Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jay Bell

Jay Bell is the Amazon bestselling author of  Something Like Summer, a novel that a lot of readers of mm romance are familiar with. I contacted Jay after reading that novel and asked if he would like to appear on my blog. He very graciously accepted my invitation and the following is the interview I had with him.

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings.

Long, long ago, when the world was still flat and cavemen rode their dinosaurs to work, I wrote a fantasy novel. As first attempts go, it wasn’t bad, although it didn’t contain a drop of sexuality. Despite it never being published, I even started working on a sequel. At one point in the second book, I had one of the main characters wrap his arm around the other, both of them male. That’s when the world stopped spinning and the universe started talking to me and telling me to invest in pork. I ignored the voices in my head, but I knew that I wanted to write characters like myself. So I abandoned both books and started from scratch. The rest is history. Very recent history still in the making, but history nonetheless.

2. Tell us a bit about Something Like Summer, your bestselling novel to date.
Teen angst. That’s how Something Like Summer starts. People seem to be able to relate to the first half of the novel best, probably because it’s a very universal tale. Gay or straight, we’ve all had that guy (or girl) that we wanted terribly bad—those infatuations that make the other person appear divine at times. Many of us simply stared in wonder from afar, but some of us were lucky and got close to the object of our affection, even if just for a moment. That’s what the first half is about. Crushes, and those first relationships that are full of mistakes and hard lessons.

Once we break free from the gravitational pull of high school, the stories we live become much less universal. The second half of Something Like Summer deals with the path the main character takes and the adult life he makes for himself. And of course the past comes back to haunt him, as it so often does. Mostly the story is about love, and what an intoxicating and confusing blessing/burden it is. 

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
My first and foremost goal is to write the story I want to read. There’s a school of thought that says you should start a book by aiming toward a profitable market. That may be good for your bank account, but I think it reduces the chances of creating something really special. My first novel, The Cat in the Cradle, hasn’t sold particularly well. Despite that, I wrote a sequel and doing so was one of the best experiences of my life. Maybe no one outside a select few will read it, but I can still feel the excitement and passion I had while creating it. No sales figures in the world are worth giving that up. Likewise, my third novel Hell’s Pawn goes out of its way to defy genre. It’s too early to say if it will be successful or not, and to be honest, there were a lot of labor pains with that one, but I don’t regret writing it.

Past satisfying my own needs and standards, I hope that my books will resonate with the readers. If I tell the truth as I see it, then there will be others that enjoy that vision, whether they agree with it or not. Mostly I just hope to entertain people, while writing gay fiction that is classy enough to mingle at a cocktail party without any eyebrows raising in distaste.

4. Something Like Summer is selling very well. Would you mind telling us a bit about how you promoted it? I mean, we all know how difficult it is to sell well.
The readers have the power. I’ve done everything I can to promote all three books, short of spam mail.  I don’t think I have any great secrets to impart, or my other two novels would be equally successful. It’s the readers that decide what they like and use their voices to spread the word. All an author can do is get his book out there and in the best presentation as possible. Aside from the author politely drawing attention to it, a book is going to rise and sink solely on its own merits.

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

Get over here and kiss me! Go on, I won’t tell Andreas! Seriously though (or more seriously), thank you for being so wonderful and supportive. Especially all of you that have given my other work a chance based on how much you enjoyed Something Like Summer. Thanks too for all those wonderful reviews and letters. I’m feeling the love and sending it right back atcha!

Jay's latest is Hell's Pawn

 Jay's books are on Amazon as well as his website:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Anne Holly

I've had the good fortune of meeting with author Anne Holly and discussing her writing. This is what she had to say.

How did you get your start writing erotica? 

My first shot at erotica was a short story called Waking Kara. I had just had a romance novel accepted by a publisher, and was looking around, wondering how to promote a book that hadn’t been released yet. So, when I saw a call for short erotic paranormal pieces, I figured I’d give it a shot. My romance is on the sensual side, so I wasn’t concerned about writing sex scenes, and I had a good idea for a ménage demon story, so there I was. Now, I am releasing five short erotic romances featuring holiday themes for Rebel Ink Press throughout 2011, so I guess I didn’t do too badly.

What inspires you? 

I think the rule for erotica, like anything is, write what you want to read. I write what I find sexy – not necessarily things I have personally done, but things that appeal to me. When you start writing things you don’t find arousing, I think the writing might suffer. So, my own little fantasies and imagination inspires me. Sometimes this is a bit on the odd side, like in my book V-Day, which features a nerdy virgin hero, or a bit more common place, such as the sexy Spaniard in Good for the Goose.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? 

