Stage Fright and Wild Times in Vegas! Interview and giveaway with Pender Mackie
I’m excited to welcome debut Loose Id writer, Pender Mackie, who has dropped by to tell us about her new m/m hit, Stage Fright. Pender is going to be giving away a free copy of this sizzling tale of a Las Vegas all-male revue dancer to one lucky commenter, so don’t forget to say hi below for a chance to win!
Stage Fright is my first full-length novel and my first book for Loose Id so I’m pretty excited on both counts. The story is about a closeted Las Vegas dancer who falls for an out and proud bartender. When I started the story I wondered what kind of problems a couple like that would have. Why was the dancer closeted? How would it feel to see your lover surrounded by vacationing women and be unable to touch him yourself?
Q. Stage Fright is set in Las Vegas – do you come from that part of the world (and did you go on any wild nights out for inspiration?)
I live in western Canada, but I have visited Las Vegas and tried most of the touristy things people do while in Vegas.
I did do a lot of research for Stage Fright. Not only about Las Vegas and the surrounding area, but I also read interviews with male dancers as well as their forums and blogs. It was fascinating to get a sneak peek at the life of a male dancer.
I did attend a couple of ladies’ nights while writing Stage Fright and was surprised at the level of interaction between the audience and the dancers. I was even more surprised by the variety of women attending and the wide range of behavior.
Frequently the dancers moved from the stage right into the audience and encouraged the women to interact with them. Some woman were happy to sit and observe rather than participate, while others enjoyed touching the dancers, hugging them, even slapping the dancers’ bare butts. If I hadn’t gone to one or two ladies’ nights I would never have seen a senior citizen pinching a male dancer’s rear. It certainly pays to do your research!
Q. How did you celebrate the release of your latest book?
I’m a bit of a homebody so I like to celebrate quietly with my family. Usually some kind of sparkling wine or champagne is involved, though if the book releases on a workday I can’t indulge too much.
Q. Any tips on juggling writing with a busy job and life?
It’s not easy that’s for sure. I try to write every day even if it’s just for twenty minutes. It all adds up. I always have a pen and paper on me and take notes if I come up with an idea or scene while I’m away from my laptop.
Q. Which of the characters from your stories would you most like to re-visit in a sequel?
I really enjoyed writing Chris, Jesse’s roommate. He’s quirky with a fun sense of humor. In fact I am writing about him in my next story.
Q. Any exciting WIPs you’d like to tell us about?
I don’t have a title yet, but my current WIP is about Chris from Stage Fright, and Mike, the props man from the all-male revue meeting and falling in love. It’s a May-December romance. You can read a little bit of an excerpt on my website.
Stage Fright by Pender Mackie
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Blurb: After six months dancing in a Las Vegas all-male revue, Jesse Snowe is used to being groped by enthusiastic females, but he’s more interested in Val, the sexy new bartender. Jesse’s tired of the closet, but when he thinks of coming out he gets stage fright. The thought of telling his fellow dancers he’s gay makes his palms sweat and his heart race and not in a good way. Dating Val under the watchful eyes of the dance captain could reveal Jesse’s secret and might be more of a gamble than Jesse’s willing to take.
For Val Tremain the glamor of Vegas is wearing thin. He’s even less enamored with his new job, but knowing he’ll see Jesse’s beautiful body makes it easier to go to work. When Jesse hints he’s interested Val can’t believe his luck. But Jesse’s latest dance routine encourages a little too much audience participation and Val struggles with jealousy.
Jesse knows his job’s hard on their relationship and being closeted doesn’t help. Strangers slap his butt every night, yet he’s afraid to touch his lover in public. If he wants this relationship to work Jesse may have to reveal more than just his body.
Jesse watched Chaz, their dance captain, work his magic. Chaz was an old hand at stripping and made it look so easy. He had a woman from a bachelorette party up onstage. She reached around and gripped his ass hard, her fingers digging into tanned flesh. Chaz pulled her to her feet. Jesse could see his muscular ass bunch and flex as Chaz mimed grinding against her.
Jesse looked over at the bar and sighed. The new bartender was wiping the counter. He wasn’t even watching the show. Maybe the new guy wasn’t gay after all. The guy behind the bar seemed more interested in dirt than dancers.
Jesse scrambled into his next costume, then nodded to Eric, their MC, from the side of the stage. “And now, ladies. Here’s the newest member of our revue and the baby of the group, Firefighter Jesse.”
Jesse bounced onstage to shouts and catcalls. He did a couple of backflips, then slapped on his helmet. His routine went off without a hitch, but as usual he needed to mentally gear himself up for the finale. He grabbed the crotch of his tear-away turnouts and yanked them off, leaving him in nothing but his T-bar. After six months of working as a dancer, he still felt kind of stupid wearing the minuscule thong, but he was grateful for the no-nudity policy. It helped him maintain the illusion that he still had some dignity. He spied a table that didn’t have too many drinks on it and jumped into the crowd.
The audience loved it. Jesse danced the length of the table, shaking his ass for the screaming women—and saw the bartender watching. He faltered, then recovered, leaping lightly off the table, squeezing through the press of bodies. He smiled and high-fived outstretched palms on his way as other hands reached for his chest, his butt, even trying for his package. His ass was slapped at least three times before he managed to return to the stage.
“Let’s hear it for Jesse. Who wants Jesse to put out their fire?” Eric asked the enthusiastic audience.
Backstage Mike threw Jesse a towel. “Holy shit, they’re wild tonight. I wasn’t sure you were going to make it back in one piece.”
Jesse wiped the sweat from his face and chest. “Me neither.” He shook his head, smiling. “Gives a whole new meaning to audience participation.”
Pender Mackie’s website & blog:
Thank you so much for sharing, Pender
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