When I gave up my job describing interiors for a magazine, my Mother told me not to ‘burn my bridges,’ and I started to wonder if that is sound advice. Once burnt, there is no way back. You have crossed the Rubicon, the Styx, the Thames, for that matter. I had moved from West London to East London where the rents are cheaper and the cost is broken streets, a fall on the ice and a broken finger.
At that time, a friend of mine who paints abstracts lost all of her work in a fire. For months she walked around in a funk. Then she rented a new studio. She started again and her paintings were fresher, freer, more layered, more interesting.
It made me think. I have files of unfinished short stories, notebooks of ideas, character descriptions. I kept going back to them as if in the past we might find the future.
But I had a deeper instinct that, only when I found the courage to burn all these scribbled notes would the universe reach down and lift me like a fiery phoenix from the ashes. You get trapped into repeating yourself, you plagiarize yourself, you become all those things you condemn in others. Sometimes, I would pass a shop window and glimpse my mother in the reflection.
There was a book I wanted to write and I needed to steal time to write it. I had some savings, the chance to house sit, and a plan of action came to me one day in the park when a paragraph like a speck of space dust fell from the sky into my head. I raced home and wrote it down. I didn’t burn all my jottings, that would have been romantic, and in my flat I don’t have an open fireplace.
What I did was place all the notes and notebooks in black plastic bags and carried them down the stairs – the Romanian girl in the flat below was singing, I could hear her voice faintly through the half-open door – and put the bags in the blue Paper and Cardboard recycle bin.
I felt lighter walking back upstairs, not just lighter from not carrying the bags, but lighter in my step, in my head. Katie from that first paragraph was now at my side and she would remain there night and day like a doppelganger, like changing images in a house of mirrors: me, but not me.
My previous books had been about girls coming of age, finding themselves and their sexuality. Katie was not a young girl. She was 28, my age, as it happens, and she had a lot of confusion about a lot of things: love, romance, passion erotica. But also art, contemporary life, nude-selfies, sexting, porn, internet dating, pulp and pop culture, tabloid TV – men, those shapeshifters and mysteries so hard to live with and impossible to live without.
These are the ingredients for what was given the working title: Strangers, then Stranger in the House of Mirrors, then House of Mirrors, then…well, lots of things, and became as if it were meant to be: Katie in Love.
A book is a journey; your characters your companions. You create them and they, in some ways, create you. Katie Boyd is a perfectionist, moody, she likes dancing, she is unsure what she should do in her life and, when she feels as if she is falling in love with Tom Bridge, the feeling is unexpected, shocking and terrifying.
Katie in Love was 13 months in the making, all writing is re-writing, every word is a chip in a mosaic, even that space gift first paragraph was edited, but the book became the book I wanted to write and I feel free now to start another book.
Katie Boyd has nothing in common with Tom Bridge, the volunteer doctor she meets at a party – except in bed she finds a passion to match her own. Tom is intense, puzzling, a man who cares about others and compels Katie to question her own life drifting through the hip clubs and London party scene.
When Tom returns to his post in a Sri Lanka orphanage, Katie isn’t sure if their passion was lit by its brevity, or if love, unexpected and not entirely wanted, has edged its way into her life. Should she go back to being who she always was? Or follow Tom into the unknown?
Katie in Love is a compelling erotic-romance that will grip readers as they follow Katie’s journey to an ending they may have expected – but not in the way they expected it.
Brilliantly written and coolly self-aware, Chloe Thurlow was described by KM Dylan on Amazon as “…the Anaïs Nin of our times.” With Katie in Love – her sixth novel – Thurlow reveals a writer at the height of her powers.
Excerpt from Katie in Love — furnace hot 5*****
Katie has met a stranger at a New Years Eve dance and she takes him back to her East London flat –
My heart was a little boat that had broken its moorings. My breath was trapped in my throat. I rolled to one side and slid across his body. I took his cock back into my mouth, completing the circle, his tongue pushing back into my vagina, my tongue wrapped about his shaft. We rocked to and fro like sunflowers in a field, deeper and deeper, while the tree branch tapped like a metronome against the windowpane and we found perfect harmony.
My pussy continued to leak nectar into his mouth. Our bodies were slippery with perspiration. I could have remained in that position for the rest of my life, but the tempo changed, his body tensed and my throat filled with warm sperm that tasted like coconut milk. I gobbled it down, greedy for more. He kept pushing into me, I kept drawing at his cock and, as the last drips drained into my mouth, I grew rigid. I released his cock and gasped as his meaty tongue ignited an orgasm that made me scream. I cried out as if in pain but the pain was an intense, all-consuming pleasure.
My body was trembling as if in fever. I rolled to one side, arms wrapped around his legs, our bodies drenched, throbbing, electric. I was dizzy. He pulled me up and pushed his cock inside me as if it were a jewel being placed back in a velvet box. We rocked gently like waves on an outgoing tide and, on that tide, the ship would soon be sailing.
We slept for an hour. We made love again and he slept again, staying hard inside me while I lay awake enjoying the feel of his weight pinning me down. Sometimes you have to picture what you wish for. I had pictured the stranger and willed him into being.
I must have drifted into sleep. I remember my eyes blinking open, a smile on my lips. There was dull light around the unclosed blinds. Morning had come. It was the first day of a New Year – a new beginning. He was dressing. He leaned over, kissed my forehead, and I watched as he left my bedroom. I heard the click of the front door. Then there was silence.
Link for Amazon downloads – http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00S1SMMIG
Link for Amazon books – http://bookgoodies.com/a/1503014908
Write to Chloe at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Chloe’s extraordinary blogs at – www.chloethurlow.com
Chloe Thurlow lives in London and spends as much time as she can in Spain trying to improve her dire Spanish accent. The author of 5 previous novels, Katie in Love, is her first indy book – an experience she describes as walking blindfold on a highwire between two buildings without a safety net. Katie in Love is available as a beautifully-bound paperback and an ebook.
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