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  • Home
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Posts Tagged ‘writing’


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Kay Jaybee Waxes Lyrical

My very dear friend and fabulous writer of nasty stories, the delicious Kay Jaybee is my guest today, and she’s definitely waxing lyrical.

The question I’m most frequently asked as a writer of erotica is, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ The truth is that my creative processes can be sparked off by literally anything; overheard conversations, pictures, locations, even aromas. Another influence has to be music. Or to be more specific; lyrics. No matter how much I like or dislike the tune of a particular piece of music, it is the words that sell a song to me.

A fascination with listening intently to every single word of a song began back in my high school days. Many a fad swept my secondary school; one of which was to select hit songs that summed up the personality of each pupil, and ‘label’ them with that song. My shy persona and general wallflower status, led to me being forever associated with the song Goodie Two Shoes by Adam and the Ants, with particular reference to the line ‘Don’t drink, don’t smoke. What do you do?’ – (oh the irony!!! If they knew me now!!)

I just love the way lyrics can be woven together to tell a story. You only have to pay close attention to the words someone like Adele sings, to hear how beautifully they can be linked to tell short musical stories that we can all relate to.

The first erotic poem I ever wrote, Regrets, illustrates how lyrics can set off my imagination. The opening line of this poem is ‘Regrets, I’ve had a few…’

I’m not sure whether Frank Sinatra would have approved of my borrowing of 5 words from My Way, but then again, as Mr Sinatra wasn’t exactly “Mr Shrinking Violet”, he might have loved my rhyming words of desperate eroticism!!

“Regrets, I’ve had a few.

Most of them to do with you.

I should have shagged you on the floor.                                                                                    

In the kitchen; against a door.

I could have pressed you to a mirror,

And seen your sweat marks shine and shimmer…”

(You can read the rest of this poem by visiting my page on www.oystersandchocolate.com)

Getting more up to date; it was a line from the Snow Patrol song, You’re All I Have, that sowed the seeds of inspirations for the nature of the lead male character, Mark Parker, in the novel I’m currently working on (Fantasy 13). The lyric in question is ‘There is a darkness deep in you; a frightening magic I cling to…’ A sentence which hints at a compelling obsession, a willing coercion that (in this case) Mark weaves over his two female employees, (Bi lovers Anya and Clara). With a character such as Mark, who like many of my leading men and women is into dominance and control games, the possibilities for creating extreme storylines are endless…

So, what music do I play while writing my erotica; which let’s face it, tends to feature the rougher side of sex?

Over the years I have put together a few playlists to urge my work frazzled brain into writing mode. Each is varied, and is fashioned to whether I’m writing down and dirty BDSM, or slightly milder calmer S&M kink. Two songs however, appear on every one of my playlists, for there is something deeply erotic and edgy about each of them.

Despite not being a big fan of David Bowie, the first track is his classic ‘Let’s Dance.’ Just the rasping way he sings the introductory line, (Let’s dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues), is enough to make all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The lyrics are both romantic and sexy, and yet hopelessly so. You just know that whoever the song is being aimed at isn’t going to get the happy ending they yearn for. Such is the lot for so many of my poor characters! (Just check out my Fem Dom anthology Yes Ma’am to find some hot sexy encounters, but without the happy ever afters!)

The second song that always features on my playlists is Underwear by Britpop group Pulp. I’ve lost count of how many individual stories that song has kick started. Nearly everything Pulp’s lead singer, Jarvis Cocker, sings has a heady kinky edge to it, but Underwear is the cream on the cake for me. If you’ve never heard it- then you must find it on You Tube or treat yourself to the mega sexy album Different Class!  I promise that inspiration will soon follow.

My short story, Underwear (published within Sweet Confession by Cleis Press), was inspired by the title alone, and my entire serial Going Against Type (Oysters and Chocolate), was sparked by the concept the song presents. Why might someone feel compelled to keep meeting someone in secret for sex?  Are they really helpless to fight that compulsion, despite the wrestling they do with their conscience?

“Why don’t you close the door and shut the curtains
‘cos you’re not going anywhere.
He’s coming up the stairs and in a moment he’ll want to see your underwear.
You couldn’t stop it now. There’s no way to get out.
He’s standing far too near. How the hell did you get here.
Semi-naked in somebody else’s room.
I’d give my whole life to see it.
Just you stood there only in your underwear…”

Whenever I write an undressing scene, I always hear Pulp’s song in the back of my mind. The tension in both its words and delivery are just perfect.

