I can’t remember the title of the first story I wrote for publication, but I do remember the setting−a government office building in New York City where I worked. The characters also remain with me. The POV was first person; besides the stand in for myself the other character was an extremely sexy custodial worker who ended up naked on my office couch. In the late 1980s it was accepted for publication in a “one-hand magazine” and I received a free one year’s subscription as payment for putting my fantasy in writing.
Not until late in the first decade of this century did I make another attempt at being published. My newly created pseudonym in hand, I submitted “South Sea Sex” to Alyson Books for inclusion in “Island Boys: Tropical Gay Erotica.” I used the Internet to research an exotic locale, creating a nameless island somewhere in the region of “Tonga, Papeete, Tuamotu” where the red-haired protagonist ventures away from the cruise ship tour group and encounters a scantily clad young man of the local tribe. From there my imagination took the story to the paranormal as the youth was a specter. The hero’s subsequent sexual encounter with the dead aboriginal and then with his brother and the involvement of the tribe’s shaman resulted in a very satisfying, erotic yet romantic resolution.
Being selected for inclusion in the anthology prompted me to consider writing more stories; but of what, with whom, and set where? These questions guided me to a basic principle: “Write what you know.” In spite of the purely fantastical nature of the first story, I made a conscious decision to write a story set where I lived−South Florida. “Not Looking for Love,” set in Palm Beach County, was included in “Best Gay Love Stories of 2009” again from Alyson Books.
In addition to locale, that story was the first in which I encountered a situation that quickly grew into a story. As I drove along A1A I saw a young man carrying a surfboard from the beach to the mainland. While we were both stopped at a drawbridge I fantasized about inviting him to ride in my convertible. My imagination constructed an erotic May/December romance−well, maybe May/August.
Subsequently “Soaring with a Hawk” was in “Best Gay Stories of 2010.” That was the first installment in what eventually became “Frontier Brothers,” set before, during, and after the Civil War. The four stories separately and the compilation into a print book can be found at http://excessica.com and remain among my best selling titles.
I moved to Excessica in 2011 with another story set in South Florida: “Getting Wet in the Mall.” It was relatively successful and I followed quickly with more stories in that locale. In future blogs, I plan to discuss further the South Florida stories I released through Excessica.