Posts Tagged 'gay speculative fiction'

Slaves of Greenworld

BY DAVID HOLLY

slavesofgreenworld_wallpaper

Slaves of Greenworld Poster

 

The Post

I’m excited to broadcast that Slaves of Greenworld, my latest novel from Bold Strokes Books, is coming out this very month. In fact, I’m brimming over with pride—which is revolting and messy—that I created Slaves of Greenworld. This novel involved complex world-building, mythological invention, and imagining an alien species quite unlike their human invaders.

 

Slaves of Greenworld is SF—science fiction, speculative fiction, and speculative fantasy—and then came the plot and the sub-plots that twist and weave through the narrative.

 

The Plot, Characters, and Setting

Slaves of Greenworld depicts an alien landscape with unearthly creatures, a lurking hostility from an extinct alien species, and environmental dangers. Human versus nature always makes for an interesting theme. However, as is typical in human activities, the greatest dangers to people come from other people. As a result, the most essential conflicts in Slaves of Greenworld involve human versus human, and the fights, skirmishes, and battle scenes in this novel are colorful, sad, glorious, and convincing.

 

Humans settled Greenworld more than a thousand years before the events of this novel take place, and at some undetermined point in that past, humanity lost its technology. No one living on Greenworld knows why they lost their science, nor do most even know that it was lost. Some texts from the old Earth exist, but the Greenworlders don’t possess texts that explain their downfall.

 

Greenworld is riddled with justice, and cruel capital punishment. Of course those are all human institutions, which are abhorrent to the two surviving native species. For reasons unknown to them, Greenworld’s humans have settled into a caste system and slave economy with the xeng, the slaves, being at the bottom (where slaves customarily end up). One of the several plot threads in Slaves of Greenworld involves a violent slave revolt.

 

Just prior to the beginning of that murderous slave revolt, the novel’s narrator emerges naked, after nearly drowning in a stream, only to discover that not only does he not know how he came into the stream, but also he cannot remember his own name or anything of his past.

 

When the narrator encounters Paun, an old and fanatical hermit, something prompts him to declare that his name is Dove, although he cannot imagine why. Paun rescues Dove, and by the next afternoon, Dove is claimed as a young lover by a wealthy woman, Lalayla. It is in her house in Rivertown (see map below) that Dove meets the great love of his life, a male slave named Raret.

 

Raret and others teach Dove about Greenworld’s society, while Lalayla teaches him the basics of commerce. Soon Dove commands a caravan of riches, with Raret as his choice of personal slave. Dove’s caravan must travel to New Marth on the south coast, but along the way, Dove increases his personal wealth and knowledge.

Map of Greenworld

Map of Greenworld

 

Dove and Raret travel together over much of Greenworld, sharing adventures as they seek out Dove’s origins. Along the way they gather friends and enemies, and they are surrounded by intricate webs of treason, trickery, and political intrigue. Dove, Raret, and their companions survive attempted assassinations, judicial malfeasance, and marauding sex slugs (orgasmic but unsexy).

 

Finally, Dove will discover his origins, his true name, and his destiny as this dramatic, sweeping, picaresque SF saga winds to its close.

 

Themes

Cruelty—I don’t like it, so I depict cruel acts as being as repulsive as possible.

Slavery—I’m against it, so I emphasize the ill effects of owning people upon both the owners and the owned.

Love and devotion—I’m all for them, and I show self-sacrifice and enduring affection.

 

Sex

Yes, sex happens. There is male/male sex, female/female sex, male/female sex (though he’s thinking about another male while he does her), solo sex by everybody, and even some interspecies sex (not disgusting, but joyous and contagious, while being ultimately tragic—if I’m not giving too much away).

 

More, More, More

I’d like to talk more about the battles, the courtroom scenes, the prisons and execution yards, the throne rooms, and the conclave, but further description might spoil it. I’d like to describe the lurid encounters and the horrific tortures, the strange and terrible beasts and the wondrous beauty, but those must be enjoyed in reading the novel.

 

In between editing, cutting, and proofing Slaves of Greenworld, I’ve read my own book three times in this past year. And as soon as I get a print copy, I plan to read it again for the pure enjoyment of this story. I hope that you will do the same.

 

David Holly

Happy Valley, Oregon

March 2016

A BOLD STROKES BOOKS AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH JERRY RABUSHKA

by Connie Ward

Photo credit: Isaac Cherry

Photo credit: Isaac Cherry

 

What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I don’t recall making a decision to write. I pretty much always did it. Even when I was a kid I would fold pages over and make a “book,” and I thought I had to write enough “book” to fill however many pages I folded over. I don’t think I ever finished one of those.

 

What type of stories do you write?  And why?

If I’m writing fiction that’s usually when I’ll do it from the heart. Lately the stories are often about a gay man trying to find his way in a difficult world, often trying to overcome his own demons. It’s usually when I look back on things that I see a common theme. One is people who have love “this close” but can’t seem to cross that one small hurdle to make it last. Another is people who won’t give up on love when they should, and therefore things go all sort of wrong. There’s a lot of this in The Prophecy, as you can see from the short blurb on the cover. Then there’s the rescuer, the person who tries to fix everything and everyone’s life, but creates more problems than he solves. I think sometimes getting to know the people in the stories, versus what they actually do, is where my head’s at. I write a lot of stories about race relations and other social issues too, and I think I have a realistic perspective on that sort of thing.

A lot of the plays I write for teenagers to perform have to do with self-esteem. Though they aren’t LGBT pieces, I often write about the outcast trying to fit in, or the person who has to “do the right thing” even if it’s unpopular. I write a lot of comedies and make fun of stupid behavior. Plus since more girls act in high school than boys, I have a lot of plays with strong female protagonists.

 

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

My family and friends are mostly supportive, but when you write a lot they don’t necessarily read it all. That’s understandable. I have friends who write horror, for example, and I wish them well but it’s not my bag. My father was an English teacher and critical of some of my early efforts (he was right), but I know that when he likes it, he really likes it. I’m getting to a point where I want people to read my writing or hear my music because they want to versus doing me a favor.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from a lot of places; it depends. A lot of it comes from the past and things I went though and people and situations I’ve known. I can always pull from that. Sometimes just from things that happen during the day. I can be in line at a store and something happens and I get an idea. Sometimes people tell me a story about their life and I can use part of that. If I’m writing a play I’ll often try a parody of some popular show, or just take some normal event like ordering French fries and see how I can blow it up.

A lot of times the character comes first. I’ll create someone in my mind, then figure out what he’s about and what happens to him. Like “you’re an interesting guy, let’s see what we can do with you.” If I find someone I want to write about, that’s a good start.

The ProphecyThe Prophecy came about when a college professor assigned us to write a short story based on a dream. Without giving too much away, the characters that became Lex and Fergo were in it, and they had escaped prison several times. The woman that became Baelu was there also. The dream was set in an ancient civilization, and there was a cave where the former ruling queens were buried.

 

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

Sometimes I do plan what I want to write, but not always. Sometimes I don’t know how something is going to end until I get there. When I wrote Star Bryan I came up with the main character one day, and the next day I started writing his story. By the end of a week I had ninety pages done. I’d write one scene, and then the next few scenes would come to mind based on what just happened. I knew how it was going to end more or less, but not necessarily how I was going to get there.

With The Prophecy I knew how it ended because the dream I had became the end of the book, but I had to plan the other 220 pages to reach that end.

I wrote a play called Seeking Asylum, where I had a cast of characters given to me by a theater director and just kept going until it finally came to an end. It’s my most successful full-length play, and I wrote the first draft in a day.

 

What makes The Prophecy  special to you?

It’s, for me, the most unique thing I’ve ever done. It’s more “epic” than other stories I’ve written. I created a civilization and its outlying countries, three religions, various dialects: all the things you need for putting together your own world. I tried also to make it unique in that just because the Romans believed something doesn’t mean my civilization has to.

I like the flashy characters in it, the city they live in, and the overall storyline. It’s been very vivid to me for a long time, and I’m excited to share it with people after so long!

Plus, I started writing the book in 1982 so it’s been with me a long time, and it’s one of those “dreams come true” things to finally see it in print. I wrote myself into a corner back then and put it away for about twelve years. I briefly dated someone who kept insisting I read Lord of the Rings, and I got though about eighty percent of it, but it inspired me to take out The Prophecy, of which there were maybe two copies in existence. I’m glad I didn’t lose it. I had typed it on the back of some scrap flyers I got from my college job and put it in a drawer. I kept the story basically the same, but expanded it and rewrote and improved most of the narrative. Plus I figured out how to get out of the fix I wrote myself into and finished it. Then over the years I’d go back and edit and spruce it up again from time to time until I finally submitted it.

 

 

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

As a playwright I used to say, “Piss me off and I’ll put you on stage,” and people have noticed I made good on the threat. But I do notice that my own issues—the “rescue” issue I mentioned above and the “not knowing when enough of someone is enough” issue play out a lot in my stories. It makes sense you’ll write from your own experiences with yourself or other people. But I don’t think I write autobiographically.

 

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite of this author(s)?

I can tell a story. When I was younger I kept seeing Andrew Holleran’s Dancer From the Dance for sale at a bookstore, but I was afraid to buy it because of course we’re talking 1980 or something and the sales clerk might know I’m gay (like she would care), so I didn’t buy it. But shortly afterward a friend of mine gave it to me as a gift, and I was like “Wow, how did you even know?” So that was the first gay novel I read, and so it was cool to meet him and have him compliment my short story in the Saints and Sinners 2015 anthology last year.

 

What is your favorite of the books you have written and why?

I don’t have a lot of current novels because I spent a lot of time writing plays; I had a theater company for about twelve years and wrote for production. I wrote four or five novels before I was twenty-five but am not sure what to make of them now. So I have this one and Star Bryan that are published. I like them both and they’re very different. I think The Prophecy is special to me because I’m a history buff, and at the time I felt at home in what’s more or less the First Century C.E. I have a soft spot for my first novel, called Dreams, which I wrote when I was seventeen. I need to redo the whole thing because looking back…well…issues. One was that the main character needs to be gay, because he sort of was, but I didn’t want to go there at the time. But that might be my next project.

 

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

For one, you’re not the greatest writer the world has ever known. I might have thought I was, but looking back, no. You might be a prodigy, you might grow into the world’s greatest writer, but most likely you need to write and practice writing. For two, write whatever you can. I make a living writing about paint. I decided early on if that was what I was doing, I would do it the best I could.

If you’re going to get paid, you need to write what people will pay you to write, and then from that you can support yourself in writing what you really want to write. If someone says “don’t write swear words,” then don’t. Write your swear words in something else. For me it’s most rewarding to get something published like The Prophecy, which I wanted to write. But I’ve written a lot of things “for hire” that came out well and have made a difference to a lot of people.

I call it the string-quartet theory, which is, if someone asks you to write a string quartet, you do it to the best of your ability and don’t complain they didn’t give you an orchestra. Do it from the heart as much as you can, no matter what it is.

Read, and read good stuff. Read good writers and, more importantly, read great writers. Read The House of the Seven Gables. Every sentence is like finely crafted furniture. Seriously, read it.

Don’t write one book and expect the world to be at your feet. Plus, find an editor; that’s important. Also don’t let people talk you out of writing. Even if your first attempts aren’t so good, you will most likely improve. Plus, someone might just be hating you. So if this is your calling, keep answering.

 

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

I am a musician and songwriter; I’ve got a band and I play music either solo or with the band. We’re bringing back a lot of music from 1900-1920. I like spending time with my partner, traveling a bit, puttering around the house. I have a thing for coffee houses and diners and pancakes. Speaking of pancakes, it’s time to hit the gym.

 

And as a final word, I’d like to thank the staff at Bold Strokes Books for their faith in me and all their hard work in getting this together.

The Riting Life or all Misspellings and Typos Being the Intent of the Author

By David Holly

Witch title brigs us to a discusion (sic) of tgpfgrapal errors (sic), otherwise known as the writer’s inability to spell authorial brain farts—or finger farts because the brain is imagining a story that is travelling by neural impulse down the writer’s neck and down the writer’s arms and into the writer’s fingers and coming out the pads of the writer’s fingers onto a keyboard (sick). Oh, my God—The Humanity!

 

On a purely personal note, I write to avoid clichés like the plague, clichés in language and clichés of thought that rain down like cats and dogs. I write to avoid allegory that brings a tempest in a tea pot or sentimentality as American as apple pie. However, there is always some sentimentality that will wiggle in on pretty puppy paws and wag its tail until I give it a bed in my manuscript, and there is always the lurking cliché, the cliché that is so cliché and so lurking that it hits the nail on the head so well I don’t even recognize it as a cliché, because it creeps in lurkingly (on little puppy paws) and toes the line.

 

Then too, and by too I mean also and added on, there is repetition, which repeats repetitively until it repeats itself beyond all previous repetitions. I can’t say enough about this problem.

 

As one of my college professors warned his befuddled student (me) so long ago, the writer must suppress his or her sesquipedalian tendencies and eschew obfuscation. So we pick the perfect word, but it turns out not to be so perfect because the readers think it means something the writer never intended.

 

Take my novel, The Raptures of TimeThe Raptures of Time 300 DPI (yes, please take it, and by take I mean buy the damned book because it needs to sell ten million copies because it’s brilliant and meaningful and thrilling and it will give you a hard on—even if you are a female).

 

When I fished about for a title for The Raptures of Time, and as Thoreau wrote, time was a stream that I went a fishing in, I spent a hell of a lot of time seeking a word that would convey the idea of being carried away through time and another dimension while also being carried away by extreme sexual ecstasy. Certainly the primary meaning of rapture is being lifted up, even out of oneself, by gusty emotions or sexual transport. The first known use of the word rapture occurred in 1594, a while before John Nelson Darby came along and applied the term to Christian eschatology and created the “rapture” of dispensationalism.

 

Could I have ever considered that my title might lead readers to assume falsely that my gay erotic novel might connect up with the so-called Left Behind series?

 

So take note, fellow authors, beware, for you too may be rabidly incoherent and end up mentally masturbating metaphorically instead of writing something meaningful and profound like these meaningful and profound words of expert advice.

The Rear

BY DAVID HOLLY

When I was young, much younger than I am now, guys would habitually make unsolicited, albeit most satisfying, compliments about my posterior (admittedly shapely and well-honed in those days). “You have beautiful buns, man,” a passing Jim, Ricardo, Mikhail, or Abdul would say as I strolled through a park, down a sidewalk, or along a beach.

While attending college, I worked a variety of jobs, usually behind the desk of a hotel, and it was no unusual occurrence to feel an exploring hand on the curves of my rump. Then the male switchboard operator named Garcia or the bellboy named Stein would flatter me with “nice ass.”

These compliments and random gropings happened in other places besides the workplace, most commonly in the grocery store. Of course, the grocery butt gropers were more often the female of the species. Nice to hear the compliment, but the gender role was not to my taste.

Lest any reader think I’m bragging, let me own up, with a sad heart, that the days when men would worship my rump are behind me (pathetic pun intended). In the absence of compliments on my butt curves, I compensate by turning pen to paper (a metaphor for pounding finger pads upon a keyboard). I attract not, so now I write.

However, the human gluteal region—especially the bum of the male of the species—provides particular problems for the gay author: what to call it, and how to make it sound enticing.

Some of the names for the rear end are depressingly technical: gluteal region, glutes, buttocks, gluteus maximus. In these words, the thrill is lacking.

Some have a crude sound, as if this delightful body part were unattractive. No sane author is going to write “your tuchas drives me wild with lust,” because the Yiddish word tuchas implies “ever widening,” which is perhaps not the intended compliment. Can, keister or keester, nates, hams, bum, and wazoo just don’t sound enticing. An author writing, “I was hot for his wazoo” or “I want to get into your keister” is more likely to provoke a laugh than an arousal.

Other names are cutesy, but not erotic, such as haunches, hunkies, hunkers, prat, heiney or heinie. Some words are neutral in themselves; nonetheless, fundament, posterior, backside, behind, hind end, tail end, rear end, hind part, and hinder part, can be made more erotic with adjectives.

“Nice posterior, guy.”

“I love your sexy rear end.”

“Provocative backside.”

The alternatives bootie or booty, buns, and cheeks aren’t so bad.

“Nice booty.”

“Cute buns.”

“Hot looking cheeks.”

Neither are seat, seater, stern, hips, curves, breech, tush or tooshie, breech, caboose, cheeks, duff, fanny.

Ass, butt, rump, rear, bottom are okay but not so erotic. Ass is an Americanism for the British arse and generally works well. For example, in my novel The Moon’s Deep Circle, bsb_the_moons_deep_circle_small__26137my character Tip is aroused sexually by a mere glance at his teammate’s ass: “The curves of Jeep’s ass were enticing, and my cock was soaring.” In another passage in The Moon’s Deep Circle, I write, “Lyle’s eyes were transfixed on Tizzy’s curvy buttocks,” evoking the power of the human posterior to hold another person in thrall.

From my novel The Raptures of Time:The Raptures of Time 300 DPI “He caressed my ass as if he were worshiping it. His hands massaged my buttocks gently, sliding slowly into the crack.” I have to believe that the description works.

Butts are nice to ogle, but difficult to write about. In the end, call this divine form what you will, its delightful curves and sweet invitations deserve a comfortable seat in gay fiction.

 

BOLD STROKES BOOKS AUTHOR INTERVIEW with HEATHER STUYVESANT

by Connie Ward

HeatherStuyvesantLg

What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I don’t really remember a time when I did not want to be a writer. My parents were both avid readers, and I was brought up in a house with literally thousands of books. I really cannot imagine life without books, and my favorites have always been fiction, though I read lots of genres.  I have been through several careers, ranging from theater design to engineering, but I always come back to writing as my true love.

 

What type of stories do you write?  And why?

 

My stories definitely fall into the dark speculative-fiction category. My fascination with the supernatural and the darker sides of the human psyche shaped what I write about. If I watch television, I almost always head straight for the shows about true crimes and psychos on the loose. It probably says something about me.

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

 

My sister and some of my friends have been very supportive, even if they may think I am out of my mind, but many of my friends and family are either not aware that I write or have expressed limited interest.  The most common reaction to my news that Kryos had been picked up by BSB was “You write?” That was usually followed quickly by a look of terror when they realized I might want them to read it. That is the danger of associating with engineers, I suppose: say fiction novel and they turn off.  My online friends, on the other hand, have been great, very supportive and very helpful, even when I am being even more neurotic than usual. I am lucky to have friends all over that help me get a different perspective on things.

Where do you get your ideas?

 

My ideas come from everywhere. My mind wanders all the time. People think I am just flaky or scatterbrained, but really I am probably torturing some characters in my head instead of paying attention.  I always have a story or character floating around that I like to take out and see if I can break them.  Even if I am not actively working on a project with the characters, I still have a whole cast to play with when I’m supposed to be doing something else.  The upside of that is that I rarely get bored. Silly things, like the unusual way a person moves, or the combination of the song on the radio and the way the sun just came through the clouds might make my muse wake up and start digging around in the virtual trunk to see where it might fit.

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

 

Both. I start with a plan but let it go where it needs to.  This works really well when working with Idun; we try to plot out the major points and then adjust those as we go, though no matter how much planning and plotting we do, the characters sometimes refuse to behave and take things in a different direction. I feel that planning is good, but you have to be open to whatever happens or you’re going to end up with a finished product that doesn’t feel right.

What makes Kyros special to you?

 

KryosBSB-Kryos is very special to me because it is almost like a child.  It was very organic in its development, and the story we ended up with is not the story we originally plotted. We worked and reworked the plot, the main arcs, the characters, everything until they all decided to play nice with each other.  When I work with Idun, we each take a character (or two, or three) and focus on developing them so as we write we can play off each other so the novel can grow more naturally.  There is always an element of surprise when working with another author. You think a scene or story may be going one way, but because it is not just you playing in the sandbox, sometimes something so much better comes out.

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

 

Surprisingly little, actually. I have a project now that is based on a dream a friend told me he had, so the main character does have a bit of him in it, but for the most part, no.  I try not to put too much of myself or the people I know into the characters; they are their own creatures. Also, I am very dull and would make a terrible character.

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite

of this author(s)?

 

My fascination with gay fiction started a long time ago, before I even knew it was something anyone was writing; it was pre-Internet in those days. Then I discovered slash fan-fiction, which led to Yaoi, which led to authors like Sarah Monette, Alyx J. Shaw, Storm Constantine, and Lynn Flewelling.

If I had to pick a favorite from these authors I would have a really hard time because they all fill a different spot in my life. Sarah Monette and her Doctrine of Labyrinths series is an all-time favorite of mine; Felix is delightfully deranged and twisted.  Alyx J. Shaw’s Strange Place in Time series is so fun that I could not put the books down.  Lynn Flewelling’s books are also some of those I go back to like comfort food if I find myself between books and not sure what to pick up next. However, for the author that inspired me the most I will have to go with Storm Constantine and the Wraeththu books. Reading those I realized that I wanted to write something others would want to read. The imperfect characters and their gritty, dark world appealed to me on a level that made it possible for me to quit being afraid that what was in my head was not good enough, or shiny enough, and actually sit down and put it on paper.

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

 

I still consider myself a new/learning writer, especially going through the publishing process for the first time, so I’m not sure. This process has shown me how much I still have to learn, and it is humbling. I would think the best I could say is to remember to be flexible and patient. I guess I am lucky that my “day job” is in a field that brings a constant stream of criticism and comments on my work. I never thought I would say that, but it has taught me how to not get upset at comments and be able to look at them for what they are—an attempt to make my work better.

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

 

I read.  If I’m not reading or writing, I’m baking.  I can’t say no to a challenge, and my friends and family like to find the most bizarre and unusual desserts to see if I can make them. The pie baked inside a cake has become a hit that they request frequently now.

BOLD STROKES BOOKS INTERVIEW with AUTHOR IDUN MARS

by Connie Ward

IdunMarsLg

What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I have been writing since forever. My grandmother actually has little notebooks I filled up with strange tales of killer ants and Vikings. Later I got into fan-fiction and sorta worked from there, got braver, better, and bolder until I felt I was able to write a story in, for me, a foreign language, that had substance and that I believed in.

 

What type of stories do you write? And why?

Originally I wrote mostly depressing stories and horror. I guess I still write depressing stories to some extent, and I also don’t think I will ever rid myself completely of the horror or suspense parts, nor would I really want to. But overall, I write gay romance and simply do not have an answer as to why. I wish I did. I guess the muse that whispers in my ear is gay? I might even start out with the character plotted as straight, but somewhere along the road it changes, and my muses always win in the end.

I vary in range. I have written anything from medieval romance, to sci-fi, to supernatural crime stories. So in that aspect I don’t think I am a one-track author, even if I might repeat myself from time to time.

 

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

They support me, but they don’t really understand my writing. For starters I am not gay, or a man, so for me to write gay fiction seems strange to them. And then there is the part about me writing in English, so most of them can’t read it even if they wanted to, which probably alienates them quite a lot. My partner has been a trooper throughout me writing my first book, supporting me when I got frustrated and listening to me try to explain the plot. He helps out where he can, and so do my close friends, both in real life and on the Internet. All in all I think everyone has been super supportive, even if they think it’s a bit silly that I would even attempt to get something published.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

Oh man, I get ideas everywhere. I have a scenario bank in my head, where I store stuff that might make sense in another context. It goes from the way the air smells, to how a jogger runs, or the pattern that rain makes on a window. Characters in movies could spark the muse because of a specific line, or maybe how they look, or maybe the theme of the movie. Also I watch a lot of documentaries, which I use for inspiration about things I’d never know any other way. Then when I go to bed I sort of draw all the pearls onto a string, and it creates a whole. I also find that something I can’t use and it goes back in for later use. The next morning I usually write my thoughts down in a simplified manner so I won’t forget.

In short I get inspired by everything and nothing. It’s like putting on a special tinted pair of glasses so I perceive everything in a specific way for a while. Once I start a story or a character I will not put it down completely until I finish.

 

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

I usually make a plan, and usually Heather is the practical one who keeps track of the brainstorming. I think we are good at keeping to highlights and then making everything else up as we go along. Usually that works best and keeps the muses whispering.

 

 

What makes KryosBSB-Kryos special to you?

Apart from it being my first major accomplishment as an author? Then the fact that it originally took us so long to write it and that I grew quite fond of the characters. And I really hope we get around to revisiting them and write a sequel, because I miss the universe and the characters.

 

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

In some, quite a lot, and then at the same time, nothing. I guess different characters have parts of different character traits of mine, both the good and the bad. Writing is great therapy, that’s for sure.

 

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite of this author(s)?

I would say that Billy Martin (formerly known as Poppy Brite) has been a major inspiration from some of the early works.

I am not sure if Clive Barker counts, because he doesn’t exactly write gay-themed stories, but he remains one of my all-time inspirations both as an author and a person.

 

Of the authors mentioned, I would say that Exquisite Corpse is my favorite, and a major inspiration for me. It blends erotica and horror in equal measurement, just like I always wished someone would. Also it showed me that it can be done and gave me a whole new sandbox to play in.

 

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

Write what inspires you, write what your muse tells you to. It doesn’t matter if you think there might not be a market for it. Write it with intensity and care, because forcing your inspiration never leads to good things. Love what you write, for no other reason than you cannot resist telling the story.

You are never too silly, never too corny or too much. You should tell your story like the story wants to be told.

 

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

I play computer games, and lots of them. I rarely watch telly; usually I write, read, or play when I have time to myself.  Some might say that I have become a social recluse over the years, but once the partying dries up, you have to entertain yourself with something else.


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