Another Piece of AJ Rose

Hello, everybody! Karin has been kind enough to let me take over her blog for the day and share with you a piece of me. Normally, this means talking about my books, but given this is also a craft blog, I’ve been told it’s perfectly normal to talk about something else I love: knitting. So let’s get down to it, shall we?

So here’s what I thought I’d do. I asked my readers on Facebook to pepper me with questions so I actually discuss the stuff and things you might actually be interested in knowing, and here are some of the pressing questions.

Hollywood comes knocking and they want to make a movie of Power Exchange but they want you to give up all and any creative control. However, you’ve heard rumors that they may turn Gavin female. Do you fulfill a dream and say yes?

This is a doozy of a question, is it not? What writer wouldn’t love to have their work given a huge platform in the form of a movie? I’m of two minds about this. Movies based on books generally give credit to the book and original author, which could, in turn, prompt viewers to buy the book. At that point, they’d see Gavin is, in fact, male, as is Ben. The chance this could open a viable discussion about the straight-washing Hollywood is so fond of, as done in Constantine, Deadpool—which I’ve recently seen and, despite the media assertion he’s pansexual, other than a few jokes made without cruel intent, one very carefully framed shot of him deciding getting pegged by his girlfriend isn’t for him, and a cartoon boner in the credits over a fellow male actor, he’s more a sexually charged guy who takes advantage of comedic timing—and the show Da Vinci’s Demons just to name a few, well… such a discussion could lead to some real talk about why there’s very little representation by mainstream Hollywood of LGBT characters in the movies. Sure, we have Glee, and Modern Family, so we should just sit down and be thankful they’ve given us that much, right? No. NO. So on the one hand, saying yes to such a thing would be a very obvious arrow pointed straight at Hollywood’s heternormative bias. Would it change anything? Probably not, but how many times are we going to let this happen without any backlash? Maybe a straight-washed Power Exchange movie would be the time that gets people saying no, not okay.

The other mind for it is that I write LGBT characters (and straight characters, too) for a reason, and it would be selling out because it’s more lucrative or more palatable to a larger audience if I agreed to such a contract.

To answer the question, no, I would not be signing on the dotted line for that kind of movie deal. Gavin has a penis as well as likes penis, makes some good decisions, some bad, has a lot of respect and frustration for his family, is very compassionate but is flawed, and not because he’s fallen in love with a man. There is nothing shameful about his relationship with Ben, and agreeing to such terms would reduce a huge chunk of his character development to background noise if any kind of noise at all. Straight-washing him (or flipping his gender to straight-wash Ben) wouldn’t be the story I set out to tell, and I wouldn’t want my name associated with something backhandedly homophobic, no matter how many zeroes are on the check. Dreaming of hitting it big is not as important to me as telling the story as I told it; to do anything that changes that isn’t the dream anymore.

Okay then! Next question:

Have you ever considered writing a comedy?

I don’t think I could pull it off. Sure, I can throw in a pithy joke now and then, or some witty banter between friends, and even a ridiculous amount of puns (as evidenced by my latest release, Reaping Havoc), but to be consistently funny throughout a whole book and still stick to a plot… probably not in my capabilities.

Do Ben and Gavin need a surrogate and if so, I only do direct deposit.

Really, Meredith? Sorry guys. That’s my friend Meredith. She’s ridiculous when it comes to Ben. There’s no logic to convince her it ain’t happening.

What are you currently reading?

The Law of Attraction, by Jay Northcote.

Will you be doing a collaboration with Kate Aaron in the future?

For those new to me, Kate Aaron is another m/m author who happens to be my wife. *waves* Hi babe!

Yes, we are already well through the plot and first chapter of a sci-fi story which we plan to co-write, and though our release schedules don’t quite mesh right now, it is on the list. I keep pestering her to do the next scene, because it’s her turn, but as of now, we have no planned release date for it. I’m hoping it’ll blow everyone away, and as luck would have it, the story lends itself really well to being the prequel to a book I’ve been plotting for a couple years now. I say prequel (even though neither are written yet and the co-written story is likely to be done first) because the futurism in the collaboration is the bones of the one I plan to build off of it. And oh, I really, really want to get going on it.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing two books, one is the sequel to Reaping Havoc, wherein my intrepid reaper couple are faced with the drawbacks of their supernatural role in the order of operations when it comes to death. How far can they stretch their responsibilities? We’ll find out! I’m also working on a bit of a darker story involving the aftermath of a gay bashing, beyond the physical healing from injuries. It’s not a cheery story, but it’s consuming me, and so must be told.

What would you like to see more of, on the whole, in the m/m stories being written now?

Bisexual characters. And true bisexuality, not just a plot device to create conflict between the main pairing. It’d be nice to see one bisexual partner not being instantly judged by the other partner simply because he’s not totally averse to the vageen.

What story do you wish you’d written, and not necessarily m/m?

