This week's Feature on Author is on Anya Richards and she comes with mega giveaways!
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a reformed wild child who hails originally from tropical climes (Kingston, Jamaica, to be precise) but somehow found myself living in the frozen north (Ontario, Canada) with my husband, our youngest child, a lovable pup and two cats who, frankly, rule the house. I’m fascinated by human behavior in general and history in particular, and have a head full of trivia that would be useless if I
Trained as a paralegal, in the past I’ve worked as a seamstress, hotel receptionist, vet assistant, beach bum (yes, I count that as a job!), private investigator, editor, just to name a few. Multi-published with Samhain Publishing, Spice Briefs, Ellora’s Cave and Cleis Press in a variety of romance sub-genres including contemporary, historical, paranormal/fantasy, I’m always following my muse to new and interesting places, when the old witch isn’t sitting on a beach somewhere sunning her buns.
You can always find out what I’m up to at my website www.anyarichards.com
What inspired you to be a writer?
It’s a cliché, but I really did first want to write when I was a child. When I was growing up there was only one TV station and they showed very old movies, one of which was called The Privateer. At the end of the movie the hero sailed off, leaving the heroine crying on the beach, and I was incensed. I started re-writing the movie as a book, instinctively feeling they just hadn’t got the ending right! Of course, being only eight or so, that book never got finished but the bug had struck.
When my son was born twenty-one years ago, I suddenly realized one of the things I wanted to teach him by example was never to give up on a dream, yet I’d given up on my dream to be an author. So when he was six weeks old, I took a creative writing course at my local university and started truly learning the craft. I’m still learning, and it’s been a wonderful journey.
How did you choose your genre?
I’m a bit of a genre butterfly. Not only do I write romances, but have interests in other directions too. Within the romance genre I write historicals, contemporaries and sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal. Often a book will come to me in a flash, and in that flash of inspiration usually comes the knowledge of where or when the story will be set, or what kind of character will be able to bring it off. The story for the Brought to His Knees boxed set demanded a contemporary setting and one I was familiar with, so I set it in my home town of London, Ontario. It’s not always that simple. I’ve had a historical that insisted on being a fantasy novel, forcing me to make some serious changes partway through!
What made you tell this story and why did you write this book?
There are parts of this story that I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but couldn’t decide the best way to do it. The dichotomy that struck me, and brought the story into focus, is that in Jamaica gay men often spend their entire life in the closet out of fear of what society, and even their families, would do to them if they came out. Anal sex is still illegal there, and not just illegal but sometimes violently opposed when it’s between men. Some of the men I grew up with were only able to truly be themselves when they immigrated and this is what happened to one of the heroes in my book. On the other hand, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures that no one can be discriminated against because of their sexual preference, but there are still areas of society where there can be repercussions if you come out. The bias aren’t blatant, and things are changing, but the fear still exists. This is the case with my other hero, who is Canadian but still closeted.
It’s a story I’m glad I was finally able to write, about a matter that is close to my heart. In my own small way, it’s an attempt to shine a light on the continuing battle for equality and, in particular, the problems back home.
How did you come up with the title?
A pivotal moment in my hero Vincent’s life, which happens five years before the setting of the book, is when he was injured in a drug deal gone wrong. While he’s in hospital the other hero, Kyle, who is a police officer, comes to see him and tells him now that he has two strikes against him, he needs to re-evaluate his life before he has a third and it’s too late. In the end, it turns out Vincent isn’t the only one who realizes he has some serious strikes against being able to live a happy life, and the story comes full circle.
What is your favourite scene?
Ooo, that’s a hard one. I think maybe the first sex scene, which has both some…ummm… interesting foreplay but also a moment that isn’t sexual at all but that sets the tone for the development of the trusting side of the relationship.
Tell us a little about your book?
Two lonely men. One secret affair. Irresistible passion that will push them both to the breaking point, and beyond.
A knife attack left ex-Jamaican Posse member Vincent Williams scarred and also made him re-evaluate his life. He’s out of the gang and also the closet but lonely, yet to meet a man who’s interested in more than a one-and-done, a brief sexual encounter.
Because of his career as a police officer, Sergeant Kyle Pictou is afraid of coming out. Normally he doesn’t get involved with anyone close to home, but something about Vincent compels him to take a chance. It’s just sex, after all. Yet, as desire evolves into friendship and seemingly boundless passion, it’s Kyle who’s left wanting more—though he knows he can’t have it.