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You might not like my writing if – by Sessha Batto

Like most others, I have a to-be-read list about a mile long, and I can always add to it, but never quite seem to whittle it down any. Sessha Batto is an author I’ve been watching for a while and I invited her to the blog because I haven’t read her but I like her style, her content, and her unabashed quirkiness. She proved that I need to pick up one of her books (right now) with this special guest post.  ~B.

Sessha w tattooBrandon very kindly asked me to be on his blog and I instantly said yes. Then, of course, came the question – what do you want to do, an interview, and excerpt, a guest post? He admitted he hadn’t read any of my work and was interested in a guest post so he could learn more about me. So, in the spirit of revealing all about me . . .

You might not like my writing if . . .

you love romance – I don’t write romance. Love stories, absolutely. Every story I write has love at its center, but I don’t believe in happily ever after. In fact, I think happily ever after is the root of a lot of discontent. Girls are raised from birth hearing a prince will come, save all their problems and they will live happily ever after. Of course, we all know real life isn’t that easy. Relationships take time, and work. People argue. Demands of the world intrude. The most we can realistically expect is happy for now. When the fairy tale doesn’t pan out most are quick to discard their partner and try another, always searching for the elusive prince, never appreciating all the parts they enjoy.

 

You might not like my writing if . . .

you don’t like strong flawed gay men. I write exclusively homoerotic fiction. Women, when they do appear, are not a party to any of the primary relationships. Nothing against women, don’t get me wrong, but the dynamic of two strong men together is irresistible. Unlike a heterosexual pairing, either or both parties can choose to be dominant or submissive, or to give or receive. The thought processes behind these decisions shine a bright light on the inner landscape of the characters, which is the key to all my stories. My men are flawed, true, but aren’t we all? Those flaws give us character and provide obstacles to be surmounted. Our weaknesses make us human, loveable, relatable. Shouldn’t fictional characters be the same?

 

You might not like my writing if . . .

the darker side of sexuality scares or disgusts you. I write transgressive fiction. Twisted power exchanges, dubious consent, rape and even torture all make an appearance at some point in my work. These are the pivotal moments, the contrast to the love we all search for. Pitting the dark against the light allows my characters to see themselves, grow and develop as people. My stories are, ultimately, about the inner landscape of the characters, their struggle to overcome what genetics and the world have given them to work with. Set in wider stories, true, but this inner path is the one that always drives the narrative.

 

You might not like my writing if . . .

sex, sex and more sex is what you crave. My sex is explicit, this is true, but it certainly isn’t continuous or gratuitous. It may be fifty pages before the main characters get together, and another 250 before it happens again. Too much sex for some, not enough for others, but the right amount for the story and the characters. Every sex scene serves a purpose, whether for good or for ill, and moves the characters closer to understanding themselves and each other. How they feel, what they enjoy or despise, and why, fleshes out our understanding of the path they walk and lets us experience vicariously things we would never want to go through ourselves.

 

You might not like my writing if . . .

infidelity, disillusionment, abandonment or multiple partners leave you cold. All these real world occurrences are standard fodder for me. Love in the real world is rarely simple or straightforward, why should it be so in novels. Learning to live with such things is part of learning acceptance and forgiveness, both of which you need in abundance to find and hold on to love.

 

You might not like my writing if . . .

stories set in other cultures are too alien for you to relate to. Most of my work is set in Japan, and the culture, traditions and language feature prominently. The formality of address, sexual mores and religious beliefs are radically different from those in the west. It takes a willingness to submerge yourself in that culture to truly appreciate the nuances of the characters and their interactions.

 

You might not like me writing if . . .

you are a lover of genre fiction, as I don’t fall into any single genre – not romance, not erotica, not fantasy, not thriller. It is, instead, small yet epic, personal, erotic but not erotica, filled with love but not romance. Difficult to read, at times and, hopefully, thought provoking. Above all it is a journey to understanding. Darkly different but relatable. In short, demanding of the readers attention. Hopefully it rewards those who rise to those demands. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m okay with that. After all, I’m not, either.

Find Sessha’s books on Amazon.

Author Bio:

Sword carrying Buddhist author of transgressive homoerotic fiction, Sessha turned to writing full time after a twenty year stint in video production editing, scripting and creating motion graphics. Her novels include Strength of Will and the Shinobi Saga – Geisha, Shadow Wolf and the soon to be released Ripples. Her short stories will soon be released in the anthology Sex Ray Specs. Her Celtic fairy tale Amadan na Briona is part of eightcuts gallery’s Once Upon a Time in a Gallery exhibit. Her short story The Poetry Game is included in New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan, an anthology for tsumani relief. Originally from Belfast, she lives in the States with her husband, son, a very old cat and too many swords. Read more about her work on her website or follow her on Twitter