BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGICK SPOOKY
abbie foxton puts on psychic panties and gets a ride in the mind of
Monster Skin author Melancton Hawks
I love it when fate stops and slaps a giant cold tentacle across your face – invigorating!
That’s kinda what happened… how I was introduced to the indescribable 21st century, masterpiece that is Monster Skin.
This author’s mind is wired to twist and dance descriptive through brain matter. A lust for life, shirtless, arm splaying spaz attack. He nails it, spins it on its axis, carries it on his shoulders and walks away. Occasionally you can see him releasing a hot breath over his knuckles to shine on his chest, but if I had the word talent of Melancton Hawks, I would swing on ropes nude through skyscrapers with ‘bite me’ tattooed on my ass.
I am thrilled to have my new pin up boy, Spooky Bonsai creator – Melancton Hawks – join me in conversation this evening. Early morning for him on hopefully what will be a sunny summer’s day in Brooklyn?
Err, no, sadly, very gray and soon to be pissing rain…again. But its OK, I hardly ever leave the house during the daylight hours anyway.
You are Nosferatu!
Thanks, though I do trim my fingernails occasionally.
My wake-up routine is fairly strict. It can be startling to emerge from 12 hours dreamland without a highly regulated wake-up routine. Once my muscles are engaged enough to open the hatch to my sensory deprivation tank, I’ll pull myself out and blend up a nutritious smoothie of seaweed, granny smith apples, whiskey, hot sauce and hemp protein to activate my gut and renal system. Then it’s off to the shower to wash the epsom salts from my skin, followed by intense calisthenics and cardio vascular activity.
This book has been tagged as ‘not easy to genre’, which is true. So making up your own sub genre seems like the logical thing to do. Sci Fu (your idea) has been coined, as has Erospiracy Psychofunk (my idea). Why does everything have to be neatly categorized when we know very well the realm in which we live in is one giant chaotic energy of randomness?
I think we are at the mercy of the mandatory urge to Google and to be Googled.
What a sad conclusion. But good for sales.
Isn’t everyone’s goal these days to be at the top of a Google search when you punch their name in?
Well, that’s easy. You just cheat with money.
The main issue is that there is a billowing storm cloud of noisy content out there and we have to find gems in it somehow. We’ll be at a point soon when everyone is writing, or making music, or films and throwing them on the internet.
Yeah, everyone is creating and no one is consuming, I still consume – insatiable!
You have to. You can’t Art in a vacuum.
We might as well talk about the elephant in the room – Lovecraft! He is such a beautifully dense writer and you have very cleverly interwoven an old tale of his into your own mix. Your love and ‘homage’ to HP Lovecraft is inspired. Are you continuing the work of the dark prophet – Lovecraft, not Satan – his ancient knowledge of the psyche and archetypes from our collective consciousness or was it just for shits and giggles?
Lovecraft has become a cultural meet-up point. Like all mythology the archetypes are seeds buried inside of ideas that germinate when imagination is applied. Monsters grow like those spongy capsules you toss in the bathtub, wait a few minutes and then…Tyrannosaurus.
Where Lovecraft goes with his knowledge on the occult I see you have more an affinity with erotica – it’s darker dance delves into these realms also.
I enjoy the power potential of sex magick. There is an awful lot of energy
generated/stored/released during a sexual encounter, so I think it’s important to be conscious of where it’s coming from and where its going.
We could illuminate cities.
Yes we could. I’d be interested if anyone has ever gaged the wattage. The porn industry ought to be completely carbon neutral. They should make a goal of it. Just stick some kind of kinetic dynamo beneath the beds/tabletops/pool tables/lounge chairs/bearskin rugs…
I think of Aleister Crowley and oddly enough the Dalai Lama when it comes to the sex magick thing. Crowley coined the term, which is sort of about using Tantra to invoke entities, and got me thinking about directing sexual energies by force of will. I read a book called Jew In The Lotus, about a group of Rabbis who go to India to meet the Lama and when the question comes up about his sexuality (Tibetan monks must be celibate whereas Rabbis marry, have crazy numbers of children, and sex itself is a mitzva) the Lama starts talking about the spiritual rewards of imagining deities fucking. I think he was probably more eloquent than that, but there you go. Monks meditate the day away just fantasizing almighty god porn. And this will bring them to enlightenment.
I wonder what god is wearing…
Nothing but a smile, Abbie.
Melancton puts the real into surreal. A phantasmagoric place of what he describes in his book as a reality tunnel – we all live in our own reality tunnel. The wider your reality the more you will acceptance of phenomena – could this be a problem for many readers to get into Monster Skin?
Reality Tunnel is Robert Anton Wilson’s term, one of my favourite writers of all time. For a long time I’ve had the feeling that every song, painting, movie, book, whatever, is somebodies favorite. I know that this book isn’t for everyone – I write for an intimate fan base of a few dozen friends and they dig the hell out of what I do. That being said, I love making new friends and discovery is usually a great adventure. I feel bad for people who can’t open themselves to new things, I hope my book acts as a crowbar.
Oh, it’s a crowbar! Readers should face the fear of words and ideas, they have such a knee jerk reaction to the slightest threat to their programmed boundaries. How does one free the mind?
To paraphrase Bill Hicks, I always recommend a healthy dose of psilocybin mushrooms. And to quote Hicks directly, “It’s only a ride.” Both life and a book. But especially life. People (not Amish people) love to play dress-up. Why not try on the persona of someone who is not terrified of new ideas?
I’m actually dressed as an Amish right now.
I do like the bonnets
Your book has been described as surreal, I’m more inclined to lean towards superreal – a heightened state of literature.
Surreality is reality, just look at the news. Wasn’t an Australian MP recently attacked by a Kangaroo? Literature is always a psychedelic state whether it’s Wuthering Heights or Gravity’s Rainbow.
I love reading about monsters, they break rules, they do things we can only imagine and dream of, observe no limits, respect no boundaries, attack without compunction – Spooky has to confront many monsters, especially the one that has now repressed part of her self.
Yes. Monsters are great incarnations of the unconscious.
Do you believe in a paranormal world
I’m a believer in personalized, customizable realities. Whatever you invite inside your consciousness, whatever you pursue, tends to manifest. Humans are really good at filtering information. I try, as much as I can without causing brain damage, to eliminate the filter.
Hawks has created a magnificent female force. Her name is Spooky Bonsai. She is an angry sixteen year old fashion obsessed kleptomaniac rebel and I am in love with her. She’s street smart, hormone ravaged, acutely aware and hell bent on revenge…and justifiably so.
I want to be in Spooky’s gang, embrace her emotions gaze up at her in awe. Spooky Bonsai is fearless.
Do you think you have created a role model, a new superhero for damaged psyches?
I want people, men especially, to be aware that Spooky exists.
Why is that?
Sexism, chauvinism, violence in general but specifically against women is holding back the entire species from evolving. Instead of a fluid exchange of ideas there is isolation, anger, and fear. This behaviour is intolerable whether it takes place at a bus stop or the halls of power. I see Spooky as an evolutionary catalyst, a brain surgeon snipping out bits and pieces of the reptilian mind that are no longer healthy for humanity. This ought to terrify some people.
Spooky Bonsai has superhero stamina – flawed and fantastic.
She is annoyingly good at everything she does.
Even in heels. Is her distraction, the whole caper that follows – her revenge, her sexual reawakening a coping mechanism for her?
I think so. Revenge is always a coping mechanism. History is shaped by men dealing with their problems with revenge, instead of thinking rationally and doing something constructive with anger.
You can’t help but think that you are on some extreme female bender, Honey, Sugar & Spooky a conglomerate of your wildest dreams. Is this far from the truth?
Strength and confidence is sexy. Sugar is sexual to the extreme. She’s a hedonist, believes the purpose of life is to give and receive pleasure and has made her fortune in creating a line of high-end sex toys called S(K)IN. Her entire life is an elaborate sexual fantasy where she can play any role she likes.
I start with the realization that physical gender is a genetic flip of the coin (which can sometimes land on its side). Since the building blocks are the same, physical and emotional desires and potential must be equivalent . You can then see that attraction is a state of mind and ‘normality’ is an illusion closely guarded by people who are terrified to confront truth.
This book has the potential to send weaker minds cowering in a corner consumed with existential angst. I don’t want to scare off readers but this book is full of ideas!
Tune into the notes, swing along and ride in the Hawks wings, feel the psychedelia of his shimmering rainbows. Melancton has this wondrous ability to centre your mind’s eye and zap into it, scenarios that are charged with alternate view – universes within universes – a total mind trip of fucking brilliant imaginings.
