Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?I'm kind of rigid when I plan a story—I typically outline from beginning to end, but they have been known to give me some grand “Aha!” moments. You know, those sudden inspirations of background info or details that give the story additional depth that was missing. One time that happened it allowed me to hide the identity of the real villain in the story. I tend to listen to those moments, they haven't let me down yet.
Name one entity that you feel supported you in your writing endeavors outside of family members.
Being on GayAuthors.org. It was such a supportive and nurturing environment, I ended up finding the nerve to write more than I ever thought I would. I might not have found the courage to submit Luxorian for publishing if I'd never found my way there. It's interesting to look back and wonder what might have happened, or not happened, if you took a different road.
Finding a way to block out the distractions of life to write! I need a lot of quiet. Music, TV, and background conversations can be a killer for me. I'm working on being more disciplined to set aside my writing time and being more diligent. When you add it my writing, I officially have three jobs and a loving partner to vie for my time. Carving out my creative blocks can be a trick at times. But I persevere. How did you come up with the title? I wanted to make Hadrian's planet a land of excesses like a future-day Rome. When I was brainstorming, I thought of Las Vegas and the various high-end hotels and casinos, thinking of how they were in the lap of luxury. I tool the word “luxury” and morphed it into “Luxorian” for the setting.
Did the characters or the plot come to you first? The characters came first. I wanted to do a story about a male geisha and created Hadrian. But I didn't want to risk his character being too effeminate for this story, so I made adjustments and blend the concept with Roman gladiators and blended the concepts I liked about each. The story was built off of him.
What are your future projects?I have an upcoming short in the Wayward Ink Anthology, Of Heaven in Hell publishing in June called Cardinal Sins. I'm hoping to expand the short into a full length novel as well as revise the second story in the Ship Logs of the Santa Claus, and prepare it for submission. WIP has already expressed an interest in seeing it. All of this is so exciting!
The debut M/M sci-fi thriller by Mann Ramblings is available on April 17. Buy links are below!
THE LUXORIAN FUGITIVE
Book One: Ship Logs of the Santa Claus
Sergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.
Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close....
All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?
As Liam's fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.
When Hadrian's owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.
The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.
“Liam, are we going to be all right?” Danverse hadn't stopped fidgeting since he returned to the dock. The air of unease was so out of character for the captain; Liam didn't like it. Danverse not being in charge would upset the sense of order to his universe.
Liam sighed. “Yeah. We'll be fine. I'm just a little embarrassed by it all. I wish I could find a better way to bury the past.”
“You will. And you let me know if you need help with anything.” Liam snorted. “Pervert.” “Not just that.” Danverse laughed. “I mean with anything you need.” “I know.” It felt like the first time he’d smiled in days.
Soon after that the first passenger came aboard. Dr. Davis Cellus was a professor in his fifties who had been on sabbatical and would be heading back to his regular life. He was heavyset, with a thin goatee and shaved head, dressed in comfortable clothing that spoke of a meager wage, but his manner indicated a modest lifestyle. Liam was convinced his accounts were heavier than he let on.
They turned the second passenger away. Clearly she had ignored the “No Hetero, No Female” rule. She had to be escorted off by station security when she started arguing.
Danverse maintained that Mrs. Claus insisted she would be the only female on the ship. Liam knew better.
Danverse hadn’t always placed such restrictions on passengers, but the ship wasn't designed with separate facilities. Privacy wasn't a focus on a military vessel and he didn't want to spend the currency on making the changes. Voyages lasting easily six or more weeks at a time became tedious with complaints from hetero passengers unhappy about walking in on crew members having sex in the shower room or other areas. Danverse had no interest in changing the men's habits. Non-hetero passengers complained less or joined in. Since they didn't have passengers on every trip, removing orientation and gender issues made the whole process a lot easier. The captain liked it that way.
Marley Keyes was next. He was a rough-looking man with a medium build heading for a new job opportunity on Alpha Centauri. He seemed uncomfortable and maintained an iron grip on the satchel strapped around his shoulder. Marley claimed to have never been off planet before. Liam was suspicious of the twitchy man, but the background check came up clean, so another passenger joined the ship.
The boarding period was almost over before the last person on the manifest appeared. Liam had to remind himself not to stare. It was the hooded man from the café.
“I am Hadrian Jamison. I should have a reservation for passage to Alpha Centauri. I hope I am in the right place.” The man’s rich voice bore a subtle accent. Liam checked his list and scanned the man's hand. He seemed hesitant to be registered. Liam gave the data a cursory glance and then turned the pad off. Danverse threw a questioning look in his direction.
“I'm Captain Marc Danverse.” He shook Hadrian's hand. “And this is my security chief, Sergeant Liam Jacks.” As Hadrian turned and traded greetings, Liam got his first proper look at the hooded man. Hadrian was above average in size, just a little shorter than Danverse. His hand was veined and strong. He sported wild, long, dark hair and dark facial stubble over an olive complexion, and had the most entrancing eyes Liam had ever looked into. Thick dark eyelashes outlined the white in stark contrast to ice-blue irises ringed in sapphire. It was otherworldly, and he was gorgeous. Liam found a heat rising in his chest as those beautiful eyes looked up at him through the locks of hair falling haphazardly over his face.
“Do you have any other belongings to load?” Danverse asked, glancing at where Liam’s and Hadrian’s hands were still touching.
“No, thank you. The bag I am carrying is all I need,” Hadrian said, nodding to the pack slung over his shoulder. He hesitantly removed his hand from Liam's.
“Then I can show you to your quarters,” Liam offered. With one outstretched hand and the other lightly at Hadrian's back, he directed the last passenger up the steps. He noticed Danverse watching them with a cocked eyebrow as they passed. His mouth was slightly open but he didn't say a word as they stepped on board. What the hell was that odd look about?
Like many gay men, when MANN RAMBLINGS grew up, there weren't any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man's head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it's here, he plans to use it well.
While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling—he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn't you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.
Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.
MANN RAMBLINGS can be found at: