Neither James nor Gabe has ever had a real relationship. They might make a connection if they can get past their differences—and their fears.
At age fourteen, James Maron decided to prove he wasn’t gay despite vast evidence to the contrary. Now at thirty-two, he’s getting ready to send his son to college and wondering what he’s supposed to do next. Outside his son, his life consists of an IT job he hates and watching telenovelas with the women in his apartment building.
Gabriel Juarez is the CFO of a technology giant. He has looks, charm, fantastic wealth, a workaholic personality, and a string of boyfriends who only stick around because he’s too busy to tell them to leave.
A bad laptop/projector interface causes James and Gabe’s paths to cross. Friends, family, and coworkers jump to match Gabe with a nice guy, and James with anyone. But are they too different? Everyone will have to tread very carefully to keep things from ending before they start.
~ Pride Promotions
“If you pull a piece of paper out of your pocket right now, I will never forgive you.”
Dylan grinned and pulled a tightly folded piece of paper from his pocket. “Saturday after next, if you want, you have a date.”
James was pretty sure teenagers were not supposed to be as hung-up on their father’s love life as Dylan was. “No. No, I do not.”
Dylan pushed over a printout from his school’s faculty webpage. There was a phone number handwritten at the bottom. “Thirty-five, no kids. He likes music.” Dylan had highlighted that line. “You like music, he likes music. He said he’d love to take you to see a band he likes.”
“Goddammit, Dylan! I do not need you setting me up with strangers.”
“He’s not a stranger, he’s the school’s AP English teacher, and I wouldn’t have to if you’d get out of the house once in a while. Seriously, Dad, I’m out of here in less than a year. I don’t want you moping around this place alone. I worry about you turning into a crazy old cat lady.”
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
I don’t remember. I started writing it in 2010, finished the first draft in 2011, then got distracted by other things until July of 2014 when I got back to it. I’m sure the original idea was something very meaningful to me at the time.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
The protagonist, James, is slightly inspired by my own father. He wasn’t a single parent but he did a lot of the hard yards the first few years of my life while my mother was working three jobs keeping the bills paid.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
All the time. I write in bursts and can lose a lot of momentum if I take too long of a break or start on a different project. It’s mostly a matter of staring at the screen intercut by taking more showers than necessary.
5. Your all time favorite book?
Death is a Lonely Business by Ray Bradbury
6. What made you pick that one above all others?
I’ve actually written a whole blog post about that particular book but in short it’s a book about a struggling writer that made me realize that perhaps I could be a writer as well. It’s also one of the few books written in first person that I really like.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
I started Empty Nests in 2010 so this is probably officially the longest. I will confess to having started a never completed a series of fanfic in 2002. I feel a little bad about that.
8. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
Empty Nests and its sequel Bowerbirds was originally one giant 130 thousand word book. It was a mess. I sent it to a friend to edit who was always correct in her comments but not always kind. Every time I went to edit or even reread it I would lose hope. The characters were inconsistent, the plot meandered, it was just too long and unwieldy to handle. I seriously considered deleting it. I sent it to my friend Cooper West who told me not to delete it. She told me that I had two books, not one. She told me where to cut it in half then gifted me a copy of Scrivener which made it possible to fix many of the structural problems in that first draft.
9. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
Five days a week I’m a parent of a very active two year old who has a ‘strong personality’. My days consists of runs around the park, grocery shopping, swim classes, blocks, trikes, yogurt, hugs, giggles, screaming tantrums, flung food, broken crayons, and we’re heading into potty training. Two days a week there is pre-school. I wake up at 6:30, drop the kid off at 7:30, go home, make coffee, write, stop at 5:00, then pick the kid up at 5:15.
10. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
All you can do is ignore it. I know authors who have tried to respond to bad reviews, especially on places like Goodreads, and it has always ended badly. I might have a rant at my partner or an understanding friend but I can’t/won’t risk taking the reviewer head on. There seems to be no way of winning that. Especially in the internet age.
11. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
This is the first of a two parter (though I have a friend nagging me to do a third). The first book is really about the two characters coming together. The second is more about keeping the relationship going through the stress of their very different lives and backgrounds.
12. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
The sequel to Empty Nests is finished and is currently being edited. As for the project after that there are four I have started but I haven’t fully decided which one I’m going to focus on next. I have an M/M BDSM story, an M/M interoffice romance, a sequel to my western Eden Springs, and a non-romance Urban Fantasy. The BDSM or interoffice romance are the most likely ones to come up next.
1. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
US Army Wilderness Survival Manual.
2. Name your favorite fruit.
Mango (especially with a little lime).
3. Coffee or tea?
4. Favorite season?
5. How about fav time of 24 hours?
Whatever hour dawn is in.
6. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
I was a member of Camp Fire Boys and Girls for thirteen years.
7. Favorite food for breakfast?
Toast with butter and parmesan cheese.
8. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
The Rum Dairy by Hunter S. Thompson.
9. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
There is perhaps a thin line between collecting and hording. I have a lot of books I have yet to read. I have an extensive blu-ray/DVD collection. I have a small but carefully chosen set of comic books. More yarn then I’m ever going to find time to knit. And a couple of thousand dollars worth of Magic the Gathering cards even though I haven’t been able to play since 2005.
10. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Green but everyone assumes purple because I have so much stuff in purple. It’s just really hard to find stuff in a properly attractive shade of green.
11. Drama or comedy?
Comedy, but I’m picky about comedy to the point where some people think I don’t like it.
12. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
My father swears the family motto is ‘It’s not rocket science’. That’s funnier if you know my family.
13. Cats or dogs?
14. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Candlelight dinner. I’m not good in high energy crowds or social situations in general. I find them very stressful and draining.
15. What song have you listened to most recently?
Nights Become Days from England Keep My Bones by Frank Turner
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is…
One particular piece of incredibly trashy, purple prose, completely absurd fanfic, which I reread at least once a year when I need a smile.
2. Your oldest memory is…
My grandfather helping me pick tomatoes and playing with his train set. He died when I was two so these are very early and a bit hazy.
3. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at…
Telling people things will be okay in a calm an comforting manner even when things are going completely to shit.
4. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is…
Unloading dishes from the dishwasher. I don’t mind loading the dirty dishes but something about unloading the clean ones I just hate.
5. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book…
Nanny Ogg from the Discworld books.
6. You were/are a hardcore fan of…
I couldn’t even begin to list the number of fandoms I have be part of over the years. I will say one of my earliest fandoms was Red Dwarf.
7. If you could have any one superpower, it would be…
8. The one thing that always brightens your day is…
When my kid smiles at me because she’s happy but not about to do something she shouldn’t.
9. The most awkward moment in your life happened when…
I’m bipolar. I’m honest about this and pretty self-aware. Even before I was on medication I could usually step back and ask myself if what I was about to do was rational. One summer when I was much younger I got a job away from home in [redacted] doing [redacted]. I spend almost that entire summer in one giant manic high with some minor disassociation thrown in. There was also a lot of drinking involved. What I can remember from that summer is painfully embarrassing to the point where if I ever see someone from that job I will run.
10. The awesomest thing in your life is…
My life. My life is pretty awesome right now as a whole.
About the Author & Links:
Ada Maria Soto is a born and raised Californian, Mexican-American/WASP, currently living as an expat in New Zealand. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Theater Directing at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, which she attended in a fit of stubbornness. She got a Master’s degree in Film and TV Producing from the University of Auckland in New Zealand which she applied to on a manic whim. Nine years later she’s still in Auckland with a partner, kid, and mortgage.
She has dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia which can lead to some interesting typos.
She is a sports fan dedicated to the Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks, Auckland Blues, USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, New Zealand Black Caps, and the Chennai Super Kings.