Illusions – Author Interview

February 13, 2015

This is my last post here at DSP until 5pm tonight. I hope you will come back and chat with me. And bring your ideas on who you would cast in the movie, Illusions.

Right now, let’s give away a copy of Illusions. All you need to do is say hello and maybe something about yourself. For example, what are your favorite types of stories to read?  Tomorrow (Sat, Feb. 14th) I will chose one of the names from the comments to win either an e-book or a paperback version of Illusions.

I realized that I have been jabbering about the book so much and it occurred to me that you all might not know me at all. I had answered the following questions for a blog tour I did this week over at the Purple Rose Tea House with Charlie so I thought I would share it here.


What was the most challenging part of writing this story? 

Illusions is my first book, so everything seemed a bit challenging in the beginning. Probably the most difficult thing in this story was finding exactly the right way to end it.  I ran through several scenarios in my head before finally deciding on one that I liked. I hope it was the right choice.

What  are you working on now?

My second book Demons was very emotional for me, dealing with abuse and feelings of being unlovable,therefore, I want my next novel to be all about fun and fluff with a bit of romance. I have several ideas, I just need to pick one and run with it.

Why did you decide to write M/M Romance?

I discovered m/m romance when I started watching Queer as Folk about 10 years ago. I fell in love with Brian and Michael and wanted the two of them to have a happily ever after together.  However, it wasn’t until I discovered “Chrolli” that I wanted to actually write a love story. “Chrolli” is the story of Christian and Oliver in the German soap opera, “Verbotene Liebe”, which means “Forbidden Love”. I found them one day on You Tube in 2008 and fell in love. When I say that is a beautiful love story, I mean it’s a BEAUTIFUL love story. The entire storyline in on YouTube and it’s subtitled in several languages. It was very popular for a long time.  Jo Weil (Oliver) became one of my closest friends as well as the wonderful man who wrote the story, Tom Chroust. After watching that amazing story, all I wanted to do was write my own beautiful love story.

Christian and Oliver

Make sure you click on the subtitles.

What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

I’m a big fan of anything Hollywood and I enjoyed sharing some things that I had seen and heard from various people through the years. When I wrote about the studios, I recalled going to Paramount Studios and visiting some of the Roswell cast.  A lot of what Skylar has to say is from things I have heard my actor friends say in the past or some of the behind the scenes stories that they have shared. It was a lot of fun for me to write.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?

I don’t usually plan anything. For example, when I started Illusions, I had no idea that there would be an arsonist involved. That just happened. I started writing the book because I wanted to tell a story about an actor falling in love with non-celebrity person. After a while, the book started to write itself. Honestly, there would be times when I didn’t know, until my fingers started typing, what would happen next. It was all very strange to me, the entire process of Illusions.

How did it feel to sign that first contract?

It was the most surreal feeling. When I started writing “Illusions”, I had just been laid off from my job of twenty-two years and I was frustrated at the job hunting process. Once I started writing, I quickly realized that it very therapeutic. While it felt great to write and be able to say anything I wanted on paper, I never once thought about the story being published. An author friend of mine suggested that I send it to Dreamspinner. When they accepted the manuscript, I jumped up and down. It was a fantastic feeling.

 What advice would you give to an aspiring author looking to get published?

Being so new, I’m not sure I can give good advice but I can offer the steps that I took. Once you write your book, have it reviewed by several of your friends for grammar, pacing and anything that may need to be added or removed. Once it’s cleaned up, it’s time to pick a publisher. Make sure you submit the manuscript exactly as they asked and then move on to your next book while you wait. That makes the time go a little faster and hopefully, once you hear they want your book, you’ll be well into your second.

What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?

I’ve just submitted my second novel “Demons” to Dreamspinner Press and I’m waiting to hear back if they will publish it or not. Other than that, I’ve been promoting “Illusions” and haven’t had time to start another book but I hope to very soon.

What are your five favorite songs and why?

1)  Right now, my number one favorite song is Demons by Imagine Dragons.  It was my inspiration for the book that I just completed. I feel like everyone has demons that they battle everyday and sometimes it’s easier to just avoid love rather than face down these demons.

2) My second favorite song is The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars. This fan video of Sebastian Stan (who I love) in Kings was my sole inspiration for Skylar in Illusions.

3) I recently found my second favorite. It’s Take Me to Church by Hozier. I have to say that I don’t completely agree with the song. I believe in Church and God, but I know that there are many so called Christians who use the Church to hide behind their own bigotry.  I chose to believe the song is about those particular people.

