Many thanks for offering to host me on your blog, Lucy.
Today I’d like to focus on taboo stories and their publication.
My current WIP is a taboo story. You may well ask what made me decide to write this tale and what inspired my initial idea.
I enjoy reading taboo stories—mostly those involving brotherly love and twincest—and thought I’d like to have an attempt at writing one myself as there aren’t many available. I also wanted to write across several genres and was considering contemporary, romance, historical and paranormal when I started to formulate an idea.
Thinking of a setting for a ghost story, I recalled an old building I was familiar with, along with its history. Picturing this imposing house in its grounds and the nearby church helped when planning the outline of my novella. I adapted the building’s background to fit my story, changing the names of the owners and a few structural details. But because I had a particular place in mind, I could visualize it, along with my characters interacting within this imaginary world.
The story is set in modern times and focuses on two brothers whose relationship is unclear at the start, but as the chapters unfold it is obvious they have been sexual partners at some point. The ghost/paranormal plot involves two brothers who’d also been involved in an incestuous relationship.
My original plan was to make the story more acceptable to a wider readership by having the contemporary brothers discover they are not blood related after all and for the elder one to have been adopted as a baby. However, this all sounded contrived when I came to write it and went against my idea of writing a taboo story—even though that aspect would still have been covered by the ‘ghost’ plot. In the end, I altered my plan so they remained blood brothers, who, by the end of the story, are together as lovers and are accepted as such by most of their family and friends.
I frequently proclaim ‘Love is Love’ on my Facebook pages and other social media profiles and that is the main theme of this story. The story is titled Let Your Heart Decide and that’s what my characters do. They choose each other because it feels right for them. My story is about love and romance. Yes, it contains some explicit sex scenes between the two brothers, but no more than any of my other stories. Hopefully, I’ve portrayed the true nature of their feelings and readers will sympathize with their situation, whether they personally disagree with incest or not.
I’m not going to focus on incest and whether it is immoral or wrong or whatever. That’s not why I’m writing this post. I want to air my views on publishing taboo stories because it’s not easy to do.
Many publishers declare in their submission requirements ‘No incest’, so I’ve decided to self-publish my novel—yes, it went from novella in my outline plan to novel by the time I’d written the story.
Knowing Amazon’s guidelines on what they accept is rather vague and they themselves are inconsistent in implementing their policies, I am considering PayHip, Smashwords and other means to make this story available. I will attempt to upload it to Amazon because that’s where most ebooks are sold and because there are taboo and incest stories available there despite many being banned. I’m researching the best means to tag the book and how to present the blurb so the story is accepted. (Any advice here will be received gratefully.) I’m sure some narrow-minded bigots will object and report it whatever I do, even if they have no intention of reading the book themselves.
I don’t intend to take on Amazon and their dubious policies. I wouldn’t stand a chance against them. It’s their site and they make the rules, but I would question their inconsistent and double standards. As I’ve said, many taboo stories remain for sale, even those with that given title.
So what’s the problem? Why ban some taboo and incest books and not others?
All these stories are fiction. Incest is illegal for opposite sex relations in many countries. But then so is murder, rape, abuse and violence against another, kidnapping etc., yet there are numerous stories with those abhorrent themes available for sale on Amazon, along with books containing explicit sex, and many sex toys and other ‘kinky’ items. People read about murderers and rapists and kidnappers despite it being offensive, but it doesn’t mean they condone these acts. Fiction can be a means of escape, a way to explore a world you wouldn’t normally partake in.
So what’s the real issue here?
Why can’t Amazon allow people to make up their own minds? The customer, as with the purchase of any item, has the choice whether to search for and view it. When purchasing a book, you get the blurb, reviews, and a chance to read a sample of the text so you can determine if it’s suitable for you. No one is there forcing you to press the ‘1-Click’ button. And even if there are books for sale on the site you don’t want to see, it’s quite simple to move on. No one is demanding you look or buy. Please know there are many readers out there who would like to have that particular option open to them. It is a rapidly expanding readership and I’m looking forward to the time when Amazon and other publishing sites realize this.
Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I’ll paint you.”
As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.
Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver.
Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch.
And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.
This was the beginning of something special.
A love of art…
A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.
Starry, starry night…
Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.
But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.
Hold tight to your dreams…
Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.
PAINT THE SKY
Listen to an excerpt from the audio book here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay erotic romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!
Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon. She later published short stories with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing. Lily is excited about joining Pride Publishing for her upcoming story, The Handyman Can.
Lily is an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all. She was recently a steward for Pride in London. She lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/LilyGBlunt