An Interview with Asta Idonea—Author of Beastly Businessmen and Guitar Gods
Please welcome Asta Idonea to the Land of Make Believe. She has agreed to let me ask a few questions and she’s brought an excerpt and giveaway as part of her blog tour.
An Interview with Asta Idonea
Welcome Asta. You’ve not been interviewed on the site before, so let’s start by telling everyone a bit about yourself.
I’m British-born, but I have lived in Australia for 8½ years now. I was backpacking here when I met my husband on the bus. I just never went home. I worked in admin until 2014, when I left to try my hand as a freelance editor and author.
Beastly Businessmen and Guitar Gods is a mouthful, but an awesome title. How did you come up with that for a list of short stories?
The stories themselves gave rise to the title. One involves a stolen guitar (in the original myth the owner of the stolen item is a god) and in another a businessmen takes on the role of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
Talk about the theme of the collection. What genre(s) would you say it fits into?
There’s some contention here, as several people have wanted to call it fantasy because the stories are based on myths and fairytales; however, my retellings are in all a modern setting without any hint of magic, so to my mind they are contemporary MM romances.
So, much like you’re not allowed to have a favorite child, yet people do, which of the stories in the collection is your favorite?
How mean you are! There are things I love about each, but if you force me to choose, I think the final story: A Debt is a Debt. I love Dunstan and Wynn, and the way they develop through the tale.
What story was the most fun to write and why?
Probably Dragged into Love, because the original myth is so amusing and it was great fun adapting it to the modern era. It’s the most comical of the six, for sure.
What story made you struggle them most?
That would be Assignations and Ultimatums. Not for writing the story itself but for choosing which one to adapt. I had the five and I knew I needed one more; however, all those that came to mind relied too heavily on magic. Then my eye fell upon my book of Maori folktales, and at last I had the answer.
Tell us something interesting that is not in the blurb about one of the stories.
All these stories tie-in to one another, so watch out for brief appearances of characters in tales outside their own. In particular, a mysterious figure arrives towards the end of Assignations and Ultimatums, but you won’t find out who he is until you read the remaining stories.
Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?
Wow, I have so many things underway; it’s hard to know where to start. Between now and June, I have five short story releases either as singles or in anthologies (or both). Four are MM, the other is MF (under my alternate pen name Nicki J. Markus) Also coming within that time span is an MM sci-fi novella called Fire Up My Heart.
I have another ten short stories submitted I am waiting to hear back on, along with an MF novel. Meanwhile, I am currently working on three MM shorts, two MM novellas, and two MF novellas. So, as you can see, I am keeping pretty busy and should have plenty of new stories to share during 2016 and into 2017. As usual, it’s an eclectic mix of historical, contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal, so hopefully there’s something for everyone.
Fairytales and Myths for the Modern Gay
The modern age is devoid of magic.
Or is it?
How else could a stolen guitar or a lost shoe lead to love?
What but magic could spark romance at a workplace assessment?
Or turn a mean-spirited monster into a man?
Six fairytales and myths are given a contemporary MM twist in this collection of stories, proving that sometimes the mundane can be magical too.
DRAGGED INTO LOVE (Þrymskviða)
When Theo’s landlord steals a prized guitar in lieu of rent owed, he informs Theo he will return the instrument on one condition: he wants a date with Theo’s twin sister.
LOVE’S CODE (Ariadne and Theseus)
Andre must pass the examination if he wants to keep his job.
However, he is distracted by his unspoken love for fellow programmer, Eren.
GUESSING GAMES (Rumplestiltskin)
Sasha told a little white lie in his job interview and it won him the role.
Only now he is faced with a pile of work he doesn’t know how to complete.
ASSIGNATIONS AND ULTIMATUMS (The Strange Elopement of Tinirau)
Hunter and Ross are in love, but Ross’ father keeps trying to set him up with undesirable, yet powerful, older men, the latest of whom happens to be Ross’ boss.
LOST AND FOUND (Cinderella)
Cillian is dreading the work masquerade ball, but once there he finds himself romanced by a dashing stranger, only to flee when he discovers the man’s identity.
A DEBT IS A DEBT (Beauty and the Beast)
Dunstan Griffin is not a man to let a debt slide, so when debtor Alfred Siskin offers the EA services of his son, Wynn, in lieu of payment, Dunstan accepts.
“Good evening, handsome. What’s a pretty boy like you doing sitting all alone, looking so sour-faced?”
Sasha glanced up to find a young man perched on the edge of his desk, watching him from behind a fringe of golden hair that hung over his right eye. He seemed young. Too young to be an employee, surely, and yet how else would he have gotten in here? Unless he was another staff member’s son. Or maybe—
“You were wondering how old I am, and the answer is twenty-one.” He grinned. “I know I don’t look it, but I promise it’s true. I am one hundred percent legal in every way.”
“I suppose you’re going to tell me next that you read minds?” Sasha found himself smiling despite himself, a little of his despair lost in light of his companion’s merriment.
The man laughed and the bright, airy sound echoed around the room. “I wish! Think how delightful that would be. I could learn everyone’s deepest, darkest desires…. But, no, it’s just I’m used to it being the first question anyone asks me, so I’ve learnt to anticipate it and get it out of the way as quickly as possible. You’re Sasha, yes?”
“Yes. How did—?”
The man cut Sasha off with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I’ve heard talk of you around the departments today. Figured I’d come and see you for myself, though I fully expected you to be gone by now.”
“I’ve got a bit of a—” Sasha broke off, unwilling to divulge his terrible secret to this stranger, however infectious the young man’s cheerful mien might be.
“Oh, come on, you can tell me. I don’t work in this department and I swear I won’t blab. Scout’s honour. Cross my heart and hope to die.” His expression was one of dramatic, wide-eyed sincerity that was too overblown to be anything other than put-on.
Sasha hesitated a second longer, but the need to share his burden won out. “I’m supposed to log all these files in the records management system, but I don’t know how. I don’t understand the software, all the codes and terminology.” Saying it out loud, a weight lifted from Sasha’s shoulders and he breathed more freely than he had all day.
The young man cocked his head. “Suppose I could help you. What would you give me in payment for my assistance?”
Don’t miss the March Sale! All Wayward Ink Titles titles are 35% off on the WIP website, 30% off on AllRomance, and 30% off on Amazon.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CUNOSB6/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CUNOSB6/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01CUNOSB6/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B01CUNOSB6/
About the author
NICKI J. MARKUS was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works, including the novella Time Keepers and the fantasy novel The Ragnarök Chronicles.
Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of ASTA IDONEA and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing. She is currently working on her first M/M novella.
Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, and cross stitch. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.