Born in Amarillo, Texas, J.S. Wayne has lived, worked, and traveled in approximately three quarters of the North American continent, and has amassed a résumé that could kindly be described as “eclectic.” He currently resides in Southern Utah, where he attends Southern Utah University as an undergraduate English major with a creative writing emphasis. He is actively involved with the Kolob Canyon Review, SUU’s literary journal, as well as the Red Thread Movement, is an Honors student, and is the founder and CEO of Writing Out Child Abuse, a charitable initiative to raise funds and awareness for survivors of child abuse worldwide.
J.S. Wayne describes himself as “a male romance writer, without apologies!” J.S. can be found on Twitter @Author_JSWayne, maintains a blog at jswayne.wordpress.com, and can be contacted via email at email@example.com. He enjoys talking with and hearing from his readers, and he invites you to drop him a line!
Welcome author J.S. Wayne, here with us today.
1. Why did you choose to write ménage? What intrigues you about this particular genre? I’d been thinking about attempting a ménage story for some time, but there were two factors working against it: 1) I didn’t feel confident of my ability to work in the genre, and 2) I prefer FFM ménage, which runs counter to the market. Funny how things change (more on this below).
Ménage has always interested me because of the interpersonal dynamics. Two people finding love is hard enough, but adding a third into the mix can either be a recipe for disaster or a powerful cementing force in a relationship. A lot depends on how flexible (in the mental sense) and adaptable all the parties are and how willing they are to compromise and communicate openly about their desires and needs.
2. Tell us about your latest ménage release: what’s it all about? Where did you find the inspiration? Dusk is my first foray into the ménage genre, leaving aside a few scenes in a previously published work that’s no longer in print, and it’s an interesting blend of genres: there’s MFM ménage (naturally), futuristic sci-fi (or speculative fiction, if you prefer), aliens, and magick. My inspiration for this was a contest I held at the end of December. As a thank-you to my readers, I wanted to hear what they wanted me to write next. Dusk was born out of the elements listed above, which I have to say was NOT the easiest combination of things to write! However, I had the book done at the beginning of January and it’s now being serialized by Changeling Press, with the first release on March 27h, 2014!
Here’s the blurb:
Three people. Two worlds. One love. One galactic threat.
On the remote border world of Dusk, the Dusk Diplomatic Corps serves their planet diplomats and aristocrats. A bombshell lands on the Corps when Terra sends a request for negotiations to begin mining the planet’s most vital resource: magickstone, a uniquely rare element that allows those exposed to it to use magick and to live an unusually prolonged and vital life. Olivia Gunnarson and her lover, Merrick Grissom, believe Terra’s real reason for wanting to mine magickstone is their desire for a new and devastating weapon of galactic conquest.
On Terra, Marine Corps Colonel Peter Silva is dispatched as part of the Terran diplomatic team to serve as a military attaché. En route, he is advised of the unthinkable: The sitting head of the DDC, Ambassador Nils Trelawney, has been assassinated. A new and untested diplomat, Olivia Gunnarson, has been tasked to take his place. What Pete doesn’t count on is that the outwardly demure ambassador possesses a wild streak…and her bodyguard-lover will do anything to keep his charge safe and happy. But with an assassin in the shadows and diplomatic relations between Dusk and Terra in jeopardy, will a love affair save them or destroy them all?
3. Who is your favorite ménage character(s) and why? My favorite ménage character to date is Lydia, from Bianca Sommerland’s Deadly Captive. This is a VERY dark erotica book, and there’s really not that much ménage content in it, but I enjoy a fresh take on vampires and this forced-submission novel gives vampires a fresh and far more sinister twist. Lydia’s ferocious and willing to do whatever it takes to survive, which takes her out of the simpering “Oh, poor me, I’m just a dumb girl, hold me!” school of romance. TSTL doesn’t interest me, but Lydia’s ruthlessness did!
4. In your opinion, what makes a good ménage novel? A good ménage novel will give more or less equal time to all parties and consider their physical and emotional responses and feelings. The characters absolutely MUST be well drawn for this to work, because there’s no room for placeholders or Mary Sues. Thankfully, I’ve experienced very little of this in my reading, and I HOPE I avoided it in my writing! That judgment I’ll leave to the reader, though.
5. What do you think of ménage romance in general? Do you think numbers are important in ménage stories? The more the better or maybe not? I think ménage romances are a logical offshoot of the primitive human desire for “more.” If variety is the spice of life, what could be better than having your variety right there under the same roof with you? (Yes, this also holds true in real life.) In the fictional sense, it’s a safe way to explore the possible benefits and problems of a ménage relationship without putting anything at risk, much like any other form of erotic fiction.
Whether numbers are important or not depends largely on the skill of the author in portraying the ménage relationship. Bianca Sommerland’s Rosemary Entwined is a spin-off on the Snow White story, where she winds up in bed with seven men! (She has to. She’s a succubus, and trying to feed off less than seven will kill all of them.) Because Bianca’s an excellent writer in her own right, she did a great job with this one. I personally think a writer should use the number of people that suit the story, as long as the writer can ensure everyone gets an equal voice and doesn’t wind up as a cardboard place holder. For this reason (and because the readers requested MFM), I stuck with three in Dusk.
