“It’s one thing to have the hots for your boss, another to be a peeping tom.”

Portrait of a handsome man

The finish line is in sight. Here is an excerpt from my upcoming novel Missionary.

My hands shook as I attempted to get my key in the door. I’d berated myself on the walk home, the inability to keep my thoughts professional bothering me. I needed this job, and if I ever got caught snooping it would be gone in a heartbeat. It’s one thing to have the hots for your boss, another to be a peeping tom.

I didn’t know what to do with myself, not wanting to give in to urges I shouldn’t be having in the first place. His eyes looked directly into mine whenever I closed them, and I was unable to process what this meant. The fact was, I was unused to these feelings. I’d been a hermit for so long that lust had become an unfamiliar companion, so when it reared it’s three-horned head, I floundered for reasons to actually feel the way I did. I went to the kitchen for a glass of juice, and when I reached up into the cabinet for a glass I found myself grinding my dick into the countertop, my breathing heavy. Shit, I’m humping my kitchen.

Something’s got to give.

I left my glass in the kitchen, went to the bedroom and threw myself on the bed. I ignored my first instinct and grabbed my laptop instead, opening up the novel I was apparently never going to finish, thinking I could pour my frustrations into the manuscript. Maybe intellectual exercise would distract me from the boner that would not die. Memories of Fernando greeting me this morning was fresh in my ears, and my eyes. The black pajama bottoms clinging to him, and the contrast between his olive skin and the tight white fabric of his t-shirt played on repeat, while I worked harder to keep the image of his near naked body swimming laps even further away.

Maybe if I could just get it out of my system, give in to the fantasy just once, I’d be able to be around him without wanting to run my hands through his thick, glossy hair that looked so sexy slicked back and wet. I mean, how could I sit across from him everyday and not think about the treasure trail leading down to the bulge in his black, skimpy shorts that left so little to my already overactive imagination?

Without conscious thought my fingers unzipped my khakis and pulled my length out, squeezing the head, a pearl-sized drop of pre-come gathering at the tip. I groaned, impatient for the satisfaction I needed, wishing it was somebody else, not my hand.

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#amwriting #gayfiction #mmromance

Saint Brig Completed and Sloan Johnson Rocks!

Vertical image of man in striped sweater

One of the things I do to get in my characters head is to write a biography of them. Usually this is a page or two that gives me a basic overview of their life and emotional well-being, or lack of. While working on my next book Missionary, I did my usual bit, writing out a brief synopsis of my main character Brigham. He’s fascinating to say the least, and easy to love.

What started off as being just a couple of pages turned into a story in itself. I’m already three quarters of the way through Missionary, and Brig’s backstory grew into a separate tale of it’s own. In order to do this complex character justice, I’m releasing it as a short story simultaneously with the publication of Missionary. No publication date has been set, but editing has already begun, and the cover has been made by the amazing Sloan Johnson, so it should be before the end of June.

Oh, one more thing. If you are not aware of this, Sloan just released an amazing five star book that everyone should read. False Start (Wilmington Breakers Book 2) is available now on Amazon in Kindle Unlimited.

Deep Point of View; Bonding Readers to Your Story, And an Excerpt From My Latest Work in Progress.

I grew up in a household filled with books. My father worked in publishing, nothing glamorous, on the sales end of things, but he constantly brought books home for us. This prompted the dream of actually writing fiction as a way of making a living, so I threw my hat into the publishing ring and wrote gay erotica for awhile, and once I found my footing, I decided to take it a step further.

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Macho was my first step. I wrote this novella while my father was in the process of dying, and it ended up being darker than I wanted, but I also felt the writing style was distancing for the reader. This is how I am in real life, and I think it’s an impediment to getting a reader hooked into the story. So how could I overcome my natural inclination for emotional distance?

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I looked to authors I loved to read in order to find a solution to this problem, and two came to mind, both very capable writers who really know how to bond readers with their characters.

Mercy Celeste is a successful author of M/M fiction, and I enjoy reading her work because she really gets into the heads of the characters. A great example is Out of The Blues. She totally inhabits the head of Mason, and I want to write in a way that gives readers a similar experience. I’m currently living in a similar small town in Georgia, and I totally understood what Mason was going through. I usually live up north, and being here is a bit of a culture shock.

After my father passed away, I read a book by Seth King called Straight. I fell in love with this book because of the writing style, and the way he stripped the author voice out of the narrative. I realized, if I want that emotional intimacy to take place between the reader and the book, deep pov was the way to go, at least for my next book.

For those who don’t read gay fiction, think of Katniss in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The entire story is told in first person from her perspective, in a style that is now called Deep Point of View.

Deep POV

Writing in deep point of view requires the writer to take themselves out of the story, and allow the characters to completely speak on their own. Here is an example from my latest work in progress, Saints of Liberty Park.

A wooden cross with sky

“You’re a man now, an imperfect man who has no place here. Pack your bags and get out.” Dad’s forehead wrinkled and his eyes narrowed. I was caught off guard, unable to comprehend what he was talking about.

“Dad, I’m sorry, I don’t understand? What have I done? I…”

“There is nothing else for you to say. You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. It is written in Leviticus, and we follow God’s law in this house.” His left fist punched his right palm as he said this; otherwise there was no change in his facial expression. Dad’s voice was monotone, which meant extreme anger. The more he controlled his emotions, the more I had to fear. I backed away, only to run into the wall behind me. Startled, I hit my head, and his voice continued to strike out.

“You have all you require to make it on your own. I have been lenient, allowing you to stay through graduation. You shall leave here at once. Get your belongings and get out of my house. You are no longer welcome.” He sneered, the only emotion he allowed on his otherwise blank face. I stared into his hard, green eyes, trying to fathom what I was hearing. For a moment, I thought I saw something, a glimmer of hope perhaps?

His eyes dropped from my gaze, his feet turned and he stalked out of the room as ominously as he’d entered it.

Essentially I have done my best to strip my voice from the narrative- it’s all about the protagonist, what he sees, hears, and feels. My intention is to place readers in the mind of Brigham, the main character, to feel his fear and disappointment.

Before I arrived at the place where I wanted to write in this style, I was a staunch supporter of keeping an emotional distance between the reader and the characters on the page. Why? Because I naturally do that. I love boundaries, and think they are there for a reason.

Now that I see the finiteness of life, maybe it’s time to shed some of these boundaries, and experience things on a more visceral level. Fuck distance, let’s experience things first hand, real experiences, even if they are just fiction.

New Bookstore, and Enrique gets real about the business.

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I’m really excited to announce my very own bookstore, where I will be selling not only my own books, but books by other authors that I recommend. Books will be available for Amazon Kindle in the .mobi format, and also in the epub format for the majority of other e-readers, including iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

It’s difficult to make a living writing gay fiction, especially when dealing with the myriad of rules and details each storefront wants the publisher to adhere to. One of the things that rubbed me the wrong way at the beginning was the Kindle Unlimited program run by Amazon. Because they require books to be exclusively sold through Amazon, it limits the reach I have to readers throughout the world.

It might surprise you to know that I sell books in parts of Africa and Asia where Amazon doesn’t even have much of a presence. I feel a responsibility to the lonely person in Gabon, or Azerbaijan who is able to buy my books. If they were exclusive to Amazon, the only way readers would be able to buy them would be with a credit card based in the US or the EU. Amazon then adds an additional $2.00 surcharge on top of it that the author doesn’t see. Because Amazon is the largest storefront, they have this power.

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The reality is, I have to make a living. I hate the idea of being exclusive to Amazon, or any other storefront. I want my words to reach readers anywhere in the world, on any type of device possible, so I’m making a difficult decision to bridge the gap between KU, and my ideals. From the next book forward I’ll be distributing my books in a hybrid fashion.

The plan is to release my books to fans from my very own bookstore for the first week, then pulling it from there and making it exclusive to Amazon for the next 90 days. Regardless of how successful it is in KU, it will only be in KU for 90 days because I want readers all over the world to have access to these books, not just in the 20 countries Amazon has a store.

I write books about love and sex from the perspective of being a gay man, because I felt excluded by the publishing industry. I know readers around the globe are hungering for different books too, and hopefully I’m able to help them. I grew up with a father who was in publishing, so books were a constant in my life from the cradle on. Now that he’s passed away, it is an honor and a privilege to carry on the family tradition, albeit in my own unique way.

Crush on sale!

This story holds a special place in my heart. Most stories about losing your virginity are awkward, comic, or incredibly awful to say the least. My experience was the opposite; it was very romantic, and definitely worth the wait. I wanted to convey how special that was for me, fictionalized of course!

Crush is on sale today for .99. It’s a sweet and steamy short story that will make you laugh, take you on a trip down memory lane, and hopefully make you hot and bothered…

On sale today at all storefronts including Amazon and iBooks.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/crush/id1216303174?mt=11

https://www.amazon.com/Crush-Enrique-Cruz-ebook/dp/B06XNKWQ6L/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8