Hey all! Because I'm too shy to ask anyone to interview me (YET) here is my self-written interview. As always, your host is Tristan because that's way more fun. He kicked and dragged his heels because he hates working for me (I'm his highness's scribe not the other way around) but he did it. I hope you enjoy this!
Mock: "What are you wearing?"
Tristan: "This is Oscar de la Renta."
Mock: "But Oscar de la Renta doesn't exist in your universe."
Tristan: "Neither do you, Mock. Do you really want to go down that road?"
Mock: *grumbles* "Ask me the first question."
Tristan: "Could you please tell readers a bit about your writing process?"
Mock: "Sometimes it starts with one question. It can be a meaningful one or a very weird one. Then it's like someone's answering me from the abyss. Other times, scenes just appear. Scene after scene like I'm the one being told a story. I know I must have some influence because some things in my works are inspired by real life events, but how I see this is because I am the "storyteller" I need to find a way to relate the story to readers. The character is presenting me with a feeling, and I have to write that feeling using things I know to relay the feeling to readers through story. That's another thing too. Writing On a Feeling I call it. I feel something and then a whole novel pours out exploring that feeling."
Tristan: "I see. So are your characters just faceless voices to you? Propaganda for you to churn a few gold coins?"
Mock: *face palms* "That's not one of the questions."
Mock: "Fine. No. Obviously I need to make money to live, but really, I feel the odd, insatiable need to give life to these voices. Like, if I don't tell their story then who will? I feel terrible anxiety over not getting it out and it's why when I'm in Writing Cave I get quiet------writing becomes more important than anything else."
Mock: "You're not supposed to give your opinion on my answer. This is about me. No right and wrong." *notices he's zoned out* "Never mind. Just, ask me the next question from the list."
Tristan: *smirks* "How do you choose which style you'll write in?"
Mock: "I don't. It's just there. Sometimes I really wish I could outline, I think it would be less stressful, but everything is there including if it's first person or third. Even the POV. Like, with some books, I've hoped to write more than one POV but some characters take over------especially the bratty ones." *looks at Tristan* "And then I just get one POV. But I'm not 'pantsing' either. I'm ... feeling my way through. I call it musing."
Tristan: "Hhhmmph. Well. Some of us have lots of important things to say. Moving right along. Who is your favorite character?"
Mock: "That's not on the list-------"
Tristan: "------who, Mock?"
Mock: "For reasons I can't comprehend, you're my favorite brat. As for Top it gets harder. Sometimes it's Dallas Colt and sometimes Charlie Westley. But right now, Silas has my heart. Though he's pretty damn intense. So I think for all the time I choose Bayaden."
Tristan: *glares* "No. You can't have Bayaden. Choose someone else."
Mock: "This is about who I write, not who I want to be with. That bodes well for you."
Tristan: "Choose. Someone. Else."
Mock: *laughs "Sorry you asked, my favorite brat? For all the time, Charlie. For maximum intensity, Silas. I have to save Dallas for someone else." *winks*
Tristan: *clears throat* "Who taught you how to write?"
Mock: "I am self taught. I went to university and you do learn a little bit about writing essays and research papers there, but for storytelling, I didn't attend any schooling for it. Storytelling was the natural language in my home growing up. We are incapable of not framing everything as a story, which can get cumbersome for the listener, but for writing books it came in handy. I did have to put a lot of effort into grammar. I am always working on grammar. And I will add that I believe my readers taught me how to tell stories too. The feedback of beta readers is invaluable as well. Once you get the hang of writing a story down, you have to learn how to speak to readers. It can all make sense in my head and even once I've written it down, but can still be confusing to the reader. Editing helps with this too and feedback from writing Fanfiction for going on eight years. I read all comments. Hear what they say and what they don't. I make adjustments while I write the next novel."
Tristan: "Can you give us an idea of what's coming next in the land of Mock? Your Lost Brothers Series is up."
Mock: "Yes. This story is about the demons of trauma. What they can do to us. The resulting avalanche on ourselves (which we don't always see) and the people in our proximity. Of course it will have discipline elements, but with a slightly different twist. This is another Found Family situation. I wrote the first two books last year so I'm over here dying to share, but there are a few bits I was waiting on. Some scenes are hard to write and I have to be in the right headspace."
