Today, I have author Rain Carrington in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Robin, book one in the Birds of a Feather series, a m/m contemporary romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Rain: What personal life? Hahaha! Just kidding, well, sort of. With the pandemic, my husband and I ended up moving into the house where I work, an assisted living facility, so other caregivers wouldn’t be coming in and out of the house. We kept in lockdown for almost nine months, barely leaving at all. Since then, I redecorated my home, having spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at goodies. Otherwise, I live in the basement apartment of the house where my oldest daughter and her family lives, so it’s rarely a dull moment with a thirteen-year-old. I write all I can, though, play the Sims, and enjoy my three kitties and three doggies. I’m mellow with age now, which is a good thing haha, and read when I’m not doing all the rest of the things I just mentioned. Pretty boring, but it works for me!
2. I’ve been perusing your Goodreads page, and noticed you are drawn to m/m romance and flawed characters. Why?
Rain: I’m flawed, most everyone I know is flawed! What I love more than anything is to write a flawed character and actually watch them growing through the book. Most times, they guide me to where they’re going, so it’s like watching a movie you started but was taken over by the characters themselves. To see a character growing, learning more about himself and his world, it’s wonderful. Redemption is a big theme in a lot of my books as well, someone overcoming the darkness in them to find love, light and friendship. And I love writing men, especially gay men. I’ve always had very close friends that were gay men, and the stories they told me stuck with me, and not just the naughty ones. Their struggles, them learning about themselves and the people around them, being hurt, being helped, and helping themselves, it inspires me like no other characters I’ve tried to write.
3. Your latest novel is Robin, book one in the Birds of a Feather series. Can you tell me what inspired you to write this book and develop the series?
Rain: Well, a guilty pleasure author for me in my younger years was V.C. Andrews. I could absolutely devour her books, her early ones, and one day, while cruising a streaming channel, I came across Flowers in the Attic, the movie version. One of them, anyway. It got me to thinking about how one of those types of books could translate into an M/M novel. So, my brain went into overdrive, and Robin came to me, a young man, just coming of age, who has a mother who obviously resents him for unknown reasons, a father he barely sees and a boyfriend who isn’t what he seems.
One big part of the V.C. books was a mansion or building that loomed largely in the books. Farthingale Manor, Foxworth Hall, and so I made Dove’s Landing, which isn’t only a manor, it’s an island off the coast of Connecticut. There, all the worst and the best things happen for Robin, a roller coaster of combinations of the highs and lows of human emotions. He finds love, but it’s a forbidden love. He meets a father too overcome with guilt to be a good father to him, and a stepmother and older brother that make his real mother look like a saint. There he finds lasting friendships and a love that he knew was wrong, but it also sends him running in book two, which is a whole other set of ups and downs for poor Robin.
4. When first developing Robin, did the plot come first or the characters?
Rain: With this type of book, I guess the plot WAS the character in a lot of ways. It’s centered around him, and the things he experiences, though it’s not all from his point of view. The first book mainly is, but the rest will be a combination of the main characters. This book is about a young man who is searching for love, and not storybook love, but even the expected love of a parent which he’s never felt. He lives with his mother, knows his father, but neither has it in them to give him the unconditional, constant love he needs.
5. Let’s talk about the main character Robin. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?
Rain: Robin is young enough to want to see the good in everyone. He loves a boy, but that boy is obviously holding things back, and he doesn’t realize it until it’s too late. That may be what I love about him, and the reason I want to shake him. Like all of us, our young selves don’t see the gray areas, it’s all black and white, good and bad, and for Robin, his first boyfriend can do no wrong. Then, he’s crushed with the truth, his first romantic heartbreak. Again, I could have shaken him to see it for himself, be more prepared, but he’s in that place that is sometimes the best and worst times in life for us humans. That early time when we don’t see the flags waving in our faces and just love, freely, happily.
6. The same for Alex. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?
Rain: Alex is jaded. Unlike Robin, he’s seen the gray areas all his young life, and counts on the darker moments to happen much more than the light. He tries so hard to push Robin away, to jade him as he’s been, so Robin’s delicate heart won’t be so broken, but then, he finds he loves that part of Robin more than anything, and starts to realize not everything is as horrible as he thinks it is. Shaking him would be to not be so jaded and to live life with a little more glee.
7. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write and why?
