Welcome, Andrew. Thank you for being with me today.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here and it was wonderful to meet you at Authors After Dark.
What started you on the path to becoming a romance author?
It really happened by accident. I decided to get fit after attending my father’s 70th birthday party. I thought I was going to scream after everyone told me how much I looked like my father. That got my butt moving and I joined a gym. I needed something to read in the treadmill and discovered m/m romance. I read a great deal and eventually decided to see if I could write one. I didn’t tell anyone about it until I was almost half way through the manuscript. But that story led to another and now I doubt I could turn off the story telling if I tried.
I know how that is. Congratulations on your release of The Good Fight with Dreamspinner. Introduce us to the main characters and premise of your story.
Jerry Lincoln has a thriving web development business and he needs help. His decision ultimately comes down to 2 men, Bryce and John. Jerry is attracted to the handsome Native American, John, but not wanting any entanglements, he initially hires Bryce, but then an additional contract results in Jerry hiring John as well. A few days later after work, John and Jerry are sitting on Jerry’s front porch watching a storm come up when a native American kid about 5 years old wanders by. He’s lost and scared. John gets him out of the rain and they wait for his mother. Time passes and no one comes. Jerry is about to call the authorities when John stops him. Jerry agrees to wait and the child’s soaked and frantic mother finds her son. But he wonders why John is so adamant.
John’s sister was killed a few months earlier in an accident and her son and daughter were placed in foster care. John is attempting to get custody of the kids, but every time he meets one condition for custody, another one arises. Jerry is appalled and as they grow closer, John and Jerry Fight the Good Fight to get John custody of his niece and nephew.
Did anything in particular inspire this story?
On my way home from work, I heard a story on NPR about a Native American grandmother trying to get custody of her grandchildren after they had been placed in the South Dakota child care system. The story lasted just a few minutes, but it stuck with me for weeks and the more I thought about it the angrier I got. The result is a great story that I feel very strongly about.
What made you choose the plight of the Native American children in foster care in particular?
Injustice pisses me off faster than anything else I can think of. You see the state of South Dakota has stacked the deck. The federal government provides support to the states for children in foster care and they provide additional assistance for children with special needs. The State of South Dakota declared that all Native American children are special needs. The result is that they go into the foster care system and don’t come out because then the money ends. And in SD, one of the largest state agencies is Child Services. So the children go into the system and never come out.
I hope this story brings some attention to that issue. What other projects are on the horizon for you that we’re likely to see?
I have a number of projects including Love Comes Silently that features a main character who cannot speak, as well as the next installment in the Range series, An Isolated Range. I also have the next story in the Love Means… series, Love Means… No Limits. These stories are all centered on a farm in Michigan that’s run by Geoff and his partner Eli, who was raised Amish. I adore these stories and always return to the farm when I want peace. Although with No Limits, I definitely shake things up a bit.
Thank you for joining me today, Andrew, and we look forward to all your upcoming releases!
Thank you Siobhan, it was wonderful being your guest and talking about a story and a subject that means a great deal to me.
Andrew is offering an e-copy of The Good Fight to one lucky commenter who lets him know if they've ever read one of his many stories and leaves a valid email address or Twitter handle so we can contact you if you win. The giveaway is open until Thursday, September 6th at 8 pm Pacific time, and the winner will be announced here on this blog on Friday, September 7th.
If you can't wait that long, you can get a copy of The Good Fight here:
And be sure to check out Andrew's other releases from Dreamspinner Press on his Author Page. He has over 50 titles with Dreamspinner. Here are three more you might like:
You can find Andrew at:
Excerpt from The Good Fight:
Thank you so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)
“What’s wrong?” I asked him, looking into huge dark eyes and a dark, round face framed by jet-black hair. I heard the door of one of the neighbors’ houses snap closed.
“That’s one of them injun kids. Just leave him alone.” I turned and glared at old Mr. Hooper, anger boiling inside me. He’d been a grouch and a certified pain in the ass for as long as I could remember, but this was the first time in my life that I contemplated hitting the old bastard. Instead I ignored him.
