Sunday Small Talk

There is nothing really new here other than I did make strives on my SF story but I don’t like my chances of finishing it by deadline. At least at the end I’ll have something for a future market.

So instead today I thought I’d talk a bit about the erotic aspects of my stories. My last two stories (Corpse Powder and More Than His Scars (which has been sent to DSP for consideration for the Love Wins anthology)) have zero sex in them and that was a conscious decision.

I was reminded of it yesterday when another m/m author switched from romance/erotica to YA because she felt neither romance nor erotica were her strong suit. I feel that way myself. Neither of the above mentioned stories are particularly romantic. Several others I know who DO feel comfortable with the romance feel either less comfortable with the hard core sex scenes, or, like me are just plain bored with writing them.

That is seriously the case with me. I’m just plain tired of writing sex. I don’t feel uncomfortable with it but in many cases I’m bored with it and that goes for reading it. I find myself skimming those sections lately while reading novels in the genre. It might be a hot scene but to me it’s just meh, let me get back to the mystery/demon hunting/alien fighting whatever of the plot.

So seeing several far better known authors than me were also tired of writing the sex scenes, I got to thinking. I did even more thinking after animazement where I saw several readers eyes glaze over when we talked about the plot or another really relating to the LGBT community but spark like fire when we mentioned ‘oh by the way, lots of m/m sex.’ The two warring thoughts I had were 1. if I take out the sex I might lose readers. 2. I am uncomfortable with people reading merely because they think the m/m sex is ‘pretty’ or ‘hot’ (and I could go on here because I’ve seen tons of very unkindly thoughts from so parts of fan fic where that the sex is all that mattered but I don’t want to offend too many people.) I have to say I’m beyond uncomfortable with the idea that the only reason people are buying the books for the sex rather than any interest in the concerns of the LGBT community. It makes me wonder if I’m actually doing something that could be somehow detrimental (I tend to overthink)

So I decided to play a bit with my fiction. Corpse Powder could have had sex scenes. Well if I wanted it not to be in the anthology because it was too freaking long. It ended up novella length and needed cut. There was no way to get it in without cutting more. I decided to do the fade to black instead. I think it works. Time will tell if readers agree.

I didn’t use sex in More Than His Scars because it was a story in my Kept Tears universe and Aaron is dealing with the anniversary of the day he lost his arm in the war. He’s in a bad head space and Rhys (and Corrine) are trying to get him back on his feet. There’s a hint at the end that he and Rhys will have a romantic night but that wasn’t what the story was about. I felt sex would have been distracting, maybe even disrespectful to actual veterans, suggesting a good fuck will take your mind off your disabilities. So I left it out on purpose.

As for Blood Red Roulette which I’m retooling does have some sex but the story is definitely not really a romance. There’s a romantic subplot and some awkward first time sex but I’m trying to take a step toward the non-romance lines that are thankfully cropping up because I’d much rather read those genres personally.

Same for Behind Blue Eyes. I know there will be some erotic moments but they’ll be shorter in spite of this being about a man being sold as sex slave. It’s more about the ugliness of that (as opposed to the BDSM world where someone willingly submits, this is not about that at all!)

I’m not entirely turning my back on the romance side though. I am trying to find time to work in a contemporary romance as I was challenged by the ladies a animazement to at least stretch and try it. I swear I had started it but I cant find any record of it. I’m boggled by that!

As for the SF short I’m working on, I’m not sure where to work sex into it! I did want one scene or at least a make out scene but it’s turning into flat out SF and a sex scene right now would be…awkward from the story telling side of things. Hmmm.

Rainbow Snippets

Feeling barely alive. Heat makes me very ill and today it’s in the 90s again. It kicked off a killer migraine (and Kanda is wheezing, poor cat). But this heat is perfect for when I lived in Cassadaga FL (how I didn’t curl up and die from the heat, I still don’t know). This is the first meeting of Ryan and Santino (whom you’ve met). It takes place in Andrew Jackson Davis Hall and Ryan is helping mentor a new psychic to do readings (the snippet refers to his ability to psychically get snippets of a person’s life which is explained in the surrounding scenes)

They’re in this building  photo davis center_zps9tnmtlcj.jpg

His pulse went out of synch with the slow-paced nature of Cassadaga when he spied the dark haired man at the head of the line. He was a whisper short of average height but the stranger made up with it in form. While his TARDIS t-shirt reading ‘You never forget your first Doctor’ wasn’t tight enough to judge chest muscles by, his tanned arms were toned as were his legs left bare by his cargo shorts. The man got extra points for being geeky. …Sometimes knowing people too well by merely touching them, or something they valued, could be heart breaking. It didn’t stop Ryan from wanting to hold this man’s hand. Watch it be one of the time his powers gave him diddlysquat.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!

Gues Blog Post

Surfacing Tour Banner
Title: Surfacing
Author: A.L. Bates
Series: The Ariel Series, Book Two
Genre: Gay Romance, Science Fiction
Length: Novella

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing


A few weeks following the events that concluded DEEP, Book One: The Ariel Series, Captain Joel Riley is struggling to adjust to his new relationship with his medic, Sean, and when a face from Sean’s past sets out to destroy Joel and his ship, Joel faces an impossible decision: Sean or Ariel.

Sensing Joel’s dilemma, Sean makes the decision to leave. He does so knowing he must confront his past and the abuse he suffered. Subjected to the same trauma again, this time at the hands of his brother, he uses the strength Joel taught him to take his future into his own hands.

For Joel, life without Sean proves unbearable and he comes to the realization that he needs more than just his ship. He sets out to bring Sean back… whatever the cost.

Surfacing Cover

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Deep AL BatesFleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?

JOEL SAT IN a cell with six other inmates. He knew two of the boys from the docking yard; they were sporting bruises on their knuckles and faces. It was a common sight. After months underwater, guys often felt the need to let off too much steam their first night on the town.

Joel himself had been thrown into the drunk tank enough times in his younger days. Only back then he’d been picked up mid-fight, not the morning after.

Across the cell from him two hookers rested against each other, both looking bored with the scenery already. The prettier of the two gave him a smile, and because his mother didn’t raise him to be rude, he smiled back.

“What you in for, sweetheart?” she asked.

“Being too darn pretty,” he said. “What about you?”

“Theft. But we’re innocent, honey.”

“It didn’t cross my mind that you weren’t.”

The main door opened, shedding light into the pit. Joel knew Sheriff Harris from years ago when they’d served on the same ship. The sheriff was a couple of years older than Joel and a leg injury had set him permanently on dry land. The lawman stood in front of the cell, tipping his head to the men he’d arrested. They were thugs, but they were miners, and the sheriff always had respect for men of the sea.

“You want to come with me, Riley?”

“Why? For knocking that bilge-rat around?”

“You might want to do this somewhere private,” Harris said.

Joel could see a shadow lurking by the doorway; the wiry frame of a man keen to press charges.

“We’re looking for a Dr. Sean Leystone. You know him?”

The men around Joel were drunk, but they were listening. He was a man of the sea, one of them. But Joel had already committed to his statement. There was no backing out now.

“Aye, I reckon I do.”

“You mind telling me in what capacity you know him?”

Joel paused, looking toward the hookers opposite. “As I told the Board, I picked him up last night.”

“You picked him up?”

Joel gestured toward the women. “I guess you already had these lovely girls in custody by then.”

The women cackled.

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About the author

A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.

A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook:

Sunday Small Talk

The biggest news would be I’m back to work as the semester rolls out and I have every weekend from now til Nov booked and Nov is Nano so really…booked til December. Yikes.

I got the second round of edits on Corpse Powder which was stunningly just the editor checking out all the Navajo and Jewish culture terms. It was the easiest edits ever. I really am looking forward to this weird west anthology!! They’ve started the cover specs but that’s all I know about that part of it.

I have the charity story off with a first reader. I’m considering entitling it More than His Scars Since I’m running the ragged edge of the deadline I’ve contacted them to let them know it is coming.

Speaking of deadlines, I’m seriously doubting I can make the one for Beyond the Infinite but that’s okay. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a home for a a SF story. I did however get over 2K written on it at the faculty meetings which were 8-4 Thursday AND Friday.

I still have the idea kicking around in my head for that short contemporary novel but finding time and motivation has been hard this year. I’m very behind on word count and editing and most everything I wanted to do so…

But I will keep plugging away at it.

Rainbow Snippets

And so this time I didn’t finish reading everyone’s snippets because lightning took my internet out (and the internet of nearly everywhere around here) and then the back to school professor meetings happened. I swear this week I WILL read everyone’s especially since I’m abusing the system here a bit with about 8 lines instead of 6, mostly because it was just funnier and more complete this way.

Last week in this still untitled (or lamely titled Cassadaga Nights which I hate but can’t think of anything better for), we met the Cassadaga psychic, Ryan (and yes, Cassadaga FL really is a spiritualist commune stocked with psychics. I used to live there but not in the psychic ‘camp.’) Today we meet Santino and his partner, Cam. They work for a group of psychics, witches etc that police the supernatural community (yes one of my favorite things to write, apparently). Santino is cooking dinner while they discuss their latest case in Cassadaga. What prompted this scene was him using telekinesis to bring cooking ingredients to his hands rather than walking to get them.

Oh and this is Harmony Hall where I have Ryan living (should have posted it last week)  photo harmony_zpschnqtgbt.jpg

“You ran around your parents’ house saying ‘I can use the Force!’ when you were a kid, didn’t you?” Cam cocked her head to the side. “Probably still do.”

Santino held up two fingers and his thumb, making a pinching motion. “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” he intoned.

Cam choked and then slumped on the table, her long raven hair spilling around her.

“Smart ass.” Santino went back to cutting garlic.

“You know you wanted me to do it,” Cam said into the wooden table.

He snorted. Both of them knew he could use his psychokinesis to choke an enemy if need be, and to the enemy, he probably did seem like Darth Vader. Santino liked to think he was on the side of light, though he wasn’t much like Luke. He had Han’s swagger.

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!