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An Interview with Chris Unity Bowness Part 1

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris on FaceBook about six months ago, I think it was, and almost immediately we began a dialogue with the plan of getting him onto my site as a guest. After some long conversations and some planning and scheming, I’m very glad to welcome Chris to my site for a two-part interview that’s a true celebration of sexuality. Welcome, Chris, and thanks for joining me!

KD: Chris, we first met online in connection with some lovely discussions we had about my writing, which led to discussions of writing in general and a topic near and dear to both of our hearts, the celebration of sexuality. It’s always lovely when someone who has been merely an acquaintance on social media, through some strange quirk becomes a three dimensional person with an amazing story of their own. And that’s what I feel happened with us. Could you share a little bit about what led you to study sexuality.

Chris Bowness UnityChris: Firstly, I’d like to thank you for inviting me onto your blog, it is a great honour, especially from someone I have a lot of admiration for. Secondly, it’s wonderful when you make a connection with someone in these modern times who, before social media and the internet, may have never met…or was it destiny anyway…but that is a debate for another day.

I’ve always had a passion and thirst for knowledge when it comes relationships and sexuality even in my teens I was far more comfortable in the company of female friends discussing the latest articles in magazines like Cosmopolitan rather than in the stereotypical male domains. Also in those pre-internet times there were programmes like Sexcetera and The Good Sex Guide to name but two which just oozed not only sex positivity but also exploring pleasure within relationships.

After college, two of these friends started running Ann Summers parties and they not only kept telling me how I’d be good at them but also asking me how to give advice to customers. It was quickly after, though, I found out that men weren’t allowed to attend a party let alone run a party business I realised how I’d have to make my own way. Sure there are many jobs behind the scenes of places like this but I wanted a more frontline hands-on approach.

Since then there has been a long evolution to where I am today, happy not only with all the ups and downs that got me here but also how I now see myself fitting into this sector; what I want to provide, but also I have a clear idea going forward of how I want to deliver it

KD: From your own research, why do you think honest, truthful information about sex, especially in the information age, is so hard to come by?

Chris: When I started researching how I could fit into this area there were two main seeds that were planted in my mind. The first one came a number of years ago when I read an article that said that the main reason cited on divorce papers was lack of sex and intimacy and sex and the correlation between, not only the breakdown in communication within those relationships but also the breakdown in communication in society, not only about sex but the discussion of issues surrounding sex and intimacy.

This led me to the second seed being planted, I started researching how and where people could glean information and advice about solving problems of an intimate and sexual nature. This broke down into three areas ‘Googling’, websites, forums.

Firstly, searching the web I feel is bad enough when you’re ill and want to know if it’s serious enough to bother a doctor with. The ‘I’ll just Google’ approach can not only be quite contradictory but also sometimes prove dangerous for many reasons. I feel the same goes for relationship and sex issues. Searching a term like ‘Why has my partner gone off sex?’ can bring contradiction, confusion, and the whole range of results. But also, even in this information age, people still worry about searching for what would be deemed sexually explicit terms and the results that might bring.

Then came websites and blogs. There are very great informative websites out there – ones I have recommended articles from to people myself. However this is still very much a one-way form of communication with no accessible long term support.

This led me to forums. From mums forums, parenting forums, women’s forums and relationship and sex forums — all of them are flooded with people crying out for positive information about relationship and sexual subjects. I often found the responses to these from other forum users – often contradicting each other – frequently brought anxiety and stress to the original poster.

What I garnered from my research is that people wanted long term support and guidance through a range of relationship and sex subjects available to access whenever they wanted.

I know that there are many different types of relationships and I believe along with that everybody’s relationship is unique, like a fingerprint of intimacy. And while many places provide great advice templates to help introduce new things or solve issues, there seems to be a miscorrelation between that template and how people go about implementing it into their situation.

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and  betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds;  it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

~Anaïs Nin

Chris Bowness Newsletter logoUnity.1

KD: Could you explain to our readers what you see as the difference between a sex therapist and a mentor?

Chris: In searching for my place within the relationship and sex support area I realised just how many facets there were to it. There were not just therapists but also coaches and teachers who provided lessons in things like tantric sex or BDSM but also many more being areas being created. Only recently I read about learning intimacy through a sex surrogate. The counseling end of the spectrum felt like the last chance critical point of the relationship. As someone put it to me, ‘how could I go to a therapist and pay all that money just to find out how I can give my husband a good spanking!’

However, none of them really felt like they fitted for me. I generally have an issue over labels and stereotyping, anyway. I want to provide a more humanistic personal one-to-one approach almost a one stop shop for sex and relationship advice, providing on-going support or giving information that could be useful at the time or help prevent future problems — an MOT for relationships if you will. I wanted to provide a more humanistic personal one-to-one approach towards not just support and advice for problematic things but also the fun things people want to work on too.

