Thursday, 8 May 2008

Author of 'Summer Love' ~ A.J Llewellyn

'Author Quickie'

A. J. Llewellyn

1. Hi A.J. Thanks for taking the time to share your news and views with us. Tell us about your latest book release.

Hi Debby! Firstly I want to thank YOU for doing this for other authors. I LOVE the cover of your book, by the way! (Thank you!!!)
My new book Summer Love is the third book (or fourth if you count a Christmas between-the-titles novella) in my Phantom Lover series. It's a M/M erotic romance about kumu hula (hula master) and kahuna (high priest) Kimo Wilder and his husband Lopaka. The series shows these two men in their every day lives as hula dancers, devotees of the fire Goddess Pele and in their mystical/paranormal lives as healers and protectors of the ways of the ancients in Hawaii. They are red-hot Hawaiian lovers, too!

2. Sounds like a lot of research went into this book! Give us a quick blurb.

In the original Phantom Lover (published last September), Kimo and Lopaka meet, have wild sex and against Kimo's will, they fall in love. In the Christmas book Fly Me to the Moon (which won cover art of the year for my wonderful cover artist Martine Jardin at Predator & Editors Poll) the men have just married and are celebrating their first Christmas together.
In The Forbidden Island, the first official sequel, which was published March 15 at, Kimo and Lopaka have a traditional Hawaiian wedding and must deal with Goddess Pele's wishes for them to protect a piece of land she deems as hers.
They encounter ancient curses, dark island magic, ghosts galore...and in between, some hot lovin' too!
Summer Love is actually the most mystical of all the books in the series.
In it, Kimo and Lopaka are expecting twins, via a surrogate – Lopaka's sister Maluhia (her name means Peaceful in Hawaiian). They are aware that these twins are children blessed by Pele and must be protected at all costs since other kahuna fear their future power.
Kimo and Lopaka visit some ancient, powerful vortexes on the Big Island of Hawaii to enlist the aid of some of their ancestral spirits to help them in their quest. Each and every place I describe in this book does exist but you won't find them in any guidebook. The Vagina Cave, for example was removed from tourism after graffiti was found there.
These places can be found by those who are meant to find them. I just haven't given exact directions, nor do I think Pele would appreciate it if I did!

3. *Smiles *. Where can this book be purchased? (Note: An excerpt from ‘Summer Love’ will also be available on and on May 15

4. Any good reviews? Show us your best one.

I have been blessed with fantastic reviews for Phantom Lover...hard to pick one but here goes. From Midnight Kisses, Remmy Duchene gave me a French Kiss (their top accolade) and he wrote this:

Phantom lover wasn't at all what I expected but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. A.J Llewellyn has weaved a beautifully, orgasmic tale of forbidden love on a sensual island. A.J has mixed highly erotic pleasures with history that leaves you hanging on to every word of the tale. This story is rich with an energy that leaves you hanging on to every word of the tale. Phantom Lover is rich with history and Hawaiian culture that is breath taking in its perfection. It is evident that the author has done thorough research, which is a breath of fresh air. The characters were highly flawed and were real with emotion that emanated off the pages. Hot sex, beautiful scenery, conflicts that pulled me to the edge of my seat and pulled at my heart, then add a dash of magic and you get a wonderfully delightful experience. For writing a tale that makes me ache to visit Hawaii, and a piece of art that is so well thought out, highly erotic and delicious, I give Phantom Lover a French kiss.

Please check my website for all the other fantastic reviews I've received. I picked this one though because it was my first. And because it's not every day you hear your work being described as a piece of art!

5. Do you have any other books available or working on at the moment?

Yes, there is a non K&L story called Shipwreck Bay that came out April 1 at extasybooks.
There are more Kimo and Lopaka books waiting in the wings. Rent Boy a special July 4 'fantasy game' story comes out July 1 and My Hawaiian Song of Love, the next official instalment, is due for release July 15.
Stolen Magic: The Queen of Pentacles: Phantom Lover Book Four is finished. The awesome cover (another spectacular Martine Jardin effort) can be found on the Coming Soon page at
I just contracted to write yet another Kimo and Lopaka book for Halloween and you are the first one to hear about it!
It's a spooky tale called Kimo & The Obake Obon Dancer....
I have another series not featuring K&L called A Vampire in Waikiki – first one is in the editing queue and the cover, again available at extasybooks' Coming Soon page is awesome and HOT!
I have also written Island Bois: The Eight of Swords – again in the editor's queue and Beyond the Reef – a story of love showing up at the door.
For eXtasy's upcoming anthology Sanguinary Seductions, I wrote Before Morning, a volcanic vampire tale set in feudal Japan and for the Emerald Envisage anthology, I wrote Banished. This story features the evil sorcerer Mahini from The Forbidden Island. There are brief appearances by Kimo and Lopaka in this one. Mahini is banished to a volcanic island called Kunashir, which is shared by Japan and Russia. Truth really is stranger than fiction!
I am working on Hanalei Moon: The Ace of Swords and a special Christmas book about my Waikiki vampires!

