Sessha Batto, Let me thank you and all our guests for joining Spotlight, we have been asking our guests very difficult questions at the start of our show that I wouldn't want to be asked myself, just tell us please how are you today, how you are feeling, and tell us if today was like any other day for you?
Sessha Batto I'm doing well, enjoying the first touches of fall in the air! Today is much like any other day for me - weekends and weekdays kind of bleed together when you're self employed
Shah Fazli Thanks, do you also listen to music when you are writing, or do you have any other habit like most authors when writing, or not at all?
Sessha Batto I listen to music while I edit, but never when I write, it sends my mind off in unexpected directions ;) My writing routine involves settling into the chaise with laptop or tablet and a cup of jasmine tea.
Shah Fazli Ok, at least with a tea, what do you do part time, does your writing also kind of relate to what you do as a job?
Sessha Batto My other work is as a freelance artist, and most of my work is bookcovers and trailers, so it is definitely related.
Shah Fazli Thanks, have you done any other interview on Shadow Wolf, if yes, you may want to tell us about a few questions you have been asked, and if not, tell us what do you do to advertise it?
Sessha Batto I did a number of interviews when it was first released as the two book Shinobi series. after my publisher went out of business I re-released it as a single volume, the way I always intended, with the new name Shadow Wolf. As far as advertising goes, most of it is on social media, in particular twitter. I'm just starting to push it in its new iteration, though. It's a very dark, transgressive piece that isn't to everyone's tastes so I'm always on the lookout for new ways to reach my potential audience without offending anyone!
Shah Fazli Do you want to say what is this book about, it's your show, and we are all ears please?
Sessha Batto It is, at its heart, a love story. It focuses on Yoshi, a modern day ninja. He has been given the demeaning assignment of being bartered as a sexual plaything for rich and powerful men. After 20 years of this a comrade finally realizes what is going on and forces a change in leadership to free him. Yoshi becomez involved with the man who saves him, Sasaki Makoto. Their relationship is not an easy one though, people and events from his past haunt Yoshi, making it difficult for him to move forward and have a normal relationship.
Shah Fazli Why did you entitle it Shadow Wolf, what is behind it?
Sessha Batto Yoshi is known as the shadow wolf because of his pack of demon wolves that are bound to him. They have been his truest companions as he eschewed involvement with people because of fear they would find out he was basically a whore for his clan.
Shah Fazli Are there a lot of humour in the book, do we laugh when reading your book as well, what other things are there?
Sessha Batto There is humor, although mostly towards the end when things are starting to become more normal - let's see besides sex, there is also a birth, a bachelor party and a coupke of weddings . . . And a stay in a mental hospital - a little bit of everything you find in life
Shah Fazli How do you chose your characters, do they have to have certain age, or it doesn't matter at all, you get all kind of characters with different ages?
William D'Andrea O"O
William D'Andrea 8====D
Sessha Batto I tend to lean towards characters in their mid 30s to 40s, old enough to have a rich and interesting backstory, but not so old as to bring in the ewww factor in the sex scenes. Erotica writing does limit the age range of your characts to a certain extent.
Shah Fazli Can you tell us about Yoshi a little bit more please, what kind of a character is he or is she?
Sessha Batto Yoshi is an albino, an unexpected side effect of his clan's breeding program. He is also a genius in the shinobi arts. As such, he's never really lived a normal life. He began doing assassinations before he was a teenager. Since the age of 15 assassinations have alternated with assignations. now at the age of 35 he is driven by duty. Honor of his clan is all important, and he serves in whatever way they direct, no matter how offensive. He's also very self-effacing, refusing to see either his genius or his striking appearance. Basically, he hates himself - Shadow Wolf documents the process of getting past that hatred and accepting himself and all tyhe baggage he's accumulated.
Shah Fazli You may want to read from your book for us please?
Sessha Batto The last Takahashi shivered in his sleep as he remembered all the times he’d been left behind. His mother had gone when he was only four, lost on an assignment. He couldn’t even remember what she’d looked like, just the press of her soft, sweet smelling cheek against his as she headed out.
His father's passing he remembered all too well, haunted by guilt that it was somehow his fault. He’d watched the strong warrior slip further and further away, and it hadn’t helped that he’d consciously pulled back himself, unwilling to be tainted by whatever was making the older Takahashi's life a misery.
The shadow wolf whimpered in his sleep, tossing his head as a vision of the once mighty shinobi lying in a pool of his own blood assaulted his mind. He’d tried so hard to stop the bleeding, too young and traumatized to realize it was already far too late. “I’m sorry ‘tousan, I didn’t mean it,” he heard his child-self sob. “Please don’t leave me.”
His squad was next. Gone long before Yoshi realized how much such a loss would hurt, and etching the first age lines into his face. The signs of wear were a constant reminder of just how dangerous it was for him to get close to anyone.
And then came Oonishi-sama, the master who had cared for him after Ren's suicide. That was the hardest loss of all. More of a father than even his own, his shishou had opened his home and his family to the young apprentice after his father's suicide. The death of his beloved master was hard enough. The fact that he died saving the shadow wolf, falling to an attack intended for the young elite, convinced the already reclusive nin that he was a curse to anyone who got too close.
After Oonishi-sama's death the Shuhan had cast him in his new role, guaranteeing he’d never again allow anyone close.
The shadow wolf curled up tighter, clinging to Makoto's chest like a lifeline as he recalled those hectic days. Newly appointed to black ops, he stuffed his sorrow behind the black mask and reported for duty. He readily acquiesced to the ki binding Kobayashi-sama placed on him, duty outweighing his sense that something was very wrong.
The hard price of genius meant Yoshi never interacted with children his own age. He always found their pursuits too babyish, while those at his skill level refused to associate with someone so much younger. Thus he reached the age of fifteen without any real understanding of intimate relations, and never even considered that such things were possible between two men.
“What do you know of the needs of men, Yoshi?” Kobayashi-sama had asked. He’d never forget the old man's response when he’d admitted his ignorance. “Well then, we’ll just have to show you,” the Shuhan had muttered before ordering him to strip.
When the shadow wolf finally stood naked and mortified before his leader he instantly obeyed the voice of authority telling him to kneel, never expecting the hard hands that buried themselves in his hair as an even harder cock was forced down his throat. By the time he was shoved to his knees the teenager was in a state of shock, unable to process the conflicting feelings rocketing through him. When the old man buried himself in his virgin entrance Yoshi shut down, concentrating on the familiar feeling of pain to anchor him in this unnerving situation.
He shivered harder as flashes of that initiation came back to haunt him, wondering, as always, what it was about him that caused such a reaction. When Kobayashi-sama had finally finished with him the Shuhan brusquely ordered him to dress and sent him on his first assignation, two weeks as a ‘special diplomatic envoy’ to the Mochizuki shuudan's leader.
Makoto stirred as the elite's movements became more frantic. The shadow wolf's time with the Mochizuki leader had been particularly distressing, forever wedding the concepts of pain and pleasure in the mind of the last Takahashi. He’d had his first whipping there, hard on the heels of the utter embarrassment of being offered to the Shuhan's guests as a plaything.
There had been a young medic, the elite had a vague memory of a teen with hair a shade or two darker than tree bark and kind eyes. He had sworn he’d rescue Yoshi, but his promises were for naught. By the time his two weeks were through the shadow wolf swore never to believe anyone's promises again, it wasn’t worth the pain of disappointment.
“It's alright, Takahashi-san.” The torture master gently stroked matted strands from his face. “You’re safe. I’m here and I won’t leave you.” The restless elite quieted at the sound of his voice, fingers clutching Makoto's coat in a death grip.
Yoshi's mind continued to torment him by replaying the worst moments of those years. Bloody assassinations bled into painful assignations, and neither extreme gave him any assurance of his humanity.
Shah Fazli, Is it hard write erotica?
Sessha Batto Yes, it does. Some people are bothered by the erotica, some by the depictions of abuse, some by the homosexuality. For me, sex is like a spotlight on the character's deepest emotions, but there is a much deeper, over-arching story beyond the sex. It isn't quite erotica, not quite romance, and a bit too explicit for literary fiction. I just tr to be very clear upfront that it isn't for everyone, it is very dark and transgressive. Slowly I'm building a base of people who appreciate that sort of literary erotica - there are more out there, I just need to find them ;)
Shah Fazli Thanks, Sessha, we are not finished with you, but we want you to go and do your other things as well, such a pleasure to have you today. Visit:http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2012/09/shadow-wolf-sessha-bato.html
ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Shadow Wolf -- Sessha Batoshahsightshop.blogspot.com
Shah Fazli To book your own interview please join us @http://www.facebook.com/BeInTheSpotlight
Edouard Spyk Gheur, Great to see you, this is your special event on Spotlight, y
ou may want to tell us do you really think life is only naughty or it's a lot more than that?
Shah Fazli http://youtu.be/1D-MX2A3qhY
Book Trailer for the Shinobi Saga books by Sessha Batto - Shadow Wolf, Geisha and Ripples http://sesshabattousai.com/Shinobi.html
Sessha Batto Thanks so much for having me, Shah! it's been a lot of fun, a very different, think on your feet, kind of interview, and I've quite enjoyed it!