Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!
Lisa: When it came to writing the PLAYING THE FOOL series, I think the first email went something like this.
JA, don’t panic, but I have this idea for this thing that we would need to plot.
JA and I don’t plot. We are pantsers, through and through. We start off with a vague idea, then just see where the hell it takes us. Spoiler alert: It usually takes us somewhere really kinky.
I think sometimes that people have the wrong idea about pantsers. It’s not that we don’t do any of the heavy mental lifting when it comes to plotting, it’s just that we do it at the end. This one time, we used a spreadsheet and everything. Pantsing means a lot more editing—a lot—to get a cohesive story. And every change at the start of the story has an effect on every subsequent chapter. A tiny edit that begins as a ripple in an early chapter becomes a monster tsunami toward the end, tearing down and sweeping away whole scenes that no longer make sense.
So plotting was different. And a part of me feels weird even calling it that. I’ve seen some people that have these intricate Excel documents where every little box (is it called a box? I know nothing about Excel except it has numbers. That’s enough for me. I’m out.) is for a different character’s arc, or for the primary plot, or the subplot, or the subtext, and wow, that seems like a lot of work. I’m definitely more of a “Well, let’s just start writing words and see what happens” kind of person.
So while I won’t lie and say that we reached anywhere near that level of plotting, we definitely plotted this series enough that we can see the benefits of working this way. The editing we did at the end was mostly for grammar and spelling rather than to cover our previously undiscovered massive plot holes. So have we been converted from pantsers into plotters? Will we ever plot like this again?
Um…. Over to you, JA.
J.A.: Welcome to the thrilling conclusion of…WILL WE PLOT?
I mean, we haven’t really done it since then.
Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page—the world’s most irritating witness—alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.
Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.
When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA is the first in our PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy. Book 2, THE MERCHANT OF DEATH, will be available on February 2. Book 3, TEMPEST, will be released March 9.
You can preorder the series, and check out excerpts, at Riptide.
The Giveaway: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and the contents of Henry Page’s bag during his arrest in THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: that’s some Shakespeare and a bunch of Henry’s favorite candy!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On January 9, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!