Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Guest post:The inspiration behind the novel by K.D. Grace + Giveaway

I am very happy to welcome to the blog today one of my favourite erotica authors, K.D. Grace whose novel The Pet Shop blew me away like no erotica novel before and due to that also became  one of my favourite reads of 2011 (you can read my review here)! K.D. is celebrating the release of her latest novel Body Temperature and Rising which is the first book in the Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, a contemporary paranormal erotica series. Please give her a warm welcome and read on to discover the inspiration behind the series, you could even win one of her books at the end! ;-) (Thank you K.D. for the beautiful photos!)

The inspiration behind Body Temperature and Rising
by K.D. Grace

My first two novels, The Initiation of Ms Holly, and The Pet Shop, are contemporary erotic romance. I get asked by a lot of people what inspired me to make my third novel paranormal. I don’t know if was synchronicity or magic or just one of those things that was meant to be, but the route that finally resulted in Body Temperature and Rising was circuitous, to say the least.

The idea for the original story was born when my husband and I got caught in the mist in a storm while walking the fells in the Lake District. The experience of having all that was familiar suddenly disappear in blanket of fog stuck with me long after we were safely drinking coffee in a coffee shop in Rosthwaite, dripping rain water all over the stripped wood floor. The thought of being lost in the fog still has the power to make my pulse speed up and my thoughts turn to ghosts and witches and hidden things.

Raven Crag, Lake District

Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify for my American readers just what a fell is, since there seems to be a bit of a language barrier, and some people have thought that the fells are woodlands. A fell is an upland stretch of open countryside, a moor or a barren or stony hill. And the fells in the Lake District are formidable. They include Scafell Pike the highest mountain in England! The word comes from Middle English and Old Norse and means mountain or hill. I love language, don’t you?

Derwent Water from High Spy, Lake District

Anyway, my husband and I had to navigate our way off the fell completely by compass and map, something we’d never had to do before. And as we sipped our coffee, I wondered what would have happened if we hadn’t had a compass, or if we’d lost ours somehow. That inspired the opening scenes of a novel that was originally my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project three years ago, the novel that eventually evolved into Body Temperature and Rising. When I started to write it, I knew it would be set in the Lake District. I knew it would be an erotic novel, and I knew it would be paranormal, neither of which I’d tried my hand at before. In the beginning, it was very much an experiment.

Castlerigg stone circle amid the Lakeland Fells

I started work on the novel the first day of November, with a pilgrimage to Avebury with my writing friend, Helen. Avebury is the perfect place to begin a paranormal erotic novel about witches and ghosts. The village is set in the middle of the biggest Neolithic stone circle in Europe, a stone circle 500 years older than the Pyramids. Because the stones are much easier than Stonehenge to access, and there’s no charge, Avebury has become a gathering place for modern Pagans and other New Age folks. And our timing was perfect. It was the day after the old Celtic holiday of Samhain, and even in spite of the torrential downpour that we arrived in, we found ourselves surrounded by druids, witches, wiccans and all manner of Pagans celebrating what is essentially Celtic New Year.

THE place to write in Avebury, (nearly the only place) is the Red Lion Pub, right in the centre of the stone circle. This 16th Century pub proudly boasts the reputation of being the most haunted pub in England.

Outside it was pouring rain, and soggy Pagans were bravely communing with nature, but inside there was a fire in the fireplace, and we were both in the writing zone. By late afternoon, sharing leftover Halloween candy across the table while the Muse whispered in our ears, the pub was nearly empty. There was an enormous banging sound, like doors slamming. It seemed to be coming from the hall that led to the restroom behind us. The space that had been toasty warm all at once felt chilled, and suddenly we were both shivering. Seconds later, one of the wait staff came running back to the restrooms looking panicked and pale. From behind the bar to the kitchen we overheard murmurs and nervous laughter, and we overheard mentions of the ghost. There were more murmurs and mentions of supernatural phenomena when the volunteer returned unscathed to join the rest of the staff cowering behind the bar. And then the room was warm again. Helen and I ate more sweets, ordered another pot of tea and discussed our near-brush with what might have been the supernatural. Then we kept writing.

Exploring the slate quarries off High Spy

On the way home with only fumes in the gas tank, we forded the raging waters of the Kennet River which, in the heavy rains, had over-ran its banks onto the road. We just barely made it to the last lonely petrol station to refuel and fight the rain and wind all the way back to the calm of Surrey. That was the beginning of Body Temperature and Rising.

In its first incarnation it was called Love Spells, and I had no idea what I was going to do with it after it was finished. So it languished untouched in my word files for two more years. In the meantime, Xcite Books published my first two contemporary erotic romances, The Initiation of Ms Holly and The Pet Shop. Then one day I pulled up the original manuscript of Love Spells, had a read-through, and decided it had some serious potential. On a lark, I sent Xcite the reworked first three chapters and a synopsis of what would become Body Temperature and Rising, and within less than an hour, they responded with a yes!

I was a little taken aback by Xcite’s enthusiasm. There’s a lot of really good paranormal erotica out there, and I don’t mind saying I was a bit intimidated. For the first time ever, I found myself with writer’s block. Usually once I take on a writing project, the writing flows, the story takes shape, and that’s that. Not this time. I was really beginning to worry that I might not be able to pull it off.

Finally, after a long hard walk on the Downs, I realized the reason it wasn’t coming together for me was that the story was too big for one novel. It needed to be a trilogy. Once I realized that, I was seriously and properly intimidated. I’d never taken on anything that expansive before, and yet once the idea was there I couldn’t see the story developing any other way. In the end, I proposed the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy to Xcite, and they said yes again!

From there the book and the changes needed to make it publishable practically exploded onto the page, with the path to the rest of the trilogy clear ahead. I’m still amazed at how it’s all come together. It’s been a new kind of writing challenge for me, taking me into suspense and horror and allowing me to delve into some of my own Pagan past. (That’s past as in this life, not as in past life :-)

I consider myself a sceptic, but even I have to admit that there might have been just a touch of magic involved in the creation of Body Temperature and Rising. And I’m expecting more magic as the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy unfolds.

American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned HOW to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.

K D's erotic romance novels, The Initiation of Ms Holly, The Pet Shop and Lakeland Heatwave Book 1: Body Temperature and Rising are published by Xcite Books and are available from all good paperback and eBook retailers.

Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and Scarlet Magazine.

Find out more about K D Grace on her website. She's also on Facebook and Twitter.


K.D. has generously offered an ebook copy of winner’s choice of either The Pet Shop or The Initiation of Ms Holly to one lucky commenter!


All you have to do is

1) leave a comment and tell us: did any of your trips inspire you to do something? (make a decision, change something in your life or just to take another trip somewhere?)

2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 9 April 2012!

Good luck!

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