Meet the Author (he’s sort of okay)

He-He-Hellooo, so I spotted on Insta and Twitter, these accounts doing a “this is me” post for all the newbies who follow them. I liked the idea and with my new book coming out (shameless plug #1), I thought I’d do one too. But as I tend to scroll past those rather unceremoniously, I decided to put our meet cute here on my website instead. You can’t scroll past this bitches…oh, what?…oh they can. Well, that’s a huge flaw in my plan, but nevertheless, we persist.

Welcome to my little corner, some of you have followed and supported me for a long time on my journey (and oy have they suffered, I barely post, and my content is so-so at best. My nudes are fire tho) and I appreciate all of you, truly. And for the new kittens who are joining us, allow me a moment to introduce myself. I’m Eric David Roman (until the edibles kick in and then I’m Shelley Duval, baby!) writer, lover, and all-around delicate homosexual. I love all things horror, camp, and queer and if I find anything mixing all three – heavenly. But I’ve been a horror dude from the age of 5, when my father woke me up late one night to watch Night of the Living Dead – been hooked ever since. Horror runs through these veins as deeply as the gayness does (and that’s pretty deep).

Before I turned my focus to writing, I’d spent over twenty years wandering the wrong paths, making ill-advised decisions, and generally being an adorable mess; some people would probably choose another word, but I’m sticking with adorable. I worked the wrong jobs (turns out streetwalking, not a profession for just anyone), sought validation from the wrong people (hey it happens), and lost myself multiple times along the way. It’s always fun to get lost, until you’re kind of always…well lost.

I’d been writing since I was six but I avoided fully committing to my passion over the years, despite writing all through school. Instead, I whiled away in retail management hell (a harsh rock bottom) and steadily grew more unhappy. On paper, I had everything equaling a good life; a good job, a great husband, a nice place to live, a wonderful circle of friends. Except, I was depressed as hell, miserable, and looking for the exit (which is what I politely refer to my suicidal ideation as) I had no choice but to do something before the Depression and Anxiety took me down (it’s not a 3way I recommend – no one ever comes) And because it truly is okay to not be okay, I got some help.

After the worst passed, I found myself trying to return to my ‘normal’ but doing so made me feel worse. A mini-lesson for all of us trying to reclaim the “normality” we once had pre-Covid – sometimes that normal is what’s toxic and there’s better waiting for us on the other side when allow change in. I knew I needed to step up and take care of myself in a way I’d never had before. Frankly, in a way I’d never been taught how. Growing up half Puerto Rican and queer, and a little awkward and weird, in the south, in the 90’s, was no picnic. But with therapy and a little spirituality (don’t worry I’m not all in your face about it) I started the long and painfully fun process of healing.

And part of that healing was finally allowing myself the freedom to follow my long-gestating dreams. At 37, I walked away from my job to give writing the full-hearted, full focused attempt it so richly deserved. Success or failure, whatever happens, at least I know I stepped up and did the damn thing, right? I set out to write more of the stories in my head and had a goal to get one book accepted by a publisher. I’d self-pub’d my last novel but the Depression/Anxiety gangbanging me made the experience a mess (I’m a master of hiding my mental health issues- check on your friends) Any any joy from the release was overshadowed by the suicidal ideation I was experiencing. So I set off on a different course when my head cleared and went off to find a publisher. (Like picture me with a bindle and a determined face stepping out of my bedroom, walking down the hallway, and jumping onto the first passing search engine I could find. choo-choo)

A writer’s story always varies, but the gig normally comes with a lot of rejection, and then some more rejection, and then another round, because why not? Until one day there’s a yes. Trusting my intuition, I continued along my path and now, at 40, my childhood dream (well, phase one) is coming true; the first two of my projects are gearing up to release this year. And I love them, but I’m always biased. I hope you’ll love them. I’m excited to share the horrors rattling around in my head with you (its time they tormented someone else).

And that’s a little about me, and if this meet the author post conveyed anything to you (past my plea for you to buy my books) let it be this: There is no time limit on your dreams. Don’t listen to societal standards and the timelines they create – they’re fictitious. At any age, at any time, you can turn things around and magic can happen. You can create and manifest the life you want (ok, I slid in one spiritual thing, still not in your face about it). You can find success and happiness. Focus, gratitude, and work truly make anything happen. I learned that the hard way, but I know now, and I promise, there is nothing you aren’t capable of accomplishing.

