Welcome to a stop on the Absolutely Erotic Blog Hop, where we’re showcasing erotica and erotic romance authors from the Absolute Write forums. Each day, interviews will be posted, and when it’s all said and done, some lucky commenter will win a huge prize! Click here for the entire blog schedule and details about the contents of the prize, and how to win an armload of ebooks, a $25 Amazon gift card, and more.
Hi, Jack! Besides lurking and launching plotbunnies on AbsoluteWrite, we seem to share a relatively new interest in BDSM. I appreciate your wise statement that human coping strategies can be more intense than most people understand. What first drew you to use D/s and BDSM themes in your work?
Hi, MC. [Blushes] Being completely frank, I’ve always loved D/s BDSM, hmmm, videos? Lol. The images are good, but it’s the dynamics in the relationship that trigger me, also the psychology behind why one person will sub, Dom or switch. There’s a lot of courage in all roles, and the ability for a person to just let go and explore their sexuality like that is something special to witness. With Don’t, I wanted that freedom of sensuality and expression, with someone who lived the lifestyle and was frank and open about it.
What is the most interesting aspect about BDSM that you’ve learned in your research and writing?
It surprises me how open people who live this lifestyle can be, and how friendly. I read a lot of terms and view many photos, but it’s nothing compared to just talking to people who live this lifestyle. They’re very honest, and I guess with being brought up where discussion over sex is whispered behind closed doors, it makes such a refreshing change.
Is there any topic you find too taboo to touch? Or too vanilla to waste your time?
Ah. I’ve definitely come across many that have made me blush. Sounding is something I’ve always considered taboo, but not something I wouldn’t cover. I read my first account of it a while back and was really taken by how well it works on paper with a good author behind it. As for taboo I wouldn’t touch? I squirm with rimming. I know many authors have used it, and it’s not even a taboo, but I just come to dead stop at the thought of writing it into a scene. [Blushes again]
You mention on your blog that you’ve been writing for about eight years. Were you writing M/M before starting Don’t…?
I was, yes. Don’t is actually my second novel, my first is being edited with my publisher. That is M/M too. Before that I wrote poetry, alongside studying for my language degree. I’m more at home with writing M/M, though, and I love getting lost in a scene.
Closely related, what genres do you enjoy reading? Is there any book that just clicked for you, and made you say ‘Wow, I want to write like that’ – or ‘Grrr, I know I can write better than that’?
Growing up, I was heavily into horror: James Herbert, Stephen King, Graham Masterton, but since wanting to write M/M, I’ve only read M/M. It’s rare I’ll pick up anything else. I loved, and I mean absolutely went nuts over King Perry by Goodreads’ author, Edmond Manning. That novel is just one of the rare M/M finds that has you up all night turning pages. So I guess it’s a combination of both horror, suspense, and general plot twists (like in King Perry), that made me go “Yeah, I want to write like that.”
I know many artists and writers, myself included, cringe a little when outsiders ask how long it took us to write our first published novels. Each book is different. So instead, I’ll ask how easy was Don’t… to write? Did it flow onto the screen or page like smooth water, or was it a stop-and-start process?
Don’t was incredibly easy, scarily easy even, but it drained my resources completely. Sometimes plots come that just take over, and Don’t was very much like that. I had hiccups along the way, but I had fantastic support from publishers that helped kick things into gear. Don’t is really two individual halves, blended together with an overall theme of BDSM. I knew where was I was going in the first half, then the second slipped into place once the first half was completed. Making sure both parts worked well together was the only complicated issue I had, just needing those subtle hints that blended everything together.
When you wrote it, did one character show up to pester you more often than others?
I love Jack. He’s my mechanic, and one of the most consuming characters I’ve written. He came with a lot of complexity, not only with OCD but severe Conduct Disorder, topped off with being a mechanic and Master’s sub/Dom switch who trains Doms, he was always there, bringing a bucket full of chaos even when it wasn’t his pov, and then just giving me a big grin afterwards.
Music is often a large part of a writer’s life. Do you write or plot to music, and if so, which kinds?
Hell, yes. Music is a huge part of the process. But to me it can be something to help or just glare at. If I haven’t got the right music, I’ll waste time looking for it instead of getting down to writing. I’m a heavy rock fan. ACDC, Iron Maiden, Linkin Park. And I’ll listen to whichever track fits the scene. But then, I also have classical moments, with the likes of Andrea Bocelli or Vittorio. So I’m manic and mild, depending on the scene.
What’s the best advice about your writing you’ve ever received?
“You won’t please everyone.” This has saved me so many times. I love that writing creates debate on such a passionate level, but as far as my work’s concerned, once it’s published, I have to make a conscious decision to let it go and not worry. I’m not going to please everyone, but for those I do, I’m content.
How much research did you do concerning publishers, and what resources did you use?
