Title: Test of Endurance (Up-Ending Tad #2)
Author Name: Kora Knight
Publication Date & Length: Oct 8, 2014 — 69 pgs
The last time Tad saw Scott, the ripped physical trainer left him with quite a lot to think about. And that’s pretty much all Tad’s been doing for nearly two weeks straight. At his wit’s end, he seeks Scott out, voluntarily, on his own terms. Will the completely different setting offer what he’s seeking; proof that their exchange’s unexpected turn was just a random mishap? Hormones run amok and truly nothing more? Or will being in Scott’s presence suggest something different… their newest encounter tempting Tad’s resolve while testing his ultimate limits.
1) What motivated you to start writing?
Hiya and thanks for having me! How fun is this!? J
*clears throat* Okay. So. What motivated me to start writing… hmm. Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing, even as a kid. Would get lots of comments on my easy flow flavor. But I guess that never really resonated me one way or another because we have a lot of writers in the family tree. And then as a teen, my attentions were elsewhere as many I’d imagine are. As I neared graduation, I’d thought my future was in art, so I went on to get a degree in Electronic Graphic Design (computer graphics) but never really went anywhere with it. It just didn’t drive my passion like I’d hoped it would. It wasn’t until about ten years later, when by happenstance, I fell into a group with some super creative fan writers that I realized my calling. After writing for fun online for a good five years, (every single day, mind you), then moving to write my own idea-based stories—a few of my favorites being some seriously passion-drenched m/m story lines. *swoony sigh* 😉 At any rate, it finally dawned on me that this was my passion, my calling, my soul’s one true love. That I needed to do it to inwardly thrive. And screw it, I thought my ideas were pretty darn cool, so why not try to share them with a larger audience now that self-publishing was an option? So I bit the bullet and gave it a go, and haven’t looked back since. It hasn’t been easy, mind you, but it’s been liberatingly fabulous all the same. 😉
2) Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?
Hmm. That’s a toughie. It’d definitely be one of my favorite authors, most likely all of them, really. But I think if I had to pick one, it’d have to go to JR Ward. And dang, for so many reasons. I truly believe it was her books, her style of writing, that made me realize writers really didn’t need to conform as much as I’d thought. She writes “edgy and real” in a way that really connected with me and to what intrinsically drives my own creativity. And her metaphorical mind, I ate that thang up like pudding. She made me want to show the world my own brand of “off-brand.” 😉 My own sort of polished “unpolishedness.” If that makes any sense. But even after she’d won me over, when she braved the road less traveled to do a full novel in her primarily m/f series about two men, I was ‘done.’ Done in the most glorious sense of the word. She’d lifted her chin, despite the potential backlash of disapproval, and given those two incredible characters the book and HEA they deserved. And the book was mother effing fantastic. One of my favorites of her whole fantabulous series. So yeah, I’d say she’s inspired me on all fronts. To write, to write like I truly want to write, and to take a chance in the world of m/m erotica like I’ve longed to do for as long as I can remember. 😉
3) What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)
My writing environment is my god awful , messy-ass office. But it has doors I can close to keep the noise out and access to wireless internet. 😉 Which is a double edged sword. It gives me way too easy of access to Facebook (gah) but it also provides me with the musical inspiration that feeds my writer’s soul. Youtube is my font for inspiration on so many levels. When I’m writing a particular scene and need the music that’s literally the backdrop for it, I just pull that puppy up and get on with it.
Editing, however, is done anywhere I have a few minutes free time. Living room couch, playroom while daughter gets her groove on to Just Dance Wii, and especially in bed until my eyelids start to droop. LOL
As for preparation before writing, geez, I’m pretty boring. A hardy dose of caffeine to get my brain waves surging, a bit of social connect time to get my inner mojo happy (I’m a hopeless extrovert, through and through) and some time to re-read what I’ve written the day before. *shrugs with a sheepish laugh* Wish I had something more eccentrically fun to report, but alas, I do not. My characters are a lot more interesting than I am. LOL
4) What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?
