Today we're talking with one of my favorite people, the lovely Tinnean! She returns to us to talk about her book "If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going" and of course, rocking her hat.
Hi Tinnean! Welcome back to the insanity that is my Hat Party. Please don your best hat and let’s get this party started!
Hi Tinnean! Welcome back to the insanity that is my Hat Party. Please don your best hat and let’s get this party started!
Thank you so much for having me back, Raine! And as you can see, I have a brand new hat! A few weeks ago, my husband and I went up to the Edison Mall in Fort Myers, and we found a little kiosk where you could buy hats and have whatever you like embroidered on them. I had the brilliant idea of making a Huntingdon Troubleshooter cap. ;-)
If you could have your ideal secret writing lair, what would it look like?
Remember the treehouse from Disney’s The Swiss Family Robinson? This is what I would love. I’d climb up the ladder to a space that would be my study. It would be sheltered by leaves and branches (although there would also be a switch I could throw so a clear enclosure would descend and protect me from the rain.) and lovely tropic breezes would keep me cool. There would be a hammock for when I needed to collect my thoughts, and a desk with lots of secret compartments (just because), and while I’d love a quill pen, I think I’ll stick with a computer. And since this is the twenty-first century and not the nineteenth, I’ll have high speed internet access, a microwave to nuke popcorn, and a fridge with cans of A&W Root Beer.
Tell me one of your earliest writing memories.
The earliest one is in my bio, about the epic poem, but let me give you one that’s a little bit later. My fifth grade teacher wanted us to write a paragraph using adjectives. For some reason, I couldn’t grasp what she wanted, and I kept handing in the exact same thing time after time. I was frustrated and she was ticked off (not the most patient of women). Finally, she gave us another writing assignment, and she was surprised at how right I got it. Now, while I can remember the first paragraph was about snow, I have no clue what the other one was.
What is your favorite literary quote?
This is very easy. A few years ago, I came across something by Ernest Hemingway, and that’s actually become my signature line: Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it. And I sincerely believe this.
You have 200 (MORE!) words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)
I opened the locks of the door in the correct sequence. No sooner was I in my condo and the door closed and secured behind me than I shed my overcoat, toed off my shoes, and began stripping off my clothes, leaving them in a trail behind me as I headed for my bedroom, until all I had on were my trousers.
And if Quinn had been yanking my chain… if he wasn’t naked as he’d promised… damn, I was going to be disappointed.
I wasn’t. He was lying on the white faux fur rug—it had to be faux, since we got semen on it at least once a week and it needed to be washable—staring into the flames that danced in the fireplace.
“Hey, babe.” I dropped trou and didn’t give him the opportunity to rise, just knelt beside him, cupped his face in my hands, and raised it for a kiss.
“Mark!” he murmured against my lips. “We need to—”
“Fuck? You better believe it. I’ve had the shittiest morning, and I need you to take that taste from my mouth.”
“It will be my pleasure.” He held up a tube of Wet but wouldn’t let me take it.
“Since it’s been one of those days for you, I think perhaps you need to let me take control.”
“You do, huh?”
“If you don’t object?”
“Why would I do a stupid thing like that? How do you want me? Front? Back?”
“On your back, please.” He was always so polite. “I want to see your eyes as I slide into you.”
I shivered. God, he knew exactly what to say to set me on fire.
“Okay.” My voice was hoarse in my own ears. It had turned out Quinn enjoyed bottoming, but whenever he asked the same from me, he got it with no objection.
I settled myself on my back, braced my feet on the floor and let my knees fall open.
“I love your package,” he murmured as he warmed some lube on his fingers. His eyes were on my cock and balls, and he leaned forward and closed his lips over the head. While he sucked gently at the tip, probing the slit with his tongue, he ran his slicked finger past my balls and circled my hole a few times before sliding it in, and he began to loosen me.
Jesus, he drove me crazy!
“I…” I swallowed. I’d never enjoyed being touched in that manner by anyone other than Quinn. “I was thinking the same thing earlier.”
“Really? You think of me when you’re at work?”
“Are you fucking—” I yelped as he found my prostate and gave it a good rub.
“Not yet, Mark, but soon.” He rose up and kissed me, tasting a little of me, a little of the Life Savers he enjoyed. I’d gotten the habit from him, and I’d sucked on a Wint-O-Green on the drive home. He slid another finger in to join the first, and I could feel a drop of precome beading at the tip of my cock.
“Better make that real soon.”
“All right.” He took a condom from where he must have placed it on the hearth, tore open the foil wrapper, and rolled it on. “Slick me up, babe.”
I poured some Wet into my palm and ran it over Quinn’s cock. He hissed and closed his eyes.
“It’s been such a while….”
“No it hasn’t. We did it just….” Oh, he meant since he’d had me. I banged my head back against the hardwood floor. Fortunately, the rug cushioned it. “Dammit, Quinn, you should have said something sooner.”
“I’m saying something now. Will you shut up so we can get on with it?”
“Proceeding.” His cock nudged my hole, and then he sank in, and we both sighed. “Nice?”
He stopped moving, leaned his forehead against mine, and laughed, his breath warm in my face.
“Jesus, Quinn! Move!”
He braced his hands beside my shoulders, looked into my eyes, and began a gentle rocking motion I knew was going to last for a long time. “Yes?”
You’ve been stabbed, shot, AND bludgeoned! (WOW, enemies, much?) As you’re dying, what one object do you possess that is so special to you that you wouldn’t write the killer’s name on it?
To tell you the truth, I’ve drawn a total blank. Maybe my kids’ baby books? Although they’re way up on top of the computer armoire, so I have no idea how I’d get to them. What I would do is write the name on my palm and just hope I didn’t sweat enough that it smeared.
Be totally honest, what’s the most difficult part of being a writer?
Honestly? The most difficult part for me is hitting the “send” key to submit it. I’m sending my baby out into the world, and all I can do is hope it will be received well and treated kindly.
Tell me about a time in your life when you were changed.
I’m not sure if this is what you had in mind, but back in ’99, I was writing het fanfic. My friend Silk informed me about this new genre she’d found, and that was my introduction to m/m. I was fascinated by it and found it so much hotter than m/f. That was pretty much the last time I wrote about het couples although a couple of years ago, I started working on Portia Mann’s story. And then earlier this year, imagine my surprise when Mark Vincent began reminiscing about the two weeks he’d spent with Femme. But I consider those a fluke. My heart is with m/m.
A drunken relative has just insulted M/M rom up one side and down the other. Plus they spilled their drink on you in the process. What is your most articulate response?
Dude. Seriously? You’re a freaking idiot. (sorry, I can’t get articulate when I lose my temper.)
Complete this sentence: if I weren’t a writer, I would ______.
Have no life? Be seriously depressed? *cough* I’ve always been an avid reader, and more than anything, I wanted to join the ranks of the authors who gave me such pleasure. That I’ve been published is a dream come true, and I can’t see myself doing anything else.
You’ve just inherited a dachshund farm. What do you do now?
Okay, I’ve given this a lot of thought. I would have the AKC come in to make sure everything was top notch. I’d update all the housing, simply because if I inherited the farm, I’m assuming I inherited a lot of money, and I want the pups to have the best. I’d have concierge vet service (like Royal Pains, but for dachshunds). And then… and then…. I’d laugh at everyone, because I had these amazing dogs and they didn’t.
Raine says: I adore you, Tinnean. Your farm is AMAZING!
~ ~ ~
Mark Vincent and Quinton Mann have finally kind of, sort of, exchanged promises. Mark has returned from an assignment on the West Coast, and he’s looking forward to spending some quality time with his lover. After all, it’s the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. What could be better than a little beer, a little corned beef on rye, and Quinn in his bed?
However, on Monday it’s back to the grind—this time to an almost empty department: Matheson is away on assignment and Ms. Parker, Mark’s secretary, is taking sick time, something she never does. But these aren’t the only signs of something unusual, well, more unusual than normal, going on. Gradually, Mark uncovers a series of events going back to the previous spring and involving not only his senior special agent but Theo Bascopolis, a former rent boy who is Mark’s friend.
While Mark unravels the threads of the Gordian knot the WBIS has become, he realizes how deep his feelings for Quinn have grown. But can a spy like Mark ever hope to be “the one” for a spook like Quinn?
Because it was the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, a local movie house was showing The Quiet Man, so we went to see it in the afternoon, and that evening, I took Quinn to the Dungarvan, a little Irish pub on H Street. We wore casual clothes—Vincent casual, which meant jeans, Doc Martens, fisherman knit sweaters, and bomber jackets. And of course we carried our clutch pieces.
The Dungarvan was dark and rustic, with lots of wooden beams, sawdust on the floor, and tables and chairs as opposed to booths. We had corned beef on rye with a side of potato chips, washed down with Irish Red Ale, and we listened to the band sing about Irish rovers and colonial boys, flutes and wakes and “Brennan on the Moor.”
I took it easy on the ale, since I’d be driving, but Quinn really liked the taste of it. That kind of surprised me, since he usually preferred seasonal beers like Spring Bock, which he got from a Virginia brewery. But what the hell? I figured he might as well enjoy himself.
By the time we left, just before one, I got another surprise: Quinn was feeling no pain. The ale seemed to have gone right to his head.
I had an arm around his waist, trying to keep him from falling on his ass. “You’d better hope no one decides to jump the fags,” I groused under my breath.
In spite of the fact he’d been humming “The Seven Drunken Nights,” he must have heard me. “There are fags around here?” He looked around as if searching for them.
He leaned close and kissed my cheek.
“How drunk are you?”
“I am not drunk,” he said, with drunken dignity.
“Could’ve fooled me.”
“And anyway, that’s what you get for filling me with beer.”
“Are you going to have a hangover tomorrow?”
“I don’t think so.”
Fortunately, by that point we’d reached my car, and I unlocked it and poured him into the front seat. He stretched his legs, tipped back his head, and closed his eyes. I buckled him up and closed the door.
“I guess this means no sex tonight,” I muttered as I put the key in the ignition and switched it on. From the corner of my eye I could see Quinn straighten and unfasten his seat belt. “Quinn....”
And then he toppled over, landing with his head in my lap.
“Fuck a geezley goddamn!”
His hand was busy on my fly.
“We’re gonna get arrested!”
“No we won’t.” He had my cock out, and his breath was warm on it. “You’ll keep us safe.”
Okay, maybe he was drunk, but the fact he knew I wouldn’t let anything happen to him indicated he still had it together.
A car not doing anything but sitting with its engine running would draw attention. I turned off the ignition just as Quinn’s mouth closed around me.
We should not be doing this, but God, it felt good!
There was a tap on the driver’s side window, and I wanted to punch something, mainly whoever was standing there. Quinn was lost in what he was doing, but I didn’t want to take a chance he’d sit back and show his face. I put my hand on his neck. He took it as encouragement and continued bobbing up and down.
Whoever was outside was getting impatient. He rapped harder on the window. And of course it was a cop.
I sighed and pressed the button to lower the window. “Yes, Officer?”
“You can’t—Mr. Vincent, is that you?”
Fuck. “Hello, Samuels.” He was one of my sources at the DCPD.
“Geez, I didn’t realize….”
“You didn’t realize what?”
He looked at his watch. “How late it was. I’d better be going. Um... I think it might be a good idea for you to go too.”
“I guess so.” Quinn’s movements had slowed, and now there was a soft snore coming from the direction of my lap.
“Good night, sir.”
“’Night, Samuels.” I waited until he crossed to his vehicle before pressing the button for the window. It slid shut, and I eased Quinn back into his seat. “Come on, baby. A little cooperation would be appreciated.”
“Hmm?” But he was still asleep.
I got his seat belt fastened again and lowered his seat so he wouldn’t slump sideways and bang his head on the door. Only then did I do up my fly.
And as I fastened my own seat belt, I started chuckling. Quinton Mann, wasted on beer. I shook my head, turned the ignition back on, put the car in gear, and headed home.
*What inspired you to write the story you’re promoting?
After I finished Forever, there was one more book before the series was done, Complications by the Number, but I realized I needed something to bring us from February 2003 to May 2005. If You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going was supposed to be a single chapter, but as you can see, that didn’t happen. Mark takes us into the WBIS, and we get to see the inner workings. We also see him demonstrate why he was considered the best at what he did. And since Mark and Quinn are no longer in an adversarial relationship, I started a new series, Mann of My Dreams, the name I’d used when it was available online.
*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?
I’ve altered the style for this series. Instead of alternating POVs within the book, each book will be a single POV. Although the last one is being coy and won’t tell me what it plans. So far it’s incorporated third person as well as Mark’s POV. We’ll see if Quinn decides to say something as well ;-)
*What are your hopes for this title?
I hope readers will enjoy where I’m taking Mark and Quinn and will continue coming along for the ride.
About the Author:
About the Author:
Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn't survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.
It was with the advent of the family's second computer – the first intimidated everyone – that her writing took off, enhanced in part by fanfiction, but mostly by the wonder that is copy and paste.
While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters. She’s been published by Nazca Plains, Dreamspinner, JMS Books, and has also self-published. Her novel, Two Lips, Indifferent Red received honorable mention in the 2013 Rainbow Awards.
A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband and two computers.
Ernest Hemingway's words reflect Tinnean's devotion to her craft: Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and can be found on Live Journal: http://tinnean.livejournal.com/ @tinneantoo on Twitter, and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tinnean
If you'd like to sample her earlier works, they can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/fl5/tinnssinns/Welcome1.html