KD: I’m so excited! The second annual Eroticon is coming up soon! This year it’ll be in London, and this year it’ll be twice the fun because it’s two days instead of one – March 2-3. Make sure you have those dates down. I elbowed my way right in to make sure I had the chance to interview the founder, and the heart and soul of Eroticon, the astounding Ruby Kiddell! Welcome, Ruby! It’s lovely to have you here again.
Other than the double the fun, can you tell us what major differences people can expect at this year’s Eroticon?
RK: Hi KD, thank you for having me here again to talk about Eroticon, two days, I must be mad, but you all wanted more so you’re getting more!
The main difference this year is a greater breadth of content to include sex education, sex work, pornography and to hear voices from different communities.
I also wanted to have a very strong creative core for the conference, so this year there are five creative writing sessions and two photography sessions.
KD: Is there anything about this year’s Eroticon that you’re particularly excited about?
RK: I am very proud to have extended our relationship with the sexual health charity Brook to have them as our charity of the year. They will be presenting the opening plenary and will have staff on hand to talk with delegates about their work and how people can support it via their blogs and in their communities and a donation of £2 from every ticket sale will be going to the charity.
KD: Ruby, I asked this question last year, but I know my readers will want to know, what exactly inspired Eroticon? And could you give us a brief history of that spark of inspiration until now, especially after last year’s phenomenal success.
RK: Eroticon was originally inspired by Cybermummy, a conference for parent bloggers founded by Sian To (@geekisnewchic) I knew that Molly (@mollysdailykiss) was going along with a few other bloggers who wrote erotica or had adult orientated blogs as well as family blogs. I just put those two ideas together and felt that there needed to be an event where people could come and discuss the craft of writing and blogging without fearing judgment of their content.
KD: With one Eroticon under your belt and the second one promising to be even more fabulous, what lessons have you learned? What will you NOT do again, and what is a definite MORE, PLEASE?
RK: The main thing I try to focus on is delivery great content. It is nice to have a fantastic venue and interesting sponsors, but to create an event that people want to come back to year after year requires delivering outstanding content from inspirational speakers.
Future plans include Eroticon USA as well as looking at doing shorter regional workshop days and perhaps some retreats.
KD: Ruby, I know you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the blogging world as well as the sex writing world, fictional and otherwise, what major changes have you noticed, if any, since last year?
RK: Ah you flatter me, I like it! There has been a massive surge of interest in erotica and sex toys over the last year due to the success of Fifty Shades of Grey and a lot of products lines and imprints have been launched to ride that wave and to reach out to the “new” mainstream audience.
Companies have reached out to bloggers in other communities to review sex toys and books which has been great for people feeling more comfortable about writing and talking about sex.
The avant guarde have also responded with new independent presses being launched with a focus on literary fiction.
In the next year or so I think we’re going to see more adult companies investing in blogger outreach which means sex bloggers are going to have to become more aware of legal issues around advertising and promotions.
I think we’re going to see G+ become increasingly important as a social network and marketing tool. I’m already looking at how we can integrate G+ into the delivery of conference content. If you’re on G+ you can find the Eroticon page here > https://plus.google.com/b/114786608373042130890/114786608373042130890/posts
KD: I hate to ask, but I feel like I have to under the circumstances, what effect, if any, has the meteoric success of Fifty Shades of Grey had on the planning and scheming of Eroticon 2013?
RK: In some ways Eroticon is immune to it, last year Eroticon 2012 happened just before Fifty Shades really impacted in the UK and by this March the fuss will have mostly passed. It has made it easier to talk to mainstream publishers about the conference however their eye is on the mainstream audience of readers rather on those of us that already know how brilliant and fun erotica is.
KD: What surprised you most about the response to Eroticon 2012?
RK: That people felt such a powerful sense of belonging and ownership of the conference. I had worried I’d invented the need for it and no-one would turn up or that people would come and not enjoy it. Fortunately the response was overwhelming and that proved that there is a need for this event, which was very humbling.
KD: What do people who are interested in participating in Eroticon 2013 need to do, and what can they expect?
RK: If people want to come, they need to buy a ticket. Day tickets are £90 and weekend tickets are £150, this includes all refreshments and lunch.
The venue is a closed venue which we have to ourselves for the full weekend, this is to protect those that wish to attend anonymously and it means we can relax and be ourselves.
They can expect an amazing weekend of inspiration and fun. It will be hectic, challenging and exhausting. There will also be sex toys!
Head over here to register > http://writesexright.com/eroticon-2013/registration/
The schedule is here > http://writesexright.com/eroticon-2013/eroticon-schedule/
If anyone has any questions about tickets or the conference they can email me at email@example.com
KD: Anything else you’d like to add.
RK: Only my thanks for having me to visit again and that I’m looking forward to seeing you and all the other Eroticon-ers in March!
KD: Thanks so much for stopping by, Ruby. Always a pleasure to have you. I’m very much looking forward to Eroticon 2013, and for anyone who doesn’t yet have tickets, you know what to do. See you there!