Hello Ken and welcome to "Home of the Sweetness" <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!
First of all, Raine, thanks for the invite. I’ve been looking forward to this visit. I like randomness, especially since my mind seems to wander all the time. I hope you like my hat. I picked out something fun for a Spring-time outing. It seemed fitting, since Atlanta is in full-bloom right now. Sorry for you guys up north, who are still getting snow.
Describe your writing style in 5 ½ words
A little drama, a little romance. (I know, six words. But I used “a” twice, so I’m counting it as my half word.)
If you could have a conversation with 13-year-old yourself right now, what would you say to him?
Don’t think less of yourself because you are not the same as everyone else. Your differences are what makes you special. One day you will realize that your classmates were just as insecure as you, some of them were just better at hiding it. OH, and next year when you meet that really cute boy… KISS HIM!!! He’s definitely straight, but he’s really into you. It won’t go any further than a kiss, but he’ll probably enjoy it as much as you. Plus, he will be flattered you think of him like that. If you can’t muster up the courage to kiss him, that’s okay too. Your next chance probably won’t come for a couple of years. But let me tell you, it’s gonna be pretty awesome.
We all have secret writing dreams! What is your biggest, most wildest writing dream?
My greatest, secret dream is for my books to be in the nightstand, errr… ON the nightstand, of every bedroom, in every household, in America. Okay, well just the grownups. I don’t write for children. But seriously, I am living my wildest dream. Two years ago, I would never have believed I’d have two books and a short story in publication, with a third novel under consideration. From here, I fantasize about having unlimited writing time, and an abundance of plot bunnies.
Your thoughts on libraries: GO!
Libraries are AMAZING! They are the one place you can go to and be instantly transported to any time or any place. You get to look into people’s heads and lives that you would ordinarily never meet. You get to touch history. You can go to other galaxies. The possibilities are endless. On a sad note, libraries, like book stores, are facing a similar threat as endangered animals: extinction. The Information Age brings everything to us, we no longer have to go out seeking. It gives me pause on the rare instances when I do go to a library, and I see how few people are there. I know that change is inevitable. Still, I can’t help remembering the excitement I felt when, as a six-year old boy, I plopped my stack of books on the counter, and proudly handed the lady my library card. You know, the one made out of paper. The librarian wrote in the number of books you checked out, and the date they were due to be returned. Once the card was filled, the number of books you were allowed to check out at a time was increased by one.
Describe yourself using song lyrics.
Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. What’s wrong with that?
I am such a softy when it comes to romance. I love reading or watching stories where two people find one another, and fall in love. That little spark that ignites the first time their eyes meet. Holding hands. That first kiss. The first time they explore unfamiliar territory. The pawing, the grappling…wait. This an all-adult audience, right?
A genre-specific virus has gone and WIPED OUT your ability to write in your chosen genre. What do you do with yourself now?
Blink. Blink. Sorry, I’ll close my mouth now. If I couldn’t write about romance, it would be pretty sad. Maybe I could write science fiction or horror. A world without romance would certainly be a pretty cold and scary place.
What is your superpower? What is your Kryptonite?
My superpower is hugs. Yes, hugs. I give amazing hugs. I can never get enough of them. You see, when you hug another person, for just those few seconds, you get to hold your heart right next to someone else’s heart. How awesome is that?
My kryptonite, crowds of people. Especially people I don’t know. I like people, I just have trouble thinking of things to say. I hate/love/hate/love people (yeah, I know I did that) that can just walk into a room, any room, and start prattling on about anything. I guess that’s why I like writing. I can take my time trying to figure out what I want to say.
Anyway, so after I leave, remember the great hug I gave you, and not that I didn’t talk much.
You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)
“I don’t think I like being blindfolded,” Taylor muttered as Jeff draped the black scarf over Taylor’s eyes, plunging him into darkness. He felt Jeff’s fingers securing the knot. He shivered as the silky material tickled his bare neck and shoulders.
“Relax. Enjoy.” Jeff’s voice was low and husky.
“It’s cold in here.” Taylor tried to move, then remembered his arms were bound behind him.
“Hush. It’s a little chilly, that’s all.”
Taylor felt the rough pad of a finger against his soft lips. Just as quickly, the pressure was gone. He listened as Jeff left the room. He tried to identify the noises coming from the other room.
Soon, he heard Jeff returning.
The air moved as something passed close to Taylor’s nose. He inhaled sharply. Cocoa? Chocolate. Dark chocolate, his favorite. He savored the scent. The smell grew stronger, and Taylor felt something firm press against his lips. He opened his mouth and extended his tongue, eager to taste what he now recognized as a chocolate-covered strawberry.
Jeff chuckled, and the strawberry was gone. Taylor heard the chocolate crack as Jeff bit into the delicacy.
Taylor moaned as Jeff’s mouth covered his own. He tasted chocolate, and Jeff.
What is one mistake you’ve made during your writing career that you’ve learned and grown from?
Overall, I have learned so much from writing. From the time a story idea first came to my mind, the learning never stops. Like most new authors, the minute Stubborn Heart was available I began looking for reviews. My poor heart was like a roller coaster at an amusement park. Good reviews, bad reviews. One star, five stars. Loved it. Hated it. Great story. Boring story. Yada-yada-yada. The lesson I learned is that not everyone likes what I write (I know what I said earlier – about my secret dream). All I can do is write about what I love, and hope that people with similar interests will enjoy my stories. I write about men loving men.
What are you going to do to survive during the zombie apocalypse?
I am totally prepared. You see, the Hubs and I just bought an Urban Cliff Dwelling. That’s what he call our mid-rise condo. We are high enough up that I will see the zombies long before they get to me. I guess when that happens, I’ll have to change my target audience. If I am to continue selling books, I suppose I’ll have to start writing about zombie-loving. Which could be totally fun. There are lots of great possibilities. So picture this… Bill and Johnny have just finished an hour of intense, athletic, zombie-loving. Johnny is riffling through the covers, tossing the pillows off the bed. Frantic, he looks over at his perplexed partner. “Bill, honey, have you seen my thumb?”
And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?
The BEST kinds of dachshunds are the round, fluffy ones. Just ask my Dalmatian, Lucy. She thinks her cousin Prissy makes the best pillow ever.
A Message From the Author:
That was the end of the questions, so now I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to lately. March 31st, my second book was released. Yay, me! The story is titled Sharing Heart, and it’s the sequel to my first novel, Stubborn Heart. Sharing Heart is actually my third novel-length work, but the second to be published.
The flavor is a lot different from Stubborn Heart. It wasn’t a story I planned to write. When I finished Stubborn Heart, I wrapped up everything. Yes, Trevor and Mark worked out their issues and got together. They lived happily ever after. End of story. Or so I thought. Mark simply would not be quiet. He let me know that their story was not done. Damn pushy nurse. So I tabled the other two stories I was working on so that I could write their sequel.
Sharing Heart picks up six months after Stubborn Heart ended. Trevor and Mark are married, living in Boston, and everything is perfect. After all, isn’t that what Happily Ever After is all about? Not so much. Outside the bliss of their bedroom, Mark and Trevor have to deal with the realities of a new home, budding careers, and the little curve balls reality throws at them. What’s a story without some drama?
There is also a lot of heart and home in Sharing Heart. Hence the name. In Stubborn Heart, I introduced Trevor’s nephews, and provided a glimpse of their close bond with their uncle. I wanted to explore that relationship more. In Sharing Heart, the whole family goes on a cruise. Trevor and Mark get to spend a lot of time with their nephews. This plays a great deal into their decision to start a family of their own.
Sharing Heart by Ken Murphy
Atlanta Hearts: Book Two
Between their love for each other and their medical careers taking off, everything should be perfect for Mark Smith and Trevor Hayes. After all, happily ever after begins with “I do.” At least that’s what Mark expected when he and Trevor married. But six months in Boston and the threat of a harsh winter have turned Mark bitter, and his fall on the ice only adds to that chill. Boston is very different from Mark’s native Atlanta, and he’s having a hard time adjusting.
As a junior partner in a very busy cardiothoracic surgery practice, Trevor has little choice but to spend almost every waking moment at the hospital. In spite of all the difficulties in their lives, both men want to start a family. The challenge will be figuring out how to make it happen.
Unfortunately, with Trevor’s long hours to blame for a nasty accident, Mark begins to resent the toll Trevor’s job and the New England cold is taking on them. Maybe it’s the Boston air, or maybe happily ever after is just a fairy tale.
About the author:
Ken Murphy grew up in South Georgia, and boasts the first thing he ever had in his name was a library card. He credits his mother and her never-ending encouragement as the seed that started his lifelong passion for the printed word. He is a hopeless romantic who loves nothing better than a good happily ever after.
Ken lives in Atlanta, Georgia, the ninth gayest city in America. He shares a home with Andy, his partner of twenty years, and their slightly neurotic Dalmatian, Lucy. Ken is a nurse who loves working with people. He likens writing to childbirth, as page after page gives life to the characters in his head.
It’s easy to find Ken, and he’d love to hear from you: