A big welcome today to J. Scott Coatsworth as part of his blog tour for Skythane
from Dreamspinner Press. When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
When I was 8 or 9. And pretty much right away. I remember writing the first page of a new story in 11th grade and taking it to my English teacher, confident she would shower me with praise.
She read it, looked up at me with a little smile, and said “It’s a good start.”
Talk about damning with faint praise. :)When did you start feeling at ease interacting with fans?
Um, when I start getting some? * grin * No, I do have a few, and I love them. They’re just people, after all. And for some strange reason, they’ve decided to like my work – as they say, there’s no accounting for tastes. :PWhere do you as an author draw the line on erotic content?
I’ve always believed that sex in a story should be there to further the plot. If it doesn’t, it’s out. And I tend to be a fade-to-black writer, not because I’m a prude, but because graphic sex scenes don’t usually forward the story I am telling.
That said, it also depends on the audience. If I am writing more on the romance side, sure, there may be some (short) sex scenes. More on the sci fi side? There may be no sex at all.Where do you like to write?
It varies. Most of the time, either at my desk, or if I need fewer distractions, in the bedroom, hanging out in bed. But I also sometimes go to Peets Coffee with Mark where I write and he beta reads. It’s nice to get out of the house sometimes.Would you visit the future or the past?
The future. I’ve always been a bit annoyed that we only get a hundred years or so (maybe less) to be a part of the story. I want to see what comes next. I tell Mark I want to live forever, and he shakes his head, muttering something about old age and disease. But I do. I wanna see where we go from here.
My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Length: 85K, 244 pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 2/17/17
Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi
Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.
Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.
Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.
Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.
Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.
His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.
The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.
A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….
He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.
Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.
The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.
For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.
When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.
“You’re still here.”
“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.
Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.
The man frowned. “I thought—”
“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”
The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.I really have become a bastard
, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.
He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”
Dreamspinner - eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8154-b
Dreamspinner - paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8155-b
Amazon - kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Skythane-J-Scott-Coatsworth-ebook/dp/B01MUF8D9G/
Amazon - paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Skythane-J-Coatsworth/dp/1635334039/
Barnes & Noble – paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/skythane-j-scott-coatsworth/1125557133?ean=9781635334036
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him "the only one stopping you from writing is you."
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories - some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com
) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.
I love science fiction and have been reading it for years, and I think Skythane
is a great addition to the genre.
The world building is detailed, not just with the descriptions of the world, but in its rich history. I felt as though I was stepping into a fully formed world when I began reading. The world is also a complex one, with Oberon’s inhabitants consisting of its original colonists who evolved into the Skythane, those who came afterward, and a hint of at least one race which is very definitely other. As the story progresses, the world building expands still further as an impending disaster reveals a secret only known to a few. I enjoyed this part of the plot, and that the story was far more than the heroes getting together, overthrowing bad guys and getting their HEA. Reading Skythane
reminded me of peeling an onion—each layer reveals more depth, both to the story and the characters.
Kudos to the author for his naming of planets—nicely done and very apt, especially considering what happens. The hints from Midsummer Night’s Dream
made me smile, and then nod with an exclaimed ‘of course!’ when the [sorry, spoiler] is revealed.
Although I always appreciate good world building, what really sucks me into a story is its characters. I became invested in Jameson and Xander very quickly, and not just because I wanted them to get together, but because I loved the way they grew and developed in the course of the story. I liked the way the author showed the metamorphosis into fully fledged Skythane and that it wasn’t just about sprouting wings and instantly gaining full control of them and being able to fly. Having to learn how to use them, and grow into the ability quite literally, and the physical issues that came with that, was very realistically written.
I also enjoy reading about strong female characters in my MM books, and Quince had her own detailed back story, difficult decisions to make, and nicely segued from past to present, providing the links between the two. Morgan was also a very interesting character, and although I would have liked to have seen more of him I thought the explanation worked well. Given his role in the story, suddenly having an information dump, or everything revealed, rather than have the other characters figure out who, and what, they think he is would have taken away from why he was there. Heroes can’t know everything with certainty or they get boring really fast, and these guys still have a long road ahead of them. Although Skythane
gives them a satisfying HFN, and brings this part of the story to a close, it is far from over, and I really hope there will be a book 2 as I definitely want to read it.
I’d recommend Skythane
to readers who like science fiction with complex plots and world building, engaging three dimensional characters, and a story that is difficult to put down. 5 out of 5 stars.