E.E. Ottoman

yay

Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

 

I am always up for some coffee.

coffee

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am full time graduate student studying intellectual and cultural American history. Right now I am particularly interested in the history urban space and how that space as utilized and thought about. My other academic interests are many and varies but include civil law and radical Christian theology.

Aside from my academics, I am small, quiet, and love to cook. I’m very in to alternative men’s fashion, dapper and dandyism. I live outside of New York City which I’m still trying to get used to/come to terms with. Everything is so expensive here. I’m an early riser, and more of a cat person although I love dogs too. I am a science fiction, fantasy and comic book geek, a sex geek, and life long Holmsian.  

When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?

Probably “Yes!” with a fist pump. It is always exciting when I get a story accepted since I’m always convinced it’s going to be rejected until I actually see the acceptance letter.

What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?

I consider myself more of a writer of queer genre fiction than a strict M/M romance writer, although I do feel part of that community too. Mostly I just write about queer people some of which are gay, bi or pansexual men. I am fascinated by sex, sexuality and all kinds of intense, long lasting relationships that people can have so that plays a big part in my writing and what I choose to read. Mostly I just write what I want to read and what I want to read is good fantasy, horror and science fiction with LGBTQA characters, that takes sex and relationships seriously. 

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

 Peanut butter is one of my favorites actually, so I’ll take that.

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How many hours a day do you spending writing?

That depends on the day, somedays I only spend a few hours writing, somedays I spend up to eight. I try to write or edit everyday, that’s really my goal. I don’t worry about daily word counts so much as that I’m doing something writing related seven days a week.  

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

 I think I do some of both, I do some small revisions as I go, but there are definitely large ones, that I leave for the end. Like for instance I almost always need to go back and add at least one extra scene during revisions and I usually realize I need to add that scene somewhere around the end of the story but wait until I’ve written all the way through before doing so.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

Again a little of both, I usually have some notes and a rough outline before I start writing. There are definitely lots of things that happen or change while I’m writing though and I generally just go with the flow. I find it useful to have notes and a rough sketch of where I want to go already planned out before hand but too much planning and I get bogged down in the details before I even start writing.

Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?

I really love all my characters each in the their different ways.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

I don’t actually believe writers block exists or at least I’ve never experienced it. I’ve written myself into corners and tried to write stories that were really never meant to be stories, or gotten stuck on a plot point. I’ve never experienced just not being able to write before, never.

I think sometimes I can suffer from anxiety about writing. Sometimes  I think “Oh God, what are people going to think of this?” or “What if I get this wrong, and people hate me forever?”  I think that can be paralyzing in its own way but I’ve learned to just push through that fear and write anyway.

So yeah, generally I just write.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

Nope. I write wherever I happen to be, whether that is at my desk, or on my bed, or the kitchen table, my parents’ porch, on a train, or at the library on my University campus. I like writing in coffee shops, I like writing at whatever I’m using as a desk at the moment, but mostly I just write wherever I happen to be.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

I usually don’t have to. When I’m writing I can tune out just about anything. When people come to talk to me I’ve found after I ignore them for a while and keep on writing they usually go away. My family and friends pretty much know that just leaving me alone to get on with it is a lot less frustrating for them then holding a one sided conversation I’m not even going to remember not really having.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

Intellectual? I guess. I like play on words, I like historical parody, political satire, or things that play into the my ridiculous amount of arcane knowledge. I like darker humor a lot, I’m often delighted by creepy weirdness. But I also enjoy the silly or whimsical from time to time as well.

What is the most frequently asked  question?

Why do I write romance instead of more mainstream fantasy, horror or science fiction probably.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a kind of urban fantasy/science fiction story with a 1950s inspired world.

 I am also in the process of writing the sequel to Like Fire Through Bone.

I have a science fiction long novella I wrote a while ago but is obviously part of a trilogy and I’m doing some research and plotting for the rest of that trilogy. I want to have at least a solid idea where the other two stories are going to go before offering the novella to a publisher.

 I am also kicking around another idea for a story inspired by Russian folklore but no firm plans yet.

So yeah, keeping busy.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?

I read a lot. Other author’s fiction, of course but also history, mythology, archeology, palaeontology all sorts of science stuff, law, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I try to be as well read as possible, but I also try to get out there, live life and have new experience, go new places, talk to people, I think that can help with the writing as well.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?

I adore all sorts of fantasy but also science fiction especially space opera. I also read some horror, historical fiction, and mystery as well. Of course I read all sorts of non-fiction. Between research for books and my own academic research I probably read more non-fiction than fiction these days actually.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer-

 I’d probably go for scientist since when I was in high school I really loved biological anthropology and primatology. I actually almost went to an university with a great primatology program, to study primatology, but history won out in the end.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

 I love to cook, I’m always looking for new and tasty recipes. I love to knit, I just finished a replica Doctor Who scarf. I love dapper menswear fashion and try to stay abreast of the latest trends, via the ridiculous number of menswear fashion blogs I follow, both queer and otherwise. I am more than a little bit of a dandy so I try to fill my closet with amazing and stylish thrift store finds.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

Like Fire Through Bone is out September 13th from Dreamspinner. It is an awesome fantasy novel with a little bit of a horror twist and one of the sweetest couple’s I’ve ever written.

The Memory of Blood and Lotuses comes out on October 30th from Less Than Three Press. It is a vampire story set in a world based on Ancient Egypt and involved high priests, ancient Egyptian Gods and a plot against the Pharaoh. I was also very happy with how my characterization of my vampire character came out. 

Finally Selume Proferre comes out on November 6th from Less Than Three Press. It is a kind of paranormal/urban fantasy story about demonic possession and is my first lesbain romance stand alone novella.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

my blog is: thisjourneywithoutamap.blogspot.com

my twitter is: https://twitter.com/acosmistmachine

my tumbr: http://asofterapocalypse.tumblr.com/

and my facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/EeOttoman

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

 No problem, would you like me to help with the washing up or cook something? ::undoes cufflinks, rolls up sleeves::

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Your Happy End by EE Ottoman


Title: Your Happy End
Author: EE Ottoman
Publisher: Less Than Three LLC
Pages: 58
Characters: Jun and Cooper
POV: Third person
Sub-Genre: Action Adventure/Superheroes
Kisses: 3.75


Blurb:

By day Jun is co-owner of a comic book shop. By night, he provides the high tech gear used by superhero team Ghost Hawk and The Spider. Cooper is the computer genius and information specialist behind the vigilante known as The Shadow Avenger.

Attraction and a love of graphic novels make for a good start, but if they want to last Jun and Cooper will have to overcome secrets, danger, Cooper’s past and Jun’s firm belief that people in the superhero business don’t get happy endings.

Review:

In this action-packed novella, our heroes are not the ‘super heroes’ in tights and capes. Jun works as the tech man for Gosht Hawk and The Spider, while Cooper is the computer whiz intel with the motorcycle riding Shadow Avenger. They are the brains and true unsung heroes behind the scenes.

Taking place in Honolulu, New York born Jun, a genderqueer who prefers to wear cute female outfits (but doesn’t identify himself as a woman), owns a comic book store (he uses it as a cover job). Georgia born Cooper, who identifies himself as cisgender male and gay, likes his graphic novels. After many trips to the comic store to drool over the owner, shy Cooper finally gathers up his courage to ask Jun out for a pizza date.

While on their first date, The Queen of the Skulls (a villain) wreaks havoc in the neighborhood. It is then it comes out that they work for separate superheroes. Both are surprised and besides the love for comics, their jobs bond them even closer.

Later on their second date, Cooper reveals some of his past trauma that with the help of therapy, he has overcome. They have some light sex and decide that maybe there could be a happy ending after all for men like them.

EE Ottoman and Less Than Three Press are new to me. There were a few typos, but nothing to throw me off the grove of the story. I really enjoyed this book and have already recommended this to my geeky comic book friends. The descriptions of the settings were amazing. The plot was interesting and not predictable. The action scenes were fast past and the superheroes themselves were a bit smug, arrogant, a nice contrast to Jun and Cooper. The author’s voice was good and shined through the characters. My only problem was the story was too short – unless the author is planning to do a series. I would have loved to seen Jun and Cooper’s relationship explored a bit deeper.

If you like superheroes, unsung heroes behind the scenes, comic book type stories and a good read, I do recommend this book.

Reviewed By: Dawn

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Queer Fear by Erin Sneath, EE Ottoman, Zach Sweets, Ariel Graham and KA Merikan


Title: Queer Fear
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 121
Characters: Multi-Characters
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Dark Themes, Horror, Romance
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

It’s long been known that fear and arousal create the same type of response inside the human body. Putting them together, then, is a recipe for a scorchingly hot time. Queer Fear does just that by exploring the world of erotic horror. It’s the ultimate marriage of lust and terror, the perfect blend of dark horror elements with sensuality and erotic content. This isn’t some safe and sparkly paranormal romance; this is the place where angels fear to tread, and so would you, if you had any sense. Turn back before it’s too late!

We begin with Reading Arteries, where a new designer drug engineered to force feelings of lust in those who take it. When the men hired to steal the formula decide to try it out, they end up addicted to love. Then, in The Possession of Lawrence Eugene Davis, following the death of his father, Lawrence has returned to his family’s ranch, but is quickly set upon by a demonic presence. Hope for release comes with the conveniently-appearing Elijah, but the deal he offers may be just as unholy as the demon itself. Next, The Dark Revelation brings us Derek, constantly at war with his darker half, a demon who uses Derek’s body to rape and kill. And though Derek tries to isolate himself from people, nowhere is truly empty, and Derek’s demon hungers again. The Pain Cycle follows Luke, despondent over the disappearance of his lover six months ago. When he witnesses a friend dragged into a tunnel by a hideous creature, he gives chase, only to learn the chilling truth about his lover—and who knows how many others. Finally, in Matthew Powers Lives!, a porn shoot in a former mental hospital is plagued by strange equipment failures, leading the crew to believe the site is haunted. For Matthew, those fears are confirmed when a restless spirit confronts him personally, and he’s a hottie!

Review:

Anthologies can be a tricky read. I’ve read several of them where there might be a story or two that didn’t keep my interest. I can honestly say that Queer Fear definitely delivered! Between the mystery, scary moments and steamy sex, this is Queer Fear is an anthology not to be missed!

Reading Arteries
by Erin Sneath 3 out of 5 Kisses

This story disturbed me a little. I thought the premise to it was interesting, but maybe because it felt rushed, it didn’t jive with me in some way. I did like the chemistry between the two men. I thought the whole scenario of taking a drug to make them fall *temporarily* in lust with each other was interesting and disturbing at the same time. If the author meant to creep me out, then it worked!

The Possession of Lawrence Eugene Davis by EE Ottoman 4.5 out of 5 Kisses

I enjoyed this story a lot. It read like a fast-paced novel and before I knew it, the story was over. There is plenty of action, mystery and intrigue that kept me anticipating what was going to happen next. I found myself liking Lawrence and Elijah and I hated to see it come to an end.

The Dark Revelation by Zach Sweets 5 out of 5 Kisses

Wow! From the first sentence to the last word, this story kept me on the edge of my seat. It read as if it was a true horror book, but with a romantic twist. I liked how Mr. Sweets seemed to really know his characters and wrote them in a way that I found myself really caring about them. I’m definitely going to be looking out for more books written by him.

The Pain Cycle by Ariel Graham 4.25 out of 5 Kisses

This short was filled with action and intrigue. I really liked the main hero Luke and found myself really rooting for everything to go alright for him. I thought the secondary characters were interesting and enjoyed the action filled fight scene. Very enjoyable horror story!

Matthew Power’s Lives!
By KA Merikan 5 out of 5 Kisses!

I really enjoy KA Merikan’s stories. They always have a very unique voice and I love their characters. This story definitely had a creepy feel to it. Between the spooky things that went on at the mental hospital and the hot chemistry between Matt and Will, this was one of my favorites. I will say it had a little bit of a bittersweet ending to me, but I still loved it and wished there was more of it.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Dracones by Averly Vanderlyle, DK Jernigan, EE Ottoman, Lor Rose, ER Karr, Tam Ames and Megan Derr

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Title: Dracones Anthology
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 235
Characters: Anthology—Many Characters
POV: 3rd and 1st
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Erotic Romance
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Almost every ancient civilization has stories of some form of dragon, from the winged serpents of Asian lore to the traditional Western image of the fire-breathing behemoth. Literature is filled with stories of valiant heroes riding into the jaws of danger to slay the beast and rescue the princess. But sometimes, the knight in shining armor is less interested in the maiden in distress than in the dragon he’s supposed to slay. Dracones brings together seven stories detailing the power and majesty of a dragon’s love.

Most of the humans in Fugue in Gold and Fire are unknowingly animals in human form, and when the Vesti Moon rises, the animal forms break free, with no memory of their human lives. Lovers Adri and Dru search for a way to recognize each other during the change, but when Dru’s true form turns out to be a dragon, he considers never changing back. Peter Harington aspires to be a Teller of Tales when he submits his fictional dragon manuscript for publication. Tom, the editor assigned to work with Peter, though, finds the worldbuilding a little too real and is determined to learn the truth. When the dragon Daire is wounded, only the Weird Magics of alchemist Cyras can heal him. But when one of the fae is found killed and her blood drained, Daire suspects his savior of illegal experimentation and murder.

Then, in Chanson Commencante de Guerre, the ancient dragon Rayvak finds himself strangely drawn to the young dragon shifter Stormy, despite the years of war between the dragons and the dragon shifters. The two must overcome centuries of animosity if they are to find any happiness together. Psychic David and his dragon lover Ferdie are literally Two in the Bush when their camping trip is interrupted by the magical guardians of their forest. They can sense the power of the dragon, but believe that David and Ferdie have it bound and demand that they release it or die! Finding the Rain is the task charged to Buwei, sent with offerings to the Dragon Lord Shenlong in hopes of ending his province’ drought, a journey none have ever returned from. But the dragon’s temple keeper, Tian, wants Buwei for himself and is willing to defy even the great dragon to keep him. Finally, in Lukos Heat, a mission of revenge sends the dragon Najlah into the mountains and into an unlikely partnership with the wolf shifter Barkus. And the closer they get to their quarry, the more they realize that nothing is as it appears.

Review:

Fugue in Gold and Fire by Averly Vanderlyle

Scholar Adri and his lover Dru, a tavernkeeper and an inventor, are preparing for an event that last happened a thousand years ago. When the purple moon Vesti rises, everyone except children and the elderly change shape into animals, real and mythical. This change is permanent unless the person remembers who they are within the beast form they take. Most never do, says the chronicles. When the day comes, what happens to the two men who love each other when one’s real shape is a mythical beast and the other’s is… a man?

We are shown an intricate world preparing to lose a major part of their population, and a city on the verge of almost steampunk discoveries of electricity and other technical inventions, and yet facing a magical, divine event. The culture is fascinating, and the bond between the two heroes is shown with warmth, friendship, and shared humor. Rebuilding a ravaged world and a bond with a dragon are matched in a very effective juxtaposition. We get details of a larger world expanding beyond the confines this story, and that made this a truly enjoyable read for me. Recommended.

Teller of Tales by D.K. Jernigan

Peter Harrington is a dragon who has lived as a human among them for centuries. He’s been banished from his own people because he’s gay. Now, once learning about a new modern dragon stories in the making, Peter starts his own story about dragons. Doing so, he attracts the attention of Thomas Dougherty, an editor. Once they meet, Peter realizes Tom is a virgin, therefore attracting Peter’s dragon instincts to mate. And Tom begins to sense there’s more to the story then he’s being led to believe. But knowing the bond is for life, Peter fights the urge—until Tom takes matters into his own hands.

This takes place in modern Las Vegas. There’s an instant attraction between Tom and Peter. Tom likes his job as an editor, always on the lookout for a new creative tale, but not having much of a personal life. Peter lives in an upscale apartment, a rich and cultured individual with some old-fashioned notions. In short, they are very different, distinct characters who come through clearly. Peter goes through a lot of introspection and Tom has doubts, but you know these two belong together. A good story which I quite liked, told in both 1st and 3rd person.

Weird Magics by E.E. Ottoman

Daire is a wyrm dragon, a powerful cold seas-preferring creature who has had his magic stolen from him by a blood curse from an unknown alchemist. Daire has come to New York to search for the alchemist, but without his powers he’s as weak as a human. To heal him comes Cyras, an alchemist who has been treating supernatural beings for a long time, and is just learning that these creatures are being killed and drained of their blood by mysterious foes. With Cyras’s help, Daire learns of a method to rekindle his magic—and the hunt is on.

The industrial revolution is well on its way here, and new technologies work alongside magic. The supernatural beings are a well-known secret. What we have here is a tight-spaced action adventure that ends in a magic-and-gun-fight. Cyras is a sweet positive characters, idealistic and smart, where Daire is cynical and always expecting the worst. Yet, these two bond together, though initially mostly hostile. I liked the way this story fused together different genres, from fantasy and paranormal to steampunk and action tales. I quite liked this.

Chanson Commencante de Guerre by Lor Rose

For hundreds of years, a war has raged between dragons and dragon shifters. At first glance this seems like the sillies thing to fight over, but there you have it. Rayvak is an ancient dragon, a hermit-like loner who no longer likes to reminisce his battle days and now lives far from his own kind in a cabin in the woods. One day he comes across a hunted, badly wounded young man, Stormy, who also happens to be a dragon shifter—and Rayvak’s mate. This is strictly forbidden, but the mating call is strong. But what happens when five dragons come in search of their quarry?

There’s a lot of ponderings and inner musings in this one. But the reasons for the war are not give, and the ending is abrupt, without much closure. Rayvak is protective and strong, while Stormy is smaller, shyer, and filled with resentment over dragons who have abused him through violence and rape. Having a dragon for a mate is not to his liking, and he tries to flee. But Rayvak is possessive too. They do find a rapport of sorts, but I never got to know these men very well, let alone the situation they find themselves in. Everything is only alluded to, nothing told or shown. Frustrating. And the present tense didn’t really help matters. Still, an okay story.

Two in the Bush by E.R. Karr

David, a PI, and his boyfriend of six months, Ferdie, a dragon without much magic as his heartstone is broken, are supposed to be having a fun camping trip in a national forest. But then they awake bruised and battered with little memory of what happened only to find their tent, their car, and all other campers and rangers around gone. And when giant flying beings land from the skies to punish the humans who are keeping a dragon prisoner everything goes from bad to worse. Ferdie cannot change to his true shape to convince no one is being held captive, so for David he makes a big sacrifice—without David’s approval.

Told in first person from David’s point of view, we’re shown a telepathic man who has come to know and love Ferdie, the dragon who due to youthful recklessness cannot shift to dragon form very often. This is written like a stream of consciousness. It’s funny. And the giant flying guardians are scary and very effective. One wing stroke, and it’s adios muchachos. The caring that these two men feel for each other is shown with little details and humor, and I liked their interaction. I liked this story.

Finding the Rain by Tam Ames

Buwei is a lonely farmer taking care of his mother and grandmother during a draught that’s lasted for years. He is tasked by the Governor of the province to find Lord Shenlong, the dragon who controls rain, and give him tribute to end the draught. Having no choice, Buwei leaves. At the temple high up in the mountains it rains all the time. Lord Shenlong is a no show, but a beautiful young man, Tian, bids him welcome and asks him to tell him stories. But their time together is limited. When Buwei returns home, the Governor has gone back on his word to take care of Buwei’s family while he’s gone, and they are dead. But a leader should know better than to defy the morals of highly ethical dragons.

This was by far my favorite story in this anthology. Reading like a fairytale, this story shows us a poor man who is by nature good and honest, and he knows many stories. Tian’s attraction baffles him, but through little touches, kisses and closeness they are drawn together. It was wonderful to read about another culture where dragons are seen as wise, benevolent, highly ethical, and in many ways more civilized than humans. Lord Shenlong is no beast, but a god in his own right. I loved the culture, the plot, the lessons we’re given, justice, love, and happiness all rolled into one. Highly recommended!

Lukos Heat by Megan Derr

Najlah has dragon features even when he is in human form, and due to his fangs and tongue he cannot speak. He is part of a royal shifter corps on the trail of an attempted assassin of the king. Najlah’s brother was injured in the attack. Now the corps have entered the Shide Mountain range, far too cold for Najlah. They are met with the inhabitants of the wilderness, the Lukos pack, or wolf shifters. Their leader, Barkus, takes an immediate interest in Najlah who hasn’t sough company of any kind because his dragon plays too rough for any potential lover. Barkus doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. Their adversary, however, seems to posses powerful magic, sending blizzards, golems, and wild mgic after them. But when they find the assassin, however, they’re left with more questions than answers.

This one was a great read. Irritating at the end when things cut off so darn abruptly, but a great story that reads like a prologue to a set of tales. Everything feels detailed and thought out, a fully fledged world. We get hints of this larger world, Najlah IS a dragon with dragon behavior and facets—more than any other dragon in this anthology—and he and Barkus find new and exciting ways to communicate since Najlah cannot speak. This is a wonderful conclusion to the anthology, but I do hope the writer gives us more of this world later on. I want to know what happens next!

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Reviewed By: Susan