Where Do the Stories Come From?

At breakfast yesterday, my husband asked about the new stories i’m plotting. I started describing a science fantasy menage and how there are two races on the planet, one a dominant invader group of tall, aggressive humanoids and the other a more gentle race. But there are also some hybrids and our rebel leader is one of those. The dominants are blue skinned and very modest but live on energy — And my husband shook his head. “Where do you come up with these ideas?”

That’s the question that many people ask. When i decided to write my first book, Genetic Attraction, i had to answer it for myself. Where to start? Well, romance is fantasy and i have plenty of those so i decided to start there. I’ve always had an older woman/younger man fantasy (since i became an older woman) so i grabbed that element. But i wanted to write male/male, so i thought, what if the hero has a male lover? I love my men pretty, so lets make him a super-beauty. And i want my heroine to be smart and capable so i fished around in all the many technologies and businesses i learn about in my day job and decided it would be cool if she was a genetic scientist. Then i needed conflict (the tough part for me) so lets put her to work in a University. From my past experience, i know that higher education is a hotbed of politics, so that should provide a real basis for crises. And so a story was born.
What i learned after that was that creating stories is like sex. The more you have the more you want. As i wrote Genetic Attraction, i couldn’t bear the idea of leaving my characters, so i wrote a prequel that tells how the two men met in Los Angeles and fell in love. I adore that story and i’m editing it now for submission. In that book, Jake’s brother appears and he’s such a great character i started creating a story for him. That book is being plotted now. Then i received an e-mail from one of my best friends who lives in London raving about a ballet she saw. I love ballet. What if i created a story with a male ballet dancer? And who could be the other man? Maybe a reporter trying to get a story and — i’m off on another book.
For years i couldn’t imagine what i would write about. Now i can’t figure out how i’ll live long enough to write all the stories in my head. Dig into a fantasy. Figure out what turns you on. Put your hands on the keyboard and write.
The photo above is one of the inspirations for my character, Jake Martin, in Genetic Attraction.

Write Your Passion

I said when i started this blog a few months ago that i would write about other people’s books until i had a book in publication and could stake a tiny claim on being a real fiction writer. Happily, that’s occurred. My first novel, Genetic Attraction, comes out in February at Loose Id. So LI’s managing editor suggested the time had come for me to write about — writing. So here goes. (But i’ll still write about other people’s books too.)

I”ve been a writer all my life. Like a lot of novelists, i wrote my first book at five and just never quit. But early in life i got really good at writing non-fiction. I could take any body of loosely related facts and ideas and put them into a form that had purpose and conclusion and coherence. And early in life, people started paying me for that skill and they’ve been doing it ever since. Now this is a problem if you want to write fiction because writing a book takes a long time and nobody is paying you to do it while you learn how. For years, i considered writing that novel and always stopped myself with the thought of how much i could earn if i devoted the same amount of time to writing (and ghost writing) magazine articles, websites and brochures.
What finally got me out of this cycle? Two things. Experience and passion. Experience, because i finally got to a place in my non-fiction writing career that i’d really done it all. Still fun, exciting and interesting, but i was no longer driven to take every assignment. Passion? Well, my whole life people told me i should write a book. Because of my career, i know a bit about a ton of subjects (friends call me Tarapedia) plus i have serious interests in spiritual practice and alternative healthcare. Write about that people would say. But i just couldn’t see it. And then i discovered EROM.
Crazy what we end up loving, but i started reading erotic romance and just adored it. It fed into my always well-developed fantasy life. And while reading an EROM book the thought popped into my head, i could write one of these books. I just knew i could and unlike all the other subjects i’d considered before, i actually started writing. I spent a big chunk of a summer writing two books and i LOVED it. I loved the characters, and creating the story, and listening to them talk to me. I loved learning all the many things i didn’t know about writing fiction. I was hooked. I’d finally found something i wanted to spend time writing.
My friends look at me like i’m a little nuts. When i have the world to choose from, why would i decide to write “dirty books”? Partly, i guess, because erotic romance is as far from what i write all day as any subject can be. Partly, also, because it’s wonderfully frivolous and i love expressing that part of my nature. And most of all, because for whatever unknown reason, i have a passion for it, not because it’s the “hot product” or it will command a lot of money, but just because it’s fun to write. Reading and movies are generally my drugs of choice (if you don’t count Adam Lambert). When i find i’d rather write than read, you know it’s a passion. So that’s my suggestion to you. Write what you know? Nah. Write your passion.
BTW, the photo above is just for inspiration. : )

Good News on Labor Day!

A friend of mine sent me this today which is very appropriate. My book, Genetic Attraction, a m/m/f menage erotic romance, was accepted today for publication by Loose Id. I’ll keep you up to date, but right now it looks like publication will be February. I’m very excited since i’ve long been a huge fan of Loose Id and their authors. It’s great to be one of them.

The caption says: “It’s a love seat for a menage a trois.” : )

Lions and Leopards and Wolves — Oh, My.

