and so she comes along. And then getting to write, like, how she disrupts it but also kind of completes it, it was a huge challenge, but it was also a lot of fun.
Jeff: The term “why choose” was new for me as I was, you know, doing the research to get ready to talk to you. Can you define that a little bit for our listeners who may also not be familiar with what that is?
E.M.: Sure. Yeah, I mean, “why choose” just means, like…I mean, you know, it’s sort of in the name, it’s why choose one person, and it’s typically anything that’s beyond, like, a threesome. And a lot of the genre tends to be one person in the center with all the other people around them. The person in the center has an individual relationship with everybody else, and not necessarily all together with each other, but it can kind of go either way. It’s sort of a blanket term at this point, and it’s kind of a new term for what was reverse harem, which is a term that’s being retired by some people. I mean, as a historian, it wasn’t a term that I was super comfortable with, to begin with, so I was happy that, you know, “why choose” has kind of taken over
Jeff: Managing all those people in a cast, that must certainly be a little bit different because it’s more than just having side characters, it’s having a lot of primary characters.
E.M.: Yes. Yeah. And I normally write third-person past tense, but I wrote this all in first-person present tense. That was more of a marketing decision because that’s how most of those books are written, but it was very interesting to have to get into the direct first-person point of view of five different people. And because I also typically don’t alternate chapters. Like, I go with whoever has the most to lose or the most to gain when I’m choosing who’s gonna be the point of view person. So, making sure that everybody at least got balanced, you know, without neglecting anybody, I guess. So, yeah, that was definitely…it was a challenge. I don’t know that I’m gonna write a whole lot of them because it took a lot out of me, but it’s something I’m glad I did.
Jeff: Do we see the same five characters through the entire series, or are you moving between whole different groups of people?
E.M.: It’s a trilogy with the same group of people. The first two books end on cliffhangers with the conclusion in the third book. So, they’re gonna be rapid-releasing, like, two weeks apart, because, again, I hate cliffhangers, I hate making people wait. So, it just follows basically the journey of… I based the characters off of fairytale characters. So, Alice is the main, she’s the woman, and she’s from, like, a rival mafia family, and that’s why they take her. And then as she’s with them, she kind of learns that everything that she thought she knew about who she was and her family’s past was all a lie. And so she slowly begins to ally herself with those men.
Jeff: Are there fairytale elements kind of in the stories a little bit, or is it just kind of character names and things like that?
E.M.: So, yes and no. It’s definitely contemporary, but each of the characters are based off of either a villain or a hero. Some are more directly named, like James, he’s Hook, and, you know, like, he’s English and he’s got one arm and, you know, he’s kind of, like, a modern-day kind of pirate. And then there’s Ariel, he’s the son of kind of one of the mafia leaders, and he was attacked, and so he’s mute. Like Ariel, he’s a redhead.
And then there’s Kane, he has the nickname of Hades. They call him the God of Death for obvious mafia reasons. And he’s the leader. And then there’s Phoenix who I based off of the Beast, you know, and so and that’s kind of his nickname, is Beast. So, I’ve kind of added in a little bit of, like, you know, like, the Beast has a library, you know, in the house and everything. So, there’s kind of little throwbacks to some of my favorite fairytale characters without it being an actual fairytale.
Jeff: That sounds like a lot of fun to create, knowing, like, the characters that you want and then being able to pluck out while not having to keep the entire fairytale mythology, or, you know, keeping it contemporary and not going for magic and that kind of thing.
E.M.: Right, yeah, yeah. I was really on the fence if I wanted to do, you know, like, full kind of fairytale, like, little kind of magic adjacent, but it just worked out better that, you know, it’s just sort of a modern mafia, I guess, romance.
Jeff: That’s so cool. Given the wide range that you read and write, who are some of the authors who inspire the stories that you wanna tell?
E.M.: I don’t know, this is gonna sound terrible. I try to separate my reading from my writing process just because if I look at it that way, I tend to not enjoy the reading as much, you know? I like being able to lose myself in it. But some of…like, one of the people that inspired me to start a why choose was Nikki St. Crowe. She writes pretty dark. And this one’s more magic. It’s called the “Vicious Lost Boys.” It’s very dark, but I got really, really hooked.
And it’s about the Darling family and Pan, and, like, you know, he takes each Darling daughter back to Neverland, and, you know, he’s trying to solve the mystery of where his shadow is. Anyway, I really, really enjoyed that one. And then, yeah, I think other than that, I don’t like to kind of blend the two. So, like, I have my absolute favorite must-read authors, and then I would rather just be a fan. I don’t know if that sounds bad or not.
Jeff: No, it really doesn’t. I find that the struggle can be real. Like, if I get into a book and, like, I’m blown away by the story, then part of my brain wants to go deconstruct why the story works so well for me…
E.M.: Sure, yeah.
Jeff: …and how did they… Yeah, I wanna figure out how they built the story, but I’m like, I also just really wanna enjoy this as a reader. Sometimes, I’ll go back to books after I’m done and try to deconstruct, but I definitely try not to do them at the same time, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. Because otherwise, it’s a mess.
