Happy Tuesday! It’s interview day! And boy, am I happy!!! I’m having my Fur King on my blog! That sounded a little proprietary, huh? That’s because I’m the only one who gets to call him like that. Well, I wish! Anyway, I’m with the Master of sexy with a touch of creepy. That’s right! He’s a big fan of zombies… Please welcome the one and only – drumroll – Mister Hank Edwards!
The morning, you are tea or coffee?
Oh, very much tea. English Breakfast.
What kind of books do you write?
Gay Erotic Romance with a tendency to lean toward paranormal stories, though I have been known to write romantic comedies and suspense/thrillers.
Why did you choose this genre?
I think gay romance is a great genre. I have been with my partner for 18 years, and we enjoy romantic times together, so I wanted to write stories with (usually) happy endings. I also, however, love to read suspense and horror stories, and so I started putting my gay characters into those types of situations. Then, you know, with romance, you have to have the heat, so I’ve added some sex scenes to spice it up.
When you write, are you keyboard or paper?
Are you more motivated to write when the sun shines or when the weather is gray?
Gray and cool is always better. When the sun’s out I feel a little guilty sitting inside at the keyboard, but as long as the inspiration is there I will write in any weather.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From every day things. A stray cat, a creepy looking house, a comment overheard in line at the grocery store, or even a news headline. I see something like that and I think, “What if…?” and then a new story pops into my head.
When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head, or is it built progressively?
A lot of times I’ll know the opening scene and the final scene, but the middle will be a mystery. And as I write, I try to plan things out, but my characters will throw a new twist in as I’m writing and suddenly I have a whole new ending! It’s pretty exciting sometimes, and frustrating at others.
How do you feel before the release of a book? Fear, joy? And after?
I’m excited with each book release. There’s that anticipation, the excitement that finally, FINALLY, the story that’s been playing inside my head like a movie on constant play is now available to the world. A lot of times, though, it’s been through so many edits, I’m usually working on something new so I have to remember, “Oh, yeah, I had this character do that!”
Between your first and last novel, do you feel a change? Do you write differently?
Oh my goodness, I write VERY differently! My first novel was “Fluffers, Inc.,” and it is a completely different type of book than I write today. However, I’ve been listening to the audiobook of “Fluffers, Inc.” lately and I hear touches of the writer I am today. I think I’ve always been writing in the same style, I just needed the practice between that book and this last one, “Blood & Stone: Venom Valley Book Three.”
They say that writers project themselves into the skin and into the head of his hero / heroine, is that the case for you?
Oh yes, a lot of times I become the character I’m writing. I feel their anguish, their humiliations, their physical traumas. And many times I’ve added tidbits from my life to my character’s life. It’s a give and take.
You define yourself more like a bookworm, a city mouse or a country mouse?
Bookworm city mouse combination. I’d like to think I could be a country mouse, but I need to have the conveniences of a city nearby. And lots of books. Lots and lots of books!
Molière said: “Writing is like prostitution. First we write for the love of it, then for a few friends, and in the end for money.” What do you think about it?
I think Moliere had a good point. It would be great to be able to make a living from my writing, and someday I hope to. But for now, I’m writing the stories I myself would like to read, and I hope those readers who follow me are enjoying them too. I’ve got a lot of stories churning away inside my head, just need the time to write them, and with an Evil Day Job to go to so I can afford a mortgage, and car, etc., it takes time away from writing. So then you write to make money, see? So you can keep on writing.
Your books have already been translated?
One of my stories has been translated by a lovely translator (many thanks!). Not sure about my books, I haven’t seen them in any other languages if they have.
Do you pay attention to literary criticism?
Oh yes, I read the reviews and try to learn from them. I try to see them as constructive rather than mean, and I adjust my writing sometimes based on them. I see literary criticism as a writer’s feedback. Sometimes I let it just roll off me, but other times I think, “Hmm, they have a point, maybe I should think about changing that.” I don’t spend a lot of time reading reviews, but I try to get something out of all of them.
The days are 25 hours. You spend that extra hour in the garden or in the kitchen?
Garden! I am not a cook, but I do like to be outside working with the plants and in the yard.
What is the book you would bring with you on a deserted island?
