Monday, June 27, 2011

Taboo Tens Day Twenty Seven: Sloan Parker

Greetings fans!

Welcome to day 27 of the Taboo Tens celebration and I just have to say I'm sad to see it end.

This month has been full of great blog posts and lots of wonderful comments from you the readers and the authors have showed their generosity by giving away some great books.

Today's guest isn't the final one of the month but she might be the biggest. She's an Epic award winner, one of gay fiction's brightest stars, Sloan Parker. 

Her Loose ID treasures Breathe and More are two of the most heralded books in the genre and you'd think with all her success she might be a bit big headed. 

Well if she is, it doesn't show when you talk with her through email and online. She's one of the sweetest people I know, virtually! *grins*

Please give her your undivided attention and make sure you comment so you can win one of her two best sellers.


A Picture’s Worth a Thousand (or 8200) Words

Thanks so much, Michael, for letting me stop by and celebrate with you today.

I’ve been in revising-mode for several months now, working on two novels I drafted back to back, and I was elated to recently have the opportunity to write something new. It was a short story based on a photo prompt and a letter from a reader in the Goodreads M/M Romance group for their Hot July Days event. I’ve always loved using photos and everyday observations to help inspire my writing, to give my descriptions one or two specific details that help (I hope!) put the reader into the scene, but this was the first time I’d based an entire story on one image.

Here’s the picture that inspired my short story. All 8200 words of it.

And the letter that went with it stated…” A night at a gorgeous beach where the moon shined the ocean…the bear men cuddled, celebrating their anniversary. Please tell us their story of a truly best anniversary they could have on a beach.”

It was inspiring, to say the least. This was the fastest I’d ever written and revised anything so far.

It got me thinking about how one image can inspire something unique for each person who looks at it. If thirty people had written a short story based on the picture I’d selected, I’m sure we would have all seen something different in it and created thirty very different stories, even with the verbal prompt that went with the photo.

In my story, “Swept Away,” these guys have been together for fifteen years and are celebrating their anniversary in a very different way than they normally do. It features an erotic love scene as they recapture exactly what they feel for each other and why they are still together. It also has a truly romantic ending (at least I think so), which I would say is typical of my work. I couldn’t look at this photo and not see the love between these two guys, the satisfaction they each have in just being together, and I wanted to celebrate that.

Here’s an excerpt from “Swept Away,” coming soon to Goodreads and

I had every intention of dunking him under the water, but I gave up on that idea. I couldn’t bring myself to end his laughter. Better to cut off my own embarrassing sounds. I let go of him, dove under the surface, and basked in the cool water that surrounded my heated flesh from head to toe. The stickiness of the past twelve hours washed away, and every concern and worry went with it.

Maybe I had been under too long. His large hands grabbed my arms and yanked me up. “Come here.” He brought his lips to mine. The stubble on his face was wet, and the water dripped to my chest as we pressed closer together.

He grabbed the back of my head and parted his lips. So many times we’d done this, a caress of tongues, the intensity building, our cocks growing harder as our bodies surged together, as we shifted our hips and found the rhythm that drove us both to the edge. But we’d never done anything outside. We’d fucked year after year in front of forty guys, but not once had he given me a simple kiss on the lips outside of our place or a gay bar. Never outdoors where someone might see. Never standing naked in the ocean.

And just for fun, I thought I’d also share my initial photo inspirations for the main characters in my m/m/m erotic romance MORE. My guys didn’t turn out exactly like these photos, but I had a great time writing from these images.

Here was my inspiration for Luke Moore:

Richard Marshall

And Matthew Stewart

I enjoyed writing from that photo prompt for “Swept Away” so much that I’m thinking of doing a reader-prompted story again next year. Maybe feature it as a contest on my blog.

Any other writers also like using photos to kick-start your writing? Any readers like the idea of giving an author an image to write from?

Thanks again for letting me share, Michael. Congratulations on the celebration!

You can reach Sloan at:

Thanks Sloan for that great post. 

As the readers know, I have many photos that inspire me to write something. In fact, as I put up your blog today, I had two more cross my mind this morning.

Oh boy!

What hot photos. Too bad I can't share them! ;)

Anyways, readers make sure you comment and you can win one of two of Sloan's best sellers. Breathe, which is the cover above or More.

To read blurbs, please visit her Goodreads page.

