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BOOK TOUR: Burning Tracks by Lilah Suzanne

BannerTemplate Burning TracksINTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:

Today I’m thrilled to be interviewing Lilah Suzanne author of Burning Tracks. Hi, Lilah, thank you for agreeing to this interview. We hope you’ll tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else? 

I’m a browser; I like to take my time and peruse the shelves. Usually the title or cover will catch my eye, then I’ll read the blurb and a few pages inside. I don’t need popularity or a lot of reviews to be interested in a book and I really love discovering new-to-me authors.

What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

Wanting to give the person you love the best of yourself, and wanting to encourage and support them to be the best of themselves, too. For me, romance isn’t those very first swooning, heart-racing moments, but loving someone through the ups and downs. I really tried to exemplify in this book the idea that love is a verb, and that romance requires actions and not just feelings.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on the third and final novel in my Spotlight series right now, titled Blended Notes. And after that I plan to write a spin-off novella for Clementine, one of the minor characters in the series. She needs her own happy ending! After that: Something new!

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Editing is tough for me, particularly the last very tight edits for typos and tiny mistakes. It’s difficult for me to stay focused and positive, even though that stage is of course essential and very important! My ADD brain just doesn’t like it at all.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

Gwen is the person I often wish I could be, she’s just totally uninhibited by what or who other people think she should do or be, and fierce and raunchy and kick-ass. In reality I’m very quiet and sensitive and, unlike Gwen, I generally think way too much about what I do and say and what people think of me!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Burning Tracks 900px FRONT (Tumblr)
Cover Artist: Victoria S.

In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss. Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.

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Publisher: Interlude Press
Book Length: 224 pages, 62,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance Rom-Com

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EXCERPT:

“There’s a reason you two aren’t allowed to hang out alone.” Arms crossed, one impeccable eyebrow raised, lips twisted, hair artfully tousled, and dressed to the nines: Alexander Wang black-on-black tropical-printed board shorts, a slim fit black-and-white chino and matching black lapel jacket, black boots, and a black and white scarf to tie it all together. “Nico,” Gwen says.

“Nico?” Grady is up in a flash. “You came?”

Nico’s face softens into his Grady look. “Of course I came. Did you really think you were getting rid of me that easily?” Grady comes closer, and Nico brushes a spiraled lock of hair from his face. “I’m sorry it took me so long. There were storms over Dallas, and I got stuck on the tarmac with a dead phone. I barely made my connection, and the clusterfuck of morons known as the United gate at JFK could not get its shit together, and I may be banned outright from Charlotte-Douglas International, can you believe they flag you as a security risk and hold you in a room with no phone signal or Wi-Fi just for threatening one person with shoving that goddam intercom up their—”  He opens his arms for Grady; his look of annoyance slips away the moment they touch. “Anyway, I’m here.”

Grady sighs, crowds into Nico’s space, and tucks himself into Nico’s body. Much better, a perfect fit. “God, I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Nico sinks one hand into his hair, strokes the nape of his neck with other, breathes him in, and closes his eyes. “I’m so sorry. About the apartment and taking off and not being here yesterday, I tried to so hard to make it because I know how difficult it is for you. You shouldn’t have been alone.”

Grady sniffs and holds him tighter. “It’s okay. We’re okay. I’m sorry, too.”

Still ensnared in the sheets and duvet and barely awake, Gwen presses her hands to her cheeks and awws. “You guys,” she coos.

Grady lifts his head from Nico’s neck to smile at Gwen. “I wasn’t alone, though.”

“Mmm” Nico says. “And how much trouble did she get you into?”

None,” Gwen says, defensive. Here she kept Grady safe and sound, searched all over Nashville and Las Vegas while he was off burying himself in work and what thanks does she get? None.

But then Grady smirks and says, “Kind of a lot.”

“Grady.” Gwen throws a pillow at him. “You’re such a tattletale, gosh.”

He bends to whisper something in Nico’s ear, and Gwen doesn’t miss the way his lips drag and linger on the shell of it, or the way Nico’s breath catches and his eyes roll back. When Nico lifts Grady’s shirt and traces around the tattoos with reverent fingers, Gwen takes that as her cue to extricate herself from the bed, put on some pants and a bra, and go fetch her luggage.

“‘Kay you guys have fun and make sure to change the sheets when you’re finished.”

