Today, I am delighted to be able to chat to Tristram whose novella, ‘On My Knees’ is published by Etopia Press.
If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a bit of background to the story:
Surviving on alcohol and antidepressants, Mark staggers through his unhappy marriage and watches his London architectural business head for the rocks. When another nasty argument with his wife sends him to the gym to blow off steam, a tall, dark stranger enflames a part of him he’s denied all these years, trying to convince himself he’s not “weird.” But Mark’s not weird, he’s gay. And after a taste of Attila’s lips, nothing can put that genie back in the bottle…
Catherine: Welcome Tris and congratulations on the success of ‘On My Knees’. I understand you’re riding high in the Amazon charts at present?
Tris: Thanks, Cat. I'm stunned at the reception to On My Knees. Amazon ratings go up and down by the hour but over the last week I've been consistently in the top 100 bestsellers of gay/lesbian fiction. At one point I hit number 5 in the romance section. We'll see if I can get higher - I'd be thrilled, and not just for the sales but for the success of the genre that it would demonstrate. And it's not only Amazon; I've been in the top ten gay bestsellers for over a week on Smashwords and continue to climb in All Romance Ebooks.
Catherine: That’s brilliant news! Now, ‘On My Knees’ is a Gay (m/m) story but it seems a lot of women (including me) enjoy it too. Has that surprised you at all?
Tris: In fact, women seem to be the biggest fans of what is called MM romance. It was a surprise to me but I've come to appreciate it now. To me, it's just writing what I know, but I think women read it to learn a bit about a world that has been rather out of the public eye for so long. Quite a lot of the genre that I have read is a bit too gooey, too girly to be realistic. I know that is what is expected but I want to add a bit more realism to it. The reviews so far indicate I've succeeded. Phew!
Catherine: When you start to write a story, do you begin with a blank sheet of paper and just dive on in there, or are you more of a planner?
Tris: I don't really plan, I can't work that way. I think of a rough plot, sort the main characters out then let them loose at the keyboard. From time to time I have to crack the whip, but that's my job.
Catherine: Tell us a little about your life outside of writing.
Tris: Gay men have such exciting lives, don't they? Not all! I live with my partner of fourteen years and I rarely leave the house - writing and reading from morning until it's time to cook dinner. I love travelling and have done a lot in the past but now much less. Our shared hobbies are really good food and wine, classical concerts and opera, and cars. And from time to time I will turn up the stereo and dance to all the clubland music!
Catherine: What are you currently working on?
Tris: I just signed my second novella, Lorenzo il Magnifico, to Evernight Publishing and it will be released early August. I'm almost finished with the third, currently titled Fixed! and my head is overflowing with ideas for more. As soon as Fixed! is done I'll be right on with number 4.
Catherine: Congratulations! Did you find you came up against any particular resistance to getting your work published because of its genre?
Tris: Absolutely not! In fact, MM is the hot genre at the moment. Annie Melton at Etopia Press encouraged me to go ahead with it when I first mentioned it to her. Thanks Annie!
Catherine: Now a more light-hearted question: You’re having a dinner party and can invite five other people (living or dead), who would they be and why would you choose them?
Tris: Dracula, he's got to be the sexiest monster ever. Frankie Howerd because he was a brilliant comedian. Frankie Boyle to raise the standard of the conversation. Vincent Price, the height of camp. And Margaret Thatcher because a dinner party isn't complete without someone to throw bread rolls at.
Catherine: Thank you very much for joining us today. Where can we find out more about you and, crucially, where can we find your book
Tris: My website: http://tristramlaroche.com/
Etopia Press blog: http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/meet-author-tristram-la-roche/
Book is available from:
Etopia Press: http://etopia-press.net/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=39
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-onmyknees-559995-145.html
Here’s an excerpt to give you just a flavour of ‘On My Knees’:
My trunks ballooned with the buffeting of the whirlpool and fizzed when I squeezed them flat. Steam, heavy with the scent of menthol and eucalyptus, rose around me and cleared my head. A few minutes of this and I would be as right as rain. Might even be able to face Diana. I lay back, stretched out my legs and closed my eyes. Christ, she could have injured me—killed me. Was it even safe to go back there? Well, I had nowhere else to go. Even if I had to go down on my knees and beg.
“Room in there for another?”
My eyes sprang open. The guy had left the pool and was coming down the steps into the Jacuzzi, steadying himself on the tubular handrail. I sat up and contracted myself into as small a space as possible while he located the seat beneath the foam and settled down.
“Quiet tonight,” he said.
That accent, what was it? There was a hint of something. What did they call it? Mid-Atlantic?
“Makes a change,” I said, shifting in my seat.
He smiled. I sort of smiled back.
“I’m Attila, by the way.” He leaned forward and offered his hand.
His hand was still cool from the swimming pool, his grip firm. I now noticed the tattoos on both arms, green and orange serpents entwined around swords or daggers. They reminded me of my father’s. How I used to tremble when those arms came towards me, harbingers of pain. I looked away. Time to get out.
“Well,” I said, climbing the steps. “Might see you around.”
He nodded and smiled again. I could feel his eyes on my back as I took my towel and headed towards the door.
The changing room was still deserted, still in a mess. I dumped my wet towel in the bin and took a clean one from the rack, then went into the inner sanctum where the showers, sauna and steam room were. Since everywhere was empty, I took advantage of the steam. I sucked in the hot, moist air a few times to clear my lungs. The only sound in there was the occasional rasp of the steam outlet and the steady dripping of the condensation. Through the misted door I could see that someone else had come through from the changing room.
Attila’s outline was unmistakable as it emerged through the clouds of steam that gathered and tumbled around the open door...