About Me

My photo
D. H. Starr is a clean-cut guy with a wickedly naughty mind. He grew up in Boston and loves the city for its history and beauty. Also, having lived in NYC, he enjoys the fast pace and the availability of anything and everything. He first became interested in reading from his mother who always had a stack of books piled next to her bed. Family is important to D. H. and his stories center around the intricate and complex dynamics of relationships and working through problems while maintaining respect and love. His favorite books tend to fall in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and coming of age. To learn more about D. H. Starr and his books, please visit his website at www.dhstarr.com if you are 18+. To view his young adult work and resources, visit www.dhstarrYAbooks.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Am I finally living the life of a writer?

So I've been unemployed like so many others in America, but I have a job that is beginning on Monday. I came to New York city today, expecting the apartment that my friend help me secure would be livable. My friend, this wonderful woman with impeccable taste, is someone who I trusted emphatically. I assumed the place would be nice.

My assumption would have been wrong!!!

What a DUMP! The whole place was like a hallway. It's an attic apartment, slanting roofs, I could fit a couch in the living room and doubt my sleigh bed would fit in the bedroom cause of the slanted ceiling.

So, I'm picturing myself in this hole and it depresses the shit out of me. But then I think of stories of how famous writers and artists have survived living in the most meager of situations, allowing life to take them where it will.

I'm sorry, but if I were going to do that, I would rather do it in Italy on a freakin' hillside by a grape vineyard, not in an attic shoebox in the Bronx.

So I think I'm going to embrace my inner writer/artist and suck it up until I can find something that will make me happier.

For now, a roof over my head and a place to keep my crab is sounds pretty good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wrestling With Desire released

Hey everyone,

Wrestling With Desire, my YA coming of age m/m romance has released. This is so exciting. And I'm happy with the timing given the rash of teen suicide. This book portrays gay youth in a positive and nurturing light as well as being a story close to my heart.

It's available through Featherweight Press: http://featherweightpublishing.com/ShowBook.php?YA=DS_WRDESIRE

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vivian Arend & Moira Rogers's Fakll frenzy contest

This has got to be one of the most awesome contests I've ever seen. Check it out and you might win tons of books and gifts.

Win a copy of A Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend!
Wolf Signs
Robyn Maxwell doesn’t care that her brother has to cancel out on their backcountry ski trip. She can do it alone. The fact she’s deaf doesn’t make her survival skills any weaker. The chance to get away from it all and relax in the Yukon wilderness is just what she’s been craving.
Meeting wilderness guide Keil at the cabin starts cravings of another kind. Keil’s one hot hunk of ripped, tasty male. Now she has to deal with raging hormones as well as strange questions about wolves and mates and challenges to the death.
Keil was trying for a nice reflective retreat before challenging for the Alpha position of his Alaskan pack. He wasn’t planning on meeting the woman destined to be his mate, or finding out she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf.
Between dealing with his accident-prone younger brother, a deaf mate with an attitude and an impending duel to the death, his week—and his bed—is suddenly full.
Far from the relaxing getaway any of them had in mind...
Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Wolf Signs!
This contest is a part of Moira Rogers' & Vivian Arend's Fall Frenzy Event. For your chance to win books, gift certificates, ereaders and more, visit http://www.moirarogers.com/contests/

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ernie or Bert: Who would you rather sleep with?


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday Night Random Thought 10-8

There are times I find it hard to fall alseep at night. On those nights I usually read, or write, or watch TV. Then it throws my whole sleep schedule off and I make up for it by crashing on Saturday and end up even more tired.

I wonder why that is...that sometimes when you get too much sleep you end up even more tired.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Interview With Sedonia Giullone

An Interview with Sedonia Guillone: Author and Publisher by DH Starr

Writers know the joys and pains of crafting and polishing their stories, submitting them for publication, waiting, suffering the ego blows of rejections letters and, through persistence, the joy of a contracted work. Then there are the revisions, edits, proofing, formatting, each step requiring more waiting. But then release day comes and you can sit back and relax, proud of a job well done…the end of a journey…wrong! Then comes promotion, getting your work out there so others know your book is available for them to read.

Now imagine going through all of that over and over—50 times. Author Sedonia Guillone has done this and is now putting her extensive experience to practice as a new publisher, starting up two sister publishing companies: Ai Press: erotic romance (http://www.ai-press.net) and Kokoro Press: mainstream fiction and literary works (http://kokoropress.wordpress.com/).

Below is an interview where Sedonia answers questions about her writing as well as her experience as she begins her new publishing companies.

DH Starr: What prompted you to begin writing?
Sedonia: Nothing really prompted me. I’ve had the impulse to write at a very early age. I remember in first grade we had to write a book report every Friday on a book we’d read that week. One week I wrote my report on Harold and the Purple Crayon. Well, I had so much to say about it that I was cramming lines in on the book report form in tiny writing so I could fit it all in. The irony is that Harold and the Purple Crayon is all pictures and no words! That’s when I had an inkling that I love to write.

DH Starr: You have over 50 books to your credit. How on earth did you manage that?
Sedonia: Truthfully, I managed to write that much because of the man in my life. Being with him has given me the confidence and emotional support that I needed to pursue writing because I’d always been busy pursuing other careers believing I needed to do those things to get my family’s approval when in my heart I wanted to be writing romance. Once I got going, the stories began pouring out of me. I had so many ideas they were all lined up in my head, each story pretty much complete from beginning to end, just needing my hands to type them out onto paper.

DH Starr: Of your books, which book fits the description and why?
• Your favorite in terms of the story coming together well…Sedonia: I have a bunch of those but I would say Men of Tokyo: Sudden Bliss (Total-E-Bound) simply because it’s the story that just is ingrained so deeply in my heart I adore it.
• The one you had the most fun writing…Sedonia: Two books actually were the most fun: 1. Acts of Passion (Ellora’s Cave) (Because it’ a murder mystery and I got to interview a homicide detective at the Boston Police Department and learn all about procedure from a real live detective.) 2. A Man for Michael (Ellora’s Cave) because it is my fan tribute to Jet Li and I adore Jet Li. This novella poured out of me in less than a week.
• The one that made you want to quit being a writer… Sedonia: I can’t say that any book I’ve written has made me feel this way. I’ve only wanted to quit writing when I felt I was using writing for gains such as praise, money and fame, reasons other than the simple joy of writing and telling a story that means so much to me.
• The one that is closest to your heart… Sedonia: Again, Men of Tokyo: Sudden Bliss. This is going to sound completely narcissistic, but this isn’t only my favorite book I’ve written, it’s one of my favorite books in general.

DH Starr: You write both f/m and m/m romance? What’s your take on why there are so many female writers of m/m erotic fiction?
Sedonia: Funny you should ask because just recently I was thinking about this. I honestly am not certain for all women why writing and reading M/M is so popular aside from the eroticism of imagining two beautiful men together. I can speak for myself in that my writing M/M has an incredibly personal dimension. I grew up with a gay father and surrounded by gay men. Growing into womanhood surrounded by men who are not with women comes with its own set of complexities and I know my stories are a way of working on personal issues; which is why my M/M books have much more emotional impact on readers. Almost every single one I’ve written has gotten recommended reads, some of them multiple recommendations – not to brag – it’s just because of the personal intensity I’ve put into them.

DH Starr: What has developed you most as a writer?
Sedonia: If I had to pick out one particular thing that’s developed me most as a writer, it would be love. I know that’s a broad term but in a way it’s not. Love has given me the courage to pursue my writing seriously. Love has been the muse that’s made my stories pour out of me and fueled my dedication to writing.

Ai Press: http://www.ai-press.net

DH Starr: You just started a new publishing company that publishes in eBook and print for both f/m and m/m fiction.
Sedonia: Yes. :-D

DH Starr: What made you decide to start up Ai Press and what are your goals for the publishing company?
Sedonia: Actually, it was my boyfriend who told me years ago I should open my own publishing company. I didn’t do it right away because I didn’t have the confidence. Years later, with much more experience, it was time and I plunged ahead.

DH Starr: What’s it like starting a new publishing company?
Sedonia: It’s quite the learning experience. The first thing I learned was how much work publishers actually do! It’s a lot of work to write a book and go through edits to prepare it for release. However, the publishers do so much else! They’re the ones who arrange for the cover, who make sure it gets an editor and make sure the author gets all the proper paperwork in. Then once the book has gone through edits, the publisher makes sure it’s typeset and formatted into all the different formats that are now available and gets the book uploaded onto the site and to the resellers. THEN, there’s the promo…It’s a lot of work!

However, it’s also been exhilarating for me. Creating the logo and designing the site and getting a marvelous cover artist (Les Byerley) whose covers are just so gorgeous and professional. I also very much enjoy working more directly with people. Although I love writing, it’s a solitary activity and the only real interaction with others is with the editor. However, it’s a whole different world working with authors and supporting them in their creative career.

DH Starr: Through your publisher’s lens, what advice do you have for both published and unpublished writers?
Sedonia: The most important thing for all authors is to write from the heart. That means writing your emotional world into your characters. You don’t have to be writing in the same world in which you live in order to do this. Of course, if that were the case, no one could ever write historicals, or stories that take place in other countries or worlds. It means that your inner world is manifested in your characters. This will automatically give them life and bring your story to life. Don’t craft your characters from the outside in, trying to fit them into an idea of what you think they should be like. Now that I look at other authors’ work with an eye to publication, I can tell you that this element is key to making a story that’s fresh and interesting even if the theme is something that’s been done before.

Then, once you have your story crafted, if you’re going to try and get it published, don’t send it anywhere until it’s as clean and edited as humanly possible. This will heighten your chances of acceptance and once accepted, make the process go so much more smoothly for everyone involved.
Oh, and also – incredibly important: always be open to the feedback you receive. Be open to learning. Of course, there will be times when an editor is just not getting what you’re trying to say, but make certain that you’ve weighed that person’s comments thoroughly before rejecting them.

DH Starr: Is there anything else you want your adoring fans to know?
Sedonia: Just that I hope they’ll come and visit Ai Press, http://www.ai-press.net/, and check out the growing list of titles there.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Who Would You Rather Sleep With? (Week of 10-4)

If you had to choose between the two, who would you rather sleep with, Taylor Lautner or Zac Efron?

Taylor Lautner
Zac Efron

Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches

Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Night Random Thought 10-1-10

I recently read a post on a friends blog about how she killed a mosquito by spraying hairspray to slow it down and then swatting it. It got me to thinking about the sound a mosquito makes and how horrendouly evil it is...but I can only think of the word buzzing to describe it, which hardly seems to do the sound justice.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who Would You Rather Sleep With? (Week of 9-27)

Who would you rather sleep with? Eric of Bill from True Blood? Thanks for the great suggestion Debbie!!!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Night Random Thought 9/24/10

Is it possible to be too popular?

You know the saying guys can lose weight just by thinking about it (so not true by the way). Well my sister can make friends without thinking about it.  Something about her makes everyone like her.  But I've noticed her phone rings off the hook...that, and she gets a ton of texts.  I, on the other hand, get very few calls or texts.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a three-headed alien who repells people, but I don't have the certain magnetism my sister does.

So it got me to thinking: Which would be worse, having lots of friends but getting a lot calls or having fewer friends but not having as many calls and texts to respond to?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Need your Votes!!!

Hi everyone:

My book Wrestling With Desire is up for best YA intro of a character. The topic is:

September – First Meets, School Days

- See a boy across the hall, class room, quad…

To vote please visit http://naughtyinthebackseat.com/boysblog/ and click on Black (my entry)

Thanks so much guys.


My Characters are Teaching Me About Themselves?

I am working on a novella.  It's written, but I had put it aside for a while, drowing in Revisionland and wanting to get my contracted books off my to do list.  Anyway, the book is about two men, Devon and Lance.  Devon is a chapionship figure skater who has qualified for the Olympic trials.  Lance is his trainer.  There's way more to the characters than that, but just to give some background, this should suffice.

I've been struggling with Devon.  He's a little too serious.  He gives and gives, but believes its selfish of him if he allows himself to take every once in a while.  Like at the trials, he needs to allow those who love him to be his support, but can't get past his natural tendancy to shy away from accepting help.  Again, a summary not doing Devon justice, but enough to get the point across.

My real point here is, in disucssing Devon with others, I have discovered that he never really dealt with his mother's death and, as a result, suffers survivor's guilt.  He won't be able to let Lance truly be his lover and equal until he deals with that.  I'm beginning to realize that my concerns for my characters resemble the same types of concerns I have for my friends and family.  I mean, how did I just now figure out he has survivor's guilt and probably needs therapy? 

I find it both interesting and funny that my characters have grown and developed to the point where they teach me things about who they are as opposed to remaining the creations from my mind.  Seriously, when one of my critique partners said, "He sounds like he has survivor's guilt."  I was like, "Oh my God.  You're right.  He does.  How could I not have seen that?"

Then another friend said he needs to face his inner demons before he can truly love others.  Which I knew.  But we got into this back and forth and I felt like I was talking about Devon the same way I talk about my closest friends.

My take:  if our characters take on a life of their own, we did something right in our creation of them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How do you like your M/M fiction

A friend from my writing group sent me a link to this article which I found to be fascinating and informative.  This comes from the wibsite Reviews by Jesse Wave. It reminded me of the blog post that Ryan Field wrote a few days ago about the debate over female m/m authors.  It seems m/m erotic romance is a hot topic lately.

How Do You Like Your M/M Erotic Romance
by Jesse Wave

Thank you all for commenting on the post.  As mentioned in the poll, this is a follow-up to an earlier poll done 18 months ago at the request of an author, to gauge the pulse of M/M readers. There were a couple of reasons for this new survey. One was: with the increasing number of male fans reading these books I thought it appropriate to see if opinions about this sub genre had shifted. Another reason was that other authors had asked me repeatedly when I was going to update the survey. Since I thought that a year and a half was a good span of time to give you the opportunity to recharge and see if you still liked M/M books I agreed that the time was right.                

For the full article, click here

Who would you rather sleep with?



Voice by Ali Katz

This is an extremely well written piece about author's voice.  I always find Ali's thought and musings to be extremely insightful, user-friendly, and of direct importance to writers.

My face-to-face crit group picked up a new member about a month ago. He’s fresh out of college, has been writing for a long time, but never tried to have anything published. The first chapter he presented for crit was a well-crafted bit of writing but typical for a beginner: lots of flowery descriptive passages, no action, no concept of character, not a clue to what the story was about.

One of our older members, who’s been around a while and has a few novels with a major print publisher, commented. “This voice might work for a literary piece, but it won’t fly in genre fiction.”
His reply, “What’s voice?”

People keep slinging that word around. I had to look it up.

Voice is a combination of a writer’s use of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc….Voice can also be referred to as the specific fingerprint of an author, as every author has a different writing style. ~~Wikipedia


One thing I know about voice is how elusive it can be.

Hard to find, easy to lose. Usually, when I feel myself slipping, or more often locked up, I pick up a piece of fiction by an author I enjoy reading and start analyzing paragraphs. Lately, I’ve been reading poetry.

O for the dropping of raindrops in a song!
O for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song!

~~Walt Whitman, A Song of Joys

In a half dozen articles, I kept reading these words: song, poetry, sound, rhythm, color. Color?

A writer’s voice is his song. The magic of words strung together to create an image only he can show us. It’s a living breathing thing that changes as characters, scene, emotions change, but beneath every line lies the unique voice of the individual telling his story.

Can we learn it? We can learn to do it right. Study syntax, accept the rules, learn to use them to your advantage, but your voice is within you waiting to be found. It forms from all you have experienced, all the people you’ve met, all you have read, all that makes you who you are.

So, how do you find it? By writing, and rewriting, and writing again. And, in my case, I write, and rewrite, write again and read poetry. At some point, the words fall into place and you see magic happen. Voila, exactly what you wanted to say, said clearly and beautifully.

I did not know how to differentiate
between volcanic desire,
anemones like
and purple fire
of violets
like red heat,
and the
of her feet:
I had two loves separate;
God who loves
alone knew why
and understood
and told the old

the impossible,
which he did.

~~HD Doolittle, The Master

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tips for Publishing and Common Pitfalls

Sedonia Guillone, publisher at Ai Press, is giving a workshop to address manuscript submissions and rejections. Her focus will be on what editors look for, what may cause editors to reject manuscripts, even if they like certain aspects of it. The workshop is geared to address many of the issues witers must face early on in the careers such as tags, POV, and characterization. There will also be some discussion on topics for erotic romance authors such as use of language and building sexual tension. This is intended to be a one time workshop lasting a few hours. Sounds like a great opportunity to engage in an online discussion with an extremely prolific and talented writer.

If you are interested in participating in a discussion to share your concerns and to hear the concerns of others, this may be a great opportunity . There will be a small fee of $15 to participate, but as part of the workshop, she will provide a critique of the first two chapters of a manuscript and give feedback about what might be holding it back from publication. As soon as 10 - 15 people commit to participation, she'll do the workshop for sure. So, if your interested, reply to this post indicating you would participate. Let your other writer friends know, particularly newer or unpublished authors and see if they too would be interested in participation.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh My GOSH!!!!!!

I feel like I'm drowning.  I know I shouldn't complain.  My troubles are hardly bad ones.  But I'm doing revisions for one contracted book a few chapters at a time.  I just got my full manuscript back with revisions for another contracted book (250 pages in word - 90,000 words).  My proof copy is about to come back for my first contracted book any day.  I'm trying to make time to revise a chapter a week of a 5 chapter short novella I wrote so I can submit it.  And I started a new book that is my first venture into supernatural/fantasy.  On top of that, I'm writing 2500 - 3000 word short stories for a contest.  I'v written four, have two more mapped out, and want to have 8 written in the next few days so I cna pick on to submit and clean it up.  Then I'm going to take the remaining short stories and compile them into a book of inter-related short stories (about 10,000 - 12,500 in length) by expanding the shorts I'm currently writing.

It's great stuff, but I am swamped.  Yikes.  Definately in the weeds right now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Night Random Thought 9-18-10

I find it odd how I get on these mini-fads.  Like right now I'm stuck on frozen mini-milky ways.  Can't get enough of them.  And those little one pouch Kool Aid drink mixes.  I'm drinking like three grape Kool Aids a day.  Before these it was Lindy's Orange flavored italian ice.  Why do we get stuck on the wierdest of things?  Oh, and banana bread.  I've been eating a LOT of that lately.  Thank goodness for ADHD, I burn everythihg off in minutes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ai Press

For my friends at ERAuthors, I am going to document the process Ai Press uses to acquire, revise, and publish.  My book, Meant For Each Other, which I have dedicated to Ally Blue since she is the first author I reached out to who responded back with encouragement and support...really, she's not only a great author, she's a great person...anyhow, the book is due to release in October, 2010.

I submit to Ai, a new imprint aggressively seeking manuscripts and working to get its name out there, and heard back within 24 hours.  The pwner had taken the time ro read my synopsis and my manuscript and even gave me some specifics about what they liked in my writiing and what needed to be altered to make it appropriate for their imprint. 

Once you agree to the terms of the contract, you fill out several forms, typical of other imprints.  The one step that was different was putting your manuscript into a form program that follows the formatting that Ai Press uses.  This was daunting at first glance...reformat my whole manuscript?  But lickily, their template is programmed to do all of the work for you.  The only things I really needed to do were to use my find-replace function to remove all double spaced bwteeen sentences and replace them with single spaces (30 seconds of work) and to make sure any breask within chapters fit their asterisk format they wanted.  I also had to change the chapter headings to make sure they were bol, NOT underlined, and 14 font.  Still, the bulk of the work was done by the program, not by my.

The stage I am at right now is waiting for my editor to go over my entire manuscript with editing comments.  I will then recevie the manuscript back and will work with the dosument as a whole, returning a fully edited manuscript.

I received a request for cover art a week after I signed my contract.  The form is simply, but allowed me to give all of the information I wanted a cover artist to know.  Can't wait for the cover art.

A few days later I was given a tentative release date.

Ai Press is moving fast and is working aggressively...which is right up my alley...Oh, up my alley could be something I could use in a book :-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wrestling With Desire

My first book, Wrestling With Desire, is due for publication within the month.  It's a story about two high school boys who fall in love and struggle with the stresses and rewards of first love.  Add to that the fact they are gay, and you will experience what I hope is a sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes emotional, coming-of-age story that one and all can relate to.  The book is available through Featherweight Press.  You can learn about this title and my other books by visiting http://www.dhstarr.com/

In my writing group there has been some discussion around the crossover from Young Adult and Adult Romance.  Some feel the two should be completely separate.  Others feel that the genres are fine for both young and more seasoned adults. 

What is your opnion?  What are your thoughts about where to draw the line between what young adults read and what they should not yet be exposed to?

My personal opinion is this:  If someone is 18 or older, they are, in the United States, considered an adult and therefore can make informed decisions about what level of heat they wish to read.  If they are under the age of 18, certain levels of protection need to be put in place to protect them from viewing adultcontent.  If you look at my home page and the homepage of most other sites whichcontain adult content, there is a disclaimer link where the viewer has to acknowledge they are at least 18 or older.

I am curious about what you believe.