It's always exciting when a new author is on the block. We get more books from fresh perspectives. Really, what's not to love? For this issue of Writing with Pride, I thought it would be great to be diverse with where authors are in their publishing journey.
I had the honor of interviewing Beau LeFebvre, a new and aspiring author in the MM genre. He's also worked with authors behind the scenes, so he's definitely no stranger to some of us. Let's find out what Beau has in store.
Welcome to Writing with Pride. Thanks for being a part of this Pride Month feature. You have a very interesting name. French, I’d say. Do you have French ancestry?
BEAU: Yes, I do. French, Italian, and Irish. Quite the mix. LoL. I was primarily raised around my mother’s side of the family, and that was very Italian-the southern part of the boot to be precise. I have been told I look more French but tan really well and had been mistaken for Cuban when I lived in South Florida.
GIANNI: Nice, I so love a rich cultural heritage. Which pronouns do you prefer to use?
BEAU: He/Him/His. I identify as male
GIANNI: What’s the most important meal of the day to you and why?
BEAU: Dinner, and that is because it is the one that I always make sure to make. I miss breakfast and lunch most days, and that is something that needs correcting for my own health. I eat too many cans of Pringles at the moment. Definitely don’t look at me as a model for healthy eating.
GIANNI: I shall not judge, haha. I've missed my fair share of breakfasts. What’s the earliest memory that you have?
BEAU: Seeing the original Star Wars at a drive-in in 1979. I was two, but the one scene of C-3PO and R2-D2 on the top of the dunes always has stayed with me, as has being in the back seat of the car with my aunt.
GIANNI: I'll *nod* and pretend that I understand any references to Star Wars, lol. Which song is currently your ringtone?
BEAU: The generic iPhone ring tone my phone came with. I don’t get many phone calls, so never bothered to change it.
GIANNI: If you could be a celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why?
BEAU: To be honest, I don’t follow celebrities or influencers. I wouldn’t want to be any of them. Their lives, to me, may look all sunshine and rainbows, but they have their own set of problems, scandal, and other issues. I will stick to my own life cause at least I know what to expect. LoL.
GIANNI: Great answer. Which book got you hooked on MM romance?
BEAU: The Heart of Texas by RJ Scott. I absolutely loved this book.
GIANNI: Sweet, I'll have to look it up. The romance genre overall and not just M/M has a majority of women readers. How did you get started reading romance books and how do you carve out your little space as a cis-gender male in a genre dominated by women?
BEAU: I just happened to stumble on it when my last long-term relationship was coming to a very bad end and I needed books with HEAs. I wasn’t aware of the MM genre before this and after reading my first MM book, I couldn’t get enough, scouring Amazon for more. I’ve pretty much read MM ever since.
Actually, I don’t feel the need to carve out a little space in the genre. I want to write, read, and be involved in this community alongside them, and I want readers to read my books based on the quality of the story and not because I happen to be a gay male. The women authors in the MM community have brought it into the mainstream with their writing, and they are wonderful allies who I am very thankful for and have so much respect for as well. They have faced their own trials writing what they love and deserve to be commended for sticking with it through adversity.
GIANNI: Do you ever read any other genre? If yes, who is your favorite non-MM author?
BEAU: I love fantasy, especially medieval fantasy. JRR Tolkien is one of my favorites, as well as Gail Martin (who I had no idea wrote MM when I was reading her fantasy series).
GIANNI: Even though you’re a new author, you’ve been working in different capacities behind the scenes in the MM romance genre. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
BEAU: I actually went into proofreading last year after I needed to find a career I could work from home after having been ill with a couple tick illnesses. Because of the love I already had for this genre, once my course was finished, I knew that MM romance was the niche I wanted to get into. An author took a chance on me and from there, I have slowly been building that side of my life as well, expanding into basic editing and doing the occasional story bible. At the time, I never considered writing as another route, and it has been through the gentle prodding of the authors in the community that I have gone ahead and started.
GIANNI: This genre can be very supportive. I'm so glad you had individuals who were able to encourage you. You’re an aspiring author in the genre. In fact, you’ve co-authored a book already. Can you tell us a little bit about that project and why you chose to do a collab for your first book instead of a solo debut?
