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  1. On the first Monday of the month, I announced the CSR Feature was Carlos Hazday's series, Atlantis Shift. It features two stories, Tidal Power and Detskoye Porno, but check out my interview with Carlos to see his thoughts on writing in general, those two stories, or if there might be more to come! He always gets to ask authors questions and share the answers, so enjoy this chance I had to turn the tables on him! When it comes to reading, do you have a preference for paper or eBook/online books or stories? I’ve read on both but have realized I prefer printed over digital. Ten years ago, when I sold a large house and moved to an apartment, I gave away several hundred books. A few favorites I replaced with electronic versions and enjoyed reading on my tablet. Over time, I’ve recaptured the love for the physical presence of a book and the delight of turning pages and folding a corner to mark my place. It’s also a great sleep aid. Reading on a screen can interfere with dozing but falling off with my glasses on and the weight of a book on my chest is a thrill again. What do you like to do when you’re not writing or collecting questions & answers for Ask an Author? Riding my motorcycle! I own a 2010 Harley-Davidson Road King. For anyone not familiar with scooters, that’s a BIG touring bike meant for more than speeding down the highway or bumming around the city. Over the past ten years, I’ve ridden in 41 of the 50 states and a small corner of Canada. In all kinds of weather. The feeling of freedom is infectious. If on a busy road, I’ll blast the sound system; if on a quiet one, I’ll let the engine roar and the whistling wind blowing through my hair be my soundtrack. And no, I rarely wear a helmet. It’s the rebel in me. What’s one location you haven’t been to that you’d love to go to research for a story? Brazil! Although I’m almost fluent in Portuguese, the South American giant is a place I’ve never visited. I can imagine a story straddling the beaches of Rio and the Amazon jungle. Exotic locales alone could be a great inspiration. The danger would be that when you throw in sultry weather and half-naked hot men, I may just forget about writing. What do you think the most valuable advice or piece of education you’ve learned about writing is? Patience. Something sorely missing from my personality, but what I advise new writers to develop. Too many good story ideas are wasted in the rush to publish. It takes months for a chapter of mine to see the light and, even then, I often find errors. Only a fool thinks they can offer a quality product by themselves. I’ve been lucky to have a few talented individuals work with me. Particularly @Mann Ramblings. I’ve benefitted from his experience working with professional editors when publishing his books. I also know at times he’s consulted @Renee Stevensand @Cia when in doubt, so my gratitude to all three. Things he corrected at the beginning are no longer an issue. I’ve paid attention to what he fixes, internalized, and hopefully improved my writing. What’s the first thing you do when you start to write a story? (Plotter, pantser, get in a particular place to write, have your coffee/tea/drink ready to go…?) Look up hot men on the internet to model my characters after… Nah, not really. That comes later in the process. I’m a chronic planner. The spark may be a location, a character, or an event. I generally will jot down whatever it is, and then flesh it out into an outline/timeline. Once I have a beginning and an end, I sit at my desk and start working. Since most of my writing’s done in the early morning, a mug of coffee is always by my side. Did you do any particular research for the fantastical aspects before you wrote Tidal Power and Detskoye Porno? Not at all. I researched locations for both stories, power generation for the first one, and kiddie porn for the second. Dolphin anatomy was also in there. As far as the fantastical aspects, I relied a bit on previous readings. Anne Rice’s vampires, Rob Colton’s werewolves, and Cia’s were-creatures all floated around in my head. But I wanted something different, so I used those as a starting point to create my own myths. What do you think the best parts of these stories are? (scenes, characters, particular aspects of the writing, etc…) The concept. The emergence of shifter dolphins as a result of Atlantis sinking into the ocean. It‘s something different and opens up a world of opportunities for water-related stories. Being born in Cuba and raised in Puerto Rico and Miami, the ocean’s