Monday, June 11, 2012

Author Interview # 10 Ryan Loveless and Giveaway

I'd like to welcome the award winning erotica author, Ryan Loveless, to the blog.

Your main genre is mm but you have had a go at ménage which was widely successful. Any plans to return to the genre and pen another book?
Building Arcadia (Blueprints Not Included) won three 2011 Rainbow Book Awards, including best debut transgender/bisexual novel. Of the reviews it has been given, including one here, people seem to like it a lot. I decided to self-publish it after the two places I submitted to, which were two well known epubs, rejected it. I thought, "Well, I'm really proud of this book and I think it has potential, and I don't want to wait another six months to get another rejection, so I'll take it out myself and see what happens." Having won those awards and received the mostly 5 star reviews for it has been great, especially after getting the knock back in the beginning. As for whether I'd write another menage, and I think the question is really would I do another bisexual menage, I have to say I don't know. It just happened that in this particular story my muse was married to a woman. Based on my experiences with Building Arcadia, it would have to be a book that I really believed in to pursue mmf again, so I don't know.  Never say never.

Can you tell us which character out of all your books you relate to most and why?
This is horrible, but it's Paeder in Pop Life. If any of you have read Pop Life, you might be crossing me off your list of people to meet. Paeder is the id part of the personality. Everyone has a bit of Paeder in them--the important thing is not to let him out all the time. Nurture your inner Keelin and keep Paeder under control!

Can you tell us something about yourself that perhaps a lot of your readers don't know? Something that you'd like for us to know?
I think you'll learn a lot of new things about me from this interview.  :)

What's your favorite part of the writing process? Is there a specific element in your writing that you find most challenging?
The planning is the best for me. I have a friend who I plot storm with. We talk for hours on the phone before writing even starts. The excitement is highest at that point, then the first quarter of actual writing is great because I'm riding on that wave. When things settle down, it can get rough. I have ADD, so concentrating on one thing is horrible for me. I have reward systems set up for hitting certain word counts. I started using Scrivener to keep myself organized, so if I get off task I can easily look and see where I was. I have several places in my apartment where I write so I can have a change of scenery. Sitting still and concentrating is the hardest for me, and it doesn't matter what step I'm at in the writing process.

You have been quoted as saying that your appeal to mm stories is the relationship dynamics. Could you go into a bit more detail there for us?
I have three brothers, so I grew up in a house where boys and then men were always around. I grew up playing with my brothers and their friends, hanging out with them, and just soaking in how men interact with each other when they're in comfortable space. That had a big influence on me and I try to express that in my writing. So, it's not even that I'm trying to express the dynamics of gay men, but just men in general. It just happens that I like to take what I already know and tweak it a bit to turn it into men in romantic relationships.

You've done two historical mm novels now. How did you handle the issue of homosexuality in a time of non enlightenment for your characters?
I do a lot of research to try to be as accurate as possible. I've learned a lot of interesting things, such as that homosexuality was generally ignored from post WWI through the early 1930's, when the Christian movement started up against it. Until that time, while it certainly wasn't accepted and most interactions were coded and secret, homosexuals weren't targeted with the scorn that they have been since then. If anyone is interested in learning more, I recommend Gay New York by George Chauncey.

The Forgotten Man is set in that interim time, so you have the Pansy Ball in there, the secret codes, and this idea that the homosexual was someone who seduced a "normal" into buggering him. The guy who "tops", wasn't considered homosexual by the definitions of that time. The main character in Forgotten Man, Joshua, was in WWI where he and a lot of other soldiers, historically, had their minds opened to see that both men could be considered equal in a relationship. It was a big concern back then: what were "our boys" picking up over in Europe? A lot of them came back changed, and not everyone agreed that this was good.

Favourite Quote? (You can share one from one of your own books or one of your favorite authors.)
When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,

And place my merit in the eye of scorn,

Upon thy side, against myself I'll fight,

And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.

With mine own weakness being best acquainted,

Upon thy part I can set down a story

Of faults concealed, wherein I am attainted;

That thou in losing me shalt win much glory: 

And I by this will be a gainer too;

For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,

The injuries that to myself I do,

Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.

Such is my love, to thee I so belong,

That for thy right, myself will bear all wrong.

Shakespeare, Sonnet 88

Your new book with Dreamspinner was released this past week. Can you tell us a little about it?
Kaden's Colors is new for me in a few ways. It's sci-fi, but more than that, it's YA. I've never written teenagers before. It was a fun experience to do that and create a semi-new world for them. They're still on earth, but it's several thousand years in the future. However, the characters are dealing with the same issues that we have today. The book's theme is about overcoming prejudice and finding the strength to question the way society behaves. Henry, the main character, is a sweet kid who has done what he's told to all his life, but then he meets this alien, Kaden, and starts to question the way Kaden is treated. It's basically a story of how Henry comes of age as a man.

