Lee James – Icarus Ascending Interview and giveaway


Kirk MacGregor loves to win—whether through his critically-acclaimed
paintings in oils, or on the job as the resident detective of his
prestigious law firm.

In the most perplexing investigation of his career, MacGregor searches for
the truth behind the death of rock star Brent Hunter. But a phone
call convinces Austin Hunter that his brother, Brent, is alive and safe in a
wilderness hideout. Or is it all an elaborate, deadly confidence game?

MacGregor’s investigation takes him down a twisting trail of dead-end
leads, lethal lies, and a string of homicides. Sparks crackle as Kirk
and Austin take a wild ride into the City of Angels’s underbelly where
nothing ever seems too strange or horrendous. As the death count
rises, MacGregor is running out of time in finding a cunning contract
killer, and the person who hired him.

Kirk MacGregor seldom loses. But there are dangers—and costs—in flying too
close to the sun.

ia cover

Lee! It’s great having you with us.

Thanks, Lucy. Talking with you is always a pleasure.

Q: What motivated you to become a writer?

A: Given my day job, some might say I’ve been a creative writer for over thirty years. Being a novelist, I could make something up. Yeah, I wrote my first line of fiction when I was three, playing with my alphabet blocks. I might claim I wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Recognizing I had a solecism in splicing two complete sentences with a comma, I began tossing the blocks across the room in a fit of frustration. The reason I made that up is it amuses me to hear authors saying, “I wrote my first story when I was two, or four or five. I, however, wasn’t that advanced.

I began writing as an undergrad; majoring in the humanities, most of my exams were of the essay variety. I filled countless legal pads with briefs while in law school, and wrote my answers in blue books to the one essay exam per class per semester I endured. For more than three decades, there’s been my daily writing at work, then the evenings and weekends I spend writing crime noir.

Q: Care to talk about your new novel, Icarus Ascending, which will be released on December eighth by Dreamspinner Press Publications?

A: Thank you for allowing me to pimp Icarus Ascending. The novel can be pre-ordered as we speak From DSP Publications, Amazon, and wherever outstanding (GRIN) M/M fiction is sold.


Icarus Ascending is the second edition of Errors and Omissions (Dreamspinner Press, 2012). You ask, Why DSP Publications instead of Dreamspinner Press? As with Errors and Omissions, Icarus Ascending is a crime noir novel seasoned with M/M and M/F relationships. I must emphasize that Icarus Ascending is not a romantic tale rife with hearts and flowers, and long intimate talks that slowly develop into a full-blown M/M love story. In fact, the novel breaks away from the strict rules of romance writing. This is why Icarus Ascending is being released by DSP Publications. The imprint’s (DSP Publications’) tag line says it all: Off the beaten path. Worth the journey.

Icarus Ascending is about 8k words shorter than the original release, has the same plot and characters, new scenes and a different ending. Icarus Ascending’s tag line is: LA Private Detectives, Book One. Yes, I’m talking series.

Q: Who are your favorite writers?

A: I’ve countless authors and poets whom I enjoy reading.  Most are neither crime noir nor romance writers. From classic to contemporary, I enjoy Virgil, Socrates, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Melville, Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, Keats, Hugo, Steinbeck, Yeats, Chandler, Didion, Oates, Wambaugh… just off the top of my head. As a writer, I must read a great deal. To paraphrase Stephen King, “if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t possess the skills to write.” Mr. King is absolutely correct. But he still isn’t one of my favored authors.

Q: Nearly all writers of M/M fiction use colorful words and phrases. What are some of your favorites?

A: This list could get longer than my roster of favored writers. George Carlin said it all way back in the late sixties/early seventies by specifying the “Seven words you’ll never hear on TV: piss, shit, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.” With the exception of the “T” word and the two “C” words, I use the others in my crime noir novels. I like some of the more recent “unseemly” creations: ass-ton, ass-hat, ass-clown, got fuck-all, got fuck-nothing, Christ on a crotch rocket, take a flying fuck at the moon, dick so long it’s in another time zone… for more of my favorites, just read Icarus Ascending.

Q: Why are your novels set in Los Angeles, as opposed to NYC or Chi-town?

A: My spouse and I lived in Los Angeles for over eight years. Frankly, I love LA. I use the megalopolis as a setting because none of the crime noir I write can ever be too strange for the “City of Angels.” Yes, the sun shines there most days, although it often must filter through smog or is obscured by wildfire smoke. There’s an anecdote about a NYC playwright who spent a summer in Los Angeles while writing a screenplay. He’s in his hotel room, gets out of bed early one morning, opens the curtains and sees the sun shining, blue skies, and people walking around in shorts. It’s reputed he said, “Shit… another goddamned beautiful day.”

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

A: You’d think so, given the number of years it takes me to write a marketable novel. But then, writing is my moonlighting gig. For me, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. There’s only writer’s discontent. All writers must force the muse—who’s one lazy bastard.

Thanks Lee. I look forward to reading Icarus Ascending.




Lee is giving away Icarus Ascending ebooks to two random lucky readers who comment on this interview before 12/10/15! Closed! Congratulations Blackrose and Ree Dee

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  1. I like detective stories and this sounds good so please count put my name into the hat. Thanks

  2. please count put my name into the hat.

  3. This story sounds so good!

  4. I love a good mystery. I can’t wait to read this one.

  5. Sounds really good. And that cover! It’s just amazing. Thank you for the chance

  6. Fantastic cover. Thank you for the interview and giveaway chance =)

  7. Intriguing. An interesting story.

  8. I love the books are shifting over from their old DSP home to the new DSPP digs. I love all types of stories, and if the romance takes a backseat and is complicated the way things are in the real world, then that’s great with me. I never read the original, but it sounds like I’d love this second edition of Icarus Ascending. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  9. Sounds good. Count me in, please.

  10. I would love to read this story. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  11. Thank you for the chance!

  12. I love the premise!

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