December 29, 2008

Homosexuality & Writing: Nathan James, author of Check Ride

The Author

Author and activist Nathan James, called the “philosopher-prince of erotica” by reviewers, began his bibliography with the novel The Devil’s Details (2005), the short stories Enchanted Morning (Muscle Worshipers, STARbooks Press 2006), and Ten Days (Love In A Lock Up, STARbooks Press, 2007) He has contributed to the Zane anthology Flesh To Flesh (Strebor/Simon & Schuster, 2008) with his story, "Thickness". His e-books, In His Court (Forbidden Publications, 2006) and the critically acclaimed Check Ride (Forbidden Publications, 2007) have enjoyed bestseller status.

Nathan was nominated by fellow authors in 2007 for the Clik Magazine Awards. He is a passionate activist, speaking at antiwar protests and gay-rights rallies across the country. Nathan is a regular contributor to local papers and, where he writes articles of interest to the LGBT community of color. Nathan is a lifelong resident of New York City. Literary influences include James Baldwin, Stanley Bennett Clay, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Audre Lorde, and Herman Melville. Nathan encourages people to visit his website and his MySpace page. Nathan can be reached at

The Books

Gilbert Savage is a young, hot pilot for AirEast, a New York City charter airline. When his friend and fellow pilot, Mario Freeman offers him an orientation flight, or "check ride", in the company's big new party jet, Gil readily accepts.

A hair-raising near-miss with a light plane on landing brings hidden passions between Gil and Mario to the surface. As they go beyond the mile-high club, the errant light plane pilot schemes to get the young lovers fired. The son of the CEO, the Cessna pilot, has an evil agenda. Will the lovers weather the storm and take their budding relationship to new heights, or will they crash and burn?

Click the cover above to order Check Ride today!

Nathan James takes you on an erotic, sizzling journey into the supernatural with the story of Josh Dolan, a young, gay college student. Josh meets the Devil himself, and embarks on an odyssey of discovery in which he experiences the darkness of hatred, and learns the meaning of faith. Along the way, he has some of the hottest sexual encounters of his life. "The Devil's Details" is a sexy, compassionate look at good and evil, and the challenges young Joshua faces as a gay man are taken from today's headlines. Angels soar and the Devil beckons...because he really is in the "Details"!

Click the cover above to order The Devil's Details today!


How have your works been received by readers of all orientations?

I have been very well received by the LGBT community, and much to my surprise, I've been getting feedback from straight women, as well! I hadn't expected that, but I have since become aware that there is an interest in gay lit which extends beyond the gay/lesbian community. I have been privileged to participate in discussions and panels during which I've learned that the gay/lesbian genre is evolving into something that can stand on its own as a literary art form.

In the stories you have written and are planning to write, what ideas and themes do you see reoccurring that shed light on homosexuality?

I wrote The Devil's Details as a sci-fi/fantasy novel which explores the absurdity of hate. I have witnessed throughout my life and writing career, the recurring premise that gays and lesbians were "less than" and therefore "OK to hate". Our society, through its parental, religious, and political authority figures, has given people "permission to hate". We can see this trend going on right now, in the passage of Proposition 8 in California, overturning same-sex marriage, in the restrictions on gay/lesbian rights in other states, and in the general attitude of homophobia which is still very pervasive in our world.

Yet, even as we continue to struggle against bigotry, I can see hope: gays and lesbians are prouder of themselves and their unique culture than I have seen the community at any time in my life. The community speaks with a passionate voice on issues of concern to us; louder and more strident than ever before.

There seems to be a growing awareness that we are at a critical time in history, and it is always incumbent upon us to make sure we can live without fear of persecution. In my novella, Check Ride, for example, my two pilots have to contend with their airline's VP, who is rabidly homophobic, and tries to manufacture an incident in hopes of having an excuse to get those "disgusting f*ggots" out of his airline. This still goes on today, and we still need to be vigilant and unafraid.

At the end of the day, if there was one thing you wanted your readers to remember in regards to homosexuality, what would that thing be?

I would implore my readers to understand that we are all one species on this small Earth. We will only go forward into a wonderful future if we are compassionate and accepting of our marvelous diversity. Love is universal, and no matter how it may be expressed between people, it is beautiful.

December 28, 2008

Branding, Editing, Writing, & ME at BlogTalkRadio Today!

Tale It Like It Is

Today, the radio show Tale It Like It Is [link] will have yet ANOTHER one-hour special on author branding/writing with me and author and TILII host Samara King.

Time: 4:30 CST


On tap for convo: discussion on using social networking sites to promote your writing and setting writing goals. If you have ANY questions about writing or editing, come and bring them with you! We're all about camaraderie and sharing of information.

If you can't make it, that's OK. I will post up the program on my LISTEN tab @!

December 22, 2008

Homosexuality & Writing: Monica Nolan, Author of Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary

The Author

Monica Nolan is the author of Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary (2007) and the co-author of The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories (2002) with Alisa Surkis. A collection of eight stories of girls who love horses…and other girls, the book was nominated for a Lambda in the humor category and was awarded the coveted Diagram prize, given annually by an association of British booksellers to the oddest book title of the year. Out Magazine described it “as vibrant, juicy and pulpy as the sexy cover illustration.” Monica has also written articles on film and pop culture for Release Print and Bitch Magazine. Before she realized that paper was cheaper than film, Monica wrote and directed a number of short films, including Lesbians Who Date Men and World of Women.

Monica is currently working on the second book in her planned Lesbian Career Girl series, Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher.

You can learn more about Monica...and Lois Lenz at

The Book

Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary pays affectionate homage to the lurid pulp novels of the 50s and 60s. A sexy, titillating spoof of the illicit world of lesbian pulp fiction, Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary tells the steamy story of a former cheerleader with a penchant for filing. When Lois finds a job in the big city and a room at the Magdalena Arms women-only boarding house, she discovers just how seductive the society of other career girls can be.

“Tell me about your favorite filing system,” Paula whispered in her ear before trailing her warm mouth along Lois’s neck.

“Well, I’ve been experimenting with a method that combines the alphabetical with the chronological—ohhh!”

“Am I going too fast?” Paula murmured.

In this tongue-in-cheek melodrama, which weaves sex, mystery, and mayhem into a decidedly entertaining romp, Lois encounters women from every walk of life, from cutthroat executives to spoiled debutantes, earnest schoolteachers, aging child actresses and ambitious copywriters—all of whom share a secret.

Click the cover above to order Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary today!


How have your works been received by readers of all orientations?

I don’t have the answer to that question. It is an ongoing mystery. I only know what the people I know who’ve read it think (and I always wonder if they’re just being polite). Many of my friends (mostly gay, some straight) claim they enjoyed it. My sister Annie (married with children) liked it. A woman (who I believe is a lesbian based on her blog) put it down after reading a few pages and wrote that it didn’t seem interesting (oh, the things you find out, googling your title). Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, so go figure. I suspect that enjoyment of Lois is based more on having a camp sensibility and an appreciation for the artifacts of the 1950s, than any particular sexual orientation. Hmmm, how can I reach that Mad Men audience…

In the stories you write and are planning to write, what ideas and themes do you see recurring that shed light on homosexuality?

First, I have to rewrite the question a little bit—I never use the word homosexual and would feel silly using it seriously. For me the term carries overtones of the 1950s attitudes towards gays and lesbians. I think of “Homosexuality” as medico-legal jargon used in headlines warning about a homosexual plague or the cover blurb for those pseudo-sociological books promising “a searing portrait of today’s homosexual.” This is the kind of language I try to parody in the books I’ve written and am planning to write. For example, I have my heroine, Lois, exclaim in a moment of self discovery, “I think I’m a deviant too!” In my book, of course, this is a positive thing.

One of the themes that recurs as I write about my somewhat fantastical 1950s lesbian community, is the sense of same-sex attraction turning people into outlaws in the pre-stonewall era, and how what is “normal” and legal gets constantly redefined over the years. Yesterday’s crime is today’s wedding (and perhaps tomorrow an illegal activity again). In Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary, it was fun to tease out the parallels to other activities of that era that were once universally considered shocking and forbidden, and no longer are (pot smoking, interracial dating, even communism). These topics also place Lois squarely in the tradition of the pulp novel, a genre I love, and hope I honor with Lois.

