Inspiration for From Lightning to Love
I really can't say for sure from where the idea for “From Lightning to Love” came, but I do remember that I began to think about writing a gay novel while there was still snow on the ground in early 2016. That spring, I woke up one morning with an overwhelming sense that “Today is the day I'm going to write,” and I did. My notes say that was May 15, 2016.
I’ve had a little experience with writing in the past, but it was unsuccessful. There are two general audience novels that are about half written sitting in files on my computer that I haven’t been able to complete. I started one in 2003 and the other in 2013, but in both cases I was forced to stop because of life altering events.
Even having started two novels in the past, I had no idea where to begin with this labor of love, (and I do mean labor or love because I love these characters dearly), so I just sat down and started to write. Before I knew it, I'd completed the first rough draft of chapters 1 - 4. While I was writing I thought, “What setting would force two men who didn’t know each other to live together in total isolation and create an environment that would be conducive to falling in love? What if there was also a dependency for survival?”
After doing a web search for the most isolated region of the continental United States, I happened upon the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in southeastern Idaho, and the story was born. I intentionally chose this location because it forced Jason and Aaron to interact only with each other, without any influence from the outside world. Once I had accomplished this, the story unfolded organically. There was no plot or outline during the entire writing of the manuscript.
I also believe strongly in the emotional bonds between humans and animals. I don’t know many people who are not animal lovers and they’ll be only too happy to share their stories of their special relationships with their pets. I wanted to incorporate an unlikely friendship between Jason and an animal in the story so I chose one of his donkeys, Nellie. There’s a scene where Jason opens up his heart to Nellie that I can relate to very well because as a child, I often confided in my pets. Living in isolation for eleven years allowed deep friendships to develop between Jason and the animals he kept.
I think that character names are very important for a story. I’ve based my main character's first and last names on their personality traits. For example the MC's in From Lightning to Love are Jason Ackerman and Aaron Jaeger. Jason means healer. Ackerman comes from acker, oaken, made of oak, and man. He is a brave, firm, unyielding man and his name fits well with an army medic who saved lives. Aaron means bringer of light and also strength. Jaeger means hunter. Aaron is an aggressive, professional quarterback with a voracious sexual appetite. Even though Jason is strong in personality, he is also a recluse. Aaron breaks Jason out of his shell and brings light into his life.
Interestingly, I realized when I was nearly finished with the first draft of From Lightning to Love that I was writing about the main character from the novel I began in 2003, but he was now an adult. Tentatively, I plan for it to become the prequel to the Lightning Series, however, it may likely fall under the young adult category because of the age of the main character. I haven’t researched the genre much, but I don’t know that I’ll be able to write the true-to-life sex scenes in a YA novel like I’ve written for a adult audience. We’ll just have to see.
My inspiration for writing comes from love, friendship, and acts of kindness and compassion, but I’m also inspired by the injustices I’ve experienced personally or witnessed, read about, or seen on television or in movies. I hope that my writing draws upon these things and reveals how people need to work through their troubles, often together, to eventually find meaning, understanding, and peace in their lives.
In the acknowledgments for From Lightning to Love, I wrote:
“To the many, many people and animals I have known over the course of my lifetime who have allowed me to love and care for them, who I have worked with professionally, or whom I have treated during my career, you have each touched my heart, left an indelible mark on my mind, or my soul. I have learned from you how to live my life, just as often as I have learned how not to, for you have inspired me to be a better person, a better friend, or a better healer. I hope this story does you and your memories justice.”
I dearly meant every word.
Blurb for From Lightning to Love
From Lightning to Love is a 72K word novel and my first publication. It’s the first installment in the Lightning Series. The story begins with an introduction to Jason, a gay, thirty-seven year old former American army medic who served two tours during Operation Desert Storm in Irac between 1991 and 1993. In 1994 he received a medical discharged for PTSD.
After leaving the service, Jason worked in a local hospital’s ER for a few years, but he became more and more disillusioned with his life because he had to live it in secrecy. On a whim, he bought a lottery ticket and won. Once he became a multi-millionaire, Jason used his winnings to purchase a secluded tract of land in the Bear River Mountains in southeastern Idaho where at the time that the story begins, he has lived for eleven years.
We meet the second main character, twenty-three year old Aaron, the morning after a violent autumn storm when Jason began to check his home and property for damage. He discovered Aaron dangling by a shredded parachute in a tree. We later learned that Aaron was the newly signed, star quarterback for a fictitious American professional football team. Because of the remote location, there was no way for Jason to get help, so he had to care for Aaron alone while he recovered from his injuries.
Having lived in near isolation for many years, Jason is ill-prepared for the physical attraction he develops for Aaron while tending his wounds. While Jason struggles with the emotions that begin to surface, Aaron’s strength returns, and his ravenous sexual appetite is revealed. In the weeks that follow, the two men become entwined in a passionate love affair that soon blossoms into a deep and caring bond.
Dare they hope for a future together? Dare we?
From Lightning to Love - Excerpt
When Jason looked over at Aaron, it was obvious that he’d been disturbed by the shout from the unsettled look on his face, but it hadn’t been enough to wake him. He also noticed that the sheet and blanket were off him again, and he had another raging erection. He was so focused on Aaron’s penis, he didn’t realize that Aaron had woken up. Instinctively, Jason began to reach for it, but withdrew his hand almost immediately.
“You can touch it,” Aaron whispered.
Jason nearly jumped off the bed.
“No really, Jason, you can touch it. Please, you have my permission,” he said more clearly.
“Oh God, what’s happening?” Jason whispered.
“I watched you sleep last night, Jason. You’re a beautiful man. I’d be lucky to find someone like you.”
“Aaron, I’m sorry.” Jason sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed, turning away.
“Jason, listen to me.”
Jason stood up and walked towards the window. He wanted to run away.
“Jason, look at me.”
Jason turned to face him, unaware that his own erection was straining against his jeans. He focused his gaze above Aaron’s head. Aaron focused on the bulge in Jason’s jeans.
“Can I be honest with you, Jason?”
Jason didn’t answer.
“Jason, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but here goes. We have to be realistic about this. You’re a man. I’m a man. You’re gay. I’m gay. And for God knows how long, we’re gonna be confined to this cabin. It could be months.”
“Everything you’ve said is the truth,” Jason answered quietly, lowering his eyes to meet Aaron’s gaze.
“Jason, I can’t pretend to know what’s going on in your head, so I can only speak for myself, and please believe me when I say this. I have needs, Jason, physical needs. I always have, and I now find that I’m very attracted to you. I don’t think it’s just because of what you’ve done for me or that I think I owe you something. Well, to be honest, that may be part of it, sort of like hero worship or something, but it’s only a small part, and besides, if I’d have met you on the street before I met Nathan, I would’ve jumped your bones in a minute.”
Aaron tensed his mouth and closed his eyes momentarily. Jason noticed the look on Aaron’s face at the mention of Nathan’s name. When Aaron opened his eyes again, he looked directly into Jason’s eyes.
“Jason, I don’t think you know just how darn handsome you are. You have a powerful masculine musk, and I’m drawn to it. The first time I got a hard-on when you were washing me, it was purely physical. I couldn’t help it, but over the past few days, I’m finding myself wanting you more and more. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want you to make love to me. I’m a very good lover, Jason, though obviously,” Aaron waved his arm over his broken body, “I can’t back that up right now.”
Jason looked blankly at Aaron. He didn’t speak.
“Well, say something, Jason. What are you feeling?”
Jason forced the words out. “Aaron, it would be wrong.”
“How can that be when I’m throwing myself at you right now!”
Copyright© 2017 Kory Steed
Heat Level 4: Erotic content. Graphic sex and adult language. Hardcore sexual content. May offend mainstream readers.
Contemporary, BDSM, erotic, Medical, Military
Kory Steed Author Biographical Note
Kory Steed is a new M/M novelist who writes about real men in real relationships. Into his thirties, he realized he was attracted to men, but he has also loved women. With a naturally strong sense of empathy for all living things, he has been an astute observer of interpersonal human relationship dynamics, the relationships between humans and animals, and the ensuing bonds that have developed between them.
He has extensive experience in trauma and emergency care and has worked as a medic for over twenty years while supporting his country, its citizens, and the military men and women in the armed forces in various capacities. Over the course of his career, he has seen more than his share of pain and suffering, not only from injuries and illness, but also from ignorance, discrimination, and prejudice. Now retired, his fictional writing draws on his life experiences to share the stories, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses of so many he has known and met along the way.
He hopes he does them justice.
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Author Website - http://korysteed.com
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