Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Blogger Catherine Cade - Self Doubt

Hi, there! Many thanks to the Naughty 9 for hostessing me on their fab blog today. I write erotic romance for Samhain Publishing.

The other day on the Savvy Authors Loop, an aspiring writer asked, 'What if my writing is really just doo-doo?'

Her heart-felt question inspired a discussion that is still going on several days later. There are very few authors, romance or otherwise, who haven't wondered if they were awfully good or just plain awful.

The question hit home for me, too. I just wrapped up my Orion Series, about the alpha crew commanders of the spaceship Orion. The series is erotic sci fi paranormal romance, fast paced, full of adventure and red hot. Readers so far have embraced each book in the series, buying and enjoying them each in turn. So I can do that. My new series? I'm not so sure. What if I can't do this?

But then I remember that with each Orion book I suffered the same self-doubt in the process of weaving the story. And I got over it each time by fighting my way through it, by writing until the characters were once again showing me the way. There's a mystical thing that happens when I go deep into the world of my story, and it's flowing through me. But it's not easy to get there—it requires dedication. It requires the courage to keep going even when I'm convinced I can't do it ... until I remember I can.

The heroines in the romance stories that I love to read and write, go through a similar journey. Confronted with adventure, and a large, intractable male who might be her destiny if she doesn't shoot him first, each heroine struggles to discover her own power, the unique strengths that will help her triumph in both her adventure and her love story. If it comes too easily, her story is going to lull me to sleep, not keep me turning pages. I want to race one step ahead of the villains, be held at laser gun-point, menaced by dangerous thugs ... and then be rescued by the hero, and rescue him. I want him to

take me with a passion so great it consumes me, and enthralls him long enough to realize he can't live without me.

So, in creating a romance, I suppose it's only fair that I suffer a little of the perilous journey my characters do. Yeah, I'll keep telling myself that.

How about you? Is there anything you love to do, but struggle with? Is it worth the fight?

The final chapter in The Orion Series is now available from Samhain Publishing.

I've had so much fun creating the alpha males and feisty heroines who inhabit the world of Orion. In a way, I've saved the best for last.

I always thought Spock was the most intriguing character in those fab old reruns of Star Trek--all that intellect and power, held in check with such superb control, passion seething under that chill exterior. Love the way his story was brought to the forefront in the new Star Trek movie, don't you?

In a way, Deep Indigo is a tribute to Spock. Ah, space opera. Hokey as you were, with cardboard sets and plastic masked aliens, we loved you.

Here's a taste of the story…

"Navos led her into his stateroom, only his years of training controlling the desire flaming inside him. He knew that after a battle, soldiers often found themselves in the grip of lust, the less honorable among them committing rape.

He and Nelah had just won a deadly battle, although fought with empathic power. And now this slender, naïve young woman had him ready to shove her up against the nearest wall and take her there.

He’d nearly done so in the elevator—he had the access codes to shut it down and blank all surveillance. And knowing she wouldn’t stop him inflamed him. However, he was damned if he’d behave as a mere human male.

He had a thousand years of Indigon evolution in at least half of him and he meant to make sure that half remained uppermost, even in what promised to be a heady liaison. He might be throwing his rules about sex with passengers out the escape hatch, but he was still Indigon.

As the hatch slid shut behind them, he led her across the few steps to the large bed waiting in the shadows and turned her toward him. He wanted nothing more than to unwrap her like a gift and enjoy her tender body with slow care, but he had little time.

They both needed sleep. She would have it. He must go and aid in the investigation now beginning. Whoever the dead man was, whoever had been controlling him, he’d been acting as a terrorist. The Orion was obviously not rid of her tormentors.

But before Navos did the work at which he was so skilled, divining the patterns and motivations in a crisis situation, he desperately needed an outlet for the sexual flames fanned by their mind meld.

He sent his power twining about her, silently urging her close to him. She shivered visibly, her plum-like breasts rising and falling quickly as she fought for breath. Her eyes rose as far as his mouth, then her own lips parted on a shuddering sigh of surrender and she swayed toward him like a lovely, slender reed.

Triumph surged through him. She was so attuned to him. He spoke to her silently once more. Would she hear him, or had their earlier communication been a fluke, forged in the fire of urgency?

“Touch me.”

Her hands settled like birds’ wings on his chest, slipping up over the sleek fabric of his flight suit. She found the fastening at his throat, baring a long vee of flesh

His hands curved around her tiny waist, urging, guiding. She swayed closer, first her moist breath and then her soft lips brushing against the column of his throat.

Every cell in his body thrilled.

“More!” He had to feel that torturously delicate exploration move up his throat, then down, across the smooth hardness of his chest, her eager hands pushing his flight suit back until her fingertips found his nipples. A hard shudder arrowed through him as she traced them.

She was trembling in his hands, a fact that filled him with savage delight. He wanted her shaking, wanted her desperate for him.

He pushed his loins against hers, rocking his erection into the juncture of her thighs as she tasted his skin with the tip of her silky little tongue. He hung on the feathered edge of orgasm. His nostrils flared, jaw clenched, as he fought the urge to let go just from the graze of her mons on his straining phallus.

But no, he wanted every bit of her, wanted to be deep inside her before he put them both out of this delicious agony.

He traced just the fingertips of one hand, so large against her delicate frame, up the sleek front of her flight suit, over one pebble-hard nipple thrusting underneath, up under her chin, tipping her face toward his. Her eyes were heavy-lidded, dazed. Good.

He nipped at her lower lip—hard. “Open your suit to me.”

She fumbled with the fastening under her chin, her eyes drowning in his. It parted under his waiting fingertips. He slid his fingers down with hers, so under his tutelage she unfastened the garment clear to her belly. Her skin was unbelievably silken, shivering at his touch.

His mouth hovering against hers, he stroked the suit open farther, until his fingertips found the firm mound of her mons. Ah, like a velvet peach and a few inches farther, the luscious juicy center of the fruit, the sleek folds of her vulva. Indigons had only the faintest traces of hair around their sex. It gave the women a delicate, vulnerable beauty.

She whimpered some incoherent plea against his lips, her hips tilting forward to meet his touch.

“Yes,” he breathed into her mouth. “Give yourself to me.”

“I already—have.”

... visit the Samhain site for more excerpts, and to buy the book.



Juniper Bell said...

Wow, this sounds great! Thanks for sharing that excerpt. It's always helpful to hear other writers talk about self-doubt -- at least we're not alone. I definitely have those moments too, and the answer always seems to be 'keep on writing, it'll get better.' Maybe it's just part of the territory of being a writer. Thanks so much for stopping by, and congrats on your last Orion book!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine, Cathryn! And I can so relate to the self doubts. Pretty much every day. All the time. Thanks for the reminder that it takes work, but yeah, we can do it!