I’m interviewing DP Denman, the author of M/M contemporary romance “Skin Deep”.
- How long have you been writing?
I started writing little family skits when I was about seven, casting my siblings in parts. I self-published my first story when I was about the same age. It was a single-copy print with a little cardboard cover and stick figure illustrations.
- Is Skin Deep your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
My first published book is a HFN called Changing Tide. It’s about a man named Jack who is trying to figure out what he really wants after spending years living a lie in a sham marriage. He’s busy running a business and trying to settle for causal relationships when the man of his dreams walks into his life and destroys his theory that he can be just as happy with sex as he can with love.
It isn’t a smooth fall into love. The man of his dreams is trying to get over the death of his partner and isn’t interested in anything serious. At the same time, the man who has been warming Jack’s bed on a regular basis decides he wants a serious relationship. Jack isn’t interested because he’s already found his man so he has to find a way to convince the wrong man to leave and the right one to stay.
- Why did you choose M/M contemporary romance as genre for your book?
To be honest, I didn’t really choose M/M romance. I write love stories full of passion and drama that happen to be between two gay men. To me romance is romance and love is love. The gender of the people involved doesn’t make any difference, but when you write you have to pick a genre before you can market the stories. According to the description of my books, they fall into the category of M/M romance.
At some point, I’d love to see the M/M and F/F qualifiers stripped off and just have a single category of Contemporary Romance, but we’re still a few years away from that.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Tons! Just kidding. A friend give me some excellent advice once and while he was talking about the music industry, I’ve learned that the sentiment works just as well in publishing. As an aspiring author, you have to learn to check your ego at the door. Yes, it’s a great accomplishment to finish a manuscript and you have every right to be proud of it, but if you start your career convinced you’re a shining example of what an author is supposed to be you’re in for a very difficult, disheartening, and probably short career. Nothing kills your chances for success faster than an over-inflated ego.
You have to keep things in perspective. You’ve done what a lot of people can’t by finishing a manuscript. Outside the publishing world, that makes you a pretty big deal. Inside, it makes you just like everyone else. The bright, shiny award of completion is the same one the rest of us have.
It’s a lot like transitioning from junior high to high school. One day you’re an upperclassman throwing your weight around and the star of your basketball team. The next you’re a lowly freshman on the bottom rung of the social ladder hoping you’re good enough to make junior varsity. I see that upperclassman attitude in a lot of aspiring writers. They send their manuscripts to beta readers and critique partners for advice and then reject every suggestion because this is their story and they’re going to tell it exactly the way they want to tell it. They don’t want advice. They want praise and the truth is, if they’re not 100 percent open to creative criticism and willing to take it to heart when someone tells them their story needs work then they’re not ready to be published.
This is a tough and incredibly competitive business. People will judge and rate their work every day. Some of them bloggers, some of them readers, and some of those readers will be other authors. They will have to compete with people who write faster, have more experience, have a bigger marketing budget, and spend every waking moment working to improve their talent for storytelling. They need to be willing to work just as hard and admit they have a lot to learn if they want to compete. Ego won’t do anything for them other than get in the way.
- Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
I just finished the first draft of book three in the Saving Liam series and am putting together notes on book four.
About the Book
Author: DP Denman
Genre: M/M contemporary romance
Liam Newman escaped an abusive past to start a new life with Justin, the man of his dreams. Unfortunately, the old life refuses to stay buried. When a fan of his porn star persona appears, he’s forced to reinvent himself in a surprising new career. Will it give him the new start he craves or lead him deeper into the life he’s trying to leave behind?
DP Denman writes character-driven gay romance about survivors. Her stories are real and intense but always resolve in the type of ending that makes readers want to start the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city that is dear to her heart.
In her spare time she is a dedicated gay rights activist fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBT charities.
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