Everyone, Kristina is here, hot on the heels of Snoggy Sunday. She's going to tell us about the style of her new release, Undone, which I thought worked perfectly, and allows her to lead us around by the nose as she likes (at least, that was my experience). Don't you love this cover? Unf.
Undone: writing about writing
Undone is told from Lana Greenwood’s perspective in the format of a diary or journal narrative. I tend to write female characters given to introspection and analysis, and this choice of narrative allowed me to foreground that without, I hope, detracting from the hot, sexy action.
Lana starts committing her thoughts to paper after a man is found dead following a threesome with herself and guy she’s recently met, Sol Miller. Eager to protect their privacy, Lana and Sol agree to keep the kinky encounter secret from the police. soon, Lana suspects sol may be implicated in the death but even so, she can’t tear herself away from their developing relationship. Her journal is a bid to retain control as her emotions threaten her stability, and to keep a record of events to help if she’s called in for questioning.
In one sense, Lana’s writings form a diary: entries are dated and the point is to note the day’s events. but they are partly a journal too because the point is not merely to record events but also feelings.
Using this format presented some interesting challenges and opportunities for me as a writer. Relating events via diary entries meant I didn’t need to close off or continue scenes as I might do with a more conventional chapter structure. I could have small sections focusing on Lana’s troubled mind along with diary entries which resembled more typical scenes. Diary entries sometimes stop or start with Lana fretting about the past or the future, or about Sol or her own behavior. The content of the entries doesn’t always correspond to the date of the entry, as Lana struggles to find time to keep track. At times I remind readers this is a diary they’re reading while at others, I hope the story takes over and its method of presentation recedes into the background.
I used a similar framing device in my third novel, Split, told from the point of view of Kate Carter. The whole novel is effectively Kate explaining to her boyfriend, via a journal, why she’s fled their life in London to take up a job in a remote puppet museum on the Yorkshire moors. For the most part, the story takes precedence and readers soon forget Kate’s initial motivations for relaying her tale. By contrast, in Undone, Idon’t allow my readers to forget for too long that Lana is writing her story. The dated diary entry format helps but also, Lana, particularly in the early part of the novel, is quite conscious of the act of writing and story-telling.
Below is a snip where one entry ends and another begins. The action here starts with Lana, having detailed the intense, troubling sex she had with sol in the woods on the morning the body is discovered, recalls their post-coital tranquility.
“We edged together and he wrapped his arm behind me, pulling me close. I lay sideways, my head on his chest, and draped a leg across his. he twisted a finger in my hair. I listened to his heartbeat pumping in his ribcage. The filtered sunlight was strengthening, dabbing my skin with warmth. Leaves stirred around us while birdsong fluted and fluttered. After a few minutes, sol’s breathing slowed. His legs twitched as he drifted towards sleep. He stopped toying with my hair. We dozed for twenty minutes or so. I slipped in and out of consciousness, tired but too uncomfortable to relax fully.
I’m remembering the scene as I write this, and it’s as if I’m gazing down on a couple of time-travellers who’ve pitched up in another era, naked and lost. The woodland looks so restful, the sleepers so at peace. She’s pale, blonde and slender. He’s dark, broad and powerful, holding her close, even while he sleeps.
The woman lying there seems a different person to the woman writing this journal. It’s late. I need to stop and try to get some sleep. I swam thirty-six lengths today. It doesn’t seem to have tired me as much as I’d hoped.
Friday 4th July
I’ve made some good decisions in recent years. Today, I feel the need to remind myself of these as self-recriminations pile up in the wake of too many bad decisions. I swear I can feel Sol on me after Wednesday, still holding me down. It’s been two days since he visited me. He’s become a constant presence in my psyche. Everything I do, even this now, writing my journal in an empty bar, feels like an act of resistance against him, a fight to be free.
I do not want to be consumed by a man, to be lost in the chaos of lust and love. And yet the pull to abandon myself to such disruption is enormous and terrifying.”
If you’d like to know more, please hop over to my blog for an excerpt from Undone, and check out the other stops on my sexy September blog tour.
Kristina Lloyd writes erotic fiction about sexually submissive women who like it on the dark, dirty and dangerous side. her novels are published by black lace and her short stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including several ‘best of’ collection, in both the UK and US. she lives in Brighton, England.
When Lana Greenwood attends a glamorous house party she finds herself tempted into a ménage à trois. But the morning after brings more than just regrets over fulfilling a fantasy one night stand. One of the men she's spent the night with is discovered dead in the swimming pool. Accident, suicide or murder, no one is sure and Lana doesn't know where to turn. Can she trust Sol, the other man, an ex-New Yorker with a dirty smile and a deep desire to continue their kinky game?
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I'm just going to add one little thing to this, a song that goes awfully, awfully well :) Vida xx