Ac´cent on Alex A. Akira

alex banner“Hot men in hotter situations.” That’s how my guest describes his work. For his explanation of yaoi, see the final paragraph of this article.

Alex A. Akira is my honored guest this week. This gentleman lives up to his own description of being shy, because he neglects to mention that he is an outstanding reviewer for RainbowReviews, and that all the bold and intriguing art you see today was designed by none other than himself.  Also, he writes in the gay subgenre called yaoi, which may be unfamiliar to many mainstream authors and readers. Maybe our questions about that will be answered indirectly in the interview and in the excerpt he has provided.

Let’s take a little closer look.

…What ten words do you think best describe you personally?

Shy, optimistic, frank, happy, ironic, smart-alecky, introspective, stubborn, giving, introverted

…Give us a thumbnail of your life.

I’m an orphan, and a product of the State foster care system.  My fosters were very, very old people, who left me to my own devices.

I chose animals, reading, art and running  and did not mix with others until college, when I got into karate , which in turn led me to meditation, yoga and metaphysics. I began to untangle myself from my unfortunate beginnings and became very frank when dealing with others. Despite being a smart aleck, I fell in love with my Sensei and learned to be giving and happy.

Okay . . . that’s the short version!    : )

Alex, give us a quick look at your novel or novels. If you have several, how about presenting them in chronological order with a sentence or two that best describes them?

“The Dojo Boys” series will be available in the Tokyo Beat section of by Ai Press this 2013 year.

Dojo-Boys-D&C-V1- 2.25X3COVERDojo Boys: Dragon & Crow, Volumes I and II: Twenty-three-year-old Native American Michael Black, a graphic novel artist, is accosted by a mysterious Japanese stranger late one night in the dojo where he trains.  He later learns that the seriously beautiful young male is his Sensei’s cousin, Kiyoshi, who is the black sheep of the family.

Michael has a major crush on his Sensei, Ichiro Kimura; so when his teacher asks him to let Kiyoshi stay with him for a month, he agrees. Events escalate as secrets from the Kimura’s past come into play and Michael, now crushing madly on Kiyoshi, gets drawn into a world full of intrigue and espionage.

The entire multi-layered, action-adventure, Pulp Yaoi love story is revealed in two separate volumes and involves  the NPA, the FBI, the CIA, the Yakuza, nightclubs, hotels, kidnapping, dance theatre, emotional angst, and well-dressed smoking hot men fighting (karate and verbal) between bouts of wild sex.

Dojo-Boys-D&C-V2-2.25X3COVERWhile the events in the books take place in the present, Dragon & Crow is not a contemporary story; I patterned it after yaoi manga and animé and edged it with an “In Like Flint” (old movie that is a parody of James Bond films) irony, thus the category “Pulp Yaoi.”

Dojo Boys: The Italian Connection Volume I and II: This is the story of Japanese-Frenchman, Philippe Michel Ponty, a dancer and thief who was first introduced in Dragon and Crow Volume II. Philippe comes to America to settle down and gain some personal insight on his tragic past and ends up in a love triangle involving an alternate rock musician and a recording studio executive/owner. Things take a strange turn when a Yakuza-affiliated nemesis from Philippe’s past is freed from prison and is bent on revenge.

The two separate volumes contain the entire madcap, romantic adventure, which involves thieving, singing, dancing, nightclubs, car chases, drugs, guns, karate fighting, hot men and hotter sex. Michael Black and Kiyoshi from Dragon & Crow, make an appearance.

Dojo Boys: The First Misunderstanding: This ten chapter short reveals the beginning of the life-long romance between two secondary characters in Dragon and Crow: Michael’s Sensei, Ichiro Kimura and Detective Masato Takahashi. The story takes place in a rural Japanese high school setting and falls somewhere between shounen-ai and yaoi.

Fifteen-year-old Ichiro and his younger brother move to a remote village for their final two years in Japan. Their family is scheduled to move to America where they will open the first American dojo that holds the prestigious family name.

Seventeen-year-old Masato Takahashi is captain of his school’s martial arts sports clubs, When he hears that the new students may be from one of Japans most famous martial arts schools, he fears his captain position will be given to the new kid. When the two meet, romantic sparks fly, but someone may already have a boyfriend!

BANNER:QUOTE D&C

Wow, Alex, these books sound like movies in the making, for sure!

…Would you describe yourself first as a writer of gay themes/characters; or first as a writer, period, without limiting yourself to any sub-genre?

I would say writer, because I write other stuff, but Yaoi /Gay Fiction/MM Romance is what I write for publication.

alex art 5x7…What is your opinion of exploring the angst of the gay lifestyle in your writing? Or do you write about characters who happen to be gay and whose sexual preference is not their most defining characteristic or even an important part of the story? Maybe some of both?

