How did you start writing gay romance?
Thiago is actually my very first gay romance though I’ve been writing fiction in other genres under a different name for about nine years. Some of those titles have romantic storylines, and I’ve always been interested in human relationships. I get excited myself when I write about a romance blooming between two people. It takes me back to when I was single, and that amazing feeling when you meet someone who could be “the one,” the coy banter, all the expectation that builds up, having that first kiss. I’m kind of a playful, naturally flirtatious guy, and I’m always curious about what makes two people connect.
This full-fledged, sexually graphic romance is the kind of story I’ve wanted to write for a long time, and I finally had the courage to do it. I worried: what will people think of me when they read this really dirty story? I have a day job and a certain profile in my industry, which has nothing to do with writing fiction, let alone erotica.
So I decided to create this pen name Romeo Preminger and to take the chance that some people might enjoy reading about the sexual fantasies swimming around in my brain. I really did set out to make the story as erotic as possible, kind of pushing my own limits to try something different, unstrap the belt that keeps the story in a PG-13 or at least R-rated territory when I’m writing about sex in my other fiction genres.
Though along the way, I got interested in exploring more than just the sex between the two guys. I wanted their relationship to be hot but also relatable, something that actually could happen, to accurately explain how a chance encounter, a really crazy, illicit hook-up could turn into something incredibly deep.
I’m really happy with how the book turned out. It’s definitely relationship-driven, but it’s also about the two main characters’ – Nate and Thiago’s – personal stories. Nate in particular enters the story thinking he knows all he needs to about himself and how to navigate his life, but he comes out with a totally different outlook on who he is, what he needs, and what’s most important to him.
Plotter or pantster?
Well for this book, I was most definitely a panster. The story started with writing about Nate and Thiago fucking in the office, afterhours, and I wasn’t even sure if there was more to it than just an erotic short. It became more than that pretty organically as I thought about what happens next, fleshed out who these two guys were and what do they want, why would their spur-of-the-moment, dangerous quickie lead to a more conventional relationship?
What are three things you have on your writing desk?
I wish I had something more interesting to share! Instead it’s partially embarrassing. An ash tray – because, yes lecture me now, I smoke quite a lot while I write. In the early evening, which is mainly when I write, something to drink like diet coke or seltzer. Later in the evening, a glass of red wine.
Tell us a little about your new release. What character in the book really spoke to you?
Thiago is the story of a financial exec and a temp security guard who fuck around in the office one night and can’t stop thinking about each other.
I love both guys. While Thiago, the security guard, is the one I would more enjoy [ahem] spending time with in real life, I wrote the story from Nate, the Wall Street trader’s point-of-view.
Outside of his attraction to Latin guys, he’s really nothing like me, but he thinks about the world and himself in a way that I think is true to a lot of white, gay men I’ve known. He’s been through tough times, a broken family, growing up with a depressed mother and sister, and he’s aware of homophobia, even if he hasn’t faced much discrimination or negativity. But he’s socially conservative, fiercely individualistic, has little empathy for others, thinks everyone should pull themselves up by their bootstraps because he had to, and he hates “activist gays.”
Despite those sharp edges, I really enjoyed getting into Nate’s psychology and finding the places that challenge him. Initially, I imagine he’s not the kind of person many people will like, but it’s something quite fundamental that I think will make him relatable and a guy to root for. Because, beneath all his bravado and harshness, he’s this guy who’s starving to be loved.
Finish this sentence: I write because ____...
On my good days, I believe the stories in my imagination are worth telling.
What is your favorite type of character to write about?
I definitely fall for flawed, complex characters. Guys who are stumbling around in the dark a bit, knocking against the walls, trying to find their way out.
What is the sexiest scene you ever wrote?
I think the second sex scene with Nate and Thiago is probably my favorite. Thiago follows Nate into the office bathroom, and they head on autopilot into a stall. It’s certainly not the most traditional sex scene, but they can’t keep their hands off each other and they make do getting each other off the only way they can in the small, enclosed space where someone could walk in on them at any moment.
What is next on your writerly horizon?
I’ve got a new erotic romance in the works. New characters, though it also takes place in a work setting. I guess I’m on an office sex kick. J
Contemporary MM Fiction
Nate Dennis made corporate VP at thirty-one, won’t spend a dime for a taxi or laundry, and is socking away enough money 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 hot guys with sick bodies who are interested in the same thing.
Then an afterhours encounter in the office with a new security guard Thiago has him questioning everything.
It’s been a long day in the office, and I’m still responding to an endless string of e-mails. One by one, each member of my team timidly said goodbye for the night, and I’m shocked to notice the time in the bottom right corner of my computer: nine o’clock. I’ve got enough work to keep me going until nine in the morning tomorrow, but I’m feeling like holing up in the office so late is crazy. My eyes are starting to burn from staring at my computer screen. I need to grab something to eat, to strip off my suit, to lay down in bed.
I click open one more e-mail. It will be my last good deed of the night and leave me with one less thing to deal with in the morning. The message is from my company’s Shanghai office, questioning an earlier e-mail they received from London. I work in international investments and trades, and my team members at those offices can never get it together. I start typing a tactful clarification to the guys. With the Shanghai guy just starting his day and London not far behind, I’ll need to log out fast after I send it before one or the other responds with something new to contend with.
A footfall travels from the entrance to my office suite, and the clink of a heavy keychain gains up on me. My company’s floor has got to be deserted at this hour. I figure it must be the security guy from the front desk. I look over to my open door. Thiago stands in the frame with his big, friendly, sexy smile.
“Workin’ overtime, Mr. Dennis?”
I rake a hand through my short, sandy brown, standard-issue Wall Street-cut hair. “The fun never ends,” I say. A grin creeps up on my face. Thiago and I were introduced about a week ago when he started training with the day staff to prep him for working the security desk at night. He instantly caught my attention. The guy’s got magnetic charm, he’s six foot three, built like a fitness model, and he has the face of an exotic god. His uniform is snug around his high shoulders and worked-out chest. I’m trying not to look below the waist, but my eyes have betrayed me on more than one occasion. They must not make relaxed fit uniforms for tall guys with thick shoulders and extra junk in the trunk, and thank the lord for that.
“Been doin’ my rounds,” he says. He leans casually against the doorframe, chewing a bit at the side of one of his fingers. “Jus’ you and me on the floor.”
I figure he’s bored and probably starved for company. We’re alone on the floor. Thiago is smoking hot. I never considered he might be gay and interested in more than small talk. I put aside that staggering possibility. Thiago is just the kind of guy who likes to charm everyone. But it sure is nice to be in his company.
I finish my e-mail, send it off, and push the keyboard away from me on my desk. “You started at seven?” I say, scratching behind my ear.
“Yeah. Seven to seven.” He raises his arm, clasps the back of his neck and bows his hips forward, stretching his back. I’m captivated by the movements of his commanding body. “I can’ take sittin’ down the whole time,” he says.
“I know what you mean.” I stand up, twist my neck with a crack, and arch my back to stretch it.
“You should stand up every forty-five minutes or so,” he says. “I seen that on TV. It’s no good for you office guys to sit so long.”
Thiago told me he’s originally from Brazil. He talks like he’s lived in New York City for a while. A lilt of a Brazilian accent comes out every now and then. The combination is pretty interesting and really sexy. I gaze into his brown eyes until I’m overcome with a sinking, bashful feeling.
About the Author
Romeo Preminger is the pen name for an author who sometimes likes writing gay romantic smut without losing his day job. He’s married to a great guy and believes in happily-ever-after. Thiago is his first erotic romance. For more about Romeo, visit: http://romeopreminger.wordpress.com