September 29, 2008

Sex & Writing: Will Belegon, author of SQUEEZE PLAY

The Author

Will Belegon is an author/editor of erotic and romantic novellas and short stories. His primary publisher is Phaze, but he also has work available from Charles River Press and his poetry has appeared at Oysters & Chocolate and Clean Sheets. Will has been a finalist in the Eppies and Dream Realm awards and his collaboration with Alessia Brio on Switch won the 2006 Best Mainstream Short Story award from Preditor’s & Editors.

He has read his work to nightclub audiences in New York City and to an audience of four at one a.m. in San Diego. He is currently working on his first vampire story for Phaze, a novella entitled Real Vampires Don't Surf and his first solo novel, an erotic paranormal horror-romance set in his beloved hometown's Gaslamp District.

His next upcoming release with co-author Alessia Brio is Squeeze Play, which contains the stories "Double Header" and "Spring Training" starring the dynamic Andrea Spring.

In addition, he writes about the Chargers and Padres, rants about politics on his blog, coaches Little League, fences competitively and gets constantly manipulated by his two reasons for being, his children.

You can learn more about Will and his creative passions at his blog and MySpace page!

The Book

Squeeze Play is a print and e-book compilation of two novella's previously only available in e-format. It tells the story of Andrea Spring, an advertising executive in Chicago with a taste for the finest things in life. To Andi, when it comes to men, that means athletes. An arrangement they love, because a night with Andi has some very tangible benefits on the field of play. Andi has everything figured until something happens she never expected or wanted. She falls in love. Not with one ballplayer, but with two. Andi's life is about to get very complicated.

Squeeze Play contains one of Will Belegon and Alessia Brio's most fully realized characters ever. Andrea Spring is uninhibited, confident, beautiful and some would say magical. But to say that Andrea Spring is fully realized is not to say that she is unchanging. Through the events of this book, Andi learns a lot about love, a lot about herself and an awful lot about how life gets the most interesting just when you thought you had it figured out. It also has some of the hottest sex that these two writers have ever put to paper.

Coming From Phaze Books this October!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

As an author who focuses primarily on erotic fiction, the first part of that is obvious for me. It is crucial. When someone buys a book expecting hot sex scenes, I better deliver. Because if I don’t, it won’t matter how good my plot or characterization is. I will have disappointed them. Odds are they will never buy another of my works.

The second question is, to me, both equally obvious and yet consistently overlooked. We all recognize that sex sells, we all talk about how it pervades popular culture. Yet we so often discount why it does. Sex is one of the primary motivational forces of human life. People do things to acquire it, just like they do fame, fortune and glory.

How much of the music we listen to has been generated by the fact that some teenager wanted to learn how to play guitar so he could be in a band and get chicks? How many times has someone achieved a feat in order to impress a boy or a girl?

Sex is a primary force. It always will be. So it can be used as motivation and therefore be intricately tied to plot. And of course, in erotica, sex may actually be the plot.

Sex is also a very good way to reveal character. A Romeo Void song from the eighties says “I might like you better if we slept together” but in writing I use a variant. I might know you better if we slept together. A person or character who is literally naked is often metaphorically so as well. Small actions can be magnified to reveal larger truths. For example, think of the differences that can be revealed by a light switch. In many situations, the most you might be able to reveal about a character through the use of a light switch is whether or not they feel it is important to conserve energy. (Of course, having said this I can now think of many other ways to use it… but we’ll address that another time.)

Now put that light switch in a sex scene. Your female protagonist meets her husband at the door dressed only in one of his dress shirts. As he puts down his briefcase, she grabs him by the tie and walks backwards down the hall, dragging him to the bedroom. As she enters the bedroom, she turns off the light.

What have we revealed or hinted at? There is no single answer. But we have greatly increased the revelation of personality for the character. She may be daring enough to do the dress shirt, but self-conscious enough about her body to not want the lights on, even with her husband. It may be the way she was raised. She may be wanting him to know what she is doing only by the other senses, forcing him not to rely on sight.

Or she may need the cover of darkness so that her lover, who is hiding in the closet, has a chance to sneak out while the husband is distracted.

In all cases, it’s not the light switch that is revealing. It is the impending sexual activity. Without that motivation, the absence or presence of light is inconsequential.

