In the spotlight: LJ Collins

Firstly, hello to everybody, and thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope I keep you entertained and keep this as short and sweet as I can, so you stick with me until the end.

Born and raised in London, Lee worked as a successful senior management consultant before moving to Tenerife to pursue a more fulfilling life and focus on his writing. He is an emerging talent to the Gay fiction genre.

So, what have you written?

I am currently working on the seventh book in my series ‘Men In Love and at War’ – the first two have been published through eXtasy Books and my third is scheduled to be published on the 25th of November 2016. My fourth book Computer Lover is scheduled for release in December 2016 through eXtasy Books.

When I was first signed to eXtasy Books I already had three books written, so we are currently playing catch up, but we’ll get there!

What do you love most about the writing process?

This is a question I often ask myself and I still don’t think I’ve completely answered it yet. I’ve done many jobs in my life—working as a senior management consultant and dealing with some of the most senior and powerful people in the business world, and that has been extremely stressful. But, it has influenced my writing and I’ve drawn on those experiences to make my books authentic and believable.

What I love about writing is being able to reflect on my past, evaluate what went right and wrong and use writing as a kind of therapy to come to terms with what I’ve been through. It also helps that I get to choose my own working hours and not have them dictated to me. If I want to work until five in the morning (which I quite often do) then that is my prerogative—and not somebody else’s demand.

The down side to being an author is the solitude. I do miss the interaction with people and business colleagues. Yes, I have daily contact via the internet with my publisher and other people, but it’s not quite the same for me as physical contact and communication.

With all that said, I’m extremely happy that I followed my dream and became an author.

How has your writing evolved since your first book?

Thanks to my wonderful editor, EIC, Assistant EIC and the owner of eXtasy Books my writing has evolved and improved tremendously. We all put our hearts and souls into our work and take great pride in what we publish. So very simply, yes, it has evolved over time a great deal (as readers will discover and they will have to read my books to discover the “how” part of this question 😁

Are there messages in your novels that you hope readers grasp?

Absolutely. I have drawn on my life experiences while writing and my books aim to help steer people in the right direction with regards to their sexuality, the dangers of excessive stress, drugs, alcohol, the importance of love, family and friendships, and the general dangers that exist in life.

Are there misconceptions people have about your genre?

Oh yes. I think because I write homoerotic books, “some” people think that they are just going to be filled with sex on every page. That is a great misconception. My books, and those of other authors that I work with write in this genre, but our primary focus is always the story, plot, characters, setting, and quality of writing—not just the sex—and in fact, some Gay based books don’t contain any sexual scenes and have been very well received.

Have you ever written a scene where it has reduced you to tears?

That is my acid test when I’m writing and proofing my books. If I don’t cry, then I can’t expect my readers to cry. My books are designed to provoke emotional reactions, so yes, I always cry when I’m writing and proofing (but to compensate, I do laugh a lot and say, ah, a lot.)

Is there a character you feel especially connected to? Why?

It has to be Berkeley. He is the main character in four of my books, and I plan to keep him for a few more to come (and maybe more). Why is he so special? Because just about everything that life could throw at him in this world gets thrown at him and he deals with it. He has a lot of fun on the way, but yeah, he really gets some crap thrown at him, but he gets on with it,and deals with it, and I think he’s a great role model for all of us.

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