How to Balance Everything and Look Flawless Doing It…

Riiiiiiight.

Hello again, Readers!

It feels like it gets longer and longer between posts at the moment, but that’s largely because I’m moving slower with my writing too.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a new job which actually comes with a massive training course alongside it, so I’m pretty damn busy at the moment.

And let’s not forget that we have officially entered the craziest time of the year: Holiday Season! My family celebrates Christmas and I’m sure we all know just how much that gets in the way of everything else. Have I done any writing today? Nope; I’ve been busy wrapping presents for neighbours I don’t know and relatives I don’t like. Ho, ho, ho!

To be honest, I’m so charmed by the season since I became a Mum that none of the annoying aspects of it bother me at all anymore. I was even blasting the Christmas radio station (oh yeah, that’s a thing) in my car the other day. When I see my boy writing letters, looking out for reindeer, decorating a tree, baking cookies…frankly, you’d be hard pushed to sour my eggnog.

Anyway, back to writing. Because I’ve had to slow down in pretty much every aspect of my life to balance it all, I’ve actually had to look a lot more closely at my writing to make sure I’m using my time effectively. As such, I’ve found another weird niche that I’m quite good at; erotic horror/sci-fi. I’ve done a few stories in this genre before, mostly because the occasion (Halloween) called for it.

But having this time constraint has meant I’ve had to write what comes the most naturally to me, and it seems that the weird stuff is just pouring out of me uncontrollably. It’s my first high school party all over again!

So, I’m currently working on my new Erotic short, tentatively named, ‘Slime Lake.’ Though the title may yet change. It’s an erotic horror and a loving homage to the films I loved in the 90’s. It’s a little tongue in cheek, and a little tongue in anus.

Sorry, I’m in that kind of a mood.

On that note, I leave you with a quote from a British politician who absolutely would not have ended up starring on I’m A Celebritity…

‘Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’ – Winston Churchill

It should be noted, he was a big drinker, and ‘failure’ may have been code for ‘pub.’

Take care,

Strange

And we’re ready write…

More of a post than a blog post a suppose, I just felt like sharing this incredibly important part of my writing process. You know, in case it helps any of you other writers out there.

1) Make a hot chocolate.

2) Don’t skimp on the whipped cream and sprinkles.

3) Write the next Jurassic Park with your new found, hot chocolate fuelled inspiration.

You’re welcome 😎

Take care,

Strange

I guess I’m selling… in?

Hey Strangers!

So, remember a little while back, I said I was considering expanding my horizons somewhat? Well, I’ve decided to take the plunge: I’m writing a full on, in-one-piece, romantic-rather-than-erotic novel!

And, to top it off, I’m actually going to try to submit it to a publisher and see if I can get it published traditionally.

I should note that I have a few pros and cons for this decision. The pros are mostly that it’s going to serve as a milestone for my writing: it’s mainstream, full length and I may actually get critiqued (rejected) by someone in ‘the biz.’

There’s also the obvious pro that in some wonderful universe where I need to buy a lotto ticket, I might actually get published! Live the dream: book release…public appearances…a movie? Dinner with RuPaul? The sky’s the limit.

Now for the cons. The genre of the book is paranormal/ adventure/romance so I still get to be a bit flirty and dirty in my writing, but it’s much more vanilla than the Strange brand usually presents. Not that I mind that, it’s just going to be a learning curve for me. I mean, I find whips and chains super romantic, but where’s the line for the rest of the world?

Also, it means a lot of my energy is being put into one place. I’ll still be writing my shorts on the side, but they won’t be as regular and that worries me because I don’t want to lose the 5mph traction I’ve built over the last year and half.

The scariest thing for me though, is I won’t be writing under my pen name, I’ll be writing under my real name. Because this isn’t erotica, I don’t have to hide my identity. Which is great for the most part, I can actually stand up and take credit for my work. But I’m actually a little sad to shrug off K M Strange. I feel like I’ve grown so much with her, the writing style, the colours, even the colour scheme. It’s all very me. I know I can apply the same style to my real name, but I still can’t risk being connected.

