• Home
  • Posts Tagged'inspiration'
  • Page 10

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Inspiration and Hero-Worship in Bath

It’s been ages since I was last in Bath, and upon our return Wednesday afternoon I very quickly remembered why I love the place so much. For this visit to Bath, we had Raymond’s sister, brother-in-law and niece with us. It was their first time.

We had a plan. Raymond would play tour guide while I wrote. I was feeling a bit panicked for having had a week with very little writing — lots of fun with the rels, but very little writing — so I promised I’d write at least part of the time then reward myself with a bit of Bath on the side.

So, being the well- behaved writer that I am, Wednesday afternoon, I bade everyone a fond farewell as they all headed  off to take the open-bus tour. Then I hung out in the hotel gardens and lounge drinking tea and writing like a crazy woman. I joined the happy gathering in the evening for fisherman’s pie and a pint of Abby Ale at Sam Weller’s Pub. I figured I’d earned it after finishing off 3K on the WIP for my day’s efforts. In fact I was pleased enough that I went on the tour of the Roman Baths with the rest of the gang the next morning. I love the Roman Baths. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen them, and every time I do they excite me and inspire me.  How amazing is it that something as simple as water can so powerfully draw for so many people to one tiny place for so many centuries?  It’s taken the water that now fills those ancient Roman baths ten thousand years from the time it fell as rainwater in the Mendip Hills and percolated down through the layers of rock to make its way back up to the hot springs below the baths. That’s some seriously vintage water!

After a picnic lunch near the River Avon, complete with fresh cherries and French school children having a water fight, I said good-bye to my compadres and headed back to the Lansdown Grove Hotel for another close encounter with Stacie and Harris and another two thousand words written on The Exhibition. That evening I joined the crew in front of the Pump Room to listen to a little opera from the street buskers, which got us all in the mood for a nice Italian dinner later.

Friday, before we took the train home, we visited the Jane Austen Centre a little bit of a pilgrimage, for me, to honour one of the literary goddesses of all time and definitely one of my heroines.

The Jane Austen Centre is a quiet little place off Queen’s Square, not far from where Jane stayed when she was in Bath. What I remember most about the visit was hearing that Jane delighted in Bath when she went there as a young woman, and out of that delight came Northanger Abby. But later when she returned in her late twenties she found the place shallow and depressing, as evidenced in Persuasion.

Though much of Bath looks like it might have looked in Jane’s day, things have changed considerably since then. Now it’s easy for me to find inspiration walking the streets between the honeyed sandstone buildings of Georgean Bath. It’s easy to be inspired painlessly and happily in the far-less stratified hodge-podge of tourists and locals scurrying about in the bright June sunlight. And, for me,  it’s impossible to walk where Jane Austen walked and not be awed by the stunning creative force that came from one small, seemingly powerless woman, whose novels didn’t even bare the name of their author until after her death.

KD Grace proudly puts her claim to authorship front and centre on everything she’s ever written, as does Grace Marshall. My name, my creativity, my essence. I wrote it! I claim it! I can’t imagine what it would be like to have been such a creative person as Jane Austen was in a time in which women had very little control over their own destinies.  I’m only saying that it’s good to be reminded that nothing comes without a price, and that price is no less dear because I wasn’t the one who had to pay it. Having said that, I’m pretty sure every writer suffers for her art. I believe that whole-heartedly. Most of us suffer in ways that mean nothing to anyone but us, in ways that are quite often neurotic and unnecessary (at least I do).

I hope at this point, you’ll pardon my groupie-ism and hero-worship, but really, how could I go to Bath and not be at least a little bit star struck.

Thank you, Miss Jane Austen for writing the human heart in such a moving way in a time when it wasn’t cool to do so, and especially in a time when it wasn’t cool for a woman to do so. My efforts to write the human heart often feel bumbling and less then eloquent, but they’re sincere and full of hope, hope your words helped inspire.

On a less serious note. Near the end of our tour at the Jane Austen Centre there was a place with regency costumes for visitors to try on and take piccies in. I have to say, Raymond makes a far more striking Darcy than I do Elizabeth.

 

A View from Above

Back before I started work on the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, back when I thought there was only going to be one novel, I struggled hard to move forward and couldn’t figure why it wasn’t working. And then I got a glimpse, just a little glimpse, but enough, of the whole picture, and I understood that the story I was trying to tell was a trilogy and not a one-off. The story I needed to write, was way too big for one novel.

I was reminded again how important that view of the overall picture can be when my good friend, Melanie Frazier, sent me a link to a breath-taking photo of the Lake District taken from the International Space Station, and I was deeply moved by such a view of a place I love, of a place that inspired and figured strongly, into each of the three Lakeland Heatwave novels, almost as if it were another character in its own right.

The lake District image taken from the International space Station behbysjcaaayk3t-large

 

The photo was tweeted by Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield from on board the International Space Station. Commander Hadfield is a flight engineer currently on Expedition 34 on the station and has gained popularity on Twitter by sharing stunning photos of space and his views of Earth as the International Space Station orbits roughly 200 miles above the planet, moving at over 17,000 miles per hour.

How could such a ‘snapshot’ of one of my very favourite places not get me thinking about writers and the way we view our stories. I’ve always been an advocate of what I like to call snapshot writing. Snapshot writing is giving the reader snippets of detail, of experience, of a fleshed-out moment so full, so rich that the reader can feel it, taste it, revel in it. A snapshot can say so much about an event, often way more than words can. So for me one of the most powerful tools in my writing tool box is to create a snapshot with words, to write a moment so vividly that readers are instantly transported to the place and time. Commander Hadfield’s amazing snapshot from space has done just that for me.

Imagine my delight when I realised that I could not only see the whole of the Lakeland Heatwave trilogy in that snapshot, but I could see all the snapshots, all the intricately woven stories of my own adventures on the fells, of my own explorations and uncoverings of Lakeland one footstep at a time.

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1 How could I not wonder what Alfred Wainwright would have thought if he could see his beloved Lakeland in such a view from above? His incredibly detailed drawings and descriptions of the Lakeland Fells are among the most accurate, most lovely, most poetic ever recorded. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat in the Twa Dogs Inn in Keswick, the night before climbing a fell I’d never walked before, drinking Cumberland Ale while reading through Wainwright’s notes and studying the maps and drawings from his Pictorial Guides of the Lakeland Fells. The beauty in the minute detail of his work is now reflected in a stunning overview from space. How could anyone not be moved by that?

More than just the love of Lakeland, which I could go on and on about, and frequently do, is the sense of place such a snapshot from space gives. (I’ve added links with lots of pictures to show you the up-close-and personal of what you can see from a distance from the ISS photo. Enjoy!) I can look at that shot and see Ullswater and Derwent Water. I can see snow-capped Helvellyn and Skafell Pike, the highest peak in England. I can see the Borrowdale Valley, the Newlands Horseshoe, Honister Pass – all the places my characters in the Lakeland trilogy frequent – all the places I’ve frequented, and I couldn’t not share it. So if you look closely at the picture, the highest snow-covered point in the lower right — that’s Helvellyn. Its iconic Striding Edge put me to the test in one of the most adrenaline-laced, exquisite walks I’ve ever done in the Lake District.

And if you look to the left and slightly lower, at the last snow-covered range in the picture, that high point is Scafell Pike, the highest point in England and another walk I’m proud to say I’ve had the pleasure of doing.

But now, if you look in between those two ranges and slightly north, settled, almost centred, in between the two is a dark spot, roughly oval in shape with jagged edges. That’s Derwent Water with Keswick on the northeast shore invisible to the naked eye from so far above. To the south of the lake, where the fells begin again, is the Borrowdale Valley. And slightly to the left, you can just make out the irregular U-shape of the Newland’s Horseshoe, all of the above frequented by my characters in the Lakeland trilogy, frequented by me. The Newland’s Horseshoe is the place where both Marie Warren and I first ‘got lost’ in the mist. The Borrowdale Valley and the Newlands Horseshoe are the places that inspired the trilogy, the places where heather clings to steep cliffs, where deserted slate quarries make for slippery descents, where the views are breath-taking and where it can all disappear into the mist in a heartbeat.

I’m so glad it was clear the day Commander Hadfield took this picture. I can’t stop looking at it. I love the fact that I’m somehow connected to that place and all the stories it evokes – not just mine, but everyone else’s – all those poets and walkers and writers and photographers and artists – past, present and yet to come — who have found Lakeland as powerful and as moving as I have. I’m connected to all of them, and by that connection, to all of those who read the writings and look at the works of art inspired by that tiny, rugged piece of land that’s just as exquisite when seen from 200 miles above as it is when explored slowly, painstakingly, one footstep at a time.

Surely there is no other place in this whole world quite like Lakeland … no other so exquisitely lovely, no other so charming, no other that calls so insistently across a gulf of distance. All who truly love Lakeland are exiles when they are away from it.

Alfred Wainwright

 

Thinking Outside Your Box … Or Writing Isn’t Always About Writing

By M.Christian

Sure, we may all want to just cuddle in our little garrets, a purring pile of fur in our laps, leather patches on our sleeves, a pipe at the ready, and do nothing but write masterpieces all day and night – with periodic breaks for binge-drinking and soon-to-be legendary sexual escapades – but the fact of the matter is that being a writer has totally, completely, changed.

M CHRISTIAN-17-2I’m not just talking about the need to be a marketing genius and a publicity guru – spending, it feels too often, more time tweeting about Facebook, or Facebooking about tweeting, than actually writing – but that authors really need to be creative when it comes to not just getting the word out about their work but actually making money.

A lot of people who claim to be marketing geniuses and publicity gurus will say that talking about you and your work as loud as possible, as often as possible, is the trick … but have you heard the joke about how to make money with marketing and PR? Punchline: get people to pay you to be a marketing genius and/or a publicity guru. In short: just screaming at the top of the tweety lungs or burying everyone under Facebook posts just won’t do it.

Not that having some form of presence online isn’t essential – far from it: if people can’t find you, after all, then they can’t buy your books. But there’s a big difference between being known and making everyone run for the hills – or at least stop up their ears – anytime you say or do anything online.

Balance is the key: don’t just talk about your books or your writing because, honestly, very few people care about that … even your readers. Instead find a subject that interests you, and write about that as well. Give yourself some dimension, some personality, some vulnerability, something … interesting, and not that you are not just an arrogant scream-engine of me-me-me-me. Food, travel, art, history, politics … you pick it, but most of all have fun with it. Forced sincerity is just about as bad as incessant narcissism.

Okay, that’s all been said before, but one thing a lot of writers never think about is actually getting out from behind their computers  or out of their garret to take in the opening to this. Sure, writing may far too often be a solitary thing, but putting yourself out there in the (gasp) real world  can open all kinds of doors. I’m not just talking publicity-that-can-sometimes-equal-book-sales, eithe. There’s money to be made in all kinds of far-too-often overlooked corners.

Not to turn this to (ahem) myself, but in addition to trying to do as many readings and appearances as I can manage … or stand … I also teach classes. One, it gets me out of the damned house and out into the (shudder) real world, but it also, hopefully, shows people that I am not just a writer. Okay, a lot of what I teach – from sex ed subjects to … well, writing – has to do with my books and stories but it also allows me to become more than a virtual person.

