I’m very pleased to host erotic romance author Katheryn Wallis today. She’s touring her contemporary erotic romance, Letting Jack Watch, and celebrating its release in paperback. Katheryn is giving away an Amazon gift card today to one reader, so don’t forget to say hello.
Who are your favourite authors?
I only discovered romance and erotic romance as a reader – never mind as a writer – about five years ago, so I am still exploring new sub-genres and new authors. (I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t actually read any of your books yet, Tracy! But I own several of them and I’m looking forward to reading them all.)It’s a delicious feeling to know there is so much good stuff out there to look forward to reading!
I will mention just two of my favourite authors so far, though: Evangeline Anderson and Kaje Harper. Evangeline Anderson’s novel The Assignment was my first exposure to M/M erotic romance, and I was absolutely blown away by the possibilities, as well as by Evangeline’s captivating story. It was the first book in the genre that (a) I wanted to read over and over again (which I still do, along with its several sequels), and (b) made me say to myself “Yes – that’s what I want to try to write.” I also wrote to Evangeline, and she was very encouraging and kind to me, both as a new fan and as a new author.
Kaje Harper is another of my favourite authors so far. Her book The Rebuilding Year is another M/M that I keep reading over and over again, and I like her Life Lessons series too (also M/M… are you sensing a theme here? I love reading M/M and am currently writing it myself…). I especially like Harper’s writing; while her characters are loveable and her plots are interesting, it’s her writing skills that really keep me coming back.
What is your favourite novel cover?
Well, I’m really fond of the cover that Kendra Egert at Ellora’s Cave came up with for my first novel, Letting Jack Watch. She did a fantastic job setting up the emotions and sexual tension between all three main characters, just by the placement of the characters on the cover and the expressions on their faces. And her depiction of my hero, Jack, in the center of the cover, is absolutely spot-on.
What’s the best Hero Moment you’ve ever seen in film?
This was a tough one – first I had to decide what I think ‘hero moment’ means to me. And I’ve decided it means when a guy does something that makes me wish he was my hero – or that I could find a hero like him. Once I decided that, I realized right away what the best movie moment is for me: it’s a conversation near the end of the movie Where the Heart Is (Warning: Spoiler ahead!). Novalee, a poor single mother and high school dropout (played by Natalie Portman), admits to Forney, a brilliant college student (played by James Frain), that she loves him, but said earlier she didn’t because she thought he deserved something better. And Forney replies: “Better than you? Novalee, there isn’t anything better than you.” (And then there is much kissing, marriage, and happily ever after.) I want a hero who not only feels that way about me, but says so – just like Forney did.
What’s the best Hero Moment you’ve ever read in a book?
I am having such a hard time choosing this! I’ve read lots of books with strong heroes – and even more with strong heroines. But again, I am choosing to interpret this question not in terms of bravery, goodness, self-sacrifice, etc., but rather in terms of actions or qualities that make me wish the character in question was my own personal hero.
And I can’t zoom in on a single moment. So instead I’m just going to name two of my favourite heroes from books – men I would want to spend forever with if only I could meet them in real life: Prince Ossin from Robin McKinley’s Deerskin, and Jimmy Tock from Dean Koontz’s Life Expectancy.
What reading device do you use for reading ebooks on?
My first e-reader was a Kindle 2, and I still use it sometimes. But I also have an iPad and an iPhone, and I find myself using them a lot more often (though I’m in the Kindle app as often as I’m in iBooks – in fact, I often use the Kindle app on my laptop as well). I love knowing that I have books with me no matter what, so if a friend is late meeting me or I need to kill time for whatever reason, I always have something fun to read. And of course – like most erotic romance readers, I suspect – I love the discreetness of buying and reading books electronically.
What is your take on the indie author phenomenon? What do you think the book industry will look like in five years’ time?
I’m probably the wrong person to ask about this, since I’ve only published one book so far (with Ellora’s Cave, an e-press) and don’t feel like I know much about the industry yet. But I’m definitely excited about the indie publishing boom, and its many possibilities and opportunities. It may have been true at some point in the past that indie authors were those whose books ‘weren’t good enough’ to be published in the traditional way, but even if it was true then, it is not true now. Many fantastic authors (like Tracy!) are choosing to publish independently simply because they can – and because it gives them more control over the process and a more reasonable share of their profits. I hope to publish some titles independently myself in the future. I really suck at self-promotion and marketing, though, so I hope to create a fan base through more traditional publishing first. …But of course, to accomplish any of that, first I need to make time to write… 😉
Do you ever skip the “I love you!” scene in your novels? Do you feel you’ve been cheated if they’re missing in other authors’ books?
[Some authors and readers have indicated that they miss those three words and want them back.]
I do tend to feel cheated if I don’t get to have something like an ‘I love you’ moment in my romance (and erotic romance). The characters don’t necessarily have to say those specific words, but I definitely need to feel like there is an emotional as well as a physical payoff to the story. And I want to be able to savor the happy ending a bit. I hate reading romances where the main characters bicker or mope through 95% of the book, and then the story abruptly ends just when they’ve finally settled their differences. I don’t find that satisfying; I always want to get at least one glimpse of what happily ever after (or happy for now) is going to look like for the characters. (They’ve had no sex or angsty, preoccupied sex through the whole rest of the book, so show me a little bit of happy sex before you go!) This is why in my book, Letting Jack Watch, I added an epilogue that shows how the main characters are getting along in their new relationship (she says in a vague and hopefully non-spoilery way). I don’t feel satisfied unless I get that kind of closure. And I’m very curious to know what others think about this subject, so I’m hoping this is something that will get discussed in the comments (*hint hint*).
What’s your take on eBook piracy? What would you do about it if you were given carte blanche?
E-book piracy is wrong, just like stealing anything is wrong. Authors work damn hard to write their stories; they should get paid for their time just like anyone else. That said, I’m not a fan of DRM; I hate not being able to convert my Kindle books to other formats for other platforms. I’m not sure what the solution to e-book piracy is… but luckily there are people out there working on it who have more technical skills than I do!
If someone offered you immortality, but you could never write again…would you take the offer?
Very tough question… but I would probably say no. Writing is itself a form of immortality, and is the way I’ve chosen to make my mark. What good would living forever do if you couldn’t use that time to make your contribution to the universe the best way you know how?
What do you want your epitaph to read, at the end of your life?
Hmm… Maybe a quotation from Star Trek or The Lord of the Rings – I love them and they both have some suitable lines. I’ll have to think about this some more – thanks for the idea!
What are you currently reading? How’s that going for you?
I’m reading an academic book about classifying science, and a series of academic articles about interdisciplinary science (these are both for my day job at my local university, as a historian of science). And for fun I’m rereading Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End for the umpteenth time. The former is going very slowly – I take way more notes than I should when reading academic stuff. The latter is going well. Robin McKinley is one of my favourite authors… and it’s so relaxing to read something I don’t have to take notes on. 🙂
What will you be reading next?
I think I might reread The Lord of the Rings before The Hobbit comes out in theaters next month. I’ve already reread The Hobbit in preparation, but I hear they’ve referenced a bunch of stuff from the LOTR appendices in the new movie trilogy, and I like to be thorough. (Really, terrifyingly, anally thorough. :P)
The Desiree Staccato
In honour of Desiree Holt who started this Saturday Night Live style tradition:
- Favourite colour? Green (I like yellow greens, not blue greens). Though I’m also partial to black and pink.
- Favourite drink? Really strong British (as in mailed to me from Britain) orange pekoe tea, with cream and sugar.
- Favourite writing outfit? Pajamas.
- Favourite food(s)? Hmm… maybe Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza with lots of extra sauce.
- Favourite music? This month my favourite song is “One of 47” by de:ad:cibel. But that changes a lot. Some of my favourite artists, in no particular order, are: Tori Amos, Switchblade Symphony, Tool, Nitzer Ebb, and Big Country. (And, if you read my book, you’ll find out I also love Captain Tractor.)
- Favourite sport? Curling!
- Favourite body part? Hmm… that’s a tough one. Maybe feet – I like feet. Not in a fetishy way, I don’t think – I don’t want to make love to anyone’s feet – but I do admire a guy with nice arches.
- Favourite spot in the world? I just bought a brand-new condo, and I have a feeling that as soon as I move in, home will be my favourite spot in the world!
- Favourite movie? Aliens.
- Favourite TV show? Probably COPS or World’s Wildest Police Videos. Or Income Property or Holmes on Holmes. (I mostly only watch cop shows and home improvement shows.)
- Favourite flower? I don’t like flowers. Or plants in general. I guess those two-tone pink roses are kind of pretty, but I’d much rather get chocolate. Or something zombie-themed.
- Favourite thing to do at knock-off time? Read a book or watch a DVD.
Canadian Connections is a trade paperback anthology featuring my first novel, a contemporary M/F/M erotic ménage called Letting Jack Watch, and Hot Fusion, a contemporary M/F by Cristal Ryder. Both our books were originally published as part of the Oh, Canada! series, by Ellora’s Cave.
Here are short blurbs for both of the stories in this anthology:
Letting Jack Watch by Katheryn Wallis
Edmonton cop Jack has one rule for dating—don’t get emotionally involved. A string of short-term flings leaves him dissatisfied, though, and he starts to envy his partner, Jeremy, who’s been dating curvy redhead Caitlin for a year. Then Jack glimpses something forbidden—and realizes a glimpse is not enough. For Caitlin and Jeremy, letting Jack watch began as an accident and became a game. But they soon realize the game has high stakes—and threatens to tear them apart forever. Jeremy doesn’t want to lose his best friend, but what will he have to sacrifice to keep Jack around? Caitlin knows what she wants, but getting it might destroy everything. And Jack may have come second, but he won’t settle for second best. He started out just watching. Now he wants it all.
Hot Fusion by Cristal Ryder
After fleeing her hometown years ago, Kara Sinclair has returned to breathe life back into the bakery her deceased grandmother left behind. She has a history in this town—one that involves her one true love. A boy she’d thought she’d give her life to before circumstance got in the way. She needs to focus on her task, but one look at Maxwell Stone and all the old feelings return. And it isn’t long before she can think of nothing else but reigniting the passion they once shared. Max never understood what drove Kara away all those years ago, and once she returns to their Canadian hometown, he’s hell bent on getting her back into his life…and his bed. But when he uncovers the reason she left him behind, he must decide if he can move on from the past and trust his heart with the only woman he’s ever loved.
And an excerpt:
Jeremy glanced at Jack, wondering what was on his mind. Jack usually let Jeremy drive the patrol car, preferring to handle the radio and computer. Today, though, Jack had grabbed the keys and slid behind the wheel himself. This was unusual. He also seemed tense, drumming on the steering wheel with nervous energy, a muscle moving in his cheek as he repeatedly clenched his jaw.
Through two speeding tickets on surface streets and a fender bender on the Yellowhead, Jeremy held his tongue, hoping Jack would volunteer whatever was on his mind. After a quick lunch at Tim Hortons—chili combo for Jack, club sandwich and soup combo for Jeremy—and an arrest for illegal weapons possession, through which Jack continued to fidget and also began to dart quick, hesitant glances at his partner, Jeremy finally decided to take matters into his own hands.
“So,” Jeremy began when Jack paused in his nervous tapping on the steering wheel. “What’s eating you?”
Jack glanced at him, then quickly looked back at the road. He made a right onto 111th Avenue. They passed 109th Street. “Nothing,” he said finally, and unconvincingly.
“Something is,” Jeremy persisted. “You’ve been acting weird since the weekend. Spill.”
Jack sighed. “Fine,” he said. “I just…I owe you an apology. And Caitlin too, probably, only I’d actually rather you didn’t tell her about this.”
“About what?” Jeremy was surprised. He couldn’t remember any incident requiring an apology. And Caitlin and Jack always got along great.
“When I slept over at your place on Saturday night,” Jack explained, “I went out on the balcony before I went to sleep. Just to get some air.” He squinted, either reacting to the bright sunlight pouring through his window or anticipating a negative reaction from Jeremy.
“And,” he continued reluctantly when his partner didn’t say anything, “I, uh, accidentally looked through your bedroom window.”
“So?” Jeremy was confused. Who cared if Jack saw his bedroom? He’d been in it dozens of times.
“Well, you guys were…I mean, Caitlin was, uh…”
Watching the blush creep up Jack’s neck to his cheeks, slightly darkened with stubble though he’d shaved before their shift as usual, Jeremy suddenly remembered what he and Caitlin had been doing that night, and realized just what Jack must have witnessed. “Oh,” he said. “Right.”
“Yeah,” Jack said.
There was an awkward silence for a moment, as Jack eased up to a red light. They watched a couple on the sidewalk next to them, white male and white female, both in their late teens, arguing. The male stepped threateningly toward the female, shouting, and Jeremy put one hand on his seat belt buckle, ready to step out and grab the guy if things looked to get physical. But at the female’s retort, the male turned, shaking his head, and walked away.
“So, that’s it?” Jeremy asked. “You just glanced in the window?”
“Yeah,” Jack said, but then sighed. “Okay, honestly, I stood there for a couple minutes. I was kind of surprised, you know?”
“Don’t tell me you’re surprised I have sex with my girlfriend,” Jeremy teased, trying to ease his partner’s tension a bit. Jack was clearly upset about what he’d done. Jeremy wasn’t upset himself, though, to his own surprise. He felt like he ought to be mad at Jack, but for some reason, he just wasn’t.
“Of course not.” Jack grinned. “You guys obviously have a healthy relationship.” He looked over at Jeremy again, apparently reassuring himself that his best friend wasn’t furious. “Anyway, as soon as I realized what I was doing, I left,” he finished. “So, I’m sorry, pal.”
“No problem,” Jeremy said. “Thanks for telling me.”
“You sure we’re cool?” Jack still sounded worried.
“Of course,” Jeremy said. He meant it. “This is why you’ve been acting weird since then?”
“Yeah,” Jack admitted. “I wasn’t sure what you guys would think of me.”
“Well, it’s best to have everything out in the open, don’t you think?” Now that the worst was apparently out, Jeremy thought Jack could stand a bit of teasing, to lighten things up. “Now I know that you’re a voyeur pervert, and you know how amazing I am in bed.”
Jack burst out laughing. “I didn’t see that part, dude—sorry.” He shook his head. “I did see that Caitlin’s pretty amazing, though,” he added, then bit his lip, as if fearing he’d crossed a line.
“Yeah, she is,” Jeremy agreed proudly. Maybe that was what was really bugging Jack—was he comparing what he’d seen Caitlin doing with his own experiences, and finding the latter lacking? If so, he could certainly understand that. Jeremy had been with other girls before Caitlin, but sex with her was definitely the best he’d ever had. “How were things with Leanne? Would she…you know, go down on you?”
“Oh yeah,” Jack said. “That wasn’t a problem.” And it hadn’t been, not in the sense that Leanne had been willing—if not necessarily eager—to give him a blowjob. Most of the other girls he’d hooked up with in the last year had been willing to as well, at least on occasion. Getting some action when he wanted it wasn’t usually a problem for Jack. But somehow, it never felt the way Jeremy and Caitlin had looked that night.
“So, why’d you dump her then?” Jeremy asked curiously. “I thought she was nice.”
“Yeah,” Jack said. “She was.” Leanne had been nice. She was tall—only an inch or so shorter than Jack’s five feet, eleven inches—and slender, with curly hair, warm eyes and a sexy, sultry voice. And, after two weeks of dating, she had offered Jack a key to her apartment. And invited him to Sunday brunch with her parents. That was when Jack had dumped her.
Things had gotten ugly after that, before Jack had cut and run. Leanne had called him several things, none of them pleasant. The four-letter words he didn’t mind so much—people swore when they were angry, and she’d had a right to be angry. But some of the other words she’d thrown at him—things like “coward” and “commitment-phobe”—had hit a little closer to home.
“I don’t know,” Jack said finally, realizing Jeremy was waiting for him to go on. “Things were just moving too fast, I guess. Girls always want to jump right in, you know? Do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars, go straight to living together and lifetime commitment. What’s wrong with just having a little fun?”
“Is that really all you want?” Jeremy asked. He was honestly curious. “I mean, I hate the dating scene. Going to bars and coffee shops, trying to find a girl who’s more than just a pretty face. Don’t you want to get past all that superficial stuff and find someone you can really connect with? Really trust?” He smiled, more to himself than to Jack. “Caitlin’s amazing. Yeah, she’s gorgeous, and she’s incredible in bed, and that matters a lot, but she’s also fun. And nice, and smart. And I can talk to her—really talk to her. About anything.” Jeremy cleared his throat. “I’ve finally found the perfect girl, and I’m never going to let her go. I can’t imagine going through all that again.”
“Yeah, well, I thought I had all that too,” Jack said, trying not to sound bitter and jealous. It was hard—harder than usual, somehow, after having seen Caitlin and Jeremy in bed together. “With Angela. But then my ‘perfect’ girl found her perfect guy. Who wasn’t me. And she started fucking him behind my back.” He sighed, running a hand through his black curls. “You just never know, Jer. You never know.”
Jeremy opened his mouth to protest, but before he could speak the radio crackled to life, summoning them to back up some fellow officers on a traffic stop near Kingsway Garden Mall. Jack shoulder checked, then pulled a U-turn while Jeremy grabbed the mike to acknowledge the call.
“Anyway,” Jack said when Jeremy returned the mike to its hook. “Are we good? About last weekend?”
“Yeah, we’re good,” Jeremy confirmed. Now, he reflected as they sped back east on 111th Avenue, all he needed to do was figure out why Jack’s voyeuristic revelation hadn’t bothered him.
The new print collection, Canadian Connections, featuring Katheryn’s book.
Letting Jack Watch (ebook):
My thanks once again to Katheryn for being my guest here today.
Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the draw for Katheryn’s $10 Amazon Gift Card. The contest will run until midnight MST, Tuesday November 13th, with the winner announced on Wednesday November 14th.