*flails* EEEP! Tomorrow Shooting Scars releases (hell, maybe it’ll even come out at midnight!). Today I’m talking to the hilarious Jenn Cooksey (quack), author of the beloved Grab Your Pole Series. If you’re a fan of Sins & Needles OR her series, you’re going to want to read this. Also, major props to something in S&N that she deems the best sentence she’s ever read. More props to how a 13-year old genius would fool Javier using knowledge of the TV show Supernatural. Just….keep reading.
KH: Give us three words to describe Sins & Needles.
JC: Fast, Dark, Sexy
KH: Give us three words to describe Ellie, Camden, Javier
JC: Ellie: Desperate, Calculating, Abused
Camden: Embittered, Cunning, Eclectic
Javier: Unrepentant, Debauched, Delusional
KH: Your favorite scene in Sins & Needles
JC: Hands down it was the backyard barbeque scene. However, probably not for the same reason the rest of the down and dirty crowd got all moist reading it, although it was admittedly hot AF. It’s my favorite simply because “You can almost hear the concentration when a man is trying to put one of those on.” is not only one of life’s undeniable truths, but it also might just be one of the best sentences I’ve ever read. (Oh and for all of you who squirmed and grimaced in distaste at my word choice in this answer, that was payback to Megan from Reading Books Like A Boss. She knows what she did.)
KH: Moist..it had to be that word. But thank you, I do think men putting on condoms should be filmed or something, all the sweat on their brow as they concentrate. So, aside from that, why should people read this book?
JC: Like strip malls, there’s something for everyone in Sins & Needles; action, passion, life lessons, sweet rides (interpret that however you wish), humor, second chances, love, betrayal, surprises, consequences, the occasional f-bomb, good music, secrets, uber-flawed and relatable characters, intensity, mobile art, redemption and so much more. And, it’s extremely well written.
KH: Camden just caught you trying to rob him – what would you say to talk yourself out of the situation?
JC: Honestly, I’d probably tell him the truth; that I just wanted to see if I was good enough to do it. Plus, if the repercussions are being handcuffed by Camden even if he’s dangerously unstable at the time and demonstrating a possible break from reality…? Well, I’m just sayin’, I’d probably get caught on purpose. And don’t you judge me either.
KH: No judging here! How would your character Jillian (Camie’s younger sister) handle the situation if Javier suddenly showed up at her door, looking for Camie?
JC: I imagine it might go down something like this: Jillian, wearing her oversized t-shirt with the words “The Second Amendment” printed above a picture portraying a man with hairy bear arms, opens the door and immediately recognizing the swarthy and wholly unattractive sociopath standing before her, she raises a somewhat bored and supercilious eyebrow in question. The Psych—er…Javier opens his mouth to ask for Camie when Jillian interrupts him by saying, “So, Eric Kripke is not only bringing back Bobby, but the yellow-eyed demon, Azazel, too. Well, Sam and Dean aren’t here, nor is Castiel, but I imagine you’ll have no problem finding any of them on the CW when season eight of Supernatural airs this fall. If your business with any of the numerous and vastly more palatable cast members is pressing and can’t wait until October, I suggest flipping through past scripts or checking out Netflix and watching previous episodes. Yellow Fever and The Mystery Spot are two of my favorites, although you’re not in either, which only makes them that much more enjoyable.” Then she’d either shut the door in his dumbfounded face or stare at him and through his soul until he uncomfortably wriggles his shoulders and leaves, having no comeback whatsoever to the thorough insult made by a rather scary in her own right, thirteen-year-old genius.
KH: Yeah…pretty sure Javier would turn around and walk. Let’s say Camie has started doing cons…what kind of con would she pull?
JC: Well, Camie is nowhere near conniving or duplicitous enough to pull off any kind of complex con really, but as long as no one actually put their hands, mouth, or other bits on her, I could maybe see Camie partnering with Tristan to pull a kind of scam as seen in the movie Derailed where a “married” woman begins an almost-affair with a married man (the mark) and then the two are caught with their pants down and assaulted by an unknown assailant who not only robs the pair right then and there, but he then turns around and blackmails the mark (who was convinced by the woman to not go to the police because their spouses would find out about the affair, obviously) so his cheating ass doesn’t lose his wife and family, whom the blackmailer is also now threatening the lives of, unbeknownst to them of course. The married woman even goes so far as to tell the schmuck she’s pregnant and he of course, being the stupid fuck he is, gives her cash for an abortion so her “husband” won’t find out, because you know, she and her husband haven’t had sex in MONTHS so if she got knocked up out of the blue, he’d know she’d cheated on him. The unknown assailant is actually the supposed married woman’s con-counterpart, who she might or might not actually be married to; I can’t remember that detail of the movie at the moment tho—Wait, what was the question?
