"The Street Martyr is a book with balls. Great big brass balls. It's tough and gritty, unflinchingly brutal and honest, and a wild ride from start to finish. And yet, the book's thrills are only part of the reason Dunham left me feeling like I'd just been flattened by a literary steamroller. For me, the real appeal of this book is in its heart. Dunham has painted a mean picture of those scrabbling for survival on the fringes of society, but he's done it with genuine empathy and class."

Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Inheritance and The Savage Dead

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WRITING EROTICA



WRITING EROTICA 
T. Fox Dunham

  
A few days ago, Bitten Press sent me the contract to obtain the rights to my novel, Professional Detachment or The Eternal. It is to be my second published book. The second written is a horror still under consideration, and the fourth is my book about the lost son of Andy Kaufman for PMMP. The Eternal may be my first long erotica—though I’d call it more a literary romance with erotic elements. I have sold erotica before, including a popular story included in Cleius Press’ Big Book of Orgasms, now on the shelves at Barnes and Nobles (That was a thrill.) Yes. My porn is on the shelves of a major book store.


http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Orgasms-Sexy-Stories-ebook/dp/B00E257UUW/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384944577&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=Cleius+Press+Big+Big+of+Orgasm
From Cleius Press

)O(

Professional Detachment 
or 
The Eternal
 by T. Fox Dunham
Soon Published by Bitten Press

Doctor Cindy Rosethorn is a young oncologist whose world just ended. She married one of her professors at Johns Hopkins, and he dominated her life—twice her age. He took a job at the Hospital of the University of Penn, where he get her onto the oncology staff. After moving, he decided to trade up for a younger model, a nurse, divorces Cindy and is now looking for an excuse to fire her, constantly scrutinizing her actions. She has no home. She’s living in her office, and she’s suffering an ulcer. He comes around and terrorizes her.

She takes on a new patient, a young man full life named Timothy Fox, who is suffering from lymphoma. His prognosis is poor. Timothy reaches out to his new oncologist. He can’t tolerate the distance doctors create between themselves and their patients. I understand this well, and as a lymphoma patient at Penn, I labored to shatter that distance, to become friends with my doctors. Timothy enchants her, brings her out, and she falls in love with him. Now she suffers an ethical dilemma. She’s too close to her patient, but she knows, though denies it, that they don’t have much time together. And if her husband finds out about her relationship to Timothy, it’ll be enough to destroy the last element of her life, her job.

The Cover for my new book
Writing erotica came naturally to me. I wasn’t trying to write a sex story. I just wrote a literary piece and spent a larger percentage of narrative on the acts of sex. I wrote a literary romance with the same plot capacity—conflict, character, growth of spirit—that I would on any fiction piece. The theme or erotica, horror, science fiction plays secondary to the main elements of fiction, and this is one of the reasons for my success. I’m a literary author writing in genres. Character and conflict come first in my crafting. If it so happens to be a demon or a lonely doctor, then that’s the genre element. Hemingway, Salinger, Capote are my primary gods.

However, there is a tricky element to writing erotica. The goal is to solicit the same biological and emotional reaction that the act of arousal and even sex does in person. Sex itself is a completely mental act. Physical arousal is just late stage and not always even necessary. Sex ravishes the mind, and this is where I good storyteller can master the lust and the love. With my words, I can take your body and mind to new heights of physical pleasure and love that could not be possible with the body. I have practiced this in the past by telling merely stories to previous partners with no physical contact yet achieving climax. (That be a bit personal, but I’m making a point.) If one of my previous partners is reading this and remembers what I did . . . Cheers. (And I know you miss it!)

It is a dance. Summoning sex in the mind with narration is a sophisticated art and requires an understanding how the mind processes sex. A careful and observant person, not completely self-absorbed, can learn this process through watching and communication. It has different outcomes, but the paradigm of mental sex I’ve found is quite often the same in humans. Psychologists will tell you the same.

So how does one narrate arousal and sex without the element of physical closeness, sans the body connection? Most of sex is about seeing, tasting, listening, breathing? Some of the narrative is going to be reference to the reader’s previous sex acts, what they’ve learned and experienced. Part of the sexual response to the narrative is going to be a replay like dreams. However, there is a plenty of room for new experiences also—the script to fantasies. In good fiction, we become the characters. We feel what they feel, so a conduit is already created.

Now, it’s a matter of ceremony, of arousal and buildup, just like any plot or compelling scene. I gained much of experience while engaged in long-distance relationships, employing chat to pursue mutual acts of making love with a distant partner. Some of those experiences were more powerful than the actual physical act. It is a buildup of need and even desperation. Both partners are responsible for narrating their own bodies and how they interact with your body. You respond and engage back, building a circuit, arousing the other, building up those wonderful hormones. The narrative begins with the early acts of arrosual, such as kissing, touching, removing of clothing. Descriptions of the body then follow, taking the place of the eye. Other senses are replaced by those words. This is vital to building the narrated sexual act. This is held in the mind’s eye, and concrete details empower these lines. We describe the response of our aroused bodies, quite different between men and women. We proceed with foreplay then engage in an interactive act. Each side usually takes turns, describing their actions and response. This builds, and there are key code words to represent real corresponding elements such as climaxing. Timing is vital.

This process can be best learned in engaging in line by line cyber sex with an enthusiastic partner. This is where I learned the art, and I’ve applied my literary passion and style to the narrative with great success. Study and watch what your partner says, and hopefully they have some acumen. Many steady relationships in the physical world depend on sort of role-played sexual connection online with distant relations, so you will see many varieties of prose employed.

The book will be out soon, and I hope you’ll yield something I wish I knew at the time of writing an erotica: don’t write erotica in a public place like a coffee house. Your own erotica should be stimulating you, and it can become obvious. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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THE STREET MARTYR NOW AVAILABLE FOR KINDLE
& SOON
BOOK STORIES AND ONLINE FOR PRINT EDITION



After much gnawing and gnashing of teeth, we my editor defeated our distributor and discovered what the delay with the release of the Street Martyr. I am relieved to announce that it is now available for download on kindle and will soon be available online and through book stores as a paperback.



---> My Next Reading Event:


I am doing my next reading at the Water Gallery Art Showroom in Lansdale, at Amy Rim's Spoken Word Night this Friday, November 22nd. 6PM.



We are collecting food for manna's, The Lansdale Food Pantry. 

http://www.mannaonmain.org/

We are inviting local authors, comedians, actors, poets and spoken word performers of all kinds to come read their words. There will be refreshments provided and some live music. This event is free and uncensored in a respectful atmosphere. We will be collecting canned goods for Manna to help stock their food pantry.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sreet Martyr East Coast Release Party


28th September 2013 – Saturday from 3PM - ??


The East Coast Release Party of The Street Martyr by T. Fox Dunham

In book stores and online October 1st

Meeting VIncent and Louie at Molly's:


These last few weeks, I’ve grown so ill. My doctors are using scary terms like malignancy and platelets, and I lay on the couch with my head pushed deep away, and I consider what I’ve given to the world—what would be my gift, my legacy if I am overcome. I grant you Vincent and Louie—the two old unforgettable morons that represent the best in the human species. 

They’re sitting here with me now at Molly’s. Vincent is hung over the bar, pushing back his greasy dark hair. He’s wearing an old blazer that reeks of pot smoke and mildew. The fall air still warms, and he’d sweat in his leather jacket; however, winter is coming with a promise of a Nor’easter that will sweep away predatory priests and mob kings. His old companion and bane Louie sits next to him on the barstool, except he has to lean up on his elbows to keep eye level with Misty, the blond chemistry student that slings whiskey sours to the lads as they drink and try to figure out how they’re going to stay alive for another week. Vincent’s mom dies of cancer, and Louie’s mom took off years ago, leaving him to fend for himself.

I’m sitting in the corner of the bar, eating chicken gumbo and sipping on a screwdriver. I can’t take too much liquor. My body would never suffer it; and I keep spying on the guys. Misty brings them another shot. Louie grins like a fucking idiot.

