Sunday, March 28, 2010
Getting things written is somewhat difficult for me right now, but I'll be getting it sorted out once I get my Spring Break started on the 2nd of April. I'll be able to play online all day when my next book releases on the 6th. An Invitation: Ariel's Pet is actually a story that is much lighter than what I've written in the last year. No secret plots against the heroine's business--just her body and heart. LOL.
Drawing on my creativity to design lesson plans for teachers and students has left me a bit drained of the same imagination required to draw my characters out of hiding. (As is clearly seen in this rambling, unfocused post.) I'm hoping to get back on track before the end of this month.
I know, that's only five days (three days when this actually posts) but, I'm getting closer to success and I can almost smell it. Or is that my brain trying to warm up? Ah well, here's hoping I'll be more prolific this year; that I'll have fun at RT at the end of April; and that I'll still have a job to come back to in August.
Take care all. I'm off to attempt to reconnect with my muse and get some writing done this weekend (note I'm writing this on Friday night--I'll comment on Sunday if I was able to do anything productive. If not, I'll stay mum.)
Have a great weekend and a wonderful week!!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I've read the "rules" about POV and the advice to new authors about "head-hopping." All the no-nos that are out there, I've done, and learned from them. That's one of the great things about being a writer, you can practice on every story, then refine and hone your skills as you learn new methods.
In the last three years since the publication of my first book, I've been fortunate to have editors who've helped me identify where the POV shifts are located as well as determine which POV is the one best suited for the scene. I love POV shifts. Not because I like to revise and rework my stories, but because, when you get them right, they resonate with the reader. It creates a connection between them (the reader) and the character.
I liked Sasha's information about the number of POVs based on the length of the story--it isn't how I write, but it's an interesting tidbit of information to keep in mind. Even better for me, is the fact that Point of View and Mastering POV is one of the more popular online classes available to beginning (and even advanced) writers. And the romance writers group I belong to will be running one of those online classes in April.
Here are a few of the links to available online classes:
Monday, March 22, 2010
By Sascha Illyvich
Do you know which POV your story is told in? Do you know the correct Point of View your story SHOULD be written from? If you answer first or third person POV, you’re obviously being a smart ass. Let’s rephrase the question, shall we?
What character’s point of view should my story be told in?
There, this defines the question better. And the answer is simple. The main character’s POV. But what if you have two characters? Presumably a Hero and a Heroine, since this is Romance I’m mainly covering, let’s stick with that assumption. What if you have a villain? Do we tell any of the story from that character’s perspective?
Many writers assume that during major scene changes, the perspective should change. They’re half correct. A lot of writers suggest that we need to know about the villain if there is one, and that character should get a say too. Again, they’re half right.
The truth is, POV is simple. Tell the story from the Point of View of the character that has the most to lose.
What do I mean by that? Let’s break it down. In a typical romance novel, we have the hero and heroine and a plot that runs something like this:
Hero meets Heroine (hey you’re hot)
Hero and Heroine end up in bed (light cigar/cigarette)
Argument separates the two (God he’s a jerk/she’s a bitch)
And in the end, something happens that is greater than both the Hero and Heroine’s issues that makes them examine their beliefs and realize they need the other.
Let’s figure this out (I need you/I love you)
HEA/Happily for Now
Throw in a villain and that character’s appearance should be before or during the cigar in the above example. Considering that much of today’s erotic romance is paranormal or urban fantasy, there is a bad guy waiting to kill off both Hero/Heroine.
So what determines whose point of view the story is told from? This is also easy. For the story to flow without head hopping, let’s use a simple rule of thumb (courtesy of Morgan Hawke www.darkerotica.net)
IF the story is under 20k, you simply need ONE character where the event happens to THEM and ONLY them.
IF the story is under 40k, then we have an event that affects two characters.
IF the story is under 100k, we have three characters who get a say, usually because the villain is the one doing shit to the world/universe—including the H/H.
Now that we’ve narrowed that down and fixed the potential to head hop all over the place, thus eliminating characters that are central but not integral for POV purposes, we’re left with the one question:
Who gets to talk?
Readers get attached to characters they care about and have built relationships with, just as in reality. Kill off a favorite character from your reader base and you’d better believe you’re going to hear about it! Alter that character’s world somehow and again, you’ll get feedback. But what if the hero and heroine both have something to lose? Then what do you do?
Refer back to length of the story. Who has the greatest loss, and the greatest gain? Write from THAT one character’s POV and ONLY change scenes if word length allows for it and only if that character’s journey makes us feel something universal.
I recently read a story where head hopping occurred so much because the writer thought to write scenes like we see in TV. Take Burn Notice for example: We have Michael Westin, (The hero) Fiona (Heroine) and all the side characters, most notably Sam, the drunk former CIA op who we get to see frequently. POV switches don’t really occur much because the story is narrated by Michael Westin, but when we do get those changes, Westin is still narrating. That works because people need to see a lot of visuals and TV/movies allow for those shifts to occur. The average attention span is not that long.
But FICTION writing doesn’t. You’ll end up with unsmooth transitions, annoying head hopping issues that make the reader THROW YOUR BOOK THE FUCK AWAY!
In FICTION, you do two things. You show the reader what YOU want them to see; otherwise they’ll see something else. And you make the story smooth. By sticking to word limit/reason for changes, you’ll eliminate guesswork in your plotting.
Some writers can get away with multiple POV changes. Sherrylin Kenyon for example can, she has a built in audience that somehow doesn’t care about the change from the H/H to Ash or Stryker. So does Laurel K. Hamilton, but because she writes in First Person POV, she doesn’t have that ability. But if she wrote in third person, she could afford to change because she’s ESTABLISHED. Chances are, you’re not them. (And if you are, thanks for reading my article!)
Christine Feehan does an excellent job of keeping the POV between her hero and heroine. So does Richelle Mead. And Rebecca York. Those authors are authors who don’t write what I do, but I learn from them because they’re where I hope to be someday.
To reinforce the key points, I’ll leave with my two rules for simplification.
1. Tell the story from the character’s POV that has the MOST to lose
2. Use word length 20k = 1 character. 40k, 2 characters. 60k-100k+=3 and ONLY three.
That should simplify things in your stories. Happy writing!
Listen to The UnNamed Romance Show Mondays at 1 PM PST and Thursdays at 3 PM PST on http://www.radiodentata.com – hear from Sascha as he shares his work along with interviewing the hottest authors in today’s romance
Friday, March 19, 2010
Little did I know how much my life would change in 2010...I use to have a little more time and now this year my time has drastically been cut down...I have had to take a look at my work and what is important...I have had to look at my books and stories and move stuff around..
With a heavy heart I have also had to cut back and cut out stuff from my agenda...When I do something I want to do it well and give the attention it deserves...It is not fair...
Change can be difficult and sometimes scary but it is part of life...
I know that this is only the start to the year and most likely more changes with come...With each change I hope it all comes for the better.....
So I want to ask you all out there...Do you welcome change or do you cringe when change comes your way?
I want to wish you all a fantastic weekend and I also want to say thank you to all of you who have come to support me on this blog....I wish you all the best...
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I'm thrilled to announce that my Riding Series is now available in print. This is my latest menage series to go print. Click on the image to the left to read the back cover blurb.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It's kind of funny because this version of the story is nothing like the original outline I came up with. While the hero and heroine are the same, the first version was more of a traditional romance, but with almost all of the sex taking place in the beginning of the book. I was going to have Kate and Dawson fall in lust at the wedding, where they have lots of mad, passionate sex, then have them decide to start dating after the weekend fling is over so they could find out if the things they were feeling for each other were real. Of course, that isn't the normal storyline for a traditional romance, so I kept running into brick wall when I tried to make the story work. I must have tweaked the storyline a half dozen times, but I just couldn't get the darn thing to flow. I kept putting the outline further and further back in my TBW (to be written) pile until I realized that a couple years had gone by! I was starting to think the story would never make it onto the page.
