Author Interview: Laura Lux

I want to welcome Laura Lux, the author of several gay fantasy tales–from medieval and historical fiction to the new Elf Thief series, to the J. Ashburn Blog. Thank you Laura for taking the time to do this interview.

When did you first start writing fiction? Oh, I’d say when I was a teenager. I doodled a lot in school, scribbles, sketches, poems, short stories. I loved telling stories.

Did you have any formal writing training or education? No, not really. Just lot’s of practice at home.

What drew you to fantasy fiction?  My mom. Lol. She and I used to watch all kinds of fantasy movies when I was a kid from Conan the Barbarian to old seventies movies like The People that Time Forgot and At the Earth’s Core. But some of my favorites were the animated stuff like The Last Unicorn, Wizards and The Hobbit. The Hobbit was one of the first fantasy books I read. I get all of my talent from my mom, she encouraged me to write and she was a little bit of a writer herself.

What made you decide to feature gay characters in your work? My older brother was gay and I always wanted to feature more gay characters in my work because I felt they weren’t really given any attention. In fact, not many appeared in fantasy stories at all. So I started writing stories about gay men finding love in dangerous fantasy worlds.

Where do your ideas come from? I definitely know I was influenced by the classics in fiction and on TV but I try to make the stories my own. I mix influences and come up with other cultures similar to Vikings, Celtic tribes, Roman and Greek. Then I add some mystical elements or mythology. I find it to be really fun.

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What do you do to tackle a project? Do you write outlines or keep it all in your head? No outlines for me. I write as a I go. Sometimes I jot down notes as I work on the story but mostly I see the scene in my head and just report what I see… lol.

Did you ever feel uncomfortable writing the “steamy scenes?” I was waiting for this question! 🙂 At first it was strange but now it’s no big deal. I must admit that I get a thrill out of sprinkling those loves scenes throughout the story.

How does your family react to you writing erotic romance or do they know? They know I write. That’s about it. I just tell them I write fantasy fiction and that’s it.

Have you ever thought of trying another genre? Sometimes. I like science fiction and horror too. I may even try some steampunk, not sure yet.

What do you like to read when you’re not writing? I like Tolkien, Ursula LeGuin, I also like discovering new authors in fantasy and sci-fi fiction.

What current projects are you working on? Right now I’m in the middle of a new series about a gay elf thief. It’s my most ambitious series yet. Most of my tales have been two book series. So far with this one I have 3 tales with my new elf character and I’m hoping for a bunch more. It’s called Tales of an Elf Thief.

What does the future hold for Laura Lux’s fiction? Many more gay fantasy tales I hope!

Where can readers find you and your work? I have a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009505140504   Other than that… you can find me on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 🙂

Girl, we need to get you an official website! Thanks so much for taking the time to do my interview, it was fun for me, how was it for you? Lol. Thanks for having me J! It was so much fun.

Check out Laura Lux’s titles below and get lost in her fantasy worlds.

 

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Interview with Author and Publisher Eden Myles

Welcome back sweet peas, tonight I have another good friend and writer with me and she’s a publisher too! Eden Myles owns Courtesan Press, has a flock of talented writers in her stable and is a fantastic writer to boot! Check out my interview with her below.

Thank you Eden for taking the time to do this interview for my blog.

When did you first start writing fiction? It actually began in high school. I was deeply into the journalism program, went to all the games for free with my little journalism pass!

Did you have any formal writing training or education? Journalism experience, only. And a small number of Internet articles. Do they count?

What drew you to erotica and other spicy fiction genres? I grew up during the romance explosion of the late 80s and the 90s, when the shelves were full of bodice-rippers. I think I just extrapolated from there.

Where do your ideas come from? I’ve been a lifelong fan of nighttime soaps, the steamier the better.

What do you do to tackle a project? Do you write outlines or keep all in your head? I’m a messy writer. I have notebooks full of story ideas and research material. In the end, I usually just write by the skin of my teeth anyway.

Did you ever feel uncomfortable writing the “steamy scenes?” Maybe the last time was in high school, when I was writing Josie and the Pussycat fan fiction, but not lately, no. *grin*

How does your family react to you writing erotic romance or do they know? They’ve actually been very supportive of me throughout my career.

How did you come up with the Dollhouse series and which book is your favorite of them all? That happened right after I finished Fifty Shades of Grey. I thought, “Yeah, I could maybe do that,” but I wanted it to be high-class and kind of artsy. I wrote the first collection, Evelyn, over four weeks, with one book a week. I think she’ll always be my favorite.

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Have you ever thought of trying another genre?  I’ve been playing with speculative fiction, but nothing too serious just yet. Who knows?

What made you start your own publishing business on top of already being an author? It just sort of grew organically out of a collection of us. I really didn’t mean for it to happen that way, which proves that business has a mind all its own.

How long has Courtesan Press been in business? We’re going on four years now.

What’s it like to work with so many writers in your stable? All of them are great, very cooperative. And they go out of their way to help each other out.

What are the challenges of owning your own press? Probably trying to get in enough time to do some serious writing.

What do you like to read when you’re not writing? I’m an avid cook and gardener, as well, so I have stacks of cooking and agricultural magazines lying around all the time.

Who is your favorite writer? Jane Austin, hands down.

What current projects are you working on? I’m sort of in between, at present. But I really want to get back to the antics at the Dollhouse Society.

What does the future hold for Courtesan Press? I’m not sure. We want to try a number of different angles. When we know for certain, the world will be the first to know!

What can readers expect from your own writing in the future? Basically, anything can happen.

Where can readers find you and your work? https://courtesanpress.wordpress.com, of course!

Thanks so much for taking the time the do my interview, it was fun for me, how was it for you? Lol. Thanks for letting me hang, J.!

Check out more of Eden’s titles below! 

 

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Interview with Author J. Scott Coatsworth

Greetings my sweets, I’m back again with another interview with an author who writes speculative fiction with LGBTQ themes. I want welcome J. Scott Coatsworth, the author of Skylane, to the J. Ashburn Blog!

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Thank you Scott for taking the time to do this interview for my blog. When did you first start writing fiction? When I was in fourth grade. I wrote a Jetsons-inspired, fully Crayola illustrated sci-fi short story that won a local contest and ended up (somewhere) in the University of Arizona library. But my first serious writing started in my junior year in High School, when I began a novel that will NEVER see the light of day. It was an embarrassing mishmash of elves and pegasai and sci-fi that… well, let’s just say it’s hidden in a box up in one of our closets, and that’s probably where it belongs. :p

Did you have any formal writing training or education? Hmmm… not formal? I did take a few classes with the amazing mystery writer Elizabeth George and her sidekick Jo-Ann Mapson, and I learned a lot, but mostly I’ve honed my craft on the job, and with mentors like Angel Martinez.

What do you do to tackle a project? Do you write outlines or keep all in your head? I used to just pants it, but these days I do outline it. I try to keep my outlines simple, though, as things do tend to change as I work through a story. I like to leave room for surprise.

Where do your ideas come from? It’s a mélange, really. Often they come from specific submission calls. Sometimes they are stories that I started years and years ago and that I pull out from my story starts drawer to take another hack at. Other times, I get inspired by music – sometimes a particular song will suggest an entire story. My short story “Flames” was in part inspired by a Bastille song called “Things We Lost in the Fire.”

I noticed that your newest book “Skythane” came out recently. Can you tell us a little about it? Sure. It’s one of those story starters I mentioned above – I started the initial story back in the mid-nineties, and it was the first actually “gay” thing I wrote. When I came back to it in 2014, it went off in a new direction, and when I made it my NaNo project in 2015, it veered again. Now it’s complete, the first book in a planned trilogy. It features lost souls, a world split in two, an impending tragedy, and swamp bears!

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What was it like working with an actual publisher like Dreamspinner press? I love Dreamspinner. Elizabeth North is one of the most forward looking folks in the industry, and DSP has a fantastic editing process that helps guide authors to make the most of their stories and to put out the best and cleanest manuscript possible. They’re also like a big family – I’ve been to the DSP retreat two years running, and always learn a lot and have a fantastic time.

Tell us about some of your other published?  My more recent works include the post apocalyptic tale “Wonderland”, in the “This Wish Tonight” anthology – a “what if we were the last two guys in the world” Christmas story, and the aforementioned “Flames”, which combines my love of my hometown growing up, Tucson, and my love of Italian. Also last year, my novella “The Autumn Lands” came out from Mischief Corner Books – it’s in the same family as Skythane, with a bit of a twist.

Do all of your books or stories feature gay characters? Yes, and others besides. My ongoing serial, “The River City Chronicles”, is the most diverse with characters from all over the queer spectrum.

Why do you feature gay storylines in your work? Because it’s personal. For the longest time I read and wrote straight sci-fi and fantasy, but I got tired of not seeing myself reflected in the work. So I took matters into my own hands. 😛

I understand you and your husband have recently undertaken a new online business that hosts gay paranormal, fantasy and science fiction books, excerpts, selling links and more. Can you tell us more about this?  Sure! QueeRomance Ink was our answer to the fall of ARe. Unlike ARe, we don’t sell books on the site. Instead, we’re building an author-driven directory that will allow readers to search for titles across the queer romance spectrum in ways they never could before. Our goal is to connect each reader with exactly the right book and author. The site launched in late January; as of this writing, we now list more than 230 authors and 1,000 books, and we’re growing all the time.

