Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing CJane Elliott, author of There You Are. Hi CJane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi there! I’m a writer of m/m books with three novels and several novellas under my belt. I’m happy to return to The Hat Party today to share about my new novella, There You Are, which is the second book in the Wild and Precious series. There You Are picks up the story of Cody Bellstrom where we left him in Wild and Precious. He moves to Portland, Oregon, and meets the man who is to become the love of his life, Phineas MacDonald. But they both have issues to work through before they can get to their happy ending.
By the way, those who have read my novella, Mercury In Retrograde, will recognize a cameo appearance of one of the main characters, Alex Harrison, toward the end of the book. It’s a short but key scene which proves to be a turning point for Cody.
Character interview – Phineas
- What’s your job like?
I used to have a high-paying job for a software company, but after my partner – who had been my mentor in the company – died, I didn’t have the heart for it. I was happy when the company went through a series of lay-offs and I could quit with a nice severance package. I’m happy to say that now I have my dream job. I work at Powell’s City of Books, which is one of the best bookstores in the world. I only work part-time and I get to surround myself with the first love of my life: books.
- Would you rather be respected or feared? Why?
Respected. I don’t care to try to get my way through aggression or intimidation. That’s not my style.
- What’s your favorite book?
That is a really hard question, given I love books. I’d have to say one of my all-time favorites is Possession by A.S. Byatt. The story goes back and forth between two different sets of characters and time periods. The main characters are writers from the 19th century and academics from the 20th, and the book includes poems and more written by each character, along with mystery and romance sub-plots. It’s a literary tour de force.
- If you could go anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go?
I want to take Cody around the world with me. He loves travelling on trains, so I’m thinking an epic train journey through Europe, to start. But I’m also fascinated by Japan and we could have fun taking their super-fast bullet trains. Maybe we could try for taking trains in every country.
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, what do you want to know? I don’t find myself a very interesting topic but I’ll try. I hail from Rockford, Illinois, a place I got away from as soon as I could. My life really began when I moved to Portland, Oregon, and met the first love of my life, Allen. We spent 12 years together before he died of cancer. I never thought I’d love again until Cody came along. He is truly a miracle. The most interesting thing about me is I do drag for one of the local drag shows. My drag queen persona is Phanny Hill and she is way more entertaining than I am. I love being Phanny because she’s much more bold and out there, and I think she’s one of the reasons I was able to snare Cody, who is so sexy and wonderful that everyone throws themselves at him. I’m truly a lucky guy.
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Book Name: There You Are
Series: Wild and Precious bk #2
Series should be read in order to best appreciate this book
Release Date: December 23, 2015
Pages or Words: 33,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Bisexual musician Cody Bellstrom is a free spirit, easygoing and unattached. On a cross-country trip, Cody befriends young Sandy Nixon and gets him safely to Portland and his uncle, Phineas MacDonald. Beautiful Phineas turns Cody’s life upside down, and Cody learns he's not as unattached as he aspires to be. With the hard-won knowledge of what lies underneath his need to be free, Cody wins a chance at real freedom and true love.
Ever since his longtime lover Allen died, Phineas MacDonald has lived a circumscribed life. He stopped performing as fierce drag queen Phanny Hill and works part-time in a bookstore. Phineas never expected to find love again. But when sexy and caring Cody Bellstrom turns up, Phineas feels his orderly life slipping out of his control. Cody brings him alive again, but now Phineas must find the courage to let go of his grief over Allen and give love a second chance.
“YOU SURE about this?” Bette’s pointed glance packed a world of meaning as she maneuvered the car through the DC traffic and Union Station came into view.
Cody shifted, touching the door handle to ready his escape. “Yes, I’m sure. Didn’t we go over this?” In excruciating detail, he added silently but didn’t dare say aloud. Not with the mood Bette was in.
“I’m giving you one more chance to come to your senses.” Bette pulled up outside the train station, frowning, and turned off the engine.
She looked so unhappy, Cody wanted to change his mind. I can’t, he thought.
Won’t, you mean, said the Bette in his head. He reached over and laid his hand on top of hers. “You’ll get along fine without me.”
“That’s not the point.” She nailed him with a baleful scowl. “We don’t want to get along without you. Dang you, Cody Bellstrom, you have no idea who you are to us.” At his puzzled expression, she turned away and stared stonily through the windshield.
“Well… I guess this is it.” Cody waited, but she didn’t respond. “I love you, girl, you know that, right? You and Aurora.” He meant it. He, Bette, and Aurora had been friends since they were college freshmen ten and a half years ago. Cody sometimes found it hard to believe that he’d known them since before Bette and Aurora had become a couple. It seemed like they’d been together forever.
A barely perceptible nod.
“Come on, Bette, don’t be mad. I’ll be back. I swear.”
“Sure you will.” She sighed and turned a softer face toward him. “Goddammit, you better. We love you. If you gotta do this, of course we can’t stop you. All we want is for you to be happy.”
A car honked behind them, and a uniformed officer motioned them to get moving.
“Shoot,” Bette muttered. “All right, babe. Get outta here.”
Cody leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek. “I’ll text. And call. And Skype.”
“Okay. Send us a postcard from every stop, and take a picture of yourself in Powell’s Books when you get to Portland.”
Cody opened the door and unfurled himself from the passenger seat, then hauled out his luggage, such as it was. He traveled light; always had. A knapsack, one rolling suitcase, and his guitar, and he was good to go.
He stood on the curb and waved as Bette pulled away, then strode into the station, his spirits lifting, while Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” played on a loop in his mind.
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Meet the author:
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
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