Saturday, October 18, 2014

This, that, and the other

Where to begin? I have so many things on my mind this week that I can't share them all in one post. I'll leave at least one of them for next weekend but don't worry; you'll still have plenty of nuggets to choose from here.

First up, I'm about to publish another story - in an anthology called Secret Lives that will debut on or around Halloween. The cover at left isn't quite the final version. For one thing, there are now seven authors involved instead of six; and for another, the cover artist (and story contributor) Jacqueline Sweet might decide to tweak the image some more.

My own contribution will be a vastly improved version of one of my oldest EMCSA tales, "Someday My Prince Will Come." I've retitled it "Knights in White Bondage," and I promise you'll find it at least twice as hot and three times as kinky as it used to be. I've learned a lot in the years since I wrote the first version. As for the other writers, I'm not sure what they have in store, but our theme is supernatural secrets; and among our number are the aforementioned Jacqueline Sweet, who writes for the EMCSA; Devon March, who collaborated with Jacqueline Sweet on a not-quite-but-nearly-MC story I loved called Fifty Shades of Gay Tentacles; and at least one woman who specializes in vampire erotica. I'll tell you more when I know more.

Now on to some e-publishing notes. First, I'd welcome some feedback on an idea I'm considering. I think I'm going to take my existing stories off Smashwords and offer them exclusively through Kindle Unlimited. The only time I get sales from Smashwords anymore is when I announce a new story here on my blog and offer 25% off coupons, and I can still give you those. What I'm thinking is that in the future, I'll publish new stories on both Smashwords and Amazon for one week, offering the Smashwords coupon as usual. But after that first week, I'll remove the story from Smashwords and sell it only through Kindle Unlimited. Does anyone have strong feelings about that? If so, sound off below. Remember that I've set up my comment section so that you can speak in total anonymity, and I don't delete anything except spam and troll posts.

Lastly (for now, anyway - remember that I have lots of other things on my mind), may I ask an easy favor? An Amazon commenter dropped a negative review on What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything? because she didn't realize she was getting into an EMC story and got squicked out. Now, I'm not angry with her, and I'm not blaming her; I can understand why she didn't know what she was getting into. Amazon's new, stricter rules meant I had to word my synopsis very carefully to keep away from the ban hammer. But I'd appreciate it if some genuine EMC fans would balance out the negative review with some positive ones. I don't want anyone to be rude to the other reviewer; I'd just like some EMC fans to tell potential readers what they enjoyed about the book (As someone named Kevin has already done - thanks, Kevin! ;-) )

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kinky elves

I was going to post something more sensible, but I've been sick for a week and a half (which, BTW, is why I didn't post last weekend), and my brain still isn't back to which I mean "as normal as it ever is." So this is what you get today.

Never mind why, but I've spent the day Googling for Tolkien-related art. I've found some great stuff; and then I've found, well, this sort of thing. The artist clearly has skill, and if she finds my post here, I hope she'll understand that I'm not really making fun of her...well, not entirely. I'm delightfully aghast (which is quite possibly how she meant me to feel anyway). And since I know a lot of my readers are into Tolkien and/or BDSM and/or gay sex, I hope you'll enjoy these pics as much as I did.

And now, without further ado, I present a very non-traditional love story between an Elf and a Dwarf.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A gift exclusively for my blog readers

This is a thanks and a sort of semi-Easter egg for those of you who've bought What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything? It's a map of the Imperators' complex to help you orient yourself and show you at least some of what's in store for you on Mahé (I've quite intentionally left a few things out of the image).

But first, at right is someone else's more official map of Mahé. It's the capital island of a chain that lies in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar.  Like the story says, the Seychelles is the most exclusive resort area on the planet, and the Glacis District (where my story is set) contains some of the most exclusive hotels in the Seychelles.

Now on to my map. Yes, it's the cartographic equivalent of a ransom note cut from different magazines, but I didn't try to make it look real. That would have taken weeks. Instead I tried to give you a good idea of what's where, to aid you in navigating the story. The only other place to find a map like this is on your own notepad - if you choose to draw one of your own.

Helpful hint: if you right click and open the map in a new tab, it gets helpfully huge.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything? - Now on Sale!

At long last, What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything? is now available for purchase. I've had to make it exclusive to Amazon because Smashwords just refuses to accept my file*, so unfortunately that means I won't be able to offer 25% coupons. However, if you purchase the book between October 22 and October 23 PST, you'll get 25% off during the Kindle Countdown Deal I've set up. But even if you miss that special, the e-book is still only $3.99 at full price - for a book that was over 1200 pages single-spaced in Word. So however you buy the book, you're getting a great deal.

Here's the whole blurb. I hope you'll check out the book and enjoy it to the full:

Imagine yourself as a reporter on a radically altered planet. After a disastrous mission to Europa, two astronauts have returned to Earth with strange powers and a newfound lust for world domination. No one can stand before them. Now they've invited you and several dozen other telegenic young reporters to a press conference in their island lair.

You know they’re up to something more, but what? And what can you do about it anyway? The Imperators have the power to warp everything around them – plants, animals, and humans – and so far no one has been able to stop them. They seem unkillable, and the pacification fields they send out periodically reduce earth’s populace zombies. How can you possibly resist them?

You can' first. But this is a story in which you chart the course of your own adventure. If you set out on this journey, you will encounter the Imperators – but how and when you encounter them, and what happens next, are all up to you. Perhaps you’ll choose to surrender blissfully, or perhaps you’ll choose to fight. You might try joining forces with the enemy. Or if you’re especially clever, you might find a game-changing hidden plot line that turns the whole story on its head.

Meanwhile, you can also search the Imperators’ complex for clues: What happened to them on Europa? Why are they so alike in some ways and so different in others? What do they have in store for you and your fellow reporters – and, indeed, for the world? Are they really as unstoppable as they seem?


"What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything?" is all about choices. The first two are your character's gender and (very loosely defined) orientation. After that, you'll have your pick of 1862 more story paths: enough to keep you exploring the Imperators' world for days or weeks to come.

Thanks once again to my beta readers K, Lady K (no relation) and anemone. I couldn't have done it without you! You'll be getting your free copies soon.

*But only after accepting a slightly faulty version that three people bought before I removed it. Sorry about that, folks!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Next weekend, my "Choose Your Own Adventure" goes to print

Pretty nearly all the kinks are worked out (thanks to K, Lady K, and anemone), I have a cover and a blurb I'm happy with, and all that's left are a few small additions/corrections.

Here's a bit of what to expect from the story:
  • It's a very widely expanded version of my EMCSA story, "What Do You Give the Man Who Has Everything?". Almost every scene from that story makes it into the new one, yet that's only about 10% of the content. This e-book is huge: in my single-spaced Word document, it's over 1200 pages.
  • There is a mind controller of each sex for you to submit to, resist, or...well, there are other options, but I'll let you find them on your own.
  • You can choose your protagonist's gender and (very loosely defined) sexual orientation.
  • There's a mysterious location at the top of the mountain where you'll find lots of answers (as well as a few lies), but it's not easy to get to.
  • There's a game-changing secret plot line that really does kind of turn the story into a game.
  • There are over 1860 individual story segments to choose from.
  • You are allowed to make stupid choices. If you do, 95% of the time you'll end up getting what you deserve. 5% of the time, you'll get something better than you deserve.
Writing this story has been occasionally frustrating but frequently exhilarating. I hope it will exhilarate you when you read it. Stay tuned for next weekend's announcement - and the usual 25% off coupon. :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A word from the *fourth* beta reader

As you know, I asked for volunteers to beta read my upcoming "Choose Your Own Adventure" story, and the winners were K, Busty Brenda, and Anemone. But there's a fourth beta as well: a longtime friend who's been helping me proof my stories almost ever since I started e-publishing. That's Lady K. While she was helping me with Sleepwalkers, she offered to write an early review for my blog, and I was happy to accept. Now she's offering to do the same for "What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything?"

I'll paste in her words below, but before I do, here are a few quick words about the story's progress. My beta readers have been hugely helpful, the story is in great shape and getting greater, I plan to publish it on September 20, and yesterday I created the final (or maybe almost-final) version of the cover. Take a look at it and tell me if you think there's anything else I need to do to it.

