Lisa: We’re so pleased to have author Eric Huffbind in the interview seat today on the tour for his latest release, The Rescuer. Welcome, Eric! Let’s start things off with having you tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Eric: I am a huge fan of Walt Disney! I don’t think there has ever been a Disney film I didn’t love. Also, I have traveled to Walt Disney World so many times I’ve lost count. I think I gave up counting after I reached the count of 25.
Lisa: What’s your favorite scene in The Rescuer, and what makes it a fave?
Eric: My absolute favorite scene is from Chapter Nineteen, Jason and George. I love this exchange between the two 1st cousins in ‘The Rescuer.’ It demonstrates an incredible love and bond shared by these two men. The love between Jason and George is also demonstrated with what I felt was some of the best humor in the entire book. It’s the cutest scene!
Lisa: Would you care to share an excerpt from the scene with us?
The Excerpt: It happened on a Friday evening, that Susan flew to Seattle, Washington, to assist with a wedding she planned for the daughter of one of her best clients. The Brinkman’s daughter, was marrying a man whose family was from Seattle, and she decided the wedding was to take place in the city that was to be her new home. As a result, George found himself alone for the weekend, and he couldn’t stand the solitude. He begged Jason to spend the evening with him, not that he had to beg very hard.
Jason darted from the kitchen of his condominium to open the front door as soon as he heard the doorbell ring. “Come on in,” he greeted George, giving him a tight hug. “I’m in the kitchen making dinner. Please help yourself to a drink. Just open the refrigerator and take whatever you want.”
“Thank you. God, it’s good to see you,” he said, grabbing a Coke.
“Great to see you too, considering you don’t give me the time of day since you’ve been dating Susan.”
“Come on, Jason—that’s not true! Is it?” George asked with a tinge of guilt in his voice.
“Well—I might be acting a little on the hyperbolic side.” Shaking his head from side to side, “Gee whiz, you must be getting laid more often than a bricklayer’s bricks.” George immediately blushed hard. “My god! You’re beet red! Apparently, I wasn’t exaggerating on that point.”
Being rather bashful, “Yeah—guilty as charged. But I still love you.”
“And why wouldn’t you? I was the one who fixed you guys up! Now you’re getting as much pussy as you could possibly want. Meanwhile, I’ve gone so long without dick that I don’t think I remember how to give a proper blowjob!”
George smirked and cocked his head, “I somehow doubt that. I’m sure it’s like riding a bike. It’ll come back to you.”
“Hmmm—you think so, huh?”
“I don’t personally have the same experience as you, but yeah, I’m fairly certain.” Jason cracked a smile at George’s remarks. “See, I speak the truth. Something smells awfully good. What’s for dinner?”
“Spaghetti and meatballs,” Jason replied. “Without much time to prepare an involved dinner, it was easy enough to boil spaghetti from a box and sauce from a jar. The meatballs are from the grocery store freezer. That delicious aroma you smell is the garlic bread baking in the oven, also from the grocery freezer section.”
“As long as I’m sharing the meal with you, it’ll be the best spaghetti and meatballs I’ve ever had.”
“You are sweet! I do love you,” said Jason.
“Of course, you do—and I can’t thank you enough for fixing me up with Susan. I’ve never been happier.” George leaned forward and gave Jason a quick kiss on the cheek.
Emotionally touched by the kiss, Jason smiled, “You’re welcome. Have a seat. Let me make you a plate.” Once the two men were sitting in the dining room eating, Jason asked, “Hey, tell me, how’s Christopher Parker doing?”
“He’s doing wonderful. I can’t even comprehend how that guy ever had a drinking problem. I’ve become pretty attached to him. He’s very happy with his new job as a software engineer. Damn! He’s smart! Has this amazing apartment! It’s huge! Beautifully decorated. Whatever you did for him, you turned him into a new man. His parents are elated. Susan is elated. You gave her back her Christopher.”
“That’s so good to hear. I truly felt he would be an enormous success. I’m so happy for him. I wish my entire case load was that successful.” Jason’s eyes puddled with tears.
“Hey—why are you crying? You must really care about him.”
“The guy had some tough life history he had to put behind him. I care about all my patients. But you’re right. Something is special about him. When you’re that young and you can put your life back together—it’s a real accomplishment. Now he’s got his whole life ahead of him. Good for him!”
“You do excellent work, Jason. You do excellent work. Have—you—talked to your mom lately?”
