By Marlette Bess
It’s strange to think that a small place like Kalispell, Montana could have such a smart and interesting writer’s conference, but they did just. The Flathead Valley Community College where it was held in a conference room large enough to accommodate a hundred people but the room itself gave off a feeling of coziness, almost intimacy. When the speakers spoke, it was as if they were speaking to you while you were sitting on a couch in front of them.
For me, the joy of the conference was having my worked critiqued by one of the two agents who attended that weekend. Jim McCarthy of New York City gave me a fair and honest assessment of my work. He was neither cruel nor humiliating but concise with a little compassion. Before this conference I had only been to the big conference in Seattle put on by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. To meet an agent or editor there you had to go through a process of speed pitching. I don’t think you could find a mate with speed dating and I don’t see how you could find an agent with speed pitching.
My overall impression with the conference was positive, encouraging and very helpful. I want to thank the staff and presenters for doing such an excellent job and to the crew at the culinary department for putting on two good lunches. I would happily attend again.

Fan Fiction regarding The Real Christian Grey


By Marlette Bess


When I finished reading the  Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James, I felt that Christian Grey, the man, needed to be fully fleshed out. I was compelled to write about his  personal journey of  growth and discovery.  In writing the novel, The Real Christian Grey, I was fully aware that getting published would be contingent upon receiving permission from E.L. James.  I contacted E.L. James’ publisher and no permission has been forthcoming.  While researching the ‘Fifty Shades’ author, I learned that her work grew out of the Twilight series and was, itself, originally published as fan fiction.

I then researched several fan fiction websites and found, an active website with everything from fantasy to mystery to syfy including a section dedicated to Fifty Shades of Grey. I decided to post the entire book two chapters at a time every two weeks.  The process of submitting work for publication was fairly straight forward from setting up a profile to downloading the chapters and then posting them. I also included my book cover as a thumbnail.

I’ve been very impressed with how gathers statistics related to your own work.  They report statistics both numerically and graphically on how your book is doing, including how many people have viewed it, how many have actually read it, as well as tracking where the readers are from around the world. The website also allows followers to comment on your work and contact you.  I have received very positive feedback.

In September, my novel,  Into the Bush Under African Skies will be published on Kindle.  At that time, I will send the followers of The Real Christian Grey a link to my novel on Kindle and will encourage them to read this exciting new work of contemporary fiction.

My perspective on the process of publishing on a fanfiction site has been positive. I’ve learned a great deal from the process of publishing this book and  I’ve also gained confidence knowing that people are interested in my work and are responding favorably.



Excerpt from The Real Christian Grey

During the day, he called Dear Doctor Flynn. Christian understood how precious Flynn’s vacation time was with his family. Thank God, it was a phone conversation, and Flynn didn’t have to see Christian’s face.

“John, you’re yelling at me; I wouldn’t take that shit from any man.”

“Look, Christian, you don’t get the point that Anastasia needs space and time to comprehend what is happening to her or what you have done to her. Do you think of this as a game where you will get what you want? She is a woman with wants and needs that you have not even recognized as you steamroll yourself over her.”

“John, calm down. I’m not the evil incarnate that you think I am. I just want her to become my submissive and I’m not asking for a lifetime commitment.”

“That could be the problem, Christian; maybe she is looking for a lifetime commitment.”

“NO…how could that be possible?”

“You have given her – let me list – rare books, a new laptop, a new car, and now a BlackBerry, all to control her. She may be thinking, he really likes me, and she may want more than just the submissive shit.”

“Why do you always take her side? I’m trying not to become a stalker, and that is how you make me sound when you list all the gifts. But you’re right; I do want to control her, especially her orgasms”

John frowned, “I know you are trying to be witty, but you’re not amusing me, and I don’t think Ana would think that comment amusing either. Christian, I know with your wealth that buying her things has no significant consequence to you, but to her you are buying her into submission. It may give you the results you want in the short term, but not necessarily the result you need. Other than sex, tell me what qualities you like in her.”

“You’re hardnosed today; I thought vacations were supposed to make people relax. I don’t know what you want.”

“Think, Christian, does she make you laugh? Does she challenge you intellectually? Does she confront you as a person, or is she just another one of your submissive Barbie dolls?”

