Monday, October 24, 2011

Beyond Romance And I

Very nice!  The one-and-only Lisabet Sarai asked me to guest blog on her fun Beyond Romance site ... and the result is a little piece I wrote about being a straight guy who writes queer fiction: Funny But You Don't Look It...

Plus another excerpt from my new novel, Fingers Breadth.  Enjoy!
Before I say anything I want to toss out a hearty and well-deserved thank you to Lisabet Sarai to giving me this very nice opportunity to ... well, chat about whatever I'm going to chat about.

To be honest I'm at a bit of a loss about what that might be. I mean – hell – I'm a writer, right? So this kind of thing should, at least, be second nature. To be honest, though, I've never liked talking about myself. Part of it is privacy, sure, but a lot of it is that I've always wanted my work to stand on its own: that people should (hopefully) buy my stuff because they like it – and not just because they like me.
But Lisabet asked me a question that's been making me scratch my head – always a good thing. But first a tiny bit of background: while I write in a lot of genres – non-fiction, mysteries, romance, horror, science fiction, and a lot of smut – I also have written more than a few books and stories out there with gay or lesbian characters.

But here's the kicker: I'm straight.

Part of why all this happened is because of simple logistics. As any serious writer can tell you, you cannot really plan for a career in this business: you take what comes your way and, if you're lucky, that can lead to work and, even luckier, even more work. In my case I had a lot of great experiences selling stories and editing anthologies for various gay and lesbian publishers ... which, in turn, got me a few in-roads when it came time to write novels. Gay or lesbian novels, naturally.

One thing I have to mention before I go any further is that I never, ever lied about who and what I am when I worked with these publishers. Sure, I don't like to talk that much about myself (so you won't find me on Facebook or Twitter, by the way) but I was always clear with them about my sexual 'reality.'

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Agree With You, Alan

"A sex scene is a way of getting over very important character information, just as much as a fight scene it, and the reader really shouldn’t be looking at it as, ‘Oh, this is purely thrown in for titillation.” - Alan Moore

Monday, October 17, 2011

Know The 1%

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Authors Promoting Authors And Me

Very cool!  Check out this interview I did for the great Authors Promoting Authors site ... and thanks, Sascha, for the opportunity!

I took a few minutes to speak to a cohort in crime, M. Christian to pick his brain about erotica, writing and the business in general. Hopefully the answers he provided will add value to your writing and push you into erotica if you've leaned that way but were uncertain.

He took a few minutes to answer some questions. 

1. You've been around erotica for a long while. What has changed from your perspective?

Has it really been THAT long ... sheesh, I guess it has: my first story was in FutureSex (1993), which was then picked up for Best American Erotica 1994 ... and it all just sort of took off from there.
As for what's changed ... well, the biggest thing, naturally, has to be the ebook revolution. Back in the bad old days it used to take pornographers far too long to haul sexually explicit materials up four and flights of stairs – but now everything is internet this and digital that. But, I tell ya, it really is for the better: ebooks are simply better for everyone, everywhere. For readers they are cheaper and don't take any room (and no shipping costs); for publishers that are easier and (again) cheaper; and for writers they mean we all can work without having to constantly worry about needing to sell, sell, to make up our advances – AND we can do all kinds of new books because publishers can take risks they couldn't before because doing so was just too expensive.

2. How does one achieve the title Acknowledged Master of Erotica?

To be honest you make it up. Alas, the headache of the new world of publishing is that it has become harder to get yourself noticed, what with all these new publishing venues. So sometimes a writer has to do whatever it takes to get them to rise above the rest. That's not to say that writers should ever lie to get themselves heard – that's never a good idea – or become an arrogant so-and-so – which is a worse idea – but that just staying and writing in your garret doesn't work anymore (sigh).


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Technophile" From The Bachelor Machine

Continuing my excerpt-fest, here's a juicy little queer cyberpunk number from my collection, The Bachelor Machine (out now in a new edition by Circlet Books).


I almost lost my virginity at fifteen, but his batteries ran low.
He'd showed me the unit, zipped open tight jeans and flashed out the Long Thrust. State, top-of-the-line, implant augmentation. He'd had himself castrated for the best science had to offer. I wanted it. The instant I saw it, the polished, burnishing, gleam of it. I wanted it bad. Now. Hard. Fast.
My squat was old-wired 220 so its juice-pack couldn't take the flow. In playback, wet-memory, I see him – planes of his face dead in the cheap florescents, as he hunts in his bag for the adapter he didn't bring.
In the end, we lit expensive candles and he put his mouth on my cock.
His mouth was shocking wet, not like my dry hand or the spit sometimes to make it easier. It was too slippery, and too hot. I was blazing with shame and self pity, eyes fake closed and instead watching his head dip down. First a quick spray of over-the-counter anti-viral fog, then  it was a wet test embrace on my cock, gentle kisses, then a wet socket over my cock. 
Brent, friend of my dealer. I'd been taking longer to slip the black market yen, and taking the tiny plastic bags, just to watch him stand and pose: first time spotting was like that first time there in my squat. Thick leathers hiding old cop impact vest, skin-jeans slit to show off log legs, too-tight tee ("YANKEE IMPERIALIST VICTIM") paint on a stone-mason chest, face cragged and street-scarred but with museum planes. Eyes then on the street as they were in my recall of the squat – hidden and refrigerator cool behind convex mirrors of mandatory shades. He may have been handsome, might have made girls wet, boys hard – but I'd heard, and then he'd heard that I'd heard and there in that alley he zipped and flipped it out. Fuck, I wanted it in me right there.
I was smiling when he lifted from my hardening cock. Smiling back at his smiling face, at my smiling face reflected in his shades. We smiled at each other reflected over and over as he gently stroked my cock, kissing it, and sucking a mouthful of the ridged head (Momma thought cutting sanitary).
The squat was cold and my futon too fucking hard on my back. My jeans were bunched around my legs and my back was crooked funny against my pack. So I put my hand on his head and pushed myself down. So mature for that first time, so controlled from the burning pity and disappointment of that unit, dead and powerless between his legs.
Sloped down onto the futon, I let him suck my cock. The kisses got harder, his tongue began to play with the tip, that little hot hold in the end that sometimes felt like prickles and sometimes like warm steel. I was hard from his mouth there, from his hand gently holding and stroking, from his breath stirring the cool skin from my shaved balls and belly. I was deep inside, eyes really closed, letting his hands and mouth work me up and higher and harder.
My balls begin to swell and heat. Something in me wanted, and because, I guess, I let myself put a hand on the crotch of his hot jeans. He closed them on my fingers, trapping them in a denim vice as he made negative moans around my hard cock.
I let him suck more, letting myself burn deep and pissed and disappointed. I felt his teeth slide every inch across the skin of my shaft. I couldn't decide if it was on purpose or accident. And when I thought about it, anticipating it, or trying to block the hardness of his teeth it just added something to it. I was harder and harder.
I wanted something again, I could have what I really wanted but this would do – and from the heat of him on my cock I pushed a sweet little virginal "please" out. I opened my eyes and saw that I had slid myself down to his jeans. I could smell it, that sweet sting-smell of brand-new plastic and his sweat through the thin denim of his jeans. No negative this time. No refusal for the poor virgin boy. The sucking never stopped the teeth didn't glide (so I guessed he must be pretty fucking good at this), but the hands came out and slipped the jeans down.
Made in the best labs in Shadow Tokyo. Fucking pure lines – a curving, shining downward turning tusk of high-impact plastic nested into a shield of gleaming black chrome. I traced the inert row of decorative indicators that ran along the side of the shaft (as he sucked the head of my cock, just the head, stoking me wet and thumbing like a metronome beating against my balls and stomach), feeling their dimples, and wanting them to light. I kissed the dead head of his unit, tasting a lingering of lube from the last time he'd fucked with it (boy, girl, fist, unknown).
He was sucking so hard now – the coolness was gone, and all I could feel was his hot mouth sucking and licking and sometimes (there, there) the hard glide of those special teeth in that trained mouth. His fist was still pumping, and my stomach ached the good hurt of a rough jerk-off.
The head of his unit was a different plastic, something so close to skin I could see with half an eye the unit just a steep pole, an extension of his cock. The head was anatomically correct and lifelike.
I stoked it, wishing so hard that it was juiced up and likewise. I wanted it so bad. Wanted it in my own mouth, wanted to really taste that old lube down deep in my throat. Didn't know how to do it, natch – but knew I could I wanted it so bad. Laying there on the hard futon, smelling of years of mildew, I wanted my virgin ass to take this sweet machine.  I wanted it. I could feel it – so hard and buzzing softly with all those marvelous features. Closing my eyes, I could feel it, a great background to his sucking sucking of me. Yeah, I felt it, laying there. Could imagine so perfect, crisp and clear as I raised my ass up to meet it. I closed my eyes and dreamed it – that first great touch of it against my asshole as I opened for it, swallowed it and felt the spasmic vibrators, the asymmetric rhythms, the neural stims all start to work on the inside of my asshole. I imagined him taking me deep and hard, only letting the Long Thrust (the Extension Delux Model with the Dynamic Action Features, coupled with the hottest Joy Buzzer software) do some of the fucking. My ass, I thought, would go all jelly, my cock would be, and was, steel. I could feel him slide it into me and out and in and something powerful would start in my ass and it would travel up my spine and out through my cock via my brain – just like they said in their ads on the net –
Fuck, fuck, fuck ... I wanted it in my ass and I wanted it in my mouth – but the shaft stayed down, the head stayed slightly cold – like a hot-dog from a broken and cold vending machine.
Too late for the reality, I was lost in my fondling, his sucking, the beautiful cockness of the Long Thrust. I felt myself start, felt the rocket start to climb from balls to tip. I could feel the come start to shake and close my eyes. But I kept them open and stared: a Long Thrust Delux there, in the crotch of his hairy thighs. This was one – right in front of me. This was one.
Come jetted from the head of my cock, into his sprayed, disinfected mouth. The come was as hard and hurt as much as my fucking cock. My legs danced. He put his hand on my cold chest as he pumped, sucked and jumped his fist along my shaft. I came and coated his mouth with my stickiness.
I came, all wet and sticky, and all I could think of was Long Thrust between his legs – dead, cold and inert.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"Love" From Filthy Boys

Just 'cause, here's a story from my recently-released queer collection, Filthy Boys.  I have a certain fondness for this story as it was written as a kind of thanks to all the gay men I've known - and who've changed my life for the better.


"You could have stayed with me," he'd said the first time I went to Seattle to see him, but stayed in a motel.  I hadn't even thought of it, and so the disappointment in his eyes.
I never went back.  After he got promoted there wasn't any point.
You could have stayed with me evolves into a fantasy in which those four days play out differently: an invitation made earlier, my discomfort of staying in someone else's house miraculously absent.  Fresh off the plane, strap digging into my shoulder (I always over-pack), out of the cab and up a quick twist of marble steps to his front door.  A knock, or a buzz, and it opens.
A quick dance of mutual embarrassment as I maneuver in with my luggage, both of us saying the stupid things we all say when we arrive somewhere we've never been before.  Him: "How was your flight?" Me: "What a great place."
Son of a decorator, I always furnish and accessorize my fantasies: I imagine his to be a simple one-bedroom.  Messy, but a good mess.  A mind's room, full of toppling books, squares of bright white paper.  Over the fireplace (cold, never lit) a print, something classical like a Greek torso, the fine line topography of Michelangelo's David.  A few pieces of plaster, three-dimensional anatomical bric-a-brac on the mantel.  A cheap wooden table in the window, bistro candle, and Don't Fuck With The Queen in ornate script on a chipped coffee cup.
Dinner?  No, my flight arrived late.  Coffee?  More comfortable and gets to the point quicker.  We chat.  I ask him about his life: is everything okay?  He replies that he's busy, but otherwise fine.  We chat some more.  I say that it's a pleasure to work with him.  He replies with the same.
I compliment him, amplifying what I've already said, and he blushes.  He returns it, and then some, making me smile.  My eyes start to burn, my vision blurs, tears threatening.  I sniffle and stand up.
He does as well, and we hug.  Hold there.  Hold there.  Hold there.  Then, break – but still close together.  Lips close together.  The kiss happens.  Light, just a grazing of lips.  I can tell he wants more, but I'm uncomfortable and break it but not so uncomfortable that I can't kiss his cheeks.  Right, then left, then right again.
But his head turns and we're kissing, lips to lips again.  Does he open his first or do I?  Sometimes I imagine his, sometimes mine.  But they are open and we are kissing, lips and tongue, together.  Hot, wet, hard.
But not on my part.  Wet, definitely – in my mind it's a good kiss.  A generous and loving kiss.  Hot, absolutely, but only in a matter of degrees as his temperature rises and mine does in basic body response.
Not hard on my part, but I am aware of his.  Between us, like a finger shoved through a hole in his pocket, something solid and muscular below his waist.
Does he say something?  "I want you," "Please touch me," "I'm sorry," are candidates.  I've tried them all out, one time or another, to add different flavors, essences, spices to that evening.  "I want you," for basic primal sex.  "Please touch me," for polite request, respect and sympathy.  "I'm sorry," for wanting something he knows I don't.
"It's okay," I say to all of them, and it is.  Not just words.  Understanding, sympathy, generosity.  All of them, glowing in my mind.  It really is okay.
I'm a pornographer, dammit.  I should be able to go on with the next part of this story without feeling like ... I'm laughing right now, not that you can tell.  An ironic chuckle: a pornographer unable to write about sex.  Not that I can't write about myself, that making who I am – really – the center of the action is uncomfortable, because I've certainly done that before.  I've exposed myself on the page so many other times, what makes this one so different?
Just do it.  Put the words down and debate them later.  After all, that's what we're here for, aren't we?  You want to hear what I dream he and I do together.  You want to look over my mental shoulder at two men in that tiny apartment in Seattle.
I'm a writer; it's what I do, and more importantly, what I am.  So we sit on the couch, he in the corner me in the middle.  His hand is on my leg.  My back is tight, my thighs are corded.  Doubt shades his face so I put my own hand on his own, equally tight, thigh.  I repeat what I said before, meaning it: "It's okay."
We kiss again.  A friend's kiss, a two people who like each other kiss.  His hands touch my chest, feeling me through the thin cloth of turtleneck.  I pull the fabric out of my pants with a few quick tugs, allowing bare hands to touch bare chest.  He likes it, grinning up at me.  I send my own grin, trying to relax.
His hand strokes me though my jeans, and eventually I do get hard.  His smile becomes deeper, more sincere, lit by his excitement.  It's one thing to say it, quite another for your body to say it.  Flesh doesn't lie, and I might have when I gave permission.  My cock getting hard, though, is obvious tissue and blood sincerity.
"That's nice," "Can I take it out?" "I hope you're all right with this." Basic primal sex, a polite request including respect and sympathy, and the words for wanting something he knows I don't – any one of them, more added depth to this dream.
My cock is out and because he's excited or simply doesn't want the moment and my body to possibly get away, he is sucking me.  Was that so hard to say?  It's just sex.  Just the mechanics of arousal, the engineering of erotica.  Cock A in mouth B.  I've written it hundreds of times.  But there's that difference again, like by writing it, putting it down on paper (or a computer screen) has turned diamond into glass, mahogany into plywood.
Cheapened.  That's the word.  But to repeat: I am a writer.  It's what I do.  All the time.  Even about love – especially about this kind of love.
He sucks my cock.  Not like that, not that, not the way you're thinking: not porno sucking, not erotica sucking.  This is connection, he to I.  The speech of sex, blowjob as vocabulary.
I stay hard.  What does this mean?  It puzzles me, even in the fantasy.  I have no doubts about my sexuality.  I am straight.  I write everything else, but I am a straight boy.  I like girls.  Men do not turn me on.
Yet, in my mind and in that little apartment, I am hard.  Not "like a rock," not "as steel," not as a "telephone pole," but hard enough as his mouth, lips, and tongue – an echoing hard, wet and hard – work on me.
The answer is clear and sharp, because if I couldn't get hard and stay hard then he'd be hurt and the scene would shadow, chill, and things would be weighted between us.  That's not the point of this dream, why I think about it.
So, onto sex.  Nothing great or grand, nothing from every section of the menu.  A simple action between two men who care about each other: he sucks my cock.  He enjoys it and I love him enough to let him.  That's all we do, because it's enough.
He sucks me for long minutes, making sweet sounds and I feel like crying.  He puts his hand down his own pants, puts a hand around his own cock.  For a moment I think about asking him if he wants help, for me to put my hand around him, help him jerk off.  But I don't.  Not because I don't want to, or because I'm disgusted, but because he seems to be enjoying himself so much, so delighted in the act of sucking me, that I don't want to break the spell, turn that couch back into a pumpkin.
He comes, a deep groan around my cock, humming me into near-giggles.  He stops sucking as he gasps and sighs with release, looking up at me with wet-painted lips, eyes out of focus.  I bend down and kiss him, not tasting anything but warm water.
I love him.  I wanted to thank him.  I hope, within this dream, I have.  The night that didn't happen but could have.
For me, writing is just about everything: the joy of right word following right word all the way to the end.  The ecstasy of elegant plot, the pleasure of flowing dialogue, the loveliness of perfect description.  Sex is good, sex is wonderful, but story is fireworks in my brain.  The reason I live.  The greatest pleasure in my life.
And he has given me that, with nearly flowing letters on an agreement between his company and I, between his faith in my ability and myself.  He looked at me, exposed on the page of a book, in the chapter of a novel, in the lines of a short story, and didn't laugh, didn't dismiss or reject.  He read, nodded, smiled, and agreed to publish.
Sex cannot measure up to that.  Bodies are bodies, but he has given me a pleasure beyond anything I'd felt: applause, and a chance to do much, much more with words, with stories.
He doesn't have a name, this man in my fantasy.  There have been a lot of them over the years, and a lot more in the future, no doubt.  Gay men who have touched me in ways no one has ever touched me before, by making love with my soul through their support of my writing.  Each time they have, this fantasy has emerged from the back of my mind, a need to give them the gift they have given me: passion and kindness, support and caring, and pure affection.
I worry about this.  I worry that they won't understand, take this secret dream of mine as being patronizing, diminishing them to nothing but a being with a cock who craved more cock.  I've confessed a few times, telling a select few how I feel about them, how I wish I could do for them what they have done for me, to be able to put aside my heterosexuality for just an evening, an afternoon, and share total affection together.
Luckily, or maybe there really isn't anything to worry about, the ones I've told, they smile, hold my hand, kiss my cheek, say the right thing and to this day, even right now, make me cry: "I wish we could too, but I understand.  I love you too."
Am I bi?  I know I'm physically not – I simply don't get aroused by men – but that doesn't mean I don't adore men, or for the ones I care about, the men who have touched my soul through their support and affection for my stories and writing, I wish I couldn't change.  More than anything I wish I could give them what they have given me.
With a cock or a pen, with a story or hours of wonderful sex, it all comes down to one thing: love.

Monday, October 03, 2011

More From The Erotic Authors Association Conference

Check this out: a little piece I wrote about the recent Erotic Authors Association Conference in Vegas - reprinted from the Sizzler Publishing Blog


Associate Sizzler Editions publisher M. Christian describes what happened when some members of the Sizzler Editions editorial staff attented the Erotic Authors Association’s first-ever conference:

(M. Christian)
While Las Vegas is called "Sin City," over the weekend of September 9th it more like heaven for writers – and readers – of erotic fiction as the location for the first ever Erotic Authors Association’s Conference.
Organized by Kathleen Bradean, Jolie du Pré, and D.L. King (also a Sizzler author: The Art Of Melinoe), the event featured classes like: But is it a Story? By Remittance Girl; Sexy, Sexy Grammar By Jean Roberta & Sharazade; Writing Killer Blurbs By Lorna Hinson; and much more -- plus panels on Erotic Romance, Your Sex Life as Story Fodder, Social Media & Promotion, plus many others.

(Sascha Illyvich)
Erotica authors, and fans, from all over the world attended the inaugural event, including many Sizzler Editions' authors like Margie Church (author of The 18th Floor), Laura Antoniou (Musclebound and Shop Stud), Blake C. Aarens (Wetting The Appetite), Charlotte Gatto, and many others.

(Wade Heaton)

The Sizzler Editions staff was then and then some! Wade Heaton, Senior Editor of our own PageTurner and Futurespart Imprint and author of The Sexy Syrixians; Sascha Illyvich, own Senior Editor of Erotic Romances and author of Siddella's Surrender (plus many others); artist Sami Hursey, the Morgaine Series, and M. Christian, Associate Publisher and author of How To Write And Sell Erotica, were there to talk to fans and share their own experiences as erotica writers and editors. Only our beloved (hated) Publisher Jean Marie Stine was in absentia (off at her son Mark Demian's wedding,

(Margie Church.)
Sizzler Editions also made a sexy-splash with readers and writers alike with an open-mic reading for authors to read from their Sizzler-published works: Wade, Sascha, Blake C. Aarens, Margie Church, and Sharazade wowing the crowd with their scintillating work. M. Christian, as well, was on quite a few panels and even taught his famous (or is that infamous?) class on erotica writing.
(Sami Hursey sketching
idea for new cover.)
Sizzler's own media wizard, Bill Mills, was also in attendance and recorded the reading in audio and video so that – very soon – fans of these Sizzler authors can get a rare treat to see them read their work.

We at Sizzler hope that everyone else had a great a time as we all did at the The Erotic Authors Association’s Inaugural Conference and we all look forward to having an even great time next year!

(Photos and image capture: Bill Mills)