Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guest Author Day with SJ Frost

So let’s get this party started. Please tell us about yourself. What got you interested in being an author?
I’ve always had a love for books, and used to tell myself stories even before I knew how to write.  I’d take characters from my favorite books and create all new stories for them in my mind.  As I got older, I started put the pen to the paper and created my own original stories.  So it was really all the authors I read and the worlds they created that got me interested in writing.  But it wasn’t until college when I really took the idea of getting published seriously, and that came about from having written what would eventually be my first novel, CONQUEST.  There was something about the story where I wanted to share it with others and hopefully give readers the same kind of enjoyable experience my favorite authors had given to me.

Can you tell me a bit about your most recent/upcoming release?
Sure can!  Back at the end of December, I had a novella released at MLR Press titled FINDING A DREAM.  It’s a spin-off of my Conquest series, and follows a teen who’s getting bullied at school, and seeks help in his idol and favorite stage actor, Brandon Alexander.  This one is a really special work for me because my editor and I are donating all our royalties from it to The Trevor Project, which works to provide life affirming and life saving resources to LQBTQ youth.

Then my newest release will be an m/m vampire erotic romance novel, NATURAL INSTINCTS.  It’s my first foray into writing vampires and I had a blast working on it!  This one is also going to be published at MLR Press, and is do out very soon!

And in a couple months, I should have another m/m erotic romance novel coming out, BLACK HEART DOWN.  I’m jumping back into writing rock stars with this one and it takes place in the Conquest “world.”  It’ll be published at MLR Press, too. 

For any readers who may not have read any of your books, can you just give us a little sneak peek into world (i.e. the type of genre you write, type of stories you like to write....etc)?
I write m/m erotic romance, most of it in a contemporary setting.  My Conquest series follows the members in the rock band, Conquest, and others who are connected to them.  My stories can get pretty steamy, but the focus of all of them is always on love.

How much of yourself, if any, do you put into your characters?
They’re so much more interesting than me!  So not too much.  Most of them are more outgoing than I am, and some have interests very different than I do, which leads me to doing a lot of research to learn about the things they like.  A few have really big personalities, like Jesse Alexander, the lead singer in Conquest.  He’s kind of larger than life, but he’s a rock star, so I think that comes with the job.  But I do tend to think of all my characters as unique individuals in of themselves.

Is there a genre you haven’t done that you would like to explore in the future?
I’d like to write a historical fiction someday.  Of course, my idea for it would still be m/m, so I guess that’s not a wholly different genre.  But I would also like to write a fantasy trilogy, true sword and sorcery stuff.  It’s what I used to write when I was younger, all unpublished.  It might even have a female hero! 

If you could throw a party with any five people (living or dead) who would you pick and why?
Freddie Mercury – Because he was a music god and my favorite artist of all time.
Gackt – Another music god and a favorite artist of mine.  Probably second favorite after Freddie, actually. 
Alexander the Great – I’ve always had a fascination with Alexander and to be able to sit down and talk with him would be beyond amazing.
Laura Joh Rowland – She’s one of my favorite authors and I’d love to have the chance to talk with her about her books.
Casanova (Giacomo Casanova) – Because a man whose name centuries later is still connected with the art of seduction, who wouldn’t want to talk to him!

What are at least five things you have on your bucket list and have you done any of them?
Most of mine involve places I want to travel to, and I haven’t gone to any, so traveling to Japan, China, England, Ireland, Scotland, and many more are all on the list.  I guess we’ll throw all those under one thing.  I’d also like to:
2.) Do more charity work – have accomplished that somewhat, but I’m not satisfied and would like to do more.
3.) Have ten novels published – not yet, but I’m getting closer.
4.) See some of my favorite musicians perform live, especially Gackt and David Garrett – I’ve seen some, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and others, but not Gackt or David Garrett.
5.) Write that fantasy trilogy! – Not even close *sigh*

Is there one series/author you feel is a must read for readers to explore (can be e book authors or print NY house authors)?
It’s really hard to narrow it down to one, but I’d have to go with the Sano Ichiro series by Laura Joh Rowland.  They’re set in Tokugawa Japan and follow a samurai detective.  She has a really lush writing style and the stories are always intriguing.  I actually still have to finish that series myself.  She’s written a couple new ones, and I’ve fallen behind on her writing with trying to stay on top of my own!