This is not to say that you have to have explicit sex in your writing, although I obviously do. But the presence of sexual motivation is a necessary factor.
Love stories aren’t about finding someone to eat pasta with by candlelight. They’re about what happens after dinner.

This is not to say that love is subservient to sex. They are just quite intimately related. Love can be powerful without sex, although it is usually not romantic love in such cases. Sex without love, on the other hand, is still a powerful tool for a writer.

Whether it’s revealing how the espionage team got the secret plans or how the sports star was convinced to throw the game, sex is a valuable part of every writer’s toolbox. Call it the screwdriver to go with money’s wrench and violence’s hammer.


"Spill it, girlfriend. Which one did you do?" Jay David epitomized the stereotypical gay man, from his effeminate gestures to his immaculate sense of style, to his insistence on being called by both of his given names.

Feigning innocence, Andi dropped her oversized Versace handbag onto the booth's bench as she slid in beside it and motioned for their server. "Whatever do you mean? Unsweetened tea, please, with lemon."

The server rushed to fulfill her wish just as every straight man she'd ever met had done. It got old after a while. Perhaps that's why she so enjoyed Jay David's company. With him, there was no subterfuge, no manipulation, and no expectation--just friendship, unwavering support, and plenty of laughter.

The first person she befriended upon relocating to Chicago seven years ago rolled his eyes and sighed. "Both. I should've known. You did them both, didn't you? Honey, you gotta stop fucking the opposition. It's not good for the home team. That loss was brutal. BRUTAL!"

Andi grinned and shrugged as she nodded her thanks to the server and stirred half a packet of artificial sweetener into her tea. "What can I say? I'm good for morale."

"You ain't kidding, sweetie. Those two set a team record for double plays yesterday. They were ON. And that dinger in the top of the sixth had your name written all over it. Six for fucking eight between them, Andi! Four runs scored!"



"I'll tell you later."

"You better! Anyway, I only wish you'd juice our boys that way."

They paused long enough to order lunch. "Uh uh. Too risky. That kind of thing has the potential to cause a lot of damage, y'know, both on the field and off. In fact," Andi sipped her tea as she capped the decision in her mind, "no more teammates for me--not concurrently, anyway--even if that means no more double headers."

Jay David placed his drink on the table, carefully dabbing the corners of his mouth as if he held a fine linen napkin instead of the popular brass-and-fern eatery's red paper variety. He took a deep breath, exhaled, and launched into a tirade that stunned Andi with its vehemence.

"How dare you so casually dismiss a scenario I've been fantasizing about since my teen years? Do you have any idea how sexually arrogant you sound? Just where am I gonna get my vicarious thrills? Tell me that! I swear on my best butt plug..." He stopped upon realizing that his voice carried to the adjacent booths and continued in a much lower, but no less emphatic, tone. "I'm serious, Andi! I think anyone with a pulse would love to have the variety of your experiences--whether they admit it or not. Why would you voluntarily limit that?"

Andi raised an eyebrow. "Where did that come from? Did you get caught cybering again?" The expression on his face made a verbal response unnecessary. "Honey, you're the one limiting yourself by staying with someone who doesn't appreciate your hot, horny nature."

He held up his hands to stop the lecture, so Andi shifted gears. "I know just what you need. Both teams are on the road this coming weekend. That doesn't happen very often. Let's hit a day spa for the works--manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage--then go shoe shopping, then the latest chick flick, then dinner. My treat."

"On one condition," he cautioned as their soup and salad arrived.

Andi raised one perfectly-plucked eyebrow, a gesture that spoke much more than the proverbial picture's thousand words. She opened her mouth to add to the nonverbal response, but Jay David cut her off with a dismissive wave of his salad fork.

"Stop right there, hot pants. I know what you're going to say, and I really don't need to hear it again. My relationship with Sebastian is ... complicated." Complicated didn't begin to describe it, but in the years since Andi blew into the Windy City, it was Jay David's longest lasting relationship--that is, if she stitched their time together like a quilt, each patch lasting a couple months until their innate differences reached critical mass and drove them apart. A few days, maybe a week, would pass before their sexual chemistry pulled them back together, beginning the cycle anew.

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