I got my start writing gay smut back in the heady days of Windows95, AOL chatrooms, and Dell PC computers. We had a little chatroom on AOL called TWWS — Transworld Writer’s Work-Shop and it was there I met the people who’ve become some of my best friends. By the way, TWWS still exists today as an online critique group for writers, and yes, we still read gay erotica.
Two of those TWWS writers, Vic Howell (DTAM) and Barry Alexander (BALSKANDER), introduced me to the amazing world of actually getting paid for writing the exact same stuff I was paying to read. I sold to several magazines, and Vic suggested I try anthologies (which paid a little more), so I submitted to some of those as well. Everything from back then is out of print now, of course, but we had a hell of a lot of fun with those old magazines and anthologies. I met people like the appropriately named SmutSmith and exchanged love notes with a cartoonist. I even made it into a couple of “Best Of” books like Friction and Best Gay Erotica.
Writing stories has always been in my blood. I actually wrote my first short story when I was about 5 or 6. Entitled “Silly Mouse,” it certainly wouldn’t win any prizes, but my dad kept it. I ran across it cleaning up his desk after he passed on. Ah, the early years of the author …
Like many a red-blooded American lad, I started my writing career with fan fiction. My earliest heroes were men like Tarzan, Zorro, and John Carter of Mars. Then I discovered the world of television — and the sidekick! Instant homoerotic tension anyone? What would Captain Kirk have been without Mr. Spock — or Steve McGarrett without Dan-o? And let’s not forget all those Westerns that were so popular when I was just a pup. I cut my writing teeth on Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Wild Wild West, and (my personal favorite) Alias Smith and Jones. Rugged men with their rugged companions taming the rugged West. Heaven.
Once I discovered the world of the sidekick, I never looked back. If I could have published some of the tales I imagined in my youth, I’d be a rich man today. I’d never heard the word slash back then, much less yaoi, but damn if I didn’t have a ball writing it. I guess I’ve always been a storyteller.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading my little tales as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Here’s to the next 10 years with JMS Books!
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