At the end of the day, if there was one thing you wanted your readers to remember in regards to homosexuality, what would that thing be?

As a founding member of the anti-oversimplification society, it is, alas, impossible for me to reduce my tale of these fun-lovin’ lesbians to one take-away nugget on the topic of lesbian life. Ideally I want my readers to be left entertained and stimulated (intellectually, of course). Seriously, in our society, where people experience being gay in a whole spectrum of ways (from “I don’t know any gay people, which is good because it’s a sin” to “All my friends sleep with each people not genders, we don’t think in terms of those old fashioned definitions”) what readers get from the book will differ wildly based on where they are in their own evolving understanding of what it means to be gay.

What attracted me to the pre-stonewall period that is the book’s setting, is that despite the repression and prejudice, gays and lesbians were still finding each other and managing to have some good times. Don’t misunderstand—I’m not saying the 50s were all fun and games for the queer community. However something a panelist said at a presentation on gay and lesbian history has always stuck with me (the nugget I took away, if you like). She said what she was most struck by in the interviews she was doing with people who lived through that period was that they had such positive memories—that they were actually having a really good time during those dark days, when the media mostly portrayed their lives as miserable and lonely. That contradiction is something I explore and exploit in my books.

December 17, 2008

What Inspires YOU to Write?

Come check me out at BLOGGING IN BLACK [LINK] today for my short reflection piece, WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?

Recently, I was interviewed by my publisher, Lady Leo Publishing, and in the interview, I was asked, “Who/what inspired you to write?” My response was three-fold - life inspires me to write; what I fear inspires me to write; what I don't know inspires me to write.

@ BiB today, I go into a bit of detail as I talk about each of these three inspirations.

To read my piece, head to Blogging in Black [] and LEAVE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS!

December 16, 2008

Honest Scrap Award

Recently, I've received a pretty cool gift from Helen H. David {Ink in My Sweet Tea} for this blog - All the Blog's a Page. I'm giving big shout outs and love to Helen for honoring my blog; it means a lot to me, :-) Here's a pic of my lovely award...

Now, in order to receive this blogging award, a recipient must...

1. List 10 honest things about him/herself (make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!)
2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers (I hope I don't pass it to someone who already has it!)


1. I believe in love, but I'm not sure it's for me.

2. In the 9th grade, I threw up on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

3. I like the taste of lined school paper - regular, not college-ruled.

4. I'm nowhere near where I really want to be in my life.

5. As much as people gravitate toward me, wanting me to comfort them, I prefer to be alone.

6. I speak in tongues.

7. I have an innate, obsessive need to please.

8. The current novel I've been working on has been shelved because my life changed and I'm a little angry with the story now.

9. Sometimes, I wish I didn't love to write.

10. A lot of the time, I don't feel appreciated for any of the things I do.

There are MANY blogs that I travel to, and the seven below are ones that I enjoy beyond measure because the blog authors share their knowledge with full honesty, wit, and talent. You'll find seven more..just like my official author blog {}.

1. Meglyn @ From My Perspective

2. Suyen @ Just Like a Novel

3. Whitney McKim @ Lost & Found

4. Linda Jo Martin @ Perspectives on Writing

5. YA Edge @ YA Edge

6. Heather @ Bashful Muse

7. Annette Fix @ Annette's Paper Trail

Bloggers - do me proud!

December 15, 2008

Homosexuality & Writing: Lee Hayes, Editor of Flesh to Flesh

The Author

Lee Hayes is the bestselling author of the novels Passion Marks and A Deeper Blue: Passion Marks II and The Messiah. On May 20, 2008, Mr. Hayes released his fourth book, an anthology of gay erotic short stories entitled Flesh to Flesh.

Mr. Hayes is a southern native, born and raised in Tyler, Texas, a small town approximately ninety miles east of Dallas. He graduated from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. In the summer of 2005, Mr. Hayes completed his graduate studies and received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York.

Mr. Hayes understands and truly believes in the exceptional and profound power of words to delight, to heal, to entertain as well as to elicit change in lives of readers. It is his sincere hope that by reading his words that people will come to understand that actions yield real consequences which will affect their lives for better or for worse. He hopes that we all choose wisely. He also hopes that readers realize the innate value of their existence and that they dare dream to become more than they ever thought possible.

Mr. Hayes currently resides in Washington, D.C., where he is busy working to complete his third novel, as well as an anthology of erotic stories focusing on the unique lives of gay African-American men. He can be reached via e-mail at: or via his website at or

Mr. Hayes was the 2004 winner of National Black Book Awards for the Urban Spectrum Newspaper in Denver for Passion Marks and was a finalist in literature for the Clik Magazine Elite 25 Honors held in Atlanta on November 25, 2006.

The Book

“I can’t tell you what he looks like, neither can he describe me, but we will be written in history as blind lovers forever to be...”

Maurice Murrell, Flesh to Flesh Cover Model

Erotic is defined as arousing, or designed to arouse, feelings of sexual desire. In his latest effort, Lee Hayes, the award-winning and highly-acclaimed author of Passion Marks and the thriller The Messiah, steps out of the box and adds to his writing credentials as editor of the highly anticipated erotic anthology Flesh to Flesh, released on the Simon and Schuster imprint, Strebor Books International. Taking a page from Strebor International’s founder and New York Times bestselling author Zane, Hayes picks up the torch and provides an electrically charged and unapologetic look into the sexual lives of gay men—a world once considered taboo and forbidden.

Hayes has assembled a virtual “who’s who” in gay literature, including teacher and performance artist Tim’m West (Red Dirt Revival: A Poetic Memoir in Six Breaths & Flirting) and the ever prolific L.M. Ross (Manhood: The Longest Moan and The Moanin’ After). Flesh to Flesh also offers scintillating tales of love and passion from up and coming voices of gay writers, including Rodney Lofton (The Day I Stopped Being Pretty) and Dayne Avery (I Wrote This Song). The lives of gay men are presented in a rare, totally honest view of their pursuits of passion, unbridled love and candle-dripping lust.

Poet and Flesh to Flesh cover model Maurice Murrell sets the tone with his thought provoking "I Can’t Tell You What He Looked Like" and the excitement grows from there. The hot and yet heartbreaking, "Pretty in the Hood" by Fred Towers offers depth, passion and pain while the title story by Lee Hayes brings sexy back with familiar characters from his previous novels. Flesh to Flesh has something for everyone: passion, power, heat and heart.

Through this peep hole into the lives of men who have sex with men, Flesh to Flesh will titillate, excite and make you squeal with delight! These raw and gritty stories seethe with passion and desire, love and lust, sensuality and sexuality all in time for the sultry days and nights of summer.

Click the cover above to order FLESH TO FLESH today!


How have your works been received by readers of all orientations?

In general, my books have been received surprisingly well by people from all walks of life. One of the things that I try to do is try to create whole and fatally flawed characters, just like in real life. I don’t focus on sexuality as an aberration; my characters aren’t struggling with their sexual orientation, they know who they are and their homosexuality is just a part of their lives. So, when you create real people with real issues that folks can relate and connect to, then the reader usually gets caught up in the lives of the characters, not just their sexuality.

In Passion Marks, my first novel, I deal explicitly and graphically with domestic violence; in my book, the violence takes place within the context of an affluent, African-American male couple, which is far from the stereotypes surrounding abuse. The theme of domestic violence is universal and people can relate to it because they’ve heard of it, seen it in their own homes or, unfortunately, they’ve experienced it. Domestic violence does not discriminate and there is no demographic group that is immune or exempt from it, not even gay men and lesbians. Passion Marks is an in-depth exploration of what it feels like to live in an abusive relationship and people, through their own personal pain, connect with this book because its themes are boundless and the story itself feels very real.

In the stories you have written and are planning to write, what ideas and themes do you see reoccurring that shed light on homosexuality?

