Question: Do you find your reading tastes evolving as your life changes? (not that any genre is better than another, just differing from before). Please answer this for me via the comments on this blog, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or M&M of Restraint closed group on FB. My curiosity is getting the better of me. I want to know if I’m somehow… broken.
My long-winded answer, with a side of defensiveness over some comments over Good Girl NOT being Erotica: (must never read another comment or review, because to me it’s like telling a mother her kid is homely. I’m sick of explaining myself, as if I have a reason that I should be defensive. My book. My rules)
As a child, I was a reluctant reader. My teachers were beside themselves because I didn’t want to read ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ or other books children my age thought were entertaining. I looked older than I was, and apparently I thought older than I was as well. This was decades ago, way before Kindles and ebooks. Books for the tween-aged girl were The Baby Sitter’s Club or the classics. Easily bored, it took a lot to entertain me and keep me engaged- still true to this day. My parents were at a loss, so that is when I received my first magazine subscription in my name at age 8: Mad Magazine. <- My father’s idea. 😉 Somehow he knew I’d turn out to be a closeted pervert who thought violence was humorous. “Spy vs Spy”
When I began reading novels at 10 years old, I read VC Andrews and Stephen King. Horror, mystery & suspense, with a side of sex, was the only thing that would capture my attention. Too mature for most kids my age, I’m sure. I’m no worse for wear, but highly well-read. Mom wouldn’t budge on Anne Rice, though. If a stranger had found my library card, they would have thought I was a grown woman. Good thing the librarian was my aunt and didn’t bat an eyelash at my selections. I never really thought about that until now… what did my aunt think? “Strange Kid,” I bet.
My early 20s were dedicated to VC Andrews and Oprah’s book club selections. In my late 20s through early 30s, I read Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Yes, you can thank the over-criticized Twilight to that obsession, and I’m not ashamed. It’s still one of my guilty pleasures.I was entertained; what more can I say?
For some reason I’ve yet to explore, I moved onto Dark Erotica, mixed with Young Adult as a palate cleanser. This is when I began writing. Although I was leaving UF & PNR behind, my first book was UF, and that’s why it’s my first book- the shelved Chrysalis that may never see the light of day. My second attempt was a mix of BDSM and Crime.
Restraint was a whim that I thought would never come to fruition, and less than 3 months after I started writing it, it was published. Obviously after this I read many books in the Dark Erotica and Erotica genres. Yes, I wrote Restraint way before I ever read a book it would be classified alongside. For me it was about control, and the lack of control I felt over my life, and had absolutely nothing to do with sex. Sex was just a metaphor to express how trapped I felt. While I had to categorize Restraint as Dark and Erotica because of its explicit nature, it was never smut. Never sex for the sake of sex. It was human behavior- a cerebral fucking.
Good Girl was another precipice in my life. A hybrid of contemporary and non-sexual BDSM(control over your own life and actions) with playful sex added into the mix. I was no longer reading Erotica or Dark Erotica. I’m not sure why my tastes have changed yet again. But I can’t read this type of book, and I haven’t for almost two years now. When readers recommend books that are in a similar genre as my own, I try, truly try, to read them. But I can’t. My tastes are now story-driven. It’s why I always liked YA so much. I want 100% story with amazing chemistry between well-fleshed-out characters, not 10% story with repetitive sex. Once sex is introduced, I get bored and check out, or want the story to end.
While many enjoy this: the following statement is about what I enjoy. You can debate me if you wish, but this is about personal preference and how it affects my writing style. What is sex without buildup? If it’s just input a character name here, put peg A into slot B, it doesn’t hold my attention. A hot, smooth talking dude just makes me groan. Give him some kickass name that I think is beyond ridiculous, make him heavily muscled, borderline abusive, and without any true characteristics, add a whiny woman without any self-respect, and make them screw in between 5 pages of storyline, and then screw again and again and again. Maybe add another cookie-cutter character into a menage. Don’t forget to add the Baby/Babe. Sorry, no! I can’t swallow it. I just can’t.
I understand the appeal of smut, why readers long to read it. It just doesn’t hold any appeal for me. Erica longs for… more.
In real life, that same douche wouldn’t do a thing for me, either. If he’s the abusive ass, I’d find him as an abusive ass. If he flashes me a bullshit grin… charm to me is false, lies, and highly annoying and predicable. To me it’s like small talk- I don’t have time for that waste of time… I am nothing if not serious. Debate me; that will get me hot and bothered, or just bothered. But either way, you’ll get an honest reaction out of me vs polite bullshit uttered out of social obligation.
When I read a book, I want to be left wounded, raw. I want real- real in all its glorious, pain-filled flaws. I want my emotions warped until I feel what the character is feeling, until the character becomes a true entity, and that is what I hope I achieve with my writing.
So now I find myself reading cheesy Historical Romance. Why? Why the hell would a woman who writes the M&M Series read about that era, an era that goes against her core belief system with its maltreatment to women? Easily answered: because it’s the same as when she was a child; Erica wants to read the opposite of her situation. She wants anti-reality. I’m also reading contemporary. Why you ask: because Erica also wants to read about reality. The mind that creates stories is complex enough to have to read varying genres to fight ennui.
Never fear: nothing will EVER inspire me to write historical. I love it, but just like novellas and short stories, I couldn’t write it if my life depended on it.
What does this mean for my writing future: I don’t know. M&M holds my undivided attention because it is so involved, twisted, character-driven. And as you can see from earlier books in the series vs later books, I refuse to add sex for the sake of sex. Any and all sex is to drive the story.
So I find myself with some negativity on Good Girl, not only for the addiction theme, but for the lack of erotica. Nowhere do I list this book as a sex-fest. I know readers do like smut, and I have nothing against it. I do not enjoy smut, so therefore I cannot write smut. So to negatively rate Good Girl because you are judging it against M&M or books in differing genres, is ludicrous. Good Girl, the Blended series, is NOT erotica, so to judge it against erotic is like judging Harry Potter against Fifty Shades. While Good Girl has sexual situations and themes, because real life has those, it is not a sex book. Never was, never will be, and I will make no apologies for it either. Other books in the Blended series, the sex will vary by the character. I’m not cookie-cutter. My characters are complex and different than the others. One book will not be a repeat of the last with the names and locations changed.
Is there anything I haven’t written? Any line I’ve refused to cross? I can understand why M&M readers would be blindsided by… borderline normal in Blended, but that doesn’t change a dang thing. I am the immovable object, and the only unstoppable force I will ever concede to is my own mind. Negativity will NEVER get me to move. It will only get me to become even more unbending. I’m always baffled by some comments and emails I get. My characters are dominant being. Who do you think created them? Exactly.
While many of my hardcore M&M fans will NOT enjoy Good Girl, the small following of Blended fans will NOT like Restraint. Why, you ask: because Erica Chilson is not a one-trick-pony. I have the capacity to write differing genres with equal fervor. I can write both, and I don’t ask my readers to read both. I’m good with two separate followings with a group of readers that straddle the genres. Just as my tastes have evolved over time, my writing does as well. Just as I was as a child, I am easily bored. I need both anti-reality and reality to keep myself interested… and an interested Wicked Writer writes better books than a writer that feels pressured into writing what readers want.
Good Girl’s final edit and the beta process have taught me that you can, in fact, over-edit your work. I write in first person, present tense. I am the character as I write. I am in their head, expressing their thoughts and actions on paper. During an edit, I am no longer the character. I become the editor. It’s hard to step back and not mess with the flow. Yes, when you wear your editor hat you have to check for grammar, punctuation, misspelled and misused words, redundancy, and bad habits, WITHOUT stepping on the other voices. But there comes a point when your characters no longer sound like your characters and begin to sound just like you. It’s called your author voice, and it carries over into everything you create. The line you should never cross is the editor voice. If you find yourself second-guessing words, replacing them- prettying them up, you’ve crossed that line.
Since I completely revamped Good Girl, I sent it to way, way too many people to check over my work and look for mistakes. I entered the ‘too many cooks in the kitchen‘ zone. Betas are invaluable, and I can never express how thankful I am that they are willing to give me their time and opinions. But, at the end of the day, this is my creation. The large grouping of betas gave me great insight into how you can over-edit. A few over-thought the process, becoming head-blind and only noting one thing, to the point they didn’t see anything else. This was valuable to me, because it showed me how I was doing the same thing. It is called a beta read for a reason. They are to ‘read‘ and note anything that yanks them from the story, and I need that. That is what annoys purchasing readers and reviewers. But with too many betas, you begin to have too many ‘voices’.
I am the one who has to rewrite the draft, because I am the only one who knows the characters. I am the one that has to rewrite the draft, because it is my author voice that created the characters. It has been an uphill battle to overlook everything that wasn’t necessary during the editing process. I kept second-guessing myself. “Maybe they are right.” “Maybe this sucks.” And then I realize that the sentence structure was not my sentence structure, that it began to take on the cadence of the beta reader. And that is why it’s not called Beta ‘edit’ or Beta ‘write’.
Whether wrong or right in the eyes of a ‘professional’, it has nothing to do with my storytelling. Two of my favorite authors are without a doubt butchers of the English language. Does that make me love them any less? Hell, no! It makes them unique. Now, I’m not talking sloppy, lazy writing. I’m speaking of their voice and the way their stories unfold, be it the flow of their words or the way they put it to paper. If you handed me a passage of their writing without stating who it was, I could accurately say who wrote it. That everlasting impression is what captivated me and kept me entertained for years. It’s what makes me salivate for their new releases- waiting more than a year per book. I want to be that for my readers, flaws and all.
Voice is more important than anything in my eyes, for without it, everything else just falls flat. It’s when you’re reading a book that is perfect but boring. Currently my character is a flawed 18 year old girl. I don’t care if the dialogue is flawed because what 18 yo, let alone a 35 yo, speaks perfectly? I’m not speaking of a jumbled up mess with shitty editing. There is a delicate balance between allowing your character’s voice to shine alongside the author voice, without infringing upon it with the editor voice.
How many times do I write one sentence? Dozens- at least. By the time I get the ‘beta copy‘ back from the betas, I’ve already rewritten that sentence again once or twice. That is why I try to stress that I’m only looking for the things that are off, because everything else is never the same. I will use this mortifying example: Panty vs Pantry. Yes, Erica wrote Panty in place of Pantry, not once, but TWICE. Isis gained an evil (good?) twin named Iris two times as well. I had a sLiver tank top versus a siLver tank top. Suz and her ‘inequity’ had me imagining a bunch of lawyers sitting around a table in their den. Iniquity 😉 Puts a whole new spin on a den of ‘inequity’, eh? My point being, what is more embarrassing: a missing comma or getting food out of your panties? While some lawyers are sexy, not all of them are. So I don’t think I’d enjoy a den of them, would you?
By the time I get the beta copies back, the odds that the words are shuffled around in the sentence and the punctuation has been fiddled with are about 100%. But the majority of the words remain the same. Those are the words my mind replaced on me. I become head-blind. This is why I need beta ‘readers’ to spot these words. I cannot stress this strongly enough. The editing is done ‘after‘ the beta ‘read’. Trust me; I know. I’ve been doing it for the past 13 days straight, twenty hours per day. (Hell, when was the last time I slept, anyway? I’m not joking. It’s 5 a.m. est, and I’ve yet to shut my eyes from the day before- I’m not writing or rewriting. All of my attention is solely focused on those dang rules- editing. I’ve learned my lesson from past horrors) Number one rule of writing: you NEVER edit while you write. You’ll get nowhere- FAST. It’s only good habits that keep your first three drafts from being a total disaster. There is a highly probable chance that those commas, periods, quote marks, ellipsis, and hyphens no longer exist. The betas receive a draft of many, not the final draft. It was one draft from being the gibberish in my head. That’s why I stress, “don’t over-think it.” Obviously I’m stressing this now for a reason 😉 *maniacal laughter*
I found myself going word-for-word, nit-picking, worrying that I was doing it wrong, and I was leaving my character and myself behind. If you look at anything too closely, you’ll find fault in it. A sentence is a string of words with endless possibilities of rearrangement. My character spewed them onto the page, and it is my job to make sure they make sense for the reader. But it is not for me to twist their words until they are no longer ‘their’ words. Writing a sentence is not complicated, unless you complicate it with over-thinking. You are expressing a thought, and nothing more.
What is complicated are the rules of your language, which vary by country, and are all up to interpretation. Writing rules change, and we can debate them to death. Oxford Comma debate, anyone? Chicken/egg? Let’s debate grammar and punctuation until it’s just a string of words that no longer read like a story, shall we? But those rules must also take a backseat to an area’s dialect. I only write characters in the North East for a specific reason- that is my region, with my dialect. If you use rules and forgo the dialect. FLAT. While perfect, it will be perfectly flat.
I cannot even guess the amount of hours I put into Good Girl. Thousands upon thousands of hours- all my hours. So it will be up to me to know what is best for the quarter of a million words that were my creation. I’m sure when it’s completed it will be flawed, that if someone wishes to tear it to shreds for their own entertainment, they will find enough wrong to do so. But as I said, a sentence is a string of words with endless possibilities… string your own sentence together, and then have the balls to withstand an army of backseat ‘editors’ dissecting it. I bet you get the same amount of variants as you do editors. You have no idea the amount of courage it takes to press publish, and how much more courage it takes to ignore the negativity. A writer has to possess quiet dignity and suffer in silence.
Good Girl is a story about a young woman learning to love herself, to be comfortable in her own skin. I had an epiphany this evening as I was editing. Me, Myself, and I get along famously with the hundreds of characters thriving in our mind, so why am I allowing anyone to enter my sanctuary? You can debate my writing style, but you will never debate me about my writing style.
Back to those rules: I play by the rules for the most part or my novels would be impossible to read. Anyone who knows me personally, or knows my ‘voice, should have figured out by now that I do not like being told what to do or how to do it.
I’m a rebel, and I’m perfectly fine with being perfectly flawed.
The Wicked Writer.
I find myself in a precarious position. First, I must give you the sequence of my WIPs for you to fully understand my dilemma.
… and possibly Monster- Ava.
One would assume I’d be diligently at work on Silenced, being as it is the next book in my series… believe it or not, Integrated is complete and with the betas, several have returned their edits already. It’s slightly longer than The Hunter, maybe 400 ebook pages. Currently, Silenced is 10,000 words in length with a daunting outline- totally at odds with the light, sexy story I’d originally planned to tell…
The Dilemma: As a writer, you are subject to your creativity- inspiration- the muse. We have a short attention span- yes, that sounds strange coming from creatures that must have intense concentration to build worlds from nothing. But we most certainly have short attention spans. Like a shiny object to a cat, a light will catch our eye and our minds flit… “Oh, shiny- a new story to weave.”
Novelists write in intense bursts of creativity- speaking of my own experience, I can go 70 hours of non-stop writing, 50,000 words in three days… and then pass out. Burn out. After which, I tell myself to slow down, LIVE a little… experience life instead of writing about it. But the siren call is so much stronger… and I’m pulled back in within days.
As a slave to inspiration, you need to determine if your muse is truly leading you astray or towards destiny. Next, you must decide if you are being indulgent with your creativity. Are you allowing yourself to be led to greener but never better pastures, or is it the path you should take.
Here is the issue: I want, no, I need to write Hero. It’s thrumming within me- screaming. A character needs voiced while it’s still fresh in my mind… but does it truly, or am I just scared to dive into the pain that Grant has to show me when Caleb is promising… hope. For Silenced is just the beginning of Grant’s journey while Hero won’t necessarily be an HEA book, it’s pushing into one… Silenced will open up to another much more pain-filled book that I don’t know when I will be emotionally ready to write- if I’ll ever be emotionally able to write.
So here I am… I have a book completed with the one that I should be writing shelved… and then I want to skip yet another book to write the one following it. Here, have a visual,
Silenced, Integrated *completed*, Prince, Hero.
But what readers won’t understand until they get their hands on the story within… those books are so interwoven that Silenced & Prince will be written together… and The Hunter, Integrated, and Hero are simply extensions of one other….
So, do I indulge my muse, leaving me with a huge backlist of books to publish once I get their predecessors written… or do I push through and fear ruining the story I weave?
Then there is the fact that it could just be a shiny object being dangled in front of my face, enticing me, seducing me when it’s the wrong path…
My books are complicated to say the least. The beginning books not so much, but as you delve into my series, you see why I must have 5 or more books outlined in order to keep A-Z straight. So one book interconnects with one several books into the reader’s future but they are my present… all of these books encompass the same time frame and cast of characters.
When I find myself hesitant to thoroughly commit to a project, it means there is an issue. I already broke form by writing Integrated before Silenced. When I finished, I completely revamped Silenced outline from being a fluff piece to something rivaling Faithless and the soon-to-be written Master. How Grant ended up with an epic book is beyond my scope. While in awe, I’m a so pissed at my muse I could shriek while yanking my hair out!
Yet again, after enthusiastically reworking Silenced outline, Hero is calling me.
One thing you must understand, when I commit to a story, I write it in its entirety without interruption- without living. I say without living because I become my characters. Don’t get me started on the fact that I wanted to bite faces off while writing Faithless… Syn was a hard girl to have within your mind for 330,000+ words… Ugh! Cort was a breath of fresh air… Ezra, not bad, surprisingly. So when the choice is a sardonic yet playful submissive dealing with an abuse victim, an eighteen year old man-child, or a stern yet compassionate Marine…
yeah, I’m a 35 yo woman… snorts. Yeah, none of them fit the Erica profile- but amazingly so, I write men better than women. I guess I go with my gut… much to the readers’ dismay with having to wait extra months for releases, but will get a bounty of the dang things in a month’s time- like four books dropping one week a part.
And then I say, “Erica, cut yourself some slack. Big-time authors only write one or two books per year, about 200k words, tops… you’re almost writing a million words a year (I just bypassed 800k in less than 9 months, in case you’re curious). Take a fucking nap it’s 5 am and you’ve yet to go to f’n bed! Tomorrow is another day, but it’s already upon you!”
I just feel pressure.
I have pressure mounting me from every direction- it’s why I often fantasize of a world of only my creation, and get mightily pissed when yanked from said world.
I guess, in a nutshell, and it answers my dilemma, other than the pull of creation, Hero isn’t pressuring me- it’s enlivening me.
While I may write it from start-to-finish, or I may write a chunk and return to the one known as coward… who knows. But I just realized the irony that I’m debating the coward vs the hero… *rolls eyes*
I may write for public consumption, but that doesn’t mean I am public domain.
This morning I received a very disrespectful comment. At first, my reaction was utter shock. How can someone say that to me? Why do they believe that they have the right? My second reaction was one of outrage. My personal stance is to never engage in a comment war- a very good stance indeed. My third reaction was to passive-aggressively say something sarcastic that could be taken either way (nice or snide). Lastly, I decided not to reply at all or approve the comment.
While I will not call this person out or even voice the comment I received, I do have to say something about it. I write a strong message in my stories. Empowerment. Respect, both for ones self and others. And it blows my mind how easily readers feel they have the right to say whatever they wish to me. I liken it to going up to a complete stranger and saying nasty shit. As my readers well know, I take respect seriously. So at seven in the morning, instead of enjoy the last of sleep’s warm embrace, I am shaking from how emotional I feel.
The Hunter’s first chapter was all me- the majority taken from my blog postings or straight from my head. I was personally giving a plea to my readers, a plea I hoped they would read, understand, and empathize with. Not just for me, but for my fellow writers as well.
