Thursday, December 10, 2009

Guest Author K Z Snow Interview: Day 2

The Best of DIKMe to the DIK gang: I'm very excited to be interviewing K Z Snow, our latest guest here at DIK. Yeah, she's one of my fave authors and all, but it's my first author interview! Yay me!

Me to KZ: Welcome to DIK! How are you enjoying your stay in our wonderful author beach hut and, more importantly, don't you think I look hot in this bikini?

KZ: Thank you! Boy, I need this beach right now. Snow has descended on my part of the world. Lots of snow. With more to come. For months. (Please let me stay! I'll summon Nathan and drug him up to make him tractable.)

Hey, the bikini looks great, but what if a wave comes along and sweeps your face away? What're you going to look like under there? A squid? Joan Rivers before plastic surgery and after a three-day drunk?

Me to KZ: *makes note to self to spit in KZ’s next beer and smiles sweetly* So glad you're enjoying yourself, KZ. Absolutely feel free to invite Nathan. Happily, one of the men in my hut happens to be an expert with herbs and other substances. There is occasionally call for such services here on DIK. All those Alpha Men. *shakes head sadly* But, please tell the virtuals all about Nathan.

KZ: I need to tell people about him? Especially people who read romance novels (the kindwith wimmin in them)? Suffice it to say, one dark and stormy night, a male angel -- or so I thought at the time -- appeared at my door. He seemed to be suffering from amnesia. He was definitely soaked. (And Kris knows how my heart goes out to drenched men). I brought him in. Grateful for my kindness, he asked, "Sweet and beautiful lady, how may I repay you?" I answered, "By living under my desk. And getting wet on a regular basis."

Me to DIK gang: You know you're on to a winning author when she has an imagination like that.

Me to KZ: *sniffles* Touching. You also share your house with someone else, don't you? I'm interested in hearing about the work you’re collaborating with her on.

KZ: Oh jeez, you had to bring her up. Well, there's this creature of the female persuasion who suddenly appeared in my life after I typed two words into a Captcha box one day: Castanet Feldman. She's been plaguing me, and poor Nathan, ever since. I finally agreed to collaborate on a book with her, just to mollify her. (Oh crap, here she comes.)

CF: You're interviewing the wrong writer, Oz-cake. You know what rhymes with Snow? 'Ho, that's what. And blow. Heh. Ask Nathan what goes on under that -- [mmmmnfffmmllnpp] Hey, get your damned hand off my mouth! I don't know where that hand has been, although I have a pretty good idea. [mnmnspth] Stop it! Yo, Kris, remember your question, "What heroine is most like you?" I'll tell ya what the honest answer would've been: "None. Heroines don't come in fat, old, and ornery." OUCH!

KZ: Sorry for the interruption. So anyway, Castanet has decided we should write a book called Eat Me Before I Spoil, about the "romantic and sexual misadventures of three wacky cougars spending their holidays in a South Seas island hut." Problem is, we haven't gotten too far, since we don't agree on too much of anything. Kris, you think the DIK ladies could help? If I bribed them with books?

Me to KZ: Hun, these girls are Book Sluts. Offer them freebies and they’ll put out for anyone. We’ll sort that out tomorrow. Now let’s get back to the questions so that I can pretend this is a serious interview. *snort* Anyway, you write both m/f and m/m romance. What made you take the step away from throbbing clits in the first place?

KZ: You don’t mince words, do you? I've written m/m exclusively for a couple of years now and love it more with each story.

I started bringing guys together in my Ellora's Cave books -- yup, usually in the context of m̩nages -- and realized how much their chemistry fascinated me. Maybe that's because I've been close to a number of gay men. Invariably I found that male/male interaction is quite different from male/female interaction Рanatomical differences aside.Finally, it was two characters, Jackson Spey and Adin Swift, who seemed to insist on getting together without a woman between them. I know this sounds like loopy-writer talk -- "I swear my characters have a life of their own!" -- but that sort of thing does happen. I can't explain it. Jackson, especially, is as real to me as anybody I know. Except Kris, who I'm sure is a stray character from somebody else's fictional universe.

Me : *W. T. F. Oh, it's on now.* Is it true this is your preferred camouflage when trawling gay bars and clubs looking for material for your books?

