I’m in Southern Star

I was very excited to find out I was in Southern Star Magazine this past week. I’m on page nine and talking a bit about writing and The Secret of Talmor Manor, funnily enough.

You can read the entire issue online here, or you can just click the image below to read the whole thing!

Matthew Lang Interview in Southern Star Magazine

Get into Genre: Romance

It’s officially been organised and given a title and everything! Want to get into the writing game? Come check out the genre panels at the Emerging Writers’ Festival.  I don’t know the details of all of them, but I can tell you about this one, because I’m on it!

Writing genre fiction? Get into Genre is an opportunity to talk to writers and professionals from romance, young adult, speculative fiction and crime fiction backgrounds about how they got started in their field and the challenges and opportunities of their writing forms. All sessions are interactive, so you can ask the questions you want answers to.

6pm-7pm, Wednesday 1 June
Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Appearing on the panel are:
Haylee Kerans (of Harlequin Australia)
Matthew Lang
Stephanie Laurens
Meredith Tucker-Evans (Host)

So…yeah. That’s the rest of the panel and hope to see some of you there!

Apple Update–learnings, findings and news

So on the 22nd of March, Apple quietly pulled the Exodus International ‘gay cure’ app from its App Store. This means that Apple pulled the app 5 weeks after it was initially made available (on the 15th of February) and about one week after the app sparked major controversy, leading to a 150,000 strong petition against it at change.org.

Over the course of many online and offline conversations I’ve had with people around the issue a number of things have come to my attention which I feel should probably be shared. Firstly, and most importantly, Apple was not making any money off the Exodus App, which was a free app and contained no in app purchase/donation options. This suggests that either approving the app was an unintentional mistake or an attempt to pander to the conservative (well, fundamentalist) Christian market.

If the latter is the case, I can understand (but do not like) the idea that it makes ‘business’ sense to attempt to court two diametrically opposed markets if that is possible. I also see nothing intrinsically wrong with doing so, assuming that such service (in terms of selling to and customer service) can be done ethically. My issues really come to the fore when one group attacks another and a corporation bills that as being acceptable (or inoffensive) on the basis of trying to maintain a relationship with the group doing the attacks. I should also note that one of the main reasons I object to Exodus is that their arguments are based on misinformation and the twisting of scientific knowledge to the point where the authors of that knowledge object to them doing so. If a gay person made an informed decision, based on factually accurate information, that he or she wanted to go through a ‘gay conversion’ program, religious based or not, I wouldn’t like it, but if there was no duress and the information considered was all appropriately represented by all sides, I would have to respect their decision to try.

This leads on to the first option of this possibly being a mistake. To date there has been no statement or apology from Apple addressing the app or the removal of the app (if you have seen one or see one later, please let me know), and if was a mistake, I would have to ask what Apple plans to do about the fact that its ‘mistake’ led to the dissemination of misinformation deliberately created to lead people into a dangerous, unregulated program run by amateurs and unlicensed individuals. Given the known danger such misinformation can have on vulnerable individuals, I still don’t see that just saying ‘sorry’ is enough. If a weak apology is all Apple can muster (assuming one comes) then I don’t see how its actions as a corporation are anything more than an exploitative attempt to court the gay market for its business where convenient but refusing to take action where its actions could be endangering the people it happily takes money off. This is what, for me, would make inaction now speak more than it’s support of gay marriage in California in 2009, although not every person (gay or not) will make that distinction. Supporting gay marriage is a rallying cry, it’s good positive publicity (assuming it doesn’t stop the Christians buying Apple’s products). Helping those suffering through depression and identity issues, is probably even more worthy, but it’s not a positive, uplifting, anthem and it would also risk drawing attention to Apple’s mistakes (something it has been consistently avoiding), as well as raising the ire of the fundamentalist Christian groups.

From a cynical marketing perspective, the fundamentalist Christians tend to be more organised than the gay community, largely because they have a hierarchical leadership structure and they tend to follow orders. The gay community is a disparate group of people who tend to not have leaders or follow orders. If I was making a bet on reactions, I would bet it’s easier to offend the gay community and get away with it (in terms of them still buying your product) then offending the fundamentalist Christian leaders. It is primarily for this reason that I don’t believe it likely that Apple will do anything more than a low key apology for their ‘mistake’. A large proportion of the press are hailing the removal of the app with ‘Thank you Apple’ and ‘you’ve done the right thing’ which to me is missing the point. That’s just saying ‘well, we’ll stop doing something bad, but we won’t do anything about the impact our actions will have had’. And it’s true that it would be difficult or even impossible to define the scope of Apple’s direct impact, or even for Apple to find and help those it will have exposed to harm, but using that as an excuse to not to anything is wrong. Even addressing the issue for those currently at risk is something I would consider to indicate genuine consideration and remorse for Apple’s actions. A plain apology at this point, would read as the path of best marketing policy to keep the status quo alive.

In other news, Apple is suing Amazon.com over trademark infringement. To wit, it’s new Amazon App Store.

banQuet 2012 call for submissions

banquetPressbanQuet 2012: A feast of new writing and art by Australian Queer Women & banQuet 2012: A feast of new writing and art by Australian Queer Men

The anthologies showcase a broad range of innovative, engaging quality writings and art by emerging and established queer writers/artists about LGBTIQ sex and sexualities.

Challenge and surprise us. Introduce us to your complex and flawed queer protagonists and antagonists. Take us for a ride on the seamy side of LGBTIQ lives! We’d love to look at writings and art about queers falling in and out of bed or love!

banQuetpress supports community diversity.

Submission Guidelines

banQuetpress will only accept original, previously unpublished material. Please do not submit material that is being concurrently considered elsewhere.
Maximum of three pieces per author/artist.

Submission Deadline: Friday, 3 June 2011

Word Length: up to 5000 words
Art / Graphics / Images: one or a few cells/photos/images

Short Fiction Guidelines

  • Well-crafted, well-written engaging short fiction – short stories, flash-fiction, etc.
  • A range of genres, erotica preferred for 2012 edition
  • Scenarios and themes primarily focussed on LGBTIQ lives

Non-Fiction Guidelines

  • Well-crafted, well-written and accurately researched short non-fiction
  • Ideas, issues and information primarily focussed on LGBTIQ erotica, sexualities
  • Reviews and academic essays not accepted

Comic Art / Graphics / Photography Guidelines

  • Comic art – One or a few cells/photos
  • Scenarios, issues and themes primarily focussed on LGBTIQ erotica, sexualities
  • Material that can be effectively reproduced/published in B/W
  • Resolution quality at least 300dpi

Style / Formatting Guideline

  • Submit a “clean” manuscript – that is, a manuscript that has been edited for accuracy and clarity in communication, as well as proof-read for typos. (Works accepted for publication will undergo a full editing and proof-reading process; however, your submission must demonstrate your professionalism as a writer/artist).
  • Cover sheet with your legal name (essential), pen name (if applicable), title and word count on it only
  • Name must not appear anywhere on manuscript and artwork (only on cover)
  • MS Word document
  • JPEG document for graphics
  • Document Filename should include title of the work
  • Standard 12 point Arial font
  • Double spacing
  • Numbered pages

Cover Sheet – Author / Artist Details

Please include a cover sheet with the following information:

  • Legal name (essential) and pen name (if applicable)
  • Contact details: address, phone, email
  • An author/artist biography paragraph (up to 150 words)
  • A declaration of originality/authenticity (one per submission). For example: ‘My short story [title] is original work produced by me [name] and has not been previously published and is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Signed, [type in your name].’

Submission Contact Details / Receipt / Notification

  • Electronic submissions only by email as an attachment to: admin@banquetpress.com
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of your submission will be by email
  • You will be notified by late July concerning the status of your submission

Copyright

  • Copyright will remain with you, the author/artist
  • Once the work has been published in banQuet, you are free to reprint it elsewhere
  • Please acknowledge that the work was first published in banQuet in any subsequent reprint of the particular work.

Acknowledgement / Payment

At this stage, banQuet is unable to pay you, but offers:

  • One complementary copy of the publication
  • Inclusion of author/artist paragraph biog (including contact details if you wish) in ‘About the Contributors’ section
  • An invitation to the publication launch – writer’s and reader’s event
  • Promotion of the anthology
  • Invitations to participate in spoken word performances held by banQuetpress

banQuet online

Reasons I don’t like Apple #642

All right, I haven’t really gone through and numbered my reasons for disliking Apple or Apple’s products, but I’ve never made any bones about not liking Apple’s products or companies, for reasons ranging from a lack of hardware customisation options in their desktop PCs to their incredibly high price points, to their attempts to retain customers by implementing technological barriers. Now there’s a new reason: they’re perfectly willing to support homophobia and homosexual ‘reprogramming’.

Article reproduced below:

Apple ‘gay-cure’ app severely slapped

Jobs forced to choose between Christian chums and gay BFF

By Jane Fae Ozimek 18th March

Apple is today accused of anti-gay discrimination, following the release of an iPhone app that aims to help people find “freedom from homosexuality”.

A petition has been launched by Truth Wins Out, which describes itself as a non-profit organisation that fights anti-gay religious extremism on the change.org website, asking Steve Jobs to intervene to remove the app. The app is the work of the Exodus International ministry.

In a letter which those supporting their petition sign up to receive, they write: “Apple has long been a friend of the LGBT community, opposing California’s Proposition 8, removing the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration iPhone app, and earning a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

“I am shocked that this same company has given the green light to an app from a notoriously anti-gay organization like Exodus International that uses scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients, endorses the use of so-called ‘reparative therapy’ to ‘change’ the sexual orientation of their clients.”

According to TWO, “reparative therapy” has been roundly condemned by every major professional medical organisation. The petition launched last week and has already attracted some 17,000 signatures: however, as word of the app spreads, the rate at which individuals are signing up appears to be snowballing.

Exodus International claims to be “the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality”. On its site, Exodus states that it “upholds heterosexuality as God’s creative intent for humanity, and subsequently views homosexual expression as outside of God’s will”.

Their new smartphone app was released last week and is “now available through iTunes”. According to Exodus, this app has received a 4+ rating from Apple and “applications in this category contain no objectionable material”. They conclude: “This application is designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.”

TWO are unimpressed. Describing the app as “unacceptable”, and requesting its immediate removal, they warn Apple: “Your company would never allow a racist or anti-Semitic app to be sold in the iTunes store, and for good reason. Apple’s approval of the anti-gay Exodus International app represents a double standard for the LGBT community with potentially devastating consequences for our youth.”

We have asked Apple whether it intends to take any action in respect of this app, but so far have received no response.

Unfortunately for Apple, it may shortly have to chose between offending its Christian base and its gay base. Both have significant spending power, and we suspect this is an issue it would rather just went away.

However, when faced with a similar issue last November, after an app was created around the Manhattan Declaration which is hostile to gay marriage, Apple came down on the side of gay rights and removed the app.

~*~

So what does this history tell us? It suggests to me that Apple as a corporation either believes that homosexuality is a curable disease, or they’re perfectly okay with allowing people to treat it as such if it turns them a quick buck selling apps. Jane Ozimek notes that Apple has two very powerful customer bases in the form of the GLBT community and the conservative Christian community (although the latter is something I find very surprising). Her article suggests that Apple has allowed anti-gay apps through in the past (whether by mistake or otherwise) before removing them. However, I find it very telling that the Exodus app received a rating of 4 from Apple itself, which indicates that in Apple’s view, the app contained no objectionable content.

This means that either someone who was authorised to speak on Apple’s behalf finds nothing objectionable about spreading homophobia and endorsing misinformation about homosexuality, or that Apple as a corporation is banking on the hope that they can take the app down soon, apologise, and in the meantime make money off sales of the app to it’s Christian customer base not caring about the negative social impact or consequences it’s money grabbing tactics can have on at risk individuals.

