Before we start the interview I would like to thank Jenre for many of the questions and also for always responding to my requests for questions for interviews with her favourite authors. T.C. Blue is definitely a favourite on this site as you can tell from the number of reviews of her books. Now on to the other stuff. (T.C. insisted as part of this deal that I mention she’s a favourite on the site, or she was going to pout and not answer any of the comments). True!
Hi T.C. Nice to have you here in another capacity, sort of on the BBQ being turned until you’re well done. How is it going so far? 🙂
Heh-heh. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, is it? Well, I suppose I can pretend I’m getting a tan, rather than being roasted alive. 😛
I’ll be nice now. Many of the readers on this site don’t know very much about you so why don’t you tell us a little about T.C. the author and T.C. the person? Are they one and the same?
T.C. the author tends to be a bit more polite in company than T.C. the person. Some people find this entire concept to be a bit frightening, but there it is. I really am less diplomatic and softly-spoken in Real Life, hard as that may be to believe.
Aside from that, I’m really just me. What you see is what you get. I’ve never seen any purpose in pretending to be someone I’m not, and for those who follow my admittedly sporadic posts on my Live Journal or my Word Press, this is likely not any great surprise. LOL
Why do you call yourself Tis?
Mostly because it’s my name. hee T.C. is actually short for Tisienne Corana. I ended up using just the initials and my last name, Blue, because number one, it’s a rather long name to slap onto a book cover, and number two, Tisienne, all by itself, lends itself far too easily to misspelling.
It’s pronounced ‘Tiss-ee-en’ by the way, with equal emphasis on each syllable. ‘Tis’ tends to be easier for people and it’s what I’ve become used to answering to, over the years. 🙂
You’re a pretty prolific writer, having produced 19 books over the past 2 years. I’m really impressed by the number of books that you have released in such a short time 18 through Torquere (OK a few of them are Sips but the majority are novels or novellas) and one from Total-e-Bound. How do you find the time to write that much and that quickly?
To be fair and accurate, those stories (five of which are, as you said, Wave, shorts) were released in the last two and a half or so years. I’ve actually been writing original M/M fiction for publication for closer to three and a half years. As for finding the time, my last “real job,” aka “Evil Day Job,” ended about a year and a half ago, and as I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea of finding another 70-hour-a-week headache at the time, I decided it might be fun to try my hand at this writing thing, full time.
That said, I’ve found that being home with the ‘puter all day tends to lead to me fecking off, more often than not. chuckles There’s so much oddly fascinating STUFF on the ‘net, y’know? hee
I probably only write maybe five or six hours a day, which may sound boring, but the truth is, I love it. And I usually have at least five different projects in various stages of completion, so I do enjoy some variety.
Tell us about the Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club series and the first book, A Game of Chances, which was recently published by TEB. What was your inspiration for this series?
Well, the Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club is a very secretive gray-ops organization that operates on the fringes, bypassing such things as the law and governmental culpability. With clients including monarchies, organized crime families and corporations, the FGC isn’t what one would necessarily term morally responsible. The organization fills a need for those who can’t go through official channels. The FGC series tells the stories of some of the operatives of the Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club and gives readers a peek into their world.
The inspiration for the series… well, that’s incredibly embarrassing, but I know you’ll keep it just between us. snorts
A while back, I was listening to the radio in my car when this country song came on. (I know. Seriously. A gray-ops organization series grew out of a country song. I never said I was SANE. :P) I don’t actually remember what the song is called or who the artist is, but it was something about misdirected mail leading this guy to the love of his life.
Somehow, that mutated into Marcus going to his old apartment after a bad breakup because the new tenant had some mail for him, and from there it just… grew. Which just goes to show that stories can come from literally ANYWHERE and can take on a mind of their own. hee
What made you decide to do a set of three intertwining stories in Matchmen Ltd., and which was your favourite couple out of the three?
intones with great gravity In the beginning, there were Chasers… descends into large, unattractive giggles Okay. Back when I first contemplated writing a series of connected stories, Torquere Books still had the Chaser line going. (For those who don’t know, Chasers were like a series of stories by a single author that were either portions of a story or stories that were connected. There were to be at least three stories per Chaser-series.) So I started writing ‘Matchmen, Ltd.’ with the idea that I would submit it as part of that line. Then my usual problem kicked in, and the first part ended up being far too long for that line.
