Friday, August 26, 2011

Interview with the Esteemed Andrew Grey!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All my guests are special, but every once in a while, we are graced with the presence of a very esteemed author. Today, it is none other than Mr. Andrew Grey, a personal favorite of mine. His books have made countless bestsellers' lists all on the major retailers. I've also read quite a few of his books, my favorite being the Love Means series. Without further ado, I give you, Andrew Grey!

1.  How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings.    
 I joined a gym to lose weight after I turned 40 and needed something read while I was on the treadmill.  I picked up gay romantic fiction and after a while, I decided to try writing it.  I was hooked and I haven’t stopped writing since.  My partner says I’m obsessed, I say I’m dedicated.  But after 25 novels and other shorter works, I’m starting to think he’s right.

(Nathan: lol...maybe you're both). 

2   What inspires you?  
 I get inspired by almost anything around me.  I have been inspired by works of art, people I meet, a television program,  even a news article.  Once I was on a tour boat on Lake George and I got the idea for a story while watching the expensive lake homes drift past.  By the end of the tour, most of Accompanied by a Waltz had come to me.  In my stories I also use a lot of my own experiences.  I also tend to use the stories my family tells me.  Unfortunately, they’ve now stopped telling me their good stories because they’re afraid I’ll use them.

(Nathan: Me too. Real life inspires me a great deal. I'm also inspired by song lyrics.)

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? 
I hope to entertain and get an emotional response from my reader.  With each story I like to make the reader laugh, cry, and excited.  If I’ve done all three of those, then I feel I’ve succeeded.  The best thing of all for me is when I get notes from readers telling me that they connected with my characters and want to know more.  

(Nathan: Exactly! As authors, when we've made a difference, then we know that we can feel proud at the end of the day). 

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why? 
 I like Love Means… No Boundaries the most.  Robbie is my favorite character of all time.  He’s blind and yet he can ‘see’ better than most people .  He’s also had to overcome a great deal simply to get along in the world and yet he’s kind, caring, and extremely generous.

(Nathan: I agree. That one is my favorite too. I couldn't help but feel touched at the end). 

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?   

 That I hope each and every one of them is as happy in their relationships as any of my characters.  I write what I do because there is plenty of sadness in the real world and we all deserve a happy ending when it comes to love.

Andrew's latest novel is Personal Training of the Work Out series, available here.

Andrew's books can be found at

We will now open up the floor to questions from readers, fans and other writers.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Interview with Lily Sawyer

 My friends, I have the pleasure of interviewing the esteemed author, Lily Sawyer.

1- How did you start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings.
I began writing fan fiction, my first story was in the Star Trek universe.  Then I wrote in another fandom. In 2006, I watched Brokeback Mountain and a whole new world opened up for me.  I began writing gay romance stories in the BBM fandom.  Several writers in that fandom started writing original stories and I decided to try my hand at it too.

2- What inspires you?
I'm a romantic at heart, I get inspired by other writers, some movies I've watched and people I know in real life.

(Nathan: Me too).

3- What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?I support gay rights and I hope, through my writing,  I will send a message that one of the most important things you can do in this life is to love someone and it should not matter who that person is or what gender they are.  Straight or gay doesn't matter.

(Nathan: I absolutely agree. Looks like we have a lot in common).

4- If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?

I like all of my books, but if I have to choose a favorite I'd have to pick "Catch of the Day"   I never thought I'd write a fantasy story.  My merman was born out of my love of the water.  I wanted to create a creature and Jaran was born.  "I'd have to say I am also rather proud of my latest release "Somebody to Love." It takes place on Long Island (where I was born and raised). 

5- If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
I think every writer needs some encouragement and feedback from readers. I'd like to thank all my readers/fans for reading my stories and for taking the time to comment.

My blog:

Here is an excerpt from "Somebody to Love."

Somebody to Love-by Lily Sawyer

Available from Secret Cravings


Sam Warner is busy working in his flower shop creating beautiful
arrangements to celebrate all the happy moments in his customer's lives. He only wished
he had something joyful to celebrate.

