Hi, Amelia! Welcome to The Novel Approach; I’m so glad to have you here with us today. :)
Hi! Thank you for having me! I’m very excited you’ve decided to feature me!
Before we get to the contest portion of your visit, let’s just start right off by having you tell us a little bit about yourself, and then we can get down to the big questions.
I am a 38-year-old homemaker and mother. I live in the Portland, Oregon area with my husband and 5-year-old son. I originally hail from Michigan, I’m a huge fan of choral music and musical theater, studied voice when I was younger, and until I got pregnant, I was in school to become a midwife. I have zero drawing/painting talent, but I can cross-stitch and crochet.
Q. Was Inertia your first published novel?
Yes. I’ve written a number of novels that were posted as fanfic over the years but this is my first original piece.
Q. How long did it take you to write the book?
I began writing in, I think, late November or early December of 2011, and finished around mid-January 2012. It took me until May to find an editor, however, and then I had to rewrite about 40-50% of the book from scratch, which took another few weeks.
Q. And now you have Acceleration, the second book in the series, set to release on November 30th. How many books do you have the series planned out for?
Impulse is a trilogy. The third part is Velocity which is written and will be going to the editor next month. I hope to publish it in late February or early March, 2013, but that will depend on whether or not I need to do much re-writing.
Q. Are you a plotter, or do you write in a more freestyle fashion?
I tend to write very freestyle. I diligently attempt outlines and mapping plot, but somewhere along the lines, my characters almost always grab the reins and say “No, we’re going in this direction, and then I’m along for the ride and my outline is rolling with the tumbleweeds somewhere in the dust of our tracks.
Q. Derrick and Gavin are cautiously pursuing a relationship in spite of the chance Gavin may have been exposed to HIV. What made you decide to bring that particular conflict into the storyline?
It actually began with a character question regarding Gavin’s ex, whom I knew was a character who had a “cause” that could have been a very worthy cause, except that he warped it somehow into something insupportable. I was already aware of AIDS denialism, and I started to ask myself, what if someone packaged themselves as someone who wants to spread awareness and education about AIDS, only if you look beyond the “AIDS awareness educator” label they plastered themselves with, what they’re actually preaching is the exact opposite of AIDS awareness, willful, deliberate AIDS ignorance.
Once my friends, with whom I was plotting, knew what drove Gavin’s ex, we then had to ask what effect this would have had on Gavin, coming out of that relationship, and then upon Derrick, with his own painful history.
Q. Was there one particular scene in either book that you found more difficult to write than the others?
The scene where Derrick walks out. God, that hurt to write. I know a lot of readers really sympathize with Derrick, but it was a shitty thing to do. So Gavin was hurting. But Derrick had reasons for what he did and he was hurting too, and I had both of them hurting in my head and ouch. Just ouch.
Q. Have you always written M/M romance? If not, how did you find your way to it?
No, this is actually a fairly recent development for me. Up until a couple years ago, I wrote exclusively het, until I found a slash pairing that worked for me in a way that none of the others I had encountered before had, with regards to situational plausibility and characterization. Then I started writing m/m and I was hooked. It just felt like I could explore my characters in whole new ways.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received with respect to writing and publishing?
Hm, that’s a good question. There’s been quite a lot. I was advised right off the top to keep my distance from reviews of my work, good or bad, because I don’t want to creep readers out making them think I peer over their shoulders as they’re reading or discussing my work. I don’t even go near negative reviews, which, thankfully, I’ve not had many of. “Keep writing” is a good one, of course, because they say the best way to sell your first book is to write your second, and I could have easily got bogged down in obsessing over the sales of my book and neglected writing in favor of trying to figure out how to market better.
Q. If you could trade lives with any one fictional character, just for a day, who would it be and why?
My initial response was going to be “Just about any denizen of Terre d’Ange from Jacqueline Carey’s amazing Kushiel’s Legacy series, except maybe Phèdre, because her life frequently sucks.” But then I remembered Joscelin, whom I adore, and of course he’ll never be with anyone but Phèdre. So yeah, I’d have to be Phèdre, even with the high risk of suck.
Joscelin aside, I love the idea of Terre d’Ange. A place where there is no kink-shaming, no slut-shaming, no homophobia, where sex and pleasure are revered as art forms and practiced as a form of worship, where the highest crime, nay blasphemy, a person could possibly commit would be to disregard someone’s consent. I love the idea of it and I want to live in that world.
And I want Joscelin. Just sayin’.