Until the next scream, Kittens.

yours always,

 EDR.

a cover reveal!

My new novel’s cover – isn’t it gorgeous? And here’s the synopsis:

Welcome to Camp Horizons, where they pray all day…and get slayed all night!

Nestled against scenic Lake Never, recently outed Tyler Wills has arrived at the secluded conversion camp, where the delusional staff of counselors believes he and his fellow camper’s queer affliction can be healed solely through the power of prayer.

After a full day spent rallying against sadistic deprogramming therapies, the deranged camp director, and planning his escape, Tyler discovers a larger problem—a mysterious stranger has rolled into camp with a grudge to settle and a very sharp axe.

When night falls, the terror and body count rise. And Tyler, along with his fellow campers, find themselves trapped between a brutal, unrelenting killer and their holier-than-thou prey as they desperately search for a way to survive the Long Night at Lake Never.

Available 7/12 from NineStar Press.

Interesting times for an Anxious mind

To quote my favorite animated kid’s movie, “I’m a donkey on the edge.”

Last Monday night, I was meditating under the full moon, happy that retrograde was over and ready to have a kick-ass week. Tuesday, I finished up some submissions for my writing and sent them out, packets I was very proud of. But by Friday, I’d reverted to a hot mess. I had a panic attack, followed by a semi-hysterical meltdown (I’ll be accepting my Tony award for ‘Living Theatrically in Normal Life’ now please), and that was capped off by yet another panic attack. Where exactly did all my internal peace go exactly? Now while I can appreciate all you of you stoned-faced, this ain’t going to bother me, I ain’t scared of no ghosts mofo’s who are out there keeping calm and carrying on, that isn’t me.

I live with anxiety and depression (and probably a couple of other undiagnosed quirks too). If you’ve never experienced anxiety to a degree where it paralyzes you, I envy you in a way that’s bordering unhealthy. It’s an interesting time, to say the least. Now truthfully, I triggered myself (I’ll be pressing charges) by deep diving into the news. Constantly flipping and swiping like an addict, needing more info, needing any info I could, you know, trust. But what else can one do while pacing through the opening days of a full-on global pandemic? Refreshing feeds, getting conflicting reports, inconsistent stories, wading through memes; all the noise was getting louder and louder, so a panic attack was inevitable. (two in one week is a bit much)

And I’m not generally freaked out easily either. Quite the contrary, I am a gay man who came of age during the AIDS epidemic (that fear you guys are feeling lately – yeah that’s been nearly my whole existence) you want to talk to scary? Try navigating a blossoming sex life and raging hormones with the overwhelming fear you will die. You want to talk anxiety-inducing? (Sometimes I wonder if having grown up queer in such a bigoted country isn’t the cause for most of my mental health issues – whom the fuck do I sue?)

But if I ever wanted to touch some butt (and believe me, I did), then I had to face that fear. I’ve also been through quite a few of these ‘end days’ scares, Y2K (they thought planes would fall out of the sky, hysterical), and 2012 (years of hype for nothing). The Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Sars, two ‘raptures,’ the Bush administration, hell, the 90’s in general. So yeah, believe me when I tell you, I don’t frighten easily, except last week when Lil’ Covid (as I like to call him) stepped his pussy up to go global. I got scared.

It’s not being dramatic to say our entire world changed in a minute, because it did. And on that Friday (the 13th no less, ba-bum-buuuum), I had panic attack number two in my car while staring at the entrance to Petco. I was terrified. Was Lil’ Covid waiting for me on the handles to the shopping carts that were lined up out front? How long did his ass live on surfaces? Was he just hanging in the air? Where the employees sick and didn’t know it? Was I? There were no answers to these questions yet, nothing I could use to rationalize my fears. So, taking the cue – those fears gang-banged me. And I was stuck in the car for twenty-minutes with my hands clutched to my chest, too scared to move (living the Gwyneth Paltrow Contagion fantasy).

I stared at the doors wondering if their employees were sick and unable to stay home, which, look, no judgment here, we’ve all had to do it since we have a pretty fucked up ‘work till your dead’ culture here in this country. It was nerve-wracking, but at the same time, my babies needed food. But how much food? Was the store already ransacked? Were people fighting over the last cans? It’d only been a couple of days, but if there is one group of people you don’t want to mess with, it’s pet-owners. I may have been scared to go into that store, but trust I would cut a bitch from groin to gullet to get my cats their food. And did I need to really stock up on their food? Would we be quarantined like Italy? How does that even happen in America? Not easily, apparently.

