Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do you read Historicals?

I was having an interesting conversation the other day about historical fiction, and I was genuinely surprised when I was told by a friend that she didn't read it. 

As a history nerd, I was SHOCKED. I blame my love of history on not have a television for a period as a child, which led to looking to alternate sources for stories. That, and a mother who loved history even though she failed it miserably at school. (Hi, Mum!) Because it occurred to me at a very early age that history, literally, is EVERY STORY IN THE WORLD EVER. And how is that not awesome? 

But my friend told me that she finds it difficult to invest emotionally in historical fiction, since the protagonists -- had they lived -- would already be dead now. Which I can kind of understand, but also I can't. Because If I only stuck to stories that might be real and happening now, wouldn't that restrict me to contemporary, realistic fiction? And if I did that, wouldn't I be missing out on a lot of great fiction? 

source
I love history, so I'm completely biased on the subject. I"m also currently writing another historical, so yeah, I've got a horse in this race.

I love when the world-building in historical fiction is vivid, and I love when the writer gets the details right. On the flip side, I HATE it when they get it wrong. I read an m/m historical recently where there was a very big Public Display of Affection, and it threw me out of the story straight away. Because no way, just no fucking way, would two men kiss and grope each other in public in the middle of the day in Victorian London. Just no. 

You're writing history, not rewriting it. Just...just don't. 

Of course if happened. The proof is all over Victorian Gentlemen in Love. But it happened in private, it happened underground, and these men must have lived in constant fear of discovery. Let's not diminish that by jemmying in PDAs that couldn't have happened. 

Wow. That turned into a slight rant, didn't it? So let's get back to the point: Do you read historical fiction, or does it just not work for you? Whatever your answer, I'd love to know your reasons. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Dance!

You guys! You guys, LOOK! 



The Island has won first place in the Goodreads M/M Romance Members Choice Awards, for best Slave / Dub Con / Kidnapped story. 

And I am absolutely stoked!

Thank you to everyone who read and loved The Island, and who took the time to vote. It's a great end to 2012, a great beginning to 2013, and a great reminder that I'm not just doing something I love, I'm doing something that other people love as well. 

You know what I have to do now, right? THIS: 




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A joke I have to work in somewhere

Today I am not here. I am actually at The Wicked Muse Tavern, with my muse Vimh. I'm drinking cider: Rekorderlig. If I keep name dropping it so much, they'll eventually send me a case, right? Much like the famous Irish writer Brendan Behan did, when Guinness hired him to come up with a slogan and left him alone with a few cases. They came back the next day to find he'd written "Guinness makes you drunk." 

My slogan will build on that. It will be "Rekorderlig makes you drunk enough so that you won't care if your muse embarrasses you in the Tavern." 

I will now sit back and await the call from the PR department. 


Is it Christmas again already? 

Meanwhile, here's a joke (well, more of an insult) that I am determined to work into a novel somehow. I work in an environment that is a little bit...um...colourful. Our office talk is not exactly normal office talk. I think it falls somewhere between building site talk, pub talk, and Stag Night talk.

This zinger is courtesy of my boss, who will remain nameless. 

"What's that big bulge in your pants?" he asked a colleague he was having a heated discussion with, then deadpanned: "Oh, it's your hand."

Sometimes my whole workplace is NSFW. 
And sometimes I love my job. 



Monday, January 21, 2013

Guest interview with Nona Raines


Hi everyone! Last month I was lucky enough to be interviewed on the fantastic Divas of Desire blog, by the wonderful Nona Raines. So now I’m returning the favour, with some tricky questions for her to answer!

I’ll start with what is becoming my standard question. When you look out the window, what can you see? (I ask this because I get very excited if people answer “snow”. Because I live in the tropics, and it’s hot, and snow seems very exotic to me! ) So, what’s outside your window?

