Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bond - is something missing?

My husband is a big fan of James Bond movies, so I figured it was about time I watched one. I'm writing a lot of sci/fi stuff so I decided to give Moonraker a try. While I was impressed with the fast pace and acrobatics during a freefall in the sky, I just couldn't get into the movie.

So I asked myself why. I'm not a huge fan of "guy" movies in general, but I've gotten into some of them. I've probably seen most of the Steven Segal movies, for instance.

I figured out what was missing in the Bond movie was emotion. Even in the wildest, most smash-em-up guy movie, there has to be emotion. The viewer has to identify with the protagonist and care about what happens to him.

I didn't care about Bond so even the most elaborate stunts left me yawning. I didn't care about him because he never showed any emotion. Sure, there's a lot at stake, but you'd never know it. He's almost like a robot, going through the motions. Just another day at the office.

I was working on my latest novel involving sex in space and I found myself yawning too (not good!). I was putting my characters through all sorts of microgravity-based sexual gymnastics. Then I realized it. There wasn't enough emotion there. When I started putting the feelings in, all of a sudden I get really interested and involved.

So thanks, James. You taught me a good lesson!

Afton Locke

Sunday, February 22, 2009


The moment has arrived that all writers anticipate with both joy and dread -- the reviews. Knowing someone else has read your baby and analyzed it is a very vulnerable feeling. Good reviews send you into nirvana. Bad ones make you want to crawl under a rock and never come out.

I wrote a book many years ago that was very controversial and intense. Reviewers either loved it or hated it. It was so intense one reviewer refused to finish reading it. Not good. Another tore it to shreds with criticism. That hurt for a really long time. But most had good things to say.

Today I'm pleased to say reviews of my first book, Cicada, are pretty good. Not perfect. Not every sentence was perfect, but that's okay. I learn from the criticism. I'm thrilled that reviewers had so many good things to say and overall enjoyed reading my book. I hope the next book is even better. Someday I want 5 stars.

Just Erotic Romance Reviews - appeared in January's magazine - 4 stars:

Cicada is a very enjoyable ghost story with an imaginative kinky ghost who thinks that the way to a woman's heart lies in creatively entertaining her in the bedroom and has no problem showing her his dominant side. ... I definitely enjoyed all of the sex scenes in this book which included spanking, light bondage, and oral play. Cicada is a well-written story that will appeal to fans of paranormal romances.

Night Owl Romance - 3 stars:

Cicada was an interesting and entertaining read. ... Afton Locke writes rich details and descriptions that add to the story. ... Cicada was a story which will hold your attention.

Afton Locke

Saturday, February 14, 2009

climbing the walls? hang upside down

The days are getting longer but it's still winter. That cozy hibernation feeling of late fall/early winter has given way to restlessness and climbing the walls. (If I had sticky shoes, I'd probably even try it.)

So I grabbed the hubby and headed off to ride a flight simulator. Since I'm writing sci/fi, I need to take to the skies, so to speak, for inspiration. The rides were short and there was a big red panic button on the roof of the compartment thingy we sat in. So while you couldn't get me to ride a terrifying looking amusement park ride that there was no escape from, this looked like a safe enough bet.

The first ride was just okay. Piece of cake. The thing just jiggled and moved around a little. The next was an interactive fighter plane with bombing. We got some training. I flew. My husband did the bombing. Or, rather, he would have if I'd actually been able to get something in target.

The trainer guy showed me how to align the plane to the target. He never told us you had to turn the plane upside down to do it. (Or maybe I was doing something wrong?) That had to be it. How in the world do pilots hit anything, much less see where they're going, upside down?

Common sense says I should've forgotten the bombing stuff and just had fun flying the plane. One 360 would've been more than enough. Instead, we did several. Hanging upside down must have short-circuited my brain because common sense was beyond me. Luckily, I was wearing a sturdy, full-coverage bra. Finally desperate, I hung there frantically reaching for the panic button on the ceiling, which was now the floor.

What an experience! If I'd known how wild it would be, I never would've attempted it, but I'm glad I did because when I got home, I wasn't climbing the walls anymore. (Being right side up was just fine with me.)

Now I want to get a pilot's license. Wanna fly with me? Heh heh.

So what's the wildest thing you've ever done to beat boredom?

Afton Locke

Thursday, February 5, 2009

post-partum book blues

Does anyone ever feel blue after finishing the writing of a book?

I do. At first, there's that feeling of exultation and accomplishment. It's done! That long-awaited moment that I yearn for all through polishing and revisions when I often mutter: I'll be so glad when this *!#@ book is done!.

But when it's over I realize:
-It's time to say goodbye to the vibrant characters who have lived inside my head for a while.
-It's time to do all the odious chores I've been putting off with the excuse of "have to finish the book and drop everythinge else."
-It's time to (gasp) start a completely new book and face that formidable blank page.

I just don't feel right when I'm not writing. There's nothing like the exhilirating thrill of riding the unexpected twists and turns of the first draft.

Since I don't have children, except the 4-legged, furry kind, I guess my books are my children. I create them, nurture them, and make them the best they can be until it's time to send them out into the world. (And hope I'll earn enough off of them to finance my old age. Ha!)

Anyone else feel like this or am I just weird?

Afton Locke