Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Under my skin... and yours... and his... and theirs

by Jude Mason

After Jamie's horrendous post and the upheaval it's had in her life, both online and off, the post I had planned seems so trivial. Yes, we as authors of fantasy strive to immerse ourselves into our characters. Yes, we spend hours finding just the right words to take you, our readers, into the story. We're like any other fiction authors. We do our research, spend hours even days finding out all the details of how to become a cop, what it's like to drink the blood of a mortal, how the body would move as it became the cougar/wolf/animal changeling, or a thousand other things. Languages, customs, slang, terminology for a dozen, or more, scenarios our stories need.

Yes, we love our jobs. To me, sinking into what I call my writing mode, is so much a part of me I can't honestly imaging what it would be not to do it. It's work, sometimes damn hard work, but I adore it all. Submerging the ordinary Jude into, Johan, a raunchy, bisexual vampire in
Night Games who's on the hunt for his female lover's kidnapper is one hell of a high. Of course, the girl has a job, so that took a little checking on. The vamps male lover, he needed to be completely in the picture, his story merged with the main character's... and he needed his backstory as well. It's not just a simple task of sitting down and off you go. If it were that simple, anyone could do this job.

The difficult ones are often the most rewarding. Awhile ago, I did a story called, Roses Have Thorns. Here's the blurb I use:

Roses Have Thorns - What happens when a hooker picks the wrong john? What happens when, a few months later, it happens again, but with a difference? The whores body becomes a vessel for revenge. Their names were Rose. And Rose is angry.

Warning: This book is classed as Erotic Horror, not for the faint of heart

Now, Rose is actually two 'women' and both of them are killed by the same man. The first ghostly Rose takes over the second woman's just as #2 is dying. Simply getting that little bit right was a challenge. About the only easy part was I'm female and so are my Rose's. The horror aspect was such an intense thing it took me weeks to get the work done. A story that would normally take me a few days to put together actually took much, much longer. Oh, by the way, this one is definitely not for the faint of heart, really! It's erotic horror at it's darkest.

Going from that to and creating something soft and sensual was a huge leap. Yet, it's what we all live for. We people our stories with characters who may be close to ourselves in some ways, but that's not what our readers want. They want fantasy and excitement, escapism and that's what we strive to give them.

There's Ambassador Sloan, the man chosen to meet the alien menace and save the known universe. The Shoon, not what the bureaucracy had thought of when they thought at all. Shoon Joining, could take humanity into completely uncharted territory, if only they're brave enough. Oh and the sex...that's where we all seem to get into trouble, isn't it?

It seems we're all fine as long as we close those damn bedroom doors. Once they're open though, we're targets for pretty much everyone. As a romance and erotic romance author, hell might as well stick in simple erotica author, I've been asked by dozens, if not hundreds of people, why I don't step into mainstream, do some real writing. There are dozens of answers, I suppose. But the real reason for me is, I adore my work. Sinking into a character and not closing those bedroom doors, allows me to share all of them with you, the readers.

Would you dream of asking Stephan King why he doesn't go into some other genre? I mean horror is just so, well horrible. He's got to be some kind of perverted serial killer to have written all those nasty books. Right?

Probably not. He's got one hell of an imagination, sort of like me, only his gets more attention and he's paid much much better. He researches his subjects. He makes notes and creates his characters the same as I do. He makes plot lines, rough drafts, re-writes and all the same things I do. But, as Stephan King, he closes the bedroom door.

I sneak in and tell it all. Jamie did the same thing and unfortunately paid a price - a price that I doubt I'll ever be able to fully comprehend. And all because of that damn bedroom door. It's all right to take your readers into the depths of some psycho's dreams of carnage, but, don't you dare delve into the loving, sexual side of a couple's relationship. Yes, some of these 'couples' have unusual relationships, but that very difference is what makes the world go around.

Perhaps one day, the people who can't abide our chosen genres will be brave enough to admit we're not as different as they are. A little empathy, a lot of imagination, some great people and voila, you have the makings for some hot reading. Sex, we all do it. Let's allow those who desire to read it the opportunity to do so, in peace. And, let's also encourage those who write it, to do so to the best of their abilities.



  1. Hi, Jude,

    Actually, I find violent characters to be particularly hard to write. I'm not at all a violent person, and it's quite difficult for me to imagine the mindset of someone who tortures, kills or commits rape. I've written a few villains but I don't really know how believable they are, because this is one area that is mostly outside my understanding.

    However, we'll see, as I have a very tasty villain that I'm working on in Necesssary Madness (tasty in the sense of a villain one can sink one's fictional teeth into).

    Thanks for your post!


  2. I love the complexity of a plot with more story to it than just sex. Some violence, a mystery, whatever. And unusual relationships make the world go round. Some people just don't get that, I guess.

    Write on, Jude!

  3. Lisabet,

    I found the violence in Rose and the perpetrator of her rape incredibly difficult to write. I'm still not sure how or why the story wouldn't let me alone until I did write it. There were times when I felt as if I was being swallowed by it, and that was very unsettling. But, and maybe it's just me, I loved learning about Rose. Yes, I realize Rose isn't real, but she's something and I'm glad she kept bugging me.

    Thanks for your comments. Sounds like your WIP is going to be a fine read.


  4. Hey Miss Jenna!

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by. The story and the sex, in my opinion, should be intertwined in the story. You can tell it with just one of those aspects, but the story wouldn't be nearly as good. *G*

    I know you do those twists and turns sooo very well.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  5. I understand getting inot a character. I write humor and all G rated, but still, getting into character is what makes a story beieveable. Your genre is horror, fantasy and sex. We need that, we need people with that kind of imagination because there are readers that like that.

    I bring inanimate objects to life. I have talking coffee cups, cell phones that walk, etc. I have to be able to write that so that it can be believeable. Not an easy task for most. I do it because it's easy for me and fun.

  6. orcalover,

    What an amazing idea. LOL I can't say it's always easy for me, it's not, but it's always exciting.

    Hmm, about the only thing I've ever tried that's anywhere near as nuts as talking coffee cups is I did a short story from the point of view of my cat. I really loved it, but can't imagine going far with it.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Your message got me smiling, and thinking. Both good things.


  7. As ever Jude, your comments on Jamies misfortune are so much more eloquent than mine, but I'd love to be associated with them.

  8. Verb, you always make me smile.

    Even though I've only known you, like, a day.



  9. Just to point out, Stephen King has written at least one sexually explicit scene. It was in "Needful Things," a masturbation scene between the two main characters. I remember reading it and thinking, "Wow, I didn't know people were allowed to put stuff like that in books." Obviously, I read the book a loooooooong time before I started my writing career.

    And I wholeheartedly agree that writing is writing, no matter what the genre.