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Sunday, November 7, 2010

"FAB" Authors S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet Are Here!

Please help me welcome two fantastic authors to The Stuff of Myth and Men. Grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy!
Keta:  What do you think makes a good story?

[S.L.] Characters. I fully believe it is the characters that make a story. If you have characters who are one-dimensional and bland, no one will want to read the story. But, a story with amazing characters that suck you in, make you feel for and with them, small flaws in pacing and plot can be excused. It’s through characters that we as readers connect with a story, and so writing solid, deep, and varied characters in a story is what I think makes a story successful.

[K.] I fully agree with S.L. It’s the characters that will make or break a story. Even with a lovely, intricate plot, if I don’t care about the characters, the story will inevitably fall flat. Another thing I think makes a story is the world building. When an author manages to have both great characters and a vivid world, I feel I’ve struck the proverbial jackpot. I love being swept away into an intriguing, well-developed world, be it fantasy, post-apocalyptic, or dystopian.

Keta: What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

[S.L.] My husband and boyfriend both support me 100%. My husband actually winds up helping with the plotting and pacing of every novel I write, while my boyfriend is mainly a sideline cheerleader. My husband will also do the first proofreading and feedback of everything I write, and he helps K. and me develop our storylines when we find ourselves stuck or painted into a corner. My family supports me, but due to the sexual nature of my books, they aren’t comfortable reading the material I write (though my mum has promised to read any M/F novels I wind up writing).

[K.] I don’t currently have a significant other to share my work with. My family is also supportive, but, much like S.L.’s, most of them aren’t comfortable reading erotic material. My sister will read any F/F novels I end up writing, since that’s her preference. Oddly enough, it’s my grandmother who has promised to read everything I publish! She’s a wonderfully open-minded lady I love to bits.

Keta: Plotter or Pantser? Why?

[S.L.] Plotter all the way, baby. :) I’ve tried writing on the fly and find that stories written that way tend to suffer from dragging or wayward, dead-end plot pieces. I also think stories written without thorough outlining take longer to write. When we plot out a book from beginning to end, K. and I can write upwards of 5,000 words a day. Plotting is also crucial to ensuring all plot points are addressed and, in the case of a multi-book series, that all over-reaching plot arcs have been wrapped up. We also tend to plot backwards, beginning with the end of the book.

[K.] Oh, Lord, if I try to write by the seat of my pants I end up nowhere at all! While S.L. and I will explore options via instant messenger, going back and forth between characters for fun, when we write the actual stories, we always have an outline. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Keta: What is the hardest part of writing your books?

[S.L.] Knowing when to stop. It’s easy to want to keep telling the story when you’re incredibly invested in the lives of the characters you’ve created, but all stories have to end. I find it difficult to let go sometimes and allow the book to end.

[K.] I’m the opposite, actually. The hardest part for me is knowing how to begin. It usually takes me a bit of time to develop a character and get their voice in my head clearly enough to write from their perspective. Once the character sticks, though, they’re there to stay. It’s that first step that’s most difficult for me.

Keta: Tell us about your current release.
[S.L.] Our current release is “Cast the Cards”, an anthology we’re both in, along with four other authors. We each have a short story inside based on one of the Major Arcana. I chose The Moon as my card, and the story is called “Oneiros”. It’s about a young man named Caleb who has to come to terms with the fact he is HIV-positive and what that means for him. He copes with it in a fantastical way, and he has to learn whether living and loving is more important than just giving up.

[K.] My story in “Cast the Cards” is called “Surrender”. It was based on The Tower card, which is all about a sudden event shaking the foundations of a person. Aaron is a professional man who is always in control of his life, right down to being a Dom and controlling scenes with his submissives. It’s at a fetish party that he finds himself questioning all he’d assumed to be true about himself.

Keta: Tell us about your next release.

[S.L.] Our next release is called “Rachmaninoff”, and it’s our first full-length novel. It will be available as an e-book and in print. It’s a traditional vampire story filled with all the tropes that go along with such a thing. When we wrote it, we set out to tell the gothic romance of vampire and mortal without doing anything overly original with the vampire concept. We have our own little twists here and there, but for the most part, “Rachmaninoff” is completely recognizable and comforting as a classic vampire tale.

[K.] Aric is a tempestuous piano prodigy who is brought to the reclusive Lord Nikola in Novi Sad, Serbia, for a year of extensive study. Though nineteen years old, Aric feels trapped by the expectations of his family and grudgingly accepts Nikola as his tutor. It isn’t long before Aric learns Nikola’s secrets, and a romance develops despite several clashes between their disparate personalities. In “Rachmaninoff”, we explore the challenges of reconciling the past with the present, age with youth, life with death, and the introvert with the extrovert as Aric comes of age and takes his life into his own hands. We hope everyone enjoys both “Rachmaninoff” and “Cast the Cards”. Thank you so much for interviewing us, Keta!

Cast the Cards Information:
S.L. Armstrong, Janine Ashbless, Marie Carlson, Erik Moore, Emily Moreton, & K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Blurb: For over 250 years, the use of the tarot for divination has been a mainstay of mystical and occult practices. Cast the Cards is a collection of six all-new short stories that explore some of the powerful themes associated with the Major Arcana, all with an eye toward erotic romance with GLBT and alt-lifestyle characters and motifs.

Buy Link: http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Cast-the-Cards.aspx

Rachmaninoff Information:
Authors: S.L. Armstrong & K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Blurb: Nineteen-year-old Aric Reynolds has spent most of his life in boarding schools, summer camps, or on tour as a prodigy with the piano. His wealthy parents have never had time for him, and after a failed year at college, they have decided on a final course of action. Aric is brought to Nikola Jovanovic's beautiful, sprawling manor in Serbia. Nikola is known the world around as master in music, unsurpassed by any, but terribly reclusive. For one year, Aric is to be his student, but in the modern day, it is easy for Aric to learn Nikola's secrets. With a dark shadow lurking from Nikola's past, Aric's stubborn and promiscuous nature, the sexual tension between the pair simply explodes and Aric's very mortal life is held in the balance.

Buy Link: http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Rachmaninoff.aspx

Author Links:
S.L. Armstrong's Blog: http://slarmstrong.wordpress.com/
S.L. Armstrong's Website: http://www.slarmstrong.net/
K. Piet's Blog: http://kpiet.wordpress.com/
K. Piet's Website: http://www.kpiet.net/

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the post and look forward in reading these books.

    Tracey D


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