MChristianIMG_0071.JPGBy teaching classes and doing readings and stuff-like-that-there I’ve made a lot of great connections, met real-life-human-beings, and have seen a considerable jump in book sales. Now don’t let me mislead you that this has been easy: there are a lot of people out there who perform, teach, lecture, what-have-you already so often it means almost starting a brand new career. Sscary and frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it. But, in the end, the rewards have more than made up for the headaches.

Now you don’t have to read, or teach, or whatever. The main point of this is to think outside of your little writing box. If you write historical fiction then think about conducting tours of your city and it’s fascinating secrets and back alleys; if you write SF then think about starting a science discussion group – or even joining one. Like art? How about becoming a museum docent? Write mysteries? Then organize a murder party – or just attend one.

You don’t have to make you and your work the focus of what you are doing. As in the virtual world, connections can come from all kinds of unexpected directions – which can then even lead to new opportunities … both for your writing but also as a never-before-thought-of-cash stream.

My classes and lectures and whatever have not just brought me friends, book sales, totally new publicity venues, but also ($$$$) cash!

It’s also a great way of balancing my inherent shyness with the need to get out there and be a person – which always helps not just sell whatever products you happen to be selling but can also be extremely good for (not to get too metaphysical or something) the soul. Sure, we all might want to be left alone in our little garrets to writer, write, write, but the fact is that writing can be very emotionally difficult …. to put it mildly. But thinking outside of your box you can not just reach new, potential, readers but also possibly find friends and an unexpected support system.

Teaching may not be for you, readings may not be for you, but I’m sure if you put your wonderfully creative mind to it, you can think of a way to not just get the word out about your work but also enrich yourself as a person. It might be painful at first, but – believe me – it’ll be more than worth it.

M ChristianChris 3About M. Christian:

Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In erotica, M. Christian is known and respected not just for his passion on the page but also his staggering imagination and chameleonic ability to successfully and convincingly write for any and all orientations.

But M.Christian has other tricks up his literary sleeve: in addition to writing, he is a prolific and respected anthologist, having edited 25 anthologies to date including the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and many more.

M.Christian’s short fiction has been collected into many bestselling books in a wide variety of genres, including the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys, BodyWork, and his best-of-his-best gay erotica book, Stroke the Fire. He also has collections of non-fiction — Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica; science fiction, fantasy and horror — Love Without Gun Control; and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed Bachelor Machine.

As a novelist, M.Christian has shown his monumental versatility with books such as the queer vamp novels, Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance, Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Finger’s Breadth and Me2.

M.Christian is also the Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books, where he strives to be the publisher he’d want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world.

Find M.Christian Here:

www.mchristian.com

amazon.com/author/mchristian

 

Lexie Bay and Doug, Passionate Partners on the Wild Side

passionatepartners

What better time for a Passionate Partners interview than on Valentine’s Day? The first time I heard the very talented Lexie Bay read at Sh!, the whole audience was enthralled. But there was one man sitting in the crowd who looked like his smile was about to burst his face. He had proud partner written all over him. That was Lexie’s lovely Other Half, Doug. Since then I’ve had many opportunities to enjoy the company of these Passionate Partners and the love and adoration between the two is vibrant. It was a no-brainer asking them to be my guests on Passionate Partners, so happy Valentine’s Day, and welcome, Lexie Bay and Doug, Sparky Cab, Bay!

LExie and Doug PPand LexieLexie’s Bio: Lexie started writing to immerse herself in a fantasy world where women are adored and men fall at their feet.  Then she realised that sometimes men do that so you can stomp all over them in your sexy stiletto boots and since then she’s been creating stories that stay true to her original romantic dream while exploring the erotic, the kinky and the downright filthy.  She finally found the courage to unleash them onto the world and now writes about anything that emerges from the murky depths of her imagination, anytime she can.

In typical romantic author style she lives with her husband and two daughters in a house by the sea on the south coast of England, but then spoils the image by working in the accounts office of an insurance company by day.  She loves chocolate, theme parks, cosy winter Sundays and the smell of fresh sweat on a hot guy. Her dream is to write full time and she could die happy if people fell in love with her work as much as she falls in love with her characters.

