Author Jamie Dean Talks About Inspiration and Feminism

Jamie Dean is a gay fiction author whose new book “The Story of Jax and Dylan” will be out April 8, 2015.

Tell us a little bit about The Story of Jax and Dylan.

Well, we have Dylan, a bisexual guy who came out a long time ago. And he‘s comfortable with his sexuality, but there was a time in the past when he wasn’t so comfortable, and a thing happened because of it that still haunts him.Facebook affords him the opportunity to do something about it, by allowing him to find Jax, the best friend he loved and lost.

It‘s a great story and I love Dylan. He‘s just such a well-rounded guy. Almost the perfect mix of funny, strong and sensitive. Where’d you come up with him?

I drew a lot of the inspiration for The Story of Jax and Dylan from my own life. Dylan is definitely based on my partner Jay, who up until the last year was a service technician in the automotive industry for many, many years. He actually has a car like the one in the book. It’s not a convertible, but a boy can dream, right? Who knows, one day he may even get it restored the way Dylan has! And Dylan definitely speaks more like Jay does with his “dudes” and “mans”. And chicken fried steak is Jay’s favorite food – I’ve made more of them than I could count, and he always orders that we go out to dinner. I do not make him eat veggie burgers! He is probably… even more butch than Dylan.

And what about Jax. Is he based on someone from your life too?

Jax is more based on me, though there are a lot of differences. I’m the writer who likes to play with his big vocabulary, who doesn’t watch all the popular movies because he‘s too busy reading and writing. I’m not as active asJax is. I should be. Pops is kind of an amalgamation of a few of my friends and Jay definitely doesn’t like some of them. 

I love the brother character, Tom. Is he based on anyone in particular?

Um, physically, I’d say he’s loosely based on Jay’s older brother, but Tom’s personality and their relationship is really based on my younger sister. I sort of raised her growing up. She’s fearless and amazing and I think our relationship definitely shows through in the Dylan/Tom dynamic.

You touch briefly on mental illness in this book. Is that something that’s important to you?

It is. We treat mental illness differently than other illnesses and it creates this weird thing where people are sick but they feel like they can’t talk about it. So if something happens, the people who don’t know they have these problems are often shocked by what‘s going on. My father is mentally ill, which is where the Jackie character comes from. I didn’t delve too deeply into that, but I think it definitely colors Dylan ‘s view of the world as it does mine. My mother raised us alone, so I just imagined a world where she was the one who was mentally ill and the character of Jackie was born.

So, yeah, a lot of the inspiration comes directly out of my life and now you know a lot more about Jamie Dean then you probably thought you ever would!

Is the story itself autobiographical?

Definitely not! I did reconnect with some friends on Facebook that I hadn’t seen in many many years. No love connections obviously because I have Jay, but to me it was a fun idea to play with. And having come to the realization about my sexuality later in life, I felt like I wanted to play around with stereotypes and so-called “gaydar“, that ability of knowing what the other person wants – and having trouble with that – because I am just as socially inept in most cases as Jax

In your bio, you call yourself a feminist. Do you feel that’s reflected in the book?

I hope so? I’m ashamed to say my book doesn’t pass Bechdel, but there are a few female characters, even though they are mostly on the periphery of the story. Both the male leads have female best friends. The only one we really interact with to any degree is Poppy, and a lot of people aren’t going to like her very much, but she‘s a strong woman who knows her own mind and is in control of her life. A lot of people aren’t going to like Melissa, either, even though she hasn’t really done anything wrong and is kind of the victim of Dylan‘s own mistake. And I think that reflects our culture and how skewed everything is. We put the onus on women to meet all these conflicting expectations, to where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

The Story of Jax and Dylan is available for preorder now and will be released on April 8 byDreamspinner Press.

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My book is on sale now!

I am excited to announce that I have finally gotten my book copyrighted and put it up for sale on Amazon, as an ebook for the Kindle. I don’t know what will happen, but I am excited to find out. I’ve made one sale so far, which isn’t much, but it’s a beginning!

