Interview and giveaway with Anne Tenino

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Hi Anne! Welcome to UTC! POSTER BOY, the last book in the TAG trilogy is coming out soon.

It is coming out soon, today in fact (I think . . .). Technically, this is one of the official blog tour stops for it, so I’m going to interject some info about the nitty-gritty: the Blog Tour Giveaway.

The prize package this time includes: one lovely “Theta Alpha Gamma Beer Terrorist Response Team” sweatshirt (I believe I have sizes M-XXL available, choice of two styles); one paperback copy of Frat Boy and Toppy with the new cover art, signed and inscribed to the winner; a bar of soap I bought in Les Baux (was going to send olives from Sainte-Remy, but we ate them . . . sorry about that) and; of course, one penis crocheted by moi.

How does one win, you ask? By following the tour, collecting all the official “prize” words (posts will havethem clearly marked), and using them as directed at the end of this post (it’s complicated).

Happy word hunting, and enjoy the tour (psssssst, this one is heavy on the cut scenes).

Could you please tell us a little about this book?

Well, here’s the official blurb:

It’s all fun and games until someone puts his heart out.

When Jock meets sexy grad student Toby at a frat party, things finally start looking up. After having been outed to his hockey team and then changing schools, he figures he’s due something good—like the sex he missed out on in the closet. Toby seems like a great place to start and their night together is an awesome introduction to the fine art of hooking up.

Toby’s heart takes a bruising after the near-perfect experience with Jock leads to . . . nothing. He’s been left on the outside as his friends pair up into blissful coupledom, and he’s in danger of never completing (or starting) his thesis. Can’t something go right?

Then Toby’s coerced into chaperoning a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to France. Not that he’s complaining. What better place to finish his thesis and get over that frat boy? Except Jock’s outing is leaked to the press, making him an unwilling gay rights martyr, and he decides France is a great escape, too. It’s a break from reality for both guys, but they soon find their connection is as real as it gets.

The only thing I’ll add to that is that there are many, many hijinks, compliments of the Theta Alpha Gamma frat boys.

For readers who haven’t tried your books yet, how do you think your editor or loyal readers would describe your books?

Hmmm . . . I always think of it as surrealist romantic comedy, but I’m not sure others see it that way. I often write scenes thinking of them as cheesy old sitcoms (especially with the fratbros). I know that my editors see me as being firmly in the “comedy” camp, as do my readers. I hear a lot from readers who think my writing is pretty erotically charged (or, you know, just flat out erotic). Recently, one fan told me she thought Too Stupid to Live was “so meta.” I still haven’t figured exactly what she meant (because I keep forgetting to look it up or ask her) but I like the way it sounds. Hopefully it’s a good thing.

Writing LGBT romance takes a specific skill, I think. What elements do you think every LGBT story should have and why do you think this is important to have in a book?

Interestingly, I think most of what’s important in LGBT romance is the same stuff that het romance strives for, but it has a different flavor in LGBT. The most important thing is self-acceptance. Some people talk about the “hero’s journey,” but I see this as their route to self-acceptance. This doesn’t always mean having a hero who comes out—he might already be out, but still hasn’t accepted himself. This is important to include because everyone goes through this journey to some degree, LGBT or not.

In LGBT romance, self-acceptance (nearly always) has something to do with the hero’s sexuality, gender expression, or gender identity. It’s a whole world of stuff we rarely see in contemporary (non-erotic) het romance. In BDSM and similar subgenres it’s necessary, but as far as I’ve seen, those books are always erotic. In LGBT romance, we have the option of writing totally “sweet” but still dealing with sexual identity.

Another important element in writing LGBT is to always remember that the main characters will have issues a het couple won’t have when it comes to dealing with the world. These can range from serious, life-threatening bigoted acts to having to put up with one’s sister wanting to have a “spa day” with one’s hairy, leather-daddy boyfriend. Stories that don’t include this feature always feel incomplete to me.

When writing, how do you keep track of timelines, ideas, inspiration and such? By notes on the computer, a notebook perhaps?

I scratch small notes on tiny scraps of paper, intending to put it all into Aeon Timeline later, or at least a spreadsheet. Or just a Word doc? Anyway, about every six months, I clean out my purse/mobile office and find 20-30 tiny scraps of paper with important details written on them smashed into the bag lining. Sometimes I can actually even read them.

Mostly, though, I spend valuable time hunting through previous books and/or notebooks looking for some random detail, nearly always by using the “Find” feature, but never the correct word to lead me to what I want. It’s a complicated strategy.

We’re always looking for book recommendations. What books have you been reading? Would you recommend them?

Right now I’m slowly working my way through I Probably Shouldn’t Have Done That by Edmond Manning. It’s both hilarious and tear-jerking, but it’s not a romance—it’s actually a collection of essays detailing the weird stuff that happens around Edmond. Other than that, I haven’t read much in an embarrassingly long time.

I’ve seen your x-rated crochet projects. Would you like to share how you came about making these crochet penises?

It would be so cool if I had a great story for how that happened, wouldn’t it? Yeah. But all I have is this—for GRL 2012, Taylor V. Donovan, L.C. Chase, Damon Suede and I organized an event called the “Kinky Craft Fest” (well, something like that), except about a month before the retreat, it hit me that we really didn’t have anything truly kinky going on. I can’t quite remember how this lead to crocheting penises, but it sounded like fun. They were a huge hit, and the rest is history. This year, I’ll have a new selection at GRL 2014 in Chicago.

Aside from writing and crocheting penises, what are some of your other hobbies?

I like to cook, but mostly only when no one needs me to. Cooking for hungry children is boring. Necessary but boring. I also like to garden (mostly so I can cook with the stuff I grow), but I’m a pretty lazy gardener. My weeding strategy is to sit in a lounge chair and give them stern looks.

And lastly, what’s next for Anne Tenino?

Well, I’ll have a shortish paranormal romantic comedy coming out as part of an anthology in August, and then in October I’ll have the second Romancelandiabook coming out, Billionaire with Benefits. It’s been very, very interesting to write. 😉

Thanks for stopping by and answering our questions!

Thanks for having me!

* * *

For those of you playing to win the blog tour prize cache, here’s the word: anticipation.

The word game—the rules are that I provide a bunch of words, and you have to create an ode to testicles. Hey, it’s fair—I gave you an ode to testicles in the book (well, part of one), you should give me one in return, using all the words from the tour. You may add any other words you need to, but it must include every word I gave out on the tour.

Of course, creative cheating might receive a pass from me . . .

At the end of the tour, send your ode to me at anne @ annetenino.com and I will choose one lucky winner from all the entries I receive by paying one of my children some exorbitant amount to draw an ode out of a hat (or other handy receptacle). All masterpieces must be to me by May4th, 2014 at midnight Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7:00). For a schedule of all tour stops, you can go here.

Oh, and:

*If the winner will be at GRL, GayRomance Northwest or the RT Booklover’s Convention, I’m also offering a lunchwith me. And yes, I’ll pay. 😉

 

posterboy

It’s all fun and games until someone puts his heart out.

After being outed to his hockey team and then changing schools, Jock figures he’s due for something good—like the sex he missed out on in the closet. Toby, the hot grad student he meets at a frat party, seems like a great place to start, and their night together is an awesome introduction to the fine art of hooking up.

Toby’s heart takes a bruising after the near-perfect experience with Jock leads to . . . nothing. He’s been left on the outside as his friends pair up into blissful coupledom, and he’s in danger of never completing (or starting) his thesis. Can’t something go right?

Then Toby’s coerced into chaperoning a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to France. Not that he’s complaining. What better place to finish his thesis and get over that frat boy? Except Jock’s outing is leaked to the press, turning him into an unwilling gay rights martyr, and he decides France would be a great escape, too. It’s a break from reality for both guys, but they soon find their connection is as real as it gets.

 

PosterBoy_150x300

Check out the full tour schedule

 

About Anne Tenino

Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, with her trusty psychiatrist by her side, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne's husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. He has accepted her need for "research", and looks forward to the benefits said research affords him. He thinks it's kind of cool she manages to write, as well. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne's need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1's strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Anne’s thing is writing gay romance and erotica.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

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Timitra

Great interview

Anne Tenino

Thanks, Timitra. 🙂

Kassandra

I LOVE Anne’s work, both the writing and the crocheting 😉 I am a proud owner of one of the fabulous penis creations and look forward to finally getting to meet you at GRL this year!!

Anne Tenino

Oh, Kassandra, what fun we shall have at GRL.

Trix

I’m reading the book now and loving it so far…looking forward to hearing more about the evolution of Jock (hey, I love my hockey protagonists)…

Anne Tenino

Glad to hear you’re enjoying it!

Debra E

I love this series!

Anne Tenino

And it loves you, of course. 😉

Elizabeth

This sounds good thanks….also I like your weeding strategy

Anne Tenino

It’s not the most effective weeding strategy, but it’s the easiest.