Monday, 27 December 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010
No one assumes Thomas Harris is a cannibalistic serial killer. No one assumes Anne Rice drinks blood and sleeps in a coffin. No one assumes Tom Clancy spent time being a terrorist. And yet, there are those who assume erotica writers have done everything we write about. For people who make that assumption, I have just one question; what part of the concept of FICTION don’t they get?
Fiction writers don’t have to experience what they write in order to write about it. In fact, that’s why it’s fiction. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN! At least not anywhere outside the fertile mind of the writer. Erotic fiction is no different.
Fiction allows the reader and the writer to experience safely situations and worlds that in reality would not be safe or even possible. In a world where safe sex has become a battle cry, even its own form of bondage, this is especially true with erotica. The erotica writer allows the reader to participate safely in a world that can be both very wonderful and very dangerous. It is no more necessary for erotica writers to have an orgy so they can write about one than it was for Thomas Harris to kill and eat a few folk before he could create Hannibal Lector.
Imagining an erotica writer who must experience firsthand her orgy, bondage, or sex in a bus before she writes about it adds another layer to the psycho-sexual fantasy. The fantasy may be very sexy indeed. But in reality, IT’S FICTION!
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Lily Harlem's Scorching Hot Novella, 'The Mother of All Hen Nights'- What happened just before Happy Ever After
While Cinders gets educated in ways to handle a lusty prince, Rapunzel gets tied up in the basement where she brings out the animal in The Beast. The tongue in cheek fun never ends and the temperature never drops below the lusty boiling point. Lily Harlem’s fun feisty fairy tale Mother of All Hen Nights is a must read.
The lovely Ladiez at Sh! went all out to decorate the shop for Christmas, and in addition to Christmas bobbles and fairy lights, the walls were adorned with the kinky, sexy works of artist, Compulsive Behaviour. Add to it all the comings and goings of Christmas shoppers picking out just that right sexy gift for someone special, and the stage was set for a fabulous evening.
I kick-started the evening with hot sex on a Harley from the pages of my novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly.
Scarlett French, looking rather cow-girlish for the evening, read her very hot story of two girls and a purple strap-on in ‘Dinner at Crompton’s from Sacchi Green’s fabulous anthology, Girl Crazy.
Finally the elegantly sexy Kristina Lloyd ended the evening with a dark and twisted tale of jealousy, ‘Such a Special Couple,’ from Alison Tyler’s hot anthololgy, J is for Jealousy.
While we readers read, the lovely Sh! Ladiez made sure all glasses were well-topped with fizz and no one went away cupcake-less. The atmosphere was festive, relaxed, and fun. But if my experience was any indication, I’d have to say we readers had the best time of all. It was a great beginning to the Christmas season.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
I get that all the time, and I have to smile. It’s a bit like being told, ‘you don’t look like you’re not wearing any knickers. You don’t look like you just had extra cream in your coffee. You don’t look like you’ve been reading Cosmo in the ladies room.’
Contrary to popular belief, most erotica writers actually do look exactly like erotica writers. In fact I look exactly like an erotica writer. Problem is most people don’t know what erotica writers look like. And, fair enough, I have to admit we’re a very difficult lot to recognize, so I’m going to give a very short crash course in how to spot an erotica writer. Not that it’ll help much. We’re masters of disguise. But perhaps it will give some idea of what you're actually up against so you won’t feel so bad next time you discover that the woman checking you out at the pharmacy, or the bloke tapping away on his laptop at Starbucks, or the chick picking up her kids after school is an erotica writer.
First, you need to know what NOT to look for in an erotica writer. Unless said writer is doing a reading from her erotic writings and is trying to look like people expect an erotica writer to look, the person least likely to be an erotica writer is the one dressed in fishnet stockings and nose-bleed stilettos. Likewise don’t expect her to be the one with peek-a-boo cleavage and a leather mini, or the one with Dita Von Teese make-up.
