Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards, and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the national DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition.
She is the author of six published novels, including her fantasy series, The Gathandrian Trilogy, published by Bluewood Publishing and featuring gay scribe Simon Hartstongue. More information on the trilogy is available at: http://www.gathandria.com/, and the first of these novels is The Gifting. In addition, her gay and literary short stories are regularly published by Riptide Publishing, Amber Allure Press, and Untreed Reads. Her most recent gay short story is Where You Hurt The Most, a tale of unexpected connections and possibilities published by Riptide. All her gay fiction can be found at: http://www.gayreads.co.uk/.
Anne has a secret passion for theatre and chocolate, preferably at the same time, and is currently working on a gay fantasy novella, The Taming of the Hawk. More information can be found at http://www.annebrooke.com/ and she regularly blogs at: http://annebrooke.blogspot.com/.
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I wrote Where You Hurt The Most (Riptide Publishing 2012) in response to an anthology call they had about rentboys. The theme gelled with me as I’ve written about male hookers in the past, first in my psychological crime novel A Dangerous Man (Cheyenne Publishing/Bristlecone Pine Press 2010), and then in a literary gay short story called A Stranger’s Touch (Amber Allure Press 2010). People living on the edges of society and who either make their own rules or are responding to past traumas fascinate me, and I find myself drawn again and again to writing about such characters. As a writer of gay erotic fiction, the use of sex in the lives of male hookers is also an intense way of revealing key personality traits in the men I write about, and leads me into some very dark areas, as well as those more hopeful in tone. The blurb for Where You Hurt The Most is:
Adrian is more than happy as high-class escort for a number of regular clients. When his boss and dear friend asks him to entertain his nephew, Adrian readily agrees, but meeting Dan challenges him in ways he'd never imagined. Dan is scarred inside and out from an accident that destroyed a promising future. Despite Adrian's loveless lifestyle and Dan's withdrawal and anger, the two men forge a deep - if unnerving - connection. Soon they find themselves questioning the choices they've made and the futures they've mapped out for themselves.
Yet even bright young men like Adrian and Dan fear the unknown and take comfort in the familiar. Neither may be strong enough to step away from the life they know and toward the one they dare not hope for. But while it's true that love can't heal all wounds, it is the surest balm for where you hurt the most.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
It’s hard to say, to be honest, as I don’t write in one long flow, but tend to dip in and out of a story, depending on what else is going on around me – and, what with recently moving to a new home, it’s been a pretty busy few months! All in all, it took about two to three months this time, which is longer than my usual timings for short story writing, but it did allow me to follow through on certain aspects of the narrative before – and during! – the editing stage more fully.
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love creating new worlds and characters, and seeing what they get up to and why – it’s one of the most exciting things I know, probably because I’m a “seat of my pants” writer and not a planner, so I never know what’s going to happen next and it’s a surprise to me too. In that way, I write simply in order to find out what the story is. In terms of what my favourite scenes are, I do always prefer to write sex and/or violence episodes and those do tend to be easier to get down in first draft – I’m just a drama queen, I suppose. Strangely, I also really love getting edits back and then getting stuck into a piece of work in order to improve it – that gives me a real kick.
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
I tend to find the middle of a story or a novel to be the hardest part to write – when the initial excitement of starting is behind me, and the end is rather too far away to make sense of. In those circumstances, I just have to get my head down and slog away until something makes sense – a big part of being a writer is having a huge amount of sheer determination to get you by …
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Ooh, that’s easy. I’d love to be Ginger Rogers and dance all those wonderful traditional dances with the glorious Fred Astaire. I’ve always wanted to be as elegant and talented as she was, and all their old movies are great – you can’t beat them! Ah, those frocks …
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
This has to be one of our yoghurts. We buy a lot of yoghurt and I swear some of it gravitates to the back of the fridge and then lurks there for weeks and weeks before being discovered. It’s the smell that gives it away in the end, you know. Having said that, I do occasionally find bits of old lettuce that have escaped from the salad bag and are trying to dig their way to freedom. As you can see, I’m not the classiest of domestic goddesses.
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
In June, Amber Allure will be publishing the fifth of my gay ménage Delaneys series, The Delaneys At Home. The second of my fantasy trilogy, Hallsfoot’s Battle, will be published this summer by Bluewood Publishing. Literary short story, The Gift of The Snow, will be published by Untreed Reads later this year, and I’m also working on a couple of stories, one for Riptide and one for Amber Allure.
Alongside this, I’m continuing to work on my gay fantasy novella, The Taming of The Hawk, so I think I should be kept fairly busy in the months ahead, that’s for sure!
For my fantasy fiction: http://www.gathandria.com/
Find my gay fiction here: http://www.gayreads.co.uk/
For my biblical fiction and poetry: http://www.biblicalfiction.co.uk/
Giveaway competition details:
The giveaway competition: the prize is THREE ebooks from my backlist if these questions about Where You Hurt The Most are answered correctly:
1. What was Dan's hoped-for career before the accident?
2. Where does Adrian take Dan on their second meeting?
3. What month is it when Max visits Adrian for the last time?
Answers should be sent to albrookeATmeDOTcom (and NOT left on the post), and winners will be notified as soon as possible after 18 May, when the tour ends. Good luck!