Transcript: 12. D.K. Sutton

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Full episode transcript

Lee: Welcome to episode number 12 of the Low Angst Library podcast. Today we have an interview with D.K. Sutton.

I’m your resident librarian Lee Blair. This library is your stop for all things light, fluffy, funny, sweet, spicy, and everything in between. I not only publish low angst, queer romances, but I’m a voracious reader of them too. I created this podcast because I wanted to talk to other authors who write romance is featuring queer characters so that I could find out what draws them to the lighter side of angst, more about their books and their writing processes.

I’m super stoked to share that I’m participating in a charity anthology that releases next week. This is volume six of the Love Is All anthology and it releases on all major book retailers on June 6th. This anthology features 10 brand new stories from bestselling and award-winning authors who include BL Maxwell, Chantal Mer, Susan Scott Shelley, Connor Peterson, Gabbi Grey, Nic Starr, Sean Michael, Xio Axelrod, RJ Scott, V.L. Locey, Piper Malone, and me.

All proceeds will go to three organizations that support and defend LGBTQIA2S+ rights. They are the Unity Coalition, Out Memphis and Lucy’s Place. And I want to tell you a small bit about each of these organizations because I love that this anthology project is supporting organizations that are really make a difference locally in three separate places.

So the Unity Coalition is a LatinX and indigenous organization that’s in Florida and they organize and support several LGBTQ+ arts, leaderships and awareness programs throughout the state.

Out Memphis offers direct aid and support programs to queer and trans people in Tennessee. And this includes regular events at the center’s main facility like free HIV testing, trans ID workshops, financial aid for name changes, community meals and peer support and social groups for both teens and adults.

And lastly Lucy’s Place is named for Lucy Marie Hamilton, who was a young trans woman who died in 2009. And this is a nonprofit in Arkansas that provides services to unhoused LGBTQ+ young adults. And that includes transition housing resources and grocery and rental assistance. They also run a drop in center with shower facilities and a community closet.

So these are three really important organizations making a difference in their communities and those communities, as you probably noticed, are in states that could really, really, really use our support.

This anthology is only available for a very limited time, so make sure you pre-order so you don’t miss out. You can search Love Is All wherever you buy books. Or if you want to visit my author social media accounts, my username across social media is @LeeBlairBooks and you can find the link.

I’m contributing a novella called Up My Alley. It’s set in my small town, Dahlia Springs, Oregon universe. And it’s about Leo and Hudson. They’re two best friends who move in together after their divorces. And the story has some yummy tropes that I like, which includes best friends to lovers, roommates to lovers, opposites attract, and a double bisexual and pansexual awakening. It’s also connected to a recreational bowling league. So if you like bowling, you’re probably going to enjoy this. And I plan to write more soon in that bowling world. Really hoping that this story will basically be a prequel to a new series centered around that rec bowling league in Dahlia Springs.

The story is obviously low angst and it’s sweet and steamy with a couple of juicy roommate moments. So make sure you check out Love Is All volume six.

Okay let’s jump into my fun interview with D.K. Sutton. We talked about juggling an adult and a YA pen name, our love for Christmas romances, how she’s used illustrated covers, and much more.

D.K. Sutton is a writer and social worker. She uses these superpowers to create flawed characters you can’t help but love. As an introvert, she’s always been a little awkward (and a lot geeky). It turns out those are handy traits for an author. She writes mostly low angst simmering with a slow burn and a side of humor. Her newest series, the Not so University, is both swoony and geeky. If you enjoy more angst in your stories, check out her Broken Series All her books have an HEA or HFN.

D.K. Sutton, Deb, thank you so much for being here and hanging out with me in the Low Angst Library. I’m so excited to talk with you.

D.K.: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Lee: This will be fun. I love getting to know authors and learn more about the books and the creation process. And the first thing I love to just jump in and ask–what got you into writing books and writing romance?

D.K.: Believe it or not, I wrote my first book like at 15, and I shared it with our school librarian and um, he basically told me it was no good

Lee: Aww!

D.K.: And I needed to- but he said it nicely. He was very encouraging, but it basically, you have no life experience and this is very cliche cuz it was based on all the things I’d read in the movies. So, um, yeah, he said keep trying. And, uh, so I did. And so I’ve been writing all my life, but I started writing fan fiction. I think a lot of authors started there. And, um, it’s just so addictive because you get that immediate feedback. As soon as you post a chapter, then they’re like, either love it or hate it, but you get that immediate feedback. So then I started writing slash MM fan fiction and that just naturally led to writing published books. So yeah, it was fun.

And I’ve always loved romance. I love mystery and romance. So I was reading Harlequin and Elory Queen and Agatha Christie, but also romance. So I’ve always loved romance, so it was just natural for me to write that. And then I had put some mysteries in my books, so that was really fun.

Lee: That’s great. And you’re right, that validation in fan fiction, there is nothing like it. Oh my gosh, I missed that. It’s so fast and immediate and satisfying. Ugh, I love it.

D.K.: Yeah. Too bad it doesn’t pay the bills.

Lee: Yes, that would be the perfect world. Oh my goodness.

D.K.: No, but actually writing my original characters and then having people like living in my world and interacting and just loving my characters, I mean that’s, you know, that’s, there’s nothing better than that.

Lee: You’re so right. That is such a good feeling when people start like sending you things like, I saw this and it reminded me of your character. Like they live in other people’s heads. That’s, it’s wild. It’s so wild.

D.K.: Yeah. Absolutely.

Lee: What drew you to writing low angst?

D.K.: I think it’s because my first book actually was very angsty, and it’s the only angsty book I have right now. But I’m gonna write some more. But, um, I just loved romcoms and like I said, Harlequin and Hallmark movies. And I I love to read angsty books and I like to write ’em, but I also love that low angst where you don’t have to worry.

And low angst doesn’t mean no conflict, no tension. I’ve gotta have that. I’ve gotta keep something to keep me interested writing and reading and, um, so yeah. But I just love that sweet, happy, happily ever after story. I’m a sucker for that. Yeah.

Lee: Oh, me too. So much.

And I just love hearing the answer to this next question because I’m finding it varies tons between authors. What does low angst mean to you?

D.K.: Well, an angsty book, tears your heart out, shreds you, and then puts you back together. That’s what it does. A low angst doesn’t do that. It’s more of, you know, like I said, you have to have that conflict and you have the tension. But it’s not something- You can read it and you’re not necessarily gonna cry. You’re not gonna have all those big feelings that you just are, don’t wanna handle right now. You’re just gonna have something happy and sweet. That’s kind of, I think there is a wide variety though of what people consider low angst. Like some people might consider some of my books a little angstier than they wanted, and some of ’em, of course are really low angst, so.

Lee: I like that a lot. That’s a good way to think about it. It is. Yeah. It varies. It’s so subjective, for sure.

D.K.: It really is.

Lee: Can you tell me about your writing process? How do, how does the, how wow words, how do the books get made?

D.K.: Um, well, once I get an idea for a book, I actually start writing right away. Like I would rather do my research first and get all ready and outline it. But I’m usually just too excited. I just really wanna start writing and then I, oh, wait a minute. Slow down a bit. We need to, we need the story to go somewhere.

Um, I am more of a pantser, I call myself a plantser, you know, that’s a thing. So I do some plotting, but mostly it’s just where the story takes me. So that requires a lot of editing sometimes to go back and fix things that your characters went this way instead of this way. So you gotta kind of fix that.

Lee: Yeah, I’m the same way, like a discovery writer where I plot a few things, but yeah, just, you just get so excited and you just wanna, you wanna tell yourself the story and find out where it goes.

D.K.: Yeah, but I try not to read or read. I try not to write out of order. Like I don’t write the ending first. Once you write something, then it kind of takes the excitement out of it. I mean, if you’re telling the story, it kind of, you have to really have it where you wanna get that story out. And so I have that sitting in the background. I know what it looks like and I’m going towards that.

Lee: Yeah, me too. If I tell too much of it or know too much of it, then the fun is gone, the discovery is gone and it makes it so much harder to push myself through it.

D.K.: Yes, absolutely.

Lee: Mm. Not a career for the weak. It’s so tough, but it’s so fun and rewarding.

D.K.: Yes. I tried to really plot out one of my books and I got myself into- It wasn’t really a corner, it was more like I just, it didn’t feel fun anymore and the story just felt flat and so I had to go back and just kind of start again. And so, but I’ve been reading this book on writing and it really talks about how you plot your character arc versus you plot your story. So then you still have the discovery, but you know where your character’s going. And so I’m doing more of that.

Lee: Oh, I like that. What book is it?

D.K.: Oh, actually it’s, it’s Take Your Pants Off.

Lee: Oh, that one. I haven’t read that in so long. I need to revisit that one. Oh, thank you.

D.K.: I think that’s what it’s called. Take Your Pants Off. Yeah.

Lee: Take, yeah. Take Your Pants Off. Take Off Your Pants.

