Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Author Interview: CAROL McKENZIE

Author Interview by A. J. Llewellyn

1. Hi Carol and welcome to the Divas’ Dark Den! My first question to you is about your latest release Cowboy Dreams for the Men on Holiday Anthology. It’s actually M/M/ rather than a M/M story isn’t it?

I appreciate the warm welcome AJ and many thanks to Divas’ Dark Den for having me today. Okay...now to answer your question. Let’s see...I wrote a story titled Cowboy Dreams over a year ago and it is not gay lit but more M/M/F historical. The story that released this December, 2008 at loveyoudivine is titled Cowboys’ Christmas.

C.C. is a gay love story with bits of eroticism in it. Two rodeo hands hook up after fulfilling their obligations to the rodeo circuit one cold December day in the state of Washington.

AJ says: Wow that sounds hot!

Thanks AJ! To clarify, Cowboys’ Christmas is not “porn” hot, but it’s more a romantic, warm story. At thirty, their backs ache from the rigors of being bucked off horses. Because they work different circuits, time separates them, but their love remains in tact. Every year they meet at the same spot and spend time together. The story contains couple of lovemaking scenes. C.C. is my addition to the print anthology to be published by loveyoudivine in 2009 titled Men On Holiday.

2. Was Pure Artistry - which is in the original Men antho - your first foray into the M/M realm and how did it come about?

A couple of years ago, I wrote Day of Reckoning which was my first serious attempt to write gay lit. I’ve always loved cowboys, gay or straight, and found that I had a lot of fun writing them. I believe Pure Artistry is the third attempt to write gay lit. I’ve read Lassoed by B.A. Tortuga and her work inspired to write my own story. I also watched (and loved) the movie Brokeback Mountain. This award-winning movie also inspired me to write M/M.

3. What kind of research did you do to write M/M?

As far as research goes, I’ve read stories by Ally Blue, (Willow Bend) and B.A. Tortuga, (Lassoed) and J. M. Snyder (Working Man). I’ve read articles on blogs which serves up a great source of research material. My deceased stepson was gay and for this reason I’m drawn to and know a little about this type of literature and lifestyle. The M/M title which necessitated a lot (I mean a lot) of research is releasing at www.ShadowfirePress.com January 16th, 2009.

Its title is Pirate of Purgatory Island and is about a Pirate who saves a Boston medical understudy from another pirate who plans to take him aboard his ship as a sex slave.

4. A pirate? That sounds amazing! I love pirates - but since it is involves a med student it’s clearly not a period piece…so I am curious what this research involves?

It involves many hours of study. Regarding pirates and medicine of the 1700s, I learned a lot from history.org . Google and the local library are both helpful instruments of research.

As you know, obtaining a degree in medicine today differs greatly when compared to the study of the profession in the 1770s. Doctors of Medicine chose young, bright men to study and work under their tutelage. There were very few skilled practitioners and a lot of people died from illnesses that today are seemingly simple to cure. A lot of quacks set up practice and made people deathly ill or killed them with their creative cures.

5. I cannot wait to rea this! Let me ask you, have you encountered any negativity being a woman writing gay erotic fiction? There is a disturbing groundswell for this…but my feeling is men have been writing as women and about women for years. Victor J. Banis pointed out to me that Brokeback - which you mention here, was written by a woman. He goes so far as to say that a man could have written this book. What is your opinion on this debate?

No, I’ve not personally encountered negativity. I believe most open-minded people realize that it is the Twenty-first Century, and creativity should not be thwarted by people telling people what subject or who they should write about. It’s akin to telling an artist what or who they may paint a picture of.

6. I know you also write F/F fiction. Is this a genre you plan to continue and which do you prefer?

I enjoy switching genres after finishing a story. F/F stories, to me, are as much fun to write as M/M stories. I plan to continue writing more of them for each of my three publishers, loveyoudivine, Shadowfire Press and Siren-Bookstrand Publishing. All this genre flip-flopping gives me a chance to regroup mentally and emotionally when the story is finished. I enjoy writing not only M/M and F/F, but also M/M/BF and interracial BF/WM.

7. What, in your opinion is the reason that so many women are flocking to this genre both as writers and readers?

Quite frankly, two attractive men loving and lusting after each other, is mesmerizing and turn a lot of women on...including me. I guess that’s why I write it.

8. A bisexual female writer I know also suggested to me that women feel gay men have a sexual freedom of self expression that they don’t have and therefore get to live out their fantasies in some ways by writers of gay erotic fiction and of course, gay porn. I was quite taken by this analysis. What do you feel about what she said?

To shove everyone under one umbrella of thought is a questionable practice and I cannot speak about how everyone feels. I suppose, in some cases, she is right, that some men may be freer in their sexual expression.

Women, who were once suppressed, are finally becoming freer in thought, expression, and creativity. Some women have a more romantic, softer side than men. A definite niche prefers romance as opposed to the “porn” side of M/M relationships.

9. Did you read much M/M before you wrote this piece and who are your favorite authors?

As I’ve stated previously, I read stories by B.A. Tortuga, Ally Blue, and J.M. Snyder. They’re enjoyable authors to read. However, I’m finding that there are many talented authors out there who write M/M. A.J., some day soon I will read one of your books.

AJ says: Wow, thanks!! And since I am a man and the other authors you mention are women, are they any male authors you read?

Since you’ve mentioned it, I read the free read that you offer on your website today. It was HOT! So, I guess you’re one of the male M/M writers that I’ve read.

AJ: LOL. Thanks, Carol!

Of course I’ve read the wonderful works by Jon Michaelsen and Max Griffith who are authors at loveyoudivine. They are friends and we all belong to a forum at WDC and criticize each other’s work.

AJ says: I adore Jon Michaelsen's work too.

My favorite gay blog is Debriefing the Boys. I get great story ideas from it. It is located at: http://debriefingtheboys.blogspot.com/2007/12/full-disclosure.html

10. I know you are married with children…how does your family feel about your erotic fiction? Are they supportive? Do they read it?

Actually, I write incognito. My husband knows what I write and is very supportive. My two living sons are grown and have families. They live far away and don’t know what I write. I’m not ready to tell them

11. What are you working on now?

I’m inspired to write another gay cowboy story. In fact, I’m ironing kinks out of a possible plot now; I hope it flies.

12. Please tell me something about your writing routine. Do you write every day?

I write every day from four to four-thirty in the morning and write in spurts until three in the afternoon. Between chunks of prose I tackle mundane matters like housework and errands. My most productive writing occurs when I get warmed up, between five and six in the morning.

13. I am always intrigued by writers’ muses. Stephen King says his is a grumpy guy with battered wings and a massive cigar. What is yours like?

Ahhh, Stephen King is a prolific writer and his impression of his muse is hilarious. I love his stories, especially The Stand and Tommyknockers.

My muse (a real P.I.T.A.) is elusive, like a wraith. She gets her kicks by aggravating me when I instead need her support. She is difficult to get along with, can be obnoxious and derives pleasure from sitting on my shoulder or standing behind my chair, questioning my punctuation and grammar and filling my mind with doubt regarding the preceding paragraph.

AJ says: your muse is a PITA? Must be a close friend of mine!

On behalf of Dark Diva Reviews, I’d like to thank the wonderful and talented Carol McKenzie for stopping by today. Please learn more about this awesome author at her links:


Carol’s blog is www.xanga.com/mckbooks and she invites everyone to stop by!


Unknown said...

*hugs* to AJ and Carol. Very interesting review both of you! I have my nose in edits--not mine--but it was great to take a break and read this.
Wishing you both all the best,

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview, Carol and AJ; thank you for the mention as well, and as you both know - I greatly enjoy your writing. It has been a true joy to have met Carol via the WDC workshop and to have the opportunity to read her stories come to life. Thank you AJ, for yet again bringing forth the personal side of an author; very enjoyable to read!

AJ Llewellyn said...

Hi Anastasia and Jon,

Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed talking to Carol, she is awesome!

Anonymous said...

You three are making me blush. Ha Ha. Ana, Jon and AJ, thanks for the comments.