An Interview with Renee Stevens for her Wide Open Spaces Blog Tour!

We are thrilled to be a stop for Renee on her Wide Open Spaces Blog Tour! She’s agreed to answer a few questions and give us a glimpse of her current work in progress, too!

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Single people often have more time to write. Are you single?

Nope, I’m married to a wonderful guy. I’m lucky because he encourages me to write. Also, with his job, I have a lot of alone time, if I could get stay focused I’d be able to get so much more done!

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

I have to at least throw the covers over the bed, if not I end up with lots of dog hair.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate all the way.

Have you ever gone out in public, realized your shirt is on backwards, and just don’t care?

Or inside out, but usually when that happens I find a bathroom and fix it, lol.

Is your writing process a daily word count goal or more of a burst of inspiration writing flurry?

Right now, it’s more of a burst of inspiration. I’d love to be able to write on a daily basis, but lately it just hasn’t seemed to work well for me. I’m hoping that will change in the near future!

How many books/stories have you written? Which is your favorite?

If we include short stories as well, then over 30. I’m hoping to revise some of those in the near future and either self-publish them or submit them to a publisher. We’ll have to see how that goes, because first I need to get my current projects done! As far as which is my favorite, for short stories I’d have to say Burning Bright, which can be read at GayAuthors. For my longer ones, I’m not sure I have a favorite, though I really like the way that No More Hiding turned out.

What do you think makes your story stand out compared to other “similar” stories?

I think it’s the realism. Not just the characters, but the scenery. All of the places in Wide Open Spaces are places that I’ve actually visited myself and so I could accurately portray what Devon and Levi saw, and/or felt when they were in each of those places. Anything from the awe of seeing a newborn wild foal, to the misery of getting caught in a sudden torrential downpour.

Did something specific inspire you to write this story?

Yes and no. It wasn’t a story I planned, but then a fellow author (waves to Alicia Nordwell) mentioned the States of Love submission call at Dreamspinner Press. I wasn’t sure on claiming a state, but she strongly encouraged me, and during her encouragement, the idea for Wide Open Spaces was born.

How did you come up with the title?

That was actually fairly simple, for once. The story is based in Wyoming, and in the area where it takes place, sometimes you can see for miles and miles. Wide Open Spaces just seemed to fit.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Currently I’m working on revising the story I wrote for the 2010 NaNoWriMo. It was originally called Rough Stock Wranglers and while I love the title, it doesn’t fit with the rewrite, so I’m trying to come up with a new one.

Excerpt:

Shelving his feelings of remorse to study later, Marc shoved the other man hard enough to send Casey careening into a nearby chair. His brain realizing he’d gained the upper hand, he pressed on and within moments Marc was rolling on the floor with Casey as they each tried to gain domination over the other. Marc managed to land a few more punches, but then hands were grabbing him and pulling away. His entire body hurt but he ignored the pain and struggled to get free.

“Fuckers. Let me go.” The more he fought, the tighter he was held. Despite his attempts, Marc was no match for the men trying to drag him away. Through the haze of anger he saw two men pull Casey out of the fray and resumed his struggles, determined to make the other man admit that what he’d muttered had been a lie.

Marc’s vision began to clear, the adrenaline draining out of him, and he recognized the two men holding Casey back as being the two hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. He turned his head to see who had him and met Rick’s gaze. A groan slithered from his throat as he looked on his other side and found Jason regarding him as if he was a snake about to strike.

“You can let me go now.” Marc tried to jerk his arms free.

“Sorry, boss man, can’t do that.” Rick’s grip tightened to the point Marc was sure he’d have bruises. Other than the ones he’d have from Casey.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

WIDE OPEN SPACES
States of Love – Wyoming

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Genre:
Contemporary
Length: 35,659 Words
Rating: Adult/Mature

PRE-ORDER NOW
Amazon: US I CA I AU I UK I DE

Blurb

Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Excerpt

Devon sank down on his couch as exhaustion swamped him. Most of it was from moving in, but the change in elevation didn’t help. He’d gotten used to being closer to sea level, so going back to the dry air at over six thousand feet was going to take some getting used to.

Bloody noses had become the norm while he stayed with Blake. Devon didn’t want to deal with them repeatedly and considered getting a humidifier until he managed to acclimate.

He looked around his living room. Boxes were scattered everywhere, and he should be unpacking, but he was too tired. At least he hadn’t had to carry everything in himself. Blake, Travis, and Seth were waiting for him when he pulled into the apartment complex. They shrugged off his objections and insisted they had nothing better to do. Devon appreciated it, but he wasn’t comfortable around them anymore. He managed to be a proper host, but damn, he was glad they left after a couple beers each. They made noise about getting together again soon, but Devon had used getting settled in as an excuse to keep from committing to anything.

He stood and wandered into his small kitchen. He didn’t bother opening the fridge or any of the cupboards. He knew they were empty. His stomach growled, reminding him he hadn’t eaten for a while. Devon dug his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door. He’d get something to eat and then maybe stop at the store to pick up a few staples. Paper plates, sandwich fixings, some chips, and he’d be good for a couple of days. At least it would give him time to get a few things—like pots and pans—unpacked. Then he could do a full grocery shop.

An hour later he was comfortably full from a greasy burger, fries, and a shake. He’d never eaten a lot of fast food, but he had few other options. He headed to Walmart, determined to stick to his list of sandwich stuff and maybe some eggs. Surely he could dig out some pans before the food expired. He headed to the chips first and scanned for the familiar bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. They were his all-time favorite, though he also knew he’d want something else after a day or two. So he grabbed a couple of other bags and headed for the eggs and then the freezer aisle.

Sandwiches and chips would get old fast. He found some frozen breakfast sandwiches he could microwave, tossed them in the cart, and moved on. Frozen lasagna quickly joined the few other items in his cart, followed by some potpies, a few TV dinners, and a bag of chimichangas. So what if he wasn’t sticking to his mental list?

He was more focused on getting groceries for the next few days than on the people around him.

“Devon.”

He froze when a familiar voice spoke his name. He closed his eyes briefly, ducked his head, and steeled himself. He knew it would happen eventually, when he found out Levi still lived there. He thought he’d have more time to prepare. He swallowed—hard—and turned to face the man who had at one time meant everything to him. The man he’d risked being found out for. He lifted his head and gazed into the moss-colored eyes.

“Levi.”

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About the Author

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

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Blog Tour Schedule – More chances to win!!!!
August 24th: M.A. ChurchNic starr
August 25th: Grace Duncan
August 26th: Anna Butler
August 27th: David Dawson
August 28th: Alicia Nordwell
August 29th: Anne Barwell
August 30th: Antonia Aquilante
August 31st *RELEASE DAY*: Mann RamblingsMichael Mandrake
September 1st: Julie HayesElyzabeth M. VaLey
September 2nd: Caraway Carter
September 3rd: JC Wallace
September 4th: Caz Pedroso
September 5th: Brynn Stein
September 6th: Lila Leigh Hunter
September 7th: Morticia Knight
September 8th: Charley Descoteaux
September 9th: Cheryl Headford
September 10th: Heloise West
September 12th: Foster Bridget Cassidy

2 Comments

  1. August 25, 2016    

    Thanks for having me today, Grace!

    • grduncan grduncan
      August 25, 2016    

      Thanks for being here!

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