Whenever I start thinking about what I’ll write next, I spend very little time worrying about what other people want. Is that selfish? I don’t know. But, I do know writing something that makes me excited makes for better writing in general, and therefore, something more enjoyable for you to read.
Just because I edit the Blood in the Rain series does not mean I’m only interested in vampires. As I look to 2018 and the kinds of things I want to be writing, I’m seeing a few more novellas than short stories. When I first started doing the Blood in the Rain anthologies, I had one vampire story ready to roll. It is in the first collection. Since then, I’ve written two more stories in the same world–a post-apocalyptic America that is divided into new nations-states–Pacifica (West Coast), God’s New Eden (Texas and other southern states), Centralia (All those fly-over states) and Atlantica (East Coast). Each story takes place in a slightly different part of the country.
My goal is to write the origin stories for each of my main characters in those three stories. Beyond that, I’m writing some pretty normal human-centric erotica. And, I’m looking at this whole shifter thing. Oh, and revers harem stuff. That sounds like a LOT OF FUN. How about Reverse Harem Domme Vampires?
Yes. You read that right. We're ready to accept submissions to Blood in the Rain 3, to be released in October 2017. If you've got an erotic vampire tale to share, it's time to get cranking. Or editing if you've already got one written. Check out the official call at...
I'm horrible at blogging. Or updating. I hate this part of the writing business because of the technical stuff involved. I like to write. And I love to read. And I love connecting with people who enjoy the same. If you want to receive updates via email, please...
I know, Blood in the Rain 2 is about to hit the shelves and the audible for BITR 1 is finally available? I've blogged about the audiobook process a few times. The fact that our studio was available one evening a week for a couple of hours, plus our talent work 'real...
I get this question about a lot of different things. "I thought you started that book five years ago." and "Weren't you knitting that last time I saw you?" are variations on a theme. Most recently, I've been pinged a few times by folks who are excited to share the...
The audible version of the Blood in the Rain is ALMOST finished being recorded. Did you know that professional voice talent is only allowed to work for three hours? Did you know that one story takes approximately an hour to record but takes about five hours to edit?...
My first attempt at editing an anthology came out last week. When my co-editor, Mary Trepanier, and I first sent out the call for submissions, I didn't know what to expect. And, I've been asked by friends who know I write erotica, "Why vampire erotica?" My answer is,...
It’s always a big thrill to see a new story published. For me it’s no so much as seeing my name in print as it’s seeing my story in print. The notion that people are out there, holding a book in their hands and (hopefully) enjoying a story I wrote is exciting. It’s even more so when that story is sandwiched in amongst a bunch of other fabulous tales. I have had the time to read the entire collection, and I promise you there is something for anyone who enjoys a little bit of spanking, rope play, flogging and pain-induced pleasure.
I knew I wanted to write something for Slave Girls the second I saw D.L. King’s call for submissions. It took me a couple of long, hot, steamy showers to come up with a concept I liked because I tend to write a lot of dominant female characters. I’ve been told that I’m really a “sadistic reaction junkie”, so maybe that’s why. I like to challenge myself by writing all manner of characters–male, female, trans, submissive, dominant, disabled, dorky, annoying, flirty. Taking on a story featuring a “slave girl”, the only requirement being there would be a submissive female in the story, was a lot of fun even if it was a bit out of my usual comfort zone. Being a writer means exploring those zones and pushing the boundaries.
I always like my characters to go through some sort of change, so I picked a scenario where a dominant female is placed in a situation where she has to submit. Not anything non-consensual, but the notion that she has to force herself to submit. Fiona has promised to do so after losing a bet to her best friend, someone she has co-dommed with upon occasion, and not her love interest. It’s an act of will on her part, and I don’t think she’ll ever be the same again.
Visit the entire blog tour, and get to know some amazing authors:
It’s finally here. Yay! That this is the first story I’ve written with homo-erotic elements makes it extra exciting for me. Most of the stories I’ve had published have been pretty much straight hetero and mostly vanilla. Okay, Birthday Boy, (Cheeky Spanking Stories) has a touch of Discipline in it, but is still pretty tame. Being a cis-female, I have focused almost all of my stories on the female characters in my story. They are virtually all female POV, so this was a fun stretch for me. The thing is, this is an AWESOME collection of stories. So, it’s worth getting if you want some quick hot moments over the next few weeks. 69 stories that are likely to get you off in many happy ways. (Disclosure: Click the link below to purchase, and I actually might make a couple of pennies.)