What do you like to read when you’re not writing?  When I can? I wish I had more time to read. Mostly these days I try to delve into other MM speculative fiction writers – know your market, right? But I also have a big soft spot for “mainstream” sci-fi and fantasy folks like Peter Hamilton and Robert Jordan.

Who is your favorite writer? Probably Sheri Tepper – she had this amazing ability to reflect and dissect our current society and to write works that kept me thinking for weeks after I put them down.

What current projects are you working on? I’m involved in two serial projects – “The River City Chronicles”, which is a contemporary magical realism tale set in my current hometown of Sacramento, and “Marionettes in the Mist”, an urban fantasy piece set on an alternate Earth that I’m writing with Angel Martinez, Freddy MacKay and Toni Griffin at Mischief Corner.

Novel-wise, I am writing Lander, the sequel to Skythane, which if everything works out right, will come out in February 2018.

What can readers expect in the future from you? This summer, my other post-apocalyptic tale “The Great North” is coming out from Mischief Corner Books. In the fall, my queer (but not romance) sci-fi book “The Stark Divide’ is due out from DSP Publications in early October – it kicks off my second trilogy. And I hope to self-publish River City later this year.

Where can readers find you and your work? Everywhere they sell books. *laughs* They can go to my website at:

http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

and click on Buy My Books for a full list with buy links. They’re all on Amazon, and most are at the other major vendors.

Thanks so much for taking the time the do my interview, it was fun for me, how was it for you? Lol. Thanks for the opportunity and all the great questions. 🙂

As a special treat for our readers, here is an excerpt from the author’s recent release Skythane. Amazon links to the book follow at the end of the excerpt. Thank you everyone for check out this interview. And if you’d like me to interview you next, please contact in the comments or on Facebook.

Excerpt from Skythane:

Quince got up and rummaged through her saddlebags, pulling out a mirror. “Take off your shirt.”

“Why? Are you going to hurt me?” Jameson backed up toward the rope that surrounded the clearing.

Quince snorted. “With a mirror? Hardly. I just want to show you something. Then if you don’t want to believe me, I’ll let it go.”

Fair enough. He shucked his shirt, though it seemed tight coming off.

“Now turn around.”

He complied, and she held the mirror up so he could see his back. “What do you think those are?”

He looked and his face went cold. Protruding from his shoulder blades were two strange lumps, the skin over them looking red and bruised.

He reached around frantically to touch one of them. It was tender and warm. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph….” He spun around, trying to reach them. “What are they? What did you do to me?”

“Your wings are coming in. It’s something that happens to every one of us from the first-wave settlers of Oberon—we usually induce it at puberty with a special hormone. Yours were delayed, but you drank some of the ethilium in that water I gave you—”

Jameson’s breathing quickened, and he felt trapped in the small clearing beneath the alien trees. Everything was wrong. “I don’t know… I can’t….” he rasped, unable to get enough air. What the hell is happening to me? He looked wildly back and forth, his heart racing and his mind struggling to follow.

She reached out to him, but he stumbled away from her touch. He didn’t want her to touch him again. He didn’t want to be here.

He turned and ran blindly away, ducking under the rope and into the open forest. His panic carried him off into the darkness, ignoring Quince’s frantic calls to come back. He was blind to everything but the need to flee, to escape this strange trap that he could feel slowly closing its jaws around him.

Branches slapped at his face, stinging him. He stumbled and fell, but picked himself up again to keep running.

When he finally slowed down, breathing harshly, the campfire was a distant glow, and he was all alone in the darkness.

Jameson stopped then, his hands on his knees and his head down, and let his breathing slowly return to normal. He had to get a grip on himself. He was here, for good or ill. He was stuck with this woman, and something strange was happening to him. That much was clear.

There were two options—he could run from it, or he could turn around and face it. His career had been built on helping people deal with things they didn’t want to acknowledge. Now it was his turn.

He’d been stupid to run.

Jameson had just turned to start back toward the distant campfire when there was a rustling in the branches above. Just one of those damned birds. He’d be back in the warm circle of firelight in a moment anyhow.

There was a loud flutter right behind him, and then he felt a sharp prick in his neck.

“Owww!” He put his hand up. It came down wet.

Around him there was a sound like a thousand little fans, and then he was surrounded by things flapping past him in the darkness. There was another peck on his arm and one on his leg, and he suddenly realized the danger he was in.

“Quince,” he shouted, and started to run, but the flock of wereveren followed him like an angry cloud, diving in to harass him and then flying away again, one after the other. He tried covering his face to protect his eyes, but then he couldn’t see. He stumbled forward, now bleeding in half a dozen places, hoping he was headed back toward the campfire.

