Showing posts sorted by relevance for query brushes. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query brushes. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, July 04, 2008

BRUSHES - Out Now!

Phaze Books is proud to announce the publication of Brushes, a new romantic/erotic novel from the celebrated author M.Christian

To the world he's a genius, a master of color, form, and shape, a brilliant talent who stormed the art world and shook its pillars with his talent.
But who is he really? Who is Escobar?

Brushes is an erotically charged portrait of a master artist, a stroke-by-stroke look at who Escobar may or may not be through the lives of his wife, his manager, model, the forger, his brother and others in intricately interconnected chapters.

May or may not be … for with each tale the people around Escobar instead reveal more about themselves than the artist through their prejudices, their envies and resentments, their fears, and their erotically charged fantasies.

Escobar, after all, like his art, is open to interpretation...and misinterpretation

Here's what people are saying about this fantastic new work from M.Christian:
M. Christian is an author of formidable talent and impressive flexibility. He writes equally convincingly from straight, gay or lesbian perspectives, and is a master at seamlessly melding multiple genres.
- Lisabet Sarai, author of Raw Silk and Rough Caress

As convoluted and erotic as a skein of pure silk
- Ann Regentin, author of Second Sight and A Foolish World

Brushes is my favorite kind of novel—a multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses. M. Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. A deliciously sexy tale of mystery for anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic-spirit
- Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman

Evocative and carnal, M. Christian's Brushes portrays multiple perspectives on the life of an artist in Paris, from the gloriously hot sex that he indirectly inspires in his models, his gallery representative and the forger of his work to the embittered fantasies of his estranged wife and brother. Christian has captured the feel of a European art world that draws the reader in, leaving them wanting to learn more about this man, his virtues and faults. Brushes is that rarest of combinations: a marvelous erotic novel and a good read, full of intriguing characters.
- Catherine Lundoff, author of Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing, and Night's Kiss

Those who follow the prolific M. Christian will not want to miss this latest addition to his published work. Brushes is a straight, erotic, mainstream novel arranged in a collection of novellas. It's the story of an artist and the various people in his life. As is typical of M. Christian the quality of Brushes does not disappoint
- Jolie du Pre, author of erotica and erotic romance.

We can never know how lives will intertwine; the mystery of it is one of the hidden joys of life. M. Christian has captured perfectly the symmetry and surprise of lives that mesh together -- whether the people living them like it or not. In following the life of a painter and everyone he touches, Brushes proves everything is not always as it seems. Just as Escobar creates masterpieces with canvas and paint, M. Christian creates a gorgeous tapestry of words.
- Gwen Masters, author of One Breath at a Time

Trade Paperback:
ISBN: 978-159426-815-1
$13.00

ebook:
ISBN: 978-159426-687-4
$6.00

If you're interested in reviewing Brushes please email M.Christian at the addresses below:

M.Christian
zobop@aol.com
mchristianzobop@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Folks Are Saying About Brushes

In celebration of the re-release of my erotic romance novel, Brushes, here's what some very cool people have said about it:


M. Christian is an author of formidable talent and impressive flexibility. He writes equally convincingly from straight, gay or lesbian perspectives, and is a master at seamlessly melding multiple genres.
- Lisabet Sarai, author of Raw Silk and Rough Caress

As convoluted and erotic as a skein of pure silk
- Ann Regentin, author of Second Sight and A Foolish World

Brushes is my favorite kind of novel—a multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses. M.Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. A deliciously sexy tale of mystery for anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic-spirit
- Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman

Evocative and carnal, M.Christian's Brushes portrays multiple perspectives on the life of an artist in Paris, from the gloriously hot sex that he indirectly inspires in his models, his gallery representative and the forger of his work to the embittered fantasies of his estranged wife and brother. Christian has captured the feel of a European art world that draws the reader in, leaving them wanting to learn more about this man, his virtues and faults. Brushes is that rarest of combinations: a marvelous erotic novel and a good read, full of intriguing characters.
- Catherine Lundoff, author of Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing, and Night's Kiss

Those who follow the prolific M.Christian will not want to miss this latest addition to his published work. Brushes is a straight, erotic, mainstream novel arranged in a collection of novellas. It's the story of an artist and the various people in his life. As is typical of M.Christian the quality of Brushes does not disappoint
- Jolie du Pre, author of erotica and erotic romance.

We can never know how lives will intertwine; the mystery of it is one of the hidden joys of life. M.Christian has captured perfectly the symmetry and surprise of lives that mesh together -- whether the people living them like it or not. In following the life of a painter and everyone he touches, Brushes proves everything is not always as it seems. Just as Escobar creates masterpieces with canvas and paint, M. Christian creates a gorgeous tapestry of words.
- Gwen Masters, author of One Breath at a Time

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What People Are Saying About BRUSHES

In celebration of the re-release of my erotic romance, Brushes (by the fantastic Sizzler Editions) here are some nice, juicy, blurbs and such:



M.Christian is an author of formidable talent and impressive flexibility. He writes equally convincingly from straight, gay or lesbian perspectives, and is a master at seamlessly melding multiple genres.
- Lisabet Sarai, author of Raw Silk and Rough Caress

As convoluted and erotic as a skein of pure silk.
- Ann Regentin, author of Second Sight, and A Foolish World

Brushes is my favorite kind of novel—a multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses. M.Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. A deliciously sexy tale of mystery for anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic—spirit.
- Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman

Evocative and carnal, M.Christian's Brushes portrays multiple perspectives on the life of an artist in Paris, from the gloriously hot sex that he indirectly inspires in his models, his gallery representative and the forger of his work to the embittered fantasies of his estranged wife and brother. Christian has captured the feel of a European art world that draws the reader in, leaving them wanting to learn more about this man, his virtues and faults. Brushes is that rarest of combinations: a marvelous erotic novel and a good read, full of intriguing characters.
- Catherine Lundoff, author of Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing, and Night's Kiss

Those who follow the prolific M.Christian will not want to miss this latest addition to his published work. Brushes is a straight, erotic, mainstream novel arranged in a collection of novellas. It's the story of an artist and the various people in his life. As is typical of M. Christian the quality of Brushes does not disappoint.
- Jolie du Pre, author of erotica and erotic romance.

