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Nya Rawlyns




The prized possession you value above all others…

Photographs, those images frozen in time. We lost everything in the Agnes Food of ’72, including the albums entrusted to me as the last surviving ‘girl’ in the family. It was like having pieces of my soul ripped away, all those memories: history captured, my immigrant family and the journey they made from so many corners of the globe to end up on the shores of America, my own stuttering steps to adulthood. We were able to find replacements here and there, but the collection was largely gone.

That may be the most compelling reason why I write: to record in some way those journeys that now exist only in my own thoughts.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

That I waited so long to see the world I’d only read about, dreamt of. And to do it alone. Because only then did I understand what it means to be comfortable in my own skin.

The temptation you wish you could resist…

I never met a potato chip I didn’t like, and that explains quite a bit…

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Strangely enough, that would be Little Women. I go back to it time and again when I need grounding and reaffirmation in the power of family, hope, faith and a simpler time that allowed for the human spirit to take center stage, not technology.

The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…

I think they arrest you for voyeurism, don’t they? Oh wait … invisible? Um, blushes. Moving on…

The film you can watch time and time again…

Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version). I’ve worn out two DVDs in my hopeless obsession with period pieces and understated sensuality. I’m guessing 100 viewings, minimum. And I still clutch my ample bosom and sigh when Mr. Darcy approaches through the mist…

The person who influenced you the most…

Choosing just one is nigh near impossible. I’ve been truly blessed to have people in my life who have been spirit guides, companions, confessors, friends, lovers…

Ah, but there is one who is special, who came to me in my thirties. He was a visiting Russian scientist, and if anyone could be labelled a soul mate, he was the one. He taught me to see the world through a different lens and he showed me that we are not so different in all the matters that count, that the line in the sand the Cold War had drawn need not apply. His friendship across that divide meant more than political posturing and power mongering. He became part of my family. We had one year. Sometimes that is enough.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

Architecture: log cabins, barns, tree houses, stone cabins in the woods, A-frames, organic designs of all manner of construction. I buy house plans the same way some people buy cookbooks. And maps. I love maps, old ones, new ones. In books, framable, topos, graphs and charts. Google Earth, oh mercy, I love that!

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

A trip out west to Colorado and Wyoming, shared with my son. We had no agenda, just maps (ah those maps again), following our noses. It led us to Mesa Verde and other wondrous places. But it was the small discoveries, off the beaten path, that later took root in my stories centering in the Absaroka Range, WY: the Crow Creek Series. Wyoming is the home I would choose, my heart, my spirit reside there, along with old friends who live on now in memory.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

Partially unfulfilled. I’ve made two trips to London, Reading and Abderdeen, by myself (in my dotage, the first time travelling alone and out of the country to boot!) and visited with people I’d only known through Facebook or professionally as a (former) publisher. That is a bucket list I long to fill and its destinations include Norway, Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Nova Scotia.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

I’ve always written professionally, and while technical writing and fiction can share some elements of creativity (or even fantasy, don’t ask), the act of creating worlds out of whole cloth took me to a place inside my head and heart that I simply did not know existed.

Talk about seeing the world through a different lens!

I learned to craft scenes as if choreographing dance. I listened to music to understand the cadence and rhythms of dialog, and still do. But mostly I became intensely aware of the world around me. That fuels my imagination, looking outward, and helps me bring some measure of honesty and truth to my characters that I might never have managed had I lived solely inside my own head.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…

Ah, that bucket list I mentioned? There you go. First stop? Scotland again. The people—the place—speaks to me as no other. I sampled the coast, the city, castle ruins and the intense weight of history, the beauty of the Cairngorms, the charms of small villages. But there’s so much more, not the least of which are the friends I made, who cheerfully shared their heritage and adventures with me. With only 24 hours allowed, meeting them again would be my priority and my honor.  (I LIVE IN ENGLAND… AND WOULD LOVE TO VISIT SCOTLAND ONE DAY!)

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…

Bullying. I was subject to it as a teen. It was bad then, but it’s worse now. I find all too much of it on the internet. I see it as accepted behavior at all age levels.

The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…

Teddy Roosevelt. Grandma Ella left me a bust of Teddy when she passed. To this day I have no clue why she had it, or what it meant to her. But, out of curiosity, I read what I could about the man and developed an enduring admiration for someone with vision enough to preserve our wild places for future generations. When I look at it, sitting on a bookshelf in the rec room, it always brings a memory and a smile for a woman who was fiercely independent, proud and capable. If Teddy Roosevelt had earned pride of place in Grandma Ella’s home, then he definitely deserves a pie and a pint from me.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Be the person you want to be, not the one others expect. The son I have is transitioning to the daughter I didn’t know I had. It will be a voyage of discovery for both of us.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

Not an item, but a companion. My mare, Winnie. I’ve written about her, shared our trials and tribulations, the respect that grew, grudgingly, and the times we spent together just hanging out. Winnie went her own way, always. I could join her or not, it made no difference to her, though when I did … magic happened. She knew when my world was wrong, when I was wrong, in spirit and otherwise. When we were together, I think we both felt peace. But she was a gift I could not keep. Gratitude has replaced grief, and that’s the way of things. My life is better having known her.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

Husband #2. Sniper rifle. [Abuser, beat his dog, we can take turns if you like.]

The philosophy that underpins your life…

Bear your scars proudly. They are yours and no one else’s. They are your history and the evidence of a life lived. They are your badges of survival.

The plug…

 The Wrong Side of Right (Nya Rawlyns)

Genre: transgressive, homoerotic literature, BDSM, contemporary M/M

What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.

~Tennessee Williams from A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947


Tony Mitchell is a loner who spends most of his life staying low, denying who and what he is until Aiden Caldwell walks into the shop and changes everything. Tony thinks his new supervisor hates his guts, but that doesn’t keep Tony from dreaming and yearning. His fantasies drive him to follow the older man, revealing a secret that only confounds Tony’s obsession.

Conflicted and confused, Tony falls under the spell of a man called Tank who leads Tony down a dark path of seduction and dangerous cravings. Under Tank’s guidance, Tony learns to suspend reality, to succumb. The one thing he doesn’t learn is how to say no.

Aiden Caldwell pulls Tony from the precipice but not from the addiction that threatens to consume the young man.

In the matter of love and trust, can two men intent on hiding their most secret selves find common ground as fate and their own tumultuous pasts conspire to tear them apart?

An ARe/OmniLit bestseller and a TRR Best Pick

Gritty, raw, uncompromising…

Tony bit his lip and squeezed his eyes shut tight, tighter, until the explosion behind his eyelids lifted him into orbit and he came, hot and sweet, cursing himself to hell and back because he loved it. He hated it.

Later he could not recall cleaning up or wrapping the apron around his waist, hiding most of the wet spots on his jeans and tee shirt. He did remember watching the big man pause at the door and give him a strange look because he had asked, “Have you?”

“Have I what, kid?”

“Been raped.”

“Not anymore.”


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