These are my personal recommendations based on either work I’ve done with them or edit samples I’ve had in no particular order. They met deadlines, were easy to work with and reasonably priced. They are also not afraid of graphic or erotic content. Check their websites for rates and availability. Tell them Jamie Lake referred you to them! (I don’t get any affiliate kick-backs, but am always open to recommending good people):
- Peter – http://rappeters.com/copy-editing-services-and-rates/
- Beth –http://www.bythebookediting.com/#!contact-us/c1ktj
- Tawny – https://www.facebook.com/tawny.stokes
- Robert – http://thoughtfulediting.com/choose-the-editing-you-need.html
- Karen – http://karenrobinsonedits.com
- Kim – http://anotherviewediting.com
- EJ – http://silverjaymedia.com
- Jessica – http://www.jessicahollandediting.com/#!price-list/c198a
- Kelly – http://booksidemanner.com/
- Sarah – http://www.aeroplanemedia.com/copy-editing-proofreading/
- Karen M – https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~0197d424fc8fec44d3
- Nikki – http://www.nikkibuschediting.com/rates-and-services.html
- TJ – https://dynamikblog.wordpress.com/editing-proofing/
- Meryl – https://hartandstenhouse.wordpress.com/packages-and-pricing/
- Robin – http://www.shadowcatediting.com/service.html
Co-writers/Ghostwriters & Line Editors –
- Cory – https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~01ab24ae6ed1a111ea
- Victoria – https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~011e9e8fc2f5c03fa3
- Rob – https://www.facebook.com/rspake
- Joshua – https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~01bdab60e7cb90e64c
- Ian – https://www.upwork.com/e/787681/contracts/14714483/
Very busy, but if you can fit in their schedule, great to work with:
- Michelle – https://www.upwork.com/e/787681/contracts/14194667/(copyediting & ghostwriting)
People I heard are good, but have never worked with:
- Undivided Editing – http://www.undividedediting.com
- Terrie –https://www.facebook.com/terriemeer
- Avril – https://www.facebook.com/Aves-Edit-Services-1736653363229081
- Don – http://riverdaleavebooks.com
When such a handsome man asks you to tell your readers about his hot new gay romance, how can you resist? Author R.D. Barucco is the author of Sexed, a stimulating new gay romance that is sure to have tongues wagging. I had the opportunity to ask him all about this new story and his process.
What’s your book about?
Sexed describes the experience of Luke, a man struggling with compulsive sexual behaviors. Luke decides to join a support group for people with the same problem. The story takes the readers on a journey into Luke’s mind.
How is it different than other gay romances?
Sexed is about passion, intimacy, attachment, love, and, of course, sex. But Sexed is also about loss, trauma, despair, and loneliness.
The main difference is that Sexed starts where the romance ends.
I loved your trailer. What made you think of doing one?
I like words, and I like images. The trailer, a promotional tool, became a challenge for me: I wanted to describe with images the essence of my novel. The video contains a passage from the book. My best friend, a talented musician, wrote the music for the soundtrack. I produced the trailer.
What is your writing process?
The first step is to think about the core of the story: what am I trying to say?
The second step is to decide whether what I want to say is interesting.
Then I collect information: I read and read, I talk to people. Before writing Sexed, I interviewed nine men and two women who had direct experience with compulsive sexual behaviors.
When I hear, see or feel something interesting, I write it down. I am constantly taking notes on my phone.
Do you outline first?
I do, but for me the outline is a plastic framework.
How long did it take for you to write this book?
About ten months.
Now for the personal questions: Are you single or chained?
That’s an interesting choice of words! I have a boyfriend. His name is Eric.
What in your personal life did you infuse in this story?
Like Luke, I tend to think about the past while interpreting the present. Luke is introspective to a fault, and so am I. The recklessness of my 20s is in Brian. My compassion is in Paula. New York City, Sexed‘s silent character, is the love of my life.
Tell us about one of the best times you ever had in bed? What made it so amazing? (And don’t skip any details)
Several readers thought Sexed was a memoir. It’s not. For some reason, I find it difficult to describe sexual experiences.
That said, I will share what I think is the fundamental component of a fulfilling sex encounter. More than physical attraction, even more than love, I believe that it is an authentic clarity about our desires and the willingness to share that awareness with our sex partners that makes sex amazing.
The book sounds great. Where can we get it?
Sexed is available at most retailers in ebook and paperback formats. Check here for details.
B.A. Brock is one of the most awesome courageous authors I know. Anyone who dares to be themselves no matter what the consequences is a hero in my book and in interview with him about his novel, King of the Storm, he talks about the strength it took in his personal to pull together this amazing book.
What is your latest book about?
King of the Storm is an Epic Romantic Fantasy, which tells the story of Perseus, a reluctant demigod hero, who fights against his own destiny and fate. It’s set in a world similar to Ancient Greece, but not. There’s magic and elves, and the heroes of old are reimagined to fit this new world.