always played a huge part in my life. The Atlantis Shift series were written and posted a few years ago, and writing is an evolution. What changes do you think would improve the stories from your viewpoint as an author now? Where to start? Tidal Power was an experiment in dialogue-driven storytelling. No narration and no speech tags. Somebody slap me if I try that again. The second story’s a bit better but not much. Both would benefit from additional descriptions of locations, characteristics, and action. Written when I was getting my feet wet in the authorship business, I thought I knew what I was doing. Fool! Do you have any ideas, plots, plans, or thoughts you want to share with readers about the Atlantis shift series to come? Yes, I do. My idea was to follow the dolphins through different adventures where they would team up with other fantastical creatures. So far, werewolves, vampires, and dragons have been featured. I have blurbs involving witches, Santeria gods, and elves amongst possible characters. Each story would deal with a real-world situation where the dolphins team-up or face-off with the other beings. A new series installment is on my list of 2019 projects. Please share any other inside tidbits about your current works, your stories those who enjoyed these stories might like, or special sneak peeks of works to come for readers here! I’ve concentrated on the CJ series in the recent past. Currently, book ten is in the works. The story about a wealthy, Hispanic, gay teen with political aspirations will conclude with his graduation from college. It’ll begin posting in January. The list of future projects includes a children’s story or two, further adventures for the Key West biker in American Steel, fleshing out flash pieces of Colt and Tony in Chelsea, and potential CJ spinoffs. The pantheon of character in that series is rich, and I’d like to explore a few of them in more detail. Either flashbacks or future events. I do have quite a bit written on one dealing with Chipper, the musician in the group. And there’s always the possibility of further CJ stories following his work in the State Department and his rise to prominence in the US. But I need a break first.
  2. October brings us a nice long month to read, a full 28 days, so I wanted to feature a series. Carlos Hazday's Atlantis Shift series delves into the mystical world under the waves that so fascinates many due to the very mystery it still holds on the planet, and I couldn't pass it up. It's also another older feature from his early days showing his creativity from the beginning and his growth since then. You'll get to know more about these stories and Carlos in my interview at the end of the month, so make sure you read up and come back on October 29th! Atlantis Shift Series by Carlos Hazday Tidal Power Length: 8,373 Description: Two ancient species join forces to battle a common enemy. A Reader Said: I think I agree with most guys here in that you left us wanting more! After reading the story I have an entirely new appreciation for dolphins that I never even knew existed The wolves are still my favorite, though! ~albertnothlit Detskoye Porno Length: 8,858 Description: The dolphins of Nova Scotia return in an all new adventure! A Reader Said: Definitely interested in more. I like all three of the shifter groups we've met - the wolves, dolphins and the dragons. Great story. ~avidreadr Don't forget to come back for the Discussion Day on Monday, October 29th!
  3. Carlos Hazday

    My oh-so-gay hometown

    Although nearly 15 years old, this New York Times article still provides a good description of my city. https://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/15/us/a-gay-boomtown-is-more-mainstream-and-less-the-cliche.html I dug it up after walking through closed-to-traffic Wilton Drive—the town’s main street—during the Stonewall Festival this past weekend. The outrageous outfits, loud music, and alcohol consumption were still there, but what grabbed my attention was something else. Lots of kids, from infants in baby carriages to slightly older ones walking with their parents—both same-sex couples and heterosexual ones. Corporate America and governmental institutions amongst those with booth displays. Police officers from neighboring cities who volunteered to work the festival to show their support for the gay community. These are all signs our lives as outlaws are nearing the end. That the GLBT community is becoming an integral part of the melting pot. And that it does get better thanks to the struggle of those who came before us.
