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Found 22 results

  1. Holy smokes! I mean literally. Okay, not really, but use your imaginations for a moment. A dark theater stage. The crimson curtains slowly open to fog creeping out into the audience. A lone spotlight shines upon a mysterious silhouette. Who could it be? What is their purpose? Will they entertain or shock us? For those who fell asleep, it's the fourth Thursday of the month, which means it's time for the Author Guess Who reveal! If you missed out on the interview, you can read it right... > > > HERE < < < And for those who may have guess correctly, give yourselves a pat on the back! Without further ado, let's reveal our mystery author. It is... an Admin! This author... has written 565,324 words! This author... is... Valkyrie Check out these stories they've written! And if you enjoyed this blog game, feel free to join in on the fun! Send me a PM expressing your interest, and I'll give you a wonderful list of questions! See y'all in a few weeks!
  2. I don't know about y'all, but the weather here is a little wonky. 59 degrees Fahrenheit is a tad bit warm for February. Hold on a second... I think that's because we have a new Ask An Author edition that's hot off the presses! Eh? See what I did there? Aren't you proud of me? Nah, I can feel a few sets of eyeballs on me as I type this. I'll take the "boo's" in the comment section, please and thank you. Anyway, new interview! I had the lovely opportunity to chat with @Lee Wilson and see how their mind works. Enjoy the interview! • • • • • Lee Wilson 8 Stories / 398,382 Words What prompted you to start writing, and what has kept you going? There are really two answers to that question. I started a novel many (very many) years ago from an idea I had. It was just a spark really, but I spent a bunch of time on it. I don't get back to it often enough. My intent was self-publishing it, but it stalled after a few chapters. Secondly, while surfing the net, I came across nifty.org. After reading a few stories there, and one that triggered a memory, I figured, hey, I could do this. I set up a new email address to be anonymous and started writing. Interestingly enough, Lee Wilson is one of the characters' names in the aforementioned, truncated novel. Anyway, the story grew from that single memory into something a whole lot more. One of the comments sent to me mentioned this site. I started a story that the moderators there couldn't classify, so I moved it here. I'd also gotten to another story that I saw getting longer, so I brought the first couple chapters here as well. What keeps me going? Two things. Obviously continuing to come up with new ideas, and the folks here. I feel like I fit in somewhere; I don't have a lot of friends IRL. What genres do you enjoy writing, and what genre have you always wanted to explore? Well, primarily the stuff I've written here. I guess you'd summarize it as gay relationships. Apparently, I'd always wanted to explore that, it's thirteen stories and counting later. Do you have a favorite food or beverage? Something you could have every day without growing tired of it. Pasta, probably seafood alfredo specifically, but Bolognese works too. Top it off with a Mountain Dew, and I'm happy. What is one story/book you could read until the end of time and why? Stephen King's 'The Stand.' It's just a great story. Awesome characters and it's not exactly horror, for anybody that might be afraid to try it because they don't like the genre. Horror doesn't bother me, though; I have all of SK's books. And all of Lee Child's, John Grisham's, what I could find of Dean Koontz and Jeffrey Deaver, a lot of Richard Laymon, Jo Nesbo, a couple of James Patterson's series, John Saul. Did I mention I like to read? If you could chat/gush about one story you've written, which one? Wow tough question. If I were to pick one that's here (since most of what's on nifty wouldn't fly here), I think it would be 'Don't Blame the Band.' I took that one all over the place. It's also the longest one I've written so far. But to be completely honest, it would be the first one I wrote on nifty. DM or email me if you're interested in knowing how perverse I really am. 😁 • • • • • Thanks for the interview, Lee! Make sure y'all check out their stories. In the meantime, don't forget to send me some questions for your favorite authors!
  3. Y'all would be so proud of me. I set an alarm to get this month's edition of Author Guess Who all typed up! If you don't know the drill, Author Guess Who is a blog game where our community is given some answered questions and is tasked with guessing which of our wonderful authors participated. Don't be afraid to be analytical about the responses. There might be a hidden clue buried within. Here we go! • • • • • What is one thing the GA community might not know about you? I struggle daily with self-confidence. Peanut butter: Crunchy or creamy? Crunchy. But I'm not super picky. What prompted you to write your first story? Unemployment and boredom. Do you have a significant other? Yes. You're stuck on an island. You're allowed one book, one food item, and one beverage. What are they? Too hard to pick only one book. That's like trying to choose which kid you put the oxygen mask on first when the plane decompresses. Food is easier. Steak. Preferably rib-eye. Beverage, clean, crisp water. Survival has to take precedence over anything else. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? Hmmm. Robin Williams. The man was brilliant. Are you a dog or cat person? Woof. What's something on your bucket list? The Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Hey, how about that? Teleportation was just invented. Where's the first place you're going? Don't worry, the purple portal pad is totally safe. Duh... Edinburgh during Tattoo. Is there a fictional character you look up to? Who is it? Rip on Yellowstone. He's badass. What is your favorite movie/television show? Lassie How would you describe the taste of salt to someone who has never had it before? It tastes like the ocean smells. Which actor/actress would you like to see portray you in this year's newest documentary blockbuster? Melissa McCarthy When you go on vacation/holiday, when do you pack your suitcase? The night before, a few hours before the plane takes off? Usually a day or two before, but I'm always throwing crap in as we're going out the door. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment? Honestly, my stories. They're something that pushed me to do something completely out of my comfort zone. In doing so I became part of an amazing community. • • • • • Edinburgh, Lassie, and crunchy peanut butter... I would say I don't have a clue, but I carry the answer. Did anyone else pick up anything important in that interview? Any bells or alarms go off? Shout out your guesses in the comment section below! The reveal will be posted on the 25th, so mark your calendars.
  4. December is here, and you know what that means... There's one song I'll be muttering under my breath for the next three weeks. No, it's not Mariah Carey's Christmas song. The husband is already wanting to strangle me for singing Trixie Mattel's "All I Want For Christmas is Nudes" nonstop the past couple of days. But you're not here to hear me sing, and if you are, you've come to the wrong blog article. December also means y'all get another Ask An Author! Let's see, lemme dig around. I know I got one here somewhere. Jeezums, it's dark in— AH, GOT ONE! Took me a bit, but here ya go. Time to see what @WolfM is up to... • • • • • Higher Education WolfM 21 Chapters / 105,204 Words / Status: Complete What was the draw for writing and creating in this genre? Maybe it was my name that started me down this path. I do have a passion for the furry beasts I’m named after. More seriously, for as long as I can remember, the idea of shapeshifters has been a favorite fantasy of mine. I’ve written about being homeless and living on the streets a couple times. It wasn’t a pleasant world on the best of days. Creating in this genre made for a fantasy world I could escape into where I was able to hide from what was around me. Beings that don’t usually get sick, are strong enough to protect themselves, and can heal injuries just by shifting between their different bodies had a big appeal to a teen who tried act like he was never scared. On second thought, it was definite because I’m named Wolf. 😉 In almost all of your stories, the characters both primary and secondary may start single or coupled; but by the end they almost always coupled. Is there a reason that you tend to put your characters into relationships? To be honest, it’s not something I really gave much thought to. When I started writing Running with the Pack, I wanted it to be a boy meets boy story. I didn’t think of it as writing a romance story, but that’s partly what it became. For me, I really didn’t see myself as someone who’d have a meaningful relationship with anyone, but it was fun to see in print. While I was more-or-less happy being single while I wrote, I wanted something a little more for my characters. Aiden got Ethan. Casey got Darius and Cody, the greedy bastard. In The Journal of Chris Williams, it seemed like a natural progression of Chris’ healing that he found his true mate; what’s considered the ultimate happiness for a shifter in the world I create. Dorian was going to remain single, but I liked the character of Karissa Ryan and had fun when I expanded on their time together. I also thought she was just the person to knock some sense into the man. In Embers, Brandon is based on me more than any other character, even though Ethan’s beginnings match mine, so he started with his mate to match mine. I guess I could have created a similar dynamic between characters without putting them in a relationship. Through multiple books, Trevor had always been the playboy; always playing the field and getting laid with as many women as he could. So far I haven’t mated him off to anyone, though it came close. At the end of Higher Education, despite his summer relationship he does return to Harvard a single man. Maybe I’m just a romantic at heart. While this genre would be one that would lend itself to outdoor setting; you seem to set not only this story but others in areas with amazing outdoor sites. Is there something about the outdoors that really call to you, or more just that this genre needs to have some of those settings? I’m not an especially big fan of the outdoors and yet I’ve spent a lot of my life in it, which is probably why I’m not a fan. It’s a vicious cycle. That said, I kind of felt with my characters being part animal, they need to be outside of a bustling city with places they can shift, hunt, and run. I did kind of go against that in Embers with the ones living in Sydney. With Higher Education I decided to reuse the same rural Northern California town from The Alpha. The way I’d left that pack offered a good starting point for another book. Trevor hadn’t spent much time in that pack’s territory, so it was natural to have him explore. While there’s many fun and incredible things you can do in a city, I prefer writing the relaxed setting of the outdoors. Visiting a beautiful waterfall or climbing to the top of a volcano usually aren’t usually available options in a metropolitan location. I did place or mentioned shifters in and around San Diego and Los Angeles. If I hadn’t, Trevor wouldn’t have had the fun he did with Brandon in Hillcrest’s bars and restaurants. Well, the nude beach definitely qualified as outdoors near a big city. Where I’ve used a real location in a book, I’ve tried to see what’s around for my characters to do. Between the time I wrote The Alpha and Higher Education, I got to spend time in the area controlled by the Pit River Pack and was able to experience some of what I’d written about. That alone, increased my desire to reuse Burney, CA as a story location. Trevor was able to see more things than I used the first go around. Tourists do tend to find more than the locals who are used to having it around. Maybe the outdoors does call to me more than I’d like to admit. Just as long as camping isn’t involved. I get enough of that as a firefighter. • • • • • Thanks for the interview, @WolfM! It's always a pleasure chatting with you. Well, if you didn't catch my subliminal message before the interview, I'll reiterate. We've reached the bottom of the barrel again, folks. There's no more stories in the piggy bank. Help a little blogger and give him a few Q&A sessions for Christmas. If YOU have read an awesome story recently and want to learn more, send me THREE questions in a personal message pertaining to an author's story. Have a good holiday, y'all! See ya next year.
