news

New Story Alert!

_DSC3550 Barn at Night
The sad news is that my favorite magazine, Handjobs, has ceased publication as of this month. Permit me a reminiscence, as this news affected me strongly.

I found my first issue of Handjobs in 1997, in a bookstore in Phoenix – possibly the first porn store I’ve ever visited. For a long time it was my dream to write for Handjobs. And in a curious way, the magazine was my first connection to the Radical Faeries, a community I now enthusiastically call my own. I saw my first ads for RFD (a long-running gay journal closely associated with the Radical Faeries) in the back of Handjobs, but never knew what it was until I went to my first Faerie gathering in Tennessee. I was largely ignorant of what the Faeries were all about but I went with a wide-open mind, trusty Josman book in my backpack for jack-off sessions in the woods. To say that that book made me friends in the Faerie community would be an understatement. It got passed around the breakfast, lunch and dinner table multiple times. There were copies of HJ all over, and when I found a stash of RFD’s in the library I finally made the connection. Weirdly enough, I just ordered my first subscription to RFD last month. All things must pass. I’m not being ironic when I say that I believe that the publishers of Handjobs have done the Lord’s work. My creator is the type who delights in his beings feeling pleasure, and they have given pleasure to many.

The good news? I found out about HJ ceasing publication when I sent them a brand-spankin-new story last week called The Barn. Needless to say they couldn’t use it, so here it is, pour vous. Hope you dig.

More Queer Lifeguards!

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Hey there! I posted a new chapter of my queer young-adult novel-in-progress to Figment.com. I’m really enjoying writing this story and I’m hungry for feedback (hint, hint) being that it’s a bit different from what I normally write.

I’d been feeling pretty down about my writing over the summer. Even though last fall/winter I wrote first drafts of two really long pieces (the Joey book and the vampire book) I can’t say that I felt (or feel) very confident about them. I remembered how confident I felt about Backwoods, and I wanted that feeling back. So I made some changes in my life (cut out a substance I’d been abusing) and when I went to the beach for a week in August I asked the universe to give me an idea for a young adult novel. I love young adult fiction, particularly the work of Blake Nelson, and I knew that I could write something in that vein, I just needed an idea. And lo and behold, I got one, and I haven’t been able to shake it since. Since I planned to rip-off the voice of Andrea Marr, the protagonist from two of my favorite Blake Nelson books Girl and Dream School, I got the idea to publish it chapter-by-chapter on Figment.com which was where Dream School originally appeared. However, I’ve been holding on to this notion that I shouldn’t release my work until it’s absolutely finished. But then I remembered, I used to publish chapter-by-chapter all the time on Nifty. And once I realized that it seemed perfect.

New (Old) Story Alert!

Hi! In celebration of (and in the interest of shamelessly promoting) my latest ebook Straight(ish) Vol 2, here is a story from that book, a story from my past called I Sucked Off an Iraqi Sniper. This was originally published on the BUTT blog and was also included in Best Gay Erotica 2011. Unlike most things I write, this story is 100% true and as accurate as my memory allowed it to be.

Oh yeah, buy my new ebook!

Straight(ish) Vol 2

Hello there. I’m getting ready to put out another ebook of previously-un-self-published material: Straight(ish) Vol 2! It will be available around the first week of August.

Four tales of straight guys gone curious from master erotic writer Natty Soltesz.

Ski Buddy: Old college buddies meet up for some fun on the slopes, and find a way to warm up in the car, afterward.

My Hero: When your cat gets stuck in a tree, who to call but the sexy, married fireman who lives across the street?

I Sucked Off an Iraqi Sniper: A true story from the author’s spank bank.

Hard Times: Two businessmen in the thick of the Great Recession turn to prostitution to supplement their incomes.

New Anthologies (also: I wrote a vampire novella)

Hi friends. I have two new stories in two new anthologies that recently came out from Bruno Gmunder. My story for Whipping Boys is called “Reunited” and is possibly the first S&M story I’ve done. It’s a classic revenge-at-the-class-reunion story (that’s a common fantasy, isn’t it?), and it’s pretty fun. Until the Sun Rises is gay vampire erotica and it contains my story “Birthday,” which is an excerpt from a novella I wrote this fall. That’s right: I’ve written a vampire novella. I had such a blast writing it, too. It still needs a lot of work, but it’s called Under Ocean City and it’s a take on my favorite vampire movie The Lost Boys, only with a lot more gay sex and with vampires who live underwater. Don’t ask when it’s coming out cause I don’t have a clue. I have so much shit to work on. Currently, My Sister’s Boyfriend Joey (the novel) is being read by friends, and I’m getting excited about doing a final pass on it and getting it out into the world in one way or another. It’s pretty great.

QueerBurgher! and other stuff

Michael reading Queerburgher

This is Michael reading QueerBurgher, ain’t he cute?

Hey guys! So I produce this newsletter for queer Pittsburgh called QueerBurgher and we just put out our Pride issue. I think it might be the best one we’ve done yet. Check it out.

This weekend was Pride weekend in Pittsburgh and it was fun and crazy. Can I say that I’m glad it’s over? I am, not that I didn’t enjoy myself. But fuck, this spring has been a whirlwind of socializing and partying and being out and about and I’m feeling that desire to hole up and get some work done. I have so much work to do.

You guys, how do I promote myself better? I know that I need to do this if I want to make writing a full-time job, which is my only real, modest goal. I was on a gay yacht yesterday and Sharon Needles was giving me this long pep talk about how I’m the Dan Savage of Pittsburgh and that I have something that nobody else has and that there’s no reason I shouldn’t be famous. And that was really validating and kind of intoxicating, because I really respect that queen and she’s obviously made it well for herself. But a couple things: I’m not in the advice business like Dan Savage, I’m in the erotica business. And also, I feel like I have this core of insecurity that always keeps me in retreat from the spotlight. I don’t have any real interest in fame for fame’s sake, but I do want to find the biggest audience possible for my work. I like attention, and I’m getting more comfortable with putting myself out there in physical spaces where people see a good bit of who I am, but I love to retreat, to stand on the sidelines and observe. I don’t know. It’s this tension between introversion and extroversion and I don’t always know how to reconcile it.

But, just to restate (and yes this blog post is turning into an ersatz therapy session), I want to make writing my full-time job. I AM GOING to make writing my full time job. That’s it. I know that I can do this, but I need to market myself better.

How do I market myself better? Well, a suggestion a friend made was that I find somebody, a fan or an intern or something, who could help me with this. So I ask anybody who is reading this: what do you think of this idea? And would you be willing? Since I’m burying this question in a post I’ll probably restate the question later in a different post, but any feedback you could offer would be excellent.

I also saw Lucinda William this weekend at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. I got up close to the stage and she played a song I never heard before called “Out of Touch.” By the first verse I was captivated, by mid-song I was emotional, and then in the last verse there’s this twist in the lyrics from micro to macro and I fucking lost it right there in the crowd. I was crying and sort of trying to hide it but that song just hit me in the gut. Here it is.