I had no idea what to blog this morning, and then in the process of clearing out old files I came across this. As my m/m romance book, Hounding the Beat, saw a second edition release recently, this seemed a good time for re-posting this. (Note: I know of at least one reader who is begging for a third installment. It is on my to-do list although it may not happen for some time for several reasons. I won’t go into that here as the timing is wrong, and that’s more appropriate on my romance site.):
Firstly, a big thank to Adera Orfanelli for asking me to take part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. As I didn’t have a new WIP, I chose Mistletoe and Whine for my subject and decided to make this a page post as the questions may interest the readers of both Hounding the Beat, and Mistletoe and Whine.
What is the working title of your book?
This question is easy. I knew from the outset I was going to call this Mistletoe and Whine, (a play on words from the Christmas song). Sometimes I struggle with titles but not this one, although it may give the impression it’s a lighthearted story, which it isn’t. These characters are a lot of fun and are perfect for some hysterical puns. There is fun in this story, but it has a darker edge than the first book.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s a sequel to Hounding the Beat, but can be enjoyed as a standalone read without picking up the first book. I wrote a follow-up because the characters remained vibrant and I discovered a couple of my readers were equally eager to hear from them again. I’d left a loose thread dangling from the first book — partly intentionally, partly because that’s how the story worked out — that I could pick up, and it just felt natural to do so. So the basic idea already existed. The title then popped into my head and filled in the gaps.
What genre does your book fall under?
Shape-shifting paranormal erotic menage romance, I guess, if that’s one genre all by itself. I tend to blend subjects.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
I seldom visualise characters that distinctly, but at a push, I think Amanda Righetti (Grace from The Mentalist) would be a decent match for Chantelle. Although her features aren’t quite right (as beautiful as she is) she has the right body shape, the red hair, the essential feisty spark the character would need. The most difficult to cast would be Sam. I’m thinking, Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte in True Blood) but he’s not quite right either. He’s got a similar gaze — I know that sounds strange, but it’s true, and I can see my Sam’s ruffled hair. My Sam has been called ‘sour puss’ though, so whoever played him would need to portray a certain ‘moodiness’ along with a fierce sense of loyalty. And oddly enough Joe Manganiello (Alcide/True Blood) could possibly be Bobby when wearing a suit as in this PHOTO, but he’d have to be a little more clean-shaven with tidier hair because of Bobby’s profession. He’s too tall, really, at 6’5” (I don’t visualise quite that amount of height discrepancy).
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When the peace and quiet of Bobby, Chantelle, and Sam’s lives come under threat, they have more to whine about than plastic mistletoe.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s being published by Changeling Press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I usually aim for about 2000 words a day, five days a week when writing. As Changeling only take shorts I can usually draft a story for them within two weeks. Then there are edits, of course — my own before I sub and after acceptance — but fortunately neither Hounding the Beat nor Mistletoe and Whine required much editing. The story came to me as a clean copy.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Obviously, Hounding the Beat. I don’t think it does compare to anything else. My stories at Changeling are all very different. I’ve written about a marooned astronaut, the fae, vampires, and a feel-good alternative history featuring a knight. I guess although this is paranormal it does have a similar feel to the contemporary stories as it has a modern setting. The only other menage I have out right now is Cosmic, available from Loose-Id, but that’s science fiction.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I was looking to write for the Protect and Serve series at Changeling — the series created by the wonderful Lena Austin, which meant *gulp* whatever I came up with had to please Lena as well as the usual suspects. I liked the series and wanted to be part of it. I first chose police as my topic — being able to put a spin on that in the form of the British ‘Bobbie’. Then I had to choose what kind of shape-shifter to use. I’ve wanted to write shape-shifting huskies for a while, and so Bobby Pooch and Chantelle Shepherd were born (what did I say about the puns *grin*). And then there’s Sam Sanders, who’s human. Really both books are largely Sam’s story, though I didn’t even realise it at the time.
What else about your book might interest the reader?
That this one may require a box of tissues, and I mean for the odd sniffle if not outright cry. Funny how a good old sob can be cleansing, especially when one is left with a reason to smile. The best books affect readers’ emotions, after all. Not sure I always succeed in that as much as I like, but with this one I know I did. That is to say, I made those who went through the process with me have a lip tremble or two, including me and my editor.