“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part One: scorrevole (erotic novel, WIP)

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scorrevole: gliding from note to note

Was I really doing this? Was I taking a guy I had only known for a day home with me? I truly was scared of Josh coming back to the flat, or maybe Rothman. Was I afraid of Rothman? God, I didn’t even know. I was afraid of Josh though, and having Lukas with me seemed a comfort. If Josh tried to attack me, Lukas could probably handle him. If Rothman became a problem, Lukas had no chance.

“I feel uncomfortable with this, I have to admit,” I said in the taxi.

“You think I am escorting you home because I expect sex?” he said bluntly, shocking me with his frankness.

“Possibly, but I also feel like you coming back to my flat might endanger you and I just met you. I don’t have a right to expect you to protect me from a crazy ex boyfriend.”

Lukas smiled at that.

“Let me tell you something, Alice. Even if you were a girl I did not want to have sex with, I would still take you home, because I am a gentleman. You really should not be alone this night, not with that boy, Josh drunk and acting like a buffoon. In case you are wondering, yes, I would very much like to have sex with you, but I am not in a hurry. I would like to know you, Alice. I like you and though I very much want you, if you ask, I will wait.”

“That’s very sweet,” I said, suddenly wanting him more. “I’m not sure what I want. Can we just see what happens?”

“Of course.”

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Little interview.

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What are you working on next?
I am currently writing a novel called “Only What I Seek” which centers on a prodigy cellist who inspires obsession in those who hear her music. The story will eventually be a trilogy.

Who are your favorite authors?
Jacqueline Carey, James Reese

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love archery, snorkeling, diving, fly fishing, sailing… anything in the water. I live in Panama so it is a short drive to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Twitter, WordPress, Amazon, word of mouth.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I’ve been writing since childhood but the first story I remember was in high school. I wrote a series about vampires and I think it was probably a little to steamy for a high school kid to write.

What is your writing process?
I write as if I am writing a movie. I imagine a film in my head while I write. I often make storyboards on Pinterest for reference and inspiration. I outline the whole story first, and then end up pantsing half of it anyway.

How do you approach cover design?
I am obsessed with having a good cover. I think that a good cover is the tease before the flash. You have to make people want to read the story. If they don’t like what’s on the cover, they are unlikely to take a look. I use pros when I can. When I design myself, I keep it simple. Less is more.

What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy, science fiction, literature, historical, alternate history… a little of everything.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle.

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far, my WordPress blog.

Describe your desk
A normal desk is too small. I like space, so I bought a dining room table as a desk. On one side are my paints and canvases. On the other is my laptop. I write everything on a laptop.

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like the idea of maintaining control of my own work and control of how my career goes. I have read many accounts of traditional publishing not being at all accessable and not working in favor of the authors.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think joy is a strange word for it. I do enjoy writing very much, but I think that people who write… just write. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well.

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The romance/erotica genre has for decades touted the ideal of the blushing virgin, the innocent girl who meets the alpha hero who sweeps her off her feet and teaches her the art of love. I have never really found much pleasure in reading about women who have no past before they meet the man of their dreams. I like my heroines to be riddled with dark pasts, ex lovers and nobody needs to teach her anything. Formulaic plots don’t really interest me either, though they are fun to read, but not intriguing. I am interested in the journey of the characters- how do they change and grow… or regress. I am trying to do that with Only What I Seek. I don’t know if I am succeeding. That is for the reader to decide.

My protagonist, Alice, is uninterested in living her life as a blushing virgin. She is dark and complicated and dangerous. I dig that. She is not at all times ‘likable’ and I think too many writers (and readers) rely on making characters likable. Alice has lovers. She is not waiting around for Mr. or Ms. Right. She is not bogged down by puritan ideas about sex and she likes to experiment. Her guilt comes from past experiences and the things she has put her family through. She is living her own life, knowing that the decisions she makes may not be the best ones, but they are hers to make.

I think that the difference in what I am writing with most romance/erotica is that in most, an emphasis is put on the heroine being “safe” in the arms of her lover. In Alice’s case, she never feels safe and that turns her on. Is it morally right? Well, does it have to be? I am writing erotica, not giving lessons on how to be in healthy relationships. Alice does what Alice wants.

“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part Nine: pastorale (erotic novel, WIP)

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pastorale: in a pastoral style, peaceful and simple

Wilton’s Music Hall was vibrant and humming with a mix of locals and tourists. The crowd was relaxed, and surprisingly down to earth. It was a relief after my last outing into the trendy cool-kid zone of Lacuna. Here, it was a crowd of music and history buffs, and a genial vibe of the simply curious. The house performance that night was a punk-cabaret duo who mixed a mod kind of punk style with Brechtian cabaret and a little naughty humor. It was good. It was, in fact, very good.

Kim and Sebastien spent most of their time kissing in a corner. They were cute together, and obviously already mad about each other. Lukas informed me that Sebastien had already called his parents and told them he wanted to introduce them to the most amazing American girl. Lenka did not seem bothered at all by her lack of a date. She had plenty of attention from various potential suitors who vied for her time. Lukas was the perfect gentleman. He was an open doors and pull out chairs kind of gentleman. A touch of old fashioned mixed with modern sophistication that very few men his age possessed. He gave me his undivided attention, which I was not accustomed to at all.

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“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part Eight: bellicoso (erotic novel, WIP)

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bellicoso: warlike, aggressive

No one wanted the day to be over, except maybe Josh, who did not seem to be enjoying anything with anyone. Kim finally told him that if he felt uncomfortable around the group, no one minded if he slipped away and found something else to do. It was a polite brush off. Even Kim, Josh’s tireless champion, was tired of his moping. I felt guilty going out with another man in front of him, but I wanted him to see I had moved on and so should he. I enjoyed Lukas’s company and I was not giving that up for guilt. Josh hung around for lunch, silently munching shrimp and glaring at me over the table. Lenka gave up on him, no longer interested. Kim opened the menu and stifled a gasp. She leaned in to whisper in my ear,

“OK, hanging out with hot Eurotrash is expensive. I don’t think we can afford this place.”

She was right, but I had made plenty enough money to pay my rent that month and still had quite a bit left over if I counted the money Rothman put into the cello case.

“I can chip in for you and Josh, since you helped me out.”

Lukas, Sebastien and Lenka ordered drinks for the whole table like it was nothing and I thought, well, that must be nice and prayed they didn’t want to split the bill later.

“I can pay for my own,” Josh said, not in a whisper.

“Yeah, OK, cool.”

“I saw the money in your case. It was like five hundred pounds, Alice. Why the hell would someone give you five hundred pounds for playing the cello in the street?”

Anger flashed on his face. Suspicion. Refusal to let go.

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“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part Seven: bocca chiusa (erotic novel, WIP)

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bocca chiusa: with closed mouth

Kim was making cinnamon rolls in my tiny kitchen. I could smell the delicious scent in the bedroom. After a quick shower, I slipped on jeans and one of Rory’s many rock band tee shirts that I had borrowed and not given back; this one a black faded Sigur Ros tee shirt. A pair of Toms slip ons and my hair tossed into a braid. No make up. I wasn’t trying. I didn’t want to give Josh more reason to think I might be interested. It was Saturday, and usually I would dress nicer than this. On Saturdays I played my cello wherever I could to make some extra money. Covent Garden was always crawling with tourists and it was my favorite place to play. I could usually draw a decent crowd. Today, that was the plan, but it would have to be me, grungy looking. I couldn’t afford not to play on a weekend. Kim was quite happy to hear this and over cinnamon rolls and tea, she beamed.

“Good! I’ve been wanting to see what you do over here. You got any concerts or anything? Like, actual concerts?”

“Not this week,” I said. “I have a big one next month, but while school’s out, it’s street performing and a few showcases. I do the street stuff to make money.”

“So, where we going today, AllyKat?”

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“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part Six: capriccioso (erotic novel, WIP)

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capriccioso: capriciously, unpredictable, volatile

One more day with Josh and Kim. That was all. One more day and they would be leaving for Paris. It’s not that I didn’t love Kim, but she had been the gateway to the disaster that was Josh. It was clear that Josh was not only still in love with me, but that he spent most of his days in London pining. In the morning, over breakfast, he gazed at me, a puppy in love. He walked too close when we wandered through gardens and parks. He tried to hold my hand several times and I snaked my hand out of his and pretended to find something too interesting to ignore to go and examine. On the morning of the last day, we walked through the spectacular halls of the Natural History Museum. Kim was fascinated by everything, and I would have been as well except that it seemed I needed all of my wits about me to make sure I didn’t let Josh slip into his old ways.

“That’s a real dinosaur,” Kim gasped when we spiraled through the line in the great hall where a massive T-Rex skeleton filled the space. “I’ve never seen actual dinosaur bones! This is so crazy! I love London. I wanna live here too. Can I come and live with you, Alice? I’ll sleep on the floor and I won’t eat anything. I’ll be quiet as a mouse. I promise. And I can’t believe it doesn’t cost anything to get in here. That’s insane. This is like, the biggest museum ever and it’s free. There’s nothing free in America. Oh c’mon Alice, pretty please? I’ll do your laundry.”

“I need to piss. Where’s the John in this place?” Josh huffed at the animatronic dinosaur exhibit we were in line for. It wasn’t very manly to look at animatronic dinosaurs, apparently.

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“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part Five: strepitoso (erotic novel, WIP)

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strepitoso: noisy, forceful

As much as I didn’t want to enjoy it, I was finding my first day out in London with Kim and Josh pleasant. Having Josh in London, sleeping in my flat, eating breakfast with me like nothing had ever happened between us, was surreal, but as the day moved along, it became easier to bear, easier to forget. Kim was her usual bubbly self, excitedly skipping around London and snapping pictures of anything and everything on her camera phone.

“Ok, you two stand right there.” She pointed to a bright red telephone booth which stood along a block of buildings with the Milennium Eye visible in the background. “A little to the left. Perfect! A little closer though.”

I was uncomfortable with this; having my picture taken with Josh, just the two of us. I did not want him to get the wrong idea, or anyone else for that matter, and I knew every picture Kim took would be flooding Facebook within minutes. Then again, Josh was relaxed about the whole thing and had given me no reason to think he was taking this seriously. Alright, fine. One picture. We kept mostly to the more affordable or free sights to see in London; gardens, museums and parks. I was on a tighter budget than they were, and Josh’s frequent offers to pay for my ticket to The Tower Of London or The London Eye did not seem like a good idea. But I could tell my frugality was annoying them and I did not want to be a pain in the ass.

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“ONLY WHAT I SEEK” Part Four: calando (erotic novel, WIP)

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calando: falling away, or lowering

I stood at the baggage claim at London Heathrow, struggling to hear anything on the phone in the noisy airport. Kim’s cheerful North Carolina accent was on the other end of the line,

“We just landed! They’re unloading the plane right now. I have a big surprise for you. I mean a really big surprise, ok?”

“Um, ok. What kind of surprise?”

“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it? You’ll just have to wait, but it’s a big one. And Alice?”

“Yes?” I prickled with fear. Kim was not good at surprises.

“Try to be cool about it, ok?”

“The surprise?”

“Yeah, just be cool.”

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