Welcome L.J. LaBarthe

UndertheSouthernCross-AnthologyHi and welcome to my blog, L. J. LaBarthe. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake. 

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?  

Well, the most current release is a novella, “The Body on The Beach.” This is available as a standalone novella and in an anthology I put together with four other authors for Dreamspinner Press. The anthology is called “Under the Southern Cross” and has five Australian stories by five Australian authors. Those authors are Isabelle Rowan, Meredith Shayne, RJ Astruc, myself, and newcomer, Robyn Walker.

My novella is set in 1920, in my city, Adelaide. It’s a m/m romance murder mystery, and deals with immigration in the twenties and how immigrants were treated as well as the murder mystery. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I learned a lot about my city that was entirely new to me. Billy Liang is the main protagonist, he’s Chinese and the representative for the Chinese community in Adelaide. His lover, Tom, is his family’s lawyer and they must maintain discretion about their relationship as well as everything else. Because the body found on the beach has a Chinese character carved into its chest, the police consult Billy who in turn, with Tom, seek out as much information as they can which leads to the arrest of the murderers.

 

How would you describe yourself using only five words?  

Oh wow. LOL. Um… researcher, procrastinator, sarcastic, author, daydreamer.

 

If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?  

Caution: may contain elements of extreme sarcasm and excessive swearing.

 

Do you have any guilty pleasures?  

Reality TV. I’m a big fan of shows like “Masterchef Australia,” “Bondi Vet,” “Bondi Rescue,” “The Living Room,” and home renovation shows.

 

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.  

Hm, that’s a good question. I used to be a pianist.

 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  

Adelaide, Australia. I love the quality of life here, and I’m not that far from the sea, which is awesome.

 

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?  

Put on some music, open up Word and get to it!

 

OtherBooksInAnthologyCan you share with us your typical writing day.  Is there anything you have to have while writing?  

Coke. I need to have Coke, either proper Coke or Cherry Zero, at hand. I usually listen to music while I write, and if I get plot blocked, I go and stand in the bathroom until inspiration strikes. The bathroom is very important. I know that sounds ridiculous, but something about being in the bathroom gives me ideas. I call it the Room of Wisdom or RoW.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?  

Oh, I like a lot of various authors. George R. R. Martin, Sergei Lukyanenko, Aldous Mercer, Jane Austen, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Larissa Ione, Thomas Sniegoski, Jasper Kent, Meredith Shayne, Isabelle Rowan, RJ Astruc, Robyn Walker, Amy Lane.

 

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?  

I’m looking forward to finishing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse series by Larissa Ione, and starting “The Archer” by Abigail Roux and I can’t wait for the release of book four of Jasper Kent’s vampire quintet, “The People’s Will.”

 

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?  

Not really. I do the happy sit-down dance of joy and then get to work on the next one.

 

Do you have a favorite TV show you can’t miss?  

“Supernatural,” “Spartacus” (I have so many feelings about this show, I love it.), “Primeval.”

 

If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why-no it doesn’t have to be from your books? 

Hm. No one. I’m not really a dating sort of person.

 

What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had? 

Apart from the bathroom? LOL. My physiotherapist frequently gives me suggestions. He wants me to have a character who is a psychopathic physiotherapist. My physio is awesome and hilarious, hahaha. And an awesome physio.

If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell? 

Probably that I spend way too much time looking at real estate I can’t afford!

 

Thanks for coming. Is there anything else you want to add? 

People can find me at:

Twitter: @brbsiberia

Blog: http://misslj_author.livejournal.com

Website: http://www.ljlabarthe.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lj.labarthe.9

 

**********

Body-on-the-Beach“The Body on The Beach.” 

However, things had been quiet for the last two weeks, and Billy was more than a little relieved. Quiet meant no raids by police on the Hooker’s Building on Hindley Street, searching for opium or arresting any of the people within for gambling on games of fan-tan. Quiet meant that Billy could manage his family’s accounts and businesses – importing silk fabric and teak furniture from his parents’ native Shanghai to sell in Adelaide. Quiet meant taking inventory of the fruits and vegetables from the family’s Adelaide Hills market garden that were to be sold at the West End Market in the city. Quiet also meant that Billy’s wife did not hover over him worrying about money or family, and quiet meant that Billy could enjoy both his relationship with her and his much more physically intimate relationship with Tom.

Now, Billy and Tom were talking about the latest model Hispano Suiza H6, a beautiful automobile that had been released onto the market late in 1919, the previous year. Billy was very impressed by the car with its polished wooden panels and chrome dials, the sleek shine of the bodywork. It certainly put his own Buick D-45 touring car to shame. Hui Zhong, her cigarette neatly inserted into an elegant carved ivory cigarette holder, a thin curl of silvery smoke wafting toward the ceiling, laughed indulgently at them both as the two men poured over the reviews of the automobile in the paper. The warble of a soulful vocalist backed by slow jazz music came from the gramophone in the corner, and Billy was quite content to spend the evening in such a congenial fashion.

It wouldn’t last, he knew that. The quiet never did. There was always something brewing. Such as trouble at the Port Adelaide docks, where the workers and the Chinese shipmen who held each other in mutual distrust, glared pugnaciously at one another as they unloaded cargo. Or someone would try to smuggle opium into Adelaide or start a fan-tan game with an undercover detective police officer. Billy knew that he, like George’s Greek hero, Damocles, was waiting beneath a sword that was ever-ready to fall.

The Hispano Suiza H6 was a great distraction from the legions of ‘what if’s’ that Billy would brood over late at night while Tom slept beside him and Hui Zhong slept in her apartment down the hall of the palatial two story bungalow he owned just off Hindley Street, not far from the Western Parklands. His parents lived in a cottage on the grounds of the family market garden, having retired there once Billy had finished taking the law; upon receipt of his degree from Adelaide University, his father had handed him the keys to the family businesses and congratulated him on his success. Billy had come to regard the promotion in his family business as a two-edged dagger – he was more free to manage his own affairs and do as he wished, but he also had a great many more responsibilities than he had before. However, such worries were for another day, and Billy applied himself wholeheartedly to the task of enjoying his evening in the company of well-loved companions.

“The Body on The Beach” and the anthology, “Under the Southern Cross,” will appear on this page http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=116 in March/April.

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