We can never know how lives will intertwine; the mystery of it is one of the hidden joys of life. M.Christian has captured perfectly the symmetry and surprise of lives that mesh together -- whether the people living them like it or not. In following the life of a painter and everyone he touches, Brushes proves everything is not always as it seems. Just as Escobar creates masterpieces with canvas and paint, M. Christian creates a gorgeous tapestry of words.
- Gwen Masters, author of One Breath at a Time

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coming Soon - Brushes, The New Edition

The great news keeps on a'comn: remember how I said that the fantastic folks at Sizzler Editions is going to be releasing - very soon - In Control - The Short Kinky Fiction Of M.ChristianWell, they are also this close to putting out a brand new version of my erotic romance novel, Brushes

Here's a look at the new cover - and some nice blurbs about the book:



M.Christian is an author of formidable talent and impressive flexibility.  He writes equally convincingly from straight, gay or lesbian perspectives, and is a master at seamlessly melding multiple genres.
- Lisabet Sarai, author of Raw Silk and Rough Caress

As convoluted and erotic as a skein of pure silk.
- Ann Regentin, author of Second Sight, and A Foolish World

Brushes is my favorite kind of novel—a multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses. M.Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. A deliciously sexy tale of mystery for anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic - spirit.
- Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman

Evocative and carnal, M.Christian's Brushes portrays multiple perspectives on the life of an artist in Paris, from the gloriously hot sex that he indirectly inspires in his models, his gallery representative and the forger of his work to the  embittered fantasies of his estranged wife and brother. Christian has captured the feel of a European art world that draws the reader in, leaving them wanting to learn more about this man, his virtues and faults. Brushes is that rarest of combinations: a marvelous erotic novel and a good read, full of intriguing characters.
- Catherine Lundoff, author of Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing,  and Night's Kiss

Those who follow the prolific M.Christian will not want to miss this latest addition to his published work.  Brushes is a straight, erotic, mainstream novel arranged in a collection of novellas.  It's the story of an artist and the various people in his life.  As is typical of M. Christian the quality of Brushes does not disappoint.
- Jolie du Pre, author of erotica and erotic romance.   

We can never know how lives will intertwine; the mystery of it is one of the hidden joys of life. M.Christian has captured perfectly the symmetry and surprise of lives that mesh together -- whether the people living them like it or not. In following the life of a painter and everyone he touches, Brushes proves everything is not always as it seems. Just as Escobar creates masterpieces with canvas and paint, M. Christian creates a gorgeous tapestry of words. 
- Gwen Masters, author of One Breath at a Time

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Donna George Storey Loves Brushes

Donna George Storey, a wonderful person and an absolutely fantastic writer, has just posted this touching review of Brushes - including a mini interview - on her Sex, Food and Writing blog. Thanks so much, Donna!

I’ve been an admiring fan of M. Christian’s work since well before I began writing erotica myself. He’s edited twenty anthologies and written over three hundred stories, four novels, and four short story collections, with numerous appearances in Best American Erotica and other Best of’s as well as being an annually returning alumnus of The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. His narrators and protagonists come in a rainbow of sexual preferences, yet the stories are always incandescently erotic and convincing. On top of this, his work spans a range of genres, from literary to horror, science fiction and a soupcon of erotic romance.

I’ve always wondered what the “M” in M. Christian stands for, but I’m pretty sure it stands for “Maestro”!

I recently had the pleasure of reading one of his most recent novels, Brushes. A multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses, Brushes reminded me how a well-written novel can really draw you into a totally different world and keep you there, enchanted. M. Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. The variety of sex scenes is like a tempting buffet, the prose as silky smooth as a pot de crème. The novel definitely raises fascinating questions about the artist’s life and the silliness of the business surrounding it. This tale of mystery will definitely provoke and entertain anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic—spirit.

That’s me, baby—how about you?

And now, I have the even greater pleasure of inviting the Maestro to my blog to chat about writing, erotica and sensual indulgence of the culinary persuasion.

DGS: I’ve always been amazed at your versatility as a writer, your virtuoso ability to cross genres and genders. How do you do it? Or are you actually a shapeshifter from another galaxy?

MC: Nah, I’m just a classic hack, though being a shapeshifter from another galaxy would make it a lot easier to find a date on Saturday night.

How did you get started writing erotica?

Well, I’ve always wanted to be a writer – in fact I first remember deciding it would be the life I wanted to live when I was in the fourth grade or so – but I had zero luck with it for, oh, about fifteen years. Tired of rejection slips, I signed up for an erotica writing class from Lisa Palac, who used to edit a magazine called Future Sex. My thought at the time was something like: why the hell not?

Turns out I was pretty good at pornography – who knew? – and Lisa bought my first story, which was subsequently published by Susie Bright in her Best American Erotica 1994. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

You’ve been publishing erotica for a long time now. In your view, how has the genre and the publishing environment changed over the years.

Lordy, that’s a big subject! Right off the top of my head I’d guess the biggest change has got to be the death – or imminent death, to be polite – of the traditional publishing model of business. Printed books are simply way too expensive to produce, especially these days, and far too difficult to sell. Sure, there will always be big houses operating like we’re still in the ‘50s but going forward we’re going to see far more small-to-medium-sized publishers connecting with very specific audiences. That’s good news for readers, as a publisher’s profit doesn’t have to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only having to make a few thousand means they can take risks and produce books for very narrow-focused interests. The bad news, though, is that the days of huge – or even large – advances for authors are gone … bummer. Don’t despair, though. Because the smaller publishers don’t have huge overhead, they can pay better royalties, and because of Amazon – the sort-of-great literary equalizer -- a small-time author has about the same ‘shelf’ space as a big-time one … the trick, of course, is to get yourself noticed.

You’re now blogging at Imagination is Intelligence with an Erection, Frequently Felt, Meine Kleine Fabrik and The New Café (Racer) Society. What do you like about blogging? How does it fit into your fiction writing schedule?

Actually The New Café (Racer) Society is a two-wheeled, one-man enterprise run by my brother, S.A. – who works with me on Meine Kleine Fabrik. I like blogs because they’re a way to get yourself out there. With Meine Kleine Fabrik, which is German for “My Little Factory,” the name of a jewelry company S.A. used to have, it’s a kind of commonplace book; a way of sharing the fun and wild and weird and silly and cool things we’ve come across. Frequently Felt is kind of the same thing but with a sexy twist – and is also a place where authors can share their work as well: my way of opening the door for new erotica writers. Imagination is Intelligence with an Erection, is my writing site: the place where I post reviews, announcements about new projects, new books and suchlike.

I kind of cheat, to be honest, with these blogs: I usually just post or repost stuff I find. Sure it makes them a bit less ‘rich’ but I simply don’t understand writers who spend hours posting and no time on their craft. Working on stories and books is what I love to do, so they will always be my top priority.

One of the pleasures for me while I was reading Brushes was the chance to come to my own conclusions about the shadowy central figure, the artist Escobar, based on the clues provided by the perspectives of the different narrators. It’s also fun to see how the different characters “brush up” against each other in different ways on the streets of Paris. But what might be pleasure for the reader could present a real logistical challenge for the author. Did you have a particular strategy to plan and keep track of all the “brushes” in the novel?

Thank you so much – it means a lot to me that you liked it!

While it was a tad challenging, it was also a lot of fun to do. My motivation was to try to put together something showing our various ‘faces:’ like the Donna I know isn’t the Donna other people know, etc. In the case of Escobar these multiple ‘faces’ are amplified because of his fame: the people around him have their own perspectives on him, twisted by jealousy, fear, unreasonable admiration, and all those other lovely emotions. Occasionally I’d find myself ‘painted into a corner’ especially since I was trying to tell the story from different perspectives but also taking place at the same time. Although there are some things I wish I’d done better, I thought it came out pretty well. I guarantee I’ll do better with the next book, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that ….

