I’m hosting new author Tempe O’Riley here today! Be sure to check out her unique and interesting series with Dreamspinner Press–as well as enter the Rafflecopter to be part of her month-long giveaway! Contest ends August 31st, 2013. Details at the end of the post.
Hello Tempeste! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my
nosy discerning, questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
Hi, Sarah! Well, I’m Tempeste O’Riley, or Tempe 😉 I don’t mind questions as long as… well, I can’t say too personal as what I write is very personal, just not for me, lol. I write homoerotic romance stories. I have just released my first novel, Designs of Desire, which is the first in a six book series I have planned.
About me? You can read my bio below to get a little peek inside me. But mainly I’m just me. I’m a mom, a writer, a lover of many things, deeply spiritual, and just a wee bit quirky. I have no patience for those that willfully hurt others but will forgive just about anything if the apology is true and heartfelt. I do not see bio-gender as being a basis for love or friendship, nor do I believe there are only two genders.
As for an underlying theme, I would have to say that one should never give up on finding love, even if they have been hurt before. And that your past does not define your future unless you allow it to.
Do you believe in love?
Very much so! Without love the world would be a cold and desolate place to exist. I truly believe that everyone deserves to find their HEA, though I do know that’s often not an easy journey.
What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?
Honestly? I was terrified to send DoD to DSP when I was done. My critters and the wonderful authors and readers that had followed along as I participated in SSS (Six Sentence Sunday) pushing and demanding when they would get to read the whole thing pushed me over the fear-edge. Mind you, once I hit submit I was immediately nauseous and wished I could recall it. Thankfully, that was not possible as DSP picked it up—they were my first choice of publisher, btw.
What draws you to the M/M genre? Have you written in other genres?
Designs of Desire is my debut novel, and right now I don’t plan to write outside the glbtq genre. I don’t consider myself a writer of M/M only. In fact, the two stories I’m working on have a bi man as an MC and the other has a gender fluid gay man as an MC.
The Zombie Apocalypse has begun. You have a van with enough gas to get you to a defensible location. In addition to your immediate family, you can take three of your own characters with you. Who would you chose and why?
Hm… Well, I’m not overly into zombies BUT… if I had to choose…:-) only three? Really?! Rhys, he’s a kickass biker bodyguard with a heart of gold. Chase, the best friend you could ever want and loyal to a fault. And, Seth. His strength of will and boundless heart would make all the difference in the world to those with us. (I would need to add James though, you can’t make Seth leave behind his heart!)
Hey, I completely understand, Tempe–zombies frighten the crap out of me! 🙂 It’s why I like asking the question though–I like seeing what people say and how they respond to it!
“Writers should write what they know.” What does this statement mean to you as an author?
Well, to a point I agree, but as I write about men with men, that gets a little tricky. But, I do know about many other aspects that are within my stories. Such as, I have Ehlers-Danlos and walk with forearm crutches, just as James from Designs of Desire does. I know how hurtful it is to be defined by others because of a disability instead of by the person you truly are inside, etc. So for me, writing what I know means pulling the truth of life out of the dark and using it to make my stories real and my characters knowable. And hopefully, it means showing others that these should not define who they are or love.
Are you a panster or a plotter? Do you outline extensively or write your story as you go along?
Me? I’m a twisted blending of the two. I start writing and see where things go. Once I hit a block or if I start to feel the story is getting to winding, I do outline in wide strokes, but mainly I write what my characters tell me to. I’ve had to do a little more outlining for book #2—Desires’ Guardian—but I’m mainly a punster with a guide. 🙂
What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
Cool weather, clean air, and nothing I ‘have’ to do for a while. That would be perfect (especially if it came with unlimited—and good—sweet tea, lol).
So far I would have to say James, mainly because in so many ways he’s me. Or how I wish I was, at least.
What are the three most important things in your life—the things you can’t do without?
My children, my laptop, and my spirituality.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a published author?
Don’t give up. Revise, revise, revise. Don’t give up. Oh, and patience really is a virtue.
Most authors admit to feeling uncomfortable with the degree of self-promotion necessary to be successful. Are there some aspects of social media and self-promotion that make you more comfortable than others? Are there some you avoid like the plague?
Ugh! I hate self promotion, even though I know it’s a necessary evil. It makes me feel like that jerk in school that’s always talking about how great he/she is and how everyone should love them.
How often does your real life experience figure into your story telling? Do you base characters or stories on your actual experiences?
I do base a lot of issues within my stories on life. In Designs of Desire, James has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, walks with forearm crutches, and beyond the abuse issues, suffers with the fact too often people see him as his disability instead of himself. All are issues I live with daily. Some of the issues come from friends’ lives or the news, but that still helps keep them rooted in reality. The problem is reality is often not a happy, friendly place.
Any advice for the 20 year old you?
Hang in there, it will get better.
Brains are nice, but what’s your favorite physical characteristic on a man or woman? What do you check out first? What makes you decide if someone’s good looking or not?
Ah, a question I get asked a lot in real life too. Hands—and not just to guess how big the guy is everywhere, lol. Hands and eyes are my two favorite body parts, no matter the gender of the person. As to what makes a person truly good looking… that would be their personality. Body flaws disappear the more you get to know someone truly beautiful inside, just as a cute person can become hideous if the person inside is horrible, conceited, or cruel.
What’s your go-to method of providing comfort after a bad day (week, month, year)? Is it a favorite book, movie, television show? What gets you through the rough times?
Reading. It’s a great escape and you can descend into any kind of world, story, or time you want. But what gets me through tough times is the love of my children. Period.
How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
I would say ‘a lot’ truthfully. At least one or the other is the ‘first impression’ an author and story makes. If they are bland or ugly or confusing most people are going to skip it and find something else to buy and read. I know I can look past a cover, but if the blurb doesn’t catch me, I click to the next page without buying.
Have you ever been intimidated by reviews?
I was terrified to get my first review, hoping it would be good but worried the reviewed would not love my guys like I did. After that it got easier. I can even accept that not everyone is going to enjoy my story, but I do get bothered when people rate but didn’t read (not even a DNF but flat out didn’t read it) the story.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, do you find what you listen to influences the story at all?
God yes! Without music I don’t think I could write. Pandora is my ever eager helper when writing. I have a Muse station and a 80/90’s alt rock station that I flip between while writing. I don’t know that it directly influences my writing, but silence stifles my ability to write, so in a way, yes.
Do you miss your characters when you come to the end of their story? Do you find ways to write sequels for them or do you become entranced with a new set?
Well, I’ve only completed my first so that’s a little hard to answer. I do love my guys and books 2 and 3 have them as characters, though not as the MC’s . But, the series is all connected as at least one of each pairing is friends of the whole, so I don’t have to give up the previous loves. 🙂
Now once I start a new series, that will change and I’m not sure what I’ll resort to, er, decide to do then.
What are your writing goals for 2013? Your personal goals?
I’m hoping to finish Desires’ Guardian (book 2) and Temptations of Desire (book 3), have them both submitted, and be working on Signs of Desire (Book 4). My writing is not nearly as fast as I would like, but I won’t force myself to rush—won’t do that to my characters or my readers.
Personal goals? I’m working on losing weight. I’m down over 60 lbs but still have a long ways to go, sadly. My health and mobility issues make losing hard but I am determined to be as healthy for my kids as possible.
Thank you, Sarah, so very much for hosting both myself and my story, Designs of Desire. I hope your readers will give my guys a spin and fall in love all over again.
I’ve enjoyed hosting you here, Tempe, and finding out more about your new release! I think one of the best ways to educate people about conditions such as yours is to give them heroes they can identify with and learn from. 🙂 Here’s more about Designs of Desire and where you can find Tempe online:
by Tempeste O’Riley
M/M Erotic BDSM/Kink Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 29th 2013
Length: Novel / 200 pages
Order: Dreamspinner Press
Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.
As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.
James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?
667, 668, 669….
A file slapped the desk in front of James, distracting him from his attempt at counting the dots in the ceiling tiles above him.
