Please join me in welcoming author A.E. Wasp to my blog. She’s here today to tell us about her writing process and her fantastic new release!
Book Title: Skater Boy: Hot off the Ice #4
Author: A. E. Wasp
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix
Genre/s: Gay Sports Romance
Length: 75,750 words/303 pages
Skater Boy is a standalone story in the Hot Off the Ice series.
In a world that measures success in dollars, how do you put a price on happiness?
Love, marriage, and a baby carriage. It’s all Alex Staunton has ever wanted. Well, that and an Olympic medal for figure skating. The medal he got. The rest of it – not so much.
When his most recent poor decision comes to a door-slamming end, Alex moves into the house of his best friend, Thunder starting goalie, Sergei Pergov. But when tragedy strikes, giving Sergei custody of the twins he fathered confidentially, Alex’s problems take a backseat to the needs of two infants, and Alex vows to be the best fake-dad and house-husband he can be.
Sergei is dazzled by the way Alex makes managing all the craziness look as easy as doing a triple-axel. As their friendship grows even deeper, Sergei realizes he doesn’t want to imagine a life without Alex in it. Alex is the one who makes their house a home; his love makes them a family. How can Sergei make Alex understand he’s worth everything?
Skater Boy is a story about falling in love with your best friend. It contains discussions about baby poop, day drinking, girls’ night out, and the purchase of a mini-van.
It was funny how much one kiss could change everything. Well, kissing and whatever else he could get away with. Sergei loved finding ways around the rules or seeing how much he could get away with while still technically staying within bounds.
Alex had typed up a list of the rules and taped them to the inside of the door that held Sergei’s coffee mugs and tea cups. “This way I know we’ll see it at least once a day.”
“In case I forget?” Sergei pulled Alex’s hand toward him, tracing light patterns over his wrist and palm in the same way Alex had tortured him the other night.
“Bastard,” Alex said, yanking his hand away. He darted in for a quick kiss. “In case I forget.”
Then last night after dinner, he’d come up behind Alex in the kitchen while he was washing dishes, and keeping his hands above the waist and over the clothes, lifted up Alex’s gorgeous hair and kissed the back and sides of his neck until Alex begged him to touch him. “Just a little. Please? Just my stomach.”
“Rules say no hands under clothing,” Sergei said, voice heavy with regret. “You made rules.”
Without another word, Alex slid out from under Sergei. Grabbing a pen from the junk drawer, he stomped the few feet to the cabinet, opened the cabinet, and crossed off the word ‘clothing.’ He wrote ‘pants’ above it, handwriting sloppy.
Slamming the door, he marched back to Sergei. “Better?”
Sergei yanked Alex against him, face to face this time. He slid his hands up the back of Alex’s shirt. His skin was softer than he had ever imagined and so warm. “Much better,” he growled, then pushed Alex up against the counter. They kissed until Sergei’s lips were numb.
☆ Author Interview ☆
Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.
I’ve been writing in one form or another for decades. My goal as a writer is to touch people, to take them away from the harsh realities of life for a little bit and make them happy. Professionally, I’d like to be known as an author who consistently delivers a great reading experience, and one the readers trust to take care of them if I happen to try something a little new to them.
Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?
Skater Boy is a friends to lovers story about trying to find your worth when you don’t have the things society uses as markers of success. Sergei and Alex are long time friends who are trying to navigate this transition and deal with what seems to Alex to be a huge power imbalance.
Of course I love both my guys. I can’t write them if I don’t. But it’s hard not to love Sergei. He’s a big teddy bear of a guy (literally, he’s 6′ 8″) with a generous heart that just needed someone to come and unlock for him. He’s loyal and smart and dependable.
Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?
I like to plan at first because I don’t like writing into a totally empty page. And I find it works if I have end goals I’m working to. I usually like to define the character arcs beforehand, and a couple of big key scenes. Of course things always change as you write. I do multiple drafts of the openings every time, because inevitably I come to a point where I’m starting to veer way off track or I can’t figure out what comes next, and both of those things are due to issues in the set up for me. Also having an outline lets me have a place to put those random scenes and conversations and ideas that come to you in bursts so I don’t forget them. Often times I’ll come to something I put far down in the outline right from the beginning and be like “I totally forgot about that! That’s brilliant!”
Do deadlines motivate you or block you? How do you deal with them?
Confession, sometimes deadlines are the only things that motivate me. It’s why I put things on preorder! You can tinker with a book forever if you let yourself, trying to make it perfect. And some point you just have to push it out of the nest, and knowing the penalties for missing a preorder is a strong motivation for me to stop faffing about.
How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?
For me in contemporary romance the characters are the plot. I have a setting, obviously with the Hot Off the Ice series it’s a professional hockey team. And I think about what kind of people might inhabit that world and what kind of problems they each might have, and then I kind of match them up. I like the guys by the end to fit together so well that the reader can’t imagine them apart, no matter how far apart they seemed at the beginning.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Reading a really really good book by another author. I think, I’ll never be able to do that, and throw myself into a pit of despair for about a day.
What is your favorite underappreciated novel?
The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway. It’s an amazing novel that is impossible to describe. I will shove copies of that book directly into people’s hands.
What were your goals for this book? Did you achieve them?
My goal with this book was really to look at the issues surrounding the stay at home parent, the trailing spouse of someone who moves around a lot, and how that role is lauded on one hand but also, at the same time, devalued. And to look at what a vulnerable position it is to be in, when some other person makes all the money, and you are dependent on them for food and a place to live. It can be scary. I think I did that?
My goal with every book is to make characters that are so real and so believable that the reader feels for them, and understand why they do the things they do even if they don’t agree with the choices them make all the time. That I think I have done.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Pretty much constantly about whatever book I’m writing or the next one. Mostly character related. I listen to the music and make playlists of songs that remind me of certain characters or emotions or plot point. I keep a voice recorder in my purse to take notes with. It’s a miracle I get where I’m going. Sometimes I drive around specifically to think about a problem area.
About the Author
After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.
A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world that can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.
Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.
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