Nothing like a little progress, right? So today, I thought I’d post a short update on my WIP.
In my last post, I mentioned I was too far along in my first erotica novel to get one of those delightful little counters.
Yeah, so I caved.
Jade’s Book Progress:
They’re just so cute!
I planned for this book to run about 80k, but since I’m a big fan of the editing process (translation: I’m a ninja word assassin), I opted to aim high in order to make nice, strong cuts as necessary when I go back in for editing. I have a few strategies I’ve used on my previous, non-erotica works, but I wanted to share Remittance Girl’s recent post about the editing process. It’s great guidance if you haven’t seen it yet (and if you aren’t following her, you should!).
I also have a tendency to write things in brackets, like [need better word] when I’d rather cruise on through my draft than get hung up on diction. That said, there’s still some “find and replace” work to do for my bounty of brackets once I hit that beautiful 90k mark …but even that experience is strangely fun. This whole process, honestly, is fun. I love writing short stories, but the act of working through an entire full-length is challenging and exhilarating in a totally different way.
Consider me hooked!
Meanwhile, back in the short story realm, I have some exciting news ahead…but you’ll have to wait for it a bit longer.
Know what else you have to wait for? My fabulous and delightful surprise guest next week! But, the good news is that you only have 7 days to wait. That’s right. Seven. Think you can hang?
Maybe I need to make a counter for that, too! 😉
Today’s post is a bit of a hodgepodge, but I’ve got lots of great news to share!
First, all 69 authors of The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories got a happy surprise when this happened:
Wow! Our fabulous editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, did an amazing job getting this book out into the world and in people’s hands, and it clearly paid off! I couldn’t be more delighted to be part of this book. I also finally finished reading the entire anthology and can confirm that every story was a treat. Haven’t picked it up yet? You can buy it on Amazon here, and my excerpt for “The Flogger” can be found right here.
Things got even more exciting when Ms. Bussel announced that Rose Caraway of The Kiss Me Quicks would be narrating The Big Book of Orgasms! No word on a release date just yet, but I’m a big fan of Ms. Caraway’s podcasts. She did a fantastic two-hour year-end show called “Halo Sex,” which included multiple sexy stories narrated to NIN’s music—you should check it out if you haven’t heard it yet! It was hot!
But wait, there’s more! Best Women’s Erotica 2014 ended up in audio form as well! It is narrated by Lucy Malone and is apparently a fabulous audio version. Would you like to hear all of these sexy stories in audio form? You can find the anthology on iTunes and Audible. Hurray! Also, if you’d like to check out my excerpt for “Toys,” you can take your pick from the intro excerpt or the spicier excerpt (specially hosted by Tamsin’s Superotica). 😉
Now, I have fun news specifically related to this blog: I will be hosting a very exciting guest in two weeks! Your breath will catch. Your toes will curl. You’ll be out of your mind with the deliciousness of it all! But until then…I’m going to zip my lips like the giant tease I am. Stay close for that one!
Lastly, I’m happy to report some personal news—I’ve been hard at work on my first erotica novel. *Squee!* After penning a couple dozen shorts (and as mentioned in my previous post, a couple non-erotica novels), I decided it was high time to take on the
ultimate marathon novel. Thanks to a little holiday free-time and my somewhat insane tendencies toward hyper-focused dedication (did I put on pants today?), I’m about three-quarters of the way through. I was going to get one of those nifty counter thingies to put over on my sidebar because they tickle me, but by the time I remembered, I was already at 58k. Uh, whoops. Next book. 😉
Anyway, this is quite thrilling (at least, for me). I set some steep 2014 goals for myself and I’m ready to tackle them all! Stay tuned for more news on the novel as I progress on through…
I have more fun things to share, but for now I’m going to bat my eyelashes and leave you in anticipation. 🙂 In the meantime, please don’t forget to check out all the audio works above!
It’s New Year’s Eve, and for many of us, a good time to take stock and evaluate the year past. So I’m going to do that, but a little differently—because this year, quite frankly, has been a life-changer for me. Hands down, flat-out, smack me on the ass and plant a big juicy kiss on my lips kind of Hello? Is this really happening? year, and I’ve loved every damn minute of it.
So here’s the deal: about ten months ago, I was in the middle of a third-of-my-life crisis (because, let’s be real, 99 years is plenty).