I explore the angst of life in general. I make my lead characters gay males because that is what turns me on, and since I have a yaoi flavor to my stories, well, it works out for me.

I think one of my major epiphanies in life came when I realized that I could have been born into anyone else’s life and still have had to struggle; that the grass simply looks greener over there.

The majority of us struggle with some aspect of our lives, I think it is built into the human genome, so that we have something to overcome … it gives us a will to live and grow. I explore what I have found to be true: the answers are inside of me, not out there. So I like my characters to delve inside, while havoc breaks out around them.

…What excites you most as a writer?

I’d have to say anything that involves growing excites me. Um, learning would be my top pick. I think the love of learning is an incredible thing; it allows you to grow in any way that you want to, especially in this tech age.

In my opinion “I don’t know” should be swiftly followed by “how can I learn?” The joy of the emptiness (I don’t know) the potential to fill it (I can know) . . .  this is what makes life and the gift of creating truly exciting. Whatever the subject of a story, I try to write my characters with the courage to grow and learn.

…By the same token, what turns you off? What are the nuts-and-bolts part of writing that you’d rather skip, but that have to be confronted and conquered?Michael Crow Black-1

I’m dyslexic, and have a tendency to write words and sentences backwards. When I’m in the groove and the story leaps out and onto the page, later I have lots of those kinds of edits to do. When I read it, I know what I meant to say, but realize that I’ve written the word, clause or sentence, in reverse.

Also, um, marketing and promoting is not my strong suit… See “shy, introvert” above. I’ve always found tooting my own horn difficult.

…Tell us why you write gay lit. Just to tell a story, where the characters just happen to be gay? Or do you have an overarching purpose, perhaps a social or moral sensitivity to the subject?

Gosh, I don’t have grandiose plan for my writing, I’m fairly serious about living the life I want, which takes a lot of work. I’ve always read to escape life’s serious side, so that is primarily why and what I write: escapism. I like sex, I love men and I think life is stranger than fiction. So I like to write over the top, impossible odds HEAs about hot men in hot situations.

…Describe your perceived reading audience. Mostly gay? Gay and straight? Both sexes? 

Readers who love males and get a charge out of sex between men; gay, straight, young, or old.

…Flesh out your ideal readers. Who do you wish you could reach out and speak to, call your fans, help you spread the word about your books? And how have you tried to do that (if at all)?

The Dojo Boys books were written for the yaoi anime and manga fans—at least, those who read books. So the fans are young, seventeen to twenty-five-year-old males and females, both gay and straight; and heterosexual women of all ages. Unless  older gay males are into the yaoi genre, twinks or Asian boys, they may not find the books appealing. Even the roughest sex in my series becomes “lyrical” by its end.

I’m in a lot of yaoi clubs and groups and some YA groups and generally post my Boys Love artwork which lead them to my website and my books.

…Describe your proudest moment or crowning achievement.

Well I certainly hope it was not my crowning achievement, but I was pretty astonished at Christmas time, last year, when I realized I had self-published five books in one year.

… Please ask a question you’ve always wanted someone to ask you . . . and then answer it. 

I’m going with a question that my friends repeatedly ask me:

How is it that you always seem to get what you want? 

I care and love humanity and all its quirks, but by owning the reality that I truly do not give a damn about anyone but myself, I am able to care less about others’ opinions of me. This is very freeing, and once I embraced this truth I became a more compassionate and kind individual. I look at it this way: When  I first understood how to physically fight [karate] and realized that I could actually hurt someone, I became much more careful with people . . .  less violent, less flippant.

…My own favorite word, beyond a doubt, is an f-word. First, …What is your favorite word?

 Lovely. For me it is a word that brings exquisite, bright things to mind: innocence, enlightenment, youth, butterflies and the excitement you feel when you first realize you like someone. Generally if I use that word in a conversation with someone or about something, it means my world has been spun in some joyous way as a result of that person or thing.

…And what is your quick, gut reaction to these f-words? 

Forbidden: so long

Frustration: time out

 Fornicate: cold sex

 Fractal: Kiyoshi

Fake: yaoi manga and anime

Freak: sideshow

…Now sell a book. Give us a reason to buy it. Present an excerpt (hot or not, your choice).

d&c banner *From Dojo Boys: Dragon & Crow Vol. I:

In this excerpt, Shotokan Karate champion Hikaru Nakamura accosts a reluctant Michael in the shower.

Looking in the golden orbs, now darkened with a predatory gleam, Michael knew who held the keys to Kiyoshi’s high IQ. He felt transfixed, outclassed by the clarity of the passion and intelligence that streamed through those eyes and bewitched him. He could tell Hikaru saw him fully, parts of him that he’d never let anyone see, parts of him that he hadn’t the courage to face in himself. “This is insane,’”he thought, feeling himself buckle under the strain of need flowing through his body

“The lube’s up there…” He mouthed the whisper hollowly, jerking his head up to the shower caddy.

Releasing the finger from his mouth with a soft pop, Hikaru smiled before reaching for the small tube. “I’m going release you Michael,” he admonished, “so behave.”

When freed, Michael rubbed his arm, watching the other male warily, surprised when Hikaru pulled him into a rough embrace, kissing him and stroking his wet hair gently. Nipping his way down Michael’s chest, he tongued his wet nipples and then bit them, hard.

Violently jerking back, Michael’s head hit the tile wall yet again. The water cascaded over his face, blinding him, almost drowning him, and he opened his mouth with a gasp, gulping for air. For a moment he lost track of Hikaru then felt firm lips engulf the head of his cock. A slick mouth swallowed him whole then eased back slowly, the tongue exploring the thin skin sensually before soft lips nuzzled the rim of his crown. Suddenly the tongue returned to vigorously lap at his slit. Gasping as his hips involuntarily snapped forward seeking more of the stimulating heat, Michael looked down.

Hikaru was squatting on the balls of his feet, the corded muscles in his thighs flexing hypnotically as he balanced himself. His rigid cock gleamed as it bobbed between the taut horizontal columns of muscle. His arms were undulating snakes of wet marble graced with elegant hands that grasped Michael’s straining thighs. The shiny, ink-plastered head shuttled to and fro, giving Michael beautiful glimpses of ruddy pomegranate lips wrapped around his cock, feeding on him. Water splashed over Michael and onto him.

Michael growled at the erotic display then moaned as another jolt of heat skittered up his spine. Suddenly the dark head tilted up and he gasped at the beauty of the water-soaked, glowing face. Wet curls of jet created savage tribal tattoos around the high, pale cheekbones; the ruddy lips continued to feed on his cock, which was flushed dark as it throbbed in response. Gleaming golden eyes pierced Michael, catching him staring, his mouth open and panting with need.

“I’m so fucking screwed,” he thought, crushing his eyes shut in denial before reopening them, unable to cease watching.

ALEX IMAGE COLOR

Yaoi defined by Alex A. Akira

Originating in Japan, Yaoi stories were initially parodies of popular manga and animé of the straight variety.  The stories generally feature two males who unexpectedly fall in lust/love. Generally one male is a seme (dominant top) and the other an uke (timid bottom) who are attracted or in love with each other. Usually the seme chases the uke down, while the uke protests, until he doesn’t.

Written for and often by girls/females, the stories originally had little or no plot, simply pretty and handsome boys and men, falling in love and having explicit sex. Once the genre spread, someone coined the term “Boy’s Love,” and when it hit the Western cultures, this evolved to the earliest form of male/male Romance.

The events in yaoi can and often do include damaged boys/rape, background family dramas, high schoolers, fantastical unrealistic depictions and magical/ghostly realms, mobsters, thugs and Yakuza, etc. The genre continues to evolve. The stories now contain more of a plot and there is some switch-hitting; but the main point of Yaoi stories is that love conquers all.

Shounen-ai, another Japanese import, is a sub-genre of yaoi. Its emphasis is on romance. Stories can contain light sexual situations, mostly kissing and groping, but the emphasis is on romance… Shounen-ai is generally known for containing lots of Bishounen (pretty men).

I’m going to mention Bara which is also written in Japanese manga form, just to show you how it differs from the above two categories. These stories are written with the gay male reader in mind, and generally depict illustrations that are more manly.  Body hair, buff and stocky body types, rougher explicit sex scenes and pretty much no femininely pretty males.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Basically Dragon & Crow I and II are the first full length books.
 Then the much shorter The First Misunderstanding is a “palette-cleanser” stand alone.
 Followed by the second, full length books…The Italian Connection I & II

Please note the following updated buy links for Alex’s books as of 9.14.13:

Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow Volume I

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Crow-Vol-Dojo-ebook/dp/B00EP6LB8U/

Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow Volume II

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Crow-Vol-Dojo-ebook/dp/B00EP6L8Q0/

Dojo Boys: The First Misunderstanding

http://www.amazon.com/Dojo-Boys-First-Misunderstanding-ebook/dp/B00ER9RI0A/

Dojo Boys: The Italian Connection Volume I

http://www.amazon.com/Dojo-Boys-Italian-Connection-ebook/dp/B00EV7M5DI/

Dojo Boys: The Italian Connection Volume II

http://www.amazon.com/Dojo-Boys-Italian-Connection-ebook/dp/B00EYOA7P6/

alex h:sWebsite: http://www.AlexAAkira.com/

FaceBook:  www.facebook.com/alex.a.akira.3

Googleplus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103196749872035740632/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5414787.Alex_A_Akira

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexAAkira

Pinterest: pinterest.com/aaakira

19 Responses to “Ac´cent on Alex A. Akira”

  1. To Alex: Thank you for sharing a little of yourself, your dynamite art, and your sizzling writing with us. To our readers: if you have reactions or questions, please leave a comment for this shy yet immensely talented young man. Let’s coax him out of that shell!

  2. I LOVE your work, Alex! Both your art and your writing (plus a nice collection of hot men on your Pinterest board 😉 )
    I’ve read all but your last book and am looking forward to all the re-releases and being able to read the last story.
    I’m really hoping you’ll release more work in the future, because you have a great writing style that is hot hot hot!

    • Thank you, high praise from you Kia. So happy you are getting a kick out of my boys and my Pins. some of those pins are characters in my WIP! Pablo Morais is my latest thug with a heart of gold. : )

  3. Thank you for having me, Erin.

  4. Let’s just say I had a tough time getting past the cheekbones that would slice paper … and then you had me at well-dressed hot men … fighting. Fabulous interview.

  5. I love yaoi and can’t wait to read some of your work, Alex 😉 Nothing like beautiful asian boys in love to put a smile on my face. Fascinating interview – I swear this interview series is bloating my reading list beyond comprehension!

  6. Mmm, gorgeous stuff, and full of rich intriguing details! Looking forward to reading more from you!

    • Wow, my reading list is growing with each comment. Yes, i have a vampire fetish, so Undisclosed Desire, um it’s now on my Kindle. : )

      • Thank you SO MUCH! Wow, that is an honour. I appreciate it more than you know. Yeah, I have a vampire fetish, myself – could you tell? 😉 I hope you like it. Can’t wait to dig into your work!

  7. Lucky it was a long weekend for me, because i didn’t get much sleep. Undisclosed Desire kept me awake for two nights! What a great book! Wow!

    • Wow, Alex, thank you SO much for the compliment! You’ve made my whole week even BETTER! I’m blushing and grinning from ear to ear! I think I ought to get back to work on that sequel, after all! Please do keep me updated on your work, especially now that we’re connected on Facebook, and let me know how I can help spread the word! Thank you again SO MUCH!!

  8. I remember the one part where almost everyone who had a part in the story rushed to the airport or was already there. I had the feeling Alex did this just to see if he could manage it. Let me say he did quite well, an amazing scene.
    If you haven’t read any of his stories yet, you’re in for a ride. I can’t wait to see everything all new and shiny.

    • Hey there, thanks for stopping in aditus, and for your kind words. I’m looking forward to the day when you publish The King’s Mate series, so everyone can see how talented you are. Write on, brother. : )

  9. B. D. Heywood Says:

    What a remarkable and talented writer and artist! It is said you should write what you know, and in his novels, Dojo Boys One and Two, Mr. Akira not only did that but did it with elegance and style. I was not only caught up in the romance and the sizzling hot erotica but thoroughly captivated by the authenticity of all the characters, especially Michael. Nothing can be taken for granted in this complex story. As each layer of the plot is revealed, so is the complexity of each character in sometimes poignant, sometimes frank language. In this fast-paced, gut-wrenching, action/adventure, characters are pitted against several foes and against each other. I was swept up in the developing love affair between the two main protagonists that was constantly threatened by outside and inside forces. And every sex scene delivers the best of what erotica should be—arousing, emotional and satisfying. Intriguing secondary characters enhance the plot without detracting from the main story of the love between Michael and Kiyoshi.
    Mr. Akira has stepped outside the conventions of the formulaic gay romance story and skillfully combined the best of M/M romance with the best of yaoi in a groundbreaking new genre. What a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter M/M novels on the market today! I am looking forward to reading the rest of his novels as soon as they are available and hope there are many more from the pen of this talented new writer. Oh, and one more comment. Such beautiful cover art! I want it up on my walls.
    Bravo, Mr. Akira thank you for allowing me to get to know a little more about you.

  10. Awww gee B. D.! Thank you for your encouraging words.
    You’ll be happy to know that I’m hard at work on another wild ride; a romance between a former drug dealer and a college student has me writing in three timelines with multiple cultures. Hmm, Mexicans, Vietnamese, Japanese and Russians, oh my. Yes, my brain is getting fairly dizzy at keeping everything straight. Don’t expect it until Spring of 2014… busy Fall -Winter coming up. Did I mention there is a dog in it? : )
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. Love this interview. I adore Yaoi (I’ve read mostly fanfiction Yaoi, to be perfectly honest.) I’m going to be delving into your books and I’m sure I’m going to LOVE it.

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