How Did a Nice Girl Like You Write a Book Like This?
A funny story really. It all started when I had to be on disability for ten weeks. That's right, I'm going to blame my health. I had always said I would never write a novel I wouldn't want my mother-in-law to read, and now I end up adding her name to the "Don't share this with" settings every time I mention Alicia’s Possession on Facebook!
I had been going along quite swimmingly writing the sequel to Pulse and Prejudice, the paranormal adaptation of the Jane Austen's classic which re-tells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view as a vampire. The problem with any Regency-era novel, though, is the amount of research involved. I spent fifteen months ensuring the historical accuracy of Pulse and Prejudice and maintaining nineteenth century literary conventions. About a third of the way into the sequel –Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth—I had to go on disability, and I had neither the energy nor the initiative to continue with the research.
Once ready to jump back into writing, I needed something not quite so labor-intensive to tackle, so I checked the “special calls” for my publisher. Most of the options held no appeal for me: special love, holidays, western. Then I saw the request for submissions for shorts—15-20,000 word novellas—for a BDSM anthology. I started to dismiss it out of hand—I mean, I have trouble even typing the word nipple! In my love scenes, I generally write that “he put himself in her” and assume the reader knows he didn't stick his finger in her eye! The description of the special call intrigued me, though, because it said it could be any level of BDSM—and of any genre, from RomCom to Romantic Suspense.
Romantic Suspense and I go way back. My first romantic novellas, which I wrote in junior high, were all high intrigue and thrillers. One involved a government conspiracy to fake travel into the future. In another the heroine was murdered, and yet another the protagonist stood trial for killing her lover. (“Happily ever after” was not a requirement in my middle school romance writing!) I love Hitchcock above all other directors and suspense films more than any others, and police procedurals are my favorite television shows. Although I had a growing list of ideas for novels to follow Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth, I knew at some point I wanted to move into the Romantic Suspense genre.
Of course, then I had the issue of having to include BDSM. I won't lie: I enjoy reading BDSM romance novels. I just can't ever finish them. I suppose I must be the biggest prude ever to enjoy reading about bondage and Dominance! I just always find that they get to a certain …point at which I begin to feel uncomfortable, and I just have to stop reading. (And they lived happily ever after. Yada yada yada.) To be honest, I don't even like all the coarse metaphors used for "lady parts." How on Earth could I write a BDSM novella? Then I figured, if I felt this way, I couldn't be the only one. Right? I must represent some demographic! After all, I’ve been chosen to do the Nielsen ratings twice!
About the same time, my daughter bought this house, which I absolutely love, on a lake; and her neighbor on the other side of the lake is a former sharpshooter for the Marines. He will come out on occasion and shoot any snakes that are bothering the neighbors. I thought about how hearing a gunshot in the middle of the night would certainly freak me out!
For some authors, inspiration might strike like lightening, but for me, it's more like cracker crumbs in the bed, creeping into my skin until I'm itching to get it out. Between my daughter's house on the lake with her snake-shooting neighbor and an old story I recalled about a woman who had an accident, which caused her to forget her husband's infidelity (only for him to cheat on her again), my mind started working on the mystery.
For the Dominance and submission, I needed a strong hero who could sense the vulnerability in Alicia and understand her needs. He had to be a loving Dominant, truly devoted to caring for her well-being. Next I had to create a heroine with a history that had caused her not to be able to trust anyone and then place her in a situation so desperate she would be willing to surrender control completely. In Alicia's case, she suffers from deep depression and feels her life is already spinning out of control. Now she has to choose if she wants to give control over to Mason or give up completely.
Once I got to writing, though, this little exercise to help me get my groove back took on a life of its own! I even managed to kink up the sex scenes, at least by my standards, and even included a rather funny felatio scene. I poked fun at my own prudishness a bit as well. Eventually, I passed both the deadline for the anthology and over 35,500 words—far over the limit. Fortunately, the publisher loved it and was willing to release Alicia’s Possession on its own.
As my first foray into both Romantic Suspense, as well as BDSM, I had no idea how Alicia's Possession might be received. I couldn't have been more stunned a week after its launch when it was the publishers #1 Bestselling Romantic Suspense and (don't tell my mother-in-law) #2 Bestselling BDSM novel!
So have I gone back to Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth? Sorry, Vampire Darcy fans. You'll have to wait a little while longer. Those cracker crumbs in the bed started getting to me again, and now I am 40,000 words into another Romantic Suspense called The Widow (or Viuda) - and I'm not even quite halfway done! I don't think you will find any BDSM in this one though. I have to have some books for my mother-in-law to read!
About Alicia’s Possession
Haunted by a traumatic accident and her husband’s betrayal, Alicia believes she can never trust again. Now she must surrender her will to Mason if she wants to find out if the bizarre events terrorizing her are the work of the paranormal, her own paranoia, or something far more sinister.
After recovering from a freak car crash that put her in a coma and left her with no memory of the accident, wealthy socialite Alicia Pageant becomes convinced there is a connection between the mysterious disappearance of her neighbor and a series of bizarre occurrences inside her own house; but everyone—including the detective called to investigate—thinks the woman’s head injury has left her unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.
As Detective Mason Crawley investigates this “suspicious incident,” Alicia’s palpable sadness and vulnerability awaken his instinct to protect her and lead her into the light; but when her story begins to unravel, each new piece of information creates more questions than it answers. He begins to wonder if he is falling in love with a woman who is a witness to a cleverly-concealed crime, dangerously delusional, or a murderer.
(Contains light bondage and elements of Dominance and submission.)
Now available in eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in all eBook formats from AllRomanceEbooks, Bookstrand, OmniLit, and the Secret Cravings Publishing Store.