Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Jude.
It's hard to believe that I am where I am today. I'm an older guy, and looking back on where I've come from and how I've grown and changed makes me wonder if there's any limit to what humans can do and become.
In my past lives I've been a university instructor, a composer of sacred music, manager of a team of graphic artists for a printing company, and editor of a set of magazines for pianists and organists.
Today I'm in love with writing fiction in between the cracks and crevices of my day job, which is editing and typesetting Catholic masses and textbooks for band directors.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I'm actually a nine-and-a-half-year-old boy trapped in an adult body. But once you meet me, you’ll quickly discover that's totally accurate.
When did you start writing? Is it something you've always been interested in or did it develop later in life?
I spent years composing sacred music for protestant churches. Writing the non-fiction that went along with that was a utilitarian task. It didn't occur to me to try my hand at writing fiction until I discovered and fell into fanfiction a few years ago. Much if not most fanfiction is heartfelt and bad. It didn't take me long to realize I could write at least as well as what I read online in forums and on mailing lists.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
My work as a musician and editor prepared me for the demands of writing fiction. I came to telling stories already understanding the solitary nature of the task as well as the mechanics of the publishing business.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
Relieved. I knew what it was like to have my work as a composer rejected and accepted. My first few submissions as an author were rejected. When the first one was accepted, I breathed a sigh of relief. The idea that someone besides me thought my work was worth not only reading but also putting money into filled me with light and joy and energy. I immediately returned to my noise-canceling earbuds and the soft glow of my iPad to work on my next novel with a renewed commitment to sharing my work.
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
Telling the story. I cannot do that until I know how a story will end, and that means thinking, planning, plotting, and doing a lot of research. Once I know what I want to say and why, then I can actually say it. It's pure joy punctuated by sharp left turns into dark corners I had no idea my characters would take me into—and which are devilishly hard to extricate myself from.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
Not nearly enough. The top of my stack of books to devour is far above Cloudland. I've resorted to audio and e-books, formats I never thought I'd turn to. Paper in the hand feels so good. There's something about it that provokes thoughts I don't have when swiping a screen or listening to a narrator. But I’ve adapted.
That said, I'm still an SF fan through and through. I've read all of Heinlein and Asimov. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is superb, and I'm psyched about seeing the movie just out. If the trailers are any indication, Hollywood seems not to have ruined it, as so often happens with good books. Add Tolkien, Potter, politics, history, and biographies to the list, which, as I said, is at least three miles long.
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I'm storing up a mainstream story I don't feel ready to write quite yet. My SF tales are in the wings, begging me to trot them out on stage. But for now, my heart is happy to be wallowing in the delights of gay romance and erotica.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
The 12 Days of Dennis from Less Than Three Press is a comical romp through the whirlwind relationship of Martin (average guy) and his lover, Dennis, a too-rich businessman who decides to give him a new gift for each of the twelve days leading up to December 25th, each one more provocative and outrageous than the last. It's fun and sexy and fun and—wait, I said that already?
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
My first anime love was from the ancient Gundam Wing series, so I've written a love story around the struggles of a mecha pilot for Less Than Three Press’s upcoming A Loose Screw anthology. It's titled Everywhere I Look.
One Thing Leads is my first novel with Dreamspinner Press. It's a tale of what happens when little steps that don't seem significant one at a time take you to dark places like sex clubs and estrangement from your lover. It's out at the end of April 2014.
Anything you want to say to your readers?
I'm bowled over by the response from those who read me. Nothing brings me joy more than knowing that I've brought them smiles, tingles, laughs, and passion. It's what spurs me on.
Jude Dunn's recent releases:
The Birdman of Saginaw
After a knee injury puts an end to his chances for a pro-football career, Dave hits an all-time low in life and he's not certain he'll ever climb back up. He's stuck in a rut, living at home, and spending his days working in a pet shop. Hope appears in the form of Lucas, a handsome, older, confident, and well-established man who expresses an interest in far more than the birds that Dave delivers to his home. Though Dave is intrigued, he wonders if it's possible to be happy with a man who seems to be everything he is not.
The 12 Days of Dennis
When an unexpected package is delivered on December 14th, Martin is more than a little intrigued by the contents—especially as they're from his boyfriend, Dennis, and come with instructions to wear them when they go to dinner with Martin's parents the following night. And that's only the beginning of Dennis' suggestive gifts. Available December 18 for $3.99. Preorder now for 15% off.
Excerpt from The Twelve Days of Dennis:
On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Four gay pornos,
Three French ticklers,
Two lace panties,
And a condom in a jock strap.
Friday, December 17
"Is this turning into one of those 'Twelve Days of Christmas' things?"
Martin shrugged at the FedEx guy, who stood in the chill breeze unabashedly looking him over. He was becoming bolder with each delivery.
"Not that I mind seeing you each day," he said with a wink. Martin held back an eye roll.
On the couch again, Martin opened his fourth present in as many days. From this box he pulled out the now-expected condom and jockstrap and pitched them to one side on the couch. There were more panties in more colors and another three-pack of French ticklers, which Martin threw on top of the jockstrap. At the bottom of the box was a standard file folder. Martin cocked his head to the side and wrinkled his nose at it. He picked it up and set the box on the floor.
Inside the folder was a small envelope. Martin ran his fingers over it, smiling as he savored the feel of the texture. He had received wedding announcements and invitations on expensive stationery paper from time to time, but he could tell this was a cut above that. Probably a hundred percent cotton rag. Just like Dennis to go all out.
He turned over the envelope and found it sealed with a dollop of wax embossed with a capital 'D' in a script typeface much like Dennis's handwritten one. Martin carefully slipped his finger under the tip of the fold and detached it from the seal. Inside was a card of matching stationery bearing a message set in small, elegant type.
A Gift for You
An exclusive collection of the highest-quality male erotic videos
has been reserved in your name by Mr. Dennis Windsor. He has
handpicked four scenes from our yet-to-be-released production
titled Romping with Raoul IV especially for your private enjoyment.
To claim your gift, enter the URL below in your web browser of choice.
Congratulations. The staff at CherryBoys.net hopes the pleasure will be all yours.
Martin sighed loudly and dropped the card and envelope on the growing pile of naughty gifts Dennis had sent him. Suddenly he realized that he hadn't found the note. He sent one with each of the other deliveries. Surely there's one with this package too. He bent forward to pull the box everything came in into his lap and saw the note he expected. He pushed the box off his lap again and read.
God, Martin, you get hotter every day. The boy shorts really turned me on—I hope they turned you on, too—and the French tickler was fantastic. If you ever let me top, you'll see what I mean.
And I was right, wasn't I? I told you there was no way anyone would stick their head in the pantry. All the food was already prepared, and besides, we were pretty quick, so I doubt we were missed.
Did you find it as erotic as I did to be fucking just a few feet away from more than twenty of our friends while they trimmed the tree in the living room? But we were trimming a tree, too, weren't we? Yours inside of me.
Anyway, there's the repeat of the gifts for the first three days in this package, but the videos are important. I reserved four because of the song, of course. I can't decide on which one's the best—I like them all! But the one you simply must watch before we go out tonight is Scene Two. Scrub forward to 3:44 and you'll see what we'll be doing at the Sanderson's annual Christmas party.
Martin shook his head and smiled. The boy's got the most perverted libido in the tri-county area—maybe the whole state. He stood and found his laptop, then returned to the couch. He fired up a browser, entered the CherryBoys.net address, and was greeted with a black screen with a small, gold fleur-di-lis next to a text field. Martin typed in the password on the card. On the next page, he clicked on Scene Two of Romping with Raoul and sat back to watch. At 3:44, his mouth dropped open, and his eyes bugged out.
Dear god, the laundry room? How the fuck does he think we're not going to be discovered? Martin felt a tingle in his groin, and he shifted his ass to relieve the tightness in his pants.
Well, I can't say this stuff doesn't excite me, but this is getting dangerous, he thought. I can't imagine that Geoff Sanderson won't find out, no matter how careful Dennis is.