KH: *closes mouth* Moving on! Tristan has a choice…he can join a rescue mission to Mexico or he can join a cartel. What would he choose?
JC: Tristan has a teeny problem with drugs and wearing anything even close to resembling a suit (which he’d say is requisite for being in a cartel), and he’s a control freak too, probably making him not the best team player in an organized crime ring, so as long as he could dress accordingly, which in his mind is the obligatory sombrero and poncho—two things he happens to already possess so bonus points—he’d totally go with the rescue mission to Mexico. Plus, he can look for an authentic mariachi band while he’s there to play the wedding Camie is planning, so more bonus points.
KH: Tell people who Jillian, Camie and Tristan are and how they all come together in your series, Grab Your Pole.
JC: You know, Karina, I really kinda hated you for asking some of these questions because brevity clearly isn’t my thing even in a simple interview, but goddamn it, my verbose AF self simply cannot answer this one succinctly—as if most of my other answers can be classified as anything other than word vomit, right? I know, I know…I’m a word whore. So, sorry everyone, but this is all Karina’s fault, really. Oh and you might wanna go potty and then grab a snack (or booze) and get comfy…
Camie is your average teenage girl except that she’s been homeschooled her entire life and thus doesn’t have the same life experiences that most of her peers have had the opportunity to accrue. She’s smart, sarcastic and feisty, she possesses a natural beauty that she hasn’t allowed to go to her head, she’s adept at standing up for herself—although sometimes she needs a shove to do so—she has an irrational fear of looking stupid; something fate and the cosmos instigate frequently, and she has a quirk of hearing songs and seeing clips from movies and TV in her head. Camie adores Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her relationship with Tristan is only rivaled by her love affair with Bacon.
Jillian is Camie’s little sister. Camie has said that if you want to know what Jillian will look like when she’s sixteen, just picture Malibu Barbie. Tristan however can be quoted saying this about her: “Jillian is many things. She’s intimidating as hell for one thing and yeah, I have no problem admitting that a thirteen-year-old girl occasionally scares the shit out of me. Of course, her sister has a similar effect on me; only Camie doesn’t do it on purpose. Jillian carries herself with something like poetic grace; however, for those of us who have any sense of self-preservation, well, we recognize that poem to be taken from Bradbury’s story Something Wicked This Way Comes.” She’s a certified genius. She owns a real broadsword. She doesn’t text.
What you see is what you get does not apply to Tristan. He is a legend in his own time and has made himself the embodiment of what most every female desires, regardless of her age. Readers have called him a nautical god and a gorgeous behemoth with a penis, he’s rumored to be a man-whore by other characters in the series, and he himself has adopted the title of recently reformed promiscuous reprobate, although his mother believes him to be a consummate hopeless romantic. He’s capricious and admittedly egotistical, too, but he doesn’t show the masses what he’s really made of underneath his gloriously tanned and muscled hide. So while Tristan may appear completely unattainable and elusive, he is in truth, an inherently deep and complex individual.
In the Grab Your Pole series the three’s worlds collide when Camie and Jillian move from Arizona to California and their mother has to give up homeschooling them due to having breast cancer. Camie suddenly finds herself being the uncertain new girl when she’s thrown head first into public high school without knowing a soul outside of her family, none of who initially attend the same school as she. Through a series of seemingly fortuitous and often hilarious situations that arise, Camie and Tristan both find themselves in uncharted waters time and again. The chemistry between them is undeniable and many times, explosive. And like the wrath of wind and rain, both of them are forces to be reckoned with, the most destruction being done when they’re reckoning with each other.
KH: Jenn, I love you and if my readers have NOT checked out Grab Your Pole yet (starting with Sharkbait) Please go do so NOW!!
Jenn Cooksey is a Southern California girl born and bred, however she’s no longer a resident of heaven on earth, but instead she currently resides in the 7th Ring of Hell with her husband, their three daughters, and a goodly number of pets. Aside from her husband, one cat, and three out of five fish, everyone living under the Cooksey’s roof is female. She’s sure her husband will not only be awarded sainthood when he kicks the bucket, but that Jesus will welcome him into heaven with a beer and a congratulatory high-five. Jenn is also of the belief that Bacon should be capitalized and that just being yourself is the best way to go. That is, unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.
She is the author of the Grab Your Pole series, a Mature YA series. Book 3, Shark Out of Water was released on July 31, 2013. Book 4 (Untitled) will be released in 2014.