The Book Pushers would like to extend a warm welcome to a first timer here: Anne Tenino. Anne writes m/m romance for multiple publishers, and her latest release is with new publisher, Riptide.
Love, Hypothetically comes out on August 27th and we are so glad that Anne is here with us today to chat with us about this new release.
Anne, welcome to The Book Pushers!
Anne: Thanks for inviting me! This should be fun.
The Book Pushers: What can you tell us about Love, Hypothetically?
Anne: Love, Hypothetically is the second in a series called Theta Alpha Gamma (TAG). The series centers around a made up fraternity in Oregon—Theta Alpha Gamma—at an institution that’s a complete figment of my imagination, Calapooya College.
The first book in the TAG series is Frat Boy and Toppy, which came out in March from Riptide. In FB&T, one of the main characters, Sebastian (a.k.a. “toppy”) has a roommate named Paul, who’s an utter jerk to the other main character, Brad (a.k.a. “frat boy”). Paul doesn’t like jocks or frat boys, for reasons that are never fully explained. At the end of this first TAG book, the happy couple makes plans to kick Paul out of the apartment he shares with Sebastian so that Brad can move in.
In Love, Hypothetically, about a month after FB&T ends, Paul has been forced to move into an “undergraduate hell capsule” in the campus dormitories, and he’s working as a tutor for summer term at Calapooya in an effort to make enough money to move into his own place. When Love, Hypothetically begins, the women’s softball coach has just requested Paul as the team’s tutor. To Paul’s horror, the new Calapooya College women’s softball coach is his high school boyfriend, and the entire reason he hates jocks.
You might be able to guess what happens next…
The Book Pushers: What made you decide to go with new publisher-on-the-block, Riptide, for this release?
Anne: Slick promises and smoke and mirrors.
Kidding! I’m a newer writer on the M/M scene, and Riptide seemed like a good gamble for me because of their emphasis on quality editing and marketing. With a bigger publisher, I’m just another new author, but at Riptide I’m an individual. I like working with my editor, Rachel Haimowitz, I appreciate the focus on marketing, and the contracts are awesome. This has been a great choice for me.
Anne: This is such a hard question, and over the past two years I’ve thought up about a million responses, and all of them are true to some extent. It boils down to the fact that it’s much more enjoyable for me to write about two men falling in love than a man and a woman. Writing gay romance allows me to step back and look at relationship dynamics in a more objective way. The tropes aren’t as ingrained in this genre, either, which means I feel less like I could possibly do something “wrong.” I don’t necessarily think writing romance requires strict adherence to tropes, it’s really all just about how I feel when I’m writing.
The Book Pushers: What is next on your release schedule that readers can look forward to?
Anne: I don’t have any more releases scheduled for 2012, but in 2013 I should have four works out, beginning in January with my next Riptide release—Too Stupid to Live. TSTL is the story of Sam (a character in my free novella, Whitetail Rock) and Ian (a character from my free short story, The Fix). It took me nearly a year to write this book for some crazy reason I can’t figure out, but hopefully my readers will think it’s worth the wait.
In late winter/early spring, the next Theta Alpha Gamma book—featuring Collin, working title: Sugar Baby (although I’m also considering Sweet, Young Thang)—will come out from Riptide. Other than that, I expect to release the next book in the Task Force Iota series, One Queer Iota (yes, I promise this one really will be about Laslo and Logan). Tentatively, the last book in the Theta Alpha Gamma series will be out in fall or early winter.
The Book Pushers: Have you ever, or do you ever plan to write anything other than m/m?
Anne: In the back of my mind, I think about possibly trying my hand at “straight” romance again. I wrote some before writing gay romance, but I never tried to publish any of it. Most of the characters who hang out in my psyche are gay men. So far, I don’t really have any compelling female characters clamoring for a story. Mostly, when I think about my writing future, I focus on what sub-genres I’d like to write in. I want to write historical romance, probably ancient Greece or Rome, and I have a fantasy plot or two floating around in my head.
The one thing I’m certain of is that I’ll always write romance. It’s my favorite genre, and writing a book without a central love story sounds pretty dull to me.
The Book Pushers: What other projects are you working on right now?