It was then in an unrelated way I came across the definition of mentoring, and over time I have developed my own definition for relationship and sex mentoring:

“Mentoring is about a relationship approach to providing an ongoing and sustained level of knowledge and support in relation to improving the recipient’s personal, relationship or sexual development; through various forms of informal communication most usually – but not limited to – face-to-face; as well as providing answers to occasional questions and ad hoc help. It also goes deeper to providing a long-term relationship of learning, support, advice, dialogue and challenge.”

There is often an idea based around knowledge and development, about the planting of seeds. I also believe when it comes to relationship and sex development the ground you plant those seeds in has to be ready, prepared and happy to receive such seeds. I have often found that planting seeds by the positive promotion of sex and relationships messages is enough to make me available to those people who are quite often looking for help.

KD: What role did reviewing sex toys play in the journey you’ve made to mentoring?

Chris: We chanced upon a call in a now defunked  magazine asking for couples to review a range of adult products for a regular feature. When the opportunity fell through we started to email adult retailers looking for an opportunity to review items in return for free products. Not only did this bring a lot of fun into our lives but it also allowed us to provide clear concise knowledge to others not only on what’s best to spend their hard earned cash on in the bedroom but also advice on how to introduce and have fun with these products.

In these modern times, in these post 50 Shades times, there are still limited places you can go and actually get your hands on sex toys, see them for yourself, what they really look like and feel like and what they do – don’t you think that’s strange?  This helps bring a positivity to sex by adding things which help explore pleasure. That allows us to help others choose such products.

Finally somebody took a chance on allowing us to dip our toes into the review pool of pleasure devices. Now we are regular guinea pigs for a couple of websites and the developers of sex toys and other adult products. This gave me the motivation to begin looking at how I could be a part of this fabulous industry. Hopefully we can dispel that myth that suggests the use of sex toys is out of boredom or a failing relationship and get people thinking that this kind of exploration can help create a long term, healthy, passionate relationship.

 

The Jaybees: Kay and Steve, the Mysterious Man At Home

I’m pleased to have Kay Jaybee and her delightfully mysterious husband, Steve as my guest today in the third installment of the Passionate Partners series. Welcome, Kay and Steve!

KD:  Kay, I met you long before I met Steve. But that was because Steve was keeping the home fires burning, since London is quite a little hike for you to make. Keeping the home fires burning is no small task with children, and that is what impressed me most about you two Passionate Partners. While Steve wasn’t there in London with you, you couldn’t have been there without his support back home. That convinced me right on the spot that I was witnessing another one of those passionate partnerships in the promotion and celebration of sexuality through erotica. How did that journey begin, and has it always been a team effort?

K: We met at University a frighteningly long time ago now. Our first meeting was not auspicious! We were both helping a mutual friend get ready for a trip to Italy to study archaeology in Bologna. Said friend was as unorganised as ever, and the five of us who’d been roped in to get him to the train station on time we were all getting a bit tense to say the least!

S: You were as ratty as hell you mean!

K: Guilty as charged! I have a loathing of being late for anything, and the thought of our friend missing his connection and therefore his flight to Italy was making me edgy!

Steve was there with other friends, and I paid very little attention to any of them as I hunted high and low for all the dig equipment needed for the trip. I fear he thought I was a right stuck up cow!

S: I did! Posh southern thing in a bad mood!

K: Says the boy from the backwaters of Birmingham!!

S: What Kay is saying KD, is that she didn’t want anything to do with a bit of rough like me!!

K: Cheek! And you are not that rough Mr PhD!!! I just don’t like blokes with long hair that are mad about Iron Maiden!

S: And yet you married me!

K: Only after the hair got cut and I got you headphones! Lol!! Let’s just say, it took us 18 months from that first meeting to become friends, and then start going out together.

KD: Kay, what does Steve do to help your writing career that you appreciate more than anything else?

K: The most important thing Steve does is give me time to be Kay! It’s not easy reaching all my deadlines with the kids around and my other job to do, so being ‘Dad in charge’ for a few hours every weekend, and while I have my trips to London to do readings and erotica promotions, is vital- I could not do it without him. We have two amazing girls, and they are so much fun.

S: They are great- and both as mad as their mother!

K: And as nuts as their father!

S: Thanks goodness!

K: They also have very big feet- mine are the smallest shoes you can see here

KD: Steve, what, so far (knowing that there are lots more such moments ahead) has been the moment in Kay’s writing career when you’ve been the most proud of her?

S: My proudest moment was when I was looking at the Amazon charts on my iPhone and saw Kay’s novella, A Sticky Situation, in the top ten Kindle charts for the first time.  Or it may have been after her first trip to do a reading at Sh! in London. I knew she was really nervous of speaking in front of other people, but she did it!

K: I think ‘terrified’ is the word- nervous doesn’t even cover it!

S: You did it though!

KD: What has been the craziest experience you’ve shared in your mutual journey through erotica?

K: Steve is known for being serious-minded about his work, so when a few years ago, he took a selection of my books to work to feature as lots in a charity auction and told everyone his wife had written them- well, let’s just say he enjoyed the stunned looks on everyone faces!

S: That doesn’t sound that crazy really does it!