Well, right at the moment, we're having a few unseasonably warm January days. It's been in the forties (degrees Fahrenheit) so all the snow we've had has been melting. It's muddy and yucky. My dog Iris and I have to watch our step when we go out for our walks. But I have no doubt that more snow will return soon. Winter here in upstate New York usually lasts well into March.

Iris...how gorgeous is this face?
The temperature here has been in the forties as well. Celsius, unfortunately. On the plus side, I'm going to the beach tomorrow! 

How long have you been writing, and do you remember the first story that you wrote?

I've been writing, oh God, for years and years. What I remember about my first story (in first grade) was that my teacher put it on the bulletin board and it had something to do with a gas station on the Moon. It was my first and last attempt at science fiction!

A year or two later, I wrote a story called "Old Ned" about a circus horse who was too old to do tricks anymore, so the cruel owners were going to sell him to a glue factory (I don't know where I got that gruesome idea from). But then he saved some people from a fire and became a hero! No more glue factory for Ned. Thus began my love for an HEA.

That sounds awesome! I want to read about a horse escaping his cruel fate! Your most recent release, His and Hers and Hers is a contemporary m/f/f romance. I’ve yet to write a ménage relationship. Were there any extra challenges in writing a ménage, and in giving each character a separate and unique voice?


That was a challenge, but also a lot of fun. I knew that Kyla was going to be the "in your face" and mouthy one, Cassie would be the standoffish one afraid of being hurt, and Jordan would be the calm, level-headed one. I enjoyed exploring their personalities and seeing things through their separate points of view.

I'd never written a full-length ménage romance before so it was interesting to explore why a loving couple would include a third person in their romance. Being with Cassie also exposes some of the cracks in their relationship while Cassie's experience with them forces her to face some of her deepest fears.

Another challenge was the love scenes. They're a lot easier to write when there's only one He and one She. When there's an extra one of either, you start going a little crazy with the pronouns. It can be a bit difficult to keep track of who's doing what to whom!

Lol! I write m/m -- I know all about the pronoun issues! I also love writing flawed (to the point of broken) characters, who are stronger than they might at first appear. For you, what makes a romantic hero or heroine?

I love to write about characters who are their own worst enemies. My stories don't feature criminals or law enforcement types. I don't write suspensers or thrillers so my hero and heroine aren't usually struggling against external "bad guys". My characters most often do battle with themselves. In order to win true love, they often have to overcome bad attitudes or habits that hold them back. That takes courage and honesty, which I feel are important qualities for a hero or heroine.

Courage and honesty...great answer! And here’s my most unfair question of all: of all the characters you have written, who is your favourite?

That's a hard one, indeed. Each of my characters holds a special place in my heart. But in His and Hers and Hers, Kyla is my favorite. She's the least like me. She's not afraid to shoot off her mouth and that sometimes gets her in trouble. But since I'm reserved, like Cassie, and something of a conciliator, like Jordan, I envy someone who can speak her mind and damn the consequences.

I'm the same. I love forthright people. What can readers expect from you in 2013?

Well, I've written a reunion-themed sensual romance that I'm currently subbing—we'll see how that goes. I'm currently working on a follow-up to my book Uncollared, this time featuring the character of Venetia. Her story has totally changed from what I originally envisioned! I have plans for other stories, but at the moment they're just plans, so not much to say there. At some point, I'd like to write a follow up to His and Hers and Hers, to see how Jordan, Kyla and Cassie have progressed in their relationship.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Lisa! It's been wonderful!

It sounds like a big year coming up. Thanks so much for coming along and answering my questions, Nona! 

Here is the blurb for His and Hers and Hers

Kyla Denster and Jordan Brougham are passionately in love. Kyla knows she's lucky to have a guy who uses all his tricks to keep her happy in and out of bed. Jordan knows he's lucky to have such a hot, adventurous girlfriend.

But neither of them knows that their best friend, Cassie DeSantis, wants them both. Cassie's painful past has taught her not to wear her heart on her sleeve.  She keeps quiet, afraid that revealing her feelings would mean losing the two people she cares for most.  Things change one night when an impulsive kiss leads to the three of them spending an incredibly hot night together.

When the couple wants more of Cassie, she leaps at the chance to be with them. But problems arise at her insistence that no one mention the L word and when Jordan and Kyla clash over how to deal with disapproving family.  Their triad relationship will only survive if they all stand together to prove that three is the perfect number—when all three are in love.


Excerpt:

     She heard Jordan’s low rumble and Ky’s giggle. Then Kyla’s voice came from the doorway. “Cassie.”
     Cassie’s mouth went dry. Kyla stood there wearing nothing but a tiny black thong and an impish grin. Her hard brown nipples pointed straight at Cassie and her generous breasts begged to be caressed and kissed. Cassie’s own nipples tightened in response.
     Kyla’s eyes flashed as though she knew exactly how turned on Cassie was. Her smile hitched a little higher. “Dessert is now being served. In the bedroom.”
     Cassie pushed back her chair and rose, her body tingling with anticipation. Kyla beckoned her with a crooked finger and Cassie followed her down the hall. When they reached the bedroom, Kyla stopped.
     “One thing. Entrance here requires special dress. Or undress, I should say.” She smiled. “Let me help.”
     Ky assisted as Cassie stepped out of her shoes, socks, and pants and peeled off her top. When she stood only in her bra and panties, Ky stepped in close. “I’ll undo your bra.” Her warm breath tickled Cassie’s neck, her bare breasts, and hard brown nipples teased Cassie’s skin as she wrapped her arms around Cass and unfastened her bra.
     “You can keep those on…” Ky traced her finger down the seam of Cassie’s pink bikini panties. “For now.”
     Cream drenched her pussy at the wicked promise in Kyla’s tease. Ky took her hand and drew her through the doorway. “Come on.”
     Jordan sat on the bed, in a pair of black briefs, already distended by his rising cock. Dark hair dusted his chest, and Cassie’s fingers itched to feel its texture, and the warm skin underneath. More than that, she wanted to caress the bulge that grew bigger the more she stared. His green eyes were bright, his expression dreamy. His smile, the smile she loved, still hitched up a little higher in one corner. “Hey, Cass. Ready for dessert?”

His and Hers and Hers is available from:

And you can catch up with Nona on Facebook, Twitter, and her Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Islands

So, I was rereading The Island last night, and I remembered these photos I took last time I was in Vanuatu. Okay, so The Island is set in Fiji, but I haven't been there since I was a kid. I remember being there for the coup (I don't recall which one) and waving to the army guy with the machine gun as we went to the airport. He waved back. 

But any inspiration I picked up on the beaches in Vanuatu applies to Fiji anyway. Beautiful islands, beautiful beaches, and the endless glittering blue of the Pacific. 

On his Fijian island, Lee collects sand dollars. So did I, in Vanuatu, but for much nicer reasons. My niece Meg was learning to count, so during the day we collected sand dollars and lined them up in the shower at night for her to count. 



Remember how Lee finds a green sand dollar? Here's one, next to an orange star fish: 



And these things were literally metres from our door. Get up in the morning, walk outside, and head straight into the lagoon. 

And the water around Vanuatu -- so blue. 



Here is the bungalow we stayed in for part of the trip. If you think the sand doesn't look as white and clean as it should on a tropical island, that's because this was on Tanna, and the sand here is black thanks to the volcano, Mount Yasur. At night you can drift off to sleep to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore and, in the distance, the rumbling volcano. You can visit the volcano as well, if it's safe, and walk to the top and watch the eruptions. Just magical. 


So our bungalow wasn't five star accommodation like Shaw's...


...but who needs that when you have this view from the hammock? 


You guys, if you ever get the chance to go to Vanuatu, take it! It is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  

***

Bragging time: I got an awesome review on Joyfully Jay for Dark Space. You can read it here.  Awesome reviews make me do a happy dance! You can see that h... no, no linking to that. I've still got my pride. Also, this particular happy dance was done in my oldest, shabbiest pyjamas. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Things I did instead of writing...

Okay, so I have a very cool job with a very cool boss, and on night work if nothing else is happening, we can pretty much do whatever we want to stay awake. One of my colleagues draws. Another one makes quilts. And I get my laptop out and write. At least, that's the plan. Sometimes it doesn't exactly work out that way. 

So here is what I did last night instead of writing: 

I ate way too many Barbecue Shapes. 

I played Words with Friends. 

I watched The Love Boat and laughed at the fashions. I watched JAG and laughed at the 'sploshions. And then I watched Seventh Heaven and didn't laugh at all. I hate those people -- nobody is that wholesome! 

I played Chuzzle. 

I cleaned out my handbag. 

source

"Shouldn't you be writing?" a colleague asked me. 
"I'm researching," I lied. 
She came and looked over my shoulder. "You're researching Plants vs Zombies?" 
"Um...yes?" 

I exchanged random text messages with a friend who came up with some brilliant ideas for sex scenes involving cowboys. 

I exchanged pictures of cowboys in various states of undress, none of which were particularly historically accurate but all of which were highly interesting. 

I thought a lot about cowboys. 

But I didn't write about them. 

Oh well. There's always tonight, right? 



Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's on your m/m wishlist for 2013?

So here's a sort of a wishlist for 2013, things I'd like to see more of in m/m, and things I'd like to see a lot less of as well. 

Dub-con. I do love me some dub-con. Blackmail stories are really doing it for me at the moment. I love the power games at play there, but I've yet to find one I really love-love. Any recommendations are welcome! 

Puppy play. Hot, cute, and at the same time weirdly humiliating...or so I thought. So often puppy play involves the big nasty Dom getting his rocks off by humiliating his sub, the the puppy play becomes -- and this may be the point, I guess -- dehumanising. The problem with dehumanising a character though, is that pretty soon I stop giving a damn about him. M/m needs more sweet puppy play...but J.A. Rock and I have got some of that covered... :) 

Humiliation. No apologies, I love it. But, like with the puppy play, it's a fine line. Cross it into dehumanisation, and you've lost me. 

Age play. Sometimes creepy, sometimes awesome. I want to read more of the awesome, please. 

More drag queens! But only if we also get to see what happens once the make-up comes off. 

Frat boys. Because they're young, cute, and a completely foreign species to me. We don't have frats in Australia, so all my working knowledges comes from movies and TV. So I basically know nothing. 

ANGST! MORE ANGST! I do love a book that puts me through emotional hell. As a writer, I'm a sadist. As a reader, I'm a total masochist. But it's totally subjective. A book that makes you cry might just make me roll my eyes and wish every character hurried up and died. And vice versa. Everyone's taste is different, which is what makes comparing opinions so much fun. 



And now for the things I'd like to see less of. 

I'd like to see less insta-love, but that's always been a pet peeve of mine. 

I'd also like to see less of what's become a staple in m/m -- the solo shower jerk-off. Now admittedly I have one of these in one of my WIPs, but ever since it was brought to my attention how common it is (thanks, Ami!) it's going to go. 

And while we're on cliches, why are so many Doms multimillionaires who do nothing else but hang out in mysterious sex clubs? Seriously guys, you don't get to be a multimillionaire without at least occasionally going to work. This year, I'd like to see more Doms with real jobs and mortgages, who have to stop off on the way home from the mysterious sex club to buy milk. 

And I hate -- and will always hate -- when a Dom is a Dom because he was abused, abandoned or unloved as a child. Or, worse, when a sub is a sub because he was abused, abandoned, or unloved as a child. Not every kink needs a nasty psychological trigger, and not every scene is a therapy session. Sometimes you just need what you need. It really can be as simple as that. 

What would you like to see more of in m/m? And what really annoys the hell out of you?