In fact, the most outstanding thing about an erotica writer is that she doesn’t stand out. In fact it's to her benefit not to stand out. She’ll be the one in the coffee shop in the corner in the back. She’ll be wearing jeans and a jumper because minis and tiny tops are just too damn cold and uncomfortable to sit around and write in, and erotica writers are endlessly practical. She probably won’t be wearing any make-up because the time it takes to put on a face is time that could be spent getting down the fab hot story idea that came to her while she was cleaning her teeth this morning.
Yep, chances are very good you won’t notice her at all, but she’ll notice you. She’ll notice everyone and everything around her, and she’ll filter it all through the mind set of possibilities, sexy possibilities, stories to be woven, and heat to be generated on the written page. She’ll have her head down, writing like a mad woman. And if she has a quirky little smile half plastered across her face, you’ll know she’s found the hot idea she’s been looking for.
Some erotica writers don’t stand out because they didn’t even make it to the coffee shop. They’re still curled up at home in their pajamas with a cuppa writing a story sparked off by a dream they had. They may be in their most comfy track suit, hair pulled back in a ponytail, feet snuggled in fuzzy slippers while they tap away on the laptop at the kitchen table. They may be scribbling away in a little purple notebook during their lunch break at the office.
It’s hard to say where they’ll turn up, or how they’ll disguise themselves, or what occupation they might take up to fit in to every-day, non-erotica-writing society. But it’s a pretty good bet that when they do decide to reveal themselves, you’ll still be picking your jaw up off the floor saying, ‘Wow, you sure don’t LOOK like someone who writes erotica.’
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
Madison Morris’s naughty bookstore, Wicked Words, seems a strange place for repressed Gabriel Kaufman to take up employment, especially when Madison’s training techniques evolve to a kinky threesome with aggressive Andy Yarrow. But Gabriel is up for the training, and they all get a lot more than they bargained for.
‘Control’ is a novel full of kinky, naughty heat with a plot that grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until the very last satisfying sentence. ‘Control’ is sexy, funny, romantic, poignant, and always compelling. But it is the magnificent chemistry between her characters and the delicious interplay amongst them that makes Charlotte Stein’s novel truly unstoppable. Absolutely a must read.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
It didn’t take much wine, or much prodding from Sarah before one thing became obvious; we women want to talk about our fannies and our sexuality. As we all laughed and shared, it also became obvious that we all remembered times in our lives when we felt alone, when we felt it wasn’t safe to share, when we kept our feelings,our questions and our thoughts about our sexuality to ourselves.
I found myself thinking about the ancient tale that rears its head in multiple forms, but the two most memorable are The Wife of Bath’s Tale in The Canterbury Tales, and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell. In both stories a knight is forced to marry a hideous hag. On their wedding night, the hag offers her bridegroom the choice to have her lovely in the marriage bed for his eyes only and hideous during the day, or to have her lovely during the daytime for the eyes of the world while reverting to a hag at night. In both tales the knight leaves the choice to his bride. Because he gives her the choice, she rewards him by always being beautiful. When I first read these stories, I remember thinking how interesting it was that the true beauty of a woman comes through when she has a voice, when she gets to choose. There’s nothing beautiful about victim-hood nor about being powerless. And when our voices are not heard, we are powerless.
Thursday night, the basement of Sh! was electric when female power, with female voices sharing and being heard and affirmed by each other. And the beauty was as evident as the power. Afterward, a good group of us took all that beauty and all that power right on over to the local pub and continued on.
The Fannying Around group will meet once a month starting in January. I plan to be a regular. I love being around powerful, vocal, beautiful women.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Sunday, 21 November 2010
I hooked up with the fabulous Kay Jaybee (who came from faraway places to join the party) at Earl’s Court tube station after we’d both run the gauntlet from flat tyres to delays on trains to tube closures due to weekend engineering works. We dropped our things at our hotel, had lunch then headed over to Olympia and the main event.
We just had time for a quick look around before the book signing. A quick look around was no easy task in such a large venue with such a variety of exhibits. Our recci took in everything from latex to corsets to photography, from art to jewelry to sex toys, from whips to dungeon kit to full body painting. After writing The Initiation of Ms Holly’s hot biker bloke, Morgan, I was especially keen on watching an artist clothing her lovely colleague in a freshly painted coat of leopard spots. There was something for everyone. If the booths and displays weren’t enough, there were on-going live performances headlined by Dita VonTeese.
The Xcite Books Booth was near one of the main corridors between exhibits, the perfect place to view the parade of people in latex and corsets, collars and leather, leashes and shoes! Wow, the shoes! There were stilettos and platforms and bum-high boots and biker boots in every colour and style imaginable.
I settled in at a signing table decked in an Xcite table cloth and stacked artfully with gorgeous golden copies of The Initiation of Ms Holly. Once I’d made myself comfy, I retrieved my special blue book signing pen from the depths of my bag and did a few warm-up stretches to prepare my fingers for my first ever official book signing event.
Back from a short break, Hazel brought me an icy beer to quench my raging thirst from all that hard signing and talk, and one of the lovely Eargasm Chix thoughtfully brought both Kay and me a gourmet cookies to sustain us.
Once the signing was done and my energy was restored by alcohol and sugar, there was more exploring to do. Then it was time to watch Dita Von Teese. We watched the show from the mezzanine of the food court ensconced next to a lovely lady with a huge raven tattoo peeking up over the back of her silver corset.
After a day full of obstacles, eye-candy, book-signing, and sensory overload, we ended up back at the hotel talking writing and erotica over a bottle of Chilean red. The perfect end to the perfect day.
As I sit here in the quiet of my lounge, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and still trying to take in the fullness of the day, I’m thinking about Hazel, who spent another long day today working the Xcite Booth at Erotica. Of course the way the books were flying off the racks, she may have run out of stock and had to close up shop early. Thanks, Hazel and Mirandas and Eargasm Chix for doing such a fabulous job! You all rock!
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Her novel, The Business of Pleasure is no exception. From the very beginning we are drawn, along with Charlotte, away from her work-a-day routine onto a roller coaster ride that is the dark, secretive world of BDSM and kink, the world The Number creates for their clients. That world is richly drawn and sexy as hell, a world too steamy not to boil over into Charlotte's everyday life. The Business of Pleasure is a spanking good read on every level!
Be sure to visit Justine at The House of Elyot to learn more.
Monday, 8 November 2010
As I look at the photo, I have to smile. Several years ago, I had the privilege of attending a martial arts camp in Poland with the fabulous poet, scholar, kick-ass martial-artist, and all around great bloke, Afaa Weaver. In the airport at Krackow waiting to catch our flights home, we checked out the book shelves in one of the shops, as writers do. He graciously listened to me go on and on about the novel I was writing. When I finally took time out to breathe, he ran a hand along a shelf of books and told me, half joking, that once your book appears in the airport shops, you’ve arrived. Mind you, Afaa is someone who arrived long before I even realized there was a journey to be made. But I am so there now! In W H Smiths. In Terminal Five. (See photographic evidence.)
Airports are always places in flux, places of comings and goings. Arrival is also departure to new destinations as well as coming home. Airports are places of beginnings and endings. The Initiation of Ms Holly is on the shelf, and The Pet Shop is in the making. I have arrived at the airport. Now the actually journey begins. I can hardly wait to see where it takes me. I’m sure Afaa would see the poetry in this arrival.
Friday, 5 November 2010
Here's just a tiny peek of what you'll find inside The Pet Shop:
When STELLA JAMES jokingly blames her lack of a sex life on her demanding new job with the STRIGIDA COMPANY, a human Pet from the mysterious PET SHOP isn’t exactly the solution she had in mind. But Strigida sends her, TINO, complete with a collar, a leash, and an erection, and Stella discovers that the pleasure of keeping Pets, especially this Pet, is extremely addicting, and anything but simple.