K: True, but one of the main things about my erotica work is that it’s something I do separately – so any craziness we come across as a result of it is experienced alone.

S: I am quite fond of people asking who the woman in the photo on my desk is- most people look stunned that a grizzled old science guy like me has such a hot wife!

K: Blushing here!! Daft man!!

KD: Steve, once Kay begins a new story, how involved are you in the process? What do you consider your most important role when she’s with the Muse?

S: I’m not really involved at all, apart from keeping Kay amused with sentences and ideas that are SO bad she would never ever use them.

K: I keep telling him ‘she grabbed his huge throbbing member’ just isn’t good enough, but he doesn’t believe me!!

S: Makes you laugh when I say it though!

K: It’s more how you say it!!

I’d have to add there though that, although Steve isn’t involved in the creative or ideas process, he is essential to it. If it wasn’t for him taking over the housework, cooking, and amusing the kids so I can scribble down my ideas when they hit me out of nowhere, then there would be no KJB stories at all.

KD: Steve, you’re the behind the scenes support. You stay home with the kids so Kay can come to London to participate in readings and other events. Do you ever feel like you’re missing out by not being able to be there with her?

S: To be honest I don’t. I often go away for conferences and meetings with my work, which often involve socialising (we do a wicked sing along session!), and so it’s only right that Kay has the same chances with her work. We work so well as a team because we have these different parts to our lives.

K: I’d have to agree with that- we need different parts of our lives that just belong to ourselves. Steve’s career is his- he’s worked really really hard for years to get so far. And my career is mine, and has been hard won. At the end of the day we have a lot of fun telling each other about our adventures! You should hear the recordings of those scientists singing!!

KD: Now THAT, I would love to hear, Kay! What’s the hardest part of the Kay/Steve working partnership?

K: I guess the hardest part is that my workload is so huge, and the PR never ever ends, which can lead me to being rather obsessive!

S: Sometimes I feel like wrestling her laptop out of her hands!!

K: Sometimes you do wrestle the laptop out of my hands!

S: I am the cruellest man in the world KD- I actually force my wife to have a glass of wine, chocolate, and watch TV!

K: He does- cruel in the extreme!!

KD: Oh, such torture, Kay! I can’t imagine how you endure it! Steve, you’r my kind of cruel! What’s the best part? (If there can be better than wine and chocolate!

K: Lol- when he wrestles the laptop out of my hands and makes me eat chocolate!! No- the best part is that Steve never stops making me laugh- bottom line is he makes me very happy.

KD: That truly is better than wine and chocolate!

S: I just love to see Kay smile- and when she’s doing well with her writing the smile is even wider! You do not want to be around if the PR mountain has reached crash helmet and crampon levels!!

K: True- I’m like a PMT monster from hell then!

S: And then some!

K: Steve helps me keep perspective- reminds me that blogs really can wait, that a novel isn’t going to be written well when I’m tired, and that I need far more rest than I let myself have!

KD: What’s the best advice the two of you can offer to make that strange and wonderful relationship between erotica writers and their partners run smoother?

K: Respect each other’s need to do their own thing!

S: Always have black coffee on tap

K: Or tea if you’re weird like my husband!!

S: Never forget that writers are weird- they don’t write because it’s their job. They write because they HAVE to write- there is something in them that makes it an unstoppable force.

K: And writers must remember that normal people aren’t often like that!

KD: Absoulutely true on both counts! Tell us something about the Kay and Steve Team that might really surprise us.

K: Perhaps the most surprising thing to people is that we are just an ordinary family, and one of us just happens to be quite good at writing sex scenes!

S: Normal? Us? Yes, we are normal- but probably only in our own sense of reality!!

K: And we make dolls house sometimes?

S: Well I do

K: And I tidy up

S: True!

KD: Kay, what’s the Muse had you up to lately, and what yumminess should we be keeping an eye out for from Kay Jaybee?

K: The muse is as active as ever- although it is having a slight change of direction for a little while!

It’s been quite a year for me, with the release of The Perfect Submissive as a paperback, my second novel The Voyeur, my third novel, Making Him Wait, and a new anthology The Best of Kay Jaybee!!

I am just finishing up a new novella for the Xcite Secret Library range, and then, after such a nonstop year, I have decided to take a couple of months off the erotica and try my hand at something else (my lips are sealed!!). I’ll be back soon though- it is high time novel number five transferred itself from my imagination to my notebook…

S: Thanks for letting us both visit today KD!! Been a bit of a walk on the wild side for me!!

K: Thanks KD!!! xxx

KD: Thanks, both of you, for stopping by. What a pleasure it’s been to have the whole team!

