Friday, November 9, 2012

An interview with L. A. Witt…

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for The Left Hand of Calvus, part of the Warriors of Rome collection and available November 5th. The entire collection is available here for pre-order as a group or individually, and all pre-orders enter you in a drawing for a Nook.

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding The Left Hand of Calvus) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 12th, and winners will be announced on November 13th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

An interview with L. A. Witt…

If one of your titles could be made into a movie, which would it be and who would play the lead roles?  Well, I certainly wouldn’t cry if any of my titles were made into films with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender playing the lead roles…

Nook, Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, Paperback, or Hardcover? Why?  I’ll always have a soft spot for paperbacks, but I do love my iPad. The screen’s easier on the old eyeballs than my Kindle (though I still use that too).  I had a Sony Touch for a while, but then it crapped out on me, and there are few things in this world that annoy me more than being stuck with a $300 paperweight.

What’s your hidden talent? The ability to hide my hidden talent so well that even I can’t find it when someone asks me my hidden talent.

What would you do if you weren’t an author?  Chances are, I’d still be chained to a desk in a windowless cubicle with a headset strapped to my skull and an irate customer screaming in my ear while I traded hours for dollars and made someone else rich.

How big is your personal library? What genre do you read/collect the most?  At last count, somewhere in the 3,000-4,000 range (excluding ebooks).  Most of the paperbacks/hardbacks that I buy are nonfiction. I once went to a used bookstore and saw a really interesting reference book (it was a comprehensive jargon dictionary), and told myself I’d come back and get it another day. I went back, and it was gone. I’ve never been able to find one that was as good or better than that one, so now I have a slight compulsion to buy any reference material that could be remotely useful in the future.  I have books on everything from taxidermy to every flavor of mythology imaginable.

I’m also a history buff. Before I started writing full-time, I was planning on going to back to school and majoring in history, and my library reflects it. I’ve got stacks of books on the Third Reich (which is an era that fascinates me), ancient Rome (insanely handy when I went to write The Left Hand of Calvus!), and military history. Then there are the shelves sagging under the weight of books on various religions, the history of medicine, and photography.

Somewhere in there, I also have a moderately large collection of fantasy and sci-fi, since that’s my genre of choice for pleasure reading.

What’s your favorite hobby outside of writing? Photography. I was a professional photographer for a few years, though it was never more than a part-time gig. Then I realized I hated shooting weddings, and the business side of things was just sucking the joy and creativity out of it. I was afraid the same thing would happen with writing, but fortunately, that wasn’t the case. Apparently I was born to be an amateur photographer and a professional writer, but not the other way around.   I still take my camera with me everywhere I go, and anyone who knows me fully expects me to stop and spend ten minutes taking a picture of a bug or a deformed leaf, but it’s just for fun now.

What do you love about being an author? Besides sitting at home in my pajamas with my cat on my desk while I write dirty stories and listen to whatever music I want? The part where I’m no longer chained to a desk in a windowless cubicle with a headset strapped to my skull and an irate customer screaming in my ear while I trade hours for dollars and make someone else rich.

What do you hate about being an author?  Well, there’s… I mean, sometimes you… okay, so let me…
Nope, I’ve got nothing.

What inspires you? Long periods of insomnia and a “mild” case of ADD.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? I tend to use pictures of real people just so I have a visual, but the characters aren’t based on anyone in particular. I frequently use photos of actors, simply because it’s easy for me to imagine them as different characters since I’ve likely seen them in a number of roles, so I’m more open to thoughts of different personality traits and quirks. So in a way, the book plays out in my head like a movie, and I use actual actors to fill the roles of the characters, if that makes sense.

How do you come up with your book titles? Sometimes the title comes first, and the story evolves from it (Damaged Goods, Static, A Chip In His Shoulder, The Closer You Get, etc). Some titles were suggested by friends (Rules of Engagement, Where There’s Smoke), and others have just sort of dropped out of the ether while I was researching/outlining (The Left Hand of Calvus, Noble Metals, Where Nerves End).  I have to have a title before I start writing, though I’ve had books start out with one title and end up changing. That’s happened while I’m writing the story (Reconstructing Meredith, The Distance Between Us) or at the request of a publisher (Until It’s Over, The Next Move), but more often than not, the original title sticks.

