Monday, April 30, 2012

Guest Author Day with Silvia Violet & a Contest

Contest information is at end of interview.

How long did it take to write the story? From the day you came up with the idea to the very last day of writing.
My latest release, Astronomical, is approximately 27,000 words long, and it took me eight weeks from start to finish.

Tell us about your latest release/Upcoming release.
Astronomical was just released. It is part of the A Mind is a Sexy Thing collection at Silver Publishing. I love geeky men with sexy minds (as proven by the fact that I've been married to one for fifteen years) and I'm thrilled to be part of this celebration of all things geeky. Here's more about my story:

When sexy, kilt-wearing astronomy professor Greg MacIntyre moves in next door, Blake Theriot knows he's in trouble. Blake is a research librarian, and he likes things orderly and controlled. But in his secret fantasies, he craves a big, powerful man like Greg to stir up his life.

Every time Blake tries to talk to his erudite neighbor, his brain shuts down and his vocabulary is reduced to one-word utterances, but when Blake's niece challenges him to invite Greg to dinner, he does. A few shots of after-dinner whiskey loosen Blake's inhibitions, and the two men share a hot kiss and the promise of more. Can Blake relax enough to give himself a chance with Greg, or will his fear of letting go ruin his hopes for love?

What made you want to write?
I've always loved telling stories and creating worlds inhabited by interesting characters. Writing gives me the chance to share these characters with other people.

What authors do enjoy reading in your downtime?
I have so many I won't be able to name them all, but some of my favorite m/m authors are Josh Lanyon, Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux, Hank Edwards, and SJD Peterson. I also reads lots of YA and kids books as well as sic fi, some classics, and the occasional mystery. Some of my favorite authors are Janet Evanovich, Laurell K. Hamilton, JK Rowling, and PG Wodehouse.

How important is the beginning chapter - the opening - the first few lines?
For me as a reader the first few pages of a book are very important. If I like the book blurb, then I'll read the first few pages, if available, and see what I think of the author's writing style. If those pages pull me in, I'll buy the book. So in my writing I work hard to make the beginning of the book draw readers in.

In what order do you write? For example starting beginning to end, combining parts, in random order or in development cycle?
In most cases I write straight through from beginning to end. That works better for me than skipping around, but occasionally a scene from later in the book is so vivid that I go ahead and get it down before I forget it.

Do you plot out each chapter? Or are you a seat of the pants writer?
I make a vague outline so I know where the book is going and then start writing. As I get a chapter or so in, I'll make more detailed outline of the next few chapters. Then I'll write some more and then do some more outlining. If I try to plan the whole book, I'll end up veering off course rapidly so it isn't worth the time involved but if I have no plan at all, I get antsy since in most aspects of my life I am planner and a list-maker.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are your favorites Artists and or albums?
For many of my stories there is a song (or a few songs) that help me get in the mood to write. I'll listen to that song and sometimes others come to mind, and I build a playlist. But during certain aspects of writing, like turning my messy first draft into something truly readable, music distracts me too much.

Out of all your characters which one do you identify the most with and why?
That a hard question because there are certain traits I identify with in many of my characters, but if I had to pick one, Blake from Astronomical is a good option. He like his life neat and organized but he also feels confined by the need to control things. If I had my way, everything in my life would run by all my lists on my schedule, but trying to make that happen is far too exhausting and stressful.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite book/character(s)? What is it about that particular book/character that you enjoy so much?
I love all my characters, especially by the time I finish telling their stories, but one that stands out is Seth from Paws on Me. I love him because he can be grumpy and demanding but when he has a chance at love, he embraces it full on.

Do you have a book that you you just cringe? If so, which one is it, and why?
Twilight, because I have two daughters and I don't want them to ever let a boy/man treat them the way Edward treats Bella.

What are your writing goals for the future?
To keep honing my writing skills so that each book I write is better than the one before it and to find the right balance between writing and the rest of my life.

Now a few fun questions:

How would you describe yourself using only five words? loyal, domestic, creative, friendly, determined

If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say? 
Things Are Not What They Seem

Do you have any guilty pleasures? 
Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you. 
I homeschool my kids.

If you could go any place in the world and to any time period, what place or time period would you choose to visit?
Jane Austen's England because Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite book.

What is your favorite super power and why do you want it?
The ability to make time stand still and/or to go back in time. If I had this power, I could write more stories and manage to do all the things I want to fit into each day.

