Friday, January 27, 2012

2/3rds Through...

So, I am currently just over 2/3rds of the way through my current wip, Beyond the Edge, at 47,717k words.  I structured my novel in three parts, mostly because there is a template for this in Scrivener, the software that I use, and it seemed like the best way to do it.  I'm not sure yet if I will delineate the parts in the finished novel.  It was more of a tool for me to have a defined beginning, middle and end to my story.  As often happens during the writing of a piece of fiction, things changed along the way and some of the things I had planned to have occur, didn't unfold and other interesting things did.  That's what I love about writing.  It's kind of like life.  You plan it to the best of your ability, dive in, move forward, and if things change along the way or don't go according to the master plan, you restructure and reframe.  The nice thing about a novel (as opposed to life) is that you can eventually go back to the beginning and revise it, so that it looks like it all followed a master plan.

Speaking about the 'master plan', for anyone who doesn't know, this novel of mine is about domination and submission, falling in love, opening your mind and heart to new experiences, appreciating things about a person you may never have imagined, and the complexities of attractions that arise when three good looking and intelligent men engage in intimate acts with one another, ostensibly on a purely physical basis. It's been really enjoyable to delve into the psyches of men who play with each other in this way.  I know several men in real life who do so and they are some of the sweetest, kindest people I have had the pleasure of engaging in conversation (very interesting conversation, I can tell you).


What this story addresses is what happens when there are three of them, and certain feelings arise in the midst of this 'play'.  What happens, for instance, when two of the men develop feelings for each other.  Does this affect their relationship with the other man, their Dom?  How can it not?  And what if this Dom has secret feelings for one of them?  How does this affect the 'play' in which they engage?  I'm trying to work that out right now, as I begin Part Three of my novel.  It's rather difficult but I have no doubt I'll be able to figure it out.  For me, it's not just writing about hot sex between men, it's about exploring the changing dynamics of relationship, and how that affects the physical aspect.

I am so excited about this story and can hardly wait to be finished the rough draft, so that I can go back and revise; add scenes, strengthen sentence structure, delete extraneous paragraphs and make this into a book I can be proud of.

~ Elizabeth

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sammy2006's Review of The Crush!

I sent Sammy a copy of The Crush at her request, with the caveat that it is an entirely different animal than Exposure; that I had wanted to do something different and fun and a little bit naughty.  Some people who did not enjoy The Crush called my main character, Jack, 'crude and doesn't act like a grown man', whereas others loved his forthrightness and childlike qualities.  Yes, he is crude and sometimes rude.  But he is also a smart young fellow who is dealing, like alot of gay men, with the wounds of a misunderstood adolescence.  I love Sammy2006's review of The Crush.  She takes it for what it is and doesn't criticize it for what it might not be.


This review contains spoilers.


How many times have you been out with a friend or a sibling and looked cross the table at their date...realized how HOT that date was...how much you wished that person was YOUR date...then suddenly you catch their eye and something sparks. Oh my god what do you do? You look again...Yes...there it is...the "knowing" in that look...the "heat" in that stare...the growing knowledge that you are intensely, immediately, undeniably in lust with your sister's date...her secret crush...your worst nightmare. How do you hide that you want to jump across that table, grab that person by the hand and run away with them? How do you face your sister when you actually do...when you steal her date?

Elizabeth Lister's novel, The Crush, carries us right there. Amy asks her brother Jack to go along on her first "date" with Michael, one of Amy's professors. Of course Michael is unaware that Amy harbors a secret crush on him. And Amy is unaware that Michael is gay...but Jack quickly realizes both that fact and that he is undeniably attracted to Michael, the object of Amy's desires...her crush.

As this little story unfolds we watch with growing fascination, this triangle of sorts. We feel the heat of Jack and Michael's infatuation with one another. We laugh as Jack fumbles to discover through the use of self-help books whether one really can fall in love "at first sight". We watch with just a bit of horror and dismay as Jack tries to hold Michael at arms length...never allowing him to get too close for fear of getting rejected again. We discover, along with Amy, the deep woundedness that Jack has carried for years as he as watched his sister easily move from one relationship to another while he has remained alone. And slowly but surely we fall in love with these two men...these two lovely, lusty, hot men who cannot keep their hands off one another and cannot prevent their growing love for one another from pouring out for everyone to see. Including Amy...who still harbors a secret crush.

Be forewarned this little book is addictive...I read it in one sitting and was mesmerized, once again, by Lister's deft handling of common themes. She delves into light BDSM with this book--but don't let that scare you away...it is sweet and consensual and well...HOT! Yes, this nice little romance is one hot moment after another with a story that draws you in to it's grasp and wraps itself around your heart.



~ Sammy2006, Goodreads Member, January 20th, 2012.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lovely Review of Exposure!

The other day I was lucky enough to wake up to a wonderful new review of my first ever published story, Exposure, on Goodreads.  I wanted to share it as it is extremely in depth and well-written.  I told Sammy2006 (her Goodreads ID) that her review made me feel like I'd accomplished everything I'd set out to accomplish with this story, which is such a great feeling for an author.


The following review contains spoilers.

~ It takes a delicate hand to create a character that is not only vibrant, interesting and sexy but chronically ill and coping with that disease as well. Meet Jeremy, one of the main characters in Elizabeth Lister's stunning novel, Exposure. Jeremy, a hot young working guy, takes a dare from his buddies to be photographed for the purpose of building a portfolio to be used to embark on a modeling career. Here is no simpering, vain young beauty; rather we grow to love this brilliantly courageous young man who has determined that he will live each moment of his life to the fullest. After all, when one is faced with the prospect of paralysis and loss of mental acuity that is symptomatic of advanced Multiple Sclerosis, one has a choice: either throw in the towel and bow to the disease or live as if there is no tomorrow. Thankfully for Martin, Jeremy does just that...embraces life. Martin, a photographer who is at best, adrift in both his career and personal life, is not only captivated by Jeremy when he presents himself to be photographed; but finds himself drawn from his safe and lonely existence toward the energy and vitality that is Jeremy. The two form a bond that goes well beyond Client and photographer and deepens into lasting and most satisfying love. 

While this novel does not dwell on MS, the disease and it's eventual life altering side effects, neither does it shy away from exposing what a relationship looks like when it is confronted with a life threatening disease. The compassion and care with which Elizabeth Lister treats her subject matter, the incredibly sweet and tender love she creates in her multi-layered characters, and the overriding sense of hope for a future together living without fear is done with a deft and capable hand. I highly recommend this novel. This will be the first of many novels I hope to ready by this gifted author. ~


~ Posted by Sammy2006, Goodreads Member, January 18th, 2012.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

'Making love' versus 'fucking' or 'having sex'.



Okay, now this is just a pet peeve of mine.  If anyone here does like the term 'making love' then I do apologize for the following rant.

I cannot stand the phrase 'making love' for engaging in intimate sexual congress.  To me it is an antiquated euphemism for the act of sex between two people who hold strong feelings for one another.  To me, the terms 'fucking' or 'having sex' are much more straightforward and leave no doubt as to what is going on.   That being said, I recognize that there are all types of sex that can be had.  Sex can be quick and rough, or slow and sensual.  It can be solely a physical act to provide release, or it can be an earth shattering union of two congregate souls.  I do get that.  I just really dislike the term 'making love' to stand for the latter.  Sex is sex, after all.  The people engaging in the act are what make it what it is.

Maybe it's simply that I don't particularly care for the slow paced, super-romanticized form of sex often referred to as 'making love'.  My husband, bless his heart, was so extremely gentle and romantic with me for so long that I had to finally point out that he was beginning to put me to sleep.  Yes, it was lovely in its way, but what I longed for was the push and pull of animal appetites and greedy longing.  To put it another way, I like sex to be rough and passionate and needy and desperate.  Once I finally let him in on that little bit of info, our bed became an inferno of passion.  He realized that I wasn't a delicate flower that needed to be coaxed gently to bloom.  Hell no.  I'm a tough girl who can stand a little bit of pain, and what's more, likes it sometimes ;)  I don't always want to be seduced slowly and tantalizingly, although that is nice occasionally.  I want to be thrown down on the bed and ravaged, frankly.  But since we love each other, this kind of sex feels just as intimate and heavenly as the more tradition kind associated with the term 'making love'.  I think that two people who feel strongly for each other, can be and usually are moved to emotional heights when engaging in many different kinds of sex, be it bdsm or vanilla.



So that is why you won't find the term 'making love' in any of my books.  My characters have all kinds of sex, some of it with little forethought and little emotional connection, and some of it with a great deal of love and intimacy, even if it involves light to hardcore bdsm play.  The act of sex is so versatile that it seems a shame to relegate it into the two categories of 'fucking' and 'making love'.  It is a rainbow of delightful possibilities that, depending upon the feelings of the people involved, can be many different things.  And hallelujah for that.

~ Elizabeth

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inspiration...

Just posted a few new photos to my Facebook fan page.  There is a link on the right ;)

~ Elizabeth

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yay!!!

Finally, Don't Read In The Closet, Volume IV, is out!  This is the Goodreads M/M Romance Group short story compilation that features my short, The Beach House, along with many many other great stories by well-know authors of m/m romance.  Entirely free to download from Goodreads for your reading pleasure, I highly recommend it :)

Don't Read in the Closet - Volume IV

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Progress!

So, I am almost finished Part One of my first full length novel.  So very very exciting.  My characters are so alive to me and, really, I'm just following them along and describing what is happening as it seems to be occurring independently of me at this point.  This is the best part of writing.

A friend of mine came up with my new working title of 'Beyond the Edge' for the story of Tate and Sebastian.  The word 'edge' has so many connotations, not least the sexual technique of bringing a man to the edge of orgasm again and again until he is a desperate, frustrated mess.  And a person can be on the edge of anything really, or beyond the edge of anything.  It also resonates strongly with me because this story is beyond anything I have written before.  It is a hardcore bdsm m/m romance and probably won't be for everyone.  My previous stories have all contained some bdsm elements, The Story of E being the most obvious, but it is still pretty lightweight compared to actual bdsm lifestyles and other books that are out there.  The other way this title fits is because Tate and Sebastian eventually go beyond being in an arranged bdsm scenario with another man to eventually find love with each other.  This is really going beyond the edge of anything they have previously experienced.

I started reading bdsm stories when I was in my twenties, and I really really enjoyed them.  For me, it is a way to vicariously enjoy very erotic and boundary pushing sex acts, without actually engaging in them for real.  I do respect and admire people who enjoy these things in real life, but this is the closest I can come (pun not intended).  As a married woman with two young children, I can't exactly go out and become involved in it, although my husband and I dabble in bondage when we can (read: when the kids are gone for a few hours).

As someone with natural 'sub' tendencies and secret 'dom' desires, I feel that I 'get' the basic psychological basis for this kind of 'play'.  Safe bdsm 'play' is carried out with very clear goals and limits and a real understanding and trust between the 'players' so that no one actually gets hurt or injured.  Yes, some pain is usually a part of it, but we can all stand a little pain and sometimes it can add to the eroticism of a scene and help to heighten all the senses.  More than the pain, some people just really enjoy the sense of frustration and desperation that bdsm play can give them.  Because after hours of that sort of 'torture' there is usually a huge payoff in the form of a very very intense orgasm. 

I am not an expert by any means and am learning all the time with the help of some wonderfully open and experienced sources.  I am very excited about this novel and where it is going to take me and my readers.

Elizabeth

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Plan

Well, folks, although I know many of you have really enjoyed the photos I usually post, I have decided that my posting of so many uncredited photos is unfair to whomever the photographers may be, so I will be posting much fewer photos and most of the photos I post will have some kind of source credit.

Unfortunately this means that my blog won't be quite as 'pretty', but perhaps it will be a little more substantial in terms of quality content.  I am going to aim to submit a written post on some topic at least once a week, perhaps more often.  There will still be updates relating to my books etc. and I am considering a free serial story as well.

My kids go back to school this week so I will have some time to mull over exactly where I want to go with this blog.

I appreciate each and every one of you, my followers, and hope that the absence of titillating photos won't impact my viewership too much.

If anyone has suggestions for what they might like to read about - topic ideas, story ideas - I will happily consider them :)

Cheers,

Elizabeth

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interviewed in LA Examiner!

Well, I'm being interviewed today by Xavier Axelson over at the LA Examiner.  Come and see the very revealing questions he asked me, and what I answered ;)

xo
Elizabeth