Friday, May 31, 2013

J.A. Rock is here! And the Brat-Tastic Jayk Parker is almost here!

Today on my blog I’m interviewing the fabulous J.A. Rock. J.A.’s new book The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker is out June 4 from Loose Id. You guys should remember Jayk and Amon from last year’s hilarious Wacky Wednesday. Well, this time around, the boys are getting married! But, being Jayk and Amon, I’m sure things won’t exactly go to plan…

J.A., last time I interviewed you, you were some sort of backwoods recluse. Now you’re a globetrotter! Where are you now, and what are you up to?

I am in Valparaiso, Chile right now. Valpo is the cultural capital of Chile, so I’m getting all cultured up. The big issue that’s occupied the last week has been taking care of my lady mullet. It’s the short hair conundrum—if you try to grow it out, the back grows longer than the front, and pretty soon you look like young Wayne Gretzky. So I enlisted the help of my friend’s Argentinian hairdresser boyfriend. He doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish, which is fine, because I’m incapable of giving a hair stylist specific instructions. Finally he agreed to “create on my head.” “Yes,” I said. “That’s exactly what I want. Please create on my head.” I love what he created. Me gusta mi pelo nuevo.

And here’s the question I ask all my guests: What can you currently see outside your window?

I have one of the views I’ve always dreamed of. I can’t really describe it to you, because I have a really hard time describing buildings (you may recall I asked you to take care of the house descriptions in The Good Boy). But look! Pretty iron gatey thing over the window and a view of number 11’s door. It’s not sweepingly scenic, but it feels perfect for some reason.

This is the view from my house’s patio.

I’ll add Valparaiso to the list of places I am currently too poor to visit. It looks wonderful. And the lights make it look magical!

So, after finally sorting out the body-swap in Wacky Wednesday, what have the boys been up to? Apart from planning their wedding, of course.

They’ve been having a great time. Jayk’s much happier after losing his library job, and he’s been helping his English professor with a book on Emily Dickinson’s sister. Amon’s been busy at A&L Financial with events like the Fun-ancial Potluck. And there’s been a lot of bondage and spanking.

Sorry, my eyes glazed over when you said "bondage and spanking". Next question... Was it fun to revisit the boys after a year? Had you always intended to write a sequel for them, or was it the submission call for wedding-related novels that put the idea in your head?

It was so fun! They’re the easiest characters to work with, because they have this momentum where it feels like I’m not even the one telling the story. I hadn’t planned on a sequel, but suddenly last summer I knew I wanted to do one. I got a draft down and sent it to my editor…who told me LI was going to do a wedding submission call and asked if I wanted to release the book as part of that. So I’ve been sitting on this one for almost a year. Which is awesome, because I got to take a long break from it before revising.

What’s the craziest wedding that you’ve ever been to? There has to be a drunken uncle or inappropriate best man story somewhere in your history.

I went to my first wedding last September, after I wrote the book. It was great for fact checking. Actually, I think I went to a couple of weddings as a child, but I don’t remember them. My best friend got married, and I got to be a bridesmaid. I, um, didn’t want to pay for shoes at the bridal shop and have them dyed, so I bought $7 flats at WalMart and painted them. With oil paint. As a longtime oil painter, you’d think I would know that oil paint can take anywhere from two weeks to six months to dry. I did the shoes the week before the wedding. Tracked green paint everywhere—my car, the driveway, the reception hall. Thank god the wedding was outside. But my shoes did match the dress better than those of the bridesmaids who had them dyed! (Until all the paint rubbed off). Other than that, nothing too crazy happened at the wedding, except that I got to see all my best friends in one convenient location. Ooh, and the photographer was almost killed during the post-ceremony hayride. Forgot about that. We hit a rut in the field.

Not that I wish anything bad had happened to the photographer, but that would be a wedding people would always remember, wouldn’t it? None of this rubbish about how pretty the table decorations were, or what colour the flowers were. “Hey, remember David and Anita’s wedding? I’d never seen so much blood before.” I mean, nobody’s going to top that.

So, let’s talk marriage equity. This is something you only have in a few states in the US, I believe, but I can’t judge since we don’t have it here in Australia yet… taps foot and looks at watch…we’re waiting, government, we’re waiting… What issues did this cause for you in planning Jayk and Amon’s big day?

Good question. I didn’t want politics to be the focus of the story, but I was curious about how the political atmosphere could force Jayk and Amon to explore their more personal issues regarding marriage. There’s the added pressure of “Are we trying to prove something?” and “Do people see this as a wedding or as a novelty?” That stress makes them snap quicker when the personal concerns start cropping up.

I was briefly furious when I realized gay marriage isn’t legal in Michigan, where the book is set. Then I remembered there’s a body swap in the book. I’ve already taken poetic license with, you know, reality.
I can’t wait to see them start to snap under the pressure!

Jayk and Amon have been together a while. What should I buy them for a wedding gift? Is The Stockroom off limits?

The Stockroom in infinitely preferable to Bed Bath & Beyond. But Jayk does mention wanting a Jet Ski shaped like a dolphin, if you don’t want to go the sex sling route.

I would go the sex sling route, except I’ll bet the boys already have one stashed away somewhere. I’m scared of dolphins now. I think it was you who told me they’re the rapists of the sea.

In The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker, do we get to see the proposal?

We do, briefly, in a flashback. Amon puts a ring on it while it’s tied to the headboard.
So now that song's stuck in my head... 
And now give me three alternatives proposal scenarios, please.

1. The ring is in a Wendy’s bag waiting on top of Jayk’s car. (I stole that one from my sister’s life).


2. Jayk shaves “Will you marry me?” into Allen Ginspurr’s fur, but before Amon can see it, Ginspurr commits suicide from the shame. But as they’re burying him, Amon notices the question and says yes.
Okay, that’s horrible. I should never be allowed to propose to anyone.
3. They’re on vacation in Australia. They’ve flown there on an aeroplane. De-sexed pets everywhere, bottle shops lining the streets, possums on the rooftops. They’re sitting in a car park near a harbour, wearing sand shoes and drinking flat whites and eating biscuits and lime jelly and admiring the colour of the sky. Suddenly Jayk realises that dosens of saltwater crocodiles are moving slowly toward them, and each croc has a letter painted on its back. The crocs arrange themselves to spell WILL YOU MARYR ME? (two of them got confused). Analysing the situation, Jayk realises Amon must have organised it all. He is honoured, and he promises if they can get out of the car park full of crocs alive, he’ll marry him.

Hmm...I’m sensing a lot of passive-aggressiveness coming off this last answer. Actually, less passive and more aggressive. This is because of the Twitter fight we had the other day about American English versus Real English, isn’t it? Dosens? Really? We don’t remove every “z”, you know. We just like to use them sparingly, as nature and the Gods of the Alphabet intended. I’m buying you a dictionary for Christmas. Sorry, Christmaz.

And now one with all these elements: Lycra shorts, Halloween, a lost credit card, someone called Francine, and a Winnie the Pooh reference. Your time starts now…go!

Jayk’s on a quest for the perfect pair of yellow lycra shorts and a Brando cap to complete his naughty Winnie the Pooh costume for Halloween. He finally finds what he’s looking for in a place called Francine’s Lycra Land and Adult Emporium. But when he goes to pay, he realizes he’s lost his credit card. He asks Amon, who’s dressing as slutty Tigger, if he’s seen it, but Amon plays dumb. A month later, Jayk receives his credit card statement, which shows an exorbitant purchase made at Kay Jewelers. That’s when Amon surprises him with the news that nobody actually stole Jayk’s identity—they’re just getting married. And Amon used Jayk’s card to pay for the engagement ring. Surpriiiiiiiise…

Is it too late for me to rewrite the proposal scene in the book?

