FIXED by Tristram La Roche is released today!
For the first of my interviews with erotica/romance writers I decided to try out my interrogation skills on Tristram La Roche, a fellow author with Etopia Press. It was a bit of a struggle tying him to the chair – but I got there in the end…
Kiran: You are steadily gaining a name for yourself writing gay (M/M) fiction – gay romance to be precise. Traditionally the romance genre is dominated by female writers. What made you decide to write romance?
Tris: It wasn’t so much a decision to write romance as a decision to write about gay characters. It’s true that my first three novellas are romances, but they are not by any means gooey and fluffy. I started to get distressed by the way gay men were being portrayed in some of the fiction that’s about; if you read some of them, you could simply change one of the characters to a woman and the story, the sex, the emotions could remain exactly the same. This is wrong. Gay men do not think and act like women. I think I know, I am one. My fourth book, due out before Christmas (hint), is an historical MM and, whilst there is a love story in there, it’s far from traditional.
Tris: Fixed is about a guy whose life has been broken through no fault of his own and he finds himself back where he started. He’s had to rent a horrid little house and he’s having to learn to manage on a budget. It’s something that many people are going through in the present climate and I fear there will be more to come. I wanted to really to say that there is always hope and that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
Kiran: How do you approach writing sex scenes? Do you find it difficult to keep them fresh?
Tris: I am perfectly willing to admit that I find it extremely difficult. The tools we have are limited, if you see what I mean, and finding original ways of using them without going too far down the road of fetishes and perversions is a challenge. One sex scene can take me days, but I don’t want to resort to sick practices to dig myself out of a hole. I’d better shut up.
Tris: That is awfully difficult because I love them all and there is a little bit of me in each of them. In my upcoming historical I like very much Livianus, the Roman general, because he is so comfortable with himself, so compassionate and so decisive, unafraid and unassuming. Of my already published works I have to say that my ‘Marmite Man’ in Lorenzo il Magnifico is close to my heart. Marmite is one of those things you either love or hate, hence the tag that has become attached to Luke. Some say he’s an arrogant prick, others adore him. He’s mixed up, dissatisfied with his lot, wants better and goes all out to get it. When I created him I wanted a confused character who has been hurt but who, deep down, is a good person.
Kiran: What do your friends and family think of your writing?
Tris: I’m lucky because my family consists of my partner and my grown up son (everyone else shunning me years ago because of my sexuality) and they are both right behind me (oh, those cheeky old double entendres). As to friends, most are very supportive and, to some extent, curious about it all. If anyone doesn’t like what I write about, they don’t have to read it.
Kiran: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
Tris: I suppose gay men will associate with my characters immediately, but I know that the majority of my readers in the States are women. Ideal? Well, they should read English and have a broad mind. I don’t write about gay centaurs or demons, I write about real people with conflicts, so it will help if the readers like this sort of fiction.
Kiran: Do you have any plans to try your hand at writing in a completely different genre?
Tris: No. I may write in several sub-genres, but gay characters will always be central. Gay rights have come a long way but there is still a lot of ground to make up.
Kiran: Who is your favourite gay fiction author? Are there any new authors who have grabbed your interest?
Tris: It may surprise you to know that I haven’t read that much gay fiction. I read what I find to be good books, whether they are gay themed or not. Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty was and is an all-time favourite. Patrick Gale has also written some good books; I especially enjoyed Notes from an Exhibition. You’ll note that neither of these write the kind of MM erotica that is all over the internet. I recently came across (oh, there we go again!) James Lear’s The Back Passage. You couldn’t call that romance! It is a fabulously filthy, well-written romp. I almost died from asphyxiation.
Kiran: What should we expect from Tristram La Roche in the future?
Tris: My historical MM will be published by Etopia Press early December this year. I’m considering adapting it as a screenplay because I think it would work well on screen. Currently there is a full length novel fermenting in my head. But I will write some more novellas, I find the length easy to keep fresh (Jeesh!).
Thanks, Tris. I’m looking forward to reading Fixed when it is released – and having taken a peak at your up-coming historical novella, I can’t wait to read the finished version. Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll untie you soon…
When I finally let him go, you can find Tris here:
On My Knees is available from Etopia Press and Amazon. Lorenzo il Magnifico is available from Evernight and Amazon. Fixed has just been released by Etopia Press and will be available from Amazon later this month.