Monday, April 27, 2009

Interview with Astrid Amara

For my DIK days I thought it would be a cool idea to ask Astrid, Nicole and Ginn if they'd like to share stuff. I am a serious fan girl of their books and was super pleased when they agreed. Tomorrow we have Nicole Kimberling and on Wednesday it's Ginn Hale's turn.
So, enjoy!

Hello from the Unusual Mind of Astrid Amara.

Dear Desert Island Keepers Readers,
The wonderful
Sarah requested that I come play, and invite along a couple friends.
Being an author who sucks at self-promotion and usually spends way too much time making fun of her own cover art (see adorable Drowning Tetanus boy on my current cover), I tend to stay away from the internet’s public eye.
I’m generally incapable of being serious about anything, which includes blogging, promoting, bloating, or promogging. I mean, let’s face it: “serious” scifi-porn does not make. I like my stories to take place in wild settings. I like there to be romance. And angst. I especially like the combination of abs with angst.
So, inexperienced interviewee/blogger that I am, I was naturally worried when faced with the prospect of three days worth of entertaining you fine ladies. I said to myself, “Self, no one wants to hear about your boring life as a civil servant, the fact that you look like all the “before” pictures on What Not to Wear, and you have a deep-rooted phobia of butterflies that makes you cry when you see them.”
So what do readers want?
Story. Sex. Humor. And maybe some pictures of humorous sex? No, wait, scratch that.
So I invited along the two funniest people I know, who happen to also be great amazing authors and whose stuff I love to read. The venerable Nicole Kimberling [] and the inestimable Ginn Hale [], both of whom are better at this whole writing-about-writing business.
So I’m thinking we play this way: every day one of us will share with you what we’ve got out there for your reading pleasure.
And we’ll answer a few questions generated by the “Interview RomanceBot 2000” (introductions coming at the bottom of the post).
Hope you enjoy. And feel free to write in with any questions, snarky feedback, or “virtual RomanceBot viruses.”
**Access Authorized**
Welcome to the exciting world of Auto-Content Interviews! In this day and age, asking questions – who has time for it? And why bother? Now that RomanceBot 2000 knows what it is in your heart, you can be sure to get the answers you need without all that pesky questioning!

ASTRID: Astrid.
ASTRID: Astrid. Astrid.
ASTRID: I write predominantly science fiction / fantasy gay romance. I occasionally dabble in contemporary humor. I seem to send characters to prison a lot.
ASTRID: I have one trade paperback fantasy called The Archer’s Heart [], which is a finalist for the 2009 Lambda Literary award and is published by Blind Eye Books []. It’s a sweeping epic that—
ASTRID: Uh, yes. Yes there is. But the story is about a prince, who falls in love with a revolutionary in a tropical nation where his brother is fighting for the crown, and—
ASTRID: Oh, lots of intercourse. Verbal, anal, you name it. Jeez. Getting kind of personal right out of the starting gate, aren’t—
ASTRID: Well, I like to have strong story elements, but if you must focus on that, then—
ASTRID: I’m not telling you. You have to read the whole book.
ASTRID: Well, if the size of the book is intimidating you, then maybe you’d like to try one of my novellas or e-books? I have five titles available through Loose Id [], including a new title this week, The Valde: Water. []. This is a supernatural thriller where a man must come to terms with the fact that his dead lover has come back to life, and doesn’t remember him. Oh, and is also a now murdering people with his bare hands.
ASTRID: Oh! Well, okay, want tense, imprisoned love and undercover torturer angst porn? Try Intimate Traitors! [] Or want futuristic-genocide-victim meets unnaturally-virile-doctor-in-space porn? Try A Policy of Lies! [] or want—
ASTRID: Yes. They are erotica.
ASTRID: Well, one of my characters is a cyborg, does that count?
ASTRID: No. Holiday Outing [] is my contemporary humor romance piece, about a family trapped inside the house over Chanukah, and a man who must come to terms with the crush he has on the boy who humiliated him in high school and who---
ASTRID: No. Not Jewish robot. He’s a man.
ASTRID: Pardon me?
ROMANCEBOT2000: Nothing.
ASTRID: What? What do you mean?
ASTRID: Are you still the beta version of this hardware, or—
ASTRID: It’s just Hell Cop.
ASTRID: Hell Cop [] is an anthology of novellas written by myself, Nicole Kimberling, and Ginn Hale. It was really fun to write three interconnected stories all set in the same fantastical setting, an urban city called Parmas where sorcerers and demons live among human beings, and the Hell Cops must protect them all. The sequel to Hell Cop is being written now and will be available this summer.
ASTRID: *sigh* Yes.
ASTRID: Nicole’s story has a half-demon, half-human man who falls in love with a hell cop.
ASTRID: Look, this interview is supposed to be about my publications, and what these novels are ABOUT. I want to tell you about their plots, about their weird settings and the complex emotional issues that my characters must deal with before they find true love, and…. Oh never mind. The sex starts on Page 164 of The Archer’s Heart.

Surprise! Prize!
What publication, apart from Hell Cop and Hell Cop 2, have we all three (Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, and Ginn Hale) collaborated on? The first TWO to e-mail me with the correct answer will get a free copy of Hell Cop!

Feeling like learning more about my books but not feeling interested enough to read the whole blurb? I’ve made you a handy guide to the *real* content below!

1. The Archer’s Heart – epic fantasy of warriors fighting battles, claiming thrones, secretly having sex with each other, and starting a cultural revolution. Think chutney, chariots, jungle romance, and supernatural explosions.
2. Intimate Traitors – future dystopic prison romance where the prisoner has to convince the torturer to let him go by using his special (lucky?) charms
3. A Policy of Lies – genocide-surviving mystery-solving reporter in space! Too bad he’s falling in love with the bad guy…
4. Hell Cop, “Next of Kin” – 30 year old virgin man on fire finally gets laid. And solves a crime while he’s at it.
5. Holiday Outing – The only thing worse than bunking with the guy who outed and humiliated you in high school, is trying to have sex with him in your mother’s house.
6. The Valde: Water – Supernatural chase scene, running only temporarily stopped by hot hot sex.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac – I’m a nerd. I like facts. And if I memorized it all, I’d be smarty-poo!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – Because nothing says “relax” like a book about tortured priests in space.
The Jeeves Omnibus by PG Wodehouse – There isn’t a page in this book that I don’t laugh out loud at. It’s the funniest book ever. Plus I like to imagine that Jeeves and Wooster had a *wink wink* *toggle toggle * happening behind the scenes, if you know what I mean.
4.Any old Russian Text Book – I know from experience that these pages make the best toilet paper in a pinch.
The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – I love Holmes, and I confess, there are a few mysteries I still haven’t read. Now’s my chance. Plus I like to imagine that Watson and Holmes had a *squint squint* *winkle winkle* happening behind the scenes if you know what I mean.
Where There is No Doctor by David Werner et al– okay, most of you won’t know this book. But seriously? It kills me. Its like the most entertaining and useful book ever. I got my copy when serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and have often wanted to tattoo the artwork on my body. See, all the pictures of diseases were drawn by this doctor, and they’re TERRIBLE. But the information in it is REALLY HANDY.


Sarah said...

Still laughing my wee ass off. Tetanus boy O-o and an over sexed robot. You're marvy. :p

asterisk said...

Oh, ROMANCEBOT 2000, I like where your head's at!


LVLM(Leah) said...

Oh nice interview!

I've only read Intimate Traitors and loved it. Next for me to read is The Valde: Water, which I'm starting today.

I totally love your style of writing and the unique worlds that you create.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - Wow! You fit all my blatherings on one post! Good jarb!

L Bee - ROMANCEBOT 2000 may be a little pervy, but it gets the job done!

MB - Thanks! I hope you enjoy Water!

Mary M. said...

Is it just me or does this romancebot thing has a teeny tiny bit of a one-track mind? :-DDDDD That was one really fun interview! I still haven't read anything from you (although I've started the anthology Tangle and I bought Hell Cop not long ago), but I liked your voice so I'll push your books a bit higher on my TBR list ;) Drowning tetanus boy??? Looool.

And Watson & Holmes, huh? That's one pairing I never thought about -could make sense, since why remain bachelor for so long, both of them? (at least I think so)

JenB said...

Hey, can I have one of those robots? He might come in handy when I have to talk to annoying customers. :)

I'm lovin' the drowning tetanus boy, by the way. you think we'll ever see more of the HellCop universe? (I think you should say yes.)

Anonymous said...

Mary M - Watson and Holmes are my favorite fanfiction pairing. Even as a kid, I read them and thought, "Holmes is in love with Watson, isn't he?"

JenB - Hell Cop 2 is being written at this very moment, and should be out this summer from Loose Id! I'm pretty excited about it - I love Parmas City, and it was fun to go back. Plus working with Nicole and Ginn is always a pleasure.

Tracy said...

Hey Astrid! Thanks for joining us today - and thanks for inviting your friends along to play as well...I'm looking forward to it.

Drowning tetanus boy? omg - I love that you make fun of your own cover art! lol

The romancebot 2000 had me lmao. You are one funny lady.

Tracy said...

Oh and as much as I'd love a free copy of Hell Cop I can't for the life of me figure out the answer to your question! lol Tough one. :)

Anonymous said...

You're one funny girl, Astrid!

Luisa Prieto said...


What an awesome interview! I always thought there was something between Holmes and Watson myself. Did you ever see that Yaoi manga with them in it?

The robot was cool :) Are you going to write a robot romance for him?

Anonymous said...

Tracy: "love that you make fun of your own cover art!"

Me: It's probably not very professional. But I can't help myself. :)

Tracy: can't for the life of me figure out the answer to your question!

Me: Hint: we all worked on a Blind Eye Books publication together. Hm......

Ginn: You're one funny girl

Me: And funny-looking.

Anonymous said...

Luisa: "Did you ever see that Yaoi manga with them in it?"

Me: NO! But I did see one with Jeeves and Wooster which was GREAT.

Hm... robot romance might be hard. But I have a far-off plan for another cyborg romance however, set in the same future as A Policy of Lies. :)

Sarah said...

Yes, one post. Kinda the blog that ate xmas #2. heh.

Anonymous said...

That RomanceBot was a tough interviewer for sure, but you made it through with great style!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, sort of. I'm sitting here giggling at my laptop; I think it confirmed my husband's suspicion that he's married to a madwoman.*g*

But how on earth can you be a Holmes/Watson fan and not have read every single story ever written about them??

Anonymous said...

Liade: I read "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb" and didn't like it, and so that made me pause during my reading of the more obscure stories. The one's I still have to read are "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet", "The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk" and "The Adventure of Black Peter." Shameful, I know, but I just need to get to some deserted island to find the time to read the very last three!

Kimnik: Your time with the mechanoid evil genius will come.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I fully admit that not all Sherlock Holmes stories are equally engaging, but I was hooked nevertheless. Re. that unlucky (or lucky, depending on POV) engineer minus his thumb: I first read the stories decades before the advent of St Google and it took me forever to find out what Fuller's Earth is. Not that I remember now, of course. Maybe I should google it...

lisabea said...

Hands down: my favorite interview ever.

Tell me more about this intercourse, Astrid.

Kris said...

*checking page 164 of copy of "The Archer's Heart"*

I'm still grinning over the Jewish robot comment.

And, damn, first time I know the answer to a competition and I already have, umm, everything-that-Astrid-Ginn-and-Nicole-ever-wrote. *sheepish*

Josh Lanyon said...

God almighty. I was shrieking with laughter. We're talking Edgar-Allen-Poe-getting-all-the-right- meds funny. THAT'S how to do an interview.

Josh Lanyon said...

Oh, and if you haven't read it, you need to find a copy of My Dearest Holmes by Rohase Piercy.

Anonymous said...

Liade: Oh, don't get me wrong. I LOVE almost every single Holmes story out there. I have this amazing annotated edition that weighs 200 lbs. I *will* finish those last three, damn it, I will! :)

Lisabea: I think everything's funnier with robots. That includes talking like one, which my boss doesn't seem to find amusing at all.

Kris: Darn! I'm sorry! If I was a better thief, I'd steal you some books to give away as prizes, but speaking of Poe, I'm sort of like the guy in the Tell Tale Heart, I'd start blubbering before I left the bookstore. But I'm glad you like what you've read so far! :)

Josh: My Dearest Holmes? It's perfection. Absolute perfection. The Sexual Adventures of Sherlock Holmes? Not so much perfection. But funny! If you like to laugh at porn-gone-bad like me. :)

Sarah said...

Just looked at the blog post and it's all skinny on my pc!!! Looked fine on my mac. Blogger fail. Am just going to pretend blog is feeling in svelte mood. heh.

jessewave said...

Great post Astrid. As usual I'm late but this time I have an excuse - no Internet access for 24 hours.

An oversexed robot! What a treat. I remember reading about one in a Star Trek episode. *g*

A review of Water is going to be posted on my blog a week Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Sarah: I didn't even notice. :)

Jessewave: Hey, better late than never... I just thought of checking back now, so I'm way behind and I don't even have a valid excuse!

I look forward to the Valde review.


Carolyn Crane said...

Omg, all these books sound great! I've heard a lot of good buzz on Hell Cop esp. Thanks for coming by!!!

ROmanceBOT: Freak!!!

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