Yes, way too late. Also, that picture is strangely disturbing. Last question: What’s your dream wedding? A carriage and a cathedral, barefoot on the beach, or something in between?

You know, I have never had the slightest interest in getting married, so I never had a dream wedding. I think there was a brief period in my teens where I told my parents I’d consent to get married if I could have a Medieval-themed wedding with actual jousting.

Oh my god! Can I come? I’ll sit up the back and be quiet, I promise? It won’t at all be like that time at the local Mediaeval Players night where I hurt the jester’s feelings by giving it back to him. (He started it.) You know what? Let’s not even bother with the wedding. Let’s just organise some jousting!

Thanks so much for being here today, J.A. I can’t wait to catch up with Jayk and Amon and all that body-swapping craziness!

Thanks for having me! I hope you enjoy.

I know I will!
And here is the blurb for The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker:

A year after the body swap that let brat Jayk and his dom, Amon, experience each other’s lives for a day, the pair is ready to be married in a small, stress-free ceremony. Things are going smoothly until they meet Jennifer and Ron Gaines-Brake—a quarrelsome couple with a laundry list of troubles whose wedding is at the same venue. When Jayk and Amon are drawn into the other couple’s drama, their own doubts and fears about marriage start to surface. And when they accidentally switch bodies with Jennifer and Ron the day before the wedding, their simple, stress-free celebration starts looking more and more like a nightmare.

As the couples attempt to deal with each other’s families, secrets, and last minute wedding preparations, things spiral out of control. Add to the mix a missing cat, a vigilant police officer, an intimidating dildo, and a cake like no other, and it’s anybody’s guess whether the weekend will end in bells or bedlam.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Unprofessional Reviews"...WTF?

Oh my god! How dare you review my literary masterpiece, you’re not even a proper reviewer! You’re just someone unqualified person off the street who read my book!

So, some authors out there seem to think that it’s okay to look down on “unprofessional reviews”. I don’t know WTF an “unprofessional review” is because, frankly, unless you’re working a fulltime job as a reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement or something, everything else probably counts as unprofessional, right?

I can’t remember the last time I bought a book based on a scholarly review. Because, let’s be honest, they’re mostly boring. Not only don’t I care if the journey of the MC can be read as a revisionist reinterpretation of Marxist-feminist postmodern theory, I don’t really understand what that means. (Note: probably nothing. I just strung some words I remembered from university together.)

Scholarly reviews are interesting, well, if you’re a scholar. But what about if you just want to know if you’ll like a book or not?

And that’s where all those “unprofessional reviews” come in. Tell me how much you loved a character. Tell me how you wanted to throw your Kindle across the room. Tell me how smexy it was, or how it gave you chills. Because that’s the stuff I want to know about, before I shell out some money for a book.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep on saying it: A reviewer doesn’t need to justify why they liked or hated a book. Either it worked for them or it didn’t. As an author, you shrug and move on. And you know what? It doesn’t even matter. Because for every person who thinks what you wrote was a steaming pile of crap, there will be another one who loved it and wants to have its babies.

And what’s with all this passive-aggressive bullshit lately about “Oh, you just said you hated it, and didn’t give any constructive criticism, that’s not a real review”. Well, a reviewer doesn’t have to give an author constructive criticism. Hell no. The ship’s already sailed on that one, buckaroo, because that was the job of your beta readers first, and your editor second.

And while it’s nice to get a review that tells you exactly what a reviewer liked (or hated), again, that’s not their job. They bought your book. They can paper the cat’s litter tray with it if they really want. And what do you care? They bought your book.

So, authors, take a deep breath, step away from the computer, put the crazy down, and let me sum this rant up for you:

1.    A reader does not need to have a degree in Literary Criticism in order to have a valid opinion.

2.   A reviewer does not have to be a paid reviewer in order to have a valid opinion.

3.  People review books because, generally, they love reading books and then discussing them with other people who also love reading books. Not because they're part of a secret global plot to discredit you. (You're not that important.)

