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I am a gay male author living in the SF Bay Area in northern California. Happily (and legally) married to a wonderful man (celebrating our 20th anniversary this year)! Our house is filled to the brim with two exotic cats, a daughter and a hurricane of a granddaughter. This is a house filled with laughter, with voices that carry through the walls, and a whole lot of love in between.
In a nutshell, I write to keep the voice of actual gay men strong within our own community.
I specialize in character studies. It is important for me that you walk away with my work not so much with a sense of what happened, but why my main character makes the choices he (or she) makes. My work is often unapologetic, gritty, unfair and dark. Doesn't mean that there won't be one hell of a love story or some hot and heavy action going on – but it's not a given. There's not an automatic HEA (happily ever after) at the end. Because life is often like that for us. Anything else is puff pastry with rose colored glasses. Not that there's anything wrong with pastry, mind you. I just don't have the wherewithal to write it.
I pull no punches with my work.
John Rechy and Gordon Merrick are my virtual literary mentors. Their work from the late 70's onward molded my life, gave it definition when a young 16 year old didn't have anyone else to turn to so he could figure out what was going on inside. These literary giants saved me. In so many ways that I could not begin to express. It is to them, to the likes of Paul Monette, Larry Kramer, EM Forster, Oscar Wilde and others that I aspire to write and carry their torch forward. It is a high mark to strive for but I can't help but think that having that mark will make me better at my craft. These men, these brilliant gay men and their complex lives have enriched my own. I am the man I am today because they gave me the food that my soul craved to say I was all right. I was going to be okay.
While I am all for LGBTQI characters (told by any author who chooses to take up such a cause) in literature, media and the digital bytes and bits, I do not want it to be at the expense of those who actually live those lives. It is our house, and it is about time we, as LGBTQAIP authors, tended to it.
I also co-host a brilliant podcast where we talk to guest authors about queer literature and the craft of writing. I invite you to join us in the discussion - http://www.wrotepodcast.com
C. E. Ward
on April 05, 2015 :
Having read “Angels of Mercy – Volume One: Elliot”, I was curious about how S. A. Collins would handle werewolves in West Virginia. I've never met a werewolf or even read much about them, but I do know West [by god] Virginia.
There is a nasty story of censorship by Amazon of "HO'M,O - Henry O'Malley, Omega", which resulted in the abridged version, "The Shrill of Sparrows". I am writing about the unabridged version and recommend that you purchase "HO'M,O" and avoid supporting Amazon. I did note that Mr. Collins has graciously offered to send readers the unabridged version if they naively purchase from Amazon [see the author's note at the end of the book].
In his "Angels" work, Mr. Collins offered unique insights into what it is like to be a gay young man finding love in contemporary Northern California. Now we have transported back in time to the 1950s and across the continent to West Virginia. Surprisingly, Collins offers a twist: what is it like to struggle with being gay in the mountains and additionally with the werewolf within. It is the examination of these inner conflicts which make this story more than the expected pathos-laden slash/bite/die story usually associated with werewolves.
“HO’M,O” is intended to be a serial offering and therefore doesn’t offer the penetrating insights of “Angels”. It is, however, a delightful new take on the genre and certainly leaves the reader eagerly awaiting the next volume.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)