One of the challenges I’ve had writing interspecies relationships has been how to refer to the object of one’s desire.
To be honest, I had the challenge regardless of the genre.
It didn’t help that the following were no go’s:
It’s too sterile. When I hear the word partner I think of business, not business.
I once dated a guy who told me he wasn’t comfortable being referred to as a boyfriend since he wasn’t a boy.
He was in his thirties.
When I sat down to write Port In a Storm, I considered that rock musician Clint Malek had seen a lot of life. Though he hadn’t lost his sense of fun or adventure he was too mature to be called a boy.
It was while writing Metatron’s Army I realized I needed a term I could live with.
Christine refers to the partners she’s had intimate relations with as lovers. I like this term. It’s edgy enough to reflect she enjoys the physical aspects of sex as well as the fact the scenes are explicit.
As time went on I found myself challenged by more than terminology.
How do you deal with a teen romance when one of the characters is 719 years old?
I needed to be creative.
From Shadow of the Gods
I had a lot of fun with Cayden and Mica, being sure to give perspective from each.
When he saw the very plain white bra that screamed virgin, he groaned. He was going to kill Jake McLachlan, hunt him down in his next life, and kill him again.
“Hello, Mica. Okay if I come in?”
He stopped after two steps. “You okay?”
“Yeah, fine.” Just feeling a little awkward. How did one act after baring their breasts to -? Well, he wasn’t a perfect stranger anymore, was he?
Age and species difference weren’t the only challenges I had with in the Dragon Core Series. Due to a unique set of circumstances Lage, Lucus, and Clare have an interesting love triangle.
This is fully detailed in Cauldron of the Gods.
Terminology wasn’t the only challenge with Metatron’s Army either. Try writing sex when a character is of a species that will die if they experience high emotion.
Such as love or lust.
There are a variety of interesting relationships thanks to the number of species and complexity of plot.
Not to mention Cirhce was born in one universe, grew up in another only to later return to her home universe.
I did take time to highlight concerns of characters crossing dimensions and sexual cultures.
There are more than just human-Vetrian relationships in the series.
And there are times I need to set terminology aside and simply write around the challenge.
From Dragon Core
“Cayden,” she said softly stepping close, “it makes sense you’re nervous. This is your home, your place of business. It’s you. Or at least it’s a side of you I haven’t seen and – it’s different with me, right? I’m your -.” She frowned. “What am I?”
God, he loved her for understanding. “You’re mine,” he replied then kissed her.
From Metatron’s Army
From Adjudication, this is one of two simultaneous intimacy scenes I had going.
The other is in Promotion, Book 11 in the series.
“Well,” he drawled, drawing a finger over the tattoo, smiling when she shivered. “I think the waiting is over because after this? Telling you? I don’t feel conflicted.”
“Because I understand?”
“Because you know you’re mine.”
“And you don’t share,” she replied, her serious tone belying her amusement.
“Damn straight,” he said then kissed her. Passionately, the bulge in his pants letting her know he was about to drive the point home.
This article is cross posted on elizabethmaxim.com.