If you live in the Bay area, check this reading out! No, I won’t be there, but ten of the other authors will be–it sure sounds like fun. I love going to author readings because you get to hear their voice and how they punctuate and stress their words. Sometimes it changes how I experience a story completely.
From a review on Amazon:
In the foreword of this hefty anthology, Barbara Carrellas writes: “Orgasm is an adventure, a surprise. No matter how many orgasms you’ve had–or how few–the potential for new and different orgasms is just one erotic encounter away.”
This collection of short, powerful stories, each under 1,200 words, shows how many different routes there are to the ultimate goal of climax and release. There are stories by relatively well-known erotic writers and by newbies in the field, but each of these stories is a polished gem of condensed excitement. Here are stories about long-married couples reviving the spark of their honeymoon, sex workers and their clients, same-sex couples, gender-bending threesomes, near-strangers getting to know each other in ways that will never be repeated, and solitary masturbators.
In “Hard Knocks” by Malin James, a woman tells her boyfriend: “You absolutely cannot make someone come just by spanking them.” He responds to this challenge by showing her that spanking alone, done with enough skill, can indeed lead to orgasm. In “Book Lover” by Donna George Storey, a woman has a tryst in a bookstore, where she is pushed over the edge by the smell of a well-used book. In “Beer and Orgasms” by Jeremy Edwards, a woman is only able to let herself orgasm when she can no longer resist the urge to pee; her understanding boyfriend arranges for her to do this without ruining the furniture.
Several of these stories involve the orgasmic stimulus of music. In “All You Do Is Play” by Annabeth Leong, a clever woman shows her musician lover how to “play” in more than one sense. In “Piano Man” by A.M. Hartnett, a male musician brings a female fan to ecstasy after his performance before they have even left the club. In the more over-the-top “By the Beat” by T. Fox Dunham, “Mr. Wolf” helps “Ms. Peacock” to reach orgasm with the help of a metronome, a relentless device that can’t lose its rhythm.
I’m looking forward to the release of this anthology. My story, The Big Cat, is my first piece with homoerotic elements to be published. I’ve shied away from writing m/m erotica mostly because I don’t have a penis. I reminded myself that writing is all about fantasy and making things up–so why not let go of my pre-conceived worries about having the appropriate genitalia and have fun with it?
Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is currently signing up Amazon reviewers for The Big Book of Orgasms, for print copies (US only) or Kindle editions – people should email her at orgasmantho at gmail.com with either their U.S. mailing address for a hard copy with “Amazon” in the subject line or their email address for the Kindle edition with “Kindle” in the subject line. By doing so, they acknowledge they have an Amazon.com account they’ve made a purchase from before, and that they are willing to post their review within 6 weeks of receipt.
Details about how you can get your free copy and be a reviwer, can be found at Rachel Bussell’s blog by clicking here. (But act fast as she’s only taking 100 volunteers.)
Here’s a complete table of contents. I am so proud to be found in such awesome company!