About Kay Jaybee

Kay Jaybee wrote the novels Making Him Wait, (Sweetmeats Press, 2012), The Voyeur (Xcite, 2012), The Perfect Submissive (Xcite 2012), and Not Her Type: Erotic Adventures With A Delivery Man (OCPress, 2011). She has also written the anthologies The Collector (Austin & Macauley, 2012 & 2008), The Best of Kay Jaybee (Xcite, 2012), Tied to the Kitchen Sink, Equipment, (All Romance, 2012), Yes Ma’am (Xcite e-books, 2011), Quick Kink One and Quick Kink Two (Xcite e-books, 2010). Kay has had over 60 short stories published by Cleis Press (inc. Best of Best Women’s Erotica 2, Best Women’s Erotica 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012; Best Bondage 2012, Sweet Love, Smooth, Gotta Have It, Sweet Confessions), Black Lace (Sexy Little Numbers), Mammoth (The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica), Xcite (inc.Ultimate Sin, Boy Fun, Power Play, Threesomes, Finger Music, Tricks For Kicks), Penguin (Oysters and Chocolate; Erotic Stories of Every Flavor), Seal (Oysters and Chocolate; Nice Girls, Naughty Sex),and Sweetmeats Press (Immoral Views)

Details of Kay’s work, past, present and future can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Best-Kay-Jaybee-ebook/dp/B009YYRM3Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1351690101&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Him-Wait-ebook/dp/B009RT6SM4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352055034&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Voyeur-ebook/dp/B008QBZ42Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352055073&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Perfect-Submissive-length-ebook/dp/B008GNDT3I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352055158&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collector-Kay-Jaybee/dp/1849633517/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352055225&sr=1-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Night Visit with D. L. King

It’s my pleasure to welcome the amazing D. L. King to A Hopeful Romantic. I’m especially honoured that she took the time out of her whirlwind tour of England in the wee hours after a fabulous reading in Blackpool to let me ask her a few questions.

KD: Welcome to the UK, D.L.! It’s such a pleasure to have you here. Can you give us a quick update of your plans for this visit? I know there are some fab events happening, and we’re all very excited.

DL:  Hi KD, thanks so much for having me. It’s half two a.m. so I can’t be held responsible for the understandability of this post, but I’ll do my best.  The reading in Blackpool at the No. 5 Café was brilliant!  Ashley Lister put it together.  He, Remittance Girl and I each read three pieces.  Actually, Ashley had to teach a class, so he had Vicky Ellis fill in for him.  She read two of his pieces, and she was amazing.  He made it back for the final piece from his upcoming novel, Dragon Desire.  There was an open mic, as well, and the place was packed.  What a great night.

I’m returning to London in the morning—it is the morning…yeah, well, later this morning.  Here’s the rest of my UK schedule:

Erotic Writers Meet

Le Pain Quotidien

70 Wardour Street, Soho

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

We’ll have a discussion about editing and publishing erotic fiction. This is a  round table discussion, so please come and participate!

50 Shades of Seduction or How To Get What You Want

Sh! Women’s Emporium

57 Hoxton Square (Corner of Hoxton Square and Coronet Street)

Tube: Old Street

Saturday, November 24, 2012

6:30 to 8:30ish

Yes, I’ll be rushing right over there from Soho!  We’re going to be talking about new attractions to kinky sex and dipping your toes into BDSM. How do you seduce your partner into playing the games you want to play in bed, or elsewhere? This is a “Women Only” class and requires reservations.

D. L. King and Friends

Sh! Women’s Emporium  (Same directions as above)

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

6:30 p.m. to ?

This is the big blow out. Help me celebrate my last night in London. I’ve published 17 UK writers in my various anthologies; nine of them will be joining me at Sh! for the biggest reading they’ve ever hosted! Many of these people I haven’t had the opportunity to meet, so I very excited. Who’ll be there?

Janine Ashbless, Jacqueline Applebee, Jacqueline Brocker, Essemoh Teepee, Ciara Fin, K. D. Grace, Remittance Girl and NJ Streitberger and me. Possibly more, although we’ll have to wait to see.

We’ll be reading from Where the Girls Are, The Sweetest Kiss, Carnal Machines, Voyeur Eyes Only, Seductress and even from my super-secret, won’t be released until April, Under Her Thumb!

KD: Wow! What a way to spend your time in the UK! And in such fab company too! I can hardly wait! I see from your blog that your visit to the UK is a mini book tour for your exciting new anthology, Seductress: Tales of Immortal Desire. Can you tell us a little bit about this anthology and what inspired you to edit an anthology of tales about succubi.

DL:  That’s exactly it; it’s an anthology of succubus erotica.  I’d gotten addicted to Richelle Mead’s succubus series and then addicted to Lost Girl (originally a Canadian television show, now being produced by the Sci Fi channel in the US and thought we needed to have a book of succubus erotica.  Here’s an added bonus about succubus erotica: succubi, by their very nature, are dominant, so succubus erotica tends to be femme dom erotica.  Cool, huh?

KD: This is totally cool! I’m especially fond of succubi too, since one figures prominently in my latest novel. I’m very excited about this anthology! Tell us, D. L. why do you think the dark, the paranormal and things that go bump in the night mesh so well with the erotic?

DL:  Jeez, you really expect me to THINK at 3 in the morning? Well, OK.  I think all those things, including sex are mysterious and exhilarating.  They make our pulse race and excite our senses, so when you put two of them together, they tend to enhance each other.  I know that seems simplistic, but if I weren’t so fried, I could discuss the relationship for quite a while.  Maybe I will at one of the venues—or maybe not, but it would be a good discussion, don’t you think?