I really liked Kate and Dawson, though, and thought they had great chemistry together. Plus the two of them were on my case all the time claiming I had abandoned them! I didn't want to disappoint them, so I took another look at the outline and decided to just tear the story down to it basic elements, keep the best parts of it and toss everything that didn't work. It just so happened that the best part of the story revolved around all that smokin' hot sex they had at the wedding! Any great story needs some conflict, though, so I had to come up with one for this newer version. In it, Kate tells Dawson she's only looking for a weekend fling and ends up falling for him anyway. But how does she tell him she wants more when she was the one who made up the rules? Of course, I can't tell you that or I'd be giving away the ending!
However, I will tease you with a sexy excerpt! Hope you enjoy it! And if you decide to pick up MR. RIGHT-NOW, let me know how you like it!
Kate Gentry is always the bridesmaid, never the bride. When her best friend asks her to be maid of honor, it just reminds her of how crappy her luck is when it comes to finding her own Mr. Right. Her friends point out she’s trying too hard to find Mr. Right instead of having fun with Mr. Right-Now. They convince her to put her search for the perfect man on hold and have some meaningless sex with a hot guy.
Kate takes their advice and propositions the gorgeous best man, Dawson McKenna. When he eagerly agrees, she finds herself doing things she never dreamed of doing—spanking, bondage and some amazing anal sex!
Despite knowing Dawson isn’t supposed to be Mr. Right, Kate finds herself falling for him big time anyway. But since she was the one who made the rules, how can she now tell him she wants more than just a weekend fling?
Dawson walked over to stand beside her. “Do you want to go to the bar for a drink?”
Kate hesitated. The bar was certainly much more intimate than the restaurant, so it would be the perfect place to carry on what they’d been doing underneath the table earlier. That would certainly be fun, but if she was really going to do this, why waste time in the bar?
She caught her lower lip between her teeth, then tilted her head a little to the side and gave him what she hoped was a sexy look.
“Or we could just go up to your room and raid the mini-bar instead,” she suggested softly.
Dawson’s golden eyes went molten. “Even better.”
Holy crap, she’d done it. She’d just propositioned a guy for sex. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that blatant, but it was obvious Dawson knew exactly what she meant. She felt so proud of herself she almost did a little cheer right there.
His room was on the fourth floor just like hers, but because the elevator stopped on every floor in between to let people on and off, it seemed to take forever to get there. Now that Kate had made the decision to sleep with him, she was impatient to get his clothes off and see if he was as well built as she thought. Being in the close confines of the elevator only made her hotter for him. By the time they got to his floor, she was ready to push him up against the wall and get busy right there. She actually might have done it, too, if she wasn’t afraid they’d get arrested for public indecency. She almost laughed. Wow, she was better at being naughty than she’d thought.
His hotel room was an exact replica of hers, right down to the fireplace and hot tub. It was the king-size bed against the wall that caught and held her attention, however. As she took in the fluffy pillows and white goose down comforter, she pictured herself rolling around on it with Dawson, their naked bodies entwined as they engaged in hot, sweaty sex. Just the idea started a really nice purr between her legs.
“The mini bar is probably pretty limited, but I’m sure we can find something,” Dawson said as he tossed his key card on the dresser. “What can I get you?”
Images of her and Dawson still running through her head, Kate turned to face him. She couldn’t believe she was actually going to go through with this. Before she could change her mind, she set her purse down on the bedside table and walked over to loop her arms around his neck. She hadn’t realized how tall he was downstairs, but now she had to tilt her head back to look up at him.
“Maybe we should forget about having a drink and test out the mattress instead,” she suggested softly. “I hear they’re very comfortable.”
Surprise flickered in his eyes for a moment, but he rested his hands lightly on her hips all the same. “Kate Gentry, are you seducing me?”
