Sunday Shorts – “The Biggest Lover” Q&A with Larry Faulkner

Biggest LoverOne of the more awesome things about having a story in The Biggest Lover has been revisiting authors I’ve shared a table of contents with before (in today’s case, that was in Tales from the Den). One of the cool things about Bear Bones Books is how there’s a community of authors who write in the bearosphere. I’m happy to sit down today and chat with Larry Faulkner about his story in The Biggest Lover.

We have all heard the term Rubenesque as a compliment for plus-sized women. The baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens was fond of painting women of the day that were curvaceous and full-figured. The men in his art were not. What is the comparable term for men? Because not every gay man is obsessed with twinks who list the number of visible rib bones on their Grindr profile. Or men who can remember the number of reps at the gym but not their phone number. Some of us appreciate buying in bulk and that includes looking for love. Or just plain sex.  Thank goodness for Bear culture which embraces girth. During Bear Week in Provincetown the stores do not even bother to sell clothes smaller than an XL and a man’s virility is often like the potency of moonshine: the more Xs on the jug the better, so XXXL is a chub in high demand.

It has taken too long for an erotica anthology to feature such men. As Girth & Mirth founding father Reed Wilgoren stated, “Just as people are coming out every day—men and women realizing their sexuality—new Bears and new Chubbies and new chasers are also evolving in the world. There have to be people waiting to embrace them and show them the way, much as who helped me to become what I am and who I am today.” It is our hope that readers who felt denied of attention and affection will read these stories and realize that love has no weight limit, no threshold, and neither should self-esteem.


NB: I love meeting new (or new-to-me) authors through anthologies, and “Tag Team” is my second table of contents with you. One of the first things I always want to know from authors is how their stories germinate. How did the story come to you?

LF: “Tag Team” is a direct result of my lifelong affair with professional wrestling. Yes, it’s silly and over-the-top, but can be really compelling, and the performers are extremely talented. Plus, the guys are generally really hot! Since I’ve been writing, I’ve had a story seed in my head about a tag team forming when two wrestlers fall for each other, and this anthology was the perfect opportunity to finally put it into words. For this project, I wanted something really sweet and simple, with just a little bit of angst and a whole lot of encouragement. Everyone needs encouragement.

NB: Absolutely. And building on that need for encouragement, the theme of The Biggest Lover (that of plus-sized men) is pretty darn unique. Did you find it a relief or a challenge in any way to work on a story with bodies not usually eroticized in the general community?

LF: I’m gonna say something possibly controversial here: It’s “pretty darn unique” because big gay men have been sidelined and looked down upon in the gay community for as long as I can remember. It’s my understanding that the Chub/Chaser community predates the Bear movement with the first Girth and Mirth chapter being formed in 1976, yet how many guys in the bear community have even heard of Girth and Mirth in more than a negative light, if they’ve heard of it at all?

NB: It wasn’t until Ron Suresha told me about it that I learned. And my first brush with the bear community certainly didn’t have that backstory as part of the history they shared with me, no.

LF: There for a while it seemed like the only “valid” bear body type was the muscle bear, when in reality bears always have come in all shapes and sizes, regardless of what anyone says. I will have to say that in the past couple of years, representation has been getting better. You see more chubby bodies on the TV and in print. You have celebrities like Daniel Franzese who are out, gay men of size and not ashamed to love themselves for it. Big Men’s events like Convergence (put on by the Big Gay Men’s Organization), seem to draw a bigger crowd each year. It seems that with the Body Positivity movement, people of size are being “rediscovered” again as what they are: people who are attractive, and attractive not despite their bodies, but because of their bodies (among everything else they have to offer). So, it’s kind of a relief in that sense, but it’s also a challenge because I know that fat can definitely be fetishized. One thing I tried to stay away from in my story is a sense of objectification. I wanted my big guy to be shown as someone who was more than just a fat belly to lust over, that he had other attractive qualities too (as do we all, really).

NB: Absolutely, and it was so refreshing to have an anthology that allowed me to explore my love of the sexy lug. Speaking of—if you had your druthers, what anthology call would you love to see that you’ve not seen yet? Any themes you’d love to write for, but don’t out there?

LF: Well, ultimately I’d love to work towards publishing a novel. Right now, I have two sitting on my hard drive waiting! I’m a huge geek and anime nerd. In anthologies, I’d love to explore themes of geekdom: sorcery, superheroes, mecha pilots, or magical guys (bear versions of Sailor Moon?) I have an idea for a superhero team story and also a different idea involving a team that pilots a giant combining super robot! I have entire plot arcs, characters…are there any artists out there who want to draw comics for me? Otherwise, I’m always up for exploring different themes with my erotica and romance. I’d love to write a sequel to my story in Tales From The Den, so another supernatural bear anthology would be awesome. I’ve been writing things and I’ll be posting it on my tumblr, in addition to my regular sexy, smutty stories, including my wrestling slashfic too!

NB: I so want to read bear versions of Sailor Moon. Please do that. Thank you, and I’ll pass all those ideas to my editor friends, because frankly I’d love to have more bear anthologies, too, which I suppose makes me a wee bit selfish.

