Over the past couple of years, literally millions of readers have rabidly consumed every steamy word and scene in the phenomenally successful erotic trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey. Not only does the series serve up a very generous portion of salacious encounters between the main characters; it does so in a way that shamelessly shreds the boundaries separating mainstream fiction from the unadulterated porn usually stashed on the highest shelves in the shop.
Just as ubiquitous as the copies sold, though, is the lament that the adolescent storyline does not quite reconcile with its very grown-up theme, which invariably triggers a squirmy feeling that somehow the books are the wild-child offspring of Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame and Johnny Depp at his deepest and darkest.
I too, joined the legions of women who bought the books out of curiosity and subsequently felt a bit uncomfortable about the combination of graphic sex and teeny-bopper vernacular. Although I understood the inherent appeal of a dominant male lording it over an obeisant, albeit occasionally feisty young woman; surely a story that combined a sophisticated concept with relatable characters engaging in equitable erotica would be much more compelling.
My novel, Kavla was conceived in my friend, Maureen's kitchen over a cup of tea. We were convinced that a commercial work of fiction could and should be equally provocative from both an intellectual and physical perspective and we yearned for an uber-sexy story that we would not be embarrassed to be seen reading.
My goals were two-fold. I wanted to write an entertaining story that was credible, topical and relevant and at the same time, I wanted it to include really good, hot sex; the kind we've all either had or look forward to having. The concept of a triad of well-educated people comprising a non-traditional family model, captured all my objectives. Not only do my characters experience complex intrapersonal dynamics that arise as a natural result of their relationship with each other, the sexual aspect of their life together as a threesome is raw and exciting.
Layered beneath the outer dimension of the story is an examination of what actually constitutes a family. Most western cultures describe one as including a father, a mother and their children. Despite departures from this scenario in the form of single-parents, same-sex marriages and “blended” families; it is quite unusual to encounter a family that claims more than two adults who are all consensually and romantically connected to each other, a state described as polyamory. Many polyamorists inherently believe that love is infinite and it is not only possible to be in love with multiple people simultaneously, it is a more honest reflection of human nature. This configuration should not be confused with polygamy, in which a man has two or more wives who may or may not share at best, a convivial relationship with each other.
An important question arises when children become part of the household. How significant is the type of parental structure to a child’s mental and emotional well-being? Is it necessary that in order to achieve a well-balanced adulthood, the child be part of what is considered by many to be a “normal” family; that is, with a father and a mother? There certainly are no guarantees that this form of a family is exempt from dysfunction and sadly, all too often the converse is true. Which then begs the next question: isn't the best environment to raise a well-functioning, balanced and emotionally strong child one in which love is the common denominator, no matter the form it takes? And if that is the case; if some love is good, isn’t more love even better?
Kavla is a fast-paced, stimulating read; rich in multi-faceted characters and intriguing sub-plots. The naughty bits have been described as 'the best sex I wish I could have.' For those who like to delve a little deeper, the premise is thought-provoking. What exactly are the pros and cons of variant family structures? Perhaps, rather than betraying the trust of a loved one with illicit affairs, it would be better to openly and honestly include other partners in your intimate life as a couple. Of course this could only be successfully achieved with mutual understanding as to the ground rules and it is undeniable that constant communication would be an essential component.
This lifestyle is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but in allowing you to explore the concept within the safe and sexy confines of my story, I believe I have written the book that my friend, Maureen and I envisioned in her kitchen that sunny afternoon.
Overview of Kavla
Jordan and Lily, a married couple in their mid-thirties; reside in the trendy Vancouver district of Kitsilano. Jordan teaches Ancient Greek Mythology at the University of British Columbia and Lily is a partner in a dynamic, successful advertising agency. Some years earlier, Lily had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent a hysterectomy, rendering her unable to bear children. Desperate for a baby, they unsuccessfully travelled the adoption route and went so far as to hire a surrogate, but were devastated when neither attempt resulted in a child. As a last resort, they decide to explore other less conventional ways to develop their family.
Sorrel, a young gastroenterologist from the beautiful, bucolic city of Nelson responds to their advertisement for a room-mate and the three are immediately aware of a potent, inexplicable connection. During Jordan’s birthday party, the two women share an intimate kiss on the beach, which leads Sorrel to the shocking realization that this crazy, gorgeous couple has chosen her to be the one.
The obsidian sky was studded with a million sparkling crystals and although summer was nearing its demise, the air was warm and deliciously fragrant with the scent of hibiscus. As Sorrel reached the water’s edge, she smoothly slipped off her halter dress and waded in. Jordan and Lily were holding hands a few steps behind and they stopped and gazed as she glided even further until the water reached her breasts. Reaching up with both arms she released her curls, which promptly raced down her back in a tawny tangle and then without pause, she continued out until the tiny waves swallowed her whole. For what seemed like forever they stared and waited for her to resurface, until her head rose smoothly from the water a few meters away.
Lifting a glowing arm, she beckoned them to join her and they did as if under her spell. Dropping their clothes at the water’s edge, they moved to where she was standing as still as a marble statue; nipples erect and her eyes as dark as the water’s depths. They stood waist deep in the silk of the sea and came together as one; their tongues a sensual coil with no discernible beginning nor end.