Please welcome A.F. Henley to my blog today. A.F. is currently trekking along on a blog tour to promote a book from Less Than Three Press called Honour. Welcome to Chaos, A.F.
Thanks for having me! I'm thrilled to be here. Love the name of the blog by the way. I can only hope it's indicative of the personality behind it. I do love me some Chaos in life.
1. I'll start with some basic information so you can tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you been writing? What do you do for fun? Go ahead and tell us everything.
I was born in B.C. but have considered Ontario, Canada home for most my life. From April to November I love it with every ounce of my person. From December to March however ... let's just say that I begin wondering how much greener the grass in Tennessee really is. Or if Texans really do wear cowboy hats while they do their grocery shopping. I'm not much of a winter person.
I've been writing since I was about eight. I used to have a strong affinity for dog-love stories, in the most innocent of ways, of course, but the way I have it figured is romance is romance, be it bromance, dogmance, or outright sexual attraction. So I guess the inclusion of love has always been a huge theme of mine.
As for what I do for fun ... does sarcastic commentary count as a reasonable pastime? I read. A lot. I write more. I chat and surf way too much. You know those people that walk outside, blinking and squinting, with their arms held out in front of them as if they're newly blind, mumbling words like, "What IS that glowing orb above us?!" ... That's me. Outside activities are best enjoyed from the comfort of one's desk chair. Although, honestly, I used to be one hell of a good soccer player. Or was it that I just really liked how I looked in the socks? ... One or the other.
One of the things I'm most proud of in my life is the animal rescue support that my partner and I do. We've had everything from moles to deer, domestic to wild, and we have an awesome track record so far. To this day we still have raccoons that were re-released that come to our back door for visits.
2. How did you start writing? Do you have any major influences that got you into the genre?
My mother (love you, Mom!) has always encouraged my writing, as well as several teachers along the way. But I can't for the life of me say that "this thing" is how I started. It was just always there. It was always something I wanted to do.
As for the genre of M/M, I can say without a doubt that my friend Kelly was the first person who inspired me to give it a go. I also have a huge love-on for Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk. That being said, I would never dare to say any of these people's talents influenced my work. They're all just too good to do that to them. Besides, Lord knows the last thing I need is another decapitated toad hopping around on my back step. (Long story.)
3. What things do you enjoy most about writing? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Writing takes away the wrong of everyday life. Like I said in a blog once, real life hurts. It's full of tears and obstacles, restraints and limits. Fiction can remove all that. Disney may have misled us all, but the reason we all fall for the lie is because we want to believe that good guys win, true love can conquer all, and if we try hard enough we'll succeed. Knowing that I can put a smile on somebody's face, that I can pick them up out of reality and drop them smack dab in the kind of place where those beliefs reign supreme, even if just for a few hours, is what I enjoy about writing the most.
I cannot stress enough that I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. I know there are writers that spend hours detailing character sheets and flowcharts and maps and what-have-yous, but if I had to do that first, the novel would never get written. I detest too much order. I despise having to rely on forethought. There's a reason for that though – I swear it. I've always said that all I do is write my novels. The story belongs to my characters. I sit down at the keyboard, I open up my head to hear what they're saying and write down what they tell me. It's hard to pre-plan something that hasn't been told to you yet.
4. I've heard you enjoy the researching aspect of writing and you're a genius at Google. What sorts of things do you research before you start the story and is it an ongoing process while you're writing the manuscript?
I am the Google King. (Not really, but I do love the way that sounds.) I love research and I'll do it continually throughout the writing process as opposed to trying to sift through a bunch before I even start. There isn't a single thing I won't look up online. My browser history is ... well ... diverse, if nothing else. I'll never forget the day I walked into my office and my partner was staring up at my from my computer with this ... look on his face ... and he gives me two words, "Cock cage?"
There was a surprising amount of research for Honour. I couldn't seem to keep my head in the same timeline when it came to fashion and weaponry, buildings and travel without it. It also helped me develop a whole new fetish which, hey, one can never have too many of those, right? (Think: swords. Seriously, no one should love a weapon as much as I love swords.)
Înflori was a whole different kind of research game though. It involved some serious culture digging. That was tough because it's hard to pull fact from opinion – and opinion is something that is almost too readily available on the Internet.
5. Do you have any writing or reading quirks (for example, playing certain music while you're writing or having to turn in a circle four times before you begin :D) or squicks (things you simply cannot read or write)?
I have an awful writing quirk, in fact. I need dead silence. Chair squeak? Background noise? Dog scratching? Partner walking to loudly? ... Think Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
As for squicks I'm pretty much in the norm of that I guess. I won't write bestiality, I'm cautious about N/C and dubcon, and I don't do underage. Also, probably in contrast to a lot of folks, you will rarely find an MC death in my work. I think out of the hundred-plus I've done so far I've written one. And it was a Halloween story.
6. I noticed the two books you have out (coming out) with LT3 are very different in terms of characters and even period in time, do you have a favorite genre or sub-genre to write or read?
I have one out now, Înflori, and two on their way, Honour and Sonata. Both Înflori and Sonata are classed as contemporary romances, and Honour is historical. I also have two anthology fictions coming out, Rockabye (contemporary) and MEMWARS!, which is a fantasy. So, yeah, I guess you could say I'm a bit of a sub-genre jumper. That goes back to the whole "it's not really my story" thing. I guess it just depends on who jumps into my head when there's an opening. The only sub-genre I've been nervous exploring was fantasy because I tend to keep telling myself that it sounds foolish. I'm hoping I've gotten over that though.
I do prefer contemporary for reading however, because I can relate to it.
Thank you for the opportunity J
I love the story inside Honour. It's so much more than a story about a Prince and his First Gentleman falling in love. It's about people treating people with respect and decency all the way around: a parent to a child, a stranger to another, a lover to his partner, a person in power to one who has none, and then vice-versa for the whole lot of it. It's about learning truths about love and overcoming that little voice in our heads that tells us to retaliate instead of compromise. It's about remembering that no matter who you are or what you do, there will be repercussions to every decision you make and sometimes those consequences can destroy so much more than first expected.
And ... it has a sword on the cover!
8. I like to torture my blog guests a little bit before they leave so here are some multiple choice questions for you. J
Giraffe or monkey? Giraffe. They're just so damn stylish.
Tea or coffee? Coffee. It's easier to mix with alcohol.
Beach or mountains? Mountains. Seclusion, peace, animals … and a much higher likelihood one can avoid that glowing orb previously mentioned.
Cowboys or rockstars? Cowboys and rockstars. Wrestling.
AND finally, who would win in a fight between vampires and werewolves. Whoever's watching them at the time.
Thanks for stopping by, A.F. Good luck with Honour and your blog tour.
Thanks for having me! I appreciate both the time and the efforts. To thank everyone, please let your followers know that all comments on this blog will be entered into a draw for a free ebook of Honour, in the format of their choice. Name selection will be done by random number generator and the contest will close on March 12th.
Official Bio for A.F. Henley:
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. Henley shares a home in rural Southern Ontario with both life partner and a plethora of furry, scaled and winged rescue friends.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, when Înflori made its debut, and is thrilled to add two more novel titles, Honour and Sonata, as well as two anthology stories, Rockaybe and MEMWARS! to the docket for 2013.
Comments, kudos and signature card requests are happily received at afhenley.com.
M/M Historical Romance
Recently docked after a voyage abroad, Emmett wants only to find a warm bed and good food, for himself and the cabin boy he's taken into his care. Those plans are impeded, however, by an altercation in the streets—with a man he realizes too late is England's heir to the throne, Prince Andrewe.
When the encounter unexpectedly leads to a position in the royal household attending the prince, Emmett is not certain what to think. On one hand, it's a reliable income and ensures the safety of his charge. On the other, it's neither the life Emmett knows, nor an environment that he's comfortable in. Left to learn his lessons the hard way, Emmett spends his days contending with a spoiled, infuriating prince who leaves him in a constant tangle of emotions.
Then he begins to hear whispers of treason and must make a choice: defend Prince Andrewe, or betray him.
Ebook (in all formats) available at: Less Than Three Press