6/10/2011

Story Orgy Presents: Interviews with Hank Edwards


Story Orgy Presents: Interviews
with Hank Edwards 

Good morning, Story Orgy Fans!  I’d like to introduce Hank Edwards, whom we all know and love, as the author of Wicked Reflections,  here to talk about "Plus Ones” and “Bounty”, both of which sound fantastic. 
 First, let's let the readers know a little about Hank.  Where are you from, Hank?  Detroit, MI
Tell us a bit about your family.  Youngest of three children, I have two sisters.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?  My sense of humor.
Ahh. Readers are familiar with that sense of humor!  LOL.  What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?  “Great power involves great responsibility.” I think it’s something people who have risen to power tend to forget.  
Hmmm.  That quote sounds very familiar.  When and why did you begin writing?  I began writing very young.  I was probably 9 or 10.I read a lot and I always wanted the books to continue so a lot of times I would write my own sequels to favorite books or movies. 
When did you first know you could be a writer?  That I COULD be a writer, not until high school when I received great comments on a ghost story I wrote for a contest.
What inspires you to write and why?  I love to tell a story. The characters basically tell me what to do and I just have to find the time to sit down and do it.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?  I like humor and paranormal/suspense.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years?  Stephen King was a huge influence. I love how he takes ordinary people and creates extraordinary events or worlds for them to inhabit.
And I think we see that influence in Wicked Reflections.  What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?  Finding the time. I have a day job and friends and family to make time for as well, it’s tough sometimes to fit it all in.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?  There were a lot of edits returned from my editor. I would say I learned not to throw in scenes that don’t advance the plot just because they’re funny. She really helped me pare it down to what was needed to tell the story.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?  I think I write engaging scenes of suspense and humor, and I think readers really enjoy my characters. I hope they will love Evan and Paul from “Plus Ones,” as well as Evan’s friend Miggy and Paul’s brother Adam. I really did like spending time with them. And, of course, there’s always my clumsy fluffer with the heart of gold, Charlie Heggensford.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? YES! I usually find exercise helps me blast away the writer’s block. Or sometimes, if I’m blocked on a particular story, I’ll just start writing something new, maybe a new short story, and I’ll find that the problem I was having in my other writing is worked out.
  
Tell us your latest news?   My novel, “Vancouver Nights,” the third Charlie Heggensford adventure, is a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. My partner and I are attending the award ceremony in New York City the last Thursday of May and we’re both very excited because he put together the cover for the book. Also, on June 14th my new novel, “Plus Ones,” will be available for purchase from Loose Id. It’s a romantic comedy centered around a summer of gay weddings in the state of Michigan.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? SEE BELOW

How did you come up with the title? I came up with the title first, I think I heard it used in a movie or TV show, and from that the idea was born.

Amazing when it happens like that, that a single word or phrase sparks a whole novel.  Can you tell us about your main character? Evan Dresden is looking to settle down, but he can’t seem to find the right man. He’s tired of the bar scene and one night stands. He has some good friends who are determined to help him meet Mr. Right, but Evan’s starting to sour on the prospect of finding anyone at all.

How did you develop your plot and characters? I get a general feeling for the characters and the plot and as I write the book the characters kind of reveal their secrets and ambitions to me and the plot builds from there.


Who designed the cover?  Justin James designed the cover, and I love it!

Who is your publisher?  Loose Id. This is my third book with them and I’m very excited and grateful.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? I really wanted to write a romantic comedy with fun characters readers can relate to.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?  The edits. It was tough cutting out some scenes, but I understood why it needed to be done.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? I learned not to add characters or scenes for the sake of entertainment. Always move the plot forward.

How do you promote this book?  Facebook, Twitter, my website and blog, and some local book signings as well as a blog tour.

Where can we purchase the book?  For the months of June, July, and August, from Loose Id exclusively; after that it will be available on all other e-book sites.
         
Will you write others in this same genre? Most definitely! I love it.
             
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? I included a few situations that were very similar to events that happened to me, mostly the embarrassing ones, and Miggy is modeled after a very good friend of mine I’ve known for decades.
           
           
What are your current writing projects now? I’m currently working on several projects. One is a sequel to my novella “Holed Up,” and I’ve also completed the first draft of the first book in a series I’m calling the Venom Valley Series. I’m thinking of self-publishing these titles as they deal with vampires and zombies in the Old West and can be a little darker in tone than some publishers like.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I’m currently reading “Under the Poppy” by Michigan author Kathe Koja and loving it.

How do you deal with rejection letters?  Rejection letters are a way of life for a writer. I wish they would add more detail as to WHY the work was rejected so I could try to improve, but mostly I just turn back to my submission list and look for another place to ship the book off.
             
What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?  I love using Scrivener for Mac. It’s an awesome writing tool, and has really helped me organize my ideas and keep all my research in one place. I love it!
            
