Hello readers! After a little break (due to the holidays) I’m starting up #AuthorSpotlight again. This week we have another wonderful M/M author, Tinnean! She’s one of the authors I met through the Over the Rainbow Anthology, and she’s kindly offered to kick start our 2017 interviews.
So let’s meet Tinnean!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
First, let me say thank you to Cameron for having me here. 🙂 I spent most of my formative years living in NY, first in Queens, and then on Long Island. My husband and I moved down to Florida, and we’ve been here for the past sixteen years. (Time flies!) I have three kids and two grandchildren, one of whom is turning sixteen later this week. (See what I said about time flying.) As my bio says, I’ve been writing since 3rd grade. I like to think I’ve gotten better at it. Over the years, I’ve used pencil, pen, typewriter, and now computer. Computer is best. I go between using a desktop, a laptop, and a Surface 3 I call Baby Jane.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel?
Destiny’s End is the first book in my Strange World series, which deals with the paranormal. Book 2 will be about a scientist who develops a relationship with an alien, and Book 3 is about the children of the characters from Book 1 and Book 2. Destiny’s End is about werewolves and takes place in Great Britain in the early part of the twentieth century. Warrick Synclaire, the son of a baronet, is bitten by a werewolf the night before he’s to leave England for Canada. He’s leaving behind his childhood friend, Thomas Fortescue-Smythe, with whom he was “too close,” according to Warrick’s mother. They’re both involved in WWI, although in different theatres, and find other lovers. It takes years for the curse to manifest itself, and when it does, both Warrick, Thomas, and Thomas’s lover are in danger. However, there are other beings who look out for them.
3. You write mostly M/M novels. What inspired you to choose the M/M genre?
Back in the day, I was a big fan of the TV show La Femme Nikita, and I used to write LFN het fanfiction. (Femme and Homme, minor characters in Spy vs Spook and Mann of My Dreams universe, actually were based on the LFN characters Elizabeth and Henry, the Torture Twins.) One of the other characters, Birkoff, was played by the actor Matthew Ferguson, who also appeared in Love and Human Remains. (Is this starting to sound like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?) (FYI, Matthew’s got a very cute butt!) My good friend Silk challenged me to write an L&HR fanfiction about Kane and David, and once I had, I was so taken with m/m, I never looked back. Tony, another friend, asked what drew me to this genre, and I had to say the fact that no one gets unexpectedly pregnant. (Unless we’re talking about mpreg. *falls down laughing*)
4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
My favorite authors are Robert Heinlein, Louis L’Amour, and Anne McCaffrey. I loved The Secret Garden, which my mother gave me when I was very young, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, which my mother also gave me. As for m/m, Anne Higgins wrote a Batman/Robin fanfic, that to this day I think of fondly.
5. Does/has anything in real life influence your writing? (Life experiences, films, books, celebrities, music, places, etc.)
Yes to almost all of these. 🙂 I’ve included things in my books that happened in my life. Take, for instance, Greeting Cards, a novella about two men who meet when a greeting card goes astray. One of the problems that Ben, the electrician, has, is being unable to recall names of certain streets. I draw a block in my own community, when I can’t remember if a street is Creekrun or Creekbend. In another scene, Ben loses his temper when a carpenter cuts some of the wiring that had been completed. My older son is an electrician, and that’s a story he told me. Ben is also a bagpiper, as is my son.
Films—Beau Geste and King Kong, and I’ve done a lot of fanfiction for The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, and creature features of the 50s.
Best Laid Plans was set in Savannah because a friend lives there, and Mark Vincent was a MA boy for the same reason.
I’ve also named books after my favorite music and try to work a reference to the title into the story.
I always wanted to write something inspired by Michael Bublé singing a duet with Josh Groban. Well, Michael did tease he’d like to kick Josh’s little butt. 😉
6. Of all your stories do you have a chapter, or scene, or character that you enjoyed writing the most?
As a matter of fact… I’m pretty much a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants rather than plotting. The first book in the Mann of My Dreams series, If You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going, was moving along REALLY slowly. Mark Vincent was about to leave his office at the WBIS, when he got a phone call. Um… who was calling? As it turned out, it was Paul, a former rentboy Mark knew from when he lived in the same building. Paul had done him a huge favor when Mark returned from South America with his partner’s body back in ‘93, so when Paul asked for his help, Mark was on the next flight out to LA. And everything fell into place. This happens only once in a while for me, and when it does, it’s one of the best things about writing.
Excerpt from If You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going. However, this isn’t the scene I talked about earlier:
I walked into my outer office to find Ms. Parker with her head buried on her arms, her shoulders shaking with sobs.
“Goddammit!” I never knew what to do with crying women.
She jumped and turned her face away, sniffling and wiping her palms over her cheeks. “I’m sorry, Mr. Vincent. I didn’t want to leave the office without anyone… but now that you’re back, I’ll just—”
I handed her a handkerchief. “Come into my office, please.”
She dried her eyes and blew her nose. “I’m sorry,” she said again.
I waited until she rose and entered my office. “Sit down. Can I get you anything?”
“No, oh no, I’m fine.”
Could have fooled me.
My cell phone vibrated for the second time, and I took it out. It was Granger. I flipped it open. “Where are you?”
“And good morning to you too, Mark. I’m on five. Macintyre’s got some new gowns, and I’ve been trying them on. I want to tell you, I look pretty damn good in them! There’s this green lace number—”
“Forget about them and get your ass up to seven.”
“Is something wrong?” His voice suddenly became anxious. “Patti?”
“I’m hoping you can shed some light on this. Just get up here.” I shut the phone and put it away. “Now suppose you tell me what’s bothering you, Ms. Parker?”
Her eyes welled up with tears again. “I… it’s….” She attempted to pull herself together. “Howard had to cancel. Gershom is sending him out on some local job.”
“So did you reschedule him?”
She nodded. “W-Wednesday at the same time.”
“Okay. See? It’s not the end of the world. There’s no need to get upset.” I patted her shoulder.
Her lower lip trembled, and a single tear spilled over and ran down her cheek.
Jesus, I’d never seen my unflappable secretary so distressed.
I cleared my throat. “You’re not crying because Gershom’s an asshole, are you?”
She smiled. She probably thought it was a reassuring smile, but it missed that by a mile and a half when her face crumpled and she began sobbing again.
Someone flung open the door to the outer office, and it slammed against the wall. That’s gonna leave a dent I thought as I reached for my Glock, half expecting one of Gershom’s goons to come tearing into my office, ready to blow my head off, but it was Ms. DiNois who rushed in. She took one look at Ms. Parker and ran to her, dropping to her knees beside her. “Gabe called me.” She took the handkerchief and mopped up Ms. Parker’s eyes. “He’ll be here as soon as he gets changed.” Ms. DiNois stroked her shoulder and continued to murmur soothingly.
I stood there with my hand still inside my suit jacket. What the fuck was going on?
Finally Ms. DiNois turned to face me. “I’m sorry, Mr. Vincent. With everything that’s been happening, your call got Granger nervous, and since I’m just down the hall from your office, he asked me to make sure Patti is all right. Sweet—” She cleared her throat. “Ms. Parker, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I’m fine.” Ms. Parker’s face was red. “I’m so sorry.” She leaned forward and whispered, “It’s the hormones.”
What the fuck? She was too young to be going through menopause.
The slap of footsteps sounded on the tiled floor of the corridor, and then Granger skidded into my office, barefoot, out of breath, and holding the skirts of the green lace gown he’d enthused about up around his knees. I let out a low whistle. He did have good legs—even though he wasn’t on the job, they were smooth, tanned, and hairless.
“Gabe?” Ms. DiNois stared wide-eyed.
“I… I couldn’t take the time to change.” He ignored me completely, his gaze going from Matheson’s secretary to mine. Abruptly he looked sick. “The baby?” Baby? “Mark, get Futé up here!”
“No, Gabe, I don’t need a doctor. I’m fine.” Ms. Parker gave him a watery smile. “She’s fine!” She rested her palm on her abdomen.
“Are you sure?” His legs gave out from under him and he collapsed on the floor beside the two secretaries, the gown a puddle around him. And he started crying.
My desk phone rang, and I picked it up. “Yeah?” I growled. If whoever the fuck was on the other end didn’t know who they’d reached, asses were going to be kicked.
“It’s Macintyre. Is Granger there?”
“Well, tell him to get his ass back down here. And if that gown doesn’t come back in one piece, I’ll have his balls.” He slammed the phone down.
I gave my head a shake, even though that wouldn’t do anything for the ringing in my ear. I hung up the phone. “Gabe—”
There was a tap on my door. Jesus, now what?
“I’m sorry to bother you, Mr. Vincent, but my secretary bolted out of my office, and I saw her head this way. I wanted to make sure everything was okay. Nice dress, Granger.”
“Oh, hey, Matheson. Thanks.” Granger looked loopy, and I was glad I hadn’t been around when Ms. Parker told him she was pregnant. “We’re having a baby!”
Matheson looked from Ms. Parker to Ms. DiNois—it was a damn good thing he didn’t include me in that look—and Ms. Parker raised her hand. “Well. Congratulations.” His expression became thoughtful. “Mr. Vincent, I think I will take the rest of the day off.”
“Ms. DiNois, you may as well go home too.” She looked as if she were about to protest. “Oh, stay here as long as you need to.”
“Thank you, sir.”
He waved aside her gratitude and left, and I crossed my arms over my chest. “Someone mind telling me what’s going on?”
Ms. Parker was bent over Granger, murmuring to him and stroking his hair. She met my eyes. “I’m sorry, sir. I was going to tell you I’m pregnant, but I didn’t know how to.”
Because the only kind of maternity policy the WBIS had was none. Once it became known one of the secretarial staff was pregnant, she was congratulated, given a parting check and a pat on the back, and… encouraged… not to return.
It was time we joined the twenty-first century in this matter as well and came up with something better.
“She wants to stay as long as she can,” Granger said, taking the handkerchief from Ms. DiNois and drying his face and eyes with it.
“I’ve got no problem with that.” I sure as hell wasn’t giving up an excellent secretary like Ms. Parker. “Do you want to come back?”
“I’d like to. I… I like working for you.”
“Okay then. I’ll talk to The Boss, and then I’ll bring it up with Humphrey.” If I still had a job here myself, that was.
“You will?” Granger bounded to his feet, almost stumbling on the gown’s voluminous skirts before he caught himself. Then he pulled me into a hug and pounded me on the back.
“Enough! Enough!” Why the fuck was he so surprised? “How long before you have to leave, Ms. Parker?”
“I’m four and a half months along, and since you’re not a taskmaster—”
“Jesus, don’t let that get out!”
“No, sir.” She offered a little smile. “My doctor says I’m in excellent health. So unless something unexpected crops up, probably not for another three or four months.”
“Okay, once you’ve left to have the—” Three sets of eyes gave me the fisheye. What did they think I was going to say? “—the baby, I’ll borrow Ms. DiNois.”
“Um…” Granger had the strangest expression on his face, a combination of awe, pride, and disbelief. “Maybe we should tell you that Arianne is pregnant also. Only a few weeks, but….”
I ran a hand through my hair and stared at him. He had been a busy boy.
I went around my desk, checked my calendar, and sat down heavily.
Yeah. It was Monday.
Live Journal: http://tinnean.livejournal.com/
Books can be found at:
Wilde City: https://www.wildecity.com/authors/tinnean/
Nazca Plains: http://thenazcaplainscorp.com/Tinnean.aspx
And earlier works (the previously mentioned fanfic, as well as Soundbytes, stories about the secondary Mann universe characters.) can be found here: http://www.angelfire.com/fl5/tinnssinns/Welcome1.html