Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Very First Interview: Aleksandr Voinov and Barbara Sheridan!

As I continue saying everywhere I go...I'm so very…VERY excited! In fact, I’m as close to giddy as I will allow myself to get.  Ok. Perhaps I’m just plain giddy. But don’t let that get out. *puts head in hands* I’ll soooo be ruined.

I did my very first interview last week. AND I got to do it with Aleksandr Voinov and Barbara Sheridan. How cool is that. I have just been buzzing about it for days. If you've been reading the blog, you know how I feel about Aleksandr’s books. It’s not a secret, I love his writing. And now I’ve met Barbara Sheridan too.  AND I really like what I know of her so far too! 

*puts head in hands* I am giddy. If this ever gets out to the ‘real’ world…I'm doomed.

I just finished their book Clean Slate and really liked it. I sooo want more. The shorter ones aren't really my preference, but for once, I wasn't left lacking.  I'll get a review posted for it eventually, but in the meantime, AND even better…I got to gab with them a little about it. (I’ve never been able to do that before; talk to an author…two even. That is sooo cool to me.)

I hope you like it, I sure had nothing but fun doing it.  Check it out...

Amora’s very first interview:  Aleksandr Voniov and Barbara Sheridan 

Amora:  I have sooo many questions for you two I don't even know where to start. *flips thru pages and pages of notes that don't make sense in all my excitement*  How about I just start with…

…is Clean Slate the first book you’ve written together?

Barb--Actually it's the second one. The first is due out from Loose ID this summer. It's called Risky Maneuvers and was a lot of fun to do.

Aleksandr - Yes. But we've just finished our third and there are no signs of slowing down! I guess there's another half dozen stories or so in the general set-up. And who knows what happens next.

Amora: That's right, I forgot about Risky Maneuvers. Wait.  Did you say another half dozen? *grins* Nice.  So, I’m dying to know, how did you two 'hook up' to write together?

Barb---Fate, Karma, maybe sheer dumb luck? LOL We actually "met" through a publisher's author loop. I was lamenting my total lack of channeling "tough guy" point of view and Alex kindly offered to look over the opening scene I had. It all took off from there. I had one of the main characters pretty well formed and an idea of the plot--two hot military types find themselves in a total WTF secret ops mission and hotmaxsexing ensues. THat's the book that's coming from LI ^_^

Aleks - Seriously, who can resist that kind of offer? She seemed nice and sane (what passes for sane in AuthorLand), and I liked her style, and I'm always happy to write tough guys. I'm not sure I could write a weepy girly guy. Should I try? Might be a challenge.

Amora:  NO!  *shakes head*  Sorry, let me try that again.  Pleease, no weepy girly guys.   No thank you, very much.  Seriously, your extreme alphas are one of the things I like best, don't you dare.   And I do have to say...yay for fate, Karma or sheer dumb luck! Nicely done pairing you two together whatever it was. Tell me, what inspired Clean Slate?

Barb--Alex's interest in and knowledge of Russian mob stuff and my enduring fangirl love of Illya Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo from the old Man from U.N.C.L.E. show.

Aleks - I grew up on James Bond, A-Team, always loved spy action. The core idea was when our first book - Risky Maneuvers - did not turn into an m/m/m menage (that was the original plan). The guys were just so into each other there was no space for a third. So I felt like I'd "failed" somehow and started thinking about how to make an m/m/m menage work. I remember one Saturday, lying in bed, doing nothing in particular (honest) and suddenly I knew there's two guys and an amnesiac. That way, we had action (who had caused the amnesia and why?) and two guys sorting out their issues. By wiping out Andrei's memory, we had a third guy who has to rely on the two others to tell him "the truth" - and that's a delicious mindfuck, isn't it? There are two hot guys who tell you you're something, but you don't remember, but they are nice and sexy and you fall in love a bit. As my partner says, espionage is all about whom you can trust - yourself, your partner, your contacts, your skills - or not trust. In this case, my personal challenge here was to write a guy who doesn't get messed up by having his life wiped out, but stays strong and resourceful. The setting is something I'd researched for a story I've written with Raev Gray, so I re-used it. I end up using settings a few times, because I get intrigued by places. Same happened with Afghanistan and London, recently.

Amora:  *laughs*  I remember those shows. *clears throat*  U.N.C.L.E.? Ok...and James Bond doesn't surprise me much, but, did you say the A-Team?  *coughs* I'm sorry.  I didn't expect that one. *clears throat*  Interesting.  *smiles*   Honestly though, the whole thing with Andrei's memory WAS a "delicious mindfuck" as you so perfectly put it.  I hesitate to confess, I was worried it was going to be a bit cliche at first. Ha!  Shame on me.  I underestimated you two.  I should know better than that.

I have a hard time wrapping my brain around co-writing. How does that work? Did you each write a character, or did you share them all? And which way do you prefer to co-write a book?

Barb--We've each created characters but we tend to share the writing of them once the story gets going.

Aleks - Yes. There's maybe a bit more from one of us in each character, but in the end we did share them. (Mind out of the gutter!)