KD: Definitely a great discussion! And it was rather mean of me the throw it at you in the wee hours when it deserves to be savoured. Sounds like you’re here in the UK to work, DL. Will you be making any time for a little fun too? If so, may I ask what?

DL:  Oh, yeah.  I plan to check out Portobello Market in Notting Hill. I’ve never been in London during a market day before.  I’ve also got tickets on the Eurostar to Paris.  I’ve never been to Paris and plan to spend a day wandering, taking pictures, eating and drinking.  I really hope it isn’t raining…  I also want to catch up with friends, have some good food and drink and just enjoy London.  I don’t know what else I might get up to, but I’m sure I’ll find plenty to do.

KD: Sounds like the perfect way to spend your down time! Looking down the list of delicious goodies you’ve penned or edited, I’m struck by the variety – everything from steam punk to erotica for couples. Dare I ask what type of erotica is your favourite?

DL:  That’s easy: femdom erotica.  But I really can’t say I’ve written anything I haven’t liked.  I suppose I’m most comfortable with femdom because that’s who I am, though.  I’ve got my first anthology of femdom coming out this spring; April 9, to be exact, which happens to be the day before my birthday, so what a great birthday present.  I’m really excited about the book, Under Her Thumb: Erotic Stories of Female Domination.  It’s hot!  But I’m also excited about my latest call for submissions for the exact opposite: Slave Girls: Erotic Stories of Submission.  Check out the call at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (http://www.erotica-readers.com).

KD: What’s coming up next from D.L King?

DL: Oops, well, I guess I just answered that question… I’m also working on the third book in the Melinoe series.  This one’s called A Slave of Melinoe and it’s Adam’s story.  If you’ve read the books, you might remember his a Mistress Susan’s boy.  Can’t tell you when it will be out, but I am finally working on it.  I’ve got a lot of new stories coming out soon in books edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, Alison Tyler and Maxim Jakubowski.  I guess I’ve been busy lately.

Anyway, thanks for posting my ramblings and I hope people will come out to the various venues in the next few days.  I think we’ll have a lot of fun.

KD: Thanks for stopping by, D.L. Can’t wait to see you in London soon!

About D. L. King:

D. L. King spends an inordinate amount of time reading and writing smut in her New York City apartment and postage stamp sized garden.  She is the editor of Seductress:Erotic Tales of  Immortal Desire, The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica, the Independent Publisher Awards Gold medalist, Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica, The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica and the Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica. D. L. King is the publisher and editor of the erotica review site, Erotica Revealed.  The author of dozens of short stories, her work can be found in various editions of Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, as well as such titles as One Night Only, Power Play, Lucious, Hurts So Good, Fast Girls, Gotta Have It, Please Ma’am, Sweet Love, and Frenzy, among others.  She is the author of two novels of female domination and male submission, The Melinoe Project and The Art of Melinoe.  Find out more at dlkingerotica.blogspot.com and dlkingerotica.com.

When D.L. King in not globe-trotting all over England, find her here:

http://dlkingerotica.blogspot.com
http://www.dlkingerotica.com
http://twitter.com/d_l_king

 

 

Passion from a Distance: Lucy Felthouse and Ian H

KD: It’s my pleasure to introduce the second in my series of Passionate Partners. For those of you who missed out on the first instalment, Passionate Partners is a series to celebrate erotica writers and their partners who, may help them quietly behind the scenes or a little more in the forefront, but however they do it, the support, the love and the passion shine through. Today I’m welcoming erotica writer and marketing and PR expert, Lucy Felthouse and her passionate partner, Ian H.

Lucy: Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Ian: Ian is a graduate of Northampton College, where he studied Hotel Management. From the age of 10, all he wanted to do was work in the catering industry but upon leaving college the last thing he wanted to do was work in catering. Ian has spent the last 12 years as a merchandiser for a software country, travelling the country whilst writing the perfect thriller novel in his head. He just needs to get it down on paper now.

L&I: Lucy and Ian are a geektastic, film, book and history loving couple. They like exploring the British countryside and also travelling abroad when time and finances allow. They’re often accompanied by Lucy’s boingtastic dog, Scamp.

KD:  Lucy, when I first met you and Ian, I thought Ian was the quiet one. Turns out he has a pretty wicked sense of humour, does amazing things with chocolate and whipped cream – in the kitchen, baking! You naughty minded pair! In the kitchen! And Lucy, you’re the quiet one – though certainly not online!  The fact that Ian bakes for you, and the fact that he makes the long journey down south with you for readings and other fun events, AND the fact that he camps with you, convinced me that I was witnessing another one of those passionate partnerships in the promoting and celebration of sexuality through erotica. How did that journey begin for the two of you, and has it always been a team effort?

L: Well, we actually met through work, though neither of us is working for that particular company any more. I was introduced to Ian as an “exotic writer” by one of our colleagues, and after a night out with lots of colleagues, we ended up seeing each other on the quiet for a little while, as people sticking their noses in is never a good thing. Then after a while we went public and it’s been fun ever since!