“I might be,” she admitted. “But only if it’s working.”
He chuckled. “Oh, it’s definitely working.”
She smiled up at him. “Then in that case, I’m definitely seducing you. I figured since we’re both obviously attracted to each other, we should hook up for the weekend.”
She tried to make the words sound casual, but inside, her heart was pounding like crazy. She didn’t know if it was from excitement or nerves, though. Maybe it was a little of both. She’d never actually seduced a man like this. And the words, “hook up for the weekend,” had certainly never, ever come out of her mouth before.
He lifted a brow. “Hook up? As in casual sex, no strings attached?”
Clearly, he was way more familiar with this type of thing than she was. She nodded. “Exactly. Once the weekend is over, we get on the ferry and go our separate ways. No muss, no fuss.”
He pulled her closer, his mouth curving into a sexy grin. “That works for me.”
She should have tried this whole seduction thing long before this. She was better at it than she’d thought. Kate didn’t reply, but instead leaned in and kissed him.
Watch the Trailer!
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"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sorry this is later than I wanted to put out. Have been out all day gathering information about some stuff we are going to be doing. Plus, I just wanted to drop you all a quick note. These days I'm never sure if I'll have internet or not!!! LOL
I'm still over here in Singapore and should be for at least six more weeks. We have about a month longer here in Singapore then we are going to go on an Asian vacation.
Some of the places we want to visit are...
And maybe if we feel comfortable doing so (not easy for American's in these countries) Cambodia and Myanmar.
Most a just a quick plane hop away, except for China and India. But we've got the time and put away the money, so we are excited about going.
I'm telling you all about the things I'm up to over here in my CHAT BLOG. Check it out!!! Museums, recipes, sightseeing, clothes, hot guys and much much more!
See you there!!!
Follow Your Dreams
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sexy Hitchhikers release date March 19,2010 from www.romancedivine.com.
This blog doesn’t have a thing to do with writing. It has to do with a bargain I found while shopping one day. Most of the time, I’m on the lookout for sales and couldn’t believe what I’d stumbled on.
I was in a Lowe’s store and saw this box filled with rolls of shiny heat tape in the discontinued section. Heat tape is mainly used on furnace pipes, but has other uses. It resembles the grey duct tape that so many people can’t do without.
When I grabbed the box and stood in line, a man behind me had an envious look on his face when the cashier rang up 30 rolls for .30 cents plus tax. Was I ever thrilled once I paid and headed for my car.
After driving home and carrying the box inside, my husband burst out laughing wondering what I planned to do with 30 rolls of heat tape. I ignored his comments and stored the box in the basement. From time to time after that, he joked about my special purchase. It took a lot of effort to hold my temper.
I forgot about the box in the basement, but my husband must not have. One day he came to me with a sheepish look on his face and asked if he could use some of the heat tape that I’d stored. He explained he had to put it on one of our furnace pipes.
Needless to say, I made him sweat a little before I actually handed over my good deal. After that, I never heard one word from him about my little idiosyncrasies in looking for the hard to resist sale.
Are any of you out there bargain hunters?
Friday, March 12, 2010
So men...do you really want your parts close to sticky, scratchy, edgy crystals? I'm just saying!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
You know the drill. Every 14th of February you get the chance to display your fondness for a significant other by showering her with gifts, flowers, dinner, shows and any other baubles that women find romantic. Every Valentines day you rack your brains for that one special, unique gift that will show your wife or girlfriend that you really do care for them more than any other. Now ladies, I'll let you in on a little secret; guys really don't enjoy this that much. Sure seeing that smile on your face when we get it right is priceless, but that smile is the result of weeks of blood, sweat and consideration. Another secret; guys feel left out. That's right, there's no special holiday for the ladies to show their appreciation for the men in their life. Men as a whole are either too proud or too embarrassed to admit it.
Now that sounds like fun. You know what else is special about March 14?
It's my birthday.
Yee hah! I'll get my birthday lobster and my husband will get his steak and B.J. Ha!
You can even get a card for your man on this special day. The Steak and B.J. Day web site has fifteen different cards for you to choose from with sweet, romantic sayings like this:
It's March 14th
And love's in the air.
Now cook me a steak
And I'll come in your hair.
Isn't that a hoot? Don't miss out on the fun! Celebrate Steak And B.J. Day this Sunday with a succulent porterhouse for both of you and a B.J. for him. You won't be sorry.
Getting Over The G-spot
My second post, which is not up yet, is about the book "Ultimate Curves", erotic fiction about big, beautiful women. My short story "The Beautiful Move In Curves" appears in that book.
Coming soon: a satirical article about "Steak And B.J. Day", the men's answer to Valentine's Day. It also happens to be on my birthday. I'm going to have fun with that one.
Here's the press release for the new Ms. Magazine blog.
Ms. Magazine Launches the New Ms. Blog
On this International Women's Day, March 8th, Ms. magazine - the flagship feminist publication - launches the Ms. Blog, showcasing the sharp writing and informed opinions of a community of feminist bloggers from around the nation and the globe.
The Ms. Blog will be a hub for exchange, collaboration and discussion, introducing fresh perspectives on national and global politics, culture, media, health, law and life.
The range, diversity and quality of bloggers is already exceptional: In the months leading up to this historic launch, Ms. was inundated with blogging offers from academics, activists and journalists. There are contributors from seven countries and counting, and the overall contributors' roster ranges from well-known names to up-and-coming writers and thinkers. We at Ms. are thrilled about the prospects of intercultural and intergenerational exchange.
Among the bloggers who have signed on to this exciting new project are novelist Diana Abu-Jaber, sexuality author Hanne Blank, L.A. journalist and scholar Lynell George, health activist/author Paula Kamen, masculinity critic/scholar Michael Kimmel, environmental journalist Sonia Shah, feminist writer Deborah Siegel, sociologist Shira Tarrant, media scholar Ebony Utley, memoirist Aimee Liu, Chicana activist and "mommyblogger" Veronica Arreola, Moroccan feminist scholar Fatima Sadiqi, gender and global development expert Lina Abirafeh (reporting from Haiti), Iraqi activist Yanar Mohammed, Muslim feminist Melody Moezzi, Chicana author Michele Serros and law professor Pamela Bridgewater.
Recognizing that no aspect of life is immune from gender politics, the Ms. Blog will address the intersectionality of gender with race, class, nationality and sexuality. And although there will be personal talk on the Ms. Blog, it will always be with the recognition that the personal is political.
Ms. executive editor Katherine Spillar is available for interviews about the new Ms. blog.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
A few months ago I wrote about orgasms and how short they are. Most of you were surprised to find out how really short orgasms are—seven to fifteen seconds. Oh, sure we have pleasure tremors which make an orgasm seem longer and sometimes but rarely a second orgasm will piggyback on the first orgasm and really throw you for a loop. It’s like a turbo kicking in a fast sports car. They are something else, but alas they’re all to rare and so 99% of our orgasms are seven to fifteen seconds.
Okay, enough about the length of orgasms, today I want to talk about how orgasms feel and the difficulty writers have in describing them. I think you’ll agree there really aren’t words to describe the exquisite feeling that course through you for those paltry seven to fifteen seconds. Maybe a long and ostentatious word should be invented, something like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Hey it works for me, I had one of my heroines once say her orgasm was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but since that’s a made up play word from Mary Poppins we need something flamboyant and grandiose to capture the seven to fifteen moments of glory we experience when we’re lucky.
Unfortunately, we authors, the ones that even try to, anyway, are left to describing these wondrous events in euphemisms and adjectives. Words like pleasurable sensations. C’mon, savoring a succulent dessert is a pleasurable sensation. A frigging orgasm is mind-blowing. I ask you, how many pleasurable sensations make you screech your lungs out, scratch your partners back, jerk around like somebody gave you a hot foot and make you move like you’re a rubber limbed spastic. O-R-G-A-S-M!
So, we authors find ourselves scratching our heads, scrambling for words or combination of words or new and inventive ways to get across the feelings that, we as readers all know, fall woefully short. Maybe the writers, who don’t even try, have it right. How do you verbalize the magnificent tickly tingly feelings that are oh so much more? Perhaps a ‘wonderful release’ is the most honest way to describe an orgasm.
What do you think? Do you like to read long involved orgasmic descriptions or short succinct ones? What words or group of words work best for you?
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about my latest release, Felicity Jones, which co-incidentally has lots of releases within it’s pages. LOL
Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:
Can a girl be too good looking?” Like a living breathing Barbie doll, Felicity Jones attracts would-be suitors like moths to a flame.
Today is the last day of the semester. A two week vacation looms and the possibility Adam and Devon, maybe Felicity’s two biggest fans, may never have a chance with the hottest girl on the campus again.
Desperate as they are, when opportunity presents itself, they go for it, and for once Felicity doesn’t stop them. This leads to an afternoon, they and maybe you, will never forget.
He was in the dark. She was in the dark. They were in the dark. He couldn’t see much of her—only a vague silhouette lit from second hand light reflected from the movie, but…he could smell her. More than ever, he could smell her. Her flower scented cologne, her bath wash and her se-x-x. God, all his senses now channeled through his nose and he could actually smell her cunt—from three feet away, her beautiful, he just knew, smooth cunt. God, it smelled good. The fragrance reminded him of slightly burnt roasted almonds. He knew, given the opportunity, he could lie in front of her sweet pussy dining on it all day.
Too excited for words, he suddenly felt a constriction in his throat and could barely breathe. He forced himself to breathe hard and the burnt roasted almond bouquet that wafted into his lungs relaxed his throat.
He admired her beautiful silhouette as she watched the movie. Had anyone in the history of man since time immemorial, ever wanted a woman more? Could Romeo have wanted Juliet more? Could Marc Anthony have wanted Cleopatra more? Napoleon and Marie Antoinette? Solomon and Sheba? No! No fucking way!
He took a deep breath and savored her pussy. Then another and another. Soon he was mad with lust.
“Adam, please be quiet. You’re making too much noise. What are you grunting and groaning for?”
If you only knew, my ‘USDA Choice’ piece of flesh. What’s the warm, smooth, silky object his hand is resting on? He glanced down and realized his hand rested on her pale thigh—only inches from her cunt. Then he noticed since almost everyone had moved closer to the screen to watch the movie, the three of them had the last five rows of seats to themselves. He grew even more excited. Sitting in the back row in the dark, they were virtually invisible to the professor or anyone else in the unlikely event they glanced up.
He was so nervous, he could feel the red, liquid life-force pulsing in his ears as he slowly, languorously, edged his hand up her thigh. Slowly, under her skirt his fingers crept. Her gasp as his daring fingers touched her panties, made his stomach jump into his throat. She moaned and he paused. Even though he hadn’t moved his hand in fifteen seconds, her moans continued. As her moans grew louder, he glanced once more at her pale thighs. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped when he realized, Devon’s dark hand was also under her skirt.
* * * *
Adam’s hand remained stationary, but still the presence of a man’s hand so near her feminine core, had a skyrocketing effect on her libido. When the lights went out and the movie started, a second hand—Devon’s hand—landed on her other thigh. Though it thrilled her to no end, it was also worrisome. Felicity only wanted one lover, yet two desirable men had hands within inches of her pussy, which frankly, started heating faster than a chemistry class Bunsen burner. Throwing judgment out the window, she allowed both hands to remain in their intimate location and furthermore, faking discomfort fidgeted and opened her legs more. As a bonus, Devon’s and to a lesser extent Adam’s hands slid from atop her thigh, more to the side—the inside—of her thigh. She wondered at that moment if she had some subconscious agenda to receive the affections of both men. She’d never denied, she found both men excitingly attractive and she was, after all, only seeking sex. At least that what she thought she was after.
As Adam’s hand advanced, so did Devon’s, though quicker. By the time Adam’s fingers touched her crème-logged panties, Devon’s finger’s had shunted them aside and were at the portal to her womanly lair. With heartbeat and pulse surging, she stopped breathing from the anticipation. When his long thick finger glided effortlessly into her slippery, expanded channel, she gasped and sucked in a huge breath.
Unexpectedly, a second finger slid into her—Adam’s. Felicity’s eyes had never been larger or rounder. Two separate men had a finger in her deep recess simultaneously. Why does it seem so sexy? Each finger was independent of the other and entered her from a different angle. They moved in and out of her differently and when they were inside her they wiggled, massaging the soft, fleshy, interior cushions of her pussy differently. Her back arched violently, pushing her snatch into their intimate, combined fingers as a deluge of carnal sensations slammed through her.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Why do the majority of romance novels feature handsome, muscled hunks and thin, beautiful women? From some people I’ve heard that they want to escape into fantasy…these type of people are the ‘media ideal’ which most people don’t have and fantasize about.Do you fantasize about these types of people? Or do you want to read romances about ‘real’ people? People who don’t fit the media’s image of perfection?
I have to admit, I love the ‘fantasy’ as much as anyone else. I like looking at pretty people, but when I daydream about jumping on the nearest hunk-o-the-month, I’m not dreaming about the media ideal of a man. I’m dreaming about a guy with a little extra ‘real estate’ and some salt and pepper on top.
Does that surprise you?
Outside beauty is so fleeting. It is the beauty inside that makes the person romantic, full of character, and ultimately someone we are compatible with for more than just a one night stand.
In writing, it can be all about the fantasy, or we can pull elements of real life into the equation and weave a more realistic and ultimately more believable story that drags us in kicking and screaming, and doesn’t let us go until it has wrung every ounce of emotion out of us, leaving us satisfied and wanting more.
So what yanks your chain? Is it the fantasy of that which is unattainable and transient? Or is it the reality of someone you could meet on the street or in the grocery store tomorrow, who might sweep you off your feet and give you that ‘happily ever after?’
Saturday, March 6, 2010
In the old days, "hero" was easily defined. The hero was a good guy, and usually wore a white hat. He was honest and true, a great leader, and protective of others. Most of the time, he was a self-sacrificing type as well, and would never stoop to using his opponent's tactics in order to defeat them. (Think Superman, especially in the old days)
His opponent, the villain, was a cruel, immoral person who would do anything to get what he wanted. He wore a black hat so we'd know who to root for. (Anybody else grow up with a dad that loved old Westerns? :D)
In a way, the hero and villain were almost caricatures of each other--two extremes that needed each other in order to exist.
Nowadays, it's not so easy to define a hero. Lately, I've read a lot of books featuring what's known as the Antihero. The antihero is a person who isn't the perfect hero we've come to expect. In fact, the antihero is often quite unlikable in some ways. He's conflicted, sometimes self-serving, and will use the villain's own strategies against him (think Batman, or Han Solo).
A few examples I've come across lately are a villain from a previous book who becomes the hero in the next one, a morally ambiguous hit man (I've read two of these lately, both good), and an opportunistic hero who ends up doing the right thing only because he falls in love. All of these characters caught my interest because they were interesting. I wanted to read on to see if they would become more heroic as the book went on, or less. I wanted to see if they could become sympathetic despite their behavior (and they did). Most of all, I wanted something different.
What's behind the rise of the antihero? I think it's a mix of several things. Some readers want something different, as I did. Others may want more complex stories and characters. The increasing amount of genre-bending and melding between romance and other genres (urban fantasy, scifi, fantasy, horror, etc) probably plays a role in the antihero's rise as well.
