Brad Vance has stopped by ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords today to talk about his latest release Apollo’s Curse and share some of his thoughts on writing. He has also brought 10 copies of Apollo’s Curse to giveaway during his tour. To enter to win an eBook copy of Apollo’s Curse, visit here, a Rafflecopter site. Contest ends 6/13.
Brad Vance was nice enough to answer a few questions from me about the story, his own muse, and writing in general. Here’s the interview:
STRW: This story has both a curse and a muse. What was your inspiration for the story?
BV: “Paul,” the model who’s featured on the cover, really was the inspiration. Every time I go to create a cover for a book, it’s almost always his picture that leaps off the screen at me.
His name is actually Francesco Cura, but I refused to find that out until I was done with the book. Imagine my delight when I found out he was not only the model, but also the photographer! I felt this rush of joy, of validation – I was right to pick him over and over, right to choose him as a muse, he was so much more than just a pretty face after all.
STRW: Do you have a Muse?
See above 🙂 I’d say that my favorite writers are my Muses as well. For erotica, I look to gay writers Andrew Holleran and Edmund White as role models – they’re far more literary than I am, but it’s that sensual aspect to their work that I love. One day I’ll write something as languorous and steamy as Holleran’s “Dancer From The Dance.” That book reeks of sex…but I was astonished to discover when I reread it last year that there isn’t a single sex scene in it. How did he do that! I want to do that!
STRW: What drew you to write M/M Romance?
BV: Well, like Dane, I wasn’t having a great success writing mainstream fic. Aubrey Watt (AKA Aubrey Rose), a very talented writer, did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit about being a “smut writer.” I thought, I have a dirty mind – I bet I can do that! I sent her a sample and she was very encouraging. So I wrote erotica until the Epic Cockblocking purges at Kobo and Amazon killed the market for that. Then I moved into erotic romance, where I have a bigger canvas than just sex to write about (though there’s plenty of that in every book save “Apollo”).
STRW: Best line you ever wrote?
BV: One I haven’t written yet.
STRW: Is there any genre you wouldn’t write in?
BV: Oh, sure. I can’t see myself writing, for instance, Amish romance. Hmm. Unless it featured some of those hot Amish gangsters getting it on in the barn…there’s an idea! I gotta go now!
STRW: Favorite romance, book and/or movie?
BV: For some reason, the movie that pops into mind isn’t really a romance, but it is – “About A Boy.” I love the complicated relationships in that story, and the “bromance” that ends with a HEA. Remember, you gotta have a backup!
STRW: How do you feel about HEA in stories? Necessary or not?
BV: I want closure when I read a book. I want to be satisfied. If one of the lovers dies, that’s not a HEA but it’s closure. So I’m okay with that – But of course I’d rather have the HEA.
STRW: Is this a standalone novel or the beginning of a series?
BV: Well. It’s a standalone. But. What happens to Dane later? Does he write again? Does he become a muse to someone else? I have no idea now. But there’s room for another story, if the ideas come to me. I won’t force it, but it’s possible.
Now let’s get up close and personal with Brad’s book…
All Dane Gale ever wanted was to be a successful writer. After a few sessions with his new friends Rose and Sherry at a romance book club, well, the more romances they read, the more they’re convinced they can do better. And do they ever! They join their creative forces to become “Pamela Clarice,” self-published romance novelist. When they look for a cover model for their first book, Dane sees the photos that will change his life.
Paul Musegetes is the world’s most popular romance cover model, and the most secretive. Dane soon finds himself obsessed with this supernaturally handsome man, and when he meets Paul at the Romance Writers’ Ball on the Summer Solstice, he and Paul connect for one night of passion…
After that night, Dane’s a writing machine. He can’t stop writing romances, and every story he touches turns to gold. But he also finds that he can’t write anything but romances. And soon he’s spending every waking moment of every day writing another after another…
Then Dane finds out that this Midas touch has a heavy price. After the next Summer Solstice, he’ll never write again. Not a romance, not a serious novel. Nothing. Not even a grocery list. And that leaves him with only one option – find Paul, and get him to break the curse. But before he can do that, he’ll have to track down Paul’s equally mysterious photographer, Jackson da Vinci…
It wasn’t hard to find Paul again. And to find the “other images with this model” link. And click. And click. And blow up my browser window to 200%, so that when I zoomed the photos, his face, then his eyes, filled my screen.
And what surprised me was that there were not only so many images of him, but that he could be so many different men in so many different pictures, different settings – he was the tender lover with the rose, the snarling Viking, the cool guy in a band, the Miami Beach tool, the shifter/werewolf, the business man, the college kid, the gym rat, the outdoorsman, the poet, the drill sergeant, the soccer player, the swimmer… As I looked at each picture, I was totally convinced that I was looking at the real man, that that was who he really was…until I looked at the next.
And yet, always, he was clearly recognizably himself – Paul. It was those eyes, reminding you that he was in there, somewhere, behind the image, and you’d never know which one he really was, he was all of them, he was whoever you wanted him to be…
Brad Vance is a popular author of gay romances, including the best selling novel, “Given the Circumstances.”
You can follow Brad at:
Tour Dates: 6/2 – 6/13
June 2: Prism Book Alliance, Dawn’s Reading Nook
June 3: Kimi-Chan
June 4: Elisa Rolle, Nephylim, Up All Night, Read All Day
June 5: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
June 6: MM Good Books, Jane Wallace-Knight
June 9: Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
June 10: Amanda C. Stone, Fallen Angel Reviews
June 11: Gay Guy Reading, Jade Crystal, My Fiction Nook, Talon SO
June 12: Love Bytes, It’s Raining Men
June 13: The Novel Approach, The Hat Party
Rafflecopter Prize: 10 copies of ‘Apollo’s Curse’ ebook