Hi all! My guest for this week’s Friday Five is Michele Rakes. Please give her a warm welcome. Thanks for joining us this week, Michele.

Tell us what kind of books do you read for fun?

I read gay fiction and mm romance. Also, I read spy thrillers. Love them, and my favorite is cleaner Micah Dalton from David Stone’s Echelon Vendetta. Would love to see Micah with a hot dude who isn’t trying to kill him, but alas, he’s straight. Bummer. Right now I have a long list of TBR’s. Currently reading The Price of Dick by D.w.Skinner. Special Forces is next on the list, by Aleksandr Voinov. I’m also beta reading my friend, Meg Amor’s new book, Hawaiian Lei.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

My kids. (and new grandbaby, Madisyn.)

If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be?

For my children to be happy, safe, and never want for the necessities. If I can get all that in one wish, then the other two would be for my writing to become a full time job paying my bills and to live where I can ride my Harley all year. I guess I don’t really need a genie for those, huh? How about an unlimited supply of frequent flier miles?

What is best writing advice you can give?

The best advice is to send your stuff out. Don’t sit on it and think, my friends read it so it’s all good. Get it out there for the rest of us to enjoy. Take chances and keep writing.

Can you share a little about your current release with us?
Kane Abel has had a rough life and it gets rougher. At the start of the story, he’s just been attacked by a group of men who have beaten, raped, and nearly killed him. Paramedic Garrett Young performs a life-saving tracheostomy on Kane and gets him to the hospital. While Garrett isn’t completely whole either, he hides a struggle with the aftermath of a firefighting accident that left him burned and scarred mentally, he still tries to take care of Kane. Garrett’s drawn to the man. When Kane needs someone to take care of him, Garrett can’t resist, and they soon discover someone isn’t through with Kane, not by a long shot.

When Garrett first came to me, he was struggling with a mental disorder and was considered a non-compliant schizophrenic. For Kane and Garrett’s ending to eventually be a HEA, in the long run, Garrett needed to be somewhat whole. I still would like to tell a story like that, where they survive and love, growing used to the daily difficulties of that kind of relationship. With Kane, he needed Garrett to be different, and so when Garrett started to tell me about his mother, I knew what had to happen. I know it sounds weird talking about my characters as if they talk to me, but it’s more like an impression. When ideas come to me, I treat it as though the characters are fleshing themselves out, rather than I’m actively doing anything. To me, that makes them live more on the page, but I don’t let them run amuck. The bad guys try to in my stories where I write from their POV too. I have to knock them down a few pegs.

Dark stories appeal to me, and I tend to write characters in the midst of some sort of struggle, either physical or psychological. Whatever it is, they have to walk through the muck and mire to find their HEA. There is always some sort of happy ending to my stories. I think my characters earn them and so does the reader.

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Twitter: @michelerakes