Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Inch by Inch Virtual Tour - Author Interview & Giveaway with Heidi Belleau and Amelia Gormley

Welcome everyone to the Inch by Inch Virtual Book Tour. I have a special holiday gift to all of you who want to know more about Professor Sexy Silver Fox...and the Professor's Rule series ;) Please help me welcome Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley who are co-writing this very, very enjoyable series. I've pestered them with all sorts of questions that I hope will be a treat for you all, and not too much of a chore for Heidi and Amelia.

Lisa: Hello and welcome to both of you. Thanks for letting me pick your minds a little bit.

Heidi: Thanks so much for having us! We’re stoked to be here. :D

Amelia: Absolutely! I’m thrilled to get a chance to talk with you! Bring it on!

You have both written several books delving into the bdsm realm. What was your motivation for this particular series? Come on, you just wanted to write about Professor Sexy Silver Fox, didn’t you?

Heidi: This is going to be embarrassing, but my inspiration came from . . . my husband? Cough. Okay. Before you get all “Oh God TMI!!!” on me, let me explain. He was out clothes shopping, and because he has NO fashion sense, he was texting me pictures for my approval. And I thought . . . man, wouldn’t that make a great D/s story, where the submissive is sending pictures of himself to his Dom, and things take a turn for the sexy when the Dom starts texting sexual commands along with the fashion sense? That was the initial seed of the story, at least. Amelia was the one who really made it what it became!

Amelia: I did? *blink blink* Wow. Okay.

Heidi came at me out of the blue with the idea to co-write the series. I was sort of groaning on Twitter about that hangover and letdown you get when you’ve just completed a project (the BDSM practitioner in me likes to call it “author drop”) because I’d just published Velocity, the last installment of my novel-in-three-parts, Impulse. I’m not sure if someone recommended me to her or why she did it, but I was really thrilled to get to work with her. And she had me sold on the idea pretty quickly. I mean, yeah, sexy professor, sexting, changing-room quasi-exhibitionism—what wasn’t to like?

I worry that at times maybe I steered Heidi away from her original intent, because I don’t think the series (especially the parts still to come) ended up being anything like that she had conceptualized. It was supposed to be a smutty, light-hearted romp but even in Giving an Inch, the first book, James was starting to go places emotionally and psychologically that I don’t think either of us counted on, and I sort of kept pushing in that direction.

Heidi: Author drop! I love it! And it’s SO TRUE, too! I asked you, honestly, because I felt like we must be soulmates because of your M/M Highlander romance The Laird’s Forbidden Lover! I’m a huge lover of Highlanders and figured we were destined to be together, so I jumped in with both feet, and I’m so happy I did!

How did you divvy up the work on this series? Did you each take a character?

Heidi: I’ve actually never written “roleplay style” where each person takes a character. Amelia and I shared all scenes and all characters, although I’ve gotta say, Amelia really did wind up doing the lion’s share of the writing at times! This story definitely wouldn’t be what it is without her, to the point where I think maybe she ought to have been listed first, alphabetizing be damned!

Amelia: The closest I’ve ever come to writing roleplay style was when a roleplay partner and I wrote a fic about our characters together, and even then we both had to sometimes take the wheel for the other to set something up in a certain direction. I really felt Heidi’s way of working on it—where we’re both there in a Google document at the same time watching one another write and one person is writing and then the other person jumping in when they know who needs to say what or where things need to go next, and then we both go through and tweak—was a really great method, because the story feels so seamless. I challenge anyone to go through these stories and determine where one person wrote one particular thing (I’ve seen people try and it amuses me because they get it wrong; one person recently thought that Heidi was the voice of Professor Carson and I actually wrote a big chunk of his dialogue.)

Lisa: I know I couldn't have say where one of you left off and the other started. Seamless is a very good word for it.

Amelia - cont: As for the division of the writing, it was more a matter of time and opportunity. Heidi was having a lot of health problems when I began spinning ideas for Inch by Inch, and so it made sense for me to go ahead with it because we wanted to have it done and ready to go. #4 and #5 happened at a time when, again, I had more availability than Heidi, and I also had a very clear idea of how things were going to shape up based on the conversations we had, so since time was of the essence and we needed to get them done, I just dove in and kept momentum going until Heidi had the time to join me.

Did the plot take a turn or have you known all along where this whole series was going to go?

Heidi: It definitely took a turn. I’d originally conceived of the series as an erotic series of “edge play” stories featuring the same sub and dom, with Satish as a one-off character . . . but then Amelia and I wound up loving him WAY too much to let him go!