4) Stay with Me by Sam Smith. I absolutely love everything about this song. Besides the fact Sam’s voice is so beautiful, the words break my heart. “Oh won’t you stay with me, ‘cause you’re all that I need.” I believe he wrote this song for his straight best friend, whom he was in love with. Such a sad, yet beautiful song.

5) I’m Not the Only One – Another Sam Smith song that I’m obsessed with.  “You say I’m crazy, ‘cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done.” Another song that is so incredibly sad, because his lover is cheating on him and I can feel Sam’s feelings in all of his songs. That is a gift of a true songwriter.

I could go on and on as l love music. I really enjoy the 80’s music, BonJovi, REO Speedwagon, “LoverBoy”, all of those hair bands. They were my favorites.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in lust at first sight. I can’t imagine loving someone until I knew more about them. I do think that you can see someone and be very overwhelmed with feelings but again, I think it’s more physical at that point.

Name 5 favorite movies. Why?

For someone who isn’t really a “fall in love” type of girl, the majority of my five favorite movies are all romantic. Go figure.

Notting Hill – This is probably my all time favorite movie. I love the premise; I adore Hugh Grant’s acting and Spike! Who could not love “Spike”. The soundtrack was beautiful…so many things to love about that movie.

Latter Days – I adored this movie!! I felt so sorry for Aaron when he was thrown out of the Mormon Church for being gay. This movie touched me in so many ways. I still find myself watching it at least once a year.

Love Actually – I’m a huge Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fan so it’s no surprise that this movie is high on my list. I watch it every year, sometimes more than once and it never gets old. Just the love stories, especially the little boy who loves the girl in his class, it’s just so sweet.

Life as a House – I love this movie because the story of the man building the house at the same time he was building his relationship with his son was so beautiful to me. Of course, I cried like a baby at the end. Lovely movie.

Legends of the Fall – This movie introduced me to Brad Pitt and while I could stop there, I did really enjoy the drama of the three brothers and their father in the wilderness.

About Illusions


Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Christy Caughie

Link: e-book

Link: paperback


Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn’t want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.

At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re happy together until a jilted fan joins forces with the arsonist to sabotage their future.

9 Responses to “Illusions – Author Interview”

  1. mandy says:

    Great interview. Have u seen Shelter? I loove that movie. And there´s a wonderful Fanfiction where the author wrote Shawn´s POV. Love it

  2. Angela says:

    Thanks for this look into your life. I don´t know if i will be back later because of the time difference (i may be sleeping by then) LOL.

    Here is some info about me:
    I love to read books and since i discovered the m/m genre í became addicted to it :)
    I like to read about cops, firefighters and cowboys. (Guys in uniform, jammie!). I also like books about men who aren’t perfect, or are disabled.
    I alway love it when i discover new authors.

    Thanks again for sharing your release day/blog of Illusions with us.

  3. sozment says:

    Hi Mandy! I have seen Shelter and loved it. :) Have you seen “Latter Days”? That is another fantastic movie. Check it out if you haven’t seen it. I think you will like it. :)

  4. sozment says:

    Hi Amanda, I appreciate your joining me today. You and Mandy have won a copy of the book. If you will send your address (if you want a hard copy) or email (for the download – I still have to figure out how to do that), I’ll get you both a copy. Mandy, I know you are reading it now. Do you still want a paperback or would you rather have something else? Just let me know. Reach me at Many thanks to everyone who joined me today! :) )

  5. H.B. says:

    Darn, missed the giveaway but that’s okay, lol.

    Thanks for sharing about yourself. I liked that you shared your music and movie choices :-)

    A little about myself I started reading yaoi about thirteen years ago and that actually got me down the road of m/m fiction.
    I mostly only read m/m fiction now.
    I like all types of music except country.

  6. mandy says:

    Thank u <3 I´m so happy. A signed Paperback would be awesome :) I sent u a pm the other day with my adress. I will write a pm so u can find me and the adress above. Hugs and Thank u dear :*

  7. sozment says:

    Hey HB! I’ll be giving another book away on the second round of blogs tonight. I’ll be here from 5pm until Midnight. Come on back and join the fun. :)

    What is Yaoi? I think I’m missing something good. :)

    Angela, I love the men in uniform too. I think my third book will have a policeman or some type of uniform man. :) )

  8. H.B. says:

    Yaoi is a type of japanese comic (graphic novel see also manga) that focuses on boys love. I was never good at explaining it. I hope I did a decent enough job, lol.

  9. sozment says:

    You did great. Thank you H.B. I will have to look that up.

Leave a Reply