Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Leather Wishes and Dreams

Nearly a decade ago I wrote a little, gay male story called "The Black Lion's Mark." It was my ultimate odd-couple story: interracial, intergenerational, a big man and a small man, an experienced participant and one new to the experience. Also, to add even more spice: top and bottom, Dom and sub. It wasn't the opposing extremes, however, that formed the challenge. The real challenge was making this hook-up between a young, black, aggressive dominant and a white, elderly and very shy submissive probable. I wanted, most especially, to believe that the young man would want to do this.

So was born Mason, the Fancy Man. A leatherman who thrives on bringing sexual fantasies to life. And, being an actor, doing so in some very inventive ways. All Leo, my shy, elderly gent had to do was give Mason an erotic daydream unique enough, challenging enough, and there'd be no stopping him. That he would do this for Leo wouldn't merely be probable, but inevitable.

That, in fact, is just what happened. Leo handed Mason a fantasy he couldn't resist, and "The Black Lion's Mark" took off from there. I still consider it one of the my very best stories. What I'm perhaps most proud of is how tender, how romantic and how very true it turned out to be. This, in fact, became the heart of all my Fancy Man tales: the message that within our fantasies, our cherished myths and even our biases there is a core truth. One we can discover if we're brave enough to explore them. One that will transform us and make us the best "us" we can be.

Bringing out this truth is Mason's real talent. He instinctively sees it in those he helps, and aims to make them see it, too. In-between, of course, he also gets to engage in plenty of BDSM foreplay and sex; he is, after all, a leatherman. But all that is part and parcel of these stories. It's not just any fantasies, cherished myths and biases that lead to revelations, but ones that involve an adventure through pain, pleasure and fear, chills and thrills, until, at last, we reach our core destination and find...ourselves.

And the Fancy Man isn't immune to this either. Being the fantasy, creating pain, pleasure and fear, chills and thrills, can also lead to revelations. As Mason has discovered time and again, often to his surprise and chagrin.

Which brings me, at last, to Leather Wishes, Forbidden Fiction's anthology of all the Fancy Man Tales to date. What can I say? From "Black Lion's Mark" written so many years ago to A Fancy Man Holiday released just last week, I always wished there would be such an anthology. From what I've been told, readers of these stories have long wished for the same. Come to that, it's been a wish of the long-suffering and amazing editors/artists/publishers at Forbidden Fiction. The faith they had in me and in these stories, the extraordinary efforts they put into making the Fancy Man tales the best they could be would have done Mason proud.

All of which means, I guess, that life has mirrored fiction: with this anthology, FFP has brought one of my long-held fantasies to life.

So, on behalf of myself, Forbidden Fiction and, of course, Mason, I'd like to offer the following leather wish: May this anthology be as much a dream come true for you as it is for me. Or even, perhaps, a gift come true for someone special. May you find great pleasure in reading these stories, and new pleasures in every re-reading. Most of all, may this anthology not only fulfill every expectation you might have had for it, but exceed them.

Mason, who always goes above and beyond in bringing fantasies to life, wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy reading all,
Julian Keys

A Fancy Man Holiday: Giving and Receiving

This latest and longest addition to my Fancy Man series is an opus called simply: A Fancy Man Holiday. And, yes, its one of those seasonal tales. I do love writing up such stories, in part because they feel like a gift I'm giving to readers.

With my leatherman character, Mason, however, it seems particular apt that this most revealing tale should take place during the holidays. The Fancy Man, after all, is known for bestowing his talents on others like some BDSM angel. In addition, his stories alway involve a kind of "unwrapping" as he peels away the the mystery of the person needing his unique services. He opens them up, and then, like a kid on Christmas morning, delights in them. Uses them. Values them.

Of course, Mason, himself, has remained tightly wrapped and mysterious as a secret Santa, even to readers. But as holiday gift-giving is reciprocal, this time around, Mason is going to be "unwrapped." I hope the surprises readers find under the ribbons and paper will amaze and delight them as much as writing them did me.

So, dear readers, you will find in this short novel not only the continuing tale of Mason, Charles and all the patrons of the Cockpit bar, but also reveals, laughter, romance, and, I hope, some very satisfying erotica, Along the way, apropos of the genre, gifts will be exchanged. Every character will give and receive in a variety of ways, and if I've done my job, you will feel as if you, too, are part of the gatherings and parties. As if you, too, are in Mason's leather world, a member of his family and tribe.

And just to add, Leather Wishes, the long awaited anthology of all Fancy Man stories to date, including this one, will be coming out next week. So if you can wait till December 1st, Advent Day (a very important day, you'll learn, to Mason), you can have all the stories in one beautiful volume.

For that matter, both Leather Wishes and A Fancy Man Holiday are great holiday gifts...for very special friends, that is.

To close, and in the spirit of the season, I leave you with this thought, one that Mason has learned so well over these five stories: Sometimes the best gift we can give anyone is to receive what they're willing to give us. Accept it, open it, use it, delight in it. Especially if it's from the heart.

Very happy holidays to one and all. And enjoy the read.
Julian Keys