I was 33 years old, and I’d been writing since I was 7. No, really, 7—I’d written this mini piece about a pumpkin for Halloween that got into the paper thanks to my parents encouraging precocious little me—and as much fun as I was having, and as much as I knew it’s what I wanted to do, something still hadn’t clicked. I dabbled in all sorts of things: the first (seriously bad) fictional biography “novel” I wrote at 11, the second (not as bad) YA novel I wrote at 13, and a whole lot of “wow that boyfriend (and that one, and that one, and that one) ran over my heart so I’m going to go super dark” poetry through most of high school. Next was an excursion into sci-fi and fantasy, because I thought a romantic fantasy was for me. So I wrote another book (a full-length one, this time). And on the side, I penned some “really dirty stuff” that I shared with a couple friends, but it never saw much of the light of day. It was me scribbling about how cool I thought sex was, honestly, with a couple of smartassed characters who did things the way I wanted to try and/or repeat them (shoot, sorry mom, why do you subscribe to my blog, again?). I read Anaïs Nin, see, and though I thought she was a genius, that could never happen in the writing I put out there. Never. My smut was for me and maybe some boyfriends about to get lucky. (Mom, just unsubscribe now. But don’t forget I stole Nin off your shelf. And I love you.)
Where was I going with this? Oh yes. Back to the onslaught of my third-of-a-life-crisis. So, I’d shelved all the smutty stuff to focus on spec fic, eventually ending up at a fantasy writing conference. I’d brought a little story about a tormented stripper werewolf who ends up in the middle of an orgy, and my critique partners kept giving me the funniest expressions. I’d written a dark speculative fiction piece, dammit, what was with all the funny looks? And then my group mentor smiled all giddy-like and said, “You wrote a stripper werewolf story. Stripper werewolf. With an orgy. You like to titillate with your writing. It’s fun!”
Huh. Not what I expected.
For a couple months, I toyed around with this concept. I wrote two intentionally erotic stories, adding to my sad collection of three (four? I can’t remember). Then I refocused on my real deal: spec fic. I tried to start another novel. It was about a succubus assassin and was supposed to be seriously dark, but by page 3, she was having sex. I didn’t realize it until I was on page 10 and she’d gotten down and dirty, and then I had a meltdown. I called my mentor and we had a frank talk.
He asked me why I didn’t just write erotica already. The same night, my best friend asked me the question again.
I had a lot of dumb reasons in my head for why that wouldn’t work for me. Some of them were nonsensical misunderstandings I’d somehow formed about myself, and others were possibly valid. I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter—in February of 2013, I made a deal with myself.
“I’ve liked writing it before. Okay. Why not? I’m going to try this erotica thing. I’m going to see how it feels.”
The next day, I was typing away at the keyboard like a fiend.
So in March, I made another deal.
“I’m going to send out some of these stories and see what happens.”
And so I did that, and dove back into writing. I’d already submitted fantasy/sci-fi/contemporary/mainstream/yes-even-that-novel-I-wrote-when-I-was-11 pieces out into the world, so I knew the deal: you send and you put your nose back to the grindstone. Write, write, write. That’s what it’s all about. And in reality, you don’t write for other people, you write because you love it. Because you know it’s the world to you, and you feel it as part of you, in your gut, even if no one else is paying attention.
That’s why the next month totally threw me. First, Rachel Kramer Bussel blew my mind by wanting a piece I’d submitted for a later call in an earlier book—The Big Book of Orgasms. I got the email late at night after coming home from a flight delayed by 12 hours and getting chumped by a prospective lover. (Seriously.) Then I ran around my house squealing and waking up my neighbors because, you know, that’s what you do when Rachel Kramer Bussel tells you she likes your story.
Next, there was the crazy rush I was getting from writing all this erotica. It was like my fingers were moving again. My brain was on fire. I wasn’t slamming my head on the keyboard trying to figure out why my fantasy/sci-fi/fictional-biography/Halloween-pumpkin story wasn’t clicking for me. June was right around the corner, and my little deals with myself had not only led to writing twenty-something short stories, but I was happy. I was alive. I’d found real love and true passion.
I was an erotica writer, goddammit, and I couldn’t be more excited.
So for me, 2013 is one blazing year of deliciously rich feeling, and it’s opened up my world. I’ve met some amazing new writer pals. I’ve read more of some of my favorite erotica artists—true damn literary artists—and then I’ve found a bunch more. I’ve started working with people who I admire so much I have to remind myself that when we meet, I’m not allowed to kiss their feet and/or drool. I mean, it’s only been ten months, but I feel like I’m living the dream—the most important dream there is, for anyone: finding what you want to do, what you love to do, and then…actually…doing…it.