I actually made a conscious decision to spend time editing for a publisher before attempting to write M/M. I wanted to check out the internal workings as well the external, just get to know how work is handled, what to expect, when to expect it, and how best to communicate. But most of all, not to be afraid to ask. I’ve also spent a huge amount of time on Absolute Write Water Cooler. AW has been a huge, HUGE, learning pool for me, especially with all the talent and knowledge I get to rub shoulders with. Places like their Beware and Recommendations threads have given me an insight into just what questions I should be asking, what contract flaws to look out for. So [huge thumbs up] Absolute Write is it, if you need any writing-help issues.
How many publishers did you query, if any, when you were getting your debut novel ready to face the world? What drew you to ForbiddenFiction?
I was already with ForbiddenFiction with my first novel, and I actually proposed the idea behind Don’t to my Chief Editor. I knew FFP’s tastes (mostly through asking MANY times “You sure I can write this”), and I had a huge amount of guidance off the Story Editor. Because of the company I edit for, I knew my work contained hot content that wouldn’t fit comfortably into most mainstream epublishers, so Forbidden became the choice for me in giving me the freedom to write a story without holding back, or feeling like I was forcing myself to hold back.
How did the editing process treat you?
Fantastic [grins really happily]. I came with prior knowledge of how the process works, but it’s a lot harder being on the author side. With editing, there’s a certain detachment that I like to keep: it’s not my work; I’m just there to offer guidance if and when it’s needed. It allows me to stay as invisible as possible. But on the author side… oh boy. It’s terrifying. But I had gorgeous editorial support during and well after Don’t was published.
How did you celebrate publication?
By hiding, mostly [chuckles]. I was so nervous and stressed out, the publication date went by, and I was still refusing to come from underneath the covers the next day. I always thought the submitting process was the hardest, then editing and cover design etc. But there’s a certain safety with those, that you can go back and alter something if it’s wrong, but once it’s published— it’s out there, gone. And then I just fall back on the “You’re not going to please everyone—ever”, and try and keep a touch of sanity.
What do you think about the future of e-publishing?
In all honestly, I think it’s going to continue growing and growing. We’ve already got the big publishers starting to cash into the smaller epubs and start using it as an outlet. My only concern would be the same that happens to the high street shops: they either get bought out, or go under from the pressure of the big companies.
Given the international attention given to J.R. Ward’s Lover At Last and its main focus on a gay male romance, do you think that LGBTQ romance & other subgenres will become accepted alongside mainstream genres in the near future?
I certainly hope so. There seems a good, firm demand for LGBTQ stories, with Goodreads’ M/M group being a good example here. I think so long as readers are able to come together and are allowed to discuss openly their likes and dislikes, then reader tastes will flourish and seem less of a minority.
Your blog mentions some sequels and new projects. Do you have any larger writing career goals, or do you plan project-by-project?
I’m a pretty “fly by the seat of my pants” girl. I can only work one project at a time. But that just means I give complete focus to one project, and then re-fuel for another. Saying that, my plan for the moment is a series for Don’t. The sequel has already been written, with a third planned that will also blend in a shared-world project author Lynn Kelling and her Deliver Us series. I’m also in the process of a fourth novel, Lie Down With Me, with some short stories to tie in Don’t, and two free projects: one for Goodreads, in the Love Had No Boundaries Challenge, and an anthology with Absolute Write Water Cooler. After that… maybe some sleep! Yeah, sleep would be good. I’ve got my pillows and duvet all fluffed up and ready.
Finally, if you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Techno-idiot at work. I’m useless with technology in any way, shape or form. I’ve had some lovely reviews for Don’t, and I’ve got to be the only author who unliked some of them. I’ve set fire to both the kettle and cooker, mostly when I put the kettle on the cooker, oh, yep; I also set fire to the new cooker when I forgot I was cooking toast. So just a very big techno-idiot label would do me, that and a Fireman’s outfit.
Jack L. Pyke blames her dark writing influences on living close to one of England’s finest forests. Having grown up hearing a history of kidnappings, murders, strange sightings, and sexual exploits her neck of the woods is renowned for, Jack takes that into her writing, having also learned that human coping strategies for intense situations can sometimes make the best of people have disastrously bad moments. Redeeming those flaws is Jack’s drive, and if that drive just happens to lead to sexual tension between two or more guys, Jack’s the first to let nature take its course.
Brief Encounters Blog: http://jacklpyke.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=7515327d535e330f
Buy Link for Don’t (Amazon.com): http://www.amazon.com/Dont-ebook/dp/B00ANR6O3C%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAJBDF5XQBATGDX4VQ%26tag%3Dspea06-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00ANR6O3C
Thank you for visiting this stop on the Absolutely Erotic Blog Hop! Please be sure to visit Jack’s blog on 5-15-2013 to read an interview with Ravon Silvius, and comment for more chances to win the grand prize!