Power Exchange Series Postmortem: #Interview with @_AJRose #LGBT

Interview with AJ Rose, author of the Power Exchange series and the new release, The Anatomy of Perception.

mate

From the moment Detective Gavin DeGrassi steps into the world of BDSM to solve the brutal slaying of Dom George Kaiser, his course is not his own. Mesmerized by the context in which the victim lived and the images seared into his soul, Gavin has to find a way to navigate these unknown waters. With his personal life in upheaval due to a marital split, and his professional life uncertain with the assignment of a new partner, Gavin needs all the help he can get understanding the case.

Enter Ben Haverson, a psychologist and a well known Dom. With Ben’s help as a consultant on the case and attention to Gavin himself, Gavin delves deeper than he ever thought he would into the world of restraints and paddles. Forced to take a closer look at himself, his true nature, and his innermost desires, Gavin has a choice: keep the fear of submitting at bay, or dive in and solve the case with the knowledge he gains? When another victim is discovered, Gavin’s choice is made for him, and he’s pulled headlong into the deepest, most emotional journey of his life.

Unfortunately for him and Ben, a killer has noticed, has taken stock, and has set his sights on the D/s pair. Can Gavin outwit him, or will his first exchange of power be his last?

 Read the review for Power Exchange here.

safeword

From the moment Detective Gavin DeGrassi steps into the world of BDSM to solve the brutal slaying of Dom George Kaiser, his course is not his own. Mesmerized by the context in which the victim lived and the images seared into his soul, Gavin has to find a way to navigate these unknown waters. With his personal life in upheaval due to a marital split, and his professional life uncertain with the assignment of a new partner, Gavin needs all the help he can get understanding the case.

Enter Ben Haverson, a psychologist and a well known Dom. With Ben’s help as a consultant on the case and attention to Gavin himself, Gavin delves deeper than he ever thought he would into the world of restraints and paddles. Forced to take a closer look at himself, his true nature, and his innermost desires, Gavin has a choice: keep the fear of submitting at bay, or dive in and solve the case with the knowledge he gains? When another victim is discovered, Gavin’s choice is made for him, and he’s pulled headlong into the deepest, most emotional journey of his life.

Unfortunately for him and Ben, a killer has noticed, has taken stock, and has set his sights on the D/s pair. Can Gavin outwit him, or will his first exchange of power be his last?

Read the review for Safeword here.

consent

Cole, what’s wrong?

Former detective Gavin DeGrassi likes his new life and his job as a university professor, molding the minds of the next generation of law enforcement. It keeps him in the field he loves, but out of the media and out of the danger he seems to draw. He’s settled and happy with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson.

It’s Myah.

Until a middle of the night phone call from his brother, Cole, whose desperation and fear yank him back into the world of criminals and countdowns. Only this time, the stakes are much higher.

She’s missing.

Detective Myah Hayes, Gavin’s sister-in-law and former partner, has a past of her own, one that has returned to claim her. With only their instincts and the help of a rogue CSI, Gavin, Ben, and Cole will do whatever it takes to find Myah, following a flimsy trail of evidence to Chicago, where all is not what it seems—dirty cops, moral pimps, and a nest of snakes who call themselves businessmen.

They’re on a collision course with the worst of humanity, and more than Myah’s life is caught in the vortex. Can they find her, and if they do, will there be anything left to save?

Read the review for Consent here.

Interview

 

When did you decide you wanted to write and what inspired you?

I was 7, and my 2nd grade teacher had us write a little Halloween short story. It was only two pages of that really wide-lined paper with a dotted line in the middle so you can tell where the top of your lower-case letters should hit. But I wrote about a ghost leaving a graveyard and it was all over from there. I read books like it was my only mission in life, and I learned from absorbing the writing styles of the best sellers how to string a few words together and punctuate them. But the passion for writing hit me young and I’ve never deviated from the desire, even if I did start out in a field besides writing in order to pay the bills.

What made you decide to make St. Louis the location for the Power Exchange series?

I know St. Louis. I’ve lived near St. Louis for the last eighteen years, and it’s the only big city I felt confident enough about to capture the essence of the people here. Granted, I live near the city, not in it, so I still had to look some stuff up and ask people who’ve lived their whole lives here what’s up with some things.

How did you go about researching the BDSM scene to write the Power Exchange Series?

I started with BDSM: The Naked Truth, by Dr. Charley Ferrer, which gave me the bones of understanding to be able to frame any questions I might have of people in the lifestyle. I read a couple other books (non-fiction) on it, and a couple fiction, to see how others in m/m were handling the subject, and then I followed blogs of both Doms and subs to get a feel of how the mindset differs, how Doms differ from one another in style of dominance, and I asked questions. LOTS of questions. It’s also a lifestyle that resonates with me, not in that I have a desire to practice it, but the psychology just makes sense to me.

When you started writing Power Exchange did you already have an idea the direction the story would take for Myah in Consent?

No, I had no idea. I threw in book 1 how Myah had left Chicago PD in disgrace, but even I didn’t know why or how then. I stopped after writing that scene, looked at it closely, and thought, “That could come back to bite her in the ass later.” Then I kept going. It was only after I had her begin a relationship with Cole that I realized it could be something more central. But the idea of Myah being caught up in something because of it didn’t occur to me until a few weeks after Safeword released. I wasn’t actively thinking about it, but on my drive home from the day job, I heard in my head clear as a bell the phone call Cole made to Gavin about Myah being in trouble. I wrote it down, but as the details came to me, I realized how dark a story it was. I didn’t want to write it. That’s why I didn’t begin it until nearly a year after Safeword came out.

Considering that Gavin and Myah are detectives for the St. Louis police department, it isn’t shocking that there a lot of deaths in this series, but one death in Consent really took me off guard. What were your thoughts in the death of the character vs leaving him alive?

You know, I’ve seen where people have a very hard time with this, and some feel it’s senseless, why I did it. But you’re the first person who has ever asked me about it. So thank you. It’s hard to answer this question without spoiling things for readers who haven’t picked up the books, but I’ll do my best. I knew I was going to break Myah in Consent, and I knew it would take something horrific to do it. She’s a strong woman, takes no one’s shit in ordinary circumstances, and is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and those she loves. But people like that in real life can still get pummeled by other people. When she is in captivity, I had to give her a damned good reason to keep from breaking too early, and so I brought in a couple characters for her to mother, to keep her strong longer than she would have been otherwise. But not everything ends happily, either in real life or fiction. I set up that character’s death not because I wanted him to suffer more than he already had only to die in futility. I did it because given what he’d already been through, it was a mercy for him. Recovery for Myah was still possible. For him? No. After I wrote the first draft, my plans for the effect that death caused because of a friendship he developed with another character changed. What would have pulled him down mentally if he’d been rescued would have pulled the other character down as well, and I now have tentative plans for the friend. That death sets up the entire purpose behind the spinoff plot pinballing around in my head for the friend. It’s not ready to be written at this time, but perhaps in the future, I’ll be taking a deeper look at the friend and another character, and the events of Consent very much shape their story. So no, it wasn’t futile or pointless or gratuitous. It was intended to bring about bigger things. I just haven’t been able to tackle that yet.

I know it’s difficult for some people to read about the violence that takes place in the books, how difficult was it to write?

Honestly, the first two books weren’t that rough. Some parts, yeah, but overall, no. I grew up reading Stephen King, who in the opening chapter of IT, does something horrific to an eight year old boy. So I’m not easily rattled, and the first two books challenged me in other ways. But the third book, there were days when I could only write a Myah scene and then I’d have to quit for the day, because my mood plummeted and I couldn’t salvage it in order to contrast her chapters with the Ben and Gavin chapters. Toward the end, I wrote like a fiend because I was so ready to end the pain of it. I actually wrote a much darker story in the first draft, but when my betas read it, they said I didn’t just break Myah, I broke them. So believe it or not, the story that was released was the lighter of the two. Revamping the ending helped mitigate some of the difficulty for me, but it’s still a rough ride. But an important one. I pulled punches. I only described what happened to Myah in captivity. I didn’t go into detail about the other people held captive. I didn’t do much more than hint at the cause of Brady’s suffering. I tried to keep it from being too difficult. For some readers, I failed. For others, I made them think about dangers of the sex trade we don’t always hear about in the news or see on cop shows. I know I made a lasting impression on many readers who’ve taken the time to write a review or email me or contact me via social media to talk about how the book made them feel. Love or hate it, peopleremember it.

After reading these books, I have a whole new view of what a D/S (dom/sub) relationship is like. What would you tell someone who hasn’t read a BDSM book or who thinks the lifestyle is abusive?

The basic tenet of BDSM is Safe, Sane, and Consensual. The potential for injury in the lifestyle makes people practicing it really careful and really open about what they’re doing and what they agree to. The reality of BDSM isn’t violence; it isn’t designed to harm someone psychologically, and it doesn’t come from a place of anger or hate or rage. It’s about finding a deeper vein of feeling, about matching your desires with someone else’s in a way that brings about ultimate trust. People talk about giving their heart to their significant other, and in BDSM, the actions show that giving. Maybe not between every pairing every time, but the depth between people grows exponentially quicker because of the lifestyle. How can that be abusive when it’s consensual on all sides?

Do you have plans to revisit the characters of this series in future books?

Not the main characters, but there’s potential for a few other characters. There are tentative plans for something more. I have to get to a place mentally where I can tackle it again, and frankly, after Consent, it’s too soon.

What is your newest release about and what books do you have planned to write in the future?

My newest release, The Anatomy of Perception, is about a surgeon, Dane Perry, who has overcome incredible odds to get where he is, but the instability of his upbringing has longer reaching effects than just being able to leave behind his alcoholic father and become his own man. It colors every decision he’s ever made, and ends up nearly destroying his relationship with the love of his life, Craig Dahl. The story is told in two concurrent timelines, so as we see one iteration of their relationship fall apart, we also follow along with the other iteration as Dane tries to repair the damage. He’s a human being who made mistakes, but ultimately it’s a story about forgiveness and honesty and how love may not conquer all, but it’s definitely worth fighting for.

As for future works, I’m deep in the plotting for a (so far) four book series called The Long Fall of Night, a dystopian adventure about what happens in our digital and electricity dependent world when there’s a catastrophic power outage. The amount of fun I’m having plotting this one is probably indicative of the level of destruction the world as we know it will suffer. I do like to blow shit up.


Be sure to check out the newest release by A.J. Rose, The Anatomy of Perception.

Meditative portrait of attractive man combined with watercolor drawing

Blurb: In the beginning, there was wreckage. Dane Perry’s mother was dead, and the father who always said he’d amount to nothing blamed him. Dane swore he’d become something. He would be someone.

In the middle, there was escape. Rebuilding his life from the ashes of his mother’s memory, Dane found success as a respected surgeon, and love in the form of Craig Dahl, a talented artist who became his everything. But there was also darkness, lies, and a crumbling foundation just waiting for the ground to shift.

In the end, there was a spectacular fall, illusions shattered, and for Dane, nothing more to lose. He was broken, damaged, and left with fierce demons. But from the bottom, the only way left is up. Dane renewed friendships and salvaged his career. The only thing he cannot replace is Craig. But Dane has a plan. Brick by brick, his foundation is rebuilt, and all he needs is for Craig to listen one last time.

In the beginning again, there’s hope and tatters of love. Can Dane repair the damage with Craig? Can he rescue the only thing he amounted to that ever truly mattered?

Content Warning: This book contains vivid descriptions of symptoms of PTSD and events that can cause anxiety. Reader discretion advised.

Buy Links: Amazon | ARe | B&N


6 thoughts on “Power Exchange Series Postmortem: #Interview with @_AJRose #LGBT

  1. Good Lord. Here I am already getting interested in the next one and I haven’t even gotten to read the new one yet! I love a dark read. I may threaten to roll your hamster ball off a cliff while I’m reading, but you’re exactly right – the books that rip my soul out through my eye sockets are the ones I remember forever. Now you make me want to know what *really* happened in Consent. You need to do like Disney does for Mission Space. Offer the “Green” version (easier to stomach) or the “Orange” version. I’ll ride the Orange version every time! ;o)

    Like

  2. Pingback: ‘Power Exchange’ by @_AJRose #Review #LGBT #BDSM | Rainbow Gold Reviews

  3. Pingback: Safeword by @_AJRose #LGBT #Review #BDSM | Rainbow Gold Reviews

  4. Pingback: Consent by @_AJRose #LGBT #Review #BDSM | Rainbow Gold Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.