Doug’s Bio: Doug has spent a lot of time getting tattoos, riding bikes – including a gorgeous Harley Davidson Road King – driving too fast and generally being a bit of a wild child in his younger days. Then he met Lexie and nothing changed! Nowadays he works as a cab driver and helps look after their two girls. He can cook, clean, fix stuff and is a genius painter and decorator with a hint of Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen when it comes to interior design. But he still collects tattoos and loves the naughty side of life that comes with being married to an erotica writer. He also likes to take the stress out of his life on his balls; golf balls that is!

LExie and doug PPme and doug elfKD:  Lexie and Doug, one of the things that struck me about the two of you when I first met you was how proud Doug was of your writing, Lexie, and how he always seemed to be promoting you. That convinced me right on the spot that I was witnessing another one of those passionate partnerships in the promoting and celebration of sexuality through erotica. How did that journey begin, and has it always been a team effort?

Lexie: Funnily enough it was Doug that first persuaded me to send in one of my stories. I’ve been writing for years to entertain myself and as a way to indulge my creative side in amongst the sensible side of my life. We’ve always been interested in experimenting, reading and watching erotic things together and he asked why I didn’t write some stories myself. Doug has always been my biggest fan and supporter and he gives me the confidence to keep going even when I think I’ll never get any further with it!

Doug: I had never read any of Lexie’s stories until we discussed sending them off to be published but I knew that she enjoyed writing and I knew that she had a very filthy imagination! I always knew that she would be successful, and I do anything I can to help her fulfil her dream.

KD: Lexie, what does Doug do to help your writing career that you appreciate more than anything else?

Lexie: Doug’s biggest contribution is the fact that he works nights a lot which gives me the space and peace to write. I work all day and then I don’t get into trouble for working all night as he is out in the taxi. Doug is also amazing at doing things around the house, like cooking, tidying, hoovering and sorting out the kids, which leaves me more time to think about story lines and write. He also tells me all the time to quit my job and write full time but so far I think I would feel too guilty to actually do it and let him do all the hard work while I indulge myself in my writing.

KD: Doug, what, so far (knowing that there are lots more such moments ahead) has been the moment in Lexie’s writing career when you’ve been the most proud of her?

Doug: I get the biggest rush when I see her stories in paperback. I remember when the author copies of Immoral Views were delivered and how excited she was to see her story in an actual book for the first time. Another big moment was when she got short listed for the Black Lace/You Magazine competition. She was so excited and I was so proud of her. It’s always fun when people ask her to sign copies of her books too, and I love watching her read when we go to Sh!

KD: What has been the craziest experience you’ve shared in your mutual journey through erotica?

Lexie and Doug PPgaga and slashLexie: We’ve had some amazing experiences since I started writing erotica. We’ve met some incredible people, been to some fantastic places and that doesn’t show any sign of letting up. One of my favourite nights was the Sh! party at the Café de Paris, and we both love going to the party nights at the Sh! shop. Not much can top watching Renee giving a demonstration of how to spank/whip correctly while drinking pink fizz and eating cupcakes. I love the things my writing allows us to do.

Doug: One of my favourite moments was chatting to Tempest Rose and the other girls from the House of Burlesque at the theatre in Eastbourne after their show. There were queues of guys waiting to speak to them and Tempest recognised us and came over to chat. How jealous was everyone?!

KD: Doug, once Lexie begins a new story, how involved are you in the process? What do you consider your most important role when she’s with the Muse?

Doug: I don’t really get involved, but I guess my role when she’s creating is to keep out of the way! Sometimes she will ask me if I think a scene will work and we do talk about how the characters might react to different things, but my role is to keep things going behind the scenes, especially if she has a deadline looming.

KD: What’s the hardest part of the Lexie/Doug working partnership?

