Please welcome, my guest for today, the lovely, and talented, Sommer Marsden, whose new novel, Boys Next Door is now available from Mischief Books. Today, Sommer's sharing some insights with us into what it's like to write a menage a trois. There's also a nifty little taster from the book below.
Keeping Them Straight
I’m sure I’m not alone on this, but when writing books that involve more than one hero, I find myself a bit flustered at times. I tend to be a seat of the pants writer who just fills in whatever my mind’s eye supplies when it comes to my male main characters. And at first I do okay at keeping them straight in my head. Every once in a while I find myself inserting the characteristics of one when the love scene I’m writing is with another.
Or God forbid, one of them is bisexual and I bring a new man into the scene by having one of my guys hook up with a new male lover. That brings on a whole new ball of wax, if you will. With him and his he getting all tangled up together and dominating the page. That can be confusing and I find that using the men’s names more often helps. (Male/Male writers back me up on this?)
And then, when dealing with more than a ménage, which is what Boys Next Door happens to be, it can be the equivalent of mental acrobatics. Think Cirque Du Soleil of the mind. Take three guys and a lady and you can really confuse yourself with where hands are and other various body parts. Who remembers the three handed woman? Both in a story (I’ve written them (caught them, though, whew!) and I’ve read them) and in a paperback cover once upon a time. She had one hand here and one hand there and (her third) one hand over there.
So what’s a writer to do?
- Keep a list. I have yet to learn, mind you, and I do not usually start this list until mid novel where I then think, does he have brown eyes or blue? Or maybe he’s the one with sea green eyes…
- Make a chart. Each character,his personal tells (does he smirk, cut his fingernails with a pen knife, cock his eyebrow?), and his physical attributes. Include tattoos!
- Have a picture of each hero. I never used to do this but now I find it helps my (ahem..aging) mind. I scour pics of hot men and find ones that most fit my boys. Hey, I am not afraid to suffer for my art. (p.s. you should have seen my pic of Coop from Boys Next Door. He is stunning. But sadly I removed all possibly copyrighted work from my blog).
- Whenever possible go through motions you are describing. Hey, fully clothed, or naked—dealer’s choice. Because it can help keep you from describing various impossible scenarios. In my first ebook ever I meant to type “He threw my legs over his shoulders” when I got the first rejection I realized I had typed “He threw my legs over my shoulders”. Um…ouch? (Don’t worry, the book got picked up on the next go round and her legs ended up where they were supposed to be.)
And that’s that. Mainly, I have to learn to do all of this stuff from the first page instead of say, page 78 where people are already tangled up and sweaty and flirty and…ya know, involved. I’m still honing the fine art of keeping them straight. If anyone has super nifty tricks, do share!
Teaser Excerpt: Boys Next Door
'It’ll be okay,’ he said, pulling me back just enough that I brushed against him which helped me get my bearings.
He was warm against me, but I shivered.
‘Your hands are freezing. Are you claustrophobic?’
‘Not so much that,’ I whispered as if louder noise would make us plummet to our deaths. ‘I just don’t like elevators. How long? How long will we be here?’
‘Do you want the truth or do you want a lie?’
I sighed. ‘The truth, though the smart money is probably on the lie.’
‘Probably half an hour to an hour. George has a good heart but slow hands.’
‘Great.’ I moved my hands around to try and find the railing that ran along the sides of the elevator. I didn’t think this poor man needed to be holding me like some damsel in distress. But what my fingers brushed was most definitely not the wall of the elevator. My hand froze.
‘Um . . .’ he said. And there was that dark and almost sinister laughter that somehow slid up my spine and under my hair and prickled my scalp like electricity.
‘I’m sorry,’ I whispered.
A moment ticked by and I was afraid to breathe. I felt like I might laugh or cry or scream, or possibly all three at once.
‘But not enough to move it, eh?’ he asked, moving his body just enough that I felt the hard push of his cock to my hand.
My face heated with a blush. I was grateful he couldn’t see.
‘Shit. First I grope you and then I . . . just keep right on groping you. I don’t even move my hand.
Have I mentioned the one thing that freaks me out is elevators? And a dark one that is being worked on by a slow man is the worst case scenario.’
‘Hunh,’ he said and I could hearhim smile.
‘And my hand is still on your cock!’ I blurted, finally ripping my hand away.
‘Hey, whatever calms you down, Farrell McGee.’
I couldn’t help but snort, but my hands were shaking and I felt a little light-headed.
‘You’re really scared,’ he said.
‘It’s coming off of you in waves. It’s palpable. That’s hard to pull off. Palpable fear.’
‘I am nothing if not talented.’
