Kris Michaels: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with me! I’m thrilled to get to ask you questions. Okay, I’m done fangirling now. (Not really, because she’s Riley Hart, y’all!!!)
Riley Hart: Hahaha. Thank you so much for having me! I’m happy to be here.
Kris Michaels: Okay, first question: I know you publish under two names, Nyrae Dawn and Riley Hart. What was the impetus for two pen names?
Riley Hart: I was writing a lot of YA at the time and had a lot of younger readers. I was worried about having the books too connected. I didn’t want one of my thirteen-year-old readers looking me up and a super erotic excerpt popped up or something. LOL.
Kris Michaels: How long have you been writing?
Riley Hart: My whole life if feels like. LOL. I’ve always loved it. I won my first writing contest in third grade. But writing for publication? About… eleven years. It was a long road for me. I started before self-publishing was really a thing, so I did the agent and submission hunt. Took writing classes, that kind of thing.
Kris Michaels: Do you write full time?
Riley Hart: Yep!
Kris Michaels: I must admit I automatically one click anything you write under either name. I love the character driven stories you create. Walk us through the process you use to develop your ideas into stories or are you a fly by the seat of your pants type writer?
Riley Hart: I’m a combination of a plotter and a panster. I always have a basic story idea and I also know my characters really well from the start. What is their backstory? Their goal, motivation and conflict? What makes them tick? What connects them to the character they’re falling in love with? Sometimes I have a few key scenes in mind. Then I just write. Beginnings are always the hardest for me. Once I get about…15k into the book, I start breaking it down by scenes, making sure I know what’s coming next and that I’m on the right path to get my characters and their story where they need to be. I usually plot out a few scenes at a time.
Kris Michaels: Does the process change when you collaborate?
Riley Hart: Not really. The plotting part then just becomes more of a phone call and talking it out with someone. Well, that’s kind of a lie. Usually we just write until we’re much farther along than I do on my own before we stop to figure out where things need to go next.
Kris Michaels: Which of your published works is your favorite and why? (Sorry, you can’t say all of them.)
Riley Hart: That really is hard for me. I love them all for different reasons but of course some are closer to my heart. A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS because I relate to Tobias so much. TURN THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN because of how important it is for me to speak up about mental health and mental illness. COLLIDE because no one loves like Noah and Cooper. CROSSROADS because that book took on a life of it’s own. DEPTH OF FIELD because I fell so in love with Shane, Van, and their story, but also Shane’s mom (which goes back to mental illness for me). Also, BROKEN PIECES because it challenged me the most.
Kris Michaels: Which book was a struggle to write and why?
Riley Hart: BROKEN PIECES challenged me more than anything else. It was so different from anything I’d done and I knew I had to get it right, to make the relationship between the three men not only make sense, but show they really were three pieces of a whole. It needed to be equal parts that didn’t work without the other for the story to be told the right way.
Kris Michaels: Can you tell us a little about the project you are working on now?
Riley Hart: I’m working on the second book in the LAST CHANCE SERIES (following DEPTH OF FIELD). It’s Ryan and Caleb’s book. I’m super excited to tell their story and Ryan is really talking to me.
Kris Michaels: For anyone who hasn’t read your stories, I can attest to the fact that your couples are amazing and each story is wonderfully unique and absolutely enthralling. I’m curious though, did any of your guys demand you write their story even though you were supposed to be working on different projects?
Riley Hart: Oh absolutely!! I planned to write the second Blackcreek book when I had a dream about Mateo, Josiah and Tristan. That idea hit me hard and I couldn’t ignore them! I was supposed to write ROCK SOLID two when the idea for CROSSROADS hit. Bryce would NOT shut up! LOL. I was glad because I loved him, but I’ve had some writers block on ROCK SOLID two, ever since then. And I was also planning on writing WILD SIDE three when DEPTH OF FIELD demanded my attention. I have to follow the muse!
Kris Michaels: Do you still get butterflies when you hit publish?
Riley Hart: Every. Single. Time. It will never stop scaring me or exciting me. If it does, I shouldn’t be doing this.
Kris Michaels: What does Riley do to have fun?
Riley Hart: Write. LOL. Seriously, outside of my family, it’s basically my life. I like to watch my hubby and girls ride motocross.
Kris Michaels: If I strand you in the middle of nowhere and tell you that you can only access three author’s books for the next three years, who would you pick to read? Why?