He had no way to know without opening his eyes.

The attacks came faster. He was going to die out here, all alone, in an alien wood, fallen prey to a beast no bigger than his outstretched hand. All because he’d been a thick-headed idiot.

He fell down and curled up on the ground, trying to protect as much of himself as possible from the attacks. He felt weird—groggy, like he’d just awoken in the middle of the night.

A roar and a couple loud thumps startled him back to awareness. His assailants scattered momentarily, and a pulse rifle went off, twice. Then he was dragged up onto a seat.

Someone shouted “Hold on!” and he did as he was told, hugging her waist. Quince, he thought.

The cycle swung around and raced back toward the protection of the enclosure.

The wereveren returned, but in less force, and before they could take many more swipes at him, his savior had reached the fire-lit clearing. Quince guided the cycle under the deterrent rope, parked it, and eased him off the seat.

Jameson opened his eyes, but he couldn’t quite focus on her face. He was tired beyond imagining, and the campsite around him swam in and out of focus. The last thing he was aware of was being laid down to rest on a sleep sack. Warm hands touched his cheek, and he thought someone kissed his forehead.

Then he fell into a deep sleep and was aware of nothing else.

Buy Skythane at Amazon. 

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Interview with Author Jay Ellison

Hello again my lovelies. I thought I would add some exciting new content to my blog and expand a little. I  hope you will enjoy this interview with Gay Erotica Author Jay Ellison. It was so much fun to pick his sexy brain. 🙂  If you are a gay romance or erotica author please feel free to contact me for an interview. Now… on with the show!

I want welcome Jay Ellison, the author of the Wolves of Wall Street series to the J. Ashburn Blog. Thank you Jay for taking the time to do this interview for my blog. I’m a big fan of your work and knew we would connect when I found out we shared a love of Paranormal Gay Romance and especially Shifters.

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When did you first start writing fiction? That was probably around grade school. I used to write books about animal facts and staple them together, ha!

Did you have any formal writing training or education? Actually, I have a background in advertisement, so unless you count ad copy, no.

What drew you to the paranormal as opposed to just plain romance fiction? I’m kind of a closet fan of horror movies, the real classic stuff, and movies like The Wolf Man and Curse of the Werewolf are staples of my Halloween viewings. I think CotW is a pretty sexy film, and I often have that and Oliver Reed in the back of my mind while I’m writing The Wolves of Wall Street series.

What do you do to tackle a project? Do you write outlines or keep all in your head? I’m kind of a seat-of-your-pants writer. I mean, I write some things down, and then I pitch it like, “Well, here’s what happens, basically…” and if the publisher thinks it’ll work, I’ll just dive in and try and make it work. It’s worked out really well so far.

What drew you to Courtesan Press and working with Eden Myles? We shared the same online workshop and just really clicked. Eden had the outlet and I had the material she wanted to publish.

Where do your ideas come from?  Other books and movies, mostly. But I also like to borrow some elements from nighttime soap operas. I think it’s a really excellent way to mine ideas.

Did you ever feel uncomfortable writing the “steamy scenes?” I think maybe the first time, but, then, after that, you sort of realize that this is as much a part of the characters as what they wear or what their favorite food is. You can express personality as much in sex as in anything else you’re writing about.

The romance genre, particularly gay romance, seems to be predominately written by women authors, were you hesitant to get into this type of fiction and how do you manage expectations from readers? I haven’t really seen any disadvantages. I think the genre has gotten very progressive over the years. There are more and more guys stepping up to the romance plate. It’s extremely liberating.

How does your family react to you writing gay erotic romance or do they know? See, that’s what pseudonyms are for!

Have you ever thought of trying another genre? I have some interest in doing historical romance, or just plain historical literature. Who am I kidding? I just like cowboys and pirates, lol.

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What do you like to read when you’re not writing? I like classical literature. William Golding, Nathanial Hawthorne. I also don’t mind diving into the forerunners of romance—Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and the Regency writers. I think it’s important to understand where everything came from. On the other hand, I’m also a fan of pretty much any kind of pulp literature.

Who is your favorite writer? I’m a big fan of Ian Fleming.

What current projects are you working on? More books in The Wolves of Wall Street, and maybe something new in The Dollhouse Society. I would like to expand into the shared underworld of TWoW, maybe explore the Fae and the scandalous secrets of the Summer Court as first seen in In Wolf’s Clothing.

What can readers expect in the future from you? More hot, supernatural protagonists, of course!

Where can readers find you and your work? The best place to catch new titles is by signing up for alerts from https://courtesanpress.wordpress.com.

Thanks so much for taking the time the do my interview, it was fun for me, how was it for you? Lol. It was fun. Thanks for having me!

 

More Jay Ellison Books:

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