After enjoying Second Star to the Right, I'm honored to have A.F Henley to stop by my blog and reveal a lot of details in an interesting interview.
Hope you will appreciate the humour and the honest answers. The comment about Anastasia Grey cracks me up!
Remember to post a comment if you want to win a chance to read this very touching gay romance between a romantic and a cynic with a big heart.
Good luck !
Second Star to the Right is a romance story about a man seeking to define himself, an escort caught between the desire to find connection yet keep himself grounded, and how the brilliance of love can be the brightest light in dark skies if we're willing to let it burn.
So... in an effort to attempt something a little different for this blog tour, I decided it might be cool to connect with you, the reader, and explain how I define myself. I sent out a call, asking "Inquiring Minds" to throw some questions at me, and offered to do my best to answer them. Let's light up the sky together, and hopefully have a little fun in the process...
(Be sure to read through to the end for details on the release, as well as a chance to WIN your very own ebook copy.)
SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT
BY AF HENLEY
Be it unrequited fascination with his straight best friend or impossible fantasies of rekindled interest with his heartbreaking ex, Mason has no clue why the perfect connection seems to keep slipping through his fingers. When another lonely holiday seems like too much weight to shoulder, Mason gives up on romance and seeks out the next best thing—rented company. Jack is everything a person could want in an escort: willing, hot, and built like an angel.
Mason can't resist. After all, who wouldn't be interested in a guy who loves kid's movies, is a self-professed Peter Pan, and has no problem throwing caution to the wind at a moment's notice. But then interest quickly blooms into a whole new emotion—an emotion that Mason knows far too well, especially when Jack has no interest in returning it, preferring to keep his heart safely tucked away in Neverland.
Henley replies: I've always been a big fan of Peter Pan. My fascination started with a Little Golden Book, evolved to the original novel "Peter and Wendy" by J. M. Barrie when I was old enough to realize it was out there, and then skipped along with the various movie adaptations. I regret to say I have yet to see any of the stage performances, but I would, in a heartbeat. That being said, and drilling your reply down to a single word, A.M., my answer is none. Peter Pan, Neverland, and the fictional concepts behind them, belong to the people who created them – not to me.
When I first set out to write this novel, I had no idea that Jack was going to develop into the character that he ended up becoming. I didn't even think it was going to end well, to be honest. (Fortunately for my sanity, my need for romanticism took over.) My novel is not about Peter Pan. It's about the concepts and emotions that Neverland, Lost Boys, and the confusing, petulant Peter himself, stir in me.
It has to do with a character's melancholy over getting older, over trying to learn who he is and what he needs to be. It's about believing that there's something better out there, that you just need to find the right path to get there, and that it's okay to believe in fairy tales and happy endings. It's about finding that one person out there that makes you shine a little brighter and glow a little warmer, just by being the person that they are.
Henley replies: Floyd. Wow. Truly one of my favourite classic bands. And also one of those bands that you're almost better to quote your favourite album then one particular song. But if I had to pick a single song, I'd go with "Time." We never have enough of it, we waste what do have frightfully, and I think there are a whole hell of a lot us that can relate to the process of "hanging on in quiet desperation."
Darkprism asks: Five fictional characters you'd love to meet and invite to dinner??
Henley replies: Assuming that none of them would be aghast at being served vegetarian, most likely poorly prepared:
Peter Pan. Any one of them. I'd love to hear his take on the fact that I inadvertently caused people to associate him with a sex-trade worker. Maybe offer to help pay for a few therapy sessions.
Danny from King's "The Shining." Yes, the boy version. Any kid that can convincingly warm my heart and freak me the hell out, all at the same time, is a kid I'd like to get to know. Besides, I have some questions to ask him about that damn hotel.
Dr. Frank-N-Furter from O'Brien's "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." I mean, what's there not to love? Sure, he was a little mad, psychotic, alien and obtrusive. That smile, though. Those legs. The sarcastic humour and the stunning smile. (And I might, just possibly, have a wee fetish for men in lingerie.)
Maxwell (You-Can-Just-Call-Me-) Clark from the novel "Hearts Under Fire," one of Kelly Wyre's characters. There's just something about that man that works for me. Hopefully dinner would devolve into full-on dessert. With second helpings.
Anastasia Grey. That is one girl that needs a serious sit-down-let's-talk moment. I may have to serve dinner with my hands tied behind my back so as not to shake her silly, but I'll figure something out.
Drawboy7 asks: What qualities should a serious author bring?
Henley replies: I'm not sure there's a fictional author out there that would admit to being serious. Okay, maybe Hemingway. Regardless ... an open mind, a creative soul, and a receptive heart. It also helps to be convincing, so that you can talk your grammar and punctuation-blessed friends into granting their assistance.
Most importantly, an author needs shoulders of Teflon, and a spine of steel. Love your work unconditionally, regardless of what you read or hear about it, because there will be many things spoken against it. But be strong enough to give those words a second thought when you think you're ready to digest them. A good percentage of the time, these people are seeing something you've missed.
(Unless they're rolling their eyes at your prose. Then just scream at them, "Some people LIKE Robert Frost, okay?!")
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words
descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
As a thanks for reading, I'm offering up an ebook copy of Second Star to the Right, in the format of the winner's choice. Simply leave a comment below to be entered in the draw.
And! As an extra bonus! All participators in the blog tour giveaway will AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED in a future-dated contest for a signed print copy of the novel, and a genuine Swarovski pendant, hand-picked for Second Star to the Right significance. Stay tuned to any of the above-referenced AF Henley sites for details.
A huge thank you to New Books on my Shelves for having me today, as well as to the readers, friends, associates, and followers who stopped by to take part. Here's hoping you have an awesome and adventurous day. And off we go...
AF Henley <3