Damon Suede on Lickety Split ~ Interview Rafflecopter Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Damon Suede for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.

Title: Lickety Split
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre: Gay Romance, Western
Release Date: 03/13/2017

Blurb:

Lickety Split: love won’t wait.
Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.
Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.
Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.

AMY LANE INTERVIEWS DAMON SUEDE: on hometown refugees, transcendent twostepping, and the ties that blind

MM author Amy Lane read the arc for Lickety Split and was so enthusiastic about she wanted to help Damon Suede with promo. Below is a wacky interview between the two.

 

…this is part of the Lickety Split release tour before its release on 13 March from Dreamspinner. Author Amy Lane read the an advance copy of the book and got all worked up with questions and theories. She wanted to hold Damon’s feet to the fire about the book and his writing process.

 

 

Amy Lane: Alright Mr. Suede, I’m up for this interview if you are–

 

Damon Suede: Indeed! Grill away, Ms. Lane… 🙂

 

AL: First things first. Lickety Split is set in a small town in Texas–and I know that, like me, you are a fellow home town escapee. So I’ve got to ask you–what was your least favorite thing about your hometown–that one thing that you could not get away from fast enough?  I’m dying to know!

 

DS: DS: Well, I’m nutty because although my family owned a ranch I grew up mostly in Houston, which is pretty massive as far as cities go…like LA but with worse architecture, pollution, and traffic. So I kinda got the worst of both small town and big city growing up. All the noise, none of the funky cross-pollination.

 

Texas has a weird self-mythology it comes by honestly. The state really is larger than many countries and its inhabitants have a habit of drinking the Kool-Aid and passing it around. The thing that was hardest for me was the sense that there was ONE WAY for everyone to live and be and do things. That enforced homogeny is A) a complete lie and B) drove me to the edge of sanity.   I got out of there like someone fleeing a burning building.

 

When you wrote Bonfires, you were doing some of that hometown reverie right? Not just about the small town dynamics but the realities of teaching and navigating all those egos and turf wars?

 

AL: Bonfires was, for me, a reckoning of a lot of different parts of my past. I came of age dying to escape the small town–now that I’m mostly an adult, I can see that there were good things and bad. I’ve always really loathed authority–but now that I’m getting a little older, I can see its uses, which is why I finally managed to write a law enforcement officer who really loves his job.

 

And finally—finally—I’ve put enough space between me and teaching to see what might have been—just possibly—my life, if I’d kept my credential and not allowed it to lapse. So in a way, writing Bonfires was a nice reconciliation of my past with my present. What was your most favorite thing about your hometown in Texas?

 

DS: That’s easy! My family and all the things I associate with them: the folks, the food, the little hidden gems that you discover growing up in one spot your whole life. A lot of my friends grew up moving around, but we were very rooted and loyal as a family, so as much as I wanted to skedaddle, I always made time to go back to visit. Texas is sexy and friendly in a crazy, over-the-top way… That folksy, wacky warmth can get you through dark days even from a thousand miles away. The oddball wisdom from strangers, the gross snacks, the SCALE of everything. If anything, reconnecting with that stuff was a secret bonus to writing this book, revisiting all the good bits, the sweet spots I’d let myself forget. I kept noticing little things that make me smile 30 years later.

 

AL: I have to ask (and I’m phrasing carefully to prevent spoilers) what came first? The characters’ names or the name of the farm?

 

DS: The character’s names, no question. I knew the characters were named Patch Hastle and Tucker Biggs on page one and those names came to me fully formed, as if I’d overheard them. The ranch at the end was what I like to think of as a happy accident. I’d been toying with silly monickers like the Lazy 8, or the Stroke & Poke, and then I started writing that scene and –Boom– Patch named the farm for me, just like that. And it fit so well it just stayed. LOL

 

AL: I love it when that puzzle piece falls in so perfectly it’s magic. This felt like you’d planned it all along.

 

DS: That’s art, that unplanned stuff that happens. Jack Nicholson calls them “happy accidents.” I just pray for it and try to make space so it can happen.

 

AL: Your character, Patch, undergoes a change of heart about small towns–did you undergo a similar change when you were writing him, or was that just Patch’s romantic good fortune?

 

DS: Yes and no. I think the big discovery for me when writing Patch was the middle path that maturity puts you on. When I was 20, I couldn’t get away from the whiff of Texas fast enough…or at least, I thought so. I HATED everything about growing up down south.

 

Except for BBQ, and Tex-Mex, and cowboys, and critters… and then someone took me twostepping in NYC and (to my horror) I LOVED It and began buying country albums. Bit by bit I grew proud of my roots and embraced them. The distance of age and experience had taught me all the small things‘d discounted in my rush to get away. That definitely informed Patch’s change of heart. Crick does something similar in Keeping Promise Rock, for different reasons and WAY different results…but he has to find a way to settle down, but without settling as it were.

 

My mom used to say, as you grow up, you need to keep the friends who knew you before you made yourself up. Patch has invented this glamorous life as a model and a DJ; he’s reimagined himself as an A-list cityslicker. Thing is, I’d never move back and I knew that Patch eventually would…so I dug for those slivers of joy buried under the skin: fireflies, and moon pies and those crazy sunsets. As it happens, a lot of those wistful memories linger down at the roots of who I am. It only took a little happy digging…

 

AL: Tucker was a sexy hunk of sandpaper-palmed, swaggering, lusty cowboy–who didn’t actually think of himself as “gay” or “bi” or any of the sexuality labels currently used. Do you think there are a lot of “Tuckers” out there?

 

DS: Without question. Out in the country? Oh hell yeah. I’ve seen it up close and sweaty, too often to feel embarrassed about admitting it. LOL People fuck ‘cause it feels good and they find ways to do it no matter what’s supposed to stop them. The end.

 

Growing up in Texas, I dated some of these dudes, went to school and rodeos with them. I don’t just think…I KNOW there are lonely armies of “Tuckers” out there, men and women, at every age/class/area/era who take happiness where they find it and laugh at labels. Sexuality and intimacy and relationships are WAY more complicated than a Boolean man/woman, yes/no, gay/straight, top/bottom split. The “sexual revolution” opened doors for some folks, but it also opened a window into landscapes some folks will never feel safe enough to enter or inhabit…but they can be secret tourists.

 

AL: I would agree with that. Sometimes a body just needs what it needs, and those are the complicated relationships that need a scalpel and surgical glue to parse. But not being able to live in a place you’ve fallen in love– doesn’t that lead to a broken heart?

 

DS: It can if you let the place break you. I think sometimes we turn geography into mythology. We don’t remember the place itself, but rather the freaky emotions soaked into it. I think that’s true with places you do and don’t see often. That’s the logic behind monuments and graves. Which is why homecomings can be so hilarious, annoying, and nostalgic all at the same time. Which is why people who stay put often can’t build up momentum to escape its inertia. The emotion becomes the landscape, a moment in time made visible and permanent.

 

AL: I have to say, I was most taken with the way you used kink as the gateway to romance here–what made you choose edge-play as Patch’s kink? How do you think it most suited his character?  Sex when used right (and like whoa!) is such an indicator of character connection–what made you think of BDSM for Patch and Tucker?

 

DS: Yay! Well, the edging was pretty much a lock from the get-go. I knew that Patch was always rushing around, hell for leather, and that meant Tucker had to be as languorous and measured as possible. Good friction right? Their history and distrust made for explosive power struggles every time they slammed together, and BDSM is always about negotiated power and desire. They both have to release the ties that blind them.

 

Tucker spent his whole life delaying and savoring things, so part of Patch’s arc had to be being giving in, being pinned down and forced to feel things fully. They both lived at a terrible personal edge, besides. (Gambling Men, amiright?) And then you add in the externals of farms and rope and all those rural HOURS of nothing to do except work and sleep. Obviously Tucker would have learned how to take his damn time with everything, and when I factored in his own emotional inertia and stubbornness, edging was inevitable: instant tension, delayed gratification, obsessive focus all building-building-building to the bang.

