Today we welcome Sam Standish with his debut novel
We asked Sam to talk a little about what it was like to write his first erotic novel.
So what was it like writing my first erotic novel? What special techniques did I use? What rules did I follow? None, really. Writing erotica is like writing anything else. It just happens to be focused in a particular way. There may be rules, but, if so, one finds them out as one goes along, because the content and the intent dictate them. Nor did I draw on any experience of reading erotica. With notable exceptions (Dale Chase, Ellis Carrington) I don’t read erotica. For Making Men I found myself drawing more on my nineteenth-century American lit class in college.
No, you probably won’t find parallels to Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville in Making Men. Or, you might. Sex, or what we seek from it, is a white whale. I focused my lens tight on man-to-man sex: the acts, the body parts, the bodily fluids. As I focused tight, the whale drew me along. The tighter I focused the tighter I focused, seeking essential meanings and struggling against the distances that separated the men. I tried to close those distances. (Broadly speaking, the wish to maintain distance and at the same time close it is what much of Dickinson is about, for me. Think of her, ever the artist, leaning out the window to watch her family’s festivities next door but not coming out to join them.)
I have felt distance my whole life. I fantasize about overcoming it, but rarely have the courage to do so. My fantasy life revolves around two scenarios: connecting and disconnecting; being on my own, away, and having intense, close connection. I am partnered but find ways to do that dance even with him: away, close, away, close, even if we are talking on the sofa the whole time. Escape, embrace, escape, embrace. In my head I write scenes of impossible closeness and connection I might have had as an adolescent.
But I could not have had participated in those scenes. Adolescence is inherently unstable, my own adolescence happened in a more closeted era, and most importantly, I lacked the freedom and bravery to become close to someone in the way I now fantasize, when I am older and it is too late—at least for that specific scenario. I worried that, by eroticizing freedom and bravery in Making Men, I would debase them. I would be that adolescent, idealizing. That is why I pushed the narrative to such an extreme, why the characters throw themselves into sex so hard they literally bleed or bruise. There is rage in me as there is in Ahab. I hope I have put it to good use, even to glorious use, in Making Men. I hope the book is as strange and wonderful as life. Strange for sure: What’s up with Kevin having sex with the old man? What about the two chapters with no sex at all? It all belongs. Everything serves some part of my celebrating the openness, bravery and caring that make real men.
I hope you will read Making Men, and I hope you will enjoy it. Of course, you should enter the giveaway, so maybe you’ll end up reading it for free!
Thank you for reading my words today, and thank you for inviting me to share on My Fiction Nook.
About Making Men
Three passionate men. Tony and Kevin are older and have learned to give, body and soul, till it hurts. Into their lives comes another young man, wanting desperately to give and to take all he can. Together these three will reach heights they never imagined. And each will discover for himself where he has to go next. This is a tale of devotion and transcendence. A tale of young male bodies. A tale unlike any other you have ever read.
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About the author:
SAM STANDISH lives on the edge of a dark forest by a mighty river. Making Men is his first novel.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.