  5. You know what I like about the holidays? There's the food, the gatherings, the booze. But there's also games, and it's time to play! Right here, right now. Get your guessing hats on because it's Author Guess Who! For those who aren't familiar, we have a lovely interview with a mystery author. It will be your job to deduce who it could possibly be, which may or may not be easy. After you've taken some time to think about who it might be, make your guess in the comment section! Let's get into it, folks! • • • • • What is one thing that most GA members might not know about you? I'm afraid of clowns. Seriously, IT at age 8 with a sadistic best friend ruined me for clowns AND scary movies. What prompted you to write your first story? On GA? Authors here who I beta read for told me to post the ideas I had. As a kid? I told stories to my step-siblings at bed time until they fell asleep and they wanted to draw the pictures, so I would write them out for them. What genre of books do you enjoy reading and have you written for that genre? Yep and oh yes! Is there a genre that you haven’t written for that you would consider trying later on? Of course. Writing the same thing is boring. What do you like most about publishing on GA? Comments, duh. LOL I love the community of readers/authors. Do you have any unique writing habits or rituals to help you get into a writing mood? Nope. Writing is part mood but mostly just "do it, get it done!" once I commit to a project. How has your writing style evolved over time? Editing for sure. I also moved away from all those horrible cliches (at least I hope so). Do you have a significant other? Yep, for a long time. Decades. Ages. Eons. Since the dawn of... "Hey, stop stealing the covers!" was a thing I could know existed. Do you have any pets? Furry friends are a must! Do you post multi-chapter stories as you write? Do you wait until you’ve finished writing the entire story? Or is it something in between? As I write. I sometimes don't even do a read through before I post. *shrugs* I'm impatient. And last-minute. What is your favorite television show? TV bores me. Currently the family likes Prodigal Son and 911. What is your favorite movie? Willow Do you write poetry? Prose? Or both? Gods, no to the poetry. Don't really like to read it either and refuse to beta it. Prose is where I fall. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? Grandma, because there's never enough hugs from that person in your life. I didn't see her enough in my life, since we always lived thousands of miles apart, and I miss her beyond belief since she passed. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment? The legacy I will leave behind when I die, my monsters. • • • • • I must say, these are some very interesting responses. Who could it be? Were there any major clues in the interview? Get those guesses in! Y'all got two weeks to rack your noggins. The reveal will publish on December 28th, so take your time. Do some research. Whisper among yourselves to figure it out. And for the authors that think this sounds like fun, send me a message! Authors are welcome to participate. I'll give you a big ol' list of questions for you to answer! See you in two weeks!
  6. Taking a quick poll here. Who here almost forgot Author Guess Who existed? I didn't, and I've been busy collecting interviews over the past few weeks. For those that forgot what this is or are new to the GA community, this is a little interview game. I have a little list of questions for a mystery author/community member, and using their responses, your job is to figure out who it is! You're given two weeks to put your guesses in before the reveal is posted. Don't be afraid to point fingers or do a deep-dive research expedition. This game isn't just for fun. It's also a spotlight for authors who want a wee bit of publicity. During the reveal, they get to choose three of their posted stories to be featured on the site! Let's see what our mystery author of the month has to say... *** What is one thing that most GA members might not know about you? I finished my education without any qualifications or exam passes, or as some would say I never graduated. The few qualifications I hold were gained through work. You just walked into a state-of-the-art kitchen with a magical pantry, filled to the brim with every known ingredient. What are you cooking for yourself? Bread, what can I say? I'm a person with simple tastes and the smell of freshly baked bread brings back good memories and helps me to relax. What prompted you to write your first story? I don't really know. I woke up one morning and felt like I had to write, so I did. It felt like someone else was writing, not me. Do you have a significant other? Not at this moment in time. I've been in a couple of relationships that have ended badly and left me feeling wary of others. I've recently started to get to know someone, so who knows? Maybe that could change. You're stuck on an island. You're allowed one book, one food item, and one beverage. What are they? That depends on how long I'd be there. If it's for a long time I would want a good survival book, corn because I can eat it and/or grow more and coffee. Of course, the last two would need me to find a water source. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? Nobody famous. I'd like to meet my uncle, he died before I was born and my Dad often spoke about him. I'd love to hear his version of the high-jinx they used to get up to. Are you a dog or cat person? Due to circumstances I don't have any pets, but out of the two I'm definitely a dog person. What's something on your bucket list? I've never really thought about it. It would be nice to travel more than I'm currently able to so a round the world trip could appeal. But more realistic for me would be to move out of the city allowing me to have horses, but as I haven't ridden since childhood I'd need riding lessons first. Hey, how about that? Teleportation was just invented. Where's the first place you're going? Don't worry, the purple portal pad is totally safe. Vancouver, that's where my godmother lives. I've been there once and would love to go back there, it felt like a welcoming place to be. Is there a fictional character you look up to? Who is it? I admire the character Jethro Gibbs from NCIS. The flawed character has faced many personal setbacks, yet still manages to carry on with life and lend support to others. If admiration is looking up to someone then it is Jethro. What is your favorite movie/television show? That's easy, my favourite TV show is NCIS and similar programs. Favourite movie is anything in the Marvel Avengers franchise. What is your spirit animal? Maybe an eagle, I think I'd enjoy the freedom that comes with being able to fly high and swoop down fast. Which actor/actress would you like to see portray you in this year's newest documentary blockbuster? Taron Egerton, just because I think he's a good-looking hunk. When you go on vacation/holiday, when do you pack your suitcase? The night before, a few hours before the plane takes off? I don't travel much, I'm more of a homebody. When I do travel I'm always packed way ahead of time, I like to be organised. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment? That's not really easy to answer so I'll say writing anything that receives a good review. I don't consider myself to be a writer so the reviews mean a lot to me. *** And there we go! Y'all have two weeks to figure out who this mystery author could possibly be! In the meantime, did you know any author can participate in this game? Holy smokes, you didn't? Well, now you do! Shoot me a PM if you're interested in answering some silly questions. I'll be the only person that will know you are the mystery author [unless pesky admins take a sneak peak]. As a reward for participating, you'll be featured on the site during the reveal! Good luck, folks!
  7. I bet I had y'all fooled. "Oh, no! Where did Ask An Author go? Did it fall off a cliff, possibly dangling off a railroad track like a cheesy action flick?" Well, the answer is no. The explanation is incredibly simple. Blame the antholo— I MEAN I was asked so kindly and sincerely to push this back a week. By the way, did everyone enjoy this year's anthology? Personally, I had a blast. Such great submissions to check out, so if you haven't yet, get goin'! Anyway, y'all have waited long enough for this month's edition of AAA. Let me just check my list... Ugh. Not her again. How did @kbois get back in the queue? I'm just joshin' around. She's okay, I guess. A member of the purple Promising Authors group, she's become a staple for giggles, guffaws, and pesky cliffies around here. Let's get into the Q&A! • • • • • ⚠️ WARNING! ⚠️ The following interview contains massive spoilers pertaining to @kbois's "Shadow Effect." Please keep this in mind before continuing. • • • • • Shadow Effect kbois 40 Chapters, 185,695 Words, Mature You seem to joyfully embrace the idea that family can either be the one you are born into or the one you choose for yourself; and sometimes the two can mesh but they don't always have to. Do you find it easier to write about one style of family over the other? No. The story is what dictates how easy or difficult it is to write about family. In real life family dynamics are some of the most complicated issues you can come across. I come from a big family, married into a big family and yet am not close to any of them. My 'chosen' family is made up of a small group. My best friend is the sister my mom never gave birth to. We have each other's backs to the extent of dropping everything to help hide the body. Lol. My brothers wouldn't do that for me. Writing about family is easy, whether it's drawing on my own experiences or wishful thinking. Elijah is an only child who loses his parents. He has little choice but to create his own family. In this story like others; you seem to be very big on redemptive arcs. In this one, you seem to be heading Caleb Micco on one; is there something about these type of arcs that you find fulfilling to write about? Ahhh, Caleb! Even though he's not a big part of Shadow Effect, he seems to have made an impression. He started out as one of those secondary characters who wasn't supposed to go anywhere. Somewhere along the line, he gained a bigger purpose. He became a bad guy, albeit reluctantly. Hence, the redemptive arc. So now Caleb has his own story; The Light at the End of the Tunnel. It still remains to be seen how his redemption will pan out. I enjoy these types of storylines because they appeal to most readers on a base level. Who doesn't love it when a bad boy sees the light? 😆 What made you decide to keep Kage, despite his death, so present in this story? Elijah feeling his presence and using it to find his mate seemed different. What prompted you to choose this storyline development? Kage. Probably my biggest regret. I positively loathed killing him. It physically hurt writing that chapter. Kage was not supposed to be so... Kage. When I first started thinking about the storyline, the character was meant to be an ass. Then I started writing and Kage had other plans. I fell in love with him. He showed me a side of himself I never expected. That's the weird thing about writing-- characters will absolutely dictate what they want you to write, and sometimes it's vastly different from you envisioned. His death was planned from the very start. I couldn't change it. But neither could I completely write him out of the story. He was too important to Elijah (and to me), so that's why he played an important role later on. He still may show up in some way. Someday, I'd love to write something else with him in it. Maybe a short add-on to The Devil Is Gay world and he and Lucifer can see what kind of mischief they can get into. • • • • • Thanks for the interview, @kbois! Readers, don't forget to click the link in their name to check out their stories. Before I end this, I'm down to one more article in the piggy bank. If you would like to give one of your favorite authors a spotlight, send me three questions. They can be about a particular story or the author themselves. Check back the first Wednesday of December for the next edition of Ask An Author. See y'all later!