Lexie: I think the hardest part is that when I’m immersed in a story I can be a bit single minded and when I don’t get time to write I can be really grumpy. I get so involved in my characters that they become my life and if Doug isn’t as romantic as my leading man he can find himself in the dog house without knowing why!

Doug: I find it hard when Lexie is immersed in a story because she ignores me. It’s almost like being married to two women.

KD: What’s the best part?

Lexie and doug PPWedding 3Lexie: The best part is that when I’m thinking about sex all the time, it does wonders for our sex life. I wouldn’t say that I try out scenes on him but it does often give me ideas for things we could get up to! Also, when I write I’m happy and when I’m happy (like Bagpuss) everyone else is happy. There is nothing like the rush of having a story accepted and Doug is always there to celebrate with me.

Doug: The best part is seeing how happy Lexie is when she gets a story accepted, as well as getting to meet all the other people involved in the industry and going to all the amazing parties.

KD: What’s the best advice the two of you can offer to make that strange and wonderful relationship between erotica writers and their partners run smoother?

L&D: Make sure you support each other and remember that the stories aren’t real but the fantasies can be!

KD: That’s fabulous advice! Tell us something about the Lexie and Doug Team that might really surprise us.

Lexie: We’re really very normal and to look at us you wouldn’t dream of what we get up to some weekends when we hotfoot it up to London to play “erotica writer” with our naughty friends. We work hard, we’re raising two young girls with all the dramas that that brings and we spend a lot of time making each other laugh. I suppose one of the big things in our relationship is the ability to laugh at all the crap life throws at you. We’ve been through some major dramas in the ten years we’ve been together but we’ve managed to get through it all with a lot of love and a lot of laughs.

KD: Lexie, what’s the Muse had you up to lately, and what yumminess should we be keeping an eye out for from Lexie Bay?

Lexie: I’ve got a story coming out that I’m really proud of. I feel as though this year my writing is starting to really gel and I’m starting to find my writing style. I love this one so much. It’s called “Decadent Velvet” and I wrote it for the “Smut for Chocoholics” anthology that Sexy Reads has got coming soon.

LExie and Doug PP7DS_LexieBay(1)As well as that I’ve got three novellas that I am trying to finish and hopefully submit somewhere. The first is the back story to the short that got me shortlisted for the Black Lace competition at the start of the year. I enjoyed writing that one so much that I just had to put all the background into it. It’s about an ambitious young woman who falls for a guy who turns out not only to be her new boss but who also has a lot more issues than she bargained for and a much more exciting side than she could ever have imagined. This is my first attempt at a bit of BDSM so I’m a bit nervous about doing it justice.

The second is about two brothers and the girl that they both love. It’s a bit darker than I would normally write and it’s a very intense story. I’ve been batting ideas around for this one since I started writing erotica and I’ve decided that this year I’m actually going to finish it and hopefully get it out for people to read.

The last one is a supernatural story about a Succubus and her messed up family. It’s also a bit dark but it’s full of lighter moments and it was inspired by a really funny guy I was friends with a year or so ago. His take on life made me giggle and I wanted to write something that would capture his humour.

On top of all of that I’m busy promoting my latest story “An Indolent Seduction” which is the story of Sloth from “Seven Deadly Sins” published by Sweetmeats Press. It’s out in e-book and paperback and you can get it from:

Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Deadly-Sins-K-Grace/dp/1909181080/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1360538323&sr=8-3

WH Smiths http://www.whsmith.co.uk/EProducts/Seven-Deadly-Sins+eBook+KB00106214637

Waterstones http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/lexie+bay/k-+d-+grace/rebecca+bond/kojo+black/john+lachatte/seven+deadly+sins/9514507/

LExie and Doug PPSeven Deadly Sins LargeBlurb: When the demon of Sloth sets his sights on the angel Industria, apathy becomes dangerously alluring.

