Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome to Josh Lanyon's guest blog


Welcome Mr. Josh Lanyon to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.



Did you always want to become a writer?



I did, actually. From the time I was very, very young. I learned to read early, but before I learned to read I would take the books and make up my own stories to them for the benefit of whoever would listen to me. (Yes, I was the kind of child you want to hit with a frying pan.)



What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?



The least interesting thing about writing is that you sit at a computer all day with no one to talk to but the voices in your head. Eight hours of it, minimum. But that’s also the most interesting thing about it because when it’s going well, you slip into a kind of waking dream state. It’s similar to reading only more intense -- and you control it.


How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?



I believe I took my family out to dinner. I believe I got a little misty about it. The release, not the dinner. I think we all do that very first time. Get a little misty, I mean. I don’t really have a ritual to celebrate new releases anymore, but I do celebrate the major releases -- the Adrien books, for example -- with a good dinner and a nice bottle of wine.


How did your family react to fact that you also write M/M romance novels? Have your family read your books?


My SO has no problem with what I write, but he requests that I stringently protect my name and our privacy, and I do. The rest of my family is not comfortable with my writing about sex or sexuality. My father would prefer that I wrote non-fiction, I think.



Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?




I read avidly -- or I did. I have less time for reading these days. Some authors I’ve read most recently -- and enjoyed -- are KA Mitchell, LB Gregg, Sean Kennedy, and Astrid Amara. I can recommend any and all of those.



Your release date is really full, which I love as a fan of your books, do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?



I’ve never had writer’s block, per se. I’ve had burn out, but that’s a whole other thing. I have gotten blocked on certain projects and that usually has to do with outside stress when I need all my creative focus, or the fact that it’s a project that I really don’t want to do but committed to in another life.


Do you prefer stand-alone books or series?



They both have their pleasures and pains. I’ve always loved writing the Adrien English series. They’re difficult, but…I love them. I do really enjoy writing novellas, essentially capturing a few days in the life of a couple of guys. Those are easy and entertaining (for me at least) and I have fun making each one different. But there’s also something satisfying in following a character, watching him change and grow, meet different challenges…


Your characters come to life in your books. Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?



No, no, and no. I’m an excellent observer and an enthusiastic student of human nature, and that’s why my characters feel real. I ground everything in recognizable reality. But fiction is fiction, so my characters are a wee bit better than real life -- as this is what we require from romantic fiction. Real life, we can get anywhere.



Where do you get the inspirations for your books?



It’s a combination of things. It can be a song or a painting or a news article. It can be a movie or a book. It can be…nothing at all. A phrase just comes into my mind, and a story begins to build. I think I’ve been writing so long that I’m almost a word processor. I literally wake up thinking dialog.



Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?



I find it challenging to keep them fresh and meaningful. I try hard not to repeat myself. I had a line editor the other day who suggested in a scene that I have spunk hit the opposite wall and I just groaned. First of all…he obviously hasn’t read my work because I’ve been there, done that, and you can’t have every love scene the same. Secondly, I try to be a little more subtle than that.


I guess the challenge is in keeping the scenes different enough but still satisfying because you could make them very different, but certain words, phrases, and actions are more popular with readers than others, so…it’s a balance.


What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who is your favorite hero and why?


I think my all time best work is a noirish World War II novella called Snowball in Hell. But my favorite character, hands down and no question, is Adrien English from the Adrien English series. He’s so much a part of me that I can write him without thinking about it.



Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?


The easiest thing I ever wrote was Fatal Shadows. It’s the first Adrien book. I had no idea what I was doing, and that is a great free-er-upper. I wrote it in a month which isn’t bad for a first attempt at a mystery novel. It’s a bit simplistic, but it holds together well enough for what it is. Its real strength is the character of Adrien. It’s his introduction, so you have to have that book.


The hardest thing I ever wrote was Strange Fortune, my first real foray into spec fiction. It’s an action-adventure fantasy novel for Blind Eye Books, and it was agony to write. Partly, because I was very conscious of the fact that everyone in the Blind Eye stable is really top notch and I very much did not want to be the weak link. It was also difficult because I had to battle to let go of my historical fiction hang ups. The idea of magic thrilled me, but it terrified me too. I did not want my magic to be a cheat. To be a convenience. I wanted it to be real and interesting -- but not take over the book.


If you could change places with one character from your books, who would it be and why?



Hmmm. Maybe Sean from The Dark Horse. I love both his houses, and he has a fun job, no serious health issues, lots of money, and a partner who pretty much caters to him all the time.


If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?


Well, I’m very much interested in the Victorian painter Atkinson Grimshaw, so I’d like to drop in on his studio and watch him at work. And I’d try and talk him into giving me a painting.


Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?


Often, yes. It’s a real mix of everything from Patty Griffin to Snow Patrol. The Dixie Chicks are playing right now, as a matter of fact.


If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?


Snowball in Hell. I think that would make a great movie.


Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?

I’m starting work on a novella for a Christmas pairing with K.A. Mitchell. My story is about a shady young book hunter who tries to seduce a handsome English professor into selling a rare copy of a lost Dickens story. It’s called The Dickens with Love.


Big congrats to your latest releases, can you please tell us something about them


Next thing up is a World War I story about flying aces called Out of the Blue from Liquid Silver. It’s not really a mystery although it is kind of a crime story -- although a very romantic one. Everything else, I still …er…have to write!

