Please help me welcome author Marcus Lopes to Reading with Holly!
Holly: Hi Marcus! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Marcus Lopes: It’s never easy for me to talk about myself, but here goes. I’m passionate about writing. It has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I start my day writing in my journal before moving on to the current work-in-progress. I am also a painter and I dabble in music composition, but my priority is my writing. If I don’t write during the day, I become irritable, like when I don’t have enough coffee.
You could say that my writing career began in 2003 when my first essay was published. Since then, my writing — essays, short stories and some poetry — has appeared in several print and online literary journals in
, the Canada and U.S. . My first novel, Freestyle Love, was published by Lazy Day Publishing in November 2011. Britain
Holly: When did you realize that you would like to write and publish a book?
Marcus Lopes: I knew that I wanted to write and publish a book when I was in university. Initially, I went to journalism school because I loved writing. But two years into the program, I knew that I wasn’t interested in that type of writing. When I should have been studying for exams or doing research for papers, I was holed up in a coffee shop or an isolated area of the university library writing. But there was a lot of pressure, familial pressure, to get a university degree and a normal, , job. And I had succumbed to that pressure, and kept my writing more as a hobby than anything else. But writing keep trying to push its way forward, and it was as if I was resisting God’s will. When I finally stopped worrying about what people thought about writing and a life in the arts, and gave myself completely over to my writing, things just naturally happened.
Holly: Can you tell us a little bit about your book, Freestyle Love?
Marcus Lopes: Freestyle Love, in many ways, is not your typical romance novel. Love may be the novel’s currency, but it’s really the characters’ actions and reactions — how they interact in love — that interests me. Sometimes we let our experiences define who we are, and that is the trap that Malachi Bishop involuntary falls into. Malachi is far from perfect — although I think in his mind he’d disagree. He’s arrogant and uncompromising, held to the “It’s my way or the highway” mentality. Malachi becomes a character people love to hate. So Malachi, on an unexpected journey of self-discovery, experiences a sort of great awakening, moving from “denial” to acceptance of the man he thought he was to the man, at the end of the novel, who he becomes.
Holly: Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
Marcus Lopes: It’s hard to say what came first, the characters or the plot. The novels beginnings were in a short story that was published in 2005 in a now defunct literary magazine. After the short story was published, I thought that there was a little more that could be explored. I guess, given my writing process, the characters and plot evolved simultaneous. I would let the characters get inside my head and let them “lead me.”
Holly: Where can we purchase Freestyle Love?
Marcus Lopes: Freestyle Love is available from Lazy Day Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance.
Holly: Are you working on anything at the moment?
Marcus Lopes: At present, I have several projects on the go. I’m trying to find a publisher for my second novel. I’m currently rewriting a third novel and have just finished the first draft of another novella. I am also polishing off a couple of short stories. As I mentioned earlier, I’m also a painter, so I am working on a new series as well for an upcoming exhibition.
Holly: Are you reading anything interesting at the moment? If so, what is it?
Marcus Lopes: I am currently reading Julia Cameron’s Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in Our Spiritual Lives. It is challenging my belief systems, and forcing me to take a hard look at my faith and relationship to God.
Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
Marcus Lopes: I appreciate my readers so much, and I thank them for sticking with me. Some of my readers have followed my writing career since the beginning, and have always been genuine and true in their feedback, which I appreciate.
Holly: Can you tell us a little about your first publishing experience?
Marcus Lopes: My first publishing experience occurred in 2003. That spring I had submitted an essay to the Canadian literary magazine, Other Voices (there’s an American revue that shares the same name). The essay, while rejected, was returned to me with an encouraging note from the editor and some feedback. I still laugh at the editor’s note because in it he said that if I wasn’t offended by the feedback, and chose to rework the essay, he’d be happy to reconsider it at a later day. I was happy just to receive more than an impersonal rejection letter, and his criticisms were valid. I reworked the text, resubmitted, and then my essay, “On Being Black,” was accepted for publication.
Holly: When do you prefer to read?
Marcus Lopes: In the morning, after my journaling and before I start my writing session.
Holly: Supernatural or Psych? (TV Shows)
Marcus Lopes: Supernatural
Holly: Pepsi or Coke?
Marcus Lopes: Coke
Holly: Favorite book?
Marcus Lopes: The Book and the Brotherhood, by Iris Murdoch
Holly: Cats or dogs?
Marcus Lopes: Cats. I have four cats.
Author: Marcus Lopes
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Length: 66,500 words
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Literary M/M Romance
When it comes to one-night stands, Malachi Bishop has “rules”. No pillow talk. No sleeping over. No planning a future hook-up. First names only. It’s just sex, not a prelude to love. But when Cole Malcolm, a smooth-talking management consultant, woos Malachi into bed, the rulebook is tossed out the window. The one-time fling leaves Cole reeling: Malachi is his first real shot at happiness, his “forever” man, and he’s determined to show Malachi just how good they could be together. But Malachi doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after, and dodges Cole’s play for his heart. After all, Malachi is still mourning the loss of Taylor Blanchard, whom he hoped to love forever. Then there’s Zach Brennan, a handsome twenty-five-year-old and student at the college where Malachi teaches. Falling for Zach could destroy everything he’s worked for, but Malachi can’t help himself.
Caught by love and in its betrayal, it’s a later affair with a beautiful stranger that changes Malachi’s life most dramatically. Now Malachi must confront his present and his past that bring into question the larger fantasies of home and his place in the world.
Malachi, hunched forward over the dining room table reading the Globe and Mail, let out a sigh as he yawned, his mouth open wide revealing his uneven teeth. As he reached for his half-empty and lukewarm cup of coffee, he caught a glimpse of the hairy bronze cyclist’s legs in the archway of the dining room and sat back in his chair. He looked intently at the tall, lean figure standing before him, naked, with his arms folded across his chest. Of course, Malachi knew that they would have to confront each other at some point, but he was still nervous and, after a moment, glanced away.
The man stood with his legs spread slightly apart, like a model posing for a photo shoot. His eyes narrowed. “Do you mind…” His voice cracked and he bit down on his lower lip. “Do you mind if I take a shower?”
Malachi said, “Oh, of course,” and stood, watching his guest unfold his arms and then run his hands through his dark bed hair that darted in a thousand directions, pushed back from his low brow.
They smiled thinly at each other, as if suddenly able to read the other’s thoughts, and uncertain about how to proceed. Malachi dropped his gaze and left the room to retrieve a towel and facecloth from the disorganized hall closet. He returned to the dining room and gawked at the handsome figure’s firm yet pale backside that he remembered, with a mixed sense of pleasure and dread, having had his face between for most of the night. Malachi cleared his throat.
The man spun around and took the linens from Malachi, and held them in front of his crotch, concealing his growing hard-on. He sidled his narrow blue eyes at Malachi and said, “It’s Cole… my name, that is, in case you’ve forgotten.” He took in Malachi’s blank stare, fully aware of its significance, and when there was no response shrugged and disappeared down the hallway towards the bedroom.
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