The newest issue of Skin Two magazine has a femsub focus and features a three page interview with me alongside an exclusive extract from my most recent novel, Thrill Seeker.
If you don’t know Skin Two, where on earth have you been for the last few decades?
Skin Two is the fetish magazine for smart, stylish kinksters, and I’m delighted and honoured to appear in its pages. Editor, Tim Woodward, asked some super, thought-provoking questions, and he had some great things to say about Thrill Seeker.
Credit, too, to my very wonderful photographer, Stan Keetley.
There’s a glorious review of Thrill Seeker in Skin Two’s associated online shop:
“Firstly, the BDSM sex is compelling – and written with real insight into how the thinking submissive’s mind works. Secondly, it’s a proper novel. It’s literary, it’s believable and it’s full of emotional twists and turns”
Read the whole review here.
You can buy Thrill Seeker at KFS Media’s online store, along with a whole range of sexy, bookish goodies, including issues of Skin Two, current and past.
The latest issue of Skin Two is available in print form for £10 (and as you might expect from a fetish mag, the paper is seriously lovely to touch – and lick and roll around on and, and… ) or as a digital download for £2.95.
Issue 66 also includes fiction from Tiffany Reisz so more bang for your buck!
Skin Two is also lots more than a magazine! Check out what else they get up to here.
My second book, Asking for Trouble, is currently a snip at 99p on Kindle UK.
It was first published in 1999, back when you could smoke in pubs and mobile-phone ownership was rare. It’s dark and filthy, and outsells all my other books put together. It was reprinted twice within its first six months of issue. No idea how that happened. I did zero promotion for it because there was no social media at the time. I had dial-up internet and it was expensive, the same cost as phone calls. I’d go online for an hour on Saturdays (cheap rate) and check how my book was faring on Amazon. It was usually faring pretty well.
Here are some of the comments (good, bad and Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells!) people have made about the book: Word of Mouth.
I don’t know how long this price promo will last. Several other early Black Lace titles are also on offer at 99p. (Warning: Black Lace titles from the 90s are generally far dirtier than the more recent releases from the imprint, including my own!) If you haven’t read Janine Ashbless‘s hot and beautiful short story collection, Cruel Enchantments, I’d suggest you grab it while you can. Black Lace are an imprint of Random House. I’m pretty sure they don’t offer their titles for free so it doesn’t get much better than this.
In other news, I’m currently writing the final scenes for my next novel, Undone, out in September 2014. This book has a strong suspense-thriller element. If you enjoy that aspect of my work, I’d recommend reading it as soon as you get the chance before reviews with spoilers start popping up and spoiling your fun! Pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US Kindle.
What’s that I see fast-approaching in the distance? Oh, it’s a mighty great deadline. Wish me luck!
Time constraints mean I don’t get to post Man Candy Mondays as often as I’d like. However, when I was doing some ‘research’ recently, I stumbled upon this perfect specimen of a fuckbrute and was rendered incapable of doing anything except staring and now, sharing.
Actually, I can do something else. I’ll be in my bunk.
When the opening panel of a conference comprises a writer, a pornographer and a lawyer, you know you’re set for an intelligent, stimulating weekend. And sure enough Eroticon 2014, proved itself to be exactly that.
I arrived in Bristol on Friday and spent the evening at the meet ‘n’ greet, hanging out with a mix of familiar and unfamiliar names and faces. The atmosphere was buzzing. In a neat bonding moment, a bunch of us from various parts of the world offered up our pronunciation of the word, ‘cunt’. Who knew there were so many permutations?
Saturday morning’s opening discussion on censorship was a reminder that as writers and kinsters, we’re working within structures limiting diversity of sexual expression. Zak Jane Keir, Pandora Blake and Myles Jackman all spoke on the topic with eloquence, passion and wit, and emphasized the absurdity of many of the constraints, both legal and otherwise, which shape our sexual culture. As Zak said, ‘If censorship is the answer, it was a fucking stupid question.’
