Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Does Size Matter

I found myself asking the question yesterday - Does size matter? And of course I came up with the same answer as always - Of course it bloody does! I mean - what would you say if you ended up short changed. I wouldn't be too happy. I expect a decent length... 20,000 words at least.
Oh, you thought I was blogging about something else - well sorry to disappoint. Read a few of my books and you'll know my views on that trivial matter.
I mean book length. In the ebook world we are less conscious of size. There is no physical book to pick up, have a look at the thickness and decide like Goldilocks - too big, too small, just about right! With my early work I didn't worry too much as I wasn't controlled over pricing as I am now ($2.99 is the minimum I can set for the powerhouse in the business, and they tell you off in not very polite terms if they find the same book priced cheaper elsewhere). That's why there are a couple of books out there which I've rewritten to make longer - 'The Pilot's Surrender' being the main one. The original story was only 7,500 words which I think is way too short to charge $2.99 for. I doubled the length and still think it's a bit short. As I said, 20,000 is the minimum I now aim for.
But is that long enough?
For erotica maybe. The longest piece I've ever written as Jack Brighton is 'The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire'. Personally I think it's my best book, but I'm a bit biased as Paddy is my favourite creation. One reviewer said however that he found it went on too long and lost interest half way through. Sometimes big isn't better - at least for some people it isn't.
Anyway, why all this cropped up was due to my current piece of work. I had intended it to be a short story - one of three that was going to make up a Tom Farrell collection. I had reached 6,500 words and to be honest there is so much more to go. Short stories should be 1,000-7,500 words apparently, so it was going to be way out of that range. Thankfully there is enough scope for it to run well over 20,000 so it will become a book - a novella, which is 20-50,000 words. And that is where almost all of my books fall - it's very rare to go over like I did with Paddy, although some of the older works fall a tad short. Sorry!
It's those buggers in the middle that are the tricky ones: anything between 7,500 and 20,000, which are called novelettes I am now informed. I have a novelette that I wrote some time ago - a very personal piece titled Mania (just for clarity, I do not suffer from Bipolar Disorder). I made it free for a time because charging $2.99 seemed outrageous, but removed it because it wasn't a typical example of my work and it might have been giving out the wrong message. So what do I do? Risk pissing people off by charging too much for a short piece - or pad it out? I think it's right as it is, so it would possibly get spoiled. Tricky!
You see size does matter!
It matters to me!


Monday, 28 October 2013

The Right Environment

They say a change is as good as a rest, and I felt like a change and all the rest, so I moved out of my 'office' which is a sort of annexe to the house, and I'm sitting in the kitchen doing this blog, with the intension of cracking on with my current book shortly.
I'm going to move back in a minute. It's not working for me. It's just not the right environment. I can hear too many noises, like the fridge that keeps humming. I'm also conscious that it's early, and my partner is in bed upstairs. He sleeps like a log, so I'm hardly going to disturb, yet I'm still hitting the keyboard tentatively to dampen the sound of my typing.
Daft or what!
I need privacy to work effectively and this is too public. I need the right environment, with just me and the cat, so I'm signing off and going back... That was a Dusty Springfield song in case you didn't know. Her best in my opinion... Going Back.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

My Sparky

Looking for a little inspiration, I went in search of a muse. The story I'm working on at present involves a sparky (electrician) at a building site, and I needed a hunk in mind before writing his big scene.
I came up with these two. The guy at the top is the more handsome, and has the better body in my opinion, so he'll be the principal muse. But I like the expression of the other guys face - it's the sort of disdain I'm looking for in my man.
He also has the more impressive equipment - and you need great equipment on a building site - at least on the one I'm writing about you do! For decency sake I have cropped both pictures, but if you want to see what I mean then visit me on Tumblr
http://jackbrighton72.tumblr.com/where I'm less inclined to censor.
It's sad but true, again at least for me - when you see them both in a more revealing state it kind of shifts the balance of attraction. The top guy is beautiful, and I'm sure he's great in the sack. Probably he's perfect boyfriend material. But I'd pick the other one for some dirty sex.
Anyway, I'll take the best of both and add my own touches. That will be my sparky, and you can be sure he's going to do one electrifying job when he pops the narrator's cherry.


Bloggers Block

Clocks changed overnight, which came as a surprise, so apparently we have an extra hour this morning. Not that it would do me any good as I appear to have bloggers block!
I have suffered the odd moment of writers block in the past, but usually overcome it pretty quickly - taking a few days away from the computer and going for long walks normally sorts it out. But when you commit yourself to a daily blog then you need a quicker solution.
Normally something comes to me within a minute when I click the 'New Post' button. I do two blogs, and the other one is easy as I'm giving insights into a lengthy book I wrote under a different name, and talk around whatever theme has cropped up next without actually giving the story away. But this one is just my thoughts at the time, and sadly my head is empty. So that's the blog for today - Bloggers Block! Let's hope that it's unblocked by tomorrow. Any suggestions as to what I should blog about would be much appreciated.


Friday, 25 October 2013


Okay, so I know it's too early, but I couldn't resist. Christmas at The Wild Side is now available at:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G6PN4GA

We will see over the next few weeks if all the other retailers accept it.

It was the acceptance thing that made me go early. With the scare stories going around of e-bookshelf cleansing, I was worried that it might trip up which would mean several rewrites in an attempt to get it through. That takes time, and for a seasonal book, time is not limitless.
Anyway, it's out there. And there is only two months to go. For those who pick it up, I hope you enjoy... and you don't need to wait until Christmas to read it!


