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Posts Tagged ‘erotica writers’

Zak Jane Keir’s Response to Acting Like an Erotica Writer

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called Acting Like An Erotica Writer. That post got some very insightful feedback, not the least of which came from the fantastic novelist, Zak Jane Keir. Ever the opportunist, I asked Jane if she would write a post for A Hopeful Romantic based on her insights, and fortunately for all of us, she said yes. Welcome, Zak!

Let’s be clear, it’s not about who you, particularly, are. It’s not about what you, particularly, write.  As writers, we all do our stuff as best we can, and enjoy it as much as we can, and if we’re asked to explain it or talk about doing it, we manage that as best we can, as well.

That I am sick to death of this fucking trope, and that I think it’s actually harmful to women, to feminism, and to the individual writers who’ve been fed to it (I doubt that many of the writers portrayed in this way are deliberately emphasizing their own ‘harmlessness’ to this extent), is not an attack on either any individual writer nor on the fact that some people ARE heteromonogamous, shy, ‘respectable’, gentle, parents, suburban or anything else like that. It’s fine to be who you are. It’s fine to write what you write.

There is a conflicting, confused desire for ‘authenticity’ from fiction writers; the old ‘write what you know’ advice which is often misinterpreted as ‘write about your own experiences’. That’s, obviously, a bit silly: if you think JK Rowling really has a wand to cast spells with, you’re probably a bit too dim to be let out of the house. Same goes if you think that Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell or Sara Paretsky have really murdered people in order to ‘know how it feels’. This doesn’t make it OK to make honking factual errors just because you’re writing fiction: the editors at Mills and Boon allegedly still giggle about the proposal submitted to them which featured an Australian sheep farm menaced by tigers. (Perhaps the author should have tried to insist that his/her novel was set in an alternate reality?)Zak's post

Just about every feature published (on or offline) about women who write explicit fiction hammers home the same message: the contrast between the writer and the writing. Mothers! Mumsy! Grandmas! They KNIT! They GO TO CHURCH! They wear cardigans and love their hubbies! They offer the hardbitten male journo a nice cup of tea and a home-baked cake! The trouble with the mainstream media’s absolutely frantic casting of female erotic writers as either sweet old dears or nervous virgins is that it perpetuates the idea that women don’t really like real sex. Because, actually, the idea of women liking sex, seeking sex, having sexual autonomy, is really scary and threatening to the status quo. Any media which is set up to cater to the idea of women’s autonomous sexuality gets stifled, compromised, belittled, mocked, and shut down. I speak from a degree of authentic personal experience: there comes a point, in creating, distributing and selling media, where you are confronted with The MAN who doesn’t get it. ‘Well, my wife wouldn’t like it, so it won’t sell.’ ‘’Yeah but you’re not a NORMAL woman, are you?’ ‘Yeah OK but you need to get advertising from companies that sell make up and clothes, so you can’t run that feature telling women that they’re sexy without doing any shopping.’

The fact that what a lot of women like, in terms of sexually-gratifying media, is not just dominant billionaire bastards proposing marriage to vacuous bimbos who are, invariably, much prettier than they really think is either left out of this mainstream portrayal of ‘Mummy Porn’ or noisily mocked as some sort of teeny-weeny subdivision of Peculiar Women. Because women are supposed to Respect the Cock, they’re not capable of regarding men as objects of desire or tools for their pleasure.

The writers who get featured in articles along the lines of ‘Nice Married Straight Suburban Mouse Who Knows Her Place Writes Silly Naughty Books’ are rarely asked about what they *actually* write. Because they might well say that their stories feature homoerotic shenanigans for the entertainment of women, or golden showers, or a female goddess accepting erotic sacrifice from a whole horde of powerful men, and that’s never going to be mentioned.

But if a female erotic writer lets it be known that she actually DOES some of this stuff, then, well, the world might end. Because women don’t do that. Really, they don’t, they can’t, it’s not possible. Not only would the sky fall in but men might have to consider women human.

About Zak:

Zak has been writing about sex and sexuality for over 20 years. She spent some time as a fetish/swingers club reviewer for Forum, and was involved in the founding of the now-defunct Guild Of Erotic Writers. She has been published in Swingmag, For Women, Desire, Forum and Penthouse in the past.

Links: Zak’s novel Black Heart is available in all ebook formats, check it out here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Heart-Zak-Jane-Keir-ebook/dp/B00EALIOAI

Her stories have also appeared in a variety of places, including the Nexus anthology Spanked http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spanked-Peter-Birch-ebook/dp/B00DOL0J58/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1391647749&sr=1-1&keywords=spanked+peter+birch




Acting Like An Erotica Writer

P1000816Writer Jane Wenham-Jones insists that most erotica writers she’s met look more like librarians. Most of us would happily admit to writing in our sweat suits or jeans or jammies. I don’t even own a corset and my feet are most often bare or in fuzzy slippers. Most of my erotica writing friends simply smile at the thought of writing in a basque and stilettos, and when we’re making a public appearance, I suppose we do look more like librarians than sex goddesses.

Most of us don’t mind so much when people say we don’t look like erotica writers. I confess the mental picture of me stretched out on a chez lounge with a feather boa and nose bleed heels scribbling away in a velvet notebook with quill is amusing, and it doesn’t bother me that I might look like a librarian when I’m out in public. I think librarians are hot. What does bother me, however and, what bothers most of my colleagues, is when people just assumed that we have DONE all the things we write about. Even that I could live with in a wink and a nudge sort of way, if it weren’t for the fact that sexual experience – especially for a woman – is sadly still stigmatized as something only ‘bad people’ have.

No one assumes Thomas Harris is a cannibalistic serial killer. No one assumes Anne Rice drinks blood and sleeps in a coffin. No one assumes Tom Clancy spent time being a terrorist. And yet, there are those who assume erotica writers have done everything we write about. For people who make that assumption, I have just one question; what part of ‘FICTION’ don’t they get?

Fiction writers don’t have to experience what they write in order to write about it. In fact, that’s why it’s fiction. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN — at least not outside the fertile mind of the writer. Erotic fiction is no different.

Fiction allows the reader, and the writer, to safely experience situations and worlds that, in reality, would not be safe or even be possible. In a world where safe sex has become a battle cry, as well as its own form of bondage, that has never been more true than it is with erotica. The erotica writer allows the reader to participate safely in an experience that can be both very wonderful and very dangerous. It’s no more necessary for erotica writers to have an orgy in order to write about one than it was for Thomas Harris to kill and eat a few folk before he could create Hannibal Lector.

Though it may add another layer to the psycho-sexual fantasy for the reader to imagine the erotica writer experiening first hand her orgy, bondage, or sex in a bus before she writes about, though that fantasy may be very sexy. It’s just that, a fantasy. In reality, what the writer has created it still fiction.

All that being said, I’m here to say that I do, indeed ACT like an erotica writer. In fact, I’m going to be even more general and say that I simply act like a writer. I see a world in my imagination and I recreate it on the written page. Some of what I write on that page involves sex, but not all of it. In fact most of what I write on that page is a story with an intriguing plot in which sex happens, in which sex helps drive the story. THAT is how an erotica writer acts!

writing image 2Like all other fiction writers, the world of an erotica writer is about plot, characters and setting. Unlike most other fiction writers, we allow human sexuality to be a powerful driving force in our stories, and we don’t shy away from the explicit when it serves our purpose. That erotic fiction is set apart from the rest of fiction simply because of its free and explicit use of sex saddens me deeply, as the stories being told by erotica writers are as relevant and as powerful as the stories told in any other genre.

Ultimately, if an erotica writer writes a good story with an intriguing plot, interesting characters and strong setting, then yes, she or he is acting like an erotica writer, behaving in character with all good fiction writers, using the same tools that writers in all other genre use – imagination, research and dedication to the craft. Erotica writers are just willing to give our readers a little extra heat — even if we do it in our jammies.


Books of Delight Delights Readers and Authors

Books of delight bannerunnamedSince November, readers and writers alike have been enjoying Books of Delight, a fab new erotica book club with a twist. Books of Delight is the brainchild of the awesome Chris Unity Bowness and his equally awesome wife, Caroline. Chris had been doing guest spots on my blog for quite some time now, and he has always been a champion of erotica and erotica authors, so when Chris approached the Brit Babes for some feedback about his idea of an online book club for erotica, he got a resounding thumbs up.

I recently talked to Chris, who is also a Relationship and Sex Mentor, and he had this to say about the Books of Delight’s conception and exciting firs few months.

“I love erotica and, as a sex mentor, I have used it over the years, personally and professionally, as a tool to open up discussions about sex, because what’s great about Erotica is that it’s about the sex. Yes there are fabulous characters and wonderful story lines, but enjoying erotica and saying so, I believe, makes a statement that you are sex positive and enjoy sex. To enjoy erotica means exploring and exposing yourself to sex. I am intrigued by the psychology of erotica fans. (Which I’ll save for another post.)

Furthermore, having been involved with the genre for a number of years I believe erotica has an almost cult like following supported by authors who are hungry to engage with readers of the genre. I think this stems from the fact that to explore and find the best erotica, beyond E.L. James and Sylvia Day, you have to really go out there and look for it. And sometimes even when you know what you’re looking for the search is made harder by search engines and booksellers filtering it out. There has been a recent well publicised ‘cleaning up’ by Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Amazon of erotica from its ebook stores.

About two years ago I started sharing and posting the newest releases, offers and news from the world of erotica and was surprised by the amount of people stopping me in the street or massaging me to say they’d picked up a book I’d shared and how everyone of them had enjoyed it and in turn told me to keep sharing.

It was then I started looking at social reading sites to further explore and engage with other fans of erotica. I wanted to find a place where I could engage with others, where we could share other books but also where we could converse with authors. After going from site to site and finding bits here and bits there, I asked myself why I didn’t start something which exactly fitted my needs but also was what I believed a community could be built on.

I wanted to build a community where books could be recommended and discussed on a regular basis. This would be a place where readers could be guided to the best books and authors, where we could share with each other our love of erotica. It would be a community which would be supported and also engaged by the very authors being recommended. Books Of Delights was borne…”

After a lot of hard work, planning and organising by the Bownesses, the group began in November as a Facebook private group. I was lucky enough to have Grace Marshall’s novel, An Executive Decision be one of the two choices for the virgin run along with the amazing Tabitha Raynes’ novel, A Clockwork Butterfly.

“I was lucky enough to have one of my novels as a featured book in Books of Delights alongside the gorgeous Kd!,” author, Tabitha Raynes said. ‘I loved being able to interact with readers and see how they interpreted the story. It was quite thrilling to learn things about how the books are read and to be surprised that some of the things discussed hadn’t occurred to me! Just shows that once a piece of work is out there, it takes on a life of its own. That was really lovely – to have your writing come alive in someone else’s imagination and hear about it. Books of Delights founders Christopher and Caroline are wonderful at bringing out people’s enthusiasm for what they are reading and to promote lively and interesting debate on some of the issues that the stories might raise. A wonderful experience – especially getting to ‘meet’ readers. Some even took the time to leave excellent reviews – most appreciated and unexpected. I loved it and I thoroughly recommend joining!”

Reader, and new convert to erotica, Cheryl Jackson says, “Books of Delight is what it sound like and more. Erotic books to tingle the senses but also the very community is a delight. I’d not read much erotica before joining and was pleasantly surprised by the engaging stories I read and am now a definite fan. There is plenty of opportunity should you wish to discuss the books, concepts found in the books and indeed general points relating to sex positive ideas. There are also general conversations and you soon find yourself drawn into the group. Participants and authors mixing in a friendly way. There is no obligation to join in the conversations if you chose not to but you will receive a warm friendly welcome if you do.”

Caroline Bowness is in full agreement. “I like the way readers have access to authors to ask questions and interact. I hope as it grows and people get braver we will have more discussions on the books we are reading.”

Speaking from an author’s perspective, there’s nothing writers love more than to engage with people in a discussion about their stories, and for me, that was the very best part of Books of Delight, the write and reader interaction.  The Brit Babes were all invited to join the group from the beginning, and the Brit Babes do love to talk erotica, writing and S.E.X.

Author, Lily Harlem said, “As an author I love being involved with Book of Delights, it’s informal, friendly and a wonderful way to interact with readers who are fans of the erotica and erotic romance genre. Writing can be a lonely business, tapping away all day on a laptop creating characters and plots, so when it’s time for some social time where better to go than a place with likeminded people for stimulating, passionate conversations about love and lust and everything bookish.”

Author, and founder of Writer Marketing Services, Lucy Felthouse, had this to say about Books of Delight. “I think it’s a fantastic idea to get a bunch of enthusiastic readers together to read and discuss books. As a writer, there’s nothing better than being directly in touch with readers to find out what they’re enjoying, to answer questions they may have, and to ask some of your own. It’s great fun, and I’m looking forward to what fun the group brings next.”

Add to that interesting insights and links added by Chris and Caroline, and you have the formula for a dynamic, exciting new group, which has been so successful. Even though BoD is technically in a trial period until April, as exciting as the first few months have already been, in February, Books of Delight is evolving from the successful private Facebook group to something bigger and even more exciting. Keep your eyes on Chris’s mentoring and sex positive website, www.multiple-asms.org for the exciting relaunch in February. Once the trial period is over, Chris is aiming for a full launch in the 2nd quarter of the year in which Books of Delight will become a micro subscription service.

BoD It’s BODdy Brilliant! — Author, Victoria Blisse

BOD is beautifully bawdy. — Author, Kay Jaybee





Justine Elyot Returns to Her Fantasy Roots with Her Latest Novel, Princess in Chains

It’s a pleasure to welcome one of my very favourite writers and a good friend, Justine Elyot, back to my site, and this time writing in one of my very favourite genres! Welcome, Justine!

Guesting at K D’s blog always feel like an event and I’m delighted to be here under her glamorous spotlight. Thanks, K D!

Justine Elyot Princess in ChainsmedI’ve been writing and publishing erotica for five years now and I’ve tried my hand at a number of different styles and sub-genres. If I’m known for anything, it’s probably for contemporary erotica with a substantial dose of kink. But I enjoy reading and writing a diverse range of stories and all those kinky city women with their deliciously dominant lovers aren’t the only string to my bow.

I’ve written a speculative fiction novel (Under His Influence for Carina Press), a paranormal novel (Saxonhurst Secrets for Xcite) and an historical novel (Secrets And Lords for Mischief). And now I’m going back to my roots and experimenting with fantasy with Princess In Chains, the first in a trilogy for Xcite.

I say ‘going back to my roots’ because fantasy books were my absolute favourite as a child. We start with fairy tales, and I stuck with them, having a passion for the Narnia books that led to me borrowing them all from the library six times in a row. Quests, adventures, desperate escapes and rescues – these were rocket fuel to my developing imagination. And you will find all of that kind of thing in Princess In Chains.

You won’t find the controversial allegories of world faiths that you find in C S Lewis’s work though – my kingdoms have religions of their own, or they have no religions. Some of them are up to their ears in strange superstitions and some of them are solidly practical. Some are afraid of sex and some embrace sexuality in all its glorious forms and fluidity. None of them are exactly like a real place – at least, I hope not.

It’s a tiny little bit like Narnia, a little (but not much because everyone is human) like Middle Earth, a little more like Westeros. If that sounds like a place you could visit, perhaps you’d like an excerpt:

Asta was being borne away, aloft, by a trio of rough-looking men. They were some yardlings distant, but if she ran…

She put down her head and cannoned through the press, Taran hot at her heels, shouting imprecations behind her.

‘They have her,’ she explained, turning her head for a moment. ‘My…they have her.’

But the crowd was too thick and too unpredictable in its patterns of movement and she could not get close, no matter how she flailed and kicked. One man turned and grasped her arm, yelling at her for knocking down his small son. That was all the time Taran needed to catch up with her.

‘Mind your woman,’ growled the man, over Taran’s apologies. ‘If I were you I’d get her home and let her work out her passions on the washtub.’

‘Perhaps I will,’ said Taran. ‘Asta. Calm yourself. Are you saying that your mistress has been assaulted?’

‘They are taking her,’ said Leonore, waving in the direction of her last sighting.

‘What did you see?’

‘Three men, wild-looking fellows…oh, what do they mean by taking her?’

‘Let’s follow their direction. Perhaps we can find them.’

They crossed the square, past the swinging corpse in the gibbet, through more crazed dancing, which had started up again regardless of the pother.

Their wanderings led them to a side alley, but it was quiet. If the abductors had passed that way, they had moved quickly. Or perhaps they were inside one of these shuttered buildings.

Leonore stopped abruptly before one of them, seeing again the strange conglomeration of triangles on the doors and walls.

‘One of the men – his arm was tattooed with this sign. At least, I think it was.’ She turned to Taran. ‘What does it mean?’

‘Valish Liberation,’ said Taran. ‘An organisation that seeks to overthrow Corvin from the throne.’

She tugged at the voluminous material of his sleeve.

‘Then that is a clue as to her whereabouts. He must be one of these freedom fighters. They have perhaps kidnapped her – for a ransom? Or…she is a political prisoner of some kind.’

‘Or they are just ruffians who wanted a woman.’

‘There were whores a-plenty out in that square. Why take a noblewoman, except for the purposes I have named?’


What’s happened to her?

You can find out by reading the book!

It’s available from all good retailers, including Sainsbury’s Online: http://www.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/book/Princess-In-Chains-Justine-Elyot/7710174

Amazon UK:






Find Justine Here:

Website: http://justineelyot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustineElyot

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justineelyot




Yolanda Shoshana Talks about the Use of Scent in Erotica

I’m very excited to welcome Yolanda Shoshana to A Hopeful Romantic. Those of us with sensitive noses, who find scent a major part of our lives will especially appreciate Yolanda’s work. And what would erotica be without the use of that fabulously sexy sense of smell?

Yolanda Shoshona 2unnamedThanks so much for having me as a guest KD! Now let’s get down to the sexy stuff…

There is something that is exciting about the smell of sex in the air. I’m not talking about the funky smell of ass and feet but magickal smells of passion mixed with notes like musk, vanilla, chocolate or rosewood.

When scent-inspired words like musk or sandalwood are added as description during a scene it gives the reader a sensual experience that is unique to them. Everyone has a relationship with smell, which is why using smell in erotica can be a surefire turn on. Scent conjures up memories and emotions as well as thoughts. Even when a scent is simply mentioned, it starts to get people’s senses involved. Using the power of smell in erotica is also perfect when it comes to setting the tone. If the sex scenes are light and playful, the scents in the scene might be a powdery musk with touches of sweet smells. Whereas, S&M, kink, and darker sex scenes might suggest more earthy smells like ouds, opium, and patchouli.

For my magickal novelette series, The Courtesan Chronicles, I created a line of aphrodisiac perfumes based on the central characters in the book. All of the scents have deep notes known for their arousal factors. The book follows a coven of witches in New York City who bring back the art and magick of the courtesans so it was important for them all to have scents that scream triple X sexy but have elegance. For example, one of the witches in my novelette is named Bast, after the Egyptian goddess of the cats and keeper of the sacred courtesans. One of the notes in the perfume, Courtesan Bast, is jasmine which Cleopatra (the inventor of seduction) used as a scent to seduce her lovers. In my second book for the series, Magickal  Desires (due out in December 2013), besides perfume potions and magickal aromatherapy,  I am using aphrodisiac notes in the smell of food, especially chocolate. If you start to notice gourmand scents are becoming extremely popular due to the connection of food, smells, and sex. What smells turn you on?
Yolanda Shoshona imageunnamedExcept from Magickal Desires, book 2 of The Courtesan Chronicles

As Lola sauntered to the kitchen Kinky followed her, no way was that cat going to miss out on witches performing kitchen magick session. A few meows here and there got her the best snacks.
Opening up the steel refrigerator, Lola pulled out the grocery bags with excitement. The smell of cilantro immediately filled the air once it was released from the refrigerator. Her Latin roots gave her a love for the magickal attributes of cilantro which included love, health and healing. Lola loved to cook especially for the sake of conjuring more love in her life, in her mind she was like the main character, in the book, Like Water For Chocolate, but far less tragic.

Today she was going to whip up her famous magickal mole sauce. The ingredients in the sauce were filled with herbs and spices perfect for kitchen magick including cinnamon sticks, cumin, and Mexican chocolate. It was a recipe that had been handed down from her great grandmother who swore that the mole sauce was the way that she won her great grandfather’s heart. However,  Lola thought that the Santeria love spell said over the mole sauce was what really left her grandfather spellbound.

Buy Magickal Desires Here:


About Yolanda Shoshana:yolanda shoshona 1unnamed

Yolanda Shoshana is a Minister of Magick, Courtesan Curator, Clairvoyant, Witch, and Seduction Alchemist that helps women have amazing love, toe curling sex, and release their magick. For more about her work and magkical aromatherapy: http: www.yolandshsohana.com. Check out her new magickal novelette series, Coven of the Courtesan which is Charmed meets Sex and the City.



© 2018 K D Grace
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