Eli Easton

Author of m/m romance books and stories

Welcome to Eli Easton!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Eli Easton 2014 to 2015

December 14

 

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I published my first Eli Easton m/m romance in April 2013, so 2014 was a “year two” for me. That’s the year when newbie enthusiasm faces the realities of the market and the daily work flow, and you either flunk out entirely, settle into a dabblers casual ‘tude, or decide you’re in it for the serious long haul.

As of Dec 2014 I can say that it’s option c—my butt is firmly planted on this piece o’ earth.

In 2014 I published 5 m/m romance books, making 13 total. I had less publications in 2014 than in 2013, but I released my first full-length novel (“The Mating of Michael”).

TheMatingOfMichael_EliEaston

Many readers of m/m romance also write it, so you will know what I’m talking about when I say there are things an author must consider when deciding whether or not to invest more time in a genre. First: Am I objectively any good at writing it?  Second: Do I really like the genre enough to dedicate a large chunk of my time to building a career in it? Third: Can I continue to come up with fresh ideas and fresh work in this area story after story?

The answer to those questions for me is ‘yes’. I still feel I have something to offer the genre, I still really enjoy writing it, and I’ve gotten some lovely encouragement which makes me feel like my efforts are not in vain.

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The m/m romance genre is an interesting beast. If being a ‘romance author’ is not taken very seriously by the general population and/or literary world, writing m/m romance is regarded with even more confusion/embarrassment/disdain. It seems to be the equivalent of saying ‘I write porn’. Now, I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing porn, but that’s not the way I consider my Eli Easton books.

Granted, I am probably in tune with point-oh-one percent of the population in this, but I really don’t see a lot of difference in regular (m/f) romance and gay (m/m) romance. At the heart, a romance is a romance.  Love is a mystery. Why do two people fit together? And how do they figure it out? To me, a romance is about two people discovering their perfect partner—from first meeting, to getting to know one another, to overcoming obstacles, to realizing they want to be together for life. It’s about the dynamics of their personalities and daily lives and how they fit together. It’s about realizing that love is more important than anything else. It’s family and psychology, personal flaws and strengths. It’s chemistry and heat.  In the end, very few things in life impact us the way our choice of life partner does. So what could be a more important subject to write about?

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How I landed in the m/m genre is a bit of luck and a bit of good casting. My first exposure to m/m was Anne Rice’s “Cry to Heaven”, which I read in high school and found compellingly unusual and sensual. Later on, there was fan fiction (johnlock and sterek mostly). As a writer, I’ve always been more comfortable with male characters. Never a girly girl, I am sometimes irritated by romance heroines. Bottom line: I find men more interesting creatures and far sexier. So being able to write two male leads works for me on many levels. I also find the social and personal dynamics of being gay interesting. Let’s face it, unless you want to write regency romance, there’s not a lot left in our modern society to keep men and women from doing whatever they damn well please. There are more hoops to jump through, and thus more opportunity for denial, obstacle, and conflict, in a gay relationship. I also like the idea of contributing, however obliquely, to normalizing gay relationships. I am absolutely in favor of gay rights.

As for stigma or literary snobbery, I am old enough to have given up on expecting to rule the world—or the NY Times bestseller list. The fact is, whatever people think of romance, more people read it, and buy it, than any other genre of book. People read it because they enjoy it—it’s an escape, a comfort, entertainment, and a solace. It’s fantasy and an outlet for the love and desire that is often lacking in our ‘real lives’. I am honored to provide that for readers.

On to the old and new!

2014: Looking Back

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Publications:

“Stitch” (gothika anthology, my story “Reparation”), Apr 2014
“The Mating of Michael” (Sex in Seattle #3), Jun 2014
“Heaven Can’t Wait” (in Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose), Jul 2014
“Bones” (gothika anthology, my story “The Bird”), Oct 2014
“Unwrapping Hank” (Christmas novella), Nov 2014

Cons Attended:

Dreamspinner’s author con

Milestones:

“Blame it on the Mistletoe” gets over 2000 rankings on Goodreads

“Unwrapping Hank” hits #1 on Amazon’s gay romance list (briefly, but it was there!)

“The Mating of Michael” wins #1 place in the William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance category, 2014 Rainbow Awards and #2 place in “Best Gay Book” overall.

3 audio books published in 2014: “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song”, and “Superhero”.

‘Came out’ as Eli Easton under my writing/game design nom de plume of Jane Jensen

 

2015: Looking Ahead

I plan to spend more time writing in 2015 since I’ve recently finished a huge work project.

LionandtheCrow[The]FS FINAL COVER - Copy

Publications Anticipated:

“The Lion and the Crow” (expanded edition), Dreamspinner, Jan 2015
“How to Howl at the Moon” (new paranormal dog shifter series), Love Lane Books, Feb 2015
“Claw” (gothika anthology, my story “The Black Dog”), Apr 2015
A novel for Dreamspinner (TBD– probably Sex in Seattle #4 or Prairie Dog #2), Aug 2015
“gothika #4” (anthology), Oct 2015
Christmas novella 2015 (Micah Springfield’s story), Nov 2015
“Kingdom Come” (murder mystery set in Amish country from Berkeley’s Prime Crime line),- sometime in 2015

Writing in 2015: Kingdom Come #2, Howl at the Moon #2

Cons Attending:

Dreamspinner’s author con
Rainbow Con
Romantic Times

Goals:

* continue to build name recognition and reader base

* do a better job updating my blog!

* would be lovely to have a #1 on amazon for longer than one day!

;-)

 

That’s it for this year’s round-up. Please let me know your suggestions and if there’s anything you are dying for me to write in 2015!

 

Eli

Fielding’s Fa-La-La

December 10

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This story features the main characters from my 2013 Christmas novella, “Blame It On The Mistletoe”. It takes place during Fielding and Mick’s second Christmas as a couple, just before the epilogue of “Blame It On The Mistletoe”.  It was written for RJ Scott’s Christmas story posting.

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FIELDING’S  FA-LA-LA

by Eli Easton

On the morning of December 2nd, Mick wandered into the kitchen of the little house he shared with Fielding near the Cornell campus. He was midway through a nice, juicy morning yawn and stretch when he noticed the card propped up on the kitchen table. It looked like this:

 euclidian

Mick huffed a confused laugh, picked up the card, and turned it over. There was nothing else on the card. Probably it was something from Fielding’s physics department, but it looked odd for an assignment.

He made a couple of mugs of green tea, tucked the card under his arm, and went back into the bedroom. He sat the cups on the bedside table and bounced his ass on the bed.

“Come on, Babe! Time to wake up.”

Fielding, lying on his stomach like a very large, dark-haired, and angly rag doll, grunted without opening his eyes. “Kay.” That meant he was about to go back to sleep.

“Hey, I found a card on the kitchen table. What is it?” Mick picked up the card and turned it over again, but there was still nothing written on the back.

Fielding abruptly sat up. His eyes blinked from dreamland to fully alert in record time. “Oh. I put that there.”

Mick snorted. “Really? It wasn’t midnight elves? Or maybe a cat burglar who gets off on leaving enigmatic mathematical messages?”

Fielding rolled his eyes, but his mouth tugged up into a smile. He took his cup of green tea and had a sip.  “It’s for you.”

“Oh?”

“It’s December 2nd. Last year on December 2nd I asked you to kiss me. The rest, as they say, lives in infamy.”

Mick smiled, a genuine, deep-down, giddy smile this time. “It was a year ago, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” Fielding said seriously.

“Okay, so what is this supposed to be then?” Mick held up the card.

“It’s the formula for a Euclidian triangle.”

“Under mistletoe. Okay.” Mick pursed his lips and nodded. “That’s… sweet. Thanks.”

Fielding huffed. “The card is merely bracketing the start of a series of proofs. It gets better. Also, this isn’t your real Christmas present. You’ll get that at Christmas. This is merely preparing the stage. A little holiday Euclidian fa-la-la.”

Mick sighed and looked fondly at his boyfriend. Only Fielding would think Euclidian geometry was… romantic? Holiday fun? Then again, knowing Fielding’s kinky side, this could get interesting.

“A series of proofs, huh? Does this involve you and me getting naked in some way, he asked hopefully.” Mick waggled his eyebrows.

“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Fielding said in his gravelly morning voice. “Anticipate and tremble, Mick. Anticipate and tremble.”

With a final enigmatic glare, Fielding hopped out of bed and headed for the shower.

* * *

 euclidian

Proof #1

That weekend, Mick didn’t have to work on Friday night. He was looking forward to a slothful night at home with Fielding—no studying, just some good quality couch potato time. But when he got home, Fielding met him at the door wearing his winter coat.

“Get dressed for the cold. You’ll want thermals under your jeans and on top, but you’ll need flexibility, so don’t get too bulky.”

“For…?” Mick asked.

“Proof number one. You’ll see.” Fielding smirked.

Mick was game. After all, there  was a sparkle in Fielding’s eye that promised fun or,  at the very least, something interesting and unexpected. Practically every day with Fielding was interesting and unexpected, but when Fielding put a bit of effort into it, things really got wild.

Mick changed and followed Fielding down the street toward campus. They held each other’s gloved hands, interlocked like padded pythons. “Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

Where they were going was Lynah Rink, Cornell’s ice skating venue. Fielding paid for two entrances and two pairs of rental skates.

“I don’t actually skate,” Mick said, wondering where Fielding had gotten the idea.

“Precisely the point.” Fielding led them over to the rental skate counter.

“Okay. So this proof is to see how many times I can fall on my ass?” Mick smiled. He was always up for anything athletic, despite his protests.

“No.”

They got their skates and took them over to a bench to put them on.

“Proof number one, the first side of the Euclidean triangle, is friendship,” Fielding explained, all serious intensity. “How do you demonstrate friendship? I determined that a defining characteristic of our friendship was one person teaching the other how to do something. It’s a shared skillset. A willingness to bring the other to one’s own level of competency. As opposed to the opposite of friendship, which would be competition and jealousy, hoarding one’s skills in an effort to yield the upper hand.”

“Makes total sense.” Mick bit back a grin. God, Fielding was adorable.

“Ice skating is a skill I have from when the pater took me to Rockefeller Center. Hence it is a skill I can share with you.”

“So no sex then?” Mick feigned a pout. “I was hoping the proof would be of a highly sexual nature.”

He dropped his gaze to Fielding’s lips and allowed it to grow heated. Mick knew his boyfriend—that look was a hundred percent guaranteed Fielding kindling right there, a weapon Mick only dared wield when he was ready to go to bed immediately. Because once Fielding’s brain locked on sex, it didn’t shift gears until they were both boneless–in all senses of the word–and their balls were set on “E”.

Which was, of course, not possible in a skating rink. Fielding deserved a little payback. Just because.

Fielding sucked in a breath and grabbed Mick’s forearm. “Stop it. No anticipating the other proofs. This is proof number one.  Friendship.

“Oh, so there is sex in this plan somewhere?” Mick licked his lips and winked.

Fielding glowered. “I’ve never attempted to skate whilst having an erection, but I doubt it’s a pleasant experience.”

Mick chuckled and relented. “Okay, pal. I get it. I’ll be good. But only if you promise me a blowjob when we get home.”

Fielding narrowed his eyes. “Hand job,” he countered.

Mick snorted. “As if you could ever have my dick in your hand and have it not end up in your mouth.”

Fielding seemed to take that as a challenge. “Just because that’s my usual modus operandi doesn’t mean I can’t complete a hand job without oral. I told you, no anticipating the proofs. Hand job. That’s my final offer. Say yes.”

Mick laughed and kissed Fielding with hard, closed mouthed enthusiasm.  “Okay. I look forward to seeing your mental struggle over your oral fixation later then during my hand job. Now show me how to skate.”

Fielding did. He was graceful on the ice, sturdy and stable. He made it look effortless.  He was a gliding post for Mick to hang on to as Fielding led him around and around the arena. Mick clung on for dear life at first.  And then he thought, well, it didn’t look that hard, and he was pretty fit. He wanted to try it on his own, to look cool. So he let go and moved his feet more confidently. And he fell. Repeatedly.

“Fuck, this ice is hard!” Mick laughed after a particularly meaty thump.

“There’s a Vickers hardness scale for ice, but it depends significantly on the temperature,” Fielding offered.

“Yeah, my ass appreciates that tidbit.”

“Your ass might be less bruised if you weren’t such a dare devil. Go slow, and use the toe stops,” Fielding advised, helping Mick up.  “And there’s no shame in holding my hand, you know.”

“True,” Mick said as he regained his feet. Or his blades anyway. He was holding both Fielding’s hands and he leaned in for a chaste kiss. “No shame in holding your hand, Babe.”

Fielding smiled shyly. “Good. Let’s go again.”

So Mick kept ahold of Fielding’s hand and, yeah, that worked much better.

When they got  home, Fielding had apparently been thinking about the hand job, because his fingers dove into Mick’s pants before he even got his coat off.

“Hey! Your hand is freezing!” Mick yelped, pulling away.

“Oh. Sorry.” Fielding looked abashed, then his eyes brightened. “Hot water.” He ran off into the bathroom and Mick heard the sink run.

He chuckled and went to change into his flannel pj bottoms. He intended to enjoy this. A lot.

Mick was on the couch, arms stretched out over the back, pj-clad groin open for business when Fielding came in. He was drying his hands on a towel and carrying a bottle of lotion in the crook of his arm.

“Hand lotion? Not  lube?” Mick said with surprise.

“I’m not supposed to put my mouth on you,” Fielding said. “Our lube is edible. I don’t like the taste of the lotion.”

“Stacking the deck in your favor. I see.”

“Yes, that’s why they call me a genius,” Fielding said facetiously.

Mick was half hard just at the idea of what was to happen, and the hunger in Fielding’s eyes made his blood rush faster still. Fielding made Mick sit up and slipped behind him on the couch so Mick was sitting between Fielding’s spread legs. Fielding carefully pulled down Mick’s pj bottoms to expose him, gave off a little growl of interest at the sight, and pumped lotion onto his hands.

“I thought, if I’m to bring you to orgasm with a hand job only, this position would be ideal. I can touch you like I touch myself.”

“Also, conveniently, you can’t get your mouth near my dick.”

“Also a bonus.”

Mick gasped as Fielding’s hot and lotion slick hands took turns wrapping around his cock and pulling up slowly, spreading the lotion all over him.

Fuck.  Nice job warming up your hands.”

“Mmm.”

An ‘mmm’ meant Fielding was going quiet, which he tended to do when he got really aroused. When he was fully cranked his mouthiness turned off except for spontaneous curses, Mick’s name, and groans. Mick loved seeing Fielding reach that state.

“That’s so good,” Mick panted. He was absolutely hard now as Fielding stroked him firm and slow. Those long fingers of his were dexterous from dancing over computer keys all day.

“Oh,” Fielding agreed.

“Not gonna have any problem achieving your objective.” Mick sucked in a calming breath, wanting this to last. No trouble at all.

“Mmm.” Fielding nuzzled into Mick’s ear.  “But you’re right. I do want it in my mouth. Badly.”

“Oh God,” Mick groaned, his hips pushing up involuntarily. Fielding increased the pace and pressure and it was awesome.

“Can’t touch your penis or even see it without wanting it in my mouth. All the way in.”

Apparently, verbal stimulation was part of Fielding’s hands-only strategy. It was highly effective.

“Oh my God,” Mick groaned. His baby did have an oral fixation. Mick had never been with any girl who loved sucking cock the way Fielding did. And that… that was fucking fantastic. Mick loved that. Just the thought of it….

Fielding cupped Mick’s balls with one hand while jerking rapidly with the other. His thrust his tongue in Mick’s ear.

“Fuck!” Mick’s orgasm slammed into him with embarrassing speed. But, man, it was too good to regret.

“Fa la  la,” Fielding said, a smirk in his voice as he kissed Mick’s ear.

 

* * *

euclidian

~ The second half of this story will be posted after Dec 15th ~

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Eli Easton

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“The Mating of Michael” wins in the Rainbow Awards

December 9

Pardon me while I hyperventilate. This is the first year I’ve had a book in the Rainbow Awards and I’m shocked to find that “The Mating of Michael” won 1st place in the Best Gay Contemporary Romance category and second place in the Best Gay Book category.

Wow!  I feel so incredibly lucky that Michael and James’ story resonated with the judges. This will hopefully get some people to pick it up who otherwise might not have tried it. Thank you.

Also, the “Stitch” anthology I wrote along with Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, and Sue Brown, won 4th place for Best Gay Anthology and also won an award for the cover. Whoot!

Check out all the Rainbow Award winners here:

http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4489098.html

TheMatingOfMichael_EliEaston

“Unwrapping Hank” hits #1 on Amazon gay romance list!

November 21

As an author, I have a soft spot for every book I write, even if others don’t love them like I do. lol  But it’s amazing, wonderful, hopeful, sustaining to have one that gets good sales.  I was super excited this morning to see that “Unwrapping Hank” has hit #1 in gay romance on Amazon.  I’m so grateful, because getting good results means I get to keep writing m/m romance, which I LOVE, and I get to spend more time on it. So thank you so much for anyone who bought the book. In these days of rampant piracy, your support is so, so, so much appreciated!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/14044691/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_3_5_last

 

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Desktop: “Unwrapping Hank”

November 14

My 2014 Christmas novella, “Unwrapping Hank” released today!  Here’s my traditional desktop post in which I share images that inspired me while I was writing the story.

THESE IMAGES ARE TAKEN OFF GOOGLE and do not belong to me. They do not appear in the book itself but only in this post. If anyone has an issue with one of these being in this post, please email me at eli@elieaston.com and I’ll be happy to remove it.

SLOAN:

I Googled a lot to find this guy. He has the sort of smart ass, intelligent, slightly Euro look. Sloan!

hipster

 

HANK & MICAH:

My husband just told me today there’s a new thing called a “lumbersexual” — a guy who has a beard and wears flannel and likes to build things. That’s Hank all right (well, maybe not the building things). His brother Micah is slightly more on the hippy side. Here are a few images I found that remind me of Hank and Micah.

Hank Springfield Example me-and-ron

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PSU (Penn State Uni in State College, PA)

Here are some mood-setting location shots.

penn-state-university-campus-6 snow01 nittany lion inn woods

DEAD SANTA PARTY:

I mocked this up and then decided not to include it in the book.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-scary-santa-claus-skull-illustration-image34761677

LILITH AND KARMA:

The parents of Hank and Micah are lovely hippy, homesteading peeps.  Here are a few images I found for inspiration.

mark-anna-lucy-big brooklyn-homesteader-honey

 

THE TURKEY:

I was too soft-hearted to write the turkey-killing ceremony. I’m sorry.

RidleyTom09

AMISH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS:

Actually,  the Springfield’s farm turned out to be very autobiographical. It’s based on our real farm in Lancaster County, PA. We do have 3 cows (named Trueheart, Tinkerbell, and Bessy) and chickens. Our barn similar to the one in the book.

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cows

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GRINCH:

Our bulldog, Lucy, walking out by the cornfields along the lane by our house. Lucy was the cover model for Wrapping Hank.

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grinch

 

TALLY HO tavern in Lancaster

Is a real place.

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That’s it for this desktop!  The story is live today!

Here’s the Amazon link.  (kindle edition)

Here’s the link for ARE (epub, pdf, kindle editions)

 

Eli

 

October 30

PrairieDogAudioBook

 

Dreamspinner Press has produced an audio book version of my Christmas story from last year’s advent, “A Prairie Dog’s Love Song”. It’s really good!  Check it out here:

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=eli+easton&filterby=field-keywords&x=14&y=19

Eli

Desktop: “The Bird” (in “bones”, gothika #2 anthology)

October 27

bonescover

Today is the release day for “bones”, the second volume of the gothika series — m/m romance with a gothic twist. This volume is all about Voodoo. There are 4 novellas by Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, BG Thomas, and myself.  You can get it at 25% off for a short time on Dreamspinner.

My story is called “The Bird” and here’s the blurb:

“The Bird” by Eli Easton
Colin Hastings is sent to Jamaica in 1870 to save his father’s sugar cane plantation. If he succeeds, he can marry his fiancée back in London and take his place in proper English society. But Colin finds more than he bargained for on the island. His curiosity about Obeah, the native folk magic, leads him to agree to a dangerous ritual where he is offered his heart’s most secret desire—one he’s kept deeply buried all his life. What happens when a proper English gentleman has his true sensual nature revealed and freed by the Obeah spirits?

COLIN

First off, the story is set in the West Indies during the end of British rule.  I’ve always been interested in old horror movies set in the tropics like “Island of Dr. Moreau”, “I Walked with a Zombie”, “White Zombie”, etc.  So the horror side of this story was definitely influenced by those films.  On the romantic side, this story definitely owes a nod to “Wide Sargasso Sea”, both the book and film, which has a visceral sense of sweaty, muggy senuality. I love the film version starring Nathaniel Parker, so he is the model for my lead character, Colin.

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SUGAR CANE PLANTATION

The story is set on a sugar cane plantation in Jamaica owned by a British Earl.  His third son, Colin, is sent to set the plantation to rights after being mismanaged for years by a lazy overseer.  I found some great resources online for the workings of a colonial-era sugar cane plantation.

Cannes-sucre-Georgi_late_1800s Sugarcane_planting

planting sugar cane with 1 bud

 

TIYAH

One of the women who works on Colin’s family plantation is Tiyah, rumored to be a powerful Obeah woman. Below is a stock image I found that reminded me of Tiyah. She’s very beautiful. Colin ends up doing Tiyah a significant favor. And in return, Tiyah offers to give Colin “his heart’s desire” through Erzulie, an Obeah loa. Colin is curious and he agrees, but he has no idea what is about to happen.

stock-photo-12306002-jamaican-woman

 

THE BIRD

A bird features heavily in this story, as a metaphor and a magical conduit. The bird looks like the one below, which is a black-crowned night heron.

220px-Black-crowned_Night_Heron_RWD7

black crowned night heron

 

MAJOR JOHN PIVOT

John Pivot is a neighbor of Colin’s in Jamaica, an Englishman who lost his wits in war and has been exiled to Jamaica by his family to be hidden away. John’s fate is more linked to Colin’s than Colin realizes.

John_Brougham_-_Brady-Handy

RICHARD

Colin’s best friend since his school days and perhaps more.

style

 

 

MORE MOOD SETTING JAMAICA PICTURES

Jamaica

jamaica-blue-mountains

 

images

That’s it for this desktop!  I hope you enjoy reading “The Bird”.  Please leave a comment for me at goodreads or amazon if you do.

Cheers!

Eli

 

 

 

 

“Unwrapping Hank” is now on Amazon for pre-order

October 26

HankCover

 

This weekend I finished the editing and ebook formatting for “Unwrapping Hank”, my 2014 Christmas novella. It is going to be released Nov 14, 2014.  It’s already locked and loaded at Amazon, ready to go!  You can pre-order it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Unwrapping-Hank-Eli-Easton-ebook/dp/B00OWIQH5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414334832&sr=8-1&keywords=eli+easton+unwrapping+hank

Eli

New page added for “bones” (gothika #2)

October 25

bonescover

 

Check out the new page for the “bones” anthology, coming out Oct 27th!  Spooky/erotic stories from myself, Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, and BG Thomas. You can read an excerpt from my novella “The Bird” on the new page here.

Out

October 22

 

JaneJensen

Jane Jensen aka Eli Easton

 

Since I started publishing m/m romance in April 2013, my “Eli Easton” has been a name without a face and without a background.  At times I wanted to be able to talk about the other parts of my life on my blog or twitter or with my goodreads friends. But I kept Eli separate from my ‘real life’ identity, as many m/m romance authors do.

In my case, it wasn’t about my family, employer, or community disapproving. It was simply that I had another professional persona with its own audience and projects in the works. I didn’t want assumptions made about my other work, or for it to be colored by m/m romance glasses, or, indeed, for that brand to get garbled or dissed for reasons not associated with the work itself.

But recently I decided to just be open about it all so I could talk about anything anywhere.

Past

In real life, I have been a long-time computer game designer writing under the name of Jane Jensen.  I got my big break in game design in 1989 when I was hired by Sierra Online, a popular maker of adventure games like King’s Quest and Leisure Suit Larry.  With Sierra I got the chance to create my own game series, a paranormal mystery series called Gabriel Knight.  There were 3 GK games, 2 novelizations, and a host of other work done under Jane Jensen, including two original novels.

Millennium Rising aka Judgement Day came out in 1999 from Del Rey and Dante’s Equation from Del Rey in 2003.  My other games include Dying for Daylight (done with Charlaine Harris), three Agatha Christie hidden object games, three Women’s Murder Club games (with James Patterson), Gray Matter (my own original story) and, recently, Moebius: Empire Rising.

I’ve had many wonderful professional experiences working in games, including the joy of casting voice-over actors and listening to them read my dialogue, working on a live film production (for GK2), travelling to research story lines, meeting fans, and working with great artists, engineers, and producers. It was also the ideal place to hone my writing skills, particularly dialogue since there are acres of that in my games.

Present

Why do I write m/m romance?  Because I love reading it. I began reading the m/m genre during a particularly stressful period in 2012, and it was my magic bullet in terms of relaxation and escape.  I love writing books, but I’d given up on it after Dante’s Equation in 2003–a hugely ambitious book that took three years to write and was a disappointment to me critically and sales wise.

While I’ve enjoyed reading m/f romance since I was a teen, I never was very good at writing it.  I’m drawn to the idea of how two people meet and decide to spend their lives together–the give and take of personalities and relationship dynamics.  But I find it challenging to write a typical man/woman relationship. I think it’s because I’ve always rather sucked at writing very feminine characters. My own personality has many traits that would be considered masculine, and I’ve never been one for pink and lace.  I think we are all a balance of masculine and feminine in our deepest selves in ways that go beyond gender and sexual identity. It’s possible to be a woman with masculine personality traits who loves men (that is, not a lesbian), just as you can be a man with ‘feminine’ qualities who is nonetheless straight. We need a name for  those categories, please!

I dipped my toe back into the water in 2011 writing a few stories for submission to m/m anthologies.  By now, I’ve published 10+ stories in m/m including the novel The Mating of Michael, which was released in Jun 2014. I’ve gotten a lot of pleasure from writing in this genre, and encouragement from some very lovely people who enjoy reading it.

One thing is clear: being Eli Easton has given me back my pure fiction writing–my confidence in it and my productivity. And I’m grateful for that.

I also want to say that I have no embarrassment about what I write. I am a full supporter of gay rights, including the right to marry. So to me, romance is romance, no matter what the gender is of the protagonists. And as a life-long reader of romance, I know the pleasure it brings people. Unlike horror and mystery (both of which I’ve written), at the core romance is about passion and love, not fear. Plus, there’s always a happy ending. And sometimes, we just fucking need a happy ending.

Future

I plan to continue to write m/m romance as Eli Easton. I will also likely continue to write for games.  There are also some “Jane Jensen” books in the pipeline. I recently sold an Amish-themed murder mystery called “Kingdom Come” to Berkely and it will be released on the “Prime Crime” line under Jane Jensen.  Now that I’m ‘out’ I’ll be freer to talk about any and all projects as news pops up.

If you like games at all, you might want to check out one of my recent titles. Both of these have a free 1 chapter demo.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary remake — an all new HD remake of my first big game. This is the first game in a paranormal mystery series with some similarities to Supernatural or X-Files.  Also on Steam and GOG.

Moebius: Empire Rising — A Dan Brown-ish conspiracy thriller involving a new theory of space and time. Includes a slashy bromance that will develop over the series.

 

That’s it for this confession. I will be at Romantic Times convention next year in Dallas in May and also the Rainbow Con in Tampa in July. Hope to meet some more of you there!

Eli

 

 

 

 

 

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