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Riley doesn’t understand why his relationship with Scott went downhill overnight. For weeks, he’s been trying to get the other man to talk to him, but Scott is distant—most of the time he just ignores Riley completely. It isn’t until a mutual acquaintance arrives at their home that Riley understands the pressure Scott has been under—and the danger they’re both in.
A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of almost 15 years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks, or crafts.
Q: How important are character names, to you, and how do you go about naming them? What about titles?
A: I have a list with names that I like. When I start a new story I name the first character and then see what other name sounds good in combination with the first character’s name. I usually go for common names. I also have a very soft spot for nicknames.
Titles… oh well. Very rarely do I know the title in the beginning. Most of the time I play around with various titles in my head until I finally settle on one. I want the title to reflect an important part of the story. Example: I chose Seizing It because Kit eventually seized the opportunity to crawl out of his shell and trust Dale.
Q: In what locale is your most recent book set? How compelling was it to set a story there? Do you choose location the same way every time? How?
A: Silver Lining is set in Atlantic City. Most of my stories are set in and around that area because that’s the part of America I know from personal experience. I feel more comfortable describing neighborhoods, etc. I’ve seen with my own eyes. I hope to expand my horizon in the next couple of years. 😉
Q: How much power do you give your characters in steering the story line?
A: It depends very much on the story. Sometimes I outline the complete story—or rather I have the finished story in my mind and quickly jot down the important parts—and stick to it. Of course, sometimes the characters invent a new obstacle to overcome or discover a kink but I still follow the outline.
On other occasions I only know the beginning, the end and a few key scenes, which allows the characters to steer the story line much more. It can be fun to allow my characters so much power but it can also lead to me tearing my hair out because I have to rewrite scenes or can’t figure out how to get from A to B.
Q: What is the most satisfying element for you in writing gay relationships, and why?
A: I don’t have a real answer to this question. Even at a very young age I often thought after reading a book“oh, this is a good story but I would have liked it better if the two men had become a couple”. That’s how it always worked for me, no matter whether it was a book, a TV show or a movie. When I found yaoi mangas and after that the slash section of fan fiction I thought I was in a dreamland! Finally I’d found the stories I had craved for so long. I was so happy to see these stories that I soon started writing them myself. So, I don’t have an elaborate answer to your question, these stories are simply what I like to write (and read).
Q: Are readers involved in making your fiction—do they suggest stories or say what they’d like to read?
A: I haven’t had this experience since I’ve been published but when I wrote fan fiction my readers very often suggested stories or told me how they wanted a WIP (work in progress) to go on. Sometimes I listened to them and sometimes I didn’t…
Q: Describe the ideal relationship between author and readers.
A: It should be based on mutual respect. I like to connect with the people who read my stories, to know what they liked and what not. As a reader I’m mostly shy but if I found an author whose books I like I’m very loyal.
Q: What do you find useful about reviews?
A: Since I’m very new to the business I haven’t received so many reviews yet. So far I can only say that I like when the reviewer explains what worked for him/her and what not.
Q: I’m well known for demanding to know an author’s opinion about which of their characters is the sexiest, and I’m making no exception for this group. Who, how, and why?
A: They are all sexy in their own distinctive way but if I have to name one character, then it’s Andrew who is one of the main characters in A Purrfect Match, which will be released in December / January. He’s a tall, lithe blond man with a deep chin cleft and an easy smile. He’s stronger than he appears and embraces his sexuality (and kinks) openly.
Q: What are the fifty hottest words (approximate the word count) you’ve ever written, in your opinion. (Be sure to include citation).
A: I love to write D/S themed stories (with one of the characters being a “brat”) and the citation is from a story called “Flying Apart.” The characters are Ben and Joey. The line “obey me” sparked this particular story–it was a challenge in a yahoo group I belong to. Here’s the citation:
An excerpt from Silver Lining
In a low, hoarse voice, he demanded, “Leave your hands up. Don’t touch me.”
“I can’t! You have to restrain me!”
“I will do no such thing. Obey me,” he said softly.
Joey brought his hands up over his head, the soft command anchoring him in a way impossible to explain.
Q: What are you doing now, what do you plan to write next?
A: I’m writing the sequel to Secret Chemistry, which is scheduled for release in January. As for my next project—I’m torn between three other stories. One would be a sequel to a cop story (even though I haven’t submitted the first manuscript yet but I do like the characters very much), another one would be a fantasy story with elements of a D/S relationship and the last option would be a romance in which the main character would be handicapped.
“I’m not going to leave you and the same goes for you. You’re it for me.”
He said it with so much conviction, so much compassion, that I burst into tears. Scott was all I’d ever wanted. He was fun to be around, had an easygoing attitude, and it didn’t hurt that he had a body to die for. I never got what he saw in me. I was a whole head shorter than him, skinny, and never found the time to get a haircut, which naturally led to my curls growing into a barely tamable mane.
“You can’t say something like that,” I whined. “We’re only nineteen. All nineteen-year-olds promise each other to stay together forever. It never works.”
“That’s not true and even if it were, then we’ll be the exception to the rule.”
“You can’t just―”
He silenced me with a kiss. He deepened the kiss and the whole incident ended in us doing more fun stuff. I still flipped from time to time, but after a few months I stopped running. Scott told me he was proud of me when I stayed for the first time. I jumped him for that, muttering, “I don’t get why you put up with me.”
“I have a thing for drama queens,” he deadpanned.
For a fleeting second his comment hurt, then I discovered the mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
He grinned at me before he lavished my asshole with attention.
I got better at the not-flipping thing, though I never got the hang of the not-being-jealous thing. To be fair, Scott never gave me a reason to be jealous. It was merely the way other guys or girls looked at him, the open hunger in their eyes. The man was mine and mine alone. I never failed to make this clear to whoever dared to sidle up too close to him.
“Ri, cut it out, it’s not a pretty sight,” Scott always said in those moments.
I made a show of batting my lashes at him, all fake innocence.“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Scotty. Aren’t you the one who always tells me I’m the prettiest thing you ever saw?”
“You’re a scamp.”
I gasped in shock, put my hands above my heart, and widened my eyes before I gazed up at him.
“Me? You’re wounding me.”
“I am? Hmm, would it help if I tell you that you’re the prettiest scamp I’ve ever seen?”
“I don’t know, big guy, I really don’t know.”
Scott pulled me into his arms, kissed me thoroughly, and asked, “You made up your mind now?”
“Yeah, I’m keeping you even if you suck at giving compliments.”
That was how we worked. Scott was the calm one, grounding me, loving me in a way I never fathomed anyone would. If anything, we grew closer over the years. We forged a bond that nothing could ever destroy. Or so I thought.