Personally, I love reading about both heroes and antiheroes (and in my genre, gay romance, I can read about them both in the same book!). Which do you prefer, the hero or the antihero? Would you read a book in which a villain turns hero?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
By the time you read this, the Olympics will be over. Maybe you'll be glad of that. I enjoyed this round of games much more than any I can recall, so while two weeks of Olympics is enough, I wasn't really in a huge hurry for it all to be over.
This year, the Olympics were even more exciting for me, since I'd just been to
Winter Olympics hold a sort of fascination for me. I grew up in
So, as you can guess, I never had much chance to discover that winter sports could actually be enjoyable. I was in my late 20s, living in
This explains only part of my fascination and admiration of the Olympic athletes. I still find it difficult to believe what people can accomplish while they are freezing their asses off, and I admit I like to watch. Is it pervy to admit I like the way those formfitting lycra pants look on skiers and skaters? Who doesn't like checking out Apolo Ohno's thighs? I'm not too keen on the bobsled guys, though! Most of them really need to cover up more.
There is a part of the Olympics that ties in with writing, at least for me. It's about finding out what a character's goal or dream is, and just how far they can push themselves to accomplish it. It's also about me pushing myself to get to a goal as well, whether it's a certain number of words in a day or a specific date for finishing a story. Writing is like training. Sure, I'm sitting on my butt for part of it, but every hour of every day I'm thinking about the project I'm working on and how to make it better, wanting it to be its very best.
In an interview, Apolo Ohno said he asks himself at the end of every day if he'd done everything he could to be his best. I've realized that doesn't just apply to sports, but can be useful for working toward any sort of goal. Unfortunately, most days I haven't done everything I could, and it motivates me to work harder. Someday, I hope I'll answer "yes" more often than "no."
What about you? Did you enjoy the Olympics? What inspires you to be your best?
Monday, March 1, 2010
What are some of your hottest erotic fantasies?
That’s the question that guides the erotic scenes we create in our novels. Two persons write erotic romance together under the pen name Adriana Kraft – myself and my husband. When we develop the story arc for a new book, we reach for characters and plots that will allow us to explore those fantasies and flesh them out, for ourselves and for our readers.
We write primarily LGBT erotic romance. I ran into an interesting phenomenon at an online chat recently where I was promoting our Extasy Books series, Swinging Games. Someone asked who the hero of the series was based on, and I answered he was a happily married man whose wife is bi. Another reader chimed in "lucky man." As fast as I could type, I responded "Lucky woman. She gets it both ways."
We have a lot in common with the hero and heroine of that series. Jennifer and Brad are in their mid fifties, with their children grown and out of the home. They, like we, have renewed energy to explore sexual fantasies and take action. They turn to swinging – we turn to writing about them!
Jennifer’s fantasies? She’s finally figured out she’s attracted to women as well as men, and she’s never had a chance to try that out before. She wants to enjoy pleasuring and being pleasured by another woman – or maybe two of them. She’d also love to try having two men at the same time, focused entirely on giving her pleasure. And because she loves Brad, she’d love to be part of delivering the classic threesome for him – two women, focused entirely (well, almost!) on giving him pleasure.
Brad’s fantasies? An f/m/f three-way, for sure. Just imagining making love with two women at once is an incredible turn on for him. He’d also love to watch two women with each other – especially if one of them is Jen and she’s having the time of her life. And secretly, deep down inside, he’s beginning to fantasize what it might be like to be with another man.
The swing lifestyle delivers all this for them and even more. Who knew how totally decadent it would feel to have three or even four pairs of hands giving pleasure at the same time? Or what a turn on it would be just to watch someone they love giving and receiving pleasure with someone else? What they were unprepared for was the exquisite effect of these experiences on their relationship and their own sexual practice. New energy, new encounters and new fantasies continue to fuel and enliven everything they do together, even when they are by themselves.
And writing about it delivers the same for us – and, we hope, for all of you who read our books.
Here are links to some excerpts from our Swinging Games series: