Today I am super excited to welcome author Zach Sweets back to the blog. Zach is here to chat with us a bit, as well as to tell us more about his new short story, False Assumptions. He has also brought a copy of False Assumptions to give away to one lucky reader. Welcome Zach!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog again. ;D
So first off, would you like to start off by telling us a little about yourself?
Tell you about myself? Wow, um. That’s really hard question, LOL. I moved a lot growing up because my father was in the Army. I finally settled in Arizona with my other half who has been an amazing supporter of my writing. In most of my projects, you will notice I frequently include a deaf character because I happen to be deaf too. I’m a big horror lover, so most of my writing projects fall into the horror category.
Now False Assumptions is a short story that takes place between two best friends on New Year’s Eve. Can you tell us more about the story?
Writing a friendship to lover story is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. After seeing Less Than Three Press’s Kiss Me At Midnight anthology call, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity for me. I have always had a soft heart for fur-men (men with a hairy chest and beard). Writing a totally opposite character was what I wanted before starting False Assumptions. (In the next question, you’ll see what inspired me to write a cross-dressing character.) Other than friendship to lover, I wanted the book to be right at the spot where the sex wasn’t necessary at all. I wanted to expand my writing skills to describe a true romance between two men. Not all love romance requires sex scenes to make the relationship complete either. The story is based in Chicago, Illinois. It happens on a boat where they celebrate New Year’s Eve while cruising on the lake. The location was inspired by my vacation to Chicago last August 2012.
Joss is a fun character who is very lively and enjoys attention. Not only does he enjoy some cross dressing, but he also appears to have shoe obsession! Can you tell us more about what inspired Joss? After spending a few days with you at GRL, I know you share his fondness for the color orange 😉
LOL, you guessed correctly! I can’t get rid of my favorite color in this book. 😀 I wanted to write a character that is a cross-dresser after meeting a friend I haven’t seen since college last August in Chicago. The first time I met him, he was barely coming out of his closet with his sexual preference. I remember how innocent he was and how often he’d worry about what people thought of him. Few years later, he was out and proud. I got to see him again in Chicago and he completely inspired me to write a character that is based on him. None of the information about Joss in False Assumptions was real. But I got inspiration from my friend, Dickie Heart, based on how he reacts and acts around people. He is so positive and seems to be smiling all of the time. Whenever I’m around him, he makes me smile instantly. I wanted the character in the story to be as real as him. That is what led me to writing False Assumptions.
Now this story is a bit of a departure from some of your other work which is more in the horror realm. The first time you visited the blog you were here to talk about Zombie Rain. What is it that interests you about the horror genre? And what do you enjoy about connecting it to romance?
Yes, I remembered the first time I visited your blog, talking about Zombie Rain. I have never left horror and it will always stay with me. I want to expand my writing skills between romance and horror elements. Blending them together is what I’ve been working on; therefore you and the readers will expect to see more of that out of me in future. False Assumptions was a great story for me to practice being out of my comfort zone since I’ve never written a cross-dressing character. It is my dream to show the readers I can write in different genres and still deliver them with their happy ending.
I’ve told this story to many of my friends and I still love telling them. The first time I fell in love with horror was when I was in my toddler years (I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but old enough to remember). I was watching the first Alien movie or the second. I couldn’t remember which Aliens I saw. I was laughing when a man’s half body got cut off and my older sister was four and half years older than me cried and ran to our grandparents. After that, I couldn’t get tired of the horror films. Growing up, I wasn’t a big reader until I got older and found my love for books. (Better late than never, right?). Darren Shan’s The Demonata series and Cirque Du Freak series were one of few horror books that made me read as much as possible. It was only a few months shy from getting introduced to gay books. That was when I wanted to write my own horror stories with gay romance thrown in.
Can you tell us about what else you are working on? What can we expect from you coming up?
Over the last several days (as some who have been following me on twitter probably have noticed), I’ve been working on a gay contemporary romance between a daddy-bear and a cub. The daddy-bear in my description is the one that has salt & pepper hair and a beard. The cub is more of the man that has little or no hair on his chest but has a full-grown beard and possibly hairy from waist and down. ;D The description of them is my own opinion, though. This one will be a long-novella length that focuses on their relationship build-up. It doesn’t have any sex scenes until the ending, though. I really want to focus on how they deal with each other since both of them had a bad past and it was up to them to repair each other’s hearts, hence the working title Putting the Hearts Together. There will be three books in total and each book has different couples. The second and third books’ main characters are also bear: round belly, furry all over, and the sweetest men.
I also have been outlining several projects. One is for Less Than Three Press’s If You’re Reading This… serial anthology call and other is LT3’s Proud to be a Vampire collection. Of course, there is one very important project I can’t wait to start writing. It is a sequel to Rusty’s Surprise, which is a mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Rusty and Hal are going to have a battle with the aliens. You can read more information over at The Next Big Thing Blog Hop – Unheard Destruction. There are many more projects I want to write this year. I made the list and the total number of projects I want to work are around eighteen. I know it’s a lot, but I can do it.
What you can really expect from me are the horror, romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. I am intending to expand the sexual orientation in my books. I am not limiting my writing to gay only. It is my dream to be able to write characters that fall in QUILTBAG category.
If my readers want to learn more about you or your work, where can they find you?
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! It was so nice to have you visit!
Thank you for having me! 😀
Zach, an army brat, was born in El Paso, TX, and has lived in North Carolina, Germany, Kansas, California, and the District of Columbia, before graduating from University of Baltimore in May 2010, with a degree in Applied Information Technology. He now resides in Arizona, where he moved to start a new adventure with his partner and dog.
In his spare time, Zach enjoys reading, mainly horror. He enjoys doing outdoor activities, and he runs on a daily basis. He participates in charitable running events, from 5k up to marathon distances.
Zach writes as often as he can and likes to push himself with writing challenges. Joining the M/M Romance group on Goodreads.com has immensely boosted his motivation to become a successful Deaf author, writing about man to man love, with some horror thrown in for good measure.
When he is not writing or reading, Zach likes to practice his web design and development skills. He loves to hang out with love of his life as often as he can, finding things to do inside and outside the house, whether it be yard work, hiking, bike riding, walking their dog, eating out at a cozy diner, or just loving.
Zach has brought along a copy of False Assumptions to give away to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment by January 26th at 11:59 pm.