There are a couple of types of unconscious research, I guess. One is where you’re asleep and dreaming and your dreams become fodder for future stories. Another is where you experience something without ever intending to use it for a story, and yet when you’re writing, you find yourself wanting to include those experiences in your work.
Now, my dreams are completely bonkers and make no sense at all, so if I used that sort of research in my work, I’d probably come up with something as nonsensical as Alice in Wonderland. However, the other sort of research is increasingly creeping into my work. And I’m not talking about what I get up to in the bedroom—that’s private! I’m talking about going out somewhere and seeing things, travelling, etc.
The most recent example of this is my story Finally Found, which appears in the recently-released Lover Unexpected: Sappho Edition anthology from Evernight Publishing. A friend forwarded me the call for submissions as she knew I wrote a lot of lesbian stuff, and the call sounded great so I gave it a go. And I came up with a lesbian erotic romance set in London, a place I visit and explore fairly regularly, despite the fact I live over 120 miles away.
The tale begins in The Ritz, a place I haven’t been inside (and probably never will, unless I win the lottery or get a six figure book advance), but have seen from the outside. So my imagination has furnished the interior. Other parts of the story, however, are drawn from experience. For example, the characters, Natalia and Ashleigh visit Fortnum and Mason and poke fun at the products and their prices (I’ve done that) and have perused the erotica section at Piccadilly Waterstones (I’ve done that several times, and tidied it up, too!). At the time, I never thought about writing the places into stories, but the ideas just came into my head at a later date.
So the second unconscious research method is absolutely brilliant for me, as I’m always visiting cool places and exploring them. So who knows what experiences will creep into my future stories? You’ll have to keep reading my books to find out! 😉
Natalia smiled as she caught sight of the familiar redhead sitting in the hotel bar. Thankful for the thick carpet masking her footsteps, she walked towards her friend from the back, ensuring she wouldn’t be seen. Then, she slipped her hands over her eyes.
An excitable squeak, then, “Oh, I don’t know. Is it Scarlett Johansson?”
“Hmm, close, but not quite. Guess again.”
“Oh, shut up you silly cow, and come here.”
With that, the redhead stood and turned, throwing her arms around Natalia and pulling her into a tight hug. “Hey, gorgeous. I missed you! How are you?”
“I missed you too, Ashleigh. I’m good, thanks. How about you? You look great.”
Disentangling from their embrace, Ashleigh looked down at her clingy black top and skinny jeans and shrugged. “Thanks. I’m okay, I guess. All the better for seeing you. It feels like forever! Come on, sit down. Let’s get a drink.”
They sat down, and a waiter appeared. Natalia suspected he’d been waiting at a safe distance until they’d finished their enthusiastic greeting.
He smiled. “What can I get you ladies?”
Natalia looked at her watch. “You know what, it’s Saturday and it’s after twelve. I’ll have a glass of white wine please.”
Ashleigh piped up. “Make it a bottle. Thanks.”
The waiter nodded, gave a little bow and walked away.
“So,” Natalia said, settling back into the plush armchair, “how was your journey? I always find getting into London a total nightmare, but it’s not so bad once you’re here. The Tube may be sweaty and crowded, but it’s damn fast!”
Ashleigh nodded. “It was all right, actually. The train into the city was on time and not very busy, and, like you say, the Tube is quick and easy. It was pretty stress-free. You?”
“Much the same. I’m just glad we’re finally here. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we’ve seen each other. It’s so easy to forget that when we talk almost every day.”
“I know. I’m sorry. It’s just life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Especially as we live so far apart. And then there was all that stuff with Kayla…”
Natalia didn’t know how to respond to that, so she just nodded sagely. Kayla had been Ashleigh’s live-in girlfriend, until the discovery of some text messages and emails tipped Ashleigh off that she was being cheated on. Despite all of Kayla’s pleas and declarations of true and undying love, Ashleigh had no intention of being a doormat, so she’d thrown Kayla out, and that was the end of it.
Of course, Natalia had known that Kayla was going to be thrown out before Kayla did. As soon as Ashleigh had found the incriminating missives, she’d gotten straight on the phone to Natalia for advice. And as much as Natalia wanted to tell her friend to get the hell rid of the cheating bitch, she also wanted her to be happy, so instead she’d asked if Ashleigh if she thought she was being too hasty.
“Fuck no,” Ashleigh had replied, “as far as I’m concerned, she’s destroyed my trust, and once that happens things are never the same, so it’s not worth it. And if I meant that much to her, she wouldn’t have done it, would she?”
Natalia had been inclined to agree. And although she was glad Kayla was off the scene—even aside from the fact that Natalia had been in love with Ashleigh since their University days, she’d never liked Kayla—she still hadn’t plucked up the courage to confess her own feelings to her friend. She probably never would—there was too much at stake. Their friendship spanned over ten years, and Natalia didn’t want to risk losing that.
Girlfriends share lots of things, including their most sinful secrets. When those secrets involve love, lust and long denied desire, sparks are sure to fly. And sometimes, there is no denying the need for a woman’s touch. In this volume you’ll find seven delicious stories of sensual, daring women who open their hearts to discover love, fulfillment and satisfaction—closer than they expected.
More info and buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/lover-unexpected-sappho-edition/
Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9