Joel Abernathy, also writing as L.C. Davis, is a trans author of MM romance. He enjoys writing dark and emotional romance about men loving men in all genres.
What inspired you to start writing?
I started out just wanting to tell stories in the genres I loved with characters whose experiences I could relate to as a queer trans person. I’ve always loved romance and fantasy, so it means so much to be able to share stories other people like me can relate to in those genres!
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
I would say the most important thing is to realize that everyone starts somewhere, and not to give in to “imposter syndrome”! Every writer has a story to tell, and your perspective is important.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I’m mostly a pantser. I tend to have a loose outline or a concept that really inspires me and let the characters take it from there.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
This was a special story to me because the main character, Jack, is from my home region in Appalachia, which is an often-overlooked part of the United States. We’re both Melungeon, which makes this an “own voices” story, and I haven’t read many stories that feature Melungeon characters let alone MCs.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
I’m working on a few things at the moment. The next Joel Abernathy projects are a paranormal romance about an angel who falls for the sorcerer who made him fall from heaven, as well as a contemporary romance about a closeted transgender rock star and the world’s most longsuffering bassist (who’s also a bear—and not the shifter type either!).
Two men haunted by the same ghost…
Falling for “the other man” in my marriage was never part of the plan. Then again, according to Nicolae Ursache, I am the other man, and human wedding vows don’t apply. Not to werewolves.
Nicolae is a smug, arrogant alpha male stereotype–and I do mean alpha in the literal sense–but when the same people who killed my wife kidnap my teenage daughter, he’s my only chance at getting her back. The fact that Nicolae was my wife’s rightful mate means that we share a mutual interest in bringing Ellie home, but I never could’ve imagined how he planned to do it.
I will do anything to protect my daughter. Even if it means becoming the plaything, or worse, of the man I loathe most.
Nicolae stood in silence, beholding me with the same somber expression on the faces of the rest of his pack. His demeanor made me fear for a moment that I was the night’s prey and everything else had just been a ruse to get me out here.
Not that it was a necessary one. Nicolae had already proven he could easily overpower me. If I was the one they had decided to hunt after all, there was no reason to hide it. Just when I was thinking about whether running counted as suicide, Nicolae turned to them all. “Now, brothers and sisters. Come take your form before the moon and greet your new brother.”
He said the words with such bitterness that he had to be mocking me. I stopped caring when the pack got down on their knees, one after the other, and the shift happened before my eyes. It had been bizarre enough to see Nicolae changing back, but to see their human faces lengthening and growing monstrous was too much to handle.
If I hadn’t been frozen in place in horror, I would’ve run. At least most of them were actual wolves, albeit huge ones, rather than the bipedal beast Nicolae turned into. There were a few of those around the crowd, but even they were smaller and less intimidating than he had been with his godlike stature.
All at once, the pack rushed me and I cried out, ready to run when Nicolae’s booming voice silenced me. “Holdstill.”
I did. Not because I wanted to, but because his voice left me no choice. It held me in its paralysis as it had that day when he’d come into the apartment. I shuddered as the teeming herd of wolves pressed in around me, their cold noses against my hands, my legs, under my sleeves. Their tails wagged like dogs, but there was something in the way they were investigating me that seemed anything but friendly. There was a little one with fur the same golden-brown shade as Leonie’s hair who pressed her nose into my hand in an almost affectionate gesture before she turned away and darted into the woods with the others who’d grown bored of me.
Only when the last of the wolves had left did I collapse as if Nicolae’s spell had finally broken. I could feel him watching me as I panted on my hands and knees, coming back from the certainty that I was about to meet my death. “What the hell was that?” My voice was strained, and there was glee in his gaze when I finally looked up at him.
So much for thinking he was over Francesca choosing me over him. And I’d thought I was the one who was bitter.
“That was your welcome into the pack,” he answered, his arms folded. “They needed to know your scent.”
“So they’ll be able to find you in case you try to run.” He turned, pulling off his tie as he walked to join them. “Stay here. It shouldn’t take more than an hour, and I don’t recommend trying to find your way back to the car on your own. They’ve all been instructed not to touch you, but you know how wolves are when they get worked up and smell prey. Things happen.”