“Thanks Baby,” Louie says. Most of his hair has fallen out. 

“You call me baby one more time, I’m going to drive that shotglass up your ass and catch it when it falls out of your pug nose.”

Louie grins. “That’s sexy.”

Vincent roles his eyes. If Louie keeps it up, they’ll be thrown out of another bar. They’ve run out of dives on South Street, so today they drove down to Lansdale to scout out a Rite Aid that’s said to have a shitload of pills. I can’t help but watch, catching glances while sipping from my screwdriver. Finally, Louie spots me. He looks self-conscious, pulling back the few strands of hair he has left down over his bald spot.

“You some kind of queer?” he yells over Vincent at me.

“Take it easy,” Vincent says.

“Don’t you two wankers let me down,” I say back.

“What the fuck is he talking about?” Louie asks Vincent.

“I put my life into you,” I tell them. “If I’m dying—and it will come sooner than later, then you are what I leave the world. You two dumb asses."

“Hey,” Vincent says, breaking his usually calm demeanor, which surprises me. “I make do with what God gave me. He sent my soul to the gutter, and now my mother is sick. This is what I’ve got. Don’t feed me any of that shit about the American dream, about making myself a better person. I don’t take care of my mom, she dies.”

“But you’re a drug dealer,” I say.

“I’m a noble hero. I live in the real world, not your Greek Tragedy shit.”

“Hey,” Louie says. “Lay off of him. He does the best we can. We all do. Fucker.”
             
Louie fists the metal bars he’s known for. They’ll pack his punch to make up for his small size. He looks like a smurf, but Louie’s a killer. That’s how I wrote him.

Vincent eyes me good, like he’s checking out my ass. I flush a bit, then he cracks a grin. He scratches at the chains hanging from the piercings in his face. “Nah Louie. Lay off the guy. Don’t you get it?”

“I get that I’m going to pulp his damn skull,” Louie says, rolling his shit in his fist.

Vincent’s face burns red, and he laughs until he’s gasping. He even knocks over his empty glass, dumping ice on Misty’s feet. She growls at him, ready to smack his head. “Don’t you get this shit?” Vincent asks.

Louie drops his weight in his pocket, and I’m spared a good thrashing. “You’re fucking drunk, dude.” Vincent cracks up. 

“What?”

“We’re all he’s got! Shit! He doesn’t know how much time he’s got left, and we’re going to represent his soul when we’re gone. Oh shit. This is too fucking funny.”

I finish my screwdriver, drinking the last of the bitter liquor off the ice. It’s all my stomach can handle, and I’m letting down my legendary title—Long Island Fox. That was me and Max in New Orleans. He was Hurricane Max, and I was Long Island Fox. Those memories comfort me so.

I start to laugh with my boys. I’ve given them life, and they’ve returned it; perhaps, it’ll be enough to carry me through. “Buy this asshole a drink!” Vincent yells. “He needs it.”

Misty sets me up with another screwdriver. It’s on the house. “The House always wins,” I say, quoting from the book I’d just finished for Bitten Press—a romance-literary-erotica fox specialty.

“So what the fuck are you worried about?”

I laugh with them and drink down my vodka-and-orange juice. I’m a lightweight drunk, so I’m already pretty buzzed. Before leaving, Vincent kisses my check, and his silver chains strike my skin. Louie comes up to give me a hug, but then he switches his arms then punches my head—light. It’s a love tap. I know, because he hasn’t used his weights. I toppled over on the floor, and Vincent drops some narcotics in a white envelope on me.

“Oh the . . . House,” he says. “You’re going to need them.”

“Shit,” I say, thinking of what’s coming, what I’m facing. “Thanks, you couple of beautiful fuckups.”



(I don’t use profanity in my speech. I’m just talking to my lads.)

 * * *




The Street Martyr
East Coast Release Party –
 

Tabora Café – Lansdale Store
209 West Main Street, Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446

http://www.taborafarmandorchard.com/store/






The party officially starts at 3PM, where I’ll be opening ceremonies with a bit of poetry and some fox-thoughts. Tabora Café is a wonderful coffeehouse and bakery. Also, it sports some of the best local wines and even lavender ice cream! It’s quite tasty, like eating a sweet bar of soap.

**I’ll be reading from The Street Martyr periodically through the event, along with some of my other work, short stories.


**Local and upcoming artist, Amy Rims will be live painting work from our new project together with Hazardous Press.

**Local young musician Becca will be playing her guitar and singing for us for a few sets. I discovered her on the streets of Lansdale, playing her heart out.

**And Zack M comes with some stories and masks. He’s a talented storyteller.

It’s going to be quite a day. The Street Martyr will be on sale for 13.95. I do have a square, so I can accept cards. We come prepared! I’ve already sold a ton of pre-orders and early reader copies. Several five star reviews have been posted on Amazon, and I’d love it if you posted a review for me—as long as it’s honest.

PRE-ORDER THE STREET MARTYR, JUST CLICK BELOW:  
THE STREET MARTYR

At the end of July, Gutter Books flew me out to San Francisco for the West Coast Release party for the Street Martyr and Will Viharo’s Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me. I hit that city like a comet, seeing everything I could. The party was amazing, and Will and I blew the roof off the place with our readings.

Artist depiction of T. Fox Dunham reading from The Street Martyr while on stage.
On the day after the party, Tom Pitts picked me up and took me into his family. Tom will always be a brother, now. He showed me the heart of the city, and I am grateful to him. We’ve become close friends.

                                     * * *

Cellar Door released through James Kirk Ward Publishing.
Editor Sydney Leigh
 


Late in the summer, I had the good fortune to be included in an anthology edited by Sydney Leigh—Cellar Door. What attracted me to this anthology was the involvement and enthusiasm of Rose Blackthorn. She and I have moved in similar circles for some time. Sydney had a mission to try to include many new authors, even giving them their first publication in this book, and I admired how she worked with them, helping to get their stories edited. This is why I choose to support the project. This is a fine and spirited collection of short stories, flash fiction, photographs and artwork, including my short story that finishes the collection. I am pleased to be a part of this collection and to support so many new authors. They’re the lifeblood of the industry. I am happy to announce that my story was picked for one of two editor's choice awards, and I am donating my to the Children's Cancer Fund.

BUY THIS COLLECTION AT AMAZON!


So I hope to see many of you at the party!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

STREET MARTYR SLAMS SAN FRANCISCO THIS SATURDAY!!


On Friday, I get on a plane and fly across the continent to the city of San Francisco. I join there Will Viharo, for our book release party. It’s this Saturday, July 27th 2013, 7PM at The 50s Mason Social House. It’s an incredible venue, and I am thrilled to be reading my first novel there.


Pretty cool, huh?

I’ll be reading from my book, The Street Martyr, and Will Viharo will be reading from his book, Love Stories are too Violent for Me, A Pulp Novel. I couldn’t have asked for better companions in this journey. Matthew Louis has been a wise and patient editor at Gutter Books, and he’s given me so much. You must understand, I never expected any of this. This was my first novel, a learning experience, and I wrote it to practice and perhaps earn the admiration of such hard-boiled greats as Joe Clifford, Paul D. Brazil, Tom Pitts, and the rest of those bums whom I admire so. Then, if it got accepted by Gutter Books, I figured it would be a nice POD, something I could point at, sell a few copies, then move on. Little did I realize that Matthew Louis was lurking in the water, ready to take the bait. I thought I was fishing for him. He was fishing for me.

For all you authors out there hoping to emulate my experience, I say this. And I can’t stress this enough. Work hard. Learn your craft. Practice. Finish your work, even if you hate it. Overcome obstacles and move beyond defeat and disappointment. This is vital to your work and success. But most of all:

 
RIGHT PLACE AT THE . . .:

So much of this is luck. Being at the right place at the right time. It just so happened that Matthew Louis was ready to take Gutter Books to the next level. I had published a flash fiction piece with them, Kid Louie, which they called one of their best in eight years, so I decided to base a novel off of it. So, I work for two months, figuring out long fiction. I do some reading edits. Max Booth III gives me a good read. I edit. I submit. I plan patience. I figure they’ll get back to me in 4-6 months. 4 days later, Matthew accepted. He waited. He watched. He searched for the right book, the right voice, something different, literary, a new scope in a stale genre. Like two free flying protons in a great universe, randomly we collided. Now, Gutter Books is flying me out to San Francisco, and we’re engaged in promotion. It’s happening. And it’ll be in book stores, not just POD. It’s beyond any of my expectations.


YOU MUST HAVE THIS KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR EDITOR FOR YOUR BOOK TO SUCCEED:

I didn’t know Matthew. I thought I’d end up in the hands of Joe Clifford. I was unsure. I was handing him one of the most important works of my life—and it’s not going to be a long life. He began edit strategies, and I had no clue at that point that he would be asking miracles of me in the next few months. He wanted to make some changes, and I appreciated that. What the hell do I know? It’s my first book. I’m considered a horror author, and I’d only had a few stories published in crime lit. Still, I didn’t know him. And then I read some early dialogue and description he wrote for Louie, based on my character synopsis. Gods. He nailed it. He knew the character. He loved him a little. He had it down, and I realized then how much he loved and was committed to this legend. That’s when I knew we were going to create something beautiful and repugnant, and that if I jumped off a cliff, he’d be going down with me. This kind of relationship between an editor an author is vital to creating a masterpiece. We had it. I knew that when I was reading his notes while riding to Peace Valley Park to fish that night.

Treat and love your editor like a family member. Trust them to the bitter repugnant end. If you don’t, then something isn’t working.

You have to trust your editor to see what you can’t see, to give you the distance you can never have with your book. Matthew began to slaughter my book, and I gave him my blessing. He knew the market, the genre, the theme. I was an upstart, a stranger, an imposter. Yet, it was vital to him that we preserve the literary element to the novel. He said that’s what made it so special, so unique and brilliant. I had taken a stale genre and given it literary life. He said my descriptions alone captured a dark and decaying spirit of Philly. Horror and crime merged in atmosphere and character. Yet, it was too literary for the audience. I had internalized too much. This is my weakness. I’m chronically ill. I overcompensate. It’s my greatest writing weakness. I’m sure many authors understand this: the fear we’ve not been clear or we’ve not emphasized a point. Matthew trusted me to be a professional and cut the material. And we did. We worked out each issue. Matthew always explained that he was OCD, far more than other editors. I worshiped him for it. I was so grateful to have an editor that would got hung up over a single detail or nuance. I was blessed.

If an editor has not hacked your book to shreds and argued with you over the salient points . . . if the editor has not inflicted agony on your writing soul . . . if you’ve not been compelled to debate most lines and writing choices . . . and if you’re not missing at least a fifth of your narrative after the first editor read . . . then . . . there’s something wrong with your editor-author relationship. I get worried when an editor hands me back a story and says, "Oh. It’s fine Fox. Going right in." That’s just not part of the process. 

We require editors to look outside the vision, to bridge our creative vision and the reader’s world.

So then Matthew decides we need to extend the plot. He wants to exploit more drama with one of the characters, and I see the potential. As a literary novel, The Street Martyr’s ending worked well, but we were writing for Hardboiled crime audience as well. He had some brilliant thoughts on extending the ending, and to do so, we had to cut the last few chapters and write new ones. After we worked out the new plot, I framed the new material at about 13,000 words. That’s a fifth of novel at least. Oh. I had two days to write it, since I was going to New Orleans for the WHC in June. You see, we had to fill in a slot for the release party and with the distributor. What Matthew was asking me to do was unheard of, impossible, fecking nutz! It couldn’t be done! That’s all he had to say to me. Remember, I’m the fox that beat an unbeatable cancer for the first time, defied death and built a career from nothing. Matthew knew just what to say to me.

A good editor can play you like a master musician on a violin. He or she knows how to motivate you, how to walk you to the edge of the cliff then walk you back. They are part reader, worker, editor, promoter, wet nurse, and psychologist. If you don’t have this relationship, re-evaluate.

It was insane. And I had to calm myself down a bit. I walked back and forth in front of Taboras Café in Lansdale where I was writing that Saturday. That Monday, I started at Barnes and Nobles in North Wales, PA. I had to lock myself down. I had a flowchart for the plot, and I went to work. I knew I could do it. And I did. 13,000 words down in two days. The book was complete. I’d be doing reading edits on the plane and in New Orleans, but the hard part was done.

Matthew has been diligent and brilliant taking care of all the production work. He has foreseen every problem and managed the development. We have been partners. I’m told this book was his baby. He’s taught me a great deal. My priest. My father. My brother. My Editor.



So here is the press for the Release Party:






Pretty spiffy huh? Again, I thank Matthew Louis. Editing-God.



Here’s a quick synopsis of the book and the cover:


Vincent Grant lives on the edge. He gets by pushing stolen prescription drugs to high school kids, his mother is dying of cancer, and his business partner, the diminutive "King Louie," may up and kill him, or anyone else, at any moment.

When Vincent is enlisted to throw a scare into a deviant priest, he does it dutifully, leaving the man bleeding on the floor of a seedy apartment. But when the priest is found brutally murdered, life as Vincent knew it ends and he has to flee as killers on both sides of the law make him the target of a city-wide manhunt.
   
   
In an increasingly desperate struggle against increasingly long odds, Vincent begins to think his only hope lies not in fighting to live, but in resigning himself to dying—and killing—for a cause.


And Links to an interview with Will Viharo, my partner in this. Will’s been amazing, and he’s worked so hard through his life, keeping the faith. He’s just the right man I want standing with me.




Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lori Michelle Signing

It's a slow evening at the convention as every prepares for the banquet. Not me. I'm out for a night and the tour. Lori Michelle is signing books at the Hazardous Press table.


Good Afternoon on Saturday at New Orleans-WHC

The day is speeding by, and we're talking to many authors and editors at the table. Some great panels today, and we're looking forward to seeing the city tonight. Such a gorgeous city, alive with music.

LE. White is signing books right now with us at the Hazardous Press Table.

L.E. White at the Hazardous Press table.

Saturday Morning at the WHC in New Orleans

Today is really the heart of the convention. Tonight is the famed Bram Stoker's awards dinner to name some truly deserve people in the industry. Today, many of the people who couldn't come in during the work are riding in today, so it's been a fun day meeting and greeting. We had Dane Hatchell signing this morning, and he's an amazing guy. His book, Mind Hemorrhages, is out now from Hazardous Press.

Dane Hatchell signing at the table. Jay Wilburn next to him.
I got to spend some time with Joe McKinney, a great author. I was thrilled to meet him. It turns out he released a book with Gutter Books, who is publishing the Street Martyr in the summer and has worked with my editor Matthew Lewis. We're publisher buddies! Joe is one of the amazing people I've come to know here in New Orleans.



And later, The Voodoo museum and the vampire tour with Max Booth III and Lori Michelle. I'll be updating more later.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Evening Friday Night at the WHC



Night is drawing on here at the World Horror Convention 2013 in New Orleans. Our signing schedule is continuing, and Mark Scioneaux signed copies of Family Dinner. We enjoyed his company. He’s one of the many excellent authors signing at the Hazardous Press Table here at the World Horror Con.



Mark Scioneaux signing books.

Signing now is Armand Rosamilia with his new book, Creeping Death, an anthology of short stories. “It’s some of my favorite stories that have been printed before or never been published, he says. I’ve been looking forward to meeting Armand, fellow author and editor of Rymfire Books, publisher of the US State horror series. I’m in the PA State of Horror and the NJ Horror.


Armand Rosamilia

We’ll be closing in a little bit and opening tomorrow. And tonight we enjoy the city. More pics coming soon.