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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Greetings, Sal

His ink swirling around his body, over chiseled arms, swirling down his taut belly, coming up from his bare feet. Whiskey and cigarettes. And a pain tolerance that has no bounds. Sal Raniero is the golden boy submissive of Juliet and primed to become a Master.


Much like the strong personality characteristics Salvatore has in Juliet, he is much the same way in my head. He arrived in 2012 in another story with little notice by me. And as I continued working on that original tale, he began to evolve and it became clear to me that he could anchor main character a role.

The thing about Sal that surprised me most was that he had the heart to match his good looks. He knows he isn’t perfect but where he does shine is in his abilities to read people. He knows when to turn on his bad boy persona and when to take a step back to the real him. I think by the end of Juliet you start to get a real feeling of who he is as a man, but also see his weaknesses.

I have tried to keep him authentic and grounded as possible. He is stubborn not only on paper but in my head. He doesn’t ramble about in my head but rather comes up with the quips that make me look like one of those insane writers who is typing away laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time.

I have a fondness for him which while I could easily attribute to his physique, it is more than that. He is an incredibly, sometimes brutally honest guy and I respect him for it. Still, there are days when I have loathed spending time with him because sometimes his loud mouth gets in the way of his heart.

What I will share with you is that while Iris may have pushed me to write the story, it was Sal who stood ever vigilant at the door making sure I didn’t run off. He is the one who scolds me when I’ve spent one too many days away from the box he lives in.

 I think it’s important to remember that Juliet isn’t just about Iris’ story. It’s just as much Sal’s story. As well as a very full cast of colorful characters who I have tried to make memorable. Some of those supporting characters will be given their due time as I delve into their stories.

I think what Sal, in particular, has taught me more than any other character is in web-spinning. Connecting those little intricate threads through subtle strokes as opposed finger paint splatter. There is a time and place for those massive swells of generous color, but a lot can be said with sometimes the finer brush strokes. And sometimes following the finite lines lead to even bigger pictures than the globs of goo. I’m not completely sure that made sense on paper, but it does in my head.

Another very important thing Sal gave me was in body language. His big personality and his movements gave me many a struggle. Again, I’ve tried to give him to you as honestly as I could and I think that the totality of Salvatore will translate to the reader just as bright a character as Iris. I don’t think he wants her standing in his shadow or even necessarily with her as a pretty princess on a pedestal. They are equals through and through despite the different obstacles each is encountering on their journey.

I love Sal as much as I love Iris. Possibly even more because without him standing in that door, Iris would have never been heard. He made Iris’ voice possible and for that I am eternally grateful to him.

Love & Light
Enjoy the ride!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hello, Iris

Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting.
With fruit even better.
Iris Kettles’ affinity for sugar knows no bounds.
 Couple that fork with a good read and she ’s content.
And when her life is turned upside down, she discovers a whole new addiction in her submission.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like Iris at first. Even though, I created her. Typically, when I am in write-mode, the story develops first and then the characters come to the party. Iris was too quiet. I certainly wouldn’t want to sit by her, she’s no fun, so why would you dear reader?

The girl who gets intimidated by everyone and delves into books and food so she doesn’t have to get to know herself. The untypical main character, a pudgy-little half-breed academic. So not the character erotic writing typically has. So why would I want to get to know her? Isn’t me Kailee getting to know her just asking for the bad jokes to come rolling in? Who writes erotica with a girl like Iris leading the novel?

So we, she and I, are up at all hours. Arguing. About what her story is and isn’t. And then she kindly informs me that she isn’t done. I look at her as she’s eating her chocolate mousse and ask, “What did you say?”

And then it hit me what she was telling me. And what I was reading in countless forums. You beautiful readers fall in love with characters. You want their ups and downs, highs and lows. Heart-breaking and falling. And then I thought about myself and the books that truly resonated with me, I was left wanting more of the characters.

I questioned my motives. I did. I fought with myself over Iris. Her addictions, her hips, her heritage, her everything. We fought and we fought hard. Then Iris told me something. It’s more than erotica. And me being me, I argued with her some more. And I’m still not sure it’s erotica, but we’ll go with it for argument sake. Perhaps even better, we’ll go with epic erotica. Or, epirotica.

I gave Iris a chance. Typically, this was the kind of character that I would have just cut. She would have hit the delete button, the shredder, and been long gone and forgotten. But there was something about her that just seemed so sincere, so kind, the girl you don’t think you want on your team, but you really do. So I took a step back, got to know her, and kept writing. I figured either she’d work her way out of my head or end up dead. Just being honest.

Writers play with characters the way children do dolls. Sometimes they have tea parties, sometimes they fight, and sometimes they rip each other’s clothes off just because we writers - as their owners - can. We like to push the boundaries, see what we can get away with. But Iris pushed me. She pushed me to keep writing her story because she believed that amongst her stories and sweet peach tea, she was valid.

Now, I honestly don’t mind her so much anymore. I’m proud to call her my friend. She’s the kind of girl you could have cake with, share your life with, and if she disagrees with you on letting her hit the shredder, she’ll tell you about it. So, Thanks, Iris, for telling me about it. For saying, “Bitch, you push that DEL key and I promise you’ll regret it.”

So I did what anyone else would have done, I took her to hell and back. And every single time, she came back stronger. I was shocked really. I figured she’d mouse out eventually. But she didn’t, she’s smart, tough, and fights for what she wants. Even to remain on the page, she fought me.

In a way, Iris changed me for the better. She shared her life with me, and now I’m giving her to you. I hope you love her as much as I do.

I’ll introduce Sal next Tuesday.
Thank you for your time.

Enjoy the ride,
Ms. Samuels