WELL WE GOT THE TEA POURED AND READY TO GO (WELL FOR MIKE'S IT'S COFFEE, HE GOES NOWHERE WITHOUT IT!) SO LET'S JUMP INTO THE INTERVIEW SHALL WE:
Thanks for coming Audrey, we are so happy to finally have you on! Let's get right to the questions:
1. You have gotten quite a few new readers in the last few months, what is the one recurring comment you have heard from them about your books?
Besides yelling at me for making them cry (lol) readers often comment on how emotionally “real” my characters are and that they don’t feel ‘fictional’ but like real family and friends, and that they feel like they are right there with them, experiencing their pain, passion and joy. Also, I receive a lot of compliments on the way I weave God and His love and acceptance of gays throughout my stories.
Bec- Well I can honestly see why they would say you made them cry, because you owe us a lot of tissue money for sure! Your boys are very easy to love and relate to for sure! We believe, as you do, that God doesn't hate anyone for being who they are, or for being true to themselves.
2. As a fan of you for a while, I have gotten a chance to see most of your boys "grow up", who is the one that you think has evolved the most, out of any of your series?
That’s a tough one, as they’ve all grown in their own ways. I think as far as growing to accept and love themselves for who they are and what God created them to be – I would have to say Sam and Noble. When I look at all my boys, I feel like these two started out the most incapable of accepting themselves. Others have overcome greater “obstacles” of the past, but as far as personal growth and coming to believe they are worthy to be loved for who they are – Sam and Noble stand out to me. Although, I might have to include Dane in there. Coming to that place of self-forgiveness was a long and difficult journey for him. It is really hard to say who has grown the most, when each of their obstacles were different. I see how each of them struggled and overcame. I am equally proud of all my boys.
Bec- That is a valid point for sure! All of these boys go through so much that at some point every one of them grows in some way and learns a valuable lesson. Those three did have a lot of issues relating to self to work out, and those are sometimes the hardest issues to deal with!
3. Your series are very long with quite a few books (thankfully), is there a certain point you stop, or do you let the stories decide that?
Well, writing the Phoenix books as CJ Bishop, I am subject to the wishes of my publisher. Had it been up to me and my boys – that series would have continued…perhaps indefinitely. As far as the series under A.M. Snead – I don’t “plan” for their finales. As long as the boys are willing to go on, and the readers keep wanting more of their stories, the series will continue. I fall in love with my boys rather quickly and have no wish to ever let them go. Luckily, many of my readers feel the same.
Bec- Mike and I have talked about a petition and a revolt to get the Phoenix Club series to continue, lol if we thought it would work, we would be all over it! We can't wait to see what will happen with Jack and the boys, and I know Pauls story in 'Necklace' is gonna kill us!! So, no none of your fans ever want your series to end!
4. You know who mine and Mike's favorites of all your boys are ( Lex for me, Clint for Mike), which boy do you get people saying is their favorite the most?
Nate & Kyle (Lost In Love) often come in at the top of that list, and I have to say they are very, very special to me as well. Of the Phoenix boys…Cole & Gabe are huge favorites, also Max & Horatio. But then Dane & Angel rank pretty high among many as well as Abel & Devlin. It’s hard to narrow it down with all those boys. I guess the only ones who lost out on the “favorites” list was Caleb and Samuel – which, I won’t lie, kind of breaks my heart. But maybe I was the one who failed them and didn’t make their story as compelling as it deserved to be. I did try to resurrect them in the Chronicles trilogy, place them back in the spotlight…maybe that awarded them some love. I hope so.
Apart from the “main” Phoenix boys, I would have to say Lex and Clint took the spotlight.
Bec- I love Caleb and Samuel, as I am sure a lot of your fans do, I can't understand why they would be last, but maybe your are right, and giving them more time in the Chronicles will make them stand out more!
5. Who would you say is the character that most resembles your character?
This is actually an easy one for me; Sam (Boy In The Shadows). I spent a good portion of my life feeling insecure, and I am totally in sync with Sam’s inability to believe that someone could simply love him for who he was. And his compulsion to run from the things that hurt – or might hurt him, finding it easier and safer to avoid all aspects of romance and love, than to find out he was right all along and no one would ever truly love him. Needless to say, writing Sam’s story was an extremely rough journey for me. But of all my boys, he remains my most direct “counterpart”.
Bec- I know I and may other people struggle with insecurity, and until we realize that we are made just the way God wants us to be, some will continue to struggle. I think your books really help people with that, at least they did for me!
