ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sid Love grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics from his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back in time, he has always had an ambitious mind. In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author some day.
Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word. He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen’s romance novels and loves to reread them time and again.
(originally posted here)
Hi Sid and welcome to Prism Book Alliance! I read your novella last night and it’s a sweet read. I think many first published works are a little hesitant, in how far can they push out of their comfort zone. Was it difficult to make that move, to put your work into the outside world for judgement?
First of all, thank you so much for the warm welcome, Bev. It’s such a pleasure for me to be here.
To answer your question – I wouldn’t say it was difficult for me to get my work out to the world because when I wrote, I never intended on getting it published. This story was written for the spring anthology on the Gay Authors site that had a theme of “A Night to Remember”. I entered my story Holding on to Hope there and got an amazing response from my readers and followers there. One of them suggested me that I should consider publishing it. And I was like – it doesn’t hurt to try, does it?
I’m not sure how many spoilers are out there but I shall try to avoid them. I have had several novels to beta read, from prospective authors in the Asian sub continent that were written in this ‘vein’, is this a popular theme in India for stories.?
Really? I had no idea of that trend. Though I am sure every author claims this but my story is quite different from the ones you might have read to date in this genre. It is filled with the thrill of what might happen with the characters by the end of the book as well as the power of love that binds them together.
Can you tell us a little bit about life in Mumbai as a young gay man?
It is complicated and a lot difficult to live openly in India. People are very conservative by nature around here and they are judgemental about anything different in front of their eyes. Being gay is a matter of hilarity for some and some pretend that it doesn’t exist at all. Of course, there are people who support GLBT, especially celebrities but they are very few.
Recently a judgement was passed in the court of law that labelled homosexual relationships as crime. Things like that doesn’t help.
But there is hope because I see GLBT people voicing their unhappiness. We have a group in Mumbai that organizes events for the community not just for fun but including events like seminars (eg.: counselling for parents of GLBT kids), Pride Parades and lots of good stuff.
Your blog is very popular, how long have you been running it and did you keep your identity a secret, deliberately?
My blog has been around for 11 months now. We will be celebrating our 1st anniversary next month! I love that it has grown so popular and I feel like a proud papa toward it. And as for keeping my author identity a secret – I never did that. The “About Us” page on my blog has my bio which indicated that I have been writing for quite some time now.
Is there a market for m/m romances etc in India? We see things on the media that suggest India is not always safe for the LGBTQ community, how do you feel about it?
I can’t say for sure if there is or isn’t a market for M/M Romance because I don’t know. People may be reading a lot of these novels behind closed doors but no one would ever dare to talk with their friends openly about the fabulous book they read in an M/M genre even if it was the best book they ever read! They will always be afraid of judgemental eyes of the society, in general. That’s how it is.
Have you other writing projects on the go just now and what areas are you working on?
Holding on to Hope was my first attempt at writing something in paranormal genre. I like to be versatile so you may find me trying my hand in every genre. I am currently working on the sequel to this book as well as an Adult Romance.
Do you hope, one day, to be able to write and blog as your main job?
Of course. But I can’t do that already. You see it’s been only over six months that I got my first ever job and I am definitely enjoying the new experience
What advice would you give to new writers looking to find a publisher for their work?
Research on the basis of what your requirements are and whether the publisher you are about to approach can fulfil them for you. It is your work and your baby – no one else’s- and you are about to give it in someone else’s hands. Make sure those helping hands are the best to nurture your baby. I was lucky to get a publisher that knew the true value of my work.
Thank you again Sid for talking to us today. Congratulations on ‘Holding on to Hope‘ and take care of yourself.
Bradley Parker has waited twenty years for Mr. Right, and on Valentine’s Day, he finally finds him. It’s love at first sight, and Brad even loses his virginity to the man of his dreams. But when he wakes up the next morning unable to remember anything—even what the man looked like—his best friend, Leslie, is convinced he imagined the whole thing. Brad knows he didn’t make up the best night of his life, but he has no idea of the danger he’s putting himself in as he struggles to recall the details of his perfect man. His search may lead him to parts of New York City he never dreamed existed and a war being waged in the shadows.
“Okay, remember how I said it is huge?” Brad finally spoke, and Leslie nodded her head to let him know she was all ears. “Well, it is. Last night, something happened, something unimaginable… beyond any of my wildest dreams. I never thought….”
“Brad.” Leslie yawned. “To the point, please. I don’t have all day.”
“Okay, all right! What happened is….” He paused, plastering a big grin on his face. She tried very hard not to roll her eyes, letting him tell her at his own pace. “Last night, my dear, I finally got laid!”
When he broke the news to her, Leslie’s subsequent yawn was cut short by the initial shock she went through. Her body jerked forward, now fully awakened. There wasn’t any amount of caffeine that would have made her feel as lively as she felt at that moment.
This was definitely huge, and not just for Brad. Over the years, Leslie had constantly tried and consequently failed in hooking him up with several guys. Bradley Joseph Parker had the arrogance of a drag queen, she thought. He was too picky when it came to dating and relationships; never wishing to settle for anything less. He dreamt of a guy whose mere presence would take his breath away, who would be so handsome that every girl and every gay guy in the world would yearn to have him in their lives. “Such a guy would only belong to me, holding my hand in a roomful of envious people,” he would say with a smirk. “I would look around and say to them ‘Suck it up, bitches! He is mine!’”
Brad had wasted years with these stupid fantasies, and he had remained a virgin. So Leslie never thought the day would come when Brad’s whining would ever end.
But it had. And Leslie thought she would faint, even with the adrenaline rushing through her veins.
“Wha—?” She became aware of the fact that she had left her mouth hanging open for too long and shut it immediately. A smile crept across her lips, getting bigger by the second, and it turned into a cheek-hurting grin. “Oh my God! Shut up. Seriously?” She quickly sat up, hopping on the bed to cross her legs.
“Very seriously, Les.” Brad’s cute face beamed with wonder and excitement. Leslie couldn’t blame him. She remembered the day she had had sex for the first time, and even though it was a while back, she couldn’t forget the bliss she’d felt after finally losing her virginity or the hunger she felt for getting some more. Leslie was ready to bet that Brad was experiencing similar whirls of emotions in him.
“Last night, on Valentine’s Day…?” she asked.
Brad gave a nod. “On Valentine’s Day.”
“That’s so funny.” Leslie laughed out loud. Even though Valentine’s Day never meant anything to her, something this huge happening to her best friend did force her to consider it a special day. “Okay, you have to tell me everything, dude! Don’t leave out a single detail. I don’t care if it’s too much information. I just have to know. How long has this been going on between you two?”
Brad laughed. “Not too long. I just met him yesterday.”
“And you slept with him already?” Leslie’s mind was drawing up the picture of the perfect guy in her imagination, a guy who had managed to entice someone like Brad in such a short time. She was sure he would be down-to-earth, with an impeccably charming personality. “Way to go! I won’t deny it; I like the spontaneous Brad. Who is this guy, by the way? Do I know him?”
“No, you don’t.” His smile wavered a bit.
“Well, what’s his name?”
Leslie watched him hesitate for a moment. “I… don’t know.”
It took her by surprise.
“I think my devilish side just had a mind-blowing orgasm. You not only have sex with a guy for the first time, but you are also telling me it was simply a one-night stand?” She put her hand over her heart and mockingly said, “Mama Les is so proud of her boy!”
“But Les,” he knitted his eyebrows together as he stood up and came over to sit by her side. He took hold of Leslie’s hand, and she felt his grip tightening when he said, “It wasn’t a one-night stand. Definitely not, uh-uh.” He shook his head, and she immediately wondered if he was trying to convince her or himself. “It was special to me, and I could tell it was special for him too. Why else would he go to extremes to make that night an unforgettable memory? He lit up hundreds of scented candles in the room for me, and there were rose petals all over the bed where we did it.” Leslie didn’t miss the blush forming on his face again as he spoke. “There was champagne, sweet music, and he was a perfect gentleman. He kept asking me if I was sure about this.”
“WOW! Sounds utterly cheesy to me….” Leslie said, although she was quite impressed by all of it and maybe a bit jealous too.
Brad let go of her hand and sighed. “It was damn romantic.”
Leslie moved her gaze around the dorm room, scrutinizing it. “I am guessing it wasn’t here you did it then?” She inquired, turning to face him and watched him slowly crossing his legs like she had.
“No, he took me to his place.” Brad had his mouth open to probably add something more, but he stopped abruptly, scrunched his nose up, and glanced at her with some doubt. “I think it was his place… I don’t know. Where else would he take me?”
Leslie noticed uncertainty, even when he shrugged. What Brad was saying didn’t make any sense to her. “The champagne! Did you have too much of it?”
He frowned. “God, no! Why would I want to give him the impression I’m an idiotic drunkard on our first meeting?”
Of course she didn’t believe him. “Right, says the one who’d put Britney Spears to shame with his underage drinking. Seriously, dude, I’ve had to pick you up in a drunken state from God knows how many parties by now. So don’t shit me by saying you didn’t have any amount of alcohol in you last night.”
Brad reddened and carefully said, “I may have had a little bit of alcohol.”
Typical. Leslie rolled her eyes. “Weren’t you at Ian’s party last night?” She tried to keep her face straight as she asked. The party he had gone to was for all the single men and ladies from their college. Leslie knew exactly how that turned out every year by the end of the night.
He gave a nod in reply.
“Well, maybe you did it at his place?”
“No, it can’t be because we were partying at a nightclub last night.”
“Since when do nightclubs allow in a bunch of twenty year-olds?” she asked, certain they must have been stopped at the door for IDs. She couldn’t say about the others, but Brad’s cute baby face did give away his age.
“They don’t, but Ian somehow knew a few guys working at this nightclub that we went to, so we were able to sneak in.” He grinned.
Leslie suddenly wished she could have joined them. “Lucky you!” Now she couldn’t wait for May to arrive; that was when she turned twenty-one. She had been planning it in her mind forever. “So you met this mysterious guy in that club?”
“Yes, I think so.” Brad chewed on his lower lip.
“Well, what did he say to you? What did he look like?”
Brad turned sorrowful. “If I only knew….” He hung his head down and began to pull on his hair. “Fuck, Les!” He yelled, then looked up, scowling at her. “I can’t seem to remember any of it. The only thing that has managed to stay stuck in my memory is the mind-blowing sex that I had with him. I even remember all the positions we did it in, and God, that guy has the stamina of a wild lion, I tell you.”
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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