COMFORT AND JOY by Charley Descoteaux

Today we've a special treat. Author of Comfort and Joy, Charley Descoteaux is visiting with her awesome sense of humor and wit.

Where were you born?
Berkeley, California, and lived all over the Bay Area while growing up.

What book do you remember from childhood?
That’s a hard one!  I started volunteering in libraries in the first grade and have always loved being surrounded by books.  One that stands out is a collection of fairy tales.  I always loved the idea that magic could be real, that if you turn over a rock or turn a corner you could find something amazing that would change your life forever.
Did education play a big part of your decision to become a writer? What do you vividly remember about being in school?
I always loved school, but most of my education has come directly from books.  I grew up in government subsidized housing and the schools in those neighborhoods are sub-standard at best.  If not for a few stellar teachers I probably wouldn’t have kept reading past the second grade—to say it was frowned upon to always have your nose in a book would be as much of an understatement as the condition of the schools I went to.

What prompted you to begin writing romance stories and why did you begin?
I’ve always had characters in my head telling stories, and from the age of about 12-13 most of them were interested in falling in love along with whatever else they happened to be doing.  Not all of my stories are Romances, but those are my favorites.  Happy endings just make me happy.  It’s as simple as that.  J

Are you a plotter or pantser? Or combo? What works and what’s difficult in the world of writing?Pantser all the way!  Once I’m finished with a draft I go back and map out the character arc, because all of my stories are character-driven.  I just about never know how a story will end until I’m past the midway point and sometimes not until the very end.  Once the draft is done I go back to cut repetition and fill in any weak spots.  It’s a lot of work, but if I try to plot beforehand I never finish—it’s too boring for me to know too much ahead of time.  And the best stories are the ones that take on a life of their own while I struggle to keep up.
That said, one of my current WIPs is a paranormal with mystery elements, so I did a little more thinking about plot while writing that first draft.  I had to think about the mystery as an arc of its own and how I wanted that to look.  As usual, the guys sprung a few surprises on me so when I go back to edit I’ll have to do a lot of front-loading to make sure certain things are clear enough to spare readers any WTF moments. 
Susan---Sounds intriguing. Can't wait!

If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?
Well, it’s a toss-up but today I’m feeling a little girly so I’ll say Sin from the Demon’s Lexicon series.  This series by Sarah Rees Brennan is one of my all-time favorites and I love Sin.  She’s tough and smart, and extremely loyal—fierce loyalty gets me every time.  Plus, the girl can dance.

After Comfort and Joy released, how did your life change?
It’s changed a lot and that started even before Comfort and Joy was accepted for publication.  I’ve been a working writer for many years, but this little story was the push I needed to get out into the sea of social media.  In my genre it’s just not practical to expect any level of success without an online presence.  I’ve been active online since 1995 (anyone but me remember BBS?), but this is a completely different deal!  In a little more than six months this introvert has learned to navigate Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and GoodReads, and have gotten into the habit of blogging regularly.  (‘Scuse me while I take a moment to bask in that accomplishment!)  I started doing all this when I sent in my first M/M Erotic Romance submission back in September.  I’ve been a reader in this genre for years and loved how available the authors were, how genuinely happy they seemed to be to interact with readers and now I see why.  It’s fun.
Susan---I think a round of applause....clap-clap-clap.
Besides writing, what else keeps you busy?

I’m a full-time student in an intensive program for Legal Assistants and that keeps me busy.  When I can, in addition to reading (which I do every chance I get) I love to knit and crochet, take long walks fueled by cool jazz in my headphones, play with my furballs (even though they’ve never actually LOL’ed), and hang out with my kiddo.  Whenever I can do any of these things at the beach, I’m extra-happy. 
Susan---You're utterly amazing.. I worked for an attorney in college. The work is not easy. I give you so much credit for taking this educational route. HIGH FIVE TEN
Now for the shorts:
Favorite Number: Odd or even.  Odd, 13 to be precise.

Sports Fan: Loud or Quiet & Stands or Sofa:  Loud! Usually my recliner, but I love going to a football game too.

Ride:    Hardtop or Convertible or Motorcycle or Bicycle:  Dream ride = mid-70s Bay Area-style chopped Knuck or Shovel (Harley Davidson).

Drink: Coffee or Tea:  Coffee!  I’ll take my latte sweet, with cinnamon, nutmeg and a little Dutch cocoa sprinkled on top.

Hike: Mountain or Beach:  Beach.

Pets: Dog or cat or…  Cats—because one is never enough.

Atmosphere: City or country or… Country, as long as I can be a hermit on my own land; if I have to deal with the locals it’s definitely City.

Writing instrument: Pen or computer:  These days it’s a computer; my handwriting has degenerated so horribly I can’t even read it anymore.

Audio: iPod or CD:  I have a cheapie Sansa clip that works just fine – no iAnything for me, thanks.

Thanks so much for having me, Susan!  It was a blast.

COMFORT AND JOY by Charley Descoteaux.

How much love does it take to heal the wounds of hate?


Sam and Charlie have been together over a decade, and their commitment to each other has only grown stronger through the years. But love isn't always easy, and eighteen months after a violent assault, their fairy-tale relationship is still struggling. Charlie can’t shake the lingering fear of attracting more violence by displaying affection, and he's angry at himself for not getting past it. Sam would do anything to help Charlie feel better—if only he knew what that was. 
The century-old farmhouse in Northwest Oregon is the perfect place to spend the holidays with Sam’s family, but it was their refuge after the attack, and it still holds painful memories of those difficult first months. Christmas should be a joyful time, but even being surrounded by people who love him isn’t enough to make Charlie feel safe. He could try to keep to himself, but even if Sam agreed to give him the space he needs, Sam’s warm and loving family might not. And even though they agreed not to exchange gifts, Sam has a surprise up his sleeve that he hopes will make everything merry and bright. But he may end up more surprised than Charlie before the week is out… 
Sam continued up the stairs, considering how to go about putting Charlie’s perfect ass on a piano bench became entangled with the unfortunate fact that as long as they slept upstairs they would be showering separately.  He gave Charlie first chance at the hot water and then sped through his shower as fast as he could.  Sam stopped just inside the bedroom door and closed it quietly.  He toweled his hair and let his gaze linger on Charlie, lying still on top of the quilt, bare feet on the floor, partially covered with a green towel.  A slice of moonlight filtered through the curtain on the opposite wall and across Charlie's body, which was a work of art even when not bathed in romantic mood-lighting.  After a few moments Sam realized Charlie was also watching him. 
Charlie flipped the towel up and away from his body and Sam felt as though someone had just grabbed him by the throat.  After barely a heartbeat’s hesitation he strode to the foot of the bed and leaned over Charlie to kiss him.  Sam’s free hand caressed his slender chest and shoulders.  When he felt goose bumps Sam lowered himself over Charlie but kept all his weight on both knees and one hand.  
Sam moaned softly and moved his dark hand over the fair skin on Charlie’s abs.  He hadn’t regained any of the bulk he’d lost but made up for it with dizzying definition and a solidity he hadn’t had before.   
“Vanilla ice cream.”  Sam began to kiss his way down Charlie’s chest and felt a cool hand on his head exerting a gentle pressure, urging him lower. 
“You’re lactose intolerant.” 
Sam looked up and grinned for a short moment, then slipped down even farther.  “I’ll just have to lick you instead.” 

Charley Descoteaux writes M/M Erotic Romance because watching two regular guys figure out how to be happy makes her happy too.  Every guy deserves a beautiful love story even, or maybe especially, the ones who would otherwise be in the supporting cast. In her worlds you'll find out-of-work teachers, motivational speakers, unknown jazz musicians, and maybe even an undercover colorist.  Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear.  As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.


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  1. Thanks so much for having me, Susan! You give good interview. :)

  2. Nice to see you Charley!!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Shey. Always glad to see you! :D

  3. oooh! Hot, naughty, and I love your avatar, Charley!

    1. Thanks Antonia, my daughter made it for me. The way things are going, I'll probably have to ask her to update it with gray hair soon! :)

  4. Thanks for sharimg the excerpt :) and the great post

    1. Thanks for commenting, Beckey! I'm glad you stopped by. :)

  5. Hey Charley - great interview. I completely get the pantser. Pre-plotting bores me - and it takes way too much time! Besides, what's the fun in knowing how it's going to turn out?!

    Hey Susan!!! **waves**


My recommendation for the holidays!

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