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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: NIX WINTER


THE HEART of WINTER - AUTHOR INTERVIEW by AJ LLEWELLYN

ART: NIX WINTER


1. Hi Nix, thanks for stopping by the Divas' den today. My first question would be this. I read your story The Snowman and I love your evocative language…but I am curious that with such careful, detailed descriptions of the smallest elements in this piece why you are so ambiguous with the setting. You state many times the story is set in Asia? I am dying to know where in Asia and why so broad a stroke?

Mwuaaa Hhhaaa... *clears throat after maniacal laugh* You might be the only one who picked up on that. There were several reasons. One of which, and probably the most prominent is that Jonathan Daily is a British man from the early 1930's and in his mind the world falls in two parts; The BRITISH EMPIRE, and the rest of the world. He really didn't stop to think about if he was going to Tibet or some other small town in those mountains, or if he were in China or Mongolia. From his flat at home, they would have looked like 'Asia' to him.
I'm very sure there were people in Britain and over all the world who were quite aware of the defining lines of Asia in Jonathan's day, but Jonathan wasn't one of them. He went 'away' to some grand foreign place with lots of otherness to get away from a broken relationship in London.The second reason is that Jonathan really went farther than he thought he had. I doubt anyone will ever find The Temple of the Blue Lotus on any map from any time. It's more a town like Brigadoon than a real place.
He crossed over into a magical place and met a curious soul who would change both their lives.Also, I'm nearly done with a Christmas free read that continues their story. Jonathan and London are now in Beijing. Keeping an elemental spirit in human form can be harder than one might think.

2. Actually, I just did it with Beyond the Reef and it was one of my favorite writing experiences! But back to you, my lovely! One of my favorite stories you have written is Storm Whispers, which you wrote with J J Massa. I loved the period detail – gay Regency romance, and the two characters. I felt your sympathy for the two lead characters Valentine and Mirian very keenly. Do you think actually much has changed since then?

I love Valentine and Miran. While I wrote those stories with JJ-san, I no longer write with JJ-san. The stories have to be rewritten and are in the process of being redone. The curse is going to change. The whole vampire mythos has changed a lot. Miran has become Michael. Instead of being a the Storm Series, it's going to be the Blood Series. so the stories will start with Original Blood, which would be the replacement for Storm Whispers.
The setting or that is Tudor London though. I can so see doing a regency in this series. Valentine and a very distantly reincarnated Miran are in The Pet series too. That's where Valentine started, actually.

3. Do you plan on doing more period pieces? For me, this was a gorgeous read so I am hoping the answer is yes.

Oh yes, I will do lots of period pieces. Have you read The Theater of Emerald Tears?

AJ says: Nope..not yet, but Elisa Rolle loved that story. BTW, she has done some rather thorough reviews of your work…this is what she said about your Pet series:" I have to advise you: if you don't like the uke/seme relationship, the pleasure/pain lovemaking, this is not your story. It has many and deeply details of forceful sex, and it can be seen has not politically correct."
My question to you is this, do you hear this a lot? Because I found some the excerpts a little hard to handle myself.

Nix: When I first read that question, I was like… Yeah! I had trouble with a publisher because I didn't have a clearly defined Seme/uke relationship defined, well, and I didn't want to add a lot of sex at the time, and really, the story needed to be expanded…there were some other issues. Still... Mark and Luke is not a BDSM story, it's not Master/slave and the two lovers are very equal. Then reading it again… well, I do write BDSM, and I can write some really harsh stuff. I'm secretly partial to non-con of some varieties myself.
The Pet is a complicated story and I fear people don't want to read it anymore, not because it's got the Master/slave elements - it sold flipping fantastic when that was what it was about, but because it's now become a story about Alix growing beyond what he was created by his culture to be.In the story, he's pretty much breaking up with his Master, leaving him. Tris hasn't been really happy about that… in fact, he called Alix 'a chair' in Pet 10.
So now I have a romance where the main character has decided that he doesn't like his lover, that he's floating emotionally in this crazy mix of things he doesn't know and intoxicating freedom and personal power. He's a genetically engineered human who needs sex…it's been programmed into him…and he's in the awful place of wanting to grab the next person he sees and go at it.
On top of all that…Alix is really pretty dangerous at the moment. He's been raised all his life that if he could do something, it was fine to do. In the pet village of his origin, everything was completely controlled. It was a perfectly safe place with no crime, no illness, no unwanted pregnancies, no poverty, no jealousies really, and watched over peacefully by loving gods. Now he's bonded with a non human species (di'jigh) that gives him the power to shift matter and energy, manipulate time, and he's caught up in a war between humans and the di'jigh, his family has been sold off at the cheapest rate possible, and his trusted and loving master turns out to be a smaller man that Alix had thought.
So…the answer is…there is a really strong market for BDSM/non-con/Master/slave, and if I'd be a good little gender confused human I'd write to it and make more money, but stories get complicated…And maybe that's not the answer you were looking for…. um.. ask me again?That's also set in the '30's, but late '30's.
Sunny is an unwilling accountant for the mob and Irish used to be a history teacher before the bad economy pushed him into rum running. The two of them fall together like rice and sake! I want to do more stories with them too, but they're in Seattle for the next story and Irish goes to WWII and Sunny gets interned with the Japanese in Seattle. It would be a very hard story, with them separated. Sunny's theater would likely get damaged while he's interned. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have the opportunity to work with JJ-san again.

5. I noticed on your site that you said The Storm Series is not currently available and will be rewritten. Rewritten? Why? Or do you mean re-released?

Nope. Re-written ☺ Things are always better when you do them over. I've grown as a writer and I can do a better job now.

6. Tell me about your manga. I know you are keen to do more graphic novels. What is happening with the Connor book?

Manga! I love my manga. Connor's lover is Ki, and the mind behind Ki lives with me and is a little thoughtful about Ki. I guess I'm hesitating on the next bit too because some person on a list was like..."Your art isn't good enough" Which made me have a lot of doubts and hesitation.

AJ says: What? Somebody actually said that to you?

Nix: Yup, they did. And I was so taken aback. They were very polite and kind and well meaning in a nice condescending way. This person does scripts for some manga publishers and other people do their art. They were completely of a mind that people buy manga for the art… maybe. But I buy manga for story. Can't please everyone all the time… but I'm still way to malleable and went around about that for weeks afterwards.

7. You moved to Michigan from Seattle, didn't you? Most people run from the harsh winter…not to it, Miss Nix. Explain yourself please.

Oh my…well, it starts with the person who is behind Ki… In the story, Connor's the one with red hair, but in real life it's the Lady A. Love always starts with hope, grows with courage, and even if what you find isn't exactly happily ever after yet, if love doesn't grow past hope in to courage, there's no hope for happy.

8. So you found love? Congrats, dear Nix. Now, I read on your blog that you're going to buy "another rat." This is not something one reads every day. How many rats do you have and what do you love about them?

Nix: Well, I can't buy a rattie right now. I have to wait ‘til it's okay with everyone in my home before I get another one. Right now...I don't have any. I have a stupid cat that doesn't really like me. He's really pretty, very Siamese and I got him off craigslist in a moment of extreme loneliness. Ratties are awesome pets though! Non-allergenic, smart, cute little opposable thumbs, can learn to come to their names, can be very loyal to their pack members (ie.. .owners), clean, nice to pet, don't take up too much space, don't require a pet deposit, and are pretty cheap. Even pedigreed ones aren't too expensive. ☺
Expenses are also lower in Michigan, so I can live on my royalties and write more, draw more. Or at least that was the strong hope until the economy went harsher. Maybe by early next year it'll be better. Always one to believe in multiple causality, there's also a really fantastic combined masters/PhD program here in Anthropology.
Dr. Winter is so much more androgynous. I'm not sure how much I really want to be a cute little uke, but I know I want it more than some other things.

8. A cute uke, I love it! Please tell me, what is your writing schedule like? Do you write every day? Any special or freaky writerly rituals you have?

I create story all the time…like…all the time. I draw on the bus, I day dream in bed. I was in a really awful car crash the night before last. I'm the only person who didn't go to the hospital. Bent metal and smeared concrete, and I'm thinking… 'Now I can write a car crash!' Airbags smell AWFUL. The cops gave me a ride home in the back of the cop car and I was all excited, thinking which of my characters is going to get arrested soon.
So my writing area… at home anyway, is two computers, a desktop and a lap top. I sit on the floor with them around me, and the TV too…for video games. I'll have some reference art rendering on one machine, writing story on the other…I multi-task like a fiend.

9. Oh Nix, I am so sorry! But since you weren't hurt and it's apparently become grist for the creative mill…do I say way to go?? On to other, equally earth-shattering topics. What was your favorite toy growing up as a kid?

My Star Wars figures.

10. You had a thing for C3PO, didn't you? Come on now girl, confess!

Nix: *grins* Nope…I wanted to be Han Solo! And I wanted to fall in love with Luke. Before that I wanted to be Huckleberry Finn and Tom was my object of affection.

11. Huck’s Hot! Speaking of which…do you read much gay erotic fic? What about yaoi? Any favorite authors?

I like TA Chase. I read a lot of manga. I'm currently obsessing over Clamp's Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. While it's not erotic, it is romantic and the pairing of Fai and Kurogane is not overt, but really hard to miss. I love them. A wizard and his swordsman.
I also like Wild Adapter which is done by the same manga-ka who did Saiyuki. It's again not graphically stated that the guys are lovers, but it would be silly to say they're not. In WA6 Kubota takes on the Yakuza single handedly to free his Tokito, who was kidnapped by the mob to get Kubota's attention. It's violent and stark, yet deeply tender and beautiful.

12. Why won't you befriend me on MySpace? *tears rolling down AJ's cheeks*

Because my dear I get too much mail and I didn't see your invite until this morning. I have befriended you now, before I got to this question even! You should come join my mob! ☺

AJ says: Does this require the removal of clothing? Bad AJ, bad!

Nix: *shifty eyed look, to make sure the authorities aren't around* Well…it could.
I've had to get a day job for a little bit too… But not much longer. I'd rather be a poor peasant who writes than be away from my art, I think. I really didn't think I'd be that hard to find. I'm having a chat at Beth Wylde's on the 14th too.

12. Ah but I found you. Now tell me, what stories and series do you have coming up?

I just agreed to a contract for a novel length expansion of Ice, which is a Jewls the Lucky story. That won't be a romance, so it will come out through Freya's Bower. That's really exciting. London's Christmas is my free read from Freya's Bower. The Pet 11 and 12 need to get finished up and given to loveyoudivine. Freya has The Silver Comb to come out soon.
Original Blood and Enlightened Blood are in progress. Mark and Luke is being looked over by my wonderful editor at FB to see what way it needs to go. She also has Cain and Shelly which is a contemporary paranormal.. civil war ghost story.
Connor's story needs to continue soon and there's Addiction which is a really difficult manga that I'm working on. Addiction is about a preacher who is a sex addict and the heroin addict he meets in this ally way one night.
It's a love and redemption story, but with a lot of hard edges.

13. Hard edges? Wow! I am impressed by your range, Nix. I simply have to ask you now...if you were a Disneyland ride which one would you be and why?

Nix: *considers that one* Do they have a hall of mirrors? Maybe like a beautiful, but slightly run down gothic mansion filled with mirrors of every size and shape, ballet studio mirrors, oak framed oval dressing mirrors, and in each one a glimpse into some part of one's own soul… a door out at every turn, but only haunting, faint music leading towards the center, where no one every really makes it all the way…

14. What a fantastic answer!! Now quick, I just made you Queen of the World for 10 minutes. You get to make and all decisions for that length of time. What would you do?

Oh…people would hate if I were queen of the world. I'd get Alix to help me and in ten minutes…I'd lay down really good public transit for the world, set up free education for everyone, utterly smash gender roles. I'd find a way to redistribute holy places in the world so that everyone got some and no one got them all. I'd make sure that really good medical research was funded and not tested on animals, and that everyone knows that humans never rode dinosaurs. Distribute free copies of the constitution.
As payment, I would demand a lifetime pass on the now really good transit system and two ball and joint dolls!

AJ says: Is that all?? Go Nix, Go! On behalf of Dark Diva Reviews, I would like to thank Nix Winter for stopping by today. It's been great!
To find out more out her gorgeousness, please check out her links:

You mean… the ones I'm not currently trying to make better? *look of angelic innocence*http://www.nixwinter.com/ in a state of fluxhttp://www.shadowofwishes.com/ Will have some very naughty free reads, but it will be beind an age verification system that's more robust than please click here.
I want the freedom to write the most intense stuff of my daydreams (and that can be pretty intense) and never worry that it's going to be before eyeballs that it shouldn't be. nixwinter.blogspot.com De very public bloghttp://www.inkdancing.com/ comics, manga, nifty stuffs ☺ http://www.jewlsthelucky.com/ not really fully developed yet, but wow, someday it's gonna be!http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shadowofwishes/ my yahoo group ☺ it could so use some new people too *hint hint*

8 comments:

Katrina Strauss said...

Terrific interview, Nix and AJ!

M.E Ellis said...

Boo!

Can we now say I have accepted all the beautiful tales you sent me? Can we? Can we?

;o)

Jambrea said...

What a great interview and Woohoo at Emmy for accepting them all. :D

AJ Llewellyn said...

Thanks everyone for the great comments. Katrina, you are one of my faves, also!!
Jambrea, I am putting the bite on you for an interview next year!
Emmy, contrats on snapping up this talented author!

Jaime Samms said...

WOOOT Nix! You've got some editing in your future, girl! congrats! NAd great interview. Thanks for the awesome job, AJ, as usual

M. King said...

Great interview! Go Nix go...I echo those sentiments ;-)

~M-J

Desirée Lee said...

Great interview with an intriguing author. Way cool.

Carpe Noctem,
Des

Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy
http://www.desireelee.com
des@desireelee.com

Eliza Knight said...

Great interview!!! Thanks for sharing!

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