Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet Sandra Garcia - M/M Erotic Author




 S. A. Garcia
M/M Erotica Romance


      Welcome to my chat with Sandra Garcia where we're keeping warm by the fire with hot Irish coffee! We're excited you stopped in to meet her and the characters in her books. For those who love the M/M erotica, you're in for a treat! Let me share a bit about her and then we'll get started!
   Thirty years ago, she started writing gay male romance. Her writing remained a secret lest her friends thought her a freak. Writing about men inserting tab A into slot B didn’t seem the norm for a suburban female teenager. Reading Gordon Merrick, John Rechy and Larry Kramer helped her fill in the serious informational gaps. Yes, she read those books in her bedroom. No wonder.
    As the years progressed and she discovered her sexual orientation, she still wrote gay male romance, although the stories progressed from lurking in notebooks to hiding on the computer. She wrote fantasies, contemporaries, bodice rippers; she chugged along following her muse.
    Now she's glad she kept the writing faith. After six published novellas and novels, along with a few spicy short stories, her life has turned into a fun quandary of too many stories hindered by her slow typing skills. She accepted the silly challenge and blundered onward into more trauma, drama and humor. She just hoped she could keep up with men who insisted on running off with the plots!
     Sandy is giving away an e-copy of one of her books at the end. Be sure to get your entry in and also tell her which book you'd like if you win. Her books are listed on her website and blog; hop over there to check them out and maybe follow her blog!

Tonya:  Sandy, welcome to my blog! With the chill in the air everywhere, I'm glad we're in here where it's warm! Readers love to know more about their authors. Tell us a bit more about yourself. 


Sandy:  Call me a suspicious optimist who tends to believe everyone is good until dark reality comes and bites me in the ass. I’m always the one exclaiming, “how did they think they could get away with such an awful thing?”
      Writing has always been in my life. In the past, I co-owned an indie music publication that survived from 1985 to 1996. Those years were really fun and fascinating: traveling to interview bands, traveling to other countries for free, getting thrown out of hotel rooms… hee hee. I need to write a few novels about those wild years!
      Aside from my rock and roll years, I am fairly tame. I like cooking, gardening, traveling (when I can afford it!), reading, hiking, history, movies… fairly low-key stuff. I am not the type of person to bungie-jump off a bridge or attempt to climb a mountain, unless it’s a short one. I’m more likely to find a road that comes close to the top.

Tonya:  I think a story about rock stars would work well for you! Go for it! Readers, what do you think? Sandy, do you have a day job?

Sandy:  I had one up until 2009. My professional career used to be as an art director/designer with some technical writing on the side. When the corporate sector rejected me in 2009, I decided I could not stand to be eaten alive again. That is when I decided it was time to see if a publisher would be interested in my books. To my delight, in 2010 it happened! As of May, I was still working freelance in the art field. After a scary summer trying to reorganizing my writing, it’s time to look for more freelance.

Tonya:  Congrats on the publisher! Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?

Sandy:  I used to have a few quirks but my NaNoWriMo experience beat them out of me. These past weeks trained me to sit down, stop procrastinating, and get on with the writing! I discovered I am my own worst enemy; well, I’ve suspected that sad detail for years.

Tonya:  How true! We can so easily sabatage ourselves and not know it until we wonder what happened. Where do you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?

Sandy:  Lately a few great ideas have popped up in dreams or, more likely, nightmares. I’m awful about waking up and writing down the details, but I make sure I write down ideas the next day. Ideas pop up at weird times. No matter where they come from, I love ideas and hope they don’t fade away on me.

Tonya:  If you’re self-published, can you tell us a bit about that and how it’s going for you?

Sandy:  I haven’t traveled down the self-publishing road yet. I am considering it for one of my novels that seems to be a weird fit for the traditional m/m publishers.

Tonya:  Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?

Sandy:  I have gone through phases in my writing timing. I tend to write at night because I have time alone. Since my partner and I share a studio, I am used to writing with someone else around, but too often I need to ask her to stop talking to herself while she works on her photography.

Tonya:  What advice would you give to new authors?

Sandy: Never give up. There are so many times where I am frustrated or upset at a book’s reception. I want to throw up my hands and say, “why the hell am I putting myself through this nonsense?” Then I smack myself back into reality. If I allow the world to interfere with my writing, then I break a covenant with myself. Don’t give up!

Tonya: We have to believe in what we do, envision our dreams and make them happen! Good for you! Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?

