I AM OFFICIALLY OVER MY PLAGUE! *screams wildly* And not a moment too soon.
I fly to Orlando Wednesday morning for RWA Nationals, and I was not keen on being sick on a plane. Uh, noooope. My doctor swore I’d be well enough to fly but the fact that I still felt like poo on a stick last week Thursday did not give me any hope, but alas, I AM HEALED. This will be my first time attending Nationals, and I am SUPER excited. Be sure to follow me on social media! I’ll definitely be documenting what I know is likely to be one heck of a time.
Today, I get to introduce you all to one of my favorite author people. Not only do I fangirl over his work, but we also have an amazing friendship which started from me emailing him strictly as a fan. LOL well, first I followed him on Twitter, to which he replied: ”*gay gasp* I know you.” Of course, I found his response both hilarious and adorable.
Soren is the yin to my yang. I swear he’s the male version of me. Do you know how rare it is to find your male counterpart? HE IS IT. It’s probably why we get along so well, and he makes me laugh so hard.
He also forgives me when I take forever to respond to emails (as of this blog post I owe him two emails), but he’s always there to listen when I need to commit some serious word vomit. He is one of the best authors friends I’ve come to make since taking on this writing gig. You should get to know him. You should also know LAST WEEK HE RELEASED HIS THIRD BOOK!
I may be squeeing just a little bit. I’m so proud of him! ☺
At the end of the interview, there’s an opportunity for you to win a free read from Soren!
Take it away buddy…
I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?
That behind the happy-go-lucky author persona I maintain online lingers a thick, roiling morass of arrogance and wild overconfidence. Seriously. The only way I can get myself to work long enough to finish a project is to shroud myself in the comfort of madness and delusion. That frequently involves preening in the mirror, yelling “You’re so good at this” and “You’re the best writer in the world” at my reflection, then maintaining that veneer long enough to write my quota for the day before I break down into tears and eat another pint of ice cream. Which reminds me…
How tall are you?
Five foot six. Titchy little baby human by American standards, and almost acceptable in Southeast Asia, where I’m originally from.
You’re auditioning for American Idol, what song do you choose to sing for the judges to showcase your talent?
“You Must Love Me” from Evita. Or that song from Dreamgirls, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” the one that goes “You’re gonna love me.” Failing that, given only a microphone and no backing instrumentals, I can do the Galadriel monologue. You know, the one that ends with “All shall love me and despair.”
You sense a theme, you say? I don’t know what you mean.
Why’d you choose to write romance? More specifically, gay horror with romantic elements?
More than writing I know that my real forte is dealing with people. I’ve been told that I’m charming and I’ve made an effort to take advantage of that in all aspects of life. This also means that I am an enormous flirt, which leads to plenty of imagined dialogue as well as lots and lots (and lots) of imagined romantic and sexual scenarios. Those come naturally to me – typically when I’m trying to fall asleep – so that takes care of the romance half of the equation.
I’ve always been fascinated by horror, especially stuff that builds off of sexuality, like the art of H.R. Giger, vampires and zombies in general, even the very basic fact that the French word for orgasm means “the little death.” There’s something inherently tragic and beautiful about both sex and death, how one creates or infuses the body with life, and the other – well, you know. I figured blending the two might be interesting, and so far it’s worked out magically, thrilling literally tens of readers across the globe.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Anne Rice and Chuck Palahniuk, in different ways, showed me that it was possible to blend love and horror. What I really admire about Chuck, though, is his take on self-destructive characters. He does them so very well. I’m not a fan of the omniscient point of view Terry Pratchett used in his novels, but his writing has an incredible playfulness to it that really stretches the boundaries of what you can do with the English language, often to ridiculous and hilarious effect.
My very own problematic fave is H.P. Lovecraft, who was a massive racist, but was also influential in shaping so many aspects of modern horror. I picked up a lot of tricks about building a creeping sense of dread from his writing. I also borrow some tropes of cosmic horror from his universe.
And George R.R. Martin, of course. I love tragedy, but more than that, he has a gift for the economy of words, often establishing incredible characterization in just one or two sentences. He can make you root for a new character within mere paragraphs or pages – and then he murders them brutally, sometimes in the very same chapter.
Let’s get introspective for a sec. What would you say is the #1 challenge to your personal growth? Ha! You didn’t see such a serious question coming didja?
Addiction, whether to things as trite as video games or as complex as human beings. I have a tendency for obsession, even when I know that something (or someone) is terrible for me. Good thing I managed to quit smoking, hey?
Describe your first breakup in three words.
I was monstrous.
Favorite breakfast food?
It’s a Chinese delicacy called tau fu fa, also known as taho to Filipinos. It’s this really silky soy bean custard in a syrupy sauce. In the Philippines it’s sold by roaming vendors in the morning, always served warm with these chewy sago or tapioca pearls. So, so good. A nice bit of a protein boost in the morning, though kind of heavy on the sugar.
What advice would you give to an aspiring romance writer?
Pick your (sub)genre carefully, baby. The hardest lesson I’ve learned from doing this is that you need to manage your expectations. Want to write genre-blending horror-sci fi romance with psychics and butt sex and eldritch weirdness like I did? Go right ahead, but know that you won’t do as well or reach as many readers as an author who writes about, say, wolf shifters, or billionaires, or jocks. Do your research going in, get a feel of the results you might get out of it, then evaluate your goals and options from there.
Where do you envision your writing career in the next ten years?
Dead in a ditch, just like me.
Kidding! I see myself as a financially stable author by then, someone who can finally, perhaps, ease up on the four-novels-a-year rule. I’d love to think that my writing will be enough to pay the bills and comfortably cover my twenty-seven cats several times over, and that I’ll be good enough to bag a couple of awards to shake in the faces of all those who ever dared to doubt or oppose me. I mean to put on my mantle! Haha. Hah.
Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?
No, but I’d like to, mainly the psychological aspects. I’m not a huge fan of props when it comes to sex. I am, however, fascinated by power play, and I love edging. I imagine those two things in concert would work out wonderfully.
Soren Summers spent 15 years working as a lifestyle journalist and public relations copywriter. After moving to Southern California he decided it was time to stop selling other people’s stories and start telling his own. Inspired by the sweat-laden horrors of ill-tempered editors and looming deadlines, Soren uses his unfortunate love of hyperbole to write novels about ordinary people struggling against overwhelming supernatural odds.
Get your one-click finger ready! Check out Soren’s latest release: Paragon Book 3 in the Vertex universe.