Saturday, July 2, 2011

7th Author Spotlight Andrew Ashling

Good morning! 

Today, I'm featuring fab author, Andrew Ashling along with his book

A Dish Served Cold.

Definitely a great read.

I'm happy to present the 7th author spotlight here at Michael's on a fab writer by the name of Andrew Ashling.

His book A Dish Served Cold, much like the last book I featured, Jay Bell's Something Like Summer is all real. This one however, had some interesting twists and turns. The main character, Andrew Ashton takes you through his life with all up's and downs and at the end even gives you a snippet of life after he and those around him are long gone. 

The book isn't an erotic romance. It's not really even romance though the MC does fall in love but there's barely any sex scenes here, just right in my opinion, considering that Andrew aims to teach and gives you the story of his existence, kind of like a memoir and not his escapades.

Today, Andrew answers a few of my questions and gives you a blurb an excerpt from his new book that's part of a series. 


How long have you been writing?

As long as I can remember, even before I could write.
At least that is how long I have been visited by all kind of strange characters and have been making up stories. Only a few years ago I began giving them a somewhat more solid form.

What is your opinion as to why publishers only want to group all manlove stories under erotica?
Because they're dumb? We're talking about the kind of people who are looking for the next JK Rowling, but wouldn't recognize JK Rowling before she became JK Rowling, if you follow my drift.
My "The Invisible Chains"-trilogy is about political intrigue, dynastic struggles, warfare, tactics and strategical issues. It is set in a pseudo-medieval world. Oh, and there is a prince who is in love with another man. How do you think it is classified? As Historical Romance? As Pseudo-Historical Fantasy? Of course not. A few explicit scenes and it is automatically Gay Erotica.
I don't care too much. I'm an indie and I'm set to break the mold. What mainstream publishers think or don't think, or even whether they think, is becoming more irrelevant with each passing day. The new gatekeepers are the readers. You know them? The people who vote with their wallet.

Do you think women being a good portion of the amount of gay fiction writers detracts from the genre? Be honest and why or why not?

Not in the least. Do you have to be a vampire to write about vampires? Well, there is Stepheny Meyer, but she's the exception.
Among the first gay or m/m novels I read was the Alexander-trilogy of Mary Renault. I never felt her Alexander to be anything other than male. Or her Hephaistion. Even her Bagoas, who is admittedly more feminine, was a real boy.
What matters is if, as a writer, you can empathize with your characters and make them live in the minds of your readers.

I read a blog about gay fiction writers losing their imagination because they are writing the same subjects repeatedly, what are your thoughts?

Maybe there is a lot of that going on, but isn't it everywhere? When was the last time you read a truly original thriller? Or a Fantasy novel in which the wizard doesn't speak as if he was a distant relative of Yoda the Jedi Master?
I myself use tropes. I use them as a starting point. Then I put them on their head.
Is there a subgenre you haven’t tried that you see yourself doing in the future

Time travel. I'm fascinated by the subject and I have some ideas, but don't expect it very soon.


For the men in your books, commando or underwear?

In my pseudo medieval books some wear shorts, others loincloths.

 Name one celeb that you wish was gay and why?

Sarah Palin. Because it would immensely satisfy me when she was found out. 

 Name two male celebs that you’d like to see in a hot make out session?

Justin Bieber and Sean Connery. It would amuse me. It would also be a lethal blow against ageism.

Link to my website:

Buy links:
Amazon (Kindle):
Ximerion (mobi, epub, pdf):


Anaxantis, prince of Ximerion.

You will hate him... 
if your heart isn't big enough.

While the kingdom of Ximerion is threatened at its southern border by a major power, the high king sends his two youngest sons, the half brothers Anaxantis and Ehandar, as Lord Governors to the Northern Marches where minor raids by wild barbarians are expected. Under the guidance of an old and trusted general, the king hopes to keep the young princes far from the major conflict in the south, while at the same time providing them with a valuable learning experience. The estranged half brothers are rivals, but soon they feel attracted to each other. As if this was not enough of a complication, they begin to suspect that they were set up by their own father. The result is a fierce struggle for power where the lines between hate and love become almost indistinguishable and where nothing is what it seems.

When I first thought of the story, my initial reaction was: "This isn't going to be for everyone. You expect people to learn strange names, words and concepts in weird languages, casually digest half-brothercest annex rape annex domination, your main hero has a few flaws, to put it mildly, and you liberally sprinkle political intrigue over the mixture. This story should come with it's own supply of Pepto-Bismol."
From a fairly simple narrative it grew into a rather complex epic tale, set in a kind of medieval world, but, and this is important, not our Middle Ages. There are literally dozens of characters. It takes some effort, especially in the beginning, but I hope you will find it worth your while. Actually I am not so much just trying to tell a story as to create a series of books you can live in.
I can only hope some readers will like to visit this world and its many, many inhabitants occasionally.

Finally Anaxantis let the parchments fall down beside the chair and stood up. He walked up to Tarno and looked him over, lingering his gaze slightly longer on his groin.

“Turn around, Tarno.”

He did.

“Stand with your feet wide apart.”

Again, he did.

“Bend over.”

He obeyed.


He must have stood like that for more than a full minute. His lord took his time. Then he felt the tops of four fingers slowly wandering over the inside of his butt cheeks. Then one finger very, very slowly followed the groove between his buttocks, slowly moving over his entrance and still going lower.
“Stand up and turn around,” his lord commanded.

