Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Pat Henshaw for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: What’s in a Name
Author: Pat Henshaw
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Bar rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.
Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.
While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.
1. We are here today to talk about What’s in a Name. What can you tell us about it?
What’s in a Name? is a modern riff on the Rumplestiltskin fairytale without the threat of killing any babies. In the story, bartender “Guy” Stone bets barista Jimmy Patterson that Jimmy can’t guess Guy’s horrible first name. Jimmy has seven tries to guess the name, and if he doesn’t come up with the correct one each night, he must give Guy a kiss that knocks Guy off his ass.
The book follows the seven days of the bet with thrills and chills interspersed: the destroying of Jimmy’s coffee shop, a romantic dinner in the Sierra Foothills, and a biker group quelling a ruckus at Guy’s bar. For the most part, it’s good clean fun with a couple of laughs set in the crosshairs between longtime settlers and Silicon Valley newcomers in the West.
2. Tell us more about Jimmy and “Guy”?
On his 30th birthday, barista Jimmy gets dumped by his boyfriend at the birthday party held at Guy’s Stonewall Saloon. Generally an upbeat, happy man, barista Jimmy may be devastated by his boyfriend’s defection, but gruff, kind-hearted Guy has got his back. Jimmy may be a metro-male twink, but he’s a savvy one. On the other hand, while Guy’s dedicated to running his family’s saloon, he’s not averse to having a wild good time with his biker friends. When they come together, two worlds collide in a very positive way.
3. What about What’s in a Name makes you the most proud?
That the Dreamspinner Press editors liked it enough to want to publish it. I’m also very happy that my readers so far have found the humor in the story and enjoy it.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
There’s no big secret to writing: just sit down and do it. Well, I guess, unless you’re George Sand or someone like her–then you can stand up and write. Learn all you can about structure and punctuation–or at least enough to make your writing understandable to others–and then just write, write, write. You can learn on the job as an author, and many famous authors have.
5. What are your favorite beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic)
I’ll drink iced tea all year long which freaks some people out. Oddly, I’m not a coffee drinker and relied on my coffee comments in the book to come from Todd B, one of the baristas at Dantorels Cafe.
I like beer and wine equally, specifically Mickey’s or LaBatt’s and Gewürztraminer wine.
6. How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character?
I have no idea. Jimmy came to me named Jimmy, as did Guy who needed a name while Jimmy was trying to figure out his real first name. The major characters came pre-named for some reason I don’t understand. For the peripheral characters, I just picked names that didn’t start with the same letters as the primary characters. (Oh, yeah, Felicity was originally Felicia, but I’m an Arrow fan, so changed her name.)
7. What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
Right now I’m reading Jay Northcote’s Cold Feet and Just a Bit Obsessed by Alexssandra Hazard, which I’m enjoying tremendously. I just finished a rereading of Will Parkinson’s Pitch and Wet Paint, which I realized I’d read in the wrong order the first time around. They make much more sense in the right order.
8. Rapid Fire Time
- Love Story or Thriller? Love story
- Beach or Mountains? .Beach
- Steak or Pizza? Steak
- Sausage or Hamburger? Hamburger
- Sweet or Savory? Sweet
- Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? Rolled–which I guess is folded.
- Tea or Coffee? Iced tea
- Vodka or Tequila? Neither
9. What are you working on? What is next?
I’m working on two projects. The first one is another novella in the series of which What’s in a Name? is first. The second, Redesigning Max, is finished and at Dreamspinner now. So I’m working on the third, The Behr Facts, about the Behr brothers construction company which appears in What’s and in Redesigning as minor characters.
I’m also working on a sequel to my self-published paranormal novel, The Vampire’s Food Chain. In the second book, Devil’s Food, the vampire protagonist Shawn is asked by the gods to visit hell and make a change there. Finding hell and figuring out what a change in hell would be are not as easy as one might think.
Stonewall [Saloon] was chaos when I got there. Guy and another bartender were mixing drinks as fast as they could. I squeezed in at the end of the bar near the hatchway and sat on an abandoned stool there.
I didn’t think Guy had seen me come in, so when there was a lull in the frenetic pace and he was nearly within arm’s reach, I called out, “What’s a guy gotta do to get a drink in this place?”
Guy looked up, grinned at me, and yelled back, “Fuck the bartender.”
A slim man sitting next to me perked up, gave Guy the once-over, and yelled, “Okay!”
Guy’s startled gaze met mine, and we broke out laughing.
The man next to me sighed and slumped over his beer. “I knew it was too good to be true,” he mumbled.
I patted him on the shoulder.
“Maybe next time,” I commiserated with him.
“Right,” he answered glumly.
About the Author:
Born in the Heartland of Nebraska, Pat Henshaw has made America hers by living in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. She has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.
Pat has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.
Two of her fondest memories are touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.
Book website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
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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