As I said, Ian’s known right from the beginning about my writing, after I corrected the information he was given – i.e. erotic, not exotic! He doesn’t read all of my work—he’s a thriller fan—but he’s very supportive of it.

I: After our initial meeting we began that oh so modern thing, an online relationship (thank you Facebook, you’re good for something other than wasting my time). After making the mistake of asking if Lucy’s writing is autobiographical, a common question I’m told, we discovered we had many things in common and things have gone from strength to strength since then.

KD: Lucy, what does Ian do to help your writing career that you appreciate more than anything else?

L: He goes on writing-related trips with me, to London, to Brighton and next year to Scarborough, and you never know, maybe further afield one day!

KD: Ian, what, so far (knowing that there are lots more such moments ahead) has been the moment in Lucy’s writing career when you’ve been the most proud of her?

I: There are two such moments for me. The first was when she had her first piece of work published and the second was when she did her first public reading of her work.

KD: What has been the craziest experience you’ve shared in your mutual journey through erotica?

L&I: Ha! Probably when we went to Erotica in London last year. There were many unusual sights, not least adult babies.

KD: Ian, once Lucy begins a new story, how involved are you in the process? What do you consider your most important role when she’s with the Muse? Does it have anything to do with baking her delectable tidbits?

I: I become involved when Lucy needs me to be. Lucy has been known to tap into my love of a wide range of music, which prompted our visit to the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris to visit the grave of Jim Morrison. This was part research for a future story for Lucy and part hero worship for me. As for my baking, the look of satisfaction on Lucy’s face when she tries my latest kitchen adventure is something I will never grow tired of.

KD: Ian, I know you and Lucy live a good distance a part and only get to see each other on the weekends, do you feel that makes you less involved in her writing career than you’d like to be, or just about right?

I: At times I feel quite detached from Lucy’s writing, but I am never more than an email or phone call way. I also know that she has great network of friends and fellow writers that are always there to help her. I wish I could be more involved, but I always help when I can.

KD: What’s the hardest part of the Lucy/Ian working partnership?

L: I don’t think there’s anything tough about it. Granted, we only see each other at weekends, but that means that I get all my work done during the week and then we are free to do as we please at the weekends with no distractions.

I: Modern technology has removed the hardest part, the distance that separates us. We both now get our work done during the week, so the weekend becomes our time.

KD: What’s the best part?

L: At the moment, it’s been receiving Ian’s comments about the novel I’m writing. I’m sending it to him chapter by chapter and for saying erotica isn’t really his thing, it seems he’s enjoying it. So hopefully I’m doing something right!

I: I love it when Lucy asks for my opinion or ideas, then later I get see those appear on paper. And the novel is going great, and I’m proud that some of the adventures you’ll read have come from my suggestions.

KD: One of the things I enjoy most about the two of you is all the wonderful trips you take on the weekends and the piccies on Facebook. Who plans the itinerary? Do you take turns? What’s the best part about your travels together?

L: We plan things together. Luckily, we like many of the same things, and want to see the same places. So one of us will suggest something, and most of the time, the other person agrees. Sometimes they’ll come up with another suggestion. But either way, we do as much as we can, and much prefer being out and about to sitting in watching TV. The best part of our travels is doing something we both enjoy.

I: It’s a joint effort. We’ve got many of the same interests so we always have many things planned, often months in advance. It is often the simplest things we do that become the most enjoyable.

KD: What’s the best advice the two of you can offer to make that strange and wonderful relationship between erotica writers and their partners run smoother?

L: That’s tough, because everyone is so different. It helps me that Ian is so open-minded, and gets that all I’m doing is writing fiction. I’m just making stuff up and writing it down. He also just lets me get on with it, but is also there to help if I ask.

I: Just to remember that what’s written is fiction.

KD: Ian, though I can speak to the totally delectability of your chocolate éclairs, I just HAVE to ask, what’s your favourite recipe for something totally decadent and inspiring to smutters? A picture? A luscious description? A recipe? *Salivates hopefully*

I: I believe that my chocolate éclairs do take some beating, but I have something planned for our next meeting that might just beat them.

KD: Lucy, what’s the Muse had you up to lately, and what yumminess should we be keeping an eye out for from next from Lucy Felthouse?  I know there’s a novel in the works. Dare I ask for any gossip or tidbits about said novel???

LF: As you know, I’m always juggling several projects at once. I am working on a novel, but I’ve also been taking little breaks and writing short stories, too.

The novel is shaping up really well, I’m almost halfway through my 80,000 words. It has a working title of Stately Pleasures and is an erotic romance, though the romantic twist won’t be apparent to begin with. It’s about a woman who takes a job in a country house, and she ends up having a great deal of kinky fun with the owner and his best friend, the Head of Security. Ménage heaven!