He sighed and shook his head in a negative manner, “No.”
“You’re still so full of anger towards your mother.”
“Yes—I know I am,” he said sounding despondent.
“What’s it going to take?” George asked.
Raising his eyebrows, “I’m not sure. I’m really not sure.”
“Well, I’m always here for you. You know I love you.”
“I know. I love you too. You’ve been more than a cousin to me. I always appreciate you spending time with me.”
“Anytime. You know, I was the one who didn’t want to be alone tonight. So, I should be thanking you.”
“True. In that case—you’re welcome.”
Lisa: What books and authors would you say influenced you to become a writer yourself?
Eric: Honestly, writing a book was always something on my bucket list. Now, if someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be great at writing a romance novel, I would have thought they were crazy. I read a book by Seth King entitled ‘Honesty.’ That book riveted me. Couldn’t stop reading it. Stayed up to 3:30am I had such a hard time putting it down. It was filled with so much raw emotion, and it was a story I could relate to so well. Strange thing is, ‘Honesty’ is not what I would exactly call a romance novel. There was certainly romance in it, but it was riddled with a great deal of angst. And it lacked the single most essential element that all fans of gay male romance look for. There was no happy ending. Still, I loved the book. It touched my heart and spirit. That is exactly why I enjoy romance stories.
Lisa: How long did it take to write your book, and what was the most difficult part of the writing process (i.e., dialogue, plot or character development, pacing, etc.)?
Eric: It took me over the period of 5 months. Now, this was my first book, and I most definitely ‘pants’ my way through it, but when I say 5 months, that involved a lot of stop and go. I’m working on drafting my second novel right now. It’s entitled ‘Distant Cousin.’ I am trying my hardest to plot out a story first to hopefully speed up the writing process. In terms of what was most difficult, at the risk of my own embarrassment, the sex scenes presented the biggest challenge. My friends just laughed at me, in a kind way of course. They couldn’t imagine why that was so difficult. When any given scene develops from my imagination, once I am grounded with what I wish to happen, the words flow easily from my brain down onto my fingertips. Much of what is written in a novel is dialogue. In a sex scene, dialogue tends to take a back seat. Your ability to vividly describe what is taking place between two characters becomes paramount. I have never had to work so hard at writing a passage that’s sensuous and titillating at the same time. Thus, it felt to me to be the most challenging to write. I would have to imagine, with some practice, it will become easier for me for future books.
Lisa: What’s the best piece of writing/author advice you’ve received that you’d pass on to someone else just getting started in the business?
Eric: I cannot stress enough the importance of finding beta readers and editors. Yes, you can do a great deal of self-editing to improve on your first draft. However, it’s imperative that you have another person reading and editing your work as an outsider. As the author, you know exactly what you are trying to say, and you know what you meant. But that doesn’t mean someone else reading your book won’t find themselves lost or confused with your prose. Editors are particularly challenging to locate as a self-published author; locating someone with the appropriate skill and talent and yet affordable, can be quite challenging.
Lisa: Was there a particular part of the process—from writing to editing to cover design to publishing—that was easier or harder than you thought it would be? What was it?
Eric: The ability to produce a large amount of words was considerably easier and went much faster than I would have dreamed. If I were writing some research paper when I was back in college, it could have been torture to generate 10 pages. I discovered in fiction, I can bang out 1,000 words in what seems like no time at all.
Lisa: If you won the lottery, what’s the first completely self-indulgent thing you’d do?
Eric: That’s an easy one! Buy my husband a brand-new car.
Lisa: Let’s pretend you’re taking a road trip, and you can choose any three of your characters to go with you. First, who would you want on the ride-along, and why them?
Eric: Now this is very tough to answer for me because I turned all my major characters into couples. I certainly am not going to ask the wife to come with me, without asking her husband. Or the boyfriend without his boyfriend. Meaning, I am going to need 4 characters rather than 3. So, If I must make that choice, I’m going to stick with George, Susan, and Jason. George is my favorite character. He has most incredible heart and soul along with a sense of humor. Now, don’t get me wrong, both my protagonists have wonderful hearts and souls. But George is unbelievably kind and thoughtful–a heterosexual man who never sees his cousin Jason or Christopher as different because of his sexual orientation. He loves and cares for them without his feelings being clouded by the fact that they are each gay. In his mind, sex is just as meaningful regardless of the genders of the participants. He believes that everyone of us has the right to love and share our life with whomever makes us happy. Of course, I have to include Susan. As I have stated, I can’t ask one without the other. George deserves to share this trip with the person that brings deep joy to his world. Lastly, I chose Jason. Now, I hate leaving Christopher behind. As a matter of fact, if this were a real situation, I would rent a minivan so that we could all be together. Still, I choose Jason because he is a man after my own heart. He is the truest reflection of who I am myself.
