Thursday, June 12, 2014

INTERVIEW: L. J. LaBarthe

SO EXCITED!! to welcome back the lovely L. J. LaBarthe who may or may not know that I think she's amazing!

Hello L. J. and welcome back to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview again! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!


Thank you for having me, Raine, especially on such short notice. I really appreciate it. <3




We’re often changed in big ways by people who don’t realize they’ve done anything for us at all—tell us a story of being changed! 


I had to think about this. I settled on one group of people, whose names I won't mention, as they'll get all embarrassed if they happen to read this. In any case, they were a bunch of self-titled misfits, given to making art, music and smoking a lot of weed. They were—and are—incredibly creative, and have so much talent that often it awes me. Yet they don't think they do; they often demur and believe that what they produce, be it music or writing or art or photography, is shit. They've been saying this of their own work for so long that I think, on some level, they do believe it. However, when it comes to others, these people are the most encouraging, supportive, positive individuals I've ever met. As a young teen, (I was 14 when I first met these people,) they were incredibly indulgent towards me, treating me as a baby sister, protecting me from a lot of nastiness and encouraging me in all my dreams and aspirations. They supported me through bad relationships, through production of fanzines (these were my first writings, about the local music punk and hard rock music scene), and on through my life, always there, never criticizing me, never being anything other than a group of positive, upbeat people. 


They always look on the bright side, even when things seem to be so dark that there is no brightness to be found at all. They encouraged all forms of creative expression, and taught me that it was okay to be different, that different didn't mean bad or evil, that different was actually pretty cool and different should be celebrated and explored. They're older now, (obviously!), and so am I, but I think without their benevolent involvement in my life from my impressionable teens, my life would be less rich and contain far less colour and joy. It would certainly have less music and less art in it! It was their influence that led me to explore writing and photography, their enthusiasm that added to my own when it came to embracing my love of history, costuming, research and more. And they've been there for me when my father died, with warm words and hugs, kind suggestions and unquestioning support. These people mean the world to me, and they've definitely helped shape the person I've become. 


What one food do you consider to be your arch nemesis? 


Eggs. I'm allergic to them, so I have to be really careful about eating food with them. Unfortunately, most things have egg in them. But things like merangue, the Aussie and New Zealand desert,  Pavlova—those are right out. There was a cake recipe that was making me drool a few days ago, actually, until I got to the egg count. Six eggs and five additional egg yolks, and I thought, "No, that'd do me in, dammit!" As a kid, I used to love eggs, but the allergy was a side effect of surgery that I had in the 90s, that also made me vegan for a time. Nowadays, I can eat meat and seafood just fine, but not the eggs. 


Describe yourself using a literary quote. 


"Every man's memory is his private literature."—Aldous Huxley. 


You’re writing along and you’re attacked by a horde of zombies…ON FIRE…how do you survive? Or do you become a zombie too? 


Liquid Nitrogen. *sage nod* My science (lack of) learnings let me show you them. I'd freeze the buggers and then flee the scene. 


What’s worse for you: no reviews or stab-ya-in-the-gut-did-they-even-read-this?! reviews? 


Oh god. The latter. Definitely the latter. That's why I don't look at reviews. 


You have 200 more words—Make. Me. Swoon. (AGAIN!) 


(I tried to cut it down, but it wouldn't shrink below 330!) 

