I would like to thank Abigail for taking the time to talk to us about Ball & Chain and more. Check out my & Beverley’s buddy review for Ball & Chain here. There is also a giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
Welcome to the Ball & Chain virtual tour! If you’re following along, you’ll be able to win yourself some goodies that might just save your life! I’ve got five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with you to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups for the less adventurous readers!
What do you think is the most rewarding thing about writing M/M versus other genres?
The genre has a real community feel to it, and while that does have its downside, it’s very cool to recognize the names of readers you hear from over and over, to be able to see the edges of the community expanding and bringing in new readers. It’s a very exciting time in that those of us writing now have the ability to introduce something new and wonderful to people. Not many artists get the chance to do that.
Cut & Run is now on its 8th book and these characters also appear in the new Sidewinders series, so how do you keep characters consistent through a story? Do you write out extensive character bibles?
I do have documents where I’ve detailed the major parts of each character. Keeping the timeline straight and remembering how old they are is the hardest part for me. But the characters have been developed pretty organically, so it’s not as difficult as it might seem to keep them consistent. They’ve got their quirks and habits, but they’re also growing with each book, so it doesn’t take many notes to keep them straight. I do, however, have plans to release my character notes at some point, sort of like DVD extras.
When you and Madeline first started writing Cut & Run, did you ever imagine the popularity that and following that Ty & Zane have gained?
Never. I hoped people would love the characters, but I never could have imagined the way this series has developed. It’s a constant source of surprise to me.
I often tell readers that the Cut & Run series is one of those that just gets better with every book. Is that something you consciously strive for, or do you think it is just the result of experience?
I make a conscious effort, not just with the series, but with every book to get better. A big part of that is experience, learning from each edit, recognizing my bad habits and trying to address them. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make each book in the series better, and the more popular the series gets, the more weight I feel to make sure the books are worthy.
As a reviewer, of course I have to ask. Do you read your reviews? Also, what’s the best thing you’ve ever had someone say about one of your books in an email or review?
I do skim reviews, because reading opinions both good and bad is critical to improving your work. But after the first week of reviews, I don’t read more. No matter how thick-skinned you are, words sink in. The best thing anyone’s ever told me was that reading my books encouraged him to be comfortable in his own skin. It was an amazing email.
Do you have any plans to write another paranormal story in the style of Gravedigger’s Brawl and how much research did that one take with all the historic references?
That book didn’t take any research on my part because the bits of real history I used were things I already knew. History is my specialty. Of course half of the history in that book was made up, so that part was easy! I loved that book, but writing it was a nightmare. Literally. Everything that manuscript touched was haunted. It destroyed laptops, messed up every electronic thing it touched, caused iPods to start sending text messages! My house got struck by lightning twice as I was editing it. I swore I’d never write another paranormal! Of course, I did writer another one because I love them, and the same thing happened as I was writing it. Now my friends send me messages asking if I’m writing a ghost story whenever something goes wrong on their end.
If you could have a conversation with any famous author, who would you want to get writing tips from and what skill of theirs would you like to emulate?
I’d love to sit down with Stephen King because I think he is an absolute genius. What he knows about the craft of writing could fill ten lifetimes of learning.
Now that there are so many books being released in the genre, what can a new writer do to stand out from the crowd and produce something fresh?
I think every new writer should strive for quality. There’s not much more you can do. People ask me for advice and I can honestly say I have none! I can’t give you a magic formula or the perfect avenue for success. I wish I could.
If a tsunami was coming and you had five minutes to grab stuff, what would you take with you to higher ground?
I guess saying my kid and my cat is sort of a cop out, huh? In December I was called for an emergency and had a few minutes to leave the house and get on the road. I packed like a schizophrenic clown. I had five dressy shirts, no coat, some sweat pants, and a pair of cowboys boots when I got where I was going. It was ridiculous. After that I started keeping a small bag packed. I have toiletries in it, two utilitarian outfits, and some first aid stuff (including one of the sardine can kits I’m giving away on this tour!) I guess it’s sort of a bug out bag without the ammo! I’d stuff my cat in that bag, grab the kiddo, and go.
What is next for you? What are you working on?
Right now I’m working on the Sidewinder Series, which is the spinoff with Nick and Kelly. I’m writing the third one right now, which is a Christmas special. It’s very different from the others, more of a heartwarming story rather than one with guns blazing. Other things coming out this year are Cross & Crown (Sidewinder #2) coming in June, and The Bone Orchard, which is part of a collection from Riptide featuring paranormal comedies. It should be a riot for the summer. I’ve also got a few from my backlist that we’re reworking to release. My plate has been pretty full lately!
Where can readers find you, Ty, & Zane on the web?
From the Publisher:
Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.
Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.
With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.
You can pre-order Ball & Chain from Riptide and get it two days early!
About the Author
[Author Bio and links here]
Abigail has kindly offered five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with you to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups for the less adventurous readers to some lucky tour commenters.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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