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Art For Art's Sake

Christmas at The Wild Side has come back from proof reading without any negative comments, so ready to roll. 'An excellent addition to the series - liked the illustrations - nice touch' was the comment.
Yes, I've gone all arty for Christmas, played around with a photo editing package and have an illustration at the beginning of each chapter, of which there are ten in total.
It was fun, and I like the end result. I need to see how they come out on the various e-book formats, but reckon I'll keep them in.
These are some examples of my 'Art for Art's Sake' along with the title of the chapter. They will give you a clue as to what's in the book.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Being Tom Farrell - 1

I'm putting a number on the title because I'm sure I'll be adding to this over the coming weeks.
As I blogged yesterday, I'm putting on my Tom Farrell hat as I tackle a few short stories. Pop My Cherry Ass volume 2 is the plan, and to be honest, I blush to say - I'm struggling to rise to the ocassion!
Perhaps it was a mistake to launch into it so soon after completing A Wild Side book, but a story was forming in my head and I wanted to get started. The story is there, but I'm not hearing my voice. I haven't made the leap, and I'm wondering if I should bother.
Listen to me!
Of course I should!
There is the phylosophy that you should stick to what you are best at, and The Wild Side is a very comfortable place for me. I have created that world and its characters and it's easy to write around them. But I'm a restless soul, who needs variety, and I would get bored if I didn't stretch myself and tackle new things. Okay, so a second volume isn't exactly new, but it's a change from the staple diet. And in many ways it's a walk down memory lane as I tend to draw more on personal experience when I'm writing as Tom Farrell.
Not too personal though. The events in the above collection sadly didn't happen to me, but they draw on an element of my past. Cherry Bakewell for example, the first story in the collection, is set in a bread factory/bakery, and I did work in one when I was a student. The scene depicted is what I remember, and the character Tony, a real loud mouthed hunk who is hung like a horse, was inspired by one of the workers I was lucky enough to see in the showers. I describe him as I remember, with perhaps a little flatterThe rest is sadly fantasy, but the foundation is good, which hopefully translates into a good story.
That's what I have to do now - remember back to my youth when I briefly worked on a building site - remember that guy, and yes he existed, who I thought at the time was the horniest man alive. Then it will be easy, because then I'm being Tom... showing a bit more of myself than I tend to do as...


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Different View

Today I'm going to make a start on a short story which will be attributed to Tom Farrell. That means getting into a different mindset to Jack Brighton, which is fine, although it normally takes a few days for me to really find a different voice - probably longer in this case as I haven't written as Tom for well over a year.
Now don't go thinking I actually hear voices. But I write with a voice, almost hearing myself tell a story to someone. And with Tom, I need to do that all the more so, as the work I produce as him is more personal, drawing on my own experiences, and telling the story from one person's point of view, either by making it in the first person or keeping to one viewpoint if the book is in the thrid person.
It's a different view!
With Jack I now write entirely in the third person. For The Wild Side tales and many other books, it works better that way. I can get into the heads of different characters, move from scene to scene, location to location, get multiple perpectives... and keep a little distant personally.
Tom's different - writing in the first person makes it much more intimate. It's not just what happens and how you see it, but what you're feeling. There are more questions, less certainty, because in the first person you don't know what the other person is thinking, and as an author you can't tell the reader what's in the other person's mind, only make assumptions. It's more like real life. It's a different view.


Hot... or Cliché?

I had a lie in this morning and stayed in bed till seven. As I had awoken several hours earlier, to pass the time whilst forcing myself to rest, I cast my mind back to my bygone youth when, for a few weeks, I worked on a building site. I suppose quite a few gay men lie in bed in the morning thinking about building sites and the hunky guys that work on them, but I had a reason beyond the obvious.
I’m not ready to start a major new project at present, so I decided to write a few short stories which I will do wearing my Tom Farrell hat, and I thought I’d base the first one on a building site as I do actually know a little about them. And here’s the first myth I’m going to blast out of the water – most of the guys who work on them aren’t gorgeous muscular hunks with rippling six-packs and impossibly well filled jeans. Most are pretty ordinary, some I’d class as slobs, and none that I came across had latent gay tendencies that had to be expressed as soon as they saw my youthful body!
Did I spoil the fantasy? But you knew that anyway. And don’t worry, when I write the story, the guy in question will be a five star hunk with strong gay tendencies that he happily expresses.
But as I lay there and thought up an outline scenario, it occurred to me that it might be a little cliché. It probably is – a bit of The Village People kicking in. And when I consider my back catalogue, there are quite a number of cliché characters about. You just have to look at a few titles to see that I’m at fault:
Burning Fire – Well that would be about Fireman Farrell.
Dirt! – The star of this book is obviously a mechanic.
The Captain’s Deliverance – He’s a German soldier.
The Vorinov Trilogy – Alexi Vorinov just happens to be the Chief of Police.
And it doesn’t stop there. I’ve done truckers of course, and professional rally drivers; rugby players feature in quite a few books (as Bruce Forsythe would say... They’re my favourite!), and a professional footballer as well. In the Wild Side where everything is fantasy, I can really go to town on the ‘Hot’ imagery or ‘Cliché’ with endless amount of cameo appearances. It’s the only place where I dare do a cowboy, and isn’t Mr. Charles the ultimate cliché? There is even a Canadian Mountie in the latest Christmas offering, and why should I be ashamed – I think they’re sexy as sin!
So why not do a construction worker. If the Village People can have one, then I sure as hell can. He’ll be hot, and plausible, and perhaps a cliché. It’s what I write...
And now a little blush as I do the corniest one of all... I am what I am, so I might as well be proud of it.


