Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Robert W. Birch-From Sex Manuals to Sex Novels

Hi Bob, I'm so glad you were able to join me at Decadent Decisions today. This is a first for me and my crew. You are the first male author and sex therapist to visit. My dear readers I had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful author on one of the loops. I volunteered to read his novella, 'Better than Apple Pie.' I couldn't put it down and I really enjoyed the glimpse, a real glimpse in the mind of a man.  So without further ado, here's Bob.

When it came to writing, other than term papers for courses and articles for professional journals, my commitment to publishing did not begin until 1996. I was sixty-one years old at the time and nearing the end of my career as a marital and sex therapist. ORAL CARESS was an illustrated guide to cunnilingus, and yes, I was the photographer who took the pictures. This book gained immediate attention, as it was among the first to openly approach the fine art of orally exciting a woman. My next non-fiction book was MALE SEXUAL ENDURANCE, a guide for men who were coming too fast. This instructional book for premature ejaculators was also printed in India. A book for women finding it difficult to orgasm (PATHWAY TO PLEASURE) and a book for older men (SEX AND THE AGING MALE) followed. Several shorter books were then published, one for beginners and one on sexual pain.
My next writing venture was into the world of poetry, and I now have thirteen collections of poetry, both naughty and nice, in print. Add six collections of bawdy limericks to my credits. I did not take the very natural step into writing erotic romance novels until 2002, and that first 400+ page work involves a number of characters with a variety of sexual interests. A number of the characters have back-stories, offering insight into the development of their sexual preferences. There is love and affection, but also a couple orgies and all of the erotic encounters are woven into a very complicated murders mystery. One reviewer wondered if I had pulled my characters from my case files. They were, of course, composites of all the clients I had seen in my office.
My next seven full length novels were erotic romance stories with strong plots. Of these, there were three sci fi adventures, two mysteries, one paranormal (ghost story) and a unique erotic love story involving a couple in their seventies. I also have a sci fi series of four novellas. It would be hard to pick my favorite sub-genre, although I’ll admit to having much fun describing alien anatomy and sexual activities in the four-book sci fi series. One reviewer, however, was bothered by the blue tongue that emerged from the aroused female alien’s coochie, located on her inner thigh. Why would that review have assumed an alien snatch should be between its legs and look like that of a human female?
I have been asked if my background in relationship and sex therapy influences my writing. I know it does, and I have at times slipped in a bit if information, e.g., how to stimulate the G-Spot while licking a woman’s pussy. I try to be realistic, but might get too graphic and detailed in my descriptions. One female reviewer stated she’d rather fantasize. 
My years of living in the country has prompted me to use rural settings in several of my novels, and my love of animals should be evident in a few. Psychologists show up from time to time, there’s an aspiring author in my erotic ghost story and a poet appears in my tale of the aging couple. Need I say, as a male author I focus on the male character’s visual appreciation of the female form.
Folks often wonder about what romantic gifts I’ve received. In response my mind always goes to the erotic poetry of a woman who had been a very special friend prior to my marriage. In comparison, I have described my poetry as being like the pen and ink sketches of an artist, while this woman’s verse was like rich colorful oil paintings. On deeper reflection, however, the most romantic gifts I receive are the goodnight kisses I receive every night from my sweet wife, my soul mate.
I am now seventy-six years old, and I wonder if there’s another novel left in me. I started one involving a breach in the timeline, but after two chapters I’m bogged down. I know writers who start with an outline, but I just begin writing and usually the story unfolds. I will typically begin seeing an ending, often without being sure how I’m going to get to it. For me, each book I write is an adventure into the unknown, and I have been surprised at some of my own surprise endings.
MARGARET’S DIARY: An Erotic Ghost Story
Kevin, a furniture mover and aspiring author, finds the diary of Margaret, a widow who died at age ninety. He quickly discovers that the woman’s young sexy ghost intends to use her personal journal to tell her story and elicit help. Kevin and Cathy, his amorous passionate wife, discover the details of the tragic death of Margaret’s only child, a gay man murdered at forty-two.
Unable to join her son and husband until someone solves the cold case, Margaret communicates by leaving cryptic clues. Will Kevin and Cathy decipher Margaret’s messages, pinpoint the killer and release Margaret? Kevin and his wife put together a team, including the newly elected sheriff and members of the gay community. The team members follow false leads and find themselves forced to reinterpret clues. However, the search finally leads to a shocking revelation, the reunion of Margaret with her loved ones, and a deepening of the emotional bond uniting Kevin and Cathy.
