My guest today is Hans Hirschi who has very kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his latest release Jonathan’s Promise. Don’t forget to scroll down for the rest of the blog tour schedule, excerpts and a link to a very generous Rafflecopter giveaway! But first the interview.
The first time I interviewed you was in 2013 just before the release of your first published novel. Has your writing process changed much since then?
First, thank you Elin, for hosting me again. The most accurate answer would probably be a cautious yes. When I wrote Family Ties, quickly followed by Jonathan’s Hope, all in the space of five weeks, I had no idea what I was doing, what the whole writing process in the literary space was like. I had only written non-fiction prior to that date. So from a “crafts” process, I’ve learned a lot, from my editors, my publisher.
My writing process, in terms of the artistic aspects is still largely the same. Yes, I may plot a little bit more from a conscious point of view, e.g. knowing from the get go how Jonathan’s Promise would end. However, I still begin with an image in my mind and let the characters run with it, and I’m still the first reader seeing the story unfold in front of my eyes, with all that entails in terms of laughter, sorrow and the odd surprise I wasn’t prepared for.
How do you sustain the same tone for a character from book to book, especially when taking time off between to write other stories?
I hadn’t even considered this, honestly. First of all, I don’t write series, so Jonathan’s Promise was never even on the radar. When the boys came back, and I finally gave in and began to write, I was challenged with a timing question: when do I return? Do I return to a time after Jonathan’s father’s funeral (the end of the story), or do I return to the end of the book, after the epilogue, which is sixty years later. In the end, I did the latter, and the Jonathan’s Promise picks up around the time of the epilogue, so Jonathan is an old man, no longer an eighteen year old. So, to finally answer your question, it wasn’t a big thing, old men don’t really speak like their young selves, but to make sure I used the same terms of endearment within the couple’s conversations etc. I made sure to re-read Jonathan’s Hope. Turns out, my subconscious has a much better memory than my conscious mind does.
Now you are established in the genre do you have any advice for new writers? Is there any thing you wish that someone had told you?
There are a lot of things I wish I had known back then. I write gay fiction with a genre I’d call LGBT fiction, where the vast majority of people write gay romance. I usually feel like something the cat’s dragged in. However, even as someone who doesn’t write romance novels, I’ve been very warmly accepted by my peers, and I’m really grateful for that reception. I would’ve loved to have known about all those conventions back in 2013. I didn’t learn “that” lesson until a year later, and I missed out, because I’ve come to understand that much of a writer’s success in the industry lies in old-fashioned mouth-to-mouth propaganda, recommendations. And the readers who we meet at cons, the ones we form relationships with and with whom we communicate on social media in between the cons, they have huge networks and influence many people around them. I lost a good year there. Then again, I didn’t know what animal I was, and I had no real clue about what was out there, even though I had read a lot of books. I just didn’t connect the dots. Talking to colleagues has helped. So that would be my tip: talk to colleagues in the industry. It’s been my experience that authors are extremely helpful creatures! 🙂
What are you working on now? Can you tell us a bit about it?
I don’t have a WIP right now. I just sent a manuscript to one of my editors, a collection of LGBT shorts, very literary. We’ll see how I use those stories. The next project are my cons. After every book release, there’s lots of marketing work, and Jonathan’s Promise will be followed by Jonathan’s Legacy in the fall, the final piece in this unexpected trilogy. Once my publisher sends me back the edits, my work starts again, going through those and cleaning it up for publication. I have no writing plans right now, which is “odd”, but I tick differently than most others. I need to clean my head from an ongoing project before I can focus on something else. Once an image pops up, I’ll know if it holds up for a novel…
Can we have an excerpt please?
Sure. This scene shows us a glimpse of Jonathan’s “morning routine”. It doesn’t give away too much of the plot. After all, I want you to read it! 😉
“Jonathan woke up early the next morning. Outside, the night had not yet given up its daily rule, clinging on for all it had, growing stronger with the approaching winter solstice. Jonathan looked at his watch. Six a.m.? If only I could sleep a little longer. He got up and went through to the large en suite bathroom to relieve himself. He had to smile inwardly as he thought about how his body was falling apart for every year he got older. Even peeing was becoming a bit of a challenge, and he had to get up more than once during the night, feeling as if he’d drunk a couple of pints of beer. It’s just not fair.
But it was what it was, and there was nothing he could do. At least he didn’t have prostate troubles the way Dan had. Thankful for small mercies, eh? He looked up at the ceiling, shaking the last drops from his dick before flushing the toilet and washing his hands. He put on a robe and walked slowly downstairs to the kitchen. Coffee! I need coffee.”
Excerpt From: Hans M Hirschi. “Jonathan’s Promise.” iBooks.
TITLE: Jonathan’s Promise
Trilogy: Book Two
Hans M. Hirschi
ARTIST: Natasha Snow
DATE: March 31, 2016
Jonathan made Dan a promise – a promise that will affect the remainder of his
life. But what does he have left to live for?
Parker and his fiancé Cody move in with him, the three of them embark on a
journey to shed light on Dan’s roots.
to Jonathan’s Hope, Jonathan’s Promise deals with aging and the ultimate
consequences of wedding vows. Are we entitled to a second shot at happiness?
When is ‘for worse’ too much to handle?
Jonathan’s Legacy (Book 3)
need your strength for tomorrow.”
worth it, Jon…” Dan started to cough. Jonathan rose from his chair at his
husband’s bedside to offer him some water, gently lifting and holding Dan’s
head while he took down the cool, soothing liquid.
eased, Dan patted Jonathan’s hand. He waited until Jonathan was seated before
he spoke further. “Thanks. I’m old, hon. And I’m tired. I’ve lived a long and
rich life, and you know what the doctor said. There’s only a very small chance
the surgery will help. The tumor’s already metastasized, and even with chemo
I’ll die sooner rather than later. Maybe it’s better to just get it over with.”
tumbling forward in his despair. His head came to a rest on his husband’s
chest. They’d been a couple for so many years―six decades. How would he go on without
Dan’s strength? How could he survive without the man who’d saved his life?
me. I need you now, probably more than ever. I need to know you’ll stay strong
for the kids. They need you.”
slur and his eyes closed. Even talking took so much effort. When he was sure
Dan was asleep, Jonathan left their bedroom and went downstairs, out to the back
patio, where he left the crisp, fresh fall air to dry the tears on his face. He
was tired, too. Dan’s cancer had come back. They’d thought he’d beaten it, but
the last screening showed the dark shadows in his bones and his lungs. After
three years of clear results, it had come completely out of the blue, and the doctor
said that it had also spread to other areas of the body.
That was just a few days
ago, and Dan had accepted the news with equanimity. He had made peace with
himself and the world around him when the cancer had first been diagnosed in his
prostate. Back then, there was still a sparkle in Dan’s eyes, a determination
to fight this, a will to survive. But at ninety years of age, Dan was tired,
and Jonathan knew―or rather he felt―that his husband was done. And he
understood, but that did not diminish the pain, the despair. Yes, he’d be
strong for the kids, the grandkids, but who’d look after him? Who’d make sure
WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER ON YOUTUBE!!
Prize: $50 Amazon GC
Runner Up Prize: 5 e-copies of Jonathan’s
Promise (Book 2) / Jonathan’s Hope (Book 1) – Winner’s Choice