AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: CLANCY NACHT
What is your most current work out?
The latest ebook is Celibacy NOW, written with Thursday Euclid and published by Loose Id, a multicultural m/m contemporary erotic novel.
Tell us a little about Celibacy NOW, what inspired you to write Celibacy NOW?
The story didn’t initially start out with the intention of being multicultural. I was watching a stupid romcom with the same sort of stupid “bet” ploy where inevitably they fall in love and then there’s tension. I can’t even remember the movie now, only that it was poorly executed and that I wanted to see if we could do it better.
As we were plotting and outlining, I asked, “What if Marshall was black? And what if this was set in Texas?” Because on top of wanting to be more diverse, we’ve been interested in people reconciling their faith (in this case Christian) with who they are. I’ll just say straight out that I am agnostic. I’ve been to many churches in my time, some for longer periods than others. Unitarian, Evangelical, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian…all around the Christian faith. While I found that some of those religions would take a hard line with homosexuality, some were a little more hands off saying to hate the sin, not the sinner, and some felt like we are all God’s children and it’s not their place to judge. This isn’t the whole of the story; it’s just part of it, but one of the inspirations.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
That depends on the story, really. Sometimes I have a general outline of point A to point B and I may have ideas around how to get there, but the characters will often work out a smarter way. When writing with a partner, I think it works a little better to have a general plan so you’re on the same page, but sometimes surprises are good.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I generally write m/m and on any given day I’ll give you a totally different, totally valid reason why that’s my comfort zone. It seems to have its tropes but be more open to new ones or experimenting. As a woman I’ve found gender roles more than a little constrictive and same gender gives me more leeway to see characters as they are rather than their gender. I’m just not interested in the alpha male/damsel in distress dynamic. I feel like this is more of my voice right now.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Oh, this is another question where depending on my mood you’ll get a totally different answer. I think since I’m in a bit of a bratty/petulant mood today I’d say Blake from The WASPs (published by Dreamspinner). Yes, yes, that distressing, entitled brat who doesn’t particularly want to earn a living and enjoys being a mooch with an adorably precocious daughter.
Through the story he does experience quite a bit of growth, though he always has his sort of snotty, caustic core. I really enjoyed his longing, though, too. And once he got with Tyrone and things were more settled, he started acting more like an adult. We’d approached it with a very jokey notion of a comedy of manners-ish sort of lampooning the overly comfortable lifestyle ala Jane Austen. I’m not saying it’s comparable, just that that’s what we were going for. It was just so silly and over-the-top and fun.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
This implies that I’ve gotten it right and I’m not sure I can commit to that.
That said, while I had a clear vision of who Julian from Le Jazz Hot (published by Loose Id) was, striking that balance and really communicating the difference between a cross dresser and a drag queen vs. transgender was something I was working very hard to make as clear as possible without being too ham-fisted.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I do, but mostly in abstract ways. A lot of them have shades of me in. Luke actually has a job very close to what I do in real life and we did set it in my home town.
The funniest thing, I guess, was I wrote one character not really based on my husband but he does do this kind of funny thing where he ties off the end of his condom before throwing it away, I figured out of respect for the trash can. Well, at one point I was wandering the net and saw on a website that lo and behold, men did not do such a thing and anyone writing about it hadn’t slept with anyone. I’m not going to say that my husband is in any way normal (he married me, after all) but we did have a laugh when I pointed it out to him.
Also, he has opinions on fashion and in spite of much goading on my part for a kinky threesome with another guy, he continues to insist he likes women. Maybe I just marry weird people and have weird friends. We do like to keep Austin weird!
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Editing. Once I’ve written a story, it’s like a one night stand. I don’t want to look at it again until I can’t remember I wrote it. Later, I can look at it and think that it wasn’t as horrid as I thought it was.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I was the secretary of the College Republicans. Secretary. Figures, huh?
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I watch “Toddlers & Tiaras.” I am very politically active, liberal, genderqueer, and yet… that “Toddlers & Tiaras” is such a compelling trainwreck. “Dance Moms” too. Basically, if children are being badgered by backstage moms, I’m there.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
There are a lot. Like, the guilty pleasure shows I watch here and there when there isn’t much else on. But the show I avoid missing and will watch on the web if I do miss it is “The Daily Show.” That’s a nightly show (for the most part) so that’s a pretty huge commitment. After that would be “Project Runway” and “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” Oh, and “Game of Thrones.” And “Criminal Minds.” I’ll seriously watch GoT and CM marathons all day even though I’ve seen every episode like ten times now.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Not really. I prefer writing with music on, particularly during sex parts. But sometimes I’ll write or edit on a lunch break at work and there’s few things less sexy than where I work.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Music definitely influences my writing. I try to name stories after songs that have inspired me or remind me of it but I don’t think that’s worked out very well for the most part. They get killed for whatever reason. I’ll Be Your Man (published by Loose Id) has been the only one that survived that.
Lately, I listen to a lot of the Black Keys, Semi Precious Weapons, The Foals, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, oh, I could go on for days. I’ll stop. But I’m on Spotify and Grooveshark if you want to check out. I can’t do Spotify at work so there’s probably more on Grooveshark but feel free to friend me.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Okay. Remember where I said I watch “Criminal Minds” obsessively? Well, while we were writing this, we sort of fell into thinking of Marshall and Luke as Derek Morgan/Dr. Spenser Reid. And, God help me, I actually read a couple of fanfics. Luke started out blond, as is my standard, but we went back to make his hair light brown and played up his skinny because halfway through that’s how we’d mentally cast it.
So, yeah, ideally, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler? Are you up for it?
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Hah. At my computer. I told my writing partner and then my husband. I’m not that excitable so it was mostly just sort of a nod and thumbs up moment.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Oh well, I think I was maybe nine and I absolutely hated it. I was shockingly girl power at the time. It was this series for young adults where they were set in historical times and mostly in the south.
Later, my mother gave me a set of short stories about unicorns. It was written for adults. It wasn’t romance, but it 1) was the last time I could look at a unicorn without giggling and 2) showed me what writing could do.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Well…I do smile when a new Chuck Palahniuk book comes out. And I’m looking forward to the sequel to The Passage by Justin Chronin. I wouldn’t say no to a new George R. R. Martin novel.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Web development. Not much to say about that.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
“Kids in the Hall: Braincandy” and “Se7en” are my all time favorite movies. If those movies are on, everything stops. I have them memorized. Take from that what you will.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Right now Thursday Euclid and I are working on a post apocalyptic novel with clones and surprisingly no zombies. It’s not done yet but I’m liking it thus far. We’ve written one spy novel and a romantic thriller. Oh, and a sequel to Black Gold.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Clive Barker. I want to be in his brain and I want to see the blueprints of his worlds.
How do you pick your characters names?
Sometimes they come to me, sometimes I have a visual in mind and try to map to ethnicity. I try to keep them normal.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I love sex at first sight and then figure out what the hell you’re doing after. They say to write what you know…
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”..
Let me know when you’ve finished your book and you can show me what a real writer does.
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark chocolate. It’s good for you!