Interview & Contest: Anne Tenino

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Welcome to the Poster Boy Blog Tour! *confetti*

As you may or may not know, Poster Boy is the fifth in the Theta Alpha Gamma series, and (at least as far as I’m able to be sure about such things) the last TAG book. No, no, don’t be sad, be happy—we’re gonna go out in style!

Prize-Cache3Let’s discuss the nitty-gritty: the Blog Tour Giveaway. The prize package this time includes: one lovely “Theta Alpha Gamma Beer Terrorist Response Team” sweatshirt (I believe I have sizes M-XXL available, choice of two styles); one paperback copy of Frat Boy and Toppy with the new cover art, signed and inscribed to the winner; a bar of soap I bought in Les Baux (was going to send olives from Sainte-Remy, but we ate them . . . sorry about that) and; of course, one penis crocheted by moi.

How does one win, you ask? By following the tour, collecting all the official “prize” words (posts will have them clearly marked), and using them as directed at the end of this post (it’s complicated).

Happy word hunting, and enjoy the tour (psssssst, this one is heavy on the cut scenes).

 

Jen:  Today we welcome Anne Tenino to Romancing the Book as she tours the blogosphere.  Anne, will you share a short bio with us?
Anne: Raised on a steady diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino was—famously—the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. However, other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.

 

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Anne: Poster Boy is the tale of one reluctant grad student and one recently outed college hockey player. Readers of the series will know that Jock (the hockey player) was kicked off his college’s team when a picture of him having fellatial relations with another gentleman was posted in the locker room. After that, he transfers to his big brother’s, Tank’s, college (Calapooya) and joins his frat (Theta Alpha Gamma).

Thus is the situation when the story begins, and many, many things happen. Toby and Jock hook up, but while Toby would like more than a single night, that wasn’t what Jock was thinking at all. The picture of Jock indulging in a sex act is made public and he becomes a refugee from the media—going on that France student exchange program with his frat brothers (even if they’re mostly the weirdest ones) begins to look like his best option. Toby, meanwhile, is actively avoiding finishing his thesis, which gets him in hot water with his advisor. His punishment? He has to chaperone a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to Provence spring term.

In France, frat boy shenanigans ensue, largely because the guys seem to think they’re in an anti-beer terrorist training camp of sorts. Amid all the craziness, however, Jock and Toby manage to form a relationship. One that could last beyond the trip, but only if Jock can face one of his deepest fears.

The main idea for Poster Boy has been kicking around in my head for a long time, now. Long enough that I can’t quite remember where it came from, although my recollection is that it was another one of those that just sort of formed around a nucleus of an idea that was so small I didn’t realize it was in my head. Originally, it was just going to be Toby and Jock in France, but things got away from me (as they have a tendency to do). The beer terrorist thing, and putting Theta Alpha Gamma frat boys in Provence were ideas I found funny, and thought I could do a lot with. I believe I did . . .

I can tell you one thing for certain, though; setting part of Poster Boy in Provence had absolutely nothing to do with a pre-meditated tax write-off. I mean, it may seem like—since we were taking a family trip to France anyway—it was smart of me to do some work there so I could claim nearly every expense as some form of research, but to all the IRS auditors reading this, trust me, it didn’t happen that way. Seriously. It wasn’t until we were doing taxes that I realized I could get a tax break.

Totally coincidental. Swear.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Anne: Both my father and one of my aunts are published writers, and many more relatives write without being published (without even trying, I think). Interestingly, if you go far enough back on our family tree you’ll find James Fennimore Cooper. He’s more a great-great-great-great cousin than an ancestor, but he’s there. No one in my family writes anything similar to what I do.

Jen: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Anne: Pantser, but one who’s slowly becoming more and more of a plotter. Each time I answer this question, I’m slightly closer to the plotter side of things. Not that I’m anywhere near the middle of that spectrum—I’m still more pantser than anything—but I’ve begun to see the benefits of plotting. It’s just a bit foreign to me.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Anne: The most typical “odd times” are in the shower and in the car. For the shower, I have a waterproof notepad suction-cupped to the wall, and for the car I take voice memos on my phone. The other times things occur to me are in the middle of the night, and I keep a notebook next to my bed . . . when I remember to. In reality, I mostly lie there, arguing with myself about whether to get up and write or not, and then I do some mental gymnastics that I’m absolutely certain will help me remember this brilliant idea until morning. Except I never do.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Anne: Well, among other things, I went to France.

Jen: What’s been the highlight of your career to this point?
Anne: There are a couple of high points I can’t quite decide between, so I’ll mention them both. The first was seeing my print books at the University Bookstore in Seattle. Yes, they were only there because I was doing a reading as part of the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up, but still.

The second major highlight was being interviewed by RT Book Reviews magazine. It’s (as far as I know), the major periodical focused on the romance genre, and (also as far as I know), they’ve only recently begun featuring M/M authors. Oh, it’s the May 2014 issue, if anyone wants to know.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Anne: I crochet, of course. 😉

Jen: What’s next for you?
Anne: Well, I’m finishing the next book in the Romancelandia trilogy (begun with Too Stupid to Live), Billionaire with Benefits, Tierney and Dalton’s story. It deals with more serious issues than is normal for me, but it definitely still has some light moments.

My next release will be in August. It’s a novelette-length paranormal comedy about a firefighter and the house-cat shifter who loves him.

 

* * *

For those of you playing to win the blog tour prize cache, here’s the word: fuchsia.

The word game—the rules are that I provide a bunch of words, and you have to create an ode to testicles. Hey, it’s fair—I gave you an ode to testicles in the book (well, part of one), you should give me one in return, using all the words from the tour. You may add any other words you need to, but it must include every word I gave out on the tour.

Of course, creative cheating might receive a pass from me . . .

At the end of the tour, send your ode to me at anne @ annetenino.com and I will choose one lucky winner from all the entries I receive by paying one of my children some exorbitant amount to draw an ode out of a hat (or other handy receptacle). All masterpieces must be to me by May 4th, 2014 at midnight Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7:00). For a schedule of all tour stops, you can go here.

Oh, and:

*If the winner will be at GRL, GayRomance Northwest or the RT Booklover’s Convention, I’m also offering a lunch with me. And yes, I’ll pay. 😉

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