I’m doing a happy dance this morning- why? Because I have Harper Bliss on my web site!!! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Harper on a couple of occasions, and each time I have been blown away by her overwhelmingly positive attitude to life, erotica, the universe, and everything. So, with that- it’s over to you Harper…
First of all, thank you, Kay, for having me on your fabulous blog! I always feel so blessed to be invited to a fellow erotica writer’s virtual home. I say virtual, because it’s very unlikely I’ll ever get invited to a fellow author’s actual home. Not because of extreme anti-social behaviour on my part or bad manners or anything like that, but simply because I live in Hong Kong and I’ve yet to meet any peers of mine on this lovely peninsula. And that brings me to the topic I want to discuss in this guest post today: location!
Location is very important to my stories and it’s no wonder that I’ve set an entire series in Hong Kong. Despite sexy not being one of the first words I would associate with this concrete jungle I live in, its versatile beauty can’t be denied. Hong Kong is not just a convenient city because almost everything you can think of is available 24/7, but also because every landscape imaginable (except anything to do with snow, for which I’m quite glad) is accessible with a thirty-minute taxi ride.
We have the high rises in the city centre—the image most people have of Hong Kong. The foot bridges, the traffic dominated by red cabs, the crowds spilling out on the pavements no matter what time of day. But we also have beaches, many beaches (gay, tourist, family, secluded…) We have a country side of which the surface largely surpasses that of the city centre with its glass buildings and polluting buses. We have the ocean and we have near-deserted islands, but best of all, we have mountains.
When I first arrived in Hong Kong two and a half years ago I was convinced that the only weekend pass-times were shopping and drinking. When you never venture out of Central, to a large extent, they are the only alternatives to not working in this work-obsessed city. But, around the time when I started writing my Hong Kong-based High Rise series, I discovered hiking and it was love at first, erm, walk. The hikes I have been on have filtered into the High Rise novellas and one hiking scene is even pivotal to two of the characters’ story line.
Here’s a short excerpt…
“Oh my god,” Isabella exclaimed. “I really thought I had seen it all.” Sweat dripped out of her hair and every muscle in her legs burned, but the view below her was staggering. Hong Kong stretched out panoramically in front of her. The tall buildings of the island to the left and the old airport to the right. In between a clear blue sky and green slopes tumbling down.
“See, now this is romantic,” Nat said. “You and me on top of this hill with this view. I’m fairly certain babies have been made here.”
Isabella giggled. A natural endorphin high pushed all negative feelings to the back of her brain. Alex and Maddie hadn’t reached the top yet and it was just the two of them. She inched closer to Nat, willing to forget and eager to touch…
Up until a few months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of getting up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday to strap on my hiking shoes. Now I look forward to it all week because it wasn’t until I started hiking that I could see the full beauty of Hong Kong. Here are a few pictures to prove my point.
Anyway, this guest blog is not meant to be an advert for hiking. 😉 I’m not saying that the High Rise series could not have been set anywhere else, but Hong Kong does attract a certain type of person and the characters in the series do reflect that. We have Maddie, a jaded workaholic investment banker, which is as close to the cliché of the Hong Kong expat as you could get (but I couldn’t imagine a story set in Hong Kong without one.) We have local girl Alex, who radically goes against the ingrained ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ culture by being out to her parents. Together, they make quite the pair. (The other two characters, Nat and Isabella, are less archetypal for Hong Kong, but they are by far the most explosive couple I’ve ever written.) So, for me, deciding to create a series set in Hong Kong made all the pieces fall into place. Hong Kong came first, then the high rise building in which the four characters live and only then did Maddie, Alex, Nat and Isabella come to life in my head. And I swear that, sometimes, I spot them making their way through the crowded mobs of Hong Kong Island. 😉
About the High Rise series
Four women. One building. A million complications.
High Rise is a series of lesbian erotic romance novellas focusing on four women who live in The Ivy, the ‘sexiest building in Hong Kong’.
There’s Alex, a local gym instructor with a broken heart. Her room mate Nat, a celebrated American writer who moved to Hong Kong for love. Their upstairs neighbour Maddie, a workaholic investment banker. And the penthouse inhabitant, Isabella, a psychiatrist who’s lived in the city for fifteen years.
Romances develop and untangle as these four women get to know each other better.
About Harper Bliss
Harper Bliss has travelled the world in search of sexual satisfaction. She now resides in a hot Asian country and dedicates her time to writing down the stories that have inspired and aroused her. Harper has had short stories published in anthologies by Xcite Books, House of Erotica and Storm Moon Press. She is the author of the High Rise series and several other novelettes and novellas for Ladylit.
P.S. Any Hong Kong erotica writers out there? Let’s go for a hike some time! 😉
Thanks again Harper! Location is so important to a plot. It’s always the first element of any story I write, and I love to discover how other writer’s view it. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful, and inspiring place!
Happy reading everyone,