I'm having a ball of a time with my new piece of work. Having started out as a short story, it's now well on its way to being a full book on its own. And quite rightly so, as one of the lead characters lays claim to being an Alpha Male, and they shouldn't be relegated to part of a collection. They are superior - or so they say - and deserve a book to themselves.
Now if you have read my earlier blog 'My Sparky' you will have seen the original muse. That's him there, and physically he is what I still have in mind, but his character is changing from what was originally intended - for one thing I've given him a wife! Alpha Males are straight apparently - or so my research would have me believe.
But is that really the case? Can't Alpha Males be totally gay? I think they can. Angus McCloud is an Alpha to me, and he's never even sniffed after a woman. But my sparky Gus doesn't see himself as gay - he just uses fags because they are convenient and can be treated like dirt.
Actually there is lot more involved in my book. There's a twist to the story, which is narrated by a would be fag. Gus has been subtly manipulated into becoming another character's fantasy of what a real Alpha Male would be. So I obviously have cause to wonder what would my idea of an Alpha Male be.
A quick trawl through my stock of hunky images brought me to Ted Colunga. I think Ted's great. I mean just look at him - all man from head to toe, with the most amazing equipment under those jeans! But can he be an Alpha? Probably not, because if you are familiar at all with Ted's work then you will know that in his porn flicks he doesn't often use that incredible equipment - it's Ted who is usually the passive one. That makes him doubly hot for me, but not an equal in the eyes of an Alpha, because only a fag would take it up the ass! An odd view of the world, but that's Alpha's for you.
So who are these men?
To be honest I don't know. I have a problem with the reality of it - straight guys who fuck men aren't totally straight in my opinion, but in fantasy fiction I can make them what I like. My Sparky Gus works in construction, so that's a good image to start with. Alpha Males have proper jobs don't they - construction workers, police, soldiers, firemen. Oh, and cowboys as well! I don't do cowboys, but I love the image. A cowboy is an excellent platform for being an Alpha Male.
He's cute this one. Fabulous look and very popular on the internet - a much used image. And he might be an Alpha - it's hard to say - but I'd sooner have Ted any day.
Okay, so we have the right job, the right hunky build, the right sexual orientation (totally straight but enjoys screwing fags). What else does he need. Well my research would suggest an unusually high libido, a selfish nature and almost Nazi like view of their superiority over lesser men. That's the stereotype anyway, or what I can gleam. It's an image that a lot of gay guys are attracted to, although I don't include myself in their ranks - not by a long chalk, I can assure you.
For me a real Alpha Male is like Angus McCloud - dominant, but considerate, nurturing the men he cares for, and having someone like Paddy McGuire to love and serve him. But I suppose we all have different views.
So other than my own creation, who is the ultimate Alpha male?
Easy - if we are going to get arrogant about it, then sorry all you cowboys, you just don't measure up. The ultimate Alpha has to be Scottish, or at least in my blog he does! In which case there can be only one winner... Sean Connery of course, playing James Bond. That's the ultimate Alpha for me.
I found myself asking the question yesterday - Does size matter? And of course I came up with the same answer as always - Of course it bloody does! I mean - what would you say if you ended up short changed. I wouldn't be too happy. I expect a decent length... 20,000 words at least.
Oh, you thought I was blogging about something else - well sorry to disappoint. Read a few of my books and you'll know my views on that trivial matter.
I mean book length. In the ebook world we are less conscious of size. There is no physical book to pick up, have a look at the thickness and decide like Goldilocks - too big, too small, just about right! With my early work I didn't worry too much as I wasn't controlled over pricing as I am now ($2.99 is the minimum I can set for the powerhouse in the business, and they tell you off in not very polite terms if they find the same book priced cheaper elsewhere). That's why there are a couple of books out there which I've rewritten to make longer - 'The Pilot's Surrender' being the main one. The original story was only 7,500 words which I think is way too short to charge $2.99 for. I doubled the length and still think it's a bit short. As I said, 20,000 is the minimum I now aim for.
But is that long enough?
For erotica maybe. The longest piece I've ever written as Jack Brighton is 'The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire'. Personally I think it's my best book, but I'm a bit biased as Paddy is my favourite creation. One reviewer said however that he found it went on too long and lost interest half way through. Sometimes big isn't better - at least for some people it isn't.
Anyway, why all this cropped up was due to my current piece of work. I had intended it to be a short story - one of three that was going to make up a Tom Farrell collection. I had reached 6,500 words and to be honest there is so much more to go. Short stories should be 1,000-7,500 words apparently, so it was going to be way out of that range. Thankfully there is enough scope for it to run well over 20,000 so it will become a book - a novella, which is 20-50,000 words. And that is where almost all of my books fall - it's very rare to go over like I did with Paddy, although some of the older works fall a tad short. Sorry!
