Many thanks to Teodora Kostova
who stopped by to answer a few questions about her writing.
How long have you been writing?
Pretty much all my life. I never took it seriously, though. I never actually finished a story until I was in my late 20s. I’d start something, plot it out, write a few chapters and then lose interest. I lacked the discipline to push through and keep going.
What made you decide you wanted to put yourself out there to be published?
I have no idea! Insanity, probably. I was so proud of myself when I finally managed to finish a whole novel that I wanted to share it with the world, I guess.
Your first published book?
I was the first part of a YA trilogy called Humanless. Currently, it’s out of print, but I have plans to rewrite parts of it and eventually republish it.
What is your favorite sub genre to write?
Is there one genre you haven’t tried but you see yourself writing in the future?
Yes – action thriller. I even have something in mind for the near future.
Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not?
I have written hetero romance. My first adult novel, In a Heartbeat, was published in 2013 and it’s been very successful all around the world, currently being translated and published by different publishers in Brazil, France, Canada and Bulgaria among other countries. For me, the gender of the people in a couple is irrelevant. I write about heterosexual couples, as well as gay ones. Love is love, right?
What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic?
I dislike that expression. Every person is different and I really don’t like stereotypes. In my experience, there are as many emotional, romantic, kind men out there (not always gay, btw) as there are cruel, indifferent, closed off women without a romantic bone in their bodies. It always surprises me when someone crams 7 billion people on this planet into a tiny category and expects everyone to act and feel the same way.
What are your thoughts on erotica?
I love it.
If you write gay romance or erotica, just how descriptive are you in their sex scenes?
Very. I don’t hold back at all.
As a gay fiction or m/m romance author, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?
I do. We see more and more m/m romance authors in the top 100 of the whole Kindle store, and that’s pretty amazing.
Do you believe it’s important for you to know the gender of the author?
Not at all. A good book is a good book, regardless of who wrote it. I’ve read amazing books written by female authors, pretty bad books written by gay male authors, and anything in between.
Recently, a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?
I never engage in conversations with reviewers. It doesn’t matter if the review is good or bad. I rarely read them anymore. Reviews are for readers, not for authors. In my opinion, authors should stay away from review sites and never debate someone’s review in public.
What is your stance on the difference between male and female gay writers?
I honestly don’t see how this is even an issue. Why is everyone so obsessed with the gender of the author? I’ve read brilliant books about gay men written by a transgender person, and amazing books about gay men written by a lesbian author. I really don’t understand why the gender of the author matters. It makes no difference to me whatsoever.
What is it about gay fiction and or m/m romance that pleasures you to write it?
You mean besides hot guys making out? I don’t really know… It’s all stories to me, gay or not. I’ve enjoyed writing all my stories and all my characters.
What is your stance on issues in society like same sex marriage etc.?
I hope in a few years’ time it won’t even be an issue. Everyone should be able to lead their life as they please and have equal rights.
What is your opinion about some review sites not accepting m/m books?
I guess everyone is allowed to run their website as they please, right? I know plenty of review sites accepting exclusively m/m romance books and turning hetero romance books away. Reviewers put a lot of time and effort into reading and writing reviews, so they should be able to read what they enjoy, not being force-fed something they’d hate.
Name two male celebs that you’d like to see in a hot make out session?
Oh, my! How do I choose!!! OK, I’ll have to go for Taylor Kitsch and Joe Manganiello.
Your favorite gay TV show or movie?
TV show: It’s not exactly a gay show, but I love Modern Family! There was a show called The New Normal which I adored! It was so funny! Unfortunately it got cancelled… As for a film, I love Free Fall and August.
Your favorite gay celeb?
I love Olly Alexander from Years&Years.
Have you attended a pride parade? If so, where you inspired when doing so?
Yes! I go to the London Pride every year, the last 2 years with my husband and my kid. We always have a lot of fun! This year I also went to the Munich Pride parade, and even took part in the actual parade with everyone else attending the Euro Pride Con. It was an amazing experience! There were all kinds of people supporting the parade, waving at us and cheering – men, women, families, children, old, young… It was really inspirational. Ooh, I was a steward at London Pride this year. Perhaps we can meet up next June. xx
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a stand alone novel about an ex soldier turned baker, and hopefully I’ll start working on a Christmas story very soon as well.
Jared Hartley is happy. He has a starring role in a popular West End musical, great friends, adoring fans and his own flat in Central London. A relationship is not something he has ever really wanted. Making big plans for the future is not in his nature – Jared is content with his single status and enjoying all the benefits of that lifestyle.
He doesn’t even realise something is missing in his life.
Until he meets Fenix.
Fenix Bergman has a dream – to perform on Broadway. When he gets offered the lead role in Poison – a new musical based in London, he accepts, immediately recognising the huge potential of the show.
Fenix thinks he has his life completely figured out – he will move to London, help Poison become the new West End hit and bide his time until Broadway comes knocking on his door. He has never wished for anything else but proving to himself and the world that he is a performer worthy of the biggest theatre stage.
Until he meets Jared.
Jared and Fenix’s lives collide and they fill each other’s missing pieces. Neither of them expects to feel so much, so fast for the other.
Neither of them expects to need someone so badly when love hasn’t even been in their plans.
But when Fenix’s star becomes too bright for London, will the dream he’s chased all his life ruin the dream he’s holding in his hands?
Will he survive getting everything he’s ever wanted?
Audio Book Review
Jared and Fenix fall hard and fast from the start. It’s a case of love or lust at first sight when the two stars share a dressing room at the Queen Vic theatre in London. There’s an intense connection between them as they fall into bed and in love. The two young men are inseparable and share many hot and steamy scenes together. You sense their happiness and the desire to live in each other’s pockets. On the whole, things move swiftly and easily for them. I especially liked the friction and jealousy between Adam—Jared’s best friend—and Fenix.
Everything is wonderful as they live together and share their lives, but of course, this is shattered when Fenix gets his Broadway dream fulfilled. Almost without a second thought for their relationship, he accepts and all contact between the two lovers ceases. Jared didn’t fight for him either. They both place their careers first. I found it hard to understand why they gave up on their relationship immediately and didn’t even remain in contact as friends. It made me question their love and want to bash their heads together. But that’s all part of the angst and sorrow. Deep down, they knew they loved each other and wanted to be together, but it took over two years of heartache and tears before they are eventually reunited. This part of this story is relatively short, but for me it was the most emotional. I would have liked further scenes showing how the two men suffered while they were apart.
More drama follows as the story reaches it ending. The epilogue jumps eight years ahead and is a little at odds with most of the story and their characters, but by then these two men had matured and had new dreams for their future.
The narration of the story by Todd Smith works well for Teodora’s storytelling style of writing. He speaks clearly and narrates at a steady pace. His voice suits the West End setting and the various characters’ personalities. He helped bring them to life for me.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to this engaging story. I am intrigued to hear Adam’s story next in Mask and would like to know more of his thoughts on Jared and Fenix’s relationship. I hope he gets his happy ever after too.