Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What's in a name?


Shakespeare famously said 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet'.

Well, sorry Will, but I respectfully disagree. There are very few things that frustrate me more when reading a piece of historical fiction than a badly named character. Take my word for this; in Regency London, you would not have found a lord styling himself 'Brad', no matter how deliciously rakish he might be, and no Victorian lady of good breeding would ever be christened 'Crystal'.

I swear, I've sighed over many a novel that I've come across that has a wonderfully crafted and imaginative plot, yet horrendously misnomered characters. No matter how intriguing the tale sounds, if the main characters' names are going to jar with me every time that I read them, then the book will stay upon the shelf.

And that awareness is precisely why I go into absolute agonies over naming all my characters, even the smallest and most insignificant of them. Occasionally, a character will spring into my head fully-formed, a complete biography gloriously clear and the perfect name readily attached. More often than not, though, I have to sit down the day before starting a new story and, coffee pot at the ready, painstakingly hunt through dozens of websites doing research to come up with the perfect combination of names.

To me, finding the correct and appropriate names for all the characters is as crucial as taking the necessary time to scour for grammatical mistakes and typos. After all, you want your readers to emotionally connect with and believe in your characters. They're not going to do that, though, if every time that their name crops up on the page all they can think about is the impossibility of finding a Crystal or Desiree lacing themselves into their corsets and preparing for a night at the theatre with their lord (seriously, I've come across that painful example before).


Whilst I've got your attention, the completed novella 'Playing With Fire' is now available through Smashwords - the one that I blogged a teaser for last week. It's priced at $1.99, but all you lovelies can help yourself for free with coupon code UJ23D. All I ask if that if you enjoy it, please take a minute to leave a review; my ego (amongst other things!) loves to be stroked...

Kate x

Monday, 22 August 2011

Playing With Fire

So I'm feeling generous today, guys! Maybe it's the sunshine that's put me in such a good mood, or perhaps it's the large bottle of Rioja with my name on sitting in the kitchen... either way, I've decided to share with you all this short story that I wrote over the weekend, the first in a planned trilogy. Please let me know what you think, even if it's just a few words telling me to back away from the computer and never write again - and if you enjoyed it, I would massively appreciate a Stumble or RT! Kate x

Playing With Fire

With a pained grimace, Evie swung her bare legs over the side of the bed and began picking the cigarette butts out of the sticky crow’s nest that seemed to have taken up residence in her hair overnight. ‘Damn, it must’ve been a good party last night!’ she muttered to herself, smiling wryly as she ran her hands through the mess of tousled curls and shook them out, leaning forwards with her head between her knees.

‘Oh, but it was,’ drawled a deep and amused voice behind her – a man’s.

‘Shit!’ Scrambling behind her, Evie snatched up a sheet to hold against her naked body before turning around. Though she could remember very little of the night before, she was certain that there had most definitely not been a man in her bed the last time that she had checked.

‘Darlin’, why so shy now?’ the man continued with a low, rippling chuckle. ‘You sure as hell weren’t shy when we were tearing each other’s clothes away – and on that note, please accept my apologies. That sinfully delicious dress that you’d poured your curves into is now lying in two halves on the carpet.’

The man’s soft voice was coloured with the faintest of Southern drawls, and even though Evie’s mind still didn’t remember the sound of it, her body certainly did. Her nipples had stiffened the instant that he had chuckled, and she arched her back with a low moan as she slowly turned around, almost afraid of what she would find.

The man was reclining regally in her bed, his arms behind his head and a devious smile upon his lips as he stared back at her, for he was entirely naked and was making no move to cover himself. Moistening her lips nervously, Evie could not prevent her eyes from sweeping appreciatively across his body; he was tall and slender, but very obviously a strong man. The muscles of his arms were flexed against the pillows, and his hips tapered down into perfectly honed and broad thighs.

Evie’s eyes, though, could not help but linger over what was between his thighs. His cock was standing hard and proud, very clearly ready – and instantly, her body reacted to this fresh assault upon its senses. A wave of heat flooded her body and she squirmed uncomfortably on the bed as she clutched the sheet against her breasts.

‘You’d be very welcome to take another ride on my cock, darlin’, if that’s what you want,’ he said softly, reaching out one hand towards her. As his fingers closed around her arm, Evie could have sworn that her skin began to burn beneath his touch.

‘A-another?’ she stammered faintly.

‘Don’t you remember, Evie darlin’?!’ he said incredulously. ‘I know that we worked our way through a bottle or two of wine together, but I thought that I’d made myself pretty damn impossible to forget!’

Her lips parting uncertainly, Evie could not defy the insistent and raging lust that had inflamed her body. Aching with the incomprehensible need to touch him, she threaded her fingers through his on her arm before replying. ‘Why don’t you remind me, stranger?’ she asked under her breath.

His thin lips curved back into an amused smile once more as he arched one dark eyebrow. ‘I’d be glad to. I’ll do so with words first, darlin’, shall I?’


He ignored her breathless interruption and carried on speaking. ‘You walked straight into me at the party, Evie; you spilled your wine all over my shirt.’ As he spoke, he gestured towards the floor, where Evie saw a white shirt crumpled amongst the remains of her dress, a large red stain discolouring it just as he had described. ‘I asked you how you intended to make it up to me. You smiled up at me with those beautiful plump lips, and –’

‘Oh! Oh, God!’ Evie exclaimed, his vivid description stirring the whisper of a memory in her mind. Glancing away from him, for she feared that if she stared at him much longer she would explode with the force of her arousal, Evie saw a smear of red lipstick on the collar of his shirt that confirmed her recollection. ‘I asked you to tell me how to make it up to you, didn’t I?’

‘You sure did, darlin’, and there was only one thing on my mind. As you stood in front of me, I had the perfect view down into your cleavage, and what a glorious view it was! I hopefully demanded that you kiss me – and boy, did you kiss me!’

His dark eyes glazed over and his cock twitched impatiently against his stomach. Evie swallowed hard, running her hands through her hair with her spare hand as a low moan of desperate desire escaped her lips.

The sound evidently wrenching his thoughts back to the present, he grinned at the sight of her discomfort. ‘You wanna skip the explanation, Evie, and get back to the sex?’

She shook her head, her mouth too dry to speak.

His smile only widened and he winked at her as he continued. ‘`S’okay, I can wait for a few more minutes. Where was I? Oh, that’s right – you kissed me, Evie, and I kissed you back. Damn, but it was incredible! I knew then that I was going to have you, darlin’, for I wasn’t going to let a woman who could do that with her tongue slip away from me. So I literally swept you off your feet – please tell me that you remember that?! I was damned proud of myself; thought it was quite the impression of the dashing romantic hero.’

‘Very Mr. Rochester,’ Evie whispered, her heart racing as random images began to flash and writhe through her mind, a memory of the man now in front of her lifting her into his arms and striding through the party, kissing her all the while with a furious passion.

‘That’s exactly what you said then, darlin’!’ he said delightedly. ‘Then the memories are starting to come back to you?’

‘I – I think so!’ Evie reddened as she looked down at her bare breasts, remembering the fate that had befallen her favourite bra.

‘Yeah – sorry about that, Evie,’ he murmured, though the wide grin that he still wore belied his words. ‘But when we sat down and you straddled my lap like that, I could see straight down your dress again and I was desperate to get my hands on those glorious tits of yours. I didn’t realise that it would tear so easily. But you forgave me, didn’t you darlin’? The very second that I cupped your tits in my hands and touched those teasing little nipples that had been peeking out at me you forgave me!’

‘How could I not when you were doing such things to my body?’ Evie could barely breathe under the force of all the memories that were returning to her with his words, and she stared hungrily into his dark eyes. ‘I never knew that...’ she trailed off, her blush deepening as he stared unblinkingly back at her.

‘That your tits were so wonderfully sensitive? Guess you’d just been waiting for the right man to show it to you, darlin’,’ he replied quietly, that one slender eyebrow still arched in a way that was alone enough to make Evie’s heart skip a beat. ‘You want me to stop talking and get back to the good stuff now that you remember me, Evie?’

Tempting though the idea of the beautiful stranger slamming his cock into her again was, Evie found that hearing him describe what had passed between them was the most erotic thing that she had ever experienced. Deliberately reaching across with her spare hand to touch her breasts behind the sheet that was still covering them, she shook her head as his eyes widened. ‘Carry on – please,’ she murmured, sucking in a sharp breath and beginning to writhe against her own hand.

Breathing far too heavily for one who was stretched out on a bed, the man visibly shuddered. ‘Damn, you’re so beautiful, Evie!’ he drawled softly, shaking his head in wonder. ‘You’ve distracted me again though, darlin’ – remind me where I was?’

‘I was sat across your lap, leaning back against you and kissing you as you slipped your hands into my dress,’ she told him with a loud moan, unable to resist the compulsion to pinch sharply at her nipples just as he had done the previous night.

‘Darlin’, you’re killing me!’ he groaned, staring greedily at the way that her hand was working against her breasts behind the sheet. With a great effort, he wrenched his eyes away to look back into her face again. ‘I couldn’t hold myself back, Evie; the way that you reacted to me thrilled me so much that I knew that I had to have you then. The back door was open, do you remember? All the naughty boys and girls had been smoking in the garden, but there was no-one out there then. I pushed you off my lap –’

‘And we ran hand in hand into the garden,’ she supplied, no longer able to fight the urge to let her hand drift downwards, away from her breasts in search of her clitoris. If she didn’t reach her orgasm within the minute Evie feared that she would break down completely. Throwing her head back, she began to work her fingers against her clit, teasing at it and rubbing it with a loud cry of pleasure as the man’s hips rose from the bed.

‘Evie, darlin’!’ he began brokenly, reaching out for her, but she shook her head again.

‘Tell me what you did to me!’ she begged. ‘Tell me!’

‘Fine, you wicked tease, just so long as you realise that when I’m through I’m going to fuck you so hard that you won’t know what’s hit you, darlin’!’ he growled, his face contorting with the effort of holding himself back.

‘I like the sound of that!’

‘Damn it!’ Breathing more heavily than ever he fell silent for a few moments, clearly struggling to compose himself, for his eyes were squeezed tightly shut and his hips were still pumping softly up and down into the air, drawing Evie’s attention back to the deliciously rock-hard cock that was pulsing with such impatience.

‘So,’ he said hoarsely as his eyes flew open once more, his accent growing thicker by the moment. ‘So I threw you to the ground, Evie; that must have been when those damned cigarette butts got into your hair. I knew that you wanted me just as badly as I wanted you, and I knew that you were ready for me, darlin’! So I spread your legs and pulled away your panties – they’re probably in the garden still, you know – and you proved me right, didn’t you? You were dripping wet, Evie, completely ready for me; and you were splendid, darlin’, so beautiful!’

He fell silent again and Evie moaned in frustration, her fingers still working rapidly against her clit as she felt the irresistible pull of her orgasm beginning to build. ‘And then what did you do?’ she demanded as his hand tightened around her arm. ‘Don’t stop!’

‘You know what I did, Evie! I can see from the flush of your skin and the way that your body is yearning for my cock again that you remember it all! I knelt down in front of you, darlin’, and unzipped my jeans. I pulled my cock out as you writhed on the damp ground, begging me to fuck you.’

‘And you did!’

‘Hell yes I did! I couldn’t hold back Evie, not when you were begging so sweetly for my cock inside your body. I pinned you to the ground and I drove my cock into you as your legs wrapped around my waist – and I swear to you, darlin’, that I’d never wanted anyone as much as I wanted you then! You came for me, didn’t you; with just a few strokes of my cock I had you screaming out, sobbing as your orgasm ripped through your body!’ he declared triumphantly, reaching down and wrapping his free hand around the shaft of his cock as he spoke, pumping it up and down with a loud groan.

‘I’d never felt anything like it!’ Evie swore, sobbing again as she thrust her fingers into her pussy, gliding them effortlessly in and out and pushing down against her hand.

‘No, and that’s why you clung to me, darlin’, digging your pretty nails into my back as I came hard, and even as I was coming still you were begging me to come home with you! And how could I possibly resist you, Evie, as much as I knew that I should? We stole another bottle of wine from the kitchen –’

‘And we came back here –’

‘And I fucked you again, and again, and again, until eventually we passed out here in your bed!’ he finally finished, rolling onto his side to stare at her, his dark eyes burning with lust as his words brought Evie to her orgasm again.

