AUGUST 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. Also, please visit the Dreamspinner Press blog! 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?
Well, I never really decided to write romance stories, as such. It just so happens I'm kind of a romantic bastard at heart, and all good tales thrive on passion and love of some kind. For me, the story is always first, and the romance falls into place naturally. It's like a beautiful gay marriage.
Why set stories in the suburbs?
It's a fascinating place for them, don't you think? All that seediness and secret lusting that we all know goes on beneath the calm exterior. There are a thousand tales a day going on in one block of any suburb. Many of them filthy!
How were you introduced to M/M fiction?
I didn't really know it had a specific name until about five years ago. Before that I had always called it "gay fiction," which could encompass everything from Tennessee Williams's self-loathing prose to William Maltese's erotica. I think my first introduction to M/M, though, was through Forbidden Fruit Zine.
What are five of your favorite books/series?
Off the top of my head: At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill, In a Shallow Grave and Narrow Rooms, both by James Purdy, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Why did you decide to try to publish your stories?
For me the point of writing is to be published so others can judge me unfairly. Just kidding. But seriously, why write if no one will read it? Since I was a kiddo I've wanted to be a published writer. On career day in school, they asked me what I wanted to be, and I said "an author." They heard "Arthur." Humiliating. "That kid wants to be an Arthur. Why's he wanna change his name fer?"
Eric Arvin resides in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. He graduated from Hanover College with a bachelorís degree in history and has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia. Heís survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons. Visit his blog at http://daventryblue.blogspot.com/.
Win an eBook copy of your choice of one of this author's works. Clues are available in author bios on our web site.
This author's wide-ranging and varied careers, from ship building to making special effects movie props, has given him enough material for a lifetime of stories.
E-mail the Newsletter Editor with your answer. A winner will be chosen randomly from the correct answers. Contest ends the last day of the month.
The correct answers to last month's question: This author's first story was a Winnie-the-Pooh/Shakespeare crossover that won the grand prize in her elementary school's fiction contest. She now writes stories about redemption, the paranormal, and love at first sight. Libby Drew.
"Two hundred and sixty-seven days single and loving it. Thank you very much."
His friend Tony shook his head. "A relationship is not some addiction you have to resist or suffer the consequences otherwise."
"Actually, that's exactly what it is. And I'm never doing it again. Besides, you're one to talk."
"I might be single now, but I'm not anti-relationships." Tony rolled his eyes. "Nice try with the diversion tactics, but we're not talking about me. Mik, you can't go on like this."
"Like what?" Mikhail held up a hand and counted off his mental list. "I have a job I love. More money than I can spend. Enough toys that I can use a different one every night for a month and still leave some untouched. Awesome friends." He gave Tony a pointed look. "When they're not harping on my single status, that is. I'm happy," he finished simply.
"You're existing, not living. Human beings aren't meant to be alone."
Mikhail gripped both of Tony's hands in his and looked deep into his eyes. "Tone, I'm so sorry it had to come out like this." He paused for effect. "My name is not Mikhail. It's Q'inSuHang. And I'm not human; I'm from the planet Zircon."
Tony yanked his hands away in obvious disgust, and Mikhail burst out laughing. "You should see the look on your face. I got you for a second. Admit it."
"I admit that you're a nut and you've just proven my point. Being alone has sped up the degradation of the few brain cells you have left."
Mikhail sobered. He and Tony had been friends since college. That they had not seen each other in more than a year made no difference. Whenever they met up, they picked up where they'd left off as if they'd talked days rather than months before. Jokes aside, he knew his friend was concerned.
"It's not worth it, man. If being alone means I don't waste time and effort getting to know someone—well, the face they present to me, anyway—only to be betrayed down the road to nowhere, then I'm fine with that."
"What if you already know and trust the someone? Know they would die before they'd betray you?" Tony asked softly.
Mikhail's head popped up. Tony? Nah. He'd just said they weren't talking about him. Right? And if his friend were attracted to him, he would have said something a long time ago.
Like you told him about your desire for him?
So he'd never indicated he felt anything more than friendship for Tony. He had valid reasons. When they'd first met, Tony had been involved with someone, so Mikhail had hidden his feelings, content to be just friends. When that relationship had fizzled, he'd been there for Tony, a shoulder to cry on. Of course, by then he'd been on cheater number two—or was that four—although he hadn't known it at the time. The cycle was established; one of them had always been with involved someone else.
After college, Tony's career as a photojournalist took him all over the world. In the snatches of time he made it home, they caught up on all that had gone on since they'd seen each other last. Mikhail lived for those visits. No way would he ruin them by confessing he wanted to lick the man all over... and then do it again.
Tony's sun-streaked blond hair, sparkling blue-gray eyes, and dimples were an attractive combination on their own, but years of globetrotting had sculpted a sexy, toned physique. Modesty was not one of Tony's traits, thank God, and he'd glimpsed Tony's substantial cock on more than one occasion—thick, gorgeous, mouth-watering. It featured in his fantasies exclusively.
He'd become a master at ignoring the desire that was always at a simmer in Tony's presence, but it was quickly approaching full boil, thanks to his friend's comment.
Tony had a point; his brain must be fried.
"Forget I said anything. I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay?" Tony got up and made as if to leave. He'd been so lost in his thoughts, Mikhail hadn't realized he'd ignored the question and given Tony the wrong impression in the process.
Tony jerked to a stop, his back to Mikhail.
"Did you mean what I think you meant? I mean, are you talking about you and me?" Why was this so hard? Oh, right, it was his best friend, offering something he'd convinced himself was not in the cards. "Uh... I mean... you want me?" He couldn't keep the shock from his voice.
Tony let out a bitter laugh. "Ludicrous, isn't it? To think that you might want me too. It's okay, man. Really. Don't give it another thought. I won't bring this up again. Tomorrow it will be like this never happened."
Mikhail's brain was fine. Tony wanted him. He took the lid off the feelings he'd held inside for so long. "Look at me, Tony." The other man turned to face him slowly. "What do you see? Well, other than the pole trying to poke you through my sweats?" Mikhail smiled at the relief on his friend's face. Tony took a step toward him. "Uh-uh. Answer me. What do you see?"
"I see my best friend." Tony took a breath. "I see the man I'm in love with."
Mikhail closed the distance between them and took Tony's face in his hands. He pressed a kiss to the lips he'd forever been dying to taste. Now that the moment was here, he wanted to savor Tony. He pulled back a little and traced Tony's lips with his tongue, fighting the urge to plunder the depths of his sure-to-be-sweet mouth. Tony moaned and Mikhail's resistance melted like chocolate. It was better than he'd imagined.
Tony tasted like home.
Mikhail broke the kiss reluctantly and whispered, "Ask me what I see."
"What do you see, Mik?"
"I see why they say 'never say never'."
My Brother's Keeper
By Abigail Roux
"I'm still, even a day or two after reading the story, mulling over in my mind the complete mastery with which Abigail Roux wove this most intriguing and enthralling tale."
Dark Diva Reviews
A Brush of Wings
A Dreamspinner Press Anthology
"I found a majority of the stories quite fascinating. This eclectic anthology has something for everyone."
Literary Nymphs Reviews
By Mary Calmes
"I am eagerly looking forward to reading more by this fantastic author and urge you to pick this one if you want a highly enjoyable read."
Fallen Angel Reviews
Lily White, Rose Red
By Catt Ford
"A superbly written noir murder mystery with a fabulous cast of characters."
Dark Diva Reviews
By Barbara Sheridan
"...a richly descriptive short story full of passion and grit. I know it's one I'll want to read again."
Bee Among the Clover
By Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe
"The detailed portrayal of this unsettled time period, a well-drawn cast of characters, and the desperate hope that, somehow, all will be well in the end more than keeps the reader's attention."
Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews
State of Mind
By Libby Drew
"What an amazing thrill ride! This book seizes your heart from the very first sentence and doesn't let you go until long after you've put it down! Wow!"
