Today I am so pleased to welcome Sean Azinsalt and Rorie Kage to Joyfully Jay. Sean and Rorie have come to talk to us about their new releases, Bound and True Mate’s Kiss, part of the Grim & Sinister Delights collection. They have also brought along copies to give away. Please join me in giving Sean and Rorie a big welcome!
Hi this is Rorie Kage and I interviewed Sean Azinsalt this week for Joyfully Jay. Both of our books are releasing this week. We’ve been friends for a while and I’m glad how this turned out! Enjoy the interview and we hope you also enjoy the books! Happy Reading!
Rorie- Hey Sean! It’s an amazing week for releasing dark fairy tales, isn’t it? We’re so close to fall I can taste it and the cooler weather this week is going to be a blessed relief from the near 100-degree days I’ve been dealing with. It’s the perfect time to grab a new book, wrap myself in a soft blanket and sip a mocha while I read dark tales. What’s your go-to for relaxing partaking of new books?
Sean- It’s like Satan sat his fat ass down in Los Angeles right now! It’s 111 degrees and I hate it. Heat makes me want to do nothing but lay on the couch and read! I’m actually reading Naked Ambition right now by Lisa Henry and it’s sooo good! I prefer to read in the bathtub or in bed before I go to sleep. I read for at least an hour every night, usually with a large glass of wine and a puppy cuddled up beside me!
Rorie- Love it. Now, on to your story. Bound is the retelling of Rapunzel. What’s the draw to Rapunzel? Now, let’s keep in mind, my favorite version is Tangled, so that’s what’s in my head right now.
Sean- I was asked to be a part of The Dark Kingdom Anthology, which released in February of this year. It was a collection of dark shorts based on Disney cartoons, and I was the only MM author in it. I chose Tangled and knew it would be the basis for my Grim book. I’ve always loved the concept of living a lie, and that’s what the hero does in the story. Until he is finally told the truth. In Tangled, the Male hero has come to rob her. In the Grim story he’s a Prince. I went with the rogue for my story, too. Finn is like… the hottest Disney hero ever!
I wanted to break my “Rapunzel” to the point that they had no choice but to change from victim to killer. The Grim story doesn’t offer much to the main character in terms of redemption, Rapunzel is shuttled off to a land where everything is vile and harsh until she is rescued. I hate that. So, it reminded me of my time in NYC! As much as I love the city, it can be a hard place to live.
Rorie- When you picked it, did you immediately have the story to go along with it, or has it developed into a completely different version than what you might have started with?
Sean- The short had to be under 18,000 words, so I had to develop it for the novel and it changed on me quite a bit, despite all of my plotting. I knew I wanted him to become a killer but my first thought was he would break psychologically and become a monster, a serial killer. In the end it felt wrong and I went through a large rewrite to turn him into a paid assassin and I think the adventure and action of the book really helped drive the narrative home and made him a much more palatable character in the end.
Rorie- Was there any one thing about the original story you worked from that you hated and refused to incorporate into the retelling in any form?
Sean- Actually a bit! LOL! I didn’t want to do the witch. I wanted to make it more contemporary, so I knew that the evil character would be the lecherous uncle. I also didn’t want to do the evil witch sends Rapunzel off to a far land where the Prince rescues her. I wanted my Rapunzel to take matters into his own hands and be the driving force of the story, which is not the case for the Grim tale. In the Grim tale, Rapunzel’s hair has no magical power. In Tangled it did. I played with that a bit.
It’s kind of crazy when you delve into the Grim tales. So many of them have a heroine that feels like a device for the hero. I hate that. Rapunzel does very little in the story, except drop her hair. I loved Disney’s take on turning her into a heroine. I decided to walk down that same path, of course!
Rorie- If a new reader asked you to sum up Bound in one word or phrase that you haven’t already used, what would it be?
Sean- OMG! Seriously! That’s too hard. I’m a Gemini and talk a lot. Ok here it goes…
Bound is about change and how that change can lead us down dark and dangerous paths. But the change had to happen and the consequences are a part of it. OK! That is too many words! Bound is about letting go of our fear and embracing the unknown, in the simplest terms.
Rorie- As one of the leaders of our series, what drove you to decide to help host the Grim and Sinister Delights series?
Sean- Meg Bawden, AKA- M.D. Gregory, who is amazing, and I talked about what would a Criminal Delights Part 2 might look like. We were both a part of that and really enjoyed it. Eventually this was what it became. We both loved the idea of Dark Fairy Tales and Classic Stories. K.A. Merikan was happy to have us spin off. The amount of conversation about what was and was not a fairy tale was complex.
Meg has been a great leader and it was my pleasure to help her. It’s a LOT of work! The amount of work she has done on this project is crazy. It easily makes my contribution look like bupkis! She has done the heavy lifting and taught me quite a bit about organizing an event like this.
Rorie- That’s awesome, and as one of the authors, I want to thank you and M.D. Gregory for all the incredible work you’ve done for the series. So, what’s next on your journey? Next book? Perhaps something new outside writing that your readers can look forward to?
Sean- The rest of 2020 I am focusing on a few Shane K Morton books. In 2021, I have a Sean Azinsalt series releasing, The Dark Eros Cult, which is tied to a release from last year. I plan on releasing ten books in 2021. I have a Shakespeare project coming out and a series with a few friends.
Hopefully when this pandemic is over, I can return back to the stage with my band. I miss performing. I have performed in all 50 states as well a couple other countries. Being on stage is like breathing for me.
Rorie- Sometimes when I get stuck, I have to read or listen to some of my favorite books or authors. Who are some of the people that inspire you when you might get stuck while writing?
Sean- Wow! I have a close group of friends in the community and we talk almost daily. Abigail Kade and Drea Roman keep me grounded. We are always there to help each other out with a sticky plot point or the right questions to put us back on our path. The three od us are releasing a sexy teacher trilogy at the beginning of 2021. Abigail found these covers and they inspired us to each right a standalone based at the same university. Exciting. It will be my first MPreg book.
As for favorite authors… Geez. Lee Quail, BL Morticia, Giovanna Reaves, Morticia Knight, Michelle Frost and Sammi Cee are go to’s for me when I want to read. But there are so many others! We are lucky to be living in a time right now where there is so many great MM authors.
Rorie- Since our fated meeting took place at GRL, I’m curious. If there were no obstacles stopping you, which conference would you love to attend the most?
Sean- I’ve only ever attended GRL. So that is my only real experience. I am registered for 2021 already. I would love to go to the one in Australia too. OH! And England. If there was one in Ireland I want to know about it right now!
Rorie- Now I have to admit something I’ve been curious about since I first discovered Sean Azinsalt. Curious minds must know and I’ve got a very curious mind. What’s the story behind the name Azinsalt?
Sean- LOL! It was the pen name I used in college when I wrote my own stuff for the forensics team. I’m a national champion!
Azinsalt= Morton (as in the salt)
LOL! It’s so stupid!
Rorie- That’s all the questions I had. Thanks for joining me, Sean, and here’s to an amazing week of releases for us both! Cheers!
Sean- Love to you! This was fun. Maybe we should interview each other weekly!
THE WEEK 2 RELEASES!
BOUND- (Grim and Sinister Delights #3) By Sean Azinsalt- Releases Tuesday Sep 8
A dark MM retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale!
I have lived in a secluded tower made of glass, high above the world for my entire life. I am special and cannot live outside the safety of these walls, without getting sick and dying. My life is the same every day until my father brings home a man that is my uncle. Everything changes. Father dies and I am forced into a world of servitude.
I discover that my life has been a lie. Everything I had ever been told was to keep me here, trapped in this prison. My Uncle pimps me out for men to use in whatever way they desire. It isn’t until a mysterious stranger breaks into my prison that I learn the truth and discover what it is to love.
Two years later- Now I am a killer and I am tracking down the man who spurned me and stole everything from me. How can you kill the man you love? My desires cannot stop my revenge!
TRUE MATE’S KISS- (Grim and Sinister Delights #4) By Rorie Kage- Releases Friday Sep 11
Is this dragon and this new life truly fated to be mine? Or is this just another fairy tale?
I feel stuck in a gilded prison, longing for the day escape is possible. Home is just a place to survive while I wait to figure out what my life should be. My adopted family seems to tolerate the human foundling they rescued as a kid. All except for my adopted brother. He seems to hate me… or something far more nefarious going by the leering looks and commanding comments he makes to me. All I long for is the freedom to be me.
Every day is the same. Work, then home. Until it isn’t. A normal walk home from work turns into something so much more.
I didn’t expect a dragon guardian to fall into my life and turn it upside down, reframing my entire existence. Am I the human I was always told? Or am I meant for greater things?
** True Mate’s Kiss is a dark and modern M/M retelling of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ filled with magic, mystery, and obsession. May include possible triggering content like emotional and physical abuse.
About Sean Azinsalt
Sean Azinsalt lives in sunny California with his hubby and their two dogs, Bette Davis and Izzie Gillespie. He loves writing about the dark side of love and blending genres so your mind melts. He writes stories that illuminate the LGBT experience and is proud to be an own voices author. When not writing Sean sings cabaret in dark dive bars and loves to go to film festivals. He serves as a programmer on a major LA festival and works in the performing arts throughout the year. His films have played major film festivals across the world.
- FB Group (Sweet & Salty)- https://www.facebook.com/groups/375772976384003/
- BookBub-Sean Azinsalt- https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sean-azinsalt
- Amazon-Sean Azinsalt- https://www.amazon.com/Sean-Azinsalt/e/B07SX4KMBT
About Rorie Kage
My fascination with magic and the paranormal started early with The Worst Witch and Labyrinth (yep, that’s where I know Tim Curry from). To this day, they remain my favorite nostalgic movies and I still watch them. Now, I’m bringing my own brand of magic and mystery to you lovely people.
Outside of writing, I’m just another crazy wife and mother (if you don’t believe me, just ask the hubs or the kiddos) with a creative flair in all walks of life. If I’m not writing, I’m designing graphics, using my cutting machine to make things, or some kind of sewing or crocheting. Come spring and fall and you’ll find me an avid storm watcher (I’d love to go storm chasing one day, #lifegoals).
Want to know more from me? Come on over and join my reader group, Rorie’s Redemption: https://www.facebook.com/groups/roriesredemption/
- FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/roriekage
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RorieKage
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- BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rorie-kage
- GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20569799.Rorie_Kage
- Website: https://roriekage.com
Sean and Rorie have brought books to give away! Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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