Kevin, furniture mover and wannabe author, he has the job of removing everything from a deceased woman’s house. The deceased owner, Margaret, died a widow with no surviving relatives, and all her belongings are to be sold at an auction.  Kevin has just entered the Victorian style home.  For the first time he will meet Margaret’s ghost, but she will lead him and his wife into a very complex investigation of the murder of her only son.
Just then Kevin heard a faint noise that sounded as though it had come from the second floor.
“Is anyone there?” he called out. Walking to the foot of the stairs, he called out again. “Is there someone up there?” There was no response, but he decided he’d better go up to see for himself. No one else should be in the house this morning. Slowly, he climbed the stairs and paused in the dim hallway at the top of the steps, commenting to himself about the warmer temperature of the second floor. “Anyone up here?” He listened for a response, but there was only dead silence.
Walking down the hall, he passed a bathroom filled with the colored sunlight streaming through a beautiful stained glass window. The old-fashioned tub, poised high on its clawed feet, and the pedestal sink reminded him of the age of the house and its last occupant. Towels still hung over the towel bars. How did that old lady get into the tub? he wondered, then noticing an enamelware wash basin sitting on top of the toilet seat. She must’ve resorted to sponge baths, he thought, addressing his own quandary about her bathing. Maybe one of those agency people came to help her wash.
Suddenly he heard another faint noise, sounding as though someone or something had moved a chair. Bewildered, he stood frozen for a minute. “Who’s there?” he finally called in the direction of an open door. There was no answer.
Moving cautiously down the hallway, he peered around the frame of the door. The bedroom appeared empty, except for the expected furniture. “Is anyone in there?” he asked. He had to sure, but the only sound was that of his racing heart, its beat audible in his ears. Stepping into the empty room, he looked around. The bed, higher than most modern beds, was neatly made, although a layer of dust covered everything. There was no indication that anything had been moved in months.
It must’ve been a rat, or maybe a squirrel or raccoon that somehow got into the walls.
A thick, leather-bound book lay open on the nightstand, face down on a lace doily. Curious, he lifted it, to discover that it was a handwritten diary. From the pages that were open, he read a couple of entries dated nine years earlier, about the woman’s husband and what appeared to be the last days before his death. He hit the automatic dial button on the cell phone clipped to his belt.
“Hello,” his wife Cathy answered.
“Hi, hon, it’s me.”
“Are you taking a break already?” she asked.
“I haven’t been here long and have just been looking around. I found something interesting, though. Lying on the stand by her bed was the woman’s diary, and it was open to the pages where she wrote about her husband’s illness and death.”
“Hardly my idea of bedtime reading.”
“But it’s almost as if she were anticipating her own end. It’s almost as if she was preparing herself for the reunion, and this was her way of reconnecting with him.”
“Oh, Kev, you’re such a romantic. She probably just flopped her diary down, and that’s how it landed.”
“No, I think she had been reading and remembering. I think she was reminiscing about her husband.” Just then, he glanced across the room and focused on a picture hanging on the wall. “There’s a photograph here – one of those old ones in an oval frame. It’s of a young couple, and I’m sure it’s them. She’s sitting, and he’s standing behind her.”
“Classic position,” Cathy commented. “Probably symbolic of male dominance.”
“No, there’s something unique about this pose.” He walked closer for a better look. “He’s standing off to one side and has a hand on her shoulder. He looks gentle, and one of her hands is resting on top of his. She’s looking up at him, and he’s looking down into her eyes. It’s beautiful, really, Cathy. I wish you could see it.”
“You’ll be loading all that stuff in your truck, won’t you?”
“Bring the photograph home with you, and the diary too. You’ve managed to stir my curiosity, and maybe there’s something in there that’ll inspire you to write a romance novel.”
“Good idea, but now I’d better get back to work. There’s a lot to pack and the house is starting to heat up.”
After saying goodbye, Kevin stepped back into the hallway, where he felt a sudden chill. “God,” he yelled impulsively, for he beheld a brief flash of what appeared to be a semi-transparent naked young woman. She sailed silently across the hall, carrying a towel and disappearing into the bathroom. “Shit,” he mumbled, and then in a louder voice called out, “Who’s there?” He didn’t really expect an answer, and there was none – only the faint sound of what sounded like water running into the tub. He moved slowly toward the open door and looked in. The sound ended, and the room was empty.
Kindle versions available on www.amazon.com
eBook format available on www.carnaldesirespublishing.com
Print copies available at www.erotic-romance-novels.com


W. Lynn Chantale said...

Once again welcome. Normally Chef and Tyrell would be here to serve, but as they're eye candy for the ladies, I thought it would be prudent to have a couple of ladies to serve you, so feel free to help yourself to the buffet and open bar.

Bob, you are definitely on my favorite author list. I''m a pantser too. The last time I tried to plot out a novel I had five re-writes. Allowing the story and the characters free rein seems to work best. I'm sure you'll get over the hump and finish your story.

Bob Birch said...

I appreciate being your guest today. I too am sure one of my characters will point in a direction I had not seen before, and I'll move off into the third chapter. Thanks for the encouragement.