Dropping by to chat with us today is Eric Arvin. He is the author of several gay novels in various genres (my favorite is Simple Men). Mr. Arvin’s latest novel, Galley Proof, releases today at Dreamspinner Press.
Kathy: Thank you so much for stopping by and answering my inquisitive questions. I always have to begin by asking what motivated you to become a writer? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?
Mr. Arvin: I’ve always been a creative guy. When I was a small child I would take writing tablets to the conventions my Jehovah’s Witness family attended (Ugh!) and draw stories in them instead of listening. From the time I was able to write my first words I knew that’s how I wanted to make a living. ..And one day I will. (Thank you! I’ll be here all week!) I’ve always known that I was meant to write.
I have been a published writer since 2006. I self-published by first book, which garnered enough attention to get me an agent. The first publisher to give me a chance was Dreamspinner in 2007. I submitted a short story for an anthology and they asked if I wouldn’t mind doing an anthology of my very own short tales. They were honored…er, I mean, I was honored. I was very lucky to find a publisher who believed in me so soon.
Kathy: Lucky for us readers, too! You have an impressive backlist of published books. What is a typical day in the life as author Eric Arvin? Do you write every day? How long does it take you to complete your novels?
Mr. Arvin: Why, thank you. My typical day involves writing and working out and getting lost on the interweb. (Damn you, Facebook!) I do write every day, but never hours at a time. I can’t stare at a screen that long. I take an hour here, two hours there, scattered throughout the day. I have a laid back sense of accomplishment. Usually I can complete a book in around four months. This varies, though, on the type of book. If it’s something more epic like Woke Up in a Strange Place it might take much longer.
Kathy: I am so glad to see I’m not the only one who gets finds myself getting lost in time sucking cyberspace ;).
I absolutely love the covers you have on your Kid Christmas, Suburbilicious, and Slight Details and Random Events books. What goes into the process of creating your book covers and how much control do you have? What made you choose that particular style over the cover for Galley Proof (that cover is absolutely, positively fabulous btw)?
Mr. Arvin: Actually, I usually trust the cover artists and publisher to come up with a good cover. I give my in-put, of course, but I like to see what another artistic mind comes up with after they read my work. The cover for Kid Christmas was all Absolutbleu’s thinking, HVH designed the covers for the Jasper Lane books and Slight Details, and Anne Cain did a marvelous job with Galley Proof. There has only been one cover I wasn’t initially satisfied with, but that book is no longer in print. Oops.
Kathy: I think the cover artist do a wonderful job capturing the essence of your novels.
You write a wide range of novels: comedies, supernatural, superheroes, fantasy/paranormal and contemporary romance. Do you prefer writing one type of novel over the others? Where do you come up with your more, hmm, zany storylines?
Mr. Arvin: My imagination is a big, sometimes frightening place. A word in a song can inspire a whole story. Most of my zanier ideas come when I’m left to my own boredom and my brain draws them out. Stare at something long enough and it comes to life. My favorite type of book to write is the more surreal stuff, like Woke Up in a Strange Place. Stories with a sense of wonder, adventure, and introspection, but don’t lose their sense of humor.
Kathy: It is infinitely fascinating learning how authors view the world around them.
Are there other genres you might try your hand at writing? Any genre you won’t write?
Mr. Arvin: I will try anything. That’s not to say I’ll succeed. I was recently asked about doing a children’s book, but I don’t know if I could. At least, not at the moment.
I’m working on a comic book and have written a horror screenplay, and even a one-act play.
Kathy: What types of books do you read? What is your favorite book of all time?
Mr. Eric Arvin: I’m a big fan of magical realism and speculative fiction, but I will read just about anything. Except autobiographies. I don’t care about the personal lives of film stars. A have a few favorite books: A Separate Peace by John Knowles, At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill, In a Shallow Grave and Narrow Rooms both by James Purdy, As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann, and The Passion by Jeannette Winterson, to name a few.
Kathy: And my TBR list continues growing…
Were you surprised to discover many of your readers are women? Have you seen more of a mainstream acceptance of the GLBT genre over the past few years?
Mr. Arvin: I was surprised at first…and delighted. The main character in my new book Galley Proof actually comments on that.
I have seen more mainstream acceptance with my own work. I have received letters from big straight football players as well as married elderly gentlemen saying how much they enjoyed something I wrote. Those are the messages that make me all weepy. The good kind of weepy. Not the “Goodreads reader goes on a rampage against my work” weepy.
Kathy: LOL. I can sympathize with the Goodreads weepiness. I’m not an author and some of the reviews there make me cringe.
Can you tell us a little bit about Galley Proof?
Mr. Arvin: Well, it’s about a successful novelist, Logan Brandish, whose safe comfy life in small town America is shaken to the core when he meets his free-spirited new editor, Brock, and begins to develop feelings for him. Logan has to ask himself what he wants and that self-doubt is not an easy thing for him. Both the new manuscript he’s working on and his life start falling apart around him so he decides to take a trip to Italy. I had a lot of fun with this book. I even included some character cameos from Simple Men and my Jasper Lane books.
Kathy: Ooo, I cannot wait to read it!!
What projects are you currently working on? What can readers look forward to from you in the upcoming year?
Mr. Arvin: I have a mainstream short from Untreed Reads called She’s Come Undone coming out soon. I’m also working on the third book in my Jasper Lane series, titled SuburbaNights, which should be out this year, and I’m working on the afore mentioned erotic comic with Absolutbleu for Class Comics. Oh, and there might be a film adaptation being warmed up this year for one of my first works. Fingers crossed.
Kathy: I am especially looking forward to SuburbaNights, and I am intrigued by the title of She’s Come Undone. And I am crossing my fingers as well for the film adaptation of your novel. I have enjoyed chatting with you today. Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Mr. Arvin: Just my thanks, Kathy! This has been a lot of fun.
Kathy: Mr. Arvin, congratulations on the release of Galley Proof and thank you so much for visiting with us today. Feel free to drop by anytime you happen to be in the neighborhood.
To celebrate the release of Galley Proof and his visit here today, Mr. Arvin giving away a digital copy of Galley Proof to one lucky commenter.
Title: Galley Proof by Eric Arvin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 200 pages
Fiction writer Logan Brandish is perfectly happy in his peaceful small-town routine with his best friend, his cat, and his boyfriend—until he meets the editor of his next book, the handsome Brock Kimble, and the lazy quiet of everyday living goes flying out the window. Faced with real passion for the first time, Logan becomes restless and agitated, and soon his life and his new manuscript—a work in progress he’d always thought would be completed—are in a shambles.
But as Logan is learning, you can’t always get what you want… at least not right away. To take his mind off the mess, he takes a trip, but even the beautiful Italian, um, scenery can’t keep his thoughts from his erstwhile editor for long. Logan just might have to admit there are some things you can’t run from.
To enter the Friday’s Feature Galley Proof contest:
1. Be or become a follower of Book Reviews and More by Kathy using Google Friends Connect (Followers in the upper right sidebar box).
Then do one of the following:
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Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:
3. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.
And don’t forget to:
4. Leave a comment this post by 5 PM Mountain Time Sunday January 15th.
The winner will need to have a Dreamspinner account (it’s free) so Galley Proof can be added to the bookshelf where it can then be downloaded in the desired format.
It’s that easy! The winner will be announced Monday January 16th.