I don’t read as many shape-shifter stories as i read vamps, i guess, because i found i had a few passionate favorites but not so much variety. Regardless, i do love some seriously great shifters. Here’s my list. What’s your?

Michael and Rudy from Jet Mykles Leashed series –– You already know that i love Jet’s books, but the Leashed stories are particularly terrific. A menage series centered on a powerful but untrained witch, the books feature two lovely shape-shifters, Michael, the dominant werepanther who is also a talented witch, and his yummy young lover, Rudy, the werewolf. The series also has a new shifter to drool over — Logan, the werelion. I’d suggest you head to Jet’s website (see link in my blog roll below) and look at her delicious computer drawings of these men. Smiles all around.
Nathaniel from Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series — The reason so many people read Hamilton’s books even when her writing degrades shamelessly as it does in some of the later stories, is because she creates truly great characters. One of her best is Nathaniel, the young wereleopard, who worms his way into the heart of Anita Blake until she has to love him. A stripper by profession with lavender eyes and knee-length auburn hair, Nathaniel is to my taste the best of her shifters. Submissive and loving but full of surprises, he even exceeds the enchanting Micah (with the huge cock) in sheer enchantment. And, of course, both of them surpass Hamilton’s werewolf, Richard, who is just too whiny for words.
Doyle from Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series — Admittedly, Doyle is primarily a great sidhe warrior, but in Hamilton’s later Meredith Gentry books he’s revealed to also be a powerful shape-shifter. Doyle (pronounced Dole) is a wonderful creation. Black as darkness which is his nickname, he is mysterious, honorable and dangerous.
Okay, okay, i know you’re asking “where is Alcide?” In fact, while Alcide is one impressive werewolf in Trueblood, in the Sookie Stackhouse books he starts out terrific and ends up a bit disappointing. Same can be said for Charlaine Harris’s terrific Quinn, the weretiger. He’s even more of a let down in the end, so i can’t really put either of them on my list.
A Twitter friend recommended The Red Rock Pass series by Moira Rogers for great shifters. I’m half way through the first book and like it, but so far i can’t put these weres on the list. Tune in later. Angela Knight does some great shifters, too but not quite the top for me. I do like them pretty. So that’s my list for now. Enjoy.

Cool Your Jets!

Just a quick post to let you know that Jet Mykles new book, Squire, the first of her new Indigo Knights series, is coming out in about a week at Loose Id. To read a blurb from the book (YUMMY i assure you) look below at my blog list and click on the link. As you know, Jet is a huge favorite of mine and the person who got me to say yes, i can write fiction. So go to the blog list or to http://www.computerotika.com Enjoy!

Love at First Bite

There’s a lot of vampires these days, but only a few really great ones. Here’s a rundown of some of the vampires i love best. Maybe a few will be yours too.

Jean Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Series — Jean Claude is maybe my favorite vamp of all time. Beautiful, cool, ruthless but also loyal and loving, he’s a fabulous creation. He’s also bisexual which makes for some interesting three-ways in the later books. Even though there’s no sex in the early Anita Blake books (tons in the later ones), Jean Claude gets the most airtime in those and the books are well plotted and written. If you’re not a fan yet, give him a try.
Asher from the Hamilton Anita Blake series — Asher was Jean Claude’s beloved historically, before Jean Claude meets Anita. The most beautiful vampire of all, half his face and part of his body were destroyed by holy water during the Inquisition. Though a bit whiney sometimes, Asher is tortured, complex and sexy.
Zsadist from J. W. Ward’s Lover Awakened and the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series — The most tortured vampire of all, Zsadist is the best drawn character in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Scarred, cold and dangerous, he (like all the brothers) is redeemed by the love of a good woman. I talk more about Zsadist and the series in my June post called Get Yourself Some Love.

Kade from Rosalie Stanton’s Possession — Kade is a charming badass that doesn’t have to try hard to be cool. In this novella you get to see him in a lot of sexy situations and you never get bored with him. Yummy.
Donte from Z. A. Maxfield’s Notturno — An ancient vampire who charms and beguiles, Donte shows the meaning of undying love. While the human lover in the book is an even greater creation, Donte is still among my favorite biters. I talk more about Notturno in my July post called Ancient Vampire.
Edward in Stephenie Meyers Twilight Series — And no rundown of vamps is complete without Edward. Even more compelling in the books than he is in the movie, Edward wins everyone to his team. He’s just delicious. (There’s more in the July post Vampire Love.)
There are more, of course, like Eric in the Sookie Stackhouse books, but this will wet the appetite — for Trueblood. The drink, not the show. Bottoms up.

Poem to Beautiful Lips

I know, i know. I should be doing more serious blog content. Telling you about the rigors of writing my current WIP. But doing the research for a post on beautiful lips is just soooo much fun. So i started with images of those by whom all lips are measured. And then just added a few other beauties for your enjoyment. I’ll get more serious — later. : )