Today’s UnCommon Bodies interview is with SM Johnson but before you go and read it, check out the book on Amazon. Just look at all those great reviews. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a book that good would you?
What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project?
When I heard last call for the UnCommon Bodies Anthology, I already had the characters (Pete and Rory) for Reserved in my head making noise at me. I had a pretty good idea of why Rory was so flighty, but I wasn’t exactly sure why Pete was bitter, and I was too busy working and being a grad student to really explore what was going on with Pete. Then I had a problem at work and was put on leave, which was horribly anxiety producing and stressful. And the best way for me to combat anxiety and stress is to write, so even though I only had a couple of weeks to produce a story for the Anthology, it was great timing.
Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon?
There are a couple of things about Pete that make him UnCommon. He’s in his 40s, for one, which is unusual for a lead male romance character. His last relationship was with a younger man and involved Daddy/boy role play, which is considered a fetish, and that relationship ended in a car accident in which Pete’s partner died and Pete was disfigured in various ways. I don’t want to be more specific about Pete’s injuries as it might spoil parts of the story. Pete is bitter because he longs for another ‘boy’ but believes no young attractive man will be attracted to him, ever again.
What’s the setting for your story?
Modern day urban setting. The story opens in a club that’s hosting a burlesque show, and Pete has ventured out, hoping to be entertained, but the club is packed and there’s nowhere for him to sit down. Rory is the master of ceremonies. He notices Pete’s cane and invites him to sit at his ‘reserved’ table. Reserved is partly how they met, and a big part of Pete’s personality. It’s also a bit of word play, because there is nothing about Rory that would ever be called reserved.
Every story in the anthology has their own promotional image, what drew you to the image for your story?
It’s a perfect representation of Rory.
What do you want readers to know about Rory?
I’m planning to develop Reserved into a full-length novel in the future, so there’s a lot about Rory that I know, but wasn’t able to share with readers in this short introduction. Rory seems somewhat simple and child-like, but he’s actually very complicated. He has borderline personality disorder, which is a serious and persistent mental illness, and manifests in emotions that are difficult to regulate and often exhausts the people around him, whether they love him or not. He also has a history of abuse and abandonment, so when he says, ‘Mr. Spencer, you have issues,” it’s kind of a joke, because RORY actually has just as many issues as Pete Spencer does. And that’s maybe why they are perfect for each other.
What music should readers listen to when they read your story?
Joyride, by Roxette. On repeat. Continuously.
Once readers have read your story, which of your books/stories should they read next?
If readers are interested in M/M romance and fetish, they should definitely try my Dungeon series, which are my best-selling work. Collected Novels from the Dungeon is the full series plus a short story, and a terrific value – 945 pages for a little over five bucks. If they don’t want to commit to the collection, the first book in the series, Above the Dungeon, is always free, everywhere.
The book that’s closest to my heart, however, is a (so-far) stand-alone novel called Jeremiah Quick. It’s a dark romance, a twisted fairy tale, and a tribute to the person who taught me critical thinking. I wouldn’t be ME without Jeremiah, and that’s pretty important.
About SM Johnson
SM Johnson is a coffee addict who hibernates in a conservative community of northern Wisconsin where she writes about characters who are not exactly mainstream. She’s written several novels and a few short stories.
To find out more about me, my writing, and my bearded dragon named Alice, visit my blog Me & Alice, SM Johnson Writes at http://smjbookteasers.blogspot.com where life gets messy.
You can find out more about my upcoming releases, and get four FREE books by signing up for my newsletter here.[UnCommon Bodies Q&A: SM Johnson by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 26th November 2015]