1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?
Paperback and eBook.
2. Pick a genre, any genre!
MM romance with erotica, but all queer books can pour to me! I like my books with a good load of spice.
3. What is the first book you remember reading?
A kid’s book about a dolphin. I couldn’t read properly in French yet, so I remember mostly the pictures and me trying to read the words.
4. What book shaped your childhood most?
Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series.
5. When did you first start writing?
I started early, when I was around 10 years old, then wrote poems and short stories, and Star Wars fan fiction as a teen. It all stopped then in my twenties at university where I had to write a lot to get my degree (I have a Master’s in French Language and Literature). There was a long pause then, and I picked writing up again in 2019 when I started writing Fall (so nearly 25 years after…).
6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?
I have an imagination painting pictures and playing films in my head. One day, a scene appeared, a man walking down a spiral staircase from a tower in a castle, so I wrote it down as a short. That was my first WIP which stopped at Book 3. Still sitting and waiting for me to pick it up. It’s a heavily erotic fantasy featuring dragons.
7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?
I am quite proud of Fall, the first ever novel I finished and published. It is an unconventional MM romance, a big love story between a med student and a trapeze artist. I’m also proud of my yet unpublished Ancient Rome trilogy (which started out as a short story!).
8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?
Yes, I self-published Fall in March 2021.
9. How many books/collections have you published so far?
Just Fall, but I am planning on publishing the next one in 2022.
10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?
I write MM romance laced with erotica, as I like to call it, but the settings vary from contemporary, to Ancient Rome, to fantasy and sci-fi. This is my main genre.
My latest WIP is a bi, polyamorous, erotic fantasy romance though.
11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?
Yes, I do. For Fall, I spent a lot of time researching circus life, trapeze artists, doctors, internship, garbage collectors, homelessness…
It is the same for my other WIPs, even if I know that there is just so much I can do. My works are fiction after all, so I might not be totally truthful to real life.
I did an insane amount of research for my Ancient Rome trilogy, even if it is just the setting, and the emperor is also fictitious, I made sure that the setting corresponded loosely to the empire under Trajan’s reign. But the books are the epic love story between my MCs, a Roman general and his slave, first, so it is not historical fiction, but rather a romance set in my semi-fictitious Ancient Rome setting.
12. To plan, or not to plan your plot?
I don’t plan at all. I set off with the vision of the first scene which appears in my head, and the “movie” is rolling from then on until my characters are willing to play. Sometimes, they stop, and I have to wait, or pick another WIP up. I have some WIPs who’ve been idle for years like this.
13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?
I chose self-publishing, and this after having read countless articles comparing both routes. To me, choosing self-publishing is evident. I work in tech as my day job, I love innovation and making things move, and I firmly believe that self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity and will eventually break down the walls of traditional publishing. I wanted to be fully in control of my works, and I am passed the age of dealing with gatekeepers or change my way of writing and my works to fit a mold set up by people who claim to be “professionals” and have the power to close doors to talented authors. I plan to stick with self-publishing, as I am also busy with my day work, it allows me to set my pace for publishing, and allows me to be fully in control of what I let out of my hands. I am also passionate about defending self-published authors who are accused of churning out garbage. There may be some books of lesser quality out there, but it’s not the majority, and even those books will find their readers. I put a lot of time, effort, and some money in my books, so that they come out the best possible. They may have errors (despite editing and betas), they may not suit every reader, but they are my work of the heart, director’s cut, as I like to call them. For example, I finished Fall in 2020 and published only a year later, that’s how long it took to perfect it.
14. If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)
Middle Earth would suit me. I love adventure and horse riding. Rohan would be my place or the White City.
15. Do you currently have a WIP?
I have several in various stages of completion, and I’m writing one now.
16. Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.
I have many, but most possibly the dearest to my heart is Doug, the trapeze artist from Fall. Unwillingly, I put a lot of myself in him. I could even say Doug is the guy who lives in me.
17. What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?
Definitely my Ancient Rome trilogy. Dark, gritty, and raw, it also has a huge love story arc, and character developments. My beta reader who is reading it wrote to me last day and said that he hated my MC, Marius, but realized after a month of digesting Book 1 that Marius is actually the most complex character he has ever read and that no other book has done to him. I was in tears. Those three books, between 300 and 400 pages each, are so far my greatest achievement.
I am thrilled as I have another beta reader now, so I’m hoping to progress towards publishing the books in 2022.
18. Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!
Yes, all my MCs are obviously in love at some stage of the story, some faster than others. I love Jake and Doug’s ever-consuming, tender love, but also the enemies to lovers, darker and harder love in my upcoming book. All the romances are a bit different in my books, and all are lovable in their own way.
19. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.
Yes, I do. The music I listen to will depend on the book I write. For Fall, the song is LP’s Tightrope. It just fits the book perfectly. I also love listening to instrumental music.
20. Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)
No, not yet. I hope to have some art one day. I make mood boards on Canva of my characters, and sometimes play around on Artbreeder.
21. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Keep writing. Don’t get discouraged by what you read on the internet, and don’t allow it to stray you from your path. It is the hardest, when you are bombarded on all sides on social media, to stay true to your writing. Don’t think about what readers want to read, as you can’t satisfy and please everybody, rather, write from the heart, and your readers will find you. Even if it’s one reader, or just a few, they will come eventually and value your authentic writing.
22. Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!
I have entered Fall into the Swoonie Awards but don’t have high hopes, as there’s heavy traditional publishing rep there, but we’ll see how far it gets.
23. Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?
Classic ones I read young or during university: Bulgakov, Kazantzakis, Zola, Hugo, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Maupassant, Rice, just to cite a few.
Indies from twitter: Too many to count, but let me highlight Bjorn Larssen, Krystle Matar, Susan Hancock, L.V. Evans, Gabriel Hargrave, Travis Beaudoin, Chase Connor, Alistair Caradec, Dan Fitzgerald… and many more whom I love but haven’t gotten to their books yet (like a certain Rebecca Crunden…).
24. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!
All my links are here (social media and book related): Maxime Jaz | Linktree
You can best connect with me on twitter though where I’m most active (1) Maxime Jaz🏳️🌈 (@MaximeJaz) / Twitter
I am happy to connect and talk about books, and my book if you’ve read it.