For those of you looking for a copy of The Biggest Lover of your own, you can buy it direct from Bear Bones Books (an imprint of Lethe Press) at the website, here. Or, check Indiebound for your local brick-and-mortar. Or, as always, ask wherever quality LGBT books are sold.


WLP_7401After writing for fun for most of his teen and young adult years, Larry Faulkner was finally first published in the Bear Bones Books anthology Tales From The Den: Wild and Weird Stories for Bears.

He has a passion for writing m/m gay romance and erotica with a husky slant, and hopes to publish more in the future, both short form and novels. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

You can read more of his writing and see selfies galore at his tumblr.

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Sunday Shorts – “Men in Love” and “The Biggest Lover” Q&A with Jerry Rabushka

men-in-love-mm-romanceI refer to the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival quite a bit, I know, but it’s been very much the epicentre of my literary life. I’ve been blessed to meet dozens of authors through the event, and today’s author is no exception. Jerry Rabushka agreed to have a chat with me about his upcoming stories in not just The Biggest Lover, but also 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: Welcome! We’re finally sharing a table of contents, which makes me happy. I think we’ve hopscotched each other in various collections of the Saints & Sinners short fiction contest collections, but never the same year until this year—when you won! Can you tell me a wee bit about your two tales? You’ve got short fiction pieces in both The Biggest Lover and Men in Love.

JR: “Golden Walrus” from The Biggest Lover, is about two guys feeling their age and wondering if they should pair up or just continue on their own. Hector Lieberman is 49 and suddenly finds himself a lot bigger than he planned on, but this catches the eye of hot and hairy Barkley Roger, who’s is 38 and feels he’s almost too old to find that bigger and older man to take care of him. Heck’s interested in Bark, but has two conditions: that he cut his ponytail and that he recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Bark has some nasty stuff in his past that’s stunted his emotional growth ever since.

“Crewman,” from Men in Love, features Noah, a haphazard painter, and Carl, his boss, who keeps insulting him and manhandling him. They’re both tough on the outside guys, and Noah’s too dense to figure out why Carl keeps him on crew if Carl keeps complaining about Noah’s incompetence. Since this is part of a book called Men in Love, you can probably guess why. But how can you tell someone you love them when you can barely admit you like them?

NB: You’re no stranger to writing characters that don’t fit in the typical ranges seen in gay romance and gay erotica (I remember loving that about the characters in “‘Til it Bleeds”). The Biggest Lover explores a theme rarely seen in erotica. Did you find theme inspiring, or were there any challenges you hadn’t expected?

JR: I’ve often written about relationships where there’s a difference between the characters, age, race, interests, something that makes them not a usual pair. I feel there are so many romances that imply love is reserved for the rich and beautiful. What I try to do is this: even if the characters aren’t conventional beauties, they are attractive to the people in the story—the people that matter most. (Once someone stopped reading a short novel I wrote because, he said, he wasn’t attracted to the characters.)

NB: Yeah, I’ve bumped into that, too. The “I can’t enjoy a book with two men” comment comes up in some of the romance circles, unfortunately. You’d think a romantic story could transcend, but for some readers it seems it’s too difficult.

JR: In “real life” a lot of bigger folks find love and happy marriages or relationships. I guess a challenge is, when a character is specifically attracted to that, and the other character feels it’s a liability, how do you reconcile that? That comes up in “Golden Walrus,” and neither party is quite sure how to handle that.

NB: After talking with Jerry L. Wheeler about Men in Love, I know the range of stories in the collection really runs a wide range. Do you have a favourite kind of romantic story—the meet cutes, the long-term relationships, or something else?

JR: I tend to like “how they met” and what happens after that, and can the guys build their relationship off that initial attraction. In “Crewman” the initial attraction goes on for a long time, but nobody’s sure how to act on it, so the story picks up when they finally get to the point. There’s a certain heart-pounding in a first meeting and I like exploring the possibilities, hopes, and sweat that can be generated during a first encounter. I’ve always been a fan of random meetings turning into something. I met my partner of 8 years on the riverfront in New Orleans, where neither of us lived. We got to talking and here we are now still together. I think it comes from my experience of never really fitting in anywhere so love and friendship has to come from unusual places if I can’t find it in the typical haunts.

NB: On that note: is there an unusual anthology theme you’d love to see (and contribute to)?

JR: Most of my romantic characters have awesome mustaches, that’s what the “Golden Walrus” is, so there’s one I could get into. Perhaps The Biggest Lover can start a trend where people who aren’t usually the subject of romances can get their place in the sun.

NB: Hey, I’m a fan of the facial hair, too. What do you think, everyone? Moustache theme?

 

You can get Men in Love directly from the publisher, Bold Strokes Books, here. You can get The Biggest Lover directly from Bear Bones 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.


 

Jerry Rabushka for BSBJerry Rabushka is the author of two published novels: The Prophecy and Star Bryan. He is a prolific playwright and his plays are produced throughout the US and beyond. He is also a pianist and composer with several CDs of original music. He’s the winner of several writing competitions including three with Saints and Sinners, and the long-time editor of a national business trade publication. He lives with his partner in St. Louis, MO.

Sunday Shorts -“The Biggest Lover,” “Threesome,” and “Not Just Another Pretty Face” Q&A with Jeff Mann

It’s triple threat time. Twice over, even. Sextet threat? Cubed threat? Meh. Math is hard. Let’s bake cookies for the boys.

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with Jeff Mann, who—if you’ve been paying attention to me at all in the last couple of years—I’ve raved about before and will continue to do so. Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, Mann writes it all (that’d be the first triple threat I was mentioning) and he’s in three of the anthologies I’ve been chatting about lately (the other triple—see what I did there?)

By a wonderful twist of coincidence, I’m actually in New Orleans right now, as is Jeff, at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival. Happily, this was written and scheduled earlier, as frankly, I’ll likely have had a szazerac (or two) by now, and typing would not be a good idea.

Biggest LoverWe have all heard the term Rubenesque as a compliment for plus-sized women. The baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens was fond of painting women of the day that were curvaceous and full-figured. The men in his art were not. What is the comparable term for men? Because not every gay man is obsessed with twinks who list the number of visible rib bones on their Grindr profile. Or men who can remember the number of reps at the gym but not their phone number. Some of us appreciate buying in bulk and that includes looking for love. Or just plain sex. Thank goodness for Bear culture which embraces girth. During Bear Week in Provincetown the stores do not even bother to sell clothes smaller than an XL and a man’s virility is often like the potency of moonshine: the more Xs on the jug the better, so XXXL is a chub in high demand.
It has taken too long for an erotica anthology to feature such men. It is our hope that readers who felt denied of attention and affection will read these stories and realize that love has no weight limit, no threshold, and neither should self-esteem.


Threesome

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.


NJAPF_CoverThe stories, poems, and essays in this collection have a single element in common that unites their wide range of literary styles and genres: they all spring directly from photographs of go-go boys.

The ideal go-go boy is the perfect erotic object. We may imagine him as lost or broken so that we might rescue him, or as potent and aggressive so we might be the focus of his desire. But the images captured here suggest deeper, more complex realities. These dancers are whimsical, haunting, satiric, playful, ominous. They are not icons, but stories waiting to be told.

Twenty-three photos of male go-go dancers become the basis for stories, poems, essays, and drama by twenty-seven authors, revealing unexpected mysteries, romance, fantasy, and humor. Contributors include 2015 Sue Kaufman Prize winner Michael Carroll, 2013 Lambda Mid-Career author Trebor Healey, and Lammy winners Jeff Mann, David Pratt, and Jim Provenzano.


 

NB: I recently wrote a story with a drag queen who explains a “Triple Threat” (someone who can sing, act, and dance), so the term is fresh in my head. It occurs to me you’re a literary Triple Threat: prose, poetry, essayist. And you’re in three of the collections I’ve been discussing lately in these Q&As – The Biggest Lover, Threesome, and Not Just Another Pretty Face. What are we in for?
JM: Well, “The Last Gift,” my story in The Biggest Lover, is set in Manchester, England.  Several years ago, I got to visit that city during one of my university’s Spring Breaks, and I found the “Gay Village” there a really cool place to visit, i.e., there are lots of pubs in which to drink and eat.  The story is about being middle-aged and mourning the recession of erotic outlets.  It’s also a tribute of sorts to a chubby, tasty, bearded boy I saw in a pub.  I was, sadly, in no position to seduce him, so I wrote a story about him instead.
I took the call-for-submissions for Threesome as an excuse to write another short story about my ongoing vampire character, Derek Maclaine, though I did something different by writing the story in his husbear’s voice rather than Derek’s.  An acquaintance of mine, Jason Burns—who works in the Office of Multicultural Programs at West Virginia University and who kindly gave me an opportunity to read my work at WVU last October—is a specialist in West Virginia ghost stories, so the information he gave me helped me flesh out that story a good bit.  “Spring on Scrabble Creek” involves more than Derek and his husbear Matt ravishing an emotionally and erotically needy former coal miner.  It also features ghosts connected to an infamous industrial disaster at Hawk’s Nest, West Virginia, back in the early 1930’s.
I’ve been focused on the writing of a big whopping novel for the last year—Country, due out from Bear Bones Books/Lethe Press in June 2016—so I haven’t been writing much poetry.  But Louis Flint Ceci, whom I’ve known from the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans, invited me (cf. the paragraph above: what would writers do without kind invitations…including your kind invitation to have me talk about my work on this blog?) to choose a photograph of a go-go dancer that spoke to me and write something about it.  Good excuse to compose a poem.  Of course I chose one of the hairy, bearded guys that I’d love to hire as a houseboy/sex-slave.  Aging horndawg, c’est moi.
NB: If lyrical edgy aging horndawg wasn’t an oeuvre prior, it is now. I was actually quite pleased to see how many of the photos in question showed go-go dancers who had chest hair and beards. I wasn’t expecting that. 
Speaking of, The Biggest Lover was an unexpected theme—big guys aren’t often seen in erotica (though there’s some crossover to bear culture and bear erotica, where neither of us are strangers). Threesomes aren’t necessarily uncommon in erotica or romantic fictions, but they’re not the mainstay. Not Just Another Pretty Face began with images and is very rare in its inclusion of essays, poetry, prose, and even a short play. Did you have any surprises with your processes or muses with these different collections?
JM: I initially had no idea that my vampire story would include all that West Virginia folklore.  “Spring on Scrabble Creek,” is a sequel of sorts to “Snow on Scrabble Creek,” which appeared in The Bears of Winter, edited by Jerry L. Wheeler.  It’s also a kind of bridge leading to my vampire novel Insatiable, which Bear Bones Books/Lethe Press is publishing in the fall of 2016. 
NB: I need a moment here to squee like a fanboy. Eee! I’m such a Derek fan, and I scrambled to find all his stories in the various collections, and was over-the-moon when I got my hands on Desire & Devour. Okay. Carry on.
JM: When I decided to set the introductory section of “Spring on Scrabble Creek” at Hawk’s Nest State Park (just up Gauley Mountain from Scrabble Creek), it occurred to me that I knew Jason Burns, the West Virginia ghost-story expert, so after a few e-mail back-and-forth messages with him, I decided to add some material from that aforementioned industrial disaster in the 1930’s, when a large number of workers who helped dig a tunnel through Gauley Mountain died of silicosis.
NB: Learning moment of the day: silicosis is lung fibrosis caused by the inhalation of dust containing silica, which must have been a horrible way to die. You touch on mortality quite a lot in your works, and I have to say it’s always done so deftly and is genuinely moving, whether the piece is fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. 
As someone who touches so many different forms of writing, what are some collections or themes you’d like to see? (Or, if not collections, maybe even formats—I find I’m really looking forward to the “cross-over” nature of Not Just Another Pretty Face‘s inclusion of poetry alongside prose and nonfiction.)
JM: As for formats, I love the juxtaposition of poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.  Ummm, collections and themes? Anything not urban.  I like to read about small-town and rural settings as much as I like to write about them.  I’d actually like to see an anthology of gay male stories all set in different countries, so as to give the reader a glimpse of what gay life is like in those places.  Your novel Light gave me a sense of that for Ottawa, and for that I’m grateful.
NB: Sort of a rural Around the world with 80 Gays? I like it. When I’m done these Q&As I may post a list of all the ideas the authors have had for anthologies. And thank you, it was important to me to include a slice of Canada, even if I did get a lot of questions about loonies.
For those of you looking for a copy of The Biggest Lover of your own, you can buy it direct from Bear Bones Books (an imprint of Lethe Press) at the website, here. Or, check Indiebound for your local brick-and-mortar. Or, as always, ask wherever quality LGBT books are sold. For a copy of Threesome, look no further than Lethe Press here, or Indiebound, or, again, shop local. You can find Not Just Another Pretty Face at Beautiful Dreamer Press here, or check with your nearest brick-and-mortar store. Or, said thrice, ask for it wherever quality LGBT books are sold.

IMG_0249Jeff Mann has published five books of poetry, Bones Washed with Wine, On the Tongue, Ash: Poems from Norse Mythology, A Romantic Mann, and Rebels; two collections of personal essays, Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear and Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South; a book of poetry and memoir, Loving Mountains, Loving Men; four novels, Fog, Purgatory, Cub, and Salvation; and two volumes of short fiction, Desire and Devour: Stories of Blood and Sweat and A History of Barbed Wire.  The winner of two Lambda Literary Awards, a Rainbow Award, and three NLA-International awards, he teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Find him online at jeffmannauthor.com.

Sunday Shorts – “The Biggest Lover” Q&A with Skye Eagleday

Biggest Lover

Today, I’m sitting down with new-to-me author Skye Eagleday to chat about The Biggest Lover, characters who come back time and time again, and the joys of incubi, to boot. Anthologies are always a great way to meet new authors, and now I need to track down the werebear tales, too…

We have all heard the term Rubenesque as a compliment for plus-sized women. The baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens was fond of painting women of the day that were curvaceous and full-figured. The men in his art were not. What is the comparable term for men? Because not every gay man is obsessed with twinks who list the number of visible rib bones on their Grindr profile. Or men who can remember the number of reps at the gym but not their phone number. Some of us appreciate buying in bulk and that includes looking for love. Or just plain sex.  Thank goodness for Bear culture which embraces girth. During Bear Week in Provincetown the stores do not even bother to sell clothes smaller than an XL and a man’s virility is often like the potency of moonshine: the more Xs on the jug the better, so XXXL is a chub in high demand.

It has taken too long for an erotica anthology to feature such men. As Girth & Mirth founding father Reed Wilgoren stated, “Just as people are coming out every day—men and women realizing their sexuality—new Bears and new Chubbies and new chasers are also evolving in the world. There have to be people waiting to embrace them and show them the way, much as who helped me to become what I am and who I am today.” It is our hope that readers who felt denied of attention and affection will read these stories and realize that love has no weight limit, no threshold, and neither should self-esteem.


NB: You mentioned to me that your character for your story in The Biggest Lover has appeared up in other stories previous to this. I do that too and love encountering series of short fictions that revisit the same folk. William Holden, one of our fellow The Biggest Lover authors, brought up how we can get sweet on a character—why do you think you find yourself revisiting this character?

