My guest today is a fabulous author, editor, and translator who I very much enjoy talking to on Twitter. Please welcome Terry Milien to my blog. Thanks for being here, Terry. J
Thank you for having me in the first place! ^_^ Hi everyone!
1. How about we start with some basic information – tell me a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What kind of student were you? What were your favorite activities? Anything you want to share is fine. J
Sure! Well, I’m Terry, I grew up in Belgium, not far from the north border of France. I always was on the lazy side of things, studies included. BUT I also have excellent auditory memory so I didn’t actually need to study to get good grades, which infuriated most of the people who knew about it. :3 The only class I had terrible grades was PE—sports are the bane of my existence, I’m so clumsy and uncoordinated it's not funny. Reading has been a big part of my life since I was 11, when I opened Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s for US peeps) for the first time. People kept giving me the weird look ’cause I always dragged at least one book around.
2. How did you start writing m/m romance? Do you write any other genre?
I’m still new to writing professionally as a whole. I’ve had ideas sticking with me since I was 15 but I’m only now starting to put them into shape. Something was always missing, and I’ve realized it’s because I wanted to fit in the literary mold, writing about straight MCs and their gay best friend. My teen years weren’t always happy, so I learned to hide myself. Getting married last May really boosted my self-confidence to be who I am and write what I want to write—as well as the discovery that there is a world for people who enjoy stories about and with homosexuals.
So to get back at your original question: I’d read Treasure by Megan Derr when it was on fictionpress.com a few years ago and it stuck with me a long, long while. Last June, I felt the sudden urge to read it again and found it had been deleted, along with everything Megan had on there. So I Googled it, and ended up on lessthanthreepress.com. After buying the whole series, I looked around the place and saw the submission calls.
I saw the Kiss Me at Midnight one, said to myself, “I can do this.” and I went through with it. Later, I witnessed the whole “Halloween Rentboys” shenanigans on Twitter and also submitted a story for that. Seriously, this is all kind of my own Cinderfella fairytale :-)
Since then, I’ve been revisiting all of my old ideas to see which ones would work for this genre, which hasn’t been as hard as it could seem since at least one or two of each of my characters already were supposed to be gay.
I don’t have anything else published at the moment, but I do want to explore more than just m/m; possibly f/f, and maybe more.
3. Did you have any early influences either in this genre or any other when you were first starting out?
Well, since I’m still starting out, I don’t really know what to say. I’m a really observant person—in fact, I watch and listen to what’s happening around me far more than I participate in conversations—and since I read so many different things… Shows, too. I love me some TV shows. I can’t really develop any further, there are just so many things that can influence me. Music, something someone tells me, an ad, etc. Anything can trigger that part of my brain that plots my stories. Although I’d be lying if I didn’t point you to Harry Potter and Charmed as my all-time favorite books and show, respectively. I love me some Buffy, too.
4. What is your favorite sub-genre to write and to read? For example – I can never pass up a story with a rockstar in it or more often than not, cowboys. J
Fantasy, no questions asked, and all sub-subgenres thereof. Supernatural, paranormal, too. Give me dragons, fairies, and elves, and I’m a happy boy! ^_^ I’m always surprised when something magical/unexplainable doesn’t happen to my characters, but I don’t try to force it. If it’s supposed to be contemporary, I let it be. [Notice how the stories are my masters, not the other way around… :3]
5. Do you have any writing or reading quirks or squicks? Anything that you just can't read or don't think you'll ever write. Anything you have to do before you start or as you write – certain music, computer facing west, etc.
Quirks: I don’t know? Well, I’m actually a hermit. I need absolute quiet to get anything done. I’m just so easily distracted. My phone ringing, music from the neighbor’s, anything will conspire to make me unable to produce any kind of work, not just my own writing either. I’ll reread the same sentence over and over again, or just stare at the keyboard not knowing which key to hit first. My husband has this nasty habit of having to do something with his hands when he watches TV. So he’ll tap a pen on his lap, or play with the remote, and even if they’re not loud, those sounds get on my nerves. LOL. But I can’t put my desk anywhere else so I need to endure, which is why I work at night—most of the time, I don’t start until way past midnight unless I’m alone in the house. So definitely, I need quiet, and solitude.
Squicks? Probably BDSM. Maybe I haven’t found the right story yet, but I do not enjoy reading it, so I don’t have any plans to write it. Role play during sex is one thing, outright BDSM doesn’t do anything for me, though. I won’t say never, however.
6. What do you find most enjoyable about writing m/m romance? Least enjoyable?
I’m not sure. It’s not something that I’ve ever thought about in those terms. I just write it, because it’s what I want to write, what feels right. So I guess that would be my reply: what I most enjoy is it completes me in a way nothing else can, not watching TV, not even reading. I’m making something, living adventures and stories that I’ll never get to live in real life.
What I least enjoy? Probably the feeling of not belonging outside of the Internet. It’d be so great to know our books could end up in an actual brick and cement store, wouldn’t it? Not an LGBTQ store, either. That doesn’t count. But as with everything, gays are kept aside, and that's definitely not something I enjoy.
