Responding to requests that I participate in the Weekly Saturday Author Interviews

After interviewing ten authors thus far for the Weekly Saturday Author Interview series, I’ve had several requests to participate as well – so, at the risk of appearing self-serving, this week I answer the standard questions (with some modifications) asked of previous interviewees. Hope you enjoy!

Where do you live?

I live in the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia, in a suburb about two miles north of infamous Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.

photo1What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

This may sound cliché or corny depending on your frame of reference but first and foremost what I am most proud of is being in a relationship – albeit not yet allowed legally to wed in my state – for 29 years. That’s ancient in gay years for sure. I met my partner, Rick, while in a bar in Midtown Atlanta, the Armory, when I was quite drunk and made a lewd gesture (I grabbed his crotch) to him. A bartender I knew had actually asked Rick to take me home to keep me safe. He tucked me in his bed and slept on the soda. We’ve been together ever since.

Without getting too personal, can you share a little about your home life?

Well, I shared some about how I met my partner above, but to expand a little more, We bought our first home in nine years after being a couple, realizing we’d be together for the long haul. We anticipated being in our home for a few years before making another move. We’ve yet to move from our original home.  We have four monstrous terriers; one boy and three girls, of which two are mother and daughter.  In 2009 during the worst of the economy, I was laid off from a company I’d been with almost 20 years. We took a very big leap at that time and I began working with my partner to increase our business. We’ve managed not to kill each other.

What inspires and challenges you most in writing?

My inspirations are varied, but I love to watch people in public. My previous corporate career required lots of traveling and I would often spend time much in airports awaiting connections, weathering cancelled flights while watching people, imagining their lives. Most interesting ones have become characters in my stories, so watch out! Challenges; they are too numerous to list, but some I mention may be familiar to many writers. I am very introverted. Writing is one thing, but putting myself out there to market and promote is far more challenging for me. One of the reasons I attended GRL this year was to meet and mingle with other writers and readers in a very open, comfortable environment.

2013-10-19 14.47.50 2013 GayRomLit, Atlanta GA

You’ve answered this question a lot of times, but please indulge our readers (and fellow writers): Do you fly by the seat of your pants when writing or plot out your storylines?

I am a total puntster on short stories and novellas, but for longer works, I tend to sketch a minimal outline, create bios of main characters and build upon that as I go. Rarely do I outline detail until I’ve reached about fifty to seventy five percent mark of a longer story.

SwitchHitter_cvr-FINAL You are a relatively new author, writing mainly in the gay mystery, suspense/thriller and erotica genres. How about an update?   

My goal is to spending more time writing in the gay mystery, suspense/thriller genre and finishing one of my current WIP, a paranormal romantic novella with strong mystery/thriller elements. This is my first paranormal-themed story, and the amount of research into the subject matter has been extensive to ensure I get things. I am also working to finish the sequel and final part to False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1, which I hope to have out sometime in 2014. False Evidence was released last spring, but just six weeks after release my publisher closed the doors. I spent a few weeks researching to find another publisher willing to re-release my backlist as soon as possible. The publisher who offered contracts to re-release the erotic thriller I co-wrote with Alex Morgan, Switch Hitter, is Wilde City Press. I’ve also signed a contract to re-release False Evidence with WCP, but waiting to re-release until I’ve finished the sequel. We feel it’s best to combine both False Evidence and the sequel under the title Murder Most Deadly. Wilde City Press just released my debut full-length novel, Pretty Boy Dead, a police-procedural, mystery/thriller featuring closeted homicide detective, Kendall Parker, the first in what I hope is a long series.

False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1
False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Absolutely! Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Ice-Cream, neuromuscular massages and Tia Maria on the rocks.

Have had you ever had to deal with homophobia after your gay novels are released, and if so, what form has it taken?

Actually, no, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering I only began publishing since late 2008. Acceptance these days is far greater to most writers, if not all, of the gay mystery, suspense/thriller genre, I clamored to read twenty-thirty years ago the moment each of their novels was released. Ground-breaking novelist such as Victor J. Banis, Vincent Largo, Felice Picano, Michael Nava, Joseph Hansen, Richard Stevenson, Michael Craft, Mark Richard Zubro, among many more.

At the risk of “sounding self-serving” (a comment from Spock in Star Trek (2009)) can you share a little about your current release and/or WIP?

Earlier this month, I released a debut full-length novel, Pretty Boy Dead with, Wilde City Press, the first in my planned Kendall Parker Mysteries series.

PrettyBoyDead_cvrFINAL_FINALClink on the link below for a blurb and excerpt of Pretty Boy Dead.

http://www.jonmichaelsen.net/?page_id=97

Early reviews of Pretty Boy Dead:

“Pretty Boy Dead is a well-written police procedural with an engaging plot and well-developed characters. As an opening for the new series, it works perfectly – while this story is done, you want to know more about Kendall Parker. Hopefully, there will be much more.” – Reviews by Jessewave

Read the entire review: http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/2013/11/20/pretty-boy-dead/

“…early on the “who” and” why” in regards to the murder seemed fairly obvious. But then the author throws out clues that make the reader think maybe they haven’t quite gotten it figured out after all. This was the case for me for sure. There is one thing that I can say that I most definitely did not see coming. This is a good thing because for a while there, I was beginning to think that the story was a little bit too predictable. Thankfully that predictability flew out the window.” – On Top Down Under Book Reviews

http://ontopdownunderbookreviews.com/pretty-boy-dead-kendall-parker-mysteries-1/

Find Jon Michaelsen on the web:

www.jonmichaelsen.net

http://www.facebook.com/KendallParkerSeries

Now Available: PRETTY BOY DEAD

UPDATE: New Releases, Re-releases and Current WIPs

Many of you know my former publisher, loveyoudivine, closed its doors for good June 30, 2013 and I had to move quickly to figure out a plan for my published titles and future works. I needed to wait until the rights for FALSE EVIDENCE (Murder Most Deadly I) and SWITCH HITTER returned to me before looking for a new publisher. I have found a wonderful publisher who not only agreed to re-release these novellas, but also offer re-editing and new covers.

The re-release of SWITCH HITTER, a sexy erotic thriller novella co-written with author, Alex Morgan, was released by my new publisher, Wilde City Press (http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-erotica/switch-hitter/#.Ug7CiO7D_IU) this week, which you can pick up currently at their website, and in a couple weeks at other fine etailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and others. SwitchHitter_cvr-FINAL

For those curious about the sequel to FALSE EVIDENCE (Murder Most Deadly I), I am happy to report that I have signed a contract to release both parts I and II with Wilde City Press. After much discussion with my editor, we’ve decided to release both parts combined in one novel with the title, MURDER MOST DEADLY. In fact, my current WIP is the second and final portion of FALSE EVIDENCE, which we are targeting for release later this year. I will keep you updated via my blogs here, GoodReads, Amazon, Lazy Beagle Entertainment

False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1
False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1

(http://www.lazybeagleentertainment.com/murder-most-deadly-1–false-evidence.html), as well as on Facebook and share the new cover with you as soon as I am able.

More exciting news! I have also signed a contract to release my debut full-length novel, PRETTY BOY DEAD, the first in a planned series with Wilde City Press (http://www.wildecity.com/). Check out the first peak of the blurb at Lazy Beagle Entertainment: (http://www.lazybeagleentertainment.com/pretty-boy-dead.html).

Though straddled with a little setback this year, I’m really excited about my upcoming releases and new projects. Once I have finished with my current WIP, I plan to finish PRINCE of the SEA, which is a southern gay romance set in the beautiful coastal town of Tybee Island, Georgia, and includes a supernatural element that I’ve really enjoyed writing. Of course, in keeping with my style the story does include a mysterious and thrilling theme.

Update About My Books and Writing

SwitchHitter_cvr-FINAL

 

I wanted to take a moment and let you know what is happening with my previously released novellas, SWITCH HITTER (co-written with Alex Morgan) and FALSE EVIDENCE: MURDER MOST DEADLY I.

Many of you know that my publisher, loveyoudivine (LYD) shuttered its doors the last day of June 2013. Therefore, both titles, as well as the MEN anthology (which included my short-story, VOYEUR) were removed from all e-book purchasing websites. I will forever be grateful to Claudia Regenos, publisher of loveyoudivine for taking a chance on me and publishing my writing, not to mention my cover artist, Dawne Dominique and editor, Dalia Craig.falseevidence_SM

The good news is very soon both novellas, SWITCH HITTER and FALSE EVIDENCE have found a new home! In the next few weeks, both will be re-released by Wilde City Press (www.wildecitypress.com). Each will receive a new book cover and be re-edited to ensure the best quality possible. As soon as I receive the new covers and release dates, I’ll post them here, via my Goodreads blog (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1702208.Jon_Michaelsen/blog) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jon.michaelsen), so stay tuned!!

  WildeCity

Looking for a Sexy Erotic Thriller? False Evidence is now available at TLA.com

Blurb:

What begins as a cursory glance at the high–rise apartment opposite soon becomes something much darker and far more dangerous.

For bored accountant, Kevin Mitchell, lusting after gorgeous, muscular, Tony, in the adjacent building, builds into a life changing obsession. When Tony shows up at Kevin’s apartment, bloody and bruised, Kevin offers him instant refuge…and a place in his bed. However, all is not what it seems and the police draw a different conclusion in their hunt for a violent killer. Will Kevin’s plea of false evidence save him from the horror of a life behind bars?

Excerpt:

Seized by the moment, Kevin thrust his laptop aside and rushed to get the binoculars. In his bedroom, he peered through the slats of the mini-blinds and watched as the stranger moved away from the window, only to emerge moments later onto his rooftop terrace with a towel in hand. The guy glanced up at the sky as though measuring the sun’s intensity or the right angle to position his body to catch the best rays. After spreading the towel across a chaise lounge, he set a bottle of tanning oil atop a short table next to the chair. Reaching over his head with one hand, he tugged the shirt off with a quick jerk before tossing it onto an adjoining chair. Both thumbs hooked beneath his waistband of his shorts, and he slid them down over muscular thighs, revealing little more than a patch of baby-blue cloth concealing his manhood. He sat with his back turned to Kevin, and removed each leg from the garment like he had all the time in the world.

Kevin’s heart pounded in his chest and his mouth went dry. The man in the scopes pivoted his frame and straddled the chaise. The binoculars revealed every ridge and cord of muscle as the stud began lathering his body, from the tops of his wide, football-player shoulders, to his lightly feathered chest, and further down to a washboard stomach few young men managed these days. Each twist and turn, indeed, every movement, revealed sculpted lines and curves that caused Kevin’s breath to catch.

The guy poured oil on his hands and began covering his lower legs, working up to his calves and thighs with precision. Kevin licked his lips and tried to swallow without blinking. He watched the guy’s big hands slip inside smooth thighs and up to his crotch, one of his hands darting beneath the Lycra fabric for a quick adjustment.

Kevin’s cock strained beneath his shorts, begging for release.

Are you insane?

He didn’t avert his eyes, regardless how much he chastised himself. Had his life become so lonely and desperate he’d reduced himself to spying on unsuspecting, male sunbathers?

Whatever the case, Kevin couldn’t seem to pull himself away from the window. The feeling he sensed was akin to asking a child to hand over chocolate ice-cream, or an aging siren to forego another round of Botox. He remained fascinated with his idol who leaned back against the chaise to apply oil to his face and neck, across his wide chest, and finally, to his abdomen.

For the next couple hours, Kevin stared through the blinds, his arms growing tired and weak. He strained to keep the lenses steady and his view unobstructed as he watched beads of sweat build on the man’s chest in the valley of muscle and across his abs. Kevin took a break when his subject took time out of the sun. He lunched when the stranger grabbed a bite to eat. Only when the guy left the terrace for the day did Kevin finally relax his shoulders, hoping, praying the stud would reappear naked in the bedroom.

He didn’t have to wait long. Some minutes later, the object of his affection entered his bedroom wearing a white towel riding low across his waist. Kevin focused the scopes, willing his arms to fight against the strain in order to make out the thick oblique muscles that framed his perfect “V” shape above the cloth.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give.

What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means To Me: Rainbow Blog Hop

What writing GLBTQ literature means to me.

When I heard of the opportunity to participate in the highly anticipated RAINBOW BLOG HOP, hosted by Rainbow Book Reviews August 24-26, 2012, in honor of launching the Rainbow Book Reviews website (http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/index.php), I jumped at the chance to participate with fellow writers. Below is information posted via the website in the “about us” section for those unfamiliar with the new GLBTQ book review site:

“Rainbow Book Reviews is a site dedicated to GLBTQ-related books, reviews, and authors who write about topics of interest to us and our friends.

We have a wide range of activities for you to check and participate in, if you wish. Feedback is always welcome. We publish new releases on a daily basis, have a team of reviewers who try to help you understand what to expect from a book, we publish monthly author interviews, and have author pages with in-depth information. You can also find out about the many great publishers who publish GLBTQ-related books.

We want to make sure the site offers what YOU (the reader!) want to see, so please contact us with any ideas or feedback at info@rainbowbookreviews.com. For individual staff members, please see the overview below.”

As a participant in the RBH, I was given the task to describe what writing GLBTQ literature means to me. Right off the bat (does this date me?) I am asked to reveal my thoughts about referencing very complicated questions. I will be as totally honest and forthwith in order that you – the reader – may glean some sense of what makes me tick; why I write at all.

I have been writing stories most of my life, beginning around age seven or eight, I’m not really sure. What I do know, however, is the person who first influenced my writing and encouraged me to further explore my “active imagination”, my beloved grandmother, who I affectionately named “Mana” when very young. It was my attempt at mimicking my mother who called her mother, Momma. When she readied for bed each night, I would sit on the side of her bed reciting the stories I had dreamed up – she never once questioned the reasons or motivation driving my need to create make-believe, fictitious imagery of people or animals of whom became characters of my words. I’d jot a few pages longhand on paper while at school during lunch or recess to read to Mana during our nightly ritual. Those times spent with my grandmother are my most treasured memories even today after having lost my best friend three years ago at the young age of seventy-nine years old.

So, getting back to what writing gay literature means to me: at first glance, it’s an opportunity to share ideas, historical or current happenings of circumstance. My earlier pre-teen stories covered popular genres of the day based largely upon what I was reading at the time (I was a voracious reader in elementary school – even winning the coveted “top reader” award each year at the local library during summer break) or had watched on television, which influenced my imagination. I remember the one book and movie that was the catalyst pushing me to start writing my first story: To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, originally published in 1960 (my birth year) and adapted to screen in 1962 (starring Mary Badham and the legendary Gregory Peck), the novel won the Pulitzer Prize and the movie earned Gregory Peck an Oscar for his supreme performance. I didn’t see the movie until I was older (my mother had worried the film was too “heavy” for a young, impressionable boy) and read the book as an assignment for school. I knew then I wanted to write stories. In fact, my first quasi-serious attempt putting pencil to paper was a hysterical fantasy titled “The Ship”, about a pirate ghost ship off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. I even named the main character of the story Atticus, the same as Gregory Peck’s character.

At second glance during my formative years, many stories flowed from my pencil, encouraged both by my grandmother and teachers in school. Born and raised in the south of Georgia, USA, my family could not afford to purchase books for me (I come from a blue-collar family that worked in the cotton mills on the Chattahoochee river) so I lived in the school library checking out as many books as allowed. I read everything from fiction to non-fiction, biographies, and history. I couldn’t get enough. I wrote fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and thriller stories during those years and always wrote for the love of telling a story, which I shared with my family and some teachers. My favorite memories of grade school were each spring when English or History class teachers would read books to us the final week of school. One mesmerizing novel I recall was titled “Island Of The Blue Dolphins”, by Scott, O’Dell, about a young Nicolero Indian girl stranded on an island off the coast of California for eighteen years. The story remains with me even today; the power of the written word is unmatched.

I didn’t realize I was “gay” until later in my teens (this was the late ‘70s), so writing gay stories wasn’t yet a priority. Majoring in English when I went off to college was a no-brainer, even minoring in Broadcasting (go figure!). While seeking my undergraduate degree, I wrote fictional stories for the campus newspaper, often turning them into serials that had attracted a decent readership. I finally came out during my second year in college, and my writing began to steer toward gay characters in the main roles, considered risky in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s here in the south. The first homoerotic novel I ever read is “Good Times/Bad Times” by James Kirkwood. The novel detailed the close relationship between two young men in boarding school and affected me deeply, and I began seeking out other gay-themed novels since finally realizing they even existed, perusing the bookstore’s shelves for hours on end, simply too embarrassed to ask the store clerks for assistance.

I came across the cover of a paperback novel featuring a cute young man sitting on the bench in what appeared to be a high school locker-room. The book was none other than the groundbreaking classic, “The Front Runner”, by Patricia Nell Warren. That novel became the catalyst for my writing gay-themed stories. Going forward, I devoured every novel I came across written by Ms. Warren, even moving on to other gay-centric novels. So important to me during those early years of adolescents, my emerging sexuality, was in reading fictional stories that resembled people like me, what I was all about, or could become. I relied on these stories for self-discovery, unable to speak to my parents or other family members about my being gay.

Fast forward thirty years and third glance; I have been writing stories for several years that have always featured a gay protagonist, concentrating mainly in the mystery/suspense, thriller genres, many with romantic tendencies. But, it wasn’t until as recently as 2008 that I began to submit my stories for publication. Though frightened and unsure, I wanted to share my writing with others besides my family and friends. I am a gay author and I write stories of mystery/suspense and romance novels where the main characters are gay. I don’t feel this fact defines or limit my characters, but more often provides excellent opportunities for exciting plots. Many diverse writers have influenced my written style, such as David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Michael Crichton, along with the groundbreaking gay novelists Patricia Nell Warren, Michael Nava, and Felice Picano. Some of my current favorites and influencers are gay mystery writers Greg Herren, David Lennon, and John Morgan Wilson – and many more.

Finally, writing GLBTQ literature means being true to the gay culture, to create realistic, (in my case, fictional) characters that represent the gay community correctly. Knowing some readers just coming to terms with their sexuality might be reading my stories, I research meticulously to ensure accuracy and strive to present positive role models within my writing even as my characters face bigotry and intolerance, dating, falling in love…and usually, murder! My characters must grow through challenges and experience, be representative of the gay community, whether negative or positive and not all my stories end with a HEA.

I will continue to write as long as I enjoy creating stories, and I am happy to be able to share my writing with others. Recently, I released an erotic thriller, False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1 – the first novella of a two-part murder-mystery. I am currently writing a gay, murder-mystery, police-procedural, featuring closeted Atlanta Homicide Detective, Kendall Parker, which I hope to get published sometime in 2013. I am also a Juror for the 2012 GLBT Rainbow Awards sponsored by Elisa Rolle, (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/tag/rainbow%20awards%202012), which I am greatly enjoying.

Links to my titles:

Amazon Purchase Link:

LYD :

PRIZES, PRIZES, PRIZES!

Click on the link below to read more about prizes and give-aways for the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop:

http://rainbowbookreviews.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-rainbow-book-reviews-blog-hop-is-here/

In celebration, of the Rainbow Blog Hop, I am giving away two (2) copies of my latest novella, False Evidence. Just respond with your name to be entered into a random drawing set for Saturday, Sept 1, 2012.

I would love to hear your thoughts and what reading/writing GLBTQ literature means to you!