Anne: I’m most actively working on Collin’s book—I should be done with it in another month or so. Less intensively, I’m writing Laslo and Logan’s story, One Queer Iota. Otherwise, I take a lot of notes when random ideas float into my consciousness, and I have a couple works that are long-term projects but never quite get finished. I generally don’t talk about them, because who knows if I’ll ever complete them? LOL
Anne: I don’t read as much as I used to, but yes, I still read other M/M authors. Actually, other than research, that’s most of what I read presently. I love Josh Lanyon, and lately I’ve been reading L.B. Gregg—I’m very excited about the re-release of her Smithfield series. I like K.A. Mitchell, J.L. Langley, Laney Cairo L.C. Chase, Taylor V. Donovan, Janey Chapel, Z.A. Maxfield, Marie Sexton and probably a ton of others I’ve forgotten…
The Book Pushers: Most of your books, with the exception of the Task Force Iota series, are all contemporary romance. Do you have a genre preference, or have you thought about doing more Sci-Fi/paranormal/etc.?
Anne: Before publishing anything, I thought I would write sci-fi/paranormal, but for some reason I find contemporary romance much more fun to write. I never intended to write contemporary, but when I wrote Whitetail Rock last year for the M/M Romance group at Goodreads it was very revealing— ultimately I find the twists and turns of standard relationships and standard lives are interesting enough to write about. Actually, more than “interesting enough,” they’re the stories I’m most motivated to write about.
The Book Pushers: Who is your ultimate and favourite romantic hero?
Anne: Mr. Darcy! He’s an awesome hero for so many reasons. Aside from the fact that he’s wealthy, masculine and attractive, he’s also a hero whose point of view we never directly experience, and when it comes down to it, he and Elizabeth Bennett don’t actually have that much contact with each other. The reason this is cool is because he’s first an object of ridicule for Elizabeth, which is a nice way of showing off her wit and sense, and later we perceive that he “changes” for love.
When he makes a fool of himself by asking Elizabeth to marry him and getting shot down, we get the ultimate satisfaction in one hero package—the arrogant jerk gets knocked down a peg or ten, then comes back for more, and the whole time he’s wooing her he’s still looking attractive and virile, even when we don’t like him.
That said, I’ve never really had a hankering to write a Mr. Darcy-type character myself.
The Book Pushers: If you could take any historical male character, who would you match make him with and why?
Anne: Okay, this is sort of cheating, but I’d have to say Hephaestus. He’s not technically a historical male, he’s an ancient Greek god. He was (is?) the god of blacksmiths, technology, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes (to name a few things), he was/is “lame” in one leg, and he’s often described as being “grotesque.” I see him as a sort of blue-collar god—more average than grotesque—and the only god who ever put in an honest day’s work. He worked as a blacksmith to the other gods, and as far as I know he was the only one employed in a job that bore any resemblance to a mortal’s job.
I imagine him as a stoic, long-suffering, quiet and cynical type, who’s not valued by the other gods (to their detriment, of course, although I haven’t worked out how, exactly). In turn, he thinks they’re all fools and dandies. But of course, he’s a god, so it’s not as if he can go out and hang around with the humans—they all get nervous and worshipful (i.e., “awed”) when he stops by for a beer. He’s a lonely being, who’s never found his place in the world and is misunderstood by everyone except Athena (his hag, I assume). Then one day, a very special man comes along… we’ll call him Ryan. He’s a modern military man sent to work on something top-secret with the god—some fancy bit of technology.
Just like the other mortals, Ryan reveres Hephaestus, and Hephaestus is as annoyed and disheartened by Ryan as he is by everyone. But then Heph has a weak moment and our special mortal sees the god have a fit about something stupid, at which point Ryan realizes that Heph just needs somebody to love him. Ryan tries to reach out to Hephaestus (i.e., he flirts), and once the god realizes what this mortal is doing, he gets scared—for him this is all new. He’s never had anyone try to get to know him, or be interested in him. It’s terrifying. He has an adolescent moment, which is probably hilarious to read about, but not as fun for him to live through.
It all turns out well, of course. After many plot twists and turns and long, heart-to-hearts with Athena, Hephaestus and Ryan end up together. In the end, Heph makes Ryan a god as well, and they live happily ever after in the truest sense of the word.
Oh, and gods don’t need to use condoms, so double-happiness.
Huh. I probably need to write that, don’t I? I have to stop giving myself plot bunnies…
We definitely think you need to write that!!! Thanks so much to Anne for being here today as part of her blog tour. Up for grabs we have one digital copy of Love, Hypothetically. It’s open to international readers, and the giveaway ends on September 3rd. Good Luck!