E.M.: Yeah, I tend to get more inspired by, like, my non-fiction history stuff that I have to do. I’m like, “Hmm, this would be interesting, you know, to explore in a different way,” which is how, like, my urban fantasy way back in the day got started was during a religion class, and I was like, “I could twist this into urban fantasy, you know?” Yeah, I really do find myself getting more inspired by, like…I think, especially because my degree is in ancient history, so there’s not a whole lot of evidence left behind, just little bits and pieces. So, being able to construct it in my head, it’s very inspiring.
Jeff: Do you envision more historicals? Because you wrote some historical, you know, in your first ones. Or is contemporary and kind of maybe moving paranormal more where you find your comfort zone these days?
E.M.: Yeah, I mean, contemporary, it’s easier. With historical romances, especially being a historian, I have a very hard time separating, like, fact from fiction, and history wasn’t very pretty. Ancient history was not pretty. You know, like, it’s fun to kind of explore the idea of the Greeks, but you…like, I have a really hard time. Like, I wanna be accurate. And when I’m writing something and I’m writing something that’s not accurate, you know, I don’t wanna do it, and then if I do it accurately, nobody’s gonna wanna read it. So, it can get a little bit difficult.
I’ve been exploring… I’m actually going to be releasing some queer historical, like, more regency romance on my other pen name that I have, Ariel Millar, hopefully, a little bit in 2023 and then 2024. I’ve got, you know, some ideas. It’s not gonna be MM, it’s gonna be kind of a mixture of all different sorts of relationships. So, that’s something I’m looking forward to. I don’t have a degree, you know, in, like, Victorian history, so I can play a little bit more loose with it because I don’t know enough to get irritated when it’s not accurate.
Jeff: Awesome. Something more to look forward to in the future. You mentioned you had some, you know, go-to authors that you always buy. We always love recommendations, so I’m definitely curious who your go-tos are.
E.M.: Okay, so a lot of them don’t have a lot of books out. The one that I just got finished reading was “Oak King Holly King” by Sebastian Nothwell, which is kind of, like, a fae romance, and I was just absolutely hooked. Like, that was so good. I read it, like, three times in a row.
Jeff: Oh, wow.
E.M.: Yeah. And then L.C. Davis just came out with the third “Godbearer” book, and what, like, two days ago I think it was, and I feel like I’ve been waiting…I haven’t been waiting that long, but I’ve been waiting for that one forever, because that series is so good, so…
And then obviously, Kiki Clark, I talked about her. I’m a little biased now, but I was a fan before we were friends, so, yeah. I’m so bad. I feel like I can’t come up with anybody now. I have a whole shelf. Like, I mean, I got to meet some of my favorite go-tos like Mia Monroe, and Kat McIntyre at GRL, which was great. Merry Farmer writes amazing historical romance.
Jeff: Yes, she does. Absolutely.
E.M.: Yeah. Yeah, that was really exciting. We only got to talk for, like, five minutes, but it was still very cool.
Jeff: It’s amazing how fast time flies at GRL because you wanna talk to somebody, but then you have to whisk away or they have to whisk away to somewhere else and…
E.M.: It was my first. It was my first GRL, so it was nerve-wracking, but it was a lot of fun. And I got to meet John Solo. He’ll be working on the “Madly Ever After” books. That will be a co-narrate with his wife.
Jeff: Oh, fantastic. That’s very cool.
E.M.: Yeah, I really…
Jeff: I love John’s narration.
E.M.: Yeah. Yeah, so I got to meet him, and that was really fun, so…
Jeff: Nice. So, looking a bit more into 2023, we obviously talked about “Madly Ever After,” which essentially starts the year off for you. You’re gonna be in the “Only One Bed” anthology as well. What do we have to look forward to in that book from you?
E.M.: So, I will be doing an “Irons and Works” spinoff, which I’ve sort of… The very last book of “Irons and Works” is called “Snakebites,” which just released, and I introduced the owner of the new shop in that book. He was getting ready to leave Fairfield, Colorado. And so in the “Only One Bed” anthology will be his story of how he meets his former high school rival on the road and they get stuck in a B&B in a big storm where there’s only one bed.
Jeff: Of course. Snowstorm, one bed, best kind of book ever right there.
E.M.: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so it’s not gonna start the series. I’ll have one book out before that, but, you know, he’s kind of the main fixture in the shop. He’s the owner, so… And I’ll have one book out in April before the anthology comes out.
Jeff: How many books will we get in the spinoff series for “Irons and Works?”
E.M.: So right now, I have seven planned, total. So, that’ll take up some of 2023 and then 2024. But I said I was only gonna do six with “Irons and Works,” and that turned out to be a lie, so I’m not gonna give it a count, because, yeah, I had a lot of fun. Like, I took a long break, and then I just really wanted to go back to that universe, so it’s probably gonna go the same way.