Foreword: Foreplay: Figments of Erotic Imagination by Barbara Carrellas
Introduction: Orgasm Is Just the Beginning The Beginning, B. D. Swain
How You Christen a Bed Thomas S. Roche
All You Do Is Play Annabeth Leong
Hard Knocks Malin James
The Gallery Exhibit Chris Komodo
White Preston Avery
Matinee Suleikha Snyder
All Talk Jenna Bright
Scarecrow Giselle Renarde
In Her Hands Tenille Brown
Remote Control Logan Zachary
Weathering the Storm Salome Wilde
Hellfire Valerie Alexander
Her Lover Is a Flame Cecilia Tan
Me Vengo! Mistress Kay
Count Out the Strokes Virgie Tovar
Steamy Tess Danesi
Come On Monocle
The Pink Team Kelly Rand
Headache Sherry Reid
Pushing Boundaries on Public Transport Victoria Blisse
Runner’s High Sam Angioli
His Three Conditions Medea Mor
The Morning After David Salcido
Look at Yourself Maxine Marsh
Do It Again Sinclair Sexsmith
Under the Table Elizabeth Coldwell
Light Sleeper Mina Murray
The Big Cat Cecilia Duvalle
Opening Doors Thea Landen
Baxter’s Boy Xan West
Suds and a Two-Piece Bathing Suit Brantwijn Serrah
The Jeffrey Factor Stella Harris
Chains of Love Lily K. Cho
By the Beat T. Fox Dunham
Icing on the Cake Lula Lisbon
The Massage Lady Cheeky
Feast for the Senses Riley Shane
Squirt Evoë Thorne
Piano Man A. M. Hartnett
Out of Control Crystal Jordan
Tantric Home Dominic Santi
Queer for Mike Shane Allison
Meeting Cute Vanessa Madison
Cheryl Andreas Amsterdam
Beer and Orgasms Jeremy Edwards
Sullied Innocence Neve Black
The Rub Jon Fulton
The Park Elise Hepner
Coming Together: The Elusive Simultaneous Orgasm Jade Melisande
Meeting Myself Anya Levin
I Am Not Cruel J. Sinclaire
Cooling Agents Marina Saint
Seeing Is Believing Heidi Champa
The Velocity of Roaches Michael A. Gonzales
After the Funeral Jeanette Grey
There Sommer Marsden
Forced Orgasms Shoshanna Evers
Blue Jean Baby Eleanor Proctor
Learning Experience Kathleen Tudor
A Teachable Moment Walter Pratt
The Flogger Jade A. Waters
Book Lover Donna George Storey
Tied by Red Kay Jaybee
After Party Drew Griffiths
I’m on Fire Rachel Kramer Bussel
Should You Ever Be Allowed to Feel This Good? Lillian Ann Slugocki
Well, it’s official; you can tell the world “Breaking Fiona” will be included in Slave Girls! I’m really excited about this book and so is Cleis Press. Thanks for being a part of it.
Here is the official table of contents:
Noise by Evan Mora
Out of Sight by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Cubed by Alison Tyler
Serving Mr. Baldwin by Veronica Wilde
Press My Buttons by Nina Fairweather
Breathe by Sommer Marsden
What’s Not to Like by D. L. King
Hell Bent for Leather by Victoria Behn
Passing the Final by Donna George Storey
Bridle Party by Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Red Envelope by Erzabet Bishop
Greens’ by Lisette Ashton
Breaking Fiona by Cecilia Duvalle
Muse by Lisabet Sarai
Postcards From Paris by Giselle Renarde
Flight by Cela Winter
Savoring Little One by Graydancer
Day Job by Deborah Castellano
Stand Here by Nym Nix
Dirty Pictures by Thomas Roche
My Master’s Mark by Lydia Hill
I’m sending you a copy of the contract. Please look it over and overwrite the bold parentheses in the first paragraph with the appropriate information (for your legal name, your pseudonym and your mailing address), print two copies, sign them both and mail them back to me at the address in the first paragraph. I’ll countersign them and mail one back to you.
If you’ve sent me a bio and you’re happy with it, that’s fine, just let me know that. Remember, there is a firm 50-word limit for author bios. If you want to send me a new one, please feel free to do that. I’m not sure when Slave Girls will be released, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do. I’ll also point you in the direction of the cover, when it’s available.
If you have any questions, let me know and again, I’m really excited to have your story in the anthology!
Every time I start a new story, I go through a certain amount of naming angst. Sometimes I don’t have the luxury of going through lists and lists of baby names and meanings to get the perfectly nuanced name for the character I’m about to create. There are also times when I don’t know the character well enough yet to name him or her, so I’ll just grab a name from the air and use it until I get a sense of what I am doing.
What’s sort of funny is that I usually grab the name “Karen” for a female character. After a bit of time writing, I get a feel for who this character really is and can change the name to something more fitting for the character’s personality. I sometimes forget, though. Two of my published stories last year featured female protagonists who were named Karen. Now you know why. It was more my being lazy than intentional.
I have spent hours researching names. making sure that the character I am working on is somehow reflected by the name I give him or her. I like it when a name reflects some personality flaw or trait that is exhibited in the story. If I am about to start a roleplay, I tend to research a new name specifically for that roleplay from the start since it’s harder to do a’ find and replace’ on a forum and it might confuse my writing partners. It’s better to stick with one name. One time, I chose a name for a RP that required me looking at it and copy-pasting it each time because it was such a funky strange name I couldn’t remember it. Drove me a little bonkers.