7. I've heard a rumor you write fanfiction – care to tell us about it? ;)
I do. Well, I used to. I haven’t written any for a few years, though I’ll probably get back to it eventually, especially with Sterek :3 I have yet to write any slash fiction, though. Since younger me liked to pretend his fanfics could have been canonical, turning main characters gay randomly wouldn’t have worked!
I’ve only ever written fanfics on HP and Charmed so far, though. (They’re a constant in my life, LMAO.)
8. Tell me about your muse – if you have one of course. J
Ugh. If there was a Bureau of Muse Liaison, I’d totally go demand a replacement! I call her Slacker. She keeps odd hours, always chimes in when I’m otherwise busy, and can go on strike for weeks at a time!
9. What's the first element of a story that comes to you – characters, plot, scenes, setting?
It’s different every time. Sometimes, I get a really clear plot. Sometimes just a character and his background. Sometimes a scene, an event. What I struggle with most are names and physiques, I usually have to think about those, they don’t come fully shaped—shame!
10. I won't assume you celebrate Christmas but if you do, what are your favorite parts of the holidays?
I don’t celebrate Christmas, per se. It could be called anything and I wouldn’t care either way. I was raised a Christian, but according to the Bible I’m already on my way to Hell so I can’t really bring myself to care about religion. What I do is enjoy spending time with my family and giving them presents just to see their smiles.
11. Now just a few multiple choice questions: (you can take them any way you like)
That’s the way I like it, ahah. A word of warning: I’m terrible at this game. I’ll mostly always find a way to reply “Both” or something along that idea. :3
Rock, country or classical?
That’s all? Huh. My music tastes are what you would call eclectic. I don’t just swing one way or the other, unlike with my sexual preferences! LOL People often look at me when I tap my foot or shake my booty and ask, “You like this? But I thought –” I get this all the time. You don’t put no label on me! :p
Giraffe or monkey?
Tea or coffee?
Both (told ya!). It’ll depend on my mood and craving of the time. I can go a month with coffee and switch to tea the next, or drink both the same day.
Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves?
What kind of question is this? Of course it would be the werewamp hybrid spawned from both ruling families and hidden at birth… ^_^;;
Series or one-shot?
For the sake of my bank account: one-shots. But who am I kidding? I love me some series. When it’s an older series I’m only finding about now, I buy all the books and read-athon them. If it’s a series that’s about to end, I do the same, making sure to be done with the earlier ones when the last one is released. And if it’s an ongoing series, I do that with the already published ones and then bitch to anyone listening that the writer is making me wait, how dare they?!
Beach or mountains?
Beach, no doubt. Sunbathing with a good book for the win!
Eyes or smile?
Tough! Eyes, then smile. You catch my attention with your eyes, and drag me in with a smile. Don’t let my husband read this. :3
Cowboys or rockstars? (yeah, I have to ask)
Let me get this straight (Ah, damn right!): muscled men who stink of sweat from taking care of cattle versus weirdly-dressed men who stink of sweat from blaring their lungs out to a crazy crowd? Did I get that right? Clearly, both. Although if a knight in shining armor shows up, he’ll win. :3
12. Finally, tell us about your next release or what you're working on now.
My next release is the one Kiss Me at Midnight story I was telling you about, Midnight Strokes, and it comes out January 16.
“Despite the odds against them, Eric and Allan have been together for ten years. But stuck at a family New Year's party, Allan is painfully aware of all that has been wrong and missing between them lately, and fears that the new year is going to be his first alone.”
Currently I’m working on Firesong, my Sandy Relief Auction story, won by Sasha L. Miller—and exclusively for you, here’s the cover, so kindly made by none other than the awesome Megan Derr herself.
I’m also hoping to get something done for the Dracones anthology call Storm Moon Press is running until Dec. 31. I have the story outlined to the scene, I just need that damnable Slacker to let me write it! *glares at the muse*
Outside the writing front, I’m also translating Megan (Derr)’s Treasure to French, which is only the beginning of a long list. Being able to bring these awesome stories to a larger audience really is a great feeling!
And, actually, next year I’ll be putting myself out there for anyone (publishers/self-publishing authors) interested in an editor or a translator (or both), as that will be my only full-time activity come January. Anyone interested, keep an eye on my website ^_^
Thanks for stopping by Terry. It was nice to get to know you a little better. J
Again, thanks for having me! This was as fun as I expected! =D
Terry has always loved making up stories. Even before he could write or read, he could be found changing around Disney's stories after he'd watched the movies. The youngest of five, the odd one out, he grew up constantly bored because his siblings were "too old to play", so making up stories was really a necessity. At 11 he was hooked by the Harry Potter phenomenon, and by 16 he really couldn't wait for the damn translations to be made so he decided to go for the original versions. Since then he mostly writes, reads and watches TV in English.
He can be reached via many social networks and blogging sites, among others:
I'm offering an ebook copy of Laying in Wait to one winner, and my upcoming release Midnight Strokes to another. That's right, two giveaway. ^_^ But the winner of Midnight Strokes will have to wait until the official release date of January 16.
Terry's giveaway will run from December 7-9 inclusive. Just comment with your name and email address - don't forget the email or I won't be able to get ahold of you. The winners will be posted on this thread on December 10. Good luck!