Monday 24 June 2013


Hi everyone,

Before I forget, I've been blogging elsewhere during the last week - my post "Acceptance" is up on the All Romance E-books Cafe. You can check it out here, if you feel inclined.

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who commented on last week's post, both here and on Goodreads. Your support means a hell of a lot to me. I'm about 18k into the first draft of that story I mentioned. So far, so good.

The topic I want to talk about here today is a bit different. If you read blogs, tweet, follow readers groups or well, pretty much anything like that, you'll already know that, every so often a writer will react publicly to a review and the world will pretty much implode around them.

The advice they're given by readers, bloggers, reviewers, other writers etc is pretty consistent.

1. Don't respond to individual reviews. Cool - good advice.

2. Grow a thicker skin. Here's where I'm not so sure the advice is always good.

Does growing a thicker skin work for some writers? Probably. And if it works for you, that's great, but it's not the only way to deal with it.

I think it's far more sensible to react, to feel, to care. I don't have a thick skin. I don't want to have a thick skin. I get upset about bad reviews, annoyed with illogical ones, thrilled with the positive ones. I've had reviews that made me grin like an idiot and others that inspire me to make sarcastic comments out loud at the computer screen. I've had more than a few that had me in tears.

There aren't many words I loathe, but one of them is BDSM-lite. To my mind its patronising and minimising, the new incarnation of The One True Way. It puts my back up every time I hear it, whether its directed at one of my stories, or someone else's story, to someone's real life activities.

For a long time, I took the general advice. I tried to develop a thicker skin about it. I tried to think nice polite thoughts every time the term cropped up. But it all seems so artificial, so pointless to block out emotions that way. The usual advice seems to be to become a robot or a rhino - neither of which are known as being particularly great writers.

Emotions aren't a bad thing, they aren't a weakness - especially not for a writer. Why not accept whatever the review makes you feel, own it, pin point the specifics and use it in your next story?

Whatever emotions a review inspires in you, there's probably going to be a character in a future story where it will come in useful.

To use BDSM-lite as an example again, there are plenty of people in the real world BDSM clubs who think that anyone whose kinks are different to their own aren't doing it right - come to that, there are people in all walks of life who think that their way is the only way to do things. It's a reality that my characters will have to face at various points in different stories. How do they feel in that situation - not in general but specifically, accurately, in detail? Why run away from knowing that answer?

Am I saying that it's psychologically healthy to go through a roller coaster of emotions every time you get a flurry of new reviews? Probably not. But, to be honest, there are a hell of a lot of things about being a writer which don't promote sanity.

Am I saying that writers have to open up to the emotions inspired by reviews? Of course not. I just want to put it out there that there are options that writers shouldn't be ashamed of wanting to explore.

Oh, and just for the record, in case there is any confusion on the matter, am I saying that I hate a word, therefore people shouldn't use it? Definitely not. I grew out of thinking the world should adapt itself to my wishes when I was a toddler, regressing now would be more trouble than it's worth...

Okay. Enough babbling. Have a great week all :)



Monday 17 June 2013

Five Years On...

Hello all,

(I've been debating about writing this post, unsure if people will take it the wrong way, but here goes anyway.)

This weekend I celebrated an anniversary of a sort. It's 5 years since I sent my first story to Total-e-bound. It was the first story I ever had accepted. It's what set everything else in motion. I can still remember how excited I was.

Fast forward to today and, in some ways, nothing has changed. I still love writing. I still have more stories in mind than I have the time/energy to write. I still love my genre.

In other ways things have changed. Rather than one publisher, I have five (six if you count the GR MM Romance group event, which is becoming more publisher-like as the years go by). While in some ways this is great, in other ways not so much, because each publisher has its own house style and these seem to have both diverged and become more stringent with each year that goes by, which brings its own complications.

Over the last seven months, I've written at least one story for each of the six publishers. So, six different house styles, six different sets of rules. I just worked it out and between the different publishers, there have been 17 different people editing / proofing those stories. 17 people with different opinions on what I'm doing wrong and should do differently.

Now, I'm the first to admit that my writing isn't perfect. There are lots of things I could do better, things that I'm learning how to do better with each story. But the fact that there are so many different, divergent opinions is hard to deal with. It's reached a point where I sit down to write and the thought process goes like this...

*writes a paragraph*
Damn. Publisher A doesn't like that sentence structure. Must avoid simultaneous actions.
*rewrites it*
Hang on. This story isn't going to publisher A, it's going to publisher B. They don't mind simultaneous actions, but they don't like was -ings.
*rewrites it again*
And so on, for every paragraph, for every story.

I think at first, I was okay with this, or at least I convinced myself that I would one day find a way to please everyone. Now, I accept that there's no way to do that when some of the publishers have diametrically opposing rules. There's no chance of me ever writing something that will please everyone or being able to settle into a steady style. 

Just to be clear - Do I think the publishers are doing something wrong here? No. It's just the way things are. I'm not saying it should change at all, and certainly not for my convenience,

However, the fact remains that, with so many contradictory opinions, quite often from people who I don't know well enough to really trust, I've lost sight of my own opinion on, well, pretty much everything to do with writing. I reached breaking point.

After five years, I've realised that something has to change.

