Today, I have author J.K. Jones in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Claw of Exile, a m/m paranormal romance. Don’t forget to check out the excerpt.
1. Hi, J.K.. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?
J.K.: There is so much I love about Ryu Suzuki. He has a level of strength that he isn’t even aware of most of the novel. Although he is beaten down and broken, he continues on and that is something I really admire about this character. I think the thing that makes me want to shake him is his indecision. Throughout the novel he struggles internally with forgiveness with the Alpha that betrayed him. I think the concept of loving someone, but not or in this case, struggling to forgive someone is very powerful. A part of him wants to forgive Micah, but another part of him is still very hurt from everything that’s happened.
2. I’ve been perusing your Goodreads page and see you are drawn to “characters so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world.” Why write about dark and twisted characters?
J.K.: To be frank, I write what I would like to read. I write characters that are multifaceted, anti-heroes because that is something that really fascinates me. Most of my characters fall into those categories.
3. Your Goodreads biography also states you don’t believe in HEA. Why is this?
J.K.: HEA to me are beginnings. They are the start of something new. I find the trap a lot of authors get into is that they get caught up in writing a HEA so much, they don’t really stop to think if it is suitable for their characters. I always strive to write a suitable ending, that means the main characters may not ride off into the sunset together, maybe they are better off apart than they are together.
4. Your latest release is Claw of Exile. Can you tell me what inspired you to create this novel?
J.K.: I wrote this novel many years ago. The quote that inspired it was “do not help those that are undeserving” or something along those lines. I wanted to create a character who would constantly put his life on the line for others and get little or nothing in return for his efforts. I think what drew me to that is the fact that a lot of good deeds are done, with hardly any recognition.
5. Can you share your writing process through Claw of Exile?
J.K.: Lot’s of coffee.
6. How much research goes into your works?
J.K.: I did extensive research for this novel, mostly because I had never written a fantasy before. The setting is primarily in Japan, and since Ryu carries a Katana I had to do a lot of research on Samurai’s and their code of ethics. I wanted a character that had a strong moral code, but constantly getting trampled on for doing the right thing. This is a fantasy novel but colonialism was my inspiration for the disagreements between the clans.
7. Let’s talk about the main characters for Claw of Exile. What do you love most about Ryu Suzuki and what makes you want to shake him?
J.K.: See answer to question number one.
8. The same for Micah McCorbyn. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?
J.K.: I think what I love most about Micah is his unwavering devotion. He is very committed to regain the strength of the clans back, as well as making his father proud. I purposefully left most of his backstory out, because I wanted the readers to make their own kind of perceptions about him first. What makes me want to shake Micah, is his stubbornness. He constantly feels he has a duty to uphold traditional values, that may be outdated.
9. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Claw of Exile and why?
J.K.: The final battle scene was ultimately my favourite to write. I think the action really got my blood pumping! The climax is the most exciting part of any novel and I really enjoyed raising the stakes for all my characters.
10. What makes Claw of Exile different from other dark, paranormal m/m romances?
J.K.: I think what makes Claw of Exile different is duality and perception. None of the villains are truly evil, they merely act in a way they deem right. I think having a backstory for all the villains made people feel more connected to them, and it even makes the reader more sympathetic to their cause.
11. If a reader asked you why they should read Claw of Exile, what would you tell them?
J.K.: Read at your own risk. This isn’t a book that will be enjoyed by many. There are a lot of troubling themes and nothing is distinctly black and white. However, if they are looking to go on a journey with a character that will ultimately change their lives then by all means.
12. You can only recommend one of your novels to a reader. Which would you choose from the books you’ve written so far, and why?
J.K.: I would choose Years of Silence. The reason why is because it is a psychological thriller. It was one of the most challenging books to write, but I found the most rewarding out of all of my books.
13. Which novel was your personal favourite to write, and why?
J.K.: Weeps Indigo was my personal favourite. The reason for that is because it follows a police’s officer’s journey into madness. Richard’s obsession with an underage teen takes over his life, to the point where he is willing to destroy everything he has. I loved writing that. The small town aspect makes everything feel more claustrophobic for him. I wanted a character afraid of exposing his sexuality, but at the same time trying desperately to recapture something he felt he lost out on in his youth.
14. What can we expect from you in the future?
J.K.: Lots and lots of angst!
15. What do you enjoy most about writing?
J.K.: Everything. To me it is the ultimate release.
16. What do you enjoy least about writing?
J.K.: Nothing to be honest lol.
17. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:
- What’s your favourite movie?
- What book is currently in your e-reader?
Fall on Your Knees
- Who’s your favourite musical group?
- What song puts a smile on your face?
Raindrops keep falling on my head.
18. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Book Title: Claw of Exile
Series: It is the first book in the series. Book 2 due to be released in December.
Author: J.K. Jones
Release Date: February 20, 2021
Genre/s: MM werewolf romance, interracial romance, MM paranormal romance, Action and adventure,
Tropes: Enemies to lovers
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 68 995 words
He kills to survive.
Cursed. Abandoned. Ryu Suzuki is no stranger to these things.
For years he wandered the Outlands with nothing but his Katana to keep him safe. Kuroi kage—Black Shadow is what they call him. A phantom Omega. He belongs nowhere. He is no-one. Until a vicious disease spreading like wildfire threatens everyone he loves.
After a series of unfortunate events, the game changes. Now he’s forced to go back to his long-forgotten pack, the Silvercrest Howlers. Suddenly, he’s staring at the man who ruined everything in the first place.
The Alpha that betrayed him. The White Lotus.
He also happens to be his mate.
Note: Claw of Exile is a dark MM romance series. Each book is a whirlwind experience, high octane and will have you at the edge of your seat. Enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, hurt comfort, gay paranormal romance, gay betrayal romance and so much more. Follow Ryu into the Exiled series and strap yourself in for a wild ride.
Ryu Suzuki is rotten.
Like all forbidden fruit, they say, he appears lush with deliciousness, but his insides are the color brown, sodden with the foul stench of bacteria. They are black and blue they say, slimy green, covered with rot and deterioration. It’s disgusting to look at.
The fruit is shriveled up, with pus oozing through the thick skin. On the outside he looks perfectly normal, shining—shimmering in the light, deceiving everyone.
Ryu is the picture of ripening fruit, ample with flavor, ready to be tasted and explored by anyone who dared. Conversely, among other fruits, he would never let on his infectious disease until it was too late, and it spread.
They say Ryu Suzuki is indeed rotten to the core.
His bitter hands grip the headboard as the man above moves forcefully. The durable bend and twists of his hips make him choke violently, back arching off the bed, pale skin shining in the moonlight.
His hair sprawls like a black curtain, long and silky in the sheets. Earlier that day, it had been upon him, the slick and fever of desire, so ripe and deep it made him wrench in anguish.
Ryu found the closest Alpha, decent size, large and empowering, and released his intoxicating scent. No Alpha could ever resist. Ryu lured him into his tiny apartment, no more the size of a small box, with the bathroom and kitchen all being in one spot.
The Alpha didn’t ask questions, he tossed Ryu onto the bed, tearing off his clothes in a deep rage that would later consume him in his rut.
No kisses. No words of any kind.
Just lips, teeth, and skin.
Fuck—the man licks down the pale column of his neck, lapping at the skin, tonguing his glans, causing passion to tear through him.
He comes again for the fifth time that evening, soaking the Alpha and the sheets. This goes on for several more hours. When it’s over, they are both covered in sweat, the stench of sex and freesia filling the room.
The Alphas knot dies down.
And Ryu knows what’s coming next. The Alpha stands, barely letting the air cool around them, throwing on his tight white t-shirt and jeans, his physique muscular, arms rippling and straining against the fabric.
He isn’t bad looking.
Just not at all Ryu’s type.
“You got a mate?” The Alpha asks.
They all did. Ryu ignores the question, lazily stroking his flat stomach, noting the sharp arch of his hip bones. He hasn’t eaten in days.
“Silent type eh?” The Alpha probes. “Look…. I only did this because you seemed desperate.”
That’s what they all say. Ryu wants to crackle in maniacal laughter. He doesn’t though, his eyes watch coolly, like a feline.
“You have a mate,” he continues. “I can tell. Your Māku is strong, very strong. He must be a powerful Alpha. You shouldn’t be wandering around here without him. Whatever happened between you two… it doesn’t matter…the stench of another Alpha on his Omega is enough to drive one mad…”
Isn’t that what Ryu wants? To drive his Alpha mad? He turns his head away dismissively. This conversation is over.
Heaven and hell, demons and angels. J.K Jones has always had an affinity for otherworldly things. From her debut novel, it’s easy to see she loves all things crawling in the shadows. As it so happens, J.K Jones is the author of a gritty, fun, action-packed, soul-rending novel. Her characters are so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world. She does not believe in HEA, she does believe in writing a suitable ending for her characters. Never will you read any of her works where the characters ride off into the sunset together. Not going to happen. There is nothing J.K. Jones loves more than a tragic ending. She is an avid reader, poet, and LGBTQ activist. She is a University graduate with a BA in Sociology, also has a TESOL certificate for teaching English as a Second Language.