Hey there, everybody! Today’s interview is with E.M. Denning, who has a new release coming up on February 9th, the second book in a series called What He Craves. So mark it down on your calendars! February 9th. More info and links down below, but don’t skip, lol, enjoy the interview first. So let’s start.
I love to learn about other authors and their processes—what’s different or the same—so tell us, is there anything weird about your writing process? Can you maybe amuse us with some interesting quirk?
I listen to the same song on repeat. For hours. And I write a book to that song. Sometimes I’ll add in another song if I need to, but it’s always one song, on repeat, for hours. Days. Weeks. Months.
You know what? So many authors say they listen to music while writing that I might have to try that, but listening to the same song over and over? I have to say—that’s a first, lol. I like quiet and solitude, and once I get into my story, I can go a loooong time before coming up for air. Some writers only write for a few hours, and some can go at it the entire day or longer. Are you the kind of writer who can keep at your writing for hours, or do you get worn out from all the drama on the page?
I write in sprints. Bursts of 20 minutes to an hour, then I take a break. I seldom write for hours at a stretch. My brain needs breaks.
We, all of us, do things so differently. In fact, I do things differently now than when I started, and differently from how I always imagined it would be. I think writers go into this career with an idea of what it’s like and how their life is going to be, but soon learn that the reality is nothing like the fantasy. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Finish things. Worry less about making it GOOD the first time and just have a product to work with. Finishing it is half the battle. I’d also tell my younger self that writing crap is okay. Everyone writes crap sometimes. It’s fine. The trick is learning what’s crap you can save and what’s crap you need to let go of.
I could seriously sing that from the rooftops, but as I just said a moment ago, we all do things differently. Still, when writers talk about editing as they write, I cringe. I think new writers especially should just get words on the page because it’s too easy to become discouraged when the words aren’t miraculously perfect. There is no miracle. Writing is work, and after the writing comes the editing which is more work. And then more editing, lol, before we get a book we’re willing to take a chance on. Because, let’s face it, it takes courage to put your baby out there for readers to see. How about we give a boost to a favorite book and writer? What is your favorite book that you think just hasn’t gotten enough love in the world?
There’s a few I could mention, so I will. hahaha. First off, the absolute crown jewel of MM Romance. For Real by Alexis Hall. I love this book. It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s the kind of book I want to write when I grow up. I’ve read it at least 8 times. Maybe more. It’s a book every single MM writer and reader NEEDS to read.
Liberty by Seth King. It’s, admittedly, a HARD book to read, but it’s important. It’s beautiful.
Seeing Red: Scorched and Seeing Red: Interlude by TC Orton. Vampire books aren’t my thing, but I’m a HUGE fan of TC Orton so I took a chance and was not disappointed. The writing is fantastic. The story is unique. I really love Isaac and I find his journey to be equal parts suspenseful and emotional.
Cool. I LOVED For Real and can absolutely vouch for that one. I haven’t read the others, so thank you for adding to my TBR pile, lol. I have so many books to read! When I was a kid, I always thought I had to finish every book I started. That is a habit I have since kicked to the curb, so I have time to read the things that really resonate with me. How about you? Do you finish what you start, or have you also decided life is too short to read what you don’t like?
I do not finish every book I start. If something isn’t my taste, I’d rather set it aside and move on to something I’m going to enjoy.
And why not? We don’t all like the same things, which can be a hard lesson for new writers, who want everybody to love everything they write. The reality can crush a fragile ego. Do you think writers need loads of confidence or a big ego to make it in this business?
Pretty much every writer I know has insecurities about their writing. You don’t need a lot of confidence, and you don’t need a big ego, you need lovely, supportive, friends who genuinely like your work and are willing to be there for you when you’re feeling less than brilliant.
And as writers, I think we feel less than brilliant a whole lot of the time. I try to maintain some degree of separation between “author” me, who is Kayleigh Sky, and the real me in my real life, but the psychological overlap kind of does away with any meaningful division. I wanted a pen name because I liked the idea of having a part of me that was separate from the rest of me if that makes any sense. An alter ego, I guess. As a writer, what would you choose—avatar, famous person, cartoon character—to represent you if you wanted to be someone else?
Something cute and cuddly and a bit silly. A red panda, perhaps. <3
Lol. I think I’d go with a crow myself. I really love them. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us get to know you a little, E.M. Congratulations on your release—February 9th!!! I’m saying it again. Mark your calendars!—and I wish you the very best of luck.
Continue scrolling to get a look at What He Craves.
Unfortunately, Steve still won’t touch him. To make matters worse, his new job falls through and his older brother won’t hire him. Matt can’t bear to ask Steve for help, and soon he finds himself out of money and out of options. When Steve finds him living in his car and demands that he go home with him, Matt obeys, but living with the man he’s wanted for two years proves to be frustrating as well as explosively hot. As Matt begins to explore his submissive side under Steve’s firm guidance, his insecurities haunt him. What does a homeless, jobless kid with a string of failures behind him have to offer, even if Steve did want him for more than a brief fling?