“I know you’re busy and all,” Brian said, his usual sneer in place. “But do you think you’ll have time to help a new client?” The man just lived to give him a hard time.
James took a deep breath. He desperately hoped his hatred of the man towering over him didn’t show. James Knew open displays of boredom pissed Brian off, but James hadn’t had a prospective or existing client call in two days. He’d finished his purchasing reports, sent the work orders and e-mail. All calls done. What else was he supposed to do?
“Sure, Brian. Let me see what we’ve got, and I’ll head right out,” James replied. He tried to sound upbeat. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his job; he did. But Brian hated him, and he always got the leftovers—usually clients the other designers did not want for one reason or another.
“I’m sure this one’s right up your—” Cough. “—alley,” Brian finished with a snicker.
James never figured out how someone so hateful and narrow-minded as Brian stood working in their field, much less kept his job. In James’s opinion, art, even corporate branding and design, should attract people with a bit more open-mindedness. He had a few ideas on the latter but kept his opinions, and gutter-mind, to himself.
Forcing a smile across his face as he opened the folder in front of him, James called out to Brian’s retreating form, “No worries, boss.”
Brian paused and turned to look over his shoulder and with a nasty smile added, “Oh, and the guy’ll be here in about ten minutes. Don’t screw up.”
Ten minutes? Seriously?
He started to peruse the new client information, pleased that at least the file seemed to be complete—charts, images, budget, etc.—and his phone rang. He answered on the second ring. “Good morning, James Bryant speaking.”
“Ah, Jamie, got the file yet? ’Cuz let me tell you, this one’s something else,” came the disembodied voice of his best friend and co-worker, Chase Manning. “He’s not like most of the scraps Brian-the-dick tosses you.”
“I’m sure I can handle whatever he sends my way. The clients aren’t usually as difficult as Brian and the others make them seem. They just don’t want to deal with high maintenance or quirky. Which, when you consider the job, makes no sense. But—”
“Jamie, dear,” Chase said, cutting him off. “That’s not it at all. This guy’s hot, and I mean H-O-T, hot. He’s waiting for you already and man, I so wish I had your job today,” he practically squealed. “So hurry up and get your sexy ass down here. Now.”
“Shh…. Don’t be so loud. The last thing I need is you to offend a new client. Now, go back to work and let me read over the file, would ya?” He shook his head and clicked off his Bluetooth. James glanced over the information for his new client. Seth Burns? Carl, their senior manager, had been trying to get Mr. Burns of Carrington Enterprises as a client for years. Wonder what he’s looking for and how this project slipped past Brian to me?
Setting it aside, James pulled out his messenger bag and loaded it with the folder. He already had all his staples in there: pens, pencils, a notebook or two, and a couple of sketch pads. He carefully hung it across his neck and shoulder so the bag wouldn’t slip. He preferred his backpack, but his boss frowned on “casual.” James gathered his forearm crutches, the plain black ones he only used for work, and he began the arduous task of getting up before he slipped his arms through the cuffs.
Once satisfied he wasn’t forgetting anything, James slung himself down the hall to the elevator, where he waited. He hated standing there, given Brian’s office faced the hall.
When James reached the main floor, Chase seemed to vibrate as he waited for him. His face reminded James of a child at Disney World instead of the twenty-five-year-old man he actually was.
“Do you want to meet with him down here in one of the conference rooms?” Chase pleaded, batting his eyes for full effect. He knew better than to act like that, but, oh well.
“Relax, Chase,” James said with a smile. Chase, his sometimes assistant and best friend, always worried about James walking too much, but then he never managed to understand the idea of limitations versus inability. James could walk, though he couldn’t walk far or carry much of anything. He simply needed his crutches. Limitations James loathed but had learned to accept.
“I just hate you traipsing up and down the halls. I wish—”
“Don’t,” James snapped harder than he’d meant to. “Sorry. You know I appreciate your concern, but I’m a big boy and can manage fine. Now, go back to your desk and do your job so I can do mine.”
With a huff, Chase flounced back to his desk. “Fine,” he called over his shoulder. “Be that way.”
About the Author:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.