Howdy, Delighted Readers!
It is always fun to have authors visit our blog for the first time and today we have Marie Sexton blowing in with a few flurries and the crisp, clean air. Marie is a long-time favorite author of mine since I discovered her Coda series (still need to finish this series, come to think of it) and her contributions to Tucker Springs series and that delectable sci-fi adventure, Blind Space.
So, Marie! This is exciting to have you stop by for a visit. Can I get you something before we get started? Coffee, tea, tequila?
Coffee is always a plus, thank you! Definitely with caffeine and plenty of cream.
Personally, I’m heating up some cocoa, but coffee’s on. And do take a Christmas cookie. I made way too many for my neighborhood packages.
Grab a throw off the couch if you get too chilly. I’m told I keep this place like an icebox, but hey, I’m a winter gal.
I’d rather be too cold than too hot. Too cold, I can always add more layers. Too hot, and I just fall apart. I really do not handle heat well.
What about you? Any seasonal preference? Any winter activities you find fun? Do you decorate or do anything special for the holidays?
I absolutely LOVE fall. You and me both, sister! Changing leaves and thick socks. Soup and pumpkins and apples and football. In Colorado, fall is still warm – maybe not warm enough for shorts, but you rarely need anything heavier than a light jacket. And I definitely adore Thanksgiving. Lots of food and family. (I really love to eat.) Ditto!!! I’m a bit less fond of winter, which in Colorado doesn’t usually get too hairy until January or so. But I’m a sap, so I’m sort of a sucker for the holidays.
I guess I should move back to the matter at hand, our interview. Alright, so your latest, Winter Oranges. It sounds lovely. Please share a bit of something about it to hook in our readers. Five tantalizing facts:
Oh, man. That’s hard! LOL. I’m not sure how tantalizing these are, but here goes:
- It’s ‘friends-to-lovers,’ which is one of my very favorite tropes to write.
- It includes a really smart-assed best friend.
- It also includes a smart-assed female sheriff.
- Because of Ben’s magical imprisonment, it almost works like a time travel story.
- If I were to make a list of my favorites of my own work, Winter Oranges would definitely be near the top of the list. My friend Carter Quinn says I knocked it out of the park. Now, he has to say nice things like that, because he’s doesn’t want to deal with me blubbering. But I really hope readers will agree. J
There is obviously a paranormal element to it with Benjamin trapped in time. I’m curious how the story idea came about. Would you share what led you to write Winter Oranges?
I actually asked for suggestions on Twitter. I’d promised Riptide a holiday story, but I had no idea what to write about, so I threw it out there as a Twitter poll, and one reader (@JenW2468) said she’d always wanted to read a story about two people trapped in a snow globe together. At first, I thought, “no way can I make that work.” But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became by the possibility.
Jason sounds like a cute hottie and I keep picturing some of those teen crushes I had back in the 80’s and you make me wonder ‘where are they now?’ after I read about Jason’s life. Is Jason based on a real guy?
Not really. I sort of pictured Jonathan Taylor Thomas, although he was after my time (totally dating myself, by saying that), and I have no idea if he’s still acting or not. Jason says in the story that he’s often mistaken for William Moseley. I did a lot of googling of blond male actors in the their late 20s/early 30s, trying to figure out which actor he’d name in that one line. LOL.
For me, writing Jason less about any actual guy, and more about coming to terms with a career that you both love and hate, depending on the day. Although writing is mostly great, I have days when I sort of want to run and hide, just like Jason is doing when he buys his house in rural Idaho.
Well yes, that does give me a clearer idea of Jason and I can see the appeal more than ever. J
The guys are from two different time periods so I imagine that might cause confusion at times. Can you share from your book (or just from extra info you know about your characters) an example of them not getting a cultural reference or not seeing where the other is coming from?
Well, Ben is physically almost ten years younger than Jason, but he was born in 1840, so he’s seen a lot. I thought it was a fun dynamic. Jason thinks of Ben as being so young and naive, and yet Ben knows a lot things Jason doesn’t. Ben remembers when Thanksgiving was made a holiday, and Gunsmoke premiering first on the radio, and then TV, and he’s just dying to know who shot JR Ewing. But Ben’s experiences have come in odd chunks. He saw a lot of the 1980s, but he’s been sort of stuck in an out-of-the-way spot for the past thirty years, so he’s still a bit behind on modern technology. Maybe I’ll share one tiny little excerpt.
“Can I see one of your movies?”
Jason fidgeted with the turnkey on the bottom of the globe, not because it needed to be wound again already, but because it gave him something to look at besides Ben’s spectral eyes. “You don’t want to see those.”
“Yes, I do. I want to see everything you’re in.”
“They’re low-budget horror flicks with shitty scripts and cheap cinematography. They’re barely watchable.”
“They’ll be the first movies I’ve seen in twenty-five years. Trust me. I’m easily entertained.”
Jason searched Ben’s face for signs of mockery, but found none. He saw only an innocent eagerness that was refreshing, especially compared to the cynicism of modern audiences. “I don’t know where any of my DVDs are, but we could probably stream some of them.”
Ben laughed. “I have no idea what you just said, but it sounded like a maybe.”
“Maybe,” Jason agreed, although he knew what he really meant was yes.
Since it’s the holiday season, I like to include some fun stuff. If Jason and Benjamin are getting presents for each other, what would those gifts be and why?
Ben would definitely give Jason an orange, just as a joke. I don’t think Jason would even want anything else. And as for what Jason would get for Ben… he’d want it to be an experience. A new food Ben hasn’t tried, or a place he’s never been. Ben’s been stuck in his little prison for 150 years, so Jason is really determined to make up for all that time. I can imagine him whisking Ben off to see Niagara Falls or Yellowstone Park. Or maybe even just to Chicago to taste the best deep-dish pizza money can buy.
Now you’ve got me hungry for pizza pie. What would be something fun Jason would do with Benjamin for the holidays?
There’s a great little trip they take in the book, a winter light boat tour in Coeur D’Alene. It boasts over a million lights and ends at a North Pole Village. It looks like tons of fun, actually. I was bummed that I learned about it after Christmas last year, but my SIL has family in the area, so we’re debating a quick trip over there this year, just to check it out. http://www.cdaresort.com/discover/activities/holiday-light-show
Before you head out, do you have any current or future writing projects you can share with us? I could go for another sci-fi in the Blind Space universe. You know, if you’re needing direction…
A follow-up to Blind Space has always existed in my “maybe someday” folder, but I haven’t started it yet. LOL.
Right now, I’m finishing up a story I started years ago called Trailer Trash. It’s about two high school seniors in small-town Wyoming in the late 1980s. I’ve always known I’d finish it someday, and I think it’s high time. That’ll be out sometime in March of 2016. And then I have a fun little novella called Damned If You Do coming out from Samhain in June. It’s a bit different than anything else I’ve done. It’s about a devil who’s desperate to win the soul of a sweet, young, completely devout tent revivalist in the backwoods of the Bible Belt. But despite being about religion and hell, it’s really long on silliness and short on doctrine, I promise. I call it my “the devil went down to Kentucky” story.
Holy Snikies! That does sound like a bit of fun and excitement. I’ll keep my eye out.
Great having Marie stop by for a visit during the cray-cray of the holiday rush. Thank you so much, Marie! Want to take some of these cookies for the road?
Oh, twist my arm! I’m sure my husband and daughter will be happy to polish off what I don’t finish.
Thanks very much for having me!
Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton
Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.
There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.
But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.
Winter Oranges is one of Riptide’s 2015 charity titles.
Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.
Founded in 1996, the GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit organization that provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Utilizing a diverse group of GLBT volunteers, they operate two national hotlines, the GLBT National Hotline and the GLBT National Youth Talkline, as well as private, volunteer one-to-one online chat, that help both youth and adults with coming-out issues, safer-sex information, school bullying, family concerns, relationship problems and a lot more.
To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: http://www.glbthotline.org/
About the Author
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.
Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
Connect with Marie:
To celebrate the release of Winter Oranges, Marie Sexton is giving away two titles from her backlist and a $50 Amazon gift card! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 5, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!
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