Matt Converse was once a stripper at The Nob Hill Theater, San Francisco's premiere gay adult entertainment emporium. That experience, and his fondness for the horror genre, led to his new novella Behind the Velvet Curtain.
"I loved it," Converse said of his dancing days. "I liked picking out the music and putting on a show. All this is what inspired ‘Behind the Velvet Curtain.’"
Like the book's hero Matt Jaxx, Converse quit his day job and began stripping full time.
"I had a creepy guy in the audience like in the book," he recalls. "But he didn't take it to the level of stalker like the book does."
Converse describes himself as a horror writer.
"I crossed over into the 'erotic thriller' genre because of the subject matter of this novella," he said. "Sex was a big part of the story, so it fell naturally into this category."
The author cites the diversity of San Francisco as among his influences.
"People of all different kinds," he said. "Straight, gay, bi, transgender, all different races and religions. Since many of my works are set in San Francisco, it's a true reflection of the diversity here."
And what does Converse want his readers to get from “Behind the Velvet Curtain”?
"Just to be entertained," he said. "Behind the Velvet Curtain is fun and sexy, with some humor. I don't want to try to make it into something it's not. This is a fast, fun, erotic gay thriller."
Converse envisions hunky gay actor Matt Bomer as Matt Jaxx, the hot young stripper who finds love even as he fends off unwanted advances from a twisted stalker. And who might direct a film version Behind the Velvet Curtain?
"I would only wish that Alfred Hitchcock was still around to direct it," Converse said. "My dream director today would be someone like David Lynch, I think he'd be a good fit. The musical score would be Lady Gaga since the stripper only dances to her music. I mean, if I'm going to think big, I might as well go all the way, right?"
For now, Matt Converse will be busy deciding what to write next, while he continues to enjoy the amenities of his favorite neighborhood, San Francisco's Castro District, aka "the gayborhood."
"I have to say my favorite thing of all is a rare hot day in the Castro, when all the boys run around half naked," he said. "The neighborhood has changed over the years but I still love it. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have a gay neighborhood like the Castro."
Behind the Velvet Curtain can now be purchased in E-book form at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TBPESD0