Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Sunday, May 15, 2016
I had an opportunity to sit down for an interview with the prolific author M. Christian, whose work encompasses a wide range of genres. What follows is an abbreviated transcript of our conversation.
I’ve scratched my head about this quite a bit, and I think it boils down to two things. The first is escape: growing up, my family life wasn’t exactly pleasant so it’s kind of natural that I would have retreated into books, especially science fiction. Kind of makes sense then that one day I realized I actually might be able to write my own books and stories as well.
But the second reason is even more powerful: after hammering my head against blank pages for close to a decade I actually discovered I liked writing. Not for escape but because…well, I like to say it’s like playing an instrument must be like: the world just goes away and you find yourself transported into words, language, and story.
I still get headaches from smacking my brain against blank pages but after the swelling goes down I still get that transcendental thrill. It’s really what motivates me…that and the money that comes in every now and again, of course.
During your secondary school and college years did you take any writing courses out of the norm that furthered your interest in pursuing a writing career? If so, what courses and how did they influence you?
I took a lot of classes in high school and college but, to be brutally honest, they were a waste of time. None of them were really prepared to deal with someone who really, really, really wanted to write and not just score an easy grade. I think I must have been a bit insufferable towards the teachers―mostly out of frustration: I was hammering away night after night on story after story but all I ever seemed to get were shallow comments, no real meat-and-potatoes help.
That’s why I dearly love teaching my own writing classes: giving people the kind of writing info I wish I’d received back when. The first lesson I think I teach is that―and I know it might be the wrong thing to say in the middle of an interview about myself―is never compare yourself to anyone else. Writing can be extremely challenging, so it’s understandable that we want to learn anything that’ll make it easier.
But hearing that another writer sold their very first story, or their first novel earned half a million in royalties, doesn’t help anyone except the writer. Beginners will often read that and think that’s the way things should go, or should have gone, for them―which is absolute crud. A writer might say they write ten pages a day. Beginners will then think that if they don’t they won’t be successful…whatever that means.
It might sound overly simplistic, but writers write: and the only time they ever fail is when they stop writing. There’s no trick to number of pages, agents, editors, social media, etc.―you work and work and work and work. It gets easier, if you are lucky, but it never gets easy.
The second thing I teach is that if you write hoping to make it big (again: whatever the hell that means) then you won’t: the odds are completely against you. But if you write for the love of storytelling then you’ll be happier than getting any fat royalty check, movie deal, or publishing contract. Fame, money, all of that is nightmarishly fickle: here one day, gone the next. Truly enjoying the creation of books and stories, though, that’s the real reward.
What was the first story or book that you submitted to a publisher? Was it accepted?
Oh, my…I’ve written a lot of stuff and submitted tons more. I really tried to be a pro writer in high school and must have written a story a week for close to ten years (on and off, of course) and didn’t sell a single one (though I did come close now and again). Mostly science fiction but I also dabbled in other genres as well.
It wasn’t until I tried erotica that I sold my very first work, a story to the now-defunct Future Sexmagazine. The story then got picked for Best American Erotica (in 1994) and it just sort of took off from there.
I never really wanted to be an erotica writer. I just wanted to write and sell what I wrote and erotica, back then, was new and hungry. I pitched my first anthology to (also defunct) Masquerade books, Eros Ex Machina: Eroticising The Mechanical and they took it. Six years later I sent my collection, Dirty Words, to the wonderful (and, yes, defunct) Alyson Books and they accepted that.
That may sound impressive but for each success I, like pretty much every writer, must have had ten times as many rejections.
Your writing background is fairly diverse. Did that happen by design, serendipity, or both?
While science fiction has always been a favorite I’ve enjoyed reading, and even writing, all kinds of different things. Erotica was just the door that first opened but I’d be very happy writing pretty much anything.
I’ve always felt that, again, writers write. If someone called me tomorrow and said “Hey, I want to you write a young adult werewolf romance” my first reaction isn’t ‘what the hell’ but sure, why not? Maybe I’d have a blast―and end up being the best damned young adult werewolf romance writer out there. You never know…
When I first started writing erotica, for instance, publishers were very eager for anything interesting and well thought-out, so I tried writing all kinds of stuff: fetish, romance, sexy noir and science fiction, and even gay and lesbian fiction (I’m straight).
I’m extremely touched that the LGBT community has been so accepting of my work. It always brings tears to my eyes to think of the kindness and welcoming I’ve received. I’ve recently begun to move beyond LGBT but only because I think it’s important not to stay too comfortable writing just one kind of thing…stretching your creative wings and all that … but queer fiction still holds a special place in my heart.
Looking back on your body of work, which books that you have written or edited are you the proudest? What about them stands out in your mind?
Not to be evasive but they’re all special―no matter the genre: blood, sweat, tears (other body fluids) and all that. Sure, I think some turned out better than others but I learned a long time ago that what you think is your best work others might read and go meh.
That being said, I really enjoyed the explorations I did with the novels Me2 and Finger’s Breadth―both surreal/dark/gay/thrillers. I still really enjoy writing erotic science fiction, like the recently released Skin Effect (a sequel to my previous collection, Bachelor Machine) and Bionic Lover.
It’s hard to be proud of anthologies. I mean I think many of them are excellent books but when you’re the editor it’s your job to basically pick stories you think would work best for the project―the writers that make the cut are really what makes the anthology special. I do get a thrill when writers say they enjoyed working with me or that they enjoyed writing their contribution. That does mean the world to me.
I’m also very much enjoying writing non-fiction. I’ve been penning pieces for the wonderful Future Of Sex site for many months now. I’ve also written non-fiction on all kinds of other things, and (plug) they are all in a book: Welcome to Weirdsville.
Would you mind telling us how you began gravitating to audiobooks and what your experience has been with them so far?
I’ve always incredibly enjoyed hearing a reading/performance of an author’s work. I’ve done a few myself but, to be honest, my speaking and talking voice is way different than this voice you’re hearing―my writing voice―so it’s not as fun as I’d like.
So when the fantastic folks at Wordwooze Publishing agreed to do some of my books as audiobooks I was ecstatic! So far they have done the already-mentioned Skin Effect, with the also already-mentioned Bionic Lover and Finger’s Breadth in the works.
Jazmin Kensington’s reading of Skin Effect is perfect. It’s odd, but in a lovely way, to hear your words read by someone else―and I can’t wait to hear how the other books turn out.
Thank you for taking the time to share some of the details of your writing career. I’m sure that many of our readers will find your experiences and observations to be of great interest.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
This is a blast: not only did I just do a fun little Q&A with the fun folks at Erotica For All but I also just posted a brand new Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker article for them as well.
Here's a taste of both:
Interview: M. Christian
How did you start writing erotica?
To be honest it was quite the quirk of fate: after trying for a long, long, long, long – ten years to be exact – time, I signed up for a smut-writing class taught by Lisa Palac, who was editing a magazine called Future Sex. Lo and behold she liked the story I slipped her – my first shot at erotica – and she not only bought and published it but it was then picked up for Best American Erotica … and the rest is history.
What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
I don’t really have a favorite ’cause that seems like looking backward – something I really try not to do. When I’m feeling like a smart-ass I usually say that the best book of mine is the next one I write … but, to be honest, I do think that Me2 and Finger’s Breadth came out well-enough. Though I am also having a blast working on my new book….
What erotic authors do you enjoy reading? To be honest I don’t read that much erotica – unless I’m editing an anthology, when I have to (smile). I admire quite a few of them but I don’t like to pick favorites because we are in the same field … and emotionally and spiritually on the same journey. Writing can be tough enough without elevating one writer over another. As I like to say: a writer – no matter what awards they win, money they make, fame they have acquired – is no better than any other writer … who writes, and tries to improve themselves and their work.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Pretty much everywhere, honestly. If I am working for an editor or publisher I normally have to listen to what they want – which sets the stage for what I do. But when I work more ‘free form’ I get ideas from all over the place: movies, other authors, video games, taking a walk … you name it. I do have a certain weakness for moral questions and putting people in unusual, and sometimes very difficult ethical quandaries – but I also love playing around with new, and sometimes very challenging, genres. After all, a writer really doesn’t know what the may be good at until they try something new – and I love trying new things. If they work it’s terrific … and if not no big deal: it’s just part of the learning curve.
Guest Blog: M. Christian - The Right Word
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
– Mark Twain
No insult to Mr. Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens to his pals), but he’s a bit wrong there … but, more importantly, a lot right.
Wrong in when writing, slaving over just the right word can, too often, grind the process to a halt. When I hit that speed bump I usually just put the word I know isn’t the perfect, ideal, and – yep – right I just highlight it so I know, when I look over whatever I’m writing I can come back and fix it later. The key to keeping up your flow is not just writing well but to keep writing. Period. It’s far too easy to let niggling details get in the way of where you’re doing, and what you’re saying: it’s far better to just keep at it and then come back and do some tweaking after.
But Sam (Mark Twain to everyone else) is damned right about the damned right word. It’s been a very strange trip, going from writer to editor and, now, to publisher: I see a lot of things I wish that writers would get into their heads – and, similarly, try to get into my own thick noggin. The number one has to be to show and not tell: in more words, rather than less, it’s far better to be evocative and imagination-feeding than completely, unarguably, accurate.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
This was a lot of fun to do: I just sat down - virtually - with the great Erzabet of Erzabet's Enchantments for a great little interview. Here's a tempting tease:
1. How did you get started writing erotica?
Well, to be honest, I didn’t really start out to be a smut writer. Oh, sure, I wanted to be a writer – got the bug sometime in late high school – but I never really wanted to write dirty stories full time. Like a lot of writers I tried most of the familiar genres (science fiction, horror, fantasy, mysteries ... you name it) but, frankly, the competition was just far too rough.
Then, by chance, I took a class in erotica writing taught by Lisa Palac (of the late-lamented FutureSex Magazine) and she actually bought one of my stories ... which was then picked up for Best American Erotica 1994 and the rest, as they say, is history.
That's not to say I don't like writing erotica. Far from it: I actually really like being part of a genre that's still new and fresh, with lots of room to experiment and play. While I did spend a lot of time writing and getting rejected I think it's getting me more comfortable with stories and language. So, in the end, it's all turned out pretty well.
2. What is the absolute hottest scene you have ever written...oh please share...we like it naughty here. *cheeky grin*
You know, I don't really think of hotness when I write. I'm usually just focusing on the writing and the tale I'm trying to tell, and the sex scenes just spin out of that. Makes me more than a bit different, I think: some of my smut-writing friends say that they write from ... well, let's say below the belt. I don’t do that – and when I've tried it gets far too distracting to focus. So I just tell stories about characters and sex and the while thing just comes together.
3. I really enjoyed your book about how to write erotica-it was what got me started in the right direction. Can you tell the folks who have not heard about it a little bit to whet their appetites...
Thanks so much! The book is called How To Write And Sell Erotica and it's out (in print as well as 'e') by the great folks at Renaissance E Books ... who (ahem) I happen to be an Associate Publisher for. It's a collection of my essays and articles from my irregular column Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker for the fantastic Erotica Readers And Writers Association. More than anything, the articles were kind of my ... revenge against all the bed writing classes I took when I first started writing. That, and some of the stuff that's come up when I've edited anthologies and now as a publisher. I like to think of the book as being a buck-naked writing book ... but not because it's about smut, but because it's more revealing than and honest than a lot of writing books out there.
4. Tell us about your current work.
Well, right now I'm making my way through a new collection of science fiction erotica – a follow up to my well-received Bachelor Machine book. But I also have plans for a new novel (just have to decide which book too actually write). Meanwhile I'm having a blast working for Renaissance and enjoying teaching classes here in the Bay Area on everything from smut writing to bondage and other kinds of kinky stuff. Check out my site at www.mchristian.com for into on everything I'm into ... some of what I'm into, at least. I do have to keep a few things private ;-)
5. Whip or flogger?
Oddly, even though I teach classes in both (and canes and bondage and paddles and much, much more) I'm actually a very simple fellow ... sexually, at least. Oh, sure, there are a few things I like (ahem – big girls – ahem) but I'm more of a sensualist than a sadist, and more a lover than a masochist. I guess you could say my biggest kink is my writing: I get the biggest turn-on from telling stories than just about anything else.
6. Chocolate or peanut butter?
Chocolate for sure – especially the wickedly wonderful fun stuff like Vosges, or salt and caramel chocolates. Yum!
(I knew we were kindred spirits!) *grin*
7. Beach or mountains?
Hum ... tough call. I like both quite a bit: always loved the ocean and I like it cool, so the mountains are also a favorite. The only place I don't like is anywhere too hot so I'm not a huge fan of the desert ... tough for the right trip and adventure I'm sure I could be convinced to go.
Friday, February 22, 2013
This is beyond fantastic: the absolutely-glorious - and brilliant writer - Jan Graham just posted an interview with lille 'ol me on her site. Here's a tease - for the rest just click here.
The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of today's popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer.
Today we have a change of image to go with our hot seat interview and the main reason for that is our author today is a bloke (for those live in the rest of the world that's the Aussie term for a man). Today's hot seat is also different because our guest is the first author I've interviewed who doesn't write romance. I know, shock horror. Anyway, I digress.
Today we welcome M. Christian, author of erotica and many other genres, anthologist, teacher of classes in all things writing and BDSM, and Associate Publisher at Renaissance E books. Some of you may remember he appeared on Truth or Dare Tuesday at the end of last year. Well, he had so much fun that he agreed to come back, and not only answer our questions but also give away a copy of his book 'How to write and sell erotica.' So, today we turn up the heat and ask M the really tough questions...lets see how he goes.
About your writing:
How did you get started as a writer?
Funny story there: I always knew I wanted to do ... something creative with my life. I was one of 'those' kids – imaginative, smart, asking the wrong questions, drawing all kinds of things, making all things of things ... and, yes, I got beat up a lot – but it wasn't until High School that I finally sat down and decided that writing was the way to go.
And, boy, did I go after that dream with a vengeance. Reading somewhere that the best way to become a good – if not great – writer that you had to write, a lot, I wrote a story a week ... for close to ten years (yes, you may gasp).
Finally, totally out-of-the-blue I took a class in erotica writing from Lisa Palac, who at the time was editing a magazine called FutureSex. Totally out-of-the-blue I handed her a story I had written and – amazingly – she bought it for her magazine. A year later the same story was picked for Best American Eritica 1994 and, just like that, I was a writer ... a pornographer, sure, but all I cared about was that someone, finally, wanted to read what I wrote. That is was about sex didn't matter at all.
Even though I got my start with smut – and I have made like of a reputation in that genre – I write all kinds of things: science fiction, fantasy and horror (collected into the book Love Without Gun Control); historical fun tidbits and essays (collected into the book Welcome to Weirdsville); and even How To Write And Sell Erotica.
What a lot of people don't realize about my writing 'life' is that even though I've written a ... well, let's be honest, a huge amount of queer fiction (both erotic and non) I'm actually a straight guy. Now, I've always been very honest about my sexuality – I never, ever lie about being gay. I got into writing gay stuff – like my novels Running Dry, Very Bloody Marys, Me2, and Finger's Breadth; plus the collections, Stroke the Fure, Dirty Words, Filthy Boys, and more – is because, simply, I was asked to by gay editors and publishers.
No dummy, I wrote what people wanted to buy – which is why I write all kinds of things I'm always looking for new challenges and ways to expand myself as well as my writing. As I like to say: I never thought I'd be good at smut writing until I tried, never thought I'd be good at writing gay fiction until I tried ... so who knows what else I might be good at?
People, as well as writers and any other creative person, always need to be stretching themselves – it's how we learn and, best of all, grow.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
1. When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?Well, let’s see … my first published story was in the late-lamented magazine FutureSex, back in 1994. The story – “InterCore,” by the way, was then picked up for Best American Erotica (same year) and it all just kind of snowballed from there. While I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer it wasn’t until I stepped into the slippery, steamy, world of smut that I had any real success so – surprise – I’ve done most of my work there. But I also write non-fiction (including a book of my weird history pieces, Welcome to Weirdsville, which is coming out soon, and How To Write And Sell Erotica — my book on smut writing, and Pornotopia – which is non-fiction sex pieces); science fiction, fantasy, and horror (such as my collection, Love Without Gun Control); romance (see my novel Brushes), and lots of other stuff.
Here’s a quickie bio:
M. Christian is – among many things – an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and sites.
He is the editor of 25 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi) and Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant) as well as many others.
