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Posts Tagged ‘Ashley Lister’

Ashley Lister’s RAVEN & SKULL a Deliciously Diabolical Office Horror

It’s always a pleasure to have the fabulously versatile Ashley Lister as my guest. Sometimes it’s poetry, sometimes it’s erotica and today it’s something totally different. Today it’s horror. Welcome, Ashley!

 

Ashley Lister Raven and Skull cover image 29 June 13474266_10208485044217586_218274077_nRaven and Skull

By Ashley Lister

Have you ever worked in an office? Good. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about here.

I first started working in an office many years ago when I was back in my twenties. Back then computers were a novelty and fax machines were state of the art technology. Most desks had ashtrays and every telephone was a landline.

A few cynics asked me if I ‘liked’ office work. They used that sneering tone of voice that suggested I would clearly be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket if I did like such tedium. I always answered, “Well, I’m indoors, getting paid, and I can keep my clothes on, so it’s an improvement over my last job.”

Maddeningly, most people missed the attempt at humour in this response.

But it was office work and, as happens with office work, I got to the stage where I could do the complex administrative stuff without giving it a second thought. Almost as though I was a zombie. Or an automaton. Or some soulless abominable hybrid of human and machine.

I think it was either Alan Carr or Jimmy Carr who said they’d worked in an office where a woman sat behind a desk with a sign that said, “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps.” Carr explained that this particular sign was more impressive than most because the woman had written it in her own faeces.

And, whilst I’ve always found this joke to be amusing, I think it touches on a real truth.

Office work can drive us crazy. Office work, where the trivial and unimportant becomes obscenely vital to the point of psychosis, can drive us round the bend. It has made me scowl at the sound of a colleague’s laughter. It has made me hide from someone who wanted nothing more than to talk to me. In truth, office work has made me act in ways that can properly be described as horrific.

Which is why I wrote a horror novel based in an office. From personal experience I believe it’s hard to think of a more horrific environment. These are the opening lines from my latest novel, Raven and Skull.

 

 Raven and Skull Excerpt:

‘Tell us about a time you nearly died, Tony.’

Heather’s suggestion was greeted by a barrage of laughter.

There were half a dozen of them sitting around the table – the last souls left in an otherwise empty bar. Drained beer bottles and lipstick-smudged glasses stood between them like abstract monuments to the memories of good times gone. The darkness outside the bar window was fading to the apocalyptic grey of another dawn.

Tony glanced at his five colleagues and flashed an automatic grin. He hadn’t yet drunk enough beer to be light-headed, but he could feel the mood around the table was shifting. The evening had started as an early weekend escape from the offices of Raven and Skull; a two fingered salute to the workplace in the time-honoured tradition of every godforsaken Friday. After a grim week working nine-to-five – a grimmer week than any of them were used to suffering – Geoff’s idea that they should get pissed and have a laugh together had seemed like a stroke of pure genius. But now, whilst the maudlin veil of melancholy felt like it was finally lifting, Tony thought it was revealing something strange, unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

 

Ashley Lister Raven and Skull 29 June13467787_10208484853492818_738797422_o

 

Of course, the employees in this novel only have to contend with the diabolical, the supernatural, and their own dark and twisted desires. As office workers, I’m sure we all know the experience can be far more sinister. If you want to find out more about this story, please check out my blog: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Or if you want to buy a copy, it’s available from most good bookstores, as well as the usual online retailers: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raven-Skull-Ashley-Lister/dp/1910720534/ or https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Skull-Ashley-Lister/dp/1910720534/

 

 

Ashley Lister’s Alter-ego Lisette Ashton Talks About Dragon Desire

As my last guest of 2012, I’m elated to welcome Ashley Lister’s alter-ego, Lisette Ashton, to my site to talk about the novel I’ve been anxiously waiting to read, Dragon Desire. Welcome back to A Hopeful Romantic, Ashley/Lisette, and do tell us all about Dragon Desire: The Quest for Satisfaction.

Ashley ListerDragon CoverFirst I have to thank the lovely KD Grace for inviting me here today. KD Grace is one of my favourite authors and I’m genuinely honoured to be a guest on her blog.

Second I’d like to wish season’s greetings to everyone reading this. It’s almost New Year and I hope the festive period has brought you everything you personally desired.

