Isn’t that a beautiful poster?
The world of erotica is gearing itself up for Eroticon 2013 in London next weekend. I’m running a writing workshop on the Saturday morning. My blurb says:
“Kristina Lloyd explores how to use imagery, setting and take risks with language to enrich your fiction and add layers of meaning. We’ll examine how the pleasure found in words used both within and outside a ‘sex scene’ can enhance the overall eroticism of a piece. There will be short writing exercises aimed at sparking new ways of thinking.”
I’m also reading on the Saturday evening alongside some fabulous writers (see beautiful poster!). There’s a PDF of the 9 – 5pm schedule and tix are still available! There are heaps of sessions I’m keen to attend. I’m also looking forward to catching up with authors I get to see once in a blue moon, meeting new people and just generally hanging out with creative, sex-positive folk.
In other news, I’m this week’s author on the Filthy Friday series from Sh!. I’ve offered up a key excerpt from one of my latest stories, The Bondage Pig, published in Alison Tyler‘s Big Book of Bondage. This story has been getting some great comments. Kiki DeLovely gave the piece a wonderful review (and reckoned mine was the dirtiest story in the anthology), and Sharon Wachsler (who’s giving away two copies of the anthology) described The Bondage Pig as “a masterpiece [...] suspenseful, creepy, dirty, and surprisingly sweet.”
It’s quite an unusual story. Hop on over to the Sh! blog and take a ride on my pig!
Alison Tyler’s Big Book of Bondage was released earlier this year, and AT asked authors in the anthology to review each other, in a sort of literary equivalent of a mass orgy. Kiki DeLovely did me a couple of weeks ago with her fabulous review of The Bondage Pig. Now I’m taking my turn and doing Derek McDaniel. I’ve been thinking about writing technique lately, more so than I usually do because I’ve had a couple of teaching gigs, so my review is possibly on the nerdy side!
When I dip into a new anthology, I tend to go straight to the stories penned by my favourite authors, knowing I can trust them to deliver, and eager to see where their wonderfully warped imaginations have led them this time.
Derek McDaniel is a new name to me. His story, Eye Contact, caught my, erm, eye with its snappy opening and use of second person narrative, a story-telling device that usually has me wincing. Most editors won’t touch fiction written in the second person (although I notice AT has a call out for exactly that but then Alison’s always been a little crazy). It’s a tricky approach to get right but seems to appeal to eroticists, perhaps because creating a fictional realm of “you” and “I” or “we” (but not so much “he/she/they”) can feel intimate to the writer.
As a reader, however, I often feel distanced from such scenes with the narrator (I) and narratee (you) failing to emerge from the text as characters or people. The action floats alone. We seldom get to see who is doing what and where they are. Worse, desire often disappears. There’s no one to own the wanting, the ache. The device can create passivity, the narrator using the “you” as a puppet to express their own lust. “You” is doing what the recipient of the action implicitly wants them to do (“Your tongue dives between my thighs” etc) without showing us the driving lunacy of their own erotic need. On top of all that, the technique seems to encourage a langorous, pseudo-poetic writing style that leaves me feeling tired rather than turned on.
From line one of Eye Contact, McDaniel makes it clear he’s not going to fall into any of those traps: “When you give yourself to me, the first thing you’ll do is suck my cock, and you’ll do it exactly the way I taught you.” Woah, this guy’s bossy! The story depicts a BJ between a couple sharing a strong D/S dynamic. They’ve had webcam sex aplenty but this is their first in-the-flesh encounter. The piece is low on plot but high on desire (and drool). The woman on her knees is lavishly described, her appearance a result of her dom’s insistence that she tan, grow impractically long fingernails, wear trashy clothes and present herself as “some dumb bimbo slut”.
McDaniel keeps a tight focus on the sex while skillfully weaving in the couple’s backstory and dropping hints about their character. We know the woman isn’t dumb; she’s initially loath to dress to please but complies because she evidently wants this hook up as much as he does. And she’s not the only one paying attention to sartorial detail. He tells us, “I’m wearing a suit because I do that sort of thing. And this is our first date, right?”
Those two lines neatly portray something about the guy or, at least, the guy in the sexual role he’s adopting here. He’s breezily confident, a little arrogant; too cool to suggest he’s put any effort into his clothes yet we get the sense he cares how he looks. (His trousers are “pricey”.) He’s witty and ironic; it’s their first “real-life” encounter but this is no conventional first date.
Eye Contact is a super, sexy piece. The choice of second person works in part, no doubt, because there’s a reason for employing it; this isn’t about arbitrary stylistics. The story opening reads as a series of instructions he gives her when anticipating how things will be when they meet. When they get together, the same narrative POV is used, creating continuity, immediacy, and reminding us of how their relationship began. We feel as if we’re watching in on them while gaining an insight into his desire to dominate. The BJ is rough, cruel and messy, and the narrator’s relish for nasty detail – “You smear tears and mascara everywhere, even into your hair; sticky precum and spit form strings between your chin and my cockhead” – makes for a deliciously hot, dirty read.
I’m always pleased to see men writing as men in a genre where female writers predominate (and I grouch when I see male writers creating false identities and masquerading as women because, dude, we really don’t need your help in creating “authentic” representations of female sexuality, thanks all the same!).
I’m very much looking forward to more from Derek McDaniel.
January, clearly, is my month of pig. I have couple of new stories published: Cutting Out Hearts in Best Erotic Romance (ed Kristina Wright), and The Bondage Pig in The Big Book of Bondage (ed Alison Tyler). The latter story features a lot of pig and recently received a seriously fab review from Kiki DeLovely. More on that porcine piece next month. (TBBoB is available for Kindle now but gets its paperback release in the UK on Valentine’s Day; I do think there ought to be more pigs among the hearts and flowers.)
Meanwhile, Cutting Out Hearts tells of Susanna, a married woman who goes home with her local butcher after bumping into him one evening. I’ve only just spotted the pig reference when choosing an excerpt! I swear I’m not obsessed. Here’s the excerpt:
From Cutting Out Hearts
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves.
His kitchen was magnificent, the sort that might feature in one of Ness’s magazines: granite worktops, halogen spotlights, acres of space and a double-drainer sink. A triple row of knives and cleavers glinted on one wall, and at the room’s center was a large pine table with curvy legs, its surface scored with marks. Likes to socialize, I thought. Well, that’s probably good.
He selected a bottle from a wine rack, his hands gripping its neck. I hovered, not knowing what to do. When he took two glasses from an overhead cupboard, I joined him, spreading my fingers over the base of my glass as he opened the wine like a waiter, regular corkscrew and a muscular withdrawal.
The cork gave a dull pop, a starting gun for seduction.
I’m doing this, I thought as Will poured. I’m flirting with intent. Oh, sweet whoever’s up there, strike me down with a pitchfork.
“Chin chin,” he said as we clinked glasses.
I drank, not knowing what to say. I was about to admire his kitchen when he said, “You often look sad. You know that?”
My heart dropped. “Do I? I don’t mean to.”
“You mean to hide it?”
“Guess I didn’t know I looked sad.” I shrugged. “Maybe that’s just how my face is.”
He walked away to put on a CD. Sound system in the kitchen, the heart of his home. I stayed leaning by the granite counter because I hadn’t been invited to sit down. When he returned, he said, “You don’t look sad now.”
“You look terrified.”
I laughed. “I am.”
I shook my head. I felt as if a pill were stuck in my throat. I swallowed. “Of me. Of … of what I might want.”
He looked at me for a long time, trying to read my face. Then he drew a deep breath and leaned at an angle, elbow on the work surface, making his body softer, his height lower than mine, unthreatening. “Have you ever been tied up?” he asked.
Hail Mary, mother of Jesus! Have I what? The room whirled, streaks of halogen whizzing past blurred granite, flying knives, swooping saucepans, and a pine table on its hind legs, dancing pirouettes among the shifting white lights. My knee bones did a runner and between my thighs, I melted like butter on a skillet.
“I …” I began.
Did I accidentally drink all his wine? Was this me? Why was I shaking?
“I … no.” I pictured a joint of ham trussed up with string, its pig-pale skin bulging against the bonds. “No, no.”
He smiled kindly. “I would never do anything you didn’t want me to.”
Never? Never forever?
I shook my head, fighting a rising panic.
Will stood, walked into the adjoining room then out through a door leading deeper into the house. Was he going to his bedroom? Was he expecting me to follow? Well, I wouldn’t. I didn’t think my legs would carry me anyway. Besides, wanting a wrong thing was bad enough; acting on the want could have no justification. Oh, but I thought of many excuses while Will was gone: I don’t love my husband and I doubt he loves me; what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him, like the tree he doesn’t see; how can I know if the grass is greener if I don’t even try the other side?
Will returned, grinning, loops of rope in one hand, jacket off, tie loosened. “Just in case,” he said, and he tossed the coils at my feet. They landed with a clatter.
He stood inches in front of me. The world froze and so did my heart. He must do this all the time, I thought. An expert, and me the lamb to his slaughter. I could see the faint prick of his nipples through his white cotton shirt. Then everything started thundering as his face moved toward mine, or perhaps mine to his. His features grew large then his lips on mine were warm, moist and mobile.
For the first few seconds, I was tense and self-conscious. My mouth wouldn’t yield. I’d forgotten how to kiss. Then instinct took over and I was gone, slipping toward delirium, heat flaring in my face. I closed my eyes and behind my lids, a blue sun blazed in a pitch black night, receding and surging. Between my thighs I grew hotter and wetter, plump tissue parting with treacherous ease. I embraced him, needing the support of his bulk and wanting his weight pressed against me. Running my hands over the slab of his back, I plucked his shirt from his waistband, my fingers seeming to move of their own accord. His body was warm and clammy, muscles shifting below thick skin as he raised his arms to thrust his fingers into my hair. Wisps of hair on his shoulder blades brushed my fingertips. He held my head still, clamped, so I couldn’t escape his kiss. Not that I wanted to. His hands were good there. I fancied if he let go of me, I might dissolve into a puddle of lust.
When he pulled away, he had a new look of seriousness to him, eyes and mouth sagging, lips gleaming.
“Oh god, I shouldn’t,” I whispered.
Ignoring me, he dropped to his knees, hands sliding down my legs.
“I shouldn’t,” I said again, even quieter now.
Slowly, his broad hands rose higher, back up my legs to bunch my skirt around my hips. He kissed the skin on my thighs, making my breath flutter faster, then his mouth was on my underwear, lace shielding my pubis like an ornate gate of silk. No trespassers, please. But inside the fabric I was swollen to fatness, fluids seeping to reveal my need and welcome him in. He traced a single finger over my damp patch, making my groin pulse so insistently I thought my heart had lost its moorings and plummeted to a new place. He nudged into my briefs and I felt him, his flesh on mine, touching me where only my husband was supposed to touch. He skimmed my lips, tickling fronds of hair and when he split me open, I groaned deeply and so did he.
I couldn’t remember when I’d last been so wet.
|Three years’ of assplay stories now in a single volume (paperback and ebook) and on Audible, thanks to Susie Bright||My sixth appearance in the annual Mammoth erotica series, this time with my short story from Bad Ass|
Happy New Year all! See that widget in my sidebar showing the latest release of books I’m in? I can’t keep up with it!
December was a busy month, meaning I neglected to shout about the above two releases, both featuring bottoms! Three years of anal erotica shorts, edited by Alison Tyler, are now available for your listening pleasure via Audible (UK and US). You can read a little about the series here.
In a happy coincidence, one of my stories from our trilogy was selected by Maxim Jakubowski for inclusion in the 11th volume of the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica (Amazon UK and US). Mammoth has only just been released in the States this month so perhaps I’m not that behind on my behinds after all.
My story in Mammoth is from Bad Ass and tells how my moon-widow narrator reconnects with her lunar-loving husband when their marriage starts to falter. It features bondage and anal and is called, inevitably, Dark Side of the Moon.
Want to read the opening and my thoughts on the piece?
More on my appearance in Kristina Wright‘s newly released Best Erotic Romance 2013 later in the month along with details about my story in the soon-to-be released Big Book of Bondage from Alison Tyler.
Isn’t it great when the new year starts with a bang? Long may it continue. Wishing you all a sexy, happy 2013!
ETA: The ever-brilliant Ms Naughty has posted her annual Porn for Women Retrospective. It’s a super piece which includes, among many things, a great overview of the response to 50 Shades and the news, via PhD research, that we are now seeing more naked men in RomComs (post includes empirical evidence aka pics of hot dudes in the buff)!
Excitingly, I’ve been tagged by Janine Ashbless for The Next Big Thing, the meme that’s on everyone’s blogs. I’ve haven’t yet revealed much about my forthcoming novel so here goes:
What is the working title of your book? Thrill Seeker. That’s the actual title. The jacket is designed (I wish I could show you!) and the listing’s on Amazon.
Where did the idea come from for the book? The story focuses on Natalie Lovell, a woman who sets out to enact her kinky kidnap fantasies with a stranger she meets via online dating. I’ve wanted to explore kidnap fantasy for a long time. I complicated that basic story by introducing an ex-lover, Baxter Logan, who Natalie’s struggling to let go of. Hey, we’ve all had them.
What genre does your book fall under? Erotica. It’s being marketed as an erotic thriller rather than erotic romance which makes me happy. I have an uneasy relationship with romance. Having said that, this is one of my more romantic novels. It’s not trad romance though, not by a long shot!
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
|Elisabeth Moss as Natalie Lovell: smart, no-nonsense; likes to flirt with danger||Vincent Cassel as Den Jackson: Natalie’s ruthless, sexy-bastard abductor||Sean Bean (with a Scottish accent) as Baxter Logan: the irresistible bad-boy ex|
Natalie also has a fuckbuddy, Liam. I haven’t held auditions for that role yet. The springs need fixing on my casting couch.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Patty Hearst gets dirty.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Over a year. But the process was very stop-start. I had to keep putting the book aside for weeks and months at a time.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? In terms of story, I don’t know. I haven’t read any other kinky kidnap books (I was afraid). In terms of ‘feel’, it’s close to my second novel, Asking for Trouble, but less hardcore.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? Me! I inspired it. Also, Hastings, an historic, faded seaside town about 30 miles from my home, played a key role. Thrill Seeker is set in a fictional town, Saltbourne, based on Hastings.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Like a lot of my work, the book has a gothic flavour, albeit contemporary. Natalie is snatched and imprisoned in a derelict theatre. Abandoned buildings fascinate me and a dilapidated theatre gave me a wonderfully rich, eerie setting. I took a lot of inspiration from Hulme’s Hippodrome.
And I’m passing the meme on to three other writers: fellow Black Lace author, Portia Da Sunday-Times-Bestselling Costa; friend and legendary trollop, Alison Tyler; and indefatigable anthology-editor (among other things), Kristina Wright.
Can’t wait to hear what they’re all up to! No good, I’m sure.