Some things in this life you never get to experience. Because you’re a man and not a woman or vice versa. Because you’ll never travel to other galaxies or the other side of the globe. Because some things are illegal. Out of bounds, for whatever reason. Still, you’d love to know what it feels like. Enter time machine, travel agency and magic carpet number one: art. Special Mention: books.
Movie makers go on location. Theater makes use of props. Writers build worlds using words. Good actors make you forget they’re imitating life. Good writers do the same with dialogue and description. Photographers snap a shot, painters paint a picture. Writers can fit all creation into a single sentence.
Words are our tool and make believe is our trade. Still much of that make believe is based on or was inspired by actual fact. Real countries and cities, historical figures and incidents, scientific findings, visions for the future. Some draw upon personal experience and write about their field of expertise, some depend on the knowledge gathered by others and imagine the rest.
Imagining is the fun part. And it’s the tricky part. Unless you’re writing sci-fi, speculative, fantasy or paranormal, you have to get a fair amount of facts right. Geography, history and the laws of nature…mess with those too much and risk the wrath of many a disgruntled reader. I know how that feels. I’m a reader, and a viewer. There are currently two TV ads playing over here that supposedly take place in Brazil. And everyone speaks Spanish. Spanish! Brazilians speak Portuguese!! It drives me up the wall.
Seeking information has never been easier than in our day and age. It’s also never been easier to be led astray, to be misinformed, if you go to the wrong source. Moral of the story: Don’t assume anything. Check the facts. Double-check them. And if you bend the truth, be prepared to be slapped for it. I love researching stuff for my books because I’m so damn curious. You never know what you may find! You learn a lot on the way, things you may need later. Then again, very little of what you dig up may end up in your book. Still, most of it helps you get in the mood, create an overall feel, and pass it on to your readers.
And what of inner sceneries? I’ve always thought writing is a lot like acting with the exception that you don’t have a role to play, you play them all. (Plus direct after writing the script, do costume and set design, dialect coach… The whole shebang, really.) Every character has a history that colors everything they do. They have individual strengths and weaknesses, their own objectives, wants and needs, and different strategies to overcome obstacles. Imagine building all those inner sceneries, keeping them at the front of your mind all the time but never letting it show. That’s good acting. And that’s good writing.
In Perpetual Pleasure, I got to imagine what it would feel like to be immortal, never changing or aging. I got to live the life of a professional stunt performer. I got to be an old gent in a magical city three hundred years in the making. And the sex I got to have…holy hell! It all took quite a bit of research and a fair amount of imagination. And putting it all together is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Speaking of which…
Hey lady! Where’s my smut? It’s coming August 31 from Ellora’s Cave, thanks for asking! Since I now have the final copy, and since you’ve all read the official excerpt, right *hint hint wink wink*, I want to treat you to a new one, one that picks up where the first left off. But first I want to ask you something.
Readers! What sort of things kill a book for you, crash the magic carpet? Have you ever wanted to write an author and explain to them everything you believe they got wrong in a book? Did you write them? Scribes! Have you taken liberties with facts, knowingly or unaware, and been slapped for it? Do you enjoy researching your books or does it sometimes feel like a necessary evil? Inquiring minds want to know.
Sexcellent weekend, everyone!