Greetings from the end of the weekend, hope yours was fabulous! Tonight I have a new author spotlight. If you’re interested in being featured here, drop me a line at talya.andor at gmail.
This month’s feature is A.F. Henley, who can be found at Henley’s site, Goodreads, and Less Than Three Press. A.F. has an intriguing new book coming out this week, so I’m excited to have Henley visit this evening!
Here we have A.F., and thanks for stopping by.
Tell us about yourself, beyond the standard bio: any quirky habits, fun facts, or little-known anecdotes?
That’s a tough question to start with. Let’s see … bad stuff first. I have an unnatural aversion to far too many foods, an intense distrust for most things human, and a fierce desire to delete or hide nearly everything I write once I’ve completed it. As for the good things, I have a partner that I love with every bit of my being; I’m a non-judgemental vegetarian (yes, they do actually exist) who supports all things furry, winged, and scaled; and I’m great with numbers, on both the accounting and speculative level.
None of my habits are quirky, they are all nasty. I smoke. I drink way too much coffee and I have a very fond fascination with good white wine and flavoured vodka.
I love to dance like a complete moron.
Where’s your favourite place to write?
That would be, without doubt, my office. It’s in the far corner of our basement; it is dusty (my dust bunnies are my minions) and chaotic (no right-angles for me, thank you) and perfectly silent.
Music: a must, or a no-go?
That totally depends on what I’m doing. If I’m writing I need absolute silence. A squeaking chair or rattling vent whilst I trek the treacherous paths of literary greatness are the equivalent of Danny Torrance’s little flashing, howling fire engine and likely to get the same reaction. Any other time? Hell, yes. If I’m driving I have the music cranked. I swear you can hear my car approaching from blocks away.
What kind of stories do you like to write?
(Relationship, humor, historical?)
I like to write angst-free, smut-strong, irreverently-witty stories and poetry. I just don’t usually get to. My stories have a life of their own and they refuse to bend to my will. They also don’t seem to have a sub-genre that they’ve agreed to stick to. The one and only concession they’ve made with me is that they will always end well.
Do you prefer to write fiction to a prompt or call specification, or have an open field?
It doesn’t matter actually. The story will either find me or it won’t.
Any advice for writers who are getting started?
A week ago I would have said no. But as I was musing over another question I realised that I actually do have something intelligent to say on this. Pick a publisher that you can work with. Find someone that advertises the same kind of ideals that you have. Be comfortable with them before you ever press “send” for the first time. A new writer might be surprised how much you’re going to need to ask “just one more question” or send back another “whoops, I think I messed something up” email. The support I’ve received from Less Than Three Press has been fantastic. I can honestly say that they were my first choice and that they make the experience far better than what I’ve heard others deal with along the way.
Are there any tropes that you wish authors would retire, or fiction pet peeves?
I have a couple. Hair references as titles (epithets like “the blond”) frustrate me. I find the over-indulgence of sex instead of plot to be just plain lazy. But for the most part I can force myself to skip over things that I don’t like because I figure they have the right to write as they see fit.
What are your methods to relax and take a break from writing?
Honestly? I don’t. Not long-term anyway. Writing is my reprieve and if I couldn’t do it, I would lose my mind. Short of stepping away for a quick cigarette or to fill my glass, I’m good. Although at the end of the day I’m more than happy to pop open Skype and/or Livestream for some casual chatting. Oh … and Tumblr. Lots and lots and lots of Tumblr…
Thanks for spending time with us! What’s a title we should pick up from your catalogue?
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be here.
As for recommendations, “Honour” is my new baby so I’m definitely devoting a lot of time to it. It’s a good novel (and I’m repeating myself with this statement but…), with a lot to say about respect and personal freedom, choices and compromise. It’s about recognizing love for what it really is: a hell-ton of work and compromise; but knowing at the end of the day that it’s the reason that you carry on and keep going. Because as hard as it might be to keep making things work true love is worth fighting for.
I’ll even make it easy for one of your readers to check it out. I’d like to offer your readers the opportunity to win a copy of Honour, in the ebook format of their choice. Anyone who leaves a comment is eligible, assuming they are of legal age and able to legally accept the work, and winners will be selected via a random number generator.
If I can be so bold, I’ll include this for those who are interested:
M/M Historical Romance
Recently docked after a voyage abroad, Emmett wants only to find a warm bed and good food, for himself and the cabin boy he’s taken into his care. Those plans are impeded, however, by an altercation in the streets—with a man he realizes too late is England’s heir to the throne, Prince Andrewe.
When the encounter unexpectedly leads to a position in the royal household attending the prince, Emmett is not certain what to think. On one hand, it’s a reliable income and ensures the safety of his charge. On the other, it’s neither the life Emmett knows, nor an environment that he’s comfortable in. Left to learn his lessons the hard way, Emmett spends his days contending with a spoiled, infuriating prince who leaves him in a constant tangle of emotions.
Then he begins to hear whispers of treason and must make a choice: defend Prince Andrewe, or betray him.