Jeff: Can we talk for just a second about the amazing recovers of “Irons and Works” that you just put out? Those are so gorgeous.
E.M.: Yeah, they’re special edition covers. I’ve done commissions for the special edition print covers by Tal. I don’t want to try to pronounce her Instagram thing because I won’t do a good job. But, yeah, she’s done work for Riley Hart, Saxon James, Eden Finley. I think she did Mia Monroe’s recent Christmas one, too.
Jeff: And that’s a gorgeous cover for Mia’s “A Kiss From Santa.” I read that book, I just loved it, but that cover was, like, what drew me into it.
E.M.: Yeah. Yeah, because, you know, I thought it would be really fun, especially for “Irons and Works” to do special edition illustrated covers. So, I had done some research and loved her work, you know, and so…and she’s so great to work with. And, yeah, it’s been really fun. So, the third one just came out, and I can’t… It’s so exciting to see, like, the characters that are in my head, not just models but, like, actually get drawn out. So, yeah, I’ve really enjoyed that.
Jeff: Yeah, sometimes the models can nail it, but when you get that right illustrated cover, it’s gorgeous. So, yeah, congratulations on those because those are really awesome.
E.M.: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, I’m really excited to see them all when they’re all done. There’s a lot to go, though.
Jeff: Anything else we should keep an eye out for in 2023?
E.M.: I mean, anything could happen. I’m doing the third book of my “Carnal Tower” series in March, that will be the sin of greed. That’s my current work in progress right now. And I have historical Halloween vampire coming out in October.
And then I guess… I don’t know if I should mention this, but maybe I will. I’m part of an anthology coming out in 2023 with a lot of paranormal romance authors, and that will be announced in March. And I’m really, really excited for that one because, again, like I said, I’ve been wanting to get into paranormal romance a little bit more. So, we have a theme and everything, and I’m really excited to show everybody. We’ve got the cover. It’s gonna be amazing, so, but…
Jeff: What a great way to dip your toe in, too, to just order in an anthology, you know, check out the genre, see what it’s like.
E.M.: Yeah, and the authors there are so fantastic. Like, I’m so excited to work with them, so…
Jeff: And as we wrap up, how can people keep up with you online so they can keep track of everything going on in 2023?
E.M.: Well, I mean, anyone can send me a Facebook friend request. I’m not on there a whole lot. My newsletter’s probably the best way to stay up to date with everything that’s coming out. And I try to update my website at least once a month. And then I have a Patreon as well, so…and that’s where all, you know, the spoilers, and the sneak peeks, and stuff are, so…
Jeff: Nice. We see a lot of authors getting on the Patreon bandwagon and doing some things by subscription and stuff. How’s that been working for you?
E.M.: I have a lot of fun. You know, it’s nice to kind of, like… I have no patience whatsoever, so it’s nice to have a group of people to, like, share covers that are, like, not coming out till next year, you know, and stuff. And then sometimes, you know, I need to kind of, like, recharge when I’m writing so I can write little short stories and then they get them as a bonus on Patreon. And then a lot of my ARC readers are on there. And, yeah, it’s actually really surprisingly fun to have, like, a little group of people to hang out with and get to share stuff with.
Jeff: That’s awesome.
E.M.: You know, they’re kinda… Yeah, yeah.
Jeff: More exclusive than a Facebook group would be because it’s a tighter super fan group, if you will.
E.M.: Yeah, like, I have tiers where they get signed paperback books every month, and then… Like, it’s all the way from, you know, like, a lower tier where they get little bonus stories. And I have an artist friend that I commissioned, like, sketches for. So, they’ll vote on which couple they wanna see, and then he’ll draw a little sketch of them. And then I have some tiers where they get to read my work in progress, which is really horrifying for me because it’s not edited, but they seem to love it, so, you know, as long as they don’t judge me too harshly for my rough draft, you know? But, yeah, I’ve really enjoyed it.
Jeff: That’s awesome. Well, E.M., it has been so wonderful talking to you. I’m glad we finally got to do this.
E.M.: Yeah, thank you for having me.
Will: This episode’s transcript has been brought to you by our community on Patreon. If you’d like to read the conversation for yourself, simply head on over to the show notes page for this episode at BigGayFictionPodcast.com. The show notes page has links to everything that we’ve talked about in this episode.
Jeff: And thanks again to E.M. for talking to us. I had a great time learning about them and their books, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more in 2023.
Will: All right, I think that’ll do it for now. Coming up next in episode 410, it’s the final week of 2022, and we will wrap up the year in the best way possible—talking about books.
Jeff: That’s right. It’s time to talk about our favorite reads of the year. Plus, we’ll talk about this year’s queer holiday movies that recently aired on Hallmark and Lifetime.
Will: On behalf of Jeff and myself, we want to thank you so much for listening, and we hope that you’ll join us again soon for more discussions about the kinds of stories we all love, the big gay fiction kind. Until then, keep turning those pages and keep reading.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more shows you’ll love at frolic.media/podcasts. Original theme music by Daryl Banner.