Christmas Goes Analog 

Kate Lowell, welcome
to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your book, Christmas Goes Analog.

Genre: Contemporary
Holiday
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover artist: Valerie
Tibbs
Length: 30,000 words
Heat rating: Explicit
Tagline: When plans
to celebrate a traditional Christmas together with Rob’s family fall apart, Shawn
decides to create their own Christmas tradition.
Blurb:
When Rob’s dad was injured
by an uninsured driver, it spelled the end of Rob’s carefree childhood and, more
important to Rob, the idyllic Christmases they used to have. Hard work and sacrifice
nets him a degree in computer programming and then a contract at a rapidly-growing
video game company. Things are looking up, especially when he meets his new System
Administrator. But the closer it gets to Christmas, the more bugs there are in the
system.
Shawn’s found him. The
Guy. But Rob’s had it rough and it’s been years since he’s been anything but responsible.
It all comes boiling to the surface when a family financial crisis is followed by
a work emergency that ruins Rob’s plans to bring Shawn home to meet the family over
Christmas holidays.
With Rob’s mood growing
darker the closer it gets to Christmas, Shawn needs to find some way to give Rob
the Christmas he’s so desperate for. And he just might have the plan…
Buy links:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and
occupations?
Robert Forbes, 24, works
as a video game programmer
Shawn Thomson, 26, works
as a system administrator/hardware guy at the same video game company as Rob.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
I was laid off one summer,
from a job I hated, and decided that I would give the writing a serious go, as a
way to take back the parts of me that the hostile work environment had crushed.
I started several different projects, in differing genres, and kept noodling away
at them until I had one finished. At some point, I stumbled across my online critique
group, which has been the best thing that ever happened to me, because it was their
support and approval that convinced me to submit something. I was lucky enough to
catch the eye of Raven McKnight at Loose Id and it’s been a fantastic experience.
It’s nice to work with someone who gets your goofy jokes and actively encourages
your weirdness and ‘not in the box’-ness.
What is the most important thing you do for your
career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I give it time and treat
it seriously. I think I’m more forward about promotion, because a professional treats
promotion like a part of the job. And I’m more likely to give myself the ‘down’
time between drafts, because I understand how I write much better now. I tend to
write a clean first draft, but–like many pantsers–it’s more of a detailed outline,
not a full first draft. Rewrites
Underground Erotica

are necessary to add in the layers of information
and make sure plot elements are properly supported. So I keep a number of different
projects going at once (I have about a dozen right now, at various stages, from
single scenes to more than half finished.)

