Writing Sex Scenes

October 7, 2020

Writing sex scenes is a special skill which I do not have.  I have used such scenes sparingly in two of my novels and only when I felt they fit with the plot and when added they clarified the motivations behind some characters.  But sex sells.  One only has to look at the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the popularity of erotic films and porn sites on the internet.  I must admit marketing was partly behind the decision I made when adding them to my novel “Victim of Compromise” but I still maintain that the scenes played a greater part in making the central characters more rounded.

The sales of DH Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” sky rocketed during a famous court case to overturn its ban and, more especially, after it became legal to buy in the UK.  On reading it I feel it would be a much lesser book if the explicit sex scenes and the language used to describe them were omitted.  Now that the Lady Chatterley milestone judgement has passed there are many contemporary writers who excel in the genre of modern erotic fiction.  One such author is Harmony Kent whose novel “Back Stage” I reviewed in my last blog.  I confess that, despite my past endeavours, I am not one of them.

Keith Jahans

Kindle Edition


Book Review – Backstage by Harmony Kent

August 3, 2020

This erotic romance encompasses most of the elements of the recent “Me Too” scandals when actresses have come forward to describe events in which they have been sexually abused by powerful men in the entertainment industry.  The characters in the book are well described, particularly the perpetrator and his female accomplice.  The sex scenes are graphically depicted and fit well within the narrative.  Some readers may be put off by the explicit content, which I found did not detract from the story itself.  Although described as a romance the novel is more of a thriller and the plot kept me turning the pages right to the end.

Keith Jahans

Published by Harmony Kent Author Servicesandals,
in paperback and as an ebook


Book Review – Frankly, My Dear by Don Manssenzio

July 16, 2020

I have a particular fondness for private detective novels, particularly those set in the USA and this one proved to be no exception.  The detectives involved here are clearly a close knit family.  All seemed to be involved in this story to some extent, including the detective’s dog, but the chief protagonists are the private detective, Frank Rozzani and his lawyer partner, Jonesy.

The plot is a twist on the normal narrative for this type of story, in that the detectives are asked to represent a man who has been accused of abusing his girlfriend.  All the characters are believable, especially the villains.  Rossani and Jonesey are accomplished jazz musicians and a little of the action revolves around their music and the club where they play.  I am not familiar with the music titles or the work of the artists referred to in the novel but the author is clearly a Jazz aficionado.

The pace is fast moving with a number of twists and turns which is a prerequisite of the genre.  I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Keith Jahans

Published DSM Publications as
an ebook, paperback and audiobook


The worst thing that can happen to a writer

July 6, 2020

The worst thing that can happen to writers is that nobody reads their work.  I used to get upset when I found some of my books were being pirated, but then I realised that I was getting free publicity.  Many readers, when they finish a book they have enjoyed, pass it to friends or family members.  The book often ends up in a second hand or charity shop.  Authors have no choice but to accept this, but what is unacceptable is that there are unscrupulous individuals out there who exploit the endeavours of an author for their own gain.

Sometimes a reader will not like a book and may leave an unfavourable or even a bad review.  It happens as a writer cannot please everyone and hopefully those occasions will be very few.  But at least this person will have read the book.  Of course, if it happens too much then the author must seriously rethink how they go about their trade.  A new author or even an establish author will give away free copies of a new book in exchange for a review.  It is very unusual for a reviewer to take advantage of this and sell the book on, but it can happen.

I have been surprised to find some of my books for sale online for far more money than they are advertised by my own website or reputable book stores.  There is a market for early editions, especially those signed by the author.  Some early copies of my first books, complete with typing and formatting errors, have even ended up online for exorbitant amounts.  There is nothing an author can do about this.  But it is publicity and how much income authors can loose must be offset against the free publicity they get.

Most authors earn little from selling their work.  I know very few who earn a living from their writing full time.  They write because they enjoy their craft, but above all they love to bring enjoyment to readers.  The best thing that can happen to a writer is when a reader who you have never met picks up your book and writes to you to say how much they have enjoyed it.  Those are the moments I savour.

Keith Jahans


Book Review – Rosé’s Bent Stem by Nomita Khanna

June 29, 2020

This thriller took me a while to get use to the author’s writing style but once I did I found the story fascinating.  Nomita Khanna gets into the mind of a psychopath and narrates in the first person.  Thus much of the expressions used are disjointed and sometimes weird.  It is a valiant attempt to seek out what motivates a disturbed individual and I feel the writer succeeds in that attempt.  Like me readers might not at first fully understand what is going on here but if they stick with it they are in for a fascinating treat.

Keith Jahans

Independently published and available as an ebook and paperback


Words per Day

June 10, 2020

I am fortunate in that, as well as a writer, I am an independent publisher which means I do not have to set targets for my writing.  I write when and where I want to.  I had had enough having to keep to targets set by my bosses in my day job in the years before I retired.  This means that I can go for days without writing a single word, which is often the case as I am lazy.  But it also means that I have time to enjoy it.

I like to tell stories and periodically find myself compelled to write them down.  Sometimes I write several hundred words a day and on the odd occasion this rises to over a thousand.  But more often than not I struggle for words, so my output can be just a few sentences.  My first drafts contain all sorts of mistakes of continuity, spelling and grammar.  The plot can invariably not make much sense.  This is where the editing comes in where content gets changed, thrown out or even added.

I am slightly dyslexic and, fortunately, there are aids on line and in the writing community to help me.  Before the age of computers and word processors, I began writing my stories by hand, but this was a slow process as it made for much crossing out and rewriting.  I graduated to a portable typewriter and, as I was very much a novice typist, the process became even slower.  But then came PCs, the internet, online spellcheckers and grammar aids and I was away on my journey.  This technology, though brilliant, is not nearly enough, but the help I receive from the trusted readers I first show my work to is invaluable.

Keith Jahans


Book Review – The Power of Love by Phyllis J Burton

June 4, 2020

Here are some heart warming stories which are very readable.  They are just right for downloading to a Kindle or smart phone to grab a quick read during a spare moment.  The author has a knack for holding one’s attention to the end of each short narrative which leaves the reader with the feeling of a time well spent.  I recommend this work to anyone who enjoys short fiction.

Keith Jahans

Available from Amazon Media
as an ebook and paperback


Baby Boomers

April 9, 2020

It was a different world when we were born and bigotry was part of the culture.  Homosexuality was illegal and women were supposed to give up working once they started a family.  These attitudes though unpalatable today did not pose the same threats that we face now.

The two generations which preceded us boomers went through the war years and were largely unappreciated by us at the time.  We were spoilt and did not care to consider why they thought the way they did.  The flower power music and sexual freedoms of our youth were often self indulgent and then gave way to greed for power and possessions.  Thus we voted for governments (both Labour, Coalition and Conservative) who failed to plan properly for future generations, similar to the way that the post war administration set up the NHS.

The modern world has been unprepared for the current pandemic.  Governments had been warned.  As a microbiologist, who spent forty years in government service, I attended national and international meetings where the general consensus was that a pandemic similar to the flu outbreak of 1918 was on its way.  These views were largely ignored and other warnings expressed about climate change simply pandered to.

Britain has lost its soul to global corporations.  Those that follow us are the smart phone and play station generation that are already being recruited to pilot drones to drop bombs on poor people thousands of miles from where they are based.  But on the bright side the Johnson Government is having to introduce measures far more socialist than anything proposed by Jeremy Corbyn.  When the current pandemic passes our world will never be the same again.

Keith Jahans

 

 

 

 


Book Review – Bongo Fury Novella Collection: Novella Collection and Soundtrack by Simon Maltman

March 13, 2020

The hard hitting dialogue may not be to everyone’s taste and it took me a while to get use to it.  I have no idea how authentic the language used is typical of the underclass in Northern Island, but because of my sketchy knowledge of the recent history of the province during the ‘Troubles’, I found it believable.  The plot had a number of exciting twists and turns which held my interest.

The book is titled as a collection of novellas.  I searched Amazon and discovered that each had been published separately; but judging by the way the stories are intertwined, this collection can be regarded as a short novel in its own right.  Just over half way through the book the author introduces a short story read to a small audience by a friend of the protagonist.  The story does not fit into the rest of the narrative and I presume is included to show that the author can write in a more genteel style.  The font changes to italics for this narrative and then slips back to the original font for the main plot.

The inclusion of the short story may be a marketing ploy as is the inclusion of a link to a music download described as a soundtrack.  It is not really, but it is a sample of the author’s own music.  I downloaded my copy and my initial listening found it interesting but not remarkable.  However, I do think it is the kind of music I might come to like on repeated playings so I will stick with it.

Keith Jahans

Available as a papeback and ebook


Book Review – Short but Tall Stories by Brian Bold

February 25, 2020

Short stories are difficult to write.  There must be very few characters, they should be believable and every word should count.  Brian Bold has mastered the art of Flash Fiction and there are some gems here, which live up to the collection’s title.  This is ideal for anyone wishing to dip in and out of for a quick read.

Keith Jahans

Published by Lulu.com
in kindle and ebook formats


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