He was in a relationship until the day he came home to an empty apartment
and a 'Dear John' letter. Hurt and alone he decides he doesn't want to be in
another relationship ever again. But fate has stepped in and he meets Matt
Doyle, the bartender at a local bar.

Can Sam give love a second chance?


The Corner Pub was crowded for a Thursday night and several large TV sets
were tuned to baseball games. Sam Warner loved baseball. He decided to take a
break from his flower store up the street and wandered in. Settling into one of
the comfortable seats to watch the game, he couldn't help notice a dark haired
man tending bar. He wore a black t-shirt with the bar's name emblazoned onto the
front. He must be a new guy because Sam didn't remember seeing him before.

One of the other patrons sidled up to the bar and asked, "Hey, Matt, give me
another beer, will you?"

Matt, so that's his name, Sam thought not able to keep his eyes off him.
Something about him made Sam want to go over and say hello. He needed a refill,
and seeing that as an opportunity to speak with him, he got up and wandered
slowly over to the bar.

"Come on, hit a home run!" A burly guy was screaming at the screen jumped up
just as Sam arrived at the bar, and his beer landed all over the front of Sam's
green polo shirt.

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry." The man grabbed some napkins and dabbed the beer.
"Let me buy you a drink."

"It's okay." Sam smiled reassuringly, and the guy disappeared back into the
crowd. He looked over at the bartender. He could tell Matt was trying to hide an
amused smile as he offered him a roll of paper towels.

"Here, use some club soda." He handed Sam a glass filled with the bubbly
After getting most of the stain out, Sam put the wad of paper towels on the
bar counter.
The bartender threw them into the trash, leaned over and said, "I'm Matt
Doyle," and held out his hand.

Sam accepted and looked down at their clasped hands, his blond hair falling
down, partially covering his eyes. Sam's brown eyes looked back up into Matt's
blue ones.
"Mine's Sam Warner." He managed to get out without embarrassing himself. He
could feel his palms sweat. Something about being near Matt made him nervous.

"Pleased to meet you Sam," Matt took a glass and poured some beer from the
tap and placed it on the counter in front of him.

Sam looked up and smiled. "You must be new. I've never seen you before."

Something was going on between them, and Sam hoped it wasn't wishful
thinking. Not that long ago he'd been in a serious four-year relationship that
had ended badly. Ever since then he'd been reluctant to date again.

"Yeah, I just started a week ago. I used to work at Daffy's over on Second
"I've never been there."

"You're not missing much. The drinks are watered down, and the pay was
lousy." Matt restocked the shelves behind the counter. "So you're a baseball

"Oh, yeah been a fan ever since my dad took me to a game when I was seven
years old." He didn't know why he was telling this man his life story. Maybe
what they said about bartenders being like your father confessor was true. Matt
certainly was not only easy to talk to, he was easy on the eyes as well.

"Who do you like?"

"Don't laugh but I like the Mets."

"Those guys? So you like routing for the underdog." Matt chuckled.

"Hey, what can I say? My dad got me hooked on them, couldn't stop telling me
enough about when they'd won the World Series." Sam gazed at Matt over the rim
of his glass.

"I'm not knocking it. I think rooting for the underdog is admirable." Matt's
smile lit up the room, and it made Sam's heart skip a few beats.

"Really?" Sam asked shyly.

Matt smiled back. "Sure is."

Sam noticed how late it was. He decided not to stay to watch the end of the
game. He needed a good night's sleep to start filling more flower orders in the
morning. "Well, I better get going."

"So soon?" Matt sounded disappointed. "It was nice meeting you, Sam."

"Same here." He turned around and walked toward the door but stopped when he
heard Matt's voice.

"Hey, there's a game here on Sunday afternoon. Think you can make it?" Matt
told him.

"Nah, I'm busy, but maybe sometime next week?" Sam was reluctant to tell
Matt he was a florist. He didn't want Matt to think he was less of a man because
of his choice of jobs.

"I'll catch you another time." Matt said .

