Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Michelle Osgood for stopping by today.
Title: The Better To Kiss You With
Author: Michelle Osgood
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Monika Gross
Genre: Contemporary, Lesbian Romance, Paranormal
Deanna, the moderator for Wolf’s Run, an online werewolf role-playing game, wanders the local forest with her dog Arthur and daydreams about Jaime, the attractive, enigmatic woman who lives upstairs. When threats from an antagonistic player escalate, Deanna wonders if her job could be riskier than she’d ever imagined—and if her new girlfriend knows more about this community than she had realized.
Ten questions you wish you had been asked in an interview but never have and the answers!
Do any of your characters have a theme song?
When I was writing the early scenes between Jamie and Deanna I played “Closer” by Tegan and Sara on repeat. The song is cute and sexy and full of that amazing new relationship energy where you can’t keep your hands off each other.
What kind of wine would you pair with your book?
I was going to cheat and just say bubbly, because I think bubbly should be paired with anything and everything, but after putting some actual thought into it I’m going to go with Beaujolais. It’s a light, summery red wine that’s perfect for drinking on a patio on a sunny afternoon—which is definitely the best way to read The Better to Kiss You With.
Favourite fictional meal?
Great question! High-fives self I have to go with anything, literally anything, that they made in the Redwall books. No matter what they ate it always sounded downright scrumptious.
If you could learn one thing and download the knowledge The Matrix-style, what would it be?
I think it would be really cool to be able to cook. I’m a terrible chef, and I get nervous in the kitchen because there’s so much I don’t know how to do. The unfortunate thing is that I love to eat, so I’m always craving things I have no idea how to make! It would be fantastic to just be able to throw a meal together. Ooh and it must be lunch time because I’ve just asked / answered two food related questions—three, if you count the wine!—so I’d better mix it up for the next one.
What other authors’ books can you not get enough of?
Nora Roberts and Robin Hobb. They’re amazing writers, and I devour anything by them. I love Robin Hobb’s world building, and the way she spins so many complex plots together is seriously magic. Nora Roberts is an author I’ve been reading for over half my life, and she writes fun, loving romances. One of my favourite things about her is that in addition to a romance in all of her books, she spends a lot of time creating female characters who have female friends, and the relationships between the female friends and the love interest are given equal respect and weight.
Why did you write about a character who experiences online harassment and stalking?
One of the things that was really important to me in writing a F/F romance was that I didn’t want any of the book’s conflict to come from within the romance itself. There’s so few positive representations of queer female relationships in popular culture, and I did not want to contribute to that trend. I had to find an external source for my conflict, and as I was writing, GamerGate was in full swing. Hearing women speak out about the threats, harassment, and stalking they endured, and then to have that worsen because they dared to speak out, infuriated me. Online stalking and harassment is violence, often gendered violence, and these women were, and are, experiencing very real terror. I wanted to acknowledge that. My bad guy, crywolf, is a monster not because of what he is, but what he does.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved reading ever since I learned how. Writers seemed like these amazing, mythical creatures who could spin stories out of nothing. For a long time I was so happy just to read anything I could get my hands on, but after a while I realized that it was something maybe I could try my hand at too. The first time I considered it seriously was probably junior high, and then, because you get told so often that “author” is an unrealistic career choice, I shelved it for a long time, happy to just take whatever creative writing class I could. After university I started writing fanfic in my spare time, and writing brought so much joy to me that I thought hey—maybe let’s give this a real shot now. I’m happy to say it seems to have worked out so far!
If you could send your characters on a trip anywhere, where would it be?
I think they’d have a great time at Disneyland! Deanna and Nathan would have an absolute blast, and Jamie would love how much they were enjoying it—and I think she’d secretly get a kick out of the Mickey Mouse ears Deanna would make her wear 😉
What’s the most fannish thing you’ve ever done?
I have a lightning bolt tattoo in honour of the Harry Potter books. They were such a formative part of my childhood that I wanted to pay tribute to everything I learned from them. It took a while to decide exactly what tattoo to get, and in the end I went back to the most simplisitic representation of the books I could think of—a lightning bolt.
What part of your book was the most fun to write?
I really enjoyed writing scenes between Deanna and Nathan. I love their friendship and their banter. Writing it was so quick, and came so easily, and not to brag, but they’re hilarious!
“I think I know blood when I see it,” Deanna pointed out. “It was definitely blood.”
Beside her on the floor, Nathan leaned his head back against the couch and, behind the black frames of his glasses, rolled his bright blue eyes. “I’m not saying it wasn’t blood. But just, like, blood happens.”
“‘Blood happens.’ You sound like a tampon commercial.”
“Not true.” Nathan snickered over the top of his glass. “They never use the word ‘blood.’”
Deanna choked on a mouthful of wine.
“Anyway,” Nathan continued, “it was probably just a dead animal. Dogs love that stuff.”
“He wasn’t happy, though. He was scared. Something scared him. And Arthur’s brave. He doesn’t scare easily.” Deanna wiped the Pinot Gris from her chin and they both leaned forward to look at Arthur, who was sprawled artlessly on top of his dog bed and snoring loudly. Deanna smothered a giggle with the back of her hand and grabbed the bottle of wine.
“Just don’t confuse fantasy with reality. I think your job is messing you up.”
Deanna snorted. “Wolf’s Run is a just game, Nathan. I haven’t forgotten that.”
“Really? Because you’re talking about mysterious bodies torn up in the woods, and if that doesn’t sound like werewolves…”
Deanna gave Nathan a shove. “Ha, ha, very funny. I’m not like that weirdo who thinks that werewolves actually exist. It’s role-playing. Playing being the key word.”
For the most part, the players of Wolf’s Run were a good crowd—with the exception of one user who seemed to think that he actually was a werewolf. Apparently, he took offense to the game’s depictions of “his species,” considering them inaccurate and insulting. The rants had been going on for months, and the situation would have been laughable, except that in the last few weeks his posts had taken on a more threatening tone. Every time Deanna deleted his posts and blocked his username he simply created another account. The Wolf’s Run team didn’t want to block his IP address because IP addresses could be shared by a large number of people, and doing so might block legitimate players from the game. Besides, it was child’s play to circumvent a block by logging in from a third-party app or web service, or just logging in from a different location. Deanna could only shut him down and hope that this time he finally gave up.
“Well, then just accept that Arthur found a bunny rabbit or something and decided it would be a good idea to roll around in its mangled corpse.”
Deanna shook her head. “You didn’t see him. It was a lot of blood.” It had taken two desperately unpleasant baths and an entire bottle of shampoo to get Arthur clean. Deanna had had to scrub her bathtub three times before she’d felt comfortable using it again.
Nathan grabbed her hand with his long, thin fingers. “Listen, you’re my best friend, and I love you, and I’m sure that it was really terrifying, but I’m also one hundred percent sure that you are blowing this way out of proportion. No more fantasy werewolf role playing nonsense for you.”
“Until my shift starts in…” Deanna tapped the screen of her phone. “Ten hours.”
“Until then,” Nathan agreed and clinked their glasses. “Now, tell me more about your hot neighbor.”
Deanna buried her head in her hands and groaned. “It’s awful. She’s gorgeous. And I can’t think around her. Or speak. I turn into a spluttering sixth grader with her first crush.”
“That’s disgusting and adorable. Tell me more. What’s her name?”
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About the Author
Michelle Osgood lives in Vancouver, BC, with her partner Elizabeth and their two cats. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and has been reading, writing and blogging in online communities for five years. She likes to read romance novels, speculative fiction and feminist pop culture critique.
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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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