I enjoy writing pretty much all the parts that make up a book. The two that I love the very most, however, are dialogue (especially the bantering kind, and of course, the hot, sexy pillow talk) and love scenes. I swear I was born to be an erotica writer. It just comes so dang naturally to me. But it wasn’t until somewhat recently that I realized just how much. I mean, I always knew that my writing partners in the past got a little overwhelmed with my “stuff” from time to time *laughs* and because of that I’ve always felt compelled to tone down the images in my mind, reign them in, chill them out, despite how bad it went against my “natural grain.” And then reviews for some of my previously published works started coming in, saying that though the books were classified as romance they really fit better into erotica. I’d blinked at them, surprised, because those were pieces I’d specifically toned down! So maybe, in all honestly, the tamping down of the scenes I see and what I want to put on page is one of the hardest parts for me. Which just goes to show how much I’m enjoying my journey with Tad and Scott in my new m/m series. It’s a no-hands-barred liberation I’ve never allowed myself before, and its wide range of positive feedback is utterly the icing on the cake.
All that being said, if editing can be considered part of the writing process, that is definitely the toughest part of the endeavor. It’s long and tedious and mind-numbing. And while the finished product is definitely rewarding, it’s one hell of a endeavor to get to the finish line. 😛
5) If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?
My true love will always be romance. Hands down (Primarily paranormal, but I do love all forms). I’m a sucker for hot love and all the elements that weave it into its sexy little braid of bliss.
But if I couldn’t write romance, I’d probably want to write high fantasy. Intense, heroic adventure gets my heart pumping like nothing else.
6) If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?
*laughs* I’m gonna have to say refer back to question 2 on this one. If nothing else than to banter our asses off together. Have a war of the snarky wits or some shit. Heh… And then I’d make Ms. Ward share all the private little unshared moments she’s seen in her head with my favorite characters of hers. We’d start off with her decadent bi-sexual BDSM mental case, Vishous, of course. *licks chops*
7) What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?
As far as reviews go, the most important thing to me is that people critique my stuff respectfully. Considerately. I don’t expect everyone to like my writing, in fact, I figure quite a lot won’t. But I am a human being like everyone else, with feelings and vulnerabilities. And when putting myself out there for others to see the utmost intimacies of my heart and soul, I totally appreciate when they word their opinions thoughtfully, keeping in mind that I worked very hard for a very long time on the works I put out for others to enjoy. It’s a lot easier to tear a writer down than I think people realize. I’ve seen some reviews of other authors’ books that just broke my heart for them.
Now with that being said, the best reviews out there in my opinion, whether they be one star or five, are the ones that explain what they did or did not like. I absolutely take everything to heart as I forge forward with future works. In truth, as long as it’s not delivered cruelly, I CRAVE constructive criticism. In many ways I’m a perfectionist with my writing (many friends call me an OCD Nazi even lol) so any insight that I’ve missed on my own, my brain eats up and digests like candy. 😉
8) If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?
Just one? Gah! I’ve learned so many do’s and don’ts! *taps chin* Hmm…
Probably to not give up. To forge through until the end. If you truly believe your story is worth doing to begin with, then do not stop until it’s done. It’s gonna be hard, it’s gonna be frustrating, a times like pulling teeth. But no matter what, do not quit. Don’t look back until you’ve got it all down on paper. And that means no moseying back after a few pages to edit the freshly written stuff before moving forward! No, no, no! That’ll totally derail your momentum! That was a huge lesson for me to learn, costing me disgraceful amounts of time. Just get it down and do not stop until you do. Then the rest is downhill. *smiles, sighing happily*
9) How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?
As far as titles go, many times I do reach out to friends for their opinions. If I’m lucky, a book’s title just hits me upside the head. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case for Volume 3 of Tad’s series. *sigh* In which case, I spend a hella lotta time on Thesaurus.com. 😉
As for characters and their actions, I typically don’t even try to write a scene until the visual is already very solid in my mind’s eye. The smaller stuff just kinda flows out as I put the major stuff into action. As for how I get those visuals so clear in my mind to begin with, at night when the lights go off and in the morning when my brain first starts to rouse, I make myself contemplate on the scenes I want to write. Many many times, the events unfold for me then, at which point, they penetrate pretty deep into my memory and allow me to jot the ideas down the first chance I get. From there, they continue to resonate until its time to write the scene. And by that time, it’s so clear in my head that there are rarely times when I’m not sure what to write.
10) If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Goofy, anal (mind out of the gutters, peeps! I mean ocd-wise with my writing 😛 ), passionate and … *sigh* insecure.
11) Do you know when the next part of Tad & Scott’s story is coming out? Or a general idea? I’m biting at the bit here.
Hehe! So glad to hear that. Yes, I’m aiming for their third installment to be out mid-November before the heart of the holidays kick in. I’m already fully entrenched in the thang, but got a ways to go. And as you know, the meatier stuff is always in the second half. And let me tell you, this one’s gonna be a doozy. It’s been hounding me since before I even finished volume one. *shakes head* So, yeah! Wish me luck! Please!
12) What made you decide to write Tad & Scott or M/M? Do you have plans to write more M/M or will you move to another genre?
I’ve always loved writing m/m. Always love WATCHING m/m. They are just such gorgeous creatures and to have their fantabulousness doubled up into one yummy-hot love package? It’s like the best of both worlds. Anyway, I tried my hand at writing m/m when I used to write with writing partners. I loved it. It was just so … decadently delicious. So yeah, after that, I knew intrinsically that it was a genre I’d always love to write. But it had to be erotica for me. I needed to get to the nitty-gritty, raw, toe curling details and that was something I hadn’t had the balls to do up until now. It’s not easy putting one’s intimately personal fantasies out on display for all to see, and potential bash. But when Tad’s story came to me, it came to me hard (pardon the innuendo, there 😉 ) and just wouldn’t leave me alone. So much so that I was pretty much finally like, “Okay! I’ll write your insanely hot smut, Tad! But if I get slammed for this shit, it’s all your fault and you’ll be talking to the hand for the rest of my mortified life!” Haha. Aaaaaaaand that’s when Scott sauntered into my brain with that lopsided smirk of his sounding way too much like Matthew McConaughey with his smug and sexy drawl, “Well, alright alright.” *shivers*
As for future plans, I do have obligations with other co-writers that I have to complete. But if readers keep showing interest in the stuff I put out m/m wise, I’d love to keep at this genre for sure. It’s a passion I don’t see myself shaking anytime soon.
13) Do you know how many parts Tad story will be or is it still up in the air?
Right now I see 5+ installments very clearly. To get to the climax of their story, that is. Of course, I’d love to write a few more ‘in the aftermath’ installments, where people can enjoy them and what they’re like together after they’ve cleared their hurtles. That’s the best part, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely ADORE the sweet/spicy seduction of their story, but the thing is, these two guys are really fun individuals, so for me at least, to be able to see them let loose and just be themselves together is something I can’t wait to do. I am torn, however, because I know a lot of readers don’t like shorter length reads and might get irritated if I let their tale go on too long. I’m not in the business of pissing people off but unfortunately, with all the other obligations I have, this formula is the only doable route I can manage with the time I have at my disposal.
So we shall see. I guess in a way some parts of my journey in this particular genre IS up in the air and dependent upon the feedback I get from readers. Hell, I’d be open to doing a spin-off story with one of the other characters in this series if people show interest. I’m pretty sure most of those who’ve read up through volume two can figure out who I’m talking about. *wry grin*
Thank you for your time! I wish you much success as an author!!!
Thank you so much for having me! This was a lot of fun! 😀
This story continues where the first one leaves off. Tad is still confused about his reaction to Scott. He can’t understand whether it was a normal reaction, or if there really is something to his attraction to Scott.