“She challenges me all the time with her questions about my past. Ana has a good sense of humor. She is well read. I guess you’re right; I know more about her body than her intellect. I think she is practical and has common sense.”

“Do you understand that you’re not valuing her as a human being?”

“Yes, but I still want her.”

“That is fine, Christian; but you must appreciate what is above the waistline as well as what is below it. I have got to go; the family is ready and waiting for me. Christian, please, try to take things slowly.”

“Bye, John, talking to you is always fun, but now I think I’m demoralized. I’ll see you next week.”


Excerpt of Torture by Intention

Marlette Bess

It was a cold dark in mid-November Sunday night as Gorman Singh was driving his taxi looking for fares.  When there were two figures under a streetlight the taller figure Gorman thought to be a man waved for him down. He normally wouldn’t stop in the warehouse district but it was a frigid night. Gorman pulled to the curb the man opened the door and shoved in a person who crumpled into the backseat and tossed in a twenty-dollar bill. He closed the door ran off into a darken alley. Gorman was somewhat perplexed, but when he looked in the backseat to see a collapsed woman. She didn’t response when he yelled at her. He reached to the back; but didn’t touch her as she fell over exposing her badly bruised upper thigh. He radioed in for the location of the nearest hospital. He drove fast down the deserted streets with the cold pressing against the car as it was also pressing against his heart.

Gorman had only been in America for two years and didn’t want trouble from the police. In India police weren’t always friendly. As he pulled into the emergency bay he opened his door calling for help. The attendants dragged the limp body out of the backseat. Gorman quickly pocketed the twenty-dollar bill that had fallen on the floor as he took his time to wipe down the backseat with disinfectant that he kept in the trunk.

A patrol car had been watching the whole situation and Gorman knew the police would soon be over for an interrogation. To his surprise the police officer only asked a few questions, but he knew nothing. He was soon driving to his amazement; it was only nine early into his night shift and would have to work hard tonight. It was so cold that only the desperate or the party animals would be out on a night like this. Gorman wasn’t interested in whom he had taken to the hospital learning early on just to keep his nose out of things that didn’t involve him. He just wanted to make money for all the people who were counting on him.

In the hospital Jane Doe was wheeled to a cubical. The nurse checked her vitals and waited for the doctor to come back from dinner break. This hospital would soon be sending her off to a trauma center, it was their responsibility to make sure she was stable then transfers her to another hospital that took uninsured patients. The nurse simply took her blood pressure and checked her heart without removing her coat. Figuring she was just another party girl who had had too much to drink or too many drugs. She covered her with a blanket and left her alone in the room. They didn’t have many ER patients in this upscale medical center. Physicians Hospital handled mostly private pay patients. The emergency room was kept open only with federal funds. Basically they didn’t do much, but keep them alive for someone else to deal with.

July Book News

“Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping, and the dandelions are high.”
Well, okay, maybe that isn’t exactly how Ira Gershwin wrote it, but it’s good description of life here in Montana. Life is good for the Montana Women Writers, and we thank you for sharing a bit of it with us.


Crime Rib, second in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries by LESLIE BUDEWITZ, launches today from Berkley Prime Crime, part of Penguin Books. Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder…

Leslie is celebrating across the northwest. Wednesday, July 2, she’ll be giving a book talk & reading at Fact & Fiction in Missoula, at 7 pm. On Friday, July 11, she’ll be signing at Seattle Mystery Bookshop at noon. And Wednesday, July 16, she’ll be talking & reading at Crow’s Nest Gallery in Polson at 5 pm. More news and events, an excerpt, and other fun stuff on her website.

The Real Christian Grey - Book Cover Large - version 2MARLETTE BESS has posted her novel The Real Christian Grey on Conversations between Christian Grey and Dr. John Flynn, based on the characters from the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E L James. Christian Grey is a beautiful formidable businessman who can charm his way through life with such ease that no one suspects the dark torment that rules his life. He controls his image and crafted it into an impenetrable armor until thin young Anastasia Steel wearing her Walmart clothes awkwardly stumbled into his office.  At that moment Christian Grey’s life started to unravel like a roll of toilet paper leaving his very core exposed.