MAY 2010 M/M ROMANCE NEWSLETTER|
Welcome to our newsletter. We hope the content on this page is both informative and entertaining. We welcome feedback; you can send it to the Newsletter Editor. On another outreach note: The Dreamspinner Press blog is now open for business. Follow the blog to see author posts, book excerpts, contests, and other news from the press about M/M romance. Enjoy!
Lynn West, Editor in Chief, Dreamspinner Press
Why did you decide to write romance stories?
Because I wanted the happily ever after that romances give you. After a crappy day at work, a person usually wants to read about someone having a good day and get what he or she wants. In my case, it's mostly a he. I like historical romances more than contemporary ones, even if some of the authors can't get all the historical details right. I read romances as an escape, and I wanted to give someone else the chance to escape into another world for a while.
Why demons in romance?
Why not? The supernatural has been popular in fiction for a while, and we're riding the crest of that wave again with the current popularity of paranormal and urban fantasy romances. Vampires and werewolves have been overused; just grab anything off the shelf and it either has a werewolf or a vampire as the love interest. Elves have been a staple of fantasy since Tolkien. I'm interested in non-Western fantasy, specifically Japanese. That's an area that's just starting to be explored.
Demons and other supernatural creatures are in a lot of Japanese literature and folklore. And they are not always evil. They can be good as well. Japanese folklore has shapeshifters, demons, and other beings in it, some of them the same as Western folklore and some of them very different.
How were you introduced to M/M fiction?
I actually have to confess that I found out about M/M romance through anime fan fiction. I was a big Gundam Wing fan and started reading anything that I could find on the 'net, when the Internet was only dial-up. I had read published novels with gay characters in them, but there wasn't a lot out there in print before small press publishing took off. Too much of the stuff was like Bujold's Ethan of Athos. It was a good novel, but unfortunately the gay main character was about as interesting as watching paint dry. They were either like that or the bad guys. While Marian Zimmer Bradley had gay characters in her Darkover series, they seemed more "gay for you" than homosexual.
What are five of your favorite books/series?
I had to think about this for a little while. There are so many book series out there that I like for a number of different reasons, it was hard just to chose five.
1) The Saint-Germain series by Chelsea Quinn Yarbo. Saint-Germain is one very, very sex vampire and they're good historical novels, very well researched, ranging from ancient Egypt to modern day. It's the best vampire series around.
2) Guardians of the Flame by Joel Rosenberg. It's a nice series about gamers entering the fantasy world of their game. I read it in college and it's always been a favorite of mine, since not everything is nice and shiny like they thought it was.
3) Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series. The woman has managed to cross genres with several of the books and did it very well. Miles is an interesting character, but seeing everyone around him is more fun for me. I wish that she had been able to do more with Cordelia and Aral's relationship than she has, because as a middle-aged woman, I need romance about people my age too!
4) S.M. Stirling's Snow Brother and the Fifth Millennium series. The main characters are two very kickass lesbian lovers. Great world building about a future Earth, and the heroines are shades of gray more than the black and white good guys one usually sees. Bloody and violent, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm not looking for deep philosophical meaning all the time when I pick up a book.
5) Anything by Octavia Butler. I enjoyed her earlier work more than some of her later stories. Mind of My Mind and the Patternist series was much better, in my opinion, than her Xenogenesis books, but I have a weakness for psionics. It's more a collection of stories in a shared universe then a real series. It was also one of the first science fiction/fantasy works I read in which everyone wasn't white and middle-class. Kindred is an excellent novel about the cause and effect of time travel.
Why did you decide to try to publish your stories?
I started writing mainly original fiction when I was diagnosed with breast cancer as something to keep me occupied while I was going though treatment. I was published in two of the Yaoi-Con anthologies and things just spread out from there. Dreamlands is actually the result of one of those stories.
Clare London was kind enough to recommend me to Dreamspinner after we talked about it at Yaoi-Con in '08, and they bought my first novel, Dreamlands. I got the contract for it on my birthday, so it was a very nice present.
Felicitas Ivey is the pen name of a very frazzled helpdesk drone at a Boston-area university. She's an eternal student even with a BA in anthropology and history, since free classes are part of the benefits. She's taken courses on gothic architecture, premodern Japanese literature, and witchcraft, just because they sounded like fun. You can visit her blog and e-mail Felicitas.
Win an eBook copy of this author's novel. Clues are available in author bios on our web site.
This author is a highly imaginative Southern girl with a penchant for happy bodice-ripperish Regency romances.
E-mail the Newsletter Editor with your answer. A winner will be chosen randomly from the correct answers. Contest ends May 31.
The correct answers to last month's question: This author would love to own a second-hand book shop and sit behind the counter reading her wares and writing her own all day. Her novella published with Dreamspinner Press is set at an Alaskan hideaway where a retreat goes scarily wrong. Who is the author? Scarlet Blackwell.