SE: When I first started out I thought I’d mostly write about vampires, since I’m a fan of the genre but readers seem much more interested in my Shifters, and I was one of the first to introduce a Werebear some years ago. Tales of the Werebear has been one of my most popular series. The recurring character who appears in The Biggest Lover is an Incubus, who in my writing considers himself a “reverse vampire” in the sense he thinks of vampires as parasites. Since the Incubus feeds on sexual energy, he’s receiving what he needs to survive (as a vampire takes blood) but he provides the best orgasm his partner will experience. This gives him a feeling of pride in his efforts for equality where he and his partners are in a win/win situation. It’s established there was an effort within the Supernatural Community a few centuries ago to exterminate the Sex Fae—the Incubus and Succubus—because they were considered so powerful they could control the other Supernaturals. As a result, the Sex Fae learned to hide in plain sight while blending into legends and old wives’ tales so even the other members of the Supernatural Community no longer believe they exist.  I’m intrigued by the idea the Sex Fae have no interest in ruling others. They’re very private and enjoy what it is they do. The thought that they’ve been so demonized by their own Community makes them a metaphor for what many of the LGBT Community face in the hatred and actions of right-wing extremists.

NB: I’ve got an incubus character in some of my stories, too, and I love how you’re playing with the notion and drawing the parallels with the queer community. I’ll be tracking down your backlist for sure.

SE: The Incubus can also determine what one desires the most and has the power to morph into that form. This leads to the question—what does an Incubus actually look like? As a therapist I’ve encountered individuals who don’t seem to be able to function outside of a relationship. It’s the very nature of an Incubus to depend on a relationship in order to survive. His appearance in TBL means he’s required to take on a very different body type than most others require of him. That change is something he enjoys since he’s curious about new things and new people. I also find the fact he seems as comfortable in the body of a big-bellied bear as he is in any other appearance very encouraging. Finally, I appreciate he was raised “old school” and has a certain formality and old-fashion charm in interacting with others.

There’s a significant interplay with characters from my different titles, often of a romantic or erotic nature. Part of that is the fact some characters are either fun for me to play with or they’re so strong they basically write themselves.

NB: I adore when I can get glimpses of other characters from previous stories in new tales. It’s like an “Easter egg” for the dedicated reader, in a way, and gives them a little something extra to take from the story. What do you hope a reader will get out of your story “Coming in the Night”?

SE: It’s a standard trope that ABP (A Beautiful Person) is often sitting home alone because those of us who are less perfect think we’re out of their league and that they’d never consider noticing us. The Incubus is like the lottery—you can get a big payoff based on random chance. He also responds to the desires of others. In the “old days” this amounted to being Summoned as a demon. But as he points out, The Sex Fae have never been demons which means the binding pentagram of a Summoning is meaningless to them but the charade amuses them.

In this case the Incubus effortlessly abandons his more conventional “perfection” to become the ideal of his new cub partner. Sometimes if you have the courage to ask—sometimes the answer will be “Yes.”

NB: What’s next for you? Any new projects on the horizon readers should look out for if they love your story and want more?

SE: The Biggest Lover explores the fascination of having a large partner or being large oneself has for a lot of readers. When I first started writing erotica I thought I’d focus on this but the market didn’t really seem to be there. Gay werewolves were popular characters so I thought I’d put my own spin on it by creating my own Werebear. It allowed me to combine the plot device of someone actively trying to regain his size. Due to his Bear genetics, the Werebear goes into a type of hibernation in the winter where he loses his appetites and (in his eyes) is “diminished.” When spring returns his appetites for food and rough sex come flooding back. I have fun with the idea when he’s feels he looks his worst after a long winter, he fits the image of a conventional magazine cover model with a six pack so many others admire. He spends a lot of his time trying to cover those abs up and to return to being as massive and powerful as possible.

NB: Okay, I love that.

SE: After writing the nerdy cub character for The Biggest Lover I wanted to introduce someone similar to my Werebear and have him find a new romance while he’s in London. I also like the contrast of my contribution to The Biggest Lover where the Supernatural identity of the Incubus is already known by the cub because he’s the one Summoning the Incubus. In one of my newest works—Bear-Bait: How To Seduce A Hot Daddy Bear—the Werebear doesn’t reveal the fact he’s not human. It appeals to me to think there may be individuals we know in our social network who keep wonderful secrets, just as there are others who are keeping very frightening ones. I also enjoyed bringing my Werebear back given the fact his own series didn’t exactly have a happy ending. Maybe the nerdy cub in Bear Bait can offer the happy ending my Werebear deserves.

NB: Thank you so much for bringing your werebears and incubi to come play today. I look forward to reading more!

 

You can find The Biggest Lover through Lethe Press’s website here, or, of course, you can check Indiebound to locate your nearest brick and mortar. Otherwise, you’ll find it wherever quality LGBT books are sold.


 

eagle-motorcycle-thmbNY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author and winner of the 2014 BP Readers Choice Award for Short Stories and Collections—Skye Eagleday is best known for spicy paranormal  gay romance as well as steamy stories of BHM like his Tales of the Werebear series. “I was born during the Long Days Moon, right after the Moon of the Singing Frogs. I am Native American and I was taught to be a traditional Storyteller, but I have always enjoyed also working with non-Traditional stories. I was taught that sometimes a Story can be so powerful, it begins to tell YOU.”

You can sign up for his newsletter to get regular updates: http://eepurl.com/T3F-j

You can also follow his blog at: www.SkyeEagleday.blogspot.com


 

For those who find themselves falling for the character in Skye’s “Coming in the Night,” you can get more in Big Bad Incubus (Paranormal Romance with the Sexiest Shapeshifter).

Big Bad IncubusLuka is everyone’s sexual fantasy figure. Tonight he felt the ceremonial Call of a woman seeking revenge against the man she believed had wronged her. In other words, a typical evening. But there was nothing typical about the beautiful Jemma, who was lighting the final candle to Summon an Incubus. She demanded revenge. “Tucker is a homophobe,” she said, her voice filled with anger. “I want him to suffer humiliation, so I command you to seduce him—make him your unresisting bitch.”

The Incubus discovers Tucker is like Jemma. Both carry an unknown Supernatural heritage and their interactions with Luka will bring all three to new heights of passion and Power. In another time, the couple would have become Shamans.  But waking these special abilities for two modern day humans in the middle of a lover’s quarrel could pose all sorts of danger to everyone around them. Can the sexy Incubus use his skills of seduction and ultimate lust to save them all?

(A scorching hot Adults Only story featuring explicit supernatural sex with two mostly humans, initiated by the most erotic and sensual of the Fae. Luka requires the carnal passion of others to survive, but pays in the currency of mind-blowing and extreme orgasms.)

Excerpt:

Jemma

I was nursing the last of my two drinks while I waited for the Incubus to return. All I could think about was what it would be like to be with him. What skill he must have in bed. I felt guilty—dirty. I wasn’t focused on getting even with Tucker. Every time I closed my eyes, I would see those glowing red eyes spotted with pure white. I wondered what he would feel like underneath his clothes—what it would feel like to run my fingers through his thick chest hair. I sipped the last of my drink and realized my panties were damp.

I looked up and he was staring at me, standing outside of the Circle. He had changed clothes, and his eyes were exactly the same color as Tucker’s. I felt a shiver of fear.

“Can you go back to how you were when I Summoned you?” He nodded and once again he was the man I had been fantasizing about, his eyes redder than fresh blood. I studied him for a moment, and asked, “Is this your true form?”

Luka

I hated that question, since the answer was so complicated. I pumped up the charm factor and replied, “It is the face I see when I look in the mirror.” The best way to lie is to tell a truth. Just not the entire truth.

“And what is your name? I realize Incubus now sounds more like your title rather than your name.”

“Oh, knowing someone’s true name gives you a certain Power over them, Jemma Mackenzie Farraday.” I moved a step closer to her as her eyebrows went up. “But you may call me Luka.” I noticed she had not asked me about Tucker, just as I had noticed her arousal and the echoes in her mind of what it would be like to be intimate with me.

Those fantasies told me she was not like Tucker. She wanted to be dominated the way no one would dominate her in the day or at her work. She wanted to give up all responsibility for her sexual desires. She wanted to be the innocent one, and blame the Big Bad Incubus. I enjoyed a sip of the scotch she had offered me and she drank half of hers in one swallow. Scotch should only be taken that way as self-medication. I took another step forward, giving my movement the slightest hint of menace. Her heart beat sped up.

Find Big Bad Incubus at Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

 

Sunday Shorts – “Threesome” and “The Biggest Lover” Q&A with Dale Chase

If you haven’t discovered Dale Chase yet, allow me to be the one to introduce you to your next book crush. Dale did something I thought no one could do: made Westerns enthralling. I say that with no malice toward the Western, but that my encounters with the genre in my bookselling and my lit-degree days left me completely unmoved. Turned out all I needed was to find someone who could make me feel the grit and taste the sweat. Didn’t hurt that the men involved were as hot as the often-seen sunsets. All that said, Dale is no stranger to other genres, other periods, and the most recent Chase collection I read, Hot Copy, was scorching, and all the stories were more-or-less contemporary.

I was lucky enough to sit down for a virtual chat about Dale’s stories in both “Threesome” and “The Biggest Lover.”

ThreesomeFew 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.


 

Biggest LoverWe have all heard the term Rubenesque as a compliment for plus-sized women. The baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens was fond of painting women of the day that were curvaceous and full-figured. The men in his art were not. What is the comparable term for men? Because not every gay man is obsessed with twinks who list the number of visible rib bones on their Grindr profile. Or men who can remember the number of reps at the gym but not their phone number. Some of us appreciate buying in bulk and that includes looking for love. Or just plain sex.  Thank goodness for Bear culture which embraces girth. During Bear Week in Provincetown the stores do not even bother to sell clothes smaller than an XL and a man’s virility is often like the potency of moonshine: the more Xs on the jug the better, so XXXL is a chub in high demand.

It has taken too long for an erotica anthology to feature such men. As Girth & Mirth founding father Reed Wilgoren stated, “Just as people are coming out every day—men and women realizing their sexuality—new Bears and new Chubbies and new chasers are also evolving in the world. There have to be people waiting to embrace them and show them the way, much as who helped me to become what I am and who I am today.” It is our hope that readers who felt denied of attention and affection will read these stories and realize that love has no weight limit, no threshold, and neither should self-esteem.


NB: You have stories in both Threesome and The Biggest Lover. You opened the door to enjoying gritty western tales for me, so I can’t help but wonder if we’re in store for some of your awesome western tales with either of these stories. What are we in for?

