We’re so pleased to welcome author Isobel Starling to The Novel Approach today, along with a little bit of the holiday spirit in Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper.
Holes and revelations: A foray into M/M book research.
Book research is always something I’ve enjoyed. It can lead a story down unexpected paths and those little touches of detail always add to the narrative. To being my research I generally look for picture references and trawl the internet in a zombie daze seeking factual information on my desired subjects. When it comes to locations that I can’t physically get to, Google Earth is a godsend and allows me to see and describe places I’ve never been without even costing me the price of a train ticket.
I’m very much a devil for the details in my writing, and so while working on my latest M/M romantic comedy, the quote “Pay no attention to my browser history. I’m a writer…” was in the forefront of my mind. My quest for details led me to some highly ‘suspicious’ websites – all in the name of research, of course, *wink*.
I love keeping my readers entertained with fun characters, sturdy plots, and a heart wrenching romance. And when it comes to the sexual activity within the romance; I tiptoe along the fine line between kink and erotica. Anyone who’s read one of my books knows that I adore writing sex scenes. For “Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper” my protagonist Tom Lewis, is a man of many surprises. Tom is an actor who plays the aforementioned “Detective Fox” in British murder mystery series. He’s forty-five and struggles to fit relationships into his busy celebrity life. In public Tom is a housewives pin-up and presents as straight, however in private, Tom is gay and enjoys kinky casual sex. It was only a matter of time before his secret Grindr life became public property.
Tom enjoys a certain kind of kink. I won’t name the kink, because one of my Beta readers said it was a wonderful surprise, so it would be too much of a spoiler to mention it here. Therefore, to write an honest account of what a man who indulges in this activity experiences, and to understand just how this specific kink would work within a relationship, I needed to delve deeper into the dark holes of the internet.
During my information hunt, an online friend directed me to the website where a man she’d previously chatted to posted images of himself indulging in what I was writing about. She said that he was approachable and easy to talk to. Now, I’m a very private person, and talking to strangers about their sexual activities is not something I’ve done too often, so, even though I was intrigued to understand why this man did what he did, I was cautious about stepping over that unseen boundary, from looking at an erotic image, to communicating with the person in it.
We are bombarded by imagery on a daily basis, and it’s easy to forget that there are real people, with lives, loves, and insecurities behind the images we see. I must admit, it was a very strange feeling knowing that I was about to chat to a man I’d never met, would never meet, and yet I’d seen the most intimate parts of his body close up. But, being a professional and incurably curious, I compiled a bunch of questions and then asked him if he would be willing to chat to me.
The online chat was fascinating. He was very helpful, and quite frankly, I had some of the most candid conversations about sex that I’d ever had in my life with him. I got lots of really great detail from him about how it feels to do what he does, and I believe this extra detail translated well into the book and made the main sex scene in the novella far hotter. When Tom talks to his prospective lover Eli about what he likes in bed, I think that the fact I got the details from a practitioner rather than from Wikipedia makes a difference.
I hope that readers will be entertained, enlightened and educated by Tom and Eli’s relationship, and with the additional seasonal theme, enjoy Santa finding Christmas cheer in a good stuffing!
© Isobel Starling 2016
About the Book
Every good Dick needs a sidekick…
Actor Tom Lewis’s world came crashing down when a honey trap and tabloid expose outed him and put pay to his flourishing career. The housewives favorite was most well-known for his role as ‘Detective Fox’ in the quaint British series ‘Malmesbury Murders’. But after the media speculation about his sexuality, the show is in hiatus and Tom hasn’t worked six months.
Now things are getting serious, money running out and Tom needs a job desperately. So when his agent offers him a seasonal acting job, he reluctantly agrees… and takes on the role of Santa for a top London department store.
This decision changes Tom’s luck. When Tom overhears two unidentified store workers discussing a “job to get a little Christmas bonus”. He realizes the ‘job’ is of the illegal sort. Now, Tom could call the police, but then again, wouldn’t it be great for his flagging career if Detective Fox saved the day?
So Fox is on the case, and as every good Dick needs a sidekick, Tom decides a sexy young elf named Eli Mason will fit the role, in more ways than one.”
About the Author
Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art. She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved it more than making art.
Isobel’s first novel “Fall Together” was a bestseller in the GLBT-Bisexual genre on the ‘All Romance e-books’ site. Her second novel “As You Wish”(Shatterproof Bond #1) is an Amazon bestseller, and its sequel “Illuminate the Shadows”(Shatterproof Bond #2) was awarded a bestseller star on All Romance too. She has just completed her eighth book and signed French and German, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series.
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