…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
1. Starting from scratch: Tell us all about you. What do you want us to know?
I live in Chicago. I spend most of my time writing, but I also work part time as a dog walker. I’m obsessed with dogs, especially my own—she probably wishes I would get a life. Um…I love dinosaurs, hiking, caves, sharks, movies, cake, politics, Queen, costumes, and painting. In no particular order. I want to be P.G. Wodehouse and Donna Tartt’s lovechild. I write mostly LGBTQ erotic romance, often with BDSM content, but I also write queer general fiction and the tiniest bit of nonfiction. My arms bend really oddly.
I think that’s all I want you to know.
2. 10 Questions about books:
How did you get interested in gay romance?
I always wrote and read queer characters, but I didn’t know until a few years ago that gay romance was a thing. Once I knew it was a thing, I was onboard.
Best book you’ve read in the last 3 months?
The best romance I’ve read recently is Lisa Henry’s SWEETWATER. I know I’m biased because I write with her, but I write with her for a reason!
Best book you’ve written in the last 3 years?
I’m proudest of THE SILVERS, which was published under my other name, Jill Smith. It’s queer spec fic—not a romance, but definitely a love story. Of the solo erotic romances, I feel best about CALLING THE SHOW.
What book would you recommend to someone who’s never read your work?
Probably CALLING THE SHOW. It depends on what they’re into. If they like it darker, then WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS, written with Lisa Henry.
What book would you recommend to someone who’s never read gay romance?
GLITTERLAND, by Alexis Hall. Anything by Lisa. And anything by Katey Hawthorne—she changed any preconceived notions I had of what romance was.
Your favorite character you’ve written?
Jayk from the WACKY WEDNESDAY series.
Your favorite character someone else has written?
Sugar from THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, by Michel Faber. Not romance, but she’s my favorite!
What plot bunny has been sitting in your head that you haven’t committed to writing?
I’ve got an idea I get sporadically excited about. Vaguely futuristic, lots of murders, a trio of completely untrustworthy “heroes,” and a game that’s not really a game. That’s all I’m gonna say.
What’s on the horizon/in the pipeline?
Lisa and I have several upcoming releases: BRANDON MILLS VERSUS THE V-CARD on October 28, and FALL ON YOUR KNEES, a BDSM ménage novella, around Christmas. Our PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy starts releasing December 29. Solo, I have a creepy novella about sex carnivals called THE GRAND BALLAST coming out sometime in late fall/early winter, and a contemporary called TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, about a guy who fails his senior year of high school and tries to make sense of where his life went wrong and where he’s going from here.
What’s the BEST thing about being an author?
Everything. Except coming up with titles. And the crippling insecurity. And marketing. But everything else.
3. Would You Rather…
…Write a book that sells a ton or a book that generates a ton of discussion?
A ton of discussion. But ask me again in a few months when my decrepit car inevitably dies.
…Have a book with 100 4-star ratings or a book with 50 2-star and 50 5-star ratings?
This is a hard one to be honest about! Because sure, I prefer positive ratings. But I also know the best books I’ve read tend to be divisive. So I’ll take the 50/50 split.
…Write fluff or angst?
…Have a book made into an indie-movie that told the exact story or into a long-running tv show that was only inspired by the story?
Indie movie! I love TV, but I’d want to see the story preserved.
…Have written Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray?
Neither? Please? Do I have to choose? Or, can I wish I’d written one but written it differently? Because in that case, 50 Shades.
4. Two Truths and a Lie…
Tell us 3 things about you…2 of them are true, 1 is false.
I grew up in West Virginia.
My favorite color is green.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less- than-magical evening, a server–and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives in Chicago but is still seeing West Virginia behind Illinois’s back.