Tags: interviews, promotion, writing
You would think that after more than 10 years of friendship LJ LaBarthe would have run out of things to ask me about, but she has not! So there is an interview with me over on her blog, where I talk about writing, story locations, and my favourite place in the world.
The post is here – feel free to come over and say hi.
Tags: bandslash blog tour, promotion
Today I’m pleased to be hosting Clancy Nacht and Thursday Euclid as part of the #bandslash blog tour, so without further ado…
Author Questions – Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Five about the author
1. Who are you, and where do you come from?
Clancy Nacht, now an AWARD WINNING author (yeah, that’s right, an award.) from Austin, TX.
2. What inspires you?
Politics, other stories, things in my life that need working out.
3. Describe your writing style in three words:
Irreverent, blunt, and…
4. What style of music do you like, and who are your favourite bands?
I like a lot of styles of music. I gravitate mostly toward trip hop, I guess, sort of chillout music, but a lot of indie. Pop when done well is magic; it’s rarely done in a really catchy, ear-worm way without, you know, being an annoying ear-worm you eventually feel like drilling out of your head.
Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
So, there was this band Fleet Foxes that I really liked (and still like), and this was the drummer. He went out on his own and made this…Well, he has a really beautiful voice, but then this song has a sort of celebratory morbid ennui that really speaks to me. And to know me is to know why the video in particular appeals to me. I do love my femmedom.
Patrick Wolf – “Vulture”
Well, just look at it. I mean, really. But also I’ve always tended toward goth. Patrick isn’t just pretty, though. He’s a fully-fledged artist with incredible talent for instruments and has definitely gone his own way. He’s still quite young, but I’m excited to see where he’ll go. Look him up and check out the moving photos he’s done.
Tricky – “Puppy Toy”
Tricky is one of my go-to artists for sexy music. He’s one of the pioneers of trip-hop and was in one of my favorite bands, Massive Attack. I love the playful vibe of this one, and I just love that swingy, big-band sound. He is one of those artists who takes you on a journey. Plus, with him you can get your hip hop without a side of misogyny. If you don’t know who he is, chances are you’ll know his music.
5. Been to any good gigs recently?
Two favorites of late would be Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings and Of Montreal. They’re very different styles of music. Sharon Jones is more of a throwback to 60s style singers with a big brass band. Very bombastic and so much fun. I saw her in a smallish venue, and while on some level you can’t help but fill the place with your performance, she was definitely full of sass and style.
Of Montreal is very indie and very college art project-y. Their music has this great sort of flair, not the usual A-B chorus style. They bring in costumes and produce short films to accompany their music. They may be a little glam band throwback in some ways. They’re such a lot of fun and a really wide audience: mix of ages and hipster to extreme nerd.
Five about the book
Title: Black Gold 2: Double Black
Series: Black Gold
1. Who is the story about?
The story is about Jett Black and Billy Goldean (Goldie) but this time there are a couple of new characters, including Cole, a mysterious young man from Kansas.
2. What inspired the idea for this story? Any real bands, music, or places from your experience?
The original Black Gold story was kind of based on Matt Bomer, who hadn’t come out as gay yet but hadn’t really lived his life as a straight man before he became famous. I’d read a few things about him being worried because “White Collar,” the TV show he was on, was kind of new and he was being told that the franchise may not work if straight women knew he was gay and wouldn’t lust after him.
I found that sad but also interesting–the idea of being in the closet not because you were embarrassed or thought anything was wrong with it, but because a whole economy was riding on a certain image. Of course, we all know Bomer is living out and proud and, other than Bret Easton Ellis (and who cares what he says anymore?), few people seemed to have a problem with it. “White Collar” is as popular as ever, and his career is booming.
We moved it to musicians because Thursday was a roadie, and I was in a band. A few bands. Anyway, it seemed an area we could both relate to and had a lot of opinions on.
3. What is it about musicians that make them irresistible?
To be an artist, you have to be willing to strip down and let everyone see it all. There’s a certain ruthlessness and blind ambition that comes with meeting success at it. Like Tricky above, who is 20 times most hip hop artists, refuses to be simply a genre artist. He is punk rock and not that shitty Green Day faker shit. It’s the ego, the talent, the vision. It’s sexy, raw power when you bring all of it together and will not be denied. Super sexy.