Rain: Without spoilers is fine, because I’ve announced this scene already. Not the details, but I can pinpoint it without those. The cliffhanger! The last scene where it all comes to a head, where one of the main characters is in dire peril and I end the book. Now, I’m a little bit sadistic, yes, and I secretly (shhh, don’t tell anyone) picture the screams of my lovely and patient readers when they get to that part, but it was needed right where it was! There was no way around it, and it gave me such joy to write.
8. If a reader asked you why they should read Robin, what would you tell them?
Rain: I would ask if they’d loved V.C. Andrews books, and always wished for a version with a gay male. I would tell them that the trials and tribulations of this young man will make them want to read on and on to see if he gets the joy he so desires. I would ask if they love books with gloomy islands and the ruins of an old church that sets the stage for a love that is forbidden and irresistible. I would ask if they like cheering for the underdog.
9. You have an extensive backlist. If a reader was new to you, which book would you recommend that they start with, and why?
Rain: That is tough, as so many of my books are intertwined with the others. Most are in the same “universe”. Honky Tonk was my first published, so I guess I would start at the beginning. Hunter and Ethan are reader favorites, so that series, then moving right on to Apishipa Creek Chronicles.
10. Which book was your personal favourite to read, and why?
Rain: That’s easy, and it hasn’t changed, even after all the books I’ve written. Turquoise stands out to me because it grows. The two main characters are little boys together on a reservation, growing up in the same culture and town. They are apart many years but manage to come back together, and the way the characters grew, changed, I just love it. It’s possibly always going to be my favorite.
11. Again, drawing from the many books you’ve written, which was your personal favourite to write, and why.
Rain: One of my newest ones, from the Bear Lake Chronicles, called Bear Essentials was my most recent favorite to write. It was in a dark time, the pandemic, so many of my friends and loved ones down, everything was bleak, so I took a turn from my usual angst to write a fun, upbeat book about a VERY talkative, energetic character that moves to a very small mountain town and shakes things up considerably. It helped uplift my mood, and I hope it did the same for those who’ve read it.
12. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Rain: Hmm, there are so many things. Getting lost in a story, creating a world where only I live with these characters, at least until others read it and are taken there. Meeting the characters the first time, seeing little things about them, noticing them giving a wink to another, a caress to the cheek, a kiss.
13. What do you enjoy least about writing?
Rain: Seriously that I don’t have enough time right now to write as much as I’d like!
14. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:
- What’s your favourite movie?
Of all time, The Godfather
- What book is currently in your e-reader?
My Best Friend’s Exorcism. My daughters and I have a book club and each of us take turn picking horror novels and this was my youngest daughter’s pick.
- Who’s your favourite musical group?
Okay, this one is so hard! Prince, The Beatles, and Ozzy Osbourne all are running neck & neck lol.
- What song puts a smile on your face?
Tubthumping. Never fails to get me off my keister and take on whatever I need to take on! Then Lose Yourself by Eminem, same reason. If I’m ever down, which is rare, these two pick me right back up and make me keep going.
15. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Rain: Just that I had a lot of fun writing this latest book and yes, there is a cliff-hanger, but I promise to never be an author that waits a long time for resolution. My second in the series comes out a mere two weeks after this one, and it will have the resolution of the cliffy in the first, as well as giving some more twists and suspense! Thanks for sticking with me!
Book Title: Robin (Birds of a Feather 1)
Author: Rain Carrington
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope/s: Forbidden love
Themes: Poor little rich boy falls in love with his “brother”
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 70 000 words
Will Robin ever find the love he’s been denied his entire life?
Blurb: Coming from wealth but neglected emotionally, Robin Pavasaris flies to Connecticut, in search of what he’d missed all his life. The love of a parent.
What he got, however, was a wicked stepmother that would rival those in fairy tales and a father succumbed to guilt, silent as he watches his son hurt by another mother figure. Filip Pavasaris is helpless to act. In fact, Robin fears he’ll have no ally in the huge, cold manor.
That’s until his half-brother, Alex, comes home from graduate school. The first time they see one another, it was like Robin had found every dream he hadn’t known he had. Then, he learns their relation and his heart is sore once again.
It doesn’t matter, however, as Alex takes Robin under his wing, teaching him how to survive in the home. The more time they spend together, the more Robin fears he’s falling for his own brother. On top of that, he can never let anyone at Dove’s Landing know he’s gay. Their religion wouldn’t allow a gay son, and he’d lose the millions his mother coveted from his trust fund.
A confession and a kiss breaks everything apart, and Robin runs for his life, and from his heartbreak.
Note: This is an ongoing series, with temporary resolutions at the end of each, along with a few cliffhangers.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: dubcon/noncon, drug use, and more! Please read the warning inside the book.
