Tag Archive: writing


In GLBT fiction, authors often find themselves face to face with a cumbersome beast I have dubbed the elephant. What is this tusked creature? To put it bluntly, the elephant is hate. From discrimination to disgust, the elephant is inescapable for all in the GLBT community. Sadly, it is a part of every day life. Yep, the elephant and its dung stink up our worlds. The question of the moment is: should it stink up our escapist fiction?

There is no easy answer.

While romance and erotica fiction often thrive in their absurd, wonderful distance from “regular” life, our characters must have at least a foothold in the “real world.” So how much of the real world and its pachyderms do we let in?

In other words, the question is: to ignore or to challenge the elephant?

Personally, I prefer to samba.

Let’s face it folks, if life didn’t stink, rose-scented pathways would lose their appeal. We authors of romance and erotica would have nowhere to lead our faithful readers. The Pied Piper can’t just walk circles around the square. How boring. How useless. So, we’ve got to let in at least some of the stink for our rosy words and worlds to entice readers to follow.

Ignoring the elephant is out.

Do we challenge the elephant? Yes, but I think we need to be sneaky. If we have our characters stand there in front of a stampede with elephant guns cocked and loaded on their shoulders, there’s going to be a hell of a lot less time for sex and loving. We’ve got to remember our genre… and we’ve got to outthink it. Hearts and flowers, penises and pussies are all well and good; in fact they are our bread and butter. So, I say, lather it on, baby! Don’t stray from the demands of our genre, invoke them. Lure the elephant into our playground then…

Samba!

In my first novel, Forever Bound, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” idiotic beast was let in to keep my two heroes apart. Oh yes, the elephant got a good number of tusked shots in, but in the end did the pachyderm win? Of course not. My boys did. Love did. One might ask if the elephant was slain? Sadly, no. That “real world” stuff can be a real kicker. But do you know what? That DADT elephant sure as hell never looked stupider. Sure, it may have been just a kick in the beast’s big toe, but the creep’s going to remember me; he’s going to wince and one day he’s going to stumble and Whammo! The guys with the elephant guns can move in for the kill.

Delusions of grandeur? Maybe. But take it from a person who knows, if you’ve got to have delusions those are the kind to have.

In Taken, my second novel which will published in the next few weeks, I purposefully left the playground gate closed. There was no elephant, per se. There was only his dung. Dabbed behind the ears of my villain, the stink was a perfect trail to follow (or was it the perfect red herring?) Either way, I sambaed my ass off.

In my next novel Barbarian, I just may invite into the yard an elephant of a different color.

The point is: elephant shit is the perfect fertilizer for our roses. Let the pachyderms in!

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In a straight-back wooden chair sits a naked man at your kitchen table.  What do you do? 

The answer depends entirely on who the “you” is.  At this point in the story, it’s not so much about the man as it is about the person in the kitchen door. 

Audience.  It’s our subject of the week.  

Now, before anyone gets out their pencils, Elmer’s Glue and protractors, let me assure you – this is not school, and if anybody calls me their “teacher” somebody better be sporting a school uniform at their knees and a “Paddle me. I’ve been bad” sign Elmer glued to their ass. (hmmm… so that’s what the glue was for?).  I do not profess to be anything more than a crazy chick in a black sheepskin jumper.  So, moving on…

Audience.  Who’s at the kitchen door?  A smart author will always know exactly who’s lurking in that doorway.  Critics of erotica/romance writers often complain that these authors must not be able to write in any other genre.  Critics pigeonhole us.  These critics are fools.  We, the erotica/romance writers of the world, are the true entrepreneurs.  We keep our eye on that kitchen door at all times (in other words, we know our market).  We can pretty much guess if our voyeurs are sporting a “Twilight” shirt underneath their coat (i.e.: we know the trends).  In terms of short and long terms futures, we want to get our door dweller to take that one step into the kitchen, so that we can essentially rush behind them and slam the door shut (yeah, yeah, I know… Ponzi scheme *cringes*, but hey at least we give them a naked men in their kitchen, more than Madoff did.)  Scurrying on…

Let’s ponder an example or two of our keen intellects while examining the choices we, the authors, make and avoid (i.e. shove our smarts in those critics’ faces)….

So, who’s at the kitchen door and what do we do about it?  Here are some possibilities:

a) If there’s a romance aficionado at the door, we have the man stand up to reveal a bow tied around his manhood while wearing a “come hither and let me woo you” look on his brazenly handsome face.  A dusk colored bedroom or a deserted beach magically appears stage right.  Violinist optional, but usually annoying.

b) If there’s a fan of erotica at the door, we have the man toss the table aside to reveal a woman on her knees shining up his family jewels.  His buddies in leather harnesses await their turn with both parties stage right.  Dungeon master optional, but suggested.

c) If there’s a paramour of the paranormal at the door, we have the man bear his luscious fangs before leaping over the table and initiating our door dweller to his dark side.  Werewolves morph from man to beast stage right.  Full moon required.

d) If there’s your basic horror fan at the door, we have the man bear his ungodly fangs before hurling his evil self over the table brandishing a chain saw in one hand and a pentagram in the other.  Priest or kick-ass girlfriend/boyfriend enter stage right.  Blood or psychological dismemberment not only required but eagerly expected.

e) Finally, if there’s a literary guru at the door… grab the naked man and run, stage right, left, who the hell cares! Let the ghosts of Hemingway and Dickins work this mess out.  You’ve got a naked man to enjoy.

Audience: the perpetual souls at our kitchen doors.  Invite them in, feed them well and they will come again.

            In a straight-back wooden chair sits a naked man at your kitchen table.  What do you do?

Read on.