Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing J James author of Denial Deceit Discovery.
Hi J, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Talk to us about your characters in this book. What makes them unique?
I would describe them as real and relatable and maybe the raw honesty of characters such as Jack is his uniqueness. He is also a character towards whom the feelings of the reader change. The reader will love him, feel for him, be frustrated with him, hate him but hopefully feel compassion. The ability for a character to evoke such a spectrum of emotions is a unique ability I think.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in getting your book from start to publish?
I think I completely underestimated how difficult it is to promote and market the book. It almost makes writing the book the easy part. The feedback on the book has been incredible but trying to attract more readers in a market flooded daily with new stories is a huge challenge. I have come to realise that sometimes the audience you intended writing for (in my case it was males struggling with their sexuality or openly gay men) are sometimes not the readers who do actually take up your book. My biggest audience is women which I never expected.
Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future?
I assume you are referring to a writers/authors convention? I have no attended one and not sure if I would in the future – though I am happy to give most things a try.
Would you like to be a full-time writer?
It is my dream to be a full-time writer but I have a confession – I like my life’s luxuries so I would have to be earning good money ☺ In all honesty- writing is a pleasure. A hobby that I find very satisfying. Who would not want that to also be their day job.
Design the ultimate pizza.
I am not the biggest pizza fan only because I am a little obsessed with the gym and so pizza screams excessive calories haha. However, being part Italian I cant turn my nose up at one of countries legacies to cuisine ☺ This is where I sound really dull and boring but my favourite pizza is just margarita – simple yet tasty. It Thailand the ultimate pizza has been taken to a whole new level – one restaurant serves Roast Dinner – pizza!
Release Date: May, 2013
Publisher: Inkslingers Publishing
Denial, Deceit, Discovering is the heart-rending story based on true events in the life of Jack Ellis; a young Catholic man deep in denial of his own homosexuality. It tells the story of how his own denial and the denial of his loved ones forced him to conform to the straight world, resulting in his marriage to his high school sweetheart. After years of cruising gay porn sites, chatting online with endless guys and intimate encounters with close friends, Jack was pulled into a life of deceit with a string of sexual partners.
The story explains the pain and suffering of those around him as his secrets unfold and honesty rises up. The torture endured as Jack struggles to piece together the complex story of his own sexuality is truly moving. Escaping the shame, Jack flees to Bangkok with his gay lover where a much greater world of deceit and discovery awaits them both.
Denial, deceit, discovery will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s story unfolds from a life of shame to one of hope and acceptance for homosexual men.
Pages or Words: 364 pages
‘Did you ever think of men when you masturbated?’
Sometimes I cannot believe I have arrived at this point. This is one of many direct and personal questions from the Catholic priest dealing with my annulment. I cannot help but sense his judgement of me. From his failure to hide his disgust to the way his sunken, weathered eyes glare at me as he waits for my sordid responses. I am sitting in a room that reminds me of a nursing home. It is bitterly cold; though I’m not sure if I am shivering from the cold or the depth of questioning. Excessively floral wallpaper with clashing printed soft furnishings was never a good look. The mahogany 70’s style furniture pieces marked the perimeter of the room and the over-sized portrait of God’s beloved son hanging above the chimneybreast was particularly distracting. I did not feel comfortable discussing my love of cock with a priest, let alone with Jesus in the room!
Two years after our thirteen year relationship ended, I have been instructed by my now ex-wife to visit the priest to support her annulment application – a Catholic loophole that allows two Catholics to declare that their marriage never truly existed. We have to prove that I was incapable of willingly entering into the marriage due to my underlying, yet undiscovered, homosexuality. Personally I do not have the patience for this, but it is a small gift for my ex-wife that will enable her to one day remarry in the eyes of God.
In 2001 we married after seven happy years and we stayed married for another six, although maybe these were not as happy as the first seven. And why did I do it? Why did I marry a girl when the answer to the opening question was YES! Quite simply, because I loved her. When I stood there on the day of our wedding it never entered my mind that I was lying, or trying to cover up or trick anyone. I simply loved her and wanted to spend my entire life with her. On reflection, I guess I knew I was gay but I certainly did not want to live my life as a gay man. At that point I had never admitted to myself that I was indeed gay; something I have come to regret. It was not out of malice or false intentions, rather just total confusion and denial; born out of an upbringing in a straight, Catholic world. The signs were all there, but no one ever asked me the question and, therefore, I had no reason to even question it myself.
I have spent many a sleepless night trying to piece together the complex story of my sexuality and can now define three distinct periods in my life: one of denial, one of deceit and a final time of discovery. To some extent they are chronological but there are many overlaps whilst in each phase of my life. When I finally declared my sexuality at the age of thirty-one, I ended the thirty-one years of denial – a pretty hefty sentence for anyone! To some extent I am still there now. But there have been many exciting and somewhat dangerous discoveries along the way; from early childhood fumbles with girls, mutual masturbation sessions with male friends as teenagers first discovering porn, to naive visits to male prostitutes as a young man and random hook ups with strangers off the internet as a married man. With some of these discoveries came webs of deceit shrouded in guilt, lies and more confusion. But it was these very experiences that have shaped the gay man I am today – one who has found true monogamous love.
Since accepting my homosexuality, many people have used the line, ‘You had a choice…’ but to me it was anything but a choice. In fact, I would say I did everything possible to choose not to be gay and despite my greatest efforts to suppress who I really was; eventually it came and bit me on the arse anyway.
Denial, Deceit, Discovery is a new work of fiction by J. James. Written in the style of a personal memoir, James tells the complex, engaging and moving coming out story of the book’s main character, Jack Ellis. Jack is a young Catholic man living in the UK who struggles mightily on the road to self-awareness. Jack’s life is inspired by many events experienced by the author, but the universal themes of honesty, personal growth and acceptance transcend one person’s story. Denial, Deceit, Discovery will make you laugh, cry, cringe and blush as Jack’s life evolves from shame and embarrassment, to hope and acceptance. It’s a wholly relatable tale that will speak to anyone who has struggled to understand an aspect of his or her identity.
After over a decade of teaching, educational management and administration, James needed to find an outlet to share his personal story. As a lifelong lover of literature and writing, James has dedicated his career to educating students, helping them develop the tools they’ll need to share their stories in the future.
His first manuscript was inspired by the response James received from the Catholic priest who officiated his marriage annulment. As part of the process, James was asked to submit a small document outlining his feelings about the events that culminated in the failure of his marriage. The priest commented that the piece was the most moving and impactful account he had ever read. He called it an “inspiration” to other men and women struggling with similar situations. After exploring many options, James realized that his story could help people to understand the complex issues facing gay men in denial – hopefully, helping to spare others from the heartache he and his loved ones experienced.
James currently lives and works in Southeast Asia. He enjoys the tropical climate, and the relaxed pace, which has provided him with the opportunity to continue developing ideas for his second novel.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jack.ellis.5220
Tour Dates & Stops:
I would like to give a big Thank You to J. James and Will at Pride Promotions for letting us take place in this Blog Tour.