Despite describing herself as passionate, driven, romantic, and fun, Dreamspinner Press author Jessica Skye Davies doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. In pursuing a graduate degree and researching public policy on HIV, her new release “Sins of Another” Davies sets out in making readers ponder and soul-search. Davies explained a short premise of “Sins of Another” in an email interview.
“Padrig, the narrator, finds himself in a bad situation through no fault of his own, but he’s the one who has to live with the consequences,” she said. “In learning to cope with his new life, however, Padrig also learns that he is not alone in his journey. Ultimately, Sins is about accepting oneself and others, the value of friendship, and what love can survive.”
Another Kind Of Inspiration
Instead of drawing inspiration from her work in the GLBT community for “Sins of Another,” Davies said the initial drafts were what led her to investigate HIV further. Needing a career change, Davies claimed she was working on exorcising the negative energy as she drafted “Sins of Another.”
“It’s something I’ve always cared deeply about,” she said about HIV research. “I’d been thinking for a while of taking on some really tough issues that don’t get talked about much. That whole ‘social work’ mentality was there before I even knew it.”
Another Kind Of Character
“Sins of Another” isn’t completely rolling in darkness and angst, there is one shining, even glittering, bright spot in the story with
Padrig’s friend and ally Kristof. Davies described Kristof as “something else” but not sure of what is that something else. She talked about how he was born onto the page.
“This party-boy Krist ‘character’ had been buzzing around my mind like a glam fly for a while,” Davies said. “He’s persuasive, probably obnoxious, but he’s got a big heart. Of course, he may be a side character, but he has no trouble stealing the spotlight whenever it comes anywhere near him.”
Another Kind Of Sound
Not only is there the boisterous Kristof, but “Sins of Another” Davies said is rife with references to the 1980’s and 1990’s. Davies created a playlist with ‘80s and ‘90s music to share on her blog tour here and had her own thoughts about the decades of decadence.
“There was a certain excessiveness to those eras, in the ‘80s it was mostly an excessiveness of expression,” she said. “Oh, yes, the neon geometric patterns totally expressed one’s individuality…”
And for the ‘90s Davies explains “it was an excess of everything else.”
Davies was inspired during the pre-submission edits of “Sins of Another” and listened to the artists of her childhood, such as Simply Red, New Order, Queen, and Elton John. Techno music and Latin, Davies said she found later in life.
“I wouldn’t say they influenced the original writing at all,” she said. “But I can absolutely see Krist dancing his non-butt off to ‘90s techno. Padrig kind of goes for the ‘80s pop himself.”
Another Kind Of Bizarre
In a previous release, “Possession,” Davies was particularly inspired by an antiquing trip with her mother and brother. They came upon a peculiar object.
“I saw this colorful, cast-iron doorstop in one of the shops,” she said. “It was bizarre enough at first
glance, that grinning puppet resembling a maniacal Bill Cowher, the former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach. But then I noticed what it said along the bottom—‘Don’t You Tell.’ I won’t, I swear I won’t tell nobody nothin’!”
Davies said she found it amusing for someone to have it in their house and get reactions from guests. When searching through Google and Davies turned up with nothing explaining it she found one conclusion.
“Give it a story,” she said.
Another Kind Of Romance
Davies has said she doesn’t consider herself a “typical” romance writer and doesn’t want to mislead her readers.
“They’re probably not going to see much of a linear ‘boy meets boy, falls in love, meets trying situation, resolves situation’,” she said.
But she went on to say that what readers consider the familiar tropes of romance can be “lovely.” Davies claims they indeed serve a purpose.
“Nothing against them as such and sometimes all you want is something you can just enjoy reading,” she said.
All in all, Davies gave credit to her grandparents for the formidable years of her life.
Another Kind Of Love
“My grandparents were great people, they encouraged—tolerated— my artistic streak,” she said and her creations were frequently displayed. “My dad’s side of the family were halfway across the country and my mum was an only child, so my grandparents here in Pittsburgh got to spoil me big time. I really enjoyed spending Saturday nights and Sundays with them and any time my parents were going to a concert or whatever.”
Davies elaborated on the history of her grandparents.
“My grandpa was a jazz drummer back in the day and played with the Benny Goodman orchestra—among other really cool names. Grandma’s greatest hits were her bread pudding, beef barley soup, and suchlike. When it came to peculiar habits, I’ve often said I could, and probably should, write a book about my grandpa’s stories. He was also rather loose with the language. He always told his friends that when they came to his funeral there would be a card in his top pocket with the word ‘bullshit’ written on it. I assure you that was duly accomplished as requested.”
Where To Buy
Interested in purchasing Jessica Skye Davies’ stories? Check out her author page here on the Dreamspinner Press website. “Possession” and “Sins of Another” eBooks, respectively, are $3.99 and $6.99, “Sins of Another” paperback is $14.99.
Jessica explained “Posession” has been “described as cozy as a Miss Marple, or creepy as a Stephen King.” But “Sins of Another,” is a darker and heavier. Davies said it’s like “some combination of ‘Taken,’ ‘Requiem for a Dream,’ and ‘Love! Valor! Compassion!’”
Jessica Skye Davies Bio:
Jessica Skye Davies has been a writer since her first works were “published” in her grandparents’ living room and written in crayon. She is a lifelong native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she has been active in the community, including serving as library director on the executive board of a local GLBT community center. Outside of writing, Jessica has a wide range of interests and hobbies: from Mozart in a music hall to punk in pubs, from Shakespeare to Vonnegut, from salsa dancing the night away to afternoon coffee in the square to kicking back with a good movie. She loves meeting new people and exploring new places, always open to whatever elements might inspire her next writing project.
Visit Jessica at:
“Sins of Another” Blurb:
One morning Padrig Kennedy comes home to find his partner, Nick Glenfielding, in bed with another man. Shocked, hurt, and vulnerable, Padrig flees and meets a stranger who seems to offer comfort—but he force-feeds Padrig a steady diet of drugs and prostitution instead. When he finally surfaces from his hell, it’s to another system shock: he’s now HIV positive.
Nick descends into darkness as well. Devastated by losing Padrig, he finds no consolation in the legal career he doesn’t love and tries to find solace in alcohol, spending his days in an ever-deepening haze.
Padrig and Nick find each other again, but their relationship can never be the same. If they’re to stand any chance of a future together, they must do the improbable: make sense of the past and learn to cope with new burdens they’ll bear for life.
“Sins of Another” Contest!
Between now and May 29, 2013 I’ll be including clues in my blog tour stops and my own blog entries to references made within “Sins of Another.”
Here’s how it works: You get the clue from the blog posts and keep track of the answers on your own. After the last clue has been posted (May 29, 2013), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you follow the blog tour over the next couple months as I’ll be giving away swag bags, a goodie hamper, and a copy of “Sins of Another.”
This week’s clue:
Padrig is somewhat concerned that after meeting Krist at a group meeting, Nick might feel he’s in for something on the order of the ceremonial wedding dinner from a Tod Browning cult classic. What controversial 1932 film did Padrig refer to?