Today I am so pleased to welcome TJ Nichols to Joyfully Jay. TJ has come to talk to us about a new release, A Summer of Smoke and Sin (which I reviewed here and really enjoyed). Please join me in giving TJ a big welcome!
I wrote the first draft of A Summer of Smoke and Sin in 2017. At the time I felt like I had run out of ideas, and I was going no where with my writing, or work…or anything. It was one of those flat spots that everyone has occasionally and if felt like everything was jammed and nothing would shake free.
I needed to dislodge something, make a change, do anything to get some traction. If I got one part of my life moving I thought the rest would follow.
The writing was the easy one to solve. If I was writing something, then that would be progress. Armed with several decks of tarot cards I decided that every morning I would pull a card and free write for ten minutes, sometimes I did nothing more than describe the card. Other times I’d write a piece of flash fiction.
I did this for several weeks before I woke up with Jericho Fulbright, delightfully dishevelled in my mind. That morning I wrote about him. For the next few days that was all I did, and the world build around him, then Nathanial showed up and suddenly I was writing a story.
Usually I plot, so I know the key scenes of the story, but with this I had no idea where it was going or how the killer would be caught (or why the killer was killing until I wrote it). All I had had were a few scenes that I really wanted to write my way toward. The words flowed.
At the time I didn’t worry that I was writing a rather weird alternate history urban fantasy about a rather unsavoury matter. I was writing for me.
Eventually I decided to edit it so I could do something with it rather than leaving the story languishing on my hard drive (I have a few sitting there so it wouldn’t have been alone). I also enrolled in a bookkeeping course so I could change jobs, thus unsticking myself at work.
Looking back, I know I hadn’t run out of ideas…but my creativity had been running low. I had forgotten how to have fun when I write and more importantly how to refill myself. I now make sure to read plenty of nonfiction and to watch movies and documentaries as the more I put in, the more my mind has to play with when it comes time to write.
I hope you enjoy reading A Summer of Smoke and Sin, because I really enjoying writing it.
To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…
Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed nobility task force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.
Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.
As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.
After the unfortunate death of a young nobleman in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.
Urban Fantasy where the hero always gets his man
TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as a child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily. Writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the everyday. TJ is the author of the Studies in Demonology series and the Mytho urban fantasy series.
With one cat acting as a supervisor, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.