What makes it different than others?
DSP Publications publishes a wide range of LGBTQ+ fiction, and not necessarily M/M Romance. My story isn’t the classic M/M love story, and it’s a fantasy epic, an adventure tale spanning a few decades of my character’s life. Additionally, in my usual fashion, I have characters who don’t fit neatly into the normal gender or sexuality expectations.
You recently transitioned, why now?
I’d say I’m transitioning—not transitioned—but yes. Why now? I was born in a smaller city in the early 80’s, and I didn’t what trans meant until I got to college. There, I became fascinated with LGBTQ+ culture, but I never felt as if I belonged. It wasn’t until I crept deeper into my thirties, after being married six years, when I faced the fact that I never wanted to birth children… and everything fell rapidly into place. It was as if by acknowledging that, I had to recognize what I felt was useless or wrong about my body, and I became trans. I don’t mean that to sound as if I reject my body completely, or that rejecting your body is a necessary step in transitioning, but that was the beginning of my process, that shedding of my skin.
How has this affected the way that people close to you have treated you?
I believe that true love is between people who can acknowledge each other’s greatest strengths, and challenges, and still love each other. Which also means my loved ones often hurt me the worst, especially in small and careless ways. Sometimes I have patience and understanding, and sometimes I hide from the world. Again, this is just part of my process, and not necessarily everyone’s. It will get better.
What did your partner say when you told him you were ready to take the next step?
“No. You can’t.”
I think that’s what he said. He made up all sorts of reasons why it would be impossible (cost, my family, his family). He begged me to still be “Mommy” to our pets. He was terrified, hurt, confused, and sometimes angry. He grieved. And that’s normal (please no judging).
The first open female to male my husband talked to, told him I was going to change completely, and probably by the end of my transition not love him anymore. That fear—created from those conversations—took me many months to break down and address.
During his darkest times, I would say, “I loved you when I was depressed. I loved you when I was manic. I loved you as a woman, and I’ll love you as a man.”
How has this approach affected your characters?
Being trans impacts my characters, even when I’m not trying. As part of my creative process, when I start a story, I don’t always know the gender of my characters. They sort of emerge when it’s important, but you’d be surprised how often it’s not important. In those cases I choose for them.
Where can we get your book?
A. Brock has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2007 at Portland State University—which he mostly uses to contemplate how we can achieve a civilization more closely aligned with Star Trek.
When not writing, Brock spends his time reading/reviewing novels, training for marathons, and bemoaning the fact that the world has yet to make a decent gluten free donut.
You can find more of his works, as well as reviews and his blog at http://www.babrockbooks.com
King of the Storm
No one can outrun destiny or the gods.
In Epiro, a kingdom in Greece, Perseus is prophesied to be a great demigod hero and king, with a legacy that will shape the world of Gaia. When he was born, his grandfather exiled him, and his mother brought them to Seriphos, where she created an academy for demigod youth. Perseus trains there and waits for the day when he will be able to take the throne of Argos.
Despite potential future glory, Perseus’s fellow students think he is weak. By the time he reaches manhood, he has given up the hope of having any real friends, until Antolios, a son of Apollo, takes an unexpected interest in him. Perseus and Antolios fall in love, but Antolios knows it cannot last and leaves Seriphos.
Perseus, grief-stricken and lonely, rebels against the Fates, thinking he can avoid the prophecy and live his own life. But when the gods find him, he is thrust into an epic adventure. With his divine powers he fights gorgons, sea serpents, and other monsters, and he battles against his darker nature. Perseus strives to to be the man he wants to be, but the gods have other plans.
Forty-five minutes ago, he flashed his fake ID and chugged his last beer at the bar with his best friend.
Now, Jake lay face down on the dirt and gravel road with his face pummeled. The taste of his own blood seeped from his nose into his mouth. He’d never been in more pain in his life.
They’d never find his body out here in Forest Hills, not in the middle of nowhere. Only a half an hour from Portland, Oregon, but off the beaten path where no one ever came to. Everyone thought the state was liberal, they had no idea about its dirty underbelly.
Thick with evergreen trees, too hoarded by tree huggers to be cut down, too wild to tame. Ferns and bushes smothered the forest floor; the perfect place to hide a dead body. Even the wildlife seemed to be shocked into silence.
He rolled over to see the infinite stars glittered in the cloudless sky. Would have been breathtaking any other night. Any other night that he wasn’t bleeding from the inside.
Focus, dammit, focus.
Cold chills from the midnight air ran through Jake’s body. He couldn’t hold a thought; his mind spiraled like a never-ending twister, passing in and out of time.
Disassociated thoughts. Something, anything. Scrambling, trying to keep his mind focused.
He should have worn a jacket and for once, he wished he’d gotten the chance to say goodbye to his dad and sister. He hadn’t seen them in years. Maybe then there would be a chance at finding his body.
Now, Jake would never get to see his dad’s face. Never get to watch him stifle his tears of joy as he one day graduated from college, the first in the family, nor fulfill his dreams of becoming somebody. His dad would know then how much he missed out on Jake’s life by abandoning them.
That would never happen, neither would there be a family for Jake one day, not even a chance. He didn’t even get a chance at a career. Other than a few massage therapy courses, Jake had no idea what he wanted to do with his life and he’d never get a chance to figure that out.
He’d die tonight, just another growing statistic of gay bashing.
Grunts from the homophobic mob of rednecks muffled his best friend Alberto’s cries for help. Bones cracking, bats pummeling his almost lifeless body. He deserved so much better in his life.
Guilt burned through Jake. He wasn’t tough enough to defend Alberto though he’d tried. Wiry and pale, Jake didn’t have a prayer of a chance against that many guys.
“You’re going to make it through this. We’re both going to live a long life,” he mumbled to himself, though that was a lie.
There was a bone-cracking sound. Had they murdered Alberto? Jake wanted to kill them, if only he had the strength.
“Alberto,” Jake tried to scream out, but his throat was too dry, too strained, too coated with the dust he sucked in, his strength nearly depleted.
“Faggot,” he heard the men say. Faggot, that word stung and clung to him like a bad stench, an ugly reminder of why they’d kept being gay a secret for so long.
Now, the world would know; if they ever found his remains, spray-painted with the word Fag on it.
His stomach turned thinking about the shock and embarrassment his dad would endure, the stain to their family name.
What a fucked up night. Jake only wanted Alberto to have a good time for his birthday.
The crunching sound of the gravel gave him a sense of relief. The men piled into the back of the pickup truck, whooping and cheering like they’d just won a football game as it began to back up, leaving them for dead. Maybe there was a way out of this, a way to still help Alberto.
He twisted his neck and grimaced in pain. That’s when he saw him — the attacker was returning. The leader of the mob.
Tall and over-sized, the monster of a young man came toward him, ready to finish him off.
Something about him seemed familiar. That voice; he’d heard it before and he remembered those emerald green eyes that glowed like a predator. The scent of Old Spice, cigarettes and beer.
Jake froze, what little blood remained in his body, drained from his pale face. The hair lifted on his arms, and the tendons of his neck strained.
He knew who the guy was.
He could see his silhouette backlit by the headlights of the rumbling, battered and mud-stained truck. The exhaust coughed and sputtered, filling his stinging nostrils with heavy pungent smog, the taste bitter.
The attacker gripped the baseball bat in his hand, ready to take another shot at Jake’s head.
Jake’s heart pounded so hard, it was deafening, ready to explode. Petrified, his eyes bulged, but his blood boiled with anger.
This motherfucker had just taken away the only somebody he ever loved, the only somebody who cared about him unconditionally. And there was nothing he could do about it. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT – http://bit.ly/IGOTYOUBOOK
There are some people who spend days immersed in a good book, while others have a hard time consuming two chapters in one sitting. Becoming a bookworm takes practice and a bit of guidance, and what better way to keep you motivated than by playing a game of Reading Bingo?
Now you might be asking yourself how a game of bingo is supposed to motivate you to pick up a novel over playing your favorite game on your smartphone. Typically, the lottery-style game is used to teach a variety of subjects in school, but parents have also discovered that the visual achievement aspect of bingo has successfully gotten their kids more excited about books. And the great thing about this kind of bingo games is that it can be easily be adjusted to age-appropriate novels, so there’s really no reason why Reading Bingo wouldn’t be just as effective for adults as it is for kids.
With so many people in and out of the classroom using bingo as a strategy to encourage better reading habits, it really goes to show how powerful a simple game can be in building a stronger appreciation for books. Although book-inspired bingo games aren’t quite as common as movie- or TV-branded ones, like the examples showcased on Gala Bingo in the form of popular titles such as Deal or No Deal and Coronation St., bingo lends itself to so many themes that the game essentially has a variety of applications, from being a classroom learning tool to being a fun way of changing one’s lifestyle. And in this case, the game will help you discover a love for reading that you never knew you had.
In the last couple of years, Penguin Random House Canada released several versions of Reading Bingo, but unless you’d like to dive into YA or Canadian novels, it’s probably best to start off with the generic Reading Bingo card.
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing two amazing gals, Stephanie and Iza, also known as The LaSalle Sisters. These two are Bloggers, m/m lovers, avid shoe wearers, and mega book FANatics! Be sure to visit their sites and catch their reviews, I always enjoy reading them 😉
Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?
Stephanie: http://Man2manTastic.blogspot.com or http://divasdiscussions.blogspot.com/, though the man2man is strictly m\m genre. You can also catch Iza, Cheryl and I under LaSalle Sisters page on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/sistersoflasalle
Iza: Well, we’re three book buddies that share a love for a good M/M book. Our blog is called Man2ManTastic and it’s ALL about male-on-male love stories.
What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?
Stephanie: When we first started getting more into the m\m genre, we were a little “wet behind the ears” and didn’t see much in the way of blogs strictly m/m, and not a lot of m/m in a mixed genre blog either. We wanted something strictly for the m/m world.
Iza: Honestly? It just happened. I remember last year, the very first M/M book I’ve read was Try by Ella Frank. That popped my M/M cherry. Yes, I’ve previously read books with M/M scenes or M/F/M, and M/M/F but not books with ONLY M/M scenes. Cheryl suggested we write a review for it. At first, we did this over at Diva Discussions Book Club – which is not exclusively M/M but any- and every genre – but then The LaSalle Sisters were born and shortly after, our Man2ManTastic blog, where we continued posting our M/M reviews. And pics with hot guys. Of course.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
Stephanie: For me personally it is like reading the romance genre, but in a whole new light. It is a fresh spin on things that have been done before, and a new light on things not done before. The whole “coming out of the closet” brings on a whole new angst that a m/f book just can’t give you. Also, the GFY subject really intrigues me.
Iza: I’m a sucker for a good love story and I don’t care if it’s M/F, M/M, M/F/M, etc.
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
Stephanie: Well, I hope it would be because we are just all around fun. We blog what we like just to share the love, not to get recognition, we like to “keep it real” ((I feel so gangsta saying that!!:p)). Not to mention all the wonderful mantastic eye candy :p
Iza: Well, we beta-read and reviewed A.E. Via’s books and were the first to share things about them. Plus Stephanie has the hottest pics posted there 😉
Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.
Stephanie: Spreading joy and a good book to others. I love it when someone comments letting us know they love our reviews, etc… and that they can’t wait for said book to come out. It warms my heart
Iza: Success? Hmm. We do it because we like it; we have a few authors that trust us and know they can always rely on us to either give advice as beta-readers or an honest review for their hard work.
What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?
Full Disclosure by Kindle Alexander,
Blue Moon II by A.E. Via,
Embracying his Syn A.E. Via,
Taming Ryder by Nikola Haken,
Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill,
Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux,
Broken Season by Kol Anderson,
Dangerously Happy by Varian Krylov,
Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder,
Take by Ella Frank,
Rush by Nyrae Dawn,
Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux,
Always by Kindle Alexander,
Broken Pieces by Riley Hart,
You Can See Me by A.E. Via,
The Half of Us by Cardeno C,
The Boy with the Beautiful Eyes by Michelle Maibelle,
Take What You Want by Anne Lister,
The Art of Breathing by TJ KLune
Iza: This year it HAS to be Take by Ella Frank and, even though it’s M/F/M – M/M/F, Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha.
What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?
Stephanie: Cops, Military, MAFIA!!! 😀 also, I think we need more drag queens in our lives.
Iza: To be honest, I’m not an expert in M/M and so far, I’ve read great books and some okay ones too. Guess it depends on the style. I like seeing in M/M books what I like seeing in M/F books: strong characters, a little give-and-take, no walking over the other MC, some humor. Oh and feels. I need the feels, no matter what book I’m reading.
What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?
Stephanie: Blog what you love, do it for you, not anyone else.
Iza: Don’t settle for the mediocre, no matter the book and ALWAYS be honest in your review, even though it’s a book written by one of your favorites. Express your opinion in a respectful manner.
Today’s awesome interview is with the lovely and highly decorated m/m Bestselling author Gina X Grant a.k.a Storm Grant. She’s been on the top 10 on the Amazon best Gay & Lesbian Action Adventure List and has garnered a 5-STAR review from USA TODAY as well as a winner of the prestigious Bookie Award for Best YA of 2013; you’d be crazy not to read her works!
What about m/m fiction attracted you to write it?
Like many others, I first came across m/m fiction while reading fanfic. The fandom was Highlander, as I recall. Yes, Dundan/Methos. Baby’s first pairing. I loved the m/m dynamic and still do. In many (not all, of course) m/f romance novels, the author really has to work to find reasons to keep the couple apart. Some of those internal conflicts are
tenuous at best.
But to me it seems the areas for conflict between two men are greater. They resonate as more real. I’ve written conflicts that include:
–Denial (GYM DANDY),
–Working together and not wanting to get distracted (LOST BOYS 2.0),
–Wrongful arrest (ASSUME THE POSITION), and
–Being two different species (SHIFT HAPPENS)!
How did you begin your career writing? How did you grow your fan base to be so humongous?
My fan base is hardly humongous. I was shocked and delighted when I attended RainbowCon for the first time in April 2014 after two years away from publishing m/m fiction and people remembered me!
My background is marketing, which comes in really handy after the book is written, but I had to learn the craft of writing from scratch. I even took two semesters of grammar at night school a few years back. I’m learning every day.
One thing about learning your craft by writing fanfiction is you may not get a lot of experience creating original characters. So I had to learn how to create great characters once I began writing pro fic. You can have a great character with little plot, but if you’ve got a great plot with weak characters, you’re in trouble.
