Archive for October, 2016

Announcing Our “Take Me To Charmed” GoFundMe!

October 31, 2016

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 45 transcendently terrific Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

For those of you who don’t already know, Charmed is a Baltimore-based erotic hypnosis themed kink convention (which is, I think, one syllable over being able to be sung to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”). It’s run by some amazingly talented people, including but by no means limited to the fantastic Wiseguy, and Lady Ru’etha and I would like to make it our first stop on our return to the hypno-convention scene this year.

But, as always with such things, mundane life kind of intrudes. Her health problems, combined with some other health issues by people who are not Her but who contribute to our household budget, have left us in a position where we can’t go without help. So we’ve created a GoFundMe campaign specifically for that purpose!

Now, as much as I like to think that we’re just inherently awesome and people want to throw money at us for no particular reason or purpose, I understand asking the question, “What do I get out of all this?” Here’s what you get out of all this:

If you’re attending the con, you’ll get a better con. I mean, I know that does sound egotistical and all, but we’ve been doing erotic hypnosis play for years and we’ve got some insights and experience that I think people want to hear. I think if you’re actually going to be there, we will add value to your experience and if you have a little extra money to send our way, you won’t regret it.

If you’re not attending the con, you’ll at least get to hear about it. I’ve live-blogged and recapped my previous convention experiences, and I don’t expect Charmed to be any different. Naturally, photographs are going to be prohibited by the venue, but you’ll get to hear descriptions of fun and interesting people having fun and interesting experiences, and if you can’t be there, sending a little money to get Goddess and I there is the next best thing. I’ll be on Twitter and Tumblr this time out as well, for added recappy value.

Either way, we have some rewards for people who help us out. Anyone contributing at least $10 gets to suggest a story premise and a protagonist’s name/gender, which is normally something I reserve for my Patrons so this is a pretty nice deal. At $25, you also get an MP3 recording of one of Lady Ru’etha’s trance files, which She normally sells on CDBaby and which are, in my own humble opinion, yummy and hot and kinky fun. And at $50, I will also make a personal audiobook version of one of my stories (your choice) just for you, which I promise not to share with anyone else for at least a year. I think these are things people might want, and we may have some other rewards by the time all is said and done.

So if you want to get us to Charmed 2017, you know what you need to do. And if you can’t contribute money, feel free to spread the word around the kink community. Any little bit helps! Thanks for listening, and I hope we’ll see you there, contributing or not!

Slightly Early Bird Sneak Peek: “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning”!

October 29, 2016

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, albeit a belated one because I forgot to post it on Wednesday. (Oops!) But it’s where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“I’m a Slave 4 U”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning”! (MC MF MD)

In my 2011 story, “The End Is the Beginning Is the End”, the main character was drawn into a loop of hypnosis and surrender by a stranger in a coffee shop. “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” picks up later, somewhere a little more private, but her submission is only deepening. Here’s a taste:

“…and wake.” My eyelids flutter a little, but they don’t seem to want to open more than halfway. I feel like it’s one of those lazy Saturday mornings where nothing seems to have any real urgency and the morning stretches out into a timeless dream. I feel like I could lie here forever, simply luxuriating in pure unadulterated drowsiness. There’s a sleepy smile on my face, and it feels perfectly at home there. I let out a gentle sigh and give a long, languid stretch. Everything feels perfect.

“How do you feel?” he asks. He’s sitting on the bed next to me, his hand resting possessively on my belly. I realize slowly that I’m not wearing any clothes; the sheets are tangled around my feet, leaving me entirely exposed to his gaze. But I don’t feel exposed. It’s more like I feel open. There’s no sudden panic at my nudity, there’s no fear at all. I feel no shame, just a slow and dreamy heat radiating out from where his skin touches mine to spread all the way through my naked body. I find myself shifting to allow my legs to spread open a little wider as he stares.

“Happy, sir,” I say quietly. It takes me longer than I expected to come up with my answer; my thoughts still seem sluggish and disconnected to me, and I can’t quite seem to catch up to my own mind. I’m still trying to puzzle out why it is I’m having so much trouble thinking when I realize that I called him ‘sir’, the word slipping out of my lips with instinctive ease while I wasn’t thinking. I try to think about that as well, but my brain doesn’t want to seem to hold two ideas at once. It barely even wants to hold one.

Hope you enjoy it!

Triggers 101

October 23, 2016

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 45 astonishingly awesome Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

Let’s face it–one of the nicest things about hypnosis in D/s play, beyond the simple joys of being in trance and obeying without thought or question, is the way that it can be used to make post-hypnotic suggestions that give someone the experience of helpless obedience even after the trance is over. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of doing something without consciously deciding to do it to make you feel like you’re really submissive, and I speak from experiences on both sides.

So with that in mind, let’s discuss some basic triggers that people kind of like to install as “default” in submissives, and how they can be achieved. Keep in mind a few basics–one, I’m not going over hypnotic inductions right now, because you can find tons of scripts and because really, just having a willing subject is 90% of the work of a hypnotic induction. (The biggest secret of hypnosis is that it’s mostly just hypnosis-y sounding stuff to say while the subject does the work themselves.) And if you don’t have a willing subject…JEEZ! What is wrong with you?

Two, it’s always a good idea to choose uncommon words or phrases for your triggers. The subconscious is actually a pretty wonderful thing, and it’s better at interpreting context than media depictions of hypnosis would make it out to be, but it’s also mischievous and presumably enjoys doing the things it’s being programmed to do. Making “Sleep” your trance trigger doesn’t mean someone’s going to keel over in the middle of a mattress store, but it does mean they will be constantly feeling the tug of their trigger in situations where they don’t necessarily want to. Which brings me to…

Third, it’s always a good idea to implant the trigger using the reinforcing phrases, “When you are safe” and “when I say”. (The latter is sometimes referred to as “locking the trigger”.) As I said above, the subconscious mind is very good at interpreting context, so you can get fairly specific in terms of what causes a trigger to go off. Even though it’s not likely that someone will go into trance while driving, or for someone they don’t trust just because they hear a trigger you’ve implanted, they’ll have an easier time resisting it if you give them “permission” to ignore it when it’s not wanted.

And fourth, if you implant a trigger you want to reinforce it. Use it immediately after you implant it, and use it frequently thereafter. The more often you use it, the better it works, because 90% of the work of hypnosis is done by the subject and the more they convince themselves that the trigger works, the better it will work. Plus, as noted: Fun.

That said, here are the most common triggers I use and have used on me:

Reinduction Trigger: This is the simplest and most obvious trigger. When the subject hears it, they return to the trance state. It’s nice because a long induction, while fun and hot, isn’t always necessary or desirable for whatever play you’re doing. It’s generally very easy to achieve–you remind the subject that they enjoy trance, that they like to be hypnotized, and that they can go back to this very enjoyable state when you say a particular word or phrase. Assuming they’re having a positive experience, very little is required beyond that.

Pleasure Trigger: This is one of my favorite triggers. When the subject hears it, they feel a warm, pleasant sensation in their body–not necessarily sexual, but it can wind up that way. Again, this one should be easy to implant as long as the subject is having a good experience–just do nice, happy things and tell them that the trigger will make them feel those nice happy things all over again.

Freeze Trigger: This is a very useful trigger for a lot of D/s play, because it gives a lot of the same functionality as ropes without needing to worry about circulation issues or untying people in a hurry when your in-laws stop by. There are two ways to approach a freeze trigger–one, you can have the subject imagine their muscles tensing up into immobility, or two, you can have them imagine feeling too relaxed to move. I kind of like the latter approach because it works will with the general feelings of relaxation in trance, but it’s up to you. Either way, the suggestion should include the idea that although they can’t move of their own volition, they can shift to be more comfortable, move at your command, and be poseable.

Puppetry Trigger: This one usually works just the way it sounds–have the subject visualize invisible strings around their wrists and ankles, so that your commands make their body move independently of their will. Works very nicely with a freeze trigger, because you can move them but they can’t move themselves.

Arousal Trigger: Just as you can have a trigger that creates pleasure, you can have a trigger that makes someone sexually aroused. You can achieve this by finding something that turns the person on (again, in all probability this will be the hypnosis you’re doing right then) and associating that arousal with the trigger phrase. Generally try to achieve a small effect on this one, so that you can ramp it up by repeating the trigger.

Orgasm Trigger: The bestest trigger. You can induce this by guiding the person hypnotically through an orgasm, or back to one they’ve experienced recently, and then associating it with the trigger phrase. It won’t generally trigger a physical orgasm, at least not at first, but it will produce a very strong mental sensation right away. And like all other triggers, the more you use it, the better it works.

Those are my standard triggers–if you have some you like to use, feel free to toss them into the comments!


Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Already There”!

October 20, 2016

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Pressure”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Already There”! (MC MF FD)

First off–sorry, but this isn’t a sequel to “Already Gone”. Kat’s thoughts are staying in the thought-eating box for the foreseeable future. No, this is a story about Hal, who’s at a kink party where hypnotist Ramona is offering free trances to any takers. Hal’s very interested, and he’s looking forward to being ensnarled in hypnosis very much. Very much indeed…

“Hal,” Ramona said, her voice like warm velvet. “I asked you a question. Are you ready to be hypnotized?” She didn’t sound angry at his lack of a response. If anything, she sounded like she found the whole situation quietly humorous. Hal felt like he’d done something right by accident, but he didn’t know what it could possibly have been. They hadn’t even started yet.

Hal remembered this time that he needed to answer. He let out a quiet, “yes,” as he let his eyes wander back down to the watch at the end of the chain. The watch had a smooth, simple silver face that caught the light perfectly, and Hal could already imagine the way that the gleaming reflection that he was staring at now would turn into an unbroken arc of dazzling white as it streaked from side to side, back and forth, moving in an unceasing rhythm that caught and held him the same way it had caught and held so many others tonight. Ramona had hypnotized everyone who sat in that chair, men and women, and they’d all looked so blissful. So peaceful. So happy.

Hal could already picture that same vacant bliss stealing over his face as he watched Ramona’s watch, his eyes growing heavy and exhausted from the effort of following the motion until he finally realized that it would be so much easier to stare into Ramona’s eyes instead. That was how she had taken Valerie, weaving that fantasy into the other woman’s mind until Valerie’s gaze had gone fixed and glassy and she stared straight ahead, unseeing. Hal wanted to be like that so much.

Hope you enjoy it!

What I Get Out of All This

October 16, 2016

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 43 genuinely brilliant Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

First, let me begin by introducing Hypnokinky. She and I have been playing together for a little over a month now, and I’d just like to preface the whole rest of this post by saying that she’s really amazing and I’m very glad I got to know her. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s compassionate and charming, and she’s a great hypnotic subject. I’m really glad that she trusts me with her mind. She’s not “mine” in the D/s sense, but she is submitting to me in our play and it’s really wonderful.

Which is kind of hard for her to grok. She has, on several occasions, apologized for being such a “trance junkie” and said that she doesn’t want to “bug me” with requests to be hypnotized, and vocally wondered what I even get out of this when she’s clearly the one getting all the sexy trances and having all the fun. And while I’ve reassured her privately, I kind of thought that if she’s asking those questions of me, some of my readers might be asking those questions of their own tops (or silently worrying about them without asking), so I should talk about it. Plus, y’know, it’s one thing to get private reassurance and quite another to see a public blog post about how great you are and how much fun it is to hypnotize you.

(And yes, we’ve talked and she is okay with being used as an example like this. I may be happy to be public about my lifestyle, but I don’t assume it of others.)

So, what do I get out of hypnotizing someone? Well, first, I get a trance experience. It’s literally impossible to hypnotize another person without going into at least a light trance yourself. This is what they call “rapport trance”. Basically, hypnosis is a state of relaxation and focus, and you’re focused very intently on your subject and using a lot of hypnotic language to induce relaxation, so you do go into a trance space even when you’re directing the situation. Sure, you’re active and aware, but so is the guy up on stage who thinks he’s Channing Tatum in ‘Magic Mike’. When you induce trance, to some extent you’re sort of hypnotizing yourself into being a hypnotist, if that makes sense to anyone except me.

Second, I get a very intense creative charge out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been hypnotized plenty…including a very hot trance on Friday night where Goddess basically pinned me in place with two fingers and brainwashed the fuck out of me, but I digress…and I understand that there’s a warm and wonderful feeling that comes with having no decisions to make. It’s very soothing and relaxing to just let someone else take charge and not have to think about anything at all. But the flipside of that is that when I top someone, I’m constantly engaged in guiding the scenario and finding exciting things to do that both of us enjoy. It works a lot of the same mental muscles that writing does for me, and gives a lot of the same erotic energy that writing smut does. Only this time the feedback is immediate, direct, and comes from someone who’s literally acting out the erotic scenarios I’m coming up with.