You know all our feminine secrets, coloured with the most delectable descriptions, at times this is a very sexually confronting read. So in touch with your feminine side – this is a good thing.
I’ve had help. I ask a lot of questions.
Monster Skin is one of the most erotic books I have ever read, but I find smart very, very sexy – too smart to be a one hand read – OK, I lied, maybe once.
You talk about sex as a healing force to cure dullness and misery “Fucking Is The Road To World Peace”
“Fucking is the road to world peace” deals with all aspects of the word fucking, which when you boil it down comes to respect. It’s both, let’s fuck and fuck off. Living in New York City you are constantly antagonized and Fuck you, fuck off, fuck it becomes a mantra. For the most part people respect that and leave you alone. It would be really nice if everyone could just love each other unconditionally, but that is a massive leap and we’re just getting comfortable with walking. Lets learn to play first. And what is a fun way for adults to play with each other?
You don’t need to love your neighbors, but if you like your neighbors, fuck em, if you don’t like your neighbors, fuck em.
You’ve seen the extreme animalism that desensitises. Too much animalism makes you crave the metaphysical.
Animalism is just fine, but we should aspire to be more like bonobos than chimps. Bonobos are the ‘free love’ hippies of the ape world.
Yeah bonobos are way cooler. Chimps hunt in packs when desperate.
And us humans have made desperation the norm. We’ve got to chill the fuck out.
Explicit, intense, you give your readers a chance to find their sexual chi.
Then they must learn to use it to smash bricks.
For all things MONSTER SKIN SPOOKY BONSAI or more on MELANCTON HAWKS follow these links
An Interview with
Fables Of The Reconstruction author
Hunter S. Jones
Abbie Foxton picks brains and swaps recipes with the Queen of Zombie Erotica.
Greetings to you Pomba Gira Molambo – much respect!
When I told workmates that I was reading a most intriguing tale of zombie sex, life & death set in Steampunk London, jaws dropped and an eerie silence filled the kitchen. I couldn’t begin to describe to them how this novella affected me. How quickly it was devoured… how much I needed it.
I made some grunting noises, dragged my arse back to my bench and assumed the position – to my day in, day out . This scenario seemed so much more dire because of this book. Hunter S Jones filled me with a passion fire. This book changed my life.
Fables Of The Reconstruction is more than what it seems. It will cast a spell. In what form that manifests itself, will be up to the reader – it’s a personal thing. For me, it was the beginning of an old pursued passion, something long forgotten – a dance into the underground to expose the magic within.
I’m glad it didn’t take the heart of a virgin dove, a snake head and some Laudanum to convince The Huntress to be with us today. Her Southern charm and lust for life, shine even through the ether. Her blog Exile On Peachtree Street – another musical reference – is a homage to The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street. This was an album that received it’s accolades in retrospect, but was always a darling of musos and journos around the world. This album is one of Hunter’s favourites. The Peachtree bit? Well, that’s a reference to her current digs in Atlanta Georgia.
Coincidentally, Hunter lives not far from the Pulitzer Prize winning author Margaret Mitchell. MM’s little book, Gone With The Wind – with its heroine Scarlett O’Hara, who fiddle dee dee’d while Tara burned – is a wonderful connection to make with Ms Jones – strong in mind and character, as Mitchell was – and it is a thrill to share the page with her.
Thanks Abbie and thank you for having me on your blog today – See what I mean, a beautiful spirit (and she says ‘she is the one your mother warned you about!’ well…she still may be right about that)
In this hectic 21st Century we inhabit, full time writing is a luxurious pastime. Indie authors often have their nine to five before they even attempt to nut out a plot. An exhausting existence. It is fundamentally the life of a loner – or at least someone who likes to spend the bulk of their waking hours in their own company and thoughts. It owns and controls you. It becomes obsession. Writers make sacrifices, but in itself, the writing process can be very selfish.
It was time for Ms Jones to be in a luxurious position. Due to a severe Achilles injury, Hunter had to make a choice. Her situation put her in a classic ‘T’ – two paths to go down.
“Was it a quick decision for you to turn your unfortunate predicament into a positive experience?”
“The decision to write following my accident was something I saw as an opportunity. I had been having dreams about Pierre for years and decided to begin writing them down”.
Monsieur Pierre von Minzle is the most ‘gorgeous’ Belgian Zombie ever to walk London’s Whitechapel circa 1890. His sexual prowess and spell over the insatiable prostitute and partner in brain crime, Mary Montague, will sizzle your mind and make it very hard for you to walk. Minzle’s forked tongue – an added bonus to quivering quims.
