Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My Inner Realist

By Sam Thorne (Guest Blogger)

Hot fantasies often evolve from daydreams based on hot men from various TV series. As I got older, I started developing characters of my own to fantasise about. I had to, because all these hotties were in endless series, matching themselves up with female leads and making themselves ‘unavailable’.

I could never pretend that those female leads didn’t exist. My inner realist is just too noisy and nosy. I had to write those female leads out—get them out of my way. If they were cool characters, they’d depart the scene after an amicable split, in a nice safe taxi. Naturally the newly-single hottie would be left distraught on the pavement, in urgent need of succour/hot sex.

Having said that, I’ve also mentally written out appalling female leads by making them evil and unfaithful, embarking on wild sex in the back of a car with some virile youth. Said car would immediately plunge into a mile-deep sinkhole. It’s a bit hard on the youth, but hey! He should’ve had better taste. The bereaved hottie is, of course, left distraught in a chapel of rest and in urgent need of succour/hot sex.

I’m sure you can spot a trend developing, here. And it’s been suggested to me that I might have not quite grasped the meaning of ‘FANTASY’.

I’ve tried cutting loose, but my inner realist won’t go on strike. She’s remarkably resistant to a sinkhole, won’t be sent away on enforced leave, be shoved off a cliff, married off to a Siberian tyrant, or silenced with gags. As a writer, I’ve learnt to accommodate her. I love reading about hard-ass women who remain mysteriously oblivious to their own beauty, but when I try to create them, they stagger rigid and two-dimensional across the page. Since I started writing heroes and heroines a little closer to home, the imaginative juices started flowing again. Just to be clear—I don’t write doormats. I just don’t see why my good-lookin’ characters should evade the trials that most readers put up with.

My heroes have that alpha streak, but it’s not prominent until they’re balls-to-the-wall. My heroines awake at two in the morning, their heads full of all those one-liners that would’ve been of some use during the argument they’d had hours ago. Celeste, the heroine of Single-Syllable Steve, has many things she’d like to say to bully-boss Ian, but she still needs to earn a wage.

She crept past his door. His chair was angled towards the window and he sat with his legs crossed, fingers steepled in front of his chest. She’d actually fancied him when he’d first swaggered in with his transatlantic drawl, his animated conversation, and Nordic blend of bronze and blond hair. The soft yellow light of the angle-poise lamp picked out the strong lines of his cheekbones and jaw in blurred shades of primrose and burnt orange. The image would make a good Rembrandt masterpiece. ‘Dickhead in Repose’, perhaps.

As the accountant in a nightclub, Celeste’s job becomes much more challenging when temporary bouncer Steve is forced to change in the staffroom (where she works) because Ian won’t fund the men’s room re-fit. The taciturn giant’s as silent as he is gorgeous, and while falling for him, Celeste wonders how the hell she’s going to get him to notice her with so many stunning barmaids and dancers around. Like a lot of us, Celeste is crap at flirting. But she knows what she wants. And when she makes her feelings clear, Steve more than rises to the occasion:

Two gentle fingers slipped into her from behind, making her whole body tingle as they pressed lightly in and then pulled out. He stroked her like that until she was reaching out to grip the corners of the mattress and unable to stop whimpering into her pillow. His fingers pulled away and when he pressed into her again, she barely felt the snag of rubber.

His left hand cupped her hip as he entered her, squeezing gently in reassurance as his huge cock broke through her slick but small gap. Steve was huge to the point that she snatched her face off her pillow in erotic shock as he started a slow but insistent dipping rhythm with his hips, filling her one careful, hard inch at a time. She’d never felt penetration like it. She felt herself clamping around him, juicing, even without him touching her clit.

Because I set a lot of stories in places I’ve lived in and which I know well, I’m asked whether I use a lot of my ‘real life’ for ideas. To some extent… yes. When I’m on an imaginative roll, I don’t want to have to stop to research the street layout of a town I’ve never been to so that things remain authentic. And like most writers, I sometimes lend my characters (male and female) some of my personal traits. However, I do have one personal characteristic which is relatively unique to me, and which will make a more prominent appearance in future stories. Like Steve, I’m deaf.

Deafness shapes the way people observe things. I’ve been severely deaf most of my life, depending upon hearing aids and lip-reading, and in the last couple of years progressed to profound deafness (pesky ear infections!). I was brought up ‘hearing’, which means I don’t sign, apart from a rudimentary knowledge of Sign-Supported English which I picked up from Deaf flatmates at University. People in my position don’t make much of an appearance in popular culture. Deafness is either presented as the curse of the elderly, or the form of a character who is deafened, and has to both learn to sign and deal with that huge chip that’s just appeared on their shoulder. Or the character is a member of the Deaf community (observe the caps!) and signs.