Sunday, 20 October 2013


Five o'clock yesterday. Three-thirty today. This is not a good sign - my insomnia is clearly kicking back in.
I do suffer. Normally it's because my mind is too active, which is usually at peak times in my writing - getting to the end of the book or an important part. But the latest book is all but done, so there must be something else.
There are quite a few things that are on my mind at present, so it could be a combination. But the mind has it's way of relieving pent up stress, and it came to me in a dream the most likely cause... I'm worried about the cat!
There is no date set at present, but sometime early December, I plan to return to Brighton (where have I heard that name before?) for the winter. Normally when I'm away, the cat stays here. He 's fine for a couple of weeks with someone popping round to feed him. But three months is different. There's no way I can leave him for that sort of time. So he's got his pet passport, rabies injections etc. There is an airline that will fly him back to Gatwick as hand luggage. It sounds quite straight forward... and I'm dreading it! A trip to the vet is a trauma, and that lasts an hour at most door to door. But the best part of a day trapped in a cage! It's starting to sound cruel.
In the dream he had trapped his claw in some cloth and I tried to help. The things are retractible, but he still does this - pulls at it instead of retracting at times - dumb or what! Anyway, instead of pulling it free he kept pulling the claw out, getting longer and longer, going on and on, curling around. It ended up over a foot in length and needed to be cut off. I held him as he fought. Then my mum took some scissors to it (she's dead by the way). The cat was screaming as she cut the claw off. He was crying like a baby. It was awful. I woke up with cramp hitting both my calves. I was in quite a bit of pain. And there at my feet was the cat, curled up... sending out subliminal messages.

It's now after four. I've taken over half an hour to write this.
What is going on?
So tired.
Need some sleep.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

A New Dawn

It is shortly after six in the morning and I've been up and about for almost an hour. I can hear a cockrel in the distance doing it's thing, so a new dawn will be with us soon.
Perhaps you can guess that this morning's blog hasn't come as a natural flow - I'm not sure what to write, but then it's not just with the blog that I'm asking that question. My Christmas book is finished, so what do I tackle next? I thought I was sure - there was a plan in place. But recent events have given me cause to question my priorites going forward.
First a piece of good news (beyond finishing a book which is always good). God's Mighty Spear has been restored to a certain retailer's ebookshelf. A toning down of the description appears to have
pacified. Thank you for all the messages of support, and comments regarding similar problems. It's always nice to know you are not alone with such things.
But the backdrop hasn't changed. There is still much anxiety over what might happen to my erotica catalogues, and that is one of the factors that have given me cause to reassess a strategy going forward. It should be safe enough to continue as planned. My intension was to do another Wild Side
book - 'Trouble at The Wild Side', and they tend to be quite light without obvious traps to fall foul of. I also thought about another short story collection by Tom Farrell - go into first person for something much lighter, and that would be safe as well.
Listen to the wording though... SAFE! Is it right to have to worry about safety so much? My characters in the books don't wear a condom - but am I being conditioned to put a rubber round my work so it doesn't infect the pure minds out there - people who profess that what I write is disgusting and ought to be banned - people who apparently don't want to read it yet somehow know it well? It's tricky! You see, I don't write purely for fun. This is my job as well as my passion, and my job has to pay. I've spend much of this year working on marketing so that I have a good platform to move forward, but l fear that despite all the efforts, I could loose everything at the snap of some moralistic fingers.
There is an alternative that was never in the plan until very recently. I'm J.K. as well as Jack - a little side line that I do in the field of gay romance (yes, that's right - I can actually string two paragraphs together without someone having filthy sex)... J.K. is safe. And oddly enough, the recent, and only, books that were released seem to be doing quite well.
It's Sunday - supposedly a day of rest. That's why most people are still in bed having a lie-in whilst I'm at my keyboard dumping down thoughts. So I'll take a rest and enjoy the new dawn... and then decide what to do.


Friday, 18 October 2013


Stomach churning moment this morning. I got one of those dreaded e-mails. If you're not a writer in my genre then you may never have received one, so let me show you how they start:
During our review, we found that the following book(s) is in violation of our content guidelines (see list below for details):

Thankfully the list was brief - only one book - God's Mighty Spear, with the note - 'Description, Title, Cover Image' beside it.

So what's the problem? Are all three suddenly wrong after two years on the site, or is it the combination that has tripped a wire? The book is a tongue in cheek ridiculing of the Spanish Inquisition? Should we be banning Monty Python from TV, because they did the same in their famous sketch? Or would it be better to ban a different modern day inquisition - a witch hunt wrapped up in noble minded bollocks that stinks to the high heavens?
I changed the description, and resubmitted. I was pleased to see that the option was there to do this, which wasn't the case in the past. I can appreciate that some of the words used might be seen as blasphemous, and hope that the revised description will do. I doubt it, but we'll see. In the meantime, if you are interested in the book, it is still available in all formats at Smashwords, and in specific formats at other vendors.


