Thorns and Fangs is 5 days away from release! I am (like every author ever) equally excited and terrified. Which is why I am asking for your questions for an interview blog post! I mean, I could interview myself, but I’d rather answer questions people are curious about, so please, ask away! Leave comments here, on Goodreads or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Before we get down to the very important business of talking about Aki, a quick reminder that the polls for the M/M Reader’s Choice Awards are still open! Check out this post for a reminder of some of the polls that are up. Voting closes on the 15th and winners are announced on the 17th.
Onto the main event: Aki!
Aki is Nate’s best friend and a fellow host working at Century. They’ve evolved an amicable rivalry, competing for clients but still watching each other’s backs. Aki is gleefully ready to let Nate know when he is making a bad decision — and Nate is no stranger to bad decisions — but also equally ready to follow Nate into a dark ally to make sure he isn’t getting murdered (or having fun without him).
When I wrote Thorns and Fangs, I knew Aki would be sticking around. Ben is just as bad at sensible decision making as Nate, so he has an endless source of entertainment. What I didn’t know that Aki would end up taking on a book of his own — Banging the Supernatural and Other Questionable Life Choices. It turns out that Aki is not immune to making bad decisions of his own (Weird, right?. It’s almost like I have a predilection for a certain type of character). Case in point:
“Nate?” Aki’s thin voice was just audible at the entry to the alley.
“Over here!” Nate glanced toward the call. “What is your deal with him, anyway?” he asked, turning back to Ben. “I’m sick of—”
He was alone in the alley.
“Nate! Would it have killed you to let me know you weren’t getting murdered?” Aki collided with him at speed.
Nate thumped him on the back. “I’m fine.”
“Against every law of god and man! Seriously, what is the first rule of horror movies? Don’t go anywhere alone!” Aki relaxed his death grip slightly. “Where’s the vampire?”
“Ben.” Nate steered Aki back toward the mouth of the alley. “You just missed him.”
Aki’s relief was palpable. “You shouldn’t scare me like this, you big lump. What if something had happened?”
Despite himself, the night must have got to Nate. Aki glanced at him sideways. “Did you want it to?”
“You ran out of the club very quickly. You a fang-chaser, Nate? I won’t judge.”
“No. And also, no.” Nate waved his arms in emphasis. “The guy tried to mind control me!”
Nate came to a complete halt, fingers grasping at empty air. He still had no idea how he’d resisted Ben’s command, but not Hunter’s. “Clearly he’s not a very good vampire.”
“A good vampire’s an oxymoron! Seriously, no such thing, Nate!”
“Whatever.” Nate wrapped his arms around himself. “Let’s get back inside. It’s cold out here.”
Still upset about the argument, it took Nate a few minutes of walking to realize that Aki was silent. With a sigh, Nate reached out a hand to Aki’s shoulder. “I’m fine. Honestly.”
Aki glanced up in surprise at the touch. He managed a faint smile. “I wasn’t kidding about you scaring me earlier.”
Nate shrugged, letting his arm rest around Aki’s shoulders. He was startled to realize just how far his friend had come alone in the night to look for him. “So maybe running out of the club after a vampire wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.”
“Why’d you do it at all? I mean—the sex was that good?”
Nate bit his lip. It was hard to explain exactly what had prompted his pursuit. “I guess I was annoyed,” he said at last. “I mean, we talked about some important shit. I thought—well, I guess I thought wrong. I wanted to know why.”
“A vampire doesn’t need a why. That’s the entire point of vampires.”
“Ben’s different. Or I thought he was.” And that stung.
Aki elbowed Nate. “Hey. It’s like I always say. They’re either—”
Nate snorted. “Straight, taken, or an undead hell-creature bent on devouring your soul.”
Aki thumped him on the shoulder as they reached Century. “Cheer up. Not like you have a soul worth devouring.”
Nate squeezed Aki’s arm. “Thanks, Aki.”
Thorns and Fangs will be released January 18th. It is currently available for preorder at the NineStar website.