Guest Post: Writing Characters With Character by S. A. Garcia

Many thanks to S.A. Garcia for guest blogging with me this week! And be sure to check out her awesome episode of Boxer Falls this week on the M/M Romance group at Goodreads!

What would writers do without willful characters and their demanding ways?

During my writing, willful characters often pop into existence. A neighbor who has never emerged from their house opens the front door and wham, becomes an important secondary character. The one liner mailman worms his way into his own storyline. A gallery owner created to supply comic relief evolves to the point where he is special enough to deserve a spin off story. They want their time alongside the main character parade.

What do you do with a character who falls from the sky?

Believe it or not, Fabion, my character from “An Elf for All Centuries”, fell from the sky. His dramatic entrance into my writing world is fitting considering his drama queen status. He fell from the sky during a strange dream, landed splat in a mud puddle, started cursing, and needed a home. I hope the silly word mansion I constructed for his diva personality pleases him.

Other characters entered my life in less dramatic scenarios. Amando from “Temptation of the Incubus” always seemed to exist for me. Many moons ago, I read horror magazines like Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. Anyone remember Vampirella, she of the skimpy red outfit and flowing black hair? I certainly do. Okay, enough drooling. When I was a kid, I had subscriptions to these magazines. Bless my parents. I remember reading a story about a succubus giving up her life to save her dying human lover. The story stuck with me until years later I decided to use the story as part of a far larger story based around a male incubus and his human lover. Enter Amando and Mads into my world.

Amando and Fabion have too much in common. They are both full of self-worth, sexy and own no problem in accepting their sexiness. Someday I want to lock them in a room and see what happens. Aw, come on, they will have sex. That’s a no-brainer.

Prince Linden and Alasdaire from “Canes and Scales” are another pair who has always been with me. In fact, they have been in many people’s minds. They are the fairy tale pair, the star-crossed noble and slave who fight past restraints and torment to love. They are an eternal pair descended from a common love of romance and the happy ever after ending, well, happy until something wicked comes along to screw up their romance. In their sequel, something comes at them like a screaming demon. Poor souls.

Speaking of souls, my characters Tristan and Marius from “To Save a Shining Soul” are another good example of the fairy tale pairing. A demon and a misplaced divinity student in Hell fall in love. They are definitely an archetypical pairing, geesh, probably something found in cave paintings. Good and evil hooking up. Tristan and Marius are as simple and as complex as that concept.

In my novel that won’t be out until September, my characters Carl and Marcelino are another variation on an archetypical pairing, the pot-smoking college professor and the sexy student. Granted they are a variation on the older man chasing the younger man trope, especially since Carl the professor is, in certain ways, less grounded than the younger Marcelino. No matter what, I had a blast writing them together.

Other characters such as torn-asunder, mmm, I love that term, Magus and Nick hope to see the light of day in my supernatural tale about the Shetlands. What about David and Nate, my poor characters stuck in a Victorian vampire mess? Or Petros, Rolfe, Nels and Aindrias, struggling to push their historical drama to the finishline? These poor men need freedom. I hope it arrives for them soon.

Then there is Patrice, a pushy little bugger who has been haunting me. He’s another bold character who introduced via a dream. He owns a leather bar/cafe, likes red leather pants paired with stiletto boots and fills in as a waiter. Patrice is proud of his round beer belly and seldom wears a shirt at the bar. Hard belly pinches turn him on. He is swarthy, black-haired, green-eyed, and handy with a switchblade. He hides a tattoo. Judging by his attitude, I know where he is inked. He displays one helluva tattoo, oh yeah.

Patrice keeps haunting me. He struts across the dimly lit bar carrying a menu to a man sitting at a back table. At least this character hasn’t named himself. The waiting man hasn’t ordered food since Patrice never reaches his table. Patrice struts but never arrives.

He performs this act on a regular basis. I often “write” myself to sleep, trying to work out a scene or where a story might go next. Even when I’m fretting over another story, Patrice insists on strutting with his menu.

I try to ignore him. Many other words need attention. Too many needy characters wait in line for editing and development.

Patrice wants to strut to the line’s front. Should I let him deliver the menu to the man at the back table? Damn, the second the menu slides into that man’s hand, the dude will name himself.