Sandy:  When I first started on my novels, actors influenced me, but not so much now. Now I have a general idea of what they look but often that changes. One of my new characters in my “Cupid Knows Best” sequel kept shifting in my mind’s eye until I did a search and found a pic of a young Asian man with braids. Bingo! I must confess one of the evil characters in my sequel to “Canes and Scales” is heavily influenced by Loki from “Thor” and “The Avengers”. Damn, I adore Tom Huddleson in that role. He makes evil sexy.

Tonya:  What attracts you most about men?

Sandy:  Their humor, their intellect and, when necessary, I really like the ones who can repair things around the house for a reasonable price. Thank God for my partner’s brother! When it comes to things beyond painting or basic carpentry, he comes to our rescue.

Tonya:  We’re dying to hear about your latest book. What can you tell us without spoiling the storyline?

Sandy:  The comedy is told from the first POV of Professor Carl Conrad, a mid-thirties man whom his friends have dubbed a relationship serial killer. After running away from his last lover Martin, a banker prone to punching, Carl meets Marcelino Moya and, with Cupid’s help, falls in deep, serious love. His goal: to coax Cupid into turning the arrows of love on Marcelino. Once they establish a relationship, the uncertain Carl starts to obsess over why wild, sexy Marcelino refuses to use the “L” word.
     I know the storyline doesn’t sound comedic, but Carl’s wild internal ramblings and obsessions are damned wacky plus the sultry Marcelino is a trip. Plus there’s the hamsters. This is the first time pets play an important part in my tale. The hamsters are great characters.

Tonya:  Ummm...pets work well in stories! LOL Readers like to know about our fun side. What is your favorite night time snack?

Sandy:  If I stay up late, I raid our cheese drawer. My partner will go for something tasty like the dill havarti and whoops, it will be gone.

Tonya:  Do you like toppings on your ice cream?

Sandy:  I love to crumble pretzels over mint chocolate chip!

Tonya:  What’s your favorite meal - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc?

Sandy:  I can say I am not big on Thai food… too spicy for me! The same with most Indian cuisine. I like flavor but not heat. Being a vegetarian makes Italian an easy fall back cuisine. What I really like is Japanese food because I can’t create it. I can cook Chinese, Italian, Mexican but aside from tempura and miso soup, Japanese food daunts me. I leave the craft to the pros.

Tonya:  What are you working on now?

Sandy: I just finished my final edit an H.P. Lovecraft–inspired fairy tale. The story started as an echoes from the past supernatural novel, started morphing into a weird romance and ended as a fantastical fairy tale romance. I need to finish the dread synopsis. I can’t quite figure out how to describe the weird beastie!
      I am far along into the sequels for “Canes and Scales.” The “Canes and Scales” sequel features extra strength angst and strife via new heroes, villains and dangerous magic. I am really pleased with the story and hope to submit it before the year’s end. I wrote the sequel to “Cupid Knows Best” during NaNoWriMo. I am thrilled with the silly comedy. It’s not quite finished but if I can keep up my pace and conquer a few stubborn characters who keep wandering out of the story line, I’ll reach the end.

Tonya:  I've not thought of characters who do that but it might answer a few questions when the muse walks away...she could be searching for the character who walked away! I love it! Who is the character you identify with?

Sandy:  Another hmm. Okay, Carl from “Cupid Knows Best” is entirely too much like me. He’s obsessive, peace-loving, concerned about the one he loves but he has these fierce ego flare-ups. I love how when he feels down, he’s all, “I have work in the MoMA’s permanent collection.” Yeah, I love Carl.

Tonya:  Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?

Sandy:  Be adventurous. When I see someone claim they only read m/m, the statement puzzles me. How can a reader only read m/m? There are too many wonderful books out there to concentrate on one category. Granted under the m/m tent there are many different genres, but I worry that m/m readers come to expect the same tired formulas and stop looking outside their comfort zone. At least there is a thriving fantasy sector blossoming in the m/m genre. That is really encouraging to see.

Tonya:  There really is! The genre is taking off in leaps and bounds so we wish you the best! Sounds like a good excerpt point from “Cupid Knows Best”!


BLURB:
When it comes to his professional life, photographer Carl Conrad is at the top of his game. He molds impressionable minds at university by day and jets off to Paris for gallery showings on long weekends. Unfortunately, he pays for it with his disastrous personal life: Carl kicked his boyfriend to the curb after one too many punches, so now it's just him and his hamsters, one of which he suspects may be a space alien.
Then Cupid takes pity on Carl and hits him where it hurts. It takes Carl all of three seconds to fall head over heels in lust with set design student Marcelino Moya, despite the man’s questionable—okay, deplorable—fashion sense. Convincing Marcelino to give him a chance is the hard part, but Carl is up for the challenge, pun definitely intended.
Marcelino plays hard to get, but he isn't immune to Carl's charms. Carl talks him around to dinner, dating, and eventually moving in. There's just one tiny word standing between Carl and perfect happiness. Why won't Marcelino say the “L” word?

 EXCERPT:

Wow, quite an eager crowd gathered outside Manny’s battered brick exterior. I politely weaseled my way toward the front and wagged my fingers in greeting. Bernie, the six-foot-eight bouncer, gave me his usual bone-splitting hug. I never told him that each hug tried snapping my ribs. The confession made me sound like a dainty wimp.
“Yo, Carl, my man, it’s been too long. I heard about you finally ditching Martin. Let me warn you, he slithered in here two nights ago. I almost denied him entrance, but he acted pretty tame.”
An agonized groan slipped out. I shook my head. “My ex is the proverbial bad seed. Big boy, if Martin attacks me tonight, I’ll count on you to save me.”
“Shhiiittt, like you need saving, buff boy.” Bernie’s massive coffee-toned hands gripped my biceps. “More like I’ll need to pick up Martin’s teeth before I toss his sorry ass out the door. My hands tell me someone works out on a regular basis. See, Carl, you gotta learn to throw the first punch.”
“What can I say, I’m a dedicated pacifist.” I winked at Bernie’s laughter and entered the dense noise and body-filled atmosphere. Tonight the club appeared packed, beyond packed, infinitely packed to the max. Of course that was the point; a body wanted to dance as close as possible to the sweet target of its aching desire. Forget cheek-to-cheek; tight dick-to-dick action ruled this mayhem.
Bernie’s lover, Rasheed, towered over everyone else at the bar. He monitored the sweaty action while slipping drinks to his favorites. The ex-football player-turned-club owner acted like a trusting kitty, but if a patron broke Rasheed’s strict rules, he turned into a tiger displaying honeydew melon-sized paws. Rasheed liked this artsy-fartsy flake because I appreciated arguing about old movies. Over the years I had turned into the classic patron who dropped in on bleak February weeknights for the company, most recently when Martin had traveled on business. My paranoia sickened me, but too often I suspected Martin’s business involved other men.
My self-censor bitch slapped my dismal thoughts. Not tonight. Absolutely not. Tonight I needed to relax and enjoy the pretty young scenery dancing in communal bliss.
Murmuring “excuse me” while pushing forward helped me wade through the masculine mass. I maneuvered until I caught my friend’s interest. Rasheed laughed in greeting and held out his ridiculously large hand. The two slender men blocking the bar hastily cleared away from the imposing thick arm jutting past their startled ears.
Rasheed merrily gripped my hand and half dragged my body onto the damp bar top. Ouch, ouch, ouch! “Carl C, here you stand, back among the living, yes sir, no longer tied down to the psycho nut named Martin.”
Weird, what newspaper ad had trumpeted my newly single status? “Hello to you, Rasheed.”
Rasheed’s sharp gaze ran over me. He whistled in approval. “Mmm, yeah, lookin’ fine, Carl, lookin’ like you expect a little prime action tonight.”
My ego wiggled in glee, but I shrugged off his words. “Naw, I’m here to watch.”
My reply received a mocking snort. “What an old spoilsport. Yo, the usual?”
I nodded and held up my pointer finger. “In celebration of the new semester, please make my drink a double.”
Rasheed rolled his jet-black eyes. “Sweet hot celebration indeed. Sleek young boy flesh crowds in here. Hmmph, tonight my sappy Bernie let in a few too many youngsters. He’s always a softy when school first starts. I can’t wait until he becomes picky about his prize boys and stops setting me up for a major bust.”
“Come on, you think the police would bust a former football star?”
“Yes, I do.”
I shrugged in dismay. “What the fuck is this world coming to?”
“Damned if I know!”
We shared a laugh. I twisted around to observe the crowded dance floor.
Hubba-hubba on high, my internal lens soared into action: click, whir, and cue telephoto zoom to hot wet nirvana. What a shocker.
