Showing posts with label Me2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Me2. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Metro Spirit Loves Me2

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)

Here's a wonderful - and very touching - review of Me2 (not now, of course, in a brand new edition) by J. Edward Sumerau over at Metro Spirit.

The latest offering from M. Christian — “Me2” — poses a bit of a dilemma for the average reader. While it contains an intricate plotline leading readers deeper and deeper into psychological consideration, it is constructed upon a narrative style that is often jumpy, tense and hard to follow. The end result is an intriguing argument buried in a difficult format.

M. Christian is of course a variety of voices wrapped into a single moniker. Whether found in erotic collections of the straight or gay variety or in horror compilations and psychological intrigues, Christian holds power over a voice deeply original in a time where conformity is all too common. Having found his work in collections such as “Dirty Words," “Speaking Parts” and “Best American Erotica," it was about time that Christian offered a vision of the contemporary world in the form of a longer offering. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rainbow Reviews Likes Me2

(from M. Christian's Queer Imaginings)

Check out this very flattering review of my surreal/queer/horror. thriller Me2 by Ryes from Rainbow Reviews ... which has just been re-released as part of the wonderful Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions M. Christians ManLove Collection:

He looks just like you. He acts exactly like you. Every day he becomes more and more like you, taking away that what was yours until there's nothing left. You may think you've met your match ~ or your double ~ but that's not even close. 
Me2 is a psychological thriller about self and identity, written in a unique and interesting structure. The book starts off with an unnamed narrator who works at Starbucks. The narrator mentally labels the Starbucks customers by the flavor/cup sizes of the coffee they order and the personalities he associates with those coffees. This is not different from the way he views the world in terms of brand names. His description of himself also doesn't distinguish him from other men like him. His daily activities are routine, and he even gives his looks a name: a Boy of Summer look.  

Friday, September 07, 2012


(from M. Christian's Queer Imaginings)

I've said it before but it's worth repeating over and over and over again: I adore working with the great Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions.  

Not only have they brought back into print pretty much all of my queer books under the very special M. Christian ManLove Collection:

- and now, they'd released - as I've mentioned - a brand new edition of my Lambda-finalist collection Dirty Words

But that's not all!  Check out this absolutely fantastic video spot they just released for the whole collection!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

M. Christian's ManLove Collection From Sizzler Editions

(From M. Christian's Queer Imaginings)

I can never say it enough: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions is the best: not only have they been fantastic in re-releasing my queer erotica - as well as lots of other fun books - but they just put up this great subsection on their site just for my gay erotic books...

AND speaking of which, not only have they just put out a new edition of Me2 (which I still deny writing) but coming very, very soon is a re-release of my Lambda finalist collection, Dirty Words - and here's a look at the fantastic new cover:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


(From M. Christian's Queer Imaginings)

The horror ... the horror, I tell you ... about that impostor "M.Christian" knowns no bounds!

Believe it or not, there's a brand new - and in many ways improved - edition of Me2 out there now by Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions!

You owe it to all that is right and true in this universe to buy it right now - if just to see how poorly this other "M.Christian" imitates me!

From the Sizzler Blog:

Sizzler is extremely pleased and proud to be able to announce the re-release of M. Christian's extremely controversial queer horror/thriller novel, Me2 ... though there is some doubt that the author is actually another M. Christian...
"Absolutely brilliant!" says Lisabet Sarai, author of Incognito and Fire, about M. Christian's controversial manlove male horror/thriller.  
He looks just like you.  He acts exactly like you.  He takes away your job.  He steals your friends.  He seduces your lover. None of them can tell the difference. Every day he becomes more and more like you, pushing you out of your own life, taking away what was yours … until there’s nothing left.  Where did he come from?  Robot?  Alien?  Clone?  Doppelganger?  Evil twin?  Long lost brother?  How do you know that you are the real you? And how to you fight back to reclaim your life?   
A fascinating novel of identity, Me2 is a groundbreaking manlove chiller you’ll remember for a long time – no matter who you are, or who you think you may be.  
(Despite rumors that this book was written by an impostor - but, rest assured, this is the real 'M. Christian.'  Accept no substitutes!) 
Me2 is a unique and always entertaining fable-novel about what exactly identity may entail and how we may or may not decide whether it's worth the price of keeping it.
- Felice Picano, author of Art & Sex in Greenwich Village 
M. Christian has a delightful, marvelously twisted way with words which cause his narratives to crawl beneath your skin and fester there, making you go back for more. He writes with a strong, unique voice which is not only entertaining but also makes you think, makes you ponder the improbable. You'll think you've read this delicious, fast-paced story, but did you? Or was it you?
- Mari Adkins contributing editor, Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest 
"With delicious slyness, M. Christian creates a world in which the familiar becomes sinister and the comfort of daily routine is replaced by a growing sense of dread. His modern parable lays bare the all-too-real dangers inherent in the sacrifice of individuality in the pursuit of cultural homogenization."
- Michael Thomas Ford, author of Full Circle and Changing Tides

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just Another Reminder -

- that I have (ahem) a few books out right now. Please support this humble pornographer by buying a few ... please?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who Is M.Christian - And Why Won't He Shut Up?

Check out this wonderful interview of my humble self with the very great Jennifer Blackmore over at the Circlet Press site:

M.Christian has been called “one of the greatest living writers of erotica” (mostly by himself) and a “hack who shouldn’t quit his day job” (by everyone else). The author of more than three hundred short stories, he’s appeared in pretty much every “Best Erotic” anthology there is, from Best American Erotica, to Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many others. He is the editor of twenty anthologies including Confessions, Amazons, and Garden of the Perverse (with Sage Vivant) and The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi). His stories have been published in five collections: Dirty Words (gay erotica), Speaking Parts (lesbian erotica), The Bachelor Machine (SF erotica), Filthy (more gay erotica) and-–coming soon–Licks & Promises (the straight stuff). He is also the author of five novels: Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll. His site is

How did you start writing erotica and/or how did you start writing sf/fantasy?

The answer is the same for both, really: after trying to get published for about ten years I took a class from Lisa Palac, who was editing the magazine FutureSex at the time, on a whim. At the end of the class I gave her a story I had written, a fun little SF thing, not really expecting much of anything. I was shocked a few days later when she wrote to say that she wanted to publish it. “Intercore” was then picked up for Best American Erotica–-and everything just sort of took off from there.

Is there something particularly compelling to you about combining sf/f with erotica?

Well, I’ve been a pretty hardcore geek/nerd/fanboy for a long time, so wanting to write SF has always been in the back of my mind–though a lot less now than when I first started to write. Mixing the two was really just a marriage of convenience: editors and publishers seemed to want erotica so why couldn’t I try to mix them?

Beyond that, I’ve always felt that, except for a few rare exceptions, sex has been the one thing that SF really hasn’t speculated about. After all, how many future shock stories have you read where the world has been completely transformed by technology or social change yet the characters still get it on like a pair of teenagers in the backseat of a Plymouth? Just think about how things have changed in the past few years: AIDS, Viagra, gay rights, the Net, implants… Our sex isn’t our grandparents’, or even parents’, sex so why shouldn’t it be even more wild/radical/amazing/scary in just a few more years? And who knows what it could be like in a decade or the next century?

To be fair, I haven’t really worked to push those boundaries myself–I still have to sell my work to people of this century–but I’ve always wanted to really have fun and experiment with what sex might eventually become. One of these days… One of these days….

How does your real life experience get translated into erotic sf?

It does and it doesn’t. It doesn’t because even though I write a lot of gay fiction as well as gay erotica, lesbian fiction as well as lesbian erotica, bi fiction as well as bi–well, you get the idea–I actually a pretty simple guy, sexually. Sure, there’s that Michael Rosen picture of my ex-wife and I, but when the lights are low I’m not that sexually complicated.

But it does because even though I haven’t had gay sex, and am simply not equipped to have lesbian sex, I do put a lot of my emotional self in what I do. I can’t say I know what the sex feels like but I certainly can write about what it feels like to be excited, frustrated, disappointed, ecstatic, etc. I also take a lot of pride in the fact that I treat my subjects with dignity and respect, that I try exceptionally hard to make my characters as three-dimensional as possible. After all, no matter [what] our genders or orientations [are] we have more things in common with each other than [not]. I’ve been lucky–so far–that folks have been very kind about my attempts, and some have even made me very happy by saying that my work has touched them, but being thought of as rude or disrespectful is still is something I worry about.

Is writing erotic sf different from writing other genres?

Well, aside from what I already mentioned (that it’s hard to SF-up sex without completely losing your reader) I think that SF erotica is different–for me at least–because I always try to put in social commentary, which is what many of the SF greats have used the genre for as well.

There’s always a bit of pressure to world-build, which can make the process a bit tougher than simply writing about modern people having modern sex. Sometimes, though, putting in a bit of SF can make everything easier, like with the book I have coming out very soon from Lethe Books, called Painted Doll. I knew I wanted to make it noir-SF but didn’t want to make it really heavy-hitting technology-wise. I also wanted to add a new dimension to what sex could become, so I thought of giving the dominatrix-type lead character a neurochemical brush she could use to paint her clients with sensations and emotional cues. What happened was very fun because it meant I could also make her a storyteller as she painted, so what she told would add a whole new level to the story. What she was telling her clients could also reveal her state of mind to the reader.

What is your writing process like?

Ah, here’s where I really am a weirdo. A lot of writers I know have to have the room dead quiet, or only have on classical music or such but, because I first started to write without any privacy at all, I’ve gotten used to working with a lot of stimulation. Right now, for instance, I’m watching the Japanese henshin series Garo while answering your questions. Often I pick a vid to match what I’m trying to do, to set the mood. I don’t have a lot of DVDs but the ones I have I must have seen dozens of times: Wender’s Hammett; Frankenheimer’s Seconds, Seven Days In May, and the Manchurian Candidate; Paul Dini’s Batman and Justice League series; the wonderful new French film Renaissance; lots of anime; The Avengers TV series; lots of J-Horror (especially Uzumaki) and lots of others I can’t remember, and I’m too lazy to get up to see what else is on my shelves.

I’m also very lucky to have a fantastic partner-in-all-things, who also happens to be the writer Sage Vivant. I’ve said this a few times but it’s always worth repeating: writing can be … Hell, it totally is a vicious, awful, ugly, and emotionally devastating business and every writer needs, and deserves, someone in their life to be there. I am very damned lucky to have found my one special person.

What’s it like sharing your life with another erotic writer? How does that affect your creative process? How much input do you to have on each other’s work?

WAITAMINUTE! Are you saying… Are you IMPLYING… That my girlfriend is some kind of a pornographer!? I’m shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!

Okay, I’m kidding. I’m tremendously lucky to have found Sage, and thank that fortune every day she’s with me. Writers are–for the most part–completely bonkers. It’s the business that does it: we expose our hopes, dreams, fantasies, and the rest of our so-fragile stuff to people who only care about money, or to other writers who’ve been smashed up the same bad experiences. It makes us insecure, competitive doubtful, depressed, and even arrogant… Like I said, bonkers.

