Author of the Week: Aisling Mancy

 

aisling

 

Join me in welcoming Ash to my blog today with his newest novella, Heartifact! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Ash.

Thanks for having me, John! It’s always great to be on your blog!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a unique writing background in a number of ways, not the least of which is that I was raised by a prolific author. I have also written in multiple mainstream venues for years, and spent way too much time on sets watching films come to life for the silver screen. Though I have spent the past four years concentrating on young adult works for Dreamspinner’s Harmony Ink Press label (under C. Kennedy), I write primarily for adults—surprise! All of the information in the below short biography is true. My name may be new to readers, but my writing may not be.

 

What inspires your writing?

It is ingrained in me. I began writing at the age of seven and haven’t stopped since then. I write every day of the year, even if only to carve out an hour of writing on a particular day.

 

When did you start writing m/m romance? And why this genre?

I advocate for abused gay youth, and they begged me forever to write for them. Because I wanted to ensure that I could write a story of hope for them, it took me four long years before I penned my first M/M novel.

 

Are you a full time author?

I am. It’s the best profession anyone could have.

 

Who is your favorite author?

This is an impossible question for me to answer, but I can name a few: Homer, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, John Le Carré, Dean Koontz, and Edgar Allan Poe.

 

How many books have you written?

In my lifetime? Too many to count. In the M/M genre—*begins counting on fingers*—eight.

 

How long did it take you to complete Heartifact? And did you write it freely or outline it in advance?

Because I knew nothing about marine archaeology, I spent more than forty hours researching the subject before I spent two weeks writing it. I don’t outline. I jot a few notes, but am otherwise a “panster.”

 

What inspired you to write Heartifact?

I wanted to write a story that combined an undersea adventure with the mythical and mysterious.

 

Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?

Harper Kidd. He spent years in college to become a marine archaeologist and had high hopes of becoming the Indiana Jones of the high seas. Thanks to the poor economy, he takes a job that forces him to stifle his creativity and deal with the pressures of a heartless profession and the destruction of the undersea world he loves. His heart and soul exhausted, he struggles to cope with the disappointments life has thrown at him. When his best friend asks him to assist on a marine salvage operation, and more than one of his dreams comes true, he finally has a chance at the happiness he deserves.

 

How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?

That’s a loaded question if I ever heard one. I think Harper is made up of a good portion of all of us. We’re all fighting for happiness.

 

What do you hope readers gain from Heartifact?

Follow your dreams! You never know whom you might fall in love with!

 

Will you share four things you’ve learned about the business of writing?

  1. Above all, it is our job as writers to make readers “see.”
  2. As writers, we throw parts of ourselves into everything we write and we go through moments of self-doubt. Never give up. You may falter, but you will succeed.
  3. We are nothing without readers and reviewers. Be kind to people.
  4. There is nothing more rewarding than mentoring a burgeoning author.

Bonus answer: Entertaining me is a prerequisite to any book I write. If the story doesn’t entertain me? Poof! It’s gone.

 

What is the most frequently asked question by your fans?

Of the books you have written, which is your favorite?—another impossible question to answer.

 

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two books now, Grotesque, and Mud Angels (a young adult novel to commemorate the youth who restored books and artwork after the 1966 Arno River flood in Florence, Italy). After that, I’ll write Corbeau for Dreamspinner’s Order of the Black Knights series.

 

How do you keep your creative “spark” alive?

Ha! I have an overactive imagination. The better question might be ‘how do I slow my imagination down?’ This is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. On the rare occasion that I’m in need of entertainment, I simply add a real life friend into the book as a character. Psssst. To all of you readers out there: John is memorialized in Thárros as a television talk show host who interviews Michael and Christy.

 

What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?

Don’t get it right, get it written. It is far more important to put your story to pen than it is to make it perfect.

 

Where can we find you on the Internet?

Feel free to stalk me at the usual places. On my blog, Twitter @AislingMancy, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, Booklikes, my Dreamspinner Press Author Page, and Amazon.

 

Will you share your favorite excerpt from Heartifact with us?

Impossible! But I’ll give you one that I like.

Harper sat on the forecastle and watched the sun set. It was a fiery blaze on the horizon, and he was thankful for the cool May breeze that wafted his hair. He realized he was happy for the first time in as long as he could remember and smiled to himself. The strange man in his dreams who gave him an eerie peace surely had something to do with it. He found it comical that he was on an expedition of a lifetime yet anxious to sleep again only to meet his imaginary lover.

Stick tapped his shoulder with something cold before sitting down next to him.

He took the FIX beer from her hand and welcomed the taste as they watched the sun set.

“What’s on your mind?” she asked softly.

“Do you dream?”

“No. I was born without an imagination.”

Harper smiled again as he continued to watch the sun set. “I’ve started having vivid dreams.”

“About?”

“Not sure,” he lied.

“Vivid but you don’t know what they’re about. Makes sense.”

“A guy.”

“Stop there.”

Harper grinned wide without turning to her. “He’s sexy as hell.”

“La la la. I can’t hear you.”

 

Thank you for joining me today, Ash! Hope to see you back again soon!

Thanks for having me, John! It’s always great to be here!

 

About Heartifact

Harper Kidd is a highly respected marine archaeologist. Yet, with the economy in a slump, he’s trapped working in an oil company’s exploration division. Now, at the ripe age of thirty, Harp is disgusted with his employer’s damage to the undersea world he loves, tired of his ATM-card-filching ex, and tormented by beautiful dreams of an undersea lover. It’s time for a change and when his best friend, Stick, pleads with him to assist on a deep-sea dig in the Mediterranean, he jumps at the chance.

Harper’s spirits are high when they discover the ruins of an ancient civilization, and soar to the heavens when they discover a statue of an ancient pelora, a mysterious hybrid creature said to mediate between the worlds of reality and fantasy—and the very lover who holds the starring role in his dreams.

When the crew discovers the site is teeming with unexploded ordnance from the conflicts in the Middle East, and the excavation turns deadly, Harper must choose between saving his best friend and saving the pelora he’s fallen in love with.

Net proceeds from Heartifact benefit the The Trevor Project in the US,

le Refuge in France, and Arcigay in Italy

Heartifact is available from Men Over the Rainbow

AmazonAmazon UKAll Romance eBooks, Barnes & NobleSmashwords
en français Men Over the Rainbow

Amazon FRBarnes & NobleSmashwords

 

About Aisling Mancy

Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes mystery thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Ash does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.

 

Find Ash on blog, Twitter @AislingMancy, Facebook, Google+,

Goodreads, Booklikes, Dreamspinner Press Author Page, and Amazon.

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Author of the Week: Eden Winters

eden-winters

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Eden.

 

  • Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m a business executive, mother, grandmother, author, poet, pet mom and part-time Stormtrooper. It’s a crazy life.
  • What inspires your writing? Everything! Songs. A single phrase. Newspaper articles. Dreams. A phone number I found scrawled on a dollar bill. Anything can be a plot bunny.
  • When did you start writing m/m romance? And why this genre? I began reading LGBTQ novels as a way to better understand the issues a dear friend faced, and fell in love with the m/m romance genre. One day while discussing a favorite book with another friend, she said, “We could do this, you know.” Writing helped me through a rough patch in my life, and the resulting book “The Telling”, was too personal to sell. Right now it’s available for free at most venues, and for 99 cents at Amazon. They never marked it down so all proceeds are donated to the local PFLAG chapter.
  • Are you a full time author? I wish.
  • Who is your favorite author? Too many to name!
  • How many books have you written so far? I’m currently working on number seventeen, with fourteen published.
  • Tell us a little about your novel, Reunion (Diversion 6).
The Diversion series follows two agents of The Southeastern Narcotics Bureau which specializes in pharmaceutical crimes, as opposed to street drugs. They become partners both on and off the job. If your readers haven’t picked up the series yet, I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but it’s been a long, hard road for the anti-hero, Lucky, and the hero, Bo, to drop their suspicions enough to form a team.
The plot of this sixth book in the series involves reconnecting with the past and putting a few things to rights before moving on. It needed to happen. It’s been thirteen years since Lucky has seen or heard from his folks, and the other five books are laced with innuendo, some intentional, some accidental, that leads him to this moment.
But will the final showdown finally happen? And what will be the results? Muwhaaahaahaaa…

 