I am so into the idea that we—all of us—are far more alike than we are different. Gay people have the same hopes, dreams, pain, love and desire as straight people. So, as I write, I write about whole people, not caricatures in which sexuality is exploitative or gratuitous. I live in the hope that as we evolve as a country and as a world, sexuality will be less and less important. Clearly, in a perfect world, no social evolution would be needed because we’d accept everyone as equal, for who they are. That day is elusive, yet I believe it is within our destiny.

Also, one of the things that creates a divide between people about homosexuality is religion. I’ve spoken about gays and the black church in A Deeper Blue and The Messiah. In A Deeper Blue, there is a scene that takes place in a church where a renowned preacher is giving a fire and brimstone condemnation of homosexuality and is challenged, at last, by someone from the congregation, Kevin Davis and Danea Charles. Kevin speaks to the pastor about spreading hate and how venomous words fill the heart of people with contempt and loathing. At some point, he says these good Christians need a lesson about what it means to be a good Christian. Christianity, the way Christ taught it, was not about judging and condemning your fellow man. It was about love and acceptance and the church these days, insofar as homosexuality is concerned, does a grievous disservice to Christianity, gay and straight people, by building this animosity within its hallowed walls.

As a gay man, I understand people will have varying opinions of homosexuality and that their religion may teach them that it is wrong. I’m perfectly okay with people disagreeing—that’s what this country and life is about; however, I am not okay with people telling me that because I am gay that I am “less than” and that I don’t deserve the same civil rights as straight people. That’s some bullshit. I and other gay people pay the same taxes and live under a banner in a country that proudly says, “equal protection under the law” but gay people, in innumerable ways, are denied equal protection. In well over 30 states a person can be fired from their job simply because they are gay. My boss could walk into the room and say, “I found out you’re gay. You’re fired” and there is no recourse because there are no laws protecting gay people from employment or housing discrimination in many places. Tell me, what is equal about that?

At the end of the day, if there was one thing you wanted your readers to remember in regards to homosexuality, what would that thing be?

Again, that we are far more alike than we are different. We are your sons and daughters; your brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers. We are a part of this American tapestry and we deserve, by virtue of the fact that we are here, equal rights—not special rights—but equal rights.

I also want the church and Christian people to know that, as in my book The Messiah, you create monsters when you spew hate. Words have power and there are so many children who commit suicide because they are told they are going to hell because they have feelings that are natural to them, but yet is condemned with such weight by folks who have no business judging. I want the church and Christian people to know that they give tacit permission for horrific gay-bashings all across the nation in which gay men and women are beaten with bricks, stomped to death or beaten and tied to fences in the middle of a deserted field by creating an atmosphere in which gay people are treated as “other” or “those people.” I want the church and Christian people to know that you can disagree with homosexuality without being hateful and without filling our children with so much dread and fear that they only way they can see out of the pain is through suicide. Lastly, I want Christians to always know that their words have power. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

December 8, 2008

Homosexuality & Writing: Eternity Philops, Author of Visions of a Cryptic Mystery

The Author

Eternity Philops is a born-and-bred native of North Carolina. Birthed in Winston-Salem in 1983, she was raised in the capital city of Raleigh and earned her B.A. degree in the dual fields of psychology and sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has also completed graduate work in the area of conflict resolution. In addition to becoming an accomplished author, Philops’ ultimate professional goal is to become a counselor, aiding individuals in the understanding of balance between sexuality and spirituality.

Since 2004 she has been a contributing writer to SABLE Magazine, an online periodical focused on matters concerning lesbians of color. In 2006 Philops joined the staff of The NUBIANO Project, an online news source catering to the Black community. But opinion pieces are not Philops’ only forte. Under the former pen name of maLana t., she has had her poetry and short stories featured in a number of publications. Her signature poem, “Attraction”, was featured on the lesbian erotica site, Kuma, in 2006. In the December 2005 issue of Gay Black Female Magazine, readers were treated to “Other Side of the Moon”, a short story exploring the road not traveled between two lifelong friends. Always seeking to share her lyrical creations, Philops’ goal as a writer is to add her perspective to the growing genre of Black lesbian fiction. A fresh and unique voice, Philops hopes to one day establish her original writing style into her own well-known oeuvre.

Eternity can be found @ several spots online, to include her website and her MySpace page, and the following online stores: Fledgeling Foto // Defined by Faith // Buy This Stuff

The Book

VISIONS OF A CRYPTIC MYSTERY: VOLUME ONE is Eternity Philops' first accomplished collection. A debut of her unique writing style and talent, VISIONS showcases a diverse compendium of poetry and short stories born to Philops' over an extensive period of time.

Divided into concentrated segments, Philops' literary assemblage encompasses works expressing love, life, and loss. Each piece is a real world reflection of the Black lesbian experience: feel the intense sensations of a woman's divergent physical attraction; look on as two lifelong friends reflect on the path not taken. Submerge yourself in the poetic prose of unconditional love, unfortunate loss, and all that's inbetween.

VISIONS VOL. ONE will take readers on a journey that delves into their own emotions and passions. From the sexual to the spiritual, Philops' creative imagery and metaphoric verse brings to life one's own imaginative and emotional senses.

Click the cover above to order VISIONS OF A CRYPTIC MYSTERY: VOLUME ONE today!


How have your works been received by readers of all orientations?
The response to my book has been overwhelmingly positive, from readers and reviewers, straight and gay. Though I dedicated it to Black lesbians, the raw emotion behind the poetry and short stories is familiar to anyone. I also like to think that my unique writing talent attracts readers. I try to be different, to stand out among other writers with my style.

Even in cases of disagreement on the issue of homosexuality itself I have still had a positive experience. There was an instance where I submitted myself and my work for review. The reviewer was unfamiliar with the content or my orientation, and upon finding out, he actually considered passing over me because I am gay. In the end he decided that exposing writers was far more important than his personal views, which I of course agreed with completely. The experience was an encouraging one in that this person did not let his personal prejudices cloud his opinion of me as an author. Too often it happens the other way around.

In the stories you have written and are planning to write, what ideas and themes do you see reoccurring that shed light on homosexuality?
My main goal is to show others how individuals who are gay are just regular people. We live and love just like heterosexuals, and yet are labeled perverse for no intelligent reason. In my book, my poetry is heart-felt and true. They reflect the passions of the soul, feelings of joy and pain, love and hate; they are of the quintessential human experience that any person would be able to relate to.

The lover in the poem “Cosmic Intimacy” declares,

My passion for you burns hotter
than the fires of Mercury
A flame that will never be extinguished

Come soar with me
Be my love
The heavens our open road to dreams unknown
Let us explore our eternity together

On the opposite end, a heart-broken devotee laments,

Gruesome Love, thou art pain
When left to consume mine heart untamed
When left to flourish and to swell
Thou makest mine heart insane!

These feelings are not unique to lesbians, or even to women, but are shared by anyone who has ever experienced the thrill and loss of love.

Like my poetry, my short stories, while lesbian-themed, revolve around both personal and real life issues. In terms of the personal, a character may simply find herself attracted to a woman for the first time, which is the case in “Almost First Kiss”; or, as displayed in “Other Side of the Moon”, characters experience the heart break of losing the possibility of love. Such occurrences are simply events of life, and are not exclusive to just homosexuals.

My characters deal with not only their own problems, but those brought to them by society. Often these issues involve their sexuality, whether or not the characters themselves make it an issue. For instance, in my short story “An Affirmative Action”, Lena is a successful career-driven lawyer who has neither hidden nor broadcast her sexuality in her workplace, simply because it’s not a concern for her. That is, until she learns she’s getting a promotion and that the firm’s founder is a bit “conservative”. So now she has to decide whether to hide that part of herself to further her career, or be true to herself and her mate. Such a dilemma isn’t typically faced by heterosexuals, which illustrates how even the smallest decision on whether or not to bring a long-time lover to a workplace function can have dire consequences for the gay individual.

