Andria Large is best known for her novels Henry and Hey There, Delilah. Her characters draw readers into the story in a way that makes them want to read more. Whatever she writes next, her readers will devour the story.
What made you interested in writing m/m fiction?
There is just something about two men together that I find extremely sexy. I also like the camaraderie that men seem to have. Sometimes I just get tired of writing about women with all their emotional baggage, ya know?
How did you begin your career and how did you grow your fan base to be so humongous?
I got started after a friend of mine started a book blog and I sent her a story that I wrote. She loved it and told me about self-publishing. I never thought, growing up, that this would be my career. And I don’t know if I would call my fan base humongous, but I attribute that to social networking and word of mouth.
Do you think being a stay at home mom helps you to have time to write?
Absolutely, my girls are 3 and 5, so they are pretty independent. When they are off playing or taking a nap, I can write.
Do you have anyone that you do NOT want to find out you write m/m and how do you think they’d respond?
Well, I don’t think my grandmom knows, lol. Not that I’m keeping it a secret from her, it just never really came up. Her generation is not as tolerant as today’s generation, so I don’t think she’d understand why I would write about two men together. I don’t shy away from telling people though. I’m not ashamed of what I write. I don’t think it would be fair to the LGBT community if I was; it would be like me saying that I am ashamed of them, which I am definitely not!
Has having a thick skin to criticism helped you to better your writing? Do you think more writers should learn this?
If you don’t want your work to be criticized then you shouldn’t be a writer. I read every review. If there is helpful criticism there, I will try to apply it for the next story. I want my readers to be happy. But you know, haters are gonna hate, no matter what. Some people are just bitter and nasty and can be downright mean. Nothing I can do about it, so…
Why do you think so many women love to read m/m?
That’s a good question! I really don’t have a good answer other than they think it’s sexy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about two alpha men manhandling each other…phew…fan me, would ya? LOL! I also like I said before, there is less dramatics and whining. Sorry, ladies.
What was it like creating Henry Beck?
Mmm, Henry, lol. First, I had wanted to use the name Beck. I was going to use it as a first name but changed it when I heard the name Henry. It kinda stuck with me, so I knew I had to use it. Then I was seeing a lot of Jessie Pavelka around and knew that he had to be my Henry. The character kind of took over once I started writing. I had started out wanting him to be a seriously alpha dude, but he ended up being a big softy, lol. Oh well, it works for him.
Do you have any current projects?
Yes, M.D. Saperstein and I plan on finishing up with our series, A Taboo Love. Parker’s book is last. Then I will be continuing to write the Renegade Series and I also have another m/m trilogy in the works.
Tell me about your writing process? Do you rewrite to death? Do you outline?
I will write down some ideas for scenes. I usually have a general idea on where I want the book to go. I come up with the story as I write. I let the characters dictate what happens and where the book ends up. I’m not a big rewriter. I will go back when I’m finished and add in things here and there, but that’s it.
How long does it typically take you to write a novel?
Let’s see, it took me a month each to write Quinn and Christian. I think the longest it’s ever taken was 6 months. My average is 3-4 months.
Was writing Christian different than the other Beck brothers? Was he hard to write?
No, it wasn’t any different. I found his story much easier to write because it had been building in my mind while I wrote Sebastian and Quinn.
What advice do you have for those thinking about writing gay romance and what advice do you have for those who are trying to build an audience from scratch?
I think you have to be a little more careful writing a m/m book then m/f. There are a few reviews for Christian that say Shea was blackmailed into being gay. When I wrote it, I didn’t see it that way, but looking back on it, I can understand why people are saying that. For Christian, people seem to either love it or hate it, there is not too many in between. That is the main factor though, the people who take it as Shea being blackmailed and those who don’t. I will definitely be more careful with what I write in my next m/m.
As for building a fan base from scratch, social networking is your best friend. Make a fan page on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and wherever else. Contact bloggers and introduce yourself, ask bloggers to review/help promote your book, and join Facebook groups to help promote your book. People also love to talk to authors, so be personable and available. The word will spread and people will come to you! It’s a lot of work, but it needs to be done if you want a dedicated fan base.