KZ: Shit, don't let Castanet see the penis suit! She'll be all over that thing like a succubus with smeared lipstick and mascara!

Actually, I pass myself off as a transvestite. Like Julie Andrews in
Victor/Victoria. Problem is, I can't sing worth a crap. So sometimes I just stand in the restroom and pretend to be a condom dispenser.

Me: A condom dispenser? Well, that would make sense given your obsession with cocks as evidenced here and your new, recently contracted book titled Mobry's Dick. What's up with that story anyway? It sounds like Moby Dick pr0n.

KZ: Mobry's Dick, which will be issued by Loose Id, is the first story in a duology. It's about a mysterious gay stage magician of the late 19th century, a unique and profane clockwork automaton he created, and two contemporary men who are brought together by its appearance at a flea market. (If you're wondering what a clockwork automaton is, I refer you to the movie The Illusionist. Remember the Orange Tree in that film? It was based on an actual mechanism made famous by magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin in the mid-19th century. You can see a recreation of it on YouTube.)

Me: You seem to like hooking your heroes up in unusual or challenging circumstances; for example, in Bastards & Pretty Boys recently divorced Charlie meets Booker who is the victim of a stalker. Why do you take this approach? And please don't just say plot conflict. I'm trying to make you look good here.

KZ: Since when do you try to make me look good? You still haven't come up with a cute face to plaster over my real face. I've overlooked that, though, because pouting is unattractive. And Santa Claus is coming to town.

As for your question... Unless a story is intended as a shallow, escapist sex-romp (I've written shorts like that), my books are very character driven. Although I write contemporaries, paranormals, fantasies, and urban fantasies, my springboard is always human nature. Always. Its infinite variety fascinates me. So I like to imagine uniquely challenging situations that draw out the best and the worst of human nature as well as those muddy, gray areas in between. I also refuse to spare my protagonists the ordeal of self-examination -- and, often, its resulting humility -- because that's what ultimately nets them their HEA or HFN. InDescent is probably the most intense example of this.

Me: Yep, you certainly put Jackson through the ringer in InDescent by challenging him to be honest about his feelings for Adin. You mentioned earlier that these characters demanded to be together. Does this give them a special place in your heart? I know that a whole heap of readers became fond of them and were desperate for To Be Where You Are to see these boys get their happies.

KZ: I'm absolutely crazy-devoted to them. They're complex men, and some of the turns their relationship has taken have even surprised me a little.

For example, although they're sexually versatile and happily switch between topping and bottoming, Jackson invariably subs to Adin when they feel like getting their kink on. This is counterintuitive, since Jackson is the older, taller, and brawnier of the two and spent most of his life as the quintessential "tough guy." (He went from being a kickass biker to a kickass wizard.) When his submissive streak surfaced, I wondered about its origins. But I didn't have to wonder long before it made perfect sense to me.

I'm very, very fond of my other male couples, too -- Charlie and Booker, Win and Pablo, Tole and Ridley (love Tole and Ridley!), Misha and Jude (nobody's met them yet; they're still sitting in an editor's computer), and now Paul and Cameron in Mobry's Dick. But no couple will ever be able to compare with Jackson and Adin.

Me: A little birdy tells me that you're going to be writing a piercing or inking scene for your favourite couple. Please say that it's Jackson and Adin. I could so see Jackson getting nipple rings, especially after that kinky scene where Adin puts a clamp chain on him. *fans self* Actually one between Tole and Ridley would be kinda hot too. You know that Jen's got Ridley tucked away in her DIK hut, right? She and others seem to think it's a cool idea to bring vamps to a desert island where its sunny most of the time... go figure... then again they do go cold when they sleep so it would be like insta-eskies with them in their coffins and all...

KZ: I think we had the vampire discussion before and decided you were clueless. Oh, and don't give me that "little birdie" crap. I'm never posting on your blog again.

Jackson already has a tatt, on his left pec. It's an arcane symbol called the Trident of Parcelsus. Other than that, Adin likes his lover's skin just the way it is and doesn't want it injected with ink. (Jackson was never a "traditional" biker any more than he was ever a traditional anything. Always defiant of stereotypes and rather lone-wolfish. Therefore, no tatts.) But nipple piercing could very well be on the horizon. And what a gorgeous horizon that chest is...

From now on, what happens to Ridley and Tole will be a matter of conjecture. The fourth and final book of the Utopia-X series is coming out January 5 and is primarily a return to Win and Pablo. It's hard letting go, but I really don't want to write a never-ending series. (Need I name names?)

Me: *dreamily thinks of Jackson with nipple ringage* *ahem*

Wondering why vampires can still cum when they are meant to be infertile is not clueless! Neither is asking if people thought said cum was flavoured like blood because that is all they digest. This is friggin' important stuff to know when 2012 happens and the paranormals amongst us reveal themselves for the first time. Many will regret not knowing these kinds of things beforehand. Just sayin'.

As you know, I'm a huge fan of the Utopia-X series and am really looking forward to reading the last book in the series. So it better be bloody good or else! Kidding. *Not really.* You mentioned that it will be very hard to say goodbye to these characters. I think it's the same for readers who become invested in the characters and their stories. What's it like trying to live up to these expectations?

KZ: I happen to live in a haven for paranormals, so I'm here to tell ya, they've already made themselves known. And regarding 2012, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku says we don't have much to worry about. Since I'm hopelessly in love with Dr. Kaku and he's smarter than your average Joe, I believe him.

Series books. Hm. I see it this way. There are major league authors and minor league authors, not just within the publishing world as a whole but within individual genres. Readers only tend to become "invested" in a series by someone in the majors. Does that mean the author of a popular series has to prolong it ad infinitum? No. In fact, s/he is wise not to.

At some point, continuing on with a series means taking a trip through Rutsville. Most characters and worlds, and even the overriding narrative voice, have a shelf life. Writers who are more conscious of their craft than they are of their egos don't want their output to become predictable and stale. (Wow! How vivaciously I'm mixing my metaphors today!) I think five books is a good average length.

Me to DIK gang: She's so wrong about 2012. How do you explain all the paranormals and urban fantasies we've been getting if not for them being the lead up to The Big Reveal? Don't deny it. You know I'm right.

Me to KZ: I'm with you on Rutsville and work getting stale. Don't worry though, KZ, you can always rely on me to tell you when your work sucks. *beams*

So, I know you've told us a little already about what's going on in your world, but what's next for you... and will any of your heroes have a smegma fetish? (Me to DIK gang: I'm pretty sure this is what Barbara Walters says to wrap up an interview. I so rock at this.)

KZ: Now I’m for sure never posting on your blog again. Aren’t blog posts made in confidence? (BTW, it’s just past 7 a.m. here, and I just had to read the phrase smegma fetish. My stomach doesn’t appreciate starting its day that way.)

Coming up next is Mobry's Dick and its sequel, which is almost finished. Then that story arc will be complete. I'm waiting very impatiently to hear about Jude in Chains. It's another first-person contemporary and one that’s important to me, because it's about the reprehensible ex-gay movement.

What project I'll begin next, I'm not sure, but I'd like to stay in the contemporary groove. And I love writing first-person narratives. They're very liberating, because they allow for actual adoption of a character's voice and outlook rather than interpretation -- if you know what I mean -- and that makes them flow very smoothly from my teeming brain.

Me: I’ll be very interested to hear what happens with Jude in Chains. Speaking of me... *cough*... I reckon I got this interviewing thing down pat, don't you?

Who am I to disagree? (Isn't that a lyric from an Annie Lennox song?) I've never interviewed anybody. They might take umbrage at my questions – but that didn’t stop you, did it?

Gee, KZ, thanks for that ringing endorsement. I s'pose I better thank you for being interviewed, blah, blah. Oh, and thank Ms. F. for me, would you? I'm looking forward to hearing more about this collaboration the two of you've got going on. Having said that, I wouldn't have thought you of all people would be jumping on the cougar bandwagon. *kiss, kiss*

KZ: Anytime. My pleasure. Practice makes perfect, you know. Well, except when it comes to marriage.

I'm not thanking Castanet for anything. She'll take it as encouragement.

Yup, I'm afraid my prowling cougar days are over, except in my mind. But things have really ramped up in there. No wonder I have insomnia.

I keep telling you, hun, you need to drink more. *hands KZ a Tequila Chaser* Play up that suffering artist thing to the hilt.

Me to DIK gang: And Lord only knows it would help to justify the way her mind works.

And... DONE! That's it for my first interview. I think I did an awesome job despite KZ's lack of enthusiasm for my mad skillz.

Come back tomorrow for the competition which gives you the chance to win one of KZ's entire series, either m/f or m/m!

See. She can be nice. :)

Hey, hold on. You're not having the last word. I'm supposed to be the diva here. I am a suffering artist! I fall upon the thorns of life just about every damned day, and it freakin’ hurts! [Note to self: move cactus farther away from quarter-barrel.]

Me: *yawn* What. Ever.


Jenre said...

Very amusing ladies, and informative too.

KZ: You're a good egg for letting Kris loose on an interview with you, but you held your end up admirably :).

I can't wait for the next Utopia X book to come out and I can't believe it's going to be the last one - I'm sure you said there were going to be 5 - yes you did! As for Jackson and Adin *sigh* they are one of my favourite m/m couples and I was very sad to finish the last book - please write more!

Kris: A wonderful attempt for a first author interview. Well done, m'dear :).

Chris said...

KZ, I can see we're going to have a bit of a tussle over Nathan. *baleful stare*

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, Kris isn't so bad, Jen...if you just sort of ignore her. :-D

About Utopia-X, Book 4 - I'd considered five, but given the way number four played out, it seemed like a perfect conclusion to the series. My editor agreed.

Hey, don't write off Jackson and Adin yet! Just because one issue had been resolved doesn't mean there aren't others. ;-)

(Word Veri: "puped," which is how I'm going to feel after all these holiday events!)

K. Z. Snow said...

He's quite lovely, isn't he, Chris? Unfortunately, about a gazillion other women think so too -- including, no doubt, his wife. :-/

Tam said...

"Heroines don't come in fat, old, and ornery."

I think I fell a little bit in love.

You guys kill me. I'm eagerly awaiting Utopia X and am trying to get caught up with Jackson and Aiden, hopefully be done this weekend. Still think Obsessed needs a nipple ring on that cover. I'm going to photoshop it.

Great job Kris. You're second career as the Aussie Barbara Walters of the m/m field is well underway. Have a great day enjoying the sun, sand and margaritas on the island.

Chris said...

Details, details. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Hiya, Tam! You just Photoshop to your heart's content, sweetie...and make sure to send me a copy of the results. ;-)

My nit with how Adin is represented on all these covers is that he doesn't look like Adin. In "reality," Adin resembles the man -- and you know what man I'm talking about! -- on Kresley Cole's Dark Needs at Night's Edge.

(Hey, no problem, Kresley; I'm happy to pimp your books anytime!)

WTF is wrong with me?

Tracy said...

Wonderful and very funny interview ladies. I loved every word.

I can't wait for book 4 in the Utopia X series! Jan. 5. got it. :)

I'm going to look up Jackson and Adin now. Just read Bastards and Pretty Boys last week and it was great.

Kris said...

@KZ - 'Oh, Kris isn't so bad, Jen...if you just sort of ignore her.'

What?! How rude!!

Thanks everyone for saying how awesome I am. Reinforcement is good. ;)

K. Z. Snow said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Tracy. They're much appreciated!

K. Z. Snow said...

Well, well. Look who decided to roll in with the tide.

Let's hope her face in still in place. :-)

Lea said...

LOL Great post ladies. Thank you for introducing me to KZ's work, sounds excellent.

Glad you are enjoying your stay on the Island KZ! Looking forward to tomorrow's post.


K. Z. Snow said...

I love it here, Lea. I may never leave. ;-)

KT Grant said...

Is that a new bikini Kris?

Kris said...

Why? Does it make me look even gooderer, Katiebabs chook??

KT Grant said...

beyond gooderer. Very sexy indeed ;)

Kris said...

*blushes* Thank you.

*In your face, KZ!*

Jeanne said...

Nathan = Yummy!
OK, I read your blathering on, CF. You think I was fooled into thinking that was KZ talking?

Oh, no..KZ, I just discovered, it's not your blog that gives me the great word verifications -- it's YOU!
Word veri: crumbfor
I don't give a crumb for smegma fetish. EWW

orannia said...

Thank you K.Z. & Kris - very amusing :) Methinks I need to start reading the Utopia X series :)

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