After the release of my first novel Peeper, I had something of a surprise when I spoke to a friend who’d read it, who told me his enjoyment of the book had been diluted somewhat by the fact he’d envisioned the main character Jenks as being me, which given some of the lurid things Jenks gets up to, had left him feeling a little queasy.
Not for one moment had I ever envisioned Jenks as being anything like me. My specifications when I wrote him were that he should be down to earth and normal; an ordinary person getting involved in extraordinary circumstances. Of course, my idea of a normal person is someone who lives in a small rural town, has a low paid job and swears a lot. These are characteristics Jenks and I share, but there the similarity ends. For starters, he is affable and sociable, whereas I am reclusive and neurotic.
I don’t think I’d want to base a character solely on myself. What would be the point? I write stories for the same reason I read them – it’s a chance to see through someone else’s eyes and go on an adventure. There’s absolutely nothing about my life that’s worthy of being turned into a novel – I’m not that interesting.
So when it came to House of Fox I set out to make it blatant that the male characters were nothing like me whatsoever. Dylan is gregarious and loud and never stops to think about what he’s doing. Frank is snobbish and uptight and something of a bully. They’re both morons, but in different ways. Writing about a moron is so much more enjoyable than someone heroic.
With the male characters established, I had a sneaky chance to invest some of my own personality traits into the women – that way I could inject a little real life experience without anyone suspecting I was talking about myself. I gave my cynicism to Donna and my depression and insecurity to Jane. This certainly helped with the writing process, as not being a woman myself I sometimes find it tricky writing from a female point of view.
Donna is probably my favourite character in House of Fox, and in many ways she’s the anchor around which the story revolves. She is the only one with any sense and so provides a window of normality on the surrounding insanity. She spits and snarls her way through the narrative, dishing out abuse and sarcasm. It’s quite possible someone like her has no right whatsoever to be in an erotic novel, but there you go. I do like to turn things on their heads.
Jane is someone you should probably feel a little sorry for. Beset by crippling self doubt, she is one of life’s victims, and has suffered long and hard. It is left to the reader to decide whether she is embarking on a spiritual journey of self discovery, or being led astray and corrupted simply because she’s so grateful to finally get a little attention.
Right now I’m in the process of working out what will happen in the House of Fox sequel, and so am deciding which characters I will stick with and which I will discard. Whilst it’s easier to write about someone you’re already familiar with, it also takes a little of the fun out of the procedure, because the level of creativity is lessened. Maybe I’ll keep all of them, or maybe I’ll kill them all off on the first page and come up with a whole new crowd. Who knows? Making these decisions is why I love the art of writing so much.
The House of Fox excerpt:
“God, look at the pair of them. They’re so fucking boring.”
Kitty was watching the live feed from the video camera; grainy, blue tinged footage on a fat backed TV.
“Like, any sane woman would’ve been bouncing on Dylan’s cock the minute she stepped through the door. But oh no, not little miss goody two shoes Donna; she’d never lower herself into doing anything quite so lowbrow.”
Jane, who was standing behind, massaging Kitty’s shoulders, nodded in full agreement.
“You know what? I’ll take great pleasure in throwing her to the flames. It’s no more than the dismal bitch deserves.” Kitty grabbed the clipboard and updated the dossier, scrawling nothing happening in the relevant box. “And here’s me damn fool enough to think pulling watch duty on that pair might prove fun.”
“Things may hot up… eventually,” Jane offered.
“Are you kidding? That bitch is so frigid she could raise penguins in her asshole.” Kitty swivelled around in her office chair and trapped Jane’s legs between her knees. “Fuck ‘em. Let’s get back to the game. Now remind me, honey pie, what was the score again?”
“Four all.” Jane shook her head, gutted at having squandered a four-nil lead.
“Then it’s time for the big decider.” Kitty’s beaming smile lit up Jane’s world. “What do you think? The loser has to do the next five hours’ watch?”
“Let’s do it.” Jane strutted up to the mound, confident she could pull this off.
Kitty sat back in her chair and spread her legs wide, hanging her knees over either armrest. She licked her fingertip, parted her pussy lips and pushed three ping-pong balls up her cunt. “Ready?”
“Ready,” Jane nodded. She steeled herself in preparation, and tightened her grip on the spank paddle.
Kitty pulled a face and thrust her hips, and a ping-pong ball flew clean out of her quim at high velocity and came arcing across the office. Jane swung the paddle, but missed by six inches. The ball sailed by and bounced off the coffee machine.
“Strike one,” Kitty yelled.
“Goddamnit.” Jane rolled out her shoulders to loosen them, and adopted the stance once again. “Ready.”
A second ping-pong ball flew from between Kitty’s love lips, this time on a much lower trajectory. Jane swung and caught the ball a glancing blow off the rim of the paddle, sending it straight downwards, where it ricocheted off the floor and bounced several times before dribbling to a pathetic stop between her feet.
“Strike two,” Kitty yelled. “The game now rests on this one final delivery. Will she step up to be a hero or will she fold under the pressure?”
“This time.” Jane was focussed now. She took a few practice swings before crouching sideways on. “Ready.” She would not miss – she knew it.
The third ball, glistening with pussy juice, came spinning toward her, and she saw its flightpath almost in slow motion. She swung the paddle, catching the ball flush in the face, and sent it hurtling out through the open door into the corridor. “Home run,” she squealed, and danced a celebratory jig. “I win, I win.”
“Pah, you got lucky,” Kitty sneered.
“Luck had nothing to do with it. I won thanks to my natural ability at the game.”
The game – which they had been playing for the best part of two days – was called either Pussy Ping-Pong or Beaver Baseball; they still hadn’t made a final decision as to which they liked better. It had superseded ‘What’s the most unusual thing you can shove up your ass?’ which Kitty had won by successfully ramming a signed, first edition of Oliver Twist into her brown eye.
The House of Fox blurb:
After a drunken night on the town, four friends awake to find themselves in the House of Fox, the ultimate brothel in the universe, where every sordid fantasy becomes reality.
But all is not as it seems.
The House of Fox harbours many dark secrets, and factions are plotting against one another.
The four newcomers must choose their friends carefully and take care not to lose their minds on the thrill ride of perversion that will carry them to the ends of the Earth and beyond.
The Great Voyeur in the Sky is watching . . .
SJ Smith is a neurotic recluse who lives in North Wales. It has long been his dream to become a full time filth monger.
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