Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guest Author Andrew Q. Gordon on The Allure of Fantasy

When Andrew Q. Gordon asked me to beta read his latest fantasy story, I knew I was in for a great ride. And boy, was I right! His story is lovely and magical and... let him tell you what's wonderful about this genre and why we both love Fantasy so much.

And yes, I love this cover! His story is available through the MM Romance group on Goodreads. It will also be available soon as a free download HERE.

So here's Andy...


For the past few years, the MM Romance group on Goodreads has organized the 'Don't Read in the Closet' [DRitC] event. Readers find a picture that speaks to them. They explain what the picture means and then ask an author to write the story. The stories are posted on both Goodreads and on a website where readers can download the story for free in whichever format they choose. There were a wide mix of things, but when you toss out things I don't like—BDSM (not IRL or in fiction), Gay For You, (don't get me started), Tentacle (I so don't get this, sorry to all who do)—the remainder were contemporary romance or Sci-fi/Fantasy/Paranormal. I went with Fantasy.

Here's the prompt I selected:

Fantasy—especially high fantasy over urban fantasy—is a niche market. LGBT/MM Romance Fantasy is even more so. So in an event that is a platform for writers to show off their work, why choose the niche within a niche? Why not use the event to reach out to all those readers who for whatever reason, don't like Fantasy fiction? Because I like Fantasy.

Maybe I have a god complex and want to create my own worlds. More likely is that I have aspirations of being a wizard, of flying on a dragon's back or racing the wind riding on a unicorn. I like to see how the writer creates her world and how she integrates all the disparate parts she's dreamt up. Characters need to stay in character—it's simplistic, yet true. A total douche bag who suddenly changes into a great guy for no reason and remains that way ruins a story.

In Fantasy, more than just the characters need to remain true to themselves. The world must stay in character too. Time travel can't be so available that your professor can loan you one so you can take extra classes as a 13 year old, yet be unavailable for other more important events like preventing atrocities by a dark lord. A wizard can't solve every problem with a snap of his hand, but then be flummoxed and unable to do the same with the stories main conflict.

Reading a good Fantasy story, one where the author has created a rich world with diverse characters and workable limitations, always leaves me satisfied. I love to see a creative twist, an unforeseen danger, or a believable challenge mixed in with the same interpersonal dynamics all good contemporary novels have.

For me, Fantasy isn't limiting, it is encompassing. All the elements of a good contemporary novel can be woven around the magic, swords and unicorns on the pages of a Fantasy novel. It is two for the price of one. What's not to like with a bargain like that?

Ashes of Life, By Andrew Q. Gordon

  Ashes of Life Cover Final 3.4 When Sergeant Thane asked his best friend and second in command, to go riding, he had no idea how much his life would change. Taken by his horse to a forest that shouldn't exist, Thane hears a cry for help.

Answering the plea, Thane releases a phoenix—Eraq—from his centuries long imprisonment. Eraq's first act of freedom is to claim Thane as his own.

But the phoenix is more than he appears. A mage-shifter, Eraq sets his sights on the man who answered his call for help. Thane returns the interest despite learning that his act of liberation has set in motion events that will change the world.

When he learns his relationship with Eraq places him at the center of events beyond his understanding, Thane refuses to abandon the man he's come to love. Even if it hurtles him toward certain death.  

About the Author:

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. 'insiders', Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.

Social Media Links:

You can find his books at:

Wayward Ink Publishing
Dreamspinner Press 

Follow Andrew on his website:,

On Facebook:,

On Twitter: @andrewqgordon,

Or just email him:


  1. Wow! I have to say, this looks amazing! I'm glad that I don't have to wait too much longer for this story to be released! Thank you, Andrew, for writing it and thank you to Tali for putting the word out!

  2. *waves* I wanted to say Hi to both of you just because. :) I loved Tali's story for the event and I'm looking forward to reading Andy's story too. Thank you both for participating!

  3. I love the MM Romance group and their DRitC events! I'm looking forward to reading this one. Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine.