An acclaimed voice in gay fiction, author Josh Lanyon has been writing gay mystery, adventure, and romance for over a decade. Lanyon is the winner of the 2006 USA Book News awards for GLBT Fiction, an EPPIE Award winner, and a three time Lambda Literary Award finalist. In addition to writing the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, which includes The Hell You Say, Lanyon is the author of numerous short stories, novellas, and novels.
With gay fiction making big inroads in a new set of readers (namely heterosexual women who enjoy male/male romances), I had the opportunity to find out more from Josh about his new release, “Icecapade,” a novella which is part of a holiday anthology titled His for the Holidays, released by Carina Press.
What is the premise for “Icecapade?”
“Icecapade” is a contemporary male/male romance about a retired jewel thief and his decade long game of cat and mouse with an embittered FBI agent.
I love FBI agents as heroes! Can you tell us a little more about him?
Noel Snow is a clever, and mostly unrepentant jewel thief who happens to fall for the FBI agent assigned to catch him. A fall ends Noel’s career, but Robert Cuffe shows up one Christmas Eve, accusing him of being involved in a string of new cat burglaries.
This anthology is first coming out as e-book only. What made you decide to go this route instead of trying to be published in print?
Not every book is right for mainstream publishing. Male/male romance is huge in e-books, but practically nonexistent in mainstream. If you know your market, and you’ve branded yourself effectively, you can make a very decent supplementary income—especially if you’re writing in a hot niche such as male/male romance. There’s a loyal and dedicated readership, and the majority of e-book publishers pay royalties monthly
Your story is set in remote upstate New York at Christmas. How did this location influence your characters or storyline?
It’s very much a quirky holiday romance (it’s got a little bit of everything, including the rescue of a baby llama). I was hunting for a snowy, semi-rural area—not too far from civilization—and I found this little town, with a lot of nice galleries, shops, and horse farms. I knew this was the place Noel would go to ground, and try to start his life over.
What is your writing schedule like, and do you have any rituals that you do before you start writing?
My schedule is brutal. I did something like seventeen projects in 2010. I start my day at 6:00 a.m. and work through 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. Half the time, I don’t even stop for lunch. Granted, that day’s work includes email and promotion, as well as writing.
My ritual is to get up, get dressed, and get to work. I earn my living by writing, so there’s no room to wait for inspiration to knock. It would far more likely be a bill collector! It’s a job like any other—it just happens to be a job I adore.
Do you plan your novels in advance or just go with the flow of the story?
I plot novels out. Novellas and short stories, I pretty much let flow. I think, though, some people misunderstand plotting. It’s not like, once the book is outlined, it’s written in stone. Creativity is organic. Characters grow throughout the course of the story, and the plot alters. That’s part of the fun. I just like having a general idea of where I’m headed before I jump in the car and start driving.
What are you working on now and what will readers have to look forward to in the future?
I’m currently working on the edits for Snowball in Hell, a gay mystery/romance. Carina Press is rereleasing the title in spring of 2011. It’s the first book in a new series about a newspaper reporter, and a LAPD homicide detective during World War Two.
His for the Holidays, including “Icecapade” hits the various online bookstores on December 6, 2010.