Which brings us to third–let’s all face it, it’s pretty damn hot when you tell someone what to do and they do it. There is a rush that comes with being the one with the power in a power exchange. Especially a hypnotic power exchange, because while Hypnokinky’s subconscious mind is aware that we’ve previously negotiated everything and that she has the power to safeword or to reject suggestions she’s not comfortable with, her waking self really does feel like I’m controlling her mind. I can actually surprise her with the depth of my control, which is amazingly hot for both of us. (One of the sexiest things I think I ever did was just use imaginary strings to make her wave at herself. Subconsciously, of course, she did it, but as far as she was concerned in that moment her hand just moved under my power. It was yummy.)

And fourth…I admit to being something of a process freak. I like brainwashing people on a long-term basis, and implanting suggestions that become more and more instinctive and automatic as time goes on. That kind of “permanent” control (in quotes because of course every responsible hypnotist has a duty to unbind triggers and undo suggestions at the request of the sub) is very erotic to me. The suggestions themselves are very simple (arousal triggers, reinduction triggers, freeze triggers, et cetera)–I don’t actually want to make any changes to Hypnokinky’s mind, because I really like it just the way it is. But both of us like the idea of making permanent and noticeable alterations to her mind, and especially adding suggestions that make her unable to resist any changes I do want to make. She wants to feel inexorable submission, I enjoy the idea of irresistible power, and we’re both having fun playing with it in a safe, sane and consensual way.

So wow, I’m actually getting four very hot and sexy things out of hypnotizing and brainwashing her. And all she’s getting is mind-blanking trances and tons of hypnotic orgasms. At this rate, I’m going to worry about bugging her with requests to hypnotize her!

….naaaaah. We’re both having too much fun to stop.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “I’m a Slave 4 U”!

October 13, 2016

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“Necrophobic”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “I’m a Slave 4 U”! (MC FF)

Haley has no idea Unit 4U exists. But 4U knows everything Haley knows, and more. She knows she’s a conditioned slave, in service to unseen Masters who control her every thought and action. She knows that she is primed to obey perfectly, and to love every second of it. And she knows that both Haley and 4U will be whatever the Masters need them to be. Here’s a taste:

The taxi has not yet stopped when I see the next text flash across the screen. “Entertainment/Service/Return,” it says. There is a picture following that text, a woman of Middle Eastern descent in her mid-forties, followed by a name, “Masuma Zaman”. I understand that entertaining her is my next responsibility, and I can feel my entire center of being shifting to direct itself around the priority to make her happy. It feels inexpressibly wonderful.

“Message understood, arrival at first stop imminent,” I text, before sliding the phone into my jacket pocket. The taxi pulls up to the hotel that is my initial destination, and I pay the driver with a modest tip to make sure the journey is entirely unremarkable. I step out and walk into the lobby, and there she is. I immediately understand that her joy is the most important thing in the world to me, and my mind is filled with perfect pleasure both at the understanding and at my unhesitating obedience in coming to that understanding. I am conditioned to obey, and I am also conditioned to accept my conditioning.

I walk up to her. “Masuma?” I ask. She nods, smiling back at me with undisguised desire. “It’s very nice to meet you.” My voice is carefully neutral as I allow her to set the tone of our encounter. I have no information on whether she is an uninhibited sybarite, or indulging in a cautious tryst away from important responsibilities. My duties demand her safety as well as her enjoyment.

“And you as well, my dear,” in a thick accent that I place as Bahranian. “You must be Martha.” And instantly, I am. My name becomes a new part of me, fitting seamlessly into the other instructions that I know I am to obey. Haley is Unit 4U. Unit 4U is a slave, and Unit 4U is commanded to be Martha. So I am Martha. It makes perfect sense to me now. “I’ve heard so much about you. Shall we go up to the room and discuss the security arrangements for my visit?”

Hope you enjoy it!

Looks Like I Picked a Bad Week To Write Smut

October 10, 2016

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 42 truly special Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

This post is slightly delayed from my usual Saturday/Sunday schedule, because I was busy watching the Republican Party implode in real time. I didn’t try to be; I had every intention of taking the weekend like I always do, as a nice little break from unpleasant reality into the world of kink. Write on Friday, blog and post on Saturday, write more on Sunday, and generally kick back and spend time with the kinky people I love. But of course, all that went out the window on Friday. Because Trump.

I’m not going to get too political, here. I feel pretty confident that my readers at this point know where they stand and I stand on the question of the election. But I will talk about how hard it is to write erotica, especially mind control erotica, in the context of a national conversation about sexual assault. Basically, it’s an unpleasant intrusion of reality into Kinkworld, because it brings home one of my few nagging worries about what I write–that what is obviously fantasy to me, a form of play to be enjoyed between consenting adults who wish to create the illusion of an inability to say no, is to someone in my audience a primer for how to treat other human beings. It’s hard to write with that in the forefront of my head.

Look, I’m not going to lie to myself or to my readers–a big part of what I write involves reducing a person’s ability to provide meaningful consent, and yes, I do find that hot. I have far more of a fetish for being unable to refuse consent than I do for removing someone else’s ability to refuse consent, but as a fantasy, as a pure abstract set of ideas that hit my libido, I enjoy it. There is a part of me that is looking at Trump this week and saying, “Oh God, I’m not like that, am I?”

Of course the answer is “no, I’m not”, because the things I fantasize about are not the things I do. I don’t hypnotize anyone without their consent. I don’t do anything with someone I’m hypnotizing without first securing their consent while awake. I make sure that anyone I hypnotize long-term knows that they can safeword even in trance, and I respect those safewords, because I’m not a creep and diminished consent is only hot when it’s an illusion.

But the part of me that recognizes that is even angrier, because I recognize that there are some people who don’t get that. There are some people, possibly even a few people who are fans of my work, who really do think that it would be…or worse, is…very sexy to take advantage of people who can’t say no. Those people lack empathy, compassion, restraint and a basic consideration for their fellow human beings, and it’s extremely unnerving to me to think that what I write could be seen in some way as an endorsement of their behavior. And seeing Trump brag about using his wealth and power and celebrity as a license to assault women with impunity brings that back. I want to make it clear to anyone like this that no, I don’t support you. I don’t agree with you. I don’t endorse you. I think you are dangerous, what you’re doing is wrong, and you need to stop and if you can’t stop you need to seek help. Violating consent is not in any way, shape or form acceptable behavior from one human being to another.

(And oh God, the fact that this is now a courageous moral stance says SO FUCKING MUCH about this election…)

So yeah, this has been a bad weekend to try to write kinky smut about people who don’t get what “no” means. But I’m hoping that this reminder to myself that I’m not like Donald Trump and never will be is going to help me a little. At the very least, I’ve finally gotten my blog post for the week in, so that’s something.

Early Bird Sneak Peek: “Pressure”!

October 6, 2016

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–”Eyes Wide Open“, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting “Pressure”! (MC MF MD)

After years of training, Acacia is finally ready to take her place in the Order of the Flame Pursuant and dedicate her life to hunting down the nefarious spawn of demons and human women known as warlocks. But she has one last test to face. She must match wills with a warlock with no spells or warding charms to protect her from his insidious power. And if she fails, she will be his slave forever.

Here’s a taste:

Acacia wanted to storm in and thrust her blade into his black heart, instead, but she remembered her instructions. The warlock was a prisoner, and a prisoner who was not without his uses at that. She was not to harm him unless he broke the terms of the challenge. “How many do you have…?”

His bland, amiable smile never wavered. “I believe ‘enslaved’ is the word you’re choking on,” he said. “Seven at the moment. You’ve had a good run of late. I’ve had as many as eleven at times. That’s the most I’m allowed, I’m afraid. Something about not wanting to risk thirteen, even for a moment. They haven’t taught you much spellcraft yet, but still, a coven would be too risky. At eleven, I have to choose one for the chop.” He shrugged again, almost calculatingly unthreatening. “It’s a shame, but I do want to be a good little trusty.”

“They should have murdered you years ago,” Acacia whispered.

“Oh, but I’m so very useful,” Gareth replied. “I weed out the weak, the useless. I separate the wheat from the chaff, and I don’t make trouble. I may have the blood of a demon running through my veins, but there’s a difference between being evil and being stupid. I know what my life would be worth if I tried to escape. No, I’m happy to stay alive and they’re happy to use me to get rid of their wash-outs, and I can’t help but notice that you’re avoiding that first step.” He grinned disarmingly. “You wouldn’t be afraid, would you?”

Hope you enjoy it!

Liner Notes for September 2016

October 2, 2016

(This post has been brought to you by the efforts of my 43 wonderfully kind and courteous Patrons! Visit my Patreon page to learn how to become one of them.)

We’ve officially headed into October, the month of Halloween, and that means we start with a look back at September’s stories and the inspirations thereof. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

My Mind Is Gone: I have a long and storied history with sleep deprivation. In college, I would frequently burn the candle at both ends, and when I finally got out, I was working third-shift for the better part of a decade after that. This meant I frequently had to rearrange my sleep schedule for family events, conventions, and the like, and that meant staying up for long periods of time.

So when I saw this title, my mind immediately returned to those periods where I was adjusting my sleep schedule either for an important event, or back to my normal routine, and had to stay up long past the point of coherence just so that I could sleep correctly the next day/night. I also thought of the times when Goddess used hypnosis to help me get through those times. And then I thought about what a person would do if their ethics were strained to the breaking point by having a sexy numb-brained college student who had no critical thinking faculties left, and…yeah.

Afterglow: Again, this is a title that triggered some fairly intense (and happy) personal associations for me. Goddess is very much of the opinion that the best time to do serious headfucky brainwashing isn’t when the other person is aroused–they’re certainly receptive then, because their conscious mind is distracted by pleasure and all, but they’re actually most open to suggestions when they’ve just cum their brains out and they’re flooded with all sorts of lovely post-coital hormones that make them happy and trusting and defenseless. Especially if they’re still in trance after they orgasm.

So when I saw this title, I knew I wanted to start the story with the climax first (so to speak), and focus on all the brainwashing that happens afterward. I wound up fitting in a little backstory for the characters, but I really wanted it to be a mood piece centering on that warm, post-sex bliss where your mind feels like soft clay and all you want to do is lie there and let it be molded.

When I Come Around: I try to do a superhero story every few months or so, and this one was floating around in the back of my head for ages in no specific detail. I knew it would focus on a Black Widow-type superspy heroine, and that it would tell the whole “heroine kidnapped and brainwashed to motivate the hero into walking into a trap” trope from her point of view. I knew that every section would end with her descending into trance, and every section would begin with her waking up and events having moved on without her (and I hope that reading this gives an idea of how frustrating it would be to be the damsel in distress under those circumstances).

I settled on the Devil’s Daughter as the hero–I’ve mentioned her in the past, usually in the context of supernatural heroes, but I wound up deciding she would be more interesting as a “vampire from birth” than a literal daughter of Satan. Since Dracul can be translated as “devil” rather than “dragon”, this was pretty easy to achieve. The rest was mostly just a matter of filling in the details (Whitehawk is the Red Skull reduced to his essence as a creepy manipulator who’s been around forever through strategic death-cheating) and resolving the story with a sort of happy ending.

For those who didn’t pick up on it–Captain Patriot, while a believer in personal freedom, is also very much a Dominant in the bedroom who isn’t happy with vanilla sex. The Devil’s Daughter broke up with him over it, and now she’s found a way to be comfortable with submission. Assuming it all works out.

Radio Daze: I saw this title when I was trawling through a song database, like I am prone to do, and again, it brought back some long-buried memories (this is old-home month!) I used to take lots of long car trips as a child, and there were always those times when you’d be crossing from one signal area to another and the radio would break up, become staticky, or blend two stations together as a single babble of overlapping sound. And then you’d start twisting the dial, hunting for a new station to keep you company on the long drive through nowhere.

I wanted to replicate that feel, with a mind-control twist. So I knew the story had to be set in the past, when the ‘scan’ button hadn’t been invented yet, and I knew it needed to involve someone who cared about music. So I thought about the Sixties, and…well, having my protagonist miss Woodstock because they were busy being brainwashed into joining a hippie commune in the middle of nowhere just seemed cruel, goshdarnit! So instead she misses Altamont, which was probably not such a bad thing what with the murders and all. (For the record, I’m aware that the Grateful Dead did not play at Altamont. But they were scheduled to appear, and in those pre-Internet days, it’s not likely that Ginny heard about their cancellation.)

So there you have it, another month in the books! My blog will return next week, and Liner Notes will return in another month!