Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The good, the bad... and the story

So... I'm starting to get excited about Tainted Love now that the admin is happily puttering along, which means I'll be setting up a profile for my "dark half" Therése von Willegen. If someone had suggested two years ago that I'd be writing contemporary erotic romance, I'd have laughed myself sick but, to be quite honest, I'm enjoying it. Alternating between my "serious" writing and the stuff that (I hope) will sell, it's a nice break to write some fluff...or as my lovely husband so succinctly puts it: porn with a pink border.

Dunno about the pink border. Probably more like black leather-and-studs, since I'm definitely not writing sweet stuff. Okay, okay... I'm providing the required HEA but the characters in my stories aren't squeaky clean. I tend to focus on folk who belong to a far more bohemian crowd than the ones I've encountered elsewhere, and I aim to write with some authenticity.

Nothing annoys me more than reading about alternative types via some vanilla person's perception of what is Goth, or is not. Invariably, these characters are stereotyped Hollywood templates and are so...inauthentic. Like oh, so suicidal... Oh, life is sorrow... blah blah blah. Sure, I've got a black dog nipping at my heels from time to time, but I can't imagine anything more miserable than having to wear pastel, read chicklit and hang out with my girlfriends in shopping malls while sipping smoothies.

Bats, black lace, velvet, red wine and cemetries make me happy. Addams family ON! Deal with it. **strains of Type O Negative's Black No. 1 in the background**

I've been what my mom refers to as "rebellious" since I was 15. Almost two decades later, I'm still there. I've played in grunge, Goth and black metal bands, I've stage-dived, I've done a spot of alternative modelling, I've watched the sunrise more times than I care to remember, I've woken in hospital with alcohol poisoning, kissed girls, interrupted an orgy by mistake, been stabbed, helped out behind the scenes for fetish photo shoots, almost been arrested, been involved in indie filmmaking, got tattooed, pierced...

Some good, some bad, I wouldn't trade any of these experiences over the past 17 or so years for the world. They're little markers along the way. I'm not always proud of some of the stuff I've done but always, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And it makes for a good story. These incidents and some of the people I've encountered are where I draw much of the inpiration for my tales, be they gritty dark fantasy or erotic romance. I like heroes who aren't wholly good. My ladies may well have a shady past (or present). But the point is, not everyone's going to be the wholesome girl or boy next door, 'cos face it, if we didn't break the rules, things would be really boring. In my books, at least.

And I may well be on the wrong side of 30, but I'm not done yet.

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Book one and two of my Khepera series are now available IN PRINT, in South Africa. No excuses about not reading on screen. Support a starving author so she can create more mayhem as a full-time occupation.

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Call for submissions. I'm currently on the prowl for fiction across all genres for a Titanic-inspired line of novellas and novels. See the link below for further information.

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And, if you reckon you've got what it takes to write a good horror or dark fantasy short story, we'd like to hear about it for the SA HORRORFEST's Bloody Parchment short fiction competition. Details here: http://bloodyparchment.blogspot.com/

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