This week I contributed a guest post to the Top 2 Bottom Reviews blog as a part of the Second Chances anthology blog tour. On the same day the book was also reviewed by host, Gabbi, and "Dirty Martini" received a 4.5 star review. I was tickled pink. Both posts can be read using the links below, and I have also included my post here.
Hi. I’m Bette. Being a “published author” is new to me, so I must admit it’s a bit daunting putting together this post, but it’s my pleasure to do so in support of the Second Chances anthology blog tour. I love the book, and I’m very proud that my story “Dirty Martini” is included in it.
I discussed many possible topics for this post with my publisher, and when “Are sexual preferences within male/male relationships in the real world actually as defined as those often portrayed in fiction and on the television screen?” was mentioned, I decided that this topic could prove rather interesting. It is something I have certainly thought about and would love to know.
I’m a heterosexual woman, and even though I have a healthy obsession (yes, I did use that word) with male/male romances, I really have no idea what goes on in the bedroom of gay couples around the world. Why does it matter to me? In all honesty, it doesn’t. I’m just curious. And as an author writing in this genre, I would hope I am not too far off base. I’m certainly not a voyeur, and I don’t think I’m alone in sometimes looking at a couple, regardless of pairing, and… well, just wondering. I certainly consider a fictional couple when I read them and wonder about the dynamics and whether they could exist as “real.”
My imagination is fierce; I certainly have ideas, but are any of my fantasies justified in the realm of reality? I’ve watched a bit of porn (who hasn’t?), but how accurate is that reality when the models/actors are being “paid” to do whatever. The stories I read that are written by the male authors within the M/M romance genre haven’t shed any light for me either. Characters in those range as well. Having recently read the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon where the main characters most definitely have defined roles, well… confused again. As for television: Queer as Folk (QAF) definitely cemented the more “defined roles” tag for me. The couples in it were very “non-versatile” (is that a word?). And for me, as I would assume for many, QAF was my first real exposure to gay romance, and QAF was accurate? Wasn’t it?
When I began researching, there was so much more on the topic than I’d imagined (praise, or curse, Google). And what surprised me, according to the research, is that the “majority” of gay men are versatile. I truly didn’t expect this to be the case. I assumed more defined roles would be held. Instead, what I found was men may lean one way or the other, and they may have a preference, but they are still versatile overall. Age groups, geography, as well as other factors varied the results, but it still remains distinct. Men mix it up. They “top” and “bottom.” This makes me happy. I think because if I were a man for a day, I would “definitely” want to experience everything!
When I think about it, my favorite male/male stories, and fantasies, are the ones involving two very evenly matched men, e.g., Cut & Run and its sequels by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. They are sensational. Those two men have me under their spell. They are men with similar careers and education, both tall and lean (nice six-pack and muscles of course, but not too bulky); men who like to give and take equally. Why does this appeal to me? I think it’s because they are the men who appeal to me in real life, the ones I am physically attracted to, the ones I would date (sorry hubs) if they were straight, and if I can imagine two (or even three) of them together… well all the better. Am I objectifying men? Yes, possibly, it is my fantasy after all.
I’m sure my preferences will continue to come across in the characters I choose to write about, as well as what I read. But as I think about the couples I’ve read and enjoyed—some of my favorites—I realize I really did have a soft spot for Josh Lanyon’s very defined “Adrien-with-an-e English”… Maybe I need to revisit him. It seems I’m versatile too.
When you see these words,
"I think the fourth story, Dirty Martini, was
my favorite," and "I liked the
last two stories best..." (Mine was second last. *big smile*) about your story, you can't help but get that fluttery
feeling. It's nice.
I have to
admit I've been quite excited by the comments my story, part of the Second
Chances anthology by Bottom Drawer Publications, has received.
The positive words have
given me the courage to keep writing. Not that I have ever stopped, I mean it
more in a figurative sense, but the encouragement makes me more willing to keep
plugging on with a goal in mind—submitting my work.
I'm still working on the
story I mentioned in my last post. Ben and Todd are still exciting me very
much; in fact, the story has a new name, and a prologue now—the joys of novel
over short story length: I can add as much as I want. If you read my last
post, you know they are a second chance at love—my original second chance at
love actually. As teenagers, they weren't both ready for love, but when they
meet again, fifteen years later, this may be their time.