D.K.: Take Off Your Pants. Take Off Your Pants.

Lee: Something with removing pants.

D.K.: Right, right. And it’s not a romance.

Lee: Yeah.

D.K.: Yeah.

Lee: So as a discovery writer, where do you get those sparks of inspiration and ideas for your characters and your stories?

D.K.: I’m writing that down. Discovery writer cuz I like it so much. It sounds much better than pantser. Um, so surprisingly, I mean, I do get it from just the world, you know, things trigger my imagination. But I mostly get my, um, ideas from my writing group. I have a romance writing group. I’m part of a writer’s guild and a small writing group too. And it’s a romance writer’s group, and we have prompts every month. And like one of our prompts was, um, write a short and it’s usually just a couple paragraphs or a couple thousand words, just not very big. Write about a close proximity. And so I was like, oh, what’s the closest proximity you can get? And it’d be in a car with somebody that you’d, on a road trip that you didn’t mean to take.

And so then I, that was accidental detour, and I’m like, oh, okay. This is a book now. And so many of my, those prompts, those little stories that I wouldn’t have written if I hadn’t had the prompt have developed into books. So that’s really cool. I love my romance group.

Lee: That is so fun. I love that that’s the origin story for that book. That book was such a fun ride. I guess, pun intended, now that I think about it.

D.K.: Right. It was, it was really fun to write.

Lee: And having a community, it really, really makes a difference in our industry. Having people who you could go to, who give you inspiration, who can cheer you on, who can be there to commiserate on the rough days. Like, it is invaluable. I think, especially since our job is so solitary, we’re working from home some. That’s awesome that you have a group like that.

D.K.: Yeah. And our families are tired of hearing about our stories. Like, okay, fine, whatever. So it’s, I, yeah, I would encourage any writers out there to, to get a community, to join a local writer’s group or guild or something.

Lee: Nice. That’s great.

Well, this question is a tough one, I think. What has been your favorite book or characters to write?

D.K.: That it really is a tough one because when I’m writing it, that’s my favorite character. Like when I’m in the book, that’s my favorite. I’m like, oh, this is better than any of the others. And then of course it isn’t. Um, but some of my, so I’m gonna have to say some of my favorites cuz I don’t think I can pick one.

Um, was My Not So (Slutty) Professor, uh, Reid. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. He is, he is so fun and, and he’s so socially awkward and just. And my other favorite one is Jonas from Accidental Detour, because he is just, he has so much ADD, he just goes off on all these tangents and says whatever he thinks. And then whenever the reviews start coming in, I, the reviews are for readers, not authors and I try not to read too many because it can bring you down, but if there’s some bad ones.

Um, you know, the reviews were like, oh, we love Jonas. And I was like, that’s me. They love me. Oh my gosh. Cause you know, in the real, in real in the real world, people with ADD can be annoying. Like, okay, you forgot again. You’re late again. You know? Um, my boss would say, can you just get to the point? Because I take this roundabout way telling a story, and he’s like, get to the point. I was a social worker. So he is like, I, I just need the bottom line here. Just get to the point. So, you know, anyway, so you can tell I ramble. Um, but, you know, so hearing people say, oh, we just love him, it was just like. It was validating.

Lee: Yeah. That’s amazing. He is so sweet. And Reid, I love those characters too. Those are fabulous choices. Such good books.

D.K.: Thank you. Thank you, so nice.

Lee: Well, speaking of Reid and that series, let’s talk about it. It’s such a good series, so the Not So University series. And the characters are just really engaging and they’re all so unique and it’s a great world. And one of the things that’s fun about it, and as someone who worked at a university for 17 years, I love this. The university, it’s very integral to the series and how the characters are connected. So what drew you to that university setting?

D.K.: Um, my daughter at the time when I started writing slutty professor–that’s what I like to call it–slutty professor. Uh, she was going to school at Missouri State University, which it’s loosely based off of. And, um, very loosely and, um, she was a, she’s a science major. Her major was wildlife biology and conservation. I’m sure I got that wrong. But, I had her for my research. I’d be like, okay, gimme some science facts. And slutty professor probably has more science in it than any of my other books. And people were probably like, really? I don’t need this much. But I was using her as a resource. And she’d be like, you have to get this right, Mom. Okay.

But anyway, so then, you know, I’d go visit her on the campus and we’d drive around and just to get some ideas and stuff. So she kind of helped collaborate on that story with, for me. And then I just continued it, and Springfield is such a rich area, um, Springfield, Missouri. So I, I just love that area. So it’s just fun.

