Hey, thanks for having me. I'm here to tell you all about "Counterpunch", which is the story of Brooklyn Marshall, a slave boxer in an alternative England. Here's the blurb, which says it better than I can.
When Nathaniel Bishop purchases Brooklyn's services for a night, it seems like any other assignation. But the pair form an unexpected bond that grows into something more. Brooklyn hesitates to call it "love"—such things do not exist between freemen and slaves—but when Nathaniel reveals that he wants to help get Brooklyn's conviction overturned, he dares to hope. Then, an accident in the ring sends Brooklyn on the run, jeopardizing everything he has worked so hard to achieve and sending him into the most important fight of all—the fight for freedom.
Q: What is the genre, and does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Gay romance with a dash of dystopian alternative history. Slavery was never abolished, you can be sold into slavery after crimes or be born a slave. All this in 2011. So it's a modern take on slavery.
Q: What did you enjoy most about writing your first book?
My first one was a German fantasy novel, and the fun in that was to put characters on the page and share them with the world that had only been living in my head before. Also, being able to pay the rent for a few months was very nice.
When we're talking about "Counterpunch", I really enjoyed the research and being able to mess with London and the UK and imagine how things would be different. I like to put in little jokes and allusions, like Easter eggs that readers can find and enjoy.
Q: Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
I tend to start in one of my favourite London book shops (like Foyles, the best independent store we have) and buy a stack of books on whatever topic my book is about. In this case, I bought some books on boxing. The other books I needed for this I already owned. (A book or two on slavery and gladiators, to get a feeling and idea.)
I read those books while I do some basic work, but unless it's a historical story (that needs a lot more work) I usually jump straight in and do the research while I write, fixing mistakes as I write.
Q: What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
Most of my reading is non-fiction, but I enjoy classic writers (like Graham Greene) as well as some current writers (A M Tuomala's "Erekos" was the best fantasy novel I've read in years, and I'm waiting for anything Jordan Taylor does). In my genre, I do enjoy writers like Manna Francis, Kirby Crow, Rachel Haimowitz, Peter Hansen, Rhianon Etzweiler, and many more. There's a huge amount of talent out there.
Q: If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
"Counterpunch" is a really good start. You'd get a good idea of my style and how I do things – what kind of people you'll encounter in my stories and how my plots go. Also, it's probably the best novel I've done so far (I do tend to get better from book to book, so the most recent work it is). After that, I'd suggest "Scorpion".
Q: A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Wow, that's a hard question, considering that I always laugh at celebrities that are in their twenties or thirties and put out biographies of rather uneventful lives.
"Aleksandr Voinov – Method in the Madness" might do it, even though it sounds trite.
Q: If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Hah. I live near one of the most expensive cities in the world. I could probably deal with a nice penthouse at One Hyde Park in London – the five-star hotel right next to it provides food and laundry service, and the view, I've been told, is really nice. Main thing is, I wouldn't want to live in the same place as Russian industrialists and oil sheikhs.
Q: What song would best describe your life?
"Out of the Dark" by Falco and "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. The race is too close, so I'm taking those two.
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
I'm borrowing that one from an ex: "Actually Quite Nice if He Could Stop Bragging." (ouch)
Q: What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
How do you fit so many books into your house? Answer: one at a time.
"Deliverance", in "Forbidden Love" (Noble Romance) –
"Burn", in "Echoes of the Future" (Noble Romance) –
"Scorpion" (Dreamspinner) – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2301
"Dark Edge of Honor", with Rhianon Etzweiler (Carina Press) –
"Test of Faith", with Raev Gray (eXcessica) –
"Spoils of War", with Raev Gray (FREE at Smashwords) –
"Clean Slate", with Barbara Sheridan (Dreamspinner) –
"Risky Maneuvers", with Barbara Sheridan (Loose Id) –
"Lion of Kent", with Kate Cotoner (Carina Press) –
"First Blood", with Barbara Sheridan (Dreamspinner) –
"Transit", with Raev Gray (Dreamspinner) –
"Counterpunch" (Storm Moon Press) –