For m/m series (yeah, I know, I’m breaking the rules listing a second series.  Sorry!), Jambrea Jo Jones has the Alliance series she’s working on, the first one, RETRIBUTION, is out now,  with the sequel, SALVATION, coming soon, and more are planned.  The first book is m/m, the second will be m/m/f.  I really enjoy sci-fi stories, and she creates a very cool world with super sexy characters and hot intimate scenes.

Do you listen to music when writing? Do you feel like some stories write themselves a soundtrack with specific music? If so, what book and what kind of music influenced it?
I prefer silence when I’m writing, but I’ll listen to music for inspiration beforehand or afterward.  Since I’ve written a lot about rock stars, I think almost all my books could have a sound track to go with them, but I also think every reader would probably connect different bands to my guys.  And even going further, each character, Jesse, Evan, Julian, and the other guys would all could have different artists to represent them.  I’m getting complicated, aren’t I?  I should’ve just said “yes” and the soundtrack would be mostly rock and some classical J

What is coming up for you in 2011?
I have my vampires going live here in 2011 with NATURAL INSTINCTS, and hopefully, I’ll be writing at least one other book with them that may also get released this year…depending on how fast I can write it.  There are also going to be more rock stars with BLACK HEART DOWN and maybe, just maybe, a classical violinist and a kilt wearing Scottish rock drummer from a whole new band in an m/m novel tentatively titled, HEARTSTRINGS.

Are any of your characters just like you or have personality quirks/traits of you or someone you know?
I don’t think any are like me, and I don’t write much based off real people in my life.  Well, I take that back.  Some of the “villain” characters have had influence from some not very nice people I’ve known.  It’s a lot harder for me to write characters who have hateful, bigoted attitudes because it’s a mentality I don’t understand or relate to, so then I have to look at real life and the unfortunate times I’ve witnessed people being like that.  But for the most part, my characters are just themselves.

Where can readers find you on the web?


Coming soon to MLR Press

Andreas Nikandros has one focus, to kill the vampire he believes murdered his sister, and he knows with their greater strength, the surest way to kill a vampire is to become one.  As a zoologist, he’s used to looking at the world from a natural standpoint, but when he sets out on a quest to find a vampire to Turn him, what he finds in Titus Antonius Calidus is the last thing he expected.  Titus has lived for over a thousand years, and in that time has only ever given his heart to one man.  As they follow their natural instincts, they discover something truly worth living forever for, each other.

Excerpt:  *In this scene, after attempting to confront the vampire he believes murdered his sister, Andreas Nikandros is under attack by the vampire’s minions, and he meets Titus Antonius Calidus for the first time.*

Andreas stumbled into the alley, reeling to catch his balance. He whirled around. A fist smashed into the side of his mouth. The force knocked him to the side and the ground. He landed hard, his body rigid with shock and pain.

Andreas struggled to suck in a breath, then lost the little bit of air he gained when a sharp-toed boot slammed into his ribs. He curled his body into a ball. Through his pain, laughter deafened him. Andreas lay still, waiting for the next strike to come. His mind moved far too sluggishly in forming a plan for escape, and it seemed fixated on one thought: he’d failed.

A voice broke through his thoughts and over the laughter.

“Children, children, look what you’ve done.”

The laughter ceased.

The rich baritone spoke again. “Clearly you’re undeserving of such a fine treat.”

Andreas sensed the other vampires moving away from him. He opened his eyes to see them standing in a cluster near the wall of the restaurant, their gazes fixed beyond him. He couldn’t help but think they resembled a pack of hyenas when forced to bow to a lion, unable to do anything but watch as their prey was stolen from them.

Andreas felt a presence standing over him. A hand touched his shoulder and pushed him onto his back. Andreas’s gaze traveled up long legs clad in black pants to a steel-gray silk shirt and over each button to the top where two were open to reveal ivory skin. He looked at the slender jaw, the high cheekbones framed with platinum-blond hair, and met the silver stare of the other. 

Troy took two quick steps forward. “Back off, Calidus! He’s ours!”

The blond vampire snatched Troy by the arm, muttering under his breath. “Troy, no. No one’s allowed to call Lord Titus that.” His voice dipped lower, though Andreas still caught him mumbling the word “ancient.”

