Good afternoon to all. Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Xavier Axelson, author of all things sexy, scary, and downright scintillating. The book we will be discussing is one of his newest releases “Earthly Concerns”. This is a fabulously twisted concoction of paranormal, romance, and a little thriller to keep you guessing. Hello Mr. Axelson, and welcome to Coffee Time Romance!
Thank you for the opportunity!
Right off the bat I want to say I find your writing absolutely captivating! Your particular bent has a way of sucking the reader in and latching on with unbreakable force. Are there times when the stories in your head drive you crazy until you get them out, and how many do you work on at one time?
Thank you for your kind words. The stories in my head absolutely drive me crazy, but I try and maintain a “visitor only” status at the Mad Hatter tea party.
While I only write one story at a time, I always have several waiting impatiently for their turn in the spotlight.
Do you feel that writing is cathartic, or do you find yourself waging war with your characters, and their want to go in a different direction from your original intent?
I’m never at war with my writing, because I willingly go wherever the story and the characters take me. I’m simply along for the ride, my job is to tell the story and listen. I’m in a continuous state of unknowing while I write, and it works for me. There is no planning.
I really love the edgy and often brutal emotional toll you inflict upon your characters. Is this something that is prevalent in most of your characters, and do you ever feel yourself getting pulled into that emotional vortex with them?
Thanks! I don’t intentionally do them harm, it’s their story and I’m transcribing it as an observer. While my heart may bleed for them, all I can do is follow after them, hoping everything turns out for the best. I worry about all of my characters, but I do not necessarily make their emotional needs/issues my own.
What is it like switching gears from horror to romance? And which do find the most satisfying to write?
I don’t think my muse cares how I feel about switching gears, it’s more about the story, the characters making themselves known to me may shout out from any genre and I just have to travel that path and see where the story falls on the genre scale when its finished. I recently wrote a zombie story for an anthology and have never written that genre before but the idea and the characters came so I did it.
Writing in general is satisfying because it allows me to tap into the creative flow of the universe, that may sound wacko but I think when you are creating you’re touching upon something bigger than yourself.
I am particularly fond of books featuring m/m. In my opinion there is much more openness and honesty whatever the storyline, and very little of the head games played out by “mainstream” couples. How do you feel about the perception of GLBT authors today, and what is currently on the best-selling market?
I don’t know how people perceive GLBT writers, I only hope that the world is becoming more open to whatever voices speak to them regardless of sexual identity. As for what’s bestselling on the GLBT market, I’m clueless.
In Earthly Concerns Anson has the ability to see into the past, future, and even beyond the human realm. His visions are often chilling, and I have to wonder if you ever freak yourself out, and if these ideas come to you easier during the day or in the deep of night?
I do freak myself out but more from thinking about the crazy reality we all live in. People shooting people in movie theatres, natural disasters, the violation of human and animal rights is enough to keep me pretty freaked out.
Ideas come to me both in broad daylight and while I sleep. My dreams have become novels and my daydreams short stories so I am always on and open to ideas.
Barrett’s character history shows a cold selfish man while Anson seems much more open and caring. When fleshing out your characters do you often create them with such divergent personalities, and in your mind what is it about Barrett that keeps Anson willing to risk his heart again?
Barrett is enticing because he is a puzzle to be solved. His mysterious/cold nature is fascinating to someone who is open and warm like Anson. Also, isn’t Anson a little obsessed with Barrett? I think the story really dips into the dangerous place when curiosity leads to obsession.
My characters are a mystery, I know I must sound repetitive but I honestly don’t know them until I’m writing the story. It’s like any new relationship, you learn about the person by spending more time with them.
The paranormal/horror aspect of this story is fantastic! It has just enough believability to give you chills without a lot of the gore you tend to get with many horror novels. Maybe this just the girl in me, but I find that the blood and guts slasher stuff turns me off. In your opinion what makes for a really good scary story?
I’m not a blood and guts person per se, but I also think it has its place in certain horror genres. I think Ghost Story by Peter Straub, The Other by Thomas Tryon, and Golgotha Falls by Frank De Felitta are all pretty scary. I’ve thrown a few of these books across the room and some I’ve had to get out of the house the minute I’m done reading them.
I think the unknown is scary. I think a creeping sense of unsettling events is crucial to horror and also finding the horrific in the mundane is always an interesting way to get under peoples skins.
Barrett’s daughter has been taken by something not of this world, and he needs Anson’s help to get her back. Much of their history as well as Barrett as a whole are left up to the reader to infer. I like that this creates a bit of mystery about the characters. Is this a method you employ frequently, and why?
I guess I do. But I should say it’s not intentional, I’m not a writer who likes to torment his readers. Many people have said it frustrates them to have to figure things out, but I think I write what I like to read and I hate having every single thing explained. I don’t mind letting my imagination fill in the blanks.
Anson wants Bennett so bad you can almost feel his need as he recalls memories of their more heated moments. The imagery is great by the way! What do you feel makes a really great sex scene, and which ones make you groan…and not in a good way!?
Sex scenes are incredibly difficult to write. I think what I try to do is stay honest and true to the reality of sex. I don’t like reading sex scenes that seem completely unrealistic or too idealized.
It has been great getting to dig into your thoughts today! Earthly Concerns is an awesome read, and I am thrilled to have been able to discuss it with you. I would also like to let everyone know that Mr. Axelson has a print collection called Menage out now and available at Amazon. Please check out his website for more of his fantastic reads. Thank you so much joining me today and good luck on all of your future releases!
Thanks for having me!