Spanish Nights: How Real Life Becomes Erotic Fiction
by Cecilia Tan
It's something of a romance novel tradition to set stories in exciting "foreign" locales, and for the stand-alone erotic novella Spanish Nights I wanted to tap into that tradition somewhat. When I was a kid my mother was in a bowling league with a woman who worked as an assistant to one of the top-selling romance novelists of the day, one of the women on the level of Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele. In those days before the Internet, one part of the assistant's job was to research faraway places like Venice for her author boss, providing her with photos, facts, details, anything that might work itself into the book. I was fascinated by the thought that so much work went into those books and that it didn't all come out of the writer's head.
At the time I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, but I wanted to go into science fiction and fantasy, where I thought I wouldn't have to do research because it would all "come out of my own head." But as my 25+ year career in writing has shown, what goes in, must come out. Almost anything that happens to me in my real life ends up in my fiction somewhere. And these days, given that I've been writing Daron's Guitar Chronicles as a web serial since 2009, almost anywhere I travel you can be guaranteed that Daron, a touring pro musician, is going to end up there at some point.
When I sat down to write Spanish Nights it was several years after my trip to Seville. I'd gone there purely for vacation when corwin and I celebrated our 13th anniversary. In fact, it was our first "pure" vacation together in 13 years that wasn't a family trip, group vacation, or tacked onto a business trip. Just the two of us, exploring Seville for nearly a week (and then driving through the mountains to Granada, with stops at Ronda and Jaen along the way).
The Seville we discovered was magical, romantic, and full of excellent food and music. In fact, it was magical and romantic BECAUSE it was full of excellent food and music. (And also because it was our anniversary trip, our gift to ourselves for graduating couples therapy, a kind of honeymoon.) So it's no surprise that when I wanted to write a story about a torrid love affair that rekindles Daron's artistic mojo, Seville was the perfect setting. At the time of my trip there, I had not yet begun serializing Daron's story: it was languishing in a drawer because no one wanted to publish the coming of age story of a gay guitar player from the 1980s. But Daron is always with me, and when we were in Seville there were guitars everywhere. I knew, then, that someday I would write a story about Daron going there.
One night we attended a flamenco concert in the courtyard of a tiny house museum that seated only fifty people. Years later that scene makes its way into Spanish Nights, and the woman who sang that night has become a character, the matriarchal Gloria.
Then there is Orlando, Daron's enigmatic, energetic lover in Spanish Nights. Like Daron he is a creation of my yearning heart, not a product of "research" so much as an expression of Daron's need for love and lust and validation of his spirit. In Seville, we discovered that manyof the best restaurants didn't even open their doors until nine or ten at night and the nights held the best music. Even the art museums were open late: why close before ten if the restaurants weren't even open yet? Daron has always come alive at night, on the stage, and in Spain he finds a culture so different from what he's used to in the U.S. Northeast he takes to it like a duck to water.
I didn't want to bog the story down with too many details. It's not a travelogue, after all, but hopefully the smoke-filled tapas bars where Daron and Orlando spend their busking tips on ham and red wine come through vividly enough. Daron never comes to understand fully the nuances of the culture surrounding him, but he doesn't have to. He learns that a kiss, and a chord, and a clap, and a lover by your side mean the same thing on both sides of the Atlantic.
SPANISH NIGHTS is available now in Kindle Unlimited and for download in the Kindle store.
Two men, a chance meeting, a torrid affair.One an internationally known rock star, the other from the streets of Spain: they meet in an erotic tale as hot as a summer night in Seville, as seductive as red wine and song.Daron Marks didn't expect to find a lover that day at the airport. He didn't expect to suddenly change his plans and fly to Spain. But sometimes opportunity knocks and you have to grab Fate by the lapels and kiss until you're breathless.Orlando is as mysterious as he is beautiful, doe-eyed and nimble-fingered. To Daron, his presence seems to beckon something from deep within. When the two guitarists meet, they jam together to pass the time, but music sparks a deeper desire to connect, to touch, to love. But when Daron arrives in Spain he finds Orlando entangled in something more than simply sweaty sheets...The Spanish Nights ebook also contains the complete erotic story "Home Sweet Home" as a bonus.