What websites do you visit daily?
Daily? My email. Twitter.
Absolute Write. My critique group. News sites and any interesting links that show
up in my Twitter feed or elsewhere. I try to stay off the internet, if I can, since
it can be a huge time waster and I’d rather make words.
If you could change something about your first
book, what would it be?
Lol. I’d write the prequel
first. The biggest complaint about the first book was that people wanted to know
the story of how Levi and Glynn got together. Bite Me Tender took place about four
years into their relationship. But I love those two so much, they’ll definitely
be coming back.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I like that I’m independent,
that it’s a structured activity that taps my creativity in a way that everyday life
doesn’t even come close to. If you want to get all psychological about it, I’m an
INTJ, which makes me analytical, creative and someone who can’t help fusing things
that, on the surface, don’t belong together. Writing feeds a part of me that the
day job can’t even touch.
If you could give the younger version of yourself
advice what would it be?
Write anyway. Find some
time. Find some people to help you learn to do it better. Don’t be ashamed of your
ideas, don’t let anyone tell you that girls can’t write scifi or fantasy. Own your
weirdness and seek out people who are also weird. Experiment. Don’t think of a failed
project as a waste–it’s practice.
And don’t let anyone
tell you that you’re too aggressive and it’s not appropriate. Screw that. Push.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
When not tied down by
other responsibilities, I like to hit a minimum of 1500 words a day, though not
necessarily all on the same project. It’s nice if I get it all on one, but it rarely
works that way. A lot of days I’ll go beyond that, but not always. I keep a number
of projects going at the same time, because some days my subconscious isn’t ready
with the next step of a story, so I move to something else. As long as words are
coming out, I’m happy, but there have to be words each day.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Work avoidance, until
I can’t take it anymore. :P Then I very deliberately open up a file that doesn’t
have a due date and put about 250 words on it. After that, things tend to flow smoothly.
But I do have a tendency, once I get a book open, to obsess over it and work on
it all the time, which is part of my stress-coping mechanism.
Do things your family or friends do ever end
up in a book?
Can I plead the Fifth,
even if I’m Canadian?
I’ll confess, names
of people around me often end up in books. Very rarely do personalities get transplanted,
though, since characters tend to arrive in my head with very definite ideas of who
they are and what they want. Random stories often appear, with names changed to
protect the guilty. You’re all fodder to the word machine!
What kind of books do you read when taking a
break from your own writing?
I read MM and other
LGBT fiction, plus a variety of fantasy and science fiction. I’m a spec fic writer
by nature, but I love the challenges of writing in the MM genre and the freedom
it gives me to write about themes and ideas that are skated over or often downright
ignored in mainstream publishing. So I go back and forth between my two loves. Last
MM book read was the Power Play duology by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant. Last
sff book (series, really) read was John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, which was an interesting
setting, though I found I was getting a little tired of the ‘Oh, what a cool universe
I’ve created’ by the fourth book, and began hoping for a bit more story.
Bite Me Tender 
What good book have you read recently?
I listen to a lot of
audiobooks, because I do a lot of driving. So, I’m ‘reading’ Joe Abercrombie’s The
Blade Itself trilogy, which is a pretty interesting take on the fantasy genre. It
looks on the surface like a fairly generic epic fantasy, but he takes a number of
classic fantasy archetypes and–shifts them, ever so slightly. Odd little combinations.
His characters are likeable, the story keeps me coming back, though it’s so subtle
I really can’t explain the draw. Next book slated for listening is a non-fiction
about sociopaths.
What do you like to do when you’re bored?
Lol, I do research.
Or household repairs. There’s always a list for both. Right now, I’m researching
San Francisco history,
reading up on police procedures and making lists of angelic hierarchies. I’m also
fixing two broken chairs, building support frames for the firewood in the basement
and contemplating building a swinging gate in the pony barn.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Red. Definitely red.
Or midnight blue.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with ham
and pineapple
.
I’m always ready for
a nice bottle of red wine. Australian, preferably.
When I’m alone, I giggle
and immediately throw my to-do list out the window, in favour of reading about boys
in love and drinking wine.
You’d never be able
to tell from looking at my house, but at work I’m really incredibly organized.
Anally so, so to speak.
If I had a halo it would
be dented and crooked, or lost under a pile of papers somewhere.
If I could change
one thing about myself
, I’d like to be able to sing, instead of just scaring
small children.
I can never watch
horror movies
because then I’m trapped in my house with the axe in my hand,
until the authorities take me away.

Previous Books

Bite Me Tender
Blurb: Levi is a werewolf.
His boyfriend, and the love of his life, is a witch. After living together for three
years, they decided to commit to each other and change Glyn into a werewolf. Levi
hoped the pack would accept Glyn more readily as a wolf. Glyn hoped it would eliminate
his erratic magic and erase the OCD it caused. One year later, they’re still trying…
Levi can’t understand
why his bite won’t change Glyn and he’s running out of time to figure it out. His
pack is being threatened by a larger one, he’s facing dissension in the ranks of
his own ruling council and Glyn’s grandmother is poking her witchy nose into their
relationship.
Under threat of a violent
takeover, the council pushes another potential wolf at Levi, infuriating Glyn and
adding weight to Levi’s own doubts. Council machinations divide the two lovers,
leaving both men questioning their lives, their love, and what they’re willing to
endure for each other.
Full moon is a time
of power and change. It could be a disaster, or it could be the key to happily ever
after. If they’re strong enough to wrestle their happiness from its bloody claws.
Nuts About You (in the Forgotten Menagerie anthology)
Blurb: Nathan’s been
crushing on one of his regular Bulk Mart customers for a while now. In squirrel
form, he sits on Vince’s bird feeders, munching on seeds and enjoying the eye candy.
Until the day Vince notices him raiding the feeder…
Love Underground
Contemporary Romantic
Comedy, found in the Underground Erotica anthology. It was produced by a group of
erotica writers at Absolute Write as a fundraiser to help support the massive forums
there. My story is about the lengths we go to, in order to make our loved ones proud
of us. Even if it means trying to ignore your claustrophobia to go spelunking with
your outdoorsy boyfriend.

Find Me Here

Website: The Blunt Instrument
http://thebluntinstrument.wordpress.com