Lyssa Samuels is an advocate of human rights—especially when it comes to love. She has a deep need to show that love is love regardless of the genders of the people involved. In her upcoming series Royal Mates, Love’s Diamond, she introduces us to the world of Sanzel where the mating of two men is revered, and the miracle of men giving birth is the norm. The king and his brothers have waited for their entire lives to find their aheris—their beloved mates. Each of the titles in this series will bring you the story of one royal brother and his journey in finding, fighting for, and claiming the man that is meant to be his.
Q: Sanzel is such a unique planet! What were some sources of inspiration for you as you were creating it?
A: I’ve always been a big science fiction fan. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, had a vision of the future that embodied a world of acceptance and tolerance of all species. I shared that hope, and I wanted to write about such a future. I thought about the kind of world where every life was valued and each member of that world had a destined, beloved mate waiting for them. To add the element of males being able to have children was something I thought was important because I feel that every person should be able to have children if they desire to.
Q: Merek and Vance seem to have a wonderful, special kind of love! What is the key that makes the two such perfect mates for one another?
A: Merek and Vance are men who are in their mid to late thirties. They have gone through years of being with other men who didn’t have the same vision of their future that they had. Both Vance and Merek want to find that one someone who wanted and needed a serious, monogamous relationship with an “ever after” kind of love. They both want the same type of relationship that their parents had. They both want that one special person to come home to, to share their joys and their problems with, and to raise a family with. The fact that they are really good friends, care about each other more than they care about themselves, and make each other laugh is the perfect foundation for a loving mating. Of course, their physical attraction for each other helps tremendously, too!
Q: Females seem to have a special and fascinating role on Sanzel because they are so rare. Explain a little about how that affects life for the men of Sanzel.
A: Women on Sanzel are held in high regard. They are miracles by virtue of the rarity of their births, and each one is destined for something special in their futures. The men of Sanzel have been impacted greatly because of the rarity of these women. Their bodies have adapted and changed. They now have the ability to conceive, carry, and birth a child. They have become the source of love and nurture for their children. These men are the perfect combination of strength and caring. The men of Sanzel are wonderful fathers, mates, and friends.
Q: It is so heartwarming how the men on the baseball team are like family to one another. How did you come up with the idea of a having Merek and his brothers find their mates on a baseball diamond?
A: I had already come up with the idea of Merek and his brothers coming from the world of Sanzel. I hadn’t decided on the number of brothers in the royal family in the early stages of writing the series. Since I think that baseball players are sexy as hell, I thought they would be the perfect choice for each of the brothers since the Sorenson brothers are all ruggedly handsome men as well. The number of men on the field, including their coach, would equal ten men. This meant that there would have to be ten brothers from the royal family who would be destined to be their mates. When I thought about the baseball diamond being symbolic of the diamond ring given during an engagement to signify the love that one person had for another, the name of the series was settled—Royal Mates, Love’s Diamond.
Q: Merek and Vance bonded fairly quickly, but the book hinted that not every relationship would go as smoothly! Can readers expect some sexy conflicts and tension between mates in future books?
A: Absolutely. Every member of the baseball team has gone through their own personal journey that has made them lost souls. This group of guys has taken care of each other since they were young boys. They have no family but each other. Only Vance had a loving relationship with his parents who were the glue that held these young boys together. Vance’s parents showed each of them that they were good kids who deserved love and respect in their lives. Each man has a story that tugs at your heart. They will only find peace within themselves and a lasting love for their future once they have mated with their chosen Sorenson brother. The upcoming stories will definitely have struggles and obstacles to overcome before their matings can continue. Love doesn’t always run smoothly in the upcoming books, but love does persevere.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned about/from writing that you didn’t know when you first started?
A: Wow. That’s a very good question. I think the non-creative side of the writing process was a bit overwhelming for me. It was the copyright laws, the advertising, the websites, and the social media that has been a big learning experience for me. If it was just writing to be a writer, it would be so much easier!
Q: Tell us about your writing routine.
A: I have a full-time job that sucks away most of my life! (Don’t we all?) Because of that, my writing is limited to evenings and weekends. I find that writing at night and into the early morning hours is definitely my time to shine. I absolutely love the weekends. That’s when I’m the happiest because I can hide myself away in my comfy cave and write around the clock. Nothing is better than that.
Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.
A: It would probably surprise everyone to find out that I’m a very shy person. I’m fine in my job, as a mom, and as an active member of my community. But as a woman? I am completely shy and insecure.
Q: What qualities do you think are important for the hero in a romance? Are there types of men you prefer to write about?
A: I believe that the most important quality that a hero should have is kindness. Why would anyone want to be with a man who isn’t kind? Beats me. I prefer to write about men who are kind, who are strong, who are not ashamed to show their feelings, and who love with all their hearts. These are the men who are my heroes and the ones I choose to write about. My dad was one of those men. He was a strong man who made my siblings and me breakfast every morning. He set our hair in curlers and sat on the floor and had tea parties with us. He baked bread. He taught us how to swim, how to play baseball, and any sport you can imagine. He taught us how to fix our cars, fix the plumbing, and wire electrical outlets. He was a big guy who looked like he could snap you in two. He was a tough man on the outside who had the heart of a teddy bear. He loved my mother and all of us with every piece of his heart. He was my hero. That type of man is exactly who my characters emulate. They are the best heroes because they are the best men.
Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?
A: To be honest, I would love to be any one of the men on the baseball team who find that their mate is one of the Sorenson brothers in the Royal Mates, Love’s Diamond series. To be loved by a royal mate would mean that I would be cherished, respected, and valued for my entire life. Who could ask for anything better than that?
Q: What other series are you working on?
A: I have a few series in the works but there are three more series that are fully fleshed out.
The Royal Mates, Love’s Diamond series has a storyline running through it that King Merek and his brothers are trying to find who is stealing the children from Sanzel and selling them to other worlds. They become aware that the first children were kidnapped more than thirty years before. Murdock’s Coven, My Beloved series is where this mystery will be resolved. The taken children of Sanzel, who are now adult males, are found by the vampires of Murdock’s coven. The children are now in their thirties and know nothing about the unique physiology of the men of Sanzel. Imagine their surprise when they find out!
Burke’s Pack, Mates of the Lost Wolves series is about a misfit pack of wolves whose alpha is given a direct order from the higher powers to find men who are in hiding because they are members of the Faery World and are very valuable. Each wolf pack member finds that the man he is sent to save is actually going to be instrumental in giving him the life of love and acceptance that he deserves. It’s a very heartwarming and sweet series about some very badass wolves who have met their matches!
Bravo Company, Stolen Children series is about a scientific experiment gone wrong. The men of Bravo Company are soldiers who have been genetically engineered to be strong, smart, follow orders without question, and have no emotions. Their DNA was taken and manipulated with a population of men who were raised in foster care and were found to have unbelievably high intelligence. Once the soldiers find out that they each have offspring waiting to be born, they are determined to find the identity of their matched man. The process of finding their men and saving their children is all the men of Bravo Company can focus on. Finding love and happiness along the way is something that they don’t expect and won’t know how to deal with when they find it.
Thank you for spending time with me today. I hope you will enjoy my upcoming release King Merek and the Mechanic, Book 1 in the Royal Mates, Love’s Diamond series. It’s so nice to know that there are so many people out there who share my feeling that love is destined and should be cherished when it’s found—regardless of the people finding it.