Today, I have author BL Jones in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Novas Got Nerve, book one in the Liquid Onyx series, a paranormal thriller.
1. Hi, BL. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?
BL: Oh wow, I’m a big-time introvert. My friends actually call me ‘Turtle’, because of how much I like being on my own. I think I’m just used to it, as I’ve looked after myself for the majority of my life and moved away from home at a young age. You get in the habit of self-reliance and it just kinda sticks after a while. Plus, I’m a day dreamer, which is good for my writing, but not so good for. Well. Almost anything else, ha.
At the moment I live with my genuinely incredible girlfriend (and yes, she is watching me as I type this and threatening to flick dish soap foam at me if I don’t say nice things *cue exaggerated smiling*). We also live with a little nuisance of a bunny called Pepsi (currently sitting in my lap and dozing like the lazy puffball princess she is).
The only other big thing is that I have three little brothers. There’s a big age gap between us, but they are absolutely my favourite people on this planet.
2. Your latest release is Novas Got Nerve. Can you tell me what inspired you to write about superheroes?
BL: I guess I’ve always thought superheroes were inherently very queer, like, just in general. But more personally, as a queer teen, the idea of someone who knew they were different and felt as if they didn’t entirely belong in any identity the world I was born into presented as an option, resonated a lot.
I also just think there’s something very absurdly fun about people running around in costumes to fight crime, and I wanted to have my weird characters exist in that equally weird universe.
3. Can you share your writing process through Novas Got Nerve? Did the plot come first or the characters?
BL: Definitely the characters. I’m a character person at heart. For this series especially. Rex, my current MC, is a character I first created when I was about eight years old. So yeah, he’s been inside my head for a long time. I’ve written countless stories with Rex at the helm. He’s been everything-fairy tale prince, warrior hero, supernatural badass, rock star, snarky villain, best friend. Sparkly angel assassin in space.
I thought it was about time I gave him his official spotlight moment.
I know it will sound a bit silly, but I wrote Rex as a hero, because to me, he really is.
I’m a planner, mostly for the sake of motivation. I like to get the main points down before I start writing. It’s almost inevitable that changes will be made during the actual writing process, but I feel better having a road map that gives me a solid foundation to work from.
4. Let’s talk about the main character. What do you love most about Rex and what makes you want to shake him?
BL: Oh Rex, that sarcastic, anxiety-ridden nightmare I adore to bits. I think the thing I love most about him is his empathy for other people. No matter what hardships he’s lived through, he’s still a compassionate, kind person at heart. What makes me want to shake him is his tendency to overthink every little thing to death, then resurrect it just to poke at it a few more dozen times.
5. Your blurb says there will be a love triangle. Can you share about the other two characters involved in the triangle?
BL: The first is Damon, also known as Polaris, Danger City’s first superhero. He and Rex will have a somewhat antagonistic relationship, due to their messy past and conflicting ideals over what it means to be a hero. Rex’s father was the supervillain who gave Damon his powers and killed Damon’s parents.
Damon is going to be an incredibly aloof, intense character. But, of course, he’ll have a secret vulnerable side only a certain someone will bring out in him.
He and Rex will clash a lot, and there will be angst and UST and snark flying everywhere.
So yeah, very, very messy. But the tension is high, if you like a slow burn.
The other love interest is Jamie. He is the older brother of Rex’s best friend. Jamie and Rex grew up together and are very close, due to their families also being very close. The found family thing is strong in this series (yes, another trope in the bag!).
Jamie is a secret agent of FISA, a British government agency. He’s also very dedicated to his world-saving efforts, although they are more James Bond than superhero in nature.
Basically, Rex has a type, which is big, dominant workaholics with saviour complexes and zero chill.
6. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Novas Got Nerve?
BL: That probably depends on my mood, honestly. But the scene I had the most fun writing was probably in the very last chapter. It deploys one of my guilty-pleasure romance story tropes. I won’t say which, but you’ll probably know when it happens.
7. If a reader asked you why they should read Novas Got Nerve, what would you tell them?
BL: If you like sarcasm, found family, and intense slow burns, have I got the forest fire of a character for you to mentally stalk. Follow Rex and his astonishingly weird family as he figures out this whole superhero gig, fistfights with his own mental health, battles magic and mafias, and repeatedly resents falling in love.
8. What do you enjoy most about writing?
BL: I love the freedom of it. I can create whatever world I want, and take my characters wherever I want to take them. In writing, the potential for surviving heartbreak and adversity and pain, for experiencing adventure and victory and hope, is truly without limit. That feels like a gift to me.
9. What do you enjoy least about writing?
BL: Action scenes. I actively despise writing them. And yet, I’ve chosen to write an action series about superheroes and secret agents. Yes. I am quite literally my own worst enemy.
10. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:
- What’s your favourite movie?
Difficult to answer to be honest. But my girlfriend and I watched the 2014 British film called ‘Pride’ at least four times last month, so I’ll go with that.
- What book is currently in your e-reader?
Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot
- Who’s your favourite musical group?
Again, kind of impossible to say, sorry. But I’ve been listening to both ‘The Unlikely Candidates’ and ‘Welshly Arms’ quite a bit recently.
- What song puts a smile on your face?
