Welcome to the October 11, 2009 installment of The Fox Hole, a place to sit, have a cup of Joe, and meet talented up and coming authors, artists, and other folks from the e-publishing industry. Today my guest is John Simpson, a prolific writer who has led a fascinating and diverse life. So folks grab that cup of Joe, take a seat, and enjoy a crisp autumn day with John and I.
Welcome John it’s a delight to have you as my guest. You’ve lived a fascinating life at least in my eyes. Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I am a Vietnam Era Veteran, former Police Officer of the Year, a Federal Agent, a Federal Magistrate, an armed bodyguard to Royalty, a senior Federal Government executive and recipient of awards from the Vice President of the United States and the Secretary of Treasury.
I’ve always felt that for too long fiction writer’s neglected gay men. I try and write entertaining, enjoyable, and enthralling fiction centered on the lives and lifestyles of gay men. I try and get the reader to see life through gay men’s’ eyes. And just like real life, my characters have active and exciting sex lives. I often call on my personal and professional experience in writing gay erotica. I’m the author of numerous full-length novels available through Dreamspinner Press and others, and several short stories in Alyson Books anthologies. I’ve written magazine articles for gay and straight audiences alike.
Currently, I have seven full-length novels released, as well as two decent size novellas. I also have stories in three Dreamspinner Press anthologies.
I live with my partner of 35 years and our three Scottish Terriers.
I always like to extend a very special thanks to my many female readers. I appreciate and love the fact that women enjoy male/male erotica, and I thank them for their past and continued support. I hope to never disappoint my readers, and want to always leave you wanting more!
Some of my short stories previously published by Alyson Books include:
“The Virgin Marine,” “The Acropolis of Love,” “The Tower,” “The Serpent,” “Locker Room Heat,” “Campus Steam,” “Lust in the Sand,” and “Love on the Rocks.”
I also have five short stories available through Dreamspinner Press: “The Smell of Leather,”, “The Sheriff”, “Fairy Tale”, and the very popular “Officers in Need.” To that I recently added, “That’s the Ticket.” Check them out today! If these stories don’t rock your boat, you’re in dry dock!
I’m sure your female fans appreciate your stories as much as you appreciate their support. Just out of curiosity have you always wanted to be a writer? If so when did you start writing?
I’ve toyed with the idea of being an author since about the age of 15. In fact, I wrote two full- length books in my youth, both of which were destroyed a long time ago. I can only wish that I had one of them today as I would go through it with a more experienced hand and eye, and make it readable.
I decided to write my first novel as an adult about five years ago. “Murder Most Gay,” was first released as an e-book only by a publisher who took the book and put little work into it. When the rights reverted to me, I worked on the book more and Dreamspinner Press gave me my first real chance at trying to add a new chapter in my life as a writer.
Murder Most Gay has been very popular and was based on a murder that I investigated in 1980. Now, I write more than half my time.
As a writer what inspires you?
Many things. Incidences of injustice inspire me as with my novel, “Irish Winter,” which is a love story between two young men during the Irish rebellion against British rule in the early 1900’s. Ideas of a better world inspire me such as the Condor series. What if we had a smart, compassionate, sane President who also happened to be gay? What if the entire country knew he was gay? How would that affect the world and this country? The Condor series is my attempt to answer that question.
Likewise, my novel “Peter’s Chair,” is a novel about the first American born Pope, who is also gay with a lover. This is kept quiet, but what he does with the Church is in my view what should be done with the Roman Church. This novel is also a thriller in the Dan Brown mode. This is the only novel currently published by Devine Destinies publishing.
In Def Con One, my own life experience as a member of the United States Air Force inspired me. This thriller, is a combination of what Air Force life is like for one of its security force members who is gay, and what it could be like if gay men were allowed to find happiness. Although in my story, they have to find it in plain sight in order to survive.
Do you have any favorite writers?
Anne Rice was my favorite writer prior to her “Being Born Again,” event in her life. Her novels were simply delicious. Now of course she refuses to write anything remotely dark, and only writes about her religion now. A critic once referred to me as the “Gay Tom Clancy,” of writers! LOL, while I doubt that is true, Tom is certainly one of my favorite authors.
If you could live in any time or place–where and when would you choose?
Ahh, do I have to chose only one time and place? More than likely, I would chose either Athens or Rome during the time of their ascendency in the life of humanity. To be able to listen to and understand Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and see in person members of the “Sacred Band of Thebes,” would be marvelous. To be a citizen of Rome during the reign of Constantine the Great, Hadrian, Augustus Caesar or any of the sane Emperors would have been fascinating.
Being a professional cook at one time, I have to ask this one. Do you have a favorite food?
Hmm, I’ll take Beef Wellington, for $1,000 Alex. I adore French cooking of almost any kind with the exception of things that crawl on the ground, or jump from here to there.
Now that I’ve picked your brain, can you tell us about your latest work? Don’t hold back!
Let’s see. I have three novellas finished and in the publishing pipeline. The first was released on October 8th from Dreamspinner Press and is titled, “The Ghosts of Stanton Hall.” One of the premises of the story is based on a real life incident. The second novella is titled, “Pirate Booty,” and will be released towards the end of this year.
The third novella will be joining Dreamspinner Press’ Christmas Anthology, and is entitled, “Four Grooms and a Queen.” This novella is kind of the wrap up of two of my first novels, “Murder Most Gay,” and its sequel, “Task Force.” That concludes the publishing schedule for me for the year 2009.
Next year, I have a full length novel that I co-wrote with another author for the first time, called, “The Orchid Murders.” It’s do out from Extasy Books sometime before the end of March, 2010. One of my current novels, “Peter’s Chair,” was released by Extasy’s other imprint, “Devine Destinies,” publishing.
Additionally, I have a small novella coming out from Dreamspinner Press sometime in January with the release of the third and final novel in the “Condor” series, sometime later in 2010. This series is about the first out gay President of the United States. I will begin work on that this November, while sailing on the Queen Mary 2 for 12 nights. I began the second book this way last year, and “The Talons of the Condor,” was the result.
Beyond that, I have a few ideas running around in my head, but nothing concrete yet.
I want to thank you Jesse for this opportunity to talk with you and your readers. I can always be reached at my e-mail address of firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website, johnsimpsonbooks.com
My principle publisher’s site is Dreamspinnerpress.com where your readers can discover a wealth of talent in the authors of this publishing house.
You’re welcome John. It’s always fabulous to speak with a fellow writer in the m/m genre especially one as successful as yourself. Here’s hoping for many more projects in the future and all the luck in the world.You’re welcome to join me any time in the future it was quite insightful.
Well that’s it folks for another Sunday. Drop by next week for another installment of The Fox Hole. Until then keep reading, writing, and loving!