Ac´cent on Charley Descoteaux

charlkey avy

Visiting for the next little while is Charley Descoteaux. I’d describe her as quirky, funny, intense, and a talented writer. Now I want you, my readers, to form your own impression.

…What ten words do you think best describe you personally?

One would probably do, but I’ll play along: driven, lazy, dramatic, silly, passionate, mellow, introverted, bossy, decrepit, childlike.

Yep, I’m a walking, talking,all-singing, all-dancing . . . oxymoron.

…Using those few words as a theme or intro, give us an overview of your life—where you come from, where you grew up, your schooling, a few places you’ve worked—whatever paragraph you feel best encapsulates you as an individual.

I grew up on public assistance—first in a cool house a stone’s throw from fallow farmland and then a series of subsidized apartments—in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was a goody-two-shoes until the age of 16 and then went a little batshit, and within a year had run off on the back of a motorcycle. I’ve worked in book stores and flower shops, restaurants and cubicles, and volunteered for causes ranging from literacy and hunger to AIDS relief/research and marriage equality. Oh, and for about nine years I was a stay-at-home-mom and did the whole room mother deal.

…Give us a quick look at your homoerotica novel or novels. If you have several, how about presenting them in chronological order with a sentence or two that best describes them?

ASKoL 2x3

My latest, A Sunday Kind of Love, is still just a pup—it was released on July 7 by Amber Allure. I’m especially happy this story is getting out in the world, first because I love Jake—I’ve known him for many years but he’s never had any page-time until ASKoL, and also because it expands on one of my existing worlds.

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/SundayKindLove.html OR http://tinyurl.com/mpsxjzx

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-asundaykindoflove-1228409-149.html

CharleyDescoteaux_ComfortandJoy_200x300

I write contemporary (so far), and have been writing about the same family and the same little fictional town in Northwest Oregon since the mid-90s. My debut in M/M Erotic Romance was set there, in Willston. A few readers were disappointed they didn’t get to know some of the Whites better in Comfort and Joy, and without giving too much away ASKoL intersects that world. I hope it’ll be satisfying to those readers and maybe others too?

Jake’s is definitely a standalone story, though. Anyone who hasn’t read Comfort and Joy wouldn’t be left behind. It’s about a jazz musician who’s pushing fifty and feels that loneliness is the best he can expect from life. The boy who calls him Dad shows up out of the blue and shakes everything up—but you’ll have to read it to see how.

Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00APRADZ0

All Romance eBooks: http://tinyurl.com/bxuj2rz

Directing Traffic Cover 200X300

I’ve been lucky enough to have two releases this summer! In June, Dreamspinner Press published my second novella, Directing Traffic. It’s the story of Neil, who started living with his partner right out of high school and never really went through that period of finding himself that a lot of people do in college. His partner was twenty years older, and a brilliant and all around great guy, so Neil never questioned that Lloyd had all the answers. After Lloyd’s sudden death Neil was left to find his own answers, but it took him a long time to even figure out the questions. The last thing he was looking for when he took that trip to the coast was a new love . . .

You’ll see a lot of chance meetings in my stories, so I hope a lot of readers believe in magic and serendipity like I do! I’ve always loved the idea that getting lost or being late or even just walking around the corner can bring you into the path of something magical.

Dreamspinner Press:  http://tinyurl.com/pm5euze

Amazon US:  http://tinyurl.com/o7bvadg

…Would you describe yourself first as a writer of gay themes/characters; or first as a writer, period, without limiting yourself to any sub-genre?

First and foremost, I’m a writer. I love to write for women, because most of the women I’ve loved have been (as Uncle Stevie would say) Constant Readers, but don’t usually have an audience in mind while writing. Ever since I started, many of my characters have been queer—it’s not surprising to me since I’ve known I was bisexual since grade school and have known Ls, Gs and Ts my whole life. But what did surprise me was how fast my fiction was rejected when I let a character be gay on the page. Even if all they did was sit at a table with their S.O., none of my stories with out characters were published until December of 2012. Just to shine a little perspective on this—my first short story was published in 1998.

…It’s easy to forget the strides that our GLBT sisters and brothers have taken, and the struggle is ongoing. What is your opinion of exploring the angst of the gay lifestyle in your writing? Or do you write about characters who happen to be gay and whose sexual preference is not their most defining characteristic or even an important part of the story? Maybe some of both?

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about angst of all flavors—it’s something I get. As a bisexual woman from a low socio-economic class coming of age in the early 1980s, I had a lot to be angsty about. Drama and pain will probably always be a part of my characters’ lives, but I try to make it worth their while with HEA/HFN. But that doesn’t completely answer your question, does it?

I do both: some of my characters are defined in the story world by who they’re attracted to, but many aren’t. I don’t think orientation has to be paramount even in a love story or a Romance.

…Charley, what excites you most as a writer? 

I know, it sounds cracked, but sometimes my characters seem more real than the people around me. It’s probably because some of them let me inside their walls to really know them. My favorite thing as a writer would have to be exploring the lives of ordinary people, of men (and women) who go through life trying to fit in, or just trying to survive, and only end up showing who they really are when pushed. I’ve known a lot of different kinds of people, and it’s helped my people-watching (and, by extension, my writing) that I can be invisible at times. I’ve peeked inside some lives that would hurt your brain, and others that would shock the crap out of you with their unexpected beauty. I hope to write about it all eventually.

…By the same token, what turns you off? What are the nuts-and-bolts part of writing that you’d rather skip, but that have to be confronted and conquered?

This is a hard one, since I’m a masochist and enjoy just about all of it. I’d say the hardest part is killing my darlings. I’m fairly minimalist in style, but tend to throw everything even the kitchen sink into some stories content-wise. Then I have to be merciless and cut anything that doesn’t fit. But as a pantser I’m used to a lot of editing!

…Tell us why you write works of homoerotica. Just to tell a story, where the characters just happen to be gay? Or do you have an overarching purpose, perhaps a social or moral sensitivity to the subject?

I’m just telling the stories that fill my head. Ever since I started writing, some of my characters have been queer—it’s just like someone who grows up in Latino neighborhoods or in places where the dominant language is Japanese, it’s all grist for the mill. [Say, Erin, do you have a cliché quota? If so, let me know when I’ve reached it and I’ll stop. ;)] Those stories I mentioned earlier that were all rejected, most of them had sex scenes I felt were necessary for plot or character development. It’s frustrating to me as a reader when the bedroom door slams shut—it’s much harder for a character to hide who they are when they’re getting intimate, and that’s why I read and write: characters who grab me by the throat and don’t let go.

…Describe your perceived reading audience. Mostly gay? Gay and straight? Both sexes?

I hate to make assumptions without any idea whether they’re based in fact, but I imagine most of my readers are/will be women.  It’s the nature of the genre—chicks dig Romance! Even the ones who clomp around in Birks or boots without makeup, like me. They also happen to buy more books than men overall, if the commonly-quoted stats are to be trusted.

That said, like any author I hope my stories will have as wide an appeal as possible. I’ll be happy if every one of my readers are women, but I’ll also be happy with guys in the mix. There’s not much hotter than someone who reads, regardless of gender.

…Now flesh out your ideal readers. Who do you wish you could reach out and speak to, call your fans, help you spread the word about your books? And how have you tried to do that (if at all)?

My ideal reader is someone who loves to read character driven stories. I can’t write a story if I can’t connect with at least one character, and when I read it’s the same way. I’m new to the whole “author online” deal, but so far am enjoying it! I’m still trying to figure out some aspects of social media, but it just makes my day to hear from a reader. Even if they’re not giving me five stars, they read my story and took the time to let me know. That’s amazing to me and I couldn’t be more grateful.

…Describe your proudest moment or crowning achievement.

When my daughter came out to me. It really tested my inner strength, because for a few years I was sure I had a gay son and was just waiting for the chance to have “the conversation” and be the cool mom. Only it didn’t play out that way. Instead of a gay son I have a gay daughter, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s my best friend, and is the bravest person I’ve had the privilege to know. Plus, she’s captive tech support—everyone should give birth to their own private tech support, it’s awesome!

… I’m awed, pleased and tickled by your proud moment. Thanks for sharing it! Now, please ask a question you’ve always wanted someone to ask you . . . and then answer it.

Q. What’s going on at your blog and why should readers be interested?

A. Christmas in July! To celebrate my two summer releases I’m giving away 7 prizes including ebooks, swag, and gift cards. All the prizes are international—but you will have to do a little work to enter. Hopefully it’ll be more fun than work, though (and I promise it’s easy—I only torture fictional characters, not real people ;)). The link is http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/

…My own favorite word, beyond a doubt, is an f-word. First,

What is your favorite word? 

Probably the same as yours! *lol* Fuck. You can dress it up or dress it down & it’s always in fashion.

…Um, you’re right, of course. And what is your quick, gut reaction to these f-words?

Forbidden:  Dare

Frustration:  SSDD

Fornicate:  Okay

Fractal: Shiny

Fake: Too old, don’t have the energy to hide anymore

Flip-flop: Ty

Freak: My people

…Now sell a book. Give us a reason to buy it. Present an excerpt (hot or not, your choice, ~ 500 words.)

A Sunday Kind of Love

Blurb:  Jake McKynnie, middle-aged jazz musician, has the chops to solo—in every sense of the word. He’s living a lonely life in LA, convinced that’s the best he can expect. DJ, the boy who calls him Dad, turns up the day after his high school graduation like a sucker punch from the past. Could their celebratory trip to the salon be the catalyst for Jake’s duet with the enigmatic stylist, Mason?

ASKoL 390

Jake ducked back into the salon and almost ran into Antonio. “Thanks for taking care of him on such short notice. You’re the best.”

“You’re right about that.” Antonio kissed Jake’s cheek and leaned back to look at him. “And it was no notice, but who’s counting. You okay?”

Jake ran a shaky hand through his own short hair which, if he were completely honest, felt just that side of shaggy. “Will be. Didn’t expect to see him today.”

“If you need someone to talk to you just call me, honey.” Antonio hugged Jake hard for a short moment and then released him and gave him a significant look. “We’ll get coffee.”

“Hope I didn’t tick off your neighbor by monopolizing his chair.”

Antonio grinned so loudly Jake had to turn away.

“I’m sure Mase didn’t mind. You know he gets all drooly over hard-bodied men with tattoos.” He traced the Celtic braid encircling Jake’s left biceps. “And you have tattoos. Mase! Mason, come over here and tell Jake you don’t mind he grabbed your seat.”

Jake watched Mason stalk across the room and pass Antonio going the other way. Antonio must’ve winked or signaled him somehow because Mason’s step turned slinky as soon as he saw past him to Jake. Mason looked hot all in black, leather pants and a sleeveless shirt that wasn’t quite see-through. He could’ve lost the leather bands around his biceps as far as Jake was concerned, but that was the only fault he could find without more time.

“I don’t remember you grabbing anything.” Mason shamelessly looked Jake over.

They’d met before but Jake didn’t think the other man remembered him from the jazz club. Jake could name the month Mason had started at the salon, but for no reason he wanted to name he’d kept his distance.

Jake shook his head slowly and started walking toward the hall without thinking about it.

“Refresh my memory.” Mason took Jake’s hand and pulled him down the short hallway to the Men’s Room. Just inside the door he turned and pressed Jake against the wall, trapping him there with his body. His mouth began to work on Jake’s neck as his hands kneaded the muscles in his arms and shoulders. “You can grab my hair while you’re fucking my face.”

Jake slipped his hands up under the soft and filmy fabric of Mason’s shirt and gasped as he found a rock-hard six-pack. Mason looked up, and when Jake told him with a quick gesture there’d be no kissing, Mason’s lips returned to Jake’s neck without missing a beat. Jake kept one hand on the compact torso in front of him and the other grabbed a handful of leather pants, pulling their crotches tightly together. His mouth found the crook of Mason’s neck and they both moaned into the other’s skin as their hips moved in rhythm to the rushing of Jake’s blood. Jake moved his fingers along Mason’s tight ass crack, and Mason shivered. Then Mason was sliding down the length of Jake’s body, gracefully moving to his knees on the immaculate white tile floor, opening Jake’s pants as he went.

Mason whistled softly when he released Jake’s cock from his jeans, then slowly ran his tongue around the crown, moaning as he did.

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…Charley, I’ve hugely enjoyed this visit. I hope you’ll visit again, when we can look a litte more closely at some of your other works, and chat about whatever in the world your oxymoronic personality wants! Best of success in your writing, and in your life.

Rattle Charley’s cages—she’d love to hear from you!

Blog:  http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/

Facebook Author Page:  http://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/aqe7g7r

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/

e-mail: c.descoteauxwrites@gmail.com

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14 Responses to “Ac´cent on Charley Descoteaux”

  1. Thanks so much for having me, Erin. It was a blast to chat with you!

    • Ms. Charley, the pleasure is all mine! And, I’m sure, my readers’ pleasure as well. It’s always great to catch a new author a-borning, to follow almost from the beginning. Need I say that I wish you bundles of success.

  2. Erin, you are overhelming my reading – another fascinating new writer for me to sample 😉

  3. Excellent interview Erin, I am unfamiliar with Charley, but I’m definitely going to look for her work… I’m on a cliff with that excerpt.

  4. Note to commenters: Charley won’t bite if you address her instead of me. She’s already invited everyone to rattle her cage…rattle away! 😀

  5. This was a fascinating interview – I love the setup you’ve used here, Erin – very off-the-cuff and full of surprises, perfectly matched to wonderfully quirky authors like Charley! And oooooh, lady Charley, WOW, do you write some hot stuff! When I get something resembling a book budget back, I will be definitely looking for your work! Wowza! Congratulations, and keep up the awesome work!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! It’s a great feeling to let the freak flag fly and get a positive reaction. And then there’s the fiction . . . 😉

      If your book budget’s tight (like mine!) check out my Christmas in July contest. I love giving freebies away & especially to kind folks like yourself. 🙂

  6. Another splendid interview. You ladies are adding to my TBR pile faster than I can click ‘buy’. Looking forward to learning more about this ‘Verse.

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