Tuesday, July 15, 2014

INTERVIEW: Jordan Castillo Price plus #Giveaway!

Today we're talking with JCP--Jordan Castillo Price--who comes to us rockin' the skull-band hat and offering a giveaway for fans! Check out the details at the end of the interview.

Hello Jordan 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!

My signature skull-band hat would be jealous if I showed up with anything else on my head!

What is your super-secret, wildest, most outlandish writing dream? (Nothing is too wild!)

Ever since I read about Neil Gaiman having an assistant who handled basically everything but the writing for him, I’ve wanted to have a person like that in my life. She’d keep me on track, vet my correspondence, do the tedious things I don’t want to figure out, bounce ideas around, and provide me with all-around moral support.

Give us 5 ½ words of wisdom.

It’s important to always remember wh--

Tell us about a time you were changed.

When I was researching my Turbulence series, I went to a local aviation school and took a flying lesson. I told the instructor I was a writer and I had no intention of enrolling in flight school, so I figured he would basically do everything and explain it while I rode along and asked questions. Nope. He made me climb on the wing and check the fuel, he made me “taxi” up to the runway with A BIG ASSED COMMERCIAL AIRLINER WAITING BEHIND ME, and he made me take off and actually fly the plane. (He did land us after I began the descent to the runway. Phew!) After that experience, I experienced a major shift in what I thought of as being scary or undoable.

You’re writing along and you’re attacked by a horde of zombies…ON FIRE…how do you survive? Or do you become a zombie too?

I’ve always known I’d be one of the first to go in a zombie apocalypse. I’m no runner, plus I’m sure I have a tasty brain. Hopefully they’ll eat enough of me that I don’t zombify, too.

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

For me, the swoon-worthiness comes from having characters you know and think of as real sharing their vulnerabilities. So how much can you know someone in 200 words? It’s a tall order.

“So I knew you lived alone—your form said so—and I figured maybe you wanted some company. But you never know. Those things can be months out of date.”

That form was like eight pages long. I’d filled it out as minimally as possible, but still. “I live alone.”

“You sure about that?” His gaze dropped to the padlock at my throat. When I didn’t let on that it was anything more than a nickel-coated fashion statement that made the skin of my neck turn a little green, he shrugged and picked up the vodka I’d been working on earlier. A coating of frost had formed on the bottle up to the level of the liquor, then small beads of sweat misted above that. He took a long drink and set the bottle down, right on top of a yellow envelope. His thumb left a clear spot in the frost. He’d picked up the bottle with his meatworks hand, though I had no doubt he could’ve done it almost as easily with his prosthetic. “You don’t seem like the type to live alone,” he said.

“How’s that?”

“I just figured you’d be taken.”

Describe yourself using lyrics.

I see a red door and I want it painted black.

You can go back to any point in your life to give you past self a pep-talk. How old is your past self and what do you say?

Ooh, I’d go back to my post grad-school days in my mid-twenties. I graduated into a big recession and no one would hire me for anything in my fine arts field, so I did all these dreary temp jobs and ended up working in offices for years, feeling underutilized and drained. I’d tell myself to hang in there and not take the jobs so seriously, because the Internet’s coming, and baby, it changes everything.

Your thoughts on libraries: GO!

They’re a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to work there! I was graphic designer at a public library for ten years. It was a really engaging job but it took a lot out of me.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career and what did you learn from it?

I do my best to think of things as learning experiences rather than mistakes, but of course there are always things I’d do differently if I were to get a do-over. Once I signed a contract for several books based on a pitch, then tried to write them to schedule. I learned that was too stressful of a way for me to work, so now I write what I write, it takes as long as it takes, and I release it when it’s done.

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

The kind that are cats! After all, the internet is made of porn and cats. As it should be.

~ ~ ~

Desmond Poole is damaged in more ways than one. If he was an underachiever before, he’s entirely useless now that he’s lost his right hand. He spends his time drowning his sorrows in vodka while he deliberately blows off the training that would help him master his new prosthetic. Social Services seems determined to try and stop him from wallowing in his own filth, so he’s forced to attend an amputee support group. He expects nothing more than stale cookies, tepid decaf and a bunch of self-pitying sob stories, so he’s blindsided when a fellow amputee catches his eye.

Corey Steiner is a hot young rudeboy who works his robotic limb like an extension of his own body, and he’s smitten by Desmond’s crusty punk rock charm from the get-go. Unfortunately, Desmond hasn’t quite severed ties with his ex-boyfriend, and Corey isn’t known for his maturity or patience.

Meatworks is set in a bleak near-future where cell phone and personal computer technologies never developed. In their place, robotics flourished. Now robots run everything from cars to coffee pots. Taking the guesswork out of menial tasks was intended to create leisure time, but instead robots have made society dependent and passive.

Desmond loathes robots and goes out of his way to avoid them. But can he survive without the robotic arm strapped to the end of his stump?


“You’re here for the meeting? It’s supposed to start at seven. And you are?”

“Me? I’m Desmond Poole.”

“Hi, Desmond. I’m Pam Steiner. Come in, make sure you close the door behind you.”

Nah, I figured I’d just let it rain in. I forced a smile. Baring my teeth probably wouldn’t fool anyone, but I couldn’t afford to make a new enemy.

My hostess Pam, a thirtyish chick with sandy, blunt-cut hair and a painfully earnest face, smiled in return. Her smile looked as forced as mine felt.

“I can take your coat. Shoes go there.” She took my wet jacket and pointed to a pile of shoes beside the door. Most of the shoes were in pairs. But a few of them were single.

Gah. I knew the support group was a shitty idea. “I’m gonna leave my shoes on.”