Of course, if I hit the big time I can quit my day job and come out of the stationary cupboard once and for all. Then there will be no shutting me up! Muhahaha!

Anyone out there had any experience in traditional publishing, I’d be very grateful for your tips, tricks or even just your stories.

(Sorry, not your stories; I’m not trying to steal your work. I meant your experiences. I swear…)

Saul Bellow said, “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

If someone wakes me in the middle of the night to write they’ll have to redo it completely because I’ll have made them eat it. I’m a Mum.

Take care!

Strange

No Pressure, 2022

Hello, readers and a very Happy New Year to all of you!

(I know I’m the last out of the gate with this, but hey, fashionably late is how I roll.)

So, I feel like most of us can agree the last few years have hardly been the best. You know, globally. I daren’t even say, ‘I didn’t have a great year,’ because I fully expect to hear a roaring, ‘No shit, Strange!’ from the world in response.

I did actually have a few personal, non-COVID related grievances though. I mean, it’s still not a competition, but let’s just say I’m now the oldest living woman in my family at the tender age of 30-something.

Closer to 30. #justsayin.

Anyway, in a truly unique and unpredictable manner, I’m writing this post with the intention of discussing my plans for New Year and my hopes that it, and I, will be much improved.

Are we talking about resolutions, Strange? Yes, dear readers, I’m afraid we are. As well as general plans and ideas.

…still there? Anyone?

Well, for those of you still with me, let’s start with resolutions. When I was younger I used to make a list of like ten that never came to fruition. As I have grown wiser, (I think I mentioned I am the matriarch and therefore automatically the wisest woman in my family now) I make fewer, much more achievable goals. This years are as follows:

1) Eat healthier. No, seriously. Not like, eat less chocolate or whatever, I’m actually pretty healthy as it is, I’m just trying to level up. My rule of thumb is, if I can’t honestly say it’s good for me, it’s not going in my mouth. -Insert fellatio joke here.-

2) Learn a language. I love languages and I can make very polite observations in about five. For example, ‘Eyeh, Baka, ei-tai!’ Is ‘No, idiot. That hurts.’ In Japanese. Spelled phonetically lof course. But I’ve decided I need to finally be fluent in at least one.

3) Make significant progress to making writing my career and giving up my day job. That ones fairly self-explanatory. So long, London Underground!

And that’s it. Nothing too major. But all of it (barring maybe the language one,) is because 2021 taught me one thing above all else; my life isn’t of value to me as much as it is to my family. I owe it to them to live as long and as fully as I can so that my son is not left without his parents in his early-thirties.

In the short-term, I’m currently working on the third and final Sophisticated Beasts story, and it’s flowing easier than some of my previous stories already, which I feel must be a good sign. I’m working hard to apply the feedback I’ve gotten from last year, (particularly from Priscilla Bettis, a horror author who is far too talented and well-known to waste her time giving some newbie erotic author a full and thorough review for every book and yet always takes the time to, anyway. Do check out her new book, The Hay Bale, if you feel like being chilled to your bones!) to improve my writing as much as possible.

I’d love to know, readers, what are your resolutions or projects for the new year? Anything I can check out?

So, here’s to 2022. It literally can’t be worse than 2021, right? Right.

“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie coined that phrase, and the makers of the Matrix swear by it.

We’re Going Through Changes…

Truth be told, I do not love that song. If I had to choose though, like gun to my head, I’d probably listen to the Osbourne’s version over the original. Don’t judge me!

Quick disclaimer; this post is not really about writing, more an update/life musings post. If you’re not in the mood for that, feel free to close this and read a more relevant post. It’s cool, I feel ya.

Thank God you’re still here. I mean, I was playing it cool but honestly my self-esteem is entirely hinged on your continued interest in this post.

