Always Cambridge

Always Cambridge
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Monday, 17 February 2014

Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend by Bryan Fields @MusePublishing

Welcome MuseItUp Publishing author Bryan Fields...

How did you come to write this story?  Whats the story behind it?  Why did youwrite Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend and not Hot Monkey Sex with a Large-Breasted Dragongirl?  It would sell better.  

Actually, that last question raises a good point.  Erotica outsells everything else by a long shot.  Ive even got a great set-up for paranormal erotica, because Rose can change shape any time she wants.  If a scene needs four breasts, three Old Fellas, and a cluster of tentacles for the hentai crowd, Rose can make it happen.  Shes already mating outside her species, so why stop at the hominids?  Cry gimme wood on the set! and let slip the dogs of bow-chikka-bow-wow!

Problem is, Im rubbish at erotica.  I enjoy reading it, and I know David and Rose have a great love life once the lights go out, but when Im writing, the story Im able to tell happens when the lights are on.  Ill stick to unmitigated geekery and leave the hot stuff to the experts, where it belongs. 

On the other side of that coin, even though I go with fading to black and avoiding explicit details, Ive still gotten comments that the racy content wasnt needed and should be removed.

Sorry, but Im disinclined to acquiesce to that request. 

Thats not to say there isnt a lot of wish fulfillment to the story; I have yet to meet a writer whose words dont flow from some deep-seated fountain of longing for one unmet desire or another.  This story started thirty years ago, with a girl (theres always a girl, you know) wearing a shirt that said, “Kiss me twice, Im schizophrenic”.  Life is short and she was hot, so I went for it.  Fortune favors the bold, it seems, because were still friends today.

Rose showed up in a dream a little over a year ago, wearing the same shirt, a Dragoness in Human form who liked going to bars, finding the child molesters and would-be rapists in the crowd, and taking them back to her place for dinner.  Dragons dont do salads.

Four in the morning, I staggered to my computer and typed everything I could remember into a Word document.  I even managed to save it before I faceplanted on the keyboard for an hour or two.

I got two short stories about Rose done in eight hours or so and submitted them to an anthology.  Still, I couldnt stop thinking about them.  There was more story to be told.  I rewrote both into novellas and started on a third.  I had all three sent out to beta readers when the original short stories came back rejected.  It seems Rose was… unwholesome.  Naughty.  She was a baaaad dragon…

I jumped and cheered.  Huzzah for racy content!  That rejection letter was the best piece of news Id had in a long time.

I went back to work, keeping the three novellas separate portions of a single book.  The next bunch of rejection letters, not so happy about.  A friend of mine gave me his editors name and email address, and after a lot of second-guessing, I decided a submission was a submission and sent my query.

Send the full, she said.

!!!!!

After checking my email every ten minutes for the next month and a half, the acceptance letter and contract arrived while our family was standing in line to get in to Denver ComicCon.  The news made that death march bearable.

I finished the second book about Rose and David, The Land Beyond All Dreams, while waiting to receive my edits.   That contract came in while I was waiting for galley proofs and cover art.  While I waited, I started working on a third book.  That one crossed over 50,000 words just before I started writing this.

Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend was released on January 3rd.  Seeing the cover live and for sale wasnt better than marrying Noelle or holding our daughter Alissa for the first time, but it was up there.  It was like having a newborn in that theres a whole lot more than you expect involved, and nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for the reality.

And just as with changing diapers and colic, nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for the incessant drum beat of self-promotion.  Making contacts, finding ways to introduce yourself to new audiences, and arranging for reviews or blog tours can become a full-time job in itself.

Id love to keep talking about Rose and David, but Las Vegas isnt going to trash itself.  Thank you for your time and for letting me ramble a bit.  

Wind to your wings, friends. 

 Blurb:
 
A lot of guys claim to have hot girlfriends. David Fraser has one who actually breathes fire.

Rose Drake is a Dragoness in Human form, come to Earth for three years to soak up the local energy and increase her chances of having happy, healthy, baby hatchlings when she goes home. In exchange for his time and energy, David’s body and love life both undergo extreme makeovers. It sounds like the deal of a lifetime.

Fate doesn’t let David and Rose off so easily. A friend of theirs is murdered, their homeowner’s association starts harassing them, and they have to complete a quest for an Elven sage in order to stop a genocidal Unicorn from turning Earth into a radioactive wasteland.

After all, when you’re dating a Dragon, you’re already a hero. It says so in the fine print.

Excerpt from “Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend”

Rose and Miranda returned from the ladies, deep in conversation. Miranda was flushed with the deep anger of righteous indignation, while Rose was radiating the slow burn of frustration. It was a safe bet they’d been discussing the Mavis situation.

I gave Miranda a grim smile as I nocked my first arrow. “Any advice on the issue of the day, officer?”

