Thanks so much for having us! We’re happy to be here. 🙂
So I reviewed this book this morning, but can you give us a quick overview of the story?
Sure! The story is about Ash, a party boy and tattoo apprentice hoping to open his own shop with his best friend, Ty. While helping his brother move, he meets one of his brother’s girlfriend’s co-workers, geeky Fee Navarro. He and Fee start off on the wrong foot, and when Ash is rejected by Fee, he becomes determined to win the geek over, as a matter of pride. But eventually, he starts getting to know Fee and realizes what he feels for Fee is far beyond physical attraction.
I love opposites attract stories and really enjoyed the contrasts between these two guys. I especially got a giggle at some of Ash’s cluelessness in the face of Fee’s interests. Was it fun creating these characters who have such different interests and cultural references?
Piper: Oh, yeah! Opposites attract is one of my favorite romantic tropes. I have a lot of fun taking characters from entirely different backgrounds and mixing them up, seeing what happens when you try to blend oil with water. As Ash said at one point during Party Boy, sometimes those two things really can mix with hopefully beautiful results.
Xara: And who doesn’t love a nerd? With the proper care and feeding, they can be quite exceptional partners. (Of course, I may be a smidge biased.)
I loved how the self-help book is woven into the story and had a great time seeing how much of the “geek speak” I actually knew. How did you guys decide what to include here? Did it take a lot of research? Or do you guys have the geek stuff down?
Piper: I’m more of a pop culture geek, while Xara is familiar with both that and the actual IT stuff. She wrote the excerpts from the guidebook for this using our general outline for the story. I just read them over and made the occasional suggestion. That was actually a lot of fun for me, though, because I got to see them from the viewpoint of a reader and they cracked me up. 🙂
Xara: From the outline, I tried to come up with nerdisms that would apply to the situations Ash was about to face. I had a great time writing those excerpts and really letting my geek flag fly. We do have a few more in our pockets in case Ash ever needs a refresher course.
I thought it was interesting that we get the story from Ash’s POV, so especially in the early parts, we don’t really have a sense of what Fee is thinking in reaction to Ash’s pursuit. Was that intentional? Did you ever consider including Fee’s POV as well?
Piper: It was intentional, yes. We did consider including Fee’s POV, but with this series, being that all of the books will share a similar theme of one specific character using a self-help book to try to win someone else over, we thought it would be most appropriate to set the books in the POV of the character who was using the guidebook in question—in this case, The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek.
Xara: Yes, we did think about adding Fee a few times. But, since it was the Party Boy’s Guide, we felt it needed to stay within Ash’s frame of reference. We get to see all of Ash’s confusion and reluctance to give up, even after crushing humiliation and multiple friend-terventions.
In addition to learning about the geek world, the story also focuses a lot on Ash’s interest in tattoos and opening up his own shop, with a lot of great detail on design. Are tattoos an interest of either of yours, or just something you developed for the character?
Piper: Both Xara and I have an avid interest in tattoos. I don’t have any (yet), but I’m planning to get my first very soon. I’m fascinated with tattoos in general, though, and love to see them on people and to hear the stories behind them. For a while, we had a special thing called “Tattoo Tuesday” on the blog I share with my other co-author, MJ O’Shea. That has since been retired, but I loved searching for pics to use when we had it going.
Xara: I agree. Tattoos are so personal and so individualized. They pretty much become a living, walking history lesson. They tell that person’s story: where they’ve been, who they were at that point in time. It’s one of the only art forms that is truly about the medium and not an exhibition for the artist. When you look at a tattoo, you think about the person sporting it, not about the artist who brought it to life.
Party Boy is the first book in a new series. Can you tell us more about plans for future books? And characters from this story that we may see again?
Piper: Sure! The Clumsy Cupid series is intended as five books altogether, including Party Boy. You will see most of the characters from Party Boy again and meet some new ones along the way! Each one will have a similar theme, as I mentioned before, using the guidebooks written by Valentine and including excerpts from those books like we did with Party Boy. Next up is Ty. 🙂
Xara: Ty really is ready to have his story told. We’ll keep up with Ash and Fee, and all the roommates still have a place in their lives.
Other than this series, can you each tell us a bit about what you are working on and what we can expect to see in the future?
Piper: Aside from this series, Xara have a couple other books planned. One we have outlined and partially written already, but it is currently on hold. Right now I am working with MJ O’Shea on Moonstruck, the final book in our Lucky Moon series. Our second book in the One Thing series, which follows One Small Thing, is due out from Dreamspinner Press on October 26th. After Moonstruck, we’ll be working on another music-related project and after that we will most likely be writing the third, and potentially final, book in the One Thing series. I should also, hopefully, have some solo titles available in the near future as well. 🙂
Xara: In addition to the books Piper mentioned, I’m trying to focus on a full-length sci-fi novel to follow up my “Love Is Always Write” story. Spunky (my muse) doesn’t always cooperate with me though, so I have several other stories in progress, including Lucky Bastards, about a couple following the wreckage of James Dean’s car, the story of a wounded veteran, and even a het needle-play story. And there’s always another critter in the Were Menagerie wanting to talk. Thompson (the were-rooster) is next up in that series.
If readers want to know more about you guys, where can they find you?
Piper: My website, http://pipervaughn.com, which also has links to all of the social networking sites I’m on.
Xara: You can find me on my website at http://xaraxanakas.com.[br[
Thank you again both so much for stopping by today! It was great having you here!
Thanks again for having us! It was a pleasure, and we hope to be back in the future!