Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Behind The Book with Whitley Gray and Artistic Endeavor #CampusCravings #mm

Today we have Whitley Gray, one of the authors from our anthology, Campus Cravings: Higher Learning m/m bundle. Whitley is sharing how she got her idea for Artistic Endeavor and offering up an excerpt! She's giving away a digital copy of Rabbit Wars to one lucky comment leaver. 



Behind the Book: Artistic Endeavor
 When the Campus Cravings group got together to craft a series of stories set at a fictional university in the Northeast, I wanted a unique take on that time of life. I sat down and thought back to my college days. Art was always a big part of it. LGBTQ life wasn’t. I thought about the “why” of that.

What would happen if a gay guy spent the first twenty-five years of his life hiding because he came up through a strict religious upbringing—not only in high school, but had the same situation continue on through college and grad school?

What if he finally emerged free of parental/parochial influence and could be himself when he got his first job?
What if he had no clue how to be…gay?

Cobey was born. Gorgeous, painfully shy and woefully inexperienced, he’s an art professor, newly hired on at a liberal university. Lots of opportunities to meet men, but Cobey has no idea how to go about dating, let alone sex. Cobey needs an instructor, someone who can show him the ropes without devouring him like a virginal lamb chop.

Enter Michael. In some ways, he’s Cobey’s opposite. Very experienced—in fact, a connoisseur of the one-night stand—and terrified of love. As a graphic artist he’s got a lot in common with Cobey. Unlike his lothario reputation, Michael is kind-hearted, caring, and patient.

I loved writing these two coming together and discovering things neither knew about himself. Cobey may be the newbie, but he’s got a thing or two to teach Michael. Summer made for the ideal season to put the guys together, allowing for more relaxed settings. Pride got to play a role too. Overall, as much fun to write as I hope it is to read.

Artistic Endeavor excerpt
In the dimly lit bar, Michael drummed his fingers on the table. “Maybe you should have let me meet him somewhere without you two along as chaperones.”

Eli chuckled. “It took me a week to convince him to meet you. He’d never go for the blind date thing.”

“Well, he’s late. Sure he’ll show?”

“Relax.” Burke massaged Eli’s neck. “He’ll be here.”

Ordinarily Michael looked forward to sizing up a new man. In fact, he’d already taken stock of every guy in the room. If Cobey didn’t show, the bartender looked like a good prospect. Prolonged eye contact, a big grin, and a wink when serving Michael’s beer. Yep, good prospect. Someone new.

Of course, Cobey would be new. Too new. Michael sighed. How was he supposed to introduce himself? Hello. I’m the guy our mutual friends have asked to be your sex instructor. How’s it hangin’? Yippee.

“There.” Eli nodded at the entrance. “Just coming in.”

For a moment it was too crowded to see much, but the herd of patrons parted. Michael licked his lips. Well, well, well. The picture hadn’t done Cobey justice. Nicely wide shoulders, narrow hips, hair a man could get a grip on. Dark eyes. A perfect mouth—full but not too full. How was it possible this gorgeous male specimen had never been intimate with another guy? And Michael had the opportunity to be the first one.

I can certainly sacrifice myself for the greater good by teaching him.


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Contest Details!
Whitley would love to give away a digital copy of Rabbit Wars to a lucky comment leaver! Good luck!


Christi Snow said...

I absolutely LOVED this story in the antho. So sweet! It's fun to learn how it cam about. smiles...

bn100 said...

Sounds interesting

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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