Monday, April 7, 2014

Not in the Stars Blog Tour Stop

Talking with the authors from Not in the Stars Anthology....

Is there a genre you’d like to write?  Is there one you’ll probably stay away from?  Why?

A genre I would like to write? As in I don’t write in it now? I’d like to have the time for more historicals. Even if you’re a fan/student of history, fiction set in the past takes scads of research – material culture, sometimes speech patterns, street layouts that might have changed, so many little things and I don’t have the time for that right now. As for where I would stay away genre-wise? I’ll most likely never write a true BDSM story for publication. Just not something that appeals to me as a writer.
Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.

Not In The Stars comes from a list of anthology options we compiled for ourselves. We had readers send us ideas and vote on them. We tossed ideas around and kept the ones enough of us could buy into. We snuck some in when no one else was looking…What? Don’t look at me like that.

This anthology, as a Science Fiction anthology, I think came about partly because I whined so much. I mean, um, my co-authors felt sorry for me. No! That’s not what I meant. But there were some topics that were out of my normal comfort zone, so I think they figured I got to have a turn back with my normal stuff. So we have four Science Fiction stories in four wildly different writing styles.

Where did the individual ideas come from? Freddy wanted to do something steam-punkish. Mathilde had this fabulous idea about actual aliens at a SF convention. Toni wanted freaky alien sex. And I wanted Shax to have get a little creative.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I tend to research some bizarre things. For “Shax’s War”, (my story in this antho and the third Brimstone story) I found myself having to research hedgehogs, molecular gastronomy, and certain eras of men’s fashion for inspiration. Then the Mischief Corner crew helped me construct (mentally) the typical trauma ball court. Everyone had a hand in that scene.

If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?

William Moseley would actually make a good Shax. He has the ability to look innocent and stalwart, but then that grin breaks out… For Ness, we’d need someone tall, exotic and sincere looking. Sadly, I can’t think of anyone who fits.

How do you come up with characters names?

Most character names for me have something to do with the character’s family, ethnicity, point of origin. Then they have to be names I like, that fit the character’s appearance and personality. For my Fae novels, for instance, many of the names come right out of old Celtic stories. For the names of demons and angels, I sifted through hundreds of references in online demonology listings and lists of angel names for appropriate ones. Shax was actually listed as the demon prince of thieves on one of these sites, and the idea appealed to me. Rather, it sank its teeth in and wouldn’t let the hell go.

What do you do in your free time?

Sadly, free time doesn’t really exist right now. I work an evil day job. I have family. In the evenings and on weekends, I do author stuff. This doesn’t leave much in the way of “free time.” I suppose I could always give up sleep.

How much of your own personality bleeds into your characters?

I’d say it’s unavoidable for personality bits and pieces to break off and land smack in the middle of the character soup. The writer is, after all, writing inside a closed system (the writer’s brain) and some cross- contamination is bound to occur. You see one of my characters having a smartass moment? Yeah, that’s me. You see one breaking down in sheer frustration? Yeah. You see one being all brave and self-sacrificing, heading out against impossible odds without a thought to… no, you would be wrong. That’s not me at all.

Do you have a list of movies like me that you are itching to see or have seen? What about ones coming up? Any that draw your eye to it?

Here we are back to that time issues. There are always tons of movies I want to see. I still have been able to see Elysium, for crying out loud. Or The Dark World. Or Frozen. *cries*

You are hosting a dinner party. If given the chance to invite characters from other series, who would you invite?

Oh, my goodness – I get to have my book boyfriends over? Roan and Dylan from the Infected series would have to come. I love those books to pieces. Paris could come as well, though I think that might be awkward. Tadashi and Berg (new or old incarnation) should be there, though we’d have to have someone keep a close eye on Kou the squirrel. I know Internment’s not a series, but I’d still want them there. Jonty and Orlando from the Cambridge Fellows mysteries. Adrien English – yes, I’d like a chat with him. Whyborne and Griffin, most definitely, from Jordan Hawke’s Widdershins series. Might have to keep some of these folks in separate rooms, though. Don’t think I’d like to see Roan and Percy Whyborne get into a serious argument.

If you only had twenty dollars in your pocket, what would you buy?

Books. Duh.

Of all your heroes that you’ve written, is there one that you love above all?

I think Finn will always be the closest to my heart. I love all my characters, male, female, human and otherwise, but Finn’s the one who walked out of the dark when I needed him all those years ago, who whispered in my ear and said, “You can do this. If you can believe in me, I can believe in you.”

What’s the most interesting way you got around a plot problem?

I don’t think there’s an “interesting” way. If there’s truly a plot problem, it needs to be fixed in a methodical way. Back it up. Take the plot vehicle back to where you first got lost. Start again.

Really, the way to avoid plot problems is to watch where you’re going in the first place. If writers didn’t just hare down the plot street without looking, we wouldn’t have all these accidents.

If you owned a bookstore, what book would you make sure was in stock?

Yes. All of them. Owning a bookstore would be a little slice of heaven (if you’re independently wealthy and don’t have to worry about pesky things like rent and utilities and such.) I’d want to keep everything in stock, probably specialize in fiction. The one book I’d always make sure was in stock? A Wizard of Earthsea. Should be mandatory reading.

What is next for you? Anything you want to mention?

Mischief Corner has tons of things in the pipeline – watch the site for more re-releases and new releases coming this summer.

For me, I would like to mention that MCB will be handling the re-release of my M/M SF fairytale, Vassily the Beautiful, later this summer. 

Not in the Stars Anthology
with stories by Angel Martinez, Freddy Mackay, Toni Griffin, Mathilde Watson

Since the dawn of human expression, man has gazed up at the heavens in wonder, inspired by the wheeling of the stars to explain his surroundings. While our perception of those surroundings have changed, from thinking of the Earth as a flat, stable plane to realizing we’re falling through space in a tiny atmospheric bubble, our wonder remains constant.

Space stations, alien races, far-flung planets—join the Mischief Corner authors as they explore the possibilities the stars might offer. The catch? Returning to mundane old Earth might be harder than you think. 

Shax’s War: Brimstone 3
Angel Martinez
M/M Science Fiction Humor

Teaser Excerpt

Chapter One

Shax yelped as the trauma ball hummed against his palm, the surface shifting from swirling orange toward yellow. Before it could deliver its nastiest shock, he flung the thing at Verin’s head.


Sparks flew as Verin swung his horns and batted the ball away. He aimed right for Ness, who sidestepped and caught the ball as it powered back down to blue. Wings spread for balance, tip of his tongue protruding from the corner of his mouth, Ness spun and ran the three steps up the ramp at the court’s far end, aiming for the hovering sphere goal.

At the last second, the goal moved left and Ness’s shot caught the magnetized lip, which hurled the trauma ball back at him at some ridiculous, unsafe speed. Shax winced at the sharp crack when hard ball met angel head.

“Ow.” Ness flopped down at the top of the ramp, rubbing at his temple.

“Someone gonna explain to me again how this is fun?” Corny called from where he balanced on the swinging planks that made up mid-court.

He’d been stuck on the water hazard for several plays, his muscular body and high center of gravity an indisputable disadvantage since the wrong move would send him into the water and cost him a five minute penalty. Their cowboy had figured out the hard way in the first quarter that the pool itself enforced the penalty and didn’t let the penalized player out a second before.

Good thing he can tread water.

The ball was now happily rolling along the elevated sidewall ramps and Shax prepared to jump for the rings that would put him at the right height to catch it when it rolled free. Had they been playing teams…but no one could agree on a fair way to pair the four of them up, so solo it was.

Shax cocked his head, listening to the rumble of the ball as it trundled downward. Ness was still on the ramp. Corny was stuck. Verin was navigating the sponge quadrant where his claws were sticking. Perfect. He leapt, caught a ring in either hand, got a good swing going, and let go with his right hand just in time for the ball to drop from the chute.

With a whoop, he swung free and dropped with the ball clutched to his chest, only to be hit from behind with the force of several megatons. Wind knocked out of him, he could only watch as Verin snatched up the ball.

“Attempted murder isn’t supposed to be part of the game,” he wheezed as Verin took his shot. It seemed to be too far right, but the sphere turned and the ball shot inside.

“You’re all right, you baby,” Verin growled. “Get up before you really get fucked up.”

Shax heaved himself to his feet, staggering a few steps before the floor decided he’d been in one place too long and started bucking.

Ness had moved now, too. “Shax? Sure you’re all right, love?”

“I’m good. There are two of you right now. Don’t mind. Two of you are nice.”

All four of them managed to reach the sand quadrant closest to the near goal where they crouched in anticipation, waiting for the sphere to spit out the ball. Shax got Verin’s elbow in his ribs and a playful shove from Corny as they jockeyed for position but they might as well have stood still. The sphere rumbled and disgorged the trauma ball with a hacking cough, sending it high and wide. Ness, with his superior height and reach, snagged it easily, holding it up to keep it out of reach.

Any second, Verin and Corny would charge him and then Shax wouldn’t have a chance. An evil thought percolated in his mind and he sidled up close to Ness, blew a breath across his bare nipple, and reached down to cup Ness’s balls through the tight game shorts. A strangled whimper caught in Ness’s throat. His jaw slack, eyes saucer-wide, he fumbled the ball and dropped it.

Shax caught it before it hit the sand, snatched a quick kiss, and bounded away toward the far goal. He slammed the trauma ball into the sphere just as it hummed over to yellow again.

“Ha! That’s three for me! Game!”

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Ah, yes. Mischief Corner is a diverse group of authors who met on a mountain in
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In addition to making mayhem, we are releasing books as a consortium. The books cover a diverse range of genres and topics... we live to break molds. Our books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ARe and other outlets.

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