Monday, October 20, 2008

M.Christian on All The Blog's A Page: Being A Male Writer

I'm thrilled to be the featured writer on All The Blog's A Page:

Being a Male Writer: Author M. Christian

M.Christian is an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 300 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites. He is the editor of 20 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, and many others. He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll.

His site is You can also get a glimpse into M. Christian through the blogs MEINE KLEINE FABRIK and Frequently Felt.

Once again, acclaimed author M. Christian writes of the art of seduction. One of the pleasures of a dystopic future is the erotists, professionals who paint their clients' bared skin with neurochemicals that induce sensuality. Erotists offer landscapes of ecstasy, pain, joy, and delight. Few citizens can afford the skills of the talented Domino. Fewer still know her identity is but a mask.

Beneath the facade, Claire hides from a vicious crime lord who would not only kill her but her childhood lover. But the mask of Domino is beginning to crack...

Painted Doll is futuristic noir tale, a wildly imaginative erotic adventure, exploring who we are and the sexual awakenings that occur when we become someone else.

From Chapter Two, Painted Doll: An Erotist's Tale:

On the banister going up, winding down the paired columns at the top, lizards were marching in a tightly twisting single file, preceding tails barely touching the tips of a following hissing tongue. Round and round, up and up, each lizard behind the other. Under her fingers, sliding smoothly along the silken lacquer, scales, dagger teeth, and clawed toes, were almost too precisely carved, too excellent. Their realism a soft whisper of perhaps, maybe, could-be movement.

Claire didn’t like the walk up those carpeted stairs, another parade of tiny reptiles woven into the border in careful golden thread, because of that banister. Didn’t like putting her hand on the smooth pillars on the upper landing, either; that long dead Malay, Indonesian, or Chinese wood carver’s art too haunting, ghostly shivers up her arm.

One step, a pause. Another, and then another, and another of each: closer to the top with each careful, controlled, ascent, each cool hiatus. Hand out, holding the railing with each rise, the wood carver’s art was just a decoration, the thing that gave the Salamander Room its name. Domino, not Claire.

Vaulted in an upward sweep of beams that seemed transported from somewhere else, the room was warm, looming to be even hotter later in the day. But that was a long time to come, and the client had only paid for any hour. Two pieces of furniture, one piece of baggage: an opium bed, frayed fabric from generations of smokers, trim and tassels missing or discolored. Next to it, a high octagonal table, rosewood glowing from different generation’s use. On it, a leather satchel, low and square, showing early signs of wear at the corners but otherwise anyone’s carry-on, containing almost anything.

As Domino reached the top, the man on the bed rolled to one side; he looked back at her, she saw him.

“K-Konichiwa,” he stammered, with a sharp dip of his chin, eyelids lowering. Young, but not a boy. Dark hair in a corporate apprentice pudding bowl, growing out in a soft bristle around the ears meaning an approaching graduation to junior salariman. A few months before a move from the dormitories to a single men’s building. Student larva cocooned before emerging as a fully-formed and valued worker.

Flowing slowly into the room, the hushing of her kimono was her only answer. A celebration then. A promise to himself, a reward for memorizing the company manual, no doubt standing in the rain, pattering ice water on his bare shoulders, and singing their anthem until his voice had cracked, then broken.

Naked then, more than likely; naked now, clearly. Hairless and smooth, with nipples the color of his bloodless lips. Between his legs, no sign of a penis. Tucked between his thighs in a reflex of Japanese decorum. He could have been as sexless as a bee.

The Question: Reflect on the stories you have written – the stories waiting to be written. What themes, topics do you find your writerly mind pushing you to write?
How do these themes, topics portray themselves through you as a male writer?

I’m a weird critter – writing-wise – in that I’ve written a lot of work beyond my own (ahem) direct experience … male or otherwise. To put it another way I’ve had stories published in Best Gay Erotica (but I’m not gay), Best Bisexual Erotica (but I’m straight), Best Lesbian Erotica (but I’m not … well, you know) and even have two collections of gay erotica, Filthy and Dirty Words, and one of lesbian erotica, Speaking Parts. I’ve also written many similar novels, Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, and (recently) Painted Doll that are gay-themed. By the way, I’ve also published straight stories and novels, such as Brushes and the upcoming collection Licks & Promises, so I’m not just a “not gay but write guy stuff” writer.

What does this have to do with being a male writer? Well, I’d like to say that it doesn’t – or shouldn’t. After all, writers are professional liars in that it’s our job to convince people we’re telling the truth when we’re not – and we succeed when there’s very little, or no, doubt about that. I’m tremendously lucky – and tremendously touched -- that my work in the gay community has been so well received. I’m not alone, of course. Many writers have told wonderful stories about characters and situations far removed from who they really are.

The key, I think, is to respect your audience and your subject matter. People often ask me about how I can write about something like being gay or lesbian without have done (ahem) ‘field research.’ Sure I might not have direct experience but I do know what love, hope, fear, excitement, and disappointment feel like so I try to bring as much of that ‘reality’ to whatever I’m doing – and always approach whatever I’m doing with a serious hope of touching my readers.

The bottom line is that while I’m a guy I’m always working hard to stay true to what joins us together: that we’re more the same than different.

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