Jacob, Thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for the members of Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Facebook group;
Thank you for having me! I was extremely humbled that you wanted to interview me for your Facebook group. But you should know, I’m a bit shy, so I’ll try not to make too big of a fool of myself. Luckily, I brought along some tequila and a masseur to help with the nerves. I can’t think of anything better than alcohol and a hot man to alleviate the stress. Can you?
I live in Victoria, Texas. It’s a small, conservative town so not much really happens here. To really have fun and let it all hang out, you have to drive two hours to San Antonio, Houston, or Austin. And, yes, I do make that drive on occasion. We all deserve to cut loose every once in awhile, right?
As you probably know, writers rarely like to toot their own horns…lol, but what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
If I could toot my own horn, I’d never leave the house. Wait a minute. I have a feeling that wasn’t what you were referring to. See, there I go again. Open mouth, insert, um, foot.
Now what were you asking me again? Oh, right. I remember.
My greatest accomplishment in my life is my daughter. She is what I take the most pride in, and she is the cornerstone of my happiness. Because of her, I’ve grown into a much better man. For me, there truly is no greater joy in my life, and I gauge my success by her happiness, health, and outlook on life. There’s no better accomplishment than seeing your child grow and thrive.
In terms of being an author, I have to say my greatest accomplishment is having published 6 books since coming on the gay fiction scene in October 2012. It had been a longtime goal of mine to become a published author, but it was something I put off for one excuse or another: I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t have the time, or I was afraid of failure. But I’ve learned not to compare myself to others. I can only compare myself to myself and use that as a measure of success. And if I want something bad enough, I can’t let a busy life or fear of failing stop me. I have to seize the day and make it what I want it to be.
Without getting too personal, would you share a little about your home life?
Wow. This is a tough one. I just ended a ten-year relationship. It’s been a difficult few months, but as they say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That’s my new mantra. I’ll grow from this experience and become a better person because of what I’ve been through. I cherish the memories I built, but I have to look forward to the future. Looking back keeps you from moving on.
Inspiration comes in various forms. I never know when my muse is going to pick up the bat and whack me upside the head. He just does! I’ve been inspired by a song or a particularly moving image. I’ve even been inspired by a dream. In fact, a nightmare I had a few years ago was the entire reason I wrote The Gifted One. In my dream, I was confined in a dark room with only a lone door in front of me. Something was on the other side trying to get in while I was trying to keep the door shut. The door turned to paper and then caught on fire. I had no choice but to back away, and when the door was gone I knew whatever was on the other side was going to get me. Luckily, this blinding light appeared and when I turned around to see who brought the light, I woke up. The next morning I asked myself: where was I? What was on the other side of the door and who came to rescue me? My answers to the questions turned into The Gifted One.
You have just a couple novels using mystery, thriller, or suspense elements. Do you plan to tackle the genres again anytime soon?
I do. I have several ideas bouncing around in my head. I can’t go into too much detail right now because they are just sketches of ideas but one involves a gay serial killer and another involves magical brothers facing a whole horde of problems and evil.
Do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing or plot out your storylines in detail?
Oddly enough that has changed for me. I used to be a plotter. When I wrote my first three novels—Moral Authority, 3, and The Gifted One, I plotted the majority of the books out beforehand. However, my latest books have been more off the cuff. I’ve let the characters speak to me and do what they wanted. It’s been interesting for me. For someone who’s as anal retentive as me, letting go of the reigns is difficult but surprisingly enough there’s been a certain about of liberty in abandoning control of my creative side to my muse.
The Gifted One was released in 2013, which is a gay paranormal romantic thriller with mysterious elements. As with this novel and others you have written, you have included paranormal and supernatural elements with some of the characters. What are your influences in creating such characters?
They are mostly based on what I’ve read over the years. When I was fleshing out the characters for The Gifted One, I knew exactly who I wanted to be the angel Matt fell in love with. It was the Archangel Gabriel. I chose him because he is the bad boy of the angels. As the Angel of Vengeance, he’s grittier and not quite as squeaky clean. After all, Gabriel’s horn is supposed to bring about Judgment Day. I knew some information about Gabriel, but as I researched him more I came upon The Book of Enoch, an apocryphal text of the Bible, and I was fascinated. It details the fall of a group of angels called The Watchers, and it was a story that Gabriel took part in. After reading The Book of Enoch, I had ideas for the entire cast of characters—both the heavenly and the hellish.
Have had you ever had to deal with homophobia after your gay novels are released, and if so, what forms has it taken?
Thankfully, I have not had to deal with any sort of homophobia in relation to my novels or in my life. Even though I live in a rather conservative Texas town, my friends and colleagues have been quite accepting of my work. I’ve been blessed.
Which living actor would you cast to play your protagonist, Mark Bryan, from the Moral Authority? And the charming stranger, Isaac Montoya?
Ooh. Good question. I think I would choose Taylor Lautner to play Mark. I think Taylor would be able to capture the innocent yet rebellious attitude of Mark. Although Mark longs to change the dystopian world in which he lives, his naïveté gets him in trouble more often than not.
For Isaac, I’d choose William Levy. He certainly has the sexy looks and charming attitude to pull off Isaac. Plus William is just so damn adorable; the audience would be taken in by him just as Mark was.
Congratulations on the re-release of Moral Authority from Wilde City Press, which made The Novel Approach Top Pick 2013 list. Can you share with us a little about the plot with our readers?
I’d love to. Moral Authority actually follows three different characters—Mary Bryan, Isaac Montoya, and Samuel Pleasant. They live in America of 2050, where lifestyle legislation rules the land. The Moral Authority is actually the name of the fourth branch of government that was created to provide citizens with a moral code of conduct.
The Moral Authority was created to combat rampant crime, domestic terrorist threats, and increased national discontent. It was the hopes of the government to provide a federal agency that would be challenged with creating a moral compass for all to follow. Fostering civil peace amidst national chaos was the goal. If we could be united, then order would be established.
The Moral Authority did achieve that goal, but success always comes with a price.
Morality, a subjective term, is now defined by the government. If an act, lifestyle, or behavior is deemed immoral, it is then considered illegal.
Cursing is outlawed and caloric intake is monitored. Being a homosexual and getting a divorce are criminal offenses. The decisions many made at home now fall under government jurisdiction.
In short, the government runs our lives, and Moral Authority charts the path of a nation that defines and limits civil rights instead of broadening them for all.
On behalf of the Facebook Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Fiction Group, thank you for giving us a little of your time today, answering questions fans of the genre want to know.
Thank YOU for having me. And I want to thank all of your readers who took the time to read this interview. I appreciate you spending your time with me.
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