Book 2 Pre-Order will be Available on Release Day
Buy Link: Universal Link
Robin Pavasaris was hurrying to the den near his room where Troy waited, ready to give him his lessons for the day and something else. Troy was tall and handsome, in a geeky way, but still, Robin thought he was perfect. Not to mention he loved the guy.
Their affair had started months previous, right around his eighteenth birthday. Troy and he had flirted for the last couple years of Troy’s employment as his tutor, but he told Robin he could do nothing about it, since Robin was underage. Once Robin hit that magic, invisible marker, they’d kissed, made love, and since then, the lessons had been cut short in favor of spending hours in bed instead.
When he got into the room, there he was, his boyfriend. Well, technically he wasn’t allowed to call Troy that. Officially, he was Robin’s tutor, but he could have his secret.
“Hey,” he purred.
“Shh. Close the door,” Troy chided. After Robin did just that, he rushed to the table in the middle of the room, the big glass and chrome desk pushed to the back of the room near the oversized windows and sat close to Troy.
After a fast kiss on Troy’s succulent lips, Robin whispered, “I missed you.”
Troy was light skinned and marked with a thousand freckles, and Robin was in love with every single one of them. “Stop horsing around, Robin. You have three finals coming up and if you fail, your mother will kill me. She has to show your grades to your father.”
“I know, but I concentrate so much better after we…you know.”
Robin was terribly shy, but with Troy, he felt he could let his hair down a little. Not that his actual hair could be let down, as short as it was, never growing over the tops of his ears, like his mother liked it. The sandy blond color came from his father, as Chelsea’s was strict black, but he did inherit her cat-green eyes.
“Not now,” Troy told him, impatient. “Work first, and if we have time…then we’ll fuck.”
“Don’t say it like that,” Robin pleaded, his romantic sensibilities unable to see anything they were doing as less than the purest form of adoration.
“Fine. We can make love. Get that book open. I already have your assignments lined out from the website.”
After a long sigh of disappointment, Robin set his mind to task, wanting to do what he had to, to make Troy happy.
He didn’t care much if his grades suffered. He’d always been a straight-A student, so if his grades flagged some, it wouldn’t hurt him much. He’d been accepted into a top college, several, in fact, all far from home so he’d never have to visit if he didn’t want to.
The pages of the book were a blur as he read fast, taking in at least most of the information. He studied in his room at night, and thought he was likely ready for his finals, but he’d never disappoint Troy.
“Okay, finish up with that, study those last four pages, they’re big on the exam, then let’s get to trig.”
“Ugh. I hate trig. I have to think too much.”
He finally got laughter from Troy. “I used to say the same thing. It’ll all come in handy once you get to college.” He softened more and asked, “Are you excited? To go?”
“Yes. Very. I still hope you can come with me.”
“I live here, Robin. You need to go, start your life.”
Like every time he said things like that, Robin’s heart squeezed painfully, and he felt tears springing to his eyes, that he quickly blinked away. “You’re…you’re part of my life, Troy.”
“Right now, I am. Robin, I said we’ll talk about this stuff later. Okay?”
Time felt like it was ticking louder and louder in his head, his heart beating right along with it, faster and faster, until he felt like he couldn’t breathe. “It’s always later, Troy, and this is it! There is no more later! I’m going away after the summer and we’ll… we might never see each other again!”
Troy took his face into both hands and stopped Robin’s tirade with a kiss. At first, Robin tried to pull back from the kiss, but like always, Troy’s warmth, the most warmth he’d gotten from another human in his life, won over his pain. He let himself be kissed, tilting his head and letting his breathing finally slow.
When the kiss ended, Troy’s saliva drying on Robin’s lips, he was again lulled into a sense of love and need. “Let’s get back to work, and I promise, Robin, we’ll talk soon.”
I love writing, it’s been my dream for many years, and in October of 2013, when my first book went live on Amazon, that dream came true.
Writing love stories that are centered on flawed but lovable characters is my passion. Finding love between people isn’t easy, nor should it be. Even in a book, there have to be obstacles for the story to feel real.
I am a mother of three amazing people, and three adorable fur babies. I live in Colorado but love many other places besides my home. One state in particular is New Mexico, the state where I was born has always held a place in my heart.
People and places make my stories what they are. Each character I’ve written is a part of me in some way. Each place I write is as well. Adventures come in many ways, and each of my stories has taken me on an adventure that I treasure.
Come with me on my adventures and fall in love with my characters, as I have. I promise, you will love the ride.