They will try to line jump but there is no way they are shoving past Magus, Nick, Petros, Rolfe, Nels and Aindrias. Their sheer combined angst will force Patrice and Mr. Table Sitter behind them. Before they act up, I promised Patrice and mystery man a place in one of my many plots in progress. I know where they will fit in.

Do you think they will be happy with my promise?

Cross your fingers. I do worry about Patrice’s switchblade skills.

Let’s hope my dreams bring less aggressive characters who act patient enough to wait their turn. It’s rough when a character displays too much character.

That seems like a good place to include an excerpt from “An Elf for All Centuries.”


Elf Prince Fabion enjoys the perfect supermodel lifestyle until wizard Matradorian chucks him back in time to save Henda, the sexy, powerful elf king. Since the death of his lover, Henda has lingered in a half-alive, half-dead state. Surprisingly, Fabion is a spiritual match for Henda’s dead lover, so only he can save the dying king.

Fabion uses his sexy bod and sweet lovin’ to revive the elf king. All seems well until he realizes that by saving Henda, his own timeline was destroyed and he must stay in this ancient land forever. Fabion pitches the biggest temper tantrum of any century.

Soon a new threat emerges which puts his life in fresh danger. Now who wants to kill him?


Henda body slammed Fabion into the sitting room table. Unnngh… wow, the hard, wooden table sure abused the spine. The frenzied Fabion was too busy holding on and gasping in wet, hot pleasure to protest. Fuck. Amazing. Did his powerful Henda have a cock or a telephone pole swinging between his thighs? Whatever this potent male swirled around in Fabion’s ass sure made Fabion experience twinkling stars, shimmering comets, and strange, lime-green light flashes. He imagined himself as a cup of coffee violently stirred by one long, hard spoon. Ouch, did those green flashes mean brain damage? His head had bounced off the sitting room wall pretty damned hard.

Crap-a doodle-doo-ooo-oo-ouch!

“Henda, what the hell are you—ooo—”

The powerful elf yanked him off the table and maneuvered them toward the bedroom. Fabion wrapped around Henda, laughed, and enjoyed the sexy ride down the hall. Yee-hah! As he walked, Henda continued jamming the pile driver into Fabion. Amazing. Yeee-haaa redux. The big dude hid hydraulics in his wicked cock!

Henda’s wanton actions stunned Fabion. Imagine, he had coaxed the stately big dude into acting like a rampaging sexual demon.

Pained ecstasy made Fabion whoop in amazement.

His smiling big dude gasped out a teasing question. “Am I too much for my youthful one?”

When he controlled his own gasping, Fabion nipped at Henda’s smiling lips. “Keep bringing it on, you wild thing! This is where I need you to be my perpetual motion machine. You can do me until I pass out. This is… you are… ooo, yeah, baby, please—”

Fabion squirmed in fresh joy. He bounced his ass up and down. He hoped his big dude managed not to drop him even as he tried forcing Henda to come before they reached the bed.

Loud gasps threatened their progress. “My love, I hate to admit the fact, but throwing you across the various surfaces exhausts even my royal stamina. Do you mind if we end our epic round of sex in our bed? I love ending in a traditional manner.”

“Traditional? You’re funny, Big Dude.” Fabion rolled his inner ass muscles.

“You are a lovely tease.” Henda carefully positioned them to drop in swift grace.

Fabion’s torso sunk into the bed. His pillow cradled his head. He stared up at Henda in amazement. “Big Dude, wow, what skillful aim. Thanks for not dropping me on the floor.”

“You act so dazed with sexual glory, I wonder if you would even notice.”

“You gotta point and wow, one fabulous point deep where it counts!”

Crooning in merry lust, Fabion arched his neck back and rolled his head against the feather pillow. He kept his long legs wrapped around Henda’s perfect waist. Wow-wowie. Yooowww, whatever happened deep inside him defined killer. “Hey, Big Dude, do that trick again.”

Henda chuckled softly and maneuvered his hips slightly to the left. “Is this what my darling one needs?”

“Woo, absolutely, Big Dude. Lover, are you sick of me—ooo, yeah—telling you how sublimely boffo you are?”

Another chuckle escaped Henda’s panting throat. “Boffo? Trust me, Fabion, you are the first one to call me boffo. I gather boffo is a pleasant thing to be?”

Fabion managed to laugh through his impending blast off. “Absolutely, Big Dude. Boffo ranks right up there with killer.”

Henda arched his back toward the ceiling. Yeow, perfect, the big dude slowly drove his cock back into Fabion in hard, incremental thrusts. His lover understood when to slow down the show. Excellent.

“You are killer boffo.”

Henda smiled over Fabion’s ecstatic face. “My dear beauty, you and I are going to sit down with a few bottles of, as you call it, tree sap vino and detail your strange utterances. How is killer a good thing?”

“Trust me, you studly elf, it is a compliment, like me saying ‘I dig how you do the nasty’. Crap, holy cats, lover, how do you make your amazing dick twist radically hard? Your new treat is wickedly hot.”

“My Fabion, tell me what pleases you, and I shall perform the act until you cannot stand the pleasure. I hate to sound boastful, but I can satisfy a lover for hours. Actually, since we act lively here, I fear I will not hold out as long as usual. I confess I am at physical limit.”

Whew, cool to realize Henda also suffered from exhaustion. Fabion felt less wimpy.

Thanks for reading and many thanks to Ellis for hosting me here today.

Who Am I?

Thirty years ago, I started writing m/m romance. My writing remained a secret lest my friends thought me a freak. Writing about men inserting tab A into slot B didn’t seem the norm for a female teenager. Reading Gordon Merrick, John Rechy and Larry Kramer helped me fill in informational gaps. Yes, I read those books only in my bedroom.

As the years progressed and I discovered my sexual path, I still wrote m/m romance, although the stories progressed from lurking in notebooks to hiding on the computer.

Now I am glad I kept the writing faith. Five published novellas and novels later, my life is a fun quandary of too many stories hindered by slow typing skills. I accept the silly challenge.

An Elf for All Centuries

S.A. Garcia’s World of Words

Facebook: Sandra Ann Garcia

Twitter: @SAGarcia_Writer


Hot Nerds and Hot Angels

Today I’m guest blogging for hot, sexy erotica author Louisa Bacio about the men of Amor Prohibido! I dig just a little deeper than I have before into their back-stories, especially into Jake’s past with his ex and what brings him to Puerto Morelos, where Jake and Pakal meet. I invite you to come check it out, here.

Today’s Quickie: Who’s The Weak One In A Gay Relationship?

It’s one of the many stupid, evil, awful questions born out of misunderstanding and misinformation–who’s the man and who’s the woman in a same-sex relationship? Who’s the weak one? And it was a conversation about that, and the very real issue of abuse in same-sex relationships that helped spark inspiration for my hero Jacob in Amor Prohibido. I guest blogged about it for Jadette Paige this week, hope y’all will go check it out.

Guest Blog: Breaking Rules by Kathryn Scannell

Many thanks to Kathryn for her thought-provoking guest blog! I LOVE exploring the concept of non-monogamous relationships, and we would love to get some feedback on what you readers think! 

I’m also going to remind the viewing audience at this time that this is an over-18 blog. There’s a very adult excerpt at the end!

Breaking Rules

Every genre has its rules, its convention, and breaking them is risky. Romance has more than many other genres, and some are so unbreakable that if you violate them your story ceases to be romance, and becomes something else in most people’s eyes. The ending is one of these – if you don’t provide a happily ever after, a happy for now, or at least the promise of one, you should call your story something else.

Heterosexual romance in its most traditional form has even more iron-clad conventions. The dashing, roguish alpha hero is virtually a requirement, as is the heroine whose life he completes. In the romances of thirty years ago (and even today in some subgenres) your heroine must be a virgin, and stay that way until just after you type “The end”. Personally I always thought it was appropriate that one of my grandmother’s insomniac friends used those as sleep aids, but that’s a matter of taste. I mean no offense to any readers who like that genre.

A lot of those rules are bending or being broken now. Erotic romance is probably outselling the old sweet romances which had no sex in them. And then there are the ménage romances. But they tend to cling to the active hero – passive heroine model in many cases. That one is harder to shake than the virginity trope.

One of the things that I enjoy about writing M/M romance is the fact that a lot of these rules and conventions just don’t apply. Readers in this genre are open to a romance where the people involved are partners, not an alpha and a supporter. You can certainly write a story with a dominant partner and one who falls into the more passive, supportive role, which roughly maps to the traditional alpha male and heroine model, but you don’t have to. Or you can have them swap roles – perhaps one is more dominant in public matters like managing the household and submissive when they get into the bedroom. The key point is that you can move outside the box and people don’t throw the book down in horror. That leaves a lot more territory to play with.

There are still some conventions though. If you’re writing romance, there needs to be a relationship, and as a general rule, people tend to assume that means monogamy, or possibly a threesome. The notion of a committed relationship in which you stop having relationships with others besides the other people in the relationship with you is the default in modern American society.

But just because something is the default shouldn’t make other options out of the question. It merely makes them a bit exotic. I submit that it’s quite possible to have multiple romantic relationships as long as two fundamental requirements are met:

  • You have to be absolutely honest about what’s going on with anyone you’re in a relationship with.
  • A new relationship you undertake can’t be something which hurts the person or persons you’ve already made commitments with

These kinds of relationships are tricky, particularly in our culture where they’re looked at oddly, and have no standards to model themselves on. You have to work out the mechanics among the involved parties. That involves more talking than most couple do about their relationships. By which I mean being honest about needs and desires, not just saying “I love you”, although saying that early and often is a good idea too, as long as it’s true.

I’ve seen these kinds of relationships in real life fail spectacularly, but I’ve also seen them succeed. Two friends of mine became even more sappily romantic with each other after they decided to be poly, and she got another boyfriend. It was a revelation to watch.

It’s more likely to work in a culture where it’s considered normal. My new novel, Embracing the Dragon, involves just such a culture. Both Elves and Tengri are very long lived, and have astonishingly high sex drives. Trying to limit yourself to a single partner for a lifetime that spans thousands of years would try the fidelity and patience of a saint. They don’t even consider it. They do marry, but it’s as much about property and politics as about love and sex.

Despite that, the interpersonal issues come up. How do you deal with it when you love two people who can’t stand each other? Even in a culture where it’s expected that you’ll have romantic relationships with multiple people, often overlapping in time, that’s a hard question to answer. And hard questions lead to interesting stories. This one led eventually to Embracing the Dragon.





Embracing the Dragon is available in various electronic formats from Torquere Press:


Danny O’Riordan’s life was complicated before he had the vision of a past life that forced him to admit to himself that he was bisexual. There’s a war going on, and being Liegeman to Aran, the Elven King of Avalon puts Danny squarely in the middle of the politics of two worlds, Earth and Avalon. Adding a romantic relationship to the mix could be explosive.

His lover from that previous life has been reborn as Mordellir, the ruler of the Tengri Empire. The Dragon of Heaven is the most powerful person in his world. Will he want Danny back once he knows he’s been reborn? If he does, how far will he go to get his way?

Danny knows it isn’t smart to get involved with the Dragon of Heaven. Aran hates the Tengri. Following his heart and renewing that old relationship with Mordellir will leave him torn between his commitment to Aran and those old feelings which are still frighteningly strong. If he yields to tempation, can he balance his love for both men?

Email: Kathryn.scannell <at>



In this excerpt from Embracing the Dragon, Danny O’Riordan is attempting to come to terms with the possibility that he may be interested in men as well as women. He’s approached his good friend and liege lord, Aran, to help him explore the issue.  Danny is an empath, which adds an extra level of interaction to the scene.

“Well, then, let’s focus on more immediate issues,” Aran grinned. “I have a handsome young human here, waiting to be introduced to the wonders of ancient Elven sex secrets. That’s much more fun.”

“Ancient Elven sex secrets?” Danny choked on his drink. “Where did you get that line?”

“Gareth assures me it works quite well on the ladies,” Aran replied cheerfully. “Well, if you’re not going to buy it, we’ll just have to settle for doing things the ordinary way.” Aran leaned forward and brushed his lips with a kiss, so quickly that Danny hardly registered it before it was done.

“You’ve never had a chance to explore a man’s body, have you?” Aran asked gently.

Danny shook his head. His feelings were very mixed. He was enjoying Aran’s nearness, but his fear of what he might discover held him still.

“Let’s start with that. I have too many clothes on for you to do it properly. I could use some help with that.” Aran prodded him gently. “If you want this to happen you have to take a little of the initiative. I want it, but you have to contribute, too.”

“All right,” Danny said a little shakily. He reached out and began unbuttoning Aran’s tunic. Some of the old memories surfaced again. He’d done this with Demeth, and he’d enjoyed it. Danny paused in his unbuttoning to slide a hand inside the half open tunic and stroke the bare chest beneath, passing gently over the sensitive nipples. He felt Aran’s pleasure in it, and smiled. “You’re right. I do need to take some initiative.” He finished unbuttoning the silk tunic and let it slide off. He ran his hands over Aran’s bare chest and shoulders, giving Aran little shivers of delight.

As he did, he let himself look at Aran from this new perspective. Aran was lightly built, but his muscles were clearly defined, the product of years of practical exercise riding, fencing, and shooting a bow. Danny’s hands, tanned by wind and sun, and callused from knife and sword hilts, were dark by comparison as he ran them over Aran’s chest. Aran’s skin felt like silk. Like most Elves he had little body hair. They rarely even grew beards or moustaches until they were well past adulthood. Aran had no hint of one yet. He looked young, not a teenager any longer, but not far past it. Danny knew better though. Elves lived a long time, and grew up slowly. Aran was more than 1500 years old. Still he looked and often acted eighteen, and it was easy to forget how much older he was, until he referred casually to having seen some event that Danny knew only from history books.

Aran reached out and slid the dressing gown off Danny’s shoulders. Danny slid his arms out of the sleeves, then turned his attention back to his own explorations. After a few minutes, Aran drew him into an embrace. Danny stroked Aran’s back, hands moving slowly down toward the waist of his pants. Aran looked down to gaze into Danny’s eyes, and Danny felt Aran’s desire. His own stirred in response. Aran leaned down to begin a kiss. It might have been meant to be another quick brush, but this time Danny was ready, and responded. It grew deeper, and Danny slid his tongue into Aran’s mouth, exploring it. Aran’s own tongue met his, and they moved together in a sort of dance. Danny’s cock swelled, as he felt Aran’s interest rising. They were lost in each other for long moments, until Danny finally broke off to breathe.

The dressing gown had fallen entirely unheeded onto the couch, leaving Danny naked. He let his hands continue traveling down Aran, exploring. After a moment he found the waist of Aran’s pants, and unbuttoned them. Aran rose gracefully from the couch to let the pants slip off, kicking off his soft indoor shoes as he did so. Danny slid to his knees in front of Aran, continuing to explore Aran’s body with his hands. Aran moaned softly in pleasure as Danny ran his hands down Aran’s bare ass, then forward to converge on his erect cock. Danny stared at it in fascination. He’d never really looked at one before. He knew his own well, but that was from the inside, or by touch. He stroked it, feeling it quiver in response. Gently he slid the foreskin back, watching the shaft swell as he touched it. He wasn’t really thinking about what he was doing anymore. Aran’s pleasure and arousal wrapped around him like a fog, and his own rose to match it.

As it did, Aran grasped his shoulder to steady himself, and moaned again. Then his back arched as he came, releasing a jet of semen which Danny barely dodged. He collapsed back onto the couch, panting.

“Oh, Danny. I wasn’t expecting that yet,” Aran grinned broadly. “Come back up here with me. I want to enjoy you, too.”

Danny joined him on the couch. Now that the moment had passed he felt awkward again. Had the interest and pleasure Aran was broadcasting carried him along, or did he have instincts that he’d never let himself see? He still wasn’t sure.

Happy Hottie Friday!

Man. I won’t bore you, but it’s been a long freaking week.

I will be guest-blogging for Terry Odell on March 29th about loving your characters, and how that affects the way you write them. Please stop by!

I also blogged for Julia Knight last week about her favorite mystery series – The Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon and was very pleased that Josh Himself stopped by to say he liked the article!

While working through edits for the M/M novella I’m furiously finishing this week, my fabulous critique buddy felt that the heroes could use a little more sizzle and emotion so today’s hottie friday pic is my inspiration. If that’s not a heated emotional look, I don’t know what is. Carry on, guys. 🙂

Happy Friday!