Saturday, December 21, 2013

MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA - The Cover

Here's what's going down this weekend:

First, thanks to everyone who helped make THE BOY WHO BELONGED an ARe bestseller! Santa loves you and will bring you extra presents.*

Second, there's still time to join the fun on TBWB blog tour. The giveaway at Joyfully Jay is open through the 23rd, and Brin from THE BOY series has some beautiful pornaments to share with you there. Today Lisa and I are at Kay Berrisford's, answering some hard hitting questions. I revealed the truth about Lisa's secret slave dungeon, and Lisa threatened unspeakable cruelties against me if I didn't learn to speak Australian. And we talked a little about the book, too. Tomorrow we will be at Tara Lain's discussing how co-writing is turning us into a cranky old married couple. Lisa found some excellent pictures for that one. (There's another giveaway there!)

And finally, our frat boy Romeo & Romeo, MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA, comes out next month, and we have a lovely cover by Dar Albert to show you. See?



And a blurb:

Mark Cooper is angry, homesick, and about to take his stepdad’s dubious advice and rush Prescott College’s biggest party fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi. Greek life is as foreign to Aussie transplant Mark as Pennsylvania’s snowstorms and bear sightings. So, when the fraternity extends Mark a bid, Mark vows to get himself kicked out by the end of pledge period. But then he’s drawn into Alpha Delt’s feud with a neighboring fraternity.

Studious Deacon Holt is disappointed to learn Mark’s pledging Alpha Delt, his fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa’s sworn enemy. Mark is too beautiful for Deacon to pass up an invitation for sex, but beyond sex, Deacon’s not sure. He wants a relationship, but a difficult family situation prevents him from pursuing anything beyond his studies.

Mark and Deacon’s affair heats up as the war between their fraternities escalates. They explore kinks they didn’t know they had while keeping their liaison a secret from their brothers. But what Romeo and Juliet didn’t teach these star-crossed lovers is how to move beyond sex and into a place where they share more than a bed. That’s something they’ll have to figure out on their own—if the friction between their houses, and between Mark and America, doesn’t tear them apart.



MARK COOPER is out January 28 from Loose Id. It's light on the BDSM, but we managed to get a little spanking in there. A little phone sex. A little cross-dressing. Oh yeah, and some fisting.

And Lisa is absurdly smug about the fact that we used the word arse instead of ass. I have to throw her a bone every now and then or she starts threatening me with the torch and the OED.


*I cannot actually guarantee this.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

THE BOY WHO BELONGED Blog Tour

THE BOY WHO BELONGED is now out! It's currently available at Loose Id, Amazon, and ARe.

If you'd like to support Lisa and me on our blog tour (and maybe win a copy), here's where we're hanging out:

12/17: Boy Meets Boy Reviews, revealing the real story behind how Mr. Zimmerman came to live with Christy. There's a giveaway!
12/18: Attention is Arbitrary, offering up our rejected ideas for the sequel.
12/20: Joyfully Jay. Brin is posting his extremely naughty guide to decorating for the holidays. Giveaway!
12/21: Kay Berrisford interviews us about our experience meeting each other in person, our WIPs, and more.
12/22: Tara Lain, following up last year's "The Stages of a (Writing) Relationship" with "The Perils of a (Writing) Marriage."

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Boy Who Belonged - Available in a Few Hours

By the time THE BOY WHO BELONGED hits virtual shelves, I'll be on a plane back to the U.S. So I wanted to go ahead and post this, since this plane ride's gonna take a while.

TBWB is the sequel to THE GOOD BOY, and will be released around midnightish by Loose Id!

And to celebrate, Lisa and I are going on tour!

We've been over at Kate Sherwood's already, talking about what Christmas means to us.
12/17: We'll be at Boy Meets Boy Reviews revealing the real story behind how Mr. Zimmerman came to live with Christy! There's a giveaway!
12/18: Attention is Arbitrary, offering up our rejected ideas for the sequel.
12/20: Joyfully Jay. Brin is posting his extremely naughty guide to decorating for the holidays. Giveaway!
12/21: Kay Berrisford interviews us about our experience meeting each other in person, our WIPs, and more.
12/22: Tara Lain. We follow up last year's "The Stages of a (Writing) Relationship" with "The Perils of a (Writing) Marriage."



Twenty-one-year-old Lane Moredock finally has a normal life. Six months after he was wrongly made a suspect in his parents' ponzi scheme, he's settled down with his older boyfriend, Derek, and is working and attending school. But his happiness is threatened when his mother launches a Christmastime PR campaign to help appeal her prison sentence, and asks introverted Lane to be part of it.

Derek Fields has his hands full taking Santa photos, bird-sitting his sister's foul-mouthed macaw, and helping Lane prepare for a television interview neither of them wants him to do. As he eases Lane through his anxiety, he worries that Lane sees him as a caretaker rather than a boyfriend, and that their age difference really does matter. He and Lane compensate for the stress in their lives by taking their D/s relationship to new levels--a relationship that Lane's mother insists he should be ashamed of.

As Christmas draws nearer, the pressure builds. Pushy elves. Snarky subs. A bad fight. A parrot in peril. How the hell is Derek going to give Lane a perfect Christmas when the Moredock legacy threatens to pull them apart before the new year?

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Very Taco Hub Christmas, Plus I Like Australia

If you’re not excited about TBWB yet, can I try to entice you? New Mr. Zimmerman-isms? Check. Brin and Ferg and tiny bondage elves? Check. A little breath play? Maaayyybe. Laura Moredock trying to manipulate everyone around her? Oh yeah. Get ready to deck the halls with boughs of angst (don’t worry—there are fun parts too) in about two weeks!


In other news,
Lisa Henry and I met on her turf last week. A weird thing happened when I sat down at my blog today and tried to do my usual Australia-mocking and that thing where I accuse Lisa of perpetrating injustices against my person. It’s like, I’ve had such a good time in Australia, and Lisa was such a good host during the few days I stayed with her, that I can’t even bring myself to invent a version of events that allows me to play the victim of Lisa and her country’s cruelty.

I mean, the wine flowed, the Magnum bars were plentiful—Lisa did make me hold a crocodile, but it was only a little one, and she also made me look at big ones and one tried to attack a tourist through the fence, but I wasn’t the tourist, so I guess that’s okay—I got to cook Thanksgiving (and forgot to explain to Lisa’s family the part where you go around and say what you’re thankful for. We just ate.), and we brainstormed two new books, including one that will either be a sheer delight or cause all of you to disown us. It’s hard to tell just yet. Oh, and we saw a kangaroo that punched ducks, and I got my obligatory tourist photo cuddling a koala.

In short, I can’t really find much to complain about in Australia, except the word “doona”. Even my reef dive was successful (saw a shark. Mission afuckingccomplished). I did encounter some rapist dolphins, but I was safely on the boat at the time.

Fine, Australia. Well played. I’ll be flying back to the U.S. using a cape I made out of an Australian flag, singing “I Still Call Australia Home”. I EVEN LIKE HOW THE NOTES ARE DIFFERENT COLORS AND I DON'T EVEN MIND CALLING THEM NOTES.


Thank you, Lisa. And your country. I look forward to seeing you in America someday. I will make you hold a bear.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Festivities, Prizes, and a Relese Date for Mark Cooper

I first met Vicktor Alexander a few weeks ago when I guested on Write on the Edge, the blog radio show he hosts. I called into the station five minutes before the show started, and barely had time to say hi before we were live and he was asking me about my favorite porn sites. I was nervous when the interview started, but I think Vic is the kind of person who can make you feel at ease whether you've known him for five minutes or five years. Very funny, and very sweet.

This month, he's hosting his 30th birthday exxxtravaganza on his blog, and I was honored to be invited to share my, er, fondest birthday memory as part of the festivities. If you comment on the post (here), you'll be entered to win a choice from my backlist. And check out all the other posts there too, because lots of great authors are offering prizes along with their birthday memories, birthday-themed flash fiction, excerpts, and more.

