to learn about submission (of the literary type)

S T E V E   D E L A H O Y D E

Where are you located?

In the desolate, sprawling desert city: Phoenix, Arizona. Atop a mighty hill, perched precariously in my spacious third floor apartment, I dwell among two cats and two roommates.  I feel that to truly experience life, one must be surrounded by duplicates. 

How far will you roam for literary-related fun and excitement?

My roaming is hampered by very few dictates!  From the trenches of Gallipoli to the arid flats of the Senegal, if there is literature to be read/seen/eaten, I will be there.  I am known throughout the continents for my eagerness to travel, to experience, to see, to touch, to smell. Yes, as long as there is a comfortable bed and several of the meals are comp'd, I will do most anyone's bidding

What are you working on?

Currently, and in addition to writing things such as this for places such as this, I, along with my writing partner Waki Gamez, have been commissioned to write a modern day cabaret for a woman from New Zealand.  Having never written lengthy stage plays, we are finding this task daunting, and, in truth, are not concentrating on it as much as we should. In addition, we are also continuing with our musical endeavors, preparing to play "gigs" for "people" in places as far away as "Portland, Oregon." 

What's your font?

I prefer the simplicity delivered by Arial.  There is something so sneeringly sublime about delivering a volley of uncouthed sarcasm with such a gentle, soft-spoken font

What font turns you on?

Once, many years ago, I was pummeled with crippling emotional pain by a young lady who, when composing letters, used Verdana with an alarming consistency.  Although many memories of our time together have long since passed, sweet images are sometimes conjured when I receive a message written in this textual style. A glimmer of those deep blue eyes, a sudden flash of her radiant smile, the reverberating laugh that could make one-hundred children simultaneously release a toothy-grin, and the way she would throw herself into a frenzy of dance upon hearing anything from the Kid N' Play library, even in short snippets. Occasionally, it is more than I can bear.

Which do you enjoy more: having sex or reading about people having sex?

Having been a long while since the former happened, I dare say the reading gives more lasting pleasure. The "real" event can be clumsy and awkward, whereas the fiction seems well paced, more sensual, and, usually, aptly timed. Even in books such as Francine Prose's Blue Angel, where the professor has an ultimately painful time with a young student, it still seemed far more interesting than any experience I've ever had. Though maybe I should just get out more.

What do you like to read aloud to the person lying post-coitally beside you?

After we have finished a rousing roll in the hay, I will often pick from my collection The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein. Reading just a small section, usually from the introduction, seems to bewilder them almost immediately, thus sending them off to a land of restful slumber. This allows me ample time to go through their purses and wallets, looking for loot.

Is the proverbial stack of books beside your bed actually stacked there for that precise purpose?

The books serve as a load-bearing weight. Without them, the nightstand, the bed, and the desk across the room, would collapse, crushing several appendages and quite possibly severing one, if not several, emotional bonds. It is because of this that I have placed books that I've deemed completely unreadable, notably amongst them, two works by John Grisham.

If you could take to bed any author, who would that author be?

I have taken some time in considering this, and I believe I would be remiss if I didn't say Dorothy Parker. Not now, certainly. Not only is having intercourse with a thoroughly decayed corpse illegal, but it would also be entirely too messy and might permanently soil my new sheets. But when she was in her prime, in her (and the country's) thirties, I would have liked to. She not only had that 1920's/30's look, but wit seemed her only language. There is something inexplicably sexy about that.

If you could take to bed any fictional character, which character would that be?

This is going to sound even more unusual than the previous answer, but I would pick the girl from O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins.  Older, of course (I think she was only twelve in the book).  While I know the character was an actual person, the author took the liberty of fictionalizing her life, punching it up a bit. I remember reading this book as a child and finding the character attractive, being independent, strong, free from the constructs of social boundaries and such. Either that or I was just still on a kick from "Blue Lagoon."

If you could sexually satisfy yourself with a book, which book would that be?

Is this physically satisfying yourself with a book?  I would think that, regardless of which book it was, would be extremely painful. Running the risk of paper cuts, smashing, and ruining a perfectly good Jane Austen novel. It all just seems too much. I'll stick with the stuffed animals, thank you.

Which author do you most resemble, physically, emotionally, psychologically?

Physically, I couldn't say. I've been told, several times, that I bear a likeness to Tim Robbins, the actor. Since he wrote the film "Bob Roberts," I suppose that will work. As for emotionally and psychologically, I would have to admit that I've always connected with Sylvia Plath, particularly in "The Bell Jar." That anxiety to get things done, the fear of never being able to write again: all very close to me.

