Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Guest Blogger: Author Sloan Parker

Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has.

Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

Interview with Sloan Parker

1.) Where do you get your ideas for new books? Is it from a carefully planned outline, a scene from a movie, a single idea?

My ideas come from a lot of places. Life mostly. Daydreaming, photos, people watching, my dreams, blogs, music, news stories, even a snippet of a conversation can send me off on a tangent into my own world. Once I have my mind set on the characters, the plot ideas really start to flow. I have a folder full of ideas (some several pages long, some only one sentence). I turn to these when I want to start dreaming of a new idea and new characters.
I do a lot of pre-planning and outlining before I start the first draft. Actually, my outline is more of a rough draft than an outline. I’d never let anyone read it, but it has the bulk of the story, and in some scenes includes detailed descriptions, actions, and dialogue.

2.) What is your favorite genre to read and write?

Within m/m I’ll read most any genre. Usually I check out the blurb and the excerpt first, and if those have sold me on the theme and author’s voice, then I’m game. I would say within m/m romance 80% of what I read is contemporaries, suspense, mystery, paranormal, and sc-fi. For non-m/m romance I usually read erotic contemporaries and romantic suspense.

So far I’ve written mostly erotic stories, either contemporaries or romantic suspense. I did write one vampire m/m which I may do something with someday. I was still learning a lot then and that manuscript has some major issues. I love the story and the characters, though, so I hope to revisit it at some point.

 3.) Do you think the popularity and availability of m/m romance will continue to climb?

I do. I hear all the time about romance readers who are reading their first m/m, wanting to read one, or are about to. I think many more romance readers are open to the idea of reading a gay romance (or will be after sampling one) than we are seeing reading in the genre today. It may just be a matter of opportunity to try something they are unfamiliar with. Maybe they’ll win a free book in a contest or receive a glowing recommendation from a friend. Even with the explosion within m/m in the past two years, I think we’ll see more even more in the next five years. Although it may become a more gentle incline at some point. 

If these readers try out some of the more quality stories, then I think most will be pleased and will continue to explore the genre. The availability of quality stories is the key, as is the case in any niche market. If readers are unhappy with the story, the characters, and the writing they will give up after a few tries and return to the kinds of books they had a more positive experience with. Luckily for the m/m romance reader, we have a plethora of talented authors and publishers producing quality work. I think the longer the m/m readers have been reading in the genre, the more demanding they are going to become. They’ll want quality work, competitive prices, attractive covers, and multiple formats for ebooks. 

4.) How do you deal with pronouns when writing m/m or m/m/m?

It’s kind of funny, I had less trouble with the pronouns when writing my m/m/m than I did when writing my m/m. Although the m/m/m was in first person so that one was mostly like writing an m/m when it came to the male pronouns. I’ve found the best approach is not to give it too much thought when I’m writing and revising. If I sit and stare at each sentence and over think it, I really mess myself up. When I’m doing my final polish, I’ll give the pronouns more thought. I focus on context rather than correct usage. The reader doesn’t want to be pulled out of the story to figure things out. If they can understand the pronoun in context, then for me, it’s fine. And having good critique partners can really help because they are reading the story fresh. Unclear pronouns will jump out for them a lot easier than for you. 

5.) What are you working on now and what can we expect from you in the future?

I have two novels currently in the works. Both are m/m erotic romances. One is a friends-to-lovers story titled HOME AGAIN. The other is a suspense for a secondary character from my first release MORE. That one is still untitled. I call it Kevin and Walter’s Story for now.

Thanks, Winona, for inviting me by your blog today. These were fun and interesting questions, and I had a great time answering them.

Best of luck with your blog and the upcoming release Choosing Love.


Patrice Kavanaugh said...

Thanks for the Q&A....and for the answer about those pesky pronouns. They can be challenging even when writing a non-m/m, in a scene featuring multiple characters, with more than one of each gender. I like your approach.

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Patrice! The pronouns are definitely a challenge for any author. I do find the intimate scenes give me some issues, but I've also had scenes with a father and son that were tricky. Then when you get a group in a room, more than one of each gender, it becomes a repetition of their names. It's easy to get lost in those details for hours during editing. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the interview!

Michael said...

Awesome Q&A I agree alot with what was said.

I also feel that as long as we as M/M authors give more interesting stories, the popularity will continue to grow.

Sharita L aka Michael M/Blmorticia/Rawiya

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Sharita! Appreciate you checking out the interview. I definitely think we have some amazing authors in the genre.

Tara Lain said...

Great interview. I'm writing M/M/M right now, and the pronouns are a challenge -- but fun. : )

Sloan Parker said...

Hi Tara! Thanks for checking out the post. Good luck with your m/m/m and all those pronouns. I can't remember if you said you were writing that in first or third, but either way those sex scenes get tricky (yet they are so worth it). Best of luck!

Penny Brandon said...

Great interview Sloan, I know what you mean about the pronouns. When I switched from writing m/f to m/m I had to think about whose hand might be on whose knee. When it's m/f you just have to say his/hers, but in m/m it becomes Jared's hand on Kyle's knee, not his hand on his knee especailly if you're in an intimate scene. But you know all this, just adding thoughts aloud.

Sloan Parker said...

Thanks, Penny! Appreciate you checking out the interview. The intimate scenes (and the action ones) are definitely where I notice the pronoun complexities the most.