SJ Coles is the author of seven books with her latest, The Devil You Know, out 24th May 2022.
A courtroom drama, The Devil You Know, is part murder mystery and part romance. Hilary Whyte has started a new life with a career in law and film star fiancé. But then Dom Gosford, his childhood bully, comes back into his life accused of murder and needing a defence.
Sounds hectic, I had a chat with SJ Coles about all things mm romance
First of all, what is coming up for SJ Coles?
My next release, out 24th May 2022, is a Courtroom Drama M/M Romance called ‘The Devil You Know’. I’m extremely excited about this project and early reviews are promising. Criminal Defence Solicitor Hilary Whyte must defend a former schoolyard bully, Dom Gosford, on a double murder charge. Hilary is conflicted because, knowing Dom as he does, he can’t be sure his client is innocent.
However, as the trial approaches, the two men find that their connection goes much deeper (of course!) than their shared past.
It has drama, romance, a celebrity wedding, a juicy murder, all the good stuff. And, at almost 100K words, will be available as paperback as well as ebook from Amazon or from pride-publishing.com.
How did you find your way to mm romance?
My journey started as an impressionable teenager and Anne Rice’s ‘The Vampire Chronicles’. They were the first books I read that explored romantic relationships between male characters. I was hooked from the start.
I’ve expanded my reading a lot since then, but always found a romantic storyline between male characters (human and otherwise!) both fulfilling and engaging. Getting the chance to write my own has been a dream come true.
Who is your favourite own character?
This is a REALLY tough one, Kristian! Asking me to chose between my babies?
Gun to my head I think it would have to be Leo Hannah, the love interest in my FBI murder mystery drama ‘Straight To The Heart’. He’s cheeky, quirky and up-beat, despite his troubled past. He was great fun to write. His potty mouth in particular!
Which other mm romance authors do you recommend?
Josh Lanyon was the first dedicated MM Romance writer I discovered and she still remains one of the best I have ever read. She does contemporary mysteries, both dark and cosy, and her skill in writing a legitimate detective story twine with a strong (and saucy!) romantic narrative is almost unrivalled.
I also highly recommend K. J. Charles. She writes sinfully indulgent and fully immersive historical and fantasy stories.
How do you find your way around self promotion?
Like many writers, I find this aspect of the job challenging. I love writing my stories and I write them to be read (and hopefully enjoyed) by readers. But trying to make sure they reach those readers who will enjoy them is a completely different kettle of fish and requires a lot of patience, persistence and the sort of marketing skills I’m not convinced I possess.
To try and overcome this I just try to make the promo open, honest and real as possible. Then it feels like sharing something I love rather than trying to convince people to part with their hard-earned cash!
Are there any genres you haven’t tried that you’re itching to have a go at?
I would really like to have a go at historical. I have an idea in mind – a closeted aristocrat and a village blacksmith, in case you want to visualise – and it is on my list. So hopefully it’s only a matter of time!
How much research do you do?
Quite a lot.
Sometimes English isn’t my characters’ first language (Terje in Blood Winter, Antoine in Sun, Sea & Small-Town Secrets) so I look up phrases in their native tongue as well as dialogue facts and customs and culture from their home countries.
I look up traffic routes so I know timing for any journeys the characters have to make and, because I have a lot of crime storylines, lots of stuff about the law and sentencing.
Where do you write?
I would love a proper study but at the moment I just writing in my living room.
Having said that, it has a very comfy sofa, plenty of candles and I often get joined by at least one of my two cats, so it’s certainly not all bad.
When not putting words together, what do you like to do?
It probably won’t be a surprise I do a lot of reading, of all kinds, and watch a lot of TV and movies. I love good stories in all forms. Living them is probably one of my favourite things to do.
Other than that, I love hiking and live music. Music is probably my next biggest passion after writing. I always have a gig or festival or two in the calendar.
Finally, are you on social media?
I most certainly am! You can find me at all the following places and I love to chat all things M/M romance (or pretty much anything really) so do come say hi!
Insta - @sjcolesauthor
Twitter - @sjcolesauthor
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20885676.S_J_Coles
Facebook - facebook.com/sjcolesauthor
Website - sjcolesromanceauthor.wordpress.com
For extra bits from this interview including lessons SJ Coles has learnt and which book was the most difficult to write, subscribe to my newsletter below.