Sunday, November 20, 2011

Riptide Day One - Damon Suede

Good Morning! Welcome to Michael's today. I'm honored to have my first guest Damon Suede on the blog today regarding his first book from Riptide, Grown Men. 

How long have you been writing?

Since I could hold a pencil. In addition to my recent foray into fiction, I’ve earned my living writing for theatre and film for twenty years. I love making stories and finding the best way to share them with people.

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

No. Not at all, actually. From what I’ve seen, the wonderful writers who began in fandoms spent a lot of time afterwards breaking bad habits they picked up by writing fan fiction. However much practice it affords, the other baggage isn’t worth it.

I think writing develops quickly when treated as a profession rather than a hobby. By definition, fanfiction does not and cannot involve payment. Whatever professionalism exists in its quarter arises from the author alone, and at their discretion. That’s a terrible incentive for young writers. Write only when you feel like it, only what you feel like and you don’t have to answer to anyone? That’s how you train folks to be hobbyists and dilettantes. It’s like learning about sex by masturbating: without a partner and a context, anything goes and nothing has any real consequence.

Writing deserves focus and care. The talented writers who have emerged from fanfiction didn’t BECOME talented in fanfiction, and whatever lessons they learned writing it would have been learned more swiftly and surely in a more serious context. I believe in treating a craft with diligence and discipline. The mere fact of the general sloppiness and inattention in much fanfiction proves the point. The gifted anomalies are exactly that, and they always LEAVE fanfiction when they realize that they are more than dabblers.

What is your favorite subgenre to write?

I don’t have a favorite. Or rather, whatever genre is the one that fits my needs is my favorite, until the next story and the next genre. The characters dictate the story, the story dictates the genre… all I care about is making the story so believable that it pulls the readers under. So I’m a genre slut, I guesss. LOL

Is there one that you haven’t tried that you see yourself doing in the future?

Definitely. I’m curious about the way all subgenre operate, the structural elements that make them tick and get a reaction from their fans.

Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not?

Sure, I guess. If I found a story that needed a heterosexual couple at its center to tell the tale properly.

Thing is, I write for a living outside of M/M. In many ways, my time spent writing gay romance is like a vacation from the other writing I have to do: no producers, no suits, no actors begging and wheedling… just my characters and my pages spinning a yarn. I write plenty of hetero couples in my “gig” writing, so it would have to be an AMAZING story to hijack my vacation… but it could happen.

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

Argh. I hate that term. Yet another creepy pop-psych holdover from slash and yaoi. As I said above, I’ll never understand why anyone believes that women are genetically suited to emotion or men are genetically handicapped. The only thing I can’t abide is characters that aren’t believable because the author didn’t bother to specify them properly.

What most people would call a “castrated” man I’d just call crappy romance writing. Crappy romance writing is gender blind and gender stupid. Men ARE emotional and romantic sometimes. Women ARE cold and unfeeling sometimes. If the book I’m reading can’t make that happen in a believable way then the writing is crappy and the author needs to work harder to get it right.

I’ll tell you what really disturbs me… the endless parade of eerie misogynistic clichés in M/M written by and for women. Those female characters scare the bejesus outta me! L But again, I have a theory about that apparent misogyny discussed in an article on my website. I think that trend arises from gender tension that underlies the genre as a whole.

This goes back to my earlier comment about shitty writing. If we want our M/M to get better and for the genre to grow, we must encourage strong writing and stop cutting slack to the half-assery and clichés that hobble it.  Defending bad writing hurts the entire genre.

Your first published book?

Hot Head, published by Dreamspinner in June 2011.

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?

I couldn’t give a damn about realness, but as a writer you’d better make me believe or you aren’t doing your job. Art suspends disbelief. The belief is what matters. Art is by definition artificial! Like naturalism, “Reality” in fiction is just a dopey, misguided  attempt to remain safely believable because you’re too timid or unimaginative to strike out in fresh seas. I have no interest in either. Who seeks out bland beigeness? Here there be dragons! All the books, movies, plays, songs, art I love eschews mere reality for something extreme, bold, and inventive. Dragons not dragonflies. Bold choices made boldly.

Who are the authors that you look up to?

