Author Interview: Santino Hassell [“AFTER MIDNIGHT” Blog Tour]

Posted: September 17, 2013 by sidlove in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Events, Giveaway Contest, Promo
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After MidnightBlurb:

Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it’s his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn’t quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.

Title:  After Midnight

Author: Santino Hassell

Publisher: self-published

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 244 pages

Available at: Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Are


My excitement is at STALKER-LEVELS at this moment!  I’m so THRILLED to welcome SANTINO HASSELL, author of the newly released “After Midnight” to The Blog of Sid Love.  Santino is best known for being the co-author of “In the Company of Shadows” (one of my all-time favorite reads).  After Midnight is his first solo, self-published effort!

Susan:  For those that are new to you and your writing, tell us a little about yourself!

SH: Hey Susan J I’m really stoked to me here. It’s my first interview, so be gentle. And, for those that don’t know me, I’m Santino Hassell. I used to go by the nickname Sonny, and those of you who are fans of The Godfather will know why. If I had to describe myself in a nutshell, I would say that I’m a proud bisexual dude living in NYC, a writer of LGBT fiction, an educator, a reader, a gamer, and a wannabe solo-traveler. 

I’ve been writing for the past couple of decades, almost as soon as I was in my first Creative Writing class in high school, and consider it to be a large part of who I am. But other than being a writer, I dedicate the majority of my days to teaching (my other biggest love). 

Susan:  And how’d you get into writing? 

SH: It all started in freshman year of high school (20 years ago, JFC). We took up journaling for a Creative Writing class and I think I was the only person in there to take it seriously. I started recording everything in my journal (this shitty spiral notebook) from my thoughts, nightmares, memories, to song lyrics and poems. I was in a band for a couple of years so there were a LOT of emo/angry song lyrics. I used to write fictional accounts of things that happened to me, mostly changing the names and leaving everything else the same, as a way to record important things that happened. 

I stopped writing for several years after high school, but was re-introduced when my ex-wife introduced me to the amazing thing known as slash fandom when I was around 20 or 21. There was no going back from there. I participated in fandom primarily as a reader, reviewer, and host website before actually starting to write, and eventually veered off to original slash. That’s where everything took off and I began taking it seriously.

AMblogtourbadgeSusan:  You co-wrote “In the Company of Shadows”, the epic online series (with such a loyal, intense following…I’m a HUGE fan!)  How did the process of writing After Midnight differ?  

SH: Writing alone was a big change from writing with Ais. We were able to motivate each other, bounce ideas off each other, and brainstorm to put together all of the puzzle pieces. Writing a novel alone was so different, especially because the first draft was originally intended to be something I was going to write for fun with a “pantser” attitude.  

When my writing matured some and I decide to rewrite and revise, I wanted to focus on ensuring that After Midnight could be read independently from ICoS, but also that my characters in After Midnight felt as real and genuine as readers have said my characters in ICoS are. I was used to instantaneous feedback from Ais about whether or not she could hear my character’s voices clearly, and in the second, third, fourth (you get it) drafts of After Midnight, it was more of an ongoing process.  

That was one of the things I had to learn to adjust to. Being confident in myself and stop over-analyzing every line before I even ship the manuscript off to a beta!

Susan:  I love Gordon, the MC of the book.  He’s so…cool, but uncool…open but guarded…a walking contradiction.  Is he inspired by anyone in your real life?  

SH: Gordon is a combination of many different people in my life; more so their feelings and frustrations rather than their actual personalities. 

I know so many people who are talented, attractive, and wonderful, but despite the fact that they are AMAZING, they still feel like what they do and who they are, aren’t good enough. So combine that with all of the people I know who feel stuck in their jobs, their locations, or even their relationships—and you get Gordon. An insecure guy who feels that he isn’t worth as much as his friends, and who is too afraid to crawl out of the rut he’s dug himself into, but who still manages to be someone that people care about and gravitate towards.    