Crying out with astounded pleasure, each fresh wave of her orgasm seemingly even more forceful than the one before, she slumped down against the mattress as her body jerked uncontrollably, black spots swimming in front of her vision.

‘There you go, darlin’,’ he crooned softly, laying his hand against her face and winding his fingers through her hair. ‘There you go! Well, I never knew that I could bring a woman to orgasm with my voice alone! But I think now, Evie, that it’s my turn.’

‘W-what?’ she whispered unsteadily, still fighting to catch her breath as the last throes of her orgasm still burned ferociously in her core.

‘Drop that sheet that’s covering your lovely tits, darlin’, and crawl over here to climb onto my cock again!’ he demanded hoarsely, yanking on her arm to drag her towards him as she obediently let go of the sheet.

‘But who are you?!’ Evie pleaded, allowing him nonetheless to pull her up against his naked body. ‘I still don’t remember who you are!’

‘I am yours, Evie! Now please, darlin’, spread your beautiful legs for me and sit on my cock!’ Pushing him onto his back, Evie stared down into his face, desperation etched clearly upon it as he met her gaze. ‘Please, darlin’!’ he begged. ‘Just once more, please!’

Evie couldn’t deny him, not when what he was begging for was what she so badly craved. Leaning forwards, she rested her palms against the muscles of his chest as he reached out and took firm hold of her hips. ‘Do it,’ she whispered, urging him on as her hips already began to rock against his, for she could feel the tip of his cock twitching against her opening. ‘Do it!’

‘Do what, darlin’?’ he gasped, tormenting her as he held back.

‘Fuck me! Please, I need you – fuck me now!’

He smiled up at her and Evie’s breath caught in her throat, tears filling her eyes for a reason that she could not understand. His teasing smile faded away, but then with a loud groan he thrust upwards and buried his cock in her pussy, and she could think of nothing but how wonderful – and how right – it felt.

‘Damn it all, Evie, I swear down that you’re perfect!’ he said heavily, cursing under his breath as she slowly straightened up again and lifted herself up before driving herself back down again with all the force she could muster. Reaching up, he took her breasts into his hands as she began to ride his cock, and just the touch of his impossibly gentle fingers on her nipples was enough to build up that clenching, throbbing ache in her core once more.

Making no effort to stifle the loud moans that were streaming forth from her lips, Evie bounced wildly up and down as he met her movements with answering thrusts of his own, his hands still on her breasts. His caresses were becoming rougher and more urgent, rolling her nipples between his fingers, but Evie found that the rougher he was with her, the more she was enjoying it.

‘D-don’t...’ Evie shuddered, her flush spreading down to cover her breasts.

‘Don’t what, darlin’?’

‘Don’t stop!’ she sobbed, her movements becoming ever more frantic as she teetered on the brink of another blissful and explosive orgasm. ‘Oh God, please don’t stop!’

‘Are you gonna come again for me, Evie?’ he demanded, twisting her nipples and wrenching another astonished cry of pleasure from her swollen lips. ‘Scream for me when you come, darlin’, scream as loud as you can – I want to make you scream!’

He was now driving his cock into her with such force that she could barely stay seated, only the tight grip of her thighs around his hips keeping her in place as his thrusts sent her body flying up into the air. Evie shifted slightly to adjust the angle of his strokes, and that proved to be all that she needed.

Just as he had demanded, her throaty screams echoed around the tiny bedroom as she collapsed on top of his body, burying her face in his shoulder. He was still thrusting wildly into her pussy as she clung to him, the force of her orgasm so strong that she could do nothing but submit to him as it tore through her, inflaming every last inch of her body with the purest of physical ecstasies.

‘Evie, darlin’, I don’t wanna come yet!’ he said desperately, wrapping his arms around her body and holding her tightly as he began to slow the pace of his thrusts. ‘But you feel so damned good around my cock when you come, darlin’, that I can barely hold myself back!’

She raised her head to look into his darkened eyes and her stomach lurched painfully, but before she could think on it through the haze of her orgasm he rolled over in one fluid motion, pushing her onto her back and pinning her to the bed whilst all the time keeping his cock slowly moving in and out of her pussy.

Evie whimpered helplessly, reaching up with shaking hands to wind her fingers through the jet black hair that fell with such casual elegance around his reddened face. ‘K-kiss me?’ she begged. ‘Please?’