Your novel has countless wonderful examples of how an erotic scene reveals character—this is really the heart of the book. I’ve chosen this excerpt from chapter 4, told from the point of view of Marcel, a snobbish, fastidious gallery owner, who has called in a paid companion to “celebrate” after a long day in the art business. Here’s a tasty sampling of the scene:

"I love my breasts," she said. "I love they way they look, but I really like the way they feel." Purple painted nails slid over the slopes, stroked under, and deliberately hesitated over the rises of her nipples. One hand went behind, reaching for another clasp, preparing for another revelation.

More than at any time in recent memory, he was aroused. With Josephine it had been there, but more abstract, more a quality of the whole experience than a pulse-matched deep down, stirring where he wasn't Marcel the gentleman, the rich man, the owner of L'Art, but rather just a man and a very demanding desire. He might still be struck by silence, but he could move.

There was a good reason Zazu would love her breasts. They were phenomenal. Large yet exceptionally firm, they swept gently from the satin of her chest, ending in two saucer-sized, swollen areolas, topped by aggressively firm nipples the color of fresh strawberries and the size of gumdrops. As her bra joined her clothes at her feet, her breasts swung and jiggled, a mesmerizing display.

"Aren't they beautiful? I'm so lucky. But what's even better is that I like how they feel, not just how they look." With thumb and forefinger she tightly plucked at her right nipple, much harder than he'd ever seen a woman do before. She hissed, deep and languid, in response. Then the same, this time to the left, but now the hiss became a moan and her knees seemed to lose a bit of their strength. "Oh, wow," she said through a sharp laugh.

Stroking himself, he realized he didn't care that he was or that she knew he was. It was too good. This woman was beautiful and sexy, and more importantly, he was enjoying himself more than he ever had before. How his zipper had come down, how he'd extracted himself from his underwear, he didn't know, but there it was and he wasn't about to stop. Again, the question -- but this time only the barest of whispers in his mind and nowhere near a loud thought: what am I? The answer came immediately: I am me... and I like this.

The other nipple again; this time she had to catch herself before dropping all the way to the carpet. It took her some time to pull herself up and stand straight. "I like this. It's one of my... things, I guess you could call it." Peering through her purple bangs, she caught his gaze with hers. "Having fun?"

Even before he'd realized he'd broken the silence, he found his voice. "I-I am."

Do you have a particular favorite among the characters or scenes in Brushes? Any that were harder or easier to write?

Once again, I really appreciate your kindness and support, Donna! Writing can be a damned hard life so compliments and kindness – especially from a writer I like and admire – are a real treat!

Each of the characters in Brushes had their challenges, as well as their easier bits. I’m so glad you liked Marcel: he was a particularly fun one as I was trying to use his sexuality as a pretty broad reflection of his personality: removed and controlling in life, removed and controlling in bed. Escobar was probably the hardest because as I was ‘doing’ him, I kept thinking that here he is, the guy everyone’s talking about. A bit of pressure there ….

What’s next for you?

Let’s see … working on a gay horror novel called Monster that should be done in a few months. Have a new collection of straight erotica coming out soon, called Licks & Promises. Both The Bachelor Machine, my science fiction erotica collection, and Dirty Words, which is a gay erotica collection, are being reprinted and should be out soon. I’m also chatting with some publishers about doing some new anthologies – more on those very soon. I’ve also done my first screenplay, the movie for which should be shooting soon, and I’m working on other fun stuff as well. Just keep an eye on my blog for more info and updates and such.

Finally, describe a perfect meal that would be guaranteed to seduce you—into a deep conversation about the writing life, if not something even juicier!

A perfect meal? Hummm … I love a lot of food, and have a long list of great restaurants, but to make any meal perfect I’d have to have the company of my wonderful lady, and soon-to-be-wife, Sage Vivant. As I already mentioned, writing can all-to-often be a brutal and hard life. I am very fortunate to have found the woman of my dreams, and would never do anything without her.

Well, congratulations--that's definitely a match made in erotica heaven!! I wish you both all the happiness in the world (as well as many delicious meals together).

Thanks so much for stopping by to talk shop with me. And for those of you interested in some more hot-and-hot-off-the-presses M. Christian fiction, check out his novel Painted Doll and Hack Work, a series of short story downloads, as well.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Donna George Storey Loves Brushes

Donna George Storey, a wonderful person and an absolutely fantastic writer, posted this touching review of Brushes - including a mini interview - on her Sex, Food and Writing blog awhile ago.  And, since this erotic romance novel has just been released by the wonderful Sizzler Editions I thought I'd repost it.  Thanks again, Donna!


I’ve been an admiring fan of M. Christian’s work since well before I began writing erotica myself. He’s edited twenty anthologies and written over three hundred stories, four novels, and four short story collections, with numerous appearances in Best American Erotica and other Best of’s as well as being an annually returning alumnus of The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. His narrators and protagonists come in a rainbow of sexual preferences, yet the stories are always incandescently erotic and convincing. On top of this, his work spans a range of genres, from literary to horror, science fiction and a soupcon of erotic romance.

I’ve always wondered what the “M” in M. Christian stands for, but I’m pretty sure it stands for “Maestro”!

I recently had the pleasure of reading one of his most recent novels, Brushes. A multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses, Brushes reminded me how a well-written novel can really draw you into a totally different world and keep you there, enchanted. M. Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. The variety of sex scenes is like a tempting buffet, the prose as silky smooth as a pot de crème. The novel definitely raises fascinating questions about the artist’s life and the silliness of the business surrounding it. This tale of mystery will definitely provoke and entertain anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic—spirit.

That’s me, baby—how about you?

And now, I have the even greater pleasure of inviting the Maestro to my blog to chat about writing, erotica and sensual indulgence of the culinary persuasion.

DGS: I’ve always been amazed at your versatility as a writer, your virtuoso ability to cross genres and genders. How do you do it? Or are you actually a shapeshifter from another galaxy?

MC: Nah, I’m just a classic hack, though being a shapeshifter from another galaxy would make it a lot easier to find a date on Saturday night.

How did you get started writing erotica?

Well, I’ve always wanted to be a writer – in fact I first remember deciding it would be the life I wanted to live when I was in the fourth grade or so – but I had zero luck with it for, oh, about fifteen years. Tired of rejection slips, I signed up for an erotica writing class from Lisa Palac, who used to edit a magazine called Future Sex. My thought at the time was something like: why the hell not?