Amora: *shakes head and laughs* Mind out of the gutter...yeah, good luck with that.  Ok.  I'm trying to be serious here. *chuckles*  Where was I? *shakes head* I understand you’re going to give us a sequel? A nice looong one this time?

Barb--The first draft is around 62,000 words so it's definitely novel length.

Aleks - I think it'll end up 65k in first draft. Proper novel length. Total blast to write.

Amora: Nice. I prefer long ones. (lol. Ok, you're right. Everybody, minds out of the gutter.) Can you give me any dirt, tease us a little bit?

Barb--It ties in to the premise of CLEAN SLATE. The mission from that one comes to bite one of the espionage team members in the ass so to speak. ^_^

Aleks - *laughs* But Chris likes it, he likes it a lot, but he's more "experimental" and "open-minded" than the other two guys.

Amora: *chuckles*  Nice.  I don't suppose I can ask for more than that.  Sounds good...and...well, we'll just say good. *grins* I can’t wait. 

Thanks soooo much for chatting with me.  That’s awesome...Risky Maneuvers right around the corner AND a sequel to Clean Slate in the works…a nice long one.  I like it.  *closes notebook and jumps up*  Thanks again, both of you for giving me a chance to gab with you a bit. *laughs*  I’ve got so many more questions, but I am just way too excited right now. *grins REAL big*  Thanks again..um, again! 

*runs off*  

Hee, hee. My very first interview. That is so cool!

Did he say a half dozen or so stories MORE in the works?  They are going to keep me soooo busy. Sweet.  You just gotta love great authors that write lots of good stuff.  AND give interviews to little overly excited baby bloggers too.  What do I even do with that? 

How fun were they?!  *still grinning* 



  1. Great interview, Amora! Alex is really cool and I've enjoyed Barbara's other books, so they make a great team.

    Okay, I'm surprised about The A-Team, too LOL I was more of a Knight Rider girl *g*

  2. Congrats on your debut interview! It was too fun and you managed to snag some detail on upcoming releases - very nice. ;)

  3. Thanks for interviewing us!

    *ponders* I wonder what spy plot might revolve around around a tricked out bookstore housed in castle that's the sometimes haunt of hot celebrities and evil dictators.... ~_^

  4. GREAT interview!

    Although I have to say, Aleks never really struck me as the "Mr T in a van" type before! Learn something new every day...

  5. @Kate- Thanks!! Aren't they great! How much fun was that. lol. The A-Team makes me laugh. I was a Knight Rider girl too, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit a at least a slight crush on Faceman and you had to love BA. Yeah, I watched it, I just don't tell anyone. lol.

    @Tracy- Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it, I had a ball. lol, I can't believe I managed to get detail on anything...I was so freaked out and had NO idea what to do. LOL, they made it soooo easy for me.

  6. @Barbara- Oh no my dear, Thank YOU!

    lol, oh the possibilities! There's got to be something great...cause yeah, how can it not with such an awesome castle bookstore!!! I pass to you, so you best get on it, spy plots please! I'm still a bit tired from wrestling evil dictators, that one was....


  7. @Kate- Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. Mr. T in a van...classic. Yeah, that was my thing to learn that day...well one of them LOL.

  8. Really fun interview! Well done, Amora :) It was great to learn a little bit more about these two authors and you've all piqued my curiosity about this book. I'm adding it to my to-buy list! Thanks :D

  9. @Janna- Thanks! How awesome were they?!! The book was soooo good. I'm sure glad they write so fast, I am choppin' at the bit for the next one!

  10. Wonderful interview! I agree with Janna that it was great to learn about these two authors. I'll be moving them up my TBR list.

  11. @Eyre- Thanks. These two are great. If you haven't read them yet, you totally have to. It's the first I've read from Barbara and I can't wait to read more. I just devour his books. His writing grabs me like nothing else, truely amazing.

    @Chris- I'm glad you liked it. I don't know when I've had as much fun as I did doing it!

  12. An interview with The Voinov and Barbara Sheridan. How awesome for you, Amora! I loved the man from U.N.C.L.E. series, too (waaay before Aleks was born!) but Aleks, I think he modeled Andrei after himself.

  13. @Elaine- lol. Is The Voinov awesome or what! That guy ROCKS! I must say, she's beyond awesome herself.

    Think Andrei was modeled after Aleks huh? Andrei was actually my favorite out of the 3. :)

  14. @Kate: Re: A-Team - I was a Hannibal fan - always. I'd do him in a moment. Leather gloves, brain, leadership. It's all there.

    @Amora: Thanks for having us on your blog. :)

    @Elaine: "The Voinov"? I love that. I might call myself that...

    Re Andrei/me: Uhm. No comment! But I'm definitely not as subtle as John, and not as funny as Chris. And sometimes losing my memory and joining some super-secret spy outfit sounds like a great way to get out of under-paid journalism. Maybe there's some wish fulfillment involved there.

  15. @Aleksandr- Thank you! That was nothing but fun, I hope you two will come back again.

    The Voinov, how great is that! You whould sooo call your self that. lol, makes you sound all scary and mafia like.

  16. Great interview. Loved it and I do love Aleks work. Haven't read Barbara yet, but will soon.



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