So this is the last day of the re-release blog tour of "Out of the Night: Book One" of my Vala's Story serial. Please visit this page if you want to catch up on missed posts (or to see updated posts that I reposted on my blog after the link had gone dead.)
How issues of sexual orientation and gender presentation affect Vala's Story...
The Queen. Two words making up one name. The chosen name of a cisgender male.
In sharing snippets from my Vala's Story serial, I find I have to resist the urge (and I often fail) to get angry at people who see "The Queen" and use a feminine pronoun even though I use masculine pronouns with him. He's cisgender male after all. It's not a "men are better" thing though for me; it's an identity thing. I find how I interpret things, often different from other authors I know, comes from my understandings of sexual orientation and gender presentation, experience. Within the world of my Vala's Story serial, there are plenty of times when this becomes obvious.
Let us continue with The Queen. He identifies as a cisgender male. The hair on his head is very long while at the same time he is a large, muscled hairy man- yes, he is my dream "bear." Working with him as a character, he often makes me think of a meme I once saw, a picture of two large leathermen with the caption "we dare you to call us faggots." Because those leathermen, they were large, covered in muscles, and looked ready to fight. Continuing on to sexual orientation, he identifies as bisexual. He enjoys sexual intercourse with men, women, and at least one transwoman that he's allowed me to know of. Sometimes I wonder if he might embrace pansexual or queer as his identity, like I prefer queer to bisexual, as the word denotes a perfect symmetry that doesn't represent my (or his) sexuality.
Now let's consider Mearr/Vala. In many ways, as a person who engages in social justice, I fret about the ways in which she's a stereotype. The back story I wrote for her is a million times worse than parts of my history and I quip that I'm "not a poster child any movement wants." A survivor of sexual abuse and rape- all at the hands of cisgender males. It would seem that Vala, as she renames herself early in the book, is mostly heterosexual, until you get to the introductions to The Queen's other slaves. While Mandisa intimidates her, and uncomfortably so, she has immediate and amorous responses to Prisca and Iona. As to her gender presentation, Vala is almost hyper-feminine. Long hair, slightly curved hips, breasts just grown to be maybe a B cup, now that The Queen has her eating regularly. I'm not sure Vala would willingly call her orientation anything at the end of "Out of the Night: Book One," although she might feel differently by the end of the serial.
So now you have two characters, their sexual orientations, and how they present their genders. Do you see how I am not functioning from a hetero-normative perspective? How my understanding of gender is based on how a person identifies?
"Out of the Night: Book One" blurb
Restless and world-weary, Mearr isn't about to admit she needs anyone's help, even this gorgeous man who has taken her into his home. Well one of his homes and part of this huge family she's heard about but not met all of. She's young, looks young, and knows it but at least she's legal now so she can pick a new name to go with her new life...
The Queen knows he wants Mearr bad, ever since the first time he saw her in the window of the coffeehouse. He has his plan, but even a Dominant's plans don't always survive the unpredictability of the future. He struggles to figure out this temperamental woman he's brought home, how best to help her. Then he takes her to his mansion...
They wait patiently for The Queen to bring Mearr home. Well to the home they've been redecorating for Him and for the hopes that she'll become part of their family and be trained to please Him. Simon and Tommy have seen her, of course, being The Queen's right and left hands; they say she'll be a perfect addition...
Please come along with Joelle on this journey, shared with the readers in serial fashion. A multitude of "Happily-ever-afters" are waiting with the completion of book 9.
Author's Note: This novel is meant for open-minded adults. Activities described include a wide range of BDSM and sexual activities, some of which are male/male, male/female, consensual slavery, oral/anal/vaginal intercourse, bondage. The story also covers some sensitive topics in characters' backstories, such as drug abuse.
Buy it on-
As they become available, please check on the "My Books" page for links to buy on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Allromanceebooks.com, if you'd prefer not to buy at Smashwords.
Joelle Casteel has been writing for as long as she can remember. Explicit, graphic, her writing isn't for minors or the easily offended. Once upon a time, she preferred to write on a PC, sitting on a stool- there were those who told her she looked like Tori Amos playing the piano. She's still trying to get the hang of writing in an arm chair instead, normally with a heavy dog's head resting on her feet, whether she wants that or not. With BDSM gaining a broader audience with various books- which she will not name because she can't stand them- she feels it's past time to put out her impression of what BDSM can look like in reality.a Rafflecopter giveaway