Ahh, it's so nice to be appreciated!
What a good evening this makes! A good chat with a friend, a good drink to end the day, and marvelous news: there's at least one reader out there who enjoyed my story!
If you don't know yet how narcissistic we writers can be, let me just tell you: although most of us would die rather than stand up in front of any kind of audience, we live for recognition, just like every actor on stage!
Thank you dear reviewer for your kind words: "the imagination and concept of the story was brilliant."
I may have more to tell about the planet Komentaron, but I'm not the swiftest of writers, and so I beg of you, arm yourselves with patience. Especially in years like this one, when my cousin needs my help and all the bad luck seems to be hitting her at once!
It's coming out on October 16 (that's next week)!
In the meantime, Otter Creations has made a book trailer for me. Here it is, enjoy!
And don't forget to visit my website for an excerpt.
Things started moving so fast I'm not ready for the launch! I'm in my virtual PJs, so to speak, but keep peeking in, I'm bound to come up with something to celebrate!
Please come in, and make yourselves comfortable. Today Anida Adler is coming to visit my parlor. Would you like a cup of tea? Or something stronger? Don't worry, there's enough room for everyone. Please don't be in a rush to leave. There's a cuddly prize for a lucky commenter at the end of Anida's tour!
Now let's hear what Anida can tell us about research and erotic writing. And keep on reading for a blurb and and excerpt from The Ancient, available now from Loose ID.
“In there. Yes. Yes, there. No, no wait. That’s not quite… I think a little to the left. Yes. Yes, yes, that’s perfect!” I was really pleased. My writing desk was now positioned in the ideal spot. When I lift my eyes from the screen now, I see a field where cows graze lazily on an abundant supply of green grass, the darker slopes of the Cooley Mountains in the background. After all the chaos of moving house, I am back to my first love: writing.
Not just any writing, mind you. I write romance and erotica. Before that, I focused on writing fantasy. I also indulge in non-fiction and poetry. You wouldn’t think so, but I do extensive research for all those genres bar the last. Yes, I do research for erotica, in two main areas.
The first is the most fascinating: setting. (And yes, I did write that sentence with a snigger. Keep reading, we’ll come (no pun intended) to what actually is the most fascinating area soon.) If I go through just the first page of my upcoming release, The Ancient (sound of trumpets here), I can identify numerous little details I had to go and make sure of before I could write the scene. The setting is France, four days after the D-day landing. Consider this little excerpt from page one:
“What’s up, Tiger?” Mark Whittaker stopped beside him. None of the other troops would call him by his nickname, adding an er to the obscure Gaelic name his Irish grandfather had insisted his parents give him: Tadhg. He glanced at his fellow soldier. Mark had stripped off his khaki shirt and wore his D-day assault jerkin over a vest that had once been white.
“I don’t like the look of that woman,” Tadhg said, resting a hand on the Webley in the holster at his side.
Quite simple, isn’t it? Look at the research that went into putting it together:
I always choose a name for my main characters carefully. In this case, I knew my hero was a sensitive, creative type. A poet. So I searched until I found the right name for him.
What, precisely, would a British officer have worn at that time? With this piece of information gathering I remember falling prey to a bad habit I often display. I get so fascinated with the details that I’ll spend an hour reading up about something that is not mentioned beyond one sentence in the book. I now know that soldiers participating in the D-Day landings were so heavily laden with equipment that many of them sank straight to the bottom of the sea when they got out of the landing craft, drowning before they’d fired a shot.
What would a soldier automatically do if he felt uncomfortable and threatened? Reach for his weapon, of course. And what kind of weapon would that be? Would an officer carry the same kind of side-arm as a private? It would be unforgivable if I accidentally put a German revolver into a British officer’s holster.
Now we come to the part everyone really wanted to know about when they read the title of the blog post: sex. Do I, as an erotica writer, research the finer details of bonking? And is this practical or theoretical research?