So the short answer is, titles come from anywhere and everywhere.

What’s your favorite ménage trios: M/M/F, M/F/F, M/M/M, or F/F/F? I don’t really have a favorite. I’ve written MMM, MMF, and MFM (MMF being bisexual men and a woman, or a straight guy, a bi guy, and a woman; MFM is generally two hetero men), and I’m planning on writing at least one MFF next year. It’s hard to pick a favorite, though. Every combination is unique regardless of the gender(s) involved. Sometimes gender affects the relationship dynamic (i.e., if it’s someone’s first experience with a particular gender), sometimes it doesn’t (i.e., if they’re all gay men or they’re all bisexual). And sex scenes involving three people are challenging—and interesting!—to write regardless of what kind of equipment is involved.

What’s your favorite font? COMIC SANS, YO.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who, after three years in Okinawa, Japan, has recently relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a three-headed clairvoyant parakeet named Fred. There is some speculation that this move was not actually because of her husband's military orders, but to help L. A. close in on her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who has also recently transferred to Omaha. So, don't anyone tell Lauren. She's not getting away this time...

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).


Former gladiator Saevius is certain fortune’s smiling on him when a Pompeiian politician buys him to be his bodyguard. But then his new master, Laurea Calvus, orders Saevius to discover the gladiator with whom his wife is having an affair. In order to do that, Saevius must return to the arena, training alongside the very men on whom he’s spying. Worse, he’s now under the command of Drusus, a notoriously cruel—and yet strangely intriguing—lanista.

But Saevius’s ruse is the least of his worries. There’s more to the affair than a wife humiliating her prominent husband, and now Saevius is part of a dangerous game between dangerous men. He isn’t the only gladiator out to expose the Lady Verina’s transgressions, and her husband wants more than just the guilty man’s name.

When Saevius learns the truth about the affair, he’s left with no choice but to betray one of his masters: one he’s come to fear, one he’s come to respect, and both of whom could have him killed without repercussion. For the first time in his life, the most dangerous place for this gladiator isn’t the arena.

You can pre-order The Left Hand of Calvus here, and read an excerpt here.


  1. This sounds really good - I do like novels set in this period.

  2. This is one of my favorite time periods. Loads of fun, endless possibilities.

    And thanks C&D for having me! :)


  3. The Comic Sans remark gave me a chuckle. Great interview!


  4. Comic Sans and Helvetic are in a tie for my favorite font, lol! Great interview, thanks! Not everyone can be an author; leave us cubicle slaves alone....where are my headphones?

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  5. Yay, fellow history buff :) Great interview.

  6. Sitting at home in pajamas and writing dirty stories. Yup, sounds like fun! LOL
    goingtoreadnow (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Lovely interview...I love getting a glimpse inside. Thank you. Chellebee66(at) gmail(dot)com

  8. Thanks for the interview! I love little did its about authors! I love history, I majored in Art History and minored in Medieval and Renaissance Studies so I love research!
    OceanAkers @

  9. Loved this interview! Never a dull moment with L.A., is there? :)

  10. YEah.. I still like paperbacks too... but I love my Nookcolor. I really do.
    Eehehe... though I have no degree or real experience with photography, I really do love taking photos. I always wanted to take a photography class in High School.. I hope later on if I have spare time I can take one in college. :)


  11. Enjoyed your interview! My husband loves to watch the History Channel and the Military Channel. He would be quite envious of your book collection. :)

    Great answer for what you love about being an :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  12. Sorry for the late announcement, folks! I wanted to thank you all again for stopping by during The Left Hand of Calvus blog tour, and announce that the winner of 2 ebooks off my backlist and a $10 Riptide store credit is...URB, who commented on the "Ten Things You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know About Me at Chicks & Dicks (er, that one was at Dawn's Reading's early!)!  I'll e-mail you shortly with details.

    Thanks again, everyone!
    L.A. Witt