I was especially excited to do an interview with Ally Blue. Originally when I first began doing the book reviews I found the Samhain website (link is listed under my link section on the main page). Ally was the first author I found on the site that appealed to my reading appetite. She is a straight and married woman who writes gay novels.
Her work isn't something so cliche'. She has a true and genuine talent. One that she could write on something that breaks literary boundaries. A woman who writes "sexy manlove," as she would say. More importantly, she has been given my gratitude, love and most of all a friendship. So read on further and find out what Blue (as I call her and what I call her fans-Blue's Crew)- has to say!
What inspired you to become a writer?
I guess I've always been a writer at heart. When I was little, I used to write and illustrate books about the fictional adventures of my sister. They were terrible, but man, I had fun doing them. As far as writing gay romance, I started down that road via the disreputable world of band slash. Yep, I'm one of those writers. Heh. But fanfic taught me that I enjoyed reading man-on-man romance, and that I had a talent for writing it. The fanfic world also gave me the opportunity to learn the basics of crafting a story. I learned how to improve, polish and make it a story truly worth reading later on, but I really did get a lot of practice in writing via fanfic.
Beyond all that, though, I think an overall love of reading is the main thing that inspired me to become a writer. I've been reading longer than I can remember. The very first thing I ever bought myself was a book. I've always loved to read wonderful stories, so of course I wanted to create them for myself :)
How long have you been writing for?
Well, not counting my ridiculous childhood picture books, I guess I started writing fiction in, hmmm, 2002 or 2003, something like that. I had my first short story published in 2004, in an online gay fiction zine that, sadly, no longer exists. My first novel was published in 2005.
Of your work, which is your favorite, or that you hold dear for one reason or another?
This is a hard question for me to answer because I love all of my books for different reasons. But I think my favorite of my own books is probably Untamed Heart. Leon and Grim still hold the record as my two most fucked up characters EVER, but I think they work well together. I'm proud of how well they turned out. I think they're both characters a reader can care a great deal about in spite of how screwed up they are. Maybe even because of that.
As an author, who is your favorite to read from?
Oh, man, that's really tough. I have a hard time picking a favorite author. I read lots of different stuff, depending on my mood at the time. Clive Barker is a favorite of mine. Also Stephen King, though I haven't really read much of his in a long time. I have Under The Dome but haven't had time to read it yet. Too busy. Sigh. I also have everything H.P. Lovecraft ever wrote. I can't condone some of the viewpoints he held in life, but I do enjoy his over-the-top fiction :)
As far as romance, I'm not much into het, I hate to say. When I read romance it's mostly gay romance. I like to read Willa Okati, J.L. Langley, Jet Mykles, Kimberly Gardner, Rick Reed, wow, lots of others. I have zillions of gay romance ebooks on my hard drive by a whole bunch of different authors.
What is your favorite genre?
HORROR! OMG. Yes. I've been trying to scare myself ever since I learned how to read. My mom used to get irritated with me because I'd read scary books and watch scary movies and stuff then have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night. LOL. My favorite thing to read in the horror genre is still Books of Blood by Clive Barker. Those stories are freakin' brilliant. I love "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament" and "In The Hills, The Cities" in particular.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Writing isn't an answer. :)
Spare time? What is this "spare time" you speak of? Ha! You think I'm kidding but I'm not O_O
I love to read, of course. I love movies, visiting with friends, hanging out with my family. I love to travel, though I don't get to do that as much as I'd like. I love love LOVE live music. I don't get to see as much of that as I'd like either. The last live show I went to was Patrick Wolf in June '09. It was a wonderful show, if I could do that once a week -- or, hell, once a month -- I'd be a happy camper :D
Have you ever collaborated with another author? Or plan too?
I have not, no, and I don't plan to. I seriously doubt I ever will. I'm sort of in awe of people who are able to successfully collaborate on a story. I think I would have a difficult time doing that, myself.
Do you have any pen names? If so why do you choose to use a pen name?
Yes I do! Ally Blue is a pen name :) I use a pen name instead of my real name basically because of my day job. Working is not an option for me, it's a necessity, and my employer could conceivably fire me if they felt that what I write reflected badly on the company. Now, I don't know that they would think that. For all I know, the hospital where I work would be supportive. But I don't want to bet the grocery money on it, so I use a pen name.
Any words of wisdom for your fans and readers?
Wisdom? Hm, let's see. Always wash your hands after you go to the bathroom? Floss every day? Don't put your money in your back pocket unless you really don't want it anymore? Duct tape fixes everything?
Yeah, I'm out. LOL. No, wait, read Steven's awesome book reviews! And read my books! There, I plugged us both. Heh. That sounded really dirty *g*
As if we don't spend enough time chatting via email and your yahoo group (listed under the links section on the main page). I want to thank you again for being so gracious in sharing your time and your books with me. The "Follower's" I am sure love to hear abour you nearly as much as I do. I am looking forward to continue reading your other books, especially the Bay City Paranormal Investigators series. Best wishes to you and your family, and to the "undercover job."
Thanks for having me as your guest, hon, I really enjoyed answering your questions!