Xenia Melzer on How to Write a Fight Scene and the release A Dom and His Warrior

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A Dom and His Warrior (Club Whisper #3) by Xenia Melzer
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Xenia Metzer today on tour for her new book in the Club  Whisper series, A Dom and His Warrior.  Welcome, Xenia.

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How to write a fight scene

When I chose to make Leeland an MMA fighter, I had many reasons to do so and none of them was any eagerness on my part to write a fight scene. I’m not good at writing fight scenes. They never turn out like the ones in my head, which are perfectly choreographed things of beauty that could put Mission Impossible or Charlie’s Angels to shame. Sometimes I feel like a child who has this great picture of a happy family in front of a house complete with sunshine and trees in the garden in mind and when I’m done painting, it’s a bunch of stick-people with a vaguely sphere-shaped ball in bright yellow and elongated brown smears with green blotches on top.

When I wrote A Dom and His Warrior I realized I had to somehow connect the picture in my mind with the painting/words on the laptop, which was a process, to put it mildly. First I had to learn the right words, because ‚and then he punched him in the face‘ gets old pretty quickly. Luckily for me, the internet is this huge space where you can find the answers to almost every question. At https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/what-s-that-move-called-a-glossary-of-mma-terms I found a treasure chest of terms to describe a fight. And after several highly instructional hours on YouTube I also knew what those moves looked like when executed by pros.

A little warning, if you are squeamish, MMA is not for you, since there is blood. And heavy punches. And kicks. And almost naked men with muscles in places you never thought possible.

In my mind, Leeland is a very elegant man whose fighting style is gracious. In MMA – as the name suggests – different kinds of fighting, like martial arts (all kinds), boxing, and wrestling are combined. Fighters usually come from a certain direction, like boxing, or taek won do and adapt movements from other styles. This diversity is what makes the fights interesting and what helped me to write fighting scenes that didn’t get boring after the first couple of sentences. Being able to choose from a wide variety certainly helped me to describe the fighting in a gripping way – if I do say so myself. 

In the book, Leeland has fight scenes with men who come from boxing and from kick boxing, while he himself has a background of karate and jiu jitsu. I did my very best to show how these sports influence the fighters and the fight itself and how highly adaptive an MMA fighter has to be.

Lastly there’s the way the winner of a fight is determined in an official UFC fight. If there is no knock out (one of the fighters gets down without getting up again) or tap out (one of the fighters taps the mat, usually when they’re in a submission hold, to show he gives up), there’s a rather complicated system in place with points deduced at each round for fouls or timid fighting. This system leaves room for lively discussions and some of Leeland’s best friends indulge happily in them.

Writing the fight scenes for A Dom and His Warrior was a challenge for me, one I took on with a certain amount of apprehension, but I think (and hope) it was worth the effort. 

 

About A Dom and His Warrior

Leeland Drake and Jonathan White are a committed BDSM couple and have just moved in together. Leeland has only one year left in college, and everything seems perfect… until Leeland’s uncle asks him to stand in for an injured UFC fighter.

 

Leeland wants to help his uncle, but he remembers all too well from his years competing in martial arts how strenuous life as an athlete can be. He doesn’t want to risk his relationship with Jonathan. After some discussion, they decide Leeland will go pro for a year.

 

As if the training and strict diet weren’t bad enough, the pressure skyrockets when Leeland encounters homophobic fighter Tommy Adams—especially when they end up facing each other in the championship

 

Between the bigoted rants of his opponent, the scrutiny of the media, the pressure from his sponsor, and a fire in his uncle’s gym, Leeland is close to breaking down. Only Jonathan’s support and love keep him focused enough to set foot in the octagon once more—and maybe even walk away a winner.

 

Biography Xenia Melzer

Xenia Melzer was born and raised in a small village in the South of Bavaria. As one of nature’s true chocoholics, she’s always in search of the perfect chocolate experience. So far, she’s had about a dozen truly remarkable ones. Despite having been in close proximity to the mountains all her life, she has never understood why so many people think snow sports are fun. There are neither chocolate nor horses involved and it’s cold by definition, so where’s the sense? She does not like beer either and has never been to the Oktoberfest – no quality chocolate there.

Even though her mind is preoccupied with various stories most of the time, Xenia has managed to get through school and university with surprisingly good grades. Right after school she met her one true love who showed her that reality is capable of producing some truly amazing love stories itself.

While she was having her two children, she started writing down the most persistent stories in her head as a way of relieving mommy-related stress symptoms. As it turned out, the stress-relief has now become a source of the same, albeit a positive one.

When she’s not writing, she translates the stories of other authors into German, enjoys riding and running, spending time with her kids, and dancing with her husband. If you want to contact her, please visit either her website, www.xeniamelzer.com or write her an email: info@xeniamelzer.com .    

Xenia Melzer on Writing, Romance, and her new release A Dom and His Artist (Club Whisper #2) (author guest blog)

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A Dom and His Artist (Club Whisper #2) by Xenia Melzer
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Xenia Melzer here today answering questions and talking about her new release A Dom and His Artist.  Welcome, Xenia.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Xenia Melzer

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?

Yes, I do have a favorite and even though I’m supposed to be promoting my new book here, the favorite is Ummana, the third in the Gods of War series. For the series, that book is a turning point plot-wise, and for me it’s important, because one of my favorite characters, Sic, finally reaches calmer waters after a tumultuous journey.

  • If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?

Actually, I had that problem with the previous book in the Club Whisper series, A Dom and His Writer. Some people complained that the way Richard behaved toward Dean after they got Emily made him a jerk, and that they couldn’t understand how anybody could act that way, and how Dean could forgive him. The problem was that I used some incidents I had experienced as a new mom to show how a baby could overthrow one’s life completely and how difficult it is to deal with all the change. So in a sense, Richard’s character – and by extension the whole situation – were too real. Though I do want to mention that other readers found this realism one of the strongest points of the book – because they could relate to the situation. The problem here (if you want to call it a problem) is, that different readers have different definitions of ‘too real’ or ‘not real enough’. I think it depends on what one expects. Personally, I, as a mother, always feel a bit mocked if having a baby is depicted as pure bliss and a walk in the park, because I know better. (Boy, do I know better…). I also can understand if other parents or people who plan to become parents, want a bit more romanticism in their stories about babies.

  • Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?   

This question relates to the previous one. Many readers hated Richard, because he reacted so negatively to baby Emily in his life. I made him act the way he did because I knew – and had experienced – that this is a perfectly normal reaction with some people. It doesn’t say anything about their character, more about their ability to adapt to change. I know a lot of people, mostly women, who have decided to not have children because they simply don’t like them. This is still not a very popular opinion for a woman to have, but it’s valid. Not everybody likes children and that’s okay. And sometimes people come around and realize having children isn’t as bad as they feared, or they don’t. For the sake of the story, Richard did come around, but the fears he had in the beginning mirror what many people think about children. Which relates back to the ‘too real’ part of the first question. I surely didn’t want to make a statement or tut the horn of how wonderful children are. That’s a very personal decision for everybody to make on their own. I just wanted to show a realistic situation, with realistic fears that are overcome by romance.

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

Funny you should mention that. When I still was a teacher, my pupils asked a lot of questions about how I write my books and how I come up with plotlines and characters. One day, they were really getting on my nerves, not concentrating at all, and I looked at them and told them I had just come up with a whole battle scene in my head, thanks to them. (They were all fifteen or older at that point and found my comment hilarious.) Of course they wanted to know who I killed how and believe it or not, that discussion turned into a very productive lesson about using writing as an outlet. They all came up with scenes of their own and we guessed what real-life situation they were referring to.

So, yes, I sometimes do work issues in RL out in my books. Sometimes I let my characters act exactly like I acted, sometimes I let them react differently, in a way I wish I had reacted. Writing never happens in a vacuum. Even if we aren’t aware, our daily lives do interfere a lot with our plots and characters.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I’m a firm believer in Escapism. I do my best writing when I’m stressed because of things happening in my personal world. Writing helps me to establish a distance and look at things from a new perspective, even if what I’m writing about isn’t directly related to my real life problems. It also helps me to work through my own issues. Sometimes things get clearer once I wrote them down and let’s be honest, with the way the world is at the moment, it’s nice to escape once in a while.

