Kristina Lloyd

Erotic Fiction

The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 13

mammoth erotica 13It’s that time of year again when the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica is upon us. And once again, I’m honoured to have a story selected for inclusion.

One of the things I love about Mammoth, particularly since Fifty Shades overtook the western world, is editor, Maxim Jakubowski‘s introductions. It’s no secret that Maxim has long been a champion of well-written erotica and his forewords generally contain a reminder that the genre is far more diverse, interesting and literary than the market dominance of identikit, fuck-a-billionaire books would have us believe.

This year, Maxim writes: “We have found ourselves briefly in fashion, only to be overcome by the lemmings and a publishing industry that will never learn its lessons properly, but we’re still alive and kicking and, I would venture to say, the general level of quality now to be found in erotica writing is higher than ever.”

My story in Mammoth 13 is “The Bondage Pig”, first published in Alison Tyler‘s Big Book of Bondage. The piece received some great reviews on its first outing, and I’m thrilled my pig gets to ride again!

Relatedly, Maxim, who has a monthly review feature with LoveReading, recently gave my latest novel, Undone, a great write up, saying: “Lloyd has long been one of the more interesting and challenging authors in the sometimes formulaic Black Lace stable” and “No one does damaged characters better than Lloyd and has a clearer open line to the well of cravings and obsessions.”

Check out the whole review on LoveReading.

I have to say, I’m thrilled by the reception Undone has met. I particularly love this review, funny as fuck and complete with animated gifs: HOLY HELL!!!!! This book was bomb-tastic. Who doesn’t love a book with HOT MEN, FILTHY SEX, betrayal, and mystery?!

Indeed! Who doesn’t?

November 30, 2014 Posted by | Kristina Lloyd | , , , | Leave a comment

Sexy psychological thrillers and cake!

How about this for guidelines for authors? Exciting, no?

The erotica-buying public are practically unshockable these days … I’d like [authors] to think about working against convention in terms of women’s erotic fiction. I want to dust off the traces of romantic writing and aim for streamlined, economical prose … Out go masked balls, ripped bodices and pulsing nubbins to make way for more down-to-earth, no-messing stories which take their lead from somewhere other than romance … I would like to see some stories which explore fetishistic practices or where the central female character is driven by desires which are less wholesome than ‘finding a perfect lover’.

The above was sent to Black Lace authors in 1998, sixteen years ago, when the imprint had been going for five years. The guidelines were wonderfully refreshing at the time (and would be now!), and inspired me to write my second novel, Asking for Trouble. The words poured out of me in a way they hadn’t done before and haven’t since. The book has sold more than all of my other books combined, and then some. I was possessed! Asking for Trouble has a sleazy, noirish feel, and a suspense-thriller element to it, something I’ve continued to explore in my writing to this day.

I’d love to write more erotic, psychological thrillers, with a dark sprinkling of the gothic, but that’s a hard sell when the field is dominated by kink-lite erotic romance, and when the pressure to give readers a happy ending is so strong. I’m convinced there’s a market for erotic thrillers, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Undone, out in September in the UK, has something in common with the newly popular and dubiously-named ‘chick noir‘, psychological suspense thrillers aimed at women, exploring how well we know the people we’re close to. I wasn’t aware these books were being hailed as the Next Big Thing in publishing until recently but it’s nice to think that I might, for a change, be almost in step with the world! Obviously, Undone has a lot more depraved, kinky sex than ‘chick noir. I’d call it ‘clit noir’ if that tag wasn’t nearly as awful.

Asking for Trouble, my first foray into erotic-not-romance is fifteen years old next week. So I was deliriously thrilled to see this tweet from bestselling crime author, Elizabeth Haynes.

It’s so rare for someone outside of erotica to comment positively on our books, and getting the thumbs up from someone who’s massively successful in a genre I’m flirting with is wonderfully validating. If you haven’t yet read Elizabeth’s debut, Into the Darkest Corner, go buy it now! Or check out some of the 1,500 reviews on Amazon, and see if you can *not* buy it!

And if you’re in the South East next week, join me on Tuesday for the inaugural Dirty Sexy Words gig in Croydon, South London. It’s on the 15th July, the eve of Asking for Trouble‘s 15th birthday. I’m not yet sure if I’ll be reading from AFT or Undone or something else entirely. But there will be cake!

DSW_slam_posterAlso on the bill are KD Grace, Sallyanne Rogers and Elizabeth Coldwell.