A part of each of my characters comes directly from me- so when you bash one, you are also bashing a segment of me. So I take personal offense. I feel like you just told me my newborn is ugly and stupid. Cort received my writing and insecurity. All writers are insecure in some form. We write for public consumption- meaning the public has to like it or they won’t read any more. So when I receive negative feedback it negatively impacts my confidence.
I can take constructive criticism. It’s par for the course and necessary so that I don’t get a big head and arrogantly go down a path of destruction. Then there are the personal attacks, which I just cannot fathom. Even my nearest and dearest do not know me well enough to personally attack me since I keep my emotions and thoughts closed off. They are private, between me, myself, and I. So when a reader or stranger personally attacks me, and it is personal. As they do not know my person, then how can they attack me? Why do they believe they have the right?
I cannot please everyone. Hell, I cannot please half of you. Most of the time I cannot even please myself. Why? Because we are all individual and see things through our own eyes. Never will two people see the same thing in something- it’s impossible.
Some may hate what I do to a storyline thread, others may praise it. Some may hate a cover of mine, some may love it. It’s up to interpretation. But what it is not up to… is any of you. This is my creation. This is the world and the characters and the stories I’ve imagined from nothing. And while it saddens me that I might disappoint you along the way, I refuse to change for anyone.
I could cater to specific fans, but it would only alienate the rest…. and since ultimately it is my name on this work of public consumption, I’m the only one that has to be okay with what I produce.
There are a few things that I must take into consideration when writing. I must stay within a character’s personality traits, their ethics, and their preferences. It is my duty to put them through their paces and make them earn their ultimate HEA. The title must impart the premise of the story, give you an idea of what lies within the pages. The covers must maintain a theme and color scheme (M&M series) (red/black/white/gray), must relate to the title (you cannot have a badass title like The Hunter and have a romantic cover, how silly would that look? It would be like having a book titled Blade but it’s a bodice ripper image) and contain a picture best describing the character. Note: Best describing the character as I’ve envisioned, seeing as I’m the one that created them in the first place. Each cover must blend, but also stick out among the crowd of their peers. Also, many readers may not realize this. We do not just pick a picture off the internet and use it. We must pay for the right to use the image- and it is not cheap. We also have to find a representation of a person we know inside and out, but is entirely fictitious- their clone may not exist in real life, and if they do, their image may not be for sale. It also has to be an image that can be altered, an image where the writing (title, author, series, etc..) doesn’t disrupt the image’s integrity. Then you have to pay someone to design your cover. So insults to any of the above are insults to the author, the cover model, the photographer/artist, the cover designer. That is a lot of people to insult over your personal tastes, I might add.
I will never apologize if my stories, covers, who ends up with whom, or the order in which I write my stories. But I will say is that receiving negative feedback that is more personal in nature and is more of a personal tastes of the reader’s is not constructive and very demotivational.
I am a writer, and we operate on emotion. Certain emotions feed our need to create, and the output is determined by the emotion. Obviously I am not a sunshiny girl, which is evident by my writing style. Which belies the readers reasoning to outwardly challenge me on my own works.
I love reader interaction, the good and the bad inspires me to strive. The bad motivates me to do better. But the personal… well, that just makes me feel sad.
It saddens me that I have to write this posting today. It saddens me that I’m sure the person who dealt me the offense may not even realize it, but for the life of me, I’m unsure how they could not. It saddens me that when they read this they will know it was about them. But that isn’t entirely true either. I receive these types of comments multiple times per day. Whereas the comment was directed at me, this is not directed at the commenter- truly.
My reason for posting my thoughts was simply to express that you should watch what you say- you never know how it will be interpreted by the receiver. And as you may not have meant it as it was taken as it was, it’s not up to you on how the other person feels. It is their right to feel as they do, and no one should dictate feeling.
Live a life of respect for yourself and your fellow creatures. Because hurt feelings just… suck.
This is an odd posting, but in light of The Hunter premise, recent activity on my fan page, and my feelings as I write Integrated, I felt the need to get something off of my chest. I’m sure I will piss some readers off, and perhaps spoil some shit. You can dissect my words for clues on Integrated and so forth. But this is simply in defense of Katya Waters.
As I’ve interacted with readers and read reviews… People HATE Katya’s f’ing guts. It’s an everyday occurrence that I get an ‘I hate Katya’ from someone on my various pages. I’ve had actual death-threat emails over this, I shit you not. Katya is a fictitious character… ya know. I mean, kill her? Yes, death-threats. *smh*
It’s an interesting dynamic for me. I’m not trying to sway your feelings over the character. I actually want to know your view, because it helps me with character development in the future. I’m curious to see where I went wrong, or if it is simply a case of we see ‘this character‘ with ‘this character‘ and will accept nothing less.
It’s a phenomenon in psychology, how we gloss over the huge shit going on but pick on a character that has blended into the background as we hear about her through a tainted lens.
At first, I was waiting for someone, anyone, to stand up for Katya… when readers kept hating on her, I kept making it more obvious… and still… nothing. No one said, “Help Katya. This isn’t right. Why are you doing this?” Since I am a maniacal bitch, I started bashing Katya through the narration of other characters just to see if anyone would say anything.
You are aware that Katya is Ezra’s WIFE, right? No? Because we don’t seem to care that Ezra has NEVER acted like a husband…
My stories have STRONG females. Females who believe in empowerment and are borderline cock haters. A few are huge feminists. The readers love Faith and Regina. LOVE. & this pleases me to no end. I’m proud to make inspiring characters…
BUT, and yes, this is a huge but, it’s okay for said strong females spouting empowerment to bully Katya- both of the favorites do. They bully Katya for actions out of her control. & I had Faith say some nasty shit about a Tonka truck… and ya know what? That wasn’t even about Katya, that was about EZRA & CORTEZ… yes, that’s right. It was the disrespect they showed Katya. But, nope, the readers blamed Kat. And while written with a humorous twist, it was rather gross of Faith to think those thoughts about Katya and not blame the men. Again, no one noticed, or Faith was applauded for being nasty.
For me, it just shows how women think and behave. No matter what, we pit ourselves against one another. We won’t stick up for each other. But we will fight over a cock, even a worthless and faithless cock. Time and time again, I made it to where Regina and Faith could have stepped in and rescued Kat, but I didn’t have them do it to show how women do not stick up for each other…
I wrote the story this way for a reason. It was on design for what is to come. I’m known for cerebral fuckage. But I was astonished by the hate-on the readers had for Katya, how they felt no compassion towards her but felt it for her abusers and bullies.