The first rays of the sun are just breaking over the horizon, giving a pink tint to the otherwise dark sky. The stars are still twinkling overhead, fading as the sky brightens, and the moon hangs down, still large and white overhead.
Kiron stands in front of the window, his hands tucked in the pockets of his loose pants, and gazes out over the landscape. The grass looks almost purple in the odd morning light, only showing its true deep blue when the luminescent night blooms illuminate it. They're closing now, tucking their deadly brightness away to hide for the day, and the day blooms are just beginning to open, slowly revealing colors that won't truly show until the suns are high in the sky.
It's beautiful and deadly, so much more dangerous than the sterile, slick metal of the city with all the plants locked behind carefully constructed walls of glass and studied instead of let thrive. It's safe there, back where Kiron's day-to-day life is, but he relishes his getaways. He feels so much more alive here.
The reason comes up behind him, wrapping warm arms around his waist and pressing a soft kiss to the back of his neck. "Good morning."
"It is now," Kiron responds, leaning back against Malek's muscular chest. He's warm, even in the cool morning air, and it spreads through Kiron's body as he rests his head on Malek's shoulder and turns it to gently kiss the underside of Malek's jaw.
He slides his tail down between Malek's legs, wrapping it around Malek's calf until Malek untangles it with his own, twining them together as he tips his head down and gently kisses Kiron's lips. Kiron grins as they pull apart, sighing contentedly as he slides his hands up over Malek's arms and returns his gaze to the window. The first sun is peeking over the horizon now, spreading its light and revealing the bright colors of the day-blooming plants. The other is still below the horizon, giving a reddish tint to the sky that complements the colors below.
It's beautiful, much like the view inside, and there is nowhere Kiron would rather be to start his day.
Later, after the suns have risen and the luminescent plants have hidden for the day, Kiron leads Malek outside, where they lie in the hammock, wrapped around each other, their limbs tangled and their tails twined, the different shades of brown curling around each other in a swirl of fur.
Neither of them are wearing shirts-it's too warm for that in the heat of both suns-and they soon discard their pants as well. There's no one here to see them, nothing here but plants rooted in place and animals afraid to come out into the light. The fabric of the hammock is soft beneath them as they throw their pants toward the door, and the loose garments land on a dry patch not far from it as they lie back down, letting the hammock wrap around them, keeping them safe from the glare of the suns and the gaze of the animals.
Kiron slides his hand over Malek's belly, stroking along the lines of firm muscles and slipping it lower to cup his groin, curling his fingers around the hardening flesh. Malek gasps and shifts, thrusting upward as much as he can in the soft fabric supporting them. His hand glides around Kiron's body to return the favor, and Kiron wriggles and thrusts into Malek's hand even as he strokes Malek.
It's not long before Malek leans up, pressing their mouths together as he shudders into Kiron's hand. He slides his tongue into Kiron's mouth, and as Kiron comes, spilling his seed between them, he closes his eyes and loses himself in Malek's taste.
The pie they had for breakfast lingers on his tongue, the tartness of the berries mixing with the sweet flavor that is uniquely Malek in a way that makes them both taste even more spectacular. Kiron wants to taste it forever, to feed Malek pie all day so he can always taste it on his lips, and he's contemplating how to make that work when Malek pulls back, grins, and pulls Kiron close, settling them comfortably in the hammock.
The suns are high in the sky, shining down through the wide, blue leaves of the trees, illuminating their shadowed bed just enough to keep them warm as the cool breeze blows. It's peaceful and quiet now, and though when the suns set and the moon rises it won't be safe to let their guard down outside the cabin, for now the forest is peaceful and serene, wrapping them in its relaxing hold as the dangers of the night slumber on.
Kiron lets his eyes close as he settles with his head pillowed on Malek's chest and his arms loosely wrapped around Malek's waist. It's comfortable with the wind blowing over them and the suns shining down from where they're blazing overhead. If he were to open his eyes, Kiron could see the brilliant blooms of the flowers and trees and the occasional shy animal darting from place to place as it searches for food in the relative safety of the daylight, but he keeps them closed, content smell the blossoms and listen to the birds as he drifts off, wrapped in Malek.
They'll have to wake up later, to take care of the few things that need to be done before they close themselves in the cabin for the night, but it's a lazy morning, and for now they can just relax and enjoy the peaceful moment together.
By John Simpson
"If you like books with thrill-a-minute plots, stories about political wrangling, and tales with sexy men falling in love, then may I suggest you look no further than John Simpson and Condor One. What a rush!"
Dark Diva Reviews
Dash and Dingo
In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger
By Catt Ford and Sean Kennedy
"The plot is as thrilling as a rollercoaster ride. There are many intriguing twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat."
By Carolyn LeVine Topol
"...a fascinating story about one man's coming out and the difficulties it can cause."