4. As a story comes in three parts, and this is a music story, pick me three music videos that reflect how you feel the story goes.
Part one: Lana Del Rey – “Blue Jeans”
Loneliness, separation. Jett is trying to do his best getting the label to work while Goldie languishes at home wishing that he could see him more.
Part two: Florence & The Machine – “No Light, No Light”
This part struck me as very Jett: “It’s so easy to say it to a crowd, but it’s so hard, my love, to say it to you out loud.”
Part three: Finn Brothers – “Won’t Give In”
They may have some kinks along the way, but they’re not willing to give up on their relationship. They want to progress to the next stage. “Everything I love is here. Take me home, take me home.”
5. If your book was a music video, how would it go? Talk me through it.
Okay, directing music videos isn’t really my thing. So I guess we’d introduce the new character, he’d make eyes at Goldie, who would only have eyes for Jett. Maybe they’d be at a bar smiling and the new character would try and get Goldie to go to another room with him, but Goldie would move closer to Jett and the new boy would be sad. Then someone new would come for the new boy and everyone would be happy.
Thanks for answering!
Book: Double Black will be available soon!
Buy the first book Black Gold here: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/clancy-nacht-thursday-euclid/black-gold.html
Book title: Black Gold #2: Double Black
Series: Black Gold
Book blurb for Black Gold:
Billy “Goldie” Goldean is the biggest pop star in the world and he’s harboring a terrible, career-killing secret: he’s gay. Even with song titles such as “Astral Glider” and “Winking Brown Eye”, few question Goldie’s squeaky-clean teen heartthrob status. That is, until Jethro “Jett” Black, an infamous womanizer and underground punk icon, names him in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine as the celebrity he’d most like to fuck.
After Goldie and Jett hook up at an industry party, Goldie’s management dumps him, Jett’s exes come back to haunt them, and even Goldie’s mother makes a public plea for him to come to his senses. Goldie wants to trust his untamed new lover but the pressures of fame may tear them apart.
Now came the awkward part. He pulled the brim of his hat even lower and stepped past the crowd of groupies to where Jett was. He felt like he wasn’t walking right, a terrified fawn testing out its long new legs. He held the bottle out, afraid if he got too close that Jett would recognize him.
Jett smelled of old weed and alcohol. It should’ve repelled him, but Goldie just wanted to remain in a bubble close enough to him that he could breathe in Jett’s scent.
“Um…here you go.” Goldie blushed, thinking those were stupid words to say, but he couldn’t think of anything witty.
Jett took the bottle and wrenched the top off to swig down the booze. Goldie winced, knowing how much the alcohol would burn. Jett seemed to sway a bit, and then his eyes cleared, and he let out a long, guttural moan. He took another gulp and then offered the bottle back. He squinted at Goldie, peering like he might recognize him, and Goldie felt his pulse jump with adrenaline. He tried to make himself look like just another crazy fan boy trying to suck up to his idol and prayed that Jett didn’t look more closely than that.
“Oh God, thank you,” Jett mumbled, looking up at his timid savior with bloodshot brown eyes still smudged with what looked like last night’s liner. “If I try to move anywhere that isn’t in the direction of the fucking stage, they’ll eat me alive, and if I ask one of them for a favor, the others will eat her alive.”
Jett gestured to the throng of girls fifteen feet away, and just the motion of his hand in their direction sent them into a squealing tizzy. A tall chick in the back of the group stood on tiptoe and lifted her skull-and-crossbones crop top to flash them her fake rack. Jett gave her his trademark cocky grin and a little wave and then looked away, the persona fading into weariness as he tried to fix his stage makeup in the cobweb-cracked mirror.
“It’s a fuckin’ circus, man. Anyway, what’s your name? I’m Jett, in case you missed the part where everyone was screaming that at me.”
The fact that Jett was talking to him like this, like they were buddies, bros, made Goldie feel simultaneously giddy and crestfallen. He loved getting to see this more human side of Jett, but then, the fact that Jett wasn’t trying to seduce him meant Jett didn’t see him as a sex object. Theoretically, that should have been a good thing, but Goldie felt let down.
What did he expect? That he’d show up and Jett would just bend him over right there? He was there as Billy, not Goldie. It was Goldie that Jett wanted. No one wanted Billy.
“Ich bin…Billy.” It wasn’t even correct German; he didn’t attempt a German accent. It sounded completely ridiculous.
To cover that awkwardness, Billy took the bottle for a quick swig and immediately regretted it. He managed to swallow, but it burned. Billy sputtered, blinking madly as if that would keep Jett from knowing he wasn’t a scotch drinker of any malt.
Jett appeared so busy with his makeup, there was a chance he hadn’t noticed, so Billy took another swig. This time he managed it better. He felt the tension in his back melting away and a sense of light-headedness.
Watching him struggle with his eyeliner in the mirror for a moment, Billy reached for Jett’s shaking hand and steadied it. When Jett didn’t recoil, Billy gently pulled the kohl pencil from him. With the other hand, he tilted Jett’s face up by the chin, taking in the hollows of his cheeks, the sharpness of his face, but also the lost look in his eyes.
Billy licked his thumb and wiped away the messy smudges of the liner. The one time Billy was out without a makeup kit, and he already needed it. He smiled wryly and then held the pencil steadily under Jett’s eye. “Look up so I can get this on evenly for you, please.”
Though Jett looked uneasy, he shrugged and did as he was told. Jett dropped his ass on the dressing table, stretched out his long legs, and looked up at the filthy ceiling. “Y’know, it’s like…some days I just can’t get my shit together. Once I’m out there with the mic, the lights, and the applause, I can get lost in my head, and it’s all right. It doesn’t matter out there, but offstage, it just…” Jett trailed off with a rueful chuckle. “Seriously, though, don’t spit on me again without warning, or I might break your pretty face.”
It took all of Billy’s willpower not to stroke Jett’s hair and say, “I understand.” He knew all too well the appeal of being caught up in the music. In that moment, nothing else mattered.
“Sorry. I don’t usually spit at all.” Billy blushed when he realized how that sounded.
Chewing his bottom lip, Billy decided just to go with the existing smudges and traced it into a design to make it look purposeful. “Just because you feel like a mess doesn’t mean you have to look like one.”
Billy allowed himself to slide his fingers lightly on Jett’s cheek. “Have a look.”
While Jett turned to the mirror, Billy cast around the room for further reason to detain him. Spotting the black nail polish, he grabbed the bottle and reached for Jett’s hand.
Giving Jett’s palm a light stroke with his finger, Billy said, “I can neaten up your nails really quick. I mean, if you want me to.”
Jett looked hot with the intricate swirls of kohl around his eyes. The black liner made his dark eyes look enormous and soulful rather than exhausted.
“Yeah, all right, might as well.” Jett settled in with the scotch in his free hand to let Billy fix up the other.
After another sip, he added, “Thanks, Billy,” as if making a point of using his name so Goldie’d know he hadn’t forgotten it like he probably did most people’s.
It was so bizarre how guilty Billy felt that Jett didn’t know he was Goldie. He wasn’t lying, exactly, just withholding important information.
Billy imagined telling Jett the truth. He’d probably be lucky to get out without his “pretty face” broken.
Still, the name was so distant to him now. Billy. Billy was a fourteen-year-old boy who hoped someone would notice him. He was the anxious music nerd who got more than his fair share of swirlies for being “too fucking pretty.”
Billy forced those thoughts away. If this was going to be his only time with Jett — ever — he didn’t want to waste it thinking about his past.
Billy carefully measured just enough polish onto the brush to fill in the cracks, wiping away the mistakes with his fingertips and letting the residue dry on his skin. He didn’t play guitar nearly as much or as aggressively as Jett. Jett’s fingers were so hard. Working hands. Real hands. Billy wanted to kiss those fingers but left it at just blowing on them.
“I used to do this for my sisters.” Billy was lying again. He had no sisters. He wanted to say something and wanted Jett to think of Billy as a random fan who could do makeup. Jett liked that boy. Liked Billy. That would have to be enough. He took Jett’s other hand and patched the holes in the polish.
Billy sighed. His time was up. There were no more excuses to detain Jett without it getting awkward. “Is it okay if I stay back here to watch the show? I promise I won’t bother you when you’re off. The sound is better back here. Gerha — I mean, the guy who owns this place sort of got the sound thing backward.”
“Yeah, man, do whatever! I’ll let the stage manager know it’s cool for you to be here. I appreciate the help and shit. Really, ma — Billy.”
Jett inspected his nails, taking a moment to gnaw absentmindedly at a rough cuticle before reaching for the scotch bottle again. He looked far more enthusiastic than he had half an hour ago, as if Billy’d recharged his batteries. “I didn’t think makeup and nail polish made so much difference, but then, maybe that’s why all those chicks in the crowd have so much energy for screaming and throwing panties at my head.”
After an awkward pause, Jett cleared his throat and adopted his trademark casual, cool demeanor, complete with whiskeyed rasp. “Look, I don’t know if you’re into the souvenirs or whatever, but if you are, I’ll do you one before I go on. You want? It’s just this thing I do with the used strings, but if it ends up on an online auction site, it’s like…worthless. It’s not signed or anything. It’s just a you-know-and-I-know thing.”
“If you gave me something, I’d never sell it. I’d keep it with me forever.” Billy said it before he could stop himself from sounding like a lovelorn puppy, but he couldn’t stop smiling that big, broad smile that had sold millions of records for the past decade. His body flushed, and he was — stupid as it made him feel — hard over the prospect of a used guitar string. He didn’t know what he’d do with it, but it would be his. Billy’s piece of Jett to keep forever.
Billy wasn’t going to think about whether Jett had done this for girls he’d fucked. He was going to allow himself this moment.
Without asking, Jett grabbed Billy by the wrist and dragged him a few feet to the stool where he’d changed his strings earlier. Jett pushed him to sit and then knelt to grab a stray G off the floor. He deftly looped it around Billy’s pale, slender wrist and wove the string in on itself until it ran out of length. Then he inserted the end through the little steel ring at the bottom of the string and crimped it together with the pliers in his tool kit. Jett eyed it critically, gave it a tug to be sure it was secure, then pressed a noisy, theatrical kiss to the metal before thrusting Billy’s hand back at him and rising to his feet.
“There, now you have my G-string.” Jett gave him a cheeky wink and then stretched as if to work out the stiffness in his muscles from crouching like that. “Treasure it, Billy; it’s a worthless piece of used metal, but it was made with grateful affection by the infamous king of underground…whatever. Be the first kid on your block to give a shit.”
Billy slid his fingers over the metal, thinking about Jett’s lips there, so close to him. It all seemed too good to be real. “No one’s going to think I’m a skank who performed some unspeakable act if they see me with this on, are they?”
Billy clutched his arm to his chest, cradling it with the other as Jett picked up a guitar. This was it; the moment was ending. His Jett was about to dissolve into the real Jett, and the real Jett wouldn’t like Billy. He’d like Goldie even less. Goldie was losing him.
Billy clutched the bracelet tightly, tracing his fingers over it. “I know you’ll be brilliant, Jett. You always are.”
He gazed up at Jett, not even trying to disguise those distinctive golden eyes, and then back down at the bracelet. I’ll never forget this.
Billy should make his exit before the show ended. Seeing Jett leave with a woman would make Billy cry. This was dangerous — a crazy, stupid, reckless thing to do — and Billy would be lucky if he managed to hurt only himself with it.
“Have a good show. I love you…r music. So always do that — make music. Do it more if it helps keep you together. The world needs more of you.” Billy frowned at what a rambling idiot he’d turned into.
Jett paused with a quizzical look on his face, staring at Billy as if he was speaking a foreign language. He nodded slowly, brows furrowed and drawn inward. He held his ancient, scarred guitar by the neck in one hand and strode over to slip his free arm around Billy to give him a sideways hug. Jett’s chin tucked atop of Billy’s head for a moment as if Jett could embrace him with his neck too.
Jett stood back and gave Billy a lopsided, puzzled smile. “All right, man. I’ll try to remember that.”
Jett started for the stage, then hesitated and barked a laugh, looking back over his shoulder to grin at Billy. “Oh, and the most lasting thing I give the groupies is cervical bruising. Those are friendship bracelets, man. Sh, don’t tell. You’ll ruin my rep. Peace. I’m gone.”
Jett gave him a mock salute and disappeared into the wings, leaving his real self behind as he stepped onto the stage — a rock star to be greeted by the screaming of fans who’d been waiting just long enough to get desperate.
Copyright © Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Clancy Nacht hosts Meredith Shayne!
Check out the #bandslash blog tour dates here: http://cocktalesandhotsauce.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/bandslash-blog-tour-dates-for.html