No way. Lust soared into red alert and tried strangling me. No shit, I saw, I saw. Ouch, I didn’t need a heart attack. Falling to the floor wouldn’t help Cupid’s wacky plan, although with this packed crowd, I’d remain standing even when dead.
Sheer joyous amazement stiffened my cock. Across the packed dance floor, up on a little platform, a delicious young blond gyrated against Marcelino. I watched their dance in rapt admiration. Blondie artfully shook his long flowing hair. Tasty. Ha, ha, enjoy my Marcelino now, sweet blondie, because in a few minutes, you are being replaced. I knew exactly what I planned to say. I had pulled the same stunt when I wanted to meet Martin. Of course now I wished that someone had stopped me. A wise soul should have nailed my damned feet to the floor. The gruesome ache would have felt less painful than suffering Martin’s unexpected white-collar violence.
Come on, no more dwelling on Martin’s abuse. Not tonight. Instead I admired the glowing future swaying mere footsteps away from me. A broad smile claimed my lips. I accepted my drink from Rasheed and sipped the cool liquid. The potent alcohol warmed my belly and bolstered my courage. Ahh.
Gin and tonics reminded me of Ibiza’s wild beaches. During our yearly spring vacations, my first serious lover, Ian, had adored sitting on a tranquil terrace sipping gin and tonics while watching the frolicking beachgoers, which included a much younger me.
My sharp wince shook the lazy image from my mind. Great, not the time to bring another failed relationship into focus. Time for mental rescue. The potent drink barreled into my system. Blam: every nerve ending tingled in giddy release.
I winked at my friend and leaned across the drink-stained bar top. “Rasheed, my dear friend, I must withdraw my earlier words. I see my sweet destiny. I am off to claim him for my own.”
Rasheed shook his massive head  in measured amusement. “Carl, you be one crazy fuckin’ hippie dude. Your sweet destiny. Christ in a sparkly purple sidecar, you talk exactly like a lovesick little girl.”
His insult failed to defeat my merry grin. “Gee, thanks.” I slid my ass off the stool. Little girl status didn’t describe me, but Rasheed spoke the truth; damned lovesickness infected my soul.
Another real-time hallucination kicked in. My body swam through thick, loud water. I moved confidently like an old shark sliding among flashing bright young guppies. Closer, closer; somehow the lively crowd parted without me having to kick, punch, claw, or rip off any pretty heads from necks. They instinctively let me skim along. The happy dancers smelled my deep, feral need. Closer. Closer.
I paused for a second. I mindlessly allowed the tight, sweating bodies crowding my space to push me around in their sexy rhythm. Before I attacked, I needed to admire my glorious prey. Damn, tonight my erotic film star had dressed for wanton sex. His heroic body sported a simple black silk vest over a strategically ripped purple silk tank top. Dark flesh peeped through the rips. Skintight black linen trousers completed his outfit. Basic. Tasty. Yum, pleasing to see at least Marcelino understood how to dress for serious seduction. Why did he dance at Manny’s? My mind ticked off other gay dance clubs closer to where Marcelino lived.
Logical answer: sly Cupid had urged Marcelino across Manhattan to me. Oh yes indeed.
My admiring eyes narrowed in fresh focus. Under the sheer material, a thin silver chain traveled between two glittering silver rings attached to dark nipples. My fingers ached to pull the chain and stop his sweet sex train. Watch out, the hungry shark planned to derail the sexy express right into his waiting flippers.
This shark swam around the platform and floated up three steps. My fingers captured Blondie’s slim right arm. I leaned in close and whispered in his delicate pink ear. His golden hair almost filled my mouth. “Sir, the man you are dancing with is wanted by the police for questioning. I advise you to step away and let me take over.”
Blondie’s head twisted. His startled wide blue gaze fixed on me. What a tender cutie. He smelled good too, fresh and minty. If fair Marcelino acted as crazy as Martin, I’d keep this prime young hottie in mind.
No, if Marcelino acted crazy, I planned to become a sad monk, a dweller of the No Romantic Luck Brotherhood.
Blondie uttered breathy little words. “Oh my. Okay.” Poof, tender Blondie vanished like pale morning mist touched by the waking sun. Perfect.
A confused Marcelino already reacted to my sneaky backdoor appearance. “What the—Professor Conrad?”
I assumed the standard position before Marcelino and started swaying to the music. “In the flesh.” Hopefully soon to be buried in hot flesh.



Sandy A. Garcia’s info:

including Cupid Knows Best





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