Lee: That’s great how that came together and that your daughter could be a part of it. That’s really sweet.

D.K.: But now she’s graduated and so I’m like, come on, I’m still writing the series.

Lee: There’s gotta be an alumni event. Homecoming, right? You’re gonna go, can I go?

D.K.: Yeah. And, and she’s recently moved closer to me, so she’s not in Southern Missouri anymore. So now I’m like, okay, I guess I’ll just have to go by it there on my own. Or there’s always the internet.

Lee: Yeah, there you go.

And I saw in your Facebook group the other day that you’re working on book five in this series. Can you give us any teasers about what to expect in this one?

D.K.: Well, um, this one, this is Henry and Sam’s story, and Sam was a bit of a bad guy in the first couple of books. I mean, he was in the background, you didn’t really know him until, um, book four. But he was just not such a great guy and he really is a great guy. He just was influenced by bad people. And, um, so he’s just a sweetheart.

And then we have Henry who’s just working to get his daughter back in, um, you know, to regain her trust. His daughter Charlie is dating Sam, so now he’s crushing on his daughter’s boyfriend. So, and trying not to. And then it turns out that Sam is his professor, his TA for a class he’s taking, um, so that he’s starting a bakery and he just needed this class to help him be successful in that bakery.

So it’s gonna be fun, but I’ve never written, I’ve written age gap, but I’ve never written a 20 year age gap, so that is going to be an experience. So I’m gonna have to read some books and kind of get a feel for it, but. So I’ve got some, I haven’t actually started writing it. I’ve got, just got some outlines and some notes for it.

Lee: Oh, that’s exciting.

D.K.: Yeah, so I was releasing them every six months and I feel bad that this one’s gonna take longer, but that’s, that’s the way it is sometimes.

Lee: Yeah. Same with mine. My last one in my series was five months ago, and I’m still writing the first draft, so it’s gonna be over six months. And it’s, it’s hard not to get in your head about that when you’re wanting to like put them out there and you’re excited about telling the next one. And it’s tough with series. Yeah.

D.K.: It really is.

Lee: Yeah. Aw.

And you also write young adult romance as Addison Lloyd. And so you’ve got this world, the Dublin High and Westbridge Academy world. And so it seems like school settings are something of interest to you, which I love. And so something in this world that I noticed, you’ve got both gay and sapphic stories. And I’d really just like to know more about kind of the development of this world for you and your decisions about broader queer representation.

D.K.: So the, the start of this series actually is that I, I was recruited by another author to be in a group. Um, we were gonna all write this holiday young adult story. And I’ve been trying to think of the name of the series that we did. Now I can’t remember it because I took my, I took it out of that series. I took, um, Merry Little Lies out of that series.

But let me start at the beginning again. So we all wrote these books and none of ’em were related. And, um, they were just all young adult and holiday. And then we’re like, oh, well let’s write one about, like around spring break. And so then everybody wrote different stories and I wrote in the same world cuz I really liked that world. And then I just kept writing. And so then that’s why I had to take it out so that I could have them all connected as a series so people would know that they’re the same world.

Um, and I didn’t intentionally go to write a sapphic story. They just were characters and they wanted their story told and I told their story. But I do think it’s very important for all queer representation. And, um, I wanna write, um, I actually have this YA sci-fi story I’ve written and I have not published it. And the main character, the main character is asexual and at some point I do want to, and I probably will publish it under Addison Lloyd since it’s YA.

But I’ve written a demisexual character in My Not So (Straight) Professor. And I really wanna write a trans story, but I’m just a little nervous about getting it right, so I’m gonna have to have a lot of, um, what is that called? Oh my gosh. Sensitivity readers. Just to make sure I’m getting it right and I’m telling you the story right. But I just think it’s so important to have those stories out there for everybody. I, I mean, everybody should get a happily ever after. Everybody should.

Lee: That’s so true. So true.

D.K.: Or to be able to read about happily ever afters, you know.

Lee: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so important. I love that. That’s fun that you’re kind of balancing these two worlds with your two pen names too, and giving you lots of opportunities to just go wherever the inspiration strikes.

D.K.: Yes. I have so many books in my head wanting to come out and I’m like, slow down. Slow down.

Lee: Yeah, it’s like the ideas need to slow down and the creation process needs to speed up so that there’s like a happy middle.