Either way, I am unimpressed. If it is the former, then I question how it is that Apple either has a corporate culture and set of values that endorses homophobia, or how Apple’s spokesperson guidelines were so insufficient as to allow an individual authorised spokesperson to make such a statement. If it is the latter, then I question the ethics of both Apple as a business, and the individual consumer in supporting such a business that clearly puts making a small profit above the sexual equality, anti-discrimination and corporate social responsibility.

It is entirely possible that Apple is banking on the fact that it can beg forgiveness continually while continuing to pursue either a homophobic agenda or supporting the homophobic agenda of others to make a quick buck in the window of opportunity between publishing an app, and apologising and pulling it down. Regardless of which option is reflective of the truth, I do not see Apple as a company worth supporting, or forgiving.

From this point forward I am officially boycotting Apple’s products. Not because I don’t approve of their pricing or don’t like their products. I am boycotting Apple because they are either homophobic or exploiting homophobia for profit–actually, I think exploiting homophobia for profit is the same thing as being homophobic. In the past I have said “I don’t like Apple’s products, but if they made something I was convinced was amazing, I’d buy it”. This is no longer the case. Until I am convinced that Apple will not support or attempt to profit off homophobia in any way, I will never buy any Apple product, no matter how amazing it may be.

I invite you to join me.

 

 

Launches, Festivals and Readings, Oh My!

There’s a new page on this website. It’s been a busy few days for me (no, Dragon Age 2 is still yet to arrive), but I’ve confirmed a book launch for The Secret of Talmor Manor, entered the People’s Choice Night of the Williamstown Literary Festival, and been invited to be a panelist at the Emerging Writers’ Festival for their Romance Genre panel.

I did a few other things too, but those are the most interesting ones. And as a result, I’ve added an events page to this site so they don’t get lost amongst the flurry of posting on this blog. Or the hopeful flurry of posting on this blog.

So without further ado, this is what I’m up to!

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AND POETRY NIGHT: WILLIAMSTOWN LITERARY FESTIVAL
For a bit of fun I’ve entered the Williamstown Literary Festival‘s People’s Choice and Poetry Night, which is an open mic style event for ten short works of poetry and prose, with the audience deciding the winner in each category, with prize money to the tune of $50-$100 each. If you’d like to come along and help me win, your support would be very much appreciated.
When: 7:00 PM Thursday 28 April,
Where: Pirates Tavern,
82 Nelson Parade
Williamstown

MC of the Poetry will be Mike Reynolds of Passionate Tongues. And the MC of the Prose will be notable story teller, Jackie Kerin, who was joint winner of the Ada Cambridge prize in 2009.

Tickets are $5.50 concession and $7.70 adult.

If you would like to enter click here.

Tickets for the event are available at the box office here.

BOOK LAUNCH: THE SECRET OF TALMOR MANOR
The Secret of Talmor Manor
The Secret of Talmor Manor will be launched on Friday the 20th of May at Hares & Hyenas

When: 7:00 PM Friday 20th May
Where: Hares & Hyenas
63 Johnston St.
Fitzroy, 3065

Please come down and join me to celebrate the publication of my book, have a drink, possibly listen to a reading, and I’ll be on hand for signings.

I’m also talking to some artist friends about possibly having some artwork auctions or similar for charity (most likely the equal love campaign). I’ll provide updates as details get finalised. There will be a bar open for the launch as well.

EMERGING WRITERS’ FESTIVAL: ROMANCE GENRE PANEL
I will be appearing as a panelist in the Emerging Writers’ Festival’s Romance Genre Panel.

When: 6:00 PM-7:00PM, Wednesday 1st of June
Where: Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000

Other Panelists:
Author Stephanie Laurens
+ A publishing representative from Mills & Boon

~*~

So don’t forget to pop those dates into your diary and watch this space for updates! I hope to see you at one (or several) of the events!

