Steve Berman sent a copy of the book Snapshots of Seduction to journalist, Gregg Shapiro. The book is a 32-page "photo essay with short story." The short story is by Gavin Atlas. The upshot is that I've now had an interview appear in OutSmart Magazine. Maybe I'm kidding myself, but now I feel way more famous.
[Wait. "More" famous? Can one be "more famous" even if starting at zero. Maybe? Alice from Alice in Wonderland would say no. You can't have more tea if you haven't been given any already. But wait again. I've received at least one fan e-mail. So I'm a tiny bit above zero. So there.]
Here is a link to the interview: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2014/07/hot-shot/ I do laugh easily, but I don't crack myself up every other minute as the interview would lead you to believe.
It's more important that I post this than worry about its eloquence. Since I've been struggling for thirty minutes already, I will stop wasting time. Alex Jeffers is in the hospital now after, I think, depression got the better of him.
He is a wonderful guy. Here is a link to help him if you can: https://www.crowdrise.com/helpalexjeffersgetbackonhisfeet/fundraiser/steveberman1
::hug for Alex::
::warmth and light for everyone::
In the past week, two people have asked me about my first book. Since I'm not my own best publicist, I'm re-posting my favorite review. It's from the Out Personals Magazine website. Unfortunately, people have told me they get a message when they go to that site saying it may not be safe. So, safe reading to you. :)
The Boy Can't Help It: Sensual Stories of Young Bottoms by Gavin Atlas by T. R. Moss
“Can't help it, the (boy) can't help it”…
The Girl Can't Help It, by Little Richard, was the theme song to blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield's best-known film. She’d wiggle her way down the street and the milkman’s bottles would overflow with cream, jets of champagne would pop out with corks flying, traffic would snarl and cars would get into fender-benders.
"The Boy Can’t Help It" is full of irresistible young bottoms who have exactly that effect on their dominant, uber-masculine, unrelentingly horny tops. These boys have the most perfect, round, welcoming rumps imaginable; they are frequently "easy bottoms” and sometimes reluctant ones, but most of them are college boys and athletes, sculpted and insatiable whether satisfying one cock at a time or an entire team all at once.
The stories are on the smutty side of the erotica spectrum. If this were filmed porn it'd be gonzo -- wall-to-wall sex with minimal plot or character. The exceptions are: the familiar, romantic stories of Blue Star Boy (seen in the previously reviewed "Surfer Boys") and Hercules to the Rescue (from "Hard Hats"). There are abundant gang bangs, willing bottoms, and previously unremarkable men who rise to the occasion by pulling out dominant desires to seduce and bang submissive boys.
A standout story is the inventive Slavery by Degree, about a young bottom who agrees to be a sex slave in order to pay off debt -- let's call it sci-fi indentured servitude. He’s locked into cages and beamed in and out of different men’s houses, his ass available to any client, and in a few flashes, travels all around the world every night. He gets fucked for hours by any number of men with mechanical assistance, as each machine is custom-fitted to have a face cage and a gag, all means to allow various forms of violation. There's a nod to John Preston's novels, too, as the main character has an ongoing favorite client who is kind to him and unimaginably wealthy, with a giant cock.
Picture all the college boys in Gossip Girl getting together for a gang bang and there you have Duel in the Sand, where older, wealthy law students take a younger college boy to a nude gay beach and have a hot, rough fight over the right to fuck him, taking turns with his ass along the way. “It's like Animal Planet,” an onlooker comments, which is quite true as the men smash each other out of the way. While the cocks in this story are of truly mammoth proportions, the story is far hotter than anything on basic cable.
In general, this anthology covers a great many archetypal top/bottom fantasies. Who wouldn't want a top who is always willing to fuck, or a bottom who can take an unending amount of pounding? The Only Bottom For a Thousand Miles is a great example, with a bottom who lives at an island resort as the best-known, hottest and only bottom around for miles, thereby getting all of the action possible.
Simple and Easy fulfills the fantasy of a man in uniform, as a young Marine straight out of a recruitment commercial is reluctant, but only until a just-rough-enough top comes along to turn him into the slutty bottom he knows he is.
The title story, The Boy Can't Help It, is a stellar combination of smut and romance. A young Arab student has a roommate with such an intoxicating, masculine body odor that he appears to compel all the men he meets to follow him home and fuck him. Of course, the student is curious about this power and asks his science professor, who can't help but investigate. The list of men who fuck his roommate (as he watches enchanted) becomes so long and convoluted that it could be a French farce. Of course the previously innocent Arab roommate succumbs, fucks his roommate in mutual ecstasy, and proves that scientifically, objectively, yes ‒ the roommate is irresistible.
The quality of Gavin Atlas' stories was already established in Hard Hats and Surfer Boys. This anthology proves his talent yet again. For a truly decadent array of easy bottoms and relentless tops, pick up The Boy Can’t Help It and find the beautiful boys and aggressive tops of your horniest dreams. Just keep an eye on any nearby champagne bottles, as you may be popping your cork in no time.
With references to Best Gay Romance 2014 and a bunch of very cool people.
Here you go: http://gaymediareviews.weebly.com/blog/the-full-ride-by-gavin-atlas5-star-review-interview-and-giveaway
Thanks to Paul Berry and Gay Media Reviews. :)
You're supposed to hear that in the voice of Marlon Brando saying "The horror...the horror" in his role as Colonel Kurtz.
The story I'm revising, "Threeway at the Western" is not a disaster. No, it's not. Really. But there is SO much to cut away. Whole paragraphs that entertain me, but don't elucidate character, develop conflict, or move the plot forward. I feel like a chef trying to make something palatable with whatever type of meat is the fattiest and yick-iest. Fatback, probably.
In it's original incarnation, it was a sad, literary story about naivete, obsession, and exploitation. I'm transforming it into a less sad story about seemingly delusional obsession that becomes reality to a degree. Instead of a rich closeted fat cat who is disgusting on the inside, the antagonist is now lonely, jealous, and full of self-doubt. But he's still a rich closeted fat cat.
The kid character (he's 22 or 23) needs more work. He is obsessed with casinos (both of them are) but he believes the way to get what he wants is through sex. His issue is dyslexia. (I use attention deficit in another story.) And it's a love triangle, so there's another character. AAAAAAAAAAGH.
If I alter the story, then actually, he's right. He does get what he wants through sex. No lesson learned I guess. Hmm, is that okay? Also, the focus is so much more on obsession and jealousy than arousal/erotic content. And right now I don't feel okay about that.
Okay, so the battle will continue tomorrow.
person: "Cockatiels can't really dance, you know? Only the large birds are smart enough."
Well, there's this...
In a word, awful. I'm usually good at resolutions, too. Here's what they were. I actually forgot about the very first one.
1) Write a novel. Does not have to be fantastic, just finished. No worrying about who would want it, who the audience is, or what pseudonym is most logical. Just brainstorm, outline, write, and, hopefully, revise.
(the first is separated to emphasize its alleged importance)
Okay, well, I worked on brainstorming a sci fi comedy called Jenny Goodheavens is Suddenly a Space Pirate. I brainstormed a travel mystery comedy called Voyage of the Darned and wrote a couple pages. I brainstormed a superhero comedy called The Misadventures of Bronze Sparrow. The first chapter was Bronze Sparrow Vs. The Lamp. Didn't write it.
I worked on a comedy called Taffy Triangle - Municipal Menace. I have about 80 pages.
I also edited some short stories and tried writing one. Then finished one in October.
2) Exercise more - not doing that bad, but consistency would be good (Did not happen)
3) Eat better - how? Maybe go back to that MyFitnessPal diet. I've kept off 20 pounds since 2010, but I'd like to lose 15 more. (I gained 20 pounds in 2013)
6) Take another class - John says I think better when I'm a student. - (that one happened)
7) focus on fewer interests and make more headway with them - writing, college matching, being a publicist - that's enough, right? This will be difficult. (as a matter of fact, too difficult)
8) Study more of a foreign language - improve my Spanish or work more on a different romance language, I guess. (nope)
So. 1 out of 8.
This year's resolutions
1. lose weight
2. Pretend I live in a hotel. I seem to be happier in clean, bright, cheerful hotel rooms, so I'm going to live in a hotel. I need some sort of scent marketing fragrance...and a Gideon bible with all the cool languages in the front...and to clean like mad.
I have a theory that perhaps I understand the change from "Yay, I'm so happy for you, Tom Daley" to "Um, well, I guess I'm still happy for you" when it was revealed the adorable Olympic diver's boyfriend is twenty years older. I'm not sure I do understand, and I definitely did not have these insights until my work was published and discovered it was rarely considered good romance when that was what I'd attempted.
