This week, I'd like to welcome my pal and fellow Total-E-Bound author, Tanith Davenport. It's always fun to talk to folks from the same publisher and when she came up on the calendar, well, I was excited!
So let me welcome Tanith!!!
So glad you're here. Let's get this party started! What inspired you to write your first book?
I had been noting down ideas for some time, but never got around to actually writing anything until the idea for The Hand He Dealt came to me. There was something about it that gripped me – I like to say it was the characters with their entwined personal problems, but the ménage sex was certainly a push! I was working on it for three years before the approach of my thirtieth birthday, and the ensuing “ohmygod turning thirty” crisis, spurred me on to finally finish it and get it out to publishers.
Hey, we all have those OMG moments! How did you come up with the title?
I often take titles from songs, as music inspires a lot of my writing. The story was called Shiver for quite some time before I recognised that the title simply didn’t suit it any more. I didn’t come up with another title until I was finishing it off, when I started to throw around casino-based ideas and landed on the expression “you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt”, which works not only in casino terms but also for the way the individual characters behave in the story. In particular, Astra’s boyfriend Harry is the catalyst for her personal arc, so I decided she was playing the hand he’d dealt, and there was my title.
Gotta love it when one character or one idea gets stuck in your head. I have it happen all the time. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’ve always felt that sexuality and orientation is on a continuum rather than falling into neat little boxes. Very few things about sex are black and white. The characters in The Hand He Dealt are all discovering their sexual preferences in their own way, and what they do tends to fall into the grey areas.
Cool! What is your favorite character you’ve written (published or not)? Why?
Probably Astra Scott, who is currently in The Hand He Dealt but began as a fanfiction character. Originally she was an Australian performance arts student who went everywhere on roller-skates. I re-invented her for Hand, since she was such a fun character to write that I couldn't leave her to languish in discarded fanfic - I did keep her musical ability and love of partying, but I couldn't keep the skates; it would have been too much like Boogie Nights.
Yeah, you don't want the story to be too much like a movie, unless it's your movie! Grin. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
About thirteen, and it was terrible! That said, it did serve as an apprenticeship, as did the one I wrote immediately afterwards, which was slightly better but still not something I’d want anyone to see.
Despite my obvious inexperience, both books contained a lot of sex, so apparently I was starting early with an interest in erotica. They also contained a couple of characters I may make use of at a later date if a suitable plot suggests itself.
Grin. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?
My cat is sitting on me ready to claw me if I say anything other than cats, and since he owns the house and everything in it I’ll have to agree with him. If I could, I’d definitely be a crazy cat lady – not only are they cute and furry, they’re self-cleaning.
I've got a couple cats like that. They think the keyboard is there for them to lounge upon. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?
Yes, and I imagine most people who have seen how I look in pictures can immediately tell why. Cameras hate me. I’ve just had some professional shots done for future promo work, but in the meantime I’m making do with shots that make me look slightly demented.
Considering I don't take good pictures, I can understand. Grin. Boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs…. Or commando? Why?
Once I would have said boxers, because I always hated tight little pants on a man. Now I say commando. It saves time if you feel the urge to have sex in the car.
Yanno, when I see that question, I think, well, if I'm writing him, he can be commando. If it's the CBs then they better have boxers on underneath because I am not washing those pants if they weren't. Isn't that sad. Sigh. Let's talk about something more fun. What is your favorite pizza?
Meat Feast or four cheese. In fact, Meat Feast on top of four cheese, with a garlic stuffed crust. I don’t skimp when it comes to pizza.
I guess you don't. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Very much a morning person. I’m usually up by half past six – I do all my clearest thinking in the morning.
Good dog, you get up way before me. If I had my druthers I wouldn't get up before 10. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
The freedom to spend my time either writing or travelling the world as the urge took me. I don't expect that for a long time, if ever, but I can dream.
I want to thank Tanith for dropping by. I'd love to go travelling, too. Hopefully that can be a goal we both achieve. Now, do you want to know more about Tanith? Here’s the official bio:
Tanith Davenport lives in Yorkshire with her long-suffering husband and pampered cat. Her interests range wildly between rock music and modern cinema to medieval literature and the language of flowers. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado.
Tanith writes erotic romance and has just had her debut novel published by Total-e-Bound Publishing.
You can follow her blog at: tanithdavenport.blogspot.com
And here’s a little bit more about The Hand He Dealt:
Astra Scott likes to live life to the full. A sorority girl and Gaming Management student, she spends her days studying and practising guitar, and her nights partying or working at the Fountain Casino, where she has an internship as part of her final semester. The only blot on her landscape is Ash Drake, her best friend Sasha’s boyfriend. Arrogant, physical and blond, Ash has never forgiven Astra for her rejection months earlier and enjoys annoying her at every turn.
But when Astra’s boyfriend Harry reveals a shocking secret, Astra responds in the only way she can think of: by finding a way to take on a more attractive, masculine role in the relationship. Her experimentation with sex toys finds a surprising outlet in Sasha, but when Ash discovers their secret and wants to get involved, Astra finds herself torn between dislike and desire… and as their undercover relationship grows, Astra finds herself falling in love, a path she feels can only end in heartbreak. For Ash may be the only man whose own fantasies are a match for hers, but can she knowingly steal his affections from her best friend?