We would first like to thank Jaxx Steele for letting us at Guys Like Romance Books, Too! interview him, one of our favorite gay romance authors. First, we’d like to know a little about you, Jaxx.
How long have you been a published author?
I have been published for five years now. I sold my first story in October, 2006.
Do you have a writing ritual? How often do you write and where do you write?
Rituals? You mean like spinning around two times before I sit at my desk or tossing salt over my left shoulder? LOL Nothing as serious as that, but I do have the TV playing whenever I am writing. I need some kind of white noise going on in the back ground before I can immerse myself in the story. I write every day. Sometimes a few minutes sometimes a few hours. It depends on how long the characters talk to me. I have a central location with a desk, shelves, a printer, everything I need, but you can usually find me with my laptop on the couch so that Hou can lie beside me while I write. J
Do you have a favorite genre to write & why?
Although I have books in several genres, contemporary, paranormal, shifter, vampires, May-December, BDSM and pirates, I would say my favorite is BDSM. I like pushing the edge and tampering with the forbidden. LOL
We’ve been to your website, very nice, by the way, and you have several books published. What was the first book you released?
The first book I published was By the Moonlight. I was released in October of 2006. It is a vampire story available at Dreamspinners Press.
Oh yes! I know it well and enjoyed it, too. I confess to not having read all of your books, but I do have a few personal favs, Care Package, Freed from Fear and Frozen Spring Break. Can you tell us how the ideas for these stories originated?
Care Package came to me just after the president signed the repeal for the DADT. I wanted to show what life might have been like for gay men in the service during their time in and after the bill was signed.
As for Freed from Fear, I am from New York and 911 affected me personally. Losing someone is hard enough, but losing them without any type of closer can be even more devastating. I wanted to show the many levels that people grieve on and how they heal.
With Frozen Spring Break, I wanted to do a story from a different perspective. Everyone I know who goes away for spring break goes somewhere warm because it is cold where they are. I figured there had to be someone out there who actually enjoyed the cold weather. LOL So I wrote his story.
Of all your books is there one character who flowed flawlessly onto the page? Was there one who stumbled along struggling to cooperate?
Oh my gosh yes! Sergeant Dwayne Roman (Care Package) was easy as pie. I had his personal story written in two days. It seemed to take forever to get the rest of that story down once he was developed. LOL I also thought Dominick Pappas (Papa knows Best) flowed easily, too. Dana Scott (Freed from Fear) however, was my Achilles heal. He had a lot of emotional issues to work out, so it took some time to get him together. Come to think of it, Lovell Johnston (The gift that keeps on giving) was a pain in the butt, too. LOL In the end I think they came out pretty good.
Indeed they did! How much do you know about your heroes before you begin writing? Are you a plotter or pantster?
I guess I would be a plotter. I know just about everything before I start writing. I know back story, the beginning, the middle and how the story will end. What I don’t know is how the characters get from the beginning to the middle and from the middle to the end. It’s the journey that the characters dictate. At that point I am just dictation as they speak to me.
Your books take place in a lot of different cities. Frozen Spring Break is in Tahoe, Care Package is in Atlanta, A Knight at The Speedway is in Indianapolis and you have a pirate story on your upcoming books list is on a ship! Obviously you did research for that one, but do you usually do a lot research when you write a book?
Yes, I do. I do research on everything I write. I want everything I put into cyberspace to be accurate. I use mostly online sources since they are readily accessible, but I still do personal research too. I visit places and do things first hand so I’d know what it was like. Sometimes secondhand knowledge isn’t enough. You have to experience things for yourself in order to write about them. So, before I say something that can actually be searched and proven yay or nay, I make sure it is true or false before I say it’s true or false.
Hmm, I think I may have to go back and read a few of your books to see if I can guess which were researched and which were actually done.
LOL I’ll never tell.
What are some of the challenges do you face in your writing process?
Getting too caught up in the story is always hard. With Care Package and Freed from Fear I had to relive some pretty bad memories. That was both good and bad. It added realism to the characters, but re-living the situation wasn’t easy.
Do you have a favorite character or story?
That’s like asking a father if he has a favorite child. LOL They say something like, ‘of course not. I love them all the same’. So I will not tell you that I am partial to Right side of the Tracks because it too made me relive a few of my own memories. J
Are there any authors out there that have influenced or inspired your writing?
I would have to say Bertrice Small and Thea Devine had a hand in influencing my writing. Their books were the first erotic romances I ever read. I had read many romances before I came across their books, but they introduced me to the concept that there could be sex in romance novel, not just simulated sex. That gave me the idea to do gay romances.
What has been the happiest moment in your writing career?
Nothing beats the feeling you get when you read the email that says: We would like to offer you a contract for “insert book title here”. The elation that comes with knowing someone else loved your creation cannot be described.
What tip or bit of advice would you share with a fledgling author?
There are two things I’d like to share.
- Read what’s out there to see what is accepted and then try to push pass those limits.
- Always seek to improve on your craft. No matter how good your story is a publisher won’t bother finishing it if the ‘writing’ sucks. You are a writer as well as an author so learn to write the best you can.
Where can people find you? FB, Twitter, Website, Blog, Publishers etc.
I have a fan page on facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/jaxxsteele
my website: www.jaxxsteele.com
my blog: www.jaxxsteele.blogspot.com
Muse it Hot
Red Rose Publishing
Secret Cravings Publishing
Thanks a bunch Jaxx for allowing us to get to know you better. Before we go, I’m really interested in the pirate story you have coming out at Muse it Hot in the spring. Could you give us a quick peek?
A day on Plunderer’s Pride
By Jaxx Steele
"It’s a pirate’s life is for me!"
Life is hard, but worthwhile on the pirate ship Plunderer's Pride. Follow Captain Julian Hazard and his band of ruffians as they go about their daily business. As you endure the daily struggles and nightly rewards of these ship hardened men you may find that a pirate's life may be for you, too.
"The men are assembled, Cap'n, awaiting your orders," Nigel's voice said outside his cabin some time later.
Captain Hazard swung the door open and followed his right hand man to the main level of the ship. His crew was in full complement covering a good portion of the deck when he rose from the lower level.
"I will get right to it, men. Our rest at Port Royal is over. The governor has given me a Letter of Marque and wants us to take a Spanish galleon before it reaches its home in Hispaniola. We leave before sunrise, but before the adrenaline burns in our blood giving us the energy to fight we will feel it surge with passion! Tonight we feast and renew our bonds, lads! For tomorrow's battle may be glorious and even victorious, but it may also be your last!"
The pirates erupted in a loud cheer. The merriment the captain's words elicited charged the air as he led the way to the galley. The crew feasted on recently pilfered meat, cheeses, wine, fowl and other delicacies from the Panamanian ship. When the meal was done the men left the room pairing off as they moved toward the crew quarters.
Along the three walls were a set of bunk beds to sleep. The room was large, but still too small for so many large men to share comfortably. A thin blanket rested at the foot of each and several small trunks underneath labeled with a man's name. The men chose to share the beds in rotation with the overflow taking to the floors finding their comfort on thicker blankets.
The captain followed his crew mates guiding Nigel into a corner where he sat on a stool and pulled the big man into his lap. The men kissed on the mouths and fondled each other openly. Hard, sea roughened pirates hugged, kissed and touched affectionately on their mates. Soon only heavy breathing, moans and lustful grunts could be heard as the men discarded clothing and got to the business of love making. The space heated quickly and the smell of sweat and sex filled the overcrowded room intoxicating him.
A day on Plunderer’s Pride
Coming Spring, 2012 to Muse it Hot
Here are a few of Jaxx’s favorite things!
Mode of travel –plane
Beverage –LOL vodka and cranberry!
Food: I love a good rib eye, medium well, sautéed mushrooms, red onions and spinach on top, mmm
Place you’ve always wanted to go – Rio, de Janeiro *sigh*
Pets – Cat name Judo and a Mastive-Pitbull mix name King.
Movie – Face Off.
Hobby or past time – I love shooting pool
Dessert – blonde brownie, no nuts
Be sure to to visit our blog Guys Like Romance, Too! Starting December we will be letting Jaxx and other great gay romance author shamelessly plug their books. It'll be a great time. See you there!
Carsonguy who likes romance