Thursday, August 29, 2013

SM Johnson ~ Not Afraid to go There ~



Good morning, Darlings, and welcome to Thursday! (Tomorrow's Friday, yaaaaaay!)

I am simplifying my blog titles (pauses for golf claps and, alternatively, choruses of Um, okay, so what?). I know, I know. Ya'll are aware that this is Thursday Morning Coffee, so I'll skip that bit, as far as titles go. Perfect. I'll keep my name in there, just so you know who I am in your Twitter Stream. I'm already lost in the phone book, hate to get lost in Twitter-ville, too.



This morning I had a bit of a fun time listening to myself on Blog Talk Radio - (that would be the oblong blue and white player on the screen to your right, below the scrolling book covers). It's an old episode - my first and only live interview so far - and it's me and my good friend Coral Russell basically giggling and talking over each other for half an hour. We talked about books, crit partners, how we picture characters in our heads, and I tell the story of my journey from unpublished author, to traditionally published author with not one, but TWO publishers, and then, ultimately, why I decided to learn about self-publishing (although I do still maintain contracts with Rebel Satori Press for my Vampire DeVante books).

If you've never listened to it, you should!

Some of my favorite quotes of myself: (because, why not?)

I'm not afraid to go There.

I say this when I talk about whether to leave the bedroom door open or not. How detailed do you get when you write erotica? Well, sometimes v e r y detailed. Sometimes less so. I can write explicit sex, oh, yes, I can. And there are times when I do. When my character is going to learn something about himself, or learn something about his partner, or if something will be said or done that furthers the plot... or maybe I just want to teach you something about kink, or shame, or pain - HELL yes, that door is wide open. Enter at your own risk.

But I also don't feel that I have to leave the door open, every time. If you've been with Jeff during suspension bondage once, I'm probably not going to write you through the details the next time he does it. You've been there. You know what it is, and what it does to him. If my guys are going to have fairly straight-forward sex because they've missed each other, because it's Tuesday and they just feel like it - yeah, I'll probably give them some privacy for that. Yeah, I want you to get hot and bothered while you're reading me, but... that's not the whole point. I close the door rather than write a gratuitous sex scene that doesn't further the story in some way.

Life is messy.

Yeah, this one. One of my friends told me, "I feel like I could walk into a bar anywhere and meet these guys. They feel so real." They have grandmothers and legal trouble, and homophobic parents. They have work to do, businesses to run, mundane household tasks like doing the laundry and cooking dinner. I don't get stuck in this minutia, mind you, but I let you know that if Roman has money, it's because he works for it, and if he lives like a king with a manservant, it's because Jeff gets off on serving him. My Things go Naughty in the Night tag is somewhat in answer to the fact that my Dungeon guys live daily lives, and my vampires sleep through the day. All the good stuff happens on nights and weekends, you know? Sort of like your life... or mine.

Oh, and messy? Oh yeah, I get messy. Gay men having grief-sex with straight women, relationships that FAIL, ultimately, after warm and hopeful beginnings. Unplanned pregnancies. Menage relationships that aren't fair or equal (man, reviewers kick my ass about that). And people who really do love each other sometimes can't stay together. Life is messy, folks. So are my books.

My stuff is odd, it doesn't really fit anywhere in mainstream publishing.

And this. I think the above was my favorite line of mine in the interview. I write about people and their relationships with other people. I don't claim to be a romance writer, because I can't guarantee a happy ending for every character, every time. What I can guarantee is an ending that suits them for this moment in time. I do make every attempt to wrap up the main story-problems and not leave you gasping because you have to buy the next book to find out what happens. You ought to have a pretty good idea what's going to happen.

Three in the Dungeon, for instance... Dare's going to explore something with Thomas, even if it makes Zach uncomfortable. Roman and Jeff are making a commitment to be together, no matter what. Vanessa's going to find her own way, maybe in a polyamorous relationship with another couple. And, in a warped special feature, Hawk's Boy is going to be opened - I'm not afraid to go there, either.

Other news... Jeremiah Quick is coming along, rather messily of course, but well-enough that I'm going to target January for publication month. We shall see. My goal is to finish the first draft by Halloween so I'll be ready to participate in NaNoWriMo, starting November 1st, to get a good solid start on the next Dungeon book.

AND - (drumroll, please) - my dear friend 19 is getting ready to publish his amazing book called Schadenfreude. He tells me I'm his editor (snort), but I'd say my job title is more along the lines of Chief Cheerleader, and my primary job is being Person in Charge of Formatting for E-book.

Believe me, the unspeakably beautiful evil is all his.

If you want dark fiction that will roll your mind, with characters you will never forget, written by someone who's REALLY not afraid to to THERE.... you must experience Schadenfreude. 'Nuff said. I'll be yelling from the mountaintops and posting links when it's available for purchase.

Have a great weekend, darlings.

~SM

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