Riley Hart: OMG. So hard… David Levithan, JR Ward, and Axios by Jaclyn Osborn
Kris Michaels: I am giving you a magic wand. You now have the power to change one thing in this world. What would you change?
Riley Hart: All the hate, anger and ugliness going on in the world today L
Kris Michaels: Have you set any professional goals that you are still trying to achieve?
Riley Hart: The most important thing to me is to keep being passionate about what I do, to be proud of every book I put out, and to write stories that touch readers’ hearts.
Kris Michaels: Any shout outs? People you’d like to thank for giving you that extra push, the shoulder to lean on or someone who believed in you when you didn’t think you could do it?
Riley Hart: I talk to Devon McCormack and Christina Lee daily. I would likely lose my mind without them. My bestie Kelley York always has my back. She’s an incredible writer and I’ve learned a lot from her.
Kris Michaels: Riley, thank you so much for helping me expose the Lady Smut readers to your fabulous stories. I can honestly say you are one of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I adore your work and wish you every success and happiness in your future endeavors.
Riley Hart: Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me. I had so much fun. Thanks for having me.
Blurb for DEPTH OF FIELD:
Shane Wallace has made a decent life for himself in Last Chance. He built his own home on his mom’s property to take care of her, owns an automotive repair shop, and when he wants to get laid, Portland isn’t too far away. Not too shabby for the boy who spent his childhood getting bullied and feeling alone. Shane’s content to leave his past behind him…until one of his childhood tormentors comes back to town.
Maxwell Sullivan never planned to step foot in Last Chance again. Here, he was Maxwell, a teen who suffered in silence while everyone thought he had the perfect life. Now, he’s “Van,” the erotic artist and photographer. He’s only here to help his mom tie up some loose ends after his father’s death and to apologize to Shane. After that, he’s heading back to LA for good.
Shane never thought he’d have anything in common with Maxwell, but there’s a depth to Van that surprises him. Van knows what it feels like to be alone. He sees Shane in ways no one else does. There’s a shared connection neither can deny. Somehow, despite their rocky history, they get each other.
It’s not long before the two are so drawn to each other that they tumble into bed—sometimes with Van’s camera involved. Their chemistry in and out of the bedroom is undeniable. Except nothing is ever black and white. Shane can’t leave his mom and Van’s life is in LA. With two different lives pulling them in opposite directions, their picture-perfect ending might not be in the cards.
Excerpt for DEPTH OF FIELD
Shane’s body was overheating. His pulse thumped against his skin. Christ, he was fucking hungry for the other man, hungry to slide his dick between Van’s ass cheeks and revel in all that heat around him. He wanted to just let go—fuck and feel free in ways he wasn’t often able to do. Wanted to step outside his world, and pretend it was something different.
“What are you waiting for?” Van asked him, his brows pulled together.
“Nothing,” Shane replied. He finished removing his jeans and then grabbed his lube from the drawer. There was an unopened box of condoms inside, which he tore into before plucking one out. “Get on your hands and knees for me,” he told Van who did it. His sexy, tight, ass was there and waiting for Shane. He climbed on the bed, leaned forward and licked it. Wanted to push his face in it and eat at Van’s hole until he lost his damn mind.
He wanted to make the other man come harder than he ever had before. Wanted to prove that even though he stayed in this tiny down, on the same goddamned property he’d grown up on, that he was experienced and knew what he was doing. That he could make Van scream, could make him come in a hundred different ways.
On his knees behind Van, he rubbed Van’s pucker with his thumb, and watched him tremble. “Nothing like a tight, little hole. I can’t wait to see it stretched out, taking my dick.”
Van looked over his shoulder with a cocky, grin on his face, “Then give it to me.”
Shane’s fingers shook, so much pent-up energy racing through his body, as he ripped open the condom and rolled it down his erection. He opened the lube with a snap, squirted some in his hand and rubbed his prick before adding more to Van’s hole. He pushed the tip of his finger inside, just to play with him, as he rubbed his other hand over Van’s ass.
Christ, he still couldn’t believe he had this man in his bed right now.
“Give it to me, Shane.”
Hearing Van say his name almost pulled him out of it, but just as quickly as it happened, his need took over again. Not just his need, but the fact that there was not one thing about Van that reminded him of the boy he’d been. Neither of them were the same.
“Ask me again,” he said.
“Give it to me, please. Make me see star—no, fuck that. Make me see all those damn colors you use when you’re blowing glass.”
Well…when he put it like that.
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Riley’s books & buy links:
DEPTH OF FIELD
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RETURN TO BLACKCREEK
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