Thursday, January 31, 2013

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee ~ Do you love dark fiction?

So... I have a confession to make.

Last week I talked about a new character, Angel, and posted an excerpt of a brand new work-in-progress (WIP). But I neglected to mention that my inspiration came wholly from someone else's book.

It's not like plagiarism. I wrote all of my own words, but many of the concepts I have been playing with in the Angel WIP are similar enough to this other book that I would be uncomfortable publishing it and calling it an original work, as it sits now. Which is okay. 33,000 words poured out of me in ONE WEEK. This is amazing and astonishing and more fun that I can even explain. Yeah, I know, non-writers are groaning and wondering how it could possibly be fun... but trust me, awesomely super fun.

Inspiration can be weird that way.

I have about 5 WIPs right now, and a somewhat loose publishing schedule in my brain for which ones, when, and in which order and so on and so forth. I won't even be looking to finish or publish anything about Angel for a year, if not two. I guess that's sort of my non-compete clause. After all, even as a BDSM writer, I didn't choose to knock out a 50 Shades story - it just wasn't on my schedule. And I have no interest in riding anyone's coat-tails.

I write what I write because I want to write it. And that's pretty much the full scope of my writing life.

The thing is, even if we're telling the same story - it never turns out to be the same story. I mean, how many romance novels are out there? Yeah, exactly.

I've been inspired by books before - it was Anne Rice who inspired me to create the Vampire DeVante (with a little push from my husband)... and it was Queer as Folk that inspired the increase in heat level in the dynamic between Daniel and Reed in DeVante's Coven.

We writers get our inspiration from just about anywhere, including my seagull muse - the one that flies over me and drops inspiration on my head out of nowhere.

Truth is, I love me a good dark non-consensual story-line with a little Stockholm Syndrome thrown in to make it bearable. I really, really do.

So I want to give credit where credit is due, and considering I write the stuff that I want to read - I also want to share my inspiration with my readers, because I think you guys would like this book.

Hamelin's Child
by DJ Bennett.

 Michael Redford died on his seventeenth birthday – the night Eddie picked him up off the street, shot him full of heroin and assaulted him.

Now he’s Mikey and he works for Joss. With streaked blond hair and a cute smile, he sleeps by day and services clients at night. Sometimes he remembers his old life, but with what he’s become now, he knows there is no return to his comfortable middle-class background.

Then he makes a friend in Lee. A child of the streets, Lee demands more from friendship than Mikey is prepared to give. But the police are closing in on them now and Mikey’s not sure anymore who he really is – streetwise Mikey or plain Michael Redford.

Hamelin’s Child was long-listed in the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. A thriller set in the seedy world of London's drug rings, this book contains strong scenes and adult material.

(approx 85,000 word novel)

Praise for Hamelin’s Child:
~dark, raw, shocking, and a fascinating read
~ a story that doesn't so much hook you as grab you by the throat and force you to keep turning the pages
~  one of the most utterly gripping books I've ever read
~ outstanding and highly recommended
~ nothing about the story is predictable, certainly not the ending

I started Hamelin's Child one evening and finished it by the next day. And then I was so mind-f*cked that the only thing I could manage to do the second half of that day was think about it.

And over the next week, I read Hamelin's Child two more times.

It's dark. It's gritty. It's not nice.

And yet... there it is - I LOVED it. I obsessed about it. The story sticks with me, even now.

Mikey is... oh, so naive. And becomes oh, so damaged. And is oh, so conflicted... And yet somehow he manages to find his way.

It's available in paperback now, too - and guess what's even better?

Paying the Piper, the next installment of Michael's story, was released in e-book format YESTERDAY!

Yes! I'm already reading it. Why don't you join me? Come on - start with Hamelin's Child and walk with me on the dark side - you know you want to!

Paying the Piper
by DJ Bennett

Payingthe Piper is the sequel to the CWA Debut Dagger Award-long-listed Hamelin’s Child, which has sold thousands of copies since its e-publication in 2011. A dark psychological thriller, Paying the Piper takes up Michael’s story six months after the shocking events of his abduction and heroin addiction.

Michael is piecing his life back together after his time spent as a rent boy. But it’s hard and although he’s been clean of drugs for months, the nightmares are still too real and he can’t come to terms with Lee’s death and Eddie’s impending trial.

Sometimes other people’s troubles can seem easier to deal with. When Michael meets Amanda at the cashpoint, it’s a chance to focus on someone other than himself, and finding Amanda’s missing husband and baby may just be his salvation.

But the shadows of his past won’t let him go. The bank account they've set up for him is full of easy cash and Eddie’s old boss Carl can help Amanda. And suddenly Michael is in deeper than he ever imagined possible. 

Set in London and north-west England, Paying the Piper looks at how much the past can influence the future. And as Amanda has to choose between working with the charismatic Lenny or the police, Michael’s about to find out that taking control of his own destiny was never going to be as straightforward as he’d thought.

You can buy Paying the Piper in kindle format on and For other amazon sites and other e-formats, links can be found on, where you can also find out more about DJ Bennett. Or check out the author pages on or

No e-reader? You don’t need one. There are free kindle apps you can download to get free readers for your pc, phone or whatever gadget you have.


  1. Here's a story you would like - 'Wizards' Slave' by Veronice Ceccarelli. Have a look. It's on Smashwords. Dark, m/m. Not true erotica, but erotic enough.

  2. Hmm, I will check it out. Thanks for the recommend.