icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Jery Tillotson: A Life

Jery Tillotson at home. In the background are posters of his international best-sellers, ERIC'S BODY and THE KISS OF KING KONG. One famous photographer said the author's home is "like a homage to a Parisian literary salon from the Jazz Age."
My late brother, Robbie Tillotson, at one of the many New York exhibits of his striking paintings in the early 80s. He is shown here with admirers who stand before some of his artwork. Within seven years, he was dead of AIDS after a life of madness.
This striking painting of my late brother, Robbie Tillotson, is by legendary portrait artist, Alice Neel, and currently hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts in New York City.

* * *
Here's a little something of my life...

The very few people who know me well will sometimes ask: "Who are you today?"
That's because I have several distinct literary alter egos I write under. Two of these beings are fairly well known: 'Jason Fury' and 'Andrea D'Allsandra.'
The androgynous Jason Fury has been writing gay fiction/erotica for over thirty years. His fans are international. They've brought up all the editions of his overnight hit, ERIC'S BODY, along with other perennial favorites like NAKED FURY, HIS EYES WERE DARK HE LICKED HIS LIPS and his latest hit, ORGY.
Andrea D'Allasandra is a mysterious but glamorous author, deemed 'The Mistress of Chills' by one reviewer. All her work is noted for the feverishly paced action, strong sensuality and shocking endings. Some of her most controversial best-sellers are THE MASTER OF HELL MOUNTAIN,THE CREAKING DOOR and OTHER TALES OF MADNESS and HORROR HOUSE.
Another pen name that's popped up is "'Big' Bill Jackson." His story collection, EIGHTH WONDER proved to be a phenomenal best-seller by fans ravenous over his torrid tales of an oversexed bodybuilder whose adventures in erotica left the reader gasping.
Yet another of my popular non-de-plums is writing Harry Potter type books. Her name is Kandy Kristmas and her first book, "Doofus, the Little Christmas Boy" quickly zooms to the best-sellers list during the holidays each year.
And when writing dozens of stories during the late seventies and eighties, I used so many pen names that one editor was convinced I was a literary agent who represented a roster of "gifted but decadent writers."
Just some of the names I used and which attracted passionate fans were Jimmy Valentine, Jim Morrison, Buck Baker, Korky Joe Kristable, Jerry Tucker, Sjorstrom Sudermann and Jimmy Jack Johnson. Those are only the FEW that I can remember!
Curiously, I still receive queries from readers who want to know how they can make contact with Jimmy Valentine, Korky Joe Kristable or Sjorstrom Sudermann.
When you grow up lonely in a tiny, isolated Southern town, you develop your own secretive ways of coping with an unfriendly and often hostile environment.
Although I had seven brothers and sisters, we often fought viciously each other.
My monster mother died April 29, 2003. Our relationship was torturous and grim. We were true strangers in every sense of the word. Our hatred for each other never diminished through the years.
She told me several times she wished someone would murder me--because I was such a disgraceful freak, homo and disgrace to our family.
Her ideas of what a "real boy" was supposed to be clashed violently against the type of person I was. Our battles were many. I experienced no grief when I heard she had passed on. In my stories, she is usually protrayed as the hideous witch she was.
My father was beautiful enough to be a movie star--but he wanted to be left alone. He had a dreamworld he escaped into when he faced problems as a parent. He was too gentle for this world and should have never married. Instead of the dead-end jobs he usually found, I always thought he would have made a brilliant teacher or pastor of a church.
My youngest brother, Robbie, and unfortunately my Mother's favorite, became a famous artist, especially well known in the South.
He was definitely gifted, brilliant but touched by madness. He was a troubled, tortured person who died of AIDS in l987. During his life, he wreaked havoc on everyone who came in contact with him. He was another family member that the rest of us learned early on to avoid. My mother taught him well.
Both in my home town and later in the colleges I attended, I was always regarded as the "freak...the queer...the homo...fag." This didn't really bother since my mother had been calling me those names all my life so I had become used to it.
Although I had to contend with the usual deadbeat bigots in college, I became intimate with a number of jocks. They were my favorite people to hang around with. The ones I knew back then were nonjudgemental of my lifestyle and enjoyed my quirky sense of humor.
I've written about them in my fiction, especially in "Eric's Body" and "Naked Fury." Many other stories that appeared in all the top gay magazines of the 80s were literal pages from my journals.
My jock buddies had no idea that they would inspire some of my most popular stories. Several of my most discussed and popular tales showcase these sexy athletes and some day I hope I can meet them again and let them know of their legacy.
After a career in journalism for 15 years, I moved to New York City in l979 and have enjoyed a successful career as writer.
I would have stayed in newspaper work forever--but the blatant homophobia I encountered daily was not worth it. And then I discovered I was blackballed from ever moving to a bigger newspaper--so I threw in the towel--but it also forced me to finally leap in a sex mad Manhattan of the late 1970s.
When the "Plague Years" began to receive coverage in l980, the landscape changed forever here in Manhattan. AIDS and its horrific aftermath destroyed the feverish exhiliration of being a sexually free male in the world's most hedonistic metropolis.
My novel, THE ROPE ABOVE, THE BED BELOW has been recognized at last as the parable I meant it to be when it appeared in l993. Although I never mention AIDS, readers quickly understood that the nightmarish world I describe is exactly how my city had become.
One of my most popular novels, HIS EYES WERE DARK HE LICKED HIS LIPS and most readers consider the most "powerful," was inspired by very handsome Wall Street tiger, who I worked for when I was doing temporary secretarial assignments.
Our affair was intense. Although he was happily married, with kids--and one of the very rare Wall Street power houses who did not play around, he and I clicked.
I took his extraordinary charisma and created the unforgettable 'David Darling,' the tragic hero in my novel. I called myself Kurt James. I set the book against the tumultuous 1970s and readers couldn't get enough.
I moved to the beautiful mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina in 2011 and discovered the joys of cyber dating. During my first year in 2012, I encountered over 100 men. I've written about my experiences in my new memoir, I, A MAN. I describe the horrible, the boring and the phenomenal.
I've mainly given up my sudden burst of interest in cyber dating. I see only one or two guys I met occasionally--but I'm content in living alone and by myself. My fantasy life is so rich that I much prefer the company of my book and movie characters than those I might meet in real life.
Although I kind of hope that a really special guy shows up at my door--and there is a certain British charmer whose visiting me tonight--again. He'll definitely show up in a new book I'm working on.