If I’m really struggling to write, then I always turn to the music of 80’s pop group, Depeche Mode. More or less everything they performed is cut with undertones of submission and dominance. How could they not be with titles such as Master and Servant and Just Can’t Get Enough? My favourite of their works has to be Personal Jesus. The catch line, ‘Reach out and touch me’ was running through my head as I created Jess Saunders, the lead character and unwitting new sub, from my novel The Perfect Submissive. Bless her; no matter how much Jess pleads to be touched, she just has to wait until everyone else has had their fun first, (and even then she is sometimes left wanting),

So, do you see a pattern building in my song choices? Need more clues? Other tracks on my erotica writing playlist include Love is a Stranger by The Eurythmics, Human by The Killers, Big Mistake by Natalie Imbruglia, Everything She Wants, by Tatu, I Want Your Love by Transvision Vamp…and so on…They are compulsion songs. All about power, control, and simmering sexual tension; and if you have never read any of my work, then just a quick listen to that lot would give you a big clue as to what you can expect!!

The Perfect Submissive blurb
Set in the Fables Hotel exclusive adult leisure, the Perfect Submissive centres around the dominatrix Mrs Peters and her booking clerk, Jess Sanders, who she is determined to train as a new submissive attraction. With the help of her barman Lee Philips, Mrs Peters training schedule finds Jess tied to an art table in the hotel’s fake school room…
Excerpt

Jess, her eyes wide, her throat drier than ever, watched as Lee ran the brush’s soft bristles between his fingers. Kneeling before Jess, he placed the tip of the paintbrush on the very end of her right nipple. Gasping with shock at the sensitivity of the touch, Jess began to shiver against the sweeping strokes Lee focused on her breast.

‘I must congratulate you, Master Philips.’ Mrs Peters spoke with approval. ‘You have an excellent technique there, arousing, and stimulating, without being quite enough to make your subject come.’

Jess groaned. Why wouldn’t they let her come? As the deliciously torturous brush moved onto her left tit, tears of desire and frustration gathered at the corner of her eyes. She knew she was minutes away from begging. Begging to be fucked, begging to be allowed to come; begging for a warm mouth to come to her pussy, her chest, her mouth.

Her quivers turned to shakes as her stomach knotted with the build up of a fast approaching climax.

A gesture from Laura and Lee dropped the brush, causing tears of desperation to course down Jess’s cheeks. ‘Now, Miss Sanders, you have to learn to pace yourself. This is as much for our enjoyment as yours, and we are not ready to let you come yet.’

Blinking in disbelief at her superior’s words, Jess felt the tears dry against her face, as once again the brush was employed by Lee, this time along her tethered arms, her unsteady legs and her taut stomach. Concentrating hard on not pleading for more direct attention, Jess tried to ignore the growing ache between her legs, and the increasingly obvious presence of Lee’s erection.

Jess’s persistent moans turned to helpless whimpers as Mrs Peters finally broke the tension, ‘You may remove your clothes, Lee.’

The young man moved with uncaring speed and Jess gulped as she saw the neatly circumcised penis that was pointing at her hungrily, slide into the waiting rubber.

Ordered to sit up straight, Jess obeyed as the barman gratefully sank his length into Jess’s slick snatch. Their mutual sighs of relief made Mrs Peters issue a sharp sneering laugh, ‘So young and so desperate.’

Buy Links:

Regrets – http://www.oystersandchocolate.com/Poetry/799/Regrets.aspx

Yes Ma’am-  http://www.erotica-romance-ebooks.com/yes-maam.html?aff_id=3332

The Perfect Submissive-  http://www.erotica-romance-ebooks.com/the-perfect-submissive.html?aff_id=3332

Thanks Kay! As always, you are amazing. So glad you stopped by!

 

 

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Holly Goes Coast To Coast

Most of you know by now about the Where’s Holly contest running through the month of August. (check this link for details) I’ve asked you all to send me your photos of all the cool and interesting places you read your Holly, or even better yet, the ordinary places you read The Initiation of Ms Holly because anyone who has ever enjoyed reading a good book knows that the best thing about a good book is that it has the amazing ability to take us out of the ordinary and transport us into the extraordinary.

For writers, it’s no different. When we’re in the zone, when the Muse is with us, we are transported to extraordinary places in our imaginations, places we can’t wait to put down in words and share with other people.