Fallen Angel Reviews
Sins of the Father
By D.W. Marchwell
"I really enjoyed this book even though it did cause me to shed a few tears."
The Romance Studio
Warriors and Healers
By H.J. Brues
"The focus of this complex storyline is the extensive emotional rollercoaster the three men endure. Each character is a multifaceted personality, which inserts a touch of realism to each man."
Literary Nymphs Reviews
Free Short Story:|
Vignette by Nessa L. Warin
Calls for Submissions - Contest
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New Releases - Coming Soon
CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS|
Dreamspinner Press is accepting submissions for Making Contact.
We want stories of love that is literally out of this world! Give us galaxy soldiers, space pirates, traveling aliens, intrepid explorers, and more. We're looking for romance among the shooting stars, love that matches the glory of the spheres, and passion that burns like the largest of suns, where making first contact takes on a whole new meaning.
Editor in Chief Lynn West will be reviewing manuscripts of 3,500 to 12,000 words in length. Manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary. The submission deadline is May 14, 2010. You must follow general submission guidelines for short stories for proper consideration. Please list "Making Contact" in the subject line of your submission.
Calls for Submissions coming soon: Myths and Magic: Legends of Love, edited by Anne Regan; the 2010 Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar: Naughty or Nice, edited by Lynn West; and Riding Double, an anthology of Westerns, edited by Anne Regan.
Dreamspinner Press won the All Romance eBooks Bestselling New Publisher of 2009 award. Congratulations to all the authors who helped us get there!|
Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville won second place overall in the Final Showdown in the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books dabwaha (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors) tournament, beating out 62 other books in both mainstream heterosexual romance and other M/M romances to make it there. Congratulations Jane!
Read an interview with Sophia Deri-Bowen, author of Change-My-Luck Blues, conducted by Charlie Cochrane.
Announced in early April, One Marriage and Three Weddings by Jenna Hilary Sinclair, The Prayer Waltz by K. Z. Snow, Talons of the Condor by John Simpson, and State of Mind by Libby Drew were all picked or recommended as Dark Divas Top Picks of the Month for March.
Clare London, author of Gold Warrior/Twisted Brand, was a guest columnist at Reviews by Jessewave and wrote about how important location is to stories. K.Z. Snow, author of Jude in Chains, was also a guest columnist, writing on the topic of the "ex-gay" movement.
dsp_mm_romance at Twitter.
Dreamspinner Facebook Page
Our new Facebook page contains a variety of exciting ways to keep up with Dreamspinner's news. We post new release bulletins, share reviews, announce contests and interviews with our authors, and offer opportunities for readers to talk about their favorite books in the discussion threads. In addition, we have the occasional contest or discount only available if you follow us on Facebook!
What references do you use to edit my story?
Our primary reference is The Chicago Manual of Style, the publishing industry standard. (Please note that Chicago Style varies in many ways from Associated Press style, which is used by the media.) We also consult several dictionaries, including Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster. Further research resources include the Online Etymology Dictionary, Thesaurus.com, and even Grammar Girl. We do have an in-house style guide, but it is simply a list of frequently edited items as supported by Chicago style.
I want to tell an author that I love his/her work. Can you give me contact information?
We do not give out personal contact information of any author without specific authorization. If you check Authors List on our web site, many of them post e-mail or web site addresses, blog addresses, Facebook pages, and even Twitter accounts on their pages.
Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
We do, although we request that you inform us.
What kind of stories are most likely to be accepted right now?
At this time, submissions of light contemporary romance, murder mysteries, science fiction, and Westerns have the best chance of being accepted. Lowest chance: fantasy/paranormal and BDSM/Kink.
You publish gay (M/M) romance, but some of your books have heterosexual (M/F) sex in them. Why?
Our guideline is that a major thread and resolution of the story must be a romantic relationship between two men. This doesn't preclude a M/F sex scene or threesome of some combination including a major character, M/F in a character's past, or an M/F relationship between secondary characters. M/F sex scenes may be on page or off. When substantial M/F material is included in a M/M novel, we do make an effort to include it in the story blurb. We do not issue M/F content warnings with our publications.
What is the "Timeless Dreams" genre on your web site? How are they different from other historicals?
While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, Timeless Dreams stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma. Romance readers aren't always looking for a very serious historical with all the real threats homosexuals faced. Timeless Dreams stories are in no way meant to minimize that seriousness of the past; they simply offer a lighter look in the name of romance. We do publish what readers would consider realistic full historicals and period pieces. On our web site, Timeless Dreams works are also included in the Historical genre listing.
Ask the Editor in an e-mail to the Newsletter Editor.
Launched in May 2007, Dreamspinner Press offers quiet romance, supernatural passion, out-of-this-world lovers, kinky explorations, and heated dreams--a little taste to whet your appetite for romantic homoerotica. We hope you take a little time to be enchanted, romanced, and loved by enjoying the publications of Dreamspinner Press.|
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