Welcome today to author J. Vaughn who’s chatting about her new release ROUGH BOYS: RUNAWAY. Find out where she found her inspiration, what she loves to write – and all her other favourites!
GIVEAWAY: Jay is kindly offering THREE FREE DOWNLOADS of her book to lucky commenters. Don’t forget to leave your email address and/or contact details in the comments box, and the winners will be picked at random on Tuesday 17 Dec.
What inspired you to write Rough Boys?
I was inspired by Pete Townshend’s song of the same name. I heard it on the radio one morning—not on my usual station. If you’re not familiar with it, you should check it out. It’s awesome. “Rough boys, running the streets … rough toys, under the sheets…” I started thinking about what kind of boys these would be. I wanted to “get inside their bitter minds”.
I slammed out the first 15,000 words in a week and posted it on a free story site without too much forethought. I was overwhelmed with the response I received and shortly abandoned all other in-progress writing efforts to focus on this one.
In addition to the blurb, is there anything you want to tell readers about the story?
At it’s heart it’s a coming-of-age story. It follows the lives of three young gay men who are just out on their own, falling in love for the first time, and sometimes making pretty big mistakes.
It’s not for the faint-of-heart. The first chapter in particular is quite brutal. It also has some scenes depicting drug abuse which garnered more than a few complains from beta readers, but I also got kudos for realism. In the end, many of my strongest critics said they loved the story, so I’m hoping readers will stick with it even though at times it is not an easy read.
How do you find the books you want to read?
I used to browse the best sellers at wherever I was buying my book. That was hit or miss for me, though. What’s selling well now, are not necessarily the best books in class, and sometimes the choices were less than stellar. What is selling well is also not always what’s highest rated, and sometimes the highest rated books are the ones with very few ratings.
Lately I’ve had good luck using the lists at Goodreads. There’s quite a few in the M/M category and they have some great books in them.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the navy, so I moved around a lot growing up. I also spent quite a few years in Alaska before settling down in Seattle. I went to grad school in Manhattan and Germany. All that travel has definitely influenced my writing and allowed me to write with confidence about both wilderness settings and city life.
One of the motifs that often creeps into my stories is the theme of trying to fit in someplace new or with others who are very different. One thing you will never see me do is to have characters instantly learn a foreign language. I like to have them struggle with communication as so often happens in real life.
What types of books do you like to read?
I’m an adrenalin junkie. I want to read a book that I can’t put down. I like lots of harrowing action, but not at the expense of character development. I’m also much more of a romantic than I care to admit and do enjoy sappy love scenes.
I have very little tolerance for sad endings. If I know a book or movie ends badly, I will likely not read or watch it. I think maybe I’m one of the few left in America who still hasn’t seen Titanic. I know how it ends, right? I’m just never in the mood to go there, although I’m sure the journey is wonderful.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m currently writing a vampire novel, Encounters with Evil, which is pretty funny because I don’t like vampire novels. I like this one pretty well though. The vampire in it is actually evil, and there’s lots of mystery surrounding the main character’s love interest—the hot, muscle-bound, Harley-riding hunk who rescues him from the vampire’s clutches.
I also just finished writing a shorter work about a college jock who finally comes to terms with his own homosexuality after helping a rape victim. I’ll post it on my Website soon.
Because my writing time is so limited, I try not to have too many stories going at once, although I have to admit that there’s three others I’ve made a start to and countless more in my head. So many men, so little time…
And a few personal questions…
My all-time favorite book is Lord of the Rings. It’s an amazing story, one I can read over and over. The writing is beautiful and unusual.
I like almost any kind of music but listen to alternative rock more than anything else. My favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I’m fickle, so that could change soon.
Swimming. I love backpacking and skiing as well.
Favorite leisure activity?
Dinner and wine with friends. Is that a leisure activity? It is for me.
Cheese (like really good French cheese), wine, and dark chocolate.
A runaway, a dreamer, a gorgeous femme … are they rough enough to survive the brutal city?
Ty is only seventeen when he flees in terror from his homophobic father, but surviving on the streets is more difficult than he could possibly have imagined. When bad choices send Ty spiraling toward ruin, can he be saved by love?
Dani leaves home with stars in his eyes but his feet on the ground, fully expecting his road to success to be long and difficult. What he doesn’t expect is to fall head-over-heels in love with a gorgeous, self-centered rock star. Can Dani find happiness with the arrogant Englishman or will his heart be broken?
Kaeden is banished by his conservative Asian parents when he comes home with extreme hair, false eyelashes, and glittering fingernails. He naively accepts a position with a male escort service, dreaming of fancy parties and wealthy men. Instead he finds himself playing Russian roulette with his heart.
This gritty urban romance follows the lives of these three young men as they forge strong bonds of friendship in spite of, or maybe because of, the challenges they face.
Publisher’s Notes: This story contains content which may be offensive to some readers: extreme violence, substance abuse, offensive language, and detailed descriptions of M/M sex. No underage sex.
Jay Vaughn lives in sunny Seattle, a clean, progressive city that is way too expensive for a writer’s income. Therefore, Jay holds down a full-time, computer-industry day job, but writing is her passion. It’s a hobby-gone-wild, so much so that her teenage kids accuse her of being an addict.
Jay carries her laptop everywhere and can often be seen combining other favorite activities with writing. For example, you can find Jay sitting at a small table in the back of the gay bar around the corner from her house, drinking wine and writing. Or waking up early while camping, dragging out the laptop, and writing. Or writing in the truck on the way to and from concerts, ski-trips, visits to relatives … wherever.
Jay’s favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, and M/M erotic romance. She discovered M/M quite by accident when she was writing a traditional fantasy novel, and one of her characters ended up in an all-male prison for a bit too long. Whoops!
Find out what Jay is working on next at http://www.authorjvaughn.com or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you.
Read a (generous) excerpt from Rough Boys on Page 2