Also...*drumrolll* looks like Lisa's and my frat boy romance, MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA, will be out January 28th. How do you like them apples?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wacky Wednesday is Now a Bedtime Story

What do I get in return for narrating some of the goodreads BDSM group's BDSM Bedtime Stories this season? Apparently I get Mr. Sexy Voice himself, Sirly Eric, narrating a scene from Wacky Wednesday. I don't know Sirly, but hopefully he doesn't object to me calling him Mr. Sexy Voice. Have you guys heard his voice? It's really sexy. You can listen to him narrate Jayk and Amon's first time here. You can also check out La Crimson Femme interviewing Jayk about discipline, tattoos, and that time in Chatham-Kent here. Or, if you're not part of the GR BDSM group, here. And you can leave questions/comments for Jayk or for me in the interview thread. I'll be off trekking in the wilderness for a few days, so I might not be able to respond right away, but I will eventually!

I should start offering to help with more things in life, on the off chance I'll be paid in Sirly Erics.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lisa Henry Hates Marine Life

If you filled out one of those character sheets about me and had to list my primary motivation, the driving force of my entire existence, it would be to be warm.

I'm always cold. Even when it's supposedly warm out. Those saunas they tell you not to spend more than ten minutes in? I feel like I could live in one of those, no problem.

New Zealand's wonderful, but it's not that warm this time of year. So when I got a great deal on a two-week trip to Australia in November, I seized it. Because despite some of the things I've said about Australia over the last couple of years, I have always wanted to go there. Mostly to see the Great Barrier Reef.

And to be warm.

I'm not really sure how big Australia is. I picture it about the size of Russia, but a blobbier shape (I'm told it's actually closer to the size of the US, but my mind has rarely been affected by facts). Like Russia, I imagine most of it's uninhabited--probably due to drop bears, crocs, snakes, land-adapted sharks, dinosaurs, angry kangaroos, Hugh Jackman, general laziness, etc. 

Knowing my bus would go through Queensland, I contacted my dear friend/eternal nemesis Lisa Henry to let her know I'd be somewhere in the potentially Russia-sized neighborhood, and to see if she was anywhere near where I'd be going. It seemed like a long shot, since I've always sort of pictured Lisa living in a hut in the middle of nowhere, and not in a tourist destination.

But I discovered that Lisa has been holding out on me. Because she lives in a town RIGHT NEXT TO the Great Barrier Reef. What I didn't understand was how she could have failed to mention this before. I mean, we've been e-mailing for nearly two years now. And never once has she told tales about stingrays that swim up to her window at breakfast (apparently I also picture Lisa living in a submarine) or how she was nearly killed by a jellyfish in her backyard (a submarine with a yard).

And then I found out why.

It's because Lisa Henry doesn't care about the Great Barrier Reef.

"Oh yeah," she said airily* when I told her I couldn't wait to see it. "It's...meh."

Meh, she said. About the Great Barrier Reef.

"It's some coral and pretty fish," she said.

I pointed out that there are also sea turtles, stingrays, and my favorite creatures on the face of the earth--after dogs--sharks.

"I could take you to the aquarium," she said.

The aquarium.

As though that's even remotely the same thing as a natural wonder of the world.

I thought about trying to explain about how magical it feels when I'm face to face with marine life, or about the book my dad read me as a kid about a girl who befriends a manta ray, and how much I wanted to be that girl, but I didn't see the point. Because if Lisa Henry needs to take a shit and can't find a toilet, she'll just use my dreams.

I'll still go visit her at the end of November, though. She's promised to take me to see crocodiles, an activity she seems to have selected specifically because she knows they're the only animal I fear. I, in turn, have promised to introduce her to Thanksgiving, which somehow seems like a nicer gesture than, "Hey, look, there's a crocodile; how's you're unending, soul-deep terror doing?" But I suppose there's no need to make this post about who's a better person.

I've also challenged her to play me in MarioKart 64, which, like the Fischer-Spassky chess match of 1972, will be not merely about the game, but also about nationality. I think whoever wins should officially be declared the one who speaks correct English. I'll make Toad's Turnpike my bitch, not just for me, but for America.

So yeah, get your thongs-not-the-buttcrack-kind on. Because in a few weeks, it'll be time for Thunder Down Under 2013 (working title). First I have to survive a long hiking thingy here in NZ. And see if I can get my Valu-Pak of Ramen through Australian customs. I paid $2.89 for it, and I'd hate to have to leave it behind.

Also, since I'm on a computer that's running Windows 98, it seems only right that I use MS Paint to hastily illustrate where I imagine Lisa lives. 



*this was over e-mail, so I'm not sure how she actually said it. But I imagine it was all kinds of airily.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Who's Ready for Another Cover?


It's THE BOY WHO BELONGED, coming December 17th from Loose Id! Fiona Jayde designed the cover, and the blurb looks something like this:

Twenty-one year-old Lane Moredock finally has a normal life. Six months after he was wrongly made a suspect in his parents’ Ponzi scheme, he’s settled down with his older boyfriend, Derek, and is working and attending school. But his happiness is threatened when his mother launches a Christmastime PR campaign to help appeal her prison sentence, and asks introverted Lane to be part of it.

Derek Fields has his hands full taking Santa photos, bird-sitting his sister’s foul-mouthed macaw, and helping Lane prepare for a television interview neither of them wants him to do. As he eases Lane through his anxiety, he worries that Lane sees him as a caretaker rather than a boyfriend, and that their age difference really does matter. He and Lane compensate for the stress in their lives by taking their D/s relationship to new levels--a relationship that Lane’s mother insists he should be ashamed of. 

As Christmas draws nearer, the pressure builds. Pushy elves. Snarky subs. A bad fight. A parrot in peril. How the hell is Derek going to give Lane a perfect Christmas when the Moredock legacy threatens to pull them apart before the new year?

Lisa and I had a good time revisiting these characters--especially Mr. Zimmerman. And we get to actually meet Lane's mother in this one, which is exciting!


In other news, I am nerding it up in New Zealand, visiting various Lord of the Rings filming locations. Here is a picture of some Scottish girls and me recreating the scene where Frodo sees the silhouette of the back rider up on the hill. I'm the horse's back end.

Us
Movie
 
Ok, ours isn't quite as scary. Or maybe it's scarier, because we actually took the time to do this. I have pictures even nerdier than this one, but oddly enough, the one where I'm pretending to be a horse's ass seemed the most dignified.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Public Floggings, How I Researched Hula Hoop Sex, and more...

Holy crap, I had a good time last night on Write on the Edge, a blog talk radio show dedicated to LGBT and BDSM writing. It got DIRTY! Mychael Black and Vicktor Alexander asked me all manner of inappropriate things, and I...answered the questions. Totally willingly. Mom, if you ever listen to this, I'm so sorry.

Did we talk about fisting? Yep. Did we talk about whether I do anything "special" when I write sex scenes? Uh huh. Did I let slip about those 5 minutes with Mistress Debbie I swore I'd never tell anyone about? Oops. And what IS Vicktor bringing to GRL in 2014? You can find out here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writersonlinenetwork/2013/10/25/write-on-the-edge-w

And from that link you can search and listen to lots of episodes of WOE with awesomely awesome guest authors. Woo!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

WOE is Me

All right, so I'm not being a very good blogger...but mostly because the Internet sitch isn't the best in the land of counterclockwise flushing toilets. But, if Skype cooperates, I will be a guest on Write On the Edge (WOE) on blog talk radio this Thursday October 24 at 10 pm central time. Vicktor Alexander hosts, and I think some of the questions get kinda naughty, so it should be a good time. If I manage to show up at the right time. This day ahead thing throws me, but it's awesome when I forget a family member's birthday, because as long as I remember the next day, it's still their birthday in their hemisphere.

In other news, it looks like a 12/17 release for THE BOY WHO BELONGED!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS Cover Reveal





Have you all seen the gorgeousness that is Amber Shah's cover for WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS, Lisa Henry's and my upcoming southern gothic-y romantic suspense novel? So perfect. Lisa and I are also available to chat about the book over on goodreads. WAtWS is out March 24th, 2014 from Riptide and is available for pre-sale now (you save 11% on the ebook, 20% on print by ordering early!) And here's the blurb:

Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.

Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hey, Auckland, What Up?


A week from today I’ll be in Auckland, kicking off a two and a half month trip around New Zealand. For the next few days I’m in Chicago and San Francisco (fingers crossed I get to go to the Folsom Street Fair!), gearing up. I’m pretty excited. And a little nervous. “Just show up with a backpack and a work visa and see what happens” sounded like a much more romantic idea when I was booking the plane ticket months ago. Now that my departure date is nigh, some practical concerns are starting to crop up, like, “Where will I sleep?” and “Oops, I already spilled stuff on one of only two pairs of pants I have with me.” (I spent twenty minutes locked in a bathroom stall at Union Station this morning trying to clean my jeans with facial wipes. This does not bode well.)

I also did something scary. I left my laptop at home. Shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But I spend pretty much every day with that computer. Mostly writing, but sometimes caressing it and talking to it gently. Sometimes watching the most emotional X Factor auditions on youtube. Some nights it sleeps in bed next to me, and I fancy I can hear it whisper “goodnight” as we drift off to sleep.

In short, I think we need a break from each other.

I don’t want to spend my whole trip looking at a screen. The part of me that’s used to living that way does, but I think when I actually give not doing it a try, I’ll like it. After all, I used to do other things besides text, type, and stream television. I just can't remember exactly what.

I wrote by hand in a notebook today, and it was weird, but it reminded me that there was actually a time before I had a laptop. Also it made my hand hurt.

I can do this. I sort of believe in myself a little.

I’m posting this now from a friend’s computer. And then I’m gonna go see if his building has a laundry facility for my jeans. And I’m not going to think about my laptop, because I AM FINE WITHOUT YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME? I AM MY OWN PERSON. I DON’T EVEN PARTICULARLY LIKE THE WAY YOUR SEARCH FUNCTIONS ARE SET UP.


Also, um, I'm kind of cheating, because the lovely Lori Toland lent me an iPhone to use on the trip, despite my thorough and repeated warnings that the odds are very much in favor of me 1) not being able to figure out how it works and 2) dropping it. So when I get fierce urges to see if anything has happened on the Internet without me, I'll probably just whip that out.

Baby steps.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Blushin' and the Flushin' (and Better Ways to Say It)

I stumbled across this blog post the other day by Nichole Steinhaus at YA Stands, and I like it a lot. It tackles an issue that seems especially relevant to romance writing, where characters' body language and body parts play such an important role, and where writers frequently end up with a whole lot of eyebrows raised, eyes narrowing or widening, sweating palms, racing hearts, quirking lips, blushing, flushing (I have a feeling a combined Blush n' Flush count from all of my books would look disturbingly like the Oh My count in 50 Shades of Grey), flipping stomachs, and so on.

Definitely read the actual post, because Nichole explains this concept better than I will. But the gist of it is that characters physical actions can tell us a lot more about their emotions than those worn out descriptions of body parts. She cites a couple of examples from John Greene's YA novel Looking for Alaska, one where MC Miles has to share a bed with the girl he likes, and instead of saying I lay there with my palms sweating and my heart racing and a furious flush creeping to my cheeks, etc., Miles tells us: "We had separate blankets, and there were never fewer than three layers between us, but the possibilities kept me up half the night."

And bam, without any description of what his body parts are up to, we know exactly how Miles must feel. He is lying there under a separate blanket, and he is staying up half the night fantasizing about this girl. His heart, his lungs, his sweat--they're not running the show.

So I'm making that my writer challenge from this point forward, to call myself out on tired body part descriptors and see what my characters can do to let you know how they're feeling. Spoiler alert: the possibilities will probably keep them up the first half of the night, and the violent fucking will keep them up the second.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I have a website now. And a book update. And blackmail photos.