6. How popular is M/M romance becoming in the literature world?

It is THE genre right now. People always ask me why and I think it's because it's Extreme Romance. It pushes way past the edge of other romances. I think that since most of my readers appear to be women, and my publisher, cover artist, beta reader and editor are all women and they love my books, I would say that readers are drawn to the emotional relationships between hot men.

7. Do you think the Internet has made it easier to promote M/M romance?

This is a good question, Debby. And it has quite few parts to the answer. Firstly, there is still a taboo regarding even straight romance fiction. I recall meeting my first romance author at a dinner party in England twenty years ago. He was a man writing as a woman, which was very common then and even in those days, even women wrote under assumed names. There is still a stigma attached, which is unfortunate. The Internet allows anonymity to be sure, especially for those writing BDSM etc (which is not my bag, by the way) but it also allows me to reach book buyers all over the world. Having a book published the traditional way would not allow this - unless I was a major author. I get emails from Germany and Italy from readers who are enjoying the Kimo and Lopaka series. How cool is that!
Since the average shelf life of a published book in the stores is two weeks, ebooks outstrip traditional publication by miles. And just try buying a book you really want on the day it's released, unless again, it's by a big author. On April 15, I hunted all over town to find the latest book in the "Mahu" series. I love those Neil S. Plakcy books! I had to drive quite a long way to find it.
Online, I could have bought it immediately on Amazon, but I didn't want to wait for shipping.
That's another advantage of the burgeoning online community. You can download and read books immediately.
As for promotion, I post excerpts to a huge audience of diverse fans through yahoo groups and of course on my website. I also chat on a regular basis with all kinds of romance groups. If you don't promote, you don't sell. And since most publishers stopped doing book tours a long time ago, the only place for a dedicated author of any genre to promo is online.
It is a constant, ongoing process. Be consistent with your promos, but my advice would also be to take the time to chat with readers. Don't just post one long excerpt after the other. I did an author interview last week with a group of women who had never read a M/M title and weren't afraid to tell me it wasn't their thing.
At first I admit, I thought, why did they book me then? But as we talked and they read an excerpt and we chatted about children and dogs and love and sex...I won some converts. One of the women emailed me and told me she bought and read Phantom Lover right after the chat and was surprised to find she really enjoyed it. That was a lovely email!

8. What do you hope readers will gain from reading one of your stories?

I hope, some knowledge and appreciation of the history and magic of Hawaii, plus an enjoyment of an honest to goodness love story. Love is everything, I think. I believe in happy endings and I believe in taking the reader on a magical mystery tour. I like to infuse passion and intrigue, myth, romance and paranormal qualities in my stories. I hope I do that with every book.
9. Have you gained a following of fans? From the reviews I have read lately, you seem a popular M/M author.

Thanks, Debby! I have a lot of wonderful readers and one of my book reviewers became my beta reader. We have become terrific friends. She tells me about her DH (darling husband) and her kids and I tell her about my quest for true love (laughing) and subsequent rotten dates! She is as obsessed with Kimo and Lopaka as I am and it's astonishing to me how much she and other people have connected with those two men. There was a wonderful moment in an author chat session the other day where a reader from Germany started asking me questions about the series and I could tell he really WAS reading the books. It's very gratifying, really that people really look forward to the next instalment and really feel an empathy for the characters.

10. And finally, where we can find out more about you.
Thanks, A.J. for taking the time to share your news and views with us. If you would like an 'Author Quickie' contact Debby at the ‘Romance ebooks’ myspace profile or at Next on the 'Author Quickie' ~ Adriana Kraft


ajllwllyn said...

Dear Debby,
Thank you for your lovely, thought-provoking interview. I really have to thank you for the way you are supporting and encouraging other writers. I see my lovely friend Adirana Kraft is your next subject and I can't wait to read that interview too. Best regards,

Debby said...

You're welcome, A.J! It was fun interviewing you! Enjoy being 'Romance ebooks' author of the week!

Catherine Bybee said...

Hi A.J.
Lovely interview. I agree that on-line is where it is at. I read an excerpt I like and often times downloading it before my keyboard can cool down. I dread my CC bill!

Best of luck,