Anna Zabo talks Close Quarter ~ Retro Reads Author Spotlight, Exclusive Giveaway, Interview

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Anna Zabo for taking the time to talk with us today.


Title: Close Quarter
Author: Anna Zabo
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Genre/Sub-Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal


On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.

Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of their main course.

Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?

Prism recently reviewed Close Quarter. You can find the review here.


We are here today to talk about Close Quarter. What can you tell us about it?

When people ask me about Close Quarter, I tell them it’s a paranormal romance set on a cruise ship with a fae vampire hunter, a no-so-hapless human who is in over his head, and vampires that are evil and must die die die die die.

Rhys is a sculptor, grieving his mother’s death and trying to come to terms with his life being yanked upside down by the reading of her will and his sudden inheritance of a few million dollars. As well as finding out the man he thought was his father…isn’t. He figures a trans-Atlantic cruise is the perfect way to get the space he needs to screw his head back into place.

Silas is a forest fae on a mission to kill a nest of vampires. Too bad he’s stuck in the middle of the ocean—he’s quite literally out of his element. He’s too busy to deal with an enamored human. Until he sees straight through Silas’s glamor and somehow can channel the energy Silas needs to survive.

Tell us more about Rhys & Silas?

One of the things I’ve always liked about Rhys is that he’s not helpless. He come off a bit as the submissive, more beta guy at first, but he’s been through a lot in his life and is still processing all that’s happened to him.

The guy’s tough, though. He hauls marble and clay and metal around and he’s tenacious enough to have survived in an art career, even if he doesn’t make tons of money at it. He’s also not a dummy, even if he is young. Getting tossed out of home at 18 will do that to you. While he may need to be rescued sometimes…but he’s also quite capable of saving himself.

Silas, in many ways, is Rhys’s opposite—he’s old and jaded and has a very good grasp on how the world works in ways Rhys can’t know. Silas has seen empires rise and fall.. He’s also had far too many loved ones die along the way—and is slowly losing hope that anything will ever be better. He’s used to being the rescuer. Far less used to needing anyone’s help and utterly unused to asking for it.

He gets better.

What about Close Quarter makes you the most proud?

The pacing and tightness of it. And while there is a lot of sex, I don’t think it’s gratuitous. Also, evil vampires.

If you could change one thing in Close Quarter what would it be and why?

Okay, this is probably a dumb thing to be annoyed by, but I’d rewrite to remove all instances of the word “cum.” The word really bothers me now.

Do you have inspiration images for Rhys & Silas?

Strangely, no. It wasn’t until Just Business that I started using photo inspiration for characters. I will say that the image of the redhead on the Close Quarter cover is pretty damn close to how I pictured Rhys. Snarky with a side of attitude.

Silas looks like the guy on the cover of Slow Waltz, pretty much. Though, he can and does look different depending on who is looking at him, due to the whole fae glamour thing. He can look utterly inhuman when he wants.

Will we be hearing more from Rhys & Silas in the future?

Yes. I do have a sequel planned, since all hell in fae society will pretty much break loose as soon as those two step onto land in New York City. Especially when Rhys goes hunting for his biological father.

But Rhys and Silas won’t be without allies. They will also have to decide if they want to fit into the world on their own terms or on someone else’s terms. (I bet you can guess the answer to that…)

I also would like to write a novel about what happens to Vasil, the waiter Rhys and Silas keep running into. Because that cruise changed his life, too. And there are consequences.

Anything else you want to tell us about Close Quarter?

Close Quarter is my debut novel, and the very first romance I wrote, believe it or not. I wanted to write something a bit more fun and light and sexy, so I combined my love of fantasy with my love of reading m/m romance.

It ended up a bit darker in places than I expected, but I still think it’s a pretty fun book. I wrote a good portion of it while on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

In Rhys and Silas’s case, the ship seems a whole lot smaller when you’re the prey.

What do you want to tell us about some of your other titles?

Slow Waltz is a short story follow up to Close Quarter and is a playful interlude because both Rhys and Silas needed one after the end of Close Quarter.

Takeover is my most recent release and foray into contemporary office romance. There will be a follow up novel, Just Business, released in June of 2015.

Also coming sometime next year will be a BDSM short story in an anthology with Riptide Publishing. I should be able to talk more about that sooooooon.

Rapid Fire Time

  • Music or TV/Movies? Music. I can do other things while listening to music.
  • Favorite Color? Yellow
  • Fire or Ice? Fire
  • Sausage or Hamburger? Hamburger. Medium Rare.
  • Vodka or Tequila? Boyd and Blair Vodka.
  • Train or Plane? Train.
  • Alone or At a Party? Depends on the party!
  • Australia or England? I do love England, but I would very much like to visit Australia. Can’t I have them both?

What are you working on? What is next?

I’m finishing up Just Business. I have a whole pile of novels to write after that, including the Close Quarter sequels and two fantasy novels.

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.

Author Links:


Buy Links:

Loose Id
Amazon US
All Romance eBooks


Anna Zabo has kindly offered a copy of Close Quarter and Slow Waltz for 1 lucky commenter

Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.

Farewell 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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23 thoughts on “Anna Zabo talks Close Quarter ~ Retro Reads Author Spotlight, Exclusive Giveaway, Interview

  1. Great Q&A. I knew nothing about Close Quarter, so this really has me intrigued. There was a conversation just the other day about preferring evil vampires or sympathetic ones. I don’t quite have a side in that debate, as I’ve read great stories for both, and CQ definitely sounds like I could add it to that list. As I haven’t read any of your stories before, I appreciate the chance at two. Thank you!

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