And now I'll pass the mic to Lady K.

Greetings and salutations, readers of thrall's blog!

This is thrall's friend Lady K with another guest blog post. I, along with three other lucky people, am a beta reader for thrall's latest work, a Choose Your Own Adventure tale called What Do You Give the Alien Who Has Everything? Since that's a bit of a finger-twister to type I'll be calling it WDYGtAWHE for the rest of this post. Hmmn. That's really not much easier to type. Ah well, onward!

So, what can you expect from WDYGtAWHE? This is thrall's fiction at its turbo-charged best. thrall has a gift for coming up with different ways to describe the experience of entrallment. As a writer of MC erotica myself, I can tell you that is not easy.

So what can I tell you about WDYGtAWHE? Without giving any spoilers, I'll answer the question this way. Does the story have:
  • Squick? Check.
  • Latex? Check.
  • Blank, staring eyes? Check.
  • Blissed-out thralls of multiple varieties, including a few I'd not thought of myself? Check.
  • Fetishes thrall hasn't explored/included in her fiction before? Check.
  • Smoking hot MC induction scenes? Duh, this is thrall we're talking about! Check!
The coolest element by far is the Choose Your Own Adventure format. Trust me, thrall is using the features of this format brilliantly. There are multiple plot lines, twists and turns and a mcguffin or two.

There's something for everyone in WDYGtAWHE. You can follow plot lines that conform to your fetish, then go back and follow other plot lines that are just as hot. This is a tale of multiple delights.

You're going to love this story. Trust me.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What it's like to be a writer

Recently I came across a passage from another writer's book that so perfectly fits my own experience I had to write about it. It's about writing, and about the darkness every writer has inside, which we try to exorcise by putting it on paper or on a screen. Reading this passage makes me remember what I did as a teenager, when my mind control fantasies built up inside me to such a degree that I had to let them out any way I could. So I wrote them in notebooks, then tore out the pages and burned them in the backyard. That settled me down for a while, but eventually the stories (the darkness) built up inside me again, and I had to repeat the process. Once my stepfather caught me burning my pages, but he was wise enough not to ask me about it. I was a teenager, so of course I was doing weird stuff. And at least I was burning things safely.

Anyway, below is a passage from Jeff VanderMeer's "The Strange Case of X," one of the short stories City of Saints and Madmen. This part is a story within the story, a fable that X has written to explain what it's like for him, being a writer.

By this time it was dusk. He knew it was dusk because he could feel the dusk inside of him, choking his lungs, moving across that part of him which housed his imagination. He coughed up a little darkness, but thought nothing of it. There is a little darkness in every writer. And so he sat down to dinner with his wife and her daughter and they asked him how the writing had gone and he said, "Rotten! Horrible! I am not a writer. I am a baker. A carpenter. A truck driver. I am not a writer." And they laughed because they knew he was a writer, and writers lie. And when he coughed up a little more darkness, they ignored it because they knew that there is a little more darkness in a writer than in other souls.

All night the writer coughed up bits of darkness - shiny darkness, rough darkness, slick darkness, dull darkness - so that by dawn all of the darkness had left him. He awoke refreshed. He smiled. He yawned. He ate breakfast and brushed his teeth. He kissed his wife and his wife's daughter as they left for work and for school. He had forgotten the darkness. Only when he entered his work room did he remember the darkness, and how much of it had left him. For his darkness had taken shape and taken wing, and had flown up to a corner of the wall where it met the ceiling and flattened itself against the stone, the tips of its wings fluttering slightly. The writer considered the creature for a moment before he sat down to write. It was dark. It was beautiful. It looked like a sleek, black manta ray with cat-like amber-red eyes. It looked like a stealth bomber given flesh. It looked like the most elegant, the wisest creature in the world. And it had come out of him, out of his darkness. The writer had been fearful, but now he decided to be flattered, to be glad, for he had helped to create a gorgeous apparition. Besides, he no longer coughed. His lungs were free of darkness. He was a writer. He would write. And so he did - all day.

I found these pictures - and several more - here.