Who do you read? Who inspired you to be a writer?
I don't think anyone inspired me to be a writer. It's what I've always wanted to do. I've always loved reading, so it was natural for me to want to write my own stories. I definitely look at other authors as inspiration for improving, though. My favorites are Ann Patchett, Jonathan Lethem and Michael Chabon. Patchett especially has a wonderful gift for dialogue, and the other two are wonderful storytellers with gifts for world-building.

What's next up for you? What kind of plans do you have for your writing in the next year or two?

In September Dreamspinner will release "Ethan, Who Loved Carter", which is a contemporary romance novel. It's about a young man with Tourette's Syndrome and a young man ten years out from a traumatic brain injury who come together over their shared love of music. It will be my first novel with DSP, which means paperback release. I'm excited about that. I'm proud of this story. It's pretty personal to me, so I hope others will be touched by it too.

I'm also working right now on Offside 2. I hope to have that submitted by the end of the summer.

For the distant future, I've got a few other WIPs going. My goal is to keep writing and hopefully people will keep reading. If they don't, I'll still write. I kind of have to.

We wish you continued success and look forward to your future releases. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share your space. :)  I'm going to leave with an excerpt from Kaden's Colors.

The first alien immigrants arrived on Earth long before Henry Mekes was born. Now they’re policed by the government, forbidden from attending school, and assigned menial jobs to prevent them from becoming drains on human society. Twenty-two-year-old Kaden, for example, was assigned the job of sex worker.

When eighteen-year-old Henry and his friend Ellil meet Kaden in a grotty backroom to avail themselves of his services, alien rights are the furthest thing from their minds. It’s not until afterward, when Henry is trying to remind himself aliens can’t get enough of sex, that he questions his actions and the rules of the world he lives in.

Something about Kaden compels Henry to return again and again—but only as a friend. Soon he and his classmates hatch a plan to free Kaden, but even if they succeed, the world is still full of prejudice against aliens—and those who love them.


Henry had never paid attention to Mr. MacDougal’s Funhouse & Arcade. It sat on the rundown end of the boardwalk, where fire-eating jugglers gave way to strutting strippers with tasseled breasts. Bad enough he went to the boardwalk at all without venturing down to that end. Henry peered into the arcade’s black interior. “I don’t think there’s Skee-Ball here,” Henry said. He looked up at the sign over the front. Maybe the dim F in “Funhouse,” which made the sign read “unhouse,” was an intentional statement. “Maybe fun’s a euphemism….”

“Nah, it has to be here. The ad said.” Ellil grabbed Henry’s wrist and tugged him forward.

“I don’t know if we should be here….”

“You’re not going back to the dorms until we have some fun.”

Henry sighed.

“Look! There they are!” Ellil dragged Henry over to the token booth, bought a handful for each of them, and bounced toward the Skee-Ball machines. Henry trailed after him.

Turned out, Skee-Ball actually was fun. Plus, his score was hella good. He left Ellil in the dust.

“I’m going for a soda,” Ellil said after Henry trounced his score a fifth time.

“Maybe it will help your coordination.”

“That’s what I’m counting on.”

Henry laughed and returned to his game. He was up to one thousand tickets. He had already given the prize table a once over. He needed five hundred more to earn the life-size stuffed Ogga Boinga. As a child, he’d had a smaller one and had slept with his nose pressed against the orange tummy and bear head with the trumpet-shaped nose. His five-year-old cousin would love this one.

“Dude.” Henry swept up another string of tickets from the game as Ellil came back in an excited rush without sodas. “There’s an alien in the backroom.”

“What?” Henry whipped around to peer into the unexplored darkness at the back of the long gaming corridor.

“They’ve got a fucking alien in the backroom.”

“Does it work in the kitchen or something?”

Ellil peered down his nose at him. “Henry. How naïve are you?”


“I know nothing exciting ever happens in the suburbs, but come on—you have to have heard about this.”

“It’s not….” Henry gave up on correcting Ellil again that Wayward was a town proper, not a suburb, and focused on the other thing. The alien. “What?”

“Some places sell sex with aliens,” Ellil said, in his “Jaded City-ite Lectures the Country Bumpkin” voice that Henry hated. As his enthusiasm grew, his tone gave way to pure excitement. “Like, black market underground shit. They say it’s like a drug. Like the best high ever. No addiction, no shock from coming down, not even dry mouth. This is so awesome. Totally makes up for Skee-Ball sucking. Come on.” Ellil headed for the back.

“Wait. Black market?” Henry pulled out of Ellil’s grip. “I can’t do anything illegal.”
Ellil stared at him. “You’re with me. You can do whatever you want.”

“I know. I just….” Henry rubbed his wrist. “I don’t want to. I don’t want to break the law just because I can.”