That’s a huge question and one I don’t know if I can answer briefly. Do you mean in general, or just within M/M? (n.b. These lists are totally inadequate and vehemently alphabetical)

In M/M romance I’d say James Buchanan, Heidi Cullinan, Ethan Day, Bonnie Dee, L.B. Gregg, Ginn Hale, Amy Lane, Z.A. Maxfield, M.L. Rhodes, Marie Sexton… In terms of more general fiction, we’re talking about Jane Austen, Mikhail Bulgakov, Dumas, Philip Jose Farmer, George MacDonald Fraser, Henry James, C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Dorothy Parker, Gore Vidal. For theatre, I’d point you to Congreve, Dürrenmatt, Egloff, Ludlam, Marivaux, Orton, Ruhl, and Shaw.

Those are folks I admire, but I don’t know if I’m answering your question properly. (?)

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

Totally grooving on Amor Prohibido by Ellis Carrington; I read an early draft of it and totally dug the meaty Central American mythology and the dark sexiness of the characters. In the meantime, she’s totally taken this book to the next level. Again, I love M/M that strikes out in unexpected directions and these fellas are way off the beaten path.

Also, Mary Calmes’ novel After the Sunset , (sequel to Timing, one of my desert island keepers). I love her voice so much, though the oft-sweet tone might make that seem unlikely. She has this tartness and grit under the honey-silk that I find so delicious and fresh. Oh the characters! Oh the pathos and bathos! Gorgeous.

And in nonfiction, I’ve been working my way through Romance and the Erotics of Property by Jan Cohn which turns out to be more clever and inventive than I expected from a lit-crit examination of “Mass-Market Fiction for Women.”  I love throwing exegetic logs on the fire because I know they affect (and inspire) future projects.

What are you working on now?

I’m just wrapping up the sprawling steampunk zipper ripper called Spring Eternal. This book grew from the tiniest seed into a delirious, fairytale adventure… all grease and gears and sexy skullduggery in the underbelly of Gilded Age New York.

I’ve been a fan of steampunk since Jeter’s Infernal Devices back in 1987, but I never dreamed I’d enjoy getting all neo-Victorian. Truth be told, I didn’t know this story WAS a steampunk novel until the characters made it damn clear and no mistake! J Inventing my alternate-timeline Manhattan and constructing the details (and devices) of the world have been uncommonly entertaining. Very different in feel than Hot Head or Grown Men, but definitely full-on Suede. LOL

When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

With all my writing, romance and otherwise, I’m a hardcore swatcher and collager. When I’m starting a project I will sit and gather images, music, research, statistics, slang, and more and lump it in a big glorious compost heap to ferment. Inevitably, my characters emerge as an amalgam of bits and bobs but distinct unto themselves. So it’s never just one (or even a few) elements forming the basis. A character gradually comes into focus with the slow accretion of details.

In practical terms, that means that my hero may have eyes from that photo and a hand from that statue, the shoulders from a dancer I saw in a YouTube clip, speech patterns from a magazine article published in 1989.  Then by the same process, I dress them, pick out the living space and furniture, and generally build out the specifics of the life. For primary characters the specifics can get nutty, but I think they need to be there. That probably seems like overkill, but I believe that’s why people always say my characters feel real and three-dimensional.

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

Extremely explicit. Readers tends to call my sex scenes raw or visceral or (my favorite) “eyelash-scorching.” As with any intense emotional scene, I’m trying to drag the reader as deeply into the emotional landscape and explicit description plays a key part in that. I write the kind of sex scenes I like to read. Euphemisms and platitudes put me to sleep… so I tend to get florid and funky. J

In my opinion, just sticking people together and smushing their genitals doesn’t equal sex. Any intercourse, verbal, emotional, and/or physical needs to be an action for characters or it is deadening your story. Erotic intimacy communicates powerful truths and experiences in the most intense physical framework. All intimacy needs to move the story forward and change the characters. That’s true of a brush of hands or a glance across a rainy street, but in sexual contact a thousand times more so. A million times more so. Sex can reinvent the world and transform people; in a romance it damn well better!

As a gay fiction writer, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?

No question. In the same way that e-publishing as a whole has become more robust and professional in the past three years, M/M has followed suit. Compare the cover art from five years ago to current offerings. Compare the design and functionality of the publisher’s websites. Compare the mounting professionalism of critique and promotion. Hell, GayRomLit just became the first gay romance convention in the history of the RWA and a massive success besides. All of these things indicate the health of the ecosystem as surely as frogs in a rainforest. Last summer, Andy Cohen literally promoted my novel Hot Head on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, briefly but adamantly. Astonishing. M/M’s landscape buckles and shifts under our feet; its impact will continue to expand and awareness ditto.