Eroticon 2014 featured many, many wonderful talks, workshops, conversations and massive glasses of Pinot Grigio. Well, mine did! Among my personal highlights were Ashley Lister’s fascinating and fun workshop on popular plot structures; the session on working your website from Ruby Goodnight and DomSigns; Cressida Downing and Barbara Cardy’s Q and A on editing; and the incredibly moving and hot ‘Sacred BDSM’ demo from London Faerie and his partner, Marti. I must confess, I approached this demo with a degree of caution. While I recognise that kink, ritual, ecstasy and pain-play can generate altered states of consciousness, as a pragmatist and atheist, I tend to steer clear of applying concepts such as ‘spiritual’and ‘sacred’ to experiences I regard as having a physiological and psychological basis. However, when London Faerie took to the stage, promised not to get too Tantric, and reassured us that as a couple, they also like it rough, I was won over. A short while later, I was gripped.
I’ve seen a fair few BDSM demos and workshops in my time but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. A brief ceremonial collaring was followed by a head-shaving (she did him); some flogging and spanking; beautiful singing; frisky business with a Hitachi wand; and oh my word, throughout there was some seriously hot kissing action. I was particularly struck by the shaving. Marti’s use of foam and razor on the sides of her partner’s Mohican was a lovely counterbalance to his later application of pain to her body; and though it was presented as an example of domestic servitude, I primarily saw the shaving as a sign of his willingness to trust and to be made vulnerable by allowing her to run a sharp implement over his scalp in a task that affects his physical appearance, even if only slightly. The description I want to use for the whole demo is the somewhat oxymoronic ‘solidly tender’. It was a wonderful illustration of mutuality within power exchange, and the intense, emotional ‘connectedness’ BDSM can both engender and sustain. I wish my clone could have attended the earlier session on Sex and Spirituality from K D Grace and Victoria Blisse. It sounds as if discomfort with the term ‘spirituality’ was a topic the panel and audience explored. Goddamn lazy-arsed clone!
On Sunday morning, in the post-cocktail-party, hangover slot, I ran a two hour workshop on flash fiction. I loved doing this, and my attendees were fantastically engaged, smart and enthusiastic, and no one seemed particularly the worse for wear. One of the benefits of workshopping the very short form is the ability to use whole examples in class. Beforehand, I’d asked Janine Ashbless and Molly Moore if they’d be kind enough to read pieces of theirs which I adore. Molly read Autumn, Leaves, her entry in one of Alison Tyler’s Smut Marathon rounds, while Janine read Picture Perfect from the Eroticon 2012 anthology. Much gratitude to these amazing women for sharing their work, and to my attendees for offering such insightful, considered observations on the two stories.
In the second half of the workshop, we played Flash Fuck Bingo (I corrupted a national treasure!) then did a couple of practical, idea-generating exercises based around the names of nail polish colours and posh paints from Farrow and Ball (don’t tell them!). Afterwards, a number of people approached me to say they now had story ideas they were eager to work on – and to my mind, that makes the workshop a success!
The conference concluded late on Sunday afternoon with high tea and an hour or so of entertaining and sexy erotica readings, hosted by the delightful duo, Harper Eliot and Gryphon, who somehow manage to be serene and silly all at the same time. I like their style! I was last on the bill, and closed the session by reading Mad Ghosts of Lust, one of my short shorts in Alison Tyler’s anthology, Sudden Sex. Then, happy and exhausted, a bunch of us decamped to the nearest pub for more wine. We managed to deplete the pub of its Pinot supplies in less than two hours but I think that was their fault rather than ours. Honest!
This year’s conference had a clear, strong, writing focus, and offered a super mix of sessions while maintaining thematic cohesion. As ever, when dirty wordsmiths get together, the atmosphere was warm, friendly, fun, liberating and supportive. Inevitably I didn’t get chance to meet and chat to all the people I wanted to, nor did I see as much as Bristol as I’d hoped. But that’s primarily because I was swept up in the content of Eroticon, and the weekend whizzed by.
