Hey guys look who I found hanging around today!!!
T: Good Morning JD thank you for joining me this morning. Hopefully you coffee is to your liking.
JD: Hi again, Teresa. Thanks so much for having me back. And yes, the coffee is dark and plentiful so I couldn’t be happier.
T: Since we pretty much stuck to PG last time, I promise I’ll ask a few more NC17 questions just to let the readers get a since of you and your writing.
JD: That sounds fair, though I can’t promise where the answers may veer 😉
T: Last time we spoke you said “I want to do something different and help expose overlooked beauty.” What overlooked beauty do you want to expose?
JD: I suppose in a way, even I don’t know that until it’s found. As someone who has spent significant time behind a camera lens as well as a pen, I can definitely say that the notion of beauty is all about perspective. It’s in the young and perfect as well as the old and crumbling. Beauty is character, and vice versa. Yet we as a culture seem scared to explore that character. We look to others for guidance and embrace only that which won’t rock the boat among those from who we most desperately seek acceptance. We’ve become a culture of safety and apprehension, and in so doing we’ve allowed ourselves to overlook the scars while dashing madly for perfection. To me, that’s a terrible shame because it’s only in the darkened corners we’re most afraid to look where we find the most stunning truths.
I think it’s important though, to distinguish between the scars we collect in life and the drama some create from whole cloth. As I see it, each of us is the culmination of everything life makes us, but not necessarily of what we make life out to be. Show me someone who has weathered the scars and still looks brightly on life, and I’ll show you overlooked beauty.
T: As we know Hemingway is your favorite author, so who is your least favorite? Why?
JD: Now you’re just trying to trap me. 😉 I have trouble naming names because that inherently makes me sound petty. That said, there are quite a few scribblers out there who I have trouble calling “authors.” We all have the gifts we were born with, and most of us do anything we can to sharpen and hone them further. But it’s the ones who raid the profession in search of the quick buck that drive me crazy.
I believe anyone can learn to become a compelling writer, whether they’re naturally “gifted” or not. So when someone doesn’t bother to be their best and settles instead for publishing incoherent drivel that lowers expectations rather than raising them, that disappoints me on a personal level.
T: What has been your most difficult writing experience? Why?
JD: Honestly, every project I’ve undertaken has come with its share of unique insanity. That’s what makes it so much fun! If I had to choose one project, though, I would probably have to go with an upcoming novel that really took a lot out of me. I’m sure you could easily categorize it into about a dozen different genres—which means it doesn’t particularly fit into any of them—and weaving so many elements together has been an epic exercise in humility.
The thing is, you come to love your characters and learn their flaws and charms just as they learn yours. When you reach the end of a serious project and fear you haven’t done them justice, you take it very personally. Or at least I do. Until they’re happy with their treatment, I’m not happy. That’s a double-edged sword because it keeps driving me to improve but wow, what an exhausting ride. 🙂
T: Out of all the different hats you’ve worn which is your favorite?
JD: This one, without a doubt. Being an author lets me wear as many hats as I want, and however I damn well want to. I get to create new realities with every turn of the page, but even better that that I get to fix the mistakes I’ve made in this one and get all the payback I’ve ever wanted. I get to fall in love and wallow in sadness and erupt with rage on a daily basis, and I don’t even need a therapist! At least I don’t think I do…
T: How do your characters speak to do? When do they normally ask for attention?
JD: My characters know the best time to grab my attention is just as I’m settling into bed and really need some sleep. And it’s not just the ones I’m actively involved with either. Now and then, an older “friend” will pop up just to spark new ideas.
T: Are there any characters you want to revisit?
JD: Absolutely, there are. Right now, I would probably have to choose Chef Marco and Jess from “Food Lust”. Something about the way their chemistry flared despite their wealth of differences makes me so curious to explore with them further. I really want to see what they’re capable of now that the groundwork is set and their competitive fires so evenly matched.
T: Some authors have “certain times” they like to write, what about you?
JD: I would love to be that guy who writes well into the night and sometimes I do try, but I find my productivity drops steeply around mid-afternoon. If I haven’t hammered out a scene by then, I generally acquiesce and just play it in my mind until I can attack it properly the next morning.
T: Where all have you traveled? Most intriguing place you’ve had sex out of those places?
JD: I might bore your readers with a list of all the places I’ve traveled, but I’ve done my best to take a little something amazing from every last visit. As for the latter, I’m not sure anything could ever top a candle-light encounter on a breezy Brooklyn rooftop with a crystal clear view of Manhattan. But then, I’m not done trying. 😉
T: I know you do charity work. What is it that speaks to you about helping others?
JD: That’s a great question. Is it possible to be selfish in an unselfish way? I don’t know exactly what it is about helping others, but it’s always been a part of who I am. I really don’t feel complete without it. I don’t want the gratitude and certainly not the accolades, but something about the knowledge you’ve made another life better makes it feel like real change is possible. And given the problems we’re facing lately, I think that’s something we sorely need. Less preaching about our virtues and more showing them through our actions.
Even the Crimson Confessions, if you read them a little more deeply, are about so much more than sex. They’re about connections and all the remarkable potential that can come from them, if only we open ourselves to the prospect. That’s not a matter of promiscuity; it’s a matter of reclaiming our nature from those people out there who live to sit in judgment. It’s about taking one small step both for our own benefit and maybe to embolden someone else to do the same.
T: Who’s your favorite Jazz artist? Why?
JD: How are we defining jazz right now? Anyone who knows me knows what a fan I am of Sinatra, but my New Orleans side groans when I say that. That isn’t true jazz, is it, as much as I admire the artist. I love Louis & Ella, Miles Davis, maybe even Marsalis—those guys who could tear up the improv and play it like jazz is supposed to be played. Raw, loose, even sensual in the intimate way it connects with a crowd to create a one-of-a-kind experience. If we’re talking about the modern-day songbirds, however, I’ll choose Jane Monheit every time. Something about her voice hits me deeper than anyone out there today. If you haven’t heard her sing, you should really give her a try.
T: Food is a huge influence for you, what food is your go to when getting in the mood?
JD: Sweetheart, it’ll be a cold day in NOLA when you find me not in the mood! That said, you’re right, food and drink can both be big influences on the moment. For me, though, it’s not really about a certain meal or type of food. The point is the sensuality of sensation. If done right, taste and smell can be an extension of the same sensory experience ignited during sex. It’s all about playing the senses to orgasmic heights, is it not? The drizzle of warm chocolate as it slides over the skin, and the taste of it mingled with your lover. The trickling juice of freshly-cut berries between you and the new adventure each wandering drop invites.
And then there’s the high octane foreplay of simply preparing a meal together. Learning to navigate each other as you work a kitchen in tandem. Stealing that extra touch and hoping they steal one back. Hand-feeding each other ingredients and sips of wine. Wildly adult food fights. I think it’s really about trying something new and mixing experiences that less adventurous types would tell you should stay separate. Think back on every person who ever told you not to play with your food. Now be honest, how many of them would you consider highly sexual beings? I rest my case.
T: Well JD that’s all I have for you today. Hopefully since I behaved, sort of, and you got my sweet side, you’ll come back and let me torture you a bit more? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.
JD: Thanks for letting me stop by and hang out. Name the time and I’ll be here for Round Three. I’ve got a couple exciting projects in the works that I’d love to share!
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Xtina Marie said:
great interview, JD and Teresa! <3
Thanks. I had fun doing it.