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Smut By The Sea:Scarborough is THE Place to be this June

sbts-buttonKD: The event everyone is talking about this summer is Smut By the Sea, which will be held June 22nd in lovely Scarborough. Today, I’m talking with the two lovely people responsible for this exciting event, Victoria Blisse and Kevin Mitnik. Welcome, Lovelies! So good to have you!

Could you tell us what inspired the idea for the Smut by the Sea event? How did it all come about?

V&K: We’ve had many holidays in Scarborough and we love it there, so we wanted to have a good excuse for another holiday in Scarborough! That wasn’t the only motivation though, attending readings down south made us think about having such events up North so that people who couldn’t readily reach the capital could enjoy some erotic fun too!

So we talked about it between ourselves, just as a pie in the sky idea really, but then we mentioned it to other author friends who thought it was a great idea, so suddenly Smut by the Sea was born. We got Scarborough Library on board to host, we picked a date (The 22nd June) and went for it.

KD: Which came first, the SBTS anthologies or the event? Were they always planned together?

V&K:  We think the ideas evolved together, we always planned a Smut by the Sea anthology to go with the event but the other Smut anthologies spun off from there, we weren’t expecting to do those, but the smut idea just caught on and now we can’t stop thinking of smutty ideas!

KD: Why Scarborough? I hear the two of you have a special place in your heart for it. Do tell!SBTS1

V&K: I (Victoria) have been to Scarborough every year of my life for a holiday since I was four. I love the place, it’s my second home. When I got together with Kev, I introduced him to Scarborough and was overjoyed when he loved it just as much too.  We now go every year for a family holiday and Kev and I try to get there for an adults only break at some point too.

So when we thought of ideas for an event up north, our minds automatically turned to Scarborough, we love it so much and want other people to find out how brilliant it is too.

KD: Tell us a bit about how the two of you work together to plan such a huge event. Who does what? Is there a specific division of labour? How has Team Blisse come through  when one person working alone might not have?

V&K: Kev is the tech guy and I am the talk girl. Kev is brilliant with everything computer, he designs the websites, smut covers and advertising images and he does it all very well indeed.

I am gobby, by this I mean I can talk, email and chat up just about anyone. So I do all the social side of things. I email companies about becoming sponsors, I chat to readers and authors who’d maybe be interested in coming because Kev’s not as comfortable with that as I am.

I wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own because I don’t have tech skills and Kev couldn’t have done it because he’s a little bit shy sbtsmed(1)(awww) and together we both try and work the money side of things out. This isn’t fun and neither of us are particularly big fans of maths.

How we’ve actually managed to pull it all together? God alone knows, but apparently we have!

KD: And the rest of us are very glad you have! Tell us a bit about what we can expect at Smut By the Sea.

V&K: There will be readings from authors such as Janine Ashbless, KD Grace (do you know her at all?) Jenna Bright, Lucy Felthouse, Lexie Bay, Slave Nano, Ruby Kiddell, Jacqueline Brocker and many more.

There’s also going to be a marketplace where you’ll be able to buy some smutty things and fudge. Mmmm, fudge.

In the evening we’re having a big Smut by the Sea Launch party with readings from some of the authors, sparkling wine, cakes and treats and a burlesque performance from Moorita Encantada.

And the best bit? You’ll get to chat to lots of authors and readers and people who love erotica, how brilliant is that?

KD: That is totally brilliant! I can’t wait! What has been the most exciting thing about preparing for SBTS?

V&K: Every time an author or a company decides they want to join in we have a little mini Blisse party, it makes us very happy indeed. In fact, the same thing happens every time we sell a ticket. It’s party central at the Blisse house right now!

KD: That sounds fab! Always good to have reasons to party! What has been the most difficult thing?

V&K: Working with Kev. *OUCH* I was only joking.

Kev’s serious answer: The fact that this is the first event, we have nothing to go on, no figures to give out, no real idea of what to expect. It’s all very new and that is a little bit scary.

KD: I’ve never known the two of you not to be scheming and planning something new and exciting, so go on then, tell us what does the future have in store for the Blisses?