19 comments:

ddurance said...

Josh, is it difficult to remain anonymous? I'm sure you want to receive accolades for your books publicly. I'm curious, because that's probably the way I would be if I were a writer.

Deidre

Josh Lanyon said...

Not really. I even get tired of family and friend get-togethers pretty quick, so booksignings and conferences have never held great appeal. *g*

You do have to balance the needs of readers with your own needs. Readers like you to be accessible, and culturally we've been conditioned to believe this new and crude idea that we're entitled to know anything about anyone who catches our interest. But the vast majority of people are civilized and sensitive and respect the boundaries.

I try and be accessible without giving more than I'm comfortable with.

H said...

That particular time seems so romantic (in the tragedy-for-a-generation way - the poems, the "war stories" from family, the memorials that dot even this far flung bit of the empire), that an HEA (or so is my hope) from then seems particularly wonderful. Oddly (possibly because I'm "blessed" with relatives from England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales), I've read little from your neck of the woods during/immediately post-WWI (barring mentions of American fighter pilots joining in before the government declared war and a few stories about "barn-stormers), so am looking forward to this.
Cheers :)

p.s. Bit daft to say "so am looking forward to this", as if finally I'm looking forward to a story from you. *g*

Josh Lanyon said...

Hi H!

I agree, it's a fascinating time period. I've always been drawn to stories about the WWI aces -- in fact, at one point I'd started a novel.

Not a lot of stories set in that time period -- partly because it's as tragic as it is romantic.

The poetry is...amazing.

Josh Lanyon said...

p.s. Bit daft to say "so am looking forward to this", as if finally I'm looking forward to a story from you. *g*

lol. FINALLY, SOMETHING MAYBE I'LL ENJOY OUT OF YOU!

lbgregg said...

I love that you celebrate Adrien with wine. I celebrate Adrien with wine, too.

::clink::


Lovely interview!

Josh Lanyon said...

I celebrate Adrien with wine, too.

In fact, it's due to you I've discovered one of my new favorite Gun Bun wines. So thank you for that!

airi71 said...

Great interview! I think everyone celebrates their first release with dinner *g*

Jaylin said...

Very nice interview, Josh!

I look forward to everything you write, without exception. Sometimes I miss your posts about what's going to be released and my friend has to tell me instead, but I doubt she ever gets tired of my (somewhat overenthusiastic) reactions.

(That said, I don't celebrate Adrien with wine since I don't consume very much alcohol at all, but I do celebrate!)

Anonymous said...

I try hard not to repeat myself.

I am SO ever glad that you do. I think I just read 4 novellas by one author in which all 4 initial sex scenes were exactly alike. Needless to say, there wont be a 5th book in a very long while.

And thank you for loving what you do and being so productive! I'd be slightly twitchy from withdrawals if I didnt have your writing in regular doses.

Cheers and goodluck as always!
(^-^)

Chris said...

I just discovered you a few weeks ago and have had a great time catching up. The Adrien English books were amazing - I can't remember the last time I spent so much non-reading time angsting about a book character and whether he was selling himself short relationshipwise.

Aliens said...

Great interview. It's nice to see someone who still wants his life to stay private.

jennysmum2000 said...

Interesting interview, I enjoy how you respond to the readers. I'll happily wait for details 'til you publish the authorised autobiog. when you get old and grey.

I'm looking forwards to all the upcoming releases, although I'll probably wait until the print version for Adrien, can't snuggle in the bath/bed with a pc...

Do you have a preference for whether the readers buy ebooks or the print versions? Is it more satisfying to see the books on the screen or in print/ just wondering.

Take care, Jan

Josh Lanyon said...

Great interview! I think everyone celebrates their first release with dinner *g*

Partly because we can't afford to leave our desks for long. *g*

Josh Lanyon said...

Thanks so much, Jaylin. That's really lovely to read.

Josh Lanyon said...

I am SO ever glad that you do. I think I just read 4 novellas by one author in which all 4 initial sex scenes were exactly alike. Needless to say, there wont be a 5th book in a very long while.

Thanks for saying this. I wonder sometimes when I read reviews if this kind of stuff matters or not. It matters to me, certainly.

Josh Lanyon said...

Thank you, Chris. That's really nice to read. I'm always pleased when readers take to Adrien. *g*

Josh Lanyon said...

Thanks, Aliens. Celebrity writer is almost a contradiction in terms, I think. *g*

Josh Lanyon said...

Interesting interview, I enjoy how you respond to the readers. I'll happily wait for details 'til you publish the authorised autobiog. when you get old and grey.

Of course the truth is, it would be deadly dull. I'm a writer. How exciting could my life be? The excitement is in the work, assuming the reader enjoys it. *g*

I'm looking forwards to all the upcoming releases, although I'll probably wait until the print version for Adrien, can't snuggle in the bath/bed with a pc...

That's the drawback, although these ereaders definitely have their charms.


Do you have a preference for whether the readers buy ebooks or the print versions? Is it more satisfying to see the books on the screen or in print/ just wondering.

I still print books, but more and more I read from my computer, and I plan on hitting Santa up for an ereader.

I really don't have a preference myself as far as the format my readers choose. If they're going electronic, my royalties are better when they go directly through the publisher's website. But I really leave that to the reader. I'm grateful anyone buys anything!