OS: Welcome to Jaime Samms, author of the Off Stage series. Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you so much to Open Skye for inviting me back to talk about the books in this anthology. I’m excited about reminding readers of Damian’s and Lenny’s stories, as the third and final book of the series will be out at the end of May. In it, Vance’s friend Kilmer will get his forever HEA, which he richly deserves after he’s uprooted his entire life to follow Vance across boarders to have his back.
Way back when I wrote the first book of this series, I still had a day job that basically was siphoning my soul off a little at a time. At least, that’s how it felt. I was a rainbow shaped peg in a very square and regulation-shaped hole: a tight and uncomfortable fit.
Feeling so out of place made me take a huge leap of faith into a career that offered no guarantees of even a living wage. It was, if not impulsive, because I thought hard about it, still a move a lot of people in my life called impetuous or ill-advised, even selfish and dangerous for my kids.
Because feeling like you don’t fit into your own life is something that does make people do crazy, possibly unhealthy and outrageous things. That idea of not fitting into their own skins or the lives or relationships they find themselves in is an underlying theme in the Off Stage series.
Damian has been thrust to the front of his band to be the face of their rising star. He’s young and insecure, ill-prepared for the media attention or stress of heading such a high-profile group. He makes all kinds of unhealthy, dangerous, self-centered choices about his life to stave off the anxiety of his job. When the one person he relies on most is falling apart, unable to love him the way he desperately needs, he sees no other choice but to drown himself in all the things that help him forget his worries. Deciding to trust the one man he knows the least, and who has the power to take everything from him seems like the worst decision of all, but he’s too close to his last chance not to follow his heart and hope it will save his soul.
Lenny does love Damian, but he can’t hang onto the wild singer or stop his self-destructive behaviour. Watching Damian spiral downwards is killing him and he makes all the wrong choices about how to keep them both safe. He hangs on so tight to Damian, he drives a wedge between them, and his attempt to keep Damian close turn more and more painful for them both. When Vance offers him a choice that seems more like an ultimatum, he’s too desperate not to take what looks like his last chance at a lifeline, even though it means leaving everything and everyone he knows, including the band, behind in a bid to find himself again.
It takes Stan’s steady control to guide Damian away from the ledge he’s teetering on, and Vance plucking Lenny out of the band to shelter safely in a place where he can be honest about what he’s become to save the young musicians and, eventually, the band.
It’s been a few years since I wrote the first two books. My choice to leave somewhat reliable employment to write more books looked reckless from the outside. It felt precarious from the inside. Did it save me? My bank account might make it seem like it was a poor choice, but there’s more to life than money, and my family deserved more of me than a colourless rainbow. Being happy counts for a whole lot, in my books, and it’s where I wanted to lead these two tortured men.
Off Stage: Sets One & Two
The grunge band Firefly was Trevor “Damian” Learner and Lenny Stevens’s dream since they were boys growing up in rural Ontario. They found the right people to live the dream with them, even landed the best representation in the business, but the higher their star rose, the harder it became to ignore their issues.
Now, needing guidance beyond what each other and their bandmates can offer, Damian and Lenny must let go of a relationship that’s hurting everyone around them and accept support from men who know what they need better than they do. Two submissives will never make each other happy without the dominance they both crave but can’t find in each other.
First Damian needs to get his life on the right path and accept the rules Stan sets forth for him. Then Lenny will have to step into the wings, leave the spotlight, and concentrate on his own well-being—and Vance’s guiding hand—before they can help the band reach its potential.
Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men—what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love—she’s never come up with a clear answer. Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Various Publishers.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms