Today I am so pleased to welcome Eric Alan Westfall to Joyfully Jay. Eric has come to talk to us about his latest release, Of Princes False and True. He has written some questions and answers to share. Eric has also brought along a tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
The only time a story started just from characters is Dancing in the Dark. It started life as a free-verse poem for English class in the very early 1960’s in college. Over the next couple of years it expanded to a reader’s theatre script in graduate school in 1966-67. It sat dormant for most of fifty years until it became a play script and a story version. It’s written in almost pure iambic rhythm, and it’s my version of Romeo and Juliet, and a bit of West Side Story…with two gay teenagers from opposite sides of the non-literal tracks, and opposing gangs who ruled their school.
Mr. Felcher’s Grand Emporium, or, The Adventures of a Pair of Spares in the Fine Art of Gentlemanly Portraiture—the adventures of two young(ish) lords in an 1882 Victorian version of an adult bookstore, was handed to me by the MM Romance Group “Don’t Read in the Closet” event. I was given a letter from Harry to Reggie, and for additional inspiration, an actual 1893 photo collage of…how can I say this delicately?…six feelthy pictures. Of the gay variety. Mike the Manly Muse was most enthusiastic and we were off and writing.
The Warlord and the Bard is a fantasy version of how I actually met my partner of thirty years. We were together from June of 1965 until he unexpectedly passed away in August of 1995.
Looking at the rest of the titles of my stories, I’d say they’re like the adult Athena being born from Zeus’ brow…minus the axe to my head, of course. I don’t think there’s an occasion when I haven’t started knowing the title, knowing how the book starts (sometimes with opening lines, or an opening chapter), and knowing how the book ends (sometimes just the feeling, sometimes the last sentence, sometimes the last scene or chapter.) Then it’s just a matter me and Mike writing the words to get us from first to last.
So the answer to the question is: sometimes, sort of, maybe, but not always.
What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
It isn’t so much what she said, but what she did. I attended my first (and only) GRL in Kansas City in 2016. I was at my supporting author table, which wasn’t attracting all that much attention, when Karrie Jax walks up and flabbergasts me, as in leaving me speechless, when she told me how much she liked one of my books, and that she had created some original art to go with it. Well, of course, I autographed her copy of it, and made sure I got mine back home safe and sound.
Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why?
I figure I don’t dare publish without one. At least, not MM romance which more often than not has some explicit MM (MMM) sex going on, usually more than once, during the course of the book.
In real life my profession is one which carries the risk of adverse consequences, potentially severe, if anyone knew this was what I was writing. From time to time since the first book came out, I’d tell myself, “C’mon, this is 2015. 2016. 2017. Surely we’ve advanced enough that I can come out of the (writing) closet.”
And each time the decision is the same. There are perhaps six or seven people in my profession who are close enough friends that they can be trusted with knowing about Eric Alan and the wicked things he does with his computer keyboard. Perhaps I’m wrong, and being far too cautious. But this is one sleeping dog I’m gonna let lie.
What’s your favorite food?
A bit off-the-wall, this one, for promoting a gay fairy tale. What the heck.
It’s a dessert I created quite a few years ago, and several years back a friend named it the “King David.”
Three scoops of vanilla ice cream in a shallow bowl (the kind you’d serve a cold soup in).
An obscene amount of Hershey’s chocolate syrup over the three. None of this delicate drizzling and swirling to create an elegant “presentation.” Remember the scene in Pretty Woman, where they’re buying clothes in the store, and the smarmy manager asks Gere how obscene an amount of money he was planning on spending. “Profane or really offensive?” Gere’s reply: “Really offensive.” That’s the amount of chocolate sauce you’re pouring. (Note: no fudge syrup. Too thick, just doesn’t work.)
You then add a generous shot+ of Kahlua and a generous shot+ of Chambord over it all.
It’s the most marvelous raspberry-chocolate dessert ever.
In, of course, my never-humble opinion.
A tennis match? Starting a war between the Duchy of Avann and the Kingdom of the Westlands?
Only in a fairy tale.
When Prince Henry hurts a young ball boy who told him Danilo’s ball was inside the line, Danilo’s response is automatic. Punch the prince’s face, pick him up left-handed, and break the royal jaw. Unfortunately, there’s another “automatic” at work: a death sentence for whoever strikes royalty.
King Hiram can’t—won’t—change the rule of law to rule of royal whim. But he grants the Heir of Avann fifteen days to find words that will allow Danilo to live.
In those fifteen days: Magick. The gods, goddesses and gender-fluid deities on Deity Lane. Kilvar, the assassin. A purse which opens in a bank vault. A mysterious old man. The Lady of All. The Magickal Hand writing, rewriting. A fairy tale within a fairy tale. A huge horse called Brute. And at the end…perhaps the right words and a most unexpected love. Plus a deity-supplied dinner with just the right amount of garlic.
All royalties will go to a local LGBT organization.
Eric is a Midwesterner, and as Lady Glenhaven might say, “His first sea voyage was with Noah.” He started reading at five with one of the Andrew Lang books (he thinks it was The Blue Fairy Book) and has been a science fiction/fantasy addict ever since. Most of his writing is in those (MM) genres.
The exceptions are his Another England (alternate history) series: The Rake, The Rogue and the Roué (Regency novel), Mr. Felcher’s Grand Emporium, or, The Adventures of a Pair of Spares in the Fine Art of Gentlemanly Portraiture (Victorian), with no way out (Regency) coming out a month after Of Princes.
Two more fairy tales are in progress: 3 Boars & A Wolf Walk Into A Bar (Eric is sure you can figure this one out), and The Truth About Them Damn Goats (of the gruff variety).
Now all he has to do is find the time to write the incomplete stuff! (The real world can be a real pain!)
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Alan-Westfall-1045476662268838/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/eawestfall43
Eric has brought tour wide giveaway of two backlist titles. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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