Saturday, March 16, 2013

Guest Blogger J.A. Harmon

Today please welcome Dreamspinner author J.A. Harmon, who has fearlessly answered my infamous Rick Reed questions, and who is also going to talk about his new release with Dreamspinner, Beyond Love. J.A., make yourself at home while I make us some coffee. Why don't you go ahead and start with the questions?

1) You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
The practical answer to this question would be one of my many handy lesbian friends and a boat, but let’s throw practicality off the island. The one person I would choose would be CNN anchorman Don Lemon. He is strikingly handsome, and the conversation would never get boring. I would venture to guess he is quite resourceful as well, in more ways than I care to divulge. My one item would be a roll of duct tape. I have found there are many uses for duct tape, and I will let your imagination run wild as to what some of those uses might be.

2) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
There are so many to choose from. I guess I will go with Les Miserables, since it is fresh on everyone’s minds these days. The character with whom I would most closely identify is Jean Val Jean, of course. Throughout his life he kept reinventing himself, as the situation dictated a change. I have worn many hats in my life from missionary, to attorney, and now writer. I have also always recognized the various gray areas of life where morality must have an ever evolving fluidity, rather than the strict rigidity some people require.
3) Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them: lawn, headed, kid
The lawn came alive. A mist rose from the night chilled grass as the warm water from the sprinklers struck and penetrated the ground. Michael was unsure which way he should go, and the ensuing fog confused him even more. He headed toward the old shed where he had spent so many nights as a kid. Memories of past secret rendezvous with various athletes from his high school days caused him to harden against the now wet denim at his crotch. He opened the door, and visceral need shot through his body. There stood Devon, gun in hand.
4) You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why?
I have found that many writers create the characters they would most like to fuck. Anne Rice has always been forthcoming with her ongoing affections toward her vampire, Lestat. I am no different. The question is, do I want to fuck or make love? If going for a hard hitting, monkey love type of night—or middle of the afternoon—it would be the character Jaquan from my novel Beyond Love. If I wanted to linger, feel a connection, and luxuriate in the closeness of another man, it would be Gabriel. If, however, I were to choose a character from another’s work, it would definitely be the hyper-masculine Basil Henderson, created by the late great E. Lynn Harris.
5) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
Romance to me is simple, and some might say boring. The two of us are alone. The setting is quiet, with a fitting soundtrack playing in the background. There has been no planning or worry about trying to set the perfect scene. We are simply together, doing mundane tasks, but the desire to be exactly where we are hangs in the air with a fragrant thickness. Nothing is forced or rehearsed. There are no expectations and everything that happens from that point forward is a pleasant surprise.
6) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
Most of what I write starts with the seed of a plot, but out of that plot the magic happens when the characters begin to take on a life of their own. The story then grows and blossoms based on the direction in which they take me. They inform me of any allies or enemies they want to join, and the direction sometimes surprises even me.
7) If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
Channing Tatum, of course.  Alright, a more realistic choice would be Jonah Hill for the younger me.  The older, and more current me would be portrayed by Drop Dead Diva’s Lex Medlin.

8) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
I like my horror villains to fall into one of two categories, depending on my mood. I either want a true villain with no real redeeming qualities, or a fully developed three dimensional character with underlying conflict. The first horror villain that stands out in my mind is the vampire against whom all others must be measured, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He has a seductive sensuality while being terrifyingly unrelenting in his pursuit of destruction. Would I consider him my favorite, probably not, but he is definitely always in my peripheral vision waiting to pierce my consciousness. One of my favorite villains of all time, however, would have to be Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. She is the epitome of the tortured soul whose villainous traits are born out of an unhealthy obsessive affection. Either way, “love hurts”, and ultimately the pursuit of love can lead to our most horror filled experiences.
9) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
I wouldn’t say I necessarily have any historical crushes. There are definitely people from history I would like to spend a night with, either intellectually, physically, or both. A few that come to mind are Jesus, Rasputin, Nostradamus, Da Vinci, Frederick Douglas, and Langston Hughes.
10) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
I have always had a theory that the Bible’s Paul and Barnabas were gay lovers. There is definitely a book there.  I am determined to write it one day.  It will be fiction, but there will still be a great deal of research which must be done.

Beyond Love

Blurb:  Sometimes love is stronger than death.
Former foster child Gabriel Jacobs is determined to make something of his life. Easygoing and more comfortable in a pair of old sweats than the Brooks Brothers suits he will have to wear when he finishes his law degree, Gabriel is also a naïve romantic looking for love. That turns out to be a problem when the ghost of Adrien Beauchene, the son of a French plantation owner, makes an appearance in the house Gabriel just moved into. Adrien is convinced Gabriel is the reincarnation of his slave turned lover, a man he has spent 160 years waiting for.
Before long, Adrien gains control of Gabriel. He vows not to be parted from his love again, even if that means Gabriel must join him in the spirit world. But Gabriel’s best friend, Scott, won’t give up without a fight. He enlists the help of a gypsy witch and twin warlocks Jaivyn and Jaquan to keep Gabriel safe. As Adrien tightens his grip, Gabriel begins to fade, and Jaivyn grows desperate. He and Gabriel just met—Jaivyn can’t lose him now….

J.A. Harmon has always immersed himself in a spiritual and magical world. The son of a preacher man, he often found himself moving to new places. His only constant friends were the characters in the books he read and the stories he would write. J.A.’s creative writing took a side trip as he travelled down a road of self-discovery, which led him to religious education and law. He finally reunited with the friends of his childhood when life presented an opportunity to create stories once again. New friends emerged and old friends returned, taking new life in historic New Orleans, where J.A. lived for ten years.
J.A. currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, the city of his birth, with a roommate and three cats (Momow, Bubby, Mikey and Ally—you decide who is whom). He currently supports his writing as an attorney, insurance agent, marketing consultant, and copy editor.

Be sure to visit J.A.'s website, where you'll find links to where you can find Beyond Love!

Thanks for stopping by, J.A., come back again soon!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

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