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Found 33 results

  1. Welcome to June! Can you believe this month marks halfway through 2019? June is often a month of vacation, trips, and time off beginning for many! This month we're featuring a story by a well-known GA author and the past anthology, Road Trip, with the short story, Exit to Redemption by @Valkyrie And, with this being a short story, you should have plenty of time to read the story before the discussion day... of course, Valkyrie tends to connect a lot of her tales, so you might just get sucked in to reading more and more! Exit to Redemption by Valkyrie Length: 5,361 Description: Pete meets Henry at a conference and can't get him out of his mind. He doesn't understand why Henry won't give him the time of day. Pete needs to decide if Henry is worth changing his behavior for, and figure out if redemption is possible. Those of you familiar with my Max and Elliot stories will recognize Pete as Elliot's arrogant ex-boyfriend. It's not necessary to read those stories first, however. This story reads fine as a stand-alone piece. A reader said: In some ways, Pete is a more interesting character than Elliott. You want to dislike him and even kick his ass, but he almost seems lost... ~ Cole Matthews Enjoy this month's CSR selection, but don't forget to be ready to come back and share your thoughts and comment on the Discussion day on Monday, June 24th!
  2. Well, how has May treated you? Are you ready for Pride next month? This month we had a great double feature of @comicfan's story, The Strange Life of Jonas Marks, which included Coming Out, some fun fantasy, a romance, and so much more!! Did you read Puppilull's review or enjoy the story yourself? I hope you did! First, of course, is my interview with Comicfan, then you can share your thoughts on his story in the comments below! Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? I usually like to make the bed. My mother was always one to say, “Wayne, god forbid you leave your bedroom door open, you don’t want people to think you’re a slob.” If people look into my room they’ll never think I’m a slob, just a book whore. If you were an animal, what would you be? I’d say a dog. Faithful to one family/person, loved, sleep a lot, belly rubs, taken for walks, and get to bark at those you don’t like … I’d say that works for me What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know? I have a collection of Smurfs. What’s the best part of being an author? All those crazy ideas in my head, I get to put down on paper, then type up, and share with other people. The incredible part is some people actually like my crazy ideas. If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? Write and be fearless. Never be afraid to make mistakes. Things can be edited later, but if you don’t write you can’t share. No idea should be abandoned until you attempt it. But the best thing I could tell myself is to remember not every story will be a hit with everyone, so keep your head up and keep trying. Is fantasy your preferred genre to read and write? Fantasy has always been a mainstay in my reading. Fantasy can take many forms and I’ve always been a voracious reader. The nickname name Comicfan isn’t because of anything other than I love comics as well. From newspaper comics like Peanuts, Cathy, and Garfield, or comic books like Superman and Wonder Woman I read and loved them all. My mother got me hooked on mysteries and I have all of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Horror author Stephen King is well represented as is Edgar Allen Poe. Then again you’ll find all of Kalayna Price’s Grave Witch series, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and more, Rick Riordan, Patricia Briggs, and JK Rowling to name but a few. I admit to being a book whore. You posted a new chapter to The Strange Life of Jonas Marks after a long break. Did something reinspire you? Can you consider major surgery inspiration? I feared if something happened to me, Jonas and other stories that I’d had to put aside while dealing with life would never be completed. I focused on completing everything I had so readers would never have to wonder what happened. How did you decide what kind of fantasy characters to have come through the door in Jonas’s office? As I admit willingly to, I have always read a lot. I never go anywhere without a book. When the time came to choose characters I had to do little more than glance at my library. Hobbits? Check. Fairies? Check. Orcs, Dryads, and more? Check. If I felt there could be someone who wanted to date an angel, well then it was safe to bring one in, because the only who could see through the glamours was Jonas. Do you plan to write more in this setting, either for the other characters or Jonas? When I finish a story, for me that is usually goodbye to that world. However, some characters like to come back. I’ve learned to never say I won’t go back, but just don’t expect it to be any time soon. How about any other projects you would like to share with readers? Seeon has a new story. Couldn’t quite get it done for the spring anthology, but with just a few tweaks it will fit one of the fall topics. I am also trying to finish two short pieces for other projects on site as well as a longer one I’m calling Next Chapter. Hopefully, it all gets done.
  3. Well happy May to everyone! Is it moderate and beautiful where you are? The year is moving faster and faster, but and we're approaching Pride month next month. Did you catch the feature call for the Premium short stories themed with coming out stories? It's something many gay authors face, no matter what orientation we claim (and can't that be interesting to explain?!) and it's no surprise it's often the subject of teen fiction as well. Let's take a look at another long-time favorite GA author's take on the subject with this month's CSR feature! The Strange Life of Jonas Marks by @comicfan Length: 57,189 Description: Jonas Marks has just graduated high school when he tells his father he is gay. The end result is that Jonas is tossed out of his home. With no money, no job, and no place to call home he ends up on his friend Jenny's couch till he starts working at Kroger's. Then his life just gets strange. A/N: This story originally began as a short story in the Anthology Walk on the Wild Side. I had a number of people comment on how it really needed to be expanded. The end result is what you are now looking at. For those who read and comment, this is for you. Thank you for your vote of confidence and I hope this lives up to what you expect of me. A Reader Said: What a surprise to suddenly find an epilogue here! It suits your story quite well. The story arc developed nicely and I like the end. I'm glad it's not a major cliffhanger but interestingly a sequel might be possible, who knows Anyway, thank you for this great story, I enjoyed it a lot. ~ Zenobia So enjoy this month's CSR selection, but don't forget to be ready to come back and share your thoughts and comment on the Discussion day on Monday, May 27th!
  4. No April Fools, we're really featuring The Assassin by Lilansui this month for the CSR story! Darkish, lightish, twisted, different, definitely what you don't expect... what more could you ask for? Read the description and check out the review from one of the readers who thought he'd just give it a quick glance... then make sure you're ready come back and share your thoughts on the Discussion Day on Monday, April 29th! The Assassin by @lilansui Length: 71,240 Description: Kian spills his strawberry milkshake on Daven at a Mall Food Court. Daven is caught between irritation and fear when Kian follows him to the men's bathroom. In mere minutes, Dr. Daven Noland meets Kian Raja, an Assassin with a warped sense of humor, and a valid contract with Daven's name. A Reader Said: On a whim, I decided to read this story last night. It was 10 p.m. and I figured I would read the first couple of chapters before I went to bed...The time read 5 a.m. by the time I read the final word of The Assassin. I lost a night's worth of sleep, so, the question is, was it worth it? Oh, who am I kidding, of course it was worth it! This story kept me on the edge of my seat, my heart racing at every moment of danger, and me swooning at each and every romantic moment. This is one of those stories that I know I'll reread and never get tired of it. ~ @Drew Espinosa Don't forget to come back and comment on the Discussion Day on Monday, April 29th!
  5. Holy moly, it's already March! How's the weather where you are? We all know we'd rather be reading, no matter if it's warm or hot or cool or cold, so how about we enjoy this month's CSR featured story instead of worrying about all that outdoor junk. LOL This month there's something about the sadder side of love that called to me, and I couldn't help but think of @MericCotton's story, Second Chances. Give it a read! Second Chances by Meric Cotton Length: 23,552 Description: Can life start again after losing the person you expected to be your partner for life? A Reader Said: Loved this story!! I did not expect this ending at all! I’m not sure what I thought would happen, but I’m glad he’s taking a chance to find happiness for a second time! Thank you! ~mfa607 Don't forget to come back with your thoughts during the CSR Discussion Day on Monday, March 25th!
  6. This month's story announcement for the CSR Book Club was Down a Darkened path by Ronyx. An experienced hand at writing, this GA Classic Author knows how to write a story that sucks in readers and keeps them reading as you can tell through many of Ronyx's works. This story was no different, based on the thoughts a lot of readers' thoughts. I know I enjoyed this story despite the sometimes troubling events and sad scenes, the redemptions and ending held true to my hopes for the characters. But what did you think? Make sure you share your thoughts at the end of the interview! Who do you like best, Jerry or Tom? Jerry. I’m extremely allergic to cats. LOL. Besides, Jerry was the smart one. If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I would take, Shadow, my twelve-year-old flat-coat retriever for a walk. Because of his advancing age, I know he won’t be with us too much longer, and I love to spend time with him. What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there? My den (or as some would say- my man cave.) Everything I need is here. I have a large screen television, a computer desk and a comfortable leather sofa. It is where I do all my writing. Do you have a favorite quote about writing or reading? My favorite quote deals with education (which involves writing and reading.) At the end of my story, Reggie’s Journal, after Reggie struggles for months to complete a weekly journal, the teacher rewards him for doing an excellent job. He also writes the comment: The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Very insightful comment about growing up and seeing the world through a different perspective. If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? I wish I would have started writing sooner. I had thought about writing in my teens, but I lacked self-confidence. When I was about sixteen, I wrote the first few chapters of a story, and it still remains hidden in the bottom of a drawer. It wasn’t until many years later that I threw caution to the wind and attempted to do what had always been a dream. I’m forever grateful that I did. It was the beginning of an amazing journey. I’ve made so many wonderful friends over the past twelve years through the Mustard Jar, Codey’s World and Gay Authors. How much research did you need to do for Down a Darkened Path? I didn’t need much research. I had never considered writing a story with a blind main character. One night I received an email from a college student who told me he was blind. He asked me if I would write a story about a blind person. At first, I told him I didn’t think I could because I had never known anyone who was blind. However, a few months earlier, my nephew was involved in a serious car accident. He was a passenger when the driver lost control and plowed into a bridge abutment. He almost died. He was in the hospital in critical condition for days, and after a month he was moved into a nursing home for rehabilitation. As a result of the accident, he lost his left eye. Several months after he returned home, he was attacked outside his apartment by two men who tried to rob him. He also was engaged to be married, and his fiancée decided she couldn’t handle the situation and left him. For those who have read Down a Darkened Path, you can see the similarities of incidences in the story and my nephew’s life. I was able to take a tragic personal event and incorporate it into the story. My nephew is happy today, and he has adjusted well to the loss of his sight. In the story, I wanted Troy to accept what happened to him and live a happy and fulfilling life with Jayden. You wrote a scene where the characters tried to learn some empathy for your main character by experiencing sensory loss in a public place. Was that something you did for your writing process? Not directly. When I was in college, I took many psychology classes. In one of the classes we did a trust exercise where we were blindfolded and led around the campus for an hour by another student. We were required to do several sensory experiments. I used that learning experience and applied it to the story. This story has several very emotional scenes. How did you handle writing those? As I discussed earlier, this story was written from a personal experience. Probably the most difficult was writing the hospital scene directly after the accident. Tony (my husband- it was his nephew) rushed to the hospital when we received a late-night phone call. At first, he was not expected to live. The engine of the car was pushed into the passenger’s side, and his lower body was crushed. He also hit the windshield which resulted in the loss of his eye. He was in intensive care for a week, and he managed to show improvement after several weeks. The sorrow that night was very intense and emotional. We also visited him in the nursing home when he was recovering, and he talked about some of the depression he was experiencing. It was difficult because he was only twenty-two at the time, and he had such a bright future ahead of him. Today, he still suffers from bouts of depression. Do you have a favorite scene in the Down a Darkened Path? I love the ending! I think it is one of my best. I admit tears flowed down my face when I wrote about Troy singing, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” What better inspiration than to end a story: “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high. And don’t be afraid of the dark.” What is one thing you would like to share with us about your current or upcoming stories? I took a hiatus from writing for three years. In 2015, I lost my twin sister. She was in intensive care in three hospitals for ulcerative colitis. I visited her for three months as her health continued to deteriorate. She passed away two days before our birthday. Fortunately, I had just finished my last story, Other Sinful Things. After her death, I lost my passion for writing, and I stopped. I never intended to write again. I had also written twenty-two full-length stories, numerous short stories and a two-act play (which has never been published.) I was literally burned out. During the past three years, my readers have been wonderful. They have waited patiently for me to write again. Occasionally, someone will email me with words of encouragement. Two years ago, an administrator wrote and asked me if I would consider posting my stories here. Interaction with the wonderful GA members has also helped motivate me. Last year, I attempted a new story, Dancing on a Star. It has been difficult trying to write again. Several times I even considered deleting the story. It’s been a struggle, but I am beginning to approach the end. I’m not posting regularly because I don’t know when I might experience a slump. However, I have always promised my readers that I will complete any story I start. Dancing with a Star will be completed. I hope that it contains the quality of writing my readers have come to expect. If not, I hope they understand.
  7. How's your 2019 shaping up? I can't believe the first month has already passed, and here we are at the first CSR Discussion day! Who checked out this month's fanfiction story by @Laura S. Fox that was featured? I heard the word... "hot". What do you think? Make sure you share your thoughts in the comments below along with any questions you might have, but first, mine always come first! Here's the interview I sent Laura with all the in-depth, probing questions I'm known for! Have you ever gone out in public, realized your shirt is on backwards, and just don’t care? I wish I had that level of ‘I don’t give a damn’. Unfortunately, I’m quite self-conscious once I realize that something is wrong with my clothes. It’s best that I don’t realize if that happens. What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know? Maybe that I’m – almost – 5.2? I hope my writing gives people the impression that I’m taller, lol. Also, that I actually had IT as my specialization in high school. Don’t ask, my family thought I could be a mathematician. I got decent grades in math, and it felt like victory whenever I solved some tough equation. But I loathed all those times when I couldn’t. Did you like to write in school? I didn’t write anything close to something that could be called a story until 25-26, except for compositions that were school assignments. Although I’ve always loved stories and books, and I got good grades in literature classes, it just didn’t cross my mind I could write. I was imagining stuff in my head, sometimes very long and winded, but I wasn’t putting anything on paper. Long story short, my husband made me do it. Do you have any favorite quotes from a famous author? When I was younger, I loved those quotes that expressed some kind of cosmic truth. But then I grew up a little and realized cosmic truths don’t really matter that much. So I happen to find quotes that are more specific or focus on details that refer only to an individual or a specific situation or an era to be much more interesting. Samples at hand: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice) “What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them. All his reverence and all his fondness and all the leanings of his life were for the ardenthearted and they would always be so and never be otherwise.” (Cormac McCarthy - All the Pretty Horses) What’s the best part of being an author? For me, it’s the freedom of imagining anything you want. You can create something that didn’t exist before, and that feels liberating. To some people, writers – and other creators – may look a bit like lunatics in that sense of ‘what are you doing all cooped up inside all day long? You’re not living your life’ kind of thing. But I believe it to be a sort of escapism that’s hardly equaled by anything else. What do you think makes up a good book? It must be the capability to make you suspend all your beliefs and delve in without one look back. If an author manages to help you escape reality while you’re reading their work, the topic doesn’t even matter that much. What’s the key to that specific ability, I’m still trying to find out. How did you get interested in manhua? If I were to talk about 19 Days in particular, it happened because it kept popping on my Tumblr feed. But, in general, manhua, manga, and manhwa – which are just Chinese, Japanese and Korean terms for comics – came into my life via Boys’ Love stories, and yaoi. First, I watched some yaoi anime, simply by accident, then I progressed to reading comics, and I also got into slash at the same time, and it all sort of rolled down from there, just because of the love for the love of boys. I just found the stories coming from Asian creators to be funny, interesting, even intense and dramatic, compared to anything else I had ever read before. Fanfiction isn’t posted often on GA. What’s the biggest difference to writing fanfiction versus original fiction for you? I think it must be the fact that it is somewhat easier to write fanfiction. You have all the characters, their motivations, even settings, already made. You’re practically playing in someone else’s sandbox. When you write original fiction, however, you need to be careful not to slip, and make your own characters sound OOC. Keeping things consistent is a real challenge for original fiction. Do you have a favorite scene in Nude Pics Please? If you had to sum up the story in one sentence, what would it be? It all started with a naughty pic.
  8. Can you believe it's already December? Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you. Cia has been super busy, but luckily for me, she'd already chosen the December CSR, and now it's my turn to help her out! Hopefully in between all your holiday activities, you'll be able to find time to read this story, set in 1948! The discussion day will finish out the year here in the blogs, and will be on December 31st! If you haven't read anything by Geron Kees yet, now is a great time to start! Hope you enjoy and we look forward to seeing you on New Years Eve to discuss The House of Storms. The House of Storms by Geron Kees Length: 56,882 Description: It's 1948. Teens Frank and Joe Dane, sons of nationally famous private detective Ben Dane, are enjoying their summer vacation. But then their dad asks them to come along on a little trip up the coast, to a tourist town where strange things have been happening...and the boys are off on a mysterious case with two friends in tow. Events take an immediate turn for the worse as it soon becomes obvious that someone is out to stop the investigation...someone willing to use any means at his disposal to win! An homage to the Hardy Boys adventures that some of us read as kids, except that in this one, the boys are...um, well...you'll see. A reader said: Didn't know anything about the Hardy Boys - maybe they never made it across the pond. However, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of this story that moved along at a rapid and, at times, very tense pace but also with an amazing amount of detail. Indeed it is a magical story! ~Ivor Slipper Don't forget this month's Discussion Day will be Monday, December 31st.
  9. Did you have a chance to read Dolores Esteban's science fiction story, Sumeru featured in this month's CSR? What do you think? Is the truth out there? More than we know or is it all just a bunch of bad t-shirt, retro hat conspiracy theory claptrap? Hmmm... how about you check out the story and find out? Or share your thoughts below if you already did! But first, enjoy this interview with Dolores Esteban! Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla. If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I would probably read an online article. Thirty minutes is not a long time. What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story? I'd travel back in time to Ancient Egypt or Ancient Sumer. We share a love of science fiction, it seems. What do you like best about writing the genre? I love to create new worlds, visit places in space and explore unknown things. Do you have a favorite science fiction story that you’ve read (online or published)? The Songs of Distance Earth by Arthur C. Clarke. I loved the novel. In Sumeru, the crew is supposed to travel to a planet in the constellation in Scorpius. Is there a special reason you picked that constellation? No special reason. I picked the constellation probably because it contains deep sky objects. How about the meaning behind the name of the spacecraft, “Shiva”? Shiva is a Hindu deity. I read articles on Hindu mythology. The texts inspired me to write Sumeru. The Vedas, texts originating in ancient India, contain concepts that are similar to concepts from modern science. That's the background of the story. Scientists learn from the texts that extraterrestrials visited Earth in the past. They send a ship to the aliens' system of origin to investigate. The spacecraft is called Shiva because of the Hindu texts that revealed the ancient truth. Did you like trying the infographic style of Sumeru as a plot device or do you find a more classic story format flows better for you as a writer? I started the story three times in three years. The first two attempts were plotted as classical stories and they failed miserably. I changed the approach and tried the infographic style. It worked out for the story Sumeru. Do you have a favorite part of this story? I actually like the whole story. After several failed attempts, I was happy when I had finally managed to finish the story. In a reply to a review on the last chapter, you said you like to ask questions. Are you pondering any deep thoughts lately that have prompted any new story ideas? I read about coherent quantum states and quantum decoherence. A very interesting topic. I've just started a science fiction piece. Quantum states are an element of the story. The writing so far is a mess. I jump between scenes. Definitely no coherence in writing. LOL. The editing process will be a pain.
  10. Happy November! I know many authors are focused on Nanowrimo, but there's also time for reading this month, right? There's always time for reading! Still, I picked a story on the lower end of the word count this month, but one that is right up my favorite alley--science fiction. Dolores Esteban writes excellent stories in all different styles and genres, and Sumeru is a real thinker. Have you checked it before? Now's the perfect time! Sumeru by Dolores Esteban Length: 35,981 Description: Operation Shiva is the biggest spaceflight mystery of all time. The spacecraft took off from Cape Canaveral on August 8, 2068. According to official statements, the craft reached its target in the constellation of Scorpius, but hence was never heard of again. What happened with the ship and the crew? The truth is out there. A reader said: OMG............The End?????? (now much wailing and gnashing of teeth) Thank you for a story that had a unexpected twist..........The truth is out there........... ~Jeff1 Don't forget this month's Discussion Day will be Monday, November 26th.
  11. 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.
  12. Holy mackerel it's Monday, the last Monday of the month! How did that happen already? Well it's a good thing we're ready for it, right? Did you take advantage of the time you had to read Aceinthehole's story, The Hidden Ones: The Spotlight? I know it was really long! Hopefully you made a dent. I will caution you, if you're still mid-read, there are some questions below in the interview that have answers that might be a tad revealing about the story, so I've hidden them with spoilers. Or maybe they will just entice you to read it! Your choice. Do you eat your fruits and vegetables? I can’t say I always did, but I’ve gotten a lot better about it! I recently graduated college, where I used to only eat frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets, take out and the like. However now that I’m onto the next chapter of my life, I’ve tried my hardest to make a strong commitment to my health, both mental and physical. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be? The Eighth Circle of Hell: How to Survive in a House with Four Sisters. I’m just kidding. I love my sisters and the chaos that comes with a packed house. But sometimes, it does feel like the eighth circle of hell! What don’t we know about you? In addition to loving sports and music, I’m a gigantic nerd. I love comic books, video games, T.V. shows and movies. These mediums are really what inspired me to become a writer. I’ve read and watched so many amazing stories, that I hope to one day contribute one of my own! Is there a literary character (in the whole universe of fiction) that you’ve read who you really identified with? I’d have to say Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I’m nowhere as smart or tactical as he is, but I closely relate to him being an outcast. I’ve always been blessed with family and friends, however I grew up in an area where being gay isn’t widely accepted. His words and wisdom really meant a lot to me, especially when I was coming out to those close to me. Did something specific in your life/history inspire you to write The Hidden Ones: The Spotlight? I’d say my experience in High School was what really sparked the idea for this story. I can’t say I was bullied much, but I was also never that popular. Instead I was an anonymous kid who kept to his friends and simply observed everything that was happening around him. Yet what I observed always ate away at me. For no specific reason, certain kids got made fun of for the same qualities the ‘popular’ kids had. In addition, at every High School I knew, there was always one kid at the top, usually the captain of a sports team or school president. This kid always tried his/her hardest to seem perfect at every turn. Worst of all, they always offered help without ever actually intending to follow through with it. They rarely got their hands dirty in terms of bullying, but turned a blind eye to it. They pretended to be friends with everyone, but in reality they were in it for their own selfish gains. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the popular kid isn’t all that different from the kid with a target on his back. This hypocrisy was what really inspired The Hidden Ones: The Spotlight. I wanted to show what would happen if that popular kid ever learned just how much they had in common with the bullied kid. Is there anything you found particularly challenging while writing this series? If you could give advice to yourself when you had first started writing the story, what would it be? Stop overthinking it, and just keep writing. There were a lot of moments when I was writing that I just wanted to give up. I often doubted the story, and where it would go. I felt silly trying to create my own rock star, and citing music I’m not sure many people had heard. But now looking back, those doubts were silly. I was so worried about how it would be received, that I almost lost the story I wanted to tell. It may not be perfect, but I’m proud of it. I got to write about a genre I love, and about an issue that always seemed to bother me. I credit @JayT, who edited the story, with helping me through my doubts and even brain storming along with me during certain parts. By the end I was able to get to a place where I was really having fun with this story. What do you think makes The Spotlight stand out compared to other “similar” stories? I think what separates it from other stories is how dark and gritty it can get. This is not a light hearted, feel good story. It explores the boxes we force ourselves into, and how much damage that can do to a person. Even when things get better, the damage is already done. I understand that many people read stories to escape certain realities. After all, I read certain stories for the same reasons. However, we don’t always get the happy endings we dreamed of. Life has a way of warping our endings, and giving us what it feels we need. I always try to keep this in mind while writing, and to me that whole concept sets this story apart. I wouldn’t say this is a dark story, there are a lot of light and happy moments within it, but I tried my hardest to keep it as realistic as possible. What do you like best about the story? This is a very tough question for me, as this story is perhaps the most fun I’ve had writing so far. I got to combine my passion for writing with my passion for music. Often before writing a chapter I would sit down and watch music video after music video to help me get into the right mindset. It was like I got to take messages from the bands I loved and let it flow through me into my own story. However, after looking at the whole of the story, the thing I like best... Can you share something about your current work or an upcoming story? So I have a current story I’m writing along with the editing help of OzLoGo called The Golden City, and two upcoming stories Tales of the Underground Book four: Vision and an unnamed The Hidden Ones third book (although this book is more for fun!). The Golden City is very unlike anything I’ve written before. I’m not too sure where it came from. It’s just been this really fun and vibrant story. It’s the journey of Arthur Price following the loss of his single mother and his move to San Francisco. It follows him exploring his new city as he begins to discover his true self. It feels like a lot more of an adventure than anything I’ve written before. The fourth and final Tales of the Underground story, Vision, will be released after The Golden City is finished. It’ll take place a good twenty to thirty years after the first three books and will focus on Matthew Sanders-Taylor’s journey to find who he really is. This journey will require the help of many characters from this series and in many ways will mirror the first book, Velocity, that sparked my love for writing. Finally, the third The Hidden Ones which is still unnamed will follow the rising of a new rock star. It was a story I was uncertain about at first, but after receiving requests from some of my readers, is something I will happily begin. It will be a running story I update throughout the year. It’ll help people stay updated on their favorite characters, while also allowing me to continue writing characters I miss!
  13. Well this was a nice long month between Mondays, so I picked a short story and the novella continuation of the tale written by BHopper2 in A New Life and a New Home and My Son. Did you have a chance to read them before or this month for the feature? Make sure you share you thoughts below! You might also consider writing a review for the story or copying your comments there; authors always appreciate those! But first, as always, I have an interview with BHopper2. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? The short answer is no, and yes. Back when I was still in college, I took a course in Human Reproduction and Development. One of the assignments we had involved reading over a report from the CDC about the dangers of making your bed in the morning. Basically, it is better to not make your bed so that it can air out during the day, and get rid of the sweat and germs you slept off overnight. Of course, I do make it if someone is coming over that might see my room, but overall, nope, I don’t make the bed. If you were an animal, what would you be? I’ve been called a cuddly bear many times by my Ex’s, so I would be a bear. LOL. In the nomenclature of the Gay Culture, I would be classified as a bear. However, I’ve been partial to cats most of my life, and I’ve always liked Snow Leopards, Florida Panthers, and good old alley-cats. So, I think I would be a cat of some sort while hoping it was a Snow Leopard. Which is odd, because my native Floridian self can’t stand the cold. Or a bear… LOL If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I have too much free time as it is. I’m disabled, and not currently working. But if I had 30 mins to spend on anything thing I want, I would look for a nice quiet place to perform meditation. I’ve started to get back into the practice of doing meditation daily, and I feel that it helps. Just need to find the quiet, which is hard when all the family is running through the house. Especially now during summer. What brought you to GA? I first came to GA in early 2016. I was over on Nifty, reading some stories, and it was Comicality’s story called Shelter that I wanted to see if there were any more chapters. I did a Google search, and that led me to GA. I started reading the stories here and eventually created an account to interact and post my own stories. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Depends on the day, and if my disabilities are getting in the way. But, if it’s a good day… watching sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, sipping coffee with some friends while talking about various topics, hockey, taking a stroll on Bayshore Blvd and the longest sidewalk in the world, hockey, watching the military men that use Bayshore as an exercise trail, hockey, watching some good shows, reading, and of course my Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. What’s the best part of being an author? Creation. Being an author it lets one create a world, fill it with dynamic characters, and tell a story (or stories) set in that world. Yes, some may use the real world, and take elements from real people to make a character, but the bottom line is storytelling is creation. We are making something from nothing. I recently relearned that according to one study it is estimated 75-80% of Gay Men have some form of Mental Illness, with the primaries being Anxiety, Bipolar, and Depression. I have all three. The feeling you get from creating a world, even if you don’t share it, can help with these issues. Most gay men will never experience the birth of a child that they help create. Not to take anything away from that experience, but writing can help fill the gap with the creation of stories and characters. My stories are my children, my legacy if you will. A prompt inspired A New Life and a New Home. What led you to expand the storyline in My Son? When I wrote A New Life and a New Home, I had just finished talking to the real-life person that inspired the character Chandon. I was looking for an idea to write about and saw the first line prompt. It reminded me of how the real-life version of Jill met her son’s boyfriend, and the rest they say is history. I changed the names of my friend, his boyfriend, and mother, and wrote the story. (They liked it btw.) It was the first story I worked with @Kitt on with her as my Editor. Posted it, and got some good feedback. When I started My Son, I was actually struggling with a different story. I was posting in tim’s Chat Thread @Mikiesboy Drop-In Center about struggling, and tim’s husband Mike (@MichaelS36) suggested I try something different from what I usually do. I had notes and an outline from a story I was planning on doing, that I felt could be used. I sat down at the kitchen table and was looking at House Design plans for a cousin that was building a house. While I was there, that’s when I spotted the house that I would use in My Son. It was gorgeous, and it sparked the first paragraph of the story. I excused myself from the family, set up my laptop, and immediately started the first chapter. Later, I took the notes and New Life and combined them as I kept thinking about Chandon and Brayon, while I was writing about Adam, Duncan, and Rob. I had originally only planned for one chapter for My Son, but the readers wanted more. I had the notes ready to go and finished out the story of Adam and Robert coming together. I now have Tampa Chronicles 3, which is about Duncan’s Nephew Jeremy Isen, and getting ready to start writing Tampa Chronicles 4, which will have all the character together. I must give credit to two people though. Without @Mikiesboy’s and @Kitt’s editing help, neither story would be as good as they are. If your story were made into a movie, could you picture anyone playing the main characters parts? I can see Christian Bale playing the part of Adam Smith, and Duncan Isen would be played by Chris Pratt. As for the kids, Tom Holland would make a good Robert Turner. Brayon Hopper could be played by KJ Apa (Archie for Riverdale). For Chandon Bolton, I can see Cole Sprouse playing him. What was your favorite part of the stories? Showcasing my hometown in My Son. Tampa is just as much of a character as the rest of the ensemble. Also, the sense of love and family, I’ve tried to convey. Can you share a little idea of your currently working on/future projects with us? I’m currently working on three projects. Getting Tampa Chronicles 4 plotted and planned. I do High Overviews in long arc stories, and I have a list of places I want the boys to go see. I have to give credit to @BabyXander1990, a fellow Tampa resident, for giving me some places for them to visit, that I hadn’t thought of. It will start off with a train trip that has Adam and Duncan taking Robert, Giles, Brayon, Chandon, and Jeremy to Boston for a bit, and then other places around the country before coming back to Tampa. Freedom Station is a new SciFi story that I’m working on. It tells the story of Twin Brothers who were separated and adopted by different families at birth. Their biological mother was part of a government gene-therapy program, and her pregnancy wasn’t discovered when they started. So the twins are more than they seem. They are a successful splicing of Human and Alien DNA. While the story is character focused on the Twin’s reuniting and developing a relationship, in the background Earth is in danger from an alien armada which will reach the Sol System in 36 months. Earth and her alien allies are trying to mount a defense, and Freedom Station a space station in lunar orbit, will be the shield. The last project is called Timeless, and it’s about Garrett. He’s a former US Army Ranger who was a career military officer until a roadside IED caused him to lose both legs at the knee. He’s an avid gamer and went to college to be a computer programmer. Garrett wakes up inside the game Timeless a VRMMORPG. He doesn’t know how he got there, and the story is about him escaping. Think TRON or TRON Legacy, but inside an MMO game, with other players playing normally. This is my first attempt at a LitRPG story, where it’s a story within a story, and when writing the game-world portions, there will be a discussion on game mechanics, the damage being dealt, etc. It’s a fairly new genre of stories that a major motion picture was made of one of the books called Ready Player One. Of course, there is a lot of shorts, practice pieces, and others I’ve done that don’t get published. I would say, about 90% of what I write, doesn’t see the light of day.
  14. Wow, July is gone and August has started. In Canada, the first week of September is considered the end of summer. No matter where you are, let's make the most of August! Currently I'm on vacation , so a big thanks to Cia for running the stories Saturday night and putting them in and publishing the wrap up! Monday, Cia started the close of the month with the CSR Discussion Day: Wednesday, Carlos brought us another edition of Ask an Author 2.0: Friday, I was a bit late featuring the Prompts, but CIA had them up nice and early. Anthologies 2018 Fall Anthology: Fight Back - Due Nov 15th 2018 Fall Anthology: Good Intentions - Due Nov 15th Blog Opportunities Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here. Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to @Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author) Story Recommendations: Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin. Premium Updates: Harbinger by Cia *Premium* Classic Updates: Conversations With Myself by Altimexis Mark's Revenge by Ronyx Wild Heart by Dabeagle Signature Updates: Aria Graice by Nephylim Clouded Purity by Cynus; Book 2 of The Trial Denied by Cia Dinner is Prompt-ly at Eight by Cole Matthews Leopard Hunt by Graeme; Book 4 of The Lilydale Leopards Mojo by AC Benus The Angel of Retribution by CarlHoliday Translation Trashbin by AC Benus; Book 7 of Verse Promising Updates: Here Kitty, Kitty by Caz Pedroso The Cockney Canuck by Dodger tim's Bits and Pieces by Mikiesboy ***Check out this GA Classic*** Escaping the Pain By Cia When things go wrong what would you do to get away? Dane tries to escape by running but something stops him. Is there a better way? Don't forget.... Read, Write, and REVIEW!!!
  15. What? Another 2 story series? Yes, that's what's on tap for this month's CSR feature too! Of course, instead of two short stories, we're featuring a prompt and a novella-length story written by BHopper2. This contemporary coming of age story is rife with feels, but also contains some graphic content (no sex) so please make sure you check out the tags and the story description. It's quite popular already, so I'm hoping we'll have a great Discussion day on the last Monday of the month. And hopefully lots of reviews posted on the stories too! A New Life and a New Home Length: 2,254 Description: Sixteen-year-old Brayon came out to his Progressive parents, but they did the one thing he didn't expect. They disowned him and kicked him out. This is his story. A Reader Said: This had me hooked! There's a style here of 'just the facts, ma'am' that's balanced and nuanced. I was drawn right in, like I was watching it happen and not reading about it at all. Read it for yourself, and you won't regret it. ~ AC Benus My Son Length: 32,530 Description: Adam Smith is a successful businessman, who recently came home to Tampa, Fl. Retired at age 38, living in a newly constructed house, he feels like he's set for a new chapter in his life, with plans to set up a Micro-Brewery. A Reader Said: An interesting plot, well-drawn characters, and realistic dialogue take us through the joys and fears of meeting your child as a teen. ~ JeffreyL Don't forget to come back on the Discussion Day, Monday July 30th, to share your thoughts!!