D.K.: Exactly, and I wasn’t working, I was just writing full-time and I found that it wasn’t structured enough. I wasn’t, I was always like, I could, I have tomorrow. And I always have tomorrow, and I wasn’t. Um, so then I, I did go back to work part-time just to gimme those days where, okay, I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays not full. Um, so I know that my writing days, well, I write every day, but I know that my main business days and focusing on writing is Mondays and Fridays. And in the evenings too, because it’s like a full-time job of its own. But so I needed that structure. So. I don’t know why I’m talking about that, but.

Lee: It’s really relatable. My day job has like an end date. It’s a limited duration and I’m hoping to move into full-time, but I have the same concern. So I’ve already tried to kind of talk to the work and be like, is there any way I could do part-time? Because this the same.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a very externally motivated person, so I need to be like accountable to someone or have an editor waiting for me or something like that to help me move. Cuz if it’s just me, I can always put myself on the back burner easier than I can other people. And that is so hard to be internally motivated, I think.

D.K.: I love that. I never heard, heard that term used before, but I love that. That is exactly me. I have to have that deadline and um, I’m gonna wait till the last moment. Because that’s when I’m gonna get that rush, you know, that creative rush and, um, to get, to get it completed, whatever, whatever the task is. So yeah, definitely.

Lee: Uh, it’s so, the, the thrill of it, it’s so addicting.

D.K.: The thrill of it. Right. That is exactly it. But I was gonna say, the one thing that has helped me is that I have a sprint partner and, actually more than, there’s a couple in our group. But it’s me and this one girl mostly who we sprint every morning around 6, 6:30 and we’re like, we, uh, do it on Discord and that’s great for sprinting.

Lee: It Discord is, and so, you know, knowing that she’s gonna be there waiting, wondering if I’m gonna show up is, is enough of a motivator for me usually, unless I got stuff going on.

D.K.: So, yeah. So thank you Crystal and Leo. They’re my sprint partners, so I, I I just think having somebody, you know, account being accountable to somebody and, yeah, my editor too, Abby, is like, when am I gonna see?

Lee: it makes all the difference.

D.K.: It does make all the difference.

Lee: Well, I would love to talk about some festive stuff. Your most recent release was a Christmas book called Hot Wishes and Cold Kisses, which is a cute name. And it was part of an eight book multi-author series. And then you’ve talked about the Accidental Detour that you released as D.K. Sutton, and then you talked about Merry Little Lies that you released Addison Lloyd. So when you started writing romance, did you plan for Christmas books to be a part of your overall writing world or has it been more of you write Christmas books as the idea or situation strikes?

D.K.: I never planned to write Christmas books, but I didn’t not plan either. Um, but it’s just a natural because I love Hallmark movies and, um. I, I do have another one, Chasing Santa, which is part of the, um, uh, Trials of Love series.

So, yeah. But I do love Christmas movies and I love writing Christmas books. It’s just they’re just so fun and, and, you know, you know the elements that are gonna be in there, and it’s just, I don’t know. I just love ’em.

Lee: Yeah. Same. Hallmark movies, all that. Just, just the winter festive and. Oh yeah, all that goodness.

D.K.: Yes. And, and like you said, part of those, um, were um, part of like multi-author things like the Winter Wonderland. Um, and then the, um, my young adult was through these other authors who were all like wanting to write Christmas, young, young adult Christmas, and then the the most recent one where we all got together and wrote Christmas books. So, yeah. So it helps me to be in groups like that because again, it keeps me accountable. You know. It’s not just me in my head saying, uh.

It really makes a difference. So I’ve been signing up for more and, um, I don’t know if I should, no, I don’t think I can say it yet cuz I think it’s more of a, one of those things that’s secret until it’s not secret. You know what I mean?

Lee: Yeah.

D.K.: I don’t wanna put on here, but yeah, there’s something exciting coming up in, in August, something I’ve never written before. Well, not, not to this level, so something to look forward

Lee: to.

Ooh, I’m excited. I love that.

D.K.: You get the, you get the scoop.

Lee: Yeah.

D.K.: Even though I didn’t tell you what it was, but yeah. But it’s gonna be fun.

Lee: Aw, that’s exciting. I love these kinds of projects and just that anticipation. Nice.

And one thing I noticed in looking through your, especially your D.K. Sutton books, is you’ve got quite a few illustrated covers, and that is something that is a really hot topic I see in reader groups of people looking for covers. How do you decide whether you’re going to go illustrated or not when you’re doing a new series?

