Guest Author Day with L.A. Witt/Lauren Gallagher

Hi and welcome to my blog, L. A. Witt/Lauren Gallagher. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake.  So tell us a little about yourself.

Your cabana boys are so much more cooperative than mine. Mine is always letting the Dr Pepper run out, or disappearing at inopportune times. I think he might need some training from yours.
Anyway. I’m Lori, and I write as both L. A. Witt and Lauren Gallagher (gay romance and hetero romance, respectively).

Q: What genre do you write and what publisher(s)?

 What don’t I write? LOL  I write contemporary, BDSM, ménage, urban fantasy, suspense/thrillers. I’m working on some steampunk for a collaborative project, dipping into different areas of urban fantasy, you name it.  My publishers include Carnal Passions, Loose Id, Samhain, Amber Allure, and Dreamspinner.

Q: So tell us a little about your latest or upcoming book(s). What inspired it?

I have two books out this month, one under each pseudonym.

 As Lauren Gallagher, I have Damaged Goods coming from Loose Id on June 14th. This is a story of a single mother named Jocelyn who’s tired of all the headache of dating. More specifically, she’s tired of being treated like damaged goods simply because she has kids. Out of desperation for a night of no-strings, no-bullshit sex, Jocelyn hires an escort named Sabian. After a few sessions lead to an actual conversation or two, Jocelyn might just find love in the last place she expected.

What inspired it? I started playing with the idea of someone falling in love with a prostitute, and just kinda ran with it. Then of course Jocelyn and Sabian took over, so I was pretty much just along for the ride.

 Under the name L. A. Witt, I have Static, my first urban fantasy coming from Amber Allure on June 26th. In this story, Damon’s just learned his girlfriend can shift genders at will. That is, she could before a dangerous—and difficult to remove—implant renders Alex static…and male.  Stripped of half his identity, Alex needs Damon more than ever. But can their relationship survive this, especially if Alex stays a static male?

What inspired it? I’d been having a lot of conversations with my friend and fellow author, M. Jules Aedin, about gender issues, and when I started toying with the idea of writing about shapeshifters, the two concepts kind of meshed.

Q: Who are some of your favorite characters from your books? The hardest to write? The easiest?

Oh, I’d be here all day if I listed my favorites. Scott Moore, the Dom from Light Switch and Reconstructing Meredith, is definitely in the top ten. Liam Sable from The Best Man, Derek Windsor from Getting off the Ground, Infinity Pools, and On the List, I could go on for a while. Some of the boys are just a lot of fun to write.

The hardest, hands down, was Alex from Static. He was all kinds of messed up in the head thanks to years of being abused and browbeaten because of his ability to shift genders, and by the time he got to me, he was an alcoholic with some serious depression. That was heartbreaking to watch, but the real challenge was with his gender identity. He’s struggling with being in a body that doesn’t always match his mind. I mean, imagine waking up one morning in a different body that’s a different gender…though Alex has been able to shift genders all his life, now he’s suddenly stuck. Since I’d never written anything relating to transgender or genderqueer issues before, it was more than a little challenging to convey what Alex was dealing with.  So, definitely the hardest character I’ve ever written, and I love him for it.

Q: What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them/she/it/he back to the drawing board?

My muse isn’t allowed to ditch me. If I’m struggling with a project, I’ll either step back and figure out what’s wrong with it (because invariably, there’s something about the project itself that isn’t working), or I’ll work on something else, then come back and revisit the troublesome one. If I absolutely can’t focus on anything, and it’s word dentistry no matter what I try to work on, then it’s usually burn-out.  I’ll make myself take 2-3 weeks off to recharge, and by the time I come back, I’m chomping at the bit to write.

Q: Is there a genre you haven’t tried yet but plan to in the future?

 I’d like to play around with some historical at some point. I’m working on a couple of steampunk novellas, which is making me itch to write some actual 19th century historical fic. We’ll see what happens.

Q: If the world was to end tomorrow, what three things would be on your bucket list?

Well, I already met 30 Seconds to Mars and got to see a whale shark (not at the same time, obviously), so…hmm. I’d say visit Komodo Island, Easter Island, and Angkor Wat.

Q: What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?

 Nine times out of ten, characters. One story was kind of funny. I have a technique where I’ll put a bunch of random pictures of people on a page, and gradually eliminate those that don’t “fit” until I have a cast of characters. Once I’m down to 2-5 characters, the story tends to emerge on its own. While I was doing this, I had a cast coming together, but as I tried to whittle away the pictures of people who weren’t part of that cast, a second cast emerged. It’s hard to explain without sounding completely crazy, but basically I started seeing connections between a second group of pictures, and thought that group might be worth pursuing. So I opened a second page, copied and pasted the second group onto that page, and…they wouldn’t shut up. I ended up focusing on that group, and within minutes, I had a snarky Dominant, a shy voyeur, and a curious submissive on my hands. Within an hour or two, I had a basic outline. The result? Light Switch.

Q: If you were a comic book character, who would you be and what super powers would you have?

The power to eliminate stupid.

Q: What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?

I have a lot coming down the pipe.

Q: Where can we find you on the web?

Pretty much everywhere!

Website: http://www.loriawitt.com

Professional Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

Decidedly-less-professional Personal Blog:  http://navywifeadventures.blogspot.com

Twitter:  GallagherWitt

Webcomic:  http://marginallyunhinged.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-Gallagher-Romance-Author/187999894436

Facebook II: http://www.facebook.com/pages/L-A-Witt-MM-Fiction/187063289526

BLURBS:

DAMAGED GOODS

Jocelyn Rhodes is a single mother with a demanding career and a long-neglected libido. Frustrated with the dating scene and way overdue for some satisfying sex, she takes a friend’s advice and hires Sabian, a deliciously sexy escort. He’s well worth the money, and the sheets haven’t even cooled off before she’s ready to call him again.

The more time she spends with him, the more she realizes she and Sabian have more in common than she thought. She’s a single mom, he’s a prostitute, and when it comes to dating, they’re both damaged goods. To most potential mates, Jocelyn and Sabian are in a category akin to dented soup cans, but if the two of them can look past each other’s respective dents, they just might find something they’ve both been missing.

But even if they do find that something, how on earth can she make a relationship work with a man who sleeps with other women for a living?

STATIC

Damon Bryce is worried sick when he doesn’t hear from his girlfriend after she visits her estranged parents, but when he checks up on her, he’s in for the shock of his life: She’s a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population who can shift genders at will. Thanks to her parents, though, she’s been forcibly given an implant that leaves her static—unable to shift—and male.

Alex Nichols desperately wants the implant removed, but getting it out isn’t nearly as easy as putting it in. The surgery is expensive and dangerous. Left in, the implant carries its own set of risks, with the potential to cripple or even kill him. On top of that, he’s carefully kept his identity a secret from more people in his life than just Damon, and his parents aren’t the only ones appalled by shifters.

Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical effects and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how their relationship can get through this unscathed.

Especially if Alex is a static male permanently.

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