May 30, 2012

Interview with Author JA Rock

Wacky Wednesday.
Welcome to Romance Lives Forever! Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
My latest book is Wacky Wednesday, an LGBT BDSM fantasy paranormal. It’s about two men in a committed D/s relationship who are experiencing some difficulty communicating. They switch bodies for a day and have kind of a Freaky Friday experience…except it happens on Wednesday.
How do you come up with ideas?
They come up to me and knock on my brain and won’t go away until I open up. They’re worse than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
What is the most important thing you do for your career?
Stop thinking about my career once a day for an hour while I walk the dog.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Getting lost in new worlds. And writing off my Netflix subscription as research (It is!).
What do you enjoy most about life?
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
I just start writing. I’ve tried the outline thing. I can’t do it. I’m too disorganized. Once I know a bit about my characters, I do usually get a sense of where I want things to go. And soon my draft documents are filled with notes-to-self like “H wants to take G to the P BUT WHAT ABOUT MONSTER??”
Would you consider self publishing?
I am so bad at promo that if I self published the only people who would buy copies would be blood related to me. And they would do so grudgingly.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
You’re going to grow up and be what you wanted to be. So quit hatin’ on yourself.
Are your stories driven by plot or character?
Character. I love ideas. I love planning the explosions, spankings, and high-concept world building that might happen in my stories. But at the end of the day the story is at the mercy of the characters. The characters evolve and learn and scar and fight and play, and they trample my half-assedly laid plans. If they decide they don’t want to do something, we don’t do it.
What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
I worked as a standardized patient at a medical school—essentially you pretend to have different health conditions and students practice diagnosing and treating you. My first day I played a teenager getting a pelvic exam. The coordinators strapped a rubber vagina with pressure sensors on me. During the exam if the sensors lit up on a screen, I had to say “Ouch,” or “You’re hurting me.” I went on to play an evasive bulimic, a defensive smoker, and a mother whose newborn needed a risky heart surgery. For that one they told me to cry and my “husband” to comfort me and offer tissues. A lovely bit of gender stereotyping.
I also sold knives door to door, groomed dogs, and worked as a disemboweled zombie bride in a haunted house. I shelved books in an ancient medical library that would be the perfect place to murder someone. Just sayin’.
Any of this is fair game for a book.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I write romance, and I love the fantasy element of romance. But I try not to bust ties with real life. Even if there are body switches, aliens, or relationships people may enjoy reading about but don’t necessarily want for themselves—like a domestic discipline arrangement—I want my characters to behave like real people. The good news is that real people do a lot of stuff most of us wouldn’t believe if we read it in a book. So “behaving like real people” can mean almost anything. But readers need to be able to recognize elements of themselves in a character. I want my readers to get lost in a fantasy, sure. But I also want them to think about the very real ways we hurt each other, give to each other, seek security or fail to provide it.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
I just watched the documentary Garbage Warrior. I would give anything to live in one of Michael Reynolds’s Earthships. It’s not at all what you’d think when you hear a guy makes houses out of tires and beer cans. These homes are works of art.
What song would best describe your life?
While I don’t entirely understand the lyrics, I’m gonna go with “Rainbow in the Dark” by DIO. I’m “words without a rhyme.”
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Vegan whips and cuffs and harnesses. For the environmentally conscious lifestyle player. And maybe some baked goods at the register. Cruelty Free Cruelty.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
I used to have to see the guidance counselor because I was so quiet the school thought something was wrong at home—which could not have been further from the truth. The counselor let me draw. It was possibly the only thing I liked about school. Besides sticky tack.
Do you play any online, board, or role-playing games? Which ones?
I am obsessed with Clue. I play with my brother and his girlfriend whenever we’re together. We get really into it. Fake British accents, loud and violent accusations. We always play at night, but we kick things off a few hours prior to the match when one of us announces to the others that there’s been another murder at the Body mansion. We grouse about how frequently Mr. Body gets murdered and then mutually decide to pool our amateur detective skills to figure out who did it.
I also really like the Game of Real Life, which is like the Game of Life, except you can get aborted, become a drug addict, get knocked up, etc. You get to keep a diary, and it can be as creative as you want.
Tell us an embarrassing story that has to do with a pet. If you have no pets, a story about a significant other will do. ^_^
When I was twelve I had my own pet sitting service. I sometimes boarded dogs at my house. I was taking care of a dog named Angel, and my sister left the front door open. Angel ran away. So began an insane, multi-hour search and rescue operation that involved my whole family. We had to split into teams and each team was given a section of town to case.
Team My-Mom-and-Brother finally located Angel running across a busy road in the center of town, causing a great deal of traffic swervage. Team My-Dad-and-Me hurried over to provide backup (I don’t remember how we were communicating. I think it involved my dad’s giant 90s car phone and pager). Angel had run under the fence of the armory. I’ve never seen my mother move like she did then. She has a really intense germ phobia, but damn if she didn’t crawl under the armory fence after that dog, through dirt and cigarette butts and broken glass, while the rest of us cheered from the sidelines. I like to imagine we were moving in slow motion with our fists in the air and our mouths open and the Chariots of Fire theme playing.
By His Rules
Angel was captured and taken back to our house, where my mom made us all promise not to breathe a word of what happened to Angel’s owners. But when the owners came to get her, my sister kinda blabbed. Angel was not a returning customer.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with no cheese and jalapenos.
I'm always ready to decline an invitation to party.
When I'm alone, I do all the voices for a ridiculous radio drama.
You'd never be able to tell, but I have a surprisingly accurate volleyball serve.
If I had a halo it would be confiscated.
If I could eat dairy products I'd consume an entire tres leches cake right now .
I can never go back to Denmark because I think I’m on a no-fly list there.

My Booklist

Books Coming Soon

Calling the Show (July 17)

Find Me Here


  1. That has to be one of the funniest pet stories I've read so far. LOL! Thank you for a good laugh. The book looks awesome.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me, Kayelle! My mom was a bit miffed I left out the part where she also jumped over a ditch to get to the dog. Good times...

  3. LOL! I can see the scene well. The part where it's slo mo and the music is playing is great! ^_^

  4. Great interview. Made me smile.

  5. Thanks, Allie. Me too. The sense of humor comes right through!

  6. Jill, you also left out my asthma attack...But great interview, Honey! I'm glad you grew up to be what you wanted to be! :-) And everyone should read my daughter's book because it's SO GOOD!!!
    p.s. Dio? Really?

  7. "Mom" - Thanks for dropping in. It's only fair, since you were mentioned, right? ^_^ I'll be sure to read it since it has such a high approval. Nice to meet you.

  8. HAHA, Mom, stop, you're embarrassing me! I forgot about the asthma attack...


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