I finally worked out this whole ‘artistry’ thing is never going to support my thirst for rare liquors, unorthodox entertainment and exotic locations. The word ‘art’ is offensive to most people I know. What was I thinking? I was brought up on football, surfing, beer and public nudity. What interest could I possibly have in art?
After writing a neo-noir novel, I now know if Amazon doesn’t have a category for your story, forget it. Put your integrity and pride aside and get to the job at hand: massive box sets. I’m going where the dollars are: paranormal romance. You, my dear reader, will be among the few who will know my identity because I’ll not only choose a new pen name but also invent a fictitious co-writer.
I need a strong name. I might go for ‘Conrad Powers’. My collaborator will be my estranged wife but occasional lover, Aurora Lacey. We met while we were the headlining acrobats at a circus in Berlin. That was until the catastrophic accident that ended my career as a world-class gymnast, left me with a limp (not a very bad one though) and derailed our relationship.
While I was trapped in that hospital bed for an eternity (about three days) I became bitter and treated Aurora terribly, which lead to her affair with the lion tamer who had secretly loved her. It was when I rallied and began to write my memoirs that Aurora could recognise the sensitive rogue she’d fallen in love with.
I passionately poured the contents of my life into that manuscript and accepted Aurora’s guidance. She was so naturally gifted that we became partners in literature and once again partners in life. Wearing an eye patch for no apparent reason, and limping into the big top with a gold cane, I challenged the lion tamer to a duel and took the unfortunate man’s life.
We all learnt much during those turbulent years (actually, about a fortnight).
Now Aurora and I are ready to take the paranormal romance market by storm, armed with a virtual Noah’s Ark of manimals with rock hard abs and the human, but psychically gifted, objects of their desire.
You don’t know sadness until you witness the unrequited love of the bereaved merman, Derrick, as he swims to the same rocks each night exactly at midnight (of course) to catch a glimpse of the supernaturally gifted widow, Esper. So close to each other in the darkness yet so alone, they weep for loves lost, and slowly Esper detects the presence of the fabulously muscular king of hybrid sea creatures.
Finally, in the calm shallows of the ocean, they make unworldly love that is so intense and unusual that the description can’t possibly last less than two chapters. Mix this eroticism and romance with the parallel plot of an underwater battle between the Mermen and an army of invading Kraken, and I think Aurora and I can confidently start planning how we’ll spend our first million dollars.
After something a little more upbeat? How about Charmaine, the last in a long line of alchemists born to the craft and continuing traditions forged over thousands of years? So devoted to her duties as the custodian of alchemical power, Charmaine has never experienced love. After years of experimentation, she finally invents a chemical that when sprayed on a ghost can restore the spirit’s former body for a limited time.
Now she needs a test subject, and with the help of a sexy clairvoyant, she detects a spirit haunting her own home (nice coincidence). Sebastian is a forlorn but benevolent ghost who lost his life in a skiing accident, days before he was to model for the cover of a popular fitness magazine, and hours before he had planned to lose his virginity to his childhood sweetheart. Sceptical at first, Sebastian surrenders to Charmaine’s chemistry, in more ways than one, and the couple discover intimacy through stolen seconds of physical touch.
So be on the lookout for more from Conrad Powers and Aurora Lacey, at least until Amazon, in its infinite wisdom, adds neo-noir and weird fiction to its extensive list of subcategories. I expect these stories will be so terrible that paranormal romance fans will probably unite, begging Amazon to capitulate and agree to my conditions.