Publisher: Vagabondage Press
Publish Date: May 28, 2013
Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.
‘Werecat: The Rearing’ is the story of a gay college senior who goes on Spring Break to Montréal, hooks up with a handsome drifter and takes a free fall into the world of feline shapeshifters.
Here’s some more from the back cover blurb:
For Jacks Dowd, a college senior who feels ungrounded from his family and life in general, an alcohol and sex-infused weekend in Montréal sounds like a pretty good escape. His Spring Break binge takes a detour when he meets Benoit, an admiring drifter with startling green eyes. A hook-up turns into a day, two days, and then a full week in Benoit’s hostel, making love and scarfing down take-out food. But at the end of the week, Benoit demands that Jacks make an impossible choice: stay with him forever or never see him again.
The night before Jacks is supposed to return to college, he meets Benoit in Mont Royal Park to try to work things out. Benoit springs on Jacks an unfathomable secret: he’s a Werecat. He traps Jacks in an abandoned cabin and performs an occult rite so they will be mated forever.
With his dual nature, Jacks can shape-shift at will, and he has amazing new senses and physical abilities. But how will he live as an unfathomable hybrid creature? When Benoit shows Jacks the violence he’s capable of, Jacks may need to find a way to destroy the one person who can help him survive.
‘The Rearing’ is the first book in a series of Jacks’ Werecat adventures. The publisher is Vagabondage Press, and the books are coming out as e-novelettes, 70-150 pages each.
I’d describe ‘Werecat’ as a mash-up of genres: fast-paced paranormal adventure and dark romance, with some gritty suspense for horror fans and a moderate heat-level for the M/M erotica set.
Q. How did writing this book affect you?
I've written short fiction for several journals and e-zines, but ‘Werecat’ is my first long-form publication. The platform for it is a lot bigger. It’s exhilarating, even overwhelming at times to see something I’ve written out there at on-line booksellers, being blogged about, getting reviews and retweets and all that. I’m very proud of this particular story, and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to share it with so many readers.
Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to writing?
I wrote stories as far back as I can remember. I wanted to be a writer before my next childhood ambition—to be a veterinarian—and way before I decided to become a social worker. I think I lacked the confidence to pursue creative writing seriously. So I kept it as a hobby for most of my life.
I made a career as a social worker and an activist for the LGBT community through my twenties and thirties. It was very rewarding, and I was satisfied by throwing my passion into social justice for quite awhile. When I reached a point where my life settled down – both career-wise and through putting down roots with my husband – I returned to writing fiction. I rediscovered the joy in it, and for the past six or seven years, I committed to getting my work published.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time to write and finding the time to market my work, which is something that falls on authors to a large extent even when you have a great publisher. I still have a full-time job, and I have a life with my husband and our friends and family. There’s quite a balancing act to work out for most writers I think.
Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to while writing? If so, what kind of music?
I actually need complete silence when I’m deeply involved in writing a story. But when I take a break or I’m getting warmed up to write, I sometimes listen to an epically dramatic movie-musical soundtrack like ‘Phantom of the Opera’ or ‘Les Misérables’.
It would be a lot of fun creating a soundtrack for ‘Werecat’ if it makes it to the small or large screen. Two tracks that come to mind are the Stray Cats’ ‘Strut’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’.
Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I’m rather boringly routine in my writing process. But a lot of my friends have pointed out it was rather strange that I included my cat Chloë in my Acknowledgements for ‘Werecat’. Chloë also appears prominently in my official bio. She’s frequently my companion while I’m writing at the computer. She only occasionally gets in the way by trying to sit on the keyboard. So I thought she deserved some recognition.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
The second and third installments from ‘Werecat’ will be coming out over the next year, and I’m contemplating a fourth. I also have a young adult book upcoming in November 2013. It’s called ‘The Seventh Pleiade’, and it’s the story of a gay prince who becomes a hero during the last days of Atlantis. That book is another starter in a series of fantasy stories. The publisher is Bold Strokes Books.
Q. What are you currently reading?
I am speeding through John Green and David Levithan’s ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’. I tend to read books in the genres that I write, so I’m usually going back and forth between fantasy and young adult.
Q. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Gregory Maguire. I especially loved his “Wicked” series. There’s a lot that I admire about his work – the incredible settings he creates, the humor, the flawed, embattled characters that I find so endearing.
More broadly, I’m drawn to the idea of retelling stories from an unexpected point of view, whether that’s vindicating a character that has previously been portrayed as a villain or taking a familiar story from a minor character’s perspective. I think Maguire’s books are really appealing for those of us who have felt like outsiders and didn’t see our experience of living in the world reflected in traditional fairytales or legends.
Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).
I’m running a promotion through LGBT Pride month (June) where purchasers of ‘Werecat’ receive autographed swag while supplies last. Just e-mail me your purchase confirmation and address, and I’ll mail the items to you: ajpeters [at] andrewjpeters [dot] com
Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!
Hmmm…well not many people know that for a brief period in the 1980’s I followed around The Grateful Dead. I was a gay deadhead. The gay part came later actually. :-)
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I wish I could personally thank each person who took the time to read my work because it’s such an honor. If you liked what you read, there’s much more to come. And don’t be afraid of dropping me a line. I love to hear from readers.
There is one (1) e-copy of 'Werecat: The Rearing' for giveaway!
To enter: please leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be chosen at random once the giveaway ends June 30, 2013.
Thanks and good luck!