The Icing on the Cake

Today is the last day of the blog tour for Voyeur Eyes Only.  Here’s a link to the last stop along the tour.  As I read what Jade Melisande had to say this morning, I found myself wanting to go to another conference.  It’s not that I want to hit Vegas again, it’s more that I want to find myself surrounded by all these wonderful writers I met and get another jolt of that “camaraderie” I felt while there.   Being in a world populated by people who share my world is…simply…wonderful.  Until the next conference though, I’ll have to make do with the internet connections I’m making over Facebook and Twitter.  Each day, I add new friends and connections to my erotic world.  

In my every day life, I’m careful about how I share what I do.   People tend to respond in one of two ways.   Either they are interested and  use my gentle opening as an opportunity to share their enthusiasm, or they are clearly not and change the subject.  One friend, who is likely reading this post, said, “Oh, I love erotica.  Read it all the time.”  Another friend, without hearing the details about the explicit nature of what I write literally began to back away from me.  The look on her face was a mixture of confusion, shock, and clear disgust.  (And that was without me being at all specific.)   This friend is rather…erm…on the uptight end of things generally and one of those feminists who think SLUT Walks are not a good idea.   It was clear she did not want any details, and I wasn’t going to hand them over.  We talk about other things.  

However, I do, very often have people ask what my nym is.  Most recently my mom’s sister asked me to share it with her.  We had talked at our family reunion about writing, and I had told her rather quietly that I was writing erotica.  (And, I do hope you’re reading this right now, my dear aunt–because YOU ROCK!)  After posting something nebulous on Facebook like “Another story accepted–Woot!” she asked me to share my work with her.  So, I sent her this basic message, just so we were clear:  

So, here’s the thing. I don’t share my pen name with people unless they promise to the following rules of engagement and understanding.

1. do not share my pen name further –even if someone claims to have known it but just forgotten about it–always refer whoever is asking directly back to me.
2. That if you read my work you must understand it is FICTION and that husband and I are NOT the characters in the story
3. Just because I might write something convincingly does not mean I have actually done the thing I am writing about.
4. I write about a wide range of sexual activities in graphic detail–this is not “throbbing manhood” and “Pulsing heat” it’s “Thrusting cock into moist wet pussy” sort of writing. Sometimes it involves ropes, leather, anal sex, group sex, lesbian sex, gay sex, and the like.

So, if you are STILL thinking you will be okay with all of THAT, I’ll send you links to my website and the one book that is currently out. 

I am just cautious on this because I have some fairly close personal friends who have spoken out against this kind of writing as being anti-feminist. What they don’t seem to be willing to hear is that the majority of erotica is written by women for women. 

 

Her response was one that had me willing to send her my links and trust her with my pen name.    I hate to admit this, but I could NEVER have shared what I do with my mother.    Our only direct discussion about sex happened when I was ten when she handed me a pamphlet about menstration (pink) and a pamphlet about sexuality (blue).  She asked me to read them and then ask if Ihad any questions.  She added that she thought sex was wonderful, but it was like the icing on a cake.  The cake, a loving relationship, had to be there to support the icing.   At age ten, that just confused me a little bit.   I was picturing something similar to the image at the top of this post.  Sex on cake?  What?  (Oh…new story idea!)  Anyway…I can hardly ever eat cake without a smile on my face because cake has forever and inextricably been connected to sex in my mind.  I get what she was saying, but I also think icing is just fine on it’s own.

Did I mention my aunt is going to be seventy-eight this year?  I love that she’s not judgmental, that she’s still interested in reading about sex, and just such a cool person.  I miss my mom tremendously, but I feel grateful to have my dear aunt in my life.

 

 

Book Blog Tours

 

I hate to admit this, but I’d never heard of a book blog tour before July 2011.  I was at the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association annual conference and decided–almost on a whim–to attend a talk on blog tours.  I had started blogging (both here and under my ‘real nam’) a while ago, but considered blogging primarily an exercise in procrastination.  If I didn’t feel like editing or writing, I’d go make a blog post.  I try hard to keep things topical on this site–either related to sex, issues about sex or writing sex.  On my other blog I am all across the board writing about cooking, reading, knitting and parenting.  It’s not focused, and I don’t really care so much.  

