I sat down with Leta Blake to talk writing, passion and her book, Slow Heat!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a writer when I was a young girl, but my parents told me that no one ever made a living as a writer, so I’d have to do it as a hobby. I let that dream go for a long time after that, focusing on psychology instead. In my late-twenties, during a bout of deep depression, I started writing again. Eventually, I realized that writing was my joy and I haven’t turned my back on it since.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
Waking up to find my book, Smoky Mountain Dreams, at number one on the Gay Romance Charts at Amazon. That blew my mind. It’ll be hard to top that incredible experience.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me is financial. I’m driven and inspired by life, so I don’t have a real problem with writing books or coming up with the ideas. But I do worry about how to finance self-publishing them. I have many reasons for not going through a publishing house but it all comes back to being very badly burned by the first one I went with. After that I’ve been able to successfully strike out on my own, but I fear there may come a day when I can’t afford to self-pub any longer. To that end, I’ve set up a Patreon account where fans of my work contribute a monthly pledge. I use that income to help fund the business side of my books.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
I am 100% a pantser! My characters seem to believe that outlines are rules to defy. As soon as I start an outline, they go off course. I always have a general plan, and some story beats in mind to hold the pacing, but otherwise, I let the characters tell me their story. As for research, I am endlessly and forever grateful for the Internet. You can find almost everything you need on there! The only things you can’t find are abstract things like how something smells or tastes. But you can find videos and pictures of almost anything.
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
Finish your work. Get a good editor. Self-pub if you can afford it. Read contracts carefully if you can’t. And don’t be so excited to be offered a contract that you sign a poor one. Make friends with other writers. Support each other. ☺
Tell us a little about your writing nook!
Oh, this is a hilarious truth. I write in the bathtub. Like Kyle XY from the old TV show, I’m obsessed with my bathtub, and I write my books while hanging out in there. Yep. It’s a terrible ‘office’ for my back, though!
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
If you’d like to be among the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for Leta’s newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bdn32H or find her on her website, Facebook or Twitter!
About the Book!
Tell us a little about your new release: Slow Heat!
I’ve long been intrigued by the Alpha/Omega tropes and the concept of male pregnancy. I decided I want to explore it for myself before I read too many other people’s take on the idea.
How did your characters come to life?
They dropped into my head while I was in Walgreens pharmacy waiting on a prescription and the old song by Icehouse, Electric Blue, came on the speakers overhead. I have no idea how or why this old, cheesy song brought this story and these characters to me, but it did! (the song: https://youtu.be/eSxmtivj_Gs )
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
My favorite part was how easily it just seemed to roll out of me. It’s a rare gift when that happens. The most challenging was trying to figure out how to explain the book for marketing purposes. It’s still hard for me to do that!
What’s next for this story – is it part of a series?
I do have a stand-alone sequel in mind for the main character’s best friend. He’s left in a bit of a difficult situation and I’d like to solve his problem. So, yes, hopefully there will be more in this universe.
A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.
Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.
When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.
But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha–as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.
This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.
Pre-order it on Amazon!