Laura: I’m looking, but all I see is that lame bowl of fruit. Hey, maybe that’s a snack for the nekkid guy! (uses narration voice) Like the timid wildebeest of the East African plains, we use an enticing treat to draw the unclothed man out into the open.
Debbie: (shakes head) It’s the coffee again isn’t it? East African plains? Wildebeest? I don’t want to paint fruit. You told me I would have fun here, broaden my horizons, yadda, yadda. I want to paint the nekkid guy.
Laura: Right. Well, I was reading from the brochure. Let me see…. (opens brochure) It says some dude named Frank who will pose for your pleasure and unlock your inner creativity.
Debbie: Frank? You’re making that up. That’s your fish’s name. Find me the real dude and some body paint or I’m out of here.
Laura: They said he’ll be here. Oh, wait. I think that’s Fierce now…
LAURA: Hey, Fierce! Thanks for joining us to talk about your latest book.
DEBBIE: Hi Fierce. Let’s get to this before the nekkid guy comes, lol. You state in your bio you are a MezzoFiction author. I’ve never heard this term, can you explain it to us?
FIERCE: I came up with that term about sixteen years ago to describe my quirky style of writing quasi-believable stories. MezzoFiction is my way of describing method acting, not for the stage but for the page. The term doesn’t describe the validity of the stories, but how I write them. I work with trance states, and “mezzo” means middle, or medial. I go into trance when I write, sometimes not even remembering what I wrote until I look back. So, mezzofiction is about not just me thinking up things and writing them down, but sensually going into those spaces and feeling them, being them. Probably a little weird, but all in context… Giving it a name helped me to grow into it as a technique, and I use it for writing nonfiction as much as fiction.
DEBBIE: Wow, very intense. You know I’ve heard of Automatic writing, where the writer channels spirits and trance writes their words through them, but your Mezzofiction sounds very interesting. Laura goes into coffee trances all the time, but it’s probably not the same thing, huh?
LAURA: (swats Debbie) Okay, so yeah, I’ll admit I might zone out a tad if I don’t get my requisite amount of caffeine. But that’s probably just me. Coffee drinkers of the world don’t have that problem…well, I don’t think so anyway. Anyway, Fierce, I think the technique is very intriguing. I wonder if I haven’t done it myself at one time or another. I’ve gone back and read stuff that I don’t remember writing, too. But I don’t think it’s to the depth that you’re describing. Very cool.
DEBBIE: So, since you explained MezzoFiction, could you also please explain Tamagotchi? Yet another term I know nothing about.
FIERCE: LOL—It’s my metaphor for disliking HEA, and for being an adult artist in a PG-13 world. Back in the 90s kids had Tamagotchis, these virtual pets that required regular care and maintenance. The original Japanese versions died if they weren’t cared for, and when they were dead they stayed dead. When Tamagotchis came to America, kids reacted so strongly to the deaths of their virtual pets that the creators changed the programming, so that when they died they could be reset, repeatedly. That’s huge commentary on western mal-acceptance of reality, and it serves as reminder to me to include even the more unseemly aspects of life in my writing. In short: keep it real, yo.
DEBBIE: I soooo remember those things. Never had one and I can’t remember my children having them either. And you’re right, I truly believe in keeping it real!
LAURA: Wouldn’t it be cool if you could reset your pets, tho? Like reincarnation or something? Then you wouldn’t have to be sad when you came home from a week long vacation and Frank the Fish is fins up. (sigh) I loved that fish.
LAURA: They’re not pets that interact with you in general…but you do have to feed them. You know it might be interesting if we had a place like Arnold Schwarzenegger used in the movie The Sixth Day. He took his daughter’s dog to RePet in the mall and got it cloned. But then, I guess it showed how that technology could get outta hand. LOL Like in Michael Keaton’s Multiplicity. Drat…nothing’s ever simple.
DEBBIE: I think the whole lesson is you don’t FU.. uhh…Mess with mother nature. So, Fierce, your bio says you write other genres as well. Which ones and what do you like writing best?
FIERCE: I have a piece under contract that is extremely dark fetish paranormal erotica, and I’m also shopping a New Adult/Magickal Realism manuscript (with series option!). Under a different name I’ve published memoir, contemporary fiction short stories, essays, and self-help. I like writing everything, period. I joking say I can’t keep it in my literary pants, but it’s true. I just love writing.
LAURA: Hahahahaha at keeping it in your literary pants! Priceless! But it’s cool that you write so many genres. Debbie and I like to incorporate other genres into our writing as well—tho not to the level you’re talking about. Our current WIP is a mix of paranormal, magik, horror, time-travel, and alternate dimensions into a romance. Did I forget any, Deb?
DEBBIE: I think we have some fantasy in there, too. Though I’m not sure how we squeezed that in. lol
LAURA: That’s right! We used your shoehorn! LOL Okay, on to Gigolo Seduction. I love the name Asif. Very unusual for a hero. Where did you come up with that one?
FIERCE: I study name origins as a hobby. “Asif” means ‘forgiveness’ in Arabic. It was entirely fitting for the main character in Gigolo Seduction, because this guy doesn’t have much humility, and he doesn’t realize it at first, but he’s desperately seeking repentance for shadow needs. Ultimately, the name is a play on “as if,” in the modern vernacular of creating distance from something without taking ownership of the situation or your reaction to it, as in:
“Do you want to help me mow the lawn?”
The sentiment of acknowledging without really participating wholly describes Gigolo Seduction’s, Asif.
LAURA: LOL at “as if”! Course, Debbie uses that on me all the time.
“Hey, Deb, you got that chapter done?”
DEBBIE: More like “Hey Laura, have you switched to decaf yet?”
LAURA: Never! LOL (turns to guest) Great name. So very creative, Fierce. Love that! And from the blurb and excerpt, it really does seem to fit your character perfectly.
DEBBIE: I was wondering if it was a play on that because it was the first thing I thought of when I read the name. From the excerpt it appears you are quite knowledgeable in the field of artwork. Is this something you know of first hand or through research specific for the story?
FIERCE: I have a passion for frescoes, which feature in the story. The medium of painting on wet plaster has fascinated me since childhood (I was a weird kid). Frescoes have been lost in mainstream art. They’re not downloadable or portable, so they don’t get much ass these days. I wanted to feature them in a sexy urban setting. In researching Gigolo Seduction I was surprised to learn that there’s huge interest in the style, though I wonder if frescoists are ready for their medium to play backdrop to transformational sex?
DEBBIE: LOL, I guess time will tell.
LAURA: I see you wrote first person in Gigolo Seduction. Is this the POV you prefer or do you write both first and third?
FIERCE: I generally write in third person limited, involving 2-3 characters. That’s my comfort zone for keeping the pace of the plot in check and staying aligned with the characters. Two pieces I’ve written just began to flow (you know, mezzofiction) in a first person narrative, and Gigolo Seduction was the second of those. I had a knee jerk reaction to it at first, but it works for this piece.
LAURA: Debbie and I prefer deep third. For some reason, unless first person is done really, really well, it tends to grate on my nerves. I have no clue why.
DEBBIE: I have tried and tried, I just can’t read it. But still if the blurb moves me and I’ve heard good things about the story, I keep trying. Where did the idea for Gigolo Seduction come from?
FIERCE: The idea came from watching an episode of Showtime’s Gigolos. Our general perception of the sex industry is feminine. We always assume sex workers are female, and that they’re broke, strung out, and general miscreants. I found it intriguing that this show’s take on the masculine counterpart spun it as upbeat and entertaining—a completely opposite perception. Yay, more cultural “women are whores, guys are goofballs,” take. Reality is, neither is true. It left me wondering what the emotional needs of a male sex worker would be, thus Gigolo Seduction was born.
DEBBIE: Interesting concept. I’d really like to hear from the horse’s mouth. (turns to Laura) Maybe a research trip is in order just to satisfy my curiosity. Lots of face-to-face survey taking will be needed.
LAURA: What, you want me to find you some, um, guys to interview? Hey, I brought you here to paint a nekkid dude and release your inner creative child.
DEBBIE: And yet I see no nekkid dudes, do I?
LAURA: (looks at watch) He’ll show. The brochure says so. (turns) So, Fierce, when did you first start writing?
FIERCE: When I was about three. Before I learned the alphabet I dictated stories to my mother, who transcribed them. I came out wanting to tell stories and didn’t have the patience to wait to learn a language—a dynamic that pretty much still describes my overall personality: impatient, resourceful, and always writing. I first started writing professionally 21 years ago.
LAURA: Aw, so wonderful. I hope your mother kept those stories for you. I love looking back on stuff I did when I was little…a lot of it I actually remember doing.
DEBBIE: Did you always want to be an author?
FIERCE: Yes. I had no perception of writing, other than telling stories. In my late teens I delved into journalism, which lasted somewhat through college. I’m grateful for the food that expository writing has put on my plate, but my unabashed pleasure is writing fiction.
DEBBIE: Expository…hmmm sounds like you may have been an investigative reporter at one time or another. Maybe??? I love putting puzzles together.
LAURA: Yes, Deb’s a puzzle, wrapped in quirky wit, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in red velvet cake, wrapped in an enigma. She’s so deep, if I drop a stone near her psyche, you never hear it hit bottom. I’m still trying to figure her out.
DEBBIE: I can’t tell if that is a compliment or not.
LAURA: (grins) So, Fierce, on the Internet, people can portray themselves as whomever and whatever they want. I haven’t seen the non-gender tact before and find it interesting. What led you to choose this?
FIERCE: It’s wholly because I don’t identify with “gender.” I have a bio body but it doesn’t at all define who I am or what I do in this world. I’m comfortable with the idea that gender is fluid and mutable, which are concepts I build into my writing. If I’d thought of it when I began publishing nonfiction years ago, I likely would have taken the same approach then. It’s not about not wanting people to know who I am. It’s about the fact that it shouldn’t matter.
LAURA: So very true. It shouldn’t matter. Which opens a whole other topic on pen names. LOL And then there are all the books on Amazon written by Anonymous. It’s wild, and wonderful that the Internet allows literary works to be judged on their own merits. Sink or swim. So, a lot of authors have a writing routine. What’s yours? Describe a typical day for you.
FIERCE: There is no typical day. I have several jobs, all of which embrace some form of writing, and my daily schedule is based on which job takes precedence.
LAURA: Nice. Very Zen and the Art of Writing.
DEBBIE: Since we’re on the topic of writing, I’m interested in whether you’re a plotter or a pantser?
FIERCE: Both. I plot and stick to it until something shiny happens, then return and I pants the rest of the way. It works—left brain, right brain…
DEBBIE: Hmmm…same here. I was a total pantser till I started writing with Laura. Now we loosely outline.
LAURA: Yeah, it’s neat to have a “destination” but are free to allow the characters to choose their own path. I’ve read all kinds of ways stories come to writers …How do your stories come to you? Plot first, characters first, the whole story at once, or do you get a hint of an idea in the shower and struggle with it till you reach your version of perfection?
FIERCE: It varies, but what seems to recur is a specific character starts speaking to me, and this character has a very detailed past, present conflict, and drive to an outcome. Then I play out scenarios with what other kinds of characters could help the other reach that outcome, with the most drama along the way. Perfection. That’s funny! It’s happened a few times, but it’s probably more on a sentence or paragraph level, rather than a complete work. I always feel tension between how I experience that mezzo place and being able to skillfully apply words to it.
LAURA: Right! Stories are all about the drama, otherwise readers get bored. LOL What about pets? Do you have any?
FIERCE: I have a cat in the double decades. He’s pretty amazing. ...
LAURA: Aw, kitties are so sweet. Course, mine love to sit on my keyboard. LOL And I have a friend whose cats steal her pens. Hmm…wonder if it’s to write a ransom note: We’ll exchange the pens for Greek yogurt. No yogurt, no pens. And none of that cheap yogurt. We’re cats. We can tell.
DEBBIE: Two Maine Coon cats here. Love my boys to pieces.
LAURA: So, here we are. At Last! Time for our wacky author question! Here goes…and it’s tough, Fierce, but we have faith you’ll survive…. Our final signature wacky question…
....You're in a car on the highway flying down the road at 70mph and the accelerator gets stuck. When you try them, you discover the brakes don't work either. All you have is a stick of dynamite and a screaming monkey in the backseat. What do you do?
FIERCE: OK, it’s not about what I would do—it’s what Sayid Jarrah would do. Channeling him, I would “convince” the monkey to STFU and take the wheel while I crawl down to rewire the entire acceleration and braking mechanisms into my OnStar, creating a high-powered shortwave radio in about 45 seconds. Then, triangulating those signals, I would send a distress call to local law enforcement, to whom once they stopped us via helicopter with one of those giant runaway traffic nets I would hand over the dynamite, because after what happened to Arzt I don’t mess with that stuff.
LAURA: By gosh, Fierce didn’t even blink!
DEBBIE: I think that is the most resourceful answer we’ve had yet, lol. A pure MacGyver move.
LAURA: Wow! And very courageous letting the monkey drive. Extra points for the speedy rewire and the runaway net. I say, if the monkey kept it in the road, you survived!!
DEBBIE: LOL My answer was grabbing the monkey and letting it soften my fall as I jumped out of the car, or sticking the dynamite in it’s mouth so I could concentrate, but Laura told me that neither scenario would not be politically correct. Whatever.
LAURA: Well, we don’t need animal cruelty activists coming down on us…much less homeland security.
DEBBIE: Fine, just so ya’ll know, no monkeys were harmed in the production of this post. Better?
DEBBIE: Alright. The dynamite was a commentary on the state of the human psyche in juxtaposition to the screaming monkey, which is an allegory to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
DEBBIE: The question was fiction. There was no monkey. There was no dynamite. See? Problem solved.
LAURA: So, we’re good.
DEBBIE: What do you think?
LAURA: Alrighty then. Thanks for dropping by, Fierce. We had a great time!
DEBBIE: Yes, it was most interesting learning about you. Thanks for taking the time to put up with us.
Laura: So, back to painting. Hey…here comes Frank the nekkid guy model. Ooo…nice face. Wonder what’s under that towel??
Debbie: I’m sorry, but he’s going to have to change his name. Frank just reminds me too much of your dead fish. Ruins the mood.
Laura: But hey…look. Finger paint. And if it helps, we’ll call him…Giovani.
Debbie: (dips both hands into the paints) I think I’ll call him Cyclops…
Debbie: (glances at towel on floor) Think about it. Or look it up. While you’re googling I’ll be painting. See ya.
BUY LINK Available this May from Decdent Publishing
Mezzo fiction author, Fierce is imagination shapeshifted as a scribe taunting blank pages and carpal tunnel, neither of which are much use for deadlines. Close allies are impeccable timing and a trusty masseuse. Being a switch I/ENFP doesn't hurt. For kicks Fierce has other personas across several genres, tends to fill in “Other” on surveys without explaining, and chooses the finality of the Japanese Tamagotchi. In summary: Fierce write all kind of dirty things that you probably shouldn’t ever read…
Long in passion’s service, confident Asif enjoys his life as a thirty-something escort, bringing romance into the lives of metropolitan socialite cougars. Gifted at seducing wealthy white MILFs and bringing them endless pleasure, the arrogant Persian eschews investing in a personal life. A chance meeting with young artist, Cass, while on the job at a gala event, changes his perspective on women forever, and unleashes desires Asif never knew he had.
....“Are your works always so intricate?” She shakes her head, again scanning the tower, though my eyes stay on her.
....“Frescoes are always detailed and hard work, but this is way above and beyond. Layering in kinetic elements to give moving light and dimensional depth is my dream project come true. Most of my projects are just frescoes.”
....“Just frescoes.” I laugh. “They’re noble and valiant relics in the art world.”
....“They’re actually in high demand.” Her tone is matter-of-fact. “Though few people can afford them.”
....“Well, you’ve outdone yourself here,” I affirm. Her smile is sincere, her pride evident, elegant, enchanting. “It’s taken quite a long time to come together, and I’ve left the plasterer more than a little frustrated on several occasions.”
....“I can’t imagine him staying angry for long….”
....“They’ve given me deep creative license over the project, so that’s saved my ass a couple of times.
...It’s kind of mind-blowing to work on something so limitlessly funded.” Our eyes lock for mere seconds and the silence is disturbing. “I was just going for a bite to eat. Would you care to join me?”
...Cass nods. “I’d like to, but I need to finish this section. This medium doesn’t wait well.”
....She’s genuinely interested and I want her to be. I want her to be as affected as I am. Before I can prod further she asks, “Maybe another time?”
....Reluctantly, I follow her to the elevator. She opens it with a pass card attached to a cord coiled on the drawstring of her pants. My eyes linger on the brilliant green gem in her navel. “What’s your name?”
....“Asif,” I reply without hesitating. The sound is bare, like a secret revealed, though I don’t understand why. I always use my real name.
....“Another time, Asif.” The doors slide closed, and I agree.
Read Gigolo Seduction along with the Reader’s Guide, at www.fiercedolan.com.