Stopping by to chat with us today is Andrew Grey. He is an extremely prolific writer of gay romances with Dreamspinner Press and one of my personal favorite authors. Mr. Grey has published several enormously popular series along with quite a few standalone novels and novellas. The next installment in Mr. Grey’s Range series, An Unsettled Range, hits bookshelves January 9th.
Kathy: Thank you so much for dropping in and answering my nosy questions. I always have to begin by asking what motivated you to become a writer? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?
Mr. Grey: I started writing in January of 2007 and I did it because I got an idea and decided to write it down and see where it led. Writing my first novel was the easy part. The road to getting it published was a real learning process. I wasn’t happy with my first publisher, but luckily I found Dreamspinner Press and I’ve been happy ever since.
Kathy: You have an impressive amount of published works. What is a typical day in the life as author Andrew Grey? Do you write every day? How long does it take you to complete your novels?
Mr. Grey: Yes, I write every day. I usually write during my lunch hour at work and then spend a few hours writing each evening. I usually write a novel in about three weeks, however some take longer.
Kathy: That is incredible that you can write a novel in three weeks.
I have to confess that I am a huge fan of series and I am delighted that you have so many different ones to read. Do you always plan for the novels to become a series? What influences your decision to continue the series?
Mr. Grey: I rarely plan a series from the start. I write the first story and then see which characters, if any, speak to me enough to get their own story. I continue writing a series as long as I have a good story to tell.
Kathy: Your stories range from short stories to novellas to full length novels. What factors determine a book’s length?
Mr. Grey: The story. Sometimes there isn’t enough to justify a longer work. I personally like to write stories of varying lengths. It helps keep things interesting for me and the ideas tend to flow more freely.
Kathy: The Satyr series is fantasy/paranormal while the rest of your works are contemporary romances. Will you write any other paranormal novels? Do you see yourself ever writing any other genres or time periods?
Mr. Grey: I will write more fantasy/paranormal. I’m currently working on a story for an anthology with Amy Lane and Mary Calmes. I’m going to write my first werewolf story. I’ve wanted to write one for a while. As for other time periods, I have written a few historical short stories and they were enough to tell me that’s not where my strengths lie. I love historical stories and respect the talent it requires to create one, but I’ve found it’s not my forte.
Kathy: Were you surprised to discover that many of your fans are women?
Mr. Grey: Not really. Romance, regardless of the genre, has been ready largely by women for a long time. I personally don’t write my stories for men or women, I simply tell the best story I can. Now I did ask some friends, who happen to be women, what they saw in the genre and I was told that if one cock is good, two is better. I can’t argue with that.
Kathy: LOL, I have to agree with that statement. Have you seen more of a mainstream acceptance of the GLBT genre over the past few years?
Mr. Grey: Absolutely. M/M romance is growing rapidly with more and more readers all the time. I joined my local chapter of RWA a number of years ago and at the time I was the only man and the only person writing M/M. Now there are women in the chapter who are asking me advice about adding gay characters to their stories and one that has written her first M/M story. In Central Pennsylvania. That’s amazing.
Kathy: That is pretty amazing, and I love that more authors are willing to add gay characters to their novels.
Can you tell us a little bit about An Unsettled Range?
Mr. Grey: The idea come to be because I have an acquaintance who has been married twice, has a daughter, and I know he’s been hiding the fact that he’s gay, from his family, even himself. A conversation with his brother finally convinces Troy that he needs to face up to who he is, but shame drives him at first and he leaves his job and tries to work things through at his uncle’s isolated hinting cabin.
Liam runs away from an abusive father because he’s gay and fate steps in, bringing him to Wally and Dakota’s ranch. Wally hires him to help him take care of the large cats he’s rescued. Both men need a chance to heal and find out who they really are. Along the way, they discover each other. However a lot gets in their way, Liam’s father, a mining company threatening the ranch’s water supply, and Troy’s unresolved issues with his ex-wife and daughter.
Kathy: What projects are you currently working on? What can readers look forward to from you in the upcoming year?
Mr. Grey: I am currently writing my first werewolf story. There are many stories on tap for 2012. The next two stories in the Legal Artistry series, Artistic Pursuits and Legal Tender. The next restaurant story, A Helping of Love. I also have Unconditional Love, A Seven Days story, as well as two fireman novellas. There is also A Foreign Range coming in June.
Kathy: Wow, I am absolutely stunned at your publishing schedule and very excited since I read all of those series. And now you’re writing about firemen, too (fans self)!!!
I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you today. Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Mr. Grey: Kathy, it was great talking with you as well. Thank you so much. I really hope you enjoy An Unsettled Range. For more information you can always check my website for the latest information on what I’m working on as well as future releases.
Kathy: It’s a pretty safe bet that I’ll completely enjoy An Unsettled Range ;). Mr. Grey, congratulations on your upcoming release and thank you so much for visiting with us today. Feel free to drop by anytime you happen to be in the neighborhood.
To celebrate the release of An Unsettled Range and Mr. Grey’s visit here today, I am giving away a digital copy of An Unsettled Range to one lucky commenter.
Title: An Unsettled Range by Andrew Grey
Stories from the Range: Book Three
Publisher: Dreanspinner Press
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 200 pages
Stories from the Range: Book Three
The last thing Liam Southard expects when he flees his abusive father is to be taken in by a couple of gay ranchers. Soon he has a new job and a new perspective on his sexuality, and his life starts to turn around. Then someone pulls a gun on him.
In Troy Gardener’s defense, the gun thing was a mistake. Between his marriage falling apart and living in his uncle’s isolated hunting cabin, he’s been a little edgy. He wants to make it up to Liam, and once he discovers how much they have in common, he wants even more. But with Liam’s father popping in unexpectedly and a mining company threatening the ranch’s water supply, the only guarantee is that life is never going to be boring.
“Is that a lion?” Liam could hardly believe his eyes.
Wally laughed softly. “We have three lions and four tigers right now. I try to find permanent homes for them with zoos and animal parks, but some of these guys are so old, no one wants them.” Wally stepped close to one of the doors and watched as a large male lion with an impressive mane loped over to him, yawning. “This is Manny. He’s getting quite old, but don’t let him fool you or think he’s a pet, because he’s a wild animal, and unpredictable. The first lion I got was Schian, and he loved to have his belly scratched. He was the only one I ever trusted enough to be in the cage with, and even then I was always wary. He died a little over a year ago.” Liam saw the loss momentarily in Wally’s expression, and he couldn’t help wondering what a full-grown lion looked like and sounded like when he had his belly scratched.
“What do you want me to do with them?” Liam took a step back from the cage as Manny let out a roar that echoed over the land before settling back down onto the ground. “You must think I’m crazy.”
Wally chuckled again. “You need to be wary and careful, but never afraid. Manny is just reminding himself that he’s a big boy. He thinks all these cats are part of his pride and that he’s the head honcho.” Wally moved to the next cage. “There are four enclosures in each group, with a shared exercise area. All you need to do is open the gate in the cage, and they’ll amble out when they’re ready. I try to give each one a chance in the yard every day.” Wally stopped at an enclosure with the most beautiful cat Liam had ever seen.
“Wow,” Liam mouthed.
“She’s impressive, isn’t she? That’s Shahrazad . She’s a Bengal tiger. She’s also the biggest bitch I’ve ever had. Don’t get too close to the enclosure under any circumstances,” Wally warned.
Liam had no intention of getting anywhere near her. “Then how do you feed her?” Liam asked tentatively, and Wally opened a chute in the back of the cage. “The food goes in here and the water here.” Wally showed him what he needed to do. “Once every few days, we enclose each animal in the common area and clean its cage.” Wally stopped talking and looked at Liam appraisingly. “Do you think you can do this? It requires vigilance and patience.”
Liam nodded slowly. “I never thought I’d be taking care of lions and tigers.”
“There’s more,” Wally explained, and he began to lead him away. By the time Wally had told him all about the care of big cats and the other exotic animals he had, Liam’s head was spinning. “I know this is a lot, so we’ll work together for a while. I’m not expecting you to do this alone, but I get called away , and I don’t want to worry about their care.”
“I can do it,” Liam answered with more confidence than he felt. If it meant food and a roof over his head, Liam could do just about anything. Manny roared again, making Liam jump slightly, and then all the other cats began growling, and Liam saw many of them pacing their cages. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know. They sense something. Look at the way their ears are down and their hair stands on edge. Something has them all a bit spooked.” Wally began looking around; Liam did as well.
“There’s smoke,” Liam said pointing up into the hills surrounding the ranch. “The wind must be carrying the scent this way. It doesn’t look like the forest is on fire.”
“No, but that’s still a lot of smoke, and as dry as it’s been, that fire could spread and take out the entire ranch and half the valley.” Wally was already hurrying back toward the house.
“What are you going to do?’ Liam asked as he followed behind, and Wally stopped, like he hadn’t thought that far ahead. “Like I said, I don’t think the forest is on fire—the smoke isn’t moving or spreading. If you tell me the way, I could try to go up there and see what’s up,” Liam offered. He didn’t want to sit around doing nothing when he could be of help.
“There’s not much up there. I think Dakota told me once that there was a track up there at the end of the road on the west edge of the ranch, but I’ve never been up there.” Wally turned and looked at the smoke again, worry plain on his face.
“Is it okay if I take one of the ATVs? I can ride out there and see what’s going on. It shouldn’t take very long,” Liam offered, and Wally nodded absently. There wasn’t any reason to assume it was anything other than someone camping up there, although it seemed to Liam that there was too much smoke for just a campfire.
“Go on, but be careful,” Wally cautioned, still looking worried.
Liam hurried to the equipment shed and hopped on the ATV he’d used before, grateful that he was doing something that didn’t involve animals that could rip him apart. He started the engine and pulled out of the shed, traveling along the road in front of the ranch before turning down a dirt road at the end of the range that went back toward the hills. The warm, dry air ruffled his hair as he opened the throttle until the road appeared to end at a path just wide enough to allow the ATV to pass. Liam slowed and began to climb steadily up the hillside. Through breaks in the overgrowth, Liam could occasionally see the plume of smoke getting closer and closer.
Liam dove carefully, mindful of washouts and limbs across the path. A few times, he had to move limbs before he could pass, and as the trail got thinner, Liam began to wonder how he’d turn around if he couldn’t go any further. Then the trail dumped him onto what looked like a two-track that appeared to have been used recently, and Liam turned. He hadn’t gone far before he began to smell the odor of something unpleasant burning. Liam wrinkled his nose as he continued up the path, the scent becoming more pervasive and strong enough that his eyes began to water and his nose to run. What in hell could be burning?
Finally, Liam rode to the edge of a clearing where he saw a large fire burning in a pit, the smell making him gag, and he tried his best not to throw up. Of course, he forgot all about that when he saw a man approach him, a rifle leveled at his chest. Liam didn’t know what to say and sat totally still as he watched the man walk toward him. “What are you doing here?”
“I… we saw the fire, and it was dry , so I was just checking it out,” Liam answered nervously and watched as the gun wavered for a second before slowly lowering.
“You’ve done that, so now I suggest you leave.”
Relieved that the man was no longer pointing a gun at him, Liam looked at him and felt his mouth drop open. He removed his helmet to get a better look. Beneath the rough clothing and hard eyes was the most beautiful man Liam had ever laid eyes on.
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