And, on the subject of New Year celebrations, I should point out that this year, according to the Chinese horoscope, has been the year of the dragon. Like a lot of readers, I’ve always been fascinated by dragons. There’s something about the majesty, power and excitement of these mythical creatures that I find thrilling. Perhaps it’s the idea of dragons devouring maidens? It could be the suggestion of power they embody. Or maybe it’s the thought of a dragon capturing a damsel and insisting she be rescued by a brave knight…?

Anyway, at the start of this year, I decided to take a shot at writing an erotic story based in a world where dragons exist. It’s been one of the singular most exciting experiences of my writing career.

The fantasy genre operates under different rules to most other writing styles. Swords, sorcery, magic and dragons have a profound effect on fictional characters. In some ways, I suppose, it’s similar to the effect of irresistible sexual arousal in a well-written erotic novel.

And it’s addictive.

Since I wrote my first short story in this genre I’ve now written another novel, plan to write a sequel and I’ve got ideas for a half dozen more short stories. There’s something I find compelling about writing of an age where life was made simple by a lack of technology and surfeit of magic and dragons. The following extract from Dragon Desire introduces the story’s hero, Owain, and the dragon he guards, Drusilla.

Dragon Desire is available now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Desire-ebook/dp/B00ALKTUWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356539096&sr=8-1

As long as he could continue to overlook the fact that there was a leather wedding band on her heart finger, Owain knew he would enjoy rutting with the redhead in any one of the hay-filled stalls.

“I didn’t mean to upset you with my ignorant comment about dragon horn.”

She didn’t look at him as she said the words. Instead they were spoken over her shoulder as she continued to pet Drusilla. The dragon continued to purr as the redhead caressed its cheek and wings.

“You weren’t to know,” he assured her. He was thankful for the darkness of the stalls. It stopped her from seeing the solemnity of his features. “I once had a bad experience because of someone spinning lies about dragon horn,” he explained. “I suppose I overreact whenever it’s mentioned nowadays.”

He looked up to see she had stopped petting the dragon.

Silently, she had moved to stand by his side. She stared up at him, her emerald eyes sparkling softly. Her chest seemed to rise and fall with a quickened pace. His gaze fell to the heave of her breasts. The thrust of her nipples jutted sharp against the light cotton of her kirtles.

Unable to stop himself, Owain licked his lips.

“Do you like what you see, sire?” she asked coyly.

The red and gold kirtles were laced with ribbon at the breast. She reached for the dangling thread of one ribbon and teased it so the binding began to unravel.

“Would sire like to see more?”

The coquettish lilt to her voice was thoroughly endearing.

Owain dearly wanted to show decency and propriety. He wanted to mention the fact that she wore a leather band on her heart finger and was therefore either married or betrothed to another. But, whilst he wanted to act like a gallant knight or chivalrous suitor, his actions were dictated by the needs of his loins.

“I’d like to do a lot more than see,” he told her.

He pulled her into his embrace, snaking one arm around her waist so that she was brought close to him. He lowered his face to her lips and then they were kissing with a passion that was as ferocious and fulfilling as he had expected.

Her tongue explored his mouth. She curled one leg around his hip, pressing the centre of her sex against thigh. A sob of raw desire whimpered from her throat as she ground herself against him. Her hands pushed at his chest, fumbling to remove his tunic and gain access to his bare flesh.

With a moan of desperation she wrenched her mouth from his.

“Take me,” she pleaded.

He couldn’t hide his smile.

“If you insist.” He lowered his face to the unfastened décolletage of her kirtles and pressed his nose between her breasts. Drinking in the dusky scent of her nearness he moved his mouth over one orb and suckled against the stiff, throbbing tip of her nipple.

She groaned.

He stiffened at the sound and cast a wary glance toward the doorway. When he realised that no one had been alerted by the cry of her pleasure he allowed himself to relax and enjoy the experience and stop worrying that she might have a husband or fiancé lurking in the shadows ready to accuse her of being adulterous or challenge him for being a swiver.

When the redhead groaned again Owain savoured the sound.

He resisted the urge to buck his loins against her.

Working with dragons fuelled him with a constant arousal but he was loathe to surrender himself so quickly to such a base responses. Holding her in one arm, teasing the shape of her exposed breast with one hand as he suckled against the hard and unyielding tip of the other, Owain revelled in her heightened responses to his teasing.

She was breathless and trembling and desperate for his cock.

“Take me,” she begged. “I’m so wet for you now.”

She grabbed at his tunic with her left hand. It was the same hand that bore the leather band on her heart finger.

“I’m so wet,” she insisted.

Dragon Desire is available now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Desire ebook/dp/B00ALKTUWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356539096&sr=8-1

 

 

The Sexiest Words — the Relationship Between Poetry and Prose

I’m so excited to welcome Ashley Lister to A Hopeful Romantic. Ashley’s the man  who would definitely know a thing or two about sexy words — poetry and prose, and I’m delighted that he’s going to share a few carefully chosen sexy words with us!

I’m a word nerd. I love to read words from the page and the screen. I love to savour the sound words make when they caress the ear. I love to appreciate the texture of words on the tongue. I can happily spend and invest and squander hours deciding which word is most appropriate for a specific situation.

Aside from being a writer I also teach creative writing. This means, when I’m not enjoying a day immersed in words whilst I write fiction, I’m having a day with students who are each fostering their own appetites for words.

During my free time I’m sometimes lucky enough to have writing colleagues ask me to blog with them. The superlative K D Grace asked me to visit here to discuss my opinions on the relationship between poetry and prose. I’m sure she picked that topic because she knows it’s close to my heart.

I believe the relationship between poetry and prose is neglected at a writer’s peril.

Even though a lot of my students have a strong desire to write fiction I always make sure I introduce them to poetry early on in my courses. I do this because I sincerely believe poetry leads the way to the sexiest words.

This is not a new opinion.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Back at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the philosopher, critic and poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, “I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry: that is, Prose is words in their best order; Poetry, the best words in the best order.”

I have always agreed with this sentiment. You can call me materialistic but I think there’s not much sexier than experiencing the best. To my mind, introducing the standard of poetry into our prose should make everything we write sublime.

However, not everyone sees poetry in such positive ways. Some writers genuinely fear verse. I’ve seen talented multi-published writers cower from the prospect of producing poetry, convinced that it’s beyond their abilities or unrelated to their desire to write something engaging or entertaining. Perhaps there’s a streak of sadist in me, but I do enjoy watching people tremble as they try to manipulate words from outside their comfort zone. To me, whether I’m writing, teaching, blogging or producing poetry, that’s the seat-of-the-pants thrill of writing.

I was once trusted with the education of a class of computer programmers.

I was trying to teach them the basics of interactive narrative – the mechanics of writing fiction so they would have a better understanding of the dynamics of producing story-led computer games.

It was the challenge of producing poetry that had most of them close to sobbing with confusion and frustration. The reaction first came about during a lesson when we were discussing haiku.

For those of you unfamiliar with the haiku, the haiku is our Western interpretation of a Japanese form of poetry. The traditional Western method of writing haiku is based on a rigid syllable count for a three lined form: 5/7/5. (There are modern interpretations of the haiku, writers such as Jack Kerouac and Ezra Pound are amongst those who’ve taken the simplicity of the haiku and eschewed the rigid limitations of the 5/7/5 syllable count. However, the computer programmers in my class were writing to the restrictions of the traditional form).

I have yet to experience a more entertaining afternoon’s teaching.

I was dealing with a class of students who understood the complex inner-workings of computers. They had reprogrammed social-networking systems. They had written software to programme industry robotics. And they were sitting in my class counting syllables on their fingers and thumbs. They were arguing over the number of syllables in words such as hire, peel and sure.

The poems they went onto produce were good. The stories they went onto write for computer games were surprisingly well-considered. I don’t think they would have achieved such a level of considered work if they hadn’t been thinking about their output from a poetic point of view.

Poetry, I agree, does not work for every writer. Some people enjoy the challenge but others find it too daunting. However, it can’t be denied that poetry gets writers to consider the words they use in ways that are wholly different from the way a writer selects words for prose. And if poetry can get writers to reconsider their word choices, then it’s more than valuable: it’s invaluable.

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is one of the regular contributors at the Dead Good Blog (http://deadgoodpoets.blogspot.co.uk/)

 
© 2017 K D Grace
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