Category: Shane Allison

Reading Through the Newest Galleys: Pledges with Cleis Press

For those who might not know, I think the best way to explain galleys in publishing is that they are the final edits…the last chance to look something over and make small changes…before a book goes to print for publication. I do this with everything, including my own self-pubbed books before they are launched as e-books. I actually have my own galleys for my self-pubbed books. It’s those last minute details that sometimes make a huge difference.

In this case, I’m reading the galley for an upcoming book by Cleis Press I’m in. The title is “Pledges,” and it’s a collection of short erotic gay fiction about frat boys. I think I’ve posted about this one before, and I will post again on the publication date, but I wanted to post a little something now in case I forget. I get so used to things moving faster with digital publishing that some of the things I truly enjoy the most slip by unnoticed.

And being a part of books like this one is, and always has been, one of the things I enjoy most about being a writer. It’s also one the few remaining things I cling to as publishing makes so many constant changes and I’m forced to change with it. With books like these you aren’t going to see aggressive authors from small start up e-presses go for the kill with all kinds of annoying things they *think* will help promote their books. The audience for books like this is out there, it will always be out there, and the best kind of promotion for books like this is to talk about it, give product descriptions, and let the reader decide on whether or not they want to buy it and read it. In other words, no one has to go through hoops, click like on Amazon, give fake ratings with multiple fake identities on Goodreads, and talk about the new love of their life to garner devotion on other social media. It’s really about as plain and simple as it gets, and I’ve always considered myself very lucky to have been a part of the older publishing process that really worked hard to cater more to readers than they did to try and sell books to them like snake oil salesmen. It’s also why I tend to fall short in the self-promotion department with my own books.

This book is also what I consider classic gay erotica…or what’s left of gay erotica in these changing times when so many gay authors are growing disillusioned. Each writer writes about something erotic that deals with “pledges,” and each writer handles the topic differently. I’ve read a few of the stories already and I think readers are going to enjoy it. I didn’t read all the stories, though. I focused mainly on my own so that I have something to look forward to reading when I get my author copies. And that’s something else I have to admit I miss more than anything about old publishing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve embraced digital and I wouldn’t part with my e-reader for anything. But seeing that book you’re in, in print, in hard copy, is a feeling I just can’t explain. And as much as I love digital books, the feeling just isn’t the same.

At the bottom of this post is part of the introduction from Editor, Shane Allison, who is an underestimated and highly amazing gay author.

I will post an excerpt from my story when the book is released. The back story to this is that I wrote a novel with a pen name about a year ago and the editor with that publisher decided to cut 10,000 words from the novel. That had never happened to me before, and I hope it never happens again either. I smiled and took it like a professional, and I’m glad I did. Because the ten thousand words they cut I re-worked and turned into a short story for this book. I liked it too much to just let it crash and burn. And it is original and has never been published anywhere else before.

As I read over these hot new stories of pledge erotica, it took

me back to my days of being a twentysomething, when I used

school and studying as an excuse to be lazy, when

student was scribbled in a box when being asked what one’s occupation was

on a job application. I’ve been out of school for nine years now

but having the luxury of living in a college town where there’s

never a shortage of smoking-hot college boys, I am constantly

reminded of what I’m missing, especially during rush week when

an all-new crop of twinks set out to pledge their chosen frat.

Calls for Submission: Gay Erotica

I’m posting this because it’s a public call for submissions over at Erotica Writers and Readers Association. I just submitted a short story and I’ve always liked working this this particular editor at Cleis Press, Shane Allison. I’ve been in his anthologies before and I’ve always been thrilled with the end results. One in particular was titled, “Backdraft.”

These anthologies are good places to build publishing credits for those who are starting out. And unless you’re going the self-publishing route, we all have to start out somewhere. I have over 90 published works out and I’m not too grand to submit to something like this. I still enjoy doing it now as much as I did fifteen years ago.

Here’s a link to the “Hot Pledges” call. And here’s another for an anthology about “Steam Baths.”

New Release Preview: "Cruising"

I have a story coming out in a new release from Cleis Press, “On the Bathroom Floor.”

The title of the anthology is “Cruising,” and it was edited by Shane Allison. I’ve worked with him before and I’ve always been more than happy with the end result.

You can read more about it here, on Amazon.

And here are the pre-release details:

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Price: $10.17 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details
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This title has not yet been released.
You may pre-order it now and we will deliver it to you when it arrives.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

I’m sure it will also be available in digital format very soon and I’ll post more when it is.

Short Galley Preview: "Cruising" A New Anthology by Cleis Press

I just finished reviewing the galleys for a new anthology that’s being released by Cleis Press. The editor is Shane Allison. I’ve worked with him before and I consider him an artist and author, not only an editor.

My story is titled, “On the Bathroom Floor.” I wrote it a long time ago, partly based on true experiences. My blogging buddy, Matthew Darringer, would like this book…at least I think he would. It gets into the reality of how gay men cruise, without making any political or social apologies to anyone. It is what it is; like it or not.

On the other hand, it’s not romance. This is erotica about gay men. The subject matter is for adults only and it’s different from what I usually write with regard to both content and storyline. And that’s because I’m following the guidelines of the editor and the publisher. It’s the kind of fiction I started writing twenty years ago as a freshman in college, for publishers like Cleis Press, before there was even a hint of something called m/m romance.

I’ll post more when the book is released. Here’s a quick excerpt that I’ve edited so it won’t be x-rated on a pg-rated blog. It’s also raw, before the line edits were submitted, so there might be an error or two.