He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, Licks & Promises, Filthy, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, Coming Together Presents M. Christian, Pornotopia, How To Write And Sell Erotica; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, Fingers Breadth, and Painted Doll. His site is www.mchristian.com.
In addition he is an Associate Editor for the adult industry web site YNOT, and is an Associate Publisher for Renaissance Books (which publishers groundbreaking BDSM as part of its Sizzler Imprint).
2. Are you actively involved in BDSM? If so how do you identify yourself? Dom(me)/sub? Top/bottom? Switch?
I’ve been in the scene since ’88 (1988, smartass) or so and while I seriously love the folks I’ve met there I’m actually more a sensualist than a hardcore player. One reason I love the scene is that the people I’ve met have all pretty much been in touch with their sexuality – a very refreshing thing compared to the ‘real’ world. If you want to look me up, by the way, I’m “MChristian” on Fetlife … and pretty much everywhere else.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
♥ For those who may be new to your writing, and who haven't yet checked out your writing, please tell us a little about yourself.
Oh, boy, where to start? Well, my usual pseudonym is "M.Christian" (though I have others) and I'm mostly known – if I'm known at all – as an erotica writer (though I've written many other things). My primary writing site is at http://www.mchristian.com/ (though – you guessed it – I have others).
♥ The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one (and you clearly qualify as accomplished!). When did you begin writing, and how did you feel when you first saw your work in print?
Oh, you (blush)! Like a lot of writers I certainly don't feel 'accomplished' ... it's all kind of relative, I guess.
You could say I've always been creative ... the kid in the back of the class drawing pictures of rockets and robots when he should have been listening to what the teacher was saying. I remember writing my first story in the 4th grade, though it wasn't until early high school that I heard that (maybe, possibly) there were people out there who wrote stories for a living. Shortly thereafter I went after that with a kind of (to be polite) pathological vengeance: off and on I tried to write a story a week, though it took me close to ten years to finally sell one.
♥ So, why did you choose erotica as a genre of choice? Is there something specific that draws you to it, or something you feel it offers that other forms of literature do not?
You could say that it chose me: that first story I sold was to a magazine called FutureSex, and then that same story was picked up for Best American Erotica ... and it all sort of took off from there. I really never planned on being an erotica writer but, always the pragmatist, if someone's buying them I'm writing.
But I'll let you in on a secret: even though I mostly write erotica, I'm secretly not really writing it. When I sit down to write something for an erotic market I'm actually writing what I want to write – mystery, horror, romance, science fiction, whathaveyou – and 'leave the lights on' when it comes to the sex scene. Beyond that, though, I have to say that erotica is actually a very welcoming, supportive, and flexible genre – much more than a lot of others I write in. A pal of mine once described erotica as being like science fiction back in the 50s, or mysteries in the 30s: where everything was still fresh and new and writers were having a blast creating everything from scratch.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Monday, November 01, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Holy Cow, we’re on the cusp of another change in the seasons. Where does the time go? Happy Autumnal Equinox, northern hemisphere folks! And happy Vernal Equinox, southern hemisphere folks!
I don’t know about you but I’ve like totally jonesin’ for another fix of The Erotic Mind podcast series. It’s seems like it’s been ages since the episode. We had such an exciting summer of shows that took us pretty far a field from where the series started. We visited with an artist who creates her erotica with the spoke word; one that creates his erotica with photography and rope; and another artist who creates her erotica with her own body through burlesque.
But today we return to home base and visit with an artist who creates his erotica with the written word. I have the pleasure of introducing you to the enormously talented author and editor, M. Christian. He is probably the most prolific author we’ve met to date. And besides his big fat uncut writing talent, he is also a sheer joy to chat with.
As a special treat, M. Christian will share a mouth-watering selection of the fruit of his Erotic Mind. You do not want miss this, people![MORE]
Thursday, September 16, 2010
San Francisco writer/editor/anthologist M. Christian has had erotic stories appear in every “best of” erotic anthology series you can name; Best American Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, as well as in 300 other anthologies and magazines. He has published best-selling short story collections, such as Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, and Filthy (with more to come), plus his novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys and The Painted Doll, to name just a few. He is also an accomplished anthologist, having edited more than 20 books, including The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, More Extreme Stories about Extreme Sex, Vol. 2, and the just released Best S&M III. Christian’s work often crosses genre, mixing as he does sci-fi and horror with erotica as well as “straight” humor and mystery.
