Hello, all! Please give a warm welcome to the fabulous B.G. Thomas who’s very kindly agreed to answering a few questions about his new release Winter Heart, book 4 in the Seasons of Love series!
Charlie: Hi, B.G.! Thank you so much for joining us here today, and for taking the time to answer a few questions. Before we get started, why don’t you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what you write?
B.G.: Well, I live in Kansas City, and it is truly a very nice place to live. When I moved here a little over thirty years ago it was a bit of a Cowtown. You couldn’t even get a glass of wine with dinner without a special club card for each and every restaurant you went to. Blue laws big time. But over that thirty years, Kansas City has changed. It appears on list after list after list now as one of the most desirable places to live in the country, as well as one of the most cultured. I have come to like it so much that it is a very real character in almost everything I write.
And what do I write? I write romance of course! Because romance is at the heart of every great tale from the Epic of Gilgamesh to this century’s best loved stories. What book is complete without some romantic element? And while I am not comparing my books to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind or Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay, I am saying that is why I write what I write. It could be a story about a young man evicted from his apartment into a blizzard or a man running away from his rich, controlling family to hide away in a tiny studio apartment in Hawaii for the holidays or a reporter who gets caught up in series of murders involving vodou Lwa spirits. But what rings true in all my stories is romance and finding true love. The wonder of that first glance across a crowded room, the hoping—Could this be who I’ve been waiting for all my life?—that first meeting, that first electric touch, that first sweet kiss, the shiver of goosebumps and the pounding of a heart filling with love. I’m a romantic at heart, Charlie. That’s what I write.
Charlie: In your Seasons of Love series, each book tells the story of a different couple coming together, but their lives are intertwined with the lives and loves of the men in the other books, which I imagine makes writing the series even more challenging. Did you have the series and relationships planned out from the beginning, or is that something that happened as you went along?
B.G.: Well, when it comes to that eternal question, “are you a plotter or a pantser,” I have to say that I am definitely an pantser. If I plot out a story from beginning to end, I’ll never write it. I know the story, so I am very quickly bored. When I write a story, I know how it is going to begin (usually) and I know two or three things that are going to happen, and I mostly know how it’s going to end, but otherwise I am as surprised by what happens as the reader. To my excitement, it somehow always comes together. But in the case of this series, I had to do some plotting. At least it was plotting for me. For instance, I knew before I even knew Wyatt’s name that he was going to be the one of the four friends who has a lover as the story begins… but he’s going to lose him. But by then the readers would hopefully be thrilled that the lover was gone—he’s a putz of the highest order—and be wishing and hoping that Wyatt would get his happily ever after. And I knew who he was going to wind up with and I wanted him to show up in a previous book and hopefully have the readers saying, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.” But even with what I did figure out ahead of time, I still got plenty of surprises. I hope my readers do too!
Charlie: What was the most challenging part of writing the Seasons of Love series?
B.G.: Believe it or not, it was remembering to pay attention to the changing of the year. That this whole “saga” was taking place over a year and through the seasons wasn’t just a gimmick to me. So, for instance, in Spring Affair the flowers in Sloan’s garden are very important to him. They represent his recently deceased mother. The garden is also patterned after my own. So I made sure that the proper flowers were growing at the proper time in the novel. And I had to remember that there were holidays within the year. It’s easy to remember favorites like Halloween and Christmas, but it was surprisingly easy to space off Yom Kippur or the Winter Solstice, which are significant to Asher and Wyatt. And there were little details that I had to go back and look for—what color were Sloan’s eyes for instance? He’s the star of the first book and then takes a back seat through the next four. I embarrassingly forget what color they were in the importance of everything else that was going on.
Charlie: Is there any one character in the series you relate to the most?
B.G.: Well, I have to admit it is Wyatt, the star of Winter Heart. He’s not me exactly, but there is a lot of me in him. I had an “evil” ex for instance. And something that is life threatening for Wyatt in the story also happened to me. But more than that, it’s his zeal for life, even in the face of the terrible things that happened to him. Telling jokes and loving music. Camping it up. Collecting pictures of…no, I’ll skip that one. *blush* Oh! But it is very important that I say that my parents were wonderful. No evil father for me. My dad was the best!
Charlie: I’m a big fan of Art Nouveau and the stunning work of Alfonse Mucha, so the style of covers used for your Seasons of Love series grabbed my attention. They’re gorgeous! Was that something you decided on or was it the artist? Do you have a favorite cover of the four?
B.G.: I have been a fan of Alfonse Mucha since I was around eighteen, when my good friend Joanne introduced me to his work. What made me a little sad as a gay man was that Mucha rarely did any paintings of men. I remember a Native American on a horse, maybe a couple others, and that was it. Then when we were trying to figure out what kind of covers the series should have, Paul Richmond asked me if I had heard of Mucha. Yes, I had! And he mentioned how sad it made him that Mucha painted so few men and he had been wanting to do a series of pieces of men in the Mucha style. Would I mind if he did that for my books? Did I mind? I was ecstatic. And as each one was coming in—and I was given a lot of input—I just got happier and happier. Now if I had to pick a favorite, that would be hard. In some ways it is probably Winter Heart. But I also have a special love for Summer Lover as the poses of the two men are from photographs that I took of a friend out at a lake. So my very artistic side is on that cover!
