Today we have Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt. They have co-authored the book Hostile Ground!
What's your book about?
L.A.: Basically, it's about a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate an incredibly seedy ring of criminals operating out of a strip club in Seattle. He has to impress -- among other things -- the head of security, Ridley, which leads to all manner of crazy hot mind games and...crazy hot other things.
The blurb is probably more eloquent than my description...
Enemy territory is a dangerous place to fall in love.
After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.
As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.
What should readers expect from you titles?
L.A.: When we team up, you can pretty much expect it to be intense and gritty. Well, unless we're writing porn.
Sometimes we write gritty porn. But outside of things like Quid Pro Quo, which is fluffy fun porn, we like to get into gritty, twisted stories about gritty, twisted characters. Sometimes they're pretty dark, like Hostile Ground. But rumor has it, we've also written a romantic comedy, so... I guess expect the unexpected?
Aleks: It can be gritty and dark, but we still usually manage to not kill any characters who didn't deserve it. And the good guys get their man and a HEA or at least HFN. But yeah, sex and mindgames.
What's your writing process like?
L.A.: How I write on my own is probably better left a mystery because it's just weird and sounds even weirder when I try to explain it, but when I write with Aleks, it's pretty straightforward. We discuss an idea, figure out who are characters are and where the story starts, and then dive into a Google document together. One of us writes while the other watches in real-time, and we switch every 500 words or so. We go back and forth like this until the book is done, usually writing around 10,000 words a day together (though we've done upwards of 20K).
Aleks: What L.A. said. On my own, it's a good day when I manage 2,000 words. I have only a vague idea where I'm going, and then try to get to the end without killing my main character or destroying the world, pretty much. I do listen to loud music to shut down the voice in my head that tells me I'm the worst writer alive, and try to not get bogged down or blocked by either research or perfectionism. Towards the end of a book, my grip on reality becomes tenuous and I go into full-blown obsessive hermit mode - I find it difficult to think anything else, talk about anything else or relate to flesh people. Thankfully, that only lasts a few days.
What's next for you as an author?
L.A.: More writing shenanigans with Aleks!! And a few other co-writers. Plus more solo books under both of my pen names, as well as a third pen name because I'm insane (the third pen name will be for more mainstream sci fi/fantasy).
Aleks: I'm going to self-publish my gay financial thriller Return on Investment in June/July, and then there's a book in a new multi-author series with Riptide. L.A. and I have about a dozen half-finished books and bunnies going, and I'm dipping my toes into WWII literary novels much in the same vein as Skybound, just longer. And there's some books set in the Crusades. So, yeah, war, death, love and mayhem.
L.A.: Aleks, you need to finish that WWII book. Yes, that one. You know the one. FINISH IT AT ONCE.
What is your favorite way to procrastinate?
L.A.: Well, I can kill an entire day making/organizing playlists on iTunes. And yes, it relaxes me. (Yes, I know, I'm weird.)
Aleks: Social media is great. And well, I have one of the world's greatest city on my doorstep (London). There's always something on. But my absolute favourite way is to meet and hang out with readers and other writers, which does eventually lead to more books, so it's short-term procrastination and long-term career planning.
Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?
Aleks: Everybody at Riptide Publishing deserves massive kudos. But generally everybody who got involved and helped me become a better writer, so writer friends and readers and reviewers and editors and all the other book people over the last 20+ years.
If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be?
L.A.: Aleks, obviously. In fact, I just had dinner with him like an hour ago. TRIPPY. hehe.
Aleks: I've even cooked the last few dinners...
L.A.: Aleks is an awesome cook. Srsly.
What's your everyday life like? Do you write full-time or do you also hold another job?
L.A.: Full-time writer, baby!!
Aleks: I just got laid off, so I'm calling myself gentleman adventurer now. That said, I'm also studying massage, but mostly I write. (Or am on social media/meet people.)
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
L.A.: I'm....and extroverted introvert, I guess? I'm generally pretty comfortable around people, but am also perfectly content (and usually prefer) to be alone.
Aleks: According to Meyer-Briggs' personality type, I'm an INFJ, so I'm the most extroverted introvert you'll ever meet. I love people and conventions, but I usually have so many realities going at the same time I can't always devote enough attention to meatspace.
L.A.: Thanks for stopping by, y'all! Stay tuned for news about more Market Garden, more historicals, and the romantic comedy that Aleks and I allegedly wrote.
Aleks: Thanks for hosting us! And, yeah, the romantic comedy. I'm still not quite sure where THAT came from.
L.A.: It's probably best not to ask...