“Okay. Hey. I get it. I’m sorry.” Ellil put both hands up and patted the air, placating. “I’m a dick. You’re right. You know my dad says you’re a good example for me. I should listen to you more.”
Henry smiled. He never could stay mad at Ellil for more than a few seconds. “My mom says the opposite about you.”

“I guess I didn’t make a great impression on her what with almost getting you suspended your first week.” Ellil grinned back.

“Not really. Plus, she’s still angry at your dad for getting my dad so drunk at his bachelor party that he almost missed his wedding. Which was twenty years ago, so, you know, she holds a grudge pretty well.”
Ellil flung an arm over Henry’s shoulder. “I’m glad you take after your dad, then.”

Henry decided against telling Ellil that his dad waged a silent war against the neighbor’s tree that dropped baseball-size nuts into their backyard that broke lawnmower blades.

“If you don’t want to try the alien, that’s fine, but I’ve always wanted to, so at least come with me and watch my back.”

“I don’t know….”

“It’s only seven hundred tickets to do it. You’ve got enough for both of us now. Come on.”

“Are you telling me that it takes fewer tickets to have sex with an alien than it does to get a miniblender?” Henry gestured at the prize table.

“Yes,” Ellil said without hesitation. “Those blenders are amazing. My step-mom has one. They chop ice like you wouldn’t believe.”

Henry glanced toward the entrance, expecting to see Headmaster Dowe or Mr. Duffy or, oh gods, his mother. “I don’t like this.”

“Come on, man. It’s my dream.”

“Fine. But if there’s any sign of trouble, I’m running.”

“Understood.” Ellil snapped Henry’s ticket string in half and walked to the back. Sighing, Henry followed.

Beyond a row of neglected arcade games, a man sat on a stool beside a black curtain. Fluorescent light seeped from behind it. The man was six feet tall at least, judging from the way his feet touched the floor despite the stool’s height. He had a soft belly, framed by a black T-shirt, but he wasn’t fat. He looked like a former athlete who’d settled into a casual, but not sedentary, life. Seeing Henry and Ellil approach, he set his magazine down.

Expecting to see a naked woman on the open pages, Henry was surprised to see wedding dresses instead. The guy already had on a wedding band, and he looked like he was in his late thirties, so Henry took a guess. “Is your daughter getting married?”

The guy looked pleased. “How did you know?”

Before Henry could say that his dad had read him Sherlock Holmes when he was younger, Ellil jumped in.
“He’s a bright boy. We’re all proud of him. Also, we’d like time behind the curtain.” He handed over the tickets he’d taken from Henry.

Back to business, the man asked, “Are you both needing ‘time’?”

“Just me,” Ellil said.

“I’m just watching to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid,” Henry said.

The man swiped Henry’s remaining tickets.

“Just in case you change your mind while you’re in there. It’s slicked up already, so don’t bother prepping it. Do what you came to do and get out.”

“Sure thing,” Ellil said.

“Congratulations on your daughter’s wed—” Ellil yanked him through the curtain before Henry could finish. Given how pristine the floors and counters were, they could have been standing in a medical facility. A padded table stood in the middle, just like at a doctor’s office. Henry stared at the naked alien strapped by its ankles and wrists and lying bent over and belly-down on top of it. The alien rested its head on its arms, as the straps around its wrists gave some leeway for movement.

The alien looked like a man. Henry had expected something that looked like a thing, like the real-life version of one of the toys at the prize table. Given how excited Ellil was, he’d anticipated that the aliens people sought for sex would be more exotic. Instead of shiny scales or wings or even pincers, this alien had a long, slightly thick body, black hair on its head, and reddish-blond hairs everywhere else. It had freckles, for all the gods’ sake. It looked older than Henry and Ellil, but not by much. Maybe early twenties. Henry stretched a finger out to touch it, a single poke against its side to see if it felt human too. He’d seen aliens of all kinds, including aliens that resembled humans, though he didn’t know any very well. Most of them that lived on Earth were humanoid, but Henry had wondered if under their clothes there was a difference. Unless this one had a special alien penis, Henry couldn’t distinguish it from an actual person.

“Ah, shit, it’s a dude,” Ellil said.

Kaden's Colors info:
$4.99, 168 pages, e-book.

Bio: First published in 2010, Ryan Loveless is the author of several novellas and novels, all m/m except one: Building Arcadia (Blueprints Not Included), winner of three 2011 Rainbow Book Awards, including Best Debut Transgender/Bisexual novel. Her work can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Silver Publishing, Smashwords, or all in one place at the Amazon of your preference.

Now for the Giveaway
Ryan has kindly offered to give one lucky commentor a copy of Kaden's Colors. It's open internationally  and remember to leave your email. The Giveaway ends this Wendesday


sylvan65 said...

Shame on me, still haven't purchased "Kaden" for myself. But, mercenary me, ooh ooh sign me up!
I'm excited about "Ethen" too, congratulations!
Thank you ;P

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