6. What sparks your ménage imagination to the point of writing one? Is there a particular source of inspiration for your ménage stories? My readers are really the biggest inspiration for everything I write. The last thing I want to do is alienate them by writing something that won’t interest them. Now that I’ve tried a full-length (ahem) ménage novel, I feel pretty safe in saying there will be more of it coming down the line, but I can’t honestly say when or where.
7. What is your favorite gender combination in ménage? More men than women? No women all men? Why? I prefer FFM, because I think women exist on a much higher aesthetic plane than men as a general rule. Sadly, there’s not much of that on the market unless you look into the more erotic and less romantic end of the spectrum, and anytime a man attempts to write lesbian/bisexual women he automatically risks being accused of writing “porn,” no matter how accurate or inaccurate the assessment might be. It’s a strange dichotomy, but it is what it is.
8. Do you prefer to use straight, gay or bisexual male character? Why? What influences your choice? I prefer hetero male characters, simply because that’s where my particular comfort zone and orientation place me. If I wrote a story that ever called for a gay or bisexual male pairing in the ménage, I would have no particular problem or moral qualms with it, but it’s so much easier to write something you’ve actually experienced than try to make it up out of thin air. However, I’ve also seen an argument advanced that men involved in any brand of ménage relationship MUST be some degree of gay, if for no other reason than sooner or later they’re going to have to make physical contact, human anatomy being what is and assuming standard double-penetration is in play. I personally find this argument ridiculous: just because you wind up rubbing balls, or anything else, with another guy while you’re both having sex with the same woman makes you about as gay as looking around the gym locker room. If you’re confident enough in yourself and your sexuality to do that, more power to you!
9. In your opinion, inside a ménage with more than one man, is the woman character condemned to a passive role? Or can she be portrayed as dominant? Is she just a toy, a doll in the men’s hands, or can she assert herself as a woman and an individual? I think it’s essential for the woman in a ménage, if there are multiple men involved, to be able to assert herself and her desires, so she’s not treated as “just a toy.” Any man who allows this to happen to the woman he purports to love, under any guise, isn’t really a man at all by my estimation. At the same time, her men have to be willing to not only acknowledge her desires, but also to be “men.” There’s a difference between being assertive and confident in your desires and behaving like a territorial alpha dick (to quote Jim Butcher). Any time I read ANY stripe of romance where the guy or guys are behaving that way I am likely to close the book right there, unless the writer’s dropped a broad hint that there’s a really good reason for the way he’s/they’re behaving and that he/they are going to stop being assholes, straighten out, and fly right!
10. In your opinion, can a true ménage work in real life? Why or why not? A ménage can work, but there is a law of exponential complication. Where two people is complication level 2C, three people would be complication level 4C, four would be 8C, five would be 16C, and so on. Because of this, the original relationship would have to be extremely stable, very open and honest, and willing to consider all sides in the relationship. Imagine having a fight with your lover…and then having your other lover jump in on lover A’s side! Because of this, I think it’s attainable, but certainly not easy!
11. Do you think there is a difference between ménage sex and ménage relationship? Are the two one and the same? Or can one be without the other? Having been in both FMF and MFM ménages, I can say with some authority that yes, there is a huge difference between the two. Inviting someone into a couple’s bed for a night or two, or as a semi-regular guest, is one thing. Inviting that person to start hanging their clothes in one’s closet and help out with the bills and rent is quite another. The former requires everyone involved to separate sex from love, something that isn’t easy to do when one partner has to watch the other partner enjoying the interloper. The latter requires not only sexual compatibility and complete openness with all partners’ bodies, but it also demands a deep emotional and spiritual bond that prevents anyone from feeling isolated or like the “new toy” is the only one getting played with.
12. What do you think of reviews on ménage books? Do you find they capture the essence of your work? If yes, why? If no, why not? Having never had a ménage review as of this writing, I cannot speak intelligently on this matter. I am sure there are a lot of very good, reputable reviewers in the ménage genre who give an honest opinion about an author’s work without coming off like they have an ax to grind, just like I know for a fact there are always mean-spirited and cruel “reviewers” whose sole objective is to tear authors down in every other genre of fiction in general. However, the way I figure it is this: Love my work or hate it, the fact someone sat down and took the time to tell me and other readers what they think about it is a huge compliment, no matter how “bad” the review might be.
13. Tell us about your future projects. Do you have a new ménage romance coming out soon? I am currently working on three projects that have ménage elements: A reboot and reworking of my Angels series, a lesbian paranormal romance called A Demon For Dinner, and the reboot of my gay werewolf series The Wildsworn, but aside from the next two installments of Dusk, Darkness Rising (coming in May from Changeling Press) and Tides of Astaroth (coming in July), I don’t have anything on the drawing board right at this moment. However, I’ve learned never to say “never” to anything!
14. Where can the fans find you and find your books?
My books can be found at the following places and publishers:
15. Please tell us where readers and fans can find you on the net.
I can be found at:
16. Is there anything you wish to share with the readers? I love talking to and hearing from readers, so feel to stalk, email, and otherwise pester me! Thank you so much for coming and hanging out with me today. I hope you had as much fun as I did!
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