Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Interview with Z.A. Maxfield


I’ve heard that you are a bit of a celebrity. I’m told that you were a ground-breaking author in the M/M romance genre. I have so many questions.

1.     What was your first book?
My first book was Crossing Borders. I don’t think I broke any ground anywhere. I just felt that a bog-standard romance novel featuring gay protagonist and love interest sounded like fun. I believe when I started to write gay romance, the wave was cresting. I just happened to paddle out in time.

2.     Which book are you most proud of?
I think I like the St. Nacho’s books a lot. In those I created characters that resonated and a town that many people wish was a real place where they could go. St. Nacho’s, Physical Therapy, Jacob’s Ladder, and The Book of Daniel.

3.     What inspires your stories?
My stories are almost all inspired by relationships. People interest me. Tragedy interests me. Resilience, redemption, faith, and family. Little things can change one’s trajectory in so many ways. What if someone gets on the bus? What if they miss it? What if you’re born in Los Angeles? What if you were born in Myanmar? There are a ton of stories, and they all start with the question, “What would happen if?” I guess love stories have always been my favorites, though. They inspire me most of all.

4.     What influenced you to write same sex romance?
To be honest, I think I was inspired by the Yaoi manga I was reading while my kids were going through their Manga and Anime phase. I was bowled over by Yaoi, and I was looking for more book-like stories. I felt like I had those stories in my heart and they just wanted to be told.

5.     I loved the book Hell on Wheels with Nash and Spencer. Do you have a muse for your characters?
I guess all my characters are a mishmash of things that interest me. They go on adventures I’d like to have. Wouldn’t we all love to bump into a movie star and have a fling and fall in love? It’s a pretty fun idea. I’d love a midnight date at Trampoline City, a raid on the snack bar to try disgusting food that’s bad for you. When I created those characters, I thought, here’s an individual who is amazing at repression, and he’s taken in hand by a guy who has NO problem expressing his emotions, whether he’s fighting or f*^k@ng. Oh, Goodie!

6.     We met at a Margie Lawson writing immersion class and I thought you were simply amazing. What did you take from that experience?
The best thing about that was how amazingly supportive we all were for each other. I missed being around you guys every day after I went home. I felt almost bereft. You were amazing too, as were all the Now’s Your Timers! It’s wonderful to be in a group of such dedicated hard working professionals. I’m honored to know you all.

7.     You are a multi-award winning author. How hard is it to come up with fresh ideas?
I should probably state that I’m a multi, Honorable Mention award winner. I don’t think I’ve ever once won first place. But as for fresh ideas, I believe there are no fresh ideas. That takes all of us off the hook, a little. Knocks me down a peg or two if I get pretensions.

Because all I have to do is Google tag lines, and I realize every story I’ve ever written has already been told. But storytelling isn’t always about fresh ideas, instead, it’s using the same ideas to touch the heart in new ways. My daughter the lit major once pointed out that until recent history, it would have been considered odd and a little suspect if a writer tried to tell a “new” story.

Just like “romantic love”, the idea that a story needs to be completely original is a fairly modern concept. Voice yes, an author needs a voice that is her own. Particularly in genre fiction, that is what I believe our readers really want. Someone once described it as “telling the same story, only different.” I agree. I try to be fresh in my approach, but really, I love the story that goes, Boy (or girl or threesome, foursome or moresome) meets boy (or girl et al), something comes between them, and they overcome it. The end.

8.     What are your current projects?
I’m just finish up the final book of the vampire series I started years ago. And I’m starting a new contemporary series that is hush-hush until I make up my mind. I’m re-releasing some older stories, and as always, I’m being called by cowboys, cops, soldiers, and any guy in a uniform (even priests aren’t necessarily safe from me. Ooops. Did I say that? Shocking. I know.)

9.     On to fun and silly stuff. If you were stuck on a remote island and could bring five things in addition to your kindle, what would you bring?
Just five? Goodness, can I bring my four kids and a plane??

10.   The last time we chatted you were going to RuPaul’s Drag convention. Do tell…
Oh, my goodness. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun that was. I saw RuPaul!!! He was wearing his normal guy clothes, gosh darnit, but I got to see some of his gowns. AMAZING. I love couture, this was a feast for the eyes. So many beautiful drag queens and courageous cross-dressers, some with their whole families. There were trans men and women and allies and artists and musicians and just a funky group of caring people. It was a beautiful, non-binary atmosphere of acceptance and love. I will forever be grateful for the experience.

11.  How do we find you?
Here’s what you do. You just remove that little register that your hot air comes out of in winter, and I’ll be inside there…staring at you. Really. Try it. Go ahead, I’m waiting and I’m hungry.

Um… just kidding.

My email address is zamaxfield@zamaxfield.com
I’m @zamaxfield on The Twitter. :D
Zam Maxfield on Facebook, and I also have a fan page you can “like”:

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