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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Pssst! Wanna Know Why They Wrote That?


Summer’s coming on fast and everyone is looking forward to holidays and adventures in the sun. My husband and I have our walking adventures planned for the summer, which I hope to be sharing on Hopeful Romantic from time to time. And there are new adventures planned for this blog as well.

There will be guests! Lots of fabulous sexy, intriguing guests, beginning Wednesday with the incredible Lucy Felthouse. She’ll be sharing what inspired her sexy mermaid story, Down By The Pool,  which will be in her upcoming anthology, Seducing the Myth. Lucy’s sneak peek behind the scenes of this hot, and totally unique story is the first in what I hope will be an on-going series called, The Story Behind the Story. It’s a chance for my guest authors to share what inspired the sexiest, most dramatic, favourite bits of their novels and stories.

I’ve always been fascinated with what inspires writers to write, and specifically what inspires certain scenes and certain stories. I love to hear about what experiences the writer had that sent them scurrying for pen and paper or keyboard, what eureka moments got their creative juices flowing, how did the Muse whisper the good stuff in their ear. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wonders these things because I get ask often what inspired The Initiation of Ms Holly and The Pet Shop. I’m always more than happy to share the story, and I’m very pleased to say, so are most authors, including the yummy ones I’ve invited to give us the skinny behind their gripping, sexy, romantic, fun stuff.

Every Wednesday starting in June, I will have a fabulous guest blogger on my site, and a good few of them will be sharing what inspired their favourite bits of their novels and stories. I can hardly wait! I’ll be continuing with my regular posts also, so there will be lots of fun and excitement, Plus something really special coming up in August. Stay tuned for more information on that.

LATEST NEWS

The first reviews are in on The Pet Shop, and I’m thrilled to say, people like misbehaving Pets!

Manic Readers gives The Pet Shop five stars.

‘KD Grace has crafted something mesmerizing.’… ‘I loved The Pet Shop. It was so well done that I could hardly wait to turn each page. Of course the sex was delicious, but the background story, the premise of The Pet Shop, and the magic between the various characters was much more than just delicious sex. Great job bringing me something completely different to read.’

 

Author and founder of Erotica For All, Lucy Felthouse, say:

‘ The sex is smoking hot, the storyline intriguing, and the whole thing is so brilliantly written that you’ll emerge from the end gasping for breath. This book is a whirlwind of fun and naughtiness perfect for erotica fans.’

The Pet Shop is now available in eBook formats, but will be available in print in October, at which time there will be much pink fizz and dancing.

In the meantime, I’m hard at work on book one of the Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising. Xcite and I have been planning and scheming covers. I can hardly wait to see the end results.

Be sure to check in Wednesday for Lucy Felthouse talking about the strange phenomenon of mermaids in the Peak District in the very first Story Behind The Story. It’ll be so much fun!

 

 

 

Phantom of the Opera: Sex and the Trading of Innocence for Knowledge

I saw Phantom of the Opera in London with my sister-in-law and her husband Tuesday. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen the musical, but I was enraptured all over again, just like always. I read Gaston Leroux’s novel long before I knew anything about the musical, and I thought it was one of the most romantic, sexy, totally terrifying, psychologically complex books I’d ever read. I still think that. It’s the penultimate romance in which all of our worst nightmares are interwoven so tightly with all of our deepest hopes and wildest dreams that it’s impossible to pick the threads apart. So we can do nothing but bask in it and be haunted by it.

I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve always felt the stories in mythology that are about seduction of mortal women by the gods and the stories of the magical children born of those unions are really the stories of inspiration. What better description of inspiration than divine seduction. I get goose bumps just thinking about it!

As I always do, when I experience Gaton Leroux’s gripping tale again, especially when accompanied by music that so beautifully illustrates the soaring and plummeting of the human heart when touched by love and loss and desire and suffering, I find myself analyzing what it is in the story that moves me so, what it is that moves thousands of people every year.

The elements are all there, a bad boy, a beautiful girl, a hero, a gift offered with a price, and yet Leroux has managed to turn it all on its ear, with perfect story-telling precision. The hero is not the dashing young viscount from Christine’s past. The ‘god’ in the story is not irresistibly beautiful, but disfigured and wounded. His seduction is not physical, but he knows the soul of an artist well enough to know that the real seduction is in offering a deeper understanding, a deeper mastery of her gift. In the lovely Christine, the gift is already there, she just lacks the training, which her ‘Angel of Music’ is only too happy to provide. The Phantom’s dark is the balance to Christine’s light, and his music of the night allows her true gift to shine. Through it all, Raul, the viscount, is clueless. But Christine knows the dark. She’s seen it, embraced it, and a part of her loves it and longs for it. Her ‘loss of innocence’ has a chilling side to it that the whole story revolves around.

Even when I read the book without the enhancement of the amazing music, my heart raced, and the fear I felt at the descriptions of the Phantom’s lair and the dark lake under the opera house and the terrifying scene in the graveyard, still makes me shiver years later. Yet throughout the whole of the book there is an ache for the Phantom that is so much more than pity. It’s a compelling, beautifully woven mix of fear and awe and raw desire for a man who is so much more than human that human rules can barely apply and yet so wounded that the imagination can barely take in the suffering he has born. His actions tell us he is a monster, and yet we want him, we long for a way for him and Christine to be together, for all wounds to be healed and there to be a happy ever after.

But there can’t be. There can never be. And then we realize that happy-ever-after is Raul’s job. He is to have vicariously what the Phantom may never have, but it is Christine who earns him that right. She is the hero of this story. She is the goddess hidden, then revealed only at the end when a choice must be made between the death of Raul and life with the Phantom. She not only chooses, but she chooses unconditionally, unreservedly to love the Phantom, to understand him, in as much as it’s possible to understand such tortured genius. She is the true giver of the gift in this story. She restores the balance. Just as the Phantom’s darkness has infused her gift with the music of the night, her light has healed him, enabling him to let go of that which he knows does not now, nor has it ever belonged to him, the gift and the possessor of that gift.

And what does that have to do with inspiration? In the Greek stories and myths, it takes time for the magical child to be born and trained up to fulfill the task for which he was conceived, and it is usually a he. In Leroux’s story, we aren’t told how long Christine has been studying with her ‘Angel of Music,’ but it is clearly enough to make her singing totally astounding to anyone who listens.

Thomas Edison said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninty-nine percent perspiration. One good tumble with a god is of no more value than having raw talent. What happens next is what really matters, the hard work of training up the magical child, of training up the exquisite voice, of writing and writing and writing some more until what we’ve written works, until every word sings, until we learn what makes words sing, and what makes the chorus of words that sing our story just like we envision it in our moments of deepest inspiration.

I think Phantom of the Opera is the story of the natural process of the creative force. It inspiration and hard work moving through the fear to restore balance, and coming out on the other side to places we never could have imagined in our wildest dreams. Then starting over again.

Is this what Leroux’s story is about? I don’t know, but I do know that the sensuality, the deep hunger and the fear of moving past the point of no return is something every writer encounters every time we write, and I think every artist experiences that as well.

And what does that have to do with sex? Well, everything, actually. What we create, what we bring forth is the result of passion leading us down into the depths of ourselves and seducing ourselves in ways we can scarcely imagine. We are changed by that passion, by that deep connection with what inspires us. Innocence is lost and something totally new is created even out of our fears, and we are inspired to move forward and to face unconditionally what comes next.

 

It’s Time for Garden Porn

Two words…garden porn. Oh yes! I’m most definitely addicted. Do you have any idea how many luscious, deliciously explicit garden sites there are? Though I like pretty flowers just fine, and though plump red strawberries are enough to get my heart rate up, what really gets me going, what really makes me quiver all over is vegetables. My, oh my, how I love to look at sites that sell vegetables, or sites that give advice on how to grow vegetables, or sites that show photos of really well put-together veg gardens. Does it get any better than that?

 Oh, and the garden centres! I adore the earthy scent of fresh compost and fertilizer, of greenhouse heat and rank, growing plants, all overlaid with the scent of espresso from the coffee shop. And it’s not just the scent that I love, it’s the feel of a quality wooden handled hoe or garden fork resting in the relaxed but firm, grip of my hand. Some are designed especially for a lady’s light hand, while others are thick and long and manly. There are metres and meters of gossamer thin garden fleece all ready to caress my plants with that peek-a-boo hint of what lies beneath on a frosty spring night. There are multi-coloured, oh so soft, gloves to protect my hands while I’m groping and tugging in a weedy bed.

 And the plants. This time of year plants that aren’t just loaded with gaudy blooms already are heavy and swollen with buds about ready to burst. Stiff phallic shoots are coming up everywhere, and the heady scent of new growth is intoxicating.

 Personally, I don’t think it’s any surprise at all that I go both ways – erotic writer and vegetable gardener. We’re talking about the best of both worlds here. And inspiration, Wow! My seedlings are mostly in the mini greenhouses now, but when they first push up through the soft potting compost with just the tiniest hint of pale plant flesh pressing through the glossy black earth, it’s a teasing par excellence. My breath catches, my heart races and I’m positively bouncing with excitement.

 I’ve written about naughty things to do with carrots and courgettes, and I’ve written about kink amid the topiary. It’s true, getting down and dirty among the growing things makes me hot and sometimes sore. I planted runner beans today, squatted in the rich earth, digging and watering and patting in place. There’s still dirt under my nail,s and my shoulders ache. Yes, it was good for me.

 It’s true — I like the heat and the dirt, but what I like best of all is that the Muse hangs out in the vegetable garden. When I’m getting down and dirty in the beans, the Muse whispers fabulous naughtiness, amazing imaginative titillating tales in my ear. He’s practically giving it away, when I’m up to my knuckles in compost. I think the Muse likes garden porn too. It makes him  loose and easy with his ideas, and there I am hunkered down amid the weeds and the beans, completely unsuspecting of what he’s about to whisper to me. It’s always hot, and he always makes it good for me. Oh yes. I do like garden porn. I can hardly wait to write down all that he whispered in my ear while I took my pleasure planting beans.

