I first met Silvia online through a mutual publisher where we had one of those "Hi, how are you?" "Oh, new release, congratulations!" kind of relationships. We first met in person, though, in September of 2012 in Tennessee of all places, where we were staying in the same cabin. ("Cabin" is a misnomer here. It was a wood structure set up on the side of a mountain but the dang thing was bigger than my home and could house and feed a small army.)
We were both early risers and began to run into each other stumbling about the half dark kitchen, trying to get coffee started or Silvia would find me after her walk out on the veranda sipping coffee, watching the morning light filter through the mountain mist. We clicked, through some odd grace of the universe, with enough mutual geek girl overlap in different subjects to keep things interesting. Full disclosure - Silvia is one of my favorite people, and one of my favorite authors to work with. Since that first time together, we've worked on several anthologies together and often serve as the each other's beta readers.
We tease Silvia that she could be a school librarian. Sweet, kind and gentle, her polite southern soul rarely has a harsh word to say about anyone. Bless their hearts. But don't let the exterior fool you. Silvia's stories are hot, with a big, red, flaming, capital "H." While we both write adult fiction, mine is definitely in the "plot with a little sex if I feel like it" camp while Silvia's work tips more toward the "sex built around a plot" style of romance.
The first Silvia books I read (before we ever met) were her SF novels, the Galactic Betrayal stories. (What a shock - I dove right for the science fiction. Anyone surprised? Show of hands? *crickets chirping* Yeah, that's what I thought.) I didn't go in with high expectations. I've been horribly disappointed by M/M "science fiction" before - the kind that had no SF in it, that was really just one sex scene after another with maybe an alien thrown in. But no, Silvia's work sucked me in. There is a lot of sex, don't get me wrong (a LOT) but it's sex for a reason, sex that furthers the relationship and development of these seriously damaged characters. And the SF portion? Built right into the sex in some really imaginative and kinky ways. Lark and Derek are both such lovely messes - the reader can't help but fall in love and I'm excited to see these being re-released now with beautiful new covers and all. Good stuff.
Since then, I've discovered Silvia is a versatile author of steamy hot romance - with shifters of all sorts (including but not limited to wolves) and various sexy contemporary heroes to go with the SF stories. It's a full service buffet of yummy tales into which she invariably builds a lot of sexual tension, badly damaged souls in need and some of the loveliest mouth-watering meal descriptions you'll ever find. Really, it's often as much food porn as it is erotica :D
Can't wait to hook up again in Atlanta, Silvia! (Well, not in the sense the young folk mean...you knew what I meant...)
This is going to sound absurd, I know, but the thing that first attracted me to Jordan is her profile picture on Facebook. I love that hat. How trivial, how silly, I know, but sometimes those little eye-catching things make you pay attention through the noise of social media.
I liked her posts. I liked her sense of humor. Pretty sure I spotted her at the last GRL, but we've yet to speak. (Time for an overly honest moment here: as much as I'd love to say hello and get to know everyone involved, it takes a ridiculous amount of shoring up my social fortitude to introduce myself to someone new. I will try to follow my more social friends' example and do better this year.)
Point is, I was interested and finally (with the birthday book money this year) was able to purchase a couple of Jordan's books. Hooray! Had my eye on the Whyborne and Griffin books for some time...
Jordan is self-published, which sometimes makes folks hesitate, even in this shiny new era of alternative publication. I understand - some self-pub stuff is really rough, unfinished, unpolished. These? Gorgeous books. I had no real idea of the plot/content of the W &G books going in, so I absolutely giggled in glee when the word Arkham showed up early on. Lovecraft! My brain shrieked in delight.
The edge of horror was not as oppressive as Lovecraft, nor as overwhelming to an easily influenced mind, but the atmosphere that Jordan lets ooze through the pages is perfect, dredging up old feelings of dread and wonder. I had a couple of bad nights where I was turning on more lights than usual, convinced that something (thing!) lurked in the dark outside my house.
These paranormals are as good (or better in several cases) than the ones being put out by the big M/M publishers these days - thoroughly enjoyed the setting, the poignancy of the characters and the creeping sense of horror. (Yes. Old horror fan. I do enjoy it even when I'm scared into doing silly things like racing up the stairs too fast.)
This is one of the most wonderful things about our genre - discovering each new, wonderful author a story at a time. We'll always have our favorites, our comfort food authors if you like, but there's something exquisitely satisfying about sinking your teeth into someone...er, something new.
It took me a long time to read Abigail Roux. Some explanation is probably in order...
Reading, for me, is not so much escape as it is comfort. Being able to connect with someone's interior world soothes me since I so often don't connect well with the exterior world. So reading contemporary fiction is not generally my cup of tea. Neither is reading authors "everyone" raves over. I need something different, something odd, something more imaginative than "real life" stories and stories that, to me, have become part of the popularity contest of life. Give me good SF, a well-crafted fantasy, a good mystery with a quirky detective, a historical that isn't that same plot line as the hundred thousand that came before. Give me an author who can write, who does more than create the usual "hot" stories.
It's silly, sometimes, I know. But an author "everyone" has to read? My red flags go up immediately. Abi, unfortunately, was one of those authors "everyone" talked about. I can, with enough finagling, get over myself, though.
Abi sat catty-corner from me at the GRL book signing last year, across the aisle where I could observe. She seemed like a lovely person and her table was constantly busy. My dear friend, Silvia (who was at the table behind me) even took time for a fangirl moment to leave her own space and talk to Abi. What's it all about? I asked. Silvia assured me that Abi's work would be right up my rather crooked alley: mystery, suspense, an atypical relationship, some really odd characters and dark stuff with a sense of humor. So I tried one.
Um, yeah. Several weeks and several Ty and Zane adventures later, can you say Abi fangirl? I fell fast and hard.
Flaws here and there? Sure. Did I enjoy every book as much as the others? No, of course not. But Ty and Zane, with all their damage, all their conflict, all their bizarre coping (and non-coping) mechanisms rammed through all my carefully constructed defenses. I adore them. They've become absurdly real to me and I worry about them (and now their oddball friends, too, darn you Nick and Kelly!)
Abi's strength, I think, lies in the characters themselves - the way we're allowed into certain rooms in their brains, their unique voices and internal struggles. The external conflicts are fun, too, of course. You had me at Poe and Baltimore, Abi. It really wasn't fair. It's the slow reveal of character over time and the slow growth from one disaster to the next that sears these stories into the heart.
Think you're only seeing Abi's writing through the lust haze for Ty and Zane? Fair enough. I will argue that her writing also excels in place and atmosphere - the research into setting and feel, the overall ambiance of the story is just as crucial to her yarn-spinning and just as effective. Don't believe me? Step away from our FBI boys. Slowly. You can do it. Now go read Gravedigger's Brawl and you'll see what I mean.
This time when I go to GRL, maybe I'll have a chance to speak to Abi. Fair warning. There may be a fangirl moment or two. :)
I know most of our time is spent pimping our own work - but darn it, writers are readers, too. Books have always been my friends, my companions and my bulwark against the world. I love discovering new authors or authors new to me, peeling back the layers of their style and voice, snuggling down and getting to know them in a way that's often more intimate than sex.
We get to crawl into the author's mind.
So - from now until the glorious madness that is GRL, I'll be posting about authors on the list whom I have read. Some of my favorite authors won't be there this year (*sniffle* No, no, I'll be all right.) But tons of authors I adore will be attending.
Watch this space over the next few days for some of the authors I've delighted in over the past few years - some of whom I've come to know personally and some I can barely say hello to in a haze of fangirl vapors.
I'm visiting on The Novel Approach as part of the Countdown (OMG - GRL is next month!) with a giveaway and everything to go with the quirky post.
Comment by midnight Saturday, 9/7 to be considered!
Writers Are Like Restaurants. Who Knew?
Look, I'm old enough to remember when you had to type in DOS commands to get a computer to even acknowledge you. It was a slow dance, a limited give and take of two beings of questionable intelligence trying to communicate across a vast divide of language.
But listen up, computer folks, that was over thirty years ago. 30. Freaking. Years. We should be able to communicate a little better by now. Oh, sure. We do the touch screen thing and we can find websites in a blink of an eye, look up maps, discover obscure scientific facts.
There is, however, one thing we cannot do. Ask for an image search without boobs.
If I ask for images of "Hot male demons," half of the images are of boobage. In the case of a demon search, huge, bazoomba boobies, for whatever bizarre reason. "Sexy male demons"? Yep. Boobs. "Male demons"? Boobs.
Don't get me wrong. There are some lovely pretties that come up with these searches, too. It simply annoys me, Mr. Search Engine, that you see the words I type. no matter what words, and assume that since I'm looking for pics, I must want boobs. As if it were some sort of unbreakable rule.
(The pic to the right is one I've come to think of as "Shax at home." Hehe.)
How about we make a deal, computers everywhere?
I have boobs of my own. If I ever want to see a pair, I just have to look down. Next time I want them in an image search, I'll ask for them. Clear?
Angel's new demon story is guaranteed boob free. Come check it out in all the usual places:
Hell For The Company
in the Horns and Halos Collection
Barnes and Noble
Yes. The old website is defunct. No longer functioning. Deceased. An ex-website.
I knew this would happen at some point - even said so from time to time. "Oh, I really need to set up a new website." But no. I dithered and hesitated, afraid of all the work, went ahead and ordered all the GRL swag with the old website.
And then IT happened.
My website, with all of the back list info, the WIP's and coming soon, the last several years of blog posts - was frozen. No longer visible to myself or my readers. Bandwidth exceeded, the stupid thing said. Well, Webs.com, you've been giving me heartburn for years. We should have broken up a long time ago. Your demands, your flaky attitude and your high-maintenance lifestyle are finally driving me to this. We were comfortable together, you know? I understood your quirks and I accepted them as others might not.
But I'm sorry. I'm seeing another website provider. It's over between us. I wish I could say it's me, not you, but it's not true. It's you.
Goodbye Webs. You can keep all the old blog posts. I won't ask for them back. I'm starting over.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.