Lisa: Amelia is brilliant then, because Satish is just too special ;)

Amelia: Satish. *le sigh* I’m not sure exactly what changed, but somewhere in the course of writing Giving an Inch, James decided Satish was not going to be a one-off, that it felt like that would be using Satish. (Yes, I blame the characters. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) And I think James swayed Heidi and me to his way of thinking. Suddenly, it felt crass and wrong to just blow Satish and walk away, and we also really didn’t like the subtext of two Caucasian men using a man of color for their sex games and then dropping him. And also, Satish was just the perfect foil for Carson. So at that point, we knew we had to make Satish a major player. He had to have agency and the dynamic couldn’t just be about James and Carson.

Has anything surprised you about these guys?

Heidi: Although there was subtext of James having issues with addiction/boundaries in the first story, we didn’t really settle on him actually being a former addict until it was time to write the second story.

Amelia: God, that just came out of nowhere. It was like, we didn’t know why James was a fuckup with bad grades and trying to seduce his instructor and then all of a sudden he was ranting at Carson and he announced he’d been a junkie and we were like, “*blink blink* Ooookay *backspace backspace backspace* Time to revise!” But looking at the direction things have gone in the rest of the series, particularly the last two books (coming in March) it was a rather serendipitous development. It’s James’s history of addiction that plays into the way his relationship with Carson developed and fell apart in the past, and forms the basis of the question about whether or not he can make a relationship with Carson or Satish work from this point forward.

I’ve looked into the psychology of sadism a bit and it looks like the “reasons” behind it vary and aren’t really agreed upon. Do you research these subjects? In other words do you know why James needs Professor Carson’s very special tutelage?

Heidi: Honestly? I’ve never researched it. I do a lot of research for books, but when it comes to psychology/motivations I don’t think I’ve ever gone there. As for James’s reasoning, there are a couple reasons. One is chemical: as a former adrenaline junkie, the endorphin high you get from pain really appeals to him. I think the discipline of having a Dom, having set limits and rules and responsibilities and clear boundaries, really centres him.

Amelia: What she said. I know a lot of BDSM-fic armchair quarterbacks are on this kick of complaining that BDSM isn’t therapy, and to a degree that’s quite true. BUT. Those of us who practice BDSM also do not come into it without our own unique life experiences and the issues they leave us with. And sometimes those experiences and issues do play into a certain need. Not all the time. A lot of people—I daresay most—just play because that’s the way they’re wired and they find it fun. But that doesn’t mean those who come into it with a specific set of circumstance-driven needs can’t find fulfillment of those needs as well.

How much interaction between Professor Carson and Satish will we be seeing?

Heidi: I don’t want to spoil too much, but I will say, they aren’t attracted to one another, but they both love and care about James, and want to give him what he needs.

Amelia: Well, I think Carson is rather attracted to Satish, but there are definitely issues the two of them have to hammer out, and the focus of those issues is making sure they don’t make James the object of a tug-o-war.

Lisa: Oh boy, I had this wrong. I would have thought Satish would have been the rope in the tug-o-war. Hm.

You left us on a bit of a cliffy with Carson’s involvement. Anything you can add to this?

Heidi: Carson’s keeping some secrets.

Amelia: Carson definitely has an agenda and it’s not what James or Satish thinks it is.

I just have to know, is Satish as perfect as he seems? Both James and Carson have sides they don’t show in RL. Does Satish?

Heidi: Satish is a really wonderful, patient guy. But he definitely has a possessive streak, and as for his sexual side? He’s not necessarily the sex god he thinks James needs.

Amelia: He has some insecurities. He’s very stable, but he’s been thrown into the deep end of the pool and so he’s going to flounder for a while.

Okay, how about a "Get to Know the Author" speed round?

Sunrise or sunset?

Heidi: Sunset, no question. I am NOT a morning person.

Amelia: Absolutely sunset. If I’m seeing the sunrise, it’s because I’ve stayed up too late. Total night owl.

Negligee or pj’s?

Heidi: Naked. I hate wearing anything to bed. I get all tangled and overheated and uck.

Amelia: Tank top and underwear, maybe boxers. I need to wear a top because I’ve been woken up a couple times by my husband bracing his elbow on the bed to roll over, only he actually has braced it on my boob. Ow. But I hate having pajama bottoms or long sleeves twisted around my arms and legs. If it’s really cold and I’m tired enough to sleep anyway, I can maybe manage to sleep in tight leggings.

Lisa: Oh dear, my boobs are aching. I wish I didn't know what you're talking about Amelia.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Heidi: If we’re talking real vanilla bean, then yeah. If not, chocolate all the way!

Amelia: Only time I prefer vanilla is on cake or pie.

Sci-fi or Film Noir?

Heidi: Everything I’ve seen of Film Noir, I’ve loved, so I’ll say that!

Amelia: … You know, I don’t think I’ve ever actually watched a Film Noir. I know what it is in theory; I’ve just never seen one.

What can we expect in book 4 in The Professor’s Rule series? And when?

Heidi: Book 4 is when things really come to a head between James and Carson, and we also find out a little more about Satish: what he wants, what he needs, what he’s willing to put up with, and what he’s not.

Amelia: Book 4 is where things start to come a little unraveled. Carson’s agenda makes things very complex, and James is very susceptible to misunderstanding Carson’s intent. The way Carson has handled things with Satish hasn’t helped, so there is tension all around. And if we left #4 hanging where it ends, we’d have people screaming for our blood because the cliffie at the end of Inch by Inch is nothing to the one at the end of Every Inch of the Way (TPR#4). Fortunately, though, #4 and #5 will be released together, and both will be discounted, so no one will be left hanging.

Finally, I just want to mention how perfect I found the usage of sensory deprivation in this particular book. With James returning to Carson after so long it seemed James really needed to regain the trust he had with the Professor. I think Adara O’Hare, who suggested this idea, gave you the perfect kink to use.

Heidi: OMG wasn’t it? I mean, the runner-up was voyeurism, which we could have worked with as well, but oh, that sensory deprivation really worked for the crucial first meeting between James and Carson.

Amelia: Absolutely. Trust between James and Carson is going to be a recurring issue from here on out, and really it has been ever since Giving an Inch, and I think the sensory deprivation really helped further that theme.

Thank you both so much for spending time with me. I hope you know how much I’m enjoying this series. Once again you have forced me to stretch my comfort zone, and in turn allowed me to find new limits. So, of course, I can’t wait for the next book.

Heidi: Thank you so much for having us and for asking such great questions! I’m so glad you say that about the series, because my initial intention was edgeplay, and while the story has changed a LOT from what I originally came up with, it’s great that that spirit of boundary-pushing sex and story remains :)

Amelia: It’s been a lot of fun chatting with you, and these were some great questions. It’s wonderful that the series has led you someplace you didn’t expect to go, because it’s done the same for us. :D 

Lisa's Reviews of the Professor's Rule series:
Inch by Inch - book 3
Inch at a Time  - book 2
Giving an Inch - book 1

Contest Info:
If you haven’t fallen in lust with the Professor, yet, now’s your chance! We’ve got two ebooks to give away to two lucky commenters: one copy of Giving an Inch, and one of An Inch at a Time. That’s two chances to win! Let us know your thoughts and hopes for the relationships between Satish, James, and Professor Carson! Be sure to include your contact info (email, Twitter, or Facebook!) on this or any of the other of the posts on this tour for a chance to win. More comments=more entries, so to increase your odds of winning, be sure to follow the entire tour! We’ll pick a winner New Year’s Eve, so you can start 2014 right!

Inch by Inch (The Professor's Rule #3)
After two long, kink-free years apart, James Sheridan has reunited with his Professor: the sexy, dominant Evander Carson. But this time, things will be different. James is older, more sure of himself, and confident that he can draw the line between Carson’s demands and his own principles.
One of those lines is gorgeous menswear salesman Satish Malhotra. After their steamy dressing room encounter, James feels an unexpected connection to Satish, and he wants to explore it further. But Carson’s involvement—in James’s life, and in James and Satish’s budding relationship—complicates things.
Carson’s penchant for using other men in their sex games has always troubled James, and he’s adamant that Satish not be just another notch in their whipping post. But when Satish learns what prompted James to pursue him in the first place, will James’s new ability to draw the line even matter?

About Amelia:
Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else
Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), and her upcoming post-apocalyptic romance, Strain
You can contact Amelia on TwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookLikesTumblr, or contact her by email using the form at http://ameliacgormley.com/

About Heidi:
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centered on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms. She also writes queer-flavoured M/F as Heloise Belleau.
Chat with her on twitter using the handle @HeidiBelleau.
Browse her website at HeidiBelleau.com or HeloiseBelleau.com.
Check out her books on Goodreads.
Follow her Facebook and Tumblr accounts.
Or contact her using good ole-fashioned email: heidi.heloise.belleau @ gmail.com


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