Friday, May 22, 2009
Thinking that Memorial Day weekend is going to be a drag, with nothing to do?
Have we got a treat for you!! Literary Nymphs is hosting a 3 day M/Mchat!!
Yep, that's correct - I didn't type it wrong! 3 fun-filled dayswith some of your favorite M/M authors, starting Saturday, May 23!! Is yourfavorite author on our list?
Just a sampling of the authors on tap: Kayelle Allen, Maura Anderson, Mickie B. Ashling, Victor J. Banis, Jeanne Barrack, Laura Baumbach, AlexBeecroft, Lee Benoit, Mychael Black, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Pat Brown, JamesBuchanan, J.M. Colail, Jason Edding, Erastes, Catt Ford, Christine France,Kimberly Gardner, Cassandra Gold, Amber Green, Andrew Grey, Kate Hill, JanIrving, Winnie Jerome, Ali Katz, K.C. Kendricks, Sean Kennedy, ShaylaKersten, Marguerite Labbe, Lynn Lorenz, Viki Lyn, JB McDonald, RowanMcBride, Syd McGinley, Z.A. Maxfield, Chrissy Munder, Jet Mykles, DeirdreO'Dare, Elle Parker, Zathryn Priest, Luisa Prieto, Qwillia Rain, IsabelleRowan, Lee Rowan, Cassidy Ryan, John Simpson, Jenna Hilary Sinclair, JoelySkye, K.Z. Snow, Jaxx Steele, Kate Steele, Katrina Strauss, Ariel Tachna,Julia Talbot, Carolina Valdez, Jaye Valentine & Reno MacLeod, Stevie Woods, Amanda Young and who knows who else will show up!!!
When? Saturday May 23 through Monday May 25, 2009
Where? http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LiteraryNymphsChat/ or click on thisbutton <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LiteraryNymphsChat/> Don't miss out - see you there!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
S&M, B&D, & C
by William Maltese
Pretty much everyone knows my penchant for writing. It seems, quite without my knowing it, I’ve become one of "the" icons of m/m literature; I’m one of the very few who apparently herald back to the Golden Age of Gay Fiction to such an extent that I’m now being found in gay-studies’ reference books, including the new one due out this summer from MLR Press, entitled — what else but — THE GOLDEN AGE OF GAY FICTION by scholar Wayne Gunn.
Pretty much everyone knows my penchant for leather and whips and chains and riding crops and stocks and bonds (the latter duo having nothing to do with the presently down-the-toilet-bowl economy)… In fact, I’ve been a long time devotee of S&M, B&D even before my early days of writing a series of the genre for Greenleaf Classics under my pseudo Lambert Wilhelm.
[For anyone interested in viewing the cover art of my early Greenleaf Classics, which have such become valuable collector’s items, go to: http://www.williammaltese.com/
Not everyone, though, knows my penchant for candles. I have to confess that I’m one of these people who have them lined up along the tub (either for candle-light bathing when I’m alone, or when I’m with others) … have them everywhere in the dining room for literal candle-lit dinners … have them everywhere in the bedroom for making love a genuinely unique experience (nothing like the way a naked body, including mine, looks in candlelight).
It has only been recently, though, that I’ve been able to combine my penchants for writing and candles by teaming up with artisan candle-maker Jfay, in order to have candles specially conceived and executed by her to represent specifically each of my books and short stories as they appear on the nation’s bookshelves. Jfay’s masterful renditions in wax for my Stud Draqual Mystery Series (a column of wax riddled with bullet-holes and blood) … for my Aussie adventure novel SNAKES (a coiled serpent tattooed in blue against a bright orange backdrop) …for my Draqual Vampyre Series (a candle, complete with stake and its own miniature coffin — which can be seen at http://www.myspace.com/draqual … for my sci-fi GERUN, THE HERETIC (grey Mithric moons) … for my serialized teen-angst novel FLICKER: TEEN WARRIOR SAGA (a whole wondrous series to fit my candle-reader story-line — which can be seen at http://www.myspace.com/flickerwarriors et al … have become prized additions to my ongoing candle collection.
Naturally, when I decided to return my attention to my favorite S&M/B&D by way of two books — my heterosexual novel SS&M, and my collection of m/m short stories LOVE HURTS — I was excited to see what Jfay could do with/for them. The former, as some of you may or may not know, is a book that lingered in a deep, dark trunk of mine, for literally decades (I thought it way too hard-core for the market), before it was brought back to light, first in serialization on our very own Jardonn Smith’s erotic web-site http://www.jardonnserotictales.com/ , and then in print publication by Wildside/Borgo Press http://www.wildsidebooks.com/MALTESE-William_c_547.html LOVE HURTS is my more recent explorations into the world of torture and dungeons — and, yes, that is I, on the cover, by way of eye-candy, wearing hardly nothing but leather straps and a gas mask in my portraiture done by John U. Abrahamson — http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=LHWM0001=LHWM0001
Jfay’s wax interpretations of the former, complete with Nazi lightning-bolt SS insignias … and of the latter, by way of a black leather-like phallic-column of wax not only smelling of leather but wrapped and hung from chains … are, in my humble opinion, masterworks of the molded- wax form.
For those of you interested in what Jfay has produced for me and my work, personally, may I refer you to http://www.myspace.com/maltesecandlegallery . For those of you interested in what Jfay has produced for others, generally, and may, if you’re lucky produce especially for you, I refer you to her http://www.wickdreads.webs.com/ .