‘What do you do?’
‘I’m a failed actress. You?’
‘Failed writer. But I am currently the butcher for our small town.’
‘Ah, I love meat.’
‘Oh my God. I swear I’m not normally this stupid.’ I put my hand up to brush my hair out of my face, in the dark it felt like a million tiny spiders tickling my cheeks. But I brushed over him instead – I was starting to wonder if it really was an accident – and he took my hand and squeezed it between his warm ones.
‘Breathe,’ he said. He put my hands flat on his chest and then placed his over the top of mine. I stood there, trying to calm down and feeling the steady and easy beat-beat-beat of his heart.
I took a deep breath and held it before blowing it out. The same way I did for stage fright.
‘Better?’ he asked, his face close, his breath smelling of mint.
‘Better,’ I echoed.
‘You smell good,’ he said. ‘Like peaches and . . . I can’t quite put my finger on it.’ Deke leaned in and sniffed right at the juncture of neck and shoulder. My skin prickled almost violently. ‘Honey?’
‘I don’t know,’ I said. ‘All I can smell is you.’
What was I doing? My God, I had just met this man, had only seen him in the light for a few moments and now – if my nether regions were to be believed – I wanted him. Badly.
‘And what do I smell like?’ He put his hands on my lower back, splaying his fingers, spreading their warmth. He pulled me just a touch closer and though his cock wasn’t touching me, I felt – or imagined I felt – the energy from his hard on mingling with my own lustful energy.
‘Pine and cinnamon and wood smoke. Like the outdoors. That’s what you smell like.’
‘Hunh. Good nose. I spent all day at a client’s fishing cabin, dressing a deer.’
For some odd reason, I imagined a deer in a skiing ensemble and snorted. But even as the laughter burst out of me, I pushed my pelvis to his. Brazen, but it was what I felt the urge to do. So I did it.
New life. New way of doing things.
‘Dressing?’ I rotated my hips just a bit and his fingers brushed over my skin sliding lower to slip beneath the waistband of my jeans.
‘It means butchering. But don’t worry,’ he said, when I went a bit stiff. ‘I cleaned up real good and even had some coffee by the fire before I left.’
His mouth came down on mine then and I figured, fuck it. I was scared and horny and he was handsome and Satan-ish and felt damn good pressed against me.
I let his tongue bully mine before I put my hands in that dark mussed hair I remembered and hauled him to me. Deeper went the kiss and when he bumped his erection against me so I could feel how turned on he was, I nipped his lip.
‘Damn,’ he said. ‘Welcome to town.’
‘Shh. Kiss me,’ I said, rubbing my hand over his cock, squeezing his length through his jeans until he groaned. ‘I need to be distracted.’
‘I can do that,’ he said against my lips. Then he was turning me. A flipping, flying, falling sensation because of the darkness. My back ended up pressed to the wall of the elevator, my ass riding that metal bar I’d been searching out.
‘Touch me,’ I begged. I wasn’t sure where this new ‘me’ was coming from, but it was fine. She was okay by me.
‘I can do that,’ he echoed and his warm fingers ran down my belly, making me tremble. His hand slipped below my jeans before plunging into my panties. Deke’s hot fingers found my clit and he pressed so that all my breath slipped out of me. Warm wet circles brought me close to an orgasm right off the bat. He was good.
I arched against him and kissed him again, finding his face – a bit rough with stubble – with my hands. I sighed again, arching up to meet his touch and he lazily slipped a thick finger into my cunt.
‘You’re so fucking wet, Ms McGee,’ Deke said against my throat. His teeth grazed my pulse point and he gently sucked that fragile skin until an echoing tug sounded in my cunt. My body tightened around his finger and this time we both groaned.
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Author Bio: Sommer Marsden’s been called “…one of the top storytellers in the erotica genre” (Violet Blue), “Unapologetic” (Alison Tyler), “…the whirling dervish of erotica” (Craig J. Sorensen),and "Erotica royalty..." (Lucy Felthouse). Her erotic novels include Boys Next Door, Restless Spirit, Big Bad, Wanderlust and Learning to Drown. Sommer currently writes erotica and erotic romance for HarperCollins (Mischief Books), Xcite Books, eXcessica, Ellora's Cave, Pretty Things Press, and Resplendence Publishing.
The wine-swigging, dachshund-owning, wannabe runner author writes work that runs the gamut from bondage to zombies to humor. Sommer's short works can be found in well over one hundred (and counting) erotic anthologies. Her short stories have also been included numerous adult and romance magazines--both in print and online. Visit sommermarsden.blogspot.com to see what’s up and drop her a line.