Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Today's guest is fellow British writer, Sam Thorne

I'm delighted to have Sam Thorne as my guest today, a fellow British erotica writer. I've enjoyed reading her work, so it's great to be able to chat to her, and ask about the recently-published anthology, Sexy To Go Gay Romance, which includes one of her stories.

Sam, I'm rather intrigued that I know so many female writers producing excellent stories about gay male relationships. Off the top of my head, I can think of Michele Micheal Rakes, Elizabeth Schechter, Meg Amor and Brina Brady, who all write excellent, engaging stories. Do you have any ideas why MM erotica is so popular with female writers?

Well I can only speak for myself, but I've witnessed the blossoming of a few relationships between men that just warmed me to the soul and made me want to relive them in my own time on the page. What I love to write (and read) for pure escapist purposes is the combination of the smooth, self-assured soul who's able to charm even the gruffest, most laconic bloke walking. I'm referring to the chemistry, of course. I think it's the chemistry that gets a lot of female MM writers, followed by the competitive forms of masculinity in the bedroom. I am not male. But I'm lucky to have a few gay male betas who will let me know quite bluntly if I'm going off-course with the horizontal shenanigans!

How did this anthology come together? I note that no-one is credited as being the editor, so did you "buddy up" to help each other?

In all honesty, I was directed towards the Sexy to Go set-up (who already have several successful anthologies) by my good friend Dale C Lowry. Dale and I have now appeared in three anthologies together and he asked me if I had a story available for inclusion within the word count for the collection. Both Haley Whitehall and Eva LeFoy (the administrative masterminds) were friendly, efficient and very welcoming to this total newbie to their set-up. I'm very grateful to them and hope to have the opportunity to support their future ventures, even if I'm not directly involved as a contributor.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?

I have my eye on a couple of anthologies that I would like to submit to over the next three months, but I won’t name them because I’m superstitious. Most of my energies are being invested in a novel with the working title A Brotherhood of Bouncers, which is a sequel to Single-Syllable Steve. This short story features Celeste, a shy book-keeper at a London nightclub, who is hit by an ovary-squashing crush on the towering, taciturn and temporary doorman, Steve. Undermined by a horrible boss and surrounded by glamorous bar maids, Celeste is desperate to grow a pair and tell Steve how she feels before he leaves.

The sequel is about the difficulties in keeping a relationship going after the honeymoon period. Even with his two jobs as motor mechanic and doorman, Steve’s finances are in a dire state. When the cost of his father’s care package rockets, he’s driven to accepting a bodyguard job which is initially wonderful, but things quickly degenerate as he finds himself being put to work as a bailiff, then as a henchman. Meanwhile, Celeste’s struggling to get her family to accept Steve as a serious contender for the long term; her mother struggles to warm to the ‘deaf, over-sized Essex boy.’

I liked Steve and Celeste when I read their first story. I think it's great that more "real life" aspects of relationships are included in erotica, but I'll have to see how that tale works out. But I'll keep my fingers crossed that you can leave them happy. They both seemed pretty real, with strengths and weaknesses. Can I ask how you develop your ideas for characters? Are parts of you incorporated into any of them?

Parts, yes. In terms of affairs of the heart, I prefer my characters to have very different emotional battles to my own. I write for my own escapism as well as the reader’s, so I deal with any personal demons in my own time. That said, I’m a strong believer in drawing on real life experiences where they have potential to lighten the tone. Like everyone, I’ve had my share of undignified experiences, some of which I’ve later shared with friends. If those friends had a good laugh at my expense, I have no problem in fictionalising those less-than-golden moments if they have any potential for plot movement or character development.

A large part of my personal experience is that I’m profoundly deaf, but I lipread and wear hearing aids. I do appreciate that this presents something of a conundrum for a lot of people, who automatically associate profound deafness with sign-language. Several of my characters (like Single-Syllable Steve) are at least severely deaf, because that’s what I know. I had great fun writing Rebuilding the Future (where both Allen and Declan are hearing), but my very helpful editors and beta readers had to remind me to include sound effects in the earlier drafts!

Have you ever had a character just “do their own thing?” 

My characters tend to behave themselves while I’m creating them and writing them, but boy do they argue with each other! One of the most frustrating things in the world is to be driving along and having two of my characters engaged in a massive, fluent, word-perfect volley of needs, refusals and insults which will have entirely escaped me by the time I’ve parked the car and dashed behind my laptop. I’m sure most writers suffer some form of this…

What do your family and friends think of your writing?

My family will pat me on the back when I say I’m published again, but have absolutely no intention of reading anything I write until I produce something where the bedroom door stays shut. That’s fair enough. Most of my friends are encouraging about my writing—from a distance. I’m very content with this arrangement.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K Jerome. It’s my go-to book for escapist comfort. No matter how many times I re-read it, and no matter what mood I’m in, I never put it down without feeling happier than I did when I started reading.  

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get past it?

If anyone ever tells me that they never get writer’s block, I politely ask them to go away and never repeat this little item of smuggery ever again in my presence. It is an absolute bane for me, and one of the reasons I’ve not exactly been prolific in the three years I’ve indulged in writing and reading erotica. The other reason is that I’m a very busy editor, and even when I’m not working, it takes time to come out of censoring mode and re-engage the creative part of my brain. I can’t produce anything while in editorial mode; it’s like trying to rub my tum and pat my head at the same time.

I can’t totally sidestep writer’s block (my pet block wouldn’t look out of place in Stonehenge), but I find that a few new habits have lessened the effect:

·    I stay off social media for a day or so. I’m delighted for all those people who have written another 6,000 since the day before, but while I’m not of their number, I’d rather not be reminded of my dwindling performance. Plus, I’m too inclined to spend hours looking at puppies.

·    I do the stop-watch exercise for a few hours. I type without stopping for five minutes, repeating for an hour. Then ten, then fifteen and so on. I just need to get my hands moving.

     I force myself to stop being obsessed with writing in such a linear way. I’ll leave a highlighted [PLACEHOLDER LIKE THIS FOR DETAILS I NEED TO COME BACK TO] and get the scene done. I won’t hamstring myself by trying to connect everything I’m writing fluidly.

      I keep reminding myself that I won’t be showing my dire scribbles to anyone until I’ve edited at least a few times. Sometimes that gives me the freedom to just hammer the words down and get the shape of the scene down on the page.

Thanks, that's a really interesting approach. Just to finish, a couple of off-the-wall questions, then you can tell us a bit more about the new anthology you've had a story included in.

If you could go anywhere in the world, but had to drop everything and go right now, where would you go? What pulls you there?

Hawaii. I dream of going to Oahu, and I’d love to watch Pele in action. And eat all the gorgeous fresh food. It’s all Meg Amor’s fault. Since I’ve been reading her Hawaiians series, I’ve had a craving to take a very long holiday over there.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I could do with a withering stare that’s actually effective. It would be a fantastic tool for day-to-day life, but wouldn’t be so conspicuous that I’d regularly get summoned from my work by some irritating police chief with a Krieg light. I’m not sure what symbol would best represent the need for a withering stare, though.

Thanks, Sam. I've really enjoyed our conversation. Would you like to finish off by telling us about the new anthology and your story?

Well, if you insist...

Sexy to Go Gay Romance

Sexy to Go Gay Romance by [Lefoy, Eva, Duran, Avery, Ellwood, Leigh, Idonea, Asta, Lowry, Dale, Payne, Jodi, Saddler, Shiloh, Thorne, Sam, Wasp, A.E.]Sexy to Go Gay Romance features nine scorching MM romances from some of today’s hottest authors, available for the first time in one book. Whether finding love at a Jewish singles dance or while crossing the River Styx, the men in Sexy to Go Gay Romance know what they want and how to get it. Meet a handyman who’s an ace with his tools, a king who kindles the passion of a Greek god, and an architect who erects more than buildings. From the everyday to the fantastical, these stories explore male-male love in all its simmering intensity. This collection contains Sam's story, ‘Rebuilding the Future’.


Allen's peace has been seriously disturbed. As the shy architect takes on the task of extending the home he inherited from his late aunt, his life becomes a battle. The building work is going fine, but he can barely contain his one-way lust for sexy foreman Declan, who's a one-man generator of testosterone and mixed messages. As the build completion approaches, Allen's ready to do just about anything to keep Declan around a little longer...

Allen was so cold the coffee cup rattled in his fingers. Declan, though, was purely chilled out, leaning back, mug in hand, sipping his brew. There wasn’t a single goosebump in evidence: not down the toned arms, across that lean gut, or the magnificent chest. His nipples weren’t even hard.

Stop staring at his nipples, for God’s sake!

“You alright?”

Declan’s sudden, direct gaze made Allen jump. “Yes! Yes…it’s just…I feel hypothermic just looking at you.”

Declan swallowed his coffee hastily, grinning around his cup. “I’ve been working next to a zillion-watt floodlight for the last half hour. I’m not cold, trust me.”

“Splendid,” Allen said faintly, tucking his lower regions away under the kitchen table. He still hadn’t got used to having the Adonis slaving around his house all day, every weekday. Even when Declan’s tanned, taut bod was tragically hidden under T-shirts, the sight of his dark brown hair curling into the nape of his neck, his green eyes, and blowtorch smile were enough to make Allen’s groin boil. It was a good job that Declan’s henchmen, Big Al and Screwtop, were slightly less decorative.

Universal buy link (includes Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, B&N, and Google in every country):

Individual buy links:
● Amazon US:
● Amazon UK:
● Itunes:
● Barnes & Noble:
● Kobo:

Single-Syllable Steve:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Monday, 3 April 2017

My guest today is BK Bilicki, author of "Stage One: Hear"

I'm delighted to welcome BK Bilicki as my blog guest today. I’ve known him for a few years as a fellow contributor to the ERWA storytime constructive critique group. 

And I was among those who encouraged him to submit some of his stories to publishers. He may regard it as "nagging in an encouraging way", but he did it! Fireborn Publishing liked what they saw – “Stage One: Hear”, the first book in his "Voices From The Sanctum" series, was published last November

I purchased, read, enjoyed and gave it a five star review

"Engaging, fast-paced and full of twists and turns

Wow. This kept me engaged from start to end, always wondering what was going to happen next. Fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and lots of saucy moments within the context of a slowly developing relationship. A cast of varied and interesting characters, blending sci-fi and magic. This is clearly the first in a series, but it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger.

There may be some foreshadowing, but I won’t know that until BK stops teasing and gets Stage Two published!"

IS - So, BK, what do you have in mind for your next writing project?

BKB - My next new project will likely be volume four of the Voices of the Sanctum (VotS) series, tentatively called ‘Arrested Momentum’. It will center on two of the Sanctum’s members - Lob the Unmarred and Arms Master Juushin. We’ll meet Lob and get a very brief glimpse of Juushin in volume two and will get a much more comprehensive look at both of them in book three.

How do you develop ideas for characters? Are parts of you incorporated into any of them?

Some characters develop from a given situation and others are done in reverse with the situation matching the characters. For VotS, the only thing I had in mind initially was that I wanted to write about characters that would work in ongoing series. After I tripped across the word ‘psychoholic’ and started pondering what that could possibly mean, I started crafting characters to play with it. And yes, a lot of my characters tend to pull bits of their creator along for the ride. Kana’s knack for assigning inappropriate nicknames to people and things is a good example.

Have you ever found a character just “do their own thing" while you were writing?

My characters are forever going off and getting into trouble with little input from me. A lot of this is due to how most of my books came to be. They started off as short stories that made fans want to see ‘more chapters’ of them. In those cases, I hadn’t plotted out anything to cover those, so I just let the characters get into it and see what happens. Much of my writing feels like I’m spying on other dimensions and just writing down what I see.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I play computer games, watch anime, and work down in my lab. I’m an electronics technician in real life, so I spend a lot of time fixing electronic things for friends, family, and the occasional side-customer.

What do your family and friends think of your writing?

Both of my moms (birth and adoptive) are fans. My kids are supportive with a bit of careful detachment. My youngest son once happened upon one of my short stories. He thought it was very good until he realized that his dad had written it. My daughter has playfully forbidden my granddaughter from reading my stuff until she’s thirty.

What book do you wish you could have written?

There are a few stories by Bob Buckley about the Palatinae (Paladins) that I’ve read on the ERWA mailing list that I thought were brilliant. I have a brief reference to them in the second VotS book. The Merely Players books, as well as the related Mark/Maggie stories, by a chap named Ian D Smith are also a big favourite. His characters are very likable and work together very well, unlike many of mine.

Thank you for the kind words! Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t asked?

Nothing much, other than to reply to my fan's most popular question; "My next chapter/book/project is coming out ‘soon’." This may mean days, weeks, months, or even years, but it/they will come out sooner or later. This year, I intend on having volumes two and three of VotS published, along with the rewritten version of an earlier book called ‘One of Those Nights’ which was written from Jan 1998 to Jan 2003. That one was wildly popular on the ERWA (then ERA) list and could possibly do very well.

Well, I do hope your book finds you more appreciative readers, and encourages you to develop your other ideas. Do please visit again when you've a new book to tell us about

Stage One: Hear (Voices of the Sanctum Book 1) by [Bilicki, B.K.]Stage One: Hear (Voices of the Sanctum Volume One)

Kana Morel is possibly the Sanctum's most powerful caster. Training Jamyn Siska as her new acolyte should be easy. When she accidentally discovers his hidden passion for her, how will she contain the ensuing firestorm?

Buy links:


"All the things you said about my abilities were very flattering." Her nerves started to jostle. "Way over the top, but still—"
"You're easily the most powerful caster in the Sanctum," he said, his voice suddenly resolute.
His intensity startled her at first but she waved him off with a brief chuckle. "Nahh," she replied quietly. "I'm sure there are a couple around here who could give me a run for my money." Seeing the defiance rising in his eyes again, she held up a hand to him. "Regardless, your words were very much appreciated. Thank you."
"Any time." He replied with a small bow. Her hand on his cheek stopped it and he raised his head again to find her staring directly into his eyes.
"That covers the first part," she whispered. "Now about the second." His face flamed into a full blush. He started to turn away but she firmly cupped his chin, halting his retreat. "Hey!"
He stopped trying to move away and looked back at her. "What?"
"Did you mean all the things you said?"
His eyes started to water and he swallowed hard. "Every word."
"Hmm." She considered his reply, trying to keep her expression neutral while her heart charged up to her throat. "Then I thank you again for showing such intense loyalty to your master." She released his jaw and thought over her words. Deciding to throw caution aside, despite the warnings screaming in her head, she corrected herself with a coy smile. "Your mistress."
"You're welcome, Kana," he whispered in wonder.
She arched an eyebrow.
He swallowed hard and returned her smile. "You're welcome, Mistress Kana."
"I would prefer you only call me that when we're alone." Even as she quietly warned him, she wondered if she would end up regretting her abrupt decision.
"Of course."
She leaned forward and brought her face right up to his. She considered the soft glow in his amber eyes for a second before easing forward and kissing his lips.
She pulled back just enough to break contact and whispered, "You're sweet."
"And you are the most beautiful woman I've ever known," he whispered in reply.
Her eyes widened in alarm and she whimpered. "Damn. And you were doing so well too." Her choked words barely made it past her lips.
She sat back, her cheeks burning. "Making me blush isn't usually a healthy idea." She turned away from him to hide the tears gathering in her eyes. "I think we're done here."
His hand on her cheek stopped her slow retreat. He turned her face back to his and smiled mischievously. "Mistress Kana should learn how to take a compliment," he whispered, staring directly into her eyes. He came forward and landed a brief kiss on her cheek. "Call if you need me." With this, he leaped to his feet and calmly walked out of the room.
She barely heard his words, having caught sight of the obvious bulge of his erection straining against his pants. Confusion, lust, and gratitude all warred within her trembling body and she struggled to get her thoughts in order. Taking several deep breaths, she got her nerves under control at long last and looked again at the door her acolyte had just slipped through.
"I need a drink and I need to hit something." Staggering to her feet, she headed straight to Evrok's.

Social media links

Short biography.

Having spent over two decades scribbling curious little stories, gathering fans on several continents, and failing to make any sense out of either, B.K. Bilicki has now embarked on Phase Three of his writing career - actually getting something published. When not spending his lunch hour writing, B.K. can usually be found performing various miracles with a soldering iron. Furor Scribendi can be chastised by fans new and old alike at Grr-ya.