Today I am so pleased to welcome T.Q. Sims to Joyfully Jay. T.Q. has come to talk to us about their latest release, Godspeed, Lovers. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

 

Evolution of Godspeed, Lovers

Years ago, as a storm system headed towards my home city of New Orleans, the Weather Channel reported that the storm had led to a fatality. They immediately labeled the storm as “murderous.” If you live in New Orleans, you probably know the Weather Channel gets a bit wild. They tend to report in a way that freaks people out, but when the storm arrives, it’s typically no big deal. Such was the case with this “murderous storm.”

I got to thinking about that word combination. Why not killer storm? Why murderous? Murder seems to imply a certain intent—a conscious decision. I laughed to myself, my nerdy sci-fi brain spinning… What if the storm actually had murderous intent? What if that cloud really did want to kill me?

A story idea was born. What an iconic villain a storm could be!

But I didn’t know what to do with it.

While folding the laundry one day, I had the idea for a story about two men falling in love while using their supernatural powers. I could see a scene played out in my head. These lovers enter a realm of green light in order to heal one of them. I visualized a deadly substance leaving his body as his lover supported his healing. I felt like that was the completion of a certain arc. That was to come after all of their falling for each other, all of their adventures. What would come before?

When I started to wonder why these lovers ever met, I realized I had the beginning of their story already. They would face down a murderous storm from another dimension.

But how does one fight a cloud that causes mental illness?

With their psychic powers, of course!

Using strategy to build out their world, I came up with an organization of super-powered individuals which would face the extradimensional threat. What started as Project Ascension became the primary branch of the United Nations Armed forces. The folks who weren’t negatively impacted by the mind-warping powers of the storm unlocked psychic abilities that allowed them to channel a force that could defeat the monsters, sometimes by entering the being’s mind. They often had at least some ability to predict the future in addition to other power sets, so they would be called divinators or divs, for short. 

But I didn’t want it to be easy for them. The power that they access can overwhelm them, so they need help. Each divinator must pair up with someone with a specific psychic ability—someone who has the power to anchor a div as they reach into their Levels to channel power. They stabilize their divs by accompanying them. They become the div’s comp.

I also wanted to have an element of these characters figuring out how to use their power, how to face challenges together, and therefore, know themselves better. I brought in the Sages. Once divs, they advanced in accessing Sage-Level abilities. They are incredibly powerful! Aside from their individual power attainments, they can unite a network of divs to astral project their collective into the mind of a “murderous storm.”

And of course, the storms are not the only villains of the story. Like in our world, there’s corruption. The main characters have to find out who they can trust within the organization they work for… all while fighting living storms and falling in love!

Godspeed, Lovers = Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell + Marvel’s X-men + Twister (yes, the movie with Helen Hunt)

Godspeed, Lovers is available through most online booksellers and at TheLoversUniverse.com.


Blurb

godspeed, lovers coverLovable loner Casey Isaac thinks love isn’t for him. Not since extraordinary events left him with supernormal powers and a great deal of trauma. But when Oscar Kenzari looks at him, he can’t help but change his mind.

As Divinators, Casey and Oscar have used their psychic powers to defend humanity from sentient, extradimensional storms for one hundred years.

But a storm more powerful than any before is brewing. MaalenKun, prince of the maelstrom, conqueror of countless realities, plans to turn the tables by infecting Casey’s mind.

MaalenKun is not the only threat.

Casey and Oscar must determine who they can trust: the eccentric trillionaire keeping them in the dark, the independent contractors with secrets of their own, or a seemingly helpful extradimensional being shrouded in mystery.

As Casey works to defeat threats around and within himself, he must open to love for his chosen family, for Oscar, and for himself to unlock a transformative power capable of banishing MaalenKun. And Oscar must make a difficult choice that could cost him the future he dreams of.

Can Casey and Oscar’s love break the storm?

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Bio

TQ Sims bio photoTQ Sims writes stories that center Queer characters in supernormal situations. In their first novel Godspeed, Lovers, two men fall in love while using their psychic powers to battle sentient storms and an evil corporation that wishes to control them. Godspeed, Lovers is a story about mental health, post-traumatic growth, and found family.

TQ’s story “The Ritual” was a finalist in competition at the Tennessee Williams and New Orleans Literary Festival in 2022. Their work has appeared in Louisiana Words, Beyond Queer Words, and The Queer and Trans Guide to Storms. They live in New Orleans with their partner and a growing number of cats.

 

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