Interview: Aleksandr Voinov

Today is a very special day, because author Aleksandr Voinov is stopping by to answer a few questions!

Aleks is author of many books, including Counterpunch and Scorpion, as well as co-author of Dark Edge of Honor and The Lion of Kent (click the links to see my reviews of said books). But enough of my blathering, you're here for Aleks....

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my humble blog and answer some of my questions. I know you’ve been touring the blog-o-sphere like mad, so I hope my questions are at least a little bit interesting for you!

Hey, don’t worry about that – I’m right now surrounded by piles of paperwork, so doing an interview is a welcome distraction. Thanks for having me!

What’s your favorite book and/or which book do you wish you’d written?

In our genre, there are a couple books that just made my jaw drop. Okay, I really can’t limit it to just one, so I’m giving you three.

One of them is Erastes’s Junction X, which is a story about a doomed love in the sixties. I had the honor to read it years before it came out, and it’s stuck with me forever. I know some people don’t like unhappy endings, but if you want a really intense book that will never ever leave you, go with that.

Another one is Angels of the Deep by Kirby Crow, which just blew me away. It won an EPPIE award, and deservedly so. Fallen angels, nephilim, a deliciously dark mood that has a dash of Tanish Lee and a dash of Poppy Z. Brite – both pioneers in dark fantasy/horror. I ate that book up liker nobody’s business. Kirby is an amazing, imaginative writer, and this is their darkest book, but I love them dark.

Third favourite is Manna Francis’s The Administration. It’s clever, with deep psychological insight, and the sex is incredibly hot. The main characters are both evenly-matched bastards, but their courting, their games, their interactions, have kept me riveted to the chair. Manna is amazing.

I’d struggle to say “wish I’d written that”, because books are such deeply personal things. While all these three works/authors resonate deeply with me, there’s a lot in there that’s all about them as people. If I’d written those, the books would be different, because I’m a different person. And that would be a shame, because I love them just as they are.

Is there a trait one of your characters has that you wish you had?

Dozens, actually. Compared to my characters, I’m a pretty average kind of person. But most of my characters believe extremely strongly in a value or ideal, like Kendras’s faith in the Scorpions, his mercenary band, and Silvio’s loyalty to his boss, or William’s code of chivalry. I wish I sometimes had that same single-minded faith in something bigger than myself.

In 14 words, can you tell us what makes Riptide Publishing great?

Great team, great authors, great editing, great covers, big ambitions, and no compromises. There, did it in 13. :)

What was the high point of this year for you?

Personal life – getting LASIK in March and achieving perfect eyesight. That was spectacular. I can see things before everybody else does.

Creative life – publishing some good books, getting ideas for more, but really, founding Riptide and seeing it all take off.

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

In 2012, I want to visit a close friend in Canada, travel to South-East Asia, and write some of the books I have in mind. I also want to have a revamp of my garden (I’m into bonsais, so I want an area in the garden where I can properly keep outdoor bonsais). And growing Riptide, of course.

Care to tell us about your coming attractions?

Absolutely. I’ve started publishing “Dark Soul” with Riptide, which is a series of short stories that are all connected in a big arch that tells really one story. You could call it an episodic novel, but like a TV series, every episode can stand on its own and furthers the plot at the same time. It’s about Stefano Marino, a mafia boss, who falls in lust and then love with the enigmatic Silvio Spadaro, a very damaged boy and mafia hitman. Right now, three parts are done and two more are drafted in my head. I wanted to tell the story as a traditional novel, but I couldn’t get it to work, so this format – a dozen or so connected short stories – was the only way to make it all work.

Here's the blurb for Dark Soul Volume 1:
Stefano Marino is a made man, a happily married west coast mafia boss who travels east to await the death of a family patriarch. All the old hands have gathered—of course sharks will circle when there’s blood in the water—but it’s a new hand that draws Stefano’s eye.

Silvio “the Barracuda” Spadaro is protetto and heir to retired consigliere Gianbattista Falchi, and a made man in his own right. Among his underworld family, being gay is a capital crime, but the hypersexual—and pansexual—young killer has never much cared for rules. The only orders he follows are Battista’s, whether on the killing field or on his knees, eagerly submissive at Battista’s feet.

But Silvio has needs Battista can’t fill, and he’s cast his black-eyed gaze on Stefano. A fake break-in, an even faker attack, and Silvio is exactly where he wants to be: strung up at Stefano’s mercy, driving the older Mafioso toward urges he’s spent his whole life repressing. Stefano resists, but when the Russian mob invades his territory and forces him to seek aid, Gianbattista’s price brings Stefano face to face once more with Silvio—and his darkest desires.

This title is #1 of the Dark Soul series.
Read an excerpt and purchase Dark Soul Volume 1.

Dark Soul Volume 2 is also available at Riptide. Here's the blurb:
Dark Soul series features the stories "Dark Whisper" and "Dark Night."

In "Dark Whisper," Gianbattista may have broken Silvio's heart and sent him off to the States, but he's still just a phone call away. When Silvio returns from a sex shop with a bag full of goodies, Gianbattista can't resist topping his boy one more time, even if they are 4,000 miles apart.

In "Dark Night," the Russian problem comes back to haunt Stefano, and when a dark encounter leaves him bloody and broken, Silvio knows just the right way to ease his pain.

This title is #2 of the Dark Soul series.
Preorder Dark Soul Volume 3 and your order will qualify for an entry in our Free Books for a Year drawing.

You can find me at any of these places on the internet:

E-mail address: vashtan@gmail.com
Twitter: @vashtan
Goodreads Page
Goodreads Group

Thank you for hosting me on your blog!

Glad to have you visit, Aleks!

Now for the prizes!

First: Check out Riptide's blog tour schedule every day until December 31. Visit the sites where the authors are guest blogging or being interviewed, and leave a comment. It’s as easy as that.
Each comment earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an IPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle.
In addition, comment below and get a chance to win a back list book from Aleks, excluding Counterpunch and Riptide releases. Be sure to leave contact information. The winner will be announced December 13.

Thanks for stopping by!

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