Please say hello to J.A. Rock and
Know this: I am not a warrior. I am a disease.
When I was six, my parents died.
When I was sixteen, I was locked away in Rock Point Girls’ Home. Nobody wants to deal with a liar. An addict. A thief.
Nobody except Alle. She is pure, and she’s my friend in spite of all the rotten things I am.
There was once another girl like me—long ago. A cast-off daughter. A lying little beast who left a red stain across the land with her terrible magic. She’s imprisoned now in a maze high up on the cliffs. They say she’s half woman, half bull. They say she dines on human tributes and guards a vast treasure. They say she was born wicked.
But I know her better than the history books or stories do. She and I dream together. Our destinies are twisted up like vines.
Except I’m not going to turn out wicked like she is. I can save myself by destroying her. I’m going to break out of this place, and I’m going to enter the labyrinth and take her heart.
And once I’m redeemed, maybe Alle will love me.
Get the book:
Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and I’m touring the internet with my new release, MINOTAUR, a queer fantasy/horror reimagining of the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. And there’s a giveaway involved! I’m giving one reader a chance to win Lost in a Jigsaw, the puzzle that nearly destroyed my sanity a few years ago (but provided hours of fun, I swear), as well as a $15 Riptide voucher.
Thanks so much to the host blogs for having me, and to everyone following the tour. Here’s today’s look at MINOTAUR.
Lisa Henry Interviews J.A. Rock about Minotaur
Even on projects we don’t co-write, Lisa Henry’s always willing to help me out. When I was stuck on things to write about regarding Minotaur, Lisa was right there with the hard-hitting interview questions!
Lisa: Out of all the legends, why did you choose the minotaur? What is it about the legend that resonated with you?
J.A.: The actual labyrinth. The idea that you’d have to step into this place where you have no idea where to go or what you’ll face, and find your way toward the center, where a monster awaits. There’s just so much there in terms of symbolism--our personal labyrinths, the monsters within, the things (or people) we sacrifice out of fear… It’s a field day for a writer. I’ve always been obsessed with mazes. They’re pretty much the most terrifying and exciting invention ever.
But I think also, this legend fit well with the story I wanted to tell: About a young woman who’s lost, struggling, and looking for redemption. A town callous enough to offer tributes to a monster. And a monster that may or may not be what everyone thinks it is.
Can you describe your ideal labyrinth?
It looks a lot like Navy Pier. Full of wonders, like a Shakespeare theatre and an ice cream shop and a Ferris wheel, but you can’t get to any of those things without first becoming lost in a ridiculous tangle of hallways, stairs, tourists, and awkwardly distributed visitors’ maps. It’s a beautiful nightmare.
When I was a kid, I read and loved The Name of the Rose. There’s a labyrinth in that. Brother William tells Adso that he won’t get lost if he keeps turning right every time. Do you know if this is true, or did Umberto Eco lie to me?
Given that you and I got lost in that maze in Vienna for a solid forty minutes, despite trying every strategy we knew, I’m guessing Umberto is a liar. But then, mazes and labyrinths are different. So Google tells me.
What’s waiting for you in the middle of your labyrinth? Is it the monstrous offspring of a bull and a woman, or is it David Bowie with your little brother?
You know, I’ve never seen Labyrinth. Like most famous 80s movies, I’ve managed to politely avoid it. I would, however, love to encounter David Bowie. Also, is he my younger brother’s friend, or is he evil? Is he going to kill Brett? Because then I’ll finally be my mother’s favorite child.
More about the author:
J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All the World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
Thanks for being part of the tour! To celebrate this release, I’m giving one commenter Lost in a Jigsaw, the award winning maze puzzle—all the pieces fit together, so the only way to know if you've put it together correctly is to solve the maze. If this sounds too much like torture, rest assured that you also get a $15 Riptide voucher.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way to contact you. On October 26th, I’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments. Contest is not limited to US entries. If you’d like, follow the whole tour—the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win! Please be sure to include a way to reach you in your comment.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.