Category Archives: Writing

My Expanded Universe

It’s … it’s … it’s all connected …

Can’t you see?

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Well, maybe it’s not that much of a conspiracy.

But as I’m working on the sequel to both Go-Go Boys of Club 21 and Men In The Hot Room — a special crossover/sequel project — I’ve come to see how most of my stories are in the same universe and are connected.

Really, they’re all in the “same universe” since they’re all real world and none of them contradict each other. But I’ve come to see how those that fit in the “shared universe” will feature crossovers and characters that move about.

I’m not crazy. Really. Well, I’m a writer and we’re all a little bit crazy.

But here’s what I mean:

Writing Plans

Most of these books aren’t written yet — the single asterisk means it’s “not yet written, subject to change” and the double asterisk means “currently writing”. So almost all of this is up in the air.

However, here’s what I can tell you…

Go-Go Boys of Club 21 is getting a direct sequel, called New York Heat. However, in it, Brad and Simon from Men In The Hot Room will join the cast and we’ll see the continuation of their storyline. This book will feature Liam, Lance, Ken, Dan, DJ Heat, and Jake (the second bartender mentioned in passing) from GGBC21; Brad and Simon from MITHR; and two new characters.

Yes, it’s a BIG book. Each of the five serialized parts will be 20,000-40,000 words, meaning the whole novel will be in the 100,000 to 200,000 word range. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever written.

Ryan’s Boys is another direct sequel to Go-Go Boys of Club 21. If you read GGBC21, you’ll know that two thirds of the book takes place in New York City and the remaining third takes place in Los Angeles. This will be set in Los Angeles and feature Ryan, Francis, and Damien from GGBC21; Zack and Rachel from from the New York portion of GGBC21, as they will move to L.A.; and potentially some characters from the Bathhouse Series.

After New York Heat and Ryan’s Boys are published, I’ll figure out the next move — whether they get direct sequels, crossovers, or a mishmash.

So how do the Bathhouse Series and the Gaymer Series truly fit in?

In at least one of the not-yet-written Bathhouse Series stories, Francis and Damien will feature heavily, building relationships between themselves and the characters in that series. Thus, some Bathhouse characters will likely transition over to Ryan’s Boys.

In a coincidence I didn’t realize until yesterday, one of the male leads in Gaymer is named Zack. I’ve decided that he’s the same sex-crazed twink Zack in GGBC21 — my challenge over the Gaymer Series is to get Zack from where he is in Gaymer to where he is in GGBC21.

In other writing news…

A few months ago I laid out my writing plans for the coming year-ish. I’m mostly on track.

  • Forbidden Desires: The Complete Series was published on schedule.
  • Sex For Money, Second Edition was published in ebook format on schedule, but I’m just finalizing the print book before I announce it. So I’m a couple weeks behind, but that’s not bad.
  • Academic Discipline #1, still untitled, is done and ready to go. I just need a cover and a title. It’ll be released likely in the first week of October.
  • Academic Discipline #2: Schoolboy Secrets, is currently being written and should be released on schedule at the end of October or early November.
  • Academic Discipline #3 is not yet in process, but *fingers crossed* I’ll get it done late November / early December.
  • Academic Discipline: The Complete Series will be ready to go as soon as all three books are done — which means I’m pretty much on schedule with that, too.

But here’s where it gets off track.

  • New York Heat is far bigger and far more challenging than I expected. It’ll be quite late, but I hope to have it in mid- to late-2018.
  • Ryan’s Boys won’t be started until New York Heat is done. This will likely be a 2019 publication.
  • The to-be-written Bathhouse and Gaymer stories will likely be written and released between New York Heat and Ryan’s Boys so that we get better set-up and context for Ryan’s Boys.

All of this is up in the air and subject to change until the very moment I upload them to Amazon and Smashwords.

You may eventually see characters from other works popping in, so we can get updates on them. The leads from Autumn Fire and Silent Hearts could very well make appearances. (The characters from the Forbidden Desires and Academic Discipline series will not likely show up, as they are jointly owned by myself and my co-authors … but nothing is impossible!)

And, finally, one last note:

Even though most of my books are connected, they can all be enjoyed independently. Think of the Marvel movies — they’re all connected, but you don’t have to see them all to enjoy them. I actually don’t like superhero movies that much, so the only ones I watch are The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. I can tell that there’s some context I’m missing because I haven’t seen them all, but they’re still enjoyable and complete movies on their own. I’m striving for the same with my books.

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Filed under Autumn Fire, Bathhouse Nights, Cameron D James, forbidden desires, Gaymer, Go-Go Boys of Club 21, Indie Erotica Collective, Men In The Hot Room, Publishing, Silent Hearts, Writing

Upcoming Publication Schedule

Well… it’s been a while since I’ve released a book. The President And The Rentboy came out in early February. That was five months ago… that’s a long time in the world of erotic fiction. While in genres like sci-fi or fantasy, an author can release a book a year and be considered productive, erotic authors are often held to a more frequent release schedule.

While I generally don’t like to give into the pressures of this sort of thinking … this is what I’ve got planned for the next year (if a specific date isn’t mentioned, the release will happen toward the end of the month)…

  • July 2017: Forbidden Desires: The Complete Series by Cameron D. James and Sandra Claire, in both ebook and paperback. This collects Seduced By My Best Friend’s DadErotic Love and Carnal Sins: Confessions of a Priest, and The President And The Rentboy. I just saw the concept art from my cover artist and holy crap is it amazing. I can’t wait to get this book out!
  • August 2017: Sex For Money: How to Write, Publish and Sell Gay Erotica and M/M Erotic Romance — 2nd Edition. While it’s only been about a year since the original Sex For Money came out, the world of self-publishing has changed dramatically. This updated version will have much of the same content, but will expand on areas that have grown and remove areas that have disappeared (like All Romance eBooks). The revision has been written and it’s with my proofreader right now. If you bought the first edition and would like to see the second edition, I’ll share here on my blog on in my newsletter how you can get your copy for free. (Basically, you’ll have to show me that you purchased the first edition and I can email you the second edition — but those details will be sorted later.)
  • September 2017: Currently Untitled (Academic Discipline #1) by Cameron D. James and Dominic LeBlanc. This is a new school-centered series by myself and Master Dominic. Apparently, Amazon doesn’t allow Dominic to use “Master” as part of his name, so his pen name for “respectable fiction” (as he puts it) is Dominic LeBlanc. We’ve written the first draft of this book already — it’s a BDSM-themed love affair between a college student and his professor.
  • October 2017: Schoolboy Secrets (Academic Discipline #2) by Cameron D. James and Dominic LeBlanc. Like the Forbidden Desires series that I co-wrote with Sandra Claire, this Academic Discipline series is non-connected … each book is entirely standalone. Book 2 features a love triangle between an 18-year-old student at an all-boys private school, his PE teacher, and the principal, and will feature BDSM elements. We’re presently partway through the first draft.
  • November 2017: Currently Untitled (Academic Discipline #3) by Cameron D. James and Dominic LeBlanc. We don’t actually have a plot outline for this one yet … but we will soon!
  • December 2017: Academic Discipline: The Complete Series by Cameron D. James and Dominic LeBlanc. This will be a bundle of the three novellas in ebook and print format.
  • January 16, 2018: Autumn Fire. This was my very first novel, which had been published by Champagne Books. It’s currently unavailable because I’ve had the rights returned to me. I’m rewriting it (fixing a few things that bothered me and smoothing out some of the writing now that I’m a lot more experienced as a writer) and will be publishing it through my company, Deep Desires Press.
  • Winter/Spring 2018: New York Heat. This is a project I am very excited about. It’s a continuation of my two bestselling series, Men In The Hot Room and Go-Go Boys of Club 21. It will be a full-size novel in ebook and print. In a nutshell, Simon and Brad from the Hot Room stories move to New York to open a yoga studio next to Club 21, and the novel will follow all of the men as they confront the changes in their lives. It will be written so that if you have not read the previous books, you will get along just fine.
  • Spring/Summer 2018: Ryan’s Stars (might be renamed as Ryan’s Boys). This is also a sequel to Go-Go Boys of Club 21, but follows Ryan, Francis, and Damien in Los Angeles and the hedonistic world they live in. It will also be a full-size novel in ebook and print. It will be written so that if you have not read the previous books, you will get along just fine.
  • May 8, 2018: Silent Hearts. This was my second novel, also published by Champagne Books. It’s also currently unavailable for the same reason as Autumn Fire and I will soon be working on rewriting it. It will be published through Deep Desires Press.

These dates are flexible. The only ones that are absolutely firm are Autumn Fire and Silent Hearts as they are scheduled to be released through Deep Desires Press. Everything else depends on me being able to stay productive — but with a full-time day job and running Deep Desires Press, finding time to write can be difficult. I think, though, that I can do this.

Send coffee.

And cute boys.

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Filed under Autumn Fire, Cameron D James, Deep Desires Press, forbidden desires, Go-Go Boys of Club 21, Men In The Hot Room, Publishing, Sex For Money, Silent Hearts, Writing

NEW RELEASE: Sex For Money

Today, I’m got something a little different. While I’m still hard at work on the next Forbidden Desires novella (about a priest and a parishioner who fall for each other), I took a little side detour to write a project that’s been nagging at me for a while now.

Sex For Money: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Gay Erotica and M/M Erotic Romance is a handy manual of everything I’ve learned in my years of writing dirty stories. If you’re one of the many people that have heard there’s money to be made in writing erotica and erotic romance, but don’t know how to get started, this book is a basic primer to the publishing landscape for these genres.

So if you’re only interested in my dirty writing, but aren’t interested in writing some yourself, this book isn’t really for you — there’s no sexy content in it. But if you’re an erotica or erotic romance writer, either aspiring, newly published, or you’ve been around for a while and are looking for some perspective, then this book might be just the thing you’re looking for.

Now, time to get back to work and pump out that next dirty novella!

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Cameron D. James is a multiple-bestselling author of gay erotica and M/M erotic romance, and in this all-in-one book, he shares his personal experiences and advice on how to write, publish, and sell your erotic fiction. While it can be difficult to make a living off of writing, the secrets in this book can help you grow your career and increase your sales month after month. Years of experience, research, trial-and-error, and experimenting have led Cameron to hone his approach to writing, publishing, and selling, and he shares everything with you in this book.

This handy manual explains:

  • Key writing and editing advice to ensure the quality of your fiction rises above your competitors.
  • What to look for in a contract if you choose to publish your fiction through a publishing house.
  • The realities of the hard work behind self-publishing your fiction.
  • How to give your book — including the cover and blurb — a spit and polish to make it draw readers in and close that sale.
  • The truth about which online vendors are worth your time… and which ones are best ignored.
  • The secrets of marketing an erotic book in a highly competitive genre.
  • How to effectively use social media to network with readers and sell your books.

Don’t waste time and money trying to figure all of this out on your own when you can learn how to do things correctly on your first try. This book gives you what you want to know, all in one convenient place.

Sex For Money is available as an ebook at AmazonKobo, and Smashwords and retails for $5.99. Are you a Barnes & Noble or iBooks user? It should upload to those sites soon.

Would you rather buy this book in paperback and hold it in your hands? I’m in the midst of finalizing the paperback printing and should have it available in a week or two — I’ll announce it as soon as it’s available!

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Filed under Cameron D James, eBooks, Publishing, Sex For Money, Writing, Writing Tips

Question: What do you look for in a publisher?

Hi all,

I have some exciting news to share — I’m in the process of setting up an e-publishing company that specializes in M/M erotic romance and M/M erotica!

Yes, there are a lot of these companies already in existence, but I think this is a great time to enter the market. A number of small presses have closed down for one reason or another, but what it essentially comes down to, I believe, is that these companies (a) weren’t able to keep up with evolving trends and technology in e-publishing, and/or (b) set up their businesses in an unsustainable way, which led to financial difficulties, and/or (c) emphasized quantity over quality in acquiring books, leading to poorly-produced books.

My new publishing company, which is still without a finalized name, will operate on a profit-sharing model. This means that no one gets paid until the books sell — the editors and the company get a share of royalties, rather than being paid up-front. This means there is no financial overhead on a title and the risk is minimized. Author royalties would be set at 40%, which is competitive within the industry.

While I’m still a ways away from establishing the publishing company — though I hope to do it by the end of the year — I do have some questions for you.

If you’re an author: What do you look for in a publishing company? What would make you submit to one company versus another?

If you’re a reader: What draws you to a publishing company’s selection? (Or do you even notice a publisher when you purchase M/M books, and are rather focussed on the book itself?)

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Seven Perspectives on Author Branding — Sex For Money Post #14

Sex For Money is a semi-regular blog series about my experiences in writing, publishing, and marketing gay erotica and M/M erotic romance.  All of this information is from my own experience, so your experience may differ.  It’s hoped that sharing this information might be helpful to new and aspiring erotica and erotic romance authors, as I see a lot of questions and a lot of misinformation out there.  To read more Sex For Money posts, click here.


 

As you have have noticed here on the good ol’ blog, I’m now part of the Oh Get A Grip! blog, in which ten erotic authors tell it like it is.  The topics each fortnight cover pretty much every area of life possible, only sometimes returning to the actual topics of writing and self-publishing.

This past fortnight, the topic was “branding,” which could be taken multiple ways — the author brand, marks on your skin, or whatever way branding speaks to the author.

Most of the contributors spoke about the author brand, which is an important consideration for the erotic author (or authors of any genre, for that matter).

Here are links to the author branding posts:

 

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New Publisher: NineStar Press

Greetings blog-followers!

From time to time, you might have noticed I’ll feature other authors and their books, well, today is a little different — there’s a brand new publisher on the scene and I’ve been asked to share their launch with you!  Today we’re going to find out about NineStar Press!

Though I’m not published by NineStar Press, I’m eager to share this with you because I feel that a thriving ebook industry can only be accomplished when we, as a community, work together, rather than competing.  So, while I personally will continue to self-publish, I am thrilled by the opportunity to share this post about the launch of NineStar Press!  (And if you’re an author looking to pitch your book somewhere, NineStar Press has their submission guidelines here.)

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Fans of quality LGBTQA fiction have been anticipating the launch of brand-new publisher NineStar Press. Following the company’s “soft launch” in July, they’re ready to launch fully on November 23rd, 2015.

NineStar Press was created to meet the reading needs of people across the LGBTQA spectrum. The company was formed when founder Lisa Cox, who has years of experience both as an author and editor of LGBTQA fiction, noticed a gap in the market that wasn’t being filled. Though many publishing houses are focused on straight and male/male fiction and romance, Lisa saw that few were offering high-quality, professionally edited and formatted books outside of those markets.

Though NineStar Press will offer plenty of gay fiction and romance, it is also committed to publishing books featuring lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer, and asexual characters. It will release only the best, most engaging LGBTQA stories that you’ll want to read again and again.

What Can You Expect From NineStar Press?

 Already, the publisher has a battery of books waiting to be pre-ordered by LGBTQA readers. The stories run the gamut of genres, lengths, and sexualities, from short male/male erotica to fantasy with a lesbian protagonist to contemporary romantic suspense.

Defiant Loyalties by Elizabeth Wilde is one of the novels to be released. It follows the story of Jack Preston, whose life is thrown into a dangerous game of lies and espionage, when an assassination attempt is made on his oppressive father’s life. He finds solace in an unlikely place—in the man who was tasked with killing his father. The heat level is high on this erotic romance…and the tension higher. Check it out at NineStar Press now.

Fans of fantasy fiction will also find much to love about Brooke Radley’s Nightshade. It centers on a young mage named Eleanor, who has to infiltrate a thieves’ guild to find the source of a drug that’s ravaging her city. But once she’s reached the inner circle of the Nightshade Brotherhood, she’s drawn to a beautiful and elusive thief called Cassandra. Can she risk betraying Cassandra to do what needs to be done for the good of her city?

Noted erotica and erotic romance writer Elizabeth Coldwell brings two initial short erotic pieces to the line-up with the seasonal Happy Christmas, Sir, about a sub who wants to please his Dom, and Trickster, about a bounty hunter who’s drawn to his handsome target.

Fans of seasonal romances and erotic stories will find a lot to choose from, too. Check out the site to see offerings from male romance writer Olley White, erotic romance writer Gillian St. Kevern, and lesbian novella writer Lucy Carey.

There are too many to list here, so check out www.ninestarpress.com to see what else is on offer.

No matter what your taste or interest is, NineStar Press has all the top-quality, well-written, hard-to-put-down LGBTQA fiction you could desire.

NineStar Press launches on November 23rd, 2015. If you’re a fan of LGBTQA fiction, go to www.ninestarpress.com to see the full catalogue today.

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Passive Writing with Editor John Robin – Sex For Money Post #6

Sex For Money is a semi-regular blog series about my experiences in writing, publishing, and marketing gay erotica and M/M erotic romance.  All of this information is from my own experience, so your experience may differ.  It’s hoped that sharing this information might be helpful to new and aspiring erotica and erotic romance authors, as I see a lot of questions and a lot of misinformation out there.  To read more Sex For Money posts, click here.


Today I have the great pleasure of hosting my editor, John Robin, for a quick Q&A on passive writing, which is a sequel to our previous Q&A about passive voice.  John is a freelance editor over at Story Perfect Editing Services and has worked with me on all my self-published works.  (And I don’t think he’s blushed once, no matter how filthy my sex scenes get!)  John is also hard at work on his epic fantasy novel, Blood Dawn.

So, without further ado, welcome to the blog, John!

Last time you stopped by the blog, we had a discussion about passive voice.  You made an interesting comment in one of your answers; you mentioned that “passive voice” is different than “passive writing.”  Can you tell us what passive writing is?

Passive writing is a very broad category. Essentially, it is any kind of writing that creates a disengaging narrative. I would say that most writers, save the few extremely talented ones who just have a knack for writing strong, begin with passive writing. Through improvement, especially if you have the chance to work with a professional editor on publishing your projects, you learn to eliminate most passive writing conventions and habits.

Sometimes passive writing can be thought of as lazy writing. If you sit down and write whatever comes to you without really drawing on your honed writing skills, then your instinct is to write like you speak or like you think, which is seldom narrative. You often over-describe. You don’t think of what you’re writing as a script that is going to create a picture for a reader, rather, you are just trying to get down the picture you see.

How does passive writing differ from passive voice?

Passive writing is a broad category, of which passive voice is a subcategory. There are many aspects to passive writing, and passive voice is just one of them. Other aspects of passive writing include disembodied description (sometimes called “zombie body parts”), vague description, and weak verbs.

What effect does passive writing have on a book?

Great writing is concrete, specific, active, and a reader’s eyes glide through the details effortlessly, the story taking shape like a three dimensional pop-up book. Passive writing, one the other hand, often takes effort to read.

If we carry forward the idea of your reader creating a picture as they read, then passive writing can be seen as any kind of writing that blurs that picture. You can do everything you want to make sure your story flows smoothly, that there are no contradictions, that it is very interesting and engaging, however, with passive writing, you will lose the sharp edge all those elements have. The result is that many readers will put the book down because it hasn’t grabbed them. This is especially a shame when you have written a great story.

How can we identify passive writing in our writing?

The good news is that passive writing can be converted to active writing with practice and persistence. It’s not magic. There are some key identifiers.

First of all, let’s go back to the idea of passive voice, because the principle is the same. A story must always center on the doer, usually the point of view character who is describing the scene. In passive voice, we see where that doer’s actions on objects are attributed instead to the object, thus losing focus on the doer.

This can happen in the other forms of passive writing. Take disembodied description, for example. Let’s take an example: “Jane’s eyes went to the clock.” Now, that sentence creates a problem, because we have attributed something other than Jane (in this case, her eyes) to something she is doing. Here is an example of the same description, but more active: “Jane glanced at the clock.” Now we see Jane at the center of the action.

The effect of disembodied description is that it takes the emphasis off the doer of an action involving their body parts. Sometimes, when used heavily, it can create quite a grotesque impression for the reader, hence the label “zombie body parts”. I once edited a manuscript where the author spent a paragraph describing someone frowning. It was a drama of facial features, where the eyes, nose, lips, even the forehead were characters. I crossed out the whole paragraph and said “she frowned”, and explained this principle–lesson was learned in that, and we had a good laugh about it afterward.

Vague description and weak verb choices require critical reading to identify. The idea of of these is that they dull the imagery you create with your story.

When you are describing something, if you are vague and general, then you are, in effect, blurring the camera lens. “The sun went down and they got to the river” is far weaker than “The sun sunk into purple clouds by the time they arrived at the river banks.” “She had numerous things hanging from her belt” is far weaker than “She wore a chatelaine, with spoons, small pans, and hunting knives dangling like a metal skirt.” There is no one simple fix for vague description, other than to rethink what you wrote and ask if you can create a more unique, compelling, engaging image.

Related to this, weak verbs are often a culprit in vague description. Take a look at the first example in the above paragraph. There, the verbs are “went” and “got”. Those are very general, weak verbs that pack very little in them. Now look at the revised version: the verbs here are “sunk” and “arrived”, which convey more information. Likewise, in the second example there was only one verb “hanging”, but in revisiting that sentence to make it more active, we not only made that verb more specific–“dangling”–we also introduced the verb “wore”. In that example, however, note that it wasn’t the verb that needed to be sharpened, but the verb general noun “things” (with the general adjective “numerous”). In revisiting this, we gleaned something more specific, and naturally brought our camera into stronger focus.

What are some tips for fixing passive writing?

We saw in the previous example with vague description and weak verbs that the basic idea was to look for general verbs, general nouns, and general adjectives, and ask yourself if you can make them more precise. Similarly, with disembodied description, look for actions that involve body parts and make sure you’re using the verb that shows the doer, not a recounting of what their body parts do to do it. You can often hunt for these spots by searching for commonly used body parts: hands, legs, feet, eyes, mouth, face, lips, arms, or anything else you can think of that you might have used.

Apply that kind of critical thinking, and you’ll see your writing improve greatly.


Thanks for joining us on the blog today, John!  For readers who enjoyed this post, keep an eye on my blog because John will return periodically for these Sex For Money posts.

And if you’d like to learn more about John, you can find out more about his editing services over at Story Perfect Editing Services, and you can learn more about his epic fantasy novel, Blood Dawn, on his blog.  (He is crowdfunding the publication of Blood Dawn through Inkshares – a new publishing model that combines the control of self-publishing and the power of traditional publishing – and could use your help.  Click here to find out more!)

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Filed under Editing, Sex For Money, Writing, Writing Tips