"I'll be back," Sam walked back to the bar and leaned in close to Matt and
met the blue eyes with his own. "Count on it."

"Night, Sam."

Sam felt Matt's eyes on him as he left. He left the bar feeling better than
when he'd gone in. He wasn't sure if this was going to turn into anything, but
he wasn't going to close the door on that possibility.

Lily's books are available on

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Interview with Jade Archer!

It's my pleasure to introduce my good friend, Jade Archer, author of numerous bestsellers.

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings. After a few years of reading gay romance and erotica and dabbling on the side with a couple of stories purely for my own enjoyment, I met a friend online who was doing the same thing. We started to exchange stories and finally egged each other on to submit a couple to publishers. The rest, as they say, is history. Now I’m steadily working my way through all the ideas in my head and desperately trying to keep the plot bunnies at bay! :D

2. What inspires you?
Anything and everything. Movies, books, music, a chat with friends, seeing people on the street and wondering what their story is. Life is a constant inspiration.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
On a personal level, I want to improve my craft and skills with every manuscript. I’ve written for many, many years, but the experience of writing for publication has definitely helped me become better at it. Beyond that, I hope my stories challenge people to think and consider different points of view and possibilities. I hope people enjoy my stories for the sheer pleasure of reading about other people and worlds.

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
Well, that’s a bit like choosing your favorite child! I like each of the various stories I’ve written for different reasons. Each addressed something I needed to write about at the time. At the moment, the story that I have the most personal investment in would be Raven’s Mark, book two of the Sandpipers series. It took me over six months to write, working six hours or so a day and it’s not over yet. It’s been contracted with Total-E-Bound for release early 2012, but there are still edits and re-writes and a whole process of refinement to go through yet. Apart from being my longest piece so far, I really enjoyed working with the characters and the issues they have to deal with to reach their HEA. Mark is a perfectionist and people pleaser, and Raven is a sole parent, struggling to overcome acute shyness and stuttering. They were wonderful characters to explore and they taught me a little something about myself and significant people in my life.

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?

Don’t let anyone dictate your passion! ;D

Jade's books are available on Amazon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Interview with Scarlet Blackwell

For my interview this week, I'd like to present Amazon bestselling author, Scarlet Blackwell.

 1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? 
The predictable answer is that I used to write fan fiction. I'd been writing straight romance a long time and had written 3 novels, 2 of which were rejected by publishers. After that, I got into slash fanfic somewhere down the line after reading some made me intrigued to see if I could do it too. After a few years, I became dissatisfied. I had quite a big following and felt somewhat like a big fish in a little pond, so I decided to try my hand at swapping it to be a small fish in a big pond. I didn't think I'd ever make any money from it.

2. What inspires you?
Films, TV, music, real life. The inspiration for Beached Hearts came from a documentary on the Discovery channel for example. Secondhand Heart came about due to my firm belief in organ donation. For many of my other books, I can't even remember how I thought of them, but random ideas pop into my head all the time. Sometimes I think of an interesting location to set a story first, or a job one of my characters might have.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
My aim is to quit my day job and write full time.

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?

It's a hard decision to make but I'd say Rescue Me. It has a real, heartless bastard of a character that you love to hate but who finds his redemption at the end with the man he loves.

(Nathan: I love stories like this. Redemption character studies are very interesting to me).

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
I write dark, flawed characters and often explore controversial topics. If you're looking for sugar and spice, you won't find it with me. If you like me, please spread the word. If you don't, leave me a one star review on goodreads. I'm going to collect them all and publish them in a book: "My shit reviews" by Scarlet Blackwell.

(Nathan: a fellow author, I can relate. I too have had my share of bad reviews. People can be really hurtful sometimes). 

Nathan: Scarlet's new novel, Snowbound, is available on Aug. 6, 2011.

Scarlet's books are available on

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Interview with Lambda-Award Winner Erik Orrantia

I am very proud to present an interview with Lambda-Award Winner Erik Orrantia. Some of you may not know but the Lamda Award is the most prestigious literary award in gay fiction. Erik won in 2010 for his novel Normal Miguel, in the category of Gay Romance. I have read the novel and highly recommend it.

Here's Erik!

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica?
Hi Nathan. First of all, let me thank you for the opportunity to share. You’re an incredibly successful author and I look forward to reading all of your work (alone and with a box of tissues nearby). 

(Nathan: Thank you, Erik. That means a lot coming from an Award Winner such as yourself.)

As far back as I can remember in school, my English teachers lauded my writing. Back then, I found putting thoughts on paper as easy as expressing them verbally. Now the challenge is to always improve my writing by adding style, clarity, and depth. Despite my early success, I never had any major writing ambitions...until I studied for a year in Mexico. The goal that year (1997) was to earn a bilingual teaching credential, but a multitude of unexpected discoveries in that country also flipped a switch inside me. My eyes were opened to a new world and to my own blatant ignorance about a country so close to the United States yet so unfamiliar. I thought there was a story to tell.

Now, I haven’t written a book you would strictly call erotica, though I won’t rule it out for the future. I like erotica as much as the next guy in the (sex) club. I do, however, include sex and sexuality in my writing as I deem fit. Let me put it this way: I think sex is an important part of life and has its uncensored place in the real telling of the human condition. My first book, Normal Miguel (Cheyenne Publishing, 2010), the Lambda Literary Award winner for gay romance in 2010, is the story of Miguel, a gay teacher who performs a year of student-teaching in the rural hills of Puebla. As he discovers the nuances of his career, he also learns to balance his professional life with his personal one, including clandestine flings with a few locals and, finally, a more steady relationship with the candy store owner. 

The theme of my most recent release, The Equinox Convergence (Etopia Press, 2011), reveals other sides of Mexico—the primitive yet spiritual life of the indigenous tribes, and the brutally violent world of drug trafficking in which decent, usually likeable people become ensnared. Though the sexual content in this novel is minimal, those looking for it will not be disappointed by Taxi Rojo, the story of a handful of gays living in the turbulent border city of Tijuana. This one is scheduled for release in February of 2012 by Cheyenne Publishing.

2. What inspires you?
If you’ve read any of the blog posts on my website (, you’ll have a more thorough understanding of my inspiration. Of course, I’ve been inspired by every author I’ve ever read, including John Steinbeck, Amy Tan, Victor Banis (a gay literary legend), and even the rags-to-riches J.K. Rowling. It’s impossible to name them all—everyone has a unique style, something to share, and something to teach.
In addition to the world of amazing writers out there, I’m also inspired by the unintended lessons the people and things around me constantly and unwittingly teach: the eternally jubilant vendor of chile-laced suckers and Chiclets on the street corner, my boisterous and streetwise mother-in-law, the solemnity of a graveyard, the plight of a one-legged seagull. Somehow I think that the true wisdom of the universe is paradoxically both simple and easily forgotten. We’re constantly sent reminders; whether or not we listen to them is another issue altogether. Those reminders I choose to listen to also end up inspiring me.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I hope to get rich. (Just kidding—if the average reader knew what my colleagues and I make on book sales, we’d surely earn their sympathy.) So, until that happens, I hope more than anything to impart a story, share a discovery, make someone laugh and cry, impact thought and emotion, and maybe even inspire somebody. I had always held a deep respect for multilingual folks and published authors. Then someone told me, “The people you respect are the people you wish to emulate.” Well, now I’m a bilingual, published author. (Guess I’ll need to recalibrate my sights.)

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
Ouch...that’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child. (It’s usually the gay one, of course.) Though I truly love both Normal Miguel and the upcoming Taxi Rojo, I think that The Equinox Convergence deserves much more attention than it’s been given. Each of the novels deals with such different aspects of humanity and Mexico. The Equinox Convergence touches on themes so sensationalized in the media but rarely reported to profundity. The story is both suspenseful and culturally illuminating. Beyond simple headlines, it takes a reader to the gory reality of the drug trade and the insightful, earthly practices of the modern-day indigenous. I think it’s a good read.

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
In a recent post (“Seeing Past the Blur”) on my website, I included one of my favorite quotes from John Marin: “I would suggest that sometime you take your two eyes along with you and leave your intellect at home.” To me, I try to keep this in mind in my life as an author but also as just some guy. There is so much to notice, both good and bad, that we often pass by without seeing. Take a walk, look at something from a different angle, try a new genre, read a different author, open up your senses.
And one little thing specifically about literature: the world of communication is so much different these days. Almost every author you read is just a click away. We love to hear from readers, we appreciate comments and suggestions, we like to know you enjoyed something, we’re happy to explain things that might be confusing, we want to write better. Communicate with us, write reviews, check out websites, share our names with someone you know, meet us. Authors love to write and we also love to interact with the world outside our computer rooms.
End of Interview.
Nathan: Erik Orrantia, everyone!

Erik's books are available on Amazon, among other places. 

Now, for the Q & A session.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interview with Lynn Lorenz

Dear Readers and Writers,

I'm happy to announce that I'll be doing a series of interviews with some of your favorite mm romance, gay fiction and gay erotica authors.Every week, a new interview will be posted.

Our first guest is an excellent author of mm romance.
I'm very delighted to welcome the Amazon-Bestselling Author of Bayou Dreams, among other notable titles, Lynn Lorenz!

Now, without further ado, I give you Lynn!

Lynn: First Nathan, let me say thanks for asking me to chat with you on your blog. As authors of a small but growing genre, we have to stick together (I won’t mention with what we’re doing all this sticking, but I’m going to need a wet wipe) and support each other. (in one of those sexy little black jock strappy thingys, maybe?)

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings.
I like to categorize what I write as gay erotic romance. It’s funny how just the placement of a word or two can set something apart. For me, the romance is the most important part of the story, and then the erotic comes second. (Or sometimes it comes first…no, wait, that’s the readers…my bad.) So, I look at it like this…if you have an erotic romance and you pull the erotic elements of it out, you’d still be left with a romance. If you pull the romance out and the sex stands on it’s own, you’ve got erotica. Put them together…erotic romance!! And for me, that means a HEA (happily ever after) for my characters. That’s really important to me, especially writing gay romance, because for too long gay characters never had HEA’s. And, as one of my taglines says…everyone deserves a Happily Ever After.

As for my background…I grew up in New Orleans, (N’awlins for those who speak the language) and spent a lot of my youth in the French Quarter, so I’ve sort of always had gay men and women in and around my life. But my first truly personal experience, (no, no, not THAT kind of experience) was with a gay guy who was my best friend in high school. He was gay. Very gay. And he suffered all the crap you can imagine a gay kid would in the early 1970’s, and he survived it. He was funny, damn, probably the funniest person I knew, smart, sweet, and had skin like dark chocolate. I adored him. But after high school I went to college and he went…I have no idea. We lost touch. It happens. 

Then in my third year of college, my mom showed me a newspaper article (yeah, people read real newspapers back in the Cretaceous) and said, “Isn’t that the name of your friend from high school?” It was. The article was about a young gay man found murdered in a hotel room. He’d been stabbed multiple times. (as far as I know, his killer was never found) I can tell you that my heart broke and I cried over losing him –over his loss to the world. I’d lost touch with him, but had never lost him from my heart.

(Nathan: That's terrible. My heart goes out to you and him.)

While I was in college, I had gay boyfriends (yes, I was a beard, I like to think a really hot looking Van Dyke) and gay good friends who didn’t come out until they met someone and wanted to share their love with me and our mutual friends. One of those has been with the same man, through ups and downs, for almost 30 yrs.

Now I have gay friends, some in committed relationships, some not, some who are my age or older and have only come out after their kids were grown and have grandchildren. I belong to my company’s pride organization as a straight supporter.