Personally, I think it would indeed be rather difficult for a virgin to write erotica. Not impossible, mind, but difficult. There is a realness to sex that I can’t see people truly grasping unless they have a flesh and blood person on hand (again, no pun intended). Or if they’ve had one before, of course, but if I’d put the sentence in the past tense, my unintended pun wouldn’t have worked.
Reviewing erotica has certainly given me some interesting ideas as well (my husband approves), though in truth, where terminology is concerned, I’ve learned more from publishers’ submission guidelines than any other source. “They don’t accept… what is that, anyway? Let’s open Google…um…oh. Ooookay. People do that? Ewww.”
All in all, therefore, I love the research aspect of writing erotica. It’s mentally and, yes, physically stimulating. It is also damn hard work, but I’m in the privileged position of doing a job that I love. It has every opportunity for making work fun.
Now where’s that research assistant of mine? “Oh, Husband…”
What would you do if you fell in love with the goddess of death?
June 1945 - Tadhg Daniels sees a woman clad in strange clothes and a feathered cloak, but she’s invisible to everyone else. He’s convinced his mind has been unhinged by the horrors of the D-day landings four days before, but when she appears to him again, the woman proves she is real. She is Morrigan, goddess of death, come to warn him his life is about to end.
Morrigan is disturbed by the man she meets. He looks in her eyes unflinching, while all others avoid her gaze. She’s never found such a strong will to survive in any of her charges before. He refuses to accept he’s going to die.
There is a way for Tadhg to cheat death, a secret Morrigan has guarded for millennia. Morrigan can save him if she takes him as her lover, but sex with the goddess of death will change him. He needs time to decide if he’s prepared to give up his humanity in order to be with her forever.
But Tadhg is not the only one who knows Morrigan’s secret. Someone else wants to take by force the gift she can bestow. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.
He hadn’t expected her to laugh. What he had expected he didn’t know, but not laughter. “What’s so funny?”
“You love me? You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Annoyance flared in his breast. “Enlighten me, then.”
She regarded him with a hard stare. “I’m a cynical, world-weary, chronically depressed goddess. Do you know what I feel when people blubber over farewells to loved ones?”
He shook his head.
“Irritation, Tadhg. I have no sympathy for humans’ emotions. When I discern the utter stupidity they allowed to rule their lives, all I want to do is throttle them, help them into the afterlife even faster than they’re due to enter it. It is no less than they deserve for wasting such a precious gift as life.”
“Oh.” He snapped his fingers. “That must be why you sat in the dark for hours feeling so depressed, you’d have killed yourself if you could.”
She turned from him, yanked a curtain away from a shelf, dropped it, and moved on to the next. “Ha!” She grabbed a bottle of wine. The cork sprang from the neck as if it was champagne. He didn’t miss the tremor of her fingers as she poured. “You think what you feel is love. How can that be? We’ve known each other no more than days, poet. Love is something that grows over years, like a strong oak.”
“And I know what I feel for you is the healthy sapling that will grow to a mighty tree.”
She swallowed half the glass and slammed it down on the table. “What you feel, human, is lust. No more, no less.”
“That is not true.”
“Oh?” She smiled. No trace of warmth in the gesture, she turned to him and put a hand on his shoulder. A tingle of awareness shivered over his skin. Slowly, she traced a trail over his chest, down to his navel. Warm, sweet sexual energy flooded his muscles, suffused his blood, and pooled in his groin. “What do you feel when I touch you, then? A warm sensation in your heart?”
Tadhg grabbed her wrist, pulled her body close, and brought his mouth down on hers. She stiffened in his grasp, but he put a hand on the nape of her neck and held her to him. He teased the seam of her lips with his tongue, nipped at her bottom lip until she opened for him. He plunged his tongue into her warm mouth, tasted the mellow redness of wine in an erotic sense deluge that added taste and fragrance to a mimic of the full possession of her body, which he truly desired. Morrigán moaned, and a flash of white heat exploded in Tadhg’s brain. He put his hands on her firm behind and lifted her from the floor, ground her pelvis into his taut sex. “That too,” he answered her question, stifling her no doubt snarky reply with a renewed onslaught against her defenses.
