Title: Small Steps
Author Name & Publisher: Chris McHart (Rawmance Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: September 21, 2015 – 76,800 Words
Ben Amann currently hates everything: The accident that temporarily put him in a wheelchair, the fact that he has to go for rehab and live in an assisted living home as well. Sebastian Hofers, the good looking but equally bad-tempered new assistant to his rehab therapist changes that.
Sebastian has two choices after causing an accident while driving drunk: community service hours or go to jail. The decision is a no-brainer, and so he meets Ben at the rehab center. The two of them hit it off and slowly, Sebastian sees more than just a patient in Ben.
But their growing relationship faces hard trials, not only because of Sebastian’s heavy drinking, but also because of the truth: The two of them already met on an icy street, eight months ago.
Can love and forgiveness overcome the overwhelming guilt and resentment?
Contains: Two ill-tempered men, a lot of hang-ups, a shared hope, and a destroyed dream.
Trigger Warning: deals with alcohol abuse and alcoholism
Sebastian stepped out of the sticky bus. It was hot for that time of the year, and Germany was melting under a heat wave. Munich was no exception. The temperature was somewhere around 35°C and the air conditioning in the bus was either non-existent or not working. The fact that everyone and their mother seemed to have agreed to take this bus didn’t help to make it more bearable.
Sebastian took a deep breath, but it did nothing to cool him down. All he got was a lung full of heat, his sweat, and fumes. Fuck this shit. He could be at a bar right now, sipping a cold beer. But he wasn’t, thanks to that fucking judge.
He had to be here, the last place he wanted to be. Okay, a few meters more, then he reached the place. The sign was unmistakable: Rehabilitation Center. Fucking shit. That judge had had way too much fun sentencing him. Wasn’t there a law against such things? The urge to kick something, anything in his way, rose, but Sebastian grit his teeth. He was no sixteen-year-old anymore. Instead of kicking something, Sebastian peered into the windows. An empty desk sat near the entrance door.
Nobody was there.
Sebastian took another deep breath, which did nothing to quell his anger, and slowly pushed open the door. He wouldn’t get his Community Service hours done by standing in front of the building. And if the judge had his way, Sebastian was going to be here quite a few hours. Two-hundred, to be precise. Fucking two-hundred hours of work in a rehab center. He should kill that judge.
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
I’m usually writing on my couch, my laptop on my legs. I listen to my favorite rock station or my writing playlist. Other than that, I need more or less silence, (except from the music) and no interrupting family members.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
I can relate to nearly all my characters on a certain level. Ben from Small Steps is depressed, even if he never speaks about it. I went through something similar as well. Sebastian is an alcoholic, and while I personally haven’t been there, I had good friends and family members with this addiction. All of the characters are a part of me and come from a place in my heart. That sounds sappy, but it is what gives them life.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
Well, in my dayjob I’m an accountant, something I really like. I’m also a mother, another job I love. And if I could really pick, with no limits? I probably would paint (Although I can’t paint, so that’s a mood point. LOL)
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
I outline my books, but I always discover new things when writing. With Small Steps, it was Niko, one of the supporting characters. He simply appeared in a scene and never left. I’m still puzzled how he wormed his way into the story and in my heart.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
No. Not yet. I wrote it six months ago, and therefor, it had a lot of time to sit and rest, and when I went back to it, I still really loved it. My opinion may change, but for now, I’m happy with it
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
For me it’s more deciding which one to write first. I have lots and lots of ideas and not enough time.
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
A Christmas Story from MLR and a Maddy Christmas Story from Rawmance, my own publishing company.
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I’m from Germany, and yes, it influences me since a lot of my stories play in Germany. Also, most people are okay with people being gay, which influences my writing as well.
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
I have to admit I rarely read outside of my genre, and if, documentation. Nature, mostly.
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
COFFEE!!! And chocolate.
Chris McHart lives in Germany, with her husband, slave, Dom, partner in crime, and muse (all in one person, not even she’s that kinky!). She loves her husband, men in kilts and Scotch Whiskey. Her idea of a perfect evening is to curl up with her laptop and write (the other options are not suitable to post in public).
Visit her blog or friend her on Facebook, where you can join her author group.