He needed no further invitation. His lips descended forcefully upon hers, searing them and pushing them apart with his tongue as she arched her back against him. The sensation of his lips against hers was even better than she had remembered it to be, and Evie moaned loudly into his mouth.

When he finally lifted his head and pulled his lips away from hers, he gathered her hands in his and pinned them above her head as he began to move inside her again with a torturous delicacy. ‘I – I still don’t even know your name!’ she gasped belatedly, beginning to writhe frantically against him as he buried himself inside her again and again, the pace of his thrusts finally picking up once more.

‘No, darlin’, you don’t,’ he agreed with a pained groan, and Evie was certain that a flash of sorrow passed across his contorted face. ‘And I wish that you could, Evie, more than you can possibly know!’

As soon as the hint of emotion had arrived, though, it had disappeared without trace, and he smiled triumphantly down at her again as he drew back his cock and slammed into her, driving her up the bed with the force of his thrusts. Matching his pace and rhythm, Evie raised her hips in time with his movements, pulling her legs back to wrap around his waist and draw his cock in further.

‘So, darlin’, do you think that I can coax another climax out of your beautiful pussy before I come?’ he teased, his low, drawling voice sending a shiver of delight through her body.

‘You can sure try – but please, won’t you tell me your name?!’

He shook his head, biting down hard upon his lower lip and pounding his cock into her, crushing her back into the mattress with the weight of his body on top of her. ‘I’m sorry, Evie, truly I am –’ he began to murmur, but as he spoke the shrill ringtone of a phone to the left distracted them both.

Evie rolled her head sideways to see a phone that she did not recognise on top of the sheets, vibrating and flashing demandingly. She reached out her hand, but the man shook his head. ‘Leave it, Evie,’ he growled. ‘For God’s sake, leave it!’

A terrible suspicion taking hold of her, Evie froze where she lay. ‘Shit!’ she whispered, staring up at him in horror. ‘Oh my God, please tell me that you aren’t married!’

‘Do you really think I’d be here fucking you and risking everything if I was married?!’ he spat, slamming his cock into her as his lips curved back into a furious snarl. ‘Evie, darlin’, I swear to you that I’m not married – now ignore the damned phone and come for me one more time!’

Evie’s eyes flickered uncertainly to the phone again, and with an impatient curse he reached out to knock it off the bed. Before he did so, though, she caught the briefest glimpse of the caller’s name – and it was not a woman’s. Gasping with giddy relief, the terrible knot of tension that had formed in her stomach unwound and she forced herself to forget everything but the man whose cock was still moving within her, driving her inescapably towards yet another orgasm.

‘That’s it, darlin’,’ he murmured as the phone finally fell silent. Releasing her wrists, he slipped his arms underneath her to draw her up against his chest. ‘‘You’re gonna come for me again, Evie, aren’t you?’

She nodded breathlessly, for every thrust that he was making was bringing it ever closer. ‘I’m so...so nearly there!’

‘Good girl, darlin’! I’m trying, but I can’t hold back much longer, not when I want you as badly as I do, Evie – if you’re gonna come for me, you’d better do it quickly!’

Desperate for the release that she knew her orgasm would bring, Evie passionately kissed his throat as she tightened her legs around his waist and forced his cock ever deeper into her pussy, revelling in his loud gasp of pleasure. He began to shudder violently on top of her, his breath coming in short pants, signalling how near his own orgasm was.

Evie screamed again, sobbing out her overwhelmed exhilaration, for with one final deep thrust he had collapsed on top of her in the very same instant that she too reached her climax. Exhausted by the sheer force of all that she felt, her eyes rolled back in her head.

Resting her head against his shoulder, she felt herself begin to drift away as he murmured incomprehensible words of passion into her ear, planting a line of gentle kisses along her skin as he spoke. Secure in his arms, as crazy as it seemed, she gave in to the fatigue that was fighting to claim her, falling asleep before she could feel the solitary tear that fell from his left eye and splashed onto her face.

When she woke up, he was gone. All that remained was the faintest trace of his scent still clinging to the sheets that they had shared, and Evie buried her face in their folds as tears began to roll down her face.

He was gone, and Evie knew with a hopeless conviction that she would never find anyone like him again. 


Kate x

Friday, 19 August 2011

Censorship - a ticking time bomb?

I’m currently editing Jake Bannerman’s first full-length novel, ‘Family of Dog: The Harvest’. Though it isn’t scheduled for release until December 24th, there’s already a massive storm brewing around it; just yesterday a well-known website who had been sponsoring it were forced to pull their support after the number of complaints they received about their sponsorship.

And do you know what? No-one but the author, the publisher and I have even read the damned book yet! All they know is the few brief snippets that have been revealed and the outline of the story, and that’s been enough for people to rage against it.

Perhaps I’m a little defensive because I consider the author to be a close friend and I want ‘Harvest’ to succeed with as much fervour and passion as I devote to any of my own stories, but I’ll confess that I found myself more than a little angry that people are so outspoken against what is, after all, a work of fiction!

Some of the greatest literary works of all time have found themselves censored or banned completely, from the Bible to ‘Frankenstein’ taking in everything from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ‘Ulysses’, ‘Canterbury Tales’ and ‘1984’ in between.  What right, though, does anybody have to dictate what someone else can or cannot read? So many people have died in the battle for freedom of speech for all, and surely banning a book outright goes against that?

Censorship of any kind leads down a very dangerous path. I live in a city that was one of the focal points of the recent riots in Britain. I spent four evenings locked in my flat with my baby daughter listening to the sirens in the not-so-very distant streets, my eyes switching between the news channels and Twitter for the latest updates on what was happening. But one of our MPs, Louise Mensch, recently backed calls for Twitter and Facebook to be temporarily blocked to UK users should the riots start up again.

Now, Louise Mensch is a highly-educated and intelligent woman whom I have a great deal of respect for. I was astounded to read her views; via Twitter, of course! But isn’t that very action she is calling for something that we all railed against with such fury when we heard that China had taken such action (albeit for different reasons)? And when Egypt blocked Twitter in the midst of their rioting earlier this year, did we not all speak up for the rights of the Egyptian people to have free speech and know what was happening in their country?

British Prime Minister David Cameron was one of those with the loudest voices. He said at the time that social media was a tool for those who have had “enough of corruption, of having to make do with what they’re given, of having to settle for second best.” Now, whilst I want to make it very plain that I in no way support the mindless violence that took place during the British riots, a civilised society does NOT just break down the way that it did for no reason.

Perhaps it is not just the Egyptian, the Libyans, the Tunisians and the Chinese who have had enough of corruption. Attempting to silence the voice of the people and ignoring what they have to say is, in my opinion, a recipe for disaster.

Equally, though, a government has a duty to protect its citizens. If someone is attempting to incite violence or anything else that is illegal, be that in print or via Twitter, then surely it is only right that the police attempt to silence that voice? But then my fear is that once that is employed once, then it is only the smallest of steps to silence those who speak out against the government under the guise of ‘anti-terrorism’.

So is censorship something that should be employed or not? Frankly, I don’t know. I’ve been debating with myself for nearly twenty four hours now and I’m still no nearer to reaching a conclusion than I was when I first began thinking about it. But one thing I do know is that any form of oppression is a dangerous tool indeed, and any government or organisation that attempts to use it could be setting themselves up for a very large fall.

It might be a book that they ban today, but it could be your voice that is being silenced tomorrow...

Monday, 15 August 2011

What inspires you?

Today I wanted to share a few of the images and songs that I've drawn inspiration from of late - I love to take prompts from visual cues in particular, but well-written and emotional lyrics can also be enough to spark off a new idea.

I'd love to hear what inspires you to create...

And if you'd like to read the short story that was inspired by the last song, Maya's 'Wreck Me', then 'Let Me Count The Ways' is a free download at Smashwords with coupon code BE47Z.

Kate x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

How much of yourself do you give to your readers?

Whichever genre you choose to write in, I think it’s inevitable that a part of yourself is going to seep through into your work. After all, the stories that you write are crafted from your innermost thoughts and imaginings; it’s impossible to keep your opinions and feelings separated entirely from what you write.

However, with erotica in particular, I think it’s even more of an autobiographical process. I’ve been writing erotica on and off for five years now, and when I look back at some of my earlier efforts and compare them to what I write now, it’s very easy to see a maturation in both the writing and my personal tastes.