Lisa: Second, who would be most likely to:
Eric: *Have to hit every rest stop bathroom: Myself. I was cursed with a bladder the size of a lentil.
*Whine about how long it’s taking to get where you’re going: Myself again. I simply hate long drives. I become bored senseless.
*Break wind with the windows rolled up: George.
*Flip incessantly through songs on their music app: Susan
Lisa: If you could sit down to dinner with any author, past or present, who would you choose, and why? What are some things you’d want to chat about?
Eric: Agatha Christie. She has always been my all time favorite author. Her novels keep you spellbound, and her stories are the most fun to read. What I would have wanted to chat about is to have her share with me the inspiration and what she pulled from in her world to create her two famous detectives: Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot.
Lisa: If you could be any animal in the world, what would you choose? Why?
Eric: A seagull. Nothing would be more magical than to be able fly. Since I have always had a love affair with the ocean, a seagull grants me the additional satisfaction to spend my life near the sea.
Lisa: Star Trek, Star Wars, both or neither? Explain.
Eric: Another easy question for me to answer. Star Wars and definitely not Star Trek. Unlike many people, I always found the television series, Star Trek, to be god-awful boring. It simply never captured me in any way. I felt nothing for the characters. Star Wars on the other hand is a thrill ride from beginning to end. Additionally, and most importantly, I care about the characters and what happens to them.
Lisa: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Eric, it’s been a pleasure.
About the Book
Book Title: The Rescuer (2nd Edition)
Author: Eric Huffbind
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Jennifer Craig
Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Male Romance.
Length: 212 paperback pages
Blurb: Christopher’s striking green eyes and handsome good looks didn’t buy him happiness, but he learned to survive off of them to maintain his expensive lifestyle. Now, after he has nearly destroyed himself, he’s in the fight for his life…
When Christopher Parker checks himself into the Watermeadow Rehabilitation Center, he was frightened for his future and what was to become of him. Haunted from his past, he knows that he has to take this step in his recovery or face his likely death as the alternative. He never expected to find his social worker, Jason Calhoun, incredibly attractive. Christopher dreams of finding a man to love and who will treat him with decency. Although Jason does fit the bill, he knows that this relationship is strictly professional. Completely out of reach for a failure like himself.
Jason, who is a hopeless romantic, is in the endless pursuit of Prince Charming. Always unlucky in love but finds solace in the care of his patients. He loves being needed and having patients that depend on him. Jason comes to realize that the guys he dates always need to be rescued, much like his patients. A strategy that he’s learning is a poor choice.
Jason discovers that Christopher has become tangled up with a famed billionaire. As a billionaire, he can afford anything he wants, which seems to include even the ability to buy true love. Suddenly, he fears that everything he has worked so hard for, both romance and career, is being threatened by his new nemesis.
If you enjoy stories that pull you in and have you caring about the characters and what happens to them, then this is the book for you. It promises to have you laughing, crying, & smiling!
About the Author
Eric Huffbind is a man of many talents. He is a hopeless romantic, licensed registered nurse, has been a travel agent, and the eternal social butterfly. Among his passionate interests are history, genealogy, romance, and travel. Like so many other individuals, he has a long bucket list. On the list, to no surprise, was writing a novel. So this, his debut novel, is a lifetime of raw emotions: be it love, happiness, sadness, tears, joy, anxiety, fear, disappointment, or achievement.
Although, the story in The Rescuer, focuses on the romantic relationship of two gay men, regardless of your sexual orientation, this novel is meant to rekindle the true spirit of romance and love in your heart. If Mr. Huffbind’s story moves you through an array of emotions, and it touches your romantic spirit, please share the book with a friend.
Mr. Huffbind was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and has remained in southwest Ohio for his entire life. His current residence is in West Chester Township, Ohio. He shares his life with his husband, an autistic son, and his beautiful Pomeranian.
Enter Eric’s Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following prizes:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
$15 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Amazon Gift Card
One of 5 FREE Ebook Copies of THE RESCUER