I love chatting with other writers, so I was thrilled when Annabeth Albert agreed to answer a few questions about her new book, Off Base, where she gets her ideas, and what inspires her, because, well, I’m talkative and can’t ask simple questions.
One of the things I love talking to other writers about is inspiration. Where you get your ideas. It’s a pretty broad question, so why don’t we talk about your latest release. I understand it’s linked to the #gaymers series?
The Out of Uniform series is a spin-off of the gaymers universe, and I didn’t necessarily set out to write a whole SEAL series. It happened very organically. First, Ryan in Connection Error came to me years before the gaymers series was born, asking for a book. I didn’t have the right hero for him until Josiah from gaymers wandered onto the page in Status Update, and I immediately knew he was the right hero for Ryan, my injured SEAL. Then while writing Connection Error, Ryan brought friends with him, and I started to get really interested in their lives and loves and what the post-DADT universe might look like for these men. When Zack and Pike demanded a book together, I knew the universe would shift from gaming to San Diego and the SEALS, so the decision was easy to spin it off and follow the group of friends in San Diego for a few books. Each book tends to produce more secondary characters who want books!
We all have favourite character types. As a writer, do you find yourself casting similar roles? Is there a character that always crops up in your books? Is there a character type you’d like to explore that you haven’t got to yet?
Grumpy older heroes are my catnip—I’ve done more than one and I’ve got more in the works. Not sure why I love that archetype but I do. I also love bouncy and sociable younger heroes and I’ve done a few that fit that mold. I do try, however, to make each hero unique. I would like to explore more disabled heroes and more unique professions in the future—I’ve got a chainsaw artist coming later in 2017!
A chainsaw artist! I can’t wait to read that one.
What’s your favourite part of the writing process? Drafting, revising, editing? *shudder*
I love it all, but I have a special love for drafting as that’s when I get to fall in love with the characters. But there’s also nothing like that first post-drafting read through when you are like, “Yes, I really did write a book!”
Do you get a lot of input with your covers? Is there one that resonates particularly strongly with you? (Like, you saw it and just thought: YES, that is my book, those are my guys.)
It varies—with self-pubbed works, I get a ton of input with my artists. With the publishers, I fill out a cover request form and get varying levels of input. The AT ATTENTION cover for Out of Uniform book two absolutely stunned me as did the ON POINT cover—both of those I immediately recognized as “my” guys and my vision for the books.
What’s the book you always wanted to write? Have you written it yet?
Each book is the book of my heart in some way. Connection Error was years and years in the making as Ryan had been demanding his book for a long time, but I wasn’t sure I had the courage to tell his story and do it justice. I was tremendously proud of how that book turned out and it gave me courage for other books. The book I’m working on now is another one that’s been percolating for several years, and it’s so satisfying to finally see it coming to light.
You always share such fab recipes in the Facebook fitness group we belong to. Is cooking a passion of yours, and does it cross into your work? Do your characters share your opinions on food and wellness?
I love to cook, both healthy and indulgent foods, and I absolutely adore cookbooks. I’ve been cooking since my teens and have gone through many phases in my search for health and wellness plans that work for me. For my characters, I try to fit their level of cooking to who they are. In Off Base, neither Pike nor Zack is much of a cook to start with, so I had Pike cooking foods he remembered his mother making, and kept it pretty simple for him. In At Attention, coming in April, Apollo loves to cook and there’s a definite hearty Mediterranean vibe to his choices. In Connection Error, Ryan didn’t have access to a full kitchen so I had him making waffles as a treat for Josiah. I’ve had characters really into health and fitness and those who could care less. Right now, I’m writing a hero who doesn’t know how to cook one bit and it’s actually really fun watching that play out.
Thank you so much for having me! This was super fun!!
It was absolutely my pleasure.
After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.
Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.
Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.