Monday, March 17, 2014

Some Like It Hot by Betsy Ashton

This month we write about the opposites, hot and cold. This applies to writers as well as everyone else. You'll notice I put writers in their own category. We are weird. We actually listen to and heed the voices in our heads. We make up things and think they are true. We make up people and inhabit their skins. We think this is normal. Psychiatrists think those who inhabit imaginary castles in the air are neurotic. And then these self-same psychiatrists charge us rent for those castles.

Okay, enough.

As a writer, I dabble with different genres, non-genres, characters, plots and settings. I play with voices, not in my head but on paper. I turned my second Mad Max manuscript into my agent at the beginning of this month. I needed a break from writing a series. I pulled out two manuscripts at the opposite end of the genre spectrum. Today's post is about the hot end, the yang of yin-yang symbology.

Annie is a comfortably married partner in a security consultancy. Her business partner introduces her to a computer genius. Tall, lean, rather plain but interesting face, uncomfortable in social settings, Annie is expected to hire this guy, bring him to clients and deliver new business contracts in cyber-security.

So far, so good. This guy is like a barn-yard collie, eager to please, but socially inept. Annie won't let him out of her sight when a client is around. She's afraid he'll promise something outrageous. Worse, as she gets to know him, she's afraid he'll be able to deliver what he promises too easily. She wants to keep his talent inside her firm.

Trips to London let the two step out of their mentor-mentee, boss-employee roles. Attraction comes through intellectual compatibility, not through hot pulses and heaving bosoms. Throw in an unhappy non-marriage (his) and a comfortable but not passionate marriage (hers), take them to London again, add seasonings, stir and bring to a boil. She discovers his other hidden talent.

Fun to write the hot sex scenes. More fun to write about the conflict, the guilt, the desire both feel when apart. So, this can't be a genre romance, because the principals are married to other people. It probably wouldn't work for traditional publishers even if they weren't married. Annie is in her mid-forties. The collie is 38. She's not a cougar. She's not a predator. He's vulnerable. He's honorable.

Hmm. A woman of a certain age. Hmm, love blooming where it shouldn't. Begs to find an audience.

Regardless of what happens, this has been a welcome respite from the series. It's been fun to write. Who know, maybe I'll get far enough to ask for beta readers. Maybe not.

Many thanks to my readers who make this book a success. Many thanks for their kind words, their reviews, their offers of future plot twists.

Mad Max Unintended Consequences is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Or ask your local library to add it to its collection.


Margo Hoornstra said...

Betsy. What a fantastic plot line. I love it. Can't wait for you to get it written and published so I can read it!

Jannine Gallant said...

Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, Betsy, and this sounds fascinating. Maybe it doesn't fit a specific niche, but you could always self pub it!

Alicia Dean said...

I love the unique story line. I get really tired of the same old formulas and the thought that if the characters are married to others, they can't have a romance. It doesn't sound like it would fit in a niche, but there are a lot of good stories that don't. As Jannine said, self publishing might be the way to go. How cool is it that authors now have options? :)

Betsy Ashton said...

I'm so glad we authors have options. Yes, I'm weighing self-publishing. My current publisher is too prudish to pick this up. I even have a cover photo already. I agree with Alicia, Jannine and Margo that it's time to break out of the box, color and forget about the lines. Love comes where it does. Deal with it.

Diane Burton said...

Sounds like a great story, Betsy.