No stranger to male/male stories, Diana Sheridan edited gay male sexzines for the better part of two decades under the nom de plume of “Dan Maxwell.” Though “Diana Sheridan” isn’t her true name either, it does reflect her true gender. In her own name, she has had numerous books published both in print and as e-books, is an accomplished editor of both books and magazines, and is comfortable switching gears to go from serious nonfiction to erotica in her work. Diana lives with her Significant Other, who is fully aware of and supportive of the many facets of her career.
Q: Is writing your full-time pursuit, or do you have another career?
A: I’ve been a full-time freelance writer and editor for many years now, but as I said, it’s not just writing—it’s editing too.
Q: Why did you decide to write male/male erotica?
A: You know what Willie Sutton said when they asked him why he chose to rob banks? He answered, “It’s where the money is.” Well, as a writer, I kinda like writing stuff I know is more likely to sell. Male/male is where the readers are. It’s where the sales are. Nobody likes to feel she or he is writing just for herself. We want to know there are readers out there enjoying what we write.
Q: So then you write nonfiction too?
A: Yes, but not under this name…under my true name.
Q: How did you get into male/male in the first place?
A: For many years I edited for a publisher of x-rated magazines. At first everything I worked on was hetero, but eventually the publisher saw there was a market for male/male magazines. I was already onboard, had some free time, and was comfortable with the magazines’ content, so I got tapped to edit them.
Q: Are you married? If so, what does your husband think of this aspect of your career?
A: Although I’ve been married at one time in my distant past, my current status is living-with. My Significant Other doesn’t have any particular feelings about my erotica work one way or the other. He’s comfortable with it.
Q: Do you ever read your Significant Other your erotica to turn him on?
A: Nope. While he has absolutely no issues with my writing it, written erotica doesn’t turn him on, either—not even hetero erotica. That’s just not where his head is…or certain lower parts, either.
Q: Well, does it turn you on?
A: LOL. I’ll tell you a story. One day a long time ago, when I was still not only legally single but totally “unattached,” I was in the midst of foreplay with a fellow who began dirtytalking me. I guess he thought he’d turn me on. Uh-uh! He sounded like he was reading from a very badly written porn story, something I would have rejected if it had crossed my editorial desk during working hours. Instead of being titillated, I started cracking up. I got a serious case of the giggles. And that was the end of that encounter!
I did have a lover at one time who was capable of turning me on by telling me what he wanted to do to me. He’s the only guy who was ever capable of getting through to me that way. He was damn good at it, though.
Interestingly enough, he was a former editor of sex magazines himself. In fact, that was how we met—professionally.
Q: How long does it take you to write one of these books?
A: That depends on two things: How long the book is and how much other work I have in-house. If I can devote almost all day every day to the book—if I’m between major projects—I can write a 20,000-word novella in a week. If it’s a full-length novel and/or if I’m juggling other major projects simultaneously, it can take considerably longer.
Q: Have you been a writer/editor all your professional life?
A: Not quite…but almost. And it suits me fine.
Q: If you could pick any other career, what would you do instead of writing and editing?
A: There is nothing I would rather do professionally than writing and editing.
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