It’s my pleasure to welcome Dan Skinner and his ‘Darn Muse’ to my blog today and I’m delighted to be able to help them promote their fabulous Dirk Tales. Below you’ll find an inspirational guest post, all the details about the book, as well as my review. Please don’t forget to scroll all the way to the end and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of the book signed by both Dan and Dirk—does it get any better?
A funny thing happened on the way to mine and Dirk's friendship. His little oddities amused me and so I began sharing them with my friends on social media. No big deal. They were something that made me smile and I offered them as a way to make others smile. More and more people came every day to see what quirky little things he said and how I reacted to them. After all, we were two different generations of gay men. I grew up on Streisand and Aerosmith. He was a Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber baby. Not so much polar opposites in personality because of our mutual ADHD as generationally distinct. But a friendship formed and a bond cemented and somehow our lives became intertwined on a daily basis, even when we were separated for a year by the distance of my move.
Our friendship, and what we shared of it with others, became even bigger. People began writing us sharing the quirks and foibles of their lives, which were just as funny and proof that none of us is really ordinary. Each of us has our own purpose and significance and place among others in the world.
More than that, what we proved to each other was that in spite of differences, be they generational or personal, friendship has a way of doing something remarkable to all of us. It gives us... HOPE.
So we want to thank you for letting us in and accepting us... Your love has given us proof that good things still exist; nice people are not a rarity and HOPE does spring like youth eternal in all of us!
Love to you all
The Book Blurb
Dirk Tales, The Book includes previously released Misadventures of Doc & Dirk volumes, available now for the first time in paperback, an additional episode, and more!
He's a middle-aged, newly single, gay photographer starting life over. Along comes a freshly out nineteen-year-old, irreverent free spirit who wants to be his apprentice. Mismatched by more than a generation, what could possibly go wrong? Everything! And it's AWESOME!
Dirk's First Time: Every gay boy has his first experience. Usually it's a memorable, exciting personal time of discovery and intimacy between two young people. But two comic book characters? Is it horseplay or Cosplay?
The Boy At The Gym: First impressions can be deceiving. Sometimes that boy in the baggy clothes, talking to himself in the gym isn't as shy as he appears. Sometimes there's a deviant imp lurking beneath that freckled mask of innocence. Beware the Trojan Nerd!
A "Muse" ing: Most authors struggle with the voices or "muses" in their head when writing. Tuning that voice out becomes a little more challenging when your muse is a real-life nineteen-year-old who inhales espresso and turns out ideas at light speed. Danger Will Robinson!
Daddy and The Rent Boy: In sales, advertising is half the battle. That can become hazardous when you're in the company of an irreverent walking billboard.
Sex Dolls and Bad Dates: We’ve all had one of those dates where we think we've bitten off more than we can chew. The trick to know is Bite or Flight?
Dirk's Quirks: Everyone has idiosyncrasies; that's what makes us interesting. If you're lucky, you get a heaping helping and can share them with everyone.
Make it Naked:Teaching a nineteen-year-old walking hormone photography apprentice to shoot nudes is more than an adventure...It's a human obstacle course.
Muse – A living, breathing, never-ending pest that prodded me forward where I normally procrastinated.
First things first. This is not ‘just’ a compilation of the first three episodes in the ‘Dirk Tales’. Far from it in fact. This book contains added ‘Dirkisms’ as well as a new, and possibly my favourite so far, episode all about Doc/Dan’s first photo shoots and the first time Dirk shot nudes by himself.
As I mentioned in my earlier reviews, what I really love about these tales is that they describe a wonderful, hysterically funny, but ultimately beatiful relationship in which two people learn from and teach each other in equal measure. Sure, it started as Doc/Dan accepting Dirk as his apprentice, but I think it’s fair to say that for everything Dirk learned about photography, Doc/Dan learned how to embrace life again. Dirk is an unstoppable life-force and Doc/Dan has been swept up in his passion—or, in Doc/Dan’s words:
Change is what dreams are made of…and I was dreaming again, and looking forward to the next wave. Wherever it may take me.
These anecdotes show us the amazing, fun, inspiring, and heartwarming journey two men make as they create a deep and honest relationship which appears to be far more than just a friendship or teacher – student dynamic and yet hasn’t evolved into a romance (although I can’t help feeling that possibility is always just a heartbeat away).
It is impossible not to fall for Dirk who is clearly highly intelligent and very quick-witted.
“I like that word, foolhardy. (…) Sounds like a word that means your brain has a battle to do something smart or something fun, and fun wins.”
It is so tempting to go into detail, accompanied with a long lineup of quotes, and share all the (more often than not) juicy details of that new episode. I’m resisting, but do urge you to make sure you get your hands on it and read it. Like I said, this one may well be my favourite so far because apart from funny and sexy, it also touched me deeply. It shows so very clearly the honesty between these two men and how very close they have grown. I smiled as often as I always do when reading about the ‘Muse-Nerd’ but my heart melted on more than one occasion too.
“One day you’ll have an apprentice telling you their tales of terror and how they made it through them. And you’ll be as proud as I am of you right now.”
Oh, I have one piece of advice for you. Do not stop reading when you think you’ve reached the end of these tales. There are quite a few Dirkisms hidden among the author and book information and you do not want to miss them.
For my thoughts on the episodes shared in the first three books I refer you to my reviews about those—the links can be found below. All I can say (again) is that I highly recommend these stories. They will lift your spirit and brighten your day. And goodness knows we need that more than ever these days.
Please enter the give-away for your opportunity to win one of five copies of the paperback signed by both Doc/Dan and Dirk!
ABOUT DAN SKINNER
I’m a single gay man living in the Midwest. I write because I consider myself to be an old-fashioned storyteller. I’ve been a photographer for half my life, specializing in male romance cover art. My dream is to one day live on the beach with my dog and continue to tell tales that inspire and entertain.
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