Lucy’s latest release: No Boys Allowed

Three sexy Sapphic tales from the pen of Lucy Felthouse:

No Boys Allowed

When Leigh goes to meet with some potential housemates in a sought-after part of London, all she’s interested in is making a good impression. The last thing she’s expecting is to find out that one of the girls is a lesbian, like her. Kacey’s not home yet, but when she arrives, Leigh knows one thing for sure: she’s smitten. But will her feelings be reciprocated?

Something in Common

Nerd and amateur photographer Justine is partaking of one of her favourite pastimes—visiting a historical site—when she bumps into Amber. It turns out they’re both equally enthusiastic about exploring stately homes, abbeys, stone circles and the like—and their surprise at meeting someone with similar interests leads them on another adventure together, which doesn’t end at the site.

Little Miss Goody Two Shoes

Izzy and her girlfriend are visiting a beautiful stately home in the British countryside. Taking a stroll around the garden, Izzy’s shocked to see a statue of a female—totally naked. Her girlfriend, astounded that Izzy is such a prude and a Little Miss Goody Two Shoes, proceeds to show her just what fun can be had in a country garden with a statue to hide them from prying eyes.

More info, excerpt and buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/no-boys-allowed/

 

Lily Harlem Shares Her Experiences in Self-Publishing

Self-publishing, which used to be the kiss of death for a writer, is now coming into its own in ways no one would have thought possible even five years ago. It’s my pleasure to have a writer who has had success in both traditional publishing and now in self-publishing. Please welcome the very talented Lily Harlem.

KD: Lily, you have critically acclaimed works out by multiple publishers, what inspired you to try the self-publishing route?

LH: Hi K D, first of all thanks so much for having me here today, it’s always great to come and hang out with you.

Self-publishing, okay, well I got the initial idea from a lecture at Eroticon 2012 – http://writesexright.com/eroticon-2013/  given by the very lovely M K Elliot – http://www.steamyspice.blogspot.co.uk –  (I’m still lusting after the fantastic scarlet stilettoes she wore that day. Wow!). She talked about self-publishing at Amazon and the success she’s had with this way of telling her stories. Yes, there are ups and downs, positives and negatives, and certainly there’s a lot of work involved. You, as the author, have to do everything, but still, she didn’t put me off and I decided to have a go. I should say at this point that M K was a wonderful help during my first steps and completely okay with me firing off emails with ‘silly’ questions. Thanks M K 🙂

 

KD: Tell us how the experience has been for you.

LH: Fun, stressful, liberating, worrisome, rewarding, hard work and incredibly satisfying!

 

KD: Now that you’ve experienced both traditional publishing and self-publishing, can you give our readers a comparison of the two.

LH: I’m definitely glad that my introduction into the world of publishing was through a traditional publisher who held my hand every step of the way. All I had to do was write, they did the cover art, worked with the edits, sorted out the copyright jargon and did a big chunk of the marketing. They took me on the wild ride that is publishing your first book without any of the stress!

Self-publishing is definitely not for the faint hearted. You have to be brave and just go for it! Certainly you have to believe in the story you’re publishing, which is where some great beta readers, who are honest and critical, become worth their weight in gold! With self-publishing there’s no editor saying “you can’t write that” or “this would never happen”. To these points sometimes I agree, other times not so much, self-publishing is all your own choice—every single word, action of the characters and twist in the plot. So yes, confidence has to play a part in self-publishing, and I don’t think I would have had the confidence if I hadn’t gone down the traditional route first.

 

KD: Who would you recommend self-publishing to, as far as writers go?

L H: Writers who’ve already been published traditionally so they have an understanding of the process. Plus if you already have a name as an author, and people have read and enjoyed your books, they’re more likely to pick up your self-published one.

 

KD:  With the rise in ePublishing the stigma that was always attached to self-publishing seems to be rapidly disappearing. Why do you think that is?

LH: It’s great that the stigma is going, it means everyone gets a chance to not only tell their story, but everyone also has a chance to read it. In regards to why that stigma is lifting, I think it’s because some really good quality authors are putting work out there, M K Elliot being just one who springs to mind. At one time self-published books were regarded as poor works, badly edited, things no traditional publisher would touch with a barge pole. But not any more, established authors can use self-publishing as a way of cutting out the middle-man and being free to write what and how they want to. I don’t think it will ever take over, but it is certainly establishing its place in the world of publishing.

 

KD: What’s the hardest part of self-publishing? The best part?

LH: The hardest part, definitely the editing process. Despite having my latest release The Glass Knot beta read by two separate partners, I still found a few spelling mistakes/misplaced words on my last read through, and then I thought ‘I better read it again’ and I found another two! ‘Damn, better read the whole 60,000 words over’ – I send myself slightly nuts doing that! But eventually I have to hit that publish button! I’m sure the fact that I switch between the US dictionary and the UK dictionary, depending on which publisher I’m writing for, sends my brain a bit squiffy sometimes!!

 

KD: Now that you’ve experienced traditional and self-publishing, could you share with us your insights. What stands out about the experience?