Tristan: "Everyone wants to know when you'll get back to my book. Who cares about these other books, Mock?"
Mock: "That's not a question either. I'll talk about you another time."
Tristan: "Then can I be done now? I'm bored. I have better things to do."
Mock: "All right. All right. I have a lot of work to do anyway. But I'll include a little bit of Silas here. Thank you for interviewing me, even though you're a horrible brat."
Tristan: "Your favorite horrible brat."
From Chapter 6 of Lost Brothers Copyright to Mock 2022 (unedited)
Context: Silas takes Oliver to pick out pointe shoes. A sensitive topic comes up, which ends up being the second domino in a series to fall, which will lead to other things.
I love how his eyes brighten when we walk into the Dance Shoppe. The first time I brought him to a place like this, he was tiny. His eyes lit up the same way. I knew then he would be a dancer. I can imagine that for a dancer, this is a candy shop. It's filled with dance bags hanging on the walls, tutus hung around the ceiling, dance clothing (sweats, shirts, leotards and more) and so many kinds of shoes. “Do you need anything other than the shoes?”
He bites his lip. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind some new dance tights and wow, love this sweatshirt … and … I don’t really need it though.”
“Get whatever you like.” I know he won’t be able to resist. “I’m going to get someone to help us with pointe shoes for you.”
He smiles and races off to the sea of dance paraphernalia.
By the time we leave, he’s got a new bag, several pairs of black tights, the pink sweatshirt he wanted and a tutu because he's always had a secret not so secret love of tutus. He was also fit for pointe shoes in a brand I’d read good reviews about and the woman at the store agreed was reputable. They were expensive, nowhere near Valencianas, but leaning to the higher price range. The look on Oliver’s face told me he would not have bought them if I weren’t there to force the issue.
“We’ll try them and if they’re suitable, I’ll send for several more pair,” I told her. She was excited for the sale. They’re a smaller store but they carry some of the finer brands. I chose it because if Oliver were to argue, I would have pointed out how our purchases would benefit the small business and I know he wouldn’t have argued with that.
We’re on the road home. Contentment has settled over us both. The fresh air breezes in through the open car windows. I can’t help reaching over to run a hand through his hair, a familiar rhythm, something I’ve always done. “I want to talk about Julius,” he says.
“We spoke about him last night. I gave my permission. Next move with him is up to you but I hope you won't base your decision on what you saw of me last night.”
“No. That’s not … I mean yes but …” He stares out the window. “Is it okay if I consider you my parent?”
Darius and I had parents, Oliver didn’t. He might have been alive for a few years before Father’s death, but he has no recollection. And I’m glad for it. I remember times with Oliver and Father—they weren’t good ones. Mother held him some before she was gone. She was very sick after he was born.
“I am your parent, Oliver. But why bring it up now and not when you were younger?”
“Why haven’t you brought it up?” he answers instead of answering my question.
“I could tell it made you uncomfortable. Was I wrong?”
He looks at his hands. “No.”
It stings a little that it took Julius saying something for him to feel comfortable enough to want to bring it up. He’s still not comfortable just comfortable enough. His cheeks are flushed. “I adopted you when you were six for legal reasons. I am your official guardian. Or I was. You’re an adult now.”
His head snaps up. I know he’ll be pissed. Lakshan always tells me to “soften the blow” with big things—for people other than himself, he appreciates my directness—but it’s not in me. “What the fuck, Silas? And you never fucking told me? Does Darry know?”
“Watch your tone.” I eye him and watch the road at the same time.
“Darius knows. Like I said, it was for legal reasons. We kept running into problems the documentation solved. We decided not to make a big deal of it. At the time, things were fine how they were. We didn’t want to confuse you. You got older and it mattered even less.”
He’s quiet—quietly being pissed at me. While I don’t like him angry at me, he’s entitled and so I leave him to process. The problem is, there’s nothing like Randall anger and as cool and collected as Oliver usually is, it did not skip him.
When we’re home, he gets out slamming the door, not bothering to take any of the new bags of his stuff in. “Oliver.”
“I don’t want any of it. I don’t want anything from you ever again, Dad.”
