So… I read this great little book last month called To Catch a Fox. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Anyway, it was pretty darn fun and funny and sexy and I thought to myself, hm, I wonder if Geoff and Ethan would have a minute to answer a few questions about it. And guess what? They did. Which makes me happy plus infinity, so I thought I’d share what they had to say. Without further ado ::drum roll:: here they are, the incomparable, always witty and ever charming, and did I mention talented? Knight & Day!
Q. Guys, when you sit down to start writing a book, do you write with a particular audience in mind? Do you feel you write more for your male fans, your female fans, or is that not even a consideration?
ED: I’ve never thought about it in those terms. I write the types of stories I like to read and I hope that other people will end up enjoying them as well. For the most part, I think it’s the characters that set the tone for my books. That’s about the extent of it for me. I think it’s impossible to predict what anyone is going to like or not and I’ve seen reviews and comments from both extremes for all my books, lol. Every writer out there needs to accept the fact that not everyone is going to like what they put out there. It’s tough to take when someone doesn’t like what I have to offer, but I’m old enough now that it doesn’t bug me as much as would have 20 years ago. Back then there would have been loads of teeth gnashing and bitchery, lol! I’m a lot sweeter than I used to be.
I wouldn’t think it’s healthy to try and write from the perspective that you’ll ever be able to please everyone. That sounds like a dangerous recipe for writers block and loads of second guessing.
GK: I agree with Ethan, I try not to write for a particular audience…except me, I guess. I truly believe you need to entertain yourself first, because if you can’t do that, chances are nobody else will be entertained by what you’re writing. I think sometimes as a story evolves you realize a certain scene might have more of an impact on a female or male audience, but I try not to change my writing to cater to that. I try to keep everything flowing as naturally as possible.
Q. Knight and Day—hm, seems a bit karmic that the two of you would eventually collaborate on a novel, don’t you think? Who came up with the idea, and how long did it take to make it happen?
ED: It was all Geoff’s doing! I still think he only asked me because of the name thing, though he refuses to admit to it!! The basic idea of the Betty Black character walking into a private investigators office and hiring the P.I. to teach her how to find the man she wants to murder was what Geoff brought to me when he so kindly asked if I’d be interested in writing a book with him. Once I got over the initial disappointment that ‘writing a book together’ wasn’t his way of trying to get into my pants, I decided it was still an awesomely fun idea. I love reading mysteries, and was a fan of his Fathoms Five books. Saying yes to working with him was easy.
Getting the book finished was not so easy. Life and time zones played havoc with each of us, but I think we were both happy with the end result. I personally love the first book and I’m really excited for the way it has set up books two and three. I think Jon and Tucker are going to make for a very satisfying relationship arc over the course of the series.
GK: Yes, coming up with the idea and then playing with the plot outline was a lot of fun. It was almost too much fun. We had to keep pulling ourselves back because we just wanted to cram so much into this already big baby! But then when it came to writing it…wow, that was a mammoth task. We spent so much time plotting, that when it came to the actual writing it took us ages to build up some momentum, which was probably more my fault than Ethan’s. Plus we approach writing very differently – Ethan is REALLY fast! He can pound out word counts that would make my head spin, filled with pages and pages of the most hilarious dialogue! On the flipside of that, I’m a bit slower and like to spend time blocking action scenes and trying to get the tension right. It worked out in the end, but it did take longer than we first anticipated. I think getting the characters all set up was a bigger task than we realized. But now that there are established – with all their wonderful flaws and messed-up pasts – we should be able to power through Book 2 without dragging our heels.
Q. When you came up with the characters Jonathan Fox and Tucker Wilder, was there ever a question of who would write which character?
ED: Not at all. I think we decided very early on in the creative process that we would each write different sections, but would still each make a pass over one another’s work. We were both hoping that process would help with continuity and make the book seem like it wasn’t written by two authors.
GK: But having said that… I can’t read Tucker’s dialogue without imagining it coming out of Ethan’s mouth! He’s so sharp and hilarious, he’s got Ethan stamped all over him (which I’m sure Ethan would very much enjoy if Tucker were in fact a real person – lol).
Q. So… cliffhanger… evil much? ::shakes fist and demands you write faster:: What made you decide to end To Catch a Fox where you did? Because seriously, it’s just an evil thing to do to your readers.
ED: LOL! I was aware many would not be happy with that, but we hoped everyone would love the characters enough to stick with us. When we seriously started to think about the relationship of Jon & Tucker it was important to both of us to keep their individual personalities and experiences in mind. They’re both pretty damaged in somewhat similar ways – though I think both men have dealt with that pain in completely different ways. It does bond them together in a very traumatic way, yet I also think that in the end, that which has driven a wedge might be the very thing brings them back together – making a stronger unit than they’d otherwise have had. Let’s face it – had it not been for the extraordinary circumstances that Tucker finds himself tangled up in, Fox would have never allowed the man to get in that deep – would have never brought him to De la Fontaine, and would have NEVER allowed him anywhere near the inner workings of his personal life.
It’s a relationship that is born purely by accident. By the time Fox realizes Tucker isn’t going to end up in witness protection, it’s too late. The veil has come down and Tucker has seen the man behind the curtain – and he hasn’t run screaming, lol. And Jon is hooked as well – he’s had a taste of Tucker and wants a seat at the all-you-can-eat Wilder buffet, but I don’t think he’s equipped to deal with all that entails. Fun and sex would be one thing, but having actual feelings about Tucker isn’t a scenario Fox knows what to do with.
We both knew that it would be completely unrealistic for these two to go walking off into the sunset hand-in-hand at the end of this book. Too much has happened. And we wanted to have a relationship arc that would hold up over the span of the three books we have planned. If all the issues are resolved in book one, there’s no room for growth.
GK: Cliffhangers! I love them!!! They make me feel all-powerful and all-knowing – lol! Just kidding, but seriously what Ethan has said is all true. We wanted to flesh out these characters as much as possible in the first book, but still leave room for more to develop in the next two books. And as Ethan said, with this much damage to try to heal between these two, a sunset ending would have felt forced and wrong. Sometimes a neatly-tied bow is the wrong ending for a story, and our story is still writing itself. Having said all this, the original ending was even more jaw-dropping but Ethan told me if we ended it that way, we’d be lynched by an angry mob! **Okay, Mr. Knight, you can’t even resist ending interview questions in a cliffhanger, can you?!**
Q. If you could choose one scene, which would you say was your favorite to write?
ED: I think for me it was just after the first time they’ve had sex – when Tucker starts to really think about how odd it was that Jon just happened to have been hanging out in that dark alley. I laughed so much writing that, for some reason it all struck me as being very funny.
There was also a short scene later in the book – when Eva calls Jon from Vegas. It’s like 5 am or something and poor Jon is trying to carry on two conversations, one with Eva and one with Tucker. Something about that scene stuck out for me – a familiarity that all the characters already share with one another and the sense that Fox can’t seem to do or say the right thing to either one as Eva and Tucker keep mistaking which comments are intended for whom.
GK: Oh I have two favorites. The first is after the big warehouse scene where they’re hiding out in a motel and Jon has been shot and Tucker has to get him drunk to get the bullet out. It starts off quite funny and leads into sex, but Ethan threw a challenge down and said, ‘Let’s make that sex scene really dark. Let’s make Jon’s anger come out through the alcohol.’ And it worked, it’s a very tense and erotic scene that adds another layer to Jon’s quest to heal himself or die trying.
My other favorite scene is the flashback scene near the end of the book. I love writing lavish party scenes and that scene was the perfect place to unravel so many secrets. I won’t give anything away, but for me, that scene is like a microcosm of the entire story and all its main characters.
Q. How many books do you have planned for the series?
ED: We definitely have a three book arc planned, but we may decide to do more if it seems like we have someplace to go with the characters along with a new mystery for them to solve.
GK: Yes, three is definitely the number at the moment. I think we’ll probably decided during three if we want to keep writing or if we should stitch up the trilogy and give it a proper ending.
Q. Care to give us a little taste of what we might expect in A Fox in the Hole?
ED: More sex, more bantery-goodness, more danger, more thrills and chills and an ending that leaves you waiting breathless for what’s next!
GK: Oh yes, we have some wonderful plans that will make readers want to throw even more furniture at us! For anyone who’s already read the first book, the last chapter pretty much gives you an idea of where Book 2 is heading as well as setting up the main villain for the second book. Oh we are gonna have SOOOOO much fun writing her!
Q. Are there any other Works In Progress you’d care to share a little info about?
ED: I’ve got so many unfinished projects on my hard drive that I’m beginning to feel like a commitment phobe! I keep getting ideas for other books so I try to get it all down before I forget it which means yet another unfinished manuscript in the queue. That can overwhelm me at times.
For this year, I am planning to have book one in my Meteor Springs series finished – which is sort of an alien/paranormal dramedy. I have that series plotted out for 4 books in total with a possibility for a fifth. A more serious turn for me with a short story drama titled, The Northern Star. I also plan to get the final book in the Sno Ho/Summit City series completed as well as the companion book to Love in La Terraza – for which I don’t have a title just yet.
Geoff and I together plan to have Fox in the Hole completed, as well as a Zombie romance which will be part of an anthology through our new press, The Empire Press, and will include two other stories, one co-written by TJ Klune and Eric Arvin, and another by Ethan Stone and Daniel A. Kaine.
GK: Oh we’re SOOOO excited about Zombies, as well as kick-starting our new adventure together, The Empire Press. We have several amazing m/m and gay lit authors lined up and can’t wait to announce our release slate.
In the meantime, I’m currently writing an Australian short story for MLR Press, as well as a Valentine’s Day short story for an anthology organized by Sara York. I also have my first shifter novels in the works through Stiff Rain Press, the first of which is called Serpent. Like Ethan said, I have so many projects on the go, I just can’t wait to make them all happen! Busy busy busy… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
OMG… Zombie romance?! Too much teasing makes readers kind of stalkerish, guys! Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to be here. You’re both kinda awesome, just sayin’.
And if you’re not following Geoff and Ethan all over the internet already, here are some links of interest for them: