Welcoming author Brynn Stein today to talk about her new YA novel Ray of Sunlight. Thanks for stopping by!
- When and why did you start writing romance?
Actually romance, October of 2011. I’ve written fanfiction with strong male characters for a long while. Back in Oct of 2011, I wrote an alternate universe story called Haunted. Aside from the names of the people in the fandom, there was very little of anything fandom related in the story. It was just this side of original. A friend of mine urged me to strip the story of the few fan related detailed, flesh it out, concentrate on the romance a little more, as well as the mystery I’d originally written, and send it off to Dreamspinner.
By the time I was finished, it was three times the length, much more romantic, and really just a much better story. So, I sent it off, as my friend continued to urge. Imagine my surprise when it was actually offered a contract.
2. What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired one of your stories?
That’s probably the incident that inspired Through the Years. (Either that or what inspired the one I’m writing now, but I talk about that on another stop).
I was at the hospital with my daughter. She was getting an MRI done, so I was in the waiting room for those kinds of tests. I couldn’t go back in with her for that, so I was people watching, as I often do.
The door to the testing area opened and I looked over, wondering if it was my daughter. It wasn’t. It was a little old man in a wheelchair being pushed back into the waiting area, presumably finished with his tests.
Another man got up and came over to him. He knelt down in front of and put a woolen cap on him in preparation for going outside. Judging by the apparent age difference, they were probably father and son, just both elderly. But, in my mind, they were lovers, together for fifty years, through thick and thin, trials and tribulations, joys and jubilations.
By the time my daughter came out, I had the whole story in my head, of Edward and Gene, and how they met in college in 1967. Of how Edward fought their attraction for years because he was brought up to believe “that kind” of relationship was wrong. Of how their lives touched and parted, then touched again over the years. Of kids and grandkids, and finally of tragedy that led Edward to the hospital and Gene kneeling before his wheelchair to put Edwards hat on his bald head as they left the hospital one final time.
By the time I finished telling my daughter about it over lunch, she was crying and told me I had to write it and send it in. And it was all because an elderly gentleman put a hat on an older man’s head. Weird, huh.
3. Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?
Yes. Most every homophobic character in any of my books is based on either one particular coworker of mine, or is an amalgam of several bible thumping homophobes I’ve worked with. I fear that sometimes the characters may read as over the top. But they’re modeled on real people. That’s really how these people act. One of the many reasons I’m looking for a job elsewhere…preferably OUT of the Bible belt. <G>
To answer the other questions, no, of course they don’t know I based it on them. Not too many people in my real life even know I write, let alone WHAT I write.
Oh, come to think of it, though, I did model a character for a round robin free read in which I’m participating on my daughter. And she knows about that. She was flattered. Especially so since everyone seems to like Jo (the character). (Here’s the link to the free read if you want to go look: https://brynnstein2.wordpress.com/category/round-robin-free-read/ )
4. Is there a plot you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to yet?
I have a whole list of plots I still want to write. The hardest ones to get to seem to be the science fiction/supernatural ones (even though technically I guess my first one was supernatural, it concentrated more on the mystery element I think). It’s odd that that should be the hardest for me because that’s the first genre I turn to when reading. But, for some reason, when it comes to writing, my muse tends to prefer contemporary.
5. What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?
My youngest daughter and I went to Florida several years ago and swam with the dolphins. We did a lot of other things too, jet skied, parasailed, etc. So I guess it wasn’t the place that was so interesting as much as it was what we did there.
6. What books do you have available now (title and publisher)?
All the books I have out so far are through Dreamspinner Press:
Through the Years
Ray of Sunlight
7. What books do you have coming soon?
For Mac (coming in May) – Branson Farrell has always lived for his brother Mac, who practically raised him…did raise him after their mother died when he was thirteen. Mac has made it clear that being gay is NOT acceptable, and Branson has tried to force himself to live within the lines Mac has drawn. When the brothers are in a car accident which leaves Mac in a coma, Branson meets Liam Sullivan, an Irish Adonis in a certified nurse’s uniform. Branson has to try to overcome years of Mac’s dictates to find who he can be when he’s not living for Mac.
What No One Else Can Hear (tentatively scheduled for July or August) – Jimmy Liston is a young empath who has been mentally calling for help for years. Jesse McKinnon, for reasons he’s not even sure of, has heard Jimmy’s cries for help and has followed leads in the waking world until he finds the boy in a residential facility for autistic children. Jesse meets Drew Ferguson, a fellow coworker at the center where Jimmy lives, and as forces try to rip Jesse away from Jimmy, Drew tries to hold both of his ‘men’ together until they can all be the family they seem destined to be.