Hanging out with us today is my fellow Noble Romance author L.J. LaBarthe. So exciting!
What motivates LJ LaBarthe the author? Why do you write?
Determination not to fail, I think. I have a disability, which, among other things, impairs my hands. My left hand in particular is 90% useless. There are so many ideas in my head that I have to get them down and a good chunk of them end up being used in my writing, but how much I can write per day is determined by how much pain I'm feeling. I don't want to be defined by my disability and I love to write. The days when the pain is too bad to do any writing are frustrating; the days when I can't physically hold a book to read are depressing. But I'm determined not to let the pain and the limitations I have stop me from finishing a story, whether it's a novel, novella or short. Unless, of course, the narrative is terrible and I hate what I'm writing and then it's time to start again and rewrite! XD
Wow, that was a depressing start! Um… I'm also motivated by chocolate. Chocolate is fabulous and a cure for just about everything!
When did you know you were a writer? Was it always your destiny or did you stumble upon your craft by accident?
I was very young, around six years old, and I entered a competition where children had to draw Humpty Dumpty and tell a story about him set in Australia. So, I drew Humpty Dumpty with an Aussie hat, complete with corks hanging from the brim to keep the flies away, set in the Northern Territory summer. No one was more amazed than I when I won! I have a very vague memory of shyly accepting my prize, which was a week's holiday in Alice Springs, and I loved it. I'd always done little stories or rhymes with my drawings as a kid, and it just evolved from there.
When I was a teenager, I started writing a fanzine about local punk rock bands in my city. I was fourteen at the time, and I did band interviews, reviews and such, typed it all out on my father's ancient typewriter, photocopied it all, stapled it together and distributed it in three local record stores. Later still, when I was at university, one of my friends was editor-in-chief of the university student newspaper one year, and she got me to write articles and do interviews and reviews for it. Those experiences taught me a lot about writing and only increased my love for it.
How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?
I don't really time myself unless I'm doing a #1k1hr on Twitter with writers like Xakara. When I get in the 'zone' as I call it, I can completely lose track of time and just write until I run out of words or the pain gets too much or I get too tired to continue for that day. I don't really have a routine except in November, which is NaNoWriMo. Then, I set aside the mornings for writing, and I usually write with loud, blaring music in the background.
Who is your favorite author? And, if given the opportunity to meet them, what would you ask them?
I have a lot of favorite authors some of whom are sadly dead. Some of my favourites are David Eddings, George R. R. Martin, Erastes, RJ Astruc, Meredith Shayne, Herman Hesse, the Brontes, Jane Austen, and a lot of historical works, such as "The Alexiad" by Anna Comnena and "The Secret History" by Procopius which is the Byzantine Empire's answer to the National Enquirer or News of the World. If I could meet only one and ask them questions, I think right now it would be George R. R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series. I would ask him when he plans to introduce Howland Reed as a POV character, if Benjen Stark is Coldhands, who's Jon Snow's mother and will the Freys and Boltons ever get their come-uppance? I want answers, dammit! LOL.
Do you have any words of inspiration to aspiring authors? What advice would you offer a writer trying to publish?
Hm. Write what you love, find a good beta reader and get a thick skin. A thick skin is invaluable, as it inures you to all sorts of criticism and in order to get your work published, you can't take editing or concrit personally. It's hard not to, I know. Keep trying and try not to get discouraged, the more you write, the more you learn, and a good beta reader/editor can teach you so much about writing making them even more invaluable.
Tell us about your current releases.
City of Gold
Blurb: Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, 1131 AD.
Gallienus has spent his life in service of his country, and now his scarred body is no longer up for the fight. Assigned to work the gates of Constantinople, he is charged with examining the cargo brought into the city from all over the world. Misahuen is part of the merchant train bringing wares from the Silk Road to trade, but it’s not Misahuen’s cargo that interests the wounded soldier. Gallienus thought his heart was too battered to love anything but his country. Does he have the courage to dream of a future beyond service to the City of Gold?
Life and Nothing But.
Blurb: When Michael Lee takes a job as a tutor to Lord Henilworth's children, the last thing he expects to find is the love of his life. However, from the moment he first meets Nick, the gardener of Castle Henilworth, he cannot deny the attraction. Believing it to be one-sided, Michael tries to bury himself in his work, but living in the same village and working in the same place make it impossible to completely avoid Nick. Gradually, Michael overcomes his shyness, and, when Nick makes his own interest clear, everything seems to be going Michael's way. However, ghosts of the past and a racist attack threaten the fragile happiness Michael has found. Will Nick's love really be enough?
(part of the Something Happened on the Way To Heaven serial/anthology)
Blurb: James doesn't believe in angels. So no one is more surprised when he is to find an Archangel in his bedroom. Archangel Raziel has lost his book of magic, and needs James help. James realizes he can hear demons and he and Raziel set out through the Australian outback to find the Archdemon Adramelech and get Raziel's book. James didn't count on falling for Raziel, and yet he can't get the Archangel out of his mind. Will James and Raziel relationship survive the power of Hell wielded by an Archdemon?
Buy Link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/fiction.php ("Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" is halfway down the page.)
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works?
I'm working on a novel about the Brotherhood of Archangels, which is the love story of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Of course, the course of true love ne'er runs smooth, so while they'd like to be spending time working on their relationship, there are demons and fallen angels conspiring with a greedy human trying to take over the world. Again. That's book one of a trilogy – I have the outlines scribbled down and the ideas are all there, just writing book two and three now, as book one is finished.
I'm also working on a novel length sequel to "City of Gold," called "City of Jade." It's a historical m/m romance, set on the Silk Road between Constantinople and Chang'an in 1131A.D. That's very slow going at the moment solely because of the research I'm doing.
Where can readers connect with you?
My website is here: http://www.ljlabarthe.com/ and my blog is here: http://misslj_author.livejournal.com and my Twitter is here: http://www.twitter.com/brbsiberia.
Thanks for having me!
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. Good luck with the writing:)