Dale Chase Interview + Excerpts
Today, Kazza and Cindi would like to welcome erotic author Dale Chase with two excerpts and an interview.
Few Texans believe the notorious gunman John Wesley Hardin, who has killed more than thirty men over a ten-year period, will ever be captured, but on a fall day in 1878 he enters the Huntsville prison to serve a 25-year sentence for murder. Witnessing the arrival is convict Garland Quick who, though he’s sworn to never again love a desperado, is immediately taken with the handsome 25-year old killer. When the two men are thrown together at work in the wheelwright shop, a relationship begins and Gar is drawn into Hardin’s escape attempt, only to pay a price for its failure. Complicating things is lifer Jim Scanlon, Gar’s cellmate and sexual partner, who, unlike most others, does not look kindly on the charismatic Hardin. As years pass, feelings deepen, yet Gar faces an unexpected challenge when Hardin takes up law study and lobbies for a pardon he just might get.
Excerpt from TAKEDOWN: Taming John Wesley Hardin
Never had I seen a picture of John Wesley Hardin. Never had I cared to, yet I looked upon the four men being marched in under far heavier guard than usual and immediately saw which was the famed killer. All four wore iron collars, chained in twos. All four walked in leg irons and with wrists manacled, but only one was smiling. While three moved with the weight of their chains upon them, Hardin appeared amused. He looked about with curiosity, as if that circus outside had come in with him. He was a handsome fellow, I’ll give him that, looking younger than his twenty-five years, with a tanned face and thick brown hair that ran amok atop his head. Still attired in his own clothes, he seemed about my size and build and why I took note of this I couldn’t say, but I did. I knew he’d punched cattle like me, enjoying the life I loved, but that was no matter now. He was one of us, prisoner come to pay for wrongdoing, I don’t care how much circus he caused. I kept to this idea as he moved along with the others, but it didn’t hold up. Something about Hardin stood out, something I couldn’t get a grip on. Never had I seen such spirit in a man about to begin a twenty-five-year sentence.
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are best known for their gunplay at the OK Corral, but there is far more to their story. The remarkable friendship between upright lawman and southern gentleman turned gambler and killer ignites when Doc saves Wyatt’s life in Dodge City and escalates into passion as the two move west to Tombstone where lawlessness reigns. As they work toward bringing to justice a band of rustlers terrorizing the area, they are drawn into the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral and are jailed for murder. They are cleared of the charges, but the murder of Morgan Earp sets Wyatt on a vendetta where, with Doc at his side, he turns killer not only to avenge his brother but to rid the region of the outlaw menace. The price is high, however. Now wanted men, Doc and Wyatt are forced to flee Arizona, and it is while on the run that they find their relationship deepening into what is ultimately a tragic love
Excerpt from WYATT: Doc Holliday’s Account of an Intimate Friendship
He continued to study me, and once I’d quieted, I locked my eyes onto him, letting him know his interest was welcome. And it was there, in that moment, that I realized we would get up to it. Maybe not then or there, but one day, because his hands drifted back down onto his body, and one slid onto a thigh not two inches from his prick. His breathing became noticeable, as did the sweat on his neck, which could be attributed to the heat of the day but was more likely grown up out of his crotch. These things added to the display and led me to wonder if he’d ever fucked a man. Rigid as he was, upright, unsmiling lawman, had he allowed himself what all men want even if they’ll never admit it?
When I think of author Dale Chase I think of quality gay erotica. And On Top Down Under does like quality erotica. So it is with great pleasure today that Kazza is interviewing Dale Chase for our 2nd year blog anniversary.
Kazza: The first book of yours I picked up and read was Lonely as God (not an in-depth review). I must say that I had never read an erotic western/old west book before. It was such an enjoyable read. Then before too long I was reading Dime Novel and A Hard Loving Man. All set in that approximate era. Recently I read the anthology, On the Run: Tales of Gay Pursuit and Passion and there was another cracker in Sundance written by you. Cindi also reviewed Ghost Town in Erotica Exotica. Tell us about the love you so obviously have for this era. What led you to the westerns, the old west?
Dale: I’d been writing gay men’s erotica for quite some time when I saw calls for anthologies titled Cowboys and Country Boys. These led me to write western stories which touched on my childhood love of cowboys and horses, bringing it all to life quite vividly. I think any time you reconnect with an early passion, it resonates deeply in the work. It’s also highly rewarding for the writer to touch on things long dormant. Gradually westerns overtook me. I wanted to write nothing else because I felt the old west and the men who lived it so deeply. This led to writing western novels. Editors are now surprised when I don’t write a western. I’m a native Californian and have spent time in Arizona and Nevada so I have a feel for the country as well as a great love of the old western era. I sometimes rode horses in my teens so I know what it feels like to be astride one when he’s walking, trotting, cantering, or at full gallop. I draw on that all the time.
Kazza: I have to say that when I read a Dale Chase book I feel transported to that specific period in time you are writing about. How much research goes into what you write? How do you have this absolute sense of time and place – the language, surroundings, the people – with the books and characters you write so lovingly?
Dale: Research sounds like work and the western reading I’ve done has been pure fun. I love to read western biography which has given me a good feel for the men and their places. Characters are uppermost in my writing and if you take a good look at my work you’ll find place details minimal. Like any writer, I inhabit my characters. I live their lives in the west, in an era I adore, and really don’t want to come back to reality
Kazza: I have to be honest, when I first saw your name, I knew nothing about you. I actually thought you were a gay male writing gay erotica – Dale is a unisex name after all. After I finished reading, I still thought you were a male because it seemed like a gay man had written it – your books are very raw, gritty and not prettied up when it comes to the sex. Have you ever had this expressed to you before? If so – or not – how do you feel about that?
Dale: I take it as a compliment anytime I’m told the reader thought I was male. I have had the gender issue expressed to me many times over the years, mostly surprise rather than anything else. The work should speak for itself, who the writer is secondary. As for the books not being prettied up, again, a compliment. I’m female but am rather gender blurred as I have a very strong male side. This is reflected in the writing. Writing raw and gritty feels natural. I have had some writer friends say they can see the female in my writing because I often have a romantic element. I figure that romance is my girl side slipping in. It’s turned out to be quite a mix.
Kazza: I have my opinions on this subject, but I’d be interested in yours as someone who writes erotica. There are those readers who equate erotica to porn, I know because I have seen erotica reviewed that way or heard people say it. What do you have to say about their differences?
Dale: I believe people who call erotica porn are insecure about sexuality, thus the need to dismiss anything more. I see porn as sex with little or no story. Erotica is a strong sexual element within a good story. There is another term, literotica, which I like as I see it as the story elevated, the sexual element still strong but secondary. If a reader or reviewer dismisses it all as porn, it’s his loss as there’s so much to erotica.
Kazza: When writing a book do you have silence or is there music or something you need to listen to in the background? If music, does it fit the type of book you are writing?
Dale: I require silence as I write. I disappear into my characters and their surroundings and I want nothing to intrude. Music would be as much a disturbance as a ringing phone or doorbell or someone shouting. I lead a quiet life by choice, in a small and quiet town where there’s room to let imagination take me over.
Kazza: When not writing, what do you enjoy doing the most? Hobbies, passions, or pursuits…
Dale: I’m an artist so when I’m not writing, I pursue that. I started drawing at age four so it’s a lifelong passion, begun before writing but now secondary. I draw, paint, do papier mache sculpture, make art from found objects, and lately, since 2009, do magazine paper collage. This is making pictures out of color swatches cut from magazine ads. I don’t sell my work because the only thing nuttier than the publishing world in the art world. I live with and enjoy my art. It can be seen on my website: www.dalechasestrokes.com
Kazza: I ask this of everyone who is interviewed on the blog. If you could visit somewhere in the world where would it be, and why?
Dale: I am not a traveler. I prefer to stay home and go off in my imagination, having adventures that spill onto the page. No place in the present could compare. That said, I do travel once a year to New Orleans for the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival which is a gay writers’ festival where I’ve met incredible people, some who have become close friends.
Kazza: And last but not least, are there any works in progress that the supporters of On Top Down Under Book Reviews can look forward to written by you?
Dale: There are many:
Coming out soon from Wilde City is a western novella “Blood Heat.” They have two more in hand, coming out in the future.
Just published is “Truckee” a story in the anthology The Bears of Winter from Lethe Press, edited by Jerry L. Wheeler. It’s about ice harvesters in the old west.
I have left the old west on occasion to do some contemporary projects, finding I can climb off my horse now and then. Those are:
My story “Nothing to Lose” will be included in the Best Gay Erotica 2015 anthology from Cleis Press, edited by Rob Rosen. Due out January 2015.
My story “Mojave” will be included in the Warlords & Warriors: Gay Erotic Romance & Adventure anthology from Cleis Press and edited by Rob Rosen. For this one I went to the distant future which was quite a trip.
A print book collection from Lethe Press titled “Hot Copy: Classic Gay Erotica from the Magazine Era” is due out in 2015. I got my start in gay erotica by writing for the men’s magazines for eight years. This collection contains thirty-three of stories selected from the ninety-six that were published.
Lastly, back to the west, I’m about two-thirds through writing my next novel “Hot Pursuit” which is the story of two cowboy detectives working out of a San Francisco agency in 1874. Having a blast writing this one. I’m hoping to get it published in 2016.
Dale Chase has been writing gay male erotica for sixteen years with over 150 stories published in magazines and anthologies, including translation into Italian and German. Her second novel “TAKEDOWN: Taming John Wesley Hardin” will be published by Lethe Press in November 2013. Her first novel “WYATT: Doc Holliday”s Account of an Intimate Friendship” was published in 2012. Two e-collections followed in 2013: “Crack Shot: Western Erotica: and “A Private Business: Victorian Erotica,” all from Bold Strokes Books. Dale’s novellas “Lonely as God” and “The Man I Know” have recently been published by Wilde City Press. Dale continues to write old western erotica.
Find Dale Chase: