Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Power Exchange

I'm not into scenarios where there's anything resembling bullying. But that said, power exchange and combat as foreplay can be incredibly hot. Especially when the characters are evenly matched. I like it even more when the players are paranormal creatures. If you heal supernaturally fast and will live indefinitely, then rough sex is not a risky activity. We frail mortals damage all too easily, but vampires, werewolves and their kindred can take a lot of punishment.

Which brings me round to talking about Jan Bled's vampires, Gabriel and Raiden. Two good looking young men who want each other but don't get on and so fight for dominance, and heal up afterwards. Their verbal and phyisical sparring is a joy to read. Since its paranormal and fantastical, their doing hideous damage to each other (broken bones, dislocated joints) is fine, because its unreal. And they get better very quickly. Jane's novel Master: Crimson is laden with sexual tension. Her vampire lads blatantly fancy each other, but neither is willing to admit the attraction, and both longs to have the other under his control. Instead of venting their frustration in bed, they fight, and fighting is hot, hot hot.

This is not a story for the faint hearted, but if you like blood, combat and power exchange, then its well worth checking out. Jane has a deliciously dark sense of humour, and a talent for writing sexy, difficult men. I frequently found myself wanting to slap both Raiden and Gabriel (that's got to be a fun thing to do) and the rest of the time wanting to be one or the other of them.

Pick up your copy from www.loveyoudivine.com

J.J. Massa -Give Or Take A Word...

I’m J.J. Massa and Jerry was kind enough to ask me if I’d like to post a note to his blog.

Obviously, I said I would.

It’s so exciting how many authors are writing Male/Male and Female/Female romance these days. Sometimes I’m not sure if it should be a separate genre—romance is romance, right? Or not… After all, there’s paranormal, Sci Fi, erotic, Inspirational— you get the idea. It’s a positive reflection of the age we live in, in my opinion.

I write a lot of different kinds of romance and erotic romance. My first book was published in 2004, though it wasn’t Male/Male. I have been writing Male/Male stories for many years, but it never occurred to me that they could be published seriously. I once took part in a friendly collection of stories for an online magazine, but that was a one-shot that disappeared faster than it started. I first realized that Male/Male was considered a salable genre when I saw an excerpt for a story written by Willa Okati. Consider me an ostrich, I guess. There are so many things about the e-publishing world that I’m still discovering, forget about the paper publishing industry.

My early years were spent as a military brat and I’ve traveled all over the world. As a small child, I didn’t care either way about gay, straight, slightly bent, like most kids, I didn’t have a clue. I figured it out later, reflecting on the time we lived in Japan and I had to be left home a lot.

One of my father’s friends always volunteered to watch me—he and another man. When it was just us, they were openly affectionate and we had a great time together. They spoiled me rotten, fed me well, and were, in short, excellent parents. For those two years, I had an assortment of wonderful uncles who loved each other and me, life was great. Then my parents divorced and we moved back to the states.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized the men were homosexual and that they had to hide most of the time. I found that a terrible shame. It was one of the happiest times of my life, so eventually, I began writing about it. Sort of.

I love the various dynamics of Male/Male relationships. So many possibilities. So much angst and then potential happiness. Forbidden love, you and me against the world. It’s lovely, especially when it all works out. What’s not to like?

I have a handful of Male/Male stories at
Torquere Press and books that include male couples or M/M short stories at Samhain Publishing, Linden Bay Romance and New Concepts Publishing.

It’s next to impossible these days for me to write a story that doesn’t include at least one homosexual couple, although I know more gay men than women. I hope that the vast readership of GLBT romance means that we, as a society, are becoming more accepting of the fact…in the meantime, I intend to do my part through fiction.

Oops, I went over, Jerry.


J.J. Massa


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Bit About Moi

Now that I've created this blog for mm writers I thought I'd introduce myself.

Jerry has been my nick name since day 1 of my birth. I usually like to say that when my mother went thru labor pains I came finally came out crying like a banshee and have been a pain ever since.

Anyway, I was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Tulsa, OK. Would you believe I was drafted on Valentine's Day. That was in 1967. I spent my time in the US Army. Went to Viet Nam for about a year and then to Germany.

After getting discharged I spent a few months at home and then ran away. I landed back in LA. Went to the Film Actors acting school at Warner Brothers Studio. Worked as an extra in a few feature films. Had a few jobs that paid my bills & kept me alive.

My interest in writing began in high school where I wrote one very short, short story. but didn't submit it anywhere. I'd worked as a reporter on a job corps newspaper. In 2003 my interest in writing reappeared. I went to Writers Village University an online writers workshop. Had a couple of horror short stories published in that year. Finally finished my 1st book, Super Queen, a gay super hero ms. The cover is listed in the right column on this blog.

Now for my interest in writing mm stories. Before writing my 1st erotic romance ms I was writing a hetero ms. Apparently my muse wanted me to write the erotic romance before completing the other ms. So I did. I had to read a few mm stories to get the feel of they way they are written, especially how sex between 2 men are described. Being homo I of course have experienced sex with another man. I've just never had the need to write one.

MORE THAN A STUD, became the title of this erotic romance paranormal (vampire) GLBT MM book. It's about a male model who is part vampire who risks his life fighting his vampire father over a cross shape pendant that has supernatural powers.

I'm currently writing my 1st erotica romantic comedy titled Nerd In High Heels.
which currently has a bit over 21K words.

I enjoy writing mm stories as much as I enjoy writing hetero stories. Hope what i've written makes sense.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Twitter This!

We live increasingly in a Twitter world, and that is not a good thing for a writer whose world is words.

It astounds me to think that from the dawn of time up until six months ago there was no such thing as Twitter and now it is all but mandatory that every human on the face of the earth MUST put out 140-character bits of worthless nonsense in order to be considered "hip" or "with it" or "the bee's knees" or whatever the catchphrase-du-jour might be.

I've been a writer all my life, have 14 books in print (the 12-book Dick Hardesty Mystery series, the first book in the new Elliott Smith Mystery series, and the western/romance/adventure novel, Calico, with a total word count of roughly 1,078,000), with three more---one for each of the series, and a memoir---standing in the publisher's pipeline. Thus the very idea of limiting my thoughts to 140 characters boggles the mind.

But in the spirit of this wondrous new era in world history, I will state my purpose for this blog in Twitterese:

Me writer. You reader. Me want you.

See?...and I still have 105 characters left over.

I'd be delighted if you might come check me out at the places listed below:

e-mail me at doriengrey@gmail.com

Making introductions

As well as writing, I edit and manage the His and His Kisses line at loveyoudivine.com Through it I've met some really lovely authors, and had some great books to read. I thought this week I'd gush, shamelessly about some of the people whose work I love.

Nix Winter got me into writing m/m. She's fabulous, her work incredibly sensual and I keep falling in love with her characters. Her men tend to be delicate, pretty, but still physically very masculine. She writes wonderful fantasy settings and does gorgeous illustrations.

Jane Bled is our newest lass. She does dark, with twisted humour, violent power exchange, and vampires. With a lyrical, seductive writing style, her stories are hard to put down. She makes me laugh, and wince, and wonder.

Max Griffin as been writing for a while, but I've only just encountered him. 'Lindermont Lovers' is his latest release - a mystery romance and partly a homage to 'Rebecca' - as a Du Maurier fan, I had a lot of fun reading this. Max is direct, intense, and crafts a good story.

I'm getting to know Alex Morgan, Jon Michaelsen, Jaime Samms and Ryan Field, so hopefully I'll be able to share a bit more about them in the future.

The great thing about editing is getting to read new stories before anyone else does. That can be such a thrill, especially with a new author about to be unleashed upon the world. It's a joy sitting down with someone's work and helping to polish it up - not that this lot need much polishing! Currently, the big project is a paranormal anthology - Immortal Fire - with some new authors coming onboard for that. I spent yesterday editing M King's contribution, which was quite a page turner! More news on that as things progress. We have an egroup - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hisandhiskisses if you fancy wandering along.

Striving to Engage the Reader

My approach to authoring books is not unique, but I believe it is lost in some quarters. Many times books are conceived as the author’s self expression, disregarding the reader. Readers become outsiders looking in, fishing around for ephemeral meanings and significant themes. At other times, authors attempt to pander to reader’s likes and dislikes, setting quotas on sex or violence, creating plot-driven sequences meant to fill-in rainy Tuesdays. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. It’s just not my approach.

I strive to engage the reader, challenging them to think. Not only should they put one word in front of the other to achieve an end, they should collaborate with me and complete my thoughts; escape to a world that we both share. I do not aim at a mass audience, or even a gay audience. Although all my books have gay characters and many have gay themes, I write for just one reader and don’t care about their sexual orientation. I present that reader with living, breathing characters, who stick in their mind and lodge in their cares. Story is almost immaterial. The journey is the thing; a path that glues the reader to the page as they turn and turn and turn . . . An escape — a refuge.

Into this stew pot of authoring, I inject my experiences. I have degrees in Chinese History and have traveled extensively. As such, my longest works, The Jade Owl Legacy series is China-themed and The Academician is a tale of 12th Century China. I have an affinity for fantasy, so alternate realities play a role in my books. As a gay activist with many years in service to the cause, books like Turning Idolater, No Irish Need Apply and Cutting the Cheese are gay-dominant, although you might be surprised that these have been embraced by the non-gay community. I feel ambassadorial. Bobby’s Trace spans both the gay-themed and the fantasy worlds; and, as a gay-veteran (1966-68), I have a military tale based on my experiences in the U.S. Army in 1967 (Surviving an American Gulag).

My latest work is the third installment of The Jade Owl Legacy series, called The Dragon’s Pool. Like its two predecessors, it revels in the nexus of the modern and ancient world and continues the epic of a band of characters that have been well received by readers of the series.

I am currently working on two new works — the second installment of the Southern Swallow series, entitled The Nan Tu (The Southern Migration), an historical fantasy recounting the bifurcation of the Sung Dynasty during the early 12th Century. It will continue to explore the contours of human sexuality in medieval China. The other work is a romance in the time of AIDS, entitled Look Away Silence, a work that channels many of my own experiences as an AIDS service volunteer and takes a side-glance at the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA).

My motto will continue to be — Write with your heart, edit with your mind, instill the work with poetry and humor, and the book will author itself. From my mind to your imagination . . .

An excerpt from The Dragon’s Pool can be read at author’s den:
A complete list of my novels can be viewed at my website, Dancaster Creative

Edward C. Patterson

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Writing what I don't know

The received wisdom is of course to write what you know. Biologically speaking, I'm not a gay man. (Bryn is a male name, I confuse people, it's fun). I do not have, and imagine I never will have the right body parts! So I can't know what it is to make love as a man, to another man, nor any of the realities of having a gay lifestyle. Ok, I know some gay guys and they tell me stuff, but its not the same, is it?

However, I also don't know what its like to be a vampire, or a pirate, or an otter shapeshifter. I've never been a soldier, but I've written about war. Sometimes I write what I know, more often I write what I imagine. Sometimes I write m/m to distance the story from me, (bi and female) if there is a little too much truth in it! Emotional truth has always seemed more important to me than literal truth.

This is true of all the women who write m/m. We do it in part because it is so alien, so distant, so not who we are in our ordinary lives. Trying to imagine, researching, contemplating - its an adventure in and of itself, and that's a big part of the fun. The sheers otherness and unavailableness of m/m makes it alluring. There are a lot of women writing and reading the genre after all.

No, its not an authentic representation. Sometimes its really great to read a story written by someone who knows what its like, but its nice to have fantasy too. There are times when its easier to write what you don't know, because you don't bring your own baggage along for the ride. Just like readers, writers need to escape to different places too.

Currently I'm working on an m/m story - one of the characters is a dryad. Realism? Probably not.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Story creation

There are as many ways to write a story as there are writers. I'll go a step further and say there are as many ways to write stories as there are stories. No two of my stories, short or novel length are written the same way. Some are written to demand -- a call goes out about, say, surfing, and I start by conjuring images of sexy men, wild waves and hot sex. And a short story grows -- Surfing Boneyard. Other times I hear a call but my efforts fail. There's no story there for me. Not this time.

My novels have ranged from plot and character driven, like L.A. Heat, recently re-released by MLR Press where I built character arcs and knew where I was going, to an entire novel written spur of the moment with nothing more than a name and a stark image of a man rolling over in bed and finding himself lying next to a dead man. In Geography of Murder, also from MLR Press later this year, that was all I had. That and the knowledge that the world of BDSM would be involved. The story itself, the other characters, all came as I wrote, literally on the fly. I've allso started stories with a single title, a characters name, even a piece of dialog.

In Geography of Murder I had no idea who the dead man was. He had no name or even a reason to be dead. I didn't know who the main cop would be, only that he was slightly shady and he was into BDSM as a dom. How shady changed in the course of the story - he started out much darker and more crooked than he ended up. Along the way he also acqired a name: Alexander Spider, Santa Barbara police detective.

The original character started with the name Jason Aaron Zachary and I was going to have him called JaZy until it was pointed out that was the name of a big rapper, so he became simply Jason.

I wrote the first draft in 3 weeks and spent another month or so polishing it and getting feedback which included learning more about BDSM and Santa Barbara. The novel grew and morphed until it became the novel that MLR is publishing.

I've met writers who meticulously outline everything right down to individual chapters, leaving nothing to chance. I've met others who outline nothing. Stephen King in his book On Writing, claims that he doesn't outline or chart his books at all. He knows nothing about the story, nothing about his characters or the plot. He excavates his novels, much like Michaelangelo uncovered the figure of David from the block of marble it was hidden inside. I like the imagery of that. I do what the story demands and each one is unique. So my advise to new writers unsure about how to approach a book: try different methods. Don't get locked into one model. Don't listen to the experts -- they only know what works for them. You have to find your own way. You may find, like me, that there is really no one way to create a story.

Find out more about all my available and upcoming books on my web site: P.A.Brown's site

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A quick change of plans

Disregard my idea for Fridays being a blog day. Until further notice Tuseday is guest blogging day. You can post your excerpts along with your PROMO. And please introduce yourself at beginning of your Promo. Thanks in advance.

Blogging your promos & excerpts

I decided to start this blog for MM writers. There are blogs that combine gay and hetero bloggers. There might be other blogs just for MM writers. If there are I don't know about them. Anyway, there is now.

So if you'd like to blog here please let me know. Blog posts are for Tuesdays and Fridays. These will consist of only PROMOS for your books. I was thinking about bloggers posting their excerpts on my yahoo group, but feel free to post them here on Fridays. Also email me at jr9244@yahoo.com to let me know when you'd like to blog.

enters stage left, bows....

Hello! I'm Bryn Colvin and I'm delighted to be participating in Jerry Race's mm blog. I shall (assuming aliens do not kidnap me, seas do not rise, or the power go off) be blogging here every Tuesday, sharing my enthusiasm for m/m literature.

I started writing m/m some years ago, thanks largely to encouragement from Nix Winter. My first significant forray was a re-telling of the Gawain and the Green Knight story (which included a scene of King Arthur kissing Gawain! I did love writing that!). I haven't looked back.

I've written a lot of short stories about gay guys, which you can find at www.loveyoudivine.com where I'm heavily involved in the His and His Kisses line. Authors include Nix Winter, Carol McKenzie, Max Griffin, Alex Morgan, Jane Bled, and Ryan Field - a nice mix of lads and lasses, either writing what they know, or indulging their fantasies.

In the rest of my life I sing and play a lot of music, wander about in the woods when I can and drink way too much coffee.
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