Q: When did you become interested in writing?
A: I have always been interested in writing and story-telling, for as long as I can remember! I started writing fanfiction when I was 17 in 2001, mostly for Harry Potter. Then in January 2015 I switched to focus on romance, specifically Draco and Harry (Drarry). I wrote so many AUs (alternate universes) where the guys were regular people, it seemed natural to make the leap and start writing my own original characters and stories. I’m proud to say I’m now a fulltime author.
Q: Why the MM genre?
A: I have so many answers to this question. Mainly, because I loathe the toxic masculinity which has prevailed in Western culture over the past few hundred years that has not only rejected queer culture but violently opposed intimacy and affection between men, even in a platonic sense. As a queer person myself, I have advocated for LGBT rights since my early teens. Love is love and no consenting adults should be denied the right to be with whoever they want.
With regards to MM in particular, I find it incredibly romantic and liberating to write about men who are allowed to love freely, softly, with tenderness and most importantly, to be given the happy ever afters that media has historically denied them almost consistently until very recently. If you are familiar with my books you will know they are jam packed with strong female characters as well. But for now, I am enjoying writing love stories between men of all sexualities that warm the heart.
Q: Who was the first MM author you read?
A: The Captive Prince Trilogy by CS Pacat in June of 2016. It was so gripping! I read all three books in four days despite being at my then, day job. I couldn’t believe there were good quality MM romance books out there to read. I thought it only existed in fanfiction. Then I moved on to the Charm of Magpies series from KJ Charles and Sierra Riley’s entire back catalogue and haven’t looked back since.
Q: could you give background to the story and where the inspiration came from?
A: Steam is the fourth book out of a series of five. Homecoming Hearts centers around the five members of boy band Below Zero after their record label ruthlessly drops them and they have to head back to each of their homes. The series was inspired by my love of 90s/00s boy bands. I wanted to explore the kinds of lives these guys would have after several years in the limelight and find them each their different happily ever after. The books are all about family, sexual discovery and finding where you belong. Steam is the story of Trent, the Below Zero ‘bad boy’. Because every boy band needs a bad boy.
Steam – Blurb
Bad boy movie star Trent Charles is more famous for his outrageous behavior than he is for his acting these days. After one scandal too many, his manager sends him home to the snowy ski slopes of Wyoming to get his life together. No parties, no fast cars, and certainly no women.
Ashby Wilcott is done with bad boys. His heart is broken from his last relationship disaster. A few weeks of peace and quiet in the mountains is just what he needs. He is absolutely not interested in moody Trent Charles, even if he is hot enough to melt snow with his rippling muscles and mysterious ways. Good thing Trent is straight.
But the two men can’t seem to stay apart. Regardless of Trent’s protests that he’s not interested in the gorgeous Ashby in that way, he still invites him as his date to his friend’s wedding, and the chemistry between the two steams up. With only a few weeks together, what harm can they do having a little fun?
But when outside forces threaten to tear them apart, Trent realizes Ashby means more to him than just a fling. In fact, he’ll do anything to protect him.
Steam is a hot, standalone gay romance novel with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliffhanger.
HJ Welch is a contemporary MM romance author living in London with her husband and two balls of fluff that occasionally pretend to be cats. She began writing at an early age, later honing her craft online in the world of fanfiction on sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she sought out original MM novels to read. She never thought she would be any good at romance, but once she turned her hand to it she discovered she in fact adored it. By the end of 2016 she had written her first book of her own, and in 2017 she fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a fulltime author.
She also writes contemporary British MM romance as Helen Juliet.
You can contact Helen via social media:
Website – http://www.helenjuliet.com
Twitter – @helenjwrites
Instagram – @helenjwrites
Tumblr – @helenjwrites
Facebook Page – @HJWelchAuthor
Facebook Group – Helen Juliet Books