The Crotchety Old Man

Oct 20, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Life After Fifty

My mother is the baby of eight, and my father was one of the later arrivals among ten children. Throw in the folks they married and the children the respective couples had together, and I grew up around an awful lot of people with widely varied views about what makes for a good life. All influenced me in one way or another, but none so much as Aunt Toodles. Long before she reached the half century mark herself, my beloved Aunt Toodles insisted life begins at fifty. That’s when she married for the first time — on Valentine’s Day no less — swapping a lengthy wild-child past for a self-proclaimed role as grand matriarch of the family. I love her more than ice cream and …

Oct 16, 2014
By J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth: The Bear at the Bar

It was an interesting experience writing “The Bear at the Bar” for Dreamspinner’s A Taste of Honey anthology. First off, I normally write sci fi and fantasy, sometimes with LGBT characters, but never as a romance. Second, I really hadn’t done much writing for fifteen years, after my novel was soundly rejected by ten publishers in a row. That can kinda do a number on a guy. But then last year, with my husband, Mark’s, support, I got bitten by the writing bug again.  I picked up the threads of a bunch of short stories I had either completed or started and reworked and finished them, sending them out into the world. But “The Bear at the Bar” is special. …
Oct 14, 2014
By Kim Fielding

Kim Fielding

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, here to teach you a lesson: don’t screw with your muse. The ancient Greeks believed that the Muses were the source of knowledge. Muses inspired artists and scientists so strongly that sometimes the humans were thought to be simply instruments through which the Muses worked their wonders. I can understand this. Sometimes I sit down to write, and the story just flows through me, appearing on my computer screen as if by magic. Later, I look back at my words, at the plot twists that appeared out of nowhere but worked out perfectly, and I think, Where the hell did that come from? Well, from my muse. Obviously. But here’s the thing: what muses give, they …
Oct 13, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Writing: Career or Hobby?

Getting the contract for my first novel was like winning the lottery. Rather than the years-long, rejection-filled path traveled by most writers, I’d found success right out of the gate. Until Thanksgiving was going to make me rich! My preconceived notions about publishing a novel were a tad off. Two years, two more novels and a short story later, my vast fortune has yet to materialize. Turns out, getting published is the easy part. With hundreds of new titles coming out every week, catching the attention of book-buying readers is a much bigger challenge. Good thing I kept the day job. I’ve loved to write for as long as I remember — at first mostly letters to friends and family, and later, in my journal. …

Oct 09, 2014
By Renae Kaye

The Shearing Gun

Once upon a time, I was unpublished but had a couple of contracts for my books to be published.  I saw a submission call out from Dreamspinner Press for short stories to be included in an anthology about bears.  It was to be called A Taste of Honey and would feature men who were “bears” as defined in the gay culture. I was excited.  What a great project!  My favourite type of character to read and write about was the “average” man.  I liked all body types – not just the hotted up gym bods.  And finding m/m romance with a character that was a bear was rare.  I mentally ticked the box to remember to buy that anthology once …
Oct 06, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Stepping Up My Game

Exercise is great. The more I do, the more I’m able to do. The downside is the more I do, the more I must do to get the same result. The time comes to either step up my game, switch up the activity, or quit and wait long enough for the same effort to work again. I ain’t gonna lie. When bicycling was my primary exercise, I’d quit every few months to keep from having to go for longer and longer rides. I’m guessing this is a normal part of the process of becoming more active — a process I’ve been working on for seven or eight years now. Two years ago, attempting to exercise as much as I do now would …

Oct 03, 2014
By Lissa Kasey

A Plague that Reshaped the World

There’s a little bit of madness going on right now in the news. Panic and worry over the outbreak of a plague that has killed millions overseas. It’s an illness that is hard to catch in a world of fanatically clean people who hate having to look up from their phones. Still the worry remains, what if? In the Hidden Gem I began by crafting a world after a plague. World War III brought around heavy chemical warfare and genetic manipulation. Everyone wanted to create the next super human. Instead of using their knowledge and skills to develop cures for cancer or AIDS, science and politicians used experimentation to create a super plague. The plague does one of two things …
Oct 02, 2014
By John Amory

John Amory – “The Bear Fetish”

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of escaping New Jersey’s winter tundra for the sunny streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was attending an academic conference (I won’t bore you with the details of the paper I was presenting, unless you really wanna know) and was thrilled to be in the Southwest for the first time. I immediately fell in love with Albuquerque. As someone who regularly visits both New York City and Philadelphia, Albuquerque still felt like a city but with a small-town mentality. I’ve never met more helpful people, or nicer strangers. Almost every single person I passed on the street during my walk from my hotel to the conference center waved or smiled. Coming to this …
Sep 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Taking the Bull by the Horns

