Today I am so pleased to welcome J.A. Rock to Joyfully Jay. J.A. has come to talk to us about her latest releases, the All in Fear and Take a Chance anthologies. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
It seems like a lot of people had the shared experience of 2016 being a rough year. I know it was certainly not my favorite, but there were some good moments. I had a great time with books in 2016, reading and writing. Writing-wise, I got to bond with a really fun group of characters in The Subs Club series. I got to re-release my first novel ever, The Silvers, with a way nicer cover. Lisa Henry and I got back into Mac and Cheese and Prescott College, and are very excited to bring that to you in 2017.
I tried writing short stories.
I’m a terrible short story writer. My short stories are super long, like they want to be novels, but I know I can’t let them be novels, so I try to curtail them, and then I end up with a messy, sprawling, arc-less story that is just crying out to be extended to like 100k but I can’t do that because I promised whoever I was writing it for that it would be “short.”
But I tried anyway.
I’m in two anthologies that released this month, and I had such a great time being part of both of them. One is All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales, starring Roan Parrish, Kris Ripper, Steve Berman, Avon Gale, KJ Charles, and me. I seriously flipped when I was asked to participate in this, because a) being creepy is my one true love, and b) did you SEE the names I just typed??? I got to be in an anthology with all of them. I got the offer just before I left for my internet-and-computer-free summer as a ranch hand in Wyoming, and my response was basically, I WANT TO DO THIS ANTHOLOGY SO BAD BUT I’M SUPPOSED TO GO TO THIS PLACE WITH NO INTERNET BUT I’LL JUST STAY HOME IF I HAVE TO IN ORDER TO BE IN THIS. Luckily, it all worked out, and I was able to ranch and write a horror story.
My story, “Beauties,” is…long. But…not as long as it could be. And my favorite thing about writing it was getting to explore my favorite theme, soul-crushing loneliness, but through a futuristic lens. In “Beauties,” a robotics engineer adopts a potentially violent robot, both to study said robot and because he could really use the company. It’s horror, so things don’t go incredibly well, but I tried to make it less about robot terror and more about the desperate measures people will take in order to forge connections and avoid being alone. I know it doesn’t sound very cheerful, but I would rec this anthology to anyone looking for a diverse range of horror tales from gory to ghostly.
The second anthology is Take a Chance, a collection of twelve gay NA stories. Again, a fantastic group of authors, and another opportunity to practice keeping things short. And almost succeeding, a little. This story, “Stranger Than Stars,” is also about loneliness, but with a much different feel and a happier outcome than “Beauties.” In “Stranger than Stars,” a young man backpacks Europe to escape the shitstorm of his life, and ends up spending a strange, poignant evening with a sex worker in Amsterdam. My favorite thing about writing this story was the challenge of building a relationship between two strangers over the course of a few hours. It’s definitely not insta-love, but it’s insta-connection.
So short stories were my fun experiment in 2016. And you can read excerpts from both of these over at my blog! What about you all? Did you try anything new and exciting this year? Tell me about it in the comments, and be sure to leave your contact info and which anthology you’d like to win!
All in Fear
Horror wears many faces and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.
Take A Chance
A single moment can change everything.
A university student preparing to confront the adolescent crush who betrayed him. A demon embroiled in a battle against his very nature. A soldier, mentally scarred after fighting in The Great War, torn between propriety and his heart. Though separated by time and distance, culture and reality, these young men all have one thing in common: they each stand at a crossroads in their life and face a choice that will alter the course of their future.
These twelve tales in this collection of gay romantic fiction range from sweet to erotic, contemporary to historical, paranormal to grittily realistic. Whether centred around the fear associated with coming out, the thorny issue of trust, or the struggle for survival, each story explores in its own way the courage needed to overcome personal obstacles and take a chance on love.
J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
- Website: www.jarockauthor.com
- Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39
J.A. has brought a copy of All in Fear and of Take a Chance to give away (one each for two different winners). Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, December 24th 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.
I do love short stories… and I’m really looking forward to reading All In Fear, as horror is something I really enjoy, specially at nights (And then I spend the whole night awake, scared to death… Call me masochist…). As for trying something new this year, I read about taboo relationships, something I had not read before. I found a couple of really good books, specially A Slave to Clay by Justine Sebastian. I loved it
OooooOoooooooo I havent read these yet!! They look so good!
I live a very boring life so nothing new & exciting for me. Annual camping trip with the parental units, brother & SiL and annual trip to Finger Lakes with the parentals for a wine festival. Annual trip to Flint for renn fest. That’s the highlight of my year.
Please count me in. Thanks.
I am going to try blogging but not this year. Nothing new and exciting this year. I will also become a grandmother next year.
I love short stories because I read a bit slow. i’d read Beauties and is really amazing, so different, I loved it. I can’t recommend it enough for readers looking for something unique. I love the whole anthology, but Beauties was definitely one of my favorite stories, it was actually the name J.A. Rock in there what made me read it.
I’m not a fan of horror stories but Take A Chance sounds like a collection I’d enjoy reading. Hmm, something new that I tried this year? A friend took my to an Ethiopian restaurant which was a first for me; AND I enjoyed the food. Congratulations on both of your new releases, J.A., and best wishes with your current project(s).
Just livin’ vicariously through books, as usual! 🙂
I generally prefer full length books to short stories, but these both sound like great collections full of amazing authors, so I’ll probably try to get my hands on both at some point!
What I tried new this year was to write comments in Jay’s blog 🙂
I prefer long novels and I seldom read horror stories but “All In Fear” has so many great writers participating, including JA Rock 🙂 so this is the anthology I would like to win.
booklover-forever (at) web (dot) de
Yay! I love reading your comments so I am so glad to have you stop by the blog!