I get asked this questions alot. Since I write m/m it's more of my likes and dislikes, and my personality that gets sprinkled into my stories. I'm a product of the 70's, had older sisters, one who went to Berkley in the 60's, was tear gassed at concerts, and wore hippy clothes...well, you get the picture. Being a Northern California girl has influenced how I think and what I believe in, and I'm sure some of it comes across in my stories.
I love to set my stories in San Francisco or California because I KNOW the place. My very first book was a m/f romance that was set during the Summer of Love in San Francisco. To this day, I still love the book, which was such a blast to write.
My m/m stories are a bit different. I now live in the desert, and Out of Bounds is set in a small town in Arizona. The book covers conveys the setting and the mood of the desert (April Martinez did the both of these covers!)My upcoming vampire book, For The Bite Of It, is also set in Arizona. But I also love writing paranormal and making up strange, new worlds, and it was a Slavic influence that created the Kresnik world of Fighting Chance. That had nothing to do with my upbringing, my family is full blooded Italian!
I have a sweet tooth. (My downfall and why I'm a WW's Lifer). Thick iced maple bars, like the kind I grew up with, Lemon Meringue pie, strawberries and cream...one of my characters always seem to have the same passion for desserts that I have.
Det. John Reeder, from For The Bite Of It, can't go anywhere without having Hershey's Kisses in his jacket pocket. And, oh, the vampire, Vincent Esposito, well, he owns a cupcake bakery, hence the name of the book. How did Vina and I come up with this idea...
We went to Tuscon for a writer's retreat and discovered the Red Velvet Cupcake Bakery. I went everyday to try out a new cupcake - One night, we were walking away with our purchase of six, yes, six, cupcakes and I teased how it'd be fun and campy it'd be to write about a vampire owning such a place! (At the time, I was writing the more serious and dark vampire book - Fighting Chance) We bantered the idea around (not too serious about it) - and came up with the name of the place - Just For The Bite Of It. The idea just wouldn't go away, and now the first of a three book series will be released with Liquid Silver this October!
You can do some sexy scenes with chocolate frosted cupcakes!