Sunday, June 6, 2010

Story Behind the Story - Bound by Deception

I was mulling over ideas for blog posts the other day and decided to start a new topic - Story Behind the Story. The idea is to share background information on specific books. Little known facts, pre-publication stuff, how a book came to be written, etc, and also answer any questions from readers. I'm thinking nothing long or extensive. Just snippets of info people might find interesting. I'm planning to invite author friends to come visit and do posts on their own books. So it won't be just me, babbling about my books *g* And I don't plan it to be a regular weekly post sort of thing, more every now and then.

I'm going to start it off with Bound by Deception.

Stats: submitted to Loose Id on 7/28/08. Received offer 8/9/08. Published 9/16/08. Yeah, it was really fast. Loose Id had an unexpected opening in their schedule and they thought the book would fit in the slot, so they fast tracked the book. Of course, I was happy. I'm not a very patient person.

BBD was my first contracted Ava book, and my first published book overall. It's my best selling Ava book to date. It also has the distinction of being the first m/m Regency book released by Loose Id.

Little known fact: originally titled 'The Switch'. Loose Id asked that I come up with a new title, since the old one was kind of misleading, especially considering the book is a m/m with BDSM elements. Neither guy is a switch and a switch isn't used in the book. They gave me the nudge toward something with 'deception' in the title, and I came up with Bound by Deception. I suck at titles, but this one is one of my favs.

Extremely little known fact: I very briefly toyed with the idea of Vincent being a sub. Of him shocking the hell out of Oliver in the 1st scene at the brothel, and expecting Oliver to tie him up. When plotting a book, I'll explore alternative paths and see where they take me. Sometimes they work out, and like in this case, sometimes not. When mulling the idea, I could get Vincent to take off his clothes but that was it. Couldn't even get him to make the request of Oliver or even hint at it. I took that as a sign it was something he would never do, so I quickly abandoned the idea.

How did I get the idea for the book? I enjoy reading books with BDSM elements (but not hard core stuff), and wanted to try my hand at writing something of my own with some D/s. The research was fun, too. ;) JT's Stockroom is a great source for inspiration. In fact, here's the suspension bar Oliver and Vincent used in the 1st smex scene - suspension bar - though it's not black, but plain steel in the book (had to make some adjustments to fit the regency time period).

If I could edit the book now, what would I change? Lengthen the scene where Vincent decides he wants more than a friendship with Oliver. Not sure how I'd do it, though. I wouldn't want him to leave Oliver's apartments, and it's not like he could have sat on the couch for hours. But he could have done with more than 5 minutes to make that decision.

Misc Stuff: Oliver is my favorite type of hero to write. I think it's pretty obvious - I loved all over him in the book *g* The theme in the book is also a fav - unrequited love with friends turned lovers. Oliver and Vincent are also my favorite couple. Again, kind of obvious, as I wrote them a sequel and a short freebie, and have a 3rd book in the works.

That's the story behind the story for Bound by Deception. Got any questions about the book or characters? If so, ask away!

Since this is my first story post, let me know if there are any other questions you think I should have added to my little 'interview'. I tried to think of standard stuff that could apply to any book, but if I missed something you would find interesting, let me know.

If there is a specific book you're curious about, again, let me know. I plan to beg a few author friends (Shawn, Devon and Andi, of course, and since Stephani Hecht is my bud from my local RWA chapter, I'm gonna beg her, too). But if there is anyone else, let me know and I'll see what I can do. No promises, but I'll try.


  1. Fabulous post! I loved getting the back story. Obviously, Loose I.D. knew they had a winner when they got your submission.

  2. Thanks for this Ava.. it always good to know more of the behind the scenes facts.


    How much input did you have with the cover? - I thought it was great.

    What sort of reserch did you do for this? - as I really think you got all the little things right.. All the stuff that just tosses me out of most historical stories?

    Did you have an alternative ending or middle for this story> - Kinda like missing scenes?

  3. I have no questions but thought it was a great post.

  4. That was cool - what a great idea, Ava!

  5. Hi E.H. Thanks!!

    How much input did you have with the cover? Loose Id (as with a lot of epubs) uses cover art request forms. They are great at trying to develop covers that fit the author's request. For this one, I just gave descriptions of the heroes and indicate the mood was dark with sex and angst. April Martinez, the cover artist, did the rest. I asked for one small tweak on the draft version, but all the elements on the final cover were on the draft. She's done all my covers at LI and does really great work.

    What sort of research did you do for this? Not a lot. I had written a couple books before this one (1 Evangeline, 1 other Ava, and a menage partial that still isn't done), so I had already done a ton of background research into the time period. For BBD, I did research specific to the book. BDSM research, found an image of a jade cravat pin from the time period that I based Vincent's on, and since Vincent finds a vein of coal on his country property, I did research to determine where the property should be located. Stuff like that.

    Did you have an alternative ending or middle for this story> - Kinda like missing scenes? I wrote this book so long ago that I had to check my original outline, and the book matches it. So for this one, nope. No alternative endings or middle scenes.

  6. Great post. It was nice learning a bit about the background of this great book. LOL, I can't imagine Vincent as a sub. At all. :D

  7. Hi Lily - I almost feel bad that I tried to make Vincent a sub. LOL. But in my defense, it was really early in the plotting process, before he'd fully asserted his personality in my head. I thought it might make him even more angsty and conflicted, but he didn't want to play at all. LOL

  8. LOL, I know I mentioned this privately before, but I laughed no end at the thought of Vincent as a sub or switch. I can just imagine how pissed he was about that! Don't even THINK about it, lady.

    Great concept! :) Looking forward to future installments, and will be planning mine. ;)

  9. I LOVE reading behind the scenes stuff about authors and books!! Very fascinating!!

    I await Convincing Arthur's story :)

  10. Hi Devon - I know, poor Vincent. LOL. And poor Oliver, too - he didn't know what to do with himself. I can usually get characters to do whatever I want them to (they're my creations after all). It might turn out awkard or not work at all, but they'll do what I want. In this case...nope. Neither were having it.

  11. Thanks, Mandi!! I'll do Convincing Arthur in my next installment, just for you :)

  12. Hey Chris - Thanks! The boys are feeling the love :)

    And 2 historicals in a row... :-O ...I might need a moment to recover. LMAO.

  13. Awesome! I loved reading the back story and info on Bound. What a great idea for a series of posts. Looking forward to the info on Convincing Arthur, I lurve Leo. :)

  14. Hi FV! Thanks! I plan to do the angsty drama boy's book sometime later next week. ;)

  15. What a great post!! I really enjoyed reading about the story that happened to be the first I ever read by you. Actually, if I hadn't read BBD, I likely might not have found HLC. As for me, BBD was the very first straight M/M romance that I read. I still remember buying it, too. I was on Sam Kane's blog and someone had posted the blurb and I think maybe even the video. In any event, I thought the concept was great, and, as you know, I loved the story...and many others since ;)

  16. Hi Barbara!

    "...straight m/m romance..." *he-he* Got a chuckle out of that, but I know what you mean. And you took quite the plunge with your first m/m book, didn't you? I definitely didn't skimp on the kinky details. LOL. I'm honored that Oliver and Vincent were your first, and that you loved them. :) Thanks!!