Archive for the ‘writing’ Category
Jul 2, 2015 Filed under: contemporary, m/m, men in uniform, writing
Yessss! I’ve finally reached the end of Unexpected Engagement (Unexpected 3). Simon and Edgar are thrilled to have all their story down even if it still needs plenty of tweaking. If you haven’t read books 1 and 2 in this series, check them out here.
Nov 8, 2011 Filed under: book recommendation, guest blogger, m/m, writing
Phoning IT in
By Xavier Axelson
I came across a concept recently I thought I would share. While discussing a popular television show and the work that goes into the production of the show my friend said, “You can tell the actress is phoning it in.”
Qu’est-ce que c’est “phoning it in?”
Upon further discussion, it was explained as someone who is doing just enough to get by, or performing on autopilot. The zest is gone but you are so good at doing what you do you can offer 5% and get away with it.
Hmm, I immediately began to wonder how this can relate to writers and kept mulling the concept of “calling it in” over and over in my head until I was reminded of a writers group I led during the past summer.
I remember one writer who wrote beautiful corset ripping romances. Great sweeping things reminiscent of Gone with the Wind, if not a bit dramatic, definitely well written for someone of tender college age. My advice to this writer week after week was to be more “generous” with the story and character. If you are going to write a grand, epic romance then be generous with details and slow the pace down. It isn’t a race. Not every story has to be Gone with the Wind and over 1000 pages but I felt this writer’s style was lush and beautiful enough but was not matching the pace of the story they were hoping to tell. I realized it is easy as a writer to “phone in” details. I found certain elements of the romance to be typical of the genre and so tired I ached to relieve the words of their decade’s long slavery. Perhaps I am being difficult and asking more of myself as a writer than necessary. Are readers willing to go along with a story because the genre dictates what will and always happens next? Wrong side of the tracks hero pulls high society maiden from her society column and deflowers amid the wilds of her wealthy fathers estate? It’s been done and will be done again and again, and why not? The idea of phoning it in comes in to play when a write just rehashes the story with little deviation from a story told repeatedly from the beginning of romance. Readers can also be guilty of phoning it in from time to time. I’m guilty of this, believe me, I am far from reproach. I am an easy sell when it comes to books, but that’s another blog. Isn’t easy to just find a series of books or a particular writer and just keep going back for more? Do you really have to think about it? You know what is being served, all you have to do is show up, wipe your feet, sit down, and eat what’s being served. You know what the next course/chapter will be. You’re phoning it in.
I also marvel when on a Saturday night I drive by a chain restaurant serving mediocre food to find it packed. Line down the block, crowd control, no parking, and everyone feverishly awaiting their round of the same old same old. I look next store at the new Peruvian place maybe offering something more interesting and NOTHING. The place is empty. It’s a marvel. Are we afraid of disappointment? Is there a bit of laziness lurking within each of our over stimulated souls? After work, do we really want to have to worry about hitting up the new place when the spinach and artichoke dip at said chain is decent and the beer is cold?
I excite at new and different things and experiences. I ache to be the one to try a new restaurant and am one of those freaks who write down new books off my Amazon wishlist and carry it with me to the one or two bookstores left in existence.
It was recently I found myself phoning it in. Not as a writer, but as a reader. I realized I read about 26 books in a particular series with little space in-between each book to read something new. I decided one night I needed to stir things up, reached for a book in the polar opposite genre, and blasted thru said book in two days. Boy, I needed that. I understand the need to be satisfied, to not risk disappointment. Is there anything worse than reading a bad book or crappy movie? I get more disappointed in movies than books. I struggle to think of any on book I truly hated. Then again, I am an easy sell.
Blah blah blah, what’s he talking about anyway? Did he just call me lazy? Absolutely not! This is more a plea to myself to remember to kick in a little Neil Gaiman in-between my 1940’s British fiction and maybe a little Jane Austen in-between my Bram Stoker and Bunnicula. There’s nothing wrong with getting comfortable and seeking comfort from the familiar but as a writer I know I would die if everyday became the same and every one of my stories an expected collection of words with zero taste and no calories. I think of my novellas as a feast and you are my guest. So EAT. Eat it all and then ask for more. Generosity is a creative gift I hope to share.
Speaking of eating, and when am I not? Check out my latest novella, The Birches from Seventh Window Publications. An erotic culinary tale one reviewer says, “The story supersedes everything else and I think that is because it is so real.”
Feel free to come by website and say hello! There’s always trouble brewing there.
A taste of The Birches by Xavier Axelson
Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner. That is until he meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches. Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.
He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him.
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here. I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off. Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and–”
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.
Leo’s heart was pounding, what was it about this place, this man?
Aug 1, 2011 Filed under: bears, erotica, eye candy, m/m, men in uniform, paranormal, shapeshifter, writing
So I’ve been thinking about giving Seth, the police lieutenant from Sex on the Hoof and Savage Wolf his own book. And now Seth and the bear shifter I want to pair him with keep talking to me, so I’ve been trying to solidify my image of them. I posted an inspiration pic for Brandon the bear shifter and now I’ve found the perfect pic for Seth. (more…)
Jul 13, 2011 Filed under: erotica, guest blogger, m/m, paranormal, shapeshifter, vampire, web event, writing
I’ve been making notes for a story with a bear shifter and this is my inspiration pic.
Jul 12, 2011 Filed under: guest blogger, writing
Five Things to Remember When Writing Romance
Only five? I better make it the five things I need to remember when writing a romance. Maybe I need to start with – what is a romance? The story of two (or more) people (or vampires, shifters, angels, faeries, bookends etc) who meet, fall apart and then come back together for the happy ever after – or the happy for now at the very least.
1. The first meeting of the hero and heroine has to be something that resonates with the reader. It has to grip by the heart, by the lungs, by the–every bit of them you can get at. It has to make them gasp or laugh or sigh. If they don’t see that the characters are meant to be together from the start– even if you later drive them apart moments later– then they won’t fall in love with them and carry on reading. One of my books starts with the hero pulling a splinter out of the heroine’s backside. Another has a werewolf falling down a hole and landing on a starving vampire. One of my favorite starts is in a book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips where the bride is getting married and forgets the groom’s name.
2. Make the hero and the heroine flawed. We all love bad boys and most heroes have a dark side but I like my heroines to have faults too. I’m sorry – but I just don’t get the kickass, I’m better than you heroines who waltz through stories with their sassy attitude and perfect everything. I probably make my characters too flawed but I like my heroine to NEED the hero. Doesn’t mean she has to be subservient, just that she’s someone the reader will identify with. And the guys? They have to be larger than life, good-looking (even with that odd scar or too), strong alpha males. The head turning sort, the ones that we all go – yum – to. I don’t mind if they’re nasty tempered, sulky, silent or sarcastic, so long as there is something about them that makes them vulnerable and capable of love with the right woman. I know a lot of writers plot out the characters carefully before starting to write. I don’t. I let the characters develop with the story. It works better for me that way but its just personal preference.
3. Plot matters too! Since I outlined above the basics of a romance as– two meet, fall in love, fall apart and then come back together – what plot is needed other than that, you might cry. There’s not much that hasn’t been done in romance so you have to make your characters interesting enough and different enough to carry the basic plot. Which is why having them flawed helps. Conflict comes into this. I absolutely believe you have to create a strong reason for them to be kept apart – either through their own mistakes or failings, or through the actions of others. Strong conflict keeps readers turning pages and drives the story forward.
4. Humor. I want to read it and I want to write it. I love snappy dialogue. I love men who’re funny and women who give back as good as they get. I want readers to want the hero for themselves and to see themselves as the heroine. I hope readers laugh out loud at some parts of my books. This links to the desire to be entertaining. The whole point of reading anything fictional, let alone romance, is that it takes you away from your ordinary life. It lets you forget for a while that dishes need to be washed, ironing needs to be done, dog needs to be let out – excuse me a minute…so the stories and characters have to transport the reader to another world where everything will – see the next point…..
5. end Happy Ever After. All my stories are HEA. Not for me, the happy for now. I want my hero and heroine together and looking forward to what life is going to bring them. I want their lives to be happy because I want readers to believe that can happen for them too. I know plenty of great love stories end with hero or heroine or both dead – not mine. Ever.
6. Yes, I know I said five but how can I miss out –SEX. The level of sex in a romance can vary from sweet to full on erotic. I’ve noticed a tendency for ALL romances to have more detailed sex in them these days, just less than in an erotic romance and not so varied. Even thrillers and suspense novels seem to insert the obligatory scene or two. It’s hard to please all tastes over the amount of sex in a book. Too much for some, not enough for others. But the golden rule for me is that the story must stand without the sex, that the plot is complex enough, the characters interesting enough to carry the story and make people sigh when it ends.
Jun 23, 2011 Filed under: erotica, guest blogger, web event, writing
I’m blogging at TRS today about why I think alpha males deserve partners with strong personalities. Stop by and let me know what you think.
May 21, 2011 Filed under: erotica, eye candy, free story, m/m, writing Tags: eye candy, m/m erotica, m/m military erotica, m/m romance, man candy
I recently joined the m/m romance group at Good Reads and when I got an email about the Hot July Days event I knew immediately that I wanted to participate. Readers submit erotic photos and give a brief scenario that they like to have turned into a story. Authors accept the challenge by choosing a photo and writing the story. The stories will then be collected into an anthology for readers to enjoy. I’ll have more details coming soon.
For now, here’s the photo and prompt that I’ll be working with…..
I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but sometimes when I sit down to write in the evenings after a day filled with chaos, I need some sexy songs to help me shift gears from harried homeschool mom to sultry erotica writer. These are the songs that reside on my current sex scene playlist:
May 2, 2011 Filed under: BDSM, book release, erotica, eye candy, m/m, menage, paranormal, shapeshifter, writing Tags: BDSM, Changeling Press, erotic romance, erotica, eye candy, gay romance, john barrowman, Loose Id, m/m romance, menage, paranormal, paranormal romance, sci fi, shapeshifters, writing
Shifter’s Galaxy: Accommodating Desire, an m/m/f short story, will be available very soon from Changeling Press. I loved having the chance to revisit my Shifter’s Station world with this story, and I’ve got several more story ideas for this spin off series. Here’s an unofficial blurb:
Shifter’s Galaxy: Accommodating Desire by Silvia Violet
Lucy Vasilia is the director of the Alkestis Market, a well-run trading center
catering to both legitimate and black market concerns. She’s not a woman who
normally mixes business with pleasure, but shipping tycoon, Ian Hadley’s
dominating presence and cool control make her knees weak. When he
matter-of-factly proposes a three way with his lover, Security Chief, Connor
Langley, she decides to make an exception and give herself over to pleasure
for an afternoon. But Ian and his dark, dominating lover want far more from
her than a few hour’s dalliance. They intend to make her acknowledge their
soul-deep connection, and they won’t be satisfied until they’ve claimed her in
every possible way.
Seduction of the Captain, a BDSM sci fi set in the same world as Surrender in the Dark, will be coming your way this summer.
Works in Progress
I’m currently working on Protect and Serve: Sex on the Hoof. This is Jason, Natalie’s brother from Savage Wolf‘s, story. I love writing for this series and Jason and his lover, Drew, are a roller coaster ride of humor, angst, and dirty fun.
I’ve got lots of other projects bouncing around in my head. But I think once Sex on the Hoof is done, I’ll be focused on Wet: Reef’s Guardian, part of an upcoming multi-author series for Changeling. I know this one is going to be fun because one of the characters is a cuttlefish shifter. Oh the things I’ll be able to do with that 🙂
After that I’ve got a m/m Christmas story that’s been begging for my attention as well as one featuring intergalactic spies, betrayal, confusion and seriously hot sex.