Friday, September 20, 2013

Guest Author: N.R. Walker

Something a little different today readers we have a Character Interview – I haven't hosted one of these before and would value your comments :-)

N.R. Walker sits down with Cooper Jones, a character from her book, Elements of Retrofit. 

I’d like to welcome Cooper Jones. Tell us Cooper, how’s life in New York.

New York is amazing. It’s a city that truly gets under your skin.

It’s not all about the city, is it?

*Cooper gives a slow grin* No, it’s not.

Tell us, how’s Tom?

*Cooper’s grin widens* Tom’s great. He’s working right now, sitting at his dining table, totally absorbed by the job specs on his laptop. *looks over to the man at the table, whose wearing jeans, a button-down shirt and bare feet* I can always tell he’s thinking legislation when he gets that little crinkle between his eyes. *points between his own eyebrows*  I’ll go and annoy him soon. He pretends to be all pissed, but really, he loves it. He’ll get to that point in the job, if something’s not going right, where he’s just about to cuss and throw his pen onto the table and be in a bad mood for the rest of the day, like right now. See how his lips do that twisted-pouty thing and his eyes go all hard at the screen? *looks over to see Tom doing exactly that* He’s about thirty seconds away from losing it. *Stands up, walks over to Tom and, standing behind him runs his hands along his shoulders, up his neck and then tilts Tom’s head back so he can plant a kiss on his lips*
“I’m hungry,” Cooper says.
“You’re interrupting,” Tom replies.
“You need a break,” Cooper counters, with another peck to his lips. “And I need lunch.”
Tom smiles up at him. “Give me ten minutes.”
*Cooper walks back to the sofa, smirking victoriously*
Is he even aware of how easily you just manipulated him?
*Cooper snorts* He knows damn well. And he loves it.

So tell us, what were you thinking when you met Tom? You arrived at his apartment with Ryan after a few years away.

I rocked up with Ryan, not really expecting anything more than having dinner at his dad’s place. I’d met his father heaps of times when I was younger, but I’d just finished studying architecture, and Thomas Elkin… well, I’d studied his work in college, so it was different this time. He still looked as I’d remembered, I mean, I’d never really paid much attention to how my friends parents’ looked. But I was turning up at Brackett and Golding that week for my internship and I knew he was a senior partner there, but I didn’t want to say anything in case he thought I had some ulterior motive. But it wasn’t like that. Chances were I’d see out my internship without seeing him again. But he chose me to work with him…

Yes, he did. And that’s where you met the real Thomas Elkin?

*smiles* I sure did. Working with him was… *shakes head*… a dream come true. For a budding architect, well, it didn’t get any better than that. But the more time I spent with him, the more complicated things got. I mean, he was handsome and he loved architecture like I did – we talked about it for hours and hours. I’d never been able to talk to anyone like that before. And he smelled so good, you have no idea.  *Cooper chuckles and ducks his head* and then one time we were working at his place and one thing led to another…
You told him you thought you should kiss?

*Cooper laughs* Oh, man. It was killing me. We’d just had the best day, and afterwards we were working, almost touching and my whole body was on edge – just from being near him at the table. And then he leaned in close, and so I leaned in too and I thought ‘fuck it’, I was gonna just kiss him, but he shot out of his seat and bolted. I tried to leave, but only got a step down the hall. I went back and told him we should kiss, just to break the tension, ya know? It was like, right there, between us for weeks. And maybe if we’d just get it out of the way, it’d go away. *shakes head again*

But it didn’t go away?
*Cooper snorts* Uh, no. Each kiss, each touch just made it worse. It was weird, because at first I was like, this guy is twice my age! I shouldn’t even be interested, but you know what? I realised that age didn’t matter. It did to Tom; it bothered him a lot, but we just connected. In the end I didn’t care. He was so smart, confident, sexy as hell and we had this amazing chemistry. I haven’t ever had that with anyone else, so why should his age make a difference?

And how’s Lionel treating you?
*Cooper laughs*  Lionel loves me. I just had to give him a hard time. I mean, he let the pizza guy up to Tom’s door, and not me! But he loves me, and now that I have a key, I don’t have to pester him so much.

But you still do.
Of course I do! *laughs again* It’s like my job.

Speaking of jobs, you’re starting a new job soon?
I have started, and I love it. It’s a much better fit for me than what Brackett and Golding ever would have been. I can see that now. Tom knew what he was doing. *looks sneakily over at Tom* Just don’t tell him I said that.

Wouldn’t dream of it.  You made it pretty clear to Tom you didn’t appreciate the decision making on his behalf.
*Cooper snorts* Absolutely. He had to know I won’t stand for shit like that, but he also had to know I was serious. I was serious about us, and if we were going to do the whole boyfriend thing, he had to know how serious I was.

So, about the boyfriend status, how did your family take the news?
*Cooper grins widely* Ah nice try, no spoilers. That’s in the next installment. We deal with families in the second book, Clarity of Lines.
*Tom stands up, closes the laptop and stretches* “You ready for lunch?”
“Yep,” Cooper answers.
*Tom collects wallet and keys and walks toward the door*
“Um, Tom? Are you forgetting something?”  *Cooper gives a pointed glance to Tom’s feet*
“Shit. Shoes.” *Tom mumbles and walks off to put on some shoes*
*Cooper laughs* “Is your Alzheimer medication not working?”
“Shut up,” Tom replies. “For that comment, you’re buying lunch.”
*Cooper stands up and grins* That means I get to pick what we have!
“No, that means you get to pay for what we have,” Tom replies.
“Well, if I’m paying, then I’m picking.”
“Let me guess, I can choose between Vietnamese rolls or Vietnamese rolls?”
*Cooper laughs* “Ooh, Vietnamese rolls! Great idea, Tom.”
“You’re so infuriating.”
“It’s a Gen Y thing,” Cooper says. “We’ve been through this.”
“It’s a pain in the ass thing,” Tom says, pulling on his boots.
“Well, actually, the pain in the ass thing will be later on tonight.”
“Cooper!” Tom hisses, and gives me an apologetic glance.
*Cooper grins at me* Come on, we’ll walk you down. Tom’s going to buy me Vietnamese rolls for lunch.
*Tom sighs, resigned* I’ll never win, will I?
*Cooper ponders this thoughtfully* Uh, no. It’s not likely.
Thanks for the interview, guys. We’ll see you both again soon.

Elements of Retrofit – Thomas Elkin Series #1
Pre-Release date (TEB site): 6 September 2013
General Release date (Amazon etc): 7 October 2013
Even the strongest of buildings start out as plans on paper, and every architect knows that sometimes plans need to change. Sometimes, these lessons are learned on the job. 

A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thought he knew everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven, and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom a few things about life.

What’s next?
Well, next month not only does Elements hit third-party sites, but I have another pre-release with TEB.  Breaking Point, the much anticipated sequel to Point of No Return, is available for download from the TEB site.
Breaking Point – Turning Point Series #2
Pre-Release date (TEB site): 26 October 2013
General Release date (Amazon etc): 22 November 2013

As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott’s world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he’s helpless to stop it.

Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what’s right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him – the more pain he takes for his penance, and he’s soon fighting for more than justice.

He’s fighting for love.

He’s fighting for his life.

What’s coming up:  (dates to be confirmed)
Clarity of Lines – Thomas Elkin Series #2 Approx January 2014
Sense of Place – Thomas Elkin Series #3 Approx February 2014
Starting Point – Turning Point Series #3 TBA
Taxes and TARDIS re-release Possibly March 2014
Three’s Company re-release Possibly April 2014

Contact N.R. Walker


  1. Great post, N.R.!! Can't wait to read Elements of Retrofit!!!


  2. Loved the character interview! I also love this character, book and author! Can't wait for #2!