DCSurprise! Neither story is a western. When Bill Holden and I heard about The Biggest Lover while at Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans, we immediately started talking on what kind of stories we’d do. Historical was kind of a given because we’re both comfortable in other eras, and at first I did consider a western. But the more talking we did, the more I started thinking otherwise. By the time we left our bench by the river, I knew I’d write a Victorian set in the theater in San Francisco. Turned out to be great fun. As for Threesome, the subject didn’t pull me toward historical so it’s a contemporary featuring a hot dentist.

NB: After years of dental reconstruction, I’ve got to say, I think you’re probably the only person I would trust to make me think of a dentist as sexy. I’ve lost track of how many of your short fiction pieces I’ve read and you have a way of drawing into the senses that I really find engrossing. Despite having written over 150 erotic shorts, your stories always strike me as unique and fresh, so you obviously don’t struggle with that, but does having more unique themed anthology calls help? The Biggest Lover has a theme we almost never see, and Threesomes might not be as uncommon, but did holding a threesome as the central theme spark a different idea?

DC: I too am a dental reconstruction veteran who once encountered a dentist of great appeal so it wasn’t a stretch to write a hot one. I do pride myself on originality in story writing. The first thing I think when looking to write for a new anthology call is what will others write. I then write something else. So I’m essentially trying to expand even the rather routine calls, most often by way of character development. Unique themed anthology calls are more fun because they give the writer a chance to stretch. Ninety-six of those 150 shorts I wrote were for men’s magazines and it was all contemporary, all young hot guys getting it on. Doing something different, whether historical or unique themed, is a refreshing change. Jerry L. Wheeler has done wonders in this with his Tented, Riding the Rails, and especially his Dirty Diner book of food themed erotica. I loved writing for that.

NB: Ohmigosh yes. “Cookie” was a great story.

DC: When Jerry L. Wheeler first mentioned a possible erotic food anthology, we were in New Orleans at Saints & Sinners (so many ideas are hatched there!) and he said to me, “I know you’ll write a western” to which I replied “Of course, a chuck wagon story.” I then had to read up on chuck wagon fare, finding it fascinating at how much can be done with a Dutch oven. The Biggest Lover was most welcome in its originality. Threesomes, on the other hand, was just the opposite. A fine theme and I enjoyed writing my story, but it had the familiar feel of simply putting some guys together to get it on.

NB: I’ve barely dipped my toes into novellas and novels (and find them very daunting) but you move between formats with apparent ease. Do you have a favourite format, or does one speak to you easier than another?

DC: I consider myself a novelist who also writes shorter works. Short story characters are like weekend guests while novel characters move in with you. You face them across the breakfast table and they climb into bed with you, nudging as you try to sleep. If you’ve created a lead character you really like, the novel can be great fun, despite the challenges of managing a large work. In writing my first novel, Wyatt: Doc Holliday’s Account of an Intimate Friendship, I lived with Doc Holliday which was the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything. I like the room of a novel, time and space to thoroughly develop characters while creating a multi-layered story. Writing short stories is an entertaining diversion from the longer work so I welcome new and different calls for submissions. I’m always writing something because I enjoy the process. If I’m between novels or need a break when in the middle of one, I write a short story. I’m always checking for new story calls and if one pops up that has appeal, I stop the novel and write that story. I’m two-thirds through my current novel about a pair of cowboy detectives but have stopped to write a couple western novellas as well as answer several calls. I like that the novel waits for me, characters standing in the wings, waiting for me to bring them onstage. I also think diverting myself allows me to return to the novel with a fresh eye. Sometimes a writer needs a vacation from his characters. It’s like leaving them the house while I take an excursion. As for one being easier than another, the short story will always be easiest, simply because it’s short and therefore quite manageable. Almost sad that this gets it relegated to second chair because it can be great fun.

NB: Absolutely, and I love the image of characters moving in. Thank you for taking the time for this!

For those of you looking for a copy of The Biggest Lover of your own, you can buy it direct from Bear Bones Books (an imprint of Lethe Press) at the website, here. Or, check Indiebound for your local brick-and-mortar. Or, as always, ask wherever quality LGBT books are sold. For a copy of Threesome, look no further than Lethe Press here, or Indiebound, or, again, shop local.


 

Dale ChaseDale Chase has written gay men’s erotica for eighteen years and is having a grand time. Retired from the business world, she’s free to fully indulge her creativity and when she’s not writing the westerns she’s come to favor, she’s pursuing her art, whether drawing, painting, papier mache, or her latest passion, magazine paper collage. Dale has two erotic western novels in print: TAKEDOWN: Taming John Wesley Hardin from Lethe Press, and WYATT: Doc Holiday’s Account of an Intimate Friendship from Bold Strokes Books. Her Victorian erotica collection The Company He Keeps from Bold Strokes Books won a silver medal from the Independent Publisher’s Association in 2012. Her first erotic story collection If The Spirit Moves You: Ghostly Gay Erotica was published by Lethe Press. Dale has story collections from Bold Strokes Books and Wilde City Press, all westerns, currently available as e-books. Her short stories have appeared in over sixty anthologies with more on the way. Dale’s earliest work was more than ninety stories published in magazines such as Men, Freshmen, In Touch, and Indulge, two of which were also translated into Italian and German. Prior to erotica, Dale wrote short stories for motorcycle magazines such as Cycle, Cycle World, and Motorcyclist. A California native, Dale lives near San Francisco where she’s at work on various stories, novellas, and her next novel Hot Pursuit which features a pair of cowboy detectives working out of a San Francisco agency in 1876.