Charlie: Which of the four books did you enjoy writing most? Which was the most challenging?
B.G.: I probably enjoyed writing Summer Lover the most, although it was challenging in itself. It is based on a very important event that I attend each year—a gay men’s spiritual retreat. For some years I had wanted to do a story about the retreat, but I wanted to make sure that the men who attend wouldn’t mind. After quite a few years of asking, I was convinced I had the go-ahead. In fact, mixed up in the fictional characters are cameo appearances by some of my friends. That was fun. The most challenging of the four was Winter Heart. I loved writing it, but it was also like being drug behind a truck on a gravel road. I had to face a lot of my demons to write it. But it was healing as well. So it’s an important book for me.
Charlie: What was your favorite part about writing Winter Heart?
B.G.: I think the falling in love. I think Wyatt meeting his knight in shining armor, just like I met mine. It was watching Wyatt finally begin to believe in himself and that he was worth something. That he was special. Seeing him accept that he unique and wonderful. And I hope it transmits to readers that we are all special and unique and wonderful. We only have to believe.
Charlie: What can we expect next from you? Will we see you at any upcoming events?
B.G.: Well, I am going to be at GayRomLit the very week Winter Heart is released. After that I’m not sure. I am really open to the idea of attending some events I’ve never been to before. As for what else is coming out, there is my alien abduction story—yes, you heard me right—in the amazing anthology Gothika. I am so proud to be a part of that series. There are some amazing authors there including Eli Easton, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, Sue Brown and just recently added, F.E. Feeley Jr.
Then will be my very first co-authored piece which is called Mele Kalikimaka, which is part of this year’s Dreamspinner Advent Calendar stories. I wrote this with an amazing young man named Noah Willoughby. He is smart and sweet and very talented and will be someone to look out for. He’s adorable as well! LOL!
After that—drum roll please—we should be seeing Blue, a novel about a character who has popped up multiple places in my books, including Summer Lover. A lot of readers have written me asking for his story, and at last they’re going to get it. I think this is the first places I’ve mentioned this…so you’re the first to know! Also I have turned my novella, Trust Me, into a full-fledged novel, now renamed as Do You Trust Me? I am really happy with what I did with that story. The additional 20 to 30K words aren’t just filler. They make the book what I originally intended it to be, and I think it give the book even more heart.
Charlie: Thank you so much, B.G., for joining us! Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers before you go?
B.G.: I want to once more leave people with my message. I entered the field of writing pretty “late” in life, despite having wanted to be a professional writer for at least forty years. I was always too afraid. What if I wrote stories and submitted them and no one liked them? My dream would be crushed. It was easier not to try rather than get told I couldn’t write. But finally a series of fortunate events occurred that made me give it a try and to leap out in faith. My very first submission was bought in four days!
So what I want to say is this. Don’t listen to the inner voices that tell you that you can’t live your dream. You have dreams for a reason! They are your spiritual compass. They are pointing to what you should be doing, what you were created to do. It is never too late! Pursue those dreams. Leap! The net will appear!
For over ten years, Wyatt Dolan defined himself as the lover of Howard Wallace. Howard made sure Wyatt’s self-worth depended on that role. So when Howard dumps him, he is lost at sea in a storm without a rudder. If it wasn’t for his supportive friends, he doesn’t know what he’d do. Finally, after a series of disasters, he escapes to Camp Sanctuary—a sacred place to him—where he can be alone, try to put his past behind him, and find a new direction for his life.
Kevin Owens is a lonely man. He is very intelligent—several apps he created have gone on to make him a comfortable living—but he is also quite shy and is uncomfortable making conversation. The death of his dear friend and former lover after a long illness leaves him grieving, confused, and adrift. Then a dream guides him to Camp Sanctuary, only to find that the one cabin with a wood-burning stove has already been reserved. And worse, by a man he’s had a secret crush on for years—Wyatt Dolan.
When a snowstorm knocks out power at the Camp, Wyatt and Kevin must share the same cabin to stay warm, and very soon, magickal things begin to happen.
We have two fabulous giveaways! One lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of any of the first three books in the Seasons of Love series. Just leave a comment below to enter.
AND as a special GRL giveaway, the first person who finds B.G. Thomas and asks for their picture taken with the author and posts it will get a free paperback autographed copy of Winter Heart!
*** Giveaway ends October 23rd at 11:59 pm Eastern US time. ***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and half, and that marriage has been legal since 2014! They share their home with their fabulous dogs, Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is lucky enough to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends.
B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. Since he’s gone conventions since he was fourteen years old, he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers, many of whom inspired him to pursue his own writing dreams.
Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he decided to begin writing for the first time in years. Gay men are what he knows best, after all. He submitted his first story in years and was thrilled when it was accepted in only four days, and since then has had over thirty short stories, novellas and novels published.
“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”
Visit his website and blog at http://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com/. You can contact him there and he is always happy to hear from his readers.
Connect with B.G. Thomas on Facebook.