Build Us a Story- A. Nybo, author of The Devil’s Breath
How I spent my $10:
$6 Story/plot/character of your option
I tend to want more than just two people ‘meeting’ in a romance story. I want to see them battle through hard times, amusing times, and exciting times. So, for me a strong subplot where it’s the lovers against the world instead of against each other, is always going to win out. That’s why I’m drawn toward romantic thrillers/mysteries/suspense because these stories throw the lovers together to fight a common cause even though there is often still friction between them on how to go about dealing with whatever problem they’re confronted with.
I’m particularly fond of the hurt/comfort subgenre but I also like strong characters. But strong doesn’t mean indestructible. I like watching how characters deal with the difficulties life throws at them and life can deal some awful hands. Sometimes things are overwhelming, and it takes time to process things before being able to get up and fight back. Watching characters do this is what makes them interesting to me.
I don’t mind how outrageous a plot is, but it must make sense and elements need to be plausible. For example, I once read a story where a guy broke his collar bone during a fight, did a commando roll, and got up and continued fighting. In my mind, that’s not plausible—broken collar bone + commando roll does ≠ more fighting. To me it equals writhing on the ground in agony.
$3 Passionate open-door sex
I don’t want endless pages of sex. I want the sex to mean something. I want to be invested in it. Hence my purchase of the open-door sex item. If I’m going to read about intimate relationships, I want the sex too, as it signifies a heightened sense of intimacy between the characters—I want it ALL!
While I started out reading straight romances, once I discovered m/m romances (gay romance) I became a convert. They offer a significantly different type of relationship between the protagonists. Although there may still be power imbalances, there is a lot to be said for reading about relationships where gender isn’t a factor. I’ve read some hilarious sex scenes in m/m (or f/f) that just wouldn’t fly in an m/f story due to intrinsic sexism (of course the hilarity may just be my twisted sense of humour).
$1 Unquestioned trust between characters
Being a fan of a slow burn romance, I like the emotion to build between the characters, so we get to feel and experience that wavering, indecisiveness about whether they have enough belief in each other to risk baring their hearts. But once they do trust, it is that unquestioned, complete, all in kind of trust. Because I like these elements so much, I wrote a story that included them all! The Devil’s Breath is just such a story. It is an m/m contemporary hurt/comfort thriller where a slow burn romance leads to some raunchy sex.
The Devil’s Breath
Henri’s stalker has left him with a paradoxical legacy: his mind rebels at the thought of being touched—the very thing his body craves.
For three years Henri has fought to overcome the horrors of the past. Now on the other side of the world—after leaving Australia for Canada—Henri’s nemesis is hunting him with maniacal focus. Trying to escape, he meets Birch, a kind horse trainer, who’s confounded by Henri’s idiosyncrasies even as he is drawn to him. But when Birch discovers the truth, he encourages Henri not to just survive, but to live.
Maybe even to love.
About the Author:
A. Nybo has tried conventional methods (a psych degree and a GC in Forensic Mental Health) but far prefers the less conventional, such as the occasional barbecue in the rain, 400km drives at 1am for chocolate, and multiple emergency naps in any given 24hr period.
Western Australian born, she has been spotted on the other side of the planet several times–usually by mosquitoes. And discovered Amazonian mosquitoes love her just as much as they do in her home state.