Please welcome Diana DeRicci as she talks a little about her upcoming M/M romance Xavier’s Way at Etopia Press.
Annie: So Diana, I must ask the most important question first. Why do you have a stuffed wolf on your writing desk? And why does he look so familiar?
Diana DeRicci: Well, honestly he’s in good company. I have two Trail of Painted Ponies statues, a brown teddy bear and a Sonic Tot-whale, along with two Jack-balls, a Texas Rangers and a Dallas Cowboy head, both of which my hubster has tried to claim as his. Nah-uh. Not happening. Anyway, back to the wolf. He was part of a costume for Authors After Dark.
Annie: That’s where I met him! I’m terrible with names, but I never forget a set of fangs!
Diana DeRicci: Yep, the first partying wolf of our household. He was such a hit at the conference that I decided to keep him as a mascot. There was a slim chance he would be given as an add-on to one of my raffle baskets, but he looked so cute with me. He’s all mine. LOL Oh, and his name is Sebastian. LOL
Annie: Your writing desk sounds a little packed. Do you ever find yourself distracted while trying to write there?
Diana DeRicci: Actually, it’s worse than packed right now. I have a new laptop sharing space with the desktop that will be moving soon to another room. Distracted? You mean there’s a world beyond the three-feet of desk space here? *blinks blearily and lifts head* Nope, nothing exciting. Just a dirty house. LOL The only distractions I can’t avoid are the necessary ones. You know, people thinking they need food, or clean clothes, or some such nonsense.
Annie: Is there any chance we might see a picture of you and your partying wolf mascot?
Diana DeRicci: Oh man you don’t ask for small things, do you? A picture of incriminating evidence. Hmm… Well, the wolf won’t divulge secrets, but I know he had a fabulous time.
This is me letting him get a groove on with Caridad Piniero.
Annie: Oh yeah! I remember that dance floor! Get down with your bad self! 🙂 So can you tell us a favorite or memorable experience at Authors After Dark or any other conference you’ve attended?
Diana DeRicci: One of the best memories… Wow there’s so many. There was the incident of the attacking balloon in the elevator (Selena Illyria knows!!) The awesome costume contest. Getting to meet with so many authors that I adore, publishers whom I do and don’t write for. Seeing readers again or meeting them for the first time. But out of anything, I’d say my absolutely best, favorite, most memorable moment was the Chocolate party. I don’t think I laughed that hard or for that long in years. My side actually hurt when we went to bed.
Annie: Where did you get the inspiration for Xavier’s Way?
Diana DeRicci: Kind of odd, those two. I kept getting their images, but not the right script. Took a couple script runs to find them the right story, but when I did, it was like lighting a forest fire. The base inspiration for this one had to be Man To Man by G.A. Hauser. Xavier’s Way is an evolved idea that came from that story.
Annie: What M/M authors do you love reading? What inspires you about them that makes you want to write M/M?
Diana DeRicci: Well, let’s see how many I can name. G.A. Hauser, Carol Lynne, Lynn Lorenz, Ethan Day, Stephanie Hecht, LD Madison, J.R. Patrick, Willa Okati. I know there’s more, just not on the tip of fingers at the moment.
As for what made me want to write about them? Well, that started with Delany’s Catch, a paranormal M/M that was going to be an “only” book. I hadn’t planned on writing more M/M, but once my muse realized it was a whole new spectrum of writing and sexiness, well, the characters are almost lining up now. Delany started with a cute guy, Jake, who really just needed a strong love to help him get over his heartbreak. Then I learned he was gay.
Excuse me? Olivia (my muse)? Did you know this?
She just smiled and nodded, and left me to work out the logistics of writing something that I’d never imagined. Muses are true wenches. It’s the male mind that intrigues me to write them. Now if guys could figure us out as well. *snort*
Annie: What other stories can we look forward to from you? Anything yummy like Xavier’s Way? What plot bunnies do you keep locked up in your dungeon? *rubs hands*
Diana DeRicci: Right now, I have a two more M/M contracted. First Christmas, a Christmas novella and Mind Games, a Draven’s Crossing story, with one WIP in the works. The work-in-progress is a Texas-based story of a man finding his true love in a good friend. The hurdle is the packaging of that love. Good friends and a determined heart will save the day.