“From there, the story of Fables Of the Reconstruction developed – The working title was Fables Of The Reconstruction Of My Leg. So, there is a hidden meaning there, too”.
“Well, It’s good to see you had some humour during your ordeal, takes time to heal and you probably felt a little like a Zombie reanimating – learning to walk, like Bambi taking his first steps?”
“In your storytelling style throughout Fables…, it feels like you are paying homage to one of your favourite authors Anne Rice, in that you use an interview style like narrative – character’s thoughts in first person that have a journalistic rhythm – Hunter as reporter, but not as Gonzo as her namesake. Was this approach a conscious take to reveal the story or just channeled naturally?”
“The story began as Pierre watching Mary Montague’s every move. Then, watching all the characters – something of an all seeing – all knowing point of view. My editor felt it was too complicated for an author who had no audience, so the story developed in the first person format”.
A omnipotent voyeur would have made his character even more powerful, too potent. He is a most magnificent creation.
You couldn’t have picked a more seductive, strange and powerful deity for your Fables…than Pomba Gira. What was the lure that chose you to her or her to you?
While researching Voodoo, Pomba Gira kept appearing. So, I began researching Her. She is revered in African, Spanish, Portuguese and in some Haitian and Santeria cults. She is also the Goddess of the Guitar. Being from Nashville, there was nothing to do but dedicate my first book to her and weave her in, in some fashion, throughout Fables…
Many of your ideas come to you in dreams and in water. This imagery conjures a birth of ideas. Dreams I get, but what is it about the water?
I really don’t know, but an idea can appear to me even when I’m doing something as simple as washing dishes.
I can’t see you washing dishes. I just envisage you sitting on the porch with your black lace fan, writing, sipping mint juleps. Talking of visions… that cover! It is what initially drew me to your work. Great design.
Robin Ludwig does all my artwork and design layout. Her talent and insight are amazing. For Fables… cover, I sent her three pictures and let her know the colour scheme had to be black-white-red
What is the significance of the colour scheme?
My three favourite colours and Pomba Gira’s colours are red & black. So it was a no brainer (pun intended). Robin returned the draft to me THAT afternoon. She so understands my vision.
The novella is such a seductive size to read, an hour of your time and you’re lost in the lamplight. It’s a perfect vehicle for Hunter’s words, well at least for the time being. When I think about Zombies in film, literature and cultures around the world, they are usually linked with the deprived. A history linked with slavery and voodoo cults. In Fables Of The Reconstruction no one is spared. Hunter has joined the upper and under classes ‘in this undead world together’ The English author R.J Askew – on reviewing Fables… http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/57 1539912 – asked the question ‘perhaps life makes Zombies of us all’. A demanding life to devour more. An observation that Hunter agrees. But don’t think that that reality lessens the erotic rumblings that rage on every page.
The sex you describe is mind blowing! And you don’t muck around. I suppose being a novella there was no time to waste. Did you challenge yourself to see just how ‘down and dirty’ you could go?
No…There was no challenge. It was that crazy Pierre! But really, can you write about prostitutes and not include sex?
A little bit of a challenge. ‘Mary made the bed then went to the kitchen to make tea’…Maybe? …not as fun though as your Zombie ladies of the night.
You are somewhat of an anglophile. One gets a feel you know and have a historical sense of the place – it’s mood and cadence – all cogs,leg o’muffin sleeves and corsets. Is this an era that you are fascinated with or does it go into a deeper past?
I’m not sure, Abbie. I just wanted to find a place where today’s zombies could be born. Victorian Whitechapel seemed a logical choice, so I emailed one of the top zombie experts in the UK and asked him if it would be feasible for today’s zombies to originate and hide out in Whitechapel. His reply was a one word email that said…Brilliant!
I want that job, Zombie expert! What a pick-up line.
“You paint strong female characters, even the less fortunate Polly Poppet knows what she wants. I see strong woman references all around you from your blog to other characters you have created.”
That’s probably due to my Cherokee ancestors. The independent nature of the Cherokee woman is legendary. Maybe some traits are inherited. Or, maybe those traits come through in my stories. The old story is that if you can find a reason to make a Cherokee woman stay with you, you’d better take it because she’ll move on to the next opportunity.
The Cherokee spirit comes to the fore in your flash fiction Tales Of The New Amsterdam: The Legend. The ‘no limits… ‘ lust explosion of Suzie and Tommy was mesmerising. I love flash! They enter the bloodstream like a quick fix. Susie (also Cherokee) talks of the act of ‘taking your blanket’, if you feel compelled to take a new lover you are free to take that blanket toanother man – no guilt?”
The women were allowed to move on if a man didn’t fulfill his obligations to her or if he was found unsuitable, She could move on to a more acceptable mate. They didn’t have the cultural/societal mores that we have today. Their’s was a matriarchal society were the women made the decisions at every level.
“Do you have an animal totem?”
The Hawk. The Crow, The Hummingbird. The Cat. Three others will be revealed to me during life’s journey.
“…and if you carried an amulet, what would you have in it?”
That leads us on to A Celtic Tapestry. Eight female authors, eight Celtic festivals and a story on each. Hunter’s Magic In Memphis is a folktale of traditions, ritual, respect, reflection, beauty and ancestor worship. Honouring the eternal cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. James Departs is one of the most perfect paragraphs I have ever read. Her partners in fiction equally mesmerising.
“Voodoo to Celts, similarities in the ancient practices of runes, talismans and spells. These sub cultural practices have a link wouldn’t you say”.
Yes, all the ancient beliefs appear to have many components in common. It’s very fascinating to study them.
Your book Fables Of The Reconstruction is taken from the same title of the brilliant 1985 release from fellow Georgia band REM. The flip-side label to that release was Reconstruction Of The Fables – a double homage with your second book release taking on the title. How is that progressing?
It’s on hold for a while because Pierre hasn’t given me any insight recently. Plus, I’m involved in a couple of great projects that are taking place – tell you all about them soon.
REM’s Can’t Get There From Here, Driver 8 – love it!
Fables Of The Reconstruction is one of the greatest albums of all time” agree. “There isn’t a bad song on that album. It is so complex, so layered, so beautiful. Words, imagery, music…it’s all there. Supposedly, one of the meanings is the deconstruction of literature. It’s just so deep.
The Indie scene plays a big part in Hunters life. Indie authors and Indie music, it’s the “Independent rebelliousness of it all” that attracts Hunter and you can find her music and writing on ExPats post http://expatspost.com/?s=Hunter+S.+Jones . Creativity is more without guidelines. And, as the boys from Athens Georgia blurted ‘Philomath they know, they low down’
So, I’ve heard in past lives, that writers were once circus performers – I’m thinking Hemingway as lion tamer, Shakespeare being shot out of a canon and Steinbeck trying to sweep Weary Willie -like, his spotlight into a dustpan. What was your act, your trick.
You can find and purchase all Hunter’s books and find her website at: http://thehuntersjones.blogspot.com.au/?zx=7dff389b6987f2d
‘It’s All Access’ with
Erotica Romance Author
When you are an erotica aficionado, one is constantly on the lookout for another good read, a hot story better than the last. Erotica & romance novels can often fall flat, victims of not living up to the enormous expectations or insatiable minds of today’s reader. Those books are the in-betweeners – the ‘oh, that was nice’ and ‘the sex was OK,’ purchases… spouted those lines a few times! You often hear moans from time poor readers not settling on anything but the ‘Oh, yes, yes, yes…yesssssssss’, giving up on books in the first chapter if it doesn’t make a connection.
We, the insatiable ones, desire in-depth distraction, story lines with clever twists between the wanting…between the passionate kiss. We need chapters that push your sexual limits, sentences filled with food for thought…new positions to explore. Believable and unbelievable characters that have you up ’til 3am.
The debut novel, Starstruck from Australian author Paige Thomas should placate – she scratches the itch.
Paige Thomas has written a rock & roll romance, and one, bursting with more sexual energy than Jon Bon Jovi’s zipper! (I’m teasing now, I know Paige has an enormous crush) So, for ‘one night only’ I got the chance to go backstage with this Sydney chick. I checked her green room rider to see who I was dealing with – no Haribo gummi bears, bald toothless hookers and a twelve pack of rough rider condoms for this lady of erotic romance – just tea and a bickie and her mind was mine to explore.
Music and sexy musos are such aphrodisiacs – even drummers (only one joke, I promise). Tell me about the music journey of your youth – first song that made its mark in your psyche?