  8. I have a list of things I'm great at. You know, for self-motivation purposes. Right at the tippy-top of the paper, in bold letters, "Totally forgetting important things." Silly me, forgot today was the first Wednesday of the month. Good thing my special guest today needs no introduction! Y'all know and love him. Let's see what kind of questions we got for @Headstall! • • • • • Boundaries Headstall 4 Chapters, 16,640 Words, With this story and others of yours having Western setting; what draws you to this genre? I believe I've answered this question a few times, and what draws me to the western genre is that it harkens back to my childhood. I have always loved horses and used to devour anything that featured them, whether in movies, books, or on television. Westerns were so popular back then, and I often feel it is a shame they have all but disappeared. There are some excellent contemporary westerns I've read on GA, but I hungered for something set in the actual Old West, so I wrote "Finding Refuge", a historical western, as an anthology piece. It was really for me, but it was popular enough it showed me there might be an audience for something longer. It took a while, but years later, during the pandemic, the only thing that reignited my writing passion was the thought of writing another western. Hence, "Sidewinder" was born. The response was truly unexpected, remarkable even, and definitely encouraging, so I did something I seldom do, and wrote a sequel. "Larkspur: A Sidewinder Tale" got the same wonderful reception, so now I would say that enthusiasm is also a part of drawing me to the genre... or at the least, keeping me there. It is an often romanticized time period, but it really wasn't as simple a time as we were led to believe by movies. It was a chance to begin a new life, but daily struggles were immense, and not to preach, but there is the whole issue of stealing land from Native Americans, a people that fought back against insurmountable odds. There was so much going on during that time in history, and the Mexican-American War was the nugget that started "Boundaries: An Old West Tale". I guess you could say I'm an historian at heart (five history courses in my last year of high school), so westerns feel pretty natural to me. Still, writing about them requires a tremendous amount of research. There is so much an author can mine from this time of tragedy, triumphs, and heroes. This story has a real undertone of doing what is right or a sense of justice permeating it. Is that a theme you enjoy exploring? I write first and foremost for entertainment and providing readers an escape, but I will readily admit to social undertones being present in much of my writing, and "Boundaries" is no exception. There is so much upheaval in today's world, to the point it feels we are going backwards with regards to individual rights and how we treat people who might be marginalized or different. I wanted to show that we have always needed heroes like Virgil who see right from wrong. We still do, maybe even more than ever. I also wanted to show the resilience of Wyatt, how he would bend but not break. They are examples of the good people who helped build a country with a conscience. So yeah, that sense of justice you experienced in the reading of "Boundaries" is an important theme of mine, and I thank you for this question in particular. I love writing, and I love that it gives me the chance to possibly encourage readers to examine their own thoughts about why they do what they do. That is incredibly rewarding, though I am careful not to beat anyone over the head with preachy positions. I only get on my soapbox in the comment sections. Your writing is so descriptive; especially when dealing with nature. Is there something that leads to this? Are you drawn to nature more than others or is it simply something you enjoy writing about? Thank you! I live on a small farm in the country, surrounded by nature. I also grew up in the rural countryside on the east coast of Canada. Nature is truly in my blood. I can be a city boy, and have been for long periods of time, but my love for nature has to be fed. So yeah, I love writing about the way the world works. After all my years, I am still a curious man, and I learn new things about this magnificent world every day. If that translates successfully in my writing then I am well pleased. As far as being descriptive, nothing turns me off more as a reader than too much of it, so I always strive to balance it in my work. It goes back to not beating readers over the head with excess, and I think I manage for the most part to use description in an interesting way that contributes to the story and doesn't have the reader skipping over passages. At least, I hope that is the case. I can only try. Thank you so much for the questions regarding my fairly new-found penchant for westerns. Anything that puts a spotlight on this genre makes me happy. Cheers! Gary. • • • • • Thanks for the interview, Gary! Readers, don't forget to click the link in their name to check out their stories. Hope y'all enjoy the rest of the month, y'all! I'm off to get ready for work. I really need to plan my days better...
  9. Before you shake a finger at me, we're changing the Author Guess Who schedule for a good reason! All next month, the GA Blog Squad will promote the upcoming Anthology. Knowing this, we're giving y'all a warm-up round. Let's see if we can get some guesses, and don't forget to pay close attention to the interview... What is one thing that most GA members might not know about you? I started college at the age of 16. I wasn't the youngest, though, as one of the friends I made at college was also 16 and three months younger than me. What prompted you to write your first story? I was reading a story (sadly, it's no longer online) where a particular situation arose. I thought that the situation was one that should be explored further, so I wrote a story based on that situation. What genre of books do you enjoy reading and have you written for that genre? Science fiction and fantasy, predominantly, though I also have a number of historical mystery novels, too. While I've written some science fiction, it's not what I normally write. Is there a genre that you haven’t written for that you would consider trying later on? No. The genres I haven't written are all ones that I really don't feel inspired to try to write in. What do you like most about publishing on GA? The ease of publication and the great feedback the readers provide Do you have any unique writing habits or rituals to help you get into a writing mood? No. I write when I feel motivated and have the time to do so. The biggest challenge is getting the stars to align so those two events happen at the same time. How has your writing style evolved over time? Hopefully, it's improved. The overall style hasn't changed that much, but I'd like to think it's better. For that, I'll have to thank my editors, as I've been blessed with a great set of editors over the years. Do you have a significant other? Yes Do you have any pets? A Jack Russell, who is very spoiled. Do you post multi-chapter stories as you write? Do you wait until you’ve finished writing the entire story? Or is it something in between? In between. I used to post as I wrote, but I think the readers prefer more consistency. I therefore try to write as much as I can before I start posting, though I don't always try to finish the story before starting to post. What is your favorite television show? I can't really pick one. There have a been a lot of enjoyable shows over the years, but none stand out over the rest. M.A.S.H is certainly up there, though, if you need me to pick one. What is your favorite movie? Again, I can't really pick one. Different movies mean different things to me, so it depends on the mood. For example, last night I watched Thor Ragnarok because I wanted a fun, easy-to-watch movie that didn't require a lot of thinking. A movie like Lorenzo's Oil is when I want something serious and thought-provoking. Do you write poetry? Prose? Or both? Prose only. I've tried poetry, but my mind doesn't think that way. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? Another tough question. I can't think of anyone in particular, but there are people I would certainly like to know. I'm currently going through a boy band phase, so maybe Stephen Gately or Lance Bass? What would you say is your greatest accomplishment? That's an easy one: my family. *** And there we have it! Mull over the responses, then make your guesses in the comment section. In two weeks, the reveal will post, along with a few of their stories to be featured. Keep your peepers open. As for me, I'm off to a remote location where no one will prod me for clues and spoilers.
  10. Happy 18th birthday, Ask an Author! After today, our little feature can vote but is still unable to drink legally in the United States. I think someone has been slipping it beers behind my back, though. I found it passed out in my computer complaining of a hangover. • • • • • @AC Benus, GA’s poetry guru and the author who gets the most questions will kick off the party. • When you're not writing your own stories and poems, you seem to spend a lot of your time commenting and reviewing other stories on the site, particularly those from fairly new or unknown authors. This can be difficult because those stories are often a little unpolished but have you ever come across a hidden gem or a great story from a source that you wouldn’t have expected? • • • Thank you for saying this. I often feel I don’t do enough reading and reviewing on GA. But I’ve committed to doing more. As for hidden gems, there are quite a few, however, maybe I will limit myself to one prose and one poetic recommendation. Even in its partial form, Denn’s Mobile Circus is one of the finest novels on GA. A shifter story with several differences, it’s at times funny, thrilling, sexy, touching, horrifying – you name the experience, it’s in there – and above all, consummately written by @Twisted_Dreemz. As far as I’m concerned, it should be on everyone’s read-right-now list. (The more love we show him, hopefully the sooner he’ll get back to providing us with chapters ). For poetry, it’s much more difficult to single out just one, as all of us poets on GA post what we love and feel. I’m pleased to say we have a growing and supportive community here for one another. However, anyone who loves good prose-storytelling will instantly respond to @MythOfHappiness' collection of poetry. He can paint a scene in a few words, and grip your heart while doing it. And, if enough of us get at him with comments, hopefully we’ll force him to actually reply to them ). • • • • • From the San Francisco area, we travel east to the mountains. My limited interactions with @MacGreg have left me with the impression of a thoughtful man who has a good sense of humor. I really do need to read more of his work • Many of your stories and longer poems seem to deal with “broken” men. How central do you see the healing process to the characters and journeys you create for them? • • • This is a good question. I suppose I write about "broken" people often, because so many of us have been faced with circumstances that test our strength and resolve. Writing imperfect characters feels true and honest to me. No one is immune to the burdens of sadness, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, etc. that pass through our lives. Dealing with the fallout is all a part of the journey, and my characters' pursuit of refuge and healing acts as a mirror to reflect our own personal determinations. I'm not one to sugarcoat circumstances when writing my characters. And, as with life, not every broken person can be made whole again. But the processes of healing and learning how to cope are definitely central points to my stories and poetry. • • • • • Since Florida is flatter than an eight-year-old’s chest, I decide to stick to the mountains and head north. When I hit the Trans-Canada Highway, I turn east until reaching the Toronto area for a visit with @Mikiesboy. • You put a great deal of feeling and emotion into your work, which you have stated is down to your own personal background, but does it sometimes also get in the way and work against you? In other words, are there subjects which you feel you cannot write about? • • • The simple answer is no. If something appeals, or comes to me and I feel it would make a good story, I'll write it. My past still haunts me, you just do not ever get over that stuff, not really. You learn to deal with it. I put things into boxes and stack them in the corner. These days mostly it stays there. Pretending it didn't happen is no way to deal with it, so I'd write about it - have written about it in Levko, in Street Words and My Life in Pieces. I don't know if I'd write more about that life, I mean there is only so much you can say. Maybe but there'd have to be a very compelling reason to do it again. These days I'd rather write about other things, not necessarily happy ones just different I guess. I love writing comedy, prompts are a lot of fun and make you think. Poetry of course, is my one true love. I think you should try everything... every genre. I'd love to write a good mystery or horror. It's something I think about a lot. I may have even done some planning ... possibly. Thanks again for the question. • • • • • @Nephylim is in Wales. Since my superpowers do not extend to riding my Harley over the pond, I catch a plane to visit her. I made sure it was not a Boeing 737 Max! • What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? • • • I don't mind answering questions about anything. Any interaction is welcome. To be honest, I haven't thought about this. Given that I've been non binary all my life (although I haven't actually "named" this until fairly recently) and that my inner dialogue has always been entirely male, I think, to be honest, that writing a female character is more difficult. It's almost that female is the opposite sex if that makes sense. As I am autistic I find understanding all people, whether male or female, quite difficult and to some extent I rely on television, films, books etc to give me basic understanding of how people interact with each other. Having been a solicitor for many years in the field of family law, I have also had the opportunity to gain more insight into what motivates people on a deeper level. Sometimes it's difficult to separate the real from pure fiction, but I hope I manage it well enough. I hope that's enough to answer the question. I tend to wander off topic sometimes. If the person who asked the question would like more information or to discuss it directly, I'm more than happy to do so. • • • • • Back home in Florida, it’s a skip and a jump to Tampa Bay and @BHopper2. We get the final answer to a set of questions we asked at the end of last year. • What would you like to be? A successful businessman, and a professional writer. With a great husband that understands me and two adopted teens that we both love. Living in a high-rise condo in the middle of downtown Tampa, and living comfortable lives until we grow old, retire, and pass-away. • • • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome home, and well done. The party district is this way, it's been a lot livelier since you gays started running it. • • • • • That is it for this month, my friends. My inventory of questions and answers is severely depleted. If you have questions for any author on the site, send them to me instead of them. I’ll chase them down, get a response, and share it on AAA for everyone to enjoy. Happy 420! ps - @Myr who do I send all my travel expense receipts for reimbursement?
  11. We have something a little different this month. A reader sent in a question for Mann Ramblings that we’ll start the feature with. @Mann Ramblings • If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be? • • • Ok. Here's my answer: You're not an erotic author. You're an author. Write what you want. Let the boys get raunchy, and sometimes beat the hell out of each other. Feel free to kill off the character if it's right for the tale. But temper the sensational aspects. Too much sex or hyper-violence will unbalance a story and they'll never let you forget that one scene. You're going to hate some of your old work. Rewriting an entire novel is a bitch, but you may do it anyways. • • • • • Considering how much I’ve benefitted from his experience when he edits my work, I found both the question and the answer fascinating. So much so, I decided to pose the same one to a few of our Signature Authors. We can all benefit from their experience. • • • • • @Cia • If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be? • • • Let's see, how about, "Don't stop writing so you forget how to do all this." As a teen I wrote fantasy stories, but then I stopped. Picking it up again as an adult meant relearning a lot of rules I'd let myself forget because, frankly, you don't write dialogue when you are writing purchase orders or grocery lists. Good thing, I guess, since it would take up a lot of room to write "Your daughter's stinky butt needs more diapers because you're running scary low and she exploded three times!" the babysitter said or "Milk, you always forget you need more milk," her husband reminds her. It'd take forever to cross everything off the huge list I'd be dragging along behind me through the store! • • • • • @Valkyrie • If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be? • • • I would tell my younger self to write more. I dabbled in writing in my youth and never finished a longer story until I joined GA. I wrote more poetry vs prose back then. When I tried writing longer works, I'd get bogged down in trying to make it 'perfect', so the biggest piece of advice I would give my younger self would be to relax and simply write, and not worry about revising as I go • • • • • @Graeme • If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be? • • • Firstly, listen to your editor. I've been lucky in that I've had a number of experienced editors over my writing time, but when I started I didn't listen as much as I should have. In hindsight, they were correct with their observations, but it took me some time before I accepted what they were saying. Along the same lines, I would tell myself the advice I received later on in my writing, and that's to always keep in mind the end goal. Work out how you want the story to end, and then write in that direction. Don't lose sight of that goal, because that's how you can write yourself into a corner. If you know where you're headed, that will help remind you to leave an escape route to allow you to get to that goal. Meandering on your way to the goal is fine, but don't forget where you want to finish while you wander. Finally, don't be afraid to try new things. Some will work, some won't, but even the failures will teach you something. • • • • • @CassieQ • If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be? • • • Set realistic goals. I started writing with the idea of completing full novel-length works when I was in high school. I sucked at it. I went for years without being able to complete a full novel length work and I grew incredibly frustrated with myself and thought maybe I just didn't have it in me to be a writer. I think it was around 2004 when I found NaNoWriMo and managed to pull off my first full length work in a reasonable amount of time. I had been setting deadlines, but they were super vague, like “I’m going to finish this novel by the end of the year” or “I’m going to have this done by the end of the summer” but without really laying down a plan or breaking a huge task (finishing a novel) into smaller goals. NaNoWriMo’s daily word count goals were like magic. It taught me how to break down a 50,000-word project into ~1,500 words per day. Right now NaNoWriMo is a bit too ambitious to fit in with my current schedule, but it helped immensely to help develop realistic writing goals when I was working on later works, especially longer pieces like Reach, Not The Sun and Geeks. • • • • • @CarlHoliday • If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be? • • • Your writing mentor gave you a list of authors to read and those not to read. Now, you need to read all of their works. Plus, go back to school and take all the writing and literature courses you can. Don't force your writing. Let your voice come out naturally through your reading, studying, and practice writing the kinds of stories you read.  • • • • • I’ll finish the month off with one of the questions still remaining from a previous feature. • • • • • @Geron Kees • What reform do you most admire? • • • I would have to say that the word reform draws me in two different directions. As mostly used today in the broad sense in our country, the word means very little to me. We live in an age where words have attained new power as manipulative tools, specifically selected and used to make unpopular or unbeneficial things sound more palatable. The word reform is spat out in connection with every change that those behind the change want to sound wonderful - tax reform, health care reform, social reform - but the truth is that it is misused in most instances. The word reform, used as a noun, has a dictionary meaning of: "a change for the better as a result of correcting abuses; a campaign aimed to correct abuses or malpractices; a self-improvement in behavior or morals by abandoning some vice." All definitions point to a change for the better and/or the correction of some level of abuse or evil. In the times we live in, the word is a mask for changes that do not benefit society or the individual that lives within it. Or, shall we say, not the average person that lives within it. Most changes these days touted as reforms benefit a select few. The complete absence of real truth in political and corporate America today is frightening. Here is where reform is needed, but where, historically, it never happens, until the type of upheaval we all dread occurs. On the other hand, personal reform, as in, how can I better myself, is entirely another matter. Here is a use of the word I can actually control. In reference to myself, it really is about positive change, and it requires a change that most people - but especially me - feels betters my life and the lives of those around me. I have always been a person that, once focused on a troubling aspect of my life, takes steps to correct it. So in that area, I embrace reform, both as a word and as an action. I prefer to like myself every day of the week, and not just on Sundays, like so many others seem to do these days. You asked, and I answered. • • • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • "You're the last to arrive. Everyone will be delighted to see you again!" • • • • • That’s it for March! Tune in again next month. In the meantime, send me your questions, and I’ll chase the authors down to get a response. Namaste
  12. First Wednesday of the month, so we’re back at it. One question, five authors including me. I decided not to ignore my name on the list of authors the questioner supplied. I liked this one. Since responses are listed in author alphabetical order, I get to go first. ◊ ◊ ◊ Are there themes that can’t seem to let you go? Ideas that you never seem to tire of exploring? ◊ ◊ ◊ @Carlos Hazday The predominant theme in nearly all my work is one of the most common ones in literature: good vs evil. And in my case, the triumph of good. Whether it’s a bully having the crap beat out of him, or a crooked government official caught in a sting operation, one way or another my characters end up on top. Happy endings are the other mainstay of my work. Life’s hard, often painful, and I dislike stories where tortured characters suffer and struggle without achieving their goals. I enjoy sports, read stories, and watch TV shows and movies to escape; my tales hopefully offer readers a similar road to travel. I don’t want to write Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, I thrive on creating popular fiction that makes my fans smile and cheer, and maybe shed a tear of happiness. I guess a good summary of my favorite themes would be: Yes, we can. We may have to battle along the way, but in the end we will vanquish our opponents. ◊ ◊ ◊ @Cole Matthews I'm not sure these two approaches are themes, but they do recur often in my work. First, I see stories as snapshots in time, kind of like vignettes, that capture an episode in an otherwise full life. Characters have pasts and hopes for the future. They have past sins, current desires, and ambitions. I think this can be challenging for readers at times, because there is no real ending. Even the beginning is transitional from one point in a life that proceeds onto another point. Despite these being entirely fictional characters, their endurance past the page is important to me in order to mold a complete persona. When that sense is lost with me, the character is no longer vital in my mind. Secondly, I believe there are no truly good people and so I don't have totally 'good' characters. They are a mix of positive and negative traits. Characters need selfish traits, fits of pique, and blemishes of some kind. It only makes them more human and realistic, and I believe it makes better writing as well. One of my favorite characters is from the "Confederacy of Dunces", Ignatius J. Reilly who is truly one of the most repugnant people ever, but it makes for a riveting story that explores so many human traits. Minnette Walters' The Sculptress does the same thing. Olive Martin is morbidly obese and in prison for killing her mother and sister. There would appear to be nothing positive to explore with this character, but Walters