  • How long did it take you to complete Reunion? Did you write it freely or plan everything in advance? I’m still writing, and have been hard at work for about six months on it. I’m a pantser all the way, so I had a few key scenes in mind, but the rest developed as I wrote, including the big reveal. Even I didn’t see that coming.
  • What inspired you to write Reunion? When I wrote Diversion (Diversion 1) it was intended as a standalone, but since I work in the pharmaceutical industry, more and more articles came across my desk that could be turned into cases for my narcotics agents to solve. In the first book I set up a bit about Lucky and Bo’s history, and it’s now time to tie up some loose ends in their lives on the way to their HEA.
  • Who is your favorite character in the novel and why? It’s hard to name a favorite. Lucky fights back in a world where he feels like an outsider, Bo manages to stay kind and optimistic no matter what grief life hands him, and Loretta Johnson is the kind of dedicated friend I aspire to be. Walter stands quietly in the background, believing in and supporting them all.
  • How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character? As much as I can, but let’s face it: I WISH I was as outspoken as Lucky.
  • When someone reads Reunion, what do you hope they gain from reading it? The drug I write about in the story is real, no matter how fictional it may sound, and it’s a huge threat. My hope is that people enjoy the romance, but also learn.
  • Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business? 1. Good betas and crit partners are worth their weight in gold. 2. Be careful about advice and “how to” books. Everyone has their own opinions, but find what works for you and stick to it. If you try to write based on what other people think, you’ll compromise your unique voice. It’ll also kill the sheer joy of writing. 3. Reviews are useful for pointing out areas of improvement for your work, but see point number 2. 4. Not just about the business but life in general: Always be kind. Folks may not always remember your kindness, but they will remember a bad attitude or harsh words. We deal with words and must be careful with them. They are powerful.
  • What is the most frequently asked question by the fans?
When are we getting more Bo and Lucky?

 

  • What are you working on now? More Bo and Lucky and a m/m romance version of The Frog Prince. I’m also polishing up a reprint of Fallen Angel (The Angel of 13th Street 2). Broken Wing (An Angel of 13th Street side story) is in the beta process.
  • How do you keep your creative “spark” alive? By trying new things, like cosplay, and exploring the world around me. Switching up sub-genres also keeps me inspired.
  • What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers? Keep writing. And if you’re an aspiring author who doesn’t know how to get started, write and submit a short story. The biggest hurdle to being a published author is thinking you can’t. So once that story is published, you’re an author. Go write.
  • Where we can find you on the Internet?
Website: www.edenwinters.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdenWinters1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdenWinters

 

  • Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Reunion with us?

Oh crap. The guy sliding into the chair Johnson just left might have been the same persistent bastard Lucky had punched out during his last visit to the club.

“Mind if I join you?”

Lucky huffed, “Would saying ‘go the fuck away’ make you leave?”

“Oh, don’t be like that.” Shit for brains wasn’t planning to take no for an answer, and settled more fully in the chair. Idiot.

Damn it! “I thought not.”

The guy grinned. “What? You think I’m an ax murderer or something?”

This could be entertaining. Lucky lost the battle to hide an evil grin. “Of course not! What’s the chance of two ax murders meeting up at the same table, in the same club, on the same night?”

At least that wiped the grin off the man’s face—for a moment. Then he laughed. “Oh, you are a kidder, aren’t you?”

Time for Lucky to employ his best serious face, saved for important lies. “Not really. But the way I see it, the stranger who approached me in a bar and wouldn’t leave me alone had it coming.” Lucky leaned in, putting himself nose to nose with the blue-jean and too-tight shirt clad pain in the ass. “I got off on a technicality.”

The chair flew backwards. Wow! Someone pull the guy over for speeding. He nearly knocked the next table, and Johnson, over getting away.

Johnson stepped up and grabbed the chair before it hit the floor. “What’s his problem?”

Lucky shrugged. “I dunno. I told him I’m with you, and you’re the jealous type. Then he hauled ass.”

 

Thank you for taking time out, Eden!

Author of the Week: Pelaam!

pelaan

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Pelaam.

 

  • Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live on the North Island in New Zealand, and share the island with a couple of live volcanoes. New Zealand’s nickname is the Shaky Isles as we get a lot of earthquakes, too. But those aside, it’s a beautiful country. Lushly green with majestic mountains, clear lakes, and lots of ocean. I’m an animal lover, have a Master’s Degree in Art History, and am a wine and food aficionado. I read cookery books the way some people read novels.

 

  • What inspires your writing?

To be honest, anything can inspire me. One story in my “Once upon a Future” series, which are fairytales with an m/m twist, was born from a few words about a Firebird’s feather in the original tale. Songs inspire me, not necessarily the whole song, just a line or two can be enough.

 

  • When did you start writing m/m romance? And why this genre?

I started writing m/m about fifteen years ago. Why? I hope that one day no one will care about the m/m tag. Books will just be fantasy, or sci-fi, but the hero will get his man – or men.

 

  • Are you a full time author?

Part time only. I have a full time job as well.

 

  • Who is your favorite author?

That’s a little like asking a parent to name a favourite child. Among my favourites are Dean Koontz and Alan Dean Foster. In the m/m genre J L Langley, Josh Lanyon

 

  • How many books have you written so far?

Over 40. Sometimes I can’t believe it myself.

 

  • Tell us a little about your novel, Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair

It’s a contemporary m/m romance, set on South Island in the aftermath of a Tsunami. Blair’s home is left uninhabitable making him, his cat, and three dogs homeless. To make things worse, Blair is injured when he returns to find his cat and is rescued by Joshua who’s helping with the tsunami clean up. Joshua takes him, and his pets, in and slowly their unlikely friendship becomes more. But Blair has a hidden past. One that could prove deadly.

 

  • How long did it take you to complete Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair? Did you write it freely or plan everything in advance?

It took a couple of months or so working around other projects. I generally write freely. At most I’ll estimate how many chapters I might need and jot a line or two about what should be in them. Other times I write completely randomly, jumping from start, to end, to middle, writing as the Muse seizes me. Then I’ll join things together.

 

  • What inspired you to write Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair?

I was approached by MLR Press to join a group of authors to specifically write for Storming Love.

 

  • Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?

He’s a chef and an animal lover, and is reluctant to get involved with Joshua because of his past.

 

  • How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?

There’s a little of me in there.

 

  • When someone reads Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair what do you hope they gain from reading it?

Characters they like, an engaging story, and a feelgood factor.

 

  • Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?

I can offer two. The harder you work, the better you get. Don’t give up.

 

  • What is the most frequently asked question by the fans?

When’s the next book coming out?

 

  • What are you working on now?

My NaNo project. A steamunk AU where the Aztec Empire is flourishing and on a par with the British Empire

 

  • How do you keep your creative “spark” alive?

I always have half a dozen projects on the go. If I find the Muse is struggling a little with one story, I switch to another, sometimes several at once.

 

  • What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?

Don’t be discouraged. Keep writing.

 

  • Where we can find you on the Internet?

https://www.facebook.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Pelaam-1467778320131583/

 

  • Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Storming Love Tsunami; Joshua and Blair with us?

Sitting in Joshua’s car with his crutches and bag safely stored, Blair’s confidence waned with every moment that passed. Sitting in the hospital, all Blair had thought about was getting away from there and seeing his pets again. Now reality was slapping him hard.

Angling his head a fraction, Blair stole a glance at Joshua. His very own knight in shining armor—or at least board shorts and T-shirt. Typical surfer clothing. But there was also an air of responsibility about Joshua. Before leaving the hospital, Joshua had insisted on reading Blair’s discharge summary and studied the tablets he’d been given. The way Joshua had rattled off their names hadn’t registered at the time, but it did now.

“What do you do for a living, Joshua?”

“I’m a pharmacist. I work in one of the bigger franchises in town. Part owner actually. We’re open long hours so we work rosters. As it turns out, I’m off for the next couple of days as I took some holidays. I didn’t expect to be using the time to help clear away tsunami detritus though.”

“I wasn’t expecting to be made homeless by one. Still, we were lucky.” Blair shivered. The disaster could have been much worse. As far as he knew, no one had been killed and there hadn’t been a lot of buildings damaged. Just a few people like himself with minor injuries, and some that were temporarily homeless while the big clean-up was underway.

“Yes. We were. I know we all groan when we get bombarded by the adverts about earthquakes and tsunamis, and the constant reminders about having emergency packs ready, but I guess they work.”

“Sure did in my case.” Blair nodded, staring out of the window. The area they were in was one of the more exclusive ones. He glanced at Joshua. A pharmacist. And he’s looking after me.

As they turned into a cul-de-sac, Joshua pointed to the villa last on the left, separated from its nearest neighbor on the right by grass and shrubs.

“That’s mine.”

The white and green villa looked beautiful with its wooden veranda out front. There was a good-sized section on the left alongside the drive with a varied assortment of shrubs. The house would enjoy a lot of privacy. Blair frowned when Joshua didn’t drive his car into the shed, parking on the drive instead.

“The shed’s your dogs’ home from home when Ella has to go out. She’s made it into a doggy hotel.  The rest of the time they stay with her, including in her bedroom—well, my guest bedroom where you’ll be staying. She says they seemed used to it.”

At the quizzical eyebrow Joshua raised, Blair nodded. Well and truly busted. “Yeah. Well, the bach only had the mezzanine for a bedroom, but I don’t throw the boys out. They slept either on or by the bed.”

“She’ll be happy to know she was right. You go on ahead. I’ll bring your stuff. Sounds like the boys know you’re here already.”

A chorus of barks and near howls grew louder as Blair limped his way up the steps leading to the deck. He approached the door slowly, hoping he could deal with three energetic dogs. The door was open a fraction and as he pushed it cautiously, a woman’s voice rang out over the barking.

“It’s not locked and I have the guys on a lead. Come in, sit down, and then I’ll let them come to you.”

Pushing the door open, Blair saw a long-haired woman indicating a chair with one hand as she maintained a tight grip on the leads holding back his boys with the other. She grinned at him.

“Boy, are they happy to see you? Get yourself settled and I’ll walk them over. They’re clever boys, they’ll know not to bounce when they get close.”

Grinning, Blair made his way to the indicated chair and settled himself down. “Okay. I’m ready.”

Before Ella could get across the room with the dogs a small furry streak rocketed out of the kitchen, jumping up onto Blair’s lap, and yowling loudly. As Blair petted Whisky, tickling him under the chin as he liked, Ella brought the dogs over.

“Don’t be telling lies about me, Whisky.” Ella laughed as the cat head bopped Blair repeatedly. “He’s been a very well fed cat. Believe me.”

“I do. Hey, boys. Miss me?” Blair didn’t bother worrying about the tears that snuck free. Three sets of doggy tongues more than hid any tears at their reunion.

“I’m sure they did. Just as much as you missed them.” Ella stood back a little, and Blair let the dogs bring their own brand of comfort to him.

The dogs crowded at Blair’s feet, jostling good-naturedly for the best position to receive Blair’s attention while sniffing repeatedly at the strange coverings on Blair’s foot and knee.

“Here.” Ella slipped Blair some large dog biscuits. “Just to give you a bit of a break.”

“Thanks.” Blair gave each delighted dog their treat and smiled as they each settled to crunch away. Only Whisky remained and he yowled, clearly indignant that the dogs had been rewarded.

“I hadn’t forgotten you. As if I could.” Ella passed a packet of cat treats which she shook as she handed them to Blair.  

“He’s never been backward at coming forward.” Blair sprinkled some biscuits at the side of the chair and Whisky jumped down, devouring them at high speed before leaping up onto Blair’s lap and settling down. Loud purrs rang out and Blair laughed along with Ella. “He’s happy.”

“I’ll take your stuff through to your room, Blair.” Joshua held up Blair’s bag as he headed past. “Hi guys, good to see you, too.” Joshua picked his way between the dogs that ran to greet him.

“And I’ll come with you and make sure I haven’t left any of my bits and pieces lying around.” Ella gave Blair a quick wave and followed Joshua into the hallway leading away at the far end of the room. Looking to his left, Blair took in the well-appointed dining area and what appeared to be a spacious kitchen beyond.

“Looks like you guys have been spoiled rotten.” Blair murmured as much to himself as the dogs who came over running to sit beside him. “You like Ella, don’t you?” The dogs snuggled closer their tails wagging furiously. “Yeah. She seems nice. And you really like Joshua, hmm?” Blair sighed softly, glancing up toward the hallway. “Me, too, guys. Me too.”

 

Thank you for taking time out, Pelaam!