I would like to thank Dan Skinner for stopping by on their tour for The Price of Dick and talking about [topic summary]. Check out Beverley’s review here. There is also a giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
Title: The Price of Dick
Author: Dan Skinner
Publisher: Dan Skinner
Very few people ever ask about the man behind the camera. I don’t even know what to say. Umm. I’ve been in the business for a lot of years, I’ve worked with over 500 international book and e-book publishers ranging from romance to sci fi. I’ve been featured in DNA magazine, cover feature for Horizon magazine and Blake magazine. I find and recruit most of my own models because I like people to identify with my story, rather than the celebrity in them, although I have shot models who are well known. I want my work to be known for either telling a story, or prompting a fantasy. I chose doing male/male romance specifically years ago after spending the previous six to seven years doing the regular male/female romance because it was an avenue I wanted to explore with the same sensitivity given to male/female romance photography. It was something that needed to be done, and the time was right.
Hi, Dan, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I wasn’t born in a manger, three wise men didn’t find me, I didn’t get presents and there wasn’t a star overhead. So I’m guess I’m just pretty average.
Was there someone who inspired and encouraged you to begin writing creatively?
Collectively every writer I ever read inspired me. I love to read and through my high school years I attempted to read everything in the library. At that time I was really into sci-fi and read War of the World five times. These days I like contemporary adventure like James Rollins or Lee Child.
Why did you start writing M/M romance?
I wrote a small book called Coverboy in 2008. It was my response to a crisis and a doctor putting me on medication for ADHD which made me focus rather intensely.
What is the perfect writing atmosphere for you?
That would be hard for me to answer. I seem to write best when stress motivates me even though I hate that as a motivating factor. I sometimes believe that we have to endure hardship to create. It seems to actually be my spark.
The characters in your first book were teens in the story, The Price of Dick is about adults. How hard was it to tap into such different mindsets to effectively tell their stories?
I actually become fairly submerged in my stories when I’m writing. When I am writing about teenagers, I picture myself when I was in my teens. Adult writing is much simpler for me at my age simply because I like to writ e in my natural voice. By that I mean if I read it and it sounds like something I would really say, then I’m happy with it.
How much input do you have in the design of your book covers?
I would like to have less and less to do with my covers. I’m terrible at making decisions. On Dick I threw the idea at Laura Harner only saying I wanted something very neon. She came back with the cover you see on the book in various neon colors. I went with the pink background because it caught the eye quicker than the other variations.
Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite? If so, who and why?
David from Memorizing You is my favorite because he’s what I call a golden soul. A good human.
How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?
My humor is sick, sick, sick. The most horrible things make me laugh. My favorite cartoon is a picture of “Death” after he has taken the man and his pet cat and is touching the only other living thing in the house which is a plant. The caption reads, “I’m such a perfectionist!” That’s me.
And what makes you cry?
Bad things that I can’t do anything about.
Do you have a favorite literary character? If so, who and why?
Too many to name and for various reasons for each one. I read Henry Farrell’s Whatever Happened To Baby Jane before I ever saw the movie and thought Jane Hudson was one of the most elegantly drawn tragic characters I’d ever read.
Tell us about some of your photos that are modeled after famous works of literature.
I love doing shots from Lolita. The two films have always intrigued me for a thousand reasons. I also did the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene because I always wanted to do it with two men. And I did it a year before James Franco and Seth Rogen!
If you could sit down to dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be and what’s the one question you’d love to ask?
Stanley Kubrick. His work has inspired every inch of mine and I would love to know who inspired him.
Your first GRL is coming up very soon. What are your feelings about being a published author by whom many will be star struck, but also meeting your own favorite authors and being star struck yourself?
I have only one thing to say. I’m an aggressive extrovert. A warning is advisable. I hunt down people lurking in corners and shadows, and absolutely no one is safe.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I hope it is still in front of me.
If life really were like “The Breakfast Club” (and let’s face it, we all know that it is), which character would you be?
God, I hate to admit this but I’ve never seen it.
What was the last book you read? (your own don’t count)
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child.
Least favorite word?
Won’t say it because it’s a derogatory term for gay that I once had hurled at me.
Last movie you watched?
Star Trek Into Darkness
Favorite band or musician?
Do your characters ever up and take off without your consent and the best you can do is hang on and follow or do you keep tight control over them?
No. Before I ever start writing I know every inch of the story. I will add things if an editor tells me to and it aids the story, but I pretty much plot to the nth degree.
Where can readers find you on the internet?
facebook D.w Skinner
twitter @ DanSkinnerArt
So there I was, quickly regressing to puberty, sitting in a sauna with the object of my lust. Looking at his thick muscular legs, broad shoulders and other weight-developed bulges properly bulging and glistening with a sheen of hot sweat, I wanted to eat him alive. We soon exited the sauna together.
Unburdening myself of common sense was an easy task standing in the shower with him. Every inch of his make-me-growl masculinity, covered in blond fur, ass like two ripe honeydews just daring me not to look when he turned his back. I caught a quick glimpse of that gloriously long, circumcised, purple-capped cock and balls hanging between his legs under an unpruned patch of dark pubes. I remember thinking I hadn’t ever bought that much meat in a delicatessen but I still bet I could eat it all in one sitting. It took every bit of restraint I possessed to not pop wood in that shower. The mating dance was an endurance test. Think tearing down the Washington Monument using only your mind.
He invited me out for a drink this time, and we drove to Houlihan’s again. It was a Friday and the line out the door consisted of families with brats and people with an hour to waste after work. I suggested we get a six-pack and go to my apartment, which luckily, was only three blocks away, with a liquor store right on the way.
I’m sure it wasn’t in his mind, but it was in mine that this was a hookup. And I’d like to think he wasn’t completely naive about my intentions. I was in testosterone hyper-drive. I got him to my apartment and we drank and talked like good ole buds. He was comfortable telling me about his recent college life, the break up with the girl of his dreams who left him for another man because she had cheated on him and was pregnant. His heartbreak. All the things I couldn’t have cared less about—good riddance to anything that would have been competition anyway. Dick got into his high school days of playing football and wrestling, and I sat there picturing that mass of muscled man-ass crammed into a singlet, me trying to pin him on a mat with my head pressed deep into a musk-reeking ass crack.
He was a frat boy. I should have guessed. They all had a certain look to them. And his frat brothers were his best friends in the world and meant everything to him. He missed their daily camaraderie. I wondered if he’d jacked off with any of them. Used the fraternity paddle in an un-fraternity-like manner. You’ve seen the porn. Don’t tell me your mind didn’t go there.
It was a disappointingly platonic get-together, like any dull straight boys could have had, but I learned a lot about him. How many couples fuck on a first date anyway, right? I consoled myself with that lame excuse. Shame on me—I should have paid close attention to the story he shared with me that night. While in his freshman year of college, his parents tried to surprise him with a friendly unannounced visit. Lo and behold, in his dorm room a snooping mother had found a used condom in his wastebasket. She collapsed into pious, Catholic tears and left before he got back to his room. A few days later she sent him a two page, single-spaced, typewritten letter preaching to him about the Catholic stand on premarital sex, and especially condemning the use of that horrendous tool of the devil, the seed-killing prophylactic. Don’t worry. Those facetious words weren’t hers. I paraphrased. This boy was more browbeaten by mommy than Norman Bates.
Didn’t matter to me that he was a mommy’s boy. He could have been wearing prison orange and had the tattooed tear of a brazen killer on his cheek and it wouldn’t have stopped me wanting him. That he was double-fisted clutching onto his “I’m so straight” persona with his stories, I found cute because I was reading something different in body language and eye contact. He was in my company for a reason. I thought he was just a bit backward about the how-tos of getting naked with another dude. I’d get him there…eventually. I felt it in my bones. One in particular.
So our little beer-drinking, life-sharing, guy get-together ended with him thanking me for a nice evening and shaking my hand at the door.
In my head I fucked that butt so hard I made myself cry.
From the Publisher:
His name is Richard but he’ll say, “Call me Dick.” He’s a big, butch, brainy guy in an executive suit, hotter than spit on a skillet. The type of guy you can see fully dressed and imagine buck naked in the throes of an orgasm – every six-feet-two, muscular, sexually intoxicating inch of him. He’s an ambitious freshman in a prominent brokerage firm who’s figured out he can use more than his smarts to get ahead. He’s perfected a surefire method to drive home a hard deal. No one can resist him. And he’s got one really big secret. But that will cost you.
For photographer J.J. Johnstone, the price of Dick just might cost him everything.
About the Author
I’d already been in the photography business for too many years to count, shooting covers for hetero romance covers when I had my epiphany (ten years ago now) to shoot gay book covers and make them as acceptable and mainstream as the hetero ones. It was a big risk and I was told by many people, especially people who advised me financially, that it might not be a profitable thing to do, and could quite possibly ruin my reputation. But I was tired of seeing the proliferation of covers featuring a man and woman, the cologne and perfume ads featuring a man and a woman… every ad under the sun – only featuring a man and a woman, and knowing that only one side of life was being spoon fed to us by the media as the acceptable aspiration and ideal. In fact, it made me angry and crazy, and determined to do something about it. We were here… didn’t anyone see us?!!
I had several things working against me. The m/m fiction genre was just beginning to come into its own, but television and the entertainment industry were slowly allowing us into their vision as folks who existed right alongside them, and I knew the flux and flow of gay literature was going to eventually change. Will and Grace helped that. Brokeback Mountain helped that. So I had hope and crossed my fingers that I made a good choice as well as a conscientious one.
Along with that, I had to find guys daring enough to pose with each other in photos mimicking the same love and adoration as was seen in every Harlequin cover since time immemorial… They had to embrace and kiss and portray romance… between two people of the same gender. So finding the guys was going to be a chore… and finding guys in the Bible belt of the country, the Midwest, was going to be even tougher. But I did it.
Revenge is mine… the dbag’s bed has been christened by the models during a shoot!!
Dan Skinner has kindly offered a eBook copy of The Price of Dick to 1 lucky commenter.
Contest ends 9 July @ 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited.
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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