Novels are an author’s bread and butter. Yet, for most of this year, I’ve made little to no progress on a trilogy based loosely on certain events from my life. Other commitments have been part of the problem, but the bigger issue has been my inability to separate fact from fiction. Writing pure fiction is a process of adding to a blank slate to define characters, set the scene, and advance the plot. Inspiration may come from many sources, but the events and characters are made up. Add more details, throw in plot twists, rearrange a few things, perhaps cut a bit here and there, and voila, a novel. Basing a story on something that really happened, whether an historical event like the Stonewall Uprising …

Sep 25, 2014
By Jack Byrne

Jack Bryne

Good morning everyone!  I’m delighted to be here, and I’d like to give Michael Rupured a big thank you for hosting this guest post for me. Firstly, I write a LOT.  I write short stories, I’ve written three novellas and five short stories this year, and I’m working on two novels at the moment.  I plot and structure stories, and I mud-wrestle uncooperative muses, and I have to admit I’m better at writing action and hot sex scenes than I am at romance.  So when a friend suggested I write for Dreamspinner last year, I was a bit nonplussed.  If you had told me last year that I’d be working on a full length romance novel at the moment I’d …
Sep 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Call Me Transformed

I joined the gym three years ago because it was cheaper than paying by the class for Zumba. My membership included weekly sessions with a personal trainer. He gave me a workout plan, expected me to follow it, and since he was really hot and more than a little intimidating, I tried to obey. In addition to two or three Zumba classes, my weekly exercise plan consisted of a thirty minute training session plus three more trips to the gym to workout on my own. I hated the weightlifting, but kept at it, knowing strength training would boost my metabolism. My prescribed workouts took thirty or forty minutes — tops — which I thought was an awful lot to of time at the gym. Ninety …

Sep 18, 2014
By Megan Linden

Open Endings and Characters in Military

Before I get into it, I’d like to thank Michael for hosting me today! Thanks, Michael! I love well-written characters who are or were in the military. Who doesn’t, huh? There’s just something about them. They represent an idea, they are easily recognized hero-type. Readers may have different opinions about military in real life, but in books? Especially in romance genre, be it gay or straight love story? Most of us LOVE those characters. I am no exception. An author gets brownie points from me every time there’s an interesting military man (it’s usually a man, but I’d love to see more women in uniform, too!). And when I write, nine times out of ten, there will be at least one …
Sep 16, 2014
By Eden Winters

A Matter of When

Good morning! And thanks, Michael, for inviting me on your site today. What kind of heroes do you want in your books? Do you want ripped abs? Perfect cheekbones? A cleft chin? Rescues kittens from trees and is kind to little old ladies? Or do you like… Bad Boys? What is it about the roar of a Harley Davidson that pulls your eyes toward the road in time to witness sleeves tats and long hair on a guy who only shaves on Tuesdays? What? You don’t anyone like that? Allow me to introduce Henri Lafontaine, lead singer for the hard rock band Hookers and Cocaine, and quite possibly the one your mother warned you about. Now, what good is a …
Sep 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Some Strange

Coming up with an idea for my next novel has never been a problem. By the time I finished writing Until Thanksgiving, most of After Christmas Eve had already come together in my head. Once I started writing that story, I knew several of the characters would turn up at the Stonewall Riots for Happy Independence Day. I’ve got ideas for lots more Holiday Tales, but right now, I want to try something different. I love Philip Potter and his friends. But after writing the third novel in the series, I’m ready for some strange. My first thought was a trilogy loosely based on the memoir that prompted me in 2010 to join the Athens Writers Workshop. The memoir, in its current …

Sep 11, 2014
By Kristen Slater

I’m a writer – how did that happen?

Hello everybody, and thanks to Michael for hosting me here today. I decided I’d take this opportunity to talk about how I ended up writing my story Working It Out, which was published this July. I’m also running a giveaway for a $10 gift token for Dreamspinner Press and details of that are at the bottom. Five years ago I wasn’t a writer. I don’t mean I hadn’t published anything, or that I hadn’t finished anything. I mean I didn’t write (other than reports and stuff for work). I hadn’t ever considered it. Yet now I have a published story—and another coming out in December—and I write regularly. So what changed? It was all down to a post in a …
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