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Mind Seed – Remembering Denni

I’m especially honoured to have author and editor, David Gullen as guest blogger today. Dave is here to talk about Mind Seed, The science fiction anthology he co-edited along with Gary Couzens. The anthology is a memorial to Denni Schnapp, a brilliant woman, gifted writer, and a lovely person.  Denni was a member of the London  writing group I had the privileged to be a part of for several years. After Denni’s untimely death, the group decided to honour her memory in a way I’m sure Denni would have appreciated, and David Gullen is here to talk about that very special memorial and the woman it honours. Welcome Dave.

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Helen Callaghan Sex Hive mindproduct_thumbnailEditing and publishing Mind Seed was a real privilege and a big learning experience. Above all we wanted to create an anthology that would be a fitting tribute to the person who inspired the project – Denni Schnapp.

Denni was a remarkable person, an adventurous and independent traveller, highly self-motivated, a very capable zoologist (Oxford & St Andrews), with a love of field work and freshwater cetaceans – all things her husband John Howroyd writes of in his Introduction.

She also struggled. Her own life wasn’t easy, more than anything she wasn’t easy with herself, always driven to travel, to move on, searching for a place where she could be at peace. I’m not sure she ever believed she would find it, but she kept on looking until the day the effort became too much. Initial treatment for her depression only increased the severity, her underlying bipolar disorder was diagnosed too late.

Writing, her journal, and her science fiction, became a significant part of the ways Denni tried to heal herself. Her journal is a tragically difficult read, in contrast her fiction exuberantly roved the universe. Many of her stories were set on other worlds with complex and beautiful biologies. Her own piece in this anthology is a prequel to such a story, a novel that John and I plan to publish one day.

All the other authors who contributed to Mind Seed knew Denni in some way, some are members of the same writing group she belonged to. The writing is top quality. We have full-time professionals, award winners, and award-nominated authors. One person is published here for their first time, and theirs is without doubt the best debut story I can remember reading. Many of the stories are originals, written especially for this anthology, and themed on the subjects Denni was fascinated by in her own writing – travel and journey, interaction and transformation, strong characters and their weaknesses. Everyone gave their work for free.

It was inconceivable that we’d do anything other than give all money raised to charity. The one that meant most to Denni was Next Generation Nepal, an anti-child-trafficking charity, and so this is the one we chose.

Buy Mind Seed Here:

Mind Seed is available as a paperback and an e-book, from Lulu, and from Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats, and elsewhere. However, Lulu is where we raise most money per unit sale for our charity.

About David:

David Gullen was born in South Africa. Three years later his parents returned to England, and he was baptised by King Neptune when they crossed the equator. As a result his first girlfriend was a mermaid. Since then he has studied biology, worked as a van driver, dish-washer, armourer, leatherworker, and IT geek; and become the father of three children.

His novel, Shopocalypse, a near-future story of fast cars, consumerism and nuclear war, is available from Clarion Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, one of which was shortlisted for the James White Award, while another was an Aeon Award winner. His collection, Open Waters (theEXAGGERATEDpress), appeared in early 2014. He recently co-edited, designed and published, Mind Seed, an anthology of science fiction stories. He is represented by the John Jarrold Agency.

David lives in Surrey, England, with the fantasy writer Gaie Sebold, and too many tree ferns.

Find David Here:

http://davidgullen.com/

 

Finding Inspiration: An Erotica Author’s Tale

By M. K. Elliott

I read a great quote from someone on facebook the other day. I can’t remember who it was, so sorry if it was you and I haven’t named you! This particular quote was something along the lines of, ‘Just because I write about it, doesn’t mean I’ve done it … But it doesn’t mean I haven’t done it either.’ I loved the cheeky allure of this quote, and I had to smile when I read it. After all, I’ve lost times of the number of times I’ve been asked this very same question!

MK Elliot MarissaSo where does an erotica author get his or her inspiration? Even authors who don’t live a more exotic lifestyle, such as being in a BDSM relationship, or working in the sex industry, can take inspiration from real life. Life for me is far from exciting. I’m a married mother of three small children, so I have to get my inspiration from the more ‘normal’ things in life. This isn’t a problem, of course, because inspiration can come from all the influences in our lives. My latest novel, ‘Survivor’, which I hope to have out later this year, was partly influenced by my husband’s love of survivalist shows. The only reason I happily watch these shows with him is because of the (usually) hot, half naked man who spends an hour fighting his way through the jungle; the very epitome of an alpha male. On one particular show, they brought a female celebrity along, and I thought to myself ‘I bet she’s only gone on this show so she can spend a week up close and personal with him.’ And so my novel was born. I started writing it that very same night!

My latest serial was also inspired by a real life event. A few years ago, I attended (and spoke at) an erotica writer’s conference, Eroticon. Speaking at this conference was an erotic photographer. I’ve always loved anything artistic, and so went along to his session. It was during this talk that I started wondering about how the relationship between the photographer and a model might develop, especially since the model is exposing herself in the most intimate of ways. How could there not be some sexual tension in the room?

And so my serial, ‘Model, Wanted,’ came into creation. There are now four parts to the serial, with the fourth part just released, and part one free across most retailers!

So how about you? Are there any particular moments in life that have inspired a short story or a novel, or, if you’re a reader, moments that have happened that you wish could have inspired a story? If so I’d love to hear about them! And if you’d like you check out ‘Model, Wanted: Part One’ for free, you can do so by clicking on the following links!

Model, Wanted: Part One Excerpt:

Eric cleared his throat and forced himself to his feet. His job was to photograph her like this, not imagine how she would taste as he pushed his tongue inside her cunt.

He adjusted the lighting hanging from the rail on the ceiling and then picked up his camera. He started with shots of her face, one cheek crushed against the white paper-covered floor, her eyes wide and innocent, portraying her vulnerability. Such contrast to the pose she was in. He moved to her back and hands, taking shots of the metal bound around her slender wrists.

Finally, he moved the camera to aim between her thighs, at the way her spread position exposed her pussy and ass to him in all of their perfection.

“Are you going to fuck me like this?” she asked out of the blue.

He lowered the camera in shock. “That isn’t what this is about.”

She twisted her neck as best she could and locked eyes with him. “What about if that’s what I want this to be about?”

“Anya …”

But he didn’t know what he was going to say. Surely he didn’t intend on telling her no? The position she was in, with her cheek pressed against the floor, her ankles forced apart, her perfect heart-shaped bottom pushed into the air, was just ripe for fucking hard. Between her slender thighs, the swollen lips of her vulva peeped out. He didn’t think he imagined the sheen on her pussy or the inside of her thighs.

His balls ached and his cock lengthened in his pants. Her gaze shifted, resting on the increasingly obvious bulge in his crotch.

“Anya,” he tried again. “It’s crossing a line. I don’t want to be that kind of man …”

“But I want to be that kind of girl,” she said. She spread her ankles wider, pulling the small chains between the spreader bar taut. The metal clinked in response. The position widened her stance, her thighs even more spread than before, exposing the star of her asshole and the delicate inner folds of her pussy.

“Oh, God,” he moaned.

Fuck it. He might want to be a professional when it came to his photography, but he was still a man.

With one swift move, he undid his belt and whipped it from the loops of his pants. He took her bottom between his hands and lowered his face to her wet slit like a man starving. The scent of her juices filled his senses, a musky but sweet perfume. He buried his tongue between her folds, seeking her waiting hole. Hardening his tongue, he slipped inside her easily, her arousal and juices opening her up to him. Her cream covered his mouth, moistening his chin, and he moved in and out, feeling her inner muscles tighten and contract around his tongue.

Anya writhed and moaned beneath his attention, but he wasn’t going to let her come yet.