Troy shook off the other’s grip. “I know who he is, Isaac, and I don’t give a shit. That piece is ours!”

Titus looked up from Andreas to Troy. With fluid grace, he stood, his gaze locked on Troy. Even without the gaze focused on him, Andreas could feel the lethal threat radiating from Titus.

Troy slunk back toward the door. “Don’t think I won’t tell Lord Renart about this.”

“I’d be grateful for the favor,” Titus said.

Troy backed through the door, Isaac and his companions mimicking his movements.   

Titus kept his gaze on the door until it closed, then brought it back to Andreas. “And now for you.” He bent over him and dipped the fingers of one hand into Andreas’s hair near his temple, drawing them through the curls. “Let’s get a better look at you.”

Titus slipped his hands under Andreas’s arms and, with the ease of lifting a small child, hauled him to his feet. He spun Andreas around, holding him under the light hanging above the backdoor and looked into his eyes, drinking in their blue-gray hue.

“Like the sea before a storm,” Titus said softly.

His strength returning, Andreas got his feet under him and moved to take a step back. Titus dug his fingers into Andreas’s upper ribs, stopping him. Andreas stood eye to eye with him, his heartbeat quickening. “Titus, that’s your name?”

Titus tipped his head closer to him, his lips a fraction from Andreas’s. “Titus Antonius. And yours?”

Andreas took a breath, inhaling Titus’s exhale. “Andreas Nikandros.”

Titus bowed his head, bringing his nose closer to Andreas’s neck. “A Greek name.” He lifted his head, his eyes focused on the rivulet of blood coursing from Andreas’s bottom lip to his chin. “Maybe you carry ancient blood also.”

Titus touched the tip of his tongue to Andreas’s chin and licked up the red line, a deep groan rumbling from his throat as he did. There was a sweetness to Andreas’s blood, just as his natural fragrance had betrayed, and the energy and virility of his essence sent a euphoric rush through Titus.


Dawn R. said...

Hi SJ,

Love your covers and I love the Conquest world. :) I can not wait to read this upcoming book of yours. *grins* The sneak peek alone has me drooling for more. :)

Thanks for being my guest.

S.J. Frost said...

Hi Dawn,

I'm so happy to be here! Thank you very much about the Conquest books. I'm glad you liked them, and the excerpt for my vampires :D I'm really excited for the release of NATURAL INSTINCTS.

And another big thank you about my covers! I've been very lucky in the talented cover artists I've gotten to work with, Deana C. Jamroz and Lex Valentine.

Thanks so much for having me here today!

Jambrea said...

Well...I stopped by to show some SJ love because her rockers well...ROCK and I LOVE BRANDON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And what do I find...SJ talking about me. lol

Love you SJ!

And if you guys haven't tried SJ's rockers you really should. I have them all in ebook AND print I love them so much. I keep telling her that Brandon needs a bigger story so HE can be on my shelf...*sigh* but I'm still waiting. heehee

Suzy said...

Totally agree with Jambrea here. Either Brandon or Brad from Conquest LOL he could definitely go to the dark side for the right guys huh??? Totally looking forward the BHD and Natural Insticts. Ever since Jambrea recommended you to me, I've loved your Conquest series and can't wait for more of your work.


Sloan Parker said...

Great interview. Natural Instincts sounds fabulous, SJ. Best of luck with the release. I think it's such a wonderful thing you and your editor are doing with your royalties from Finding a Dream. Kudos to you guys!

S.J. Frost said...

LOL! You caught me, Jambrea! How could I not mention your books with one of my favorite characters of all time...Rock! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the sweet things you said about my books. Love you, too! And I promise, Brandon is on his way!

Hi, Suzy! You gave me a big smile :D I'm so happy you've enjoyed the Conquest series, and I owe Jambrea a huge thank you for recommending them to you! Brad's story is certainly going to be another one I'll be working. And I really appreciate you looking forward to BHD, Natural Instincts, and my other work. Thank you so very much!

Hi, Sloan! Thank you for coming by and for your kind words! My editor and I have been so happy with being able to give to The Trevor Project. Every little bit helps, and readers have been so generous in lending their support. I can't thank people enough for that :-)

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