My guest today is Sage Marlowe, best selling author of contemporary erotic and paranormal fiction with several popular series – including Romeo and Julian, Sub-Culture and Ink Sweat and Tears. Sage really enjoys putting characters through the wringer – half the fun of being an author – but takes care to give them at least an HFN to tide them over until their next book.
Welcome Sage and thanks for answering my questions.
Elin: Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
Sage: When I started writing in early 2010, I still had one of those evil day jobs – assistant to the CEO of a fairly big local company – but by the time my first book Sub-Mission was published in May 2012, I’d quit the job to look after my daughter. In a way, that is also a full-time job as I’m sure most stay-at-home parents would confirm and finding the time to write requires a bit of juggling, but I’m incredibly lucky to be in this position.
Elin: What are you reading? Something to be clutched to the bosom or tossed aside with force? Fiction or non-fiction?
Sage: Since I’m in the jury for this year’s Rainbow Awards, I’m currently reading my share of the submissions I have to evaluate. I obviously can’t talk about them, but it’s an interesting experience because I get to read books that I probably wouldn’t have picked for myself. Not because they aren’t good, but because they’re not in my preferred genre.
Elin: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Sage: I’m a total pantser. One of the most embarrassing moments of my writing career was when my publisher wanted me to send in a synopsis for the Nightmares-series they asked me to write for them. I actually had to admit to having to write the books before I knew what happened.
Elin: Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them?
Sage: They develop and more often than not, I’m amazed by who they turn out to be. Believe it or not, but when I wrote the Romeo & Julian series, I didn’t have a clue who Romeo really was until the very end of the third book.
Elin: Do you have a crisp mental picture of your characters or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
Sage: My characters are mostly just voices in my head. I only have a very vague idea of what they look like, which means it’s always a surprise for me to see what the cover artist comes up with. I’m very lucky though, because Total-E-Bound’s cover artist does an incredible job. She manages to find the perfect matches to my characters even though I give her almost nothing to work with.
Elin: Put together your ideal team of men – drawing from all and any walks of life, fictional or non-fictional – who you would want to come to your rescue if menaced by muggers/alligators/fundamentalists?
Sage: I’ve been thinking long and hard about this question, but for some reason I always get distracted before I manage to come up with a sensible answer – probably because Wolverine is always the first one that comes to mind.
Elin: Villains – incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. What sort of villains do you prize? A moustache-twirling nightmare or … ?
Sage: Hmm, as someone who draws most of the tension in a story from internal conflict, I have written few villains. Incidentally though, both my current and upcoming release (Stockholm Syndrome and the Nightmares series) feature some baddies. They’re all of the emotionally cruel kind and as far as I can tell, there are no moustaches involved. *grins*
Elin: What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
Sage: I’m currently working on the last two books in my new series titled Nightmares. This series is very different than what I’ve written so far. It combines gay porn and demons which means I get to stretch quite a few boundaries. Those books are definitely not for the faint-hearted!
Elin: Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Sage: Yes, of course! Here’s an excerpt from my latest release, Stockholm Syndrome. This scene finds Dan and sexy actor Bryan early on in the story, when Dan has just been hired to protect Bryan.
“Okay then. How do you want to play this?” I asked when Bryan returned after his lengthy conversation on the phone. Judging by the furrows on his forehead he wasn’t too happy about the things that had been addressed, but he’d kept his voice too low for me to overhear anything specific.
His eyes narrowed. “How do I want to play this? It’s your call, isn’t it? I’m only doing this for Heidi. If I got to choose, you wouldn’t be here at all but long on your way back to wherever you’ve come from.”
“The way you insist on not needing me could almost lead me to believe you know something that you’re not telling.”
Bryan stared at me for several seconds before he answered. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I gave him a disarming smile. “Nothing. I’m merely stating a fact. Although, should you really have any information about those letters, no matter how irrelevant it may seem to you, now would be the perfect time to admit to it. I’d be willing to forget the entire incident and you could save yourself a lot of money.”
Raising one eyebrow in arrogant indifference, Bryan gave a shrug. “I’m not paying for this. Heidi hired you, so be sure to send the bill to her.”
“That’s not the answer to my question.”
“There never was a question, just you making an assumption. And unless you’re implying that I’m sending those letters to myself, which incidentally I’m not, I refuse to discuss this matter any further.” His so far non-existent accent had begun to surface during Bryan’s heated little speech. It was the first time something about him reminded me that I was dealing with a foreigner, although nothing about Bryan made him appear foreign to this country. Quite the opposite. He blended in well—almost too well, which could have been attributed to him trying a bit too hard to come across as an all-American boy. Not for the first time, I had to remind myself that I was dealing with someone whose job it was to sell people a fake reality, a truth he could bend to his liking, and it was a profession Bryan was good at as his two Academy Award nominations showed.
I sighed. The pretty exterior came with a hard core, it seemed, or rather with the kind of attitude that rich, spoilt, only children always appeared to have. I remembered the behaviour only too well, but refused to dwell on those memories now. At least that episode of my life had taught me some lessons in handling spirited youngsters.
Gay MM erotic romance / thriller / suspense, super novel
We don’t get to choose who we fall in love with—and sometimes we fall too far…
Daniel Eames is a bodyguard. Usually assigned to protecting politicians, he has fallen out of his boss’s good books after getting too close to his last charge’s son but when rising Hollywood star and Academy Award nominee Bryan McTiernan receives peculiar letters and requires the best possible protection, Dan is put on the job.
While he agrees that the letters are more than harmless fan mail, he finds it impossible to narrow down his suspicions and Bryan isn’t helping by alternately seducing and irritating the hell out of him. Against his better judgement, Dan falls for Bryan’s manipulations, but the more he gets to glimpse behind the façade of the young actor, the more he realises that something in Bryan’s past has a strong hold over him. While both Dan and Bryan are aware of this, neither sees the full extent of his fixation.
With the help of Gabe, a fellow bodyguard and friend, Dan pursues different theories and even hires a private investigator to learn about Bryan’s well-hidden past. What he discovers has the potential to destroy more than just a promising career and in the end, Bryan has to make a choice—allow for his past fixation to take him hostage again or run away and into Dan’s open arms?
Stockholm Syndrome becomes available from all good distributors on August 16th
Contact and follow Sage here:
Sage’s website & blog: www.sage-marlowe.com
For all books published with Total-E-Bound, go to: http://www.total-e-bound.com/authordetail.asp?A_ID=224
For all books published with Siren-BookStrand, go to: www.bookstrand.com/sage-marlowe