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.
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?
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.
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.
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,
and purple fire
like red heat,
of her feet:
I had two loves separate;
God who loves
alone knew why
and told the old
explain the impossible, which he did.
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.
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.
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.
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 :-)
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.