Sunday Shorts – “Threesome” Q&A with Chris Colby

ThreesomeThis week, I’m having a virtual sit down with Chris Colby, who is making his nomenclatural debut with his erotica piece, “Fancy Dress,” in Threesome. Chris was a “new to me” author, and meeting new folk is one of the reasons I undertook the Sunday Shorts project.

Few sexual fantasies are as potent or lasting as “the threesome” – as an adolescent, the first time you saw a hot couple walking hand in hand and you wanted to follow them back home and into their bed, as an adult when you discover that your partner has been fantasizing also about the bartender at your favorite club.
 
1+1+1 = sensual delight!
 
Editor Matthew Bright, no stranger to threesomes himself, has invited twelve authors to write stories that range from the sweet and romantic to erotic and playful and even a bit depraved.


NB: Hi Chris. Thanks for chatting—it’s nice to “meet” you.

CC: Hi ‘Nathan! Thanks so much for having me on Sunday Shorts! This is actually my first time being interviewed about my writing, so I’m quite excited!

NB: You have no idea how hard it is to resist the urge to say ‘I’ll be gentle.’ Damn. Couldn’t do it. First off, tell me about your story in ThreesomeWhat are we in for?

CC: My story in Threesome is called “Fancy Dress.” It’s set in a three-person dorm in an university where the narrator Brian has come to the big city to go to college and be, finally, A Gay, and have all those experiences that he’s only dreamed of but he hasn’t gotten that far—he’s finding it hard to make friends and college life is not all it’s cracked up to be. His roommates are the shy, burly Reggie and Graham, who is always on the phone to his boyfriend. Brian has a thing for Graham but doesn’t know what, or how, to go about doing anything. It’s a fun little story with a little angst, an erotic Viking dream, an evening of competitive Halloween drag, and some sex that nobody expected.

NB: That’s so very much the opposite of my post-secondary education experience. If there’d been more erotic Viking content, I might have had a better time. I can’t wait to read “Fancy Dress.” I love it when short fiction goes in directions I wasn’t expecting. What about you? What’s the most recent piece of short fiction to really grab you?  Where can we find it?

CC: I haven’t read a lot of short fiction recently. I’ve been reading lots of mm/gay romance and non-fiction. The last short story I read and absolutely loved was Matthew Bright’s “Golden Hair, Red Lips.” Now, I’m aware that Matthew is the editor of Threesome but he’s also a mate, so when the much anticipated Queers Destroy Horror came out, I immediately devoured it. “Golden Hair, Red Lips” is a Dorian Grey story that absolutely floored me. The sheer quality of the writing was gorgeous. And the story, which I am going to tell you absolutely nothing about, was just fantastic. And that refrain – it sent shivers down my spine. Luckily, if you’re curious, you can read the entire thing for free here.

Apart from that, the last piece of short fiction that really grabbed me was a few months back. Aleksandr Voinov writes some fantastic fiction – the majority of it is in the m/m romance genre but he has also written some excellent novels that don’t fit that category, such as his newest, Nightingale, which is a gay historical set in occupied Paris during WWII, that had me up half the night to finish it. Anyway, he has a short story/novella/little book called Skybound which is about 47 pages and it is also a WWII story, this time about two german soliders who fall in love at the end of WWII. The writing in it is laser sharp and beautiful. I highly, highly recommend it.

NB: This is the danger of these discussions. I end up with a giant “to-be-read” pile. New authors to discover? Yes please. In fact, one of the joys for me in reading anthologies is finding new-to-me authors and new authors, and I’m always curious to know if there is an anthology theme other authors would to see (and contribute to)? Is there a story you’re itching to tell, or a theme you’d love to see explored?

CC: I love a good anthology and theme and they can be a great spur into action. I’ve been very lucky that this year, as well as Threesome, which is my first publication as Chris Colby, I’m going to be part of two other anthologies: The Myriad Carnival – Queer and Weird Stories from Under the Big Top (also edited by Matthew Bright) and Not Just Another Pretty Face (ed. Louis Flint Ceci). Both of those, however, are under my real name, Mark Ward, and are both poems. 

As for an anthology theme, I’ve always thought, and have been tempted, to do an anthology about queer writers and their relationship to books, from ekphrastic responses to how books impacted their queer life to navigating (the now dwindling) gay sections of bookshops. I may get to it someday. I’m working on a number of things slowly (I don’t always have as much spare time/writing time as I’d like, so I do it when I can). As Chris, I’ve started work on a romance that I’m very excited about, which doesn’t have a title yet, so hopefully that’ll be the next thing from Chris, unless an anthology theme jumps out at me and I’ve a free weekend.

NB: I’ve got my copy of Myriad already pre-ordered and we’ll be discussing Not Just Another Pretty Face later on, too. I always admire poets; it’s a skill set I just don’t have. Thanks for taking the time, Chris.

CC: Thanks again for having me on Sunday Shorts!

 

You can find Threesome: Him, Him and Me directly at Lethe Press here, or—as always—check Indiebound for your closest brick and mortar. It should also be available wherever fine quality LGBT books are sold.


Chris Colby is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. His story, “Fancy Dress” is his first publication and is in Threesome (ed. Matthew Bright) and he’s currently working on his first novel.

As Mark Ward, he has written and produced a number of plays, and his poetry has been featured in Assaracus, Storm Cellar, The Good Men Project, Off the Rocks and The Wild Ones. He has finished his first chapbook, How to Live When Life Subtracts and is currently working his first full-length collection, Circumference. 

His writing blog is at http://astintinyourspotlight.wordpress.com

In other lives, he is also a cabaret performer and for many years, he made noise music under the name Where is This.

 

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One thought on “Sunday Shorts – “Threesome” Q&A with Chris Colby

  1. Pingback: Notes from the Margins #34 | A Stint in Your Spotlight

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