“Oh, is it an issue with your prosthetic? I thought it was your arm, not your leg.”

How she could say the P-word without gagging on it was beyond me. My arm felt like it was full of lead weights. Even though the thing stuck to the end of it supposedly weighed less than my original arm had.

“No, it’s an issue with my…socks.”

“I’m sorry. I just had the hardwood floors waxed last week, is all.”

Pam stood, blocking the doorway from me and effectively trapping me in the front hall until I relinquished my shoes, which would mean being stuck in my socks—and that meant no quick getaway. I considered grabbing my jacket away from her and sprinting out the door. But this was my last chance to prove I’d done the mandatory “sharing” that would help me “heal.”

Like I’d ever heal.

Unfortunately, my social worker said if I kept cutting class, Social Services would stop cutting checks.

Pam clutched my jacket harder. I could wrestle her for it, but half a foot shorter, thirty pounds lighter or not, it was a good possibility that she had a robo-arm too. I didn’t know that for a fact, since one of her hands was currently hidden, with my leather jacket draped over it. But come on, why else was Gimp Group being held at her house? If she did have a robo-arm, it’d be just as strong as mine. Plus, she’d probably have a lot better control over hers than I did, given that for the past three months, I’d been doing my best to pretend the hunk of junk on the end of my stump didn’t exist. Meanwhile, she’d been hanging balloons off her porch light, dusting off the folding chairs, and laying out a spread of stale cookies and decaf.

I bent, untied my combat boots with my real hand, and slipped them off. Pam was smiling harder when I straightened up. “Okay, then. You’re the last one on the list. Shake hands with the housebot and we can get started.”

“I’ll take a pass.”

Pam looked at me like I was nuts. If I didn’t “shake” with the housebot, how would it be able to add my temperature preferences to those of the group and adjust the HVAC system accordingly? And the lighting system? And the music mix? While my own preference for old school punk usually resulted in some bizarre selections when I mingled with a group of more conservative folk, and the housebot averaged our musical taste into something that all of us could snigger at…I’d been less than enthused lately about baring my soul to just any old piece of machinery. “If you don’t scan in,” Pam said, “your social worker won’t know you made it to the meeting.” She gave a little nervous chuckle. “Besides, if you don’t scan in, you could be anybody, and I wouldn’t know the difference.”

Did I even know anyone who’d be willing to pretend to be me? Maybe someone from the gin mill who wouldn’t mind an easy twenty bucks. Too bad none of ’em were gimps. “I’ll show you my I.D.”

“Theoretically, I mean. I don’t actually think you’re lying about who you—”

“Couldn’t you just call him or something?”

“Call your social worker? On the telephone? I don’t think I even have his number.” I did, but I was busy convincing myself I’d forgotten it. Pam hugged my jacket to her chest as if by doing so, she could vicariously comfort me. She lowered her voice so that she sounded very confidential and concerned, and said, “Is it some sort of phobia?”

“Something like that.”

A muscle twitched in my neck, and my robo-arm flung its fingers wide, like it was so happy to meet Pam it wanted to slip her an exuberant wave whether or not my shoulder chose to get into the act. I ignored it.

“Don’t worry,” she said, “it’s totally safe. There are no moving parts in the scanner. Not one. And I just upgraded a few months ago. It’s very fast. You’ll have your hand back before you know it.”
I would not have my hand back before I knew it. I would not have my hand back, ever. It was an effort not to say as much. Hell, it was an effort not to scream it at the top of my lungs. But I couldn’t take the chance that Pam might decide to actually figure out how to use her phone and tattle on me to my social worker if I started acting like a prick, so I kept my mouth shut and let the fucking housebot scan my remaining hand.

It wasn’t that I was afraid of the dumb thing—I’d repaired enough of them to know there were no moving parts—it was the principle. Can’t a guy go somewhere without being read? What if I want to sweat for a change—or shiver? What if I’m in the mood for some country and western? What if I want to tell my social worker where I’ve been and have him take my word for it?

Available from JCP Books | Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


What inspired you to write the book you’re promoting?

We all carry our pasts around with us. Meatworks is about being damaged, inside and out, and the story speculates on whether or not it’s possible to ever work through the damage.

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

It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a harrowing read.

What are your hopes for this title?

I’d love to cause the M/M genre expand to include stories that aren’t based on romance-genre structure, tropes and expectations. Meatworks pushes a lot of boundaries, and I hope it pushes hard enough that it leaves some room behind for the genre to grow.

About the Author:

Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, "light as a feather, stiff as a board," and boys in eyeliner.

Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who's plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made...one client at a time.

Fantastic newsletter - http://psycop.com/newsletter.html

 *~*~*GIVEAWAY TIME*~*~*

Comment with your email address between now and July 19th @ 11:59 PM CDT for your chance to win a copy of JCP's Meatworks!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I enjoyed your comment about expanding the genre, it seems like that is starting to happen and it's great to be watching it happen. Thank you for the interview.

  3. I enjoyed your interview and times have changed since the internet came about e-books social media etc has made authors more accessible.


  4. I think that pushing boundaries will usually expand a genre eventually. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!


  5. The covers of your books hook me and then the blurbs reel me in.


  6. Awesome interview! i love the idea of genre expanding. I think M/M definitely has room to grow.

  7. Two of my favorite "hat people" together in one place? Wunderbar!

    Great interview, gals. Those are my favorite kind of dachshunds too. :)

    c.descoteauxwites AT gmail

  8. I love Jordan's writing and look forward to reading Meatworks. Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Sorry. I had misspelled my email address.

    Jordan tests the M/M genre's boundaries with every book. I have no doubt she'll do it again. Thank you for the interview! Please sign me up for this book :)