In the past, I’ve been asked by other writers whether my coverage of deafness is my way of being semi-autobiographical. I’ve been tempted to answer: “So, your blue, three-boobed alien from Snarg—the one with the massive libido and perfect hearing—that’s obviously you, isn’t it?” I could’ve made more of Steve’s hearing loss in Single-Syllable Steve, but elected not to, because it wasn’t there to form a plot point. He just happens to be a vast, sexy guy who doesn’t join in on what’s going on around him, giving him time and mental space to get to know Celeste.

In some ways, writing a character with a hearing loss does keep my fantasies ‘within reach’, but quite honestly, I include the deafness issue occasionally because it’s a nice mental holiday from the effort of remembering that my character can hear. What does this mean in practice, as a writer? Well, I have to keep an eye on my plots, remembering that that some situations can be sorted out with a simple phone call (not an option for me). I have to remind myself that conversations can be carried out while someone’s got their back turned, or an odd accent (or huge beard), and I need edit carefully to strip out the huge number of action-tags related to reading body language. It’s fun… but tiring!

In one upcoming story, Purer Than The Driven Snow, my hero Adam is a paramedic and mountain rescue volunteer at an Austrian Ski resort. An unabashed Casanova, all his senses are in perfect working order… but he’s still completely blind to the fact that Rosie—one of the girls with whom he shares an apartment—has fallen for him. She disguises her feelings well, venting her frustration at his louche behaviour through constant criticism of his housekeeping, his morals, and his wealthy background. Their domestic arrangements threaten to go up in flames when Adam sleeps with Marisol, their third housemate, but then he gets the rescue call that changes everything. His injuries give him more rest and recuperation time than any man would wish for, but the unwanted opportunity for self-appraisal reveals a few interesting truths about his own desires… and Rosie’s.

Adam’s fun to write. Superficially, he’s a lad with very little sexual self-control, and he’d typically be described as a ‘piece of work’. On the other hand, he genuinely cares about the people he rescues and the girls that he lives with, and he’s capable of great protectiveness and kindness. I enjoy putting my male characters through the mill, seeing them emerge stronger and more sensible on the other side of their ordeal.

Adam’s ordeal is physically extreme, but in Irrepressible, another WIP, my male lead Andy has to contend with a great deal of snobbery. Andy is supposedly Maria’s ‘bit of rough’, some temporary fun to remind her what it’s like to have a sex life while she brings up her young family as a single parent. Dr Maria Sansom is the daughter of wealthy parents; Andy’s a buff, ‘oafish’ carpenter who likes his nookie and beer. But as Andy’s place in Maria’s life expands beyond the bedroom door, she sees him dealing with her toddler like an expert and thriving throughout his trial-by-five-year-old. She comes to realise that there’s no way that Andy can be ‘temporary’, even though everyone else in her life seems to disapprove of him.

She wants you.”

Maria barely heard Andy’s words for the howling overlaying them and snatched Livvy from his hands as he stood at the kitchen doorway, holding the tot out in front of him like a cop delivering a suspect package. From Livvy’s general aroma, she could understand Andy’s urge to delegate the costume-change moment, but she was genuinely curious to know why he’d collapsed into the nearest kitchen chair, his head and arms flung back, his entire body coated in sweat.

The view wasn’t unappealing. The ‘Ria’ in her wanted to lick every dewy bead of that sweat off his toned, tanned body, streak by streak. She shook her head clear of the temptation and shot him a sweet grin. “You ok?”

Your boy’s… a terror.”

I know.” There was no point in denying Ethan’s inbuilt villainy. “What’s he been doing to you?”

Unfair-rules football!”

Her giggles broke free even before she reached the kitchen door to take Livvy for her nappy change. “Did Ethan keep changing the goalposts?”

The goalposts were the least of my bloody worries! It was me versus about thirty small people, most of them apparently playing rugby rather than football, and every time I got near their goal they either invented a new version of ‘off-side’, or awarded themselves a penalty for me picking my nose or scratching my leg!”

Maria set Livvy down and nudged her gently towards her bedroom. As Livvy took off happily, in expectation of clean pants, Maria took a few steps back into the kitchen and claimed Andy’s mouth in a long, hair-raking kiss that left them both as breathless as Andy had been when staggering through the kitchen door.

He shot her a brilliant grin, even as he pulled away. “That was nice. Not great for my oxygen supply, but really, really nice.”

I like touching on emotional themes that most readers can relate to, like being close to two people who can’t stand each other, or having to stand one’s ground against someone who will always have the upper hand. But I try to do so in a light-hearted way, not distracting too much from the hot sex that takes place when my characters’ passions ignite.
I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my inner realist. So I’m going to make the best of her and write about men who’d I’d happily tackle into bed, and women who deserve their place alongside them. No sinkholes for Celeste and company!

Single-Syllable Steve has been released into the digital wilds. You can get a copy through Amazon, or download a copy from If you’d like to join a mailing list to get details of upcoming releases from Sam Thorne, please contact samthorne100 [at] outlook [dot] com

About Sam

Sam Thorne is an editor, occasional feller of trees and new author from West Sussex, England. After nearly a decade of editing within the civil service (and helping fiction-writing friends get to get published in the meantime), she’s branching out from editing and working on her romcom novel to give free rein to her hotter fantasies.



Meg Amor said...

Aloha Sam and Lisabet.

What a great blog post. :-).

Jesus you crack me up Sam. Lol. "Arsehole in repose." Not to mention the blue 3 boobed alien. I'm rolling around. :-).

But interesting points on being a dead writer nonetheless. I was fascinated by the things you have to remember to put in. Like a phone call etc. We take so much for granted as hearing enabled people.

I have read the excerpt of Single Syllable Steve and loved it. I can't wait to read this book. :-). No matter what you write. It's always so funny. I love it. :-)

So thoroughly enjoyed this post. I hope the book goes really well. It's already grabbed me.

Aloha Meg Amor. :-).

Meg Amor said...

OMGod!!! Deaf!! Not dead!! I must stop sending messages on my phone. Sorry.

Aloha and hugs Meg. :-).

Sam Thorne said...

Lol Meg! Perhaps I should rewrite this from the perspective of a dead person. It might make an entertaining story, should I ever venture into the realm of the paranormal.

Phones are awful for messages - those teeny querty keyboards... I was better off with my Nokia ThyPhone with its number keypad!

Thanks so much for enjoying the blog and taking the time to say so :) I really hope you enjoy the full story when you get to it.

And a million thanks to Lisabet for hosting me :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Sam,

Sorry I wasn't here to welcome you yesterday. I was traveling and didn't get home until around 8PM Wednesday night.

I found your comments about being deaf fascinating - in terms of the detailed differences in dealing with the world. We all tend to take our personal experiences for granted, to the extent that we're often not aware of how much they condition our actions and expectations. For instance, I have a mobile phone, but most of the time it stays in my pocket. I'm definitely not a "digital native". As a result, my characters aren't either. In situations where most of my readers might send a text or a chat message, my characters won't even think about the possibility. said...

Hi Sam

Great post. I notice you didn't mention your naked mud-wrestling past. I can appreciate your desire for discretion, so I wont mention it either.

I've already bought, read, enjoyed and reviewed Single-Syllable Steve, and am waiting patiently for your next release. I cannot believe how many times you've postponed the release date - it must be hard being a perfectionist !!
I have no doubt that 'Purer than the Driven Snow' will be well worth the wait, filled with the likable characters, clever humour and hot sex that you put in your first book - but I still think you should have called it 'Adam Delves in a Crevice' :-)

As for your deafness - I also have hearing problems, but nothing like as severe as yours. I have about 50% loss. My excuse it that by the time I was warned that playing with myself makes me deaf, I couldn't hear them! said...

I should also have mentioned that as well as writing great fiction, you're also a great editor and a lot of fun to work with.

Should I mention the naked mud-wrestling again? Okay, I won't.

Delores xx

Sam Thorne said...

Thanks very much, Lisabet! I really appreciate the hosting, and hope your travelling didn't wear you out too much.

And yes, I think our experiences colour the way in which we convey methods of communication as much as what we actually communicate (and our standard tone). I love your phrase 'digital native'. Until I started writing again, I was very wary of social media. I still am, but it's been good to get to know new people.

With all the evolutions in SMS, FB, email and messaging, it has never been an easier time to be deaf in terms of keeping in touch with people. So that's very fortunate.

I admire you for your disciplined approach to keeping your phone in your pocket ;)

Sam Thorne said...

Awwww Del, thanks so much ;) For the great writer and great editor bit :) And you're a great friend, so thank you. Your wicked sense of humour's had me chuckling for nearly a year now - how time passes!!

I can forgive you the indiscretion slip on the mud-wrestling. It had to finish some time. It was a very stressful sport (though much improved once they'd removed the alligators).

I'm sorry I kept delaying the release date on Purer than the Driven Snow ;) I know, I know... I'm getting on with things! I promise! Put that whip down!

Love the gag about playing with yourself, lol. That's going to make me chortle at random moments for hours!!

Tig xxx

Harper Jewel said...

Loved the post and got a huge smile over "Arsehole in repose." I'm very interested to read Single-Syllable Steve now after reading your approach to the story line.

Sam Thorne said...

Thanks so much :) I really hope you enjoy it as and when you get to it :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

Sam, I want to read a story based on your mud wresting days...

Sam Thorne said...

That could be funny, but where on earth would I submit such a thing? lol.... said...

I thought it was 'Dickhead in Repose'... Are there two masterpieces?

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