It's those buggers in the middle that are the tricky ones: anything between 7,500 and 20,000, which are called novelettes I am now informed. I have a novelette that I wrote some time ago - a very personal piece titled Mania (just for clarity, I do not suffer from Bipolar Disorder). I made it free for a time because charging $2.99 seemed outrageous, but removed it because it wasn't a typical example of my work and it might have been giving out the wrong message. So what do I do? Risk pissing people off by charging too much for a short piece - or pad it out? I think it's right as it is, so it would possibly get spoiled. Tricky!
You see size does matter!
It matters to me!
They say a change is as good as a rest, and I felt like a change and all the rest, so I moved out of my 'office' which is a sort of annexe to the house, and I'm sitting in the kitchen doing this blog, with the intension of cracking on with my current book shortly.
I'm going to move back in a minute. It's not working for me. It's just not the right environment. I can hear too many noises, like the fridge that keeps humming. I'm also conscious that it's early, and my partner is in bed upstairs. He sleeps like a log, so I'm hardly going to disturb him, yet I'm still hitting the keyboard tentatively to dampen the sound of my typing.
Daft or what!
I need privacy to work effectively and this is too public. I need the right environment, with just me and the cat, so I'm signing off and going back... That was a Dusty Springfield song in case you didn't know. Her best in my opinion... Going Back.
Looking for a little inspiration, I went in search of a muse. The story I'm working on at present involves a sparky (electrician) at a building site, and I needed a hunk in mind before writing his big scene.
I came up with these two. The guy at the top is the more handsome, and has the better body in my opinion, so he'll be the principal muse. But I like the expression of the other guys face - it's the sort of disdain I'm looking for in my man.
He also has the more impressive equipment - and you need great equipment on a building site - at least on the one I'm writing about you do! For decency sake I have cropped both pictures, but if you want to see what I mean then visit me on Tumblr http://jackbrighton72.tumblr.com/where I'm less inclined to censor.
It's sad but true, again at least for me - when you see them both in a more revealing state it kind of shifts the balance of attraction. The top guy is beautiful, and I'm sure he's great in the sack. Probably he's perfect boyfriend material. But I'd pick the other one for some dirty sex.
Anyway, I'll take the best of both and add my own touches. That will be my sparky, and you can be sure he's going to do one electrifying job when he pops the narrator's cherry.
Clocks changed overnight, which came as a surprise, so apparently we have an extra hour this morning. Not that it would do me any good as I appear to have bloggers' block!
I have suffered the odd moment of writers block in the past, but usually overcome it pretty quickly - taking a few days away from the computer and going for long walks normally sorts it out. But when you commit yourself to a daily blog then you need a quicker solution.
Normally something comes to me within a minute when I click the 'New Post' button. I do two blogs, and the other one is easy as I'm giving insights into a lengthy book I wrote under a different name, and talk around whatever theme has cropped up next without actually giving the story away. But this one is just my thoughts at the time, and sadly my head is empty. So that's the blog for today - Bloggers Block! Let's hope that it's unblocked by tomorrow. Any suggestions as to what I should blog about would be much appreciated.
Okay, so I know it's too early, but I couldn't resist. Christmas at The Wild Side is now available at:
We will see over the next few weeks if all the other retailers accept it.
It was the acceptance thing that made me go early. With the scare stories going around of e-bookshelf cleansing, I was worried that it might trip up which would mean several rewrites in an attempt to get it through. That takes time, and for a seasonal book, time is not limitless.
Anyway, it's out there. And there is only two months to go. For those who pick it up, I hope you enjoy... and you don't need to wait until Christmas to read it!
Christmas at The Wild Side has come back from proof reading without any negative comments, so ready to roll. 'An excellent addition to the series - liked the illustrations - nice touch' was the comment.
Yes, I've gone all arty for Christmas, played around with a photo editing package and have an illustration at the beginning of each chapter, of which there are ten in total.
It was fun, and I like the end result. I need to see how they come out on the various e-book formats, but reckon I'll keep them in.
That's an example of my 'Art for Art's Sake' Click on the images below to see some more and get a clue as to what's in the book.
I'm putting a number on the title because I'm sure I'll be adding to this over the coming weeks.
As I blogged yesterday, I'm putting on my Tom Farrell hat as I tackle a few short stories. Pop My Cherry Ass volume 2 is the plan, and to be honest, I blush to say - I'm struggling to rise to the occasion!
Perhaps it was a mistake to launch into it so soon after completing A Wild Side book, but a story was forming in my head and I wanted to get started. The story is there, but I'm not hearing my voice. I haven't made the leap, and I'm wondering if I should bother.
Listen to me!
Of course I should!
There is the philosophy that you should stick to what you are best at, and The Wild Side is a very comfortable place for me. I have created that world and its characters and it's easy to write around them. But I'm a restless soul, who needs variety, and I would get bored if I didn't stretch myself and tackle new things. Okay, so a second volume isn't exactly new, but it's a change from the staple diet. And in many ways it's a walk down memory lane as I tend to draw more on personal experience when I'm writing as Tom Farrell.
Not too personal though. The events in the above collection sadly didn't happen to me, but they draw on an element of my past. Cherry Bakewell for example, the first story in the collection, is set in a bread factory/bakery, and I did work in one when I was a student. The scene depicted is what I remember, and the character Tony, a real loud mouthed hunk who is hung like a horse, was inspired by one of the workers I was lucky enough to see in the showers. I describe him as I remember, with perhaps a little flattery, but not much. The rest is sadly fantasy, but the foundation is good, which hopefully translates into a good story.
That's what I have to do now - remember back to my youth when I briefly worked on a building site - remember that guy, and yes he existed, who I thought at the time was the horniest man alive. Then it will be easy, because then I'm being Tom... showing a bit more of myself than I tend to do as...
Today I'm going to make a start on a short story which will be attributed to Tom Farrell. That means getting into a different mindset to Jack Brighton, which is fine, although it normally takes a few days for me to really find a different voice - probably longer in this case as I haven't written as Tom for well over a year.
Now don't go thinking I actually hear voices. But I write with a voice, almost hearing myself tell a story to someone. And with Tom, I need to do that all the more so, as the work I produce as him is more personal, drawing on my own experiences, and telling the story from one person's point of view, either by making it in the first person or keeping to one viewpoint if the book is in the thrid person.
It's a different view!
With Jack I now write entirely in the third person. For The Wild Side tales and many other books, it works better that way. I can get into the heads of different characters, move from scene to scene, location to location, get multiple perpectives... and keep a little distant personally.
Tom's different - writing in the first person makes it much more intimate. It's not just what happens and how you see it, but what you're feeling. There are more questions, less certainty, because in the first person you don't know what the other person is thinking, and as an author you can't tell the reader what's in the other person's mind, only make assumptions. It's more like real life. It's a different view... and one I'm looking forward to.
I had a lie in this morning and stayed in bed till seven. As I had awoken several
hours earlier, to pass the time whilst forcing myself to rest, I cast my mind
back to my bygone youth when, for a few weeks, I worked on a building site. I
suppose quite a few gay men lie in bed in the morning thinking about building
sites and the hunky guys that work on them, but I had a reason beyond the
I’m not ready to start a major new project at present, so I decided to write a few
short stories which I will do wearing my Tom Farrell hat, and I thought I’d base
the first one on a building site as I do actually know a little about them. And
here’s the first myth I’m going to blast out of the water – most of the guys who
work on them aren’t gorgeous muscular hunks with rippling six-packs and
impossibly well filled jeans. Most are pretty ordinary, some I’d class as slobs,
and none that I came across had latent gay tendencies that had to be expressed
as soon as they saw my youthful body!
Did I spoil the fantasy? But you knew that anyway. And don’t worry, when I write the story, the guy in question will be a five star hunk with strong gay tendencies that he happily expresses.
But as I lay there and thought up an outline scenario, it occurred to me that it might be a little cliché. It probably is – a bit of The Village People kicking in. And when I consider my back catalogue, there are quite a number of cliché characters about. You just have to look at a few titles to see that I’m at fault:
Burning Fire – Well that would be about Fireman Farrell.
Dirt! – The star of this book is obviously a mechanic.
The Captain’s Deliverance – He’s a German soldier.
The Vorinov Trilogy – Alexi Vorinov just happens to be the Chief of Police.
And it doesn’t stop there. I’ve done truckers of course, and professional rally drivers; rugby players feature in quite a few books (as Bruce Forsythe would say... They’re my favourite!), and a professional footballer as well. In the Wild Side where everything is fantasy, I can really go to town on the ‘Hot’ imagery or ‘Cliché’ with endless amount of cameo appearances. It’s the only place where I dare do a cowboy, and isn’t Mr. Charles the ultimate cliché? There is even a Canadian Mountie in the latest Christmas offering, and why should I be ashamed – I think they’re sexy as sin!
So why not do a construction worker. If the Village People can have one, then I sure as hell can. He’ll be hot, and plausible, and perhaps a cliché. It’s what I write...
And now a little blush as I do the corniest one of all... I am what I am, so I might as well be proud of it.
Jack Brighton is a British author who specialises in gay erotica with a BDSM