Susan:  Gordon and Adam aren’t “traditional” romance heroes.  If you had to try and convince a romance reader why they should read After Midnight, what would you tell them? 

SH: Even though they’re not traditional heroes, Gordon and Adam are intense, their story is gritty, and their journey ends up both passionate and explosive in the end. They don’t instantly fall in love, they don’t show affection the way some romance characters do, but there is no denying that they are drawn to each other despite all of the obstacles trying to keep them apart.

Susan:  How have you found this entire experience of publishing your first book?

SH:A little intimidating and nerve-wracking but ultimately enjoyable and educating. Everything feels really big and overwhelming, but with the help of amazing friends and an awesome team of people, it’s finally coming together in an exciting way. It’s been quite a ride.

Susan:  You’re definitely going to grow a huge fanbase from this book!!! So, tell us, what’s next for you…anything exciting in the pipeline for us to look forward to?  

SH: I have a lot of projects lined up, but the one I’m focusing on next is the second draft of a contemporary paranormal novel that focuses on the journey of a psychic who is determined to solve a murder. I’m excited about that one and it’s totally different than everything else I’ve written. 

Susan:  Thanks so much, Santino, for spending time with us! It was a TREAT!!!!

SH: Thank you so much for having me!

About the Author

Santino Hassell is the co-author of the popular epic series “In the Company of Shadows” and the newly released solo project “After Midnight”. When not writing, he works in education, is a single dad to two amazing kids, and can be found either reading, playing video games, or complaining about the failure of New York’s public transportation system.


The author has an “After Midnight” swag package up for giveaway that includes a free copy of the ebook along with “After Midnight” branded mason jar glass, koozie, pens, mousepad, and matchbox.


To win, all you need to do is LEAVE A COMMENT to this post:

Follow the given format to enter yourself into the contest:

Email ID*:
The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*:
Message to the author:

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Why do you need to follow? – To get instant updates on the winner announcement, or other giveaway events that are planned to be hosted on this blog or simply for the reviews and author interviews that are posted here.

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CONTEST WILL END ON 21stptember, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

  1. Dannica Campbell says:

    Dannica Campbell

    This looks like a great book! I really look forward to reading it. Congrats on the release!

  2. H.B. says:

    Great interview. Congrats on your first solo release =)

  3. Yuzuru says:

    Name*: Yuzuru
    Email ID*:
    The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*: PDF
    Message to the author: I was really excited to hear about AM, especially since I was interested in Adam’s story when you first introduced him in Evenfall (ICOS). And then hearing how AM was not only about Adam, but based on the civilians’ point of view of the ICOS world, I was even more pumped for this book. Congrats on your first publication and can’t wait to see more of your works!

  4. jenf27 says:


    The two main characters sound unusual and interesting. Look forward to reading about them. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  5. syd2013 says:

    Great interview. I couldn’t wait; I’ve already got After Midnight and am about to start reading it. Just thought you should know, if it’s as great as Evenfall and the other ICoS were I’m not going to get anything done until I’m finished it, either. Cheers!

  6. Robyn Hayes says:

    Name*: Robyn Hayes
    Email ID*:
    The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*: .MOBI
    Message to the author: I’m a fan, as you know, so I can’t wait to read this book. Even if I don’t win, I’ll get a copy one day. Any way to help out and get you to write more. 😀

  7. marina says:

    thanks for the interview!!!!

  8. Bexsie Wolfe says:

    Name: Beck J
    Email ID:
    Preferred format: epub
    Message to the author: It’s probably an emotional ride getting published, but it’s also an emotional ride for me, as a fan, to see you getting published. I’ve already read it as a PDF and am happy to say it exceeded my expectations, and was definitely rounded out and developed a lot better than when it was first in the works! Congrats, and great interview! ^.^

  9. Sonia says:

    Name*: Sonia
    Email ID*:
    The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*: .mobi
    Message to the author: I hope this comes out in paperback eventually for my bookshelf!

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