Turns out I was pretty good at pornography – who knew? – and Lisa bought my first story, which was subsequently published by Susie Bright in her Best American Erotica 1994. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

You’ve been publishing erotica for a long time now. In your view, how has the genre and the publishing environment changed over the years.Lordy, that’s a big subject! Right off the top of my head I’d guess the biggest change has got to be the death – or imminent death, to be polite – of the traditional publishing model of business. Printed books are simply way too expensive to produce, especially these days, and far too difficult to sell. Sure, there will always be big houses operating like we’re still in the ‘50s but going forward we’re going to see far more small-to-medium-sized publishers connecting with very specific audiences. That’s good news for readers, as a publisher’s profit doesn’t have to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only having to make a few thousand means they can take risks and produce books for very narrow-focused interests. The bad news, though, is that the days of huge – or even large – advances for authors are gone … bummer. Don’t despair, though. Because the smaller publishers don’t have huge overhead, they can pay better royalties, and because of Amazon – the sort-of-great literary equalizer -- a small-time author has about the same ‘shelf’ space as a big-time one … the trick, of course, is to get yourself noticed.

You’re now blogging at Imagination is Intelligence with an Erection, Frequently Felt, Meine Kleine Fabrik and The New Café (Racer) Society. What do you like about blogging? How does it fit into your fiction writing schedule?

Actually The New Café (Racer) Society is a two-wheeled, one-man enterprise run by my brother, S.A. – who works with me on Meine Kleine Fabrik. I like blogs because they’re a way to get yourself out there. With Meine Kleine Fabrik, which is German for “My Little Factory,” the name of a jewelry company S.A. used to have, it’s a kind of commonplace book; a way of sharing the fun and wild and weird and silly and cool things we’ve come across. Frequently Felt is kind of the same thing but with a sexy twist – and is also a place where authors can share their work as well: my way of opening the door for new erotica writers. Imagination is Intelligence with an Erection, is my writing site: the place where I post reviews, announcements about new projects, new books and suchlike.

I kind of cheat, to be honest, with these blogs: I usually just post or repost stuff I find. Sure it makes them a bit less ‘rich’ but I simply don’t understand writers who spend hours posting and no time on their craft. Working on stories and books is what I love to do, so they will always be my top priority.

One of the pleasures for me while I was reading Brushes was the chance to come to my own conclusions about the shadowy central figure, the artist Escobar, based on the clues provided by the perspectives of the different narrators. It’s also fun to see how the different characters “brush up” against each other in different ways on the streets of Paris. But what might be pleasure for the reader could present a real logistical challenge for the author. Did you have a particular strategy to plan and keep track of all the “brushes” in the novel?

Thank you so much – it means a lot to me that you liked it!

While it was a tad challenging, it was also a lot of fun to do. My motivation was to try to put together something showing our various ‘faces:’ like the Donna I know isn’t the Donna other people know, etc. In the case of Escobar these multiple ‘faces’ are amplified because of his fame: the people around him have their own perspectives on him, twisted by jealousy, fear, unreasonable admiration, and all those other lovely emotions. Occasionally I’d find myself ‘painted into a corner’ especially since I was trying to tell the story from different perspectives but also taking place at the same time. Although there are some things I wish I’d done better, I thought it came out pretty well. I guarantee I’ll do better with the next book, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that ….

Your novel has countless wonderful examples of how an erotic scene reveals character—this is really the heart of the book. I’ve chosen this excerpt from chapter 4, told from the point of view of Marcel, a snobbish, fastidious gallery owner, who has called in a paid companion to “celebrate” after a long day in the art business. Here’s a tasty sampling of the scene:

"I love my breasts," she said. "I love they way they look, but I really like the way they feel." Purple painted nails slid over the slopes, stroked under, and deliberately hesitated over the rises of her nipples. One hand went behind, reaching for another clasp, preparing for another revelation.

More than at any time in recent memory, he was aroused. With Josephine it had been there, but more abstract, more a quality of the whole experience than a pulse-matched deep down, stirring where he wasn't Marcel the gentleman, the rich man, the owner of L'Art, but rather just a man and a very demanding desire. He might still be struck by silence, but he could move.

There was a good reason Zazu would love her breasts. They were phenomenal. Large yet exceptionally firm, they swept gently from the satin of her chest, ending in two saucer-sized, swollen areolas, topped by aggressively firm nipples the color of fresh strawberries and the size of gumdrops. As her bra joined her clothes at her feet, her breasts swung and jiggled, a mesmerizing display.

"Aren't they beautiful? I'm so lucky. But what's even better is that I like how they feel, not just how they look." With thumb and forefinger she tightly plucked at her right nipple, much harder than he'd ever seen a woman do before. She hissed, deep and languid, in response. Then the same, this time to the left, but now the hiss became a moan and her knees seemed to lose a bit of their strength. "Oh, wow," she said through a sharp laugh.

Stroking himself, he realized he didn't care that he was or that she knew he was. It was too good. This woman was beautiful and sexy, and more importantly, he was enjoying himself more than he ever had before. How his zipper had come down, how he'd extracted himself from his underwear, he didn't know, but there it was and he wasn't about to stop. Again, the question -- but this time only the barest of whispers in his mind and nowhere near a loud thought: what am I? The answer came immediately: I am me... and I like this.

The other nipple again; this time she had to catch herself before dropping all the way to the carpet. It took her some time to pull herself up and stand straight. "I like this. It's one of my... things, I guess you could call it." Peering through her purple bangs, she caught his gaze with hers. "Having fun?"

Even before he'd realized he'd broken the silence, he found his voice. "I-I am."

Do you have a particular favorite among the characters or scenes in Brushes? Any that were harder or easier to write?

Once again, I really appreciate your kindness and support, Donna! Writing can be a damned hard life so compliments and kindness – especially from a writer I like and admire – are a real treat!

Each of the characters in Brushes had their challenges, as well as their easier bits. I’m so glad you liked Marcel: he was a particularly fun one as I was trying to use his sexuality as a pretty broad reflection of his personality: removed and controlling in life, removed and controlling in bed. Escobar was probably the hardest because as I was ‘doing’ him, I kept thinking that here he is, the guy everyone’s talking about. A bit of pressure there ….

What’s next for you?

Let’s see … working on a gay horror novel called Monster that should be done in a few months. Have a new collection of straight erotica coming out soon, called Licks & Promises. Both The Bachelor Machine, my science fiction erotica collection, and Dirty Words, which is a gay erotica collection, are being reprinted and should be out soon. I’m also chatting with some publishers about doing some new anthologies – more on those very soon. I’ve also done my first screenplay, the movie for which should be shooting soon, and I’m working on other fun stuff as well. Just keep an eye on my blog for more info and updates and such.

Finally, describe a perfect meal that would be guaranteed to seduce you—into a deep conversation about the writing life, if not something even juicier!

A perfect meal? Hummm … I love a lot of food, and have a long list of great restaurants, but to make any meal perfect I’d have to have the company of my wonderful lady, and soon-to-be-wife, Sage Vivant. As I already mentioned, writing can all-to-often be a brutal and hard life. I am very fortunate to have found the woman of my dreams, and would never do anything without her.

