Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Appetite for Storytelling: The Petit Morts series

Today, I have some fantastic authors talking about their stories.  Here we go!!!!


Jordan Castillo Price: When I watch DVDs, if I find a show I like, I’ll usually watch it a second time with the commentary playing. As I listen to the writers and directors chatting about the various stages of production their projects go through, it always strikes me how difficult it must be to work on something as collaborative as a film or a TV series—especially a show with multiple writers. I’ve always wondered what it might be like to work with multiple authors—bouncing ideas off one another and sending each other into upward spirals with our contagious enthusiasm.

Since television writing seemed so collaborative by nature, an idea came to me that could only have been influenced by some of the series I grew up with in the 1970’s, like Love Boat and Fantasy Island. You have your characters and settings that stay the same from episode to episode, but then every week, someone new gets to fall in love, or have their fantasy fulfilled. We needed a setting—how about a chocolate shop? Sweets to the Sweet materialized. And we needed a recurring character. Enter Chance—sardonic, mysterious, and deliciously dark.

Then the stories began spilling out, quirky things with strange twists and hints of magic. The novelette form proved to be the perfect vehicle for telling unconventional stories in which we could take plenty of risks and try something different and fresh.

Since Josh Lanyon and I had previously worked together on the Partners in Crime series, he was the first author to hear my pitch about sharing a character as well as a series. Since we unveiled Petit Morts on Valentine’s Day 2010, Petit Morts has swelled to four talented authors and seventeen novelette-length stories.

Josh Lanyon: I love creative collaborations -- short of actually cowriting! -- so when Jordan cooked up the idea of dark and delicious bittersweet short stories set in a shared and slightly supernatural world, I told her to count me in. One of the things I loved best about the series was the creative freedom. We agreed from the start that sex was not mandatory, that even happy endings were not mandatory. Of course most of the stories have ended up both sexy and surprisingly sweet in their resolutions. It's been a real pleasure being part of the series -- Sean and Clare have proved wonderful additions -- and I'm proud that these stories are something unique in m/m fiction.

Sean Kennedy: When I first read and loved the Petit Morts series I never thought I'd be asked to become a part of it.  Getting to play in someone else's sandpit was a lot of fun, although it could be tough at times to make sure your work fits in seamlessly with all the others!  What I loved about PM is that you could take Chance anywhere, and being from Oz and wishing there were more romances set here I loved making Chance work in both of my hometowns - Melbourne and Perth.  I'm not sure why one was set in a funeral parlour and another on a ghost tour, but maybe I've been a little morbid lately?  But what was most exciting was writing my final story - it sees Chance in a variety of locations, from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Auckland, New Zealand.  I got to explore Chance more as a character, rather than the people he affects.  It's sad to let go of him!

Clare London: I'm the new girl, the latest recruit, but I've been a fan of the series from the start. I love the way that Jordan creates individual delights for each story, but with a continuing thread of mystery and mayhem from Chance, everyone's favourite chocolatier. And I'm thrilled to have been welcomed into such great company, so graciously. "London Eye" gave me the opportunity to invite Chance to my home city, mixing his rather wicked, worldly and sexy manipulations with the prim British reserve. I wanted him to meet our characters, suffer our indomitable spirit, and learn some new, rather odd slang! And as an added bonus for me, I also co-wrote "Media Naranja" with Jordan, this time taking Chance and Hunter to sun and sangria in Majorca, where they prove - nay, insist! - that the most timid of people can still be seduced by holiday love and passion.  I've been seduced myself from day one by the Petit Morts series - and couldn't be more excited to be part of it.

The Petit Morts series:
#1: Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price
Yellow is as yellow does.

#2: Slings and Arrows by Josh Lanyon
It's a fine line between "secret admirer" and "stalker".

#3: Moolah and Moonshine by Jordan Castillo Price
If you ever go to France, watch out for those ticklers.

#4: Other People's Weddings by Josh Lanyon
Pulling off the perfect wedding can be murder.

#5: Spanish Fly Guy by Jordan Castillo Price
A new twist on liquid courage.

#6: Pretty Ugly by Jordan Castillo Price
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...usually.

#7: Sort of Stranger Than Fiction by Josh Lanyon
They always say to write what you know.

#8: One Less Stiff at the Funeral by Sean Kennedy
Chocolate makes everything better. Even a eulogy.

#9: Critic's Choice by Josh Lanyon
It was a dark and stormy night. No, really, it was.

#10: Wishink Well by Jordan Castillo Price
You can't get something for nothing.

#11: Happily Neverafterby Jordan Castillo Price
All's well that ends well.

#12: London Eye by Clare London
Give credit where credit is due.

#13: Spirits and Second Chances by Sean Kennedy
The past can come back to haunt you.

#14: Just Desserts by Josh Lanyon
Pick your poison.

#15: Loose Change by Sean Kennedy
If there's one thing you can always count on, it's change.

#16: Media Naranja (Other Half) by Clare London and Jordan Castillo Price
There's someone for everyone.

#17: Immortal Coil by Jordan Castillo Price
Love is more than skin deep.

Petit Morts Authors
Jordan Castillo Price’s influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” and boys in eyeliner. She lives in rural Wisconsin where she wanders through the woods and finds mysterious bones littering the ground. www.jordancastilloprice.com

Josh loves old books, old films, good wine and long walks on the bea--oh. Wrong bio. Josh lives in Los Angeles, the capitol of dark, gritty, and violent crime stories -- exactly the kind of thing Josh does NoT write. www.joshlanyon.com

Sean lives in the most isolated city in the world, and wishes he could get a better cup of coffee there.  He tries to write in between being bothered by two extremely clingy cats and the distraction of the TV set and internet.  His website needs to be updated more regularly but you can find it at http://www.seankennedybooks.com

Clare’s pen name comes from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. She’s devoted to strong, sympathetic and sexy characters in her male/male stories – but, then, aren’t we all? Find Clare at http://www.clarelondon.co.uk and http://clarelondon.livejournal.com

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