“Wait.” Nico tugs Grady’s shirt down. Then he goes to the case he always has nearby. “You have trouble of your own, Gwen. Thought you might want to know about this.”

Gwen catches the magazine and folded-up papers he tosses her way: screen grabs from a few entertainment websites printed out in black and white.

Is This Clementine Campbell’s Girlfriend? Our source says, “It wouldn’t surprise me.”

Clementine and Gal Pal Definitely More Than Pals Sunning On Vegas Pool Deck.

Our exclusive source and close confidant of both says: Clementine’s married girlfriend “would cheat for sure. She was always touching her. There’s been an energy between them from the very beginning.”

 There are pictures: her rubbing sunscreen on Clementine’s bare back, which looks far steamier in a fuzzy long-range picture than it actually was; a picture of them from the back at the store in the Venetian with their hands clasped and Clementine curled in close and her lips on Gwen’s cheek; and most damning of all, grinding together at the VIP club at the Bellagio just last night.

“I don’t—” Frantic and confused, she flaps the magazine and printouts in the air. “What is this? This isn’t— Nico, I didn’t, I swear.

Nico holds both hands up. “Hey, I am well aware of the slander of tabloids. I get it.” He gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m just not sure Flora is going to.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of the Interlude Press books Spice, Pivot and Slip, and Broken Records, which was named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Magazine.

CONNECT WITH LILAH:

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / OTHER

 

GIVEAWAY:
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FOLLOW THE TOUR:

11-Aug: Havan Fellows, Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, 3 Chicks After Dark
12-Aug: BFD Book Blog, Unquietly Me, The Novel Approach
15-Aug: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Oh My Shelves
16-Aug: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Alpha Book Club, Bayou Book Junkie
17-Aug: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Velvet Panic, Prism Book Alliance
18-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kirsty Loves Books, Bonkers About Books
19-Aug: V’s Reads, My Fiction Nook, Happily Ever Chapter
22-Aug: Love Bytes, Foxylutely Book Reviews
23-Aug: Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews
24-Aug: A.M. Leibowitz, Open Skye Book Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever

BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST & EXCERPT: The Wrong Man by Lane Hayes

Today we’re thrilled to have with us Lane Hayes as part of the blog tour for her recent release, The Wrong Man. This is a fantastic m/m romance from her Right and Wrong series from Dreamspinner Press. Lane was kind enough to answer our ridiculous questions about dogs in m/m romance, and we love her responses! Be sure to check out the book, a steamy excerpt and enter for a chance to win a $10 gift card.

INTERVIEW WITH LANE HAYES:
3CHICKS: Over the years we’ve noticed an increasing trend toward dogs featured in m/m romances. You only need to look around at many recent covers to see this is true. Sometimes they’re simply there in the background, but in others, such as seems the case with Brandon’s story, they have a more prominent role. So in light of that, we’re wondering:

Do you think it’s important for guys – one or both – in m/m romances to have pets? If so, why dogs and what does this bring to the character(s) and/or story?

LH: I don’t think it’s important necessarily to include pets in books, but honestly, the flip side of never hearing about an MC’s pet is kinda weird too.  People love their animals!  They mold their schedules around feeding times and vet appointments on a regular basis.  It’s silly not to include them, at least occasionally.  As in real life, animals can bring an element of humanity to a story.  Your dog isn’t impressed with your new job, your car or your fancy wardrobe.  He only wants you.  In The Wrong Man, Mack acts as a supporting character who emphasizes that very sentiment.  He’s old, he’s slow and he needs attention, but his owner will certainly attest Mack has given so much more than he’s ever asked for in return.

3CHICKS: Would you consider yourself a dog person? If you’ve ever had one – or many – as a pet, we’d love to hear all about him/her/them as well as see any pictures you’d like to share.

Mack TWMLH: I’m definitely a dog person. I love dogs!  And yes… Mack is my 13-year old, diabetic yellow Lab.  My Mack has been a beloved family member since he was an 8 week old puppy unlike the dog in The Wrong Man.  He’s grown up with our three kids (two are already at college) and has always been the sweetest, most gentle soul.  He’s ninety-two in people years and is mostly blind but he’s still happy and very well loved.

3CHICKS: I can’t even tell you how ecstatic I am to learn that Mack from The Wrong Man is named after your real dog! If possible this makes me love him even more. :) 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Successful owner of an upscale boutique in fabulous West Hollywood, Brandon Good swears by his personal edict to “live in the present.” After a bad break-up, he agrees to dog sit to keep his mind off his ex. Never did he expect the dog to belong a man from his past, the only man to ever truly break his heart.

When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As they rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface. Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.

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Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 220 Pages

 

PURCHASE A COPY FROM DREAMSPINNER PRESS: ebook / paperback

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REVIEW OF THE WRONG MAN.

 EXCERPT:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.

CONNECT WITH LANE: 

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / EMAIL

GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This tour sponsored by:
WillPride

and Will’s dog, Brownie. :)

Brownie

 

GUEST POST: Fashion and Style with Harold (and Michael Rupured)

While reading Michael Rupured’s recent gay fiction stories After Christmas Eve and Happy Independence Day, I was drawn to one character over and over – Harold.  Mind you Harold isn’t a main character – at least not at first – but he’s definitely an integral part of the fabric of that world. I can’t even tell you exactly what it is that draws me to him other than he’s a bit shy and unsure, fumbling through his teen years trying to find his own bit of happiness. He’s rather serious but with a drive and determination that betrays his youth. One thing has been clear about Harold since we were first introduced – he’s absolutely a genius with fashion and makeup. Without giving too much away, Rupured introduces Harold’s interest in fashion through glimpses of time shared with his best friend Abigail. She’s the only one who understands and accepts this side of him, and together they explore and grow. It’s a beautiful testament to friendship – everyone needs an Abigail, someone who accepts you for you.

Something I love about Rupured’s portrayal of Harold is how Harold’s interest in fashion is more of a quirk than the standard gay fashion stereotype. I’m still in awe of how Rupured manages to create a homosexual character who’s into hair, makeup and fashion that doesn’t come off as cliché, but that’s Harold.

So, in light of my love of Harold, 3 Chicks After Dark asked him if he’d be willing to join us for a bit of fun to share a bit of his views on fashion and makeup.  He graciously accepted, and we give our thanks to Michael Rupured for allowing him to be here today. Welcome, Harold!

THE INTERVIEW:

3CHICKS:  Let’s talk a little bit of makeup first. I’ve never been what you call a “girly girl,” so I’m going to concede to your expert opinion.

Q. In Happy Independence Day, you worked wonders with Kreema Dee Kropp. What are three things you think every diva or drag queen can’t do without? Must have products or accessories, if you will. 

HAROLD: Judging from my diva and drag queen clients, that’s two questions. Divas need a good stylist, an excellent makeup artist, and handlers to make sure she’s never photographed sans full makeup and hair or from her bad side. Oh wait—those aren’t really products. Do they count as accessories? Drag queens need an excellent foundation, bobbie pins, and duct tape.

3CHICKS: I think they definitely count as accessories. ;)

Credit to fashiondivadesign.com
Credit to fashiondivadesign.com

Q. How do you feel about the cat-eye eyeliner fad? It has its merits, but I’m not really a fan. 

HAROLD: When done well, I’m a fan. The shape of the eye, the fullness of the brow, the length and thickness of the lashes, as well as the eyeliner color, the thickness of the line, and the length and angle of the “tail” have to work together. You have lovely eyes. Give me ten minutes and my makeup kit and I bet I could make you a fan.

3CHICKS: Aww, you’re such a flatterer. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about letting you try. 

Q. What’s the best lip color for anyone trying to catch a guy’s attention? 

HAROLD: When it comes to lips, I’m a little old fashioned. So many women today have what Abigail calls blowjob lips. You know, like their lips are all swollen. The right lip color depends on the kind of attention you want from him. If your goal is a quickie in the backseat of his car, go with something frosted and a lot of light blue eye shadow. A nice red is hard to beat—something like Pirate by Chanel, 999 by Dior, or even Cherries in the Snow by Revlon.

3CHICKS: I guess I never thought about it being more about the end game than completing a look. Very good points. 

Q. Do you think there’s ever such a thing as too much makeup?

HAROLD: Yes! But it’s not about quantity so much as the quality of the application. The problem I see more often is too little. I’ve yet to meet a man or woman whose appearance couldn’t be improved by a talented makeup artist.

3CHICKS: Okay, on to a little fashion. That fabulous makeover would be nothing without a great look. 