My stories focus on “sexual healing,” if you will. People who find redemption and/or new life through passionate love affairs. This goes for both my romance and my erotica. So, basically, I just want to put positive, hopeful stories out there, in the hopes that readers find them hot and sweet.

Anne Holly is a Canadian writer of romance and erotic-romance, as well as a mother and teacher. She is currently at work editing the remaining installments in her five story holiday erotic-romance series published by Rebel Ink, as well as perpetually producing new stories. She has been published by Wild Horse Press, Decadent Publishing and Rebel Ink Press. Anne’s work is characterized by its unusual heroes, sweet/spicy balance, witty dialogue, responsible citizenship, and its positive, optimistic nature. You may visit Anne at her blog or website, or find her on GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter (@anneholly2010). You can find all of her releases on Amazon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lisa Worrall

Lisa Worrall is another stellar mm romance author I've been reading. She writes
great books. 
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've always wanted to be a writer, but real life and motherhood kind 
of overtook and it was put on the back burner.  Then a couple of years 
ago I drifted into fanfiction when a friend asked me to write a piece 
for her birthday.  I'd been writing fanfiction for about a year when 
another friend suggested that I was good enough to publish and I 
submitted a short story to Dreamspinners, Halfway House in their A 
Midsummer's Nightmare anthology.  They accepted it and here we are.
2. What inspires you?
In regards to writing, music inspires me a lot.  I also listen to music 
while I write and I find when you're stuck, if you crank up the volume, 
your characters tend to take you where you want to go.
In "real life", my children inspire me.
(Nathan: I know what you mean. Music inspires me too). 
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? 
I hope to generate a following that will allow me to write full 
time, but mostly I want to keep having fun with it.  As long as the 
ideas keep coming, I'll keep doing it :)
4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why? 
If I had to choose it would be Thirst, which is due out in January 
2012 with Silver.  It gave me the chance to explore the darker side of 
my personality a little and satisfy my long-obsession with vampires.
5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be? 
If I had a message, it would be keep reading.  Keep expanding your 
mind through the written word and don't let anyone curb the genre you 
wish to read.  Dive in, the water's lovely :)
Nathan: Thank you, Lisa. Lisa's books are available on Amazon. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elizabeth Lister

My friends, I give you bestselling author Elizabeth Lister!
1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings. 
Hmm, well I've written straight erotica since I was a teenager, just for personal reading.  Never considered trying to publish erotic stories until this past fall, when I realized it would be a great way to make some money working from home.  I really don't want to get a job at the local grocery store when my kids are in school full time.  I realized over the past couple of years that there is a growing market for gay male erotica and I became intrigued enough to try my hand at writing it.  MLR Press accepted my manuscript and the rest is history.  I'm very proud to write about gay male relationships.  I know several gay men who are in committed relationships right now.

2. What inspires you?
Sometimes a photo; Sometimes a setting; Sometimes just a cool title pops into my head and I'll think of a story to go with it.  I love sex and I think that writing about sex in all its many manifestations is completely fascinating.  I like the challenge of trying to think of a new way to describe a similar event.  I mean, my characters are always orgasming (!) so how do you describe it differently each time?  I think that focusing on things beyond the physical event is really the key.  What is the character thinking? Feeling? Saying?  Was it okay or good or fan-fucking-tastic?

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I'd like to make a name for myself in this genre and in others.  Right now, because the demand is there, I'm focusing on m/m romance.  But I'd like to write more polyamorous stories - there is one short story, A Revelatory Masquerade, on my website that I really enjoyed writing and for which I've received alot of positive feedback.  I would like to become known for vivid characterization, realistic depictions of sex and relationships, and positive stories of love and lust.

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
I think that Exposure will always be dearest to me.  It was the first m/m romance I ever wrote, my first ever published work, and features a character with Multiple Sclerosis which I don't think has been done before in a m/m romance.  Because I have MS, the character of Jeremy will always be close to me.

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
I love to hear from my fans and I love to hear that someone has enjoyed my book.  It is every writer's dream to have their work read and enjoyed.  Keep the positive feedback coming :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SJ Frost

SJ Frost is an author that I've been following for a long time. She is extremely prolific and writes about my favorite subject of all time: gay love and erotica. I had the good fortune of interviewing her. Here's what she had to say about her work.

1.      How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica?
I started writing gay erotic romance during my last year in college.  I had a dialogue assignment for one of my creative writing classes, which I was not pleased about since for the assignment we couldn’t use previous stories or characters already submitted in the class and I didn’t know what to write.  As I was walking across campus, mentally complaining about the assignment, all of a sudden bursting into my mind was Jesse Alexander, who was to become the main character of what would be my first novel, Conquest.  He came to me stronger than any character I had ever written before.  So it was him, his love for Evan Arden, and their relationship, that got me started into writing gay romance.  Writing it also turned out to be a perfect match for my own personal beliefs that no matter who the individuals are in a relationship, their love deserves to be recognized and respected, and that’s why I continue to write it.

2.      What inspires you?
A lot of things!  Music, nature, people, animals, events.  I see stories in so many things.  But when I’m really looking to get my creativity moving on days were my muse and I aren’t fully clicking, I’ll often listen to music for a while or go for a walk, and that always seems to help.

(Nathan: Me too! Music, movies and exercise all seem to inspire me).

3.      What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
My biggest hope is to show how love transcends gender, that it’s the inherent and natural right of all individuals.  I try very hard to present this belief in my works, and I hope I come even marginally close to doing it justice.  What I also hope to accomplish with my writing is that people get enjoyment out of my stories.  I want it that when people read the last page of one of my works, they feel good about the journey they went on with the characters.  Even though my books can have angst and rough emotions in them, I always want THE END to come about with positive feelings for the reader.

 (Nathan: What a great sentiment! I truly believe that love does transcend genders).

4.      If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
Wow, that’s a tough question!  I love them all for different reasons.  If I have to pick, it’s nearly a tie between my first novel, Conquest, and the sequel, No Fear, with Conquest being slightly in the lead since it was the first.  The two books are linked very closely together, and follow the relationship of rock stars, Jesse Alexander and Evan Arden.

Being a huge music lover certainly helped inspire both books.  As my first novel, Conquest will always have sentimental meaning for me, but even more than that, Jesse is very special to me.  He’s the whole reason I sought to become a published author, and I owe every story I’ve written and published since to him.     

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  An author is only an author because of the kindness of others who take the time to read the stories we write.  For everyone who gives my stories a chance, you have my deepest appreciation, and your support is invaluable to me.  With every story I write, I’ll continue to do the best that I’m capable of for all of you.  

Nathan: Thank you, SJ Frost! Her books are available on

Natural Instincts is her latest.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

JP Barnaby

A while ago, I've had the pleasure of sitting down with JP Barnaby and having a conversation about her career and writing.

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 began writing gay romance sometime in 2008 with the idea for The Forbidden Room. In the beginning, I wrote heterosexual Twilight fanfiction. My stories are gay, straight, bisexual, light, dark, BDSM, sweet, whatever captures my interest for that particular set of characters. The Forbidden Room series is self-published, but for the more romantic contemporary series Little Boy Lost, I sought a publisher and found Dreamspinner Press.

Aside from a few general education college courses, I have no real training in creative writing. In fact, I was a physics major. But, I’ve found that writing is a great stress relief from my career of software development and has been a wonderful way to meet new friends.

(Nathan: I find that the arts is one of those careers where you don't need formal training to succeed in. Just look at Celine Dion, Stephenie Meyer and Nora Roberts. None of these fine artists has professional training, yet they are at the top of their game). 

2. What inspires you?

One of my greatest sources of inspiration consists of taking two things that you wouldn’t normally associate with each other, and putting them together to make a story. For example, watching Star Trek and following the fight for gay marriage in New York. That combination sparked the idea for a novel I am working on which relates to Quantum Physics.

Something that greatly inspires me while I’m writing an erotic scene is sound. I tend to put on a gay adult video in the background and listen while I work.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
It depends on the focus of the piece. In A House of Cards, for example, my goal centered around helping other people understand recovery from sexual trauma through the accepting or relinquishing control. In the Little Boy Lost series, I wanted people to look at Brian and Jamie, especially once they reunited, and see people. So many gay adult models are marginalized, reduced to what’s in their pants when they have so much more to offer.

(Nathan: I agree. Marginalization is so common).

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

My very favorite novel is A House of Cards because I know that it reaches people. I’ve received so many e-mails from fans of the series who tell me that reading about Ethan has helped them in their own lives. I find that to be very important.

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
You are a light in my life, like stars on a clear night, showing me the path that I must take. Thank you for your guidance, and your unwavering support.

(Nathan: I feel the same way about my own fans).

This is JP Barnaby's latest book in the Little Boy Lost Series:

Link to novel:
Professional Bio:

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Lovely Carol Lynne

I've read some of Carol's work and can vouch that it's wonderful. I was happy to be able to sit down with her. Enjoy this interview.

