Category Archives: News
Rachel Kramer Bussel’s latest Cleis Press anthology, The Big Book of Submission, has been on real and digital shelves for almost a month now. If you’ve picked up a copy, I hope that you have been as excited by the sensual stories as I am to simply be included in such an excellent work. If you haven’t yet, then do so soon!
Over the last month, Cleis Press has been celebrating the release by doing a virtual book tour, introducing their readers to the blogs of the other authors in the anthology. Today, naturally, is my day to be showcased, so if you are here as part of the tour, welcome! If you are one of my regular visitors, then please take the time to check out the other stops on the tour and the wonderful writers to be found there.
For my part of the tour today, I’d like to share a couple thoughts about the theme of this book, and how my story for it came together.
Why this anthology?
Some of my first experiences with print erotica happened in the dark corners of bookstores, furtively flipping through anthologies that I was too nervous to actually take to the counter and buy. The first anthology I ever owned was given to me by my boyfriend just a few years ago. The book is Please, Sir, and it is also a Cleis Press anthology edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and it also happens to be about the topic of submission. Since then my private library has expanded, but that one remains my favorite, so when I saw the announcement for this new anthology, I knew I had to pull myself out of my own dark corners and actually submit to it.
Where did you get the idea for your story, “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”?
As much as I love the sensuality of darkness, in my heart I am a sun-worshipper. During the summer months, I take as many opportunities as possible to lay out on my meager deck and get some reading and vitamin-D production done. For me, the experience is an intoxicating combination of warmth and luxury, juxtaposed against vulnerability and the thrill of the taboo. Throw submission into the mix and, well…it’s easy to see why sweat isn’t the only thing soaking the skin of my main character in the story.
What is it about submission that appeals to you?
It’s hard to say, really. Hard to categorize and rationalize the feeling, the fluttering thrill that arises in my chest when I feel truly overwhelmed by someone else, someone whom I feel deserves such power, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the same things that are the foundation of all relationships: communication and trust. Submission, obviously, is the ultimate gesture of trust, but it is also an elegant form of communication, where movement, body language, and tone can mean just as much as a spoken word.
And I don’t mean just in sexual contexts. A few years ago I took up Argentine tango and fell in love with the elegant physical communication it represents. I easily saw the connections between the interactions of D/s and leader/follower. One of my teachers eloquently described the moves of the leader as being an “invitation” to the follower, an invitation that doesn’t force an action without first letting him or her choose to surrender first. It is a beautiful, subtle communication (and, sadly, one that a lot of people who are too focused on the shoes and the clothes and trying to memorize the steps, miss out on entirely).
Finding the right people to practice such submissive communications with—with sexuality, with dance, or elsewhere—is often a challenge for me, so I am delighted to explore these ideas further within my writing.
Every good writer has their role models–generally the more the merrier–and Reyna Todd is definitely one of mine. She is a real-life friend and successful writer across multiple genres, under a few different names. A few months ago, I did an early read of her new erotic fantasy novella, Ill Met in Tanivar: A Sinjin and Asamir Adventure, available now from LooseId, and I am excited that others will now be able to read her lovely work.
Todd’s story was part of the inspiration for my recent post on the ERWA blog, “In Defense of Bad Sex,” discussing how less-than-perfect sex scenes might be used to deepen character development and create tension in the plot. This story is the perfect example of this, as the sexuality–both good and bad–of Todd’s characters isn’t just an entertaining set-piece, but a deeply important force that grounds them in their world and their relationships with each other.
And oh, what relationships those are…. The story revolves around an elaborate high-society masquerade ball, and the sexual proclivities of the characters are just as rich and diverse as their costumes (or, more often, their lack thereof). Todd plays around with themes of homosexuality, heterosexuality, gender bending, BDSM, trans* issues, and all topics between, and handles every one sensually and masterfully. LooseId classifies the story as “LGBTTQ,” but really, one probably should add a whole handful of letters to that to encompass the full breadth of this story.
I hope to one day tell such richly exotic erotic stories–with equal parts eroticism and story–of my own, but in the meantime, I highly recommend you check out Todd’s work!
The last few months for me have been an unusual time, for writing and otherwise. I have been devoting a lot of time to non-erotica writing projects and I’m even trying to pull thoughts and notes together for making a sprint toward an erotic fantasy novel or novella. Through all this, I keep finding myself simultaneously brought back to Earth and shot over the moon when I remember that, holy crap, my very first published work is coming out next month.
My story, “Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” will be in Cleis Press’s Big Book of Submission, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and I couldn’t be happier. Cleis Press puts out excellent anthologies and I am very proud to have been selected for their latest. To celebrate the release, Cleis Press is organizing a virtual book tour, showcasing the blogs and other works of the authors included in the anthology. My stop on the tour is scheduled for August 21st, so check back then for a special post discussing my story.
In the meantime, check out the following quick peek of my story:
The phone buzzed again a few minutes later: I don’t like the look of that suit. You’re going to get tan lines. You know I don’t like anyone but me marking your skin, Pet.
A thrill shot through her. He wouldn’t have called her “Pet” unless he had some sort of game in mind. She hesitated, then replied: What would you have me do…Sir?
There was a longer delay this time, but when his reply came it was short: Take it off. Now.
Want more? Well, the book may come out next month, but there are 68 more sexy snippets that are sure to heat up your summer now.
The changing of the guard has just occurred at the ERWA. I started my tenure as one of the editors for the regular galleries of published work submitted and informally-workshopped by our dear community there. This year, the group is trying something new by having galleries up for three months at a time, rather than one each month. Hopefully that means each story will get greater exposure. Check out the selections I helped curate in the 2014 Winter Gallery.
Additionally, some of my stories from this year were selected to go into the 2013 “Treasure Chest,” sort of a best-of compilation. The stories will remain posted there for as long as I wish, which means I can easily link them here. Check out my bibliography page to see new links to some of these stories!
…Is more time to do all the things I want to do. But then don’t we all.
The last couple months have been a flurry of activities and events for me, across worlds both real and imaginary. I’ve been working on a longer story for an anthology submission, my friends and I are embroiled in a seriously complicated RPG campaign, and I’ve had multiple classes and practices each week for a dance show my troop is performing this month.
Still, amongst all this activity, I was able to come up with a quick holiday themed flasher for this month’s Holiday-themed ERWA Gallery. Mine is “Holiday Surprise,” a playful little tale with some BDSM themes.
I am also honored to announce that I was asked to be one of the rotating editors for the ERWA email list-serve for the upcoming year. I am pleased that I will be able to help give back to the community, which has already taught me so much in a relatively short period of time. I am also excited since I hope this responsibility will help me “keep my head in the game,” so to speak, and lead to more advances in my own work.
Stay tuned for more details on that front!
I am proud to announce that this month, two of my stories are being featured on the ERWA gallery. Both of these stories were inspired by real events that happened to me this year. First is “The Accidental Fetish,” which came to mind after a hilarious misunderstanding involving coffee and corsets, but goes beyond the humor and delves into the sensuality of discovering an entirely new body experience. The second is a very short piece I am particularly proud of called “Campfires,” which was inspired by my annual extended camping trip to the High Sierras this summer.
I hope you take the time to read them and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them!