The first guest for my Author Interviews 2012 is someone I consider a very good friend and I hung out with a lot at GRL this year (he and his fabulous partner, Neal) Zach Sweets is in the house! Thanks for being here, Zach. J
1. How about we start with some basic information – tell me a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What kind of student were you? What were your favorite activities? Where did you meet your partner? Anything you want to share is fine. J
Well, I was an army brat and I’ve moved pretty often before I finally settled in Arizona. I was born in El Paso, Texas. I moved to North Carolina briefly because that was where my entire family lived. After North Carolina, we moved to Germany for a couple of years then I moved back to USA to Kansas. I lived in Kansas from 1995 to 2001 before moving to California and graduated at a high school in 2005. After graduating from high school, I went to Gallaudet University in Washington, DC for two years and transferred to University of Baltimore to finish my degree. I graduated from University of Baltimore in 2010 and stayed in Maryland for a couple of months before my partner and I decided to move to Arizona.
What kind student I was? LOL Definitely the quietest one. I was the one that sat way back in the room. A laidback type as well. Hated to study and had a bad habit of doing everything at the last minutes. My favorite activities are running, designing random stuff on computer, coding the websites, writing, and reading. Of course spending my time with my awesome lover.
(K-lee shamelessly inserts pic of herself, Neal & Zach from GRL because she loves it)
It’s a funny story of where I met Neal and I’m a fate-believer. I met him at a bar in Baltimore called Phoenix Club. It was a couple weeks before I turned twenty-two and my former partner who worked as a bartender at Club Phoenix thought I knew Neal for several years had invited Neal to my surprise twenty-two birthday party. That night I first met him, I was shy as hell because I thought he was beyond hot. Salt-pepper hair, goatee, the cutest smile, my god! I couldn’t handle it. I ended up not talking to him that much and there were a couple of other deaf friends in the bar so I chat with them instead of him. It was the only way I could control myself. As soon as Neal left the bar, I asked one of our mutual friends for his phone number. She was more than happy to give me the number. I texted him that night. We also became friend on facebook the next day. My surprise birthday party came up and I was even more surprise to see Neal there. After that we became close friend instantly. In May 2009, it was his birthday and he told me he always fly out for his birthday since in Maryland was always a bad luck for him. So I planned an awesome surprise birthday party for him and after that weekend, I was starting to fall for him deeper and I was having a problem with my former partner. In August, I slept with Neal without intention of cheating but I did it. I admitted to my ex immediately. It didn’t ended well. After broking up with my ex, I stayed with my dad for just one day and the next day I moved in with Neal. I asked him to be my boyfriend on September 4, 2009. Of course he said yes and we’ve been together ever since. :D
2. How did you start writing m/m romance? Do you write in any other genre?
I honestly did write when I was in the middle school. I wrote a het erotic story on my journal for class and it made my English teacher blushed. She told me it was really good but I was forbid to write similar to it for school purpose. So I didn’t write anything from 2000 till 2010. I started reading M/M in 2009 after I was introduced by one of Neal’s friend to Soul Mates series written by Jourdan Lane. I was hooked and continued reading more M/M books. It eventually inspired me to attempt at writing again. I met several awesome friends from Goodreads that was more than happy to help me out. Grammar isn’t my friend and I know I’ve improved a lot by now. I already got four accepted manuscripts. Two had been released already and next two will be in 2013. I also have one freebie that had been in top ten free gay & lesbian categories in Amazon since August 2011. I currently plan to write more horror in a near future. Possibly under different pen name since it will not involve any romance and most likely wouldn’t have a happy for now ending.
3. Did you have any early influences either in this genre or any other when you were first starting out?
I think it’d be Jourdan Lane that was the main reason why I wanted to write in the first place. But really, it was the M/M Romance Goodreads Group that inspired me to write. After receiving thousands of awesome support from them, I just want to keep writing and see my stories making them pleased.
4. What is your favorite sub-genre to write and to read? For example – I can never pass up a story with a rockstar in it or more often than not, cowboys. J
Zombie is my favorite sub-genre. I couldn’t ever get enough of them. :D I already have two different zombies projects in plan.
5. Do you have any writing or reading quirks or squicks? Anything that you just can't read or don't think you'll ever write. Anything you have to do before you start or as you write – certain music, computer facing west, etc.
I can’t write incest at all. It doesn’t turn me on so I don’t see a point of myself attempting at write the incest relationship. I think that’s all I can think of. I like to listen to soft rock music while I write. TV on as well since I can watch and think simultaneously.