Editing the wickedly popular , his , as well as working as the associate editor for Renaissance eBooks, M. Christian is a busy man indeed. I was lucky to score some time with him during the recent New Jersey-based “Floating World” convention. This annual event boasts both professional “scene-sters,” organizers, writers, teachers, and folk from every conceivable walk of life and kink, who attend classes all weekend and play in a well-appointed dungeon at the convention center all night. It was really the perfect milieu to have this popular kinky scribe de-scribe the ins and outs of the adult fiction writing business, and to once and for all get to the bottom of that big question…
Porn versus erotica, what’s the difference?
You know I’m not sure there really is a difference; I certainly don’t like to use the labels. Sometimes you’ll find erotic writers saying: “I don’t write porn, I wrote erotica,” but I feel if you start saying that then people are going to start drawing lines, and there isn’t a line. It’s almost like we use one term to elevate over the other. We’re still talking about stories that are about sex, right? It’s all erotica. I just like to generically use the word erotica and use pornography as the keyword of the industry… Like the Supreme Court justice said…I know it when I see it.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Keep on eye on her excellent blog for an upcoming review for Best S&M Erotica Vol. 3 coming up soon!
... I’ve worked as a commissioning editor, a development editor, a series editor, and a copy editor — but never as an anthology editor. So rather than just guess what one does and how he/she does it, I decided to ask a real one. I chose M. Christian, because 1) he’s edited 20 successful anthologies, and 2) I could easily find his contact information. And of course also because 3) he answered promptly and politely and agreed with enthusiasm. I’d heard from some authors he’d worked with that he was “sweet,” and I wasn’t quite sure what that meant — doesn’t his photo look devilish?? but he really is. He closes his emails with “Hugs,” and called me “Sweetie” once, which quite tickled me coming from a man who’s just finished editing Best S/M Erotica Vol 3: Still More Extreme Stories of Still More Extreme Sex (which I’m reviewing here in my next post within the next week).
Here, then, is that interview, with information of interest to both the reader and the writer of quality erotica.
1. How does an edited volume come to be? That is, does a publisher choose a topic and solicit an editor, or does an editor dream up a project and approach a publisher?
Actually, it’s done both ways. Most of the time an editor will put together a brief (one page or so) proposal about the anthology — what it’s about, who might be invited, how it could be marketed, etc. – and then send it around to various publishers, hoping to find a home for it. Sometimes, though, a publisher will reach out to an editor they might know as a writer or who may have done other anthologies with them to do a project. That’s happened to me a few times, and it’s a wonderful compliment.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Muse: First of all, Whispers of the Muse welcomes you to the site. Tell us a little about yourself. What part of the world do you live in? Tell us about your background?
M Christian: My dear, I live in my own little fantasy world: elves, fairies, vampires ... compassionate conservatives....
In all seriousness I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988, having moved up here from LA, where I was born. Between here and there I’ve lived in Europe for a year and seen just about every state in the union, as well – as have most of us I believe – as having had a wide variety of jobs. Right now I drive a truck for an organic mushroom farm. Thrilling, I know, but I do it for the fresh air and exercise more than the staggeringly huge paycheck.
Writing-wise, ever since I was a wee little one I’ve always been very imaginative, but it wasn’t until high school that I heard I could use my imagination to make a living by maybe, perhaps, being a writer.
For the next ten years I tried my best to do just that ... and failed each and every time, though I did periodically come close. But then in 1993, on pretty much a larf, I took a class in erotica writing and handed the teacher my very first try at smut. Shock! Amazement! She not only bought the story for a magazine she was editing but it was then reprinted in Best American Erotica 1994. The rest, as they say, is history.Muse: Who are your favorite authors?
