Welcome to The Blogger Girls, Jack!
Hi Jen, thanks for having me over today.
Where is the oddest place where inspiration for a story has struck?
Ah. I was actually in a meeting, talking to a local Lib Dem leader. *Blushes* He’d just told me that he’d cut down some six-foot nettles from outside a tunnel that kids have to walk through in order to get school. It got me thinking back to graffiti art and frustrated late teens. That then led to ink on skin, which gave me that “Ooooh” moment over Broken Ink. It also gave me that “damn” moment, when I realised I couldn’t get it down on paper, not without raising a few eyebrows anyway.
How did the plot of Don’t and Antidote come to you?
Don’t was surprisingly easy, to be honest. Everyone’s been told don’t at some point and no doubt felt that itch to do the exact opposite. But the jolt for the plot itself, though, came from saying it to my own eldest lad (he’s twenty-one).
He’s OCD, to the point where I’ve been up in the early hours of the morning, watching him push his colognes into position, or arrange his clothes according to colour in the wardrobe (coat hangers have to be the same grey tone, then so much space between each one). But tell him don’t, he’ll stand nose-to-nose with you, give a kickass grin, and do the exact opposite. The heartbreak comes where one of my other kids knocks something over, and I see my eldest lad fight not to pick it up. Just pure contradiction.
I wanted go deeper with Don’t, to the point where a predatory feel controlled and used my MCs darkest obsessions and compulsions, and fed upon on his sexual heat and needs. Everything kind of spiralled from that point.
With Antidote. Oh boy. I think I just plotted out my worst fears as a parent who has a kid with a disorder. What if the wrong care and support had been there? We also have autism in the family, where fits and absences become the norm. Learning to cope with both, there’s lot of research involved, which included the history of disorders throughout the UK etc. It brings up the brutal treatments of the last few decades and it’s a heartbreaking insight. I wanted to go back and bring in the lengths that some people go to in order to make someone “conform” with society. In their eyes, anyway.
Not everyone will get through it; not everyone will like it as it’s a very tough read. But I don’t think topics should be avoided just because they cause upset or because it could (or has) happened.
It’s a difficult question to ask any author, but if you could choose, which Don’t MC would you spend a weekend alone with?
Oh Gray. Without a single doubt. Strange thing being, I think I’d just sit there in the corner with a pen and pad all weekend. I’d want to see how he works—watch his body language play out—just hear what he has to say. I’m a sucker for class and intelligence over bare skin, so seeing him in a suit and hearing him talk would, well, that would just about do it for me, lol. Although I doubt I’d get much written down. Maybe I’d have to record it on audio! Yeah, audio would work better, I think.
Can you tell us your inspiration behind Gray?
You know, it’s all in the voice for me where Gray is concerned. I grew up listening to a lot of audios as a kid, in particular the likes of Richard Burton. It never bothered me in the slightest what they looked like, but the tone and tonicity of their voice, how they make delivery count with an ability to leave me there just waiting for each idiosyncratic word to fall…
So with Gray, I guess he’s a physical representation of everything I love about studying language, and he kind of marks how I first started to fall in love with language as a teen, and still love it all the more today. I’ve listened to language faults and flaws play out to the full over the years, sometimes calculatingly, used quick and dirty to hurt, then other times used quick and dirty just through genuine frustration and heartache. I know it ripped me apart as a listener, but I also loved seeing how the narrator would stumble and fall in the aftermath of his words, despite how much control he thought he had. But with Gray, I wanted to go back to closing my eyes and just waiting for the voice to fall, and maybe take me down with it.
Did you anticipate that Don’t would be a series?
Well… I wrote Don’t in a very short time (13 weeks) and thoughts around a sequel were already mulling around. It wasn’t that it was planned as a series, just that I think the depth of these three characters and their history needed more. A lot more.
And will there be more to the series?!
After Breakdown, Gray Matters is scheduled as the final novel, and that’s from Gray’s pov. In all honesty after that, though, I’m not sure where I’ll be going with my writing. It knocks the stuffing out of you, and I have every respect for authors who do this full time.
Ah, but Jack Harrison, if ever there’d be a character to get me writing again, it would be Jack. He’s such unique and roguish character to handle on paper.
Do you follow a prescriptive pattern when writing.
Oh yes: chaos. Lol. I’ll write whichever scene I get the feeling to write, that means it could be Chapter 25 one day, Chapter 2 the next. Then I just go through and sew up the loose ends afterwards. I can’t write a scene that doesn’t interest me that day. That means I’ll have a general idea of the whole plot, but nothing that’s committed fully to on paper. If it feels right, I’ll go with it. But getting to that “Yeah feels right” part can take a very long time.
Do you have any quirky habits to help you get in the mood to write?
I’m partial to fighting with a bit of music, and I mean wrestling with some. It blocks out noise on one hand, but I can waste writing time just sorting for the right tracks on the other. Oh, and coffee, lol, lots and lots of coffee has to be in there somewhere too. And maybe a game or two of CandyCrush first. Okay, maybe three or four…
Yeah I had who are your writing influences.
I’ve got a core horror influence, to be honest. James Herbert, Shaun Hutson, Brian Lumley, Clive Barker. I don’t cover horror itself, but I like to try and carry that hard play on the reader’s feelings.
What made you pick up your pen the first time?
Hm. I came into writing quite late (32). I didn’t particularly like it at school, but I did have a very deep love for the English language itself. So I first picked up a pen to study: getting my B.A. hons in Linguistics, then editing, on top of my full time job and family. I started tinkering with fiction and erotic romance just to see if I could move away from analytics and play around with language myself.
How has the success of Don’t/Antidote surpassed your expectations
So with how Don’t… and Antidote have been received, it’s knocked me sideways. I’ve always loved messing with language from behind closed doors. Even with editing, there’s that safety barrier, where I can work relatively unnoticed. So with my writing, I feel like the accidental author left stumbling into the room with other authors.
Who is your greatest critic?
My kids, lol. Even though they’ve never read what I write, they have no clue what I do, I just get that look that says: you better make it damn good for spending time away from us. So they make me work hard and very critical of my own words, making sure each word counts. And then I have an editor and beta who are pretty good at dragging me naked over broken glass just to make sure the right acoustics are hitting the room, forget the blood, cuts, and writhing author in the corner over here. And I love them for it.
It’s been really good, Jen. Thanks so much for having me here today.
The evidence is there in his hands: the DVD and notepad convincing Jack that Gray is responsible for his kidnapping and torture, tearing Jack and Jan brutally apart. But with Jack trapped in his own mind, lost to blackouts and self-harming, getting away from Gray must take a back seat to getting away from himself.
While locked away in a secret facility run by the Masters’ Circle, a new beast is unearthed from the depths of Jack’s
tormented past. Martin only comes out to play when Jack needs to hide, a psychopath as capable of ruining Jack’s life as he is of defending him. Martin is the repository for Jack’s most horrifying memories, protecting him from the bloody tasks Jack can’t handle. Martin’s purpose is to drive everyone Jack fears – or loves – away, before they get the chance to hurt Jack again.
Now Jack hurts more than he ever has before, Martin is back, and Jack has to figure out what Martin knows that Jack forgot, before it’s too late.
Available at: Forbidden Fiction
About Jack L. Pyke
Jack L. Pyke blames her dark writing influences on living close to one of England’s finest forests. Having grown up hearing a history of kidnappings, murders, strange sightings, and sexual exploits her neck of the woods is renowned for, Jack takes that into her writing, having also learned that human coping strategies for intense situations can sometimes make the best of people have disastrously bad moments. Redeeming those flaws is Jack’s drive, and if that drive just happens to lead to sexual tension between two or more guys in a D/s relationship, Jack’s the first to let nature take its course.
Jack has graciously offered up a boxed set of the Don’t… series (Don’t, Antidote, & Breakdown) to one lucky winner!! The giveaway starts now and ends August 25, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.
Don’t forget to check out JustJen’s review of Breakdown to see what she thought of it!