I went in expecting Thunderdome level shenanigans, but it was okay. Thankfully, it was nearly empty, felt clean, and with plenty of stock, so there was no need to shank anyone. I washed my hands twice in the bathroom and hit every Purell dispenser they had because, again, I am donkey on the edge. I know the birds were watching me, just studying my actions like ‘wtf is this dude’s problem? (um, a global pandemic I can’t fly away) Checking out was fine until I had to touch the pin pad, had it been cleaned? How many people had touched it? Did those people wash their hands? Did the virus cling to plastic bags? Could he Spider-Man swing his ass from a cashier’s nametag to my untouched face? And from somewhere in the back, a man coughed, and I almost went to the damn floor. We can laugh about it, ‘cause it is funny. But it was harrowing, I tell you.

And it didn’t end when I left the store either, once I got in the car and looked at the steering wheel, I froze again. The ominous music started playing, and I blankly looked around and wondered, is he already in the car with me? Was Lil’ Covid ready to spring up from the backseat like a masked killer and get me? When I got home, the first thing I did was Lysol my clothes, and then in the shower, I spent thirty minutes scrubbing and sobbing.

The next day it hadn’t improved (but hey neither had the world), and all I could think were survival thoughts: Is my pantry full enough? My fridge? How long does it take for all this to descend into Mad Max territory? My body isn’t ready, and I still haven’t picked an apocalypse look (leather is so predictable, I’m thinking crushed velvet). I have a bidet, so I wasn’t worried about toilet paper, unlike some. But I can’t help but wonder if that part will be in history books of the future? “During the pandemic of 2020, ancient man believed, for unknown reasons, that they would not be able to wipe their asses in the wake of the Coronavirus and, in a panic, depleted the world’s supply of toilet paper. And that class is why we now use the three seashells.”

It’s an interesting time for those with an anxious mind, and I run a high risk of being stuck in a cycle of fear and anxiety (which will only lead downward), which is hard to avoid when every day brings more new. I had to face some of my concerns, or I wouldn’t be able to move forward, and if I couldn’t do that, this self-isolating would have ended as well for me as it did the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper. It took a couple days to find my balance, increasing my meditation sessions, and remaining focused on being grounded and present (the past really doesn’t matter anymore). I’m still a donkey on the edge, but I am way better. I feel grounded enough to face whatever comes next, grounded enough to be a rock for someone else if they need it. I know once this passes, and it will, things will get better. It might be rough. Probably uncomfortable until then, but we have each other.

When I was at my worst, it didn’t seem like anyone else was scared. I felt lonely, and the literal world was ending (except I know that wasn’t true – a lot of us are afraid). It seemed like everyone was moving on doing things, and I was staring at the wall in my office. Unable to think of anything but Lil’ Covid. Unable to find my creative strength, but seeing people online springing forward with special quarantine events, wasting no time taking creative advantage of their isolation, and I could barely string any words together. I wanted to be like them, but I am who I am, and instead, I had to convince myself that it was okay for me to take the time I needed, freak out briefly I need too, but stay rational. No one is alone in this, and though this situation is one beyond our control now, and all we can do as a conscious human being is our part to stop the spread and weather the storm.

It’s been a rocky couple of weeks, but every day (as long as I control my news intake and stay with my mediation routine), I am choosing to feel better. And choosing to be grateful for all my blessings. Choosing to focus on the good this pandemic will usher in once it passes (and it will). Till it does, take care of yourself, and be sure to check on the people that randomly pop into your head, check on your fam, strangers if they look like they’re struggling (this needs to be a compassionate time), and please be socially responsible. And since you’re self-isolating anyway, why not try a little meditation? It does wonders.

And most importantly, freak out if you want or need too, I’m not going to tell you to just calm down and wash your hands, I’ll join you with panicked screams of my own, I am a donkey on the edge after all. But once we’re done screaming, we’ll dance in the empty streets Night of the Comet style.

Night_Of_The_Comet19

Perky Girl on Rollerblades

The following is my entry into the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest – had 24hrs to write a 1k word thriller, set in a tanning salon which had to have rollerblades incorporated into it. As Joan Collins once said, I adore a challenge. Pleased to say out of the thirty people, where only the top 15 were considered “placed”, I scored the 14th spot with this story and got points to help me progress in round two.

