Mailbox surprises

I hadn’t checked my mailbox in a few days ~ there was no mail on Thanksgiving, and I don’t usually get much anyway, just junk and bills and a magazine or catalog here and there. But when I took out the trash yesterday, I decided to check my mail even though it was Sunday. At the least, I wanted to clear out all the crap that had built up over the last few days and make way for this week’s new batch.

So imagine my surprise when I found a padded envelope from Cleis Press squeezed into my little mailbox. Inside were my two contributor’s copies of Wild Boys, their latest gay erotic anthology edited by Richard Labonte.

Since starting my own press, I haven’t had much time to submit stories elsewhere. I’m too busy trying to get everyone with JMS Books published, as well as wrap up the many various writing projects I have going at any given time, that adding another story into the mix would be crazy. Still, in August 2011 or so, Richard Labonte emailed me and asked if I might not have anything that would fit into a few anthologies he was putting together.

The short answer, of course, was no. But if someone actually takes the time to ask me for a submission, then I go out of my way to see if I can’t find something that might work for their anthology. Richard has a great legacy of published books attached to his name, and I’ve always enjoyed working with him. So I said sure, let me see what I can do.

For Wild Boys, I didn’t have any new ideas in mind that might fit the anthology’s theme, but on the off-chance that Richard might take an excerpt from a longer story, I polished up the first chapter of my novel, Tricked Out, and sent it to him. I was pleased (and surprised!) when he decided to include it in the anthology.

Trouble was, Cleis Press didn’t like calling the story Excerpt from Tricked Out, which I could understand. But I suck at titles, as you might already know. Luckily someone at Cleis suggested Cruising on Cary Street, and I liked the sound of that, so we went with the new title.

I’m going to be releasing Cruising on Cary Street as a free e-book in January, but for now, you can read the excerpt in Wild Boys or read the whole novel, Tricked Out!