At some point last year, I became fascinated by the concept of the “shaggy dog” story, which is basically a story whose purpose is not the ending, but to tell the story. Being the lazy person I am, I didn’t want to create a whole new set of characters just for this purpose, so I thought that Charm would be a great story-teller. The “shaggy dog” story basically fits his style anyway, as most of his stories are just a chance to brag about his conquests.
So away we went with Charm, and as I constructed the story, I thought that the extra bit of depth it needed was that it was Dev’s first meeting with him after being traded. The trick then is to make Charm’s telling of the story—well, charming enough that Dev realizes he’s really a good guy, and the element of the story that accomplishes that, I think, is Charm changing the species of some of his conquests to please his audience. Even though Dev isn’t turned on by it, he recognizes at least that Charm is including his audience in the story rather than just making it all about himself.
Everyone likes Charm, and that includes me, so it was nice to give him a story all his own. I’m still happy with this one and glad that it was published.
Another reason to make this Charm’s story is that I thought it would be a nice Heat submission, and I have sent Heat a lot of gay stories in the past. This one is exclusively straight—as straight as Charm. Heat gets more gay than straight stories, I think, and so this balanced out their lineup nicely and was accepted.
I discussed with Blotch the idea that they might illustrate this story, and while they did want to, they were also very busy finishing up Nordguard Book One at the time, so they passed. Fortunately, the Heat editors found an excellent artist in AmonOmega, whose cartoony style really captures the spirit of the story. I worked with Amon again on the “Doghouse of Justice” stories (about which more later).