A Conversation with Author BL Jones

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Giveaway Ends 8/20

Enjoy this QandA session with Author BL Jones. Seriously, she had me at Wan Shi Tong…

Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters? 

Answer: If you like sarcasm, found family, and intense slow burns, have I got the forest fire of a character for you to mentally stalk. Follow Rex and his astonishingly weird family as he figures out this whole superhero gig, fistfights with his own mental health, battles magic and mafias, and repeatedly resents falling in love.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book? 

Answer: It wasn’t exactly something I was surprised by, but I did learn there are such things as duck toys made specifically for ducks. So. You know. That’s information we now all have to live with, I suppose. 

How do you define success as an author?

Answer: People reading my books. I consider it an incredible achievement for people to allow my characters and stories to take up temporary residence inside their heads.

How would you describe your writing style? 

Answer: Chaotic fun. 

What inspired the idea for your book?

Answer: Rex, my current MC, is a character I first created when I was about eight years old. So yeah, he’s been inside my head for a long time. I’ve written countless stories with Rex at the helm. He’s been everything-fairy tale prince, warrior hero, supernatural badass, rock star, snarky villain, best friend. Sparkly angel assassin in space. 

I thought it was about time I gave him his official spotlight moment. I know it will sound a bit silly, but I wrote Rex as a hero, because to me, he really is.

And I guess I’ve always thought the idea of superheroes was inherently very queer, like, just in general. 

I also think there’s something very absurdly fun about people running around in costumes to fight crime, and I wanted to have my weird characters exist in that equally weird universe. 

What made you say to yourself, “Today, I will publish.”?

Answer: I didn’t. My friends and girlfriend bullied me into it, basically. I’m very grateful for their support.

Tell us about a favorite character from the book. 

Answer: I feel like I’m betraying my MC Rex by saying this, but I think my favourite character in this series is one of Rex’s friends. His name is Tate, and he’s partially based on a real friend of mine. Tate is a giant teddy-bear of pure sunshine who likes history facts, classic pop songs, fantasy books, and cuddles. He’s absolutely The Smart One of Rex’s group. I defy anyone to dislike this man. 

If you were friends with a character in this book, what would you do together? 

Answer: Crime. Gay stuff. Sarcasm.

Do you have any “side stories” about any of the characters? 

Answer: Oh wow, I have a million of them. There are countless numbers of word documents saved on my laptop just full of mini stories and random facts about all of my characters. I could ramble on about them all forever. 

An example: By age ten, Rex and his best friends, Mei, Tate, and Caleb had been given a lifetime ban from four different places. One, a pier arcade, because Mei got a bit too competitive and found her first arch nemesis in a plushie toy claw machine. She won the battle by kicking it so hard she put a hole through the glass, but maybe not the war because they got thrown out before she could get a plushie. Two, the local zoo, because Caleb decided to ‘liberate’ an orphan baby penguin. Caleb and his accomplices were caught and put in zoo jail by the zoo police. Three, the natural history museum because Tate kept fact-checking the tour guides and asking them questions about their opinion on cultural appropriation. Four, a softplay centre, because Rex waged war against a group of bullies who had taken ownership of the ball pit and kept throwing balls at the smaller children. They set up battle lines, dividing the softplay in half. Rex and his friends eventually rose victorious. It was forever known as “That One Time Rex Incited A Riot At Softplay”. 

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book? 

Answer: Don’t be afraid to write trash. Honestly, don’t. You can always fix it later. A story can be completely transformed during the editing process. Just write the book, then make it what you want. 

What are you working on in the near future? 

Answer: I’m working on a couple things, both the fourth book in my Liquid Onyx series and another series set in the same universe, but with different characters. 

Have you always wanted to be an author? 

Answer: There’s honestly nothing I’ve wanted more. It sounds a bit mushy even to admit to myself, but becoming a published author is very much a dream come true. The idea of anyone taking the time to give my characters and story a chance is mind-blowing and possibly cry-worthy if I think about it too much.

How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block? 

Answer: Defeat? Ha, I like that. 

I defeat our longtime nemesis known as writer’s block by doggedly writing through it. I know it sounds simple, but the best thing to do is just to keep writing, even if what you think you’re writing is rubbish. Do it anyway. Because, it’s so much easier to edit an already existing body of work. You can improve it, add or delete whatever you want once the story is written down. 

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters? 

Answer: Definitely the characters. I’m a character person at heart. I really enjoy creating characters who can grow and fight and love, who can go on adventures and do the impossible, who can become our friends, even if they only exist inside our imaginations. 

What do you look for in a story as a reader? 

Answer: Characters with depth. Engaging writing style. But I’m open to pretty much anything, otherwise. 

What is your all time favorite book or author? 

Answer: Kind of an impossible choice. But I originally started thinking about my current series years ago when I was reading a lot of Arthurian works. King Arthur is one of the OG British heroic legends. I don’t want to say my series is at all based on the Arthurian stories, but it’s definitely one of the inspirations behind its existence. 

I also love anything fairy tale related. Really dark or light and fluffy, either can be enjoyable to me.

What would your dream library look like? 

Answer: Mix up of Wan Shi Tong’s Library and the library Beast gifts Belle. 

Basically, I want a diva-level, double middle finger flip of a library

Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?

Answer: Being a professional living room dancer/shower singer. Retaining my title as my household’s baking fails award winner. Going seawater diving with my turtle brethren. Spending time with my three little brothers. Training my pet bunny to hop to her favourite song, Jump by Van Halen. Getting thrown out of book shops for ‘excessive lingering’. Being one of three British ice hockey fans because I went to a game with my uncle once who lives in Canada and got accidentally hooked.

