CAUTION: Brainstorming session in progress

Click Ginger to Visit DA's blog for Author Interviews and much more.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Insert Tab A into Slot B - by Margie Church

I'm elated and tickled-under-the-table aroused to have Margie Church here today.
Feel free to ask her any questions you may have. Especially if they're sexual. She won’t answer, but we'll have fun later reading them over and over…
Unless you're naked. I'll make sure she answers them if you're naked… and on a park bench… in front of City Hall… in the rain…

Truthfully, I'm very pleased Margie agreed to come here today. But more than that, I'm honored you have chosen to drop by. I hope you'll stay a while. And don't be shy. Ask any question you like, or just hang out in the balcony and see what's here. Either way, we're glad you stopped in.

So, without further ado, here's the incredibly talented Margie Church:

Insert Tab A into Slot B
For romance writers, this blog title is often an inside joke about writing love scenes. And for those of us who write hot love scenes (raises hand and blushes), and sometimes with more than one partner or same sex partner (wiggles eyebrows), things can get confusing fast. There've been a few times where I've almost had to draw things out to make sure what I wrote could physically happen. On some occasions, I've still had my editor write one of those bright blue memos in track changes. It goes something like this:
"I laid on the floor, I sat on the chair, I stood on my head. This just doesn't work. He needs to take out his dick."
*head desk*
My next novel is Hard as Teak and it's my first foray into m/m erotic romance. Perhaps you know that most of these books are read by heterosexual women – married heterosexual women. Some readers also might think authors can just replace the female pronoun with another male pronoun (or vice versa) and we've slid across home plate to a book contract. The only thing you'll slide right into is a rejection at every reputable publisher out here.
The emotional landmines were one of the biggest challenges to writing Hard as Teak. This is Kevin's coming out story. He's 32 years old and about to have his first sexual encounter with a man. Until he meets Teak, he's been living the heterosexual lifestyle. Vanilla, confused, unsatisfied describes Kevin's romantic relationships. Teak changes that experience in a hurry, but as an author, I couldn't pretend the first 32 years of Kevin's sexual identity were erased. The average romance junkie might not care too much about the deeper character motivations in a m/m romance, but those who exclusively read the sub-genre have low tolerance for authors trying to bullshit their way through the story. My beta readers were picky as could be and so was my editor. Honestly, it tried my patience a number of times. Believability has to be rock solid.
While I was researching my characters and story, I learned a lot about men – not just gay men. I learned a couple of phrases I hadn't heard before and discovered some toys and techniques that really added nice touches to my book. When I mentioned a few of them to my DH, he asked where I learned them. I, of course, said he didn't want to know. But I will admit he benefitted from my "research."
My heterosexual male contemporaries certainly have the edge on me when it comes to describing a male having sex. I don't know that deep, warming sensation, the tightening that draws their balls up tight and signals an orgasm is near. No, I don't know the heat of a woman's body around their throbbing shaft. But I did get some guys to tell me.
Close your mouth. The slack-jaw look is so last century.
When it came to writing my male gay romance, I ended up taking the same path.
I heard you say, "No shit?"
Yep, I found a group of people – men and women, gay and straight – who agreed to tell all. Gay guy writing het? Yep, we ladies told him exactly how it felt to put his Tab A into Slot B. How it might taste, what to do next, what makes us squeamish, what's a no-no, what to say, and what will make us turn into his personal sex slave. And in return they answered our questions. It's pretty humbling to have another person bare their sexual soul for your research. And sometimes the replies got pretty erotic and sometimes the exchanges were downright funny. (Membership is closed but for a sizeable, non-refundable fee, I'll talk to the Mistress and see if she'll consider you. Kidding!) After one of these intense question/answer sessions, I think we always come away with a deeper respect for each other…after all, we've done the next best thing to seeing each other naked.
You see, it's much more than insert Tab A into Slot B.
Hard as Teak is coming out June 27 from Noble Romance. I don't even have cover art yet, but here's the blurb.
Hard as Teak
Kevin Marks escapes to the north woods to reignite his passion for photography and women. But the only flame he seems able to spark is for his latest photography subject, Teak Hidalgo. Kevin's never been in a man's arms before.
Teak, the raven-haired, photographer's dream come true, is hell bent on capturing Kevin's heart. He takes Kevin, body and soul, on a romantic, sexual journey previously lived only in Kevin's fantasies. And no dream was ever this good, no truth this undeniable.
How will Kevin respond? When the camera's put away, will Teak live up to his name?
Margie's website: Romance with SASS

                                                         THANKS, MARGIE!!