I’ve always dreamed I’d find someone who was at least creative, a person who understood how much fun it can be when it works, and who’d understand how much it hurts when it doesn’t. Not in a million years did I think the person I’d fall head-over-heels for would also be a writer, let alone a writer I admired.

I can’t say that enough: not only do I love Sage but I respect her tremendously. For close to ten years she ran Custom Erotica Source, where she wrote stories for over one thousand clients. That alone is totally remarkable but it still doesn’t say enough: the stories she wrote not only touched people but were also so brilliantly well-written [that] editors and publishers snatched them up for all kinds of anthologies.

But she is also just a wonderful person: kind, funny, supportive, smart, as well as totally gorgeous — absolutely my partner in all things. We work very well together and, even though she just sold CES and is taking a break from writing, her help, opinions, and support are a huge part of my writing life… Well, every part of my life, period.

Are/were there authors who influence your writing?

I feel like I’m always learning from, and trying to be as good as, the folks I admire and respect. I wish I could say those were high-end classic writers–and, sure, a few are there, like Steinbeck, Kipling, Dickens, Hugo, and such–but for the most part I adore and want to be as good as modern comic writers like Alan Moore, Adam Warren, and Grant Morrison; classic SF writers like Bester, Dick, Sturgeon, and Zelazny; and non-fiction writers like Karl Taro Greenfeld, Paul Kirchner… And a few others I’m, again, too lazy to get up and go to my bookshelf for. I’m weird in that I actually don’t read a lot of erotica–unless I have to when I’m editing an anthology–and [I] don’t read any new SF, mostly because I rarely have the time. Again one day I hope to… One day….

Do you have a favorite story or work of yours, and why that one?

Not really–I don’t like to look back. It kind of scares me, actually, to read something I wrote–especially when I think it’s good because then I worry if I’ll ever be able to write that well again. It’s kind of pat but I like to say that my favorite thing is what I’m going to write next. I do think my book, Me2, recently out from Alyson Books, came out well (even though there’s some debate going on [about] if I even wrote the damned thing), and I really enjoyed writing my new and upcoming books Brushes and Painted Doll. I just hope the book I’m working on right now will come out well, but so far–fingers crossed–it’s been fun.

There’s a common theme in many of your stories and novels of showing what goes on behind-the-scenes in an erotic scenario, whether it be elaborate sex play or something constructed by a professional sex worker. What fascinates you about this flip-side? What do you think this has to say about the nature of sexual fantasy?

I’ve always been fascinated by the faces we wear. Like a lot of folks I don’t think we have one personality. This “voice” for instance–the one you’re reading and I’m writing–it isn’t “me,” at least not the “me” that’s the voice in my head, and it’s not the “me” that talks out loud. It’s not the “me” in my fantasies, and it’s not even the “me” that is my sexual self.

Maybe I’ve been doing it too much and it’s time to change my schtick but I like experimenting with how those faces can work against or compliment each other. Like with Painted Doll, where the main character has been forced to hide under a false personality, where one self looks like an opposite but is actually more of a different “flavor;” and how those interactions change the character, revealing a lot about her true self, and if she, and we, really have one.

I also love to play with identity and how it’s formed by those internal “faces” but also by everyone around us. In Brushes, we’re exposed to this notion of one bastard of a painter through the people in his life. (What is it with me and artists anyway? They keep showing up in almost everything I do…) But is he really such a bad guy or have everyone’s impressions been twisted by misconceptions and illusions? If I did write Me2 (and I ain’t saying) I would have done the same kind of thing, having fun with who we are and if we are really unique.

On your blog you wrote that you wished that erotica as a genre would end, and that sex writing would become integrated into other genres. If this happened, how would that effect you as a writer? Which genres do you think you would like to explore?

I guess it might put an end to my luxurious and so well-respected career, but it’s something I honestly wish would happen. Not because it would mean the death of the genre but because sex is a part of life and it should be a ubiquitous part of literature as well. Why do we have books that clearly have, or are even about, sex but you never see it? Why shouldn’t the sexual self of the characters be on stage like their other selves? The moment we actually show sex in a story it gets shunned or buried behind a beaded curtain in the back of the store. No wonder we have such a screwed up culture! I’ve said it before but it’s always worth repeating: what kind of a world have we made where giving head gets an X but cutting someone’s head off only gets an R? One day, perhaps, we’ll be honest and happy about sex… One day….

As far as where I want to go, I really don’t have any burning desires. I just love to be wanted, so I’ll do pretty much whatever someone wants… Writing-wise, I mean. I’m not being passive, it’s just that many of the best things that’ve happened to my writing have come as complete surprises: erotica, gay fiction, non-fiction, etc. Sure I’d love to write a Great-American-Novel kind-of-thing, and then there’s that book on movie villains I keep playing with, but for the most part I love working with a challenge and seeing what fun things might come out of it.

Do you have anything new coming up that you want to tell people about?

Let’s see… Me2 is out there (if I wrote it, that is) and doing pretty well. It’s a gay horror/thriller/comedy thing from Alyson Books. Brushes, a romantic/erotic book just came out from Phaze Books. My gay vampire horror/comedy, The Very Bloody Marys, just got reprinted from Lethe Books and coming soon, also from Lethe, is my SF erotica novel, Painted Doll. I also just sold a new collection to Phaze, called Licks & Promises and I’m working on a new book, a gay/horror thing that should be out next year sometime.

Beyond that I’ve been having fun putting cool stuff on my site at and digging up erotic things for my sex blog at and REALLY wonderful and strange things for the site my brother and I do: Come check them out and feel free to write me at

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me2

Darkscribe Press:

What would you do if you discovered another you – a dead-ringer who shows up at your job, moves into your apartment, and steals your friends? In Me2, M. Christian offers up a unique – if at times wearisome - look at individual identity and societal conformity and the dangerous intersection at which both meet.

More experimental novel than straightforward storytelling, Me2 presents an unnamed narrator who’s convinced that he’s been somehow replicated. While each chapter is introduced by one side of a different conversation that attempts to offer possible explanations – evil twin, lost sibling, robot, alien, doppelganger, clone – the narrative is essentially held together by the loose, stream-of-consciousness point-of-view of this nameless narrator. There’s less a sequence of events resembling a plot than a sequence of mental meanderings meant to explain the narrator’s predicament – of which we’re never quite sure to begin with.

Paranoid manifestations of schizophrenia? Cautionary parable about conformism? Overwrought metaphor for the affects of consumerism on individual indentity? Who knows – and who really cares? Christian’s narrator is so bland, faceless, and devoid of anything resembling human emotion – other than a generic, paranoid fear – that it’s hard to connect with either the character or what little story there is here. Even the little sex that’s offered up is antiseptic. While it’s clear – and necessary, to a point - that the author intentionally coats the proceedings with a nonspecific layer of colorless paint in order to speak to the idea of the dulling down of individuality, it nevertheless fails to fuel or hold interest.

That said, Me2 is not without its merits. Christian possesses one of the most unique voices in fiction, using alliteration and repetition to create a poetry/prose hybrid form of writing that – despite the lackluster plot – draws the reader in. To discover Christian’s subtle undercurrent of staccato literary rhythm is like discovering a series of intricate, exploration-worthy catacombs beneath the most conventional suburban house on the most generic of cul de sacs.

Decidedly more high-brow concept novel than horror tale, Me2 would have been better marketed as literary fiction. While there are some keenly astute observations about the emulsification of queer identity and its absorption into mainstream culture, its distinct avant-garde approach to horror will be disconcerting to the average genre reader. More artsy East Village than working-class Brooklyn, Me2 is a hallucinogenic, thought-provoking work of modernism likely to evoke more Euripides than heebie-jeebies. Read it for the writing; skip it for the horror.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Me2: The Terror Continues

Again someone has mistaken me for the fake M.Christian:

M. Christian is known as a writer of erotica, with stories in several spicy anthologies such as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica and Best Lesbian Erotica. This time he´s playing in the sci fi genre with the psychological thriller, Me2. Fear not, however, as Christian has not forgotten to pen some sizzling scenes involving the gay hero.

At first glance, I was sure that this was going to be yet another cheesy addition to the growing number of sci-fi books and films about cloning. What comes to mind is the Sixth Day, a film in which Arnie Schwarzenegger´s character is secretly cloned and battles the people behind his cloning. Similarly, in Me2, the main character discovers that there is someone who is exactly like him, quite possibly a clone, taking over each part of his life. Christian is masterful in describing the Starbucks employee´s transition from bland but satisfied, to a blundering paranoid individual who questions his every move.

These kinds of sci-fi psychological thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea, but Me2 is suited to a much broader audience. I say this because the underlying tale lies not in the main character´s possible cloning by some secret government agency, but goes deep into theories of identity and identity theft. It questions how our identities are formed, especially queer identity. Christian seems to suggest that our identities come down to what we choose to buy, as we collect material possessions to mould our identities based on how we want other people to see us.

Christian also raises the question of the possibility of the Genetic Mirror Theory, which states that each person has a genetic twin. This idea that there could be more than one of us out there raises some hairs along the way, or at least gives you some food for thought!

Me2 is a chilling and gripping novel. At first I really did think it was a bit of overdone genre about cloning, but it turned into something much more philosophical and interesting. Worth a read.

What Do You Have To Say For Yourself?

My pal Matt Skaggs over at Enter the Octopus was kind enough to interview me about me, Me2, and all kinds of other fun things. Here's a quick taste:

It’s my true pleasure to introduce you to my friend Chris, also known as M. Christian. He’s a fine writer and is capable of incredible range, from the erotica he cheerfully describes as “smut” to haunting science fiction and engrossing nonfiction. Get to know this “literary streetwalker with a heart of gold” here, and at his website

Would you mind introducing yourself to my readers?

Well, let’s see … Hello, my name is Chris, and I’m an alcohol .. I mean I’m a writer, usually under the name “M.Christian.”

When did you start writing?

I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to be a writer .. hell, I remember trying to write my first story in the 4th grade … but it wasn’t until high school that I really began to work at it. Unfortunately it took about ten years or so of trying before I got enough of the bad stuff out of my system to get published. But since then I’ve done okay: 300 short story sales, edited 20 anthologies, and published five novels (Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll) and four collections (Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy). Oh, and some articles, reviews, couple of columns, two felony … I mean, a whole bunch of other things as well. Yeah, that’s what I meant ….

How would you describe your work?

I like to call myself a “literary streetwalker with a heart of gold,” meaning I consider myself a noble hack: willing to do pretty much anything for anyone anytime … just leave the cash on the dresser. Kidding aside I really just love to write, to tell stories. When I first started out I tried to be the next R. A. Lafferty, Sturgeon, Bester, Zelazny, Dick, etc. — pretty much what every writer does but then something clicked and I really started to enjoy the work itself. When I got an opportunity to write smut I gave it a shot — and sold my first story, and then another, and another, and another, and so on. I still write a lot of erotica but because I’ve published so much of it, I’ve been able to expand out into lots of other genres: horror, SF, thrillers, non-fiction.

To this day I love a challenge, more than anything because I didn’t know I’d be a good smut writer until I tried. Who knows what else I might be good at? Sometimes it doesn’t work, but when it does … oh, man, it’s a kick in the pants.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just had to share -

- this email I just got my my pal, Matt Skaggs. I just wish I was the one who actually wrote that book (sigh).
Hey - I saw your book on an endcap at Borders today!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Setting The Record Straight

Steve Williams (thanks) over at Suite 101 has given me an opportunity to try and set the record straight regarding the whole Me2 controversy:

Author M. Christian, an established and highly praised writer, talks about his acclaimed works and his career to date, offering aspiring writers his sage advice also.

SW: Can you give us some deatails about your book please?

M.C: The book called Me2, which was totally and completely written by myself, the real and bonafide 'M.Christian' and not written by some person claiming to be the real 'M.Christian'. It is a novel about identity and existence. Although the book has been marketed as a horror story, it also has elements of surrealism, humor, and plenty of social commentary. Similarly, even though the book has a gay male focus I think it would appeal to readers of any orientation, as its message is extremely universal: who are we and are we in control of our lives?

Everyone, gay or straight, likes to think they have a certain uniqueness, but do they really? 'Me2' deals with this by exposing the idea of a copy or fake, a second 'you' that appears apparently out of nowhere and begins not only to take over your life but also becomes a better 'you' than you ever could. How would you react to that? Would you try and quickly change your life, become someone less easily imitated? But then what happens when even this new 'you' is similarly copied -- or is the fraud, your doppleganger, just doing what you're doing ... down to your panicky change of life?

And it gets even worse from there.

SW: For aspiring writers, what would you say were key things they could do to improve their writing?

M.C: Boy, that's a difficult one, mostly because I believe each writer is different, with unique things that do (or don't) work for them. I have no problem advising folks on smut, for instance, because that's writing for a specific genre. But in general:

Don't read about writing and don't take writing classes (except for mine, of course). I've noticed a lot of would-be-writers spend way too much time on theory and little to no time on actual practice. A writer writes, and each time they do they (hopefully) get better. And have fun! If writing is painful then you're not doing it right. Don't try and outdo someone else or become the next Dickens or Kipling, just do things that you like and that you enjoy. Once it gets easier then you can try to push yourself even father but when you're just starting out you need to get comfortable with language, structure, flow, etc.

For God's sake don't dismiss genre fiction. Good work is good work, if it was written for The New Yorker or a Saturday morning cartoon. Learn to recognize good -- and bad -- work and learn from it. If you read something good then learn from what that writer did. If you read something bad then learn what that writer did wrong.

Play games with your own creativity. If you like a TV show then try writing an episode. You don't even have to write it, just imagine the story and the dialogue. If you're watching a movie or reading a book, stop half way through it and finish it yourself -- was your ending better or not? Why was it better or not? The big thing is to have fun!

Don't write thinking about money (there isn't any) or awards (they are like hemorrhoids, every asshole gets one), or fame. Instead just think about the books you love and do something like them -- repay the debt, so to speak.

SW: Do you see gay fiction becoming more mainstream in the future?

M.C: Only if readers buy them. Like with gay issues in our culture, queer books have become more common, but money is what matters (sigh). I think one of the best 'tricks' to further mainstream gay characters and issues is to simply make them part of any book's world or to emphasize similarities and not differences -- create a bridge between so-called 'gay' fiction and every other genre. So, yeah, I think queer books are becoming more mainstream but I think there's still some distance to go -- mainly because readers need to throw down their bucks to keep the genre going. Without money it could slip back into being just a tiny niche.

SW: Finally, do you have any new stories in the works? If so, can you tell us a little bit about them?

M.C: Thanks for asking! I already mentioned that I have two novels coming out very soon: Brushes is a mainstream/romantic/erotica novel about a famous artist and the people who surround him; and Painted Doll is a cyberdelic noir story about a woman on the run from the mob who hides under the identity of a quasi-dominatrix. In the meantime I'm working on a new novel that should be out in another year, having a great time with a wonderful artist adapting one of my stories into a comic book, and wasting way too much time on my writing blog and my fun blog of weird and unusual things.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Still More Me2 Evil

Even Ryes from Rainbow Reviews has been tricked by my impostor!
He looks just like you. He acts exactly like you. Every day he becomes more and more like you, taking away that what was yours until there's nothing left. You may think you've met your match ~ or your double ~ but that's not even close.
Me2 is a psychological thriller about self and identity, written in a unique and interesting structure. The book starts off with an unnamed narrator who works at Starbucks. The narrator mentally labels the Starbucks customers by the flavor/cup sizes of the coffee they order and the personalities he associates with those coffees. This is not different from the way he views the world in terms of brand names. His description of himself also doesn't distinguish him from other men like him. His daily activities are routine, and he even gives his looks a name: a Boy of Summer look.
One of his Starbucks customers tells him about aliens, or clones, amongst us. They blend in with everyone else so you can't tell them apart. He starts wondering if there's someone out there trying to copy him in order to blend in. Suddenly, he starts seeing himself everywhere, and he's not sure why. Parts of the book read like dream sequences as his paranoia grows and he confuses small details like which car is his and which house is his.
The idea planted in his head about doubles and clones begins to consume all his thoughts and he comes to the conclusion that people really are copying details of himself to take over his life. As a result of all this, he begins questioning his identity and wondering what makes him different and what makes him an individual in a world operated by brand names and labels.
Me2 is set up with eleven chapters and three epilogues. Each of the chapters are titled (in order) "Me," "Me2," "Me3," "Me4," etc. The narrator of each chapter is not necessarily the same one from the previous chapters. The epilogues lead up to the publication of this novel, with an amusing letter from the editor to M. Christian (or whoever wrote this book).
Me2 is a well-written and well-thought out take on the issue of identity, and Christian writes with gripping and clear prose. He delivers the "horror" aspect without fail and executes a wonderful build-up. Me2 is an excellent novel that provokes thought and introspection; highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When Will The Horror End?!

