Driftwood Deeds has been out for two weeks now, and has received some great reviews. I was especially extatic to read how a lot of you felt similar about the book as I do. I don’t think there’s anything better for a writer. Thank you for that!
After the official part of the blog tour is over (and I missed most of it because I was in a pain meds stupor haha), I still want to talk about the book and the sources of inspiration. Some of these posts will be the ones I wrote for guest posts during the tour, others will be brand new.
Distinct physical places root a narrative into our world, into the tangible, smellable, tasteable reality around us. Especially in erotica, I have always felt that if I am to smell the sweat and the odours of sex through the prose, I want to smell the rest as well: the sheets, the food they eat, the air they breathe, the flowery shampoo in her hair and the acidity of the wine on her lips. I like texture and detail because the tighter a story is bound to these hooks and bolts of reality, the less it is a fantasy between two plastic manequins in a sterile room, and the dirtier, the grittier it is.
Choosing the right place does this. The right place puts a narrative into perspective, into a framework of emotional connection. One story fits only into certain spaces – or sometimes a certain place can only house one single story; they belong together, can be interwoven throughout the narrative. And so I scour my memory, the internet, movies and tv-shows for just such places, places that inspire me, places big enough, real enough, interesting enough to house a story.
My taste may be a little off-center – I don’t feel drawn to mansions, sparkling hotel suits, to rooftop pools or luxury yachts. I click past them, without a single thought, a single hook that might spark an idea. Give me a ruinous industrial building, a graffitied train station or a cavernous old castle that stands tall like rotting teeth; give me a rubbish-strewn pebble beach over the silky white sand of the Caribbean. I like places with grit, not postcards or advertising shots that hang in the windows of travel agencies.
Sometimes it helps me to establish the setting astethics very clearly as they lend themselves so well to determining the general feeling of the novel. Pinterest can be a great help here – check out the inspiration board for Driftwood Deeds.
For Driftwood Deeds, that rubble-strewn beach is taken from a visit to the coast of England, down in Kent, in a place called Dungeoness. I omitted the nuclear power station, the trailer-like empty café; I exaggered the place, contained it into a smaller area. But in essence Driftwood Deed takes places just off a beach like the ones in Dungeoness – where fishing nets and rope seem to grow out of the sand like vines from the ground.
I chose it because a boyfriend took me there once upon a time; because it felt aching and sad and savagely beautiful like the sea; and because I thought it set the right mood for my characters, gave them a chance to find common ground and to foreshadow the mind of the male protagonist. But I also chose it because it’s beautiful in its faded splendour, and because it houses a hundred stories in its treasure-lined shores.