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August 20, 2013

Guest Post: AC Valentine on "How to Date Your Husband"

Today's guest is author AC Valentine, whose story, "How to Date Your Husband," is included in the Cuddling anthology from Dreamspinner Press. Cuddling includes stories that focus on established couples. You can order your copy here!

I loved AC's story and thought it was hot-hot-hot. The guys were so sweet, and their love for each other really leaped off the page. Here's a quick blurb for "How to Date Your Husband," and later on AC answers some questions about herself, her story, and writerly things in general.

Blurb for "Hot to Date Your Husband" by AC Valentine: 
Ryan and Mike are stuck in a rut but still in love after more than ten years together. When Mike finds an article offering love-life tips in an old magazine, he suggests trying them as a way to add some spice back to their lives. Ryan thinks Mike is crazy, but he’s willing to do anything to make Mike happy, even if it means dating his own husband.
"Awwwww," right? I was really excited to read this story, and it definitely lived up to expectations. It was clever, sweet, and totally hot. 

Now, let's hear some more from AC!

Q:  What interesting thing would readers be surprised to find out about the guys in your story?
It’s not about the guys, but I think readers would be surprised to find out that Puppetry of the Penis was and still is, a real show put on by two guys from Australia. It was on off-Broadway in NYC for two years starting right around September 11th.  I went with my new husband. It was quite the theatrical experience.
Q:  What interesting thing would readers be surprised to find out about you?
I was once offered 50 sheep for my hand in marriage. My godmother, who worked for the UN said that she’d been offered camels and camels were worth more. My sister who was a junior in high school was only offered 40. So when people came to my college and asked ‘What is a Wellesley education worth?’ I would always tell them ten extra sheep.
Q: Do you have a favorite "happily ever after" story?
Nope. It’s why I keep writing them. I don’t write ‘Happy For Now’ stories. If I write a story you can bet those two people ride off into the sunset. I think I feel thwarted by all the television ships that blow up in my face (I’m the biggest fangirl), so I keep writing happily ever after stories. I’d write fanfic if I could but I can’t write in someone else’s voice.
Q: How long have you been writing and what inspired you to start?
It’s funny, I’ve been writing bits and pieces of things for years. I’d start and get discouraged because back when I started writing m/m, the market didn’t really exist yet. In my writing group, I had a bunch of friends in publishing who thought my writing was good but didn’t think there was a market. I knew it was out there though. LiveJournal was full of original slash, and I remember when Torquere Press opened. I think they were one of the first e-book m/m presses. I remember ordering a book from them, but it was just such a pain to read full length books on a computer back then. I laugh now because I’d be reading novel length fanfiction on the desk top, and there really wasn’t any difference.  I got away from m/m for a long time, until I happened to be stuck in bed about two years ago after going through some medical issues and I don’t even know how it happened but I found some m/m ebooks and kept reading them. A year later I figured I better start writing to support my habit, set a goal to have a short story published by the end of the year, and wrote one and submitted it. I got very, very lucky because Dreamspinner agreed to publish it in their ‘Don’t Try This at Home’ anthology. I didn’t even have to deal with a rejection letter. Rejection is such a large part of a writer’s life and I’m dreading it. When you write, the characters are your babies, so it’s like they are rejecting your children.
Q: What books or authors inspire your own work?
Well I write in a couple of different genres. In the m/m genre, some of the people who have been pretty influential or inspiring are Amy Lane, Mary Calmes and Cardeno C. There are bits and pieces of their styles that have influenced me.  I wish I could write angst like Amy Lane. I love some of Mary Calmes’s plotting- her plots are off the wall, and Cardeno C just has that awww factor. I love reading people like Damon Suede and T.J. Klune as well. T.J. Klune writes killer dialogue. I’m either rolling on the floor with laughter or with tears. I wish I was that evocative. Also, Suede’s Hot Head had some of the hottest, sweetest sex scenes I’ve ever read. 
Q: Do you prefer to write short stories or novels?
Short stories are great, because you get quicker gratification. I’ve got a couple of novellas and novels in the early stages, but once you get into the longer material you have to worry about getting agents and writing query letters. Short stories are also a great way to break into writing because in the m/m world particularly you get a prompt, write to it, submit and hopefully get it published. Then you have writing credits to put on those pesky query letters to agents.
Q: What are you writing now or what upcoming releases do you have scheduled?
I’m in the middle of writing a steampunk novella that was just supposed to be a short story, but the characters and plot got away from me. Each story I write gets progressively harder to write and the plots get longer and more complicated. I’m also writing a YA novel which has a m/m subplot. I’ll also be writing and submitting short stories as I have time, because I love writing to prompts. Giving me a theme is the best way to get a story out of me.
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Both. I usually start with a general plot. I also know the general ending when I start out and I have a couple of beats I want to hit on the way to the end. However, my characters tend to do whatever the hell they want and I generally just let them. I do go back and try to make sure that the characterization is consistent and that there are several threads binding the story together. How to Date Your Husband is a great example of that because initially there were supposed to be ten dates. Ha! Never going to happen in a short story. I would have loved to have a throwaway date though. “They agreed to never, ever discuss date number six. They just decided to buy a new couch and forget the whole thing.”
Q: Cuddling is an anthology that features stories all about established couples. What can couples do to keep the flames burning in their established relationships?
I’m not answering this one. My husband would kill me!!!
AC Valentine is a New Yorker who recently traded her quiet bohemian life in the Village for the wild metropolis of Vermont. She dragged with her a tattooed corporate husband, a small child, a neurotic dog, and several libraries worth of books. She can't clean or cook but can throw a mean party. She can always be found bemoaning the lack of a day job while happily reading or writing m/m fiction or fiddling around with some craft project to add to the pile that is threatening to take over the dining room. The newest craft project is a bouncing baby boy who believes all the other craft projects are edible. AC believes in true love, marriage equality, and happily-ever-afters. She'll continue to write about them until someone pulls her laptop away from he cold dead hands or the sheer volume of baby drool shorts out the computer.

She would love to hear from readers and can be contacted by email at, on Twitter @valentinewrites, or via Tumblr at


Thanks for stopping by, AC!

You can pick up your copy of Cuddling today at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or All Romance eBooks. Happy reading!

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