TNA: Hi, T.T., welcome to The Novel Approach, it’s great to have you here with us today. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a bit about yourself?
T.T.: Thanks so much for having me over!
Well, there’s not really much to tell about me. Born and raised in Norway, currently studying for a bachelor in English Language and Literature after I had to quit my first “career” due to allergies. I’ve always loved to write, and I hope to live solely off it one day. Being an author is really all I’ve ever wanted to be. ^^
TNA: What was your first M/M title? If you could go back to the moment you began writing the book, what advice would you give yourself now that you have the benefit of experience?
T.T.: Well, my first published M/M title was a fantasy novella titled Forest of Fenris. I would definitely tell myself to not be so impatient, but I guess that is something I still try to tell myself. ^^ I wrote M/M long before I was published however, and posted most of my stories back then on places like FictionPress and AarinFantasy. It was a fun time, interacting with all the people over on those places. It’s thanks to them I am where I am today.
TNA: More than a few of your published stories are part of a series. What is it that appeals to you about writing for a series over writing individual, standalone books?
T.T.: I love series! I write series in where there’re new main characters in every book, but the opportunity for a visit in with the old characters is always fun. See how they’re doing, how much in love they still are. With individual books, I have to say goodbye once I finish the book, but that’s not the case with series. They can just continue on, and I can bask in the company of all my beloved characters.
TNA: You’ve written both fantasy and contemporary genre romance. Creatively speaking, do you have a preference of one over the other? Which do you find to be the more challenging writing experience and why?
T.T.: Yes, I do. I most definitely prefer contemporary. I have to be in a certain mood to write fantasy—a mood which I very quickly can come out of again, and be back to contemporary. As for the challenge… well, that’s tied into my moods. When I’m in the mood to write fantasy it’s easy, but once the mood’s over, I can’t for the life of me get back into it until the next time the need comes over me. Contemporary, on the other hand, just flows.
TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your upcoming Dreamspinner novella Summer Fever. Tell us a little bit about your characters, Axel and Folke. What’s their chemistry? What it is that attracts them to each other?
T.T.: There’s an age difference between them of about ten years or so. Axel is young, just out of school. Folke is a Danish mystery writer, who likes to seclude himself in his Norwegian mountain cabin while he writes his book. They meet quite randomly and there’s instant lust there. Axel is hiking away from his bastard ex-boyfriend and sees this handsome author who’s nothing at all like his ex, and Folke sees this sweet young man who hasn’t had the best time in life. It is definitely lust-at-first-sight.
TNA: You’ve set their story in Norway? Is the setting a place you’ve visited, or is this a place that exists solely in your imagination? What is it about this mountain setting that makes it the perfectspot for Axel and Folke to start a new romance?
T.T.: Norway is where I live. I’ve based the setting in the book on places I’ve been to, both my hometown and a mountain range. The nature of Norway is some of the most beautiful settings there is, especially in summer when it all blooms green, and it was a perfect place to set their budding romance. The mountain is beautiful and calm—but also dangerous, which they’ll experience.
TNA: Folke is an author. As an author yourself, is it fun to write a character who’s also a writer? Do you think your fictional author resemble you in any way, whether intentionally or not? If so, how?
T.T.: After meeting Axel, Folke is more interested in him than his writing, but yes, it is fun to write a character who’s an author. Folke is a mystery writer, which I am definitely not, but we both like seclusion. I just wish I had enough money to buy myself a cabin up in the mountains! Then I would’ve stayed there for all times.
TNA: Would you care to share and excerpt from Summer Fever with us?
T.T.: Wey aye!
Basking in the long summer days, Axel hikes away from his worries through Norway’s idyllic mountain passes. He’s so at ease that he slips off his clothes and bathes in the cool lake water with no fear of being called out for his bright red hair or body full of freckles. Life is grand.
