Why don’t you give us a peek of your day-to-day life and just who is J.T. Cheyanne?
Okay, I am captain of the boring squad. I get up at 5 a.m. most days and drag myself to the job that pays the bills. After eight long hours of boredom, I happily bounce home to my laptop and my angel. My wife, and my writing partner, lives in England. She's six hours ahead of me. So, when I walk in the door, I'm headed for my lifeline to her. We do talk/text through the day, but the real communication comes when we are both home and able to sit down properly. We talk, discuss our works in progress, and catch up on our day before she has to head for bed.
That's the worst part of my day everyday. I really hate the words, it's time for bed. A very long evening stretches ahead of me while she sleeps. That's when I write...well I try to around chores and fixing dinner and managing the four kiddos in the house. Well not kids technically, the youngest is seventeen. We have a dog, two cats and a bearded dragon. Things can get a bit hectic.
Was a person or event that made you want to become a writer?
I never really thought about being a writer. I loved to read, told myself stories to fall asleep at night when I was a teenager, but never considered I could actually write more than essay papers in my English Lit classes. I was goofing off on Facebook when a roleplay admin sent me a message and asked me if I wanted to roleplay/write one of the characters from a favorite series. I was stunned and excited. In less than a year, I was working on my own short story.
Ohhhh yay. My newest release is Ansleigh's Grotto. This story blindsided me. I was actually working on another story when this title came out of nowhere. Usually, I don't come up with a title until the end of the book, the WIP is simply titled by a character's name during the writing process. Not with this one. The Grotto plays a huge part in Dylan's and Ansleigh's love story.
Dylan is human, a video game designer who inherits the Grotto. Ansleigh is Fae. He lives in the Grotto and has for hundreds of years. The concept and plot for the story were immediately in my head, but there was one huge problem. I was not at all familiar with the Fae. I had to do a lot of research and nail biting trying to navigate the very rich world of the Fae. I continuously checked the Irish Fae history. Thankfully, my V.L. was a huge help. Both of her parents are Irish by birth and grew up there. The stories were told to her by her dad.
There are several side characters that I think your readers will adore. They seem quite popular with the readers so far. They were certainly fun to write.
The most positive thing about the indie world is the freedom to write what you want without the restrictions of a publisher. You can also write at your own pace with the dreaded deadlines looming on the horizon. Most of the other indie authors are friendly and supportive. It's a great community to be a part of on most days. There are indies out there who are nasty, but you have the nasty people in every aspect of life.
Another positive is release dates. You can choose your own and there is no delay. There are no days of waiting to see if your manuscript will be accepted, no heartbreaking denial letters after six to eight weeks of hope.
Negatives....there are no million dollar contracts. I have to laugh there, sorry. I write because I enjoy it. I haven't made enough to quit my day job. Money from the royalties is usually funneled right back into the next book or swag or author events. Also, all publicity is fully on you. Although, the one publisher I used didn't do much publicity either. A lot of the behind the scenes work is on the author, editing, cover art, copyright, distribution.
Mostly, for me its a positive experience. I love writing with V.L. and love seeing our work being enjoyed by our friends and readers.
Oh my. I'm a seat of the pants type. The idea comes into my head and I start writing. I research as the need arises in the story. The outline is in my head and gets changed regularly. When I get stumped I re-read to see if anything pops. If that doesn't work, I consult my muse, V.L. She is brilliant at plot twists. Now, when I write with V.L, we have a pretty good outline written down. She does better with being organized.
Bloggers are your friends. We've had more exposure through bloggers than any other medium. As you can guess, advertising is expensive. Bloggers generally do not charge. They receive a copy of the book and that's usually all that is required. There are so many that are loyal and supportive and have been since V.L. and I have started this. We appreciate every post they make.
Also, remember that you do this because you love to write, but without that reader, you have nothing. Readers are important and should be appreciated. Not every reader will like what you write and that's okay. Attacking a reader, blogger or reviewer is unprofessional and will, most definitely will, result in loss of readership. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. When you attack a reader or blogger for stating their opinion, you risk gaining a reputation of being a nasty. Stay professional at all times.
Two reasons. Because I have an impatient vampire king in my head and because I don't like being told how to write or what to write. I submitted Grand Slam, my first indie published book, to a publisher. I waited four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks and never heard anything. Some publishers don't want you to submit to multiple publishers at one time so you're on the line for two months or more waiting when someone else might already have it out there. I also have more control over what's in the story. One of my favorite authors changed the direction of a story because her publisher wasn't comfortable with the topic. I don't want that censure. Added to that, I write gay romance and gay erotica, the big time publishers aren't into those genres.
V.L. and I are currently working on Broken Oaths, a story that will tackle the taboo of a Catholic priest falling in love with another man, a Navy Commander. Its going to push the limits a bit, but we are both very excited about it. We also have book three of the Crimson Nights Saga on the back burner although our vampire and angel are screaming at us.
Oh gods, I am so going to leave someone out and feel awful. For promo tours, we use Eyes on Books with Alina Popescu. The blogs she uses are superb and never fail to post, review or participate when they sign up. We've had a wonderful experience with every one of them.
From the beginning of this journey, we've had several blogs that have stuck with us. So a shout out to The Bitches of Eastwick, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Crystal's Many Reviewers, GGR-Reviews, Saguaro Moon Reviews, Smut Book Junkie Reviews, and Gay Media Reviews. And, I know I'm leaving out others.
And finally—here’s your chance to give a fellow writer or someone that wants to become one some advice—what would it be?
Just write. If you want to write, then do it. Don't make excuses, don't put it off, sit down and write. Find good beta readers that you trust and be willing to listen to their opinions, both critical and praising, and don't get mad when they ask questions or point out a mistake. We never get it right the first time, that's why we edit and revise.
Favorite Color: Blue, almost any shade
Favorite Type of Food: Chocolate
If you could be a cartoon character, who? Stitch, loveable and deadly.
Most used condiment in your fridge: Ketchup
Which would you miss most: your phone or your e-reader?: Phone, you can read on the phone too, but you can't call from the e-reader.
Thanks again for inviting me over. I've had a great time! Can't wait to meet you in person in June. You better have a hug ready for me.
You are SO welcome! And of course, can't wait for the Naughty in the South Author event. I'll have hugs and chocolate! :)
Ansleigh's Grotto Blurb:
Broken Oaths Teaser/Excerpt:
“I don’t have a chair for you to sit on,” he finally said. Ryan’s gaze darted around the cell. Bed, toilet, sink and brick. No chair, no personal effects, nothing but cement, metal and cotton. He seriously needed to get a hold of himself. The man was going to think him scatterbrained. Taking a fortifying breath, he skirted Donovan and sat on the very edge of the bed. When Donovan knelt on one knee before him, head bowed and almost resting on his lap, the air in his lungs took a mini vacation.
“Umm, don’t you want a partition or something? We could string up a sheet and give you some privacy,” Ryan nearly stammered. Thierry’s head rose slowly and the weight of his magnificent eyes settled on Ryan’s face. The darkness he’d seen earlier twisted in their depths.
“I have nothing to hide, Father Flynn. I’ve been stripped of my job, my pride and my stripes. My life was put on display in the circus Duciane called a trial of my peers. What is privacy when your dignity and honor have been stolen?” Spoken quietly, the words reached into Ryan’s chest and wrapped around his heart. Compassion welled alongside a fierce determination to find out why Donovan was being held. Questions tumbled through his mind; questions he didn’t have the right to ask.
Thankfully, his training rescued him. He served in confession every day, hundreds of times a day. And, that’s why he was in the cell in the first plate. He brought his right hand up to touch his forehead.
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” As he spoke, his hand followed the age old pattern of the cross; Thierry’s hand followed the same path. Ryan waited.
“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.” Donovan intoned.
“Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool,” Ryan quoted from Isaiah as he rested a hand lightly on Donovan’s head. The contact fanned the turmoil inside and he hastily pulled his hand back.
“I think my last confession was five or six years ago. I’ve been in prison for the last couple of years and have forsaken my faith.” Donovan spoke slowly, clearly. “I’ve wished death on another almost every day of that time and carry hate in my heart for this man. I fear I would break the sixth commandment if given the chance.” Donovan’s shoulders squared. “I am guilty of mortal sins against your God. Every day I struggle with pride and rage. I envy this same man his freedom. I want him to bear my shame, to walk in my shoes and to feel the retribution of my wrath.”
The large shoulders bowed before him shook with emotion. When a full minute passed in silence, Ryan cleared his throat. “Commander Donovan, you understand the act of confession is to admit your sins and seek absolution. Penance cannot be granted if you are not truly remorseful.”
Donovan’s head snapped up. Eyes as cool as mint captured him. “As I said, Father. I’ve lost my faith in God and you can add humanity to that. I need you to set me back on the path of the righteous. And, you might as well call me Thierry; I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other.”
Despite his body’s untoward reaction to the man in front of him, Ryan held the man’s stare. The ice fractured for a second and behind the strength and determination, he saw the hurt and the desperate need for someone to believe. So many times he’d seen that same look in the youth he counseled. Thierry Donovan spoke the truth, he had lost faith. Ryan firmed his lips and nodded once. His duty was clear.
“Okay, Thierry. We’re going to take this journey together. I just need to clear some things with the Admiral.” He broke eye contact and bowed his head. “Let’s say a prayer shall we.” The words strangled in his throat when Thierry rested a large hand on his knee.
“What’s your angle Father? What has he promised you?”
Ryan’s eyes jerked up as anger flared, but he wrestled his ire under control. “I don’t have an angle Commander Donovan. I’m here to help you. There is nothing Admiral Ducaine can promise me or give me that would be incentive enough to make me break my oaths to my Lord. I thought we’d already cleared that up.”
Donovan shoved to his feet and ran a hand over his tightly shorn hair. “Yeah, ok. I’m out of line. We don’t need a prayer. Hand me your phone and I’ll call A.J.” Donovan waited expectantly, hand outstretched.
Ryan ignored him and slid a hand into his trouser pocket. When he pulled out his rosary, the other man muttered a curse under his breath. Ryan clasped the wooden beads and closed his eyes.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is Heaven.” Ryan paused and a deep voice joined him for the remainder.
“Give us this day, our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory. Forever. Amen.”
When their words died away, Ryan rose to face Donovan. “Take these,” he said and placed the rosary into the sailor’s hand. “Renounce your sins and think about what you told me here. Search your heart, Thierry Donovan. You have killed, I have no doubt, but could you really commit murder in cold blood? I don’t think you could. You may want justice, but you are a soldier. You follow the rules. Forgiveness can be yours, Thierry, but you have to take the first few steps alone. I’ll be there to take your hand when you do.” He reached out to cup Donovan’s palm and smiled warmly. “I think it’s time for me to go.”
LINKS TO FIND J.T. CHEYANNE (Or stalk! ;) )
Amazon Author page:
Shared Page with V.T.
JT Cheyanne Facebook