6. Are you a plotter or pantser? ;)
Hmm, probably pantser. I’m trying to be a plotter LOL
7. Tell me about your muse – if you have one of course. J
Hmm, my muse is a pain in the butt. Never let me concentrate one project and actually finished them. It liked to give me thousands ideas in my head. Sometime it’d make me lose my mind and couldn’t write for several days sometime weeks. Lately, I’ve been improving at controlling my damn muse. :D
8. I won't assume you celebrate Christmas but if you do, what are your favorite parts of the holidays?
Halloween’s my favorite holidays because I’m a horror-freak. It showed so many horror movies on tv and Netflix. Christmas’ other good holidays I enjoyed. Who doesn’t love presents :D
9. What's the hardest part about writing for you? The benefits?
The waiting time from submission to either acceptance or rejection was the worst. I’d be obsessively checking my email every single day. The editing stage can be hard because I’ll be reading the same manuscript hundred times. Sending it out to public is also hard too because I’d worry what if the readers didn’t like it. What if it sucked. I’m pretty sure it’s the same to some of other authors :)
10. Now just a few multiple choice questions: (you can take them any way you like)
Rock, country or classical? Country and Rock
Giraffe or monkey? Definitely Monkey :D
Tea or coffee? It depends on my mood but if I have to pick, it’d be tea
Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves? I’m rooting for the werewolves :D The furry the better. ;D
Series or one-shot? I like both. It depends on how well the authors did their series.
Beach or mountains? Mountains
Eyes or smile? Eyes
Cowboys or rockstars? (yeah, I have to ask) Hard one! Cowboys r hot when they’re hairy. Rockstars are hot because of the eyeliners. Yum!
11. Finally, tell us about your next release or what you're working on now.
My next release date will be on January 23 from Less Than Three’s Kiss at Midnight collection. It’s a short cross-dresser finding his happy ending. My other release date will be on April 19 from Storm Moon Press’s Queer Fear anthology involving a demon character. :D I’m currently working on a sequel to Rusty’s Surprise, a new zombie project and several muse ideas I need to deal with LOL
I’m offering a giveaway to one winner. Right now I can only offer Rusty’s Surprise, Zombie Rain and upcoming release False Assumptions.
Rusty’s Surprise Blurb:
Rusty is excited for Valentine's Day: he has a couple of surprises in mind for his lover that he knows will do much more than please; everything from sweet to kinky to ensure a memorable holiday. Locked away in their basement for a night of uninterrupted fun, they miss a surprise of an entirely different nature …
Zombie Rain Blurb:
Jake's world is torn apart when his son dies, killed by a little girl who has infected him with a strange disease. Soon, Jake's entire hometown is overtaken by the disease. A disease that turns them into flesh-craving monsters. The combination of tragedy and horror is almost more than Jake can take, but then he meets Rex, a man who has been struggling through the horror in search of more survivors. The two men travel together, searching for answers and other survivors, the growing bond between them the only bright light in their dark world.
But then that light is taken brutally away, and Jake is left struggling to find it again, fighting against insurmountable odds and growing despair ...
False Assumptions Blurb:
Joss has been in love with his best friend, the one man who accepts him for what he is—pumps and all—for years. But Gus has never shown interest in anything but friendship, and Joss would do anything, even suffer in silence, to avoid jeopardizing what they already have. Release date January 21,2013 from Less Than Three Press.
Thanks for stopping by Zach. *smooches* J
ZACH SWEETS bio
Zach, an army brat, was born in El Paso, TX, and has lived in North Carolina, Germany, Kansas, California, and the District of Columbia, before graduating from University of Baltimore in May 2010, with a degree in Applied Information Technology. He now resides in Arizona, where he moved to start a new adventure with his partner and dog.
In his spare time, Zach enjoys reading, mainly horror. He enjoys doing outdoor activities, and he runs on a daily basis. He participates in charitable running events, from 5k up to marathon distances.
Zach writes as often as he can and likes to push himself with writing challenges. Joining the M/M Romance group on Goodreads.com has immensely boosted his motivation to become a successful Deaf author, writing about man to man love, with some horror thrown in for good measure.
When he is not writing or reading, Zach likes to practice his web design and development skills. He loves to hang out with love of his life as often as he can, finding things to do inside and outside the house, whether it be yard work, hiking, bike riding, walking their dog, eating out at a cozy diner, or just loving.
You can check out Zach's website, share books with Zach on Goodreads, follow Zach on Twitter, or friend Zach on Facebook.
Zach's giveaway for a copy of one of his backlist books will be open from December 3-6. Leave your comment, name and email address for your chance to win. A winner will be announced on this thread on December 7.