As some may know, last year I entered the realm of M/M erotica/romance. It was an up and down time for me. Finally, I found Tristram La Roche. 🙂 Today he’s here to share a bit about himself with us.
Reena Jacobs: Okay, I admit to being sexist. When I found out you were a man, I was totally intrigued. I thought, here’s my chance to get inside the male mind. I have to say, I’m glad we made a connection, cause I really enjoyed your book, Lorenzo il Magnifico. I’ve got On My Knees lined up next.
Tristram La Roche: Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it because writing it was a great pleasure. I love Florence, I know it well, and I can tell you I did know a Lorenzo there. And that’s as much as you get! On My Knees is quite different and is the first story I ever had published. It also happens to have been a huge success so I guess I got something right. I will be interested to know what you think.
TLR: As opposed to what, an elephant who writes romance? Surely people are people and we all fall in love? I don’t see how being male or female is inherently helpful or disadvantageous. Where this might lead is to the old nutshell; can women write about gay men and vice versa? All I can say on that is that being a gay man would seem to me to be an advantage for writing about gay men. And I can’t ever see me writing about lesbians, other than perhaps as incidental characters, nor do I write hetero romances – they simply do not interest me. Having said all of that, I think it’s also important to remember that my romances are perhaps ‘romances’, in that I avoid the sloppy, slushy and formulaic, and my books are free of girly men, too. I mean, if you know what’s going to happen and all you have are different names and places what’s the point of reading it, let alone writing it? I’d never stay awake to finish it.
RJ: I know what you mean. A lot of romances are “been there; done that.” It’s nice to find something fresh. Where do you get inspirations for your stories?
TLR: Real life. Either my own or of others. We are often so wrapped up in our lives that we don’t realise the astonishing things that happen all around us every single day. Writing is about observing and translating what we see into digestible material.
RJ: How much of you/your life do you put into your stories?
TLR: A great deal. What else does a writer have? And what a waste it would be to let some of the events I’ve experienced and the people I’ve known simply go to the grave with me.
RJ: Please tell us about your most recent publication.
TLR: I was kind of challenged to write an historical, so I did. I’m one of those types that rarely turns down a challenge. It’s called The Hun and The General and is about how the love Attila the Hun has for a roman general sways the course of history. Being set in ancient times you need to really forget your 21st century sensiblities. People then had different values. They were, to us, cruel and barbaric, as well highly cultured. I tried to incorporate all of this and at the same time show a softer side to the infamous barbarian without changing his overall character. I think, from the reviews I’ve had so far, I might have succeeded.
RJ: Love the color scheme for The Hun and the General! What are you working on now?
TLR: A very naughty story about a monastery and its inhabitants. They have such bad habits.
RJ: Give us a brief description of a story you have hidden in your skeleton closet? And will it ever see the light of day?
TLR: Honestly, Reena, I don’t have one. I’m prepared to show anything I write.
RJ: I hope you’re listening, readers! My buddy is holding nothing back from you. 🙂 Do you have any advice for other writers?
TLR: Learn to accept criticism with good grace. No matter how much you write, how much you have published, how much you sell – you will always have something to learn. Be prepared to work hard and to get over set backs. Never give up.
RJ: Anything special you’d like to say to readers?
TLR: I believe reading books is a way of learning. It can be as little as learning a new word, or as much as a great big realisation that changes your life. I hope there is something, however small, you can take away from my stories. That gives me satisfaction.
RJ: Thanks a bundle for sharing with us, Tristram!
TLR: My pleasure. Any time.
Connect with Tristram La Roche
I love giveaways! And lucky us, Tristram has offered a copy of On My Knees to one lucky commentator!
Giveaway ends April 12, 2012. Refer to giveaway policy for nitty gritty.
*A comment here also enters you into the Mid-Month Commentator giveaway!