Free Short Story:|
Never Say Never by J.R. Patrick
Calls for Submissions - Contest
News - Recommended Reads
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New Releases - Coming Soon
CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS|
Dreamspinner Press is accepting submissions for Naughty or Nice: 2010 Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar.
Santa's got a list, and he's checking it twice. Will you tell if your lover's been naughty or nice? In these stories, the winter holidays will shine brightly whether with sweetest love, cackling laughter, or blistering passion. Readers will get a story a day in the month of December, all with holiday flair. Stories from any winter holidays are welcome: Advent, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Yule, and so on.
Editor in Chief Lynn West will be reviewing manuscripts of 5,000 to 18,000 words in length. Manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary. The submission deadline is Sept. 15, 2010. You must follow general submission guidelines for short stories for proper consideration. Please list "Advent Calendar" in the subject line of your submission.
Dreamspinner Press is accepting submissions for our in-house genre Timeless Dreams, romantic M/M historical fiction with happy endings. While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma. You can visit the rough and tumble Old West, travel the ancient kingdoms of desert sheikhs, see the black and red lacquer of the Far East, or dance in dramatic Regency England. No matter where or when, in the romantic worlds of Timeless Dreams, our heroes always live happily ever after.
Manuscripts of any story length may be submitted. You must follow general submission guidelines for short stories for proper consideration. Please list "Timeless Dreams" in the subject line of your submission.
Dreamspinner Press is accepting submissions for our in-house genre, Bittersweet Dreams, stories of M/M romance with nontraditional endings. It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Manuscripts of any story length may be submitted. You must follow general submission guidelines for short stories for proper consideration. Please list "Bittersweet Dreams" in the subject line of your submission.
Calls Coming Soon
Riding Double, an anthology of Westerns, edited by Anne Regan, and A Matter of Logistics, an anthology of stories about men in uniform (military, police, fire, government agency, etc.), also edited by Anne Regan.
Lori Toland, author of The Replacement Guitarist, was interviewed by Rebecca Leigh.|
Read about how her bestseller Change of Heart came to be in a column at Book Wenches written by author Mary Calmes.
Marie Sexton, author of Promises, A to Z, and more, gave an interview at yaoiradius and another at Michele & Jeff Reviews to celebrate the publication of her newest novel, Strawberries for Dessert.
John Simpson, author of Condor One, Murder Most Gay, and more, was highlighted in PrideNation Magazine.
Ariel Tachna, author of the Partnership in Blood series, Her Two Dads, A Summer Place, and more, gave an interview at Author Raine Delight's Book Nook and at Book Wenches.
Luke by Jan Irving was named Book of the Week at The Romance Studio.
B.G. Thomas, author of Just Guys and Soul of the Mummy, was named in a fan-nominated list of New M/M Authors Who Rock at Reviews by Jessewave.
What's the best way to get my foot in the door at Dreamspinner Press?
The best way is to write a great story that's technically clean. That will catch our attention right away. Then up your chances by
1) submitting a quickie of 1,000 words to the Newsletter Editor;
2. submitting a story to the December Advent Calendar or June Daily Dose;
3. submitting a story to a topical anthology; or
4. submitting a Daydream (5,000 to 7,500 words) or a Nap-size Dream (7,500 to 15,000 words) short story.
A large percentage of our authors start out in anthologies. The Advent Calendar and Daily Dose offer authors an excellent chance of being read and noticed by Dreamspinner editors because of the large number of stories required (31 in December, 30 in June).
Beyond that, another way to up your acceptance chances is to write in a genre we're looking for at the time. We always post notice of that as the last item in this Ask the Editor column. But in the end, it comes down to writing an enthralling, romantic story that we stay up all night reading, if need be.
What kind of stories are most likely to be accepted right now?
At this time, submissions of light contemporary romance and Westerns have the best chance of being accepted. Lowest chance: Mystery/Suspense and BDSM/Kink.
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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