Gay romance fiction

Classes & Workshops

Damon teaches hither and yon. If you're a genre fiction pro interested in checking out some of his presentations, you might consider attending one of the scheduled classes or seeing if he can present to your local writing group.


  • 15 February 2024: craft class for the King County Library System

  • 20 September 2024 "Verbal Impact" character masterclass at the PNWA Conference in Seattle, WA

  • 21-23 September 2024: several workshops and events at the PNWA Conference in Seattle, WA

  • Craft Topic: "The Genre Plot"

    • plus a Two day "Plot Lab" with multiple sessions covering universal story points

  • Career Topic TBD

  • Promo Topic TBD

"No one should be punished loving and hoping and holding their heart open." (Hot Head - D. Suede)

Class descriptions:

Damon will happily opine about most things, and he's been teaching for a bunch of years on a wacky variety of topics. All of his classes provide substantive handouts and most of them include non-sucky powerpoint presentations to help cover complex material.

Some of the genre-writing subjects he's talked about during conventions, seminars, and gatherings past include: (click on titles for class-specific subpages where available)

  • CHARACTER: Bestsellers start with fascinating people. Go beyond looks, persona, and boilerplate traits with a simple, powerful technique that will strengthen your plots, your hooks, and your voice so you can build the perfect cast to dazzle your readers. Whether you like to wing it or bring it, you’ll leave with a new set of tools to populate your pages and lay the foundations of unforgettable fiction.

  • PLOT: A plotting class even pantsers love… Even when a happy ending is certain, a great plot keeps your writing fresh while amplifying your voice. Learn how to craft a sure-fire structure and launch your story. We’ll go beyond the bullet points. Rather hammering one “true” blueprint, we’ll break down major story models from Aristotle to Netflix, identify their seven shared points, and help you develop your own narrative strategy.

  • TROPES: aka the rocket fuel of genre fiction. Classic story patterns signal the ride ahead so that everyone can find the perfect book to take them where they want to go. Learn to tap the language that attracts the right audience, streamlines your stories, and leaves them needing more. We'll untangle the evolution of timeless story patterns and their power to sell a project, shape a story, and grab imaginations... harnessing reader expectations for pleasure and profit.

  • DIALOGUE: Talk isn’t cheap. Conversations can make or break a book and help your characters pop off the page. In this hour, we’ll unpack an arsenal of tricks you can use to cut the flab in your gab and unleash unforgettable communication. We'll unpack an arsenal of nitty-gritty techniques to turn that chatter into convos that matter.

  • INTIMACY: Keep your sizzle fresh at any heat level. Creating chemistry on the page requires a mix of playful art and rigorous craft. Whether sweet or raunchy, intimate moments have always been the beating heart of romance fiction. Fans call them “the good parts” and dogear them for a reason; love scenes are often where authors cut loose and romance gets closest to poetry. Go beyond the mechanics to tackle the interplay of flirtation, seduction, and conjunction necessary for winning fiction.

  • GOALS: In today’s market, forgettable HEAs and generic endgames won't cut it. No matter your genre, go beyond GMC and backstory with happy endings that break the mold, internally and externally. Whether you're a plotter or pantser, learn to elicit intense empathy and killer word of mouth by shaping scene goals and story stakes masterfully. Amp the emotional impact of any story by focusing on what makes your scenes slick and your characters tick.

  • COUPLES: Build the perfect duo to dazzle your readers in any genre. Intriguing relationships drive every great story: it takes two to tangle. Bring your fictional folks to the next level with a technique for characterization and dramatization that will strengthen your ideas, your voice, and your projects at any stage. Amp the action, attraction, and interaction between your toothsome twosome with practical, hands­on strategies for making lovers who pop off the page.

  • SCENE & SEQUEL: Explaining and exploring Dwight Swain's analysis of popular fiction. Whether you call it “scene and sequel,” "disasters and decisions," or “action and reaction,” this basic storytelling pattern allows you to pace your plot, escalate your action, and find your story’s heat and tone. These old-school genre tools let you manage any story’s natural flow for a book readers can't put down.

  • PITCHING, BLURBS, & HOOKS: Does your marketing copy earn its keep? This one/two hour session hits loglines and blurbs head-on with a hard look at the language of hooks and high concept. We'll unpack the knack of boiling any project into words that close the sale, before and after publication. You’ll learn to summarize your story’s strongest selling points and leave with dynamic promo language that sells your stories. .

  • BRANDING: Brand is the core of your promo mojo. In this swift overview, we’ll help you target your genre niche and explore your unique appeal to make sure your brand is doing its job: selling your work and signaling to your unique audience. In this class we’ll skip the one-size-fits-all Band-Aids. You’ll leave with action items specific to your skills, experience, and career goals so you can unleash your A game.

  • PRESENCE (and PLATFORM):  As an author you are your own best advertisement for your work. A strategic platform and a public archetype can be game changers to attract the right kind of attention for your career. In this look at your professional presence and platform, we’ll talk about how to nail interviews and panels by tailoring your topics, shaping your message, and boosting your signal to expand your audience, and find fun in your promo process.

  • WORLDBUILDING: Mental modeling for fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi AND contemporary. All books deserve a fully-fleshed world, prioritizing details for single title and series; language, laws, and meaningful specifics that make stories feel real.

  • COMEDY: Being funny is a serious business. Even in the darkest books a dash of humor can make your scenes sizzle because audiences love to laugh. Careful comic plotting and characterization can turn “meh” into mesmerizing. We’ll spend an hour on tips and tricks that will help you find the rib ticklers underneath your story...along with a bag of tricks for adding levity and sparkle to any scene by unlocking the power of laughter.

  • THE MALE ANIMAL: Romantic heroes can be so much more than tall, dark, and ab-tastic. Write past XY stereotypes and cookie-cutter gender signaling to develop complex male characters that enrich and deepen your character relatrionships. Use worldbuilding via gender, emotional expression, and more to plumb your story’s depths by getting your dudes right.

"“If your heart is broken, do you have a phantom heart?” (Hot Head - D. Suede)


Would you like Damon to present to your group, chapter or an upcoming genre event? He has class options out the hoo-hoo and his NYC location keeps travel costs surprisingly inexpensive. Drop him a line with the relevant details and he'll do whatever he can to get his behonkus there.