14 December 2014

Looking At Forever Tour Stop!

Looking At Forever Banner
Mick Wheland, Ivory Tower's bad-boy guitarist, has recently realized two important things about himself. He prefers sex with men over women, and the idea of a committed relationship doesn't scare him as much as it once did. He's seen the positive effects of love from watching his band-mates find life partners, and now he's thinking he might be ready for the same himself. The problem is knowing where to look for Mr. Right, and living out of a suitcase while touring with a band is not exactly conducive to finding real love.

Sonny (Rooster) Roostarelli leaves the seclusion of his Vancouver cabin, where he went to lick his wounds after a contentious divorce, and moves back to Los Angeles. He claims relocating to L.A. is for business purposes, but now that the dust has settled on his failed marriage, Rooster feels he might finally be ready to settle down – with a man.

A chance encounter for Wheland and Rooster on a busy L.A. street rekindles an old friendship between the two professional musicians. Rooster needs a short-term place to stay and Wheland has plenty of extra space at his hillside estate and that lands Rooster in Wheland's guest room. What starts out as a music collaboration opportunity quickly turns personal when the chemistry they have becomes too strong to ignore and soon the music they're making spills from the studio and into the bedroom.

The road is a grueling bitch musicians love to hate. Being on stage under the hot lights can sometimes be the only place they feel comfortable and alive. Can two high-profile rock stars make a life together in such an artificial world – on and off the stage... or will past mistakes and family secrets keep them from finding their forever?
I love the Rock God series, from book one to book 4, Ann Lister has opened my heart a bit more each time.  The story of Wheland and Rooster melted my heart and made me believe in finding that one who fills the void in your life and mends your fragmented heart.  We have watched Wheland as he has been witness to all of his friends find their mate and start building a life together.  I am so happy Ann let him have his time and even though there was some drama in the process, I feel this was the closest to a fairy tale feel she had produced to this date. 
Rooster came back to the city after taking a break playing Grizzly Adams in his cabin.  Wheland was looking for an escape to forget the anniversary of a painful memory.  He was used to having his friends around to distract him without him having to talk about it, but not this year.  When Wheland “bumps” into Rooster they recognize each other and go to catch up over drinks. 
When Wheland offers Rooster a place to stay he accepts but with the terms only for a few days.  Instantly they were both fighting their attraction to each other.  Wheland had never felt what a committed long term relationship was, he was just now realizing that he was more comfortable being a top.  Rooster had come out with his sexual preference after divorces and worrying about how his mom would take this news.  Watching as they both deal with their insecurities and the obstacles along the way was refreshing as they build their friendship first.
As with all relationships they had their struggles but it was intensified by their jobs being in bands.  They enjoyed writing music together, their bands took to the road again and once again they were apart.  Faced with the other band members enjoying their on the road relationships, Wheland and Rooster were forced to connect with calls and text. 
I won’t go into more of the story for fear of spoiling it but I want to say at this point, I felt this book was written with different emotions from the author than the other ones in the series.  For me there was a longing on the characters part to connect to each other.  Their stories came across like a homesick feel, a type of love that can only be filled by each other, never replaced by other people or their love of music.  I would say that this was a story that truly gave the reader the visual of two halves of a heart finally finding each other and beginning to beat again.  I could feel the moment they fell in love, the attraction was intense, and the passion was like a fine chemistry flowing through each of them.  The spark was only ignited by each other.  That is rare for a band book, when the people are tempted and can fall out of love quickly.  Wheland and Rooster were clearly meant to be.  The level of emotion was deep with this one, more so than I feel  she displayed in the other Rock God books.
I can only hope that Ann will take on the characters we have not yet learned about in her future books.  I don’t know when or if I will ever be ready to let go of the Rock Gods.  If you want a true love story between two men, you have found  a winner with this book. 
Good continuation of the series 4 rainbows
Wheland is out of sorts with his love life, seeing all of his band mates pairing off and or getting married. He leaves Alex’s wedding and wondering when it will be his turn. On an anniversary day Wheland gets into an accident that happens to be long time friend Rooster. Rooster has been out of town for the last several years and is now back and looking for a place to live. Wheland invites him back to his place after several drinks. After a week or so of circling around they finally figure out that not only both of them like men, they both are into each other. This starts an affair that lasts until Wheland has to go on the road again, and Rooster stays behind. Even though they stay together we get the drama of a strained relationship of two people being apart. Intermixed is other drama’s going on with band mates and outside sources.
This is book four in the series, Wheland and Rooster story. Book starts off by revisiting the past book’s ending. And unlike the others you really need to read the past books because all the characters play a role in this one. I didn’t find that necessary with the first three. However, I did read in order. But felt like I wouldn’t have been lost if I hadn’t. This one you defiantly need to read the others first. This one is a lot more sexually edgy, giving us some bondage scenes. And a lot more drama filled, with all the different storylines going on at once. I actually found that a turn off. Not that I got lost, but I felt like we lost a connection between the two main MC Wheland and Rooster. It was almost like we were wrapping up the series in this book and had to get it all in at once. But one of the dramas clearly is setting us up for another book, maybe 5?
Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?

That is a difficult question to answer.  The support I've received has come from some very unlikely sources, but still appreciated nonetheless.  I've had a few friends over the years who have enjoyed my storytelling.  They were the ones who really pushed me in the beginning to get my stories on to paper.  They were either being supportive by doing that or maybe they were just sick of hearing my stories.  LOL.  Either way, I'm happy for the nudge they gave me.
Do you prefer quiet or background noise when writing? If background noise, what?
I write rock star romance and need rock music to work.  I try to match the voice inside my head I imagine my main characters to have to the music I'm listening to.  I have a huge catalog of CD's I can listen to while writing.  Some of my favorites are: Staind, Puddle of Mudd, Nickelback, Chris Daughtry, 3 Doors Down, Shinedown, Theory of a Dead Man, Pearl Jam, Buckcherry, Aerosmith, and so on.
What is one thing you wish your readers could understand about the writing process?
The writing process itself is hard for a non-writer to understand, but I do have a couple of points I'd like to make.  Head-space is important.  I can't write a story until the characters voices are clear in my head.  Writing before that happens makes the writing come off as forced and I think the readers can feel that.  The other thing that is important to me is, my mind can't be clogged with crap unrelated to the story or it will hinder the creative flow.  It can take months for me to flesh out the characters and plot in my head long before I start working at my laptop.  Once I'm at my laptop, the story typically comes quickly.  If I'm left alone with a good head-space and not bogged down from outside sources, I can have the first draft to a story written in a few months time.
If your characters could come to life and be a real human, which one do you think you would get along with best and which one would drive you crazy first?
I think I'm a combination of all my characters.  I put a little bit of myself in each one of them.  I have a sense of humor like Cooper (Make You Mine, Book 3 Rock Gods), but he would probably drive me nuts after a while because he is so full of energy all the time and a total goofball.  When it comes to sex, I think I'm probably more like Alex (Take What You Want, Book 2 Rock Gods).  Alex won't settle for less.  He wants it all, makes no apologies for his needs, and he could care less about public opinion. 
When did you start writing and what was your inspiration?
I started writing short stories in high school, but moved away from it when I went to art school.  From then on my focus was on art, but I always loved reading romance novels.  In the 90's I started writing again.  My genre back then was M/M.  I wrote a bunch of erotic M/M short stories and sold them to a variety of men's magazines.  The money was incredible at the time.  This was before the age of the internet where this stuff is available for free now.  I did this for a few years, but my daughters were getting older and required more of my time.  I put the writing on the back-burner and concentrated on them and also my video production company for nearly 18 years.  Then one night I had an erotic dream involving a very famous musician.  My dreams have always been very vivid, so I took that dream and wrote my first full-length M/F erotic romance (Sheet Music: A Rock 'n' Roll Love Story).  This rekindled my passion for writing and by combining my two favorite things in life: music and romance, I found my own personal nirvana.  In 2012 the story line for an M/M romance hit me like a lightning bolt (Fall For Me, Book 1 Rock Gods).  The characters were so clear to me it felt like I was channeling real people through my words and the story took very little time for me to write.  That book launched The Rock Gods series.
Is there a genre or type of book that you love to read but could never write and if so why?
Simply put, I write what I love to read.  I am seriously obsessed with a well written erotic M/M love story.  If I got a great story idea for another M/F story, I'd write it, but for now I am happy in the M/M genre.
Since you've been writing how much has the genre changed? Good, bad?
In the last couple of years the M/M genre has exploded with new authors writing in it.  The market for this genre is gaining strength every week and that is exciting to see!  There are many amazing M/M authors now and a great many are women.  That is also exciting.  What does sadden me is the negative backlash the female authors in this genre sometimes take from gay men and that has left many of us to use our initials for our first names to keep the author's identity 'gender neutral'.  Some feel a woman can't write a   If the story is well-written, it really shouldn't matter the gender of the author.  The other negative I see is the mindset of some thinking M/F authors are merely switching to the M/M genre as a money making career move because the M/M market is popular right now, much in the way vampires were popular a few years back.  Again, I don't think the motivation behind their genre change should matter.  I started writing in M/M and have come back to it after writing five M/F stories.  For me, that doesn't feel like 'switching genres'.  It feels like coming home.  It's comfortable and familiar.  Putting all that aside, the only thing that should matter is if the story is well-written and enjoyed by the reader.  
Seeing more and more authors going the "self-pub' route. Thoughts?
Oooh, that's a hot topic.  For me, the choice was simple.  I'm a control freak in the sense that I want to release the book when I want and have full control over cover content, and I like keeping all the royalties for myself.  Self-publishing allows for all of that and then some.  I still don't see the big plus of signing with a publishing house.  It seems beyond being able to say you're with a particular publishing house, the rest appears to be negative.  The cut they want does not justify the work the author is still required to do.  If I have to do all that work myself, I might as well self-publish.  I've known many authors that have been with publishing houses and have left to self-publish once their contract expires.  I also know other authors that are fighting with publishing houses to get paid for what they are owed.  I'd rather not go through any of that.
How much thought do you as an author put into your cover, cover models etc. And has that changed since you started writing. If so, have you or will you go back and re-do covers you’re no longer pleased with?
As my books have grown in popularity, so has my production budget.  When I first started, I had friends pose for my book covers.  I now hire professional models and pay for custom shoots.  Since the Rock Gods is a series, I want all the covers to have a certain feel or signature about them without duplicating the pose.  The cover artist I use (Cover to Cover Designs, http://www.covertocoverdesigns.com/ )has been able to create covers for me that not only capture the feel of the story, but hold to the concept of keeping the books looking like they are part of a series. 
What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
Death scenes are intense for me and it has been especially difficult for me recently because of all the death I have dealt with over the last four years.  However, writing those scenes proved to be a great way to deal with and process the grief.  Death of a loved one or the death of a relationship translates well emotionally with the readers.  Most readers have had to deal with death on some level in their lives, so it is easy for a reader to relate to the emotion of loss.  They can feel the pain in the words and that makes the story very real for them.
If you could write in any genre that you've never tried, what would it be and why?
I might try writing a F/F romance one day, but I won't write any story until it is completely fleshed out in my head and the characters are talking to me.  So far, I have the basic bone structure of that F/F story but the characters aren't talking to me yet. 
When thinking about writing any specific genre, what triggers your fears and insecurities the most?
As an author, I always worry about the readers enjoying my stories, but I'm not so fearful of that not to write the story.  I write the story that is in my head and in my heart and I pour myself into it.  All I can do is hope that emotion translates well with the readers.
When writing, what comes first? The characters or the plot?
Sometimes I start with the character and sometimes it is the plot – or just a certain aspect of the plot, that grabs me and I drop the characters in to fit the plot.  It depends on what hits me first.
Do you find that you write what you love to read? Or a different genre?
I have always written what I love to read; which is erotic romance.  I have written M/F erotic romance and also M/M erotic romance.  Love is love.  To me, it doesn't matter the gender of the lovers as long as there is love.
Do you ever write your own personal fantasies into your books?
I write from my real life experiences, as well as personal fantasies.  I have also taken pieces of experiences my friends have had and told me about and added elements of that into my stories.  The object is to blur those lines enough so the reader can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy.  What we write has to be believable.
How much if any of your story line comes from real life people or events
Quite a bit, actually.  I recently suffered several great losses in my life.  Dealing with the grief that comes along with that helped me to write similar scenes in my books.  I think most authors draw from their own life experiences and pour that emotion into their stories.  The purpose of the story is to make your reader feel what you felt when you wrote it.  If an author can accomplish that, they've done their job.  Also, having worked in video production for 18 years, I witnessed a lot of behind the scenes stuff in the music industry and knew others that had experienced these events first-hand.  I have used many of those details in my rock star romance novels, lacing fact along with pure fiction.
How many times do you read what you wrote and think "where the hell did that come from?!"
All the time!!!  I just saw a graphic teaser for my new book (Looking At Forever, Book 4 Rock Gods) and the graphic had song lyrics on it.  I was reading the lyrics and had that very thought: who wrote that song?  Yes, that would be me that wrote it.  Sometimes the characters voices are so strong to me that I feel as if it is them that is writing the words – not me.
Do you have to look at the keys when you type?
I don't need to see the keys to type.  I can actually type faster than I can speak.  It annoys my husband when he's talking to me and I'm making eye contact with him, but I continue to type away on my laptop.  Then I'll look at what I typed and say, “Oh, look!  No mistakes!”  He's from the one-finger typing tribe.
How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
Can there ever be too much wood?  Besides, chucking wood is just good clean fun.
What are you two favorite 80’s movies?
When were the 80's?
Why are man-hole covers round?
Because you can't fit a square peg into a round hole.

#1 Fall for Me
#2 Take What You Want
TWYW Cover
Book 3 - Make You Mine
Amazon Bestselling Author, Ann Lister is a native New Englander currently living on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Her nearly two decades working in video production gave her the behind-the-scenes inspiration for many of her rock star romance novels.
In 2013 Ann released Fall For Me, Book One in a new series, The Rock Gods. Fall For Me was her first full-length gay romance and it was a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. Book Two in the Rock Gods series, Take What You Want, released in Fall of 2013. Book Three in this series, Make You Mine, released in May of 2014.
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