I have G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. to thank, at least in part. I actually started the copyrighting process back in January, but it is a slow process. I received the notice of copyright just around the time I started participating in the scavenger hunt. One of the items on the list was “sell an ebook to Jeff Bezos”. I wasn’t going to try it because I wasn’t sure how to contact him, but in the end, I got my ebook set up and I sent and email to him. I did not get a reply, but it doesn’t matter. The hunt was an amazing experience and I managed to get my book posted for sale and that is what I am taking away here.

For those who don’t know (and didn’t click the link) GISHWHES is a crazy scavenger hunt started by actor and crazy person Misha Collins. Everyone is sectioned off into teams of 15 and after a few days of getting to know one another, the teams are given a list of over 100 items to obtain, create or accomplish, all of which must be filmed or photographed. Some of the items are relatively straightforward, like create a watercolor painting, but there is always a twist, like the people in the painting must be on rocking horses. There is a lot of interaction with one’s team and many of the items require interaction with the public, often with total strangers. This was outside my comfort zone and I did not do a lot of that kind, but I did push myself and make myself do some of the public things because having an experience was the main reason I signed up.

I am so glad I did! I made friends and memories that won’t soon be forgotten.

Children’s Books to Treasure

Children’s Books to Treasure.

Some Children’s Books to Avoid

Some Children’s Books to Avoid.

Writing and Cooking and…other stuffses

This has been published for several days, but I don’t remember getting the notice.  As hectic as today was, maybe it’s just slipped my mind, though.

Wrote 2 more articles today for calls, which means 5 waiting for approval.  Also checked on the $10 bonus for December and it’s a good thing because they hadn’t planned on giving it to me, but the woman I contacted said she was overriding it, as she felt I’d earned it.  So I should have that later this week – w00t!

WooleyDuckling has a stomach ailment (whether food poisoning or virus, we do not know), and has been in bed all day.  It’s really knocked her out and she didn’t make it to class.  Just as well she was scheduled off work, too.  Hopefully, she’ll be better by tomorrow as she was in bad shape today.

I worked a little on one of my crochet swaps – and repaired the mushroom which the cats decided was a chew toy!! – last night and will probably do so again shortly.  Mom finally broke down and bought a dryer, so I may wait till it’s all set up before finishing, since this yarn calls for drying to complete the felting process.  Got another disappointing ATC in the mail.  I may not continue with Swap-bot after I finish these current swaps and the private one in the works.  What’s really disconcerting is that from what is written on the back, I am assuming that my ATC is one of two identical ATC’s that she created for this swap – and the other person gives her a glowing review talking about the level of detail and the “astonishing” lettering…wha..?? Are you serious?  I mean, there was nothing on this card but stickers.  The lettering comment – I would seriously assume the rater was being ironic if she hadn’t given this girl a heart to go with those comments.  Level of detail?!?!  She either used preprinted stickers or she cut and pasted a printout for the picture portion (and not in a collage-type way) – where’s the detail in that?!  And the lettering? was all letter-shaped stickers.  Astonishing?!  Yes, the ability to stick stickers onto cardstock is simply amazing, your mother must be so proud.

I really don’t know if people will think I am being too harsh about this.  I haven’t worked out whether I care, either.  I am just so damned tired of mediocrity being shoved down my throat because no one cares enough to do better.  My country seems to thrive on it.  And I’m sick to death of it.  Great restaurants can’t stay open, while TGIAverage thrives.  Movies and television shows with merit and worth and substance (see: Sports Night aka the greatest show EVER) get lost and tossed while steaming piles of excrement like…well, there is a virtual flood of recent blockbuster movie titles running through my head, pick one…and Deal or No Brains? saturate the market.  And yes, it is partially personal.  Because my novels lie dusty in the drawer while tedious garbage gets published. 

And, sure, it’s just a piece of paper with some stickers and I shouldn’t be getting angry, probably, but, in the immortal words of Disney’s Ariel –

“Thingsmabobs?  I got 20!  But who cares?  [They’re] No big deal.  I want mooorrrrrrrrrrrre!!!”