What is your opinion as to why publishers only want to group all manlove stories under erotica? Do you feel this is a hindrance to our genre?

The time-honored tradition of grouping LGBT topics around sexuality is an albatross  we get from Kraft-Ebbing and his idiotic pathologization of homosexuality. Since LGBT sex is what upsets the sheeple, that’s how the sheeple tend to categorize us.

In practical terms I think calling it erotica is a simple way to ghettoize the genre so that “normal” folks don’t stumble over it by accident. I’ve even seen Brokeback Mountain categorized as a romance (?!) and erotica (!!!!) as well; both of those are literally, factually, categorically stupid designations, but very convenient in terms of “rating” LGBT topics as being for NC-17 audiences. *eyeroll*  It keeps the punters “safe” from all the scary “queers.” ‘Cause  heaven knows there are no gay teenagers in the world that might have questions or anxieties or romantic aspirations.

Is it a hindrance? Of course, but niche publishing has much bigger fish to fry than shrugging off the mantle of porn. Hell, porn sells, and we’ve all seen some publishers play the erotica angle up to make sales.

For a long time general romance has struggled with the idiotic “porn for women” label in the popular consciousness… again sexuality that isn’t packaged for white heterosexual males, and therefore slightly suspect and disruptive. There’s a bigger conversation here about gender and eroticism, but too much for now I think.

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?

Yes and no. You’re asking two or three questions there. Should fiction be labeled accurately? Yes. I think mislabeling hurts consumer confidence and repeat custom. Is all gay fiction M/M? No obviously not, and lumping it all together makes a hash of all the relevant descriptors. Is it necessary (or even possible) to label everything with ruthless accuracy? Good luck, says me. One person’s gritty raunch is another person’s ho-hum snoozefest. What one publisher categorizes as incendiary wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at a Shriners’ convention.

In the absence of an ultimate arbiter, each publisher has to find language that brings the right readers to the best books. “Tricking” readers helps no one and harms confidence and custom. And we are, after all, an industry of articulation so naming things accurately should be a real concern... as M/M continues to evolve I think that impulse will start to gain traction, even if it initially cuts into sales. The business of publishing is the business of packaging, and misleading packaging pisses off the loyal consumers you want to attract and satisfy. 

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?

No. Generally nothing is gained by responding to anything but a direct question.
Important to note is that most “reviews” online are nothing of the kind. They are reactions or impressions, but they don’t present a structured critical response to a piece of work, and so they need to be taken with a grain of salt. I afford reviews the amount of time and energy they afford my work. If I can tell they slapped it together misspellings intact in five minutes, then I’m not going to consider for any longer than those five minutes; if the reviewer took the time to analyze and discuss the work substantively and mindfully, I’m going to pay it the same amount of attention.

So no, there’s no reason to use mislabeled “reviews” to discuss the merits of anything (your book or their reaction/qualifications). On the other hand, ACTUAL critical reviews quite often lead to fascinating conversations (away from the location of the review itself).
Now in the specific case of the writer you’re describing, her deranged response (to a generally positive review, to be clear) aligned perfectly with the deranged self-published book which she was defending. I think that her hysteria and unprofessionalism existed beforehand and the blog discussion just lanced an ugly boil. No adult who wished to be taken seriously would behave that way.

No author should waste time poking bears; go write the next book instead: a much better use of time and energy.

Do you think women being a good portion of the amount of gay fiction writers detracts from the genre? Be honest and why or why not?

I have to be frank here: I think this question is nonsensical and divisive. The “difference” between female and male writers exists because people insist that it does. In the same way that sexist assholes insist that women shouldn’t be paid the same wage for doing the same job. For centuries men and women have written characters with which they did not share a gender. I am a gay man raised by lesbians, the idea that anyone would point a finger at a woman’s gender as some kind of handicap or crutch enrages me. Ghettoizing female authors just creates another kind of closet, a more subtly vicious prejudice.

Though pop psychology would have it so, gender is not a species. No two women write men the same way any more than any two men. The inference is that ALL women are alike as much as ALL men are alike… and that within a genre predicated entirely on nontraditional relationships and gender expectations! The hell?! No one accuses Jane Austen of writing “castrated” men any more than people accuse Henry James of writing “shallow” women. The patriarchal notion that men “own” sexuality and women “own” emotion persis as a soft, seeping sore on the genre and its reception. This lamebrain criticism lingers from the early fanfiction roots and dodges the real questions of craft and competence.

You know what I believe the real issue is? Shitty writers versus competent professionals. Give me a shitty writer and nine times out of ten critiques will slop on whatever “accepted” criticism fits their genitals; if it’s a woman she writes emasculated heroes, if it’s a man, he writes emotionless porn, natch. Yeah right. Does anyone really believe that anyone or anything is that simplistic? It reeks of feeble imperialistic impulses to “own” experience by controlling the ways they are fictionalized. Are there weepy, hysterical unbelievable male characters in the genre? Of course. Are relationships between men oft-times unrealistic or sketchy? Yeah, obviously. I’ve seen them in books by men AND women. Those failures arise from shitty writing, not the tackle in anyone’s pants.

I wrote an article on my website about my dismay at the thinly masked sexism that leaks in at the margins of the M/M genre because of hacks and morons. Of course, bad writers mess things up, but not because they do or do not have a vagina. Such inanities have given us female authors masquerading as men for female readers. Lunacy! The irony of women in the closet about their gender while writing about gay romance is not lost on me, by the by. The tension stands to reason; women writing about gay male characters face fascinating challenges. But no one points at Ray Bradbury and scolds him for not being a Martian. No one wags a finger at JK Rowling because she isn’t a wizard.

And for some reason rather than addressing the real problem, lazy readers and critics keep trotting out this same wizened warhorse rather than turning a candid appraisal on the bad writing that make it necessary. Rather than slopping around the same old soundbite criticisms from long-ago fandom that no longer apply meaningfully, I wish folks would actually take a hard line with slack that they afford “guilty pleasure” reads that enshrine misogynistic clichés and half-baked male characters. THOSE do incredible damage to the genre from within and without. Those lame books deter a wider readership and collective progress. The only thing that detracts from writing in the M/M genre is laziness and sloppiness… and those have nothing to do with the giblets over and within anyone’s pelvis.

What is the major difference between male and female writers?

You mean aside from the patriarchal norms that are taught to them from the moment they’re born by nitwits who demand that we all conform to stereotypes of gender behavior? The only difference is that they have different chromosomal structure and different roles in the continuation of the species.

Gender is not a species. That’s a myth of mass-market pop psychology that persists out of habit. All women are not the same. All men are not the same. None of us are from Mars or from Venus until those behaviors are learned. We are not gingerbread people or the flat icons on airport toilet signs. Having a penis doesn’t make me a better or a worse writer. Rather, my life experience (including my gender) affects the way I articulate a story to the world. Again this reminds me of old eugenics arguments and “racialist” campaigns suggesting that certain heritages “can’t” be educated. I understand the genres love of rehashing certain arguments, but this old chestnut about women-writing-men  or men-writing-emotion needs to be rinsed clear with a high colonic.

I read a blog about gay fiction writer’s losing their imagination because they are writing the same subjects repeatedly, what are your thoughts? http//

Totally agree. Wave knows her stuff and called that squarely and fairly. And it’s because of fanfiction, which exists only to recycle and regurgitate existing charcters and tropes in an endless, uncritical feedback loop in 90% of its output.

Epublishing has existed in a kind of Wild West bubble for the past few years. Outlaws and claimstakers. Since M/M arose out of fan fiction there’s a lot of amateurish regurgitation and slackness that hangs on the genre like a dead weight.

Clichés are the death of everything worth having or knowing; they cripple our imaginations and they repel fresh readers who expect more from a genre that’s off the beaten path. I cannot fathom the kind of laziness and sloppiness that would convince anyone that stir-frying the same four chewing-gum ideas in an infinite loop was equivalent to actually, y’know, writing something. Defending and enshrining clichés is literally evil and erodes everything that is beautiful and good about the world.

Time for all of us to pull on our big-boy pants and do our job properly. Publishing is mutating as I type this. In case anyone hasn’t been paying attention, New York publishing has finally taken notice of the money to be made in e-fiction. The Kindle and its fellows are crushing print as the medium of choice and with economics and speed overwhelmingly on their side. Big guns have begun trundling in our direction, inexorably and inevitably. Any authors who think grinding out a half-assed fan-fic at a breakneck pace will meet unfettered profits and praise will be in for a rude awakening. Every entertainment genre supports a strata of hacks who “borrow” other people’s ideas because they don’t have any of their own. There’s always a market for hackwork, but bottom feeders aren’t called that for nothing.

Our reach MUST exceed our grasp. We need to hold ourselves to impossible standards. I believe M/M deserves a place at the table. I think our genre is changing the world one mind at a time. I think we should deserve the praise we seek to win.

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

In the simplest terms, I’m a gay man and I love romance. Fair enough. Too much LGBT narrative for the past (ohhhhh, say) 2000 years has concerned itself with unhappy outcomes and the catastrophic pressures faced by people who love differently. I remember being a young gay man desperate to find positive LGBT stories that felt hopeful and constructive. I wanted to know that “it gets better” and much of the fiction in the early 1980s had other fish to fry.

The chance to write about gay men finding love and an ending they deserve seems like heaven to me. I think romance impacts public consciousness much more than people realize; academics who have argued that case very persuasively. Moreover, because I wrote so much in my other life at the pleasure of others, much of my creative work can feel more than a little UN-creative. Since I started working in the genre, M/M has turned out to be a wild, liberating experience which gave my Muse oceans of time and room to roam. She is so kind to me that I can deny her nothing! J

Riptide specific questions

Tell me what made you decide to hop on board with this brand new publisher?

I respect Aleks, Rachel, and Chris for their vision and professionalism. All three draw on tremendous experience in publishing and marketing, both in genre fiction and elsewhere.

I love working with Dreamspinner, but some of my projects didn’t “feel” like a fit for their brand and I didn’t want those books to languish. And from a purely professional perspective, I want to cultivate relationships across the genre. Part of the challenge for authors is to find good fits, both for what they write now, and what they think they might write in years to come so that we can grow together in synergy. Riptide came at the exactly right moment with a robust business model that approached the challenge of e-publishing in a fresh, focused way. That seemed deeply sexy to me and appealed to my professional instincts. Additionally, I think M/M is facing a sea change. In the past couple years, the publishers who dominate M/M have begun to form rough brand identities, and that trend will continue and specialize as the market expands. Fundamentally, Riptide has marked out territory that I’m interested in exploring as a writer (and a reader, to be frank!).

What is your release that you have coming out with them?

My first book from Riptide is Grown Men, a sci-fi novella about love, terraforming, and eels (!) at the edge of nowhere. The book is the second “transmission” from my HardCell Universe which imagines a point in the future when massive corporations have scattered human civilization across planets and breed employees who must earn citizenship by indentured contract. Grown Men tells the story of a solitary farmer marooned in the middle of an alien ocean forced to partner with a mute genetically-enhanced giant who may have come to retire him with a submachete. Sweet, sexy paranoia throughout and a little kinkier than my other books. LOL With two guys who literally cannot fit together, intimacy present some real challenges. J

In your opinion, what is the difference between Riptide and any other publisher that has just started?

Experience and ruthless attention to the exigencies of the industry. Alex, Rachel, and Chris formulated Riptide using lessons learned at their other publishers. It isn’t a vanity project, it isn’t a hobby, and its entire mission statement is focused on Manhattan-based mass-market publishing as a model. Because Aleks and Rachel earn their bread and butter in commercial publishing AS editors, their focus on quality control and precision is palpable. So they aren’t looking to be “another” epublisher, Out of the gate they intend to brand themselves as something leaner, meaner, and cleaner… aka NOT your garden-variety venture. Plus, all boats rise together. The Riptide aims extremely high and if they can manage a third of their goals in the first year the results will be astonishing both for themselves and for the genre as a whole.

Where do you see the publisher in the next 5 to 10 years?

Oof. Eesh. I dunno. So hard to answer that because what they’re doing isn’t exactly the norm and publishing as a whole will look very different in five years.

I think they’ll have marked off a clear turf in the industry and a brand identified with a high degree of rigor and risk. Likewise, they handle a lot of the nuts-n-bolts things like promotion, epiracy combat, and market expansion,,, which in turn will draw writers primarily interested telling a great story who want the security of an editorial team that knows their voices. They’re never going to be a fluff-mill, but with their faith in the editorial process and their dedication to nurturing individual voices they respect, I can see them developing a cadre of writers who produce popular longform serials on a calendar like 19th century novelists. That kind of large scale enterprise requires fierce editorial oversight, but the results can be magical. Of course, I’m pulling that completely out of my ass, but you asked the question! LOL Riptide is interested in stretching beyond M/M into more general LGBT fiction.  Ask me again in a year when I have more data and context, and I’ll have a different answer. J

Fun questions pick at least 3

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

I don’t believe there’s a cookie-cutter answer for that question. Show business is a cutthroat business that uses and discards talent like toilet paper. I’ve worked in entertainment for 20+ years and any actor managing to survive (let alone thrive) in entertainment faces uphill struggles that would drive most people to suicide. I have many “famous” friends who have come out as performers with wonderful responses, and others for whom the decision has ended their careers. People have a right to earn a living. What they do or do not do in their love lives is their own business. For the record, tabloid revelations are not truth but a product; ALL of celebrity culture is scripted and manufactured because it makes money. The revolting reality tv obsession with sniffing celebrity underpants and whipping anything and everything into a scandalous meringue to sell tabloids speaks to our culture’s dearth of imagination and NOT to any urgent need for public disclosure.

The toothpaste is not gonna go back into the tube. People will come out and have come out as the zeitgeist has shifted. “It Gets Better.” That shift will continue. But before I’d hold a gun to anyone’s head and demand they announce publically who and how they enjoy sexytimes, I’d suggest that media pundits who seek same should be legally required to have cameras installed in every room of their house so that their own masturbation, excretion, gaffes, and emotional privacy can be violated for similar lengths of time. As soon as Katie Couric and Geraldo Rivera have webcams installed in their bedrooms and bathrooms, I’m ready to honor their “need” to get at “the truth” by flaying people alive for a buck.

Have you attended a pride parade? If so, were you inspired when doing so?

I was raised by a very out lesbian during the post-Stonewall, ERA-era so I have been going to gay pride marches since I was about four. I’ll be frank, I love what the Pride marches accomplished I the first 30 years of their existence, but I’m not completely convinced that parades serve the same purpose these days. That’s especially true in the biggest cities. When Bacardi and Bud Light are paying for floats, when prime time tv shows use them to win audiences, when tourists are lining up to ogle the strippers and wave rainbow flags they bought at K-mart, I feel like corporate culture has encroached too deeply on the event for it to be authentic.

The moment that marketers identified LGBT people as a discrete income pool and began targeting us in advertisement and promotion, the nature of Pride parades changed. The thing is, gay people march in New York and San Francisco so that CNN can broadcast those events in Tulsa and Boise. The marching has become a symbol and the meaning of the symbol varies by region. I still love the ethos of them, and the irreverence of them… but truly, having gone to them for most of my life on the planet, I can imagine a day when they are pointless. What will make me proudest is to get to a point when being gay doesn’t mean we operate as a ghetto culture, which we have and MUST at the moment. As history teaches us, living in a shtetl changes a community and not always in productive ways.

Anyone who hasn’t been to a Pride parade, I’d urge them to do so and to look under the slickness for the authentic heart beating beneath because that spirit is precious and persistent. THAT’S something to be proud of.

I can be found online at:
§  Google+

Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to M/M, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at

Day One Contest - Damon
- First Wave Winner’s Choice: Pick any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant (“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles).

Thanks for the fab answers Damon!


Debby said...

This is one of the best interviews I have read. I really enjoyed it. Thanks so much for introducing me to someone new to me.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Angel Martinez said...

Yes, I read this a second time, now that I have time :)

"You know what I believe the real issue is? Shitty writers versus competent professionals."

Thank you, Damon. It had to be said.

booklover0226 said...

Great interview; I really enjoyed reading it. It was entertaining and informative.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

She said...

Very interesting interview. I liked your perspective on fanfic vs professionalism in writing. I had never thought of it. Writing is a business/career and should be treated like one. Thanks for your comments.

joder said...

Great interview as usual Damon. You've chosen a great group of authors to enjoy with many of them being my favorites too. I like your term zipper ripper and will now add it to my vocabulary. Love the sound of Grown Men and have it on my wishlist.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Bookwyrm369 said...

Very thought-provoking interview! Thanks for sharing :-)

smaccall AT

Sarah said...

Love the brutal honesty of your interviews... No punches pull :-D

Sarah S


Aija said...

One of the best interviews I have read.
Thank you!

japoki at inbox dot lv

Adara said...

Thanks for the great interview, again!

adara adaraohare com

-Maria- said...

Really great interview. I love your interviews!