6. The Broken Necklace is becoming a favorite of your readers, how many books do you see in that series right now? Any spinoffs in the works?
The ‘Necklace’ story is very special to me, as Lonny and Paul were my very first “gay” boys. Their story started it all (the original novella, that is). Once I decided to write their story into a full novel, I envisioned a 3-volume trilogy under the series name “That Which Was Lost”: The Brokenhearted Necklace (vol. 1) / The Evil That Men Do (vol. 2 – Paul’s story) / Fire Of Forgiveness, Ashes Of Love (vol. 3). I saw volume 3 as the final piece in which Lonny reconciles with his dad, and Paul reconciles with multiple aspects and people from his past (not his father – there is no redemption for him). But even if those three main volumes do come about, I can see writing more books about Paul and Lonny. As I mentioned earlier, I hate to let go of my boys.
Bec- I love that story as well, and Mike fell in love with it also, Paul is gonna break our hearts I know! We can't wait for whatever comes our way with that story, it is sure to be epic!!
7. Boys Of Porn is a good example of how you take what is to most people taboo, and showing the beautiful side of it, do you enjoy doing that? I know we enjoy reading it!
I do enjoy it. So many people just look at the “surface” of others’ lives, judge them by what they can see – or think they are seeing – rather than acknowledging them as “real people” who deserve respect and love, just like anyone else. For quite some time before I ever seriously considered writing the BOP series, I wondered if it would be possible to write about porn stars and successfully represent them in a way that would cause readers to love and care for them on an emotional level, and see them as people to love, cherish and admire first and foremost – and the fact that they are porn stars being a secondary, less ‘identifying’ aspect of who they are. I hope that makes sense (lol). I think maybe the BOP series is proving that it can be done. Yes, the boys are hot and sexy, and their scenes are scorching – but for me anyway, that is merely a ‘bonus’. I love those boys for their ‘hearts’ and their sincere love for one another…not simply for the cold showers they inspire.
Bec- Ahh but they do inspire those showers don't they! I love that these boys represent family, and loyalty, and love while in an industry that many see as dirty, and wrong. What people won't say, is that those that yell about it the loudest have more than likely watched it!
8. Last one Audrey, if there was one message that you hope your readers take away from your books what would it be?
Above all else – that ALL love is beautiful and to be cherished, and that God is the God of ALL love. No one has the right to tell someone who they can love, or that they’re wrong for feeling the way they do. A line from one of my favorite songs says: “Don’t tell me who to love, don’t tell me who to kiss. Don’t tell me that there’s something wrong because I feel like this. Don’t tell me ‘no’. Don’t tell me who to love.” That is Ray Boltz’s song ‘Don’t Tell Me Who To Love’. A man who all his life was a gospel singer, hiding who he was, praying for God to ‘heal’ him from his same sex attractions. He was 50 years old before he finally came out. His song “God Knows I Tried” is – to a T – the story of Noble’s struggle (Made To Be Broken).
I guess I want my message to be tolerance and understanding and compassion for those who are different than us. And for all the beautiful gay men and women out there, young and old…more than anything I want them to know that God does love them, that they are beautiful in His sight – regardless of what so many of His own people preach. The bible says that ‘God is Love’. No one but God Himself has the right to decide who that love covers. What puzzles and troubles me the most is why human beings find it so much easier – and alluring – to hate and harm…than to love and cherish. I will never understand it.
Bec- Well I couldn't have said that any better! Thank you so much for joining us for the fireside chat Audrey! We are gonna have to get some of your boys in here and interview them! I know that would be a whole lot of fun! We love you lady!!
HA! TOLD YOU IT WOULD BE AWESOME!! BELOW ARE SOME LINKS SO YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH THIS LOVELY LADY, AND GET TO KNOW HER AND HER WORK. WE HAVE ALSO INCLUDED HER AMAZON SEARCH RESULTS PAGE FOR EAST ACCESS TO HER WORK.
DON'T FORGET TO JOIN US BACK HERE THIS AFTERNOON FOR A MULTI REVIEW POST OF SOME OF HER SHORT STORIES, THESE HAVE BEEN MAKING QUITE THE WAVES LATELY, AND WITH GOOD REASON!
NOW THAT YOU HAVE THESE LINKS, WE URGE YOU TO USE THEM! YOU WILL LOVE ALL OF AUDREY'S BOYS JUST LIKE WE DO! THANKS FOR COMING, SEE YOU BACK THIS AFTERNOON FOR THE SHORT STORY POST! CAN'T WAIT: