Today I am so pleased to welcome James Siewert to Joyfully Jay. James has come to talk to us about his latest release, Allure of Oartheca. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving James a big welcome!

allure of oartheca banner


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

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?

I wrote my first story sometime in my early twenties.  It was about a pirate/bard (depending on his mood) who has the face of an angel and the mind of a madman, a twisted tempest in a tempting teapot.  The story was inspired from a character I was playing in an RPG group, in a world set during the golden age of piracy in the Caribbean (this was well before Johnny Depp took over that genre).  Though I moved on from the group, the character stuck with me—and his story became his life after piracy, returning to Europe, then dying, then being resuscitated by a cult to become the avatar for their god, who is an alien consciousness trapped on Earth ever since its spaceship crashed and wiped out the dinosaurs.  Good times, good times—I still have that character, and his story, kicking around somewhere…

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?

I try to get some writing, or at least some editing, done every day.  My most active times are first thing in the morning, half-way through my first coffee, but if I get a spare moment later during the day, I try to sneak in a little more writing.  At night, after dinner, is when the serious edits are done—my husband and I go through a chapter and start making corrections and tweaks.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first?  Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?

I get an idea about the kind of character I want to write, then mix him up in a story I would want to read, or vice-versa. Then I chart out, very roughly, what happens for the major milestones in the plot, and then get to writing.  I write the skeleton of a chapter, then go back over it, adding details, then take a break to think about the next chapter. Lather, rinse, repeat until the first draft is finished, then it’s back to chapter 1 and doing the polishing and tidying.  It’s a hit-and-miss kind of approach, as I’ve had to delete entire chapters or remove some choice bits to get the story to flow, but it seems to be the best way for me to write.

Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from? 

As I suspect of many LGBT authors who write LGBT romance, from a lack of stories available to me growing up.  I love fantasy and sci-fi and just couldn’t find any stories with heroes who were like me—it was just unheard of back then (well, at least in my local libraries). When the internet was introduced, it opened a new world of possibilities, but I either found the stories focused too much on a certain type of perfect Adonis pretty-boy that I can’t really identify with, or were too much on the romance and not enough on the action, or were—uh—’heavily focused’ on body parts and what you can do with those.  I wanted to find a story with kick-ass, heroic blokes who just happened to be into other blokes—and well, didn’t have much luck, so I figured I’d better start writing them myself.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

Most of my research comes from snippets of sci-fi related articles I stumble over on the internet—I find a topic that’s appealing and then dig around to discover more.  Most recently, I’m learning about the supermassive black hole at the core of the M87 galaxy, estimated to be 6.6 billion times more massive than our sun—fascinating stuff.  As for my characters, their voices mostly come from my experiences with real people, and how I imagine they’d react when placed into inter-galactic circumstances—just everyday kinda guys in a setting that seems normal to them but is far away in our future.

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

The title for the book is usually where I stumble a bit—got to get that catchy hook to entice readers, but it’s also got to be relevant to the story.  Character names can be a bit tricky too, and I’ve learned the hard way that picking the wrong name can be such a pain in the neck to correct later.

How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?

Writing is my personal sanctuary, so I really don’t share the fact that I’m an author; if it comes up in conversation, I just try to downplay and talk about what I get up to outside of my regular job.

What does your family think of your writing?

My husband Mike is my Number One Fan (in a good way, Ms Wilkes), and he’s a constant source of encouragement and positivity in my life—I doubt I’d have ever gotten Allure of Oartheca published without his constant assurance that the story was one worth sharing.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

I’ve just finished up the sequel to Allure of Oartheca, titled Barons of Oartheca, which is scheduled for release in May this year (it might be a little sooner—I’ve had some very compelling requests to make it available now!).  Next up is my first Buzz & Cutter adventure, a story starring two big guys who are making their way in the galaxy by their wits, getting into all sorts of trouble, none of it intentionally.  Then it’ll be back to writing Captains of Oartheca, the third instalment for the Oarthecan Star Saga—so my future’s looking wonderfully busy!

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Write for yourself, first and foremost.  Write the story you want to read.  Get it out of your head and on to paper.  Don’t worry about whether others will like it, or if it’s good, or if it’s going to sell.  Just write it out.  Once that’s done, then you can consider if it’s a story you want to share with others, or if this is just something for yourself.  Granted, this is not the best advice for making money as a writer—there’s a difference between the stories you want to tell, and the stories you want to sell, but if you’re just starting out, I’ll stick with ‘write the story you want to read’—there’s a pretty good chance there’re other people just like you who want the exact same story!

If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?

Tough question—I feel that today is the day to live.  Going back in time sounds fun, but I’m too accustomed to all the conveniences of my modern-day life to give any of those up—and then you need to worry about messing up the past and creating an alternate timeline or parallel mirror existence—yikes!  As for going to the future, well, I do that every day, one day at a time, and that’s enough for me.  The sci-fi geek in me says that if the future’s unwritten, what exactly is there for you to experience if you travelled forward in time?  Another being’s version of the future, or a vast, endless void of unformed possibilities that you get stuck in for all eternity?  Another yikes.


allure of oartheca coverA space-heist gone wrong. An unexpected romance. A galactic catastrophe in the making.

In the furthest reaches of space, a cyber-thief with a heart of gold meets a ex-navy captain who refuses to be beaten. Though they’re from opposite ends of the galaxy, fate slams these two men together in desperate bid to stop a race of elitist cannibals from destroying all these men hold dear. But their foe is not the only danger our two heroes face – an Allure that whispers promises of rapture, and destruction. If our heroes give in, they lose, if they give up, they lose … and the fate of the galaxy rests in the balance.

In the spirit of high-space adventure, with a touch of charming romance, Allure of Oartheca is a love song to the science fiction genre, placing two men who love men at the forefront of a battle of their past, their present, and – if they’re brave enough, if they’re bold enough – their future. Come share an adventure full of authentic, one-of-a-kind characters, fantastic new worlds, rich imagination and genuine hope in the face of heart-pounding action.

Join the adventure in Allure of Oartheca, and discover how hatred and war are not the only ways to destruction.


James Siewert bio photoJames and his husband live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Part-time office drone, part-time storyteller, full time science-fiction and fantasy aficionado, James couldn’t find enough stories involving characters who are like him and his husband: big men with big hearts! Taking matters into his own hands, James hopes to share stories where brawny blokes with hearts of gold take centre stage. Join him in his worlds and discover authentic characters, gripping scenes, lush imagination, a touch of the mushy stuff and one-of-a-kind heroes in truly daring adventures!


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James has brought a $25 Amazon gift card for one lucky reader on his tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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