Member Spotlight: Jakebe Jackalope

1. Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?

Right now I’m working on a serial story for Patreon, told in weekly installments, then bundled up once a month or so and posted to various websites. I’m really excited about the opportunity and challenges presented in telling a story in these episodic bursts; I think it really allows you to experiment with the plotting and structure in ways that maximize the impact of how things roll out.

This first serial is something I’ve been developing for a while, called “The Cult of Maximus”. Two mismatched police officers — a large, gentle wolf and a small but aggressive rabbit — are investigating the disappearance of various homeless people within their jurisdiction of Fog City. The discovery of what’s been happening to them pulls them both into a sprawling conspiracy that has designs on guiding the kaleidoscope of sapient species to the next stage of evolution. Now, this pair has to find a way to discover just how deep this cult goes and how to stop them while being in over their heads every step of the way.

I hope that the serial will give me the ability to arc out a deep exploration of these characters and how their experience with this mystic, impossible problem changes them — both inside and out. Of course, those changes manifest in ways that affect the people around them, and this serial will explore that as well. I’m really fascinated by how personal changes become community changes, and how those become bigger socio-political changes given enough time and momentum. We don’t exist in a vacuum, and I’m really jazzed about the opportunity to show that step by step.

All of this will be taking place in the context of a story with an erotic nature, which is also exciting and really tricky. I’m going into this with the idea that erotic stories can discuss serious and interesting topics; they can be arousing, thrilling and thoughtful at the same time.

2. What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between?

Definitely “something in-between”. I’ve found that it really helps me to pull through a story if I have signposts that can lead me to the next big thing, so I really love having an outline that allows me to see the rough shape of a story. However, the story almost never turns out to match the shape of the outline I’ve given it.

When a story “grows legs”, it’s a sign that you’ve really tapped into something but it can also throw all of your plans out of the window. Characters end up doing things you’d never expect, pulling new characters from the ether that you never planned for; or a character will resist a certain plot point because there’s something about their personality that makes a necessary action impossible for them to take, so you have to back up and get to know this person in your head a little better.

So while the outline is definitely a big help for determining the joints of the story where things pivot, you might find that you need to reconstruct it on the fly fairly often.

3. What’s your favorite kind of story to write?

I think I really love telling stories about outsiders. People who resist type a little, perhaps, or feel that they don’t belong for one reason or another. I love digging into a character to figure out how they work, what makes them feel disconnected from their environment, and then writing the story that moves them a little closer to the world they inhabit.

Most of the stuff that I end up showing is erotic in nature, just because I’m a big fan of macro/micro stories as well. There’s something about the way physical transformation necessitates a shift in your mentality that I love exploring too; when you gain or lose physical power, it changes the way you see yourself and your place in the world. It’s more than simply lording power over someone else, it’s also dealing with this real, physical difference that separates you from your world and what that does to your psyche.

4. Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?

This might just be because it’s what I’m working on now, but Officer Tom from “The Cult of Maximus” is someone I’m having a lot of sympathy for right now. He’s this sort-of average guy who holds strong beliefs without necessarily voicing them, who feels in over his head with his job most of the time, who is trying to balance the demands of this difficult profession with his home life. And just when he feels like he’s getting his feet under him, something else comes along to pull the rug out from under him! It happens all the time in life, and I think that’s what makes it such a fun story to write. Continue reading “Member Spotlight: Jakebe Jackalope”