Oh wow, just one? I absolutely love “The Stand” by Stephen King. I’ve reread that book several times. I love the story and the characters, all of it. I would probably choose that book.
In the evening, do you turn off the light directly or do you take the time to read?
Definitely read. Either some beta reading for author friends, or a mystery or romance I might have found.
Roughed up (Book three in the Up to Trouble series)
FBI Special Agent Aaron Pearce and his lover Mark Beecher are taking a well-deserved vacation relaxing on the beaches of Barbados Island. They spend lazy days in the sun, on scooters seeing the sites, and in their room making love.
When Mark sees a young girl in a bar who may be in danger, he begins an informal investigation into her situation, even as Pearce reminds him they are not citizens and have no legal power on the island. Mark is determined, however, and, while investigating on his own, is taken captive by a sex slavery ring.
Pearce panics when Mark goes missing. He has a good idea what happened to Mark and who has taken him, but he cannot prove it. While working with the Barbados Royal Police Force, Pearce realizes he has become the detective's prime suspect, and understands he needs to conduct his own personal investigation if he has any chance of finding Mark before his lover either sold into sex slavery or murdered.
The big bartender Pearce had talked with the day before—Abraham?—glared at him as he approached, and two couples moved aside to allow Pearce to step up close to the bar.
“Have you seen my friend?” Pearce raised his voice to be heard over the music.
Abraham continued to glare at him. “Who are you talking about?”
“My friend I was in here with yesterday. The blond man, just a little shorter than me, wearing glasses. We were just in here yesterday asking you questions about the girl on the porch. His name is Mark Beecher, and I know he came here on his own today.”
“Haven’t seen any blond man today,” Abraham said. “You’re the only white man that’s set foot in here all day.”
Pearce leaned in over the bar and felt the man to either side of him step closer. “Look. I know he came back here. He was worried about the girl we saw yesterday. He came back here to find out about her, see if she was all right. Just tell me where he is, and I’ll take him away, and we’ll be done, okay? No police, no other trouble. I just want to take him back to the hotel.”
Abraham twisted up the corner of his lip with disgust. “Bulla men need to be careful here in Barbados. You should go.”
“Where’s Mark?” Pearce demanded.
“I haven’t seen him. Don’t know anything about any blonde girl either, and sure as hell don’t know nothing about some bulla American.”
Pearce reacted without thinking. He reached across the bar and grabbed Abraham’s shirt, yanking the bastard up against the bar and close to his face. The song on the jukebox ended, allowing Pearce to hear the shouts of alarm behind him and the scrape of chair legs as the patrons got to their feet. Strong hands grabbed him by the arms, but he clung to Abraham’s shirt long enough to say in a low growl, “Give him back to me, goddamn it, or you’ll all fucking regret it.”
Before the bartender could respond, Pearce was pulled away by a group of men. Their hands were calloused and damp with sweat as they shoved him toward the door. Someone punched the back of his head, sending black dots swarming across his vision, and someone else drove a fist into his gut. The air left his lungs in a painful whoosh and doubled him over, and the group dragged him the rest of the way across the floor. They pushed out the screen door and dumped him on the porch, leaving him gasping for breath on the smooth, faded boards. A kick to his left side, right over his kidney, sent a shock of pain up his back, and he cried out.
“My friend! Oh no, my friend!” It was the cabdriver, kneeling beside him, hands fluttering over him as if trying to decide where to light first. “What happened? You all right?”
A siren wailed in the distance. Perfect.
“Police are on the way,” the cabdriver said. “Stay or go, friend? It’s up to you.”
With some effort, Pearce pushed himself into a seated position. His stomach rolled threateningly, and a dull pain radiated down the back of his neck, not to mention the bass-drum throb in his right shoulder from his old injury. He was way too young to feel like this after a simple bar beating.
Pearce glared up into the cabdriver’s face and said around his clenched jaw, “We’re staying. I’m finding Mark and taking him back with me.”
You can find Roughed up and other books by Hank on AllRomance ebooks, Amazon, Loose Id, and on Wilde City Press just to name a few.
If you want to follow Hank, you can find him on Facebook and like his Author page or his Venom Valley Series page or both of them!! And of course, you can take a look at his Blog and search for him on Twitter.