For this post, let's say the object of writing romance is to portray an everlasting end to the pain of loneliness. Here we go:
Gavin Atlas' Less Than Official Classifications of Gay Romantic Archetypes:
1. Modified Zeus-Ganymede -- I'm calling it modified because I'm pretty sure if you take a Zeus-Ganymede relationship literally, the Ganymede figure would be too young. But in contemporary gay fiction, this is the daddy-boy relationship where the boy is legal, and if it's romance, it's consensual, and usually involves a rescue (But see also below Hercules - Hylas). When I attempt romance, this is usually what I try. ("Daddies in Damian" "Fair Trade" "Slavery by Degree" "Love and Rockets")
2. Double Modified Zeus-Ganymede -- Both "daddy" and "boy" are young, but there is clear imbalance (usually money) in the power dynamic. I'm not all that knowledgeable of Yaoi, but take the seme (top) and uke (sub) roles and ascribe them to a wealthy young rock star whose limo almost runs over an adorable, nearly starving street hustler. So here again, there's often a rescue. I've tried this as well. ("Blue Star Boy") I think a good example is "Second Chance" by Selena Kitt.
3. Achilles-Patroclus (or maybe Alexander-Hephaestion) - (This is the most successful archetype, I feel.) The partners are the same age, there are often still clear alpha and beta personalities, but power imbalances aren't in the forefront. Both partners are independent and would be fine on their own, so no rescue appears necessary. However, sometimes, if you look at an archetype Achilles' personality, the brooding dominant is often the one who suffers more from isolation and needs a companion. Sometimes there is emotional damage. Sometimes the conflict is external where Man vs Society becomes Two Men Against the World. I think Xavier Axelson's The Incident might be a good example. "Birds of a Feather" by C.B. Potts. Also probably Laura Baumbach's bestseller, A Bit of Rough.
4. Rannicchiato - (I made the term up) - "Rannicchiato", according to Google Translate, is Italian for "snuggled" or "curled up" (so we'll assume that's probably not really the term I want). This is portrayed usually with two older characters where sex and heat aren't as important. What matters is affection. Both partners have emerged from youth with emotional scars. Of course, there is physical attraction and enviable mental or emotional connections The men are usually masculine, quiet, and a little proud - they don't need to meekly cling to each other for survival. My favorite examples of (what I consider to be) Rannicchiato are "A Cold Night's Sleep" by Vincent Diamond and "Never Judge a Book" by R.D. Cochrane.
The Problem with Zeus - Ganymede:
For now, let's act as if no one is thinking that Tom Daley is being taken advantage of. No one is worried he's being used for his looks by Duncan Lance Black for the same reason a middle-aged straight man buys a sports car and has an affair with a stunning twenty-five-year-old. It's a common pattern, but we don't know it's true here at all, so we're tabling that.
The next argument against inter-generational romance is more difficult (and I imagine this is true in any gender combination.) How often is there a deep understanding of each other when the two partners are in different periods of their lives? How okay is it? The idea that a young man loves an older man could partially be for his wisdom and experience. In the other direction, innocence and exuberance. Celebrate the differences, opposites attract, etc. It could work out great. For a while.
The reason why this is (apparently) the least effective relationship for romance is the part about 'everlasting", even if it's only figurative in real-world settings. In a standard father-son relationship, the son grows up, hopefully finds the love of his life, and moves on. The Greek model of Erastes (which I think translates to mentor and lover) and Eromenos (student and lover) is not meant as a life-partner relationship. Again, the boy grows up and moves on. So in terms of romance, this is likely not a Happily Ever After. There's a major chance for more loneliness. Even if they stay together, it's likely the age difference means the daddy will die years earlier, so there is the potential for years of loneliness compounded by grieving. In addition to the "I suspect the older man is using the younger man" trigger, I'm fairly sure "the death will do them part too soon" issue is why Zeus-Ganymede stories receive thumbs down from romance readers.
I have seen authors do a better job with this when writing spec. fic. A space captain, in a future without aging, frees a sex slave from Planet X. An immortal (wizard,god,vampire) rescues a youth from a dragon or wicked demon king. They find each other beautiful and thanks to science or magic, can stay that way forever.
That's what I call Hercules-Hylas (even though that story didn't end all that happily.) Hercules is very hot to Hylas and a loving mentor and protector. Since Zeus abducted Ganymede, I doubt Ganymede's attraction to Zeus was considered. There is a clear power imbalance in Hercules-Hylas, but at its sweetest, it's nearly erased by Hercules' utter enchantment with Hylas and his subsequent tenderness.
But back to pop-culture reality and Tom Daley, where everyone's a critic. Even if fans enjoy the story so far (for characters or for Tom Daley), they're looking ahead and not liking the future. Of course, I only know this from fiction and reactions to fiction.
Here's what another adorable diver, Matthew Mitcham, said and what I think matters: "Tom Daley is a champion in every sense of the word. And it's super cute that he's in love =) he should be rewarded with all our support."