Richard Labonte

Read more about Richard Labonte.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: January 17, 2012

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Best Gay Erotica 2012

Describe your current release in two sentences?

An annual compilation of gay male erotic fiction, original stories and reprints, culled from several hundred submissions by series editor (since 1997) Richard Labonte; this year, 2012 judge Larry Duplechan was sent 30 stories, from among which he selected this year's "best," a total of 14 stories.

What was your childhood ambition?

Journalism - which I practiced at a daily newspaper for a decade. Bookselling followed naturally from a love of books, and I managed bookstores for more than 20 years. Now I edit and review them, along with other editing work, and by the end of 2012 will have edited fifty assorted anthologies. That saidm being a pornographer was never a career goal...

Do you have a favorite time of the day? If so when and why

Early morning, as the sun is rising (later in winter than in summer), walking our dogs through the towering fir trees and lush undergrowth on our temperate-rainforest island.

What is the one thing you do not want to live without?

Animate - my husband. Inanimate - my books (and good cheeses).

What main genre do you write in?

Erotica Romance / Erotica

Please describe your writing environment.

I select and edit stories on an Apple iMac resting on a 19th century pine desk, overlooking Smuggler Cove, which feeds into Howe Sound and the Pacific Ocean, on a small island off the coast of British Columbia. Ravens swoop constantly though my field of vision, and there are often deer in the back yard.

What is your favorite TV show?

Last year, Mad Men and The Walking Dead. This year, Revenge and Parenthood. Always, The Rachel Maddow Show.

What are you working on?

At the moment, coordinating the judges and the judging for the Lambda Literary Awards; I've also started reading submissions for Best Gay Erotica 2013 for Cleis Press, and will soon be working on a collection of erotic novellas.

How do you mesh your personal and professional life?

These days, the personal and the professional lives mesh - that's how it is with freelance editing. But to escape the computer and the words, I work three days a week as a chef's assistant at an addiction recovery centre on the island, crafting fine salads and delectable croutons and other healthy fare.

What has been the best way for you to engage readers?

I engage almost entirely through email, and on the rare occasions I travel, face-to-face; even though I'm mostly a hermit, I has a relatively high queer profile through my years as a LGBTQ bookseller and, since 2001, as a book reviewer - 100 books a year.

What is the best thing about being an author?

Well, I'm an editor, not an author (somebody has to read the books); what's best is discovering new writers, helping them develop their skills as authors and storytellers. The "discovery" moment is always a delight.

Signing Off: Richard Labonte

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