I’ve already explained in a previous post what kind of thing I was hoping to get out of this, so I won’t go into it again.  I’m just really disenchanted with the whole thing and I don’t think I want to continue something that’s supposed to be fun and just stresses me out.  I don’t need it.  I have a husband for that sort of thing.

Anyway, I dind’t mean to get off on yet another ranting tangent.  So I will end on a higher note and talk about the fantabulous cake I made tonight.  I was craving really special food, since I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up watching the food network like a crazy person (coz it just makes me hungry).  And I don’t even know why it popped into my head, but suddenly after I had already made some KICKASS stirfry for dinner, I decided we needed a kickass dessert to go with it.  So I concocted a cake with nuts and a cream cheese icing.  I will need to doctor the recipe a bit, because the top was kind of chewy in spots for some reason, which requires adjustment, but everything except those few spots was delicious.  Speaking of that cake, I think it’s calling me…

Hello, Fellow Swappers!

I joined a swap to gain blog exposure, so I should get a few new visitors today.  Hi!

Got some cool news today.  Turns out that “video from hell” that I ranted about a few posts back?  Well it got featured on the AC Lifestyle Page!  W00t!  Go, me!  It’s the one that says “Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Craft…” 

Unfortunately, I haven’t caught any new calls going up today, but I really need to start writing my own ideas again.  Hopefully, I earned the extra money from December for successfully publishing 15 articles and that will be paid out very soon.  I think I may have published more than that in January!  Too bad the offer didn’t extend 😉  I wish the partner calls would start coming in.  I do so much better with nonfiction when it’s an “assignment”.  Dunno why.

Had to make another suet cake for the birdies today.  Made 3 the other day and as of 3 days ago one had not been touched, then yesterday BOOM! they were all down to crumbs and today they are all gone.  Haven’t set out the cake yet, ’cause it hasn’t hardened.

Finished the last book in the Last Apprentice Series by Joseph Delaney.  Hope he’ll write more soon!  Coz it was a bit more of a cliffhanger than the others. 

Still feeling the desire to do magic of some kind.  Heh.  I’m continuing on the Dragon series by Patricia Wrede.  Love them, too, they just aren’t very long!  The Nicholas Flamel series (Michael Scott) is ok, but there is SO MUCH info packed in such a short space, they are not “easy” reads.  They make my brain work too hard!  Have to rest in between 😉

If my sister’s male cat was the first cat I’d ever had contact with, I would hate cats.  Thankfully, my sister’s other cat is sweet and loveable and even as a kitten was not on a mission to destroy, which her boy cat seems intent on.  Sigh.

Got some new photos put up on Flickr and got my flickr page posted to links.  Can’t remember if I added the feed or not, better check that. 

Happy Monday!

My, What a Day!

Started basically with the inauguration of, dare I say it, the most awesome first couple ever.  Then I continued my 3 day creative streak.  Got inspired by my swap buddy’s profile and went shopping for goodies.  Took a trip to the post office (where everyone in the city was congregated at 4pm today, for some reason) to mail swaps for me and sis, worked out for 45 minutes, got a letter from my sponsored child, worked on sis’s crocheted flappy-eared hat some more, watched the dance from the inaug. ball, talked to hubby,

WROTE A NEW SHORT STORY,

(kind of excited by that, if you can’t tell), submitted it to a story site for consideration, sent it to my sponsored child (for whom it was originally written), read a couple chapters of my current book…guess that’s about it =)

Thought I would post a couple more of the ATC’s I’ve made lately.  Enjoy!

Bear in mind that these were done with marker, which doesn’t scan as well as I might like 😉

 

Bottle cap ATC

Bottle cap ATC

 
Boy Ingredients

Boy Ingredients

There were several more, but those are the only ones I’ve sent so far that are their own files (instead of composite scans), so those are the only ones I’ll be posting right now.