If you could have lunch with 3 authors, who would they be and what would you talk about? 

Answer: Homer. Shakespeare. Charles Dickens.

I would force them to read my book, obsessively over-analyze every sentence, then choose an essay title and write me a 15,000 thousand word dissertation.

Because I am vengeful. 

What is something you can do better than anyone else you know? 

Answer: Procrastinate 

If you knew you could not fail, what would you do? 

Answer: Bring about world peace. For the tiara. Then I’d build a park on an island and create ALL the dinosaurs my heart desires.  


Book Title: 
Novas Got Nerve

Author: BL Jones
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Cover Artist: Jaycee DeLorenzo
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Genres: Sci-fi/paranormal/urban fantasy, action/romance thriller, Superhero/supervillain. Magic/superpowers. 
Tropes: Found family, slow burn romance, tragic past, orphan, emotional scars, Best friend’s older brother, love triangle, antagonistic romance, love/hate relationship, Opposites attract 
Themes: Emotional trauma. What makes a hero? Found family. Not being defined by your parents’ actions/by your past.
Heat Rating: 2 flames   
Length: 165 000 words/585 pages
It is not a standalone book and is part of a series (Liquid Onyx series)
The book ends on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads
Buy Links
NineStar Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

He has far too much nerve. He can blow things up with his mind. He’s got anxiety. Yeah. The world should probably brace itself for this one.

Blurb

British superheroes, melodramatic Mages, snarky secret agents, one hell of a found family, and a whole load of weird people.

Also, there’s a duck.

This is the painfully bizarre origin story of Rexley Nova.

When Rex was four years old, he became one of the world’s first superhumans.

When Rex turns twenty, he feels the drive to use his scientifically given abilities to protect the world. He leaves home to become a member of the Secret Superhero Security unit, alongside three of his friends and Danger City’s own superhero, Polaris.

Rex fights murderous Mages, evil organisations, criminal mafias, his agency appointed psychiatrist, his own anxious brain, and the most frightening of all, his attraction to a certain blue-eyed superhero.

Excerpt

“Come on, North,” I say, coaxing, spitting blood out of my mouth. “Don’t be nice.” I get as close as he’ll let me. “Treat me like you’re paying for it.”

Damon’s nose flares, and his lips curl to form a jagged snarl. His expression changing from robot to human in zero point five seconds flat. He makes a low sound that’s just the right side of threatening to be a problem for me. And not in the way it should be a problem for me.

Damon catches my arm at the right angle and twists me around so my back is pressed against his front. He wraps an arm securely around my waist, hauling me in even closer. A blaze of heat singes along my nerves when Damon runs his hand under my T-shirt, his fingers dragging over the hot skin of my belly. I try to kill it dead, the vulnerable quiver his intimate touch invokes, but that just makes it worse.

A full-on no-shit bonfire lights up inside my stomach. It sends a fucked-up message to my head, which in turn sends an even more fucked-up message to my cock. It’s like my body is playing telephone with itself.

You’re not supposed to want to get off with the bloke who’s making you bruise and bleed. Not without a serious discussion about it beforehand, anyway.

Pretty sure Damon and I aren’t going to be doing anything that sensible. Especially since the most sensible thing would be letting go and walking away before we can make this situation any worse.

Damon wraps his other hand around my throat, fingers digging in lightly, his thumb pressing against the edge of my jaw. He tilts my head to the side, exposing more of my throat to him. I resist the urge to lean my head back on his shoulder. Because I’m not mad.

My chest rapidly rises and falls as I struggle to breathe. It’s not really because of all the hits I’ve taken. I’m having more trouble dealing with Damon’s proximity than I am to what he’s done to me with his hands. A sign that maybe he was pulling some of his punches.

“You,” I say, barely getting the words out through all the tightness and the pain and the blood, “have got some serious control issues, North.” I shift against him, and he tightens his hold in response. I smile, oddly charmed by it.

“Might want—” Another few unsteady breaths. “—to see somebody about that.”

Damon feels like solid stone against my back, his body so tense I’m worried he might shatter if I tap the wrong spot too hard. As if in response to my thoughts, Damon’s arm around my waist changes from tight to crushing. His fingers press into my neck with clear intention. Not enough to choke. Just a reminder. Or a warning. A warning to be careful where I’m going with all of this.

My pale skin bruises easily. I can tell I’m going to have some on my throat. I don’t hate that idea like I should. And something about it being Damon who made them, whose fingers dug into my skin and left behind a mark, speaks to a primal part of my brain.

Damon’s mouth skates along my jaw, either by accident or on purpose, I’m not sure which. It doesn’t really matter. A short, bitten-off moan leaves my throat in a rush. I clamp my lips together to try to contain the rest of it. But it’s too late. Damon heard it. A shudder runs through him, a ripple of feeling and skin and warmth. An answering wave rolls through me, my body set to quaking.

I need to stop.

Damon bends his neck to speak directly into my ear. Our height and size difference aids him in making me feel completely taken over, enveloped, held in place, swallowed up and overwhelmed by my temporary loss of autonomy.

“Is this a game?” Damon asks, and he sounds, it beggars belief, genuinely upset by the idea.

 

About the Author

BL Jones is a twentysomething British author who spends all her free time reading and writing and taming her three little brothers. She lives in Bristol with a temperamental bunny named Pepsi. She’s been writing stories since she was five, rarely sharing them with anyone except her numerous stuffed animals. BL has had a difficult journey into discovering and accepting her own queerness, and therefore believes that positive, honest, and authentic stories about queer people are very important. She hopes to contribute her own stories for people to have fun with and enjoy.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

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