  4. I've been toying with the idea of writing a children's book. Dolphin Delivery is the working title and may change. GA limits the way in which images can be shared but I envision illustrations accompanying each scene in the book. Would love to hear what you think and if there would be an interest in the story. Here's the initial draft of the first scene. Dolphin Delivery: A Children’s Story “Daddy, Daddy! You’re home!” Liebe ran to the door and raised her arms. “Pick me up, Daddy. Pick me up!” In one motion, her father lifted Liebe and twirled her around. His baseball hat fell off when he did. “Wheee!” The little blonde girl squealed in delight. “How is my favorite four-year old?” Her father asked her after stopping and giving her a kiss and a cuddle. “Daddy! You forgot my party. I’m five now.” Liebe had celebrated her fifth birthday the previous week. “Oh, that’s right. How’s my favorite big girl.” Her father gave her a bunch more kisses all over her face and returned her to the floor. “I’m good, Daddy. I missed you.” Her father was a fireman. He slept at the fire station when he worked so she had not seen him since yesterday. “Papi’s washing Spot.” Papi was her other father. Spot was the puppy she got as a birthday present. He was white with black spots all over. “Did you go out in the boat today?” her father asked. “We did. That’s why Papi’s washing Spot. He jumped in the ocean with us.” She pointed to the dock behind the house. Her other father was on it, next to their boat, rinsing soap off the puppy with a hose. “Was it fun?” “Yeah! We had a great time. Mamma showed up and went swimming with us. She’s fat!” ILLUSTRATION Front: Blonde fireman in t-shirt and pants with suspenders holds blonde girl against his chest. Background: Dark-haired, bearded man in t-shirt and board shorts rinsing Dalmatian puppy on dock with boat next to them.
  5. Have you ever wondered, if an author could pick one story that they wrote, what story they would recommend? Well, today we're going to set about answering that question for you. Today we have Carlos Hazday, lomax61, and Headstall, all telling us what story they wrote is their favorite and why. Hopefully you find a new story or two out of this feature. And if you're an author, well, pick your favorite story of yours and send it to me along with a link to the story and a paragraph telling readers why that is your favorite self-written story! Favorite Self-Written Story #2 Melvyn Ford Carlos Hazday Description: A 1929 Ford Model A Tudor is passed from father to son through several generations. Note from Author: Although not up to my current technical writing standards, the story still tugs at my heart. The number of layers is what makes me like it so much. It's all about family with highs and lows, sadness and happiness. I don't consider it a gay story even though one of the characters is. It's simply about a line of fathers and sons and one of them happens to be gay. What binds them together is their affection for an automobile which helps us track the generations of Jareds. Second Half lomax61 Description: Marcus, a gay chef riding the waves of success, loses his best friend Lorraine Bradford-Fowler in a car accident. Her husband, Tom, is a broken man, especially knowing that she had been in the car with another man. Left to bring up his two daughters single-handedly, he begins to come apart. Until Marcus steps in to bring things back from the brink, and taking them both by surprise, finds that Tom begins to have feeling for him. Note from Author: This is my favourite story to date because it deals with potentially real life situations, with family and loss, and most importantly shows how two people can find love through their dependence on each other. Morningstar: The Malaise Headstall Description: Kellar has become an island unto himself. That is, until he meets Tobyn, the first shifter who will actually talk to him. Note from Author: I believe many would expect I would choose Cards on the Table, and it is a close call in some ways. I have written two 'epic in length' stories, but I have learned so much about writing since my first, and Morningstar: The Malaise is the culmination of that. It truly represents how far I have come as an author. Yes, I will continue to refine my skills, but the pride I feel for this accomplishment is immense. You are asking this question on the day I'm posting my final chapter, so it is a bittersweet one. Morningstar delves into new territory for me. It is a shifter story, a mystery, and a romance. It required a ton of thought and research, and rather intricate planning, and was, at times, taxing, but the end result, I believe, speaks for itself. I have created a world that is relevant in our day and age... at least I hope so. I think most readers who are not a fan of the supernatural genres will forget all about the fact it is a shifter story if they give it a chance. In fact, I know it, because it's been told to me often. I have many 'favorite' stories, but this one eclipses them all... until I write the next one .
