I’m excited to welcome River Jaymes on the blog. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this live interview with me I know it’s your first one, so it’s really awesome that you are willing to take the plunge.
Yes, the thought of responding without editing my words is rather scary lol. But I woke up early and put my big girl panties on, so I’m good to go!
No kidding. 5am! *shudder* I’m sure our readers will very much appreciate it, though. Often the live interviews are the ones that turn out best As we were chatting about the awesomeness of electronic readers (and tablets) earlier, I wondered how you think eBooks have changed the book market, especially in the M/M genre. How did you stumble upon M/M anyway?
eBooks have had a huge effect on the market! I used to write for a major publisher and things have changed so much in a such a short period of time. These days, an author has so many more options. And that’s a good thing! I’ve written for a major publisher, I’ve written for a smaller epublisher, and I self-pubbed The Backup Boyfriend. I love having options.
As far as stumbling on m/m, two years ago my muse hit a slump and I took a month-long break from writing just to read. An author friend turned me on to fanfiction which led to my first m/m romance novel. And, Jesus, it was like a huge lightning bolt hit – mostly because I never really enjoyed writing women. I don’t find them nearly as fascinating as men
I for one am very glad you found this genre – and I don’t seem to be the only one. I didn’t need a review copy for “The Backup Boyfriend” as I got a copy after MANY of my close friends
bullied encouraged me into buying the book. I think right now it has a rating average well above 4 stars with nearly 1600 ratings. Is there any tip you can give new authors in this genre, who are considering to self-publish?
Find several beta readers and listen to their feedback. Read good books and study the craft. Hire a proofreader. There is no such thing as a perfect book, but put your best work out there. And my favorite rule of thumb? Always assume the reader is smarter than you. In my case, it’s usually true lol!
Seems to have worked pretty well for you! Though one of the most intriguing things about the book for me was that Alec is a doctor and shares that profession with you, so that last sentence is hard for me to believe *g*. I love when authors write about something they know about as it can give a lot of authenticity to the story. How much of yourself do you put into your books – and since we were talking about feedback, do you read the reviews your readers post?
How much of myself do I put in my books? That’s an interesting question. I guess I’d say every character I’ve ever written has a little bit of “me” in them. I share Dylan’s propensity to – uh, how shall I phrase this delicately? – to say what’s on my mind I have a reputation at my day job for doing just that! Alec and I share a love of medicine.
And, yes, I read reviews. But I don’t obsess over them. Some books click with some readers and some don’t. Ultimately, all I can do is do my best and let it go at that.
I think that is a very healthy attitude towards reviews. Writing is often a very personal process; some things will not be very enjoyable to read! I have many friends, who take a lot of time to find the right words to express their opinions on the books they read, though, and it is always good to know that some authors still read reviews of their books. I loved Dylan’s penchant for saying inappropriate things at the worst moments and Alec’s cute rambling when he got nervous. I hate to ask you to pick favorites (Okay- total lie!!! :P), but I would love to know if you are team Alec or team Dylan. And which character was easier to write for you?
I could never pick a favorite but Dylan was much easier for me to write. He is a smart-ass, totally sarcastic, and swears like a sailor – and I LOVED being in his head. It was so much fun Alec is sweet and nurturing, and I suck at both of those traits lol.
I wanted to add that not only is writing a personal process, reading is as well. A wise author told me years ago that, when you write, there are really three books on the page. The one in the author’s head, the one on the page, and the one that gets filtered through the reader’s experience. For example, if I had been cheated on during a relationship, a book with cheating in the plot would mean something different to me than to someone who hasn’t had that experience.
LOL. I must admit that my favorite is Dylan. I can more easily identify with Alec, but Dylan’s bad boy charm combined with the vulnerability we get to see from him is irresistible. He had a difficult past and I can totally see why Alec wants to keep him safe and protect him. They are total opposites, but there chemistry is very hot and explosive *g* I loved that you included some more serious themes as well, so it’s not just hot fluff. It gave the characters depth and made us root for them. Yet it is still a light and easy-to-read romance. I just wondered about the “Gay for you” aspect. It doesn’t feel like you used that trope in the conventional way! Dylan has only been with women, but it seemed he had a harder time admitting that he might have real feeling for anyone, than accepting that he might be attracted to a guy. I actually LOVED how open he was for this new sexual adventure, but there were times when I wanted to smack both of them. Do you think that a guy can be gay for just one other guy are do you think that sexual orientation cannot be labeled as easily as most people think?