My experience of writing The Initiation of Ms Holly was just such an experience, an experience that started in the dark in the Eurostar tunnel, and while I wasn’t going anywhere, my imagination was off and running, and a year later, Holly was born.

Starting the 8th of August, Raymond and I are setting out to walk the Wainwright Coast to Coast Path across England. This has been something we’ve dreamed about ever since we started walking seriously. So we’re very excited. It’s not just going to be the two of us though. That’s right. It’ll be a threesome, because Holly is going with us! I’ll be sending back reports as often as I have wi fi along with picture of just where Holly is as we walk the 190 miles across Cumbria and Yorkshire.

The first five days we’ll have lots of company, walking with a group of friends we often walk with in the Lake Disctrict, led by the amazing Brian Spencer and his equally amazing wife, Vron, who have been instrumental in my research for the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy. But the last nine days it’ll be just Raymond and Holly and me hoofing it across England.

The First Update:


 Now that the itinerary is set for B&Bs and the Coast to Coast is really going to happen, I’ve spent evenings pouring over the maps and studying the rout, getting butterflies in my stomach at anyplace I’m not clear on. And with moors and fells and ruins of mines and bogs and villages and farms and long stretches of open space, there are lots of places to be unclear on. Fortunately the C2C is a well-travelled walking trail, so we won’t be running the risk of falling off the edge of the earth, though we might occasionally run off the edge of the map. It’s by far the longest walk we’ve ever attempted on our own.

I’m confident in our navigation skills, and we’ve both trained for it, but we have one 24-mile day that will definitely be pushing our limits. I’m nervous and I’m excited and I’m already there in my mind. I’ve dreamed about doing this for a long time.

And what does any of this have to do with writing? Well, everything actually. I have two novellas and the another novel I have to walk. I’m just hoping 190 miles will be enough. And Holly, well she’s already a world traveller, so I expect her to acquit herself very well.

Today we drive to Cumbria.

Tomorrow…WE WALK!

 

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A Cast From the Past with Bianca Sommerland

I’m very excited to welcome the amazing Bianca Sommerland, who will be telling us about her ‘cast from the past’ in the Story Behind the Story of  Deadly Captive. Welcome, Bianca!

KD Grace is one of the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in my journey as a published author, but she’s the first to ask me a question that really stopped me short. She asked me whether there were personal experiences that inspired part, if not all of my novels. My automatic thought was no, of course not. I’ve been inspired by dreams, by pictures, by music…but my own life? Which of my novels could I actually say was inspired by my own life? Rosemary Entwined, about the descendant of a succubus and her nest of seven men? Deadly Captive, with the woman who’s lost her past and has no one but her fellow prisoner, Joe, to count on while she tries to survive degradation and torture?

Yeah, my life’s just not that interesting.

But when I thought about the question, I took another look at my stories and found certain personalities sticking out, certain qualities that reminded me of people I’ve known. Family, friends, lovers. The characters are all familiar to me because they are the best and worst of real people. Joe, for example, is the grown up version of a boy I had a crush on in high school. He could be so mean, but then he’d suddenly show a bit of kindness and that’s all I would see. My imagination painted him as a tough hero who would be tender with the woman he loved. Of course, in reality he was a player and a jerk and I’m kinda happy he saw me as one of the guys (even though I wished otherwise at the time). Years later, my muse took all I dreamed the boy could be and paired him up with one of my strongest heroines.

I believe many authors find the casts for their stories from their pasts. Only, some of the best memories aren’t Polaroids, or even portraits. They’re like abstract paintings, evoking only emotions. Kinda cool, because you can interpret them however you’d like 😉

And yes, my interpretations are a little twisted.

Deadly Captive Blurb:
Lydia awakes, bound and blind, to the whispered urgings of a man who has his hands on her. His words confuse her at first, but she soon understands they are both in the middle of a performance that will determine whether she remains in captivity or dies. The crowd must be entertained, and her cellmate makes sure it is.

Forced submission is not the only horror Lydia endures. She has no memories of life before her imprisonment, and Joe, her cellmate, is her only comfort as the powerful creatures that hold them captive torture and debase her. Together, she and Joe cling to the will to survive long enough to break free and seek revenge. Their desire to sustain one another triumphs over their wardens’ efforts to destroy them. There is no pain, no suffering, that can tear them apart.

Beyond their cell, their love is tested. Can they hold strong in the face of the challenge of the new powers they have gained along with their freedom?

