Today we are chatting with Bryan T. Clark author of Ancient House of Cards, Before Sunrise, and his latest release, Come to the Oaks. Bryan writes romance with an emphasis on moral dilemma. His multicultural characters and riveting plots embody real life, filled with challenges, personal growth, and, of course, what we all desire—love
Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
· I was an investigator for twenty-seven prior to releasing my first book, Ancient House of Cards in 2014. Although I dabbled a little with writing fiction in high school, I never had any aspirations of being published. I just wrote for fun.
What kind of books do you write?
· I write romance books that represent a moral dilemma that the characters have to resolve in order for their relationship to work. I try to infuse real emotions into real situations that someone in the LGBTQ community would face, whether it’s their job, coming out to family members, or going against the grain of what was expected of them. Love doesn’t always come at the best time.
What inspired you to write?
· I don’t know, I guess it comes from my love of reading. As far back as in High School, I was reading fiction with a gay character as the main character. In fact, Patricia A. Warren, the author of the ‘Front Runner’ was likely the first author I read with a gay character. Then I found Gordon Merrick. He was dream come true as he had fourteen books already published, just waiting for me. I read them all, back to back, I couldn’t get enough. If you haven’t heard of him, start with his novel, ‘The Lord Won't Mind’, hands down, my favorite. I remember learning so much about the world through his writing. I want people when they read my books to have an experience, to fall in love, to be enriched somehow by what I’ve written.
What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
· I don’t know if I do stand out. I just write and within my writing bits and pieces of me, who I am, how I became the person I am today comes through. . None of it is 100% fiction, there is a little truth in it all.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
· I guess finding the time to just write. There are so many other components to being an author that takes you away from actually writing. I find that when I can get in a couple of days in a row just to write for five to six hours, that’s when it just starts to flow naturally. I know when this happens because the characters are talking and doing things faster than I can write down. When I can get to that spot, it’s heaven.
Where do you like to write what is your routine?
· I am very much a routine kind of guy. I’m usually in the office by seven-thirty with my second cup of coffee. I like to read emails, connect with fans and take care of the business end of things before opening up the creative part of the brain. When I do start to write, I need it quiet, just me and my characters. My office is located on the second floor of my home towards the very back of the house, so I hear very little of what might be happening in the house at any given time. I can write for about an hour at a time, taking breaks to stretch, eat, and deal with things that have to be dealt with in the moment in the house.
What do you do when you are not writing do you have a day job?
· No day job. I retired in 2014 to write full time. Since my husband still works full time plus, I manage the day to day operations of the house, including taking care of my 80 year old mother who is just a kick. Her health is good, but she does require some assistance. I feel very fortunate that I can be there for her during these years.
Do you work with an outline or just write?
· I start with an idea, that I write out on paper. Then I plot out the beginning, the middle and the end. The middle of any book that I write is where all hell is breaking loose, and you, the reader can’t stop reading because you have to know what happened. Everything in between these three points is created as it comes to me, delivered by the character themselves. Sometimes that may be even in the middle of the night as I’m trying to sleep.
What advice would you have for other writers?
· First and foremost, writing a book is hard work, and if done right, takes a long time. But if you're seriously bent on writing that story deep within you, then just write the story, DON’T try to write a book. People think there are all these rules in how to write, and they just don’t know where to start, so they never do anything. Get your story on paper and then develop it into the next great novel. If you’ve never written a book, join a writer’s group online, read books on character development and how to strengthen your plot, take a writer’s course, do something to understand the industry and what goes into developing a great story. It’s rarely the story itself, it’s how it’s told.
How important is marketing and social media for a new author?
· Marketing and utilizing social media to get your work out there is important. With today’s technology, we all have access to thousands of people via the internet. But it takes time and energy to reach them. It’s like Hide & Seek, you have to find your audience. You can’t just put up a big billboard that says ‘Buy my book!’
Tell us a little about Come to the Oaks, your recent release.
· Come to the Oaks is actually the very first book I wrote many years ago. I wasn’t sure what people would think of it so I shelved it. It’s a Gay Historical fiction that takes place in 1845 Antebellum America. Benjamin Nathaniel Lee, heir to Oak Grove Plantation, has just purchased his first slave. He bids on Mamadou Masamba not because he wishes to perpetuate his father’s plantation legacy, but because the African, soon to be known as the slave “Tobias,” is the most beautiful man he has ever seen. It is a time of racial conflict, and a time where when forbidden love has to remain a secret, but Ben is determined to win Tobias’s heart and in turn liberate himself from the moral bondage imposed upon him by plantation life.
· I am always polishing my next novel and have several in the pipeline. I want to put out some contemporary romance novels that deal with some hard issues within our society, but keeping it entertaining for the reader. . I want to keep enjoying doing what I do!
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 89,745 words
In 1845, as America is drowning in its own racial conflict, in a time when forbidden love has to remain a secret, can two young men find love when one has everything to lose, and the other has nothing?
For Tobias, a young African man, life has ended before it began. Snatched abruptly from his homeland and enslaved into the Antebellum South, grand homes and majestic oak trees meant little to him. Now he is considered the property of other men, but his spirit would not be broken.
The awkward Benjamin Nathanael Lee lives a privileged life. His father owns the largest tobacco plantation south of the Mason Dixon line. Ben wants little to do with the harsh realities of running a plantation—that is, until he meets Tobias, the one person that changes everything for him.
Wealth, greed, and power brought them together. The same now threatens to separate them forever. The two men are on the verge of losing the one thing that matters: their love for one another. Against the odds, they steal off and embark on a journey to find freedom: the freedom to love one another and to live a life without the chains of slavery.
Come to the Oaks is the tale of a forbidden romance—a love forged by two young men as they journey through a land that is tearing itself apart.
Bryan Thomas Clark is a boisterous extrovert who is a proud member of the GLBT community. After twenty-seven years in law enforcement, he retired in 2015. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan now lives in the Central Valley of California with his husband of thirty-one years. Behind his keyboard working on his next novel, Bryan writes gay fiction with an emphasis on a moral dilemmas and M/M romance. On the rare occasions he isn’t writing, Bryan enjoys traveling, following his husband around the state of California to various equestrian competitions, laying by a body of water soaking up the sun, and watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband on the couch.
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