Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Lisa Henry for taking the time to talk with us today about their retro title from Loose Id The Island. Prism Book Alliance® recently reviewed The Island. You can find the review here.
Retro Reads Spotlight with Lisa Henry
We are here today to talk about The Island. What can you tell us about it?
The Island was my second published book. I probably had no what I was doing back then. Actually, honestly, I probably still don’t. I’m just still incredibly amazed that people will pay me to write books!
The Island was my second book, but it was probably my first success. I mean, people were actually talking about it. Buzz happened!
Tell us more about Shaw and Lee?
Shaw is not a nice guy. He’s the ultimate pragmatist. He uses people to get what he needs. In his case, he really does believe that the ends justify the means. And he’s probably right. Lee is a complication he’s definitely not expecting, and suddenly Shaw finds himself torn between doing what needs to be done, and doing the right thing.
Lee was an interesting character to write, since in the beginning he’s almost in a dissociative state. He’s been constantly drugged and tortured and taken apart in a million different ways, but underneath all that there is a part of him that’s still untouchable. He clings to his memories of his old life and uses them to try and remain strong. He doesn’t know if he can trust Shaw or not, but in the end he has to decide whether or not to trust his own judgement.
What about The Island makes you the proudest?
The twist. Not too many people saw it coming, which was great.
Also, the fact that my wonderful editor at Loose Id let me use the word “arse” in dialog instead of “ass”. Because the speaker was Australian and, look, I could let the word “ass” slide in the narrative, but not in dialog! Because when we Aussies say “arse”, we like to really draw it out and get some grrrr into it, and that just doesn’t happen with “ass”.
If you could change one thing in The Island what would it be and why?
That’s a difficult one to answer! I like to think that I stand by whatever choices I’ve made in a book, even if, looking back, I know I could do better now. It’s why I actually tend not to read books I’ve written. They just make me cringe in places. But with The Island, I would probably let Lee top. The scene on the boat didn’t really work for some readers, and I totally get that. I think it would have been a very different dynamic if Lee had topped Shaw, and maybe that’s something I would change, just to see how it turned out.
What one piece of advice would you like to give aspiring writers?
Just keep writing! The more you write, the easier it gets. Stop listening to that little voice in your head that says you’re stupid for even trying to do this. Stop worrying about turning in a perfect manuscript. Stop obsessing over every semicolon. Just submit it, because it’s probably better than you think.
What research did you do into this lifestyle?
I’d like to claim a family holiday to Vanuatu was research. I spent a lot of time sitting on a beach, and collecting dollars, and the islands there are so beautiful that I decided I wanted to write something set in the Pacific. I spent time I Papua New guinea as a kid, and holidayed regularly in Fiji as well, so I have a great love for the region. Where the drug lords and terrorists came from, I have no idea! Except that Fiji is made up of hundreds of islands, many of them privately owned, and generally the only people who have enough money to buy private islands are either famous celebrities, or people who make a lot of money doing terrible things. Naturally I was drawn to the idea of the second one.
Will we be hearing more from these two in the future?
I’ve always played with the idea of a sequel, or at least a short story showing how the guys are getting on. I kind of like the idea of Lee living in Australia, on the beachfront, and dealing with his memories of the island, and what it means to him. And Shaw, of course, being a very different person than he was in first book, and what that means for their relationship.
Tell us about some of your other titles.
I write all M/M, but I tend to skip a lot between genres. I’ve written space opera (Dark Space), crime caper (the Playing the Fool series with J.A. Rock), dark apocalyptic thriller (Fallout, with M. Caspian), contemporary college boys with a kinky twist (The Prescott series, the J.A. Rock) and historical (Sweetwater). Really, I have no attention span at all, so I’ll try anything!
Rapid Fire Time
- Love or Money? I’m going to be shallow and say money. Because I hate my day job at the moment.
- Disney or Nick? Disney. No, Nick. No, Disney!
- Tropical island or snow covered mountain cabin? Tropical island, all the way!
- Favorite beverage? Wine. Anything cheap.
- Swimming or skiing (variation on the beach/mountains)? Swimming.
- Ketchup or Mustard? Ketchup.
- Champagne or beer? Champagne. Not because I’m classy, but because I don’t like the taste of beer.
