Sunday, December 09, 2012

400 Days of Oppression

More than five years ago, I began working on a novel about interracial relationships and the struggles of mixing cultures that have have been historically in conflict. I have stopped and started this manuscript many times, not because I couldn't think of how to finish it, but because I couldn't imagine who would publish it. It is is one fucked up story and doesn't fit neatly into any one genre. It is too erotic to be horror or a thriller, despite many horrific elements, and doesn't have the requisite body count. Yet it is far too twisted and disturbing and lacks the typical formula for a true erotica novel. Too intelligent and thought-provoking. But I knew I had to write it. This was my chance to let out a lot of different thoughts and emotions on the subject. My very first relationship was with an Italian girl back in 1984 and the heartbreak I went through back then as a result of all the prejudice and bigotry we faced left some serious scars. I came through it all right, eventually, but imagining how all that adversity at such a young age might have warped and twisted me, what a monster I might have become, intrigued the hell out of me. I had to put that to paper. In walks Blood Bound Books.

When Blood Bound Books came to me with the proposal to publish one of my novels, I knew I had to pitch 400 Days. My wife had been bugging me to finish it for years. In a way, it was both of our stories, because she was just now getting used to the stares, the naked hatred and prejudice directed at her from those who disapprove of our relationship. I'd had more than 25 years to get over it and learn to ignore it. Even the day to day prejudice a Black man faces in this country is so normal to me now that I barely notice it anymore. My wife, on the other hand, is continually shocked and appalled when some security guard follows me around a department store for fear that I might steal something or when someone makes an off-color remark. I had to write it for her. I knew my readers would love it too. 

Sure, some of my readers just want my typical gore-fest, and I've got a lot of wet stuff coming up for them next year to satisfy their thirst for carnage, but a lot of them also read me for my fucked-up perspective on the world and whatever insights into the human condition there are to be gleaned from it. And, of course, there are those who read me because I can write one hell of a sex scene and they are going to go ape-shit for this novel because, what it lacks in twisted violence, it makes up for in twisted sex. I just couldn't find a publisher with the balls to handle it. Well, that's how I looked at it anyway. The reality was that cross-genre novels can be a bitch to promote and in a touchy publishing environment, taking a risk on an unknown product can be... well ... risky. But Blood Bound Books went nuts for the idea. So, what was my idea?  

The idea was to take the controversial topic of interracial romance and lay it out raw and bleeding for all to see and to make it even more controversial by adding a few sexual taboos and stirring up some of the most contentious racial issues. So, I wrote a story about an interracial couple that is heavily into bondage, domination, and S&M, who decide to try an experiment. If she can go through the entire Black experience in America, one day for every year suffered by African Americans, Kenyatta, a black man and, most importantly, the man she loves, will marry her. Kenyatta, a master manipulator, convinces her that this is the only way she could ever really relate to what life is like for Black people and the only way she could ever really understand him. And so she agrees.

The oppression of African Americans lasted 400 years, from the beginnings of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade through the Civil Rights movement, Natasha only has to last 400 days. If she can make it, Kenyatta will marry her. But if she can't, if she uses the safe word, a word so reprehensible she couldn't imagine herself ever uttering it aloud, the experiment will end and their relationship will be over.  

As members of The Society of "O", the nation's second oldest BDSM community, Natasha and Kenyatta had experimented with bondage and domination before, but the depths of pain and humiliation she will undergo over the course of the next year, will go far beyond the safe and sane. The "simulations" Kenyatta devises will test both the limit's of racial guilt and the power of Natasha's love. 

This book is designed to be both intensely erotic and profoundly though-provoking while at the same time being thoroughly fucked up. No matter what side you fall on, on issues of race, you will find something to love and something to hate in the pages of this book. It will stir your passions one way or another. You fuckers are gonna love it.

Coming 2013 from Blood Bound Books.


Raedel said...

Congratulations on finishing and publishing your latest novel!
I remember when Christie pitched the idea sitting in your kitchen and discussing different racial issues, although I don't remember the content of the conversation, I was very intrigued by the idea. I've often wondered what you would finally come up with from all the research you had gathered. (I might actually put my brave face on and read this one!)

Ryan Carnage said...

Really looking forward to this one. Congratulations.

Kajira said...

This sounds like an interesting and serious novel.
As a BDSM "switch", i have at times encountered people who want to play with racial stereotypes, which makes me very uncomfortable.