BEAU: That project was with HQ Kingsley. She showed me the storyline and I fell in love with the characters, so when she offered the opportunity, I jumped on it. I had actually been working on another book at the time, the first in a series that is paranormal in nature and features a hellfox, demons, and other different characters (It is still a current WIP and will be released once my contemp books are finished. When the pandemic reared its ugly head, I hit a wall writing and moved on to something that was supposed to just be for fun to help with my anxieties. It took on a life of its own. LoL). I felt that working with an established author would give me experience for my own solo writing. Having someone to ask questions and provide feedback on what I wrote was wonderful. This also allowed me to get my name out there and become recognizable in the MM community and perhaps open the door a little for when my own solo works are published.
GIANNI: What can we expect from your own books? What’s your brand or flavor that you will be adding to the MM market?
BEAU: Well, since I am going to be writing in both contemporary and paranormal, the one guarantee will be high heat levels. I will be touching on some age gap, friends to lovers, angst with healing, mpreg.
GIANNI: Do you think that you’re better prepared for the genre by your own experiences as a gay man?
BEAU: I think that some of my experiences have made me better prepared, but relationships tend to have similar issues in straight, gay, poly, etc. So I think that women and straight authors have just as much working knowledge to be able to write as I do. Plus, in this day and age, most people know at least one gay male and are able to ask questions for whatever they may not be familiar with.
GIANNI: Beautifully said. What’s your favorite kind of character to write?
BEAU: My favorite characters to write at the moment are either ones with unrequited love or who are broken and need that one person to come along and help put them back together and work through whatever has happened, even if this character doesn’t realize it. I think that I have infused things I see in myself into these characters and it may be my mind’s way of overcoming them and creating positive outcomes to them, even if it is on paper.
GIANNI: Tell us what your writing process is like.
BEAU: Occasionally I do listen to music but have found that most times quiet works best. It really all depends on the day. Early early morning or later in the evening are my best writing times--when everyone is asleep and I have time totally to myself (I take care of my mother and have two dogs). I had started out as a panster but discovered that loosely outlining works better. Give the story the general direction but not be upset if the characters take me on a different route along the way. They all have done that so far, expanding the worlds in ways I didn’t initially plan for. I don’t set maximum word count goals. I don’t want to limit my characters’ stories but allow them to tell it all through me in the way they want. However, I do set minimum goals to achieve. I am also striving for authenticity. I have one plot bunny which will take place in Ireland and have begun to take Irish Gaelic so that I have a working knowledge of the language for use when the time comes to write it.
GIANNI: Awesome, I'll definitely be on the look out for the Ireland setting. Have you discovered anything about yourself since you’ve decided to pursue your writing professionally?
BEAU: I have found that I have many stories that want to be told, but I need to be more focused, accountable, and manage my time better. I also tend to be more of a serious person and have to learn to cut loose again, have fun. The upcoming move I will be doing to an actual house is going to enable me to fine-tune my days for work and writing and will provide me with an actual room to utilize for these tasks (Plus the wonderful front porch!).
GIANNI: Oye, I saw that front porch. Awesome spot to kick back and relax. Do you have a tentative release date for your new book that you’re working on?
BEAU: Initially, I had planned to have it out this month. But since I have made major changes by combining the first two novellas in the series into one full-length novel, I am now hoping loosely for sometime in August. It is about half finished at almost 47,000 words, and I am adding around 12 new chapters throughout to expand on the characters and world.
GIANNI: What’s an advice you’d give another new author who wants to write in the MM genre?
BEAU: Don’t feel that you can’t do it or you are an imposter and also don’t be afraid to ask questions or for advice. Make yourself known in the MM community and join writing groups and search through their archives. There is a fount of information in there that will help as you progress. Remember that your writing will grow with each book and that someone out there is waiting for the story that you are going to tell, waiting to love your characters, and that one person may need your writing in their life.
GIANNI: Great advice. Where on social media can a reader find and interact with you?
BEAU: I can currently be found in my group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeausBeasties. I am in the process of setting up a website and newsletter, which will be announced in my group, and I am considering an author page once I have a blacklisting of books.
GIANNI: Beau, thanks so much for this interview, and I wish you all the best in your journey as a writer.
There you have it, today's Q&A with #OwnVoice MM author Beau LeFebvre. You can support Beau today by joining his Facebook author group.
Win a copy of Beau's co-authored book with HQ Kingsley by joining his Facebook group. We'll choose two winners from the new members in Beau's group.
That's it for today's feature. Our next #OwnVoice author comes to you soon! Stick around to find out who's Writing With Pride!
Until next time, keep shining like the gems you are.