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The Power of The One

(Archived from post written for ERWA Sept 2012)

Like most writers, I spend a lot of time analysing what makes a story work. Why does one story grip me when another doesn’t? Why do the characters in one tale make me want to curl myself around them and never let them go while others feel more like they’re only people waiting at the bus stop with me, people who barely register in my mind.

How much of what makes a story work is plot and how much is character? Sometimes nothing happens in a story, and I’m enthralled. At other times everything happens in a story, and I don’t care. Am I just picky? I wonder if in the age of free Kindle downloads, being spoiled for choice hasn’t jaded us so much as it has left us frantically searching for The One. And the stories that really do work for me are the stories in which I most fully experience the power of The One.

It seems to me that the power of The One is more evident in erotica and romance than it is in any other genre. I suppose that sounds really obvious in a Cinderella and Prince Charming, or best fuck ever sort of way. At the risk of over-simplifying, it’s all about being The One, finding The One, enticing The One, seducing or being seduced by The One. Happily ever aftering with The One.

In our need to connect, in our need for intimacy, it seems to me that the power of The One draws us more than any other element of story. It isn’t so much the need for a knight on a white horse as it is the need for a kindred spirit, as it is the need for someone who groks us, someone who gets us on the deepest level of our quirkiness, our flaws, our potential, our Oneness. The archetypal story is that The One goes on a journey that no one else can go on, and on that danger-fraught journey, The One finds The Other One, the only Other One who really gets him/her, who is the flint to The One’s steel. And the resulting fire is what propels the story, what takes the reader in and entices her into her own place of Oneness. Hearts and flowers – maybe. Best fuck ever – could be. Magnetic connection – bound to be.

The thing is, not everyone’s fire is fueled the same way. One person’s One is another person’s bloke at the bus stop. The story of The One can be a game of substitution in which our minds edit out the hero/heroine and insert ourselves making the story about us. WE become The One. Or the story of The One can be more of a voyeuristic menage in which we find ourselves happily inserted into the relationship, experiencing a bit of the hero, a bit of the heroine, and basking in the chemistry that happens in the space between, when two Ones collide. I find this to be more of a 3D way to experience The One. In a lot of ways that space in between, that joining place where the rough edges rub up against each other is the real One. The joining place is the space in which the two become a different kind of One.

Beyond romance and erotica, the power of The One is what so much of story is about. The One who catches the serial killer. The One who is the serial killer. The One who wins the battle, The One who pulls the Sword from the stone, The One whose face launches a thousand ships. The One who can wear the glass slipper.

The tale of The One is the mathematics of story. The One plus the Other One equals One, and that One is
the Whole, the plurality of One.

Writing imageThe tale of The One is the physics of story. When the One fuses with the Other One, they join together to form THE ONE. That fusing results in a release of energy, energy that feeds the reader, energy that drives the story.

When The One reader finds The One story, the energy released can change the reader’s internal landscape. The constant search for The One story by the reader is a treasure hunt that can change everything. Every reader has experienced that post coital bliss of indulging in The One story. It’s chemistry, it’s fire, it’s magic! It doesn’t happen often, but every time it does, it’s enough. It’s enough to drive us on in search of the next One

 

Finding Inspiration: An Erotica Author’s Tale

By M. K. Elliott

I read a great quote from someone on facebook the other day. I can’t remember who it was, so sorry if it was you and I haven’t named you! This particular quote was something along the lines of, ‘Just because I write about it, doesn’t mean I’ve done it … But it doesn’t mean I haven’t done it either.’ I loved the cheeky allure of this quote, and I had to smile when I read it. After all, I’ve lost times of the number of times I’ve been asked this very same question!

MK Elliot MarissaSo where does an erotica author get his or her inspiration? Even authors who don’t live a more exotic lifestyle, such as being in a BDSM relationship, or working in the sex industry, can take inspiration from real life. Life for me is far from exciting. I’m a married mother of three small children, so I have to get my inspiration from the more ‘normal’ things in life. This isn’t a problem, of course, because inspiration can come from all the influences in our lives. My latest novel, ‘Survivor’, which I hope to have out later this year, was partly influenced by my husband’s love of survivalist shows. The only reason I happily watch these shows with him is because of the (usually) hot, half naked man who spends an hour fighting his way through the jungle; the very epitome of an alpha male. On one particular show, they brought a female celebrity along, and I thought to myself ‘I bet she’s only gone on this show so she can spend a week up close and personal with him.’ And so my novel was born. I started writing it that very same night!

