Author Interview! Inhuman Beings by Richard May #Excerpt #Giveaway

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Please welcome Richard May to my blog today. He’s kindly stopped by to answer a few questions!

Inhuman Beings-Front cover

Title: Inhuman Beings
Author: Richard May
Release Date: June 15th 2017
Genre: Gay Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Erotic

Add Inhuman Beings to Goodreads

Paperback Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK The paperback version has 3 new stories

Ebook Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | MLR Press

Blurb

Fall in love with a shapeshifter in San Francisco, a ghost in Scotland, or a vampire in Russia. Time travel to 1920s Mesopotamia, 1600’s Africa, or to ancient Greece before time even existed. Find yourself on a distant planet, in love with a creature whose very being can destroy you, or in a post-apocalyptic world, drawn to a mutation created by the destruction of Earth.

Enjoy these 18 erotic stories about romantic encounters between men and not men—monsters and myths, gods and demons, science fiction and fantasy. Each story is the stuff of nightmares—and of dreams.

Reviews

“With Inhuman Beings, May seductively crosses the boundaries of time and space, the real and the imaginary, in these spellbinding tales of love and lust and things that go bump, not to mention hump, in the night.”

Rob Rosen, editor of the Best Gay Erotica series

Inhuman Beings is an enormously imaginative, genre-crossing work in the tradition of Peter Cashorali’s groundbreaking Fairy Tales but with greater breadth and franker eroticism; an impres­sive achievement.”

Michael Nava, author of the Henry Rios novels

Inhuman Beings represents a seminal work in gay male erotic literature that draws on the threads and yarns of our cultures and civiliza­tions. Tales from many countries and eras transport you across the globe and through the years, making this book one that will stand the test of time.”

Wayne Goodman, author of Better Angels

“Richard May’s new collection of short fiction contains an international menagerie of legendary creatures. There’s a Hindu god, a Native American cyclone spirit, a Chinese rain dragon, a moody Jewish golem, a sadistic Iraqi jinn, and more. Fans of the homoerotic melded with the speculative and the paranormal will savor every page of Inhuman Beings.”

Jeff Mann, author of Country and Consent

“The beauty of this collection lies in its imagination – May is doing nothing less than writing a gay mythology, complete with monsters and fairy tales, imagined futures and refreshed pasts. His bold infusion of desire into mythology and encounters with the paranormal is unique, bracing and insightful. Inhuman Beings is full of a kind of sacred frivolity.”

Trebor Healey, author of Faun and Eros & Dust

Excerpt

Clocks told me it was after midnight, the new last day for the Daberleys at Enscombe. I climbed the central staircase, thinking of all the feet which had trod before me.

My father’s bedroom felt freezing so in quick order I stripped, not bothering to hang my clothes, and slid under the heavy blankets. Sleep came quickly but I was awakened soon after, or so it seemed, by the sound of footsteps in the hall outside my room. I was groggy and pulling myself into sitting when the bedroom door opened and the shadow of a tall man stood in the doorframe.

“Aren’t you afraid?” he asked in Stephen Taylor’s voice.

“No,” I lied, jumping out of bed and turning on the lamp, only belatedly covering myself with underwear tossed aside.

“But I do want to know what you’re doing in my house in the middle of the night.”

“I come here often,” was all he said as he entered the room and closed the door. I made ready for him as he came across the carpet but he just sat, slumping in the armchair.

“He killed me, you know.”

Interview

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

I’ve been writing since I was nine but for my own pleasure until five years ago. A new friend was showing me his photographs of red-haired people—my stories are inspired by visuals—and several of his photos started telling me stories. I told him this and he insisted we do a book together. I reluctantly tentatively agreed because I didn’t really share my stories with anyone and wasn’t at all sure they were worth showing. I said I’d write the stories three of his photos were telling me and he could decide whether he thought they were any good. He liked them so I wrote another dozen.

With funds from an over-subscribed Kickstarter campaign, we self-published 100 copies of Gingersnaps: Photos & Stories of Redheaded Queer People, with my stories and photos by David Sweet. We held nine book parties and sold out. But, it was so many fun, I decided to send stories off in response to calls for submission. They wound up in several magazines and anthologies. I realized several were about men encountering non-humans so decided to write a second short fiction collection, Inhuman Beings, which is out now.

I’m at the tail end of editing a third collection. After that I’m going to try my hand at a novella because an editor asked me to expand a story she rejected. We’ll see how it turns out. I’ve tried long form because the saw is that readers don’t buy short form collections so publishers won’t publish them. I have several completed mediocre novels to show for my efforts. Each took a year to write and more to edit. What a waste! But I’ll give novellas a go because an editor asked me to and I’m curious to see how I do. Of course another saw is that readers don’t buy novellas either. Sigh. But writing—and life—should be an adventure or why bother, right? Right!

  1. Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

It’s a short fiction collection called Inhuman Beings. The book is divided into three parts, with six stories each: Monsters, Myths, and Science Fiction. Here’s the table of contents:

 

Monsters

Inheritance ………………………………………………………………………. 3

Oni and Tengu ………………………………………………………………. 15

The Horned Man …………………………………………………………… 31

Hair ………………………………………………………………………………… 39

Sand ………………………………………………………………………………. 51

Fire and Pain ………………………………………………………………….. 63 

 

Myths

Kakouhthe: Cyclone Man ……………………………………………… 81

Hunting …………………………………………………………………………. 90

Shen Lung and the Old Farmer ………………………………….. 101

Leprechaun in New York ……………………………………………. 116

My Mother’s Head ………………………………………………………. 129

Song of Sambandar ……………………………………………………… 145 

 

Science Fiction

Cat Man ……………………………………………………………………….. 157

Exchange of Fluids ………………………………………………………. 172

I Can’t Live Without You ……………………………………………. 186

In the Closet ………………………………………………………………… 203

The Latest Model …………………………………………………………. 219

Ticket to Ride ………………………………………………………………. 241 

 

My favorite aspect of writing a story is seeing where it goes. I start with an image that’s telling me a story and I write it as fast as I can, almost like I’m just the stenographer. I feel like I take over in editing, which I do over and over until I really think I’ve told the story in the most complete and interesting way I’m capable of.

I do love my characters, most of them at least. My favorite characters in this book are the ghost in “Inheritance,” the blue dragon in “Shen Lung and the Old Farmer,” and the robot in “The Latest Model.” The ghost is amazingly sexy and long suffering. The blue dragon is so wise and weird. The robot goes through so much for love.

  1. Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?

I am definitely a pantser but then I’m writing short fiction. I’m inspired and write, write, write. I strongly believe in writing the first draft as fast as it comes to you and your fingers can hit the keys. Let it flow; edit later.

I tried writing novels at one point, years ago, and as a result have four and a half mediocre novels. I tried the D.H. Lawrence method—just write—and wound up in so many blind alleys I couldn’t face the editing. Then, I tried plotting and character biographies. Very boring. So, I went back to short fiction and stopped having to deal with the issue.

I am going to try a novella though, because an editor asked me to. We’ll see whether I plot or pant. I will probably pant but who knows?

  1. Do deadlines motivate you or block you? How do you deal with them?

I would say deadlines motivate me. I’ve always had a day job with deadlines and done volunteer projects with deadlines and required other people to meet deadlines so they are not a problem for me as long as people are realistic about setting them—not too urgent and not too far off the date things are really needed. If a call for submission is too near, I ignore it and if it’s too far off I forget or, if I actually trace the deadline, lose interest by the time I’ve set to write. Like Goldilocks, I want Mama’s chair and porridge.

  1. Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?

I’ve never been good at writing catch as catch can. My life has always been busy with work, friends, and volunteer activities so I have to fit writing into my schedule if I’m actually going to write, rather than just talk about it. When I was working full-time, I woke up an hour early each week day to write. I also wrote on the subway to and from Brooklyn—if I could get a seat–when I lived in New York and on BART to and from Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area—if I could get a seat—but that was bonus time. Now, the goal is to write 9am to noon weekdays. Life does intervene sometimes, but I do write every week day morning.

I try not to write on weekends because I think of that as playtime and writing is not playtime.

  1. What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?

Writing is never difficult for me; editing is the difficulty. The story either flows or it doesn’t and, if it doesn’t, I move on to something else. I’m not really able to hatch a story. If it starts to tell itself, there’s no stopping it. If it doesn’t, well, there isn’t a story.

I edit at least twice as long as I write.

  1. How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?

My stories start from a visual. I see a photo, painting, film moment, person or place on the street or I have a dream with a strong image and the story starts to tell itself to me. When this happens, I try to take photo or download the photo so I can keep the image at hand to refresh the inspiration if I need to as I write.

My method is a little different when I write for publication and I don’t have an image on file with a story that’s appropriate for the focus of the call for submissions. In this case, I start looking online and wait until I find a photo that inspires me. Sometimes this doesn’t happen, no matter how many images I look at. Then, sadly, I put the call for submission aside.

I don’t really build stories. They just come. Sometimes they start with a line of dialogue or description of a character or an action.

  1. What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?

I like reading fiction and nonfiction, history, historical fiction, comic books and graphic novels, crime and mystery novels, contemporary fiction with a good story and compelling characters. I’m not much for reading poetry but, oddly, I love hearing poetry read to me.

I read both electronic and print books but prefer the latter. I’m looking at screens so much that print is easier on my eyes.

I haven’t gotten into audio books yet. It just seems one step too far. Life is so full already. I like to try new things but there’s only time and mental capacity for so much.

Giveaway

Giveaway: Comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Inhuman Beings

About the Author

Richard May

Richard May’s short fiction has been published in his collections Inhuman Beings and Ginger Snaps: Photos & Stories (with photographer David Sweet), his series Gay All Year on Amazon Kindle, in anthologies like Never Too Late, Best Gay Erotica, and the Lambda Literary nominated Outer Voices Inner Lives, and in literary journals, including Bay Laurel, Chelsea Station, and Hyacinth Noir.

Rick also organizes the monthly Perfectly Queer book reading series with his partner Wayne Goodman in Oakland CA at Nomadic Press: Uptown and in San Francisco at Dog Eared Books Castro, individual LGBTQ Pride Readings for visiting authors, the annual literary festival Word Week in Noe Valley CA, and an online book club Reading Queer Authors Lost to AIDS.

Rick is from Sacramento CA and Brooklyn NY and now lives in San Francisco. He has red hair and truly believes in all things ginger. Another genetic stunner: he is 19th cousin to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Please follow him on social media at facebook.com/richardmaywriter, @rickmaywritr on Twitter, and richard.may1313 on Instagram.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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5 thoughts on “Author Interview! Inhuman Beings by Richard May #Excerpt #Giveaway

    1. Thank you for all the effort you put into the interview. I am sure readers will love it. The book looks wonderful!

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