Thank you for joining us today.
MM: So tell me, how long have you been writing?
SammyJo: Since I was in my teens, when I wrote my first romance novel at the age of 15. But professionally, I’ve been writing since I began my college education back in 1997 for social work. Now, I write a lot for graduate school and most of what I write is clinical and related to therapy and counseling. Some part of me needs an occasional break from that type of psychological intensity. So, for personal enjoyment, I’ve been writing steadily for the past 2 years in the m/m romance genre, and I really love it. I didn’t start writing seriously in the romance genre until two years ago when I became inspired by some people I met in the gay community that made me crave writing fictional romance again. A absolutely adore a good story with a happily-ever-after ending.
MM: What is your favorite subgenre to write?
SammyJo: I started out writing m/f traditional romance stories of the harlequin variety I grew up reading. But now as an adult, I love writing romance of all kinds, but seem to keep coming back to writing the m/m genre of hot and spicy erotica. Sometimes it’s very romantic and heartfelt.
MM: Is there one that you haven’t tried that you see yourself doing in the future?
SammyJo: I may attempt to write a three-some at some point. I’ve read a number of those stories and found them very tempting and enjoyable to read. I’ve just always enjoyed pairing off my characters, out of personal preference. I’ve always believed in that one special love for one person, so it’s generally what I write in the way of stories. But I may attempt a m/m three-some some time. I’m sure it would be very hot and spicy to write that kind of sex scene.
MM: I’m of the opinion that erotica doesn’t have to be real all the time to make a good story, what are your thoughts?
SammyJo: Quite honestly, I’ve spent some time in online fandoms reading m/m erotic fanfic for real people who are cast as characters in erotic fiction. I’ve read a number of stories where real life individuals were changed into characters such as superheroes, dragons, vampires, and werewolves. Those stories are different compared to generally accepted types of stories found in erotic literature. But the thing that sets those stories apart is that they’re not real, they’re very much fantasy. And in some ways, I happen to love it when a great set of characters is created based entirely on fantasy of what’s not real and has no basis in reality, but has a great plot and love story which drives the tale. I very much agree that erotica does not have to be real to be good or to make a good story. Sometimes fantasies are far more appealing and help one get lost in the story better than stories based in reality and real-life concepts.
MM: Who are the authors that you look up to?
SammyJo: I admire so many different authors it’s kind of interesting. Being in college, one is required to read the traditional literary greats of our time. As a result, I have a real appreciation for a wide level of writers and poets. People like Charlotte Bronte,’ Poe, Dickens, and Shakespeare all appeal to me. On the flipside are authors such as JK Rowling who delve into total fantasy, and the romance authors I grew up reading and loving such as Janet Daily and Jude Devereux. They’re some of my favorites.
MM: What are you working on now?
SammyJo: I’ve written about 25 books, novellas, and short stories over the past two years, and I’m slowly working through getting those to publishing, since I only just recently began pursuing becoming a published writer. Initially, my writing was for personal enjoyment and not something I intended to go professional with. But since that has happened, I’ve decided to focus on getting many of those stories into print.
MM: Tell us about your first book with Silver “A Wicked Encounter.”
SammyJo: A Wicked Encounter is one of the stories I wrote last summer. It was my first venture into Regency-style historical m/m erotica. Since I grew up loving to read historical romances, I wanted to give that genre a try and test my abilities, even though it’s not a m/f story. Romance and love are still universal, regardless of gender.
MM: When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
SammyJo: Generally speaking, I do have models in mind which I envision to give me inspiration for my main characters. But those models are for a starting point only. The character’s created in each story I write are specific to the plot and what’s happening in the book, and they are enriched and deepened as the tale is weaved. So in that respect, all my characters are entirely original. Beyond that, any supporting characters in the story are entirely fictional and of my own creation.
MM: As an M/M writer, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?
Sammy: Yes, I do. I believe that fan fiction and the growing acceptance of the LGBT communities are finding a voice through the publishing of gay erotic literature. It’s becoming more widely accepted and appreciated, as well as opening doors of all kinds to the gay community and its needs and challenges. I believe within five years, we’ll see a huge trend in the direction of gay media of all kinds. It’s already being evidenced on mainstream television programming with shows such as Glee and so forth. I think it’s a great way to promote equality and create a forum for discussion, tolerance, and acceptance.
MM: As a fellow female in the genre, what is your stance on the difference between male and female gay writers?
SammyJo: Perhaps the biggest difference I’ve picked up on between male and female writers of gay romance is that in general, men are more naturally analytical in real life. As a result, their stories tend to come across as less romantic in the traditional sense of the word. They’re less about hearts and valentines and flowers, bubble baths, and the like. Women tend to be soft-hearted and are naturally caretakers and nurturers in real life. I find that comes across in a woman’s writing style perhaps moreso than that of a man’s. Aside from that, I enjoy reading both male and female authors. They both have their strong, positive points. But I think most people can tell when they read a piece of literature, whether it’s a male or female voice that’s speaking. It’s inherent in who we are based on gender and how we were raised.
MM: I read a blog about M/M writer’s losing their imagination because they are writing the same subjects repeatedly, what are your thoughts? http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=42883
SammyJo: I think there’s some truth to what the review posits. I have to agree that it’s easy to repeat oneself and tell the same story over again in a different way if one isn’t careful to avoid it. It can get old and kind of boring. I agree that reading a book should be a great way to lose oneself and escape from reality for awhile, not focus on all of the same issues that are painful which we deal with daily in real life. The whole point of romance is to be romanced. When that doesn’t happen, one generally looks elsewhere for those emotional needs to be filled, whether it’s reading a book or engaging in an actual relationship with another person.
MM: What is it about M/M that pleasures you to write it?
SammyJo: I love romance. At the heart of everything, I love a great romantic tale full of twists and turns. Beyond that, I think beautiful gay boys are extremely hot and appealing. I love telling stories about them and that’s what keeps bringing me back to the genre.
MM: Where can we find you on the web?
SammyJo: You can find me at my author’s website here: http://sammyjohunt.livejournal.com/
Purchase my book: http://silverpublishing.info/
MM: Thank you for taking the time to spend with us today SammyJo, and continued success on your work.
Sammy: Thank you so much for inviting me. I’ve really enjoyed being here and having the opportunity to tell people more about myself and what I do. Hope you all enjoy the stories. For me, that’s the best reward of all.