I would like to thank Aleksandr Voinov & L. A. Wittfor taking the time to talk to us about Hostile Ground and Plot Bunnies. Check out Kings Wench’s review. There is also a giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Aleksandr Voinov/L. A. Witt blog tour for our thriller, Hostile Ground!
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off our backlists (excluding Hostile Ground) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 17th, and winners will be announced on May 19th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Unleashing the Bunny
So where in the world does a story like Hostile Ground come from?
As with any story, the answer is “a number of places.” Aleks had wanted to write about a Muslim character who’s also gay. I’ve been itching to write some sort of gritty, violent crime story. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a palate cleanser from my usual contemporary romances, because that would be weird, but sometimes I desperately need a change of pace.
But there’s always something that kickstarts a story. That little kernel of an idea that eventually explodes into a full-blown narrative. In this case, the kernel actually predates us even meeting, never mind co-writing. It goes back to a short story that I was writing for the Underground Erotica collection (to which I ultimately contributed a Noir ménage called Moonshine For Three, written as Lauren Gallagher).
I was struggling to come up with a story, and chatting with author and editor Kathleen Tudor. Somewhere in the conversation, she unleashed the bunny:
“Why don’t you write about an undercover cop who has to infiltrate some sort of criminal ring, but the criminals only recruit gay men? So he has to prove he’s gay before he gets in.”
I immediately took to a Word document, and started banging out words.
Three things immediately became clear.
One, this was not going to be a short story. Ever. Not a chance.
Two, I couldn’t draw a bead on the undercover cop. There was more to his story, I didn’t know what it was yet, and he wasn’t talking.
Three, OMG, Ridley. The second he walked into the scene, I adored him. He’s terrifying, and he’s just plain HAWT.
I abandoned the short after about 2,000 words, but promised myself I’d come back to it, because Ridley. OMG. Ridley.
Skip ahead a few months, and Aleks and I are discussing possible co-writing projects. I suggested taking this one and turning it into a novel. After all, I wasn’t all that deep into the short version yet, and… Ridley.
Aleks brought Mahir to the table. A gay cop who’s also a war veteran, a son of Syrian immigrants, and a Muslim. And… perfect.
There are still a few bits and pieces of the original Ridley in the story. That first chapter plays out pretty much how it was going to in the short story, but Aleks added his magic touch to both Ridley and Mahir, and the scene played out even better than I had hoped.
Almost 100,000 words later, the little plot bunny that Kathleen Tudor unleashed in my brain had become a full-fledged book.
And here we are.
From the Publisher:
Enemy territory is a dangerous place to fall in love.
After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.
As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.
About the Author
Aleksandr has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and until recently worked as an editor in financial services.
After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write gritty, edgy, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.
He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others, and is an EPIC Awards winner and a Lambda Awards finalist.
Connect with Aleks:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.
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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