Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Jaime.
Hi. Not sure what else there is to add that isn’t in my bio. I’m a pretty boring person. I love my day job. I like creating things. I write stories. I’m a proud mom of two pretty awesome kiddos.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Honestly? There are no surprises, I don’t think.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I’ve been writing stories a long, long time. I remember sitting quietly, daydreaming, making stories up in my head all my life. So I guess I have been doing this forever. I’ve been writing for other people to read around eight or ten years but making stories? All my life.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
That’s hard to answer. I never really expected it to be anything. Like I said, I’ve been doing it for myself forever, so it has always just been what it is. I never thought writing for a living would be anything other than difficult, so that’s no surprise. I guess the only real revelation is that some days, I just don’t feel like it. Not every day. Not even close to that. But it still is a bit of a shock to realize I’m just not in the mood. That never lasts very long, thank goodness!
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
Excited, of course. But then, the whole thing seemed to go in natural stages. I made up stories in my head, I started writing them down. I shared with a couple of friends. The Internet was invented (yes, invented I was there…) and I shared my creations online with strangers. For free. For a while. Then I found a crit group, a small online mag that paid me a tiny stipend, a small online press that paid a small stipend and printed the short story in a paperback book, and then a bigger press, and a bigger one, so it was all so gradual. I will say that the nerves whenever a new book is published never go away or get better.
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
The story. Always learning the story for the first time is the biggest thrill. I don’t plot much ahead of time, so getting to know the characters and earing their story for the first time is always the very best bit.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I’ve been getting better at carving out time for that for myself lately, I hadn’t for a very long time, and I missed it. Mostly, I read in the same genre I write, which is gay romance, but I also enjoy fantasy and paranormal books, romance or not.
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I’ve dabbled a bit in Steampunk, and I’d love to write more.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
My most recent release with Pride Publishing is called Neat Trick. It’s the fifth tale from Rainbow Alley, and tells the tale of Jacob and Aaron. Jacob is a young man just finding his adult feet in a new job with a man he’s trying desperately to get over. Aaron has had a difficult life and already, at nineteen, he’s HIV positive and at the mercy of a cruel man who only wants to keep him to prove his own power.
When the young men meet, there is instant attraction, and instant trouble. Douglas is not going to let Aaron go without a fight, and Jacob is having trouble coming to terms with his own need for the kind of control Aaron has been unwillingly subjected to for so long.
I wanted to give a character who had grown up with no power over his own life the chance to take that back, and not just save himself, but save someone else, as well. Aaron was that character. He’s been used and abused his entire life. He’s never had any power over anything, including his own body. He’s also younger than Jacob, and so when he realizes Jacob isn’t going to go away and leave him alone, he’s afraid to really trust that here is a man who has no intention of taking his power again.
In fact, Jacob is struggling with his wish to submit. He knows he likes to give up that power in bed, but he struggles with that dynamic in the rest of his life. It’s only when he realizes how desperately Aaron needs control that he manages to really look into his own heart and find the strength to give Aaron what they both need.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
There will be other Tales from Rainbow Alley. Mark and Rolly must recover their equilibrium. They had a lot of trouble getting the trust back after Rolly’s refusal to listen to Mark, and Mark refusing to submit to that edict in Face to Face.
And after readers finish this book, there might be some consternation over Rikki and his worsening self-loathing. Something is going to have to be done about that.
Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Always thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for loving my guys and their stories as much as I do.
Jaime Samms's recent releases
Tools of Change (Dreaming 2), written with Sarah Masters
Just when they thought the nightmares couldn’t get worse, they realized they weren’t sleeping.
Barry and Tag hoped that even with Barry’s Dreams still keeping them on the hunt for murderous criminals, they might find some peace in their new home together. The rest of the Team has their backs and they all have their assigned roles—whether they like it or not—so it should be easy.
With Tag away on business and newest Team member, Jason, emotionally shattered after his break up with long-time lover Daniel, they soon find that if the wicked don’t rest, neither do those tasked with bringing them to justice. When the Dreams start to go on the fritz and Jason seeks out the company of a vicious and sinister Dom named Karrick, it seems all hell is about to break loose.
It will be up to the Team to sort out friend from foe on their own. The veterans of The Dreaming are forced to follow and their untried partners are thrust into the lead. They will have to learn how to get along, and how to use their talents without otherworldly help if they hope to stay alive long enough to figure out what’s going on.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of hot wax play, BDSM, dubious consent to BDSM play, and graphic descriptions of torture and murder victims.
Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.
Face to Face (Tales from Rainbow Alley 4)
They say home is where the heart is. They never mentioned rusty fire escapes, hustling or dumpsters. They never warned how fragile hearts could be, either.
They say home is where the heart is. For Skate and Denny's sake, they had better be right, because all they have is each other.
For eight months, they've been running from past mistakes, a vengeful gang and their own inner demons. But living on the street has become less and less viable. As winter deepens and food gets scarce, they have to make some tough choices. How much can they sacrifice before it becomes too much?
