I’m always talking about the writing process here on the podcast—but have you ever wondered what my actual writing style is like, for the books I write? Well, that’s exactly what you’re getting on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!
This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.
TUNE IN NOW to hear a reading from Book 6 in the Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series, Out of Control...
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Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.
Now, I’m always talking about the writing process—but have you ever wondered what my actual writing style is like, for the books I write? Well, that’s exactly what you’re getting on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!
For new and returning listeners, you can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.
Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to do a reading from Book 6 in my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series, Out of Control.
I had the great pleasure of being a guest on Tristan Taormino’s Sex Out Loud podcast recently (I think that podcast episode should be going live sometime in the next few weeks). For those of you who don’t know, Tristan is the author of Opening Up, which in my opinion is one of the must-read books in polyamory and ethical non-monogamy. Just like The Ethical Slut is the polyamory bible, I would consider Opening Up to be like the polyamory user manual or guidebook.
So it was kind of a dream come true to chat with Tristan on her podcast!
Tristan read one of my books—Out of Control—prior to our interview, and then she invited me to do a reading from that book on her podcast. I had so much fun doing that and I realized that it’s been a while since I last did a reading from one of my books, here on Indie Author Weekly.
And that’s what brings us to this episode! This excerpt is from chapter 1 in Out of Control. In fact, I read the first half of chapter 1 on Tristan’s podcast, and this is the second half of chapter 1—so if you want to hear me read the chapter in its entirety, then you might want to check out my episode on the Sex Out Loud podcast when it’s released, too. I’ll link to it in the show notes.
Out of Control follows the story of Helen and Ben, newlyweds who have recently opened up their relationship, and the issues that occur when they start to—horror of horrors—start falling in love with other people. Which, as you’ll very soon find out, was not part of their initial agreement.
Okay. So, here we go: a reading from Out of Control, AKA Book 6 in the Polyamorous Passions romcom series… this is an excerpt from chapter 1.
Helen left the office that day with the first real nervousness she’d experienced since Jack first told her he was recommending her for his job.
The vetting and interview process was over. Head office now needed to make their decision on who would take over Jack’s position at the company.
She wasn’t sure if her answers to their final questions were satisfactory.
They appeared pleased with her up until this point of the interview process, but their faces were all so unreadable after Helen answered that last question. And now she had to wait.
Helen wished they would hurry up with making that decision. This had been months in the making, and if she didn’t get it…
If you don’t get it, then you’ll apply for the next opportunity that comes up, and the next, and the next. You’re resilient, remember? Besides, you’re more than qualified for this role. And Jack thinks you should get his job, which has to count for something.
Still, she would feel much more at ease once the job offer was official. She hated waiting on other people to determine her fate.
“How did the final round of the interview process go?” Ben asked when Helen walked in the door that evening. Dinner was already on the table.
Ben was the cook in the house, not Helen. The extent of Helen’s culinary abilities involved removing frozen cookie dough from the package and dumping it unceremoniously into half-formed balls on a baking sheet.
“I don’t know. I couldn’t tell if they liked me or if I missed the mark,” she answered his question with a sigh, sitting down at the table and taking a sip from the glass of wine Ben placed in front of her. He threw a tea towel over his shoulder as he dished out the casserole onto her plate.
“Jack wouldn’t have recommended you for this position if he had any misgivings. We talked about this, remember? Emma already walked you through everything about this stage of the interview process. They’re following protocol more than anything. Just to catch any red flags.”
Helen’s best friend Emma was a recruitment manager by trade, so Helen naturally took full advantage of her expertise in preparation for this series of job interviews.
“That’s the problem,” Helen pointed out. “What if there was a big red flag?”
Ben gave her a look. “Honey. Do you really think you’d say anything that would bring up red flags?”
She chewed on her lip, recounting everything in her head. “Maybe I should have rattled off more company data.”
“You don’t need to memorize facts and figures to impress them.”
“But it illustrates that I’ve done my homework!”
“Helen. Sweetheart. Anyone who spends a grand total of five minutes in your presence knows you do your homework.”
She responded with her signature glare, but it was half-hearted. Ben, recognizing it as a signal that she was giving in, kissed her forehead. That made her feel better.
“You’ll be fine. You’re going to get this job. You’re perfect for it,” he soothed her.
“I know. I know that intrinsically. It’s just… I haven’t wanted anything this much, not since…”
Ben smirked. He knew what she wasn’t saying: Not since I realized I wanted us to open our relationship.
Helen should be comfortable saying things like that out loud by this point, but she still found herself holding back.
It wasn’t like her to tiptoe around an issue. Helen’s problem was normally the opposite, in that she spoke her mind too freely. It had gotten her into trouble before.
But their non-monogamous situation was different. Sometimes she had a hard time remembering that Ben wanted this lifestyle as much as she did. It didn’t matter that she was the one who brought up the idea in the first place—now, at this point in their relationship, it was something they both wanted, needed, equally.
What a funny change from a year ago, Helen marvelled. Or even a few months ago.
She and Ben had their first non-monogamous experience together on their honeymoon, and it was everything they could have hoped for. More, even.
After that positive experience, they sat down together and created a set of rules for themselves to follow during their new nonmonogamous life:
Rule #1 was easy to follow—no problems there.
Helen’s two best friends, Emma and Scarlett, were both huge romantics. They believed there was no way to control who you fall in love with and that the heart wants what the heart wants.
Helen, on the other hand, did not share their belief.
Her opinion was that you always have control over your own feelings. And if you didn’t want to fall in love with someone, then you shut down those feelings in their tracks. Easy. Done and done.
Only weak people fall in love with someone without realizing what’s happening.
So really, Helen reflected, Rule #1 was a formality more than anything else for her and Ben. A non-issue that needed to be said out loud, for the sake of it.
Likewise for Rule #2. Helen and Ben were relatively private people and had zero interest in their families, colleagues, or friends (beyond their closest inner circle) knowing about their lifestyle choices. It was nobody’s business but their own.
Rule #3 was simple enough, too. Helen and Ben trusted each other’s judgment. So far, they’d had no problems with each other’s “secondary” partners.
Ben even thought it was funny that Helen was dating their wedding photographer, Grant. She didn’t quite share his humorous attitude about Ben’s secondary partner, Riley, but she took no issue with the matter. When it came right down to it, Riley had a pretty fantastic Twitter account, in fact.
It was nice that neither Ben nor Helen held any animosity for the men that each of them were dating. Thus far, Rule #3 seemed to be another mere formality.
Rule #4, however, was a trickier one to navigate in the beginning.
After their honeymoon, Ben wasn’t sure how long they would need to wait before he was ready for them to have separate sexual relations with other people. He wanted to take things slow. Helen understood that. She’d agreed that they could be patient, however much she wanted to jump right into things with Grant.
Grant, too, had been understanding. Helen warned him it might be months before Ben was ready. Helen and Grant steeled themselves for what was shaping up to be an excruciating wait before they’d be able to take things to the next level, and Helen tried to prepare herself for dealing with all of that pent-up sexual tension.
...But it turned out not to be as long of a wait as she expected.
In fact, it only took the first two weeks of Ben dating Riley before he announced he was ready for them to have sex with other people.
Helen chuckled to herself at that memory. It was so typical of Ben to have that attitude once he was in her shoes and in that position of dating someone else, himself.
All in all, they had done well for themselves with their rules. Who knew that having an open relationship would be so straightforward and drama-free?
So: there you have it! A reading from Book 6 in my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series, entitled Out of Control.
Find out what happens next for Helen and Ben—and enjoy some swoon-worthy sexual tension in the office, plus a really cute homage to When Harry Met Sally—in this book. You can grab your copy of Out of Control from your favourite e-bookstore, or visit SaganMorrow.com/books — link is in the show notes.
And that, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.
Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support.
Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.