BarbarianSpy for literary heat
La Petit Mort - poem
The Clint Folsom erotic gay murder mystery series.
Habu reports that he enjoyed writing this series. His premise was a no-holds-barred treatment of an unabashedly promiscuous, laid-back, “good-guy” homicide cop with movie-star looks .
(Clint's) love of being ‘topped’ is so ingrained within his being that
each sex act is with an abandon and longing that makes men ‘feel like
kings’. If you weren’t a ‘sub’ before, you would wish to be one by the
end of the book. Once I finished reading it, I rushed to buy the rest of the
Clint Folsom series. Hot Stuff!
From a review by Kpasa
habu, a bisexual former supersonic spy jet pilot, male model, movie actor, intelligence agent, news agency executive, and diplomat, is a professional book editor, published mainstream novelist, and short story writer under another name and in another dimension of his life. He lives in a historical university town in the American South and publishes erotica through eXcessica under the habu name and with his coauthor, Sabb, under the Shabbu name.
Rainbow Reviews Interview with habu
does writing with your co-author work? Can you give readers a brief overview of
what this means with regards to your work with Sabb? How is your writing
together different from the writing you do alone?
and I both live on the East Coast—but his East Coast is in Australia and mine
is in the United States. So, we meet in cyberspace. I actually was within three
miles of his home earlier this year, but I did not take the step of meeting him
in the flesh. Our collaboration started when he contacted me and discussed the
stories I had written in terms that revealed that he understood and appreciated
what I was striving for in my writing—which, in most cases (although I do try
to write with variety and across the spectrum of reader interest) is writing
something that would be literary in the mainstream and just pushing it across
the erotic threshold. I have a whole separate writing career in the mainstream.
shared writing originated from roleplaying in e-mail exchanges to polishing
these up into stories. Our technique is mostly that of each taking one or more
separate character roles and tossing the story back and forth—with me usually
doing some recasting to create a coherent story out of it with dilemma,
resolution, hook, and theme.
are so in synch with each other that I can’t really separate working together
from working apart in terms of any technique or approach.
you feel that most of your writing comes out of your personal experiences?
written more than 300 published erotica stories now and some two-dozen e-books.
Initially much of what I was writing had at least a nub of personal experience
in it. My Flying High, for instance, is basically
autobiographical—especially in expressing the emotional level of what I was
experiencing at that time of each story included.
I wrote more, however, my erotica came to me the same way as my mainstream
storylines do—out of the blue, my mind having developed them to a great
extent—but not totally—and informing me that I had a story to sit down and
write. Even at this point, however, I don’t usually know all of the nuances
that will be in the story. Those unfold as I write, and they usually are there
in my mind. They often have an element of personal experience in them. I don’t
have to think much about where to go from one point to another or how to resolve
or bolster this or that.
of the interesting things that comes out of my cyber relationship with Sabb is
that, even now, occasionally some topic we bring up in our chats will trigger a
personal experience I had subliminated that becomes the foundation for a new
is different in feel ~ more traditionally epic ~ than your other books.
Do you plan to write more in that style?
is closer to what I write in the mainstream. And it was originally planned as a
mainstream novel, based on a real person on my family tree—and cutting close
to real events. But the more I researched her life, the more I uncovered the
sensual elements of that life. Rather than water those down for mainstream
treatment, I decided to let the sensual elements shine through. I think she
would have approved.
questionable that I will write more like this for erotica e-booking, though, as
essentially I can write close to this pattern in the mainstream for national
distribution in print.
my erotica market readership niche seems to have settled on Gay Male. I’d
write more F/M works if the ones I’d written sold better. I personally think Raven
Posession is much better than it’s sales share—and it received very nice
reviews. I have a bisexual anthology, Menagé, launching next (25 May).
We’ll see whether genre that finds an audience.
is a personal favorite. How did this story come about?
one just popped into my head when I was thinking devilish thoughts and wanted to
do something with a simple, time-worn theme. I had no idea it was going to go
beyond a short story until it just kept going and going.
the nagging thought of wanting to do something with the “curiosity killed the
cat” theme, there was no deep literary thought going into this one. It was
actually one of my “high heat” drawer works to keep some variety and widen
my reader base. I’m surprised it’s done as well as it has as an e-book.
