Title: For the Love of Samuel
Author: RP Andrews
Release Date: 11/20/2017
Heat Level: 5 - Erotica
Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, eroic gay romance, erotic gay fiction
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Why l’ve Gone Back to Self-Publishing
Counting my new work of erotic gay romance, ”For The Love Of Samuel,” l’ve published five works of fiction and another, my memoirs. All but my memoirs and my new book were picked up by gay publishers, but l have decided to return to self-publishing. And for good reasons. And it's not about royalties because Amazon which is the place to be if you self-publish also takes its pound of flesh.
The first and foremost reason is the lack of publicity. They throw your book up on their website as the book of the week, attempt to get you a few reviews, and then let your linger in literary purgatory.
Secondly, gay publishers are dying quicker than landlines, victims of mainstream publishing which no longer frowns on gay titles (though most of the books our kind write aren’t the nine hundred page behemoths they prefer), as well as the self-publishing trend as one of my publishers confessed to me. Of the five publishers l’ve been associated with in the past, three are now gone, which leaves you the author to find another publisher, self-publish, or watch your book disappear into cyberspace.
Plus l’ve had a few run-ins with editors who thought some of my stuff too over the top. (Some if it? It’s ALL over the top!) Like one scene in an earlier book where l had my protagonist eat the cheese off his lover’s beard as they were having pizza in some blue collar town. Erotic? You betcha. But no, said my editors, that just won't do.
And if you want to explore incest or pedophilia or violence for vengeance’s sake, or excessive drug use, they’re all forbidden.
In my new book, my protagonist has a sexual encounter on the train with a gay daddy where they role-play father and son; in another scene my lead is introduced to a pair of fraternal twin brothers who happen to be lovers; and drug use and imagery abound. Not for titillation but because they are a part of some gay men’s lives. Period. No apologies necessary or offered.
Why do people read our books in the first place? To be bored or to delve into a life they never would lead themselves?
Now if you self-publishing, you are left to your own devices when it comes to proofing. I find reading aloud helps along with half a dozen read-throughs. And l have a few trusted buddies whose constructive criticism as to storyline line and content l trust and often follow.
For a couple of hundred bucks l have an outfit like Booknookbiz to translate my Microsoft doc into the e-formatted files l need to upload to Amazon for Kindle that is far and away the winner in the e-book game, and Barnes and Noble for the less popular Nook. Booknookbiz can also point you in the right direction for artists to create that all important cover. My publicist Lori who operates lndigo Design and Marketing arranges for a virtual book tour where l’m a guest blogger on sites like this one. Plus there's my own author website and My Facebook pages, and l’m fortunate to live in Fort Lauderdale, the gay crossroads of the world, where advertising in our glossy weekly gay entertainment guide Hotspots reaches thousands of out town tourists from across the country and around the world.
Ironically Amazon will hustle you to advertise your book on their site until they find out yours is erotica (“ sorry, we have our community standards…”), and Facebook is equally puritanical. I couldn't advertise my last book,”Buy Guys,” using the cover because it sported two barechested men. Heavens to Betsy! A good site that welcomes erotica is WhizBuzz. For a few bucks they’ll not only display your work but also publicize you in a number of other venues.
Sure it’s a lot of work, but isn't your baby worth it?
About the book:
New Yorker and aging gay man Billy Veleber who abhors growing old has lost Jim, his former meth head lover, to his habit, and Gus, the older man in his life and mentor, to despair, when he is confronted with the chance to become 21 all over again, through the magical prowess of the dog tag of a long dead Civil War soldier, Samuel Evans. Young again, Billy abandons Manhattan for Fort Lauderdale where he meets Dare, the love of his life, whose clever quick rich venture first bonds them, then threatens to end their idyllic lives together forever. Billy also faces the reality of having to tell Dare the truth about himself.
Billy Veleber, a 51 year old aging gay mam living in Manhattan, after a number of heartbreaks, decides to put on the dog tag of a Civil soldier given to him by Travis, a clerk in a thrift shop in Boystown, Chicago, who tells him it will give him eternal youth if he has had or has love in his life. The dog tag had been handed down for generations since it was given to Walt Whitman by a dying soldier he nursed in the Washington, D.C., Armory Hospital in 1862. Over the intervening weekend, Billy begins his transformation to 21, the same age as the soldier, Samuel Evans, whose dog tag he wears, died ...
I leave the baths around five, and after a coma nap, a quick Smart Choice Fettuccini Alfredo 400 calorie dinner and a good hot shower - I notice with cocky satisfaction in the bedroom’s full length mirror that my love handles are history, my stomach is flatter, my receding hairline is unreceding, and most of the gray on my head and in my beard and and on - yes! - my chest is going or gone, I head over in my leather vest, no shirt, and levis and boots for The New Eagle off Tenth Avenue. It’s almost one - a.m. - but as one of my fuck buddies before Gus and even Jim, said, “That's when they stop window shopping.”
Now it’s called The New Eagle because the old Eagle, along with the Spike and the Lure, the leather triumvirate of my youth and my years with Gus, were gone. They had become the victims of the real estate boom at the turn of the millennium, and had been brutally and sacrilegiously torn down for shiny, gleaming condos and spankingly clean baby carriages.
In the crappy bathroom at the Spike they had stenciled on the black wall in cheap white paint, “Don't flush for piss.” That said it all. I only hoped some gay historians had saved that piece of the wall before it too became history. Now all we have left is the hole on Tenth Avenue, what us hardcore leathermen sarcastically brand as Genuine “Vi-nel.”
I strut in, my goose-step no longer adopted but my own, and find the same Chatty Cathy cliques - different faces, same old shit - going on like the last time I was here with Gus just after we’d gotten back from our first class holiday excursion to Athens and Rome and a few weeks before his stroke.
In between the groupies are some of the oldest members of our clan, The Old Guard, usually alone because most of their cronies are already dead, and usually with enough keys hanging from their belts to rival a night watchman at the Chrysler Building, the fucken handkerchiefs hanging from their pockets, so Twentieth Century, or the best of them in faded, stretched out jock straps that should be on Antiques Road Show along with their owners. Yea it’s true, the older some of these guys got, the less they wore. For attention I guess.
Admired or ridiculed, it doesn't matter; the greatest sin is to be ignored.
I order my nine dollar screwdriver with fifteen cents of vodka in it, and head up the stairs to the second level where just a year before Gus and I had had our leather marriage ceremony.
As I’m going up the stairs some twink in a super short Tux jacket, Bermuda shorts and floppies and one of those Abe Lincoln top hats - I guess he thinks he’s in the Garment District because anywhere else he’d be tire-ironed - and his angelic girl friend, a vision in pink, dressed in a fluffy chiffon skirt, low cut blouse and sneakers, are waltzing down the stairs. They give a funny stare but I stare them right back.
“You,” say I, pointing to the bitch, “don't belong here.”
“You can't discriminate against us, fucker,” replies her boyfriend who sounds like he shoots up with estrogen in the morning.
I give him a frumpy look back. Yea, buddy you’re right. The days when a leather bar could stop you from coming in if you weren't dressed “in code” are over. With the leather scene fading faster than an Atlantic City “Wish You Were Here” postcard, it's all about selling the liquor.
There's less people upstairs, the same Chatty Cathy shit going on or guys on their fucken phones GPSing you but never making a move beyond that, when I see HIM.
He’s tall but not too tall, hairy but not a gorilla like me, older but not old, with an open leather camouflage vest showing a tight, lightly furry chest and six pack out of one of Men’s Fitness cover stories, “Dynamite Abs in Just Six Weeks!”, a scrawny beard and face of a felon who did hard labor, and leather gloves and biker’s cap to complete the whole Neo-Nazi look.
Plus a pair of furry, honey melon buns deliciously hanging from his chaps begging to be tongued.
He’s standing at the other end of the bar, surrounded by clones though he is far and away the pick of the litter. I lock my eyes on him like a laser for a good ten minutes but I get hardly a glance.
Now in the old days before Jim and Gus when I was free as a bird but as timid as a spinster, I would have just moved on. Oh, but this was the new Billy, the ballsy Billy. I walk over and stand two feet away from Mr. Hot Shit and his court jesters and just keep staring.
Finally I get his attention.
“You got a problem, bud?” he says returning the stare of a killer. His cronies do the same.
“Well, I've been cruising you for at least ten minutes now and I didn't even get a fart back.”
“So what are you looking for, some fem, or fat boy, or maybe some tough guy with whips, chains and razors hanging from his belt?”
His buddies begin to little girl giggle, but not a muscle moves in Hotshit’s Stone Mountain face.
“I’m not into watching your pubic hairs grow in, buddy.”
“How old do you think I am?”
“Thirty, thirty two maybe.”
Fuck, dude, I’d suck your dick all night just for that. But I continue to play it cool.
“So you get your kicks changing some old man’s Depends, I guess.”
Now Hotshit is the only one that's laughing.
“Okay, smart ass, buy me a beer.”
He follows me to the bar and after collecting our beers, we move to the other side and sit down on the wood bleachers.
“I gotta tell you buddy -”
“Billy, name’s Billy.”
“Hank, in from LA. Hell, Billy, you're the first guy I've met in a long time that’s got balls for real.”
“Hey, I know what I want, so why waste one another's time?”
“And you want me?”
“If you can deal with all this.” I glide my hand over the fur on my chest and abs when Hank puts his hand over mine and pushes it further down to my crotch.
“I dig the fur big time. And most younger guys are so used to deleting and blocking everybody, they don't know how to talk, Christ, they don't know how to fart in public. But you - you sound pretty mature for a kid old enough to be my son.”
“You don't have to be old to have your shit together.”
Hank raises his razor chin. “So how old do you think I am, stud?”
Now with that hard core felon face, I took him for fifty but PR taught me to tell people what they wanna hear.
“Good answer,” he replies. “I’m 46.”
“l just threw a guy out younger than you," I say smugly.
“High maintenance. Wanted it all the time. Hey, what do I look like, some fucking machine?”
“You must be pretty tough.” He smiles for the first time since we connected, a tough guy’s, controlled, but a smile nonetheless.
“Yea, I’m a trust fund baby, do what I wanna do, when I wanna do it, with whoever I wanna do it with.”
It’s refreshing to create whatever past the moment calls for when you know, chances are, you'll never see the guy again.
“And you?” I ask. “You're not one of these aging hotties who live off those of us with money are you?” This time I place my hand on his chest, rubbing it slowly back and forth from nipple to nipple. He’s got a nice succulent set.
“You know something,” with his own smart ass grin. “I’m going to really enjoy hearing you howl while I fuck you.”
I get up, pat my ass for his benefit, then sit down again.
“This ain't yours yet.”
“Okay, fair enough.” He takes my hand, places it on his crotch, a respectable bulge at that. “I’m a set designer in Hollyweird, between gigs which is why I decided go visit New York and see some old buddies …”
“...who you're free loading off of.”
“If you mean, I’m staying with one of them the answer is yes.”
“Current trans-coastal lover, present or former fuck buddy, auditioning sugar daddy, which is it?”
“None of the above. Just a buddy’s couch and a lumpy one at that.”
“Well then, that makes it easy.” I get down off the bleachers and wait for him to follow. He does.
“Remember.” He taps on the chrome and leather armband on his bulging left bicep.
“So two tops can have fun,” I say matter of factly, taping on my neoprene version, also on my not quite as bulging as his left bicep. “Who ends up on the bottom bunk is a matter of luck and timing.”
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Meet the Author
RP Andrews spent most of his life in New York City as a public relations executive before relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 2002, where he enjoyed a brief second career teaching writing at a local university.
All his works of erotic gay fiction and non-fiction are available at amazon.com.
His first work of erotic gay fiction, a collection of edgy short stories called “Basic Butch,” was originally published by San Francisco-based GLBT Publishers in 2008. Basic Butch features characters who go down life paths that, in the end, they wish they had never explored.
RP Andrews’ daily social commentary blog on gay life in America has been running since 2010 at str8gayconfessions.com, and a second edition collection of these commentaries is available as an e-book on amazon.com. Confessions of a Str8Gay Man is RP Andrews’ unvarnished, unorthodox views of Modern Gay America which are often counter to today’s political correct gay media.
In addition, there is “Furry Man’s Journal,” his erotic memoirs as a hirsute gay man as told through his experiences with the dozen iconic men in his life.
For more info, visit his website.
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