Oh holy shit, that’s a good question. Is all of them an acceptable answer? All the Harry Potters and Hunger Games and such? No? Okay, lemme think. My first instinct is to say Inception because that is, for a pretty long time now, my favorite movie, but I kind of wish it had a few more romantic elements to it, so perhaps an Inception-like story, which then doesn’t really apply to the question. A recent one I was really inspired by—and I’m not sure why it didn’t get more attention, because it had big-name actors, a big-name director, and a fantastic plot—is called The Island with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. That one baked my brain. If we’re talking books, I have to say Harry Potter. I still see articles on new ways of thinking of the plots, from the importance of Hedwig to watching Severus Snape’s scenes in chronological order (and that one will make you bawl like a baby and if you don’t, you have no heart or soul). Someone said the other day, the next generation of Hogwarts students might notice a particularly high concentration of teenage ghosts lurking about the castle, and when one of them asks a ghost about it, the reply is, “We’re Dumbledore’s Last Army…” said by a laughing red-haired boy who likes to joke with Peeves. GAH! It spawned so much inspiration in other writers, refreshed the old idea of a secret world behind our ordinary one, and gave us Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger. Emma Watson rocks.

What is your favorite project (FO) for result and for process?

This one, ladies and gents, is a knitting question. And a hard one. First, because I was really bad about taking pictures of my finished objects (that’s what the FO stands for) for a while, and I tend to give my knitting away when I’m through with the pattern, so I would just be describing stuff that makes no sense and has no visual pleasantry to offer the non-knitters. I can talk about the socks I’ve made that I had a lot of fun with, the Slytherin scarf I made my sister the first Christmas after I learned to knit, or the baby blanket I gifted a friend more than a decade ago, but it would … yawn… I’m talking about it anyway, aren’t I? Ha! Sorry.

Okay, so I just finished a sweater, and the picture is ho-hum. It’s oversized and sort of matches my hair. I kind of love it, even though the lighting in this sucks.

raglan sweater

One of my favorite projects I did was a pair of socks for my sister, patterned after the show Battlestar Galactica, of which she was a huge fan. Better lighting, and you can see the top of the foot has what look like planes, the Viper Pilot fighters from the show.

viper pilots pic

Viper Pilots

By far, the most ambitious and fiddly project I’ve done (and I’m still not finished) is a lace shawl I plan to gift to my grandmother. It’s bamboo and silk and the pattern was inspired by the curlicued leafy grace of the Elves in The Lord of the Rings. It’s been on the needles for ten years now (Horrible, but you don’t even know. The rows right now have almost 700 stitches to them, and take about 45 minutes to do one, and I have about 30 left to go.) and while it’s not actually something I would wear, I’m dang proud of it. In the photos, you can sort of see the leaves and such.

evenstar shawl pic 1

evenstar shawl pic 2

Most of the rest of my stuff is done for charity or for friends and family. By far, the most whimsical project I’ve ever done was a willy warmer in a color called Unicorn Parade (yes, it was rainbow) and it was spectacular, though I deleted the pictures from my phone so juvenile prying eyes wouldn’t get too curious and begin asking questions. That one was sent to a friend as a laugh, and man, I wish I had kept the pictures. Do you know how I blocked it? (Blocking is where you shape the piece after it’s been soaked in wool wash, so it resembles what it’s supposed to.) You might be able to guess. It involved silicone. Very, ahem, realistic silicone. Oh my, the laughs Kate and I had that night.

Anyway, this has been a little piece of me, and in case you’re interested in more pieces of me, you can find me on facebook, twitter, my blog, and my books can be found on Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Page Foundry. Leave me a comment about anything in this post (or whatever you feel like talking about!) and one lucky person will win a copy of one of my ebooks, their choice. Come on, guys, gimme little pieces of you, too. 🙂

Comments for giveaway are now closed and the winner has been contacted.

—AJ Rose

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About AJ Rose

I see people who don't exist, imagine events no one else can remember. I tell lies all the time. In other words, I write fiction.
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9 Responses to Another Piece of AJ Rose

  1. Jen CW says:

    Thank you for the great interview! I loved the questions and answers! I have to agree with you about not signing on the dotted line with Hollywood if you had no control over how they did the movie. I love the knitting you showed as well! The lace shawl looks gorgeous even unfinished. Knitting is one thing I just haven’t been able to learn yet. Maybe one day! My grandmother tried to teach me how to crochet, but she was a lefty trying to teach someone very right-handed…it didn’t work out too well.

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  2. naelany says:

    Thanks so much for stopping to visit, AJ! This was awesome. Love your shawl in progress (WIP, – work in progress – for the uninitiated), and the socks. And woot, sweater! 😉 As for the shawl, I have no doubt you’ll finish it soon. Maybe even this year 😉 It’s going to be so worth all the time and effort and you have every reason to be proud of it.

    I agree on the whole Hollywood thing. It’s a tricky thing, but I don’t think I’d sign on that dotted line either under those circumstances.

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  3. I will not apologize for my offering! Ben loves me! And I know first hand how awesome your knitting is. I have socks to prove it!

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