4.   Stop whinging and go and write something.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What Does Your Browser History Say About You?

Okay, so I clear my browser history every day. Mostly because my nine-year-old nephew often uses my computer, and there are things there that I don't want him to see. I'm already known as the relative who taught him the f-word at age three. Which, to be fair, was absolutely not my fault. I'd forgotten he was strapped into his kiddy seat in the back of my car. My invisible car, apparently, since a truck came out of a side street, completely didn't see me, and I had to brake and swerve off the road to avoid becoming a statistic. 

Then, while I was sitting there with my hands shaking on the steering wheel and my heart trying to break out from behind my ribs, a little voice piped up from the back seat: "Aunty Lisa, what's a fuck?" 

If I'd been able to think straight, I might have told him I said truck. 

So, six years down the track, and Tom uses my computer a lot. And, after one (fortunately closely monitored) incident where he wanted Google, typed "g" in the search bar and it defaulted to gaytube, I've learned to cover my tracks. 

But it did get me thinking about what my browser history says about me. 

Because, as a writer, I go off on whatever interesting tangent my imagination tells me to. A lot of the time this is porn. Which I can totally excuse as research, so there's that. But sometimes it's actual research, and I wonder what red flags are being raised when I spend a whole night searching "yellowcake" "armament factories" and "nuclear weapons". 

Surprisingly difficult to get information on the subject, to be honest. Unless you're a terrorist, I suppose, but maybe they don't use Google. Because I really want my guy to work in a factory that makes missiles, and even though I've found some great pictures, I'm pretty certain I need to know what those awesome-looking machines actually do before I write about them. I mean, it's only peripheral information, but I don't want to screw it up. 

Also, I don't want to get put on a no-fly list, so I don't know... 

Back to porn, I guess. 

Now, if you'll excuse me I need to delete my browser history before I get, "Aunty Lisa, what's an emergency twink?" 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Boys in lingerie...what's not to love?

Well, here's a topic causing some consternation for some readers of the Courier Mail today: lingerie designed specifically for men. 

But really, what's the big deal? It never fails to amaze me that some people get so offended by what other people are wearing... or sleeping with, or wanting to marry... Haven't we all got more important things to worry about? 

Source: The Courier Mail

Seriously, if a man in lingerie offends you, don't date one. I think it's fun, sexy, and a little bit naughty...which is exactly what men have been getting out of women in lingerie for decades, right? Turnabout is fair play. 

Meanwhile, I hope that HommeMystere does very well. And yes, they ship from Australia to overseas. You should totally check out their site. 

And I wonder what my BF would say if he unwrapped this for his birthday: 

Source: HommeMystere

Friday, May 3, 2013

FREE: The Naughty Boy

The Naughty Boy is here! Well, not here-here, but over at Loose Id. 

And it's FREE until 8 May, during which time The Good Boy will be reduced to $5.99. 

You read the blurb last time, so here's an excerpt: 

“It’s not every day you get to dress a hot piece of ass up for a first date with your ex-boyfriend,” Brin announced as he dragged Lane into his bedroom. “You’re lucky I’m a nice person, or I’d convince you to wear plaid.” 

Lane looked worried, but that was nothing new. Brin figured he was worried about being here, about his date with Derek, and about this whole fashion makeover thing. Of course Lane probably worried about everything: the fiscal cliff, how gravity worked, and whether or not Lassie really would come home. Not to mention that whole SEC investigation, which, to be fair, Brin supposed was actually worth worrying about. 

“Is that…um, is that a problem?” Lane asked, warily casting his eye around the room. 

