One moment…that’s all it takes for life as you once knew it to change irrevocably. For Michael Kingston, that moment was when he first laid eyes on Gabriel. In his life, Michael had only known darkness, leaving behind a broken shell of a man. Unspeakable memories of his childhood constantly plagued him, causing him to disconnect emotionally from the world. No one had ever shown him love; therefore, he believed that he was unworthy of it. And then everything changed.
Gabriel Greyson had always been different. Growing up in a small, Bible-thumping town, his preferences for men, makeup, and fashion made him an outcast. But, with the support and love of his family, he overcame obstacles that were thrown his way and rose above the intolerance. He danced to the beat of his own glammed-out drum and refused to believe that he was anything other than ultra-fabulous. Working as a beautician, he had a job he adored and felt that everything was perfect in his life. Everything except for true love.
When these two unlikely men meet, sparks fly. For the first time in Michael’s life, he feels like he can overcome the darkness inside him. Gabriel gives him hope and slowly brings him out of the shadows, showing him that even the darkest of souls can be redeemed. But there are secrets that Michael keeps locked away. Michael’s fear is that Gabriel will turn away from him when he discovers the truth. After all, who could ever love a beast?
As I write this blog post, I am currently reading and absolutely loving this story so far. Jaclyn definitely has a new fan in me. So let's get started with the interview and my review will be posted at the end of this.
Piper: Welcome Jaclyn and thanks for taking the time to stop by the Naughty Playhouse Blog and tolerate my random questions. So you just came out with your very first book, Michael's Awakening. How does it feel to be a published author now?
Jaclyn: It feels weird, but awesome. I never thought I'd get to this point, so it's definitely a dream come true..
Piper: You're published through Encompass Ink, what made you decide to go with the company?
Jaclyn: Well, I've been passionate about M/M stories for a while. When I first started writing “Michael's Awakening,” I had no clue which company to even consider and honestly thought I'd just have to go with the self-published route, which was fine because so many awesome authors do. But then, a great friend *cough* Tyler May *cough* told me about Encompass Ink. After looking it up, I knew it was the place for me.
Piper: YAY for us at Encompass. As one of your lit sisters now, I'm thrilled you did. Tyler rocks btw. lol
Piper: Are you a seasoned M/M fan, as well as writer? How long have you been writing and what made you decide to go with this genre?
Jaclyn: I actually came across M/M by chance. The first book I read that had gay characters was “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller. Now, that book is a historical novel about the Hero Achilles and his journey to Troy. I'm a massive history nerd, so anything to do with Ancient Greece or Rome, count me in. The book wasn't targeted as a gay romance, but sure enough, it was. And I freaking loved it. After that, I intentionally looked for an M/M story and found the first Invicta book. *grin* I don't read anything else.
As for writing, "Michael's Awakening was the first M/M story I wrote. Before that I was just a fan of the genre. Then one day, a snarky, sassy, but sweet character jumped in my head and wouldn't shut up. And thus, Gabriel was born. lol
Piper: How long have you been writing?
Jaclyn: I've been writing since I was in the 6th grade and have always loved creating stories. As I got older, I became a roleplayer on Facebook for several book series, such as Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter Series. So, I did a LOT of writing, but it made me want to create my own characters, instead of just revamping someone elses. People told me that I have a way with words and a few of my best friends encouraged me to start writing a book. :)
Piper: Tell us about Michael? How did his story develop?
Jaclyn: *laughs* People who have read the book may find this funny. I wanted to kick Michael's ass in the beginning stages of my book, the little bugger refused to tell me his story. At first, instead of a Prosecuting Attorney, he was a History Professor in College. Gabriel was a Music Major and took his class for an elective and that's how they met. But, it never felt right. I'd poke Michael-- trying to figure him out-- and he wouldn’t budge. I'd get frustrated, throw a tantrum, and threaten to give him horrible diseases if he didn’t open up. Then, one day, I had the vision of him sitting in the dark, drinking a glass of whiskey and reliving something horrible. That's when I saw the scars. Everything made sense after that.
Piper: I love that, love it. I've had several characters do the same thing, so I totally get it.
Piper: Pantster or plotter?
Jaclyn: Oh Lawd have mercy. I think I’m a combination. Plotting isn't easy for me because I tend to overthink everything and then get frustrated or stuck. The character usually comes to me before the story does. So, I then have to figure out what the heck they're trying to tell me. I do basic plotting after that, but nothing too big.
Piper: Is Michael’s Awakening part of a series or a solo?
Jaclyn: It's a standalone, but I'm working on a second book with a different set of main characters. But, Gabriel and Michael will for sure make several appearances in it.
Piper: Did you base any of your characters on real life people or is he just one of the men that live in your head?
Jaclyn: For Gabriel, he was somewhat inspired by an adorable, feminine man I saw while at Starbucks. He was wearing a headset and talking to someone, trying to decide what they wanted to drink (yes, I eavesdropped) He worked at the salon beside the coffee shop and had made a trip in on his break. His makeup was flawless and his hair was short and blond. So freaking cute.
Michael wasn't based off of anyone. That's one reason why he was so hard to figure out. But knowing him now, I can see why it took so long for him to open up to me.
Piper: What are your feelings on the nationwide ruling? Any characters getting married? Lol
Jaclyn: OMG I was so happy about the ruling that I cried several times. It's beautiful and ABOUT FREAKING TIME! As for any characters getting married... *smirks*
Piper: I totally get it. I was a blubbering mess myself and so excited I couldn't stand it. You are right, about damn time. When I started writing, I've been all about be who you really are and finally we have a nation wide ruling that allows this to be done. I couldn't be more proud of our country now.
Piper: Do you consider being an author as your career?
Jaclyn: Yes. It's what I want/need to do with my life. Nothing else makes sense to me. I feel like I was born to write, plain and simple.
Piper: Well you are absolutely amazing at what you do.
Piper: Any advice for new writers?
Jaclyn: Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it. If you are passionate about it and work your butt off, you can do anything. I never thought I'd make it as a published author and I NEVER thought that my book would be sitting in the Top for as long as it did. Dreams do come true. Take control of yours <3
Pier: What do you consider to be the hardest challenge in being an author?
Jaclyn: The criticism. I've received some nasty reviews about my book and I'd be lying if I said they didn't feel like a sledgehammer to my chest. Putting your work out there is scary, but so worth it.
Piper: Sweetie...it's in our nature to be sensitive. I've been published for a few years, and a bad review can crush me in a heartbeat. It goes with the flow, but we tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves. You just keep kicking amazon ranks girl, you so got this and I'm very proud of you.
Piper: Who or what is your inspiration?
Jaclyn: The men in my head are my inspiration (Damn, makes me sound nuts, huh? Hahahaha) I believe in love and happiness and feel like that's something everyone deserves. I write M/M because it makes me happy and I'm passionate about it.
Pip;er: Tell us about your muse? Mine is a bipolar bitch. Lol
Jaclyn: My muse reminds me a lot of Gabriel, but more temperamental sometimes lol He will wake me up all through the night blabbing and making me restless, but then when I sit down to write, the little jerk will shut his mouth and grin mischievously. But other times, we're cool. lol
Piper: What do we have to look forward to from you for the rest of 2015?
Jaclyn: I have a novella being released September 4th called “Dear Adam.” It's definitely something different than what I've written before *bites nails anxiously* but I hope it goes over well.
I'm also working on the second story to “Michael's Awakening,” as well as about five other stories lol They range in time periods and genre, but they are all still M/M. I love my boys too much to stray. I doubt they will all be done by the end of this year, but keep a look out for them ;)
Now a quick round, first thing that comes to mind.
Favorite color? Red.
Favorite author? Soooo not fair. All the M/M authors are great :) but besides that, I'd have to say J.K Rowling.
Favorite food? Pizza
Favorite quote? “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.”
Summer or winter? Winter!
Boxers or briefs? (your preference) Boxers
Favorite song? Depends on the day. Right now, it's “All These Things I Hate” by Bullet for my Valentine.
Book boyfriend? All of them..bahahaha! I guess I'd have to say Achilles from “The Song of Achilles.” I'm re-reading it <3
TV Series? Game of Thrones
Thanks again Jaclyn for stopping in on the blog. I look forward to reading more from you. You can find out more about Jaclyn Osborn at the following links.
Purchase Link for Michael's Awakening http://www.amazon.com/Michaels-Awakening-Jaclyn-Osborn/dp/151465895X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435505790&sr=8-1&keywords=michael%27s+wakening
My Review: http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RAIP2OXPN00DG/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00ZTKXOJU