SBTSblissebunniesV&K: Well, there’s more smut on the horizon with Smut by the Sea Volume 2 being in production as we speak and there’s a call out for Submissions for Smut in the City:Sapphic Special http://sexyreads.co.uk/smut-in-the-city-sapphic-edition/

And there’s also a big Blisse Kiss event coming up called Blisse Bunnies. Lots of fun excerpts and blogs about New Beginnings, and a big booklovers prize. http://blissebunnies.co.uk from the 1st April.

And then there’s Blissemas http://blissemas.co.uk  on the horizon and Smutmas http://smutmas.co.uk  too, and a Blissemas Party and…well, lots and lots. We’ve always got something brewing at Blisse HQ!

KD: Wow! Sounds like a very busy year at Blisse HQ indeed! And now, details please! Tell us what people need to do to get their tickets and plan to join the fun.

V&K: All the information you need is at http://smutbythesea.co.uk

The daytime event is totally free (how cool is that?) but if you want in on the Smutacular evening book launch you need a ticket and you can pick one up here: http://smutbythesea.eventbrite.co.uk/

Just a tenner and you’ll get refreshments, entertainment AND a goodie bag!

KD: Wow! That sounds like a great deal to me! I can hardly wait! And thanks for being my guests! I’ll see you both in Scarborough 22nd June!

V&K: Thanks for having us, to visit KD.

SBTS Scarborough long beach

 

 

 

 

Someone Once Told Me: Mario Cacciottolo Wants to Know

One of the highlights of Eroticon 2013 was meeting Mario Cacciottolo and learning all about his amazing Someone Once Told Me project. Within minutes of meeting him, I was completely intrigued. Mario’s work is fun, quirky, moving, sometimes chilling, and I’m very excited that he consented to be interviewed for a Hopeful Romantic. Welcome Mario!

KD: First of all, welcome to a Hopeful Romantic, Mario! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Could you start off by telling my readers a little about the Someone Once Told Me project and what inspired it?

MC: I’m very interested in storytelling – always have been. About six years ago I picked up a camera and decided I wanted to get into portrait MarioTaofeeq Adeyemi This Onephotography in particular. Then, one day, I had a thought – how about I use one to do the other? As in, use my camera as a way of getting people’s story out of them, in a very specific way?

Someone Once Told Me (SOTM) sees me ask people to hold up a sketchbook on which they’ve written something memorable that someone once told them. It can be anything, so long as it came from someone else.

I take a picture of them doing so and there’s a new image that goes up on my website every day, with all the previous ones available in a gallery. The subject also explains the story behind why that phrase was said, who said it to them and what their reaction was to hearing those words. The story is written alongside their image – I often use audio to capture people’s stories also.

I’ve had a new image up every day since 8 Sept 2007 and from early June will be travelling for a year around the world, taking many such images, using social media to help me drum up new subjects.

I’m looking for all sorts of people to photograph, all around the world, from different backgrounds and nationalities. The one thing I’ll be asking them is – what’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever been told?

KD: As a writer, I’m always trying to convey an image with my words so that people ‘get the picture.’ Do you find that as a photographer who works with images, is the opposite true? Are you always trying to convey a story?

MC: It’s best if you can do that, for sure. I believe that the most powerful form of photography is one that has a narrative attached, even one that’s implied – if you see an image and your brain starts fizzing, wondering what’s going on with those you can see frozen in time, then that is the best use of photography. I am being quite blunt in getting people to write down a phrase in my photos, leaving only a certain amount to the imagination, but there is room for the viewer to wonder just what it’s all about, before they can read the blurb beneath and find out the story around that person’s choice of quote.

SOTM is quite simple, but it’s powerful and interesting, and the best ideas are the simple ones.

KD: Mario, you do a new picture and a new story every day for your website. How hard is it to keep that up? What do you find the most MarioRachel Wood This Onechallenging?

MC: Well, I’ve had to be quite obsessive about it. I’ve never missed having a new photo up every day for what will be six years in September – so that’s more than 2,000 consecutive days now.

I upload seven images every Friday, and they go live automatically each morning in the UK. I just ask, ask, ask people to pose, all the time. I’ve had a few hundred SOTMs sent in to me, which can be done through the site, and I am just always on the lookout. I went to a party the other day, and while everyone else was enjoying a drink and some banter, I never stopped the whole time – asking people, taking photos, looking for new locations in a small flat, recording their stories, talking to the subjects afterwards. By the time I finished, it was time to go home. I’ve done that on more occasions than I can remember.

I’ve taken 5 hour train journeys to visit students on freezing piers, travelled to businesses and charities to photograph their staff on my days off, hung around in the rain at tube stations to get individual shots, and asked all my friends and their friends to take part. I’ve just never stopped asking. When I split with one of my ex-girlfriends, saying I didn’t have much spare time, she said: “It’s nice to know I’m not as important as a website.”

KD: What do you find most rewarding about the Someone Once Told Me project?

MC: Getting personal stories from people when I don’t know them at all. Sometimes I get them very quickly, too. That’s a huge compliment to SOTM and I’m so thrilled that many people like my little idea so much that that they reveal something personal, sometimes painful, about themselves – to someone they don’t know at all.

I’ve had sons tell me what their father said upon their deathbed, and what ex-husbands have told their (tearful) wives. I’ve had a young woman say how much it hurts when their sister calls them fat, and a man from Tasmania talk about what happened during a threesome he was having once.

I also had a student reveal that he was once beaten up by a group of men who then told him: “Oh my God, we got the wrong guy” before giving him a lift home as an apology. He told me that story within 30 seconds of us meeting for the first time – his astonished friends had no idea this had ever happened.

KD: I’m dying to hear all about your upcoming world tour! 23 countries and 1,000 people! And I hear that people everywhere can get involved. Tell us all about it!

MC: I’ve always wanted to travel the world. Even as a boy, growing up on the tiny island of Malta, I used to spread maps on the wall and look at them, wondering what they were like in real life. Years later, when I was fully into the SOTM idea, I knew I couldn’t just end it one day, quietly. While lots of people have submitted photographs to me, I wanted to reach out to them by visiting as many countries as I could, approaching all sorts of people, getting them to tell a story from their lives. So now that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

MarioNick Astaire This OneI’m travelling through Europe, over to Cairo, then South Africa, Dubai, Japan, China and will spend a few months in South Asia, hitting countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Then I’ll go to the Philippines and Australia, before flying up to the US and doing a tour there for a couple of months. I’ll return to the UK in May 2014.

I’m looking for as many people as possible to take part in the SOTM world tour. I need people to meet and photograph, places to stay for a few days, people with media connections so I can drum up publicity, volunteers to help translate a sheet of paper that I’ll carry around, explaining just what it is I’m doing.

The initial announcement can be found here SOTM Tour I’ve since tweaked the itinerary, so the more recent updates on my blog, which runs alongside SOTM, will have the latest destinations.

And of course, if you’re not going to be near my travels but want to take part in SOTM, either as a subject or a photographer, you can easily submit a photo through the Your SOTM page on the site. It always buzzes me out for the day whenever someone sends a photo in to me, and shares a story of theirs.

KD: Can you tell us about the Sketchpad sponsorships?

MC: I have used many sketchbooks since SOTM began, turning more than 1,500 pages myself as I’ve taken photographs for the site. I’m now aiming to take 1,000 people’s images, which will mean at least that same number of sketchbook pages will feature on the site in future.

I’m offering people the opportunity to sponsor the sketchbooks that I’ll use. People can do individual months, or blocks of months. I’ve never put my sketchbooks up for sponsorship before, so it’s an exciting opportunity for all concerned.

KD: Can you tell us about the SOTM app from which, I believe all profits from the downloads go to the Operation Smile charity.

MC: I paid for the app myself and decided to give all the profits from it to Operation Smile, which operates on children with cleft palates. I think they do great work and if you point a camera at someone, you often tell them to smile. It must be terrible not to be able to smile properly.

The app, which is for the iPhone, allows the user to take a photo and place a digital scrap of paper over that image. You can then type out the subject’s SOTM message and story then email the whole thing to me, all from your phone. And you’ll do your bit for charity by downloading the app, too.

KD: What was the most shocking thing anyone ever wrote on your sketchpad?

MC: I’ve had one girl admit she was subject to an attempted rape by someone in charge of her school overseas trip, whom she then had to sit next to on the flight home.

I checked that she was ok for me to use the story and image – neither of which identify her – and the image went up.

Another, very powerful shot, tells the story of how a man broke up with a young woman, using words I’ve heard myself, as a lot of people have, I think. It’s quite a raw, emotive image and I can’t look at it for too long.

The saddest story is from a young woman who I met through Twitter and had a coffee with in Camden, London one day. We took her photo MarioEmilie Stammers This Onenext to the freezing lock and I thought nothing more of it. A few weeks later her friend emailed me to say she’d killed herself. I checked with her father about using her image, and it went up on the site, as did his email reply to me. Very, very tragic.

KD: Mario, you have a way of setting people at ease and making them feel like they’ve always known you. Have any of your impromptu conversations and photo sessions led to lasting friendships?

MC: That’s very kind of you! I was lucky enough to be raised in Malta, which is a very warm, friendly place and that’s never left me. Also, I love what I do and I love getting stories from people – that, above all, drives SOTM for me. So when I get to talk to people I want to – have to – win them over so that they will feel comfortable sharing something personal with me. I want them to feel like they can trust me with their story, and that I’ll take good care of it. People often say “oh, my story isn’t very good” but quite often it is really interesting. People just worry about coming up with something seriously profound, or hysterically funny, but so long as they’re honest, that’s what’s most important.

I have made friends, good friends and even got lucky once or twice over the years that I’ve done SOTM, so it’s been a wonderful, life-enriching experience for me. And now I’m going to take it around the world.

KD: We are all shaped by the things that someone once told us. The words we hear impact on us, whether we want them to or not, and it’s undeniable that they have a power.

Mario, this is from your website, and as a lover of words, I was very much struck by it. Words do definitely have power, so I have to ask you, what did someone once tell you that you would write on your sketch pad if I were taking a photo, and what’s the story behind it?

MC: I don’t know when SOTM will end, but if/when it does, the last ever image will be mine.

Until that time, I’m compiling a shortlist – I do have a current number one quote, but I’m keeping that a secret. Whatever I finally choose as my own SOTM, I’ll have it tattooed on me.

I can tell you that a Lebanese man I once interviewed for work – I’m a journalist – told me: “I used to sniff cocaine with Osama bin Laden in a nightclub toilet in London.”

Also, I once asked a female colleague how she was, and she replied: “I’ve left my husband and I’ve got a stalker.”

And a woman I spoke to said she once had a job cold-calling people. She asked if she could speak to a particular woman but her husband replied: “No you bloody well can’t. She’s run off with a black man.”

KD: Thanks so much for stopping by, Mario! It’s been a real pleasure chatting with you. Best of luck on your world tour! I can’t wait to see the piccies!

 

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

 

 

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

 

Phil The Shelf Series Kd Grace And Hazel Cushion

Radio or Not, Here I Come!

I had the very big pleasure of being interviewed, along with Hazel Cushion, Managing Director, and Dominatrix of Xcite Books, (As Phil has dubbed her) by Phil Rickman for his popular Phil the Shelf programme on BBC Radio Wales. Phil Rickman is the author of the best selling Merrily Watkins mysteries, the John Dee series and several paranormal novels. Though I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting the man face to face, I was ushered into the studios of the BBC Radio facility on the Surrey University Campus several weeks ago, and there, alone in the small cubicle, Phil’s ethereal voice filtered into my ear via the magic of techy stuff. The interview lasted about twenty minutes, covering everything from Fifty Shades of Grey mummy porn to interesting uses for truffles in The Initiation of Ms Holly.

Here’s the link:

http://kiwi6.com/file/syxjao0u91

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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