But in the meantime, Spring Rites is official!
It's officially coming soon!
It's on the coming soon page at The Wild Rose Press!
Patrick will be giving away an autographed copy of Where You Belong to one lucky commenter each week of his tour. So stay and visit a while, and leave a comment!
There's an excerpt from Where You Belong after Patrick's interview.
Orphaned at an early age, the closest people in Frost Devereaux's life are the free-spirited Frankie Maguire and her conniving twin brother Frank. Over the years Frost's life takes him from the lush fields of the Mideast to the burning heat of the desert to the sparkling promise of Manhattan. His heart, though, never strays far from the two people who have meant the most to him. Ultimately, Frost must decide where—and with whom—he belongs.
Patrick, welcome to Violetta's Fancy. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me. I'm quite fascinated by Frost Devereaux. You created more than just a book when you set out to tell his story. His biography looks like a webopedia entry, he's written stories that have taken on ebook form... Do you have any trouble keeping his writing separate from yours?
Actually some of his writing is mine—or was. The short stories that are included in the text are ones that I had previously written, except for the little 9/11-themed story that he writes. I have to admit that some of this was because I was lazy and didn’t feel like writing another short story when I already had a perfectly good one in my archives. But the ones I chose I feel fit the plot for those moments of the story, so it all worked out.
What was the original impetus to create the virtual life of Frost Devereaux? It is, after all, an enormous undertaking, and I understand you did it all yourself, didn't you?
Yes and this is one of those rare occasions where I can remember exactly where I was when it happened. I was flying on a plane from Detroit to Phoenix and I got to thinking about what kind of web page I could design for the book. Then I remembered I hadn’t designed a web page in nearly ten years, which is like prehistory in computing terms and I didn’t really have the money to pay anyone. So I got thinking that it would be great if I could just put the information on Wikipedia and let them deal with it. Well, I thought, why not? Except I thought Wikipedia might get mad at me, so I decided to make a fake Wikipedia page. As for “Wukipedia” I always like Fozzie the Bear on the Muppets, whose catch phrase was always “Wucka wucka.” And as they say, the rest is history.
Where did you find, and how did you decide on Frost's photo on his bio page?
It’s just a file from MS Clip Art. I can assure you it is not me, as he looks much better than me. I always wonder if someday the real person will stumble across the website and see his long-lost twin.
Where You Belong is straightforward fiction, but the work surrounding it and its main character is what pointy-headed academics call metafiction. Now that it's mostly there and is acquiring a life of its own, how do you feel about it? Can one aspect (the novel) be considered complete without the other (the Web content)?
I think the novel can easily survive without the web content. Though reading the history of towns like Midway, Iowa or Yearling, New York can add a little historical perspective. And reading the complete synopses of Frost’s books and the book written by his friend from Somalia isn’t essential, but it adds more depth to the experience.
You know that writers always worry about not writing... Has working on Frost Devereaux's universe and writing (as opposed to your own novel) taken time and energy away from Where You Belong, or has it helped replenish your creative well? Has it helped or hindered your time management?
I didn’t write any of the website content until after the book was done and by then it was winter, which in recent years I’ve devoted to editing anyway, so I really didn’t miss out on much.
We always have a love-hate relationship with our characters. We may end up tiring of them if the book takes too long to write. Are you glad to be done with Frost? Or is it a bittersweet parting?
I think it was far more bittersweet than glad. I really enjoyed not just Frost but the Maguire twins as well. Even the secondary characters like the extremely cheap Fergal Maguire or Meyer the fatherly fighter pilot-turned-chauffeur or Guy the French-Canadian lumberjack artist became like an extended family for me. The hardest part of course was killing off some of these characters. It had to be done, but it was like losing a favorite aunt or uncle.