It’s interesting. Lends to the blame the victim mentality. By no means should behaviors be forgiven because you were once a victim. But what about those victimizers that are so nonredeemable but we seem to love them anyway…
I just really feel the need to defend my creation. I just don’t see where this anger is coming from- this hypocrisy… and as I continue to write a story that Katya hovers around, I’m left feeling frustrated. Yes, I wrote it this way. It’s the readers’ perceptions that are baffling me…
I mean, it’s not like Kat is a whore, a murderer, a serial rapist, a criminal, a drug lord… that’s all good, right? I mean. we can just forgive that shit, right?
Kat’s only crime is that she wants to be the best at her profession instead of staying at home with the kids.. It’s the only thing Kat has any control over, and even then, it’s only perceived control. I’ve heard the mother complaints from a lot from readers. I’m a huge advocate for stay-at-home moms, I was raised by one. We are all different. Some ppl are not meant to be mommies. Neither is better than the other, it’s just lifestyle choices… choices written in a series about alternative lifestyles, I might add. Ironically, what’s perfectly fine for the beloved women in my series isn’t for Katya. Think on that for a moment… …. …. okay, Regina and Faith have careers. I actually did that to see if anyone would bitch, but they never did. Just about Katya.
Kat has sex. OMG! Yes, why, yes, she does… It’s dark erotica… aren’t they all fucking someone? But Katya isn’t banging husbands behind their wives’ backs… that’s okay for the beloved characters to betray Katya with Ezra, though, right? & the readers don’t even blame Ezra or Regina. That’s perfectly acceptable behavior… if your name isn’t Katya.
But Kat is dog shit because she doesn’t want to be humiliated and disrespected by the very women that spout empowerment and feminism? Everyone is huge Regina and Faith fans. While I love and respect my creations, I love them equally, and I made them equally as flawed as they are good.
This is something I’ve been examining for well over a year, and when I went back to fix Restraint & Unleashed… I was like, “wow. I never noticed that before.” I just want to give Katya a fucking hug.
& yes, this is raw in my mind because I wrote a 6,000 word chapter today on this very subject within Integrated. & I could list the merits of Katya Waters vs her bullies or copy/paste segments of what I’d written. But I won’t because I don’t want to taint your view of the books. I go into great depth with this, and I could now. But if you don’t realize Katya’s motivations right now, I’d rather you just read about it in Integrated.
I hope when you read Integrated that you regain your compassion and actually see things clearly. if not, I tried my damnedest through 6,000 words of my character bleeding out…
Katya is my stalking horse… You guys might not love Kat, but she is my creation… my very first creation… and more than 75% of her personality traits, physical characteristics, and even the town she lived in and the life she had led… was all me. I’ve used her to express how I’ve felt: violated, trapped, confused, lost, alone, trapped, scared, and tortured. Kat has been living how I lived, in a much more fanatical way, obviously. Right now, she is lost and trapped, and stepped on…I’ve been there- we all have. That is what is baffling me- the lack of empathy and compassion as we praise the victimizer and blame the victim… just step back and truly think on this. Your feelings of all the characters and why.
I use Katya as an example of life. We all overlook what the cocks do… and we will take sides with the vaginas, even if it’s the wrong side. But there is always one person that we hate for no fucking reason at all. Think about it… it’s true in all walks of life, every part of the world, and in every age group… and for some fucked up reason, just among the vaginas.
Interesting… as I said, never forget, I write by perception. One person’s lens may be tainted because they aren’t in the other character’s head. And everything I write is for a reason- and most likely, a psychological reason.
Please, feel free to tell me your thoughts. It’s why I wrote this. Join us in the M&M of Restraint Closed group on Facebook or email me: email@example.com
Warning: This posting will be a mishmash of a billion little bits of information… and extremely long-winded. I’ll put headers so that you may skip potions you don’t give a damn about. *wink wink* I’m riding through Ohio, destination New York (Groceries, fruit & vegetables :P) & Pennsylvania (Home) So I have a few hours of heading eastbound while glaring into the rising sun to formulate a long blog posting. Oh, and rocking out to my father’s love of Creedence Clearwater Revival, but thank goodness he’s no longer listening to his favorites on Sirius radio. I was about ready to jump from the moving car during Fox News & that eighties rock station. The wickedly bright, and always in my eyes no matter how hard I try to avoid it, sun and I are about to have words. I lost a screw in my glasses & I’m missing my transitions lenses something fierce. DANG, this freakin’ sucks!
Edited Versions of my titles
I’ve been contacted a few times in the past few hours on how to tell which version is which and if it is necessary to reread or what the changes were. Restraint, Good Girl, and Unleashed were edited and uploaded the first week of July. On the title page of these editions it will say their date of publication and their revised editions of November 2012/July 2013 (Restraint & Unleashed) & July 2013 (Good Girl) If you do not have these editions, please go to my account on Amazon, manage Kindle devices, and click to ‘turn on’ automatic updates. The newest edition should upload the next time you sync your device. Or follow the steps above until manage Kindle devices, on the library click the drop down next to the title you wish to update, and click update. You can also access this from the purchase page on Amazon (website only) you may also remove the title from device or archive, and redownload the edition. If all else fails, and it has for a select handful of ppl, please contact Amazon via telephone, and have them ‘reset’ your copy to the newest version. Most copies update, but it is out of my control and totally in Amazon’s hands. I don’t know why some update while others don’t.
The changes per title:
Restraint was lengthened from 70k to 100k. Restraint went through a lot of sentence restructure, formatting, and proofreading. I’ve grown within my craft & I want to make my work the best it can be. Restraint was polished, the scenes were expanded with description, and the storyline was fixed for issues in flow and storyline conflict. The overall premise did not change. If you think you need to reread for other than the enjoyment of beginning the series anew, no fear, there is no need. I realize that a lot of readers hate rereading, while some are like me, finding comfort in a reread. I will not change the storyline of my works unless there is a major conflict that I didn’t anticipate.
Unleashed & Good Girl were slightly lengthened by a few thousand words. I didn’t find as many errors, conflicts, or need to restructure the sentences. They basically received a thorough going over and polish.
As I write new titles, I will be going back to past titles, Dexter is next on my list… and yes, I will be going back to the beginning with Restraint & Good Girl when I finish all of my titles. I foresee me doing this until I find the titles flawless. (which is an impossibility) This also help to refresh the little things in my mind as I write new books within these series. Good Girl was a refresher for Widow, & Dexter will be a refresher before I begin The Hunter, and so on.
Thoughts on reviews:
I thank those who have taken the time to review my works, albeit positive or negative. Either way, obviously my work struck a chord within the reader enough for them to think about the story and take time from their busy lives to write a few sentences or a long review. So thank you.
