An Interview with Arden Aoide
After I read Apprivoise, the idea was born. I took it to Head Wench Barb, and then spent far too long trying to think of not-fangirly questions to ask, and here we have it! An interview with Arden Aoide, author of Tame (Apprivoise Trio), and her soon-to-be released bound edition of Ancient Hunger!
Follow me through the jump to see what Arden is up to, and whether or not I was successful in not sounding like an utter fangirl!
1) Introduce yourself! It's nice to meet you, Arden, tell us a little about yourself!
I'm the ringmaster to two mad daughters, three madder cats, and a very patient husband with an infinite sense of humor. My world basically revolves around them, by choice and necessity. I'm also an obstinate insomniac. Actually, I'm a bit obstinate about most adult things, and that influences almost everything I do. I hate rules and regulations. People find me too permissive in my parenting, but only because my goal is to raise kind humans with an edge of anarchy, and not those who know their place. It's not up to me to choose their place, but only to help them find it.
Other than that, I love food, eating more than cooking. I'm an Anglophile. I love words. I love philosophy and the vastness of the universe. I love that the Truth is unknowable.
2) What brings you to this genre? Obviously, it's a little flooded at the moment due to the success of one specific set of novels, what drew you to the genre, and what do you think sets you apart from other authors?
I've been writing little things for my husband since the late 1990's. For anniversaries, Valentine's, things like that. Our anniversary is . So, June 20, 2012, I wrote him something and he told me that I should publish. Dishabille was on Amazon two months later.
I think the thing that sets me apart is that I don't write the typical alpha male. I mean, with Nick, I tried to make a couch potato sexy. With Alex, a skinny nerd with ADD, and Jeff, a guy who's on the spectrum. I'm actually going to try to in my next series, though. See if I'm able.
3) Several of the Wenches read all three books in Apprivoisé, and one of the common things I noticed was that everyone seems to enjoy Nick, love Alex, and both adore and are utterly fascinated by Jeff. How do you create characters that stand apart without having them fall flat on the page?
I think because for me, it will always be about characters. The plot, descriptions, and places, while they can be vitally important, will not hold any magic if the characters are dull. The opposite, not necessarily. You could have a captivating story with just characters in an empty room. People are fascinating to me, so I build a world around them.
In Club Dishabille, I coupled a very lonely codependent woman with a passionate someone who had poor impulse control and takes ADHD meds. Throw that together, and well, since I wanted an HEA, they were committed within the week. I couldn't see an alternative unless I went with dark. I didn't see a slow building relationship there. Hell, the first time my husband kissed me (the night we got together), some of the lines I told him that very night, I gave to Alex. I'm the one with poor impulse control in our relationship (though he isn't a codependent woman), and I count my lucky stars that he didn't split then. Alex was very easy for me to write.
I'll admit that I have no clue how many ways Nick and Miranda could be written. So, I went with honesty and sex. There's the layer of complexity between Nick and Dahlia that I chose to explore a bit more. Their relationship is an improbability, so I had to give them issues to make it seem real. But, I'm unfamiliar with dynamic, and while Alex and Dahlia seem a bit far-fetched with regards to how fast they committed, it's Nick and Dahlia that is a bit off to me. So, they fought. For the first time, they really had it out.
Force Majeure was going to be called Ennui because of Evan. But then Jeff happened. When Jeff happens, your plot becomes irrelevant. He's a character that can be written with any plot and any location because you care about what's in his head, and what just might come out of his mouth next.
Alex was supposed to be like Jeff. But, I chickened out. Dishabille was supposed to be a series of stories of Dahlia and Alex. Lonely woman from lustless marriage seeks a bit of play, but it's not in her nature to just 'play'. But Alex, who was going to be Jeff-like would completely covet her, but with his issues, it was hard for both of them to get to the same place. Especially when the same place looks different to each individual. And honestly, Morphoses was just me trolling my husband. Full stop. He and his one on the Kinsey scale. Two of the scenes in that book are two of my favorite in the series (Nick and Miranda, when he discovers her toy, and when he sees Dahlia and Alex through the window), and I did try to develop Nick, give him a past, a deficiency, and I fleshed out he and Dahlia, so that it just wasn't me poking him with a dildo all the time. So, I was quite pleased with the results.
But that first male character wanted to be written still. I had to go back and rewrite one of the chapters in Morphoses (Ch. 4, I think). Jeff was already written as a meaningless side character, so I went and quirked him up, and he and Dahlia's friendship was born *instantly*. Much of Force Majeure is him learning about friendship, and how he's able to introduce certain ambiguities into his black and white world. People on the spectrum can and do find love, can enjoy sex, and if they have a patient and willing partner, then they are able to feel comfortable.
4) What do YOU like to read? Left to your own devices, what would you pick up?
I love the classics. Old and new. My favorite genre is probably fantasy/sci-fi, anything from YA to erotica. I love fairy tales. Arthurian. I love thousand (and older) year old stories that are still around. I also enjoy non-fiction history and science.
5) What is your favorite book?
The Little Prince or Harry Potter
6) Now, many of us have an author whose work, it doesn't matter what they've written, but when they release something new, we automatically buy it - without even thinking twice about it. Do you have any authors on your auto-buy list?
Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Carroll, Edward St. Aubyn, Rowling, CD Reiss, Mary Roach, Hawking, Chabon, Fforde...there's probably more.
7) Your release of Ancient Hunger is coming up quickly! Tell us a little about what will be coming our way!
I started writing Ancient Hunger in episodes right after I published Dishabille. Episodes seemed to be gaining popularity (though people hate them with equal fierceness). I don't know where I got the idea. I'd basically only write them between my erotic series as sort of a cleanser, then when I released Force Majeure, I decided to buckle down and see where I could take the story. And once I was done, I had to shave off about 10,000 words because my little bit scary/erotic/fantasy/gothic/
For later, in a few months, hopefully by April, I have a new series planned. Futuristic, secessionist Texas, brutally erotic. A bit Atwoodian.
I've also have requests for continuing Ancient Hunger, which I didn't expect. There is some potential there though, and I'd be a fool not to explore it.
Excitingly, Arden has also given us the opportunity for a giveaway! Comment below and let us know what you think sounds most interesting about Tame, and you could win a signed paperback from Arden! Super exciting, and I'm sad to not be entering myself (wait, that came out wrong...)!!
Contest will end Wednesday, January 22 and the winner will be chosen by random number draw.