I’m very excited to welcome James Buchanan to my blog today. James is the author of a whole ton of m/m books and was also one of the first authors I read in the genre. Witty, hot and totally sexy is how I would describe James’ characters (especially the lovely goth boy that I won’t mention here :P). James has a holiday story, Light Me Up, coming out with MLR Press on December 29.
Welcome, James. I hope you find my questions both interesting and stimulating.
1. How did you get started writing m/m romance? Did you always want to be a writer?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I was pretty sick as a kid, in the hospital a lot and at a time when kids’ TV was 2 hours in the morning and PBS at noon. I stared making up stories. I was on the literary magazines in Highs and College. There was a black period in my life, while I was trapped in an abusive relationship, where I didn’t write at all. But over the past decade, I’ve gotten back into it.
My first published work was a short story called The Darkness which came out in 2005. I had submitted it to an anthology and it was a little long. But I got a note back from the editor saying the only reason it didn’t get in was because of the length. She then directed me to the publisher who ended up taking it. I had tried my hand at some M/F erotica…but no one liked my female characters.
2. What were your early influences either in this genre or any other?
Writing generally: Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft would be the two biggest, but all the big Sci-Fi greats. H.P. because he was just so freaky. Bradbury had this incredible way with words. I can still quote passages from his books and they feel almost physical.
In this genre: The Man who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer (http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Fell-Love-Moon/dp/0060974974 ). I love, love, love this books Also Longhorns by Victor Banis.
3. What is the hardest part about writing for you?
I suck with deadlines. You want to kill me, tell me I have to have a piece done by such and such date. It sucks the creativity right out ot my mind. I feed off ramdom plot bunnies…My brain breeds plot bunnies and I farm them out to other people. I’ll see an AIDS awareness poster with a guy screwing a scorpion and think, “Oh yeah, I have to write a were-scorpion.”
4. Does any one of your books hold a special place in your heart more so than the others?
My Brother Coyote (a novella now only available in print in the Shadow Harvest Collection). That book pushed me in a lot of ways…it’s very speculative fiction and deals with a lot of Navajo mythology. It’s my favourite.
5. Tell us a little about your new release, Light Me Up. Is there some specific inspiration behind it? Is it a stand-alone or part of one of your series?
It’s installment 1.5 of The Deputy Joe novels (Hard Fall and Spin Out). It started as a little, incomplete drabble for Christmas on my website. I decided to expand it, put more depth into the story and give readers a treat to see the relationship between Joe and Kabe through Kabe’s eyes.
6. Do you have any writing quirks? (ie computer has to be facing a certain way, cup of coffee on the left, certain music playing, etc)
I just have to write. I can’t not write. I’d go nuts. I’ll be sitting in court, waiting for a hearing, and scribbling bits of dialog and descriptions. There have been times when I’m driving and I have to pull out a pad of paper and jot down a thought. I find that if you have all these “things” that must be “in place” to write…you’ll never write. The temperature will be wrong or your coffee too cold.
7. Do you have any writing or reading squicks? Things you don’t like to read and can’t see yourself ever writing?
No, not particularly. I won’t finish a book if I don’t like the characters or something is off about the writing, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t try if the story sounded good. Likewise, if the germ of an idea hit me, I wouldn’t back off from writing it if it were outside of my current comfort zone.
8. You’ve written in a few different genres within m/m romance, do you have a favorite or is there one you haven’t written that’s just niggling at your brain to do so?
I’d like to write a true comedy – in a novel. I can write funny and comedic bits into stories or funny short stories, but I haven’t managed to keep the humor up through more than a really long short story.
9. What can we expect next from you? Are you already working on something else?
I am working on books 3, 4 and 5 of the Deputy Joe novels. I also have a paranormal, scorpion-shifter (you read the thing about the AIDS prevention ad) that I promised my publisher.
10. Finally – a few quick choices:
a. Coffee or tea — Intravenous caffeine in any liquid form, except those overpriced energy drinks.
b. Dog or cat — Cats. Dogs, to me, are way too needy. I can’t stand my own spawn being overly needy. Drives me bananas to have something that wants my attention “RIGHT NOW or it will diiiiiiiieeeeee of inanition”. Not that I dislike dogs, we have three, but they bug me more than our two cats.
beach a lot in summer (benefit of living in Southern California) whether it’s to hang out on the sand or ride bikes on the beach paths. I also like to hike the mountain trails near my home. You can be standing on a ridge, looking at the Los Angeles downtown skyline framed by the ocean in the background and all you hear is the wind and the wildlife. Plus, almost every year, we go to Bryce Canyon where my guy’s folks live…6,300 feet above sea level on the
edge of the Kodachrome basin. I guess it’s just I like nature, I
live in the city because of my evil day job, but my guy and I always discuss how, when we pay off enough debt (like law student loans) how we want to move some place far more rural.
d. Pecs or abs — Butts with divots
e. Smile or eyes — Smiling eyes
f. Cowboys or rockstars — Cowboys. Rockstars have too many issues.
g. Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves? And why. — The Hybrid. Haven’t you seen Underworld Evolution?
One lucky commenter to this post will win an ebook of their choice from James’ backlist. BE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENT.
CONTEST WILL RUN UNTIL THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22.
And be sure to pic up James’ new holiday story, Light Me Up, available December 29 at MLR PRESS
To find out more about all the fabulous books James has written go here à James Buchanan