Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Nico Jaye for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: He’s Just Knot That Into You
Author: Nico Jaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska
Genre/Sub-Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
When Tanner moves to Chicago for a new job, he experiences his First Shift, a revelation that signifies he’s met his mate since the last full moon. The only problem? He doesn’t know who it is. To find his mate, he enlists his new assistant Jon to arrange a series of dates, but each one turns out more disastrous than the last.
With the next full moon quickly approaching, Tanner finally determines the identity of his true mate. Unfortunately, Jon has since disappeared, and Tanner must now begin a new search. Is it really Jon’s family crisis pulling him away, or is Jon just not that into him?
We are here today to talk about He’s Just Knot that Into You. What can you tell us about it?
Thanks for having me, PBA! =) He’s Just Knot That Into You is what happens when werewolves, fluff, and pantsing meet, have some kinky threesome action, and end up with a book baby. I had werewolves on my mind after reading Kresley Cole’s MacRieve (from the m/f paranormal series Immortals After Dark), seeing the MTV series Teen Wolf, and doing a rewatch of the Harry Potter series. Because werewolves are seriously cool, I of course wanted to write them. However, unlike the angsty werewolf stuff I’ve seen out there, I wanted fluffy werewolf action.
The title came to me first (because knotting is awesome), and the idea of a series of incredibly bad dates just followed. I wanted my alpha werewolf Tanner not to know who his mate was, but to know that his mate was out there. As such, I chose to create a world where the alpha werewolves experience their First Shift only after they’ve met their mate. Up until then, the alpha has never shifted, so in addition to experiencing the wildness of a werewolf state for the first time, he (or she—alphas can be female, too) will also know their mate is close by.
The story has a rom-com, comedy of errors feel, and it’s definitely not to be taken seriously. *winks* I bring up pantsing, too, because this story is the first one I’ve ever written by the seat of my pants (i.e., without an outline). There are some zany twists and turns, and I don’t think I’d have had the gumption to include them if I had felt tied to an outline from the start.
Tell us more about Tanner and Jon?
Tanner and Jon! They’re coworkers, but y’know…more than coworkers, if you get my drift? At least, they are by the end of the book, but holy moly does it take Tanner a while to figure that out. You see, Tanner is pushing thirty, and in werewolf years, that’s pretty far past his prime for having experienced his First Shift. Tanner’s kind of stubborn and stuck in his ways, so he takes a dating approach to finding his mate, who remains juuuust out of his grasp. Little does he know Jon is right there. Jon’s younger by quite a few years, though, and Tanner doesn’t consider him much of a candidate. Once they do get their act together, Tanner and Jon are just so sweet (and rather naughty!) together. I adore them, and Tanner sure makes me blush sometimes. Jon appreciates his talents, however. =)
What about He’s Just Knot that Into You makes you the proudest?
Tough question! I love the guys a lot, but I’m also one of those writers who will always wonder, “Oh man, I don’t know if anyone else is gonna love them, too…” There’s a primal bond between Tanner and Jon I think a lot of people who read shifter books will connect with. That’s probably what I’m most proud of—forging that tie (not just a knotty tie, either!) between the two men that I myself as a reader of shifter stories look for in a relationship between alphas and their mates.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Have fun with it! There are a lot of “don’t”s out there, but I’d rather list off some “do”s. Do take risks. Do love your characters. Do what you think is going to make you happy. Do write what you love. Do read books constantly. Do surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Do practice practice practice because writing will only improve with time. Do submit that manuscript for consideration because you never know what’ll happen next…
If you could be one of your characters who would you be and why?
Ooooh, you guys have such good questions! Although I’ve written a number of contemporary stories, I’d actually lean toward the otherworldly because I’d love to experience the world from that perspective. I’m torn between Jack in my historical short story A Time for Loving and Tanner in He’s Just Knot That Into You.
In A Time for Loving, Jack is a valet—a gentleman’s gentleman—to Christopher, his nobleman lover. Since this story is set in the Regency period, I would love to experience the world through Jack’s eyes. While life might be easier from Christopher’s place, Jack’s the character who really spoke to me in that story. The sacrifices Jack has made, the love he feels, and all of the behind the scenes gossip appeal to me a lot more than living Christopher’s life of social niceties.
In a similar way, I’d be so curious about being a werewolf, like Tanner in He’s Just Knot That Into You. He’s lived his life surrounded by that culture, yet he hasn’t been able to fulfill that werewolf potential until now. I’d be so interested in the physical nature of the different senses, the bodily changes, and the emotional connection to my mate. I tried to capture the raw nature of a shift in the story, and it just fuels my imagination to consider how wild and crazy life would be like in his shoes.
How do you keep characters consistent through a story? Do you write out extensive character bibles?
What I do for each character really depends on the story. To be completely honest, I have a pretty good sense of my characters before beginning to write the story. In terms of personality, I actually feel like I know them already. For some, like Tanner and Jon, I kept a file with pertinent information such as birthdates, star signs, Chinese zodiac signs, general background, physical characteristics, and the like. For other characters, like Lee in Sex and Candy, I knew who he was and decided not to write any of those factual details down. Since Sex and Candy is a short story, what was more important to me than conveying his specific history or background was rather to understand how Lee would react in that particular setting. Once I had a handle on his personality, the story and character just followed.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
Hahhaha, honestly? I’m cramming Japanese and Korean guidebooks and phrasebooks. I’m on a trip to Japan and Korea right now, and I’m nervous as all get out about the whole language thing. =) For pleasure, though, I’ll soon pick up a couple of Amy Lane books that I’ve had on my Kindle for a while (Candy Man and Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair). I also just bought the whole Tales of the Harker Pack shifter series by Tara Lain. Can’t get enough of those werewolves! =)
Rapid Fire Time
- Whips or Chains? Whips (really, though? riding crop!)
- Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos
- hot air balloon or blimp? Hot air balloon
- Tax Audit or Enema? Tax Audit…I guess? >__<
- Shifters or Vampires? SHIFTERS
- Pastel or neon (bright?)? Neon/bright
- Boxers or Briefs? Briefs…eensy weensy ones from Andrew Christian.
- Trees or Flowers? Flowers
- Sausage or Hamburger? Sausage
- Mayo or Miracle Whip? Mayo
What are you working on? What is next?
I just picked up a prompt from the M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event, so I’m working on that. The prompt is here, and it calls for a story about frat boys. Hells yeah! *grins* It’ll be fun and free! The free DRitC stories are posted throughout the summer, so be on the look out for them.
As for what’s next, my novella Where There’s Smoke will be part of Dreamspinner Press’s Daily Dose this June. Yay! The theme for this year’s Never Too Late package is men over forty. Where There’s Smoke, which will also be available as a standalone novella, features a kinda geeky, kinda chubby medieval studies professor and his slightly older neighbor…who happens to be a super hot fireman. I had a ton of fun with this story, so keep an eye out for it in June!
A note from Nico: Some of you might be wondering what First Shift means to an alpha werewolf in this universe. Well…here’s a little taste of the opening scene. Hope you like it!
He’d suspected nine days ago, but he hadn’t dared to hope.
This night, though, with the first full moon since he’d started at Dilarium, confirmed it.
Curled up on his side in the living room of his subleased townhome, Tanner gritted his teeth, his eyes squeezing shut as he felt the irrepressible movement of bones shifting beneath his skin. The silky carpet was cool and soft against his cheek, and he pressed his face into it, struggling with that over which he had absolutely no control. His body was on fire, his blood pumping through his veins at supersonic speed. An invisible spike pierced his fingertips, one by one, while his jaw rearranged itself on his face.
He couldn’t hold back the scream that ripped through him as he felt his spine stretch, then curve, turning him into that one elusive form he’d craved for all of these years: werewolf.
A First Shift was supposed to be the hardest.
The first time bone broke and mended in its transformation into that creature of the night. The first time claws extended, pointed tips puncturing nail beds to replace human fingers. The first time fangs punched out, the teeth of a hunter replacing those of a benign human.
A First Shift was shocking. It was thrilling. It was painful.
Above all, it was exhilarating.
A First Shift meant he had found his mate.
About the Author:
Nico Jaye is a fan of all things HEA and has dragged her romance collection along for her moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Chicago to New York and back. She thinks reading is awesome and loves that she can hang out night after night with crinoline-wearing debutantes, brawny firemen in suspenders, and werewolf shifters with Scottish brogues. An overall feline enthusiast, Nico secretly (or not so secretly?) adores Hello Kitty, cat GIFs, spontaneous traveling, pretending to be crafty, emoticons, hot menfolk, and parenthetical statements (not necessarily in that order). After starting as the pitcher for Team Awesome (literally) and visiting places like South Africa, Oman, and Fiji, Nico discovered that letting the boys in her head tell her where they want to go could actually be the most exciting journey of all.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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