We’re so pleased to welcome author Jon Michaelsen today, on the tour for his newest release, Prince of the Sea. Jon’s friend Mark McNease conducted a short interview, so enjoy, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.
Hello everyone! Thank you, Lisa, for providing me this wonderful opportunity to chat a little about my newest release, PRINCE of the SEA. But instead of me rambling on, I thought a wonderful way to share more details about the novella is to have an author friend who has read it, Mark McNease, author of the Kyle Callahan Mysteries, ask a few detailed questions related to the story. First the questions, then the blurb follows:
5 Questions for Jon Michaelsen about ‘Prince of the Sea’
1 – MM: ‘Prince of the Sea’ is described as a paranormal romance. What inspired you to write in that genre?
JM: I started penning stories early in life, but didn’t seriously consider getting them published until six years ago. Everything I’ve published to date has included a mystery or suspense/thriller theme with gay protagonists, sometimes interwoven with a little romance. Ironically, paranormal romance was never a genre I considered writing until a story began rumbling around in my thoughts a few years ago. I was spending a lot of time on the road alone traveling between Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida, where my family lives close to the beach, visiting with my ailing grandmother. Being near the water was cathartic and inspiring, and after numerous road-trips, I’d worked through the story arc in my head. Eventually, I sat down to write the story following my grandmother’s death. In fact, Frances La Roche, the cantankerous old woman with a heart of gold featured in the story, is loosely based on my grandmother. I consider the story paranormal romance versus m/m romance because it doesn’t necessarily follow the standard tropes of m/m and I don’t want anyone to come away disappointed thinking they’re getting something different. Of course, I had to throw a little mystery, suspense/thriller theme in, but the story does have a “HFN” ending.
2 – MM: What came first for you – the story of the characters, or the story of Tybee Island? If they were symbiotic, how did they develop together?
JM: Tybee Island came first. In fact I went to a college in southern Georgia a couple hours from the coast, and spent many weekends on the shores of Tybee, which is about ten minutes east of Savannah. The island was very laid back and to this day undisturbed by over commercialization. The setting is symbolic as perhaps the only place in this country where such a story might happen. I’ve always wanted to feature the island as a setting, so when the idea for Prince of the Sea came to me, I knew that I could capture the essence of the quaint beach town from personal experience.
3 – MM: How did Tybee Island (and its secrets) inspire you?
JM: Featuring Tybee Island in a story one day came from my love of the unspoiled coastal community. It’s such a quiet, magical islet which still holds a special place in my after all these years. Its secrets are of my own imagination, as is the subtle paranormal element of the story. However, the beautiful scenery, narrow streets, lighthouse, breakwater and giant pier are very real and integral to both the island and the story.
4 – MM: ‘Prince of the Sea’ is a novella. Was that a deliberate decision? Why a novella, as opposed to a novel?
JM: I’d first imagined the tale as a short story, but after several revisions, there seemed to be more about the characters to flush out and thus the novella length. There is definitely room for more expansion of the story, and I already have an idea for a sequel.
5 – MM: I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending is hopeful. Did you plan that? And what did you learn from writing a paranormal romance?
JM: From the beginning, I envisioned the ending as originally written, with no intention of elaborating. However, as time has passed since I first wrote the story, I’ve perceived an idea for a sequel, so who knows. There most definitely could be more of Jonathan and Lucius to come.
Blurb: Can a broken heart find love at the bottom of the ocean?
Jonathan Lemke’s ten-year relationship has hit the skids. In a last ditch effort to salvage their partnership, to rekindle the passion they once shared together, he rents a beach house on the southern Georgia coast on a tiny island known as Tybee, a community that happens to be his birthplace that he’s not visited in over twenty years. A vacation, he thought would provide two weeks of paradise away from demanding careers and purge the longing he’d felt for more than a year now to return to his hometown.
But, the romantic surprise backfires and he soon finds himself alone when Paul chooses his career over Jonathan and rushes off to Chicago to woo a high-profile client, leaving Jonathan brokenhearted and alone. Dulling his pain with alcohol while sulking on the porch of the cottage facing the sea, Jonathan spots a swimmer, his head bobbing in the water. The man appears in trouble and fighting to stay above the surface, apparently caught in the riptide…
Jonathan races to the water’s edge. Shedding his shirt, shoes and slacks, diving headlong into the churning waves to offer aid, he too becomes entrapped the prevailing undertow. Battling to reach the surface, he soon tires and begins to lose consciousness, but not before something large and powerful slams into him from behind.
When he comes to, Jonathan realizes he’s surrounded by frantic beachcombers pulling him back from the water’s edge. How did he get to shore? What slammed into him and caused the “whoosh” sensation he felt before blacking out?
And what happened to the man struggling in the water?