Welcome, today we are talking with Diesel Jester! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions.
First, I think it’s important for readers to get a little insight on an author that they don’t necessarily get from your professional bio. You’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else will. Don’t answer anything you feel uncomfortable with.
Can you share a little something about Diesel Jester that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
Well, let’s see; I currently work as an accounting technician for the State of Alaska and previous positions I’ve held in the past include being an Air Traffic Controller for a very brief time, an armed security officer, and working the ramp for a major airline in three different cities (and not necessarily in that order either).
What are your pet peeves?
Improper use of “your” and “you’re” on social media comes immediately to mind.
Who is your hero?
Do I have to limit myself to just one? Well, if I had to pick just one or two I’d have to say it would be both of my grandfathers who served in the military and were genuinely good, hard working men that I truly looked up to and was sad when each of them had left.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
I’d love to learn how to SCUBA dive and get both warm water and cold water certifications.
What would readers find surprising about you?
Just like my protagonist in Shadow, I do know how to fence. I actually had to grab a fighting partner at one time to pace out the proper steps and moves for one of the sword fighting scenes in the book so that I could accurately write it.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
After seeing my grandfathers again? Probably Freddie Mercury. That man could weave a whole, colorful, epic story into a single song and leave you wanting more.
Any bad habits?
Well, I got a few pens that I’m sure would wish that I’d quit gnawing on them while I work.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
In the process of moving up to Alaska from the lower 48 I nearly got stranded in Jasper, Alberta, Canada because of a bank error and needed a wire transfer desperately. After getting one from my parents out on the east coast (talk about one helluva time zone difference and ticking clock) the store I was at was unsure if they were allowed to even turn around and cash it for me due to it being over $1,000.00. This was after I’d already been down the road at the Bank of Nova Scotia and had to find out what the hell a Scotia Card was after about a fifteen minute routine that would’ve made Abbot and Costello proud. Anyway, being desperate, I got down on my knees and literally begged them to get whatever approval that they needed from their manager to the point of telling them that I’d stand on his desk and sing “Oh Canada” over the store’s loudspeakers if it would help speed things along. Thankfully ‘The Crazy American’ didn’t have to sing anything and the cashing of my wire transfer was approved.
Now that our readers know a little bit more about Diesel Jester, let’s get down to the business of your book, Shadow, which was released 4/28/2016 and has received rave reviews on Amazon. Congratulations! How long did it take you from beginning to end before your book was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?
I’d actually started writing it about five years ago when I left the FAA and went to work for the State of Alaska. From bare bones start to finish and ready for print took about two or three years. It seems like a long time but I had rewritten the story three or four times going from a modern romance, to a fantasy, to a sci-fi story, and then finally to a steampunk romance. I’d never intended it to be steampunk until a friend suggested the idea to me. So I researched this up and coming genre and found out that I could basically do whatever I wanted in this type of world and so the story then seemed to finish itself from there.
I actually got the idea for the names of the books from author John G. Hemry, AKA: Jack Campbell, who named all of his books in his Lost Fleet series after actual ships in his fictional fleet. I figured that something similar could work for me with my series and so I took to naming the books after prominent members within my world that were in some way connected with my fictional Consortium.
Please tell us a little bit about Shadow.
Shadow takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which World War I continued on to the point in which many nations fractured. The Consortium rose up and took control of the world economy and founded the Jaeger Corps to enforce policy. Their view was that they couldn’t police the world as it used to be and so they regulate the world as it is now. Toss in a major world disaster just to shake things up a bit more.
83 years after all of that is when the story starts of a young socialite with grand ideals about a particular Jaeger that has been made into an epic hero thanks to a popular novel. She pines for this Jaeger and wishes that he’d swoop in and save her from an arranged marriage that is good and proper within the Theocracy that she lives in. When she discovers that she’s bankrupt, she flees the country to seek the aid of her best friend who introduces her to the family accountant who then helps her out and shows her a life that is completely different from her own.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Plausibility. I’m a big fan of the “How” and “Why” in all of my writing. So I have to know how they’re hooking up and why they’re hooking up in order for the chemistry to work rather than throwing them together and saying ‘tah-dah!’
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
Getting over certain mechanics to get the story to work the way I wanted it to. When I first started it off as a modern romance I had to stop and think if people really acted in a certain way in high society. Rather than risk offending people in a real world setting, I tried it in a fictional setting and then got bogged down in making either the magic or science work else I’d have readers trying to suspend disbelief with a block and tackle system. When I shifted to steampunk I still had to make the inventions inside of my world believable so that readers would accept it as possible.
Anything else you’d like your readers to know about Shadow that wasn’t asked?
Pay attention to the side characters. They’re coming back in the next book!
I see that you have another book due out later this year, Cheyenne; can you give us a sneak peek into it?
Without giving anything away? That’s a tall order. Let me see here… (Please note that this is pre-editing work here so some of this could change. I should have a better, edited version next week for this)
It was late at night as Cheyenne led a small group through the green hills just outside Atlanta, running at superhuman speeds through forests, over streams and rivers, and across fields. Her objective was the wealthy estate just ahead. A patrol car chugged around the perimeter, its occupants peering toward the estate for signs of movement, but they were not going to find anything without going in, and they were not going in without a formalized search warrant or a direct order from the Consortium. Such an order still hadn’t come in the wake of the trial of Edward Spence the Third. Cheyenne snorted, watching them pass. What a waste of time.
But, that was where she came in, after all. Cheyenne picked up where the law left off. She looked down at one of the women fiddling with a piece of radio equipment and a pair of headphones. She, like Cheyenne and the others, wore a tight, form- fitting bodysuit, over which their brass exoskeleton suits rested. Thanks to the multitude of gears, servos, and steam pistons strategically placed at joints and junctions all over, it allowed the wearer to experience superhuman speed and strength, helping them scale walls and leap through windows—or out of them, as the situation demanded. Each of the Corsairs’ exosuits was configured for three things—speed, strength, and stealth.
“Is he in there?” Cheyenne asked as she finished her equipment check.
Her top scout, looking at the estate through telescopic goggles gave a slight nod. “Yeah, I got him on thermal, briefly. Top floor… probably the master suite; he’s been in there a while. But it could also be the bathroom.” The woman grinned at Cheyenne as the telescopes on her eyes retracted back into the goggles. The rest of the group snickered.
“Alright, is everyone ready?” Cheyenne asked, bringing her own goggles down over her eyes. When she received an affirmative nod from each of them, she turned back toward the estate. “Let’s go then, girls!” she said, waving them forward. Aided by their suits, they vaulted over the main gate, easily nine feet tall. Cheyenne opted to go through the front gate, grabbing both parts and, with the help of the exosuit, ripping the wrought iron right off of its hinges.
The response from the few security guards was quick enough. Some rushed to windows, and others rushed out-side to open fire on their sudden intruders. The Corsairs were already firing on their positions. Guards not killed in the initial barrage, fell screaming, wounded. With the habitual precision of experience, the Corsairs put each and every one of them out of their misery.
When they were done, Cheyenne kicked the front door in with a resounding crash. “Cover the exits,” she told the two Corsairs at her shoulders. “Make sure he doesn’t get away.”
“There’s a security flasher!” one of the women called out.
“Where? Shit.” She found it just as it was charging up to take a pic, and she was looking right at it. She twisted her head fast, causing her crimson hair to whip around. She managed to get her face turned away right as it flashed her, bathing her in bright white light for a moment. When she heard it start to recalibrate itself to take another pic, she turned back, leveled her beamer, and shot it to pieces. “Get every single one of those damn things,” she told the women, “the local cops are going to be all over us for being this deep in Dixie. We don’t need more fodder for their search.”
A voice came from above, “We have him upstairs!”
Cheyenne used the exposit to leap to the second floor, and then ran full-speed toward the master suite. Skidding into the room, she saw Ambrose Wain crouched down be-hind his desk, which he had flipped over in the corner so that he could hide behind it. “You,” he breathed when their eyes met. “What is all this?” he demanded. “You’re in my home—why? Why are you attacking me?”
“Because you collaborated to illegally enslave a Theocratic noble family,” Cheyenne said, leveling her beamer his way. “Per the laws of the Consortium, the punishment is death. Usually, you’d get trial, but, hey,” she shrugged, “I’m the judge and jury today.” The beam of light blew a hole through the desk and into Wain; she heard him grunt, but kept firing, hitting Wain repeatedly until he fell backward, slumped against the wall. He let out a final, rasping breath, and died.
Cheyenne stared at him for a long moment. Then she spat on him, and looked around the room. “Good work, everyone. Let’s move out. We’re done here.”
As Cheyenne and her team began to run out, she couldn’t help but wonder if she would get back to Atlanta in time for one more hot night with Jake. Maybe she would even get a chance to see the newlyweds, Charity and Lucas, again before she headed out on her next mission. She did wonder, however, how long it would be before Lucas spilled the beans to his new wife, and exactly what Charity would think of her long-time friend’s double-identity.
Cheyenne snuck back into her suite at the Georgian Regis. Located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta, the penthouse suite offered an impressive panoramic view of the city as it was lit up for the night. It took her longer than expected to get back from her mission to assassinate Director Ambrose Wain of the First National Bank of Dixie. The local judges dropped the ball when it came to issuing a warrant for the man’s arrest for attempted illegal slavery practices. They cited multiple reasons all of which she didn’t care about. All she cared about was ensuring that justice was delivered. Now that her mission was accomplished, she moved with the utmost silence towards her next objective.
There was a hand on her shoulder. Cheyenne looked back at her second in command who doubled as her head maid at her estate. Zoe looked at her with a mixture of concern and fury in her eyes. “This is insane, Mistress,” she cautioned in a voice so low that only the two of them could hear. “Getting into bed with your Jaeger just mere hours after a hit? You’re crazy! We should be getting out of here.”
“Not the first time you’ve told me that,” Cheyenne said with a grin as she checked herself over; carefully taking off any vestige of her vigilante self and replacing it with her normal alter-ego self. “You gotta admit; it is the last place that any Jaeger would look for me.”
“You’re going to get caught one of these days.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Cheyenne said, patting herself down one last time. “Thankfully Jake is a heavy sleeper; more so with that elixir I tossed into his drink when we got back here. Get the girls out of here. I want you to take the ship’s crew back on the first airship back home since there is going to be a shitstorm once this makes the papers.”
“Back to Elysium?”
“At first but then take some time off and make your way back to our airship to prep it. I’m going to take the infiltration team on a little undercover side trip first. There’s a man who is making illegal slave runs from Yucatan all the way up to the top of the Mississippi Bay that I’ve been meaning to bag for some time now. Now shoo, I wanna get laid by my man before I have to be away from him for a couple of months.”
“Yes mistress,” Zoe said with a resigned sigh as she slipped out the door.
Turning in place, Cheyenne closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was a calming technique that she used whenever she wanted to change mindsets. Her identity of Cheyenne slowly faded into the background until only her public persona remained:
Opening her eyes, Ayla strode across the open floor of the penthouse until she got to the stairs leading up to the loft bedroom, slowly stripping off the rest of her clothes as she stepped up. By the time she was back to the ornate wooden four-poster bed, she was standing naked beside it with her long red hair cascading down her shoulders and halfway down her back.
For a moment she stood there admiring how peaceful he looked while he slept, memorizing every inch of his features. It was a bit of a ritual of hers to just admire his looks before having to leave his company for a while. Her gaze went from his long brown hair that he liked to keep in a colonial ponytail to his hard chiseled jaw with long sideburns that fed into his goatee. Then her eyes feasted upon his nude, muscular body and how it was half in, half out of the bedsheets at the moment. It was probably the only time she ever saw him not worrying about the stress of being a Jaeger or going off on his life’s pursuit to gather more evidence against her. She let out a worried sign herself as she realized that Zoe was right in that she would be caught eventually. If anyone could do it, it’d be Jake Walker; Jaeger Deliverer himself.
That was also the reason that she had to leave him so soon after spending all this time together.
Ayla took out a small vial from the small table off to one side of the bed, popped the small cork off of it, and waved it under Jake’s nose a couple of times before putting it back. She was quick enough so that she had the vial hidden and was standing naturally by the time he snapped awake. “Huh? What?” he snorted and groaned as he jerked about, catching his bearings. “Ayla? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I was just up for a bit enjoying the view.”
Jake managed to smile despite his grogginess. “You should see the view from down here.”
“I bet it’s very enjoyable from what I can see,” she smiled with a half nod to the sheets around his groin starting to rise up. She slid into bed with him and took his shaft in hand. He let out another groan, this time one full of lust as Ayla gently stroked him. Flinging one shapely leg over him, Ayla slid on top of him with ease before sinking down onto his hard cock. Both of them let out a deep gasp of pleasure.
“I could get used to waking up like this.” Jake said, sliding his hands onto her hips as she started rocking against him.
“I could get used to waking you up like this,” Ayla returned the smile, grabbing his hands to bring them up to her ample breasts in encouragement.
“Then I’d be a lucky man.”
The next morning Jake woke up alone. Frowning, he looked around the suite and even went into the next suite over to where Ayla’s maids had been staying at. Empty. It wasn’t until he was walking back into his suite that he saw the flowers and note. It was from Ayla saying that some urgent business had come up and she had to leave in a hurry.
Not wanting the day to be a total loss, Jake dressed and headed in to the local Jaeger station to fill out all of his reports and paperwork on the recent fiasco that led to one suspect being caught, tried, and convicted. The other suspect was still at large and he wanted to bag him before heading home to Elysium to be with Ayla.
He tossed the newssheet from his hotel room down onto the desk of a fellow Jaeger. “Morning, Gabe, there’s another headline in there about girls going missing from New Mobile,” he said cordially to Gabriel McKibben who was absently staring at a garter in his hand. “You wind up going to a wedding yesterday as well? Or is that from an admirer of yours?”
“Hm?” Gabriel asked, “This? Oh. It’s uh… from a friend.”
“Some friend if they’re giving you their garter.” Jake said with a smirk and a wink.
“Actually she’s an iSlave now.” Gabriel said defensively. “She just got sold yesterday at open market.”
“Oh,” Jake said, suddenly abashed. “Sorry. Do you, uh, want to talk about it?”
Gabriel shrugged it off. “Don’t worry about it. I’m just pissed that I lost her case that by all rights should’ve been an easy win. Anyways, there’s a note there from Muller on your desk. He referred the case to you since you’re our resident expert on the matter.” He pointed while reaching for the newssheet to read the headlines.
Jake thanked him and walked over to the desk that he used when he was in Atlanta. There was a bundle of pics waiting for him tied together with twine. Jake turned over the note that Coleton Muller, another fellow Jaeger, had left on top of it. Oddly enough, he was nowhere to be found either. “Last night Director Ambrose Wain of the First National Bank of Dixie was assassinated.” He muttered as he read. Son of a bitch. The other suspect was no longer at large because he was now dead. “The attack has been determined to have been carried out by Cheyenne and her corsairs per the images captured by on scene security flashers. Damn,” he said, crushing the note in his fist. She’d been right here in Dixie! And he’d missed her! And she was moving further inland, too, with her so-called vigilante tactics. She was getting bolder and it was infuriating. He’d have to go out to the Wain estate later to look at the crime scene.
Jake pulled at the twine holding the bundle together and started sifting through the pics. Like any other pics that have been taken of the elusive woman, many of these were grainy and blurry as Cheyenne and her crew moved too fast for a clear image to be captured. He stopped when he came to one pic that was surprisingly clear. One flasher had actually caught her up close while she was standing relatively still. Jake’s hopes rose for a moment until he realized that she’d turned away. The way her flaming red hair was flying in the pic, it looked like she’d been caught off guard by the flasher that took this, and had turned away at the last possible moment.
Something in the pic caught his eye. Jake grabbed and donned his goggles, looking at the pic again, this time increasing magnification. When he’d brought the photo into focus, his heart nearly stopped. There, at the base of Cheyenne’s neck, was a small bruise that could not have been made by any kind of weapon. It was only possible to make that kind of bruise if one placed their mouth there and sucked hard. The way he’d done… the night before.
To Ayla Greenstar.
Any other works in progress?
I am in the process of working on books three (Messenger), four (Emancipator), and five (Rebel) for the Jaegers of the Consortium series with another five planned after that along with some spin off short stories. I still work on short stories for Literotica and have at least 20 of those going at any given time
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Some of the best advice I have I got from author Loren Coleman; “Don’t fear the red ink.” Your manuscript will be torn to shreds by editors but do not let that get you down. Learn from it. To add on to that I would encourage new authors to keep on writing and don’t stop trying to get published.
Buy my book, please? =)