What is it like to live so close to where you grew up?
Every time I walk around the neighborhood, I’m reminded of things I did decades ago. The neighborhood delinquents (including me) used to climb the nearby cemetery wall at night to smoke dope and make out. Now I go there for exercise and to visit my parents’ grave. Ah, life. It brings many changes.
Is there anyone who you never want to find out you write m/m? How do you think they’d react?
Nope. Even my devoted Catholic mother-in-law reads my stuff. I don’t think there’s anyone I wouldn’t want reading it because it’s m/m. I did meet some Southern Baptists once who were concerned for my mortal soul because the Reaper books are set in Hell. (And ironically, m/f.) One woman kept saying, “I hope you don’t mention The Man. The Man.” Apparently, you don’t want to say any of the devil’s names aloud (or in print) because it might draw his attention. Once I realized what she meant, I assured her that in my books, I had The Woman: Lucy Phurr. A very unimposing Queen of Hell who needed a good makeover. Oddly, my new Southern friends remained dubious of my books.
What is it like to write m/m under your pen name, Storm Grant?
I wrote fanfiction as Stormy Stormheller, so I thought to access some of those readers when I started writing pro fiction. Also, at the time, many female writers of m/m fiction were using initials, male or non-gender specific names in case people wouldn’t read m/m stories written by women. As it turned out, it has not been an issue.
I wrote the Reaper books (m/f humor) under my real name: Gina Grant. I added the “X” to make it “googlable” (There’s a far more interesting Gina Grant who was kicked out of Harvard because she murdered her parents and now she’s a dominatrix. I was worried that if someone was googling and came across her, they’d forget they were originally looking for me.) Now I wish I’d stuck to a single name. It’s too much to handle two social media presences, and just confuses the issue. I usually go by Gina Storm Grant now. But I’m still publishing as Storm Grant.
Why do you think so many women love to read m/m?
A change is as good as a rest? This is an ongoing discussion and I think the answer is as varied as the women who read it. A different power dynamic, more realistic reasons for conflict between the couple, a chance to put the fruit in forbidden fruit… One friend used to say “two penises are better than one.”
What inspired your The Reluctant Reaper series? Is it fun to write?
I wanted to write a book with Death as the main character until someone pointed to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Since no other Death is needed now that Sir Terry had written the definitive Death, I wrote about an ordinary gal who becomes a grim reaper instead. It’s wacky, over-the-top, filled with puns. People who like that sort of thing really liked it. Just FYI, the publisher decided to divide the first book in two because it had a lot going on, so the first book ends on a cliffhanger. You’ll want to read Book 2, but Book 3 stands alone. Book 4 is coming soon.
Are you currently working on a new project?
In September (2014) I self-published my backlist a book a week for a month. Yikes! That was a lot of work. Then just this past week, I debuted my first new book, LOST BOYS 2.0. It’s book 2 in the Tales of B.O.O. series, but you don’t need to read SHIFT HAPPENS to enjoy LOST BOYS 2.0. SHIFT HAPPENS was originally published as a standalone, but so many people asked for more books in the B.O.O. universe that I decided to carry on with the series.
B.O.O. stands for Borderless Observers Org. which is an internationally sanctioned group of paranormal investigators. They show up wherever they’re needed to solve problems of the supernatural sort. LOST BOYS 2.0 has only been available a week and already it’s been in the top 10 on the Amazon best Gay & Lesbian Action Adventure List. And it’s garnered a 5-STAR review from USA TODAY. “I loved the way Ms. Grant developed the nuances of this story. Lost Boys 2.0 is a character-driven book wrapped in an intricate plot that runs smoothly.”
(Read it here: http://bit.ly/5starsforLostBoys2pt0)
How would you describe your writing process? Do you outline? Do you write like crazy?
Yes, I outline. I use GMC and Save the Cat and then create a narrative outline that tells “the story of the story” in about 1500 words. Then I get input from my brainstorming group. I much prefer to get the story squared away right from the beginning. That way, I rarely end up writing myself into a corner or having to cut great chunks. And it’s much easier to ask someone for conceptual input on a 1500-word outline than for feedback on a 75,000-word novel! (Although in the end, I need both.) One handy tool for coming up with story ideas is to use what I call “The Donald Maass Two-Parter”. As you probably know, mega-agent Donald Maass has an excellent workbook to help you plan or fix a novel. But I just like to use these two questions:
1. What’s the one thing your character would never do?
2. Under what circumstances would they do it?”
Works every time.
Brainstorming as a group is one of the great pleasures of writing. It’s such a positive, upbeat experience: “What if he can’t change back?” “What if she’s his long-lost sister?” What if…What if… What if…” Obtaining feedback on a novel, on the other hand, is a more negative experience. You go to your friend and ask for them to tell you what isn’t working with your brand new baby. Then yes, I write like crazy. I used to need tons of editing, but now I get just one or two big-picture edits, and hire a copy-editor / proofreader.