Hope you enjoyed!

Join us tomorrow as my good friend and little sis Catriana Sommers returns with a guest post celebrating her newest release, Destined. 

Until then...


Rawiya said...

TY Sloan for visiting us today!

Tara Lain said...

Oh WOW... I can't wait for Swept Away. And that picture of my Matthew is so wonderful. You're the best, dear. *hugs* Tara

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Rawiya! I'm so touched by that intro. Very kind of you to say. I'm thrilled to have been included in your celebration this month along with such talented writers. Thanks so much for letting me share today.

Sloan Parker said...

Hi Tara! That's very sweet of you. So glad you think Swept Away sounds good. I adore that you call him "my Matthew." *hugs back*

S.J. Frost said...

Wonderful post and excerpt! I can't wait to read the rest of "Swept Away." It sounds like it's going to be as beautiful and sweet as the pic that inspired it :-)

Oh, and those pics for you MORE guys...yum, yum, yum!

Lucia said...

Loved this post :) Beautiful picture you choose to write a story about, great excerpt. Very much looking forward to the Hot July Days! I love it when an author writes inspired from a picture, you can give the direction of the story, but still leave a leave a lot of things free for the author to do with as he/she wishes :) And it's just great to have the same starting point as an author when you start to read the story.

Eden Winters said...

I love picture prompt fics and can't wait to read yours 'cause I also have a thing for bears.

Rawiya said...

TY everyone for visiting!

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, SJ. I had such a great time working on this one. That picture was definitely inspiring. Congrats again on your story and writing the end on your new book!

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks so much, Lucia. I'm glad you liked it. I love what you said about starting at the same point as the author. It's neat to have a visual for both sides to experience the story from. Thanks for stopping by!

Sloan Parker said...

Hi Eden! I have a thing for bears too. I loved taking these tough guys through a sweet moment in their lives. Looking forward to your story too. Curious to see what you do with that sleeping cutie.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing pictures that inspired stories. I can;t wait to read your story on Goodreads!

Susan R
susanmik AT gmail DOT com

Pia Veleno said...

Mmm, Hot July Days are going to be so much fun!

I love having photo inspiration too. I have a folder in my Dropbox just for photos that could become characters some time in the future.

Erica Pike said...

Dibs on the motorcycle dude!

I like to find photos after I've created the characters, but not only photos of the characters themselves, but also of things they have and such. I should make a collage...

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Susan! I hope you enjoy it and all the other stories for HJD. Those were so many fabulous pictures selected. I'm sure they inspired some great m/m stories.

Sloan Parker said...

Hi Pia! I'm definitely looking forward to Hot July Days. Although I'm writing to a deadline, so I'm going to have to space out my reading. Maybe I can make it Hot July, August and September Days. That's a lot of m/m goodness! Looking forward to reading yours. I love that you have a folder for your future character pics too.

Sloan Parker said...

So glad you like Matthew's pic, Erica. A collage with more than just their physical look is a great idea. I might have to try that next time, then I could hang it right next to my desk for when I need to brainstorm in character. Thanks for the comment!

Penny Brandon said...

Until the Hot July Days I'd not used a picture to inspire a story, but now that I've had the experience I'm going to do it more often.

I loved the excerpt, Sloan, certainly makes you want to read more, which of course I'll be doing.

Now I'm off to find some pictures...

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks so much, Penny. Glad the HJD picture worked out so well for you. Looking forward to reading your short. Good luck finding more photos to inspire you!

Johnny Miles said...

Sloan, you're a terrific writer with some very good premises. Once again, I'm surprised by the similarities in our lives. I don't always use photos as what I know some call "plot bunnies" but my last book was inspired by such a picture.

I know your story will be well received!

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Johnny! That's very kind of you to say. Congrats on the inspiration for your last story. It's always nice when those plot bunnies attack with force.

Gabbo de la Parra said...

Hi Sloan, Swept Away looks like a hit to me. I do use pictures and usually from several angles of the same guys just to keep focus, even putting them together in the same frame. I'm a very visual person and when something is there to look at, the inspiration flows better,he-he.
Hugs from Nashville.

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Gabbo. I'm with you on loving the visuals for inspiration. It really helps to ground the characters or the setting in my mind. If I look long enough, I can come up with some great descriptions that aren't even in the visual. Love that you use varying angles. Great idea.