Aaaaanyway…lately I’ve had a lot of stuff go down. Real stuff. I mentioned a while ago that I lost a relative recently, I don’t want to go into details, but it was someone who I really feel like I needed more time with. I’ve been working through the ole’ grieving process with my usual grace and resilience (cut to me sobbing under bed while muffling my cries with cinnamon buns) but I’m learning a lot about myself as I go.

The biggest impact it’s had is that I’ve had to seriously reassess my self-image and understanding where I fit in this crazy world. As a result, I’ve been hella insecure lately. Which has made me massive amounts of fun to be around.

So far though, as I build this new chapter/version of myself I’ve found a few things: 1) I want to be a writer more than anything (career wise) and I’ve thrown myself into it as a result. My short story collection for Halloween is coming along at breakneck speed. 2) Being a mum was always at my core, but now I really understand the gravitas of the relationship for the child. There is no other job that could possibly compare. 3) I’m funny even when I’m sad. Ironic win.

So, there you have it. I’m slowly emerging as a new version of myself and I’m excited to see how it progresses. If any of you can relate, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Faraaz Kazi said, ‘No matter how bad your heart is broken, the world does not stop for your grief.’

Well, fuck you too Kazi. 😒

Take care,

Strange

A Work in Progress…again.

Hello, readers! How are we all?

So, I wanted to mention that things may be a bit quiet in the Strange warehouse at the moment, it’s going to be a little while before a new title is released.

Not that I’m not working on it…I am! But the last few months I wasn’t up to my best. I lost a family member in March, so I was busy grieving and organising the funeral etc, while also trying to write. The writing was a welcome distraction to be honest, but I realise now that it meant that some of what I released wasn’t up to my usual standard.

Anyway, I went back and re-edited some of my more recent titles to bring them up to scratch, and then I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound! So I’m now going back over my older work too, just to make sure everything is as good quality as possible.

That’s it, really. Not that I think you’re all out there watching your computers obsessively waiting for my next title, I just didn’t want you to think I’d faded in to the oblivion of lost writers. I did visit there once for a holiday, wouldn’t go back; the service was awful. Great food though…

Salvador Dali said, ‘Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.’

Well, ill show ewe Mr Dali!

Take care,

Strange

Inappropriate? (But Not in a Good Way?)

So, as a writer of all things kinky and some things funny, I’m not one to back down from being a little risqué or inappropriate at times. But I read something recently that literally made my jaw drop:

I’m not supposed to answer reviewers?!

I’m still pretty new to this, but apparently it’s actually considered a faux pas to respond to reviews, even positive ones. I’m not complaining, I was just genuinely surprised.

I don’t mean that I would want to argue with a negative review, I’ve always said I take feedback gratefully as I’m still learning. But I’m a naturally chatty person, and I’m always super pleased with any review so I like to say thanks.

But have I been making an awkward situation for reviewers? I wouldn’t want to put them off reviewing my writing! Is this something that’s standard practise or just something some reviewers feel?

Writers: do you answer reviews? And if you are a reviewer, what are your thoughts?

And most importantly- how many times can I slot the word ‘review’ into one post? So many questions!

Rumi said that silence has so much to say. What he didn’t know, is that when K M Strange is around, silence doesn’t get a word in edge-wise.

What Laid Beneath

Okay, so not my best title ever, but it actually illustrated my point quite nicely. Recently I’ve been pondering a particular question; does horror and erotica really mix?

Now, I already know the initial answer; yes of course it does, duh! It’s not for everyone, but then, what kink or sexual preference is? I myself have found several horror-based erotica’s very exciting and some of my all time favourite fantasies fall into the genre.

There are so many trails one could follow once you start tiptoeing down this dark path- paranormal romance is the obvious and possibly safer starting point, but there are so many others too. Werewolf attacks are surprisingly popular, and I’ve always been partial to a good ‘Taken by a Ghost’ story. Even zombies are featured from time to time.

So, what makes the horrifying so seductive? Personally, I enjoy the feeling of being subdued and taken as my base-line, and there is plenty of scope for this in horror; you can’t outrun a monster, can’t overpower a werewolf, and you don’t have to worry about the awkward ‘Ive got an early meeting’ chat with a vampire because he is back in his coffin long before sunrise.