Desperate for survival, Denny is forced to make decisions when Skate no longer can, and takes them back to Rainbow Alley, where their lives first went wrong. Hoping Rolly can help them escape the gang and the streets with their lives, and maybe some of their tattered pride, he begs for help. But going to Rolly might prove to be the one thing that their fragile relationship can't survive, not to mention that the chaos their return unleashes in the Alley and with its protectors could make them more enemies than friends.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence.
Neat Trick (Tales from Rainbow Alley 5)
Being 100 percent sure you know what you want is a sure-fire way to get exactly what you need. You just might not recognize it when you do.
Jacob has rebuilt his life inside Rainbow Alley after a vicious beating sent him to the hospital when he was a teenager. He’s strong again, and he knows what he wants from life. He just has to accept that he isn’t going to get it from Cliff Thatcher.
Aaron has discovered that life never offers handouts. He’s spent years paying other people’s debts and now he is indentured to Douglas, a man who won’t hesitate to use every ugly trick in the book to retain control over Aaron, his skateboard and his life.
When Jacob and Aaron meet, there is not an ounce of doubt in Jacob that he’s found what he wants. The young man might be a little rough around the edges, but he’s a safe bet, and Jacob knows he can control the thrust of their relationship. That is, until Aaron proves he can handle Jacob’s submissive side and pushes to take the dynamic out of the bed and into the rest of their lives.
Jacob’s hard limit, though, is the bedroom door. Only when Douglas makes it clear he isn’t letting Aaron go without a fight, or a pay-off that he seems intent on taking in the form of Jacob himself, does Jacob begin to understand just how shaky his world really is.
If Jacob doesn’t believe Aaron can protect him, he’ll lose everything. Including what might just be his only chance at true freedom from his fear.
Reader Advisory: This books contains scenes of violence and references to past abuse and child pornography. It also contains one instance of sexual violence.
Excerpt from Face to Face (Tales from Rainbow Alley 4)
It had been worth it. He just kept telling himself the warm place to sleep, the security, the food, it had been worth it. It had to be. So what if Skate couldn’t look at him now, didn’t want to touch him? They were protected and warm behind the glass and bricks, and not dead, and he hadn’t had to give his ass up to some stranger. Just to someone who didn’t really want him for anything other than a fast, hard fuck to relieve the pressure.
He ignored the tight ache in this throat and the sting behind his eyes. Those things didn’t matter. Skate was warm and not drifting away from him on a wave of hypothermia. He was out of harm’s way. If, for a little while, he didn’t dwell on how they’d ended up here, Denny could be satisfied. The awkwardness could be endured if, for a couple of days, his friend could simply accept that winter and its cold snap was on the other side of the wall and be happy about that.
A soft, warm splash landed on the back of his hand. He glared through the watery veil at the food. Bread and meat and cheese, fresh fruit. There had been a point in his life when he’d thought that if he had to hear his mother tell him to “have an apple” because he was complaining he was hungry, one more time, he would have run away.
He sighed and touched the shiny red skin of one now. He’d take a dozen apples over a hollow belly any day of the week. Tucking a couple of bottles of water under one arm, he picked up the sandwich plates and headed back out to the main room.
Skate was lying on the couch, long legs stretched out, arms crossed over his chest. He rested on his side and stared towards the papered windows. He still didn’t make eye contact as he sat up and took an offered plate.
“Why did you do that, Mouse?” Skate asked after a second.
“Mouse,” he muttered. As if that name really fitted him anymore. The Greenbacks had given Denny that name early on, and it had never really suited. But then, it had been easier to let people think what they wanted to think about him and keep the truth to himself. At least he was still alive. Still relatively sane, despite everything.
“Well, it was a Mouse thing to do,” Skate shot back. “Denny would never—”
“Denny was starving, Skate. And you were freezing to death. Literally. I had to do something. And it worked, so what’s the big deal? We’re all right.”
Skate snarled and clunked his plate down on the floor, heaved himself off the couch and headed for the door.
“No, don’t!” His own sandwich skewed across the floor as Denny dropped his food and ran after his friend. “Don’t, Skate, please. Don’t go.”
Skate whirled on him. “Why did you do that!” His fists clenched and his eyes had turned a fierce, shining amber with the light behind him. “I’m not—”
“I know.” Denny cut him off before he could say it. Whatever Skate was or wasn’t, some very deep part of him could never admit attraction to another man. And every time he pointed it out, it carved away a little bit more of Denny’s heart, because he couldn’t stop loving the man who couldn’t love him back.
“It doesn’t matter, okay?”
“God, it matters, Denny. Can’t you see it matters?” Skate reached for him, but Denny took a step back.
“I don’t want—” He shook his head. “We don’t have to do this, okay? We did what we had to do, and for now, everything’s okay. We’re safe, and you’re warm and I have food.…” He glanced at his overturned plate and dismay washed through him. Kneeling, he picked up the broken sandwich and tried to wipe away the dust and dirt from the bread.
“What are you doing?”
“It’ll be fine.” Denny picked a cobweb off the crust. “A little dirt never hurt—”
“Stop that.” Skate knelt beside him and took the food out of his hands. “Just stop.”
“It’s fine,” Denny protested, reaching for his food. “I’ll take what I can get.”
“Oh fuck, Denny…” Skate groaned and slumped to the floor, leaning on a post, legs splayed out in front of him, looking like a broken puppet.