I'm very happy to have Melanie Tushmore on the blog today with a fun interview. I find her engaging! Please enjoy this little sitdown.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was 14.
What is your favorite subgenre to write?
I like YA, Horror, Contemporary, Fantasy, and anything that features alt subculture.
Would you ever write a hetero romance? Why or why not?
I've promised my male friends I would! It's on the back burner.
What is your opinion on the “chicks with dicks” analogy? In your opinion, is it wrong for your males to be emotional or romantic?
Surely that depends on the story, or the writer and their style? There's a fan for everything! Personally, I've always loved the bad boy with an attitude.
Your first published book?
'The Price of Falling.'
Who are the authors that you look up to?
Poppy Z Brite will always be my favourite. Influences on my writing include authors not in 'this' field, like Mark Manning aka Zodiac Mindwarp.
What books are you reading at the moment? Its okay to give a fellow author a plug!
As well as my huge to-read pile, I'm lucky to be getting a sneaky peek at Kay Berrisford's new work which is all about old English folklore, full of gorgeous men and cheeky fairies!
What are you working on now?
The Crucifox series about a (fictional) goth rock band.
When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
I have characters that I think are hot and I'll base them on pictures or even hotties I know/have met, and I have characters that are based on my larger-than-life friends. I'm enjoying giving them cameos.
If you write gay romance or erotica, just how descriptive are you in their sex scenes?
I usually write first person and this will dictate how 'full on' the hump scenes are. In The Price of Falling the character Mike is shy and reserved, so the love scenes are what I'd call tentative. In my other stories it's been a lot of fun to go 'full throttle', as it were.
As a gay fiction writer, do you feel that the trend is changing where it is becoming more mainstream?
I've only just discovered this online world recently, earlier this year after my book was first released. I didn't even know such a genre existed nor all the little tags that come with it. Would mainstream mean more books in bookshops so I can buy my favourite books in print? More things like merchandise and conventions I can attend, as a fan and as a writer? Bring it on.
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?
Sabotage?! Is it honestly that dramatic? I want to read this now!
How would I handle it? Oh I'd send them a Ninja-gram. (That's a joke!)
It's a shame about negative reviews, but everyone will get them as all people like different things! Which is good, otherwise we'd all be dull and boring!
Personally I don't think responding directly to one person/ one review will ever turn out well. Why argue with someone you've never met? I remember this hilarious moment when my ex got into a row on a music forum with some other guy (as men do) and he took great pleasure in verbally beating this adversary into the virtual ground. Then my ex found out the other person was actually a fourteen year old boy. Obviously he felt a bit silly. (Especially when I laughed at him.) In regards to reviews as a whole, I don't see the problem in responding to points raised over time. Which is exactly what I have done on my website! It's proved very popular, as my number of hits has gone through the roof!
My sense of humour is very dry, which maybe some people don't get, but everything I say on the internet is with tongue firmly in cheek and a truckload of salt. And a partridge in a pear tree.
What is it about gay fiction and or romance that pleasures you to write it?
I like hot guys! I also like playing god with my characters (insert evil laugh).
Fun questions pick at least 3
Your favorite gay tv show or movie?
Queer as Folk was amazing. The British version!
Favorite character in one of your books?
Jason Reilly from The Price of Falling, as he gets a lot of flack for being 'mean' but I love him. He's beautiful, snarky and difficult to please.
The character you identify with?
The bitchy ones!
Have you attended a pride parade? If so, were you inspired when doing so?
I've done events for Pride. I think the most memorable year was when we hosted a cabaret show; some awful performer stripped off butt naked onstage even when I'd told him not to, as you need a special license for that! I had to wrestle a drunk reveler off the stage during his performance whilst dressed in my showgirl outfit, although in hindsight I should have let the reveler carry on as it would've improved the terrible performance. And finally when my friend Simon was introduced by the compere with, 'Simon loves musical theatre!' Simon mumbled to us backstage, 'No, I don't, I bloody hate it. I like death metal.'
Free reads and more at www.melanietushmore.co.uk
Melanie's blog, http://cocktalesandhotsauce.blogspot.com
Melanie's music blog, more on the music from her stories, http://behindthemusicwithmelanie.wordpress.com
'The Price of Falling' to buy link, http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Price-of-Falling-ebook/dp/B004USLNYU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1319817563&sr=1-1
What excerpt are you using today, Melanie?
It's from 'The Price of Falling' which is my first book, published earlier this year and just re-released with Two Pistols. It's written from the point of view of Mike, a rather shy and naïve seventeen year old jock who falls for the bad boy in his class, Jason.
Not entirely innocent himself, Mike is interested in Jason doubles when he finds out Jason performs 'favours' for money. To set the scene, Mike has persuaded Jason to 'see him' tonight and has already given him the money. At Jason's request, they drive out to their town's cliffs, in the woods.
I loved writing this scene, as Mike really hasn't got a clue what to do and is simply following Jason around, who is a little drunk and clearly having fun by teasing Mike. The atmosphere of the woods in the dark is one of my favourites, and comes from an old horror story I read a long time ago.
What I love most about this scene is how it shows the two characters as they are on the surface; Mike's clueless nice-guy reacting to Jason's carefree trouble-maker. Then we see a glimpse into Jason's inner character when, at Mike's attempts to control him, he reveals a secret, trying to give the clueless jock a hint at how to get by in life. Mike's stubbornness to accept this advice has Jason snapping right back into his snide teasing mode, which Mike just can't handle at this stage.
It's one of my favourite conversations between the two of them.
Excerpt for use from 'The Price of Falling' by Melanie Tushmore
When I looked up Jason was standing at the very edge of the rock, watching me.
“You crack me up,” he said as I neared him. “Relax, its fine.” To make his point, he stamped his foot a couple of times on the ground, dust rising up under the impact.
I tensed. “Please don't do that,” I asked, holding my hands out. If I was nearer I'd have throttled him. Jason laughed, then turned his attention to the view below.
“See that rock down there?” He pointed out.
I wasn't quite near enough to see down. I didn't want to get any nearer for fear of putting too much weight on the edge.
“Which rock?” I asked warily, hoping he didn't want to climb down or anything.
“Down there,” he repeated, raising the beer bottle up. The moonlight caught the glass and flashed along its length. It distracted me for a moment before I realized what he was doing.
“Twenty bucks says I can hit it.”
It was too late, Jason hurled the bottle down the cliff. I heard a small blow of air catch inside as it sailed overhead before smashing somewhere down below.
“Ah forget it, it was nowhere near,” he said, sounding disappointed.
“Don't do that!” I hissed, hands waving with frustration. I was relieved he didn't have any more bottles to throw.
Jason frowned at me. “What? What's your problem?”
“Just...don't do it!” I pleaded.
“Or what?” he countered.
“If you're gonna go telling me what to do, jock, you better have a damn good reason why I should listen.”
I opened my mouth but wasn't sure what to argue with. I didn't know why we were arguing anyway. “You can't go throwing glass everywhere,” I finally managed to reply.
“Everyone!” I said, feeling ridiculous.
My lame answer was met with another snicker from Jason. I saw his hands go to the pockets on his jeans, searching. Then thankfully he came away from the edge and walked back towards the barrier. I was hoping we would leave the cliff edge now, but Jason hopped up onto the barrier to sit as he looked through the pockets on his jacket.
Walking up to him I watched as he pulled out a packet of cigarettes and a lighter. I had to wait as he lit one and started to smoke it. He didn't look like he was ready to move.
“Let me tell you something, jock,” he said, blowing out smoke which was whipped away by the night air. “Life lesson number one, if you want someone to do something for you, you'd better have something they want that you can use. Otherwise no-one's gonna pay any attention. Nice guys finish last, right?”
I studied his face in the moonlight. He seemed sincere for once but I was confused by his words.
“I get by just fine,” I said.
“Oh really?” The corners of Jason's mouth crept up. “And how are you getting on right now?”
I didn't answer straight away. His question made my heart begin to thump and my skin feel hot. “OK,” I answered, hyper aware that he was playing with me.
Jason sucked on the cigarette, its ember glowing in the dark. “So,” he said, blowing out the smoke. “Who would you say has the upper hand then?”
“Me,” I stated, determined to show I was more in control than I felt. “I have the car.”
He smiled and nodded his head as if considering. “You do have the car. So how does that help you?”
“I could drive off and leave you here,” I warned.
Jason's smile turned into a smirk. “You could,” he challenged. “But we both know that you won't.”
“How do you know?” I said, indignant that he could read me like a book.
“Because you haven't had what you want yet.”
His words set me alight, but with both desire and frustration. I silently began to fume as he sat there gazing back at me with a confident smirk, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Thank you!! :)