With a head, fiery red, both from shame and the exertion of bending over, he did. His lord's eyes met his, and he did his utmost not to look away under the inquisitive, investigating stare. He became even more red. He felt more naked than naked. More naked than he had ever felt or been.

A hand lay itself flat upon his underbelly, feeling for stubbles, and traveled downwards to just above his member, then beside it and under his ballsack.

All the while his lord's eyes kept studying him intensely.

Then he felt a calloused hand take his member, firmly, and it reacted, rising, rising, until it stood upright, hard and stiff in the hand of his lord, who, gently now, kept holding it.

He couldn't bear it anymore. He lowered his head in shame, closing his eyes.

“Do I beat you, Tarno?” his lord asked softly.

“No, my lord, you don't,” he whispered.

“Are my demands to do little chores around the room excessive, you think?”

“No, my lord, they aren't.”

Involuntary he moved a little, and his member inched a little bit forward in his lord's hand. It was both an exhilarating as deeply mortifying feeling. His lord must have seen his excitement, felt it in his hand, but didn't remark upon it.

“Don't I give you permission to stoke the fire as hard as you please, so you don't have to feel cold?”

“You do, my lord. You do,” he sobbed.

“Don't I share my food with you?”

“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”

Again he couldn't help moving a little bit. This time backwards. It felt as if he was retained by his bald cock. He blushed even more intensely.

“Then why, Tarno? Why? You'll have to explain, you see, because I don't understand. What is it I don't understand, Tarno? What is it you are keeping from me?”

Again those inquisitive, steel-gray eyes bored deep into his being.

It was the last thing. The last thing that was his and his alone. His secret hiding place within himself.

His lord had seen it. Seen something.

“Do you think it is fair to hide things from me, Tarno?”

“No, my lord,” he cried out loud now. “No, it isn't. It isn't.”

“Well then?” his lord asked softly, sadly almost.

“It's... It's this place. This place in my mind.”


“I sometimes go there...”


“There I am... I am... There I am not Tarno.”

He saw his lord had to strain his ears to understand him. But he smiled. Thank the Gods, he wasn't mad. He smiled. He smiled.

“Not Tarno? You do know that is an illusion, don't you? A figment of your mind. A cruel deception. Because you are Tarno. Nothing but Tarno. Whatever, whoever you think you remember doesn't exist. 

Not here. Not now. Can you see anybody else?”

“No, my lord... no... I know... It was hope... Hope did this.”

“Hope, Tarno? There's nothing to hope for. Not for you. Haven't I told you, a long time ago, that this was it? Have you forgotten, Tarno?”

“No... Yes... for some moments, my lord... when I went there...”

“Another illusion, Tarno. Another illusion.”

“I know.”

“Is that why you are blushing when I touch your cock, Tarno? Is that why you are ashamed to show me your hole?”

“I... I...”

“It is, isn't it? Let me ask you: are horses ashamed to show their hole? Does the fox in the woods mind walking around with his cock for all to see?”

“No, no my lord.”

“Then why are you ashamed, Tarno? Do you think you're better than them. More? More valuable than a horse? More cunning than a fox?”

“This must be intolerable for you. Show yourself.”

The floods were open in earnest now. He couldn't stop his tears and didn't want to anymore.

“No, my lord, I am not. I am Tarno. Your Tarno. Nothing more. Nothing else. Just Tarno. I am yours, completely yours. Everything about me is yours to do with as you please.”

“Yes, it is. I want you to go to that place, deep, deep inside you, Tarno, and close it. Close it for good. For ever. It's for your own sake. That place is bad for you. Don't you see? It makes you unhappy. It makes you to want the world to be something it is not. It makes you to want to be someone you are not. It's idle hope. It's false. It's treacherous. It will be your downfall. Wanting something that never was and never can be. That is what makes you unhappy, Tarno. I don't want you to be unhappy.”
“I know, I know,” he cried out, unable to hold back his tears.

“Shh. I'll help you,” his lord said, softly rubbing his thumb over his member. “Don't I always help you? Close it. Take a few steps back. Now, see it dissolve, disintegrate into nothingness... It's easy, Tarno, because it was only an illusion to begin with. Illusions can't stand to be looked at. Their fabric isn't equal to inspection. Have you done, what I said?”

“I have my lord. I have. It's not there anymore. It isn't, it really isn't.”

“Good, Tarno, very good.”

And it really had disappeared. It really wasn't there anymore. He felt for it, but there was only emptiness. His lord had saved him from a great danger. From hope, terrible hope itself. His merciful lord, in his goodness, had taken hope away.

All would be well now. Only, not just yet.

“Wait here, Tarno,” his lord, his good, kind lord said. “Wait here while I try to figure out what to do about you.”


DA Kentner said...

Great interview with a very interesting writer.
It's no secret I get on my soapbox at times about the boxing of anything gay into instant erotica.
I'm definitely going to check out "A Dish Served Cold."
Thank you both!

She said...

Interesting excerpt. I'll have to check out the rest of the series.

Rawiya said...

Thanks so much She and DA!

Blak Rayne Books said...

Very good interview Rawiya, thanks for sharing! Another author I'm going to have to read.