Guest Blogger – Alicia Nordwell

LMB: Please welcome my Friday Guest, Alicia Nordwell, who has agreed to brave my interview questions today.


First of all, please would you introduce yourself to anyone lurking here?  
Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find something interesting to read one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started … Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately for readers, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published! Oh yeah, she’s a wife, mom of two, and lives in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! 
What made you decide to start writing?  
I couldn’t find what I wanted to read, so I decided to write it. Several friends were very encouraging, especially those I’d been beta reading for already.
What genre(s) do you write and how did you get into it/them?
I’m not quite sure when I started reading mm fiction, but that’s what I primarily write for couples. I got into fantasy and paranormal back when I was a kid. It all started with the Pern series and went from there.
What do you think makes for a good hero and/or heroine?
They have to be relatable. No matter how strong, good, alpha… they need to have some quality that makes a hero a human being. Even if they’re an alien. That’s how the reader finds that connection. So a strong alpha character might have a vulnerable side when faced with rejection from the one they want, or they may fear they’re not strong enough to face an emotional dilemma, not matter how strong their muscles are. A past failure, a tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong moment … that’s all something that can take the perfect character into a believable character.
What do you think makes for a good villain?
Dimension! I like to write villains who have a reason behind their madness. They have to evolve beside the hero and have a character progression of some sort, or they’re simply a plot foil and not believable.
Do you write your stories in order from start to finish or do you write out of order?
Definitely start to finish. I have a hard time with anything that isn’t linear. I don’t like reading it and my ocd insists that I write in order too.
LMB: I am a bit OCD myself, but when it comes to writing in order I simply can’t.  It is probably the only area of my life where the OCD doesn’t take over.  
 
Do you plot out the stories before you start writing, or do you let the characters take over?  Or is it a bit of both?
Definitely a bit of both. I might have an idea but it always seems like the characters tweak things. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
What kind of research do you do?
Whatever needs to be done. Hours online or in my local library usually arm with most of the information I need. Recently I went and picked up an occult encyclopedia, an Eastern European history book, a fact book on US mysterious sites, and a how to on tantric sex.
How do you keep disciplined in your writing?
I’m so not disciplined. *shrugs* But it’s a hobby so that’s okay.
 
How did you get into male/male romances?  What do you like about writing them?
I still don’t remember what the very first story was. It was probably a MfM if I know my patterns though. I just like reading; the sex of the couple is really irrelevant if they’re great characters within an engaging story.
If you also write male/female romances, which do you find easier to write?
Probably mm, simply because I have more mm readers and author friends who can help me with everything.
What is the best and/or worst reaction you have had after telling someone you write same sex romances?
I had a sibling call me a freak. *shrugs* But for the most part people have been accepting, if not downright enthusiastic. One sister just told me she was really proud of how well my eBook was selling. That was a great feeling.
There seems to be some controversy about heterosexual women writing male/male romances, and whether they should or not.  Have you encountered this and what is your opinion on the matter?
I get asked the ‘Why m/m?’ question A LOT. I admin on a website called ‘Gay Authors’ and while there are quite a few women on there, we’re still a minority. I think the major contention is feminizing male characters. I’ve never been accused of doing that, so I haven’t really faced the stigma personally.

What do you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
  
Read. Then more reading. Then … even more reading! I usually devour 500k+ a week. I also do photography.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Paranormal, to be sure!
Do you enjoy films and/or TV shows?  Which are your favourites?
Sometimes. I’m not big on TV but I do like Grimm. I also loved ‘Selena’ from the Underworld series. She is such a strong female character.
LMB: We are way behind on it here, just a couple of episodes into the second series of Grimm, but yes, I can definitely see the attraction of that show.  
 
Do you like to cook?  What is your specialty dish?
I love to bake. I don’t have a speciality ‘dish’ but I’m always tapped to make the rolls/breads/desserts whenever we have family events.  I make some pretty kick butt cranberry and white chocolate biscotti too.
 
What are you working on at the moment, and what are we likely to see from you in the coming months?
Well I have a short story coming out on Gay Authors that’s a modern paranormal story soon! I’m also currently writing a serial alien fantasy on my blog, as well as a flash piece every Wednesday with the Wednesday Briefers. For publishing I’ve a mmf modern fantasy story in the works, as well as a modern mm, and the sequel to Pricolici. (Yes, I like to do a lot at once!) 
LMB: Somehow I am not only slack, but also blind in that I didn’t realise you were part of the Wednesday Briefers group.  Put it down to my scatterbrained tendencies.  If I forgot to welcome you (quite likely!) then welcome from this mostly absent flash fiction writer.
 
 Please tell us about your latest book.
Synopsis:
 
Forced out, Tucker was vulnerable and alone. Betrayed by his haitas, he
unknowingly drove straight for Pricolici territory. Their alpha claimed
him, as a hultan and his mate. Tucker didn’t believe him … at first.
Facing an attack from Stelian’s ancient enemy, Tucker found out what he
truly was.

Powerful.

Excerpt:

 
Something welled up inside him and Tucker felt his eyes shift.
Everything became sharper and clearer when he saw through the eyes of
his wolf. He knew his normally murky green eyes now shone as golden as
the larger lupe’s.

Entranced by the angles and shadows he’d missed with his human eyes,
Tucker stared at Stelian’s dusky skin where it stretched tight over his
sharp cheekbones. The Pricolici were mostly old lupes that had emigrated
from Romania. They’d passed that coloring on to their pups. Stelian’s
Romanian blood gave him a deep skin tone and even the yellow eyes of an
excited werewolf looked natural on him, as if he was never fully human.

Tucker couldn’t help but lick his lips as he stared at the strange
lupe’s strong and handsome face that matched the hard, muscular body
he’d been pinned against earlier. All lupes were stronger than they
looked, but Stelian was taller and more heavily muscled than the biggest
male in his old haitas. Unbidden, the power inside Tucker poured forth
and met Stelian’s aura.

There was a sensation of blending, a mingling of two different yet
similar forces. Stelian’s hand was hot against Tucker’s neck as he
tugged at his chain, pulling his face closer to Stelian’s. The lupe’s
breath puffed against his lips, only inches away from Tucker’s. It
startled Tucker and he jerked away, his power snapping back inside him
like a rubber band as his chair tipped over backward. Tucker fell over
with it, landing on his back. He tucked his body and then rolled into a
crouch, facing the larger lupe.

His body was vibrating from growls deep in his chest as he glared at
Stelian. “What did you do?” It startled him when his voice became lower
and deeper. His inner animal wanted out, but he didn’t know if it was to
fight or play.

He didn’t really want to do either. He edged toward the door.

Stelian jammed his thumb at his chest. “Me? I did nothing but answer
your call, little lupe.” He smirked. “I’ve been able to feel you for
days now, getting closer. You’ve been in my territory before, in this
very room in fact. As soon as you entered the club, I knew what you
were.”

Tucker stopped and pulled himself erect, his hands clenched in
frustration at his sides. Would this lupe ever make sense? “That’s
impossible! I’ve never been here before. I’d remember.”

“Not in person, but your spectral aspect has been here.”

Tucker scoffed. “Spectral aspect? What in the hell are you talking
about?”

“I told you. I know what you are. Don’t try to deny it.” Stelian glared
at him and Tucker glared back with equal intensity. He knew he shouldn’t
antagonize him. Stelian was the strongest lupe he’d ever felt, but he
needed answers.

“What am I then?”

“A hultan.”

“A hultan,” Tucker repeated flatly. He shook his head and crossed his
arms over his chest. “What in the hell is that exactly?”

“A priest. A hultan is a priest.”

Tucker burst out laughing. He closed his eyes and laughed until tears
leaked out of the corners. Stelian growled. Tucker could smell his
anger. Normally he’d be running out of the bar as fast as he could, but
he couldn’t seem to leave. Now this crazy lupe thought he was some holy
man. “I don’t think so. I’m not even Catholic. Nor do I wish to take
vows of celibacy.” Tucker shivered at the thought and rolled his eyes.

Stelian made a dismissive sound and looked at him in disgust. “You’re
impossibly young. You know nothing.”

“True.” Tucker shrugged. He couldn’t argue with truth. “I’ve only been a
lupe for six months.”

Stelian’s eyes widened and then squeezed shut. His hand came up to pinch
the bridge of his nose. He took a deep breath. “You transformed on your
twentieth birthday?”

“Yes.”

Stelian’s eyes were still shut but his hand fell to his side. “You are
only twenty years old?”

Tucker frowned at Stelian and then folded his arms across his chest.
“Yeah, so what? You’re all of what, twenty-seven?”

Stelian’s eyes opened and the look in them was full of things Tucker
couldn’t fathom. “I am two thousand three hundred and sixteen years
old.”

Tucker looked at him in disbelief. “You … you’re ….” He slumped
against the wall and stared at Stelian in shock. The man took advantage
of Tucker’s silence to continue.

“I know you don’t believe me about what you are. There have been many
legends of the hultan among our kind, but they are wrong. None of the
younger generation even listens to them anymore. The stories say that
your kind were celibate recluses and would lose your powers if you were
to ever mate. That was a convention the Christians brought with them to
deny the power the hultans had. The last of your ancestors faded into
obscurity and then died out a very long time ago. I haven’t seen a
hultan in over a thousand years. Until you.”

Tucker shook his head. “You’re nuts.” A very old nutcase, but he was
still nuts. Insanity was probably what Tucker saw in Stelian’s eyes. Now
he had to get away from not only a strong, dominant lupe, but an
ancient, psychotic one.

There was a lot Tucker didn’t know, but he knew he wasn’t some sort of
crazy, old-fashioned priest destined for a life of monkish prudery. He
couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

Sex felt too good to give up.

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