“Are you lost?” I asked him, and the kid sniffled and nodded. “What’s your name?”
“Keyan,” he answered, and I looked at John and then back at the boy.
“It’s going to be all right. I’m Jerry and this is—” I was about to say “John” when he interrupted me.
“Akecheta,” John said, and the boy sniffed once, and his eyes widened as if he were seeing John for the first time. Thunder sounded again, and the breeze, which had been blowing softly, picked up, whistling through the trees and around the house.
“Why don’t you sit with us on the porch,” I told Keyan. “Your mother is probably trying to find you.” I figured she was probably looking frantically, and Keyan’s wandering wasn’t helping. If she didn’t show up soon, I’d call the police. He nodded as lightning flashed, followed by more thunder. Keyan jumped and squeaked before hurrying up onto the porch. He stood near one of the front railings looking up and down the street, eyes scanning for his mother. Bryce came out, and I saw him and John talking before both of them sat down.
“You two can head home. I’ll take care of things,” I told them. Bryce peered toward the west, and I knew he was wondering whether he was going to get home before the storm hit. “Go on, Bryce. We’ll review things in the morning.” He nodded and said good night to both of us before hurrying to the driveway and into his car.
The first drops of rain hit the sidewalk as Bryce’s taillights faded from view. The wind picked up, and I gently moved Keyan further back on the porch as the sky opened up. “I’d better call the police,” I told John, and he placed his hand on my arm to stop me from going inside, shaking his head.
“Don’t,” John said. “She’ll be here soon.”
I was beginning to have doubts about that, but agreed to wait a few more minutes. As I was digging into my pocket for the phone, I heard a cry from the street, and the boy raced toward the edge of the porch. John stopped him, and a few seconds later a woman had the boy in her arms. He was crying, and she looked soaked to the skin as she rocked her son back and forth. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” she scolded nervously before crushing him into a hug once more.
The rain came down harder, pounding the ground and pavement. “Please have a seat until the rain stops,” I told her, and she nodded, sitting on one of the wooden chairs with her son close by.
“He wandered off and I’ve been looking for him all over,” she explained, and I wanted to ask what had happened, but like any mother, she just seemed relieved to have found him. I turned to John and then went inside and returned with a towel that I handed to her. She dried her face and hands before handing the towel back.
“Thank you for the towel, and for helping Keyan,” she said, and I took a minute to really look at her. She was a striking woman with pronounced cheekbones and huge eyes, with black hair pulled back into braids that hung down her back. She could have been a movie star, she was so striking.
“You’re welcome. We found him fifteen minutes ago, and he’d just had a bit of a fright,” I said, and she smiled, staring out into the rain. We didn’t talk much, and when the rain let up, she lifted Keyan into her arms, and after saying thank you once again, she hurried off down the street.
“That was a nice thing you did. Thank you,” John told me, and I turned to look at him, confused. “You helped her.” John looked toward the neighboring porch where old man Hooper looked back at us. “Too many people are like him.” John inclined his head, and I felt my righteous indignation rising.
“Dumb old fuck,” I muttered. I usually don’t swear, but I couldn’t stop it this time. “John, do you mind if I ask a few questions? I don’t mean anything by them, but they may not sound politically correct.”
“You may ask anything,” John said a bit warily. The rain picked up a bit, and the sky darkened once more. It was early evening, but it seemed later in the darkness.
“Is everyone from your tribe beautiful?” I realized how that sounded and shook my head. “Not that I’ve met many Native Americans, but the lady, her son… you.” I knew I sounded like an idiot and wished I’d simply kept my mouth shut.“You think I’m beautiful?” John asked, and I saw him move closer, a smile on his face, as I nodded. My heart beat a staccato rhythm in my chest, and John’s rich scent mixed with the fresh smell of the rain. John moved still closer. “I think you’re very handsome,” John told me, our gazes meeting. I could have lost myself in the soul-deep eyes that stared back at me.
Thank you so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)