We have J. Scott Coatsworth stopping by today with his new release Skythane
Inspiration’s a funny thing.
The folks at Divine asked me what inspired me to write Skythane. It’s a tricky question, with no one, easy, straightforward answer.
I started the story twenty years ago, and my recollection of the how and why is admittedly now a bit fuzzy.
When I pulled those few initial scenes out of the drawer to look at them again in 2014, I was entranced by what I read. Often as a writer, we go back and read our earlier work, and – surprise – it’s not all that great. We grow as writers over time with practice, and so does our work.
But this one was fascinating. The writing was clean, crisp, lyrical. And the idea of a split world – a world that was shaped like half a cantaloupe – intrigued me.
Then there was the opening scene – sexy and unabashedly gay. That was what I wanted to write.
And the name of the story – it was originally titled Oberon (like the name of the world), for reasons which escape me – also intrigued me. Oberon was the king of the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
So I set out to complete this story, this fragment I’d written two decades before that was no more than ten pages at the most.
What inspired me?
The idea that I could write a strong, sexy, gay hero (or in this case, two) and a kick-ass sci fi story filled with ongoing hidden reveals. And that, if I was lucky, that it would be as compelling as those first few scenes.
My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth
Cover Artist: Anne Caine
Length: 85K, # pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 2/17/17
Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi
Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.
Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.
Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.
Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.
Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.
His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.
The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.
A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….
He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.
Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.
The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.
For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.
When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.
“You’re still here.”
“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.
Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.
The man frowned. “I thought—”
“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”
The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.
I really have become a bastard, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.
He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”
Dreamspinner – eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8154-b
Dreamspinner – paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8155-b
Amazon – paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Skythane-J-Coatsworth/dp/1635334039/
Barnes & Noble – paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/skythane-j-scott-coatsworth/1125557133?ean=9781635334036
Review by Debbie Attenborough
Jameson is sent to Oberon to see why the supply of pith has all but dried up. Xander is his guide into the Split, the *quite literally* underbelly of Oberon following a catastrophic event nearly a millennia ago. It was supposed to be routine, in and out, job done. But Jameson’s arrival on Oberon is all but routine, and a chain of events is set off that will either destroy all life on Oberon, or reunite it with its other half, Titania.
Sci-fi is, for me at least, very hit and miss. Sometimes the technology goes way over my head, and sometimes the words used means I don’t fully understand what I’m reading about and I’m not ashamed to say that!
But here?? None of that! I loved this book!
The story flows like a river, from its source, getting faster and faster, deeper and wider until…. well, until it reaches the sea! There is no massive info dump that you sometimes get in this sort of story, it comes in drips, so you can process each drip before you get the next one. Or in my case, many times through this book, you can pull a face at the kindle and ” say what now???” when you get a particularly fat drip!
The relationship between Jameson and Xander grows at a steady and even pace, even with the assistance of Quince and the pith. I was …surprised by the route these guys took. Our introduction to Xander led me to think this book might be more explicit, which, you know me, I’d be happy with that but Jameson and Xander shut you down just as they get to the good stuff!! Very much fades to black but I LOVED that, I really dd.
I love books that make me think, make me plan ahead as to where I think the story is gonna go, and how it’s gonna get there, watching it either pan out the way I thought, or unravel before my eyes in a totally different way. And this book made me question every little fat drip and drop and I loved it!!
But what made this book were two things, for me, anyway.
One: there is a bit at the front of the book, telling the story of this story, as it where. How long its been sitting, waiting to be fully told. I don’t usually read the bits at the front, but I’m glad I did.
And the other bit was the epilogue. Because up to that point, the story was told, finished, done and dusted all wrapped up in a big fat bow, sporting 4 stars. THEN, Coatsworth throws it all for a loop with that epilogue! And I WANT book two! Because I’m told there will be a book two. I wonder how THAT character is gonna affect Jameson and Xander’s bond, and how Quince will react to the other character.
Basically, I’m left hanging. And sometimes that’s good, sometimes not but here its bloody brilliant and I LOVED this book. *did I say that yet, don’t think I did, did I??*
A stunning 5 star read
About the Author
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.