Elizabeth Coldwell worked on Forum magazine for twenty years, and has had stories published by Black Lace, Cleis Press and Xcite Books among many others. Something Within Him in the Cougars And Cubs anthology is her second release with Total-e-bound, her first being The Christmas Box, part of the Christmas Crackers series. Her other big passion apart from writing is Rotherham United, and she lives in London with her partner and two cats, only one of whom thinks walking over her keyboard when she’s typing is a good idea...
Are You Experienced?
Waiting on a tube station platform the other evening, I saw a huge poster advertising Courteney Cox’s new TV show, Cougar Town, which has just started airing in the UK on the Living Channel. Featuring a shot of Courteney straddling a chair provocatively, it bore the slogan “No Experience Necessary”. It made me smile, because experience is one of the themes running through my story in the Cougars And Cubs anthology, Something Within Him.
I originally started writing it when another publisher was looking for cougar-themed stories. At the time, a cute young man I knew had started on a journalism course, and friends were teasing me that I should offer him work experience – even though his degree was in sports writing and I edited a magazine dealing with sex and human relationships ¬– just to have him brightening up the office! Out of the jokes came the idea for a story in which a woman whose policy was not to accept interns was forced to take one on as a favour to her best friend, only to find herself deeply attracted to him. The story ended up being sidelined because of work deadlines, but when the call for Cougars And Cubs came out, I had the time to work on it again. By the time I’d finished it, it had become one of my favourite things I’ve written.
I couldn’t resist setting some of the action in Amsterdam, a city I really love. The place has a unique mixture of the blatantly erotic (the red light area, where cougar Kate and her young lover, Stephen go shopping for adult toys) and the romantic (the canalside hotel where they finally act on the sexual attraction they feel for each other), and a beautifully relaxed vibe which actively encourages you to do nothing but take it easy and enjoy yourself. As the story unfolds, Kate has the opportunity to give Stephen the benefit of her experience, both in a work setting and in bed, but he also turns up with a few tricks of his own. Out of their everyday environment, they have the opportunity to explore the dominant and submissive sides of their personalities and play some deliciously naughty games together.
Of course, no relationship where there’s a big age gap between the two partners is ever free of conflict, and I knew I had to explore some of these in the course of the story. Kate initially worries – needlessly, as it turns out – about having to compete with younger women for Stephen’s affections. She and Stephen also have to cope with the negative reaction of Stephen’s best friend, Charlie, who thinks Stephen should really be dating someone of his own age. But love always has the possibility to conquer all, and there are enough real-life cougars in long-standing relationships with hot young cubs to prove that if you overcome those obstacles it really can be happy ever after...
Find out more about Elizabeth and her stories at http:elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com