When I write for erotic material, I add in more than just ‘who is this character’ to my search criteria. I have a whole list of squigg-worthy names I won’t use in sexual circumstances. This counts for any erotic stories I write as well as roleplays. At one point. I was working up a f/f roleplay that involved an older woman (my character). My roleplay partner came back with her character being the same as my daughter’s name. I have a particular taboo around incest in general, so this just sent me running. Whenever someone suggests a character name that is the same as any of my brothers’ names, I ask them to change it. I do the same when someone comes up with my real name, my hubby’s name or almost any other close family members. I don’t confuse characters with real people, but the names can still affect me in irrational ways. There are enough names in the world that I don’t feel it’s a real issue to avoid the handful that bug me for whatever reason.
Another fun book edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. This is my first male/male erotica piece, too. I have to admit that the road construction near my house has me checking out all the big machines and the (mostly) men running them. While none of them have come close enough to make this story a reality, that doesn’t mean my mind can’t wander into the confines of a small cab where men can do their thing.
It never gets boring to see a new story in print. I’ve been having a lot of fun writing to various calls for submission that come across the Erotic Readers and Writer’s Association page. Sometimes I just answer a call to see if I can write on a subject matter with enough conviction to be plausible and/or enjoyable. At other times, I write something because I HAVE to. I have a number of stories that I would never have written if I hadn’t seen the call for it, and this is one of them. So, if you enjoy reading about some rather fantastical and some rather down-to-earth first time anal experiences, go ahead and buy the book. It might even make a great stocking stuffer! (And yes, if you click on the link I’ll get about eight pennies for it as an affiliate.)
When I switched to writing as an intended (eventually) profession, I realized that it couldn’t all just be for kicks anymore. While most of the writing I do under this pen name is just for fun because I love writing erotica and, now I’ve been told, erotic romance, I have found the rigor of picking at least one call off the website every other month to be a fun challenge. I even wrote my first scene ever with two men recently. It was more fun than I thought it would be! Turning something you love doing into work has its challenges, though. I love writing, and have always enjoyed telling stories. Now, I’m involved in writing longer pieces the work load has quadrupled. There are so many more things to keep track of in a novel than in short stories.
I love the short form, and I have several short stories simmering away at all times. I tend to write a rough draft, save it and ignore it for a few weeks. It gives me the chance to come back to it with a refreshed attitude and dig in for some editing. Usually, what comes out is something pretty close to where I want it to be. I’m lucky to have a couple of friends who also write erotica and don’t mind giving my stuff a look over. (Thank you!) They always find something I miss.
Given my frequence of posting lately, I doubt very much I’ll be doing any more blogging here in 2012. Here’s hoping your holiday season–whatever you celebrate–is peaceful and joyous and that 2013 finds you in good health. XOXO
When I first started writing, I had visions of book tours and talk shows. I know I’m not at that level yet, and it might never actually happen for me as an erotica author. Sure, there’s that small possibility I could put together a novel and hit the big time–but I know the chances of that are remote. The days of authors traversing the country and stopping at book stories is coming to an end. Not only are brick and mortar stores disappearing, the expense of doing such travel is so high it’s practically impossible to embark on them. Today, I’m pleased to promote Cheeky Spanking Stories, edited b Rachel Kramer Bussell as part of the official blog tour. (Oh, just so you know…the link on the picture to the left is an affiliate link, and I do earn about .04 on each purchase.)
While there is a lot of excitement around being published–officially going from “writer” to “author” is alot of fun, it’s not why I write. I hate the fact that my answer to the question “why do you write?” is like almost anyone else’s answer. I write because...I have to. It sounds trite because it’s pretty much what everyone who does write says about why they write. It’s a compulsion. If I don’t find time for writing, I get cranky and moody. I snarl at my family members, and I begin to throw or slam things around. It’s like my body begins to need some sort of dramatic release if I can’t do it through writing.
When people ask me “why do you write erotica?” the answer is a bit more specific than “I have to.” I am in a writing class where there is a huge variety of genres represented. I don’t think any of us are working on an ertotic fiction (even me). Three of us are working on various forms of mysteries (my other love and what I am working on under my legal name), two are writing supernatural romance, one is writing literary fiction, another is working on a memoir, another three are working on sci-fi, another is writing fantasy, and there’s another that defies classification. The first night in class I mentioned I was published in anthologies in erotic fiction and would like to work on the novel form. I struggle with longer works, and I decided to take this class to help with plotting, structure and pacing. One woman was obviously bristling at the term, and I asked her if she would be offended if I were to work on sexually explicit writing while in this class. To her credit, she said she would rather not be exposed to it or have to critique “such things.” She is also the woman writing literary fiction. The nose in the air was particularly pointed in my direction. I said that I had another work in process I would be happy to work on and decided to focus on that mystery I started during last year’s NaNoWriMo project. No problem for me, but I get a secret bit of glee knowing that even in that mystery there are some pretty hot sexual topics and imagery likely to pop up. I can’t help myself.
And there’s the answer to why I write erotica. I can’t help it. I…love…sex…I am interested in sex, and I love writing about it. I love to explore the relationships between people and what they do together with their bodies. I’d like to think most of my stories go beyond two (or more) people meeting and ending up in bed together. I try to find genuine circumstances where a character can grow and change in some way through the course of the story. I find that, if the sex doesn’t have a reason for being there, it’s just…sex. And that, in and of itself, is boring. There’s nothing more tiring than writing a sex scene when a relationship and pattern for a couple is wholly established and there is nothing ‘new’ happenging for either character. So, I am continually looking for new and interesting ways for people to need, have, and experience sex.
I also get asked, how much of your real life is part of your writing? I have learned that there is a delicate balance between writing what you know and have experienced and what you don’t know and have only researched. When I look at my colleagues, like Jade, who regularly writes from direct experience, I usually think…”wow…My life and my writing are…not the same.” Most of my erotica takes form fully in my little fantasizing mind. I take bits and pieces of real experiences and weave them in. For example, in my story in this collection, Birthday Boy, the only things that are part of my real life experiences are that I am in a long term monogomous relationship, and that we did actually go to the Alexis hotel once–to celebrate our anniversay. Oh, okay, I do own a pair of black boots, and maybe might own a black leather skirt…but that’s pretty much where the comparisons end. My last blog post links to an excerpt of my story in this collection, so you might take a look at that and then click the link above to buy the collection.
My last post was basically a quick notice that I was enjoying my summer. Even once the kids were back in school, the warm weather had me thinking it was still time to goof off. We had extended sunshine and warm days that made sitting at my desk and writing seem more like…well…work. Given that I have decided to pursue a career in writing, and not just poke at it, however, that seems all too appropriate. The IRS is going to start wondering about various deductions if I don’t start producing more ‘work.’
We had a fabulous family trip to Europe. I ate more food in three weeks than I probably had the previous three months. We saw new sites, some old familiar places, and expanded our vocabulary just a tiny bit. Just about everyone speaks English in the major cities, so we got along very easily.
The photo to the left was taken at our hotel in Berlin–sorry if the exposure is sort of sucky. I had this moment where I paused and looked at the words, my mind going to all those delicious places it seems to go so naturally. Given that this was a family trip, I didn’t see fit to drag my underage kids along with me to see what really was going on inside. Turns out it was just a bar with a name that translates into English with unintended consequences.
After our return, I spent most of the summer days hanging with the kids and doing summer kinds of stuff. I didn’t get any writing done to speak of, and sort of lost track of what it is I wanted to do anyway. Makes it easy to just sort of start over all fresh and new with a blank page. Or screen.
In August, I hit New York for a writer’s conference called “BDSM for Writers.” The three day weekend was an intensive workshop. When I signed up for it, I had originally missed the “hands-on” line in the conference description. It was…more than just a little intense– it was informative, fun, exciting and provocative. I came away with a greater understanding of my own personal kinks and proclivities as well as a much broader understanding of the Lifestyle in general.
