Here’s an author interview with Tristram La Roche.
Take it away, Tristram…
- How did you start writing erotica?
Entirely by accident. I was talking to an author I know and she said I ought to try my hand at it. She was most specific that I should see if I could write MM erotic romance since so many women had jumped on the bandwagon, as it were. Being a gay man she felt I might come at it from a different angle. Oh, maybe not the right expression!
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
The Hun and The General. It’s an historical novella about the infamous warrior Attila the Hun. His empire faces gloomy prospects and he reluctantly prepares for war with Rome. It’s all about how his relationship with a Roman general changes history. I wanted to be true to the time, so had to make it a bit brutal in parts. I think that leant itself well to a bit of straightforward, no nonsense sex between two tough guys. I loved researching it and writing it. I just hope the readers love reading it!
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
You may not believe this, but I haven’t read that many. I realised I liked it when I discovered The Back Passage by James Lear. And I don’t know if she is truly erotica but I’ve been impressed by the few books I’ve read by Erastes, especially Junction X. Kiran Hunter produced a wonderfully creepy version of gay erotica with her short, Bedevil, and I’m hoping she’ll produce something longer soon. Not that length is everything, of course.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Life. My life. I’m lucky to have had a very varied existence. I’ve travelled a lot and had more than my fair share of men from all walks of life and of many nationalities. I like to inject a little bit of me and them into all my stories. Even if you haven’t had such a life, there is plenty to be inspired by every day, you just have to look for it.
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
I don’t think so. Lying in a hot bath listening to opera to make the words flow isn’t unusual, is it?
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
A huge studio of steel, glass and concrete, with minimal furnishings where I look out over a large pool. Since I don’t have that I’ve taken to writing at the dining table because my own office depresses me.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
Here’s the proof that I’m queer. I mean odd. My favourite is Luke, the main character in Lorenzo il Magnifico. I’ve met Luke, he’s real and he’s fun when you get to know him. What I didn’t know when I wrote him into the story was just how polarising he can be. Some readers detest him, others love him. I seem to recall one reviewer called him an arrogant prick! He isn’t really – he’s just a bit mixed up, a bit sore, and wants a better life. I enjoyed giving it to him.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
I think one of the greatest things about being an out gay man is the liberation it brings. Everyone I know is in no doubt what I write about. I am not ashamed of it, in fact I’m proud. Nobody has said anything negative, not directly to me, and I haven’t been shunned. As to nearest and dearest, I say I’m lucky because I have only two of them: my partner and my son. My son, who’s in his twenties, is proud of me but he won’t read my stories (at least that what he says). Of the title of my first book, On My Knees, he said, “I just can’t take the images it conjures up”. My partner, on the other hand, is always firmly behind me.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
I wanted to be Batman. Maybe even then it was all those rumours about Robin’s package!
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
As I said, luxuriating in a bath listening to opera. I’m a big fan of a broad range, but Puccini and Verdi are guaranteed to raise a tear or two.
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
You’re never as good as you think you are.
- If you get writer’s block, how do you get around it?
Walk away. Do something totally different. A day out. Maybe even a holiday if the block is huge. Going to the opera always works.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Lorenzo. Well, I did know a Lorenzo in Florence. I just want to feel him one more time. Taste him…
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
James Lear. I interviewed him on my website and he is at least as barmy as me.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
Erm, MM/gay whatever you want to call it. Why? LOL! (and that’s the only bit of text speak you’ll get from me!)
- What are you working on at the moment?
Absolutely nothing. I think I might start a gay SciFi but need some encouragement; I seem to be floating in a most peculiar way at the moment.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
It was actually The Hun and The General. A couple of fans on Good Reads kind of threw down the challenge and I have always been one for a challenge. Did I succeed? Let the readers judge.
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
Oh, it has to be coming up with On My Knees. My first work. It got published. It was a genre bestseller on Kindle for weeks. And it still sells. The cover is great, too!