strings the reader along with Olive's lies and half-truths until we find her truth, and in it Olive's humanity. ◊ ◊ ◊ @Headstall Thanks for the question. Themes? I've given this some thought, and went through and considered my entire story list last evening. Some things did eventually jump out at me. There is one prevalent theme, a common one for many of us writers, which I will get to later. I like to write new and different stories that challenge me, with different characters, different genres, and different subjects. That said, I have always been fascinated by human drama, and the foibles of men--the human condition, and the influences of past experiences and societal expectations. I like getting inside characters' heads and exploring the reasons behind the whys, so that probably lends itself to a recurring theme. Life and people are full of mysteries, misunderstandings, and hardships, and I believe exploring those intricacies and their complications is a driving force behind my writing. I want readers to be able to relate on some level, regardless of whether they've been in similar situations, so even in my one wolf shifter story, Morningstar: The Malaise, a central theme is 'human' society. Sort of a contrast and compare social commentary which runs throughout, and I believe that is in keeping with said theme. I am posting a story now, Endings, that delves deeply into the subject of depression, something I've only touched on, in a somewhat lighter way, in other stories, and while it is quite different for me, it still very much fits into the theme I've mentioned. For anyone who knows me, the most obvious recurring theme in my work is love, not just between main characters, but also encompassing friends and family, and how important they can be in our lives. I could never let go of that one, and I suspect I'm not alone in that regard. This might sound corny, but it feeds me something I need, and I hope it sometimes does that for readers. I should also admit that I like including a bit of 'magic' in my stories... a mystical or spiritual aspect, if not actual 'magic' itself. As for my poetry, themes do show up, but most often run their course rather quickly. My poems are a reflection of my life at a given time, whether past or present, so they pretty much run the gamut of subject matter. They feed me something I need too. Again, thanks for the question. Cheers! Gary. ◊ ◊ ◊ @northie As a writer, I hope never to tell exactly the same story twice. On the surface, my writing can stop off at a number of genres – horror, romance, drama, humour – but there are common themes. These can dominate, providing a driver for the narrative, or they might lurk in the background, perhaps obvious only to those who know my writing well. They may not appear at all. Themes only become real after several stories reference the same subjects or tropes. I write stories that branch out in other directions, particularly if they're in response to a prompt that pushes me out of my normal groove. Eric's story (Never Too Late) is a perfect illustration of many themes I keep returning to. If you've read any of my musings on writing and my life as a writer, you'll probably be tired of hearing about Eric. Sorry, but that yet-to-be-finished novel is central to my writing. In it, you can see my development as a writer, and yes, it explores a number of things which have become elements of other stories. An older protagonist – this ranges from early 30s to 60s or 70s. This comes partly from the simple fact I have no interest in writing about a teen as a lead character. There's also so much more to explore – often they've lived a life already, and that feeds into the story. A sense of being apart – this comes from my own situation. In my stories, part of a character's journey is often the lessening of that 'looking in' stance. A life changed – my strapline as a Promising author is 'new lives'. You'll be unsurprised to find this is a foundation stone of my writing. For good or bad, this is a common driver for my plots. Self-discovery – this is a more recent theme, again having its roots in my own life. ◊ ◊ ◊ @Wayne Gray I love finding value in the "worthless" or the discarded. People are not tools, yet they're often valued as if they are. Their worth is contingent on a use, and this is dehumanizing, selfish, and short-sighted. I don't know why so many can't see what it is that they're doing, so I feel this is almost a duty for me ... that I'm required to show the falseness of this inherent belief. Great question. Thank you for asking. ◊ ◊ ◊ That’s it for this month, Peeps. See you in April. In the meantime, I’m always looking for more questions so if you have any, send them my way.
  13. Welcome back. One of the advantages of asking several authors the same question is the opportunity to discern something about their writing. Their responses, shared in this blog verbatim, can give us glimpses into their style. This month’s replies may also tell us if their work is to be read one handed. A while back, a reader suggested one of my stories did not belong on Gay Authors. The complaint was I barely included sex scenes. Before I could reply, several others jumped in and made it clear GA is not Nifty. How much or how little erotic content is included in a particular story is up to the author. My views on the subject have evolved with experience. I only include them these days when necessary to advance the plot. And it’s not always just between men. Let’s see how others feel about the subject. Author responses are listed in alphabetical order. ◊◊◊ How difficult is it not to overdo the gay sex part of a story (if there is any as part of it)? After all this is not a hard core gay porn site! ◊◊◊ @JimSqu Sunbelter For me it's been very difficult. As a novice author I've been working on trying to figure out how much is too much. My first story I'm afraid is a bit too much but future ones are better. ◊◊◊ @jkwsquirrel I don’t think it’s too difficult to keep the scenes of sexual nature within the guidelines of the site. The rules at this site are quite generous. If it’s going to be graphic, give readers a fair warning. Also, there must be an actual story, not just pornographic material. There are other sites where such materials can be obtained. The sex scene serves the story, not vice versa. The key to writing scenes with sexual content is to remember that it’s all about the characters, not the action. Any good scene should reveal something about the characters of the story. The actual sex can be as pedestrian as ‘insert tab A into slot B,’ but that scene may be the key to discovering something vitally important about the characters the reader didn’t know before. By contrast, the action may be hot and heavy and filled with graphic action, but if we’ve learned nothing about the characters, it might have been fun to read, but ultimately it was a waste of time, and could have been easily skipped over. It’s all about respect for the readers. The scene should offer them something worth reading that adds to the story. Readers react very differently to scenes with sexual content. Some will automatically skip over them as soon as the clothes come off, for others, those scenes are the whole purpose for reading. To each their own. I have found scenes of violent nature to be far more difficult for sensitive readers to process than love scenes. ◊◊◊ @Rigby Taylor The manner in which writers describe actions, time, place, atmosphere, and the subtle differences between characters, is critical to success. Describing sexual activity is no different from describing any other activity; there must be sufficient detail to create the mood and flesh out the characters, but not so much that nothing is left to the reader’s imagination. There's a fine line between enough description to set the scene, and what is called ‘over writing’, in which everything is described in excruciating detail, interrupting the flow and risking boredom in readers who don’t need to know the make of the coffee pot or the precise position of the light switch. Three things are essential to life—food, shelter and procreative sex. If I had to choose two, they'd be food and shelter. Starving people dream about food, the homeless dream of a safe, place to sleep, and a surprising number of people in our societies fantasise about sex. [Apparently, in societies where children are taught that nudity and sex are as natural for humans as for all animals, the ‘western world’s’ obsession with those two things is considered somewhat perverted.] It’s a good idea for authors to ask themselves why they want to include detailed, graphic descriptions of anything, not only sexual activity. Will all the extra details further the plot and provide greater insight into the character and behaviour of the participants? Serious writers are sparing with detail, because as in every aspect of life, more than enough is too much. Sex is seldom a totally serious activity. Usually, even where there’s love there’s a bit of embarrassment, humour, exploration, shyness, insecurity… that readers can identify with; their imaginations filling the gaps in ways that please them—provided the writer’s left them with something to imagine. The writer Christos Tsiolkas was once asked how he worked out how much explicit sexual detail to put in. His reply was to the effect that after writing a sex scene, he has a wank, re-reads it, then deletes most of it. ◊◊◊ @Timothy M. Very, very difficult. After all, before I joined GA almost all my stories were centered on erotic situations garnished with reality and hardly any plot. I have to admit I miss writing PWP sometimes. (assuming the PWP = porn-without-plot is a common term ?) ◊◊◊ @Yeoldebard I do not find it difficult at all. For me, sex, whether straight, gay, or otherwise, does not make a story, it is merely a tool to show the love between characters in a way that other scenes might not be able to. ◊◊◊ That’s it for February 2020. We’ll be back in a month with more for you to discuss. Oh, yeah, let’s hear what your opinion on the matter is!