Excerpt from Deadly Captive:

My eyes teared, but my gaze never wavered. “Right back at you. I didn’t sign up for your games.”

He eased his grip on my hair. “Neither of us signed up for any of this, Lydia. I wanted to make sure I could trust my cell mate.”

“Of all the . . . .” I shook my head. “Please, I need to know. Some kind of morbid curiosity, I guess. Why in the world would I fake memory loss? What purpose would it serve?”

With a shrug, he rested his arm on my shoulder, still loosely holding my hair. “It would be a clever sympathy card.”

Damn it, he’s right. I felt the tension ease from my body, no longer feeling very combative. “How do you know I’m not faking it? If I was, it would be pretty stupid to acknowledge my name.”

“No. Actually, it wouldn’t have proven much. It might have made me suspicious, more than I already was. It would be strange that you’d remember your name, but not your own face. I was hoping your reaction would be revealing.” He closed his eyes and dropped his head. “It was, but not in the way I’d hoped. The loss is worse than I thought. There wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition.”

Grazing my teeth back and forth along my bottom lip, I glared at his chest. “It could be an act.”

Fingers under my chin, he tilted my head up. “No, Lydia. You couldn’t have faked the fear I saw. You thought it was one of them.”

I jerked away from him and clenched my fists at my sides. “I’m not afraid of them.”

“Yes, you are. You’re not a stupid woman, Lydia.”

The way he said my name sent a chill down my spine. I dug my nails into my palms.

“Stop.”

He frowned. “Stop what?”

“Saying my name like that.”

With a wicked smile, he hooked his thumbs in the pockets of his jeans and rocked on his heels. “Lydia.” I swung my fist at his face. He knocked it aside and caught my wrist when I tried again.

“Lydia.” He backed me into the table. My hip knocked the empty plate and it clattered on the floor. Sitting me on the edge of the table, he trapped my face between his hands. My breath caught, and I pressed my eyes shut, expecting him to slam his mouth on mine. It could hurt; my lips were still sore.

His tongue gently traced the crease of my lips. He combed his fingers into my hair and tugged until I tipped my head back. Then, he kissed me so tenderly I opened my eyes and stared at him.

He kissed the tip of my nose. “Why do you look so surprised?”

Why? I licked my bottom lip and tasted the saltiness of his sweat. Delicious. My eyes dropped to the moisture beaded on his chest. I leaned forward. He tightened his grip.

“Well?”

I groaned. “I thought you’d be rough.”

“You keep looking at me like that, and I will be.”

Deadly Captive Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/269
Blog: http://imnoangelauthorsblog.wordpress.com/

Thanks for being my guest on The Story Behind the Story, Bianca, and thanks for the hot excerpt from Deadly Captive. Sounds like a must read to me.

 

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Mitzi Szereto Uncovers Hidden Lust

I’m very excited to have the fabulous Mitzi Szereto as my guest on A Hopeful Romantic.  I met Mitzi five years ago at one of her erotic writing courses on the Isle of Wight. That course and Mitzi’s enthusiasm for good erotica inspired me to put my work out there, so I feel especially honoured to talk with her about all things erotic, and especially her new novel, Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts.

KD: Even when I first met you, five years ago, you were all about improving the quality and respectability of erotica, bringing it down from the top shelf, as it were. Do you think quality has improved? In what ways? And if so, why do you think that is?

Mitzi: A lot of publishers have been jumping on the bandwagon, starting up erotic imprints, particularly in the area of romance, so this has definitely pushed the genre more into the mainstream. Having said that, although erotica per se has mostly come off the top shelf, a lot of it is still rather top shelf in spirit and still being geared toward the one-handed reader. It’s always been my view that this is very limiting to writers as well as to readers. When you are writing only in this way, you aren’t going to have a lot of substance in the work. The writing should engage a reader on many levels, not just one. You can write something erotic, yet still offer a satisfying and fully developed reading experience. The way I see it, if you’re going to the trouble to write, then write something that has some value to it, not some fluffy piece of nonsense that the reader won’t remember five seconds after they’ve finished reading it.

KD: You say that you don’t write ero­tica just for women, but that you write for both sexes. Is erotica becoming less gender-specific? Would you consciously write differently if you were writing erotica just for women, or just for men?

