I’m chuffed as heck today to welcome an old friend to the blog who’s willing to be interrogated gently interviewed about his new release, Skythane, and also willing to allow me to swoon over the gorgeous cover art while doing no more than roll his eyes and offer me a handkerchief to deal with the drool.
See? (points upward). Very droolworthy, no? So, with my artistic appreciation skills acknowledged by all and sundry, let’s start out with a bit of information on the book before I pin the author into the interrogation chair.
Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.
Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.
Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Caine
Length: 85K, # pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 2/17/17
Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi
Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.
His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.
The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.
A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….
He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.
Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.
The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.
For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.
When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.
“You’re still here.”
“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.
Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.
The man frowned. “I thought—”
“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”
The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.
I really have become a bastard, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.
He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”
And now that’s all done, here’s a reminder of that lovely, lovely cover and here’s J. Scott Coatsworth, willing and able to answer any question hurled at him.
Hi, Scott, and welcome! Let’s start with the easy one. What inspired you to write this particular story?
I actually started writing this one back in the nineties. But it didn’t take flight (pun intended) until 2014. I had just come out a couple years before I began it, and it was my first attempt to write a story with gay protagonists, so you could say it was inspired by the newfound freedom I felt as an out gay man.
Writing is never angst free -what were the challenges in bringing it to life?
Totally the sci fi part. A dear friend beta read it for me after I did the NaNoWriMo thing, and ha a lot of problems with the world backdrop and the science. So I had to put out some feelers and find folk who knew about gravity and weather, and put together a workable theory about how half a world could and would function in the real universe. It was difficult, but it made the novel stronger.
What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
I had my first real fanboy moment at last year’s GRL, when a reader came up to me and told me how much he had loved my novella “The Autumn Lands”, and the twist in the story. It was the first time this happened to me, and it wall always stick with me.
So, what kind of character or topic have you been dying to try to write, but you’ve never worked up the courage?
Not so much a character, but a pairing? I’ve written a couple lesbian characters, but never a lesbian couple. It’s a bit daunting for me as we don’t share any of the parts in common (well, except for the normal “human parts LOL). But I would love to give it a try sometime.
And a last rather cheeky little inquiry – what meds are you supposed to be taking? 😉
That’s between me, my doctor, my psychiatrist, my homeopath, my rehab clinic, my dentist, my street connection, and my medicine cabinet. But thanks for asking! 😉
Snort! Thank you!
Scott’s new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines his love of sci fi, secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.