Author Eden Winters interviewed by Jon Michaelsen;
Eden, thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for members of the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook group.
Thanks for letting me be here.
Let’s start off with, where do you live?
I live in a very small town in upstate South Carolina.
As you probably know, writers rarely like to toot their own horns…lol, but what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
Personally? It’s tuning out the naysayers, writing and publishing a novel. Professionally? It’s the writers I’ve had the pleasure of encouraging, as a beta, editor, and friend, several of whom were like I once was, with stories to tell but having allowed people to convince me I wasn’t smart enough, educated enough, or anything thing else enough to become an author. It’s a great feeling to see someone who’s been discouraged spread their writer’s wings and fly. I love proving detractors wrong too. J Oh, and one of my books was a Lambda Award finalist, and several have won honors at the annual Rainbow Awards.
My two children are now grown and out on their own, so I live alone, the proud pet parent of two rescue cats. Thanks to my writing, I have made many friends within the US and beyond, and love to visit with them or invite them to my home.
Do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing or plot out your storylines in detail?
I am a pantser all the way. I may start with what I think is a sound design, but as my characters develop and take over the story, all my plans get tossed to the side.
Have had you ever had to deal with homophobia after your gay novels are released, and if so, what form(s) has it taken?
Mostly I’ve received some less than stellar comments by readers who didn’t realize my book starred a gay couple. I’ve also been asked “how can a woman write a gay man?”
You have a rather interesting trio of novels known to fans as the Diversion series in the mystery/thriller genre which specialize in pharmaceutical crime. Can you share a little about the series with us?
The series stars a royal pain in the ass, former drug trafficker who’s working off a ten-year sentence in service to the good guys. His time is almost up and he’s assigned to train his replacement. My hero, Lucky, doesn’t get close to anyone, and uses his snark and attitude to keep other at bay. College-educated, former Marine turned pharmacist Bo is everything Lucky is not: neat, compassionate, caring, vegetarian, and in Lucky’s eyes, too perfect. When on assignment together, they realize how much in common they really have.
Your Diversion series features pharmaceutical crime in each novel, as investigated by the Southeastern Narcotic Bureau. Do you have personal experience with the pharmaceutical industry? How do you go about your research for each novel?
My day job is in the pharmaceutical business and I read a lot of trade magazines. Far from being bored, I’m fascinated by the things going on in the industry that most people don’t know about, like drug shortages, pill mills, and cargo jackings. But when I read about a multi-million dollar drug shipment being stolen, eighteen-wheeler and all, in two minutes flat, something clicked and ideas began to form. I had intended Diversion to be a stand-alone about diverted drugs, but the articles kept coming, the ideas kept spinning, and along came Collusion, based on the ongoing US drug shortage crisis.
Although a lot of material for the books comes from my work knowledge, I still spend hours upon hours researching, as I’m a details kind of writer. In September I’ll attend a writer’s police academy to further hone my crime writing skills.
Corruption is the third novel in your Diversion series, which has SNB Agent Bo Schollenberger going undercover and joining a biker gang to investigate a designer drug that turns people violent. What was your inspiration for the plot? Do you have future novels in the series planned?
I’d been reading articles about designer drugs which, until recently, were sold over the counter. It was also time to bring Bo out of Lucky’s shadow and give him time to shine, even though the story is told from Lucky’s point of view. Through Lucky’s eyes we watch Bo become so ingrained in his undercover persona that at times he forgets who he really is. It’s also a wake-up call for Lucky. If he wants Bo in his life, he has to start meeting the man halfway.
I’m currently working on books four and five in the series, and hope to release the next installment later this year.
Which living actor would you cast to play protagonist, former drug trafficker, Simon “Lucky” Harrison, from your Diversion mystery/thriller series and why? How about his partner, former marine and bedmate Bo Schollenberger?
Fans of the series have mentioned Matt Bomer, Tom Hardy, or Steve Amell (with dark contacts) for Bo, and Ben Foster, Colin Ferrell, or Ryan Gosling for Lucky. Someone else suggested Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, but only because he wanted to see them make out. Their boss, Walter, is based on a younger Brian Dennehy at about sixty-three.
Last question; can you share with us a little about your current release and/or WIP?
The tagline for Manipulation is: “Lucky Lucklighter has a new life. His old one wants him back.” Lucky’s past returns to haunt him in the form of a man he used to know. Will the thrill of the chase lead him back to a life of crime? He has some hard decisions to make in this book, and faces a lot of revelations. Look for it to publish in late summer or early fall.
Oh, and the first book in the series, Diversion, is being re-polished for a second edition, due to publish in May.
On behalf of the Facebook Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Group, thank you for giving us a little of your time today, answering questions fans of the genre want to know.
Find Eden Winters on the web: