Gabbi Reviews: Love on the Rails by John Simpson

Title: Love on the Rails
Author: John Simpson
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 50
Characters: Allister Brockman, Alessandro Amadore
POV: 3rd Limited
Sub-Genre: Erotic Romance
Kisses: 4.5






Blurb:

Hot as the sun! More explosive than a firecracker! Read the sizzling short story about two strangers who meet accidentally on the world’s most famous train, and how the plans of one man are totally destroyed. Is human nature changeable? Read the story of how Allister Brockman and Alessandro Amadore spend a couple days together, and maybe more!

Review:

Whew! Within the first page or two, John Simpson’s book, Love on the Rails made me break out in a sweat. Between the sizzling hot sex scenes and the gorgeous, seductive characters, Love on the Rails was a highly satisfying read from start to finish.

Allister Brockman is looking for a good time. While traveling on his business ventures, Allister decides to take advantage of the beautiful scenery of Europe and its gorgeous men. Sparks fly the moment he notices and meets, Alessandro. Allister immediately sets out to seduce the sexy, glamorous man, but as the two men talk, Allister soon finds himself in an unfamiliar territory…soon the seducer becomes the seduced and the control that Allister once held onto so tightly is submitted to the intense need of being controlled.

I really like confident men. Both Alessandro and Allister reek intelligence, sexiness and glamour. I was immediately swept up into the intriguing life both Allister and Alessandro live and thoroughly enjoyed watching Allister’s self-discovery of being submissive…which is something he never allowed himself to tap into. When it comes to taking what they want, both men take no prisoners and are immediately caught up in a possible, budding relationship that this reader was captivated by. Like most short stories, I do wish the book had been longer. Just when things started to get super intriguing and well…HOT…it was sadly over. But, Love on the Rails ends on a very positive note and this reader certainly hopes Mr. Simpson will one day write more about these two sexy men in the future.

The sex between these two men is so hot, this reader had to turn the air conditioner on…and it’s the middle of January! Whew! If you are looking for an erotic read that will leave you both satisfied and craving for more, then Love on the Rails is definitely the book for you!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Love on the Rails!

Lydia Reviews: Into the Dark Void by John Simpson and Robert Cummings


Title: Into the Dark Void
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Authors: John Simpson & Robert Cummings
Pages: 200
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

In an attempt to answer that centuries-old question, scientists sent probes into the void, hoping they’d be found by intelligent life forms. In hindsight, it’s decided that giving possibly hostile races directions back to Earth might be a dangerous idea, and the United Space Force Marines are dispatched to recover the probes.

Corporal David Creswell has become a little too close to Blake Bickford, a recent graduate from Marine training, and fraternizing is against regulations. They manage to keep their romance under the radar until they are reassigned to a classified mission to retrieve the probes—aboard a ship where they’re clearly not welcome. While trying to discover who is playing with Earth’s toys in deep space, they’ll give new meaning to “leave no man behind.”

Review:

Into the Dark Void is a science fiction story co-written by authors John Simpson and Robert Cummings. These two authors write so well together that it is impossible for the readers to guess which writer is doing the writing.

Into the Dark Void follows two soldiers, members of the United Space Force Marines; from the time they meet and are assigned together. There is a strong connection between these two men, but David is Blake’s superior and fraternization is not allowed. In the beginning the two men are able to keep their relationship a secret, to some extent. When they are both assigned to a classified mission however their relationship is revealed and leads to some strong punishment. I could not believe how the men’s superiors handled the men’s relationship. The method they used to punish the men is harsh and I am not surprised by the affect it had on either of them.

While David and Blake are dealing with the repercussions of their relationship the mission must go forward, however, things are not what they seem. There are a lot of twists and turns on this mission. Not everyone is trust worthy and the men start to wonder just what is going on. There are a few OMG moments and I could not wait to see how this story would play out.

For me, one of the best parts of Into the Dark Void is the interaction between David and Blake. I loved the way they were both gentle and fierce. The way they treated each other allowed the reader to see the love that existed between them.

While I have read other books by Mr. Simpson, I do not believe I have read anything by Mr. Cummings. After reading this story I will have to keep my eyes open for more books by both authors. Anyone who enjoys the science fiction sub-genre really should give Into the Dark Void a chance.

Reviewed by: Lydia

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

How does a Marine Sniper Vet, who is Gay and has PTSD, put his life back together again?

We here at Top2Bottom are strong supporters in the LGBT community. We do our part by trying to bring awareness through our reviews of the stories written by everyday people. We wanted to give a post to co-author and friend, John Simpson who is working hard at the project listed below. People in this industry are incredibly giving, and we’ve all witnessed this action each time they gather together to raise money for people who really need it, and for people who love to con others in parting with their hard earned money. Seeing as how this film will approach a real-life issue, why not help out and see the awareness spread. I’ve posted what the funding page supplied with the permission of John Simpson.

Even if you can’t afford to donate, please share this with everyone you can. It’s so much more than another sex scene in a book.

Please follow this link to donate now

The Beach House will be one of the first LGBT films focusing on gays in the military. More importantly, what happens when they return to the states, often with PTSD.

As the filmmaking team, our goal is to make an important film that sheds light on the struggles that our vets, both gay and straight, have when they return home. The Beach House will be a beautiful, engrossing and romantically charged film.

It will have a realistic budget, efficient shooting schedule and will show a love story never before seen in an LGBT film.

That said, the total minimum budget for this film is forty thousand dollars, ($40,000) Any money raised above that amount will go towards the cost of conducting this campaign and then to entering the finished film into well-known film festivals and advertising.

Michael Simon has been retained to direct The Beach House. Michael’s last film, The Love Patient, which was both written and directed by him, received a global distribution deal with TLA Releasing and was shown on Here! TV. The film won TLA’s Gaybie Award for Best Romance/Comedy 2012.

One of Michael’s earlier projects, “Gay Zombie,” recently created a stir at Harvard University. On that, Michael has this to say: “Today is the day Gay Zombie screens in a class at Harvard University. They have now contacted me for another copy (of the movie) to be a permanent addition to the Andover Harvard Theological Library!”
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2556962/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2

Just one reason that John, the screenwriter, has such confidence in the creativity and professionalism of Michael Simon. Michael, along with John, will also act as Producer and co-producer. We are happy to give substantial donors the title of Executive Producer.

John Simpson adapted the screenplay from his book of the same name, published by Dreamspinner Press. John has written over fifty published books and was named by Genre Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential gay people in America at the beginning of the century. John has won many accolades for his writing and even acted in a television pilot for Lion Television of New York. John is also listed in the IMdB under his full name for appearing in a documentary film on gay marriage as an early supporter of the movement. John was also featured in Vincent Cianni’s documentary photo book, “Gays in the Military.”

Regarding production: Michael has a knack for getting films made on time and within a limited budget. The Beach House will only shoot for nine days, which will help with costs and immerse the cast and crew in the world of our leads, Keith & Jeff. The crew will be small and tight: no giant trucks or excessive bodies. The shoot will be quick and efficient. We will soon name our Director of Photography who will be joined by his assistant, sound, lights, a production assistant or two and that’s it.

Although the budget includes scoring, mixing, mastering and color correcting, any extra money raised will make the post-production process that much easier and help us with entry to film festivals and advertising.

The cast will be no less than stunning! We have signed on Dusty Alvarado to play the role of the troubled Marine. As you can see in the video, he is a dynamic new talent who will undoubtedly deliver a star-making performance. We are fortunate to round out the cast with some serious acting chops in the co-lead Jake Ferree and supporting roles.

As for the movie itself, here’s a summary that will more fully describe it!

The path of two men’s lives is affected forever as their fates cross against the majestic setting of a beach house.

Keith, a financial analyst, rents a beach house for the summer to escape his recent tragedies. Aside from the loss of the man of his dreams, he has also lost his mother – his rock, his confidant. He indulges himself in a summer rental to escape all that he knows.

Jeff, a Marine Sniper, who spent two grueling tours of duty in Afghanistan, has returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. He too is seeking a summer of solace.

As Keith plays “fetch” with Sam, his trusted canine companion, he meets the hunky and troubled vet. The two men hit it off easily and see that they are something of kindred spirits. As they spend more time together, Keith learns that Jeff’s former lover from the Marines, Joe, went missing in action from his unit, and he never got the chance to say goodbye. Joe’s disappearance plagues Jeff almost as much as his PTSD, and Keith acts as a very good friend and listens intently.

The attraction between the two men is palpable, but as they are both processing so much loss, the relationship between them stays platonic – for the moment.

One night, during a terrible thunderstorm, Keith answers the door to find Jeff, drenched and in a panic. Keith ushers him into the bathroom where he undresses the numbed Jeff and promptly wraps him in the comfort of warm towels. Every clap of thunder and lightning flash jars the frightened ex-marine. He asks if he can spend the night – Keith complies knowing Jeff’s conditions. The two men hold each other tight as Keith respects the boundaries that Jeff has laid before them.

As the summer progresses, Jeff begins to come more and more alive, finding a mutual attraction between the two men with both of them being able to voice it. Finally, after a wild night out at a gay bar in the city, the two finally make love. They are both able to let their walls down as their lovemaking reawakens them.

Their relationship progresses further, as they go out on Jeff’s boat. Jeff shows Keith an exhilarating time, speeding across the open waters. Afterward, enjoying a hot jacuzzi and a bottle of tequila, Jeff  continues to reveal his story of Joe, his ex-lover, and fully explain the sexual relationship they had in the war zone. Jeff finally realizes that his need for comfort blinded him to Joe’s domineering nature. Jeff is ashamed to admit how he was controlled.

In Keith, he finds a much softer, more intelligent man, who seems to genuinely care about him and not just interested in sex. The two see a possible future together as they begin to fall in love and rediscover the joy of letting another in, both emotionally and physically.

Just as their intimacy reaches a peak and they pledge to become boyfriends, a bombshell shatters their oblivion: Joe shows up at Keith’s door searching for Jeff.

Jeff is shocked to his core to find himself staring into the face of Joe from Afghanistan. Joe explains that he was wounded, evacuated by helicopter and sent to Germany to fully recover. Since Joe was doing work for the CIA, all of his information was classified, making it impossible to find him once he was out of country.

Joe insists that Jeff comeback with him to Jeff’s house to pick up where they had left off. Keith is crushed as Jeff is compelled to leave with Joe. Keith takes solace in Sam, his ever faithful companion, as he crumbles on the sofa and cries, regretting that he ever let his heart open again.

Once back at Jeff’s, Joe does all he can to seduce him, until Jeff can no longer resist his former lover’s appeal. Jeff immediately regrets the act after being once again faced with Joe’s overly forceful nature. Having experienced what true love making can be, Jeff now knows that Joe is a brut.

In the morning, Jeff is finally able to stand up to Joe and orders him out declaring he has a new boyfriend and not an abusive one.

Joe leaves in anger, stopping long enough at Keith’s to give him the finger. This further crushes Keith as he thinks this was Joe’s victory announcement and is startled when Jeff sneaks in his back door.

The two men argue as Keith is incredulous to the fact that Jeff thinks he can go off and have sex with someone else and come back expecting him to be waiting. Jeff pleads and explains that it was a chapter that needed to be closed and he is back to stay for good, if he will have him.

As much as Keith tries to resist Jeff, his love for him is too strong and he eventually relents and forgives. The two men have found love for life. They celebrate by watching the 4th of July fireworks on the beach. Jeff is able to handle the “bangs and pops” of the fireworks, with his boyfriend and lover holding him tight.

Short Summary

This is a chance for every individual, both Veteran and Non-Veteran, to contribute to the making of a movie to bring awareness to what is often a crippling disorder suffered by returning Vets from combat zones.  PTSD effects all veterans, gay and straight. I’m John Simpson, screenwriter and co-producer. I’m a Vietnam era Veteran and I was one of the fortunate ones that did not have to actually go to Vietnam. Today’s vets, are more likely than not, to have to fight in the Middle-East at some point in their service. This is a story about one of those Vets, a gay Vet, and how he tries to get his life back on track. There can never be too much exposure for this deadly disorder. The V.A. and Congress have failed miserably in treating this disorder and one of the ways to bring a greater awareness to this subject, is to make movies. This will be both a serious, but also sexy romance that takes place over the course of a summer. Be part of the journey that Jeff and Keith travel together.

What We Need & What You Get

We need a total budget of $40,000 to make this Ultra Low-Budget film. Just to film it, we need $25,000 of that budget, with the remainder going to post-production costs which are expensive. We hope to enter this movie into film festivals around the world, bringing further exposure to this issue.

This campaign seeks to raise the first part of our budget. This will get the movie “shot” and in the “can.” If we raise more than the initial budget this time around, the excess money will go towards post-production costs and we’ll have less to raise later. Of course any amount over $40,000 allows us to advertise more and pay to enter more festivals. Once the movie has gone through the festival circuit, we’ll sign a distribution deal and the movie will go out to the public.

The Impact

The Director, Michael Simon, has successfully produced four previous films, with one of them becoming part of Harvard University’s archives.

Risks & Challenges

Our biggest challenge to a successful film is raising this budget. We have chosen an outstanding cast, have a stunning set on hold, and the natural beauty of the beaches and cliffs of San Diego waiting for cast and crew. We have an experienced Director and crew, and the knowledge to handle any issue that might come up.We will be adding the picture of the fourth cast member shortly!

Other Ways You Can Help

In addition to making a contribution to the film, you can also help us spread the word about this film project among your friends and social networks. If you have a Facebook page, post the donation link on your page and help us meet out goal!

And that’s all there is to it.


34 days left
This campaign started on Apr 10 and will close on May 15, 2015 (11:59pm PT).
Flexible Funding

Contribute Now

Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    Thanks!

    You will have our heartfelt thanks from the Director, crew and cast for this donation!

    0 claimed

  • $30USD
    The Movie!

    Our thanks and digital copies of “The Beach House” & “Gay Zombie” downloaded to your computer.

    Estimated delivery: April 2016

    1 claimed

  • $50USD
    Movie and a call!

    You will receive a personal ten minute telephone call from either the Director or Screenwriter, in addition to the two digital movie downloads!

    Estimated delivery: April 2016

    0 claimed

  • $100USD
    Credit and the movie!

    Your name will appear in a special thank you section in the credits of the movie, plus the two digital movie downloads! “The Beach House & “Gay Zombie”

    Estimated delivery: April 2016

    0 claimed

  • $150USD
    Movie and the book!

    You will receive the two digital movie downloads, and a digital copy of the book, “The Beach House.” Additionally, your name will be added to the special thank you section in the credits of the movie.

    Estimated delivery: May 2015

    1 claimed

  • $250USD
    Visit the set and more

    You’ll get the two digital movie downloads, the book, your name in the credits, plus a visit to the set. All expenses getting to the set are the sole responsiblity of the donor, and not the film production company. Only the visit to the set will be available this September. The other perks will be available on or about April, 2016.

    Estimated delivery: September 2015

    0 out of 15 claimed

  • $500USD
    Walk-on role

    All of the previous perks plus a walk-on roll during filming if desired. All expenses getting to the set are the donors responsiblity and not the production company. Other perks are available on or about April, 2016.

    Estimated delivery: September 2015

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $1,000USD
    Speaking role

    All of the previous perks, plus a walk-on role with a one or two line speaking part if desired. All expenses getting to the set for filming are the sole responsiblity of the donor and not the production company.

    Estimated delivery: September 2015

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $1,500USD
    Grab Bag Perk!

    Special thanks in the movie credits for being a valuable contributor, plus copies of Michael Simon’s previous movies and some of John Simpson’s books!

    Estimated delivery: April 2016

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $2,500USD
    Premier Night

    This perk will garner the donor an invitation for two to attend the world premier of the movie at a city to be determined, and to meet available cast members. A souvinere photograph will also be taken. All expenses getting to the premier will be the sole responsiblity of the donor and not the production compnay. A digital download copy of the movie will also be given to the donor, with the donors name in the credits of the movie.

    Estimated delivery: April 2016

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $5,000USD
    Executive Producer

    Your name in the credits as Executive Producer of the movie, an invitation for 4 to the world premier, and a photo with the cast members available at the premier. A DVD of the movie signed by the director will also be given to the donor. All expenses getting to the premier are the sole responsibility of the donor and not the Production Company. Delivery Date is approximate as post-production may change the date.

    Estimated delivery: April 2016

    0 out of 5 claimed

Please follow this link to donate now

Royal Love by John Simpson


Title: Royal Love (Condor One, Book 6)
Author: John Simpson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Kisses: 3



Blurb:

With their adopted son Jack safe and sound back at Winfield House, US Ambassador David Windsor and his husband, ex-Secret Service Agent Shane Thompson-Windsor, begin to settle into a routine. Shane’s attention to the security of the US President’s adult son, Airman Darren Wilson, keeps them busy, however. While David and Shane think they have President Wilson’s son under wraps, Darren carries on as carefree as any young man in the arms of a man he’s sure he loves: Prince Michael.

Discreet outings in the English countryside and days spent visiting castles fill Darren and Michael’s time, under the ever-present eyes of security, the US ambassador, and Shane. But an incident at a gay nightclub leaves their guards scrambling. What will Darren’s mother think? How will the King react? Darren and Michael’s love affair might be over before it even begins.

Review:

This is the sixth book in John Simpson’s Condor One series, and having read and enjoyed the first two books I was keen to read Royal Love. I knew that having missed the intervening books I would be playing catch up, but in my opinion each book in a series should stand alone enough to be enjoyable and make the reader want to read the rest of the series.

Royal Love did an admirable job of standing alone whilst remembering major events in the previous books. Whereas the early books in the series were from David Windsor, the US President’s point of view and followed his relationship with Shane Thompson; this book is from Darren Wilson, the current US President’s son’s point of view. The story has also moved from the USA to England where David Windsor is now US Ambassador and Darren works within Embassy security and is falling in love with Prince Michael, a minor member of the British Royal Family.

Generally the Condor One books are contemporary and reflect world events enough for you to believe it is set in the present day. However, when the story moves over the England that perception is put to the test, as John Simpson’s Royal family doesn’t fit that picture. He has skipped a couple of generations and has William as King and Prince Harry married with children. As a Brit I’ve always found this difficult to deal with.

Royal Love is Darren and Prince Michael’s story and explores their growing love as they luxuriate in the opulence of Royal Palaces. Too many times I found details of the Royal lifestyle distracted me from the real story of their love and this should have been a glorious story of young love interspersed with the chance to renew acquaintances with the characters featured in the previous book.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more had I read all the intervening books instead of just the first two, but I’m sorry to say it felt bland and lacked the action packed highs of the early books.

The earlier books in the series are:

1. Condor One
2. Talons of the Condor
3. Condor and Falcon
4. Out of the Gilded Cage
5. Condor and the Crown
6. Royal Love

Reviewed by Smidgeson.

BUY LINK

Undefeated Love by John Simpson

Twenty-two year old Kurt Mueller meets Stefan Schneider and after a brief period, they fall in love and move in together. Mueller, however, is enticed to join the SA by Ernst Rohm, even though he is not a Nazi. Over Schneider’s objections, Mueller transfers to the SS at the request of the Nazi leadership and is assigned to the unit that protects Hitler. Eventually, both Mueller and Schneider are arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen by the head of the SS for being gay. Once there, it’s up to Schneider to try and keep both of them alive until their release date five years later. Can their love possibly become an Undefeated Love in that environment?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-edited, re-release title. This title contains multiple partners, dub con, and extreme violence.

Release Date: 4/13/13

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Genres: Action/Adventure, Gay, Historical, Political, Romance, Thriller

ISBN: 9781614959144

Pages: 273 pp.

Word Count: 56520

John Simpson author of Murder Most Gay , stopped by for a visit.






Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, John. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

My background is ninety percent government employment at all levels of government. I was a police officer in my youth upon discharge from the Air Force in 1974. In the Air Force I served in nuclear security and Base Police, then went into civilian departments. I decided to get a college degree so, in 1977, I entered college and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in law in 1981. This degree served me well the rest of my life. My first job out of college was to be appointed to the post of District Court Commissioner in Maryland. This appointment is made by the Chief Judge of the State, and is called a magistrate, or Justice of the Peace in other states. While in this position, I was also designated as a United States Magistrate Pro Tem, where I heard Federal cases brought before me by Federal authorities of ever variety.

I left that after three years and spent a year as an armed bodyguard to Saudi Royalty, and finally entered Federal Service. While in the Federal Government, I served in the Department of Labor, the Food and Drug Administration and finally the Department of the Treasury. My last position garnered an award from Vice-President Al Gore, and another from Secretary of the Treasury Rubin for my work in the Treasury Department. I retired in 1998, and have done various things since including a writing career. I also performed work for agencies I cannot name and enjoyed that work very much as well. Serving President Clinton was a good time to be in Government. I also went on to Graduate School in the 1980’s and earned a Pontifical degree in Theology.

What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?

My first book is “Murder Most Gay,” based on a murder I investigated during my time with the Orange County State’s Attorney’s office in Orlando Florida while attending college. It took me about six months to find a publisher. I was very unhappy with the publisher and eventually got the rights to this book back due to breach of contract. I then submitted the book to Dreamspinner Press and it has sold well since the first day and continues to sell every quarter. It was first published in 2007.

When did you start writing m/m romance? What about this genre interested you the most?

I started in 2007 writing gay romance stories because I felt at the time, there wasn’t many stories out in this genre that were anything more than just pulp porn. I wanted to portray exciting fiction that featured the lives of gay men as the main characters including their love lives. I’ve been called the “Tom Clancy” of gay romance which is a compliment I take gladly for this is the type of story with a few exceptions, that I’ve always tried to turn out. Also, the fact that I am a gay man certainly didn’t hurt my understanding of being a gay man in many of the situations that I write about.

How long did it take you to get published? How many books have you written thus far?

It took six months the first time. I’ve written over 32 novels and novellas, with I believe about 19 being full length books between all my publishers. I have three more novels coming out this year so far, and about four novellas on the schedule.

Do you write full time?

I’ve recently been nominated and confirmed at the first Ethics Commissioner for the County that I live in which sadly is known as the most corrupt county in America. So, this will take away some time which will reduce me to a part time writer. I am part of a five member Commission and the only “civilian” citizen that is a Democrat as there is also one citizen who is a Republican.

Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?

Since my teen years, I have had stories running around in my head. In fact, I wrote a book at age 17, fiction, horror, which I suppose was terrible because in those days you submitted the bulky manuscript to publishers and it came back rejected three times and I gave up. During retirement, I decided to let these stories out and put them down in type. Many of my books are based on fact, with a lot of fiction thrown in. So, I guess I chose writing.

On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?

I take care of administrative stuff during the day and write beginning at around 11 at night. I write until around 3 a.m. to 4 a.m., which is my most productive time to write.

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

I write all the way through and then do re-writes. I call it throwing up on the screen and then cleaning it all up. Lol

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

I let the characters tell me where the story is going. All I have is a general idea of the scope of the book. The rest just flows from my fingers.

What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?

Well, most of it I have lived, so no research is done. However, for books like, “Undefeated Love,” I actually traveled to Berlin Germany, and toured the former grounds of the SS headquarters, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, and other sites associated with the book which takes place in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. For, “Irish Winter,” I read a lot and studied the time period portrayed in the book which was the late teens in the 20th century.

How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?

A lot of me goes into many of my characters, again because I lived what I’m writing about. In the Condor series, I wrote the President’s part as if I were President. What would I do if this happened, or that. Plus I’ve been to the Whitehouse on government business and have been around the Secret Service and like things. I was a Security Police Officer in the Air Force, so in “Def Con One,” I write it like I knew it. As for other people, other than “Jack and Dave,” I haven’t used other people as prototypes for any secondary characters. Again, the characters develop as I write them and they tell me what they’re going to do.

How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along?

I have written an entire book in as little as four weeks but others have taken me six months. It depends on things like writers block, or the characters go silent. Many just flow from my finger tips. Again, I revise and edit after completing the manuscript.

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

Yes, I have had three instances of writer’s block. On all three, I have put the book aside and written a novella and then come back to the book and the block is gone. Writer’s block is a very frustrating thing that most writers have to deal with at some time in their careers.

When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel or experience?

I truly hope they enjoy the book above all else. I want to have been able to entertain them. Second, I hope they learn something new that they didn’t know before reading the book. As I said, most of my books are based on fact. “Peter’s Chair,” is about a gay Pope. Some of the weirdest things in the book happen to be true. I have had some wonderful reader comments that tell me the book they read transported them to a different world that was new to them. I take that as a large compliment. I’ve also had readers write and tell me that they intend to search out gay teens who need a home and try and give them one by searching adoption agencies. I’ve had others ask me to suggest where they should make a donation for a particular cause.

Can you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?

I don’t take advances as I prefer to have the royalties quarterly in a bigger chunk where I can use the money for a purpose. I’ve often been told to write what he readers are buying which I don’t do, because I have to write what’s in my heart or brain at the moment. You can NOT please all readers with any one book. Someone will always hate it, give it a one star rating because of some bizarre reason, and I try not to take is personally. I usually fail at not taking it personally. To give an example, one review site gave my book five stars and then when I told readers who were leaving negative comments about the book who admitted they didn’t read the book, to lighten up and understand that love can come in the ugliest places sometimes, they all got up in arms and tried to kill my sales by leaving negative comments about me wherever they could. They failed as sales went up on the book because they gave it free publicity.

Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?

Both. The Condor series and the Murder Most Gay series titles came to me before word one. Others, I’ve titled it one thing only to change it when the book or novella was complete. Usually, the titles are there waiting for me.

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

I have a dry sense of humor that is not always appreciated by people who don’t know me. Jon Stewart amuses me greatly as he has sorta the same type of humor as I do. I take most things in life too seriously because of things I’ve seen and witnessed and I generally don’t get into humor often. I do come upon a line now and then which I put in a book that I think is hysterical and don’t mind if no one else finds it so.

What is the most frequently asked John question?

When are you going to write another Condor book? (The series is done.)

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two novellas and investing time and money into the “Condor One” project which is to turn the book into an HBO series or a movie for the big screen. I have hired an award winning director/screenplay writer and he has begun work on the first draft of the screenplay. I’m doing this more to see the characters come alive than I am for any money that might come out of the project. I want to show that it is possible for a gay man to become President, and a woman to become Vice-President and then President. I hope to achieve with “Condor One,” what “Brokeback Mountain,” achieved for the gay community.

What was the best piece of advice you’ve received with respect to the art of writing? How did you implement it into your work?

“Write what was in my heart,” and don’t read the reviews! I succeed at the first and fail at the second.

When it comes to promotion, what lengths have you gone to in order to increase reader-awareness of your work?

I have given radio interviews, advertised in newspapers and magazines, and I have an upcoming cruise in September where I’ll give a talk on being a gay writer and then autograph books that will be for sale. This will be a chance for interested people who need a seven night cruise that is priced right, to meet me and discuss anything to do with writing that I’ve learned. I will also give my publishers publicity also as they are the ones that make me a public person.

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 have no idea how that sparks stays alive other than being inspired by a real life story that moves me to retell the story with gay characters in it. I read a lot of news stories and try and stay informed about world politics as well as American politics.

What kind of books do you like to read?

I like history books, gay fiction, police stories. But sadly, I’m so busy, I have two half read books that have been waiting for me for 9 months to get back too. I’m taking a vacation in April and will have time to read on the plane.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

Totally involved in politics where I live more so than I already am, including a run for Congress. I would also be an advocate for social justice on many different levels.

I’ve read your books in the Condor series. Where did you get the idea for those books?

The Condor series came from within me. It is what I would do in the situations outlined in the five volumes. It is in many instances ideals that I would want the President to have, such as a refusal to accept social injustice when it rears its ugly head.

When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them?

For the most part, I’ve like most of my covers. I’ve only hated one or two. I have been very fortunate to have had very talented cover artists create the visual representation of my work. I’ve had a couple of books where I had to fight to have a bare ass on the cover because it was germane to the story inside. Thank you again to the cover art people who finally saw it my way and I think that some of the covers are beautiful.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Fighting the right wing of America. Fighting for social justice, gay rights. I also advocate for animals as in pushing for no-kill shelters. I enjoy going to a police firing range and keep my firearm skills up since I carry a weapon most of the time. I enjoy my friends and my family and my three Scott Terriers. I enjoy by partner of 37 years.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

The only special projects are the “Condor One,” project, and the cruise which can be found at: http://www.cruisewithagroup.com/lgbt/

New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?

Since I’m still learning this craft, I don’t feel qualified at all to advise another author on anything. I felt my way through the dark and I have a flashlight now, but I’m still in the dark many times.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I and my Murder Most Gay co-writer, are going to write a spin off series based on the next novel in the Murder Most Gay series which will be out sometime this July hopefully, “Murder on a Queen.”

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

Author website: Johnsimpsonbooks.com

Facebook: Johnsimpsonbooks

Cruise: http://www.cruisewithagroup.com/simpson/

E-Mail: Johnsimpsonbooks@hotmail.com

Condor One Project:

Thank you Michele for taking the time to interview me. I very much appreciate your efforts and it has been a blast getting to know you!

Condor and the Crown by John Simpson


Title: Condor and the Crown
Author: John Simpson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Characters: David, Shane, and Jack Windsor
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary/Thriller
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

When former President of the United States David Windsor is appointed the American ambassador to the Court of St. James, it necessitates a move to England. Uprooting his family and moving his staff, David and his husband, ex-Secret Service Agent Shane Thompson-Windsor, settle into Winfield House with their adopted son, Jack, and two feisty Scottie puppies.

Life is finally settling into a routine when Jack is abducted by Libyan nationals. No longer able to call directly upon US military forces, David turns to his successor as President, Victoria Wilson, to enlist her aid and gain her approval of a daring rescue attempt, and asks his cousin King William for help luring the kidnapper to British soil for retribution. It’s a mission that will ultimately involve the British Marines and even personal phone calls to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as David will stop at nothing to see his son safely home

Review:

I can’t tell you how sad I was to hear this is the final story with David and his husband Shane and I waited patiently for months to get my hands on it and get lost in their world with them because I just had to know more of their lives as a team and as new fathers. And of course to see what new adventures awaited them.

As the story begins David, Shane, Jack and the pups are headed to the U.K. to begin the next chapter in their lives. David as we learned from the last story is now the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James in England. At first Mary, the secretary is left behind, but soon follows to complete the family in England. Everything in their lives seems to be normal. The men have their work to do, Jack goes off to a private school where he begins to make friends, and at twelve years old he’s a feisty boy that I could not help but to adore. He, like many boys and girls his age seems to have no control over the words that come from their mouths, so Jack is forever using a swear word to explain a certain activity, a feeling, or emotion. This earns him discipline from his dads by a verbal warning or a light smack. Security measures are taken with the whole family however nothing is that secure. If someone wants something that bad, they will find a way to it. And unfortunately for Jack, this is the case.

One afternoon after school, Jacks security guards come up dead and he missing, in the arms of terrorists. In the arms of Gadafi’s minions, to be precise. He is taken out of the U.K. in a crate, onto a boat, and into Italy with no notes as to his whereabouts from his kidnappers. This sets off a whole new slew of problems for his dads and the governments as well. These asses take a citizen of the U.S. who is living in the U.K as a hostage and demand the troops are withdrawn from Libya immediately.

David and his husband of course must go off on a mission to save their son and bring him home. This could not have been done without the military’s aid from both sides, so again we get to see David and Shane on a dangerous mission that could potentially kill them both.

Mr. Simpson knows his stuff. He creates a very believable world here with these characters, he uses real life events and weaves them into this wonderful series and this is not to say it’s without flaws or that the characters are perfect because if they were, it wouldn’t be so believable. This is to say that he, with all his years of experience, has brought to us an insight on how the inside system is, how the people are treated and how they feel and communicate. Too many times we, the public, are not shown that side of the faces in our government system, we only see a side the media allows for. So, it was and has been an interesting journey with the Condor Series and I for one will miss them. Expect a heavy plot in this book, less sex, and truly, with a plot such as this, a plot where the ex-president’s son has been kidnapped by murderers who would expect the characters to be in the mood anyway? There’s a time and place for sex, and I’m going to say, if it were my child in Jack’s shoes, sex would be the last damn thing on my mind, too. However, we do get to meet a certain prince hook up with someone close to David and Shane, and Mr. Simpson gives to his readers a look into their lives. I’m sure hoping he decides to take a bigger peak and writes their story.

Reviewed By: Michele

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