  14. During the dog days of summer, most South Floridians yearn for cooler, drier weather. If you are unfamiliar with the expression, it refers to days being so hot even dogs want to lay around moving as little as possible. August is the time most of us want to move to the Carolinas’ mountains to escape daily rain, tropical storms, and hurricanes. The Signature Authors profiled this month are well known and don’t require introduction. I’ll shut up now and let them answer their questions. @Comicality • You are a prolific user of sequels and serials and have a lot of stories on the go, Gone From Daylight and Savage Moon come to mind. What keeps you motivated and what do you gain by doing serials and sequels? • • • "Well, to answer all questions at once...it's the readers. The feedback makes all the difference in the world to me. So that is my number one motivation to keep going. When I was growing up, I was super heavy into comic books. I still have many of them to this day. And, honestly, comic books taught me everything that I know about character, dialogue, tension, foreshadowing, flashbacks, plot twists...and the best part was that I got a chance to come back every single month and catch up with fictional people that I had grown and evolved with over an extended period of time, and I LOVED it! I never thought I'd see the day when movies or TV shows could be treated the same way, but now you see it all the time. And it works wonders. So being able to build on my characters one chapter at a time, share them with a vocal and participatory audience, and actually feel the energy of having them enjoy what I do, is my biggest inspiration. It might take me an entire year or more to finish a whole story from start to finish, and that's if I'm LUCKY! I can't imagine going that long without some type of positive reward or constructive criticism from my audience. Without their support, I think I'd feel like I'm just typing away at this keyboard for nothing. So I treat my stories like comic books. I post new material, I get good feedback, I come up with new ideas all the time, and my readers get to see the process unfold as it's happening. They grow with the story. It creates a momentum and an excitement that helps me to keep building and challenging myself to complete whatever vision I had in mind from the beginning. I hope that answers the question! And thanks! :)" • • • • • @Krista • Looking at you library here at GA, you don’t seem to use sequels or serials but have a nice collection of stand-alones. Is there anything that keeps you away from bringing more of the characters your readers love? • • • My answer would be that it is the way I view sequels. Most of my stories are stand alone, so if I were to write a sequel or make a story into a serial then a lot of changes would have to happen. I have started a sequel in the past, but I doubt that people would have enjoyed it, because it was so different than the original. That is how I feel sequels should be though, if you created a story and completed it, any story involving those characters should be different with different themes and obstacles for the characters to overcome. The story I mean is, "Are You Christian," and the story ended on pretty happy terms. The sequel would then have to be - for me to have the motivation to write it - darker with new themes. It would no longer be a coming out story, so I would have to come up with something else. I was going with drug abuse and depression as main themes and I doubted my readers would want to see that huge of a transformation for the characters that would be involved. Also motivation and time. Most of my stand alone stories are about High School students maneuvering around coming out and being younger. I don't really have the motivation to do those kinds of stories anymore so stories that involve those characters here are either still going to be in high school or freshly out, wouldn't really be strong motivation for me. I feel that my current style of romances don't translate well to sequels overall as well. So I just don't work on making the attempt. • • • • • @AC Benus • What is it about sonnets as a form that keeps on inspiring you? • • • Thanks for the question. This gave me pause when I first read it. To me, various poetic forms are just tools. So to translate this question to another discipline, would you ask a carpenter what it is about a hammer that keeps inspiring him? He may have a long personal history with a certain hammer, and knows he can reply on it, but the tool itself is just something he calls on to build an end-result. More precisely, Sonnets are a key to me to unlock the universe. Basho had such a key with Haiku and Haibun. Villion’s was the Ballade. The discipline required to master these forms opens up the freedom to say any and everything. A quote I leaned as a teenager from an old Night Court re-run sums up this artistic principle best. “Mastery appears in limitation of form, and order alone can give us freedom.” And none of us should wrestle in disagreement with the likes of Goethe • • • • • A short installment this month; there’ll be a longer one in September. But I need questions for after. If you want to get to know ANY author a bit better, this is your chance. I forward the questions anonymously so if you’re shy, I’ll protect you. LOL
  15. I'm not sure how everyone else is faring but this summer heat is no joke! Make sure you're drinking plenty of water and staying cool out there. My poor air conditioner's working its tushie off. Before someone argues whether such a piece of machinery would have a tushie in the first place... Hey, look! Ask An Author time! While everyone is focusing on the Secret Author contest (psst, make sure you follow @Secret Author and check out the daily stories), I've been busy typing up the wonderful interview I had with @Aditus. • • • • • The Cat Burglar Aditus Statistics may not be accurate due to being an "in-progress" story. 16 Chapters / 66,172 Words / Status: In Progress Where did you come up with the idea of the gifts that some of the vampires develop; what gifts do you think are the easiest to write about and explain how they are used? I decided my vampires needed special gifts in order to emphasize their unique personalities. The first was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I wanted to get Kavan out of a dicey situation. Then I had the idea to categorize the gifts. Kavan is a shadow melder; he mostly gets gifts from the shadow class, for example. There is an actual reason why he gets those, but I can’t reveal why yet. The easiest way to explain how the gifts work is to describe the action. I even have background explanations, but I give them away only gradually as I don’t want to bore my readers with massive info-dumps. Are any of the characters in this story or even their dominant mannerisms based on anyone in your own life? That’s an interesting question. I never thought about this, to be honest. In retrospect, I think some resemble people I know, read about, or saw at a café or another public place. Aykut is actually based on my hairstylist. I’m a people watcher. Sometimes I make up tiny vignettes in my head about someone wearing unusual clothes or about a snippet of a conversation I catch on the bus. Your secondary characters are well developed, do you find it easier to fully develop the secondary characters so they are easier to write; or do you just like fleshing out everyone in the story equally? Thank you. This might be a little embarrassing, but especially my side characters just happen, at least it feels like that to me. If there’s a need for someone to protect, save, chastise, or be a friend to one of the MCs, I give them a side character and equip them with the traits they need to carry out their mission successfully -- very rational. Then some become alive. Their voice is loud in my head, and I almost see them, feel like them, and bam, they are a person. I switch between them and the MC, seeing them through each other’s eyes. Sometimes I need to shut it down to be able to stay on track. Thank you, anonymous reader, for your interest in my story and the cool questions. • • • • • Thanks for the interview, Aditus! If you enjoyed this Q&A, hurry while you can. "The Cat Burglar" is an ongoing story, so there's time to get caught up. Until next month, y'all.
  16. Gah! Ugh! June! It's... so... HOT! I'm burnin' up, folks. Our poor little air conditioner at home can barely keep up. From muggy Kentucky, I hope y'all are finding ways to stay cool out there. Stay hydrated! You know what else is hot? This month's Ask An Author! We got ourselves an awesome author to feature. With over forty stories in their piggy bank, our interviewee might seem familiar. I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with @CLJobe! Scroll down and see what questions were asked. • • • • • CLJobe 44 Stories / 1,733,552 Words Recently, you've posted stories with 100+ chapters with very frequent posting. What made you decide to structure your stories in that way? Do you think you will keep doing it? I found your questions very interesting. I think I can answer a few if I explain my background that has led to my writing. I am 85 years old and I started to write in 2018 when I had an injury that resulted in being a paraplegic. I needed something to do and after reading a lot of stories on several websites, I turned my hand to writing. I live in a retirement home and I am confined to a bed. My activity is limited to reading, watching old movies, and writing. In some of my writings, there is a voice that guides the actors. In "Arrow," it's GG. I didn't always post long chapters. My early stories have much shorter chapters, and some of my readers complained, so I started to post longer chapters. In the quiet of the night, story ideas come to me. If I like the idea when I wake up, I make a note and developed it. The next story when I have concluded Arrow is already being thought about. You started posting on GA in 2020. Were you writing before? If so, when did you start? If not, damn, that's a lot of writing! How do you find the time? I have stories posted on a website in England but I reposted those stories on GA in my early days. My first book is on Amazon. Now I post exclusively on GA. As a question of having time, that is all I have. If you had to collab with another author on GA, who would it be? I don't know who I would co-author with. it would have to be someone with whom I would have something in common. Do you still read a lot of stories on GA? Or mostly just writing I do read a lot and not all stories. I also have favorite authors on GA but i select more by title. Stories mean more than the author. in the last few years, I have done more writing than reading. Writing is therapeutic for me. • • • • • Thanks for the interview, CLJobe! Don't forget to click the link in their name to check out their stories. Hope y'all enjoy your month of June! I'm off to see if I can fit inside my refrigerator.
  17. Another month has come and gone. Over here in Kentucky, we're actually getting some autumn weather for once. I'm used to going from intense heat to severe cold within a week. No need to immediately break out the heavy coats. However, I am getting used to coming up with innovative ways to freshen up Ask An Author. No questions came in this past month, so we're switching things up. We're going back to interactive. When we didn't have questions last time, our authors and readers asked and answered a chain of questions with each other. It got a bit chaotic, and as much as I revel in it, let's keep it nice and simple. I'm giving y'all five easy questions, and everyone is welcome to answer them. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled? Over-medium? What is your favorite story on Gay Authors, and why? What brought you to GA? If your life was a book, what would be the title? What is your favorite soup? See? Pretty easy to come up with questions. How about we work on getting 10 responses down in this month's AAA comment section? Okay, y'all. In two days, I'll be the resident birthday boy, and I got a short wish list. Aaron wants several sets of three questions. Anyone can ask them, and they can be for any author's story. I'll take anything at this point, people. You don't want to disappoint the birthday boy, now do ya?
  18. For the NSYNC fans out there, I hope y'all had a merry transition from April to May. As with a new month, Ask An Author comes to showcase a deserving author. An anonymous reader sent me a list of questions for @Laura S. Fox. Let's see how she responded. • • • • • Laura S. Fox 13 Stories / 1,588,251 Words How long have you been writing gay-themed fiction and what got you started? I have been writing this type of story for as long as 16 years if I'm counting correctly. It was a long time I did that before I reached GA in 2017. It all started with fanfiction, actually. I don't know if the term is much in use now, but back in those days, they called it 'slash', that was when various male characters in TV shows, anime series, and so on, were being paired by the imagination of various fanfiction writers. I'd consumed quite a bit of fanfiction written in various fandoms before I got gutsy enough to write some of my own. It took me some years to start writing original fiction, and that happened when I discovered that M/M romance was a big thing on Amazon. What brought you to Gay Authors? Since I began writing original fiction and wanted to bring it under the eyes of an audience - something that happened with little success for many years - I began searching for platforms where I could publish my stories so that people could read it. If I remember well, it was because of a Google search that I ended up here. What have you enjoyed the most about your GA experience? What GA has and many other places on the Internet today don't is a strong, amazing community. I'm not using big words just for the fun of doing so. There aren't that many platforms where you can publish this type of story and experience great feedback. I know it for a fact since I publish my works on many different platforms. I won't mention other sites, but let's just say that there are platforms with a much larger audience where thousands of views only bring a measly comment or two on each chapter, not to mention the negativity that sometimes stems from the fact that people are not required to sign up and leave a comment or a review under at least an alias. To put it simply, GA is a lot more troll-proof than a lot of places on the net these days, and that's really great. What ONE story or series have you read on GA you may want to read again? I think that the one story I loved the most was lomax61's Gay Vacation Companion, but I'm not sure it is still on the site. It gave a fresh and natural perspective on a relationship that developed to circumstances that weren't supposed to lead to that • • • • • Thanks for the interview, Laura! Don't forget to click the link in her name to check out her stories. Hope y'all enjoy your month of May!
  19. If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims. No? Bad dad joke? I thought it was hilarious. A big thank you to the anonymous members of our community that BOMBARDED me with questions. Holy smokes... My inbox went from 29% full to 36%. Y'all are insane, and I love it. I have a pile of questions and responses to last me until October-ish. Maybe December. Regardless, I appreciate the site's involvement. Let's get down to business. Now, it may seem like I'm playing favorites, and I would never do such a thing. Coming from GA's purple-people-eaters, this month's interview was with one of my fellow Promising Authors. To further combat my "alleged" favoritism, it's a simple coincidence the story mentions Kentucky. Just because I'm in the Bluegrass State doesn't mean I can't help what stories come into my inbox. Anyway, let's look at some responses from @Wayne Gray about his story, "Engineer Benson." • • • • • Engineer Benson Wayne Gray Story Status: In Progress / Rating: Mature How do you find a writing a story were everything is really experienced by the reader as if they are reading the journal of the title character; was this easier or harder than writing in another style? Writing from the perspective of a journal is a challenge. It's a version of the first-person subjective PoV (Point of View), and the limits it places on me as a writer are what make it enjoyable. We depend on Wayne (and Mark) to tell us what's happening. Just as with anything subjective, their perspectives are somewhat unreliable. How unreliable, we don't know right away, and maybe we will never know. That's simply a part of it. The reader has to accept what is given by these flawed people as the only version of the truth they have access to. Frankly, I love that. And I'm not going on about it because I plan to totally pull one over on the reader due to this flaw. It simply adds a new dimension - we only know what the person writing does. And we only know what the person writing is consciously willing to admit and document. That's a long way to say - it's harder than my typical third-person PoV stories, but I enjoy the challenge. Do you find writing about this type of dystopian world easier or harder based on the popularity of the genre, ie. The Walking Dead, etc... Oh, good question. It's one that's pertinent to the break I took writing the story. Early in writing this tale, I began watching The Last of Us. And a plot point integral to that story surfaced, which made me have to completely rewrite a big chunk of my tale. My outline mirrored The Last of Us so closely I'm sure someone would have believed I lifted material from it. I didn't, but it was just too close to be a coincidence in the discerning reader's head. So yes. Absolutely, in this case, it made things far harder. The more I watch the show, the more I'm convinced The Last of Us creators were inspired by Project Zomboid (PZ). PZ has been going for over a decade now and is rich with lore, so it wouldn't surprise me. That's the game that inspired Engineer Benson in the first place, so I guess I'm in good company. *** Warning*** You are entering spoiler territory. As requested by the author, this statements acts as a warning. How hard was it writing the chapter about Pamela and her choosing to sacrifice herself in order to try and help Wayne and Mark? Was her character based on someone from your own life, or just your creation? Ah, Pamela. That was a hard scene and chapter. Pamela was entirely a creation to show the horror of the setting. Things are "not good," and that was a way to show it in a rather direct fashion. I also wanted to show that there's still bravery in the world. In spite of everything, there are people who are trying to do what's right. Thanks for asking about my little story. I certainly appreciate your interest. • • • • • Thanks, Wayne! It was a pleasure interviewing you. #goteampurple With a line of questions and responses, I have plenty of content for y'all for the next several months. But I'll never turn down more questions. If you have 3 questions for an author about any story they've written, send them my way. I'll do my best TMZ reporter impersonation and get your answers. Have fun, pilgrims!
  20. March. March! March!!! I doubt I'll be kicking off the month of March for GA like this any time soon, so let's do it in a fun and exciting way. I didn't have any questions via PM, so I had to put my workboots on and find some content. Fortunately, I didn't have to look far. With a slightly different format, I asked some wonderful questions for one of the site's exciting authors. This guy has one of my favorite stories of all time, and I revisit it frequently. Asking these questions brought much joy, so I hope y'all can feel my enthusiasm through your screen. So, different format! I wanted to ask the author questions, but not about specific pieces. I needed to know what makes them tick. Without further ado, I had the pleasure of chatting with the author of GA's hit shapeshifter story Running with the Pack, @WolfM! • • • • • WolfM 8 Stories / 552,394 Words What was your inspiration to start writing? Has it changed since then, and if so, how? I started writing as a way to escape into my imagination while living on the streets as a teenager. A pen or pencil, a notepad I found or managed to buy were a luxury that allowed me to try and build on fantasy worlds that were far away from where I was. Variations of what eventually became Running with the Pack started that way. I’d read them, add to them, and occasionally share them with others I interacted with until my backpack would inevitably get soaked in a rain storm and I’d have to start over. My inspiration has definitely changed over time and it’s now the fulfillment of an idea. A character catching my attention in a dream and asking to have his story told is how a couple of my books took shape. In the case of Embers, a test chapter, my husband pushing, and suggestions from a wonderful man who has taught me more than a college writing instructor ever did was all the inspiration I needed. Yes, Daddy Carlos, I’m talking about you. What drives you as an author? I’d say my primary drive is the desire to bring my characters to life in a way that’s relatable to others. I enjoy the challenge of creating a compelling story people want to take the time to read. I also want to improve my skills in this hobby I’ve taken up. Thinking I’d done a good job when I originally posted Running, only to finally agree to work with an editor and see how badly written it was, regardless of its popularity has taught me to accept help from others. I can’t thank Carlos Hazday enough for asking to work with me. There’s also the joy of finishing a book and feeling happy with its outcome, even before it gets shared with others. Name a genre/subgenre you have always wanted to write in but haven't, and why. Readers of my books will undoubtedly notice quotes or references to sci-fi series like Star Trek, Babylon 5, and even Dune. I’d love to write something in that genre, but the right idea hasn’t sparked yet. Robotic were-creatures just don’t seem right. Who knows, maybe my characters will take to space one day. Which of your posted works are you most proud of? Which would you like for readers to look at more? My two lowest-read submissions are both autobiographical. I’m proud of Alone in the Night since it was the first one I truly finished. It’s a subject matter most people would rather not thank about, teen homelessness. I wrote about the period of my life starting with getting thrown out into to streets at sixteen and surviving until I was living indoors again. This was a somewhat, possibly heavily, sugarcoated attempt to convey what I experienced. Its follow-up, Memories of a Street Rat is as the title states, memories of specific events while living on the streets. The chapters are harsher and describe the violence people like me were subjected to. It has a couple of happy memories too. I understand why they’re overlooked since it isn’t a happy read. People who’ve left reviews seem to feel they should be read. Aside from being proud of the two I mentioned, I’ve got to include Embers from the Running with the Pack series as well since I was able to take my experience of fighting the 2019/2020 fires in Australia and turn it into my second-most popular book in the series. The fact I pulled it off with it being about the people and the fire as just a backdrop worked well. I feared it would instead read like a technical manual when I started it, so yeah I’m proud of it. Would you care to tell GA what some of your works-in-progress are, or some ideas that have been in the back of your mind? LOL. Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system. When I comment on a chapter, I’m careful not to give hints to what’s coming next. With that stated, I’ll politely sidestep the question of ideas floating around my mind. Besides, I could get lost in there and never manage to finish this interview. I’ve got several works in progress. The fact they’ve been sitting in that status since I finished Running with the Pack and before I started what became the second book in the series, I’m not sure they’ll ever see the light of day. Both have been languishing for close to seven years with probably five or six chapters each. If they get resurrected, I’d have to start from scratch since they both jump in and out of first and third person. They were done before I met Carlos, so I can easily say what I’ve got is very badly written. Lol. • • • • • Thank you, @WolfM! It was an absolute delight to read your responses. Everyone, sound off in the comments if you've enjoyed Wolf's stories. As usual, I'm always looking for questions to keep Ask An Author alive and kicking. Send me a PM with three or so questions about a story you've read or are currently reading, and we'll feature the author. This is an exciting way to learn more about the Gay Authors community and what inspires our authors to write. As of now, there's no articles in the piggy bank. If this trend continues, it may cause the blog to be replaced, or even vanish. Check out some of the other AAAs and see what kind of questions are being asked, then take a gander at what you're reading. See y'all next month!