I also have second new book written, an m/m paranormal historical set in Toronto, Canada in 1910 tentatively titled RE-INVENTING LOVE. I’m shopping it around to publishers. I like to think of myself as a “tri-bred author.” I have published with e-publishers, a Big Five traditional publisher (Simon & Schuster published my Reaper trilogy) and now I’m self-published. Guess I’ve been busy these last few years.
How long does it typically take you to write a novel?
I spent a few weeks thinking about and plotting a new book while doing other things, then I dash out a first draft in a matter of weeks. I write about 1500 words a day which isn’t stellar, but because I don’t have a day job, I’m writing 7 days a week. That’s 50,000 words in a month, which is generally where my first draft ends up. I’ll add another 10,000 words with each editing pass. Both the historical, RE-INVENTING LOVE, and LOST BOYS 2.0 have rounded out between 75,000 and 80,000 words.
What is it like to write m/m and YA respectively? Is it difficult to balance the two?
Although some of my characters from my earlier books are in their late thirties, these days, most of my adult characters are in their twenties, so it’s not a huge leap. I’m alternating between Young Adult and New Adult. High school was a long time ago for me, but I pull out the old John Hughes movies and get back in the mindset. The next book in the B.O.O. series, MYSTERICAL, is a YA. Both boys are 16 so there will be only a little groping, as there was in FEW ARE CHOSEN. (Which won the Bookie Award for Best YA of 2013.)
What advice do you have for those thinking about writing gay romance and what advice do you have for those who are trying to build an audience from scratch?
The gay romance community is a kinder, gentler corner of the world. Oh, sure, some reviewers can be scathing and your books are bound to be pirated, but compared to just shoving books anonymously out into the world, m/m is the best place to be. I know many of the authors, some of the readers, and quite a few of the reviewers. If you can, get to RainbowCon or GRL. It’s good to be among your peeps. And join the RWA, specifically the Rainbow Chapter. With regard to marketing, well, I wish I had the magic answer. Some books sell and some don’t. I just try to be myself, be sincere, be a good friend. My platform is that I’m funny, so I re-post a lot of jokes on Facebook: “I surf Facebook so you won’t have to” is an audience-building strategy that works for me. If you write serious plotlines, it might not be for you. If your audience is younger, you probably want to be on Tumblr. If you’re writing non-fiction, then LinkedIn is the place to be. In fact, if you set up a free WordPress site, you can arrange all your posts to go to all the postable places with a single click. I need to spend more time on Goodreads. Heck, I just need more time!
Thank you, Jamie, for having me on your blog. And thanks to anyone who got this far, for reading!
Storm Grant / Gina X Grant
Quirky fiction that’s pretty, witty and gritty
I had the best time interviewing today Marc Fleischhauer. If you are looking for honest and detailed reviews elaborated with personal care from someone who is genuinly passionate for books and those who write them, look no further…check out Marc’s reviews at Rainbow Gold Reviews!
1. Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?
My name is Marc Fleischhauer, I’m a 24 year old student in Germany and a little over 6 months ago, I created my own LGBT Review Blog ‘Rainbow Gold Reviews’ and run it with two close friends and several awesome reviewers 😉 All of our reviewers are avid readers of the genre (our focus is M/M Romance, though we accept review requests for any LGBT Fiction). We rate books and audio books we read and listen to on a scale of 6 to ten, including half ratings like 8.5. The higher the rating, the more can we recommend a book to our readers. If a book would rate below a 6 we would not feel comfortable ‘recommending’ it and if the review was requested, we will tell the author or publisher that it did not fit the criteria to be posted on the blog.
We post well-balanced and honest reviews for the books we at least liked, but we will not put in a lot of time and effort into a review that uses our reach to ‘warn off’ or ‘discourage’ readers from buying a certain book, just because one of our reviewers did not like it. In addition to independent reviews (some from review requests and some from books our reviewers bought themselves), we work closely with authors and publishers to give you many opportunities to meet and chat with authors. We have hosted many successful online parties, Chats and events, have created Scavenger Hunts and awarded several hundred prizes provided by the extremely generous authors.All that is pretty awesome for 6+ months and would be impossible without the support of readers who have visited the blog more than 50,000 times since our debut and authors like Jamie Lake, who has graciously offered me this opportunity to talk about the blog. Thank you so much ❤ ❤ ❤
Rainbow Gold Reviews:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGBT_Reviews (Add our Twitter Handle (@LGBT_Reviews) in your LGBT related tweet and we will re-tweet 🙂
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rainbowgoldreviews (Please ‘Like’ Us)
Promo Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowgoldreviews/
Promo Page Giveaways and Sales ONLY: https://www.facebook.com/group/217759815082686/
Promo Page New and Upcoming Releases ONLY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LGBTreleases/
2. What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?
My M/M addiction really started when I found the M/M Romance group on Goodreads and participated in many reading challenges and games. One of my friends there really liked my reviews and asked me to help her re-launch her
personal blog into a blog for LGBT Fiction. We recruited several other friends willing and eager to review and with fresh enthusiasm, a shared love for the genre and my friend’s unwavering leadership, the blog soon soared to unhoped-
for heights. Maybe even too much so for me. With the size it had grown to and the amazing reach, some of my over-enthusiastic experiments and ideas made it harder to keep control over all aspects of the blog for her and she tried to streamline it to be more professional, with great success.