The Pet Shop is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast but the jury is still out on which is which.
Monday, 1 November 2010
The remarks and the uproar they’ve caused make me wonder how much value can be placed on any comment about women’s attitudes toward sex without taking into account the fact that biology is a bitch.
Women are practical. Women count the cost. And with the biological cost so high, it’s not surprising that women’s approach to sex tends to be a little more cautious then men's. I’d like to mention just two of those biological biggies that should be taken into consideration before attempting to expound upon woman’s attitudes toward sex.
1. Women can, and often do get pregnant, while on the other hand, men do not. It takes a man… well not very long, to father a child, an act he can easily and often repeat at will with very little consequence.
Biology, however, has designed women with a propensity toward pregnancy. That same pesky imperative to pass on the genes to the next generation which may compel a man to scatter his seed far and wide demands that a woman incubate and nest and raise. For women, that involves nine months of carrying a child inside her body at considerable danger to her own health. And that’s just the beginning. According to an article in the Guardian, in the U.K. the cost of raising a child to age 21 is now a staggering ₤200,000! Not wonder most women aren't anxious to tackle this alone.
2. Size is everything! Men are bigger, and stronger than women. Women are only about half as strong as men in the upper body, and about two-thirds as strong in the lower. Top that off with a good dose of testosterone for added aggression, and it’s not too difficult to see why most women would think twice before joining a shag fest in the shrubs.
For women sex will always be a calculated risk. It sucks, but it’s true. It doesn’t mean we want it any less, or think about it any less often, or need it any less than men do.
The tremendous rise in sales of erotica for women is evidence to just how much women do think about sex. Biology may be a bitch, but erotica is our friend. And, being practical, women are aware that ertocia is a sexual outlet for which there is no risk of pregnancy, no risk of rape or violence, and no ₤200,000, twenty-one year price tag. Women may not be shagging in the shrubbery, but it’s pretty clear, women most definitely DO love sex, and think about it often.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Jung’s definition of ritual as a container for power intrigues me. The power contained in sex is astounding. It’s the power to pass on life. It gives us the ‘little death’ and the out of body experience. It elevates us to the level of heaven while bringing us back to our most primitive animal nature.
Sex is the ultimate mystical experience. The closest we can get to a power beyond ourselves is the power within ourselves. I chose to write The Initiation of Ms Holly as a modern day retelling of the Psyche and Eros story with that in mind. In the Greek myth, Psyche must undergo ritualistic tasks before she is allowed to be with her lover Eros. In achieving these impossible tasks, Psyche so impresses the gods that they not only allow her to be with her lover, but grant her divinity as well.
In Greek mythology sex usually involves one of the gods, most often Zeus, coming down to earth and ‘seducing’ a mortal female, who then gives birth to a child destined to do great things. Sex as the representation of the creative force permeates the Greek myths. It’s there in the Christian myth as well, the child of divinity and humanity destined to save the world. Tragically the power of sex is omitted from the Christian myth.
More than a procreative force, sex is a creative force. Its ritual act allows us contact with the power, contact we can have no other way. But who controls the ritual? We’ve all seen lories transporting heavily reinforced tankers bearing CAUTION: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS signs in big red letters. We know a breech of containment would be disastrous. The purpose of ritual is to keep the power contained so we mortals can interact with it safely. Religions have always tried to control the rituals involving sex, to dictate with whom the act may occur, how, and even when it may take place. Property and inheritance rights depend on controlling women’s sexuality. Even the Facebook practice of unilaterally deleting sex positive pages is an effort to control sexuality.’
These days the ritual containers set in place by religious superstition and prejudice are being breeched. Those vessels can no longer contain and control sexuality in all its vibrant varied guises. The ritual is being taken out of the hands of institutions and reclaimed on a more individual, more personal level. That means the creative force of our sexuality is being freed in ways we could have hardly imagined a few years ago.
Yesterday was Coming Out Day. My Facebook page was full of well wishers and messages reassuring our young people that it gets better. Now more than ever there are safe places to learn about, understand and explore all aspects of our sexuality. And we are much less likely to settle for some ‘authority figure’ telling us what is sexually acceptable. Taking back the power is never easy. The journey is a long one, and we’re not there yet, but I’m delighted to say, I see reason to hope.
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
I think any discussion of female sexual dysfunction has to take into account the way the culture shapes how we women see ourselves sexually. One episode of Mad Men is enough to have us all cringing, thankful that we live in a more enlightened time.
And indeed, the news the past few days has been all about the big sex survey in the States. Everyone seems to be having more sex, being more adventurous in the sex they have, and having more orgasms. Yet, we’ve elevated female sexual dysfunction to the level of a disease, and the pharmaceutical companies have rushed in with the big drug cure.
Would that it were that simple, but we have a nasty tendency to base our expectations of ourselves and our sexuality on what magazine adverts, television commercials and films present to us as the ideal woman, airbrushed, deodorized, glamourized, and always ready for mad, passionate sex with her own personal version of Brad Pitt or Clive Owen. That would be clean, unmessy sex, in case you’re wondering. Our make-up would never be smudged, and our hair would never be mussed. We would be comfortable in suicide stilettos and under-wire bras that double as torture devices. Oh, and did I mention the glamourous career and the perfect 2.2 children? If we can’t manage all the above with grace and aplomb and still be horny on demand, then surely we must need a cure.
To add to the insanity, we have the religious right homophobically preaching sexual purity, and submission to husbands. What, no husband? Find one, and forever keep your hands out of your knickers. We have the feminist anti-porn brigade shouting the anti-women, turn-our-children-into-serial-killers evils of porn from a platform almost totally devoid of fact.
Do you feel crazy, yet? I know I do.
Jenny’s article covers the gamut of drug-free ways to boost female libido, from couples’ therapists to psychologists, from personal trainers to erotic boutique owners to sexy literature. All this brings us back to how we women see ourselves sexually.
As a young girl, I navigated my way through the minefield of female sexuality in the safe pages of books, Cosmo magazine and the odd copy of Playboy or Penthouse I found stuffed away in bedside tables I wasn't supposed to be snooping in. I didn’t self-combust, I didn’t become a serial killer, my fingers didn’t fall off, and I didn’t go blind. What did happen is that I discovered what I like, what gives me pleasure. And I discovered that it was okay to own that part of me and to share it.
It’s difficult for any woman to see her way clear of all the rhetoric and propaganda, to be able to look openly and honestly at her own sexuality and understand it, be comfortable with it. Instead of the massive hand-out of drugs to treat female sexual dysfunction, maybe what we really need is just a safe place to explore our female sexual function instead. I have a sneaking suspicion that in a lot of cases, the function is still there, it just needs a little safe, playful coaxing.
Sunday, 3 October 2010
The Initiation of Ms Holly for UK Kindle users
The Initiation of Ms Holly for US Kindle users
An unseasonal heatwave just waiting to happen.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
However, if you are in the States and don't want to wait for The Initiation of Ms Holly to come out in print, you can now order your epub or pdf copy at Xcite Books!
Order now and find out what really goes on at The Mount.
Amazon UK is also taking pre-orders for the print version.
Friday, 24 September 2010
I had no idea a simple glove could be such a sensual tool, nor that it could convey so much. Tempest told us that though strip tease is often apart of burlesque, a burlesque performer never takes off everything. In fact, a burlesque performer views the items of her costume as props rather than clothing. She said she begins a performance with some props, and by the end of the performance, she has less props.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Writing erotica is a constant sex education. I'm always learning something new, and I often find myself amazed at the many facets of human sexuality. A lot of my stories involve a bit of punishment for bad behaviour (or lack thereof), and that punishment is often a soundly applied spanking. Even people who might not want it as apart of their own bedroom play may still enjoy reading erotic stories that involve spanking. There's something very primal about it, something as basic as trusting the person with the power, or even abdicating that power willingly, which makes it an excellent topic for sexy stories. All manner of wild and forbidden things can happen when someone else is wielding the riding crop.
I arrived a little before the 6:30 start time to have a warm cuppa, dry out from the rain, and look around at all the fun toys and gifts and the great selection of erotic books. When it was time, the manager, Joanna, and her new assistant manager, Ludi, ushered me downstairs where all the classes are taught. Downstairs is also where the famous pink velvet settee is. That's where writers get to sit and read sexy stories when Sh! has book readings. But this wasn't a setee sort of evening. A table was laid in the centre of the room with a full array of spanking impliments, all in pretty girlie colours, along with some smart black PVC and leather thrown in for fun.
As I sipped pink fizz, the Sh! Chix demonstrated the use of spankers, floggers, two-tails, crops, cat-o-nine-tails, and the age-old favourite -- the human hand. There was a lovely bull-whip, but lack of space and expertise (definitely a don't-try-this-at-home sort of toy) meant I was only allowed to fondle it. I'm told that often some of the larger whips and floggers are used more for the impressive explosive cracking sound they make when striking a pillow or a bed, or a pink setee. I was impressed! They can also be used simply to stroke, tease, and caress.
Joanna tells me that spanking releases tension, and the release of that tension can often come in the form of crying or laughing, then the body responds with a flood of endorphins, probably the real reason why spanking is so popular.
By the end of the evening I'd had a chance to flog and be flogged, spank and be spanked, and I felt like I had a much better understanding of the anatomy of a spanking. Since this was introductory spanking through the comfy padding of my jeans, I didn't experience the endorphin rush, but I got something better. I got to go upstairs and shop afterward!
Sunday, 22 August 2010
For erotica lovers in the States, don't worry, Mammoth Book of Threesomes and Moresomes will be available in the US October 5, but you can pre-order now. Thirty-six steamy stories by some of erotica's top writers. You won't want to miss this one.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Have you done it?
Good. Now let’s compare.
According to AskMen.com, women’s top ten fantasies are just as raunchy as men’s. No surprise there. I’ve always maintained that we women have much dirtier minds than men do. Unfortunately, we’ve been socialized on a huge diet of guilt and self-doubt where sex is concerned. The good news is we’re doing our best, in spite of the opposition, to overcome.
Most of the top shelf erotica now in main stream book stores, as well as online, is erotica written for, and by women, and a lot of it blends great story-telling with blow-your-hair-back, burst-into-flame, nuclear sex. If you want the skinny on what goes on in our very dirty minds, women’s erotica is the place to look, and what a fun place it is!
So here it is. According the AskMen, the list of fantasies in reverse order are: dominating and being dominated, teacher/student, sex with a stranger, threesomes - MFM, FMF, voyeurism, force fantasies, exhibitionism, private dancer.
There they are, ladies, our faves. How accurate is the list? I can only speak for myself, but based on the women’s erotica I’ve read, and written, I was surprised to find being a private dancer at the top of the list. I was equally surprised that girl-on-girl wasn’t on the list. I would have also expected to find spanking and punishment in the mix, although I’m sure most of us can slot those in nicely in the teacher/student category, or dominating and being dominated.
Most of the fantasies on Ask Men’s list (and a fair few not on the list) I have written about in my short fiction and in The Initiation of Ms Holly. I’m not sure how Ask Men came up with their list, but based on the women’s erotica I’ve read and written, my list would have been similar. How about yours?
IN OTHER NEWS: A big BOOOO goes out to Facebook this week for deleting the 3,000 + member sex-positive women’s empowerment group, “Our Porn, Ourselves” founded by Violet Blue. Sadly, the above-mentioned opposition we women are constantly battling is alive and well.
