Healey Holly is battered, depressed, and looking to go to ground in his childhood home. He wants to rent the garage apartment, but it’s Diego Luz’s place now, and the last thing Diego wants is to share it.
Diego is recovering too—from the accident that put him in a wheelchair and the death of his mother shortly after. The garage apartment is where he’s keeping his mother’s things, and as long as they’re up those stairs and he’s down on the ground, there’s no way he can deal with his loss. And that’s just how he likes it.
Healey believes in science. Diego believes in luck. It will take a blend of both, and some prayer thrown in besides, for these two to learn that it’s the journey and the destination that matters.
Hi Z.A. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi, and thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your blog with my latest novel, All Wheel Drive. I’m Z.A. Maxfield, and I’ve been writing m/m romance since about 2007, when my kids dared me to make my dream of being a writer come true.
We had a long talk that day about the difference between being a person who follows their bliss, and being a person who looks at their bliss from a long way away hoping their bliss will follow them and I’ve been following mine ever since.
All Wheel Drive is a companion book to Hell On Wheels. The main characters are twins, something I know a little bit about because I’m the mother of twin boys. Most of the twins in my books are identical, like mine, and differ because one is right-handed and one left-handed. Apparently that’s my thing! I’ve written this character combo more than once.
- Do you pay attention to literary criticism? If so, how do you handle it?
I like to think that I’m levelheaded, but like most writers, I take criticism poorly and personally and PRIVATELY–I enjoy a little whine with friends.
That said, reviews don’t reflect the books themselves, but rather the reader’s experience with the book, and therefore I truly consider it none of my business unless a reader wants to make it my business by bringing it to my attention.
These two ideas are like X and Y coordinates, and at any one point in time, depending on a thousand different variables my functionality can be plotted somewhere on that grid…
- How do you come up with your titles?
Titles sometimes come to me all snappy and premade. All Wheel Drive made perfect sense, because it’s a follow up to Hell On Wheels, and one of the main characters is a driven man in a wheelchair. Crossing Borders was about the bookstore. I’m oblivious too! I thought Drawn Together was brilliant until I realized it was a television show…
- What new authors have grasped your interest?
They’re not new authors, but recently, I’ve discovered Annabeth Albert and Tibby Armstrong, both of whom I got to meet and chat with at RT Booklover’s Convention. So fun!
- What is the hardest part about writing in an established series such as Bluewater Bay? One that has tons of characters, and locations people have read before.
For me it was a little daunting to include characters other writers created. In this book, I used Heather’s men from Burnt Toast B&B. You want to be super-true to someone else’s vision and honor their creations as much as possible (while still using their characters like puppets for your own megalomaniacal ends.)
- And now the fun one. Name the four things you would bring with you to a deserted island.
IF I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be marooned on the island by myself forever, and IF it was sort of a magical place where I didn’t need to fend off wild boars, I would bring sunscreen, a kindle stocked with every single book I’ve ever purchased (including all the books I bought in print before ebooks), as much water as I need to survive, and a never ending bowl of individual handfuls of Trader Joe’s assorted trail mixes.
Thanks for stopping by! I love that answer, practical and still fun. 🙂
I didn’t read the first book, Hell on Wheels, yet, although after reading the story of Diego and Healey, I am most curious about Healey’s twin brother, Nash and Spencer’s story. Nash was a big part of Healey’s book, and getting to know him was fun.
There must have been an incredible amount of research that went into this by the author. This was not a story where Diego “miraculously” got feeling back in his lower body. This included the challenges that someone with a spinal cord injury faces day to day life. They can have a sex life, just not the way someone who doesn’t have a SCI does. Yet, Healey, having a sister with her own SCI didn’t care about any of that. He wanted to find out what Diego wanted, what felt good to Diego, and the author did not mince words on what it would take for someone with Diego’s injuries to face all those challenges. It was good to have a realistic outlook on someone who lives every day with an injury like that.
Healey, meanwhile, was a mess of his own, and I honestly didn’t know what to think when I “met” him. He really was someone who wanted to care for those he loved, even to his own detriment. He respected Diego, and his independence, but always wanted to care for those around him in whatever way was necessary, as we learn later when the full import of his “accident” comes to light.
I didn’t always know where this story was going. It seemed to hit on areas I wasn’t expecting or didn’t find to be necessary to the story. However, I did find that although these two had a lot in common, their differences complimented each other as well.
I did enjoy meeting both their families, as they were all characters in their own way, bringing an additional dimension to the story, and creating more depth into Healey and Diego’s lives.
4 pieces of eye candy
About Bluewater Bay
Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.
Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.
Check it out at Riptide Publishing! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/bluewater-bay
Z.A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
Her published books include Crossing Borders, Epic Award finalist St. Nacho’s, Drawn Together, ePistols at Dawn, Notturno, Stirring Up Trouble, and Vigil.
Readers can visit her website at http://www.zamaxfield.com, and contact her at email@example.com.
To celebrate the release of All Wheel Drive, one lucky winner will receive an ecopy of Hell on Wheels and a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!