Daring, innovative, crude and clinical, Medusa Stone’s novels are inspired by the crime news we are most in denial about, showing the ugliest aberrations of human nature. Medusa Stone is the nom-de-plume of a local healthcare professional who spent a sizeable chunk of her life in the United States and now writes fiction inspired by the true stories she witnessed there.
“I write both in Spanish in English, but because most plots are based on the abuse survivors’ true accounts I recorded in America, they are reported in the same language those were originally told to me,” Kathleen, the authoress, says. “I am involved with a charity for sexual abuse victims and I interview many of them. They tell me their stories, and how they feel about it. These intimate confessions allow me to walk a mile in their shoes and to write my characters from their point of view.”
Daring, innovative, crude and clinical
Her novels aren’t pigeonholed simply as erotica, because their content spans various genres, such as romance, thriller, noir, and fantasy: “In my novels, I don’t just detail a string of sexual encounters. There is a proper plot, with its twists and turns, surprises, conflict and resolution, complications and sometimes redemption.”
Of course, sex is explicitly featured as a natural part of life – and she abundantly warns the potential reader in her elevator pitches – but it is integral to the story and pivotal to the progress of the action. Without sex, the other human pulsions and compulsions she analyses wouldn’t come into play in her world, and wouldn’t smudge playful amorality into criminal immorality: “I explore the fine line between consensual sex and rape, particularly in BDSM. I always make a clear distinction and make sure that the reader is aware of it.”
Kathleen wants to convey the victims’ voices for them not to be forgotten, and for what happened to them not to happen again to anyone else in the future. She picked her pseudonym after the Greek myth of Medusa, a beautiful princess whom virgin goddess Athena cursed with serpent hair and petrifying stare for having fallen in lust. Likewise, sexual abuse victims may feel petrified for eternity and unable to move forward from their monster encounter.
“Nevertheless, Medusa was a chthonic protector from greater evil. I want to do that too: openly discussing it, I am warning parents and children that this indeed happens, and it happens everywhere, perhaps even next door, and we must be aware of it in order to protect the most vulnerable, too young or too naïve to give informed consent.”
We must be aware of it in order to protect the most vulnerable.
Medusa’s first non-fiction project The Shadow Within secured a publishing contract in the US as a memoir, told by one of the victims. It is Kathleen’s golden occasion to take the leap from fiction to journalism with an exposé about underage sex slavery in Washington. For Kathleen, it is personal, since it strikes close to home and people she loves: “When I moved to Montana a few years ago, I befriended a local family. One of their children had a serious accident and was hospitalised in Washington. While their parents were busy at the bedside, the younger brother, then barely sixteen, wandered off and joined a street gang. Eventually he went missing with other kids after a rave party. The FBI got involved, but two months later he just reappeared, clueless and confused. From his recollection of his horrific experience, and other teenagers who were victimised like him, I got the idea that someone should speak up about this ‘industry’, and I documented their stories. Some of the survivors were relocated and given new identities thanks to the victim protection programme.”
A fictional spin-off of this investigation, inspired by the true story of one of the survivors, The Accord was born as a trilogy but has now reached its sixth instalment. This is the story of an orphaned ‘white, all-American boy’ abused by his step-father as a child, and later arrested in the big city for a crime he didn’t commit, when drugs were planted in his car. He is offered a tailored deal by corrupt police officers: to avoid a ten-year prison sentence, he will be at their complete service for two months. The young man, Liam, seals the pact, without fully realising what he is signing up for, which is in fact male sex-trafficking and slavery prostitution. Throw in a pinch of Stockholm syndrome and a generous serving of moral reckoning, and you’ll have the recipe for street drama like no other.
The Shadow Within was a demanding and intense project to develop. It took its toll on Kathleen’s creativity and called for some respite, so she ran some parallel divertissements to detox from the evil within – and The Underground is one of them. This started as a ‘happy’ series, describing homosexual and heterosexual consensual encounters, with likeable characters, often getting into sexual pickle for true love, but it evolved darker and darker under the influence of the true stories she was documenting.
And finally, Medusa’s latest project, soon to be published on Amazon, is her first ever dabble in adult fantasy. The Flower Slave is a full-length novel of about 80,000 words, set on a parallel earth where slavery still exists but isn’t as brutal as we picture it, and human slaves are genetically engineered to be the faultless companion for the task they are made for.
“Each one is unique and perfect in every way. There aren’t two the same and they only have one owner. You cannot buy a second-hand flower slave. But by chance, a pre-loved one ends up in the personal possession of none else than the King, who should dispose of him immediately, but he develops a relationship with him that makes them break the unwritten rules of their world.”
Happy ending in sight? Meanwhile, Medusa is toying with the idea of ‘traditional’ spicy romance that even her mom’s book club girls would read out loud.
Visit MedusaStoneBooks.com for updates and to reserve your copies,