Welcome to BRB, sweeties. My guest today is truly an amazing person, despite what others might consider disabilities, she leads a very fulfilling and busy life. Not only does she create wonderful things like jewelry, she also loves to read and write erotic literature. Thank you for joining me today, J.J. It's a pleasure to have you. Please, tell us about yourself.
>About me, huh? Well, I guess you know I'm a writer. I love to read, I love doing crafts with my daughter- -we make candles, we cook, make jewelry, and we're trying to make rugs.
I love animals. Recently, two of my beloved family members died. That has been difficult for me. I'm blind and have multiple sclerosis. Sometimes, that can suck.
Basically, I'm just like most people. I love to read, I love my family, and I want to pay my bills and be happy.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
> I don't think there's any one place. At times, something I've read inspires me. Other times, it could be a conversation, a news story, or just something random.
What made you chose to write m/m romantic/contemporary literature in particular? And, is there any other genre you’d like to write?
> I chose to write erotic literature because I like to read it. It makes sense to me. When I was younger, I used to read Harlequin romances like crazy. I loved them, but felt they stopped short now and then. When I read a story, I want the entire story, and often sex and sensuality is part of the story.
As a matter of fact, I have considered other genres. I've written a children's story, a romance with no sex scenes, and would like to write to a psychological thriller. I have the idea mapped out and plan to work on it in between books starting next year.
And, if so, why?
>I've thought about writing psychological thrillers, this one in particular, for quite some time. It's a partially due to the placement of my apartment. A bigger reason though, is that I enjoy reading them and that one of my best friends would read that rather than an erotic book. There are probably other reasons but those leap to mind first.
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: a character, the plot, or the title?
>For me, the title is almost always last. I'd have to say the plot more than anything, because the characters evolve more often than not. More than once, I've had a character that evolved into somebody I never expected by the end of the book.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: beginning, middle or end?
>The end is always the hardest part for me.
>I'm not sure why, it could be I don't want to say goodbye to the story.
Has your own life influenced your novels? If so, how?
>Sure, it has. At times, entire scenes are based word-for-word on something that happened in my life. Other times, how I feel inspires what I write. If I feel bad physically, I might write something that will cure whether it is I'm feeling. It's hard to explain, I guess. But I can't be the only one who writes like that. I've often said that the very air an author breathes is tax deductible.
Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
>I can't deny it, occasionally sex is difficult to write. Sometimes to be honest I think back on some of my more exciting moments. After all, I don't know how someone could write about sex without ever having experienced it.
If I am having an unusually difficult time, I go back to other books I've written and read parts of them. After that, I reread what has happened between the current couple—the one I'm writing about. After that I go with the flow. Once in awhile, intimacy is not the way to go.
Do you use a certain formula to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
>There is no formula for sensuality. At least not for me. Whether it's open and bold, or slow and sensual depends on the couple in question. For myself personally, I have to say the same thing applies. It depends on my partner, where we are, what we're doing, and how we feel about each other at any given time.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And, why?
>I don't know if I have a favorite character. Most often, my favorite is the one I'm writing. I love accents so I'm drawn to people with accents. Having said that, I really like the character Denton O'Connor (Denny) from Civil Liberties. I'm pretty fond of Mik Montgomery, okay truthfully, I'm pretty crazy about all those Montgomery men.
There's a special place in my heart though, for Cajun men.
Tell us about your newest release.
>Gosh, my newest release… It seems like I've been working on art and soul for the longest. And Figuratively Speaking has given me a ton of trouble.
The guys from the Art and Soul—Oliver Crane and Tor frisk – were on my mind for quite some time. Tor is from Sweden, has a terrible stutter, and grew up sheltered. Thus, he has very little command of the English language. He's shy, knows he's gay, but has never had an opportunity to act on it.
Oliver, on the other hand, lives the life of a straight, man next door, hero - actor. He's convinced that both his family and his public would turn their backs on him if they knew he preferred men instead of women.
You'll have to read the book if you'd like to know what happens.
Figuratively Speaking was originally based on every Harlequin romance I ever read as a teenager. My favorites always included Greek men. Nik is arrogant hard-headed an infinitely fallible. Unfortunately, he's only now figuring that out.
Alyssa is an odd mix of street smart and naiveté. My problem was and is that I strayed from my original Harlequin romance theme as I imagined it. In true arrogant male-diva fashion, Nik became impossible to work with. I wanted one thing, but he demanded another. I can't wait to see how this turns out—unless I delete him altogether in a fit of frustration.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite colour?
>Dark green--I love it. Dark red is a close second.
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain?
>Why can't I have both?
What is your favourite movie?
>I have different favorites for different moods. I can always enjoy Casablanca and To Have and Have Not.
>Aside from loving Humphrey Bogart's artistry, and loving how he and Lauren Bacall played off of each other, I love the dark theme of both movies, promising a shade of hope at the end. The flawed hero resists throughout, but gives in for love, even to his own ruin, receiving nothing in return. In addition, he manages all that with a cold-blooded efficiency, which I can appreciate.
If you could be anyone in the world, who would it be?
> I already know how to be me. I wouldn't say I'm good at it, but I might just have a handle on things now. I'm beginning to enjoy it.
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
>I plan to keep writing. I hope to have thirty or forty more books out by then. I expect that I'll be better at what I do, so I hope to keep readers entertained. Failing that, I know all keep me entertained.
Website Link: www.jjmassa.com
Art and Soul
Oliver Crane is a success. He enjoys making movies--losing himself in a new role every few months. Acting allows him to express so many facets of his nature. Dark and intense, he lives his work as the screen's ideal leading man. What woman wouldn't want to spend the night in his bed? For that matter, how many men could say they didn't want him?
Not Thorbjörn Frisk. Or he wouldn’t deny it, if anyone bothered to ask him. A Swedish artist who immigrated to America in his late teens, Tor often loses himself in his work, avoiding the harsh realities of impatient and intolerant people who have no use for a stuttering sculptor who barely speaks English.
Each man has invested his very soul into his art. What will it cost in the end?
…Tor moved back for a broader view, bumping unexpectedly against something solid.
“What the hell?” a strange voice shouted. “What’re you doing? You got…sludge all over me!”
The new voice and unexpected impact caught Tor by surprise, causing him to stumble grabbing onto the now-gaping stranger. Only, this wasn’t truly a stranger. While he’d never met the actor, everyone knew Oliver Crane.
Dark hair, square jaw, piercing blue eyes, muscles in all the right places, the man was a god. Currently, however, the god appeared blanketed in what amounted to mud. Expensive mud, but mud just the same. Tor, on the other hand, was covered in... Well, he was covered by Oliver Crane. He definitely had the best part of the deal-or so he thought, until he looked into those raging blue eyes.
“Mm. Ah,” he squeaked, before trying again. “Hallo. What b-b-brings you t-t-to m-my verkstad?” At the arching of one dark brow, Tor quickly supplied the translation. “Ah, Verkshop. Stu-d-d'yo. Studio.”
The burning eyes narrowed before their owner fluidly lifted himself from atop Tor. Before Tor had time to miss his presence, Oliver reached down pulled him up, setting him quickly on his feet.
“I’m lost,” the famous voice snapped impatiently. “Your neighbors seemed to think you were the go-to guy for directions.”
“I-I cannot imagine why,” Tor mumbled pushing his overlong bangs aside. “Vart -g-går d-du?” he asked. “Where g-going?” he tried again. He’d been in this country long enough; he should be fluent by now. Except his thoughts and words always reverted to his native tongue when flustered or nervous. Worse, his stutter increased as well.
Intense eyes studied him, pinning him in place, afraid to breathe. “I’m going to Yankee Stadium,” the actor ground out.
“Oh! This I know,” Tor announced, pleased. “I can show…”
“Can you just write out some directions?” Oliver snapped, sweeping Tor with another scathing look. “Just draw me a map.”
The words might not have been intended to hurt, but they did.
Turning away, Tor shuffled through papers cluttering desk. He hated being so bumbling. Art was his world. Art didn’t judge, only accepted.
"Look, I'm sorry, guy," Oliver began, only to become trapped in the artist's eyes. Trapped? Drowning.
The slight blond who'd been looking for whatever had lifted his gaze to lock with Oliver's. Those eyes were beautiful, a pale, sea-foam green, and was that the sheen of tears? Had he done that?
He cleared his throat, unconsciously lifting his hand to trace the ridge of his companion's cheek.
Oliver opened his mouth to speak and failing. He stepped closer to the other man, letting his palm drop to a slim shoulder.
"V-Vart går d-du?" the man squeaked out as he had earlier, when his lean, toned body had been fitted so neatly against Oliver's. Taking a step closer, nothing more than denim and heat between them, Oliver leaned down, skimming his lips across the taut skin of that razor-sharp cheekbone.
"No," he groaned. I can't do this."