Day One of Clarity of Lines Blog Tour!
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Character Interview with Cooper Jones
I’d met Tom years before, but he was just Ryan’s dad back then. When I came to New York and met him again, my impression of him was different, to say the least. Sure, he was older, had grayish kind of hair, but he was seriously hot.
- Thomas Elkin was a successful architect at one of the prestigious companies inNew York, older, sexy and available. What were your first impressions of him?
I’d studied his work at college, and I knew he was a senior at Brackett and Golding, but I didn’t even know if I’d even see him there, or if he’d even recognize me. It had been years, and I’d changed a bit since he’d seen me last. But no, when I ran into Ryan on the street, I had no intention of meeting his dad like that.
- We know that you had the same love for buildings as him, were it your intention to meet him? Be honest.
Tom’s many things, but I absolutely respect his professional views and opinions. He looks at architecture the same way I do and he has so much more insight than me. Tom’s definitely a mentor.
- Was he a mentor?
It was the moment we met. Well, for me at least. I was a bit shocked that I found an older guy attractive, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
- The moment you met, were you immediately attracted to him or was it a gradual thing?
It kind of weirded me out at first. I went home and tried to convince myself it was nothing, but then I started working with him, and the more we talked, the more I couldn’t deny his intellect was a huge turn on for me.
- The age difference does play a huge factor in the story, what was your initial reaction towards it?
I knew Ryan would be okay with it if we could just get him to listen.
- Surely, you had to pause and think about Ryan, your best friend and the son of Thomas Elkin, that was the same age as you. How did you think he would react if he had to know?
I knew if we let him leave, it’d be too hard to get him to listen. I just wanted him to hear it from us, not so much for my sake but for Tom’s. I didn’t want to come between him and his son.
- When he did walk in on the two of you, he wanted to run but you stopped him. What were your thoughts at that stage?
It was, in a way, yes. Telling someone else made it very real.
- In Thomas words, that were the moment the relationship became real for him, did you feel the same?
Oh, man, I was gutted. Not for the job as much as the fact I thought Tom had used me. That was the worst.
- During your internship at Brackett and Golding, it was easy to hide the relationship. When your time ended and you did not get the position, you were very professional and walked away. How did you feel about Thomas and losing the dream job at that very moment?
I was pissed off, and hurt. I really needed a few days to get my head around what had happened, and once I’d spoken to him I knew his reasoning was logical. And professionally, it was what was best for me. Once I’d taken the emotion out of it, I could see that.
- You were angry with Thomas; you had not talked to him for a few days, fuming. When you finally got together and you heard his reasons, what were your thoughts about that?
I think everyone has the ability to lash out when hurt. It was a kneejerk reaction. Childish, probably, but I was still hurt and I wanted him to see how much he’d hurt me. I’m not generally a mean person though, no.
- This was the only place I thought you were mean to him, he was devastated at your reaction. Do you have a mean side that we have not seen yet?
That was totally on the spot. But it was perfect. There we were, surrounded by blueprint plans overlooking New York, and it was an analogy I knew he’d understand.
- I loved the analogy you have used describing your relationship. You said that your relationship was like a retrofit project: making the older, classic style integrated with the modern. That nailed it perfectly for me, was it a slow awareness or was it a light-bulb moment?
Lionel’s first loyalty was to Tom, which was understandable. But I knew he’d warm to me. When Tom asked for the key, Lionel was trying not to smile, so I knew he liked me. Lionel loves me now. I bring him pastries for his wife. What’s not to love?
- Lionel was a big hurdle for you, which caused a few funny moments, how did you felt when he had finally given you the last barrier, the key?
Of course, I was manipulating situations. That’s why I did it. *laughs* I only ever pull the Gen Y card when it’s funny, but would never do it seriously or use it to make Tom feel bad.
- The Generation Y topic came up often, and you used it often to get your way. Did you not feel you are manipulating the situations?
Ah, yes. I’m a 23 year old gay man in a long-term relationship. There will always be sex. Lots and of lots sex.
- According to Thomas, sex was always on your mind and you did it often. Is that the case?
Sofia had a lot of information dumped on her. In hindsight, I guess she handled it pretty well. I was more concerned with Tom’s reaction, and he defended me.Sofia was a bit of a bitch to me first off, but she dealt with it eventually.
- Your first meeting with Sofia did not go well, but you kept your cool on Ryan’s birthday. What were your initial thoughts about Tom’s ex-wife?
Nah, not at all. He needed some time with his parents so it was only right I walked away. I knew they didn’t know he was gay, and I would never put him in a situation that could hurt him.
- You had met Thomas parents very briefly and after greeting them very politely, you walked away. I thought that was very mature of you. Does people’s opinions matter to you or do you just hide it very well?
Man, my heart was hammering. I heard him say it to her and couldn’t believe it. I was floored that he said it, but he should have told me, not her. I was pissed at him, but still kinda glad he laid it out for Sofia like he did.
- “I love you” is three very simply but very profound words. Again, Thomas made a mess of it declaring it to Sofia, of all people. How did you feel when you heard it like that?
Of course it did. It was a real emotional connection.
- For Thomas everything changed after that declaration. For the first time he had asked that, you must make love to him, and you did. It was beautiful. Did the dynamics changed for you as well, after you professed your love for him?
I love challenging everyone. I love to challenge myself. Especially at work – if we’re working on a joint project with other drafties, we need to push each other and ourselves to achieve higher goals. Otherwise all we strive for is mediocre.
- You liked to challenge Thomas through out the story; does that apply to everything else in your life? Please give us an example.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. There was a few minutes, when I was in the backyard, that I was quite prepared for my parents to say I wasn’t welcome in their house and that was a low point for me. I wasn’t exactly prepared for that.Tom told me what he said to them; how he didn’t want them to lose me because of him, and I guess he earned respect-points for that.
- Your father did not accept the relationship and it devastated you. Thomas stepped in and showed his age when he spoke to them. You really complimented each other as a couple. It looked so easy but was it really?
We didn’t really. We knew it would and could be a problem for our families, but there was always the unspoken rule that we were worth it. We were putting ourselves through it because we knew we were the real deal.
- The age difference was a huge barrier for friends and family, did you and Thomas ever talked about it, and how you would handle it?
More of a test for me, I think. It’s a monumental step in any relationship, and I didn’t want to rush it. I needed to make sure Tom was certain. Plus, I like to keep him on his toes.
- Why did you stall to move in, I mean, the man was on his knees and still you refused, was it a test in some way?
God, that was heartbreaking. I needed to be there. When Ryan called me to tell me, there was no question for me. I had to be there. When I walked in and Tom started to cry, it almost killed me. But he needed me to be strong.
- When Tom’s father passed away, you immediately rushed from Philadelphia to be with him. Thomas walked into your arms and broke down for the first time. Right in front of his son and ex-wife, showing his heart openly. That had to have shaken you?
I can’t lie; it felt good. I always like it when people stop resisting my charms and give in to my awesomeness *laughs* but seriously? I was stoked. Not just for me, but for Tom and Ryan.
- You took charge and did what had to be done, which impressed me. When Sofiaincluded you as part of the family, how did it feel?
I do. They might not love the fact that Tom and I are together, but they’ve accepted it.
- Do you think that they have accepted the relationship?
I know I’ve been very blessed with my family and a lot of people don’t have that. That said, I’d have to say patience, acceptance, tolerance and communication. It’s not always easy, but don’t give up on each other. Sometimes things take time, even though you wish it were instant, it doesn’t always happen that way. But one day, you’ll meet your Tom and I hope your family will see how happy you are too.
- Do you have a final word for gay people and their families?