CONTEST INFORMATION: Please leave a comment, question for Silvia-with your email address in case you win-for a chance to win any e-book from her back list. Contest closes May 3rd.

Astronomical by Silvia Violet

Unedited Excerpt:

The front door banged open, making me jump. I muttered a curse as I looked at the spaghetti sauce I'd splattered on my shirt. I'd have to change before I headed to work.
"Blake, are you in the kitchen?"
My sister's shoes made a swishing sound as she walked through the living room and into the kitchen. "It smells great."
"Thanks." I answered absently as I looked through the spice rack for cayenne.
"Have you been outside lately?"
I shook my head. Renee had a conspiratorial tone in her voice that told me trouble was coming. I focused on the sauce. I would not fall prey to her scheme, whatever it was.
"You should come check out the view."
"What?" I tasted the sauce and added more pepper. "Why?"
"When you told me your new neighbor was an astronomy professor, I imagined someone even geekier than you."
Heat rose to my cheeks like it did every time I thought about Dr. Greg MacIntyre. No one had caused such a strong a reaction in me in years. The man was truly devastating. Tall and beefy with wavy red-gold hair I longed to run my hands through, preferably while on my back throwing my legs over his shoulders. No need to choose between brains and brawn with him.
But during the few conversations we'd had, I babbled like a fool in response to his erudite remarks. If Greg was gay—and he'd given me no solid reason to believe he was—he wasn't going to want a drooling imbecile for a partner.
Renee started to say something else, but she was interrupted by her daughter, Haley, rushing into the kitchen. "Hey, mom. I thought I heard you come in."
Renee was raising Haley on her own and she worked three night shifts a week as a nurse in pediatric intensive care. Haley usually spent those nights with me and occasionally hung out with me for a few hours the day after Renee's last shift so her mom could catch up on sleep or run some errands.
Haley turned pleading eyes on me. "Dr. MacIntyre is outside. Can I go meet him now?"
My shirt was stained. I'd overslept and raced out the door without shaving or doing anything to tame my curly hair. I was rushing to get dinner made because I'd agreed to fill in for someone at the main campus library and had to go back to work.
But Haley had been anxious to meet Greg since he moved in a week ago. She loved astronomy and all the mind-boggling math it required. She'd seen Greg setting up a telescope in his backyard and hoped he'd let her take a look in it. I couldn't deny her the chance to meet a real live astrophysicist, especially one so well-respected that LSU had lured him away from Berkley for their Advanced Gamma Ray Survey Mission. I wasn't sure exactly what the program's professors did, but their work sounded impressive and expensive.
I sighed. I'd already made an ass of myself with Greg, what difference did it make how I looked?
"Sure. Just let me—" Before I finished my sentence, Haley shot out the door. I nearly busted my ass racing after her. Renee laughed as I stumbled down the porch steps.
When I reached the yard, my heart nearly stopped. Greg was indeed outside, up a ladder, fixing a broken gutter, wearing nothing but a utility kilt. A fucking kilt. Could he get any more perfect?
I stared, frozen to the spot. My mouth watered as I took in his muscular legs, his round ass, the broad expanse of his back. He reached up to hook the gutter back in place, and I bit my lip to hold in a groan at the sight of his muscles flexing.
"Uncle Blake?"
Haley snapped me out of my trance.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Uh…yeah. I'm fine."
Her lips turned up in a mischievous grin. "You like him, don't you?"
She rolled her eyes. "Dr. MacIntyre."
I prayed her loud whisper hadn't carried across the yard. "He's a nice man."
Not a conversation I wanted to continue. "Come on. Let me introduce you."
As we got closer, I had to resist the urge to look up Greg's kilt. Sweat rolled down my temples as I wondered whether he was naked under there. At least in the Louisiana heat, everyone was sweaty.


Wendi Zwaduk said...

That's a great excerpt. Thought I'd come by and visit with friends. Love Sylvia's work. Where do the plot bunnies multiply for you?

Thanks Dawn and Sylvia!!

Sharon S said...

Hi Silvia! Great interview.
I can't wait to read Astronomical!


Andrea said...

Great interview. I have to agree with her comments on Twilight.

andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Oh I can't wait to read the rest of this delightful book. I just love your books, and always look forward to ever single one.
Thank you for the contest..*S*