William Maltese is a multi-published-unstoppable force in the publishing world. He has written multiple genres from cooking, to m/m, het sex, you name it! I’m honored beyond words to have this fabulous gentleman with me here today!
What is the name of your latest book?
I’m trying to figure out what’ll be out at about the same time this blog hits the internet. As nearly as I can determine, the book will be EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET which I co-wrote with Bonnie Clark who, also, did BACK OF THE BOAT GOURMET COOKING with me. After all of the pounds we put on while writing BACK OF THE BOAT, we decided that people should realize that it isn’t really easy for those of us who write cookbooks to stay thin 24/7. Sometimes, in fact, as in Bonnie’s case, it’s a damned hard struggle.
Also, I’m thinking that, about this time, the print book re-issue of my contemporary m/m adventure/romance SS MANN HUNT, with an additional 15,000 words over the original edition, should have hit the stands (having already been preceded by the ebook versions having received those same additional 15,000 words).
And, finally, I hope, several more short-short, very-short ebooks for my ongoing MALTESE BOYS’ REFORMATORY series, at .99 a shot, should be available.
But, just in case the 4th of July long weekend screwed up release schedules (anything apt to screw up a release date, as you very well know), I might as well plug “the” book of mine that I know for a fact is out there, last in the present long line of my over 180-published books: GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON which is a particularly stellar x-rated graphic novel with some really great artwork by Brit artist Mike Bliss “Mikesbliss”. I just got my author’s copy the other day and was blown away by the great job MLR Press did with it. I was expecting tradebook-size, but it came out magazine/art-book size with some of the pages fit for framing in their own right. I can’t wait to throw that baby out on the coffee table and see what reactions I get.
And how did you come up with the title?
By way of GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON, it just kind of came naturally, since it’s about vampires (and how becoming one makes one feel so god-like). Of course, the fact that the artist is from London (and I’ve been there on several occasions), just made the setting a foregone conclusion.
I already explained the premise behind EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET. I know there’s the general conception that there’s never a good cook who isn’t a fat cook, like there’s never a good bald barber, BUT a lot of weight isn’t good for anyone, cooks included. Bonnie and I figured weight-loss from a gourmet cook’s perspective, where recipes are forever being tested for the next book, would be a unique and interesting insight for our readers to see; our publisher agreed.
SS MANN HUNT, of course, is a play on the German Nazi “SS” storm-trooper designate, and on the term “manhunt”, this being a contemporary tale of three sons searching, in the Brazilian rain forest, for their fathers, one of whom, Sebastian S. Mann, just might have been involved in Nazi atrocities during WWII. It’s all very man against man, and man against nature stuff, with hot m/m sex thrown in to boot; the kind of book that’s always been a particular favorite of mine.
MALTESE BOYS REFORMATORY defines the correctional institute around which the stories in this series revolve, keeping in mind, of course, that all the “boys” are of age and not minors. We all know that incarceration can be a frightening experience, some inmates adapting better than others, and these are merely some of the tales that prove that point, written in a very short-short ebook format that hopefully maintains the interest of readers who have, these days, been known to let their minds wander if subjected to too many words at one time.
What is this book about?
GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON is about a sexy British artist who is turned by a sexy Italian vampire with hopes of them both exploring their burgeoning relationship possibilities. Of course, there are complications (aren’t there always?) that provide for anything but easy sailing (or, should I say easy blood-sucking?).
EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET is a mainstream diet-, health-, and cookbook about a couple of us who make our living cooking and eating, but are health-conscious enough to know that it isn’t healthy for us to get and maintain waistlines that match the circumference of the planet Jupiter.
SS MANN HUNT is a m/m romantic/adventure, keeping in mind that I’m an author whose definition of “romance” isn’t always what others think it is, although this book, admittedly, does have a pairing up of two guys who have had a relationship in the past, aborted through no fault of their own, now resumed under circumstances that may or may not see it survive to see full resurrection.
MALTESE BOYS’ REFORMATORY stories are all m/m, too. While I suppose I could inject heterosexuality into the scheme of things, what with story possibilities available for women nurses, and vocational instructors, and the like, existing within the prison system, I’ve kept these purely man-on-man, if just because so many gay readers do NOT like reading about heterosexual sex, and the series is aimed primarily at readers of gay fiction.
And what genre is this book in?
GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON is an x-rated contemporary m/m “graphic” novel. Think comic book. For some reason, a lot of people seem to assume that graphic has to do with the x-rated content, but it’s really the term that designates the pictorial aspects of the work in question.
EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET. Mainstream diet-, cook-, and health book.
SS MANN HUNT. M/m contemporary romantic/adventure.
MALTESE BOYS’ REFORMATORY. M/m contemporary prison short-short ebooks, with plot lines likely thought of, by some, as one-handed reads® (yes, by the way, I do own the registered trademark on that last phrase).
Who is/are the main characters?
GOD MAKERS: VAMPIRES OF LONDON is about the relationship between Ethan, a sexy British artist, and Antonious a sexy Italian vampire.
EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET. That would be me (I?), and my co-author Bonnie Clark. Admittedly, I have to give a lot of credit for this book’s existence to Bonnie, since her struggles with weight (gain and loss) have been long ongoing, and often downright traumatic, where mine are all kind of Johnny-come-lately. If it wasn’t for Bonnie’s struggles in self-image, this book would make far less interesting reading and have far less meaningful relevance to and for as many people as it does.
SS MANN HUNT. Three young studs, Brad Lexly, Kurt Mann, and Jim Kenner, all team up to find their fathers who disappeared years before on a caving expedition into the wilds of the Brazilian Mato Grosso.
MALTESE BOYS’ REFORMATORY. There are a whole range of characters in these short-short ebooks, covering just about every male member of a juvenile detention system, including prisoners, guards, warden, doctor, nurse, vocational workers, psychiatrist.
What is the coolest or best part about your book? (Any Favorite scenes, the world-building etc…)
GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON has some genuinely fantastic artwork by Brit artist “Mikesbliss” whose artwork has always been a favorite of mine to the point where he’s done not one but two portraits of me, based upon one nude black-and-white photo taken of me awhile back, for my ARTISTS “DO” author WILLIAM MALTESES art collection. Since one of these is me as “Vlad Draqual”, the vampire in my novel SUCKS! FIRST OF THE DRAQUAL VAMPYRE CHRONICLES, I knew from the get-go that Mike was the vampire-drawer to join me on this particular book.
EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET is cool in how it lets people know that they’re not alone in their efforts to lose weight and keep it off, and by how it clues them in on how those of us who might look like we have an easy go of it, as regards what, when, and where we eat, really don’t.
SS MANN HUNT is cool in not being all that cool in its setting that, my having spent a good deal of time there, myself, in real time, is hardly ever cool as far as temperatures go…even the rain, more often than not, hot; the rivers and streams often filled with the kinds of bacteria and critters that make them downright dangerous in performing cool-downs. Of course, there are the caves of the book, often cool. In fact, for those who don’t know very much about spelunking, the subject matter, I think, is cool, in and of itself, which is why I made it an important aspect of the plot line.
MALTESE BOYS’ REFORMATORY, of course, is cool in that I always find it cool to get hot and bothered while reading something, and these stories are definitely geared primarily, for, at least a short while, to turn the reader on.
Do you have a favorite character in the book? If so, why?
GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON has me vacillating between Ethan and Antonious. Both are hunks from the word go, and there’s something always sexy about a vampire, whether British artist, or Italian stud.
EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET has Bonnie as my heroine, in that she has had a life-long struggle with weight gain and loss but has persevered to where she is today, a lady with a plan, who has learned from her mistakes, and is anxious for others to learn from her mistakes and errors in the dieting process.
SS MANN HUNT probably sees me preferring Peter Lexly, if just because the book is written in the first person, from his perspective, which is probably as good an indication as any that I feel myself having a certain connection to him, specifically, that doesn’t carry over quite as much to the other characters involved.
MALTESE BOYS REFORMATORY stories usually have my favorite character being the main subject of whatever the short story in progress. In stories so short, with a cast of players usually whittled down to a mere one-on-one, the main character obviously is the one to whom I usually give preferential treatment.
Is this book part of a series?
GOD MAKER: VAMPIRES OF LONDON definitely is, I hope, depending, of course, upon whether or not this first in the intended series makes a go of it. There’s no denying that coming up with enough artwork to fill a picture book, and getting the pictures reproduced in a genuinely artistic way, is not only time-consuming but expensive; it needs a lot of things to “come together” to make it happen.
EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET is part of “The Traveling Gourmet” imprint published by mainstream Wildside/Borgo Press, and, likewise, includes my BACK OF THE BOAT GOURMET COOKING (with Bonnie Clark), and my THE GLUTEN-FREE WAY: MY WAY (with Adrienne Z. Milligan), as well as my ongoing WILLIAM MALTESE’S WINE TASTER’S DIARY series of books of which there are presently two, SPOKANE/PULLMAN WASHINGTON AREA (of Washington State), and IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT PINOT-G ON AUSTRALIA’S MORNINGTON PENINSULA (with A.B. Gayle).
SS MANN HUNT isn’t part of a series and stands very well on its own.
MALTESE BOYS’ REFORMATORY, of course, is a series of short stories connected by the detention institution in and around which all of the stories revolve.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
You’ve written so many books, do you learn something from each one?
A writer learns by writing, and I’m no exception.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? (you are one of mine)
Firstly, you’re sweet to put me in your “mentor” category.
Admittedly I do always try to help and nurture other writers, but that’s sometimes not easy, especially for someone, like I, who thinks my two-cents’ worth really shouldn’t carry too much weight, as regards anyone else’s writing. It has always been my mantra that the best way for a writer to go is to write to please himself, then worry about an editor or publisher liking it; and, if he can’t find an editor or publisher who likes it, then wait until he finds an editor or publisher who does like it, rather than make changes, and compromises, and end up with something that simply isn’t “him” and/or “his”. Although writing is all I’ve ever done, I’m convinced that writers are usually far better off if they don’t give up their day jobs; second incomes allow writers to sit back and bide their time and not “need” to publish something, which they’ll no longer recognize as their own, merely to put food on the table.
As for me having had a physical mentor, I actually began writing in a vacuum and continued to do so for a very long time, having virtually no connection with any other published writer, or writers, or even any kind of one-on-ones with my publishers. It was all done long-distance, through the mail, my sending in my manuscripts, often from various places in the world, and my picking up the checks that were mailed back. I wrote what I wanted to write, and, since it seemed to sell well, I never saw any reason to do anything else and never stopped.
As far as writers whose writing may have affected me, from a distance, probably Edgar Allen Poe, H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Bram Stoker, in that I always liked a bit of adventure, mystery, and/or macabre in my reading material. Still do. My short ebook Ludus Scaenicus Mortis Rubrae (included in the anthology RED) is a homage to dear Mr. Poe. Certainly, you’ll find few, if any, of my stories about ordinary blokes in middle America. I usually put my characters into the same exotic locales I’ve personally experienced and expect them to perform there.
What books are you reading now?
M: THE MAN WHO BECAME CARAVAGGIO by Peter Robb.
What are the current writing projects that you are working on?
DINNER WITH CECILE AND WILLIAM (with Cecile Charles). THE GOURMET HUCKLEBERRY (with Bonnie Clark). EASY AND SWEET VEGAN DESSERTS (with Christina-Marie “Gonzo-Mama” Wright). OKALAHOMA WINE (with Rie McGaha). An autobiography, AN ABOMINABLE FANCY, about fetish artist John U. Abrahamson (with John U. Abrahamson). An m/m short-story collection, MALTESE/EKKEL, inspired by erotic pen-and-ink drawings by Dutch artist Johann Ekkel. Sequels to my DIARY OF A HUSTLER and SUCKS! FIRST OF THE DRAQUAL VAMPYRE CHRONICLES. Another book in my WILLIAM MALTESE’S FLICKER series. Another book in my STUD DRAQUAL MYSTERY series.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It always seemed to be there, primarily sparked, I believe by how my mother often took the time to read aloud to me as a child. Well, actually, I’d have her read aloud to me through high school, anything from boring texts to those at-the-time-required-reading classics, like ETHAN FROME. Mom did a lot of reading on her own and so did my father. Reading definitely played a part in sparking my writing career, and was, later, bolstered by a good deal of world travel; the latter providing a virtual storehouse of things and experiences for me to write about.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find re-writing, editing, and proofing major bores. By the time I figure I’ve finished writing a book, I’m ready to move on to the next project, and re-visiting something which I really consider over and done can drive me up a tree. Therefore, while I see every advantage to getting all of my print books into ebook formatting, the proofing required for that just to happen, lately, has proven to be an excruciating chore for me.
Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time?
Write what your heart and head insist you write, what you enjoy writing, what makes you happy writing, and pay little attention to what anyone else, including me, might have to say on the subject. Pay too much attention to others, to me, and you’ll end up writing like those others, and like I, when really successful authors have their own individual voices and styles. Always keep in mind that you’re really not a writer, no matter how much you may think you are, if you give up writing just because you’re not selling anything you write. A writer writes, and that’s why he’s a writer. Stop writing and start doing something else, and you stop being a writer and you become something else.
Thank you, William!
Thank YOU, Steph. As usual, it’s been a pleasure!