Saturday, July 19, 2014

INTERVIEW: Jacob Lagadi plus #Giveaway!

Today we're talking to Jacob Lagadi who looks super, totally, uber dapper and who comes to us with a giveaway! Check out the end of the interview for details.

Hello Jacob 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!

Thank you very much for the invite, Raine!




If you could have your ideal secret writing lair, what would it look like?

Back when my Tae Kwon Do instructor was teaching me and my fellow white belts to meditate, she told us to imagine a place where we could run through our forms in our heads. I wasn’t very good at that kind of visualization at the time, but she played some ambient forest noises that helped me get into the mood. I found myself dreaming up a tall hill in the middle of a copse of evergreen trees with a small pond and a waterfall. In my head, there weren’t any bugs to come nom on my (apparently delicious) blood. I can definitely see myself sitting down in that forest retreat with pen and paper and writing for hours and hours.

You’ve been banned from ever writing your favorite genre again. What are you going to do now?

Never write romance again? PERISH THE THOUGHT. In all seriousness though, I’d probably write pure fantastic fiction without the romantic plotline. There are a lot of fantasy elements in Yes, My Liege--to the point that I sometimes get side-tracked by them and have to refocus on the conflict. I enjoy world-building almost as much as I enjoy making my characters suffer (insert mad cackle here). I’ve also gotten quite interested recently in the writing a story about a gay character where he isn’t involved in a major romance (at least to begin with). I’ve bandied the idea of a gay dragon around amongst my friends for years, and I hope to make it happen someday.

Tell me your earliest writing memory please.

You know those big, chunky pencils they give toddlers when they’re learning the alphabet? I wrote my first story with one of those. I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember my mom put it up on the refrigerator and took me to the library to get me my first chapter book (The Boxcar Children, for the record). I’ve been a sucker for libraries ever since.

Sing me a song, Jacob!

Oh man, you do NOT want to hear me sing. If my shower stall had feelings, I’m sure it’d hate me for my out-of-tune crooning by now. I do love music though, and song lyrics have a huge part to play in inspiring the events in my stories. As I work on the fourth novella, the song I keep coming back to is Phillip Phillips’ Gone, Gone, Gone:

When enemies are at your door
I'll carry you away from war
If you need help, if you need help.
Your hope dangling by a string
I'll share in your suffering
To make you well, to make you well.

The first time I heard this song, I dismissed it as one of thousands of similar pop songs with a deep-voiced, slightly growly male singers. Later I heard it again at a friend’s wedding, back when I was first starting work on Yes, My Liege, and I started warming to the lyrics. I like this song because it’s about the negotiation between two people coming to terms with their love for each other. I can totally see Kord singing this to Alex.

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?

This is probably going to sound kind of hippy-dippy, but I don’t get particularly attached to objects or physical spaces. I’m super picky about the pens I write with, but that’s because I do a ton of writing by hand and working with a crappy ball point is bad for my wrist. There is one item though--my signed copy of Tamora Pierce’s Lady Knight. I loved Tamora Pierce’s books growing up, and I had the great fortune of meeting her at a bookstore in my sophomore year of high school. I’ve always been partial to books with female main characters (that set me somewhat at odds with my mother, who preferred books from the point of view of boys), and it was wonderful to read about young women my own age accomplishing heroic feats and just in general being badass.

Also, I would totally come back as a ghost to haunt the prick who offed me.

Be totally honest, what’s the worst part of being a published author.

Taxes. I want to spend my time writing, not poring endlessly over spreadsheets. My dream is to someday be as successful as my friend who can afford to hire a tax guy.

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

Well, there was this one time that I was a baby and my mom had to...Okay, just kidding! Don’t throw stinky fruit at me, please!

It’s tough to pinpoint a particular moment where I changed, since change is usually such a gradual process. If I had to choose, I’d pick the time one of my college professors straight-up told me I couldn’t write. I’d foolishly enrolled in both the Honors seminar (the second-most difficult English class at my school) and the Faulkner seminar (the number one most difficult class), and I was trying to write an eighty-page paper. I didn’t have the enough bandwidth to devote to the Faulkner seminar and my professor knew it. I was horrified at the time, and demoralized, but I’ve come to be very grateful to that professor for her blunt words. It’s easy to find people who will tell you they love your work--it’s immensely difficult to find someone who will tell you why what you’re doing isn’t working.

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

OH HELL NO. First of all, that klutz is paying my dry cleaning bill, because that was my favorite argyle sweater. I’d probably tell her (I totally don’t have a specific person in mind) M/M romance is important because it helps people get in touch with their desires and experiment with their fantasies in a safe space. M/M authors love to flirt with taboo, and developing a readership helps expose romantic relationships among men to a broader audience than just a tiny group of guys in a bathhouse in downtown Chicago.

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

The kind that is in my lap RIGHT NOW so I can give so many pets. Actually I don’t get to share space with one of these cuties, but if I did she’d probably be of the long-haired variety.

~ ~ ~

Sorcerer Prince Alexander of Rovion has been imprisoned in a remote mountain castle for crimes against the Scarlet Crown. Slapped in chains by the king’s courts, he spent the past two years whiling away the hours trying not to go mad from boredom. One night in the winter of his third year of imprisonment, he sees a sign in the fire that tells him he will have a chance to escape.