And it’s those personal tastes in particular which become so apparent when writing erotica – and, quite frankly, the part of yourself that becomes exposed when writing such stories is as personal as it gets.

I’ll admit now that I use a nom de plume (and as an aside, that sounds so much lovelier than the cold and harsh ‘pseudonym!) for all of my work, but I take the added step of publishing under a different name again too separate out my erotica from the rest of my work. The main reason for that is how important I think it is to protect my personal life and separate it from what I create.

Conversely, though, it is perhaps when writing and operating under my nom de plume – whichever one I’m using – that I feel the most freedom to be completely myself, for there are no expectations, no constraints. What I write in my stories, here, and on Twitter; in a way, I’m exposing myself completely.

Perhaps it’s dangerous to do so.  After all, when you write you are investing yourself emotionally in the tale that you create, and even more so when it’s of such an intimate nature.  Anyone criticism that might come your way is going to end up feeling like a personal hit, a criticism not only of your work but of your personality, your desires and what intrinsically goes into making you – well, you.

None of that is going to stop me from writing in the way that I do, of course; if I tried to write in a different style and restrain those parts of myself from creeping into my work, then I’d lose that emotional connection with it that is so vital. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that when those less than glowing reviews come in, they’re not intended (in the most!) as a personal attack, even though they can sting as sharply as if they were.

And to finish with a shameless self-plug, if you’d like to have a look at what I write – or even if you just want to see what turns me on these days! – my erotica can be found at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/isadorarose

Monday, 8 August 2011

How much is too much?


Love it or loathe it, it seems to be everywhere you look these days - filmmakers are relying upon shock tactics to seize the attention of their jaded audiences, so blasé and disenchanted with the tactics of old. 

But for me, it's the literary that entrances me as opposed to the visual portrayal of a story played out on screen. I have as keen an appreciation for what I see with my eyes as the next person, but when it comes to a tale to be told, I far prefer that to be sketched out on paper to take flight in my own imagination.

As I was working on a piece of horror last night, I had an internal struggle over precisely how detailed I should make that sketch. Should I put all my effort into exhaustively detailing even the smallest of details down onto the page, using the same tactics as those aforementioned filmmakers, or is it better for an author to trust in their reader and allow the story to come to life in their mind, even if by doing so it might not be quite as you intended it to be?

Does it even matter so long as the reader enjoys the story?

I debated with myself until late into the night, and then finally, earlier this morning, I reached a conclusive answer by approaching the question as a reader, not only an author. What I love most when reading a story is becoming engrossed in it, watching the characters and the storyline come to life in my head. If the author is overly florid or extreme in their descriptions, then I find myself drifting away from the plot, and I think that when that happens, some of the psychological impact of what you read is inevitably lost.

Going back through the draft this morning, I pared down the gore until it was almost non-existent, and I found myself with a final edit that I felt worked far better as a horror tale.

So, which side of the fence do you come down upon? Are you convinced that for a reader to be truly scared in this modernised and doubting age, you simply have to throw everything at them? Or do you, like me, still trust in the reader's imagination to do your tale justice?

K x

Saturday, 6 August 2011

They came from out of the rain...the Fallen...

A snippet I found lurking in a forgotten corner of the hard drive this morning - may well build it up into a complete short story. It's an intriguing prompt, I think!

The sound of violent drops of rain hammering against the window pane drew her attention. She rose to her feet and went to stare out into the secluded garden. The faint rumble of thunder in the distance held her focus momentarily, but as she counted silently in her head, awaiting the inevitable flash of lightning with a ripple of anticipation, a movement out of the corner of her eye wrenched her gaze away from the gathering storm.

The woman watched in horrified fascination as the ballpoint pen she had left on the table rose into the air, quivering from side to side before it descended, hovering instead over the paper she had carelessly discarded there earlier in the day.

Barely believing the evidence of her own eyes, she crossed the room on shaking legs and leaned over the table, staring incredulously at the pen as it began to scratch out some marking on the blank page – markings that were, to her amazement, beginning to form words. Taking a seat, she clasped her hands tightly in her lap and sat back to read the words that were being written.

Another one to add to the list of plot bunnies eager to be unleashed....

K x