M Christian: I like to say that I like what I like, in that while I certainly have some faves I think good writing is good writing, no matter where it might pop up: TV shows, comic books, romance, Westerns, shopping lists – whatever. Right now my tastes are all over the place: I’m a huge fan of Alexander Jablokov, Adam Warren, Grant Morrison, Hilary J. Bader, Eiji Otsuka, Alfie Bester, and ... a lot more I know I’m forgetting. I zealously resist really popular authors because, one, they usually are pretty damned awful but, two, as a fringe writer I feel the least I can do is support other writers who have avoided, or been denied, the spotlight.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
How did you get into writing? At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was a early dreamer but a late bloomer: I remember discovering that not only being a writer could be a career but was a career I wanted to REALLY do around the 4th grade. But I didn't begin to seriously write until high school … and I mean SERIOUSLY: I wrote, or tried to write, a story a week. I did that for about, oh, ten or so years off and on (mostly on). Didn't sell one of them, but I didn't stop. I'm not too sure if that was dedication or insanity but it paid off.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Here's a teaser. You can, of course, read the whole thing here.
If you don't know the name M. Christian, then you're really not reading enough, now are you? The San Francisco-based scribe is a writer, anthologist, editor, blog-ist in contemporary genre fiction, with a heavy emphasis on cross-genre dirty stories and anything else you can name. I got lucky enough to catch up with the gregarious Mr. C. during one of his usual busy writing days.
In your bio you're listed as an anthologist, writer, editor . . . which are
you first and foremost?
Oh, I'm very definitely a writer. While I like to edit anthologies, because it's fun to play with weird and wild themes, I'm first and foremost a writer. I find myself dreaming and thinking in stories, dialogue, narration . . . I've got it bad, man!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In this second part of my interview with M. Christian, the versatile author discusses the craft of writing and shares his tips, views, and experience.
IG: How would you describe the act of writing?MC: I view writing as work. I don’t believe in having a muse, and I don’t wait for inspiration. I don’t believe in sitting in a coffee house and staring into space. I playfully call myself A Literary Streetwalker With A Heart of Gold in that I'll do a story, pretty much any kind of story, for anyone, anytime. I'm also different in that, unlike a lot of erotica writers I don't have a mission. I want sex to be accepted, sure, but I'm not trying to change the world through smut. I just want to give people a good story that might just change your mind about sex.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
M. Christian writes, well, just about everything. A writer’s writer, Christian approaches the art of writing as work, and it shows in the countless novels, stories, anthologies, blogs, and yes, even a graphic novel, which display his unique imprint. Blending myth, horror, science-fiction and fantasy, and sprinkled liberally throughout with graphic sexual content, his writing works like a double espresso shot first thing in the morning. Consistently pushing the envelope, his stories can also sometimes push the imagination to places Freud might be scared to venture. His erotica knows no boundaries, as his characters run the gamut from trans to bisexual, twin brothers to vampires. This is part one of a two-part interview with the prolific author, in which he shares some of his thoughts on life, food, and keeping it real.
Tune in next week for Part Two with M. Christian: On Writing to hear him wax philosophical on the craft of writing and offer some practical advice for writers.
IG: How do you identify in regards to sexuality?
MC: I like to say I'm sexually straight, politically gay, and socially bi. Sexually straight, because -- even though I do so much GLBT work -- Mr. Happy doesn’t respond to anything but women. Politically I say I'm gay because I vote an extremely gay ticket and consider gay rights to be one of the most important human rights issues in the world today. I’m very comfortable with men, so that’s why I say I'm socially bi: I have no problem hugging or kissing my male friends – gay or straight -- or saying 'I love you' to them. More than anything, I never lie about who I am. I never pretend to be gay just to further my career. Alas, sometimes things can be a tad confusing: A long time ago I worked with an editor, a wonderful guy, who asked a friend we had in common: ‘what kind of guys does Chris like?’ and this friend answered ‘women’. I felt so bad that my editor might have thought I led him on or something that I called him up and explained that I thought he knew I was straight. At the end of the call we were both laughing but, importantly, we both understood that we loved each other – no matter who we liked to sleep with.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
1. If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for dinner, what would you eat?
I'd invite Jesus Christ to sit down at my table, with me on the left, of course. I'd then serve him up -- just to see if his body and blood turns to bread and wine in my stomach.
2. Who do you think you are?
I have a penis.
3. What’s your problem?
I have a penis.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Christian has written everything from erotica to horror and science fiction. He pushes the boundaries of genre and style by being able to transform his voice into that of anyone or anything. In his extensive repertoire you can find trans, lesbian, and gay characters, as well as maybe some others who defy definition. Christian often writes about bondage and sadomachism in his novels and short stories, of which he has written many.