Today Douglas Black is in the hot seat, answering questions about his new erotic romance, Port in a Storm.
Plotter or pantser? I aim to be a plotter and part of me would like to be a pantser, but in reality I’m an – at times unmanageable – combination of the two. Usually, I start out with one character, add in a second, find a place for them to work out whatever it is they need to work out and I try to plot from there. But, my characters have a habit of running away from me. I suppose that’s where the pantser bit comes in, but instead of going with the flow, more often than not, I find myself trying desperately to wrestle back control. Still, good things come from those tangents so I can’t say I’m really complaining!
Tortured hero or tortured villain? Either. Both. Let’s say tortured soul. I don’t believe in black and white characters, in painting anyone as an outright hero or villain, but in life everyone has their scars and I think not including that in writing makes for unrealistic characters. A little bit of angst in a story is never a bad thing!
Easy on your characters or as hard as possible? I write MM erotic romances so obviously I always want my characters to get their happy ending, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to make the ride smooth for them. No one ever said life was easy, and I think fiction needs to reflect that.
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story? Characters. If you have great characters, if you go right down to the bone and expose their deepest darkest wishes, dreams and desires and you show their fight, tell their story as fully as you can, then I think as an author you deserve a big gold star!
What is the hardest part of writing your books? Avoiding procrastination! I’m terrible for finding something else, anything else to do when I should be writing. That’s not because I don’t enjoy writing. Quite the opposite. I love it. But, it’s a scary job. Committing yourself to the task of making that blank page disappear is, I think, quite a frightening and lonely position to find yourself in. Then again, that could just be me!
How do you develop your plots? Do you use any set formula? Maybe this is where my pantser side starts to show again, because I don’t follow any formula in my writing. I always have an idea of where I want things to go, but beyond that I let my characters tell their story and I think doing that is what develops my plot.
Who has been your favorite character to write? Jake, from Port in a Storm, and I’m not saying that because he’s in my newest release. Port was written for Jake, because he jumped into my head one day and wouldn’t get out. He’s hot, funny, outgoing, brave, completely independent and totally free-spirited, oh, and a little bit damaged so he was all sorts of fun to write!
Favorite line/quote from current work? “I’m not a fucking boat, Alex,” because it always makes me laugh, but you’ll have to read right to the end of Port in a Storm to find out why!
If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the leads? Gosh, I don’t know! In my head Jake looks like Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn from LOTR (only in faded blue Levi’s and a tight T-shirt), but as for Alex, I have no idea! Maybe Randy Harrison?
Can you tell me a bit about your most recent release? Port in a Storm is, in many respects, a coming of age story that follows Alex as he meets Jake and finds himself forced to decide what it is he really wants from life.
Alex is stuck in a rut. He’s facing a big decision about his future, namely, what to do with it and so far he hasn’t managed to come up with an answer.
Until he meets Jake.
Jake blows through Alex’s world like a hurricane and Alex falls hard and fast for the perpetual traveler with a penchant for secrets and a perfect smile. Jake wants Alex, but life isn’t as simple as that.
Jake never settles in one place for long and already their long-distance relationship is driving a wedge between Alex and his family. With no compromises on offer, Alex’s decision about his future becomes a decision about Jake.
For Alex, the idea of losing Jake doesn’t bear thinking about, but choosing him looks like it will mean throwing away everything Alex knows, including his relationship with his parents. And so, Alex finds himself with another question to answer.
How much would you be willing to give up, to be happy?
The man walked up to the door of the last pod in the row and produced a swipe key. He opened the door, pulled Alex inside, and resumed their kiss before the door even shut behind them. Only when the man broke away to catch a breath did Alex get a chance to look around.
The space was small, a little carbon-fiber hut with just enough room for a small double bed and cupboard, and a small bathroom hidden from view behind a partition wall.
The man’s duffel bag took up most of the floor space, but there was still more than enough room for what Alex wanted to do. For what he wanted this man, this stranger to do to him. Before the man could kiss him again, though, Alex needed to know one thing.
“What’s your name?”
The man lifted Alex right up into his arms as if Alex weighed no more than a sack of potatoes and carried him to the bed.
“Yeah. Now, get your clothes off.”
~*~BUY: Loose Id Amazon
Douglas Black was born and raised in bonnie Scotland. An archaeologist by trade, Douglas started writing MM erotica - as a means of avoiding starvation at university - before returning to the genre in 2012.
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