Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Ashavan Doyon for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Steven’s Heart
Author: Ashavan Doyon
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Ashavan Doyon
Hello! My name is Ashavan Doyon and I’m the author of the just released novel Steven’s Heart. This is my first follow up novel, coming after Loving Aidan, and I’m very excited about the release.
I’d like to thank Prism for having me here today. I’ve been asked to speak a little bit towards books that have influenced me, and I’m happy to do that. I’ve been a devoted reader since I was a child. My parents, mostly my mom, really instilled that love in me, and it has carried through my entire life as a central part of my identity — first reading and then writing.
So, a bit about Steven’s Heart. This was not originally my intended follow up story. I’d really meant, originally, to write a second story still focused on Aidan. I love romance stories that are about staying in love as much as those about falling in love, because really falling in love is so easy, and staying in love can be so hard. But I had this character from Loving Aidan, Steven, who readers just loved. And they weren’t alone. I’d written Steven as a side character, and he almost took over the first book, so much so that my editor and I discussed taking that original book in a very different direction. So the next story in the series really had to be about that character, about Steven.
Steven starts this story in a really dark place. It’s a place I think most of us can relate to, a place of pain and heartbreak. It’s a really dark place to start a story, but I think for Steven this is an important place to begin, and a necessary one in order for him to find the romance he needs. I don’t think that the direction Steven takes will be a surprise to anyone who has read Loving Aidan, but I also think the details are important. This story is about a lot more than just who Steven pursues. It’s also about how that person can surprise Steven, and how much of ourselves we really reveal to people.
I was asked to think about books that influenced me. That’s a really hard one — and I have to come up with ten! Which is actually really easy. This part is really about getting to know me, and then we’ll come back to Steven’s Heart again with the blurb and purchase links. Yes, you mustn’t forget… you must buy Steven’s Heart. It’s an imperative. Really it is.
Books that influenced me. Ten of them. In no particular order:
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. My mom could read this to me without ever looking at the book. Really this was less about story and more about tying words to creative images and letting those images go. Seuss makes that letting go so very easy. I read this to my husband’s goddaughter whenever I can.
The King with Six Friends by … well, sadly I have no idea. This is another children’s book, but one that made the uniqueness of a character, and their ordinariness both so vivid and important. It was also a useful lesson in not needing to do or be everything by yourself. It was a story about leading, but also about friendship and strong character. I loved this book. It’s sadly long out of print.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. This was the first novel I read myself, though my mom had read it to me probably a dozen times by the time I was six. I loved Bilbo to pieces and the idea of an unlikely hero more.
Dragonsong and Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffery. I empathized with the plight of a character who was constantly punished for being good at something and so very afraid to do it.
Maurice by E.M. Forster. At its heart, this is a gay romance as much as a story about class struggle. It was also beautifully and fairly faithfully rendered on screen by Merchant and Ivory. It is certainly the very first gay romance I ever read.
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster. While I’m at it, this dystopian novella is positively brilliant. Foretelling both the internet and the concept of Facebook friends and skype in the early 1900s, I am still constantly stunned by the accuracy of Forster’s predictions of both our technology and the problems that technology brings to us.
The Hole Behind Midnight by Clinton Boomer. Dark, irreverent, and totally brilliant, this novel is important to me because it brought me a joy in shared story telling that really paved the way to my participation in writing fan fiction — something that still brings me great joy and is a welcome break between stories I write for publication. We were writing together, stories in the same world, both building on ideas the other was writing. There are some fun mentions of my characters and ideas in this book, but also a whole lot of Boomer being brilliantly creative.
The Sky is Dead by Sue Brown. I was very briefly homeless as a teen after my parents kicked me out for being gay. It didn’t last for a long time, but it was long enough for me to know what it meant to feel abandoned, worthless — hopeless. While I reconciled with my parents long ago, this story perfectly captures that feeling of hopelessness.
Daughter of Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. About as close to perfection as possible in a fantasy novel. While I love all the riftwar books, Feist’s collaborations with Janny Wurts are my favorites. I love the idea that authors can work together to create something special.
Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. Fantasy and gay romance (bittersweet, but there) all in one package. A friend sent this to me when I was struggling with my gay identity and it carries a lot of memories both good and bad. But most importantly it was a concrete example that something could be both fantasy and a gay story at the same time — no one else was putting out stories like that at the time, and the book gave me hope.
So, that’s ten books that influenced me! I know, you were probably expecting just a list, but what fun is that?
Still with me? Good. Now for the best part! I really love Steven’s Heart and I think you will too!
Interested yet? Need more? An excerpt is available on Torquere’s website here: https://www.torquerepress.com/fiction/stevensheart.html
Also, of course, we’re doing a rafflecopter giveaway for the blog tour. There are three prizes: 2 copies of the new ebook for Steven’s Heart (pdf format), and 1 copy of the paperback for Loving Aidan, signed by the author (this one is continental USA only – sorry, mailing costs internationally suck).
I hope everyone will enjoy Steven’s Heart. I can be found at my website: www.ashavandoyon.com
Thanks again to Prism for hosting this stop on the blog tour for Steven’s Heart!
When a love triangle breaks, Steven Everett is left alone to grieve over a boyfriend lost to someone else. Surrounded by friends too tied to Aidan’s new lover to give advice, Steven turns instead to a broken and beaten man, Aidan’s other ex, Michael Rossier, who also knows the pain of having loved and lost Aidan. Steven’s and Michael’s confessions grow deeper, each confiding in the other until neither can deny an attraction. But being with Michael feels like cheating, and Steven isn’t sure what to do. The connection get stronger every day, and Steven realizes he’s facing an impossible choice.
To make a relationship with Michael work, Steven needs to make peace with Michael’s troubled past. Even more terrifying, he’ll have to tell Michael the secret he’s never told anyone, not even Aidan. With Michael recovering from yet another surgery, Steven leaves to face the ghosts of the past. He has to be certain. This time, Steven knows, the decision means revealing the secrets of his heart and hoping their fragile feelings can survive.
About the Author:
Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.
aug 29 th Love Bytes: http://lovebytesreviews.com
aug 30 th Prism bookalliance: http://www.prismbookalliance.com
aug 31 st Andrew Q Gordon : http://andrewqgordon.com
sept 1 st Larry Benjamin : http://larrybenjamin.com
sept 2 nd Kimi-chan Experience : http://www.kimnsarah.co.uk
sept 3 rd The Blogger Girls: http://thebloggergirls.com
sept 4 th GGR- Review :http://www.ggr-review.com
sept 5 th JoyfullyJay : http://joyfullyjay.com
sept 6 th Rainbow Gold Reviews: http://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com
sept 7 th The Novel Approach :http://thenovelapproachreviews.com
Ashavan Doyon has kindly offered a Rafflecopter
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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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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