Today I am so pleased to welcome Warren Rochelle to Joyfully Jay. Warren has come to talk to us about his latest release, The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!

 

Warren has written some questions and answers to share with us today! 

If I could tell my younger writer self anything, what would it be? My first thought would to find your story. Listen to the story you are telling yourself. Are you returning to similar plots? Listen to your heart.

I wrote what became my first novel, The Wild Boy, in graduate school. The novel was my MFA thesis. I started a doctoral program after finishing the MFA and set aside The Wild Boy for about six years. I thought I could work on my PhD and revise the novel at the same time. That lasted about a week. After completing my PhD, I started my first full-time college job and I decided to take a look at The Wild Boy again. I printed out the manuscript, erased all the files, and then, to get back into the world of the novel, I re-entered  the entire book.

Note: do  this at your own risk.

I was also in the process of coming out. Yes, I was a late bloomer.

As I re-read and reimagined the entire novel, I finally could hear the story I had told myself six years before. Fathers and sons, but that wasn’t a surprise. It was loving someone of the same gender, even though I was coming out, that surprised me. The Wild Boy is science fiction. Humans have been made Pets of an alien species. The aliens have opposite-sex pairings for reproduction. But they find their emotional symbiont in a same-sex pairing. In the novel, this pairing was an alien with a human. Alien, different, gay, outsider. This was affirmation and I finally heard my story.

 

When do I write? Before I retired, I had the goal of writing every day. As for when—well, when I could find time in a full-time teaching schedule. I usually did but at times, I had to content myself with a sentence or a paragraph, or re-reading what I had written before. Now, I am retired. I tr to write in the morning, afternoon, and sometimes the evening. The schedule is flexible. One does need groceries, and have doctors’ appointments, take walks, and this, that, and the other.

 

Do I have a favorite character to write—or have already written? The best way I can think to answer this question is my favorite character to write is in the story on which I am currently working.

A secondary character I’m interested in exploring? In “The Wicked Stepbrother,” I would like to know more about Elena, even though I don’t particularly like her. She’s a mystery. Her mother seems to have used her as a bargaining chip, She lets herself be used, why? During her struggle with Calum, she receives instruction from her godmother. Is she this passive? Does she ever resist being moved? How is she at the end, after the war? She’s quiet in defeat—but will she try for revenge? That’s another story.

 

What’s next?

Right now, I am working on completing Fletcher and Sam’s story. Fletcher is in Faerie, now he has to find Sam and bring him back. This task will test Fletcher. I think their story could a novella, but I am not sure.  I keep thinking of more things, of more story. The other project, which might be a novella, or at least along story, is a sequel to my first novel, The Wild Boy, and takes place two hundred years later, as humanity is recovering from the Long Nightmare of the Lindauzi conquest. When can you expect these novellas?  Next year, I hope. I also want to revisit a novel I have rewritten a few times, The Golden Boy, set in alternate history, in the world of the Columbian Empire.

 


Blurb

Fairy tales. We all know the traditional stories, right? Prince Charming, the hero, fights evil, wins the princess, happily ever after. Three sons, three wishes, witches, dragons, a quest, and happily ever after.

These stories are part of our cultural fabric. We retell them, over and over, and the stories change in the retellings, to reflect contemporary culture, such as Princess Charming, heroes and heroines as people of color. It has been only relatively recently that queer folk have found their way into the retellings, as they have here, in this collection of stories, stories that grew out of questions:

What if the prince falls in love with Cinderella’s gay stepbrother?

What if Rumpelstiltskin doesn’t really want the Queen’s child? He wants his old boyfriend back, the King.

What if Beauty and the Beast were two men?

As fairy tales do, these stories explore the human condition, human experience, through the metaphors of magic and the magical, exploring what it means to be human. After all, all fairy tales are true. But this time, with a gay perspective.

In these tales, retellings and original ones, readers are asked to consider what price must be paid for happily ever after—which is not guaranteed. Love, on the other hand, without a doubt. These tales are love stories.

Duty or love? Is love worth great sacrifice?

So… once upon a time….

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Bio

Warren Rochelle lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has just retired from teaching English at the University of Mary Washington. His short fiction and poetry have been published in such journals and anthologies as Icarus, North Carolina Literary Review, Forbidden Lines, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Collective Fallout, Queer Fish 2, Empty Oaks, Quantum Fairy Tales, Migration, The Silver Gryphon, Jaelle Her Book, Colonnades, and Graffiti, as well as the Asheville Poetry Review, GW Magazine, Crucible, The Charlotte Poetry Review, and Romance and Beyond.

His short story, “The Golden Boy,” was a finalist for the 2004 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction. His short story “Mirrors,” was just published in Under A Green Rose, a queering romance anthology, from Cuil Press. “The Latest Thing,” a flash fiction story, is forthcoming in the Queer Sci Fi anthology, Innovation.

Rochelle is also the author of four novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010), all published by Golden Gryphon Press, and The Werewolf and His Boy, published by Samhain Publishing in September 2016. The Werewolf and His Boy was re-released from JMS Books in August 2020. The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories is forthcoming from JMS Books in late September 2020.


Giveaway

Warren has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on his tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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