J.P. Bowie is back. This time his topic is all about the questions he has been asked and what the answers are. 🙂 Since I did the big introduction for his first post, all I will do this time is tell you that when you have his longevity in publishing it means that he’s doing a lot of things right.
Jim has almost 40 books to his credit and he writes stories that range from mysteries, paranormal, historical, westerns, and gay fiction.
Some time ago I was asked this question in an interview: If you had a movie adapted from any of your novels, which famous movie stars would you like to see play the roles?
First, I thought of the movie stars I wouldn’t want to cast in the movie—Tom Cruise immediately sprang to mind. Not that he’s a bad actor, he’s been okay in several movies, but he’s made it clear on several occasions he’s no friend of the gay community.
Hollywood’s penchant for casting straight actors in gay roles has long been a bone of contention for me, so the answer to the question had to be, I couldn’t really think of one famous movie star I’d want to cast. Okay, maybe I’d make an exception for Hugh Jackman. I’ve always thought he was a gay man in a straight man’s body anyway. His portrayal of Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz was remarkable.
So who would I choose? Cheyenne Jackson hasn’t really made a blockbuster movie but he’s proven himself a terrific actor and singer. He’s a definite first choice. Neil Patrick Harris, Chad Allan, Rupert Everett, Robert Gant are all up there in my cast list. Why? Because they’re gay, and being gay means they understand what it is to love another man, not just pretend or act their way through scenes of intimacy.
As good as Brokeback Mountain was, I could never really convince myself that Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were actually enjoying those open mouthed kisses. And that’s the problem. In gay erotic romance generally there is a lot of kissing. There’s a lot of other stuff as well, but for me, kissing is where lust, eroticism, love and affection can all come together and be expressed in that one blissful moment. If it’s not done with conviction that moment can be ruined. The guys have got to look like they’re into one another or they’d be better off just shaking hands.
The same holds true in writing erotic fiction. If the reader isn’t convinced the characters are enjoying the hell out of themselves when they’re having sex, the writer has failed to convey the emotional level needed to steam up the reader’s glasses. A visual of two men, two women or a man and woman kissing can be a visceral, titillating experience. A writer should project that same degree of sensuality with some well chosen (hot) descriptive words and phrases.
Another question I’ve been asked is, Where do you get your ideas for the storyline? I have no hard and fast answer for that one. Sometimes ideas just come at me out of the blue—I know, I can hear some of you saying, ‘Yeah, and they read that way too.’ But seriously folks, that can happen, though at other times the plot might come from an idea that’s been mulling about in that increasingly muddled mind of mine for some time.
For instance, when I started writing My Vampire and I it was to be a short story, one in a collection of erotica I’d been thinking about putting together—that’s the mulling thing. But halfway through the first short story, the characters seemed to have a lot more to say and do than I had anticipated, so it became a full length novel, and the first of a series I had never, back then, imagined writing. I expect that’s the out-of-the-blue thingy.
Now, other authors I’ve spoken to tell me, “Oh, I always intended this book to be the first of a series.” I only wish I could be that certain I’d come up with a bunch of plots involving the same characters. My hat goes off to those authors who do just that, and manage to make each sequential story better than the previous one. That’s the secret to a successful series. Each story has to make the reader want more…and more…and sometimes, more.
So all of you out there ready to take the plunge into m/m romantic fiction series, here’s what you do. Dream up two fabulous male characters that every reader is immediately going to love and can’t get enough of, throw them into hair raising situations that has the reader gasping for air, indulging in mind blowing sex that has the reader slack jawed with awe, then follow it up with another and another, and you’ve got a winning series. Easy, eh?
And don’t forget Rick Reed’s sage advice about finding simpatico publishers. A supportive publisher is a bonus in this business. I was fortunate enough to find not one, but two I wouldn’t dream of leaving, along with a fleet of terrific authors who have become what I like to call my cyber family. Writing any kind of book can be rough and tough. Rejection and rotten reviews sting no matter how long you’re in the business, so it’s nice when you have consolation from your family of authors who’ve been there, understand that.
So onward and upward, into the fray we go, waiting for that plotline to smack us up the back of the head, and be the first of a fantastic series that readers will want more and more of – or maybe even a movie director will fall in love with… Cheyenne, I’ll be calling you.
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