Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Sam Standish for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Making Men
Author: Sam Standish
Publisher: Wilde City
Cover Artist: unknown
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Taboo
Three passionate men. Tony and Kevin are older and have learned to give, body and soul, till it hurts. Into their lives comes another young man, wanting desperately to give and to take all he can. Together these three will reach heights they never imagined. And each will discover for himself where he has to go next. This is a tale of devotion and transcendence. A tale of young male bodies. A tale unlike any other you have ever read.
Note: This work of fiction includes an incestuous sexual relationship between consenting adults.
This stop on my blog tour falls on my parents’ wedding anniversary. It would have been their seventy-first. My father died in 1990, my mother a year agothis Wednesday. My first thought on realizing what May four would be was, What could anything about my parents have to do with my new erotic novel,Making Men? Well, they made me and I made it, so it’s their grandchild. So I should introduce them to it, right? How, though? Well, here goes…
Dear Mum and Dad,
Happy anniversary. Brace yourselves. I’m going to explain to you, in perhaps upsetting detail, how I came to write erotica. Under a pen name, I assure you! So don’t worry about that.
When I was little, I suspected I was not what you wanted. You had waited all that time for a son, but I was not him. You said it once, Mum, “Why can’t we be more like the Stewarts?” The Stewart boys were fit and good. As I entered puberty, I saw more clearly what you wanted instead of me. In the junior high showers, everyone was turning out better than me, except a few boys turned to the wall. You seemed to find me repellent. Soft. When I told you the amount I was exercising, you told me I couldn’t be exercising that much, because if I were, I’d be “all hard.” You set your jaw and tensed your fist on the word “hard.”
I waited for the muscles. You waited, too. But they didn’t come. I kept the baby fat, had skinny arms and acne, grew my hair long and spouted strange, angry, exaggerated pronouncements. Alone in my room I sang songs and drew pictures and pretended I was in another world. My behavior in company was too loud or too withdrawn, too brooding or too just-plain inappropriate. I was an embarrassment, as unlike Mike Stewart as you could get. Mike, student council president, long and lanky, polite, with clear skin. Running with his lacrosse stick. Me acting in plays, painting my face, camping and leaving you not knowing what to say. How did you face other parents in the morning? Was that what made you angry, Mum? Ready to explode. Because, for all the complaints my sister had about her own adolescence, she was stunned when I told her about your rages and the things you said to me. She said she could not imagine saying those things to her child. Did you see what I was? Were you afraid it was your fault? Was my behavior suggesting something about Dad? About you? What did the two of you desire that you did not get?
I understand that I was not an attractive child. You had to take a deep breath and paste on a smile before saying you were proud of me. And Mum, you did have that temper that could be triggered by a stain on the carpet, that could end with a door slammed so hard the house shook. And the threats and cruel intentions. You said if either Dad or I failed to fold up the newspaper after reading it, you’d throw it out, whether the other one had read it or not. “That’s what I’ll do!” you shrieked triumphantly, jaw set, fists balled. “I’ll turn the two of you against each other!” My sister was right. Whatever her failings as a parent, she would never have said that. Given all of the above, I decided to keep from you the thing about me that you probably somehow knew already. Along the way, Dad died. My partner at the time did not, could not attend the funeral. He felt bad. But how could he have? No one back home knew who he was.
After Dad’s death, you seemed to like me more. At the memorial service you slipped your hand between the pew cushion and my thigh. The day you accepted an offer on the house you hugged me and your hand strayed below my belt. I was not longer so repellent. You could still be cutting. You could have a snit because I wouldn’t wear Dad’s old clothes to dinner with you on Mother’s Day. But you liked me better. Not that you had much choice.
But this is also about how I came to write Making Men, an event in my life I am trying to link to how I grew up.
The great thing my Making Men characters have is openness and joy. They are free and giving and unashamed. We assume they are strapping and well-endowed, too, but in fact I rarely if ever say so. The openness, bravery and giving –everything I felt I always lacked–are the masculine qualities to which I most aspire, and so that is what all the hard-ons and sucking and penetrating and—are you listening?—ejaculating mean to me. I do assume these young men are well-made. Not perfectly buffed, just with bodies that move readily, joyfully and easily. Unencumbered. Like Mike with his lacrosse stick. Happy. Running across campus. Easy.
The men in Making Men also have capability a quality I have been hung up on for years. The ability to do, accomplish, produce, be effective. I had a boss a few years ago who taunted me continually with the word “effective,” continually implying, with her etsne jaw and balled fist, that I was not. The guys inMaking Men never hesitate to act, emotionally or physically. They are capable, yet they are not supermen. They sometimes fail. Early in the book, Tony recalls Kevin fucking him till he can’t walk. Trying to get out of bed he collapses on the floor. Kevin looks down and says, “You are beautiful as fuck, man.” He explains, “A man’s a man when he feels weakest.”
So this is a novel about men with character, men humbly developing character. Mike Stewart had character. I never could. I could never have integrity. I was wrongly made and repellent, and I was angry and kept secrets. I was warped, and I lied about it. Literally, I could not be integrated. Yet, where does perfection reside, ultimately? I could not capture my ideals, my wishes, my longing, my nostalgia in a conventional narrative. Only in the all-male, constantly sexual, constantly striving world of Making Men could I reach for what I, with all my failures, wildly and unreasonably wanted.
There is a downside. Writing about the obsession can exorcise it. It can also be a way of holding onto it. I am attached to my wounds, and I am attached to having them healed not by my own agency but by dreaming on what might have been: a world where an erect cock was easy to have and easy to get and easy to enjoy for its strength and capability with no guilt.
That is all for this anniversary, Mum and Dad. I love you. Maybe I will have less to say next time, though I don’t think I have told you anything this time that you do not know. You tried your best. As did I. Oh, and thank Heaven you don’t have to read the book! But the rest of you should! You should enter the giveaway! Thank you for reading, and thank you, Brandilyn, for having me as your guest today.
About the Author:
SAM STANDISH lives on the edge of a dark forest by a mighty river. Making Men is his first novel.
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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