Q & A with Marie Sexton author of Damned if You Do

Q & A with Marie Sexton author of Damned if You Do!

Why did you choose to write gay romance stories?
I used to read nothing but fantasy novels. At some point, I stumbled onto Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. At the end of the second book, the two male protagonists become a couple. It was like some kind of epiphany. That sounds silly, but it was so amazing, I began scouring Amazon for other books featuring gay protagonists. I sort of stumbled down a slippery slope from fantasy into gay romance. After reading those for about a year, I woke up with an idea in my head. I wasn't really sure I could do anything with it. Other than some really bad poetry in high school, I'd never written anything but memos and newsletters at my day job. But I sat down and started writing, and that idea turned into my first novel, Promises.

What is for you the perfect book hero?
I love a guy who comes off as quiet and broody, but who's also smart, with a subtle sense of humor. (Matt from Promises remains my perfect man. Deacon from Song of Oestend and Nick from Never a Hero aren't too far behind.) ;-)

When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?
I'm somewhere between a plotter and a pantser. I don't necessarily need the beginning or ending, although that helps. I absolutely have to know at least three key points along the way before I begin. I start with whichever scene feels strongest in my head and work from there. All the stuff in between – the stuff that gets me from point A to point B – is sort of a crapshoot.

When and why did you begin writing?
Like a lot of people, I wrote some really bad poetry as a teenager. I also took several creative writing classes in high school and college, but after that, I didn't attempt any kind of creative writing at all until the year I quit my day job to be a stay-at-home mother. I'd been reading a lot of gay romance at that point. I read one fantasy series that had (IMO) such an unsatisfying ending that I spent a good week or so rewriting it in my head. Not long after that, I woke up with an idea about two men arguing in a hallway. I got up and started writing. I felt like a complete fraud at first, but I kept going, and that book eventually turned into my first novel, Promises.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don't remember. Not when I got my first contract. Not even when I held that first book in my hand. Maybe somewhere around book four or five, I started getting used to the idea.

List three books you have recently read and would recommend. The Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsay Faye
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
Horns, by Joe Hill

Tell us something that people would be surprised you know how to do.
Once upon a time, I took a hunter safety course and leaned how to gut and skin several different kinds of animals. Even I can't believe I did that. (Although for the record, I learned these things in theory only. I'm happy to say I've never actually had to kill and/or clean any kind of wild game.)

Will you write more about these characters?
Probably not. Then again, I've said that before and ended up with sequels, so only time will tell.

Damned if you Do by Marie Sexton

Date of Publication: June 14, 2016


The path to temptation is paved with a hellish amount of paperwork.

Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn't catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.

Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He's cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon's quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.

The problem? There's the revival foreman who watches Abaddon's every move. Then there's the mystery of Seth's many unusual talents. Lastly, there's Abaddon himself. He's beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.

But Hell's agenda isn't negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn't play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.

Warning: Contains a Bible-quoting twink and an irreverent devil who'll do anything to avoid going "back to the office". Also, snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.

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About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She's a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

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