Today I am so pleased to welcome Romeo Preminger to Joyfully Jay. Romeo has come to talk to us about his latest release, Thiago. He has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and copies to give away. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
On stepping out as an erotic romance author
Hey folks! Many thanks to Jay for this opportunity to introduce myself and let readers know about my new book.
Just out this week, Thiago is the story of an uptight, financial exec Nate Dennis, who has an unexpected, hot encounter with a security guard afterhours, which plunges him into obsession and possibly something more.
Thiago is my début erotic-romance novel, and naturally, I’m talking it up far and wide. I thought for my stop at Joyfully Jay I’d share a bit about how I got to this point of publishing a hot and sexy, gay love story.
I’ve been writing books for quite a while under a different name, mostly young adult gay fiction and fantasy. Some of my books have romantic storylines, though they’re pretty much subordinate to the main action-adventure.
I work in the education field, with somewhat of a profile, and even being known as the author of those other titles was somewhat of a tentative “coming out” for me. Writing fiction is totally unrelated to my job, so it became a second hat I leave on the rack from 9-5. Still, it’s a significant part of my life and comes up in conversation with colleagues sometimes in the process of building relationships and letting people into my personal life as part of natural conversation.
All of that has worked out pretty fine, but then I started thinking about publishing my more risqué work. I had written sexier stories from time to time, in an experimental way and for my own enjoyment. Just over the past year, I looked back at one of those stories I especially liked, took it further and discovered there was a novel-length manuscript in it. Though I was terrified by the notion of sending it out into the world under my real name. Having a colleague or student Google my name and land on a description of a book I wrote about office sex? My blood pressure shot up just typing that.
So I created this alter ego Romeo Preminger. I know authors use pen names all the time, but it was actually a bit of a big deal for me. I hate the idea of hiding from gay content. There’s already too much of that going on in the world. I lived through hiding before I came out, and I’m fiercely politically and educationally sex-positive. I hate, for example, the double standard that often exists with the portrayal of straight relationships versus gay relationships. We see a ton of heterosexual sensuality on TV, in movies, and on book covers, but there’s still a lot of squeamishness about images of two men kissing, holding hands, and doing things that straight couples do every night on primetime TV. I don’t feel there’s anything controversial about Thiago. It’s definitely for 18+, but the sex scenes are a natural and healthy expression of male sexuality.
On the other hand, those natural and healthy expressions of sexuality I wrote are not something you talk about at work. Or with certain members of your family, or even certain friends. Despite my strong, sex-positive convictions, I’m actually fairly horrified about talking about my own sex life and fantasies, even with my closest friends. I guess that comes from my conservative upbringing. One of my favorite gay political quotes is by comedian Bob Smith. This is somewhat paraphrased as I couldn’t find the precise quote online, but people may remember it from Bob’s stand-up act back in the early 2000s:
“My husband and I demand the right to hold hands in public. As long as we can reserve the right to avoid intimacy with each other in private.”
In the end, it was clear the best choice for me was to publish Thiago as Romeo Preminger, not to create a fake identity out of embarrassment, but as a way of keeping my professional identities separate. And I’m really excited about the book and the new horizons ahead of me. In my previous work, there was always some degree of limitation in exploring the sexuality of the characters, whether for the sake of the YA audience or veering too far from the main themes of the story.
So do feel free to drop me a line, or ask questions in the comments below. I hope you’ll check out the book and let me know what you think!
Thiago is leaning his big frame over the security desk. I stop short. He’s chatting with another guard, probably getting ready to take over the next shift. A half dozen people are strolling through the big space with its gleaming terrazzo tiles, walnut and granite top marquee desk, and glass double doors to the elevator bay. I could fast-track to the bathroom down the hall past the lobby, and Thiago might not see me. That would avoid some awkwardness. In that moment of indecision, Thiago looks over his shoulder, preternaturally. We lock eyes. His face blossoms with a grin.
“Hey, Mr. Dennis.”
I walk over and reach out to shake his hand. “Hey.”
He sets off sparks when he wraps his big, warm hand around mine. A look passes back and forth between him and his colleague, and the other guy gets up, says his see-you-laters, and walks out to the elevator bank.
“Long time, no see,” Thiago says. “They cut my hours,” he adds, with a shrug.
“I was wondering about you.”
A group of people pass through the lobby, putting our conversation on hold. After they’ve made their way down one hall or the other, Thiago looks me over, licks his lips, says quietly. “You miss me, baby?”
My face burns up, and I glance down at my feet. Worries I never thought I had surface up like hives. Did he tell his buddies about banging me the other night? Will all of the security guards be looking at me funny from now on? I manage to pull it together and face him casually. “That was a pretty good time.”
He chuckles softly, and his smile is so disarming. I ease up, re-reading the situation. He’s not malicious. Everything about him is on the surface, including the devouring energy coming from him, which has me feeling small and weak.
“You know where to find me now,” he says.
I think about my business card with my cell phone number, which he never called. “Yeah. You know where to find me too.”
I wander back to the hallway, shortening my steps a bit. When I glance back, Thiago is still watching me. I make my way down to the bathroom.
One guy comes out of the swinging door, and I go in. It’s a big, corporate bathroom with lots of stalls, and the place feels totally vacant. I step up to a urinal, but it’s hard to piss after running into Thiago again. Gradually, a stop-and-go stream comes out of my semi-hard cock.
The door swooshes open. I shake off the last drops, zip up and turn around.
Thiago stands behind me.
I’m startled and turned on by his proximity. He glances toward a back stall, puts a hand on my shoulder, and I’m on a dream-like conveyer belt while he guides me there. Our bodies fill up the space inside. Thiago latches the door shut. He comes at me with his chest and hips crushing my body, and his lips and tongue attack my mouth like he just got out of prison.
He backs me against the steel side of the stall with his full force. The metal wall groans and shimmies, and I have to root my legs so we don’t make too much noise. He unstraps my belt and scoops his hand into my pants. My eyes pop, thinking about someone walking into the bathroom. But once his warm hand closes around me, I’m locked in, not caring about anything else in the world, just wanting that attention from his hand. He squeezes my shaft, digs deeper and squeezes my balls. My hand slips down to his crotch, feeling his heat. I want to touch him too.
Nate Dennis made corporate VP at thirty-one, won’t spend a dime for a taxi or dry cleaning, and is socking away a fortune to retire at forty-five and live large. He’s arranged his life to not make his mom’s mistake of falling in love with a guy who’s going to leave him broken. Besides, any relationship he’s tried has been a helpless puzzle. He’s better at hooking up, no strings attached, and in New York City, there’s no shortage of guys with sick bodies who are interested in the same thing.
Then an afterhours encounter with his company’s new security guard Thiago has Nate questioning everything.
Romeo Preminger is the pen name for an author who sometimes likes to write gay, romantic smut without losing his day job. He’s married to a great guy and believes in happily-ever-after. <em>Thiago</em> is his first erotic-romance. For more about Romeo, visit: http://romeopreminger.wordpress.com
Romeo has brought five ebook copies of Thiago to give away to lucky readers on the blog. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, December 10th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.
This looks so good! I can’t wait to read it!
A pen name isn’t a betrayal of your beliefs…if it’s necessary to give you the freedom you need as an artist, there’s absolutely no shame in that! (And the book sounds very cool…)
I think there is nothing wrong with using a pen name especially under your circumstances. This book sounds good, I can’t wait to read it.
Pen names are wonderful. There used for a variety of reasons. Can’t wiat toread this book.
I don’t expect authors to write with their birth names unless it’s for educational purposes (i.e. medical journals, textbooks, etc). There’s nothing wrong with pen names, it adds a bit of protection and privacy to your RL just like it does to actors.
Congratulations on the new release. I’m glad you are letting your creativity become more expressive, or risquè. Life is complicated and so are adult relationships; ignoring that sex is a part of our lives seems strange to me, but our Puritanical streak is quite wide–which is a perfectly good reason to protect yourself.
Congratulations on the release, that excerpt sounds really good. I understand the use of pen names is a necessity to keep some areas of your life/career separated. There is obviously nothing wrong with it! 😉
I can’t wait to read this. Definitely a Christmas gift to myself! As a former educator I certainly can see needing to have a pen name. You can’t be too careful these days!