Today I’d like to welcome to the blog my most beloved mortal enemy, drinker of wine and teller of tales Lisa Henry. When she told me over a year ago that she was writing a sequel to one of my favorite m/m books, Dark Space, I provided her with a title—Dark Space 2: Legend of the Space Bears—a plot—space bears become legend—and even a cover:
I was like, “You’re welcome, Lisa.” Imagine my shock when months later she gave me Darker Space to beta, and I discovered it was not a space bear free-for-all, but rather a thoughtful, moving exploration of love, loyalty, and fear of the unknown. In short, one of the best romances I’ve read this year.
I was betrayed.
Nonetheless, I have let her visit my blog today to figure out what went so horribly, horribly wrong.
Here is Lisa, Betrayer of Co-Writers and Scorner of Space Bears.
Hi! Welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of Lisa Henry’s Darker Space. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Darker Space and sharing some of my influences, ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win a prize!
Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Entries close October 21, 2015, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so I know how to reach you!
Today I’m visiting J.A. Rock, and she’s asking a lot of hard-hitting bear-related questions. Let’s dive right in.
1. Where are the space bears?
The space bears are still hiding, waiting for their moment, when they will suddenly appear in huge honeycomb-shaped spaceships, and destroy the entire universe. Their first phalanx is made up of trained killer space bees. It will be brutal.
2. Are space bears not good enough for you?
I know we discussed that space bears make everything better, but I may have been humoring you.
3. Fine. There are no space bears. So tell us a little about what we will see in Darker Space.
No space bears, it’s true. We’ll see some more of the Faceless, but not much more of their motivation. Creepy aliens remain creepy. We’ll see a few characters recurring from Dark Space, most significantly Cam’s ex-boyfriend, Chris. As you can imagine, Brady is totally adult and gracious about that. Totally.
4. Oh, of course. Brady is such an awesome narrator for many reasons: His snark, his bravery, his vulnerability...in what ways do you think he’s grown from Dark Space to Darker Space? And what has remained the same about him?
Darker Space was interesting to write because Brady has actually acknowledged that he has some serious issues, and is trying his hardest to change. Of course, it’s not that straight-forward. Brady’s biggest issue is his anger, and that’s something he has to deal with in this book. His first instinct is to lash out, no matter who it hurts. And that has some consequences here. But the biggest challenge was in Brady having to overcome his fear. He makes some huge steps in that direction - possibly not exactly overcoming his fear, but maybe borrowing a page from Cam’s book and letting his fear go, since he can’t control what’s going to happen.
5. What were some of the challenges you faced writing a sequel?
So many people liked Brady so much that I was worried I would totally screw it up, and ruin all their expectations as well. I mean, I still am worried about that, but also I’ve had wine. So I feel okay.
6. Are the space bears happening in book three?
I need more wine.
7. You are a drunk but amicable traitor. Did you find that having such a voice-driven first person narrator made it harder to develop Cam? Or do you find him just as compelling to write, even though he’s filtered through Brady’s POV?
Cam has always been filtered through Brady, but I think in this book our understanding of Cam increases a little because Brady actually matures enough to see shades of grey in people. He’s never been great at nuances -- either you’re on his side or fuck you very much -- whereas Cam has always been less quick to judge people, and to try to think the best of people even when they’re not on his side. Cam also has a tendency to come across as a perfect hero, but I don’t think he’s perfect at all. In Dark Space, Cam is either the perfect unflappable hero who maintains his courage and his dignity in the face of captivity, or he’s a man who has lost all hope and has submitted to the Faceless because there’s no other action he can take. In Darker Space, I think we learn that maybe he’s both.
8. Part of what makes the Faceless so frightening to Brady and to the reader is a lack of knowledge about them--their thoughts, culture, etc. How much background on the Faceless did you come up with that maybe didn’t even make it onto the page, since we’re always in Brady’s POV?
I have a few ideas as to how the Faceless operate, but I made a decision not to share that, because I think they’re much more terrifying if we just don’t know. I make the comparison a lot that humans are just insects to the Faceless. And there is no level, I’m sure, on which insects can even begin to understand what humans have going on. So I felt it was important to keep the Faceless totally mysterious and alien, and terrifying.
Thank you for being here today, Lisa! I forgive you. Sort of. But only because Darker Space was so good. And because wine has restored my withered heart.
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
For the chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card, join the tour and leave a comment on any of the wonderful blogs below:
Boy Meets Boy Reviews - October 13
Rainbow Gold Reviews - October 14
Boys In Our Books - October 14
MM Does MM - October 15
J.A. Rock’s blog - October 16
Love Bytes Reviews - October 17
Joyfully Jay - October 17
And for a special extra, and a chance to win an ebook copy of Darker Space, visit Crystal’s Many Reviewers on October 21!