Thursday, December 10, 2015

Author Interview: Jamie Dean author of The Art of Survival

Jamie Dean, author of The Art of Survival, stopped by today for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, outside my writing obsession, I think I'm pretty boring. My animals, on the other hand, I could talk about them for days. Especially our new puppy...

What do you do when you're not writing?

I'm honestly not sure I'm ever not writing! When I'm not typing story up, I'm usually either editing or researching or plotting or talking about writing or thinking about one of those things, so... No, but the usual stuff, I suppose? I read a lot. I cook and draw and spend time with Jay and my family and my animals. Try new beers. Help friends through crises. I listen to music and watch sci-fi television and comic book movies. I take road trips. Lots of little road trips.

When did you first start writing?

I was around 4 years old the first time I wrote something, I think? I couldn't spell anything, my mother had to spell it all out for me, but an idea caught my attention and I felt a compulsion to tell a story about it. As for knowing I was a writer, or at least wanted to be a writer, I was around 12-13. My creative writing teacher was amazing and she helped me get a poem published in an anthology. When that happened I absolutely knew that I wanted to publish a book one day.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Stephen King and Clive Barker both had huge influences on me, I'd say. Really the way King talks about what it's like to be a writer (and how to be a better one) more than just his books - although I love those too. He's also so open-minded and I've no doubt he helped make me the free-thinker I am today. Clive Barker's book Imajica, where he explores the idea of a third gender, well, that book just captivated me. His books, being some of the first books I ever read where gay relationships were explored in a positive, normal way, probably have a bigger impact on me than I even realize.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

I was taking a little road trip with my sister MB. She and I were just throwing out ideas for things, little writing prompts. We made a list and then I sort of left it for a while. Weeks or months, I'm not sure. Then one day, I was blocked, so I was skimming the list. For some reason, this idea - one that I'd really liked but hadn't felt inspired by at the time - caught my eye again. It's gotten a lot of editing and rewriting since then, but I think I wrote the original draft in a couple of weeks? It was the first time I tried to make chapters a specific length, I think. That went out the window later, but the first draft I used that method.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I think probably the part where Trevor finally gets his shit together and decides to give them a chance. Though I really, really like writing angst...

What is best writing advice you can give?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Try to join a writing community. Talking to other writers can be so helpful, you wouldn't believe. It's a lot easier to accept feedback from people who know what they're doing.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

I'm no Les Stroud. Don't try to survive based on techniques mentioned in my book. I did a lot of research, but there were times when artistic license took precedent, so if you want to learn real survival, look elsewhere.

Trevor Wilson has been a survivalist for about ten years. Training people no longer pays the bills, though, so he's been supplementing his income for a few years by taking bored rich people on Survival Safaris - and he hates it.

Enter one Grantland DeLourde. When the independently wealthy Grant books a series of safaris, Trevor is forced to question everything about his life, from his career to his romantic choices to his family obligations.

Grant makes Trevor feel things he has long buried and he won't let himself give in without a fight.

Art of Survival will be 34% off for 24 hours only, starting on 12/10 at 6am PST!

About the author:

Jamie Dean lives in the southwestern US with his long-time domestic partner, two dogs, two cats, and a selection of outdoor-dwelling lizards. For Jamie, writing is a way of life. He finds inspiration everywhere and sometimes can't sleep for all the ideas fighting for his attention. He's an activist, a feminist, a pansexual, and just generally a pain in the ass.

He has published two well-reviewed erotic gay romances, The Story of Jax and Dylan (Dreamspinner Press, April 2015) and The Art of Survival (JDW Press, July 2015).


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