At the end of the day, if there was one thing you wanted your readers to remember in regards to homosexuality, what would that thing be?
I want others to remember that being gay does not determine who a person is. It’s not just straight people, but also gay individuals who believe that homosexuality determines who we are and how we act. The simple matter is that we are all individuals with our own idiosyncrasies. Our actions are based upon our personal values and our character, neither of which have anything to do with sexuality. Lastly, I want others to think about the term “gay lifestyle”, and decide if it really and truly exists. After all, is there a “straight lifestyle”?




I tasted love
slid thee around on my tongue
drowned mine senses
and savored thy sweetness
I supped from the grail
of thy fragrant element
and soon
allured by thy zest
wantonly quaffed thy silky ingredient
I relished love
I consumed thy pith
into my being
melted our bloods
and infused thy spirit upon my soul
Reborn is mine heart
from moral darkness into decadent light
and surveilled by the wraith of death
for thou hast an obscure portion
a seraphic venom
an unholy anodyne
I tasted love
and was poisoned

© Eternity Philops

December 1, 2008

Homosexuality & Writing: J.M. Snyder, Author of The Positions of Love

The Author

An author of gay erotic and romantic fiction, J.M. Snyder began in self-publishing and now works with e-publishers Amber Allure, Aspen Mountain, and Torquere Presses. Snyder’s short fiction has appeared online at Ruthie’s Club, Tit-Elation, and Amazon Shorts, as well as in print anthologies by Alyson Books and Cleis Press.

Want to learn more about J.M.? Check him out at his official site // Vic and Matt Fan Site // blog // Yahoo! Group!

The Book

Vic Braunson is a city bus driver who falls in love with Matt diLorenzo, a swimmer he meets at the gym. When they finally hook up, there's no denying the energy between them. Something about Matt brings out the best in Vic—literally. Every time they have sex, Vic gains new superhuman powers from his lover.

When Matt gives Vic a copy of the Kama Sutra for Gay Men as a Christmas gift, they find it doubles as a handy reference guide to Vic's super powers. All they have to do is test out the positions to see which one gives him what ability.

This paperback collection contains all twelve stories in J.M. Snyder's best-selling e-book series, The Positions of Love, and will be available in print December 2008.

Click the cover above to order THE POSITIONS OF LOVE today!


How have your works been received by readers of all orientations?
I’ve found a great response among people of all orientations, particularly those who write themselves. Writers tend to gravitate toward other writers and connect over a shared craft, regardless of genre. Still, gay fiction (and, in particular, gay erotic romance or romantic fiction) is mostly purchased by straight women and gay men, so this is the demographic to whom I market my books. The majority of my electronic sales are to straight women, usually mothers, who read romance in general and have a rabid interest in M/M or “male/male” storylines. However, my print books sell more to gay men, and I target the marketing to independent GLBT bookstores who are more likely to carry my titles than the large conglomerate stores such as Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble.

In the stories you have written and are planning to write, what ideas and themes do you see reoccurring that shed light on homosexuality?
In my stories, I don’t treat homosexuality as “other” or “abnormal.” So many books out there make a big deal about a character’s homosexuality, either through denial or confusion, and I hate the stories where an otherwise straight man is “gay” for his best friend. That’s just silly to me. My characters are queer and they know it; there is no wavering over whether or not they like another man, no morality or judgment involved, nothing of the sort. My characters embrace their sexuality and don’t go out of their way to change it or deny it. They celebrate it, and I like to think that readers come away from my stories with a sense of embracing every part of oneself.

Additionally, I like to portray my characters’ relationships in a positive, domestic light. I think that’s why my work appeals to gay men so much, because I show them a world where their sexuality is the norm—where two men can share a meal or a movie or a life together in domestic bliss usually reserved for heterosexual couples.

At the end of the day, if there was one thing you wanted your readers to remember in regards to homosexuality, what would that thing be?
I like to believe that one day we’ll move toward acceptance of love in all its many facets, and we can only get there by breaking down the preconceived prejudices we’ve been taught to harbor. I hope my writing helps show that gay relationships are the norm and not an “alternative lifestyle” as they’re so frequently labeled.