Would you do something similar again, assuming there would be a reason to? Would you create fiction within fiction to enrich your fictional world, or was one time enough labor?
Definitely, if that’s what the story called for. I’ve actually done it a few times prior to this, so I could easily see doing it again if it works for the story. That’s always the important thing.
What's your next project?
Right now I’m working on an old-school sci-fi invasion story called “Liberation Front.” It’s about an invasion from Mars, only in this case the “Martians” are human colonists returning to reclaim their birth world. The main character, one of the Martians, begins to question what her people are doing. The story was largely inspired by the war in Iraq, but I don’t think it’s going to be very political, at least not overtly.
Thanks for having me on and asking such great questions!
You're welcome, Patrick, thank you for stopping by!
And now, let's give everybody a taste of your storytelling craft.
Excerpt from Where You Belong by Patrick Dilloway.
I wake up again and the hand is gone, but I’m not alone. I sense a figure lurking in the shadows, hovering there like a ghost. I think at first it’s my mother; unable to speak I revert back to babyhood and whimper in what I hope is a reassuring fashion. The figure, caught, shuffles forward and I see it’s not my mother—it’s my father.
“Hey, kid,” he says. “How you feeling?”
This is a stupid question as I’m in a hospital bed, surrounded by machines with my face wrapped in bandages. He hesitates before taking the seat next to my bed. For what could be a minute or an hour he sits there, staring at me as he searches for something to say.
“It’s too bad about your mother,” he says.
Though not quite four, I understand this means something terrible has happened. I whimper again, this time mournfully. This rattles my father; he twitches uncomfortably in the chair. He doesn’t want to be there and I don’t want him there; I want Mommy. My father was only the man who lived in our barn.
His hand reaches out to touch my forehead, but his skin is sweaty and warm, not the cool, soothing presence of my other visitor’s. I try to move my head to shake it away only to find I can’t. “I’m not going to hurt you, kid,” he says. His hand moves across my forehead to the bandages. He peels these back gently and then leans close to me so that he can see what lies underneath. Whatever it is causes him to quickly pull his hand back, letting the bandages fall into place again.
“Oh shit,” he whispers into the darkness. I’m too young to know the meaning of this expression. Still, from his tone of voice I gather something’s wrong and whimper again. “It’s all right, kid,” he says, trying to sound cheerful. I know he’s lying. I know things aren’t going to be all right. Not ever again.
My father pats my left hand with his. “Hang in there, kid,” he says. He backs away until the shadows swallow him again. He pauses for a moment before making a decision. The door clicks shut. I wait a moment for him to come back, but he doesn’t. Not ever again.
I recommend the stories of my friend Delilah Devlin, in particular her latest Lockdown, and one that's coming out soon and which she allowed her blog readers and loop subscribers to sample: Darkness Burning.
She's already getting rave reviews. Check out this one, at Alien Places, the blog of author Masha Holl, who seems to share at least some of my tastes.
Me, I can't wait to read Lockdown. I've had to make a tremendous effort of will not to pounce on it just yet, but I have work to do. And I know what will happen as soon as I have one of Delilah's stories in my hands: it's off to fantasy lands.
Not that it's bad, but I use it as the carrot to make myself work.
I'd much rather curl up with a good read and some chocolate.
But I already met some friends, and I'm hoping the cleaning service will show up soon so I can host a tea party, or maybe have some drinks with a fellow writer or two. The Goddess Fish came knocking on my door with a promise of soirees and other entertainment.
In the meantime, come into the main house: ViolettaCaprice.com, and stop by the Gallery of Fine Art. My favorite artists at Otter Creations brought me this welcome gift, and inspired me to keep looking for more, um... guests for my gallery. The hero of my upcoming novella won't sit still long enough for a portrait, so it's taking longer than I thought, but maybe someone else will have the patience to pose for my pleasure.
Don't be a stranger! Stop by again to see how I'm doing here!