Interview with Jude Dunn

But if I Tell Him…?
How to get all the way to “I love you” without hyperventilating.

One Thing Leads> by Jude Dunn


“He loves me… he loves me not…. He loves me… he loves me not….” Remember pulling the petals off of flowers in elementary school while chanting that to discover the answer to the most important question in the world? Well, I remember watching girls do it. Guys wouldn’t be caught dead doing that. But we had the same thoughts and concerns even though we didn’t know how to express them.

Move ahead to middle school, then high school, then adult life. The same questions, the same concerns and worries, and the same hopes that, “Maybe he’ll say yes, maybe he’ll say he likes me” follow us throughout life. It’s a universal experience, isn’t it? We want to tell that special someone we love them, but we’re afraid of rejection.

Dion and Kenji love each other but don’t know how to say it. Before either man can, they’re split apart by a conniving, oversexed playboy who has dark designs on Dion. Read on as I tell Heloise what it’s like to write about the universal problem of people in love who can’t say they’re in love. But first here’s a synopsis of One Thing Leads to get you into the story. After the interview there’s a short bio of yours truly and the requisite excerpt, freebies, and “buy me!” linkage. Click and enjoy. Find out if Dion and Kenji find the courage to confess to each other.


What makes a young man go further than he ever thought he would?

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.


VP: How did you celebrate your first book?

JD: I’m doing that now. One Thing Leads is my first novel, and I’m terribly proud. I treated myself to a fabulous dinner and rejoiced with friends, and I’m discovering what it means to connect with people who are reading my work, including the short pieces I’ve published before. Mostly I’m thinking about my next project, which I can’t wait to get back to working on.

VP: What made you want to write One Thing Leads?

JD: One Thing Leads operates on three levels, each of which is fascinating to me, each of which I wanted to explore. On the surface it’s a vicarious thrill ride into a world most of us will never visit, where a power-hungry playboy tries to enslave beautiful men as prostitutes. It’s also a love story about two men who are separated and have to find their way back together. But beneath both of these is a cautionary tale about how one thing leads to another, each one a seemingly small step, almost trivial by itself, but together they all add up to a trip down a dangerous road. All three of these are woven together in One Thing Leads.

VP: Are you a plotter or pantser?

JD: I’m both. To illustrate what I mean, imagine hearing this when you get home tonight: “Honey, guess what? I’ve got the last week of the month off. We’re going on a road trip!”

If your partner is a plotter, he simply must have a firm destination, a quite specific route, and a detailed plan for stops along the way. If she’s a pantser, she lives for the opportunity to just throw clothes in a bag and jump in the car. Never mind if the clothes are the right ones weather-wise, because the pantser doesn’t know where she’s headed, only that she’s excited about the trip.

When writing I like having an initial destination and a plan for getting there, but I’m flexible. If one or more of my characters has a hankering to turn off the road and see “what’s out there,” then I’m willing to follow for a bit. Some of the best improvements in a story can happen that way.

VP: What other genres do you write in?

JD: I love science fiction. I’ve been a fan since I was a preteen. I have several M/M romances in the SF genre that are percolating right now.

VP: What is a typical writing day like for you?

JD: I work a part-time job in addition to my full-time day job, so time is at a premium. I live in Chicago and don’t have a car, and I take public transportation everywhere. That’s turned out to be a blessing. I write on the El on the way to and from work and at the public library at the end of the day. In fact, about sixty percent of One Thing Leads was written on the train. I’m not sure what I’d do with a quiet room at home, my favorite tea, and a candle to the side to calm me as so many authors have.

About Jude

I’m a southern boy who lives in Chicago and enjoys fine wine, dark chocolate, and plays jazz piano from time to time. Most of all, I love writing gay romance and erotica that will touch your heart and make you laugh.


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