Today I have a treat for you all! Lilith Duvalier has decided to stop by and answer some questions for me, as well as share an excerpt of her new book! Please join me in welcoming Lilith!
Hi Lilith! Can you tell us a little about your new release?
I am very excited for “We Wander Far From Home”! It’s my first full length novel, and I’m very proud of the way it combines a nuanced love story with an old fashioned western adventure. I started this story in 2009 with the intention of submitting it to an anthology call, but the deadline flew by before I figured out how to finish it. I stuck it in a folder and forgot about it for a little over a year. Then I started taking it out every few months, writing another chapter here, doing some edits there and putting it away again. It didn’t really come together until January this year and I’m thrilled to see it published by Evernight!
A crack shot best gal, a former criminal lover, a sudden ejection from everything he's ever known, and the faintest taste of freedom. That's what drives Will Kearny out of the comfort of a normal life and out into the Nebraska wilderness. Soon, the sweet, quiet dairy farmer from Minnesota is robbing stage coaches, knocking over banks and running off into the mountains to celebrate in Henry Fitzpatrick's arms. But winter's coming on, the stage coach routes are drying up, and the law is onto them. Life on the edge is the only way Will and Henry can be together, but life on the edge is short. Can forbidden love survive in a harsh world?
Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
I think I’ll always love Jane/Anisette from the Promise of Silk. She’s strong and interesting and mysterious. Also, she was my first main character, in my first published story, and I think that’ll mean she always has a place in my heart.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Mysteries of Pittsburgh. It’s Michael Chabon’s first novel, he wrote it when he was 21, and it’s sort of the predecessor to every bad indie flick about boring Brooklyn bitches ever… but the ambience is really well written, and I loved Kavalier and Clay, so it’s interesting to see the growth of an author.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or...?
I start at the climax of the story, write that, then figure out how to get the characters and setting that bring me to the moment. Usually by the time I’ve gotten the characters halfway to their big moment I’ve figured out how to get them their happy ending, so sometimes I’ll jump ahead and write that. I actually bought a writing program (scrivener) that lets me write scene by scene and still keep things organized. I get very bored working from beginning to end.
What are your writing goals for this year?
To get six contracts. I’ve gone through a lot of job and life stuff this year that has really killed my momentum and now I’ve got two other projects going on that are going to slow me down again. I have some internship work, and I’m making work clothes because I can’t find anything nice that isn’t either insanely expensive, or insanely slutty. So far I’m only up to two contracts, but I have a lot of half finished drafts in the folders, and I should be able to (eventually) buckle down and get it down.
That's quite a few contracts! <laughs> What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love solving the puzzle. What characters do I need to make the love story interesting? What do they need to overcome to be together? What needs to be lined into the story early on to make the ending satisfying? I like the act of building the story.
How do you balance writing and everyday life?
I don’t. I have a full time job, a part time job, an internship, and in addition to writing novellas I publish articles under another name. I also go out with my friends and my boyfriend a lot. I tend to run on all cylinders until I can’t take it, sleep to recharge and then go again. I’m starting to go grey over it… but hair color is an accessory.
You sound like a busy woman! What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
I wish I had been expecting more realistic royalties. I’ll admit that I was crushed by my first couple of checks. I had totally unreasonable expectations and it took the wind out of my sails for months. I’d be making more money now if I’d sucked it up and kept working on my backlist.
Can you tell us a few of your favorite things?
1. Writing in the rain
2. Ruby Port after spaghetti
3. Pumpkin Pie
Will you share an excerpt with us?
He shifted closer to Henry’s body under the covers and realized that they were both naked. Had he really been so exhausted last night that he didn’t remember undressing? Or possibly being undressed? He set a hand to Henry’s chest, tracing a line down to Henry’s flat, red nipple. The contrasts of Henry were astonishing. The hills and valleys of his chest and shoulders, the gentle touches of his rough hands. Will ran his hands down Henry’s broad shoulders and slipped his fingers into those calloused palms.
And this man was a criminal.
And between him and Annie, they had made Will one too.
Memories sparked from last night. Henry’s hand wrapped around Will’s, tugging him patiently into this room. Henry’s stubbled chin pressed to his face in an affectionate good night kiss that Will had barely been conscious enough to return.
So. Sweet. Affectionate. Beautiful. His.
But a criminal.
Well, Will supposed, you couldn’t have everything. He pressed his body against Henry’s, closing the small, cautious gap between them, and kissed the other man. He slid his hands out of Henry’s and wrapped his arms around Henry’s back, running his fingers over the ridges of muscle there.
Henry began to kiss him back slowly, as though not quite woken from a dream, before his loose grip tightened and his hands began to wander up Will’s body.
“Morning,” Henry murmured.
“Afternoon, actually, I think,” Will replied.
“Mhm,” Henry responded disinterestedly as he resumed the kiss, sliding his tongue past Will’s lips like walking through an open door. He took control of the kiss. Eased his body on top of Will’s. Will sighed happily as he sunk down into the feather mattress under Henry’s solid weight. Despite Annie’s assurances that there were other men like him, Will hadn’t really let himself believe it until the night Henry kissed him in the barn, only weeks ago.
Henry, here, warm and willing, was more of a salve than Will would have imagined. Henry’s touch made the sting of moving away from his family lessen. It muted the horror of the smell of the barn and all its inhabitants burning. And it almost made the crime they’d committed feel a little like an adventure. The sexy little show Henry put on for the audience. The charming move of leaving the women their jewelry.
The way that Henry’s skin moved over Will’s, the heavy scent of him dominating Will’s senses, made it easier for Will to concentrate on his rewards rather than his sins.
Will rolled his hips up against Henry’s, sighing at the feeling of Henry’s firming cock against his groin. A small noise of disappointment escaped him as Henry broke the kiss.
“Shhh,” Henry said. He settled himself back on his haunches, straddling Will’s legs. His half-hard cock hung between his thighs. The tip rested where the hard ridge of Will’s hipbone sunk into the crease between hip and thigh.
Henry set his broad palms over Will’s chest and stomach and began tracing nonsense shapes across Will’s chest. He set his thumbs to the swells of muscle in Will’s stomach and chest, then flattened his hands over Will’s body and swept back down, smiling gently.
Will reached up to take Henry’s arm in his hand.
Henry pulled away, caught Will’s hand and pushed it back down to the mattress. “Shhhh…lie back.”
Will watched as Henry’s hands ran over his chest. Down his stomach, palms flat and warm. He traced his fingers down into the grooves between Will’s hips and his groin, where the skin was soft and sensitive, unaccustomed to being touched.
Will pushed his hips up against Henry’s hands, asking for more. He’d been ready back in the cabin a few nights ago, he didn’t need all this careful touching.
Henry’s slid back up his chest, rubbing and pinching his nipples.
Will felt his breathing getting heavier. His hips worked up against empty air. He looked down between Henry’s legs and swallowed. Henry’s cock was standing between his legs now, thick and flush and full.
And out of reach.
“Look at you,” Henry murmured, rolling the bud of Will’s nipple between his thumb and forefinger, every touch making the nerves more sensitive.
The sluggish warmth in Will’s belly started to coil, not urgent yet, but threatening to become so. “Henry, please.”
Henry grinned, and patted Will’s chest as though he was going to stop teasing. Then he dropped his mouth down to Will’s chest and took a reddened nipple into his mouth.
The coil of warmth in Will’s stomach tightened suddenly, the steady hum of arousal in his body spiked. He dug his fingers into Henry’s shoulders and bucked his hips up against nothing when the grip made Henry suck harder.
Will reached for his cock while Henry rolled the bud between his teeth and flicked his tongue over it. Henry caught Will’s hand and brought it back up to his shoulders.
“Henry, I don’t wanna wait no more,” Will moaned as Henry let his nipple go with a loud, wet “pop.”
“Yeah,” Henry said. His voice was heavy and rough and his eyes were dark with lust. His gaze ran over Will’s body like another caress and Will shivered. “I won’t make you.”
Will’s breath caught.
Henry moved off his thighs, arranging himself so that he was kneeling between Will’s legs. He slipped his hands underneath Will’s knees, calloused hands tickling at the sensitive skin underneath the joint. Will felt too exposed as Henry lifted his feet up off the mattress and spread his legs wider, so wide that his toes poked over either side of the mattress.
Henry arched down, kissing Will softly. Will set his hands back to Henry’s shoulders, letting himself stay open under Henry’s increasingly insistent tongue, kissing back with everything he could muster while Henry turned the kiss dirty and breathtaking. He finally settled his body down against Will’s, pressing his rock hard cock into Will’s body, rubbing against him until Will moaned against his lips.
“No more interruptions. Door’s locked. Hell, I even jammed a chair under the handle.” He dropped his face to Will’s neck, sucking at a tendon, then worrying his teeth against it. “Even if the goddamn law comes knocking, even if they break down the door, I’m gonna make you come before they cart us away.”