The reason I’m pondering all this is because I was inspired to write something with a horror element to it. I’m about half way through and I have to admit, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. I get to do my usual sexy antics but with even more creative freedom. It’s like writing a nightmare in a fantasy.

The bottom line is, I’m having so much fun stretching my creative muscles with this story, but how will it translate to the readers? That I don’t know. Mr Strange is concerned that’s it’s off-brand. I say, I am my brand so whatever I write will always be a K M Strange classic. I’m a bit of an ass like that.

It’s not exactly terrifying, just a little sexy/scary. I’m just testing the waters, as they say.

So, what say you, dear reader? Is there passion to be found in the depths of the horror genre? Or do you tend to steer clear of the Big Bad Wolf?

Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp said, ‘Whatever you do…don’t fall asleep.’

If I had a quid for every time I had to give that advice…

Take care,

Strange

Cracked it!

I know, I know, it’s a little late for an Easter joke. I can’t help it, I’m just so egg-cited!

For those of you still reading, thank you for seeing past my cheesy humour…

So, today I’m writing because I feel like I’ve overcome some kind of huge writing block this week. I’m still working on the story I mentioned in my last post, and up until yesterday, I was really struggling with certain elements of it.

I found I was able to write the main story okay, but it was lacking some depth. I felt like I was hanging out with these characters but they weren’t being upfront with me about everything I needed to know.

You know when you’re at a party and there’s tension and pointed comments made between two of the guests but you don’t get where they come from? It was a bit like that. I was genuinely starting to worry about how I was going to pull the story together.

I kept going though, hoping that if I stuck with it, played nice and earned the other guests trust, they would confide in me the big secret I was missing. And that’s exactly what happened.

It was a bit of a gamble, because for a while there, I thought I might end up getting to 20,000 words before having to just bin the whole thing. Now, though, I’m genuinely excited about finishing this story with the added information I have.

Has anyone else experienced this with their writing? Sometimes I feel like I’m only half in control of my stories, and that the characters I write have a degree of autonomy… it means that I actually often don’t know exactly what’s going to happen even when I’m writing.

…maybe I’m just a little mad. But shh, don’t tell my characters, I don’t want them to think they can get one over on me!

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this; George Santayana said, ‘Sanity is madness put to good use.’ I wonder how much erotica he read before he came to that conclusion?

Take care,

Strange

The Thing About Weirdos…

Have you ever felt like you didn’t really belong? Like when you look around, it’s like watching Planet of the Apes- sure everyone looks vaguely like you, and the world looks familiar, but you still don’t quite fit? Also Helena Bonham Carter is there without Jonny Depp? It’s all just a little off.

When I was a teenager, this feeling made me very self-conscious. I tried to keep myself to myself and when I got physically and verbally attacked by other teens, I just took it because I felt like I deserved it. I was an outsider in their world after all.

Yep, like pretty much all creative people, I had a hard time as teen. Boohoo. You know what though? The thing about weird people is…they grow up to be freaking awesome.

I’m not just talking about me here, though I do think I’m pretty awesome. And hot. And humble. But it’s actually the case of almost all weird people I’ve met or know of. The fact is, weird youngsters get a hard time because most people their age don’t see the oddness for what it is- Intelligence/creativity/humour.

Believe it or not, I didn’t even see this truth clearly until I was re-watching (for the billionth time) a series of RuPauls Drag Race and the Queens were talking about how they were ostracised as teens, and now they’re revered for their art.

I’m in my 30s and I’m only just now starting to put myself out there a little more with my writing and my humour etc, and the funny thing is, it’s not just hearing that other people like what I’m doing that’s so empowering, it’s how I feel about what I’m doing.

My point is, if you, like me, ever feel or felt like you’re not normal- it’s because you’re not, and that’s a really, really good thing. The world might not get you yet, but they will. And when that day comes, make sure you’re ready to show exactly what you’re made of!