Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov Chat Country Mouse

Continuing with Country Mouse, today I have the priviledge of sitting down and chatting with both Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov about this jewel. If you didn't catch Amy's post "Living All The Things", be sure to check that out here. Twas a fabulous post.

As in keeping with the awesomeness of the Riptide Blog Tours, Amy and Aleks have brought a giveaway with them, so be sure to leave a comment, say howdy and enter that bad boy.

Now... without further ado, Amy and Aleks...

Hi Amy, so nice to meet you. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you and your books. Welcome to my Place. *smiles*

Amy: Aw, thank you Amara!  So nice of you to invite me!  *grins and bounces *

Hi Aleks, so good to have you back again.  *smiles*

Aleks: Hi Amara – thanks for having me back. J

Welcome guys. Thanks for coming to chat. Come in, sit sit. Make yourselves comfortable. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?

Aleks: I’ll have water, no coffee. Hands are already shaking.

Amy:  Diet soda, if you have one.  There is never enough caffeine.  I want to drink all the soda, so I can stay up forever!

*laughs* I resemble that Amy. I want to drink all the coffee so I can stay up forever! Diet soda and water. Okey dokey, coming right up. *looks to hawt new assistant* dah-ling could you get those please? Thank you. 

So, you two have made book. Do tell. What’s this little gem about?

Aleks: It’s a bit of an “odd couple” story. Young American tourist meets Bad-Ass British Banker in London. But it’s not quite so simple – both characters have hidden depth and issues and strength and weaknesses, and they peel that off each other rather admirably.

*nods* Nice, sounds good.

Amy:  And, add to that, the “vacation fling” element, it sort of sets both the characters free to be people maybe they wouldn’t have thought of.  It made writing, uhm, some of the scenes really interesting.

*laughs* I'll bet it did. How was it writing together?

Aleks: It was pretty fast, above all. I think it came together in something like two weeks. Once we got rolling, we were pretty much unstoppable. Also, working with Amy is really good fun and we soon found our stride.

Amy:  Ohmigod yes!  It was a lot of fun.  Once we found a rhythm it was like one breathless rush.  It was a project that I looked forward to working on every day.  Aleks and I had some fun convos in the margins of the document while the story was underway—it was so creative!

Aleks: That was mostly snarking about our characters—but don’t tell them that!

Ha! I'm tellin' *winks* So, how did you two come up with the idea for this?

Amy:  Well, someone on Twitter caught us playing, (I love that writers use social media to play with words.  It’s one of my favorite things about our community!) and suggested that we should write together. Aleks send me an e-mail that said, “Okay, how about it?” and I said, all right.  I figured since most of my characters are sort of homegrown, small town folks (not all—I do have a couple of stockbrokers coming up) and Aleks has these sort of harder edge, more glamorous types of men, that if one of my little country mice visited his amazing city, we could do some fun things.  I think I wrote the first paragraph with Owen coming into the bar, and then said, “All right.  What would my college student see in a crappy bar in Soho?”  And we rolled from there.

Aleks: When one of our followers on Twitter suggested it, my first response was “that’s a ludicrous idea! Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov? Seriously? We’d be pissing off her readers and mine, too.” But then, I do like off-the-wall crazy ideas, and thought, hell, why not, and also, I’d been bantering and casually chatting with Amy for months and thought she’s really cool, so I made that indecent proposal. I mean, cool things happen when you bring people and things together that normally wouldn’t, or that are not obvious fits. Just look at things like bands like Apocalyptica, who play heavy metal on classical instruments, or Van Canto, who are the only a capella metal band I know.

That.is.fabulous. Love it. I'm curious, who wrote which character? uh…*looks perplexed* … did it work that way?

Aleks: Not quite. I think Malcolm is more my creature, overall (mostly because I’ve met the type in my line of work and, errr, wanted to explore such a character), but we pretty much shared the writing.

Amy:  What Aleks said.  Malcolm is mostly his creature, and Owen is very much my country mouse, but after we established who they are, and why they were that way, what followed was the two of us playing with the way they would interact.  So we started off with these two three dimensional characters and then cut them loose on the page.

What was your favorite thing about these characters?

Aleks: What I really like about Owen is that he has a quiet strength that balances out Malcolm’s theatrics quite well. He’s not a push-over, and one could argue about who the stronger of the two is. But I’d say it’s probably Owen.

Amy:  I adore men who are hard edged on the outside and then, you look closer and find there is a softer, more three dimensional depth to them.  Malcolm qualifies as that.  I agree with Aleks—Owen is definitely the stronger one, and when Malcolm discovers that Owen doesn’t pass judgments on strength or weakness, something wonderful happens. 

*looks to Aleks* So… *narrows eyes* Mister Aleks… how did I not know you two were writing this? I’m usually on you like… *blushes*… well, never mind. But, you know, uberstalker grrl here, seriously how did I not know? *mumbles* I’m seriously slipping. *clears throat* Or maybe a better question is… Why the big secret?

Aleks: Uhm, I kept it a bit low-key, I admit that. But mostly because it was just meant as playing. Having some good, dirty fun. I try not to put too much pressure of publication, publication on a fellow author during a co-write, so if the project doesn’t work out, there won’t be too much disappointment from readers. Turned out, though, that the worry was total nonsense with Amy. We had a lot of fun, and the end result shows it.

Amy:  Exactly.  I didn’t talk a lot about this either, mostly because it was my fun project.  I was working on Sidecar and Mourning Heaven as I was working on this, and those projects were both really hard—serious, angsty, just difficult.  Country Mouse was my chance to relax and stretch my writing by collaboration.  Working with a new person did the same thing for me that it did for our characters—sort of freed me from preconceived notions of what I was supposed to write and gave me a chance to let my playfulness—and my hot & dirty—out to frolic.

Ok. The biggest question I had after hearing the big reveal was… ‘wait…Aleks wrote a sweet book?’ And, well, that’s still my biggest question. What’s up with that? I never thought I’d see the day. *shakes head* I can barely even say ‘Aleks’ and ‘sweet book’ in the same sentence. It makes my brain twitch. *winks* I’m just teasing you. Sort of.  Ok, not really. How’d that happen? *leans in* Is it really… *looks confused*…sweet…?

Aleks: Hey, “Transit” was sweet! But yeah, after Dark Soul, I needed a change of mental scenery. So going from dark to sweet contemporary was the thing to do. Since then, I’ve jumped into sci-fi and currently I’m writing historical. The Muse needs to keep moving, and I’ve long since given up attempting to predict what I’ll do next. Sometimes, like with “Country Mouse” it’s just a “weren’t it cool if…” and then, if the idea builds momentum, it’s quick and easy and fun and exactly what I needed.

*laughs* Oh yeah. Transit. Uh... *looks embarassed* ... I've kinda not read that one. Shocking, I know. 

*looks to Amy* So Amy, I’m a little embarrassed to say, I’ve never read any of your books. After hearing all the wonderful things, they’ve made it to my TBR mountain, but sadly I’ve not cracked them yet. I’m curious, is this book in keeping with your writing styles?

Amy:  Uhm, yes and no, Amara.  I’m sort of known as the Queen of Angst (no, I didn’t really give myself that title!) but I also was asked to do an author event about comedy.  I think my stories tend to be a little more heavy on the backstory and less in the moment, and that was one of the lovely things about writing this.  It did stretch my “immediacy” muscles, and that was good for me!

Will you two make more book together?

Amy:  I can’t speak for Aleks, but I know I’m dying to write a sequel to Country Mouse.  We’ve already discussed possibilities for how these two characters end up dealing with each other, and I want to see them played out.

Aleks: I’m definitely up for it. I mean, right now I’m doing historicals, but I think that after one or two heavy WWII historicals, I’ll really need that change of mental scenery again. I also really like to co-write after I’ve fought my own way through a book, so basically now Amy’s secretary needs to talk to mine and mark things in the calendar. Or, actually, I’ll just drop Amy an email after I’ve sent off this interview.

Kewl. Can you share anything about what each of you are working now? What can we expect next… and when?

Amy:  I always have stuff coming down the slide.  After Country Mouse, I’ve got Gambling Men: The Novel, The Three Fates Anthology (with stories from Mary Calmes and Andrew Grey as well), Do-over – a short story of great karmic import, and Sidecar, which means a great deal to me, and is sort of a time capsule back to the 80’s and 90’s, which were a confusing time in a lot of ways.  And then… and then… *winks *  I won’t bore you with everything else on its way—that’s plenty for now!

Aleks: First, there’s the Dark Soul paperback on 1 June. Then there’s a short sci-fi novella that’s currently in edits at Riptide (title to be decided, but it’s about a bountyhunter and a shapechanger), and right now I’m playing with an idea around a fighter pilot in WWII, but that project hasn’t told me what shape or ending it has – it might be more a gay historical short story than a romance. Somehow, I have a bad feeling about the ending, so my Muse and I are in negotiations about that one. And after that, there’s a lot of things I could be doing or should be doing. I’m outlining a mainstream novel (with a female main character) and there are two more, very serious, historicals, one has a bisexual main character and the other has a gay focus, but it’s all not fixed enough to talk about them at all yet. 

Awesome possums. Can't WAIT to see all that. :D 

Thank so much for the chat. I hope you’ll come back so we can do this again!

Amy:  I had a lovely time, Amara!  And thanks for the diet soda!  I gotta run pick up my kids and cook dinner—I needed the caffeine!

Aleks: Thank you, Amara!

Later taters!

eBook release:  Apr 23 2012
Word count: 28,800
Page count: 79
Erotic Frequency: 4 - Fairly frequent
Type: Standalone
Cover by: Jordan Taylor
Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he’s loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don’t leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything’s a competition—even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.

Owen’s all for an adventure with a native, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing's too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.

Amara's Review: 5 out of 5 Amara Stars

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win Country Mouse swag :D


  1. Ahh, this makes me happy. All the insights and plans ahead.. ^^ Thanks for the interview! :)

    1. Me too. Lots to look forward to, yaaaay :D

      Thanks for coming by Aija!

  2. So glad to hear that it flowed so well but I expected it from these two ;)

    LOVED the read! Owen stole my breath with his strength and Malcolm with his gooey center was just completely eatable!!

    1. Wasn't it just fantastic?! I loved those two. Owen was so great, and Malcolm, oh my, big tough suit guy with the gooey center... yeah. He pushed all my buttons. Loved him so hard.

      Thanks for coming by m'dear. Hope the day is good to you :)

  3. Loved the interview as always. 2 more days til I can get my grubby little hands on it.

  4. Country Mouse is my next read.I'm really looking forward to it.I've read so many great reviews for it.Glad to hear their might be a sequel.Love going back and seeing how characters are dealing.Great interview.

  5. Incredibly pleased to hear that there might be a sequel :)

  6. OMG, Amara! You MUST read the awesome that is Amy Lane! It almost doesn't matter which one you pick up first except for the mood you're in, because her dark can be dark but her comedy is light and fun. If you want recommendations, just ask! =)



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