Plot bunnies? I keep them under lock and key. Opening the drawer for one, gets me five before I can shove them back in!! Not sure what else is coming. Depends on who hits me over the head the hardest, because I can’t always duck fast enough.
Annie: What story elements attract you to romantic fiction?
Diana DeRicci: Oh that’s easy. It’s the happily-ever-after, hands down. I love seeing a couple fight to the end and then walk off into the sunset, or the demon realm, or the night together. The harder the fight, the better it grabs me. Emotions are the key for me. I dare my characters to make me cry (it’s really not that hard to do is the sad secret).
Annie: So… blurb and excerpt?
Nailing an embezzler got him so much more than money…
Xavier De Los Santos is on the brink of financial ruin. Stratler Homes has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Xavier’s best vendors are refusing to work with him. Worse, he knows who’s responsible: his embezzling ex-fiancée, Lindsey.
Jordan Belten is the accounting half of Belten and Belten, the prestigious law and accounting firm whose new client is pure gorgeous male on a stick. Jordan is more than pleased to audit Gorgeous’s records, and find out if it’s indeed the man’s ex-fiancée who’s brought a strong man like Xavier to his knees.
Ex-fiancé. Xavier isn’t gay. Jordan didn’t have a prayer…
What he did have were secrets of his own…
Jordan managed to maneuver his butt to find the chair. His heart was pounding from Xavier’s handshake. Even with a table between them, it didn’t matter. He’d felt the shock of contact all the way to the soles of his feet. The man was utter deliciousness. Thick black hair, the kind of hair Jordan loved to delve his fingers into, and oh man, those eyes. Golden honey in a jar. A kind of brown that melted or blazed. Or, if he was lucky, both.
“And you’re a desperate bastard to be perving for a client,” he castigated himself. A straight client. As though he needed to remind himself. But apparently he did need to. He’d never seen or met anyone as gorgeous as Xavier. Even though the man was straight, he was knocking Jordan for a loop.
Today he was wearing ass-perfect black jeans, a gray button down shirt, and cowboy boots. He must have been on-site yesterday when he’d come to talk to Patton. Today, he looked business sharp. Jordan drew a breath. Life was cruel in so many ways.
Pages and files lay on the lacquered table in front of him. He was there to audit the company to find where his missing income had vanished to. The least he could do was that, hopefully without letting on how much he wanted the owner of Stratler Homes. Xavier’s anxiousness showed he needed this done quickly, and Jordan wasn’t going to fail him on it. He couldn’t make it personal. Drawing a breath, he settled in to do his job.
Three hours later, he walked out of the conference room toward the assistant’s desk, a splayed file held in his steady palm. “Gynna?”
“Yes?” He peeked up and outward and forgot what he was going to say. Xavier was just walking through the door into the building.
“Jordan?” Gynna nudged quietly.
His head swiveled numbly on his neck, his mind a blank. Gynna dropped a glance to the file in his hand, and he knew he couldn’t hide the heat in his cheeks.
Shit! Come on brain, say something! “Could I see the vendor files and receipts for Encapsilon and MatRix, Inc?”
Xavier lifted a hand, halting her rise. “It’s okay, Gynna. I’ll get them. And when you see Todd, tell him I need to see him.”
“Can do.” She wrote down Todd’s name on a pad at her elbow.
“The files you need are in my office.”
Jordan took the hint and followed Xavier. He captured a single groping stare of that hard ass, tight enough to bounce quarters off of, a mental treasure for later, then returned to the papers in his hand.
Xavier pulled out a long drawer from the lateral file against one of the office walls, then flicked over the name tabs. “Pretty much anything you need will be in this drawer or the one below. The last is a catch all.”
He took the two files Xavier handed him with a quiet, “Thank you.”
Xavier shut the drawer then sank, distracted, into the chair behind his desk. His office was modern neat. No plants, only two framed pictures on the wood-paneled walls, with broad windows that viewed, unfortunately, the access road to the freeway they abutted. There were no photos on the desk. Had there been frames of Xavier and his fiancé?
“Was there something else, Mr. Belten?”
“Jordan,” he replied absently, his mind still wondering about Xavier’s ex.
He finally met that golden gaze and knew he was screwed. “Call me Jordan. Mr. Belten is my dad.” It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but Jordan knew it was the end of whatever hope he had for himself.
He’d fallen head over heels for a straight man.