Do you refuse to see the movie until you've read the book?

I see very few movies, unless they are very strange, slightly absurdist, or feature Steve Guttenberg in a supporting role. When I was a frequent moviegoer, I would always do that, read the book first.  Save for a few examples ("Memoirs of an Invisible Man", etc.), the films were always mind-numbingly bad. As the years have continued on, they just keep making bad movies out of terrible books, or bad movies out of good books (see: reviews of "Count of Monte Cristo"). In short, movies have lost their luster in mine eyes.

Do you still remember the page number you folded over in Judy Blume's "Forever?"

To be honest, I have never read this book, though after reading a description of it on Amazon, I'm sorry that I didn't. It sounds racy. If I ever do get a chance to pick it up, I will fold the pages over whenever the characters are speaking about roasting pumpkin seeds.

Please submit both a good-sex sex scene and a bad-sex sex scene of your own composition.  Please indicate which is which.


"Oh, Farnsworth!" she said, her bosom heaving, fueled with an unbridled passion.  "Take me now!"

He climbed the stairs slowly, eyeing every inch of her as he traveled upward and into her waiting arms. The clutched her as his lips met hers, his bulging muscles pulling her ever closer.

Seconds passed, but the fits of passion had acted swiftly, their clothes forming clumps lining the banister in close proximity. As he lowered her quivering body to the marble floor, overlooking the wide entryway of the stately manor, she quietly whispered, "Yes, my dear! Yes!"


"Oh, Farnsworth!" she said, her bosom heaving, fueled with an unbridled passion. "Take me now!"

He climbed the stairs slowly, eyeing every inch of her as he traveled upward and into her waiting arms. The clutched her as his lips met hers, his bulging muscles pulling her ever closer.

Suddenly, she pried him from her supple person and violently pushed him back. 

"But why?" he asked, near silently, tears welling in his eyes.

"Ha Ha!" she cackled.

Then she shot him.

Do signed first editions arouse you inexplicably?

I have signed first editions from a number of authors, but none seem to have this sort of effect on me.  Perhaps if I go home tonight, cook a nice meal for the books and I, then sit down to a nice candlelight dinner, and finally off to the hot tub, it will get me in a mood better suited to romance these works. I will also drink three-and-a-half bottles of cheap wine. 

Does "submitting" to literary journals/websites have its sexual side?

There is a certain sexual element to submitting, but I see it more as an analogy to the whole romantic experience.  There is the pouring your thoughts out process (chatting it up), then the initial sending of the piece (the asking for the date), the editor or their flunkies reading it (the date itself), and then the final climactic experience of either getting rejected or accepted (sex / no sex). When examined further, the rejection and acceptance segment of it also serves as a kind of example for the sexual act. When a letter or an e-mail is received and the writer has it there, in his or her hands, a excitement lingers in their heart. If the news is good, an ebullient explosion of joy.  If it's bad, the author sighs heavily and hopes for better the next time. I think you understand where I'm going with that one. 

What books have you read while entertaining the near-constant thought "Would I sleep with this writer?"

When I read, I don't really find myself lusting after a writer. The characters, yes, that's fair game. If the book is good, the writer should seem somewhat absent from the work, existing somewhere else. The characters can appear attractive and sensual, but, in my opinion, the writer doesn't enter the picture. Unless you count Margery Kempe. Man, oh man, do I like those 16th century religious nuts. Wow! 

Do you wait for your partner to get up to use the bathroom before you write down the things he/she said to you while having sex or do you whip out the notebook while he/she is still panting in the bed beside you?

I find it easier simply to hire a courtroom stenographer to keep a detailed and accurate record of all that has transpired. The details, down to every "Oops, did that hurt?" to "I'm sorry, I'm still kind of tipsy," come out clean and letter-perfect. If you are interested in hiring a freelance stenographer, know that they command a fairly substantial hourly rate, and many of them will simply hang up on you if you do not phrase your initial queries just right (apparently there are some legal issues regarding this practice).

Or do you each keep a tape recorder beside the bed for just such a purpose?

In addition to the stenographer, I do also keep a tape recorder on the nightstand. It does indeed pick up some of the muddled conversation, but it is there primarily to record the music played by the bluegrass band I hire to perform in my bedroom on nights of copulation.*


To contract Steve Delahoyde, send an introductory e-mail to To review work by Mr. Delahoyde on this site, we recommend the following, in the order presented:


Sub Mission

A Smidgeon of Supposed Dialogue From 
A Book I've Never Read

What Are These? These Are Submissions?

The Machine

The Apple

Many other pieces 
are also available elsewhere.



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