Guest Post: How to Bring the Drama, or, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing by Elise Hepner

Click ME to BUY Furious Temptation!

Click ME to BUY Furious Temptation!

Hey kids!  Today I welcome an amazing author, Elise Hepner, to the blog today.  She’s talkin’ ’bout drama– one of my personal favorite subjects– AND telling us all about her new release, Furious Temptation.

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So, sometimes I have these days—these days where I’m watching some drama play out on my TV and wondering how in the hell someone made that believable. Because in the era of Reality TV, Twilight angst, and NA Billionaire Bonkfests with extra emotional vulnerability and a side of trauma, I never know how much drama to bring to the table or whether it’s going to be too much because it’s so cheesy I could put it in a fondue pot and call it dinner. How does an author toe the line or is there even a line anymore? How does an author paint drama on so thick, but it doesn’t feel like it’s too much, like it’s fake?

These are the questions constantly spiraling through my head.

Do my hero’s and heroine’s have issues, of course, what would be a good backstory without a little bit of pain. But somewhere along the writing road someone decided that it wasn’t good enough to come from a broken home with commitment issues now it’s a drama free for all where emotional wounds are flung around like paintballs. Who’s got the bigger therapist bills is the question of the year. And I don’t think I’m ready to play in that league—at least not while making it believable and not laughter worthy.

So what hope is there for me when alphaholes push the envelope and heroine’s cry every five paragraphs ripping off their emotional bandages to let their pain bleed off the page?

I’ll be over here with my whips, my chains, and my riding crop working out my emotional pain the old fashioned way. With not a lot of talk, but a whole lot of moaning in the dungeon, letting the subspace override reality in a nice, white blankness.

Let me know if you’d like to join the movement. Billionaires need not apply.

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Blurb from Furious Temptation by Elise Hepner

For millennia Megaera, a Fury, has functioned as Hades right hand by passing judgment on demons who break the sacred laws. Stalwart in her  moral compass, but harboring a curse triggered by rage, she walks a thin line between perfection and destruction. But when she digs into a case  uncovering a string of demon rapes, she incites a war with Mount Olympus that could ripple chaos throughout the ages.

Omen Cole was demon made during the Civil War after repeated torture at the hands of his enemies.  Sentenced to an eternity as watchdog over  his emotionally frail, once human ex-wife, he’s haunted that he couldn’t save her from a brutal assault.

    Now it’s happened again. And Megaera needs his testimony. Omen will sell his body—and anything else—to avenge his fragile ex-wife. If that means  an alliance with Megaera, he’ll make it the most memorable of their eternity.

         About Elise….

Elise Hepner lives with her husband and two eccentric cats in Maryland. She spends the majority of her free time in her basement office concocting smutty characters and sinful situations that leaves readers satisfied. When not writing, she researches everything from automatons in the 18th century to gladiatorial rules in Ancient Rome. She prides herself on being an avid information hound as well as a blog reading addict–which is her favorite way to procrastinate. Her previous publications include books and stories with Entangled, Excessica, Xcite, Ellora’s Cave, Secret Cravings Publishing and Cleis Press.

         Author and Buy Links (the best part!)…

Buy it at Secret Cravings!  http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/bmz_cache/8/8e8570dd0a232f3c9bc2ac10dce9bde8.image.366×550.jpg

Website: http://www.elisehepner.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EHepner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elise-Hepner-Writing/311925106401

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We’re Mad as Hell!

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6671-1374245679-42_previewIt always seems that I’m blogging when I’m pissed off about something.  And usually, it’s something that might seem pretty trivial in retrospect, but tonight I saw something that not only angered me, but disturbed me as well.  The truth is, we all tend to think that we live in a modern world where everyone is given basic human rights regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation– whatever.  We hear stories about minorities being extremely oppressed, but it always seems that these happenings are in backward countries with medieval sensibilities.  Not in modern, advanced societies where everyone has televisions, computers and the internet.  Right?  WRONG.

