Tell us about your recent Riptide release. What was the inspiration behind it?
Actually I have two books coming out this month through Riptide. The first is a weretiger gay romance entitled Forest of Thorns and Claws. I’m very excited about this one because I was inspired by the idea of an animal conservationist falling in love with a local of the rainforest who also happens to be a tiger shifter. The novel is set in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra, and comes out May 15.
The other book coming out soon is Fraud Twice Felt, which is the second book in the dystopian university of the Oddities, where monsters of Japanese legend roam the wilderness, and humans with strange powers struggle against a society who wants to use or destroy them. My inspiration for this series was a combination of my love for the X-men comics and watching a lot of anime.
2. What can readers expect when they read a story from you? What would you like potential readers to know about you and your books?
Readers should expect a lot of action and suspense—I also have a thing for muscular men. Everything I’ve published so far also has a lot of sex (and often BDSM) in it, but I’m currently writing a YA novel that won’t have any sex in it, so that depends on the audience. I like to get in deep to the characters’ minds with lots of internal dialogue, a fair amount of angst (but not too much), and men who may struggle with letting others help them.
I started out writing fanfiction and also wrote fantasy under another name, before I decided I was happiest writing LGBT romance. I love fantasy, so in the full length novels, expect something magical or otherworldly. In addition, readers should know that I love including different cultures and locations. My partner is Japanese-American, so I have a particular fondness for Asian cultures.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing your latest release?
I know that I’m passionate about the environment and the conservation of natural habitats and animal species threatened by humans. However, I didn’t realize just how important these issues were to me until I started writing in Donovan’s viewpoint as an animal conservationist for Forest of Thorns and Claws. I’d never thought I’d write a shifter novel, but this book demanded to be written because of the threats facing the Sumatran tiger.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I wish I was a fast writer or that I could carve more time out of my busy schedule to dedicate to writing. At this time in my life, I can’t. I’m the sole breadwinner for the family, so I work more than full time at a day job. In addition, my partner and I have health issues that require a lot of time and attention.
What this means is that right now it takes me about a year and a half to write a book. I work on more than one book at t time, though, which helps increase what I publish. It’s probably going to take me another ten months to finish the third Oddities book as well as the YA paranormal romance that I’m working on.
Describe your workspace.
Workspace? Ha! What workspace? Right now I’m working in a call center, and doing most of my writing long hand in a physical notebook in the minutes or seconds I have free between calls. Then at home I’m typing that into my computer in my home office, or into my laptop while I’m sitting in bed watching NCIS with my honey. I’m also using my breaks in the breakroom and occasionally sitting in Starbucks, typing away. I try to make use of every scrap of time I can get, so location doesn’t matter. I carry a little flash drive and my Surface Pro wherever I go. My workspace is me, a pen, and a piece of paper if that’s all that I’ve got.
I’ve even been known to write fiction into the “Notes” app on my phone.
Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to cure it?
I can’t afford to get writer’s block, with my limited time to write. Thankfully, I don’t tend to run into blocks—I’ve done enough writing in my life that I’m able to push through any internal resistance. What I’ve found, also, is that resistance comes when there’s something not right in the book—maybe I’ve oversimplified the problem or maybe I need to think more about the situation and look at it from different angles.
My usual solution is to daydream the upcoming scene, replaying it from different viewpoints or thinking “What is my antagonist up to at this point? What more can go wrong for the protagonist?”
That tends to fix it. Also, I always am writing more than one book at a time, which helps me. If I’m stuck on one, I work on another until I’m unstuck.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
So this month there are the two books being released, and as I said before, I’m currently working on a YA gay paranormal romance and the third Oddities book. The YA one is about 80% done, and the Oddities book is about a third done. This book will complete Derwin and Elliot’s romantic arc and reveal a lot more about the overall series plotline. I’m planning on three more books in the series with a different pairing—Stefan Morales, who readers meet in Fraud Twice Felt as Elliot’s best friend, and Calvin Norbright who will remain in the shadows for now. (But readers can find some information about Calvin on my blog here: https://wordpress.com/post/jthallwriting.wordpress.com/1588)
Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote? That would be from Miracle Max in Princess Bride: “Have fun storming the castle!”
Or was that supposed to be a quote from a character in one of my books? Right now that would be “He’s one of them!” To say more would be a spoiler, so I’ll leave it at that.
I’m so excited to be featured as Riptide’s Author of the Month, and I hope readers enjoy the adventures of Derwin and Elliot in the Oddities series, and the struggles of Donovan and Kersen to protect their homes in Forest of Thorns and Claws. Thank you!