I don’t even need to think about that one, but as I’m writing under a pen name, I can’t tell you. I was named after a song and it’s very uncommon, especially in Oz. What I can tell you is, for as long as I lived under my parent’s roof, my father played it to me on his guitar on a regular basis. My mum…she pretty much played Elvis records, and nothing else
Great, now I can play girl name songs in my head – (my, my, my) Delilah?, Sheena? (is a punk rocker)…this could take forever, I give up. So you have a secret name and a secret song in your heart, I’ll let you off this time.
You’d never guess it, anyway. Not unless you’re into composers from the 1930’s.
Well, partial to a little Gershwin and Prokofiev – am I getting warm?.
Ice cold. Not even close. So, I guess I should move on to non-parent related music. Runaround Sue and Put Your Head on My Shoulder by Leif Garrett. I was five years old when I got the opportunity to meet him. As I sat onstage—on top of the piano—he kissed my cheek and called me ‘Cutie’. He was only about seventeen at the time and I thought he was dreamy! It left a lasting impression. I remember the experience like it was only yesterday.
“Hang on? Did I hear you right? You sat on top of a piano and Leif Garrett kissed your cheek and actually spoke to you? Spill the beans Paige, there were thousands of Australian girls just dying to get into his white denim flares! I guess from what you’re saying is, you had showbiz connections when you were a child or was it right place, right time – Roseland Shopping Centre perhaps?”
It was Westfield’s at Blacktown. My dad’s band was the support act and played for over an hour before Leif made his appearance. He didn’t even get to finish his first song. The crowd went nuts. Think Beatle mania and you’d be pretty close. They were so fanatical that one girl even jumped from one of the upper levels inside the center and fell into the audience, quite close to the stage. I guess her aim was a little off. Anyway, right after, thousands of screaming teenagers rushed the stage. The next thing I knew, my dad had swept me into his arms and ran for the safety of the dressing room. Leif was stuck in the tiny room with nowhere to go while the girls tried to break the door down. Extra security were called and they used trolleys to push the crowd back. It sounds brutal, I know, but they just wouldn’t stop, it was total mayhem. In the end, the only way to get Leif out was to put him in this cage-type contraption, which they surrounded with more security, and wheeled him up to the roof of the building. He left via helicopter. It was all very dramatic and…bizarre, really
What a story! You can’t make that stuff up. A whirlwind of hormones and a messed up boy from Hollywood – You wonder what would actually happen if they got their sticky fingers on him? – Total madness.
The rock god in Starstruck is no spring chicken, what made you go for the older man?
No spring chicken? Ahem…I happen to have turned his age recently and this chook still turns a few cocks’ heads.
Even in tight white denim? Hey, I agree. Forty’s the new thirty, fifty’s the new twenty, sixty’s the new toddler or something like that. I’ll never grow up!
Cool! I’ve got some fairy dust and I’m willing to share. Tinks and I are tight.
Handy to know, but I’ve been layin’ low, keeping out of trouble.
I guess I went with an age I’m comfortable writing about. For my first book, I wanted to stick to what I knew best. That’s not to say I won’t write about younger characters because I plan to do just that in the future. For Starstruck, I wanted to stay close to home until I gained confidence as a writer. Also, I wanted a man of vast experience – in and out of the bedroom – so forty-one simply felt right for Jesse.
Yes, very pleasing in the sheets…and against the wall…and the hot tub… and the… mind of an aging rock star is an intriguing subject, how their priorities change, how the ego is affected with age.
I get a strong sense that Jesse gave you an opportunity to harness and explore ones’ masculine side, getting into a male’s mind can be quite daunting?
My original manuscript didn’t have as much of Jesse’s POV as it ended up with in the published version. It was my editor who pushed me to really get inside Sam and Jesse’s characters, and when I did, Jesse’s voice became much stronger. I couldn’t stop him. He just had too much to say.
Jesse has such a wonderful compassionate nature, and you see a bit of his life as a youth – wise head on young shoulders that just got better with age, influenced by wonderful, compassionate hard working parents, you have created a charming character.
I was hesitant, initially, about delving into a man’s mind. I wasn’t so sure if I’d come out the other side with thoughts and dialogue which were believable, but I’m so glad I did. I loved it! So much, I sometimes think I enjoyed writing his character more than my heroine. It felt like undoing my jeans, stuffing my hand down my front and belching like a real bloke. It was very liberating.
I must try that later, I think I will need a beer or a large Woodstock UDL as well.
Yep. I find it helps with the belching.
Were you ever a groupie?
I’ve often fantasized about sneaking into a certain rock star’s dressing room, but I’m not that brazen. I’m not even a screamer at concerts. In fact, those girls annoy the crap out of me.
“I’m with you there, television kissers, Top Of The Pops, Countdown & RAGE. Accch! Have some decorum, have a sense of cool”.
“Exactly! I fight the battle to obtain primo tickets for the music…and a perv…occasionally”.
“Of course Paige, that’s a given”.
“Yeah, but mainly for the music. So, if you’re a screamer, steer clear of me. Please. I’m serious”.
“…and punters singing all the words right in your ear – ‘I’ve come to hear Jeff Buckley, not you!’ sorry Paige, I’m still narky”.
“And I’m sure, understandably so. No worries, Abbie, rant away. Oh! I think I just had an epiphany, of sorts. All those screaming girls after Leif Garrett… Hmmm”.
“When reading Starstruck one is well aware of a certain spirituality within the characters from the start, a belief in spirits and a sixth sense. Was this an important link that you wanted your readers to connect with quickly?”
“Yes, most definitely. It’s an integral part of Sam’s heritage and helped mold the woman she grew up to be. She sees her gift as a blessed curse, a double-edged sword. I wanted the reader to get the hint of that from the get-go. She’s a genuinely honest woman who has no hidden motives, and she’s strong-willed with a smart head on her shoulders. I wanted to keep her grounded and not let the advantage she has over others taint the core of her personality. Also, I was interested in mixing the genres I love (erotic romance, paranormal, suspense, mystery) into the one book”.
“How much is your life guided by angels or are your supernatural beliefs less than the heroine Samantha?”
“I listen to my instinct. It doesn’t always lead me down the right path, but more often than not, it does. Am I guided by angels? It’s a very comforting thought, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen one. My beliefs are not that far removed from Sam’s, though I have embellished in my writing for the sake of added excitement. A lot!”
“Well her gift does come across as instinct also and it doesn’t reveal the right paths as much as she would like, which adds to the excitement”.
“Thanks! That’s what I was going for”.
“Samantha sometimes came across like a superhero. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had to land a plane in distress – this girl can do and play anything! Did you ever laugh to yourself about how far you could take this character, perfection personified. Is there anything she can’t do? Is Samantha your ideal you?”
“Yes. Yes. And yes! I did sometimes wonder if I was pushing the boundaries a little with her skills, but my dad is musically multi-skilled, so it’s within my realm of believability. I dabble on the guitar, a little piano, can hold a tune and am not too shabby at drawing and painting, so again, within my realm of comfort and possibility. Sam can’t fly a plane, nor can she handle drinking Rum, but her biggest fault is trusting people too easily”.
“There’s that gut instinct again”.
“Yeah, I guess Sam is my ideal me in some ways”.
“A lot of Erotic Romance novels bankroll the fantasy with their characters huge wallets. As a reader yourself, do you ever feel it might hinder the story for some (an unrealistic life, endless cash flow) or is it part of the seduction of a story?”
“Sometimes I feel it can be a bit of both. The money aspect wasn’t important to me (or Sam)”.
“True, she is an independent woman with a great career”.
“Right, but as a highly successful rock legend Jesse had to have the big bucks to make the story realistic. And I think in many cases – if done correctly – it does add to the seduction for the reader. Most people don’t have that kind of wealth, so imagining they’re with someone who does can be quite a thrill. I must admit, though, I won’t read a romance with the word “millionaire” in the title”.
“So agree ‘The Debonair Billionaire!’ …he’s lonely, rich and wears a tie, what he does with it is for you to find out! HA!”
“See! I rest my case”.
“Haven’t seen “trillionaire” or “zillionaire” yet, I suppose with the economic downturn we won’t for a while”.
“It’s a shame because it gives me a clichéd impression of what may be a great story, though I’ll never know because I’ve moved onto something which sounds more interesting”.
“When in lusts grip – writing wise, what methods do you use to capture the moment correctly on the page – pure imagination, props (barbie dolls, maps) or a happy stunt husband?”
“A little from column A, and a little from column C! My husband is happy to help out whenever I need a hand, but mostly, it’s imagination. I run the scene through my head, second by second, exactly how I feel it should play out naturally. I would never want the choreography to be awkward or impossible for the reader to imagine putting themselves in any of my…positions”.