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing all of you naked and in candle-light.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
LAMBDA Award Finalists
Let's talk about the Lammies. First, congratulations and best wishes to Josh Lanyon and Laura Baumbach for their book, Mexican Heat, a Lammie finalist for best gay romance.
Now, let's talk about J.P. Bowie, William Maltese, Victor Banis, and me. Our book about working-class tough guys, Hard Working Men, is a Lammie finalist for best gay erotica. Publicly, I've tried to stay low-key about this, but emails keep showing up to wish me well and remind me how fortunate I am to have received such recognition. Some go on to add that I'm damn lucky to be part of a book which includes J.P. Bowie, and especially, William Maltese and Victor Banis, and that this probably is the main reason our book is on the list of finalists. Hmm... maybe, but I hope not.
There's no question those two names brought attention to the book, which has also translated into good sales, but as for the award, I hope there's more to it than that. Surely the Lambda Literary Foundation's board didn't simply say, "Oh, look, here's William Maltese and Victor Banis together in one book. Throw those two icons a bone and put it on the list." In other words, what they wrote is unimportant, only their names.
I'm certain the Lambda folks made their decision because they read the book. When I read it I see four distinct stories with characters diverse, each one having his own method for functioning as a gay man in the tough world of blue-collar laborers. These are occupations where first impressions can make or break a man, and it has nothing to do with sexual preference or geographical location. Having been there and done that, I can tell you I've seen numerous incidents of men (and women) being driven from the work site because they couldn't take the razzing. Didn't know how to deal with it. Couldn't distinguish between which men were truly assholes (a few) and which were simply teasing (most), hoping the newbie would give it right back to them. For those who don't, the work place becomes a living hell for them, because it only gets worse day after day until they leave the job thinking it'll be different somewhere else. It won't be. Not until they learn how to handle it as the men in our book have done.
Each of our men deals with the macho business at their work place just fine. As for their private lives, our characters are talented here as well. One fellow likes it, knows how to get it, and takes it time and again until he runs across something permanent. Another is on the rebound, pulls up his boot straps and finds a man who's worth fighting for. One likes to do it, but isn't ready to commit, or even face the fact he is what he is. Another had a taste of it with his buddy in high school, but his pal wasn't ready, and so with patience he waits until years later when circumstances allow his buddy to see who it was that truly loved him all along.
These four stories certainly fit the criteria for the Lammie Award -- quality literature representing a diverse range of gay men, and yes, I admit it, I am damn lucky. Fortunate the call went out for a blue-collar anthology and my story made the book. Everything from there fell into place in ways better than could have been planned. The publisher, Laura Baumbach of MLR Press recognized the potential impression these four stories inside one cover could have on the reader. The editor, Kris Jacen, helped the authors, well, at least this one named Jardonn, whip his story into the best read it could possibly be. Even the cover artist, Deanna Jamroz, came up with not one but two tantalizing covers, the first model having to be replaced after the book's release for reasons not of my concern.
End result, whether we take the Lammie top prize or not, I will for the rest of my days know I am part of something very special -- a book titled Hard Working Men.
There are excerpts in text and audio from my contribution to the book, titled The Thomas Coleman Full Nelson, at the Jardonn's Erotic Tales web site.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Woke up this morning to this Amazon review of BASHED and my head, like the Grinch's heart, has swollen to three times its normal size. I don't know if I will be able to pull a shirt over it today. I don't know if I'm worthy of such effusive praise, but was so tickled I just had to share it with you guys:
Abashed by Bashed, April 30, 2009
By Jeffrey Erno (Oxford, MI USA) - See all my reviews
I treated myself to Rick Reed this weekend, and truly I was not disappointed. In all honesty his book Bashed was one of the best-written stories that I've ever seen within this genre, and it is also perhaps one of the best stories I've read in my lifetime. Certainly I'm not qualified to offer a critique of his work, but due to the fact that I have only positive feedback to offer, I will go ahead and do it anyway.
Reed possess an expansive vocabulary and uses it expertly. His sentence structure is varied and flows like a river, carrying the reader effortlessly through the pages. In spite of his advanced intellect, his writing does not convey an air of condescension and pretentiousness as does that of many prolific authors. In other words, I do not get the sense that he's merely trying to impress people by using big words. His inclusion of minute, seemingly insignificant detail within his descriptions paints very graphic mental images that connect the reader to the setting and to his characters. Each character is fully fleshed out and is presented realistically in a manner that helps the reader develop an intimacy with them, regardless if they are the protagonist or the nemesis.
Can you tell I am in awe of his talent?
As for the story itself, what can I say? WOW! I was blown away. It is timely and poignant. It is deep. It is interesting and captivating and seductive. It is fresh and original. It is clever. (No, I'm not just trying to make use of every adjective I know--they're all true!) The story drew me into itself. The opening chapter snagged me and then once I was hooked it just kept reeling me in. I bought it. I believed it. I felt it.
The most deeply moving scene within the story involves the confession of one of the gay-bashing attackers. I gasped and sobbed as I forced myself to continue reading through my tears. It truly surprised me that I felt as much sympathy for the assailant as I did. This is due to how craftily Reed delved into the psyche of each character,be they good or bad.
And of course I loved the relationship of the central characters Donald and Mark. This relationship was the foundation of the story. It WAS the story. Oh don't we all long for such a relationship that transcends the limitations of life and death? How utterly beautiful.
Well, what do I know? I'm just a reader, and I know an author such as Reed surely receives an enormous amount of feedback. Take mine for what it's worth--not much. But I had to share what an impact his story had upon my soul. It was magnificent, to say the least.
Thank you Mr. Reed for sharing your talent. You're amazing.