Sunday, April 13, 2014

INTERVIEW: Jackson Cordd

Today we're talking to the delightful Jackson Cordd whose 200-word flashfiction made me SERIOUSLY SWOON *^__^* Now I want *MORE* Jax, more please? (Puppy dog eyes!)

Hello Jackson and welcome to The Hat Party! <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

I'm glad to be here, Raine :)

 
What one food item do you consider to be your arch nemesis?
 
Cayenne Peppers... well any peppers really. My system just can't handle the alkali very well.
 
On a scale 1 (super chill) to 10 (falling apart at the seams) how cool are you under the pressure of blurb writing?!
 
Oh, for me, blurb writing would be about a 3 or 3.5. It's not really anything I stress over.
 
The part of the process that does stress me is when I go back to edit my first draft. Almost always, after the project sits for a few days then I return to it, my initial reaction is that the whole work is total junk, and I just need to delete it and start over. But I know that's just my own angst, so I push through and try not to prune too much as I start editing.
 
If you could go back to any point in your personal history and give yourself a message, when would you go and what would you say?
 
I'd go back to my freshman year of college, and tell myself to quit thinking with my hormones and get my homework done!  I spent so much time partying and having fun that first semester that I ended up with 'Incomplete' in most of my classes and had to scramble to do make-up work over the winter break, leaving most of the courses as 'C' grades. I recovered academically, but the damage to my relationship with my parents lasted for over a decade.
 
A genre-specific virus has attacked you, rendering you INCAPABLE of writing your chosen genre. What do you do now?!
 
Oh goodness, that would definitely be a tragedy. Since I dabble in so many mixed genres, combining gay fiction with romance, sci-fi, fantasy, and/or paranormal, I don't know if there would be a genre left for me to write in.
 
I do know that I wouldn't stop writing. It's too much a part of my nature, so I'd eventually find something else to write about, like maybe travelogues, or push into slasher horror.
 
Describe yourself using a literary quote.
 
Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.

Boris Pasternak
 
What is your 3-word zombie survival plan?

Sawed off shotgun 

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)
 
My heart tightened in my chest. I’d never known that Chuck thought he had to buy his friends. I just wanted to swallow him in a warm and comforting hug right then, but I didn’t dare move from the dining room chair.
 
Chuck took a hesitant breath. “You are the only one I trust. I know you didn’t give a shit about the money.” He looked at me again with pleading eyes, struggling to say something important. “I…” he whispered.
 
I put my hand on top of the table and leaned forward to hear him better. He looked down at my hand, then put his own hand on the table, just close enough to mine for our fingertips to touch. “I’ve never been with anybody,” he whispered.
 
I looked up and saw that he was staring down at our hands. Chuck watched as his own finger rubbed across my fingertips. He was blushing again.
 
What spooks you?” I whispered back.
 
He looked down at our hands, still rubbing my fingers with his. “I’ve never wanted anybody else,” he whispered so faintly, I had to lean even closer to hear his words. “The way I want you. And if I fuck this up, then I’m screwed.”
 
What makes you inexplicably happy?
 
A big royalty check LOL
 
Actually, I tend to be rather easy-going and optimist, so lots of things make me happy. Having the bills paid and getting enough morning writing done to enjoy laying out on a sunny afternoon is my secret pleasure.
 
Worst mistake you’ve made in your career and what you’ve learned from it?
 
Well, I've only been publishing for a few years, so I haven't made any major mistakes yet. *knock on wood*  I'm learning to be more patient though, and not rush projects.
 
And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

I don't have any experience with Dachshunds, I've always had German Shepherds, except for my current girl Suzi, a rescued half Jack Russell/Beagle mix. I'll send you a picture of the little troublemaker.
 

(She's just perfect, Jax!)

~ ~ ~ ~
 
Ever since hearing his granny’s old fairy tales, Hank Lear has longed to experience the ancient magic coursing through Ireland, sure that some grand adventure awaited him among the verdant hills. Now, with his vacation coming to an end, he’s about to return to Texas with nothing but memories of old castles, modern cities, and a cheap Claddagh ring he bought in an antique store.
 
On a whim, Hank visits a bathhouse on his last night in Dublin, where he meets Darren O’Connell, a man with plenty of secrets. Obscured by the dim light and thick steam, shy Hank musters the courage to flirt with Darren, and though they can barely see one another, a strong and mysterious connection forms.
 
Just as Hank is about to leave for the airport, Darren stops him, tells Hanks that he needs his help, and begs Hank to stay. Hank can’t refuse him, and soon they’re caught in a web of forces outside their control and outside reality as Hank understands it. Each step leads them to Shamrock Green and the last portal of the world of the Fae. With danger closing in, Hank and Darren must decipher their destinies before the portal is lost forever.

Buy Link:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4843
 
 

For more of this excerpt, check out Jax's reading selection for the Rainbow*Con Spotlight!

On his last night in Dublin, Hank Lear ditches his tour group, eventually ending up in a bathhouse.

Wrapping the towel tighter around his waist, Hank entered the steam room on the second floor. Heavy vapors swirled in the dimly lit space, making it nearly impossible for him to see. The room’s only source of light seemed to be the frosted glass door that had closed behind him. He took two steps into the clouded dusk and stood unobtrusively near the wall.

When his eyes adjusted to the foggy dim, Hank could see two figures sitting on a bench that flanked the opposite wall, but he couldn’t make out any details. One vague figure was a thin guy leaning forward with his elbows resting on his knees in a closed posture. The other shape was much bulkier, more of a bear. He leaned back and spread open the gap in the towel wrapped around his waist, fondling himself. As the bear stroked his hand under the towel, he spread his legs wider apart to signal an invitation.

Hank didn’t find either figure very appealing, but at least the room was warm. His entire week in Ireland had been marred with clouds and a spitting drizzle that rarely found enough gumption to turn into real rain. The afternoons barely made it to seventy degrees, or twenty-one degrees Celsius as advertised by the little clock display of the tour van, quite a far cry from the ninety-eight-degree heat of June Hank had left behind in Texas.

The warm steam brought blessed relief after the eight nights of damp chill that seemed to settle into his joints and stiffen his journey-weary muscles. Leaning back into the wall, Hank let out a grateful sigh as he relaxed against the tiles. He could feel the first signs of a glistening sweat as the heat enveloping him warmed his skin and penetrated deeper into his tissues. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. His arches were still tired after the brisk walk through the Temple Bar district. More aggravation on top of eight previous days of much walking and hiking around the sights and towns where his tour bus stopped.

The room’s illumination suddenly increased when someone pulled open the door and stepped inside. Hank scanned the faces of the guys on the bench in front of him. The thin guy was definitely a twink, barely twenty-one, and the bear was probably pushing sixty. He felt no desire whatsoever for either man.

Before the door closed, he turned to glance at the new occupant. This nicely shaped silhouette was in his midthirties and not too tall, maybe five-ten — someone much more within Hank’s range of appeal. Hank flashed him a smile as the door slipped closed and the dusky dark returned.

Thirtyish-guy took a tentative step forward as his eyes acclimated. He took another step forward as Hank shifted his weight to the other foot. Hank looked up at the man’s face, but the thick mist obscured any details. While taking another step closer, the guy reached out his hand and lightly touched Hank’s left shoulder.

Hank leaned toward the hand in silent supplication. The man’s fingers lightly stroked the top of his shoulder and up the side of Hank’s neck. An involuntary sigh escaped from Hank as the gentle touching aroused him. The thin towel wrapped kilt-like around Hank’s waist offered no resistance to his swelling erection.

Stepping around, the guy stood facing Hank and put his other hand on Hank’s right shoulder. With both hands, he lightly kneaded at the bulge of knotted muscles on the sides of Hank’s neck resulting from the long week of carrying a heavy duffel bag.

Hank pushed himself from the wall to stand at his full height, short though he was, and reached his hand up to gently grasp and squeeze the shapely bicep of the man’s right arm. As Hank reached for the man’s clavicle with his other hand, thirtyish-guy removed his hands and pulled back, moving along the wall toward the room’s corner. He hesitated a brief moment at the back wall, then disappeared.

Hank walked to the corner and soon realized the wall he had been leaning against was merely a divider and at the corner, a gap opened into another room behind him. Trying to move nonchalantly, he followed the guy through the opening. He paused just inside the doorway. This room captured even less light, making it nearly pitch black. After a moment of visual acclimation, Hank could barely see the vaguest of shapes in front of him.

He walked to a bench discernable in the darkness. As he moved, a hand brushed against his butt while something else, maybe a hip, grazed his lower arm. When he neared the bench, a hand gently closed around his wrist and pulled him forward. Hank sat on the edge of the bench next to the shadowy figure turned sideways and reclining in the corner.

Another hand reached out and joined the hand around his wrist, slowly gliding and squeezing as it measured upward along Hank’s arm until it reached his armpit. A deep, masculine voice whispered, “Tá tú fear bideach.”

“Uh, ’scuse me?” Hank replied.

The hand stroking his arm paused. With a strong Irish accent, the voice asked, “No Gaelic?”

“No,” Hank drawled in his Texas tongue. “I don’t know any Gaelic. What did ya say?”

The man released his grip on Hank’s arm and slid his fingers along the shoulder to Hank’s neck. Hank felt hardened calluses on the thumb and fingers of the stranger’s hand, and he quickly realized this wasn’t the smooth hand of thirtyish-guy.

Gently cupping Hank’s head, the hand pulled Hank forward. Hank turned sideways on the bench to face the mysterious man in the corner, then scooted closer, until his hip rested against the shadowy figure’s hip.

Near Hank’s ear, the Irish voice whispered, “I said, you are such a tiny man.”

The lyrical sounds of the Irish voice whispering so near sent a slight shiver of pleasure through Hank. “Not tiny, I’m five-foot-four. Don’t ask me how many centimeters, coz I shur don’t know that.”

Hank felt the bursts of breath near his ear as the man quietly chuckled. “We usually measure height in meters,” the voice whispered back. “I would guess one-point-six, or 160 centimeters, if a bigger number makes you feel better.” The hand slid from Hank’s neck and around to the front, slowly sliding down to Hank’s chest. “Where are you from?"

The combination of the man’s touch and exotic accent sent a stronger shiver through Hank. “The U.S.,” Hank drawled in a shaky voice. “Texas, out in the boonies.”

The hand on his chest paused. “Are you afraid, Tex?” the strong Irish voice whispered in question.

As the lyrical words sent another shiver through Hank, he realized the contradiction hidden in the voice. It seemed so deep and strong, like it was used to bellowing with the calls of an army drill sergeant, but the lowered whisper tempered it with a softer gentleness. Hank reached into the darkness and found a stubbly chin. “No,” he replied firmly, as he stroked the firm prickly jaw with his fingers.

"Then, why does your voice tremble?"
 
About the Author:

Started as an avid reader at age 4. First tried my hand at writing in Jr High when I tried to create a comic book, but my drawing skills are so lacking that the work was a flop. In high school, gave up on the idea of illustrations and focused on just the words.

While working in the computer industry, I spent years writing 'mainstream' works and trying to publish. It wasn't until I got honest, and started writing about characters more like me (gay) that I began having success with publishing.

Now that I'm single again, my steamy stories keep me from getting too lonely on cold winter nights.


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jackson.cordd
Twitter:  @JacksonCordd

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