The Other Man

May 30, 2011 at 9:44 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I admit it – I’m not always exclusive with my husband.  And he couldn’t be happier. 

Before you ask, the answer is “No”, we are definitely NOT swingers. 

But my secret fling has, in fact, strengthened our marriage, if you can believe that.  Because the other man in my life exists only in my mind.  He’s a tall, mysterious and sexy, blue-eyed hottie who is delicious enough to eat.  And let me tell you, he’s not above biting back. 

He often wakes me up in the middle of the night for a tryst.  A battle of wills at times (I’m a working woman).  But he can be rather unrelenting.  So I always cave, kissing my husband on the cheek before heading down to our usual rendezvous.

He insists on music and that I pull my hair back away from my face.  When I begin to shower him with attention, he purrs in my head like a contented lion.  Away I type, losing myself in his demands to be sated.  Not your typical affair.

And nothing unusual to romance writers, since we don’t write characters that make a woman go screaming in the opposite direction (well, sometimes we do).  They have to be gorgeous, tempting and able to consume every ounce of a reader’s fantasy, including our own.  So when I decided to write romance, I stocked up on some good reads to help prep me for what I was getting myself into.  OK, I added a bit of erotic fiction to the mix, but so what.  It all goes to the same place. 

I knew that I was going to have to abandon some of my prudish ways to accommodate the demands of the readers for that genre.  Four letter words don’t make me blush as often these days.  And wow, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself through my writing.  Getting immersed in the scenes makes the images so incredibly vivid.  I clearly see every facial expression, every movement, every action of the character that comes from a place lodged deep inside my head; behaviors that kick my muse in gear.  Who knew I had a thing for alpha males? 

I’d always written young adult fiction before I took an interest in paranormal romance.  Oh what a difference, indeed.  It’s perfectly acceptable to write a little sexual tension into a YA romance, but exceedingly fun when the characters are a bit more mature.  My YA friends wake me up on occasion too, but it’s more like a child asking for a glass of milk in the middle of the night.   

Many writers tend to develop characters based on someone they know.  It helps to conceptualize a more natural temperament to such a degree that it seems impossible to imagine the character doesn’t actually exist.  I think it’s safe to say that some of my leading men contain elements of my husband.  Did I mention tall, blue-eyed and sexy?  Now don’t get all weirded out, I’m not inviting you into my boudoir.  I said they contain elements, so subtle even I sometimes don’t realize they are there. 

Writing can encourage an author to extract the good attributes from the people around them.  Bad attributes too, so don’t piss me off.  How does this help our relationships?  Think about it.  That adorable dimpled smile that your hubby greets you with every morning just got all the more classic when you added it to your other main man; an outward acknowledgement of a trait that you treasure.  Don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to find a book of clones in each of my stories.  That would be obsessive, boring and completely wrong.  Again, subtle.  Elements.

Perhaps the biggest reason that my man doesn’t mind sharing me is the fact that episodes with my second amour foster a desire to designate special time just for him.  After spending half the morning chasing lascivious demons and dodging promiscuous ghosts out to possess a human body, I’m ready to reign myself in a little and hang with the hubby.  Would I set aside those hours in the day for him if I had nothing better to do?  Maybe.  I can say that I enjoy the moments with my husband, and appreciate them all the more knowing time is limited.

My spouse encourages and supports my other passion, no matter what hot-bodied half-blood awaits me in my reverie.  Hell, he sometimes offers insight into the mind of my secret lover.  He roots from the sidelines and pushes me when I begin to lose momentum.  And that makes him number one in my book.   

How does your spouse support your secret rendezvous?



  1. Candice Bundy said,

    Hey, my husband is always offering to help act out scenes, you know, to make sure they’re as ‘realistic as possible’. He’s a giver, that one. 😉 Critical feedback is an important part of the writing process, after all.

    And yes, our friends and associates have to always wonder, don’t they, if we’ll use them as inspiration? Usually it’s only bits and pieces, all blended together into something new, and we wonder if they’ll notice. But at that point, it’s not them anymore, just a whisper or flavor of a mood.

    Thanks Keri!

    • Keri Lake said,

      Exactly! Gotta sample the wine before committing to an entire bottle 😉 Lol
      I’ve also been asked if those around me influence my writing. How can they not? But you are right on, only a ‘whisper.’ Thanks for the comment Candice!

  2. Orlando Ramos said,

    I loved your statement that you stocked up on some good reads in preparation to your writing. That is an awesome way of getting yourself in the right frame of mind. Sometimes I do write based on someone I know but I have to change something to make it work. I have to add more anger, fearlessness, or greed. My spouse insists I need more passionate scenes in my writing. I’ll have to stock up and read more romance novels.

    • Keri Lake said,

      Reading is incredibly important to my writing. Anytime I venture into new territory, I take a look at books in that genre.
      Ha ha! Romance novels can definitely help inspire passion 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by Orlando!

  3. jabelfield said,

    Sorry I’m late to the party–been away sunning myself and lazing around. Um … yeah, I totally get this. I’m guessing the guy who purrs in your ear would be what I’d call my muse. Did I mention that mine is over 6 ft, with dark eyes and hair and a body to die for? Who the heck wouldn’t want to devote their time to that? As far as my hubby goes? Well, he’s not a reader but has never discouraged my writing, though he doesn’t understand fiction enough to offer input unless I need an educational detail to be correct about something and he often has the answer. In reaction to the men in my novels, he often asks why none of them seem to look like him. Ha! What can I say? I like to keep my fictional and real worlds as separate as possible. Doesn’t mean none of the personalitly traits of folks I know aren’t there, though. 😉

    • Keri Lake said,

      Hey!! Good to have you back 🙂 yes they are a fun little escape at times, aren’t they? Hot bodies are a must!!
      My hubby isn’t an avid reader either, but he does give me some insight into the workings of the male psyche from time to time.
      Can’t say all my leading men take after my hubby, but they are usually over 6 ft and blue-eyed (am a sucker for blue eyes on a man).
      As for other characters, I will not divulge how I’m inspired by those around me, except to say I’ve had a few ‘oh, yeah, totally’ moments…
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

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