Rawiya Erotica

Menage Monday Xakara Writing from the Middle

Posted on: November 28, 2011

 

  Good Monday morning!

Welcome to Rawiya’s. I’m happy to say I’ll be hosting Menage Monday with good     friend Xakara from now on.

Here is a links to her other posts.

At Michael’s

At BL’s

Today, she’s our first official guest or as BL would say, she’s popping my cherry. God that gal is a bad influence. *grins*

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Greetings, Kittens!

 

I’ve been asked a time or three why I prefer to write in the paranormal genre, specifically since I specialize in bisexual and sexually fluid fiction. The simplest answer is that it’s what I read, but that begs the question of why it’s a preferential genre at all. Well that’s easy, it’s my mother’s fault!

 

I’ve been reading since I was four, so my world on the page has always been full of talking animals and fantastical realms. My mother visited the library and used bookstore regularly, always returning with paper shopping bags full of books with colorful covers, featuring exotic creatures, on foreign planets or in otherworldly dimensions. The rule for the books I could take on my own were simple—if I could read the title and the back cover copy by myself, and explain the premise, I could take it. As a result, my mother spent the years between three and eight, giving me chapter updates on all the high fantasy and science fiction series that she went through like water. By eight, I got to read them for myself and never looked back.

 

Regardless of the world at hand, the themes were often the same. A reluctant hero, a coming catastrophe, a coming of age or realization of destiny, an epic battle—physical or emotional—and a resolution where good wins. The older I got, the more I recognized that every search to come to terms with being an, alien, vampire, werewolf, cursed, blessed, destined, hero, was a search of identity and a questioning of society. The subtext of ethnicity, culture, gender and sexuality were all there in the guise of mixing breeds, chasing extraterrestrials and building post apocalyptic societies. So many difficult and often bitter subjects, safety-coated like aspirin, to ease digestion, in order to get to the core and explore where one stood, and how they got there. What’s not to love?

 

As a preteen, I discovered romance novels, short, formulaic, post bodice-ripper, (although I read my share of those), contemporary, nuggets of hearts and flowers, that gave me a glimpse into the adult world that rapidly approached. I didn’t see the same depth, but then again, I didn’t need to. The over arching theme was angsty love and how it would conquer all. These books didn’t tackle the hard issues or force me to question my presumptions. They were meant to be devoured in an afternoon, to blend one into the other, until at the end the entire genre flowed as a pleasant, homogenous porridge of rib-sticking goodness.

 

I don’t regret that at all. What I do regret is that I don’t recall a single, solitary name of a single Harlequin Romance author I read, back-to-back, on those rainy, summer afternoons. The stories didn’t belong to the authors, but to the publisher and the genre as a whole. They were slices of white bread in a never-ending loaf of enriched content that didn’t challenge the palate. Then in walked Jackie Collins.

 

Jackie left behind the nice, white picket fences, and gave it as gritty and raw as it could be conceived of in the 1980s. There was sex, swearing, violence, betrayal, deaths and eventual love that would last as long as it took to get out the next book. There were real issues, set against a backdrop that made them titillating, rather intimidating. But there was still less depth than the sci-fi, fantasy and horror I grew up on.

 

It would be horror that would eventually wean me off of romance and give me back the hard questions of the type of society we lived in. But I’m a kid that grew up on sci-fi with misunderstood and victimized aliens that just needed a hug. After a while, I couldn’t take the fact that the monster was always evil and/or had to die at the end. Why couldn’t they be the heroes? Why couldn’t they be the ones in the right every now and again? Anne Rice seemed to agree, and I wanted more. Eventually, I’d find it in paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

 

Finally, there was the non-human whose take on humanity brought up the hard questions and blurred the ideas of identity. I could sympathize, empathize and root for someone who looked in a mirror and saw his own flaws and didn’t run from them. I could get behind the heroine who fought her own battles, won most of the arguments, but could yield in the right places when necessary. Even better, I could read about these characters saving the world or just saving each other, and it was done with equal flare and talent. Everything I’d been waiting for had arrived. But it was still missing something.

 

Most of my favorite paranormal series the last ten years have flirted with homoerotic content. Gay and bisexual characters who made reference to past relationships, or who longed for one they couldn’t have in the present, but who never consummated their sexual inclination on the page. Mainstream publishers weren’t on board for such things and writers in turn weren’t pushing for it, because they didn’t know how big of an audience was waiting. Love triangles abounded, but never once did anyone stop to look at how well they all worked together and pursue the idea of a polyamorous relationships. Even trial menages were off the table. By late 2006, I was little irked by that. I knew what I wanted to read and it just wasn’t there. By 2007, I’d done something about it, and in 2008 my first novella came out.

 

I didn’t know from that first chapter on, that I would build a career around bisexual, polyamorous love stories. I only knew that it was a beautiful configuration that I wanted to highlight, and that paranormal romance would allow me to do it without needing to confront things head on. Like the science fiction before it, paranormal romance and urban fantasy came with the built in distance of non-human societies and cultures. I could explore themes of identity and choice, without ever making them about sexuality and gender identity. I could make sexual fluidity the norm and let the reader sort out their feelings on it, without ever preaching or proselytizing. In turn, I could give the reader at home wondering if things would ever get better, a glimpse of what that would like to walk hand in hand with a loved one, and have love be the only issue.

 

The exploration of sexuality and LGBTQ relationships blends seamlessly into the paranormal genre and is allowed to shine there. Since Interview with the Vampire, it’s all but begged us to give and fang and fur and fluidity to our beloved preternaturals and let them have at it. One of the recurring ideas when female readers are asked why they like male-male scenes, is the concept of so much power and raw emotion clashing together for unexpected tenderness. That triples when said bastion of power and raw emotion can also bench press a car and/or live forever.

 

Paranormal fiction was a natural home for me and one that couldn’t fit better. Not to slight science fiction, I love it, but I go with my strengths. Shape-shifting, blood-drinking, physic, ghostly, boys-kissing-boys, and girls-kissing-girls, and all of them kissing each other, that’s a strength. And that’s my normal.


Xakara is an openly Bisexual author of erotic-poly-paranormal fiction, with an emphasis on bisexual and sexually fluid characters and cultures within her work. Her stories include GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST (PsiCorps #1) and DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT (PsiCorps #2) out with Liquid Silver Books. SHIFTING PASSIONS (A Therian World Novella) out with Samhain Publishing. A WAY TO A DRAGON’S HEART (A Therian World Novel) out with Liquid Silver Books. BLOODSPRITE (A Therian World Novel/Dante Book 1) coming Summer 2012. LOVE IN PLAIN SIGHT (Love Notes Anthology) coming February 2012 from Musa Publishing.

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What an awesome post! Thanks X and I look forward to having you on every other Monday now.

So peeps, make sure you comment and…

Wicked Sis will be everywhere the next two days. Sex Marks the GSpot After Dark Online Lindsay Klug

And Michael and BL along with Shar will be at Sweet and Sexy Divas on Tues and Coffeetime Romance Tomorrow. Make sure you stop in!

Have a good one!

 

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