Q. What’s your favorite current fashion trend? Men’s or women’s, take your pick. 

HAROLD: For women and adventurous men like myself, I love glitter boots, clothing embellished with jewels, and anything with bright, vivid colors. Men have fewer options, especially when it comes to color. The new whimsy prints are nice, but I’m still waiting for something interesting and wearable to come along in men’s fashion.

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3CHICKS: Oooh, we love the sparkle! As for men’s options, we totally agree. Regardless of which era you’re talking about, men have very limited choices.

Q. You grew up in the 60’s.  What favorite 60’s fashion trend do you wish would make a comeback? This can be for men or women. Personally, we’re fans of the leisure suit, but that gained popularity a little after your time. ;)

HAROLD: Leisure suits were a good idea, poorly executed. I blame polyester. I will always love Jackie Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat. My mother had the same suit—only hers wasn’t a knock-off like the First Lady’s.

3CHICKS: *laughs* A little bit of spunk there…I like it. :) 

Credit to www.movieweb.com
Credit to www.movieweb.com

Q. Okay this last one is a little trickier. It’s no big secret that I’m a HUGE James Marsden fan. That combination of dark hair, sparkling blue eyes and his sweet, sexy smile just makes him irresistible. So, here’s my challenge – pretend you’re James Marsden’s personal stylist and you’re dressing him for a late night television appearance. Let’s say Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel, one of those Jimmys anyway. What would you choose? 

HAROLD: James Marsden is so gorgeous nobody remembers what he wears—or cares, except my gay friends who all wish he’d show more flesh. If he showed up in a burlap bag, everybody would want one. The more he dresses up, the better he looks, but I’d go for something casual like jeans and a nice sweater for late night television.

3CHICKS: I think that sounds perfect! You really know your stuff.  Thanks so much for joining us! We had so much fun with this interview, and we hope you’ll join us again soon!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
22752292Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.

Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.

Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Rupured Author PicMichael Rupured has always loved to write. Before learning the alphabet, he filled page after page with rows of tiny little circles he now believes were his first novels, and has been writing ever since. He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, came out as a gay man in the late 1970s at the age of 21, and considers surviving his wild and reckless twenties to have been a miracle.

In 2010, after more than twenty years in academia, Michael joined the Athens Writers Workshop, which helped him transition from writing nonfiction to writing fiction. Michael writes stories “true enough for government work” about the gay experience in earlier decades that, in addition to entertaining the reader, highlight how far the gay rights movement has come in the last fifty years.  A serial monogamist who is currently between relationships, Michael writes with his longhaired Chihuahua, Toodles, in his lap from his home in Athens, Georgia.

Connect with Michael:

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS

An Interview with David Pratt

Today we’re thrilled to welcome David Pratt to 3 Chicks After Dark! David’s here to discuss his recent book from Wilde City Press, Looking After Joey, a modern day My Fair Lady.  We appreciate him taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our pressing questions. Be sure to scroll all the way down to enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of Looking After Joey!

About the Book:

Looking After Joey
photo (c) Eva Mueller, cover model: Nicholas Gorham; design by Adrian Nicholas, cover (c) 2014 Wilde City Press

From the author of Bob the Book comes a funny, fast-paced, touching tale of love, laughter, family of choice and fabulousness!

Wouldn’t it be great if a porn character stepped out of the TV, into your life? Well, be careful what you wish for. Because that’s how Calvin and Peachy end up looking after Joey. And teaching him everything he needs to know to be be a gay man in New York City. His final exam? A fabulous Labor Day party on Fire Island. But first, they all have to get invited. This will involve a rogues’ gallery of eccentric Manhattanites, including portly, perspiring publicist Bunce van den Troell; theatrical investor Sir Desmond Norma; studly thespian Clive Tidwell-Smidgin; lubricant king Fred Pflester; and a mysterious young man named Jeffrey. Tender, wise, witty and often utterly deranged, Looking After Joey will make you wish that you, too, had a porn character at your kitchen table asking, “So, when can I have sex?”

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PURCHASE A COPY FROM AMAZON or WILDE CITY PRESS.

Check out the book trailer:

Joey Eats in Bed from David Pratt on Vimeo.

And now onto the good part – the interview. :)

3 CHICKS: Are you a fan of My Fair Lady? How does a writer find himself inspired to write this particular type of comedy?

My Movie Cover
Cover design by Peach Boy Design and Distillery, (c) 2012 Chelsea Station Editions

DP: I grew up with the My Fair Lady album. The language and situations were so much more complex than any other story in my world. I found the misogyny disturbing, though I did not know that word, especially the cruel picture Higgins paints of Eliza at the end and the suggestion that he would “throw the baggage out” if she came back. I identified with Eliza’s vulnerability. In my short story “The Snow Queen” (in the collection My Movie) the boy’s mother talks about people who “belong in the Institute for Living,” a local psychiatric facility. He worries she would send him there if she knew his true feelings. That’s a thing my own mother said. It’s a real place near where we lived, so I had worries about being exiled there. In the novel, Joey is exiled, and Calvin and Peachy are fantasy parents who care for him until the place of exile actually becomes home.

I was not consciously looking to do a modern My Fair Lady. I just figured that was what would happen if a porn character emerged into our world. He would have to be taught everything, then he’d have to be taken out at some point. In the process there was much gay social stuff I could make fun of. I’m all about scoring as many laughs as possible—at the expense of a world in which I myself still feel insecure and vulnerable.

3 CHICKS: Some of the characters are simply outrageous, and that’s one of the aspects of the book I loved so much. Do you have a favorite character from Looking After Joey who was particularly fun to write?

DP: I loved writing both Desmond and Stuart because they are pure id, with no self-censoring. My charge to myself was to be as outrageous as possible. Stuart was a more fun, though. With Desmond I had to work on his arcane and archaic locutions. With Stuart I just let it rip. It was total farting in church. When Stuart is told that Desmond’s book is “a vanity project,” he responds, “This is not a vanity project. This is a fuck-you project. This is a who-are-you-to-be-eating-my-crotch-cheese project. This is a please-have-diarrhea-in-my-mouth-right-now-so-I’ll-have-something-else-to-think-about project!” He’s always after sex or food, he flushes out his nasal passages in Peachy’s rented car (while it’s in motion), he’s just total fun. It disappoints me that I can’t read his scenes at readings, but they all require a lot of set-up. Peachy was lots of fun to write, though, like Desmond, his speeches required thought

3 CHICKS: I love that Cal doesn’t get everything he wants wrapped up in a neat little package without some suffering. Really I’m not sure there’s anyone who gets exactly what he wants without some compromise. How much consideration did you give the tension and anxiety of Cal’s situation? I guess what I’m asking is, as a writer, how do you know enough is enough to avoid a story becoming depressing? I think you managed to balance it very well.

DP: During the writing of Joey I did develop an instinct for how much over-the-top comedy before something sobering (i.e., lifelike) happens? How much introspection or pessimism before you throw in a whoopee cushion (again, just the way life does)? Of course I mix the two. The date with Marcus is spooky, but there are some great gags. Calvin’s recollections of other dates-gone-wrong are cringe-worthy but funny. His worries over where the date with Marcus will go are a hoot.

3 CHICKS: Okay, I have to ask – why porn? Not that I’m objecting, but Joey could have appeared out of any number of scenarios, so I’m curious why you chose that one.

DP: The novel is based on my short story “Calvin Gets Sucked In” (also in My Movie), about Calvin entering the porn film. Porn was not DSC04466one choice among many in the construction of the story. It was the raison d’être of the story. I was something of a porn addict in my 20s and 30s; maybe I was trying to resolve my desires and insecurities. What better way to resolve them than by making fun of the big, bad porn dragon? I did this in one easy step: imagine that the insecure middle-aged male gets what he thinks he wants: he’s inside the world he longs for and that makes him insecure. What would it be like to live there permanently? Exhausting and dull, actually. And funny. Especially as Calvin, inside the video, is able to reach Peachy on his cell phone, and Peachy has, well, a fairly normal reaction to this abnormality. Calvin finds Joey and wants to “rescue” him. When Joey comes into this world, of course, there is trouble immediately. Hilarious trouble, yes, but there are touching moments, too. I normalize the kind of boy I envied and feared by placing him in “real life.” He can’t have as much sex, his looks aren’t an instant passport, so his beauty and perfection can no longer intimidate. The question his presence raises is, if you lived for sensual gratification alone, what would you find untenable about this world? And what would this world, with it sublimations and regulations, find untenable about you? What does that say about desire?

3 CHICKS: I think it’s brilliant the way you represent sex in the “porn realm” as stereotypically perfect. The men are flawless, including Calvin, yet when back in reality their imperfections are obvious. Is this a way of combatting the literary stereotype that all gay men are well endowed and physically perfect?

DP: Calvin had to be perfect to engage in the action in the film. If he weren’t, they’d pitch him out. When he comes back to this world, it’s funny (in a dark way) that Joey rejects him because he’s no longer perfect. I make the point more directly with Doug. He’s plain in looks and in the life he leads, but he accepts Joey unconditionally, making him utterly adorable and sexy. The stereotype, by the way is not that all gay men are perfect and well-endowed way, but that they have to be in order to count. I have combatted this in erotica I have written by not mentioning endowments or making them unclear—for example, saying “thick” without saying how thick. In one of my erotic stories, one character hesitates to have sex with another because he believes he is not well endowed enough to please him. The other guy insists. By the time they are going at it, the second guy is so involved he doesn’t even notice the first one’s size or lack of. He walks away hours later, literally unable to recall anything definite about the other guys’ endowment. Instead of endowment I stress what I would call “virility”—energy, staying power, hardness and quickness to get hard. I also stress volume and force of ejaculation. These might be silly things to dwell on, too, but they are not as stereotypical and damaging as dwelling on endowment. A guy who is not a big ejaculator who reads about a guy who is does not feel diminished the same way an average- or small-endowed guy reading about a massively endowed guy does.

3 CHICKS: Can you talk a little bit about what it was like to write the sex in Looking After Joey? Sex takes on a lot of different roles in this story: sex for pleasure, sex as a commodity and sex for love.

DP: The porn sex was easy because, oddly enough, the sex part of the porn was not the point. I mean, of course sex is “great” inside a porn film, and of course it’s constant. The fun was in describing what else is in the porn world—basically nothing. The comedy is in the reader realizing that the sex has to be comically relentless and there can’t be anything else. But it’s creepy, too. Roddd and Joey both talk about “them,” a mysterious presence monitoring everyone. After Calvin comes back to this world and Joey with him, the sex is not as directly portrayed. We assume Joey and Doug are having delicious sex by the way they interact in regular life. That, by the way, is another case of comedy within drama [spoiler alert]: when Joey is tempted to return to the porn world, Doug is in tears, but at the same time they are calling each other by these hilarious pet names. Calvin longs for the kinky stuff, but backs out both times, for very different reasons. Then there are lots of perverse goings-on talked about and planned by Stuart, Desmond and Bunce, but we don’t actually see them. I mean, do you really want to be present for Bunce having sex? I don’t think so! And to see Desmond or Staurt in action would be far less funny than hearing their plans and desires.

3 CHICKS: Do you have an idea of where things go for Calvin after the ending? I have a tendency toward HEAs, so for me that’s where my imagination wanders.

DP: I make the ending optimistic, but, given the book I have written and the reasons why I wrote it,  I can’t betray the reader by promising happily-ever-after. The book is about love in the face of uncertainty, so the ending is uncertain. And yet you know Calvin has grown and learned things and that he will always have Peachy, Joey and Doug. It’s implied that those four will live happily ever after, as friends, and that Joey and Doug, as a couple, will get an HEA.

David was generous enough to share with us a few extra shots of handsome cover model Nicholas Gorham from the cover shoot. Check them out: 

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Thanks again to David Pratt for joining us today! It’s always great to gain an added insight into a terrific story.  Be sure to enter below for a chance to win your own copy of Looking After Joey from Wilde City Press!

Click HERE for our review of Looking After Joey. 

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*Giveaway runs until June 14, 2014 at 12:00a.m.  Winner will be contacted by email and must respond in 24 hours to claim prize. 3 Chicks After Dark is not held responsible for any potential damages resulting from acquisition of prize.

About the Author:
David Pratt David Pratt is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Bob the Book (Chelsea Station Editions) and a new novel, Looking After Joey, from Wilde City Press. His short stories have been collected in My Movie, also from Chelsea Station. He has published in several periodicals and anthologies. He has presented work for the theater in New York at HERE, Dixon Place, the Cornelia Street Cafe, the Flea Theater and the NY International Fringe Festival.

 

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