A Final Batch with International Flair
Clare London joins the Petit Morts writing team!
I feel like the New Girl joining very late into the school year. All the lessons have been scheduled, places in the classroom have been allocated, friendships have been made. Then in I come! I know the timetable, I’ve hopefully got the right grades—I’m just not sure my pencil case is the right colour…
Enough of the daft school metaphors. It’s just a way to describe my huge excitement and respectful apprehension at joining the established Petit Morts team. Of course, I’m already a published author, I’m a team player (when I need to be *g*) and I’m definitely a big fan of Chance. Still, I was beyond thrilled when Jordan accepted my story into the latest series.
Ever since I started reading the Petit Morts series, and Chance began travelling the world, I’ve wanted to see him in London. I loved the thought of mixing his rather wicked, worldly and sexy manipulations with the prim British reserve. And I wanted to share my city with him, where he could meet our characters, suffer our indomitable spirit, and learn some new, rather odd slang!
The Petit Mort series is a fabulous adventure. The world is unmistakably and deliciously Jordan’s, but the clever way she’s constructed its underlying mystique to overlap with the characters’ routine allows other authors to bring their own entertainment to the party.
My lovelorn couple—buttoned-up, bemused city gent Oliver and happy-go-lucky, impoverished Des—are true Londoners. Both in trouble and a little lost for different reasons, they’re in need of something—and someone—new in their life. Add in Chance’s job at Café Mystique, under the looming watch of the London Eye, his seductive chocolates and Billy, his insolent Irish assistant - and the young men are set for a culture change extraordinaire.
So, I’ve enjoyed every minute of creating “London Eye”. It was a treat to walk the London streets, drink British coffee and say arse to my heart’s content. I hope the readers enjoy the story, and many thanks to Jordan for inviting me in!
And what would Chance say? He’d just wander up the classroom aisle, pat me (maybe?) affectionately on the head and tell me to get over myself. Or something like that.
Petit Morts' final 7-story batch will be ready for consumption late October 2011. Read the first chapter of Petit Morts stories number 1-10 at JCPbooks.com, and find out more about our latest Petit Morts author at ClareLondon.co.uk
Sean Kennedy joins the Petit Morts team for batch number two!
Jordan: Welcome to that place I rule with a dictatorial iron fist...erm, I mean my little publishing house, JCP Books. For those of my readers who are living under a rock, tell us about yourself and your work.
Sean: Who am I? That’s a question I constantly ask myself and at 35 years of age I haven’t come any closer to an answer, which is why I’m probably still mentally sixteen. I live in Perth, Western Australia, which depending on the frame of reference you use is either the most or second-most isolated city in the world. It’s a great place if you like sun and surf – which, erm, I don’t. I have three novels currently out: Tigers and Devils, a contemporary romance; Dash and Dingo In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger, a 1930s action/adventure co-written with Catt Ford; and Wings of Equity, a steampunk. I tend to like jumping around genres a bit – maybe I’m keeping myself on my toes.
Jordan: Your sense of humor was one of the characteristics I thought would make you a good fit for the Petit Morts series. What sorts of things do you find funny?
Sean: Being from the colonies, you tend to have a very British sense of humour. Usually slapstick or goofball with a tinge of darkness. Comedies I like range from screwball comedies like Bringing Up Baby to dark comedies like Heathers or the stupidest of the stupid like Molly Shannon’s classic Superstar. But I love humour that develops when ordinary people get caught up in extraordinary situations and there’s that sense of I don’t really know what’s going on but I just have to go along on the ride.
Jordan: Since I heard non-US writers are often made to set their stories in generic US cities because that's where the publishers plan on marketing the ebooks, I figured I should be contrary and nudge you to write something set in Australia, like your breakout novel Tigers and Devils. What considerations do you keep in mind when you set a story in your home country?
Sean: The problem is in keeping an Australian flavour while explaining enough so that an international readership will ‘get’ the references. You and I were just talking about this yesterday during the editing process when one of my characters think that the other one is ‘a spunk’. Totally different connotations in different countries! I think sometimes that publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to make every story ‘generic USA’ because we miss out on all those wonderful nuances that happen when people write about different places. I also think they’re not giving readers enough credit – I Google if something stumps me, it’s not like I sit there thinking ‘does not compute, cannot continue reading’ and I’m sure other readers are the same. I love reading books that are set in places foreign to me – it’s the closest thing to travel for me at the moment!
Jordan: I thought it was brave of you to agree to come on board to a series that was already underway. Chance is the shared character who's being revealed bit by bit as the series marches on. I was bummed I had to tell you his secrets so you could write him, since I tend to play my hand close to my chest. What did you think about Chance while you were writing him?
Sean: I kind of liked that he was just as much a mystery to me as he was to the characters. It was like I could play along with that mysteriousness as I had no idea what he was hinting at either when he spoke cryptically about things that happen in the story. And it was just really interesting writing a character I hadn’t created – I felt like I had to do justice to the original creation and he actually ended up being in the story a lot more than I envisioned. That’s probably how Chance planned it. He’s very manipulative in that way! I look forward to seeing what else he manages to affect in the lives of future characters.
Jordan: Well, you sure wrote him as a saucy little devil, which is just the way I like him. And I need to fan myself when I think of him speaking with an Australian accent!
Readers, prepare your sweet tooths, because another batch of Petit Morts is being frosted!
Petit Morts #6-10 coming soon (release date TBA). Sign up for a JCP Books Quick Link email and I'll shoot you a message when they're released.
There's also an interview with the chilling chocolatier, Chance!
A sinfully rich collaboration between Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price
A storefront. You've never noticed it before. It's small, unassuming, and yet there's something about it that draws your eye. And the aroma drifting out, rich and dark, so enticing. How could you have overlooked it? It must be new.
Available now at JCP Books
Whipping up a Batch of Stories
A chat about the evolution of Petit Morts with Josh and Jordan
Jordan: There's a special place in my heart for TV series that aren't sequential, shows that you can watch as the spirit takes you. You know the kind I mean: Love Boat. Tales from the Crypt. Fantasy Island. Twilight Zone. If you understand the basic premise (i.e. We're-all-on-an-island. Or, something-weird-is-gonna-happen. Or, this-boat-is-so-70s) then you can tune in whenever, wherever, and still enjoy the story.
I've always wondered if it was possible to do something like that with the written word.
Josh: Oh yeah! Definitely. Kind of a like a themed anthology, but no anthology. <g> Anyway, I love short stories. Not just as a reader, but from a writing perspective. They're very challenging to write. Figuring in what to leave in, what to leave out -- making every word count. That's one reason I was thrilled when you came up with the idea for the Petit Morts. (The other reason being I was delighted at the chance to work together again.)
Jordan: Absolutely. I'm eager to work on a collaborative project with you too, because it seems to me that bouncing ideas off another like-minded author results in a lot of unusual, unexpected, and somehow deeper ideas.
If I really enjoy a DVD, I watch the director's commentary and also any "making of" bonus material that comes with the show. I always feel so envious of script writers who get to sit around in a big room with other script writers and come up with ideas. How fun!
Josh: Or not. I'm kiiiiiiidding. I'm a kidder. Collaboration is tough. It's tough on the ego and it requires unbelievable discipline. But at the same time, it does create this amazing energy. Synergy. Ideas evolve that are significantly different from what either artist would concoct on their own -- and that's usually a good thing. An exciting thing.
Jordan: Another exciting thing is that I'm more willing to take chances on a novelette and explore some themes I might not want to visit for an entire novel. Novels will always be my first love but shorter work intrigues me in a different way. I read Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine from cover to cover every month, and their stories are mostly novelette length. I adore the idea that we can create something like that, only all m/m!
Josh: Reading is one of my greatest pleasures. It's basically how I spent my Christmas vacation. I love the crossovers that are so popular in genre fiction right now. A spec fiction mystery, for example. So we get to take advantage of this new creative spirit and freedom in publishing -- only our stories have a focus on m/m relationships. I think it's a terrific idea and I'm proud to be part of it.
Jordan: I feel like the sky's the limit. It's like having our own TV show, but with no networks, sponsors or "focus groups" to answer to, and totally free rein to do whatever tickles our fancy. Readers, keep your eyes peeled. The first tasty batch of Petit Morts will be ready for consumption on February 14!
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