We are very happy to welcome SE Jakes to the Smoocher’s Voice blog today. SE recently published the first novel in a new series, Havoc. Running Wild is available at Riptide Publishing.
Thanks so much to Smoocher’s Voice for hosting me on the tour for Running Wild: Havoc Book 1. This is the start of a brand new series, with different heroes for each book and HEAs at the end of each book. Sean Rush and Ryker stole my heart a long time ago, and I’m excited for you guys to meet all of them.
Jodi: Thank you, SE, for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Tell us a little about yourself and how you decided to write in the romance genre.
SE: Thanks so much for having me here! I’ve always written, but it wasn’t until my daughter was born with some serious medical issues that I turned to romance—reading and writing it. I wanted the HEA, and from there, I haven’t looked back. I had to leave my teaching job to stay home with my daughter, and so this was a wonderful way to be with her and still be working. I like staying home and being inside my head—I know for people who don’t write, they think it’s odd that writers are pretty much hermits a lot of the time. But if there’s too much noise, I can’t do my job. And I love my job.
Jodi: You write both f/m and m/m romance books. Do you have a preference?
SE: For me it’s all about the characters, so there’s no preference per se, but I’m thrilled that I’m able to give my gay and bi characters their own books rather than simply making them subplots. I’ve always written m/f and m/m storylines (sometimes within the same book, like in the Sydney Croft series)…but I have to say, I’m seeing so many more cross-over readers from both the m/f and m/m world and the m/m community has been really fabulous to me.
Jodi: Is it difficult to incorporate romance into the high-driven action in your plots?
SE: No – in fact, it’s the opposite. Danger and closeness go hand-in-hand. The higher the level of danger, the closer people become in a short period of time—battle-buddies, as you will. They know how fragile life is, and when they do feel something, they’ll act on it. However, they do pull back when it comes to love, because feeling things and their kinds of job don’t always go hand in hand. That’s the push/pull for all these guys.
Jodi: Running Wild is the first book in a new series. What was your inspiration for this series?
SE: I’ve actually had the opening chapters for this book written since 2003 or so. I just wasn’t ready (or should I say, Sean Rush wasn’t ready) for me to know everything. When that happens, I put the book away and wait until the characters get loud again. When I started writing MC m/f romances, Sean was like, ‘hey, what about me?!’
Jodi: What is your inspiration for Sean and Ryker? Tell us a little about these two men.
SE: Like I said, those characters presented themselves to me. I don’t tend to take inspiration from real life people, because their background isn’t Sean or Ryker’s background. So once Sean started opening up to me, I realized how amazing these two men are.
Jodi: The men in your books tend to be adrenaline junkies who live, work and play hard. And, yet there is always some element of vulnerability to them. Are your characters inspired by real-life elements or are they complete fiction?
SE: My characters come to me, fully formed. Complete, named, dragging their baggage behind them. Sometimes, they don’t always tell me right away about all their baggage. But for whatever reason, my heroes are all lost boys of sort, abused, having been through foster care or abandoned and untrusting—gay, bi, straight—tend to find me. And I think the fact that they need that adrenaline rush is about them taking control of their lives.
Jodi: What is your inspiration to focus on military and law enforcement-type characters?
SE: I think part of it is from my grandfather (and various other men) in my family who served. I seem to be surrounded by military people in my life (my daughter’s nurse, for example, is a former Army nurse)…so I think the genre and I found each other.
Jodi: What was your inspiration for the Extreme Escapes Limited Universe?
SE: You know, that whole Universe started in both Free Falling and Bound For Keeps (which is both a Men of Honor and EE Ltd. Book)…they all worked for EE Ltd and Prophet kept showing up, and I realized that, even though Prophet & Tommy would be up first with an entire series, there were a lot of other characters bucking for their stories to be told (like more Blue and Mick, Doc, Cillian and Mal, etc)
Jodi: The men in the EE Ltd. Universe are all wonderful characters. Why did you choose to expand the characters of Tommy and Prophet for the Hell or High Water series?
SE: I didn’t choose –Prophet did. That man threatened to show up in every single book I wrote, whether he needed to be there or not, until I wrote his story. And I realized pretty quickly that there was no way in hell I’d be able to fit his story into a single book. So he’s a pretty special case for me (and Tommy too) because this is the first series I’ve done with the same characters over many books.
Jodi: Do you have more books planned for the Men of Honor series? Will the spinoff series, Phoenix Inc., revisit the characters from the Men of Honor series?
SE: I have definitely plans to continue the MOH series. And Phoenix Inc is the name of the PI Agency that Styx / Law / Paolo (from BBH / BBL) opened, and so yes, they’ll play a part in the books in this series, along with new heroes who have their HEA at the end of each book.
Jodi: Is it difficult to develop the multiple sides of the men in your books: the killer vs the lover?
SE: That’s a great question—I never really thought about it like that, since I really just write what they show me. I have to trust that they will let you see all their sides, and that their good sides outweigh the bad.
Jodi: The issue of dominance plays an important role in your books, especially with Tommy and Prophet. Will we see that struggle in the Havoc series?
SE: A bit, yes, but a different kind of dominance. In Havoc, there’s an older / younger dynamic happening. The MC guys that have introduced themselves to me so far are all pretty self-assured and in a good place. And their significant others aren’t. So it’s definitely a bit of a taming that needs to happen—which is different in my mind then one character trying to change another.
Jodi: There is a lot of action and violence in the Hell or High Water and Dirty Deeds series? Do you feel these are important plot elements in your books?
SE: Definitely. I mean, I follow the characters on their journey—they lead me and so most of the time, I feel like a scribe, scrambling to keep up with them. But violence is a big part of their lives, as does action. It’s hard for them to sit around and not take action. Any kind of action.
Jodi: I am a big fan of your writing and love your books and characters, but I am especially fond of Prophet and Cillian. Do you have favorite characters or books?
SE: YAY! Thanks for saying that (I’m thrilled!) and yeah, I’ve got some favorites, mainly because I feel like they’re actually my muses. I hear them all the time and I feel like, through them or because of them, I meet a lot of other characters who might not come forward otherwise. So it’s definitely Prophet. And Blue. And Jake, a Stephanie Tyler character. But I couldn’t write a character I didn’t love, so they’re all pretty close to the top.
Jodi: What is your next project?
SE: I’m working on Not Fade Away, which is a (very) short look into the Hell or High Water universe (August 2014) and If I Ever (H/H 4)…and also a novella for the Bluewater Bay series, a multi-authored project for Riptide.
FYI, I’m also writing a m/f MC series under the Steph Tyler name—the first book of that series, Vipers Run is out now as well. And there’s a very light crossover in that you’ll see names of MCs that are main characters in my Vipers series—namely Vipers MC, along with the Heathens. Havoc’s friendly with Vipers, not so much with Heathens (they seem to be everyone’s enemy at the
RUNNING WILD: Havoc Book 1
Embrace the danger…
Sean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That’s why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars . . . and why he can’t stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can’t seem to stay away from Sean—he’s spent the last eight months breaking into Sean’s apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.
Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he’s ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.
Then one of Sean’s thefts goes bad, and Ryker’s protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean’s past threatens the safety of Havoc—and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker’s hiding secrets of his own. Soon it’s obvious that the adrenaline rush can’t keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.
SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…
You can contact her the following ways:
• You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• You can post to her Facebook page: Facebook.com/SEJakes
• You can tweet her: Twitter.com/authorsejakes
• You can post on her Goodreads Group: Ask SE Jakes
• You can follow her Tumblr page: sejakes.tumblr.com
• You can follow her on Instagram: instagram.com/authorsejakes
• Truth be told, the best way to contact her is by email or in blog comments.
She spends most of her time writing but she loves to hear from readers!
SE Jakes is the pen-name of New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler (and half of Sydney Croft) — please go to my media kit to learn more!