As for the knowledge part… there’s a lot to be known about BDSM and my research for the sake of the Club Whisper series still leaves me blushing in front of the screen more often than not. But I will continue to sacrifice my innocence to bring my readers realistic, yet romantic stories about the wonderful world of kink 😉

Blurb

Sometimes the perfect man can be found in the most unexpected place….

 

Martin Carmichael owns a security firm and is part owner of Club Whisper. He’s a Dom in search of the right guy, and when his car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road, he thinks he might have found him.

 

Artist Collin Malloy is talented, easygoing, but somewhat insecure. Still, he has a big heart and is quick to offer help when he sees Martin in need. To thank him, Martin invites Collin to dinner, where the attraction between them becomes harder to resist.

 

But what will become of their budding relationship when Martin reveals that he likes his men bound, submissive, and in pain? Is it something Collin can accept… and possibly enjoy exploring? Even if he can, Collin has a secret of his own—a secret he doesn’t even realize he’s keeping.

About the Author

Xenia Melzer is a mother of two who enjoys riding and running when she’s not writing stories. She doesn’t like beer but is easily tempted by a Virgin Mojito. Or chocolate. Truffles are especially cherished, even though she doesn’t discriminate. As a true chocoholic, she welcomes any kind of cocoa-based delight.

Visit me at www.xeniamelzer.com or contact me at info@xeniamelzer.com

Or befriend and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xeniamelzer/

  

Xenia Melzer on Writing, Inspiration, and her latest release ‘A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) (guest blog)

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A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) by Xenia Melzer
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 23, 2017

Available to Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

How I got the idea for A Dom and his Writer

by Xenia Melzer

People often want to know how authors get their ideas for stories. For each author, that can be a unique process, but one thing many of us have in common is the so-called “plot bunny disease”. The plot bunny is an evil little thing that hops through your mind, leaving new ideas like Easter eggs when you should be writing something else. Once the plot egg hatches – with me, it usually happens during night, when I’m defenseless – there’s this new story with all those interesting characters and it wants out. It can’t wait. Nope. Not a day, not a minute, and certainly not until you have finished this other project.

For me, this means I sit down with my trusty notebook (analog, not digital, so last century, I know!) to write down the cliff notes, overall plot, and everything else you need to craft a story. I usually don’t know what triggers the plot bunny to drop its eggs, but with “A Dom and his Writer”, I have a pretty good idea. I had read something about so-called helicopter parents, the pro and cons of getting children early/late in your life, and why especially parents with an academic background seem to be prone to helicoptering. Why I read that article? Don’t ask me. It was less complicated than the Lego bus my younger daughter wanted to build with me and slightly more demanding than scrolling through my FB account, so I went with it. Anyway, said article culminated in the idea for “A Dom and his Writer”.

I thought about all the ways my children have changed my life and then I wondered how somebody who had no ties to children or inclination to have them whatsoever, would react to having one dumped in their lap. At least, I wanted to have children…

So I came up with Richard and Dean, a gay BDSM couple, Richard a filthy rich billionaire, Dean a super-successful, not as filthy rich but still loaded author, who live their life with absolutely no care in the world. (I’m not saying BDSM couples don’t want children, it’s just that I wanted the maximum in contrast and black leather against pink onesies was irresistible to me.)

Richard and Dean have it all: deep love, a stable relationship, both are comfortable with their roles and the kinky side of their love-life, they have good friends and more money than they will ever be able to spend. Then comes Emily, Dean’s niece, a three-month old girl, and everything changes.

I do admit some of the scenes including Emily were written with my own children in mind. Becoming a parent is easy, being one is quite another story and nobody can prepare you for the challenges that come with raising a child. Those who consciously decide to become parents have at least nine months to prepare for it. To read books, watch videos, attend courses. Richard and Dean are thrown into the role with no warning and I have to admit, I just watched them struggle with the changes Emily brought to their life.

