Today I’m hosting Julie and M.A. as they talk about their latest release. Let’s make them feel welcome!!
The Making of an Alien
I was very excited when we started writing Be My Alien for two reasons: one, I was getting to write with my friend, M.A. Church, and two, we were going to write about aliens! And since she had written about aliens in the Nighttime series (which I’d read) as well as the Harvest series (which I hadn’t yet), we decided I should write the alien and she’d write the earthling.
Yes! I was very excited! But where to begin? In M.A.’s Nighttime books, the alien has dreads/tentacles that can take on a life of their own, and is somewhat reptilian appearance. So I knew I had to go into a different direction. And since I happen to be a catlover, it seemed very natural that my alien should have some… well… feline qualities, let us say.
I needed a name for him, of course. At the time, I was watching Top Chef, and one of the chefs had definitely caught my fancy. His name was Fabio Viviani. He’s so cute! And the way he says “burger” as “boorger” is adorable! But I digress. I elongated his name a little bit and came up with Fabrintazo, thinking his nickname would be a derivative of Fabio. But things don’t work out the way you thought, and he informed me he preferred Taz, so Taz he became.
Taz just sort of developed as I wrote him. In the first book, he’s on a date with Vorlod, a fellow student at the university he attends on his home planet of Trygos. He’s been wanting to go out with Vorlod forever, but had no luck, until suddenly out of the blue, Vorlod invites him to Earth! Taz gets dumped there by Vorlod, who was only using him, because he is a trusting, innocent soul, very naïve. And now very lost and alone on Earth.
Taz has stripes, but they only become noticeable when he is aroused. Same for his tale. It wasn’t until after I’d developed him and we were writing the first book, Be My Alien, that I actually got to read The Harvest. And I was amazed to learn that M.A.’s alien, Keyno, has very catlike qualities himself! Great minds think alike is all I can say, although the similarities are more superficial than actual. I still think it’s funny I came up with a cat alien all on my own and wasn’t influenced by hers lol.
In Be My Human, the major part of the conflict belongs to Reed, but of course, Taz is in the thick of things. I hope you enjoy reading about them both, and thanks for having me on your blog. If you were going to create an alien, how would he or she look? I’d love to know!
Reed and Taz are still adjusting to their new lives together when a medical emergency sends them flying down to Florida on short notice. Not quite the way Reed pictured introducing Taz to his family. Reed’s sister, Rene, welcomes the outgoing Taz with open arms, and the kittenish alien charms Reed’s parents.
But someone isn’t quite so enamored of Reed’s boyfriend—his homophobic older brother Jacob seems determined to be as unpleasant as possible, and he’s making their visit very uncomfortable. The sudden appearance of Reed’s controlling ex releases a flood of insecurity and bad memories.
Reed begins to doubt himself, and his ability to love and be loved in return. When strange items begin appearing as if out of nowhere, he wonders if he’s being stalked, or is he just paranoid? What can Taz do to prove to Reed that he’s more than enough man for this alien?
They’d been living together for a month now, ever since the fateful day Taz had literally fallen on Reed at the Empire State Building. One of the first things Reed had done after the adorable alien had moved in with him was buy Taz a cell phone, then teach him how to use it. Even though Taz was from another planet, one that was much more advanced than Earth, he was unfamiliar with Earth’s comparatively primitive technology. Reed swore after Taz had been kidnapped by the creature he’d dubbed the Evil Alien, he’d always have a way to call for help, thus the phone. That first week after they’d been reunited, Taz had talked Reed into letting him stay home alone while Reed worked at the boutique. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Taz had called Reed around lunchtime, nearly in tears.
When Reed arrived home, he’d been greeted with a nightmare of a mess. Even before he got to his apartment, he could hear the TV blasting in the living room. Which was bad enough, but Taz had somehow figured out how to turn the surround sound on. When Reed opened the door, the noise nearly blew him out of his shoes. It was like sitting in the front row at a movie theater. That, it turned out, was the easiest problem to rectify. Reed had shut the TV off, then looked around the apartment, stunned and slightly horrified.
He’d forgotten about Taz’s natural curiosity. What a mistake that was, and the proof of his error in judgment was spread out all over the kitchen. Flour had been strewn across the floor, a few eggs lay broken on the counter, every covered container in the refrigerator had been taken out and opened… then tasted. Taz had found the blender, dumped some sort of liquid in and turned it on, without putting the top on the machine. There was unrecognizable goo all over the counters, the cabinets, the floors. Plus, Taz had found the sugar. From the looks of it, he’d eaten half the bag.
And that was just the kitchen.
The bathroom had been thoroughly explored as well, as evidenced by the streams of shredded toilet paper spread throughout the place, toothpaste smeared all over the counters in minty globules, and so on.
What was that old saying about curiosity killing the cat?
Meet the Authors
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she’d never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint, and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Wayward Ink Publishing Amber Quill Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at Wayward Ink and MuseitUp.
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.
She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013.