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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

AUTHOR IKE ROSE



It's Wednesday again sweeties and today, author of m/m literature, Ike Rose is @ BRB! This is an extra special interview, as I work with Ike @ IRM and not only consider him a friend but also a compatriot in the publishing world. Please give Ike a warm welcome!


1: Who is Ike Rose? Tell us about yourself.
In one of his movies, Woody Alan joked that past the Hudson, most other Americans think that we New Yorkers are all gay Jewish pornographers. Well, I'm batting .1000! I was born Jewish, but the Gay part was a struggle, having grown up in a working-class community in the 1960's. Although I was aware of my attraction to other guys as a teen, I had no words to describe them that weren't insulting, so I didn't come out until I was twenty-five, almost fathering a child along the way.
Even when I thought I was straight, I was fascinated with porn: straight porn, bi-porn, gay porn. You would have thought the fact that I collected photos of naked men grappling would have given me a hint!
I had the fortune to become sexually active during what I refer to as “The Golden Age Of Gay Liberation”: 1975 to 1980. I “experimented” a lot, giving me a firm knowledge of all sorts of gay sexual acts. Then in 1981, I had even better luck: I met the love of my life, who still shares his life with me.

2: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I've always been a storyteller. It runs in the family. My late dad wrote fairy tales for my kid sister and me, and his youngest sister wrote children's plays when I was a kid. I've had some professional articles and self-help articles written under my “real” name. I have a Master's degree in Social Work, but my undergrad degree was in communications with a minor in English, with enough credits for a double major; however I didn't take a required course in Chaucer. I have a vivid imagination with an eye for detail. Coupled with a romantic soul and.. well, shall we say extensive and varied sexual experiences in my youth?, and I can't help myself. I have stories I have to tell.

3: Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
I'm basically a historic romance writer, but the era which I write about is recent: the 1970's, the period of my own coming out. I write about the struggles that working-class gay men like myself had coming out back in the 1960's, the period when... how do I put it delicately? When my body started giving me messages at conflict with the hyper-macho neighborhood in which I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. (Think “Saturday Night Fever”, filmed one neighborhood over from mine) The period when I realized that I loved men, but had been socialized to ignore my needs and nature.
I almost exclusively write about New York City, where I've lived since early childhood.  (I am one of two people I know actually born in Key West, Florida back before it became the Gay tourism mecca it is today.) I prefer to write about places I know, since it creates a sense of reality. When I do write about the background of a character who moved to New York, I almost inevitably make it a made-up town. I actually look to make sure there is no such town name in that state, and research life in that area. Then I spend time creating the town in my head, even places not mentioned in the story.
There are only a few towns I know well enough to write about as a hometown for characters: St. Petersburg, Florida, where my late parents lived for many years after I grew up, as well as some places where my lover and I been to as tourists and explored, like London, Boston, and Washington, DC.

4: What made you chose to write erotic literature in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
My fiction writing started as a form of entertainment for myself and some online buddies, and reflected our mutual erotic tastes as gay men. For a number of years I shared these stories with friends from the Internet. I ended up starting a Yahoo group to share them when the number of men who'd ask to read them became to large for me to keep up with the email correspondence.
After awhile, I decided to go along with a often made suggestion that I start to submit my stories to a free “alternative” erotic story website called the NIFTY Archives, and rapidly became a “Prolific Author” there.  (http://www.nifty.org/nifty/frauthors.html – look for Ike Rose on the list) To my surprise, I began getting fan e-mails from readers there, and in a few months had over 50 men and women on my “fan club” list. Having women write to me as fans of my gay erotica came as a surprise back then.
I'd written one non-erotic gay romance as a “challenge”: I posted an enigmatic painting on the home page of my Yahoo e-list, and challenged the members to write an erotic story about it. Since all I wrote was erotica, I decided to try my hand at a story without sex, and although it was pretty primitive and poorly developed, my members liked it.
My fans from NIFTY were instrumental in my next step in evolving as a writer. A few who had become more friends than fans kept encouraging me to submit my stories for publication. One of them told me about the “Calls For Submission” page at the Erotic Readers and Writers Association, and I began writing or rewriting stories and submitting them – and learned to accept rejection.
The funniest rejection was my first serious attempt. I found a Call for a contest that failed to mention that they were looking for an erotic romance, so I wrote a romance with no sex for a collection about “Finding Prince Charming”, basing it on a bar game that was played in the first gay bar I hung out in, in my mid 20's. It was 5000 words, and although it wasn't erotic, was very popular with my NIFTY fans. It was funny because it was rejected for being non-erotic. As if I couldn't write sex!
Months later I came across a Call for Submissions for a 20,000 word story for an anthology about Valentine's Day. I took that old “Prince Charming” one, reworked it to include a Valentine's theme, and was shocked when my rejected story, now called “My Valentine Prince”, was accepted by Sizzler , which was released this past January. Purchase: My Valentine Prince The anthology will be available in print for Christmas.

I have notes for a few Young Adult novels, and also for some paranormal novels. “My Valentine Prince” had a streak of the paranormal in it, as well as strong references to fairy tales.

5: Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
It varies, but it's usually the plot. I'll get the idea for a story, and then find people for it. But I have written stories based just on a painting or photograph of an interesting man or men, or situation, or even the sight of an unusual man. I've begun working on a “thriller” idea based on a cable show about the reexamination of the evidence in the first murder case ever tried using just forensic evidence. DNA testing proved that although the man was executed for murdering his wife based on a small amount of human remains recovered, the body was not his wife, but that of a man. That lead me off on a fantasy of what happened to his missing wife. To be continued....

6: What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
It really depends on the project. Sometimes it's the title: I have a great idea, but no good title. I'd never realized how important a title was until recently. My lover had never read anything I wrote, and would dismiss my enthusiasm or worries about my characters. He'd say “But they're imaginary people! Why do you get so worked up over them?” I was thrilled to learn that other authors see their characters as living, breathing people.
He works nights, and one night recently he called me up from work to ask me about the project I'd started writing that day. (It's along term one, since it's going to be a long novel) The title fascinated him – and that was all he'd seen. He asked me to tell him the story, and he loved it.
I'd had a great idea: the characters, their sudden, irresistible romance and a tragic ending.  But I couldn't think of a name until I had to take my dog out for a walk in a driving rain. I talk to her as I prepare us for a walk, since it calms her down, and I said to her “Well, mad dogs and Englishmen go out ion the noon-day sun. We'll be mad dogs in the rain.” While I walked her in the rain, I sang the old Noel Coward song “Mad Dog's and Englishman” to entertain myself. I decided to use that as the name, but when I tried to come up with a reason to call it that, I decided to make it “Mad Dog and Englishman”, making that the nicknames the men were called.
On “My Valentine Prince”, I ended up doing a massive rewrite for the editor, and found realized I had the wrong ending. I knew how it started, and how I wanted it to end, but was stuck on how to get there. Then I decided to write the last two scenes, and that told me how I had to change the story, and what to do with the “extra character” who was now left out in the cold.

7: Writing sex scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
I never have trouble writing sex scenes. I try to make them varied and imaginative, and I am very vivid in my descriptions. Every so often, I have an idea for an imaginative and unusual sexual variation, like a torture with feathers inspired by a vase of feathers. Free Read

8: Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
I'm experimenting with writing less bold sexuality, since I'd need to do that for the Young Adult books.

9: Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
Definitely largely based on real people, or else on what I called in response to a fan email “gay archetypes”. These are some of the kinds of men who are often featured in gay erotica, so that they automatically cause an erotic reaction in readers. Or at least in me.

10: Who is your favorite character, which you’ve created? And why?
I keep saying that the guy who I'd like to hang out with, to have a few beers with him while we talk, is the father in “My Valentine Prince”. He's a minor character, but a working class man who readily accepts his gay eldest son in 1976. I have a back-story on him that makes him more interesting, hinted at in the story.

11: Can you tell us about your latest release? Give a synopsis.
I recently stated releasing reworked and expanded versions of some of my NIFTY “rougher sex romances” on Smashwords, in a series I'm calling “The ManLove Miniatures”. Book Two, “The Truck Driver”, was just released. Smashwords/Ike Rose It's the story of two rough straight men who meet, become violent, and end up in a passionate if rough relationship. I will be writing some original stories for the series, too.

12: What’s your newest WIP? And when we can expect a publication date?
I wish I knew. I have a number of stories out waiting for publishers and editors to decide on, but at this point, only my self-published stories are coming out. I actually spend more time writing blogs and book reviews lately. At least, that's what I've been writing that people are getting to read!

13: Where can readers locate you?
My blog: Ike Rose.com  I am one of the co-authors of “It's Raining Men” with you: It's Raining Men, where I also edit the “Images In Masculinity” tab – or pictures page.

14: Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
I'd love to write the next “Brokeback Mountain”, but since writing for me is a “second career”, I'm content with modest sales of stories I'm proud of, and enjoy reading as well as writing.

Thanks for stopping by, Ike! It was wonderful to have you. You're an interesting man. All the best! I've also posted @ IRM something wicked for Wild Wednesday! I hope you get a chance to check it out. And I'm please to announce MOD has been handed into the EIC! Oh the joy of it all - LOL I feel a sense of huge relief, only two more novels to go - MOS and Devotion 3! 

Happy Yaoi Hunting
Blak Rayne ^_^!!

3 comments:

  1. What an awesome interview done by my besties, Ike and Blak.

    Hugs Ike, i'll always support you. COntinued success my friend!

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  2. Thanks for having me, Blak.

    At least I didn't have to haul ass today 90 minutes by commuter rail to Jury Duty - and I have tomorrow off, too. YEAH!!

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  3. Hi Ike! It was great to have you. :D I hope you'll stop by more often. And thank you Rawiya **hugs**

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