Excerpt from An Indolent Seduction by Lexie Bay:

Cordy’s mobile rang and he picked it up frowning. What the hell did Hugo want? He put his hand on the girl in his lap’s head, halting her vigorous blow job for a moment as he answered the phone.

“What is it Hugo, I’m taking some time out of my busy schedule?” Cordy snapped

“Right, yah, sorry boss, still learning the ropes. I think this is pretty important though.”

Cordy tapped the girl on the head, indicating that she should carry on her task. She smiled up at him, languidly running her tongue over her lips before she slid his cock back into her mouth. He stifled a groan as Hugo carried on.

“They did fucking what?!”

He pushed the blonde out of his lap and jumped up, tucking himself back into his trousers. Storming over to his laptop he clicked onto his website. Hugo wasn’t lying; there it was in black and white. “Website removed”

Cordy knew exactly who was behind this. He’d put up with a lot from her but this was the final straw. He ran his fingers through his hair, pacing the floor of his office as his mind worked overtime. Then a slow smile spread across his face and heaven felt a cold wind, spreading a chill across all the virtues.

“Get it up and running again, I don’t care who you need to involve. I want it accessible again by the end of the day if not sooner,” he barked into his phone, not even listening to Hugo as he answered him. He snapped his phone shut and turned to the pretty blonde, wondering how quickly he could get rid of her. He needed to plan his revenge and she was a distraction he didn’t need. Unfortunately she looked like she’d had way too much of whatever it was she’d brought with her, mixed with too many glasses of champagne. She was smiling at him and he was fairly certain he wasn’t going to get away with telling her to go.

*****

Lexie is published by House of Erotica and Sweetmeats Press and you can find out more about her at:

http://www.lexiebay.co.uk

http://www.twitter.com/Lexie_Bay

http://www.facebook.com/LexieBayAuthor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grand Tour of A Very Full Room

writing image 2Every year I mention my fascination with the last week of the year, and 2012 is no exception. The last week isn’t like the rest. It’s almost like there are actually fifty-one weeks in the year, then there’s the crowded room at the end, a place not unlike my grandmother’s living room was, all crowded full of the bits and pieces and memorabilia of eighty-three years of living.

The last week of the year is a mini version of that living room, a mental version, a room that everyone has in their head, no matter how expansive the previous fifty-one weeks have been, this final week is the tiny space into which we crowd everything that’s happened in the past year. Then we settle in to the one comfy chair in that room that isn’t avalanching with memories and emotions, and we reflect.

It’s that time again, the last day in our overly crowded room of 2012. We have to enjoy it now while we can because we only have until midnight on 31st December, and then we’ll have to leave this room, lock the door behind us, never to return, and walk into the brand new huge empty room of 2013.

IMG00329-20120523-0945I’d like to take you on a very brief tour of my crowded room because I’m taking one last inventory of Room 2012, and what a crowded room it is! Careful there, don’t trip over all the gardening tools, and can you just step over that bag of compost. Yep, this was the year we got the allotment, weeds, rickety blue garden shed, asparagus patch and all. Hey, yoohoo! I’m over here, squished in the corner behind the four novels, one novella and three short stories. Yep, that’s me! I know, I know, I look a bit tired. Well it has been one of the most challenging years ever, so that’s not terribly surprising. There’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of 450,000 words in all those pages! Oh and then there was all the blog posts, and you know me. I’m noted for being pretty wordy.

That’s it, that’s it, careful there, just squeeze past the telly and around the stack of old Metro Holly 9 July 2012newspapers. 2012 was the year I made my first ever national television appearance on channel 5 news, thanks to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and the wild popularity of the eBook reader. I almost didn’t get there after being sent to the wrong studio, then being stuffed into a cab to get across London in twenty minutes before show time. What an adventure that was! I also got to be on the radio with Phil Rickman. I love radio. It’s still titillates the imagination for me. And then there were newspapers! Wow, I had mug shots and everything! The Daily Express even sent a photographer and a make-up artist so they could capture the smutter in her natural environment.

Careful there, don’t knock over the pile of used train tickets and hotel receipts. It took me ages to get them stacked that neatly. 2012 was packed with readings and launches and adventures in London. And then there were the talks in the libraries in the Midlands! That was definitely one of the highlights of my writing year. The Initiation of Ms Holly was chosen by the wonderful Between the Sheets Project, as one of the top 30 erotica books to be included on the shelves in public libraries in the UK. Between the Sheets was a month-long celebration of erotica including a website and blog and talks by erotica writers in libraries around the UK. I felt like I was a part of history being made. And when Kay Jaybee and I went to speak in the Dudley area libraries near Birmingham, we were bowled over by the excitement and the enthusiasm for erotica and by the wonderful hospitality of the people from the Black Country.

This was the year I became another person. Everyone knows K D Grace writes very naughty erotica. But this was the year when I decided romance should come to the forefront, and Xcite agreed with me. That being the case, Grace Marshall made her debut with romance served hot, and the first course was An Executive Decision, book one of the Executive Decisions Trilogy, which was released in September and very well received, so well in fact that Xcite asked me to hurry on with the rest of the trilogy. That’s what I’ve been up to since the middle of October. The second book, Identity Crisis, has just been finished and is due to make its appearance early in 2013, and book three, The Exhibition, won’t be far behind.

ExecDecisions Banner1

This was the year we got our allotment. Yes I know, I mentioned that, but since you keep tripping over garden tools and you noticed the freezer full of our over-abundant runner bean harvest, I thought I’d bring it up again. The plot we were allotted in April was about four, maybe five times our entire back garden and it was well-grown with weeds. We still managed a lovely crop of sweet corn, cabbage, French and runner beans and courgettes. And there was asparagus!

IMG00466-20121101-1054I can’t recall a year that I’ve ever worked so hard, and even with all of the excitement and the adventure I’ve never had a year that I’ve suffered so much from self-doubt, some of that, I’m sure, came from the stress of writing four novels as two different authors in one year, plus a 40 thousand word novella. This was a year that tested me and stretched me in ways I could have never imagined at the beginning, when I first walked into this room of 2012, back when it was the empty room. Now, as I reflect, I’m amazed that one year could contain so very, very much, and there’s so much more I could share with you, but really, I’m looking forward to the tour of YOUR crowded 2012!

For me, sales are good and the response to my work has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m already excited about the projects that are ahead of me. As I look back at this very full room of 2012, I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet.

I spend my days doing what I love most, writing stories. I spend my evenings and nights with a man who loves me and is very supportive of my work. I’m surrounded by wonderful colleagues and friends, who encourage me and empathise with me and share the excitement, and I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I already know some of the fun I can expect in 2013, and it will include at least two more novels; the third of The Executive Decisions novels and, at long last, a sequel to The Initiation of Ms Holly. There are also some schemes and plans I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I will definitely be crowing about them when the time comes. Oh yes, I’m going to have great fun filling the empty room of 2013. The key is already twitching in my hand!

Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter if we’re sitting reflecting on all that fills our individual 2012 room, or if we’re frantically trying to fill it still  December Sunset after first hard frostfuller; at midnight tonight, we’ll all take a deep breath, open the door and walk out into the empty room waiting for us in 2013. All we’ll take with us is our memories of the room we left and our hopes for how we’ll fill this bright new room that stretches promisingly before us. Some of us make New Years resolutions, some of us just plow in without a plan of action, but one thing is for certain, this time next year, if we live that long, we’ll be sitting in the full room again reflecting on how the experiences of 2013 have shaped us, anticipating how we’ll take the experiences into the next empty room.

My wish for you is that your reflections in your full room be good ones, satisfying ones. And at the stroke of midnight, that you will enter that bright new empty room with hope and joy and anticipation of how wonderfully you’ll fill it up.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial