Here with us on ManLoveAuthors is Sage Marlowe, an author of gay erotic romance. Sage has been a busy bee for the last year and has published several novels and novellas that revolve around sometimes gorgeous, sometimes annoying, characters and their sometimes cheerful, sometimes tragic, but always naughty stories.
Q: What was the hardest thing you had to do when you started out as a writer?
A: Two things, actually. The first was deciding that my manuscript was finally polished enough and fit to be seen by another person. The second was writing a query letter and hitting send.
Q: What was the easiest thing?
A: In retrospective—writing the book.
Q: Do you base any of your stories on real people or places or events?
A: Of course not. All characters are fictitious and similarities are strictly coincidental. Okay, yes, I do, but you wouldn’t recognise a person I know. I only take the odd feature or quirk to add some depth to a character. Some scenes are based on actual events or anecdotes, but again, I doubt anyone would recognise them.
Q: Why do you think erotic romance is so popular with readers these days?
A: I’m not sure whether I’d describe erotic romance as a new phenomenon in literature. It just happens to be available far more easily to a far bigger range of readers since the invention of e-readers. In my opinion, the fact that it is so popular only shows that there has been a high demand in sexually explicit but still romantic stories even before e-books became available, and why not? Romance has always been a popular genre, and sex is a vital component of a relationship, so leaving it out would essentially mean missing out on a big part of the story.
Q: Why do you think it is important to write about GLBT erotic fiction?
A: Well—why not? GLBT people are as much a part of society as straight people and just as “normal.” Thinking about “mainstream” books and films that feature gay and/or lesbian characters, I’d say that they are mostly presented as clichés, weirdos, or just plain laughingstock which obviously only alienates them yet further. I think it’s high time queer characters were presented as the “normal people” they are, who have their issues and relationship troubles just like everybody else. Fortunately in erotic fiction, that is the case most of the time.
Incidentally though, I never even thought about those things when I started writing. I only realised that maybe not everyone understood that whether queer or not, we’re all just human when a reader told me she’d been surprised to find that one of the gay couples in my book dealt with just the same sorts of problems as all the straight people she knew. This comment wasn’t meant to be insulting at all—she just never had the chance to see the other side. And that is why it’s important to write about gay and lesbian characters, not to mention transgender people, who have yet another set of problems to deal with. People tend to be afraid of what they don’t know, so telling them and helping them to understand is the best way to stop bigotry and hate.
Q: What genre would you like to try and write that is different from your own?
A: I’m actually very happy with the genre I write. However, I’d love to write a good, old-fashioned who-dunnit with lots of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end.
Q: Are you a disciplined writer or do you have to wait for the muse to arrive? Do you have a ritual that gets you in the mood?
A: I’m very lucky as I have a generous muse who requires nothing more than my attention to come out and play with me. Well, and sometimes he gets impatient and just grabs me and makes me write regardless of what’s going on. I’ve been known to write steamy sex scenes in the doctor’s waiting room.
Q: If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he tell?
A: Actually, I’m afraid to ask him. I guess he might say that I occasionally conk out while writing on my phone late at night. That’s a bad habit because I sometimes wake up with my finger on the backspace key, which is not a nice thing to happen. Believe me.
Q: What is your most current release with Siren-BookStrand? Please tell us a bit about what inspired it.
A: My most current release with Siren-BookStrand is titled A Life as a Ghost. It’s the third book in the Romeo & Julian series. Romeo is a mysterious former cat burglar-slash-art thief who becomes a consultant with the FBI. Julian is the agent who shares an office and a bed with him. The two have great chemistry, even though poor Agent Julian Harris seems to be one step behind sexy Romeo most of the time.
Readers of this series will very soon realise that there are some parallels to the TV show White Collar, starring Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay. Although Romeo & Julian is in no way fanfic and the story lines are different, art thief Romeo’s character was inspired by that of Neal Caffrey. This was one of the best stories for me to write because it allowed me to write off the purchase of said TV series against taxes.
You can read the blurb and excerpts here:
Q: What can readers expect from you next?
A: As usual, I currently have several WIPs on the go, one of which is the fourth book in the Romeo & Julian series. The story has taken yet another interesting turn and I can’t wait to find out what’s next for those two.