 

AL: So…the two stepping scene under the stars was intensely romantic– what the hell was your inspiration?  And seriously– I still see it behind my eyes, like LaLaLand’s planetarium scene– a moment that transcends the practicalities of two humans seeking connection and becomes the ideal of two humans achieving it.  Where did that come from?

 

DS: Whew! Yeah. LOL Several different moments kinda braided themselves together. Right from jump, I knew that twostepping played part of their journey (quick-quick, slow, slow)…but I knew Patch wouldn’t know how and Tucker would. Patch is a club DJ and club dancing is the fundamental opposite of choosing one person as a partner for a song.

 

Partner dancing is such an intimate, focused, anachronistic thing. I love it personally, but I also know it can seem incomprehensible to people who’ve never done it, so I had to tackle the teaching of it in a way that brought the reader into the frame of Tucker’s arms. I wanted my heroes to find a way to dance together and I hoped the reader could dance with them, if you know what I mean. That scene comes right before the book’s (intense) midpoint and I needed to knock them both sideways emotionally.

 

For their first official “date,” I felt like the sexy awkwardness needed to resolve in a surprising, satisfying way so I essentially let both guys off the leash to see where they’d take me. They’d been fooling around a LOT already, but intimacy would be tricky for both guys, for a whole bushel of reasons. When they left that jukejoint and drove home, I had every intention of letting them get jizzy together, but then…I dunno…Tucker took a hard left turn outta nowhere and then Patch followed but didn’t grab and dash the way he usually did.

 

I do know that Alison Krauss is partially to blame. All those fireflies and the hard dirt under their boots and then the scene just…happened. From that moment I had to just get out of the way as much as I could and let them really, truly dance together. There’s nothing else like that feeling, and they made it happen.

 

AL: Wow, Mr. Suede–as usual, with you, things got surprisingly deep!  But Lickety Split was a wonderful, amazing book, and I just couldn’t help myself–I had to get you to talk about it!  Thank you so much for stopping by and answering my oddball questions–I’ve had a really awesome time!

 

DS: Are you kidding? Thank YOU for the snazzy interview and such intelligent questions! That was every bit as fun and funky as I could have hoped. 🙂

Bio: Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com.

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Links

Lickety Split on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble

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About the Author

Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at:

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.


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,

Brandilyn
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10 thoughts on “Damon Suede on Lickety Split ~ Interview Rafflecopter Giveaway

  1. Thanks for the great interview! Such a pleasure to be privy to the conversation between two wonderful authors.

    Lickety Split (and also Bonfires) sound great and are on my TBR list.

  2. WOW! Love that interview! I agree with the labels. Who says that a person should be governed by it just so he/she could enjoy personal entertainment? Sure, that helps your partner identify you as a person but I think the most important thing about it is the chemistry you have for each other. ^_^ Lemme add too that sometimes we try to outrun the things that’s not even trying to catch up to us. As we grow—as Amy Lane said—we learn to accept these things & just let ourselves be free from its bind to us.

    Thank you, Damon! <3

  3. I grew up on an island–talk about small towns. This just described it perfectly: “It can if you let the place break you. I think sometimes we turn geography into mythology. We don’t remember the place itself, but rather the freaky emotions soaked into it. I think that’s true with places you do and don’t see often. That’s the logic behind monuments and graves. Which is why homecomings can be so hilarious, annoying, and nostalgic all at the same time. Which is why people who stay put often can’t build up momentum to escape its inertia. The emotion becomes the landscape, a moment in time made visible and permanent.” It is hard for me to go back and there are so many people who still live there, and have never left…whose world view is so small. I can see who I would have been if I had stayed; it’s bittersweet because they are not bad people, but they are not who I would be friends with now. In some ways they do not know me at all, and in others they know things about me no one else ever will because hearing stories years later and living it are so different. You both have a complexity to your characters that draws people in to care about them so it makes sense you would be fans of each other’s work.

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