Please help me in welcoming the brilliantly talented Jack L. Pyke, whose latest erotic thriller, Breakdown, is released today! Breakdown is the third novel in the Don’t series and part of the Society of Masters shared world project. Disclaimer: My character, Trace, from Deliver Us, appears in Breakdown but I receive no financial gain from its sale, I just get to have a whole lot of fun seeing how Ms. Pyke handles him… Scroll down for giveaway information!
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Hi, Lynn, thank you for allowing me to borrow your blog and for allowing me to look at a little insight behind Breakdown.
Hand on heart, I honestly didn’t think much could top the psychological stresses of Antidote: all the isolation from society, torture, and attempts to ‘cure’ a disability, along with a harsh look at the very brutal corrective-rape culture. The level of mental deconstruction that Jack Harrison went through wasn’t something that could have an easy fix, and Antidote (even Don’t… in a way) looked very much into the cause and effect of psychological reconditioning, or more how Jan’s, Gray’s, and Jack’s lives were slowly broken down through it. Those two novels dealt largely with mind games, but the settings weren’t fixed, allowing room for Jack to walk away when life became too much.
The one issue that really niggled, and that needed further explanation in my eyes, was the rehabilitation of someone who has been through such physical, sexual, and mental levels of abuse, and in a place where they couldn’t run and hide. With how Gray knew he needed distance for Jack to heal, it didn’t seem right that the reader missed that important part of Jack’s life, where Jack’s darkness is at its worst when he’s forced to face the fallout.
I’ve got to admit here, though, I almost—almost—bit off more than I could chew with Breakdown.
The setting in Breakdown shifts to Jack’s time in a psychiatric unit. Even without the complication of being attached to the Master’s Circle and hidden behind government walls, a psychiatric unit isn’t an easy location to pin down. Here the old “Write what you know, research what you don’t” comes firmly into play. Looking into treatments, recreational plans, and just the general day-to-day living inside a psychiatric unit took so much research, and generally pushed me outside of my comfort zones as a writer. But every author has their private sources, and the ones I came into contact with (from both the staff and patient side of those in a psychiatric unit), they’ll forever hold my sanity in their hands. I’ve never been more humbled than when I was given real insight into a working psychiatric unit.
Added to this, Jack’s BDSM lifestyle plays a very important part in the portrayal of state of mind, with Breakdown going back to the origins of an eighteen-year-old Switch who’s trying very much to fight a rising submissive side. Antidote looked at twisting Jack’s reality of BDSM, but Breakdown looks into how Jack runs with the idea that he has to be forced into submission in order to justify his enjoyment in submission. This then allowed Gray’s hard influence on Jack to come in, and at a time when Jack is going down very dark paths in his youth, it’s the one part I’ve really loved, and I mean loved, tackling.
This in no way leaves Jan out of the picture. This series is written in a way that looks into how healing occurs at different times with different people, and also how sometimes people get missed and lost in the crossfire. But for Breakdown itself, I wanted to give a sense of pure isolation for both Jack and Jan at this point, how that isolation is needed to help bridge the distance that Vince has forced between them. Which is why Jack’s point of view comes in purely with Breakdown. Don’t and Antidote used a mix of Jan’s and Jack’s, but that didn’t give me the isolated feel that was needed to help the healing process.
Throughout this series, it’s been hard not to play favourites with these three men. They all bring such a different flavour to the series, with the dynamics of each one revealed at different bursts through each novel. Gray will always intrigue me the most. He’s such an easily drawn man in one hand: he gets the job done despite the technique used, but there’s a deeper and very dark element that almost depicts how he revels in a side that twists Jack’s nightmares, only Gray has the control and will to feed and control it. I like to play with flaws, and Gray comes with so many when it comes to Jack. Knowing how words get spoken to hurt in the heat of the moment, I wanted that coldness, just that downright drive to take someone down when someone gets too close, regardless of who it was. But with Gray, there’s that deep history with Jack that Breakdown brings to light, and, hopefully, his motivations, drives, and intensity are understood a little more.
As for where the end of Breakdown leaves Jan, Jack, and Gray as it moves into the final novel…. it’s not going to be an easy finish for them. There’s an element at work throughout the series that still wants to see them struggle and fall, and they’re pushing for it at every turn. Strong international help from Lynn Kelling’s Trace, Gabe, and Dare from the Deliver Us series helps to pull them to their feet, but Gray Matters will get to see just how dark Jan, Jack, and Gray are when it comes to the final threats against them as a triad.
Or, and not forgetting Martin, how all the mind games have been mere foreplay.
Thanks very much for having me today, Lynn. It’s been really good getting to talk about Breakdown.
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Jack L. Pyke is giving away a FREE ebook copy of Breakdown! For your chance to win, just leave a comment below. A winner will be randomly selected on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
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