  21. I hope everyone likes contagious things, because I got a smile on my face. While I'm comfortable with my "resting retail" face, I figured I could put on a genuine one for today's sake. This month's edition of Ask An Author features one of GA's favorite authors, and is easily one of the kindest people on the site. Honestly, I've never seen the guy in any sort of negative mood. If I'm being even more honest, I firmly believe he's an actual horse that has learned to write stories on a comically large keyboard. Coming from GA's Signature Author pool, we have some questions for @Headstall! • • • • • Headstall 38 Stories / 1,093,410 Words Your stories cover many genres. How difficult is it to write in a new genre, and what problems do you face as the author? It's true I have tried a number of genres, but writing is writing, and there are challenges to any new work. I don't see those as problems, though, just parts to examine, play with, and work through. Still, tackling a new genre does instill a certain amount of fear in me. My shifter story, "Morningstar: The Malaise", for example, terrified me at the start. I felt truly out of my element, but my muse said otherwise. I'd never written a mystery before, never mind a shifter story, and this one was intricate. Hence, I had a real fear of failure, and that I would make a mistake and giver something away before the right time. It truly was a weaving process, right from the first chapter. In retrospect, I can say I thrived on the challenge, immersing myself totally in this new world I created. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I believe it remains my crowning achievement as a writer. You create authentic dialogue, settings and behaviors true to the time and place. Can you describe how you do this difficult task? Thank you for thinking so. I guess the simple answer is research. I research everything... even names. It is time consuming, but happens to be something I can enjoy. I go down some rabbit holes, but that can often give me ideas for future stories. I think the most research I have ever done was on the "Sidewinder" series. It was definitely a challenge to find a dialect and rhythm I was happy with, but I'm satisfied with what I came up with. In fact, I think in that dialect sometimes. I give a lot of thought to settings. We all like to dream, and reading is a time we can do that, so I like to put readers into a place they can see themselves, but somewhere they might never have been before. How could anyone not like the magic of Larkspur and Red Apple Farm in "Sidewinder", or the charm and character of Cloud Nine Manor in "Cards on the Table"... or the hidden valley Wiley and Cooper find themselves in "Finding Refuge"? Or Grandma's crafted house on the river in "Gone Fishing"? Or what about the barn where Caleb and Dalton meet again in "Big Boy Pants", or Eagle's Nest bluff in "Morningstar: The Malaise"... or Kellar's rescued cabin? My point is, these places, only some of many, are like characters in their own right, enriching our escapes as we turn the pages. The stories would be far less without them. As far as behaviors, it is a good question. My pet peeve as a reader is when characters do one-eighties, and become something different from what I invested myself in. I mean, they can change, certainly, but the author has to do a thorough job of making us understand why... otherwise, I am out. That doesn't mean I am not a patient reader, because I am. For my own writing, I make sure what my characters do make sense, even if we don't understand their actions right away. There is a fine line there. In one of my stories, "Endings", there is a character we don't really understand, but he is that way from the beginning. There is a slow reveal until we can finally see why he is who he is, and that was a fine line I had to get exactly right. Did I? I believe so, because of how the many readers responded. You took some time off from writing recently. What prompted you to start writing again? Here I am asking about the influence of reader comments, reviews, friends, and challenges such as the anthology this year. I have had some roadblocks in the past few years that affected my production, that is true. It was a huge deal when I tore three ligaments/tendons in my shoulder. I had a year wait for surgery, and then a hard year of rehab. It meant I had to type with one hand that whole time, and even capitalizing was almost impossible. But, I got through it. Then came the pandemic, and like so many, I found myself rudderless, and lost any desire to write. What prompted me out of that? I definitely have to thank "Sidewinder" for it. After many attempts to finish up a half written story to no avail, "Sidewinder" came out of the blue (no pun intended... readers will understand ) and took hold. It ignited a passion in me, I think because I have always loved westerns and had wanted to write a multi chapter one ever since writing "Finding Refuge". It coalesced in my mind rather quickly, and then the research began. It was fun to write again, and thus I continued on with "Larkspur: A Sidewinder Tale", a sequel that was asked for. But, the pandemic was far-reaching, and I hit my most recent slump. And it is true the latest anthology got me fired up again, and I produced three works for it. Reader comments and reviews can inspire me for sure, but the fact is, and one I have come to accept, is that writing can be very hard work and I cannot force it. I have to be patient where my muse is concerned. Definitely, support from my friends really helps as well, but I have to wait for that perfect storm to arrive. In your own opinion which of your characters is your favorite? Most vile? Most lovable? Most humorous? Briefly describe how you develop characters, please. Most favorite character? Oh, boy. That is a hard question because my characters are my children. I'll give it a try. My first characters were Michael and Kendall of "Cards on the Table", so I will say they rank up there, but how can I ignore Kellar and Tobyn from "Morningstar: The Malaise"? And Boone and Coy from "Sidewinder"? Oh, and Jared from "Treading Water"? That guy broke my heart. And then there is Wyatt Burnham who bent but never broke... and Mitch Willard and Will Merrick... and Chase and Hank... and Dawson. See what you've done to me? This part of the question isn't just hard... it is impossible... because I have created so many different characters who still live in my head and heart. Jeremy from "Cards on the Table" just came to mind, as did Maurice and David from "The Watcher" series. Yeah, I can't choose. Most vile is easier. I would have to say Candy from "Cards on the Table". Oh wait. Carly from "Treading water" might be worse, and I think there are readers who would say Kevin from "Endings" or Ian from "Song and Dance", but I personally don't think they were vile no matter how unpopular they were... just needy and foolish. That brings to mind Perry's appearance at the "Amarok Hotel" in "Endings". He was more of a douche, though. Wait again. I think I've got it! The sidewinder himself, Will Diamond, was the most vile. Oh, but then there was the Reznicks from "Morningstar"... hard to top how evil those two were. And Lucas from "Boundaries: An Old West Tale" probably deserves a mention. I give up. Most humorous? I've got to get it together, so I will say Mrs. B from "Cards on the Table", although Big Mike from the same story had some wonderful zingers, and Michael and Kendall's banter would keep me chuckling for days after writing it. Most lovable? Again you make it hard, but I am going to go off the board for this one. I could say Mrs. B. because I have a soft spot for characters who make me think of my mom, but I am going to say old man Corker from "Sidewinder". There was something about that guy... what horrors he has endured, and yet he has this irrepressible spirit and joy that leapt off the pages for me. Finding him was like discovering gold. Briefly describe how I develop characters? I had to laugh at the 'Briefly'. Briefly speaking is not my forte. I guess the simplest way to say it is they develop themselves. They come into my brain, and I get to know them. I play scenarios with them over and over in my mind before they make it to the page, and that helps me figure them out. Of course there are exceptions who appear as I write and I just go with it. Honestly, I don't know where these characters come from. I've always had this incredible imagination, though, so maybe that is where they live, and they come out to meet me when I need them. I will say one more thing. Characters are the easiest part of writing for me... they become real rather quickly, and I consider that a blessing. Thanks for the thought provoking questions. I tried my best to answer them all, but you made it hard, and I appreciate that. Writing has taught me I like a challenge. Cheers! Gary.... • • • • • I loved reading "Sidewinder" and "Morningstar." They're in my favorites folder when I need a pick-me-up. Thank you for answering these questions, Gary! Well, that'll do it for this month. As for March, I'm afraid I'll have to go searching under some rocks. The AAA piggy bank is dry once again! Don't forget to submit 3 questions to me via private message. Let's get specific, folks. I'm challenging you to focus on a singular story. I know y'all can do it. You were probably in the middle of reading a GA story before you stopped to read this. Ask questions that forces the author to think. Get them to open up about the nitty-gritty details that made their work shine! Pick these authors' brains, people. Toodles!
  22. OMG, where is Aaron If he lived up here, he might have got hit by a snow plow, but down where he lives that is not very likely. Or is it? Someone told me that he was stocking a shelf when the whole aisle collapsed on him and he was by himself. Then they say he saw all the spilt liquor and couldn't bare the idea of all the good spirits going to waste. So injured on the floor he started slurping up everything he could get. Luckily he was lying at a low point of the store floor so all the split booze flowed to him. Now I guess he has a wee bit of a hangover Actually personally I think he went AWOL. I'm not sure who told him he could take the month off! Oh, it was me Okay, for the truth none of the above is true except getting the month off. So we have a different AAA 3.0 that was sent in this month in where one of our anonymously question suppliers came forward with some questions for none other than @astone2292. Rather than have him appear full of himself (appearances are everything) I decided I would take over the blog, just this once to ask him the questions. 1) What interested you in writing stories about shifters? I write shapeshifter stories as an escape, of sorts. Living with a basic, daily routine (wake-up, work, sleep, repeat), the paranormal genre gives me something life can’t. The ability to transform between human and animal is a concept that would provide one such freedom, even if the animal is odd. A wolf can run in a forest. A mole can dig in the dirt. A bird can sit on power lines and shamelessly defecate on passing strangers. A Golden Retriever can walk around and be called a good boy/girl. Shall I continue? 2) Since you have already hinted about crossover stories, what pros and cons did you consider as you deliberated writing a crossover? The one crossover I performed was not an easy decision. Combining the In the Shadows series and Cernunnos into the same universe had its issues. I had to create a reason for the differences between the shifters and their differing abilities. As time passed, I desperately wanted certain characters to have the opportunity to meet. I can only imagine my readers’ delight if Cyrus ever met Cyn, or if Kaplan met Keiran. The cons… Well, my primary concern was if my In the Shadows readers hadn’t enjoyed Cernunnos (or vice versa). I hate spoilers more than the next person, so potentially causing someone to be exposed to who met who, or who did what unspeakable action was a heavy detractor in the decision. 3) What things do you consider when creating a new universe? By this, I mean considerations between canon and personal ideas about how things work. Going back to my answer to the first question, I want to escape. What could I do to alter life around me to make it more interesting yet believable? I think of a concept, flesh it out, and either stick it in the “to-write” pile or toss it if it’s not beefy enough. Sometimes, I’m met with a stunning image or hypothetical situation through conversation, and my imagination dives into the rabbit hole. Putting a story in consideration, I evaluate whether I have the attention span to commit to the idea, and how passionate I am about the concept. If I know it hasn’t been done before on GA, I’m gunning for it. Two of my projects are going to be unique: Cow-man, being an anthropomophic fantasy/western, and a Pokémon story, a first for GA’s fan-fiction archive. 4) Can you explain how you develop a character from the beginning to the end of a story? Here I’m thinking about the minor character, Sarah, from the In the Shadows series and her arc in Death in the Shadows? Planning, planning… Nah, I can’t say that. I wrote In the Shadows while flying by the seat of my britches. Did I have plans for Sarah back in the first book? Oh, hell no! As much as I’d like to say, “Oh, I just made a bunch of side characters that don’t matter so I can use them when I need to,” but that would be a lie. That’s just the miraculous way it turned out. Being a young and inexperienced writer is both a blessing and a curse. Even now, it’s what I continue to do: write the story, incorporate some minor characters, and when a plot point starts to unfurl, I think whether to give one of the side peeps a spotlight or not. 5) Anything you can add about character development of main characters would also be appreciated. With main characters, I’ve kept them either relatable (Vincent) or true to their nature (Cyn). I find embodying a MC to be the best. Using Cyn as an example, what can, would, or should he do? He’s a deer shapeshifter, and hasn’t been around humanity and their modern ways in his upbrining. I… ate… that… up! Cuisine, transportation, technology. The poor guy sat on a mattress for the first time and thought he was on a cloud. My point is to dive in with a character. Make them stand out and be individuals, but be cautious. It’s easy in the supernatural and paranormal genres to make an all-mighty character without weakness. With Vincent, I did my best. He is a mage with several abilities, even before he became a lycan. What was his weakness? A lack of fighting experience and a morality that prevented him from killing in a ‘kill-or-be killed’ situation. Well that is it for this month! If you didn't enjoy this out of control train about to go off the tracks, don't worry it probably won't happen again. Aaron will be back next month, but only if you continue to send in some great questions like the ones above! Just click on his handle here @astone2292 and then click on the Message button to submit them to him. Easy peasy
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