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BLOG TOUR – GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: “A Taste For Poison” by Aleksandr Voinov

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Why I wrote A Taste for Poison

Hi, I’m Aleksandr Voinov, and here to talk about my newest release, A Taste for Poison. Thanks for having me!

A Taste for Poison is the third and last part in my Memory of Scorpions gay fantasy series. And it’s a bit of a miracle that it happened at all, to be honest. I’ve told the story about how Scorpion happened – I was on holiday in Turkey, it was very hot, I actually wanted to write a different book, and then Kendras showed up in my head and I wrote about 18,000 words in a week just writing down what he told me (that’s about a third of a novel).

Scorpion stood on its own. It has a bit of a romance story, as Kendras saves his future lover, Adrastes, and escapes the attentions of a lover he doesn’t really want and barely respects, Steel. At the end of the book, they decide to build a kingdom together. Happy end.

Only, it wasn’t, not really. But at that point, it was all I had.

It went off to be published by Dreamspinner, and then I got a new job that was really busy and got sidetracked by other projects (such as co-starting a publishing house), but I had a bit of a niggle, that never died down, even when Scorpion moved over to Riptide. It feels a bit like that niggle you get when you leave the house. Have I forgotten something? Sure?

But Scorpion wasn’t a massive seller. I’m not always or exclusively motivated by sales numbers, but I knew if I wanted to live off writing one day, I should really focus on stories that’ll sell more than Scorpion was. Plus, every sequel sells less than the book before. It’s a bit of a rule. Some series pick up over time, but there’s a “fade” in numbers. It became pretty clear that fantasy isn’t huge in gay fiction or gay romance.

Also, Kendras as a character is more going through a coming-of-age story than a love story. He has lovers, falls in and out of love several times in his life, but generally speaking, it’s about his growth as a character, a leader, and a warrior. Not the easiest sell.

However. That niggle was still there and wasn’t shutting up. It’s like going on holiday and you’re on a different continent and wonder whether you’ve closed the fridge or switched off the coffee machine.

Then, at a conference, I was talking to a reader, and she said she loved Scorpion and really wanted to know what happened next. We got chatting. And her enthusiasm woke up some of those ideas – the love of readers really makes a difference, much more than the sales numbers. A book might have few readers, but when they’re all really, really into it, that is a huge motivation to keep working on it.

So, yeah, even though Scorpion was never and will likely never be huge seller, it’s steady as clockwork, and when I talk to readers, many love the book. My heart opens every time when somebody tells me their favourite of mine is Scorpion – I tend to love my stranger, weirdest, crazier books more than the easier ones.

Bottom line: The readers made me do it. And thank you for that.

 

About A Taste for Poison

Even a king gets stung when he reaches for a scorpion.

After barely surviving an assassination attempt, King Adrastes is a changed man—one who mistrusts even his allies and friends. He readies his empire for war against an enigmatic enemy, the Elder of Vededrin, but not everyone approves. While courtiers dare only to whisper dissent, an outrider called Death foments rebellion in the mountains, aided by a prophecy that promises he’ll stop the Black King.

Kendras—former lover to Adrastes and leader of the Scorpions—is sent with his elite mercenary force to bring Death to justice. But when Kendras learns who’s hiding behind the mask, he must choose between his lover Graukar, newly-appointed general to the king—and King Adrastes himself.

With no man to call master, the Scorpions could flee the danger and intrigue. But Kendras cannot abandon the man he once loved—or the man he’s growing to love—without first uncovering the real threat to the Empire.

 

About Aleksander Voinov

Aleksandr has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and until recently worked as an editor in financial services.

After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write gritty, edgy, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.

He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others, and is an EPIC Awards winner and a Lambda Awards finalist.

 

Connect with Aleks:

  • Website: aleksandrvoinov.com
  • Blog: aleksandrvoinov.blogspot.com
  • Twitter:@aleksandrvoinov
  • Goodreads: goodreads.com/Vashtan

 

Giveaway

 

Win a full set of the Memory of Scorpions series paperbacks.

Rafflecopter code:

ENTER TO WIN

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23 comments on “BLOG TOUR – GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: “A Taste For Poison” by Aleksandr Voinov

  1. debby236
    October 13, 2014

    I missed the last ones. Must go on a quest

    Like

  2. Christina
    October 13, 2014

    Woot! I ready for A Taste For Poison :)

    Like

  3. aleksandr voinov
    October 13, 2014

    Debby – “Quest” is a great way of phrasing it. :)

    Like

  4. aleksandr voinov
    October 13, 2014

    Christina – Hope you enjoy it! :)

    Like

  5. Carole-Ann
    October 13, 2014

    I loved Scorpion, but was unimpressed with Adrastes in the second book (my heart belongs to Kendras :) ), so I’m looking forward so much to reading this third one (OK I have it already!)

    Lovely post btw, Aleks

    Like

    • aleksandr voinov
      October 14, 2014

      Carole-Ann – Totally agree. Adrastes kind of jumps the shark in book 2 but it really helps Kendras grow. :) Hope you enjoy the book!

      Like

  6. Trix
    October 13, 2014

    Strong fan favoritism is always a good sign!

    Like

    • aleksandr voinov
      October 14, 2014

      Trix – Agree! I did a good job if it sticks around in people’s minds. It’s a huge compliment.

      Like

  7. Barbra
    October 13, 2014

    The fantasy genre is what led me to m/m in the first place, so I think I will love this series. :-)

    Like

    • aleksandr voinov
      October 14, 2014

      Barbra – Oh, cool. :) Which one? Many come from Nightrunner, but I think for me it was mostly Tanith Lee.

      Like

      • Barbra
        October 14, 2014

        Although not m/m, a lot of fantasy writers have gay characters. Off the top of my head there was Steven Harper, Jane Fancher, Lynn Flewelling, Tanya Huff, Mercedes Lackey, Sarah Monette and probably quite a few more. I’ll have to check out Tanith Lee. Thanks. :-)

        Like

  8. Kim W
    October 13, 2014

    I read the first book in the series and liked it. It isn’t my usual kind of book so I was kind of surprised I liked it as much as I did.

    Like

  9. antonella
    October 14, 2014

    I bought exactly *yesterday* the last two books, wondering why I didn’t know there was a third one. I’m relieved to find out that it is fairly recent. I loved ”Scorpion” and I’m looking forward to read the rest of the story.

    Like

    • aleksandr voinov
      October 15, 2014

      Hi Antonella – Excellent. :) The best way to keep track of most of my work is really the Riptide newsletter, but I should really start my own. But yeah, they were almost quiet launches (we aimed at getting the series out before flogging it.) :)

      Like

  10. Echo
    October 15, 2014

    I have the first book. . . would love to read the others.

    Like

  11. bn100
    October 15, 2014

    Interesting books

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sabrina
    October 15, 2014

    I finally finished the book (after re-reading the other two, first) and I loved it. As usually, when it’s Voinov, the drawing of the settings and characters is superb. But what I especially liked was to witness the growth of Kendras. For all he had to go through it made him realize who he is and what he wants.

    Like

    • aleksandr voinov
      October 16, 2014

      Hi Sabrina – Yes, that was really what intrigued me throughout. How he grows what decisions he makes, and how he ends up choosing. It was all in the air while I was writing it, but I could trust the character to lead the way. Kendras is good and reliable like that. :)

      Like

  13. Lecia Rohrbach
    October 16, 2014

    Love your writing!

    Like

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