“Yes, we’ll leave the contortionist poses to the supple and gifted. Give me bonking scenes were players get cramp, clash teeth, get their hair caught in his zip, recover and continue with the passion”.
“Another character, band member and brunt of Samantha’s drummer jokes, is Ricky Bradshaw. Your short in Ellora’s Cave Quickies series Count Me In was also a sweet and satisfying story about recognising and fulfilling all of one’s dreams – this ladies list has some interesting entries including the soul tortured Ricky. He would make an excellent character to delve deeper and longer into, is this someone you intend to bring to life even more?”
“Definitely! The book I’ve just started writing is Ricky’s full-length novel. He’s developed into a character I simply adore. I just want to give him a big hug, and probably a good slapping. He’s broken, in many ways, and his story is not going to be an easy one for me to write. He’s a much darker character than his best friend, Jesse, and has a lot more skeletons in the closet. I think of my characters as real people, so when they hurt, so do I. I’m sometimes caught blubbering over my keyboard while attempting to see my screen through the tears”.
“When Ricky appears in the pages there is an immediate connection, everyone knows or has a Ricky in their lives if you know what I mean”.
“Yeah, I do. And some of us have more than one. I just hope I do his story the justice it deserves”.
“The hardest part about all artistic endeavour is when a piece is finished, ready to perform, to put down the brush – ready to be read. This can be a very daunting process, self-doubt can rear its head – any insight on when you know when something is ready to reveal?”
“After I finished the first draft of Starstruck, I spent well over a year rewriting and polishing before I even entertained the idea of actually submitting it anywhere. I lost count of how many times I went over the story, but at a guess I’d say a minimum of twenty. The best advice I can give is to keep polishing until you feel it cannot shine any brighter. Then, walk away from it, for at least two weeks (preferably a month). If you can revisit the story afterward and read through it without feeling the need to stop and rewrite a scene, then it’s probably ready for someone to see”.
“The book contains some wonderful location imagery, in particular it shines when you are in Australia. The sense of the place is beautifully descriptive and I feel the serenity of the Australian bush pour from your heart…and the heat! Tempting to set a whole book in OZ I bet?”
“I’ve actually written most of the first draft for a story set entirely in Australia -South Bruny Island, to be exact. It’s not a part of the Jerico series, so it’s kinda on the backburner at the moment. It still has a lot of work needed, but I’m hoping to have it ready for submission by early next year. I’m also a little nervous about showing this story. It will be my first attempt at tackling vampirism”.
“Ahhh! Excited – The Great Australian Bite!”
“Ha! Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” *grabs pen and scribbles quickly*
“I’m reviewing it already, vampires aren’t a part of modern Australian mythology but there is an Indigenous story of the yara-ma-yha-who. This creature would drop down from wild fig trees and draw on the blood of the unfortunate who hung around doing nothing, he has fingers and toes like the suckers of an octopus, he has loads of other crazy powers and very, very sharp teeth”.
“Hang on!”. *scribbles frantically* “I’ve never heard of that story, but I’ll be looking into it very soon. You’ve actually sparked an idea for a possible sequel I’ve been thinking about. There was a small hole in the plot which I think you may have just helped me fill. Thanks, Abs!
“From what I can deduce, your publishers at Ellora’s Cave have a nurturing approach to the editing process – keeping the author’s voice true. Was it difficult removing Aussie slang that an overseas audience would find difficult to grasp?”
“I gave my American editor some giggles with some of my chosen slang, and I’m sure she received quite an education. I did have to tone it down a little. Any slang words used, I had to make the meaning very clear to the reader. A few got cut out”.
“What, like ‘Do you wanna root’?”
“Ha! No, though I’d be lying if I said that one hadn’t crossed my mind. It wasn’t just slang, either. Words like “jumper” and “suspenders (and stockings)” had to be changed to “sweater” and “garters”. But my favourite slang remained. I’m really happy about that. Sam wouldn’t have been a true Aussie character if I hadn’t peppered her dialogue with some slang”.
Sometimes you have to make those little compromises to reach that International audience – lighters aloft!
Paige Thomas’ STARSTRUCK & COUNT ME IN are available through
Ellora’s Cave Publishing http://www.ellorascave.com/starstruck.html
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.com/Paige-Thomas/e/B00BT0H0OY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0