Down Under Author Showcase – L.J. LaBarthe

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Meet L.J. LaBarthe

 

L. J. LaBarthe is the author of many series and novels (listed below).

To get to know L.J. LaBarthe a little better, she agreed to an interview. Look for her guest post below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt question and clue found somewhere within.

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Author Bio 1

Author Bio:

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She enjoys music, languages, TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

Author Contacts:

Website: http://www.ljlabarthe.com/
Blog: http://misslj_author.livejournal.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lj.labarthe.9
Twitter: @brbsiberia
Tumblr: http://dreadpiratestarkiller.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dreadpiratestar/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lj.labarthe.9
Google +: https://plus.google.com/117252756118475570457

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BoneCupCityOfJadeLGMythicalgishNo Quarter LaBarthe cover

 

Author’s Books, Series, and Stories:
The Archangel Chronicles with Dreamspinner Press.
No Quarter
No Surrender, No Retreat
No Shadows Fall
The Wind-up Forest
The Crystal Lake
The Bone Cup
• A Shot in the Dark
• A Fire in the Heart
• A Candle in the Sun

  • City of Jade with Dreamspinner Press
  • Mythica with Bottom Drawer Publications
  • Waiting for the Moon and You with Dreamspinner Press
  • Brick by Brick with Dreamspinner Press (Co-written with Cate Ashwood)
  • Swimming with Elephants with Dreamspinner Press (forthcoming release available as a novella and part of the Piece Us Back Together anthology)
  • Ice with Less Than Three Press
  • The Body on the Beach with Dreamspinner Press (available as a novella and part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology) – one of the Down Under Author Scavenger Hunt Prizes!
  • Capsicum Head in the Rockin’ Hard Vol. 2 anthology with Less Than Three Press
  • Sunburnt Country in the Something Happened on the Way to Heaven anthology with Less Than Three Press

Genre(s):

With the exception of Brick by Brick, Swimming with Elephants, Capsicum Head, The Body on the Beach, City of Jade and Waiting for the Moon and You, all my books are paranormals.

Contemporaries: Brick by Brick, Swimming with Elephants, Capsicum Head, Waiting for the Moon and You.

Historicals: City of Jade, The Body on the Beach.

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Down Under Contests

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you,L.J. LaBarthe) is an eBook copy of any of the first 6 Archangel books, City of Jade or Mythica. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Question or “Word“. Collect all the words/clues from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.

Author Qand A

**************Now on to our Interview with L. J. LaBarthe….

 

Q• When did you start writing?

I don’t remember not writing, to be honest! I used to draw a lot and write little stories to go with my drawings.

Q• Were you a reader as a child?

Voracious. I was a shy kid, and spent a lot of time with books.

Q • Where do you draw inspiration from?

Everywhere. From the weather, the garden, places I’ve visited or documentaries I’ve seen, to history, research (I love research!), news articles to movies, music, TV shows. Just about anything and everything!

Q• Favorite genres to write in and why?

Paranormal, historical, fantasy and science fiction, because those are the genres I prefer to read.

Q• Title or characters or plot? Which comes first?

Usually, it’s a scene and then everything springs from that. There are exceptions to that of course, the book I’m working on at the moment, “Song of Song,” the title came first and everything else fell into place in my head with a loud clunk!

Q• Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

Archangels Gabriel, Raziel and Uriel and Archdemon Adramelek from my Archangel series.

Q• Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)?

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

                               – Said by Inigo Montoya, from “The Princess Bride.”

Q• Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?

Only one? I can’t do just one! I love the “Night Watch” series by Uzbek writer Sergey Lukyanenko, those are fantastic books. Then there’s the Danilov series by Jasper Kent, which is brilliantly done. “The Prince and the Program” by Aldous Mercer, “Child 44” by Tom Rob Smith, “31 Things” by Cate Ashwood, “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by J. K. Rowling… so many more.

Q• What’s the hardest part of writing your books?

Titles! I am really terrible at coming up with titles. “No Quarter,” for example, went through thirteen title changes until it became that, and that was thanks to my good friend Meredith Shayne suggesting it to me.

Q• What book are you reading now?

“New Watch” by Sergey Lukyanenko, which is his latest release; “The Silkworm” by J. K. Rowling.

Q• How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

I think we use a lot more slang. Our slang is rhyming slang and is often quite colourful. We also spell with British English, so the ‘u’ is still present in words like colour.

Q• My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee! There are so many out there. What is your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?

I’m going to be a bit different here and choose a TV show. The Australian show, “Offspring” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offspring_(TV_series)) is my choice, because not only is it brilliantly written, it’s a pretty accurate representation of middle class, inner suburban life. The show also doesn’t shy away from topics like death, addiction, child birth, and has not just heterosexual couples but gay and lesbian couples as well. The last three episodes of season four, for instance, had me bawling, completely ugly crying. And Twitter was on fire because of this particular plot line, so much so, that the band, The Offspring, took to Twitter to say that nothing had happened to them, and the police department local to where the show is set, had to issue a statement saying there would be no investigation into what happened. (I’m avoiding spoilers, in case readers want to watch the show!)

And there were more tears in season five, and I hate crying at TV/movies/books, but I love, love, love this show, even though it turns me into the ugly crying author!

Q• If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

The Flinders Ranges in outback South Australia. Not just because this is my own favourite part of the country and I live in SA, but because it really is stunningly beautiful, no matter what time of year you visit.

Q• What are your current projects?

I have six (!!!) titles coming out in 2015, so I foresee a LOT of editing in my near future. The last three Archangel books are coming out, as is “Brick by Brick,” “Swimming with Elephants” and “Waiting for the Moon and You.”

I’m also on the home stretch of the first draft of my sci-fi space opera m/m romance, called “Song of Song,” and I’m really enjoying writing it, so much so that it feels as if the book has written itself.

• What’s next up for you?

A bit of rest, I think. Then I’ll get back into it. I’ve got a few works in progress that I’d like to finish and a few plot bunnies I’d like to start. Either way, there will be more tales told, and more books.

Q What are the questions you would like to see answered for the Scavenger Hunt? one answer will do.

1. Aussie slang – what am I doing if I’m using the telling bone?  or.

 2: Aussie slang – what bird is on the South Australian coat of arms?  send your answers to me along with the other words/clues at the end of the month.

Down Under Showcase Author – Christian Baines

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Down Under Showcase Author of the Day

Meet Christian Baines

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Christian Baines is the author of The Beast Without, The Prince and the Practitioner,  and, coming in 2015, Puppet Boy.

To get to know Christian Baines a little better, he agreed to an interview.  Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

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Author Bio 1

Christian Baines was born in Toowoomba, Australia. He has since lived in Brisbane, Sydney, and Toronto, earning an MA in creative writing at University of Technology, Sydney along the way. His musings on travel, theater, and gay life have appeared in numerous publications in Australia and Canada. Dual passions for travel and mythology (both of which he attributes to growing up in Australia’s bible belt) have sent him chasing some of the world’s most feared monsters, including vampires in New Orleans, asuras in Bangkok, and theater critics in New York.

Author Contacts

Blog: https://christianbaines.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Xtianbaines
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christianbainesauthor
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/christianbaines

Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

The Prince and the Practitioner cover

The Beast Without cover

Novel Length:

Puppet Boy (TBR 2015, Bold Strokes Books)
The Beast Without (2013, Interactive Publications)

Short Stories:
The Prince and the Practitioner (2014, Wilde City Press)

Genres:

• Black comedy/satire
• Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Contests and Giveaways:

1.  Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Christian Baines) is an eBook copy of The Beast Without.  Enter using this Rafflecopter link here.  Must be 18  years of age or older to enter.

Rafflecopter Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.  Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Christian Baines Hunt “Word“.  Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 2nd, 2015. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 7 people selected, from 1st place to 7th!  Happy Hunting.

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Author Qand A

Now Our Q & A which uses in part AUS spelling (don’t forget to search for Christian’s Scavenger Hunt Clue:

Q • When did you start writing?

Excluding Star Trek fan fic in my mid teens (don’t judge me), I started my first novel at 18. It’s still in the bottom of a virtual drawer somewhere.

Q• Were you a reader as a child?

Yes.

Q• What books as a child has the most impact on you?

A lot of fantasy and sci-fi. My family were quite religious and so they were a little bit anti-horror. But they’d encourage me to read classic gothic fiction and such. That meant a lot of Sherlock Holmes, and things like Frankenstein, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera and so on. I started reading more contemporary, commercial horror eventually, but I don’t think anything had quite as strong an effect on me as those stories. I’d say Hound of the Baskervilles and Frankenstein fascinated me the most.

Q• Did that impression carry over into adulthood when you started writing?

The themes in those stories are timeless, so yes. I read a more even spread of genres as an adult, and of course I read more gay fiction. It all started to blend in and play its part.

Q• Where do you draw inspiration from?

It depends on the story. Interesting people I meet, places I visit, cities, buildings, clubs… I’m slightly travel obsessed so that helps a lot. Some places will spill a story, some won’t. Interestingly, it has very little to do with how much or how little I like the place.

Q• Favourite genres to write in and why?

I go through phases. If I’m excited enough about a story to finish a novel, then that was probably my favourite genre to write at the time.

Q• Title or characters or plot? Which comes first?

Usually character, if the story is going to work out. I have to be a little obsessed with a protagonist to finish their story.

Q• Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

There’s one in Puppet Boy who excites me a lot. Of the characters who are already published, probably Reylan. I’m also insanely jealous of the life and times he’s lived.

Q• Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)?

“Resentments are like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Q• Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?

Probably either Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas or Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. Both underrated books. They’re tough to read in parts, but very original, exciting and subversively queer in an unselfconscious way.

Q• Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

If there’s one that works, let me know. I try to sit down and focus on it at least once a day. Either it works that day or it doesn’t.

Q• What inspired you to write your first book?

The Beast Without started as an erotic short piece I wrote during an Anne Rice phase. It was something different for me to try while I was still trying to get my first, unpublished manuscript out there. I wasn’t really aware of how big urban fantasy or paranormal was at the time. I just really liked this character and voice, so I ended up expanding on it.

Q• Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know. Maybe if I’m lucky, others might recognise it as such. I try to keep a consistent voice that balances humour with cynicism. Maybe it’s a bit bleak, but I try to put a smile under it. I’m hesitant to publish anything that doesn’t make me laugh in some way. I’m one of those kids who grew up listening to alt rock and watching Daria. Now we’re writing in the age of Taylor Swift and Glee, so there’s always that sly sense of irony there. Some people get it and others don’t, but that would be the case no matter how or what I chose to write, so…

Q• What’s the hardest part of writing your books?

Keeping it simple! I’m a sucker for a complicated story I don’t necessarily understand or like the first time around. I think I handle large casts pretty well, but I’m always fighting to keep the story straightforward.

Q• If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?

No.

Q• What book are you reading now?

Drama Queens and Love Scenes by another Sydney author, Kevin Klehr.

Q• How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

I think to a certain degree it’s inevitable that your background will inform your work. Sometimes it can be just the spark it needs. That was certainly the case with The Beast Without. Once it had the Sydney setting, it really had a unique voice, culture and history to explore. In general terms, I think there’s a down-to-Earth quality to Australian fiction, plus maybe an irreverence, which I think the New Zealanders take even further. I think the successful authors stay true to their own voices, rather than earnestly trying to represent. What frustrates me about this idea of a ‘Great Australian (insert Canadian, Kiwi, or even American as you will) Novel,’ like we’re supposed to hold our breath, waiting for somebody to distil the essence of the country into 90,000 words. How about we just get on with writing good books?

Q• My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee! There are so many out there. What are your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?

Yikes! I think I’d rather spend a night at Wolf Creek than endure Crocodile Dundee II again! My favourites would be Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Muriel’s Wedding. I mentioned Dead Europe before. One of the reasons I love it is because it delves into everything Australian stories shy away from. The supernatural, grisly content, a promiscuous gay protagonist… and ties it into this insecurity we have about being such a young country and how we’ve always got one eye looking back to where we came from, without really understanding what that means. The film version cuts a lot, but it’s still worth a look. Australian movies just have a terrible time trying to find a local audience. It’s that insecurity again. Most Australians don’t have high expectations of their local industry, which is sad.

Q• If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

There’s an amazing indoor/outdoor lifestyle balance in Sydney, so I try to make sure visitors get to experience that. It’s the kind of place where you can mix up your sightseeing with amazing beaches, museums, architecture, gardens, boutique bars, cruising on the harbour… okay, now I sound like a tour guide! A lot of the attractions are also cheap or free, which amazes me because it’s such an expensive city to live in.

Q• What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

It’s a cliché, but Melbourne. It’s not as pretty, but it’s a lot darker, bolder and more creative than Sydney in a lot of ways. It’s also less obsessed with money and property, which makes it more fun. Having said that, it’s yet to reveal a story I want to write.

Q• What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on the follow-up to The Beast Without. There’ll be some edits on Puppet Boy to come, but until then, I’m focused on Reylan’s world.

Q• What’s next up for you?

Midsumma, which is Melbourne’s big LGBTI festival. Adelaide author Margaret Merrilees, Kevin Klehr and I will be reading at the Hare Hole (Hares & Hyenas bookshop) in Fitzroy on January 20 as part of their Word is Out program. It’s a fantastic store and space, plus there should also be one or two other Aussie authors joining us, so it should be a fun evening. Maybe that Melbourne story will come to me!