Category Archives: GQ extras

newsletter GQ bonus story

I decided awhile back I should do a newsletter, but I didn’t have anything specific in mind because I am TOTAL SHIT at marketing, and I didn’t realize I was supposed to have special stuff waiting for my subscribers the minute they got on board. I really did just think people would sign up whenever, and eventually I’d send them something, and we’d all be okay with that. Which is in fact how it’s going down, but I just want you to know that I realize now that my methods are artless and utterly without added value.

However, since it’s almost Xmas, I’m thinking I’ll send newsletter people a present: a preliminary version of the Charles/Simon story I’ve mentioned in the past. This story will eventually go into a book I’ll be asking people to pay for, possibly in altered form, but I’m pretty happy with it as it is, so I doubt it will change terribly much. It’s about 12K words and depicts an auction day completely different than Henry and Martin’s.

So this is me giving you advance warning that a thing you might want could be yours if you add yourself to my mailing list in the next few days. Since I have had a theoretical newsletter for months now without sending out a single missive, rest assured I won’t be spamming you with DG news.

The newsletter sign-up is over in the right-hand column if you’re on a computer, down below the blog posts if you’re on mobile.

dances and debutantes

le quadrille a bullier / philippe jacques linder
le quadrille a bullier / philippe jacques linder

I cannot dance. I was after the Mr. forever to take ballroom dance lessons with me, and when he finally relented, I turned out to be the worst dancer imaginable. Graceless, herky-jerky and unleadable. But I love the idea of wearing a ball gown and doing some formal, ritualistic dance, and obviously it’s the sort of thing Henry would love, too.

Continue reading dances and debutantes

Valentine’s Day visuals

doubt notI must confess, I think telling someone you love them for the first time on Valentine’s Day is embarrassingly corny–but that’s Henry. He’s sweet and sappy, and he wants to do the same things any young man in love would do. He wants his love to receive the same consideration as a “normal” person’s.

Continue reading Valentine’s Day visuals

deleted scene – AWR Chapter 18

In Chapter 18 of A Willful Romantic (GQ Book 3), Martin reads Henry the February installment of Drake’s Progress and that’s that. There was, however, an entire sex scene that originally finished off the chapter which was cut in the final round of editing.

There are all sorts of reasons for cutting a scene, many of them well-thought-out and logical, but this one got cut because I just didn’t want it in the book, basically. I do love the conversation they have at the end, though, and I tried to think of a way to keep that, but the book’s fine without it.

It’s a sex scene so it’s NSFW, obviously.

Virgin Game – AWR Chapter 18

Magic and card-throwing

Henry and his friends and all of their slaves go to see a vaudeville show in November, and they are greatly impressed by a magician-mesmerist and his comely assistant.

The magician’s trunk trick and floating girl levitation trick are derived from detailed descriptions of illusions of the general time period. While the multiplying/dividing rabbit trick is also based off of illusions real magicians of the period performed, I have no idea how it is accomplished. Obviously, witches and warlocks are involved.

(all videos are short because I have no patience for videos, seriously)

Short, blurry video of an Asrah levitation trick.

Continue reading Magic and card-throwing

Martin’s dirty book

dirty book is rarely dusty

Toward the end of A Most Personal Property, Henry and Martin have a conversation about what sorts of dirty stories they’ve read. Henry tells Martin about the excerpts James read him from Psychopathia Sexualis, and Martin relates the following:

“Oh, there was a book, Sir, that we all read in secret, though our teachers must have known we had it. I don’t know what it was called because the cover was missing—as were some of the pages, for that matter. It was very dirty, Sir! It was from England, I think, as some of the words were different than we use, and it was about a family who all had sex with one another, mothers and sons, aunts and nephews. I know that feeling you referred to, Sir, excited and sick. You don’t want to like it, but you do, in some deep way, and your prick responds just as it would to something you really want.”

There is an actual book I had in mind when Martin gives that description, and thanks to Project Gutenberg, you can read it, too:

FORBIDDEN FRUIT, Luscious and Exciting Story AND More Forbidden Fruit OR Master Percy’s Progress In and Beyond the Domestic Circle (1898) (most definitely NSFW)

It has more than its share of title, as you can see. It is perverse and ridiculous. It contains pedophilia, incest, rape, florid language, and the term “fucker” used as an endearment, and it is absolutely the sort of thing a bunch of teenage Victorians would furtively pass around their dormitory.

There’s actually a lot of Victorian porn available online, and I read quite a bit of it trying to find just the right story for Martin and his friends. Honestly, though, I think they’d have been happy with anything, and that description would fit about half the Victorian porn out there anyway (they were really into incest!). Regardless, it made me happy to have a specific book in mind when writing the scene.

Coney Island and Steeplechase Park

In writing a turn-of-the century story, I wanted to include as much detail from the period as was practical, to give the characters a real world to live in. Young people in New York in 1900 would definitely have gone to the shore and visited the amusement park. Steeplechase Park opened in 1897 and more or less created the template for all the amusement parks that would follow.

The steeplechase ride the boys go on in A Most Personal Property looks fun and exhilarating, but it also seems very possible for people to just fall off the horses and break their necks.

The steeplechase ride was definitely in place in 1900, but I can be less sure about Blowhole Theater. References indicate that some version of it was always part of the steeplechase ride, so I chose to include it. The video is quite obviously from the mid-1920s, but you certainly get the idea!

Verisimilitude note: Today, the season at Coney Island ends at Halloween, and I have it ending in October in the book. However, it’s likely that in 1900 the season actually ended in September. I really wanted to send them to an amusement park, but it just wouldn’t have worked in the September timeline, so I used the modern schedule.

interview by Leta Blake at Keira Andrews’ blog

In case you missed it, the interview I did with Leta Blake is posted at Keira Andrews’ blog.

Superior Slaves? Shy Masters? A New M/M Romance Series by Darrah Glass

If you haven’t read Keira’s highly-acclaimed gay Amish romance, Forbidden Rumspringa, you’re missing out on a wonderfully angsty, romantic love story and a glimpse into a community you might not be familiar with.  Isaac and David’s story is unforgettable and I recommend it wholeheartedly!

Martin’s music

Martin is working on a piece of music throughout the GQ series and I never name it, but I definitely had a specific piece in mind. I am not deeply knowledgeable about classical music or musicians, but I know what I like, and I absolutely love the Bach partitas and sonatas for solo violin, especially Partita No. 2 in D Minor and its challenging chaconne.

I have recordings of these works by a variety of musicians, and originally the version of the chaconne I had in mind for Martin was by Lara St. John, a favorite of long standing. I searched on YouTube to find video of her or anyone else playing the chaconne, and I came across this:

I’d never heard of James Ehnes. With his brown suit and conservative haircut, he looked more like an insurance salesman than an artist to my critical eye. My expectations were low when I hit play.

OH MY GOD. Plaintive, sobbing notes full of  longing, played with precision. It is more than a little sexy to me! Every time I listen to this (and I listen to it a lot), at the 6:30 mark I always have to actually stop what I’m doing and watch him play.

Mr. Ehnes performed with the symphony here last year, although unfortunately he didn’t play Bach. But I took binoculars so I could watch his hands and was as excited as a tween at a One Direction concert. I’ve got his studio recordings of both this Bach and the Elgar I actually saw him play, and while the recordings are beautiful and among my favorites, I think he’s a performer whose playing becomes much more expressive and impressive in the presence of an audience.

Anyway, I am definitely not claiming that Martin would play this terribly difficult piece nearly this well, but only that this is what he would have in his head; this would be the ideal version he would be attempting to match or surpass when he practiced the piece.