Bellerophon — world-building for sexual tension
I don’t know about you, but I can enjoy good erotica no matter what the setting. Sci-fi adventure romp with aliens, contemporary shagfest in the back of the pub, two cowboys going bareback horseback… Actually, that last one could be uncomfortable if they fall off.
My point is I don’t need a fully developed background to appreciate a good sex scene.
But it helps.
After writing You and I, which was basically a shagfest with an all but inconsequential setting, I wanted to try creating a bigger world beyond the steamy action. I wanted the unfolding of events in The Induction of Satine to hint at a compelling universe that fed back into the tiny space my characters occupied. I didn’t want them to just shag. I wanted them to shag with the sexual tension only context can offer.
So, cue my yet-unnamed planet. There, you either live by your wits or you eke out a mediocre existence under those who dare. It’s a fully settled world of guilds, charlatans and feudalistic lords ruling over the working class. If your attempt at witty living fails, the wardens of the lunar prison will ship you off to the moon.
This planet has many moons. But the only two that matter are the innermost moon, with its infamous gulag-like prison facility, and Bellerophon, the outermost moon that spends most of its orbit concealed behind other moons. In fact, it’s so rarely observed that the citizens of the planet are beginning to doubt its existence.
It was the perfect place to set up a secret facility where young miscreants are spirited off to while society and law enforcement are busy with each other. You end up there and nobody knows where you are except you and the warden assigned to keep an eye (and more) on you. This is where our story takes place.
When my wry, miscreant heroine Satine realises none of her so-called friends are even aware she’s left the planet, let alone coming to bail her out, her level-headed highborn Warden Jet starts to look like a pretty welcome sight. And it’s not just because he’s ridiculously good looking.
This story started as a bit of light-hearted smut with no setting at all (that’s OK, right?). But as I explored the bigger picture, I found the harshness of the world, the remoteness of Bellerophon, and the isolation of being in a strange and secret place added uncertainty, tension and an interesting power dynamic to Satine and Warden Jet’s unusual sexual relationship.
My latest steamy sci-fi short, The Induction of Satine, comes out 7th November. For a limited time, claim a copy of this book from the High Heat Romance Giveaway on Instafreebie (ends 31 Oct 2017).