Well, congratulations--that's definitely a match made in erotica heaven!! I wish you both all the happiness in the world (as well as many delicious meals together).

Thanks so much for stopping by to talk shop with me. And for those of you interested in some more hot-and-hot-off-the-presses M. Christian fiction, check out his novel Painted Doll and Hack Work, a series of short story downloads, as well.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Donna George Storey Loves Brushes

Donna George Storey, a wonderful person and an absolutely fantastic writer, posted this touching review of Brushes - including a mini interview - on her Sex, Food and Writing blog awhile ago.  And, since this erotic romance novel has just been released by the wonderful Sizzler Editions I thought I'd repost it.  Thanks again, Donna!


I’ve been an admiring fan of M. Christian’s work since well before I began writing erotica myself. He’s edited twenty anthologies and written over three hundred stories, four novels, and four short story collections, with numerous appearances in Best American Erotica and other Best of’s as well as being an annually returning alumnus of The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. His narrators and protagonists come in a rainbow of sexual preferences, yet the stories are always incandescently erotic and convincing. On top of this, his work spans a range of genres, from literary to horror, science fiction and a soupcon of erotic romance.

I’ve always wondered what the “M” in M. Christian stands for, but I’m pretty sure it stands for “Maestro”!

I recently had the pleasure of reading one of his most recent novels, Brushes. A multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses, Brushes reminded me how a well-written novel can really draw you into a totally different world and keep you there, enchanted. M. Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of eight denizens of the art world, from an acclaimed artist and his muses to desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each other, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. The variety of sex scenes is like a tempting buffet, the prose as silky smooth as a pot de crème. The novel definitely raises fascinating questions about the artist’s life and the silliness of the business surrounding it. This tale of mystery will definitely provoke and entertain anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative--and the erotic—spirit.

That’s me, baby—how about you?

And now, I have the even greater pleasure of inviting the Maestro to my blog to chat about writing, erotica and sensual indulgence of the culinary persuasion.

DGS: I’ve always been amazed at your versatility as a writer, your virtuoso ability to cross genres and genders. How do you do it? Or are you actually a shapeshifter from another galaxy?

MC: Nah, I’m just a classic hack, though being a shapeshifter from another galaxy would make it a lot easier to find a date on Saturday night.

How did you get started writing erotica?

Well, I’ve always wanted to be a writer – in fact I first remember deciding it would be the life I wanted to live when I was in the fourth grade or so – but I had zero luck with it for, oh, about fifteen years. Tired of rejection slips, I signed up for an erotica writing class from Lisa Palac, who used to edit a magazine called Future Sex. My thought at the time was something like: why the hell not?

Turns out I was pretty good at pornography – who knew? – and Lisa bought my first story, which was subsequently published by Susie Bright in her Best American Erotica 1994. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

You’ve been publishing erotica for a long time now. In your view, how has the genre and the publishing environment changed over the years.
Lordy, that’s a big subject! Right off the top of my head I’d guess the biggest change has got to be the death – or imminent death, to be polite – of the traditional publishing model of business. Printed books are simply way too expensive to produce, especially these days, and far too difficult to sell. Sure, there will always be big houses operating like we’re still in the ‘50s but going forward we’re going to see far more small-to-medium-sized publishers connecting with very specific audiences. That’s good news for readers, as a publisher’s profit doesn’t have to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only having to make a few thousand means they can take risks and produce books for very narrow-focused interests. The bad news, though, is that the days of huge – or even large – advances for authors are gone … bummer. Don’t despair, though. Because the smaller publishers don’t have huge overhead, they can pay better royalties, and because of Amazon – the sort-of-great literary equalizer -- a small-time author has about the same ‘shelf’ space as a big-time one … the trick, of course, is to get yourself noticed.

You’re now blogging at Imagination is Intelligence with an Erection, Frequently Felt, Meine Kleine Fabrik and The New Café (Racer) Society. What do you like about blogging? How does it fit into your fiction writing schedule?

Actually The New Café (Racer) Society is a two-wheeled, one-man enterprise run by my brother, S.A. – who works with me on Meine Kleine Fabrik. I like blogs because they’re a way to get yourself out there. With Meine Kleine Fabrik, which is German for “My Little Factory,” the name of a jewelry company S.A. used to have, it’s a kind of commonplace book; a way of sharing the fun and wild and weird and silly and cool things we’ve come across. Frequently Felt is kind of the same thing but with a sexy twist – and is also a place where authors can share their work as well: my way of opening the door for new erotica writers. Imagination is Intelligence with an Erection, is my writing site: the place where I post reviews, announcements about new projects, new books and suchlike.

I kind of cheat, to be honest, with these blogs: I usually just post or repost stuff I find. Sure it makes them a bit less ‘rich’ but I simply don’t understand writers who spend hours posting and no time on their craft. Working on stories and books is what I love to do, so they will always be my top priority.

One of the pleasures for me while I was reading Brushes was the chance to come to my own conclusions about the shadowy central figure, the artist Escobar, based on the clues provided by the perspectives of the different narrators. It’s also fun to see how the different characters “brush up” against each other in different ways on the streets of Paris. But what might be pleasure for the reader could present a real logistical challenge for the author. Did you have a particular strategy to plan and keep track of all the “brushes” in the novel?

Thank you so much – it means a lot to me that you liked it!

While it was a tad challenging, it was also a lot of fun to do. My motivation was to try to put together something showing our various ‘faces:’ like the Donna I know isn’t the Donna other people know, etc. In the case of Escobar these multiple ‘faces’ are amplified because of his fame: the people around him have their own perspectives on him, twisted by jealousy, fear, unreasonable admiration, and all those other lovely emotions. Occasionally I’d find myself ‘painted into a corner’ especially since I was trying to tell the story from different perspectives but also taking place at the same time. Although there are some things I wish I’d done better, I thought it came out pretty well. I guarantee I’ll do better with the next book, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that ….

Your novel has countless wonderful examples of how an erotic scene reveals character—this is really the heart of the book. I’ve chosen this excerpt from chapter 4, told from the point of view of Marcel, a snobbish, fastidious gallery owner, who has called in a paid companion to “celebrate” after a long day in the art business. Here’s a tasty sampling of the scene:

"I love my breasts," she said. "I love they way they look, but I really like the way they feel." Purple painted nails slid over the slopes, stroked under, and deliberately hesitated over the rises of her nipples. One hand went behind, reaching for another clasp, preparing for another revelation.

More than at any time in recent memory, he was aroused. With Josephine it had been there, but more abstract, more a quality of the whole experience than a pulse-matched deep down, stirring where he wasn't Marcel the gentleman, the rich man, the owner of L'Art, but rather just a man and a very demanding desire. He might still be struck by silence, but he could move.

There was a good reason Zazu would love her breasts. They were phenomenal. Large yet exceptionally firm, they swept gently from the satin of her chest, ending in two saucer-sized, swollen areolas, topped by aggressively firm nipples the color of fresh strawberries and the size of gumdrops. As her bra joined her clothes at her feet, her breasts swung and jiggled, a mesmerizing display.

"Aren't they beautiful? I'm so lucky. But what's even better is that I like how they feel, not just how they look." With thumb and forefinger she tightly plucked at her right nipple, much harder than he'd ever seen a woman do before. She hissed, deep and languid, in response. Then the same, this time to the left, but now the hiss became a moan and her knees seemed to lose a bit of their strength. "Oh, wow," she said through a sharp laugh.

Stroking himself, he realized he didn't care that he was or that she knew he was. It was too good. This woman was beautiful and sexy, and more importantly, he was enjoying himself more than he ever had before. How his zipper had come down, how he'd extracted himself from his underwear, he didn't know, but there it was and he wasn't about to stop. Again, the question -- but this time only the barest of whispers in his mind and nowhere near a loud thought: what am I? The answer came immediately: I am me... and I like this.

The other nipple again; this time she had to catch herself before dropping all the way to the carpet. It took her some time to pull herself up and stand straight. "I like this. It's one of my... things, I guess you could call it." Peering through her purple bangs, she caught his gaze with hers. "Having fun?"

Even before he'd realized he'd broken the silence, he found his voice. "I-I am."

Do you have a particular favorite among the characters or scenes in Brushes? Any that were harder or easier to write?

Once again, I really appreciate your kindness and support, Donna! Writing can be a damned hard life so compliments and kindness – especially from a writer I like and admire – are a real treat!

Each of the characters in Brushes had their challenges, as well as their easier bits. I’m so glad you liked Marcel: he was a particularly fun one as I was trying to use his sexuality as a pretty broad reflection of his personality: removed and controlling in life, removed and controlling in bed. Escobar was probably the hardest because as I was ‘doing’ him, I kept thinking that here he is, the guy everyone’s talking about. A bit of pressure there ….

What’s next for you?

Let’s see … working on a gay horror novel called Monster that should be done in a few months. Have a new collection of straight erotica coming out soon, called Licks & Promises. Both The Bachelor Machine, my science fiction erotica collection, and Dirty Words, which is a gay erotica collection, are being reprinted and should be out soon. I’m also chatting with some publishers about doing some new anthologies – more on those very soon. I’ve also done my first screenplay, the movie for which should be shooting soon, and I’m working on other fun stuff as well. Just keep an eye on my blog for more info and updates and such.

Finally, describe a perfect meal that would be guaranteed to seduce you—into a deep conversation about the writing life, if not something even juicier!

A perfect meal? Hummm … I love a lot of food, and have a long list of great restaurants, but to make any meal perfect I’d have to have the company of my wonderful lady, and soon-to-be-wife, Sage Vivant. As I already mentioned, writing can all-to-often be a brutal and hard life. I am very fortunate to have found the woman of my dreams, and would never do anything without her.

Well, congratulations--that's definitely a match made in erotica heaven!! I wish you both all the happiness in the world (as well as many delicious meals together).

Thanks so much for stopping by to talk shop with me. And for those of you interested in some more hot-and-hot-off-the-presses M. Christian fiction, check out his novel Painted Doll and Hack Work, a series of short story downloads, as well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amos Lassen Loves Brushes

 

Romantic, Erotic and Gorgeous:
"Brushes" is great erotica set in a romantic setting. It is a multi-layered look at love, Paris and the world of art. We meet eight people, all of whom are involved in the art world. As their lives intertwine, each experiences a form of sexual contact that will change them completely.

Escobar is a very talented artist but exactly who he is and how he works is the essence of "Brushes". The world sees him as a genius. His mastery of color, form and shape is unequaled and he has taken the art world by storm. To discover who he, we look at him from different viewpoints. His wife, his manager, his forger, his brother, his model and others tell us about him in separate stories that all come together. However, these stories tell us more about the teller than they do about the man in question. In that, Escobar is like the art he creates. It is studied and it is open to different interpretations as well as misinterpretations.

M. Christian is a master storyteller. I have read a lot of him and each time I pick up something by him, I find myself so involved in the story that I feel it is actually happening as I read. "Brushes" evokes carnality and in dealing with the art scene of Paris and those that inhabit it, Christian gives us an erotic treat. He so captures the scene that I was completely engulfed by the novel by the third page. Sure the eroticism is very hot but it is the story that is better. The intriguing characters and the way that they come in and out of each others' lives in handled brilliantly. We see, though the characters that all is not always what it seems to be and surprises lurk and wait. This is a gorgeous book to be savored.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lisabet Sarai Likes BRUSHES and PAINTED DOLL

I'm very jazzed -- and very flattered -- that Lisabet Sarai has a review of both Brushes and Painted Doll up on the Erotica Readers and Writers site. Here's a taste (and here's the rest of it):
Prolific erotica writer M.Christian has been described more than once as a literary chameleon, and with good reason. Although he is straight and male, Christian has published single-author collections of both gay (Filthy) and lesbian (Speaking Parts) erotica. His books include a scifi erotica story collection (The Bachelor Machine), gay vampire thrillers (Running on Empty and The Very Bloody Marys) and the peculiar Me 2, which has been praised as insightful social criticism and panned as a poor-taste publicity stunt.



I was flattered when he wrote me asking if I’d give him press quotes for not one, but two books that he had coming out soon. Flattered, and jealous, given my own glacial rate of publication. Sure, I told him, but I’ve got to read the books first. Within half an hour, I received digital Advanced Reader Copies of Brushes and The Painted Doll.

If I didn’t know that these two books had been written by the same author, it would be difficult to tell. Brushes is a fascinating literary exercise, a novella in which each chapter presents the perspective of a different character. The various narrators are linked by their connections, casual or intimate, with Escobar, a fabulously popular painter hailed as an artistic genius. Escobar is hardly a person for these characters. He is a mirror, a distorted reflection highlighting their failings, magnifying their inadequacies. His sexual charisma, his incandescent talent, his elusive insight into the souls of his subjects, all are legendary. Everyone craves his attention. Everyone envies his success ....

[MORE]

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Amos Lassen Loves Brushes

Romantic, Erotic and Gorgeous:
"Brushes" is great erotica set in a romantic setting. It is a multi-layered look at love, Paris and the world of art. We meet eight people, all of whom are involved in the art world. As their lives intertwine, each experiences a form of sexual contact that will change them completely.

Escobar is a very talented artist but exactly who he is and how he works is the essence of "Brushes". The world sees him as a genius. His mastery of color, form and shape is unequaled and he has taken the art world by storm. To discover who he, we look at him from different viewpoints. His wife, his manager, his forger, his brother, his model and others tell us about him in separate stories that all come together. However, these stories tell us more about the teller than they do about the man in question. In that, Escobar is like the art he creates. It is studied and it is open to different interpretations as well as misinterpretations.

M. Christian is a master storyteller. I have read a lot of him and each time I pick up something by him, I find myself so involved in the story that I feel it is actually happening as I read. "Brushes" evokes carnality and in dealing with the art scene of Paris and those that inhabit it, Christian gives us an erotic treat. He so captures the scene that I was completely engulfed by the novel by the third page. Sure the eroticism is very hot but it is the story that is better. The intriguing characters and the way that they come in and out of each others' lives in handled brilliantly. We see, though the characters that all is not always what it seems to be and surprises lurk and wait. This is a gorgeous book to be savored.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Brushes - Out NOW In A New Re-Release From Sizzler Editions

Okay, I'll try to gush too much but, to be honest, I've worked with a lot of publishers over the years and one of the very, very best - and not just because I work with them as an Associate Publisher - has got to be Sizzler Editions. 

Just take a look at this gorgeous new edition of Brushes - my erotic romance - they just re-released.  Wonderful!  Check it out ... and if you want to get a review copy don't hesitate to write me.

"We can never know how lives will intertwine; the mystery of it is one of the hidden joys of life. M.Christian has captured perfectly the symmetry and surprise of lives that mesh together -- whether the people living them like it or not. …a gorgeous tapestry of words."
– Gwen Masters, author of One Breath at a Time

To most of the world he's a genius, a master of color, form, and shape, a brilliant talent who stormed the art world and shook its pillars with his talent. But some, including his wife Constance, see him as undeserving of his fame, others as arrogant, and a few even as a fraud. But Escobar is misunderstood. Lost, alone, he longs for the simple life he once shared with Constance before he allowed his lust for talent and success to come between them, He wants her back desperately but doesn't know how to put his feelings in words. Is it possible he can reach out to her with the most powerful language he knows, the very art that came between them, and reconnect with Constance before it is too late?

"A multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses. M.Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of… an acclaimed artist … his muses … and desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each his, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. A deliciously sexy tale of mystery for anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative - and the erotic-spirit." –Donna George Storey, author of An Amorous Woman

Brushes is a romantic, erotically-charged portrait of a master artist, a stroke-by-stroke look at a man who lost his love and then made a last reckless gamble to win her back. It is also the story of the sexual and romantic currents that run through the lives of the people around him - his manager, his model, his brother and others – who all played a role in his break-up with Constance and in keeping them apart.

"Great erotica set in a romantic setting. A multi-layered look at love, Paris and the world of art. The intriguing characters and the way they come in and out of each other's lives is handled brilliantly. All is not always what it seems to be and surprises lurk and wait. This is a gorgeous book to be savored." – Amos Lassen

"Compelling, masterful, complex, fascinating..." – Nobilis

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brushes: An Excerpt

Here you go: a little taste of my new novel, Brushes:

Finger slipped carefully into the handle, heat passing through the delicate ceramic from the recently boiled drink, losing degrees of temperature to become comforting warmth, she brought the cup up gently, carefully. One inch. Another. Another. The ritual of a sip, the elegance of patience: finger in handle, cup up to mouth, a pause of fragrance, then lips touched gently to rim. Taste. Savor. Taste again to compare.

The British used it as the cornerstone of a lion-emblazoned empire. The Japanese had made it a religion. Sitting in the lounge of the Pont Royal Hotel--immaculate linen tablecloth, Lennox kettle and cup, silver service, velvet drapes parting the view of the Saint Germain district of Paris, a waiter at the door prepared to do whatever was needed to ensure the pleasure of her stay--Constance could believe that tea was, indeed, something to fight wars over, to pray to.

Steady and refined, careful and graceful, charming and poised, it was ballet with a cup and saucer, opera with a kettle, chamber music with sugar and cream. Tea, especially tea in the lounge of the Pont Royal Hotel, was perfect, or as near to it as anyone could come.

Then the waiter wasn't waiting by the door. Passing between her table and the window with its rich maroon drapes, he gestured to a corner table. Behind him, moving slower through the linen islands--having less of his skill in navigating the room--came the man, followed by the woman.

He was young, his body lithe and fluid, yet with the hesitation and stumbling that comes from some uncertainty in life. His hair was brown, but not common. His was a mixture of many shades, making it changeable with every turn of his head, every shift of his muscled body. His face was expressive but not comedic, handsome without being cut from cold marble. Like his shifting hair, his eyes also became many kinds of brown as he looked around the room.

She was young, her figure tight, supple, and limber, but with the hesitancy and awkwardness that came with trying to understand her own body. Her hair was blond, but not from a bottle. Hers was true shine that glowed with every movement of her lissome form. Her face was animated but not loud, pretty without being from a mold. Like her bright hair, her eyes glimmered and shone as she surveyed her surroundings.

Watching them come in and sit down, Constance swallowed hot tea--through a cold and tense frown.

* * * *

Finger slipped carefully into warm, golden metal on a hot summer day. That sensation had lingered more than many other details. More than the perfume of roses. More than what her friends--or his, for that matter--had said to her before or after the priest heard the vows. More than the butterflies that had fluttered in her stomach. More than the champagne in a flute, with its jeweled bubbles streaming up from the bottom.

Other things were long forgotten, but the ring sliding onto her finger had remained--a faithful memory of her wedding day.

Hot tea to her lips again, she scowled at the tan liquid in her cup. The beverage was excellent--as only something served in the lounge of the Pont Royal Hotel could be--but the remembrance wasn't. Faithful, yes, because it remained close at hand, even when not wanted, but its flavor was bitter.

On her left hand, on that meaningful finger, she still had her ring. On days like today, she wanted to pull it off, leave it behind as a generous tip for superb service, but she never did. Turn it, yes, around and around, but that was all. Tarnished and cold, it still meant something. Even if it was a tarnished and cold meaning.

It was different for her husband. Clearly, for Escobar, his matching gold meant nothing.

#

Trade Paperback:
ISBN: 978-159426-815-1
$13.00

ebook:
ISBN: 978-159426-687-4
$6.00

If you're interested in reviewing Brushes please email M.Christian at the addresses below:

M.Christian
zobop@aol.com
mchristianzobop@gmail.com

Monday, August 18, 2008

M.Christian on M.Christian

I'm excited to be featured on Interviewing Authors. Here's what I have to say about myself:
CA: What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

MC: Well, I like to call myself a ‘literary streetwalker with a heart of gold” meaning I usually write what folks – meaning publishers and editors -- want, which can mean anything from non-fiction to horror, from science fiction to humor, from advice columns to gay fiction, from blog stuff to smut, although most folk seem to want smut most of all. Not that I’m complaining, you understand: smut has been very, very good to me. In fact it’s how I got started and how I made my ‘name.’ Not to toot my horn … at least not too much … I’ve sold close to 300 stories short stories that have been in a whole lot of ‘best’ erotica books: Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica … well, you get the picture. I also have four collections of my stories in print: Dirty Words (gay erotica), Speaking Parts (lesbian erotica), The Bachelor Machine (science fiction erotica), and Filthy (more gay erotica); and have edited 20 or so anthologies including Confessions, Amazons, and Garden of Perverse (with Sage Vivant), and the Best S/M Erotica series. I also have written five novels and am working on my sixth: Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll – of which only a couple are erotic.

CA: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

MC: I was in the fourth grade or so when I first realized that I liked the idea of writing, and that people could actually make a living at it, but it wasn’t until high school that I really gave it a shot. Alas, it took close to ten years before I sold my first story – a smut story, by the way – but after that I’ve been really working on getting stuff out there and working even harder on having fun doing it.

CA: Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

MC: I’d like to say some of the great and noble gods like Hemmingway and such but I found most of my true inspiration from, and admiration for, honest working writers in science fiction and comics. Okay, I really do love Steinbeck, Kipling, Hugo, and Dickens, but William Gibson, Alan Moore, Alfred Bester, Adam Warren, Ted Sturgeon, Alexander Jablokov, and Phil Dick are who I adore. I also really love classic movies, especially directors like Frankenheimer, Billy Wilder, and Wim Wenders.

I also can’t say enough for writers of simple, beautiful prose who are too often dismissed because they happen to write for things like television; Paul Dini, Hilary J. Bader, and Joss Whedon, and so forth. As I like to say: good writing is good writing, and it doesn’t make a difference if it’s for the New Yorker or a Saturday morning cartoon.

CA: When writers block attacks, what do you do to get back on track?

MC: I have a rather strange work ethic in that I don’t believe in talent, a muse, or suchlike. I’ve always just plain worked at my writing. Sometimes a story isn’t going well but I try to push through it nonetheless, trying to get to the heart at why it might be trouble. I also don’t wait for inspiration: most of the time what I’m doing is because someone, somewhere, asked for it. But that doesn’t mean I sell my soul. I really do simply love to write, to tell stories. When I get an assignment, or an opportunity crosses my path, I always try to make whatever it is ‘mine’ with a story I want to tell, no matter what the eventual market might be.

CA: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

MC: I don’t really have a set schedule but I’m always very much aware of what has to be done and when it has to be turned in. Right now, for instance, I’m writing a bi-monthly article for Dark Roasted Blend (www.darkroastedblend.com), getting the word out about my four new books (Me2, Painted Doll, Brushes, and The Very Bloody Marys), and working on a new book for Zumaya – one I hope to get done in a few more months. Beyond that I’m trying to round up some new novel gigs and trying to find a new day job … after getting laid off recently from my last one, which I had for over ten years (sigh). Between all this I also have a wonderful partner in all things, Sage Vivant, who I adore, and various hobbies I’ve been regretfully ignoring. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to write for a living but until then I’m working as hard as I can to get myself out there: opportunities don’t come to you, you have to look for them.

CA: Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

MC: One word: sigh. I’ve never been a huge self-promoter but I’ve been forcing myself to work harder at it. Like I just said: things don’t find you, you find them. Sitting in the dark hoping someone, anyone, will call just doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean I like having to send out press release after press release or do interview after interview (no insult) but to get where I want to be, which is to be able to write more books, it takes getting people to know who you are. It’s not fun, but it has to be done.

CA: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

MC: Alas, I’ve been ignoring a lot of my hobbies lately but I do plan on getting back to them eventually: robots and fun electronic stuff, little art projects, photography, food (eating and cooking), and travel. One of these days I’ll be able to get back to them but for right now the writing and the job search is taking up a lot of my time …probably too much of my time, but them’s the breaks.

CA: What is something shocking or weird about you that your readers don’t know about?

MC: Well, the biggest one I can think of is that even though I write a lot of gay themed books, for a lot of gay publishers and anthologies, I’m straight – but certainly not narrow, as the joke goes. I'm actually pretty proud of being able to make my projects, whatever they are, respectful of the audience and the ‘theme.’ I'm happy that my publishers don’t mind who I am, and that so many of my readers like my work --it's something that keeps me going. I just hope it continues because while it can be challenging, there’s a lot of enjoyment that comes with that challenge, and I really think it’s helped my writing.

CA: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

MC: I’ve already nattered about what I’ve done, so I don’t need to do that again. As for my fave … well, I don’t really have one. Sure I thought that Me2 came out really well and Painted Doll, Very Bloody Marys, and Brushes were lots of fun – and collections are always a kick -- but I like to say my favorite is the one I’m either working on right now or will be working on next. I just don’t like to look back, I guess. Besides, if you think your best is behind you, it doesn’t push you forward. I like the books I’ve written but I also think I could do better, which is what I try to remember whenever I do something new. I also try to stretch as much as possible, taking risks each time so I can learn and grow.

CA: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

MC: That’s a toughie: I do but I don’t. I don’t put ‘real’ people in my stuff, meaning friends and such, but I do put a lot of myself into whatever I do. I’m not gay man – and I’m not equipped to know what being a lesbian is like – but I do know what desire, hope, fear, embarrassment, pride, and love feels like so I write all of that into my stories and books. I also try to project as much of myself as I can into whatever I’m doing, to really get into the people I’m writing about. Occasionally, though, I do borrow an actor or actress though it never feels … ‘real’ I guess you could say.

CA: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

MC: I once wrote a column called “Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker” for the Erotica Readers & Writers site, which I’ve been reposting on my own site at www.mchristian.com. Part of the reason I did those columns was because I was tired of the poor advice teachers and other writers were dishing out. Some of the more important topics I addressed was that writers, especially new ones, shouldn’t try and be the next ‘fill-in-the-blank’ celebrity author. Instead, they should work where there’s work and not be biased about different genres. I got my start in smut and am now writing novels for a wide range of audiences. I also think writers should focus on the writing and not spend too much time ‘playing the game’ of being a writer instead of actually writing. Finding publishers, agents, and such is important but doing the work is what it’s all about. Lastly, but not leastly, writing should be fun: if it’s not then you’re not doing it right. Being a writer sucks: the pay is cruddy; no one gives you any respect; and it’s a lot of hard, emotionally brutal, work – but if you enjoy writing then it becomes something truly amazing, and totally worth it.

CA: How can a reader contact you or purchase your books?

MC: All of my books are on Amazon.com under “M.Christian,” and I have links to all of them from my page at www.mchristian.com. I’d check that page out first and go from there. I’m also very free with my email address, so please feel free to write me anytime: zobp@aol.com or mchristianzobop@gmail.com.

CA: Is there anything you would like to add?

MC: Just that I also have a pair of fun blogs I post to quite often: Frequently Felt is a place for fun and strange sex stuff, and Meine Kleine Fabrik is for fun and strange stuff (no sex). I’ve been posting my “Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker” columns on my main site as well

CA: I’ll have to hop over and check out your blogs, Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker is an attention grabbing title : )

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 www.mchristian.com.

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 www.mchristian.com and digging up erotic things for my sex blog at frequentlyfelt.blogspot.com and REALLY wonderful and strange things for the site my brother and I do: meinekleinefabrik.blogsopt.com. Come check them out and feel free to write me at zobop@aol.com.