Please join me in welcoming Jason Huffman-black to Friskbiskit! Jason (or Jase, or slave boy, depending) is one of the moderators of the GoodReads M/M Romance group, which boasts over 7,000 members and is the 9th most popular group on GoodReads.
This marks the third year anniversary of the group. That's a lot of growth in just three years. A big celebration with all kinds of prizes is in the works, and a anthology of 150 free m/m stories has just been completed, so visit the group today to discover all the awesome it has to offer. After you read Jase's interview.
Wrangling 7,000 maniacal devoted m/m fans takes a lot of work, but Jase has taken time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. Read on!
How long have you been reading m/m romance?
You know, I didn't know there was an actual genre for m/m romance until about 3 or 4 years ago. I'd read fan-fic, Nifty (of course), and even done some writing of my own before then. But when I joined Goodreads and saw the m/m romance group, I had no idea how much it would change my life.
What do you look for in a good m/m book?
When a book can pull me in like a good movie and make me forget everything but what is going on in the scene. I don't really have a specific sub-genre. I love them all as long as they weave an amazing story. Hot sex scenes are always welcome but not necessary--and honestly, I'd rather skip the sex than have bland sex scenes.
My m/m books don't have to be traditional romances, either. I enjoy fetish books. Not some lame print porno, but specific and knowledgeable kink. I like reading about violent non-con, doctor play, and slave situations. I still want the book to be well written though.
What other kinds of fiction do you enjoy?
I've always been an avid reader. If it's something that interests me, I can dig into a non-fic as quickly as a fiction. I love historicals, mysteries, fantasy, sci-fi, and I love bizarro fic! Ha! And comics. I am a big fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books by JR Ward, although I liked them more back in the first books.
When did you first get involved in the Goodreads M/M Romance group, and why?
I got involved after I was laid off at work. I had time on my hands was surfing through the list of groups on Goodreads one day. :) It's crazy how fast that group became my home online. If you think it's over the top to say it changed my life, let me tell you! Not only have I met some of the most important people to me through the group, but I also found my new career.
What's good about being an M/M Romance group moderator? What's bad about it?
What's good? How much time do you have? lol! I love the people! They give me so much hope for gay rights and keep me believing that there are good people everywhere. I have this amazing 7000 member family and we have some sort of get-together every day! Our group shines, and somehow, as a moderator, I get partial credit for that amazingness. I don't deserve it but it makes me proud.
What's bad? Not much, really. I think the worst thing is when people argue, as even the sweetest people are known to do from time to time. I'm a fixer. I think it's part of my sub nature to feel responsible for everyone's happiness. But I have learned that sometimes you just have to let people work things out on their own. It's hard but I do it now. I've also found that no matter what path I take in those situations, it's the wrong one and someone will be unhappy. Another hard thing for me is to accept that I can't always change when someone isn't happy with me.
Any news about the group that you'd like to share with our readers?
We are going to be celebrating our 3rd anniversary in August! It's going to be a weeklong event with tons--mega tons!--of prizes and games and authors to chat with. If you aren't a member, come join and play with us! Then stick around and check out all the cool things we do year round!
What are your views on the predominance of women in the m/m genre?
A good writer is a good writer. I think the world puts too much importance on gender, although I think it's getting better.
When I list my favorite m/m authors, they are mostly women. I think women, generally speaking, bring something to their writing that can be easily left out of a man's stories. Women, in my opinion, are more fluid than men. Fluid in sexuality, yes, but also in the way their brain works. I don't know if I can describe what I am trying to say. It's like an empathy with a character that they may not have anything in common with. They fall in love with these words on paper and it shows in their writing. Is this sexist? I hope not.
Well, it doesn't feel sexist to me. I like the connection you draw between fluidity and empathy. Something that's seldom mentioned is the fact that most women grow up reading about and identifying with protaginists who are of a different gender than them. I wonder if that has something to do with it.
Do you write?
I do. I once wrote more than I do now. It was a way to work through some issues, also a way to enjoy certain kinks that I couldn't indulge in as often as I would have liked. Lately, it's like pulling teeth to get the words on paper. I think I over-analyze what I'm writing before it's even typed on the screen.
What's your day job?
The reason for my over-analysis of my writing. :) I am an Assistant Editor in Chief at Silver Publishing, plus a proofer for both Resplendence Press and Storm Moon Press. I also work with individual authors. This is my dream job. I get paid to read! How great is that?
Are you in a relationship?
Yup! I'm in two. Ethan is my partner and dominant. We have been together for 10 years. Whoa! We are raising his daughter from a previous relationship.
I also have a 9 year online relationship with my sexy daddy man, Mark.
Any hobbies you'd like to share?
I love to collect stuff. lol! I'm a nerdboy, so Eth and I have a collection of comic book character statues and many a long box of comics. I have some old swords and knives. An antique samarai sword with elephant tusk handle and intricately carved sheath. Some iron age weapons, that sort of thing.
Right, the standard stuff... :)
Are you going to GayRomLit?
I have some killer social phobias and the like that would make GRL a not so great place for me to be. I do most of my socializing online. I do look forward to seeing the pics and hearing all the great stories.