Authors of Note FIBO Weekend Writers Panel Part 3: Nathan James

Name: Nathan James

Current Residence: New York City

Birth Place: New York City

PRIDEINDEX: Provide a listing of all of your books and the year published. Where did you find the inspiration for each book?

JAMES: The Devil’s Details (2005) Raw Ink Press.  I was inspired to write this book as a statement about the absurdity of hatred and the power of love, as seen through the sufferings of a young gay college student of color. Through the metaphorical agency of the evil, my main character, Joshua discovers how people learn to hate, and how accepting yourself as you are you can overcome the deep-seated homophobia of society.

In His Court (2006) Forbidden Publications. This book came came into being after a sweet chance encounter with an old friend, whom I rediscovered, and learned more things about, than i ever dreamed. The book is a reimagining of the possibilities inherent in reconnecting with someone you thought was gone from your life forever. Of course, it’s an erotic romance, so there are endless possibilities here (laughs).

Check Ride (2007) Forbidden Publications. I dreamed this story up while recalling my early days as an EMT, working in and around Kennedy Airport. It focuses on two gay pilots who, while falling in love, face challenges in their personal lives and careers. I think its important to show loving, supportive, professional gay men of color in a positive way, and I think Check Ride does that pretty well. I also wanted to show that intimacy between gay men is no less valid, deep, or fulfilling than intimacy betwen straight couples.

Muscle Worshippers (Enchanted Morning) (2006) STARBooks Press. In this, the first anthology I ever wrote for, I take a look at how friendship can blossom into somthing more. my mysterious nameless protagonist meets his running buddy in Central Park, and things take an unexpected but welcome turn. I wanted to do a story about the sometimes playful spontaneity of our relationships.

Love In A Lock Up (Ten Days) (2007) STARBooks Press. This was the second anthology feature to feature my work. This collection of love-in-prison stories intrigued me, from the minute I saw the call for submissions about it. I liked the idea of ding a prison story, to describe how love began even in the darkest places of our society can touch someone.

Flesh To Flesh (Thickness) (2008) Streebor/Simon & Schuster. In Lee Hayes’  groundbreaking anthology (the first by a major publisher for and about gay men of color), I tried a tottaly new theme: the appeal of big, beefy men vs. the “eye candy” we see all the time in the gay community. I felt it was time to tell a tale about those men many consider attractive, but who often get marginalized by our sometimes superficial standards of beauty. I added another “out of the box” twist to my big man that got me a lot of fan….(laughs).

PRIDEINDEX: What is your earliest memory of being a writer?

JAMES: Writing an award-winning essay in the fifth grade.

PRIDEINDEX: Please describe your current or most recent project and tell us about any notable challenges you entercountered. And how do you you identify and nurture ideas for new projects? at is your earliest memory of being a writer?

JAMES: Currently, I’m co-writing and co-producing an off Broadway play, Cybersex, with creator Jason Hunter, which deals with the way some people can only express their true selves through the anonymity of the Internet. In a series of “chats” the characters address some deep issues, societal taboos, and discover hidden truths about themselves and our society. Theatrical production is tough, with long hours of preparation, rewrites, rehearsals, and working alongside the cast and crew.  But it’s all worthwhile when the curtail goes up, and our characters come to life.  I’m also writing. producing, and cohosting a new TV Series about LGBT politics, in the hope of making our community more politically aware, which it certainly needs to be!

I’m constantly looking at the world around me, and at my daily exeperiences, to inspire me to write more stories, more plays, more drama! Just living in NYC is a constant source of dreams, new ideas, and material.  I cannot ever imagine myself living anywhere else. I think there’s no place on Earth with as many wonderful, creative people, passion fr the arts, or dynamism, as the Big Apple. Of course, NYC’s enormous, beautiful LGBT community helps too!

PRIDEINDEX: What 2 books and 2 CDs shoud everyone own?

JAMES: Books: Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution by David Carter, and The Complete Works of WIlliam Shakespeare.

CDs: Ultimate Phyllis Hyman and The Very Best of Manhattan Transfer.

PRIDEINDEX: Please describe 1-3 authors/writers/performers that have influenced your artistic style?

JAMES: E. Lynn Harris, James Baldwin Patrik-Ian Polk.

PRIDEINDEX: Do you believe authors of color have an obligation to their community? Why or why not?

JAMES: I believe authors of color have a special obligation to the community, to promote, encourage, and advance the cause of literary and the love of literature  I further believe it’s incumbent on anyone who writes books, to make a statement, through their words, on the condition of our lives today.

PRIDEINDEX: What is the biggest misconception about you and/or your work?

JAMES: The biggest misconception anout me and my work is that I write too much erotica. I disagree because sex and sexuality area fundamental part of our  “deep nature” a gay and lesbians, and i shoose to depict that in all its astonishing beauty. My characters are as passionately involved with each other as any couple might be in the real world. Our intimate encouters are a wonderful thing, and I don’t feel I should “water that down” in my writing. It’s also one way I express my own sexuality through creativity.

PRIDEINDEX: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

JAMES: Never let fear stop you from writing and getting published. Write the novel, tell the story, and share your gifts with the world.

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