November 1, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

On Writing a Lesbian, Erotic Thriller

I did not set out to write a lesbian erotic thriller.

My husband was hired to write a spec script in 2009, for which that certain bit of magic that you need to make a movie did not materialize, but I loved the story. A self-conscious co-ed throws caution to the wind and goes home with an older, sexy woman only to awaken tied to a bed. It was the distraction that I was looking for at the time in my writing career. I suggested to my husband that I could adapt his thriller into a book, and in 2015, “The Need” was born.

The fact that the two main characters were female was not a driver for me to write this book, but it definitely pushed me in unexpected ways. I found myself writing edgier scenes, and that was partially the subject matter of holding someone in your residence against their will, but the female-female dynamic gave me certain permissions in my writing that I had never experienced while writing about female-male relationships. I created an unapologetically manipulative, violent seductress in the form of a love interest that I don’t think I could have justified in a female-male love affair story line.

The thriller turned into a love story.

Falling in love with a villain is tricky business. Yes, you can make them sexy as hell for palatability purposes, but it doesn’t resolve the issue of their seemingly repugnant soul. When my husband wrote the script, he wrote it as a thriller. There were few romantic elements, and the story focused more on the shady world of internet porn. I saw an opportunity to develop a love story.

The love story between Heather and Angie is the biggest roller-coaster ride in the smallest of spaces. Heather appears to have a simple agenda on the surface. Mind games, masochism, and documenting everything via photo and video. Angie’s obvious reflex is to escape, except the experiences tap into an unexplored part of Angie’s body and mind.

Their love story may start out as twisted game of cat and mouse but ends in the genuine complexity of two people needing each other to morph into a different version of themselves.

The love story turned erotic.

Sex always makes relationships more complex. And sex scenes are the most challenging to write because to make them not only hot but also compelling, you have to make it about more than just the sex. You have to throw in a plot twist or a character arc while the characters are physically entangled in one another. Otherwise, it can feel very repetitive.

The erotic moments between these two women are particularly important in this story, to frame the growing connection in an otherwise dark and twisted backdrop. While many readers may immediately jump to a Stockholm Syndrome theory, I approached every erotic moment as an opportunity to transport the characters out of their current emotional and physical binds.

One of the most unusually erotic moments in the book is when Heather confesses her love to Angie. The confession is an aperitif to a sex scene that is already explicit, but now heightened because of the vulnerability of those words.

The eroticism was transformative.

Transformation is a central theme in this book, and that in itself can be a scary thing. It is easier to settle into the comfort of a known quantity. Once we explore, transform, and grow, there’s no turning back.

The Need titillates, by diving into the many grey areas of transformation, and right and wrong in various situations. It pushes the limits of our social norms and dares us to ponder outside our boundaries.

“How do you think we learn about ourselves, Angie? By being comfortable and not pushing our boundaries? By always feeling safe?” Her lips pause at my chin and the smell of coffee is heavy on her breath. “You want to go home? Believe his excuses and go back to status quo? That’s always going to be there for you. But this, and me…if you walk away now, you may regret it forever. What’s a couple more days?”

S.L. Hannah was born in Poland, grew up in Canada, and moved to Southern California to pursue her love of single-engine airplanes. The Need is her first erotic thriller. The manuscript won the 2013 Golden Palm Contest, and the book won the 2016 iHeartindie contest. Buzz about the break-out novel calls it “one powerful piece of writing…creepy as hell.” S.L. Hannah lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband. When she’s not writing fiction, she continues to solve the aviation problems of the world. Read more about S.L. Hannah at her website.

The Need is available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts

Ross Victory Standing For Bisexuality

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Los Angeles singer-songwriter and author Ross Victory gives the reader a detailed vision of his life as a bisexual minority...

North Hollywood Gay Latino Bar ‘Cobra’ Closed for Business

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

Instead adopts virtual entertainment method By Toi Creel The effect of COVID -19 has not only taken a toll on...

MIKA, Lil Nas X and More at GLAAD Awards

March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that recording artist and...

“Pose” Actress and Transgender Rights Advocate Angelica Ross Among the Honorees Truth Awards

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

The Annual Awards Show to Honor and Recognize LGBTQ + African Americans and Their Allies By Staff Writer Better Brothers...

Los Angeles Premiere of Latinx LGBTQ Film at Outfest Fusion

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

“Acuitzeramo” screening March 9 By Staff Writer Outfest Fusion presents the Los Angeles premiere of Cabaldana Alchemy’s short film “Acuitzeramo”...

Douglas: What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

By Chole Marie Rivera The theater is dark and light casts a purple glow on the outline of a cartoon...

Q&A: Being Openly Gay at LA Opera

February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020

The scene: Eurydice always imagined that her wedding day would be a day she’d never forget. But after a tragic...

USC One Archives to Host Screening of Film on Black Trans Woman to Honor Black History Month

February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020

Meet Mary Jones, a black transgender woman born in New York in 1803. Described as a “man-monster” in the press. ...

Trans Flag Emoji Unveiled for More Cyber-Inclusion

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

Transgender texters, rejoice! For there is finally an emoji there for you!  Unicode Consortium, the company that sets industry standard...

HRC to Honor Dan Levy, Janelle Monáe at Award Ceremony in DTLA

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

Award Season is upon us, and the LGBTQ+ Community is not immune. HRC announced today that actor Dan Levy will...

VIDEO: South Coast Chorale’s Tribute to Gay & Civil Rights Activist

January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020

67 years ago, openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin was arrested on a discriminatory, anti-gay “lewd conduct” charge for...

IN PHOTOS: WeHo Dodgeball at Sin City Classic LGBTQ+ Sports Festival

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

Hosted annually by The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), Sin City Classic brought together the United State’s finest athletes last weekend for three...

GUEST COLUMN: Queer Mindfulness Meditation

January 22, 2020

January 22, 2020

InsightLA is a non-profit meditation center offering practices of mindfulness and compassion that are both secular and Buddhist in origin. ...

WeHo Dodgeball at the Sin City Classic LGBTQ+ Sports Festival

January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020

Hosted annually by The Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), Sin City Classic brings together the United State’s finest athletes for a...

LONG BEACH PRIDE Unveils New Logo, Drops “Lesbian & Gay” From Name

January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Formerly known as  the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, the new and improved Long Beach Pride – the organization...