  16. This month I thought we'd try something a little different. Instead of a single story, I picked two of Mark Arbour's shorter works (instead of his epic series, sorry to his fans!) from his anthologies. I hope you're in the mood for a trip into the past, something Mark does all too well, with his stories from the Carpe Diem and the I'd Never Do That anthologies. Furlough War's End by Mark Arbour Furlough Length: 4,853 Description: Two wounded men meet in Paris during World War I. One is wounded on the outside, both are wounded on the inside. Will their accidental meeting help heal both of them? A Reader Said: I found this beautiful story very touching. I think the war setting added a tension and immediacy to the encounter between the two men, causing me to feel compassion for them quite deeply. Thank you ~ DonR2D2 War's End Length: 6,287 Description: World War I is coming to an end, but for two men, both former soldiers, peace means a return to their separate homes and their separate lives. A Reader Said: Stop! Read Mark's story Furlough before reading this story which is more than an epilogue! This is a fitting finish to Furlough and is a fast and scintillating read! As always with Mark's stories, there is a bit of sex, a lot of love and much thought. ~ Daddydavek Don't forget to come back on the Discussion Day, Monday June 25th, to share your thoughts!!
  17. It's May... already?! How did that happen? I swear the time keeps flying by, but that just means we have to remember to take some time out to stop and enjoy ourselves. This month, that means you get to read Craftingmom's story, Lie of the Serpent. This contemporary crime mystery will hopefully keep you on the edge of your keyboard from start to finish! Lie of the Serpent Lie of the Serpent by Craftingmom Length: 70,591 Description: When Bryan finally finds the man he wants to be with forever, he thinks his life will be perfect. But it's taken time to convince not only Wyatt that he's sincere, but his own mother as well. Between Wyatt's anxiety to trust again after a brutal breakup with an ex, the ex still trying to wreck havoc in Wyatt's life, and Bryan's own mother's doubts, Bryan is over-stressed. So when Wyatt disappears days after their engagement, he's left devastated and confused. A Reader Said: I love all the books by this author and have read them all. This one was slightly different from her usual writings, but still a compelling read. I liked the storyline in this one because even when you find out who is the bad guy, you still can't see how the good guys are going to work it out in time. The bad guy isn't unexpected, but the lengths they go to are. As always a well written and thought out story from an imaginative author. ~ Caz Pedroso Don't forget to come back on the Discussion Day, Monday May 28th, to share your thoughts!!
  18. Did you have a chance to read these short stories featured in Cris Kane's fantastical tale, X-Dream Makeover this month? While there is a common thread in all 4 chapters, they do standalone quite well, so I hope a lot of people got a chance to read at least one of the four. Did you have a favorite character? Makeover? Make sure you share your thoughts below in the comments, but first, as always, I grilled the author to find out a little more about him and his writing! If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? Nap. What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there? The bedroom. That's also where my computer is located, so I guess the phrase "that's where the magic happens" actually applies in this case. The stories I've posted here are unusual for me in that I haven't outlined them in advance. I've come up with a premise and let the writing process tell me where it needs to go. That said, once things start to fall into place and a structure reveals itself, I end up jotting down lots of notes for events and details that should fall later in the story, if only so I don't forget them. What’s the best part of being an author? As many have said before me, I like having written more than I enjoy the actual work of writing. That said, my favorite part of the process is the moment when a particular phrase or sentence pops into my head or flows out of my fingers and surprises me. Something that perfectly fits the precise situation. Something that could ONLY work at that exact point in the specific context of the set of characters and circumstance I've put in place. Some realization that I would never have come to if I hadn't been writing this particular story. I don't feel like I can take much credit for such brainstorms, but I do feel lucky that I'm the first person who gets to enjoy them at the moment of conception. I hope they eventually give the reader a similar amount of pleasure. What kind of research did you do for X-Dream Makeover? Location? Theme? Character? The most helpful "research" for this series of stories has been my visits to San Francisco over the years. I don't live there, but have been there enough that I have a general lay of the land that I figure my sense of geography won't be glaringly off the mark. Otherwise, this group of stories didn't require a lot of intense research. Despite the fantastical nature of the transformations, I did try to treat the situations as realistically as I could, exploring the potential drawbacks that might come about if Mr. Lee's various potions and devices actually existed. The line in the first chapter, “So what is it you wish to have that your money cannot buy you?” feels particularly… sinister. Sort of in a ‘Beware, go no further, danger, danger’ vibe that directly contradicts the modern Mr. Lee we see at first. Did you deliberately merge these two natures of his character or did it develop organically as you wrote? From the very beginning, I wanted to paint Mr. Lee as enigmatic, leaving his origin and even his age intentionally vague. He might seem like a stereotypical "old Asian wise man" but he knows more than he's letting on. He's clearly putting on an act to some degree, speaking in a stilted manner and purposely coming across as less worldly than he actually is. From the get-go, I have him hiding a Whopper Jr. and a Mello Yello from his customer. I like that he's fundamentally a benevolent person, but with a sly sense of humor that he hides behind his created persona. Perhaps the key descriptor in that first chapter is "When you've been doing something as long as Mr. Lee, it becomes inevitable that you start to fuck around with the clientele, just to keep it interesting for yourself." I enjoyed taking his point of view, as someone who had been doing this a long time and had seen many situations, so little surprised him. He knows the pitfalls of his clients' requests because he's seen how wishes have backfired on people in the past who haven't thought things through. He also wants to stay under the radar, so it's to his benefit to discourage ill-advised transformations. Each chapter has a very different tale with insightful lessons the characters learn about themselves. What message do you think the story has, beyond ‘be careful what you wish for’? We all have things we would change about ourselves if we could, so there's a definite wish-fulfillment aspect to these stories. I would hope the stories also convey that sometimes what we think is a flaw could actually be a strength, or that often what we want to change about ourselves isn't actually what's causing our problems. In the end, hopefully the characters end up with a better understanding of their true selves. Nobody goes through an encounter with Mr. Lee without being changed, although probably not in the way they anticipated. Do you plan to write more stories for the people Mr. Lee helps? He's such a fun character to write that I would definitely go back to using him if the proper story presented itself. It helps to have an established character who we know can do fantastical things, rather than having to come up with a brand new story device every time you want to bring about a magical transformation. I did write one additional chapter, titled "Where'd He Go?", which I consciously did not post as part of this series. I like it, but it's a bit darker and more cynical than the other four chapters, which I feel have a more consistent tone that allows them to hang together as a coherent group. That standalone chapter can be read here, along with some other transformation tales I've written over the years: https://www.gayspiralstories.com/newStory/show/2320 What other projects are you working on that you might like to share with us? I'm attempting to motivate myself to write a screenplay, so I haven't been too productive lately on the fiction front. I do have one story pretty well mapped out that could find its way to GA someday if I somehow find the time to write it. All of my stories seem to have an element of the fantastical, although it doesn't reveal itself immediately in this one.
  19. Happy March! This month I'm bringing you something a little different. March makes me think of St. Patrick's Day and magic... so I looked for stories that would fit the bill. What better than the magical world of Harry Potter? Plus, I've never featured a fanfic. So why not give JulieLHayes' novella-length story a try? Nocturnal Emissions by JulieLHayes Length: 12,449 Description: Sirius Black has a secret that haunts him in the silence of the night - his love for Remus Lupin. It's Christmas hols and the Marauders are together, as usual. But something unexpected occurs, something that threatens to bare Sirius' very soul... what is he to do? A Reader said: I love this! I enjoy the Mauraders and I love Sirius black. I believe I have read some of your other work else where but I was not sure. Anyways, I really like this story and I can't wait for more. ~ Carrie76 Remember to come back on Monday, March 26th for the Discussion day to share your thoughts on the story and to catch my interview with Julie L. Hayes!
  20. How's February treated everyone? I know it's the shortest month of the year, but it feels like it can't possibly have already passed this quickly! But, it has, and today is the discussion day for David AB's All We Have Now. Did you get a chance to read or re-read this story posted back in 2015? Make sure you gave the author a few likes, comments, or even share your thoughts and questions below. David's going to pop in as he can today, so let's encourage him to share more stories by sharing how much you enjoyed this month's read! First we have my interview with him, of course! Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? Not in the morning, because when I wake up I'm more corpse than man and it usually takes me a few hours before I manage to lure my soul back into my body with an unreasonable amount of caffeine and nicotine. I do make my bed at some point though, but only so I can just collapse onto it and pass out comfortably at night. If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? Maybe lie down on my couch and read the news or google random stuff. (That's just the least inappropriate answer I could think of though, so who knows what I might do, haha.) What brought you to the GA? Serendipity. Many authors like to write in genres they enjoy reading. Do you have a favorite post-apocalyptic story or book you’d like to recommend? Well, Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" is by far the best post-apocalyptic novel (aside from "All We Have Now" of course, haha) and one of the best books in general I've ever read, but I don't think I would recommend it to anyone, because it's emotionally devastating and I kind of wish I had never read it myself to be honest. (I know it's a bit tacky to promote my own stuff, but if you've enjoyed reading "All We Have Now", I did write another apocalypse-themed (short) story called "To Last". I can definitely recommend that one, haha.) If the apocalypse hit and you survived, where would you go to live? I love my apartment, so I'd probably stay right where I am. (I would've answered "IN A SPACESHIP!!! O.O" However, I'm assuming there would be no more Google after an apocalypse, so to find a spaceship I'd have to drive around aimlessly and hope that I'd happen to come across a spaceship-parking lot or whatever. That just doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me, especially not if I could be lying on my couch instead, doing who knows what, haha.) Did the characters or the plot come to you first for All We Have Now? This is probably not something I should openly admit as an "aspiring" writer, but I don't really care about plots all that much in general, I'm mainly interested in characters and their interactions and development. To answer the question though, the setting "came to me" first. At the time I loved "The Walking Dead", so I decided that I wanted to basically write a more intimate, gay version of that show. After the setting I "developed" the characters, came up with a whole bunch of "moments"/scenes to get a proper feel for them and finally I used those "moments" to roughly map out the basic plot of the story. How did you flesh out your world? Did you plot out the events and the settings as an overall “this is the world now” or did you include the post-apocalyptic elements as they came to you while you wrote? Before I started writing "All We Have Now" I already knew what I wanted the world and all the different locations to look and "feel" like and how realistic or rather "unrealistic" I wanted the story to be, but I only outlined the plot very roughly and let the characters heavily inform most of my decisions on what should happen between all the abovementioned "moments", so consequently I did keep adding new elements throughout the story. I also kept researching every little detail, which made me change and add a bunch of stuff as well. One example is the [spoiler-alert] farm-chapter(s) – originally I wanted Cody and Troy to stay in the house, but the problem was that dead bodies had been decomposing in there for quite a while and I had planned for them to do a poop-ton of cleaning and bleaching etc., but when I arrived at that chapter I did a lot of research on crime scene cleaning and things of that nature and I soon had to realize that there was absolutely no way that they could realistically get rid of that corpse-stench, at least not in a day and without proper equipment. So I scrapped that idea and let them find the RV instead, which I had originally decided against, because I thought it would feel too similar to "The Walking Dead". However, in my opinion "Book 2" (which is set almost exclusively in the RV) turned out far better than both "Book 1" and "Book 3", so in hindsight I'm quite happy that corpses reek much worse than I ever could've imagined, haha. Do you have a favorite scene or moment in All We Have Now you can share with readers? I know the whole thing drags on for way too long and probably isn't nearly as funny as I'd like to believe it is, but the chapter in which [spoiler-alert] they get stoned out of their minds was such a blast to write and there's one line in particular that I immediately had to think of: At one point Troy is wondering whether they could make [potato] chips themselves and then he lists all the stuff they have, but he's high, so he lists both "oil" and "canned potatoes" twice without realizing it. (Here's the line: "Hey, wait a minute, we have canned potatoes, oil, spices, oil, a pen, canned potatoes and a camping stove, we could make chips ourselves," he said.) The thing is, when I wrote that line I didn't do that on purpose, I simply listed "canned potatoes" twice by accident, probably because I was tired at the time. When I realized what I had done I laughed so hard, because it was exactly the kind of mistake you'd expect a stoned person to make, so it fit perfectly and became one of my favorite jokes in the whole story, even though it was just a lucky accident.
  21. November is here, and this month I wanted to feature something different. There are a lot of stories on the site with themes that involve some heavy subjects that can really make you think, but one of the best of those is an older story that many current readers probably haven't found since it was posted for a 2008 anthology themed "Living in the Shadows". Street Life by Graeme Length: 16,661 Description: *Reader warning* This story does contain mature themes & references to underage prostitution and suicide. A Reader said: That was depressing and uplifting at the same time. I've read New Brother, and I can remember the main charater (whom I despised utterly in spite of your heroic and brilliant effort to make him understandable and redeemable) being told Craig's story. It was one of the better moments in New Brother and I'm glad I finally managed to read Craig's story, even though it made me sad. ~ Timothy M Please come back for our Discussion Day on Monday, November 27th.