Sallyanne, the brains behind this new venture, recently began blogging about erotica classics and gave Asking for Trouble a fabulous write up at the start of her series. She says:

“A part of the book’s appeal is the brilliant evocation of Brighton in the late 90s; the town is almost a character in its own right. Kristina Lloyd also captures the irrational, compulsive momentum of unwise lust. I think the most memorable thing about it, finally, is that it depicts a woman who is both sexually submissive – massively sexually submissive – but also a rounded character who is, ultimately, in charge of her own life.”

Check out the Facebook page here and the venue here.

It looks like a lot of fun, and it would be fab to see some of you there!

July 11, 2014 Posted by | Kristina Lloyd | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interview in Skin Two magazine

skintwolloyd_2014The 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.

SkinTwoMay2014You 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.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Kristina Lloyd | , , , , | 3 Comments

All This Weather We’ve Been Having…

Twisted Alison TylerThe UK has been hit by some crazy weather of late, especially in the South West where rains and floods have been causing chaos. The storms are set to continue in the weekend ahead, and we’ve had some of the wettest, windiest months for decades.

So it’s with grim timeliness that Alison Tyler’s anthology, Twisted: Bondage with an Edge, has just hit the digital shelves, featuring my UK-based, wet-weather story, Dry Spell.

Do you remember the summer of 2012? It was too wet to feel like summer, and a certain monochrome-jacketed trilogy was taking the bookstores by storm. Dry Spell is set, and was written, during those sodden, sunless months. It tells the story of a woman whose orgasms appear to be making the heavens open.

If this is you, now, could you just stop, please? We need a break!

Twisted was reviewed on Erotica Revealed this month and Dry Spell is described as “fanciful, hot and delightful” by Kathleen Bradean who adds, “I just loved this story”.

Here’s an excerpt:

Dry Spell

I realized my orgasms were controlling the weather when, for the umpteenth time, rain came crashing down as I climaxed. The curtains billowed in the sudden chill, the windows rattled as rain hammered at the glass, and a car alarm honked in the street. Coincidence, you might say, but this had happened too often to be dismissed as a fluke.

On the first occasion, Ray had lifted his head from between my thighs and joked, “How do you do that?” I’d laughed lazily, thinking little of it. Half-drugged with post-orgasmic bliss, I’d watched water sluice down the window in rolling, silvery screens, and pour from the ledge above, shimmering and swaying like a row of dancing icicles. I’d felt as if my peak were being applauded, my wetness honored with a show of wetness from the skies.

But when it continued to happen, we realized we had a problem. Ray and I had been having phenomenal amounts of sex in the months we’d been dating. During that time, the UK had experienced one of the worst summers on record. The Met Office issued regular severe weather warnings and countless towns were flooded. You could barely turn on the TV without seeing images of streets transformed into cheap Venetian canals, half-submerged cars and traffic lights rising from murky waters. Root crops rotted in the fields, train services were canceled, landslips closed roads, and hailstones the size of golf balls were said to have fallen in the Midlands. Everyone was blathering about that book, Fifty Shades, and the media made jokes about how wet the summer was, how gray. The sky was never blue; it was black and blue, storm clouds amassing in the distance whenever the sun tried to shine.

On days when the rain stopped, people glanced skywards with hopeful hearts, picturing barbecues at the weekend, a spot of gardening, maybe a walk across the South Downs or a bike ride. But invariably, the world would darken and another deluge would descend.

Experts blamed the jet stream but I could see it was actually my fault. I was creating chaos with my climaxes.

I’d started to suspect a connection however the notion seemed too crazy to divulge. But when my orgasm prompted a downpour fierce enough to activate a car alarm, Ray gave me a look suggesting he shared my concerns. “OK, that’s enough,” he said. “We need to hold it right there.”

For an awful moment, I thought he was dumping me. Then he explained what he meant, and I wondered if I should dump him.

“No orgasms?” I said. “None at all?”

“None.”

“Not even a small one when no one’s watching?”

“God’s watching,” said Ray.

“God’s got better things to do than that.”

Ray grinned and sat astride me, his cock angling up from his patch of straw-gold hair even though he’d only recently shot his load. I have to say, he wasn’t my usual type. Tall and slender, he resembled Jesus, probably more so than Jesus did, although he had a neater beard and shorter hair. His eyes were deep brown, kind and dopey like a spaniel’s, but he wasn’t kind or dopey in bed. He liked to top but his was a very geeky style of topping involving ropes, cuffs, vibes, new toys and tricks. He enjoyed the rigmarole, the complexities, and he liked to plot, making me feel I was a subject in a series of deeply unethical, scientific experiments. In his day to day life, he was a PhD student researching estuarine sedimentation and sea-level trends. Sometimes, I liked to pretend he was doing a PhD on me.

