It’s great to have my very good friend, RJ Jones, visit today. Because of our friendship, I’ve had the joy of watching RJ’s first book, Out of the Blue, come to life. From the writing of the very first scene, through editing, cover choice and finally publication.
It’s an emotional journey of two men, dealing with the aftermath of trauma. There is lots of emotion – love, anger, hurt, sorrow, frustration – and finally finding a way back together. It was refreshing to read a story about an established couple and to see couples dealing with real-life issues concerning communication and life-altering mental health issues. And it was satisfying to see them work through the issues – eventually – to come back together with a deeper understanding of each other.
I asked RJ to answer a few questions about her publication journey.
Thanks for visiting today, RJ! I imagine you’ve been very busy with the launch of your first novel, and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and answer some questions.
Firstly, let me say congratulations! Your novel, Out of the Blue, is getting rave reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and it’s great to see other’s loving it too.
Because this is your first novel, a lot of readers wouldn’t be familiar with your style. How would you describe the type of book you write?
RJ: Ah, that’s kind of hard. I like emotion. I want to feel something when reading, whether it be happy, sad, angry, frustrated… something. I don’t like reading books that leave me feeling meh. I hope my writing evokes strong feelings in the reader. Good or bad. It would be nice to be remembered.
Do you write the same type of story you like to read?
RJ: Yes. I read KA Mitchell’s Regularly Scheduled Life and loved it, but when I went looking for more stories about established couples, I found there wasn’t that many. So I wrote one.
Most authors say that publishing a book has many ups and downs. What was the lowlight and the highlight of your publishing journey? Any lessons for next time?
RJ: The lowlight was finding people who I thought I could trust, but ended up breaking that trust in numerous ways. I’ve been through almost everything a self-publishing author could, I think. Bad editing, delayed or non-exsisting timelines, lack of or no communication. For me it all hinges on trust and communication. I trust people to do the right thing by me, especially when I’m paying them and it hurts when they don’t. As for lessons for the future? Keep asking questions.
Cam and Jake, the main characters from Out of the Blue, had to fight hard to overcome the obstacles thrown their way. Are you able to share any secrets about the couple with your readers?
RJ: There’s a scene I wrote that was cut from the editing process, showing how Cam and Jake met at a party during college and what they got up to. Hot sex on the sofa was definitely involved. It was just supposed to be a hook-up for both of them. Cam was enjoying his college days and Jake had just arrived from Chicago after the death of parents. Neither of them were looking for anything other than sex, but when Jake took Cam back to his off-campus apartment, Cam found he didn’t’ want to leave. He moved in with Jake a month later.
Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see that scene published – please? 🙂 What next for Cam and Jake? Will we see any more of them?
RJ: They make a cameo appearance in Black and Bluhe, Kris’s story, which is due out in June. They will also appear in the third installment, which I haven’t finished writing yet, but they definitely make an appearance. There may or may not be tuxedo’s involved 🙂
What are you currently working on? I know you wrote a short story for the Encore Anthology. Are there more novels or short stories in the works?
RJ: I have a few things going on at the moment and some of the characters are jostling for a position in my head. I’ve just finished writing a short follow-up for The One That I Want, which appeared in the Encore Anthology. If you enjoyed reading about Jason and Paul and imagined what their wedding would be like, then stay tuned.
I’ve also nearly finished the first draft of a stand-alone novel called Indigo Road, which is about two best friends who take a year off after college to travel the country and ‘to find themselves.’ They end up finding each other instead. It’s a double GFY and features a remodeled combi-van named Maude.
I’m also dabbling with a story that involves some light BDSM which I predict will be a long novella. The story is formed in my head and I’ve started it, but the characters just aren’t pushy enough to jump the queue yet. But I’m having fun with the research 🙂
It sounds like we have lots of look forward to!
When everything happens Out of the Blue…
Lt Cameron Cooper has been with the San Francisco Fire Department for fifteen years. He’s seen and dealt with a lot of horrifying situations. He’s always considered himself mentally tough, but when he attends a multi-vehicle accident and sees a dead boy with features remarkably similar to his long-time boyfriend, his mental health takes a hit.
All Jake Montgomery wants is to propose to his boyfriend on their ten-year anniversary. He’s already bought the perfect rings, but when Cameron struggles to look at him after a tragic accident, he has doubts about their future. Cam is withdrawing, and Jake doesn’t know why.
With heated arguments and cold shoulders, Cam and Jake’s life starts to fall apart. Just when Cam thinks he can overcome his issues and finally talk to Jake, memories from Jake’s past threaten to push them apart forever.
About the Author
I started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into my thoughts, insisting on telling me their story that I started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.
My initial thought was if I could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow me to concentrate on other aspects of my day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work. But they didn’t shut up. They told me their entire story and I didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes I couldn’t keep up with what they were telling me and I had to keep a notebook by my bed.
Whilst I was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.
You see the problem? If I ever want to sleep again then I need to write.
I’m a wife and a mother to two boys. Even my dog is a boy.
I am surrounded by males.
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