D.K.: Um, well with, with my Not So University series, it kind of happened by accident. One of my cover designers is Lux Valentine, and she’s very, very good. I love her. And, um, I was looking through her pre-mades, and she had one of this couple, it was male-female sitting on a Vespa. And I was like, that is so cute. So I’m like, that’s what I want for my professor book. You know, I want him on a Vesta, a Vespa, you know, in front of a university. And so she designed that for me. And then after that it was like, okay, I want something similar, but with fall colors and, you know, it just kept going. Um, I, I think that illustrated covers for me are just more interesting.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a hot guy on a cover. And I have covers with hot guys on em, but it’s something about the illustrator. It just makes me think of romcom and fun and romance and I don’t, I know that some people think that they’re not steamy, but I mean, I think readers expect steam.

You know, they expect, they expect ’em to be steamy. So I don’t think whether it’s romcom or whether it has a, a wide person on it, I. The expectation there, unless you say it’s clean or sweet, the expectation is it’s gonna be steamy. And my books are, they’re a little bit of a slow burn. Either through them not having sex for a while or they’re having sex all the time, but there’s that slow burn of falling in love. So I just love slow burn.

Lee: I do too. Those are so fun to read. Just that buildup and the anticipation. It’s so juicy. I love it.

D.K.: Yeah. Yeah. The pining.

Lee: Oh, the pining.

D.K.: The pining. But, but not too angsty.

Lee: Yes. The low angst pining. Yeah.

D.K.: The low angst pining. Yeah, the cluelessness. Like they don’t realize the other person is absolutely madly in love with them. I love those.

Lee: Oh God, those are so sweet.

And in, so in addition to, you’ve got these awesome illustrated covers. You also have six books out in audio. What’s it like to have your story shared in that way?

D.K.: It is amazing. Um, Kevin Earlywine is my narrator and he’s, he’s just, he’s so enthusiastic and fun to work with. And, um, when I first heard slutty professor in audio I was like, oh my God. First of all I cringe a little bit cuz hearing your words, you know, hearing hearing your words is a little. But you know, I did get caught up in the story too, and I’m like, it’s just amazing to hear your characters come to life with somebody putting that li and putting even maybe a different, slightly different spin on ’em. You know, it’s just. I dunno. It’s amazing and it’s kind of addictive and doing audio is expensive and, and you don’t usually see a return for a very long time, but it’s addictive, you know, to keep doing it because it’s just so wonderful to hear, hear your stories come to life like that.

So, and also, I, I, you know, there’s people who want audiobooks, you know, that’s how, that’s their format. That’s what they want. And so I feel like I can reach more readers that way too by having audiobooks.

Lee: Yeah. I love the accessibility of that. Like there are the tools where you can have machines read it to you, but it’s so nice to have the acted version, the full experience of the story in audio.

D.K.: Yes.

Lee: I love that. That’s great.

And you have a book coming up on June 19th, so when this episode comes out, that’s just a couple weeks away, so pre-order it. It’s called Message Received, book two in your Sloan Brothers series. Can you tell us about the story and the series?

D.K.: Yes. Um, so the first book in this series is Talk To Me and it’s about these two guys who work in a communications office. It’s like a cable internet company, like a media com type thing. And, um, it’s called Coxx Communication, C O X X. And anyway, so, the second book is actually the, so in this story they each have a different boss, and those bosses are in the second book. But it’s their story before, so it’s really kind of like a prequel. So it’s the story of how they got together.

Lee: Oh, fun.

D.K.: and Sean. Yeah. And Ben is this very rigid, like by the book rules type person. And Sean is very impulsive and, and, um, irresistible. So, and, um, Ben is Sean’s boss.

Lee: Nice.

D.K.: That boss/employee. I, that’s such a fun, I mean, you wouldn’t want it in the real world, you know, but, but in, in books, yeah. That’s irresistible, I think. I love writing about it at least.

Lee: Oh, I love that. This is gonna be such a good book. That is fun.

D.K.: Yes. Yeah.

Lee: Well, we’ve talked about your writing, and one thing I also like to talk about with guests since this is a podcast for readers, is about the reading habits of the authors I talk to. So you’ve already talked about how you read across the board in terms of angst level, so you’ll read high angst and low angst. I’m curious if you have any specific tropes that you prefer to read or write as well.

D.K.: My favorite trope to read and write actually is enemies to lovers. And opposites attract, but enemies to lovers, like where they can’t stand each other and yet they’re drawn to each other. I, I just love that. Um, so that’s my favorite to read. Um, and write, and let me think. Um, opposites attract and oh my gosh, I can’t think.

I do like to write and read across the board though. I, I, a story grabs me. It doesn’t have to be a certain trope to grab me. It’s like the story’s interesting and then, then I’ll read it. I do like, um, friends to lovers. I like those too. But, but I like the high height, uh, not angst, but high tension of that, um, enemies to lovers.

Lee: Yeah, me too. When that’s well done. Oh, those could be such good stories.

D.K.: Yes, yes.

Lee: Yes. Oh, I love that. Do you read while you’re actively drafting or like if you do read, do you read in the genres you write in, or do you have to have some separation there?

D.K.: So when I first started writing, um, Broken Sidewalks, I was not reading. Because I was worried that I was gonna take somebody else’s ideas. And I’ve learned since then that that’s, that’s not really- everybody’s. There’s so many ideas and no author is gonna say it the same way, so no worries about that. Um, so I, I do read, I try to read every day. Like I, it’s one of my anchors, like if I don’t read that day, I feel kind of lost. Um, my problem is I like to read at night whenever I’m winding down, and sometimes that means I’m staying up all night because that story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

Lee: It’s so hard.

D.K.: So that’s a problem. It’s so hard. Um, but, but yeah, I like to, I definitely read in the genre that I’m writing because there’s certain genre expectations that, you know, writers need to meet or readers are gonna be like, wait, that’s off for some reason. Right? So I do like to read, um, a lot of different authors just so I can get, so I can get more of a more rounded deal for the genre.

And plus, I enjoy it. I, I really like it. But I do like to read something different than I’m writing too, just to get, I think it helps you grow as an author to read different things, so.

Lee: Yeah, that’s a really good point. To get that breadth in there. Oh, and nighttime reading. Same. Or I’ll just read a little bit before work, and then it’s like, crap, I gotta clock into two minutes. But I still have

D.K.: Right.

Lee: But I still have a chapter to

D.K.: Yes. And then, okay, so this is like an addiction. I’m just gonna tell you right now. So what I do is that I, that I have to get the whisper sync, I have to get the audio and the book. Cause then I’m like, okay, now I gotta drive to work. Okay, well I can listen to it on the way.

Lee: Nice.

D.K.: Then I get home. Then I’m just picking up that book and finishing it, you know? So, yeah.

Lee: A good way to do it.

D.K.: Yeah, it really is. Although, you know, it can get costly. But that’s why I’m in KU and also I have an my audible, so I get my credits, but you can run out quickly.

Lee: Yeah, that’s so true.

Do you have any low angst book recommendations from things that you’ve read?

D.K.: Um, one of my favorite low angst authors is Anyta Sunday. I mean, she’s, she’s just brilliant and. I love her. Um, I, I’m probably gonna get the name of the series wrong, but everybody’s gonna know what I’m talking about, the horoscope series

Lee: I just read that last month, the whole series.

D.K.: Oh, I love it. Yes. I mean, it’s tor a little bit torturous, but, um, but she also, but you can tell, even though it’s torturous, you can tell her her, um, her high angst stories. Like Rock, if you’ve ever read that one. It’s the same thing, but it is. So, I mean, it shreds you, it shreds you. It’s, it’s stepbrothers and it just shreds you, so you’ll cry during that one if you read it. So, um, but, um, and I also love her, um, Love Austen series because I love Jane Austen. And it’s just a, a fun take on all those books though if you haven’t read those, you know, read those.

Lee: I haven’t read those yet.

D.K.: Yeah. What else? What other books? I, uh, I love all Lucy Lennox stuff. Um, her most recent book, Prince of Lies, is hilarious. I mean, you will laugh through the whole thing. It’s so over the top. Like this guy just keeps, like he’s telling these stories, just, just making this stuff up so he can get into this party. And then he’s so out of like, it’s that fish outta water. Like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, so he just keeps lying. And his love interest knows he’s lying, but he doesn’t know why. So he is keeping an eye on him. Right. So he is saying he’s the president of this company. Well, this guy knows that since he founded the company, he knows there is no president, no CEO I mean, you know. So, it’s just hilarious.

So yeah, those are some, I could go on and on. There’s so many, there’s so many good books out there. There really are, and I don’t have enough time to read ’em all.

Lee: They are so good. Oh my gosh. That Anyta Sunday astrology series, like really stuck with me and, and I didn’t realize until I was like four books in like, oh. It’s kind of a similar setup in each book where you’ve got the adorable, clueless guy and the lovingly exasperated guy who’s just hanging in. And like every story, that’s the dynamic. I just loved it.

