Background material on Dolphin Dreams

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Some of the stuff I've been asked at chats and in fanmail is getting to the FAQ level, so I've collected together my comments on the background material in one place:


I do have some ideas for further stories in the Dolphin Dreams universe, although as ever it's a question of when I get time to sit down and write them. I don't have specific plans for a sequel, and I doubt I'd do another long book like the first one, but I've got a couple of ideas for more stories about them that might make good novelettes. The book's based on real dolphin biology and social behaviour, and there's more to be had out of the interaction between that and modern British culture. In particular, George and Patrick aren't the only shapeshifters amongst the dolphins, and the shifter women have different problems to deal with. So yes, I may end up writing one of my very rare m/f stories.


The general setting for the book is real, and while the cave and house in Dolphin Dreams are a figment of my imagination, they're based on real cliff quarries in Dorset, near where a friend of mine lives. I took some slight liberties with the geology, since as far as I know there aren't any large caves right at sea level in exactly the way I described, but I used features of Winspit Quarry (which is the one I've actually been in several times) and Tilly Whim Quarry (which has been closed to the public for many years, but there are photos and descriptions online). And there is a dolphin pod living in the area.

You can find photos and more information about Winspit and Tilly Whim here:

The other old quarry I used was Dancing Ledge, but there are several old cliff quarries along this section of the Purbeck coast. There's a nice description and photos of the coast path here:


Funny thing is that when I first got the basic idea for this story, it was going to be a lot darker. I was trying to come up with an erotica noir short story for a friend's guest editor stint at Suspect Thoughts. But when I finally started writing it, it turned into a very sweet erotic romance novel. But you can still see in the excerpt on the Loose Id website which way it *might* have headed...


Broad Universe, the group for women writing science fiction and fantasy, had a Rapidfire Reading at Westercon '07. This is where we get a reading slot, but rather than one person reading for the full hour slot, several Broads will read short excerpts -- usually 5-10 minutes depending on how many of us there are, though the ones I've done have had fewer and thus longer readings.

I took a selection of excerpts as I didn't know exactly how long I'd have and who the audience would be. I started off by asking if people would prefer a clean excerpt or the X-rated one, and there was a unanimous vote for the porn...I'd picked a scene from Dolphin Dreams for the hot excerpt. For those who've read the book, it's the scene in the back cave where they turn off the torch and George and Patrick use their echolocation. I went for that scene because it emphasises the science fiction aspect of the book, and it's different to the normal run of sex scenes. It also works out of context, which is important for a reading.

I'd just started reading when a man walked into the room, so I had to hastily ask, "I'm reading a from a sex scene with three men, are you okay with that?"

To which the answer was *yes*. And in the conversation after the reading, it turned out that this was a gay man who was longing to find some gay romantic science fiction. He was sent away with a flyer for Dolphin Dreams, and a signed Spindrift postcard, both of which have the book's blurb and the url for Loose Id's website, where he'll be able to find a lot more gay and poly cross-genre romance.

It's good when the audience enjoys a reading, but it's *really* good when someone in the audience gets to make a connection with the sort of books they've wanted to read but haven't been able to find.

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