Author Interviews

Interview with Erin M. Leaf on 20-January-2014

Author's Interview

Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Erin.
I live in Pennsylvania. I love hiking and chocolate and reading and my husband. I’ve been writing since I was a child. I can’t remember not knowing how to read. My first novel was published in 2010 and I hope that I’m still writing romance when I’m ninety.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I have no idea. The thing about being a person is that everything you know about yourself is ordinary. It’s only when you begin to tell someone else about your life that your realize there are some parts of who you are that are surprising. Some facts about me: I’ve been married for over twenty years, but I’m only forty-four. I would love to be able to close my eyes and turn my daydreams into movies. I am attracted to bright colors. My favorite view is right outside my office window where I’ve hung several bird feeders. I hate doing laundry.

When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I’m a reader. I’ve always been a reader, from my earliest memory. When I hit my teenage years, I discovered romance novels. There were a bunch of them in the basement, pages curled with damp and smelling musty, but I loved them. The heroes made me swoon. This is why I began to write erotic romance… it’s as if I’m chasing the shadow of the hero I loved best, the one who embodied all the men I read in those books so long ago.

Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
I’ve been writing for so long that I’ve gone through all the stages of grief and delight and now I’m combining the two. When I first started, I thought writing how I feel would be easy. It’s not. It’s worth it, though. There’s nothing quite like rereading something you’ve written and feeling a sense of joy when you realize the character is exactly who you want him or her to be.

How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
I think I may have levitated. Actually, every time I receive an acceptance, it still feels like I’m floating.

What's your favorite part of writing a book?
I adore the very beginning, when the idea and my characters are new and fresh. I know exactly what I want for them. Their narrative excites me.

Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I don’t read as much for pleasure as I used to, and when I do, I tend to reread my old favorites. That way, I don’t get sucked into a series so much that I neglect my own writing. Currently, I’m rereading the entire Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. They’re yummy. Just before that I was reading gay fanfic for about six months. Before that… I can’t remember. :-)

Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I love so many other kinds of books that I try not to limit myself to any one genre. I’ve written gay fiction, lesbian fiction, menage (mmf), and traditional romance (mf). I write in all kinds of different categories: suspense, paranormal, contemporary, rubenesque, may/december, etc.

Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
My latest release is Angel’s Honor, on November 28, 2013. It’s about two angel shifters. One of them, Gabriel, is destined to become the Alpha of his people. The other angel shifter, Raphael, is his true mate, the Omega. Together, these two men save their people from an ancient evil.

What can we look forward to in the future from you?
The sequel to Angel’s Honor is out in December 2013. I’m also working on a new menage set in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. After that, I’m planning on writing a humorous novel about a guy who moves back home with his father (to help his dad recover from breaking his arm). He’s so popular with the ladies that he tells everyone that he is gay out of desperation. He begs his best friend to visit for a weekend to prove it to the women who just won’t give up… I bet you can imagine what happens next!

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! I am so grateful to you for buying my books and writing reviews and telling me how much you liked my characters.

Erin's most recent releases:
Angel’s Honor

Raphael never believed the Omega angel myth could be real, at least not until the morning he woke up and his wings had changed from ordinary brown to purest white. How could he be an Omega, the destined mate of the Alpha? There hasn\'t been a true Alpha leader of the People in centuries. However, when ebon-winged Gabriel suddenly shows up and claims him as his destined mate, the attraction is instant.

When Gabriel’s brown wings suddenly change to ebony, he must accept that he is the Alpha, God-chosen leader of the angels. When he discovers his destined mate is another man, he realizes being Alpha means more change than he\'d expected. And when he\'s wrongly accused of committing one of the People’s most dishonorable crimes, Gabriel must fight: for his honor, for his mate, and for the survival of his People.

Something Shifty

Professor Seth Dustin thinks he’s alone in the world, but when he meets another shifter, he’s forced to reevaluate his whole life. Dex Connor is gorgeous, talented, and male—everything Seth had no idea he wanted.

However, when Seth discovers Dex is keeping dangerous secrets from him, he must decide if he can forgive the man who has become his closest friend, the man who stole his heart. Seth never expected to find himself in the midst of a territorial fight with a rival clan. He doesn’t know how to deal with the jealous hostility of a woman who wants Dex for herself. Love is unexpectedly complicated, but is being alone better?

Rocker, shifter, mate: Dex is all of these, and more. Professor, shifter, loner: Seth wants more. When two shifters meet, instinct takes over.

Shane’s Submission

Shane and Leo have been best friends forever: through high school, dating disasters, and family losses. Lately though, Shane has been feeling more and more unsettled. His girlfriend dumped him because he wouldn’t spank her, and he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he and Leo shared in high school, long before life happened and they grew up.

When Leo confronts Shane about his depression, the whole, unpleasant story about the breakup comes spilling out. Leo offers to spank Shane so he can understand the appeal, and shockingly, Shane wants to agree, but both of them are straight and he’s not sure it’s a good idea. Besides, he’s not into pain and he feels weird asking his best friend for sexual advice—Leo is too important to him to risk their friendship over something like this. So what if he can’t figure out why the idea is so intriguing?

Excerpt from Angel’s Honor:
“Gabriel,” Raphael replied, standing gracefully. He attempted a smile. “What brings you to my afternoon storytelling session? Did Ariel tell you I’d be here?”

“She did.” He paused. “And I think you know why I’m here.” He didn’t look away, instead letting his eyes take their fill of Raphael’s masculine beauty. His blue eyes were clear and intelligent and his lean frame was muscular, but for some reason, when Gabriel took in the entire package, he couldn’t think of a better word to describe his mate than mine. The possessiveness he felt startled him. Raphael’s dark hair set off his eyes, like deepest night showcased the brightest stars. When he flicked his gaze down to his mate’s arms, he frowned slightly, disappointed to see the long sleeves covering up what he’d hoped were changed markings. He couldn’t possibly be wrong about this, could he? God help him if he was.

Raphael narrowed his eyes, seemingly impatient with Gabriel’s indirect response. “I am not some damsel in distress.”

Gabriel’s nostrils flared. “You want me to say it?” he asked quietly, controlling the instinctive heat Raphael’s intransigence raised. He wasn’t angry, not precisely, but he was agitated. Restless.

Raphael nodded. “It won’t be real unless you speak it aloud. Let the wind hear.”

Gabriel took a deep breath and concentrated on the way the dirt shifted beneath his bare feet. He listened to the air sighing over his shoulders. He glanced up at the infinite sky and let his mind truly accept the knowledge of what he was about to do. When he looked back down, Raphael had braced himself, putting a hand on the tree he’d been sitting against.

“I claim you as my Omega. My mate. My succor and healer. I claim you for our People, for our honor.” Here he paused, trying to push words past the thundering of his heart. “And I claim you for myself.” He spoke the last in a whisper, hoping to God that Raphael could hear him. He sensed the people around them watching, mixed human and angel, and he despaired at having to do this in front of them. He’d have preferred privacy. But perhaps the legitimacy of my claim will not be questioned, because of the public nature of my action, he mused, trying to find the positive in the most vulnerable moment of his life. Claiming a mate of the same sex is truly unprecedented. There will be repercussions.

Raphael’s eyes flared, black on blue. “If your claim is valid, I will accept you as my Alpha. My mate. My leader and shield, for the honor of our People.” He stepped away from the tree and began to unbutton his shirt. “And I would be honored to claim you for myself.” He said that last quietly, so only Gabriel could hear, hands trembling as he peeled off his shirt and flung it to the grass.

Reason lost the battle with instinct. Gabriel’s wings burst from his body like rain falls from a thundercloud and he strode forward, not caring that humans had seen him shift. Let them look, a voice in the back of his heat-clouded mind said. Let them see the Alpha claim his Omega. He reached out and grabbed Raphael’s arms, fingers pressing into the silvery marks that traced up the shorter man’s skin. Abruptly, Raphael’s wings sprang forth: blinding white, tipped with gold. Gabriel’s mouth opened, but he couldn’t speak. Couldn’t breathe. They began to rise together, magic filling their bodies as the mating instinct began to take them into the skies.

“Gabriel,” Raphael croaked, holding onto Gabriel as tightly as Gabriel held onto him.

“Shh,” he said, bringing him closer. Their legs tangled. They were so close he could feel Raphael’s erection straining against his jeans. Gabriel moaned softly, hips jerking as a rising thermal off the ridge suddenly lofted them thousands of feet into the air.

“My God.” Raphael looked dazed.

Gabriel knew how he felt. He leaned in and Raphael met him halfway, lips soft and warm and perfect. When Raphael nibbled Gabriel’s mouth open, he groaned, unable to comprehend how such a simple thing could make his entire body feel like it was on fire. He grabbed his Omega, pulling him even closer. He couldn’t get close enough. The kiss turned feral, with Raphael ravaging his mouth, tongue running over Gabriel’s lips desperately, and then they were falling.


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