“Then quit for your country,” he said. He took my wrists and lightly pinned my arms to the pillows above my head.

I laughed. “I’m not that patriotic, Ray.”

“OK then,” he said. “Do it for me. Give me that amazing, precious part of you. Give me … give me the power of your orgasms. Let me be the one who tells you when you can and can’t come.”

“Hmm. It’s a big ask.”

Ray shrugged. “Wouldn’t be worth doing otherwise.”

I mulled it over. “Supposing I come accidentally? Say, when we’re having sex and you’re not concentrating and whoops, there I go.”

“I won’t let that happen.”

“Well, supposing I come accidentally when you’re not there? You know, say, I fall on my vibrator or something?”

“You won’t let that happen.” Ray’s puppy-dog eyes were twinkling with excitement. I could practically hear the cogs of his brain whirring as he began contemplating the implications of his suggestion.

“I could lie to you,” I said. “I could pretend I was obeying but in reality – ”

“But I’d know,” said Ray. “It would start raining.”

“Gah!” I said. “There’s no escape for me, is there?”

“Not much.”

I sighed, defeated. “Still not convinced. Anyway, supposing it doesn’t work and it keeps raining?”

Ray shrugged. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

We fell silent for a while. Outside the torrential downpour continued although the car alarm had stopped. That I had the power to improve the nation’s weather was both a wonderful gift and an unwelcome responsibility. If only the gift were slightly different and involved, for example, not quitting orgasms but eating huge amounts of ice cream.

***

Twisted from Cleis Press is out on Kindle now in the UK and US, and sees its paperback release very soon. Don’t get your copy wet!

February 6, 2014 Posted by | Kristina Lloyd | , , , | Leave a comment

My Erotica Ups and Downs in 2013

I thought I’d cast my eye back over this last year, take a look at what I have and haven’t achieved, and share a few thoughts about some recent changes in erotica.

2013 was a big year for me. My fourth novel, Thrill Seeker, was released. I did a lot of promo for the book, a good deal of which entailed leaving the house, something many authors (I count myself among them) prefer to avoid!

This ‘Kristina on Tour’ lark started a little before 2013 when I co-hosted a workshop and discussion panel at Random House with my Black Lace editor, Gillian Green, and Curtis Brown literary agent, Sheila Crowley. (You can read more about my experience here.) In February 2013, I gave a talk at Brighton’s Jubilee Library as part of National Libraries Day then in March I ran a writing workshop at Eroticon in London. (You can read more about this here.)

Brighton Fetish Weekend

Brighton Fetish Weekend

June saw me participating in Brighton’s first Fetish Weekend, probably my favourite event of last year. I took to the stage (left, looking bossy) to give a talk and a reading, and after that hung out in a wonderfully warm and kinky atmosphere. (You can read more about my experience here.) Brighton Fetish Weekend returns in 2014, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve been invited back. Keep an eye on their FB page and, if you’re in the South East in June, do check it out.

In July, I attended Latitude arts and music festival in rural Suffolk as a speaker in the Ebury (Black Lace) tent. This was probably the low point on the KL Tour because it involved camping! I don’t camp. I’ve done it a few times in my life and that was plenty. The camping turned out to be more civilised than I’d anticipated, helped by the fact we were staying in the performers’ area, relatively calm, clean and spacious. However, 2013 brought my first experience of hay fever. Apparently, the late start to Spring resulted in one of the worst hay fever seasons in decades.

Being a newbie at this, I hadn’t fully accepted the fact I was a sufferer. And so it was, I found myself in a field for a weekend, in a sodding tent, surrounded by trees of evil, feeling progressively worse, and with no meds other than anti-histamines which really weren’t cutting it. I felt as if my eyes had been sprayed with vinegar and my lungs were operating at half their capacity. I developed such a ferocious cough my stomach muscles ached from the involuntary crunches, and my throat seemed to be trying to strangle itself from the inside.