Thursday, 17 October 2013


I had cause to ponder the subject of obsession this morning. I do another blog, wearing another hat - well I'm a Gemini you see, so split-personality comes with the territory. Anyway, the topic of the blog was obsession, and I dealt with it there by referring to the character in the book I'm blogging about. Easy stuff - writing about someone else. But of course he is my character, and in a way that makes him me...
So am I obsessive? Well, I'm writing these blogs every morning, so I guess I must be. Why else would I be sitting here spilling out all this stuff?
Oh, and here's another angle... I was asked yesterday for a rough number - How many books are in the various collections. A quick tally came to over 60! More than 60 freakin' books in the space of a few years! Am I obsessive? Well Duh!
I'm going for a walk and to re-appraise my life... and then I'll be back to work on the next book. I love what I do, so I don't give a toss. If I wasn't obsessive then I wouldn't be...


The Power of FREE

I'm feeling a little smug this morning, although not getting too excited. My monthly sales report from Apple has shown a pleasing improvement over previous months, and I'm glad to say that iPad readers seem to be discovering 'The Wild Side' books at last!
I've always wondered why some of my books prove quite popular with certain retailers but not with others. The Tom Farrell collection for example does quite poorly on Amazon, where Jack Brighton does pretty well. With Apple it's been the opposite to date, even though it's the same author under different pen names, something which I make clear in the books. But September showed a big turn around, and it was mainly 'Wild Side' books that sold.
The Power of FREE!
It is a strategy I have been using to good effect this year, and I have to thank Mark Coker at Smashwords for the idea. Where there is a series, such as 'His Nemesis', I make the first book free for a period of time, and by doing so attract new readers to my work, some of whom then go on to buy the rest of the series (other sadly give me hideous reviews and want to see me burned at a stake, but you can't please everyone!). It worked very well for His Nemesis, and now I seem to be reaping rewards by making a 'Wild Side' book free - 'The Unchained Slave'. It's not quite the same. There is no first book in a series as such. 'The Wild Side' is more a collection of related tales. But 'The Unchained Slave' is a good introduction, and it kicks off the series within the collection i.e. Dylan Sinclair's story. He is introduced in 'The Unchained Slave' and then his story continues in 'Made for Auction' . After that he appears in all the other books, and will once again be a star in 'The Wild Side of Christmas' (coming soon).
I'll be keeping the offer running through to the end of the year, so if you haven't grabbed a copy of 'The Unchained Slave' then click on the link below and it will take you to the website page where you can link to your vendor of choice where it is listed free at present.

Thanks everyone for your support (especially those nice iPad users who are coming to me at last!)



Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Releasing For Christmas

So yesterday I wrote those happy words 'THE END' at the end of my Christmas book. The last two chapters still need polishing, then it will go to proof reading, but by next week it will be ready for release.
I won't release it though!
Given the current climate of censorship, it's probably not the best time to submit a BDSM book to certain retailers, even a Wild Side book, which tend to be pretty light compared to some of my other stuff. But that aside, I think it's way too early for a Christmas theme book to hit the market.
When is the best time though?
The 'think tank' that meets informally most evenings for a pre-dinner drink was of divided opinion yesterday - the beginning of November being one view, the 25th of November being the other. I tend to favour the latter, but who knows. Shops start promoting the Christmas Season earlier and earlier each year, so I'm not too sure.
All suggestions will be much appreciated.


Monday, 14 October 2013

The Storm

The storm is coming, if not already here. If you're an independent publisher in the erotica genre then you'll know what I mean. I've only had some titles removed by Kobo so far, but fear that will not be the limit.
I come originally from Ayr, home of Robert Burns. I doubt he would have been impressed by what's happening at the moment, and might well have been a victim if writing today as some of his poems are pretty racy. Can you imagine that - banning Burns. You might as well tell the Scots to stop drinking whisky... or is that the next moral crusade in store?
I won't go on. I don't have the heart to write at the moment, but by God I will keep writing. But for now I'll just quote what the Bard had to say... appropriately in his poem 'To A Mouse' which we are when pitched against the giants of commerce...
‘Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’fear!’


Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Right Cover

I got a reminder yesterday about the importance of book covers. I've released two non-erotica books recently and they are doing morderately well for something by an unknown name. The second is a sequel, and I make the first book free, aiming to find readers who like it enough to buy the second.
Yesterday I got another flattering review, but it included a remark about the cover, saying that she was worried about downloading the book as the cover looked too raunchy for a gay romance novel.
There is a new cover in development!
I thought it was a risk going with the original, but went ahead anyway, thinking that it would make my book stand out in a genre where book covers all seem rather the same to me. But I suppose that sends out the right message to potential readers, and I was sending out a mixed signal.
I know the importance of covers, so am not surprised. Look at that one there - the very first cover for 'In The Dark'. It was accepted by all retailers, and despite the book being an early work where to be honest the writing isn't that great (I've polished it since, so don't be put off!), and also quite a short story for the minimum $2.99 Amazon force me to charge, it is my best selling book by quite some way. And years after the release it still sells well.
I reckon it's the cover. I've subsequently had to modify it - there is the 'Flaming Hot' banner which goes with all my covers now, but also a whip draped over his dick, which Smashwords actually asked for as some of the retailer are getting shy about such things. But even still, it's a powerful image. There was actually a mildly negative review which blamed the cover for enticing a purchase 'Who could possibly resist it with a cover like that!' the lady said. So take note, I tell myself, and remember the old phrase - some people might not judge a book by its cover... but the vast majority do!


The Things We Do For Our Art

Another boring Saturday night in! I really should get a life. Instead of going out clubbing - which I did regularly until quite recently, thank you very much - I spent much of the evening doing some research for my latest book.
Sad or what!
Well, not quite!
The next chapter to be tackled involves a caning scene. Growing up in Scotland where it was the tawse that was used in schools as a means of corporal punishment, I never encountered the cane - so it seemed only right to try it out. And as the scene is seen through the eyes of the caner, not the receiver of the strokes, I needed a willing helper. Thankfully my partner stepped up to the mark, dressed for the part - took the strokes, six of the best, then the dirty dog asked for more. And by God he got plenty, and not just from the cane.
The things we do for our art!
But you can't say I'm anything but thorough!


Saturday, 12 October 2013

His Face

It's one of the hardest things I find to describe. The rest of the body is pretty easy - a rich mat of hair covering a muscular chest, smooth chiselled pecs crowned with generous sized nipples – that sort of thing, along with other more graphic descriptions. I suppose it’s because so many male body images we see are stereotype perfection along a particular theme, so it’s easy to conjure up the type as everybody knows what you mean. But with a face – that’s different. Each is so different, and each one can take different aspects depending on the light and expression.
I was captivated once by a face. Okay, so several times, but there was one face in particular. It wasn’t this guy, but he’s as near as I can find. I saw him in a club and thought he looked stunning, all the more so because he was so aloof, happy with the boyfriend he had in tow and shunning any attempted advance. He made such an impression that several years later I still remembered his beautiful face and wrote a story – Burning Fire – based on him. Pure fantasy of course – I doubt he was a fireman, and I sure as hell ain’t no ex-soldier who can dispassionately murder. But there was the face – that bit was true. Here’s how I open the story, using sentiment rather than description to capture his face...

It was like in that song by Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – I knew straight away that I would have to have him.
His name was Farrell.
Was? That sounds like he’s no more. Dead, snuffed it, kicked the bucket – gone to a better place.
No. His name was Farrell and it still is. I didn’t kill him. I fucked with his life and I fucked with his head, I fucked with his boyfriend, and I sure as hell fucked him. I did plenty that was wrong, I’ll confess to that. This whole story is a confession of the wrong that I did. But I didn’t kill him. How could I possibly do a thing like that?
Quite easily is the answer, given the training I’ve received. Six years in the British army teaches you a few useful things – like a whole variety of ways to dispassionately murder a man. But I couldn’t put it into practice with Farrell. You see the first time ever I saw his face – how did Roberta put it? My heart trembled like a bird caught in a cage.
No! No! No!
Precision– get things right! If there was one thing that I learned in my former life it was to make sure you got things right and left nothing to chance. The lyrics were, ‘Like the trembling heart of a captive bird.’ And that happened the first time Roberta kissed her man’s mouth, it was some crap about adding stars to the dark and empty skies that his face inspired.
I really should get it straight.
The first time!
God forgive me for what I did... but your face... your beautiful, captivating, life confirming face. Why did you have to act the way you did? But I don’t suppose it would have made any difference. For ours was a tragedy from the moment I saw you – a burning fire that would leave a wound on us all – one of us quite literally, but we’ll come to that in due course.
Your face, your face!
Sing it to me Roberta. Let me hear that sweet tone................... ‘Your face! Your face! Your face!’


Friday, 11 October 2013

Alpha Males and fags

I mentioned recently that I had started using Tumblr as a means to advertise my work. Not surprisingly, I've been sniffing around a few other sites, and one theme that has caught my attention is that of the Alpha Males.
There are quite a few blogs I've come across, drawn there initially by some very raunchy pictures that are posted. But the interest for me is more about the little snippets that some of these bloggers add to the pictures they post. Have a look at this one - it's pretty tame compared to a lot of the material, but the message is the main theme that runs through them all. Alpha males are superoir beings and fags are inferior, there only to worship and be of service.
Now I know I write along similar lines - masters and slaves etc, but I usually have a different backdrop - there is respect, nurture, and dare I say it, love, in the majority of relationships in my books. The Wild Side series being the prime example - Angus and his slaves are a family, a cohesive unit that is carefully managed.
But I'm not entirely innocent. There are some different cases!
The Nemesis series is close to the Alpha Male/Fag mentality, at least in the first two books, although I do revert at the end. And 'Loaded' is a certain fit - it scares me how I came up with the character Toni without having refernce to these 'straight' Alpha Males before, so he was obviously in my head - part of my psyche.
So, do I subscribe to the philosophy, or at least sympathise with it? I'm not really sure. One part of me says I should be appalled by men who profess to be straight, yet use gay men for convenient sex. It is SO politically incorrect. I'm sure much of what is being blogged is pure fantasy. I struggle to see why genuine straight men would spend endless hours posting pictures of horny looking Alpha Males like the one above. But maybe I'm wrong. Best to keep an open mind. I know that there are guys out there who do get off on being treated like shit, and I suppose the ultimate rush for some is to be fucked by a 'straight guy' who is a glorious specimen and ultra dominant. I write this sort of stuff, and people buy it. The Nemesis series sells more copies than The Wild Side books, so that must say something.
I've drawn a line under the Nemesis trilogy, but in Loaded there was an opening to continue the story. Perhaps that's should be added to the plan for 2014 - explore the Alpha Male/Fag scenario further, and in doing so explore myself... For don't think for one second that I'm not there in some form or another in every book that I write.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Lost In The Flood

"Hey, gunner man, that's quicksand, that's quicksand that ain't mud
Have you thrown your senses to the war or did you lose them in the flood?"

Bruce Springsteen - 'Lost in the Flood', from 'Greetings from Asbury Park N.J.'

Okay, so anybody who can quote that one has to be a big Springsteen fan, or at least I was when younger. But what has it got to do with gay BDSM writing? Well, I could probably find a link if I tried hard enough, but the answer is absolutely nothing. It's more to do with how I am feeling at present. I'm lost in the internet flood!
This year has been a strange one in terms of my writing. The last Jack Brighton book to be released was in January - Boot Camp Week. Events sort of caught up with me - a holiday in India, which was fabulous, then returning to a catastrophy of collapsing ceilings in my Brighton apartment due to water leakage from above and the place needing a total makeover after seven years in the hands of a tenant who did no maintenance whatsoever, and an agent managing the place who failed miserably in managing it whilst telling me everything was fine. I sort of got sidetracked for a couple of months.
Having had a break, I then decided to do a makeover of my work. Bring all the old Fergie Boy books up to scratch, and in doing so tackled 'Man in the Box' and 'Naked Hero' which kept me busy for many subsequent months.
At the same time I decided that with so much material out there under the various pen names, I should be marketing myself better. Hence this website, and the blog. There is Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google Plus being looked at, Reddit... Have I missed one? Probably! Is it any surprise I'm lost in the flood? All of yesterday got hijacked with internet tools and not a single word was added to the new book I'm working on. My head was spinning at the end.
I had thought it was paying off. October started really well on the sales front. But then two really crap days put paid to that, so I'm not feeling terribly inspired.
But at least I'm blogging, even if it is in a negative tone. That's life though, isn't it. Not every day is great. You have to keep going, try to stay afloat.... and even if at times you feel lost, fight and don't drown in the flood.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Smokin' Hot... Or Not?

Am I wrong, or is smoking on the increase? It certainly seems that way to me when I'm out and about. It was once seen as cool then sort of went out of fashion with all the health scares, high taxes and negative publicity. But is smoking back in vogue?
It's a topic in writing that I ocassionally embrace - Angus McCloud enjoys a cigar and is often portrayed smoking one, usually with a malt whisky in his other hand. I've taken it further with other characters, using the glowing cigar as an object of torture to burn a submissive's nipple. I must admit that I like the image, and might look to take it further. But do people find it sexy, or is smoking old hat?
As an ex-smoker and glad to have given up, I never use cigarettes in any of my scenes. But perhaps that's being unrealistic when so many people are still happily adicted. I know that the BBC have banned it in some of their programs, not wanting to advocate by screening characters who smoke. But should I be doing the same? Is it right to self censor? What is the responsibility of an author - to portray reality, the world as it is; or to paint a fanciful picture where certain things don't exist?
Well let me think on that for a second, for that's all it need take...
Hey! This is Jack Brighton! This is Fiction on The Wild Side! Of course I paint a picture that is far from real. My men are always gorgeous like the smokin' hot stud above, their cocks are always big, hard and forever hungry, and it's a long long time since I wrapped one in a condom. It's a fantasy world full of fantasy characters, where the horrors of STD simply doesn't exist. Cigarettes don't either, or so it would seem. I never intentionally did that - just the way my characters turned out. Something to think about for the future, along with the question... Is smokin' hot... Or Not?


The Passive Master

My mind is always churning, thinking of new ideas for scenes or for books. Over the weekend I came up with an interesting one... Shake up The Wild Side with an alien concept - introduce 'The Passive Master'.
We live in a world where ignorance and bigotry still abound. As an author of gay BDSM books, I like to think I have an open mind. But are the characters I create bigoted in their own way? What would the members of The Wild Side have to say if someone in their rank was to put up his hand and admit 'I love to get screwed on the quiet!'
It's a sort of unspoken rule that the masters do the fucking. Certainly at the club I have never writen a scene where the stereotypical roles are reversed. I did it in 'The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire' where Paddy as a trianee slave screws one of the masters, and was encouraged to do so. But that was a one off - a rarity for the master who normally tops and thoroughly enjoys doing so. Paddy of course gets fucked as well by Angus despite being a natural top. But how about having a man like the one pictured, who looks like a top, and knows how to dominate, but has a strong preference for getting fucked. If he has wealth and power, why not buy a harem of horny top slaves, sexy butch men who fuck his brains out, but only on their master's terms. It is he who is always in control!
I think he would be a great character - and then I took the idea further. Angus McCloud loves to fuck butch men - Paddy being the prime example. What a thrill it would be for him to screw a master! And on the flip side - getting screwed by your property is all very well, but for the Passive Master, the allure of another master pounding away at him would be a huge attraction. But who would be in control? That would be the fun part - the battle for dominance and a challenge to the proscribed notion of who is the dominant one during sex. Of course with Angus involved it would be a no-brainer, but maybe some of the other masters at the club would find it a power struggle where only in terms of where his cock was did he actually come out on top!
Add it to the growing plan for 2014. I think it could be an interesting project!


Inspiration vs Plagerism

I had an interesting wake up call this morning - it came in the form of a reply, which I probably misinterpreted, to a comment I posted on Facebook. There was a quote posted which I identified with and made a very rare comment on - that I liked it and could see myself using it in some form or another. The response was 'Thou shall not steal from the internet' and I went totally apeshit!
Not being a big user of Facebook, I didn't look carefully enough to see that 'LIKE' was attached, along with a smiley face, and some more wording '...That is my job' so I'm hoping it was done tongue in cheek. But I was really agitated for an hour or so. It felt like I was being accused of plagerism, or at least thinking about commiting the offence.
I don't plagerise, but I do use quotes, always attributing to the original source. Shakespeare and Robert Burns are my favourites to draw on. I had both drummed into me at school, so can reference them pretty easily. And they do come up with some cracking lines!
But the situation got me thinking... is there a fine line between plagerism and inspiration. If I were to use the quote that was posted on Facebook then I would paraphrase the words but keep the same sentiment. Is that plagerism, or using something someone has writen to inspire my own work?
Why this is so topical for me at the moment is because I have started to use Tumblr as a means to advertise my work (see earlier blog). I do this under the title 'Jack's Inspiration' hence my questioning myself. Bear in mind it is an advert, not a retrospective. What I do is find an image that fits something I have writen - post the image and the extract from the book with a link to the book page on this website. For example, the guy above was used yesterday along with an extract from 'Nabbed Again'. But I found him after I wrote it, so not guilty there.
There have been instances where I have seen an image and used it as genuine inspiration. Maybe the way a guy looks, or some filthy act that is taking place, and then write the scene with this in mind. Can that be a form of plagerism? I hope not. But I will certainly think a little more carefully about what I post in future. It is so easy to point fingers, and so easy to make a mistake without intending to play foul.
Anyway, I'm glad to have got that off my chest... Now time to do some creative writing - 'The Wild Side of Christmas' awaits, and there is a pretty obvious deadline that needs to be met.


A Blow Too Far

Okay, so I am approaching the big punishment scene in 'The Wild Side of Christmas' and am dreaming up some wild ideas about what will happen to the man. He's a bit of a hunk like the one over there, a rugby player who can handle some pain - he's also a virgin to the whip on his back and to a cock up his ass, so there is plenty of scope with the blank canvas he offers... But how far can I go?
It never bothered me in the early days. I did what I wanted, be it concensual or not, but now I have to be more careful.
If I want to get published on some of the big sites then I have to comply with their views on what is acceptable or not . Sadly this is never clearly stated 'Nothing offensive' being the biggest player's rather wooly offering as a guideline. In other words - what we deem appropriate given the climate at the time, or what pressure we might be under from interested parties who think it is their right to enforce a moral code on others.
I don't approve, but what am I in comparison to big business - those powerful banks who we all know are as pure as the driven slush. They make the rules and I have to adhere to them or find that my work gets removed from mass market. If I want to survive financially as a writer in my genre then I have no option. There will be no blood, no taking in rape, although I have managed to get such books through in the past, but they usually get removed eventually and have to be resubmitted with a bit of toning down. So don't be too harsh on me if I'm not harsh enough. Instead write to your bank and tell them to mind thier own business or you'll take your business elsewhere.


The Wild Side

If the blog is entitled 'Thoughts from The Wild Side' then I suppose it would be a good idea to get in there early with the club that has featured in so many of my books.'The Wild Side' was actually the second book I wrote under the name Jack Brighton, and that's the original book cover.
Whilst most of the story is about the relationship between two men, The Wild Side club plays a significant part as it is at the club a critical moment is reached between the two main characters - Ralph who is a dom and a member of the club, and Barry who is spending the weekend with him learning what it's like to be a sub.
I have never used these two characters since, but yesterday wrote a short scene where they appear again, and I think there is scope to involve them more - we'll see.
Whilst the actual club went on to feature in many other books and became the centrepiece for much of the action, there was only one character who was lifted from the original book - Mr. Charles, the manager. He appears in several other books but has never been a star, something which I know I need to amend as he is a very popular character whose story deserves to be told. A project for 2014 perhaps.
Of course the main characters who did emerge are the club's owner, Angus McCloud and his entourage of slaves: Paddy, Dylan, Sven and Marco. Paddy has had a book dedicated to himself where I go back five years and tell his story. Dylan has been the star of two books. Sven and Marco we learn about through snippets so perhaps they deserve more of a focus. The next book in planning 'Trouble at The Wild Side' will certainly give Marco more of a voice.
The big one is Angus of course. I've developed him slowly and hinted at his background, especially in 'The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire' but have never told his own story. That would be a massive project. I have it in my head but it would take a long time to write, so I need to pick the right time. It would take him from his teens to when he meets Paddy, and might have to be done over three volumes. Let me know if it's something I should be moving up the planning list, or should Mr. Charles get his say first.

Thanks to those who have commented or made contact. As always with a blog, you hope people are finding it and reading what is said, but only through feedback do you actually know. It makes it worthwhile, and it helps me as well, so keep the comments coming.


Pen Names - A Brief History

Yesterday I started to add some of my other work to the site. I also have quite a few titles published under two different names - Fergie Boy and Tom Farrell - so I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain.
I drifted into writing rather than set out with a clear goal of being Jack Brighton, author of gay BDSM erotica. But I always had the urge to write a book, and having quit the London rat rate, I had the time to try my hand. When I started, I found that there were plenty of ideas in my head, but the writing was pretty poor. Two books were produced that not suprisingly were rejected by publishers.
It was during this rejection process that I was approached by a friend of a friend who was setting up an erotica website with a business partner. They wanted a gay section and I wrote some short stories that were so well recieved that they decided to make a dedicated site for my work. Very ambitious, but it was their money, not mine. All I had to do was produce some more stories. The site was named 'Gay Boy Books' and Fergie Boy was born.
Fergie Boy
I do regret that name now - but hey - too late to change it.
I produced enough work so that Gay Boy Books could be launched, but not surprisingly it fell flat on its face. Even the main erotica sites are suffering now under competition from the big ebook retailers, so I don't think it ever stood a chance.
What was interesting however from my point of view, was that as a marketing ploy, some of my work was offered to the two main UK erotica sites, and it sold pretty well. One book in particular - 'Keep It in the Family' made a big impression. On one site -
Adultebookshop - it quickly became the all time gay best seller, and still hold that position today, as you can see if you hit the link. So I decided to go independant and set up my own self-publishing company, which eventually was named 'Firm Hand Books'. Over the following year I produced quite a number of titles as Fergie Boy. But I felt limited in the genre and wanted to explore new themes. I wanted to try a darker side where my imagination could really run riot. Rather than confuse the readership, I created a new persona, and that's when Jack Brighton came along!

Jack BrightonJack went a bit wild to begin with... '007 - A Licence to Bondage' was the first book I penned under that name. It was littered with mistakes, and wasn't exactly an original story line (young lad lured by the boss he adores to audition to become his slave) but it had some good scenes, and these somehow saved it and found me some new readers.
Note the book cover! Happy days when I didn't worry about censorship. I was only releasing to erotica sites, so they wanted it strong for this genre. The material in the book reflected this, and the same applied to the subsequent books - 'The Wild Side' being a case in point.
But to really sell books you have to get onto the main retail sites, so that book cover got replaced, and some of the writing toned down. You have to do this, otherwise the books don't get accepted. It's a fact of life, and as I now saw the possibility of actually making a living out of my work, I had to toe the line.
When I did actually release my catalogue of work (Fergie Boy and Jack Brighton) onto Amazon and such like, it became clear which of the two had the greater following... Mr. Brighton of course. That's when I decided to put all my focus into this genre, and only wrote under that name. After a couple of years, I wanted to try something different. Going back to Fergie Boy somehow seemed wrong, so I elected for a new pen name and a new start. This was Tom Farrell.

Tom Farrell
Okay! Okay! So Tom's best selling book is 'B for Bondage' which sounds like a Jack Brighton book, and in a way it is - it's still me doing the writing. But B for Bondage came after a couple of non-BDSM books: 'Dr. Yes!' and 'Deeper'. The difference is in the mind set, and also the literary style. Almost all the Jack Brighton books up to this point had been writen in the third person, taking a birds eye view of the story. I decided with Tom to either write in the first person, or if in the third, then do so from one person's perspective. It's much more personal and you can get into really get into the mind of the main character. The stories were kept quite simple and realtively short. I found it easier to write, and my proof reader (yes thankfully I had enlisted one by this stage) preferred the style, so I produced quite a body of work to see how it faired.
Pretty well was the answer. But except for Barnes & Noble where Tom really took off, not as well as Jack Brighton. And the truth of the matter is - I feel much happier as Jack, so it was inevitable I returned there (I've never gone away since, but will do at some point - there's more to come from Tom Farrell).
Notice the banner that I elected for as a marketing ploy for Tom Farrell. I decided to rebrand all my work under the Flaming Hot banner, and whilst at it, made sure the quality of writing in the earlier books was up to scratch. On revisiting, I particularly enjoyed 'The Wild Side' and the spin off I had writen 'Fisted!' That's when I decided to try and create a series of stories based around the club mentioned in these books. That was the birth of 'Tales from The Wild Side... and that is blog in itself.


A New Toy

I am now using Tumblr!
Admittedly I have been accessing various Tumblr blogs for some time now. It's a great resource of material for images which I might use as part of a book cover, and also for giving me ideas, or adding detail to scenes.
But now I am doing my own blog on it, entitled Jack's Inspiration. I got the idea when working a few days ago on my latest book 'The Wild Side to Christmas'. I was wondering what I should have Paddy McGuire wearing and having spotted this picture on Tumblr, I though, yes, he'd look great in those jeans, filling them out even better, which is quite an achievement, but then it's fiction after all! So from there I decided to make a project and blog a whole varioety of images which have insprired me, and give a small extract of the writing that ensued. Another avenue of expression, or a toy to play with... Well I do like my toys!

You can check it out on -
http://jackbrighton72.tumblr.com/ but be warned!!! Some of the material is pretty raunchy. But then what else would you expect - kittens with ribbons?


A New Website

My thanks to Rain Carrington and Claire Morgan, who quite by chance brought me to Weebly where I am now building a web site. I'd looked at such things before but they were always too complicated and time consuming. I'm a writer not an IT whizz kid. This is fairly simple once you get the hang of it, and I think I'm doing okay. It comes with this blog which I'm going to make a huge effort to put something on with modest regularity. Poke me if I get lazy. Scream at me if I get boring.Anyway, it's always good to start off with a hunk, and this is my muse of the moment. I'm assuming that's New York with all the yellow cabs surrounding him, but you can bet your bottom dollar, pound or Euro, that he's going to crop up in London quite soon. Once I've finished 'The Wild Side of Christmas' re-write, the next book in planning is provisionally entitled 'Trouble at The Wild Side' and this guy looks like trouble to me!
You don't agree? Well picture this...
There will be trouble in the book on multiple levels. Each and every one of Angus's slaves are going to be facing their own particular problem, and this guy is going to be Paddy McGuire's. A slave swap is occuring and Paddy will be sent to choose a temporary replacement for Sven who will be seperated from Marco for the first time in years. Does Paddy pick the one he wants for himself, or the man that he knows Angus would want... a man that could be a rival for his master's affection? If you've read any books where Paddy appears then you probably know the answer.