Monday, June 25, 2012

MA Church Talks about Reluctant Romance

Good afternoon! Who doesn’t love a story of someone being nudged, tugged and sweet talked into bed? Author M.A. Church is here to talk about Reluctant Romance, an anthology of stories about the edges where consent needs a push. Let's hear what she has to say.

The Reluctant Romance anthology features erotic stories in which the lovers may need a little extra persuasion to get them into their lover’s arms. Persuasion can take a lot of forms. Tell us about your story.

Well, in my story, "Changing His Mind," Zane’s been hurt, and badly. It affected him not only emotionally, but financially. To put it simply, he’s gun shy. His trust has been so severely abused he’s afraid to let anyone in, and he retreats.

Then he meets Neil, lol, who won’t take no for an answer. Neil knows Zane is shy and reluctant, but he doesn’t know the reason driving Zane’s behavior. Determined, Neil sets up a date between him and Zane. And doesn’t give Zane a chance to back out, lol. My story isn’t so much about reluctant sex as it’s about reluctance in general. And a man who just will not give up, lol.  I found a picture that inspired me for the story, too. It’s of a guy sitting on the edge of a pool, and he looks so lonely.

Because the story itself tells the tale, here's the blurb and an excerpt from "Changing His Mind":


Shy and afraid to trust, Zane holds everyone at arm’s length after his big secret is disclosed and his life is changed. Then he meets Neil who won’t take no for answer and is determined to change Neil’s mind about taking a chance on love.


“Oh. Ohhh!” The blush was back and raging. “You’re gay? And you’re not… afraid to tell it?”

“Fought that battle years ago. No, I’m not ashamed. I’m out and proud. What about you?” Neil shifted in the chair and watched as Zane’s eyes traveled up his legs to his package.

“Me?” Zane squeaked, jerking his eyes back, as though he’d been caught eyeing Neil’s bulge. “I, ah, I’m… oh my God.”

“Please tell me you’re gay—or I just may have to go shoot myself. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been flirting with you for the better part of a week. I didn’t think my gaydar was that off.”

Zane flashed a grin. If this guy wasn’t gay, Neil would eat his towel. And his water bottle.

“Oh my God.” Zane gasped again, turning pale. “Do I come across as gay?”

“Man, calm down. It’s not like you have a huge flashing neon sign above your head screaming GAY in big capital letters.”

Zane’s lips twitched as color crept back in his face. “Sorry. It’s just that… I don’t normally go around… Okay yeah, I’m gay, but I like to keep my private life private.” Zane’s lips flattened out.  “Let’s just say I had a bad experience and leave it at that, okay?”

“Trouble at the job?”

“No.” Zane shook his head, his eyes sad. “That’s not an issue, not anymore.”

“Okay, I see the big sign saying back off, so I’ll drop it.” Neil leaned closer. “But only if you agree to have a drink with me tonight.”

* * * *

“I, uh, I… Oh my God.” Zane dropped the tablet in his lap. Yes, he knew Neil had been flirting; he would’ve had to be blind, deaf, and dumb to miss it. Subtle wasn’t Neil’s middle name.

“You say that a lot, usually about the time that cute blush pops up.”

Zane buried his head in his hands. How the hell did someone deal with a person like Neil? He had enough confidence for two people, and Zane himself had none. Not that he had much before. Thanks to his ex that was in short supply—the man had hacked his way out of Zane’s heart with a butcher knife.

“Neil, I’m sorry, but I don’t date.” Zane lowered his eyes. Now this dark, sexy god of a man would find someone else to pursue, he was sure of it. Maybe that was for the best.

“Okay then, we won’t call it a date. How about a non-date date?” Neil stood up and walked to the edge. “I’m getting in for a little while. Man, I’m burning up.”
Zane’s mouth dropped open. Didn’t Neil hear what he just said? “But, but—”

“Hold that thought.” Grinning, Neil left a flabbergasted Zane. After swimming a few laps, he returned.

“Ah, Neil—”

Neil grabbed his towel. “I’ll see you at seven, dress comfortable.”

“Oh my God, would you just—”

“I know which apartment you live in, too, if that’s what’s got you worried. I’ve seen you leaving. Listen, I’ve to go, but I’ll see you tonight.”

Neil turned and walked away, before a tongue-tied Zane could figure a way to back out. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to drag Zane out of the apartment this evening. But if he had to, then he was willing to do just that. One thing for sure, he was going to have to work for this guy. But something told him Zane would be worth it.


What are some of the other stories in the anthology about?

I have my copy, but haven’t had a chance to read any of the stories. This anthology is by the Wednesday Briefers, and I’ve read enough of their stories on Wednesdays to know how good this group can write, lol. [Interviewer confession: I am also a Wednesday Briefer, though not in this anthology, but yes... they're good!] We have another anthology coming out in October that will have a Halloween twist. Zane and Neil will be back for that one, too.

Themes of dubious consent or reluctance are a staple of romance, not just m/m but traditional romances also. What do you think makes reluctant sex so darn sexy? 

I find the push and pull of reluctance fascinating. For every step forward the character who’s reluctant takes, he takes two back, lol.

Writing is a solitary, often frustrating, and woefully underpaid profession. That said, a lot of people want to do it, so there must be an upside other than the obvious, which is that being a writer makes one sexy. So why do you write?

The urge. *Laugh* That’s the best way to put it. The urge to create something and someone, then throw them in the middle of a situation and watch them deal. I like to see how they handle things. I know, I know, I talk about my characters like they’re real. They often are real to me; some more than others.

Time to fess up. Is there an actor or a book character (other than your own) you have a crush on?

Oh, that’s an easy one: Vin Diesel and his character Riddick. I usually like long hair on a man, but Vin Diesel rocks the bald look. And my God, that voice of his. *shiver* It’ll make your eyes roll back in your head, lol.

Vanilla ice cream?  Or chocolate?

Mmm, vanilla. I love chocolate, but for some reason I don’t care for chocolate ice cream. In the freezer we usually have at least two cartons of ice cream, lol.

Pet peeves—we all have them.  Care to share one of yours?

Any kind of waiting. *laugh* I’m pretty easy going, and rarely get mad. But by God, if I’m told someone will be at my house at a certain time, I expect them to be there. Or call and let me know if they’re running late. Repair calls, and their four hour time span where they could show up any time, makes me nuts.
When the kiddo and I go to the mall I tell her what time I want to leave, and I expect her to be ready to go at that time. Silly, right? Expecting a teenager to do what they’re told, lol. I *have* threatened to leave her before. That got her butt in gear! 

Where can you find the Reluctant Romance anthology?  Just follow these links:


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me Tali! As always I had a great time! ;)