Celebration of Community: Damon Suede, Tere Michaels, Victoria Sue, and KC Burn

Celebration of Community: Damon Suede, Tere Michaels, Victoria Sue, and KC Burn
Monday May 07, 2018

Damon Suede on Tere Michaels

The first time I met Tere Michaels, I was already an obsessive hardcore fan of her writing. Back in 2010 or so I’d read Faith and Fidelity in a white heat in one night and then immediately gone to find all her other books… rationing them like wartime sugar so I could extend my enjoyment of the delicious virtuosity. Having stalked her website and (minimal) online presence, I deduced that she was probably in her late 60s… a brilliant retired introvert who loved Jane Austen and pop culture. Like a dolt, I had this whole completely incorrect persona worked out in my mind. We didn’t meet till two years later.

As it happened, at RT2012 she actually came and saw a panel I did with Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton, and ZA Maxfield about writing sex scenes. I didn’t find out till much later, but she spent the entire hour turning to her friend Rayna Vause and saying, “I say that all the time…. That’s my line…. He’s quoting me…. How did this lunatic get inside my skull?” We had so many career and temperamental overlaps that it was uncanny. Obviously we were destined to be besties... though neither of us quite knew it at the time.

Back in those days, RT used to have an indie signing on Thursday evening, and at some point a fan in my line thrust a tote bag in front of me that had Tere’s signature on it. I scribbled my own beneath hers, feeling totally inadequate, and then shamelessly lied to the other readers standing in line that I had to pee. I sprinted across the signing floor like a lunatic and then knelt down in front of her table, pledging my undying devotion and admiration. She was nothing like I imagined and so much better. Tere was startled and charming and gracious, and we immediately made plans to get together for a bite and a bev.

For the rest of that RT and beyond, she fit right into the wacky gay romance posse… mainly because I shamelessly coerced her participation against her better judgment until she realized that we were all a gay romance superhero franchise waiting to happen. Hell, when she decided it was time to find a new berth for her brilliant books, I even dragged her toward Dreamspinner because I knew she and Elizabeth would get on like PB&J… and so they do. LOL

Ironically that first drink at RT2012 ultimately led (years later) to Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun category line and RT’s reinvention and many other shenanigans. It’s wild to think how much everything changed because I ran over and knelt down. Her books compelled me, but her spirit made it inevitable. She is my sister from another mister, and I can’t imagine my career or my life without her.


Victoria Sue on Damon Suede, Tere Michaels, and KC Burn

In February 2015 I went to my first ever con—Coastal Magic—in Daytona, Florida. I didn’t know anyone. I had published one m/m novella and wasn’t attending the con under my author name. I met Tere Michaels, Damon Suede, and KC Burn. They immediately made me feel welcome, and I spent all weekend with them. They didn’t know I was an author, but listening to them, they had nothing but praise for Dreamspinner, and that was what made me want to publish with them. It took nearly two years, LOL, but Five Minutes Longer came out in December 2016. My fourth title with Dreamspinner will be published soon.

I have met a lot of great people working with DSP since then, but Tere, Damon, and KC will always be special.


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