Mitzi: I don’t ever want to be labelled as writing for a single gender. I hate labels of any sort, as most people know. To answer your question, erotica is becoming more gender specific, not less. The women’s erotica market is and has been getting a big push from publishers, especially with the whole romance thing happening now. I guess they figure men aren’t interested in romance. As for my changing how I write, be it consciously or unconsciously, I very much doubt it would be any different. Besides, I don’t write in the same way all the time anyway. If I did, I’d bore myself, and probably my readers!

KD:  As erotica becomes more mainstream, have you noticed any major changes?

Mitzi: It’s sort of twofold really. At one point I thought we were finally moving toward a more literary direction, but that seems to have reversed itself. Having said that, the genre itself is, as you say, definitely going more mainstream. This is being helped by the fact that, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of romance publishers have started up erotic romance imprints. But the literary element seems to have become lost in the fray. The trend in a lot of erotica seems to be fluff rather than substance. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with light reading, but if it gets any lighter these books will float away on the slightest breeze.

KD: In our correspondence leading to this interview you said what you really wanted to emphasise is that your new novel Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is not just some “sexed-up Austen.” That’s been done. You said the book is really a historical parody with lots of sex, and probably has more in common with the Zombies book. How could I not be totally intrigued by that statement? Tell us more.

Mitzi:  Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory really. I took the characters in all sorts of random and crazy directions, and created all manner of scenarios for them. There’s a lot of humour in the book, much as there is in the Zombies versions. I doubt you’ll find much humour in a straightforward sexed-up version of P&P or one of the romance versions. What I loved about the Zombies books is that they really take the Mick and have fun with the story, and that’s what I wanted to do – I wanted to go way over the top. But rather than do so with zombies, I’ve done it with sex. Jane Austen was a satirist, and I wanted to take her sense of satire and run with it. My naysayers (none of whom appear to have actually read my book) want to dismiss Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts as just some porn version of the Austen classic. Well, I dispute this criticism and find it laughable. For one thing, these people have never read any real porn, because if they had, they’d know my book is definitely not porn. Secondly, there are just so many other things going on that you get a far broader reading experience. Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is pure entertainment: it’s outrageous. it’s funny, it’s quirky, and it’s got a lot of sex in it. What more can I say? I had a blast writing it, and I hope readers will have a blast reading it!

KD: Why Pride and Prejudice? What inspired you to choose that story over others?

Mitzi: It’s Jane Austen’s most popular novel, and the one that just about everyone is familiar with, even if they’ve never read it. There have been many film adaptations made of it, and the recent mashups featuring zombies have really put the book back on the map. It seemed like the most obvious way to go. Taking the familiar and reworking it into something new is good fun for a writer.

KD: Archetypal stories, fairy tales and myths lend themselves to sexy retellings, and you’ve definitely proved that in your book, In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales. Why do you think that is? Why do we want to sex up fairy tales and myths, and indeed, Jane Austen?

Mitzi: Well, as I just said, it’s great fun for a writer to take a work that everyone knows and create something new with it. That’s what I did with the fairy tales. And Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is a continuation of this. Whether it’s adding a sexual element or any other kind of element – I don’t think it really matters. Many authors have taken pre-existing works and made something new out of them. However, if you want to focus specifically on the sexual element, then we should bear in mind that many fairy tales were morality tales used as a means to warn young girls away from sex. “Little Red Riding Hood” is the most obvious example. Sex was often a back story, albeit discreetly hidden. Same too, for myths (although the sexual element was less hidden). So writers who retell these pre-existing tales by incorporating sex into them are not necessarily corrupting them at all. I found that out when I researched and wrote the introductions for the tales I selected for In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed. You’d be surprised what was in the originals, not to mention just how far back these “originals” go. As for Jane Austen, hey, why not?

KD:  You discussed in an interview the fact that erotica is much more highly regulated than other genres. You went on to say that while there are warnings at the beginnings of erotic novels that readers should practice safe sex, no one would think of putting warnings inside an Ed McBain novel telling readers they shouldn’t murder anyone. Could you discuss how you see the relationship between the stringent regulation of erotica and its ‘dumbing down?’

Mitzi: I’ve only seen this kind of dumbing down from UK publishers. Not sure if any US ones do it as well (not to my knowledge anyway). The now-defunct Black Lace had a “practice safe sex” disclaimer in all their books, as have other UK imprints. It’s insulting to the reader, not to mention ridiculous and unnecessary. The problem lies in this whole ghetto-isation of “erotica,” in that it’s made to seem as if it somehow lies outside of literature, the genre from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. I suppose the problem also lies in the assumption that anything labelled “erotica” or “erotic fiction” is nothing but a sex aid and/or a masturbatory tool. (Okay, so perhaps some of it is, but some of it actually has some substance and intelligence to it, and is not aimed at one-handed readers.) Considering the explicitness of the sex scenes in a lot of so-called mainstream fiction, this is literary hypocrisy, indeed. You can get away with a slew of things in mainstream fiction, but any kind of suspect content is unlikely to see the light of day in anything labelled “erotica.” I guess readers of erotica are considered so brainless that they’re going to go out and commit all sorts of terrible sexual deeds or spread terrible sexual diseases because they read an “erotica” book. If that’s the case, then we need to label every book being published with a disclaimer, ie violence, crime, humour, romance, etc. I mean, too much romance reading might not be good for you and could cause you to go out and fall in love. And who knows where that might lead? Perhaps stalking, and then murder.

KD: From a literary point of view, and as a teacher of writing courses, in your opinion, how much does a well-written sex scene enhance a story? Does it enhance a story? If so, in what ways?

Mitzi: It enhances a story if it’s a necessary part of the story or an integral scene; it’s a way of bringing the human experience home to the reader. However, if there’s no rhyme or reason to have a sex scene, then there probably shouldn’t be one. The scene should be seamless with the other writing; it should not stick out or be out of place. And yes, it should be well written and written in the same style as the rest of the work. I mean, if you’re writing something highly literary, then for god’s sake, don’t write a sex scene that reads like cheap porn. Unfortunately, a lot of writers just can’t seem to manage this, which is why the Guardian has the Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

KD: Marketing and PR now play as much a part in my writing career as writing. I’m sure most of us struggling to get as much attention for our babies as possible would probably say that. As one of the goddesses of social media with Mitzi TV and with a huge online presence I’m sure we’d all love to hear any advice you have.

Mitzi: Well, be prepared to give up your life and put in a lot of hours. There are no shortcuts. Oh, you can always hire some publicity person to do the job (if you can afford it), but I bet you anything they aren’t going to put in all the effort and hard work that you would put in. After all, who cares more about your work than you do? Paying someone good money doesn’t mean you’ll get great results. You need to really work at this. And it’s not an overnight thing. You have to develop your following as well as develop your contacts – and keep at it every day. You need to live on the Internet 24/7. If you’re the sort of person who always needs to have others around or has to be out and about a lot, then you’d probably better forget it. And if you have a “day job,” your time will be even more limited. So you have to decide to spend those hours you’re not spending working for someone else working for you.

KD: With marketing and PR playing such a major role in your life, along with teaching, lecturing and doing readings, the obvious question becomes, when do you find time to write? Any suggestions for the rest of us on making the best of our writing time?

Mitzi: That’s the hard part, you got that right. It is quite difficult, but if I’m working to a deadline, I somehow manage to find the time. Unfortunately, when you’ve got several viable ideas that you’re trying to develop, it becomes quite difficult. I doubt I can offer much advice to others who are being pulled in a dozen different directions. I keep saying I need to clone myself. I think that’s the only option, at this point.

KD: What inspires you?

Mitzi: That’s hard to say. If you’re talking about my writing, there is no single thing that inspires me. My inspiration comes randomly and there’s no pattern to it.

KD:  What has been your most exciting moment in the history of Mitzi Szereto?

Mitzi: I honestly don’t know. Maybe it hasn’t happened yet.

KD: As one transplant from the US to another, do you think the general view of erotica is different in the UK than the US? If so how?

Mitzi: I think it is, yes. There still seems to be this wink wink, nudge nudge thing going on in the UK. I guess it’s because the majority of erotica published in the UK has traditionally been of the top-shelf mass-market variety, with those really over the top rude covers. They aren’t even trying to attract a more mainstream audience, ergo there’s more of a perception that anything labelled “erotica” is pretty much going to be porn. The US mentality is slightly different, which is probably due to the fact that many US publishers package their books with more mainstream appeal. And now with all the romance imprints jumping into the market (again, mostly US publishers), it’s moving more so away from that top-shelf mentality.

KD:After Pride and Prejudice, Hidden Lusts, What next?

Mitzi: I have another book coming out practically on the heels of PPHL — Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance. It’s an anthology inspired by the Gothic literary tradition. It features short stories from a number of authors, myself included. Think paranormal with a ton of atmosphere, sensuality and a bit of romance to add additional flavour. I also have several other projects in various stages of development. Other than that, I keep my blog going (Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog), along with my Web TV channel Mitzi TV, which covers the quirky side of London. I still do appearances at literature festivals, with the next one being at Warwick Words in October, where I’ll be teaching one of my erotic writing workshops.

