I am starting a new series of guest blog posts to inspire people to write for the new series I am co-ordinating ‘Balls & Chains’, which is a gay, shifter series set in a BDSM club of that name.
To this end, I am inviting authors to write on any of those areas and tell us their experiences of writing gay stories, shifter stories or BDSM stories.
For instance, why write gay stories if you are a heterosexual woman. Personally, I prefer to write women into my stories, but every now and then I like to write a story with two or more men as the romantic/sexual characters. But more interestingly, how do female writers understand what it is like from the male perspective, either emotionally or physically. There is only so much research you can do and I often wonder if my men are too feminine – or if I have gone the other way and made them too macho in my desire to have my heroes match up to my fantasy man?
I generally have one man who is dominant, maybe the Master in a BDSM relationship, as in my forthcoming book ‘To Claim a Mate’ which is to be the first in the ‘Balls & Chains’ series. The other man in this story is the submissive. This helps differentiate both men and what they want out of their relationship – one in control, one following. One in the role of the carer/the responsible one, the other loving being cared for.
Also, because it is a wolf shifter story, there were the dynamics of homosexuality in animals (as in humans) when the imperative is for male/female relationships in order to perpetuate the species. To my surprise, I discovered that homosexuality wasn’t unknown in wolves.
As for shifter stories – how does one write about shifters when they don’t exist (or if you are a shifter author, then it’s time to come out of the closet or the woods!)? How do you world build? Well, in this instance, I can let my imagination run riot and make up whatever I like whilst thinking of some traditional werewolf myths, eg, wolfsbane doesn’t kill in my story (although it is incredibly toxic to people in real life) and they use herbal pills to keep their wolf at bay when around humans.
I also draw heavily on the behaviour of wolves, whilst considering what it might be like to shift from human into wolf and suddenly have a different bone structure, different eye level and so on. In my story, the wolf shifters live in a city of humans so they have to keep their animal selves secret. That involved a lot of growling – and changing it into a cough – or scratching the wall when alone to indicate the presence of the alpha (territory marking). But when they are alone – then they could let out their wolves. However, that leads to another problem – when you live like a human most of the time, how easy is it to transform into another being (as Jared, the beta wolf in my story, found out)?
But that aside, I love writing BDSM stories in conjunction with shifter stories. The dynamics of alpha and beta wolves fit nicely with Doms and subs – at the same time as relishing the irony of wolves being free animals in the wild but in a BDSM setting the submissive wolf may find himself collared and chained.
When writing BDSM stories, if you don’t partake of the lifestyle, it can be reasonably easy to do as there are lots of places on the internet to research. However, it does help to have tools on hand. I had a panic when digging out my flogger to check how the motion of a flogger’s tails would work (when the Master in my story – Cole – is doing a demo) and a vibrator at the bottom of the box went off and wouldn’t stop!
I also pulled heavily from the interviews with Doms we did at Smut in Manchester last Autumn (for instance, they talked about drawing out the anticipation of the sub by either doing something different to what they expected or doing nothing).
This is the first time I have brought all three genres together. I’ve done BDSM and wolf shifters before, but with menage stories with a woman involved (eg, Collared by Wolves). And I’ve done wolf shifters and gay stories (eg, The Last Werewolf). ‘To Claim a Mate’ will be out in mid May and I am looking forward to other authors submitting to this open series.
In the meantime, watch this space look for other authors’ views on any of these topics.