As part of the Riptide Publishing Grand Opening blog tour, I’d like to welcome Damon Suede.
Take it away, Damon:
When did you start the adventure of writing?
Almost as soon as I could pick up a pencil. I’ve always told stories and always loved entertaining people.
Have you always loved romance writing?
I’ve always loved reading well-written romance, but I’ve only been writing romance within the past year. One of my most astonishing discoveries was the overlap between the screenwriting and playwriting work and the demands of romantic fiction. I find that I learn things while drafting a romance chapter that I can carry over to a script and vice versa. The writing really does exercise the same muscle, but stretches it in different ways.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In every moment of my life. I never run out of ideas, and secretly I don’t believe such a thing is possible. I believe people get bored or frustrated or lazy, but ideas are the fabric of our world. Every moment we are bombarded by ideas, coaxed by ideas, seduced by ideas… When writers complain that they’re “blocked,” the trouble generally seems to come in a disparity between their preconceptions of what they think they want to writer, or what they’re expected to write… and what they actually will write.
Ray Bradbury offers a great illustrative example. Imagine you’ve been given a wrapped present.
What’s the funniest scene you’ve ever written?
It’s from a play, so I don’t know if that counts. A few years back, I wrote a drunk scene that was so funny that the actors would start to crack up (and break each other up) while they played it; one night my lead actress broke onstage and laughed so hard she got a nosebleed onstage… brought the house down!
Fiction is a harder call, because I’ve only just started. In Hot Head, the comic scene I get emails about is Chapter 17, Dante and Griff at the photoshoot with Beth. I think readers dig that because of the friction and rhythm: Griff’s naked stoicism and Dante’s over-the-top jealousy and the demented insults thrown around in this anxious, ridiculous situation. Plus Beth is a solid-gold comic character and as the three of them reach a productive workflow the scene hits a really nice canter.
What’s the most romantic scene you’ve ever written?
Again, my most romantic scene is from a play, so I don’t think it counts that’s still making its way towards production. It’s a nonverbal waking-up scene where two bitter enemies wake up after nearly murdering each other, start to struggle; then each realizes they’ve fallen for the worst possible person, each other and are too afraid to act on it or not act on it. The sexy paralysis of it really gets audiences. Every critic singled it out and people cried hard enough that they couldn’t catch their breaths when the show ended.
For M/M I’d absolutely point to the “couch” scene in Hot Head. I get fan mail about that big love scene in Chapter 15 almost every day. People quote it all over the social networks and discuss it in surgical detail. It took me two months to write it properly, and the whole process was like rubbing through marble with a paper towel… slowly, slowly wearing away at the layers of resistance in the characters to get at the tenderness between these two mooks.
When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun?
Read! Two-step! Host bad-movie marathons! Actually, writing is pretty fun most of the time. But my hobbies take up a fair amount of time.
A quick quiz: Answer as fast as you can.
Favorite Hero: Darcy in Pride and Prejudice
Favorite Dessert: Key Lime pie
Favorite Villain: Livia in I, Claudius and Claudius the God
Favorite Song: Children laughing unobserved.
Have you ever written to music?
I ALWAYS write to music. I build a soundtrack for every project I undertake. It’s an elaborate process that can last up to a week. I’ve written a long description of the process on my website. Often when I only have a germ of an idea, selecting the music and building a kind of creative “score” helps me answer questions I have about the world, the plot, and the characters. Choosing music to write by literally shapes the kind of work I’m going to do and the kind of story that comes of it.
Movie scores and nonvocal music, mainly, though it really varies case to case. I’m a passionate collector of movie scores and depending on the kind of project it feels like I’m writing; when I first set to work on a story, I sift through thousands and thousands of tracks handpicking the tunes to support the world I’m trying to get at. The choices are idiosyncratic and often instinctive. I often “feel” my way to a character or a plot point by way of the music I hear in my head for it. It seems nutty but it really helps me specify and flesh out the world when I get down to business. Even better, the minute I put my “score” on I’m immediately dropped into the world of the book, which works simultaneously as a mnemonic, an inspiration, and a creative focus.
Do you have a writing tip to share with our viewers?
Specificity is the most important thing; it is the core of wit, beauty, elegance, beauty, power, poignancy, and clarity. Ruthlessly cultivating specificity is the one single most important thing you can do as an artist. Specifics murder clichés, eliminate error, and galvanize audiences. You can only be specific if you pay attention, and people will only pay attention to what you create when you are (and it is) specific.
Tell us about your newest release from Riptide Publishing.
Here is the blurb:
Grown Men is a tight two-hander about two farmers marooned on a man-made tropical island, on a planetoid remodeled for corporate agriculture. SO you can expect: rough guys, rugged environment, and a charged attraction between them. Angst and kinkiness!
This novella is the second “transmission” from the “HardCell Universe” which inhabits a slick, paranoid future in which massive conglomerates own entire star systems, cloned employees dream of corporate citizenship, and leisure has dwindled to toxic adver-tainment and sex-resorts. But that probably sounds more serious and grim than it should. Grown Men definitely builds from a place of snarky, satirical humor. Like all sci-fi, the worldbuilding gave me ample chances to play with stuff that’s important to our relationships today.
Seedy Business, the first Hardcell “transmission” about sperm piracy and sibling rivalry gone rotten is available as a free short story from Damon’s website and other e-tailers.
Grown Men can be pre-ordered at Riptide Publishing. Just click this link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/grown-men
For more information on Damon Suede, please, visit:
Author Name: Damon Suede
Email address: Damon@DamonSuede.com
Website URL: www.DamonSuede.com
FB Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Damon-Suede/118289681583504
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4656955.Damon_Suede
GLBT Bookshelf: http://bookworld.editme.com/damonsuede
Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/DamonSuede/
COMMENT TO WIN:
Leave a comment on this post (with your email address in the BODY of the comment. No email address = no entry.) for your chance to win:
– Riptide Publishing’s GRAND PRIZE for their entire launch tour – an iPad! (winner for this will be drawn Jan 5th 2012)
– A Kindle or Nook (winners drawn Jan 5th 2012)
– First Wave Winner’s Choice: Pick any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant (“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles). (winner drawn on 12th October)