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Please join us in congratulating Mike Arram on becoming GA's newest Classic Author! @Mike Arram has been writing and posting stories on the Internet for many years, and we're pleased to announce that he's now started to also post them here at Gay Authors. Mike Arram is the author of The Peacher stories, The Crown of Tassilo, as well as the first story he's posting here, Terre Nouvelle. Checking out Mike's bio, we learn that even as a child and then into adulthood, he has an amazing imagination to create worlds and characters to fulfill them. Some with a touch of royalty or pagentry, some with a touch of sci-fi, more than a few gay characters, it all adds to the escape that readers find themselves absorbed in. As Mike says, 'My characters live in that alternative place as well as in the alternative worlds.' Leave a note here to congratulate Mike Arram on his promotion, and then check out his stories here!
How's your August? Happy to be over? My summer vacation is rapidly coming to a close, with this being my last week "off" so I am cramming in everything fun and relaxing I can. Of course, I spent a couple of hours this month completely absorbed into Mike Arram's story, The Heart of Oskar Prinz, which was a thoroughly enjoyable escape. Did you? If you did, I'm sure you have some thoughts to share in the comments. And you CAN'T miss the answers he shared!! Make sure you read on, comment, and prompt your fellow GA readers/fans to come visit this blog too! If you had 30 minutes of free time, what would you do? I retired from my academic job last year, so this is a question that I’ve been daily confronting since. I no longer have the daily 120 administrative emails to deal with and one remorseless deadline after another, which is quite the relief, but I now have the odd experience of free time. It’s pushing me in unexpected directions, like for instance birdwatching. I never knew I was interested in birds, but apparently I am, and they’re such demanding little creatures. They fill in quite a few half hours, and though it shouldn’t surprise me, there are birding apps, and I’ve bought books! Also there are author questionnaires. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be? ‘Adolescence is the weirdest time’ What brought you to GA? Ah well, that was a personal invite from Wildone, which was very kind. But it did hit my particular anxiety which is the longevity of existing posting sites, which in most cases depend on the commitment and enthusiasm of single, devoted individuals for whom there cannot be enough praise. But in the end that makes them vulnerable. GA has the advantage of a broader base of support and an institutional framework, as well as its large and enthusiastic base of writers and fans. Is there anything you find particularly challenging when you write? Not now I have so much free time. Though maybe the lack of routine demands on me may remove that need to balance commitments I used to find made me productive, hopping happily from one activity to another. If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? Sex scenes really do move the process of writing along, just remember that an excess of graphic details isn’t necessarily erotic. What’s the first thing you do when you start to write a story like The Heart of Oskar Prinz? Tough question. That particular story came out of ... ermm ... a deep fascination with the products of the Belami studio and a fixation with one particular model of the time, the amazing “Josh Elliot “. Like Will, I got all the videos and trawled the basement shops in London’s Soho; this was just before online streamed porn revolutionised the activity of male masturbation. When I finally emerged from the erotic daze the man inspired, as one does, it left me with a different sort of curiosity, such as how such an industry worked, what might get such an amazingly beautiful man involved in gay erotic films, how could such a remarkably fit and intelligent-looking man get tied up in having sex with strangers for the voyeuristic amusement of the likes of me. Surprisingly, it was possible to find quite a bit about it if you have the research skills and the odd half hour you steal from doing something else. And it was that research which stimulated my imagination towards a story to further explore that world. It linked with several of my enthusiasms: exploring a fictional east European nation (as first created by Anthony Hope), and how it might have developed into the 20th century; its history, nobility and language. So the story of the trapped, driven and tragic figure of Oskar Prinz emerged, and he told his tale. Do you have any ‘interesting’ online or in-person research anecdotes from writing this story to share? I think you can guess where a lot of my research happened and perhaps we need not go there. But I travel a fair amount, and since I was in Prague I could not resist looking up where the offices of Belami were on Wenceslas Square. They’re as described as Falkefilm’s Rodolferplaz HQ, off a pasacz. You probably don’t need to be told that very few young Czech (or Slovak) men actually measure up to Belami standards, so mooning around that pasacz is a waste of time, as well as being creepy. Who is your favorite secondary character in the story [not Will or his lover(s)] and why? If you take out Will and his various partners, then you’re left with Friedrich Franz, or Fritz, Oskar’s little brother. In due course he became an even more interesting character to explore than his driven brother: Imagine a boy with every gift of personality, full of love and humour, and with looks far beyond the ordinary, yet with one defect of character caused by his early poverty and loss of his parents: a need to possess utterly those he loved and too ready a need to love. No human can be perfect and one small flaw can darken every aspect of a life. What is your favorite scene in the story? The whole story’s plot is highly contrived, which you can take as a homage to the ultimate inspiration of Anthony Hope, who wrote in the romantic Victorian vein which made much of the unlikely coincidence. But I really did enjoy crafting the double coincidence of Will meeting both his erotic heroes in Strelzen, and finding them not at all what he expected, rather more so than less. You can see it coming a way off, but I don’t think that lessens the fun. Can you share a little about your current story or future projects? I can’t not write by now, so there’s always one on the go. My three Crown of Tassilo historical novels were always intended to be more, but for years I’ve failed to find the plot and characters that would carry the story on into and beyond the Second World War era. But recently it occurred to me that prequels can be as important as sequels. So early this year I began the epic tale of Sergius von Tarlenheim-Olmusch, a young nobleman who arrives at the court of Ruritania in 1690 to join the household of the 16 year old Crown Prince Henry and there meets the prince’s bastard cousin, which is the pairing that energises the story. It will take you across the battlefields of the Hapsburg wars with Louis XIV and the Ottoman empire. Meanwhile something is definitely amiss in the Marienkloster of Medeln, and on the streets of Old Strelsau the ragged street boys of the Conduit meet an elf on a quest, the nature of which only slowly becomes apparent. It’s about three-quarters done, and one of the things that’s moving it along is the good fun of working with my current editor, Peter, who shares many of my personal manias as well as being a very gifted linguist.
Well, well, well, happy August everyone! This month we MUST stay indoors and beat whatever awful weather is destroying the outside, so what better way to do that than with a nice, loooong story? And, even better, it's part of a series! A looooooooonger series, at that! Mike Arram is an established author who came to share his work with us from other well-known gay fiction sites, so you might have already seen his name, or read his stories, or maybe this is all new to you. Either way, this month you're in for a treat! As always, don't forget to come back on the Discussion day with your thoughts ready to share in the blog comments. The Heart of Oskar Prinz, Rothenian Tales #1 by Mike Arram Length: 76,374 Description: Will Vincent, schoolteacher, exits the closet and finds it leads him to very strange places, for almost out of the door he encounters the beautiful Oskar, cynic and porn star, who is not at all what he seems. A reader said: Thanks for posting this excellent story. I enjoyed it several years ago on crvboy, and very much enjoyed this improved version here. ~vonfoto Don't forget to come back on Monday, August 26th, for the Discussion Day!