Posted by Sara Testarossa
It’s my pleasure to host Lily Blunt here on the release day of her latest book, Paint the Sky! We’ve got lots of fun goodies for you readers today – along with the typical blurb, buy links, author bio, and an excerpt, Lily agreed to sit down to an interview. First, let’s take a look at the lovely cover:
Sara Testarossa: Hello Lily! Congratulations on your new release of Paint the Sky. Thank you for being the first guest on my blog. Please make yourself comfortable! *gestures to a variety of chairs, couches, and pillows around the room* May I offer you something to drink? *sips water from a giant bottle* We have pretty much anything you could want.
Lily Blunt: Hello, Sara! Many thanks for inviting me to your blog. I’m honored to be your first!
I’m a fellow water drinker, so I’m happy with that. Perhaps I’ll have a nice cuppa when we’ve finished.
Right… I’m sitting comfortably. Shall we begin?
Sara: Yes! Let’s talk about your new book, Paint the Sky. It prominently features the beautiful Van Gogh painting Starry Night on the cover, and in the scene you’ve shared as an excerpt. Starry Night is one of my favorite pieces by one of my favorite artists, by the way. What made you choose this artist and this painting for Vinnie and Ben?
Lily: I used to teach art to the 9-11 age range and would always feature a collection of Van Gogh’s paintings over several lessons. The children reproduced them in a range of media – from paints to pastels. Many of them chose Starry Night and it subsequently became a favorite painting of mine too. Vinnie in Paint the Sky is named after Vincent Van Gogh and he paints in a similar style. The night sky is an important link in the story. Sorry – I don’t want to give too much away. It brings the boys together, but it also tears them apart. Plus some of the lines from Don McLean’s Vincent inspired a few of the scenes as well.
Sara: Ah, very interesting. It’s great how so many aspects of life can influence a story! I look forward to seeing the links between the story and the Don McLean song, Vincent Van Gogh, and Starry Night when I read the novel.
Speaking of the painting, the cover of this book is gorgeous. Could you tell the readers about who created it and how?
Lily: The wonderful Kellie Dennis at Book Cover by Design worked with me on this. I told her what I wanted and she painted something herself to replicate Van Gogh’s Starry Night as we couldn’t use the original. She applied her painting to various photographs of hot men using Photoshop, I believe.
Sara: Very nice. She did a great job making your vision come to life!
Switching tracks a bit for the next question… writing emotional upheaval takes a toll on some authors’ own emotions. Without giving away specific plot details that aren’t mentioned in the blurb, can you share if there were any parts of this book that were more challenging to write than others, for that reason or another?
Lily: Anyone who knows me and has read some of my stories will know I like to write angst-filled scenes. So yes, my poor boys have a few chapters where things are not good shall we say! I made a couple of my beta readers cry or tear up, which I take as a compliment.
Sara: I know what you’re talking about! I tend to put my men through angst as well, as do some of my favorite authors. And I have cried when beta reading for someone, myself.
So, what have you found to be the most rewarding and/or fun aspects of your writing career so far?
Lily: Most rewarding – Seeing my book in print and on sale, people saying how much they enjoy reading my stories, and being called the queen of m/m sex scenes by two people. Plus I have some fabulous friends who I’ve met through my writing, on Facebook as well as in publishing. I enjoy writing, and despite all the hard work, it is fun. Better than teaching, that’s for sure.
Sara: Those are definitely great things! I’ve also found that there are so many wonderful people in the community of writers and readers.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I’m looking forward to reading Paint the Sky, and will let the readers know how to get a copy. Feel free to finish your drink, and say hi to the cat and dog before you go, if you’d like!
Lily: Many thanks, Sara. It’s been fun talking to you. I’d love to hear what you think of Paint the Sky. Feel free to visit me and we can have a chat about it. Aww… your pets are cute. They’d love my Sheltie.
Actually, I’m quite comfy. I think I’ll stay here for a bit, if that’s okay.
Sara: Please, be my guest! Next time we visit, we can get all the animals together, too!
Paint the Sky
Lily G. Blunt
Genre: M/M, Contemporary Romance and Erotica
Length: 65,000 Words/230 pages
Release Date: August 30, 2014
A love of art…
A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.
Starry, starry night…
Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.
But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.
Hold tight to your dreams…
Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.
Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I’ll paint you.”
As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.
Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver.
Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch.
And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.
This was the beginning of something special.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MSYA1JQ
LILY G. BLUNT’S BIO:
Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!
Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels four years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work.
Lily has several self-published stories available on Amazon. She is also published with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing.
Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all.
Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband, two twenty-something children, and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog.
LILY G. BLUNT’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/LilyGBlunt
FB Profile: http://www.facebook.com/lily.blunt.75