Monday, March 10, 2014


Today we're talking to the phenomenal L. J. LaBarthe who writes beautifully intricate plots and rocks an Australian stockman's hat like nobody's business!

Hello L. J. and welcome to Home of the Sweetness <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

Thank you so much for having me, Raine!

You have SO. MANY. CHARACTERS! And they are all so amazing—do you have a story bible for The Archangel Chronicles? How do you keep everything straight in your mind?

Not a story bible per se, more a pile of notebooks with scribbled notes and several sticky notes on my laptop. Also a spreadsheet of characters that my awesome editor Erika put together for me, based on my character list. The notebooks filled with scribble wouldn't make much sense to anyone who isn't me—in between book notes there's things like the measurement of the length of my foot for buying shoes, or phone numbers, or things like that. My notebooks are like the receptacles of all story and plot ideas with things I have to remember in between!

What is your biggest, most wildest, most extreme writing dream or goal? No dream is too outlandish.

Um… hm. Oh! To get a call from Kenneth Branagh, he wants to make one of the Archangel books into a film, and he's chosen "The Wind-up Forest" because it's got the start of the Holy Grail story line. He's got Daniel Craig keen to play Gabriel, and this is where I faint and don't know what the rest of the conversation is. Later, after I've come to and had the lump on my head tended (I'm the most clumsy person, in the process of fainting, I've hit my head), I get an email from Elizabeth saying that Kenneth Branagh really does want to make "The Wind-up Forest" into a movie with Daniel Craig and Steve Yoo to star as Gabriel and Michael, Idris Elba's keen to play Raphael. And Ralph Fiennes wants to play Lucifer.

You did say outlandish! LOL!

Your thoughts on libraries: GO!

I think libraries are the most important custodians of our past, present and future as well as the keepers of other worlds, the fictional worlds we get lost in when we read for pleasure. Without libraries—and I'll include the internet in this too, as it is, basically, a vast, limitless library of just about everything, ever—we would be much poorer as a species. Since the Library at Alexandria, the protection of knowledge and the written word has been a major part of civilization; record keeping from oral tradition to written allows family histories and genealogies to be preserved for many, many generations.  Without the city library, when I was a kid, I would have had far fewer books to enjoy and lose myself in. Without the high school library, I would have failed my book reports on novels of our own choosing. Without the university library, I would have failed my degree. Without libraries, my father wouldn't have been able to trace back our family history to the sixteenth century, and my mother wouldn't have traced her side of the family back to some of the first settlers of South Australia.

I asked my mum, and she said, "I love libraries. I love books. I like being in the library where there are books on many different things, fiction and non-fiction, more books than I could possibly own myself. I like to browse, check out authors I'm unfamiliar with and try to read their books—if I like them, I'll buy the books. If there were no libraries in the world, the world would lose part of its spirit."

I concur, mum!

Describe yourself using song lyrics.

A good friend once told me we are memory
Without them we equal nothing
And all I can see is the place I wanna be
Timeless my life was so free
Leaves at my feet, blown to the ground
their echoes are reaching my ears
Nights coming fast, suns going down - confused
I don't know the answers but neither do you

--"Remenissions"  by Avenged Sevenfold.

We’re kindred spirits in our love of abandoned places—what is the coolest abandoned spot you’ve ever visited?

I love UrbEx, I really do. I think it's growing in popularity as people realize just how beautiful abandoned places are, how much of our own stories lie in these places. As for the coolest/best, there are two. One isn't actually "abandoned"—a few people still live in it, but I had the BEST time there, and it remains one of my favourite places, ever, of anywhere. That's Shaniko in Oregon.

The other place is Centralia in Pennsylvania. Centralia is the basis for the location in "Silent Hill." Now, while I am the biggest horror wuss ever—seriously, I cannot handle horror *at all*--Centralia is just an astonishing place and visiting it when I did was, I think, probably close to the end of possibilities for doing so. There'd been too many accidents regarding sink holes due to the mine fire beneath the remnants of the town. Amazing place, tragic story, immortalized in a horror film and game franchise.

You are suddenly forced to stop writing your chosen genre by a weird genre-specific virus that renders you genre-impotent (dun dun DUN!)—what do you write now?!

What?! Oh no! Um. Hm. Science Fiction and/or Fantasy. At least I can play in dystopian futures with made up science, and that can be like magic, right? (Say yes, because I'm not that great with science!) And fantasy lets me play with magic and dragons and quests and things like that. Phew, that's a bullet dodged!

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

Argh! You ask the hard questions, Raine! LOL! Okay. Swoon. Right. I can do this. Here we go. I'm not sure how good this is, so… take it with a grain of salt. Right, enough procrastinating, here you go. This is an outtake scene from the romance story of Baxter and Liam, who are new characters in the new trilogy of the Archangel Chronicles.


Their lips meet and they're tugging at each other's clothes. Liam groans into the kiss as Baxter pushes him back onto the bed. There's no finesse, just heat and want, mouths devouring each other as they touch one another. "Liam," Baxter groans, and fuck if the sound of want, of lust, of hunger, of love in Baxter's voice doesn't make Liam want to combust in desire. Trembling, he comes apart beneath Baxter's hands, his mouth.
There's no more words, Liam's too close, too hot, too wrecked. Too wanting, and fuck, Baxter's mouth is on Liam's neck again, teeth worrying at skin and Liam screamshis pleasure. Baxter moans, sounding as wrecked as Liam himself is. This passion is quick and messy—blood and spit and come—but it's home and foreverand yes.

Afterwards, they lie together, tangled up in each other and Liam knows he's the luckiest man in all of Creation. He looks at Baxter and sees his lover smiling that smile that makes him melt. Baxter's eyes sparkle with happiness and Liam is almost overwhelmed with love for this remarkable, unique, beautiful man.

Baxter breaks the silence. "I love you, Liam."

Liam smiles. "I love you, too."


What is one mistake you’ve made during your writing career that you’ve learned and grown from?

Never, ever read reviews, especially on Goodreads. Even though I'm as much a reader as any other reader, being an author as well, Goodreads is… not a place for happiness. Let's just leave it at that.

What is the most RANDOM thing to ever inspire you?

Well, I find that when I'm stuck on a line or a scene or something, going to stand in the bathroom for a few minutes usually unclogs the brain pipes. This is why I call the bathroom the Room of Wisdom or RoW for short. So, the bathroom.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

Friendly dachshunds who like cats, because I am owned by my cat.


The Wind-up Forest

Archangel Gabriel is hoping for a quiet period in his life to enjoy his relationship with Archangel Michael, but someone has other ideas.

New dangers arise when the Holy Grail is stolen. Gabriel, Michael, and the rest of the Brotherhood of Archangels and their allies must somehow thwart the twisted desires of the thief.

Their search for the Grail takes them all over the world, calling on old friends like Uriel and Raziel, and forging powerful new alliances. Though they face a fresh set of perils in pursuit of the thief, the enduring comfort Gabriel needs so much, that of his beloved Michael, never abandons him.

Author Bio:

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

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