I am so pleased to have author Tristram La Roche here with me today. He will be talking about his new book, Lorenzo il Magnifico, which will be released today (August 5th). You can find his book at:
Lorenzo il Magnifico
When Luke visits Florence he hopes it will be the start of a new chapter in his life. A chance meeting with a tall, handsome waiter and that chapter starts far sooner than he could ever have imagined.
Lorenzo is everything Luke has been looking for. Hot, sexy and uninhibited, he pushes buttons Luke never knew existed. But Luke lives in England, Lorenzo in Florence, and the time soon comes for them to part... Can this holiday fling become more than just sex? Can it, in fact, turn into a magnificent romance?
Thanks so much Tristram for joining me today. I know we have a lot to talk about, so I say we should dive right in. Tell us a little about the genre you write in.
I write what has become known as M/M - or even M/M/M and M/M/M/M! Personally, I prefer to call it gay fiction because these are stories involving gay characters and everyone understands what they are letting themselves in for. Some of it crosses the line into erotica because, although my stories have a plot and are not just body parts spewing fluids, I do like to include some explicit sex. Sex is at the centre of gay life and there is no point pretending otherwise.
Do you feel this genre is expanding and where do you see it heading?
It has grown tremendously in the last couple of years and I'm certain it will keep going. Alan Hollinghurst's brilliant book, The Line of Beauty, did a lot for the genre and brought it into the mainstream. It makes sense, if you think about it. There are a lot of gay people in the world who want to read about scenarios that matter to them and, for too long, they have not been able to access this kind of work easily. But more surprising is the number of women who love the genre. The demand is there. What I see at the moment is a genre in flux, with quality varying widely. Over time I believe the badly written will give way and we'll see a very interesting genre coming to maturity. I'm especially keen to see what gay writers produce.
I have scribbled stories for as long as I can remember; however, I never truly “got serious” about writing until a couple of years ago. How and when did you decide writing was something you wanted to do?
Well, we have something in common there. I always had the urge to write but never did anything about it, always too busy running on the rat wheel. It was about two years ago that I made a conscious decision to change the road I was on and to have a go at writing. I submitted my first novella in February this year and had it accepted immediately.
I know as a writer, we are also avid readers. Tell us about some of your favorite books, some which have given you inspiration to do what you do.
There are too many to name, so let me pluck a few random titles. Stephen King's 'On Writing' is about as inspirational as you can get if you want to be a successful writer. I'd also say that his novella, 'The Mist', was a much needed fillip. Hollinghurst's 'The Line of Beauty', as I've mentioned, towers over us all. James Lear's 'The Back Passage' is brilliant - irreverent, well written and it made me laugh out loud. I do like to delve into literary works as well as humor and horror. James Hamilton Patterson's 'Cooking With Fernet Branca' trilogy is a work of cynical genius; I almost choked laughing. I love most of Clive Barker's horror works. I will also admit to loving 'The Life of Pi'.
Great books! I love Stephen King and Clive Barker. I probably lean a little more toward Clive, but the horror genre is one of my favorites as well.
Speaking of inspiration, what do you find inspiring and how do you use that inspiration to keep your writing exciting and fresh?
Nothing is more inspiring than real life. I love to people watch. I listen in to conversations (sorry!). I keep up to date with the news - especially human interest stories. These things give me the basic ingredients. Add a splash of my own experiences and away we go. If I need a kick start, I'll listen to opera or watch a good film, usually something arty like a Greenaway production.
*Smiles* I am so a people watcher too. And I love to listen to music or watch a good film.
What is on your current reading list?
I've just started The Weaverfield's Heir by David Bridger. He is a brilliant new writer. After that, I shall probably turn on my Kindle and build a new TBR list. I've been so busy writing that I've actually reached the end of a long TBR list and for the first time in years have more behind me than in front. I'm looking forward to it. Any suggestions?
Oh, jeez… There are so many great reads. My suggestions would be a lengthy one, and my TBR list is even longer. I have however read all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and LOVED them. So I have started on her League series. Good stuff!
Do you have a favorite character you have written about?
I have to say that Mark, the main character in On My Knees, is close to my heart. He's going through a lot of what I went through and it was cathartic writing from his point of view. It makes me smile if a reader says, 'Oh, he wouldn't do that', because I know he did. We are all different. Mark is desperate, he makes mistakes, but he's not a bad person.
Tell us a little bit more about the characters in your new book, Lorenzo il Magnifico.
The reason for the title will reveal itself when you read it. Luke, the main character, is a young gay guy who, despite a good degree, finds himself in a dead end job in Leeds in the north of England. He's determined to change this and his visit to Florence, a place he knows well, is planned as break but also as the start of something new. What he sees as his underachievement makes him appear a bit snobbish. While he is in Florence he meets Lorenzo, a handsome waiter. Lorenzo has all the characteristics Luke admires in an Italian man - looks, easy going, lives life to the full - and also has a rare independence; he has his own business, he's out and he doesn't live with his parents. Luke and Lorenzo are drawn to each other instantly but they have some hurdles to clear.
What are some of your other titles?
On My Knees was my debut and I'm pleased to say it's doing well. My next publication will be another novella called 'Fixed!'
What can your fans expect to see in the near future?
Fixed! should be out in September. I'm working on an historical gay novella (it may become a novel yet) set around 450 AD involving the Roman and Hunnish Empires. And I think a gay horror might be after that. In any event, I have lots of ideas and will keep the books coming.
Thanks again Tristram for stopping by and chatting with me. I truly wish you all the best with your new book, Lorenzo il Magnifico, and with your writing career. Stop by and chat with me again anytime you wish.
Thank for you letting me join you and talk to your readers. I appreciate it.
You can find out more about Tristram La Roche and his work at: http://tristramlaroche.com/