The Best by Tina Turner (Timeless. Classic.)
11. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
BL: Just to say thank you for the opportunity to speak about my story and characters. Sharing them with other people is basically a dream come true for me.
Title: Novas Got Nerve
Series: Liquid Onyx, Book One
Author: BL Jones
Genres: Sci-fi/paranormal/urban fantasy, action/romance thriller, Superhero/supervillain. Magic/superpowers.
Tropes: Found family, slow burn romance, tragic past, orphan, emotional scars, Best friends older brother, love triangle, antagonistic romance, love/hate relationship, Opposites attract
Themes: Emotional trauma. What makes a hero? Found family. Not being defined by your parents’ actions/by your past.
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: 165 000 words/585 pages
Publisher: Ninestar Press
He has far too much nerve. He can blow things up with his mind. He’s got anxiety. Yeah. The world should probably brace itself for this one.
Blurb: British superheroes, melodramatic Mages, snarky secret agents, one hell of a found family, and a whole load of weird people.
Also, there’s a duck.
This is the painfully bizarre origin story of Rexley Nova.
When Rex was four years old, he became one of the world’s first superhumans.
When Rex turns twenty, he feels the drive to use his scientifically given abilities to protect the world. He leaves home to become a member of the Secret Superhero Security unit, alongside three of his friends and Danger City’s own superhero, Polaris.
Rex fights murderous Mages, evil organisations, criminal mafias, his agency appointed psychiatrist, his own anxious brain, and the most frightening of all, his attraction to a certain blue-eyed superhero.
Note: It is not a standalone book and is part of a series (Liquid Onyx series). The book ends on a cliffhanger.
NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK
“Come on, North,” I say, coaxing, spitting blood out of my mouth. “Don’t be nice.” I get as close as he’ll let me. “Treat me like you’re paying for it.”
Damon’s nose flares, and his lips curl to form a jagged snarl. His expression changing from robot to human in zero point five seconds flat. He makes a low sound that’s just the right side of threatening to be a problem for me. And not in the way it should be a problem for me.
Damon catches my arm at the right angle and twists me around so my back is pressed against his front. He wraps an arm securely around my waist, hauling me in even closer. A blaze of heat singes along my nerves when Damon runs his hand under my T-shirt, his fingers dragging over the hot skin of my belly. I try to kill it dead, the vulnerable quiver his intimate touch invokes, but that just makes it worse.
A full-on no-shit bonfire lights up inside my stomach. It sends a fucked-up message to my head, which in turn sends an even more fucked-up message to my cock. It’s like my body is playing telephone with itself.
You’re not supposed to want to get off with the bloke who’s making you bruise and bleed. Not without a serious discussion about it beforehand, anyway.
Pretty sure Damon and I aren’t going to be doing anything that sensible. Especially since the most sensible thing would be letting go and walking away before we can make this situation any worse.
Damon wraps his other hand around my throat, fingers digging in lightly, his thumb pressing against the edge of my jaw. He tilts my head to the side, exposing more of my throat to him. I resist the urge to lean my head back on his shoulder. Because I’m not mad.
My chest rapidly rises and falls as I struggle to breathe. It’s not really because of all the hits I’ve taken. I’m having more trouble dealing with Damon’s proximity than I am to what he’s done to me with his hands. A sign that maybe he was pulling some of his punches.
“You,” I say, barely getting the words out through all the tightness and the pain and the blood, “have got some serious control issues, North.” I shift against him, and he tightens his hold in response. I smile, oddly charmed by it.
“Might want—” Another few unsteady breaths. “—to see somebody about that.”
Damon feels like solid stone against my back, his body so tense I’m worried he might shatter if I tap the wrong spot too hard. As if in response to my thoughts, Damon’s arm around my waist changes from tight to crushing. His fingers press into my neck with clear intention. Not enough to choke. Just a reminder. Or a warning. A warning to be careful where I’m going with all of this.
My pale skin bruises easily. I can tell I’m going to have some on my throat. I don’t hate that idea like I should. And something about it being Damon who made them, whose fingers dug into my skin and left behind a mark, speaks to a primal part of my brain.
Damon’s mouth skates along my jaw, either by accident or on purpose, I’m not sure which. It doesn’t really matter. A short, bitten-off moan leaves my throat in a rush. I clamp my lips together to try to contain the rest of it. But it’s too late. Damon heard it. A shudder runs through him, a ripple of feeling and skin and warmth. An answering wave rolls through me, my body set to quaking.
I need to stop.
Damon bends his neck to speak directly into my ear. Our height and size difference aids him in making me feel completely taken over, enveloped, held in place, swallowed up and overwhelmed by my temporary loss of autonomy.
“Is this a game?” Damon asks, and he sounds, it beggars belief, genuinely upset by the idea.
BL Jones is a twentysomething British author who spends all her free time reading and writing and taming her three little brothers. She lives in Bristol with a temperamental bunny named Pepsi. She’s been writing stories since she was five, rarely sharing them with anyone except her numerous stuffed animals. BL has had a difficult journey into discovering and accepting her own queerness, and therefore believes that positive, honest, and authentic stories about queer people are very important. She hopes to contribute her own stories for people to have fun with and enjoy.
Follow BL: Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the ebook and a $10 Amazon gift card.