I walked into the workshop thinking it would be about how author’s need to create their platforms, to blog about ‘their work’ and to create a connection between them and their readers.  I was surprised to learn about this marketing thing that’s been happening under my nose for years.  I’ve read dozens of book blog tour posts without even realizing that is what I was reading.  It was more than a little obvious, within a few minutes from the start of the class, I had seen dozens of blog tours without actually recongizing them for what they were.  And, as a previous marketing professional, I felt a little silly for not having some sort of intuitive notion about the power of the blog tour.

I think everyone is familiar with old style “book tours.”  The author travels around the country visiting books stores, does readings, signings, radio and television spots.  Very well known and higher profile authors get spots on nationally syndicated shows, but most authors don’t get that kind of publicity.  The Holy Grail of television used to be Oprah Winfrey’s book club.  This kind of tour is difficult to organize, hard to fund and exhausting.  I don’t know exactly how blog tours evolved over time, but they have become a standard way of promoting a new book either in lieue of a traditional tour or in addition to it.   And, they are the perfect venue for marketing anthologies.

And of course, I’m going to plug the anthology you’ve already seen mentioned on this blog,   Voyeur Eyes Only. The blog tour started on February 14th and here’s a link for  the entire blog tour schedule . 

I’m the guest blogger over at this blog today.   

 

Voyeur Eyes Only

 

I’m a sucker for calls for submissions with themes.  It’s like being in a writing class and getting a fun prompt.  Here’s a theme…on your mark…get set….WRITE!   As a matter of fact, I keep stickies all over my computer for various anthology prompts as a quick entry into writing.  If I am ever stuck on something I am trying to do, I look at a writing call for submission as a way to get me to write about ‘something.’   

Essemoh Teepee  announced an anthology open only to authors attending the first Erotic Association Authors  convention in Las Vegas last September at the closing party.  The idea was really simple and fun:

Imagine you are a guest of the towering Skylane Hotel.  It affords the best views of the Las Vegas Strip, including hotel rooms of all the most famous Las Vegas hotels.  That’s right, you’re a voyeur with a very powerful telescope and can see into the hotel windows of any of the other famous hotels that surround the Skylane.  Take your inspiration from such famous hotels as the ornate Bellagio, Paris, the hotel that started it all, The Flamingo, the new and naughty Cosmopolitan, the Wynn, etc.

The only restriction is that all the sexy action must be able to be seen through the telescope at the Skylane.  Otherwise, the sky’s the limit: straight, gay, menage, who knows, there might even be a vampire or two.
 

I had a couple of ideas pop into my head right away.  I am, by nature, more of a voyeur than an exhibitionist, so it was fun to turn the table and develop a character who gets off on displaying herself to an imagined audience. 

I am still a baby in the erotica market. In fact, this collection contains my first published  short story (I have self-published elsewhere, and have other work ‘accepted’ but not finalized yet.)   I am honored and delighted to be found in such quality company my first shot out the gate.  I’m including the table of contents with a links to most of the other authors in the collection so you can check them out.   

 

Voyeur Eyes Only: Erotic Encounters In Sin City
The Art of Watching K D Grace
Private Viewing D. L. King
Vegas Lights Jade Melisande
 Room 1101        Nik Havert
Zoom In     Laura Antoniou
Alone Time         Cecilia Duvalle
Seeing Clearly Genevieve Ash
Sin City   Anandalila
Window of Opportunity Cecilia Tan
Dancing Waters   Nan Andrews
The Ice Cube Courtney Breazile
The Birthday Present      I.G. Frederick
The Mist Between Us Penny Amici
Dazzle Dominic Santi

                                          

The proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to help fund  the Erotica Authors Association Conference.  You can purchase the book at Amazon.  The audiobook will be available on February 14th.  A fun audio teaser can be found here.  

 

UPDATE:  The audio version is now available at Audible!