Sometimes it was funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes I got angry. Writing this story was a bit like the first year with my first daughter. A roller-coaster ride that I’d never want to miss, even when the ride was a bit bumpy sometimes.

I hope readers see the story like I do – a love story between two men who have to face a major challenge, not knowing how it will end for their relationship.

Oh, and there’s a bit of kink, too. 😊    

 

Blurb

Life is perfect for Richard and Dean. Richard is a wealthy and successful businessman who also owns a BDSM club, and Dean is a bestselling author and sub to Richard. They’re young, happy, and in love. The future is bright….

 

Until tragedy strikes and an accident claims Dean’s beloved sister. Dean also finds himself the guardian of a three-month-old infant, and soon he’s trading in his leather fetish gear for diapers and drool bibs. But little Emily is all that remains of his family, so how can he abandon her?

 

It’s not what Richard signed up for. As much as he tries to be supportive, he never wanted kids and misses having his partner to himself. Suddenly the life he imagined for them is gone, and he’s not sure their relationship can survive the upheaval. But fate isn’t through with Dean, and when misfortune strikes again, will he be able to turn to the man he loves? A final crisis will determine if they can pull together as a family or they must face facts and part ways.

About the Author

Xenia Melzer is a mother of two who enjoys riding and running when she’s not writing stories. She doesn’t like beer but is easily tempted by a Virgin Mojito. Or chocolate. Truffles are especially cherished, even though she doesn’t discriminate. As a true chocoholic, she welcomes any kind of cocoa-based delight.

You can contact her through her website: http//www.xeniamelzer.com

Or befriend and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xeniamelzer/

Xenia Melzer on Writing, Stories and the latest in her Gods of War series, Ummana (author interview)

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Ummana (Gods of War III) By Xenia Melzer
DSP Publications

Cover Art by Aaron Anderson

Available for Purchase at DSP Publications
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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Xenia Melzer here today talking about writing, stories and her latest in the Gods of War series, Ummana. Welcome, Xenia.
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  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

Hmm, that’s a good one. Often, I don’t realize how much of myself I have poured into a character until it’s too late. Writing is a journey to yourself in that respect. As for my Gods of War series, I scatter character traits generously. Casto’s stubbornness has a very real model, but I’m not going to tell or she’ll kill me. Hulda is my ideal of an independent, confident woman. I want to be like her, at least a bit, and I want my daughters to follow her example. So yes, I do pour a lot of myself into a book, and sometimes into a specific character, but mostly, I try to distribute evenly. When the character becomes too much like myself, I chicken out and rewrite.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your own worlds and cultures?

Weelll… I only started out as a writer last year and, so far, I have only fantasy books out, Ummana being the third. But I do have my first contemporary coming up this year. Making up your own worlds has a lot of benefits. You can decide on the rules, which makes it easier to cheat and it’s harder for people to call you on your mistakes, because, hello, it’s YOUR world. This said, I actually enjoy research as long as it doesn’t get too tedious. I realized that when I did my first contemporary novel. If I’m interested in a topic, I more or less assimilate the info with one read. Unfortunately, not every topic that comes up in a book is interesting and that’s when research becomes a chore. I’m currently working on a book where I have to research MMA. Let’s just say, the YouTube videos are fun and eye candy (mostly; before they start bleeding all over the place) and the terms for the different moves are hard to remember.

  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Oh yes! As a teenager, I read everything fantasy. Eddings, Tolkien, Pratchett, Lovecraft, Holbein, you name it, I probably read it. And my first book out is a fantasy series, so I stayed in character. Sometimes, I read romance books, but I mostly found them boring or too predictable. Now that I’m older, and perhaps wiser, I see the merit in romance books and I can see my writing going in that direction. A HEA is not to be sneezed upon!

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Yes. One time simply because I got stuck and couldn’t find my way out or forward. That story is still on my laptop and I’m determined to see it through. I’m still hoping for divine intervention… The other times, it was when I was working on Gods of War. I already had the first three books more or less written down when I finally found the courage to send the manuscript out and in the three years I was working on the series, I had to stop more than once. Especially when it came to Sic. His story is hard for me to tell, because there’s so much darkness in it, but I can’t change it either. It’s how it has to go and that hurts sometimes.

