Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I'm tremendously excited to be hosting Jon Keys today! At the Hat Party I often find authors who want to come but can't because, well, the photo thing. (I respect this tremendously, so I try not to push.) Jon found a way to come despite his no-pictures policy and I think he ROCKS it! :)

Hello Jon 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!

On a scale 1 (super chill) to 10 (falling apart at the seams) how cool are you when it comes to reviews?!

Hmm, I think maybe a four or a five. Everyone likes good reviews, but I look at the them on Amazon for books that have survived for hundreds of years and things take on a new perspective. I write what I enjoy, and it thrills me when it touches someone else. But I know some people won’t get it or won’t relate.

You’ve been given the opportunity to go back in time and give your 13-year-old self a message. What do you say?

Relax a little and have fun! Your mother does not know everything that happens in the world and she doesn’t know every thought that comes in your head.

Be totally honest. How awesome would you be at leading a moon colony?

Organizing, I would be phenomenal, leading I would suck. I love to solve the puzzle of how things can fit together. But I’m a total introvert so organizing and leading people exhausts me.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (PLEASE!)

Aaron glanced through the bowl of freshly picked strawberries and picked the one that seemed about to burst with the quintessential flavor of spring. Holding it by its deep green cap he trailed it through the fresh bowl of whipped cream Andy had made for them. He lifted the white crested berry to his husband’s lips and teased along his smile. He lifted the berry away, and then popped it inside his own mouth.

“Tease,” Andy said as he replicated Aaron’s motions. But when he lifted it, he dropped his hand and let it trail down the center of Aaron’s throat, sending chills through his body. Andy lifted the berry and bit off the tip before dragging it across Aaron’s deep red lips. His lips parted and Andy slipped the remainder of the berry into his mouth. Aaron chewed slowly as his mouth flooded with the essence of sunshine.

Andy tilted his head backward, tracing along his square jaw with lip and tongue until every molecule was cleared from Aaron’s pulsating skin. Aaron cupped Andy’s face between his hands, their lips pressing urgently against each other. After several long minutes, they drifted apart with a single glistening strand stretching between them.

“Let’s go somewhere more comfortable. I don’t think the neighbors want to see what I’m about to do to you.”

So, you were editing along and zombies attack. And they are on fire! What do you do?

I throw on my battle armor, grab the moonlight bow and start launching crystalline arrows. The arrows encase the fiery zombie. As each one falls to the ground, they shatter, and the shards melt away to nothingness.

What part of the writing process makes you inexplicably happy?

I love writing the rough draft. I plan out the general story plot, but when I’m writing I love to watch the details flow from…somewhere. Darn if I know where! Sometimes I look at the result and wonder how that happened. I’m at the point where I’m beginning to enjoy the editing, but it doesn’t come easy and feels a lot like work. The first raw, fresh draft is what I love to create.

What one food item do you consider to be your arch nemesis?

Chocolate-covered peanuts. I could eat myself into a coma on those little nuggets of goodness.

Describe yourself using a literary quote.

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.
The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

Biggest mistake you’ve made in your writing career and what you’ve learned from it.

It takes time and a lot of writing to learn the craft, at whatever level you are at. Allow yourself the time you need and the space to learn.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

Long haired are so cute. I just can’t resist them.

~ ~ ~

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.

Available from Torquere Press

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.

Twitter: @Jon4Keys


  1. Thanks for having me, Raine! The interview was great fun!

    1. Thank YOU so much for coming! Adore you, Jon Keys!