Matt

2011 Rainbow Awards: Call for Jury Members

2011 Rainbow Awards

Elisa is looking for approximately 50 people to be on the jury for the 2011 Rainbow Awards. At present the criteria are:

a) To be willing to read in 1 or more of the LGBT categories: Lesbian, Gay or/and Bisexual/Transgender
b) To be willing to read in 1 or more of the following genres: Coming of Age / Young Adult, Contemporary General Fiction, Contemporary Erotica, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Historical, Mystery / Thriller, Non Fiction, Paranormal / Horror and/or Sci-Fic / Futuristic
c) To be willing to read at least 5 books in 7 months–from May to November (inclusive).

– Judges will start to read books in May; reading period will finish in November (inclusive).
– Each judge will read a minimum of 5 books. Authors/Publishers/Editors will not read books in categories where a their own book is submitted.
– Each book will be judge using 4 different criteria: Plot Development, Setting Development, Characters Development and Writing Style. From 1 to 10 points for each criteria.
– Judges will receive only the ebooks they have to read. (PDF files)
– Judges will have to indicate what categories they are not comfortable to read.
– To be a judge, please contact Elisa; Authors/Publishers/Editors/Reviewers/Readers are welcomed, if Elisa doesn’t know you, please provide an introduction and some sort of reference for being eligible to judge a LGBT themed book.

If you are interested, please contact Elisa via the contact details at her livejournal. If you are an author, submission information is also available there.

The Secret of Talmor Manor out in Paperback at Amazon

The Secret of Talmor Manor--Art by DeannaIt’s finally out! The Secret of Talmor Manor is now available in paperback from Amazon.com! For those of you waiting for a physical copy to display on your bookshelves, you now can do so!

For everyone in Australia–shipping from Amazon is about $10, or so I’m told.

ChillOut! 2011

Chillout Guide CoverSo, I’m back from ChillOut!, having decided not to stay for the Monday festivities. It was a fun experience, although I’m not sure how much of it was really my thing. My boyfriend and I arrived on Friday, and due to a booking mess up (on my part) we only had one night’s worth of accommodation in Daylesford itself. Thankfully, one of our friends in Baccus Marsh came to the rescue and we bunked in with him for the Saturday and Sunday nights, which was good, otherwise we might have had to return after only one day there.

Had dinner at The Farmers Arms Hotel, which was good (if pricey). I ordered the venison as an entree and the pork neck as a main. Both were excellent, although the bread the cured venison was served on tasted a bit stale. It wasn’t soft, but it lacked the crisp crunch I think it was meant to have–it seemed as though it had been toasted and then left too long before serving it up, resulting in a rather unexciting texture. For his part, my boyfriend loved the vegetable parcel entree, but didn’t like the lentils that accompanied the pheasant main. Personally I did, I think he just doesn’t really like lentils.

Dayleford itself was a riot of rainbows. It seemed like every establishment had a rainbow flag up–even the ANZ bank (okay, admittedly they are a sponsor). You know something strange is going on when the banks are flying pride flags. All right, I get that ChillOut  is one of the Hepburn Shire’s biggest events, with an economic impact somewhere around the $30 million mark. I also would much prefer to be welcomed with pride flags than run out of town, but most of the flag flying seemed very commercial. It was ‘Hey, gay people, come shop here!!’, which admittedly is something I advocate as one of the best ways to improve tolerance, but part of me objected to the almost over the top gaudiness that the festival seemed to engender. I’m all for bring inclusive and encouraging gay people to shop at your establishment. But if you’re only going to fly the pride flag for 3 days a year, I’m probably going to ask what you do to support gay community the other 362 days. Frankly, a small, understated rainbow flag sticker in your window will do more to endear your business to me than jumping onboard the queer bandwagon for a 3 day festival. Of course, if you’re flying the pride flag all year round, then I may consider it something I wouldn’t necessarily do, but I will respect and fully support your business in doing so. Up to and including shopping there.

Just saying.

Anyway, a big thanks to everyone who turned up at Horvat’s Wine Bar on Saturday for the banQuet 2011 readings, and a very special thanks to Gabriel for opening the bar up to us (and for the drinks and pizzas–try the spicy lamb, it’s excellent), and to Carson and Dettori at banQuet Press for organising the event. It was fantastic to have another chance to read my work, promote my novel, and hear some of the stories from banQuet women 2011.

Sunday was carnival day, and I ran into some old friends I haven’t seen in years (literally) but we got rained out, which was unfortunate. Ended up back in Baccus Marsh where I made a roast chicken and fell asleep on my boyfriend’s lap before watching Bruno, Top Chef Masters and um… is it Park Street? Can’t remember–the trashy mag one (okay, I slept through most of it).

So would I go again? Maybe. It was a bit annoying to have to pay $20 to get into the Carnival, but the food was better than at Midsumma. Next time I just have to remember to bring a picnic blanket. And maybe a pop up tenty thing.

Q&A @ LoveRomances Cafe

So it was MLR Press author chat day at the LR Cafe yahoo group yesterday, and I thought I’d post the Q&A  here for you all to enjoy, or laugh at. Either one’s good really.

Please tell us about yourself. What got you interested in being an author?

Well, about ten years ago, I was living in Hong Kong–my dad got a job over there and moved the whole family–and I ended up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia because of Model United Nations. I honestly can’t even remember which country I was representing. Possibly Sudan, although I think that was the year before. Anyway, it was cool because the host family I stayed with was Australian–I’m an Aussie, by the way, hello from down under–and it turned out Simon and I both liked writing, Australian comedy (can’t wait for the festival) and Warhammer (okay, I’m a geek). Anyway, he introduced to an PBeM egroup called Imperial Secrets (IMS) that is now sadly defunct, but um… I got home to HK, was up at 2 AM in the morning and created a character to post with and discovered what I
wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Can you tell me a bit about your most recent/upcoming release?

My debut novel is called The Secret of Talmor Manor. It’s a modern paranormal mystery–although some people are classifying it as historical–the main conceit is that my main character, Jake, falls asleep and finds himself in a Victorian era manor inhabited by a number of ghosts–and then one of them (the hunky one) appears in Jake’s living room. Then it’s a case of, why is the ghost, Nathaniel, in the waking world? Why is Nathaniel corporeal? WTF is up with this sexual chemistry thing, who is trying to kill them, and what should he wear to the upcoming Halloween party? You know, all the important questions!

For any readers who may not have read any of your books, can you just give us a little sneak peak into world (i.e. the type of genre you write, type of stories you like to write…etc)?

So that would be every reader here, right? Um…well see, typically I write fantasy fiction, so this novel was a bit of a departure for me, and of course it’s the one that Laura and MLR went ‘Yes Please’ to. Um… I guess I like to write stories that are really less ‘romance’ stories than other stories that just happen to have a male/male romance built in to them as part of the overall plot. I tend to push myself to give characters real reactions, and I also like to be funny, which sometimes doesn’t work with the real reactions, so it usually comes down to finding the place where the story sits and forcing myself to stick to it. It usually works.

How much of yourself, if any, do you put into your characters?

That depends entirely on the character. Jake got a few of my pet peeves, but there’s bits of me in just about every character, even the antagonist(s). I find that my characters start off somewhere in me and then move rapidly into their own little world and space over the course of writing and drafting.

Is there a genre you haven’t done that you would like to explore in the future?

Science Fiction. I just don’t quite trust my technobabble skills enough to knuckle down and do it. Plus I have a number of fantasy stories I want to get done first.

If you could throw a party with any five people (living or dead) who would you pick and why?

1) My boyfriend, because it’s not really a party without him.

2) Carmel–you know, I don’t know her last name, but there’s this really nice lady from central Victoria (Australia) over on Goodreads who just offered to sponsor me into the Emerging Writers’ Festival, i.e. donate the author’s fee that would pave the way for me appearing in it. I don’t even know if that’s allowed, but I’d really like to meet her, because I’ve known her less than a week online and she offered me that much support.

NB: This does NOT mean I will be appearing in the Emerging Writers’ Festival, only that I have contacted them about the possibility of appearing and Carmel has contacted them about the possibility of sponsoring that appearance. If anything comes of this, I will let you know.

3) Whichever producer out there in existence would listen to and want to produce my musical theatre work, Son of the Son. Yep, I have written a full fledged musical which I’d like to get off the ground one of these years.

4) Kei–Kei is the other me. She’s a year younger than I am, absolutely nuts, and Japanese, and the only thing you really need to know is that it’s a bit like one person in two bodies–me and her. We get on like a house on fire. No wait, that’s just the smoke alarm from us cooking badly…

5) Smittens AKA Gollum AKA Smithy AKA Mark–a friend of mine who moved to the UK and can do perfect Lord of the Rings Gollum impersonations.

*Looks back over the list* Wow okay, so celebrity doesn’t really mean much to me. Go figure.

What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Well, I currently have a fighter fish, but I’m tempted go with Ferrets. I mean, you get to take a ferret for walkies, what’s not to love about that?

Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Oh yeah. I look strange in pictures. That’s why there aren’t many of me.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your Rs or dotting your Is with heart (or anything like that)?

I tend to write in all caps, although I’m not sure if that counts as strange or not?

Boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs? Or commando on a man? Why?

Boxerbriefs–trunks–for the mix of support with functionality and because I don’t like how boxers can twist around your legs. Plus, let’s be honest, I’m not likely to have biological kids anyway, so who cares about spermcount? Commando if I’m just lounging around the house–AKA writing–and not planning on going out anytime soon.

What is your strangest habit?

I have been known to sing and dance in public. And when I say public I mean…at random without thinking about it in the middle of the street.

Who are your literary heros and why?

Terry Pratchett (could Alzheimer’s please go find someone else to hassle?). The thing I love about Pratchett is that he takes something and critiques it while being amazing funny and he educates people while making them laugh. He’s one of the smartest writers I’ve ever read.

What would you tell aspiring young writers about the publishing business?

It’s a business. If you’re not willing to treat it as such, perhaps you ought to question if you really want to be in it.

As an author your job is to tell a compelling story that’s going to make people want to recommend your book to their friends–preferably to strangers in the street–and if you’re not committed to that you’re not going to produce your best work. Also, your editor is your friend, even–especially–when he or she is pointing out gaping plot holes in your baby. If you don’t have an editor or aren’t good at critiquing yourself, try to find a friend who is capable and
happy to give you their unbiased and unvarnished opinions.

One good piece of advice I remember seeing was ‘When you finish your draft, put it away and take it out maybe a month or so later, so the characters aren’t running around in your head, and then read it as if you really hate the person who wrote it’. Then see what edits you think should be made…

Tell us five random things about yourself.

1) I have done drag-well, played Angel in RENT, but that’s still drag.

2) I knit.

3) If anyone here is in Australia, I’ll be in Daylesford this weekend for ChillOut! giving a reading for banQuet Press. *plug plug*

4) I’m a gamer and I’m waiting for Dragon Age 2 to arrive in my mailbox

5) I like cheese.

What type of writer are you? The one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?

Yes?

From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?

Um, well technically 6 years, although if you go from the point where I decided it would be a published book, rather than me mucking around with storytelling, about 18 months?

When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?

Night owl. 2 AM in the morning is creative time.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?

Do you research. MLR Press was actually the first and only publisher I approached. I looked around at all the places I could find that published m/m writing, and MLR Press stood out for a number of reasons. First and foremost
they stated that they would take the time to read and respond (with feedback) to any manuscript sent to them, and they also published print and eBook copies concurrently, where most of the others were eBook only. I decided if I was going to get published, they were my preferred publisher, so I submitted to them and then went and had a nervous breakdown. Okay, just kidding on that last bit, but it was a scary experience for someone who had no idea what he was doing. It’s going to be scary. The entire journey of going from aspiring to published is frightening, but don’t let that stop you from doing it.

What book are you reading now?

I’m rereading Planescape Torment. And I think I should just dig out my copy of it again and play though it on the PC. The problem with me is I can read a book in a day, so I’m always running out of books.

~*~

And that’s it. I also posted an exclusive excerpt of The Secret of Talmor manor over on the LRC group–find it here if you want to have a peek!

Anyway, off to Daylesford today. See you all on the other side!