Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Remmy.
This is like filling out one of those dating profile things — I never know what to say. I’m a Gemini, born in Jamaica but live in Canada. I spend most of my time in the winter hiding out at home, writing, with family, watching movies, and drinking hot chocolate. In the summers I try getting out to the different cultural hotspots in the city. Toronto has quite a few. I love music from all corners of the world. I often joke that the people at iTunes are probably looking at my purchase history going “WTF?” I love movies, mostly comedies and action — I can barely handle romcoms. They drive me crazy, lol. Some dramas are cool, thrillers, almost anything with a happy ending really.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
That I’m the biggest nerd they’ll ever meet, lol. Seriously, I’m a Star Trek loving, K-Drama watching fiend. I am a curious person by nature, so I generally try different things to see the result – if it’s good then awesome, if bad, well, I know not to do that again.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I started writing when I was about eight years old, mostly poems and song lyrics. In Jamaica at the time, there weren’t many chances to get published or get noticed because the Internet was just a rumor then. Gawd, I suddenly feel very old.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
No it hasn’t been everything I thought. I figured once I got into the writing community, people would be welcoming and helpful. For the most part, they are, but there are those few who aren’t and that, most often times, makes me seriously contemplate not writing anymore. But at the end of the day, I love what I do so I won’t stop because of a few bad apples.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
Before or after I flailed around the room while screaming loud enough to wake the dead? I was super excited. It wasn’t MM but I was still over the moon.
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
Coming up with twists in the middle of everything. Sometimes I’m writing and I feel myself smiling like an evil genius... Best moments ever!
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
Yes. I am stealing more and more time to do that lately. I try to dabble in a little of everything. I just finished reading By Gaslight by Steve Price. It was a little difficult to get through because of his writing style – he doesn’t use quotation or question marks. So half the time I had to reread whole pages because halfway through the dialogue I’d get lost as to who was speaking. *sigh* But right now, I’m in the middle of reading A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi. It’s really, really good. It takes place in Afghanistan where this woman is accused of killing her husband with an axe to the back of the head. I love stories that are set in exotic places. A House Without Windows takes place in Afghanistan and By Gaslight takes place in London and Africa...
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
Science Fiction and Western. I used to LOVE watching old Westerns when I was a kid. It would be a hoot to try my hand at it.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
Faded Into You is my most recent Pride Publishing release. It’s the second story in the IntoXication series. It’s about Ravinder Raja and Thaddeus who try to fight love in the Bollywood heat. It’s a story to read after you’ve had a long day or week and in the bathtub to make you feel good.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
Well, I am currently in the editing stages for book three in the IntoXication series, so that should go out to my editor soon to see if it gets accepted. I am hard at work researching book four. Also I just signed a contract for a novella titled Black Gold so more info to come on that. I am also in the middle of writing a Korean Drama inspired story (similar to Tempted Touch) which I’m super, super, super excited about. And last but not least, I am gearing up for NaNoWriMo 2016 where I am going to try writing an angsty love story, involving amnesia, that will take place in Sri Lanka, Canada, India, and Thailand!
Anything you want to say to your readers?
When I started this writing MM thing – I started it because I had just finished reading a few MM books and I was very disappointed. The characters I read had no redeeming qualities at all about them, they slept with everything that moved yet they claimed to have been looking for true love. I couldn’t understand, why anyone would write characters who had no moral compass and expect that young man out there trying to come into his own and seeking some spark of light from these pages to find a little beauty, a little flash of himself.
Even though I am not LGBT, I was super irritated with the way gay men were being portrayed. I wanted to write men who, though oftentimes scarred, can prove to the world that they are worth fighting for, they’re worth loving. My mission, was to get at least one story out there that was full of love and laughter and warmth and a little more positivity on the kind of gay man we’d all be proud to have in our midst. It was only supposed to have been one story, but thanks to all of you, it has blossomed into a love project of mine going on almost fifteen years. I am proud to be able to do this and I am always stunned and amazed and very humbled that you want to read something I’ve created. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Remmy Duchene's recent releases:
Faded Into You (IntoXication 2)
So Into You (IntoXication 1)
Ciro (Shivers 1)
Excerpt from Ciro (Shivers 1):
Ciro sat before his mother in the Hall of Winds and tilted his head. She grinned at him and patted her hair gently.
“Do you like it?” she questioned. “I thought I should change it up a bit after so many years.”
He smiled. “It is very becoming, Mother,” he replied, reaching over to touch her hand gently. “I truly like it.”
“And yet you seem unhappy.”
“I am.” He couldn’t hide anything from her. Though her wrath could be devastating to anyone who tested her, Thýella was a loving mother. Perhaps she was too kind, for now most of her children ran amok among the very people she cherished so dearly. “There is something unpleasant I wish to speak with you about.”
“I think I know what it is.”
“In the coming days, I will have to hunt more of my brothers,” Ciro began, swallowing a lump rising in his throat.
“They have posed unnecessary risk to Terra. Gaia is not pleased and has tasked me in setting my brothers straight. But you and I both know they would rather die than be kind to humans. What should I do?”
“You know what must be done, Ciro. You are the eldest.”
“Mother—they will not stop with just a mere defeat. It has been proven repeatedly in the past. They keep right on coming.”
“Then they must die…” Thýella lifted her head, elongating her neck, a stern look filling her eyes. “They are my children, and though I love them fiercely, they have disappointed me so desperately. I cannot deal with Gaia’s wrath. And she would be right in being angry and seeking retribution for their damage.”
“Ciro!” The second eldest ran into the room. “We have trouble.”
“Who is it?”
Ciro’s heart broke. He gritted his teeth and stood. “I was hoping to reason with him but the more I think about it, the more I know that will never work.”
“You cannot reason with a mad man,” Koi said sternly. “You were the one who taught me that, brother.”
Ciro nodded, gave himself a moment to pull himself together then offered his mother a sorrowful look. “I must go, Mother.”
“I will come with you,” Koi told him. “Two is always better than being alone.”
“No,” Ciro said. “Stay here with Mother. If he gets past me, he may show up here. I need someone I trust to protect her.”
“I assure you I can protect myself.” Thýella raised her chin.
Koi continued as if Thýella hadn’t spoken. “You trust me?” he asked in a soft voice.
He touched Koi’s cheek then patted it. “We will talk later. Please stay here.”
Koi did not look impressed, and after pressing his lips into a thin line, he nodded stiffly.
Accepting a kiss to his cheek from his mother, Ciro took a moment to breathe. With a final look at Thýella, he exited the luxurious room and began his descent to Earth.
Once he landed, Ciro knew something was about to happen. There wasn’t much time to look around and take stock of anything, or even call for assistance. Usually, he had a little leeway to get Ares, Adrestia and Hygeia to help him clear cities and towns. In this instance, he had no such luxury.
Ciro bent his knees, digging his feet into the ground just before pushing upward. He flew through the air with his arms by his sides and his chest mere inches away from the tall structure before him. He climbed higher, up the side of the tallest building in the city bordered by two small towns. Darkness swarmed above, as though Hades had risen and tossed a blanket over everything.
He felt it then—the charge of lightning flashing from his eyes caused by the stench of evil carried on the wind. The breeze howled, surging from the north, and Ciro knew it was going to be bad if he didn’t figure out what to do—and fast. With his coat flopping behind him in the breeze, Ciro stood atop the one-hundred-and-eighty-story building. He tried figuring out where the attack would come from. Tracking had not been easy. When he was led to one of the small towns in the east, it almost broke his heart. The town was quiet, lovely, perfect.
Children ran along the streets calling to one another. A little boy kicked a ball so hard it flew over a fence, hitting an old man on the side of the head. The man only laughed and handed the ball back.
A couple of dogs chased each other down a back road, barking happily at their game. Lovers lay on towels and blankets on what the locals called the beach, which was merely a lake with a sandy shore.
On the far side, workers had used heavy equipment to pile large rocks into the water so people could sit on them to watch the sunset. Ciro knew if something was to happen there, the place would be devastated. The citizens would lose everything and the town would be wiped off the map. In order to stop it, the only idea he could see was to lead his prey away from the perfection he now watched to somewhere larger, to somewhere he would have more room to navigate and stop the attack.
Something pulled Ciro from his thoughts, snapping his head upward. Though it was dark, a scent filled the air that he instantly recognized—danger. Suddenly, it was there before him. He saw it the moment the funnel shape started forming. Pressing his thumb and forefinger of his right hand together, he then dragged his thumb down his index finger. A white streak of lightning followed his thumb while he frowned. He shoved his left hand out, sending a ball of lightning from his palm that disappeared within the funnel. A growl of pain followed, but it didn’t stop the turmoil.
Ciro made a face then looked down. Below him, he discerned the panic. People were running, trying desperately to get out of the way. But the funnel cloud simply grew bigger. The larger it got, the more fear Ciro detected from the crowd beneath him, making him slightly ill. He tried shocking it a second time, which only slowed it before it sped up again.
That was precisely what his foe wanted—to see the humans running around, scattering like headless chickens in their fright. Gala fed from their misery, which made no sense since he was not a god of pain. He wasn’t even a god, but a tributary of one. Ciro was instantly sick and disappointed. His brothers were powerful beings but they were weak from their cruelty. Gala didn’t care how harming the humans made his mother feel. Ciro knew that for certain.
“I see Mother sent her favorite son,” Gala spat. “Predictable—as always.”
“That is not how it is and you know it.”
“And how do I know that, Ciro? Whenever something goes wrong, she sends you—as if you are god and creator of us all.”