Frequently Asked Questions
Are you SE Jakes? Or Stephanie Tyler? Or Sydney Croft?
I’m actually all three (okay, well, half of Sydney, with Larissa Ione)—and I’ve been writing as Tyler and Croft since I first got published back in 2007. I’ve been writing / published as SE Jakes since March of 2011. Up until May of 2014, I kept the SEJ name very separate from the others (aka, only my publishers and a handful of people knew) for many reasons, but the most important one is that I nearly quit writing. SE Jakes brought me back to life, and I’m forever grateful for that.
So, do all your different names write in different genres?
I guess the most important distinction is that SE Jakes writes LGBTQ romance exclusively—m/m romance, to be exact. SEJ writes romantic suspense and contemporary romances.
Stephanie Tyler writes all kinds of romance—romantic suspense, paranormal romance, new adult romance, contemporary romance—all m/f romance with an occasional m/m subplot.
Sydney Croft writes paranormal erotic romance. We’ve called it, “X-men meets erotica.’ And Sydney’s main characters in each of her books is a m/f romance, but there’s a m/m subplot that runs through the entire series.
So there you have it—if you’re looking for m/m romance exclusively, hit up SE Jakes. Mainly into m/f romance, especially with MCs and Navy SEALs? Tyler’s your girl. And if you like a heavily erotic story with a lot of plot and all kinds of relationships? Head for Sydney. I like to say that I don’t change my storytelling or voice for each pen-name—the characters do that for me in each book I write.
So it says that both SE Jakes and Stephanie Tyler are writing MC (motorcycle series) that share the same universe. Does that mean I have to read both series?
Not at all. The overreaching universe of the MCs will be the same (for example, in my SEJ Havoc books, I will reference the Vipers MC, which is part of the Tyler books, or maybe a shared store or two), but the books themselves won’t have any crossover story lines. The SEJ is a m/m MC series and Tyler’s is a m/f MC series. There will also be all HEAs at the end of every book, no cliffhangers in either series and, as I’ve been explaining to all my readers, you won’t miss any story if you only read one or the other. Writing these series wasn’t about bringing readers over to Tyler or Jakes. I just happened to be in this middle of writing Havoc when my Tyler editor asked me to write an m/f MC series for her, and I thought it would be the perfect compliment to revealing that I write under different names.
Can you suggest a reading order for your books?
Proper reading order is a request I get a lot, so I figured it would be easier to link to it rather than retyping it every time I get asked. And since so many of you ask, I realized that the more books I have, the more complicated this gets. So I’m going to give you two different scenarios below, depending on where you’ve already started.
In the past, I’ve suggested that people read my books in the order I wrote them. This makes the most sense, because as I went along, I mention other characters in different books and then you can see the start of different characters. As an avid reader myself, I love it when I can spot a character from an author’s world in another one of their worlds. So if you like this option, you’ll want to start with:
The Men of Honor Series (books 1 – 6 are listed in order below & in Book 5, you’ll see Prophet’s name)
No Boundaries (It’s a spin-off of Men of Honor & it has a new couple PLUS the trio from Bound By Law)
Free Falling (It’s an EE book with Blue & Mick and you get a chance to meet Prophet)
Catch A Ghost (Hell or Highwater Book 1)
Long Time Gone (Hell or Highwater Book 2)
Dirty Deeds (Dirty Deeds Book 1) (I know it’s technically its own series but trust me, this works)
Daylight Again ((Hell or Highwater Book 3) This runs along the same exact timeline as Dirty Deeds)
Not Fade Away (Hell or Highwater novella aka Book 3.5)
If I Ever (pub date coming soon!) (Hell or Highwater Book 4)
(from this point, you’d need to read Dirty Lies & Dirty Love if they’re written when you’re reading this. As of October 2018, they are being written)
From here, there are standalone series / books that really can be read at any time:
The Havoc MC series (Running Wild, Running Blind & the forthcoming Running on Empty) You’ll see some of the same characters but each book is truly stand alone
The Inked series (Hold the Line & Thirds) – total standalone books
Rule of Thirds – total standalone and also part of the Mirror Series (I wrote this as Stephanie Tyler, & the other 2 books in the series are m/f books in case you’re interested in those too!)
No Easy Way is a novella that’s part of a Riptide Anthology & Part of the BlueWater Bay series.
Temperance is book 4 in a series called Defiance. The first 3 books are m/f. I wouldn’t exactly call this book standalone but wanted to include it because it is m/m. I’ve described the series as Sons of Anarchy meets the apocalypse – and it’s a New Adult series. You can order the full series here 🙂
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Now, I told you I’d give you an alternate way to read. I have readers who adore the Men of Honor series and I have readers who adore the Hell or Highwater series (and I have readers who adore both)…but most readers have a more favorite series.
Men of Honor has its own definite feel. They’re angsty and they’re very hot. There’s probably a touch of suspense in each of them but the main focus is the relationship between the men.
Hell or Highwater (and EE & DD as well) have a very action-adventure, milrom suspense feel. Although they’re hot in their own right, they’re much more action-packed.
It’s very hard to explain the differences between the two–my writing voice is the same but each series has its own feel. Also, the Men of Honor series came first, so I improve with every book I write. But Hell or Highwater is definitely more…complicated.
And again, those standalones listed above can be read anytime, in any order.
I hope this helps!!!
Why aren’t all your books in print?
This is a slightly complicated answer. Ready?
For Samhain, any book over 50K (which is all my Men of Honor and Phoenix, Inc, books except for Ties That Bind) go to print approximately 10 months after the publication of the eBook.
For Riptide, any book that qualifies, length-wise, for print will come out in print and eBook at the same time. For right now, this list includes:
the 3rd and 4th Hell or High Water Books, Dirty Deeds 2 & 3 and the Havoc Series, along with the full length.
For the Stolen series, since I self-publish them, these books are available through Createspace (Amazon) in print and everywhere else in eBook.
Is DIRTY DEEDS # 1 a Hell or High Water book or part of the Dirty Deeds series?
Technically, it’s actually both, since it falls under the EE, Ltd category, along with FREE FALLING & the Hell or High Water series (and BOUND FOR KEEPS). I’ll explain: DIRTY DEEDS #1 is a novella (about 22K). It was supposed to be a Prophet / Tommy short way back when I contracted Prophet’s series, but then my editor was like, ‘what about Mal and Cillian?” So basically, the first DD is a short that runs along the timeline for Hell or High Water # 3. It takes place over 4 days. And then, DIRTY LIES and DIRTY LOVE will come out POST Hell or High Water, and they will have their own (non-Prophet) plot. I hope that makes sense? DIRTY DEEDS # 1 is standalone, but I think if you’ve read CATCH A GHOST and LONG TIME GONE, you’ll get a deeper understanding of the guys. But all my books are connected – my books all take place in one large, overreaching universe.
The ending of DIRTY DEEDS # 1 almost killed me. How long will we have to wait until Cillian and Mal get some resolution?
Well, you know they’ll get their ultimate HEA at the end of DIRTY LOVE. That being said, you will see Mal and Cillian together a bit in the next two Hell or High Water books, DAYLIGHT AGAIN and IF I EVER. I’m not ‘that’ cruel.
Will you be writing more Men of Honor books?
The Men of Honor Series is open-ended. I don’t plan on stopping that series. That being said, my next Samhain book is actually a spin-off of the MOH series. The title is NO BOUNDARIES and the series will be called Phoenix Inc. Phoenix Inc is the name of the PI Agency that Styx, Law and Paolo (from Bound By Law) opened. They will make an appearance but the main characters will be new. I realized while writing BOUND TO BREAK that I loved revisiting all those characters, and the new series will also let me do that. NO BOUNDARIES: Phoenix Inc #1 comes out November 18, 2014.
Will Sawyer and Rex from BOUND BY DANGER have their own book?
Yes…and no. Occasionally, I’ll have characters who need time to grow their relationship. Since that can’t always happen over the course of a single book, I’ll spread their story over two books. So, in reality, when all is said and done, Rex and Sawyer will end up with more pages between them than a regular MOH book between BOUND BY DANGER and BOUND TO BREAK. It’s just that their stories connect so closely to Jace’s and to Lucky’s that they’re impossible to separate.
Is FREE FALLING connected to the Hell or Highwater series with Prophet? If so, why isn’t it labeled as such?
I self-published FREE FALLING in December of 2012. I worked with Sarah Frantz, who was freelance editing. After she ended up buying the Hell or High Water series for Riptide Publishing, we decided to bring Free Falling into the Riptide family as well.
FREE FALLING is set in the same world as the Hell or High Water (aka Prophet’s) series – all the men work at EE, Ltd. In fact, Prophet also makes an appearance in BOUND FOR KEEPS: Men of Honor book 5, because some of the characters work for EE, Ltd as well. However, FREE FALLING is a completely stand-alone read – you don’t have to have read it to enjoy Prophet’s series and vice-versa. The only reason it’s not labeled a Hell or High Water book is because those books are a series that includes only the books where Prophet and Tom are the main characters. So basically, I’ll be adding to both the EE Ltd series AND the Hell or High Water series. For you, it just means MORE BOOKS!!!
Are you planning another story for Mick and Blue (from FREE FALLING)?
Yes. I need some time to go by, though. I’m thinking probably post-Dirty Deeds series, but I’m not making any promises.
Is the Hell or Highwater series about Prophet? Or is there going to be other EE chacters in the next books like the Men of Honor series?
Yes, the H*H series stars Prophet and Tommy as the heroes of all 4 books. You’ll catch glimpses of Mick and Blue again (from FREE FALLING) since they work at EE, Ltd as well but the main focus is Prophet & Tommy. So each of the H*H books might not end with an HEA, but the series will Right now, looks like the first two books will release in 2013 (Book 1 – CATCH A GHOST on September 9, 2013 and Book 2, LONG TIME GONE on October 28, 2014) and the last two in 2014.
Some of your books are listed as having ambiguous endings. Why is that / what does it mean/ does that mean it’s not romance?
I write romance. I believe in and want HEAs.* That being said, for the series that follow the same characters throughout all the books (Hell or High Water and Dirty Deeds) the characters aren’t ready to even have an HFN* after their first books. But by the series wrap up, there will be HEAs for everyone!
*(HEA = Happily Ever After / HFN = Happily For Now)
Why do you have so many series?
Most of my series overlap. I prefer to keep my series relatively short. I feel like you can pick up any of my series, see a mention of characters from another series and still know what’s going on. You have to think of all my books as being in the same universe. Hence, the Men of Honor guys know Prophet and Mal knows the Havoc guys and…
Well, you get the picture. 🙂
So the Dirty Deed series really begins when Hell or High Water ends.
For the most part, I lay out the series before contracting it. I like knowing when a series will end, as an author and a reader. Right now, the only series that are open ended are Havoc and Workingman’s. And Bluewater Bay, of course, which is a multi-author series and can extend into infinity. I don’t know how many books I’d be writing for that series.
Who are your publishers?
Currently, I’m publishing with Riptide Publishing and self-publishing. I’ve published with Samhain Publishing before they closed and my rights have reverted back to me, so all those books are still available.
Who helps you with your self-published books?
My self-published books are edited by Sarah Frantz of Alphabet Editing. They are also proofread (post-copy editing) by Sharon Muha. I highly recommend both of them
Why are you self publishing?
I think any author in today’s market needs to be as diverse with their career as possible. I love writing for Samhain and Riptide and will continue to do so, but self-publishing is a way for me to get more books to my readers per year. I write fast