Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Interview with Blaine D. Arden

I have Blaine D. Arden visiting Pants Off today and it's such a pleasure having her here and chatting it up. Please give a warm welcome and a fist pump for Blaine.

Hi Blaine and welcome to Pants Off, super thrilled to have you here today.
Hello Darien :) It's good to be here. *sits down* Comfy couch you have here :)

Tell us a bit about yourself, and how long you've been writing?
I'm a purple haired, forty-something, wife, mother, author and singer. I've been married to the love of my life for close to twenty-two years; a very patient man who's given me space to grow, is my staunchest supporter, and doesn't mind me bringing home strangers for sleep-overs. We have two sons and a foster son, aged 17, 20, and 19, and a ten year old cairn terrier named Kendra.

I was born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, a city I never quite managed to leave, and now am not so sure I want to leave, unless it's to move to the UK after hubby's retirement. I spent most of my rather sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with my Barbies. Barbies I kept long enough for my boys to play with them when they were little (before they realised Action Man was cooler).

The first time I actually wrote one of my stories down was when I was twelve or thirteen. It was a silly play about Indians shooting bananas. It doesn't make sense, I know, but it had to do with a Dutch children's song, and for some reason I wanted to turn it into a performance for me, my brother and my cousins, to show our parents and grandparents. And just to show how completely and utterly nuts it was, I searched for the lyrics and translated them for you all to enjoy. I promise, no Indians or bananas were hurt during the making of these lyrics.

In the forest, in the forest
Indians live
they don't eat, they don't drink
but shoot with bananas
Toemba toemba toemba toemba toemba toem-ba
In the forest, in the forest
Indians live
they don't know what arrows are
and shoot with bananas
Toemba toemba toemba toemba toemba toem-ba

Was gay fiction something you always wanted to write? Or did you develop it as an interest over time?
Always seems impossible, but it does feel that way sometimes. I was about seventeen/eighteen years old when I started writing my first gay fiction. Until then I'd written stories that might have been considered chicklit, maybe, not to mention a couple of simple and very sappy plays about love, and bananas, as I've mentioned above. I was a real sucker for love. Still am, actually.

It was mid-eighties when I saw "An Early Frost', a film about a young lawyer who never told his parents he was gay until he found out he had AIDS. Every mention of homosexuality seemed linked to negativity and AIDS, and, sweet naïve idealist that I was, I wanted to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. The negativity prevailed, though, and for a while I doubted my view on gay romance and stopped writing gay characters. It didn't last long, because the moment I saw the film 'Beautiful Thing', I knew my point of view wasn't wrong at all, and I went back to my precious men, and never looked back.

I loved The Forster a hella lot, and I believe I am not the only one who wants to know this. Will we ever get more of Kelnaht, Ianys, and Taruif?
It's not written in stone, and I don't like making promises, but I do have plans to turn it into a trilogy. Though I didn't wrote it with a sequel in mind, I think the boys deserve for their story to be told. And let's not forget the Guide. As much as I love Kelnaht, Ianys and Taruif, the Guide is my favourite character. 

The Fifth Son is a great story with some very wonderful elements, BDSM being one of them. Will you ever right a full fledged BDSM novel with whips and chains and all that fun stuff?
Oh, I want to. I really do. But every time I write something BDSM related, it never turns out to be more than a scene, a snippet. I've had a few ideas over the years, but they were all too fleeting, too incomplete. I think it's something that needs to grow in me. So... someday, I hope.

You enjoy writing Sci-Fi/Fantasy based on your current works. Any plans on working with other tropes (like best-friends to lovers without the elves and magic)?
No elves and no magic? Oh... Er... I don't know. Though neither appear in Aliens, Smith and Jones.
I don't go looking for tropes to write, really. I just go with the flow, go where my characters, my ideas, lead me. That's it. Will there be more stories without elves or magic? Possibly, but even without them, I'll most probably write Fantasy/SF, because that's where I feel most at home. I do like my elves and magic very much.

So you have a new release coming out. Can you tell us a bit about it, and your future plans in writing?
Aliens, Smith and Jones is coming out this Friday. It's about an unlikely bond between a mortal and an immortal, between a human and an alien--well... ex-alien, but still. Connor Smith works for Primrose, an organization tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. It's a job that doesn't know the meaning of "nine-to-five". It also doesn't leave much room for a social life, a complication that Connor hasn't minded, until now. At the prodding of his best friend, Connor reluctantly puts himself back in the dating pool, even though it means lying about his remarkable life.

Elsewhere, Noah Jones has led a remarkable life of his own. Stranded on Earth in 1648, Noah was forced to transform himself permanently into human form to survive. He soon learned that in doing so, he'd become effectively immortal, aging only at a glacial pace. Alone, with no way to contact his people or return home, Noah becomes a silent observer of human civilization-always in the world, but never of the world. Then, hundreds of years later, he sees a face in a crowd and instantly feels a connection that he thought he'd never feel again. But he's too late: Connor's already taken.

Destiny is not without a sense of humor, though, and the two men are pulled inexorably closer, snared by the same web of dangers and conspiracies. Worse, Primrose is now aware of Noah, and they aren't ones to leave an alien unrestrained. So while Connor struggles to understand the strange pull he feels toward Noah, forces without as well as within are working against them to keep them apart.

As for my future plans. I have a story in Storm Moon Press' 'Carved in Flesh' anthology, which comes out in September, and I'm working on a short and a novel.

The short is about a legal researcher falling for the Defender he works for, and who happens to be a transman. The novel is about two men falling for each other without knowing that one of them is responsible for the death of the other's best mates. And it has dragons. It's a story I started writing in 2006, but I couldn't get past a horrible plot hole and shelved it. I've solved the plot hole--I think--and I'm really enjoying visiting that world again. I hope to have finished that before September/October.

After that, I still have plenty of ideas and unpolished first drafts to throw myself into, both gay and trans*. I also still have a non-gay mystery novel that I want to sink my teeth into again, about an abducted girl and a magical computer programmer. Yup, plenty to do. Maybe it's time to petition for those extra hours in a day.

Who has it better Top or Bottom?
I've been looking at this question for a while, and the only thing that springs to mind is, why would either have it better than the other? To me a top and a bottom have a symbiotic relationship, they complete one another and being together keeps them balanced. So... I'd say they're both better when they're with each other :)

What book/books are you currently reading, and is it causing a pants losing?
*looks at e-reader* Right now, I'm reading Dudleytown by LB Gregg, and I'm enjoying it so far, though I've only just started it and they just crashed their car on a dark road near a ghost town. If I'm losing my pants right now, it would be because it's a bit scary.

In the past few days I've read Incursion by Aleksandr Voinov, Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton, Every Minute by Acer Adamson and Lazy Sundays by K-Lee Klein. Oh... and Nicole Kimberling's One Man's Treasure. At least, I think that's all. I'd have to connect the e-reader to my laptop and start Calibre to see which books I've deleted lately. And no, deleting stories isn't a bad sign. I tend to delete books immediately after reading, because that's the only way to keep track of what I read.

Did I lose pants? A couple of times, at least. I enjoyed them all very much, though they're very different stories. :)

I'm also reading a comics series called Elfquest. I haven't read it in years, but recently found out that the whole series is now online.

Interracial Love in books. Your feelings in 5 words or less?
Diversity rocks!!

Pants, is it better to write with them on or off? (for research purposes only ^_~ )
*looks around the room and listens for voices up stairs* I have virtually no privacy with all these men around 24/7. So, yeah... in this household, it's better to write with pants on.

Thanks for being here today Blaine it was lovely chatting it up!
Thanks for having me here. It was fun :)


  1. Enjoyed your interview. We have several things in common. I've also been married for 22 years and I have a son that just turned 21. From that list of books, sounds like we both enjoy reading a lot, too...lol.

    Congrats on your upcoming release. Aliens, Smith and Jones sounds really good. Can't wait to read it!

  2. Hi, Lisa :) Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the interview. Seems our sons are close in age. Mine'll be 21 in October.
    And yes, reading will always be my first love :)

    enjoy Aliens, Smith and Jones


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