Posts Tagged 'Paranormal Lesbian Romance'

Alone in the dark: A mountain & my muse

BY SHERI LEWIS WOHL

Sheri Werewolf

Sheri Werewolf

 

The air is turning cold and the only light is a sliver of moonlight filtering through the towering pines. A small stream flows past like a whisper while off in the distance the crack of a branch snapping makes me jump. Inside the flaps of the dark green tarp strung between two trees, I lay on the hard ground huddled inside my sleeping bag. On the side of the mountain, I’m alone. Well, not technically all alone, there are others tucked inside their own makeshift shelters scattered throughout the wooded mountainside. But here near the swiftly moving stream, I’m by myself. It’s the perfect mood setting for a paranormal writer.

But, I wasn’t there as a writer. No, I came to the mountain that particular night to participate in an overnight mock search and rescue exercise. As a member of a K9 search and rescue team called out by the Sheriff’s Department where I live, we periodically converge to run through search scenarios and keep our skills sharp. This was a particularly interesting exercise for it was held on Halloween weekend. As I was running a half-marathon earlier in the day, I got to the mountain after the teams had been deployed. Rather than act as a searcher in this one, I had a different job. I was one of the “lost” persons the teams had to find. Except this time, in this exercise, those lost were a little more than lost…we were preternatural as well. There was one Skeleton, one demon, and me…a werewolf!

The search exercise was a rousing success and not only did we learn a great deal, but we had fun too. Though it was deep darkness on the side of that mountain by the time the searchers located me, when their lights hit my face, their reactions were priceless. The searchers, you see, weren’t in on the unique nature of the lost that night.

I came to the exercise that night loving the idea of being a lost werewolf but also pleased to be able to utilize the skills I’ve spent so much time learning and refining. The search and rescue community is a wonderful group to be associated with and the support of law enforcement in our area, incredible. This night though, it gave me even more. Think about it: a paranormal writer alone on the side of a mountain dressed like a werewolf? Oh yeah, I’m talking imagination nirvana!

The next morning as we packed out many were cold and tired, not having slept well in their shelters. It was cold and a light snow had begun to fall. It didn’t dampen my mood, I was grinning. My shelter had been great, I’d remembered to charge my radio, and my GPS had worked perfectly. Best of all, my muse shared the little shelter with me that night and when I hiked out, my head was filled stories of things that go bump in the night. I could hardly wait to get home to my computer.

Every writer is asked one question again and again – “Where do you get your ideas from?” For me on that Halloween weekend they came from inside a green tarp on the side of a mountain.

Vermilion Justice 300 DPI

BOLD STROKES BOOKS INTERVIEW with AUTHOR TANAI WALKER

by Connie Ward

TanaiWalkerLg

What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I have wanted to be I writer since I was fifteen. I was always an avid reader, and once I read The Stand by Stephen King, I was so transfixed by the plot and the characters that I wrote my own novel during the summer. It was eighty pages long, and it was about an alien conspiracy in a small desert town that is uncovered by a group of teenaged girls.

 

What type of stories do you write?  And why?

I write a mix of horror, paranormal, spec, and urban fantasy. I have always been attracted to the dark side of existence, the macabre and the grotesque. I grew up watching Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone with my mother, and horror movies with my dad. My grandmother used to tell me real-life ghost stories of her experiences growing up on old plantation land populated by the spirits of slaves. You could say these stories are in my blood, and in a way I am retelling them to as many people as will listen.

 

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

 My mom and dad are very doting parents. They indulged anything my siblings and I ever showed an interest in. They will never admit it, but my early writing habits worried them, especially my mother. I would lock myself in my room for hours, before school and after, and write these weird stories. My dad was my first editor and actually taught me how to outline. So my dad saved me from being a pantser. I have three sisters and two brothers, who are all very supportive. We are all major fan geeks, and we argue over the plot and the actions of characters all the time. I always have a ton of experts to run ideas by. My little brother Terrence is always trying to force ideas on me.

My partner Janette is the perfect writer’s spouse. She loves all of my stories and my blog and just about anything else I do. Right now, she is my biggest fan.

Where do you get your ideas?

My novelSacred Fire Sacred Fire 300 DPI came to life when I came across a picture on the Internet of an antique erotic postcard. I wondered what would happen if I saw the woman walking around today in regular clothes. The rest of the story sprang from that little seedling-idea. I also like to read true-crime and true-occult books. Colin Wilson’s The Occult, which I read in high school, has probably supplied me with enough spooky material for a lifetime. I am also big on reading mythology. A lot of our stories and modern archetypes of characters are recycled legends and myths that were told over the hearth back when people were afraid to venture outdoors at night. I like to tap in to those old stories. They are so meant for retelling.

 

How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

I started off as a pantser, but my dad taught me how to outline. I would use index cards to write down all the scenes that I wanted in my book. I would then spread out all of them on my bedroom floor and group them into chapters. Now I use Scrivener to organize my scenes and chapters.

What makes Sacred Fire special to you?

It took me three years to write this book. It just would not gel right for the longest time. Since I was fifteen I have written a dozen books. Each time I started a new book, I would tell myself: “This is the one that’s going to get published.” It was probably a little foolhardy of me, but I’d been bitten by the bug. Somehow the feeling was strong with Sacred Fire. I think it took so long to write because I wanted it to be just right.

How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

My characters tend to be independent and reserved, but that is as far as I go about putting myself in my stories. I am currently working on a series, and I have written in my youngest sister as a conspiracy theorist.

 

Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite

of this author(s)?

The lesbian authors that have most inspired me are Jordan Redhawk and Nene Adams. I used to read their online stuff when I was in high school and could not have lesbian literature lying around. I was so thrilled to meet Redhawk at the GCLS con. My life’s dream is to meet Nene Adams.

My favorite authors are Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and Toni Morrison, to name a few.

 

Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

Never give up. If you have an idea, write a draft. If you have a draft, get some friends to read it. Write it again until you get it just right. You never know when your break will come. You want to be ready.

 

When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

 I have three dogs, and they are always good for a bit of free fun. I’m a bit of a gamer. My console of choice is the Sony Playstation 3, and I am hoping to get the 4 this summer. I play DC Universe and the Elder Scrolls series. My partner and I love going to the movies.

Surgery, Broken Bones, Friendship, Romance, and All the Other Things That Make a Book

BY  ALI VALI

Friendship is something my partner and I have not only shared for twenty-nine years, but something we cherish. We’ve never taken it for granted, especially after August 16th of this year. Emergency surgery is just that—something unplanned and urgent. The complications that come after are, in a word, hell.

 

C’s had it rough since August, but what a blessing it’s been to have not only each other, but the kind of friends who are gifts from God. The calls, cards, gifts, and prayers are what pulled us through without out too much mental scarring. To all of you who took time to send healing thoughts and prayers, you have our deepest appreciation. We both are truly blessed and humbled you cared so much.

 

When life throws you a multitude of curve balls, all of them aimed at your head, the knowledge you are cared for truly does bring solace. The churning in your gut caused by the realization you have absolutely no control over so many moments in your life is somehow more tolerable because you have friends who are willing to hold your hand through it all.

 

Our recent long hospital stay gave me the opportunity to return a lot of emails, and a lot of folks asked me if there’s any part of C or myself in the books I write, and if so, what. The one thing I try my best to convey, no matter the book, is the joy a loving relationship can bring to your life. It’s one of the reasons I suck at writing erotica. Radclyffe always tells me there’s too much story along with the sex, but come to think of it, Radclyffe always tells me there’s too much story no matter what. I have a little trouble keeping to those word counts, so thank you to my awesome editor Shelley Thrasher, who has no trouble trimming all that excess. Don’t let that Southern laid-back demeanor fool you; the woman is a slasher in every sense of the word.

 

So while C and I have been together almost thirty years, Kendal Richoux is over three thousand years old, and the two people she’s trusted as much as her father have been with her all those years. Imagine having someone in your life for an eternity like that and the depth of the friendship you’d share with them because of it.

 

The storyline and concepts of the Forces series,Battle of Forces 300 DPI though, different from the Devil books, deal with the same themes of family, loyalty to others, friendships, and in some cases, disloyalty to others. Both series are fun to write for different reasons, but when as a writer you can suspend a little reality that must be present in other books, it brings with it a new sense of imagination. Can you imagine a vampire hunting through the Devil series? Cain at times is bloody enough, but I’d guess she’d have ordered a boatload of wooden stakes from Home Depot by now, as well as hired Kendal for Swordplay 101.

 

Both series take place mostly in New Orleans, but I believe the city brings something to each story. For us, there’s no place like New Orleans—the food, carefree lifestyle, and the people have the history of this place in their DNA. And it doesn’t matter if you weren’t born here; I certainly wasn’t, but what a place to grow up. If you did grow up here and don’t have a story about sneaking into a bar when you were underage, then your childhood wasn’t a complete success. All you need to know is after a few beers, your first tray of crawfish or crab cakes, followed by some beignets, you’re a native.

 

This was the perfect place for someone three thousand years old who’s lived all over the world. Kendal Richoux lost a love in New Orleans and found it again a few hundred years later. Kendal feels at home in New Orleans because, like her, the city had so many facets and personalities.

 

This series appealed to me because of the snippets of history Kendal’s lived through. As a reader I love historical novels (if only KI Thompson would gift us with another one of those), but I can’t settle on one time period to actually write one. With a character who’s witnessed so much I didn’t have to, and different aspects of Kendal’s past were included.

 

Now you’d think after spending twenty-nine years with someone, the only new and exciting things left are the fantasies of how to kill that person and get away with it, but that’s not the case at all. Granted, I did scar C with a pressure washer, but aside from that, I truly enjoy romancing her. See. These blogs teach you something. No one loves a mob movie more than me, which I guess is why no one guessed the two truths and a lie on the panel I served on in Ptown. The audience wasn’t buying that Too Cute is one of my favorite television shows, but it is. So while you might think I spend most of my time thinking of new and inventive ways to kill people, I’m also pretty good at picking out flowers.

 

In honor of the woman I love, there’s also romance woven into this story as well, and it was nice giving someone like Kendal, whose past is so rich and full, a new beginning. Like I said, life is so much easier when you have someone who cares about you, and that only gets better when you find that someone who can make you laugh even when it’s the last thing in the world you want to do. No matter what’s going on, C can do that because she knows me better than any other living soul.

 

To me, the action is important to every story, but the romance is the center of it all. What I’ve tried to bring out in every book is that a character, no matter how strong, needs someone who allows them to let their load down if only for a little while. The journey to that point is what gives every book its heart.

 

That brings us back to friendship and where it takes us next in the Forces series. If I was one for hints, which I’m not, but if I was, I’d tell you the answer is found in a couple of places in this second book. Kendal and Piper’s, as well as Morgaine and Lenore’s story will go on. There are babies on the way and…wait, I forgot I’m not much for hints.

 

The other story that will continue is the adventures as well as romance C and I are always involved in. No surgeries, broken bones, and other such calamities will slow us down. We’ll, as always, relish the high points and not worry about the trials because of the aforementioned great friends who’ll see us through. So thanks again for the good energy you shot our way. We return it a thousand fold.

 

Thanks too for reading the books and the great notes you send. Events like Women’s Week in Ptown are always fun because I get to chat with so many readers about the books and life in general. You just never know when one of those conversations sparks an idea for the next storyline. Thanks for that too!

 

If you guess the theme of the third Forces book I’ll be happy to send you an autographed copy of the second one. The first three people who send me the correct answer to terrali20@yahoo.com get a book.

Five Things I’ve Learned From Vampires

BY Sheri Lewis Wohl

Scarlet Revenge 300 DPI

Not long ago I was musing about vampires. I mean, I write about them…a lot…and people ask me why…a lot…so I decided perhaps a little introspection was in order. Why DO I write about vampires all the time? Is there some deep-seated, unresolved psychological issue that compels me to always tread on the dark side? Nope—nothing that Freudian. Don’t get me wrong, I have my share of baggage but not enough to put me into permanent therapy. Am I really a Goth chick hiding beneath a prim and conservative exterior? Maybe—if I was a couple decades younger! Somehow I just don’t think that look would work for me at this age. Do I long for eternity? Not so much. The seasons of life make it rich and beautiful. I can’t see trading that for a forever without family or friends. Do I find the vampire’s power and strength sexy? Well, yeah I kind of do but that’s more of a perk than an explanation for my obsession.

No, as I thought about it, I decided the main reason I fixate on vampires is because of what I learn from them. Forget the folklore. Forget the legends. Forget the fiction. Get down to the essence of vampires and there is much to discover. My top five go something like this:

1.  Don’t give up. It might look like the end but it could just be the beginning of something new and exciting.

2.  Don’t be afraid of the dark. No matter how dark it might seem, the light will always come again.

3.  Don’t be afraid to make friends. A true forever friend may walk into your world at any moment.

4. Don’t be intolerant. Despite differences in race, religion, sex, or sexual preference, beneath it all we’re the same: human beings.

5.  Don’t wallow in self-pity. Just because something happened to you that isn’t fair and changes your life, don’t let it destroy you. Stand up, dust yourself off, and find a way to live in your new reality.

So there it is: five things I’ve learned from vampires and just a few of the reasons I’m drawn to them in my writing. It’s true, vampires might be the stuff of legends, good horror movies, and classic novels, but you know, once you get beyond the superficial, they might just have something to teach us all.

It’s called Imagination…

BY SHERI LEWIS WOHL

I love books. I love writing them. I love reading them. I love holding them. I love talking about them. There pretty much isn’t anything I dislike about books. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer and the day I sold my first manuscript was huge. Did I get a big contract? A giant advance? A whirlwind release tour? Nope. Did it matter? Not in the least. My dream of becoming a writer came true and that single reward was the only thing that counted.

I still get just as much satisfaction out of writing books. I get better at it with each one. I become a little more successful with each one. The work is hard, long, and sometimes tedious. The satisfaction of having put in the work immense. But the biggest joy is talking with people who read my books. I love their enthusiasm, their comments, their willingness to talk with the shy writer who usually hangs out in the back of the room.

That said, there’s one question I get asked routinely that always has me scratching my head. Oh, I get the typical—where do you get your ideas? Why do you write about vampires? Who is your favorite character? All standard questions for a novelist and all easily answered. But there’s another question that pops up again and again:  Have you done all the sex you write about?

That one makes me smile. Why, you ask? Well, as I typically answer that particular question with a question: “At least one person dies in every single book I’ve written and no one ever asks me if I’ve killed someone so why do you think I’ve tried every sexual encounter I write about?” It boils down to one single thing regardless of what I’m writing about: imagination. It’s the guiding force in every book and every scene. It’s what makes writing and reading so very much fun.

Today, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s true I haven’t tried everything I write about when it comes to sex in my books but it’s possible, just possible, I write from a combination of experience and imagination. I’ll let you decide which is which. Let your imagination soar.

Sheri Lewis Wohl’s latest release, Scarlet Revenge, is available now at www.BoldStrokesBooks.comScarlet Revenge 300 DPI

Learn more about Sheri at www.sherilewiswohl.com, www.sherilewiswohl.wordpress.com, www.sheri26.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter

Put a Ring On It

What’s more romantic than a proposal? And no, I’m not talking about a book proposal.


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