It’s one of those that reviewers say “this is OK if you like all that
over-the-top sex,” meaning to pan the book, with the ironic result that it
sells particularly well. My Hard Knocks U and Deal Closer, two
more from the “over-the-top high heat” drawer, have benefited even more from
such “faint praise” reviews.
is a lot of talk about erotica being porn without plot versus erotic romance
focusing more on character development and emotional connection of the men. Do
you feel your books fall into both categories, either, or neither?
don’t put a whole lot of intellectual energy toward figuring out where porn,
erotica, and romance overlap and/or differ. I do, however, in my “literary
drawer” works very purposely attempt to write something that stands alone as a
literary work but has no inhibition of including the full sexual aspect of the
story as well. I worked in movies in my earlier life (and was a male
model)—and was propositioned to do porn movies. But my reaction was that what
I’d like to do were top-drawer movie dramas that swept away the sexual
barriers and went for the whole, raw story rather than cutting away as scenes
were heating up and filming the naturally evolved sexual couplings in dim light
stories are pretty heavily plotted, and I strive for the surprise/twisted
endings outcomes. On character development, I bring in my training as a Chinese
brush painting artist—going for the minimum number of strokes that will get
the concept across clearly. I more often than not write in the first person,
which I find ideal for erotica—it’s the most intimate voice—and to the
extent I can, I do not close down on the physical descriptions of characters, so
that the reader can see them as they want to see them in their own minds. I
don’t do character charts and I don’t give physical description until and
unless it’s needed in the unfolding of the story.
purposely try to write for as many categories as I can. At the extreme, I read
on a Web site that no one had the guts to write about the fetish of
sounding—so I went out and researched and wrote Dark Angel Sounding,
which has become one of my best-selling books. I approached that one from two
angles—the sexual and the emotional, so I hope I grabbed readers latching into
one of those levels with it. As far as emotional development goes, I suspect
most of my stories put more emphasis on the emotional aspects than on any other
hope I’ve responded to some aspects of that question, but suspect I haven’t.
have written both novels and short stories.
Is one story length easier than the other for you? Do you prefer one or
find the short story much easier to write, if only because the stories tend to
drop into my mind as a treatment of a specific “hook” or limited theme. I
came to writing short stories after having published more than a half dozen
novels in the mainstream. I was surprised how much more compact and focused they
were than what I normally wrote. I have no preference, but I have more time to
fit the short stories into what is a busy book editing schedule on top of
contracted mainstream writing demands. I’ve even turned to writing short
stories in the mainstream—and am having some success with them in writing
of your stories contain an element of nonconsensual sex.
What do you say to readers who might be offended by such an approach?
What appeals to you as a writer incorporating this into your stories?
is a bit of a bugaboo with me. I dearly love women readers, because they usually
are the most communicative (and demonstrably appreciative) readers. But women
readers (and writers, for that matter) of gay male material often just don’t
get that there is a great divide between male and female response to the mating
dance. Much of what woman readers seem to take as nonconsensual is a standard
part of the gay male mating dance. Males are expected to be dominant, but in
most male-male coupling, there is a dominant and a submissive. Part of the
turn-on to most submissives is the overpowering and being “forced” into a
position they basically want to be in but historical custom doesn’t permit
them to be in willingly. “No” just doesn’t mean “no” in the gay male
mating dance in anything like the intenisity/purpose it means “no” in a
male-female coupling. The real “no” from one male to another is a black eye
and a stomping off. There’s a whole history of different collective gender
experience on this; many women readers of gay male material just don’t get
that. So, I say, if it doesn’t speak to you and you can’t transcend into the
roles being portrayed, just don’t read it.
element of it that appeals to me is that I am a submissive who likes to be taken
in a nonconsensual role-playing scenario myself—so I obviously like writing
that sort of story. (Bald enough of an answer? *smile*)
is your favorite Sabb book?
whole Konan series. They are written specifically for me, coming out of
exchanges we had on what we like best. So they are special to me.
is your favorite published story? What
is your most popular published story?
pass on the favorite published story question. The last time I was asked, I
couldn’t narrow a favorite down to less than twenty-five. It gives me a
headache to try. And even the most popular story category is a neck and neck
race, because I have separate audiences for different kinds of stories. The Dance
of the Ravishers series of stories that were expanded and published recently
as an eXcessica novella have consistently done extremely very well. “La
Lectura” gets universal comments as poetic perfection (to quote one reader). I
have literary and historical stories that have consistently done almost as well,
though. My most popular anthology has been my first one published, Across the
Threshold, a GM collection of “first times” stories.
is your least popular published story? Why
do you think readers don’t like or “get” the story?
current least popular published story is a F/M one titled “The Quality of
Love,” which I wrote to try to crack a category at a major erotica story site
that attracts the most negative comment for that site. The probable reason the
story is so unpopular, though, is because the site owners awarded the story for
excellence when they posted it—that always attracts the naysayers and negative
of your stories would make a great movie? Who’d
play the lead roles?
would make a great epic movie, I think. I’d want Susan Hayward for the lead,
if she weren’t long dead. (The allusion to real-life counterparts in that
novel, aren’t all that much of an allusion. *smile*)
you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the
characters dictate what will happen?
hook for the story and the twist/surprise ending usually pop into my mind before
I write. After that I just sit down and let the characters who are going to
serve those two elements do whatever they have to do to get there. This
“letting the characters do their thing” is the most rewarding aspect of my
writing experience, and it works out on a much grander scale in novel-length
works for me than in short stories—I guess because the characters have more
space to develop and demonstrate themselves.
you draw inspiration for your characters from real life?
of my characters are formed from what is needed to serve the story and thus have
some stereotypical connections to people in real life—but not in any
story haven’t you written yet but would like to? Is there anything holding you
back from writing it?
have one that popped into my head this morning I’ll title “The Exchange
Student.” It popped into my head because I need some more stories for the next
anthology I’m putting together (for November release—I have seven in front
of it written/edited/submitted and waiting for their scheduled release dates).
sort of the way it goes for me. When they drop into my consciousness I sit down
and write them—usually at a rate of a couple a week. If it’s a novel I’m
working on, it’s just chapter hooks that jump into my mind, not separate
stories—I only see about two chapters ahead of my writing when writing a
novel. The only thing that ever holds me back is other events/activities
scheduled in my life. I’m pretty pampered by those around me, though, so I
usually can get to my own writing fairly quickly in the case of short stories.
The novels take more planning. And, think goodness, I have yet to suffer a
minute of writers block in several decades of a writing career. The only thing a
stick on is the occasional inability to surface the specific word I want—but
that’s what the thesaris is for.
you have a system for writing? Do
you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day? Do you use music and playlists for inspiration?
system is to sit down at my desk and let it rip. I don’t write to TV. I can
write to music, but often the music stopped some hours ago while I’m writing
and I never notice. When I write, I am completely absorbed; you could set off a
bomb outside (and in my early writing career that happened regularly—I was
living in the Middle East), and I wouldn’t notice.
I can write 3,000 words within a couple of hours—the result, I guess, of a
career of writing reports and news articles on tight deadlines. And I don’t
agonize over reviewing. Usually I write and then immediate review, send it off
to the editor, review it once more when it comes back and that’s it. I find
with my writing that the more I rework it, the more gutted of flow and freshness
it becomes. So, I mess with it as little as possible after the drafting.
did you start writing? Did you
always know you wanted to be “a writer”?
started weaving long, convoluted epics in my mind in my early teens. I was a
professional writer (an international journalist), though, for twenty years
before I started writing novels. And, yes, I’ve always thought of myself as a
is your favorite gay book that you didn’t write?
I don’t remember the title—I read it as a teenager, a good ten years before
I had any inkling I was gay (bi, actually). I had no idea it was a gay novel
when I picked it up, but scenarios and images keep jumping back at me from that
book nearly a half century later. It was a cross-country journey book by a young
man who had to sell himself and put himself in compromising positions to make it
to where he was going—and he stopped and turned around and went back to New
York just short of his goal, having decided that his journey had made him a
different person than what he was trying to get to the West Coast to become.
one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
that I had a full career in U.S. intelligence that was ended with a threat
letter from Osama bin Laden and a fast trip home to the States (yes, really).
you have a guilty pleasure?
chip cookie dough ice cream and my Mercedes that I feel guilty pleasure driving
out of the garage considering today’s economy and oil situation.
is your favorite word/phrase for the male or female genitalia?
What is your least favorite word/phrase?
box” or “honey pot” turn me off real fast for female genitala; a like the
sound and feel of “cock” for the male member. I’m not very fond of
“Like, ya know,” as a phrase (or a life style).
is your favorite curse word?
don’t curse all that often—even in erotica writing. It has to be something
the character naturally would say. So I have no favorite. I learned to use
“fuck” quickly when writing erotica. I don’t use it in any other context
in my life, though.
are you currently working on?
just (today) finished and submitted Death in Key West, the third of the
GM Clint Folsom murder mysteries for September eXcessica release. I have one
more chapter to come back tomorrow from the editor on a GM supernatural/horror
novella, Bite of the Schlange (for the Halloween season) and twenty more
pages to proof on an F/M supernatural/horror three-story anthology (also for the
Halloween season) titled Triple Scream—probably to get off to the
publisher tomorrow. Then I turn to my November anthology, which is a GM
anthology entitled Doubled (all about one of those fetishes you don’t
see much in published stories). I alsohave all of the stories done for a
nonerotic, women’s inspirational Christmas anthology that will be titled Christmas
can readers find you?
my coauthor maintains a Web site for the two of us at www.barbarianspy.com, and
I happily take e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hang around Literotica.com a lot
under the name of sr71plt.
other tidbits you would like to share?
don’t think so, thanks. Probably have overloaded you as it is.
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