I'd like to thank Jeanne for hosting me today. Believe it or not, I'm a bit shy, so instead of wasting space on myself, I thought I'd talk about two really interesting characters in my life--Roger and Nigel.
I'm one of those writers who gets an inspiration for a story out of the blue. I very rarely sit down and start consciously thinking, "Gee, I'd like to write about X in this story." Mostly because I don't get the luxury of sitting down and thinking very often (I've got kids, LOL). No, story seeds happen to me the way random rollerblading accidents happen to other people. And usually at the same near-terminal velocity. :)
But the story seed for Jolly Rogered, my October release from Liquid Silver Books, happened a bit differently. Not with a crash, but a whisper. A very soft whisper from a very shy, reserved, innocent-looking young man who for the longest time, refused to even tell me his name. He whispered in my ear that he had a story to tell, and it was a romantic, wonderful, crazy, and falling-off-the-edge-of-a-cliff-into-blue-ocean scary tale.
Well, naturally, I was curious, but the voices in my head, they have to yell to be heard. So I waved him off. But he was nothing if not persistent, so finally, I sat down (or rather, leaned against the wall with my Palm phone in my hand and two thumbs at the ready--no, I don't do anything easy) and said, "Okay, tell me about this great love story of yours. And don't skip the juicy bits."
Well, the shy guy started talking about how he'd been swept off his buttoned-up feet by Something Fabulous. Someone who took no prisoners and made no apologies and lived life to the fullest. Of course my interest was good and piqued now--I have a soft spot for wild-n-crazy meets Brooks Brothers.
I never expected his wild-n-crazy to be another guy. And what a guy he is. Nigel really does make no apologies and lives life to the fullest. He exploded into my head and started talking nonstop, and quite scandalously, too. Prior to this, the closest I'd come to writing M/M (although I've enjoyed the reading of it since some of the earlier days of slash fanfic) was some subtextual, unresolved sensual tension between characters. But Mr. Nigel--sorry, Captain Nigel, God-Emperor and all-around Debauched Pirate Lord of All He Surveys--took an unholy glee in giving me an eye-opening earful about all the juicy, juicy details of his seduction of, and subsequent conquering of--and by (although he won't admit it)--the shy, slightly-freckled Yank that washed up a charity case on his exclusive luxury shore.
After having to check and verify some of his more outrageous claims--and I don't care what he tells you, the island natives do NOT worship him as a god, but they do value him as a well-paying employer--I surrendered. I had to tell their story to someone, even if it just ended up being my critique partner. And happily, the lovely and talented Tina Burns at LSB also enjoyed the story enough to give it a home at Liquid Silver's Molten line.
Now that I've teased you with a little bit about the two main troublemakers, let's not waste any more time in getting right down to a little taste, which you won't find anywhere else but here at the Sweet Flag!
Roger's eyes were blue, Nigel realized. Startling, swimming-pool blue, in the right light. Fairly radiating with toxic innocence as the other man leaned forward and searched his face in an expression Nigel recognized. He was looking for absolution, a blessing. Permission. His knee brushed Nigel's. The warmth of stirring attraction swirled in Nigel's gut and he knew that the Tea House would no longer do. Fuck. I'm invested. He needed to back off. Wait for the other man to come to a conclusion. Make his own decision.
Instead, he moved forward with the swiftness borne of a life lived without regret and pressed his mouth against the Yank's. Roger stiffened, then relaxed almost immediately, and Nigel moved his tongue over the other man's lips, waiting for an invitation that came so quickly it was impossible to think it hadn't been expected. He withdrew almost as quickly as he advanced, mildly shocked at his own behavior, but aware his instincts were honed enough to recognize the need to force the issue.
Roger blinked those baby blues owlishly and dragged in a breath. "Um," he murmured. His chest rose and fell for several seconds before he spoke again. "I need to figure out what is honest," he said. "For me. Can I do that here without judgment? Without consequence?"
Nigel searched the Yank's face. "No," he said bluntly. "You can do anything here without judgment. I make no guarantees about the consequences. I cannot say that you'll leave here unchanged from when you arrived."
Roger's breathing accelerated. Nigel noted the rapid rise and fall of his chest and waited. Finally, the American nodded. "It's worth the risk," he said. "Like I said, I don't have much to lose."
* * * *
I want to thank Xandra for giving us a glimpse into Nigel and Roger's story.
To learn more about Xandra check out her website at: