Welcome to my Beer Bar Heather. What can I pour you to start?
Hmm, a black and tan would be fantastic!
sorry dear, my brewery is "lagers only" and you are referring to an ale mixture. Here, try one of my Wolverine Dark Lagers instead.
Your latest book A Marine and a Gentlemen is burning up sales. Many congrats. Tell us about it.
Thanks Liz. A Marine and a Gentleman really came about as a natural extension of about four different ideas I had for my Marine series. Our armed forces are comprised of a diverse population and the existence of DADT (don’t ask, don’t tell) didn’t mean homosexuals didn’t serve, it just meant they stayed quiet about it. So Brenden’s story felt natural to me, what happens when a life has the opportunity to be who he is again without fear of being discharged? Once I asked that question, Brenden and Liam came to life for me.
It's part of a series I see. Why Marines? (caveat: my brother is a vet and was my "technical advisor" for one I wrote--see next question)
Last year when Rebecca Royce encouraged me to write a 1Night Stand, I knew I wanted to start with a military man and while I’ve always had tremendous respect for every branch—the Marines just appealed to me on multiple levels. It helps that I’ve known several over the years and their dedication, honor, and gritty “get the job done” attitude inspire me.
I wrote a menage that had a disabled Marine vet as a bisexual character and worried a smidge about pissing people off. What made you go in a man love direction with the last one?
This may sound disingenuous, but I worried less about pissing someone off than getting it wrong. At the end of the day, people are people and not everyone is going to like what I write or agree with a story direction—but I feel strongly that if I can connect with the characters and respect them, then readers will, too. This is my first male-male—I’ve never written one before and I think I was more nervous about delivering on that promise than on whether these guys would be accepted particularly because Brenden is a Marine. Fortunately, my cast of characters at Mike’s Place are a fiercely loyal and devoted group who base their opinions on a man’s actions and not his sexuality.
oops empty glass...what's next for you?
I’m a cheap date—let’s go for something lighter this time. Corona with lime please! I love the icy bottles.
SMACKS YOUR FOREHEAD (I do have a website you know...I ONLY SELL THE BEER MY BREWERS MAKE...sheesh...here, Wolverine Premium Lager in a nice cold bottle and if you say "Corona" in here again I will not be responsible for what my bartender may do to you.)
What the first book you got published? Was it a traumatic experience?
The first book I published was this little fantasy story called Remembering Ashby. It’s no longer available, but I remember being giddy for a week after it came out. I learned a lot from editing, I learned a lot from the actual process and I think every book is different, but I learn something from the process every single time. I really do have one of the best jobs in the world, I get to do what I love—tell stories.
I see you enjoy Patricia Briggs books. I read a couple of them. Do have shifter stories in your back list or upcoming WIP plans?
I adore Patricia Briggs, she is my favorite author. And yes I have shifters in my books, there’s Cody Morning Star in my Fevered Hearts series. He was introduced in Marshal of Hel Dorado and his book is Brave are the Lonely. Spoiler Alert there is a shifter story coming in my Chance Monroe series. The first in that released this last January and it’s called Earth Witches Aren’t Easy.
I really enjoyed Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot. Where did the idea for that story come from?
That was born from a conversation I had with my crit partner. We discussed the idea of someone who felt like a fraud getting help at Mike’s Place and when the Challenge series came along, I found the perfect setting for it. How does a Marine react to a situation where his physical limitations are actually what helps him help someone else? Two damaged people who bridge the empty space between them—each of their disabilities actually being what help them do that. Mike’s Place is a really rich environment for discovering great characters and their stories.
Anything else you would like to add
I get a lot of notes from readers asking me if Mike’s Place is real and I wish it were. But Fisher House is a very real organization that helps house the families of vets receiving medical treatment at military hospitals around the country. To support this, I’m donating a portion of my proceeds from No Regrets, No Surrender to Fisher House.
And...for a nightcap?
Hmm, I have to write soon, might be time for coffee…
Lucky for you we just did a collaboration brew with a local coffee roaster...Barista....enjoy. If you want real coffee you'll have to toddle on out to a coffee shop.
Once Her Man, Always Her Man: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/once-her-man-always-her-man
Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/retreat-hell-she-just-got-here
Tell It to the Marine: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/tell-it-to-the-marine
Proud to Serve Her: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/proud-to-serve-her
No Regrets, No Surrender: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/no-regrets-no-surrender
The Marine Cowboy: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/the-marine-cowboy
The Two and the Proud: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/the-two-and-the-proud
A Marine and a Gentleman: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/a-marine-and-a-gentleman
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: http://www.heatherlong.net/bookshelf/always-a-marine/whiskey-tango-foxtrot
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/HeatherLongAuthor