My latest serial was also inspired by a real life event. A few years ago, I attended (and spoke at) an erotica writer’s conference, Eroticon. Speaking at this conference was an erotic photographer. I’ve always loved anything artistic, and so went along to his session. It was during this talk that I started wondering about how the relationship between the photographer and a model might develop, especially since the model is exposing herself in the most intimate of ways. How could there not be some sexual tension in the room?

And so my serial, ‘Model, Wanted,’ came into creation. There are now four parts to the serial, with the fourth part just released, and part one free across most retailers!

So how about you? Are there any particular moments in life that have inspired a short story or a novel, or, if you’re a reader, moments that have happened that you wish could have inspired a story? If so I’d love to hear about them! And if you’d like you check out ‘Model, Wanted: Part One’ for free, you can do so by clicking on the following links!

Model, Wanted: Part One Excerpt:

Eric cleared his throat and forced himself to his feet. His job was to photograph her like this, not imagine how she would taste as he pushed his tongue inside her cunt.

He adjusted the lighting hanging from the rail on the ceiling and then picked up his camera. He started with shots of her face, one cheek crushed against the white paper-covered floor, her eyes wide and innocent, portraying her vulnerability. Such contrast to the pose she was in. He moved to her back and hands, taking shots of the metal bound around her slender wrists.

Finally, he moved the camera to aim between her thighs, at the way her spread position exposed her pussy and ass to him in all of their perfection.

“Are you going to fuck me like this?” she asked out of the blue.

He lowered the camera in shock. “That isn’t what this is about.”

She twisted her neck as best she could and locked eyes with him. “What about if that’s what I want this to be about?”

“Anya …”

But he didn’t know what he was going to say. Surely he didn’t intend on telling her no? The position she was in, with her cheek pressed against the floor, her ankles forced apart, her perfect heart-shaped bottom pushed into the air, was just ripe for fucking hard. Between her slender thighs, the swollen lips of her vulva peeped out. He didn’t think he imagined the sheen on her pussy or the inside of her thighs.

His balls ached and his cock lengthened in his pants. Her gaze shifted, resting on the increasingly obvious bulge in his crotch.

“Anya,” he tried again. “It’s crossing a line. I don’t want to be that kind of man …”

“But I want to be that kind of girl,” she said. She spread her ankles wider, pulling the small chains between the spreader bar taut. The metal clinked in response. The position widened her stance, her thighs even more spread than before, exposing the star of her asshole and the delicate inner folds of her pussy.

“Oh, God,” he moaned.

Fuck it. He might want to be a professional when it came to his photography, but he was still a man.

With one swift move, he undid his belt and whipped it from the loops of his pants. He took her bottom between his hands and lowered his face to her wet slit like a man starving. The scent of her juices filled his senses, a musky but sweet perfume. He buried his tongue between her folds, seeking her waiting hole. Hardening his tongue, he slipped inside her easily, her arousal and juices opening her up to him. Her cream covered his mouth, moistening his chin, and he moved in and out, feeling her inner muscles tighten and contract around his tongue.

Anya writhed and moaned beneath his attention, but he wasn’t going to let her come yet.

Eric knelt up behind her, admiring the view. He’d never had someone so submissive to him before, allowing him to do such things to her without any trepidation at the possibility that he might hurt her in some way. He knew she trusted him implicitly.

He took the rock-hard length of his cock in one hand and gave it a couple of strokes. The head was purple and bulbous, the length ridged with veins standing out beneath the silky skin. His balls throbbed with a heavy ache and he longed to bury himself in her silken heat. It was what he’d been dreaming of doing from the moment she’d first walked into his apartment.

With her head twisted so she could watch him, her cheek pressed against the floor, her gaze locked on his face, he slowly ran the head of his cock along the opening of her cunt. He groaned at the heat of her, smearing himself with a mixture of his saliva and her desire. Then he grasped her bottom, one cheek in each hand, and thrust himself deep.

Part One: Blurb

Meet Eric Rutherford, bad boy of the photographic world, guaranteed to bring his models to their knees.

At the top of his game, Eric creates images for five star hotels and portraits for wealthy families.

But Eric has a dream. He longs to create erotic art. He has an eye for a woman’s beauty, but he doesn’t just want to photograph a woman naked, he also wants to tie her up, and down. He wants to bind rope across her breasts, tight enough that the rope leaves an imprint on her skin. He wants to have her on her knees, with her hands handcuffed to her ankles. He wants to whip her rounded pale bottom with a leather flogger, and then photograph the red stripes.

So his search for his perfect model begins and when an advert brings the beautiful, blonde Anya into his apartment, his one fear is that she’ll say no.