Fuck. I gather his things; he storms toward the house. Darius hasn’t left yet. He’s in a nice blazer, a white button-up with no tie and his standard black slacks. Oliver rushes by him, still graceful as a swan in his rage. His look is as dark as the hurricane that moves with him through the entryway and up the stairs. “What in the name of Lucifer?” Darius says.
I let Oliver go and unload the mountain of stuff we bought to the floor. “I told him about the adoption. He’s angry.”
“I told you not to fucking tell him. It was just a dumb legal thing. It didn’t mean anything.”
“It means something to him.”
“I’ll talk to him later. For now, I have plans with a beefcake,” he says.
“Did you get done what I asked you to? Or are you going to lose us another five million?” Sometimes Darius is on top of things and other times he’s distracted. I keep him on track.
“It’s done. We’ll get back what I lost and some. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
Before he can leave, Oliver is storming back down the stairs, a small dance bag over his shoulder stuffed to the brim. I know he doesn’t have to be at the dance studio today. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m moving out.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Jesus fucking Christ,” Darius says. “Did you two have to get into this now?”
“You’re just as bad as he is,” Oliver says. “You two can have each other, make all the adult plans you want together.”
I block the door with my large form. “Be angry all you like but you’re not moving out. Unless you’d like to finally go on the medication I got my physician to suggest?”
“Then go back to your room and cool off. We’ll talk after that.”
“I’m not going to my room like a little kid. I’m leaving with or without your permission,” he says but he’s shaking. He doesn’t have as much confidence as he’d like to have.
“Oh, for the love of,” Darius says running a hand through his neatly gelled hair. “Come with me to Wyatt’s. You’re gonna have to watch TV or something while we do it, but I know he won’t mind. You can help me choose a puppy for him.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“With me? Why not? That stings. I thought we were brother besties?”
Oliver’s close to tears though. “Where are you planning on going?” I ask. Maybe leaving briefly will allow him to work through this.
“I’ll stay with Simon and Shane until I get on my feet if they’ll have me.” His lip wobbles.
“All right. C’mon. Get back in the car. I’ll take you there.”
“What? That’s ridiculous. So now you’re ‘okaying’ my runaway? You’ll even drive me there?”
“You need to calm down. They will probably be good for you.”
“Forget it. I’m not going there then. And you’re not driving me wherever I do go. That’s just stupid.”
“If you think you’re going to hide at Julius’s, you’re wrong. I will find out where he lives, and I will show up to turn your ass a violent shade of red before I carry you out of there.” He hasn’t earned a spanking from me in a while, but he knows I’ll do it. Maybe he needs one regardless.
Oliver stands frozen, angry, and upset. I plead with my eyes for Darius to do something. Oliver doesn’t want anything to do with me right now and while I will physically stop him walking out the door, I’d like to avoid that.
Darius puts an arm around him. Oliver lets him. “C’mon bro. I’ll take you to Shane and Simon’s, okay? You can snuggle up to the big hawk-like lug and you’ll feel better. I’m pretty sure it’s his day off. Simon will bake muffins for you or something and Kia will lick your face until you stop crying.”
Oliver sniffles and he nods. When they walk out the door together, my heart clenches. If I ever wondered as to whether I am truly Oliver’s parent (even though I never have), watching him walk out the door like that confirms it for me. I know him better than he knows himself. I know he’ll be back once he calms down but that could be a few nights. He’s twenty-four but I still have the urge to hold him and tell him it will all be okay. To soothe whatever worries he’s got. To be his protector and idol.
A parent can’t be sorry for acting with benevolence—we can be sorry for how it affected our kid but not for acting in their best interest. We’re going to fuck things up. We’re going to get it wrong. Another kid wouldn’t have cared about this. Turns out, Oliver does. I knew there was always a chance I’d have to deal with the fall out. I hoped one day he’d understand.
I take his bags to his room. I put everything away for him, but I leave the pink sweatshirt on the bed. I spy something behind one of his pillows. I’m not in here often anymore and I didn’t know he’d kept it but of course he did. The pale pink stuffed rabbit I got for him when he was four. We’d just left a fucking mess. It became his nighttime comfort when he had to sleep without me. I borrow it. Lakshan won’t ask questions when it comes to bed with us. I know he’ll rub my back and say, “A lion’s cubs are tied to him, Raja. He’ll forgive you.”
And then I’ll be able to fall asleep because Lakshan is usually right.