Please give a big Top2Bottom Welcome to Jacob Flores!
Thanks for having me back at Top2Bottom. You guys have always been good to me and were one of the first sites to host me when I first started writing in m/m in 2012, so it’s always great to come back to where you started. I truly appreciate it!
You’re always welcome here, Jacob:) We’re always thrilled when you stop by!
Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?
I’ll take some orange juice. Hell, while you’re at it, make it a mimosa!
We love the way you think! We’ll all have one and have a big party! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m recently single, so I’m back out in the dating world, which has been quite the experience. I’ve been away from this life for over ten years, and it’s been quite an adjustment.
I’ve actually been thinking about writing blog posts about single life and dating experiences. You know, getting back on the horse and all that! And I’m talking about going out on dates not the occasional mount and dismount we love to write and read about.
That’s a great idea, Jacob. Dating can be exciting and fun, but it also can be disastrous! Not every frog is a Prince Charming.
When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?
I’m usually too excited to mutter intelligible words. I squeal and then dance around like a fool. I do that each and every time a manuscript is accepted. And as long as it works, I’ll keep on doing it. The only person who hates it is my daughter. She thinks I’m weird. But I am, so that’s okay.
Naturally, I was super excited to learn that Dreamspinner accepted When Love Comes to Town. It’s the fourth and final book of the Provincetown Series. Even though it was part of the series and had the release booked in advance to acceptance, I was still nervous. I don’t like to count those chickens too soon. You know what I mean?
We do. Life has a tendency to be unpredictable.
What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?
It was a longing to tell stories that I could personally relate to. I’d always been an avid reader of mainstream fiction, but most of those characters, while usually excellently written, didn’t relate to me on a personal level. So I decided to write stories that spoke to me, that revealed snippets of my life and my community.
And what a community it is! The m/m genre is filled with wonderful authors and readers, who have embraced me with open arms. I consider myself lucky to write for such devoted readers, and it always makes my day when one of them reaches out to me about a novel of mine they enjoyed.
Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.
Chocolate cake please. I never turn down chocolate cake! And no need to get a knife dirty with cutting it, I’ll just take the whole thing. What can I say? I love chocolate.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?
That really just depends on my schedule. I try to write at least one thousand words a day to keep myself in the habit. But on a day when I’m not swamped with work or parental duties, I can get up to four thousand. When school’s out during the summer, I write about eight hours a day.
I just love writing. Besides spending time with my daughter and loved ones, there’s nothing else I’d rather do.
Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
I tend to revise as I go. I’m very anal when it comes to my process. If something isn’t working or I need to make adjustments, I have to make it perfect before I can move on. If not, that imperfection eats away at the back of my mind, which just ends up distracting me from making progress. When I’m done with a WIP though, I read the whole things again at least two more times to fix problems that I find. It’s a continual process for me.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
What’s funny about the answer to this question is that it has changed. When I wrote Moral Authority and 3, I crafted an outline from beginning to end. It worked really well for those books. When I started writing The Gifted One, I had a general idea of where I wanted to go, but I just couldn’t write the outline. So I started writing, and the novel just came to me as I went.
For all the books in the Provincetown books, I had no outline whatsoever. I created the characters and set them loose. They’ve told me where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. I figured since my muse was in the driver’s seat, I’d just let him take control. I’ve been pleased with the overall results so far.
Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?
Tough question. It’s like asking me to choose between chocolate cake and cookies. But if I had to choose, I’d say my favorite character right now is Maddie from When Love Comes to Town. She’s Eric’s nine-year-old daughter, who’s wise beyond her years. She really came to life for me as I wrote her, and she has some of the best lines in the book. She’s also perhaps the smartest character I’ve ever written. She has a keen eye and quick mind. She knows exactly what’s going on even before the adults do. Plus, she’s just so dark cute!
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
What is this writer’s block you mention? I’m unfamiliar with it.
Yeah, right. It’s tough when my muse decides to take a nap. I usually sit and stew before pacing around the room. I try to get him to wake up, but when a guy’s spent, he’s spent. So I find a book and start reading. That usually get’s my muse ready to go again, and I dive right in before he decides it’s time for another nap.
He’s a fickle man, my muse. But I love him anyway.
Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)
Not anymore. I used to write in my big comfy chair. In fact, it sort of became a crutch. I seemed only capable of being productive when I was sitting in it with my feet propped up on the ottoman. But I’ve learned that my muse will follow me wherever I go. All I need is him and my laptop, and we’re good to go.
When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?
I don’t really need a sign. It’s usually all over my face. I’m focused and in my own world. I can’t tell you how many times people have talked to me while I was writing, and I didn’t even know someone was speaking. I zone out when I’m plugged into my muse. As long as there isn’t music blaring or a loud TV show on, I’m good to go.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
I have no sense of humor whatsoever since I’m a robot sent to spy on you earthlings before we invade your planet. But don’t worry, we only plan on taking your men. They will be the only ones who are ravaged.
What is the most frequently asked Jacob Z. Flores question?
I get asked a lot if When Love Comes to Town is really the end of the Provincetown Series. Many readers don’t want the series to end and have lamented how they are going to miss the boys we’ve all come to love. I’m going to miss them too. But you never know, I might just write a Return to Provincetown series to revisit Zach and Van, Nino and Teddy, and Brody and Eric, and then introduce a whole new generation of boys looking for other boys to love.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a novel that’s tentatively titled Being True. It’s about a high school misfit named Truman L. Cobbler. He’s a misfit with a weird name that just doesn’t fit it. He’s made fun of constantly for his odd yet delicate features, his name, and for the fact that he “looks” gay. But Tru doesn’t allow other people to change who he is. He dusts himself off after each bully and tries to be true to who he is. But when Tru transfers to a new school in the inner city of San Antonio, he meets Javi Castillo, the hot and popular jock, who takes an immediate liking to him.
Tru and Javi’s friendship rocks the social cliques at the school. They don’t know how to handle Mr. Popular taking a stand for Mr. Donkey, as Tru is called. The boys have to learn how to navigate the choppy social waters of high school while at the same time dealing with the attraction that keeps growing between them. And there’s also a bully named Rance, who is hell bent on making sure that whatever relationship is starting between Tru and Javi doesn’t last.
Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
Reading helps with the creative spark. When I read, I typically consider how the author constructed the plot and the characters. I try to figure out where the plot is going and how the characters will evolve. I even imagine alternate paths that the author could have chosen but didn’t. I think of reading as a creative writing exercise.
What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?
Horror is my absolute favorite. I’ve always been a big fan of the genre, whether it’s in the theater or in a book. There’s just something about being terrified that makes me happy. My daughter, who used to hate being scared, is developing an appreciation for it. I couldn’t be happier than to share that with her.
Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer-
Well, since I’m single and dating again, let’s go with horse trainer. He can help me with my mount in the saddle.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Traveling is something I enjoy. I hope to take several trips this year and spend time with friends and loved ones. It’s good to get out of your space and go some place new. It’s a good way to recharge those creative batteries.
Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?
I’m hoping Dreamspinner will pick up Being True. Beyond that, I have several ideas brewing. There’s a particular paranormal series I’ve been toying with, and I’ve been dying to do some world building for that. But I leave it up to my muse these days. Where he leads, I follow.
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
You can buy When Love Comes to Town here:
And I urge readers to visit me at any or all of my social media sites:
It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!
Thank you for having me, and of course I can help. But before we get started on the dishes, I want to thank everyone who joined me here today.