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Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Alan Nayes chats about Barbary Point. Romance from a Man's Perspective!

Welcome! Wow, can you believe it’s already the first week in May? One week until this blog shifts into a whole new gear with author promotions. Be sure to pop back in over the next several months to enjoy a variety of Book Trailer Breathers, Monday Covers It features, Midweek Meet and Greets and of course, End of Week Character Blowouts.

This week it’s my pleasure to welcome talented author Alan Nayes. A man of many genres, Alan writes thrillers, horrors and romance. I decided to interview Nayes about his latest romantic release, BARBARY POINT. While this post is designed to share more about Barbary Point, I couldn’t help but add Alan’s other covers. Yes, I love romance but I also like reading other genres. Horrors and thrillers amongst them.

SKY: Welcome, Alan. Great to have you over to A Writer’s Mind!

ALAN: Thank you for having me, Sky. Hopefully, I can provide some interesting insight into this writer’s mind.

SKY: *Smiles* I’m going to start this interview off by slamming out with your introduction at Author's Den. You say, “If I knew then what I know now about how difficult it is to get my work published--would I do it again?” Actually, that's a good question... your answer?

ALAN: When I first started writing, I recall thinking, hey, how difficult can it be to get published? You write a story, send it out, and wait to see it published. And wait. And wait. And…Yup, I waited a long time and accumulated plenty of rejections before I sold my first work. It is difficult to get published, for me anyway. So because of the challenges I’ve experienced in seeing my work go to print, and continue to experience, I sometimes find myself asking would I do it all again. I keep writing so I guess that means the answer is a yes, but some days I vacillate for sure. Yet with each success, I’m reenergized to move on to my next project. So bottom line, yeah I’d do it again. Of course, I’m a writer, right?

SKY: So true, Alan. Guess it’s in our ‘writer’s’ blood to keep moving forward. I remember the rejections. But they definitely made the letter of acceptance all that much sweeter. Share more. When did you first know writing might be your thing? Was there a moment that you’ll never forget or did you simply ease into it all?

ALAN: I think I eased into it. I used to write some music in college, but when I realized I couldn’t sing I gave that up and for several decades didn’t write any fiction. Then I tried a creating writing course at a local community college and this was my transition back into the realm of writing. There are many moments I’d like to forget—passes by agents, editors—but the one moment I won’t ever forget was the call from my then agent that I’d sold my first novel to a publishing house—GARGOYLES to Tor/Forge. Hey, moments like that are priceless!

SKY: Tor/Forge is a great way to kick off your writing career! Little jealous…okay, very jealous. *Grins* Makes me want to get around to writing that fantasy fiction series I’ve put on the back burner. What genres do you typically write and what have you published?

ALAN:   My first two novels—GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL—are biomedical thrillers. BARBARY POINT is a love story and I’m currently shopping around HEMLOCK POND, a horror story. So I guess I can say there is no typical genre that I write—it depends entirely on the story that grabs me.

SKY:   Totally get that. Hard to sit still in one genre. What makes your characters unique? Let’s crawl inside the minds of some of your all-time favorites. Something a woman said…something a man said. And from which of your stories did these quotes come?

ALAN:   That’s a close call, but I think my favorite character overall is Amoreena Daniels, the protagonist from GARGOYLES. Amoreena is not necessarily unique, though she is beautiful, brilliant and determined, but she is placed in a very unique situation when she becomes a pawn in a high stakes game of biomedical experimentation. Kelly English from BARBARY POINT is a favorite as well. Here’s her thoughts upon falling for Mitch the male protagonist. “Inexorably, from that first moment I’d gazed into the depths of his eyes, I’d known it would come to this. He’d appeared in my life like some mysterious magician, casting his spells, sprinkling his potions, seducing my emotions until they no longer felt like my own. Love started out that way, deep within your soul first, long before any true awareness of its presence is manifested..” Wow. I think Kelly is Mitch’s favorite character, too.

SKY:   Love it, Alan! Can tell already you get deep with your characters. That’s what it’s all about. Now, you’re sitting down. Ready to write a book. What’s your first thought? A few months have passed. You just finished the book. What’s your last thought?

ALAN: My first thought—what the hell am I going to write? Seriously, my first thoughts always revolve around major plot points and what is going to happen when. A few months pass and I’ve finished the book—man, I wish I could write that fast. In reality, a few months pass and I’m still wondering why I haven’t arrived at the first plot point yet. Can definitely be frustrating, but it feels so damn good when I finally do crank out that initial first draft.

SKY: Ha! You’re not alone on either point. I’ve been three months in, looked at my word count and thought… huh? Why am I only this far? And that last sentence of the manuscript. Hallelujah! Want to throw a bloody party! Talking shop again, you regret one thing when it comes to all you’ve done since entering the wild world of writing. What?

ALAN: Not writing that “bestseller.” But don’t give up on me yet!

SKY:   Your agent suggested you write a romance and you did, Barbary Point. Fantastic! What was it like for you writing this? Did it throw you off balance or did you dive in head first and love every minute of it? Truth!

ALAN:    It was real easy—wrong. Now for the honest answer. I thought it would be easier. You have to realize that I’m a male writing a love story from the female’s point of view—sort of weird I guess. But I think it worked out well, but I had some good woman friends who provided some nice critiques—“you dumbass, Kelly wouldn’t say that!”—like I said nice gentle critiques. I know some don’t like the ending in BARBARY POINT, but I do because it’s real. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m not a happily-ever-after kind of guy. Oh well…

SKY:   OMG, you just made me laugh. Funny, never thought about the fact you were writing a romance from a woman’s perspective. Too cool. Then again, I love writing from my heroes POV (Point of View) so I guess I’m just as weird! It was a blast having you over, Alan. Now it’s definitely ‘you’ time. Mind sharing your favorite excerpt from BARBARY POINT? As sexual as you like minus a full on sex scene! (Don’t have the ‘permissions’ set to this blog post for that. *winks*)

ALAN: Let me think—okay here goes. It’s from page 1 and sets the theme for the entire story I think.

PROLOGUE

Mother always reminded me, ―Kelly, love from the mind is nothing more than a pleasurable arrangement, whereas love from the heart lasts forever.

I had listened to these same exact words beginning in junior high, again in high school, and throughout college. And it always worried me I might not be able to tell the difference.

A man I deeply loved once told me that a fish lunges after an artificial lure solely on instinct. He sees it, wants it, and zappo, he‘s hooked.

Love is a lot like that. You see someone you want, the chemistry is there, and zappo, you‘re hooked.

BLURB

When Kelly English flies back to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to close out her father’s estate, the last thing on her mind is falling in love. Again. Kelly is twenty-eight and engaged to an older man who is quite wealthy. She’s happy, and only desires to make the trip back brief, sell her deceased father’s place, and return to her stable life in Los Angeles. However, while taking care of business in Oshkosh, Kelly meets a fishing guide, launching her on an emotional journey she never could have predicted or foreseen. BARBARY POINT is Kelly’s story of what happened that one magical week in May on the shores of Lake Winnebago when the ducklings hatch and the walleye run.

What they're saying...

"Barbary Point is one of the most beautifully written love stories I’ve read. It will make you laugh and cry. It’s so well written that you will feel the pain that Kelly, and I’m sure her father too, felt throughout their lives. But you will also feel the joy and love that Kelly feels as she spends more and more time on Barbary Point. I loved this heartwarming story of love."

~Martha Cheves's Review
Goodreads

"Sometimes you read something and it changes you. You appreciate your life so much more and thank the heavens for the wonderful life you have. I finished this beautiful piece of fiction and then dreamed about it. How cool is that? I fell in love with the characters.

Congratulations, Mr. Nayes on receiving the special Five and a Half Blue Roses! I'm so thrilled to have found Barbary Point."

~Rebecca Rose's Review
Goodreads

"Having come from a similar situation with my own father, this touching novella really hit home with me. I felt I could relate to it in a way that I can't relate to most books I read. Kelly has felt one way about her father all her life and if afforded the opportunity to experience a new outlook on who her father really was. Solid characters and an intricately wound love story will leave you wishing this book had been longer. Mr. Nayes writes with intellectual flair that leaves you wanting to read more."

~Val Pearson's Review
Goodreads

I'll bet you're eager to read this story. Keep your eyes peeled. BARBARY POINT will be available for purchase SOON! (Rumor has it within a week)

Already know Alan's your kind of writer? Head over to Amazon now to purchase GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL.

Learn more about Alan Nayes at his Website.

Alan Nayes Facebook Page.

Alan loves to hear from readers. Click HERE to 'drop a line.'

Interested in meeting another fantastic author? Perhaps win a prize? Head over to The Write Life now!

Best Always,
~Sky

7 comments:

Sky Purington said...

Alan, great to have you over! More men should write romance. If you have a sec, I'd love to hear a little more about your current project, HEMLOCK POND.

alan nayes said...

Thanks for asking, Sky. HEMLOCK POND is a story about a woman and her young son who move into an old farmhouse which happens to have a haunted pond on the property. So yes, this is a horror story. I think it's pretty much a universal theme that when you lose a loved one, you would do just about anything to get them back. When you lose them to the Grim Reaper, well, that makes the issue of "getting them back" a tad more difficult. The question of how has been done before--The Monkey's Paw, Pet Semetary--HEMLOCK POND just takes a different slant. Yet though the the stories all differ, the end products are very similar--you have a tale of pure unadulterated horror! And HEMLOCK POND is that--you'll never look at a farm pond the same again.

Sky Purington said...

HEMLOCK POND is already a 'must read' for me. Big fan of universal themes with new slants. Stephen King needs his competition!

As to the grim reaper, 'bout to tackle him myself. Can't say much about that. (knocks on wood) Storyline folks...NOT real life!

Chicks of Characterization said...

I LOVE the new cover of Barbary Point, Alan!

ooooh, Hemlock Pond sounds like a great read, I love anything that has GHOSTS or hauntings in them!!!

It's always cool to be SCARED out of our wits once in awhile!! lol, thanks so much for sharing!!!

Best of luck!

Andrea :O)

alan nayes said...

Thanks for your comment, Andrea. Glad you like the new cover.

PJ Jones said...

Wow, what a stunning cover. I especially like the title fonts. Story sounds great. This is a self-pub through Kindle, right? Awesome! Keep the middleman royalties! I'll be looking for the release of BP. PJ

alan nayes said...

Thanks, PJ. I saw you on kindle boards. It's a small writing world!