  6. Carlos Hazday

    American Steel

    American Steel began with a double purpose: replying to selected GA prompts and sharing some of my motorcycling experiences. The collection of loosely-connected vignettes allowed for each chapter to stand on its own while still telling a wider ranging story. The first six chapters were easy to write. I have the next six outlined and number seven partially written. However, I’m uncertain as to when those will be posted. I’ve tried juggling several stories at the same time before and I wasn’t happy with the results. They all suffered when I spread myself around. Future chapters will carry a stronger connection to each other and I don’t want to rush them. I’m going to wait until I have them ready before posting. Plus, I’m trying to concentrate on Walls for now. The CJ series is at a point where I want it to be the best I can possibly produce and that takes work. I don’t know when American Steel will return, but it will. The next chapter will take place in New Orleans and since I’ll be there in the summer, I may wait until then to finish it. You know, I may need to visit a bar or two for research purposes!
  7. Renee Stevens

    New Author Advice #2

    Have you thought about writing your first story, but it seems a little daunting? Don't worry, every new author has been there at one point or another. Thankfully, you're part of a great community that has plenty of authors willing to share their knowledge, and/or what they wished they'd known when they first started. If you're thinking that you've heard that before, it's because you have, but that's the best intro to this feature. Back in December we first introduced the "New Author Advice" feature and it seemed to be well received. So let's take a look at what advice our site authors have this time. Building Readership & Criticism Mikiesboy Ok... building readership... read others work, comment/review, be active in forums, say hello to people be friendly. That's what I did. Works from my experience. It can't be a one way street. And reply to people who comment. They took the time to read your work, you should do the same in return. Criticism? Well that can be hard to take, depending on how it's written and the kind of person you are. If you're unsure, ask the person who commented what they mean. I've not experienced any sort of mean-spirited criticism on GA. Most people are pretty helpful and thoughtful. At least the ones I've met. You can also use the Your Status thing to advertise .. but I don't personally. Feedback Carlos Hazday Encourage readers to give you honest feedback. Reviews pointing out what they liked are great, but the ones where they tell you what they didn't like are even better in my opinion. If you want to make your stories the best they can be, knowing what didn't work for readers is a priority. If you react badly to criticism, you may miss out on great advice, your writing may suffer, and in the end you could end up losing readers when your style stagnates. Before You Start Jamessavik First, read a lot. Read a lot of different authors, different genres and different styles. Read with an eye towards not just the plot but, the craft in which the story is developed. You will see that some authors do a great job in this respect while others- not so much. Second- Start with short stories. They can teach you a great deal. Unlike a novel, you can't wander around for a 40,000 words to make a point. Short stories require a certain discipline to do them well. You have to balance things very carefully with an economy of words while providing characterization and description while advancing a plot. Don't expect to master this over a few weekends. It's more art than science. In fact it's a lot like golf. When you are in the zone, you can do great things. If not, you bogey every hole. Finally- before you embark on a novel, learn how to plan it out. We all make the mistake of sitting down at a blank page on the computer, write a great beginning and then hit a wall. There are numerous GREAT but INCOMPLETE novels on the web. Unfortunately several of them are my own. Know where you are going because, if you don't, your chances of getting there are slim. If you're a current or experienced author and have some advice for newbie authors, send me a PM with your advice and be featured in a future "New Author Advice" feature. If you're a new author, or even an existing author, what questions would you ask your fellow authors? PM me your questions regarding writing and if there is enough interest, we'll start a new feature where I post your questions for the various site authors to give their opinion. You can choose to remain anonymous if you'd like.
