Hi Lori! Welcome on Queer Books Unbound and thanks for agreeing to this interview!
You’ve been writing for a 10 years now, is there something you’d like to tell your past self?
That the industry is always in flux, and the best thing to do is go with the flow. When I started 10 years ago, self-publishing wasn’t a big thing, people still looked askance at ebooks, and you weren’t getting anywhere without an agent. Now I’m mostly (and happily!) self-published, ebooks are wildly popular, and while I do have an agent now, I don’t need her for every facet of my career (in fact she reps less than 3% of my backlist and a small portion of my current projects).
Recently you mentioned on twitter that you had written 125 books (holy shit! CONGRATS on that!) so I was asking myself if you still remember all of the characters names? (I have to confess here that I sometimes have a really hard time remembering character names!)
Thanks! I remember…. Most of them. There have been times I’ve had to stop and look up a character’s name, even on some of my bigger sellers. For the most part, I remember them, even if I sometimes have to stop and think about it for a second.
Your latest release, Is It Over Yet?, starts with an already established couple, who want to get a divorce and then are forced back together for their daughters wedding. An unusual premise in queer romance where we see so few already established couples. What inspired this story?
I like the idea of couples rediscovering themselves. People change, relationships change, and sometimes they hit rough spots. People make mistakes, even huge mistakes, but sometimes they can come back from those mistakes if they’re willing to put in the work, and if the person who screwed up genuinely regrets what they did. I wanted to take a pair of imperfect people who love each other, but think there’s no saving their marriage, and have them find their way back. I write a lot of stories about new couples, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up and write about two people putting themselves back on the rails. Also lots more room for angst and emotion because we all know how much I love torturing my readers. Er, I mean, my characters.
When you start writing a new book do you have a “ritual” you go through or is it always different?
It’s evolved with time, so if you ask me this again in a year it’ll probably be different. Right now, I start with a very brief character form – name, occupation, background, sexual experience, and obstacle. Those give me a nice sketch of each main character so I have something work with. The sexual experience part lays out how they’re going to interact in the bedroom once they get to that point, but also if they’re out, if (for example) a gay man spent time closeted and married to a woman, if they’re bi, etc. Background is a brief look into who they are (did they come from a happy family? A broken home?), and obstacle is what baggage they’re bringing into the mix from the start (something they’re afraid of, something they need but can’t get, etc).
Once that’s filled in, I’ll jot some notes and figure out where I think the story is going to go. I used to outline the whole story before I started writing, but now I’ll typically knock out the first few chapters or some scenes, and gradually form an outline as I go. These days I’m usually 20-30K into a book before it has a completed outline.
What is the weirdest thing you learned when researching for a book?
Probably one of the many things I learned while researching incels. *shudder* None of that needs to be repeated here. Otherwise, hmm. I’d say literally everything about Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are just bizarre on every level.
And finally: what can we look forward to from you in 2019?
My usual answer: A lot! The first part of the year may be a little slow because I’m in the process of moving from Spain to the US, so my productivity has taken a bit of a hit while I deal with travel, logistics, jetlag, and convincing my cats to get into their cages.
After that, though, there’s a ton going on. The rest of the Tucker Springs series will be rereleased this year, and there will be additional books in the series in 2020. As far as new books, there will apparently be a hockey romance because Anna Zabo and some reviewer *side-eyes QBU Annie* convinced my I should write one. Blood & Bitcoin, a rather twisted organized crime thriller that’s part of the multi-author Criminal Delights series, will be along in April (I’m having so much fun with this one, OMG).
Cari Z and I are working on the sequel to our 2018 thriller, Double or Nothing, though we don’t have a release date for that one yet. There will actually be a lot of sequels this year. I’m working on a sequel to The Master Will Appear (Gene’s story), another for If The Seas Catch Fire (Dr. Rojas’s story), and – in large part because of Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration – I’m dusting off the sequel to Running With Scissors (Connor’s story). Oh, and there will be the long-awaited prequel to Out of Focus, which WILL come out in 2019 because this is Angel and Dante’s 20th anniversary.
There will be plenty of new standalones too, but 2019 is definitely going to be a year of sequels and spinoffs.
Speaking of Michael Ferraiuolo, he and Nick J Russo are pretty much chained in my basement indefinitely. Michael is finishing Running With Scissors literally today as I’m writing this, plus Finding Master Right and Lead Me Not are done and will be on Audible any minute now. He’ll also be recording The Left Hand of Calvus, Three Stupid Weddings, and several other titles this year. Nick is currently signed for Something New Under the Sun, Hostile Ground, and Wireless, as well as the remaining Anchor Point books. There will also be a couple of dual narrations this year which I am ridiculously excited about.
So like I said… a lot!
Thanks for having me!
LA Witt generously offered one of her backlist titles for a giveaway! You just need to click the graphic to get to the rafflecopter! 🙂
The giveaway runs until February 15th and is open internationally!
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…