This week I’d like to introduce you to fellow indie author BH Lynn. Our paths crossed through a mutual love of the same music (Yes, it involves Alter Bridge and Myles …stop rolling your eyes! LOL) and I’m delighted that she spared me some time recently to answer a few questions about both her debut Scars and Souvenirs and her new novel As It Was. So, without further ado…
Tell me a bit about yourself. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’m an accountant by day, and a wife and dog mom by night when I’m not trying to do this crazy thing called writing (Or watching Hockey!). I’ve always had a creative drive. I played multiple instruments and toyed around with writing poetry as a teen, but I never thought I had what it took to fully develop characters. I actually didn’t pick up reading and seriously writing until about three years ago. After graduating from college, I was looking for a new challenge, and I truly enjoy the way writing is something I can always be working at.
Your latest book As It Was is due to be released on 15th April 2022. It’s the second book in the series charting Aiden and Jason’s story. What can you tell me about it without giving away any spoilers?
As It Was picks up about 7 months after Scars and Souvenirs ends and is from Jason’s POV this time. It’s a story about how as a relationship grows, you have to learn to grow with it. Like many of us, Jason has his own scars, and though they aren’t as visible as Aiden’s, they are just as real. His own past is becoming harder to ignore, and if he doesn’t get a handle on how to address the way he views his own vulnerabilities, it’s going to cost him the future that he and Aiden are fighting for.
Which of your characters do you like most? Why?
While I deeply love all my characters (even the one’s no one else has met) Aiden is my baby. He came to me in a time when I most needed him, and though I never set out to make him a version of myself, he helped me work through my own insecurities as he did so through book one. He’s as real to me as any friend I’ve ever had, and that might make me sound crazy, but I’ve been called worse.
What drew you to write MM romance?
MM romance offers me a world where I can relate to characters, love their love, root for them, and as a woman, not feel the urge to compare myself to them like in a traditional romance. Traditional romances I’d read portrayed women as in need of a relationship to be seen or made them into hypersexual beings which I am not. I don’t enjoy reading a book and thinking “Why aren’t I like that? Is something wrong with me?”. Also, MM romance offers a great power balance and unique issues for relationships to overcome. It just felt like home from the beginning.
Is there one particular person who inspired you to write?
I was once close friends with another Author who turned me onto the genre by asking me to BETA/ARC read for them. We unfortunately had a falling out, but they planted the seed. It was after I read the Snow and Winter Mysteries by C.S. Poe that I got the urge to write in first person, and that totally changed the game for me! I credit her with helping me find my voice.
A cruel question, but what’s your favourite book/who’s your favourite author?
This probably should be harder than it is for me to answer, but The Mystery of the Curiosities by C.S. Poe is my favourite book. Sebastian Snow is that lightning in the bottle character for me, and the vulnerabilities shown by him, and his hero love interest Calvin were just so darn genuine in that book. Even the hero needs help sometimes. I felt so seen by that series, and the mysteries are absolutely bizarre and a lot of fun to read. C.S. Poe is my favourite author, but Gregory Ashe and Josh Lanyon are right up there.
Tell me a bit about your approach to your writing. Are you a meticulous planner or do you tend towards letting your characters go with the flow?
No matter how many times I say it’s the opposite way around, my characters are the boss and I’m just along for the ride. I do very little outlining or planning. I go in with points A, H, Q, and Z. They fill in the rest.
I love to write outdoors. Where’s your favourite place to write?
I also love to write outside, but I do some of my best work at Starbucks. No idea why. I think it’s because it’s the only place where I’m not being interrupted with curiosity about what my husband is doing, or the urge to hug my really cute dog who also wants to go outside 100 times a day.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
O gosh. Pretty much anything the great Gregory Ashe has said to me. Especially when it comes to pacing and not trying to fit a chapter into a certain length etc. Just let the scenes be the scenes and the sequels be the sequels, no matter how many or how little words it takes to convey it. I got really obsessive about that at one time and since I’ve abandoned that, I’ve found my execution of my objectives has been much easier.
What advice would you give to other aspiring authors out there?
Do it for you. At the end of the day, readers, purchases, reviews…none of those things are promised. Write what you want for you, and if it happens to bring joy to someone else, that’s a nice big cherry on top.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
By reading. If I’m stuck on something, I go read something that is far from what I’m writing as a way of resetting my brain. So if I’m writing hurt comfort, I’ll go read a mystery etc. Also, I’ll sit down and write my characters doing something totally mundane and not related to the story. Sometimes I learn something about them that unclogs the mental jam.
So, what’s next creatively? Are you working on anything else just now?
While Aiden and Jason have a third story on deck, I plan to switch up and release the first story in my LEO/whodunnit series next. I think it’ll be nice to get back to two other characters I love who have wildly different stories. I don’t want to burn myself or anyone else out on one set of characters. I think it’ll light an even bigger fire in me when I’m ready to return to story three.
Then for a bit of fun:
Favourite food A big fat juicy cheeseburger!
Favourite drink Caramel Macchiato’s
Favourite band Alter Bridge. Their music saved me more times than I can count.
Favourite holiday destination Chicago, Illinois. I just love that city!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? Teleporting, because I hate driving! Also, I would love to travel but also don’t really enjoy flying. I just want to click my fingers and be somewhere else. That’d be ideal for me.
Scars and Souvenirs review
BH Lynn’s debut novel is the first MM romance to cross my radar. Within a few pages I was captivated by Aiden’s vulnerability. When Jason was introduced, my protective “momma” mode kicked in. Would he be good enough for Aiden? No spoilers from me so if you want to know the answer to that you’ll need to read Scars And Souvenirs for yourself. Both central characters are strong characters that are each other’s Yin and Yang. The chemistry just works here. I have a clear picture of Jason in my head. Aiden less so.
There’s a sensitively handled subtlety to this tale. It drew me in. I was quickly invested in this one and am already looking forward to reading book 2 As It Was when it is released next month.
Great debut novel.
As It Was
Jason: Three fourths. Seventy five percent. It was a passing grade in school, so why wouldn’t one accept such when it came to life?
After eight years in a disastrous relationship with a controlling drug addict named Ben, I’d resigned myself to being the type of person who just wasn’t meant to find love. I’d stepped up to the plate, swung my bat more times than any umpire would allow, then finally struck out. I had a great career, great friends and family, and over three years I’d hardly found myself missing all that comes with being in a relationship. That was until I met Aiden.
Aiden made me realize I’d been swallowing down that lie for so long that I’d almost convinced myself it was true.
But even the best relationships run into issues, and when my past comes back with a vengeance to threaten my future, I discover that there’s more damage left inside of me than I ever wanted to admit. As my instincts to protect Aiden from that part of my life go astray, and the missteps and pressures add up, I realize that I have to make a decision that will greatly impact our future:
Keep trying to hold my head above water and protect the persona of strength I’d fought for years to build.
Or risk looking like the fraud I feel like I am sometimes and admit insecurities I’ve tried to bury before they drown me.
Can I find the strength to make the right choice in the face of the type of discomfort I’d sworn away after Ben? Can Aiden and I both fight our own fights and still fight for each other? Or will it all be too much, and life will return to as it was?
US/rest of the world links:
Huge thanks to BH Lynn for her time. Please check out her books on Amazon this holiday weekend. They go great with chocolate!