Peace and quiet doesn’t come easy for mystery writer Folke. When he stumbles across his copper-haired muse naked in a mountain oasis, plans for his future novel are long forgotten in favor of love. Nature takes a bite out of the serenity the two find, and the real world encroaches, making the happy couple wonder if they didn’t just suffer a summer fever.
Excerpt: “IT DIDN’T mean anything, yeah, right. Asshole.”
Axel kept muttering to himself under his breath as he trudged through the woods, his new boots still comfortable and keeping the soles of his feet protected from the uneven ground covered in heather and pine needles.
It felt like sweat was trickling everywhere, but he didn’t care. He was alone out in the woods and planning to stay there for a while. He adjusted the heavy backpack, holding on to the straps to take some of the pressure off his shoulders.
His cap and sunglasses shielded him from the burning sun, for which he was glad. Who would have thought Norway would be having such a warm summer this year? And especially this early, mid-June, right after school let out.
Axel was done with school. He’d spent almost all his nineteen years in classrooms, and he was sick and tired of it. Tired of all the books, of all you had to learn, all the classmates and the drama. And his boring life.
So he’d taken off the day after graduation, and he wasn’t planning on going back down to civilization for a while. He was going to experience new things, preferably by himself. He didn’t need anyone else. Especially not his cheating ex-boyfriend.
Summer fever, his mother, Britt, had called it when Axel had told her about his plans the day of graduation. The sudden urge to have new experiences. And she was right. He needed something new in his life. So he was distancing himself from all that was bad. He was starting a new and better one as a new and better person.
Hiking was the first step. Maybe he’d actually get in shape, too, because he was sadly lacking in that department, even if it didn’t show on his body how he never worked out and how much junk food he ate.
No, he was just a skinny, freckled redhead whom everyone thought they could push around.
Axel did not want to be a pushover anymore. He was so done with it all. And that was why he’d spent the last three days trudging through the woods, moving farther and farther up the mountain each day.
The weather had been good so far, but Axel knew enough not to expect the sun to shine for long without rain and cold to follow. It always did. Norway could never just be warm—something always had to come and ruin the few hot days the country had each year.
Axel stopped and gazed up toward the treetops. He wasn’t able to look right at the sun, not even with his brand-new sunglasses, but the rays were really giving off heat. Axel felt like he’d never sweated so much in his life.
But he’d never enjoyed anything as much as he did this impulsive hiking trip either. And best of all, he wasn’t anywhere close to his hometown. He’d packed his car and driven for hours.
Axel had done some research online and asked his mother, and so here he was. From the road where he’d parked his car, the trees had been growing close all over the mountain, except the clearings of small, assorted cabins scattered around.
Axel thought he’d rather like to have a cabin around here—someplace only he knew about, where he could live or escape to if he did go back to his hometown. Not that he planned on going back there for a while. If he were to go anywhere, he wanted to start over someplace new.
“Oslo, perhaps,” he mused as he trudged on. “Or maybe in the country.”
Less people there. But more gossip. In the big city, one could be more anonymous.
Oh, what a dilemma. His hometown wasn’t exactly big, but it wasn’t rural either. And he’d had enough of all the bullshit there.
“Big city it is, then.”
Decision made, he laughed out loud and quickened his steps.
TNA: Thanks again, T.T., for visiting with us today? Would you like to share some information on your current WIPS and upcoming publications?
T.T.: Besides Summer Fever, I have a novel released this month: More Than Anything. It’s also set in Norway, but in a small town. I’ve got more books in my Arctic Love series coming, and another in Seasonal Love. And then my Souls series will be launched soon, in which I have four books written. I’m working on the fifth one now, and it’s quite a ride! This series is set in the UK, and it deals with some heavy themes such as mental illness and self-harm. The plan as of now is eight books for that series, and after that… well, we’ll see. ^^
TNA: And where can we find you on the internet?
T.T.: I’m around many a place on the internet, but I’ll list the places where I’m most likely to hang out.