Eric knelt up behind her, admiring the view. He’d never had someone so submissive to him before, allowing him to do such things to her without any trepidation at the possibility that he might hurt her in some way. He knew she trusted him implicitly.

He took the rock-hard length of his cock in one hand and gave it a couple of strokes. The head was purple and bulbous, the length ridged with veins standing out beneath the silky skin. His balls throbbed with a heavy ache and he longed to bury himself in her silken heat. It was what he’d been dreaming of doing from the moment she’d first walked into his apartment.

With her head twisted so she could watch him, her cheek pressed against the floor, her gaze locked on his face, he slowly ran the head of his cock along the opening of her cunt. He groaned at the heat of her, smearing himself with a mixture of his saliva and her desire. Then he grasped her bottom, one cheek in each hand, and thrust himself deep.

Part One: Blurb

Meet Eric Rutherford, bad boy of the photographic world, guaranteed to bring his models to their knees.

At the top of his game, Eric creates images for five star hotels and portraits for wealthy families.

But Eric has a dream. He longs to create erotic art. He has an eye for a woman’s beauty, but he doesn’t just want to photograph a woman naked, he also wants to tie her up, and down. He wants to bind rope across her breasts, tight enough that the rope leaves an imprint on her skin. He wants to have her on her knees, with her hands handcuffed to her ankles. He wants to whip her rounded pale bottom with a leather flogger, and then photograph the red stripes.

So his search for his perfect model begins and when an advert brings the beautiful, blonde Anya into his apartment, his one fear is that she’ll say no.

Follow erotic photographer, Eric, and model, Anya’s sexy exploits as they push the boundaries of not only their art, but their relationship. How far will they go to fulfil their sexual and artistic desires? 

Find Model, Wanted: Part One Here:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

About M.K. 

M.K. Elliott is the author of the bestselling short story collection, ‘Rescued.’ A British author, she was born in Devon, England, where she now lives with her husband, three young daughters, two rescue cats, and a crazy Spanish dog. Though she has a degree in Zoology, her true love has always been writing and she now works as a full time author. As well as erotica, she also writes paranormal fiction in the name Marissa Farrar, and has recently published her twelfth novel.

Since ‘Rescued’ hit the number one spot, she’s also had several other titles hit the bestseller list, including another short story collection, ‘Some Love it Hot,’ and her erotic vampire novella, ‘Deadly Beauty.’ Her most recent work is the sexy serial, ‘Model, Wanted.’

M.K. writes everything from contemporary romance to steaming hot erotica, and her love of travel and adventure is her main influence in her stories.

If you would like to know more about M.K. then please visit her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/M.K.Elliotts.Erotica or blog http://mkelliott.wordpress.com/. You can also stalk her on twitter, http://twitter.com/M_K_Elliott .

 

The Morning After

The Morning After Smut by the Sea 2014:

P1010991It’s been a week since Smut by the Sea now. Can’t believe how fast time flies, and what a roller-coaster ride the week back home has been. But I want to talk about The Morning After today. I wrote most of this post on The Morning After. That meant everything was running late. My brain felt like someone stuffed it with cotton wool. When I sat down to write, I spilled my coffee and woe to anyone who crossed my path wrong. I’d have probably either bitten their head off, or worse yet, I’d have cried. As I walked to the green grocery that Morning After to cheer myself up with some summer fruit, I thought about why The Mornings After are so hard.

This time it was the Morning After Smut by the Sea. Just as I had expected, at Smut by the Sea there was that fantastic camaraderie with other writers. There was the chance to meet readers and encourage new writers to press on. One of the best parts of Smut by the Sea this year was meeting four members of the Brit Babes’ Street Team. Alison ScottDebbie Lowery,  Stephanie Robb and Peter Hill.What a pleasure it was to share the smut-tastic fun with the four of them. I was inspired by Victoria Blisse. I have the P1010956beginnings of a hot new story thanks to her workshop. I was reminded of what editors need and want in Lucy Felthouse’s workshop – always good for writers to remember. I was encouraged by the wonderful reaction and input and snippets share by the lovely writers in my writing workshop. I loved being read to in the reading slam and being intrigued by the stories shared there. Jackie Brocker had me squirming on my seat and my mouth watering with the most sensual description of eating a chocolate eclair I’ve ever heard. Janine Ashbless read some of the hottest, most prickly vampire prose I’ve ever heard. I was in aural heaven.

Beyond the actual schedule of events of Smut by the Sea, there was the wonderful catching up with other writers and talking shop. We writers work in isolation so we seldom get that chance to share with each
SBTS 2014 poster 2other. There was the chance to encourage new writers and the opportunity to meet readers in person. All in all it was a perfect day.

Buuuuuut … the Morning After, back home, I moped around with my chin on the ground. Why is the Morning After so hard? Here is a truth that I share gently and, in small doses, with new writers because I’m always afraid I’ll discourage them. Writing is hard enough and discouraging enough without hearing another writer talk about the hardships of the vocation. It’s a neurotic job we do. We work alone; our work is never done, and no matter how hard we try, we’re never a hundred per cent satisfied with what we do. Then there are the rejections that are just a part of the package and the bad reviews that every writer gets. There’s the wondering if we’ve done the best we can to promote ourselves, to make sure that our babies get the attention we think they so richly deserve. There’s the constant mental battle to decide what tasks we can leave undone so we can spend more quality time writing. And who doesn’t live with the chilling fear that tomorrow morning we might wake up and not a single word will come to us when we sit down to write?

P1020023The Mornings After are those days that follow the highs of being a writer – a good review, times spent
with other writers, a new sale, a nice royalty cheque, an inspired writing session. The Mornings After are the times when we remember that we’re always on our way up a very steep slope and that the pause to enjoy and to celebrate with writing friends — a pause we’ve well earned — is only that, just a pause.

Those last few weeks before and the weeks immediately following the publication of my first novel, I found myself depressed. The publication of The Initiation of Ms Holly raised the bar. Every writer wants each story, each novella, each novel to be better than the one before, and every writer wants to do all she can to see that her baby gets a good start. The Morning After is the understanding that we don’t know what will happen next, we don’t know exactly how to get where we want to be, as writers, and it’s inevitable that we’ll make mistakes along the way. The path is incredibly daunting. Sometimes it’s daunting because of the huge challenge we face. I felt that way when I began writing as Grace Marshall. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming because there are never enough hours in the day to do what we’d like to do to promote, to write, to become better at our craft. Quite often the Mornings After, for me, involves the overwhelming desire to run away and hide someplace where no one can find me until my heart rate settles and I can breathe again and think rationally again.

But when I strip away all that overwhelms me, all that frightens me, all that upsets me – the massive writing image 2need to promote my work, the blog posts that need to be written, the work that needs to be done, the editing, the social networking, the tight deadlines, the fact that I’m never totally pleased with myself and I set my standards outrageously high and I’m tunnel-visioned, and … breathe, KD! Breathe!

Once everything else is stripped away, the bottom line, the bedrock of my life and who I am as a human being is that writing is not a job for me. Writing is not a hobby. Writing is my vocation, my calling. Telling a story is my passion, and I’ll do it no matter what. I’ll do it because I can’t NOT do it. It’s as important as breathing. It’s my anchor to sanity when I feel like running away screaming. It’s both the gift and the curse, and the pull at my centre that keeps me focused and moving forward.

I hope that by writing this, I haven’t scared new writers, or maybe I hope that I HAVE scared them. It’s that perpetual state of fear and discomfort edged up close and personal to the love affair with story, with word, with a vocation that sometimes baffles us, but never, NEVER bores us; it’s that sharp edge that makes writing the story more than just a hobby, that makes it a spiritual journey and a digging down into the meat and bones and grit of the tale we’re compelled to tell and the passion we have for it.

No worries. I got through the Morning After. I always do. The Work in Progress grabbed me by the P1010987collar, yanked me away from my navel gazing and sat me in front of the laptop, and once again I’m  focused on what really matters. I’m a writer at the heart of me, and if I go to the heart of me, I can always get through another Morning After.

A very special thanks again to two of my heroes in the world of smut, Victoria and Kev Blisse. Thanks to you two, Smut by the Sea was the kind of event that make for great memories, loads of inspiration, and much encouragement long after The Morning After. xxx

 

It’s Time for Garden Porn!

From the Archives

Two words…garden porn. Oh yes! I’m most definitely addicted. Do you have any idea how many luscious, deliciously explicit garden sites there are? Though I like pretty flowers just fine, and though plump red strawberries are enough to get my heart rate up, what really gets me going, what really makes me quiver all over is vegetables. My, oh my, how I love to look at sites that sell vegetables, or sites that give advice on how to grow vegetables, or sites that show photos of really well put-together veg gardens. Does it get any better than that?

Oh, and the garden centres! I adore the earthy scent of fresh compost and fertilizer, of greenhouse heat and rank, growing plants, all overlaid with the scent of espresso from the coffee shop. And it’s not just the scent that I love, it’s the feel of a quality wooden handled hoe or garden fork resting in the relaxed but firm, grip of my hand. Some are designed especially for a lady’s light hand, while others are thick and long and manly. There are metres and meters of gossamer thin garden fleece all ready to caress my plants with that peek-a-boo hint of what lies beneath on a frosty spring night. There are multi-coloured, oh so soft, gloves to protect my hands while I’m groping and tugging in a weedy bed.

And the plants. This time of year plants that aren’t just loaded with gaudy blooms already are heavy and swollen with buds about ready to burst. Stiff phallic shoots are coming up everywhere, and the heady scent of new growth is intoxicating.

Personally, I don’t think it’s any surprise at all that I go both ways – erotic writer and vegetable gardener. We’re talking about the best of both worlds here. And inspiration, Wow! My seedlings are mostly in the mini greenhouses now, but when they first push up through the soft potting compost with just the tiniest hint of pale plant flesh pressing through the glossy black earth, it’s a teasing par excellence. My breath catches, my heart races and I’m positively bouncing with excitement.

I’ve written about naughty things to do with carrots and courgettes, and I’ve written about kink amid the topiary. It’s true, getting down and dirty among the growing things makes me hot and sometimes sore. I planted runner beans today, squatted in the rich earth, digging and watering and patting in place. There’s still dirt under my nails and my shoulders ache. Yes, it was good for me.

Sweet Corn on paradeIt’s true — I like the heat and the dirt, but what I like best of all is that the Muse hangs out in the vegetable garden. When I’m getting down and dirty in the beans, the Muse whispers fabulous naughtiness, amazing imaginative titillating tales in my ear. She’s practically giving it away, when I’m up to my knuckles in compost. I think the Muse likes garden porn too. It makes her  loose and easy with her ideas, and there I am hunkered down amid the weeds and the beans, completely unsuspecting of what she’s about to whisper to me. It’s always hot, and she always makes it good for me. Oh yes. I do like garden porn. I can hardly wait to write down all that she whispered in my ear while I took my pleasure planting beans.

Just a little added note: Keziah Hill informed me that there is an actual site called Garden Porn. I just checked it out. A site where the ‘Hortisexuals’ hang out is my kind of site

 

Smut By The Sea! It’s Almost time!

SBTS 2014 posterYES! That’s right! It’s almost time for Smut by the Sea Year Two! Look out Scarborough, here we come!

I’ve been waiting anxiously for Smut by the Sea 2014 ever since, well ever since I attended the first SBTS and had such a fantastic time meeting other writers and readers and vendors, and then there were readings and a Tombola and panels and tea and biscuits and wine and a launch party and karaoke and …*takes deep breath* Well you get the picture.

Year two, and the fabulous Team Blisse, Victoria and Kevin Mitnik Blisse have done it again with even more exciting offerings this year than last.

Here’s what the lovely Victoria Blisse has to say about Smut By The Sea:

When you think of Scarborough, many good things jump to mind. From the beach and many arcades to fish, chips and ice cream but I don’t suppose erotica is automatically one of those things. Well on the 14th June this year for the second time Smut by the Sea will take place at Scarborough library and it’s going to get really smutty.

What is it? Good question. It’s a gathering of authors and readers of erotica and erotic romance. There will be talks on Inspiration from Victoria Blisse, Writing Better Erotica from KD Grace and Social Media and promotion with Lucy Felthouse.

There’s also an afternoon stuffed full of sexy snippets read by the authors themselves, a free lunch and the unique and much loved Erotic Tombola and book stall, to feed your need for smut! If you ask nicely you can get your favourite authors to sign the books for you.


What you can expect:

Smut by the Sea is an Erotic Social Get-Together taking place at Scarborough Library on the14th June SBTS 2014 poster 22014, it’s a chance for erotica readers and writers to gather, share ideas and interact with one another in a friendly smutty enviroment.

In the morning there’ll have a few simple workshops where the authors will pass on their advice to those who have a desire to start writing, or to improve their existing writing endeavours, you’ll be able to ask questions and share your own experiences and gain some valuable knowledge from these talented authors.

The afternoon will consist of the erotic reading & poetry slam, authors will get up to 6 minutes on stage (and not a moment longer, the trusty timekeeper and her pesky paddle will see to that!) to read a short excerpt from one of their stories; with excerpts spanning the wide world of erotica you never know just what you might hear next and what ideas it might spark 😉

Throughout the day we’ll have refreshments on hand, and if you are feeling lucky you can try your hand on our Erotic Tombola  with some fabulous prizes on offer. We’ll also have our Book Stall where you’ll be able to pick up some special smut to tale home and maybe even get it signed by the author themselves.

 So come along, and bring your friends. It’s going to be a very special day and a great first step to take if you are wondering about breaking into the world of Erotica and Erotic Romance and even if you just come along for the Reading Slam it’s a chance to maybe experience something a little different if you’ve never heard erotica read aloud before.

A snippet from my experience at SBTS 2013:

For a writer, sharing a story is like breathing. We can’t NOT do it. That’s why we write. And to be able to read it out loud to an audience that’s there specifically to hear our words is like the rich, thick, butter cream icing with sprinkles on the cake. It’s a very physical reminder of why we do what we do.

I love to hear the stories other writers are reading, and I especially love to listen to first-time readers. I love to share their excitement, and I love to be one of the old timers who can encourage them and tell them not to worry it’ll be amazing. I love the looks on their faces when they’ve finished their first ever reading for an audience, the look that always tells me they’re hooked, just like I was, just like every one of us who has stood on that stage is.

In between the readings there was another key component that made SBTS such a fantastic experience, and that was the chance to chat, to share ideas, to meet people face-to-face who we had only ever talked to online before and to discover that they were just as amazing face-to-face as they are on social media.

And, of course, the thing writers love to do almost as much as they love reading their work out loud is to talk craft with other SBTS post1writers, and there was a lot of animated talking shop that went on in Scarborough.  We talked fears and pleasures, we talked nuts and bolts, we talked failures and successes. We talked works in progress, we talked new and old publishers, we talked self-publishing and self-promoting, we talked about our characters and about our plots, we talked about what fun it was to be who we are and do what we love most. The celebratory atmosphere was very contagious.

 

 

The good news is that Smut by the Sea 2014 is only two weeks away! 

The even better news is that you can still get tickets so you won’t miss out on the fun. 

Click here for tickets, and details. 

 

SBTS2-image

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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