Q. Have you ever read something and thought, damn, I wish I’d written that? If so, what was it?
You mean, aside from Kushiel’s Dart? That book. God, that book. It was life-changing for me. Carey’s prose. Her lush, eloquent, gorgeous, overblown prose. I don’t know how to do it but God, I want to.
Q. How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?
Dry and quirky. I tend to make a lot of bad puns. In an author interview that was posted not long ago elsewhere, I was bemoaning my lack of ability to write comedy and I remarked, “For an author of gay romance, I write a lot of straight-men.”
I don’t think anyone got it.
Then of course, there’s this exchange from Acceleration:
“(Derrick, speaking to Gavin, who has just been clapped in irons on their way to a Halloween party):
“I thought you said this wasn’t that sort of party.”
“BYOB,” Gavin said with a careless shrug. “Bring Your Own Bondage.”
So I guess you could describe my sense of humor as “Get ‘em with a groaner.”
And I make myself laugh, whenever I get ridiculously proud of myself for one of those sorts of jokes.
“See, I can be witty!” Which, of course, I really can’t, but I try.
Q. Do you have news of any works-in-progress you’d care to share with us?
Well, as I mentioned before, the third book of the trilogy, is titled Velocity and it’s completed (causing me no small amount of angst as I try to find a way to say goodbye to Derrick and Gavin.) Beyond that I actually have to play my next project close to the vest because I’m not entirely certain where it’s going to end up.
Q. Where can we find you on the internet?
I have accounts at LibraryThing, Shelfari, Pinterest and Google+ as well, though I never use those.
Q. Would you consider sharing an excerpt from one of your books with us?
Sure! This is an excerpt of a scene from Chapter Eight of Acceleration:
Grateful for the distraction of driving, Derrick kept his eyes on traffic and worked on shaking off the tension of his argument with Devon. “You sure you’re all right?”
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” He couldn’t tell Gavin, he thought, keeping his expression blank as he navigated through traffic. Gavin had enough to worry about without Derrick adding to his troubles. Worse, he might blame himself, or worry that being with him caused too much trouble for Derrick.
No. It was better just to suck it up, deal with it quietly, so Gavin wouldn’t have to worry.
“I don’t know,” Gavin murmured, turning to stare out the passenger window.
Something began to ache inside Derrick’s chest again, clenching in counterpoint to the drumming of a single thought over and over in his mind. As he had that morning, when Gavin had asked him about his music, he knew without a doubt that he had let Gavin down.
He just didn’t know how.
“Maybe I should go home,” Gavin said as they pulled into Derrick’s driveway. He opened the door of the truck before Derrick had even turned off the ignition. “I don’t think either of us is in a very good frame of mind tonight. I’ll go inside and get my things.”
The hollow sense of failure transformed into a heart-racing jolt of panic. He followed Gavin quickly into the house.
“I really wish you wouldn’t.”
“Are you going to tell me what’s eating you, then?” Gavin demanded.
“I don’t know,” Derrick said with a frustrated shrug. “It’s not anything worth ruining our night over, that’s for certain. Just…don’t go. Please.”
He wasn’t sure just what his expression gave away, but something in Gavin softened. He reached out and drew Derrick close, and the sense of anxiety began to abate. Touching Gavin, being touched, even when everything else felt wrong, that was right.
Derrick slid his hand along Gavin’s jaw, pulling him into a kiss that grew urgent and needful. He felt the overwhelming tide of emotion he’d fought to keep in check that morning begin to rise again, threatening to drown him. He pressed his forehead to Gavin’s, seeking something, anything, to say to hold it all at bay. Fear made his breath come short and fast as he cupped Gavin’s face and drew back to look at him.
“I love you,” he murmured, panic and elation fighting for room in the constricted confines of his chest. “That’s…that’s all. That’s what this is about.”
Gavin’s eyes widened, and Derrick cut off whatever response he was about to give with another kiss.
He didn’t have to talk again that night.
Thanks again very much for being here today, Amelia. I hope you’ll come back and visit again soon! :)
I would absolutely love to! Thank you for being so wonderful and hosting me!
How would you all like the chance to win a FREE E-copy of Amelia C. Gormley’s Acceleration: Impulse, Book 2? It’s easy enough! All you have to do is leave a comment (including your email address) for Amelia right here on this post and you’re automatically entered to win. Just be sure to do it before 11:59pm Pacific time on November 29, 2012. A single winner will be drawn at random on November 30, and contacted for prize delivery. Good luck!