STARLA KAYE welcomes Gillian Colbert, who talks about The Canine Barometer

Today I’m thrilled to welcome Gillian Colbert to my guest author blog. She currently has four books available from Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. But watch out…she’s got more in the works! Her newest book is Coming Out of Her Shell.

CONTEST: Gillian is offering a randomly selected commenter the chance to win a copy of COMING OUT OF HER SHELL. The contest will run here from Sept 23 to Sept 26.

 

Before we get to know Gillian and her new book, she shares with us her thoughts on using animals in fiction: THE CANINE BAROMETER

A canine character probably doesn’t seem very appropriate to erotica on the surface. After all, we aren’t talking Tango & Hooch or Beethoven where loveable and quirky canines are the hero of the story and the foil for the main human protagonist. We’re talking erotica, and in my particular writing, usually some form of dominance and submission, but nevertheless, you’ll find a Pitbull in almost every story I write.

Animals are excellent reads of character. They read energy and quickly understand a person’s intent much more readily than humans do. I can’t count the number of times my animals have reacted poorly to someone who later showed themselves to be less than stellar humans. I especially take notice of my dogs when they go into a point or growl at strangers around me. They don’t do this universally; it is only some of the time. What this tells me is that they are picking up on negative energy. Could this person be a threat? Maybe or maybe not, but I know one thing unequivocally … their energy is off. I use this particular animal trait in each of my stories.

In a short-story format, there is very limited space with which to provide exposition and character development. As a result, I search for ways, symbolically and otherwise, to provide that expository information without sacrificing too much of my precious word count. Over the years, I have found dogs creeping more and more into my stories. In my writing, the dog is the barometer of a person’s soul — at the risk of sounding melodramatic. They provide insight into the fundamental question of is this person good or bad? Is there more going on than the eye can see?

In Simon Says, Monster is a hyper-active Pitbull who instantly loves Simon. Simon immediately demonstrates his dominant personality by obtaining Monster’s submission, something Gwen, the female lead, has been unable to accomplish. Why? Because she’s letting all of her own insecurities get in the way. The basic premise of the story is that Gwen was burned by a previous master and is scared both of her tendencies and of trusting again. What can be gleaned from Simon’s interactions with Monster? First, Simon has a good spirit or else Monster would not have responded positively. Second, that he has dominant personality as demonstrated by Monster’s obeying his commands. Lastly, though you’d have to be a dog person to really know this, that Simon is stable and together, dogs don’t listen to unstable people, they tend to ignore their commands or fear them. From this basic interaction, Gwen, if she’s being observant, knows that Simon is stable, dominant, and basically good-hearted. Very important information.

Pitbulls are my breed of choice for a few reasons. The main one being how people-oriented they are. Pitbulls have been bred for centuries to adore people and to be fiercely loyal to their humans. This also makes them extremely protective of the people they view as their pack. As a result, their acting as the gatekeeper to their human is relevant and appropriate in the context of the plot. Another reason is that I like to show Pits in their true light, not the one they’ve been cast in. Yes, I am biased, I own two beautiful Pits who I don’t know what my life would be like without them. I’ve also been the victim of Pit discrimination — having my dogs banned from doggy day care for no other reason than their breed — and I have fostered and rescued abused Pits. Both of mine were rescued from fighting rings. These loving, loyal, goofy animals get a bad rap and I try to write them as they actually are … lazy, loving, fun and playful, but also protective of their human.

Animals can serve a useful purpose in any story, but in erotica, especially BDSM erotica where motivation and discipline are important but invisible characteristics in the limited length of the short-story, I like to use animals to display and express the underlying characteristics that my word-count prevents me from expanding on. I like to think of them as canine barometers.

(Starla) Thanks for sharing this insight into Pitbulls, who, as you said, have gotten a bad reputation. And I loved how you work them into your stories.

 

Gillian, can you give us two random thoughts about yourself, something that might surprise your readers?

First, I took three years of Latin in high school in order to pass my regular English classes which I was struggling in. Latin grammar is very similar to English grammar.
Second, I am a trained diamond grader. I once had aspirations of being a jewelry appraiser, but never progressed past the diamond courses. Life took me down a different path.

 

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing seriously for about 2 years, but only 4 months in erotica. Before that I wrote poetry exclusively. Throughout my life I’ve written creatively, however, beginning with play about the water cycle when I was eight and my own personal Inferno set exclusively with Disney characters in high school. Maleficent, the “Mistress of All Evil” from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, was the Devil.

 

What do you want your readers to take from your books?

In each book I strive to create rich characters first, a good story second, and the sex comes last. My stories tend to be primarily the female’s story, but I love to put the male point of view into the story, so it’s always my hope that my readers will like the characters and want more.

 

Do you write a story clear to the end before doing more than simple editing? Or do you stop after each chapter and completely edit it before moving on?

I tend to go through the end and then do heavy duty editing. However, before I pick up writing where I left off, I always read what I wrote before for the sake of continuity, so I’m always editing if something catches my eye.

 

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

It’s more of a “what if” scenario along with the characters. For instance, with Coming Out of Her Shell, it started as “What if a woman was masturbating for her neighbor knowingly? How would that play out?” Which progressed to who is she that she would masturbate for him rather than just meet him and get together and it went from there.

 

How do you deal with rejection?

Contemplatively. I always want to know why and, if I feel it’s valid, I’ll adjust and try again. If I don’t think it’s valid, I tend to “note and ignore.”

 

Now let’s talk about Gillian’s new book, Coming Out of Her Shell…

Title: Coming Out of Her Shell

Genre: Contemporary Erotica

Length: 17,519 words

ISBN: 978-1-4580-9610-4

Publisher: Black Door Press

Buy Link: Smashwords

Release Date: 5-22-2011

 

Did you have a favorite character in this book?

Eric Tanner is without question my favorite character. I just love his attitude and swagger. He’s so virile but with an undercurrent of fun.

 

Did you have a favorite scene?

My favorite scene is when Susan goes down on Eric. It surprised me because I went into it thinking I’d write it very gritty and hard core, but Susan was determined to be gentle and the surprised revelation for both of them was very satisfying.

 

BLURB

When Susan Mallory decided to take up a hobby, she hadn’t expected it to be a weekly, one-woman show for her sexy neighbor, Eric Tanner. When the teasing gets out of hand, however, Eric decides to take matters, or in this case, Susan, into his own hands.

 

EXCERPT

He was there. Susan could feel his eyes on her, even if she couldn’t see his face. His balcony was in shadows, but she knew he was watching her. The very thought that he watched her in such an intimate, vulnerable moment was both thrilling and shameful. She couldn’t believe she was doing this. Again. She should stop. Just get up go back inside the house and get back to her normal and predictable life. She was crazy to play this game. She knew nothing about him other than the easy going image he projected.

Sure, he was beautiful to her. Tall and lean with a natural athletic build. The kind of body that said he stayed active rather than pumping iron. His slightly shaggy, black hair gave him a lazy, relaxed appearance that belied the intelligence he sometimes let slip through his “don’t take me too seriously” exterior. If she had to catalog his features, she’d say that individually they were fairly ordinary. He had a broad chin, straight nose and perpetual five o’clock shadow. His eyes were the exception. They were otherworldly. Emerald green, they had captured her the minute she’d seen him at the neighborhood block party the first week she’d moved to Chester Park.  The sum of him took her breath away. He had a casual grace when he moved that said, “I’m okay with who I am, so fuck off if you don’t agree.”

She hadn’t spoken to him that day. Hadn’t said anything more to him than “Hi” and “How are you?” since she’d moved in three months ago, despite living next door to him. She thought of him though. In fact, she was beginning to fear she was obsessed with him.

She’d learned his name from one of the neighbors … Eric Tanner. Such a simple name, it rolled off the tongue beautifully. She savored its syllables, sucked them into her mouth like the cherry off the top of a sundae. She loved his name; she longed to use it intimately. To whisper it in his ear as she nibbled on the lobe. To scream it as she came around his cock and milked his climax from him.

A slight breeze stirred the air, feathering across her exposed breasts. She imagined the whisper kiss was his lips and was lost to the fantasy. Her nipples tightened painfully and moisture flooded her core.

She hadn’t meant for him to see. This game they played hadn’t been planned. It had been totally accidental. Truly. But, playing with Eric was seductive. Like dark chocolate, it made her ravenous and one bite was not enough. It was a heady mixture of power and vulnerability that she never wanted to end even though she knew she should stop. She would stop. She wouldn’t do it again. She couldn’t do it again. Not if she wanted to respect herself.

It had started so simply. She had decided that she needed more personal time and changed her schedule at work. Truthfully, she was bored out of her skull. She’d been a corporate shepherd watching diligently over her human sheep for over 15 years and she hated it more everyday.

She was 35-years old and her life was so routine it put even her to sleep. All she did was work. QuestCom ran like a well-oiled machine. Never let it be said she didn’t do her job. She was efficient, organized and effective, but about as fun as a tax auditor. She had no real friends, she’d never been married or in a truly serious relationship and had no children, though it could be argued that her Pug, Roxy, was her baby. She simply didn’t know how to relax and be herself with people. Men especially. Once “cold fish” had become a recurring theme in the bedroom, she’d sworn off men. What was the point? She couldn’t relax enough to try some of the things they wanted her to do and she got tired of the complaints.

It wasn’t that she blamed them. Even she got tired of the missionary position. Nor did she think it would be very fun to screw a woman who could barely tolerate having sex with the lights on. She was repressed and she knew it, but so far there hadn’t been anyone worth making the effort for. So, to balance out her failure in the dynamic woman department, she’d made a point of being the best employee she could be. Her career had skyrocketed and she was the youngest Chief Operating Officer in her company’s history. She was good at her job, but she hated it. She excelled in her role, but she was bored and it showed.

When she’d taken to just staring out the window of her office for hours at a time, she decided she needed a change. Hell, she needed a life. So, she had rearranged her schedule to take every Thursday afternoon off. Her plan was to take up a hobby. She just hadn’t expected it to be masturbating for her sexy neighbor.

She hadn’t known he was there that first time. She had simply gone out for a swim. After doing enough laps to leave her breathless, she’d put on her sunglasses and hat and stretched out on her favorite lounge chair to let the sun dry her off.

She’d lain there trying to remember the last time she’d had sex (two years) and fantasizing about Eric. Wondering if he was involved with anyone. Imagining him naked and plunging into her. Without any conscious thought, she’d begun to stroke herself – outside her bikini bottoms because she never touched herself directly – until she brought herself to orgasm on the sheer fantasy of Eric.

As she’d struggled to catch her breath, a sound like a chair being pushed back drifted to her from the direction of his balcony. She opened her eyes in time to see the object of her fantasy stand up and turn to go inside.

She’d been shocked. Mortified. Humiliated. She’d stumbled to her feet and run inside as fast as she could. After locking the door, she’d slid down the wall and sat there on the cold marble tile with her arms wrapped around her knees rocking as she tried to calm the nausea roiling in her belly.

He’d seen her masturbate. Watched her at her most vulnerable moment. She’d been imagining herself with him and he’d watched as she pleasured herself. To her utter shock, as the idea sank in, rather than puke up her lunch, her nipples tightened and her pussy clenched.

The reality slammed into her. He’d watched her! Eric had seen her masturbate.

The thought was both electric and erotic. The idea of his eyes on her aroused her more than she thought possible. She broke out in goose bumps and her pussy throbbed. She refused to touch herself again though. She wanted to savor the memory of coming with his eyes on her.

And so it began. Over the weeks, she’d become more and more brazen. Touching herself in ways she’d never had the courage to before. Rather than feeling embarrassed by Eric’s presence, she was emboldened. She didn’t even bother with a bathing suit now.

One evening, after making sure his car was gone, she’d gone so far as to arrange the lounge chair so that the angle and distance would be such that, even though he’d have a good view, he’d have to pay close attention if he really wanted to see her.

She performed for him every Thursday afternoon at two o’clock without fail. Today was different though, today was her last performance. She’d promised herself she would stop this madness. She was becoming consumed by the fantasy of him and she couldn’t take it anymore.

It was a lie and she felt like a cheat. She wasn’t really this sexy, erotic woman. It was a game she was playing and it had to stop. So, today was her finale and she planned to make it good for him.

 

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO

Author Website: Black Door Press

Facebook: Gillian Colbert

Amazon Author Page: Gillian Colbert

Email: [email protected]

 

 

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