What do you do to unwind and relax? Exercise, TV, movies, spending time with my partner and friends.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I’ve met a great group of people because of my writing, and attended some awesome conferences. And I get checks for writing!

If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Be good to yourself and others, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Take time to laugh and enjoy those around you. Sometimes family can be the people we choose to be with and not the people we were born to.



Plus One's Blurb:
Evan took a breath and dropped his gaze, his system flooded with adrenaline and testosterone. He had never experienced anything like this before and had no idea how to deal with it. When he met Paul’s gaze, it was like a magnet grabbing steel, and he could not look away. What the hell was this about?
A shout of surprise that sounded like it came from John in the upper level of the house roused Evan from his internal musing, and he grabbed both drinks. Holding up the chilled glasses, he flashed Paul his brightest smile and said in a singsong voice, “And that, class, is how you make an old-fashioned and a whiskey sour. Questions?”
Paul chuckled and reached out for his drink, but before he could take it, Evan heard a sound from behind him followed by shouts of alarm. It was a familiar, galloping sound, and a knot of anxiety tightened inside him as he realized what it meant. He tried to will his legs to move, but he wasn’t fast enough, and before he could set the drinks on the bar or press himself against the wall, a heavy, solid body struck him from behind, furry legs clamping around his waist and driving him to the floor. As he collapsed beneath his attacker, Evan saw the contents of both drinks fly from their glasses as if in slow motion, and watched helplessly as the sticky, sugary bronze of the old-fashioned coated Paul’s chest and the concoction of sour mix and whiskey splashed across Paul’s crotch.
Then he was on the floor, the empty glasses rolling away across the cream carpet as the large, furry form started humping him from behind. He knew it was Bandit, of course -- Alden and John’s Great Dane that only humped Evan and did so every chance he got. Evan tried to break the dog’s grip around his waist, but the animal was strong, and he could not squirm away as Bandit humped him fast and rough.
People streamed into the room, drawn by the commotion, and laughter soon followed. Evan’s cheeks grew hot in embarrassment, and his forehead burned where it scraped across the carpet from the force of Bandit’s motions. He heard Alden enter the room, scold Bandit, and shout to John for help. Evan’s hips lifted and fell as Alden tugged repeatedly on the dog’s collar, trying in vain to dislodge the Dane. The crowd in the room laughed louder, none of them offering to help, and Evan’s forehead scraped harder across the carpet.
Finally Evan felt the dog’s grip on his hips loosen, and he crawled away. He got to his feet and turned, attempting a dignified stance despite the situation. The crowd grew quiet, most of them holding a hand over their smiles, some with eyes watery from the force of their laughter. The man Evan had been talking with in the other room -- the man with the very white teeth -- Bill, if he remembered correctly, knelt near the fallen glasses, one hand hooked alongside Alden’s through Bandit’s collar. The dog coughed and gagged from the force of Alden and Bill’s struggles, tongue hanging out and brown eyes gazing up at Evan with unabashed glee. Paul was nowhere in sight, and Evan felt an odd mix of relief and disappointment.
“Are you all right?” Bill asked, genuine concern on his face.
“Well,” Evan said with a huff as he smoothed out his clothes, “that wasn’t any worse than my junior prom.” The room exploded in laughter and, smiling as brightly as possible, he nodded to the group and turned for the stairs, meeting John in the hallway on the way.
“Evs! We won!” John exclaimed and grabbed him in a hug that forced all the breath from his lungs.
“What?” Evan’s mind was focused only on the embarrassment he had just endured and unable to remember why he had even come to their house in the first place. “Who won?”
John pulled back and frowned at him. “We won. All of us. They just announced that the gay marriage bill passed. We actually won!” John squinted at him. “What happened to your forehead?”
Evan took a breath as his memory came back. The gay marriage bill had been on the Michigan ballot before and lost, but this time the gay organizations had funneled truckloads of money into supporting the bill, and it had apparently paid off. He gave John a small smile and patted him on the shoulder. “That is great news. Excuse me just a moment, won’t you?”
He took the stairs two at a time, cringing as he heard someone say to John, “Damn, after all that, I’m surprised he can take the stairs that fast.”




4 comments:

  1. What a great interview. And, loved the sneak peek at "Plus Ones"...Poor Evan, but, omg, that was too funny.

    Can't wait to read it!

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  2. I just freaking adore you both! I love getting an inside peek at the authors I look up to! Thanks Hank and Lee, this was terrific!

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  3. Hank has a sense of humor? What? *looks around*

    *wink* I adore you. This was a great peek at you, Hank! And I just added a couple more books to my TBR list...

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  4. Hank - Can't wait to read this one and I'm so excited to hear that you are writing a sequel to "Holed Up! But, when will I see my beloved Charlie again? I know he misses me and I hate think of all the adventures he's having that I am missing. : )

    Congrats on the new release.

    Robin

    ReplyDelete

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To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955