Jen: Today we welcome Spencer Dryden back to Romancing the Book. Spencer, will you share a short bio with us?
Spencer: My name is Spencer Dryden, actually that’s my pen name. I’m still new to writing fiction although I am an old guy. In real life I am an at-home dad, handyman, inventor, and web videographer, living in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. I have to use a pen name because if my family, friends and associates knew of my interest in writing erotica they would drop dead in horror. Like all good erotic romance writers, I have a cat, but I prefer to pet my wife.
Jen: Tell us about your newest release.
Spencer: My latest release is a ‘flirt’, a short story published by Breathless Press, called Love Above See Level. It takes place in my adopted home, Summer Haven, Florida, an ocean side enclave between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. The idea came to me in one of my many walks along the beach there. In my story, a surfer/beach bum is smitten by a woman, six feet- seven inches tall, who he sees paddle surfing at his local surfing hang out. He decides to make a try for her attention. He is bombing out until fate intervenes, but can a thirty-one year old Peter Pan type find a romantic connection with a career driven woman a foot taller than he is? It’s fun, funny and tender.
Jen: Tell us your call story.
Spencer: I’ve tried many times at non-fiction publishing. In my abysmal white collar career, I wrote regularly for professional journals. The only fiction I wrote was the sales reports I prepared for my managers. When I became an at-home dad (read: lost job and couldn’t find work) I aspired to be a male version of Erma Bombeck. That idea died under a pile of dirty laundry. I could never find the time and energy to dedicate to writing. Now I can’t remember anything from those years. My boys are turning into fine young men. I have no idea how. I did everything wrong according to the parenting experts.
I turned 62 and suddenly realized if I don’t start acting on some of my dreams, I’m going to be taking a dirt nap with nothing for anyone to say at my wake. I started scribbling down some ideas I had for stories. A friend, a reasonably accomplished novelist and playwright, was kind enough to read some of my stuff and encouraged me to try writing fiction. So here I am on the threshold of draining the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, trying to make it in the world of erotic fiction. How odd is that?
Jen: Are you a plotter or panster?
Spencer: I am a panster which is why I gravitate to short works, but it’s also part of a strategy. It’s easier to get short works published and hopefully to get readers to invest in a new writer if you’re not asking them to endure 100,000+ words. The strategy has worked pretty well. In two years I have four works under contract and have placed two stories in anthologies.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Spencer: In three words my writing is Adult, Male, Fiction—a triple oxymoron. Most of my stories are about ordinary guys, tradesmen, who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances and in the orbit of sexually assertive women. My life has been about role reversal and I guess in a sense it is expressed in my fiction. Make no mistake though, my stories are about my fantasies but that’s where it stops. In Love Above See Level, my male MC, Clayton Stoner, is the guy I’ve always wanted to be, easy going, laid back, very contented to live hand to mouth. I’m finally getting there but I’m too old now to turn young women’s heads. Thankfully, I’m married to a beautiful younger woman who keeps getting younger than me. When people see us together I know the guys are saying, ‘he must be rich’. One of the benefits of writing erotic romance is that I can sleep with any woman I want to and my wife could care less.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Spencer: I’d like to try writing longer works but I have such a terrible attention span. I have several longer fantasy stories in development. The one getting the most work lately is a mermaid story, also set in Summer Haven. If anything makes me famous though, it will be my stories about the Gueschtunkina Ray Gun: one blast from this mythical weapon renders any woman into a state of extreme sexual arousal. What guy wouldn’t want one of those?