10 April 2011

Sex and Violence

Today we have a special post, a sort of cross between a Random Shout Out Sunday (where I highlight an indie author or press, or other cool writing thing) and a guest blogger. Please welcome Drew Cross!

Hello out there!

First things first, thank you very much to Jen for letting me guest on your blog. The title of this post is a deliberately provocative one – just as the titles of my books aim to be (BiteMarks for my debut crime novel, and The Scarmap for my debut middle grade fantasy novel, both of which will be appearing later this year); but that's the whole point, right?

Read any 'how to write a bestseller' manual, and sooner or later they'll talk about your opener; so in that vein, here's one of mine for BiteMarks:

The girl draws in a sharp breath through clenched teeth and moans with a mixture of pain and pleasure; her white-blond hair feels like falling snowflakes where it brushes my skin. She has a tattoo on her neck, two small red pin-pricks and the words BITE ME in gothic lettering, stark against her near translucent paleness. A thin rivulet of blood snakes down her bare back, an escapee from the small clean incision on her shoulder blade. I kiss her deeply, my mouth still wet with her blood, holding her close and feeling her tremble, wanting to consume her, she runs her tongue over my elongated fangs as if she can read my thoughts. I can taste peppermint and vodka, the blood as a sweet honey tang underneath, her skin is aromatic with cocoa butter and the soft smoky musk of burning incense clings to her hair.

Whether or not that's attention grabbing is a matter of opinion and personal taste, but it does tell you something about the novel immediately. Note that I said 'something'…but not everything.

Now here's a piece from the next section of chapter one; it also features the male MC – Shane Marks - who we met drinking blood in the opener, but the tone's entirely different (a device used throughout the book to emphasise the duality of his existence):



“Briefing's in five minutes with CID, if that‟s enough time for you to finish preening yourself?”

The Inspector strides off without further pleasantries, but I can‟t help but like the grumpy old sod anyway. Marcus Cooke emerges still dripping from the shower, hurriedly towelling himself down and putting on his shirt having heard the Inspector's words.

“Why can‟t you put some pants on before your shirt? I don‟t want to see your dick every day.”

“Seeing my dick is the highlight of your day and you know it.”

He grins in his usual stupid broad fashion and slaps me on the backside as he passes to get to his locker.
Marks is a cop, and for me, that element of surprise is very important too. We live in a world with a short attention span, 'keeping em hooked' is half the battle - an extreme example of somebody who does this in the crime genre might be James Patterson, with his frantic pace and twists and turns on every page. Does it work? I hear he's sold one or two books recently, so just maybe there's something in it…
Let me also say this; BiteMarks is NOT a vampire novel. If you're catching the coat-tails of that particular bandwagon then all the best to you, but I am emphatically not. I've not read Ms Meyer, and all of the characters in my twisted little tale are all too human; albeit quirky types of human. However, there is something to be said about being mindful of 'trends' if you're commercially minded…I'm not suggesting you should sell-out and write what everybody else is writing, just that if you're aiming to make a good living, then be mindful of what the readership at large want when constructing your masterpiece.

So here comes the sex and violence promised: BiteMarks features a young police constable and practising blood-fetishist, chasing a savage attacker with a deep-rooted desire to bite his victims and spill their blood through the red-light zone of a violent city. Got that? Good. Sex and violence, and sexual violence, in all of it's permutations is dissected and deconstructed for your viewing pleasure – fundamentally sex and violence sells. If you want some more then look out for the book coming out somewhere near you very soon.

Drew is a married father of two from Nottingham, England; he has been a model and a police officer (but never a model police officer!), and now masquerades as a financial adviser for a large banking group while dreaming of one day writing full-time for a living. When he's not reading, writing, toddler wrangling or weimaraner wrestling, he enjoys martial arts, cooking various cuisines (South East Asian a particular favourite) and meditating.

 BiteMarks will be available soon in ebook and print form from Night Publishing.

Eternity, which Drew co-authored with Jenni James, was released as an ebook earlier this year.

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