The Great Wars of the fifty-first century is over, but the price has been high. It's taken both Michael and Gabriel two hundred years to come to terms with their grief and finally, on a field of blue grass, the two meet for the first time since the last battle.
"Gabriel," Michael sighs. His beloved looks the same as ever, save for the sorrow in his ice-blue eyes. The sorrow he knows is mirrored in his own.
"Mishka." Gabriel moves to him and they cling to each other, shaking.
Two centuries is barely a blink of an eye for angels but it's still too long to be apart. "I missed you," Michael says quietly, muffled against Gabriel's shoulder.
"Missed you too," Gabriel replies, his voice hitching slightly.
Michael kisses him. Gabriel is quickly kissing back and the kiss grows feverish, hungry, desperate.
I need you, Gabriel.
Same, Gabriel agrees.
They're alone now. Friends, allies, Venatores and some of their brothers gone to ash and dust. They've grieved, they've come to terms with their loss and now it's time to remember that they still have each other.
Gabriel slides his fingers up to find the joints of Michael's wings first, and Michael groans, trembling as he moves his own hands to Gabriel's wings. As their wings unfurl and twine together, they kiss harder, with growing need, heat and longing burning through the link between them.
They're skin to skin and airborne barely a moment later, and it's like riding a wave of passion, a maelstrom of desire. Michael's determined that he's not letting Gabriel out of his sight again. He says as much, mental voice rough with emotion as they soar above the clouds, wings locked together and moving as one, holy light, flesh, wings and emotion combining together in bliss.

Returning to Earth, Michael gently brushes his fingers through Gabriel's mussed hair and smiles fondly at him. "Would you like something to eat?"
Gabriel's smile is like the sun coming up. "Aye."
Would you rather sing in front of people or read a super hot sex scene for an audience? 


Read the sex scene. Believe me, no one wants to hear my singing. 


What was the trigger that made you first get really serious about being a Capital A Author? 


You know, I don't think there's any such thing. I still don't quite believe that I am. I mean, there is hard, physical evidence to show that yes, this is my work, people like it enough to buy it, it's got my name on it, but… it never feels quite real. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself to remind myself that yes, I'm awake, I'm aware and this really is happening. 


Describe your style in 4 ½ words. 


Convoluted, complex, eclectic, fantastically wi--- 


And finally (you knew it was coming!), what’s the second best kinds of dachshunds? 


Dachshunds that like to help in the garden and not dig a zillion holes everywhere!


Sequel to The Crystal Lake
Archangel Chronicles: Book Six

Gabriel and Michael, hand in hand and leading the Brotherhood of Archangels, the Venatores, and the Archdemon Guild of Glass Knives, march into the mouth of madness to retrieve the Holy Grail with the blessings of both God and Lucifer. They cross dimensions and battle for the future of all realities: Heaven, Hell, Earth and Purgatory.

In Purgatory they are reunited with Naamah and meet her children, who are terrified of her. One of her allies is an angel, but they can’t identify the traitor. Gabriel faces his worst fear when Michael is injured and he might lose the unwavering comfort Michael embodies. If Gabriel cannot save the Holy Grail, he risks losing more than his one true love—all of creation might be destroyed along with them.


Available from Dreamspinner Press (ebook) | Dreamspinner Press (paperback) | Full Series


BONUS QUESTIONS:
What inspired you to write The Bone Cup?

Well, it's the last book of the second trilogy of The Archangel Chronicles, all three were inspired by three things—my love of Arthurian Legends, the history of post Roman Britain, and the desire to write more Archangels.  I'd been decrying the lack of M/M Arthurian-centric novels to my mother, and she very reasonably said, "Well, L. J., why don't you write one yourself?"

I thought that was a pretty good idea, so I started to do some reading to refresh my old memory. In the process, I stumbled upon an article about the angels of the Holy Grail, and sort of had an "OMG YES" moment, as I realized I could combine the two things and use the Holy Grail, Roman Britain and my characters. I branched out a little, as I was writing—I looked up things like early Biblical archaeology, in places like Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, and what towns and forts were outside of Londinium and Aquae Sulis in Roman Britain. As I love research anyway, this wasn't any problem. And then I plonked it all together in my brainmeats and got to writing!

 *Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?
The place where I put the Gate to Purgatory actually exists and is an ongoing archaeological site.

 *What are your hopes for this title?
I hope readers really enjoy it and are satisfied with the ending of the second trilogy and want more of the characters!

About the Author:

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

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