I do not read reviews on principle. Any review, good or bad, is an emotional drain for me. While positive may fill me with inspiration, negative will undoubtedly demotivate my ass… and I never know if it’s positive or negative. Even a positive 5 star review can be riddled with unintentional landmines.
It’s a vicious cycle to engage in, an addiction. “This person loves me. “This person loathes me.” “OMG, I fucked that up!” By the time I read two or three reviews, I’m hunting up a razor blade (I jest. I’m not a cutter, but you get the point… and in all seriousness, I’ve thought about it before. But through the force of my massive willpower, I’ve abstained)
I have to take a step back from all of the closet backseat drivers (editors) and the people who think they can write my stories better than I can. Word of advice, you can’t. Why do I have the arrogance to say you can’t write my story better than I can? Simple, because it’s MY STORY, and I am the creator of its universe. As far as my grammar Nazis… I’ve grown a lot, and I will continue to grow within all the facets of my craft. Making fun of me when you make similar mistakes in the bashing review is kind of… interesting.
Final words: I am a human being. Just because I put my work out for public consumption does not mean you have the liberty to speak to me in any manner you wish. You do realize what I write, correct? I abhor DISRESPECT! Writer and authors alike are regular people with regular lives. We are all walking in similar directions down different paths. While I love interacting with my readers (I truly do) it is unnerving when some make demands (write it like this, you should have done this differently…) everything within my work is up to my discretion because it’s MY work. I thank you for the input. But no, I will not change who I am to meet whatever expectations you have of me. & yes, this is coming from a location of stress that I feel every time I receive this type of message or email. It’s completely inconceivable why people believe I will kotow to them for any reason, no matter how big or small.
In retrospect, the people in the digital land of the internet are just people, strangers. I liken the criticism and demands to a complete stranger walking up to me on a crowded street and making demands of me. Who wouldn’t be pissed? I have no idea who you are, as you have no idea of who I am. That’s not entirely true. I am an open book: my real name, age, location, and my words bleed upon the page. My point is that until you and I have multiple interactions over a long spans of time, like any relationship, you have no rights to me until you’ve earned it. I’m a very guarded person, I even take great offence when my nearest and dearest place pressure on me. Quickest way to clam me up, make a demand of me.
Note to everyone: It could be anyone on the other side of that user name with a stolen pic as a profile picture. Unless you are a public figure, you have no idea who is on the other side of the computer screen. So yes, the negatives wound me, but then I realize it could be anyone. This isn’t coming from a position of arrogance. Why should I heed words from someone who doesn’t know me, and may be ten years old giving me writing, editing, plotting, and storyline advice? I do not go to your place of employment or your home and follow you around telling you how to do this or that on a subject I know jack-shit about, so don’t come into my home and office through my laptop screen giving me advice about my occupation that you may or may not have any experience with. As bitchy as that last statement is, it’s all about mutual respect.
I will take all advice with a grain of salt, even from my betas and fellow writers. Because, ultimately, I am the one who has to live with my work. After all, it has my real name attached to it, not yours.
Really, think on this… Catfish was not a fictitious story!!! Scary, that!
I love hearing from readers, whether good or bad (not the readers 😉 The comments) Please be respectful, though. I don’t need you walking on eggshell or any shit like that. My self-confidence isn’t make of spun glass, but I am prone to bouts of extreme frustration. I have the ability to look in my mirror and acknowledge my faults. So you can’t say anything to me that I didn’t already know. With this said, go ahead and write me in any media you wish (email, msg, and comments on the website or Facebook pages. Friend my ass, and I’ll accept. Hell, you can write me letters if you wish)
I’ve had a lot of positive interactions with readers, and it’s been a cause of inspiration. M&M of Restraint is Dark and contains very dark themes. I’ve had a lot of abuse survivors contact me, saying I’ve helped them come to terms with their violation. You have no idea how this makes me feel. I want my readers to feel empowered by my work. While I may not write traditional HEA, my characters always end up with a feeling of completion within themselves. Do not give power to your victimizer by dwelling in the past. You are stronger than that!
Within the Playroom series, I dive into substance addiction, and it will be a thread within the series. It is something that has directly affected my life in several way, and I wish to address it. I’ve had a few readers contact me in thanks over writing about something that is usually pushed underneath the rug or dramatized as being fun and carefree. I’m a firm believer in tough love and totally against enabling the abuser. I hope this helps to push readers to change aspects of their lives that aren’t fulfilling them, negative people within their lives included.
Current works in progress:
Widow: a dual narrated storyline between the Widow & the Widower. Clover Webster and Malcolm Mason alternate chapters. Odd chapters for the Widower, & even chapters for the Widow. I’ve read a lot of multiple POV books, and it always confused me when the point of view would shift within a chapter with no real indication, and sometime within the same paragraph. I’ve had to read several paragraphs to gauge who the hell was narrating. Believe it or not, big time authors make this mistake within their books, especially those who have more than 2 narrators. My all-time favorite author is a HUGE offender. She also uses an upwards of 19 narrators (I think that was the final tally on her last published work) within this chaotic mess.
Using my idols are a model on what not to do, I decided that I would ease the transition by giving each narrator their own chapter with headings, so you never need to determine who is speaking/thinking because I told you before you began. Since this is my first foray into the land of multiple POV, I decided to simplify it with only 2 narrators.
Widow is a HEA storyline. One of the strongest romances I’ve written. While not saccharine in the least, with some very strong dark themes, it is pure romance. The Playroom series is my venture to get away from the darkness of The M&M series. There are no billionaires, fanatical storylines, or outlandish lifestyles. The Playroom is real people who have very real issues and kinks. They suffer through daily struggles with rent/mortgages, occupations, families, and children.
Good Girl was the introduction to the cast of characters. I needed it to highlight the playful naïveté of a teenager. It did not end with a cliffhanger or any real resolution because Willow Prynne is a still a child in my eyes. Willow has to grow up before she gets the life she deserves. Willow’s resolution will be within the pages of book 4 of the series. But you will continue to see Willow grow throughout book 2 and 3.
Widow was the perfect nexus for the series. The union of Malcolm and Clover gives us a glimpse of the cast of characters. Yes, I just said the union. There is no secret that they are going to hook up. In the format of romance, the format that I usually hate, mind you, you know from page one how the book will end. It’s why I’m not a fan of romance. I like a mystery. I don’t like knowing that the main protagonists are destined to be together no matter what. But in Widow’s case, it needed to be written as romance. It’s the progression of the characters as they solidify their family that sets up the rest of the series.