That chance takes the form of Ser Kord Omdahl, the knight assigned to prevent Alex from getting away. Though Kord has foreign blood, he is loyal to the Scarlet Throne, and he sees Alex as a threat to the order of the kingdom. Highly trained in the art of breaking apart hostile spells before they reach their targets, Ser Kord is very good at his job. Perhaps better than necessary, given that the prince’s tower cell prevents magic from being used.

Both men hear reports that the kingdom is falling into disarray, and neither of them can do anything about it.

The loss of a long-time lover and dissatisfaction with his work leaves Kord vulnerable, and Alex seizes the chance to try and win him over. Kord resists at first, though he finds the prince almost irresistibly attractive. When he finds out the truth about Alex’s past, he has to sort out his obligations. Meanwhile, Alex realizes he’s bit off quite a bit more man than he can chew, and struggles to keep from Kord from slipping the leash.

Excerpt from Yes, My Liege (Part One)

* * *

“Why are you telling me this?” Kord asked. His voice was tight with some emotion Alex couldn’t figure out. Rage, perhaps. “Do you think that if you can somehow win me over to our side I’ll help you escape?”

Alex almost laughed. “I’d have to be extremely foolish to believe that could ever happen.”

“Yes, you would,” Kord agreed, “and I’d be a fool to believe your story was true.”

Alex sighed bitterly and turned away. He didn’t bother to keep the petulance out of his voice. “I expect you’ll go back to pretending I don’t exist then.”

He heard heavy footsteps strike the floor behind him. Before he could turn around to get ready for an attack, a gauntleted hand fell hard on his shoulder and held him in place.

“Maybe not,” Kord whispered. His breath rasped against Alex’s right ear. Alex’s skin prickled all over when he recognized the mixture of threat and promise in those words. The muscles in his abdomen clenched as his body attempted to prepare for a dagger between his ribs.

“I offer you a deal, my prince.”

Alex shivered. “What deal? I have no gold or jewels to give you. I can’t even cast spells.”

Kord’s grip tightened until it became painful. Alex never would have imagined that thick leather gauntlets might allow that much range of motion.

“Be silent, Highness. I believe your story. Gods curse me, but I believe. The bargain I offer doesn’t involve wealth. This boon should be within your power to give even now. I want you to give me the truth.”

“I don’t understand!” Alex was getting a bruise on his shoulder to match the ones on his hands.

“I will take down the wards on this room for exactly ten minutes,” Kord said. “Then I will activate a truth spell of my own. This one will work properly. My magic is clumsy and direct. There will be pain. If what you say in that time matches what you’ve just told me, I will do everything in my power to see that you are gone from Wind’s End before the snow melts. If you’ve lied, or if you try to use magic, I’ll break your neck before you can so much as twiddle your fingers.”

“You’ll be killed if you do that!” Alex told him.

“Yes,” Kord agreed. His fingers relaxed slightly, but his hold on Alex’s shoulder remained firm. “That’s a consequence I’m willing to accept.”

Alex hesitated. His mind spun. Kord couldn’t really be saying what he was saying, could he? No sane man would promise to aid a murderer prince, and Alex had seen no sign that Kord might be mad.

“Well?” the knight demanded impatiently. Alex bit his lip and nodded.

“All right. I accept your deal. I have nothing to hide.”

“We’ll see,” Kord murmured ominously.

* * *
Available from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk

(Parts I-III soon to be available on Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, and the Apple Store)

BONUS QUESTIONS:

*What inspired you to write Yes, My Liege?

Have to give a shout-out to one of my favorite M/M authors: Jordan Castillo Price. I’d been reading in the M/M genre for a short while by the time I came across her work, and I hadn’t yet found that one book that really resonated with me. When I read the PsyCop series, I found myself believing the characters could be real people, even though the events happening around them were completely absurd. I found myself wanting to write my own M/M story, set in a medieval fantasy universe, and so the first scenes from Yes, My Liege started forming in my head.

*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?

Just that it’s the first of a five part series—Parts II and III are also available right now on Amazon!
*What are your hopes for this title?

To blend romance and fantasy together into a delicious, spicy sausage of a story.

About the Author:

Jake lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he plays far too many video games and reads just the right number of fantasy novels. When he isn't writing, he enjoys walking the trails north of the city, dabbling in amateur photography, and singing in his car. His favorite place to work is in the library, holed up in the nonfiction section so he can look up facts about Tudor fashion (and other equally interesting topics!) during breaks.

Facebook: Jacob Lagadi
Twitter: @JacobLagadi


*~*~GIVEAWAY!~*~*

Comment between now and July 21st at 11:59 PM CDT with your email address for your chance to win an e-book copy of Jacob's novella!

6 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued, the excerpt was great! I want to read more now! Thanks for having Jake and his book on the blog.

    jczlapin(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Thanks for th interview and the giveaway! Count me in, please.
    serena91291@gmail.com

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  3. Sounds good! I'll throw my hat into the ring as well!

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  4. Sounds so good! Count me in please! luminousblade@yahoo.com

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  5. Wow - combines some of my favorite m/m genres - medieval, fantasy and romance. I'm adding this to my wishlist.
    lgrant1@san.rr.com

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  6. Thank you for a chance to this win spicy sausage of a story :) By the way what a fun interview & you put this poor author through ever worse case scenario and Jake survived them all.

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