Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Anna Zabo for taking the time to talk with us today.
Author: Anna Zabo
Cover Artist: unknown
Your latest release is Takeover. What can you tell us about it?
Well, the book burb sets up the story fairly well, so I’ll try to say something different. On the surface, Takeover is an office romance between an engineer and his CEO, except it’s not quite as simple as boss/employee…
The engineer, Michael, is a Dom who picks Sam up in a bar in Curaçao, where neither of them know the other. Sam is more than happy to let go and let someone else take charge for a change. He also loves the rush pain brings him. And a one-night-stand fits his agenda just fine, because he’s pretty darn closeted.
Two weeks later, though, Sam walks into Michael’s company, Four Rivers, as the new CEO. Nether of them are really prepared to deal with that, but they really have no choice. Takeover is a bit about the masks we wear to survive and how the past shapes our present and how we can still chose to overcome those things.
Tell us about Michael and Sam.
Michael is extraordinarily loyal and hardworking. He can also be deeply trusting, which burned him in the past so now he’s quite wary about trusting anyone. He’s also a Dom, as I said earlier, and a bit of a sadist, but it’s the trust he craves. And love—the two places he’s been burnt pretty badly. He wants to trust Sam, but can’t quite believe in a man who doesn’t even show his true self to the world.
Sam’s very together as a businessman. Savvy, smart, forceful. He loves the rush of the deal, but he also doesn’t want to screw people over. He’s got a technical background so he knows how hard the “little people” work. He’s more than willing to climb into the trenches and roll up his sleeves to get things done. He’s a runner more for the runner’s high than anything else. But he also wants to let go of all the control from time to time. Let someone else tell him what to do. He’s also trapped himself in the fiction of being a straight man—purposefully—and he feels like he can’t undo that. Which makes any future with Michael impossible.
Your first novel, Close Quarter, was a paranormal romance and this one is a contemporary. Is the writing process different. If so, how?
My writing process for every novel is a bit different. I outlined Takeover much more than Close Quarter, which was pretty much written by the seat of my pants. Takeover spans a longer period of time, in which there are many more quiet moments. Close Quarter is very time-compressed and there’s always something happening as they characters are in a fight for their lives. Close Quarter was a race and writing it was more or less hoping from event to event until all the vampires were dead dead dead. Takeover is more of a marathon, so the flow is different, the conflict more personal.
That was the biggest and hardest change for me when writing Takeover—the conflict. With Close Quarter the external conflict is so very apparent: they’re trying not to be killed by vampires. Yes, there’s internal conflict, too, but it’s the external that drives up the tension in the novel.
With Takeover, it’s the internal conflict that really causes more of the tension—Michael and Sam’s pasts and how those pasts shape and inform who they are now and their struggle to work around that. The external conflict, though important, isn’t what drives the novel, per se. And it all had to be grounded in the real world. I couldn’t just solve a lull by throwing a monster at Michael and Sam. They couldn’t solve the problems by killing the vampires. They had to actually figure shit out like adults and live with their decisions and the repercussions.
Your first novel, Close Quarter, won an Epic eBook Award for Paranormal Romance, how did that feel? Does it affect how you approach future stories?
I was so very blown away and surprised when that happened. Completely unexpected. I found out when a box arrived on my doorstep—and I opened it and there it was. I actually had to sit down for a bit and just process what I was holding, because it didn’t seem quite real.
I think the affect it has is the awareness that I have to keep writing well and writing with passion and endeavor to improve with each book.
Who are your literary heroes outside of the m/m genre and why?
Off the top of my head, those would be Guy Gavriel Kay, Carol Berg, and Michelle Sagara. Well, and Shakespeare.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d want the power to teleport, so I could be with my friends all over the world. There are so many folks I wish I could spend more time with…and I can’t. The Internet is good, but not quite the same as being there in the flesh.
If you had to be a character in a Stephen King book – which one would you choose?
Um, actually, I’d kind of like to be Charlie from Firestarter, except with a lot more self-control. But the idea of controlling fire is very very cool. It’s one I like to play with in fantasy, though, none of my published books have this. Yet. rubs hands together
I think it’s also because I really hate being cold.
Rapid Fire Time:
- Electronica or Jazz? Ohhh. I like both. Jazz at the moment, I think. Probably because I just heard a live jazz band last night.
- Beach or Mountains? . Beach! I love the ocean and swimming in it! And the sounds and the smell…basically everything about it.
- Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? Tossed in a laundry basket near my dresser.
- Love Story or Thriller? At the moment, love story. But I do enjoy thrillers, too.
- Coke or Pepsi? Neither. I’m not a fan of soda. Coffee is my caffeine delivery system of choice.
- Vodka or Tequila? Boyd & Blair vodka.
- Any Tattoos or piercings? Piercings: aside from my ears, no. Tattoos: I have a phoenix on my calf and the entire Carpe Diem quote from Horace on my forearm.
What Are you working on? What is next?
I’m currently wrapping up JUST BUSINESS, which is a sequel to TAKEOVER, focused on two new characters, Justin and Eli. Justin is a snarky barista and MBA student working at a coffee shop underneath a fledgling consulting company and Eli is the cold and unflappable CFO of said consulting company. They really don’t hit it off well at all. rubs hands together with glee
After that, I’m returning to my roots a bit and finishing up revisions on Duty to the Crown, a fantasy novel. It’s the story of Peradon, a journeyman woodworker with a forbidden talent—he can find anyone, anywhere. He’s ordered to lead the king and his man to the king’s cousin—a man responsible for keeping the kingdom from falling into civil war. The road is not a place for the other secrets Peradon hides, especially not when the king offers Peradon a place in his bed. (I should probably note that this isn’t a romance—but there’s a lot of sexual tension, as you might imagine.)
Once that’s finished, I’m finally going to write No Quarter Given, which is the sequel to Close Quarter. Because there are, in fact, ramifications to the decisions Rhys and Silas make and they all come home to roost when they land in New York City.
Prism recently reviewed Takeover. You can find the review here.
An exciting new voice in romance proves that giving in can be the best way to let go…
Michael Sebastian thought Curacao would be the perfect place to have a little fun in the sun–and between the sheets. So far, no one has struck his interest, until Sam Anderson walks into the bar. With one look at his tense body and expensive suit, Michael knows that this is a man in need of release. And Michael is more than willing to lend a hand.
Shattered by the most intense sex he’s ever had, Sam has to face the facts–one night with a handsome, dominating stranger is all he gets before returning to the closet he’s been suffocating in for years. But when Sam starts his new job as the CEO of a failing technology company, he discovers that Michael is one of his new employees.
While Michael is desperate for another night with Sam, he knows he shouldn’t get involved with his boss, let alone another man who can’t accept who he is. But as they’re forced to work together to save the company, the desire sparking between them becomes impossible to ignore…
About the Author:
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. She has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where she fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. She also has a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.
Anna Zabo has kindly offered a $10 dollar gift card giveaway to 1 lucky commenter
Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
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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