Eric Andrews-Katz on Tartarus ~ Interview No Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Eric Andrews-Katz for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.

Title: Tartarus
Author: Eric Andrews-Katz
Publisher: Bold Strokes Publishing
Cover Artist: Jeanine Henning
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 12/14/2016

Blurb:

Long ago, the Olympian Gods conquered and nearly destroyed an earlier race known as the Titans. Echidna, Mother of Monsters, was imprisoned in Tartarus. Centuries later, she has escaped. Entering the modern world, Echidna finds the old Gods are gone, and vows to destroy every descendant of the Olympians.
In the contemporary Pacific Northwest, Adrian and Annelise have lived comfortably – unaware of their Olympian birthright and its significance. When Adrian is introduced to Zack, sparks fly and their initial contact slowly turns to romance.
Echidna unleashes a brutal attack and Zack reveals his Divine lineage. Now he must teach the twins about their own heritage, and how to wield their unique powers for the battle to come. The final battle will between Titans and Olympians will be held in the Underworld. Modern weapons have no place and only magic can prevail.

 Interview:

Q:        We are here today to talk about TARTARUS. What can you tell us about it?

A:        TARTARUS is a Greek myth fantasy. It’s about the Titan Echidna, The Mother of Monsters who escapes from Tartarus – the prison of the Gods. Tartarus is a place of eternal torment where the only release is through the mercy of the Gods.  Somehow Echidna escapes and comes to the contemporary Pacific Northwest. She vows to get revenge on the Olympian descendants.

Q:        Please tell us more about our main characters.

A:        There are four main characters in this book.

1: Echidna (pronounced e-KEYED-nah) is one of the first Titans born to Gaia and Uranus. She is the Mother of Monsters having given birth to the Sphinx, the Furies, Chimera, Hydra…. She fought against the Olympian coup (the Titanochomy) and was eventually punished with imprisonment in Tartarus for her rebellion.

2: Annelise Petrakis is half of a twin and an art gallery owner on Bainbridge Island. At 48, she is settled into her comfortable life, living alone and having close friends. Both she and her twin brother are gay.

3: Adrian Petrakis is Annelise’s brother. He is sullen and an artist who is starting to expand his drawing and sketches. Dating is not a priority for him, and he is contented with being by himself and enjoying his close friendships. Adrian is starting to have erotic dreams with a mythological theme, and doesn’t understand why.

4: Zack Wilson is 60 years old, a wood sculptor and very happily contented with being independent and resourceful. Zack is very comfortable with who he is and is fully in tune with his divine lineage. He notices something different about Annelise and Adrian and tries to help them before it is too late.

Q:        What about TARTARUS makes you the proudest?

A:        The fact that I wrote in a new genre for me. My previous two novels (“The Jesus Injection” and “Balls & Chain”) are a tongue-firmly-in-cheek gay spy thriller. The main character is Agent Buck 98 and so it is a fun, silly, breezy type of read. TARTARUS is definitely more serious and not nearly as light or flippant. I’ve been told that my voice in TARTARUS is very different from my previous works, and that makes me very proud and happy as an author!

Q:       What is next for these characters?

A:        For now these characters are semi-retired. It is up to the reader to decide what happens after the book ends. I may make a mention in passing of one or any of the characters from this book in the next.

Q:       Is there more to this series?

A:        Yes. The series will be about the six main Greek Olympian male* Gods. (*There are many other authors that will have better insight about the goddesses than I can as a male). The books will be non-linear, so you can read them in whatever order you like, and will only have a single thing connecting them. Maybe it’ll be the mention of a previous character or item from a different book. This way, if you read them in a different order than I’ve written them, they will all stand out as individual stories.

Q:       If so who will we hear from next?

A:        The next in the series I’m currently working on will be called “The God of the Dead”. It’ll be about a descendant of Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. It’ll be about how the Universe was divided among the Olympian brothers and about revealing darker secrets.

Q:        If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

A:        Don’t take “No” for an answer; it only means you haven’t found the correct venue for your writing yet. It’s out there. Keep searching and trying and eventually you will find it.

Q:        What one story made you lose sleep as a kid?

A:        Stephen King’s “IT”. I hate clowns. Clowns are creepy. You can’t see what is really lurking behind the painted face. I don’t care if it is Ronald McDonald, Bozo, or John Wayne Gacy, I don’t like clowns.

Q:        What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?

A:        Usually I get one or two scenes in my head before I start to write. I try to have point “A”, point “K”, and point “Z” in place before I actually begin writing the story. Now how I get from “A” to “K” to “Z” can often change in the process from my original plans, but that’s half the fun.

Q:        What’s your favorite thing to wear?

A:        I have a male underwear fetish. It doesn’t have to be ‘sexy’ or ‘intimate apparel’, it only has to make me feel good (and give a good home to my ‘boys’, I don’t like them to be bound up and pressed against the wall). I can go through my drawer and tell you what city I bought them in – hey, some people collect postcards, I collect underwear; my collection is a lot more fun to revisit.

Q:        Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for?

A:        Several. I have an idea for “The God of the Dead” and for a few others in future books. I’m just not sure where I’m going to use these characters yet, but they will appear sooner or later.

Q:        How important are secondary characters to your story telling? Do you actively try to have women characters in your M/M to balance the male focus of the MCs?

A:        There are very few situations where a character doesn’t come across anyone else, so secondary characters are needed. Since half the population are women, how can you avoid having them in a story? Most male characters have a mother, if not some other female relative or friend, and it definitely is needed to have them interact in the storyline. (The exception would be a science fiction or fantasy world that revolves around one – or lack of any gender – and while it happens, that’s not too common in writing)

Q:        If you could be any Disney character who would you be, and why?

A:        There would be two that I find equally appealing. First I’d have to say Ursula, the Sea Witch. She is completely misunderstood. She and Aerial made a bargain and signed a contract. Both were allowed to use whatever resources they had at hand. It’s not Ursula’s fault she has magical abilities to use and Aerial doesn’t. If Aerial didn’t read the fine print that’s her fault, she still signed and BROKE the contract. The other character would be Maleficent. She is a delicious character with grace and style. Even though she wasn’t invited to the party, she still brought a gift – now that’s class!

Q:        If you could have a conversation with any famous author, who would you want to get writing tips from and what skill of theirs would you like to emulate?

A:        Truman Capote. He may have been gossipy, bitchy, self-centered and self-serving (ah, we would have been such good friends – until he back-stabbed me too), but he definitely had a magnificent style. He knew he wanted to be a writer from his formative years and put himself out there, without secrets, and a ‘screw ‘em’ type of attitude. Despite heavy controversy, he still managed to not only invent the ‘non-fiction novel’ genre, but also became one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century.

Q:        In Harry Potter, what one spell would you have written in that JK Rowling didn’t?

A:        “Erectus Engorgio Lubricus!”   I think it is self-explanatory.

Rapid Fire Time (Note: Pick 8-10 of the following to answer)

Cut or uncut? I prefer a ‘crew neck’ to a ‘turtle neck’, but am not one to discriminate as long as it looks good on me.

Windows or Mac?    As they say, ‘Once you go MAC….’

Santa Claus or Easter Bunny?   I’m a Jewish High Priest of Wicca so…Bunny!

Jock or Thong?        Jock. I want my butt to be framed not be flossed.

Read or writing?      Writing. When I get into the ‘zone’ everything else melts away.

Waxed or Furry?      I like my mens like I like my Tribbles; cute and furry so that you feel good when you pet them.

Cook or eat out?      COOK! Nothing is sexier than a man that knows his way around a kitchen, unless it is appreciating a man that knows his way around a kitchen.

Favorite beverage? Prosecco. I’ll drink to that!

Twinks or bears?     Bears; I usually get paid to babysit children. My rule is: you must be at least 33 to ride this ride.

Multiple choice questions or essay questions? Essay. You can be more precise with your answers.

Q:        What are you working on?  What is next?

A:        Currently I am working on a book titled: “Shalom Y’All: Two Funerals and a Sense of Humor”.  It’s about being the outsider at someone else’s family funeral as told by the same couple.  I’m writing this while mentally plotting out “The God of the Dead”.

Excerpt from TARTARUS:

     “A frightful roar thundered from inside the cave. Small rocks rolled down either side. The steam grew thicker as another roar sounded.

     A great lion emerged from the cave. The creature raised its head with a deafening cry. The gigantic lion crept farther out onto the ledge. From behind the great beast a sharp tail snapped; at its end the hood of a cobra opened, venom dripping from exposed fangs. The chimera released a final warning roar. It crouched down, the cobra tail hovering behind, as a goat’s head reared up on a neck from the center of the creature’s back and shot out a stream of fire.

     The winged horse reared back, kicking its powerful front legs. Adrian reached over his shoulder and loosely notched an arrow to the string of the bow.

     Adrian pulled at the bow and fired a storm of arrows in quick succession. The first arrow missed, disappearing into the cave. The second arrow was notched and released only to be batted aside by the lion’s paw. The third show barely missed the lion’s leg. Adrian notched the next arrow and shot. 

     The arrow pierced the cobra’s hood. The chimera howled with anger and crouched low, readying to pounce. It leapt, the lion’s paw deeply scratching the lower part of Adrian’s leg.

     Adrian’s heart pounded in his chest as the winged horse reared back and out of range. Blood ran down his calf. He could feel adrenaline racing through his body. His hand crept to the quill strapped to his back.

     Adrian notched the arrow and took a breath. Slowly, he drew the bow back and took careful aim at the creature on the cliff’s ledge. 

     The chimera leapt to the side, managing to avoid the full force of the arrow flying toward it. The attack grazed both animal heads and fully hit the center of the tail. The snake’s head was cut from the monster’s body. The remaining heads let out a howl of pain and rage. It crouched low, two sets of black beady eyes studying the hovering enemy.

     Adrian shifted the bow to his shoulder. He took hold of the spear and took a deep breath.

     The lion’s mouth opened and the chimera leapt into the air, clawing at the exposed flesh of his legs. Adrian leaned back against the horse’s flanks, raising the spear and tightening his grip.

    Adrian hurled his weapon.”

Links

Tartarus on Goodreads
Bold Strokes Publishing
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

After almost two decades in Florida, Eric Andrews-Katz managed to escape the South and made his way to Seattle to fully explore life. He’s never looked back with regret. Creating a career as an LMT, Eric’s first short story was published in 2008. Many others have followed since. Aside from anthologies his work has appeared in The Advocate, Chelsea Station, and other sources. For the Seattle Gay News, Eric has written theatre/book/travel reviews and has interviewed many contemporary authors and top Broadway personalities. Eric’s website (www.EricAndrewsKatz.com) provides more information and excerpts of his writing.

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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