Everglade swamps, heartfelt characters, and Second Chance Sam! Interview and giveaway with Bren Christopher.
I’ve excited to welcome Bren Christopher to my blog! Bren’s smash hit books include Big Cyprus Crossroads, The Professor’s Assistant, and Friday Night Jamie. This week, she’s celebrating a new release from Loose Id, Second Chance Sam.
Q. Please us about your exciting new release, Second Chance Sam.
It is an m/m contemporary—or an m/m/m contemporary. I’m never quite sure what to call it, as the main love story is between two guys who grew up together and become lovers, but there is a third partner and a ménage scene. Perhaps the blurb will help:
Tristan and Cory have been together forever and thought they always would be—until Sam comes into their lives. In a fit of jealousy, Tristan commits an inexcusable act of anger. Unable to trust his own temper, he leaves Cory although it breaks both of their hearts. Even if Cory can forgive him, Tristan can never forgive himself.
Cory is determined to prove that Tristan has nothing to fear and that, together, they can find a way to put the past behind them. Then an old guilt of his own arises to weaken his resolve.
Somehow in this morass of jealousy, remorse and grief, Sam must find a way to reunite the couple he inadvertently tore apart. But the ghosts of Tristan’s difficult childhood threaten to keep them separated despite Sam’s best efforts.
Now Sam must be more than a friend to the two if he is going to bring them back together. He’ll do whatever is necessary, and if his plan happens to lead to a bit of fun for all three of them… surely no one can blame him for enjoying it just a little. But if Sam succeeds, will it mean the end of his own chance for happiness?
The idea of the friends who meet as children and then grow to become lovers is an attractive plot, but not a new one, so I needed to find a way to make the story a little different. I’m not usually drawn to ménages as I find them a bit unrealistic unless very well-written. In this case, though, it just seemed to fit. With Tristan’s childhood history of a jealous, abusive father, it seems logical that the only thing that could destroy his close relationship with Cory would be suspicion and temper, and the only person who could bring them back together would be the man who inadvertently triggered Tristan’s jealousy. It’s emotional stuff, but with some flashes of humor sprinkled in to lighten the story.
Q. Your stories have a lot of heart, steamy passion, and some amazing characters. How do you create the people in your stories? Are any of them inspired by real life?
The characters always come first, don’t they? They do for me, anyway, although I know everyone writes differently. I hardly ever think of a plot idea first. It’s always the characters and their relationships that occur to me, and then I have to think of a conflict to make a good story.
I don’t know that any of the characters are really inspired by anyone I know, but there are certain traits and characteristics of friends and family that may end up in the stories. I try to be careful not to be too specific. For example, I have a friend whose family has big Sunday dinner get-togethers like Noah’s family in Big Cyprus Crossroads, but lots of Southern families do that and there’s not much else in Noah that is similar my friend.
Q. You’ve written novels set in some diverse places – London 1885 (and parallel universes!) everglade swamps, New York. And you live in Florida! How important is a sense of place to the worlds you create?
Place is very important. It can be like another character in the book. I particularly felt this way with Big Cyprus Crossroads. If that story had been set anywhere besides Miami and the Everglades, it would have been a different plot and very different characters. In Second Chance Sam, one of the characters attends the University of Florida, which is where I went to school, so I was able to give some local details that may make the setting feel more real.
I’m most familiar with Florida as I’ve traveled all over the state. But I was born in upstate New York and I enjoy visiting the City. That’s why I use those two places the most. On the other hand, I grew up on science fiction. I love the genre and I have an outline for an m/m science fiction romance that I want to get started on. Too many ideas, not enough time.
Q. Tell us about a typical writing day – if there is such a thing! – in the life of Bren Christopher.
I wish I had a typical writing day. I’m afraid I’m not disciplined enough to say I’m going to write so many words a day like some writers do. For me, it goes in cycles. I’m pretty slow getting started on a new project, but once I get a basic outline figured out and get the first couple of chapters written, I pick up speed. I wish I were faster and more disciplined but I’m just a slow writer.
Oh boy… hmm… I’d have to say Matt from Friday Night Jamie. He’s just really competent so he could make sure the fireplace stayed lit and the roof didn’t leak. But he’s also sweet and has a great sense of humor. What more could you ask for? Oh that’s right… Yeah, he’s hot. Really, really hot, in that dark-eyed Italian way of his.
Q. Have you got any exciting WIPs to tell your fans about?
I’m working on a sequel to my Christmas novella, Patchouli for Christmas. I really like those characters. When I left Michael and Jude at the end of the last book, they had just started dating, so I wanted to check in with them and see how they were progressing. I meant to get that story out in time for this last Christmas, but… um… see above answer to typical writing day. Yes, slow.
Thank you so much for having me here, Kay. I really enjoyed it. I’ll be hanging around today in case anyone has any questions. I’d love to give away a copy of Second Chance Sam to one lucky commenter, so let’s see some comments and questions!
Remember to leave your email when prompted by the comment box, but don’t worry – it will not be displayed publically or used for any other purpose Comp. closes 22nd January.
Remember to pop over and comment on Kate McMurray’s interview too, for a chance to win Show and Tell. You can also win my guest blogger, Viki Lyn’s Sins of Lust here and a copy of Bound to the Beast, one of my (Kay Berrisford’s) Greenwood novels, at Viki’s blog here.
Thank you for dropping by, Bren – the books sounds amazing!