Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Q & A with Brita Addams!


At each stop of the tour, I'll give away a copy of an ebook from my backlist to one randomly drawn commenter. For Men Like Us, the newest release, isn't eligible.
At the end of the tour, I'll select one person from all of the commenters and that person will win a swag pack, containing *tons* of Brita Addams swag.

1.      Tell us about your newest release.

My newest release is, For Men Like Us and is available at DreamspinnerPress. It is about two men who find their lives entwined by tragedy. War has left them both scarred, physically and emotionally. Should one fail in his self-appointed mission, the other will forever be mired in memories of a life lost. However, success could mean destruction to them both.

Here is the blurb:

After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at Salamanca, hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors he witnessed.

The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.

When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains, “The streets are dangerous for men like us.” 

2.  Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

I'd love to. The scene takes place when Ben spies Preston outside the molly house. His intention is only to see him, not speak to him or engage him. He just wants to see that he is all right. However, when he moves his injured foot, the noise draws Preston's attention. Preston turns back toward the alley and begins a conversation with Ben. The poignancy of the scene has stuck with me. Ben is so lonely and so guilty for his part in the direction Preston's life has taken. Preston's kindness pushes him to do the one thing he didn't want to do.

I described the scene to Anne Cain, who recreated it on the beautiful cover of For Men Like Us. It is even better than I had envisioned.

3.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

We are all human and have the basic need to survive, sometimes without regard to the price that survival might cost us. Ben paid a heavy price for his sexuality and continued to pay even after falling in love with Preston. Freedom isn't free, is what we say about our fighting men, and that hasn't changed. Ben's wartime experiences lived with him, as did Preston's. Their lives are inextricably interwoven, the good and the bad.

Ben's survival hinged on Preston's and that alone made "their" survival, as a couple, so important.

I'm not surprised by that revelation, but it is one that stays with me. When a person has the conviction to pursue what they want, no matter the cost, it makes for a powerful story.

4.  What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

The one person who has been my champion, always, is my husband. He encouraged me in the beginning to write, because he knew that was something I had always wanted to do. Many factors played into the delay in my writing career, but when I showed the interest to pursue it in earnest, my sweet darling provided the time and support I needed to do it.

He took over the house so I could concentrate on writing. That was huge for me. He does a mighty fine job of things too, and having a wonderful dinner ready every evening is something I'll never stop telling him "thank you" for.

5.  What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My family is extremely proud of me, because they all know this is something I've wanted since I was a girl. Each, in their way, has inspired me, if only with a smile and word of encouragement. They are a very special group of people.

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

We love to travel and do so as often as we can get away. History is a passion for me, so when I'm not visiting battlefields or famous historical landmarks, I'm reading about our past, as a nation and as a universe.

I am a genealogist and have been for many years. Many of my stories are inspired by things I've uncovered in researching my own family history.

I also love some reality TV—Big Brother, American Idol, Amazing Race, Chopped, Face Off. I'm hooked on Cake Boss (Hoboken style, baby!), and most any cooking competition show. Evenings are devoted to time with my honey, so you might find us watching just about anything. Our guilty pleasures. We also watch a ton of documentaries, period pieces, and biographical pieces. Right now, I'm immersed in the French and Indian War.

7.  Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

Expanding on my love of history, I've decided to write a series, which begins in 1754 and spans 200 years. Each book (four or five) will involve generations of the same family ie: the second book will be about the child of the couple in the first book, and so on.

The entire thing was inspired by a story in my family history, where my fifth great-grandfather was asked to marry a housemaid who was in the employ of a prominent New York family. The wealthy guy was married and had oopsied with the little maid, creating my fourth great-grandfather. However, the man's wife was the prominent daughter of the governor of NY, and well, you can see that this little indiscretion wouldn't have gone over well with the aristocracy.

This story was passed down through the family, but I honestly have no idea if it is true or not. There are elements of it that are entirely fabricated, such as my fifth great-grandfather being paid off to the tune of $30,000, and later becoming the mayor of Walla Walla, Washington. This great political victory supposedly took place at the same time he applied for his Revolutionary War pension in 1818, claiming to be worth a mere $29.00. The keepers of the family history didn't appreciate my investigation of Walla Walla and my getting the man's military records, which included his pension application. Then, there was the inconvenient fact that he never left upstate New York in his entire life, as recorded upon his death by a man who kept a journal of the town for nearly forty years.

However, the germ of truth might have been in the first part, the request for him to marry and raise the child, as my fourth great-grandfather was actually named after the prominent land lord (as in mogul.) Also, my fifth great-grandfather was apparently married three times, but the first two are undocumented, the names of the wives never discovered, though the children from those unions are known.

The second book in the series will deal with this particular event, while the first will fill in the background for my fictional version of my fifth great-grandfather.

8.  How can readers connect with you online?

I am everywhere and I love visitors.

Email address: Brita@britaaddams.com
Twitter: @britaaddams

Thank you so much for having me today. I've enjoyed my visit!


bn100 said...

Congrats on the book! I enjoyed the interview.


Unknown said...

Thank you, sweetheart. Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

Pretty cool post--loved hearing about your family history! Congratulations on the release...


Loveless3173 said...

Men Like Us sounds great Brita! I look forward to reading it. :)
Ah, and your future series sounds amazing! I will be totally getting those! :D Thanks for another stop of the hop!


Caffey said...

Hi Brita!! So great reading this interview! I love your unique historicals! The various settings, being the favorites (Victorian, Regency, etc) as well as the rare settings to find like this one! Reading about this book tells me it will be an emotional read as well, like you explain how powerful their story and relationship is. I shall be watching for your next series!