At last, a triumph over technology. Or at least, a vague demonstration of my ability to warily coexist with it. I have an actual website over at www.jarockauthor.com! Ooooh, fancy. And there's a half naked guy in ropes! Seriously, go visit just to see my naked guy.

I'll keep this blog up and running for a little while still, mostly because I'm afraid of change. But I'll try to de-clutter the sidebar, since all of that information is now in one centralized, relatively organized location. Perhaps eventually the blog will move to the website as well. But figuring that out is a lot to ask of me at the moment.

Also I chose the theme partly because of my love of the song "Rainbow in the Dark." "Don't tell anyone that," my mom suggested. But I'm not even remotely ashamed of my Dio infatuation.

Next up: Lisa Henry and I have a contract on THE BOY WHO BELONGED, our sequel to THE GOOD BOY! No date yet, but here's the unofficial blurb:

Twenty-one year-old Lane Moredock finally has a normal life. Six months after he was wrongly made a suspect in his parents’ Ponzi scheme, he’s settled down with his older boyfriend, Derek, and is working and attending school. But his happiness is threatened when his mother launches a Christmastime PR campaign to help appeal her prison sentence, and asks introverted Lane to be part of it.

Derek Fields has his hands full taking Santa photos, bird-sitting his sister’s foul-mouthed macaw, and helping Lane prepare for a television interview neither of them wants him to do. As he eases Lane through his anxiety, he worries that Lane sees him as a caretaker rather than a boyfriend, and that their age difference really does matter. He and Lane compensate for the stress in their lives by taking their D/s relationship to new levels--a relationship that Lane’s mother insists he should be ashamed of.

As Christmas draws nearer, the pressure builds. Pushy elves. Snarky subs. A bad fight. A parrot in peril. How the hell is Derek going to give Lane a perfect Christmas when the Moredock legacy threatens to pull them apart before the new year?


We had a lot of fun with this book. It turned out a little angstier than the idea we'd originally discussed. Which should come as no surprise. Get ready to see Mr. Zimmerman like you've never...okay, pretty much exactly as you've seen him before. Rude and angry.

In other news, props to my best friend Brian, who got his picture taken with the Westboro Baptist people (same church that protested Matthew Shepard's funeral, among lots of other anti-gay protests) when they came to New Orleans to protest Southern Decadence. When one of the protestors told Brian "YOU ARE FULL OF SIN," Brian shot back, "YOU ARE FULL OF HATE." Wish I could have been there, but I'll settle for loving this picture from over here.


Finally, I received this in an e-mail from a longtime friend the other day. No text, just the word "Proof" in the subject line. This was taken four years ago in (I think) the Netherlands--though I was unaware of its existence. Yeah, there might have been signs that I was heading toward writing what I write now. Who doesn't love a surprise blackmail photo?



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lisa Henry is a Nice Person and Australian Words Are Real: A Public Apology

Given how publicly I have, in the past, declared my disdain for certain Australian words and phrases after working with Lisa Henry, it seems only right that I make my apology public as well. You see, up until this point, I have enjoyed poking fun at Australia's "made up" words. At their dating and measurement systems, their seasons, and their way of spelling things. I have scoffed at concepts like the "Freddo frog" and the "bottle shop." Even earlier this month, when Lisa was a guest on this blog, I slipped a somewhat snide comment into her introduction about her tendency to promise me imaginary chocolate. The lack of Freddo frogs in my life was, I assumed, proof that they were made up. Like didgeridoos and lemurs.

I am here today to admit that I was wrong. You see, Australian words are very real. Just as real as American words, if not more so. Whatever I may have tweeted or facebooked or blogged in the past, I understand this now. And I want to offer my most heartfelt apologies to Lisa Henry and the great nation of Australia.

To show how sincere I am, I have compiled a list of specific things I would like to apologise for. Australia...I hope you're listening.

*unfolds list, clears throat, and begins to read*

J.A. Rock's List of Apologies and Concessions to Australia

-"Firies" is a good word for firemen.
-You probably do not actually call graham crackers "foodle doodles."
-Your national vocabulary does not sound, as I once proclaimed, "like a Dr. Seuss book."
-"Jelly" is a totally legitimate term for Jell-o.
-I would love to park my car in the car park.
-I support you in the de-sexing of all your pets.
-I will take one flat white, please. Because that's coffee--not paint.
-I will pay for my flat white with a note. Or notes. (I don't know how many notes it will cost).
-Your way of dating things makes total sense.
-Why not have summer in January?
-Gas is when you fart. Petrol is what you put in your car.
-There are more than three Australian actors of consequence.
-I realise that if we keep overusing the letter Z it will no longer be the most coveted letter in Scrabble. So let's use S's where we can.
-Celsius!!!

I hope, Australia and Lisa, that you will accept my apologies. Differences make the world go round. And the International Date Line is not some longitudinal TARDIS that causes Australians to time travel. Australian, American...we're all just people, existing on opposite sides of the planet, on different days of the calendar year, but eating the same jelly and tossing the leftovers in the same bins and using the same portaloos. Figuratively speaking.

And now, I'm off to finish the bag of Freddo frogs that arrived in the mail today from Australia along with the Mark Cooper Versus America contract.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lisa Henry is a Dirty Temptress (and other news)


Lisa Henry and I recently finished writing our fourth book together. It’s a sequel to The Good Boy. We also got a contract on a book called Mark Cooper Versus America. More on that in a minute. Plus we’ll be starting edits soon on When All the World Sleeps, a novel due out from Riptide in early 2014.

So at this point, I’m thinking I deserve a vacation in Nuweiba. Two months long at least, involving cabana boys, and during which I exist in a near-constant state of being massaged.

But then Lisa goes and e-mails me that she has a shiny new idea. And of course nothing is more exciting than New Idea e-mails. And here’s the thing. Not only does Lisa have a new idea—she wants us to plot it out before we write it.


You have to understand, if I could describe our writing process in a single word, it would be “unscripted.” Or possibly “unsober.” We don’t plan. We don’t plot. We’re both wildly disorganized. There was a weird moment before we started When All the World Sleeps when Lisa tried to show me something called a nine-grid plan. I just assumed she’d been spending too much time with the awesome Heidi Belleau and politely ignored it. And then we pantsed the crap out of WAtWS.

But when Lisa told me this new idea, I understood why we might need to plan it out before writing. So we downloaded some character charts. I dug out my old, unread copy of Plot & Structure to study that freak-ass plotty triangle. And we got to planning.

And you know what? Planning’s really fun. Fun in a whole different way from pantsing. I told Lisa this bout of organization had inspired me to change my wall calendar from June to August, but she told me not to get crazy. So it's still on June.

One step at a time. Today, plotting a novel in advance. Tomorrow...I'll have one of those little books people write the shit they need to do in.

So here’s what's coming out in the next few months:

MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA

Lisa and I used this book as free therapy to get over the damaging things we’ve said to one another about our respective countries and English vernaculars. An Australian boy moves to America to attend college, and finds himself homesick, pledging the campus’s douchiest frat, and in love with a guy from a rival fraternity. Also, here’s your chance to see Lisa not treating characters heinously! Nothing all that horrible happens to either of the main characters, and it was way fun to write.

WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS

Formerly Under, this might be my favorite collaboration, if I’m allowed to have favorites. I mean, my mom has a favorite child, and it's definitely not me, so I feel okay about having favorite book babies. WAtWS is the story of a man with a serious sleepwalking disorder who, in his sleep, kills the guy who gay bashed him years ago and becomes a pariah in his tiny southern town. Until he gets a local cop on his side. Creepy, dark, claustrophobic—all of my favorite things. There’s blurbs and stuff over at Lisa’s place. (Do you see why I can’t plan? I’m too lazy to even paste.)

Hopefully the Good Boy sequel—tentatively titled THE BOY WHO BELONGED—will be in there somewhere as well. It’s a Christmas story about Lane and Derek bird-sitting Mr. Zimmerman while Lane attempts to deal with some family drama involving his imprisoned mother. A nice balance of fun and angst. And anginas.

And a solo project, if you're interested in gay not-exactly-romance...

THE SILVERS

This is a book I wrote before J.A. Rock existed. It’s being published under a different name, because while it is about two men, it’s not erotic, or BDSM, or particularly romantic. The Silvers is spec fic about a guy who captains the first crewed mission to a new planet and finds a race of humanlike creatures with major gaps in their emotional spectrum. He falls for one of the creatures who has learned to imitate human emotion, and they embark on a pseudo-relationship without really being able to tell if what they feel for each other is real. It’s got a different feel from my romance writing, but if you like darkness and sci fi and don’t mind an ambiguous ending and lack of sex, I’ll definitely link to my alter ego’s page when I know the release date, etc.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Adventures After Dark: Savannah Nights XXX


Authors After Dark was a lot of fun. It was my first con ever, so I don’t know how it stacks up to others, but considering there was a bouncy castle, little plastic monkeys with penises, a dildo ring toss, discussions of Ent sex, costume parties, and a corset and tattoo salon, I feel like I picked the right con to start with.

It was in Savannah, a city I’ve been obsessed with since I stumbled upon a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good Evil a few years ago. I roomed with Jay of Joyfully Jay, and we decided we should probably take a Segway tour of the city before the con started. I told my mom I was doing that, and she said, “Why don’t you wear a fanny pack while you’re at it?”
Maybe I will, Mom. Maybe I will.



Okay, so it’s hard to look cool on a Segway. Unless you’re Gob Bluth. But I was pretty blown away by the sheer sexiness of this picture of us in our helmets. We are also—though it may not be evident--sweating profusely in this photo. And profusely would be an understatement. Savannah’s a little warm this time of year.








Some of the panels were really cool. I liked learning about zombies, muses, why there’s not so much LBT in GLBT romance, and more. I also got to meet fellow m/m authors Anne Tenino, K.C. Wells, Tibby Armstrong, Kiernan Kelly, B.A. Tortuga, Julia Talbot, Lori Toland, and Brien Michaels, as well as Sarah Frantz, Rachel Haimowitz, and Stephanie Grober of the Riptide crew and the ladies behind Less Than Three Press. And lots of other fun people. Anne crocheted a beautiful rainbow colored penis and gave me a book!

My fangirl writer crush Katey Hawthorne was there as a featured author, and did an awesome job helping to sponsor the Elementals Ball, where I got a picture with these two girls whose costumes for every single party were SO GOOD!!

I have a new satyr friend!
The night of the carnival, I raced Jay and Brien Michaels on the bouncy castle obstacle course. It was some serious Legends of the Hidden Temple shit, and I managed to rugburn the tops of both feet going down the slide on my knees. The wounds goozed for a couple of days. On the third day, Jay helpfully pointed out that they looked pretty infected. So I am now home treating wounds sustained on a bouncy castle. If that doesn’t speak to a successful con, I don’t know what does. I also got to gently nipple-fondle a cardboard cutout of Ian Somerhalder.

Brien Michaels looks sweet, but he is a beast on the bouncy castle!
Jay and I gently fondle.
The night of the Vampire Ball, there was an accidental recreation of the Bridesmaids movie poster. Definitely my favorite picture of the weekend.

From L to R: Stephanie Grober, Anne Tenino, Jay, Me, Katey Hawthorne
Kiernan Kelly gave Jay a little monkey-with-penis keychain that I had to hide my envy of. Apparently I didn’t hide it very well, because Kiernan went and got me one too. Then we made the monkeys do this.


Okay, so maybe it sounds like I didn't do much networking/professional stuff this week. And that's true. But I did learn a lot. And besides, monkey penises! Also, Lisa Henry and I got a contract on a new book, which I'll be telling you about soon. And we just got an idea for another book, which we're plotting right now, so I'd better go...