  8. Carlos Hazday

    Presidential Inaguration

    Forty years ago today, on January 20, 1977, I stood on the grounds of the Capitol freezing my butt off. The same weather system which had brought snow to my hometown of Miami the previous day had dumped inches of the white stuff on the nation’s capital; the cold seeped through the soles of my shoes making me shiver and bringing my group of friends into a huddle seeking warmth. Try having your feet stuck in snow for hours, when you’re used to warm South Florida winters, and you’ll know how uncomfortable I was. But we were not about to move; we were there to watch the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as the 39th President of the United States. As a freshman at Georgetown University I’d made friends with connections. Those contacts scored me tickets to the Gerald Ford Victory Celebration on election night the previous November. My friends and I milled about the hotel ballroom that night, drinking overpriced cocktails, watching the election results displayed on a screen behind the stage. We returned to our dorm disappointed our candidate had lost. The same congressman who gained us admission to the party on election night, came through with tickets for the inauguration of the man who I’d not voted for. But in the politically charged environment which was a university campus in Washington, DC it made no difference: we were witnesses to the peaceful transition of power from one party to another. An event our nation took for granted after almost 200 years and which many around the world envied. Today I find myself in a similar situation: a man I did not support will be inaugurated as president. I won’t be in Washington this time around, but I’ll be watching Donald Trump’s swearing in as the 45th President from home. Yes, I’ll be watching. No, I’m not happy it’s him taking the oath of office instead of his opponent. Yes, he’s my president. I’m an American first. My concern is for the nation as a whole. I may disagree with Mr. Trump in many areas, I may cuss at him and his policies, but he has my best wishes. If he fails, we all suffer. Some may suffer if he succeeds, but he won the election and he deserves an opportunity to show us what he can accomplish. I will support him when I agree with him, and I will speak out against him when I don’t. But I will continue to believe in the American system of government, flawed as it may be, and will continue to participate to the best of my ability. Because if I don’t, if I abdicate my responsibilities as a citizen, I give up the right to speak up and complain. Change is coming and I hope it surprises me. I hope our nation and our people are better off in four years than they are today. Good luck, Mr. Trump.
  9. GA is happy to announce our newest promotion to Promising Author, Carlos Hazday! Carlos has been a member of Gay Authors for a little over three years now including publishing 21 stories! He prides himself on tackling real issues in his work all while aiming to entertain. Never one to shy away from tackling a controversial topic, Carlos has written about homophobia, bullying, HIV, child pornography, gun control, the environment, and racism. In fact, one reader commented that Carlos practices socially engaged storytelling. If you haven't checked out his work before, let me suggest fan favorite Summer, which is the first book in his popular CJ series. We look forward to what new adventures Carlos has in store for us! Leave a note here to congratulate Carlos on his promotion, and then check out his stories here! I'd also like to thank each member of the Author Promotion Team (Graeme, Mann, Myr and Renee) for taking the time to read and review Carlos's work.
  10. Renee Stevens

    Ask An Author #40

    I can't believe it's already July and that the year is half over!!! Not only that, but it's the first Wednesday of the month, which can only mean one thing. It's time for another Ask An Author feature provided to us by Dark. If you have questions you want to ask your favorite authors, but don't want to ask the questions yourself, you can always send your questions to Dark for inclusion in the Ask An Author feature. Ask an Author #40 Welcome back to another quirky question and answer session with your favorite authors! In AtA #39, we had questions for authors Billy Martin, Dayne Mora, and Mark Arbour. In AtA #40, we hear from authors Cole Matthews, M.A. Church, Riley Jericho, and Carlos Hazday. Just shy of his three-year anniversary on GA, Cole Matthews joined the ranks of our Signature Authors. While this may be his first appearance in this blog, his new story Third Shift is already generating discussion and interest in the forums. Which, by the way, is where Cole has posted a fantastic intro to the story, so go check it out. With more than 5,000 likes and 26 stories, this boy is not slowing down anytime soon! I remember when he first started posting on the collaborative project Gaia Town. Setting up and organizing that project was fascinating to watch. What you may not know about him is that he’s something of a gardening maniac who has recently experimented with making his own jam/jelly. Those cookies he posted in his blog from the antique cookbook are also pretty good, but if you really want to know Cole, then you’ll read The Second Fifty, an autobiography of his life. It’s a must-read. To Cole Matthews: Did you enjoy writing your most recent murder mystery, and do you plan a second? I love murder mysteries, thrillers, and suspense stories. In fact, they are my favorite stories to read. I always thought my