Taking back our sexuality and owning and understanding it is an ongoing battle, one in which, unfortunately, we women are often our own worst enemies. Asertions aren't facts, and zeal is no substitute for truth. Thanks, Suzanne Forbes and Carnal Nation for reminding us.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
Writers are neurotic about writing sex and romance – even those of us who do it all the time. Lots of writers either claim they can’t write sexy love scenes or they don’t like to. That’s fair enough. I don’t like to write crime investigation scenes. But unfortunately this sex and romance -ophobia often leads to dismissing anything romantic or sexy as not worthy to be considered serious writing, therefore not worth writing.
Writing fiction to share with anyone less indifferent than the cat is a bit like exposing oneself on High Street. We writers are never more exposed, more vulnerable than when we offer up a nice, fat slice of our inner workings. And that’s exactly what happens when anyone attempts fiction. No matter how unconscious it may be, it’s all about me, Me MEEEE! And now that I’ve written it all down… um, er, gosh, I hope you like it. Please like it!
Since I know it’s all about me, the real issue in my neurotic little mind is what conclusions readers will draw as to just HOW it’s all about me? I expect people to be bright enough to know that I’m not the secret agent, the lawyer, the prima ballerina, the space ship captain that I write about. Yet, why is it that if I write one sex scene peppered with a bit of romance, I suddenly fear everyone will believe K D really DOES steal vegetables for lewd purposes, or that K D really IS hopelessly obsessed with the gardener? And is that such a bad thing? When the fiction I write deals with the emotions that revolve around sex and love, I feel more vulnerable, more exposed, somehow more flawed.
In a wonderful essay on why he likes to write about sex, Wallace Shaw writes, “If I'm unexpectedly reminded that my soul and body are capable of being totally swept up in a pursuit and an activity that pigs, flies, wolves, lions and tigers also engage in, my normal picture of myself is violently disrupted. In other words, consciously, I'm aware that I'm a product of evolution, and I'm part of nature. But my unconscious mind is still partially wandering in the early 19th century and doesn't know these things yet.
Writing sex and romance is that unexpected reminder that we can be swept away in our animal passions just like all the rest of our animal cousins. That implies a loss of control, an unfitness for civilized society. Banishment from the social group is an age-old punishment for what is considered improper behaviour in the tribe, what is considered ‘uncivilized.’ Though we may no longer be sent into the wilderness to fend for ourselves with only a rusty knife, the archetypal fear of being ostracized still remains.
A writing teacher told me once that the best stories, the ones with the most power to grip, are those that come from the place inside us that makes us the most uncomfortable. The place that embarrasses us, that frightens us, the place where we have the least control, that’s the places where story begins. It’s the place where our characters come alive, the place where their love and sex and violence and fear and celebration compel the people we’ve exposed ourselves to -- our readers -- to keep reading to the end. And, hopefully, if we’ve exposed just the right bits of ourselves, those readers will eagerly come back for more.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
I've had so much fun with Rita and her friends and their adventures at The Mount that I can hardly wait to share it all, and now that The Initiation of Ms Holly is on Amazon, October doesn't seem so far away. It's officially available 11 October, at which time there will be much dancing in the streets and drinking of champagne. And though even God can't get reservations at The Mount, you can! In fact, you can pre-order Rita and her friends now so you can join them at The Mount, and you'll have something hot to read during those crisp autumn nights.
Friday, 28 May 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Friday, 21 May 2010
On a road trip across America, Liz Martin’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere South Dakota, and the ride a Good Samaritan lorry driver offers her is not exactly the one she expected. Don't miss my story, ACCIDENTAL HITCHHIKER, now available in Xcite eBooks anthology, Cocktales, Between The Sheets
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
As I read a bit of his history in Wikipedia, I was saddened to think that if he were around today, there are plenty of places where he’d fit right in, and his ideas and attitudes would be welcomed with open arms.
It’s easy to take for granted the openness of the times in which we live. As I write this, I am surrounded by books and magazines (never mind the internet) for which Mr. Comstock would have happily had me jailed. I write things every day for which I would have been jailed. And I do it without any risk to myself. Even in today’s world – maybe especially in today’s world, that’s no small thing.
To be able to celebrate our sexuality – in all its diversity -- should be one of our most basic human rights. So I encourage you to join in the celebration, wherever you are. Remember, we forget the Comstocks of the world at our own peril.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Everyone wants an alpha male. Alpha males have good genes. It's biology. Not enough alpha males to go around? Never mind. If it's just sperm and child support poor lonely singletons are looking for, why wouldn't Mr. Mediocre-but-stable-making-good money be Mr. Just-as-good-as-anyone-else?
And since we're being brutally honest, why the hell would Mr. Perfect be slumming for Gottlieb's pathetic and shallow version of the single woman in the first place? One really has to wonder who actually is settling for whom?
Being reduced to our biological imperatives leaves little room for imagination, for creativity, for passion, or even just for fun. We simply settle, then we get on with it. It's possible that being lonely is worse than being bored, but it's very unlikely that settling for one will cure the other.
Monday, 1 February 2010
‘They’re in the refrigerator,’ I reply.
‘Are you hungry?’
I mumble something incoherent from behind the monitor.
I pour plain hot water from the mocha maker because I forgot to put in the coffee. Never mind. I slap a teabag in the cup of hot water and go back to the computer.
Spiders have taken residence in a number of nooks and crannies. They know the odds that dusting will happen in the near future are slim, and the safety of their homes is pretty much guaranteed.
My list of unanswered emails is growing longer every day and I haven’t done a blog post in two and a half weeks. So what’s the problem?
Tunnel Vision. Yep, it’s that time again. Everyone who knows me knows it happens periodically. I go underground. It’s like I’ve temporarily left the planet, and for all practical purposes, I have. I’ve got tunnel vision, and whenever that happens, I’m sucked mercilessly into another dimension, the dimension of the story. The thing about the dimension of the story is that it’s a whole lot easier for me to go there than it is for me to come back. Fortunately for the recyclables, though not for the spiders, short stories involve fairly brief stints in the land of Tunnel Vision. Five thousand words and I’m back home in time for a reality check.
But, I’m in the world of the novel now, and whenever I go there, it’s hard to say when I’ll get back home again. Add to that the fact that the novel is full of love, sex, intrigue, and people I’d like to be, and I’m very likely to linger as long as possible. In fact, I bet if you could go someplace similar right now, you would, wouldn’t you?
Come on, be honest! Everyone who’s ever read a good book gets the chance to follow the writer into that great world of Tunnel Vision. We all go there willingly and happily while the spiders take up residence and the recycling accumulates. We’re disappointed when it’s not quite the world we’d hoped for. We’re equally disappointed when it’s more than we could have imagined. When that happens, we don’t want to leave. We want to stay with those characters we’ve grown so fond of and take up residence in that place that now feels like home. We’ve grown used to the excitement, the adventure, the sex, the love, the intrigue, and we’ve especially grown used to the opportunity to, for a little while, be someone else.
The land of Tunnel Vision is also the land of multiple personalities. In my novel, I get to be ALL of the characters. They all whisper in my ear and tell me their sordid secrets and their darkest fantasies. Then I, like an evil gossip columnist, splash their inner workings all over the written page for the world to see. Bwa ha ha ha ha! I get to do that because I’m the most powerful person in their world. In fact, in their world, I’m god. K D giveth and K D taketh away!
So, I’ve come back from the world of Tunnel Vision just long enough to grab a sandwich, write a blog post and ignore the spiders. Consider this a postcard from the world of The Mount and Rita Holly’s initiation. It’s my way of saying ‘having a great time, wish you were here.’ I promise a detailed account this fall in the form of my novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly. But in the meantime, you’ll just have to settle for a blog post.