I also had the opposite effect as well. Daran, for example, is a character whose story I love to tell. Most of the time it’s fun – or at least interesting – to follow him on his path.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer? Now and growing up?

There’s more than one. I love the works of Ottfried Preußler. He’s a German author who is probably most famous for ‘The Little Witch’, a children’s book every adult should read. The way he turns a complicated matter – being true to yourself – into a funny and heartwarming story every child can understand, has me awed every time I read the book.

Then there’s Terry Pratchett. Of course I would never compare myself to him, because in my opinion he plays/played in a different league. But his way with words, his very unique view of the world, and his ability to transfer that view into an entertaining series that still carries a deeper morale is simply awesome.

I also love the work of Neil Gaiman. I like his style and the way he can spin a plot until the reader doesn’t know right from wrong anymore. Just read American Gods. Or watch it.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I’m torn. I have to admit, I’m one of those old-fashioned dinosaurs who need the feel of actual paper under their fingertips to be satisfied. Until my husband force-gifted me with a kindle, I was strictly opposed to ebooks. Now, not so much anymore. I still love having books in my shelf and when I really like a book, I still buy them as paperback or even hardcover. The good thing about ebooks is, they are less expensive, always available (no pesky re-prints), you can carry a small library on your device, and they give readers a chance to try out new authors. They are also a good medium for novellas. The downside is, the market is swamped. There are so many authors and publishers competing for the reader’s attention and that makes the market harder to navigate. I honestly don’t know where this is all going, but I’m sure ebooks are going to be a dominant part of the future book market.

  • How do you choose your covers?

To be honest, I don’t know. I always liked it when the books of a series also had a visual connection with each other. Aaron Anderson, the graphic designer who does the covers for Gods of War, sent me various images he had created from the info I had given on a questionnaire. I had a vague idea what I wanted and he kind of looked into my head and designed the perfect cover. The burning stone with the rune is the centerpiece of each cover and the color scheme reflects either the characters in the book or the main tone. Casto was blue, because that’s Casto’s and Renaldo’s color in more than one respect. Love and the Stubborn showed more realistic flames in orange, to emphasize the heat between Casto and Renaldo. Ummana has a white flame, because the story focuses more on Sic. And I can already tell that Braving the Storm, the next in the series, has a green color scheme, because it is about Daran.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

After Ummana, Braving the Storm will be out in November. And I have my first contemporary novel, A Dom and His Writer, out in October. Currently I’m working on my first paranormal story, the fifth part of the Gods of War series, and the next contemporary novel, a sequel to the A Dom – story. So I won’t be bored anytime soon. 

Blurb

In war, loss is the price of victory, and the cost of love is sometimes pain.

 

After Renaldo and Casto finally celebrate their marriage, the time has come for revenge against the followers of the Good Mother who tried to kill Casto—though this time, the Gods of War won’t use bloodshed to take Medelina.

 

As a member of the Confederation of the Plains, Medelina answers to Ummana, the head of the alliance… and Casto is heir to the throne of Ummana. Accompanied by their most capable mercenaries, Canubis and Renaldo travel to Ummana to make Casto king.

 

They’ll face the Council of Elders, Lord Aran, Casto’s father, and Princess Anesha, Casto’s sister—none of whom are happy about the king’s return. For Casto, the city is a reminder of a terrible childhood, and Renaldo can only helplessly watch his beloved fight a seemingly hopeless battle.

 

Through trickery and political scheming, vengeance against the Good Mother is finally within their grasp—but their success might be bittersweet. Not everyone will return to the Valley with Casto and Renaldo.

About the Author

Xenia Melzer is a mother of two who enjoys riding and running when she’s not writing stories. She doesn’t like beer but is easily tempted by a Virgin Mojito. Or chocolate. Truffles are especially cherished, even though she doesn’t discriminate. As a true chocoholic, she welcomes any kind of cocoa-based delight.

You can contact her through her website: http//www.xeniamelzer.com

Or befriend and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xeniamelzer/