Widow is a sensual book. It shows the softer, gentler side of BDSM. In Good Girl, I broke down the barriers of BDSM by showing the playfulness of the lifestyle. I want readers to realize the lifestyle is NOT about abuse, force, or pain. There should always be a choice based on trust. Recently fiction has portrayed the lifestyle with an abusive filter, desensitizing readers to what is really right or wrong. Abuse is not sexy, it’s abuse, and it’s illegal. A personal violation is not romantic, no matter what light you shine on it. It’s assault. You should never allow someone to infringe upon your rights as a human being. I cannot stress this strongly enough!
Yes, I’ve written force and non-consent, but I’ve made sure you see the after-effects of such an event. I’ve shown these events to empower the victim when they survive because life is not pretty. Force is not romance, and it’s not sexy or hot. It may be some people’s kink. But there is a fine line between it being a mutual choice and assault. It’s a choice, both parties always have a choice. Don’t fall into a trap by allowing yourself to see it through a tainted filter. *lecture complete*
Back to Widow… our Widower, Malcolm Mason is the ultimate alpha male who wants to take care of his family. He isn’t abusive because he struggles with his own past. He suffers from skin hunger, and readers will experience the softer, sensual side of the lifestyle through Malcolm.
Widow sets up Wayward. Wayward will be narrated by Augustus Kline, Robin Prynne, and Isis Mason. I want to stress that the narrators do not indicate unions. While the three lifelong friends may find HEA together, you’ll have to read to find out. I’ve grouped my narrators by age and connection. Similar to book 4 with Willow Prynne and Kieren and Devon Mason. It would be disjointed to have narrators of differing ages. To read as a teen/young adult, and then be thrust in the mind of an adult would be discombobulating, especially for me as I write it.
Widow is slated for release on the final week of August. It may be sooner rather than later. Only the muse knows. Currently the book is 75k words in length, and about 3/4th completed. I have no true length on my books. I end them when the story deems it should be ended. However, I do price my books according to length.
I’ve never written a work under 50k, but if I do, here is the pricing guide I always follow.
10-25,000 words: 99 cents
26-40,000 words: $1.99
41-60,000 words: $2.99
61-100,000 words: $3.99
All first in a series will be listed at $3.99, regardless of length. (If shorter than 100k, will be priced less. It’s why Restraint was just raised to $3.99 from its original $2.99. The revision pushed it over 100k) First in a series are also subject to .99 cent sales and free promotions.
101,000+ words: $4.99
Over 150,000 words: $5.99
Omnibus editions & epic length novels over 300,000 words: $9.99.
Only paper editions will ever be over $9.99. Yes, I do plan on paper editions in the near future.
These prices are well under the guidelines that major publishers and independent and self-published authors use. I will never rip off my readers. I know more than anyone how horrible the economy is currently. I’d rather have my loyal fans read my books for next to nothing than go without. My code is to give the reader a lot of content and story for as little price as possible. But a girl has to eat… even if she’s on a diet.
First person present tense:
If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m just writing whatever pops into my mind as it pops into my mind. (Dude, both times I typed pops, POOPS flowed from my fingertips! *snickers) Currently, I see the sign promising Erie Pennsylvania in 40 miles, and my bladder is about to freakin’ burst. Dang you, Venti Caramel Iced Coffee from the Ohio Toll road Starbucks that litter the plazas… But alas, we’ve run out of plazas since we’ve abandoned that road for Ohio’s I-90, which seems very short on rest areas. GONNA PISS MY PANTS! A coffee piss is worse than a beer piss.
So anyhoo… case in point about first person present tense (dude, Fox news just took over CCR L) I write in this tense because it causes the reader to experience the story as it’s happening, like my current pissy pants issue. You’re reading about my predicament as I experience the bulging pressure of a full to bursting bladder.
I can’t write in past tense. I just can’t do it. I hate it when I do a flashback sequence. I also can’t write a 3rd person perspective, either. It also takes me a long time to get into a book that is written that way. I think in the here and now. So the entire time I’m reading about the “saids” and “dids” I’m like, but your dialogue is in present tense. WTF? Yeah, it confuses me and pulls me from the story. I know the norm is past tense. But… yeah, my story, my freakin’ rules! Yes, I’m a dominant personality. You should know this by now.
Plus, that third person makes me feel like a patient at an insane asylum when it’s not written properly. I’m not Ezra Zeitler of the multiple personality persuasion. Like, I’m talking about myself in third person or some shit. You don’t think, ‘she walked into the room,’ when thinking about your own actions. I’m like, “bitch, I sashayed into the room, and everyone was looking at me.”
In case you are wondering… yeah, reviews from first person perspective haters led me to this strange train of thought. *shrugs* You ain’t making me write any differently than I already do. I’ll perfect my craft, but I’m not catering to everyone’s likes. It’s an impossibility. Plus, I really do love reading first person present, so that’s what I write.
WELCOME TO PENNSYLVIANIA. My home state better cough up a freakin bathroom before I wet this leather seat with my coffee piss! OMG! A Rest Area! Thank you baby Jesus! I love you Pennsylvania for the short while before we dip back into New York, my other ridge-running state.
AH! I feel five pounds lighter! Pure bliss! & you wouldn’t enjoy my discomfort and subsequent relief if it wasn’t for the first person present tense writing J
My muse has a mind of her own. After Widow, I may or may not write The Hunter or Wayward. Sometimes as I’m writing a series and I finish one book, the next manifests immediately. Other times I’m able to go between the series with little issue. It’s why I only write 2 series at a time. Any more than that and I would go insane.
I can give you some info on The Hunter, though. I will do my damnedest to get The Hunter released before Thanksgiving. I have some events, sales and such for that time frame, and again at Christmas/New Years because of all the new devices being purchased as gifts. Yeah, it’s a long ways off, but I have to keep a schedule. I want Widow, Wayward, and The Hunter published before then. And it all depends on length. Like with Faithless, which I thought would be a short book. I never know what the book’s length will be until it tells me… so it all depends. We will see!
The Hunter: Cortez Abernathy is experiencing writer’s block, as you learned in several books and the why of it during chapter 105 of Faithless. I want to get away from a parallel storyline, flashback, dream sequences… but I want to give Cort’s perspective of past events without rehashing them to death. Cort’s story is the time frame of after they moved to Misery Castle (KING- ending chapters of Faithless) The reader will be in the present as Cort and company deal with events, but will experience the past through Cort’s newest book, The Hunter. The Hunter is an autobiographical Cortez Abernathy memoir.
Cortez’s book will be more romancy, emotional, and life-changing. It’s not a coming of age story, more of a finding one’s true path kind of story. Cortez is lost. I’ve been strongly toying with an idea, and I’m on the fence. After Widow, for the first time ever, I’m seeking the advice from my betas. What I may or may not do is irreversible, and I don’t want to fuck up my series by acting in haste. No, I’m not offing any major characters (I promise). But it will have far reaching consequences, and I do believe I’m going to do it. Sometimes I amaze myself. *snickers* Yes, you should be very worried!
Warning aside, The Hunter will be very sweet, very emotional, and as gut-wrenching as it is playful and charming. Basically, Cort’s book will be just like his personality!
Silenced: I believe will be a short book, and not because Grant doesn’t have a lot to say… it’s just that his book ties into a more complex book. But I felt it was the right time to set up what Grant has going on. His swagger and naughtiness will be a good palate cleanser between Cortez and Ezra’s emotional torture roller coaster ride from Hell. Grant has some ‘play’ he’s working on to get attention from an unlikely source. Wil kept hinting at this during Faithless. “One step closer, congrats!” kind of dialogue. Plus, Grant is mighty pissed his bedroom romp with Faith was interrupted.
Next up is Integrated (Ezra Holden Zeitler’s book). After that, it’s either Niel or Katya’s book. Yeah, that gives you a hint about what I’m toying with…
What I have planned for this evening: I have a few winners to choose for the rafflecopter giveaway. I also have to send out copies of my books to a prize winner from another giveaway I was a part of. I’m doing laundry out the ass! I have to create a report for the sales for the promo weekend, and I think I will post the first two chapters of Widow (a chapter from both narrators)…
As usual, after a Kindle free promotion weekend: It wasn’t good enough that I gave out thousands of FREE books, ppl must read the rest of the books for FREE as well. Unleashed had a return this morning, now there is a return for Dexter, and I’m positive there will be one for Dalton next… and so on. Now I just checked, and there are two Unleashed returns. Man, it’s amazing how people accidently one-click my books in series order, and manage to return them after reading…. Amazing… absolutely amazing…
M&M of Restraint
& Playroom series
~Happy Wicked Reading~
There are a lot of misconceptions on what constitutes Dark Erotica or BDSM Fiction. Many would say that I do not write within my genre. I’ve read a myriad of contradictory statements. Every genre is broken down into sub-genres. But a lot of the misconception breaks down to a lack of knowledge.
BDSM doesn’t mean you live your life in a dungeon. It also doesn’t mean that your life is consumed with kink. While hot to read, the people of the lifestyle are not sexual beasts. They have lives, jobs, families, hobbies, and friends that do not revolve around kink.
My books are not centered in a dungeon, because life is not centered in a dungeon. I just cannot write one dimensionally. This works for shorter novels or standalone shorts and novellas, but not a longstanding series. I have to show all the facets of life to create a three dimensional storyline with lifelike characters… and sometimes, life just isn’t sexy.
Eroticism in my series: again, people have varying libidos. I cannot write every character as a sexual deviant that runs around dry-humping everyone like a dog. Each book is individually written based on the character. Some of my characters are randy sonsofbitches and others are more passive. I find that the overuse of sex in a book is just as bad as no sex in a book. I cannot connect with a book when it’s punch-you-in-the-face sex from the very first chapter. I need teased and enticed. I want a book to seduce me right along with the characters. Readers may read one hundred pages and find no sex or they may find sixty pages of sexually explicit content within my books. Why? It depends on my characters, my mood when plotting and writing, and the flow of the storyline. I will never write sex just for the sake of sex. If you find a random hookup in my books… it’s never random.
Mistress & Master of Restraint is the title of the series, and not because it revolves around Restraint. The Mistress & Master denotes that the narrator of each book will be a Dominant. The Restraint denotes it as the common denominator- the link between the characters. You may read a book and never enter Restraint. But all of the books will be narrated by a Dominant and be connected to Restraint.
Another BDSM misconception: BDSM isn’t necessarily about sex. The lifestyle varies as much as any culture varies. BDSM is always about release: sexual, mental, emotional, spiritual, pleasure, and pain. It could be a combination of one or two, all of them, or only one. But it most certainly doesn’t have to be sexual. It is a hunger that is being fed. As beings, we need sustenance, oxygen, water, sleep, sex, and companionship. Why would BDSM only feed one of your biological needs? And biological doesn’t always equate sexy.
Dominance: it is inborn. You are either dominant or you are not. You cannot learn it. Often in Dark Erotica or BDSM Fiction, books will portray the Dominant in a very cruel light. I’d heard from many that Dexter wasn’t cruel enough of as sadist. Dominant means you are a natural born leader, not an ABUSER. Cruel is abuse. As a survivor of domestic violence, abuse is never sexy.
I’ve heard from readers that they do not like children in my books, and a few said they didn’t want marriages and pregnancies. I assume this is because readers want fantasy, and this is too real to life. I cannot connect with a book that is missing major life events. Children exist or we wouldn’t have any adults. Pregnancies exist or we wouldn’t have any more children. What is sex? Sex is a biological need to mate- mate to create children. It blows my mind that my books should be without pregnancy, children, or unions. Seriously?
While real life isn’t sexy… it’s real.
HEA/HFN: I’ve written blog posting about this subject. My characters always have a HEA, it may not be within their book, and it may not be within a coupling. I believe HEA begins and ends inside of you. If the character is content with their lot in life, then they have reached their HEA. And on the opposite end: Dexter, again, readers felt he shouldn’t have an HEA because he is a sadist. I’ve heard this with Syn, as well. Why not? While fictitious, they are human beings. Only a submissive person should be happy, even if they have a nasty personality?
Romance: nowhere are the M&M books listed as romance. A few popular series that are listed as Romance, dip their toes in the BDSM or Erotica or Dark Erotica pool. The mainstream readers believe that all these types of novels should read just as those do. They are disappointed when my books do not read like a romance novel. I have another series, the Playroom, which has more romantic themes- less dark. I say less dark instead of light and romantic themes instead of romance, because I am incapable of light and romancy reads. I write darkly, twisted, sarcastic, wounded, raw and gritty, suspenseful and mysterious. Just as I do not write one dimensional characters, I do not write within one genre. I do not write to outrage or titillate or freak out my readers. I just write what my imagination tells me to write.
I guess the reason for this note is to clear up some of the misconceptions about my writing. I will not write to please specific readers, because it is impossible to please everyone. Hell, I love a lot of books the majority loathes, and I loathe a lot of books the majority loves. What’s the saying… no book is ever read the same way twice and no two readers read the same book.