My most recent book is erotic fiction novel Monogamy Sucks, which is being published as e-book by new digital publisher Lazy Day Publishing on Dec. 1, 2010. My novel is an exploration of a Long Beach, Calif. man’s mid-thirties lust crisis and his ensuing bizarre, but intriguing and humorous journey into the world of swinging and alternative sex. The story is told in the form of a fictional diary by the book’s protagonist Jake Dalmas, who is looking for answers to deal with his growing disillusionment with conventional relationships and monogamy. Along the way, he discovers some misconceptions about swinger lifestyle and new aspects about himself. It is frank, funny and above all – painfully honest.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am a writer, freelance public relations consultant and former journalist who lives in Costa Mesa, Calif. and is a lifelong resident of southern California. Monogamy Sucks is my second novel. I launched the first six chapters of my recent novel on my blog www.monogamysucks.
wordpress.com in Summer 2010 after more than 12 years of writing and researching my work. I have been writing fiction since I was 15.
What inspired you to write this book?
Well, I went through my own mid-thirties lust crisis in the mid to late 1990s that led to my intriguing journey into the world of swingers. I was fascinated with what I found, but I wasn’t intending to write a book initially. Several years later, after telling several close friends of my experiences and receiving positive responses, I decided that I had the makings of an interesting, funny book that could explore and challenge common myths about swingers, swinging, monogamy and fidelity.
How did you choose the title?
My title is the first line of my novel, and it perfectly captures my character’s frustrations with monogamy and conventional relationships, and hints of where his restless heart leads him. I also thought it was a timely comment on the recent spate of celebrity sex scandals involving Tiger Woods and too many other celebrities to mention.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Actually, I was intending to self-publish Monogamy Sucks as I did my first book Letters from Cyberspace. I went through a long drawn process of trying to query agents and publishers for my first book and I didn’t want go through that again. Earlier this year I read an article on the Huffington Post about how a number of best selling books started out first as blogs. So I decided to launch my novel, which was just sitting in my computer, on a blog one chapter a time in May 2010. It was not my intention to bring out my whole novel online, but I never had to worry about that as Lazy Day Publishing contacted me through my blog in July and asked if I would consider turning it into a novel. I doubt if that would have happened if I hadn’t put my novel on my blog and Tweeted about it on Twitter. I even recently set up set up a Twitter account for my book’s protagonist Jake Dalmas — @jakedalmas — where he talks about this views on sex, relationships and monogamy in real time. I believe Twitter is an essential tool in promoting my book and novels in general.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I wanted to be a writer for as long I can remember. I was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy novels as a teenager. The books and stories of Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien really inspired me as did George Orwell’s 1984 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
In fact, at the age of 15, I hand wrote my first novel. It was 70 pages long! Ironically, it’s called Jake’s War, which is the name of my protagonist of my latest novel. I still have a copy of the story. After college, I kind of got sidetracked into careers in journalism and public relations, but I always knew I would get back to writing fiction.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Well, I like to take a walk before I write in my neighborhood or at the ocean near where I live. Walking clears my head and I become inspired with a lot of writing ideas. In fact, I first came up with the idea for Monogamy Sucks during one of my long beach walks.
I also have another writing ritual of giving myself a modest goal of finishing a paragraph or a certain amount of words or pages when I sit down to write. It is a way of tricking my brain as I usually write a lot more that I intended. I learned this from Julia Cameron’s excellent writing resource book Right to Write.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I always liked the name Jake and knew I would eventually use it for the protagonist one of my novels. But I have no specific method of coming up with names for my characters. I usually try out a few and see which name seems to fit a particular character.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned a lot about the real people that participate in the swinger lifestyle, what motivates them to seek lifestyle alternatives to conventional relationships, and how the common wisdom about swingers and monogamy is mostly wrong. I also discovered a lot about myself during the journey of writing this book through looking back at events I had witnessed or experienced. My perspective had become more open and a lot less judgmental and skeptical the more I got to know the swingers I met and wrote about.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t change anything. I probably could have brought out my novel earlier through a blog, but then Lazy Day Publishing wouldn’t have been around yet to publish it. So I really feel this is the right time for my book with the rise of Internet, Twitter and e-books.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy novels that take me on a journey and challenge my preconceptions about life. Some of my favorites authors are Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn), Anais Nin (Henry and June, her diaries), Charles Bukowski (Women, Post Office, all of his poetry), Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero), Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), among others. Each of them bravely explored controversial sexual and societal issues in a frank, unsentimental manner exposing truth and hypocrisy alike.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am currently editing my next book, which has a provocative celebrity angle. I can’t say much more about it except that it is not directly about said celebrity and it focuses on the romantic, erotic adventures of a man in his late twenties. I also have started a sequel to Monogamy Sucks, and eventually I am looking to turn Jake Dalmas’ erotic adventures into a trilogy of books.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
My advice is for aspiring writers is to embrace the immediacy of the Internet as a beneficial means to expose their work and develop their own audiences rather than wait around to be discovered by an agent or publisher. Don’t keep your novel or book idea hidden in your drawer or computer these days. That’s the future of publishing – do it yourself. Just look at the explosion of independent filmmaking in recent years. The next best selling writer or literary star more than likely will be found on the Internet and not only in the usual places such as writer workshops or universities or the notorious “slush” pile.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Open minded adult readers — either women or men — who are looking for a laugh, sexy inspiration and to find out more about what really goes on in the hidden world of swingers. But really any adult reader who enjoys an interesting, entertaining story told well about sexual and relationship issues we all face, but don’t talk about openly enough in our society.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Readers can learn more about me and my book on my blog at:
Or on my publisher Lazy Day Publishing’s Web site: