AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: LIZ BORINO
Liz Borino has stopped by to chat with us in the Bunny Cave about writing and her her recent collaboration with friend Michelle Stevens…
Tell us a little about Behind the Scenes.
New beginnings are exciting, but we can rarely outrun our pasts. Steve Michaels and Zack Greene pack up their newly extended family and move to New York City with their nanny, Drew, and his two kids. Having recently been hired to write for a BDSM show, Steve and Zack use their loving Dom/sub relationship for some experience with the lifestyle, but they need a consultant to fill in the blanks. Alex a local Dom/club owner can do just that. Everything is going smoothly until Rich, an ex-producer from Ben’s Life and the man who tried to ruin Zack, tries to get a job on the same show. And that’s only the beginning of it.
Zack and Steve offered Drew an opportunity of a lifetime working for them. When Alex shows up for the first meeting with Zack and Steve, Drew realizes he didn’t leave his past behind after all. This becomes more true when his ex comes back wanting to see the kids.
Can Drew trust Alex to help him get over his past? Can Steve manage to keep Zack safe from the man who has haunted him for so long? Find out what happens Behind the Scenes!
What inspired you to write Behind the Scenes?
My friend Michelle had two characters, Alex and Drew, who we believed would work very well as contrasts to Steve and Zack, the main characters I carried over from the Mine series. As much as they contrasted, our boys got along well and formed a family unit.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
Both. I always try to have some idea where the story is going, some plot points to include, but I don’t always know how to get from one to the other. The characters do. And if they don’t? That means the plot I envisioned isn’t going to work. So, then I let them guide me.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
M/M BDSM erotic romance is definitely not what I thought I would be writing in—nor what my mother would prefer I write—but that’s beside the point. I think it just evolved naturally from my interests and personality. I’m a big advocate for civil rights, for minorities (LGBT population, women, secular community, etc.). However, I started writing gay romance because it’s what I do best. Throughout my life, I’ve always related to men better than women, so women as main characters are very difficult for me to write well. They always come out stereotypical, which is not in line with my work. Oh, and it’s hot.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Zack Greene. I find him to be the funniest.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Josh Williams he was a consensual slave and I really struggled to understand his mentality without making him come across as weak. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I ever did get him right.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
The characters appear as voices in your head. They grow and change and become real people. It’s like watching a baby develop only with less poop clean up. And just like a baby they are their own people, not really based off anyone. So, no funny stories, except the ones constantly playing in my head, but you don’t really want to go there.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Editing my own work. The first draft is easy, fun, but editing to make it right, and letting go of the concept of perfect, is very difficult for me. I can read something published and beat myself up over a repeated word or a missing comma.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
All my adventures, particularly the romantic ones, happen on paper. I lead a pretty boring life.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
No. I stopped feeling guilty for pleasure a long time ago. But, if I were going to pick something, I would say Magnolia’s cupcakes.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
House. I find medical shows fascinating and he’s such a great character study.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I drink Diet Peach Snapple and that gives me the energy I need to perform.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I don’t know if music influences my writing, but I can tell you I’m always listening to something.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Alex- Johnny Depp, Drew- Paul Walker, Zack- Zac Efron, and Steve- Benjamin Lutz
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was doing a public relations internship in undergrad, open call for modeling auditions when I received the email from Staci at Lazy Day. I told the person sitting next to me. Don’t even remember her name, but then I texted everyone I knew.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I suppose that depends on your definition of a romance book. I was in high school before I started to read traditional romance, like Danielle Steele, but many of the series I read up until that point, like Sweet Valley, had romantic elements in them.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
A newer author I really enjoy is Anastasia Vitsky.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m an editor and am working towards my MA in English. So, all of my ‘jobs’ have writing in them.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
I can’t say I watch a lot of movies, but I really enjoyed the movie version of Les Miserables. Of course, it doesn’t compare to the Broadway, but that would be asking a lot of Hollywood.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Double Exposure, book two in the Director’s Cut series, will be out in July.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
For now, I’ll stick with Michelle. Co-authoring is an interesting thing. You’ve got two people who feel passionately about their work, and hopefully those passions align. Michelle and I have generally accomplished that.
How do you pick your characters names?
They’re real people, remember? They come with names.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I find a steady growth to be more believable. You can have attraction at first sight, but love takes something much deeper.
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Milk chocolate with coconut or milk chocolate with peanut butter.
Ranger or Morelli?
Both at the same time because no one should have to make that choice.