Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Andrew Q. Gordon – Andrew is one of my favorite QSF fantasy authors – he writes Fantasy that happens to have LGBT characters. I met him at Rainbow Con, and we were on a panel or two together – he’s a great guy.
Thanks so much, Andrew, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
Andrew Q. Gordon: My works have fallen in three categories, Epic and High Fantasy (and while there is a difference, I’m putting them together.) Paranormal and Contemporary MM Romance. I don’t really have a favorite, I like them all. But I think I tend toward the fantasy side most as they lend themselves to more world building and allow me to flesh out the characters the most.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AQG: The first book I had published was (Un)Masked which I co wrote with Anyta Sunday. I really loved working on that, because I so enjoy working with Anyta. She’s a fabulous writer who pushed me to become better myself. That was a contemporary MM Romance with a paranormal twist. Much like my own books, the paranormal is subtle and not an entire society or class structure build upon it. I prefer the slightly different twist to things over the larger shifter, vampire, wizard dynamic.
(Un)Masked explores love from two angles, friends and lovers. I’ve been told it is pretty emotionally charged, so I guess it’s not for those looking for a super sweet romance.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AQG: I’m sort of a linear writer. I have the story mapped out in my head, and I try to write things in chronological order. I don’t do so well with writing later scenes and then filling in – though I admit I’ve done that before. I often will chart out the story, at first very roughly, then as I get deeper into it, I get more detailed with my story boards. But even then, I just sit down and write until I get to the end.
JSC: Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.
AQG: I was voted the preppiest in my high school class. Seeing how I dress now, most people don’t believe me until I show them the year book picture.
JSC: What was the first speculative fiction book (sci fi, paranormal, fantasy, horror) that you ever read? How did it influence you?
AQG: The Lord of the Rings. Until then, the most involved book I read outside of school was a comic book. LOTR opened up an entirely new universe for me. I didn’t really understand that people (other than comic book writers) could do such things. After that, I was hooked.
JSC: If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
AQG: Geez, what the hell was I doing in the middle of the ocean in the first place?? Sorry if this won’t be super deep, but a tent, a hunting knife and my glasses.
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
AQG: Kill – Hard one to answer, but I’d have to go with Ryan from Purpose – I can’t say why (I mean I know why, but I don’t want to say.)
Marry – Jason, from Second Shot. I have a thing for tall hot blond men.
Marry – Will from Purpose. Life would never be dull with him.
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
AQG: Nope. Boring I know, but I’m not that type or personality. I write anywhere, on two or three different computers, and I don’t have anything I feel I have to do before, during or after.
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
AQG: A bit of both, because I do have a rough outline of how a story is going to go, but I never follow it when something new comes along to take it somewhere I didn’t plan.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AQG: Many things.
- Book Four of Champions – Title as yet undetermined. That’s not too far along in the re-write of the rough draft. The goal is to submit it in time to have it out by March of ’17.
- Redemption – the sequel to Purpose. Hopefully this will be out within the next year. It depends on how fast I can get done with book four.
- Better Be Sure – a contemporary MM Romance I’m co-writing with Anyta Sunday. June or so of ’16.
- Harp Strings – my MM romance that I’ve been working on forever. Not sure when or if it will be published.
Forty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.
Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.
Note: 1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2013.
SOMEONE DIED tonight. An innocent. Someone who should have lived. I felt her death. I feel the innocents who die. They call out for vengeance.
Standing in the middle of an open space, I barely notice where I am. It doesn’t matter. This neighborhood is like a hundred others, a thousand others I’ve visited around the world. Drugs are sold here, and people fight for “turf” as if there was nothing else out there. This could be anywhere, but it’s Washington, DC. PCP is the poison they sell here, and they sell a lot of it.
Their curiosity has a hint of fear. They don’t know what I am. Am I a cop? Is this a setup? This is the part I like most, where my very presence makes them uneasy. Who stands silent in the middle of the field? I’ve been here five minutes without speaking or moving.
They have no answers, only questions. In that we are alike.
Someone died tonight. An innocent. Someone I’m here to avenge.
Movement on the street. They made a decision: not a cop, not a buyer. My presence is now irritating, bad for business. Like a pack of hungry jackals, they come at me from all sides. Too bad for them. They should have stayed hidden.
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Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of twenty years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.
On his website: www.andrewqgordon.com,
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrewqugordon,
On Twitter: @andrewqgordon,
Or just email him: email@example.com