Top 2 Bottom Reviews has an interview with me today, so hop on over and read it. I'm talking about reading, writing, and... well, that's pretty much all I'm talking about. Since that's pretty much all I do:).
And yes, I'm back from holiday and have some, uh, interesting photos to show you. So very interesting. I'm not going to reveal anything, but: Men in kilts. Oh, yeah.
And have it published with Torquere Press?
Then read an interview with president of Torquere Press, Shawn Clements, at examiner.com. Among other things, she's talking about what Torquere's looking for in a submission.
Oh, and she mentions her favorite piece of erotica art: The Barberini Faun at Munich Glyptothek. I looked it up, and it's amazing:
I really think I did - finished the second book about Tom and Mischa, that is. This has taken me incredibly long time; I think it went wrong when I decided that this book was going to be a bit... Well, I thought "better", but I realize as I write this that I hadn't really thought about what "better" meant. Which is your recipe for if not disaster, then a very long work process right there.
But now it's done, and I'm going to send it in. I really have to keep myself for adding "after just reading through it one more time." I have already done that a thousand times so I'm probably completely blind by now - and if I know my editor, she's going to have a suggestion or two:).
Now I'm going to enjoy my holiday (which means working a lot, but working on the stuff that I like. Okay, and lying around in the sun a bit, as well. It is a holiday, after all!). Enjoy your Sunday!
People often ask me where I get my inspiration, and oddly enough, this is actually a hard question for me. "Daydreaming" is such a weird answer - even if it's true. I find most of my stories by playing through a scene in my head. Sometimes it works, and I spend hours elaborating; sometimes it dies within minutes. Often I come back to it several times, and then suddenly I realize that there might be a story here.
Another way is reading the science pages in the newspaper. Again, it sounds strange, but "what if"s are a great starting point for me. It worked really well with Himiko, and I've just begun another story that was born the same way.
Then there are the mails from readers asking for more stories about one character or another. Funnily enough, my first reaction is often saying no. Even as I'm composing my answer ("No, I can't write a story about Jeff, because that would just be him sitting at home Saturday Night"), I sometimes begin thinking. And yes, Jeff got his story and you can read it here on my website. I might have another one for him as well.
Right now I'm thinking about something for Torquere's charity, though. The theme is leather, and my mind is pretty empty. Except for the suggestion I got in that mail yesterday - or maybe Jeff could finally...
So many men, so little time to write them!
Sometimes writing takes incredibly long time - or, in this case, editing. I'm working on the sequel to A Russian Bear, and Tom is getting better at his karate. Better than I am, in fact.
That means that I've just spent a long time researching that incredibly difficult kata I once learned at a seminar (or, rather, attempted to learn, but let's not dwelve on that). That in itself takes quite a lot of time (I didn't know that you may use it for your second dan grading examination, for example). But then there are all the other interesting things you find when you Google something: Original videos featuring Kanazawa, syllabus, and oh, I know that guy, I just have to see what he's been doing lately...
In other words, research is interesting, but time-consuming. And then we're not even talking about the stalling. But hey, I found a yummy-looking bread recipe, so at least I won't be starving.
In order to make sure that I'm not giving either Mischa or Tom a split personality, I'm actually reading A Russian Bear today before I begin editing the sequel. And it's really weird.
First of all, there's the familiarity; I've spent so much time on this story that I almost know it by heart. And then again; it's also weirdly unfamiliar because I haven't seen it for so long. That makes for a strange combination.
Then there's the remorse. All of the "why didn't I change that" and "why's he using that word so soon" and "God, I need to clean that up in the next edition". I am grateful that I've learned a lot since writing ARB, but it's still kind of frustrating to witness your own flaws like that.
But still, I like those guys, and I need to make them as good as possible, so I'll keep reading. Even though it makes me grind me teeth now and then...
I just had Tom and Mischa get into a giant fight. I'm writing the last chapter of the sequel to A Russian Bear at the moment, and our heroes have a lot of fights. Some of them are quite serious, but this one was just delightful to write. Fighting really comes naturally to those guys...
Funnily enough, it also comes naturally to me. Not in real life; I'll do whatever I can to avoid serious confrontation in real life. But when I'm writing, some situations are easier than others. Sex scenes are easy, and so is dialogue - those are apparently the situations in which my characters really show their true nature. A good argument seems to combine the intensity of the sex scene with the back-and-forth of the dialogue, and I really like that. I simply feel like I get to know my characters better when they fight!
That doesn't mean that I'm going to deprive our heroes of their well-deserved happily ever after. Quite on the contrary - I've just written the most wonderful scene. Can't wait to share it! And it seems that the end of the novel is in sight now...
Well. The good kind of Hell, if such a thing exists. I worked my ass off this week on my Real Life job, and it was so much fun - but dear God, it was exhausting. I actually felt hung over yesterday from sheer fatigue.
I can't really write when I'm this worn out, which is a shame, because writing gives me a lot of energy - and it's been months since I've really been able to do it. I had a day off last weekend, and I read through my sequel to A Russian Bear. It was so long time since I'd last had my hands on it that I actually caught myself thinking "oh, wonder what's Mischa's going to do now?" I'm really looking forward to having more writing time!
But, in the meantime, I used my semi-comatose time to read some really good stories. I've read a couple of books by Kate Sherwood - Dark Horse and Out of the Darkness - that I really, really loved. A warning: They will make you cry, but God, they're good. Alas, yesterday I found out that the wonderful author actually has three free stories out about the same characters! I've read two of them so far, and they're excellent.
You can read more about Kate Sherwood here.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell that the lovely Kate plans to give us more free stories! Read more on her website.
You either love it or you hate it. I do both.
Or rather, I used to love it - since I'm a nerd - but then I had to edit two books pretty much back to back. That was incredibly stressful - especially since I got sick halfway through and Real Life was incredibly demanding at the same time. As a matter of fact, I might have sworn never to write another book again sometime during that process...
Luckily, I don't seem to keep my promises. At the moment, I'm editing "Himiko: Warrior", and it looks pretty good. Of course, I can't see that; I'm obsessing over all the flaws (some of them only visible to me). But, taking a step back, I think this last part is going to round off the story nicely. "Himiko: Bonding" was all about the relationship between Matt and Pietr, while "Warrior" is far more dramatic. I still have an issue or two that makes it more sigh-fi than sci-fi, but there you go. I probably wouldn't be the overachieving perfectionist I am if that wasn't the case!
... so incredibly close to finishing Himiko: Warrior. And I can't seem to figure out what's missing; all I know is that there's still something I need to do. But I can point my finger to it, and it's driving me crazy. I've even tried to let the book be for a month or so (okay, that was partly out of an attempt to survive working way too many hours a week). That helped me to see that I am, in fact, almost finished. Now I'm just waiting to get some sort of epiphany... It's even more annoying because Himiko: Bonding was never meant to stand alone; they should really be read together. Well, I promise to keep working on it!
I read and I write - everything from corporate to kink. My naughty fictional friends are always there to make my life interesting. And pester me, of course. Pesky creatures.