My friend and fellow miscreant over at Romancing The Kink, Sheri Savill, was kind enough to ask me to join in on this unique blog tour. At first my thought was: “Why the eff would anyone care what my writing process was?”
Then I remembered that writers are readers too — and that I’m fascinated by other writers’ processes, both as a reader and a fellow writer. So, even though I feel like a total douchenozzle when I talk about my writing, here goes:)
What am I working on?
This question always makes me wince — because it’s a reminder than I’m working on too damn much. Right now, finishing up the Her Troika story is at the top of my list — Her Troika (Part V) will be released any day now. Following that, will be a book that I just can’t wait to publish, with a working title of The Change. This one is about D/s and the eroticism of pregnancy between a Dominant and submissive. It’s going to rub some people the wrong way (read: squick them), but I think for those that understand the beauty of pregnancy, this will be one that they enjoy. I hope so anyway:)
The rest of the year will see the publication of at least two more full length novels, one of which is likely to be the sequel to What She’s Looking For.
The other projects in the “maybe” column for 2014 are:
— Another novel that continues to flesh out the BDSM world of the Dominion Trust.
— A sequel to Maintenance Night.
— A sequel to A Message of Love that might be an answer to those readers who finished that book and said: “What the FUCK?!?”
— A start to a domestic discipline series that’s sort of a “world within a world” setting — only in this world, DD, D/s, and outright Master/slave are not only accepted, they’re common.
I’m also prone to doing some other crazy unplanned shit sometime during a typical year, so I don’t expect 2014 to be any different:)
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Everyone’s work is unique, right? I think mine differs from others in this genre in two ways. The first is that my stories are often a little more intense (I hate the term “edgy”) than many. I can only write the stories that I’d want to read, and as a result, my stories tend to be heavy on D/s, graphic sex, and raw human emotion (most importantly, love). I don’t pull any punches in my writing, and I expect the same from the books I read (and dear god, do I read a lot of books).
The second way I think my work differs is that I’m a male, writing as a male, in an overwhelmingly female-dominated genre (both in readership and in gender of authors). Now I know some male writers write in this genre and choose female pen names. I think this makes smart business sense, but it’s not something I can do. To me, I want readers to know that I’m a male, to know that I’m genuine (note: I’m not saying that writers publishing under opposite sex pseudonyms are doing anything disingenuous).
You see, I think readers are increasingly demanding more male viewpoints — and not just in the story itself. I think men, when they fully understand this genre and its requirements, can bring a fresh perspective and at time can shake things up in a positive way. Perhaps that’s self-serving, but I really do believe it. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with the warm reception I’ve received from readers, so I know there is room for everyone in this exploding, exciting, ever-changing genre. I’m hoping more male writers will have the courage to write as male writers.
Why do I write what I do?
I’ll admit to being very selfish when it comes to this question. I write the books I’d want to read. I’ve read a LOT of books, and I’ve read a LOT of smut. In my writing I found a frustrating pattern: in “men’s oriented” erotica, there was a great wealth of description and sky-high levels of kink, but there always seemed to be a dearth of emotion, or meaning, to what was depicted. Most of all, there was often no larger, deeper emotional connection between the characters. Now, for some, that’s just fine, and is entirely the point in erotica. For me, something was missing.
In “women’s oriented” erotica and erotic romance, it seemed to be all about the emotion, and that connection, and that love — which was what I loved about it. Unfortunately, it was often at the expense of the really serious kink, the no-punches-pulled fucking, and the general depravity that I love:)
So, I sought to bridge that gap, and include BOTH in my work. My stuff is not clean; it’s about as depraved as it comes, at least in my sub-genre (D/s and DD), and I mean it to be that way. It’s what I love. But equally, I try to show that deep emotional connection, that love that develops between the characters, and how that love makes everything so much better. Do I always succeed in that? Nope. I’m still working on that, thank you. But that’s the goal, every single time. Again, that’s me, being selfish.
Fortunately (and it’s a fact that I’m eternally grateful for), a few readers seem to get what I’m trying to do — and they like it. It still stuns me when a reader will write to me and tell me how much they loved what I wrote, how much it affected them, moved them, and of course, turned them on. Writers crave, above all, to move people, to make them feel — and when they hear that they’ve succeeded, there is nothing better. Nothing:)
How does your writing process work?
(Warning: boring writer stuff incoming…)
So, I wish I could say I had a system, a plan, in place for what I do, but I really don’t. I’m almost a pure “pantser”, which is writer nerd slang for someone who writes by the seat of their pants (i.e. without any outline or any real pre-planning at all). I say almost, because I do occasionally utilize little sketches of scenes (some people refer to these as story beats, but the term ‘beats’ makes me snicker like the immature jackass I really am).
I’d probably use these little sketches more often — if I could get them to cooperate more often. The problem is that these little mini-ideas come to me totally out of the blue: in the shower, in meetings, in the car, anywhere, anytime. That’s where the greatest writing tool since the invention of moveable type comes in: the smartphone. I use the Notepad feature on my iPhone all the time. ALL the time. Any time an idea pops into my head, I immediately whip out the phone and put it into the Notepad. I do this because the half-life on an idea is very, very brief — and once it’s gone from immediate recall, it’s likely gone forever. So everything gets written down — good, bad, brilliant, and god-awful shitty.
I start with a major theme I want to explore, make sure I’ve got an understanding of the main characters, and then sit down and just start writing. That’s it. I know you outliners out there are probably in full-on foaming at the mouth grand mal seizure right now, but that’s really how it works. I just can’t outline. To me, outlining is like flipping a book to the end to see how the story comes out. I know some people swear by doing that before starting a book, but to me that’s horrifying. Outlining takes the fun of discovery out of the writing for me. But again, I know some outliners who write brilliant stuff, so please don’t take what I say as prescriptive at all. There’s no one “right way” to write a book — there’s the way that works for you:)
Well, I think that’s about as much about my stupid processes as any one person can stand, don’t ya think? Don’t answer that.
Next week, my friend Maggie Carpenter will share her writing process with us, and I am really looking forward to reading it. Maggie writes elegant, beautiful D/s erotic romance, and I’ve loved her writing for years. When I heard about this blog, I thought she’d be perfect for it; her stories are unique, hot, and engaging, and dammit, I wanted to find out how she does it!
Here’s a little bit about Maggie:
Who Is Maggie Carpenter? Most of the time, when you read, About The Author, you discover said author has three dogs, two cats and a turtle named Harley, lives in Oregon and likes to hike with her husband of five years. Generally, the piece is written in the third person. I have no quarrel with such an expose, it’s just not for me. If you are reading this I’m going to assume you really do want to know About Me, and I want to give you that, from me, personally and sincerely, so here you go.
I write about the Dominant/submissive dynamic because I am a submissive, and having experienced the thrills and spills that D/s romance offers, I don’t just feel eminently qualified to do so, but I am truly, deeply and wholly passionate about it. Every second of every day it’s on my mind and in my heart, which, by the way, has been shattered into a thousand tiny pieces, and made shining and whole and filled with joy. Such are the highs and lows Dominance and submission can bring.
Having tried and failed with vanilla relationships, during which I was constantly frustrated and unfulfilled, I came to an understanding and acceptance that vanilla simply doesn’t work for me. If you read my blog you can learn more about the addiction to this lifestyle, and while every interaction is unique and based on the wants and needs of the individuals involved, they each share one truism. The submissive wants and needs the romantic domination of her man, and the Dominant wants and needs the gift of submission his girl offers.
Thank you for reading! Until next time:)