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica? Please tell us a bit about your background and early beginnings. 
In 2006, I was really into reading ménage books. However, most of the ménages I could find out there were M/F/M erotic romances. I couldn’t quite figure out how you could have two naked men in a bed and not have them touch and enjoy each other as much as they were obviously enjoying the woman in the relationship. In June of that year, it hit me. I needed to sit down and write the kind of ménage I wanted to read. I’m not sure why I thought I could write a novel because I’d never attempted such a thing, but I did it. Oddly, it only took about two weeks, and I had a finished story. I honestly didn’t know any better because I was so new to the internet. Hell, I didn’t even know what a blog was. I sent off my manuscript to Ellora’s Cave because I had a couple of their print books that I’d purchased at my local bookstore. I received a contract on that story, Branded by Gold, on my 41st birthday. Talk about one of the highest moments of my life!

(Nathan: Congrats! Most authors don't get that lucky, especially not with their first story).

2. What inspires you?
There’s nothing like watching people. When I see an older couple who still hold hands it makes me a tad weepy. Dammit, why have I never been able to find that kind of love? I enjoy matching up people in my mind that I see at airports or malls. I love to sit and create an entire story for people who are complete strangers to me and each other.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
Hmmm, there are really two answers to this question. On a professional level, I enjoy creating characters that aren’t perfect. My favorites are those who society considers damaged in some way. Those are the men I want to find love for. I strive to give them that one person who compliments them and has the ability to show them life is worth living. Yeah, that makes me happy as a writer.

(Nathan: That's a very noble goal). 

On a personal level, writing has given me more than I could ever repay. It allowed me to escape an unhealthy situation. I’m proud that I’m able to stand on my own two feet and raise my two little girls with the money I make from the characters I love. I work extremely long hours, but my daughters understand, and I believe they’re proud of me for taking charge of my own life.

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
I have several favorites and all for different reasons. I love No Longer His because it allowed me to work out issues I struggled with in my personal life. Finnegan’s Promise allowed me to work through unresolved issues with my father after his death. And, the Seasons of Love series is my newest favorite. The entire four book series deals with one couple, spanning forty-years of their lives together. Because I was unable to work through issues with my own marriage, I’m trying to work my characters through the challenges a long-term partnership might face. There’s nothing earth shattering about the problems they deal with, but they’re issues that could easily end a partnership without communication. I love the commitment to each other that my characters have.

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
I would like to tell each and every one of them how much I appreciate their continued support. Writing is such a lonely occupation, and without the emails and support from my yahoo group, I’m not sure I’d stay as sane as I hope I am. LOL

(Nathan: I agree. Fans and readers, you rock!)
Carol can be reached at the following sites, as well as Amazon:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mark Simpson

Every once in a while, I receive correspondence from fellow authors that find me on Amazon and want to get in touch. I got to know Mark Simpson that way. He is a very nice guy and a wonderful author too. His first book, Kabuki in a G-String, won global acclaim. A former Fellow of the Library of Congress, with a Ph.D. with distinction in Comparative Literature, he understands literature's power to change lives. Lastly, he is a pioneer, a trailblazer as well as a man of influence in general.

I am very proud to have him guest post on my blog.

I give you, Mark Simpson!

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica?
 I started writing at the age of 15 or 16 as a way of expressing my feelings toward men, especially older, stronger, hairy-chested guys at my school. If I couldn’t talk to them directly, then I could at least create characters and personalities for them, and make their character love someone like me. My copious notes became pretty good short stories, I must say. Curiously, it worked to help me figure myself out as a gay guy (and learn that older hunky guys sometimes liked being stared at, and occasionally surprised you with a confession of lust for you … more like an adolescent demand to … fill in the blank … but confession of lust sounds more romantic) but also as a writer. I saw that I honestly could write; that I had a capacity to create characters, make situations come alive. From there, I went on to the school lit mag, university papers, journals … and all the rest just fell into place.
(Nathan: That's how I started writing too. It was a way of expressing how I felt toward hot men). 

2. What inspires you?
 First and foremost, men inspire me. I love to watch men in coffee houses, on the street, stores, everywhere. This morning, I was watching a young New York cop on a horse, attempting to give a ticket to a double-parked semi. That cool dude of a handsome cop moved as a man moves, with real intelligence and awareness; and his horse responded to his every subtle tap or bump, which I found so sexy. Amazing. Secondly, cities inspire me, with their rough-edged wild rhythms. I’m especially attached to New York and Paris, both of which inspire me immensely. All of my novels, thus far, have been set in Paris … it’s a true crossroads of the world, and the intersections of class, nationality, religion, language all complicate relationships, especially gay relationships. So many Frenchmen have boyfriends who are American, Serbian, Swedish, English, Algerian, Argentinean, and so on … much, much more common there than in New York.
(Nathan: Men inspire me too. ;) Secondly, I've been to Paris, France only once and didn't know it was such a liberal city. I gotta go back and check it out!)

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
 I’d like to smash in the face of the smug bourgeoisie, the still-homophobic mainstream of society that insists on peripheralizing and stereotyping. I want my novels to crack open the real world, where gay men have sex for the same reasons straights do (with as many duplicities and betrayals, as well as commitments and passions). I want to look and sound like the epitome of grandmotherly virtue, child of prep schools that I am, so that I become a fifth column inside the establishment … poised to help all of us push gay literature through the mainstream and beyond. Look, the great literary movements all faced resistance. Zola was banished, Flaubert was arrested and tried for writing pornography, so though we now take Realism and Naturalism as givens … a general part of literary history … they were only achieved through fights, resistance, and a continual push against the pudgy arms of the bourgeoisie (always to “épater le bourgeoisie,” as Flaubert said …  to “shock the middle-class.”
(Nathan: That's the most original answer I've heard). 

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
 I love Shirtless in Iceland. Not only does it accurately capture daily life in Paris, but it really manages to paint in the true daily life for most gay men in Paris. I love Emma, the bitch goddess, married to gorgeous straight Jérémie … but best friend to the gay American Peregrine. She’s a total woman, a sexual being, but mean and feisty and powerful. I am in love with Anselme, the hunky gay French editor, who only late in the novel shows his true colors. He’s my ideal man (if anyone’s interested). It’s a good book; I’m proud of it. Of all my books it has the most sex, in fact a few scorchers (by my tame standards). I like that too!

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
 First of all, of course, thanks for buying my books and writing to me … sharing your own stories and lives. Secondly, I’d like to ask them to try writing something themselves. Writing is so powerful, so liberating, and so intensely personal. I’m always happy to have a quick look at something one of my fans has written … even if I can’t, obviously, promise a long and detailed analysis. Thirdly, I’d like them to send me a message about what they’d like me to write about next. I’m at work on an historical novel at the moment, set in Paris in the roaring 20s, but I’d love to write something in response to reader request.
Thank you, Mark!
You can visit Mark at his blog.  
Mark's books are available on amazon.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Marie Sexton

I've had the chance to sit down with author Marie Sexton. She's a very interesting person to talk to, and a fantastic writer to boot!

1. How did you get your start writing gay fiction and/or erotica?
I started out reading fantasy, but found that I really preferred reading about gay characters. I spent my days scouring Amazon for fantasy novels with gay protagonists (there were depressingly few). From there, I found my way to gay romance novels. Then one day, I woke up with two characters in my head. It was strange, because I hadn't written anything in years that wasn't related to work (memos and brochures), but I sat down and started writing, and eventually, it turned into my first novel, Promises.

2. What inspires you?
I'm not sure, to be honest.

Usually my books start with the idea of a character, and then I start to think about who that person needs in their life in order to grow and find true happiness. I like doing friends-to-lovers. I like doing opposites attract. For me, it's generally more about love and growth than sex (although the sex is fun too).

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

Mostly I just hope that people will enjoy the books, and  that they'll walk away feeling like they know the characters. I hope they'll remember them.

4. If you had to choose, which one of your novels do you like the most and why?
Oh my gosh, that's really hard. There are parts of each of them that I love. I love Promises and A to Z because of all the fun things I was able to put into them - specifically things about football and Colorado. And I adore Angelo. I love Strawberries for Dessert, because Cole is such a bright, colorful character, and I think men like him are under-represented in gay romance. I love Between Sinner and Saints, because it was a venture into something a bit heavier than my usual work. And I love my upcoming release, Song of Oestend, because it's something very new and different for me. It's my first non-contemporary. It's sort of an alternate universe frontier story, with some fantasy and horror elements. And some mild bondage. ;-)

5. If you had a message for your readers and fans, what would it be?
Very simple. I would say, Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Here's the synopsis to Marie's latest book, Song of Oestend.

Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths - mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around.

Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll will have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.


My website/blog:
And be sure to join me for Coffee and Porn in the Morning:

Song of Oestend will be released by Total E-Bound on August 22nd. Buy it here: