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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook) and @thewritepen (Twitter). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Interview with T. Michael, Author of Suga Cain

Author’s Bio: T. Michael started writing poetry in 1981, at the age of 15.  Writing mainly about love, God, family, and the challenges of growing up, he began experimenting with erotic poetry decades later, and these poems became very popular with audiences at live poetry readings.  This inspired him to begin writing short erotic fiction, and eventually erotic novels.  A freelance writer and editor, he is currently working on a sequel to his new book, which will be the second novel in a planned erotic romance trilogy.  He is also the creator and editor in chief of the website www.nerdictionary.com, a site dedicated to explaining terms that "nerdy" people might know, but the rest of the world may not be clear on.  It includes terms in the arenas of science, science fiction, mathematics, graphic novels/comics and lots more!

Married in 2016, he has a total of five children and stepchildren.

What inspired you to write your book?
I have written poetry for over 30 years, but in the last several years, I have found that there is quite an audience for erotic poetry.  After writing and recording several poems, I got the idea to write an erotic love story – what I call “romanterotica” – featuring a poet as the main character, so I could incorporate the poetry into the story.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I always loved Steinbeck for his characters and storytelling abilities.  I love Shakespeare for his language and romanticism, and in fact, I have written a few poems in that Shakespearean vein, as well.  Poetically, I always loved the words of Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
I have published a few books before this one: Two poetry collections (as “T. Michael Pender”) called “An Angel Chained” (2000) and “Colors … in Black and White” (2012); a collection of short true stories from my life (as “Thomas M. Pender”) called “Rubber Chicken Soup” (2013); and an erotic sci fi novel (as “T. Michael”) entitled “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Assault on Tkor” (2014).  “Angel,” “Horsemen,” “Tkor” and the new book “Suga Cain” are all available on Amazon for Kindle.  “Rubber Chicken Soup” is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle forms.

I started “Suga Cain” very shortly after getting the idea to write it.  It took me quite a long time to finish, however (almost two years), because I didn’t know where the story would go or end up, and I wanted to add an element of conflict in the middle.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
I’ve done both.  Some stories, like “Tkor” and “Suga Cain,” I only had the characters in mind, and I started typing.  For the new book I’m writing, which is the second book of a trilogy begun in “Suga Cain,” I have quite the detailed outline, which should help to make the writing flow a bit faster from my fingers.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
Rarely.  I do, however, listen to recorded sounds of ocean tides and thunderstorms.  I find it clears my mind and lets the story come out.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
Word of mouth and a few friends and fans.  For this last book, I’ve attacked the Facebook groups in full force, and that’s boosted sales.

What advice would you give to new authors?
When writing your first draft, just … play!  Write absolutely anything you think of.  Follow your imagination, even if it takes you to dark or weird places.  You never know what you might discover about your story and characters that way!  The real work begins with the second draft, where you must sift through all the fun nonsense to find your true tale, then sculpt that tale out of the first draft.

How about sharing an excerpt from Suga Cain?
"This is more like it!" Aisha chimed as Cain pulled her chair out and she swiped her dress under her perfectly curved rump.

"I thought you might appreciate a place like this."

Cain sat across from her, and she took him in again.  He had cut his hair, shaved close, was wearing a completely different fedora (which he removed at the door and placed on an empty chair), and had on a black business shirt and black slacks, shiny loafers and ... a Dilbert tie!  Her eyes fell on the images of the character, along with Dogbert, Catbert and Dilbert's co-workers, and shook her head and smiled.  "How could you possibly know I love Dilbert?"

The dangerous half-smile.  "It's not that I knew, really.  I just figured, hey, you work in an office full of cubicles.  You have to at least identify with the guy!  Plus, it was a test."

"A test?"  She cocked an eyebrow.  That didn't sound good.

"Yeah!" he chimed.  "If you didn't like Dilbert, it was going to be drinks only.  If you didn't know who he was, I was going to suddenly remember an emergency, and you’d get a ride home."

She faked a gasp.  "Sir!  You would ditch me?"

He faked surprise.  "Madame, this is Dilbert we're talking about!"

And then, their stereo laughter again.  She was loving that sound much too much and much too soon.

She sipped her water from the stemmed glass.  "Okay," she said in her accounts-receivable tone. 

"Some business to get out of the way.  I don't like surprises, so let's get some info out on the table."

He touched the fingertips of his large hands together and raised a Spock eyebrow in return.  "Alright, madam."

"Madam?  Madam!  Sir, I am a Miss or a Ms., but I am certainly not old enough to be a Madam."  She chuckled.

"Okay ... Mssss."  He hung on the "z" sound, and again, they were singing their laughter together.

"What I wanted to say," she said soberly, trying to erase her grin, "was that I may not look it, but my mother is Native American, one half Shinnecock and one half Blackfoot, while my father is one half Bajan and one half African-American."

She paused for the response.

Cain blinked at her.  "Okay."

"You're cool with that?  'Cause I've known a lotta guys who freak at that 'A-A' label, especially if they find out after they've been inside me, so I get that out quick!"

"Well," he retorted, taking the large menu from the bow-tied waitress, "I'll have you know that I'm a mutt myself.  Mom was a Scot, and Dad was Irish!"

"Oh, big deal!" she said, swatting the air at him.  "Come on, you know some people think it's awful that blacks and whites mix, even today.  Now, some might not call me black, and I'm certainly paler than most, but I'm proud of my blood, and I can't be with anyone who can't handle it."

He smiled a half-smile (which she acknowledged to herself already turned her to butter!) and leaned in a bit before saying in a low, midnight DJ voice, "Darlin', I haven't been inside a white woman in over 20 years!  In fact, you’re the whitest girl I’ve been this close to in all that time."

They shared a good laugh, then proceeded to have a fine meal.  Cain had chosen his seduction site (as Aisha was calling it in her head) well, and she wasn't protesting one bit.  Wine, bread, some of the best lasagna she'd ever had in her life, and a little chocolate cake for them to split.  He fed them both the cake with the same fork, letting her taste first, then alternating mouths.  This is simply too cute, she thought.  She brushed a crumb from the corner of his mouth with her thumb, and the contact seemed to freeze time.  His skin was warm, his eyes hardly ever left hers, and he was either blessed with naturally perfect teeth or the world's finest orthodontist.

           She could see in his eyes he wanted to kiss her.  She sent out her best signals that it was the right thing to do.

First, there was that moment she would remember forever.  That pause in Life when she knew that what she wanted so hard was exactly what her passion's target wanted, too.  She knew she was wanted, as well.  That bright moment in the heart and brain and private parts occurs when you know -- between that first knowing look and that first sensational kiss -- you know that this is going to happen.  Those lips you have wanted so badly to taste and those hands you have imagined moving on your skin ... this fantasy is about to become delicious reality.

It lasted only a fraction of a second, but it also lasted decades.

It was he who moved first.  Only the tiniest lean toward her, and it was all the way on!

She mirrored his move, and they each recognized the want.  Their eyes dimmed lower as their faces neared.  It was as if they both wanted to keep looking at each other and see each other kiss, but at the same time, they wanted to swim in the heated emotional wave they had created all around themselves.

Their eyes shut, their lips touched.

And magic did occur.

Aisha heard Etta James and Elvis Presley at the same time.  Together, they sang "At last, I can't help falling in love."

There was nothing to disturb this romantic time.  Neither pushed in, nor moved their jaw, nor involved the tongue.

It was a kiss.

And it was a beginning.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Cain trilogy, after which, I’ll finish it up with the third book.  I have very lofty ideas for two novels in my future: One will be a retelling of the film “Citizen Kane,” and the other will reveal who was behind the John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinations!

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

Book buy Links:

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Robert! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading the interview. It's appreciated.