I'm extremely pleased to be part of the round-robin blog tour started by John Everson - my own invitation coming from the brilliant Lucy Taylor - called The Next Big Thing. By the way, I also got invites from a similar one from my pal Fulani (via Vanessa Wu) so I'm posting this one, at once, in thanks to all of these great folks!
From here check out the excellent blogs of five of my friends who I've tagged to carry on the tour - they should be posting their answers in about a week or so:
1) What is the working title of your book?
Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!
2) Where did the idea for the book come from?
Well, to put it mildly I have written more than my fair share of queer erotica and fiction – starting with "Stroke the Fire" that was picked up for Best Gay Erotica 1994 – and ending with this brand new best-of-my-very-best short gay erotica: Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!
The book is made up of my handpicked favorite stories from three of my queer erotic collections: the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words, Filthy Boys, and BodyWork. What's even cooler than this brand new best-of-my-very-best book the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions – that also published Stroke the Fire – have re-released not just Dirty Words, Filthy Boys, and BodyWork, but my queer novels The Very Bloody Marys, and (the rather controversial) Me2 as part of a whole "M.Christian" imprint: The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection ... pretty cool, eh?
3) What genre does it fall under?
Even though Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is basically queer erotica is also contains a lot of stories that run the gamut from horror (like "Wet," Boy," "Echoes" "Matches" and others) to science fiction ("Blue Boy," "Utter West," "Counting," etc) and even stories that, sure, might be gay and erotic but are more-than-a-but off-the-map (like "How Coyote Stole Sun" and "Coyote And The Less Than Perfect Cougar").
I also kept the introductions to the three books that were used to make up Stroke The Fire: my own from BodyWork Felice Picano's from Filthy Boys and Patrick Califia's from Dirty Words.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Since the book is a collection that's really tough to say ... though I sometimes visualize actors when I write (like Christian Slater and R. Lee Ermey for my novel, The Very Bloody Marys) I rarely do it when I write short stories. But if I had to pick some actors to appear in Stroke The Fire: The Movie I'd have to pick Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee, Nathan Fillion, the boys from Supernatural -- sorry, girls, as it's a gay male book there aren't many roles for women, not that I wouldn't love to get Emma Thompson, Gina Torres, Judi Dench, in there somewhere ... if just because I think they are wonderful and it would be a blast to meet them.
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is quite literally a collection of the best-of-the-best of M.Christian's short queer erotic fiction, taken from his acclaimed collections Dirty Words (a Lambda Literary Award Finalist), BodyWork, and Filthy Boys.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian has been published by Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions as the benchmark of their The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection imprint, which reprints not just the erotic collections Dirty Words, BodyWork, and Filthy Boys but also the non-erotic queer novels The Very Bloody Marys, and Me2.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
As the book is a collection – made of other collections – that's really tough to answer. Dirty Words came out in its first edition back in 2001 ... with the other collections coming out every could of years since then. But then the earliest story in the whole book, "Stroke The Fire," first appeared in Best Gay Erotica 1994 so you could almost say that the book took both a month to put together but the content took 18 years ... and, boy, does that sound like a long time when you think of it that way.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
For me, Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is a way of putting everything I've felt proud of writing – that's queer and erotic – into one juicy bundle of pages. Sure, there have been other collections but, as far as I know, there hasn't been a collection that's a collection of other collections ... so I think that Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is more than a tad unique.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The wonderful Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions asked me to put this book together as part of their launch of their special The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection – to be the one place, if people interested in my queer erotica needed just one place, to go to get the best-of-my-best. If you like what's here, in other words, then you'll no doubt love the other books, collections, and anthologies I've done.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, probably the most unique thing about Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian – and the other queer books and stories I've written over the years – is that I'm a straight guy.
It always takes folks more than a bit aback then I say that but – really, honestly – that's what I am: sure I might write about gay characters (and even gay sexuality) but, more than anything, I'm a writer ... and books like Stroke The Fire (and the books that make it up) are just part of what I do.
Now I want to be absolutely clear that I never, ever, lie to editors, authors publishers, or readers about my own sexuality – though there have been a few odd situations over the years, of course. To this day some people simply think that I'm lying to myself about my own sexuality ... but, honesty, unless you’re a woman (especially a BBW) then Mr. Happy just doesn't salute. Sorry, guys....
I got into being a 'gay' author pretty much the same way I became a horror/fantasy/non-fiction, etc., writer: I saw an opportunity – or was asked to participate in some project-or-other – and, since writers and regular human beings grow through challenges, I gave it a shot and (bingo!) I found that I wasn't just comfortable writing queer fiction but that people actually wanted more of it. No dummy, that's what I did: and so I have a few novels, collections and, with Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian, my own best-of-my-best collection of short queer erotica.
Speaking of other things, I also write non fiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed Bachelor Machine – as well as the erotic romance novel Brushes, the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll, and over 25 anthologies like the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and many more.