I read a story on Buzzfeed tonight.  It was brought to my attention by my writer friend, Selah Janel, whom I met a long time ago when we were just kids writing Moulin Rouge fan fiction.  Well, she was a kid, I was already married.  Yeah, I’m old. But I did marry young!  Anyway, I digress.  The two of us have been sisters in fan fiction for a whole and so this story floored us both.  Apparently, the Chinese government is on a witch hunt to prosecute WOMEN who write erotic fiction.  Worse, they seem to really be targeting slash fiction writers (if you don’t know, slash fiction is m/m erotic romance written primarily by female writers for female readers).  This tells me two things, kittens:  the Chinese government is discriminating against women and the Chinese government is discriminating against homosexuality.  Now, those are broad generalizations, so do let me elaborate.

Erotic fiction online is very popular in China, apparently.  So popular, in fact, that readers are willing to pay subscriptions for serial novels.  Some are fan fiction based, others are original.  For the most part, these sites do not have any explicit images or video, its merely the written word.  The Chinese government has shut down many sites already and arrested their staff.  They’ve also managed to track down authors and arrest them in their homes.  They claim that what these girls are writing is indecent and corrupting the minds of Chinese youth (paging Mr. Socrates!).  That the stories advocate violence and promiscuity and give youth a distorted image of what healthy sexuality is.  Lemme give you an image of the average female arrested for these stories.  Young, between 18-25.  Socially awkward (some, not all).  Many of them isolated and living at home with their parents. Shy.  Sexually inexperienced.  Clearly we’re not talking about Larry Flint or Bob Guccione (editors of Hustler and Penthouse, respectively) or Pauline Reage (author of The Story of O).  These are young girls who are desperately trying to express themselves and for, most likely, the FIRST time feeling that they have talent and worth.  That they can do something that no one else can do.  That they have a voice that others might be interested in.  And ultimately, that’s what the Chinese government is afraid of.  Once women learn to read, write and discover their vaginas, they become dangerous.  And Heaven forbid if they express the thought that homosexuality is OK.

This scares me, kids.  I’m afraid for these girls.  I’m afraid for the youth of China.  I’m afraid for what this could mean for the rest of the world.  I’m afraid of the sins of our past being revisited over and over.  Freedom of speech and expression is the cornerstone of our society.  We may not like what people say all the time, but most of us would fight to defend their right to say it.  It bothers me that the citizens of other countries don’t enjoy these basic human rights.  That’s not geocentrism, its truth.  So the next time we decide to get our panties in wad because we’re being FORCED to have medical insurance or FORCED to register our guns or FORCED to go to school, just remember, kiddos– it could always be worse.

The Buzzfeed Article, if you’re interested:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/inside-chinas-insane-witch-hunt-for-slash-fiction-writers

 

American Girls are Weird, or The Desolation of Lexxx’s Ovaries

imagesCA1Y3W1LSo y’all know I’m a fangirl right?  If you don’t then obviously this is the first time you’ve ever visited my blog.  I mean, yes, I’m a writer of steamy romance, but every girl has to have a muse right?  Besides, reading the same three posts over and over about how GREAT my books are and where I get my ideas is just boring as hell.  So I often digress into prattling on and on about various and sundry pop culture obsessions.  Okay, so maybe just #Benedict Cumberbatch (like that hashtag?  hehe.. I made it myself).  So let me start off by telling why I like him.  I mean, there are many folks out there who don’t get it.  He describes himself as looking like a posh alien and in a way he does I suppose.  My sister, Lucy Blue, once said that he looked like he was some kind of alien shapeshifter who only had some vague idea of what a human was supposed to look like.  Ben (why yes, I like to be on a first name basis with my muses), has also said that his long face and neck generally implies some kind of inbreeding.  If that’s so, then truly incest is the best.  Honestly, I think he’s ethereally physically attractive.  I like striking features, what can I say?  But all that aside– that is only 5% of why I like him.  Ok, maybe 10%.  The rest of it has absolutely nothing to do with what he looks like.

