Authors: S.L. Armstrong & K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Publisher Website: http://www.stormmoonpress.com/
Publisher E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Length: 84,000 words (PDF 245 pages)
Heat Rating: 3 flames (of four) – hot, frequent explicit scenes
ISBN: 978-0-9827008-3-9 (paperback) and 978-0-9827008-4-6 (e-book)
Buy Link: http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Rachmaninoff.aspx
Release Date: December 1st, 2010
Blurb: Nineteen-year-old Aric Reynolds has spent most of his life in boarding schools, summer camps, or on tour as a prodigy with the piano. His wealthy parents have never had time for him, and after a failed year at college, they have decided on a final course of action. Aric is brought to Nikola Jovanović’s beautiful, sprawling manor in Serbia.
Nikola is known the world around as a master in music, unsurpassed by any, but terribly reclusive. For one year, Aric is to be his student, but in the modern day, it is easy for Aric to learn Nikola’s secrets. With a dark shadow lurking from Nikola’s past and Aric’s stubborn, promiscuous nature, the sexual tension between the pair simply explodes, and Aric’s very mortal life is held in the balance.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
[S.L.] I am from Florida, though I was born in West Virginia. I am an avid reader, and I love music. I’m married with furry children (two labradors and seven insane cats), and I cook like crazy for the people I love. Everything takes a backseat, though, to writing. Writing is my true passion, and I write something every single day. It’s the writing that keeps me sane I think. *laughs*
[K.] I was born in southern California, but grew up in Arizona. After college, I moved back to my hometown and have been practicing massage therapy for a day job. I love massage therapy and hope to one day work for Cirque du Soleil as a part-time therapist, but I’m also really passionate about writing. It’s the artistic balance to my massage therapy and kinesiology profession, and I just love both!
What inspires you to write? Do you find that your muse takes over when writing?
[S.L.] Everything inspires me. A random sentence, a song, a television show, or just my imagination, I’ve always some form of inspiration. I don’t know that I have a muse. I write. It’s just what I do. When I run into a dry spell (which does happen), it’s usually due to stresses in my life, not the abandonment of a muse. When I write, I just go for it. I throw my whole self into it and just type away!
[K.] I tend to find inspiration both in everyday occurrences and in the occasional vivid dream. I would also say that I don’t have a muse. When I get an idea, I get excited about seeing it written to its conclusion. I get writer’s block from time to time, but I usually cycle back to the projects that I lose my way on. I tend to start things that I don’t finish unless someone gets on my case, which is one of the reasons working with S.L. is so great. She makes sure I follow through on my projects.
Tell us a bit about your book, Rachmaninoff?
[S.L.] “Rachmaninoff” is a classic, traditional vampire M/M romance. When we set out to write it, we wanted to tackle most of the common tropes in vampire romances while adding a couple of our own twists and takes on what being a vampire is like. We’re very enamored of vampires (and I have been since I was very young), so we publish a lot of vampire fiction.
[K.] There’s just infinite potential with vampires! The sharing of blood can be a very intimate and personal thing, so taking that many different directions can be really fun from a romance perspective. Aric and Nikola, the two main characters in “Rachmaninoff”, are complete opposites who have the desire to share blood right off the bat but have to address their different personalities, values, and backgrounds in order to come together.
What’s your formula for creating characters? Do you model them after people around you or do they have a bit of you in them?
[S.L.] I don’t really have a formula. I tend to start with a story idea, and then create the characters. For example, when I created Nikola in “Rachmaninoff”, I knew he was going to be an old school, Slavic vampire. From that general idea, a whole character was born, starting with my choosing a name for him. Names always come first with me, as the name–to me–winds up truly defining a character in my mind.
[K.] Names are actually one of my weaknesses, so I tend to have the personality of the character form in my head, and then I have to search for a name that sounds right and matches the character. If provided with a name, however, it’s just like S.L. said; the character just falls into place, as the name defines him or her. Part of creating characters is also knowing the world they will be playing in. By world building, we ensure that each character that forms in our minds is able to interact and respond to their environment.
Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?
[S.L.] We have a M/M BDSM title that is in its final editing stages, and we have several titles planned for 2011 (including a vampire novella or two), including a mainstream fiction novel. We never nail down quite what we’re releasing until we’re releasing it.
[K.] There will also be two anthologies we release from Storm Moon Press in 2011. “Wild Passions” will be an anthology of M/M short stories involving anthropomorphic characters, and “Daughters of Artemis” will contain F/F short stories centering around the concept of the alpha female werewolf. Both of those are shaping up to be excellent, so you can keep an eye out for them in June and July of 2011.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
[S.L.] Read. A lot. Reading is what makes a great writer. Read something every day. Write something–even if it’s only 100 words–every day. It will stretch the imagination, keep it sharp and ready for whenever you want to sit down and write with the intent of publication. Also? When submitting to a publisher? Read the submission guidelines thoroughly and do exactly as they say. It’s the first impression, after all.
[K.] Build a support system as well. Having your parents and Uncle Jerry tell you how excellent your work is sometimes isn’t enough. Make sure you find people willing to proofread your work. If you’re looking to self-publish, take the time to find and hire a professional editor as well. It makes a huge difference when someone who knows what they’re doing goes through your work. Having a critique partner you trust can also be invaluable. Having friends who are also writers, particularly if they’re in your genre, can be helpful if you need a quick boost of support or inspiration.
What are your favorite books at the moment?
[S.L.] At the moment, I’m revisiting my young adult years. I’m picking up titles I consumed at 12, 13, and 14 years of age. Authors like R.L. Stine (I loved his Fear Street series), D.E. Athkins, Caroline B. Cooney, and Richie Tankersley Cusick. I also have over 50 M/M titles loaded on my Kindle I need to read, along with dozens of other books I *want* to buy and read. There just are never enough hours in the day to do all the reading, writing, and publishing I want.
[K.] I’m sad to say that my guilty pleasure at the moment is Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series of books. All Hamilton’s work is like a horrific train wreck that I just can’t look away from. *laughs* Other than those, which I just read for mindless pleasure a couple minutes a day, I’m also starting to go back through some of the classics that I was forced to read back in high school. I’m hoping that reading them for pleasure will allow me to take my time and enjoy them like I couldn’t while in school.
What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
[S.L.] My favorite word would be… ‘chuckles’. It’s a happy word. Not too loud, too vivacious, just something quiet and understated, intimate. Least favorite word would have to be ‘no’. I don’t like that word one bit, either given to or spoken by me.
[K.] Any permutation of the verb ‘grin’, for quite a similar reason. I love seeing people grin in real life, and it’s a flexible expression that I like visualizing as I read and write. My least favorite word might make a couple people laugh. I hate writing the word ‘cum’. I never use it. It’s just a strange spelling that I thoroughly dislike. If I use that word during a sex scene, it is always ‘come’, and not the vulgar ‘cum’ that you see on porn sites. *laughs* Thank you so much for the interview!
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