~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~it's all about the love~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Author Interview/Give-away #6 - Xara X. Xanakas

Special treat today – my blog guest is a feisty Texan with a reputation to be a sexy, snarky, and snaky lady, (lol) plus she's also a very good friend. Welcome Xara X. Xanakas. Thanks for being here, Xara. J

1. How about we start with some basic information – tell me a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What kind of student were you? What were your favorite activities? Anything you want to share is fine. J

I'm just down here in Texas, trying to do my part from deep in the heart. I was born in Texas and raised here by a wild pack of transplanted Chicagoans. Just an average student, hanging around the edges of everything. I wasn't "in" with any one crowd, but got along with all the different groups.

In high school, I took a typing class, and instead of following the assignments, I would be writing stories. After class, I would thoroughly piss my friends off by giving them that one chapter, usually ending with a cliffhanger. They'd always push me for what happened next. The funny thing is, I never had any clue. Even back then I was a pantser.

I started watching Monty Python in kindergarten, so that kind of set up my warped sense of humor from the very beginning. Add pre-pubescent overdoses of sci-fi and horror to the mix, and that has made me the sick puppy you see today.

2. How did you start writing m/m romance? Do you write any other genre?

None of those quickie chapters survived high school, but the writing bug did. Spunky was in hibernation for a couple of decades, but after I started reading MM Romances, he woke up and bit me, hard. Inspiration struck, and I started writing a little here and there, until I managed to string enough thoughts together to make a short story. Then another, and another, and here I am.

3. Did you have any early influences either in this genre or any other when you were first starting out?

Stephen King sparked my imagination in middle school, and my high school Journalism and Creative Writing teachers did the most to help me wrangle my inspirations into something, from newspaper articles and short stories, all the way to photographs. I sometimes still use my old Pentax K-1000 camera, developing pictures or slides in my dark bathroom. Or my trusty #2 pencil and paper.

4. What is your favorite sub-genre to write and to read? For example – I can never pass up a story with a rockstar in it or more often than not, cowboys. J

Probably paranormal or urban fantasy. I love stories that take our world and tilt it just a little, so it's mostly recognizable, but things are also out of the ordinary.

I'm more about the ideas and concepts. I'm willing to forgive a lot of things if the concept is compelling. If the starting point is intriguing, I'll jump right in with both feet.

5. Do you have any writing or reading quirks or squicks? Anything that you just can't read or don't think you'll ever write. Anything you have to do before you start or as you write – certain music, computer facing west, etc.

I don't have any real rituals. If there's too much going on around me, I can't focus, so I don't listen to a lot of music when I write, and the TV is usually on just for background noise. The shiny tends to take over, and I lose my way easily. Sometimes completely unplugging and getting back to pen and paper works better for me.

As for squicks? Not a lot. For the most part, I figure if it floats your boat, who am I to judge? I'll attempt to write pretty much anything, hoping I can do it justice. Pedophilia is hard 'no' for me. There's just no cause to glorify the monsters that prey on kids, unless they are dying horrible deaths at the hands of your main character. Or something. Just saying. ;)

6. What's the hardest part about writing for you? Benefits?

Ugh. First, just getting it done. I have ideas hit me, and I think they'll make a great story, but pulling it out of my brain and onto the (usually virtual) page.

Then, once it's done, and it's out there, seeing people's reactions to it. You know what I mean; afraid to look at the reviews and ratings, convinced you're completely incompetent, it's going to be a total failure, and the utterly terrifying thought of "People might actually read this." Eeep!

7. Tell me about your muse – if you have one of course. J

*sigh* Spunky. He's … well… he's always there, whispering. "Hey, what if…" or "Why not?" Unfortunately, he's a deadbeat dad of muses, fathering plot bunnies and leaving them behind for me to try to raise.

8. What's the first element of a story that comes to you – characters, plot, scenes, setting? Plotter or pantser?

I'm mostly a pantser. As for which comes first, the character or the plot? Yes. Sometimes a character pops into my head and I have to explore him. Sometimes Spunky gives me a plot idea that I just have to follow down the rabbit hole to its conclusion.

9. I won't assume you celebrate Christmas but if you do, what are your favorite parts of the holidays?

The best thing about the holidays for me is, for the most part, we stop being assholes to one another for a little while. Everyone pitches in and helps out. That certainty that even if things aren't great, everything is going to work out. And that New Years' hope that this time, when we reset the clock, we're going to do it better from now on.

Now, if we could channel that for the other eleven months of the year, we'd be on to something…

10. Now just a few multiple choice questions: (you can take them any way you like)

Rock, country or classical?
All of the above, depending on my mood.

Giraffe or monkey?
Monkey :D

Tea or coffee?
Unsweetened iced tea (but you knew that one)

Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves?
Make love, not war. And record it for us. Strictly for research purposes, of course.  ;)

Series or one-shot?
My own, or someone else's? Honestly, I don't really have a preference. My own stuff tends to turn into series because my guys just won't quit talking.

Beach or mountains?
Beach, without a doubt. I am a water baby.

Eyes or smile?
I'm a sucker for both. Eyes get my attention, but a smile holds me captive.

Cowboys or rockstars? (yeah, I have to ask)
Do I have to choose? How about Cowboy Rock Stars? Or Rock Star Cowboys?

11. Finally, tell us about your next release or what you're working on now.

I've got more than a few irons in the fire. First, I need to finish my Sandy Auction story. I'm co-authoring a story with our mutual husband w t prater, (ahhh, our hubby is so awesome) and another one with Piper Vaughn, that is before we start work on Ty's story to follow up Party Boy's Guide. I have a couple of sci-fi stories in progress, a contemporary about young lovers reconnecting, and even a het needle play story. Then there's Thompson's story for the Were-Menagerie. And, and, and…. Damn, that Spunky is a busy muse.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for having me over. 

Xara has offered a give-away to one lucky commenter - an ebook copy of anything from her backlist. Leave you name and email address to be included in the draw. (don't forget your email ;D) Give-away will run from December 12-15 and winner will be posted here on the 16th, You can visit Xara's website here and follow her on Twitter.  


  1. Hello from a fellow Texan. :) Enjoyed your interview. By the way, I like people with a warped sense of humor. :D Of course, I am easily amused...LOL. I also see I wasn't the only one reading Stephen King in middle school.

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  2. I'd read ROCK STAR COWBOYS, for sure. Fun interview!


  3. I enjoyed the interview. If given choices, I like your answer why not have have all of the above depending on your mood if you like all of them. Thanks for the giveaway!

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  4. Great meeting you at GRL, Xara ^.^


    eripike at gmail dot com

  5. Great interview, ladies ^_^

    I'm definitely entering and you know where to find me, K-lee ^^

  6. Thank for stopping by and commenting, everyone.

    And you're *all* winners to me, so I tell you what: email me at xara (at) xaraxanakas (dot) com, and I'll give each of you either any ebook from my backlist, or if you send me a physical address, I'll ship you out a swag pack.


  7. Thanks Xara!!! Happy Holidays! :)