1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 42 years old and a country boy at heart. I was born in Brooklyn, NY. Shortly after my birth, my mom made the decision to let her uncle (and his wife) raise me. They took me to live with them in Washington, DC. When his wife died we moved in with his mother (my great-grandmother) in North Carolina. I had a difficult childhood. To escape the pain I focused on my studies. I was a smart child and quite precocious. I jumped at the opportunity to leave home at age eighteen. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Performance Studies.
I am the author of Just Tryin’ To Be Loved, Best Friends (short story) and co-authored the award-winning title, How could my husband be GAY?, with Ondrea L. Davis.
I currently work full time as a Property Manager for a large commercial real estate company in Washington, DC. I am also the CEO of Foresight Publishing, LLC. These roles, along with my writing, keep me very busy.
2. What was the most enjoyable thing you have written to date? What was the hardest thing you have written to date and why?
The most enjoyable thing I’ve written to date was my first published piece. It was published in a book called “Men Seeking Men” edited by Michael Lassell. Each short story in this book was a real-life adventure of men who met their dream man (or nightmare date) by placing or answering a personal ad. My contribution was called “None of the Above”. My experience was a great one and I chronicled it in the story.
The hardest thing I have written to date is the novel I’m currently working on (‘Til Death Do Us Part). It’s hard because I reveal a very traumatic childhood experience through one of the characters.
3. If you were no longer able to write, what would you do?
If I wasn’t able to write, I’d probably live a miserable existence. One of my favorite lines is from the movie Center Stage when the dancer tells her mother that if she continued to dance it would be a life of wishing she had found something she loved, instead of something she just happened to be good at. If I couldn’t write, that’s what my life would be – a lifetime of regret. I try to live my life without regrets.
4. What’s your normal writing process? Do you freestyle, use outlines, write to music, or sit in silence?
I do not use outlines. I’ve said that I will try that with a future project. I tend to freestyle in my writing. I’m blessed that my characters seem to talk to me chronologically. When they don’t, I take their lead and move to the next chapter and come back.
5. Where is your favorite place to write? Why?
My favorite place to write is in my upstairs office. I’ve positioned my chair and desk so that it overlooks my backyard. I chose my house because of the backyard alone. One of the requirements I had when buying my house was having a huge backyard. I’m a lover of nature much like my grandmother. When I’m in my office I feel inspired by the trees and colors.
6. What genres do you write in and why?
I write gay fiction. My platform is “telling our stories.” I hope my writing teaches tolerance. You don’t have to like what I do, nor do I have to like what you do…but at minimum, we should be able to respect each other’s differences. Homosexual themes aside, there’s a lot more to me. If people would take the time to get to know people where they are, I think they would find that we are a lot more alike than different.
7. Who is the character in one of your stories that you absolutely love or absolutely love to hate and why?
My favorite character is Mark Harris from “Just Tryin’ To Be Loved”. There is a lot of similarity between the two of us. Mark’s views on love and life mirror my own. Despite everything that’s happened in his life, deep inside Mark still believes in love. That’s how I feel. I hope this book makes people believe in themselves and believe in love.
8. Why should we buy your books?
I want to be known for well written, thought provoking work. I want my name to be synonymous with quality. People should buy my books because they not only entertain, but they have messages. My messages are not always simplistic. More than anything, I don’t want children to grow up like I did – ashamed, isolated and feeling less than. I want people to read my books and see difference and respect it. I want them to see themselves and not feel alone. I want them to see truth and not run away from it. More than anything, I hope my work shows the universality of love. Sexuality is such a small part of who we are. I hope my books help people see the bigger picture.
9. What is your most recent release? Current projects you are working on? What is the next thing we can expect from you?
Just Tryin’ To Be Loved is my current release. Here’s the synopsis: It has taken almost two years for Mark to put the pieces of his shattered life back together following a devastating breakup with his first love, Tony. Determined to never allow anyone to hurt him again, Mark becomes a recluse and throws himself into his career. Confronted with the demons of his past and a yearning to be loved, Mark soon finds his life spiraling out of control. Charismatic real estate executive, Jared Muse, knows that Mark is still healing and is resigned to give him all the time and space he needs; that is, until Tony re-enters Mark's life with hopes of reconciling. After a while of dating both gentlemen, Mark makes his decision. Unfortunately, this is when his nightmare begins. Hell also hath no fury like a MAN scorned.
Til Death Do Us Part is the sequel to Just Tryin’ To Be Loved. This book, as are most of my works, is about love and healing. For those who read Just Tryin’ To Be Loved, you know that Mark endured a lot on his journey to love and acceptance. In fact, his journey almost cost him his life. ‘Til Death Do Us Part takes us further into his journey – which is far from over. It also will answer a lot of the readers’ questions regarding what makes people the way they are. Sometimes we judge people’s behaviors and actions and don’t understand their story. Knowing someone’s story is never an excuse for bad behavior, but it will certainly help put things into perspective.
10. If you had a word of wisdom to share with us, what would it be?
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to plan for the future, but don’t forget to live in the present. This revelation came to me when my mom unexpectedly died at 57 back in 2009. She was making plans – we all were. Life is so short. We have to live our lives while we have the chance and love as hard as we can during the process.
11. Tell us where we can find you and your books:
All of my books can be found on my website (www.jmccoylee.com), Rainbow eBooks, All Romance eBooks or your preferred online retailer. My titles are also available on Kindle and Nook.
Company Website: www.foresight-publishing.com