Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing A. M. Leibowitz, author of Passing on Faith. Hi, A. M., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
I’m a spouse and parent from western New York State, living on the banks of Lake Ontario. That’s a fancy way of saying, “We get a lot of snow.” Fun fact: I’m in the same city where Susan B. Anthony lived, and Kodak cameras were invented here. In between writing novels, I’m also a freelance editor.
Passing on Faith is my second full-length novel. It’s a little about faith and a lot about forgiveness. The story was inspired by the fairy tale Puss in Boots. It starts with the youngest of three brothers discovering an inheritance worse than getting nothing. In dealing with the mess—literal and figurative—he makes some important discoveries about who he is and what he’s really looking for.
Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
All right, one thing about Micah and one thing about Cat which you won’t find in the novel:
Zayne, Micah’s best friend, met her wife, Pam, because Micah had an affair with Pam’s husband.
Cat, who is sweet and gentle and deeply spiritual, wasn’t always like that. He spent most of his adolescence battling with his parents over his independence.
Have you ever written something that made you cry?
I have, but the crying was during edits/rewrites. I had written a particularly tough scene and passed it on to my excellent beta readers. I made the mistake of assuming I didn’t need to put a warning on it, and it ended up triggering one of my beta readers and then me. It was truly awful for both of us, and there were many tears. It took weeks to get the chapter rewritten in a way that wasn’t quite so upsetting.
Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
This is a tricky question for many authors who are AFAB (assigned female at birth), whether or not we identify with that. I know you’ve written about the topic yourself, and I loved your answer. For me, I like writing men because it gives me a way to express the fluid nature of my gender. I also like playing with concepts of what makes a “real man.” There’s a lot more freedom to write femmes and genderqueer/fluid people when you’re not expected to recreate the dynamics of a M/F relationship. In the future, I’d love to explore this in F/F as well.
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
I struggle with concentration. A lot of it is my own chronic health issues—I have fibromyalgia, so I get “brain fog.” It can be hard to focus for more than short periods. Sometimes, though, I have no excuse. The Internet is incredibly distracting!
Name your four most important food groups.
Coffee, things you can spread on other stuff, coconut flavored anything, and Italian. You can interpret any of that however you like.
Author Name: A.M. Leibowitz
Book Name: Passing on Faith
Series: In Good Faith
Book: Two – can be read as a standalone
Release Date: November 1, 2015
Following his father’s death, Micah Forbes believes he can finally put the family who rejected him and their religious bigotry behind him. In a cruel twist, his older brother calls to tell him he’s inherited their father’s abandoned vacation home.
Micah discovers the house comes complete with a long list of repairs, boxes full of family secrets, and a handful of quirky neighbors. Despite not wanting to get in too deep, he can’t help the spark of interest stirred when the sexy redhead next door offers his help. Everything about the enigmatic Cat Rowland throws Micah off-balance, from his gender-bending sense of fashion to his handy repair skills to his deep spirituality. Before long, Micah is swept up by Cat and his friends, but Cat himself keeps his heart carefully protected.
When Micah’s past and his present collide in a painful way, his self-destructive coping habits threaten to overwhelm him. To save himself, he needs to open his soul and let someone in. Cat has the key to unlock him, if he can let down his guard and trust his faith enough to catch Micah as he falls.
Pages or Words: 276 pages, approximately 96,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Trans*, Religious/Spiritual
Micah decided he would sit right there until he was struck with a brilliant plan for how to manage his misfortune. It might have been a whole two minutes before someone knocked on the front door. Huffing, he rose and went to answer it.
He nearly groaned when he saw who it was. Cat, his oddly chipper neighbor, was back. He had a glass of what might have been lemonade in his hand and a lopsided smile on his face. When he looked up at Micah, his expression changed. His smile slid away and his eyes widened.
“You okay?” he asked.
Micah ran a hand through his hair and contemplated telling Cat it was just allergies. Instead, something made him say, “No. I am not okay. But if you want to come in and sit on my couch, risking black lung from all the dust, by all means.” He stood aside and swept his hand, indicating Cat should join him.
Hesitantly, Cat stepped over the threshold. He extended the glass to Micah. “Thought you could use this. Maybe you need something stronger, though.”
Micah snorted. “Yeah, probably, except I don’t drink.” He accepted the lemonade and took a sip. The tart liquid was refreshingly cool against his burning throat. “Thanks for this.” He tilted the glass toward Cat.
Cat grinned. “I was a little worried for a minute there. Want to tell me about it?”
Micah sighed heavily. “I inherited this house. My father just died.”
“I’m sorry,” Cat said, his voice soft and warm.
Buy the book:
Meet the author:
A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family
Where to find the author:
Tour Dates & Stops:
2-Nov: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews
3-Nov: The Hat Party, My Fiction Nook
4-Nov: Velvet Panic, Love Bytes
5-Nov: Divine Magazine, Nephy Hart, Lee Brazil, Posy Roberts, Inked Rainbow Reads
6-Nov: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter
9-Nov: Bayou Book Junkie
10-Nov: Wake Up Your Wild Side
11-Nov: BFD Book Blog
12-Nov: Prism Book Alliance
13-Nov: Jessie G. Books, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews