Hello loves! Today I am bringing you something special! I was lucky enough to be able to interview M.B. Mulhall in support of her new book Driven which is releasing the 7th of this month. I am always excited to have the opportunity to do a post like this that is a little out of the box for me, so thank you to M.B. Mulhall for the chance. So without further waiting lets take a look!
About The Book
Eighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.
Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness—or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.
Oliver has two options: let the pain of his past swallow him and destroy all hope for the future, or move on to the new possibilities in front of him. Choosing to live won’t be easy, and Oliver might not be able to do it alone.
1. How did you come up with the idea for Driven?
The basic idea came to me in the shower, as most of my ideas do, and then it kind of took on a life of its own as I started writing it. There are parts in there that I never expected to show up in the story, but it worked!
2. Did you have to overcome any struggles while writing Driven?
As a pantser, I always struggle to finish a story. I typically go in with an ending in mind but no idea how I’m going to get there. A lot of my struggles have to do with procrastination though.
3. Do any of the characters from Driven have roots in reality?
They do not! Sometimes someone I know, whether they’ve wronged me or not, makes it into a book but typically I try not to do that because I don’t want people making assumptions that X character is them and that’s how I see them/think of them.
4. What made you want to write a MM romance?
LGBT stories are still a minority in the world of YA (especially when I was writing Heavyweight a few years ago) and I think their journey and struggles need to be out there for people to read. They love like anyone else. They have those first kiss butterflies and insecurities that we all went through as teens. They’re no different from their cisgender counterparts. Love is love (is love is love is love is love is love – in the great words of Lin-Manuel Miranda)
And for me it’s not that I’m necessarily out to write only MM romance, it’s more that the idea comes to me and I feel the story needs to be told. It doesn’t matter if the characters present as straight, gay, trans, bi, etc. Their voices just bang around in my head until I get it out on paper.
5. Have you always been drawn to the romance genre?
I’m a pretty die-hard romantic, if a jaded one (thanks crappy ex-boyfriends! My husband is a saint for putting up with my bitterness…). I think everything I’ve ever written has a hint of romance at least. It’s human nature that many folks will have romantic or lustful thoughts towards someone in life, so why not write it into my stories? It’s something many people can relate to or dream about. That being said, I enjoy a happily ever after to an extent. I don’t think everything in the story line needs to pan out perfectly because let’s face it, that’s not life, but the romance aspect? I like that to work out.
6. Do you have any rituals to get in the writing groove?
Hmmm, not so much. I do typically have to leave my house to do my best writing. Coffee shops are my jam because I like to eavesdrop on folks who think no one can hear them talking about their awesome date last night or that their ex’s new girlfriend has herpes. Often makes for great book/dialog fodder.
7. Is diversity in books an important thing for you?
We live in a diverse world, it should be represented in books, movies, TV, literature, politics, etc. I just hope I do it justice. It’s definitely a concern that I might accidentally misrepresent someone. I would hope that someone would, politely, call me out on it so I could correct or at least be more mindful in the future. My goal is to show readers that we are all more alike that than think, not that someone is to be feared or mistrusted or disliked because they aren’t a carbon copy of ourselves.
8. There is a big push to read diversely… what are some of your favorite books that broach this?
As far as LGBT books go, I was first lured in by yaio manga and then found my way to Maureen Johnson’s The Bermudez Triangle, David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy and then his team up with John Green for Will Grayson. Will Grayson.
I’m also a fan of Hannah Moskowitz books which often portray diverse characters and I recommend Alexie Sherman’s The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian to pretty much everyone.
9. What are some of your current must read authors?
Sarah J. Mass, Maggie Stiefvater, George RR Martin, Marissa Meyer, Hannah Moskowitz, Seanan McGuire
10. What is the next project you are working on?
I’m reworking an old soft sci-fi book I wrote a few years ago. It’s about a girl’s journey to find the rest of her family on a strange planet with deadly red dust. There’s a cat person love interest, adventure, political intrigue, and lots of growing up. I really need to work on a good tagline and summary for it, obviously 😀