Sunday Shorts – “The Biggest Lover” Q&A with Jay Neal

Biggest LoverOne of the awesome things about doing this Q&A series is finally having an excuse to reach out to some authors I’ve shared table of contents with but haven’t actually met. Jay Neal is one such author, and by virtue of this wee project and the magic that is the internet, I was able to connect with him. Happily, he was willing to come aboard, so I can bring you our chat today, and talk about Jay’s story in The Biggest Lover.

We have all heard the term Rubenesque as a compliment for plus-sized women. The baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens was fond of painting women of the day that were curvaceous and full-figured. The men in his art were not. What is the comparable term for men? Because not every gay man is obsessed with twinks who list the number of visible rib bones on their Grindr profile. Or men who can remember the number of reps at the gym but not their phone number. Some of us appreciate buying in bulk and that includes looking for love. Or just plain sex.  Thank goodness for Bear culture which embraces girth. During Bear Week in Provincetown the stores do not even bother to sell clothes smaller than an XL and a man’s virility is often like the potency of moonshine: the more Xs on the jug the better, so XXXL is a chub in high demand.

It has taken too long for an erotica anthology to feature such men. As Girth & Mirth founding father Reed Wilgoren stated, “Just as people are coming out every day—men and women realizing their sexuality—new Bears and new Chubbies and new chasers are also evolving in the world. There have to be people waiting to embrace them and show them the way, much as who helped me to become what I am and who I am today.” It is our hope that readers who felt denied of attention and affection will read these stories and realize that love has no weight limit, no threshold, and neither should self-esteem.


NB: Tell us about “He’s Five-One, He’s Beautiful, and He’s Mine.” What are we in for?

JN: I decided early on that I wanted to tell a love story about a big guy longing to be dominated, and his surprise when he discovered it could happen with a man much smaller than he is; the thought never crossed his mind. The story blossomed in my mind when, at once, the ideas arrived that 1) the boyfriend would be Mexican-American, and 2) the story could take place in a Wal-Mart in West Texas. These two guys’ personalities grew on me real fast. The hostage situation at the Wal-Mart with the open-carry advocate who helps them resolve their relationship miscommunication was just a bonus. I like happy endings.

NB: I love those magic moments when a story suddenly gels. And I’m a fan of the happy ending, too, in erotica as well as romance. Speaking of, you’re no stranger to the erotica world. We’ve shared a table of contents quite a few times now, in erotica collections with themes of food, circuses, trains, magic, and of course, bears. The Biggest Lover has gone somewhere rarely traveled, though, in exploring big guys and the fellows who admire them. Are there any themes you’ve not seen explored that you’d like to see?

JN: We certainly have, and each of them was an inspiration, usually a quirky inspiration, which is my favorite kind. I like to write in response to these unexpected themes, and I’ve been pretty happy with most of the results. That usually finds me wanting to see what will stimulate my next story, but it also seems to mean that I don’t have stories very often just wanting to be written on their own. I seem to need to have an outlet in mind to get my writing in high gear. Still, I’d like to see a science-fiction type of theme that would inspire me in that direction.

NB: You know, I’m not sure I can think of an SF erotica anthology off the top of my head. Good call.

JN: I also need to figure out vampires someday.

NB: I’ve been told this is a mean question, but I can live with that. Do you have a favourite child… uh, I mean story that you’ve written?

JN: Several, since I see different qualities in them. Since the question is so mean, though, I get to name more than one. When I want to introduce someone to my fiction, I usually start with “A Bedtime Story”, a classic fairy tale that gave me nothing but trouble in the writing but came out as near perfect as one could hope. “Confessions of a Failed Pervert” is probably my funniest story–I seem to have a bit of a reputation for screwball-comedy porn.

I’m fond of “The Lighthouse Keep” for the sadistic ghost who appeared in it, and a sex scene that turned me on more than I ever expected. “My Best Friend, Frank”, a sex farce involving an alien doing research on [human] bears, took me several years to find the right voice to tell it in, but it covered a lot of ground that I hadn’t expected and I was very satisfied with the result. There there’s the scandal of “Time Out” and the guy who stops time by farting….

I put all of them in my collection, Waking Up Bear, and Other Stories, by Jay Neal, from
Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press, along with all the other children I adore but was forced not to mention. You’re mean!

NB: Warned you.

 

You can find The Biggest Lover through Lethe Press’s website here, or, of course, you can check Indiebound to locate your nearest brick and mortar. Otherwise, you’ll find it wherever quality LGBT books are sold.


 

 jnshaumeyer20A Jay Neal BioPoem
I sing the body hirsute and husky,
The legions of those I love have girth and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, write of them.
The expression of the well-made bear appears not only in his beard;
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his knees,
The curve of his belly, the volume of his chest.
This is my story: Mouth, tongue, lips, nose, eyes, ears,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, hips, inward and outward round,
Man-balls, man-root, strong set of thighs well carrying the trunk above.
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, or more,
I linger to see his back, his ass, the hair on the back of his neck.
Examine these limbs—they shall be stript that you may see them.
I bear witness.