You guys are not going to believe who is answering some questions for us today. THE Mary Calmes! Everyone is always saying how sweet, amazing, great, fantastic, nice, and wonderful she is. We were so glad to learn that all of the hype is true. She really is all of those things and more. She is talking to us today!
Let’s put our hands together as we sip our mug of steaming quad shot latte and spend some time getting to know one of everyone’s favorite authors. Without further ado. We give you…Mary Calmes!
1. What made you decide to write Aaron and Duncan’s story?
When I was writing Acrobat, I fell in love with Duncan Stiel. That doesn’t normally
happen, but it did that time. So I started thinking, who would be good for him and I kept
thinking I needed someone larger than life to break through his sort of sad shell. And for
Aaron, I needed a grown-up for him, a true partner, not someone he would need to take
care of but not someone just like him. Duncan and Aaron were made for each other.
2. Do you think we will get to visit this world again?
There is still Conrad’s book to write so somewhere in there will be Duncan. Conrad told
Trevan there were only 10 people in the world he called friends and Duncan is one of
them. I expect he’ll have a cameo.
3. Where do you find your inspiration?
All kinds of things inspire me. AMOT was inspired by a Gucci ad that I saw with
Mathias Lauridsen in it back in 2007. I took one look
at it and wrote Jory. Acrobat was inspired by a song by Patty Griffin where the lyric goes:
And there ain’t no talkin’ to this man, he’s been tryin’ to tell me so
It took awhile to understand the beauty of just letting go
‘Cause it would take an acrobat and I already tried all that
I’m gonna let him fly
And so the book became about how Nate does everything to make himself into someone
else for the person he’s with but never loved anyone enough to just be himself except
finally Dreo. Heart of the Race came about because I watched this interesting snippet on
the Isle of Mann TT on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and was hooked. So truthfully, I
4. Do you have a favorite character or couple of all the ones you have written?
My favorite couple is Sam and Jory because they are so different. Jory is like a flitty
butterfly and Sam is a solid tree. A big lecturing tree that yells and Jory smiles and
says, “look at my pretty wings, aren’t they pretty, don’t you think they’re pretty?” And
finally Sam grunts and says “yes, very pretty, now come here.” I love their dynamic,
Jory’s constant awe at life and his inability to see the good from the bad and Sam’s
inexhaustible patience and possessiveness.
5. Do you have a favorite author(s)? Do you have a favorite book(s)?
I have so many favorite authors and favorite books, the list is ridiculously long. Amy
Lane, Damon Suede, Cardeno C., Rhys Ford, JP Barnaby, Poppy Dennison, Anne
Tenino, TJ Klune, Andrew Grey, Ariel Tachna, and the list goes on and on and on.
Everyone’s favorites are mine as well. I haunt websites, waiting for books to come
out and discover new-to-me authors all the time. As for books… my husband just had
to buy me two huge bookcases to go in the bedroom because he was tired of looking
at paperbacks in stacks. It’s all pretty now. If I love a book, I must own it in print and
there’s nothing like holding a book in your hand. Kindles are wonderful, but I still like to
6. What is your guilty pleasure read? The one you don’t put on your shelves, but love
to read when you are looking to relax/recharge with a light, fun, silly and/or comfort
I don’t have any guilty pleasure reads, if I love it I love it and it’s there on the bookshelf
in plain sight along with everything else. My comfort reads tend to be things that made
me cry or laugh or have lots of juicy parts. But they are all romances. I have to have the
HEA; I need the hero, or heroine, to be content and safe at the end of the book and I like
that in neon so there’s no missing it. You know at the end of Rainman where Dustin
Hoffman gets on the train, checks on Tom Cruise once and then that’s it? If that was a
book, with the potential for everything to be fine but no absolute, definitive, moment of
“yes I promise everything is good” it wouldn’t work for me. I need more. I’m like an
eight year old that way.
7. Do you listen to music when you read? Are there any playlists you’d like to share
I don’t listen to music when I read, that drives me nuts. I listen to it when I write and
there is different music for every character. Like Jory’s music is trance and Latin Jazz.
Nate and Dreo was more Bitter:Sweet and Duncan and Aaron was a lot of Nick Drake.
So it just depends on the story.
8. What do you like to do to in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
I wish there was something else I enjoyed doing. Amy knits and I have been the lucky
recipient of her amazing craft but I got nothing. I have a much too big collection of Yaoi,
but that probably doesn’t count.
9. If you could only eat one thing what would it be? What is your food weakness?
A big juicy cheeseburger. It’s bad. I’m not supposed to eat them.
10. Do you have anything coming out soon that you want to tell us about?
I have a new shifter book with brand new characters coming out in mid-December, and a
Christmas novella coming out on Christmas Day.
11. If you were to create your dream room what would it look like?
It would be on the Amalfi Coast, (that part is important), and there would be a balcony,
and a reading nook with the window and the place to stretch out with big pillows, one
of those big vanity tables with the mirror and a bed with the chaise at the end. And no, I
have not thought about this at all. 😀
12. Would you rather be the cop or the one taking care of the brave warrior?
I’d rather be the one taking care of the brave warrior. I’m kind of a nurturer and I can’t
imagine being brave enough to be a policeman.
13. Beer, wine, margarita or a big mug of coffee, what is your favorite poison?
Its coffee and if I said different everyone would know it was a big fat lie I only drink
alcohol socially and even then, not much. But coffee is every day and more than once.
My husband just bought me a Keurig. Greatest. Thing. Ever. Day or night, coffee! And
it’s better than an espresso machine which I would need a barista to come with had I ever
gotten one. It’s fantastic. Of course drinking coffee at 2am is somewhat problematic…I
drink quite a bit of tea as well.
14. What is your favorite color and why?
It’s like a dark burgundy crimson. Not quite maroon, but that’s close. I’m drawn to things
that color and the richness does it for me.
15. For the aspiring authors reading this. Did you face a lot of rejection when you first
started submitting your stories?
Yes. Lots of emails saying thank you but no. I have hard copy letters from agents because
that’s how I thought you did it. So first I had rejections from agents and then from
publishers. But in the immortal words of Winston Churchill, Never, Never, Never Give
Up. If you love it, if you must write or die, if you become a completely different person
when you don’t write… never stop. You will be rewarded.
16. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I absolutely, positively believe in love at first sight. Like Joan Wilder, I’m a hopeful
17. Have you ever been in a fist fight? Did you win?
Yes. When I was in the seventh grade and sadly I did not win. But the girl I fought with
and I later became friends so it ended well.
18. Other than writing, what is your favorite part of the publishing process?
I love it when I get letters from my fans that say that something I wrote touched them or
they love a character. It means the world to me. I have every email from every fan who’s
ever written me. And getting cover art for my books is like Christmas every single time.
19. Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever used any of them in a story?
I do remember my dreams and mostly they’re very Kafkaesque and so can’t be used but
sometimes I will dream out a plot point for a book and so go to sleep stuck and wake up
with it sorted out. I love it when that happens.