Ferg had done what he could to keep the bedroom neutral, but Brin had made his mark. The bedazzled comforter, the growing collection of glass angel figurines that were ironic, and the lampshade with candy-pink beads hanging off it. Ferg had been so boring before Brin. Apart from the bottom drawer of the dresser, of course. Brin had wanted to make a wall display of paddles and floggers, a kind of shrine to good old-fashioned ass-walloping BDSM, but Ferg had put his foot down. Mostly because his parents visited a lot. Mom and Dad McIntyre had already used up a lot of their open-mindedness since meeting Brin, and Ferg didn’t want to drain that well entirely dry. 

“Plaid? It’s a huge problem, Laney.” He pushed Lane toward the bed. “Now take a seat here, and let me work some magic.” 

“I meant…” Lane trailed off. 

Brin knew exactly what Lane meant, and he’d brought it up in the first place because there was no point ignoring it. Derek was Brin’s ex, and now he was Lane’s…boyfriend? Close enough, even if Lane and Derek weren’t advertising it. So acknowledge it, joke about it, and get the hell over it. Brin would always love Derek as a friend, but they’d both moved on. Well, Brin had. And this afternoon—getting Lane dressed up for his big first date—was Brin’s way of making sure Derek moved on as well. Other than sticking a bow on Lane’s ass and tying a gift tag around his cock that saidBest wishes, love Brin, he wasn’t sure how much more supportive and encouraging he could be. Which wasn’t to say that Derek had been heartbroken after Brin asked for time apart—they both knew that was the best decision—just that it had taken Derek a while to put himself out there again. He was busy with his work and his family and his comfortable rut. Well, not tonight. Tonight Lane was going to look hot as hell, and if Derek didn’t end up balls-deep in the kid by the end of the night, well, there was no helping him. 

Brin flung open the closet doors. Ferg’s stuff was on one side. Boring, boring, boring. Brin’s stuff was on the other side and in the back, slowly encroaching on Ferg’s like an untamed jungle full of weird, exotic creepers. Or maybe that was just the one vivid purple floral unitard that was part of a Halloween costume and therefore above suspicion. 

Okay, there was also the rainbow halter top, which Brin hadn’t worn since his New York-club days. He rifled through the clothes. Lots of tank tops. He didn’t think Real Girls Eat Meat would suit Lane. Or Let’s Get Weird. Or the whiteSouthern Bitch cutoff tank with the Confederate-flag-patterned rose. 

“What is that?” Lane asked. 

Brin looked. Lane was pointing to a lime-green ’70s-vintage prom dress, one puffy sleeve poking out from behind some T-shirts. “That is one of my favorites,” Brin replied breezily, continuing his hunt, the hangers sliding over the bar. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Naughty Boy - coming on Thursday

The Naughty Boy is out on Thursday from Loose Id! Here's the cover: 

The hot man on the front of the Spring Fling promo titles from Loose Id isn't how I'd pictured Brin at all. Must be Ferg, hmm? Well, he can spank me with his wooden spoon any day, that's for sure! 

And don't forget -- The Naughty Boy is FREE from May 2 until May 8. 
During the same period, The Good Boy will be reduced to $5.99 on the Loose Id site! 

And here's the blurb: 

Brin and his Dom, Ferg, have enjoyed a fun, sexy domestic discipline relationship for years. Brin knows his role--flamboyant, fabulous brat--and Ferg knows it's his job to play the big bad Dom, giving Brin the punishment he desperately craves. When Brin is tasked with dressing his new friend Lane Moredock for a date with Brin's ex, Derek, he's excited--fashion is what he knows best, and Lane is going to look stunning. But what should be a fun afternoon takes a serious turn when Brin sees that Lane has been injured, and Lane's reluctance to tell Brin the truth about it makes Brin start to question who he is, why things didn't work with Derek, and what people really think of him. Is he just a flittery, glittery fashion fairy? Or does he mean something more to the people he loves? And can he find a way to bring these doubts up with Ferg--or is Ferg going to have to Top his way to the bottom of this?