So here, for your pleasure my gentle reader is: Perky Girl on Rollerblades.

Tuesdays, 3 pm.

That was his standing appointment. The forty-five-minutes a week secret behind his self-proclaimed all-natural, California glow. Which made Del Ray’s, a run-down, beach adjacent tanning salon, the single stop on producer Tate Ander’s schedule that didn’t include his entourage.

Amelia paid a lot for that piece of information, and with more than money. As she hugged the front counter,  rocked back and forth on her purple rollerblades, and pretended to not notice Tate Anders walk up for his appointment. It had been worth everything. She smiled at him.

Perky Girl on Rollerblades. It had been the part Amelia had gone to read for Tate Ander’s next movie. When she was still hopeful. When she went by Jane. The part was small, but a tiny part in a big movie was still good for getting noticed. He pushed his agenda. She resisted. He took her anyway. The part went to another girl, and Jane was tossed aside broken.

Amelia took that perky girl on rollerblades persona and crafted it as her own. She wore the rollerblades everywhere. Squeezed into outfits that left little to the imagination and embodied the upbeat perky attitude. It worked. The new look and attitude got info and Tate’s schedule. From it she discovered the onl y moment she’d be able to get him alone.

Getting hired at Del Ray’s had been a challenge. There wasn’t an opportunity, so she created one. After their receptionist failed to show up. The third time in a week. It took little to convince the owner, Zak, to give her the job. Especially after their vigorous interview. A few weeks to gain everyone’s trust, and then efforts focused on casually flirting with Tate. After each time, she’d throw up in bathroom.

“You alone?” Tate was pleased when she nodded her head and bit her finger. The groundwork had paid off. Presented with the chance for it to be just them, he couldn’t resist.

Amelia traced her fingers along her collarbone. Then walked them down between her breast as she explained it was just her. His eyes were drawn where she wanted them, and like an obedient dog, he followed. She didn’t want to risk him recognizing her, not just yet. Not after all she’d planned.

The fake appointments for that afternoon. The same ones who called and canceled in the morning. Amelia convinced Zak that the newly opened window was the perfect chance to take the staff out for lunch. She graciously volunteered to remain behind. There was only one customer at three, and she’d take care of him.

Amelia wheeled around the counter and tapped her fingers on Tate’s chest motioning for him to follow. “I put us in the back.” She licked her lips and skated backwards down the hall. Her hips pivoted, she spun around a couple times, letting his eyes feast on her. He’d already started undressing as he followed.

It was the last room, and she’d already prepared it for him. She rolled in first and waited for him as he closed the door. “You mind?” She leaned against the tanning bed and stretched out her legs. He hoisted them around his waist and unlaced her rollerblades. His fingers traveled while he slid them off, groped at her thighs, tried to sneak past the edge of her shorts.

Amelia teased that she liked it. Inside she died a little more each minute. Would there be anything of her left? It disgusted her. Having to use her own body as a lure. Once it was done.  There’d be no more touching, no more sex, no more revealing attire. She’d be free the prison she’d crafted to get one moment with him.

Amelia grabbed the small clear, unlabeled plastic bottle from the table next to her. “Let me rub you.” She bit at her bottom lip. Made every glance, every touch, as alluring as possible. He didn’t object. Didn’t question the oil. It repulsed her to touch him, but necessary. She spread the oil covering his body with it. The way he had covered hers with bruises, bites, and shame.

Tate was preoccupied with her ass. Not noticing her rub oil on his face. Through his hair. The rear end he had dismissed as too boring to be on film. It made her laugh. It hadn’t been boring when he decided to hold her down and violate it. As he grabbed it by the handful now, he spoke only of its hypnotic power.

His words made her vomit.

She forced it back and covered with a cough. The sight of the pathetic middle-aged producer made her laugh internally. With his weak erection lazily pointed at her, and a stern look that told her he demanded servicing. It’d be the last time anyone would be forced to see him in that position. No one else would have their dreams destroyed, not like Jane’s.

Amelia paused only once, not to rethink her actions. Those were set in stone. But to savor the power she had reclaimed at that moment. Amelia thought of the other girls as she slowly sunk to her knees and rubbed the oil up his legs. The oil, a gift from a friend who worked in special effects, was highly flammable, yet odorless. She slathered it over his crotch, stroked him with it. He became harder, moaned and pleaded with her to keep going. Amelia obliged his request and ensured his focus remained on the back of his eyelids.

Everything positioned exactly where she had planned. Amelia slid her right hand under the table and grabbed the already lit, soft pink grapefruit scented candle. In those last few moments, she held out hope that he would see through the persona. That he’d register her face, and realize it was the woman he had wrecked.

There would be no such epiphany. His eyes remained closed as she brought the candle to his genitals. She stood back and watched the flames consume him.

official synopsis/street date of Despicable People

Happy to announce that Despicable People will be available on 4/20/2016! (in Ebook form – paperback to follow very shortly) but while we wait here’s the synopsis:

  All I wanted was a quiet evening at home with my two loves: my comfy couch and Netflix. With everyone I knew otherwise engaged I was all alone. The only interruption I could foresee would be Netflix’s pushy insistence to know if I’m still there watching. Why Netflix? Why do you even care? Look even if I’m dead, my corpse isn’t leaving the apartment until this 30 Rock re-watch is complete.

        Then comes the painful realization, I was out of weed. Yep, the grass, the Mary Jane, the ganja! So what starts as a simple drug run sends me down a rabbit hole. Right into the arms of the depraved and morally corrupt denizens of my fair city: from a self-proclaimed renegade rapist intent on terrorizing frat houses. To the street anthropologist, tagging and releasing Hipsters back into the wild.

        If I ever plan to park my adorably cute ass back on the couch again, I’ll have to escape the clutches of a sex starved four hundred pound stripper. Try to lose the gentleman with a freakish surprise in their pants. And hope the Judge pardons me when I stumble into a kangaroo court, where bad grammar is punishable by death! I just go along for the ride, hoping that my next leap is the leap home…wait that’s not my story. That’s Quantum Leap.

All I wanted was an eighth, all I got were Despicable People.

Thanks everyone and get ready to meet all of the despicable people on 4/20   (hehehehe  get it 😉

an excerpt from Despicable People

Please enjoy this tidbit of an excerpt from my upcoming release, Despicable People. 

I look past the touchy-feely trio and into the DJ booth. With his dark brown hair, fair skin with a little scruff on his face, and gorgeous dark eyes. The DJ is known as Joey Watts. He’s very handsome and the newest possible candidate in the running to be my very own future ex-husband.  I move along the edge of the dance floor to get a little closer, maybe I can kill some time before Bull the Null and strike up a conversation. It’s not like anyone in this place is listening to the music. In the few feet it takes to get me closer I’ve already imagined everything about this guy. Firstly, he likes all the same movies I like. He’s ready to settle down with me, move to the country, and adopt a baby from some inner-city crack whore. Do they even still call them crack babies or is that not P.C anymore? I can see our Christmas cards now, everyone in matching sweaters. We’re the envy of all the other couples.

We will be so…On second thought. As I peer further into the booth my mind is changed. He is bent over his turntables with his pants down around his ankles. His Nintendo controller shaped belt buckle is smacking against the concrete floor. Behind him and standing at only 4 feet high is a blond-haired tiny person – or is it little person? Short person? Tiny dancer? Dwarf seems very wrong to say unless we’re in Middle Earth. I seriously don’t fucking know. He’s a shorty and he is dressed in a black robe, which I instantly recognize as Hogwarts standard issue. He’s wearing a Hufflepuff house scarf around his neck, and in the back pocket I see a wand. I realize quickly it is actually a dildo, a dildo shaped like Harry Potter’s wand. His right arm is oddly muscular compared to the rest of his body and far larger than it should be. Almost cartoonish especially considering it is in the middle of fisting DJ Joey Watts ass. Not just a casual friendly fisting either. He is really rooter-rooting that ass. So much vigor, such enthusiasm, oh Jesus he is elbow deep in it! Any deeper and he could probably operate Joey Watts like a damn puppet.

“Fistorium Incantatem!” I hear a tiny high pitched voice shout, as he retracts his arm then shoves it back.

Joey Watts moans loudly, “Get it Dobby! Get it!”

The tiny tot does get it. He gets fast and furious on that ass.

“Fist my Goblet of Fire! Yes! Yes! Raid my Azkaban, RAID IT!” Joey Watts demands, crying out in ecstasy as he looks over and shoots me a smile and a wink.

Jesus fucking Christ.