  1. David, I'll be laughing my head off all day thinking about your introduction. Sorry the post caused you to drill into your nose. I told you a box of Clairol hair color would have the right effect. Better luck next time. I also thought about saying, "keep up the good work," but that little tent action you have going on made me refer to Miss Manner's and say, thank you for having me. I hope everyone enjoys their visit here as much as I.

    Much love,

  2. Pup tent action? So Tab A into Slot B is about camping?

    Geez. I so read thid blog wrong.


  3. There's my favorite bad boy. You have a spin for everything. Thanks for coming by Kb!

  4. Aww, poor KB only got a pole tall enough to make a pup tent :( at least you have more attachments than a GI Joe doll so cheer up :P

    LMAO, MOTN so many little details to deal with when writing those pesky love scenes. I did the same thing with mine too.

  5. I've enjoyed all your books, Margie. I'm looking forward to this one!
    I swear I'm researching the wrong topics :-)

    DA, thank you for inviting me!

  6. Too bad membership is closed - can I get a copy of the transcripts? :-D BTW I am naked, it is raining, the public bench just put a huge sliver in my backside, and people are starting to stare. Sigh. The things I do for a little attention.

  7. Thanks, KevaD and Margie, for the post!

  8. Becca, the transcripts are in a secret online location. I could tell you but then...I hope you have an all-over tan. Bare nekkid and white bread skin is well, stare-worthy. Here's a little bacitracin for that sliver and an umbrella, cuz you are one of my favorite stalkers.

  9. MOTS...maybe someday Kb will be a big boy. :-)

    The notes alone are sometimes publish-worthy. Maybe we should collaborate: Sweaty Details

    By Margie2

  10. Vicki, thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the post.

  11. You two are hilarious! And thanks for visiting my blog last week.

  12. Sorry I'm late. Had some family stuff to take care of.
    SJOwens - You have a permanent invitation! Stop by anytime.

    Hi, Becca - Loving the visual =) Grabbed some towels and tweezers and am heading for the truck now.

    HI Ya' Vicki! Thanks so much for dropping in. And watch out, because you never know when we might drop in on your blog again, so dress accordingly. Or not.

    KB, I hope you're not reliving your first camping excursion.

    Margie, you are such a joy. I appreciate you being here so much!

  13. kevad,
    Love your blog! All the goodies for me to explore *S*
    I am ever so glad I discovered your books Margie cause you not only keep me in good books, and heads up on other authors, but you just crack me up. You could probably get a long standing waiting list for a peek at those transcripts. :)
    I love the cover on the new book, and and of course the excerpt that I went back to your blog to read twice...LOL I put yout book at thetopof my gotta have asap list...oh yeah *S*
    As for getting naked...nah. Not so much. One would think you could get naked in the weather here right now at 85 degrees, but I am embarrassed to say that my H got me a mosquito netted jacket yesterday cause the blood thirsty bastards evidently have me on speed dial. *S* I love being outdoors, and don't even have close neighbors so I could get au natural, but those skeeter's have told all their buddies I am a free meal. *S* Now they are hanging out at doors & windows ! Pretty sad being confined by a mere tiny species . LOL

  14. Pommawolf,
    Bless your skeeter-bitten heart for dropping in. And, thank you for the kind words, both about Margie and my blog. Hope you'll stop by again!

    We used to have a huge mosquito problem. Wife was constantly grousing about the little critters. Then some bats moved into the machine shed, and the skeeter problem has all but vanished.
    Of course, wife's not happy about the bats... at all.
    Just can't please some people. =)

  15. Pomma! Yeow girlfriend, those skeeter welts truly will keep you off the Playboy cover for the summer. But this winter.... LOL Where I grew up moquitos were ferocious. I swear they would body-slam you. Some people claim their diet keeps the mosquitos away. Some say it's their body scent. Frankly, I could never stay outside long enough to really test either theory. And of course the Forest Service says dress all in green. No wonder it's my favorite color.

    Thank you for coming by and for endorsing my books. Feel free to re-read the excerpt many times as you need to. The book will be out soon! Your high praise is humbling...but I won't grovel. This is a tough crowd. If I got on my knees I could be in serious trouble. LOL


  16. Hi David and Margie,

    This was great fun, terrific post Margie. It's been a long time coming (no pun intended) for Hard as Teak, and I'm happy to see it on the cusp of release (again no pun intended). LOL I'll be reading it, for sure.

    Love your blog David. Lovely. Feels like home here. I'd love to come visit sometime.

    You two ought to write something together. You have great rapport.

    Hugs to you both,

  17. Kevad,
    Thank you!
    I'm off to get your "Scarlet Past". Can't wait to read it *S* Got disconnected before I write down the title...
    Oh I would dearly love the bats! Yes, a woman who likes bats. Well, some scary things are worse than others...LOL. But alas, bats don't like the artic cold. Poor babies. So I'm planting bright flowers to attract the butterflies and dragonflies that eat those blood suckers. :)

  18. Brita! Gosh, I miss seeing you around. Thank you for coming by. I'm not sure I could keep up with David. His comic chops are much better than mine, but he is fun and I'm so glad we are part of the Noble family.

    David, be a gentleman for a change and invite Brita to guest blog. Or she'll spank you. Don't believe me? Read a couple of her books. She knows how. *wink*


  19. Uhm... I hang out at ERAuthors, munching on crit biscuits.
    Somebody's always leaving a wornout flogger laying around somewhere, or a pot of liquid latex on the stove.
    Gonna take more than the promise of a spanking to get the spreader bar back on my ankles.
    Oops. Too much info?

    I would love to have you here.
    Margie's appearance popped my cherry for live appearances here, and I like it :)
    Defintely have to have more.
    I WILL be getting in touch - digitally of course, but not with my digits - with you.
    Thank you!

  20. Margie,
    Well the skeeter's here have a thing for fruit here. They love ya when you eat banana's and any type of melon.
    H, I love so much, but when he takes the barkies outside he leaves the door open too long and the little *******.
    Mind you, they don't bite him, but feast on me.
    So the other night I fell asleep and one of our little cairn terrier's that sleep at he foot of the bed kept growling on & off all night. I finally turned on the lamp and laid there watching & listening trying to figure out if he was hearing a bear or moose outside the house. Nope. I finally saw that he was shaking his head every few minutes and growling. I put on my glasses and laid still and watched. I'll be damned. There were skeeter's dive bombing his poor little ears. I got up out of bed and grabbed the battery powered fly swatter and went on a skeeter zapping quest. This swatter zaps them and no squish them..yuck! I must have zap about 20 or more of those bastards. I finally got what I thought was all that I could find in the bedroom. Crawled back under the sheet and went to sleep. I woke up at about 4 a.m. because my side was itching on my right side. I got out of bed and went to look what it was in the bathroom mirror. Imagine mt surprise when I find about 10-12 new bites. And that's not counting the one below my right eye right on the orbital socket bone. I had gotten bitten right through my night shirt. How unfair! LOL
    Let's just say...I now have a vengeance out on those mean buggers.. .LOL

  21. Holy vampires, Batman!
    That's crazy. Sounds like you need to dab some fruit juice on the H when he isn't looking so you can get a pain-free good night's sleep.

    Or invite a not-so-friendly friend to sleep on the couch and offer him/her up as a sacrifice.

    Many thanks for reaching out for A Scarlet Past. Evanne and I appreciate it very, very much!

  22. Pomma, I just got a photo sent to me of a moose walking in my hometown. I thought it was poetic that we should commiserate all the joys of living in the American wilderness. It's horrid waking up to a bunch of those bites or the sound of them zipping around you in the dark. I remember a bunch got through our bathroom ceiling ventillation. OMG. I thought I was going to be drained dry by the time we got them under control. Sigh. I like David's idea of offering sacrificial lambs. I have several brothers who would make excellent candidates. 0|o

    David, Please give my apologies to your wife for taking so long to pop your cherry. I'm not mechanically-inclined and it took me awhile to figure out how to get that spreader working. Now I hope the two of you will flog happily ever after. *toothy grin*

  23. *Skids in wielding a spatula*
    Hi, Margie and David!
    Terrific post. I've been tackling menage erotica, and trying to figure out who's doing what to who when and where is often the toughest part. If Person A is employing a torchiere lamp on Person B while Person B is modeling lederhosen and yodeling a Snoop Dogg track, that's probably not going to work.
    For once, I decided to be boring; I'm not naked, the park's nowhere near my computer, and no one's going snowblind as a result! O_o Always fun to catch up with you guys; and KB, I'd offer to loan you my 8-man squad tent, but, um, I'm rather attached to it, you see :D
    I'll say one thing for y' DO make me chuckle! ;)

  24. Hi JS!
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

    Hmm... Never been to Germany during fasching, eh? At some parties, your plot would fit right in.

  25. Ha! David and Margie, loved the intro its winter here....sorry.
    Margie, yep having friends who answer delicate questions do make all the difference...for me breaking the barrier (pardon the pun) of the gay BDSM scene not only opened my eyes but brought me a wealth of beautiful friends too.

  26. That's okay. Last time I tried to drive my truck to Australia, it didn't work out too well anyway. Wipers blew a fuse and I couldn't see a thing.

    Hi, H.C.!
    Many, many thanks for your comments.
    Please don't be a stranger.

  27. I had no idea that reading a post about Tab A and Slot B would make me laugh so hard I'd spew all over my keyboard. LOL! The comments were even funnier. But hey - it's Margie Church. What else?

  28. Hello, Kayelle!
    Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed our entre of Margie au jus.
    On the 11th we'll be serving KB Cutter a la mode.

  29. Js! En Guard! I happen to love wearing lederhosen (and I wish you'd use words I could spell check). I think the leather pants/yodeling might work well if person #3 had the yodeler by the balls. Then you probably have a good start to a BDSM piece. The genre is pretty hot right now. No charge for that info, BTW.

    True story: Once I was wearing my lederhosen (my mother is from Deutschland) during a visit to my Tante Monika's haus. (I'll translate that into English...Aunt Monika's house.) I was on the Baptism River skipping rocks and slipped...oh yeah...wet leather pants. Disgusting...a few days later I was teasing a bull in the pasture...dove thru an electrified fence to get away...that wasn't good for me either. I've never been as saintly as my name might infer but this week I am actually writing an article for St. Margaret's Assisted Living. :-)

  30. H.C. I'm so glad you stopped. How can you resist David anyway? I can't. We checked our delicacy at the door. Goodness, the answers were frank. No guessing required. I read most of it with one eye closed and typed with one, very shaky finger. LOL

  31. Kayelle, thank you for visiting. Come back. Bring scads of friends every day! I'm glad you laughed and I thank you for the compliment. Please keep in touch.

    BTW, David, I'm putting together a calendar with Kb as the model. It's called a Cutting Edge Year. Kb will model the latest WalMart fashion failures. The butt crack pants shot will be his Christmas gift to everyone. It'll be a nice memory before you go blind, don't you think? *face palm*

  32. Have you noticed how much easier it is writing a m/m or f/f scene in first person? That way you can use "my" and "his" instead of "his" and "his." Really cuts down on the proper nouns as well as the confusion.

    Margie, I can't wait to read your book.

  33. Of course if you're writing an f/f with "my" and "his" with reference to pink parts, you might possibly be doing something wrong.

  34. Hi Amber,

    "pink parts" that's a good one. I'll have to remember it. I have a f/m/f scene coming up in RAZOR with Kb Cutter.

    As for first person, I don't. I always write in third. I need that emotional distance from the characters. It feels too personal to me when I write in first person. (And I may be talking in circles, too.) If I write in 1st person, then I feel like the story is about me and it's not. Quirky thing about me...need my concrete walls.

    Thanks for coming by!

  35. RAZOR will cut you to the bone with its hot story arc.

    But, I may be biased....


    I am a fashion disaster when I cut the grass at my mountain compound. Hey, I'm on seven secluded acres, who is gonna see me?

    I could ride the Jon Deere butt nekid.....

    Any-whoo, fab blog Margie. As always.

    To Margie Hall: Don't knock my tent-pole till you've climbed it.

    David: My fist camping excursion...well..I'm still in therapy. I cant go near flannel and Vaseline without breaking out in a sweat...

    Ah, yes I'll be here on the 11th. And for the record, I go best with vanilla ice cream.

  36. Kb...sizzling wit as always...see I can be nice. I left the dim part out. if you had said you were butt-nekid on the Deere, I would have answered a hot question. I can't wait for your turn in the hot seat. I'll bring a gallon of vaseline and ice cream.

  37. Gotta wear shades when you read mah stuff.

    -arches brow-

    Hey, was that a swipe?


    I was butt nekid. But not on the tractor. With weed whacker. I live on the edge.

    Still qualify for you to answer a hot question?

    Good. You do that. Leave the flannel home.


  38. Careful with the weed whacker - my serial killer muse lives in my weed whacker.

  39. @ Margie: I parry your chainsaw and retort by summoning Kermit while my wife plays the ukelele in the background. Their endearing rendition of "The Rainbow Connection" mesmerizes you long enough for me to draw my secret weapon: A spork :P
    Somehow, the image of you waving a flag in front of a bull doesn't shock me...wonder why? :D
    I meant to say earlier, you made some great points in this post. It's too easy, especially when you're trying to find your "voice," to become formulaic, and that's a tough trend to break. And as always, I love your sense of humor!
    @ KB: Um, yeah. I'd describe you as many things: friend, amigo, fellow psychopath. "Vanilla" occurs nowhere on that list!

  40. Great post Margie! Gotta give M/M a shot to see what I'm missing :D

  41. Kb...I wonder if you'd let me do the weed whacking while you're butt nekid? i have a real talent for trimming close. Of course you'd have to sign a liability waiver first. Just in case. :-)

  42. Js, I have a brand, spanking, new sprayer. You're not getting anywhere near me with that flimsy spork. You multi-tasker you!

    Seriously, I learned a number of "rules" when it came to writing for the m/m audience that didn't occur to me. I have a habit of writing people with emotional warts - they have affairs, addictions, unhappy attitudes, they're sneaky, not always 100-percent honest, fickle...seems like real people to me. I'm always battling to keep those stories intact through editing but I usually have to smooth them out. Hard as Teak was no different. It goes far beyond the sex in this genre. I had to really keep the readership in mind and what will offend or entice them. I'm hoping for a winner. I'll be buying the Kool-aid in Vegas if it is.

    @Elle! I'm so glad you made it and I hope you'll enjoy the genre, as well as my book, when it comes out. There are lots of great authors in the m/m genre. If you want any recommendations please let me know. Of course I recommend Out of the Closet/Back in the Closet for obvious reasons, too!

  43. Hello and Welcome, Elle.
    Glad you came by, and thank you very much for leaving a comment.

  44. LMAO at the idea of those drawings, Margie..don't suppose you'll be scanning and sharing them anytime soon? And that intro, oh my.... let me just set the record straight: I'm fully clothed, and not in a public place. Oh and it's sunny out. LOL Awesome blog post, and I'll have to make a point of coming back here...such fuN!

  45. Thanks, JoAnne! David does have a wonderful way with words and it's so easy to have fun here. Please come again. The drawings are for sale...almost everything I have is for much are you offering? Disclosure: I can't draw identifiable stick men so consider that carefully when making your bid. :-) Thanks for the visit JoAnne and I'm glad we made you laugh, naked or not.