So, in the last week or so I've started a new project. Its a full length novel and for the first time in five years... it's not intended for a publisher. 

So, no deadlines, no prescriptive house style I need to follow. I can just write. It's impossible to describe just how close to bliss the feeling is.

I'm not entirely sure what this means for where my writing will go in the future, but I feel more optimistic than I have for quite a long time.

I think things might actually turn out okay...



Wednesday 12 June 2013


Hi Everyone,

There are some books that are a joy to work on. They almost seem to want to write themselves. You start at the begining of the first draft, write straight through to the end, edit it without to many problems and send it off to a publisher.

Then there are the other kind of stories. The ones that don't want to be written.

Way back near the begining of 2009 I had an idea for a short story. It was going to be 2000 words long and given away as a freebie. I wrote it, but it didn't really work. I guessed it needed to be longer. I set it aside to re-write as a 15,000 story.

That version didn't work either. Maybe it still wasn't long enough. I re-wrote it as a 30,000 word version. No luck. Maybe I'd gone too far the other way. I changed things around and cut it down to 20,000 words.

The damn thing still didn't work. By this point, I was far from impressed. I could probably have written a full length novel in the time I'd spent potching with this story.

Finally, this year, I decide the only thing to do is take the idea and completely re-write it from scratch. That's what I did - three times. Finally, after changing the title, the character names and most of the plot, I think I have a version of the original idea that works.

That story is now called Different, and will be re-released as a 13,000 word story with Amber Allure on 11th August 2013.

Here's the blurb:

Matthew and Stuart have been dating for over five months and Stuart thinks things are going well — right up until the moment Matthew suggests that they try something different — the kind of different that involves bondage, spanking and leather.

Matthew’s been building up to making this suggestion for weeks, dropping subtle hints and hoping Stuart won’t completely freak out at the mention of kink. Now, with his desires out in the open, all Matthew can do is hope that introducing something different will make their relationship perfect rather than destroy it completely.

With this one submitted, I'm now down to "only" 34 backlog stories - ones I've started since I began writing seriously, but haven't got to the point where they are submittable.

In order to preserve what sanity I have left, I'm now happily working away on a brand new title, one that doesn't have an baggage attached to it from previous attempts. It's something close to bliss.

Hope everyone is having a great week,


Kim Dare

Thursday 6 June 2013

Masochist's Choice - Available Now!

Hi everyone,

I'm later posting this than I would have liked. It's turning out to be one of those weeks.

But, Mashochist's Choice is out now! It's MM, BDSM and part of the Sun, Sea and Submission series. It will probably make more sense if you've read Vanilla Licks.

Just click on the pic to go to the Resplendence book page for the blurb and an excerpt!

And, in case you missed it, I also have a free short story up on the Goodreads MM Romance Group. Click on the cover to find out more, and see the picture that inspired the story!


Hope everyone else is having a great week,


Kim Dare

Monday 3 June 2013

June + Free Short Story Available From Today!

I am incredibly un-ready for it to be June. That said, I don’t think I’ve been ready for a single month this year, so that probably doesn’t really count as news anymore!

On to the real news



The Goodreads MM Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event is up and running. Stories will be realised every day during June and July. My story will be released today.

It’s called Taken and it’s a MMMM paranormal/fantasy story, about 10,000 words in length. It’s a bit different to what I’ve written in the last few years so I’m taking the precaution of assuming everyone will hate it—that way, any other reaction is a bonus, lol.  It's based on this image:

You can find it on the MM Romance Group on goodreads here. Or on the new MM Romance Group website here.



Next up, on Wednesday (5th June) Masochist’s Choice will be released by Resplendence Publishing.

Masochist Wanted:  A position has become available as an assistant to Mr. Fulton Hollingsworth. The successful applicant will be physically fit, and willing to obey orders quickly and efficiently. Full training will be given.  However, a man with a natural tendency toward both masochism and exhibitionism will find himself at an advantage.
Firm friends Todd and Ash have worked at Pendragon Bay Hotel for months, but only ever in the vanilla side of the resort. Neither man has any kind of kinky experience under his belt, but that’s not going to stop either of them applying for the job.
When the selection process starts, each man only becomes more and more certain that his friend is completely unsuitable for the job, but it’s too late to back out now. Once Mr. Hollingsworth has a paddle in his hand it’s soon clear that nothing is ever going to be the same for Todd or Ash.  


The last thing pre-planned for this month, is a guest blog post on All Romance E-books as part of their LGBT month.

You can find each post on their blog here.

My post is due to go live on the 15th June.


What else do I have to tell you?

I’m currently editing the second story in my Kinky Quickies series with Amber Allure. I’ll hopefully have a blurb etc to share with you early next week.

The remainder of the month I’m hoping to spend on a new project I have in mind. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to jinx it. So, I’ll just say that it’s a full length novel and I’m really excited about it.


Last but not least. For the next two days the House of Lords is debating our (England and Wales) Same Sex Marriage Bill. They’ll vote on Tuesday Evening. If the majority vote in favour, the bill will be one step closer to becoming law.

I’m hopeful for a good outcome, but at the same time I’m dreading all the hate that will hit the headlines over the next few days.

It’s likely there’ll be a bit about it on my twitter account. Feel free to say hi to me over there :)


Have a great June everyone!


Kim Dare.