Josh Lanyon Interview 2010

Hi Josh and thank you once again for indulging the readers, your fans – of which there are many on this site alone, and me. I do appreciate your time commitments and promise every time I interview you (other than that first mega interview) to limit the questions, but it never seems to work. This is what we call a wide ranging interview. 🙂 I’ll start, where else – with Adrien and Jake.

It’s been a year exactly since you wound up the Adrien English series with The Dark Tide after 5 books. The fans have said goodbye but you’re left with a hole in your life and your heart because no one could spend 10 years with two characters and not have them become a significant part of their family. One year later how do you feel about letting the characters go? [Sorry, I don’t have any Kleenex today]

Hey there, Wave. Thanks for having me back again. It’s always a pleasure to visit with you and the gang. (Okay 99.9% of the time.)

Let’s see. Adrien. To be honest, this year has been so busy I’ve hardly noticed that gaping wound where my heart used to beat. *g* Seriously, this has been a hectic, stressful year so I haven’t had much time for regrets. Heck, I haven’t had much time for doing my laundry.

Do you still think it was a good move for them to go off into the sunset when they did?

I know this is not what readers want to hear, but yes. I do think it was the right decision.

Do you feel that everything that should have been said and done in the series has been accomplished?

I do. That said, I’ve pretty much promised readers some kind of follow up — a glimpse into how Adrien and Jake are getting along after the close of The Dark Tide — maybe a little short story set during that Christmas trip to London. I don’t see a full novel at this time, but I agree that it would be fun to check in with A&J somewhere down the line. I love them too!

I know you have one principle in your writing, and that is, to know when to end something, which is why Jake and Adrien are now history. On reflection, if you had to do this over, would you change anything in the story arc and if so, what?

No. I really wouldn’t. And I don’t think readers have come up with any convincing issues that need resolving either. All I hear is that they’d like reassurance that A&J are happy together. I sympathize with that because I know when I love stories I don’t want them to end either. But that’s not really enough of a reason to keep writing a particular series.

Last time I interviewed you, you talked about what surprised you the most in the series, which was that Jake married Kate. On the one hand I understood Jake’s motivation because he never acknowledged being gay until the very end, and always wanted children and the white picket fence. However, when you were writing that episode did you not feel that you were stabbing Adrien in the heart and did you have any idea at the time how you were going to dig yourself out of that hole?

I always knew that Adrien and Jake were going to split up over Kate, and I knew she would get pregnant. The marriage…I did try to see a way around that because it was very painful to write, and I knew readers were going to hate it (I would, if I was reading the series). But once I thought it through, I knew that Jake would of course marry Kate. That’s how he was brought up, it conformed to the things he believed he wanted for himself…it was inevitable.

Awful, but inevitable.

But also inevitable was the fact that such a marriage was unlikely to last. Or, if it did last, it was unlikely to be happy and fulfilling in the way Jake imagined.

The question we all want answered is: Will we ever see or hear from Jake and Adrien again? Maybe in a Christmas story or a short story perhaps when they get married? Lol. I want to know how they’re doing because I’m so afraid that Jake might be missing the BDSM clubs and slipping out when Adrien is not looking.  🙂

I’m hesitant to say yes because then people will be asking when, and I don’t have any immediate plans. I sort of want to wait until I’m longing to revisit Adrien’s world. But…yes. Eventually.

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Let’s move on. You have written more than 70 books to date (how many exactly?). Does the writing ever get stale to you? Does it ever seem like another 9 – 5  job? It looks to me like writing is 10% (maybe more) creativity (coming up with ideas) and 90% hard work (implementing the plot bunnies). Is that about right? Does it ever get old? Do you still have fun writing these books that give us such pleasure?

I still love writing. There’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do for a living. I feel incredibly lucky — blessed — to be able to do what I love and make a living at it. And the fact that it’s not a lavish living is compensated for by the fact that I’m finally doing what I dreamed of doing my entire adult life: writing full time.

But I’ll be the first to admit that I did overstretch — the last year in particular. My schedule was not reasonable and I experienced way more stress than was necessary. Plus, it wasn’t as satisfying from a creative standpoint. I’d have liked to have the time to dig a little deeper, polish and shine a bit more, and to actually enjoy the successes I had. I literally would send one project off and begin the next one the next day. It was ridiculous.

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Now on to your newest series – Holmes & Moriarity. I reviewed the first book: Somebody Killed His Editor here 18 months ago (has it been that long?) and book No. 2 – All She Wrote – will be released on December 28. If someone who has never read Somebody Killed His Editor were to ask you why these two characters made you think they would have the longevity for a series, how would you answer that question?

Well, the Holmes & Moriarity series is just a basic cozy mystery series (with a big, fat dollop of sex) and those are designed to run forever. There is a character arc and a relationship arc, but it’s not a heavy, dramatic one and it doesn’t impact that basic premise. Kit and JX could easily go on solving these little mysteries for years while they learn to be a couple together.

What’s different about these guys and this series?

The big difference is much of the series is played for laughs. The emotional core is (I think) solid, but a lot of what happens to Kit is one step from slipping on a banana peel. The humour is broader than I typically indulge in, the crimes are less serious.

Or…let me rephrase. The crimes are all traditional mystery set-ups. Sure, there’s a bigger emphasis on relationship (and a lot more sex) than you’d find in your standard cozy mystery series, but other than that, it’s all (literally) by the book.

As for the guys, I think there’s a real dearth of realistic forty-something protags in m/m fiction, and those that do exist tend to be worried only about sex and relationships. In fact, most forty year old guys I know are primarily freaking out over their careers and their impending mortality and should they have turned left instead of right, and is it too late for them…

Now is that going to end up being commercial? Possibly not. Most protags in this genre are thirty-somethings or younger. So I have no idea whether this series will catch on or not, but I think both books so far have been some of my best writing.

What is it about them that would attract us and make us want to follow their adventures for an entire series? [They are not exactly hot young things, in fact Kit is 40 years old and has been battered by life like anyone who has been around that long, he’s been married once, and now he seems afraid of a relationship with JX, a man who is 5 years younger.]

JX is your normal thirty-something stud. Kit…you have to keep in mind that our view of Kit is shaped by Kit, and Kit’s having a hard time turning forty. But if you look at the forty year old guys around you, most of them are perfectly attractive. Matt Damon, Brad Pitt…heck, George Clooney is nearly fifty!

Part of Kit’s character arc is his coming of age — accepting his age — and that will entail realizing that life doesn’t end at forty.

You always have your story arc planned way in advance, so I know you have the answer to this question: How many books can we look forward to in the Holmes & Moriarity series?

At least five books, but as this is a much simpler series, it could conceivably go longer if readers take to it.

This would not be a Josh Lanyon interview without input from the fans and this time they are very vocal.

So that’s what that eerie howling in the night was!

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Sunshine has a number of questions  (You would probably consider her a stalker if these characters were real) lol.

I feel that Adrien’s story has sort of been told. He got his man, his health, the house, a cat and a dog, a family and a job he loves and some sidekick detection work. When it comes to Jake, I still find myself wondering about his life and how things will go for him. To me, there are still things left in to tell in Jake’s story. I want to know what it’s like for him to live without fear and without lying to everyone.

I want to know what it is like when he and Adrien are working on the same side and not against each other. (I worry, because his new job feels kind of lonely). [Sunshine is obviously very attached to Adrien and Jake] 🙂

The PI is traditionally a lone wolf, so you’re right about that, Sunshine. But when Jake comes home in the evening I have a feeling he’ll naturally talk his cases out with Adrien — just as Adrien will talk his bookstore and writing frustrations out with Jake. They amuse each other and they enjoy talking to each other, and that’s a big, big plus in a relationship. They enjoy each other’s company.

Did Jake have a lot of friends before coming out or were family and co-workers his social life?

Like most cops, Jake’s official social circle primarily revolved around other cops, so he won’t have as much in common with his old friends, and there’s bound to be some strain with his family. I don’t think he’s a hugely social animal anymore than Adrien is, though, so I don’t know that it will be a problem. The thing with his family will hurt deeply.

Are you purposely trying to avoid overly sentimental moments in your books? Sometimes I feel a little bit snubbed on the emotional closure in your stories, the resolving moments comes so close to the end and then the book is just over. Is this on purpose because you don’t want your stories to turn too sentimental?

The intention isn’t to snub or deliberately thwart readers, it’s just that readers sometimes want things that don’t — strictly from a writing and stylistic standpoint — make for the best book. I realize that sounds contradictory because we publish for readers, after all, but most readers who are deeply engaged in a story and characters always want more. “More” often means one of those little epilogue things where we see the happy couple after the story has essentially ended. As the writer, for me the story ends when the loose ends are tied up. (Unless it’s a series or I think it has potential for a series, in which case some loose ends must be left.)

A lot of my stories close right on the heels of a dramatic arc and to follow that with a scene of cozy togetherness just doesn’t work. I’d have to force it in there and it would weaken the ending, and even change the focus of the story. You have to remember that only a small percentage of my  stories are really, technically romances. But on the stories where it makes sense, I have tried to give a little more. Fair Game, Old Poison, The Dickens with Love, Icecapade, etc.

T.C. Blue asks:

Of all the characters you’ve written, which are you most like and which did/do you like the most?

T.C, I’m sure I’ll always have an especial fondness for Adrien — and Jake as well. I really enjoy writing Kit Holmes, but then his voice is actually very similar to Adrien’s. I dearly love the boys of the Dangerous Ground series. All my characters naturally share certain similarities, and part of that similarity is bound to be me — you can’t cut the creator out of the mix entirely.

Davina wants to know –

How do you feel about fan fiction written using your characters? Have you ever read any of it?

I find the idea entertaining, Davina, but I don’t want to see it — not least for potential legal problems. It’s flattering readers love the characters that much.

RDAFAN7 has a couple of questions

Since your spec-fic has proven successful, what other genres do you plan/hope to write for? (Autobiographies, “mainstream fic”, poetry, etc..)

Hey there, RDAFAN7! I do plan on focusing on mainstream fiction in 2012. I have a couple of historical mystery projects I’ve been putting off for a while, but I’m finding myself increasingly eager to get to them.

You show such a diverse interest in your readings…….If you could invite 3 famous people throughout history to Christmas dinner, who would they be and what would you serve?

I’d love to have dinner with some of those old Black Mask writers — in particular Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Raoul Whitfield. Or maybe we should invite Norbert Davis and I could try to talk him out of killing himself. I’d be sure to serve plenty of booze, beyond that…not sure we’d make it dinner.

A number of readers would like to know if there is any possibility that you’ll do more fantasy like Strange Fortune? Or more paranormal stories like The Dark Farewell?

As a matter of fact, I’m doing an anthology with Ginn Hale, Nikki Kimberling, and Astrid Amara next year called The Irregulars. I’m really looking forward to that one. And also next year will be the launch of the Sword and Pentacles series. It was a great disappointment that I ran out of time for it this year, but it’s not something to rush.

Ever thought of writing an FBI crime series with characters similar to the ones in Fair Game and with that level of crime-solving?

I think part of the key to my success has been that I found a niche that no one was really exploring, and I made it my own. So, yes, I have to put up with some teasing, but I’ve pretty much cornered the market on the cops and white collar professional pairings. *g* There are a lot of people writing FBI agents in one variation or another. I don’t know that I have anything fresh to bring to the autopsy table.

Patty has a question for you

I know that you like to push yourself in your writing to take risks and write in genres that are new and different. Young adult novels are very popular right now. Have you given any thought to writing a YA story? Is this something you might consider doing in the future?

Yes. I’ve thought about it quite a bit, actually.

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I have a few more questions for you

OF COURSE YOU DO. (You didn’t have to get mad) 🙂

I would like to ask about my new favourite series – Dangerous Ground. You screwed yourself royally with the way that book 3, Blood Heat ended. We now have a situation that is somewhat similar to the AE series when Jake married Kate, although it’s not quite as bad. Did you know in advance that you were going to end Blood Heat the way you did? As I was reading the story I kind of figured that was the only logical way to end it. If you did plan to finish the story the way you did, you must have another plan in that brain of yours to get Will and Taylor out of the quagmire you created. Do you? If so, does that plan include conjugal visits? (OK I know they are not married but they might as well be.) lol.

This is where creativity is such a weird thing. As I wrote Blood Heat I kept waiting for the solution to Will going to Paris to occur. The next book in the series was supposed to be Will and Taylor going to visit Will’s family. But as Blood Heat progressed, I realized that logically, given Will’s personality, he was going to take that damned job. I considered ripping the entire thread out because it’s going to be a lot more work than I wanted to invest having those two running around Paris, but…I have to figure that dilemma popped up for a reason, so I went with it.

When I reviewed Blood Heat Aunt Lynn posed this question:

I think there are more books in the series coming, and I am wondering if Josh feels the same, or if this is the end?

Now, Aunt Lynn, surely you know me well enough by now to know that would be a very cruel place to leave readers? When have I ever been that hard-hearted?

I have a follow-on question: What can we look forward to in Will’s and Taylor’s next adventure? Do you have a target date when fans can expect book 4? You do know that many fans of this series want to slap you for what you did in Blood Heat and are anxiously awaiting its resolution?

I don’t have my calendar in front of me, but I think I have that planned for next summer. My editor at Loose Id is on sick leave, so some of this stuff won’t be finalized until I have her back to brainstorm with, but if I’m not mistaken, I believe Lieutenant Commander David Bradley will also be in Paris around the time Will is.

And last, yes, there is an end to all my questions, what about British spy Mark Hardwicke and his lover Dr. Stephen Thorpe from I Spy Something Bloody and I Spy Something Wicked, is this the end of the line for them? I became quite attached to this couple and I was hoping (greedy as usual) that I might see them again someday soon.

I don’t have any plans at this time to revisit them, but…never say never.

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JOSH LANYON UNPLUGGED

Before you leave I have to tell you that you hurt the feelings of the boyz in the hot tub when you commented a week ago that you thought they had all drowned. 🙁 They felt this was heartless and cruel, and Billy (he’s the one who runs around naked and loves to give erotic  massages since he’s practicing for a career as a masseur in a sleazy massage parlour) thought you should make it up to them for being so mean. What do you have to say for yourself Josh? [They are all splashing around in the tub right now drinking something they claim is beer but TJ, who has had the pleasure, ^_^says it’s more like Long Island Iced tea.] 🙂

I confess to being partial to Long Island iced tea. And if I drink enough of them, I’ll probably answer just about anything. So hi, guys! Fire away.

They did have a couple of questions they hope you will answer since you’re all about the characters. What do you look for in your ideal man other than he must love Irish coffees and be able to rock the bed? Sorry, I meant rock the house. 🙂

He must be able to MAKE Irish coffee. I don’t care if he drinks them. ;-D Seriously, I look for — well, back in the day when I was still looking — intelligence, shared interests, a sense of humor, and a great deal of patience. I’ve always been an obsessive workaholic, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s not easy on relationships. It’s not a healthy way to be and it is once again going to top the list of my New Year’s Resolutions. [That is such a boring answer – where’s the sex?]

Also, Billy heard that Fair Game, your first book for Carina Press was a No. 1 bestseller. As always he has both eyes to the main chance and he was wondering whether you would be sharing some of all that money you made with him? He mentioned that he was looking to improve his wardrobe and as far as I’m concerned anything is a step up from going naked. lol

Hmm. I dunno. Naked looks pretty good on Billy. I think the other boys might not approve of a Billy Makeover

He also wants to know which of your characters would you like to do the nasty with make love to?

Jake, definitely Jake. That boy has every bedroom skill known to man. He prides himself on being the best that he can be.

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As always, Josh, thank you for your time. We’re all looking forward to seeing you on the site in your new role starting in January and I want to thank you for accepting BTW. How many Irish coffees did you have before you made the decision to accept my invitation? Okay you don’t have to answer that because I promised no more questions. lol

Thanks for inviting me again, Wave. I give you a lot of grief, but I always enjoy your brutal grilling interviews. And I’m looking forward to January!

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

80 comments

  • This was fun and enlightening to read.
    Thank you both, Josh & Wave, for this wonderful interview 🙂

    Sword and Pentacles is based in an AU 1930s world. My two protags are ex-lovers seeking King Arthur’s amory, so in each book they’re going after another item. Sometimes working together, sometimes working against each other — and all the time trying to work through their attraction and frustration with the other. It’s surprisingly angsty and I think pretty action-packed.

    Sounds brilliant! 🙂

    Poor Kit. I guess he has a more annoying learning curve than Adrien or Jake because it’s all about coming to terms with who he is — and right now who he is…is anxious and insecure and worried. And, given the things that have happened to him, with cause. ;-P
    It’s not heroic, but I think it’s realistic.

    Heroic or realisting, it makes for great reading, especially when adding JX as his complete opposite into the mix.

    I don’t know if this helps or not, but if authorial intent counts for anything, I really do see my characters making a successful go of their relationships. I may not follow them every step of the way, but I write smart people — yes sometimes they make dumb mistakes, but they’re still smart people who are willing to try to get it right for this other person.

    Well, I’m never left feeling anything but optimistic about your characters’ relationships after finishing a story (apart from a certain book in a certain series at some point, if only for a little while), but knowing that was your intention all along does help, yes.

    Jake, definitely Jake. That boy has every bedroom skill known to man. He prides himself on being the best that he can be.

    Lucky, lucky Adrien 😉

    The idea of Jake in London with Adrien’s kinfolk make me chuckle — without writing a word. *g*

    Oh, me too. I’d love reading that 🙂

    Reply
    • I don’t know Josh, the thought of you as a tempting morsel is the stuff of either dreams or nightmares. See, I tried to picture you as you’re writing, in a cardigan, light blue shirt to match your eyes, glasses perched on your nose and a fountain pen nearby with the bottle of ink open, and a bottle of Irish whisky nearby just in case things are going badly with your latest ms ….NAH… I’ll just imagine Jake and try to figure out how to get into his pants. 🙂

      Reply

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