Thursday, July 7, 2011

Welcome Margie Church

Good morning!

Welcome to another blog post day at Michael's. Today, I'm pleased to have on a very talented author in Margie Church.

She has a new book out called, Hard as Teak which I am very much looking forward to reading.

Please enjoy our virtual sitdown!


Welcome to Michael’s Margie.

Thank you for having me today!

How long have you been writing?

I've been a professional writer for almost 30 years. I have a degree in news writing and editing and I've been working in corporate communications my entire career. I also freelance as a magazine feature writer in the commercial construction/engineering industry. I've only been writing fiction for three years.

Before you started, had you done any fanfiction? If so, what fandom?

Yes, I got my nerve to write fiction by writing fanfics for my favorite soap opera, Days of Our Lives. I entered a writing challenge on the Forbidden Love website and took second place. I realized at the end of the challenge, I had a really great story going and decided to finish it. After a lot of remodeling, the story became my debut novel, Awakening Allaire. The sequel became Avenging Allaire.

Are you in agreement that writing fanfiction is a great way to practice one's craft, why or why not?

For me, the fanfic setting wasn't a good place to develop my novel-writing muscles, but it sparked my imagination. The discipline of writing corporate literature, fact-based editorial, and PR, is quite different from writing fiction in almost every aspect. I had a very eager fanfic audience at Forbidden Love that cheered me on and boosted my confidence. The downside was that authors would never come forward and coach you. A writer's ego can be so fragile and if you're doing this for fun, to seriously critique would be wrong. I had no plans to write a novel and fell into the "just having fun" category. So, I didn't learn to build characters – I didn't have to – everyone knew these people. The setting was already clearly understood, too. These were significant areas of story development that I didn't have to practice and had to learn (along with a million other techniques and guidelines). I made many friends at Forbidden Love who have become dear. We meet and have so much fun together. They continue to be immensely supportive and I cherish them.

What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic?

I think PEOPLE are emotional and romantic, so I don't think it's wrong for the men to act that way. I think there's something wrong with men who can't express these emotions. An author must be careful to craft the character to suit the story. The extent to which my male characters act these ways is up to me, but I like characters who behave like real people.

What books are you reading at the moment? It's okay to give a fellow author a plug!

I'm reading Josh Lanyon's Snowball in Hell. It's excellent so far.

What are you working on now?

I'm deep into a beautiful het romance titled, Nopeming Shores. I'm in the early stages of co-writing a BDSM romance with Kb Cutter, and I'm outlining a gay romance due in   September.

If you write gay romance or erotica, just how descriptive are your in their sex scenes?

With the exception of my WIP, Nopeming Shores, I write erotic romances. The love scenes are bold and explicit. My rationale for that is simple. If I want you to be able to know the scent of death or the texture of his skin after a shower, to experience the emotions of a beautiful piece of music, or the joy of his voice after a long absence,  why would I jip you in bed – or wherever the sex is happening? I'm backing off on the explicitness of my love scenes in my WIP out of respect for the person I'm writing with. He's a primary grade teacher. Even so, Nopeming Shores is going to make your heart pound and your body twitch in other places just like my other books.

Recently, a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?

Get a bad review on a bad day and you might be tempted to do the same thing that author did. Despite how difficult it is to create your place in this big world, it's still a tightly knit community and a stupid move like that can create long-term damage. Whatever the review, I thank the reviewer for their time and thoughtful remarks. That's all.

What is the major difference between male and female writers?

Most of my favorite authors are men, but when I'm looking for a book, the gender of the author doesn't come into play. I think a capable author is a capable author. Each of us has our own style. I can't ever recall thinking I didn't like a book because of the author's gender.

Do you think it’s time for publishers to begin calling gay fiction/erotica what it is instead of m/m? Why or why not?

M/m fiction is the hottest subgenre in romance right now. I think publishers are using m/m like a content alert Рlook Рhere's what you want. I also think the word erotic defines the quality of the romantic content, not the subgenre. It is also different than erotica, which I would put in a genre different than romance. In my opinion, a gay romance doesn't automatically put it in an erotic or erotica sub-category. The sex descriptions do help readers figure out the pairings for popular m̩nages right now. My guess is that when the demand for m/m romances starts to cool, publishers will use gay fiction or gay romance as the moniker.

What is it about gay fiction and or romance that pleasures you to write it?

I am a romantic at heart so writing romance is something I enjoy, period. Writing Hard as Teak was a journey for me as an author. I've always enjoyed writing male characters more than females, but to this point, most of my characters have been het. A gay pairing in my vampire novel, Dangerous Love, gave me the inspiration to explore writing a gay romance.

Once I started writing Hard as Teak, I fell in love with the way the characters interacted. I loved their inner strengths and weaknesses and how they supported each other in the decisions that had to be made. I also loved their physical strengths and when they make love, it's powerful and strong. I liked the way they talked to each other – even in the heights of intense drama and passion, the way they communicate is much more satisfying to me than some of the het romances I've read and written.

Fun questions:

For the men in your books, commando or underwear?

Underwear – boxer briefs usually.

Do you feel that celebs who are gay or bi should come out the closet?

The power of celebrity can help others sort through their issues and come out. Each situation is different, but it's sad to think about people living a lie. Many do. That celebrity still has to live in their own skin, so it's still a personal choice to come out or stay in the closet. I don't like celebrities bragging about being gay or bi because it is a fad or will gain them more notoriety.

If you’ve watched gay porn, tell me your favorite movie and or star.

One of Corbin Fischer's actors, Travis, always gets my attention. And keeps it.

Hard as Teak by Margie Church

Kevin Marks escapes to the north woods to reignite his passion for photography and women. But the only flame he seems able to spark is for his latest photography subject, Teak Hildalgo. Kevin's never been in a man's arms before.
Teak, the raven-haired, photographer's dream come true, is hell bent on capturing Kevin's heart. He takes Kevin, body and soul, on a romantic, sexual journey previously lived only in Kevin's fantasies. And no dream was ever this good, no truth this undeniable.
Will Kevin ever be the same? When the camera's put away, will Teak live up to his name?

Teak rocked back in his chair, studying his new friend. Kevin had that all-American-boy look. Blond hair and blue-grey eyes the color of the sky just before sunset. His coloration fit right in with almost every Scandinavian person living in the area. Except for that all-over tan. Great shape, tall, clean-shaven—everywhere from what Teak had seen—and a dick that could definitely get someone's attention. He's certainly got mine.
His body had reacted strongly when he'd come upon Kevin lying naked on the dock. The cold-water bath took the edge off the throbbing in his cock this afternoon, but what about now? When Kevin smiled, his whole face lit up. Great lips. Thinking of Kevin going down on him made his balls tense. Wonder what he'd do if I made a move?
Teak got back to the subject of having his photo taken. "You know what? It's cool. No offense taken. I'm flattered, I guess. The chicks are always on me, but it's nice to . . . ."
"To what?"
"To know they're not entirely full of shit just because they wanna get laid." Teak slid his chair back and picked up his plate. He set it on the sink. "Thanks for dinner."
"You're not leaving are you? You probably shouldn't drive."
Teak leaned against the counter. Kevin's interest in him was apparent, but he wasn't sure Kevin was tuned into his own feelings. Kevin's behavior reminded him of a first date. Does he realize it? I'll take it slow. If it's a mistake, I'll say it's the beer talking. "If you don't mind, I'll stay. I'd hate to spend the night in jail. Even the DNR guys are a pain in the ass this time of year."
* * * * *
While Teak used the bathroom, Kevin grabbed his camera and went outside. The half-moon provided perfect illumination on the frost clinging to the wildflowers. Careful not to breathe on the tender crystals, he knelt next to his subject and adjusted the camera to capture the perfect moonlit conditions.
Kevin glanced over his shoulder when the front door opened and shut with a heavy thud. Teak rubbed his hands together and then shoved them under his arms. "What are you doing? It's freezing out here."
Kevin clicked the shutter one last time and rose. The effects of his last beer made him stumble back a step; Teak grabbed his arm. Kevin broke into an alcohol-induced fit of laughter. "Just what I need—to drop this camera—and break it—or my shutter finger." Kevin wiggled his index finger a few times while laughing at his own joke.
"I suppose that thing is pretty expensive."
"Very. Let's go inside before I die of thirst, too."
"We've probably both had enough beer for one night, but I won't argue about going inside. There'll definitely be a hard frost tonight."
Opening the cabin door let out a blast of warm air. The sharp temperature contrast hit Kevin in the face, making him woozy. "Shit, it's hot in here." He peeled off his jacket and shirt and tossed them one at a time onto a nearby chair. "Do you want a bottle of water or some coffee or something?"
"I'll take the water. Wouldn't hurt to sober up a bit," Teak said. "I hate hangovers."
"You and me both." He retrieved two bottles of water from the fridge and handed one to Teak. "And if the night's still young, we can get drunk again later." Kevin laughed with his half-smashed friend and took a swig of water. "I'm going to make up the guest bed." He couldn't resist making another wisecrack. "The maid service sucks around this joint."
"You probably look stupid as hell in an apron anyway. Go make the bed."
"You're not helping? Shit, the assistant to the maid service sucks too." Chuckling, he walked to the closet to dig out some bed linens.
Kevin turned on the light. He'd used this bedroom countless times growing up and even got laid in here a couple of nights. The fitted sheet snapped as he shook it open. He made his way to the headboard to tuck in the corners.
He couldn't believe what a turn-on Teak was. The realization startled him. He'd never been sexually attracted to any man he'd met. At least not this strongly. He didn't mind watching a couple guys getting frisky with each other while they were messing with a woman in videos. But, I never really wanted to touch another guy's junk. He'd tasted his own cum many times. But from a cum-soaked pussy. He'd fantasized about sucking dick—countless times. But never thought I'd want it if I could actually get it. He unfolded the flat sheet.
With the sheets tucked in, he reached for the comforter and spread it on the bed. Lost in his lusty thoughts, he didn't hear Teak arrive and Kevin stumbled against him. Teak's arms wove around his ribs, preventing him from falling. Like the proverbial deer in the headlights, Kevin froze and didn't say a word. Pleasure whip corded his dick. His heart hammered. Resting his head rested against Teak's bare shoulder, he wondered when Teak had taken off his shirt. The trimmed hair felt stiff and foreign against his skin. No other man had ever held him this way. Kevin noticed rough calluses between softer patches of skin on Teak's hands. He soaked in the new sensations, enjoying them.
Silence thundered in Kevin's ears as he turned and met Teak's gaze. The intensity he saw nearly choked the breath right out of his lungs. What little air remained ran for cover when Teak's lips met his. The feelings reminded him of his very first kiss, heady and surreal. His lips twisted with Teak's. He'd never experienced the force of a man's tongue in his mouth or the scrape of another man's beard on his face. Not this way. Guttural sounds filled Kevin's throat. His breath hissed through his nostrils. These were the sounds of an aroused man. Except another man is turning me on.
Teak kept a loose hold on Kevin's waist. The non-threatening hold gave Kevin free reign to accept or deny him. For a long minute, he participated in the kiss as though moving with a partner in a choreographed dance. He knew what to do and how to do it, but his brain and his dick were going in opposite directions. Kevin's cock was so hard he wanted to take it out and come. His brain kept screaming at him to slow down. Confusion filled him. He broke from the kiss and focused on Teak's tattoo, glad for the distraction.
"Aren't you going to say something?" Teak asked in a soft voice.
"This is the most amazing tattoo." How fucking lame was that?
"Touch it."
With nervous hesitation, Kevin traced the pronounced veins on the dragon's side, and higher to its curved neck. Continuing to follow the dragon's neck with his index finger led to Teak's nipple. The hardened nub looked ready to be clenched in the dragon's sharp teeth. Or mine.
"Taste me," Teak said, his voice hoarse and hushed.

CONTEST: I'll give away a copy of Hard as Teak to one lucky person. Do you find tattoos sexy? Would you get one? If so, what is your tattoo going to look like and where on your body will it be?
Visit Margie at her website:


Awesome! What a great interview and you surprised me with a contest! WOOHOO!

Love to give things away to the readers. C'mon people, comment so you can have a chance at the newest release from Margie Church.

Thanks so much for being here, Margie and continued success. I will be reading this book very soon!

Hope you enjoyed readers, join me tomorrow for the start of the weekend which is always a highlight.
Mi Familia tomorrow, Sat Sips and then of course, Six Sentence Sunday.

Have a great one!


DA Kentner said...

Margie-- I didn't know you wear boxer briefs.
The things you learn at Michael's.
I just wanted to say... Cookies?
I smell cookies...

Margie Church said...

David, yes, I do. Satin ones...*gives David a well-deserved noogie* If you guess what kind of cookies, I'll give you a plate full!

Rawiya said...

TY for stopping in David and thx Margie for a great interview!

KaylaJameth said...

I'm glad you joined us here on the dark side. The rumors of cookies have been greatly exaggerated, but I hear Travis is waiting for us if you will just come this way. Or walk this way... Or something like that.

Rawiya said...

TY for stopping in Kayla!

Melanie, mcsc2008 said...

Adding Hard as Teak to my TBR list. Sounds so good!

No tattoos and no plans for any, but a delicate anklet might be cool. :D

Tara Lain said...

Love the excerpt, Maggie. I adore new discoveries -- as if my groaning Kindle needed more weight! But it's TBR for sure.Thanks, Rawiya, for the great guest. : )

Rawiya said...

Thank you for the visits Melanie and Tara!

Margie Church said...

Rawlya, thanks for hosting me and letting me visit with everyone.

Margie Church said...

Kayla, thanks for coming by and thanks for the great review of my book on Goodreads. I appreciate your time so much. David and I are good friends...he gets cookies wherever he follows.

Margie Church said...

Melanie, A tattoo is one of those forever choices. I am getting one on my forearm - a quill piercing a bleeding heart. I've been thinking about it for years and have a few designs in mind so I hope I'll get it done next month.

I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks for coming.

Margie Church said...

Tara, I'm glad to be a new discovery! I hope you enjoy the book and thanks for sharing part of your day with me.

kbcutter said...

Brilliant post, Margie. I always come away reading one of your articles informed, entertained and feeling a wee bit jealous of your vast experiences and intellect!

Margie Church said...

Kb, thank you. So you're a fan of silk boxers too, I take it? You and David can shop together. I hope you enjoy the book.


E. Jamie said...

Fantastic interview Margie! I'm so looking forward to reading this story and hope I win a copy but if not, rest assured I will pick up my own copy asap!

I too got my start in fanfiction and I think it definitely helps develop writing muscles.

Loved the excerpt!

Margie Church said...

E. Jamie...we share a love for the Forbidden Love. thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy Hard as Teak. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and thanks for coming by.


D.B.Moon said...

Loving your writing style and getting to know you better Margie. And greatly exaggerated or not.... Cookies were mentioned! Snickerdoodle, perhaps?

Margie Church said...

D.B., thank you for the compliment. I do have a strong writing voice. Cookies are not Snickerdoodles...I like those. Sure made oodles of them in years past...I'm thinking more like macadamia nut white chocolate. :-)

Blak Rayne Books said...

Great interview, Margie! And an equally great writer! All the best. Thanks Rawiya!

Margie Church said...

Hi Blak! Gosh, it's great to see you. Thanks for the compliment. Best wishes to your avi, BTW. We need to catch up.

Margie Church said...

D.B. Moon is the winner of Hard as Teak!