I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Andrew Q. Gordon, whose newest release, Purpose, is in stores today! It was so niced getting ot know Andrew and I hope that you learn a little about him as well. :)
Why did you choose the m/m romance genre to fulfill your writing aspirations, and what about that genre interests you most?
I think I more fell into the genre, than selected it. I didn't set out to write a m/m romance book, I set out to write a book with the characters I envisioned. But in a sense that is what drew me to the genre, that is where my characters wanted to go. What interests me most is the ability to explore relationships that I'm familiar with – m/m. That allows me to draw on a bit of my life experience for some aspects of the characters that I hope give them a bit more of a realistic feel.
What do you believe are some of the parallels and differences between law, your day job, and creative writing?
There are far more differences than parallels to be sure. Legal writing and the law in general is very cut and dry. The law is what it is, you follow a set formula for writing – IRAC – Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion – and while being creative gets you points occasionally, generally everyone follows 'the law' as it is generally used.
Writing gives you a license to a broader degree to make shit up as you go. Sure there are 'rules' but most authors chafe under them and will argue that they can and should be bent. I tend to follow them more than break them, but I'm trying to find a way to move past my legal training for my creative writing.
How has writing changed your life?
Two ways – one is the people I've met. I could name names, but I'd take up too much bandwidth. I've always been in the camp of – you're not friends until you've met in person.' Writing changed my worldview. Through writing I've met some amazing people. My daughter has books from around the world and not just any books, but book people sent because they were their favorites growing up – Mark and Stu, or they were their kid's favorites - Amber and Lily. All of this taught me that community comes in many forms and there is no reason not to embrace them all.
The other way it's change my life is my outlook. I now have something to look forward to as a next career. While I won't get rich from my writing, it is something I can do when I tire of my day job.
The premise of your latest book, Purpose, looks very intriguing. Main character, Will, must learn how to deal with his lack of humanity and emotions when he meets Ryan. Did you experience any difficulty in writing a character so detached?
I hope I did it well. I guess we'll see.do it gradually and to show the struggle to get there and what was causing the wall to break. I needed to first show the emotionless Gar than move him toward the 'human' Will.
How did you get in the mindset to write Will?
I tried to think about him as his 'old' self, the one before the Purpose took over. Then I tried to back out the emotions. It was a difficult character to write because I want people to like him, but there are things about him that are just not likable.
Since you live in the Washington, D.C. area, does the history and overall vibe of the city inspire you? How so?
Honestly no. I find D.C. to be very different from what I grew up with. It's not a bad thing, but it's not necessarily my thing. Washington is relatively new and always changing place. People come and go with administrations. Some stay, others leave, but the number of 'true Washingtonians' is very few compared to most other places. What appeals to me and inspires me is history. Not just the past, but that something and someone has a history. The idea that people grow up, live, work, raise their kids in the town/area they grew up in, is fascinating to me. Places like that inspire me more.
What advice would you give aspiring writers, especially those who want to write m/m romance?
You know, I'm not all that experienced so getting advice from me isn't the same as getting it from someone who's sold a lot of books. But I've learned the best lesson is to write what you feel. Trying to conform to what's hot isn't the answer. Not only can today's trend be old new before your book comes out, but you could be that new trend. Readers can tell how invested you are in the story. If you live it so will they. If you phone it in, they'll feel cheated.
Thank you, Andrew, for a great interview!!!!
Gar sat on a picnic table watching ICE Agents along with DC Police round up and arrest Yester and his friends. He also watched Barrington. The man could cuss when mad.
“How could he get away?” An angry scowl greeted each officer as Agent Barrington slid his eyes from one to the next. “He was standing inches away when he called us out. How did we miss him?”
The urge to say, “Tell ’em, Grif,” nearly broke his resolve to stay silent. Sarcastic humor? It no longer surprised him how he was reverting to the Will of old.
“Sir.” An ICE agent broke the silence. “Who are you talking about? The only person within a dozen feet of you was the kid we arrested. There was no one else.”
“I told you.” Griffin’s voice was barely audible. “Clearly, you didn’t believe me.”
Barrington glared at the detective. Turning to the others, he waved his hand toward the rest of the park. “Go search for signs of someone else.”
Leaving the obvious unasked—what did “someone else” look like—the man pointed toward groups of agents, giving them an area to cover. Once they were gone, Barrington turned to Griffin.
Griffin laughed. “Now you want my advice? I told you he wouldn’t let you see him.”
“So you did. What’s your point?” He started tapping on his phone, ignoring the detective’s glare. “Fitz, it’s Adam. Can you send K9 to Meriden Hill Park, north end?”
Shaking his head, Griffin turned away. “You do realize he’s watching and listening, right?”
“Good, that means we’ll find him when the dogs get here.”
Gar stood up and walked closer. “No, you won’t.”
Both men jumped, scanning the area. Though he stood three feet away, he kept himself concealed.
“Like I said.” Griffin’s voice was laced with reproach.
The man’s arrogance was annoying. “Why should I?”
“I want to talk to you.” Barrington twisted, appearing more agitated by the moment. His right hand stayed on his weapon.
“We’re talking now.” In their minds, his voice came from all directions. “You don’t need to see me to talk.”
“What are you hiding?”
Laughing, Gar realized this would get tiring soon. “Everything and nothing. Agent, I am the Spirit of Vengeance. How do you plan to catch a spirit?”
“Spirit.” The word came out as a sneer.
It was time to go home. Ryan was waiting. He picked a random image and let them see “him.”
“Since when are you black?” Griffin asked.
“The Spirit of Vengeance is not a white male. It’s whatever it needs to be.”
Barrington drew his weapon and pointed it at Gar’s head. “Don’t move. You’re under arrest.”
Gar rolled his eyes and moved faster than the agent could react. Snatching the weapon, he prevented the trigger from being pulled as he disarmed the man. He pointed the gun at Barrington’s head, smiling at the agent's shock.
“What the….” Barrington took a step back. Equally shocked, Griffin had his gun out. “Shoot him, Griffin.”
“I told you once, Detective, bullets can’t hurt me. If you fire on me, you will both die.” An idle threat. He wouldn’t kill them, but he wanted to avoid exchanging shots.
Gar disappeared again, dropping the weapon at the man’s feet. “I told you I’m a spirit.”
Gar stepped to the right of the pair and reappeared, again changing his appearance.
“Agent Barrington, why are you here?”
“Cute.” He scowled as he bent down to pick up his weapon.
“What?” Gar even used the voice of the man he imitated. “You didn’t like President Bush? Somehow, I pegged you as a fan of W.”
Enter for a chance to win a $25.00 Dreamspinner Press credit. To be entered, you can leave a comment here, on any of the other post release blog stops or on the Purpose page on my site. For those who don't know what to write – you can answer this question.
Which do you enjoy more, stand alone stories, series, or related/companion stories?
Please leave an email so you can be notified if you win. All comments from all guest blog posts between the June 21, 2013 release date and July 1, 2013 (EST) will also be entered to win. The winner will be chosen using Randomizer.org on July 2. One entry per blog, but you can enter on each participating blog for more chances to win. For a complete list of eligible blogs, please see the Purpose book page on my blog:
Buy your copy of Purpose here.
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. 'insiders', Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.
Follow Andrew on his website: www.andrewqgordon.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrewqugordon
On Twitter: @andrewqgordon
Or just email him: firstname.lastname@example.org