Monday, July 28, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Ben from Jon Keys' Showstring

Today we're doing something a little bit different! We're talking to Ben from Jon Keys' Showstring--our very first chara interview. :3

Welcome Ben, to the insanity that is my Hat Party. Please find a pic of your best hat and let’s get this party started!

Hi Raine! Jon asked me to step in for the interviews about “Showstring”, hope you don’t mind.

Tell us about your ideal date.

Hmm, perfect date huh. Well it wouldn't be a first date, those are just too high stress. So we would have been dating for a while. I like to grill, so we’d have steak, from one of our steers of course. With some fried okra and a baked potato. Then something to set the mood for dessert, like chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries. We could feed each other and let a little heat build up. Then I might smear a little chocolate on his lip and have to kiss it off.

From there we’d probably end up on the couch having a good time. If everything goes like I’d hope, cha-ching!

In what ways do you think your culture has most strongly influenced you?

Hmm, interesting question. The funny thing is that folks forget people of Spanish and native backgrounds were in Texas before it was a state. My family’s been there for close to two hundred years. So it’s pretty much like anyone else. Our celebrations do have nods back to our Spanish roots though.

Tell me one of your earliest memories.

My dad had bought a pony and I had a new straw hat. I couldn't have been more than three. That damn horse snatched the hat off my head and ate it! I was so pissed off.

Sing me a song!

Oh, man. I sound like a frog. You’re going to regret this. Okay, I’ll give it a shot.

Summer wind, blows in again
Sometimes I wonder where we lost it
My good intentions, your favorite weapons
And still I've yet to learn my lesson

No, I don't need much of anything
Just a shady tree and a couple pulls of whiskey
To write my songs of love and life and loss
And just a few bout you
So if you'll hear me out

Stay with me, we don't never have to leave
You my southern king, we live it for the daydreams
So don't you laugh, Notre Dame he had his chance
And he's a good, good man, but there's some things he just don't understand
So when my old man's out of town but a couple days
I think that you should stay
Oh, won't you stay?

There you go. I warned you about my screeching.

You’ve been stabbed, shot, AND bludgeoned! (WOW, enemies, much?) As you’re dying, what one object do you possess that is so special to you that you wouldn’t write the killer’s name on it?

Wow is right! Pretty intense. Let’s see. I’d have to say my great grandfathers silver pocketwatch. When he was a kid, he helped do one of the big cattle drives up the trails through Oklahoma and into the railheads in Kansas City. They paid them at the end of the drive and great grandpa used almost his entire salary on the watch. Word is his dad was pissed about it for the rest of his life. But the watch has been passed down since then. I got it when I graduated from college. So it’s really special.

Be totally honest, what’s the worst part of raising Angus?

Well, they don’t really take the Texas heat too well. They were developed in Scotland, so they aren’t exactly bred for high heat. But they have such good flavor in the meat. You just can’t get better.

Tell me about a time in your life when you were changed.

I hate to tell the same old story as everyone else, but it had to be when I understood that I was gay. Not my coming out to my parents, that was hard but a step I needed to take. But I’d have to say when I realized that my girl friend really were my friend, but that my friend Ryan in a tight pair of Wranglers left me panting. It was a big deal, that would probably about when I was fifteen. Afterwards I realized I should have clued in sooner, but for whatever reason didn’t. So yeah, figuring out I was gay has to be the biggest life changer.

A drunken relative has just insulted Jayden up one side and down the other. Plus they spilled their drink on you in the process. What is your most articulate response?

Well of course I’d calmly explain to him—nope, I don’t even believe that line. If someone was messing with Jayden, the country boy would come out and I’d probably deck him. You just don’t mess with someone I love.

Describe yourself using a literary quote.

When the human race neglects its weaker members, when the family neglects its weakest one - it's the first blow in a suicidal movement. I see the neglect in cities around the country, in poor white children in West Virginia and Virginia and Kentucky - in the big cities, too, for that matter.
Maya Angelou

And finally, for the most important question. What kind of dachshund is the BEST kind of dachshund?

Oh, I’d have to go with a rough-coated dachshund.

~ ~ ~ 

Jayden Laine has spent his life in the city, dreaming of cowboys and cattle ranches. He looks forward to each fall when his life is exchanged for his dreams when the state fair opens.

This year when he steps into the barns he’s greeted by the sights he’s come to see, and one additional sight of Ben Ramos fighting to move a two-thousand pound bull that’s decided he doesn’t want to move. What happens next starts a juggernaut of emotions in Jayden that turn his world upside down. Now all he has to do is reevaluate his entire life and decide who to believe. And he has only a few days to do it.


Locking my guilt away, I moved down the aisle, determined to allow myself a few moments of peace. The neat rows of cattle lying contentedly on immaculately groomed beds of wood chips revived the world I lost myself in each time I could. While forming an important part of my fantasy life, the cattle intimidated me. They were huge, but I still dreamed of working with them.
“Sorry, excuse me.”
Startled I glanced up to find myself in the way of a guy who looked only a few years older than me, leading a massive black animal. Scrambling out of the, the heat of my clumsy embarrassment burned across my face. “Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”
The tanned cowboy gave me a bright smile. “If it wasn’t for old fat ass Norman here, it wouldn’t be a problem. But he doesn’t like to be led. So taking him out is a chore.”
He planted his worn boots against the walkway and heaved at the lead rope. The animal took one slow step and stopped again. Exasperation filled the guy’s face. “Holy crap! I’d so make you into hamburger if you weren’t the best bull we’ve had in a while.”

Available from Amazon | Torquere Press

About the Author:

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.

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