  22. How fast these months go! Is it nearly Halloween where you live? Are you ready for some tricks or treats? Or maybe you celebrate All Hallow's Eve another way? Or... maybe the whole thing freaks you out, and you'd rather read a story set firmly in the present? Maybe a little second-chance? If so, I hope you enjoyed Mitchelll's Mr. Brightside! Don't forget to share your thoughts in a comment below, but my first we have my interview with him! What brought you to Gay Authors? I liked the interaction between the users with the forums and the commenting on the stories. I also liked that the stories focused more on storytelling rather than on sex. I had read stories at Nifty for years, and always found their lack of story description and ability to search for specific stories problematic. There are definitely gems there, but it can be a slog to find something I really enjoy reading. If you could give yourself advice when you first started writing, what would it be? To just get started. To just sit down and write. When I decided to try writing, I spent literally years thinking about writing, creating characters and plotting stories in my head before I finally managed to sit down at a computer and try to put those ideas on paper. Do you have any writing rituals? Not really. I always write at a certain place, my grandmother’s table in the breakfast room, but other than that it varies. My favorite time to write is very early in the morning while drinking coffee, but I haven’t been able to turn that into a real habit. What do you struggle with most when you are writing a story? Actually putting it down on the page. I have entire stories plotted out in my head, huge swathes of dialogue, etc. And I write a lot while doing other tasks like walking the dog or working, or at least think about my stories, but when it comes time to sit down and actually transfer it from my brain to a page, I find it incredibly difficult. I think it was Truman Capote who said something like “I like to have written. I hate writing.” That pretty much sums up my feelings. How long did it take you to write Mr. Brightside? I’m not actually sure, but I know that it was more than a year. How did you come up with the title? I had started the story, which had already evolved a lot from its beginning. I was thinking about a title when I happened to see the video for Mr. Brightside again, and I realized that the lyrics about jealousy, the feeling of the video, so much of it reflected my story. In fact, I pictured Jason as looking very much like Brandon Flowers, and Viktor as looking like Eric Roberts. What prompted you to set the story in New Orleans? As a writing novice, at this point, I’m sticking to the old advice of writing about what you know. I’ve lived here for almost twenty years, and I love it. And I have, unfortunately, seen paths like Shane and Corey. It’s a beautiful, fascinating city with a very, very dark side. Did you have to do a lot of research for Mr. Brightside? What’s your preferred method? Honestly, no. There were a few things I looked up online and verified. Like luxury VIP hospital wings are a very real thing. And Louisiana involuntary commitment laws, though not quite as easy to get around in real life, are in fact among the most lax in the nation. Can you sum up the story in one sentence? I think for me the main theme would be contained in Jason’s story arc: When you refuse to be true to yourself and life authentically, it can lead to tragedy, both for yourself and the others around you. When can readers expect more? I am currently working on a follow up to Mr. Brightside, Smile Like You Mean It. It’s not a direct sequel, and its main focus is on new characters, but Jason and Shane do play a role.
  23. Sam Wyer


    Hi I'm finding my way around the slightly complex world that is GA, however, I can't find this. What does CSR stand for? Despite all of the posts about them, there doesn't seem to be an explanation. Thanks Sam
  24. Did you have a chance to read this month's CSR selection, The Transporters, by Israfil? This short story was a quick and easy read, so I hope we had a lot of takers trying something new this month! Share your thoughts about the story below, but first enjoy this interview where Israfil asks all my probing questions! Have you ever gone out in public, realized your shirt is on backwards, and just don’t care? Nope. I've definitely put my shirt on the wrong way but I don't think I could ever make it out the door without noticing. It just feels weird, you know? If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? Nothing productive, that's for sure (as much as I'd like to say otherwise). Probably play a computer game, watch some YouTube videos (just discovered a bunch of awesome sketch artists so I'm binge watching those) or read a book. Thrilling, to be sure. What brought you to the Gay Authors? A friend referral. I initially started posting The Transporters on another site and a fellow writer suggested Gay Authors might be a good platform. I'd heard about the site before and realized it was solid advice now that I was actually writing online. I'm happy I did - not just to post my writing but all the great authors and stories I've discovered here. It's a really fun community. When you get a story idea, do you use any particular method, app, program, etc… to expand it before you begin writing? Or do you just open up a document and start typing? Sometimes. I tend to get stuck on details so for a while I used Microsoft OneNote to organize my ideas by making a flow chart of sorts - mapping out what would happen from A to B to C. Other times I just start writing and seeing what happens but it's not long before I get stuck on a point and can't go on until I resolve it. Maybe I should go back to flow charts, now that I think on it... If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? Keep writing! Don't sweat the details and try to make every bit perfect on the first draft. You can always edit it later. Otherwise, you'll just exhaust yourself and end up not writing at all. That I took such a long break from serious writing because of this is a pretty big regret of mine. Do you have a favorite mythological creature? I think it's safe to say dragons will always have a special place in my heart. I've loved them since I was a kid. The creature itself, and how the idea can manifest in so many different ways - dragons show up in some form or the other in cultures the world over but they're always unmistakable. My personal favorite is the idea of wisdom and age combined with the raw power - something about that is very compelling. I'd always be rooting for the dragon in any medieval fantasy and I was very disappointed when Smaug died at the end of The Hobbit. Even more so in the movie - Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Smaug is what inspired me to start on the Deadwood series in fact. What kind of magic would you like to have out of the types that Parker, Jenson, and Evan have? Probably Evan's. I like nature and wish I was more outdoorsy than I am, so controlling plants and the earth would certainly help with that. Of the three, his magic seems to have the least drawbacks. Jenson's traps and intricate spells are appealing in their subtly but the lack of control would be a problem. As for Parker, I can't deny that throwing lightning bolts and stealing magic would fun, but being a warlock comes with certain baggage as I'm sure he would attest. Is this going to be a high fantasy/magic story or do you plan to toss some romance into the future plot? Relationships of any kind are a key part of what makes us human - they governs our feelings, interactions and...yeah, it's important. If you want your characters (even if they aren't all exactly human) to be compelling then you have to explore how they relate to each other, be it platonic or romantic. Depending on how you look at it, there actually has been a little already. Anshar and Mithras have a history - I've always been interested in writing about the aftermath or results of a relationship as opposed to the beginning of one. In this case, that includes a assassination, coup and civil war. Talk about your bad break-ups. Parker will also have to deal with his romantic past a little too - suffice to say it will be awkward for all involved. Dragons can do spells and they’re elemental… do they have any other cool hidden powers you haven’t shared with readers yet? There are more than a few types of dragons and many have their own unique abilities, and that's not even including an individual dragon's own personal talents. So yes, they do. Oh, you wanted an example? Well, they wouldn't exactly be hidden if I did that but I can give you one, though it may not come as a surprise: dragons possess a degree of mind control over lesser creatures. Which includes humans. What’s next? When can we expect part two of The Deadwood Chronicles? Working on it! I'm doing a slightly different set up for part two, Magefall. The goal is to make each chapter something of a short story in itself so readers are left a little more satisfied between updates - which of course means longer chapters. Now that I've started writing again, the first chapter of part two should be ready soon. I'm pretty excited about it. Ah, so many things are going to go boom...
  25. August is upon us, and this month is the end of a season--most of us are looking forward to a reversal of our local weather (I know I'm desperate for some cooling!) but, meanwhile, we can all enjoy a good story for the featured CSR blog! This month I've chosen Israfil's short story, The Transporters. At just 16.5k, everyone should be able to finish it. The Transporters by Israfil Length: 16,565 Description: When two dragons transporting a war criminal drop in for dinner, three wizard college drop-outs find themselves caught in the crossfire of a supernatural power struggle. A reader said: I do enjoy this story as well, keep it up. ~ Anubis Lichlore This month's discussion day will take place on Monday, August 28th. Be ready with your comments and questions for Israfil!
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