On the
Ryan Field

When the weather is warm I like to jog at a small state park
on the outskirts of town, where it’s thick with tall, green
cedar trees; where the wildflowers dot the hills with colors of
the rainbow in spring and where extremely horny straight guys
stop to use the restrooms on their way to work. It doesn’t happen
every morning; about two or three times a month is enough to
create a certain anticipation of great pleasure so that the jogging
itself never becomes repetitive. It’s a beautiful park,
with paved walking trails and open pavilions and a Pennsylvania
stone restroom haphazardly glazed in lime-green moss.

This place is frequented often by guys wearing jeans and
work boots, driving huge, extended-cab pickup trucks on their
way to construction jobs. Married men in dark suits that smell
like aftershave, driving four-door Japanese sedans on their way
to office jobs in the city come, too. Men of all ages and from
all walks of life who stop to use the restrooms and see what’s happening on the down low.

Another Cleis Press Book Up For a Gaybie Award: COLLEGE BOYS

Yesterday I posted about the SKATER BOYS anthology that’s up for a Gaybie award. And while I was getting links together, I also noticed another Cleis Press book I’m in is up for an award as well.

This book is titled, COLLEGE BOYS, and it was put together and edited by Shane Allison. Once again, I’m thrilled to be part of this. There are a lot of great authors in this book, including Neil Plakcy, who edited SKATER BOYS. Here’s the link where you can see who else has been nominated. I’m honestly not very familiar with this site. But it looks interesting and there’s a long list of categories, filled with lgbt entertainment.
(Update to this post: My short story in this book is titled, “Off Campus, Man.” But I forgot I recently released this short story as a stand alone e-book with another publisher, after several changes and resvises, under the title, “Dirty Little Virgin.” It can be purchased alone, as an e-book, for $2.25 at most large online web sites where e-books are sold…here’s the link to… one of my own personal favorite e-book stores because it’s so easy to use)

VANCE’S FLAMES: Happy Release Day

Today VANCE’S FLAMES was released as a stand alone. It’s on sale right now at And can be purchased here: The original version was once published in an anthology by Cleis Press, edited by Shane Allison. But this stand alone version is different. It’s longer, it’s more like the version I wrote before it was edited and published the first time, and it’s much lighter. I also had full editorial control this time. And now, most important, there’s a happy ending with the hope of much more romance to come.

When a hot, young guy with a passion for starting small fires finally gets busted, he soon discovers that learning to put them out is where he gets his real thrills. With the help of a rugged, divorced volunteer firefighter, he also learns how to start a few new fires that don’t involve matches or lighter fluid.

Although handsome, young Vance has always been careful about his passion for starting small, harmless fires, he slips up one night and winds up getting caught in the act. But this turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to him, because he soon learns that his passion for the rugged men who put out fires is stronger than his passion for starting them. One fireman in particular is willing to turn him around and teach him new ways, and Vance is more than willing to oblige in any way he can. And it becomes a wild adventure for them both, with the possibility of love and romance in the future.

A Book Preview, Galley Sample…

This is a rare for me to do. But I received permission from the editor, Shane Allison, and decided to post a short excerpt from a book galley. It’s an excerpt from my story, “Off Campus, Man,” in a not yet released collection of short stories from Cleis Press, titled, COLLEGE BOYS.

off-campus, man 169
Harlan LaRochelle was an attractive young man with a plan
of his own. He didn’t want to go to Morehouse College in
Atlanta like his father and two older brothers. He’d applied to
Morehouse to appease them, but then he’d secretly applied to a
large university in Washington, DC.

A few months later, his father smiled and patted his back
when he’d been accepted to Morehouse; his mother hugged him
and cooked his favorite dinner. But when Harlan announced
during that same dinner that he was going to the large university
in Washington instead, his father dropped his fork so fast
he chipped a dinner plate. The mother clutched her napkin and
gave him a look.

Harlan looked his father in the eye without blinking. “I’m
going to college in Washington, DC,” he said. “I’ve been accepted
already. They have an excellent journalism program there.”
All this was true. They did have an excellent journalism
department at the Washington school. But the real reason he

didn’t want to go to Morehouse College was because the thought
of spending four more years without knowing what it was like
to kiss another man caused his stomach to turn and his knees to
twitch. He needed distance from his prominent Atlanta family.
And he needed to explore his sexuality as much as he needed
to study. He was a smart young man, with soft brown skin, a
nice firm, round ass, and square, firm chest muscles. He already
knew that women were attracted to him, but he wanted to find
out if men were interested in him, too.

A few months after that, at the end of August, when the
shouting and mean stares finally subsided, he kissed both
parents good-bye, started his black SUV, and drove north to

The first few weeks he concentrated on getting settled in the
dorms and focusing on his school work. His roommate was a
tall, thin techie type who spent most of his time with his face
glued to a computer screen. Harlan liked most of his classes and
he made a few casual friends. And everywhere he went he saw
good-looking young men. When he passed them by on his way
to class, his penis jumped and he had to stare down at his shoes
so he wouldn’t get a full erection. But he wasn’t sure what to do,
or how to approach any of them.

And then one Saturday afternoon in mid-September everything
changed. He was on his way back to his room when he
accidentally bumped into a guy wearing shiny red running
shorts and an oversized black sweat shirt in the dormitory
lobby. The guy had long, wavy, dark blond hair, was average
height, and hadn’t shaved in about two days. His pale blue eyes
were the color of Harlan’s birthstone, aquamarine. Harlan had
been looking for his keys in his backpack and hadn’t seen him
coming. He’d bumped his elbow and had knocked all his books
to the floor.