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.
My head is getting away from me with ideas…
This drawing is a total mess, but alas. The purpose of inktober is to make a drawing a day and get the creative juices flowing, I suppose – just like with NaNoWriMo, the goal isn’t perfection, but getting things done. Which is why I don’t even start scanning my sketches and drawings in to clean them up digitally and hide the mistakes and fuck-ups (although I do plan to realize some of them as digital paintings later on and get rid of pen-slips).
Is it very obvious, by the way, that I really have a thing for gags? It’s not only in my drawings but in my writing too. This one is an illustration of a scene in Sharing Claire. I reread it to remember the details, and I have to admit that I was a little hot and bothered afterwards. Read on for a snippet!
I asked myself why I’m drawing porn when the Internet is full of it. I’ll never manage to get anywhere near the incredible works of Apollonia Saintclair or Yannick Corboz, to name only two of my art crushes. In fact, I’ll never even reach my own aspirations, the dream image in my head, so why bother? The answer? Because it’s fun, and why the hell not. I’m fascinated by the connection between two (or more) people, by its manifestation in gestures and looks, and one day, I’ll maybe manage to capture it. (Also, practice. I still dream of my illustrated twisted fairytales, and as long as I can’t afford to hire someone who actually CAN draw, I’m still planning to do it myself… someday).
And boy do I have fun drawing porn. So much that today’s (K)inktober drawing has to go under a Read More. It’s a scene from my latest story, Mistress Marlene. You can read a snippet of the scene going with the illustration below the cut – in case you want (need?) some context.
My new short story, Mistress Marlene is out now. The inspiration for it was something really personal.
Sometimes, I’m wondering if the reason why I can’t let go completely during kinky sexy-times is that I know ogre is doing it to please me. He does his best to impersonate a dominant for me. It doesn’t come easy to him, and there’s always a palpable insecurity underlying his act. Continue Reading
I’m mourning the death of my last surviving Aloe polyphylla seedling. It must have been eaten by slugs while I was away. The pot is as empty as if there never was a baby aloe in there at all, and I’m frustrated. What used to be my green thumb is now a charcoal black stump, and I’ve laid more plants to rest than I managed to keep alive. In that regard, I’m very different from Poppy Baines, character in my story “The Black Orchid” which is featured in the Sinful Press anthology “Sinful Pleasures”.
Okay, not just in that regard. Continue Reading
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
It’s been a long time since my last post, and I’m so happy to tell you that my new story is finally out! I worked hard and long on this book, and I’m thrilled that there soon will be a paperback edition as well. For now, you can download Salt on Amazon, Barns and Noble, Apple and Kobo. And since it’s almost Christmas, I have a gift for you as well: You can download The Hunting Game, a bonus story set in the Kinky Ever After of Salt for FREE! [Available here]& on [Amazon]
I’ve been fascinated with fairytales since I’ve been a little girl roaming the woods around my grandmother’s house with the apt name Owl Castle. Now that I’m an adult, I love to discover the sensual potential in old tales and twist them into new, exciting stories. I’m dreaming of a series of illustrated erotic fairytales, but that’s something for the future. The first book in my series of twisted fairytales is out now: Salt, a retelling of the tale Love like Salt. Continue Reading
A few years after their unfortunate first meeting, June returns to Brightwater on a break from college and comes face to face with Drake again. How will Drake react to an older, more confident June?
At long last. I should learn not to give myself deadlines, for they seem to be a surefire way to give myself writer’s block. After some struggling, cursing, lying on the floor and crying, I finally managed to finish this chapter. You can find the book mentioned in the text here (in French). An English translation can be found in Robert Darnton’s The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre Revolutionary France (a very entertaining read that I enjoyed immensely; I will surely come back to this). The translations in this chapters are my own, and I take responsibility for every mistake I made. My French is… rusty, to say the least. Continue Reading
… Choosing a cover.
I’m very close to publishing my next erotic short story Sharing Claire. I am really excited for this one! Writing this threesome of Claire, her dominant Thorn, and their best friend Blake was a lot of fun – but writing is always the fun part. After the writing, there’s the editing, and then the waiting for your beta/editor to go through it.