Oh yeah, he's back visiting again, here to talk about his latest piece of fabulous and to dish out prizes too! Yaaaaaaay!! So, please help give an Amara's Place type welcome to the fantabulous Aleksandr Voinov.
*crowd goes wild*
Ok, ok. Shhhhhhhh. Quiet down now and take a seat as Aleksandr takes the floor. Don't forget to check out his giveaway at the end and leave comments and/or questions for him.
Welcome back Aleks!
Skybound, or: No sex, please, we’re Germans
Hi, I’m Aleksandr Voinov, and I’m back (again) at Amara’s Place. Hi Amara, thanks for inviting me to talk about Skybound, freshly out from Riptide Publishing http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/skybound
Skybound is about two men falling in love while Nazi Germany around them falls to pieces. It’s a quite sombre tale, though I also think it has a gently optimistic ending. I think people will be in a good place after finishing this.
Some readers might be surprised at the low “heat level” of Skybound. I’m well-known for sex (writing, that is), and normally my characters can’t wait to jump each other’s bones. I love writing sex. If all that story and character background and plot and detail and setting and history didn’t get in the way, I could be happy as a porn writer. But the last time I set out to “just write some porn”, I ended up with a novel. Special Forces started as “let’s do some soldier porn”. Yeah. One million words, and hundreds of sex scenes later . . .
Anyway, I love writing my characters getting down and dirty. It’s fun. It’s hot. I think I’m doing a good job, too. So why not in Skybound?
Skybound has one “sex scene”, if you’d call two paragraphs that, and while I think it’s sensual, it’s not erotic. We don’t see anal or oral sex, we are barely aware there’s a handjob, or maybe frottage, as we’re so focused on what Felix feels. To him, it’s awesome, but he’s also overwhelmed at the emotion of it. He’s a virgin at that point, he’s young, he’s inexperienced with all kinds of tender emotions. And Baldur is oh-so-tentative. Both guys are taking an enormous personal and professional risk, and the impact of getting together is momentous, too. Baldur is careful, tender, emotional. Both are extremely vulnerable. There’s a great deal of emotional stuff going on, and I’m hoping that the readers will catch that (otherwise I didn’t do a good job putting it on there, which is my fault, not any reader’s).
And somehow, that just didn’t work written any other way. I could have been much more explicit, though Felix would struggle putting into words what’s physically happening to him during the sex. I was worried readers would expect that, and I agonized about how to write it hot but without breaking my characters. Sometimes, characters will have sex in a certain way. It’s part of their personality, their voice. And I couldn’t for the life of me imagine these two guys getting it on like modern porn stars. I don’t think it would have strengthened the story, either.
But above all, Skybound is an emotional journey much more than a sexual one. I do think that Felix and Baldur will explore sex more, and it’ll all be fun for them, and that they’ll learn to live together as a couple, even though post-war Germany isn’t a gay-friendly place by any means. In my mind, they just close the door when they have sex, or maybe leave it open, but all you’ll get to see is a duvet moving, and maybe some sounds. No bright lights, no close-ups of genitalia, no porn dialogue.
Sex for them isn’t a big issue, it’s not even the main thrill, not after what they’ve been though. It’s finding each other, supporting each other, and the amazing privilege to love and be loved, to have somebody you can cherish. Sex is part of that, but it’s not the driving force. So sex is part of the story, but it’s nowhere near the central element. I think intimacy can simply mean a touch, a kind word, a shared silence. It does for these guys, at least while they are “on camera.”
Germany, 1945. The Third Reich is on its knees as Allied forces bomb Berlin to break the last resistance. Yet on an airfield near Berlin, the battle is far from over for a young mechanic, Felix, who’s attached to a squadron of fighter pilots. He’s especially attached to fighter ace Baldur Vogt, a man he admires and secretly loves. But there’s no room for love at the end of the world, never mind in Nazi Germany.
When Baldur narrowly cheats death, Felix pulls him from his plane, and the pilot makes his riskiest move yet. He takes a few days’ leave to recover, and he takes Felix with him. Away from the pressures of the airfield, their bond deepens, and Baldur shows Felix the kind of brotherhood he’d only ever dreamed of before.
But there’s no escaping the war, and when they return, Baldur joins the fray again in the skies over Berlin. As the Allies close in on the airfield where Felix waits for his lover, Baldur must face the truth that he is no longer the only one in mortal danger.
BiographyAleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he makes his living editing dodgy business English so it makes sense (and doesn’t melt anybody’s brain). He published five novels and many short stories in his native language, then switched to English and hasn’t looked back. His genres range from horror, science fiction, cyberpunk, and fantasy to contemporary, thriller, and historical erotic gay novels.
In his spare time, he goes weightlifting, explores historical sites, and meets other writers. He singlehandedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects and interests. His current interests include World War II, espionage, medieval tournaments, and prisoners of war. He loves traveling, action movies, and spy novels.
Visit Aleksandr’s website at http://www.aleksandrvoinov.com, his blog at http://www.aleksandrvoinov.blogspot.com, and follow him on Twitter, where he tweets as @aleksandrvoinov.
Thank you for reading and stopping by! If you have any questions, I’ll be here to respond. To celebrate the launch of Skybound, I’ll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one commenter on the tour, with two more receiving book swag (so please leave your email address so I can be in touch).