Follow erotic photographer, Eric, and model, Anya’s sexy exploits as they push the boundaries of not only their art, but their relationship. How far will they go to fulfil their sexual and artistic desires? 

Find Model, Wanted: Part One Here:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

About M.K. 

M.K. Elliott is the author of the bestselling short story collection, ‘Rescued.’ A British author, she was born in Devon, England, where she now lives with her husband, three young daughters, two rescue cats, and a crazy Spanish dog. Though she has a degree in Zoology, her true love has always been writing and she now works as a full time author. As well as erotica, she also writes paranormal fiction in the name Marissa Farrar, and has recently published her twelfth novel.

Since ‘Rescued’ hit the number one spot, she’s also had several other titles hit the bestseller list, including another short story collection, ‘Some Love it Hot,’ and her erotic vampire novella, ‘Deadly Beauty.’ Her most recent work is the sexy serial, ‘Model, Wanted.’

M.K. writes everything from contemporary romance to steaming hot erotica, and her love of travel and adventure is her main influence in her stories.

If you would like to know more about M.K. then please visit her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/M.K.Elliotts.Erotica or blog http://mkelliott.wordpress.com/. You can also stalk her on twitter, http://twitter.com/M_K_Elliott .

 

Tunnel-Visioned in Storyland

It’s that time again … Deadlines are tight, and I’m deep into Storyland. It comes as no surprise really, droppedImageand my husband is well used to it by now.

‘Did you feed the birds?’ my husband asks.

‘They’re in the refrigerator,’ I reply.

‘Are you hungry?’ he says.

‘I mailed them yesterday.’ I mumble.

I pour plain hot water from the mocha maker into my cup because I forgot to put in the coffee. Never
mind. I slap a teabag in the hot water and go back to the computer.

Spiders have taken residence in a number of nooks and crannies. Some of the webs, I’m sure could now be considered ancestral mansions. My arachnid friends know the odds that dusting will happen in the near future are slim, and the safety of their homes is pretty much guaranteed. I think they’ve gone to watching telly when I’m not looking, and they’ve misplaced the remote. At least they keep the sound down so I can work.

The laundry hasn’t been sorted. The flowerbeds haven’t been weeded, and I don’t know what’s at the bottom of the papers avalanching off the end of my worktable. So what’s the problem?

Tunnel Vision. Yep, it’s that time again. Everyone who knows me knows it happens periodically, and every writer can completely empathise. It’s a disease from which we all suffer. When it happens, I go underground. It’s like I’ve temporarily left the planet, and for all practical purposes, I have. When I’ve got tunnel vision, I’m sucked mercilessly into another dimension, the dimension of the story. The thing about the dimension of the story is that it’s a whole lot easier for me to go there than it is for me to come back. Short stories involve fairly brief stints in the land of Tunnel Vision. Five thousand words and I’m back home in time for a reality check. And the spiders tremble.

But these days I spend most of my time in the world of the novel, and whenever I go there, it’s hard to say when I’ll get back home again. Add to that the fact that the novel is full of love, sex, intrigue, populated with people I’d like to be living in places I want to go, and I’m very likely to linger as long as possible. In fact, I bet if you could go someplace similar right now, you would, wouldn’t you?

Come on, be honest! Everyone who’s ever read a good book gets the chance to follow the writer into that great world of Tunnel Vision. We all go there willingly and happily while the eight-leggers take up residence and the carpet crunches from lack of Hoovering. We’re disappointed when it’s not quite the world we’d hoped for. We’re equally disappointed when it’s more than we could have imagined. When that happens, we don’t want to leave. We want to stay with those characters we’ve grown so fond of and settle right in to that place which now feels like home. We’ve grown used to the excitement, the adventure, the sex, the love, the intrigue, and we’ve especially grown used to the opportunity to, for a little while, be someone else.

The land of Tunnel Vision is also the land of multiple personalities. In my novel, I get to be ALL of the To Rome with Lustcharacters. They all whisper in my ear and tell me their sordid secrets and their darkest fantasies. Then I, like an evil gossip columnist, splash their inner workings all over the written page for the world to see. Bwa ha ha ha ha! I get to do that because I’m the most powerful person in their world. In fact, in their world, I’m god. K D giveth and K D taketh away!

So, I’ve come back from the world of Tunnel Vision just long enough to grab a coffee, write a blog post and ignore the spiders. Consider this a postcard from The Mount in Rome, where the whole Mount Series started, and where Liza Calendar’s very sensitive nose is making Paulo Delacour very hot. It’s my way of saying ‘having a great time, wish you were here.’ I promise a detailed account this fall in the form of the latest book in the Mount Series, To Rome with Lust. But in the meantime, I’m out of here – back to Rome, back to Paulo and Liza, back to Martelli Fragrance’s secret formula for the best perfume ever! See you!

 

Typos, Auto-Correct and Freud: A Blot Post for All My Sweetits

HercAny writer will tell you that word-herding is hard work. Words are unruly things and not always willing to fall in line like we want them to. They’re tricksters just waiting to trip us up when we least expect it. So today I’m blotting about typos and, the bane of everyone’s existence, auto correct. Why? Because I’ve just had a very fun twitter convo with Madeline Moore about my latest blot post that’s up for everyone to read right not! She promised me she would go to my blot and buy my book not. She’s probably reading it not, even as I write.

Writers constantly play with words, and as Madeline and I tweeted back and froth, I got to thinking about how much fin we all have when the wrong word is used — either because of a typo or because of an over-zealous auto-correct. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve NEARLY called someone ‘Sweetit’ on FB or in an email. ‘i’ isn’t even close to ‘t’, so I can only hypothesize that because of what I do for a living, fighting the unconscious urge to write ‘Sweetit’ instead of ‘Sweetie’ is probably a Freudian thing, or maybe just my dirty little mind leaking out on the keyboard. If I call you Sweetit in any of our correspondence, please take it in the spirit in which it is meant and know that it was probably my wicked mind’s way of giving myself the finger … in this case the wrong finger on the wrong key.

The other day I had the misfortune of being the victim of auto-correct when I asked Vida Baily about her ‘WIPE’ instead of her ‘WIP.’ The silly convo that followed was caught for posterior on Facebook because for some reason, the ‘edit’ function wouldn’t work. This morning, as I was looking down through my blog content folder for an older post I wanted to refer to, I saw in the documents that I recently participated in the ‘Snob by the Sea’ blog hop, which will come as a real surprise to Victoria and Kev Blisse, who organized the ‘Snog by the Sea’ blog hop to promote Smut by the Sea. Honestly, there was not a jot of snobbery in that fabulous blot hog, just a lot of hot snogging!

I can’t count the number of times my characters have ‘shit the door behind them’, which is far more painful than shutting it … one would assume. And my poor Lakeland witches were nearly caught at the top of Honister Pass in a snot storm. I once read a story in which the hero’s face was pinched by an uncomfortable erection … After I fell off my chair laughing with relief that it hadn’t been fatal, I was reminded how easily I can make a sentence go on and on until it’s hard to tell what part of a character’s anatomy is being pinched by what … or whom … Sentence argument is very important!

The thing is, as writers we think a lot faster than we can get those thoughts down on paper. When those thoughts come out of the imagination, and when our characters and plot take control and drag us down the rabbit hole, sometimes it feels like we’re actually just secretaries struggling to take down their words and actions as fast as we can before faces get pinched by erections and whole villages are buried under snot storms.

Language and word play say a lot about a person. They say a lot about a writer, about a story-teller. Writers choose to dance dangerously with words, so it comes as no surprise when we occasionally trip over our own semi-colons. It doesn’t help that I’m the world’s worst speller Then there’s the constant Writing imagebattle of homophones. I’ve had the odd pale face end up pail … and while faces may be good for showing emotion, they’re not very practical for carrying water. Seriously though, it gets really tense sometimes when every word counts, when I want to make sure that my readers catch every nuance, every scent, every taste, every feel of flesh on flesh. That being the case, sometimes a writer just needs to play with the words and let them have their head. That means occasionally shitting the door on the more serious word-smithery and leaving the plot and the characters to stew in their own juices just for a little while, just long enough for a silly little blot post to all of you Sweetits out there before I get back to more serious word-herding.

 

The Morning After

The Morning After Smut by the Sea 2014:

P1010991It’s been a week since Smut by the Sea now. Can’t believe how fast time flies, and what a roller-coaster ride the week back home has been. But I want to talk about The Morning After today. I wrote most of this post on The Morning After. That meant everything was running late. My brain felt like someone stuffed it with cotton wool. When I sat down to write, I spilled my coffee and woe to anyone who crossed my path wrong. I’d have probably either bitten their head off, or worse yet, I’d have cried. As I walked to the green grocery that Morning After to cheer myself up with some summer fruit, I thought about why The Mornings After are so hard.

This time it was the Morning After Smut by the Sea. Just as I had expected, at Smut by the Sea there was that fantastic camaraderie with other writers. There was the chance to meet readers and encourage new writers to press on. One of the best parts of Smut by the Sea this year was meeting four members of the Brit Babes’ Street Team. Alison ScottDebbie Lowery,  Stephanie Robb and Peter Hill.What a pleasure it was to share the smut-tastic fun with the four of them. I was inspired by Victoria Blisse. I have the P1010956beginnings of a hot new story thanks to her workshop. I was reminded of what editors need and want in Lucy Felthouse’s workshop – always good for writers to remember. I was encouraged by the wonderful reaction and input and snippets share by the lovely writers in my writing workshop. I loved being read to in the reading slam and being intrigued by the stories shared there. Jackie Brocker had me squirming on my seat and my mouth watering with the most sensual description of eating a chocolate eclair I’ve ever heard. Janine Ashbless read some of the hottest, most prickly vampire prose I’ve ever heard. I was in aural heaven.

Beyond the actual schedule of events of Smut by the Sea, there was the wonderful catching up with other writers and talking shop. We writers work in isolation so we seldom get that chance to share with each
SBTS 2014 poster 2other. There was the chance to encourage new writers and the opportunity to meet readers in person. All in all it was a perfect day.

Buuuuuut … the Morning After, back home, I moped around with my chin on the ground. Why is the Morning After so hard? Here is a truth that I share gently and, in small doses, with new writers because I’m always afraid I’ll discourage them. Writing is hard enough and discouraging enough without hearing another writer talk about the hardships of the vocation. It’s a neurotic job we do. We work alone; our work is never done, and no matter how hard we try, we’re never a hundred per cent satisfied with what we do. Then there are the rejections that are just a part of the package and the bad reviews that every writer gets. There’s the wondering if we’ve done the best we can to promote ourselves, to make sure that our babies get the attention we think they so richly deserve. There’s the constant mental battle to decide what tasks we can leave undone so we can spend more quality time writing. And who doesn’t live with the chilling fear that tomorrow morning we might wake up and not a single word will come to us when we sit down to write?

P1020023The Mornings After are those days that follow the highs of being a writer – a good review, times spent
with other writers, a new sale, a nice royalty cheque, an inspired writing session. The Mornings After are the times when we remember that we’re always on our way up a very steep slope and that the pause to enjoy and to celebrate with writing friends — a pause we’ve well earned — is only that, just a pause.

Those last few weeks before and the weeks immediately following the publication of my first novel, I found myself depressed. The publication of The Initiation of Ms Holly raised the bar. Every writer wants each story, each novella, each novel to be better than the one before, and every writer wants to do all she can to see that her baby gets a good start. The Morning After is the understanding that we don’t know what will happen next, we don’t know exactly how to get where we want to be, as writers, and it’s inevitable that we’ll make mistakes along the way. The path is incredibly daunting. Sometimes it’s daunting because of the huge challenge we face. I felt that way when I began writing as Grace Marshall. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming because there are never enough hours in the day to do what we’d like to do to promote, to write, to become better at our craft. Quite often the Mornings After, for me, involves the overwhelming desire to run away and hide someplace where no one can find me until my heart rate settles and I can breathe again and think rationally again.

But when I strip away all that overwhelms me, all that frightens me, all that upsets me – the massive writing image 2need to promote my work, the blog posts that need to be written, the work that needs to be done, the editing, the social networking, the tight deadlines, the fact that I’m never totally pleased with myself and I set my standards outrageously high and I’m tunnel-visioned, and … breathe, KD! Breathe!

Once everything else is stripped away, the bottom line, the bedrock of my life and who I am as a human being is that writing is not a job for me. Writing is not a hobby. Writing is my vocation, my calling. Telling a story is my passion, and I’ll do it no matter what. I’ll do it because I can’t NOT do it. It’s as important as breathing. It’s my anchor to sanity when I feel like running away screaming. It’s both the gift and the curse, and the pull at my centre that keeps me focused and moving forward.

I hope that by writing this, I haven’t scared new writers, or maybe I hope that I HAVE scared them. It’s that perpetual state of fear and discomfort edged up close and personal to the love affair with story, with word, with a vocation that sometimes baffles us, but never, NEVER bores us; it’s that sharp edge that makes writing the story more than just a hobby, that makes it a spiritual journey and a digging down into the meat and bones and grit of the tale we’re compelled to tell and the passion we have for it.

No worries. I got through the Morning After. I always do. The Work in Progress grabbed me by the P1010987collar, yanked me away from my navel gazing and sat me in front of the laptop, and once again I’m  focused on what really matters. I’m a writer at the heart of me, and if I go to the heart of me, I can always get through another Morning After.

A very special thanks again to two of my heroes in the world of smut, Victoria and Kev Blisse. Thanks to you two, Smut by the Sea was the kind of event that make for great memories, loads of inspiration, and much encouragement long after The Morning After. xxx

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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