Two Man Station: Interview with Lisa Henry and *Giveaway*
Two Man Station
Gio Valeri is a big city police officer who’s been transferred to the small outback town of Richmond with his professional reputation in tatters. His transfer is a punishment, and Gio just wants to keep his head down and survive the next two years. No more mistakes. No more complications.
Except Gio isn’t counting on Jason Quinn.
Jason Quinn, officer in charge of Richmond Station, is a single dad struggling with balancing the demands of shift work with the challenges of raising his son. The last thing he needs is a new senior constable with a history of destroying other people’s careers. But like it or not, Jason has to work with Gio.
In a remote two man station hours away from the next town, Gio and Jason have to learn to trust and rely on each another. Close quarters and a growing attraction mean that the lines between professional and personal are blurring. And even in Richmond, being a copper can be dangerous enough without risking their hearts as well.
Hannah: Hello everyone! I interviewed Lisa Henry after reading her thoughtful, entertaining, and touching novel Two Man Station. I read a lot of romance, and Two Man Station stood out to me through the strength of its prose and characterization. You can read my full review at RT Book Reviews.
Now let's get started!
You’re clearly a talented storyteller and writer. Your author bio simply states, “I
like to tell stories. Mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.” How did you
become interested in writing m/m?
Lisa: Thank you so much! I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember, but I only
started writing m/m back in 2011, and it was a genre I fell into simply because I was
reading a lot of it at the time. I read a lot of m/m books that I really enjoyed, and
decided to write one. It was never a conscious decision to become a writer of m/m
romance specifically, it just turned out that way! I was definitely a reader and a fan
Hannah: That's often the case! The secondary characters don’t feel dashed on the page as extra decoration; every one of them is integral to Jason and Gio’s lives and the plot. When writing, do you take a conscious approach to this, or does it just arise from the story organically?
Lisa: I am not much of a plotter, so things tend to happen very organically as I write. And
given that this book was set in a very small town, I always knew that the secondary
characters would play an important role. If I’d written a book about police officers in
the city, then many of the people they met wouldn’t have appeared again. In a small
town, that was never going to be the case. In a small town, everyone knows everyone.
It’s the best thing—and the worst thing—about small towns.
Hannah: My favorite character was the cat. :) I also loved Taylor, the son, to pieces. Was he a lot of fun to write?
Lisa: Taylor was so much fun to write. A lot of him came from my nephew and my niece,
particularly the way he’s always angling for an iTunes gift card, and sneakily
attempting to adopt the stray cat! Ten-year- old kids are so much fun, and can be so
frustrating at the same time, but Taylor is absolutely the light of his dad’s life, and I
really wanted to show just how much love there is between them.
I also loved the cat! Attempting to adopt stray cats was a childhood trait of mine that I
borrowed from Taylor. My mother has still never forgiven me for secretly smuggling
a stray cat into our house, that then had kittens in my bed while I was at school. It was
win/win for me though. I got a bunch of kittens and a new mattress.
Hannah: Following up with that, do you have any favorite books that feature kid characters?
Lisa: One of my favourites is The Nothingness of Ben, by Brad Boney. It’s about a big city
lawyer who has to return to his small home town to raise his teenage brothers when
their parents are killed in a car accident. So you have the MC dealing with his grief,
while suddenly having to learn how to be a parent, and also falling into a new
relationship that comes with its own complications. I especially liked how the child
characters were all fully developed characters of their own. They all felt very real.
Hannah: Two Man Station challenges hypermasculine tropes in romance. The book explores parenting, male grief, and domestic abuse in particular. Did you consciously decide to challenge the hot cop trope, or did it just happen after developing three-dimensional characters?
Lisa: It never actually occurred to me that I was challenging the hot cop trope, but that may
be because in my day job I work as a police dispatcher, and I know way too many
cops. I mean, some of them are certainly nice to look at, but when you work alongside
a certain profession for a while then it takes a lot of the well, the romance out of it. I
definitely wanted to show policing as the job rather than the romanticized cliché, if
that makes sense. There’s nothing glamorous or exciting at all about 90% of police
work: it’s terrible hours, sleep deprivation, and dealing with the same thing day in and
day out. I’ve also worked with police for long enough to know that police officers can
be both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, because of course domestic
violence can happen in any relationship, with people from any walk of life.
Hannah: I see. The cover is gorgeous. What was your experience in its design?
Lisa: I think I’ve been in love with every cover I’ve ever received from Riptide. I did
request Natasha Snow for the cover, because she’s done such amazing work for me in
the past. From what I remember the only specification I gave was for “red dirt”, and
the cover Natasha came up with is just perfect. That looks like western Queensland
Hannah: Finally - what can we expect from you in the future?
Lisa: I’ve got a few things lined up that will be coming out soon. I have a modern m/m
retelling of Sense and Sensibility, called The California Dashwoods, that will be
coming out from Riptide. Meanwhile, JA Rock and I are working on our next Prescott
And my next book in the Emergency Services series that follows on from Two Man
Station will be coming out sometime soon as well. It’s called Lights and Sirens, and
it’s about a police officer and a paramedic who hate each other… right up until they
Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win a prize of a $20 Riptide voucher plus a small package of Australian goodies that I’ll post worldwide. The winner will be drawn on January 31.
And thank you so much to Hannah for hosting me on Queerly Reads, and for
About Lisa Henry
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
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