Today’s interview is with Joseph Lance Tonlet, up and coming author of Grif’s Toy (November, 2014)
Hi Bey. Hi everyone.
Let me start of by saying what a privilege it is to be here. I’m throughly humbled; not only from the fledgling writer perspective, but also being interviewed by someone whose work and creativity I so fervently admire. Yeah, Bey, I consider your invitation a true honor…thanks!
*Grin* My pleasure, Joseph, and thank you!
Why don’t you describe yourself as a writer in ten words or less.
Okay, right out of the gate, I’m gonna be a rebel. I hope you’ll indulge me *naughty smile*. Stephen King is quoted as saying, “The road to hell is paved with adjectives.” He, along with many other successful writers/editors/etc. have voiced an extreme dislike of adjectives. I, on the other hand, adore them. So, rather than describing myself in ten words, I’m going to instead share the ten adjectives which best describe me as a writer.
What prompted you to start writing?
As with many M/M writers, I’m an M/M reader first. I started out in my early teens reading Gordon Merrick, and continue to enjoy the genre with works by contemporary writers such as yourself, Kol Anderson, Jack L. Pyke, Rhys Ford, and countless others.
As for how I started writing. A friend and I were doing a buddy read of Brook McKinley’s Shades of Gray. One night we sat at dinner, talking about the book, and he asked, “Do you ever think about writing a novel of your own?” The truth was, I’d been pondering doing just that—for years. I love writing, I love reading, and writing a book had been a dream of mine since high school. With my friend’s unwavering encouragement, I finally put pen to paper and wrote Grif’s Toy.
What character was/is the hardest for you to write and why?
Without a doubt, this would be Alex. Alex is one of the main characters of Brothers; my current work in progress. Alex is systematically, and repeatedly abused—from early childhood through young adulthood—by his sadistic, elder brother, Miah. (Note: Brothers, with its heavy non-con storyline, will cater to a niche M/M readership.) Telling Alex and Miah’s complex, and oftentimes disturbing, story has kept me up more than a few nights. And that, in and of itself, has been difficult; not being able to sleep simply because the story isn’t fully written yet.
Do you write every day? When do you find is the best time to write?
When I’m writing, I do write everyday. However, there are countless aspects of being ‘an author’ that, unfortunately, have very little to do with the actual ‘fun’ part of writing. When I am writing, I tend to be most inspired in the early morning (before 6AM) [Bey: way too early] or in the late evening (after 9PM). The quietness which accompanies these times of day strokes my inner creativity in a unique way.
Since this is for National M/M Month, what do you think you bring to the genre in particular?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Well, I believe every writer brings their own distinctive style to the genre. But, more importantly, writing is an incredibly personal endeavor—perhaps one of the most personal of all art forms—and the end result can be astonishingly intimate. My first and second books, to a large extent, detail my personal journey; they contain my innermost fears, hopes, setbacks, and triumphs. Will other authors have similar life experiences? Sure. Without question. Will anyone else tell the same story—in the same way? I don’t think that’s even remotely possible. All of us, every writer, tells his or her stories in their own beautiful and unique way. That, more than anything, is why I return to the genre over and over again; I enjoy reading those one-of-a-kind narratives which only that single author is able to tell.
How much of yourself do you put into your work?
Grif’s Toy (due out later this year) and the followup, Wes’ Denial (slated for summer of next year) are both incredibly personal. Thus, there is a lot of ‘me’ in those books. However, that said, they are works of fiction and not strictly autobiographical—not by any means. Not to mention, I write erotica and my personal life doesn’t compare to the escapades of Grif and Wes.
Everyone gets bad reviews… how do you think you’ll react?
Oh, this is the easiest one so far; I’ll cry! Next question?
We’ve talked about how a little whiskey gets the creative juices flowing. What else does it for you?
Ahh, if that’s an offer, I’ll take a couple of fingers of scotch—on the rocks, please! And, Bey, since you seem to know everyone, I’m wondering if there’s any chance of procuring Logan McCree as tonight’s waiter? Yep, good company, scotch, and tattoos—the perfect evening! Seriously though, I find a bit of scotch does do tremendous things when writing particular scenes *wink, wink*. I feel a bit freer and looser, the characters seem to talk (or not, as the case may be) more, and my fingers almost move across the keyboard of their own volition. I recently read an interesting article about great authors who were also alcoholics. While my writing (and alcohol consumption) are light years from those listed, I do appreciate the liberation a cocktail offers when it comes to getting the ‘creative juices flowing.’ Aside from the occasional grain based spirit, what entices me to write most is the calmness of utter quiet—and muses of course. The afore mentioned Logan McCree, Colby Keller, and many others. Thank you men, for your selfless devotion and your steadfast dedication to all of us who find our muses in you *grin*
Again, sincere thanks for having me, Bey…and I can’t wait to read Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires.
Thanks for stopping by, Joseph!