Friday, March 6, 2009

claire thompson - DIK day 2

Today I want to talk about Polar Reaction! It’s my first m/m/m. You can read an excerpt over at Samhain and you can read another one over at my site so I won’t waste the space here pasting one. I thought it’d be more fun to talk about ménages in general and m/m/m ménages specifically, the challenge of writing one and why women like to read them.

This is my third ménage but my first one with all guys. The challenge in all of them for me as a writer was how to make it realistic. I mean, you have to suspend a certain amount of reality to believe three people could really make it work. Two is hard enough, right? But add in the inevitable jealousies between three, and the complications and the wondering who loves whom more or different and it can become a mess. Add in the fact one is gay, one is bi and the third always thought he was straight…until he got stranded in the frozen tundra with these two hotties.

I tried to imagine the desperate feeling of facing possible death at any moment. Of knowing you might not be rescued in the small window of time before the Antarctic winter set in, making rescue impossible until it was too late.

One thing the three guys did have was liquor. A whole stash of it. They drank to relieve their stress and distract themselves from feeling helpless and trapped. Naturally it had the added effect of lowering inhibitions. A little casual experimentation led to more…much more.

Introducing the three heroes - Brendan, the ostensibly straight guy, is the team leader and the oldest of the three (at 34). Tucker is in the middle. He’s the easiest going and the one who really holds the three together. He’s the most comfortable in his own skin. Jamie, the youngest, is the only openly gay guy of the three. At first he watches the budding lust between Tucker and Brendan from the sidelines, increasingly jealous and aching to bust in. Tucker provides the overture, the two of them connecting while Brendan fights his ‘gay demons’ as he tries to come to grips with his undeniable and intense attraction to Tucker.

Tucker and Jamie actually work together stateside, and Brendan and Tucker had collaborated on a different research project in the past and even back then, though he barely admitted it to himself, Brendan was taken with the handsome Tucker. I especially enjoyed working on Brendan, because of his conflicted feelings. He isn’t my first hero to be conflicted about his sexual orientation. Johnny in Golden Boy didn’t even know he was gay until he was sucker punched by his fierce attraction to another man. Ryan in Perfect Cover and Donovan in Island of Temptation were likewise clueless until a good man showed them the light.

I think readers enjoy watching that process of self-discovery. It’s fun to become involved in the growth and rising self-awareness, which gives the story a richer texture and more angst. We all know romance readers need their daily dose of angst!

Another challenge in Polar Reaction was how to bring Brendan and Jamie together. For most of the book, the connection between the three really hinged largely on Tucker. I needed to find a way for Brendan and Jamie to connect in their own unique way. I do believe I found the solution toward the end, but you’ll have to read it and let me know what you think!

One more thing, I couldn’t resist throwing in just a dash of BDSM into the heady mix of m/m/m sex… Those of you who have read my books know this is my first passion. It’s just a flavoring in this novel though, not the whole meal. Mostly the focus is on the dynamics of discovering passion while in the midst of a very dangerous and possibly fatal situation, and then figuring out how the hell to return to normal life when the intensity of the situation is lifted.

I had great fun writing it. Stay tuned tomorrow and we’ll be giving away a free copy!


Jenre said...

Ooh! I've just started reading this and it's really good so far.

Lea said...

Hi Claire:

Thank you for discussing the dynamics of your characters and how their relationship in the book evolves.

I have to admit, I've read very few m/m themed books and there has always been a female involved in the sexual equation as well. However your book does sound very intriguing. I've actually read some wonderful comments regarding your writing and the story.

I will add it to my list.

Best Regards

Carolyn Crane said...

This sounds wonderful - I love the setup and the interesting dynamics you've created! Fun. (Except, of course, the being stranded part.) But I'm sure they get rescued.

sula said...

oh wow, this looks yummy. I can't say that I have read a menage in which all of the parts are of the m variety. sounds like something I need to read!

Anonymous said...

hi Claire! I can't wait to get started on Polar Reaction this weekend! It is loaded on my reader and ready to go!

jessewave said...

Hey Claire
Great to see that everyone is interested in Polar Reaction. Three men stranded in the Antarctic? I'm looking forward to reading it as well.

N.J.Walters said...

Sounds like an intriguing book.

Tracy said...

I think it's really interesting that you had Tucker and Brendan showing their budding lust towards each other first. Especially with Jamie being the openly gay man. This sounds really interesting and of course you throw in frozen tundra - all the better. :)

Renee said...

"I think readers enjoy watching that process of self-discovery. It’s fun to become involved in the growth and rising self-awareness, which gives the story a richer texture and more angst."

Wow, I never thought about it quite that way before. I've always been a tad disbelieving or impatient with characters in m/m who are so clueless, but I like that idea of being able to experience their budding self-awareness as it happens.

Claire Thompson said...

Renee, That's exactly how I feel. I can't stand reading something where the characters are the only ones completely blind to something that should be obvious (Like the hero and heroine who HATE each other most of the book, even though we KNOW they're going to fall madly in love.) In my writing I try really hard to steer clear of that kind of artificial construct. Yes - it's romance and thus HEA, but I want it to be REAL. Real, flawed, fucked-up confused guys who somehow manage to work past their insecurities and fear of intimacy or whatever their issue is. In other words, someone a reader can actually relate to and root for. Hopefully I achieved that goal with these three guys. You'll have to let me know!

Renee said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful reply! :-)

Anonymous said...

I bought Polar Reaction yesterday and plan on reading it today. It sounds very nice!

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