While reviewing is fun for me, it comes with a lot of unpaid work and pressure, though. I must admit for me the most rewarding part was the contact with authors and publishers, coming up with ways to bring readers and authors together. Being creative, trying things. Giving those things up to focus solely on reviewing, even for a blog I helped to build and still love dearly was too hard for me. So with the help of some friends, I created a new blog completely from scratch. I wanted it to be like a family. Every reviewer has full editing rights to every post. It’s highly unusual, but every one of our reviewers can help out, fix things, ask anyone to read their review and line edit it. We can help each other. We share our love for books and the genre and talk to each other daily. We are there for each other, even when things happen that are completely unrelated to books. We are friends, a family and the big thing that connects us is our addiction and love for M/M and LGBT Fiction. I hope that shines through with every review and every event 😉
3. Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
The romance genre as such was never of interest to me. I sometimes had phases where I read a lot, but mostly Fantasy, Dystopia, YA, Paranormal, Thrillers, Mystery. Same thing with moves. Those are the ones I really obsess over. The Lord of the Rings, Donnie Darko, Serenity, … BUT I always had to be in the right mood to watch or read those stories. They can be dark, gloomy, ambitious, complex… I need to concentrate on them to really appreciate them. But my guilty pleasure was watching ‘chick flicks’. Funny, lighthearted and romantic movies that were always easy to watch and always made me giddy with happiness.
They did not stay in my mind as much, (except for some genius ones, ever watched ‘Kate & Leopold’?) but I loved the emotions they called forth. Well, when I realized I was gay, (and even before that) seeing two guys together made me happy, crazy butterfly activity in my belly. Hope. Love. Romance. I felt like it was not only okay to think about such things, it seemed natural and romantic and hot and every story gave me strength. Let’s be honest, though, a lot of LGBT type movies suck. Bad acting, low budget, … . That’s when I discovered LGBT books. No one could see what I was reading, I didn’t need to go to a store and look for LGBT books, I could use a credit card and get files on my kindle. It was revolutionary for me and still is.
I craved the love and happiness in the books. The feeling like being honest to my true self and enabling myself to meet the right person through it. M/M Romance changed my life by making me want to change it, by showing me a different path I could take that was so seductive that I grew balls and did what was necessary to get there. Also, did I happen to mention that two guys together are insanely hot and romantic? K, being gay I might be a bit biased about that, but whatever. There is so much variety in the genre, it can include all my favorite sub-genres, be heartbreaking, funny, sexy, erotic, kinky, charming, … and it always reminds me that love is love is love and is a fucking great thing and we should treasure it instead of trying to fight it with hate and intolerance. I need to share that love and get people interested in the great books I read.
4. Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique
Compared to others?
Rainbow Gold Reviews doesn’t earn a single cent, none of our reviewers earn a single cent, we don’t take any money for advertising or anything else. We work more hours than for a full time job, because we love the books and authors so much that we have fun doing it and want to do our part. We also don’t pay for anything, so we don’t have to worry at all about costs for the upkeep of the blog, use of our web address or costs for hosting or anything like that. We receive review copies from more than 20 publishers, in fact we could request any book from them and get it for an honest review without charge. We don’t depend on any one publisher to receive review copies (we actually get more requests from just the authors themselves to keep up with) and even if we would receive no more review copies, our reviewers are so addicted to this genre that we would always own enough LGBT books to read and review.
That makes us independent and we can honestly and respectfully state our opinions (as long as we at least see potential in the books and like them a little). We use a 10 point rating system, because most books we read just fall into a small spectrum. If we like books, we want to be able to show our readers how much and compare them to each other. Not everyone was enthusiastic about the system, because it is not the common norm. However, our readers do like it as it just needs to be divided by two for the more usual 5 star rating, but will easily tell them how much we recommend certain books. 7/10 means a 70 percent recommendation (3.5/5) and 8.5/10 means an 85 percent recommendation (4.25/5), a clear difference, though both would be shown as 4 star reviews on amazon or goodreads after being rounded up or down.
Though we sometimes encourage our reviewers to explore books outside their comfort zone, they usually claim books they are interested in from a review list or review books they are reading on their own, ensuring that most actually like the books they read. From the very beginning we had one of the most visible social network presences. We have hosted numerous parties and chats on Facebook or outside chat rooms and the generous authors who participated have given away more than 400 prizes through our blog, with several prizes with a value of 100 Euros or more. Authors have spent many, many hours playing games and chatting with our readers and we just like to bring readers and authors together and have fun.
5. Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.
When the blog was founded, it was important to me to find new voices in the genre, so we potentially take on anyone as reviewer, teach them how to improve their reviews, how to use WordPress and see if they are a good fit. For me success as M/M Blogger is not writing the most analytical review, though our reviewers put a lot of time and thoughts into their reviews. If a reviewer is able to share their love for a book they read in a way that infects others and makes them interested, even while indicating in a respectful way what didn’t work for them, I think that is perfect.
Many of our first time reviewers have become confident and well-liked and read reviewers, who are now very involved in the blog and the community. We welcome new reviewers for M/M and/or F/F Romance and Fiction with open arms.
Other things that define successful reviewers for me is the willingness for authors and publishers to work with us and the willingness of readers to attend our events.
We might not be among the biggest reviewers in this genre yet, but since April our reviews and posts were read 50,000 times, we have a social network reach higher than 7,500 and most big publishers regularly work with us, even after testing how many readers actually click-through to their website to buy the books we review. When we have an event it takes me 24-48 hours to find more than 100 authors interested in participating and our events are always well-visited by readers and authors.
We love interaction, do our best to work with authors to find the best way to promote their work and give tips to authors who are brand-new and never had to do promotion. In turn, we get a lot of blog tour, interview, spotlight, guest post and review requests from authors on our email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Facebook 🙂
6. What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?
I have read some amazing books this year. Whether they were audiobooks (a lot of them are) or eBooks/Paperbacks or whether they were review requests or books I bought on my own, these are the books that stayed in my mind and I can highly recommend all of them.
Some of my favorites are:
‘Into This River I Drown’ and ‘The Art of Breathing’ by T.J. Klune,
‘Aaron’ and ‘Spencer’ by J.P. Barnaby,
‘Necropolis’ and ‘Bloodline’ by Jordan L. Hawk,
‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans M. Hirschi,
‘Social Skills’ by Sara Alva,
‘Crescendo’ by Rachel Haimowitz,
‘Strain’ by Amelia C. Gormley,
‘Whistling in the Dark’ by Tamara Allen,
‘Greenwode’ and ‘Shirewode’ by J. Tullos Henning,
‘Fox Tail’ by Haley Walsh,
‘Hero’ by Perry Moore,
‘City Mouse’ and ‘Country Mouse’ by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov,
‘Aristotele and Dante discover the secrets of the Universe’ by Benjamin Alire Sáenz,
‘Try’ and Take’ by Ella Frank,
‘Strawberries for Dessert’ and ‘Fear, Hope & Bread Pudding’ by Marie Sexton,
‘I Spy’ series by Josh Lanyon,
‘Brokenhearted’ by Cate Ashwood,
‘Wake Me Up Inside’ and ‘Until Forever Comes’ by Cardeno C.,
‘All Kinds of Tied Down’ and ‘Acrobat’ by Mary Calmes,
‘Casket of Souls’ and ‘Shards of Time’ by Lynn Flewelling,
‘Dark Space’ by Lisa Henry,
‘Bad Plan’ by S.J.D. Peterson,
‘Bad Idea’ by Damon Suede,
‘Second Skin’ by Genna Donaghy,
‘Best Friends Perfect’ by Liam Livings,
‘Love Me Like A Romance Novel’ by Megan Derr,
‘Catch My Breath’ by M.J. O’Shea,
‘The Back-up Boyfriend’ by River Jaymes,
‘Behind The Curtain’ by Amy Lane,
‘Camp Hell’ and GhosTV’ by Jordan Castillo Price,
‘Sunburns & Sunsets’ by Brigham Vaughn &
‘Glory Lands’ by Vastine Bondurant.
7. What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?
I would like to see more variety in body types, greater inclusion of main characters with handicaps or a different cultural backgrounds. More variety in the relationships portrayed (like a loving and committed OPEN relationship or a relationship between two bottoms).
8. What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?
First, there are tons of Social Media Platforms, but with all of its faults, Facebook is still the best place to stay in touch with genre authors and get attention for your blog. Twitter is very helpful as well for the promotion of your posts. Friend authors you like and want to promote on your blog and join groups that allow for promotion. Get an account for your blog on Goodreads, Amazon, a Facebook Page, Google Plus, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, … or any platforms you want to have a presence on and assign reviewers or people who want to work with you on the blog to monitor and moderate them.
Decide the name and structure of your blog before it has grown so big that changing it is nearly impossible and get a banner and icons for the blog (that you hold the right to use). Create a structure or guideline reviewers can follow for their reviews, a rating system that works for you, set up a page that shows your review guidelines to authors and be completely honest about your process. Set up an email address and someone to answer correspondence daily. Listen, when I tell you that it is a FULL-TIME job and get people you trust to help you. Then have FUN ❤ (If I can help you in any way, I would be happy to if you contact me per email or on Facebook:
Marc Fleischhauer: Reader and LGBT Reviewer: https://www.facebook.com/marc.fleischhauer.14 )