first novel would be that genre. I realized early on, I needed to practice writing dialogue, exploring characters, and establishing a voice first. Creating Barbed Wire Heart was a wonderful experience which allowed me to exercise those skills. I learned how to craft the clues and false leads more easily after becoming more proficient. I am working on more thriller shorts for anthology stories. In addition, I'm working on a suspense novel called Perdido Key, which will be set in Florida and not in Minnesota for once! Next up is popular fiction writer M.A. Church. She has been a member of GA for about five and a half years now, but early on started branching out into the online publishing genre. You may remember her from her original nom de plume “nomoretears.” She only claimed herself on GA two years ago and though she’s never said, I think it had to do with her rising popularity in the published world. Did you know she’s been mentioned in the Rainbow Awards twice now? She can also be found at Dreamspinner and All Romance Books. Check out her profile on Goodreads or her blog to see what she’s been up to lately. Of her five stories on GA, my favorite is In Enemy Hands. Of course, I’m a huge sci-fi fan, so those who know me will not be surprised by that. Like many, my favorite character is Adler. I think a lot of my love for him comes from the way MA Church writes his interactions with his brother. I also love the slow build-up between the main characters and between the supporting cast. There’s a lot of cleverly-hidden details and it’s always fascinating to see how characters navigate culture differences. There’s a lot M.A. Church has planned for 2016, so check-in with her often to see what’s new! To M.A. Church: Did someone have talk you into posting your stories for the public to read or did you decide yourself? I decided after reading several stories at a place called Literotica to try my hand at writing. After a few stories were posted, comments were left encouraging me to publish. I finally decided if the Christmas story I’d written for their Winter Contest placed, I’d try to find a publisher. A Tah’Narian Christmas came in first, lol. Not long after that I submitted a story to Dreamspinner Press. So basically, thanks to the encouragement from my fans at Lit, I started down the path as a published author. While it did not work out to include the next question into special edition #33, British Author Riley Jericho remains popular here on GA. He promises that his long-running narrative An English Teen... is finished! He’s just got to add the last chapters to the site. I’m sure his fans will be both relieved and disappointed. As with many people, real-life can often find a way to interfere with writing, but Riley has persevered, a feat not to be undervalued. Andy Q Gordon continues to work with Riley on ET, and at over 100,000 reads, it’s a partnership that’s definitely working. I wonder what Riley will work on next? To Riley Jericho: What made you decide to write m/m fiction? That's a good question, and I'm not sure I know. I guess I just thought I'd have a go. I read a lot, I love words. I thought, 'Well how hard could it be?' Jeez—what an idiot! Starting with this blog entry, I decided to shake things up just a little and feature 4 authors every month in honor of this being the 4th year of the blog series. Today’s 4th and final author is Carlos Hazday. He says that his blog question and answer will expire soon, so it made sense to start here. When I asked him this time if he wanted to participate, he said, “How could I not be up for it? I was the one who complained when your blog was pre-empted this month, remember?” Which of course I had forgotten. We’ve had a couple of questions for Carlos over the years; you might remember him talking about reader feedback, but those of you who frequent his forums already know how interactive they are. But for those of you crying over the ending to the latest in the CJ series, see below: To Carlos Hazday: I love the CJ series. What's next for CJ and his crew? There are two timelines concerning CJ running parallel in my mind. One is the story being posted on GA which is currently two years behind the real world. Spring ended as summer vacation was about to start in 2014. The second timeline is the one which tracks events taking place afterwards and through today. I have those events chronicled in outline form and will flesh them out into a story. Soon. I dislike stories which are abandoned or are posted on a very irregular schedule and don't want to fall into that pit. I am working on TRAVELS, the fifth book in the series but will not begin posting until it's entirely written. My fearless editor is also quite busy over the next couple of months, and not wanting to train a new one, I've decided to give him a break. I'm all heart, aren't I? Mann was fearless when he agreed to work with a rookie like me and his assistance has been priceless; the story is much better than it would have been without his input. I'll beg him to continue helping me once the book is at least halfway written. So no promises on when you'll read about the trips most of the major characters embark on during the summer of 2014, but rest assured there's more to come. That’s it for now! For more info on these authors, go check out their stories, post in their forums, and/or catch them in chat! See you next time, with authors Headstall, mikiesboy, Sammy Blue, and Sasha Distan. I’m always in the market for new questions! Simply PM me (Dark). Until next time! Dark
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