They sparred constantly, Aleisha knew without wanting to. It was sport, it was power, it was sex, relentlessly demanding. Both were driven to win, yet neither would tolerate the other losing.
The Khekarian series is a collection of separate and very diverse stories told over a period of time in the order with which they unfold – You will meet people from a broad spectrum of society – paupers, captives and slaves, merchants, seers, military personnel, all the way to rulers and conquerors – their lives, their loves, their kingdoms.
You’ll encounter individuals with their own stories to tell, ordinary people, some touched, some savaged by the imperial war. You’ll also meet key players in the strife and struggles as the two empires collide.
The Khekarian Threat starts on a wilderness planet in the Terran Sector, but ends up in alien territory far away, on a planet falling into enemy hands. The first tale is about Aleisha, but it’s also the beginning of Sturn’s story, an exiled Khekarian Prince and his return to power. If you enjoy in-depth science fiction with solid characterization, realism, a vast landscape and full galactic scope, this is the series for you.
I always write what I want to read, and I always write what I want to write – and why should sci-fi be “pure” while all other genres are allowed to have LIFE?
Fortunately, science fiction nowadays DOES have life, yet the concept remains, particularly when it comes to sex.
I have been told numerous times that sci-fi doesn’t usually have sex in it, for instance, and that it is a different genre and writers shouldn’t mix genres. I usually reply that when the cowboy in a Western gets the girl in the end, no one says that’s a mixed genre of Western and Love story. Usually they get my point at once.
As a kid, I really didn’t like most of the science fiction available, including (actually, especially) the big name authors. Mostly it was too dour. It could be that I was reading above my age level, but what I really wanted was adventure and spaceships and alien planet colonization.
The original idea I had, all those years ago, centered on a pioneering world with Good Guys and some Thugs – simple – It was one book, one story, Ms Sweet Young Thing trying to escape the evil intentions of Mr Villain, lots of good fun and sexual tension – Then I grew up out of adolescence and wondered if I could… you know… put a plot in it.
I gave Mr Villain a brain. That might have been a mistake, but it also gave him wider appeal because there’s only so much you can do with sexual lust. I also took his sexual lust OFF Ms Sweet Young Thing and planted it… well, just about everywhere else.
Meanwhile back at the ranch Mr Villain had to have a reason for keeping and controlling Miss Sweet Young Thing. She needed a reason to want to get away, right? And no Good Guy/Bad Guy clash happens over a pay dispute – it had to be something against the will, so slavery it became.
I also needed to give Mr Villain brute force power and a reason for wanting a talented seer in his life.
That’s right, Ms Sweet Young Thing is an untrained, undisciplined psychic – And don’t start with the “But she didn’t see it coming” bit, just about everyone she meets says that. And don’t tell me it doesn’t belong in science fiction, either! What about Star Wars? What about “Use the Force, Luke”? Then there’s Star Trek and Mr Spock and his mind-meld. If Star Wars and Star Trek count as science fiction, mine most certainly does. Yes – complete with spaceships and Relay stations (teleport), and fancy weaponry and aliens and newly colonized worlds. It’s sci-fi, got it?
My take on the psychic side of things is that spirituality, psychic experiences and the practice of magic in many forms has been part of human history right from the start. It is still with us today and will be with us tomorrow. It flows in and out of popular appeal, so there’s no reason to assume it will stop dead in its tracks anytime soon.
Writing sex is difficult enough – not least because it’s intimate, but intimacy is just one hurdle. The emotion and mechanics are tricky enough at the best of times. You not only have to describe the scene well, you have to keep it on the page! Okay, so forget your own emotions getting in the way. Forget the cold showers, the mind-blowing, eye-crossing sweaty thoughts and your inability to type coherently. What really bites is the knowledge that however the description ends up, EVERYONE will be able to see it once it’s out there.
Your sex scenes have to be good. You cannot, as a writer, afford to be clumsy in this (if the scene is meant to be clumsy, it still has to be expertly written. You still have to get it right). You are, after all, exposing yourself in a very unique way. Here, you are vulnerable, not only as a writer but as a person. This is too close.
Composing your words and putting a description out there for people to look at and pick over, has many drawbacks. It’s like public speaking. No, it’s worse than that because it’s intimate on so many levels. What if it’s wrong? What if it’s stupid? What if people laugh and it’s not a comedy? What if you haven’t caught your readers so they just don’t connect with what you have put on the page and it all becomes so very clinical? There’s a myriad of things that can go wrong.
This books contains – Sex, erotica, action-adventure with a (gentle) occult theme, technology, interplanetary travel, alien worlds, aliens, a war of galactic proportion, violence and coarse language – I know I’ve mentioned the 30-page sex scene (admittedly with some fun distraction and action but, for one character, 30 pages it is).
That’s why it’s a fat book, folks! A lot happens!
The freebie ends just before midnight Friday, 23rd May (Standard Pacific Time USA). That’s sometime today (I think).
Over the page, once again, is a repeat of yesterday’s info and link, and next week I’ll get back into chatting. Oh, and I’ll be absent for the next two days.
The problem started when I gave my lead villain royal credentials – it seemed like a good idea at the time – the Chiddran had been introduced, bringing in their own Empire and their own colonizing expansion into space, and they were/are currently engaged in war with the aggressive Khekarians, who have possession of most of the galaxy and want the rest of it.
Great, I thought. A bit of depth, a sense of history, basically background stuff. Then I wanted to use it. I wanted to plug my story more deeply into that, somehow. As the governing hierarchy for the Khekarian Empire is a vast system of royals, from major to minor, I figured making my lead villain an exiled royal would give him a suitable cause and reason to do dastardly things.
To push him right to the edge of acceptance, if not outside of it, I made him a bastard as well. Yes, in both senses of the word.
And now I’m going to bring sex into the equation.
Yesterday in comments, I mentioned that the major sex scene in my first book runs for 30 pages – it does, but don’t be fooled into thinking that means 30 pages of sweat and lust and tedious repetition – because it’s certainly not that – Technically, I suppose, you could break the scene into two, even three segments, but for all of that, with all that happens – the mental gymnastics, the physical fun and games, the action, the fallout and the aftermath, from beginning to end it really does last that long.
It’s actually hard to separate all that out, but I can say that it doesn’t feel anywhere near that long when you’re reading it. Mind, I don’t think anyone notices the page count at that point… or the pages… or the book.
It was actually a hugely tricky scene to write, and not just because of the sex.
First up, I’ll say that not all sexual encounters have to be detailed, of course. Hints or foreplay and then the closed bedroom door or a jump to the next morning works fine for many writers and readers. But then, that’s why there’s a warning stuck at the top of my blog page and on my books at Amazon and Kindle. Mine gets graphic, not always, but when it does, it DOES.
Detailed sex is probably THE most difficult things to write convincingly and realistically – particularly when you want it to appeal to both sexes (it’s a wide band, but put very, very simply, most men get turned on by physical description and most women get turned on by emotional description).
Writers can get in their own way when it comes to writing sex. It’s very easy to become self-conscious, shy or awkward, or worse, turned on – seriously, it might sound funny, but you have to know what goes onto the page and what’s going on in your head. You are WRITING, it has to be ON THE PAGE. It does a writer no good at all to fade out into their imagination and then assume that their readers have followed.
This is for Beth*, a lady I know, a lovely friend of mine who doesn’t like to know the plot ahead of time, who doesn’t even like to read the teaser page on the back of a book, she wants the whole thing to be a surprise – Before she told me that, I didn’t know that some people value a book to that extent, that any example would spoil the reading experience for them – and I have respected that ever since.
So, apart from telling you I write science fiction and that the Khekarian series is an adventure, with some erotica, graphic sex, coarse language, violence and – not forgetting what annoys some people – societies that accept psychic reality, the only way you’re going to know any details is to look at the samples I have listed. They’ll be found in the side menu to the right, or from the drop-down menu. I have the first four and a half chapters from book 1, and other sections from book 1 and 2 – so they are there, but they do not intrude into the blog itself.
I did toy with the idea of popping in a section of prose every now and then, but dismissed the notion when I realized that although some would enjoy it, for many it is not why they visit my blog. More importantly, for a valuable few, it would spoil things immeasurably.
Sex in a book grabs us and makes us sit up a bit – it can be beautiful, erotic, physical, emotional, rich, gentle, sloppy, selfish, aggressive, abusive, crude or ugly – and it can be written beautifully, erotically, with physically orientation, emotionally orientation, richly done, gently told, rough and ready or just plain sloppily and poorly written – There is much more to sex in fiction than just capturing the action and keeping the writer out of his or her own way.
In the chosen post-from-the-past (written in May 2013) for today, I covered the lot. Reading back on it, I think my chat about perspective is probably the one area a lot of writers miss. We all know what works for us in our own identity and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of writing from our own perspective – forgetting that there is another side, a partner who may see things through a different lens.
It is something to be aware of. If your fiction is aimed one way, all may be fine, but if you want to write for a wider audience, you’ll need to take into account what matters for the opposite sex.
I also outline my own method of writing sex scenes. Some scenes work very easily and are written on the first run through, anything deeper might take longer, and something complicated by other issues might need some fine balancing. My methods helped to keep me out of my own way, but it’s also a great method of dealing with embarrassment, too – writing sex is not easy.
Basically, when it comes to sex, there is nothing worse than poorly written scene, particularly if the writer’s embarrassment shows through – if that happens, you can’t miss it, and that makes it painful for the reader, too.
So here it is, direct. Because I’m jumping straight to that particular page instead of going through an interim one, please note you’ll need to read from the top and not scoot down to the asterisk. Comments there are open, of course, and I’d love to hear of your own methods that work.