Dylan needed someone who would nurture him, which is why he and Alec are such a good match. And because of his life experiences, Dylan didn’t give a rat’s ass about social conventions. He took pleasure wherever he could find it. I was actually a little surprised that some people found this hard to swallow – as if everyone is hung up on sexuality. I’m a very open minded person, so it’s always a shock when I get reminded that many people aren’t! lol
Like all authors, I write what I like to read. And I want a full spectrum of emotions! Life isn’t all sad. Neither is it all happy. I like my books to reflect this.
As far as the Gay For You aspect goes, I really hate labels. I see sexuality as a continuum. In my opinion, trying to apply rigid definitions to straight, gay, and bisexual is sort of a waste of time. Not only that, we are attracted to people in many different ways, not just sexually.
I totally agree! I often just identify as gay, because it’s a pain to always explain that I’m bi with a preference for men. A lot of people have problems with that concept. Which normally wouldn’t even be their business, really *g* It’s still so important, though, to show people that not everyone is straight as an arrow and that it isn’t a bad thing. Especially with the mayor of Sochi saying there aren’t any gay people there. With the new, terrible anti-gay law in Uganda, gay teen suicides that absolutely break my heart and all the other news that show us that equal rights is still not an universally accepted thing :(. I know you live in Alaska (close to Russia) and love snow, so what are your thoughts on the Winter Olympics, if you followed them? Should sport be completely separated from political issues? Did you think the small rainbow rebellion from some countries was appropriate- or not enough?
I can just imagine your frustration with trying to explain the “bi with a preference for men” thing! I find people’s inability to grasp this concept rather perplexing. I address this in the book I’m working on now, The Boyfriend Mandate. Memphis, one of the heroes, had a boyfriend in college (Tyler) and then went on to marry a woman. The public is having a difficult time labeling him, and he finds this incredibly frustrating and, at times, very amusing
I LOVE snow but I haven’t watched any of the Olympics. I was working for almost the entire two weeks so I had zero free time. I felt lucky when I got to sleep and eat! I don’t think we are ever capable of separating sports from political issues, much as we might want to. And I would never label the rainbow rebellion’s efforts as appropriate or not enough. It’s not my place to judge.
Oh, and the suicide and homeless rate for gay teens is heartbreaking.
It’s a very difficult topic. I loved that some countries showed some resistance against the new law in Russia and was proud about Germany’s rainbow colored clothes. I know some of my friends boycotted the Olympics completely, though. What’s going on there is terrible, but I’m not sure the athletes who have trained their whole lives for the chance to participate should be penalized for it. You are right; very difficult to keep these things separate, though. I think it’s a very important thing LGBT authors do – introducing readers to all the different variations of romance and love. I think many people have realized the terrible obstacles and challenges others face, just because of who they are attracted to or fell in love with.
It’s especially sad to me that the unconditional love of parents sometimes doesn’t extend to gay teens. Religious bigotry is especially hard to swallow for me, because as a gay catholic the concept of hating and putting your child in the street for being gay doesn’t seem at all like leaving judgment up to god and treating others with love and acceptance. … I think it’s often just a cover for hatred and small-mindedness! Books have the fascinating ability, though, to enable people to see into the head of the main protagonists and help them understand how others might experience the world – so thank you!!!
The Boyfriend Mandate is the next book in the series? <3 I thought Tyler and Noah were both very interesting supporting characters – though I’m still not sure if I like Noah or not. He can be very annoying, but has his moments and is definitively interesting. Will this book tell more of Tyler’s story and can you tell us a bit more about it? And how important are secondary characters for you when you write a novel?
We’d all like to equate unconditional love with parenthood but the sad truth is that doesn’t always happen. Some people just suck – becoming a parent doesn’t change that. I’ve dealt with enough child abuse cases to last me a lifetime. Then again, as human beings we have an incredible capacity to heal. This gives me hope
The Boyfriend Mandate is Tyler’s story and is about second chances and forgiveness. It also deals with bisexuality and what a difficult concept this is for many people. Memphis makes it his mission to get his ex-boyfriend to loosen up – and I had a lot of fun with this!
Secondary characters are important because no one lives in a vacuum. One thing I’m very careful to do is make sure that I understand each of my characters, even the secondary ones. They all have back stories and motivations that drive them. And all of their actions should be consistent with this – annoying or not lol!
That will be interesting. Tyler does seem a bit cold and stiff at times, so I very much hope that Memphis will be successful. The glimpses we got from the Tyler behind his protective barriers make me really excited to get into his head.
So in “The Backup Boyfriend”, Tyler and Alec broke it off two month ago, I think, and Alec had a difficult time with seeing his ex and the new guy at his side. He bought a Harley that he didn’t even get to start and let Dylan pretend to be his boyfriend. I never completely understood what exactly made Tyler and Alec break-up. Will we learn more about that relationship as well, by getting Tyler’s perspective and will we get to see the characters we know and love from book one? Did you ever make a spur-of-the moment decision like when Alec bought the motorcycle? If yes, did you regret it or did it pay off?
Yes, you learn more about the breakup in book #2. Interestingly enough, Tyler was simply protecting himself. And yes, we do see Noah, Alec, and Dylan in this book. And the story line about each of these men continues – especially for Alec and Dylan. But this is Tyler and Memphis’s story, so they will be the main focus.
I’m not one for spur-of-the-moment decisions. I’m a planner and an analyzer. I’m going to look at a problem from every angle possible before making a move. Sometimes, this can be an incapacitating trait. Especially as you continue to gather data, and more data . . . lol.
Oh, and there’s a scene between Dylan and Tyler in this book that I absolutely love!
God; what a thing to say. You’re bad! After your tease I want to read the second book right NOW! LOL. When can we expect to get our hands on it?
Speaking of great scenes between Dylan and Tyler, you included some very hot and diverse love scenes in “The Backup Boyfriend”. A certain garage scene comes to mind! *sigh* Which is your favorite sex scene/ love scene of the book and was it difficult for you to write those scenes as woman?
Oh, did I make you want to read book #2? Great! lol. I’m shooting for an April release for The Boyfriend Mandate.
I enjoyed the hell out of writing that garage scene, mostly because I really DID have DaVinci’s Vitruvian man on my anatomy text book back in medical school. And I remember reading all those measurements DaVinci calculated and thinking WTH? So immediately my mind began to wander . . . lol
I LOVE a good sex scene, but it should always be about more than just the sex. Insert tab A into slot B bores the hell out of me. Every sex scene should drive the story forward, otherwise you’re just making a lateral move and lateral moves aren’t interesting. Change, growth, conflict, tension – these are the building blocks of a compelling read. Sex is no different. And these are universal emotions so it doesn’t really matter if it’s m/f, m/m, or f/f. Or m/f/m/f/m, for that matter. But I really love writing m/m so much more than m/f. A while back, I told my husband that I think I might be a homosexual male trapped in a woman’s body lol.
Did I get every aspect of the m/m sex scene right? Probably not. But some of the m/f scenes I’ve written aren’t entirely realistic either. But this is fantasy, not reality. And fantasy should always be better than reality, otherwise what’s the point?!?
I love how the different aspects of your book click with each other. Everything reveals something about the characters. The plot and characters are what make a great read for me. Though, I appreciate all the different ‘vehicles’ that are used to tell the stories. Do you think you will stick to contemporary romance or will you explore other subgenres of gay fiction in the future? Like Sci-Fi, PRN, Steampunk, Historical, … ?
I was trained by some pretty hardcore editors – every line had to reveal character or drive the story forward or it got ruthlessly cut! It’s hard to undo that kind of training.
I’m considering writing a romantic suspense series set in a small, wacky town in Alaska. I don’t think I could write anything that wasn’t a contemporary setting – I don’t have that kind of talent!
I’m sure it would be very interesting if you should ever give it a try. I think the core of the story remains the same. But that romantic suspense series sounds very interesting, too.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me. I think I should let you get back to writing, though I had a great time chatting with you. Before you go, I would love it if you could tell our readers about any other WIPs you might be working on and projects you have lined up. I think I heard something about Noah getting his story told after the upcoming “The Boyfriend Mandate”? Is there any excerpt or teaser you could share with us from one of them?
Thanks so much for having me! I really enjoyed the live interview
Noah gets his story in book three of The Boyfriend Chronicles. Unfortunately, I don’t have any excerpts or teasers. I have the first draft of book two written but I have quite a bit of work ahead of me to get it where I want it to be. And Noah has been pushing me to write his story since he waltzed into his first scene in The Backup Boyfriend but he’s just going to have to wait his turn. He hasn’t been very patient lol.
About The Author
By day, River works as a (mostly) mild mannered physician in a remote Alaskan town – and she’s accumulated the wacky stories that come with the job! At night, the author’s inner badass comes out to play. River likes to read and write books with varying levels of humor and plenty of hot, steamy sex between two hunky men.
River’s other interests include medicine, snow, sled dogs, snow, snowmachines, snow, medivacs in the middle of the night, snow . . . you get the drift.
Where to Find the Author
webpage – www.riverjaymes.com
email – email@example.com
twitter – @riverjaymes
goodreads – River Jaymes
facebook – www.facebook.com/river.jaymes.3
THE BACKUP BOYFRIEND
BRAD’S BACHELOR PARTY
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Contest end 2 Mar 2014 @ 11:59pm
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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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