1:  I’m a sapiosexual and that boy has an impressive brain.  He has a command of language and it’s obvious that he does not get his world view from the crawl on Yahoo.  Watching him being interviewed, while he usually seems at ease and is always personable, you can see him thinking.  When he talks about reading books, you know he’s telling the truth and not just being photographed holding them because he can talk intelligently about them. Upon being asked which ones are his favorites, they are not trendy books that EVERYONE has read, but books for which a movie hasn’t been made.

2.  Talent.  If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen any of the movies/ television in which Cumberbatch has appeared this year, then you have to check one out to see what I mean.  I mean, we all have actors we think are good:  Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis.  And those folks are great, but holy shit— I’ve never seen anything like BC (yeah, he’s got his own abbreviation too. shush… get yer own!).  I’m a theater nerd from way back and was, in fact, on a slow moving train wreck to being an actress myself (story for another time).  So I feel pretty snobby when evaluating actors.  If they aren’t good, I can’t be bothered.  Even if they look like they were carved out of cream cheese, I just can’t like them.  I’m not naming any names (ahem… James Franco…) but if you can’t act, don’t be an actor.  Your angelic face and heavenly body will be lost on me.  This is why I can’t get excited about Magic Mike 2 (I didn’t even see the first one) or The Fast and the Furious franchise.  Honestly kids, go and find the BBC movie about Stephen Hawking.  Cumberbatch plays the title role and his portrayal of fear, sadness, determination, genius, elation and hope– even without dialogue– is just breathtaking.  And don’t get me started on the physicality that role demands.

hawking

CLICK HERE to watch part of “Hawking.”

 

3.  And he’s a nice fucking guy.  When did this become such a rare commodity?  He’s always polite (even in situations when, by all rights, he probably shouldn’t have been), personable, quick to compliment, funny, tolerant, and just a genuinely nice person.  He doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows that fame is fleeting.  He strikes me as a guy that, although he’s quickly becoming a superstar, would still shop at your grocery store and help you get something off the top shelf if you asked (this is important to me– I’m only 5’2″ and have T-Rex arms).  And as of yet, we haven’t seen any stories about him beating the shit out of some schmuck who put their cell phone in his face to snap a picture while he was standing at a urinal taking a piss.  And yes, he’s reached that point in his celestial path where people have made him an unfeeling object.  People who would have no trouble whatsoever in walking up to him and snapping his picture at point blank range without so much as a “hello.”  And the fact that he hasn’t clobbered someone yet speaks volumes.

Okay, now that I’ve finished gushing, let’s get to what brought this to mind today.  I was reading a site called Celebitchy today, having followed links, and got to a page that was talking about Ben’s recent stint in Malaysia (he hosted the Laureus Awards and did some presenting for the BBC at the Formula One Championship last weekend).  The article was snarky, but complimentary for the most part until it got to the end where the writer was talking about how he seemed to be trying to “butch up” his image and I thought— wait, what?  “Butch” up his image.  As if he’s been effeminate up to now?  And then I thought– ohhhh…. American girls are weird.

We seem to be having some kind of cultural crisis in America right now, ladies and it’s time we talked it over. It seems to me that over the past several years, we’ve taken a real swan dive in the qualities we value.  It seems that we can’t be bothered with men who aren’t impossibly beautiful (as in photoshop beautiful), cut like Greek statues or adults.  That’s right, I said it.  In our Red Bull guzzling, not going to work so we can play video games, teetotalling, Frat Boy arrested development male culture in America, we seem to have forgotten what real men are.  So now we’ve decided that any man who dresses like an adult (meaning he wears a freshly laundered button down shirt or dress pants or God forbid– a suit), shaves regularly, combs his hair and has a real job is gay or effeminate or a snob that thinks they’re better than everyone.  And I’m so sick of it!  I love men.  MEN.  Not boys.  And Benedict Cumberbatch is very obviously a man.  Just because he prefers a gin and tonic to Budweiser should not imply that he needs to “butch up.”

Isn't he cute!

Isn’t he cute!

As an aside, my husband combs his hair every day, wears clean clothes and has a real job.  He also has a Master’s degree in history, a funny accent and an IQ well over 140.  He doesn’t like racing or video games though– maybe he needs to butch up his image.  #NothingToDoWithWriting