L.C. Chase is best known for her novels Long Tall Drink and Open Tackle. She spends her days creating covers for other authors and then creating stories that readers love. No matter what she comes out with next, it will keep the pages flying!
What got you interested in writing m/m fiction?
Not exactly unique. It was the Blay and Qhuinn storyline in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Their story just really moved me in a powerful way and broke my heart. I hated that society stupidity kept them apart.
How did you begin your career and how did you grow your fan base to be so humongous?
To me it all seemed very organic, a natural progression. I’d started writing a novel years ago, forgot about it for a long time, and then thought, “Whatever happened to…” I got the writing bug back, joined some writer’s forums and groups. Started chatting books and such with folks on a couple sites and then some blogging. I do some social media but I’m not very consistent with it. When I am on though, I just chat with people like I’m having a conversation with friends in my day to day life. Sometimes we talk books sometimes we don’t, but I always enjoy just chatting. I think doing a lot of cover design has helped too.
What is it like to be a cover artist and an author? Is it difficult to balance the two?
It’s awesome! 😀 I love that it gives me a broader opportunity to express my creativity, and love being a part of helping someone else with their ventures and dreams. Sometimes balancing the two is hard, yes, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Time management is a whole other art form I’m trying to master. g
Who is the LAST person you’d want to discover you write m/m fiction and how do you think they’d respond?
I actually can’t think of anyone I wouldn’t want to know, and all the people in my life who matter already know. Some have even read my books. 🙂
What was it like writing Ray Ford in Long Tall Drink?
There were a lot of little pangs in my heart when I wrote that story. For Ray, for Travis, for Jesse. Ray had buried who he was for so long, kept himself behind a thick stoic layer – afraid of repercussion, bound by reputation, responsibility and legacy. I really enjoyed exploring his personality and nuances. Thankfully his heart finally broke through all that when Travis came along. 🙂
Why do you think so many women love to read m/m?
I can’t answer for anyone but me. For me it stems from that first read in BDB. Everything was more powerful, more intense, more profound. No one should ever have to hide themselves or deny their hearts because of society’s backwards prejudice. It broke my heart. I just want everyone to have their happy ending. I hope that through these stories more and more people come to realize that love is love and it should always always be cherished and celebrated.
What was it like to write the relationship between Rory Ballard and Owen Harris in Open Tackle?
I had a lot of fun with those two. They just felt playful to me, and I enjoyed writing two best friends who knew each other so well, yet not quite as well as they’d thought. Then getting to discover and explore a new part of each other. I just had fun all around. 🙂
What are you currently working on?
Surprisingly, my new project is not cowboys. g I have a fun paranormal-ish story I started a while back that I’ve been looking forward to getting back into. Hopefully that will be finished in a few months, but probably won’t release until early next year some time.
Tell me about your writing process from idea to finished draft? Do you rewrite to death? Do you outline?
It varies depending how hard the inspiration hits me, but usually I get an idea and write my initial thoughts. I usually have a scene from somewhere in the guts of the story, or an opening/ending scene, and I build the plot from there. Sometimes it’s just a title, and I wonder “what is this story about?” It’s a lot of “what why how”. I do an outline, sometimes it’s a mini synopsis by chapter or scene, but it’s always loose. The story never sticks to the outline once I really start getting in to it, so I’m always changing things to align with new directions. I don’t rewrite to death, but I do rewrite as needed. The first four chapters of Let It Ride were completely rewritten.
How long does it typically take you to write a novel?
I’m a bit of a slow writer because I tend to edit as I go, but roughly about three months for a short(ish) novel.
What inspired Pickup Men? Was there a lot of research necessary?
Cowboys! 😀 I often volunteer at local rodeo and got to watching the pickup men at work. They’re the unsung heroes of the rodeo scene and I just felt they deserved a story. For research, most of it was just being there, being involved, and a lot of talking/listening/observing.
What advice do you have for those thinking about writing gay romance and what advice do you have for those who are trying to build an audience from scratch?
Observe, listen, talk. Study your craft and write everyday. Write from your heart, be true to your characters, and enjoy the process.
For building an audience, there are plenty of folks out there who have better suggestions than me, I’m sure, but for me, I think just be out there. Get involved with groups, share experiences, make friends, talk about books – and not just yours – support your fellow authors, and just be yourself. And have some fun. 🙂