HOT OFF THE ICE
Meet the men of the Seattle Thunder.
They’re hot on and off the ice.
INTERVIEW WITH A.E. WASP
Can you tell us about yourself and your writing?
Why is this always the hardest question to answer? I’m a Scorpio. I don’t like long walks anywhere because I’m very lazy, but I do love long drives. As long as I get to drive. And pick the music. So mostly I drive alone.
I stumbled into romance from fan fiction. I didn’t realize that I was reading and writing. It wasn’t until I saw an Alexa Land book in amazon that I realized you could BUY gay romance. I was hooked.
I’ve been writing all my life, but it wasn’t until self-publishing that I’ve been able to get some novels out there. I love it.
Who knew that writing fan fiction and spending hours on Facebook would be skills I needed to succeed in life?
As far as my writing is concerned, my main love is characters. I spend a lot of time creating and discovering them. I know authors always say this, and it sound weird even to me sometimes, but it really does feel sometimes like they exist somewhere, fully formed, just waiting for their chance to be written about. I like my characters to be perfect for each other. And by perfect I mean perfectly crafted to challenge each other, to force each other to confront and overcome their fears and to be better people for knowing each other. I need all of my characters to find the solutions to their problems inside themselves. Even in a romance, you can’t depend on another person for you happiness and sense of self, because people can always be taken from you. But the right partner will be your biggest coach, cheerleader, and guru all rolled into one during your journey.
And of course, I write about the families we create for ourselves, taking people important to us and holding them close whether they are related by blood or by love.
Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
Country Boy is book two in the Hot Off the Ice series. I knew I wanted to do two active hockey players on the same team this time around, and that I wanted to have more on-ice scenes. I knew it would be Robbie from City Boy and someone he had had a past with.
Making Paul someone with a strong religious faith who had be brought up in a very conservative home was a surprise to me. One of the places I’m privilege as a gay woman is that I never had to deal with any religious issues in coming out. I wasn’t raised religious. I kind of thought the ‘my religious family won’t accept me if I’m gay’ story line had been overdone.
But after the election, and talking to some gay friends and seeing what someone on my friends list, a grown adult, was going through with their church, I realized I was wrong about it not being an issue.
For me, what turned out to be interesting wasn’t Paul’s concern about his family’s reaction but his internal struggle. So writing his relationship with Paul was tricky. In a way, it was the most challenging one yet. I wanted them to be respectful and supportive of each other’s choices, even as those choices pull them apart.
On the other, they did end up being my most disgustingly in love couple yet. Like heart-eyes, can you believe how talented and cute and smart my boyfriend is cute.
I’m not speaking for all MM romance writers here, or anyone else but myself. These views are completely my own, and it’s something I’ve thought about for a long time.
I actually feel a little guilty sometimes writing M/M and not F/F books. But besides the fact that F/F has a smaller reading audience and I have to eat and pay rent and have gas for those long drives, there is an issue with female characters in romance that I think we as readers and writers have to acknowledge. We live in a misogynistic culture and we all, to different degrees, suffer from internalize misogyny. We can’t help it.
And there are always power difference in M/F relationships/romances that are impossible for us, as women, to ignore, even if it just at the subconscious level. So we demand more from the female characters than from the male. We judge them and the relationships more harshly.
At its heart, capital R romance is fantasy genre. We want the fantasy relationship and we want to believe in it. When reading or writing MM couples, for me as a woman, there is an element of distance from the characters that lets me focus on them as people rather than bringing in all my issues J If I were writing a F/F couple or a M/F couple, I would be judging it against my actual relationships and would be projecting how I would feel about things.
Do you have any genres you prefer reading, and if so what are they? What book are you reading at the moment? What other novels do you adore/ writers you follow? Do you have a favorite genre that you like to write in? What book do you wish that you had written?
That’s like 12 questions. My favorite genre for most of my life has been fantasy. Sword and sorcery, Marion Zimmer Bradly, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, fantasy. I’m old, so I grew up reading all these amazing fantasy novels from the 80s. I feel like it was a golden age for that kind of fantasy. I would to write some, but not sure I can just yet!
My favorite writer in that genre is Guy Gavriel Kaye. His Fionavir Tapestry is a classic of the genre. He does things in Tigana, a stand alone novel, that I couldn’t believe. I actually, no exaggeration, gasped the first time I read it and realized what he was doing.
I had that same reaction with Nick Harkaway’s Gone Away World (which is a contemporary novel). There is no chance that I will be able to explain this novel. It’s freaking amazing and everyone should read it. It’s the descendent of Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash which you should also read, and try to remember it was written in the 80s.
I wish I had written any of those books!
The last few years I have read tons and tons of gay romance. I love it. I devour it. I have too many favorites to list. Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane is one I’ve read four times. Avon Gale’s hockey series, of course. I’ve read all of those several times through. I hear she’s contemplating a sequel to Breakaway. I fully support that.
I’m currently reading The Metahuman Files, military SF gay romance by Hailey Turner and I can’t get enough of it even though I’m angry that she is such a good writer.
Are there any characters that you write, that are based on you, or people you know?
All of them. J Not really. Benny from the Veterans Affair series, Paper Hearts and Paper Roses specifically, was modelled after my youngest daughter. He has her bubbly sense of humor and her way of lighting up a room.
I leaned heavily on a friend’s white gay boy pre school up bringing for Chris and Jay-Cee’sl background. I know nothing about that world!
Some of them are based more on parts of my personality. Dmitri from Incoming and Robbie from Country Boy are the closest to me. They struggle with some of the same things I struggle with.
Angel, from the Veterans Affairs series, is my imaginary girlfriend.
*What are your writing and personal goals for 2017 and beyond?
Before the end of the year, I want to get out the third book in the series, which for anyone has read Country Boy will be Sergei and Alex’s story. I would also love to get a Christmas story out in the Hot Off the Ice series to introduce two new characters both of whom I’m very excited about.
Then a novella for a wedding in the series for Valentine’s Day – Bryce and Dakota for those who have read City Boy.
The 4th hockey book is planned to be out for March.
On the back burner, I have 2 books of a fantasy romance that are written. I would love the finish the trilogy and continue the series in a more Urban Fantasy story line that takes place 25 years after the end of the third book and deal with the aftereffects of the choices that were made in the first series.
I may do the rest of the story under a different pen name, because it won’t be MM romance, though the first two books have a strong Mm romance plot. I’m not sure. But I do love fantasy!
I also will probably continue the Hot Off the Ice as long as people are liking it. And I have an idea for a series focusing on the AHL and ECHL affiliates of the Thunder, the team from the HOTI series.
Personally, I would like to be more organized. Or I would like to be able to afford to hire someone to be organized for me.
Book Title: Country Boy: Hot Off the Ice #2
Author: A. E. Wasp
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix
Release Date: September 21
Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, gay romance, steamy, sports, hockey
Length: Words: 80K
#2 Robbie & Paul
Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself.
The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat.
Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team.
Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again.
When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate.
But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player.
If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same.
It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world.
Country Boy is a love story about figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there. It contains sweet hockey plays, a 1976 Corvette Stingray, fancy underwear, and the journey of a lifetime.
Paul rolled his eyes. He was seriously tired of having to justify the way he lived his life to everyone. As if he needed their seal of approval on his choices. “Really? You don’t understand why someone might not be ready to walk around waving a rainbow flag? That’s why I saw pictures of you and your boyfriend on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Because you’re so out and proud?”
“You sound like Drew,” Robbie frowned. “Just because I don’t want my relationships dissected by the fans and the media, doesn’t mean I’m in the closet. If I were dating a woman, I’d feel the same way. Probably. Besides, everyone who needs to know knows,” he said defensively.
Paul shoved him back with a finger to the chest. “That’s bullshit. You don’t know who needs to know. Some kid down in the bible belt might need to know he’s not the only one, so he doesn’t go trying anything stupid.”
Robbie pushed Paul’s finger away. “Like what?”
“Like trying to freeze himself to death in the middle of fucking nowhere Minnesota,” Paul spit out. “You’re a fucking condescending ass, but you saved my life that night.”
Robbie’s jaw dropped. “You were trying to kill yourself?”
Paul crossed his arms and looked away. “No. Not directly. Kind of. I don’t know. Suicide is a sin, too.” Paul’s laugh held no humor. “A literal ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ situation.”
City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp
#1 Bryce & Dakota
Title: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1)
Author: A.E. Wasp
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix
Publication Date: June 29, 2017
Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, gay romance, steamy, sports, hockey
Print Length: 280 pages
Follow the money or follow your heart? Either way, you lose.
When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a white knight named Dakota, pro-hockey player Bryce Lowery discovers he is most definitely gay.
Being with Dakota opens up a whole new world. Bryce can’t imagine life without him. But he refuses to be Bryce’s dirty little secret. If he wants to keep Dakota, he’s either going to have to come out publicly or retire and walk away from millions of dollars.
Bryce Lowery feels like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. But is Dakota willing to leave the only life he’s ever known only to be thrust into the spotlight as the boyfriend of the first out gay hockey player? Would their relationship even survive it? He’ll lose Bryce if doesn’t because Bryce will leave eventually. No one would turn down millions of dollars for a nobody with nothing.
City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)
Buy links – Available on KU
Author Bio: A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world than 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.
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