About the Author
Lily Velden lives on the east coast of
, her family having
emigrated from Australia
when she was a child. Holland
She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer… one day.
Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems, and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes… Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.”
Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety—Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers.
There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.
Her latest book is the M/M Contemporary Romance, Heart Knot Mine.
Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point?
I’ve always written, starting with short stories that I’d illustrate when I was a child, but it wasn’t something I thought I’d pursue as a career. For me, it was something to amuse myself with, and as I grew older, to share with family and friends.
It was only after a car accident where I injured my neck and shoulders that I devoted more time to it. After I’d written approximately two-thirds of a novel I showed it to a friend and she encouraged me to finish it and submit it to a publisher. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, I’m obsessed with writing!
Do you remember how it felt when you were offered that first contract? What emotions stand out in your memory?
The wait time from submission to the yay or nay would have to be one of the hardest waits I’ve ever had to endure. It is truly excruciating.
When I woke up one morning about eight weeks after submitting my manuscript and checked my emails and saw a message from the publishing house, I started to shake. I must admit, I was too scared to open it at first.
I dealt with every other email first and each time I went back to the inbox the publisher’s email seemed to grow in size. Even with all my emails answered and filed, I stared at that email for a long time before I finally plucked up the courage to open it. When I read the sentence about them offering me a contract I burst into tears. I was a veritable fountain! I don’t know which emotion was stronger –happiness or relief.
If I’m being honest, I’d have to admit to having similar reactions to subsequent submissions!
Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many?
Heart Knot Mine started as a stand-alone, but somewhere along the line the continuation of Noah and Robert’s story began to sound like a great idea! They’ll have to wait though, because Jonah and his guardian angel from Echoes of Mercy are getting rather impatient with me! They want me to finish their story.
What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret?
I don’t know whether to admit to this or not. I feel so shy about it, but I’d have to say the oddest thing that’s happened is the earning of a male admirer who is quite a few years my junior.
Will it make it into a book? Possibly, but seeing as I write M/M, I guess I’ll have to become a man! Of course, the fact that I write M/M and my admirer is straight is part of what makes it odd! Still, I can just see me with grey hair at my temples and glasses perched on my nose. I’d look ever so sexy…
Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages?
I usually write more than one story at a time. It depends on who is talking the loudest on any given day! Currently, I’m working on Jonah’s story which is Echoes of Mercy. It involves a journey he goes on with his guardian angel. It sad and sweet and funny and should be out sometime over the summer.
After that Jaxon and Liam have insisted I finish the third book in their series (How the Light Gets In) and trust me, Jaxon can be quite persuasive!
Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both?
I do love the genre I predominantly write in which is Contemporary Romance, but I have a soft spot for both historical novels and dystopian future ones. Oh and I love ones like the Da Vinci Code where facts are woven into the fiction and the reader is required to solve puzzles and race against the clock! A good old whodunit is a winner with me too. Hell, I just like to read a good story!
What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same?
It remains the same for each book and it’s the beginning of finally putting words on the page for a new story. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters and so it’s great when we’re all ready for me to start the actual writing. It feels like I’m about to embark on a wonderful adventure with friends with endless possibilities unfolding before us. It’s exciting.
If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration?
I think I’d have to go with Ira Levin and we’d come up with some freakish dystopian future novel. It would be scary and unnerving because we’d make it all sound so plausible.
For More Information
- Visit Lily Velden’s website
- Visit Lily’s blog
- Connect with Lily on Facebook and Twitter
- More books by Lily Velden
About the Book:
Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.
Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery—both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
For More Information
- Heart Knot Mine is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Or, order your copy at Dreamspinner Press.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
- Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
Sitting with my ass parked on my favorite barstool, at my favorite bar—the Redhead Piano Bar on
—I nursed my
bourbon and silently asked myself the usual questions. Well, actually, it was
really only the one question phrased a hundred different ways. That’s what
happened when you went the route of academia—you learned how to complicate the
shit out of things and use fancy-schmancy words. If you thought about it, it
was a bit ridiculous to be using three-plus-syllable words to ask a question,
when most of us were usually seeking a simple one- or two-syllable word answer.
Yes. No. And, if we’d really lucked out: maybe. Ontario
I snorted into my drink, remembering the words of my most admired college professor, Ross Whedon: Noah Daniels, how many times have I told you? An academic will always take a whole paragraph for what could have been said in one sentence. Christ, even my thoughts were long-winded.
What was my question again?
What the hell is wrong with me?
I mean, really, what the hell was wrong with me? She was gorgeous. Tall and willowy, with long, flowing mahogany hair that still managed to look sleek and glossy under the dim lights of the bar. Big brown eyes, clear skin, an impressive rack, and when she walked away from me, I saw she had a great peach-shaped ass.
That’s right, she walked away. Why?
Because I gave her the brush-off. That’s why.
Hence my question. What the hell is wrong with me?
She wasn’t irritating. Her voice didn’t grate. Quite the contrary. She was charming and friendly. In fact, I’d go so far as to say she was interesting and articulate—she was in PR. Surely that meant she could string together a sentence?—and yet, I’d passed on her not so subtle come-on. I looked at her again, knowing I could have her if I wanted her, but try as I might, I couldn’t muster even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for the idea.
And that was the problem.
Me and enthusiasm didn’t seem to be on speaking terms anymore. All the color had seeped out of my life. I was living a monochromatic, black-and-white photograph of a life where everything was a shade of tedious.
I wasn’t sure how it happened, or even when it happened.
It just had.
It crept up on me, like a slow-spreading parasitic vine, gradually sapping the vibrancy from my life. One day I woke up and everything was gray, dull, and lifeless.
And it had been that way for a while.
Lifting the glass, I paused, letting the bourbon wet my lips before throwing my head back and tossing down the last of my drink. Closing my eyes, I hissed, relishing the searing burn to my throat—a small reminder I was actually alive—a living, breathing, sentient being and not merely a walking, talking robot.
If only there was a whiskey burn for my emotions, I’d be set.
Glancing down at the aged cherrywood bar, I vaguely wondered what they used to achieve such a high polish. It was almost mirrorlike in its sheen. I could clearly see my face reflected upon its surface.
And instantly wished I hadn’t.
After grimacing at the shell staring back at me, I decided scrutinizing myself wasn’t such a good idea. Taking my own advice, I looked up, meeting Seth the bartender’s gaze. He raised his eyebrow at me in query, and I gave him a brief nod, watching as he poured me another finger of Booker’s.
As he slid it across to me, not a word was spoken. I nodded, he nodded, and we both went back to doing our own separate things—me to thinking, him to serving the other patrons. The opening notes of a melody from the piano situated at the opposite end of the dimly lit room, and the dulcet tones of Stella McClaren floated above the chatter of the Thursday-night crowd. They went quiet as she continued. I wasn’t surprised. She was good.
The start of the music was my alarm clock, telling me it must be . Time to head home to the never-ending pile of papers waiting to be graded.
Sighing at the thought of what awaited me, I took another sip of the amber fire in my glass and swirled it around my mouth before letting it seep, drop by drop, down the back of my throat. Once again, I said my silent thanks to the bourbon for serving a dual purpose: anesthetizing me while at the same time reminding me, with its burn, I was still alive and breathing. Quite an achievement.
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