A while ago, I wrote about research being a good replacement for lack of real life experience. It turns out that there are some real differing levels of research. Reading about something can make up for a lot, but I am glad I took my own research to the next level. As part of the conference, we spent many hours at Paddles, a public BDSM club in New York City. I went to one early evening demonstration on needle-play which included some saline inflation techniques. While this particular play doesn’t really do anything for me personally, I was able to see it from a new angle as a witness to it and appreciate it for the interaction and stimulus it provides people who do get off on it. I think I ‘get it’ way more than I possibly could from simply reading about it. I was able to flog a naked woman, turned down multiple offers to spank various men, or be spanked, and witness a multitude of interactions between players. The open nature of the club was intense even though I was mostly a voyeur. The fact that I was there with Dr. Charley and my fellow conference attendees made me feel safe in a new situation which could have been otherwise overwhelming and even dangerous.
One of our private presenters came to the club the second evening to show us more “electric play,” and I found myself on his table with my shirt off. This is not exactly something that I am particularly comfortable doing. For all my writing about voyeuristic activities, I am not particularly prone to hanging out naked in front of strangers. At least we were in a corner of the club and the wand-master’s body pretty much shielded me from view. I really wanted to experience the sensation of the violet wand first-hand. It turns out an under wire bra and an electric wand are an extremely painful combination, and I am not into receiving pain–hence the no shirt. After the initial shock of the under-wire, I had him turn the level of the wand down to almost nothing. Call me a wimp, but the experience clearly showed me I am not a masochist. I didn’t get off on the experience, but, rather found the sensation extremely ticklish. I think I laughed long and loud with the experience, but managed to eventually force myself to take lots of mental notes on the sensation. I will be fine extrapolating the rest into my writing. Expect some electric play in a story sometime in the future.
We also had a private tour of the space shared with Paddles by professional Dommes. These play rooms are set up for pay-for-play scenarios with everything from school room themes, a medieval dungeon with various wooden torture devices, to a shiny medical room with plenty of scary looking chrome implements. Taking time to consider the reality of the level of kink and the varying sorts of kink out there is something I needed and wanted to do. I don’t really know yet how it will all turn out in my future works, but I am looking forward to tucking into a fall filled with writing.
The conference was run by Dr. Charley Ferrer, author of BDSM for writers, and the following link takes you to her book.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing a new story out. This one, however, is sort of special to me. You see, “Birthday Boy” is the first story I ever submitted to an editor for publication. (Well, the first ‘erotic’ story I ever submitted.) Looking at it now, for the first time in a year, I can see some revisions I’d like to make. Maybe when I get around putting together a single author anthology, I’ll tweak it a bit. But, for now, I think it’s still a decent and really fun story.
I tend to blog infrequently, but summer vacation means even more infreqent posts from me. I have two kids, and the summer is filled with things like traveling and doing stuff outside the house. I am also one of those people that write when I’m alone. It has a lot to do with the nature of my writing, but not entirely. I have a hard time concentrating when there are other people walking around behind me or playig music in the background. Even more, the divided attention just kills me. When I am working on something, I really need to focus. There are times where, if I am in the groove, I can write for six hours straight without even realizing the time has gone by. The requests for help with one thing or another break the concentration to such a degree I usually give up trying.
This summer has been pretty much a non-starter for any kind of writing. I put up a couple of blog posts on my other blog during the family vacation to Europe, but haven’t done much else. I figured I should just admit that I’m not going to be around much until September. At that point, I will likely have two more stories out in anthologies (Yay!) that I can share.
In spite of wanting to just completely disappear and head to the beach all summer, I had to tend to some business. Someone who reads this blog regularly sent me the following in an email:
“…..I noticed your blog looks different. What happened to all your pretty pictures?”
Well…. I read this blog post, by Roni Loren. Talk about a cautionary tale! I had been using images that I found off of Google searches without really thinking about it. They were out there being used by everyone else, right? Well…read Roni’s story, and you’ll see why I just started deleting things. I have since removed any image that might have any copyright issues. I have no desire to break copyright, and as an author I can really appreciate the notion that people should be compensated for their work. I spent a couple of hours last week removing any images that I didn’t have permission to use. What that left me is covers of books that I either blogged about or where my own work appears.
The really bad image to the left is one I have complete copyright on since I created it in Publisher in about five minutes. I looked for a free “schools out” sort of image, but didn’t really feel like spending $10 for one. You can see why I haven’t just been doing my own art all along. I’m not an artist–or at least not a graphics artist. I’ll be researching various photo-stock and image galleries that give things away for free or at low cost, but until then…Well…you get home-made images if any at all.
Have a happy, fun summer. I’ll be back to more regular blogging in September.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is probably the most artsy vampire film I have ever seen. It’s in black and white, so that’s part of it. The film plays with light and dark, angles, focus..everything. It’s a slow movie. There’s one scene that we both were squirming in our seats asking each other “HOW can they move SOOOOO slow?” And, we were able to do that, and talk over many of the scenes because there is very little dialogue.
Silence is so much a part of the story it becomes its own character. It builds tension and discomforts the viewer. We’re so used to words, words, words! All the time WORDS! and explosions and action. This film is the exact opposite of most every contemporary movie.
The story takes place in “Bad City”–a nebulously awful neighborhood where people are seen throwing random bodies that lie abandoned and ignored in a ravine. Here’s what the “experts” had to say:
Guy Lodge of Variety said in his review that “Ana Lily Amirpour’s auspicious debut feature is a sly, slinky vampire romance set in an imaginary Iranian underworld”. Andrew O’Hehir of Salon called the film “the year’s biggest discovery” and praised its feminist themes. Boyd van Hoeij, in his review for The Hollywood Reporter, praised the movie, saying “this moody and gorgeous film is finally more about atmosphere and emotions than narrative – and none the worse for it”. Drew Taylor of Indiewire graded the film A− and said that it gives “the impression that you’re witnessing something iconic and important unfold before you” –From Wikipedia
Let the Right One In is a Swedish romantic horror film that is one of my favorite vampire movies. Like a lot of Swedish films, it’s moody and dark and perfect. Last year we had the opportunity to see it on Stage in Seattle performed by the National Theater of Scotland. The stage adaptation was amazingly true to the film. (I’m including trailers to both at the end of the post for fun.)
The film is based on a novel and, apparently, departs from the book’s darker themes to focus on the relationship between Oskar and Eli. Oskar, a 12-year-old boy, and Eli, a centuries old vampire, become unlikely friends in a cold and bleak suburb of Stockholm. While reviewing the details of this movie for this post, I learned that the book has much darker themes that aren’t touched upon in the movie. Definitely worth a viewing!
(We saw this same production in Seattle, but the only trailer I could find was from the Texas production.)
What We Do In the Shadows is a mockumentary about a bunch of vampires in New Zealand. We get to meet a group of vampires that have been sharing a flat for a while.
It’s the brain child of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Clement is better known for his role as himself in “Flight of the Concords.” If you haven’t seen that, you should look it up. This is a campy, hilarious movie. Watch the trailer, then go rent the movie!
I was recently invited to a very special screening of Nosferatu at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. A friend’s uncle had written a new musical score for the silent film, and he performed the piano with the symphony. I went because I’d never seen Nosferatu and because there was this cool connection with the composer.
In spite of the fact I’ve edited three volumes of Blood in the Rain, I’m not the biggest vampire fan. I mean, I enjoy vampires–Ann Rice, Buffy, Angel–but when I got to the hall, it was apparent I barely qualify as an actual FAN. There were people there in full cos-play–costumes from Nosferatu, Dracula etc. And lots and lots of goths. Apparently, there is quite the cult following.
We’d had dinner with my friend and her uncle, so I’d heard some of his concerns about the performance ahead of time. They’d had one run-through of the music with the movie on stage, and he, as the composer of the score, had a few concerns about how the performance would go. As the movie started, I was worried I’d be looking for mistakes.
Once the movie was on screen, however, I was totally lost in the experience. If there were any goofs, I missed them. The movie itself is considered a classic. It’s one of the first horror films and over a hundred years old. I had to remind myself over and over what it must have been like to watch this film over a hundred years ago. Before sound, before color, before computer graphics. There are a couple of special effects that, at the time, must have been genius. Now, almost any teen could pull them off with their iPhone.
The plot was obviously ripped off of Dracula and there’s a whole history of lawsuits between Stoker’s widow and Nosferatu’s creator. At one time, every copy of Nosferatu was ordered destroyed. Fortunately, a few copies had made it to the United States and were saved from destruction.
The overall experience was delightful. The music was written for the movie, and worked brilliantly to underscore what was happening on the stage. I’m not sure what renting Nosferatu will get you in terms of the score, but this was definitely the way to see it.