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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December Author Interview/Give-Away #9~~Blaine D. Arden

My guest today is a Dutch writing rockstar who shares my love for one Christian Kane/Eliot Spencer. Welcome Blaine D. Arden to my blog. Thanks for being here, Blaine. J

Thanks for having me 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

Well, I'm a purple haired, forty-something, writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes and the colours black, purple and red, who sings her way through life. I'm married to a very patient man who’s given me space to grow, and is as chaotic and perfectionistic as I am. We have two sons and a foster son, aged 21, 18, and 19, and a ten year old cairn terrier named Kendra.

I was born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, a city I never quite managed to leave, and now am not so sure I want to leave, unless it’s to move to the UK after my husband’s retirement. I spent most of my rather sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with my Barbies.

What kind of student? A very boring wall flower type, actually. I did what I had to do, and was actually interested in most of the subjects I took. Though, I didn't do more than I needed to, so my grades weren't sky-high, they were good enough to pass the classes. This is where my Barbies come in again. I had them stashed in the bottom drawer of my desk, and every time I'd hear one of my parents come up the stairs to check up on me, I'd put them away, so they didn't know I wasn't actually studying, but making up stories… again J

My favourite activities were reading—I read about five to seven books a week, I think—writing, listening to music, and singing. I played tennis and did gymnastics, before I switched to korfball.

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

I started out writing gay romance in the mid- to late eighties. First, I saw a film called 'An Early Frost', my first gay themed film that left quite an impression on me. After that, I began noticing how much the news was filled with negativity surrounding homosexuality and AIDS. Now, I was quite naïve at that age (actually, I don't think I ever quite outgrew that), but all that hate, all that intolerance grated on me, and I wanted to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. That's when I started writing my first story.

But that same negativity caused me to doubt my point of view sometime after finishing that first story, and, for a while, I stopped writing gay themed stories and started focusing on fantasy. And then, late nineties, I saw the film 'Beautiful Thing', and realised my point of view wasn't wrong at all. After all, love is love, no matter what gender or sexuality.

Everything I write is usually a mix and match of genres. I write fantasy, mystery/suspense, and a bit of sci-fi, all wrapped up in romance, with a hint of BDSM here and there. I can't seem to focus on just one genre, but I think that is because the lines between different genres are very blurry. I did write a het paranormal detective story once, that I still plan to edit at some point. It was my first NaNoWriMo project, and is very close to my heart. And I recently ventured into trans* fiction, though, those stories are still m/m romances at heart, just with at least one transgender character.

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

I suppose my early influences were all those books I read—from kids adventure stories to historical romances, sci-fi, and mysteries—combined with films and TV series. I couldn't  name just one author. I was like a sponge when I was younger—still am, I suppose—and everything I read or saw would spark an idea for a story in me. Which is why I always feel a bit awkward when people ask me who my examples are. It's never just one single thing with me. That… and I have a pretty crappy memory, book and film wise. I only remember certain things, but never all of it, I'm afraid.

I do remember, and still own all of the books, a series of books called Euro-5 that I read as a teen. I loved those so much, that I started creating scenarios where I'd be part of the team. I even, at one point, wanted to create a video game of that series, with some help of my very computer capable boyfriend at the time. I'd even written the author of the books about it. I still have all my notes, but I never saw it through.

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

Oh, that's a tough one. I read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, but I have a weakness for Detectives, including the 'accidental' ones.

As a writer, I'd say elves and magic. I just love those pointy ears so much, not to mention having magic to help them in their daily business.

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.

Slave-fic. It pushes all the wrong buttons and haunts me for days, and not in a good way. *shudder* And incest… really not my thing.

As for quirks. I like things arranged around my computer or laptop in a certain way, but other than that, I'm not that particular. Though, I need to be away from sun or any glaring light—I'm very sensitive to light.

6. Are you a plotter or pantser?

I always say I'm more of pantser, but there are always some key things that I need to know before I know which way to go. I love just letting my mind go, and I see my writing as a journey from A to Z. Sometimes I might take a wrong exit, sometimes I find myself doubling back, but all those little 'mistakes' help me find the right way.

Before starting a story, I'll think about those key points and what my characters are like. The rest of the plotting is all done along the way.

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

I'm afraid I have to disappoint you on that one. I don't have a muse. I have a head filled with ideas, and a very active imagination, but no muse J

8. Have you ever based any of your characters on real people?

No. At least, not that I'm conscious of. I might grab a quirk or a gesture that I like, but my characters all sprout from my aforementioned active imagination J

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

Rock, country or classical? A mix of everything really, though, more rock and country than classical. (You didn't really expect me to choose just one, right?)

Giraffe or monkey? Apparently I was born in the year of the Monkey, so… I guess I'd take a Giraffe  lol

Tea or coffee? Tea. Well… I call it tea, but what I really drink is herbal tea, aka, tea without any actual tea in it.

Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves? Fight? Why would they fight? Do you know how incredible their children would be if they stopped fighting each other and just got a room? *snickers*

Series or one-shot? One-shot! No doubt. After struggling—still struggling—with Forester Two, I think I'm just about cured from writing series. *shudders* I don't like where it takes me, personally. I keep doubting myself, keep having to re-read the first book to see if I'm still true to my characters. So, One-shot! Definitely.

Beach or mountains? Being as sensitive to light as I am, mountains, but with a nice view of a beach  lol

Eyes or smile? LOL Why am I suddenly thinking of 'smizing' (or however you write it) smiling with your eyes?  I can't choose here. Smiles don't work if the eyes aren't in it. And some men just look gorgeous even when they're angry. Still, a man with gorgeous eyes who's smiling, that melts me in seconds J

Cowboys or rockstars? Christian Kane. Figure it out :p (Ohhh Blaine - you fell right into my evil scheme to try and put Christian in every single post I do *cackles hysterically*) (and I even found him in purple. ;)

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

I just signed the contract for a short trans* story for Storm Moon Press' Charity Anthology, Legal Briefs, that will come out at the end of March. All net proceeds of this anthology will be donated to Lambda Legal.

My story is about Legal researcher Daru em Caron, who starts his first day at Surim Court by getting shot as he protects Defender Illan em Murq, his idol and team member. Daru can't help falling in love with his idol when he sees the human behind the Defender, and the attraction seems mutual. But Master Illan is skittish about being touched after suffering a bad experience, and Daru has to work hard to break through his defences and show Illan he is no less than any man.

Aside from that, I’m almost finished with The Forester Two—I know, very lame working title—the sequel to The Forester. In this second part of the Forester trilogy, a boy is kidnapped, and Kelnaht, Ianys, and Taruif are, still, anxiously awaiting for Taruif’s sentence to be reduced (in a nutshell).

My NaNoWriMo project, which is all about faeries and corporate espionage, still needs finishing. It’s about Wisc—a faerie visiting his great uncle in a human city called Kirroj. Wisc has always been taught that technology and magic don’t mix, but when a case of mistaken identity garners him the interest of a faerie thief and a security agent, Wisc learns that his magic might be the key to solving the case.

- And then there are two shorts that I'm working on. One is the story I’m writing for the winner of my Hurricane Sandy Relief Auction. It will be an m/m/m with a main character who has a severe stutter, and a dragon called Buttercup. And the other one is a a holiday vignette with Oren and Veld from my story in the Carved in Flesh anthology.

After that, I still have plenty of ideas, including The Forester Three, and even a couple of finished first drafts that I can play around with. The joy of an overactive imagination J


Blaine can be found on blainedarden.com, twitter, facebook, and goodreads. Blaine's books are available at Storm Moon Press, Amazon, and Are

Blaine has generously offered up a give-away for one lucky commenters (Christian Kane is not included in the give-away) . Choice of her backlist, in format of choice. Awesome. Leave a comment with your name and email address (yeah, don't forget that or we can't track you down). Contest will run from December 18-21 and the winner will be posted here. Good luck!


  1. The purple hair and her hairstyle looks good on Blaine. I'm too boring to ever try doing something like that. Please include me. Thanks!

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  2. Thank you :)

    They're trying to make it difficult for me to get a good colour though... Less and less purple in shops, and those I can get, make my hair look brown *shudder* So not me.

  3. Very interesting interview! For me it's tea AND coffee, you could never make me choose!

    landale (at) me (dot) com

  4. No Christian? Oh well. :-) I dig Blaine, this was a fun interview!


  5. Victoria: Thanks :)
    And don't worry, I won't make you choose. lol

    vitajex: Yeah... the no Christian part disappointed me as well.
    Glad you liked the interview :)

  6. My mother's favorite color is purple, and since she gets married on your birthday, I figure that's a sign I must throw my name in the hat? :-p

    Great interview, hon ^_^

  7. Terry: Thank you :)

    and Mother's ROCK purple!!!
    I hope she has a great wedding on Saturday *hug*

    I hope she wears something purple :)

  8. Great interview you guys. I was entertained, but then again that's not hard for me. Haha! I hope you finish your projects, Blaine, so I can read them.


  9. Thanks, Dusty :)

    Actually... ForesterTwo is with betas/critters now, and the Solstice Vignette will appear on the 'Pants Off Reviews' Blog sometime tomorrow.

  10. And the randomizer now named Eliot because of its sexy growl picked.... no 1!!

    Congrats strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

    Happy Holidays.

  11. Thanks so much to K-lee for hosting these fabulous authors and contests, and to Blaine for the terrific giveaway.