Gay porn stars have been inspiring people for ages, but in the case of first-time novelist Jace Payne, they actually inspired some of the characters in his steamy debut. Shifter: Dark South is the tale of recent college graduate (and werewolf!) Kayden Garrett, who returns home to Georgia and falls for his parents' handyman, a mysterious stranger with a deadly secret. And Payne tells GayDemon that porn stars such as Colton Ford, David Benjamin, Nick Capra, Jimmy Durano and Tyler Rush appear in the book...with different names, of course. The 27-year-old Alabama-based author, who is originally from Boston, says that when it came time to write his first book, the world of gay porn had an influence on him.
I've never participated in double-penetration, but I included it in my first novel.
"Most of my favorite gay porn stars appear in my first novel," Jace says, "as I created fictional characters for each of them. Colton inspired the character of Paul, who is a brawny Cajun with a thick accent, and even thicker muscles. He's scruffy and strong but kind and full of charm, like Colton. David and Tyler will appear in my second novel too." He also included another of his longtime interests: vampires and werewolves. "I grew up with a strong love for anything having to do with the supernatural, but I never thought I'd grow up to write paranormal novels."
Payne, who had previously worked on short erotica for his own blog, says that creating a gay erotic romance novel happened organically. "This was the first idea that popped into my head when my publisher asked me to submit a manuscript for consideration," he says. "It started out drastically different than the final product, but through collaboration with my publisher and my editor, it became a story that I'm proud of."
But the fact that the book is gay-themed is no accident. Payne hopes that his pro-homo work will inspire young readers who might be struggling with their sexual orientation. "Young gay males don't have a plethora of novels featuring strong gay characters," Jace says. "I think the sexual element allows readers to become comfortable with the idea of exploring their own sexuality. Before I came out I tried to find gay paranormal-themed novels and had a hard time. Now the selection has grown immensely."
And what about the explicit sex scenes? Again, Payne says that he turned to gay porn for guidance. "Of course I have my own sexual history to draw inspiration from," he says, "but it doesn't hurt to learn more. Porn is fun to watch, and it's really informative when I need to vary the sexual positions my characters use, introduce new forms of foreplay and just analyzing body mechanics. It's hard to describe something when you either haven't done it yourself or you've never seen it being done. For example, I've never participated in double-penetration, but I included it in my first novel. I wouldn't have been able to write that properly had I not done my homework first!"