Huge thanks and a massive welcome to John Inman who is very kindly Guest Blogging for us today here at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews… he’s hilarious and we have certainly loved having him around! So without further ado, I give you the man himself…
First off, I want to thank Macky and Monique and Mark and Tina and everyone else at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews for inviting me here. You guys have been exceptionally kind to me and my weirdass novels lately and I just want you to know I appreciate it. I savor each and every compliment I get. I really do. Let me tell you why.
You'd think writing comedy would be all shits and giggles and rainbows. But sometimes it simply isn't. Three years ago I had just about given up on ever selling anything I'd written. I could barely walk through my house for all the rejection slips scattered about. No kidding, they were like knee deep. I hadn't seen the cat in a month. Sometimes even my computer was so disgusted by it all it would hit its own ESCAPE key whenever I logged on just to prevent me from writing anything else.
Then one day, depressed and digging my way through a gallon of Rocky Road with a serving spoon and a chisel, I stumbled onto the website for Dreamspinner Press. Interesting, I thought. Sexy covers. Male to male stories. Clever blurbs. I read a few excerpts from what they had to offer, and the first time I ran across the word "blowjob" I started feeling pretty much at home. Digging deeper, I found the excerpts to be erotic as hell. Then I really started feeling right at home. It occurred to me suddenly that this was exactly what I had been writing. Gay erotica. Writing -- and submitting to the wrong publishers for the past twenty years.
Now, anyone who knows me knows I'm a twit with computers. The absolute worst. I can type on the damn thing and hang socks on it to dry, but that's about it. When I read on the DSP website that submissions would be accepted electronically only, my little bubble of hope shot a gasket and squirted off across the room like a punctured balloon. Why? Because I didn't know how to send a manuscript electronically. (I told you I was a twit.)
So I did the only thing I could do. I shot off an email (that much I could do) to Dreamspinner Press begging for a holy dispensation. In other words, pleading for a chance to send my book to them on paper. That's right. Paper. Four hundred sheets of it. (At least it wasn't on papyrus or carved on stone tablets, right? That had to count for something, I figured. Besides, postage on a crate of stone tablets would have cost a fortune, not to mention pissing off the UPS guy no end.)
Having spent the last twenty years being either insulted or ignored or raspberried by every publisher I had come in contact with, imagine my surprise when I received a very nice email from a lady named Elizabeth North who told me she would indeed, since I was obviously not dealing with a full deck (my words, not hers), make an exception and allow me to submit my book on paper.
Always one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I took the first advantage I had seen in twenty years and sent the poor woman two novels on paper.
Okay, dear reader. Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Well, believe it or not, she bought them both! I know. I still can't believe it either. Perhaps she thought it was the least she could do for this unfortunate fool and that maybe said fool would use the money to seek out mental health counselling, or at least a good computer class. Which, by the way, I did. The computer class, I mean. It was already too late for the other thing.
Now, three years later, here I am. My tenth book just came out. I have four more in the queue at Dreamspinner Press waiting to be released, not to mention an audiobook and an Italian translation of SHY on the way. And by golly, I'm having the time of my life. I've not only wedged myself into my very own teeny tiny niche in the publishing world, but I've also found there are a lot of kind, wonderful people indeed plying the trade around me. And I'm not just speaking of my publisher, Elizabeth North, whom I could never thank properly for all she's done for me no matter how much time I had to do it in. But I've also met a host of sweet, encouraging, loyal readers who are generous enough to send congratulatory emails at the drop of a hat and buy book after book whether they can afford them or not and still look forward to a writer's next silly extravaganza with eager Kindles in hand, just waiting to start downloading. My editor, Andi, is the nicest, smartest woman in the world who actually understands hanging participles and who spots all my other grammatical flaws and plot holes and POV fuck-ups immediately too, thank heavens, because I sure as hell don't. And last but not least, I have to mention my fellow writers. They are a wonder, always eager to come together and help one of their own out of a jam when the chips are down, God bless them. And golly, I've even made friends with a few book reviewers, who I finally discovered weren't actually snaggle-toothed monsters after all. Well. Not all of them.
Now I think you'll understand what a good review can do for a guy like me. Especially since most of my books are just ridiculous little stories with sex and gags and maybe a horny mongrel thrown in now and then for laughs, all strung together by love and hope and a great appreciation by the author for being in a position to be lucky enough to have the story published at all.
I love writing. I love writing and I love romance and I love humor. I also love all the friends I've made, either in person or online, who have discovered that they love humor and romance, too, and who maybe even like my writing a little bit to boot.
Oh, and by the way. I hope those same people like horror too. I have a couple of really spooky novels coming out soon. But don't worry. There's humor in them as well. As far as I'm concerned, it's not a complete book without a pratfall or two and a couple of cornball jokes thrown in for good measure. And sex. Lots and lots of sex.
M/M is a great genre. And it's getting better all the time. I can't tell you how happy and proud I am to be a part of it. And that, my friend, is no joke at all.
Serenading Stanley by John Inman
Title ~ Serenading Stanley
Author ~ John Inman
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Genre ~ M/M Romance
Published ~ 14th October 2013
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Welcome to the Belladonna Arms, a rundown little apartment building perched atop a hill in downtown San Diego, home to the city’s lost and lovelorn. Shy archaeology student Stanley Sternbaum has just moved in and fills his time quietly observing his eccentric neighbors, avoiding his hellion mother, and trying his best to go unnoticed… which proves to be a problem when it comes to fellow tenant Roger Jane. Smitten, the hunky nurse with beautiful green eyes does everything in his power to woo Stanley, but Stanley has always lived a quiet life, too withdrawn from the world to take a chance on love. Especially with someone as beautiful as Roger Jane.
While Roger tries to batter down Stanley’s defenses, Stanley turns to his new neighbors to learn about love: Ramon, who’s not afraid to give his heart to the wrong man; Sylvia, the trans who just wants to be a woman, and the secret admirer who loves her just the way she is; Arthur, the aging drag queen who loves them all, expecting nothing in return—and Roger, who has been hurt once before but is still willing to risk his heart on Stanley, if Stanley will only look past his own insecurities and let him in.
Stanley, Stanley, Stanley! How do I start to list all the reasons why I loved you so much? Well I guess one place to start is with Mr John Inman who at the moment is my go to author for not just a great laugh but also for what we all love best about our M/M romances. A satisfying, hot, sexy, emotionally driven, heartfelt love story, with loveable MC's and sometimes even more likeable supporting characters who, however much you fall for the two love interests, still end up almost stealing the show because they're larger than life and memorable because of their quirks and LOL entertainment value.
And that's exactly what Serenading Stanley is all about. A group of adorable misfits who I defy anybody not to fall head over heels for, because I lost my heart to each and every one of them.
As soon as Stanley moved into 'The Belladonna Arms' apartment building with its pink Magic Marker ' Vacancy' sign and its Magenta Magic Marker glitter sprinkled, hand written add on saying "Please Be Cute," I was wishing I was moving in with Stanley, and then when the first person he met happened to be a hairy three-hundred-pound drag queen in a red wig and taffeta ball gown. Well that was it, I was in wacko heaven! I wanted to live there, with its motley crew that consisted of the kind ageing drag queen, the raging kleptomaniac, the cute but hopeless twink (scissor happy) trainee hairdresser, the young dippy pierced, leather wearing 'masseur'-slash-hustler, the quiet keep to himself straight guy, the beautiful but sad, sweet transgender girl and of course Roger Jane, the drop dead gorgeous male nurse with the beautiful green eyes and body to die for, who knocks any one he meets and our Stanley for six, and ditto for Roger even though his 'Little Mouse' is woefully blind to the fact. Then last but not least the mother to end all mothers. OMG, that woman was as mad as a box of frogs but talk about laugh. For as much as I wanted to strangle her at times, I also wanted to get to the next scene with her in it, just to see what other shocking thing she'd do or say! There's a hairdressing scene that had me practically peeing myself, as did the chocolate brownie and watermelon interlude between Stanley and Roger. Hilarious! But underlying all the hilarity and wackiness there were some truly poignant and gentle moments that actually brought me to tears. Especially when it came to Sylvia, the transgender girl, who melted my heart, and some of the more tender scenes between the two main guys had me as gooey as the middle of those bad boy brownies. A certain hospital moment comes to mind that had me sniffling and sighing at the same time.
Stanley nodded "I'll make you dinner." And Roger said the words Stanley would remember for the rest of his life. "I don't want any dinner, I only want you."
Then there's Stanley himself. Shy, self-deprecating, introverted, uptight Stanley, who can't, or should I say won't, even try to see the wood for the trees. Will you want to shake him? Oh yeah, but you'll want to be hugging him tight as you do it. Poor hunky Roger Jane, our gorgeous male nurse certainly has his hands full with self-doubting Stanley but he ain't giving up. In his eyes Stanley is just as beautiful as everyone thinks HE is so the sexual tension when they're together had me all of a doodah. If anyone is listening up there...I want a man like that!
I really don't want to give anything else away about this sweet, funny, endearing story because there are so many delights to be found in it, and like any treasure, discovering it for yourself makes it all the more precious. Just be prepared to forgive Stanley for being such a friggin' numb-nuts at times but then again if he wasn't so obtuse, the book wouldn't work half as well as it does because Stanley is just... well....Stanley! The heart of the story, and however stubbornly set in his ways the guy is, he's still a real sweetie and personally I wouldn't want him any other way!
Truthfully. I'm envying everyone who gets to pick this up for the first time and I'm hoping they're just as enchanted as I was. I've loved all my John Inman books up to now but this one has wormed its way a touch deeper into my heart. A little gem that glittered for me just like that magenta apartment sign. Now I'm ready to venture into some of Johns darker stuff because my journey with Mr Inman hasn't quite finished yet. And he says there's going to be sex... Lots of sex! Who can argue with that!
About John Inman
John Inman has been writing fiction since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He and his partner live in beautiful San Diego, California. Together, they share a passion for theater, books, hiking and biking along the trails and canyons of San Diego or, if the mood strikes, simply kicking back with a beer and a movie. John's advice for anyone who wishes to be a writer? "Set time aside to write every day and do it. Don't be afraid to share what you've written. Feedback is important. When a rejection slip comes in, just tear it up and try again. Keep mailing stuff out. Keep writing and rewriting and then rewrite one more time. Every minute of the struggle is worth it in the end, so don't give up. Ever. Remember that publishers are a lot like lovers. Sometimes you have to look a long time to find the one that's right for you."
You can contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org
John is gifting to one very lucky winner an ebook of Serenading Stanley, all you need to do is leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.