Thanks for having me on the LoveRomanceReads blog today to celebrate the release of what I believe is my 20th book? Including anthologies? I’m super excited for this book to fall into your hands as it has been one of my most challenging books to write to date. Good challenges and challenging challenges, Typhoon Toby presented them all. Here’s a breakdown…
Typhoon Toby was a challenge and a joy for me to write for several reasons:
My emotional state…
Toby Griffiths appears on the surface to have it all: money, fame, looks, a great career…but once you dig just a little beneath his surface, he’s carrying around some real hurt. Toby is a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of someone he trusted, which led him to swear off emotional entanglements other than the platonic musical partnership he has with his best friend Reese Matheson. Now in his early 30s, Toby is having all the feels: regret, loneliness, depression, and little to no self-worth. Along comes a special man who makes him want more and suddenly, all of the things he’s kept a lid on blow like a geyser. That’s when things got tough for me as well. It’s one thing to write a character who’s hanging in there, but when they fall and tumble toward rock bottom, sometimes it hurts. Plus, I was mourning the loss of some of my greatest musical heroes while writing this book. David Bowie, Prince, George Michael…Toby allowed me to grieve for them and celebrate what they’ve meant to me. Be sure to check out the playlist on Spotify. Follow me @rlmerrillauthor for playlists inspired by each of my books.
Major concerns over the sophomore slump are real.
I turned this book in to my editor shortly after Reese was in production and they sent it back. “Let’s wait and see how book one goes and here are some things I think we need to address.” The concerns were real, but then I started to doubt myself. What if it sucks? What if Reese flops and they don’t want another book? What if I’m destined to be a one and done? THANKFULLY folks liked Reese and my publisher gave me another shot and I’m so damn grateful to be here with another book for you.
How can I make Spencer a believable partner who can stand against the Force of Nature?
Spencer…Mild-mannered therapist with social anxiety and shyyyyy. How do you put a guy like him up against a Force of Nature like Toby? You give them an anonymous meeting and then push him until he steps past his comfort zone. But what then? How does a therapist dealing with LGBTQ adolescents and his own issues hold his own? Spencer’s journey is a sweet one and I loved creating this quiet hero.
I loved revisiting the Hollywood Rock ‘n’ Romance Trilogy characters!
I have two words for my readers who have been with me since the beginning. Danny Black. For you new folks? Rock Star. Ginger God. Sexy AF. Okay, that’s technically three, but you get the picture. Danny and his lovely wife Jesse Martin-Black joined Toby and Reese’s world briefly at the end of Hurricane Reese, but they play an important role in Typhoon Toby. I had so much fun bringing them, Nora, Julian AND little Jane all growed up into a new circle of friends and the possibilities for future appearances are endless! I hope you’ll enjoy meeting these characters and I hope you’ll check out Teacher, The Hollywood Rock ‘n’ Romance Trilogy next!
Tap Dancing…How I’ve missed it!
I spent fourteen years of my life dancing non-stop. I dabbled as an adult, but adulting gets in the way of the things we love to do, amiright? Someday I’ll go back to lessons, for sure, and I’ll be starting with tap. Oh, I love tap dancing. It really makes my heart sing. Including this art form in my stories is the best substitution for the real thing…for now. Who knows? If you see me out on the road this year, maybe I’ll have picked up a class! Now that my daughter drives herself everywhere and my son is about to head to high school…maybe? I’ll keep you posted!
Thank you all for joining me here today and special thanks to Carissa for this amazing spot for authors and readers to meet! I hope you enjoy Typhoon Toby and would love to hear what you think. Please subscribe to my website at www.rlmerrillauthor.com to stay up with my latest news. There will be PLENTY of good stuff coming out in 2019 including appearances, more gay romance from Dreamspinner Press, the Worst Valentine’s Day Ever anthology as well as an LGBTQ anthology AND a paranormal romance that will hopefully make you gigglesnort, both coming in June! So…Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance with R.L. Merrill!
Forces of Nature: Book Two
On the surface, Toby Griffiths appears to have it all—talent, money, a brilliant mind, and model good looks. With his best friend, Reese, he’s built an empire as a singer/songwriter.
But beneath that glittering exterior, Toby suffers the lasting effects of abuse. To keep his tempestuous past where it belongs, he insists on anonymity with lovers—no names, no personal information. But a vacation fling in Bali changes all that, and he can’t get his recent playmate out of his mind.
Therapist Spencer Hart left Bali with a bad case of pneumonia and a broken heart. Although he’s recovering, he’s shocked to find his secretive partner on TV, and he’s determined to see him again. Spencer arranges to attend one of Toby’s fundraising galas, and their reunion is tense.
Toby tries to stick to his rules… until a New Year’s kiss with Spencer washes away the last of his resistance. But Toby is a man with secrets, and when the storm comes ashore, it could devastate not just his professional life but his fledgling love affair and his longtime partnership with his best friend.
Will Spencer stand by his side and help him weather the storm as Toby faces his worst fears?
About R.L. Merrill
Once upon a time... a teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ’n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several books later, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real life and happily ever after. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, educating America’s youth, being a mom taxi to two busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or head banging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.