Michael Bracken was a new name to me, and another example of the joy of anthologies and how I find so many wonderful new authors when I open a collection. He joins me today for a chat about his story in Men in Love.
Spring approaches with the promise of new beginnings, fresh adventures, and the thrill of romance rekindled or discovered. Hot, sexy guys abound—meeting on the ball fields or the boardroom, at the theater or the classroom—falling in love and lust for the first time or celebrating a lifetime. Come join the rites of spring and indulge yourself in the passion and pleasures of our luscious men in love. Stories from some of today’s popular m/m romance authors explore the many faces of men in love: gay for you, seductions, weddings and more.
NB: You’re no stranger to short fiction and have a long backlist of titles from a crime/confessional point of view. Do you enjoy stepping into the world of romance, and is it a natural fit? Do genres blend for you?
MB: Though I’m known more for crime fiction and women’s fiction, I’ve written something in nearly every genre. So, writing a romance for Men in Love was not a step into unknown territory.
Genres often do blend in my work, with a bit of romance often included in even the most hardboiled crime fiction, and occasionally—as in “Bathhouse Backstabber”—there’s even a little crime fiction included in my romances.
NB: It’s a great story. I love seeing authors who blend and bend genres. Tell us a little bit about it. Where did the idea spark from?
MB: “Bathhouse Backstabber” is the story of a recently dumped would-be mystery writer whose friends set him up with a photographer who is new to town. The new relationship turns out to have unexpected benefits and, in the tradition of romances, a happy ever after ending.
I’ve written several romances over the years with all manner of meet-cutes, but I had never written one where friends set up the two would-be lovers. Once I decided on that as the premise, I drew on my memory of what it was like to turn a dream into a reality when few around me believed I could, and I drew on my experience living in a city where the goings-on at the local university provide all manner of fodder for gossip.
NB: What’s next on the horizon for you? What should we be watching out for?
MB: I’ve had one or more short stories published each and every month for 153 consecutive months, with contracts extending that streak into the future, so I have trouble remembering exactly what’s coming out when. The story I’m most excited about, though, is “Chase Your Dreams,” which just appeared in the June issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.
NB: I am now officially overwhelmed. But I look forward to reading more!
For those wanting a copy of Men in Love for themselves, you can get it directly from the publisher, Bold Strokes Books, here. Otherwise, you can always use Indiebound to look for your closest brick-and-mortar, or visit any store where quality LGBT books are sold.
Michael Bracken is the author of several books, from the young adult romance Just in Time for Love to the hardboiled private eye novel All White Girls, but is better known as the author of more than 1,100 short stories, including stories in Best Gay Romance 2010 and 2013 and many other anthologies and periodicals.