Thanks so much to Genevive Chamblee for stopping by today to tell us a little bit more about her latest release, ICE GLADIATORS.
Tell us about your main character. Dalek Tazandlakova, called Taz by his closest friends and the Blue Devil by his fans, is from Stockholm, Sweden. He is a defensive forward on the Lafayette Ice Water Moccasins, a minor hockey league team located in Louisiana. He has a hard exterior, but internally, something is broken in him.
What is your favorite personality trait of your main character? His intellect. Lots of people do not expect athletes to be smart, but Taz is brainy and canny.
What is your favorite personality trait of your bad guy/girl? His shrewdness. He put it out there.
Tell us something funny about one of your characters. Taz can overanalyze and overthink things. When he gets into his head and feelings, he is all over the place. It’s really scary in his brain.
One of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where does he/she go and what does he/she buy? Hockey gear, of course. That’s his life. He’s going to the fanciest sporting goods store and will be all over it.
Your character is at a bookstore. Which section is he/she shopping in? What book is in his/her hand right now? Liam is going straight to the cooking section, and he’s picking up books on cocktails and mixed drinks. Then, he’s popping over to the classics.
Your character has the music blasting. What’s playing, and what is he/she doing while listening? He has a music playlist. That’s all I’m saying. No spoilers here.
I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make? Anything that is hearty with lots of protein and going to stick to his bones. If you give him a salad, it’s going to piss him off.
Your main character is planning a vacation. Where is he/she going? Probably to the beach or out sailing in the Gulf. But then, he’s an international traveler; so, he just may enjoy strolling the streets of Greece or Italy.
Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing? Uh, yeah. I had one character just write himself into the story. I didn’t even see him coming.
How long did it take you to write this book? Funny story, this is. It took over a year to come to fruition, but to actually get the words from start to finish about three months. I began Ice Gladiators but had to set it aside to meet other prior obligations and deadlines. When I really sat down to write it, it didn’t take that long. But the truth is, I kind of forgot it was sitting there. When I opened the folder, I was surprised at the work that I had invested. I knew I had to finish it. These characters deserved to have their story told.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters? I believe Alex Pettyfer would make the perfect Taz. Josh Henderson could be Liam.
How did you come up with the title? It seemed to fit. I rolled around several words that I associated with hockey, and this is what developed.
Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one? According to research, approximately 85% of romance readers are female. It used to be a common misconception that women did not understand or enjoy sports. Another fallacy was that gay men did not participate in, excel at, or behave masculine in sports. Fortunately, these myths were debunked. Sports romance as a subgenre, and gay sports romance as sub-sub-genre has been growing. However, there still exists a need for the LBGTQ community to be represented in literature, especially in sports romance. Ice Gladiators provides readers that.
Ice Gladiators has characters who are gay as opposed to having gay characters, meaning the characters’ sexuality does not define them. Rather, their sexuality accounts for one small part of their character. They are not presented as being stereotypical and, in fact, break the outdated stereotypes. Characters in Ice Gladiators are representative of the diversity found in the gay community and are not ashamed of their sexuality. They are flawed with both positive and negative traits.
Many contemporary romances lack diversity in characters. Ice Gladiators has a cast of multiple ethnic backgrounds, cultures, socio-economic statuses, ages, and nationalities. While society is becoming more accepting of same-sex relationships, there still exists a need for more representation of the LGBTQ community in literature. Ice Gladiators addresses gay characters in the sports world with humor and dignity. Readers will find the characters relatable. Most importantly, Ice Gladiators satisfies readers with a happily-ever-after/happily-for-now outcome and provides general overall feelings of optimism, hope, and joy.
The main characters, Taz and Liam, are intelligent, masculine, and dynamic. They are attracted to each other physically but are drawn to be together through their values and ambitions. Liam’s emotional strength balances Taz’s physical strength. Overall, that is what Ice Gladiators intends to do—offer a balance to readers. These included elements help to set this book apart from similar stories.
Is there an underlying theme in your book? If so, tell us about it and why/if it’s important to you. It is extremely important to me that I write characters who are diverse. We live in a diverse world, and all people should be represented in literature/fiction, as well as all of the arts. More importantly, I want to be authentic.
Fiction can often provide powerful life lessons. What message do you hope readers get from your book? Everyone deserves to be loved.