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.
Check out the free excerpt here and click below to buy the whole collection!
The Perfect Dom Lucy Felthouse
Birthday Boy Cecilia Duvalle
Unwrapping Craig J. Sorensen
The Assignment Donna George Storey
A Game of Numbers Kiki DeLovely
Mermaid Teresa Noelle Roberts
Butch Girls Don’t Cry Giselle Renarde
Echo J. Sinclaire
Bitch Elizabeth Silver
The Price of Experience Kate Dominic
The Spanking Salon Elizabeth Coldwell
The Impact of Change Maggie Morton
Writer’s Block Evan Mora
Lessons Learned Jade Melisande
Invitation to a Spanking Andrea Dale
A Timely Correction Dorothy Freed
Spanking the Monkey Cynthia Rayne
Shine Shanna Germain
Papers to Grade Thomas S. Roche
Lean on Me Adele Haze
Proxy Lucy Hughes
Bad Boy Isabelle Gray
Marks Rachel Kramer Bussel
(I’m honored to be in such awesome company!)