Monday, March 12, 2012

Give a warm welcome to Edmond Manning and a Contest

  1. CONTEST INFORMATION: Edmond is giving away a PDF copy of King Perry to one lucky reader. Please leave an email in with your comment in order to be eligible. Contest closes March 16th.
How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the I qmagination?
I've been writing fiction for decades. For much of that time, my writing was high-end mediocre. I could tell a good story. Decent with the comma. I even could write in a few metaphors. So, you know, whooo hooo. But nothing felt really original or inspired. I hadn't discovered this magic place inside me where writing merges intensely your soul's work. Kind of a dramatic thing to say, I know, but once I married writing with my joy and my life mission, then, wow, craaaaaaaazy things began to come out of my writing. I used to like writing. Now, I love it. I crave it.
Can you describe them to us?
Vin, the narrator, is quite the planner. I don't want to give much away, but he artfully arranges an entire weekend of delicious surprises for his guest, Perry. Vin is cunning and strategic, turns every moment to his advantage, and focuses all his big, goofy love on Perry. But Vin's weaknesses shine through as well: crippling self-doubt and his lack of self-awareness as to how to solve his own troubles. It's hard to see a man with so much love for others struggling to love himself.
Perry, on the other hand, does not find these "delicious surprises" quite so delicious most of the time. (e.g. Vin tricks Perry into the kidnapping of a small water fowl. 'Nuff said.) Perry is just as strong as Vin, demonstrated in his incredible flexibility, endurance, courage, patience, and love. In the end, Perry radiates his own flavor of kingliness, just like Vin promised him. But we also see Perry cross, sad, churlish, hurt, and furious. Every feeling comes flying out of Perry that weekend they spend together – nothing is held back.
What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong?
One of the great advantages about writing in first person is you get to see the character's vulnerable thoughts. He can't shield them from himself. In King Perry, Vin blames himself for screw-ups, scolds himself for thinking 'stupidly' in his own opinion, and he calls himself a moron. We all probably do that to ourselves to some degree, but usually censor it some. With a first-person narrator, we get to see every ugly, self-judgment. I think it makes for a fascinating character.
What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?
When my characters stop talking to me, it's usually because I'm not listening. I am preoccupied with something else, a day-job problem, a relationship issue, etc. I have to deal with the interruption, and then focus all my attention back on them before I can continue writing.
You have some great secondary characters in your books. Will we see spin offs in regards to them in their own story lines?
We will see some secondary characters again. We haven't seen the last of King Aabee. Or Liam, the Dolphin King. Or a few others…they are still firmly a part of the series, The Lost & Founds. There are six books planned for right now, so those secondary characters will have a few opportunities to step out onto the stage.
Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?
I didn't intend to write a series of books. I just realized the narrator, Vin, had a big story to tell and it wouldn't fit into one book without it devolving into "and then this happened and then THIS happened and then THIS happened…" Bleah. Who wants to read that? A series made more sense.
What do you think is the level of sensuality/heat in your books? What can readers expect from your books with respect to sexual content and sensuality?
Honestly? It's hot. It's sweaty. It's not extreme kink; it's love-making between two men who have great feelings for each other. But I am not shy about describing the thrusts, the kissing, every naked plane, etc. But more than sex, I'm a big fan of rich sensuality. But the sensuality is not all champagne and rose petals. (e.g. Midnight sex in an Alcatraz jail cell.) A sweet woman in her 60's emailed me yesterday to tell me that although she doesn't read M4M fiction, a friend highly recommended King Perry, and she read it. In her email she told me she very much enjoyed it and also said, "It's very spicy." I love that description. It's spicy!
Please tell us about your latest/upcoming release(s). What are they all about?
King Perry is the first book of six in the series, titled The Lost & Founds. I've been blessed with crazy positive reviews on amazon, goodreads, and a few critical websites. I'm absolutely delighted! Right now, I'm working on Book 2, the next man whom Vin kings. In fact, there are clues throughout King Perry as to who that next man will be…
What genre do you write in?
What I write is so odd, I'm never sure how to answer this. I write stories about people. Sometimes they're in love or struggling with love (which makes the genre romance) and sometimes they deal with depression, getting fired or alienation (modern fiction), and usually they're on a mission toward self-awareness (classic hero's journey).
Is there a genre you haven't tried yet but want to in the future?
I'd love to try science fiction. I'm so critical when I read science fiction. You want me to believe that these insect-like aliens have "seat belts" in their space ships or 300 years into human future, NetFlix is still around? C'mon! I would like to write sci-fi to see if I can do any better. I imagine creating entire civilizations with new technology, manners, and jobs is immensely challenging. Much easier to criticize.
What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote?
Out of context this is bizarre, but here goes. Narrator Vin Vanbly describes a Found Kings' battle scene: 
"The King of Curiosity ordered an attack. The chief strategist, a transgendered man named Lynette, decided to repel the King of Curiosity's assault with Christmas carol lyrics sung to heavy metal songs. But they had not planned for a counter attack: water balloons filled with yellow mustard and chicken feathers blown at them with giant wind fans."
What do you do for fun/relax? Any hobbies?
I read a lot of comic books. When you're over 40, you're supposed to say, "I collect comic books," so it sounds like this ridiculous hobby has this 'investment' quality to it and you sound less like a big nerd, but nope, I read them for pleasure. I love the way innovative art interacts with concise storytelling to create something powerful. Favorites are:  The Unwritten, Sweet Tooth, the Walking Dead, X-men (uh….all of them), Fables, Irredeemable, Locke & Key, Deadpool, and more.
Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
I do. I have a story on the back burner which requires a great deal of research. I intend to write fiction about Jesus interacting with a gay man from the Bible (I'm not revealing this Biblical character's name yet). I do not think the character would describe himself as 'gay.' I am fascinated by how a gay man or woman would have self-identified knowing as little as they did about what makes a person gay, how it's actually fairly normal, etc. Did they know peace? Did they accept their orientation?
Secondly, I'm fascinated by how in today's culture, any religious nut who wants to make a point uses Jesus to justify whatever they want. It's gross. But who was he really? Did he eat toast? Did he ever complain that his feet hurt? I don't intend to be sacrilegious (not exactly), but Jesus surely had real-world problems. If he was half-man as well as half-god, then surely he got pissed about stepping in donkey shit sometimes. Right?
I think this book, intended for mainstream gay and straight audiences, will be a bit shocking. (Jesus will NOT be having sex with the gay man in the story, so maybe not that shocking.)
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
The King of Curiosity. I think it's the most awesome king name and I love that curiosity applies to an incredibly wide range of topics. I myself am frustrated that there's not enough time in this lifetime to have 12 different careers and read every book on my list. In the series of books I'm writing, nobody truly understands the King of Curiosity's power, it's quite a mystery, even to all the Found Kings. I like that.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Like a dog who circles himself a few times before lying down, I take a while to settle down to writing. I usually start by doing the dishes, putting clothes in the washer, and removing piles of stuff from the dining room table. I invent a few chores to complete while I'm thinking through the day's writing goals. By the time I start writing, my house is clean. (Of course, perhaps three hours passed as well.)
I write for an hour, walk around the house, straighten things that don't really need straightening, then sit down and dive back in for another two hours. I'm a fan of frequent short breaks unless I am seriously in the groove and then I don’t look up until I am spent. I can write for 10 hours if I'm in the zone. All I need is a roaring fire, bruschetta, red wine, and some trancey house music pumping softly. (Oh, and maybe some of those candied orange slices.)
Can you please give us an idea on what you are working on for the future?
Right now, I'm working on Book 2 in the series, the next man whom Vin kings. In fact, there are clues throughout King Perry as to who that next man will be…I'm halfway done with that book right now.
What’s better to write about-perfect characters or flawed ones? And why?
Never trust a perfect character: they're the worst. They are either badly designed, born of an author who does not understand human nature, or they are immensely boring. On a first date, one perfect character orders a decaf latte with cinnamon and his perfectly handsome date says, eyes wide, "That's what I order every single day." And now they know their soul mates? Please. It's a frickin' latte. Love never feels quite magical when two perfect characters instantly mean everything to each other.
I prefer men and women who struggle as characters. I haven't met a single person who doesn't struggle with their own issues. Money, looks, whatever. Even the most confident among us have sore spots of low self-esteem where we are sorrowful and broken. Seeing someone's brokenness is beautiful.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I blog. My blog entries are about writing fiction, keeping my heart open, challenges in life, etc. When I write for my blog, I remember to connect with that other part of me, the part that is not rushed and hurried. Writing for my blog helps me open my heart and since I tell myself, "It's just for my blog," that gives me a little flexibility and freedom to take it less seriously. Of course, then I spent a day polishing sentences, and getting exciting about writing something heartfelt, so despite my nonchalance, I do take the blog writing somewhat seriously.
By the time a blog entry is finished, I'm usually ready for fiction-writing.
Few fun ones:
If you could travel to any time period, where would you and why?
I want to watch the druids build Stonehenge. With me, I'm bringing toilet paper and Cheetos. No ironic time-traveling twists: I don't want to be a slave who has to lift heavy rock or the first sacrifice on Stonehenge. No whippings! If I get bored watching them, I'd like to be able to come home to my time and get a snack. Yes, I'm a high-maintenance time traveler.
Hollywood has come calling and is interested in King Perry. You get to pick the actors to play Vin, Perry, and King Aabee. Who do you choose?
WAIT – have you heard something? It's Spielberg, right? Oh my god. Oh my god.  Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Spielberg? Oh. This is all hypothetical? Oh. Well. Gosh, Dawn, I kinda wish you hadn't phrased the question in such a leading way. Humph.
Vin Vanbly – Taylor Lautner* (wolf guy from Twilight)
Perry Mangin – Jeff Stultz* (main star of the TV show, The Finder)
King Aabee – Lawrence Fishbourne
I'm not sure that either one of these guys is right for the part. Certainly not Taylor as Vin. But I'd like to see these two actors have sex. I, of course, would be on the set during the filming saying things like, "Taylor, babe, I think Vin would give a little more of a tongue bath here…yeah, like that. Good. Go with that."
What is your one favorite foods to enjoy?
Pace Medium chunky salsa. I could eat it for every meal. Damn you, high sodium content! <shakes fist>
Any weird cravings when writing?
Vin always loves thinking about food, so I'm constantly hungry when writing. I will write about Vin's craving for grilled cauliflower with garlic and olive oil and then remember that it's MY craving, not his. I have to go back and delete a few lines and then get myself the food I'm craving.
I also want someone to massage my neck while I'm writing. Does that count as a weird craving? What if I want the massage from former Saved by the Bell star, Mario Lopez? Is that weird?
Anything else to add?
Yes. My favorite color is periwinkle. There. Done.

King Perry by Edmond Manning
Buy at Dreamspinner Press HERE

In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry’s “kingship” and transform him into the man he was always meant to be.

Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as 'the one true king.' 

Even as Perry rediscovers old grief and new joys within himself, Vin and his shadowy motivations remain enigmas: who is this off-beat stranger guiding them from danger to hilarity to danger? To emerge triumphant, Perry must overcome the greatest challenge alone: embracing his devastating past. But can he succeed by Sunday's sunrise deadline? How can he possibly evolve from an ordinary man into King Perry?


ceagles said...

Hi. I love finding new authors to add to my list of "to look for books by" LOL. I hope I win this looks like a really really great book otherwise it wait till payday. Have a great day. ;D


HelloHallie said...

Love Periwinkle too. Just a little bit of info there too.

andys said...

Another comic reader who's a writer! Hey! Good to know we're out there. Have you read Chew? I just love that comic. Locke and Key is pretty awesome, though.

And the book sounds great, so count me in! aspeed2 at gmail dot com

michael Outen said...

I cant wait to read this book. I wish you great success, I also like periwinkle.

Midia said...

King Perry seems great.
I loved the interview and I look forward to reading the book.

Edmond said...

Hi Andys,

I can't believe I didn't mention Chew! I LOVE ME SOME CHEW! It's a brilliant series. Gosh...forgot that. I do intend to write a blog entry some day about how reading comics influences a person's ability to visualize locations and describe a scene when writing. :-)

Thanks for the well-wishes, Michael! And to HelloHallie and Michael, thanks for sharing the periwinkle love.

Chris, don't tell anyone else, but I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Shhhhhhh.


Loveless3173 said...

I love the sound of this book! I really do! and yay! New Author! lol. xD

Really love the cover and If I happen not to win, for sure I shall be getting it next weekend. \o/ Whoo~


bill said...

I love the idea of a series - I actually prefer reading them over just one book - I like getting to know the characters. I just treated myself to a Nook Tablet, and I'm starting my collection. I'm very interested in the story line(s) you've got for this series. Being a sci-fi fan, I'd like to see what you come up with in the way of sci-fi w/a "gay twist" (for lack of better terminology). I like that your story's set in SF (my hometown)- is SF a "character" in the book, like "Tales of the City" (GREAT series!!)?? I'm also interested in your story about Jesus. I read a series (back in the 80's - now I'm showing my age - original Badlands person here) that was called "The Children of the Lion", by Peter Danielson (loosely based on the bible). Another excellent series. So, guess you can consider this my entry for the contest!! Oh, this may blow it for me, but PACE?!?!?!? Really?????? EWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!
Bill Gay, Jr. (yes, my born, given name!! I know, how appropriate).

bill said...

Lordy, hope this entry takes!! The idea of this series sounds very interesting. As it's set in SF (my hometown), is SF a "character" in the book, along the lines of "Tales of the City"? LOVE that series. I'm also interested in your idea about the book w/Jesus. I read a series back in the 80's (now I'm showing my age - original Badlands guy here!), and the series was "The Children of the Lion", by Peter Danielson - excellent series, very loosely based on the bible. The rest of your interview was good, w/one exception - and hope this doesn't take me out of the running - PACE ?!?!?!?! Really!?!?!?! EWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!
Bill Gay, Jr (yes, my born, given name! LOL!!!!)

Dawn Roberto said...

Andy at aspeed is the winner of King Perry. Congrats

Edmond said...

Hey Bill,

Like you, I love series as well. Especially as you get to know the characters and their motivation over time. And yes, San Francisco is a gorgeous location for a's just a magical, fantastasmical place. (yes, I said fantastmical.)

The next book is set elsewhere...there are a lot of um...fantastasmical places to highlight.

THANKS TO ALL who signed up for the contest. It was fun to see all your comments.