Kyle, a secondary character
from Ben & Todd's book, will star in Bk 2 of the series. It also has been
named, as has the series, and I am very excited for the possibility of seeing
them published. Time will tell.
I am also working on a novel
of intrigue and mystery. One mc has been named Dominic, a bit clichéd I know,
the name seems very popular in m/m stories right now, but it suits him and his
lifestyle. I have named the other mc as well, but I'm not willing to share
right now, because his name may change. I'm not 100% convinced it is right. I
can also see a series in this story, and no, I am not intent on all my
characters having series based around them or their world; I have numerous
unfinished manuscripts that if I get them completed will remain single stories.
But as I have continued to work on this and think about it's ending, which
keeps altering by the way, I feel there is possibility. Hopefully, if I get it
completed by the date I have imposed on myself, and the editor I plan on submitting it to, sees merit in it,
they too will agree with my long-term plan. *crosses fingers*
That's it from me for now. I
think I have enough inspiration to write a few thousand words today *again,
crosses fingers... and toes* so I'd better get to it.
Apart from the announcement of my inclusion in the
anthology, Second Chances, I'm still
very much a newbie when it comes to all things blogging, tweeting and facebooking for my writing and my author profile. But I thought I should
start getting some things down here. Hopefully someone may even read them.
Right now, life is busy. Like most writers (I won’t
say “author” because I’m not sure that I classify yet) I have my family and my
job—and then I have my imagination.
Stories abound in my head. One after the other they
pop in there, making their presence known, wanting me to try and tell them. I’m
rather new to the writing game. I was not one of those teenagers always writing
away; in fact, I rather despised English at school. Creative writing and poetry
were something I had little time for. I’ve always been able to form a
reasonable sentence, but I was rather crap—or maybe it was impatient—at writing
them into anything interesting in a fictional sense, and analyzing poetry, well
simply it was…a big yawn!
But I have always loved books, and stories, with a
passion. I think I finally got to a point, and maybe it was a point of
maturity, where my own stories wanted to be told. So here I am.
I have a few stories in “construction.” They are
all M/M, although I do have a few M/F stories outlined as well. I feel that at
some point in the future I may even tell them, but the stories, and characters, I can create
within the M/M genre are what have my attention and my love right now.
In fact, I have three stories started. One is
actually my first attempt at a submission for Second Chances. But the characters
in that one were far too wordy, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do them
justice within the word limit parameters of the anthology, so instead I wrote
“Dirty Martini.” I am still unsure of a name for their story (well, I have one, but
I don’t like it much), but the characters are Ben and Todd, and their story as
well, is a second chance at love. I estimate a long novella of around 35,000 for
them. Oh, and I am also considering a series based around the Ben and Todd
characters, expanding firstly using a secondary character, Kyle. Wish me luck.
Next, is a friends to lovers story. Here we have
Callum and Thomas (Cal and Tom). I was very gung-ho when I started this one,
actually before the anthology call, so have a reasonable amount written, but I
am yet to go back to it. Whenever inspiration strikes I suppose.
Then there is my latest endeavor. It is a story
about a tragedy that brings two people together. They fall in love despite
having so much against them. It’s unlike anything else I have ever attempted because
it has a fair amount of angst involved. Scott and Joel may provide my greatest
love story yet.
There is one more, but it is not a solo effort. A friend of mine, and fellow “writer” (although maybe she should be called “author”)
have a wonderful story in the works. We are both writing a character each, and
they are rather delicious. A doctor and a paramedic—Eric and James. Their story
will be explosive. I’m not sure that it’s my place to say too much about this
one, being a collaboration and all, but keep an eye open for this one when it
Fletcher knocks back his third vodka of the night after running into his ex out
with the same lover he had found him with in their bed two months before. He ended their relationship that night but coming face to face with them still
together makes the ongoing pain of the breakup very real.
has seen more men than he can count drowning their sorrows in a bottle at his
bar. He understands—he’s been there himself. One night a handsome brunette with
sad blue eyes makes Nate want to assure him that everything will be okay. The
connection he feels from a fleeting touch, as he walks the man out of the bar,
shakes and stirs him in ways that he never expected.
out as a means to forget might just be what they both need.