This week, we're interviewing fellow Loose Id author, Johnny Miles. Johnny specializes in M/M erotic romance, so I had to change up some of my questions and I think you'll find his answers very insightful into the genre! Without further ado... on to the interview...
1.) Thank you for visiting today and answering a few questions. I'm going to step into uncharted territory with a few of my questions, but let's start with the staple... Tell us a little bit about yourself.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me. Unchartered territory, huh? I have two words for you: bring it!
A little about myself. That’s always so hard for me. What do you choose to talk about? Let’s see. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York then moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1989. I’ve been with my partner for 14 years now. We have 4 pugs, a cat and a lot of big dreams!
2.) Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is “Lauderdale Hearts.” It’s a contemporary about Blake Hudson, a 39-year-old advertising exec who has a heart attack and goes to Fort Lauderdale to recuperate. Except that he winds up meeting Ricky Sanchez, a 24-year-old Latin massage therapist, and they fall in love.
It’s scheduled to come out January 11 and I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve gotten some very good feedback from a few friends as well as my editor.
3.) Romance heroes come in many flavors, but most are some epitome of a woman's fantasy, rather than a truthful everyday guy. However, in gay romance, the game is changed. Albeit the audience is still predominantly heterosexual females, what makes a homosexual hero different from a heterosexual hero?
That’s a good question. I’ve tried to wrap my mind around the concept of women reading m/m graphic love stories. But I guess it’s like a lot of straight guys with the fantasy of watching two women going at it. Frankly, I don’t personally know any gay men who like to read “romance” per se but they do like a love story peppered with some action/adventure and hot sex!
That having been said, aside from the obvious differences of whom the hero chooses to love or have sex with -- a hero is a hero. It doesn’t matter if he’s straight or gay; at least to me it doesn’t. I’ve read many books and seen tons of movies or television where I’m deeply moved by the emotion between the characters and often find myself identifying with one or both of them.
4.) The hero is the backbone of every gay romance but often, because the heroes are the same gender, the character whose point of view is strongest to the reader, designates them as the lead hero. How do you craft your stories, so that the reader is properly attuned to the intended lead hero?
I’m not sure that I purposely set about crafting a story in that way, though I suppose that at some subconscious level there is some of that thought process going on. I guess it would depend on the point-of-view and my purpose. For example, with my first book, “Casa Rodrigo” the “Hero” is a white Spanish male who falls in love with a slave. Though Alonso would probably be considered the hero I wanted Arbol, once a childhood friend, to be an equal in his own way, despite their horrible circumstances.
With “Lauderdale Hearts” I chose to stay with Blake’s point-of-view, though it’s not first person. I wanted the reader to identify with him more and perhaps understand his feelings a bit better.
5.) What aspects common to your heroes, would you like to see in yourself that isn't readily seen by others in real life?
Ask me that one when I’ve written a few more books. Thus far, I can pretty much relate to all of the characters: Alonso and Arbol, Blake to some degree, even Ricky. I think there’s a little bit of me in all of them.
6.) The term "Alpha Male" means two different things to men and women, in a very general and broad sense. What characteristics do you like to include in your heroes, that might qualify them as an Alpha Male?
An Alpha Male, to me, is one who is tough and dominant. But one who knows when to be soft and submissive. He’s not afraid to stand up to an opposing force, even if it means he might not win “the battle.” An Alpha is rough, full of sexual prowess but with a fierce determination to defend, protect and even nurture. But he’s also sometimes scared and uncertain though he might not show it. But no matter what, he sticks to his decisions and owns up to them even when they’re not the “right” ones.
Of course, being good-looking (in a gruff sort of way), masculine and hung like a horse doesn’t hurt either!
7.) What's your favorite non-romance book?
I have a lot of favorites but the one that stands out the most in my mind is “Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin. My favorite non-book non-romance story, though you didn’t ask, is the one between Rose Tyler and The Doctor.
8.) If you could be any fictional heroine/hero, who would it be and why?
Ooooo. Good question. Let’s see. I’d have to say Frodo or Harry Potter. Both have to fight their own demons, with the help of others, in order to triumph over evil.
9.) Pure fantasy here, someone seduces you. Who would it be, and how would they ignite the fire? (It's fantasy here, so there's no boundaries. If its Leonardo Di Caprio taking you on the bow of the Titanic, so be it! Run wild with it!)
I don’t have a physical type so it’s hard to give you a physical reference. I love a cocky little fucker just as much as I love a big, hairy beast. But if I were to be seduced it would be by a man who is quiet, strong, determined, focused and confident. He would have to have a strong sense of self, a voracious sexual appetite -- any place, any time type of thing -- and he would have to know how to crawl into my brain and give me a good mind fuck before he ever even took off my clothes.
My current fantasy man is Ben Browder. He played John Crichton in the sci-fi series “Farscape.” I could watch him, do nothing, and still walk away sexually satisfied just from the sound of his gruff voice, his “All-American” looks and those sweet baby blues. And those lips. OMFG! Those lips. I could chew them for hours! He can probably talk me into doing just about anything he wanted, even if I hadn’t done it before. Heavy sigh.
10.) Romance is made up of many facets, each reflecting an emotion and I believe, corresponds to a physical reaction. What three emotions are most important in your vision of romance?
Here again, a tough question. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d say inner strength, confidence and sex appeal. I want to feel that I’ve been made the subject of your focus and whether you want to dominate me or have me dominate you, your full attention must be mine.
~ finis ~