Thursday, November 20, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with J. Leigh Bailey

Today's guest is YA and NA LGBT romance writer J. Leigh Bailey. She's talking about inspiration and her upcoming release in the anthology MYTH AND MAGIC—QUEER FAIRY TALES. Very cool. :)

1. What flavor is your writing? (Contemporary? Historical? Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

There are a couple common themes in everything I write, most importantly the achievement of a Happy Ever After (or at the very least as Happy For Now) ending. Whether I’m writing about werewolves or gay teenagers, there’s always at least an element of romance. Even my horror stories include a love interest. Outside of that, I’m a sucker for anything that involves self-acceptance and a building family (whether family by blood or by heart). That being said, I primarily write Young Adult and New Adult LGBT (male/male) romance.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Mine usually starts with someone I see, either around town or on TV. The inspiration that led to my first Young Adult novel (GUYLINER, coming next August from Spencer Hill Press) was a cashier at Taco Bell. Here was this kid, maybe fifteen-years-old. He had dark hair that hung in his face and his right arm was covered in burn and skin graft scars. He was so quiet and withdrawn. Finally, when I handed him my money he looked up. He had the brightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen and they were outlined in thick black eyeliner. The liner seemed so incongruous with the reserved demeanor. I spent the whole time at the restaurant bombarded with questions. Where did he get the scars? What happened? Why eyeliner? Was it an Emo affectation or a rebellious statement? From there the plot for GUYLINER almost outlined itself. In the end, my character Graham was nothing like this boy, but Taco Bell guy was definitely the catalyst.

3. What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I write for the same reason I read. Let’s face it, the world can be a very scary, depressing place. I like knowing good will conquer evil, the guy will get the girl (or the guy!), and everyone will live happily ever after, no matter the crap they have to deal with first. I especially like that I get to mastermind the whole thing. Then there’s the psychological benefit—I can’t tell you how many of my “issues” have been worked out vicariously through my characters. I can explore emotions and situations that I’m not comfortable with in real life. My characters can say and do things that I can’t or won’t. It’s cheaper than therapy!

4. What are you reading now or what books do you have in your TBR pile?

My TBR pile is a constantly growing entity. At the top of the pile is Sonali Dev’s A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR. It’s getting fabulous reviews and Sonali is one of the sweetest people I know, so I can’t wait to finally read her book. I’m under deadline right now and I want to be able to take a lot of time to fully immerse myself into her story. The other book I’m really looking forward to is OFF CAMPUS by Amy Jo Cousins. It’s a New Adult Male/Male novel that sounds fantastic. I have to wait though, since it doesn’t come out until late December. It’s going to be my Christmas gift to myself.

5. What are you working on now?

I’ve got a couple of things in the works.

Next month—December 14—I have a short story coming out in part of a Bold Strokes Books anthology, MYTH AND MAGIC—QUEER FAIRY TALES. My story, “A Hero in Hot Pink Boots” is a Young Adult, LGBT twist on the classic fairytale, Puss in Boots.

Next year I’ve got two books releasing—a New Adult Male/Male (title still pending) coming from Carina Press in April and then in August, GUYLINER will be released.

In the meantime, I’m writing the second book in my New Adult trilogy and trying not to be too giddy about the exciting things coming up.

You can find out more about J. Leigh Bailey at these links:
Myth & Magic: Queer Fairy Tales

Myth, magic, and monsters—the stuff of childhood dreams (or nightmares) and adult fantasies.

Delve into these classic fairy tales retold with a queer twist and surrender to the world of seductive spells and dark temptations.


j.leigh.bailey said...

Thank you so much for inviting me!

Robyn Bachar said...

Thank you for being here! I love your story about the inspiration for GUYLINER. :)