- 3D or 2D? 2D.
- Tennant or Smith? Tennant.
- Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate!
What are you working on? What is next?
At the moment I’m working on a sequel to Dark Space tentatively (and unimaginatively) called Darker Space. But it’s been great fun to get back into Brady’s snarky voice, and visit that world again. JA Rock and I are also writing another Prescott book, so I’m not sure which one will be finished first.
Title: The Island
Author: Lisa Henry
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: M/M Romance, Thriller
Shaw is in Fiji to sell a stolen painting to the crime boss, Vornis. It will be the deal of a lifetime, if Shaw can pull it off. But then Vornis has to parade his latest toy around in front of him–a captured DEA agent whose time is running out. It’s none of Shaw’s business, and it doesn’t matter that under any other circumstances Lee would be exactly Shaw’s type: he’s young, he’s hot, and he might even have a personality if they hadn’t beaten it out of him. Too bad there’s no way Lee is getting off the island. Too bad there’s nothing Shaw can do for him. And too bad there are some lines that even Shaw won’t cross.
Keeping his hands off Lee proves harder than he thinks, but Shaw’s not stupid enough to fall for the tortured captive of a dangerous crime boss, is he? If he did, it wouldn’t be just his job he would be risking–it would be his life.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, violence, flashback to sexual violence.
Publisher’s warning: Readers with a history of rape or sexual abuse may find elements of this story disturbing.
Shaw picked up his towel from the back of a chair. “I’m going for a swim,” he said. “Come on.”
He wondered if Lee thought he was cruel, or if he suspected the truth. Shaw didn’t want to hurt him by making him move, but he didn’t want to leave him alone in the bungalow either. They’d drugged him before when Shaw wasn’t there. They’d taken him before. Shaw didn’t want Lee to just vanish.
Lee drew himself carefully up from the bed. He winced, and a hand went straight to his ribs. Shaw stepped toward him and then remembered the cameras. He leaned in the doorway instead and waited as Lee shuffled toward him.
Shaw stripped off his shirt and headed down the steps. There was torchlight on the beach as they headed for the water, but it was a fair distance away.
Shaw touched Lee’s shoulder gently, glad of the darkness. “You okay, kid?”
“Yes,” Lee said in a dull tone.
It was such a blatant lie that Shaw wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it.
“Wait for me here,” he told Lee, and Lee nodded and sank into the sand.
Shaw waded into the dark ocean. He didn’t go too far out. It was too easy to get turned around at night, and he already had a few drinks in him. Alcohol and night swimming: a dangerous combination Shaw had never been able to resist. It took him right back to high school. To simpler times.
He was homesick, Shaw realized as he let the swell of the ocean lift him. He was homesick, and not for Sydney or Los Angeles. He was homesick for a beach shack and a small country town, and for the kid he’d been then. Before he’d known that men like Vornis existed. Before he’d known that boys like Lee suffered. The kid he’d been back then wouldn’t recognize the adult he’d become. The adult who laughed with Vornis when he said he’d kept a tally.
But that was the price of ambition. You sacrificed things for ambition. Time or relationships or maybe even human decency itself. Ambition demanded it. If you weren’t serious about your sacrifices, you didn’t deserve to succeed.
A part of Shaw wondered if that was really true or if it was just a convenient philosophy he’d picked up somewhere as a crutch. And it didn’t really matter. He was here now. He was already committed.
Shaw looked at where Lee was sitting obediently on the beach. He couldn’t make out his face in the darkness. He could only see the pale, lean shape of him as he sat with his arms hugging his drawn-up knees.
A beautiful boy, a beautiful beach, a beautiful moonlit night, and it was a travesty.
It was none of his business what Vornis did with the kid, Shaw told himself. He couldn’t even tell if he believed it anymore. It was none of his business, it was not his responsibility, and the kiss in the shower had meant nothing.
He should never have let it come to this. Should never have let Lee under his defenses. He’d known the second he saw him standing in the rain that Lee was fucking dangerous. Beautiful and dangerous, just like the island itself, and Shaw had let it happen anyway. What the hell was wrong with him?
Shaw sighed and let the waves carry him back toward the beach.
About the Author
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
The author is offering an ebook copy of The Island to one lucky commenter!
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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