Hello friends, welcome to another walkabout with an author. Today, I’ll be speaking with Mann Ramblings. He started writing M/M fiction after finding Gay Authors.org about four years ago. Like a lot of others, he started out reading, but with a little push took a stab at writing on his own. After a fair amount of success and great feedback on Gay Authors, he found the nerve to submit for publishing.
His first M/M sci-fi thriller novel, The Luxorian Fugitive, was published by Wayward Ink Publishing in April 2015, and the second book in the series, A Cook’s Tale is tentatively scheduled for late fall of 2015. (The release date isn’t fixed yet as of this writing, but if you hook into his Facebook page or blog he’ll announce the details as they come.) He’s thrilled with the response to his work and looks forward to sharing a lot more.
CC: How do you write?
MR: I like having structure. Sitting down and writing without a clear direction and letting the story drive me where it will makes me want to scream. I brainstorm (often at work), take endless notes on any scrap piece of paper or board that crosses my path, make character traits lists, and ultimately make an elaborate outline. When I can see where all the pieces need to fit, I can flesh them out. I still allow for ideas and epiphanies to happen—I don’t ignore the muse. But when they appear, I rework the outline and make sure it all works. I recently acquired Scrivener and its organizing features make me happy. Knowing where I need to go in each chapter is essential to my sanity, such as it is.
CC: Where do you write?
MR: I wish I could say I have a designated office space to work in. I’ll write wherever my laptop can land successfully. The kitchen table or living room coffee table is often my makeshift desk. Even thought my area in the basement is certainly quiet enough, I don’t like being isolated from the activity in my home, which is quite the double edged sword. I don’t work well with distraction to the point where conversations around me (including from the tv) are destructive to the writing process. My brain attaches to anything of interest around me, so I snag every free moment of silence to work in. How do other authors listen to music while they write? I don’t get that at all. We have a secluded vacation home up north that I can be incredibly productive in. I wish I could be there more often.
CC: Why do you write?
MR: I’ve always wanted to tell stories. These days, I want to read the stories I never got to see growing up. I grew up when AIDS scared the hell out of everyone, and gays were just gaining a voice. Being gay was scary in those days. It took a long time to feel comfortable in my skin. Now that I am, I want to read books I can relate to. I want to see the hero run off with his sidekick, rather than watch him die and the hero get the girl. I want to meet characters that are dynamic and awesome, and just happen to be LGBT. Those are the stories I wish existed when I was still learning to like myself. Finding authors who understood the M/M genre in all its variety was valid made an instant connection for me. Even as a relatively new author, I’m proud to be part of it.
CC: Have you written characters that are someone you know?
MR: In the very first M/M story I wrote, Little Man currently residing on Gay Authors, I based some of the characters and their relationships off myself and people I knew in college. The physical descriptions were different but I used how we would react with one another to flesh out the interactions and make it as believable as I could. I even took events that happened in my real life and added them to the story. I feel like I was able to impart a great deal of dimension to the cast. Being the first one I wrote, it’s pretty rough and could stand some revision should I ever submit it for publication, but I still take a lot of pride in it.
CC: Is there a genre you haven’t written, but would like to explore?
SH: While all of my recent writing has been M/M focused, I like writing inside a number of genres. I’ve enjoyed contemporary, urban fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, but at some point I want to take a stab (no pun intended) at some gay erotic horror. I’m not even sure I have the aptitude for such a direction, but you never know. I’m not a fan of hack-and-slash and gore for titillation, but with the right story, it could be something amazing. It will take some doing to find a good balance, if and when I come up with something worthy. For me, vampires may fit that bill rather well… we shall see. There are so many stories to tell.
Thank you Mann, for taking the time out today to share how you write and how you got started. I can’t imagine writing in a silent place, but every writer is different. I’d feel naked without earbuds in. Learn more about Mann Ramblings at his social media destinations.
Come back next week, when I talk to Kaje Harper about what gets them to write.