I have two teenagers and I and my husband tell them if they fall in love with someone of the same sex, we will love and support them no matter what. They groan and roll their eyes, cuz that’s skating close to talking about “sex” with mom and dad and how gross is that, but we want them to know, as parents, we love them unconditionally. My son, who has Asperger’s, has been bullied, asked if he was gay, had sexually explicit things suggested to him, and thankfully, his school has done what it can to stop it. (he’s not gay, but it seems this it’s the age-old bullying fall back jeer for someone who’s different. (Bullies make up for their lack of imagination with their stupidity.)

So I write gay romance, because I believe in my heart that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want that for all my friends, my kids, even for the bullies of this world, and for everyone else out there.  Like world peace. And that’s why I want to be Miss America…oh wait. Sorry…beauty queen daydream… *slips tiara off head*

2. What inspires you?
 Everything. Family, friends, the news, songs…everyday life, a phrase, a great title, an opening line, a scene… If you stay open to the world around you, there are endless possibilities to write about.

3.What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
 Ultimately, to tell great stories with wonderful characters readers what to know about and care for.

However, the answer to that question changes depending on the stage you’re at as a writer and how your personal goals shift. In the beginning, when the idea of publishing is just a twinkle in your eye, you want to write that story that just won’t stop bothering you, so you do. Goal met. *waves pompoms* Now you’ve got a story, what do you do with it? You’ve read it five times, love it, but this kernel of an idea grows -- someone else might want to read it too!

So now you want to get published. That’s a goal and it’s reachable, in a variety of different ways. So, you decide which road to take and you skip merrily down the path. You might jump across to the next path, jump back, take a side road, or stay on that same path, but then you get published. *horns blowing, banners streaming, your mom crying* Then someone says, what about your next book? (Oh shit! I have to write another one?) And you’re off and running…

Personally, right now, I’m writing the stories I want to tell, and fortunately I’m at a place in my career where I can do that (with the grace of my publishers) without having to fight over it. My latest from Amber Allure, C’est La Vie, is a sweet romance between two 70 yr old men. Not many publishers might want that, but AQP did. God bless them.

I mentioned my taglines before, and the first one I use is “when you open your heart, you open your mind.” I’d like to open someone’s heart and mind, just enough to let them allow for GLBT people to be included in those that deserve a HEA.

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
That’s so hard. I’ve written over 25 books. David’s Dilemma meant a lot to me, when I wrote it and afterwards. It’s dedicated to my father, but he died before it was released. It’s about a gay man dealing with his father who has Alzheimer’s, and how it affects this man’s life. I had so many letters from readers telling me how this book touched them, as caregivers. It was stunning to me and taught me a lesson—writing touches lives, even if it’s a romance.

(Nathan: I've read David's Dilemma myself and I can attest that it's an excellent novel, very touching).

Edward, Unconditionally… that book was like magic. It came to me, flowed out of me, and it’s been a reader favorite. But when I did the proposal for my publisher, they weren’t sure about Edward. Maybe he was “too gay” for readers to like…I was taking a big risk…readers wanted manly men… But I’d begun writing and I sent in the first chapters. They loved it, they loved Edward. And so did the readers, so that risk paid off big.

Now, I’m writing a series of novellas set in New Orleans, before, during and after Hurricane Katrina…called Hearts of New Orleans. I’m enjoying the hell out of writing it, of writing about my home town. It holds such a special place in my heart and the stories from there are reader favorites also. Those are over at Amber Quill – Amber Allure and you can get them as individual ebooks and as a three story print anthology. The first one has My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Pinky Swear. The next print book of them will probably be available toward the end of the year and should have Pioneers, Cemeteries and C’est La Vie.

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
Wow, that’s so deep. I’m not sure if I’m deep enough… Be good to each other? Open your hearts and open your minds? You deserve a HEA? Buy more of my books?  No, wait! Did I say that with my outside voice? My bad. Uh…World peace?

Nathan: Thank you, Lynn!

Be sure to check out Lynn's books.

Lynn's books are available at
Loose Id
Amber Quill Press
Liquid Silver Books
Passion In Print
Etopia Press

I will now open it up to questions from readers.