“Keep doing what you’re doing, but you know that already.” She nocked and released two arrows in rapid succession, both solid head shots. She fired off two more, starting a nice, tight grouping. “Keep the police informed, get a good paper trail, let them do the stupid thing and come at you. It’s hard and it’s frustrating, but in the end, the only way to win is play by the rules.”

“Or change the game,” Rose added. Instead of going for our standard head shots, she started placing arrows in the target’s shoulders and arms, followed by one through each ear. She continued to staple an imaginary Mavis to the wall, saving her last arrow to go between the eyes, all to the cheers of the other shooters.

This was why other leagues didn’t like to play with us.

“What do you mean, ‘change the game’?” Miranda set her bow on the padded rack behind the line and sat down to wait for the remaining shooters. “It isn’t a good idea to just go flying by the seat of your pants.”

Ember set her bow down and added, “Change is inevitable. You should embrace it. Use it to your advantage.” Ember is an orange-haired suicide girl with crimson dragon scales and wings tattooed down her back. She ran a therapeutic massage clinic and designed her own religion around the dragons in her favorite online game. Now, I don’t sit in judgment on the validity of anyone’s eschatology. As a Whovian, my moral code is inspired by a madman in a blue box. Still, I just couldn’t see turning control of my spirituality over to a game designer in southern California.

Ember sat down next to Miranda and popped open her third energy drink. “Changing the game means you set the rules. It’s a classic strategy. Sun Tzu calls it ‘holding a pillow down on the enemy’. The wabbit does it all the time.”

“I’ve never thought of the wabbit as being a master tactician,” I said as I racked my bow.

Ember raised her eyebrow at me. “You ever see him lose?”

We started walking down to the targets to retrieve our arrows. “You’ve got a point,” I said. “However, the bunny always has the writer backing him up. That’s a big advantage.”

“No kidding,” Jake snorted. “Why do you think everyone who goes to war says God is on their side?”

“God can’t be everywhere,” Miranda answered. “That’s why police officers were created.”

Rose finished pulling her arrows and stepped away from the targets. “I don’t need any gods on my side. I’m on my side, and that’s enough. Asking a god to do something you can take care of yourself is just being lazy.”

“Rawr,” said Ember, clawing the air in front of her. “The dragon is strong with this one.”

Rose slid her arrows back into her quiver. “Ember, what would you do if you saw a news report that a live Dragon had appeared somewhere? The real thing. Big as a house and twice as scaly.”

“I’d assume the news crew was rockin’ the ganja.” Ember waved her hand to dismiss the idea. “Or that it was a set-up and anyone who responded would find themselves on an involuntary three-day hold and observe.”

“Ganja would definitely be involved,” Miranda muttered. She looked at Rose for a moment and added, “Unless you mean lizard-like space aliens?” It wasn’t my imagination—there was a hopeful note to her voice. She’s still convinced Rose is a space alien, and we’ve done nothing to change her mind.

“I mean a Dragon.” Rose shook her head. “That’s what you would do if you thought the report was false. Assume the report satisfied you it was true. What would you do, Ember?”

Ember took careful aim and released her first arrow, striking the target’s right eye. “I’d do whatever I had to do. If I couldn’t go home with it, I’d beg for it to kill me, because I couldn’t live knowing they existed on a world I’d never see. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is believing that my belief is keeping them alive somewhere.” She dropped two more arrows into the target’s left eye. “Does that answer your question?”

Rose nodded. “Yes. Thank you very much.” She turned back to her target and fired off her arrows as fast as she could, stapling the silhouette once more. She retired to the back wall of the range and pretended to examine the snack machine for something edible. I was on my last two arrows when I felt Rose building up power to work a spell. I stepped back and racked my bow, waiting to see what Rose was working on.

She built the energy up to a much higher level than I’d seen her use before. Everything in the area slowed down. The arrows in the air came crawling to a stop. The people in the room froze in place, and all the color washed out of everything. Rose placed her hands on Ember’s temples and held them there. When she removed her hands, Ember began glowing, well, like you were blowing on an ember at a campfire. Rose sat down, and everything surged into full forward motion, full of sound and color.

About me:

By day, Im a mild-mannered IT tech; by night, a writer who spends too much time in online games.  I grew up reading classical authors such as Verne, Burroughs, Wells, Haggard, and Lovecraft, often in conjunction with large doses of Monty Python, Wild Wild West, and Hee-Haw.  My current influences include Doctor Who, Girl Genius, and An Idiot Abroad.

I began writing professionally as a member of the content design team for the MMORPG Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted.  My first published short stories appeared in the anthologies The Mystical Cat and Gears and Levers III in 2012.

I live in Denver with my wife Noelle and daughter Alissa.  The three of us can often be found prowling around Istaria, Wizard City, and the wilds of Azeroth.  I also make occasional side jaunts to scavenge bits of ancient technology in the radioactive ruins of the Grand Canyon Province.
 
Learn more about me by following my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/BryanFieldsAuthor or my blog: http://laughingotterslair.blogspot.com/

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