Today I am so pleased to welcome Jacob Z. Flores back to Joyfully Jay. Jacob has come to talk to us about his latest release, Please Remember Me. He has also brought along two different giveaways! Please join me in giving Jacob a big welcome!
Characters from Please Remember Me Interview Their Author, Jacob Z. Flores
Hi, everyone. My name is Jacob Z. Flores, and I’m so excited to be back here at Joyfully Jay I just can’t stand it. You may or may not know, but Jay’s got some of the best studs in her stable. Wouldn’t you know it? My own is running a little low, so while I’m here I might just peruse her stallions and see which one would like to go out for a ride.
But before I do that, let’s talk about why I’m here: Please Remember Me, my latest release from Dreamspinner.
To help introduce you to the MCs of this novel, I thought it might be fun to sit down with Santi and Hank and let them interview me. Before I surrender all control to them, here’s the blurb to give you a bit more information on the characters.
Successful lawyer Santi Herrera couldn’t be happier with the direction his life is taking. Not only is he on track to becoming a partner in his law firm, but he’s planning his wedding to Hank Burton, a south Texas contractor who has made a name for himself despite his humble beginnings. The introverted lone wolf Santi and the friendly, outgoing Hank complement each other perfectly. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they were hooked, and as far as Santi and Hank are concerned, a happily ever after is their destiny.
But fate deals them a devastating new hand.
A construction accident leaves Hank with severe head trauma and brings him precariously close to death. When he finally awakens, Hank doesn’t remember Santi or the love they shared for the past three years. Santi faces the greatest challenge of his life. Can he respark a flame his lover can’t recall? And can he stop the diverging paths that fickle fate charts between them?
Santi has faith in the love he and Hank shared and in the words his father once spoke to him: “It’s never too late to fall in love. All over again.”
Okay, now that you have some idea who my boys are, I’m handing the reigns over to them. Wish me luck!
Santi: Luck? It’s an interview not an inquisition.
Jacob: True. But you are a lawyer, right.
Hank: (laughing) Blam! Bitch pudding!
Santi: (rolling his eyes at Hank) Did you have to make Hank such a Robot Chicken aficionado?
Hank: And what’s wrong with Robot Chicken? I think it’s a delightful satire on popular culture. It juxtaposes icons from previous generations with the reality of today.
Jacob and Santi: (mouths open in astonishment)
Hank: What? Am I supposed to be stupid because I never went to college?
Jacob: What? No!
Santi: Of course not! I’ve just never looked at it that way, but I guess you’re right. (grabs Hank’s hand) You teach me something new every day.
Hank: (laughing hysterically) Gotcha! I don’t care about any of that satire shit. That show’s just fucking funny. I mean Bitch Pudding, really! That’s just genius. She’s much more interesting than Strawberry Shortcake. I could watch Bitch Pudding all day long.
Santi: (glaring at Jacob) I blame you for this.
Jacob: (shrugging) He wouldn’t be Hank if he wasn’t like this.
Hank: (grinning at Santi) Damn straight!
Santi: Who’s straight?
Hank: (pointing at his Hello Kitty shirt) Not me!
Santi: That’s a good segue into our first question: why did you create Hank as this wall of muscle and tattoos and then put him in sparkly Hello Kitty shirts? It’s quite a contrast.
Jacob: I can’t argue with that, but Hank is actually not how he appears on the outside. Yes, he’s strong and intimidating, but he truly is gentle and loving. He’s more like what he wears than how he looks.
Hank: Aw! That’s sweet. But as much as I enjoy who I am, do you think people are going to buy that such a person like me exists?
Jacob: They will because you do.
Hank: So I’m based after someone you know then?
Santi: (looks at the photo sitting on Jacob’s desk) I would ask you who, but I see you’ve left the evidence out for all to see.
Jacob: (laughing) Guilty! But it’s not like I was keeping this from people. All you need to do is read the book and look at my life to know that Hank is Mike.
Hank: Did you include other parts of your life in our book?
Jacob: (nodding) Quite a few actually. Like the Pokémon party at Numbers.
Santi: (groaning) That was so awful!
Hank: (snickering) It was awful, but it was hilarious more than anything else. I’d never seen so many life-sized Pokémon in my life!
Santi: And they were some pretty randy fuckers too!
Hank: Especially that guy in the dragon costume that kept coming on to Mitch. Serves him right for always being a Hag.
Santi: Are all the characters in this book based on people in your real life?
Jacob: Yes, but with some creative license added of course. I tend to do that in most of books though. There are pieces of people I know in most of my characters. It’s how I keep them real in my head because I understand how Friend A responds to certain people and situations, which makes him a bit different than Friend B.
Hank: So then why do an amnesia story line? Have you actually lived through something like that?
Jacob: No and I hope to never have to. I had wanted to write a romance trope for a while. I just didn’t know which one. Thankfully, a new friend of mine planted the seed that became your story.
Hank: But did you have to make it so painful? (points to his shirt) I like happy not sad, you know?
Santi: (gasping in pretend shock) What? You?
Hank: (glaring at Santi in pretend anger) You just think you’re funny. Just wait till I get you home.
Santi: Promises, promises.
Hank: (arching his blond eyebrow) I never break my promises.
Santi: (wiggling his eyebrows and practically crawling in Hank’s lap) I know.
Jacob: Can I answer the question before you start humping on my couch?
Santi: (confused) What question?
Jacob: (sighing) Why does this always happen?
Santi: (giving Jacob the stink eye as he gets off Hank) You’re the one who made us this way, so don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.
Hank: Blam! Bitch pudding!
Jacob: (ignoring them both) But in answer to the question, yes, there is pain in your story, but the book isn’t all angst. It’s surrounded by happy moments so filled with love that it’ll have you laughing through your tears.
Santi: I love those kinds of stories.
Hank: (crossing his arms over his chest) No tears. Just happy!
Jacob: I know that’s what you’d prefer but life isn’t always happy. That’s why we have to find joy in every single minute of it and not take anything for granted.
Santi: Is that why you wrote this book?
Jacob: Partially. I’d just gone through a pretty rough time in my life the previous year, and I got wrapped up in the misery. I couldn’t see the joy in my life or my relationships. I had basically forgotten how to live. And that’s what happens to Hank and Santi for a while there.
Hank: That’s hard to come back from.
Jacob: It can be, but I think it’s important for everyone to remember that it’s never too late to fall in love. All over again.
Santi: Well, Jacob. That’s all the time we have today. I have to get home and prepare for a deposition.
Hank: What deposition?
Santi: (whispering) You know. The deposition I was telling you about. (wiggles his eyebrows)
Hank: Oh right. That hard one you need to get back to.
Jacob: (rolling his eyes) I’m not stupid, you know?
Hank: (batting his eyes) What do you mean?
Santi: (grabbing Hank’s hand) Thanks again for letting us interview you, Jacob. But we really have to get going.
Jacob: See you around, boys. Have fun and don’t break any beds.
For the first time in weeks, the Hank I remembered stared back at me before the man Hank now was blinked him back.
“I just don’t want to hurt you, especially when you look at me the way you sometimes do. It feels like I have all this power and your happiness rests in my hands. That’s a lot for any one person to handle.”
“I can’t argue with that,” I said. “But there’s something you should know. You do make me happy. In fact, I’ve never been happier than when I met you. My life was no more exciting than a bran muffin until I saw you outside of Rich’s. And I’m sorry if that puts a lot of pressure on you, I really am, but you don’t have any power over me that I haven’t willingly given to you. That’s what happens when you fall in love. You give your heart to someone and hope they are gentle and loving with it, and that is something you have always been.”
“But I’m not that Hank anymore,” he said. He averted his gaze to the metal floor of the bus.
I hooked my fingers under his chin and brought his attention back to me. “But you are still Hank Burton, and that’s the man I fell in love with and the person I gave my heart to.”
“How can you say that?” he asked. “I’m so screwed up right now I don’t know what I feel, but I do know I don’t want to hurt you. Or anybody.”
He didn’t have to tell me that. I knew Hank better than anyone else. He went out of his way not to hurt people. “And I love you even more for it. But you should know, I’m willing to be hurt because that’s what love is.”
Hank stared at me out of the corners of his eyes. Clearly he was questioning my sanity.
“It’s true,” I said with a firm nod. “It’s not always hot sex and romantic candlelit dinners. Or picnics in the park or fun days at the zoo. True love exists in the gaps between those moments. It’s in the arguments, where you’re so angry at each other that you may want to throw a tantrum and walk out the door, but you don’t. It lives in the hard times when one of you is sick or exhausted, and you have to carry each other for miles with no rest, and even though your body aches and you want to let go, you don’t.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever known that kind of love.” He glanced at his hands in his lap. “My relationships have always been the bad kind. Where one of us gives up or gives in.”
“Well, love that is worth anything isn’t like that. It blooms in the dead of winter because we have fed its soul in the spring and summer. That is what I fight for. You may not feel what I do because you lack the memories I have, but you feel something. I can see it in the way you look at me or touch me, and I can see you fighting it. Maybe because you’re afraid of hurting me or because you don’t understand what these emotions are. I don’t really know, but you should know this: Fighting it won’t make it go away, and it won’t change how our story will end. We will get married. We will grow old together. And before we breathe our last, the final words we will utter will be each other’s names.”
Hank rested his forehead against mine and sighed. I loved when he did that. It was as comforting and intimate as a kiss. “And I thought I was stubborn.”
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 hardass 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 daughter. They both 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
Jacob is hosting two different giveaways. First, one lucky winner will receive a free e-copy of any book from his backlist. Just leave a comment to enter. The contents ends on Thursday, March 12th at 11:59 PM EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.