Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Glory of Research...and some other stuff relating to Flesh.

Writers almost always have a specific process. A method that is integral to aid them in the cultivation of the world they build and the characters they choose to inhabit it. This research is a crucial stepping stone. I cannot emphasise enough how vital it can be. In Flesh, for instance, a certain amount of realism must be maintained when it comes to developing our Post-Zombie-Apocalypse world. Would the cars still start if their batteries had been sitting idle for months on end? Which food goods would still be edible? What drugs would people be attempting to source? Would there be changes to the natural world following such an event? For much of this, Wikipedia and other online Encyclopedias can prove to be a very good friend.

But the second and most important reason that people wind up doing research is that it gives a level of detail to the story that makes everything more concrete and specific. So you find some interesting fact about shooting a gun or clearing a room and then you work it into one of the characters and it helps to fill out their back story. Does she know how to shoot a gun and clean it? How? When did she learn and why? Not many women I know have ever even picked up a fire-arm. So maybe she was on her high school softball team instead and doesn't mind swinging a bat. Give your characters some thought. What exactly makes them tick? Nina D'Aleo featured a fab Character Profile on her blog. Check it out here.

Finn holding a towel in a rainstorm, perhaps?
Today, I thought I’d share some of my own research methods that helped to form ‘Flesh’. And while some of this might seem to the untutored eye to be the flimsiest of pretexts for googling images of hot men, having a picture to base a character on does do wonders for consistency. Don't even get me started on the joys of making maps. A few years back I spent an entire day creating one of Blackstone, the town featured in Flesh. An entire day moving little lines around and neatly labelling every last thing. Choosing exactly which font looked the coolest. Naming streets I then never referred back to. But it's a really groovy map and I'm very proud of it. I'd pop it up for you to see but I can't figure out how, sorry. My knowledge of technology is a bit basic at times. 

A picture of Dan's arse as he grasps a chain? Could be.
So maybe you do need to be careful that research doesn't turn into procrastination. If you've spent three solid days scrolling through baby naming websites then you might need to just stop being silly and sit down and write the damn thing. Call your hero Mr X for a few chapters, he won't mind. Chances are a name will come to you somewhere down the track.

How about a specific play list to help create the mood for your piece? No, shush again, it can help. Try it and see. But I do suggest picking songs you know well otherwise you can wind up just getting distracted by the music. Apart from the awesome Horror Pops I chose an all Australian line up. If you haven't heard of some of these artists, go look 'em up. You won't be disappointed.

Dark Storm by The Jezabels
Beating like a Drum by Eskimo Joe
Where they Wander by the Horror Pops
Fool for You by John Butler Trio
Breathe Me by Sia
Easy Way Out by Gotye
What Do I Do by Lanie Lane
Rattlin' Bones by Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
The Weather by Butterfly Boucher
This Heart Attack by Faker
Monsters by Something for Kate
Sunsets by Powderfinger
Thump by Bertie Blackman

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Six Sentence Sunday... Room with a View.

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday. A quick thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of Flesh, writing reviews and mentioning it on Twitter. This week in a brain boggling move it jumped 20,000 places on Amazon to sit in the Top #30 of Erotica Best Sellers! Possibly the most exciting day of my life outside of getting married and giving birth and stuff. If you haven't read it yet but might like to give it a go it's still only .99c on Kindle.

Today we’re moving on from Flesh to a short-story set in the same Post-Zombie-Apocalypse world. It’s called Room with a View and will be released this Thursday. Here’s the blurb.

Natalie has watched as the zombie plague devastated civilisation. 
Angus had been a miracle. Twenty-three years old and gorgeous he had appeared like Romeo from the pool area and thrown supplies up to her balcony. But now Angus is gone – he has abandoned her, which is probably for the best. She couldn’t stand to watch him die too.

Stranded four floors up and fenced in on all sides by the infected, food and water supplies are running as low as Natalie’s spirits. A lingering death from starvation seems inevitable.

But then she sees Angus striding for the pool gate with a sawn-off shotgun in his hands. Can he make it past the infected to reach her? And what will it mean if he does?

Waves crashed and rolled onto Kings Beach across the road, the white expanse of sand a beautiful thing. The ocean had long since washed away the bulk of the dead bodies and debris. Only the tank remained and each tide buried it deeper.
     Angus had abandoned her. Which was probably for the best.
     She couldn’t stand to watch him die too.    

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Cheat's Guide to Flesh...

This is the story of Ali. She is really bummed because of...

...the zombie apocalypse and all. You'd be sad too. But one day she met...

...a smokin' hot dude who wanted to be *friends*. So they hit the...

...road together. And some shit happened. And eventually, they ran into...

...another smokin' hot dude. There was also some....

...exciting if some what violent action and coarse language. And some smut. And then...

...they killed some zombies. Tons actually. It was quite gory. And then everyone lived happily ever after. The end.

If for some reason this didn't satisfy you. You can buy the full book here.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...

FLESH is currently available for .99c on Amazon.

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday. Our final one with my post-zombie-apocalypse M/F/M novel 'Flesh', before we move onto ‘Room with a View’, a short story set in the same world but featuring all new characters.

But first up, there was a request for another dose of Dan. So here he is giving relationship advice to his girlfriend's other boyfriend. Finn and Ali have had a falling out and Dan is trying to convince Finn to go and make-up with her. He’s just told Finn that sometimes it’s important to say you’re sorry, even if you don’t mean it... 

    “Sometimes, especially if you don’t mean it.”
    Finn choked on a laugh. “That’s terrible.”
    “Terrible but true. Sometimes you need to make the peace and work it all out later. Being together is what’s important.”

A new review off the Amazon page that sums up the story quite nicely... "Scott writes an exciting apocalypse novel, which draws you in from the very start. Interesting is the menage treatment. Women are rare and the heroine's travelling companions are two very different men, both intent on making sure she survives even if that means they have to share her. The world is littered with diseased and dying zombies determined on eating the survivors. The surviving trio find a small town mixed with the brave, the biblical, and other complex characters. When a strange suicide occurs, suspicion strikes. Is there a killer in the town? Is survival possible with zombies, marauding bands of humans surrounding the town?"

Friday, 19 October 2012

Zombirotica visits the Romance Bandits Lair!

I'm visiting the Romance Bandit's Lair today, courtesy of the fab Madame of Regency Noir, Anna Campbell. Stop by and give us your best apocalyptic survival tips for a chance to win a copy of FLESH...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I like big butts... or, diversity in heroines is a good thing.

Bite me.

WARNING: This is a meandery post. Deal with it.

First up, I thought I’d write a post about my size 12 jeans. I love and hate those denim darlings with equal enthusiasm. Love them when I fit into them. Hate them when I don’t. At the moment (as for the past two years) those bastards have been sitting at the back of the cupboard, mocking me. No big surprise is it? Women complaining about their weight is pretty standard, and I’m certainly no exception. Over 50% of women are unhappy with their body size, we all know this. And a greater percent of the adult female population is size 14 or over as opposed to under. Yes, yes, I hear you say. All this sh*t gets bandied about in the press with annoying regularity. Look, *insert latest cool actress’s name here* has put on five kilos!! Oh noes, she’s a heifer! Wait, *whats-her-face* has lost 5 kilos!! She looks horrible! She’s a bad role model! Kill her in a fire! Well, maybe not quite that bad. But still, you get the drift.

Now, there have been some great Romancelandia books featuring plus sized heroines. One of my personal favourites is ‘Master of the Mountain’ by Cherise Sinclair, wherein the plump heroine ditches her mismatched model perfect boyfriend in exchange for a man who can appreciate a larger woman. And discovers kinky f*ckery, yes. But focus, we’re not talking spanking today, sorry. Maybe next week. The hero in ‘Master of the Mountain’ appreciates a buxom girl and all that often goes with a rack like that. It doesn’t take him long to likewise appreciate her keen mind and innate sense of kindness. He appreciates her inside and out, and that’s great.

Women’s bodies, evolutionary wise, were made for making babies. Boobs, hips, butt and belly, they’re all there for a good reason. But at some stage we lost sight of this. Still preaching till the converted? I know, I am. Bear with me. So, curves are cool. My heroine in ‘Room with a View’ (Promo break: It's a short story being released 1st of November which you can pre-order here.) is a curvy girl. I actually based her physically on the singer Adele, who I happen to think is awesomely talented and just lovely all round if what I’ve seen in interviews is any indication. To reward her for this awesomeness, I gave her a hot, young guy to save and seduce during a Zombie-Apocalypse. She’s welcome. But it’s not just curvy chicks that seem to be in the minority in Romancelandia. Whilst seeking realism in our world of guaranteed Happy Ever Afters might seem a little silly, I don’t think it’s misplaced. Are we fully embracing diversity in our heroines? And if not, why not? It’s time we did.

What about tall girls? Don’t they deserve the good lovin’ too? In Amy Andrews ‘Rescued by Doc Dreamy’, our heroine Callie is six-feet tall in her comfortable flats. In Fiona Lowe’s ‘Boomerang Bride’, our heroine Matilda is as flat-chested as they come. Body shape does not equal worth and nor does beauty. Truth is, I can far more easily relate to a homely girl who’ll never see the cover of Vogue than I can to a supermodel. That just makes sense, doesn't it? It might be fun to fantasise about every boy in the room being ensnared by my overwhelming beauty, but winning hearts and minds through courage and generosity of spirit is every bit as rewarding a tale, if not more so. Overcome adversity. Conquer your fears. Rock on.
Lady bits.
How about heroine’s who’ve chosen to go with their differences? Tattooed girls span the spectrum of life experiences these days. There is no one set ‘type’ that rock the ink. I know female lawyers with tatts. Not necessarily ye olde hidden tramp stamp either, but works of art in more public places such as on their forearms. How about geek girls? Go you good things! The brain is the biggest sexual organ, after all. Multi-cultural mammas? Absolutely, come at me! Every woman is a *real* woman. There is no one right female body type that outrules all of the rest.

Lust is an important component of erotic romance. There are many different ways to fantasize about being an object of desire. Different body types are sexy in themselves. They are objects of lust. Breasts are a perfect example. They are extraordinary in all their myriad shapes and sizes, touch and tone. Outside of character and story, each particular body shape has its own allure, its own type of sexiness. Diversity is sexy. A unique character is surely what we’re after when we pick up a book, that experience of slipping beneath another’s skin. Movies and TV tend to show a standardised version of women. In a way this makes sense, stories have to be told quickly, characters established in an instant, the moment they walk on screen. Following the template for female boss, mother, wife, sister etc is easier. Perhaps it’s in books where we can more easily stretch our wings and see life through another’s eyes. Walk in their shoes and hear their thoughts. Experiencing what makes that character feel sexy and what makes other people see them as objects of desire is all part of the joy.
Just out of interest...this vid is of newsreporter Jennifer Livingstone replying to a man who tried to bully her about her weight a couple of weeks back. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch it.

Got a favourite book about a heroine that didn't fit the mould? Why not share it in the comments...