Saturday, November 05, 2011

Monica Burns: Black Leather

Black leather. What is it about a man wearing it that makes them so damn sexy? When I think about that question, I immediately visualize a bad boy. Why? Because only the bad boys wear black leather and look different from what society deems “ordinary.” It’s one of the reasons why I put my Sicari heroes AND heroines in black leather. The material just speaks to me. It says hot, sleek, and sexy. When you combine it with a group of Italians who are like a covert Justice League who can trace their lineage back to ancient Rome, you’ve got a recipe for paranormal adventure, swords, and hawt romance.

Leather is just one small piece of fabric I use to create my Sicari world. All authors have trade tools they wield with the same expertise as brilliant swordsmen when they’re building a world for their characters. In my Sicari world, every detail I include is critical because it doesn’t just enhance the atmosphere and ambience of the books, it’s vital for a reader’s understanding of the characters. For instance, if I just dropped a sword into a character’s hand and made them use it without explaining to the reader the why of it, something’s lost in the translation. There’s nothing to ground the reader. BUT, if they’re given bits and pieces of fabric from the Sicari world, they understand exactly why it is that the Sicari use swords as opposed to other types of weapons.

Other remnants of fabric I use are things like the levels of abilities of different people in the Sicari world. Then there’s the motto they use when they’re ready to charge into battle. Bis vivit qui bene moritur. He lives twice who dies well. Just that one tidbit alone is enough to tell a reader exactly what kind of heroes and heroines there are in the book. That saying clarifies that the Sicari are proud warriors who believe that there is honor in death when it comes to protecting the innocent and righting wrongs.

Like a multi-colored, layered quilt, authors use different pieces of information to weave a strong fabric that makes up the world that our characters live in. With each little kernel that’s added to that world, readers can accurately visualize the book’s world. The world essentially is its own character, and an author uses that inanimate character to enhance the overall flavor of the book.

In some ways it’s like being the chef in a restaurant. The author is the chef concocting a familiar recipe with each book, but altering it slightly to fit the current work.  Sometimes the world evolves smoothly and naturally. At other times, it’s a struggle to bring the world together in a way that readers will understand. Through it all, writers sew all these minor facts together in a book’s world, to create a familiar setting for the reader. It can be a challenge, but it’s one of the things that makes my job as an author totally rawk. And it sure doesn’t hurt when I have to think about hawt sexy heroes in black leather.

Read the first three chapters of Inferno’s Kiss

An award-winning author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.


The Brunette Librarian said...

I love you cover :) Gorgeous!

Great post today. I loved the analogy of how an author is like a cook. Very similar!

rachie2004 AT yah00 *d8t* c-m

Monica Burns said...

Glad you enjoyed the post, Rach

marybelle said...

I agree about the black leather - it adds something more.

Di said...

It's all this extra bits of background that makes a story complete, like set decoration of a movie to make the scene look right.