Latitude sheep

Latitude sheep

I was due to give my talk at the Ebury tent late on Sunday afternoon but woke without a voice. In the morning queue for the showers, I drew the short straw and ended up being blasted by freezing-cold water rather than the nice, hot, steamy stuff others were getting. I couldn’t even scream. All that emerged from my lips when the icy water hit was a cracked, reedy squawk. By the afternoon, my voice was returning. I gave my talk – or croak, as I renamed it – and, interestingly, the more I spoke, the stronger my voice became. The Ebury tent was gorgeous; the Ebury staff were lovely, laid-back and welcoming; and my audience were friendly and forgiving. Latitude has a lot to offer, and I did get to see Kraftwerk performing in a field to a crowd of people wearing 3D glasses which was pretty cool. But all in all, my trip was marred by me being unprepared for such a vicious pollen assault. Sympathies to all regular hay fever sufferers!

In late August, I joined Justine Elyot and SM Taylor at Sh! in London for a joint book launch of Thrill Seeker and Justine’s Seven Scarlet Tales. As ever, the special Sh! brand of hospitality made for a fabulous, fun evening. You can read my take on the event, and the foiled vibrator theft, here!

London Fetish Fair

London Fetish Fair

In September I joined Nexus authors, Zak Jane Keir and Peter Birch for a reading at London Fetish Fair, and in October, I rounded off my grand tour at the huge trade fair, Erotica, at a bookstall and event put together by the dynamic duo that is Lucy Felthouse and Victoria Blisse.

Phew, I know! In May, in the midst of all this gallivanting, Thrill Seeker was published. I’m more than delighted by the reviews I’ve been garnering on Amazon, GoodReads, review sites, blogs and zines, and by the positive messages and tweets received from readers. Thanks to all those who found time to share their enthusiasm and considered critiques. Despite the fab reviews, sales have been disappointing, so I’m left wondering why.

The Black Lace marketing machine has, after an eager start, practically ground to a halt; and it took several months for Thrill Seeker to be made available on Kindle in the US, meaning much of my online promotion was targeting readers who couldn’t buy the book. But I think the main reason for slow sales is, post-FSOG, the market is saturated. The erotica boom was short-lived and non-book merchandisers, keen to get a slice of the pie, have been quick to harness reader enthusiasm for the trilogy/brand and get those women out of the goddamn bookstores. The proliferation of new titles and reprints is outstripping the influx of new readers. In addition to that, the currently popular books tend to be softcore romance, not exactly my area.

It’s hard to know whether Thrill Seeker is, along with many other titles, getting lost in the glut of monochrome-jacketed erotica; or if my work is simply not in vogue, or is possibly too niche. It feels as if a juggernaut has slammed into our genre, leaving the market polarised, with a handful of massive, series-sellers at one end; and at the other, a sizeable majority of authors selling to a small number of readers who perhaps want something a little different, and aren’t easily able to find their way to their kind of book.

darker than love

Don’t get me wrong. My sales certainly haven’t been poor. But, from what I can glean, to date they are no higher than sales of my previous books, published pre-juggernaut, the main difference being digital rather than print is selling. This might not be too gloomy if, for example, I hadn’t expended so much time and energy promoting the book, leaving me behind schedule on my next book; and if I hadn’t received an advance that was precisely half the amount I received for Asking for Trouble back in 1999. Yup, half! I know these issues aren’t unique to erotica publishing but it’s left me keen to take stock of what I’m doing.

I’m contracted to write another book for Black Lace. Undone is sort of an erotic murder mystery, but sort of not (I’ll work on the blurb!), and is slated to be published in September 2014. I’m enthused by what I’m writing however my deadline is tight. I have a bunch of other stuff on my plate too, so I’m likely to be fairly quiet on the social media front in the next few months. (Which reminds me, apologies for all unanswered emails and messages! I’ll catch up with my inbox soonish, I hope.) Next year will also see the re-issue of my first book, Darker Than Love, in an elegant new cover.

I’ll also be returning to Eroticon in March, held this year in Bristol, and running a two-hour workshop on writing flash fiction. This workshop is available to conference delegates and also as a standalone event, costing a mere £25! Eroticon is the event of the year if you’re interested in writing about sex. I had a ball last year and loved running a workshop. I hope to do more creative writing teaching in the future.

So lots of excitement in store for 2014, along with plans to do a few things differently, and spread my wings by doing a few different things. I hope relaxing will be one of them, once I’ve finished Undone!

Heartfelt thanks to all those with a passion for this genre. Wishing you the very best for a smart and sexy 2014!


Photo credits: BFW by SHaddow and LFF by Peter Birch

December 29, 2013 Posted by | Kristina Lloyd | , , , , , | 2 Comments