LH: One of the most useful things I’ve been able to do with self-publishing is offer readers a chunk of another one or even two of my books at the end. Rather than just an excerpt I’ve added full chapters. This way they can see if they fancy reading it. Also if the book that’s just been read is of a particular sub-genre, ménage a trois for example, I’ve been able to list and link my other ménage books. I’ve found this a really useful part of the experience and I hope readers like it too.

 

KD: What about sales? How do your self-publishing sales compare with those of your works that have been traditionally published?

LH: The amount of books I sell is pretty much the same, the main difference being with self-publishing, because the royalties are higher, I can sell a book cheaper and make the same amount per book as I would if it was being sold through a publisher. I can also track my sales easier with self-publishing, so I know if any promotional work I’ve done that week has had a direct result on the book selling.

 

KD: Any advice for people who are considering self-publishing for their own works?

LH: You need to have a good set of people around you to help out with cover art, editing and beta reading, I’m incredibly lucky to be good friends and write with Natalie Dae who, in her day job is a cover artist and has edited in the past too. If you’re not a US resident you have to sort out a tax-exempt number with the IRS which can be a bit of a fiddle, but well worth it. Plus be patient with yourself, know that it will take time, but when it’s all done, the feeling is great. M K was good enough to help me on the first time round, and I’m happy to pass that on and answer any questions either here or through my website.

 

Thanks so much for inviting me, K D, it’s been great 😉

Lily x

 

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/

Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/lily_harlem

Facebook http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Lily-Harlem/100003519563064

Facebook author page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lily-Harlem-author-page/200182030094568

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/lilyharlem/

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4070110.Lily_Harlem

 

Lily Harlem

 

Self-published books

 

The Glass KnotThe Glass Knot

What’s a girl to do when the guy she falls for is married to another man?

This is exactly what happened to me. Seeing Josh Kendal stroll out of the Mediterranean Sea wearing tight navy swim trunks and looking like a hot new James Bond was a truly delicious moment. Catching sight of his wedding ring was like a kick in the shin and meeting his gorgeous husband, phew, that was enough to make any girl groan at the cruel joke God was playing on her.

But all was not as it seemed, and when Josh needed a woman to sort out a ‘delicate predicament’ I was the one for the job – heck, what did I have to lose? Certainly not as much as him, literally.

Trouble is, emotions always get tangled, loyalties can’t help but be divided and with a night of memories so hot they’d have the devil sweating, there was only one thing for it—it was time to get honest, fight for what I wanted despite society’s constraints and open my heart to the people it needed most.

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009OR4LDW

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Glass-Knot-ebook/dp/B009OR4LDW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350135893&sr=8-1

 

ScoredScored

Okay, so I eat, sleep and breathe football and reporting the beautiful game is my dream career. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for a major crush on the England captain, Lewis Tate. The bloke is sex on legs, hot with a capital H. Add in his awe-inspiring talent, his brooding good looks and what’s not to lust after?

So my excitement is sky-high as I set off with the official press team to cover England’s battle for the European Cup. But when a series of unfortunate, or as it turns out fortunate events, attracts Tate’s attention my way, who am I to say no?

Add in a misogynistic manager, an over-zealous colleague, two blue silk ties and some incredible ball-handling skills and it becomes clear the road to victory, for me, will be an intensely erotic journey. Determined to savor every moment, I hang onto my sanity as best I can while living the fantasy and wondering if it can ever become reality. Because once Lewis Tate has taken me to heaven and back, its clear no one else will ever compare.

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scored-ebook/dp/B0085MQSA6/ref=sr_1_14?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350135948&sr=1-14

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Scored-ebook/dp/B0085MQSA6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1337925243&sr=8-3

 

Good Cop, Bad CopGood Cop, Bad Cop

Fame and fortune is a blessing that, for me, has changed its taste from sumptuously sweet to murderously bitter. Leaving me no choice but to look over my shoulder at every turn and question the scruples of even my most faithful friends.

I would give up all the glowing adoration from my fans in a heartbeat in exchange for not running for my life. But fate doesn’t deal cards that way, and instead I find myself far out at sea and being bounced between two hot cops—one so chilly just his glance gives me frostbite, and the other showing a kindness that barely covers his own demons.

So with nowhere else to turn, quite literally, I have to trust two men I hardly know with my life and cope without the luxuries my status usually affords me. But it’s not long before I discover when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Turns out these cops are not only the wrong guys to mess with, they also have partnership skills above and beyond the requirements of their day job. And for once, while just being me without the frills, I get to discover that they are as sinfully bad as they are dreamily good in every department, and it seems, I am the one they want cuffed and controlled at the same time as they are protecting and serving.

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Good-Cop-Bad-ebook/dp/B0095WD3KI/ref=sr_1_17?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350136139&sr=1-17

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Cop-Bad-ebook/dp/B0095WD3KI/ref=sr_1_11?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350135941&sr=1-11

 

MoreMore

An erotic short story. When a woman wants to experiment, how does she ask for more?

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/More-ebook/dp/B008UW2PR6/ref=sr_1_7?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350136920&sr=1-7

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-ebook/dp/B008UW2PR6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350135981&sr=1-1

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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