by: Thom Collins
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Release Date: October 12, 2020
Amazon | Paperback | Goodreads
Jamie Johnson is going to sea for the first time in his life. Atlantic Star is one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world, and a two-week trip to Iceland offers Jamie the perfect escape. His life has been on hold since the death of his husband and a working holiday onboard a state-of-the-art ship is an opportunity to explore the world he’s been hiding from. A chance to think about his future and decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life.
When Dexter Fordyce steps onboard, all he wants is a good time. The cruise is his first holiday in years, and workaholic Dexter is ready to relax and enjoy himself. If he can manage a little fun with someone like Jamie, even better. Jamie is flattered by the attention. Dexter is handsome, charming and great fun and proves impossible to resist.
Jamie’s hopes of romance died with his husband. The prospect of a shipboard passion is attractive, but Jamie’s heart has been broken for too long and he can’t take the risk of falling in love. With stormy weather ahead, the two men are set for a voyage they will never forget.
I’m great. Thank you for having me as a guest today.
You’re welcome. Your latest release is Storm Warning. What can you tell me about it?
Storm Warning is a MM romance novel set onboard a cruise ship as it explores the coast of Iceland. It’s based on a real trip I took with my husband last summer. Afterwards we both agreed that the cruise to Iceland was the best holiday we’d ever taken, so it was a no-brainer when it came to writing about it. The ship and the destination make the perfect backdrop to tell a love story.
Tell me about Jamie and Dexter.
Jamie is a photographer. He joins the ship for a working holiday to give a series of lectures on the subject. Jamie has had a tough time in the past. He’s been a widower for five years and has spent a lot of that time in seclusion, hiding from the world. Boarding the ship is a huge deal for him.
Dexter is quite different. He’s outgoing and funny. He’s on the cruise to have a good time. He isn’t looking for any serious commitment. He just wants to have fun.
Why do you think these two are good for each other?
Well, they fancy each other straight away. From their first meeting there’s an instant attraction. But Jamie takes a long time to come around. Although it’s five years since he lost his husband he’s still doesn’t feel he’s at a stage where he can move on.
How did you come with the title for the book? Does it have something special to do with the story?
Luckily on the cruise to Iceland we were blessed with fantastic weather and it was smooth sailing there and back. However, I also went on a Baltic cruise last summer and have never experienced anything as horrendous as the weather we had crossing the North Sea in each direction. 105 miles per hour winds and seven to eight meter waves, it was a hairy experience and I wanted to add a bit of that to the book. So, the beautiful Atlantic Star cruise ship, runs into very stormy weather in the latter part of the story, just as tensions between Jamie and Dexter reach their climax too.
Is Storm Warning different from your other books? If so, how so?
Storm Warning is more of a traditional romance than my other books. Most of my previous novels involve a mystery or thriller elements, but the focus here is on Jamie and Dexter and their burgeoning relationship. It’s two men falling in love and trying to overcome the emotional obstacles in their way. It’s definitely not a sweet romance, but it is the closest I’ve ever come to that genre.
I don’t believe Storm Warning involves any suspense, please let me know if I’m wrong. You write a lot of thriller/suspense romances. What draws you to write them?
I’ve always been drawn to thrillers and suspense. Though you’re right, in that Storm Warning isn’t a suspense novel, I couldn’t resist putting a little something in there, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers in explaining what that might be. I love writing thrillers and the process of plotting them, making sure everything is in place to provide the reader with a satisfying pay off. My previous book North Point was really exciting to write, and I’ve just completed the follow up for release next year which I found to be a real nail bitter.
What’s your favorite part of a romance to write?
It depends on the story. With a thriller plot, it all builds towards the climax and that’s the part I love to write. I’m probably in a minority with romance authors in that I love the process of planning and outlining my books. That’s when I get really inspired, creating the characters and discovering what I’m going to do with them. I really enjoy writing the first draft. That’s the most thrilling part.
When you aren’t writing, what will we find you doing?
Prior to lockdown and all the Covid-19 restrictions, I loved nothing more than to travel. 2020 sure put an end to all that. I enjoy cooking and have a huge number of cookery books. I like to read up on different recipes and then put them into practice.
I’m also a huge movie fan and have a massive DVD and Blu Ray collection. I have a special fondness for horror films and they make up most of my collection. I supposed it’s a strange mix. I read and write romance, but enjoy watching horror films the most. I can’t stand cheesey rom coms, give me a gory slasher movie any day. The Strangers, Halloween, Friday the 13th, I love them all. My birthday is 31st October, so that might explain something.
Thom, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me. Congratulations on your new release.
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He is currently working on a new series.
Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.
Places to find Thom Collins:
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