Thursday, December 16, 2010

Laura Tolomei

What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
To make up my own twists and turns in plot and characters is what I like most about being a writer, particularly when I decide how little or how much sex I’ll put into it. I guess this is basically the reason I became a writer in the first place, because I didn’t always agree with how authors handled the plots in the books I read as I got older.

Do you have travel when researching your books? If yes, where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
Actually, I travel for the sake of traveling, then use it extensively in my books to describe settings, culture differences, moods, nuances. I guess it depends on my having traveled around and changed countries since the age of five when my parents got transferred to Lagos, Nigeria. We stayed there five years, my formative ones as it turns out, and loved growing up on the Equator, under fierce sunlight and sweltering heat all year long. Then I moved to the States and this experience was the basis of my first full length novel, Piccolo Crocevia A Cinque (loosely translated Little Five Points), available only in Italian I’m afraid. I also lived for a brief time in India and the country, which already attracted me even before I ever set foot on it, fascinated me to the point I couldn’t keep it out of my books, from Trespassing All Hallows Ever, to Divinitas, to Re-Scue and Tasting Leon’s Mark. I keep traveling today and many of the places I visited find their way in my books, like Sicily in Spying the Alcove, and Jordan above all because it was the setting in which I based the planet Sendar of my ongoing fantasy series, Virtus Saga.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, etc?
Actually, I start with how tall they are. This is the foremost feature my characters all have in common. But I don’t linger on their build, rather concentrate on the face, with eye color and shape of jaw being the things I mention most. But these are just teasers to introduce what I notice primarily in a person, the hair. And I like them long, like many of my characters from Prince Duncan Caldwell, the hero of my Virtus Saga, to Leon Sterling, the protagonist of Tasting Leon’s Mark. The interesting thing is my latest release, Visionquest, focuses a lot on the hair issue. In Ilenio’s, the main character and narrating voice, own words: “And of course, the rugged features were partly covered by raven black hair hanging down below his shoulders as was common to most noblemen in our area. I liked this tradition so much I had taken the liberty to imitate them, even against my father’s strenuous objections, by letting my hair—” So naturally, Ilenio, who is just a peasant, breaks the rules and lets his hair grow long, which is what will get him noticed and will eventually change his life.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m still not sure on how to go about creating a series since mine, believe it or not, simply happened to build itself on its own. Virtus started with a recurring image in my mind—a horse rider lost in a place close to home who finds shelter from a thunderstorm in a beautiful woman’s run-down shack, and she looks too familiar to be a stranger, though he has no recollection of her, of who she is, not even of a name—and everything developed out of this, details being added as I went along without any pre-conceived plot. As incredible aw it sounds, it felt like I was reading the Virtus Saga, rather than creating it, for I gathered information much like a reader does, without the possibility of glimpsing ahead. All I had was a concept, which I’ll gladly share with your readers for the first time ever.

The planet Sendar is controlled by a mechanical device as part of a vast social experiment. This sophisticated mechanism channels people's aggression into sex, which in turn guarantees their feudal society knows no violence.

Other than the above, I didn’t know myself where the story was going when it started, so much so I still don’t have a definite ending to it.
It’s obvious therefore, I’m more of a panster, usually letting inspiration lead me, however strange or inconclusive it may sound at first. Then again, I’m too straightforward to be a good plotter or think up outrageous schemes beforehand LOL.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
If you liked the M/M genre, something easy would probably be my best choice, so I’d recommend To Seduce A Soulmate, my bestseller. It’s an intense novel about making choices in life, which is what my writing’s all about. I like to raise doubts in order to make people think and not blindly accept the prejudices and conventions society wants to feed us. And in To Seduce A Soul Mate, new as well as old readers are challenged to think with their own heads, like Drake is forced to do by the chance encounter of a special person however wrong his gender is.

Where are you from?
Italy, specifically Rome, the Eternal City, a place so full of history, art and culture one lifetime wouldn’t be enough to live it whole. It’s also the reason I love history and put it into my books often, like in Roman Seduction and Divinitas,.

How do you come up with the titles?
I don’t. My husband does and he’s great at it. One word and he describes what takes me a whole book to tell. It amazes me every time! How he does it is beyond me, but it’s perfect to tell readers exactly the kind of story they’re going to be reading.

When not writing, how do you relax?
Lying on a beach under a hot, sweltering hot sun, letting the heat sink to my bones and enflame my imagination.

What song would best describe your life?
“An Easier Affair” by George Michael, not because I’m gay, but because it talks about being free from the inside and that’s exactly what I strive for in life.

What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
I feel no guilt or regret in pleasure, only sadness when it’s over because it always lasts too little. And that goes for all pleasures, mostly the sexual ones.

What sound drives you crazy?
My husband’s voice.

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Highly intoxicating material!

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be?
Mmmmm….have to ask my husband about that.

What’s your favorite curse word?

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?
My husband.

If you could be a shapeshifter, what form would you take and why?
My husband’s to know what goes on in that wonderful brain of his.

Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?
Is it kind of obvious I’m in love with my husband? And to think it took me 20 years to find out about it!

*Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
My future’s as busy as a bee…I have to finish up the edits on Re-Scue, which is probably my most original concept to date, even if I already used it in Divinitas somewhat. To be fair, Re-Scue came before Divinitas, only it’s such an extreme, borderline story, it had trouble finding the right editor. Now it’s housed with Romance Divine and it’ll be coming out first months 2011. The originality is in the fact it’s not one book, but four where the protagonist are the same two souls, only reincarnated in different bodies every time. But if in Divinitas these souls had a purpose, and a strong religious one at that, in Re-Scue there’s no high ambition except in their pursuit of a bloody game of knife and bondage, which neither character can do without no matter how many lives he undertakes. And their connection is so strong, they inevitably pull one another into the same life so that they get a chance to play their game over and over. But of course, the game’s just an excuse and the underlying feelings will bring them to tragedy every time unless something changes soon.
Then I have to continue with my fantasy series, the Virtus Saga. Already released the first three chapters—The Sex, The Game and The Festival—I have the next two almost ready, The Leader and The Pledge, so watch out for those beginning next year.

Please share any links you would like listed in the Interview. Website, Myspace, blog, facebook, yahoo group etc.
My Web

GoodReads Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Authors Island

Whiskey Torrid Publishing Author Page

Coffee Time Romance feature page

Authors Den,

Biblio Scribe




Goodreads Friendship requests

Gay Starta

The Blood Bank (Bitten by Books)

Erotic Romance Writers & Readers

To Seduce a Soulmate
Laura Tolomei
Extasy Books
Gay, Holiday, Contemporary, m/f, m/m, m/m/f
Available now
Buy at Extasy books HERE

He thought finding a soulmate would be his hardest task, but he was wrong. To seduce Pirate Drake…that proved Martin’s real challenge.

Finding a soul mate was the easy part. To seduce him proved Martin’s hardest challenge for nothing in Pirate Drake’s black intriguing eyes seemed to recognize the one person destiny had selected for him. But can the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas be enough to convince him of the contrary in spite of his dilemmas about gender, feelings, connections and sex or can Pirate Drake find a way around the burning desire, the erotic heat, the uncontrollable passion wrecking his senses at Martin’s mere sight?

PG Excerpt:
Martin was about to reply when the waitress brought their platters. He pulled back to give her room, then leaned forward again. “Listen, I’m not asking you to believe in it, but don’t tell me you didn’t feel it because I read it in your eyes, too.”

“Read what?” Drake asked, suddenly feeling very cold.

“The flicker of recognition. When our eyes met, you knew who I was just as surely as I knew who you were.”

“That’s impossible, Devil,” he argued, biting his cheeseburger. “We’ve never met before in our lives.”

“You wouldn’t believe how many unexplainable things defy rationality, Pirate. When I lived in India, I saw more than my share of them.”

“They’re all visionaries over there.”

“I beg to differ, Pirate. They have an age-old tradition, a mix between magic, religion, logic and belief in the unknown. To them, the soul is something alive even when the body dies, with a million journeys behind it and a thousand more ahead, which shape it and mark its path in each successive passage.” He paused to eat a french fry. “And it’s not just an individual affair. I believe there are souls that start out together, soul mates some call them, which inevitably call for each other because alone they’re incomplete. So they go through life seeking their missing half, the essential piece that will restore them to the unity they had started out with.”

“And you think I am—“

“I don’t think, Pirate, I know.” Spoken without any emphasis, the words rang even more forceful despite Drake’s thundering heartbeat clogging his ears. “I’ve been waiting a lifetime to read what I did in your eyes and your reaction was exactly as I’d imagined it a million times in my head. That’s why I behaved like I did that first night.”

“I don’t believe this, Devil.”

“That’s your choice, Pirate. I can’t and certainly won’t force you to believe in this. When you ran away that night at your parent’s house, it became quite obvious that you weren’t ready to accept the truth anyway.”

“What truth?”

The Irish devil stretched across the table. “Just answer me honestly, Pirate. Before you met me, have you ever felt you recognized a complete stranger before in your life? Or felt an electrical current run through your body merely by standing next to someone? Or felt your heart beat so fast you feared it might fall out of your chest?”

With a heavy heart, the pirate realized there was no point in lying so he had to shake his head in denial, long hair flying around.

“But you did the moment you saw me, right?”

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