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Meet the Author > Meet the Author: Alex Kidwell

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message 1: by Dreamspinner (new)

Dreamspinner Press (dreamspinnerpress) | 2637 comments Mod
Meet Alex Kidwell, author of "Gumption and Gumshoes" this Saturday from 1pm EST on the Dreamspinner Press Goodreads page.


message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Hello, everyone! Thank you for joining me here today. I'm hoping to talk a little bit about my latest novel, Gumption & Gumshoes, as well as take whatever questions you guys might have. :)


message 3: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments Ah, this will be fun!


message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Gumption & Gumshoes was a really fun book for me to be able to write. It follows August Mendez, a chinchilla shifter, as he leaves his dead-end job, starts a detective agency, gets a case, meets a guy, falls for the guy, and solves a mystery. I really wanted to do a lighthearted take on the genre.

This little excerpt will, I hope, let you guys have your first glimpse at August, in his own words:

August Adahy Mendez, that was me. Screwup, serial daydreamer, lover of fast food and chocolate pie. And now the one getting a lecture by my really obnoxious boss and trying damn hard not to make it obvious that I wanted to be anywhere but there. Fifteen minutes later and I was bolting for the door, struggling to shove my arms into my jacket, tripping over my own feet while I made it out of the building. Olson and his number obsession were forgotten as soon as I slipped into my old VW Beetle, peeling blue paint and crackling cloth seats fitting me like a glove.

After a quick adjustment to the rearview mirror, I shoved my shaggy dark hair out of my eyes, checked to make sure no one was watching, and turned the crackling radio on high. Blasting out music I could sing along with, I powered out of the parking lot and onto the highway. A sense of freedom surged through me, that euphoric realization that I was staring at a whole weekend of nothing but cheese curls and old movies, pants optional. Maybe I’d do a marathon of my favorite flicks—the classic black-and-white fifties detective stories, all the gumshoes and femmes fatales I could handle.

Sometimes being single sucked. This was not one of those times.

By the time I’d turned onto my street, heading toward my slightly sketchy but still this side of crack-house apartment, I’d shaken off the depressing doldrums of work and gotten myself into the proper mood for being utterly lazy. It took work to be as slothful as I was planning on being.

First order of business was to lose the pants. Boxers only on weekends; it was practically the eleventh commandment. And because of the said singleness, I didn’t have to worry when my stomach poked out too much, or that my legs were too knobby, or that my round face matched roundness elsewhere. I was alone with my studio apartment, my wide-screen TV, and a huge collection of movies. No one was fat in the privacy of their own home, after all.


message 5: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I just started reading the Gumshoe book! Love it so far. One of my all time faves is After the End. I read it at least three times, and I'm a slow reader. Any chance we will hear from Brady and Quinn again?


message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Koozebane > Hi! I sure hope so. :D I'm always excited about getting to talk with fellow readers.

Debbie > Thank you! I'm glad you're liking G&G. And it's so cool to hear that you enjoyed After the End. I am planning on doing a second book for them, from Brady's point of view. There's another part of their journey I'm really excited to get to tell.


message 7: by Debbie (new)

Debbie OMG I'm freaking about the sequel. I would insert a proper gif if I wasn't typing my phone during my lunch hour.
Brady's.
Point.
Of.
View.
*dies*


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Debbie wrote: "OMG I'm freaking about the sequel. I would insert a proper gif if I wasn't typing my phone during my lunch hour.
Brady's.
Point.
Of.
View.
*dies*"


Oh man, I seriously can't wait to write it. Let's just say that Annabeth and Tracy feature again, and Brady and Quinn make some major life decisions.

And Brady is so much fun to write from, I think he's going to make a great viewpoint for the reader.


message 9: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Squee! Can't wait. Loved everything about that book. The symbolism with the leaves, Quinn's art - even down to the meaning of Aaron's name was just so perfect. Now I am really looking forward to reading a shifter book-haven't read too many if those but I adore August already.


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Debbie wrote: "Squee! Can't wait. Loved everything about that book. The symbolism with the leaves, Quinn's art - even down to the meaning of Aaron's name was just so perfect. Now I am really looking forward t..."

It really makes me so happy to know you enjoyed it, Debbie. With After the End, I really wanted to focus on writing an emotion and working through it with the reader, so everything kind of became significant within the story.

Amusingly enough, I've actually only read one or two shifter books myself! And I've never tried to write one. I got a prompt from a friend, though, about a chinchilla shifter and I just couldn't resist the image. And thus, G&G was born.

I really wanted to do something lighthearted (especially considering the subject matter of After the End and what I'm currently writing), so I'm hoping that G&G is as much fun to read as it was for me to write.


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments And while we're talking about it - what kind of genre do you guys normally read in? Anything specific? Or do you like to hop around?


message 12: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I love to read mainly m/m romance, YA and some mystery. I really want to read the Harry Potter series soon. One author that I've just discovered that I really enjoy reading is Harper Fox-"Scrap Metal" was very good and her writing style reminded me somewhat of your writing, Alex.


message 13: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments I kind of hop around--for instance, I never read shifters at all until I got into m/m! I like a good friends-to-lovers story, but storylines involving sports (especially hockey), music, college, or art are all fun. I lean toward contemporaries, but a good historical is fun (and I've really started to enjoy steampunk). It's nice to be surprised by something I wouldn't necessarily expect to like, and the uncategorizable can be a plus!


message 14: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Oh and why chinchillas? Aren't they supposed to be pretty mean little rascals? Lol


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Like you guys, I tend to move around. I'm more interested in a good story than what genre I've landed in. Urban Fantasy has a special place in my heart, though (which probably explains why I'm writing a series of that, boy howdy that's more work than we thought it was going to be on the offset), and I love mysteries of all kinds.

Ironically, I didn't even know there was such a thing as GLBTQ centered fiction until my partner and I decided to try writing! Since then, though, I've fallen in love with it as a whole. It's so rewarding to get to read about characters that feel like me, in situations I can relate to.


message 16: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Oh and a random shout out to Robin for the great book cover!


message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Debbie wrote: "Oh and a random shout out to Robin for the great book cover!"

Absolutely! I love love love this cover, Robin was able to do exactly what I envisioned only so much cuter. :3 That chinchilla is hand drawn, too. He's adorable.


message 18: by Bookwatcher (new)

Bookwatcher  (bookwatcher) | 51 comments Hi
A quick comment to said I LOVED Blood Howl & Blood in the Sand. I must read (is my in TO BUY ASAP) After the End.
I really loved how unique Blood Howl and Blood in the Sand are! And I loved also the end... it took me by surprise, and it was (view spoiler) so I'm looking forward for more!


message 19: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Bookwatcher wrote: "Hi
A quick comment to said I LOVED Blood Howl & Blood in the Sand. I must read (is my in TO BUY ASAP) After the End.
I really loved how unique Blood Howl and Blood in the Sand are! And I loved also..."


Thank you, Bookwatcher! The Sanguis Noctis series is our baby and I love to talk to people about it. We're actually in the second round of editing for the third book, Bloodlines, which I am really excited about. It will really throw the reader (and Jed and Redford) deep into the world of the half-bloods and purebloods, there's new characters that I adore, familiar faces reappearing, and the slow burn of an approaching war.

We've also just started to write the fourth, Silence Blood, and I'm really excited for the ramp up of everything that's going on in that world.


message 20: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I so need to read your other series now. I have to get back to work now but thanks for chatting! You are very talented and thanks for sharing your stories with us :).


message 21: by Bookwatcher (new)

Bookwatcher  (bookwatcher) | 51 comments Alex wrote: "Bookwatcher wrote: "Hi
A quick comment to said I LOVED Blood Howl & Blood in the Sand. I must read (is my in TO BUY ASAP) After the End.
I really loved how unique Blood Howl and Blood in the Sand ..."


I'm looking FORWARD for the next!
I love the protagonists, and also ALL secondary characters. Also the plot, the humor, the romance and the world building... yeah, I loved EVERYTHING! :)


message 22: by Alex (last edited Sep 07, 2013 11:42AM) (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Debbie - thank you so much for stopping by! It was great chatting with you. :)

Bookwatcher - I'll give you a little teaser. :D (view spoiler)


message 23: by Alex (last edited Sep 07, 2013 11:49AM) (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments The other half of the Gumption & Gumshoes is held up by Sam Ewing. Sam is divorced and bitter about it, older, and the landlord at the building where August rents office space.

He's trying really, really hard to not be attracted to August. Especially since August reminds him of how great the start of things was with his ex, Kyle. This excerpt is a bit of August and Sam interacting at the start of the book:

Sidelong glances revealed that August kept shifting back and forth, foot to foot, opening and closing his mouth as though he were trying to think of something to say. The expression on Sam’s face, however, was apparently enough to end any attempts at conversation. August led the way to his office. After unlocking the door, he stepped back for Sam to head inside.

The place was a mess. Somehow August had crammed a couch and coffee table in there along with his desk and a few chairs, Sam assumed for clients. Books were shoved into bookshelves and littered nearly every flat surface. There was a ceramic rooster on the desk, posters from black-and-white detective movies on every wall, and a whole shelf of pictures. Sam paused to glance at them; August was in most, smiling, arms around what Sam had to assume were family members. He looked happy. But in every one, Sam could see how August tried to avoid being directly in front, hiding behind what Sam guessed was his mom—they had the same smile—or placing himself in the very back of a group shot. Sam wondered about that.

Not that he cared. He was just here to put in a goddamn light bulb.

The tiny corner bathroom had the door open, the only light in the room coming from the vanity inside. Sam grunted, getting the ladder set up and hitching himself up the steps to reach the overhead light. The top floor had high ceilings, and Sam regretted not putting in the standard fluorescent lights. He just hated how the damn things reminded him of a decade spent in an office, crammed into suits and working every day in a cubicle, listening to the hum of the lights. So he’d done softer bulbs, more traditional light fixtures, but that just meant he changed the bulbs twice as often. That’s what he got for being sentimental.

Kyle had liked them.

Kyle could go fuck himself.

“You should get a lamp,” he informed August while he worked. “If you had a lamp you wouldn’t have to tromp all the way to the basement in order to keep working.”

“I thought about it—” August started, but Sam just kept grumbling.

“I mean, who doesn’t have a lamp? It’s an office. Get a desk lamp. They’re better for your eyes, anyway.”


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Hi, Alex. I just finished Gumption and Gumshoes, and it was absolutely wonderful! Please tell me there's gonna be a sequel...


message 25: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Susan wrote: "Hi, Alex. I just finished Gumption and Gumshoes, and it was absolutely wonderful! Please tell me there's gonna be a sequel..."

Hi, Susan! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. And I've actually been giving that some thought! I had no idea anyone would even read the book, much less want more, but I will admit that I love the idea of the Mendez and Ewing Detective Agency getting more cases. A sequel is definitely a possibility.


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments That's awesome news, Alex :) August is one the most unique characters I've read about. I'm not just talking about his weight or his insecurities, but getting past them, and believing when Sam tells him he's smart and capable.

Oh, and I have the Imperial March as a ring tone too :D


message 27: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Susan wrote: "That's awesome news, Alex :) August is one the most unique characters I've read about. I'm not just talking about his weight or his insecurities, but getting past them, and believing when Sam tells..."

I have to admit, I identify more with August than with any other character I've written. There's something universal, I think, in body image issues, in thinking you're not good enough. But August's struggles were something I understood far too well.

(Confession: The scene with him in the car with Sam actually had me in tears when I wrote it.)

That's awesome! I love the looks I get when the phone goes off.


message 28: by Susan (last edited Sep 07, 2013 12:17PM) (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments I guess the reason why I loved August so much was that he just rang so true. I could easily relate to him. Your writing gave voice to the thoughts in my head. August is sympathetic and amiable. I am really looking forward to new stories about him and Sam.


message 29: by Bookwatcher (new)

Bookwatcher  (bookwatcher) | 51 comments Alex wrote: "Debbie - thank you so much for stopping by! It was great chatting with you. :)

Bookwatcher - I'll give you a little teaser. :D [spoilers removed]"


YAY!!!!!
OHHH can't wait to read it! Thank you for sharing the teaser about the next books!


message 30: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Susan - Thank you, sincerely. That's probably the best compliment I could possibly get. August is very dear to me; he's just a good guy and I had a lot of fun writing him.

Bookwatcher - No worries, dear! If you follow me on facebook, as we go through the final edits we'll post more information and lead up to the release. It should be around November!


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Favorite scene: When August gives Jake a run for his money. You know the one I'm talking about :) I was sitting on the edge of my seat and grinning like an idiot throughout. I knew August could kick ass if he wanted to!


message 32: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments That scene was actually inspired by(view spoiler)

That scene was a lot of fun, too, because I think it's the first time August really realizes what he's capable of. Definitely more than sitting around and watching his life go by.


message 33: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments One last excerpt, I think. This was one of my favorite scenes to write (I'm a sucker for kisses in the rain), and probably my favorite first kiss I've done:

They checked out the vehicle, making sure no one was hiding in the back seat. It looked clean. Hell, the keys were even still in the ignition. Like a fucking miracle. “So, I guess I’ll, um, see you around?” August was saying. The rain was streaming down, muting the colors and the lights until everything was a shadowy swirl. But Sam could see those golden streaks in his eyes, the soft caramel of his skin, the way his hair fell across his face. The lips that begged to be touched. Everything else in the world was cut off by the deluge. Even the sounds had faded away.

Nothing existed other than August.

Maybe it was August who moved forward, holding Sam’s gaze, drawing him in like a kite on a damn string. Or maybe it was Sam who leaned in, his want getting the best of him. Either way, one minute they were separate, simply two people existing apart. And then August’s lips were against his like a sigh, the soft brush sweeping away the last hold of his reserve.

Parting, they stared. The light kiss was still lingering like fire against Sam’s lips. August seemed just as stunned, his hand going up to touch his mouth as if he could confirm what had just happened.

He should just turn and walk away. This was goddamn foolishness of the highest order. This was begging to be hurt.

“Sam—” August started. He reached out to grasp Sam’s arm, as if he could tell Sam was about to bolt.
That one touch electrified him. With a groan, Sam dropped the umbrella. He wrapped his arms around August and hauled him in. August’s mouth claimed his, greedy and unrestrained. The rain poured down over them as Sam pressed August back against his car, as they kissed until there was no more air left within them. Like molten heat, like a dam had burst, they kissed, they tangled into each other, Sam’s leg pushing between August’s, August’s hands fisting into Sam’s hair and jerking him in closer. Sam bent him back against the hood of the car, tongue tangling with his, lips swollen with the force of their embrace.

Jerking away, Sam heaved in ragged breaths, staring wildly. August was sprawled back, soaked and panting. His lip was red from where Sam had bitten him, and his eyes were dark with want. In that moment, he was the most beautiful goddamn thing Sam had ever seen.

Shocked, Sam stood there, rain beating down, warring between desire and common sense. With a hoarse sound, a frustrated noise, he ground his teeth and grabbed the umbrella. Pressing it into August’s hands, Sam then turned and walked back to the building. Back to his small, simple life.

And the rain just kept coming.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments It was a great scene! That was one of the reasons why I was sad that the story ended. It made me want more. I'm looking forward to getting in August's mother's good graces and perhaps have Sam and August meet Kyle. I do believe August will be strong enough to handle any meeting with that cheating dick, pardon my French...


message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Yum! That was one HOT scene - despite the rain :)


message 36: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Susan wrote: "It was a great scene! That was one of the reasons why I was sad that the story ended. It made me want more. I'm looking forward to getting in August's mother's good graces and perhaps have Sam and ..."

Oh yes, Kyle. Kyle is definitely going to show up in a sequel. He's still a police detective, after all, and you can imagine how he'll respond to his ex's new boyfriend, the private detective.

The idea behind the sequel I have in mind right now is centered around August's herd and a missing person. It should be a lot of fun!


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Alex wrote: "Susan wrote: "It was a great scene! That was one of the reasons why I was sad that the story ended. It made me want more. I'm looking forward to getting in August's mother's good graces and perhaps..."

Sounds intriguing, Alex. Can't wait :)


message 38: by Alex (new)

Alex Kidwell (alexkidwell) | 48 comments Thank you, everyone, for stopping by to talk today! Look me up on facebook if you'd like to chat more. :) I hope you guys have a great weekend, and happy reading!


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Alex wrote: "Thank you, everyone, for stopping by to talk today! Look me up on facebook if you'd like to chat more. :) I hope you guys have a great weekend, and happy reading!"

You too! And thanks for giving me hope about a sequel :)


message 40: by Bookwatcher (new)

Bookwatcher  (bookwatcher) | 51 comments can I add a comment here? Have no idea if the discussion was just for the live-chat
I hope so, if I can't, sorry :D

The last weekend I read

Bloodlines (Sanguis Noctis, #3) by Robin Saxon Bloodlines


I want to say THANK YOU Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell for this series!

I liked book 1 (Blood Howl), loved book 2 (Blood in the Sand) but I ADORED book 3 (Bloodlines).
It's the best of the series!

I think I need to add it because after so many series that I lost interest, or that had books on "to-release" for years and years, this series by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell make me trust this two writers. I know I can now buy automatically anything you write! It's good, I can trust (the series is going, not dead or abandoned) and the fun is increasing. Always more, and always better.

Thank you, Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell. Looking forward for more!

:-)


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