And then the standalone one that was set, I think in New Zealand, I can’t recall what that one’s called, but I read that one as well. And it was like someone had won the lottery. One of the guys had won the lottery and then his boyfriend like dumped him and, and he lost the house. And so he moved back home and this guy who got away ish was there and they had to like live in a shack together. And it was kind of the same like, you know, lovingly clueless, and, oh, I just love, love that setup so much. So good.

D.K.: Um, is that the, that’s the Piers.

Lee: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

D.K.: I, I I can’t remember the exact name of it, but I love that book.

Lee: Yes. Oh my

D.K.: It was so fun.

Lee: It was all the dates and then the guy just sticking around through it, like, you’re going to get it eventually. And

I’m just, I’m I’m just gonna hang on.

D.K.: He’s giving out all these hints and.

Lee: Yeah.

D.K.: But no, he’s not getting it.

Lee: So

D.K.: Yeah. I


Lee: just like, okay,


D.K.: Like brilliant at that. She’s an expert at it.

Lee: Yes. As we’re wrapping up here, I would love to know what people can expect from a D.K. Sutton story and an Addison Lloyd story.

D.K.: From a D.K. Sutton story, um, it’s almost always gonna have a slow burn of some type, like I said. And, um, lots of humor and snark and wit, I guess. I, I just love that. I love the banter between characters, you know? So there’s a lot of that. Um, friends, like that’s a big thing with the My Not So (Slutty) Professors, all of the friends. And it’s really hard sometimes when people start in the middle of the series and they’re like, I don’t know who all these people are. Uh, so I know that’s really hard, but for those who’ve gone started at the beginning, they’re just like, oh, my favorite characters are still here, and they’re still friends and they’re still supportive or not supportive as it may be.

And so, yeah, that, that found family, you know, I like that. And with my young adult, every book is the same series right now. I haven’t written anything out of the series. I’m thinking about renaming the series only because like all the books aren’t set while they’re in school. Like the first one is Christmas break, so there’s no actual being in school till the very end. So I don’t know if I’m gonna rename it. Anyway.

Um, but really you’re gonna get the same thing except no sex, right? There’s not gonna be any sex. I’m a social worker. I work in child protective services. I’m not gonna write sex scenes with young adults in it. Uh, because even though I know that probably the most likely reader is somebody who is over the age of 18, I want young adults to be able to read this and not have as much anyway.

And it’s sweeter. So, you know, that first kiss between them is so sweet and so there’s gonna be the same kind of slow burn and sweetness and, um, but it, it’s, it, you might have a little bit more drama because teenagers are dramatic. And I did have a reviewer say, wow, I, you know, these are just, they’re just so dramatic. I’m like, they’re teenagers, you know? I know they’re stories where the teenagers, you know, the Hunger Games, they like go out there and they, yeah. Kat goes out there and rocks it, but, you know, and most teenagers are just floundering around trying to make it through their day. And so, well, most of, most everybody is. So that’s what, that’s what, that’s it, that’s what those books are about. So, I mean, you can expect humor and, um, mostly slow burn and, um, yeah,

Lee: Great.

And where can

D.K.: I love pining.

Lee: Pining is so fun and torturous in the best way.

D.K.: And torturous, yes, in the best way.

Lee: And where can readers go to find out more about your books? Under both names.

D.K.: Um, you can go to my website, which is, and I do have my Addison Lloyd books on there. So they’re not as separated as as I’d like them to be. I mean, I don’t, anyway, um, but. I think I wrote two different pen names mostly so people could keep them straight. This is young adult and this is the adult.

Lee: That makes sense.

D.K.: Um, so my website, or you can go join my reader group Cafe D.K. Cause I love coffee. I’m like a coffee addict. And um, and you know, if you go to my website, sign up for my newsletter, and then I sent a newsletter about twice a month letting people know what’s going on. I’m on Instagram and Twitter, but um, I’m more active in my Facebook group.

Lee: Okay, great. Thank you. And thank you so much for being here. It was so much fun to talk with you.

D.K.: Thanks for having me. I really had fun.

Lee: I had a great time chatting with D.K.

Thanks for joining me in the Low Angst Library. I hope you enjoyed this interview.

Is there an author of low angst queer romance that you’d like me to interview? There’s a link in the show notes and on with a guest suggestion form.

And if you’re an author writing low angst queer romance, there’s a self-suggestion form in the show notes and on the website as well.

A major goal of mine with this podcast is to have guests writing main characters in romance novels that represent identities all over the queer spectrum. So your suggestions will really help me with that.

And if you’d like to financially support the podcast to help offset the costs of hosting, editing software and transcription for accessibility, you can buy me a coffee. The link is in the show notes.

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Until next time, keep reading.

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