Some time ago, when I was a wee new writer, I had lunch at WindyCon with C.J. Cherryh, an amazing, award winning author whose books I adore. Actually, I was just tagging along on the lunch with three other writers—we shared a publisher—during which I was mostly awestruck and absorbed every word that fell from all of their lips. When I got up the nerve to ask for a tidbit of advice on how to succeed at writing, Cherryh piped up with this: “Take chances!”
Best advice I ever got.
My first published novel happened because I took a chance. My sister dared me to send one of my stories for publication. So I looked at my bookshelf, determined the publisher of my favorite authors, and sent them the book. In those days that involved a paper manuscript and significant postage. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, just sent my story off and hoped for the best. Lo and behold, nine months later the publisher bought it.
From that day, I knew I was a writer.
My career has had its highs and lows since, but I say without hesitation that the highs were all due to taking chances. Like getting published in the first place. A few years later I ghostwrote a best-selling medical reference book. Go figure, right? That book led to my best jobs and some amazing experiences. I entered a story in a contest and was surprised but happy when it won second prize. Not to mention how taking a chance on writing digital first novels—and erotic romances at that—has given me a second writing career. I’m having the time of my life with these books! Heck, I may even self-publish a mainstream heroic fantasy and see what happens with that.
One of the chances I took recently was to write a book with a deep vein of humor. Aside from being fantasy, it was nothing like my other books, but it was something I wanted to do. I didn’t know when I wrote it if my publisher would like it, or if readers would find it too ridiculous. But I remembered the good advice I received so many years ago. “Take chances!” And another bit, part of a paragraph scrawled in pen at the bottom of one of the best rejection letters ever, “Don’t hold back.”
So I took the chance, didn’t hold back, and wrote Thick as Thieves, about a giant barbarian who fucks himself in the ass with a unicorn horn and becomes magical. Yeah. I wrote that. Here’s a short excerpt of how the story turned out:
Madd frowned, his dark gaze traveling down Vorgell’s body and taking in his state of undress. “I guess we’ll have to find you some clothes.”
Vorgell liked that idea. “You could just hand me your cloak.”
“No!” Madd clutched the garment closed at the throat. “We’ll… find you something else.” He sighed. “You don’t get it, do you? We need to disappear. You consumed an entire unicorn horn, and—”
“And I’m horny all the time now. I know.” As if to confirm that point, Vorgell’s cock twitched and plumped at the sight of his companion. Even wrapped in shadows and with a water stain from the puddle on his ass, Madd was bewitching. Vorgell’s blood warmed just to look at him. “But I don’t see what that has to do with—”
“Are you really so gods-addled clueless? A mere sliver of unicorn horn makes a man horny for days. You consumed the entire horn! You filled your gargantuan body with so much fucking unicorn magic you’re now a walking, talking reservoir of enchantment! And you’re not a magician, are you? You’re like a toad sitting on gold coins! You can’t get rid of your pot of gold because you don’t know how to use it!”
Vorgell blinked at the little guy’s rage, struggling to see past the fact that Madd looked unbearably cute when he gestured and paced and sputtered. So cute Vorgell wanted to push him against the moldy wall and silence him with kisses while he pushed his cock against that delectable, lithe body. He fought to keep focus as his cock stiffened to full engorgement.
“I can do magic?”
Madd rolled his eyes. “No. You fucking are magic. Like a unicorn. Your blood, your bones, every living part of you, is filled with the shit.” He sighed. “Why the hell do you think I bit you in the tower, except to get at the magic? Or sucked your cock just now? Which, by the way,” he added, “I don’t plan on doing regularly.”
“But you’re good at it. And, well, I thought—” But then he realized he hadn’t been thinking for some days. It was time to start doing it. “So you are using me?”
Madd looked him in the eye. “Yes. And you’re fortunate in that. Because although I’m not a particularly good magician, I’m much more ethical than the baron or his like. Or any of the Wizards’ Guild. That lot would be bleeding you by now and amputating toes to suck on for a little extra spell power.”
Vorgell considered this. He distrusted magic users. He also knew a thing or two about unscrupulous men and could be one himself when the situation demanded. He hadn’t carried Madd away from their prison out of gratitude, but for purposes of ravishment. The latter still sounded like a good idea.
Being a writer is all about taking chances. There is no equation that, if followed, produces a book all readers will love. Every book a writer creates—every character, every world—is an opportunity to do something different, exciting, and unique. Readers are looking for that. They may never meet the writer who won’t take a few chances.
Thick as Thieves
by Tali Spencer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
M/M Sword and Sorcery
Purchase at Amazon, Dreamspinner Press, AllRomance
After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.
Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.
Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.
Looking for Tali?
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
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