Mark John Isola


Mark John Isola is the author "Inky Flesh: Stories Written by the Body," a short story series.

MJ is an English professor, who received his PhD in English from Tufts University. While posted on the web, MJ’s fiction was read by over one million readers. His short stories have appeared in the magazines “Mandate” and “Playguy” and in print anthologies, including "Skin & Ink" and "Pay for Play." His academic essays have been published in the books "Generation X Professors Speak: Voices from Academia," "Boys’ Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre," and "Queers in American Popular Culture". His scholarly work has been presented at the Modern Language Association and published in the "Journal of Homosexuality" and other journals.

Currently teaching English, cultural studies, and writing at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, Mark John divides his time between Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts. See his website at Sign up there to receive email updates.

Smashwords Interview

Tell us about your book “Inky Flesh: Stories Written by the Body"
It is a collection of gay short stories that are as thoughtful as they are titillating. My intention was to marry the literary with the erotic word. The early reviews from several noted authors suggest the collection does this. Michael Bronski says: ‘Be prepared—these stories stir the body and mind in wonderful and surprising ways.” So, I am pleased to think the book is effective in this way.

As the book’s back cover copy says, each story in “Inky Flesh” explores the social within the sexual to consider the reflective, romantic, and randy aspects of life. These three R’s are very important to me as I approach them with a sense of realism. You know what I mean, the lips in these pages taste like real-lips, and the sex that happens is real-sex.
“Inky Flesh” has an interesting and controversial publication history. Can you tell us about this?
Sure, and this took a while to come back from and figure out. Many people reading this will probably already know, but “Inky Flesh” was a completed book that was ready to be published. At the eleventh hour, the new owners of my publisher cancelled by book—literally the week before it was to print. They did this at the very last moment, when I had already arranged and paid for print and digital advertising, which all went live by the way. So, “Inky Flesh” is a fully edited and formatted book, and I have been sitting on it, trying to figure out my next step.

For now, I am publishing story by story here to hopefully build a reading community as a I finish my novel. There are more stories than the ones in “Inky Flesh,” so, at some point, I will probably combine them into the books they were meant to be and continue posting new ones here. We will see how this shakes out. All along, I have planned three books. Each with a final story that comes together to form a concluding trilogy.

While I love writing short fiction, it is not easy to sell to a publisher, so in the end, I may well have fallen into the best plan. All along, the goal has been to provide these stories with a reading community, for I think they deserve that.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mark John Isola online


This member has not published any books.