No, not like that. At least not that I'm admitting. No, I am pleased to announce that my first novel, Maestro, is now available in a handsome trade paperback edition!
You can buy the book here... or just go look at the cover. :) Please click through on it if you're a mind - at least it will show interest and that's never a bad thing.
I read some advice the other day for writers who have blogs to the
effect of, "Don't write about writing. It's boring." There's something
to that, but I feel like putting down some thoughts about characters. If
it bores you, go buy one of my books and read that instead. They're not
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW FOR "... AND ALL HIS HEART'S DESIRES." IF YOU DON'T LIKE TO HAVE THE ENDING OF A BOOK SPOILED BEFORE YOU READ IT, GO BUY IT AND READ IT BEFORE YOU CONTINUE.
finished my next novella last night (NOTE: this was written about a week before the post was actually published to avoid spoiling an unreleased book.)
and I was really surprised at where it ended up. It turned out to be a
rather tender romantic ending between the main character and the woman
who was created to be his antagonist. I thought for sure she was going
to try to kill him, but she wouldn't do it. She believed in him and
since she did, he turned into the kind of character that was worth
believing in. I'm not too upset about this as it made for a really
wonderful final scene in my opinion. "There are other powers in this
world besides [Darkness] and evil," kind of thing.
I kind of wonder if this was some kind of subconscious response to my last two stories, which got a lot darker than I thought they would. I mean, I doubt I'll ever do really nasty
(as in, say, mutilation or cannibalism or anything like that) scenes.
But the themes of control that I explore in my stories often lead to
some pretty dark places. Half the fun of control is overcoming
resistance: without resistance, there is no victory. You could write a
control story with freely given consent on all sides, but it would just
be a kinky love story. There's nothing wrong with kinky love stories but
that's not what I do. (Would you pay for 'em? I could start. Really. I
could. But sales are gonna have to go up. :) )
And besides, one of the things that trips my
particular trigger - and I know I'm not alone in this from discussions
with others - is that sense of helplessness, that gradual realization
by the controlled that they have lost control. That probably
doesn't say anything good about my psyche, but none of us, as a wise
woman once said, can help the way we're made. And I for one find that
venting it through writing, taking control and using it
ruthlessly, helps me maintain a more even keel in the real world. It
probably works on the same principle that access to pornography actually
makes sexual violence go down in a given environment. The less
repression, the less buildup. The less buildup, the less neurosis or
even psychosis that will develop in a given individual. Sure, we'll
always have wackjobs who are just, for whatever reason, broken,
and some of these wackjobs will have enormous pornography collections
(or enormous Bible collections, or enormous Hello Kitty collections, or
whatever.) But that is a symptom, not a cause.
once I let out these impulses - which have always been inside me, I
can't remember a time when impulses of domination and control weren't
part of my sexuality - through writing or reading, I don't feel more
inclined to do something unspeakable, I feel less inclined. Getting down
and rolling around in it in my imagination lightens the tension.
back to my thoughts on characters, once I let out some of my darker
tensions, I find myself going back to writing less brutal or selfish
characters and producing stories which have happier endings. The Shape of Her Desires is a quasi-romance story: after I wrote that, I had an urge to produce something darker and more primal. So in At His Discretion
the controller is an absolutely amoral (well, not entirely, but close)
selfish bastard who doesn't care whose feelings he hurts as long as he
gets what he wants. In fact, not only does he enjoy humiliating people, he enjoys making other people enjoy humiliating people. That's pretty darn low, on certain scales. But it came up a bit in A Matter of Trust
in that while the controller in that story does celebrate his victory
over his antagonist pretty viciously in some ways (somewhat justified by
the facts that a) he's not entirely human and b) she had just tried to
kill him) he still doesn't use his power to actively hurt her. In fact,
he uses it to reduce the enormous consequences of her loss to her
And now it's come up quite a bit more in ...And All His Heart's Desires,
my new story, in that it's his realization that he's misusing his power
that convinces the main character that something is wrong in the first
place. The main character and his antagonist just refused to accept the
inevitability of corruption. It was almost like they were telling me,
"No, no, it doesn't have to be this way. The power of control
doesn't have to spiral down into darkness. People can rise up even above
the ultimate temptation if they just believe they can." Whether that's
actually true, I don't know. Lord Acton certainly didn't think so and
his quote about absolute power gets quoted so much I have to think most
people believe he was right. But sometimes the characters won't go along
with it despite their creator, your humble correspondent, having a
pretty jaundiced view of human nature. I find that kind of inspiring.
Thanks for reading... I'd love to hear comments from people either here or by email.
My tenth erotic book, ... And All His Heart's Desires, is now available for purchase on Smashwords. (It's been uploaded to Amazon and Barnes and Noble - it should be available there within several hours.)
Click on the picture or this text to go to the Smashwords page for ... And All His Heart's Desires
It's a surprisingly romantic story (it surprised me) about an archaeologist who discovers a lost temple in India. Pretty standard Adventure Story material... but this is the Dreams of Control universe. You know it's not going to be that simple.
Back cover blurb:
Archaeologist Jonathan Chambliss has made the find of a lifetime - a lost temple of Rati, the Indian goddess of sex. But what he finds inside will change him forever. Touched by the power of Rati Herself, no woman can resist him... not that they want to! From beautiful Bengali women to shy but passionate American librarians, Doctor Chambliss can literally have his pick.
Now it's a race against time for a beautiful and mysterious woman who knows Jonathan's secret. Will he choose the power of Rati, or the love of merely-mortal Punita? Or... does he have to choose at all?
Note that later today a post about characters and the writing process that contains a fairly major spoiler for this book will go live on this blog. You have been warned!
I finished my next novella, ...And All His Heart's Desires, last night, but it can't go up for sale until next weekend. It'll be available Saturday. It's a romantic story of supernatural mind control, the kind kids like! As a special bonus, it has hot librarian sex. NOBODY can resist hot librarian sex. And I mean nobody.
I just wrote a long blog post about characters and mind control themes, but it has a pretty major spoiler for ...And All His Heart's Desires, so I took it down for now. It'll go up next Monday after the book goes live.
Just a quick note: my first three books - Maestro, Awakening, and The Reunion - are now off KDP Select lockout and can be purchases at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. Click the links in the right-hand column to go to these fine retailers and pick them up today!
As promised, a hot little story called Caught In His Web is now available on Smashwords, for free, to thank our readers for Unspeakable Publications' best sales month ever in August! Click the picture or the link to download it or just read it online.
Every month that we break our all time sales record for paid titles sold (no, it doesn't count to download five hundred copies of His Lucky Break and other free titles, sorry. :) ) I'll publish a free short story set in the Dreams of Control universe. I'm pretty happy with this one and it's very open ended. We may see more of Hiddendepths in days to come... IF you keep buying the books.
Thanks again for your support, and enjoy the book!
Please note that I am standardizing the price of all my books: except for His Lucky Break, which will remain free, and Maestro, which is a full-length novel and will remain at $3.95, all of them will be priced at $2.99 by tomorrow. So if you see the price is still lower today, buy it now!