Friday, May 30, 2014

Welcome guest author Jon Keys to my blog today

I'd like to welcome Jon Keys to my blog today.    Let's make him feel welcome and learn more about his book.

Let's find out more about him and his book, "Men In Uniform Crossfire"

1-How long have you been writing? 

I've been writing fiction for about three years. I started out writing for and then added a few other websites. The people reading those stories started encouraging me to submit my work to publishers. That put the bug in my ear. I was working to improve when I stumbled across my online critique group. They were a huge help in refining the "good bones" of my stories as they said about my work. My first sale was to Dreamspinner Press for their advent calendar for 2013.

2- What is your favorite genre to write?
I tend to bounce around. Almost everything I've written has been contemporary M/M. But I'm working on my NaNoWriMo from last year and it's a Dark Fantasy M/M. I also have a contract on a MMF novel that should be coming out in the next year. I have two new novels I'm developing and depending n the day they flip back and forth. One is a contemporary western M/M and the other is a contemporary super hero M/M. So yeah, I'm a little all over the place.

3-What are you working on now?
Well, i guess I let the cat out of the bag in the previous question. I tend to have several stories going at once though. Then when I start having difficulty with one of them I can put it aside and work on something else. Almost everything is under contract at this point. There are the two stories I was talking about earlier, I also am working on expanding a story called Rut that's about a couples last ditch effort to save their relationship with a fall elk hunting trip. Further back I have a story about a married couple and their adopted kids, a winter trip taken by a man who's lost his husband and now has to put his world back together. There are others, but at this point they're no more than a line or two description.

4-When you begin a story do you start with character or plot?

Plot, but just in a very general way. I'll decide I want to write in a specific setting and then the story develops from there. I do tend to plan more now that I did when I first started. I think the stories don't wonder around as much as they did when I was pantsing it.

5-Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it? 

Well I saw Torquere Press's anthology call and was intreged with the idea of writing about men in uniform. I'd also been wanting to write a crime drama. So I had my plot and started working on the setting and characters. I decided I wanted a long term couple and at some point they decided they were both in law enforcement, but Rick is with the highway patrol and Gabriel is a deputy sheriff in a neighboring county (yes, the story and characters sometimes decide what they want to do). I love the Colorado mountains so they formed the backdrop. From there the story began to develop. I am finding out I have trouble keeping under 10,000 words. I did a lot of serious editing to get "Crossfire" under the limit. 

Thanks for having me, Lily! I’m excited to get to announce the release of Crossfire as part of the Men in Uniform anthology from Torquere Press. I’m very excited that two of my short stories are appearing in Torquere Press’s anthologies this year with another short, Showstring, coming in July. But before I get too far ahead of myself I thought I’d give everyone a little insight into my writing process. This time it’s something I’m actually decent at, blocking. Or as I like to think of it, ‘where the hell is everything?’

Like I said, I’m actually decent at this, unlike a lot of other parts of writing. I think it’s because I did well on those spatial tests in school. You know the ones. They would show you an unfolded shape and you’d have to pick what it would look like once it was put together. Oh yeah, those tests I could ace, math…math was another story. But I’m pretty good at knowing where everything is, then I don’t walk through the chair I just pulled up to the bar or I put dished into a cabinet that a few lines earlier was a picture window.

Not too surprising, blocking is important for sex scenes. I know some people use stand ins, like Barbie and Ken…or in my case Ken and Ken. I always thought Ken was kinda cute when I was a kid. But anyway, keeping track of where everything is and what lines up with what. When I read for other people, that’s one of the things I’m fairly good at catching. You can’t go from A to D without finding out where B and C went. Unless you have the superpower of certain body parts stretching far more than normal.

Even though I’m pretty good at blocking, I have found one help in creating the scenes themselves, 

Pinterest. I can search for bedrooms, bathrooms, or kitchens and find all kinds of images to nail down what I had in mind. For Rick and Gabriel’s kitchen I used this technique. It helped tremendously to have a photograph to study to see what would be where.
So anyway, that’s how I work out the blocking in the scenes for Crossfire. I hope everyone enjoys the tale as much as I did.
~ Jon ~

eBook Link: 

Rick Anthis, a forty-five year old veteran of the Colorado State Police, and his husband, Gabriel Thorkelson, a deputy sheriff in a nearby county, enjoy the peace of their suburban Boulder home. Until three gunshots rip through the tranquil neighborhood and Rick witnesses the kidnapping of his buddy, eight year old Jacob.
The clues are sparse until Gabe reminds Rick of something Jacob had said. Rick has a starting point. He and his CSI team locate the remote hideout, only to find the the kidnappers are gone, and Gabe is missing too.

Excerpt from Crossfire.
Rick dried the last dish and handed it to Gabriel to put away. Gabriel settled the last plate into the white cabinets. He loved their house and the quiet, older neighborhood it was in. He hoped Mark and Rachel could work out their issues, keeping Jacob in the forefront.
Rick put his hand around Gabriel's slender waist. He's as sexy as he was in college. Damn just being next to him makes me randy. Releasing Gabriel, Rick folded the dishtowel carefully and laid it beside the sink. "Supper was great. You're a damn fine cook."
Gabriel snickered and spun to pop Rick with a wet towel. "It should taste good. Your mother gave me herbs from her garden the last time we visited."
"Mom's just trying to fatten me up. I'm kind of skinny for a forty-three year old Greek man."
The towel snapped against Rick's butt again and he grabbed at it. Gabriel danced away, his face lit with delight. "Where does that leave me?"
Rick swept Gabriel up and kissed him. "It leaves you in my arms, just where you should be."
Rick paused as he remembered the note in his pocket. Leaving his hand on the small of Gabriel's back he reached in his shirt pocket and fished out a small piece of yellow paper. He gripped it between two fingers and dangled the sheet in front of Gabriel.
"Speaking of, I found another note in my lunch."
Gabriel studied the symbols on the page as if he'd never seen them. "Huh, what do you think that means?"
Rick smiled. "I know what it's meant the last dozen times I found one in my lunch."
"Really? And what was that?"
"It meant I was going to be exhausted the whole next day."
"You don't say. Let me see that." Gabriel took the paper from Rick's hand and appeared to study the content. "Looks like Native American symbols. Hmm, maybe 'bear' and 'hunt'." He smiled at Rick with a glimmer in his eyes. "Are we going on a bear hunt this fall?" Gabriel reached up and tugged on the short hair coming from the top of Rick's T-shirt. The slight touch shifted his libido into high gear.
He nuzzled his face against Gabriel's throat and sighed at the spicy fragrance that curled through his nostrils. Rick slid his hand under Gabriel's shirt; the rub of his chest hair on Rick's palm ignited his desire. "What's the sign for otter? Because I think I need to hunt one of those little furry things." I still can't believe Mom gave Gabe my Eagle Scout pictogram project.

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.
A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

You can find me at:
Twitter: @Jon4Keys

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