Thanks for having me here at You Gotta Read Reviews. Before we begin, I wanted to let everyone know that as part of the blog tour, I’m holding a contest. All you have to do is leave a comment with your email to this post, and your name is entered to win a free electronic copy of 3. If a reader happens to follow all my blog stops, then she or he can leave a comment at the other sites a well. This means that someone could enter 7 times for a chance to win the book. At the end of the tour, a winner will be chosen and announced.
Interview: (You’re welcome to pick and choose from these questions. Author participation is encouraged.)
Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Though I haven’t lived there in almost 17 years, I still consider San Antonio my home. It has such a rich history and sense of community that whenever I return it feels like no time has passed at all. One of my favorite places in San Antonio is the Riverwalk. I enjoy strolling along the banks and people watching as well as sampling some of the great food they have everywhere!
I now live in a much smaller town named Victoria. It’s much different from San Antonio, but I’ve made some good friends here
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut, but really how many boys didn’t? The idea of shooting off into space and seeing the universe really appealed to my adventurous side. I wanted to land on new worlds and see what lived on other planets, and if I’m being absolutely honest, I wanted to find that alien from the 1970’s movie Alien,which is still my favorite movie of all time. I know that sounds insane, but no matter how much that monster terrified me as a child, I always secretly admired it. Its very concept intrigued me, so now you know that I was not only adventurous but pretty darn stupid too! Haha!
Anyway, when I learned that math was required to be an astronaut, I knew it was never going to happen. I had always sucked at math from a very early age, so I abandoned my quest for Ripley’s alien and embraced reading and writing instead.
Tell us about your latest book.
3 is a contemporary m/m/m romance that tells the story of three men Justin, Spencer, and Dutch, whose lives have become inexorably linked.
Justin Jimenez is a flawed man. He is proud and stubborn, but his heart is so big that when he falls in love, he falls hard just as he did with Spencer ten years ago. Justin feels as if the universe magically brought them together, which is why he is so devastated when he and Spencer separate after a year of romantic upheaval.
Guarded and cautious, Spencer Harrison has never found it easy to let down his guard enough to be able to fall in love. When Justin obliterates his defenses with no more than a kiss upon their first meeting, he is surprised. What shocks him even more is when he and Justin almost break up. Spencer is so devastated he flees to England for four months to escape the pain of heartbreak.
Dutch Keller charges through life with both barrels, rarely weighing the consequences of his actions. If it feels right, then he does it. Still, meeting and falling in love with Justin while Spencer is abroad terrifies Dutch. He is uncertain if Justin’s love for him will prove stronger than the feelings Justin has for Spencer. Dutch also fears the secret that he and Spencer share, and he wonders what his hidden relationship with Spencer might do to his relationship with Justin.
When Spencer learns of Justin and Dutch’s affair, the first of their many secrets are exposed. The three men must untangle the web of lies and betrayals in order to find the events in their lives that led them to friendship, passion, and betrayal. If they don’t, they might never see the love at the heart of their shared pain.
Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I actually just finished a paranormal romance and submitted it to my publisher for consideration. It’s tentatively titled The Gifted One. It’s a story about a man and his guardian angel, but I’ve put a Stephen King-esque twist to the complications on the path to love. I’m a fan or horror and romance, so when I came up with this idea, I saw the opportunity to merge the two genres together. I had great fun writing it, and my husband and beta reader enjoyed the mixture of romance with horror, so I’m hoping the publisher does too. Keep your fingers crossed.
Here’s a blurb:
Though Matt sees himself as an ordinary man loved by the family who adopted him, he is unaware that he is the Gifted One. His unknown blood lineage makes him a seventh son of a seventh son. Within him rests the unlocked potential of a positive force for good. His promise as the Gifted One grants him special favors from heaven in the form of his own personal savior, the Archangel Gabriel, but it also marks Matt for death from the wicked, who attempt to kill him every year on his birthday.
Being the Gifted One and dodging demonic attacks aren’t Matt’s only problems. He has fallen in love with the Archangel Gabriel, who was sent by heaven to protect him. Gabriel returns Matt’s love, defying divine law and placing them both in danger from demons and angels alike. Heaven fears that Matt and Gabriel’s union will result in an evil similar to that of a fallen band of angels called The Watchers.
Can Matt survive the rising ancient evils that have hounded him since birth? Will heaven allow Matt and Gabriel’s love to exist? Or will both heaven and hell turn being the Gifted One into a curse?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Balancing my day job with my love of writing. I become so obsessed with writing that it’s all I want to do, but I have to help pay bills too. It gets frustrating, but I’ve made it my goal to make the transition to a full time writer within the next five years or so.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Be persistent. If writing is something you want to do, you can’t give up. It’s a tough business to get into, and you have to be smart about your approach. Study the market and the genre you’re interested in. Get to know the authors and the publishers, and find a way to get yourself through the front door. I can guarantee you that once you see your name on the cover of one of your books, all the hard work will be more than worth it.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I’m immune to writer’s block. I’m way to clever for it and stay one step ahead at all times.
Sigh. If only that were true. I may try to run, but sometimes writer’s block just grabs onto me and won’t let go. I have come up with ways to get around it though. Usually if I outline a book, I tend not to suffer from it as much, but if I do, I pick up a book and read. Usually within a few chapters, I’m no longer blocked.
Who is your favorite author and why?
That’s going to require some thought. Do I just get one? Well, then I’ll have to choose Stephen King because he’s been the most influential over my love of writing. I had always loved reading, but there was something about reading Pet Semetary, It, and The Stand that hooked me. I not only devoured his books, but suddenly all these ideas for stories I wanted to write floated to the surface, and I was only in middle school at the time. Since then, I knew I wanted to be an author.
What books have most influenced your life?
It by Stephen King. After that book, the writing bug had bitten deep and left an indelible mark.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
That’s actually changed over the years. When I was in my twenties, I would get really ticked off. I didn’t understand how publishers were looking past my brilliance. Then, I matured and realized I was doing some things incorrectly. Now when I get rejection letters, I try not to let it affect me personally, which is still difficult. Instead, I use it as a learning tool. I try to look at my query letter and the project and see what I might have missed or how I might not have appealed to that specific publisher. Then, I try to fix it for the next query or the next project.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Willpower and a thick skin.
Writers need the willpower to get them through the writing process. It isn’t easy to create a novel or short story and requires discipline to see it through. We can have as much desire as we want to be a writer, but without the willpower to accomplish it, it won’t happen. When it does happen, that’s when the thick skin comes in. Not everyone is going to love you, and you have to be okay with that.
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
It really depends on the story and the characters. I don’t insert sex or gore merely for titillation. It has to serve a purpose toward character or plot. If not, then I won’t do it.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Looked up demonology websites for The Gifted One. I had goose bumps the whole time!
Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
*Admin note – Update - The Gifted One has been accepted for publication by Dreamspinner Press.
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.
You can follow Jacob’s musings on his blog at http://jacobzflores.com or become a part of his social media network by visiting http://www.facebook.com/jacob.flores2, http://twitter.com/#!/JacobZFlores, or http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5142501.Jacob_Z_Flores.