Just a little added note: Keziah Hill just informed me that there is an actual site called Garden Porn. I just checked it out. A site where the ‘Hortisexuals’ hang out is my kind of site!

 

Fun and Frolic Through the Week

It’s been another exciting week of making friends and visiting fabulous websites and blogs, of spending time with the Pets and walking the story.

 On the 15th, I had the pleasure of raising a ruckus on Rachel Leigh’s juicy blog, and she didn’t mind in the least. I think it says a lot about a person’s character when they don’t mind a little ruckus raising on their site. A lovely lady, and a lovely place to hang out and talk smut.

 On the 16th  the delicious Nichelle Gregory interviewed me on her terrific site, Simply Sexy Stories. We talked about the unusual challenges writing The Initiation of Ms Holly presented for me, with its roots in Greek mythology and more than a few of its pages flavoured with BDSM.

 At the same time, The Initiation of Ms Holly was being featured on The Romance Reviews site for a give-away. A busy day for me and for Holly

On the 17th, I got to talk about inspiration on the lovely Tina Donahue’s site, and the discussion of continued with some terrific people dropping in to talk about mythology and inspiration. Tina and her friends made me feel right at home, and it was great to talk about one of my favourite topics. 

I capped off the week by going to visit Lasabet Sarai on her fabulous Beyond Romance site. I told her all about why I write sex, and when some of her friends stopped by, the conversation heated up. Isn’t it wonderful to have such fun sites where sex is not only a welcome topic, but it’s the standard feast.

More good news in the short story department, as The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance had its first sneak preview on Scribd. I’m very excited about this fabulous anthology, edited by the mysterious and delightful Sonia Florens. Not only is my steamy, arty, myth-tinged story ‘Inspiration’ included, but the table of contents reads like a who’s who of great erotic authors. I feel honoured to be in the presence of so many of my writing idols.

 On the home front, I am doing the last little bits of grooming and preparing my Pets for their big send-off. If all goes well, I hope to be able to wave them on their way to Hazel at Xcite mid-week. Then she’ll put them through their paces and turn them loose on the public when The Pet Shop debuts in October. I’ve had so much fun with the misbehaving Tino and his cohorts. I’ll miss them. In the meantime, while I’m waiting for them to go public, I’ll be ghost hunting in Keswick and twisting and reshaping more mythology. All in all, it promises to be a terrific spring.

 I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from The Pet Keeper’s Manual to better prepare you for the arrival of those mischievous Pets. 

Pets don’t like to eat alone. They prefer to sit on the floor by the table next to their keeper’s chair, where they enjoy being hand-fed. If this is not possible, place food in a bowl next to the water dish. Make sure meat is always cut into bite-sized chunks.

Note: The former is preferable, as most Pets and Pet keepers find sharing a meal in this fashion very enjoyable and a part of their bonding experience.

 

117 Miles of Inspiration

We just got back from walking the Two Moors Way, also known as the Devon Coast to Coast — Nine days of walking across the whole of Devon. We did it from Lynmouth in the north to Wembury in the South. It was 117 miles of moorland, farmland, red deer, ponies, prehistoric ruins, bluebell woods, wild garlic pathways and much more than I could ever write about in one blog entry. We were usually walking by nine-thirty in the morning and in bed by nine-thirty at night. Somehwere in the midst of blisters and aches and lovely views and gorgeous wildflowers, we developed a routine, and by the beginning of the fourth day, that routine opened into space for thinking. For me, space for thinking always means it’s time to plan and scheme a new story, and certainly the inspiration was there. Now that The Initiation of Ms Holly is off to my editor, I’m constantly thinking about what comes next. With my days full of the enormous emptiness of the moors, and nothing to do but put one foot in front of the other mile after mile, whole scenes played out in my head. Charactors I’d been toying with revealed themselves more clearly, almost like they had dropped in for the day’s walk, and nebulous ideas became more concrete. All that without ever setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
I’ve always walked my stories. Whenever I reach a road block, I go for a walk, whenever I’m not sure what happens next, I go for a walk. I’ve just never had nine whole days to walk a story before. I’d like to say that I now have the next novel all planned out in detail, but that’s not what happened. I walked across open spaces, huge open spaces, always wondering what I was missing, what I might be able to see if I just looked a little harder. I’m not sure how so much emptiness can feel so full, but it does. There’s a lot out there, and even now that I’m back home, I’m still seeing what’s out there. I think it’s a good metaphor for what happens when I write.
I’ve come home to my own little enclosed space to discover that my story, Accidental Hitchhiker, is now available on the Xcite eBooks anthology, Between the Sheets. Also, my story, Muscle Bound, will be available in October in the Cleis Press anthology, Smooth: Erotic Stories for Women. A very nice homecoming, I think!

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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