Thursday, 23 October 2014

Blog Tour: One Thing Leads by Jude Dunn

How Do You Write about Human Trafficking?
Jude Dunn explains the dark research needed for One Thing Leads

One Thing Leads  by Jude Dunn

A man knocks on your front door. When you answer, he pushes he way into your home. You protest, but he charges forward. In less than five minutes, your head is spinning. You were just told your old life is over. Your new life is serving this man as a prostitute.

“No way!” you’re thinking. “It just doesn’t happen like that.” You’re right, it doesn’t. But this revelation does come when a person is entrapped, usually delivered by someone you’ve come to trust.

Troubling thoughts like these filled my head while writing One Thing Leads, and I must tell you that I felt like taking a shower after every writing session. Cate asks some questions about my writing process, and I tell her what it’s like to tell a tale like this one along with things about writing in general. But first let’s do the required things.

Below you’ll find a synopsis to give you a good idea of what the book’s about. After Cate and I chat, there’s a short bio of yours truly and the requisite excerpt, freebies, and “buy me!” linkage. Click and enjoy.


Dion Bellamy is twenty-seven and studying social work at the University of Chicago. He has lived with Kenji Okamura, a construction worker, for a year and a half. Dion loves Kenji and passionately hopes Kenji feels the same, but he has never said the three big words. Then Grayson Sinclair, Dion’s schoolmate and a vivacious, oversexed playboy, comes between them.

One step at a time, barely aware where his steps are leading, Dion descends the slippery slope into a life of depravity. First, Grayson ensures Kenji is out of the way. Then he entices Dion to go clubbing with him, gets Dion drunk and high, and then takes him to a sex club, where he films Dion giving blow jobs to multiple men. He threatens to put the video online unless Dion signs a contract to work as a prostitute. Though he hardly understands how he reached this point, Dion must now figure out how to escape his fate and save himself.

CA: What is the most important thing you've learned in your writing career?

JD: Two things are worth mentioning here, and the first may make you blink. The most important advice about writing I know is that no writing advice is worth following. Really. You have to make it work on your own. Too many times I’ve heard “do this, try that,” or even worse, “This author (insert name of overnight sensation) does (insert technique or advice).” Perhaps some of it does work. Try it. But if it doesn’t work for you, abandon it and find your own way.

Number two? If you keep the above in mind, I’ll tell you what works for me. It’s very simple. “Move the cursor to the right.” That’s it. For me, this means give yourself permission to write utter drivel. Don’t even write sentences if you want. Write planning to delete what you just wrote. Eventually a fragment or thought or even a whole sentence will show up under your fingertips that seems interesting. Do this and eventually the writing comes more easily and gets better.

CA: Which of the characters in your book(s) did you have the most fun writing?

JD: By far it was Grayson Sinclair in One Thing Leads. He’s the devious sexpot that lures Dion away from the life he wants and into dark waters. Grayson gave me the chance to live vicariously, doing things I’d never, ever do in real life.

CA: What is your favourite genre to write in and why?

JD: I’m a big science fiction fan. SF folk—writers, readers, and publishers all—will tell you about something called “awe and wonder,” a childlike amazement at the possibilities in the universe and the future. I think we experience this at the best movies and hope for it in the ones that disappoint us. In our books too. I have some gay romance SF in the works and look forward to sharing it with my readers soon.

CA: What is your writing process?

JD: So many of my author friends put on music or light candles to set the mood. I’ve done the candle thing and enjoy it, but the music I just cannot do. I’m a professional musician by day, gay romance author by night, and music so distracts me from writing that I get nothing done. I wish I could get inspiration from it the way so many others do. One of the hazards of my day job.

For some reason I cannot write at home. I’ve tried every trick in the book and asked everyone I know for other books, but nothing works. So I’ve learned to write in other spots. I live in Chicago and take public transit to work, so I pull out my iPad and write on the train. In fact, about sixty percent of One Thing Leads was written on the El or Metra, believe it or not.

I used to go to coffeehouses after work, but the combination of caffeine, noisy conversations, and lack of elbow room was disheartening. One day I was so into my writing on the train I missed my stop. I decided to take the next stop and backtrack. When I got off, I found myself staring at a big building not thirty feet from my nose. It’s a place I call heaven, but most Chicago residents call it the main branch of the public library.

Can you believe it took me literally years of frustrated writing sessions to remember these wonderful places exist?

Note: The next question isn’t Cate’s. I invented it to go with the title of this post. Hope you don’t mind, Cate!

CA: So how do you write about human trafficking? Is the research easy to come by?

JD: Glad you asked, Cate (I mean me). When I decided I wanted to make this the topic of One Thing Leads, I faced a decision right away. Do I want to tell a lurid tale for the sake of titillating readers or is there something more important to say? I chose the second path. One Thing Leads is set in the world of human trafficking, but it’s really about what makes a person break with his or her normal life. Is it an “I don’t care anymore” attitude triggered by a traumatic event—in Dion’s case, his break-up with Kenji? Seeing this as the mission—if you will—of the novel made it easier to look at human trafficking and forced prostitution from a dispassionate viewpoint. I doubt I could have stomached the research process any other way.

Now back to Cate’s final question.

CA: What is your favourite wine? Jazz album? Chocolate?

JD: I’m a mostly reds guy in the wine department. I love the rich, bold, and luscious complexity of cabernets and malbecs. My current favorite—has been for a long time—is a Spanish garnache. Think Merlot with different spices in the undertones and you’ve got it.

Jazz I love, so this one’s easy. There are so many wonderful artists and albums, but the top of my list is and probably always will be Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. It’s a landmark for several reasons, and I never get tired of hearing it.

Chocolate? Did you ask for my favorite kind of chocolate? Why that would be “more.” Is there any other kind worth having? ^_~

Author Bio:

I’m a southern boy. Well, “boy” may be a stretch. I'm sixty-one this year, but I still feel like I’m twenty-two and act like I’m nine-and-a-half. Grew up in north Alabama, smack-dab in the middle of the Bible belt.

I discovered I was attracted to boys at age fourteen. Twenty minutes after that, I found out that being gay was the unforgivable sin, not blaspheming the Holy Spirit, as my little Baptist church had taught me. So, as so many like me have always done, I hid from everyone, including and especially myself.

At age forty-nine I came out to myself, my wife, and my three wonderful children. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the best thing that ever happened to me.

I started writing shortly after discovering anime. There’s this thing called “fandoms,” you see—well, I know you probably know about that. I grew my skills slowly, feeding on the dribbles of praise and criticism my mailing lists provided. In 2011 I decided to try my hand at original fiction and found I have a talent for telling stories that touch people’s hearts and make them laugh. For me there’s no greater high in all the world. The next year I somehow screwed up the courage to submit to a publisher and was given a thumbs up. Now I’m happily sharing my tales with those who care to read them.

My day job is editing and engraving sacred music for a mainline publisher in Chicago, where I live with an antisocial cat who refuses to be named. I enjoy fine wines, jazz, and the darkest chocolate I can get my hands on.

I write in a variety of genres, from gay romance and erotica to science fiction and mainstream thrillers, each category under a different pseudonym. Jude Dunn is the one I use for gay romance. My work is sometimes subtle, sometimes fiery, but always brimming with characters who tackle their challenges with an unwavering love of life.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy your time here.

Buy One Thing Leads <use this URL for the text to the left: “One Thing Leads”:>

More info about One Thing Leads <use this link for the text to the left, including “More info about”:>

Read a chapter for free <use this link for the phrase to the left:>

Site: <let this link and the three below stand as they are>

Twitter: @jude_dunn

Pick up a free PDF or two of my unpublished stories:

Tell me what you like, don’t like, and wish gay authors wrote about:

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson


“God,” Dion screamed, throwing his hands in the air in disgust. He and Kenji glared like dogs circling each other before attacking. Finally Dion broke the tension. “I need some air,” he said, then spun on a heel and strode to the bedroom. Kenji sat still as stone, listening to Dion slamming drawers as he found clothes suitable for going out.

How did this happen? I wanted to come clean. I thought if we talked about it—

After quickly dressing, Dion stormed to the front door.

“Where are you going?”

“Out,” Dion said without looking at Kenji. “Does that meet with your approval?”

“Dion, don’t be—”

The sound of the door slamming rang in Kenji’s ears. Footsteps fell hard and fast down the stairs. When they stopped, he looked away from the door. He closed his eyes at the muffled sound of another door slamming hard two floors below. When he opened his eyes a few minutes later, he looked down, surprised to see dots of blood on the seat of the recliner. He opened his hands and saw that his fingernails had broken the skin of his palms.

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Tour Dates/Tour Stops:

October 20: Parker Williams

October 21: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

October 22: Sinfully Sexy

October 23: Cate Ashwood

October 24: Jade Crystal

October 27: Inked Rainbow Reads

October 28: Velvet Panic

October 29: Amanda C. Stone

October 30: Kimi-Chan

October 31: Fallen Angel Reviews

November 3: Emotion in Motion

November 4: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

November 5: EE Montgomery, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

November 6: Love Bytes

November 7: Iyana Jenna

November 10: Prism Book Alliance, My Fiction Nook

November 11: Multitasking Mommas, Wake Up Your Wild Side

November 12: BFD Book Blog

November 13: Cathy Brockman Romances

November 14: MM Good Book Reviews

Sales Links:

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1 comment:

  1. Great interview and excerpt! This is a new to me author so I am heading over to the website!