Please join us in our excitement in welcoming Avon Gale to From Top to Bottom Reviews today! She graciously allowed us to interview her, and then loaned us her characters Isaac Drake and Laurent St. Savoy for another interview which will be up tomorrow.
We hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as we enjoyed asking the questions! And be sure to check back tomorrow to see what the heroes of Empty Net had to say 🙂
You talked about having an ED yourself on your blog when Empty Net came out. And that it was therapeutic to write Laurent having one in Empty Net. But what was your first reaction or thought when you realised that Saint had one too?
It was something that I went back and forth about for a little while, whether I wanted to include it or not. I didn’t want to write it just to be dramatic, you know? I was worried it might come across as insensitive. But when I got further into the book and realized how it was a coping mechanism for Laurent’s other issues, it made sense to keep it in there. I realized that I couldn’t take it out just because I, the author, was worried how it might come across – more that I had to make sure to write it sensitively and with respect, because it was part of Laurent’s character.
You’ve written about hockey players, assassins, distillers and you’re also part of a horror christmas anthology. What would you love to write about and what can we expect in the future?
Oh, man, this is a hard one! I have so many ideas, that is never a problem. I definitely want to write something about demons, because I have this weird love for them – the way some people like shifters and vampires, I feel that way about demons. I do have a fun paranormal story about a cop who is investigating what appears to be a series of ritual magic murders (it’s an urban fantasy) and ends up partnered with a demon who is a hellhound in human form. Actually, the comic that Laurent references in Empty Net, „Demon Cop“, that’s actually referencing that WIP. I am writing about rock musicians, too, since after hockey I love music a lot and am really into it.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a detailed plan or do you “go with the flow”?
Haha, I’m a total pantser. Though my series with Piper Vaughn, we plotted out the first book chapter-by-chapter and it’s been super helpful – I think that’s probably something you have to do when co-writing, though. I did the same with Roan Parrish for this serial we’re working on, with each episode having distinct plot points.
Recently in my own work, I’ve discovered I like writing synopses for things and using that as sort of a guideline – it’s a nice structure with just enough to give me an idea where I’m going, but not so detailed that I’ve written myself into a corner.
You’re co-writing a story with Piper Vaughn at the moment. Is it different to writing alone? What aspects do you enjoy more? Is there one you like less?
Oh, yes, I love it! I’ve done co-writing before in my fandom days, with RP and things like that, but obviously the structure of a novel is totally different. I’m really enjoying the process, and Piper and I write really well together (or so I think!) I love the creative process of developing a world and characters with someone else, I think it adds a really neat element to storytelling. I can’t think of anything I *don’t* like about it, as the experience has been really awesome so far!
Some authors need it very quiet to write, others listen to music. What do you prefer? Do you have playlists for the books?
It depends. Sometimes I need it to be quiet, but there has to be some kind of noise or I get too focused on the lack thereof. So I tend to put on music quietly in the background when I’m writing. A lot of the time it’s instrumental, though I listened to this one Americana playlist when writing the fifth Scoring Chances book for whatever reason. When I’m doing promo stuff or editing, I can usually put on more upbeat music I can sing along to. Or dance around the house to. You know.
Which was the character that was most difficult to write (like you wanted him/her to do something and they just wouldn’t cooperate?)
Avery Hextall from my first book was very frustrating, because he would not have the grown-up conversation I knew he needed to have. I mean, eventually he does, it just took way longer than I’d wanted! Also, I tried four times to write that book in simple past tense, but nope. He wanted it in present, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t manage to switch it. That book was hard to write because those two had so much interpersonal tension and I made the choice to leave Malin’s POV out of it (mainly because he spent 85% of that book confused, I swear), so it was all on Avery. Who talked a lot, but didn’t always *say* much, if that makes sense.
Weirdly, Max Ashford’s first name was supposed to be Fox instead of Max. Every time I tried to type it as Fox, though, I typed Max instead. I finally gave in and switched it, though it was admittedly very early on when I was writing Power Play.
With Isaac you’ve written a very vocal character. Did you expect him to be this *big*?
I had no idea he’d be my loudest muse, and it’s weird because we’re nothing alike. I mean, I know all my characters have some of me in them, but I’m probably more like Max Ashford (including being terrible at geography) and Avery Hextall (except better at having important conversations, LOL) than any of them. I knew I wanted the fourth book to be about Isaac about halfway through Power Play, and for whatever reason, I just love writing him. Don’t let it go to your head, Isaac.
Do you have a favourite quote or scene, or maybe one you’re really proud of, in Empty Net?
I really like the scene where Isaac and Laurent are on their date at the lake, actually. I saw it very clearly when I was writing it, so I hope that comes across when reading it.
Other than that, I think my favorite quote, honestly, is the one where Isaac tells Misha how he and Max should have kids some day, since he knows Misha would be a great father. That part made me so happy to write, awww. [Aw yeah we loved that too!]
You’ve been published for almost exactly a year now. And have (if I’m not mistaken) published 5 novels and a short story. And 3 of your books are out in audio. How has it been? Was it like you expected? What’s the best thing that happened?
Hahaha, yeah, wow. Five books, and two short stories, yeah. Admittedly, I had two finished novels and about ¾ of one finished before I sat down to submit anything. (Which, you know how I am about revising drafts, that’s almost a miracle). It’s been crazy awesome, and I still kind of can’t believe it. I’ve met so many awesome and supportive people, and even just publishing one book was a lifelong dream. That I get to do this as my job, every day? That’s just unreal to me, still. I never thought, when I sent in that first book and started my brand-new stylist career, that in about a year I’d be a full-time writer instead.
The best thing is definitely hearing from readers. I don’t think that will ever not be the best thing, honestly. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it is to know people like the stories I’ve been telling myself for years, you know? Or, okay, the professionally edited and not as rambly versions of those stories. That is definitely the most amazing thing.
Speaking of audio books, Let the Wrong Light In, Breakaway and Save of the Game are out in audio now. (And we’ve probably all seen your tweets about hearing sex scenes you’ve written being read out loud. ;)) So.. do you imagine what a scene will sound like when you write?
I never did before, but writing Coach’s Challenge, I couldn’t help thinking about that! Also it’s very…well, Troy and Shane are different characters than any I’ve written so far in the Scoring Chances series. They’re both experienced, and they’re older, and…yeah, a few times, I think about Scott reading these scenes and die of embarrassment. I don’t know how any author manages to listen to their own sex scenes performed by a professional narrator. I made the joke recently that Coach’s Challenge is the dirtiest thing I’ve ever written, so yeah, I am trying not to think about what happens if that is ever produced in audio! I’ll have to get someone else to listen to the files with the sex scenes and make sure they’re okay, because I usually squeak and hide under something. Not very professional, LOL.
And that’s all for today! Hope you all enjoyed it and come back tomorrow for another dose.
Books by Avon Gale:
About the Author:
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.