CONTEST HAS ENDED! SULA HAS WON! Email me at rhysford at vitaenoir dot com.
I have here today BJ Sheppard, author of The RAINBOW CONNECTION: Volume I. WOOOOT!
AND A GIVEAWAY. Leave a comment below and win a copy of BJ’s book! What is it about and who is BJ? I’ve got that for you too. Q&A and Excerpt follows the Blurb!
Contest ends August 2nd at 4 pm!
Living a care-free party life-style, junior journalist and gay lifestyle reporter, Liam Adams thought he had it all; the money, the job, the endless supply of men in his bed. But when his work causes him to question the very foundation of the life he has built for himself, Liam finds certain areas are glaringly lacking. All it takes is one assignment to unravel the very fabric of his promiscuous antics, compounded by the arrival of a long-forgotten tryst. With the rusty screech of the mailroom guy’s trolley wheels, Liam lands head-first in the arms of something bigger; something more.
As the romance burgeons between Liam and the Mail-Manny of his dreams, each article he writes proves to uncover something new and never realized about himself, namely that all the one-night-stands in the world could never give him what he truly wants; love. In a slapstick commentary through the eyes of the world’s most hypersensitive journalist, watch as Liam’s story unfolds in the most ridiculous of fashions, leading him straight into the arms of love, via The Rainbow Connection.
BJ Q&A #1:
Hi, BJ, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
Well, in all honesty, there is not much to say. I discovered post-its. Also, I am a Disney character. I was cursed by a gypsy in my younger years to never find love as penance for my dead, black heart. Luckily that ugly old crone didn’t bank on me becoming a writer. I make love in different ways.
How long did it take for your first book idea to actually become a book?
About a week, I would say. The first book I ever wrote was 78 thousand words long and my first draft was finished in a week. I subsequently re-wrote it four times and have only just pulled it out of the dusty annals where bad ideas go to die, but that was my first book.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser, all the way. I give myself a vague idea of what I want to write, and then just sit down and zone out while the characters get their say. I’m pretty useless when the boys take over.
How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?
Dark, sick and twisted. I laugh at everything. I once saw an old lady fall off a bus and I nearly pissed myself. So, I’m going to hell, but at least I’ll be laughing when I go.
And what makes you cry?
My tear ducts were surgically removed due to lack of use when I was 25. I cry no more. Except when I’m reading. That is completely the only thing that makes me spring a leak.
Do you have a favorite literary character? If so, who and why?
I have many. Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet. Who doesn’t love to hate the bad guy, right? Fanny from Mansfield Park. I loved most of Austen’s heroines actually. For the time, they were so powerfully written. And there are a few m/m romance genre one’s that I adore. Kyle and Brad, from the Foster High series by John Goode, both for different reasons. And Ben from Jay Bell’s Something Like stories.
What was the last book you read? (your own don’t count)
I have been reviewing for the last year, so I haven’t done a lot of “reading for fun” of late. The last book I willingly read however was Naked by David Sedaris. I love him very much, and think I’m going to have to try writing non-fiction someday just to see if I can.
Least favorite word?
Normalcy – it’s not a real word. The word you are looking for is ‘normality’.
Do your characters ever up and take off without your consent and the best you can do is hang on and follow or do you keep tight control over them?
Liam is always dragging me places I don’t want to go. I had to take a three month break from writing part 4 of this series because the lot of them were writing a story I didn’t plan and didn’t want to write. But they got their way and now I have to figure out how to get them out of the supreme clusterfuck they just got themselves into.
If you could write a letter to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Wait before you have sex. That guy has a really weird dick and it will not be a good or lengthy experience. Also I’d tell myself to get over my issues and start writing gay fiction.
What costume would you wear that would truly show your hidden personality?
Just my socks and a smile.
In no more than two sentences, can you describe yourself to a complete stranger?
No. No I’m not sure I could. I’m likely just to yell “RUN!” at them until they flee from me.
What is the most sentimental thing someone gave you that you cherish to this day?
I have this little stuffed wolf toy that an ex gave me. I used to call the guy “wolfy” because he was all hairy and had a killer smile, and so he brought me this toy as a joke at Christmas. I told him it was going to be the guardian of the books and even five years after the fact, the little guy still sits on my bookshelf.
What is the perfect writing atmosphere for you?
Silence. Total silence. Table. Comfy chair. My arm hooked up to a caffeine drip.
Would you like to tell us a little bit about your current WIP?
I’m currently trying my hand at crime writing. It’s a novel called “All About Jack” that is a crime/mystery/horror with a central gay love story. It’s going to be a bit like ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, except good. There are many more stories in the pipeline, and the back end of this year looks to be replete with releases, so keep your eyes peeled.
Where can our readers find you on the web?
X-tube mostly. Or follow the links below.
Excerpt for The Rainbow Connection:
If I were to take a meat cleaver to the brain and infuse my cerebrospinal fluid with strychnine, then attach my eyes to car batteries and gargle with gravel, still it would not be enough to emulate how bad I was feeling that morning. Turns out a gallon of ice cream and the trifecta of mismatched wines in the three for $10 bargain at 7-11 was not the greatest of ideas. In fact, I would claim it to be somewhere near the bottom of the list, as every jerky movement of the elevator threatened to set me to vomiting again, after only having stopped briefly an hour before. With my work shirt fastened like a noose and my Bono-esque indoor shade wearing antics, I zombie walked from the sliding doors and down the corridor, passing Lourdes’s office for fear the pitch of her voice would have my head explode like a rotten grape.
Safely tucked inside my office, I bolted the door (by lying down in front of it) and groaned loudly, like by groaning I could exorcise the demon of my classily acquired wine hangover and liberate myself from the tyranny of my own sorry state of being.
In amidst the multitude of phallus related e-mails from Marie, I clicked on one from Lourdes, bile rising in my throat at the thought of having to expend a single second more writing about the topic that had essentially ended my social life. As the window blared to life, all the tension left my body, sinking from every nerve, tendon and extraneous piece of sinew as I read the in depth analysis of my previous days effort.
Not what we discussed. But it does read better than a who’s-who of dick dives.
P.S Don’t fuck around with the brief again or I’ll castrate you. You might be my favorite employee and wine companion, but if I have to read another of your therapy sessions in this magazine, I’m likely to take us both down in a murder-suicide that will rock the ages.
Even through my impending aneurism, I still managed to laugh.
In the twilight of my most painful working day ever, with little to do but swallow ineffective painkillers and gradually rehydrate to the point of drowning, I began to look back over what had happened with Manny. If I ignored the fumble with that muscle bound shower rapist, then everything was fixable. Surely he would understand if he just heard me out, right? Or not, I guess. At that point I was singing in the clowns, knowing that boys like me don’t get our happy ever afters’, when Lourdes sauntered into my office, for some unbeknownst reason wearing a kimono, and dragging behind her the man of my dreams/the biggest fuck up of my adult life. Manny seemed to be struggling in the tiny woman’s grasp, something that made me reassess the sheer terror that resided in the booze-addled editor (*note to self: tread carefully with that one). When she had dumped the much larger man down in front of me, she smiled as if she were Santa Claus, and she was bringing the best present ever in the form of a pissed of mailman.
“Liam, you smell like the floor of a college bar,” she hissed, as I sniffed at my underarm, the hints of au de sauvignon tickling my nose hair and threatening to recommence the onslaught of my vomitty ways. Though he wasn’t looking at me, it was impossible to miss the slight smile as it escaped his mouth, try as he might to contain it. “If you’re going to become a lush, well you know I’ll be there every step of the way, but try to salvage some kind of dignity before you drag us all down.” I frowned at the woman, wishing looks could kill as she turned her attention to Manny. “And as for you Mr. Collins,” she chided, completely oblivious of the fact that his surname was Jacobs; “if you want to stay in my impeccable graces, then you will sit down and listen to what the boy has to say.”
Both of us feeling like we had just been put on probation seemed to satisfy the old dragon, as she nodded her head once, closing the door behind her as she swept away in a storm of well-meaning arrogance and Channel No.5. Manny sat down in the seat across from my own as I shyly sunk down into the leather of the chair, hoping upon hope, that now would be the moment the earth would open up and swallow me whole. I gave it a second, then two, and when it seemed like the earth’s appetite was not for skinny white boys, Manny opened his mouth.
The Rainbow Connections Volume I Buy Links:
It will be available on Apple iBooks and Amazon on release day.
BJ Sheppard Bio:
It’s always difficult to write about yourself, especially when, like me, you have no idea what you’re doing most of the time. I have always loved to write, from a very early age with some rather extravagant dinosaur fairytales to more recently when I found my writers voice and finally put it to good use. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to write a book, and since finding a genre I am comfortable in, the ideas have been pouring out of me. I hope it never stops.
In my spare time I like to hang out with my friends, write and record music and read all the books I can lay my hands on. I currently live in the south of England, but from here on out, who knows what will happen. Each day is its own.
These books are hopefully the first of many, and while there are readers enjoying my work, then there will always be new things for me to say. If you want to know any more, please feel free to contact me at any of the links below. Thank you for reading.