Today I am so pleased to welcome K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn to Joyfully Jay. K. and Brigham have come to talk to us about their latest release, Extra Dirty. They have also brought along a set of books to give away! Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
“Extra Dirty” Character Interview with Jesse Murtagh and Cameron Lewis
Jesse Murtagh is one of the most vibrant characters Brigham Vaughn and I had the pleasure of working with we wrote his book, “Extra Dirty,” with much glee. Imagine our delight to find that Cameron Lewis, whom we magicked up to go head-to-head with Jesse, turned out to be just as much fun!
We were excited to introduce our pre-readers to “Extra Dirty,” and enjoyed watching them fall in love with with Jesse and Cam too. When it came time to write this blog post, I asked our pre-readers for questions and they absolutely did not disappoint. They submitted double the number of questions I anticipated, all of them thoughtful and wonderful. Thank you, Stephanie, Anna, Shelli, Emily, Kristin, and Anka for wanting to know more!
Cam, Jesse had a family fortune even before he opened Under, his speakeasy. Does the financial disparity between both of you seem like an obstacle? Does it bother you
Cam: Yeah, it was sort of an obstacle for me when Jesse and I first met. I thought I’d never be able to compete with him in terms of creating a perfect date. I mean, the man charters planes when he feels like going out of town for dinner. That was the part that bothered me because I felt a little inadequate. But then I got to know Jesse better and realized the money doesn’t define him. Sure, he’s wealthy, but he’s also just a regular dude who can throw down with pizza, a bottle of cheap wine, and bootleg movies and be content.
Jesse: Cheap wine is fine, but all pizza is from God.
Cam: *rolls his eyes*
Jesse, being financially well off and not able to hide it, how difficult is it for you to gauge how sincere the people in your life are? How do you know if people are into you for you and not your money?
Jesse: This may sound weird, but it can be both easy and hard to gauge what people want from me. When it comes to business, I know people want my money, and that’s totally okay–chances are, my business with them will be mutually beneficial and I already understand the rules of engagement. That’s one of the reasons I was interested in my friend, Carter, back in the day. Carter wanted my business for his family’s ad firm and once we got that part out of the way, everything else that followed was fun and genuine and about the two of us and now my money. Carter’s also loaded, so that helped too.
Cam: Does that mean you’re more suspicious of someone who hits on you out in the wild?
Jesse: I wouldn’t say suspicious so much as curiously careful. Especially if they start out by saying they already know who I am. That means they’ve taken the time to look me up and I’m already behind the curve.
Cam, if you weren’t a teacher and an awesome DJ on the night, what would you do instead? Jesse, same question.
Cam: I’d probably be a full-time musician. I play few instruments including piano, guitar, and banjo, and I recently started playing drums. One of the things I like most about DJing is the energy that comes off the crowd during a gig — it’s a sweet high and I really like it. I find that kind of energy even more intense when I’m playing an instrument for a crowd. I can’t imagine not being a teacher, though. Even on my toughest days, I love what I do.
Jesse: I am neither a teacher nor an awesome DJ.
Cam: Don’t be a pain.
Jesse: Okay, fine. I’m involved with several organizations that work with at-risk youth and I could see myself doing that full time. I wouldn’t mind working in hospitality full-time either–opening Under was one of my favorite decisions ever.
Cam, what is the longest time frame you’ve gamed?
Cam: Oh, man, I’ve spent three days gaming when the occasion called for it–the only reason I stop is because I have to go to work. My friend, Kyle, is the worst enabler. The last time we holed up in that shoebox apartment of his, I got so sleep deprived I was hallucinating at school the next day.
Jesse: What kinds of hallucinations?
Cam: I saw a banana walking around the staff room when I went on break.
Jesse: Like … a cartoon banana?
Cam: No, like a piece of fruit with little legs and feet. It walked past me and out the door and I actually got up to follow it.
Jesse: Holy shit, I can’t stop laughing.
Jesse, how do you manage to keep enjoying what you have in life without attracting leeches interested only in what they can gain?
Jesse: My dude, we’ve only got one life–I can’t waste it worrying too hard about things I can’t control. I’m also very lucky in that I have an amazing family and friends who have my back every day. If they saw something going on that raised alarm bells, they would tell me.
You’re both believers in open relationships, but do you ever see yourself wanting more? Does jealousy have a negative impact?
Jesse: I don’t feel like I’m missing anything, so I don’t see myself wanting more–I’m very satisfied and happy with the way things are.
Cam: Me too. I know it probably seems weird to some people that neither of us is interested in locking things down to just two people, but I’m learning that open relationships are more common than I ever realized. I don’t want to be tied down or tie anyone else down, so open works for me.
Jesse: And are you ever jealous?
Cam: Sometimes, but not so much now as I was back when we first met. Like I said, I didn’t know about open relationships, and I didn’t really understand how they worked.
Jesse: Who were you jealous of?
Cam: Um. Well, Astrid for one. And Kyle, but only on one occasion.
Jesse: Oh, girl, we’ll talk after this.
What if one of you changed their mind about being in an open relationship and wanted more exclusivity?
Cam: We’d have to talk it out, obviously. But I don’t see that happening. I don’t think Jes and I are wired to be monogamists.
For both, name each other’s worst flaw. And best quality.
Cam: I think Jesse worries too much about hurting people. So much so, he holds back talking about his feelings and just pretends everything is okay. Learning that was a huge surprise for me.
Jesse: That’s because you assumed I don’t give a fuck about other people.
Cam: Sorry. *makes a face*
Jesse: I get it. But that highlights the thing I wanted to bring up, which is Cam making snap judgements. Lots of people do that, but instead of talking them through, Cam goes into avoidance mode. Which can be very annoying.
Cam: Only because you don’t have a passive-aggressive bone in your body.
Jesse: God forbid.
Cam: As far as positives, Jesse is one of the most generous and open people I’ve ever met. He’s so extra about everything in life and I love it.
Jesse: Jeeze, Red, you are giving me toothache. The thing I like most about Cam is that he is okay with all my weirdnesses and flaws, and hasn’t tried to change me, even once. Also, if you could see him, you’d know that boy is a SNACK.
If you could share one night with anyone, and do all kinds of things … who would it be? A rockstar? runaway model?
Cam: I wish you guys could see Jesse’s face right now. He looks like a Christmas Tree that just got plugged in.
Jesse: Oh, my God, I can’t even begin to choose. I need a minute to think about this.
Cam: Take your time, Blondie, we’re not going anywhere.
Are there any kinks you would like to explore?
Cam: I’ve always been interested in shibari. And especially with red rope. I love the way intricate knots look against skin. Erotic cupping, too. Again, I the impressions and suction marks on skin. Jes … are you taking notes on your phone?
Jesse: Duh, of course I am.
Where is your favorite place to relax?
Jesse: Under, the speakeasy I opened with my friend, Kyle. It’s like the clubhouse I never knew I needed.
Cam: I like to read in bed when no one else is around and it’s so quiet all I can hear is the sound of traffic on the streets below.
Jesse: That’s kind of romantic. How come we don’t read in bed together?
Cam: Because when you’re around there is no such thing as quiet?
What is your favorite thing to cook?
Jesse: Pad Thai. Mine is seriously kick ass.
Cam: Cherry Pop-Tarts.
Jesse: Oh, my God, no.
What is your all-time favorite drink of Kyle’s?
Cam: Pretty much everything Kyle mixes up is delicious. I like a Salty Dog. It’s gin and fresh grapefruit juice over ice in a glass with a salted rim.
Jesse: I’m more of a Manhattan person myself. Sweet vermouth, rye whiskey, and bitters with cherry and an orange twist for garnish.
Cam: Do you eat the garnish?
Jesse: Depends on my mood. Kyle puts up his own cherries and they’re a million times better than any I’ve ever tried. He can tie a cherry stem into a knot with his tongue, you know.
Cam: I did not know that. And I will need a live demonstration asap.
What is your favorite piece of clothing and why?
Jesse: I have some brogue boots that I bought when I was college and wore through all four years and grad school. I don’t wear them very much anymore because they don’t go with ninety-nine percent of my wardrobe, but I’ve never thrown them out. I had some good times in those boots.
Cam: I have a Beastie Boys t-shirt from their To The Five Boroughs tour. They played at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn and I have no idea how my dad scored those tickets but it was fucking amazing. It’s faded, but it still fits!
Jesse: How old were you?
Cam: Fourteen. It was my first big show and just me and my dad went.
Jesse: I had no idea Frank was a closet hip-hop fan.
Cam: Oh, he’s out about it. Next time you see him, ask how many Run-DMC shows he’s been to.
Jesse, why do you slay me?
Jesse: I don’t know, darlin’, but if being slayed makes you happy, then I am, too.
Cam: You’re so ridiculous.
Jesse: Apparently, I am not slaying Cameron, so we’d better get him something to eat.
Love, served extra dirty.
Jesse Murtagh loves his life as a wealthy bisexual businessman dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure. With a circle of friends he trusts implicitly, he enjoys a successful career in his family’s business and as co-owner of Under, an uptown speakeasy, with his friend with benefits, Kyle McKee.
Music teacher and part-time DJ Cameron Lewis lives modestly in a DUMBO loft and isn’t interested in serious relationships. However, he’s always up for some casual fun.
Doing a favor for his friend Carter Hamilton, Jesse meets Cam and is immediately charmed. When Jesse discovers Cam’s other life as a DJ, he is further intrigued. Viewing Cam as a challenge, Jesse pulls out all the stops, but his usual methods to avoid serious relationships fail. Though Cam has no intention of becoming attached, he begins to fall for Jesse, unaware that Jesse’s feelings are changing.
Afraid of heartbreak, Cam pulls away, leaving Jesse bewildered and hurt. They remain friends until a series of misunderstandings widens the rift to breaking point. When Cam steps in to help Jesse through a family crisis, they realize they care for each other more than they’ve been willing to admit. Jesse and Cam don’t want a traditional relationship, but can they build a future that makes them both happy?
Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of mmm ménage as well as references to homophobia and recreational drug use.
K. Evan Coles
K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.
K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.
K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.
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Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.
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K and Brigham have brought a copy of With a Twist and Extra Dirty (The Speakeasy books 1 and 2) to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Monday, April 8th at 11:59 pm ET.
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