Today I am so pleased to welcome Brandon Witt to Joyfully Jay. Brandon has come to talk to us about his latest release, Under a Sky of Ash. He has also brought along a backlist book to give away. Please join me in giving Brandon a big welcome!
Thank you so much, JoyfulJay for allowing Ben and I come by today to do an interview. Under a Sky of Ash is the story of how Ben and Isaiah met and fell in love.
BW: Ben, thanks so much for being willing to be interviewed today, I didn’t think it was something you’d be willing to do. Especially on your own, I know Isaiah had to teach today, but I appreciate you fitting me into your schedule.
Ben: [Shrugging] No problem. I can’t say that this was something I was dying to to do, but Isaiah said the interview he did with you for The Novel Approach wasn’t so bad, and he thought it might be therapeutic. Not sure how talking about all the stuff again will be more healing than what we’ve already done, but I’ve learned to trust him. [lets out a small laugh] Plus, ManDonna said that if she can try out DragRace then I needed to quit being such a little chicken shit.
BW: Oh, right! Isaiah did say that you were with ManDonna as she auditioned for RuPaul’s DragRace last week. Did she make it?
Ben: We haven’t heard yet. But, it’s ManDonna. I mean come on. You’ve seen her in action. She’ll get in, she’d be great for the ratings!
BW: You’re right. I can’t imagine Ru not wanting her. She’s pure gold.
Ben: That she is, in every way. [looks around nervously] So, I doubt you asked me here to talk about ManDonna. Can we just dive in and get this over with?
BW: Sure, let’s do it. You and Isaiah really laid it all on the line when you agreed to let me tell your story. I know it wasn’t easy for him, but it was harder for you, and, in some ways you had more to lose by being so transparent with your life.
Ben: [another shrug] Why? Admitting that I’m a recovering addict? That’s not really news to anyone around here. While having it written down in a book is a bit terrifying, it’s not something I’ve tried to keep secret. Just the opposite, really. The more people in my life that know, the more accountability I have in my sobriety, and the more support.
BW: So, if you’re not. . . I’m not sure what the right word is, embarrassed by your past, why was opening up for the book and for interviews like this one so hard.
Ben: Well, there’s a lot more in this book than just my addiction. And it’s a whole lot different reading about it, than just telling my story, you know. I can tell about my past in about ten minutes if I want to do the abbreviated version. But, going through it for the book, that required a lot of reliving of things I try not to dwell on too much. You kinda open yourself to loosing control of your own story, I wasn’t sure what people’s reactions were going to be.
BW: Are there people close to you that have read it? How did the guys on the construction crew respond to the book?
Ben: [laughing] Most of them aren’t big readers, but I’ll be damned if every single one of them read the damned thing last week.
BW: They give you a hard time?
Ben: For the first couple of days, they were walking around me like they were on eggshells. By the end of the week, they were making fun of me for getting a blowjob in the face cave of Casa Bonita. Hershel had to put a stop to it when the guys started reenacting scenes with a nail gun.
BW: Oh! That could go bad.
Ben: Nah, now that Jake’s on office duty, there’s not much chance of anyone getting shot with nails.
BW: Poor Jake.
Ben: [waving me off] Don’t give him any sympathy. The boy has a cake job now and he and Charity are so cute together it’s disgusting. The boys and I do miss him on the job site, even if it is safer without him.
BW: I love the relationship you all have. I think that was one of the biggest things I took away from my time with you and Isaiah. You in particular chose your family. I never dreamed a construction crew and host of drag queens would get along, much less for a makeshift family.
Ben: I wouldn’t call makeshift. I’d call it family. They’re my family more than any of the people who share my blood. I’d be lost without ManDonna and Hershel. I owe them my life, literally. Hell, even Isaiah and I wouldn’t have made if it wasn’t for them butting into my life.
BW: You’re right. Through all the hardships, you really are a lucky guy.
Ben: The luckiest. No doubt.
BW: Before I let you go, anything you want to tell the people reading our interview about the book?
Ben: [cocked eyebrow] Hell no. You’re the writer. [grins suddenly] Actually, yeah. Tell them that if they don’t like my character that it’s because you fucked up and wrote me wrong. I’m pretty great in real life.
BW: I’ll make sure to mention it.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read our interview. Please check out Ben and Isaiah’s story in my new book Under a Sky of Ash. And feel free to connect with me on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, or any of the billion other sites. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
More than a decade after leaving Colorado to attend college and escape his past, Isaiah Greene moves back and builds a life in Denver as a special education teacher. When he meets Ben Woods, the mentor of one of his students, the attraction is immediate. The revelations that they’ve both suffered traumatic childhoods form a bond between them.
Raised by an abusive grandmother, Ben is a recovering addict who has made a family with his construction worker boss, Hershel, and Hershel’s husband, Daniel—drag queen ManDonna. Adding Isaiah to his life gives Ben a glimpse of a future he’d never dreamed possible for himself.
Both Isaiah and Ben are survivors, but when guilt drives a wedge between them, the past threatens to end their relationship.
Ben and Isaiah embark on journeys of self-discovery. Though their path will be difficult at times, humor and love find a way to bring light to the darkness.
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….
- Website: http://www.brandonwitt.com
- Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/brandon.witt.author/?fref=ts
- Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brandon-Witt/e/B008FV6Y4M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1454952325&sr=8-1
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4896623.Brandon_Witt
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO5cFqYKyNyDCxExAonFPRA
Brandon has brought a choice of backlist book to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, March 31st 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.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- 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.