Short Retrospection of my year 2017

December 4, 2017 About Smut, ebooks Comments (0) 37

In which I talk about my year 2017 in almost no detail and about the upcoming Big Book of Submission 2 in a little more detail.

The year is coming to a close. 2017 passed in a rush of panic, and I won’t miss it one bit. I started this year with goals I hoped to achieve, but as so often, I missed them by quite the distance.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably noticed me posting a lot of pictures of yarn or knitting projects lately – not exactly what you’d expect from an erotica author, and probably not what I should be posting either. But to hell with all the should dos and the don’ts.

I’m human. I’m more than just my professional self. I write. I draw. I spin and dye and knit and crochet. And I battle depression.

The last one is more prominent lately, resulting in less writing and more binge watching of series on Netflix and Sky (OMG I love love love Babylon Berlin. German thing, so sorry to all of you elsewhere on the planet). Judging by my Twitter feed, that’s a global phenomenon. The public discourse around sexual harrassment has been everywhere; it’s necessary and it’s time for it to happen, but it’s also triggering to many of us. I retreated into silence.

#Goals, goals, goals

My goals for this year (and every year before that) were simple: More writing, more publishing. I didn’t quite manage the “more” part, but I take consistency too, in terms of writing and publishing.

Professionally, however, I made considerable progress. I submitted stories to four submission calls this year (which is a 400% increase to last year, when I didn’t submit anything anywhere outside my bedroom.) One submission got rejected, one is still pending. Two got accepted, and that is amazing.

The first story getting accepted was The Black Orchid, a story I’m ridiculously proud of. It appeared in the Sinful Pleasures anthology published by Sinful Press. The second story that got accepted is going to appear in The Big Book of Submission 2, coming out on December 19.

I actually screamed when I opened the proof copy of this one, as my story is right next to one of the amazing Malin James (author of the sublime Roadhouse Blues collection of short stories. Remember my fangirling?).

And there are so many more cool and amazing authors in this anthology! Rachel Kramer Bussel does a brilliant job editing these anthologies. In a way, I owe my new professional journey to her, not only because “Words” was the first story I submitted this year. It all began with a podcast featuring Rachel (sadly I don’t remember which one because I listen to a lot of them. I think it was Sex Out Loud?). After listening to her talk, I looked her up. I found the submission call for BBOS2 a week or so before the deadline.

I want to say the rest is history. After all, being included in this anthology is huge for me. It literally made my year.

But the year doesn’t end there, and because I’m more than a word machine (wonky on the best of days), life caught up with me.

#Words, words, words

For a while now, my word machine has been broken. There’s a special sense of irony in the fact that a year starting with a story titled “Words” ends with a complete lack thereof. Often, I wonder why I chose this genre for my writing, if I keep struggling with it’s implications.

It comes back to this: because I love it. I love writing about sex. About people figuring out their way and themselves, about pursuing the things they want even if they seem wrong and shameful.

“Words” is exactly about that: a woman figuring out how she wants to fuck, and putting it into words for her partner. She’s making herself an object by verbalising how she wants to be fucked – but in doing so, she’s the subject in this interaction, the one making the choice.  She’s at the center of her story, not as object, but as subject, as the one shaping her world.

Words are an integral part of negotiating, inside and out of the bedroom. Every relationship needs negotiating, not just the kinky ones. Sometimes it’s about things like taking the trash out, and sometimes it’s about how hard you want to be spanked and where (or if you want to spank your partner at all). Negotiation is the language of love, and loving is to listen.

I’m glad that my year started and ends with this story; it reminds me of the good things, of the gift I’m given. Even if I don’t write a lot at the moment, I’ll always find consolation and courage in words: in books, stories, in blogs and articles and podcasts.

Preorder The Big Book of Submission 2.

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Take It Where You Find It

August 22, 2017 About Smut, ebooks Comments (0) 189

Today, I’m thrilled to host Gail Williams, fellow author of the Sinful Pleasures Anthology (it’s out now, go grab your copy!!!). She writes about her inspiration for “Taking It” and shares a steamy excerpt with us!

 

Take It Where You Find It

By Gail Williams

 

Take inspiration where you find it, that is.  There is inspiration everywhere, and sometimes it comes in the form of an open submission from a publisher.  And sometimes it’s a left of field inspiration too, and for me that’s what a call for Sinful Press was.

See, erotica isn’t something I usually write.  When I started writing for publication, I was a big reader of Mills & Boon and so I wrote a lot about romance.  But those novels kept being rejected because – and this is an actual quote from a Mills and Boon rejection letter – they said I gave the books “too much plot.”  Immediately after that, I tried removing the plot and just writing the sex.  It seemed logical at the time.  Had no luck there either.  To be fair I think that was because I was being too ‘romantic’ about it, and I was probably too young, not experienced enough to pop my porn writing cherry at that point. Continue Reading

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Shaping Worlds

August 12, 2017 About Me, About Smut Comments (2) 290

Lana Fox posted about what erotica should be during dark times, and as I have a lot of feelings about this topic (and also because they were so incredibly kind as to include my response on Twitter in their post), I’m trying to put something into words that I’ve been carrying around for a long time now. Sometimes (all the times, honestly), 140 characters on Twitter are just not enough. (Especially not when I don’t have access to my computer and have to operate Twitter on my phone.) Continue Reading

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The O Story

July 19, 2017 About Me, About Smut, Motivation Comments (0) 312

Apparently it’s the time of personal stories for me. This one needs some content warnings, so here’s your heads up: This essay contains mentions of suicide and drug use as well as graphic descriptions of sex. And there’s a little bit of blood.

Writing erotica is, for me, an exercise in self-exploration. It’s finding the things that push my buttons and examining them. Isabel Allende wrote that “For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time.” In my experience, that’s absolutely true. Sex, for me, happens mostly in my mind. My imagination is what fuels my engine. I’m not sure yet if that’s part of my problem or part of the solution. Continue Reading

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The safety of fiction

June 20, 2017 About Smut, About Writing Comments (0) 247

My foray into writing taboo erotica.

Last week, I started an experiment: I want to see if I can make enough money through writing erotica to sustain our current situation as it is without making drastic changes (like getting a day job. The horror).

I’ve started publishing my stories a year and some months ago, but I’m not exactly raking in the cash. There has been an upswing, yes, and I start seeing things move into a positive direction, but I’m still leagues away from the pair of shoes I gave myself as a first tiny goal (which I then had to replace with new glasses, because boy, my eyesight is the worst).

Writing is my passion, the love of my life, and if I could do it for free, I would. But fact is, if I want to keep writing like I do – more or less full-time – then I have to earn some money with it, otherwise this is not a sustainable life. Continue Reading

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Oh, such delicious shame!

May 4, 2017 About Smut, About Writing Comments (0) 447

About Erotic Humiliation and Princess Kali’s “Enough to make you blush”

I have written about shame in the context of writing and reading romance before. But shame is not only something I had to overcome about my writing, it’s also a huge theme inside my writing. Erotica offers a safe space to explore erotic humiliation.

Shame and guilt as tools for social and moral control aren’t new. Back in the day, clerics created so called penitentials, detailing what constitutes a sin and how one should repent for it. Those penitentials dealt extensively with sex, outlining what was okay and what wasn’t. Basically everything but missionary intercourse between consensually married people put you in the sinner camp. Sex on certain days or during daylight hours could land you there as well.
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Talk dirty: 3 things to know about phone sex

April 29, 2016 About Smut, ebooks, Writing Comments (0) 254

There’s more to phone sex than just dirty talk. Here are some things I learned when researching for my new erotic short story about oral bliss and the art of dirty talk.

Some of my biggest turn-ons are of the intellectual variety. That’s why narrated fantasies play such a big role in my stories. Reading naughty books to each other, or revealing secret fantasies – that’s the oral sex I lust for. There’s something incredibly intimate in baring your soul, your desires, and fantasies to someone else. And there can be a heady component of shame and embarrassment in it, the secret sauce to my favorite dish. With this oral fixation, it’s no surprise that I would find a story in my draft-drawer (hah) centering on phone sex. Continue Reading

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Smut? Why, yes!

April 19, 2016 About Smut, Uncategorized Comments (0) 183

A Quickie about Sex Scenes in writing

Writing sex scenes can be incredibly awkward. How many arms and legs are involved, do they stick out from the right places, or has someone grown extra limbs from his back or stomach? There’s a lot of logistics involved. You have to keep the wildest beasts of all in check: your character’s battling tongues. Your smut can go from glorious to cringeworthy to hilarious with the use of one single euphemism.

After some time of writing a lot of sex, it can feel like all you’re doing is reciting mechanical procedures. It’s always the same, and there’s only a limited number of ways to do the deed. If you work on your smut following schemata, it shows. As readers, we pick up on it when we’re being presented with a tried and trusted choreography. When characters in the story before us follow a rigid program, doing gymnastics from checkpoint to checkpoint, we notice.

The best sex scene comes from character. At least, that’s what I feel after reading and writing a lot of smut. The best (dirtiest, filthiest, smuttiest) smut can feel empty when it’s just cardboard characters performing a choreography. The simplest sex act can take my breath away and give me tingles when it rings true because it originates within the character.

But that’s me. I love to convey emotions through physical expressions. I love to show my character’s insides. Not just the red and wet stuff, but their soul. Their feelings. Their vulnerable inner places. Love it.

The juicy stuff doesn’t have to pause a story. It shouldn’t be a gimmick. It should be relevant, to the characters and the story. But that’s not all. Writing sex is not just about mechanics or emotions, characters or story.

There’s more to it, for me. Writing and reading something just for the pleasure of it is hugely liberating. It’s deciding for myself and taking charge of my desires. My pleasure.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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