So I thought about submitting it as a novella (aka High Ball) but it was rather toward the low end as far as word count went, so I said “Screw it. I’ll write the stories and put them together as a novel-length book.” Luckily, the people at Torquere were happy to approve the idea, and when it was finished, they accepted the manuscript. 🙂
I don’t know that I have a favorite, as such, to be entirely honest. I like all three of the stories, for different reasons. The first story, about Trevor Hart (the owner of Matchmen, Ltd.) and A.J. Robins, was all about redemption and forgiveness and rediscovering a true, deep connection that was both frightening and deeply needed. The second, about Melly (or Mel), Jackson and Parker was about learning that love isn’t finite but infinite and is in no way lessened when it’s shared between three people rather than two. (I do admit that writing a M/M threesome sex scene was a challenge, though. LOL) The third story involved seeing past the surface and discovering that what someone seems like isn’t necessarily who they are.
If I absolutely MUST choose a favorite, I think I’d have to pick the third story, though. Just because of the ‘talk’ one of the main characters has with his kid brother, Billy.
Did you set your ‘Conventional’ stories on your own experiences of attending conventions and what interested you particularly about the dynamic between Trent and Lucas?
Well, I never ended up in a relationship with someone from TV while in a bar at a Con, but I definitely included some of the things I saw and experienced and wondered about. Some of Trent’s WTF moments at seeing costumers wandering about are absolutely based upon personal experience. And I’ve met people I didn’t recognize in bars, only finding out later that they were famous, so that much is true-to-life. Also, Cindy Lou, who is not a Who, is a combination of a lot of ladies I’ve known from conventions, over the years. I totally heart the Cindy Lou’s of this world.
As for the appeal of the dynamic between Trent and Lucas, I thought it might be interesting to throw these two guys together when they were at such different places in their lives. In the first book, Trent was basically skating by, and while he wasn’t thrilled with his life, he was very sure about who he was and fairly content. Making minor ducats at a thankless job, yes, but secure about himself. Then there was Lucas, who made very good money as an actor, was admired by many and was completely miserable, underneath all that, because he couldn’t ever be himself.
Bringing these two guys together, who were more or less the opposite of what they ‘should’ have been, going by the facts of their apparent lives, and having them form a connection seemed like a good challenge.
I honestly expected Conventional Wisdom (the first story) to be a stand-alone novella, but a few months after I finished it, the guys started poking at me with sharp sticks (not THOSE kind! Mind OUT of the gutter, please! :P) and I had to write Conventional Education just to shut them up.
That story, another novella, changed their dynamic, letting Lucas step up and ‘rescue’ Trent in a tangible manner. Little did I suspect that they’d come poking at me again, demanding a conclusion to their saga.
Can you give me any clues as to what’s going to happen between Lucas and Trent in the next book? I’m hoping that Trent’s going to kick Lucas’ arse out of the closet. :).
Well, the next (and last, I think) story in the Conventions series is called Unconventional and takes place in Los Angeles. This one is a fair bit longer, as it’s novel-length, and all I can say is that there are parties and characters some of my readers might know from other books (Alan, from Making It Up is in there, as is Billy from Matchmen, Ltd.), as well as what I hope is a fun story.
If I said any more, I’d be guilty of spreading spoilers. snerk
Your book Making It Up deals with small town life, and contains a whole host of characters. What was the inspiration for this book, especially as it’s very angsty. Most of your books are angst filled – why is that?
Honestly, ‘Making It Up’ came about while I was going through some personal issues and regretting things that I should have done. Now, I’m a strong proponent of the idea that it’s better to regret something you’ve done than something you haven’t, but there are still things I wish I would have, or could have, done at various points in my life. So one day it just came to me that while I was living a perfectly good life and was reasonably happy, there were things that I wished I’d done differently. That thought led me to Tommy, who was content in his relationship, though he was stressed and worn out in his work-life. Somehow, Tommy led me to all the craziness that happened in ‘Making It Up,’ complete with small-town parents and bigots and ex-girlfriends, oh my!
There really is a large cast of characters in the book, most of whom have their own page-time. (Like Alan, who also appears in ‘Unconventional.’ hee) I don’t generally include POV from characters other than the main two, but in this case it felt right, so I did. I think it added to that ‘small-town’ feel, though some reviewers found it distracting. In the end, I was very happy with the story, regardless. 🙂
As for why I tend toward the angsty side of life, well, there are a couple of reasons.
Number one: I don’t believe people appreciate anything that comes easily. God knows I don’t. So making my characters work for their happy ending only makes it that much more likely that their happiness really will last.
Number two: No angst makes for a boring-ass book. (Just my opinion, really, but if it’s not gonna be all sex, then what’s left? Making them go through some shite to EARN their happiness, right? Maybe this should be part of number one. ponders)
Number three: To steal a quote from the wonderfully awful sequel to Carrie – I want to be one of the shiny, happy people, but I’m just not.” LOL
I love your One and One series. The latest book, The One That Broke Free, has two protagonists who were completely different and my favourite was Vinnie. Did you have a model for Vinnie in your mind or was he totally a creation of your imagination?
grins Vinnie — or Vincent, as he prefers from everyone but Travis (LOL)– is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. I love the way he’s so very himself and doesn’t apologize for it.
I didn’t have a model for him, if you mean a picture or image or something, but I can definitely see him in my head. He’s a combination of several of my ‘gay-boyfriends’ (gay men I’ve lived with, spent crazy amounts of time with, partied with 24/7, but never actually was involved with) and some celebrities. If Vinnie existed, I’d SO be posting pics all over the effin’ place. Travis, too. 😛
The first book in the series that I read was The One that Stayed about an older couple, David and Russell, who had been together for 22 years when Russell was shot in the head and almost died. That story really moved me and I was wondering how did you get the emotions just right without the book becoming maudlin?
This is a very sad story. Not The One That Stayed but the story behind it.
I was in the very beginning stages of writing TOTS. At the time, I was still working as a chef in downtown D.C. and doing research on the ‘net about brain injuries and such.
One of the waiters who worked at the restaurant was gay and had been my closest (only) ally there after the General Manager (the rat bastard who I’d worked with before and who had lured me from my very secure cheffing job of five years) quit without notice.
Durval, to whom I dedicated The One That Stayed, was shot and killed a few months later.
I’d finished the story by then and it had been accepted. But when we were doing edits on the book, I thought about Durval and how supportive he was of my writing. How he celebrated life and truly believed everyone else should. And I changed a few things in the hopes of imparting a bit of his spirit to the story.
Now that you can call yourself “author” what’s the best part? Is it everything you dreamed of?
Well, the best part is being able to tell my Mum “I’m writing,” when she calls at a particularly touchy point (which she always does! LOL) and have her say “Right, then. Call me when you’re done.” hee
Other than that, it’s just really lovely to know people are reading– and liking!– the stories that have percolated and spilled from my head. Back in the day, I never would have thought it could happen, but there it is. grins
What’s next for T.C. Blue?
Hmmm… well, I’ve already mentioned ‘Unconventional’ which comes out in August. And I just got an e-mail from my TEB editor that the release date for the second FGC book, ‘A Game of Skills,’ has been pushed up from end of November to mid August.
I also have another novel coming from Torquere in November, Life Changes Everything (sequel to Life or Something Scary Like That), and both LIFE books will be coming out in print, as well.
Oh, and I have another book, a novella, coming sometime in October from Torquere. It’s part of their Color Box line and the color is Lime Green (it’s a sequel of sorts to my last color box, Lemon Yellow. LOL).
Aside from those, I’m working on a third color box story, Mandarin Orange (Citrus Series) but that’s something to mention next year. Heh.
What’s your greatest accomplishment as an author?
ponders Honestly, I know I’m supposed to say something like ‘print books’ or ‘having stories accepted on spec’ and those things are great! They are! But to be honest? I’d be incredibly happy if the people who bought my books liked them enough to send me feedback. Even “Good story.” LOL I’m really that easily pleased, as sad as that might be. blushy-face
Tell us something about T.C. that no one knows. I already know about the moles on your neck that look like a vampire’s bite so you have to come up with something new. 🙂
Hmmm… something no-one knows? Generally, people don’t know things for a reason. Like ‘I’m not telling!’
Okay, okay… but you can’t tell anyone. It’s rather embarrassing, but I once wore white after labor day! No, really! I did! It caused a huge kerfluffle with my parents’ friends at the country club, but there it is. Heh-heh. That’s a lie. It wasn’t white and it wasn’t labor day and it was a whole other kind of club that didn’t involve parents at all.
Truthfully, I don’t have many secrets. I DO have an unnatural fascination with Sculpey, a type of modelling clay. And I have a rather large collection of stuffed animals. Because I’m incredibly mature.
What does T.C. do for fun when she’s not writing?
Define ‘fun’ for me. 😛 No, seriously, I read. A lot. And watch movies. I also spend a lot of time out on my balcony these days (I won $500 from a scratch ticket about six weeks ago and spent it on furnishing my balcony with chairs, a bench seat, tables, plants and outdoor rugs. My balcony ROCKS! hee)
I don’t have T.V. so I tend to watch stuff online. Sometimes it feels like I’m slacking off, but I usually make up for it. And I spend a fair amount of time hanging out with my Mum and her friends at the retirement community (Mum’s trying to set me up with her neighbor’s son. How scared should I be? ponders)
T.C. BLUE UNPLUGGED
As you are probably aware T.C. I sometimes have a bit of help interviewing from the boyz in the hot tub. They know you’re a girl but they would still like you to get into the tub with them. Since you’re female you have to keep your clothes on – no flaunting of your body because they don’t like that.
Oh, no worries. But are THEY wearing clothes? hopes not as she climbs in wearing a tankini top and one of those skirt-like bathing suit bottoms that hides her hips
Why did you agree to this interview other than the fact that Wave begged? Did she tell you it would be a piece of cake? 🙂 (She lies)
grins I do so like a challenge. Plus, I might have been drunk. Hell, I might be drunk right now!
So T.C. we like Vincent from your latest book. Is it possible to meet him and perhaps spend some time together, (if you know what we mean)? 🙂
I would LOVE to tell you boys ‘yes’ but I have a feeling Travis might be less than happy with me if I did. And he was in the military, so chances are, he could HURT me. Sorry. hee
T.C have you ever lured someone into having hot sex with you? No, we’re not talking about yourself, but someone ELSE. How did that work out?
Um. Me? No. Never. Cuz I’m sweet. And Innocent. And pure. nearly drowns, she’s giggling so hard No, really.
Would you ever like to be in the middle of a boy sandwich? There are several of us here in the pool and we could arrange to make that particular fantasy come true if you like. 🙂
Well, you know what they say… if it sounds good, try it. I don’t have any problem with trying it a second time, just to make sure it’s as much fun as I remember. snerk Oh, wait. I mean I’ve never ever in my whole life been a part of anything with two boys. I must be educated. Please, please, teach me. Heh-heh.
Is it true that you blush a lot and that you go red all over? How could we know for sure that you’re not lying? 🙂
Well, I’m pale, but I don’t blush A LOT… just sometimes. And I can’t speak for whether it’s all over, but then again, neither can you since you lot were the ones who said I needed to be less than naked in your hot tub. Maybe it’s just the heat of the water. So there. Nyah. giggles
Have you ever made love on a horse? We meant a real horse not the horsey in your playroom. 🙂
Um… NO. I’ve read it a few times, but yikes! Sounds both precarious and painful, especially if the horse starts to canter! LOL
Last question – If you had to choose between a guy who was well hung but stupid, to have sex with, and one with a pencil dick who was smart as a tack – who would you choose? What if we told you that whoever you chose would be staying over for breakfast and you would have to talk to him? Would your answer be the same? 🙂
Choose? There’s no ‘choose’! Both! I’m not opposed to slim pricks OR less than stellar conversation. But the combination of the two sounds like fun. 😛
Thanks T.C. I appreciate the time and I hope you had fun, especially answering the questions from the boyz in the hot tub. We hope you’ll come back real soon.
I’ll be happy to, assuming this hasn’t put everyone off. hee
And thanks, Wave, for asking!
BTW Tis, the boyz were kinda put off that you never stripped down. Most of the other authors were not as prissy as you, but they still think you’re pretty hot. 🙂
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