Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Genesis of a Fairy Story...

ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT by Portia Da Costa [in Magic and Desire]



The inspiration for ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT germinated long, long ago as the idea for a vampire story that I was considering writing for a different publisher, not Black Lace. I'd never written a novella before, but I was intrigued by the idea of creating a shorter piece, something very tight and driven by a very simple and intimate storyline, yet shot through with the magic of the paranormal. I'd first flirted supernatural erotica back in 1996, with GOTHIC BLUE, but since then I hadn't written any more paranormals.

I first 'saw' the idea for ILL MET... while watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I can't remember which one, but in it, Spike is crouched on the top of a high wall or gatepost, then he leaps off it, descending almost in slow motion, his fabulous black coat billowing around him like the wings of a great dark bird until he touches down on the ground, as lightly as a feather. When I saw that incredible move, I just knew I had to write a story in which the hero did the same thing...

I didn't write the story straight away, as other ideas and commissions came along, but I still kept thinking about that image from time to time, and drawing together bits and pieces of plot and characterisation to flesh it out.

Eventually the call came for the Black Lace paranormal erotic romance collections, and it seemed the time had come to write my 'black coat' story. However, I'd moved on from crushing on James Marsters to crushing on Vincent D'Onofrio, so the mysterious dark clad figure who leapt down from a high vantage point had morphed quite a bit. Not least of all, I'd decided to make him a fairy rather than a vampire... a big, butch, muscular and very masculine fairy with a naughty and very powerful magic wand inside his black denim jeans!

And thus, Robin was born. A creature of energy and magic power who, every year during May, is able to assume human form and experience all its myriad physical sensations and pleasures, as well as taste the joys and the anguish of our complex emotions. Year after year, he indulges his curiosity, but then during one Maytime, Lois, a lone young woman comes to stay in a holiday cabin on the edge of the fairy wood, and Robin himself becomes enchanted, and compelled to take steps that he's never taken before...

In this very short, not particularly explicit excerpt, Lois has just woken up from a vivid erotic dream, induced by Robin, and she wonders why on earth there's dust [of the fairy variety] all over everything... and why she can still smell the intoxicating odour of the lover she's just been dreaming about. At the same time, Robin, the unusual and curious fairy and part time human, muses on his temporary condition and how it feels to experience tangible physical sensations and the wild, confusing emotions of lust and passion...


Why the hell is this stupid place suddenly covered in dust? It wasn't here earlier… Where is it all coming from?

The cabin had been impressively spick and span when she'd arrived but now, a delicate veil of dust lay over most of the surfaces and drifted across the floor. There were even whorls of scattered over the bed and on the pillows, with several strange heaps against the head and the foot rails.

What the f…

She shivered. She sniffed the air. And then tentatively, almost reluctantly, she slipped a hand down into her knickers and touched her wetness.

Of which there was a lot. Far more than there ought to have been from simply playing with herself.

But it wasn't the quantity that bothered her, it was the way it smelt.

As she withdrew her fingers, a familiar odour made her head spin.

Lavender… It was lavender… Why does my crotch smell of lavender?

Pulling the quilt over her head, she tried hard not to think.


In human form, Robin crouched on the woodshed roof and tasted the flutters of fear in Lois's mind.

No, this was not what he wanted. Not at all… He'd wanted to give her pleasure, not scare the living daylights out of her. Savouring the physical sensations of sighing, he sent out his mind, and touched hers again, filling it with soothing waves of peace that granted sleep.

There, that was better. Unable to resist the temptation, he disassociated and floated through the roof of the cabin so he could be close to the new object of his attentions.

Touching down, he re-associated, and stood by the bed, just looking at her. Not that there was much to see with human eyes. She was curled up beneath the thick quilt like a hibernating dormouse, and only a few tufts of her tousled blonde hair were protruding from the top of it.
There was much to be said for being what he was though. If she woke up now, and emerged from her hiding place, she would see a man… but what she couldn't perceive were the powers he still retained.

He could see through the quilt to the pretty face, and even prettier body that lay beneath.


She was delightful and complex and Robin liked that. Connecting with her gave him everything that was delicious about assuming human form. Every year in the month of May, when the transformation was possible, he tasted and interacted with humans, feasting indulgently on their complicated and sometimes turbulent feelings. His own kind had emotions, true, but they were mild, bland and somewhat basic. Contentment… Satisfaction… A kind of wistful regret, occasionally… The only emotion that had really stirred him while he was in his true form was curiosity. And in that, he knew he was unusual amongst his breed.

And one of the very few to pursue the ancient privileges of merry May…

But look where it had got him!

He was addicted now, perhaps polluted somehow. Even while discarnate, he was gripped by powerful yearnings. Feelings had filtered through by osmosis into the whole of his existence… and he only felt truly alive when he was 'human'… or as near as to that condition as he could approximate.

And tonight, with beautiful Lois, he'd almost believed for a moment that he was a man.


Read more about Robin the macho fairy in much naughtier excepts here and here.

Magic and Desire is available from Amazon.co.uk now, and from Amazon.com in July.

Leave a comment and you could be the lucky person who wins today's copy of MAGIC AND DESIRE. :)

Happy Reading!

Portia Da Costa
So fond of big, macho fairies...


35 comments:

Olivia Knight said...

I really enjoyed this story, a very unusual version of a fairy but still fitting neatly with tradition. Lovely.

The only emotion that had really stirred him while he was in his true form was curiosity. I liked this immensely when I read it, and still do - curiosity is so cold, so far from how he's feeling now.

And lavender? Lavender? That's enough to freak anyone out! Don't get me wrong, I love lavender, especially long sprays of it alongside a path, but I wouldn't expect myself to smell of it. Nice touch...

Jade Taylor said...

I agree with Olivia, the scent of lavender usually reminds me of my Nan's hankies, but now it will make me think of something entirely different!

Lisabet Sarai said...

A macho fairy? I don't know, Wendy...! But if anyone can carry it off, you can.

Oh, and I like the title. I'm in the middle of writing a Shakespeare-influenced opus myself, and love the allusion.

Cheryl McInnis said...

I love that Robin is a big, manly, studly kind of fairy! I hate reading about men that are prettier than I am, LOL.
This sounds like a really great story, can't wait to read it!

Have a great day!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Olivia! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. I must admit I never thought too deeply about traditional fairy stories and lore when I wrote Ill Met. It was just a case of making up something I liked. :)

Yeah, Robin enjoys the heat of human emotions, and his sadness is that while he's experiencing them, in May, he knows that they'll fade as soon as the month is over... The only compensation is that he'll pretty much forget what sadness feels like too... until cool curiosity compels him to seek human form again next year.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Jade! I have a bit of a thing about supernatural beings whose spunk and sweat and whathaveyou smell of something unexpected. I once wrote about a zombie who smelt of sugared almonds rather than decomp. LOL

Portia Da Costa said...

Yes, Lisabet, I pretty much abandoned all thoughts of pointy hats, gauzy wings, green tights and perching on toadstools for Robin.

I suppose if Lois's mind had been filled with traditional fairy images, he might have been more like that... but like me, she's a Vincent D'Onofrio fan, and likes big well set up guys in general. :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Hope you enjoy the story when you read it, Cheryl! :)

I *used* to like the skinny, effeminate type of man, the sort who are far leaner and prettier than I am [which isn't all that difficult, I can tell you] But as I've 'grown up', I've matured into an appreciation of the bigger, more rough hewn male types. Not so much oiled model/bodybuilder muscle perfection, but real, sturdy man in the street guys, with appealing quirks and imperfections.

Natasha said...

This sounds like a great story. I agree, a macho fairy sound intriguing. And I love that the heroine's name is Lois. That's my mom's name and I hardly ever see it in a book. I'm going to have to check out your fairy tale :)

Madelynne Ellis said...

Now you know that I like them fey and pretty but this sounds like a novel take in things. This whole collection sounds great, and very diverse.

Sabrina Luna said...

Looking forward to reading this collection --especially Portia's macho faerie story! ;)

Big Hugs,
Sabrina )O(

Janine Ashbless said...

This story provides such a lovely gentle counterweight to the darkness of my House of Dust. It really is a diverse collection.

Olivia Knight said...

Heh-heh... Just wait till I come in on Friday, all dragons blazing!

I agree, it's really well-balanced, and Portia's has a haunting wistfulness about it that's stuck in my head for days now.

mary said...

Very nice, never thought of faries ass men but why not!

Madeline Moore said...

As a fellow ViDo fan I'm very happy visualizing Robin...and the sexy pic is a bonus. It's fun, seeing how Janine used mythology as a kicking off point, trying to be true to the myth she explored, in her story, and how you, Portia, were inspired by an image on TV and from there 'it was just a case of making up something I liked.'

Both approaches seem to work just fine! Creativity can be sparked by a dust mote, an image, ancient myths or HD TV...oh! Just make sure the zeitgeist doesn't getcha!

I say this because I came up with a great idea for a paranormal novel. At last! I went through books of mythology, ghosts, sea creatures, etc. and voila! The story of Calypso, queen of the mermaids, and her great love for the Captain of 'The Flying Dutchman.' I was really excited...until...

We watched 'Pirates of the Caribbean 3' and there it was, Calypso, in love with the Captain of the Flying Dutchman. OUCH!

It could have been worse. I might've written ten thousand words and a synopsis, only to be asked by my editor, 'Seen any good movies lately?'

It's incredible what those Imagineers can come up with...or one erotica writer who doesn't get out as much as she should.

Kudos Portia! This collection looks terrific.

Deanna Ashford said...

Madeline love your story about Calypso and POC, what bad luck, or rather bad timing. If you'd written it earlier you could have claimed that the writers nicked your idea. LOL.

I'm so looking forward to reading this book. Both Wendy's and Janine's excerpts sound fascinating.

Portia Da Costa said...

Lois is a lovely name, isn't it, Natasha? I think my Lois probably came about from watching the Superman movies or the TV series...

Now there was a beautiful, magical and muscular man... men in fact. I loved the late Christopher Reeve, and also Dean Cain... and the new guy looks pretty delish too!

Portia Da Costa said...

Yeah, I know your predilections [sp], Madelynne... ;)

I still sometimes fancy the occasional delicately built guy too, for variety, but I think my general pref is for the more well set up types now.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hope the story lives up to your expectations, Sabrina! It was certainly fun to write, and someone told me that it's one of the best things I've ever written... I can't really judge whether that's true myself though.

Portia Da Costa said...

Interesting... The first story is dark, and the last story is blazing.

Mine's sort of a delicate yet hopefully tasty filling in a sandwich made of rich, robust bread.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Mary!

Glad you like the idea of strong, macho fairies... I certainly do! :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Madeline... I'm sure you could *still* write a Calypso/Flying Dutch story.

With an entirely different kind of treatment it would still be fresh and unique. And you could put them centre stage instead of supporting characters to Captain Jack Sparrow and his chums.

Portia Da Costa said...

Hope you enjoy Magic and Desire, Deanna. It truly is an incredibly diverse selection of tales.

Kate Pearce said...

Big bold bash manly fairies? Sounds perfect for me! This collection sounds awesome!

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Kate! I think this collection has something for everyone. :)

Lil said...

What an interesting premise regarding Robin...enjoyed the excerpt and wondered if he at all missed being in human form during the rest of the year. Have since read in one of your comments that he forgets what sadness feels like after awhile in his usual form.

Portia Da Costa said...

Yeah, I'm glad I was writing about Robin during his 'human' time, because, living in a total maelstrom of emotion as I do, I think it would be extraordinarily strange *not* to experience it.

Must be a bit like being Spock... although Spock did have emotions, but he actively suppressed and controlled them, didn't he?

Ah, I used to love Trek so much... :)

rlr260 said...

I like the idea of a masculine fairy. Light and ethereal has it place, but in the end, I like a man of substance. That's a great excerpt, and I'll look forward to reading the book.

Incidentally, have you ever seen the "Twilight Zone" episode where a mannequin becomes human for 24 hours? Except in that story, it was a female who came to life, and all she did was go shopping. But it was kind of bittersweet when she returned to mannequin form.

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Portia, I have to agree your title is lyrically delicious. And I could go for a manly man fairy! Lovely scene, your excerpt.

Eliza Gayle said...

Oooh that sounds so yummy. I have such a thing for all things Fae!

Eliza

Portia Da Costa said...

No, RLR, I haven't seen that Twilight Zone episode, but I can imagine the poignancy of it. And I'm sure I've seen something similar elsewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was...

Portia Da Costa said...

Thanks, Savanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed the scene. :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Obviously, this is my first fairy story, Eliza... but there's a part of me that keeps wondering about writing something else, based on the same concept ie. my own particular fairy 'theory'. :)

Red Garnier said...

Portia, I loved the scene! I must read the entire I'LL MET now! :) And I can't remember watching that Buffy scene but do I love the sound of it! Congrats, Portia!

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Red!

I wish I could remember which eppie it was... I think it was towards the end of Season Six, possibly the infamous 'rape' episode. And it's just an impression I formed on seeing it. Spike on a high place, think it was a gatepost, and jumping down. He seemed to land so lightly, but probably not as lightly as my Robin does... This excerpt I posted doesn't actually include the 'leap'... That's in another scene, where he's on the woodshed roof and Lois comes out to chop some wood, and he jumps down and helps her... and they end up doing 'other stuff'... ;)