This week's topic, coveting another author's creation for your own, has been an interesting one to wrap my mind around. My imaginitive side has been around since before I can remember, but it's only been the past 9 months I've actually been writing. Honest!
I was reading chapter books in preschool, was the teacher's pet in every reading or english class I ever took, and could be found lost in a book more often than not all through my formative years. I subsequently quashed all that inclination when I was counselled to forego a liberal arts degree by every adult I respected. I waded through Pre-Med until I finally figured out that I couldn't skate through org chemistry without studying, then for lack of anything better to do, switched over the business school into health administration. Thus began a my career as a paper jockey. Ironically, I'm good enough at organization and numbers to have been competent in management, but it wasn't my true calling.
Passing my 39th birthday, with 40 breathing down my neck, I was at home with the kids trying to remember when my last adult conversation was, running an internet business, and moping about when I discovered the instant gratification of e-books. I was suddenly reading everything I could get my hands on.
With a scattergun approach to reading and trying publishers, I saw the best and the worst out there. Whole 'nother topic, but it was "the worst" that inspired me to open a manuscript and write my first story this past spring...the old "I can do better than that!" But today we're going to talk about "the best."
I wouldn't have dared imagine wishing to have written anything I'd read to that point in my life, all print books that were either literary classics or through the major NY publishing houses. They seemed so far out of reach, so far above little mortal me.
E-books? Opened my mind so many ways. Finally it seemed as though there was a realistic and accessible venue for non-traditional genres, non-traditional lengths, and non-traditional authors. I loved reading the gritty realism and blunt sexuality, paranormal not all shined up for a sanitized box-store display. I was fascinated by the appeal of 'everyday' BDSM, and that of gay romance.
The first book which popped into my head when I read this week's topic was Simply Sinful by Kate Pearce. Peter is a young man made jaded before his time by his childhood capture at sea and subsequent service in a middle eastern brothel. When he is approached by Lord James Beecham to help him save his marriage, the request intrigues him and sets the three into an intimate dance.
Under the radar of the main storyline of Peter's interaction and eventual relationship with Abigail, come the raw and deeply felt needs of James. He had been initiated into manlove by a sexual dominant and sadist, and now craves domination, by a man, to a point where he cannot perform in his marriage bed. Abigail means the world to him and her request for him to father a child on her forces him to try to overcome his natural inclinations with Peter's help.
The first meeting between Peter and James is one of the most powerful scenes I've ever read. Well before the reader is made aware of his masochistic need to submit, you can feel the undercurrents as James tries to alternately force and tempt Peter into helping him, eventually using the ruse of calling in a gambling win and Peter's own strong sense of honor against him.
It was my first ever exposure to m/m sexual interaction, and that blowjob literally blew my mind. Reading on, I had no idea how it was all going to come to a happy ending, especially when Peter's affinity for a married woman, and his inability to give James the domination he craves became clear. The eventual resolution was inventive and emotional, and I was hooked. All the subtexts and angles to the story, including Peter's complex relationship with his best friend and fellow prisoner in the brothel, Valentin, flat wrung me out.
I read that story twice that first night, let it set for a day and read it again. Then I opened a manuscript and wrote my first novella with m/m interaction, a m/m/f menage. I was inspired, not necessarily to write the sequel (which Kate has since done), or even the equal, to that story. But write in that genre, that I could do. All my published work to date is m/m and I have Simply Sinful to thank for birthing my muse.
Nine months ago, I wished I had written that...and became an author to cure my pen envy. Tasty antidote!