J.R. Grey Interview: What makes a character – Angel

What makes a character – Angel – by J.R. Gray

When I started to write Angel he was different than anything I’ve ever written. He loved to talk, and by talk, I mean ramble and pour out everything in his head and more. Most of my characters are tight lipped, non talkers, and their mates generally have to pull everything out of them.

Not the case with Angel, he wanted Titus to know his opinion, and he had enough sass to deliver it. He wasn’t ashamed of his femininity, or his queerness. He’s fully embraced who he is, and it’s exactly what Titus needs to see. There is light on the other side as well.

Angel was on a bit of a soul searching journey when he stumbles on Titus. He’s left everything to hitch hike across the country in search of something different, a fresh start, or maybe just for his head to be quiet for a little while.

I’ve always put little parts of myself into my characters. I’m not sure if this is something most writers do, or if it’s just a quirk of mine. I don’t always realize it at the time, but I end up seeing things later on when they are pointed out by readers or reviews, and have to laugh. Since this book is quite personal, I put a lot of my experience growing up into Titus, but I put more of my current views and experience into Angel. He’s happy with his flamboyant gayness and being who he is, out and proud, and he isn’t willing to compromise it for anyone. But he also has a lot of heart and understanding for what Titus is struggling with through the plot arch of the book. He knows that not everyone can be in the place he’s in, and he wants Titus to get there in his own time.
I think one of the things I adore about writing LGBT books is I can fight against some of the typical ingrained stereotypes people have about men. Sure, everyone loves a good alpha male book, or so sales would suggest, but there are also highly regarded books showing ‘feminine’ men are men too and that there is nothing wrong with those things. I want to show a full spectrum of men in my queer books, and Angel is just the beginning.

Title: Forsaken
Author: J.R. Gray
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 26, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 266
Reviewed by: Parvathy

Titus has lived and breathed religion his entire life, tucked away from the rest of the world in a compound in northern Wyoming. He’s destined to be the next leader of the church, deemed so by the Prophet.

God spoke and with His word He created. But God made a mistake. Titus isn’t worthy. He was born sick and it’s solidified when he rescues the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

Torn between fidelity to his faith or his soul, Titus must reconcile the two parts of himself before he’s discovered hiding among the chosen.

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“Is this okay?” Angel asked.

“Is what okay?” Titus had a hard time getting words out. He had a hard time making his brain function with Angel’s hands on him.

Angel laughed and scooted his body closer so their legs were pressed together. “Me touching you.”

“Yes,” his voice was unsteady.

“What about this?” Angel put his other hand on the side of Titus’ neck.

“Sure.” Titus swallowed past the lump in his throat, and was happy for the way he was sitting, because he was as hard as he’d ever been in his entire life. Harder maybe.

“What about this,” Angel whispered over his lips and then brought them together.

This wasn’t like back at his workshop. Angel parted his lips, and used his tongue. Titus was left trying to keep up. As soon as he got the hang of something Angel would change it. He’d done a little necking with girls, but this was completely different. He hadn’t been turned on while kissing those girls. It was more like something to do just to try it, but this was heat and his entire body reacted. There wasn’t a part of him that wasn’t flushed and on fire.

Angel’s fingers slid around to the back of his neck and tightened, keeping Titus close. He grabbed Angel’s bicep, needing something to hold on to so he didn’t spin out of control. Angel seemed to like it, groaning into his mouth. It spurred Titus on. He wrapped his other arm around Angel’s back, desperate to feel more of him.

There was a fire demon inside him demanding more and he wanted nothing but to listen.

About J.R. Gray

When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it’s half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.

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