I’m left in awe of the organiser, Ruby Kiddell, who not only puts these events together but manages to remain elegant, charming and calm throughout. Eroticon will be back in the UK in 2016, and across the pond in Atlanta in 2015. If you get the chance to attend, GO!
I’ve been tagged by Alison Tyler in the writing process meme that’s been doing the rounds. Since it’s Monday, I thought I’d combine with some gorgeously erotic man candy hands. (It’s this: http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/collection/artwork/14239)
1) What am I working on?
Mainly my fifth Black Lace novel, Undone, due to be published September 2014. I’m around the 2/3 mark, which is usually the point I start to despair because the project seems impossible and I fear I’ll never be able to draw all the disparate threads together and fill in the various plot holes I’ve jumped over. But I’m actually feeling quite confident, shortage of time aside, so either I’m getting this novel-writing thang sussed or the despair will hit in a couple of weeks! I’m also working on some kinky short short stories for Alison Tyler’s recent call for submissions (deadline March 1st, folks!). And thirdly, I’m developing my workshop on flash fic which I’ll be delivering at Eroticon 2014 in Bristol in March. Very excited about that!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, there’s a dead body within the first few pages of Undone, not exactly standard fare in erotica. I enjoy crossing the erotica genre with other genres – suspense and psychological thrillers, spooky stories and the gothic. The trajectory of a romance narrative alone isn’t one I find exciting enough to want to write. And I’ve learned I’m quite a visual writer; my brain likes to work in images.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I like exploring the hidden. I like going below the surface to explore dreams, secrets and fears, and the erotic is very much part of that. There’s also a crusading aspect for me: as women, we are massively short-changed when it comes to the availability of erotic material for us; plus female sexuality and desire aren’t given enough cultural air space. I want to contribute to improving the situation.
4) How does your writing process work?
For novels, I plot but not to the nth degree. As I write, ideas build and original plans are jettisoned in favour of better ones. I’m slow. I think of my process as comparable to backstitch. I always go over the previous day’s writing and edit that before I crack on with the next section. Ideally, I work for hours at a time for long-length fic. I’m a mono-tasker, and at my best when I can immerse myself in a single project. These days, life rarely allows me to do that so I combine occasional long sessions with short bursts. When I’m focused on a novel, I struggle to write short stories although I find writing flash fun and useful. It diverts without taking over my imagination, and it’s satisfying to be able to complete a piece when the end is a long way ahead on a novel.
I write chronologically but my WIPS are usually peppered with the phrase [stg sgt], meaning ‘something, something’. They mark points where I need to smooth over a change of scene or of tone, or where something needs to be added to slow down the pacing.
I’m passing the baton on to Janine Ashbless and Sallyanne Rogers who’ll be answering the Qs next Monday. I was meant to find a third victim but failed due to shameful lack of effort! Plus, I think most people have done this meme by now. If you haven’t and want to, here, catch the baton!
Janine Ashbless writes erotic fantasy and paranormal stories and novels. She aims to transport you to other lands and times, places where life hangs by a thread and that stranger might be about to bring you terror or ecstasy or both.
Sallyanne Rogers is the slightly more professional and hopefully better-behaved alter ego of a veteran filth-peddler. She has written articles for magazines such as Forum and For Women in the past but now concentrates on fiction. Her novella Midwinter Heat was published by Xcite and she is currently finishing the sequel, which is about sex and Morris dancing.
Update! I pounced on Charlie Powell so got my third victim!
Charlie Powell is currently supposed to be editing her first erotic novel, but instead spends most of her time blogging at Sex Blog of Sorts. She prefers to confine all of her actual writing to the month of November.
Check out these three writers on Monday 24th Feb!