Welcome back to Under the Covers! We’re so happy about your new series Anchor Point. Tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind this series.
I write a lot of military, mostly because that’s what I’m around all the time. I’ve lived on/near military bases for fourteen years, and I come from a military family. Write what you know, right? I really wanted to do a series on a single base, but the problem with that is when I write about existing bases, I often get questions about how much my books actually reflect them. Razor Wire, for example, is not the most flattering portrayal of a base, and had a few readers wondering if I was writing from reality. And the answer to that is … no. I do write about problems I actually see among the military and on bases, but they’re not meant as a criticism of the specific bases.
So, I wanted to create my own fictional base where I could write about the Navy and the people in it without sounding like I’m vilifying—or glorifying—a specific base.
Also, I love series set around fictional places. It’s why I’ve enjoyed Bluewater Bay so much, and prior that, Tucker Springs. So I guess you could say Anchor Point is Bluewater Bay with an aircraft carrier.
JUST DRIVE is the first book and the Navy plays an important part. Tell us why you chose to do this and what you hope it brings to this series.
As I said, I’m around the military all the time. My husband is coming up on seventeen years in the Navy, so you could say it’s a pretty big part of my life.
Also, the Navy is changing a lot. Over the last fourteen years, I’ve had a chance to watch it evolve, especially before and after DADT. I’ve had a front row seat to a lot of the trials and tribulations of the military life—deployments/separations, relocating your entire family every few years, PTSD, the politics involved with getting promoted, etc., and I want to show those in my books.
And let’s face it… uniforms are hot.
What would you say are the similarities and differences between Sean and Paul?
Well, they both like sex! LOL The obvious difference is their ages. Paul has literally been in the Navy longer than Sean’s been alive, so there is, shall we say, a generation gap.
The Navy has been a huge part of both of their lives for twenty-plus years, and they both have some mixed emotions about it. In particular, they’re both starting to resent some of the sacrifices they’ve have to make over the years, which ends up giving them something to bond over.
Sean is pretty level-headed. Paul generally has it together—he is a commanding officer after all—but he was a fighter pilot. He can be impulsive, a bit of a thrill junkie, and sometimes needs someone to ground him. Sean’s good at that…most of the time.
Being that this involves the military, how much research (if any) did you have to do for it and what was the most unusual thing you found out while doing this?
A lot of my military research involves turning to my husband and saying “So, if my character did this…” When you write a lot of military and thrillers, there is something to be said for living with someone who’s both a cop and a Sailor.
That said, I also do a lot of real research on people whose jobs are different from my husband’s. So pilots, in this case. For book two, Afraid to Fly, I interviewed a drone pilot, which was fascinating as all hell. When you write this kind of stuff, though, the research isn’t always pleasant. For both Just Drive and Afraid to Fly, I spent a few hours on YouTube watching videos of planes crashing on aircraft carriers and/or pilots ejecting.
After so many great books written, what would you say is key for you in keeping the stories you write fresh?
I think of it as writing people. Each person is interesting in their own way, and watching them find a way to the happy ending they need never gets old.
That said, if all I ever wrote as contemporary romance, I’d have stabbed myself in the eye with a fork a long time ago. So, I throw in different genres to mix things up. It’s not unusual at all for me to be writing multiple things at a time. I was writing my bisexual BDSM menage Kneel, Mr. President at the same time I was working on the gay Christian romance, Lead Me Not. Right now, I’m co-writing a suspense novel with Cari Z, working on a quirky contemporary lesbian office romance, and writing my first YA romance. It keeps things interesting, let’s put it that way.
Do you have any writing rituals? Listen to music (if so, which), prefer silence, need a special drink….
I always listen to music. My iPod is constantly playing 30 Seconds to Mars, Adam Lambert, Tooji, Tove Lo, loads of country music, Erasure, Lindsey Stirling, and all kinds of completely mismatched music.
Beyond that, I’m pretty easygoing when I write. The TV has to be off and I can’t have anyone talking to me, but otherwise, I can write anywhere, any time, with almost any distraction.
What’s the last book you read that kept you up all night reading under the covers?
I’m late to the party as always, and have recently discovered audiobooks, which is the so-obvious-I-feel-stupid solution to not being able to read much due to eye strain. So now I’m flying through books faster than I have over the last few years. At the moment, I’m listening to the Five Boroughs series by Santino Hassell, and loving them. (Yes, I’m late to that party too. Shut up.)
If we were unforgivably rude and looked in your purse right now, what would we find?
Overlooking the fact that I rarely carry a purse… obviously my wallet, keys, and phone. Also my passport because I live in Spain and don’t like venturing out without it. In fact, I carry so much ID it’s kind of hilarious. Passport, US driver’s license, EU driver’s license, Spanish military ID, and American military ID. (Ask me about the time I showed every single one of those and still nearly got detained by customs at Gatwick in the UK because they didn’t buy my explanation about why I live in Spain…)
There’s also the ever-present pen and a small notepad, a pair of earbuds, and like seventy-two thumb drives that seem to be breeding.
What can we expect from you next?
As always… a lot. I didn’t write as much in the first part of 2016 because I was doing a lot of traveling, but I’m making up for lost time now. I’ve got two Bluewater Bay books coming up in 2017—Get a Grip, and a not-yet-titled book, both M/M romances. My tattoo shop series with SMP Swerve starts in the spring, and that’s a trilogy involving tattoo artists hooking up with military dudes.
My first Young Adult romance is in the works as we speak, though it doesn’t have a title yet. Cari Z and I are halfway through our second romantic suspense – book 1 should be out in early May from Riptide. And speaking of suspense, there are two sequels in the works for my self-published Mafia book, If The Seas Catch Fire. I hope to have the first one out in late 2017.
And because I clearly have so much time on my hands, I’m also working on my first movie! Tooji (the musician I mentioned above whose music is forever playing on my iPod) and I are teaming up for a short film. We’re in pre-production right now, but fingers crossed that we’ll start filming in early 2017!
Beyond that… basically whatever plot bunny invades my brain and takes control.
Coming November 21, 2016!
by L.A. Witt
Released: November 21, 2016
Series: Anchor Point #1
Published by Riptide Publishing
For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.
After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.
One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.
With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.
Don’t miss the blog tour!
Follow the blog tour November 21 – 25, 2016. Click here for a list of stops
To celebrate the release of Just Drive, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L.A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Just Drive and Afraid to Fly) and a $10 Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 26, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!