Today we have Lane Hayes visiting my humble site. Let’s get to know her a little better.
B: What inspired you to write your first book?
L: I have always walked around with a multitude of characters floating around in my head. Better Than Good was actually a spin off of another story (all in my head). The stories were starting to overlap and I began to think it might be wise to write them down. That or risk insanity.
B: Do you have a specific writing style?
L: So far, I’ve written in the first person only. I like the concept of one person telling their story. My goal is to keep the content descriptive so the readers feel as though they know both MCs and the supporting cast. Hopefully I succeed. J
B: How much of your book(s) is based on real people or events?
L: None! Well, truthfully Aaron was inspired in looks only by a young man who was working as a waiter for a food tasting fundraiser event I attended. I swear… I have never seen a person male or female more beautiful. The guy was stunning. Dark brown hair, olive skin, a compact toned physique and a gorgeous smile. (swoon) I don’t know the guy and never have seen him since, but he obviously made an impact! So, for looks alone, he’s Aaron. The rest came from the characters themselves. Sometimes I find myself outlining stories only to find the MCs have decided on a different direction.
B: What books have most influenced your life most?
L: Classic romances have probably been my greatest influence. I loved reading Jane Austen, Kate Chopin, and Edith Wharton. I’m a big Anne Rice fan too. And I’ll admit to reading a ton of Nora Roberts back in the day.
B: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider an inspiration?
L: Anne Rice. She’s a courageous author. Interview with a Vampire is a strangely compelling novel. One you’re sure you won’t like, but find you can’t put down. I love her artistic vision.
B: What are your current projects?
L: My second novel is due out in Jan/Feb 2014. Yeah!! I’m currently working on finishing the third and (I think) final book in the Better Than series.
B: Do you see writing as a career?
L: Yes. Absolutely! I’m a designer too. But I would love to be able to devote more time to my craft. If I could do it one hundred percent of the time (& make money doing it), I’d be thrilled!
B: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
L: Writing for me as old as my interest in reading. I simply read more often than I wrote because I didn’t consider myself a serious author. I’m a designer, a mother, a wife… It took me some time to take the advice I always give my kids. “You can do anything you set your mind to. Just try.”
B: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
L: The hardest part is experiencing writer’s block. Sometimes words flow faster than I can type them. When they don’t, it’s very frustrating.
B: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
L: I was my own greatest obstacle and advocate really. I knew I could write, but it’s easy to second-guess yourself. I’m pleased with the outcome. And I’ve been thrilled with the response to Better Than Good.
B: Tell us anything you want us to know about your newest release(s).
L: Better Than Good is told from Matt’s point of view. He relates at the beginning of the book that he had literally seen the most beautiful person ever, male or female. That person is Aaron. A beautiful, self-confident and lively out and proud gay man. Nothing is the same for Matt after that first chance encounter. It doesn’t matter that he’s straight (or has identified as such) or that he has a girlfriend. Matt wants Aaron, but will have to come to terms with how he views himself and the labels he identifies with before he has a chance to win Aaron’s heart. I love these characters. Hopefully readers will enjoy them too. In my head, their story keeps going… and going…!
Better Than Good
By Lane Hayes
Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.
Aaron Mendez doesn’t believe in labels, and he’s leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he’ll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can’t deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means—especially when that someone has a girlfriend.
Excerpt from Better Than Good by Lane Hayes
By the time I took him back to his place, it was three a.m. The usually busy streets were virtually empty. A fine layer of fog from the river painted the low lying shrubs and sidewalks in front of his building. It looked a little mystic and magical as though the early morning hour still held promise. I pulled close to the curb, set the car in park and turned toward my companion. I didn’t want to say goodbye, yet I didn’t know where this thing between us could go. I felt that familiar wave of frustration.
“Can I walk you up? I mean it. I just want to be sure you’re safe.” It sounded like a lame request, but Aaron seemed pleasantly surprised.
“You are a gentleman, aren’t you?” His eyes twinkled. “I won’t say no and I’ll try to keep my hands to myself. There’s a parking spot up there. Take it so you don’t get a ticket.”
I parked the car as instructed and met Aaron at the curb. His smile lit his entire face. God, he was beautiful. He took my arm when I reached his side. I didn’t protest, though the gesture seemed overly familiar. It just felt amazing to have this beautiful creature at my side looking at me like I was some kind of hero for offering to walk him to his door.
There was a bright lantern light on above the old glass and iron front door. Aaron couldn’t get the latch to catch, so I took the key from him and gave it a try.
“It sticks sometimes.” He muttered under his breath.
It opened easily for me. I was beginning to think my levels of chivalry were being tested. The thought made me grin when I should have been annoyed.
“You’re my hero!” he whispered loudly.
“Knock it off. Where is your place?”
“Uh oh, Matty’s getting mad. Watch out kids.” Aaron pointed to the elevator off to the right. The corridor was not as well lit as the front alcove had been. I was actually glad that I was making sure he was safe. I was a little nervous myself. Which must have shown on my face, because Aaron laughed out right as the elevator doors opened.
“Relax, sweetie. This isn’t the Bates Motel. It’s just an old building. Supposedly historic, but really it just means the lighting is poor and the water pressure is worse. My apartment is cute though. Come see. You’re safe.”
I rolled my eyes this time, but gamely followed him.
His apartment was on the fifth floor. He led me down another long hallway and stopped in front of #5E.
“Home sweet home.” He said with a flourish as he opened his door. “Come make sure there are no boogie men and then I promise to let you go, Matty.”
Aaron turned on a light and breezed through his small entry into a larger living room. As I followed him I took in my surroundings. The apartment was small with an open floor plan.
I could see into his bedroom from the living area and although it was dark, I could see that the bed was neatly made. Aaron’s entire apartment was immaculate. And the juxtaposition of his modern tastes and the apartment’s older features, like the high ceilings and a floor heater, made for a homey and comfortable space. It was nice, and it suited Aaron perfectly.
Aaron threw his keys in the egg shaped bright orange bowl on his small kitchen table and turned around with his arms outstretched.
“Well, it’s tiny but it’s all mine. As long as I pay the rent, that is.”
“It’s really nice. Suits you.” I felt a little awkward as I stuffed my hands back in the leather jacket Aaron had returned to me earlier.
“Thanks for walking me up. That was very gentlemanly of you. Is that a word? Whatever, it was sweet.” His smile was a little shy and his bangs had fallen back into his eyes. This time I couldn’t help myself. I reached out to move his hair away from his eyes. He looked up at me in surprise and my breath caught. We stared at one another for a second more before our mouths met.
Lane Hayes Bio:
Lane Hayes is a designer by trade, but is first and foremost a lover of the written word. An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. She loves to travel and wishes she could do it more often. Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband, three teenage kids and Rex, the coolest yellow lab ever.
Here are my links so far…
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3968