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Charmed and Dangerous

Coming August 25

I haven't sent out a Saturday Snippet in a while, but I thought it'd be a great place to showcase the the authors in the massive anthology Charmed and Dangerous that'll hit the shelves this coming Tuesday.

Rhys Ford

Today's victim is Rhys Ford, author of several action packed M/M favorites including the ghostly Hellsinger series.
Rhys, when you were working on Dim Sum Asylum, you told me the setting and premise of this short had been pestering you for a while. I get ideas like that too, things that seem like they could be the seed of something cool, but a lot of them remain unwritten and eventually slip away. What was it for you (other than a deadline!) that catalyzed this particular idea into something tangible?
Just straight into it. Well pshaw I get to first thank you for letting me join the anthology. So there.
The setting and premise have been bugging me for years. I’d even sketched out a lot of scenes for Roku and played with the edges of what his world would entail. It seemed like a great place to drop a few thousand words and get him started.
It was neat to begin fully realizing him because I didn’t have a great hold on his personality when I started the idea but when this came around, he evolved into a cop. And one who worked for Arcane Crimes. Once that fell into place, it took off. He needed a purpose so that was awesome. He didn’t start off as a cop. And I didn’t want him to be a standard murder or vice badge. It had to be something a little bit funky and the crimes would be able to lead him to some fantastical places. And I could build the world.
Your protagonist Roku MacCormack is a half-fae. Are there any advantages to coming from a blended species for him? It seemed to me that he was more likely to encounter ostracism from both sides than to be able to travel freely between the two cultures.
He actually is more ostracized than move freely between the cultures. Roku’s world has just passed some violent flashpoints, much like the Civil Rights movement during the 60s and 70s. The fae were always separate from humans and with their own prejudices. Integration of their kind wasn’t welcome by the majority of both sides and Roku being bi-species doesn’t help him. Humans either view him with suspicion for having fae ways or eroticize him. Most fae…well, he’s just not right.
Advantages for him are purely in understanding how both sides work. The humans still don’t know much about the fae because they’re very closed in, very cloistered in their beliefs and practices. And the fae spent a few thousand years or so preying on humans in one way or another so there’s a lot of ignorance on their side.
Since there is a fairly large mingling of the two species now, Roku serves as a touchstone of sorts in this simmering-of-violence world he lives in…a weather vane.
In the first scene, Roku’s partner on the force turns out to be a dirty cop—but really, he’s the only clear cut “bad guy” in Dim Sum Asylum. The main conflict Roku and his new partner need to resolve (other than UST, tee hee) is magic gone awry. What inspired your choice of “bad guy”?
It was important to have Roku’s department be responsible for a bunch of crimes. Mundane crimes are solved by mundane cops but the Arcane Crimes department really encompass a variety of crimes.
The Chinatown Arcane Crime cops are trained at dealing with magical situations or investigating crimes against persons by arcane means. It’s a relatively new department, about a hundred or so years, but most major cities have one. It’s sort of a magical forensics and detective bull pen rolled up into one. There is an Arcane Forensics lab but the detectives on scene should have a wide knowledge of magic so they can investigate along those lines.
So in Dim Sum Asylum, it was nice to have a thing rather than person as the “bad guy”. No rules then. Or at least rules of my own making. It also helps establish what they do as Arcane Crimes and well, I can do a bit of a city romp with it.
And thank you. Really. Again. Still. For letting me join in. I am chuffed and grateful. Much love.

Charlie Cochet

Next up is Charlie Cochet, author of the addictive THIRDS series. Charlie managed to write something new for the anthology while she was moving house—talk about dedication! I only feel somewhat bad for encouraging her to work through the major upheaval and stress since it meant I could have her in the anthology.

Charlie, I’m a huge fan of gross-out horror moments, and the point at which the demons revealed themselves to Riley had me squealing with delight. What inspired the freaky demons?

I have to admit I’m a big wuss when it comes to horror. There were several instances through the PsyCop series where I wanted to close my eyes. Of course I still loved every moment of it! The inspiration came from Japanese horror films. For someone who’s easily scared pant-less by horror, I’ve seen a lot of horror films, but the original Japanese movies like Ring and Ju-on were enough to have me turning on every light to go to the bathroom.  I thought about what someone like me would be totally freaked out by, and that’s what I used to inspire the demons that chase after Riley. Of course he was smart and ran. I would have probably passed out.

When you approach a new standalone novelette like the Soldati Prince, do you need to take anything different into consideration as opposed to writing a series?

Absolutely! For one, with a series you have a lot more time to develop everything from the characters to the plot. In a standalone novelette a huge amount needs to happen in a short amount of time. We have to get to know the characters pretty quickly and the story needs to have a definite beginning, middle, and end. With a series you also get more time to develop romantic relationships between characters which is tough in a shorter story.

I’m envious of the size of your backlist, plus you always make time to interact with your fans! Do you have any special tricks to keep the words and the motivation flowing?

Aw, thank you! It’s been a pretty crazy ride. Music is a big motivator for me because it can help me get out of a writing funk. Sometimes just chatting with an author friend can help a huge deal. It can be really inspirational just talking about craft or even trying to work out something you’re stuck on. Sometimes if I’m not feeling motivated, I take a little break. It might be my brain telling me I need a little “me” time. So I’ll do something that helps me relax and then start fresh. Reading sometimes motivates me as well, especially when it’s a book I really enjoy.

Jordan L. Hawk

I feel very fortunate to share a first name with a person as cool and creative and genuine as Jordan L. Hawk. Not only do we share a first name, but we have very similar taste in genre. Co-Jordan has not only one but two popular long-running paranormal series, Whyborne & Griffin and SPECTR (I am a big time SPECTR fangirl) and a third, Sprits, debuted earlier this year.

Jordan, your magic system in The Thirteenth Hex runs like a well-oiled machine. What gave you the idea to have a hexman drawing up the integral portion of the spell?
I’ve always liked the idea of math being a component of any magical system that relies on things like spell circles—like if you drew the wrong circumference it wouldn’t work, or would blow up, or would give you unexpected results. But it occurred to me if something like hex signs worked along those lines…well, not everyone is great at math and rote learning. A powerful witch might barely be able to add, let alone do advanced geometry.
So someone who could do the math and have the draftsmanship to draw up a hex would be in high demand, even if he didn’t have a spark of magical potential of his own.
Are there any sorts of paranormal entities or creatures you’ve been itching to work with but haven’t found a spot for in one of your series just yet?
Faeries. I’d love to really delve into the old faery-lore—the pre-Victorian stuff, where instead of pretty winged creatures they were dangerous nature spirits.
The Thirteenth Hex had so much potential for sequels. The worldbuilding was rock solid, the characters were interesting, and it felt like there was so much room for more stories. And yet, you’ve already got fantastic series out the wazoo! How many series would you be willing to sustain at one time? What do you think it is about your writing that lends itself so well to series?
Well, we’re about to find out how many I can sustain at once, since I’ve been outlining Cicero’s (a side character from The Thirteenth Hex) story. ;)
I like writing series because I like exploring how relationships evolve over time. A lot of romance novels climax with “I love you” but I feel like the really interesting stuff comes after that. How do these characters mesh their lives in the long term, and what does it look like when circumstances change? Your Psycop series is a great example of that—how much awesome stuff would we have missed out on if it had ended with Jacob and Vic moved in together, right?!
That said, I’d like to try my hand at a series where the main couple changes from book to book, which is something I’ve never done before. I try to challenge myself with every book, and this would definitely be going outside of my comfort zone.
Great minds think alike! I'm always challenging my own comfort zone too. And Cicero is just begging for his own story. He is.

That's it for today--but keep your eyes peeled, there are six fascinating authors left for me to grill. And hopefully this chat has piqued your interest for our upcoming project!

Preorder Charmed and Dangerous

Take a cauldron full of magic, add a pinch of humor, a dash of snark and a huge dollop of m/m goodness, and what do you get? Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. This all-new collection is packed with arcane action and intrigue, and every story will whisk you away to a fantastical world where the hero finds his prince and the paranormal investigator always gets his man.

Amazon - BN - iTunes - Kobo


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2015 09:30 pm (UTC)
I am excited for this!!!

Aug. 24th, 2015 02:33 pm (UTC)
I'm excited too! Lots of last-minute stuff to do :D
Aug. 24th, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC)
I intend to buy tomorrow, do you know if the book is DRM locked on Amazon? I don't own an e-reader and prefer to print mine out.
Or will it also be available elsewhere?
Aug. 24th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I've never printed out a kindle book so I'm not sure how that works, but it may be DRM locked. It will be available at the four e-tailers listed above plus Smashwords in epub and Payhip in multi format, but it may be a more pleasant experience to read the paperback since it's so long. I'm just waiting on a metadata tweak for the paperback to go through.
Aug. 24th, 2015 03:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info...if not locked I can convert kindle to HTML in Calibre & print.
I do plan to buy the paperback also, they usually take sooo long to arrive that I need to get my copy ASAP, hence the PDF. It sounds like Payhip may be the answer, Thanks!
Aug. 25th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC)
Hello - I just popped over to see if there was any information about the paperback, and I was pleased to find this comment! I've been looking forward to the anthology, and crossing fingers that a paperback wouldn't be too far behind the ebook version, so I hope your tweaks go well, and I shall keep looking forward...
Aug. 25th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
I gave up on waiting for them to insert paragraph breaks in me description and just hit the go button. It's up now :-)

Aug. 28th, 2015 08:01 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I've been trying to get hold of a copy through amazon.co.uk, but even though it comes up as a paperback, it also comes up saying that it's out of stock and that they'll let me know when there's a copy available. They advertise it from Bookdepository in Amazon Marketplace within 2-3 days (which is ridiculous, cos Bookdepository is Amazon-owned these days), but when I went to buy it from Bookdepository it's not on the website, and they replied to an email to say that they didn't have it in stock (so they are Amazon, but then they should be advertising it differently...) They've not replied yet to my email asking about their listing on amazon.co.uk. I've written to ask my actual favourite online bookseller if they'll be stocking it, because they carry your other paperbacks, but I've not heard back yet...

I'm guessing there's nothing you can do about any of this, but I thought I'd let you know that even though amazon.co.uk is pretending that your book is available in paperback, it actually doesn't seem to be... not fair! I'll keep an eye out in hope, and worse-case scenario order it internationally, but I'd like to expand your personal/the mm market on our side of the pond!
Aug. 28th, 2015 09:07 am (UTC)
None of these places typically stock a print-on-demand book anyway, they order it dropshipped from a printer. I believe it's a matter of waiting for data to populate the online retailers. I've read that online retailers upload their data in batches, some of them as little as once a week. Since the paperback was just made available Tuesday, it may take time for places like Book Depository to catch up. Not sure what the deal is with Amazon UK but I suspect checking back in a few days might be the simplest solution.
Aug. 28th, 2015 09:47 am (UTC)
I've been going on previous purchases of newly-released books, where the data's been populated pretty quickly, but I appreciate it might be different for print-on-demand books. That said, I thought that "print-on-demand" would translate to immediately-available-insofar-as-when-you-order-it-they'll-print-it, so it seems odd for them to say "out-of-stock" if the whole point is that stock isn't kept (if you see what I mean). Hope you don't mind me noting it all here, I thought it might also help if other people were looking for the paperback too, to see what was going on, rather than us all going through the same searches! I'll definitely keep tabs on it all - there'll be a copy out there somewhere, by the sounds, eventually!
Aug. 28th, 2015 04:52 pm (UTC)
...it seems odd for them to say "out-of-stock" if the whole point is that stock isn't kept (if you see what I mean).

ABSOLUTELY, I couldn't agree with you more! I definitely don't understand the "why" of it because it's not logical. It's just my experience that sometimes it takes a week to churn through the pipes :D
Aug. 25th, 2015 07:45 am (UTC)
HMMM...not sure about the formats....Looks like I will wait for the paperback....hopefullly it will be available soon!!!! I'm dying to read the stories!!!
Aug. 25th, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
Me again!! I've tried to buy it using Payhip 3X now and each time it gives me an error....I have a Paypal account, do you know what the problem may be?
Aug. 25th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC)
Another reader mentioned the same thing. Maybe Payhip can help? contact@payhip.com
Aug. 28th, 2015 07:49 am (UTC)
Contacted Payhip, waiting for them to find out what the problem is......
Aug. 28th, 2015 09:08 am (UTC)
I've done the same and sent them a screenshot of the error.
Aug. 28th, 2015 09:42 am (UTC)
I'm ordering my Paperback version from Amazon today...YEA! Wonderful to have it available so fast!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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