Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: M. Jay Williams has had a wide range of job in his lifetime. Started out as a waiter, advanced to cook, then manager of the restaurant. He’s worked as a flight attendant for TWA back in the day. Did general construction work, before specializing in Drywalling and painting. Volunteered at the ARC in their disaster action team. He is currently retired. When he is not reading or writing, he’s working out at the gym, running a million errands, doing what he can to keep the household running smoothly for him and his husband. He and his husband enjoy going out to eat, taking in the latest flick, traveling, binging shows on Amazon, and Netflix. M. Jay Williams and his husband live in New Haven, Connecticut. His website is https://mjaywilliams.com/, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mjay.williams.52/.
Thanks so much, Jay, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How long have you been writing?
M. Jay Williams: I have been journaling since September of 1980. It’s something I still do to this day. I have been writing short guilty pleasure stories, which I’ve never shown anyone, since the late 80’s. I didn’t take writing seriously, until 2008 when I saw the potential for the story in my head to actually become a book. From that point on, I have continued to write.
JSC: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
MJW: I would tell him to write more, and don’t doubt his abilities. He should take those guilty pleasure stories he writes more seriously. They could be fleshed out and turned into books if he put his mind to it. And I would advise him to write a book sooner rather than waiting until he is in his mid-forties to start that endeavor.
JSC: Name the book you like most among all you’ve written, and tell us why.
MJW: I would have to say my favorite book from the Hallowed Bloodline series would have to be “Us vs. Them.” Although it was the second in the series, it was actually the first book I had written. After learning about the Mystic Massacre, that happened here in my home state of Connecticut, I became obsessed with learning all I could about the subject. That led me to ask myself if I could go back to 1637 and change the plight of the Pequot Indians, would I? Should I? The question stuck with me for many years. As I learned more and more about the atrocity I was consumed with, what if, which led to the premise of the book “Us vs. Them”.
JSC: What does success mean to you?
MJW: Success for me would be to see one of my books in a mainstream store like Barnes and Noble, Target, or anywhere books are sold. My goal was never to become a famous author or even get rich off of my writing. I think the chances of being struck by lightning is more likely than that happening. But, my don’t dare to dream fantasy would be for one of my book series to become a TV series or something of that nature. Long shot, I know, but I would be satisfied with just seeing my book on a shelf inside of a brick and mortar store.
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in The Hallowed Bloodline: The Omega, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
MJW: The latter three books in the series see a change in paradigm. Instead of the witches being in the foreground and the weres being relegated to the background I decided to bring the werewolves and the werecats to the foreground. My goal with “The Omega,” was to spotlight Krish’s struggle as a reluctant werewolf whose lycanthropy was beginning to manifest. I wanted to show how fearful he felt with the onset of each full moon. Most stories involving werewolves, the Lycan seems to have his act together. He might not like killing humans and makes a conscious decision to prey on animals instead, but usually they know what they are and are resigned to their fate. I wrote Krish as a self-loathing Lycan, who is fighting like hell to keep his rather mundane life. All he wants is to complete college and keep a low profile. I think I did alright with fleshing out Krish’s fear of accidently killing a human. I believe the reader will sympathize with Krish as he struggles to manage his condition.
JSC: Who has been your favorite character to write and why?
MJW: Matthew was my favorite character. He, like Krish, didn’t choose to become a supernatural creature. He started as a witch and was accidently bitten. The creature that bit Matthew was a tribrid. A witch, werewolf, werecat creature. Matthew, however, came to terms with becoming a new species rather quickly and has accepted it wholeheartedly. As a tribrid he was stronger than any other creature around and he enjoyed using his powers. He didn’t have the internal struggles that Krish had. Matthew was confident and powerful. He was a joy to write.
JSC: What was the first book that made you cry?
MJW: The first book to make me cry was, “They Both Died in the End,” by Adam Silvera. That’s just a tribute to his great writing skills. I went in knowing that these boys were going to die and it was still an emotional hit when it happened.
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
MJW: Kill Joseph, Fuck Krish, Marry Matthew. I’d have to Kill Joseph to get to Krish. Joseph was the one who sired Krish and he has a legitimate claim to him. I’d want to fuck Krish because I think he’s absolutely adorable. He’s young, handsome, and sexy as all hell, but I’d want to marry Matthew because he is strong and confident and is someone whom you can rely on. Matthew has a good sense of humor and a pleasant disposition, and it doesn’t hurt that he is also sexy as all get out.
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
MJW: I’d like to visit the past. I’d like to see Connecticut in the year 1636. That’s the year my characters in “Us vs. Them” went back to. I had the 17th century indigenous characters speak in the Old Modern English dialect. The 21stcentury men had to learn how to talk with the Puritans using their ancient language. I’d like to see how accurate I was using that out dated manner of speech. I researched the subject thoroughly, learning the grammatical rules, but the language rang strange to my modern ears. I would love the opportunity to listen in on an actual conversation between two 17th century people to check the accuracy of my interpretation of the language.
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
MJW: I’m working on a new book series. The Ham and Echo series. Two men who were best friends since the age of 10. They have recently discovered they have sexual feelings for each other. The book is set in Minnesota 1975. Ham is the communications officer on the Gordon Lighton, a cargo ship running iron ore across lake superior. Echo, finds himself aimless as he struggles with PTSD from the Vietnam war along with anger management issues. Echo is without a job at the moment and in true fashion, Ham secures him a job on the Gordon Lighton as a cook. Their relationship blossoms and intensifies with each voyage they work together. Echo inadvertently stumbles onto a dark mystery involving one of the crewmen on the Gordon Lighton. He informs Ham at once and the shit hits the fan from there. “Ham and Echo onboard the Gordon Lighton,” and “Ham and Echo’s encounter with the Kitchi Mizhe” are currently being worked on. This gives my readers the opportunity to read the final book in the Hallowed Bloodline series, “Battlelines,” which is now available on Amazon.
And now for Jay’s latest book: The Hallowed Bloodlines: The Omega:
The Omega is an exciting M/M erotic thriller about werewolves, witches, and other supes.
Krish Butala believed himself to be the typical college student until his latent werewolf abilities unexpectedly manifested. This came as a big surprise since he was bitten nearly two years ago, and nothing has happened to him in all that time. Krish has to learn how to navigate through his new life without a pack.
After accidentally killing a fellow college student, Krish has to figure out how to cover up the murder. He is grateful for all the help Tyler Turner, his roommate has given him, but he isn’t entirely sure he can trust Tyler, seeing that he is a witch. Tyler’s brother Derek and the rest of the witch community don’t trust Krish, and they’re keeping a close eye on him, which makes being a nascent werewolf that much harder.
Krish is plagued with haunting, vividly sexual dreams of Josef, his progenitor, which leaves him questioning his decision to leave the pack. Krish is surprised to find help in the most unlikely of places. An elder werewolf named Luther from another pack. Luther helps Krish and promises to protect him. But at what cost? Krish has to figure out who he can trust and find his path on his own.
“I think you’re a werewolf.” Tyler alleged and stared at him unblinkingly.
“I’m not a werewolf!” Krish snapped and pounded his fist on the tabletop. He was tired of Tyler implying that he was a Lycan. To Krish, just the thought of it was an insult.
Tyler ignored Krish’s little outburst. “Okay, okay.” Tyler relented, and he raised his hands and shook his head. “We can put this whole thing to rest tonight. There is a full moon tonight.” He reported evenly. Tyler sat back in the chair and watched his friend pout. “If you were ever going to change into a werewolf, this would be the night.”
“It’s been two years since Josef bit me, and I haven’t turned. Don’t you think I would have turned by now?” Krish demanded. He pushed himself away from the table, stormed over to the refrigerator, and opened the door.
“Wow,” Tyler pursed his lips, threw his head back, and then let out a sigh. “We both saw what happened to you the day we hiked. You can’t dismiss the facts, Krish.” Tyler declared to Krish’s back. He spoke softly because he wasn’t trying to pick a fight. Tyler knew how Krish felt about werewolves, but Tyler believed in facing a problem head-on. “Maybe that was the trigger?”
“Yeah, like you’re a great authority on werewolves,” Krish huffed as he turned to look over his shoulder at Tyler. He was getting tired of this same old argument. They both swore that if nothing happened tonight, Tyler would drop the subject forever. That was the only reason Krish agreed to stay in the cabin tonight.
“I think I know a thing or two about werewolves, especially after what happened to my dad.” Tyler snapped, then took a beat. He knew that had nothing to do with Krish. Tyler slowly stood and looked down at his feet. “Listen, I’m just trying to protect you, Krish. Could you imagine if Richard found out? He would go ballistic.” Tyler postulated.
“Find out! There’s nothing to find out. They all agreed that I was normal and not a threat to anyone. Don’t worry so much, Ty.” Krish warned as he closed the refrigerator door and leaned his back against it.
“I do worry. We are starting to get our lives on track. We graduate in June. We got our lives ahead of us, and I don’t want anything to derail us.” Tyler retorted to Krish. He wished Krish understood that he was speaking from a place of love and wasn’t judging him, nor was he accusing Krish of anything nefarious. He didn’t understand why Krish was taking this so personally.
“Nothing is gonna happen, Ty. I won’t let it. I promise.” Krish offered. He went to Tyler, put his hand on his shoulder, and squeezed it before smirking at him. “I’ll let you lock me in the basement if that will put your mind at ease. Will that settle your mind?” He gave Tyler a smile that melted his heart.
Tyler nodded and pursed his thin lips together. “I don’t understand how you can be so casual about this. I would be terrified.” Tyler admitted.
“I didn’t turn,” Krish demanded. “I didn’t turn then like I couldn’t turn for Josef. I am a failure of a werewolf, so can we please drop this.” Krish begged, turned, and plopped back down into the wooden chair.