Thursday, December 3, 2015

Let Me Entertain You

Let me entertain you.
Let me see you smile.
Let me do a few kicks,
Some old and then some new tricks;
I'm very versatile.

- Stephen Sondheim, from Gypsy

I grew up singing musicals. When I was still in grade school, I knew most of the lyrics from "My Fair Lady", "South Pacific", "West Side Story", and "The Sound of Music". We had all the records (LPs, of course). My mom, in particular, used to play them while she was doing housework. I've always picked up songs and verse, without really trying. So I can still sing "On the Street Where You Live", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" and "Tonight", as well as dozens more classics.

One of my mother's favorites was "Gypsy". I can see why, nowshe was a bit like Gypsy Rose Lee's mom, flamboyant and stage struck. (It was her idea, for instance, for me and my two siblings to perform on a local TV amateur hour.) As for me, I was fascinated with the character of the famous burlesque star. I must have known even at that young age that there was something naughty about Gypsy's vocation. (I've always had instincts about that sort of thing!) Anyway, I would belt out "Let Me Entertain You" while I was doing the dishes, in between renditions of "Have an Eggroll, Mr. Goldstone" and "If Mama Was Married".

I realized recently that the song above could be my author-ly theme. I don't write to become famous (it'll never happen) or to contribute to the canon of great literature (despite my fantasies). For the most part, I write because I want to entertain my readersand myself. And like Gypsy, I'm very versatile. I write in a wide range of different styles and genres, depending on my mood.

Want serious BDSM romance? Try Raw Silk, The Understudy, The Ingredients of Bliss, or one of my D&S Duos books. Do you like M/M stories? Pick up a copy of Necessary Madness, Quarantine or Crossed Hearts. If vampires are your thing, you might enjoy Fire in the Blood, my M/M/F vampire ménage set in Jamaica, or Fourth World, a collection of dark paranormal stories. Speaking of ménage, if threesomes get you going, check out Wild About That Thing (M/F/M), Truce of Trust (M/F/M with a touch of BDSM), Coming in Costume (M/F/M with a lot of BDSM) or Monsoon Fever (M/M/F historical). Are shape shifters your favorite genre? Let me entertain you with my cat shifter tale The Eyes of Bast or my Mayan paranormal Serpent's Kiss. How about steampunk? Get a copy of my outrageous multi-genre tale Rajasthani Moon.

(You can find buy links for all of these books at my website: Check out the covers in my cover gallery or browse my categorized index.)

I've noticed that many authors seem to specialize, to carve out a niche and stick to it. Not me. I'm easily bored, I guess. Or presenting myself in a more favorable lightI like to challenge myself by attempting to write in new genres. In addition to erotic romance, I also write literary erotica, stories that don't necessarily focus on a single relationship or have a happy ending. Some poetry, too.

There's another song from "Gypsy", sung by several of Gypsy's fellow strippers, called "You Gotta Get a Gimmick":

You can pull all the stops out
Till they call the cops out,
Grind your behind till you're banned
But you've gotta get a gimmick
If you wanna get a hand.
You can sacrifice your saccro
Working in the back row.
Bump in a dump till you're dead.
Kid, you gotta have a gimmick
If you wanna get ahead.

I sure hope that this isn't true. I'm too busy exploring to figure out a "gimmick". My stories have some common features and themes, I guess, but they are all quite different. That's both good and bad, I guess. A reader who has experience with one of my books doesn't really know what to expect from the next. On the other hand, if you're the sort of reader who likes things fresh and new, you might want to check me out. And if you're not ready to buy, check out my extensive collection of free stories and poems.

Meanwhile, I'll go back to working on a few tricks for my next books.

Maybe I should write a story that revolves around musicals.

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