Links:

Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts website: http://mitziszereto.com/prideandprejudicehiddenlusts/

Excerpt:http://mitziszereto.com/prideandprejudicehiddenlusts/excerpt/

Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog: http://mitziszereto.com/blog

Mitzi TV: http://mitziszereto.com/tv

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mitzi-Szereto/24537936152

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mitziszereto

Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance: http://mitziszereto.com/redvelvetandabsinthe/

 

Thank you, Mitzi! It was fantastic to have you as my guest on A Hopeful Romantic. Best of luck with Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts and with Red Velvet and Absinthe.

 

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Regulating Our Fantasies

The topic of safe sex in erotic fiction comes up all the time amongst writers and readers. I recently had a run-in with someone who was disturbed by the fact that the characters in my novels, and most of my short stories, don’t wear condoms. It’s true. They don’t. They don’t because they live in the fictional world I’ve created, an erotic world designed to play out my fantasies and, I hope, those of other people as well. The truth is that never once have I had an erotic fantasy that involved the use of a condom. I have written a couple of stories in which condoms are used, but in those stories, I didn’t use condoms to make a statement nor to assume that my readers needed reminding that in the real world, safe sex is a must. Rather, condoms played a role in the development of the story.

My stories are my fantasies, entirely and completely the product of my imagination. I’m a firm believer that my readers are intelligent and savvy and very aware of the world around them. I also understand that some people prefer their fiction and their fantasies more realistic. Fair enough. Fortunately for them, there are writers who prefer to write that way. I don’t happen to be one of them.

It’s ironic that the stringent rules and regulations that apply to erotic fiction do not apply to other kinds of fiction. I understand that some of those guidelines in erotica have to do with the publisher knowing the target audience. But In other types of fiction, subjects are covered all the time that are completely forbidden in most standard erotic guidelines for submission, and yet no one expects that readers of non-erotic fiction should need to be reminded that guns are dangerous and murder and rape are wrong.

I have written stories for which the submission guidelines demanded the use of condoms in all scenes involving penetrative sex. I gritted my teeth and wrote what the guidelines dictated. But it seems to me that the message such guidelines send is two-fold. First of all that because erotica is about sex, it’s automatically more dangerous than other types of fiction, and secondly that readers of erotica are just not as smart as readers of other types of fiction and they must have extra instruction and guidance to equip them for the reading of such dangerous material.

Do we really believe that people are more ignorant where erotic literature is concerned, and more likely to cause themselves and others harm than they are if they read any other kind of literature? Do we really believe that if the character in a story has a gang bang without the use of condoms that the reader will automatically think this must be what sex is all about, and go out and try it for her or himself?

Erotica is, by its very nature, the place where the reader can experience for him or herself what would never be considered safe in the real world, what, given the opportunity to do in the real world, given the opportunity to participate in, her or his response would be an unequivocal ‘No thanks.’ Is it any different than a thriller or a horror story, or an adventure novel?

The whole point of a novel is to live vicariously a life that one wouldn’t have the opportunity, and more than likely wouldn’t even want to live, if one did have the opportunity. Commercial fiction is all about vicarious thrills and vicarious experiences from the safety of our own home. That’s why reading is so much fun.

I believe readers should be given credit for discernment, credit for being as savvy about the differences between erotic fiction and reality as they are about the differences between other kinds of fiction and reality. I’m not saying that fiction can’t be didactic. And indeed part of the beauty of fiction is that it offers the inadvertent opportunity to learn something new. What I am saying is that I tell stories. I tell stories for fun in a world that, I think, could use more fun. If there are lessons taught, they come about inadvertently while I’m having fun telling a story. But I don’t feel a deep burning need to tell my readers to do what they already know to do, what they’ve been aware of every moment of their lives from the time their old enough to understand that the world is a dangerous place. And sometimes the world adults must live and function in can be a boring place as well. If they’re like me, and I assume at least some of them are, that dangerous world, that boring world, is a very large part of the reason they enjoy fiction so much.

And they enjoy it while they continue to stop for red lights and level crossings, while they continue to treat their fellow person with respect, and while they continue to practice safe sex, all without having to be reminded that these things are for their own good.

 

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