Monday, November 28, 2011

Riptide Day Eight - Kari Gregg


Today's interview is with Kari Gregg.
How long have you been writing?

I wrote shorts, filler and fluff in college, but didn't start writing (or rather, finishing) book-length fiction until my late twenties.

What made you decide that you wanted to put yourself out there to publish?

When I was in eighth grade, I had an hour to blow before a practice and was bored out of my skull. So I sat down and wrote a very snarky poem modeled after Casy at Bat, except it was about my school's basketball team (which hadn't won a game all season) and in MY poem, against all the laws of nature (and any degree of skill), our team won. I was just messing around so when practice started, the poem completely left my mind. The next day, it was on the school bulletin board. One of the teachers found it, thought it was funny, typed it up and thar ya go. Once I realized other people might like my little snarky bits -- even like them a lot -- I was hooked. Put these lovelies in a dresser drawer? Oh hell no.

Before you started, had you done any fanfiction? If so, what fandom?

No fanfic. I didn't even realize fanfic existed until well after my first book released, LOL.

Are you in agreement that writing fanfiction is a great way to practice ones craft, why or why not?

I have no idea. I've never read any fanfic that I recall, but judging by the original fic that's been reworked from fanfic (or so I've been told), I certainly wouldn't think fanfic is a bad thing. It's just something that never really interested me.

What is your favorite subgenre to write?

I like writing M/M BDSM and kink and inside those parameters, I like contemporaries, fantasy and paranormals.

Is there one that you haven’t tried that you see yourself doing in the future?

High fantasy. I haven't done high fantasy yet, but I imagine I'll wander to it at some point.

Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not?

LOL, my first five books were het! Yes, I'd write het again. I'm in mad lust with m/m and menage, but I haven't totally cleared het off the table.

What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic?

I'm offended by it, frankly. My husband -- who has a dick, trust me -- is a million times more romantic than I am. He still celebrates the anniversary of our first date, for example, and we've been married 20 years. (I remember it, too, mostly because I know I'm going to be in big fucking trouble if I don't.) He still makes kissy noises before he hangs up when he calls me and trust me, where he works? Unwise. He does it anyway. The man seriously asked me just last week if there was any food I would eat at all in the morning (pizza, Keebler Grasshoppers, popcorn shrimp, anything) because he wanted to bring me breakfast in bed (to which I replied, no sweetie, coffee and biscotti only; if I ask for actual food before 10:00 a.m. -- I'm pregnant which means you must die).

That man runs competitively. He lifts weights. Bikes. Coaches basketball. And his job. Dear God. I won't say what his occupation is because frankly that's private, but trust me, his job has Testosterone Junkie and Alpha Male written all over it.

My husband is romantic and I'll kick anybody's ass who thinks it'd be cute to refer to him or anyone like him as chicks with dicks. The fact that my man remembers which brand of candy bar I like and occasionally surprises me with one, just because, doesn't make him less than a man. It just makes me very lucky to have him.

Your first published book?

Lovely Wicked, published September 18, 2010 by Noble Romance at: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/181/Lovely-Wicked and at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lovely-Wicked-ebook/dp/B004AHKCW0 . It was nominated as a Best Non-traditional Romance 2010 by The Romance Reviews and received a 5-star Top Pick rating by TRR. Yay!

I’m of the opinion that erotica doesn’t have to be real all the time to make a good story, what are your thoughts?

The best erotic stories, in my opinion, are authentic. They reflect real life while catering to the fantasy. That said, yes, I real life can be safely skimmed or glossed over when certain unpretty realities might be too intrusive to the mood, tone or scene you're building.

Who are the authors that you look up to?

Josh Lanyon, because I'm a total fangirl. That voice is to die for. >:D K.A. Mitchell -- love, love, LOVE. For BDSM, I'm also a huge fangirl of Kim Dare.

What books are you reading at the moment? Its okay to give a fellow author a plug!

I'm on an Amber Kell & Stephanie Hecht kick at the moment. I've got In His Hero's Shadow loaded into my K3, hovering somewhere around 30%?

What are you working on now?

I'm finishing up a M/M D/s mystery for Loose Id called In the Red featuring my fabulously insane forensic accountant, Brian Foster, and Special Agent Zachary Murdock who has been tasked with returning Brian to the FBI's Terrorism Financing Operations Section.

When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

Totally fictional. The people who take shape in my head never resemble anyone from real life, physically, mentally or emotionally. Although I have to say that I, Omega's Gabriel...The spiderweb thin scars on his neck match what I had inside my head perfectly and OMG, Connor on Collared's cover...The look on his face? Captures Connor perfectly. But if you're asking if I surf the net in search of pictures of hot dudes and/or celebrities, no. if you're asking if I start off with a person in real life and then build my character around them? Oh hell no.

If you write gay romance or erotica, just how descriptive are your in their sex scenes?

LOL. You really need to read one of my books, dude. Very graphic. Extremely descriptive. I loves me some hot, pervy smexin. Lots. ;D

As a gay fiction writer, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?

No idea what you're talking about here. If you mean is GLBT fic's appeal broadening? Yeah, I think so. Is that appeal at the same level as m/f? No. I do know that on the rare occasions I've told people what I write, nobody's given me a hard time about it and I'm not so sure that would have been the case even just a few years ago.

What is your opinion as to why publishers only want to group all manlove stories under erotica? Do you feel this is a hindrance to our genre?

I think it's an archaic cultural convention that reflects the very wrong and no longer contemporary belief that all gay relationships are somehow forbidden or perverse. Sure, there are asswipes who still believe that, but there are asswipes who believe the powdered sugar on donuts cause cancer too.Yes, I feel it's a hindrance. My books (which are gleefully pervy smut and I make no apologies for that, LOL) are placed on the same virtual shelves as books that have zero to little erotic content.

Do you think it’s time for publishers to begin calling gay fiction/erotica what it is instead of m/m? Why or why not?

I think we're still a long way from making that distinction because there are still too many assholes pointing fingers, carrying placards and condemning anything that isn't what they define as acceptable.

Recently, a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?

I've emailed thank you's to review sites and asked them to forward it onto individual reviewers in the past, just as a courtesy, but I've been told that it can be taken as ass-kissing so I won't be doing any more of that. Which is sad. To me, it just seems polite to thank somebody for taking the time to write a thoughtful review. I hate being rude. Rude sucks. But I don't want to come across as an ass-kissing hosebeast, either. I've been told that leaving a thank you in comments of the review are okay, but I think that's intrusive and may inhibit readers from commenting freely...So I won't be doing any more of that, either.

Would I respond to a negative review? Of course not. I may not agree with a review, but I never knock anybody for their honest opinion. My stories aren't going to be an insta-woot for every reader every time and I think it's absurd to expect that they should be.

(If female)As a fellow fem in the genre, what is your stance on the difference between male and female gay writers?

I'm not a werewolf, but I write about them. I'm not a vampire. I'm not a slave (or a prince!) in another world. I'm not an FBI agent or a forensic accountant. I wrote from the hero's POV when I was targeting the het market with zero grief from anybody. I know a f/f writer who is a dude. More power to him, I say.

 (If female) What are your thoughts on the fact that some gay male writers discriminate against women?

Hey, it's a free country. People can do whatever they want. If they don't to read my stories because I possess ovaries...*shrug* Whatever floats your boat, dude. Seriously.

What is the major difference between male and female writers?

One has a penis while the other has a vagina.

I read a blog about gay fiction writer’s losing their imagination because they are writing the same subjects repeatedly, what are your thoughts? http//www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=42883

I don't think m/m writers have lost their imaginations. I do think a lot of m/m writers crumble under the pressure to produce  and sacrifice originality for the sprint-to-print. It isn't just technical/style issues that suffer when writers rush the process. Worlds and characters aren't fully developed and the sad result is tired stories, plots and characters that sound like a bazillion other tired stories, plots and characters. I think we writers just need to slow down. So what it if it takes a little longer? There are nine months between What Rough Beast and I, Omega's release. IO's story? Was essentially done in November of last year. I could've rushed it to print then. More than one publisher was interested in it, but you know what? It wasn't ready. I knew the story wasn't there, not quite yet. So I sat on it. And fiddled with it. And developed the damn thing. And it's a much stronger story for it.

What is it about gay fiction and or romance that pleasures you to write it?
I love men. As a heterosexual woman, this should be a surprise to absolutely nobody, LOL. I love how they think, how they smell, how they move, how they taste. I love how different they are: stoic, emotional, hyperactive, easygoing, melodramatic (compadre!), staid. And in m/m, I get to explore TWO men. I've said it a million times, but it bears repeating. Two heroes for the price of one? What could be better than that? N-O-T-H-I-N-G

Riptide specific questions

Tell me what made you decide to hop on board with this brand new publisher?

Rachel and Aleks sold me on it, LOL. We've been friends for a while now, had a lot of fun, beta'd each other's work, that sort of thing. We'd traded quite a few gripes, bitches and moans when things have gone wrong as well as shared our woo hoo's when things have gone right. When Rachel contacted me about Riptide...I was floored. We talked about Riptide's mission, their plans & goals. The quality-centric focus sold me. I was totally onboard for that. The end.

What is your release that you have coming out with them?

Collared will release at Riptide on November 28th. Ze blurb:

Trans-Global IT director Connor Witt is a rare and prized anomaly: the aggression centers in his brain have been suppressed rather than stimulated by the mutated crops that so recently took over the world’s food supply. Bewildered by his physical changes and terrified of a world growing more and more predatory, Connor risks harassment and worse until Trans-Global CEO David Martin collars Connor to protect him against men like security consultant Emmett Drake. Men who stalk Connor as sweet, sexy prey. Men to whom the newly submissive Connor feels irresistibly drawn. 

But David can’t be Connor’s master; David’s straight. He promises to find a worthy man, though. One willing to court and appreciate Connor as more than just some rich man’s toy.

While the world adapts to the biological disaster and new laws strip away Connor’s rights, David’s resolve to protect his boy slowly grows into something more. But can his new desires keep pace with Emmett’s determination to claim Connor?

One man offers safety; the other is a safer bet. Problem is, Connor’s never sure which is which. The one thing he does know? He wants them both.

In your opinion, what is the difference between Riptide and any other publisher that has just started?

Riptide's focus on quality above all else. They aren't interested in filling x number of slots on the schedule for that week or month. They're only interested in quality books. That puts Riptide a cut above.

Where do you see the publisher in the next 5 to 10 years?

World Domination. Invader Zim, eat your heart out, bud.


Do you feel that celebs who are gay or bi should come out the closet?

I think it's their life, it's their privacy, it's their choice and purely none of my damn business unless they choose to make it so.

Favorite character in one of your books?

Micah, in Spoils of War. He's so strong and yet so damaged. I loved his vanity, his vulnerability...I loved everything about him.

The character you identify with?

Mitch, in Lovely Wicked. Not his history. But his sense of humor is the closest to my own. Writing him was fun as hell.

If you would like to catch up with Kari, caffeinate yourself and head on over to http://www.KariGregg.com
Friend Kari on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Kari.M.Gregg
Follow Kari on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/karigregg
Find Kari at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4366316.Kari_Gregg
To read an excerpt from Collared, by new release from Riptide and purchase, click the link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/collared

Thanks for having me! >:D

* * * *
TY for the great interview. Today's giveaway - Anything from Kari's Backlist

10 comments:

Michael said...

TY for being here today

Kari Gregg said...

Thanks for having me! :D

booklover0226 said...

Great interview, Folks. I really enjoyed reading it.

I can't wait to read Collared.

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Bookishly Awesome said...

It looks amazing. Can't wait to get started.

sabrinayala at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

Kari ure upcoming release sounds fab.... I'm looking forward to reading collard when I find a minute.

Sarah S

Sarahs7836(at)gmail(dot)com

Debby said...

I love your honesty. It made me smile. Thanks
Debby236 at gmail dot com

joder said...

I LOVE the interview and love the sound of your new book. I've read Lovely Wicked and it was an intense read with memorable characters. Looking forward to what you're working on next.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Bookwyrm369 said...

Very entertaining post :-) Thanks for sharing. I'm really looking forward to reading Collared.

smaccall AT comcast.net

Adara said...

Looking forward to In The Red! =)

adara adaraohare com

Aija said...

This was fun! Thanks for the great interview! :)

japoki at inbox dot lv