First Floor: Room 16 is the story of Maximo Kovak, a male escort working in London. We spoke t0 him about his experience.
It’s no secret that male prostitution is almost as widespread as its female equivalent, but it is still clothed with a stigma on the gay scene that entails it is a subject less spoken about. New author Maximo Kovak, writing under a pseudonym, wants to explode this secrecy with his memoirs recounting the true story of his experience as a male escort in London. Here we spoke to him about the content of his book, and why he was moved to write it…
Is First Floor: Room 16 a completely true story or do you embellish some aspects for fictional purposes?
The book is based on my memoirs and the story portrays my experiences as an escort in London. All the facts and stories are real. This is what makes it even more attractive for the readers.
Why did you decide to write this book at this time in your life?
A couple of factors motivated me to write the book. A very good friend of mine kept telling me that I should write my stories and experiences. He found them hilarious and interesting and thought that other people would too. It was also after watching a couple of films portraying the escorting world which distorted the reality about the job. This stimulated me to write my own story and tell people the real facts about my escorting adventures.
There seems to be a stereotype in popular gay consciousness that male escorts are not exactly the types to write novels; would you dispel this myth for all escorts or do you think you’re a one-off?
Hahaha. Well I learnt to live with those stereotypes. It happens to me all the time when I meet clients. Some of them are shocked when they discover that I have two degrees and that I also do (“serious”) work on the side. In this profession as in any other you can find dumb people as well as well educated ones. I spoke yesterday to an escort friend from the USA who had already published three books. I also know two escorts in London who are working in the music industry and they have released a couple of albums each. Of course they use different names and they separate the escorting life from the other activities. People can be very bigoted and judgmental still.
Was it hard to write the novel, or did it come naturally once you started typing? Did it all come from memory or did you keep notes and diaries to recollect things properly?
It was not an easy task considering English is not my first language but I had a lot of fun during the process. The book includes two story lines: one for Pedro the escort and the other for Pablo the person. When I started I took two blank papers and wrote the titles of all the interesting stories I had for each character. Then I wrote several sample chapters for each of them and showed them to some close friends in the publishing industry. Their feedback was “We want more!” After that the chapters started to flow like spunk and it was finished after three months.
Were you worried about what some of your clients might say? Is that why you write under a pseudonym?
I did not write the book to compromise any of my clients but to show people the real inside life of a male prostitute in London. The locations and names were changed so no one could be recognised. However the stories are based on real situations and experiences. Escorting is just a part of my life, I do many other things and to keep them separated I decided to use a pen name.
Is there any special significance to the name Maximo Kovak that you chose to write under?
To find the right pen name was not easy. I could not use a name that is already in use. It took me several days researching to find a name that suits my personality. It goes well with the book and most importantly it was not used by anyone else.
And finally, why should our readers pick up ‘First Floor: Room 16’ as their next read? What’s gonna grip them and make them turn those pages?
Many readers have already contacted me by email to tell me how much they enjoyed the book. They could not stop reading once they started. They found it very funny and easy to read. On the one hand, the book includes a group of hilarious stories by Pedro the escort. They are spicy, picturesque and sexual. On the other hand you have the stories by Pablo who portraits many interesting subjects related to contemporary gay life style, gay relationships and love, living standards for gay people in big cities, self-discovery, sexuality and many other interesting topics. Both characters are the same person but each one will tell you their side of the story through their own eyes. The book is already making people talk and is creating enormous interest in the gay community. I believe some readers will get tired wrists but hopefully it will stimulate brains as well!