Hello, fellow inhabitants of The Realm. I’m C.K. Ralston, or at least that has been my pen name for a number of years now.
I am much like my young colleague, Kenny Wright (http://www.kennywriter.com/); in that, as a long-time fan of erotic stories, I write only what I’d like to read. I tend to favor stories with strong characters, which are alike in the sense that they are all human in their individual beliefs, and their particular limitations; and yet are as different from each other as I can make them—just like real people.
Tales that have their settings in mundane places; like small, dusty Texas towns, to grander yarns that take place in storied locales like Malibu, Beverly Hills, Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Las Vegas, or San Francisco are all to be found within the borders of The Realm. I have traveled extensively, and I enjoy using my books to convey my impressions of exciting places I have visited to those who may not have traveled down the same roads as me.
It is much the same with the erotica portrayed within my books. I feel it helps to have experienced it in order to accurately describe it: I write what I know to be true, in most cases.
As for the places and settings within my stories, some are made-up and some are real. The Palm Restaurant, in Los Angeles, for example, mentioned in Bartering Eliza is a real place, while Chez Henri--featured in a number of my books set in Southern California--is a made up eatery and watering hole catering to the rich and famous, where the elite go to see and be seen. There are a number of real restaurants and clubs in Los Angeles that would have served my purposes as well as the fictional Chez Henri, but I chose not use them.
Why? For the same reason William Faulkner conjured up his mythical county in Mississippi. Everyone knew he was talking about the very real Lafayette County, when he wrote about the fictional Yoknapatawpha County.
But he enjoyed the greater freedoms as a writer it afforded him in using the made-up towns within a fictional county—nobody took him to task for placing the ice house near the railroad tracks on Front Street in one of his stories, when everyone who grew up around those parts knew that the old ice house might have actually stood on Beale Street. I enjoy taking the same liberties with my fictional characters within The Realm. You might recognize old friends who have had their own book or books written about them making what amounts to a cameo appearance in a new book. To those of you who have read all of my books, I offer a unique challenge: try to tie all of it together. Pick out all of the real and fictional cross-book appearances of places and characters within the body of my work and make a list of them. You have a lot of reading ahead of you. I’ve written nearly eighty books thus far (although some of the early ones are long out of print).