Hi everyone! I’m here to talk about my new project (you know, in addition to all of my traditional WIPs) called Stray.
Stray is a book I’m releasing by the chapter free on my website (think fanfiction, but not). It’s a bit of a deviation from my normal M.O. of contemporary with a side of mental health issues, delving farther into world-building, futuristic tech, and combining human lore with paranormal fantasy. This story is purely for my own-and hopefully your-enjoyment.
J.K. Hogan interviews artist Somber Illusory Soda
I’ve partnered with digital artist Somber Illusory Soda for accompanying illustrations, character profiles, and other fun stuff. I thought it would be cool to grill interview Soda for you guys, since the illustrations are such a big part of STRAY. So here we go:
JK: Hello darling, and welcome to your very first book tour. I guess the first thing inquiring minds want to know is how long have you been drawing (or doing art in general?
Soda: Hmm… let’s see, today’s what? Tuesday? Wednesday? So, a couple of weeks past forever.
JK: Snarky as ever, I see. I like it. Turns me on.
JK: Oh, hakuna your tatas, Susan. I’m happily married. If we don’t get on with the interview, people will leave. How did you get started with illustration, particularly online stuff?
Soda: I’ve been doing it for ages, but I only started sharing my art publicly in the last couple of years. Just like a lot of other artists and even writers, I started out in fandom. I primarily have Yuri!!! On Ice and Voltron fanart up on my Tumblr, but I originally started out doing Stucky slash trash. Haven’t shared any of those online yet but maybe someday. I was working on an Otayuri AU comic when I got this gig with you, so it’s on hold for now, but the world NEEDS professor Otabek.
JK: Yes, yes, the world does need that. Would you like to share a couple of your fanart pieces? Keep it SFW though.
Soda: Hmm…sfw…sfw… I think I can find a couple
JK: Wow, those are amazing! I love your character designs for STRAY. It’s like you’re in my head! How have you liked working on this project?
Soda: I definitely dig being a part of creating original characters. Fanart is awesome and therapeutic sometimes, but I like being able to really flex my creative muscles.
JK: Well I’m certainly excited about what you bring to the project. It’s surreal seeing my characters come to life like that. Why don’t we finish off with you sharing a couple of your favorite pieces from STRAY?
Soda: Picking favorites is hard…and mean. But I’ll try.
JK: Okay, I have to know. What is the deal with your handle. It’s weird.
Soda: Funny story. I was playing this game that was part of a larger gaming network, which I did not know. I just wanted to play the one game. Anyway, I got a new device and I couldn’t get the game on it so I had to contact tech support. Somehow when they got the game up and running, they had created an account for me on the gaming network under this weird random name: Somber Illusory Soda. It just kind of stuck, and I started using it as my online handle even before I started sharing my art. But seriously, you can just call me Soda.
JK: Last thing, where can people find you on social media if they want to connect online?
Soda: I’m not on many social media sites because it contradicts the whole reclusive artist thing. You can see my art on:
My Tumblr art tag https://somberillusorysoda.tumblr.com/tagged/soda-draws
Or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/somberillusorysoda/
I do answer Tumblr chats, because that’s how I talk to my artist friends, so there’s that if someone just really wants some of my pearls of wisdom.
Thanks for having me!
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed meeting Soda. The illustrations bring my STRAY project to a whole new level that I’m excited about. Remember, if you’re following the story, Soda and I both love getting feedback. Share your plot theories and illustration requests in the comment section for each STRAY post, which of course can be found here:
Thanks for stopping by!
Title: Stray: A Sentinel Story
Series: Sentinel #1
Author: J.K. Hogan
Release Date: Ongoing
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Paranormal, shifters, magic, vampires
All of the mythical creatures that howl, prowl, bite, and kill-from vampires to werewolves, from wendigos to witches, monsters to demons-are real. The Midnight Sentinel exists to protect the delicate human race from the monsters that wish them harm.
Sebastian Locke never asked to be a Prince among the Feliscindae, a race of feline shifters. He never asked to be the champion of an entire species. He never asked for responsibility.
Noah Cowan never asked to be abandoned by his parents. He never asked to be homeless. He never asked to fall into a reality where up was down, north was south, and nightmares were real.
Two men living in a dystopian world, post-apocalyptic several times over, in which all of things that go bump in the night truly exist, are drawn together by an intricate spiderweb of fate, duty, blood, and love.
There’s something about Noah. Sebastian is drawn to him like a moth to a flame, but so are many others-those much more dangerous than he. In order to keep Noah safe, Sebastian must trust him with his most guarded secret: the truth of the supernatural.
“What would you say, little mouse, if I told you that nightmares are real? That all of the stories you’ve heard of things that go bump in the night are true? All things that howl, prowl, bite, and kill-from vampires to werewolves, from wendigos to witches, monsters to demons. Would you believe me? Would you take care?
“Your face tells me that you don’t, and you wouldn’t. That is why the Midnight Sentinel exists. Though religion is such an archaic notion conceived of by primitive humans…things like Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil… but I can assure you, dear boy, that there </em>is<em> a Hell-and we are living in it.”
~ Sebastian the Lucent of the House of Locke, White Prince of the Northern Territories
Read it for free at jkhogan.com
Chapters are cross-posted on Tumblr
Illustrations are cross-posted here (and any NSFW illustrations will be available on Tumblr only, though we’ll let you know about them on the main story feed)
Meet the Author
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading!
1/29 Queer Sci Fi
1/29 The Blogger Girls
1/29 The Novel Approach
1/30 Love Bytes
1/31 Divine Magazine
2/2 Shari Sakurai