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> Featured Author - BA Tortuga
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Totally Entwined Group
Aug 07, 2015 02:15AM
Meet BA Tortuga
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy's Girl, BA spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she's not doing that, she's writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA's personal saviors include her wife, Julia, her best friend, Sean, and coffee. Lots of good coffee.
Totally Entwined Group
Aug 07, 2015 02:16AM
Let’s start with the basics…
When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
Well, my very first story ever was written in 1973 and was titled ‘The Magic Muffin Machine’ and it was about a very mean momma, who only made cereal when her little girl needed blueberry muffins for breakfast, and the magical machine she built out of tuna fish cans, candles and blocks in the basement…
Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
I have a strict schedule, believe it or not. I write Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without interruption. I do edits and rewrites on Thursdays. Then I play with my friends co-writing and goofing off in the evenings and weekends. ;-)
Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
I am a pantser/plotter hybrid. I write the first 10K or so of a novel, then I start plotting on index cards. I have dozens of these tiny index card books that are all over the house with the books I’m working on. I’m not particularly visual in my writing (being an illustrator was my job for twenty years and that’s another part of my brain), but music? Utterly vital to my process. I have huge playlists for each and every single book and if the wrong song is on? The writing doesn’t go well.
Where did the desire to write M/M romance come from?
I came to the m/m community twenty years ago via queer lit. I wrote a number of lesbian stories and, during a very dark point in my health where I did nothing but stay in bed and read on the computer, I found fanfiction, which brought me my best friend and my wife. They begged me to write m/m with and for them and I found a supportive, happy place to write.
How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
That honestly depends. I very much tend to write what I know. I grew up rural in Texas, and cowboys and rednecks are my heartbeat, so for that, I don’t have to research much. I live in the southwest now, and I’m branching out into the New Mexico cowboys. For that voice, I eavesdrop. Lots.
What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
The characters come to me with names and I love the cover design process, so I’ll go with title.
"How do you answer the question “Oh, you're an author...what do you write?"
Romance, unless someone’s a real ass, then I say, “Gay porn.”
What does your family think of your writing?
My wife, Julia Talbot, is a writer. My son is a yaoi illustrator. My mother is one of my betas. My sister is in the business, and my daddy is glad that I am making a living (although he desperately wants me to write a hard-core western for him, please).
Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
Right this second I’m writing an action-packed trope-filled m/m romp, a traditional romance sequel to my upcoming book, Mr. Unlucky, an M/M western with an Aussie and a Texan having it out, and a paranormal rodeo. What? I have the attention span of a caffeinated gnat on crack.
Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
My standard answer to this is: Shut up and write. Quit bitching about writing. Quit wanting to write. Quit worrying about writing. Write.
Now the fun stuff…
If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
1967. I would make one hell of a hippie.
We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right? If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter between two characters, not your own, who would they be?
Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, they were so doing it.
If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
Oh, good lord. I’m on the don’t-have-a-stroke diet. There’s almond milk, kale, iced coffee, mason jars of water, broccoli, cauliflower, chicken breast, cilantro, gluten free bagels, a metric ton of insulin, cabbage, Eggbeaters, three boxes of spinach, and Greek yogurt ranch dressing.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Oooh… I’ll go with invisibility. You know how much trouble I could cause?
If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Hrm… Coke Pharris from the Roughstock universe. I would
be a bull fighter if I was younger.
If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
I’d probably take my wife to a little house up in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Good coffee, cool weather, and my mountains. We’d write at the Bluebird Café all morning, take the laptops to the river in the afternoon, and then wander the streets in the evening.
What's the one thing you can't live without?
Hrm. Is a thing a who? I don’t think so, so I’ll go with a reliable internet connection.
What internet site do you surf to the most?
Google. I’m always looking stuff up. Always.
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?
Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, and Kiernan Kelly. We’ve all been a group of dorks together for years, we are family, and we’d have a ball and it wouldn’t feel nervous or weird.
When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
I’ve been publishing on and off since 1976, but I count my career as having started when I became a romance writer. I would have told my wife, Julia, first, with my best friend and my mom in close second and third. Every acceptance makes me a little stupid with glee. Every single one.
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