Friday, August 29, 2014

Second Skin by Jesse Pearl - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jesse will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I’ve written fantasy, sci-fi, poetry, literary, erotica, and romance, I read almost every genre, too. I generally don’t care about setting if it’s a good story. But even in all the genres I read, the pieces that I dig for, that stick with me the most, are the love stories. Even in the gritty, dark, high fantasy novels of Joe Abercrombie (one of my faves), I still wish for two of the characters to find happiness. He’s not a romance author so he has no obligation to deliver on that (and he doesn’t, the bastard), so I guess I just need to write my own dark, gritty stories where there is at least a guarantee of two people falling in love.

What research (or world-building – for fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi) is required?

You need to do enough research about the details you’re including to at least sound plausible. I think it does depend a bit on whether your story is more character driven or plot driven, however. A more character driven story can be lighter on research, as long as you understand your characters’ backgrounds.

For the Second Skin series I ended up doing a lot of military research because I have no military background, nor do any of my immediate relatives. My grandfather and one uncle were in the Marines, but their experiences never affected me (my parents were hippies). I enlisted a good friend to be my sounding board for all things military. I also interviewed a tattoo artist while I was writing the book, even though I had first-hand experience with one on an intimate level after college.

You just have to know what your weaknesses are and not be afraid to make the effort to get every question answered.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Betrayal should hurt and there should be consequences. But if the love is strong enough, forgiveness should have a chance. Maybe I’m too easy on my characters in the grand scheme of things, but I wager that they would disagree.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I like to have instrumental music when I edit, but character-related playlists while I write. The music can inspire my development of the character I’m focusing on. But when I edit I can’t have the distraction of voices or I might miss errors.

Plotter or pantser?

I’m about 90 percent pantser. I build a basic framework for the story in my head, so I know there’s a Point A and Point B (the beginning and the end), and perhaps a few milestones in the middle. The plot gets fleshed out as I write my characters’ journeys between those points.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My very furry cat, Jack. He tends to find the clearest spot on my desk and take up residence. My desk is lacking very many clear spots at the moment, but it ensures he’ll get petted more frequently since he’s about two inches from my mouse.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I am constantly working on something. At the moment it’s a series of menage erotica novellas that I publish under a different pen name to protect the innocent (or maybe the guilty). I don’t hide it, however, and readers can find the link on my website—just look for the dragons.

Do you have a question for our readers?

If you had to choose between a book written about a badass hero or a book written about a badass heroine, which would you read first? Both have the exact same roles in life, and both have equally intense and satisfying love lives that play into their stories.

Does gender matter to you in a protagonist?

Obsession is never just skin deep.

Sam Blanco’s greatest desire is to escape his abusive father and violent neighborhood the only way he can—by earning money as a tattoo artist for a street gang. He’s befriended their leader, the deadly Leo Reyes, and gained a measure of safety under their protection. But just when things are going right for the first time in Sam’s life, Leo’s girlfriend, Pilar Flores, walks in and requests a tattoo in an unusual location. Sam obliges, but the experience leaves them both reeling. Unable to focus for days, Sam finds himself craving Pilar’s touch, but she’s exactly the kind of trouble he doesn’t need.

Pilar Flores is her father’s daughter. Being the daughter of a drug lord is not an easy role to fill, but she aspires to live up to the title and make her father proud. But her father has no plans to allow her into the business, and Pilar hates being sidelined. She hates that Leo is away for days on end, and she especially hates being treated like an incompetent female by every man she sees. Except for Sam. She decides to take control of her life the only way she knows how—through seduction. But she’s not prepared for how eager and passionate a lover Sam is, or how deeply she’s drawn to him. Even though she knows their ill-fated affair can’t possibly end well…

Enjoy an excerpt:

During the service she spied him and her heart skipped a beat. His broad shoulders and beautiful black hair were unmistakable in the front pew of the church. A middle-aged woman with striking features and thick, jet-black hair worn in a chignon sat beside him, stoic and erect, with a grim expression on her face. A young woman sat on the other side of him. She clutched his hand with a tissue held tightly in her other fist. Her nose was slightly pink from crying.

Pilar’s stomach clenched at the sight of the woman. Her face tightened, a crawling sensation spreading over her skin.

He’d said he didn’t have a girlfriend, so who was she? She was beautiful, whoever she was, with perfect fair skin and sleek, straight hair that fell in a sheet down her back and shone blue black in the sunlight streaming through the high windows.

She was exceedingly modest, too, judging from the expensive black suit she wore, no skin exposed aside from her hands and her head. Pilar felt like nothing more than a Mexican whore after looking at the pretty young woman for a moment. Pilar had worn her own hair down in its golden-brown waves, and with her low-cut dress and lack of undergarments, she felt shamed by the perfect beauty that clung to Leo’s arm.

Forget Leo’s worth in her father’s eyes, she wasn’t worthy of him in her own eyes. Tears welled up in her eyes. She tried to hold them back but was
unable to, and was abstractly grateful that she was at a funeral where no one would question their cause.

About the Author:Jesse Pearle grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a place where there was no danger in dancing naked in the moonlight at the top of a mountain. Always possessed of a creative mind, but never quite the right amount of focus, she wandered for decades. She received a degree in fine art which she put to poor use working an uneventful desk job for an engineering company when she started writing her first really ambitious piece of fiction. She lives in sunny Southern California with her ever supportive husband and four attention-whoring cats.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance. a Rafflecopter giveaway


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?