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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fantasy? Or Reality? by Xavier Axelson & Excerpt


“Go for fantasy or reflect reality…” 
From the October issue of Vogue letter from the editor. 

I found myself reading and re-reading the statement and couldn’t help but think of writing, writers and the worlds we create and the words we use to create them. 
Fantasy?  Or Reality?  It wasn’t used as a question in the editors letter, but it could easy be turned into one.  Does your writing go for fantasy or reflect reality? 
In erotic romance, I have noticed fantasy often overrides reality.  Fantasy is king.  Women write as men, men write as women and I’m finding almost nothing/no one is what it/they seems.  It is a multilayered effect.  Fantasy upon fantasy and reality is somewhere behind the bushes snickering.  You can’t escape reality but writing can definitely be a way to put it on hold for awhile.
I am all for fantasy.  I love fantastic worlds, ideas, people, and writing but I can’t help but keep reality close to my side.  The Birches is a fantasy.  It’s a fantasy revolving around food, cooking and passion.  There is no little restaurant buried in a cove of birch trees, if there is, I haven’t seen it.  Let me know if you do. 
The restaurant is based on a combination of places I have been to and enjoyed for one reason or another.  I immediately think of a Maine inn I visited many times as a child on family vacations.  It was yellow outside and warm, pleasant, and cozy inside.  They made amazing strawberry muffins and I remember looking forward to going there specifically for that reason.  Muffins are an active ingredient in The Birches and I can’t say they are based on the strawberry ones from the inn, more from my own love of blueberry muffins, grilled with a ton of butter, thanks very much. 
It’s an East Coast thing.  Something magical happens when a muffin meets a grill top. 
Magic.
Speaking of magic, my publisher mentioned the “magical feeling” of The Birches and wanted to know if it was my intention to have the story take on a magical element.
Not intentionally, most likely, subconsciously, the magic comes from the characters and the restaurant comes alive because they are passionate about what they are doing and what they are doing is eating, creating, and sharing food.  What is more magical than that? 
My main character, Leo is the reality.  He is grounded in his need to be perfect.  He finds anything easy or unstructured frightening and disconcerting.  He has forgotten the magic of easy living and letting go.  He sees the world as a stern taskmaster.  It isn’t until he meets Dock who is the fantasy, that his life changes and he begins to see another side to himself, his path and his passions.
The Birches is both fantasy and reality, about two men who find one another and fall in love.  It is about passion, losing your way and finding it again.  Leo finds himself in the kitchen of The Birches.  He finds lust, gluttony, domination, release and finally he finds himself not only fed and full but also loved.
Love is both real and fantastic.  I think when you write about one you are writing about the other.  So is there a choice?  Is it a question?  I’ll leave that up to you.



Xavier Axelson is a writer of erotica for Silver Publishing and Seventh Window Publications.  He is also the Los Angeles Sex Advice Columnist for Examiner.com, contributes regularly to Queer Magazine Online, and writes a column for All Bear Online Magazine.  Xavier has worked in the adult industry for over 15 years.  During this time, he has assisted countless people with exploring their healthy sexual needs, questions, and lifestyles.  Xavier has several degrees in fields such as communications, library technology, and literature.

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Look out below for an excerpt of Xavier Axelson's book, The Birches!

"Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner. That is until he meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches. Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go."


He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.   
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Over here.” 
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him. 
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here.  I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
“What?”
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off.  Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and--” 
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.
      Leo’s heart was pounding, what was it about this place, this man?

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