Yet again that damned plagiarist has conned a reviewer into thinking that he is me!

J. EDWARD SUMERAU (via Metro Spirit):
The latest offering from M. Christian — “Me2” — poses a bit of a dilemma for the average reader. While it contains an intricate plotline leading readers deeper and deeper into psychological consideration, it is constructed upon a narrative style that is often jumpy, tense and hard to follow. The end result is an intriguing argument buried in a difficult format.

M. Christian is of course a variety of voices wrapped into a single moniker. Whether found in erotic collections of the straight or gay variety or in horror compilations and psychological intrigues, Christian holds power over a voice deeply original in a time where conformity is all too common. Having found his work in collections such as “Dirty Words," “Speaking Parts” and “Best American Erotica," it was about time that Christian offered a vision of the contemporary world in the form of a longer offering.

The dilemma arises in the context of the story. The premise is simple enough: A young man works in a coffee shop, dates other men and loves his little car. He even has the common push and pull relationship many grown men have with their fathers, but he is losing his mind. The question becomes whether he is losing himself or being taken by someone else.

Such a fascinating premise based on the notions of identity formation in a world of continual conformity and over-classification makes for a startling storyline in the hands of the craftsman.

The problem for many will arise in the format. Laced with interludes that often drag on without merit and paranoid reactions to the most inane of thoughts, the pace of the story tends to slacken at times, and as a result, the tumultuous occurrences of the characters are left in some form of limbo. As a result, readers may have to carefully take notice of seemingly obscure passages to make sense of the whole, and the story is a difficult read complete with intriguing insights worthy of notice.

With its attack on conformity and modernity in general, the book is an amazing argument in the tradition of Bret Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho” and “Lunar Park," and while its premise recognizes the former, its narrative is a bristly obstacle course reminiscent of the latter work.

In all these regards, Christian has offered a fascinating view of the modern world, and for those who make it through the pitfalls of the writing style, it will be an adventure well-worth the effort.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Further Me2 Outrage

Even Waymon Hudson from The Bilerico Project has fallen victim to the deceiver!

One of the many perks of writing for Bilerico is that we get sent things to review. That's how the book Me2 by M. Christian landed in my lap.

The book's theme is about the slippery nature of identity. The main character is a somewhat bland, generic gay man who begins to descend into madness as he thinks someone just like him, or a version of him, is taking over his life. This "copy", or whatever, of him (I won't give it away in case you read it) begins to take over his life, living it for him- and at times better than him.

Sound complicated and weird? It is. Really weird.

It book bills itself as a "horror" novel, but it is more psychologically twisted than scary. The concept is interesting, but the journey the writer takes you on to get there can be a bit annoying and frustrating.

Which might be the point.

The main character's dissolving sanity and paranoia at times make it hard to really get into the book or even care about the bland leading man. The book drives you a bit crazy with the way it is written, but at times that can be the most interesting thing about the story. You begin to go crazy along with the main character.

Each chapter begins with a kind of bizarre theory as to what is happening to the main character- ranging from evil robot copies, aliens, clones, twins, etc. It all becomes a little bit heavy and distracting, again cutting off the reader from really becoming connected with the story, except to go a bit crazy along with the lead.

It was a bit of a struggle to keep reading it times, but the over-all idea is an interesting one. I will say I found myself thinking about some of the bizarre theories and twists in the book when I wasn't reading it, but still found it somewhat tiring to read.

So if you want to go a bit crazy, then by all means, this is the book for you. It may not be the summer read you are looking for to take to the beach, but is worth a read if you like twisted, bizarre books.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Neverending Me2 Terror!

Even my friend ... my friend ... Mari Adkins has fallen under the copycat's spell!
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you wake up and you're not quite sure yourself or that you're in your own home with your own personal things? M. Christian's Me2 is a lot like that. The reader is introduced up front to a superficial main character who has a superficial outlook on everything around him -- including his job, his friends, and the other people he encounters. Obsessed by how others perceive him, he goes through his days doing the same thing repetitively, almost mechanically. But then an odd man talks to him about Doppelgangers.

It's been said that every person has a twin somewhere on this Earth. Christian sets this idea on its ear and then some in his own personal style. Of course the narrator has a Doppelganger, the signs are obvious, and he is faced with the unimaginable horror of searching out his own uniqueness.

The story is engaging, although in places confusing -- and out of order. But I believe Christian has layered and sequenced his story this way for the purpose of keeping the reader unsettled, so he can't figure things out on his own or guess ahead.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Even the folks at Redroom have fallen for my devious copycat. Is there no justice!?

Thank Goodness -

- another reviewer has seen through the deceptions of my impostor ... though Jame still gives far too much praise to my evil twin for my liking:

From Homomojo:

If one word could describe my experience with Me2, the novel by M. Christian, “frustrating” would have to be it.

To be fair, I’ve had a lot of distractions over the past couple of months, so perhaps part of the experience is my fault. To accomodate this fact, however, I tried to read Me2 twice. Note the word “tried.” The second time was a no-go.

I did manage to complete the novel once–the first time–in furtive spurts. Which, as I think about it, somewhat resembles the manner in which it reads itself. As a story, it progresses in fits and starts. Just when it gets interesting, the novel fizzles back into one of the transcripted therapy sessions that begin each chapter. (That’s not metaphor–each chapter begins with an italicized transcript of what is evidently the main character talking with his therapist). For me, it just didn’t mesh as a story. It was far too slow and laden with descriptions that I just didn’t find compelling.

On the other hand, I did like what the author attempted to do in certain respects. There is an rhythm of lyric at points that made me want to read on. And the basic concept itself (which I won’t divulge for those who wish to read the novel) is done with an originality that I can only envy as an aspiring writer myself. But for a novel described as “horror,” I think Me2 fails. Perhaps it’s horror if the reader is a schizophrenic narcicist, but for me, I kept thinking “when is he going to get on with it?” I just didn’t find anything about it scary at all.

And the denoument of the novel really does it no favors. The ending is far too tiresome to read the first time around, let alone a second try.

I don’t know. Perhaps I’m too rural to “get it.” I can only say that at times I felt almost confronted by the somewhat tiresome exposition, and the manhattanite descriptions of characters. It was overly surreal, unrelatable, and repetitive, albeit with some passages of fine writing skills buried within. If I was grading this for a college class, maybe a B-.

Monday, May 05, 2008

An Amazon Nightmare -

The terror continues as even more people have been tricked by my doppledanger!

Amos Lassen on Amazon:
The first book I read by M. Christian was "The Very Bloody Marys" which I loved. (By the way, M. you forgot to send me a copy of this new book--I actually had to pay for it). He has not let me down with his new book (so I suppose it was worth what I paid for it).

"Me 2" is engaging and fun as it deals with the nature of identity and whether it is worth keeping the one we have. In this twisted little book, one can find out who he really is, or rather who he is supposed to be. This is a thriller but not the usual ones. This one is twisted as it deals with the psychological aspects of identity and it literally scares. Christian uses the "Genetic Mirror Theory" which claims that everyone has a twin and in this case the terror seems very, very real.

The unnamed narrator is one of those gay boys that look like summer all year long. His gayness is not a problem, however. Being gay is just a part of him that guides the way he lives. Being gay to our narrator is not about sexuality; rather it is just about being. He is typical of the modern age in the way he reacts to others. He never really gets to know anyone and he judges people on face value. In fact, he does the same for himself. He is superficial and worries about how he looks and how others see him. His existence seems to be devoid of any real meaning and every day is like the day before and after. He works at Starbucks and his customers are simply cups of coffee. One day he begins talking to a guy who tells him all about fakes and doubles and he further states that there are people in society who are simply clones of others and they spend their time trying to perfect the imitation of someone else.

With his bug in his head, our coffee boy begins to wonder if he has a double and the idea consumes him to the point that he realizes that he does and that his double is tkin over his life. It is then that he begins to question just who he really is.

The nature of identity is not a new idea in literature but Christian makes it seem so and does so brilliantly. He causes us to question just who we are and further questions arise as to who we can be in a society of mass consumption. We do not get a good picture of America as M. Christian writes about the country in which we live and he paints it as a place where everything we do is beholden to both brand names and advertising.

Because of the nature of the theme, the book contains layering of ideas albeit extremely well written and very smart. Here is a world where what we know becomes suspect. The sense of dread that hangs over the novel is all too real.
At least this person has managed to see through my copycat's deception. Hurray!

Ann Regentin On Me, Me2, and You

Ann Regentin has written a brilliantly thoughtful analysis of the work "Me2" thing for the Erotica Readers and Writers site ... I just wish she was talking about me and not my nefarious copycat (sigh):

Beside Ourselves

Several months ago, I got an e-mail to the effect that someone had stolen M. Christian's identity to get a book published about stolen identity [Plagiarism Alert: Me2 novel by 'other' M. Christian]. I read on, at first horrified and then faintly uneasy, but as I had a serious cold at the time, exacerbated by prednisone and immune suppressants, I set aside my unease. I would deal with it when I felt better, but in the meantime, I posted the thing to my blog. It was the least I could do, regardless of what it was.

As you've probably guessed, it was a publicity stunt, a joke that was perhaps more corny than clever, but a book is a book and I did the obvious thing: queried here and there to see if someone would let me do a review.

The response surprised me. ERWA, obviously, gave me a green light, but not after some discontent was heard on the Writers list. A joke, maybe, but in very poor taste. Another place I queried turned the review down flat, with some there suggesting that they might not work with M. Christian at all in the future. At the very least, the publication would remain quiet on this one. Clearly, M. Christian had unwittingly struck a nerve.

Okay, it was a silly joke, but if we're going to tar and feather intelligent men for making silly jokes, we'll have to pluck every chicken in the Midwest. M. Christian is a good writer and an easy man to work with. I can overlook a bit of silly.

Not everyone agreed with me. There were a number of folks who had taken the whole thing at face value and were feeling tricked or even used, and they were angry about it. They just wanted to forget the whole thing.

I decided not to. I decided instead to think about why this story seemed credible in the first place. It was intended as an outrageous joke. It should have been taken as an outrageous joke. So what happened? Is it possible that we're writing in a time when someone could pull off such an identity theft? Are we writing in a time when a publisher would let a book go to print, even promote it, when such a theft might have occurred? Are we writing in a time when a writer in such a position would have little or no legal recourse?

Sadly, yes. That's the conclusion I've come to, anyway, and I have a fair amount of evidence to back me up. I even have some experience along these lines, not so much a matter of chronic problems, but more a question of a few, scattered folks who seemed bent on profiting from my work without actually compensating me in any meaningful way. This isn't a reflection on anyone whose site you'll find listed on my own, by the way. When someone pulls that kind of crap, I don't link to them.

Setting my own experience aside, I have seen evidence of this on a larger scale. The recent writers' strike was, to a great extent, about who gets to profit from new media uses of written material. There has been a sad but steady trickle of journalism scandals, and books published as non-fiction that probably should have been published as novels. There have been lawsuits involving writers like J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown over who had certain ideas first, whether a fictionalized account of a line of historical reasoning counts as plagiarism when an account has already been published as non-fiction and, most recently, about the difference between not-for-profit, online fan work and profiting from a printed version of the same material.

We are also writing in a time when authors are expected to do everything except print the book and put it on the shelves, and expected to do it all equally well. Being an author is less a question of being a good writer than of being a jack-of-all-trades. For example, a recent entry on an agent's blog indicated that as far as he was concerned, writing a novel and writing a query letter require the same set of skills. I have to ask, though, whether he would believe that any advertising copywriter could write a good novel, because a query is really advertising copy, and that's different from a novel. Writing a novel is also different from editing, copy editing, and running an effective publicity campaign. Those tasks were once handled by specialists. These days, not so much.

There are new possibilities now. With changes in how books are printed and distributed, New York isn't the only game in town, and it's no longer necessary to buy a physical press, as Anais Nin did, in order to create or become something different. We can even make money in new ways. An interesting blog, maybe an e-book or related affiliate program, can generate a reasonable amount of spare change, never mind a potential publishing contract

In short, we're living in a time when pretty much anything goes in publishing, including a certain amount of lying and cheating. I don't think, though, that Alyson Press would have done that to M. Christian once word got out, or that M. Christian would have published the sale information of the book in the way he did. Certainly he wouldn't have mentioned it so enthusiastically in earlier interviews and pre-release e-mails. Very different things would have happened had this situation been a real crisis. Unfortunately, the fact that this turned into a tempest in a teacup indicates that we might well have a crisis on our hands, just not one involving M. Christian and Alyson Books.

Sadly, the tempest has obscured an interesting, timely book, [Me2: A Novel of Horror] especially for erotica, even if it isn't necessarily erotica. If identity and personality are open to question or manipulation in an increasingly homogenous world, what does that mean for attraction? Are we falling in love with people, or with images chosen from a million, well-marketed possibilities? Where is the line between image and substance? Which of the two appeals to us more strongly, and what are the possible consequences? M. Christian poses these questions in a disturbing, thought-provoking way.

The book is also relevant to the point of irony where the resulting tempest is concerned, because I think the problems facing publishing are similar to the problems facing our narrator—or is it narrators? It's hard to be sure. Anyway, at the core of the publishing-related difficulties I listed is the desire on the part of nearly everyone involved, including writers themselves, to find or be the next big thing. Unfortunately, success like that isn't as easy to duplicate as writer self-help books claim it is, but the fact that the self-help books keep selling tells us how much we all want this. Agents and publishers set their criteria for both acquisitions and compensation on this desire, trying to minimize risk while maximizing benefit, and writers put up with an environment in which we can begin to believe even for a moment that Alyson Books would let a book go to press with M. Christian's name on it that wasn't written by M. Christian, simply because we want this badly enough.

Ours is a difficult, chancy profession, made worse by the fact that almost everyone can, in some way at least, write and even get published. It doesn't help that where things are published and by whom makes less of a difference than one might like to think. I've seen some darned good writing in personal blogs, and trite trash on the best-seller tables. So has everyone else. These days, being the next big thing isn't just about money, it's also about vindication. Vindication means different thing to different people, but whatever it means, it's usually important enough to sacrifice for.

What gets sacrificed, of course, is where the problem comes in, and it's not just an institutional issue. It's a personal issue, one that everyone in the industry must decide for themselves. There's no easy answer. Every approach has it's advantages and disadvantages, and every writer I know is coping in their own way. We're just going to have to get through this as best we can and see how the industry settles once we get used to what all of this new technology can do.

I'm not proposing changes here, sweeping or otherwise. That's not my job. What I'm suggesting is that we not shoot the messenger. Our discomfort with M. Christian's idea of a joke is what it is because of the context in which the joke was made, not the joke itself. "Wassamatta, your legs broken?" is funny when aimed at one's fit but recalcitrant teenager. It's offensive when aimed at someone whose legs are really broken.

Are the legs of publishing broken? I'm not sure. Certainly, the industry is changing, simply because communications technology is changing, and in the scramble to adapt, an environment has developed in which writers are worried. We see this kind of theft as a viable possibility, which makes it no laughing matter.

The book and the fuss surrounding its release have given me considerable food for thought, in part because I think I've met the narrator, or someone just like him. It's hard to tell, not to mention a disturbing experience.

I'm also writing in a climate of something just beyond unease but not quite into fear. There are stories, sometimes headlines and sometimes rumors, of writers losing control over the rights to their work in ways that rob them of compensation, and for a moment it seemed that M. Christian was one of them. He wasn't, though, and we'd prefer not to think about it anymore.

Clearly, I'm still thinking about it, and I probably will be for a while. Oh, and if you want to find out why I called this "Beside Ourselves", you'll have to read the book!

Ann Regentin
May/June 2008