When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
My journey into writing began with fan fiction. I had been reading fanfics for a while when an idea for a story came to me. I began writing it on the bus while commuting to and from work. It was so much fun! Those first stories were my training ground and I learned so much from them. It was when I finished a 30,000 word fanfic that I decided to try writing an original novel that was all my own.
How many books have you written?
The Experiment is my ninth book and I’m already hard at work on number ten. Reaching that double digit is going to be such a thrill. I remember when I used to dream about reaching this point.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
My times are all over the place. It took me seven years (on and off) to write my first book. The second took only a few months because it was much shorter and came to me quite easily. Most of the time it takes about six months, but I’ve been working hard to train myself to write faster so I can publish more often.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The idea for The Experiment came to me one day in a flash of inspiration. I could see a straight man trying to psyche himself up to kiss a gay man, even though he really didn’t want to. I knew they were in a bar, and that he was doing it to satisfy a lost bet, but other than that I had no idea what was going on.
Then the man turned to his friend, who was sitting beside him, and said, “You know, mate, this would be a hell of a lot easier if you’d quit laughing.” In that instant, I knew the friend was the man he would end up kissing, and he would be anything but reluctant by the end of it.
I loved the idea so much I grabbed a notebook and pen and spent the next hour furiously scribbling down every detail I could remember. My flash of inspiration became the opening of The Experiment and that one line of dialogue is still there, exactly the way Patrick said it the first time.
Who are your favorite authors? Have they inspired your writing?
There are so many MM Romance authors I love and admire. Among them are Riley Hart, Roan Parrish, Leta Blake, Lucy Lennox, Eden Finley and Christina Lee. I credit Riley Hart’s Shifting Gears with introducing me to the genre. It was the first MM Romance I ever read, and it got me hooked.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Speed. I’m quite a slow writer. I stress about first drafts and have difficulty getting out of my own way when getting those initial words down. During re-writes I can easily spend a whole morning getting a few paragraphs just right.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a workspace in the corner of my lounge room with my computer and a white board and all that jazz. But I’ll often end up on the couch with my laptop, or just pen and paper. That is especially true at the moment because it’s winter here and I like to stay under a pile of blankets.
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Characters are interesting because they can come to me in all sorts of ways. Some walk into my brain fully formed and introduce themselves by name (Jeremy, All the Broken Pieces). Sometimes, I’ll know some major details about them and then learn more as I write about them (Patrick, The Experiment). Other times, I’ll take conflicting pieces of my own personality and find ways to pit them against each other (Amber and Lincoln, Lost in Amber). Hanging out with my characters, and listening to them talk to each other, is one of the great pleasures of being a writer.
Do you aim for a set number of words/pages per day?
I used to try to aim for a set number of words per day, but I gave up on that a while ago because I always ended up failing. When I’m writing first drafts of scenes I can pump out a lot of words in a day. But when I’m rewriting, I can work solidly for a whole day and only end up adding a few hundred words, because it’s the quality I’m improving, not the word count. These days, I focus more on how quickly I’m completing scenes to a certain standard (draft, rewrite, polish). I find this works better for me.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Line edits. Looking at every instance of words like that, was and just in a book to see if they can be cut or reworded is the most boring task in existence.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
I love the part where I have a basic draft of a scene written and I get to rewrite it over and over until it shines. Playing with phrases, getting bits of dialogue just right, making myself laugh, cry or sigh with pleasure. They may take the most time but, for me, those are the magical moments of writing.
About The Experiment
When a single kiss calls your sexuality into question, there’s only one sure path to a reliable answer: further research.
I like to think I know myself outside and in. As a developmental psychologist, I’ve spent years exploring the true foundations of my identity. So, when losing a bet means kissing my best friend, Logan, I already know I’m going to hate every second of it. All the relevant questions regarding my sexuality were asked and answered years ago. The results were conclusive: despite the odd same-sex attraction, I dislike being touched by men.
That is, it seems, until Logan is the man doing the touching. The intense desire aroused by his kiss contradicts all my expectations and I have no idea how to integrate the new information. Thankfully, I know exactly how to uncover the truth about myself—once and for all.
I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping Patrick out of my fantasies and in the friend-zone. Our recent lip-lock may have unleashed my feelings for him temporarily, but I’ll get them back on their platonic track in no time. Falling for a friend, especially a sexually ambivalent friend, is a one-way ticket to heartache.
But, when the unforeseen impact of our kiss inspires Patrick to conduct an experiment into the extent of his bisexuality, I can’t resist volunteering to help. If any man is going to join Patrick on his journey of self-discovery, it’s sure as hell going to be me.
Available at: Amazon
An Excerpt from The Experiment
“You can do your experiment with me.”
My heart pounds, as I wait for him to respond to my offer. The part of me that’s sure he’ll say yes is already weak with relief that he won’t go out looking for anyone else. I don’t want other men touching Patrick. If he’s only ever going to do this experiment with one man, I want that man to be me.
“I thought you wanted to go back to the way things were.” His gaze is wary, and he has yet to move a muscle. “We’re friends, nothing more. That’s what you said.”
“Yes, and it’s still true,” I assure him. “I do want to go back to being friends. But we can do it after the experiment.”
His breath has quickened and, when he speaks again, his voice is rough. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“It’s the best viable solution,” I tell him, as if coating my possessiveness with a thick layer of pragmatism will make it less obvious. “Don’t forget, it was my kiss that breathed life into your queerness.” My body reacts to the idea of doing it again… and again… and again. However many times he needs to be satisfied. I make a show of licking my lips, enjoying the way he watches with rapt attention. “How much do you want to bet I can get more than a boner out of you?”
With a start, his eyes narrow and he points a finger at me. “No more bets.”
Laughing out loud, I nod. “That’s right. How could I forget?”
He runs a hand over the back of his neck as he looks around the bar, before returning his gaze to me. “I’ll admit, when I decided to do this, my first instinct was to come to you.” He gestures at me with an impatient hand. “You’re the only guy I’ve ever enjoyed kissing and it totally blew my mind. Why do you think I’m doing this in the first place?” he growls, his frustration coming through. “It’s not just because of what happened when we kissed. It’s the fact I can’t stop thinking about it.”
He’s not the only one. I’ve rubbed my cock raw in remembrance. The urge to shove him back against the nearby wall washes over me. I want to give him something new to think about. Ignoring the impulse, I swallow hard and speak in a low voice. “When you’re thinking about it, are these analytical thoughts about what it all means? Or are they wanking thoughts?”
He glances away, trying to appear nonchalant. “Both.”
My muscles tighten at the thought of him with his hand wrapped around his throbbing dick, fantasising about kissing me while he pants and moans his way to orgasm. I want to know what he looks like when he comes. What he sounds like. How he feels.
“But,” he says, with emphasis, interrupting the lustfest going on in my head, “I decided against it because I know you don’t—” The words cut off and his eyes close briefly. “I don’t want us to stop being friends.”
“I don’t want that either but, Patrick, you’re playing with fire here and assuming no one will steal the matches. I’m the only one I trust to do this right.”
He’s still reluctant. I can feel the force of his doubts. But he hasn’t said no.
“Patrick, listen to me.” I slide a hand around the back of his neck, urging him to meet my gaze. “You need someone you can trust to stop when you say stop, no matter what’s happening when you say it. Someone who won’t get pissed at you and accuse you of being a tease when you leave them with blue balls.” Releasing him, I grin. “Besides, you tried looking for someone else to kiss. It didn’t work. You chose me and now you’re stuck with me for the duration.”
He huffs out an indignant sound. “I could find someone else to kiss,” he blusters, “if I looked really hard… for about ten years.”
I laugh out loud, knowing I almost have him convinced. “Yeah, but even if you did, it wouldn’t matter.”
“Why is that?” He leans closer, as if he’s looking forward to my response.
In that instant, I realise how badly I want this—him. I want to tug on every thread of his sexuality, freeing each strand for thorough inspection. I want to tie him in knots, before making him unravel for me. And I want him to know, every second along the way, I’m the one who is doing this to him. That I’m the only man to ever make him feel this way.
Licking my lips, I take a step closer and bring my face in next to his. “Because even if you did hit your limit with someone else, you’d always wonder how much further I could have taken you.” I lower my head, so he can feel my breath against his neck as I go in for the kill. “Patrick, my friend, I’m going to drag your arse so far down my end of the spectrum, you’ll have to claw your way straight.”
About Rebecca Raine
Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.
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