I believe they call this self-actualizing.
I call it fucking rad.
Where will all of this lead? I have no idea. It’s about the journey, right? Mine involves a keyboard, a screen, a comfy desk chair, and an abundantly smutty imagination. We’re just going to kick it and enjoy the ride, because it feels good. It feels right.
So that’s my 2013 wrap-up, but it’s not really a closure at all—it’s more of a big open field of running free, for many years to come.
I’m going to go pour 2013 a drink now, because it was the year I found myself. And I hope that tonight, or tomorrow, or any day or year you face in the future, you have the opportunity to find as much joy as I have.
Until then, keep reading, keep writing, and love every sexy-ass minute of it.
As promised, I’m here today with a special surprise—my first guest ever! I’m delighted to host the wonderful Tamsin Flowers today, who has not only hosted some of my excerpts over on her website, but who has also warmed my heart with a romantic and sexy story: The Christmas Tattoo.
I posted an official review of The Christmas Tattoo on Amazon, but here’s the skinny on this fabulous guest of mine: Tamsin has a true knack for mixing the sweet and sultry. Each time I read her work, I find myself smiling at her ability to merge warmth and romance with erotic sex in believable, relatable characters—and in the case of The Christmas Tattoo, I was completely charmed. Read on for a blurb, excerpt, buy links, and a little more info about Tamsin Flowers!
Here’s the blurb for The Christmas Tattoo:
When sexy red-head Bradie Clements comes home from Washington to nurse a broken heart and build bridges with her estranged father, she’s certainly not on the lookout for romance. After catching her boyfriend Kris in bed with her best friend and boss, all she wants to do is run and hide. But a chance encounter with local tattoo artist Colton Bassett leads to an unexpected appointment with his needle. Even though it’s cold outside, the temperature rises to boiling point as the two discover an irresistible attraction. But then Kris arrives on the scene to claim her back in time for his family Christmas and Bradie starts to remember what she saw in him. Tormented by jealousy and suspicion over Colton’s pregnant business partner, Bradie starts to wonder if her new romance is over before it’s begun…
Enjoy a sexy excerpt:
Bradie followed him through to a small studio. The walls in here had the same patchwork of designs and there were two work stations, one with a black reclining barber chair and the other, a sort of articulated massage bench which could be arranged into a range of positions. A work station along one wall carried the tattoo artists’ equipment: a huge selection of ink bottles and a number of scary devices that looked for all the world like medieval torture instruments.
Bradie considered them and swallowed hard.
“Take a seat,” said Colt, going over to the bench and picking up a particularly vicious-looking instrument.
Bradie backed up and found the back of her thighs pressing against the arm of the barber chair.
“Sit. I can’t do you standing up.”
Bradie stumbled back into the seat, her breathing suddenly faster and the sound of her heartbeat drumming in her ears.
“But… I haven’t told you…”
Colt advanced on her and pressed a button on the device. A sudden whirring noise whined out of it.
Colt towered over her now. He turned the gadget off.
“You don’t remember me, do you, Bradie Clements?”
Bradie sat bolt upright.
Colt rolled his eyes.
“School. Only four years in the same homeroom, Bradie. We even went on a date once. But the less said about it the better.”
Bradie closed her eyes and delved back in time. The height… the dark eyes… a date to the movies.
“Colton Bassett? But you had black hair at school. And you were skinny.”
“Okay, enough,” said Colt, running a hand through his blonde hair. “It figures, I’ve changed. But you haven’t. Still the long red hair.”
“So why didn’t you say anything on the train?” said Bradie.
Colt put down the tattoo gun and perched on the edge of the massage table.
“I saw you and I remembered the date. I didn’t want to remind you of it.”
Bradie could see why. It had ended in disaster. She had been an innocent co-ed and Colt had tried to feel her up in the back row. She’d panicked and run out of the theatre and then spent the rest of the school year regretting it. The blood rose to her cheeks again. Shit, why did he keep having this effect on her.
“And now?” she said.
“Probably better to get it out in the open if you’re gonna be in town for a bit. Look, I’m sorry for the way I behaved back then.”
“No, I am. I always wished I’d stayed in there.”
WTF? She had some sort of runaway mouth on her this morning. She bit her lip.
“That came out wrong.”
“I’ll change the subject,” said Colt. “So what sort of tatt do you want?”
Bradie thought for a moment and then shrugged.
“A Santa sleigh?”
“Or perhaps a candy cane?” he said. “They’re always popular. But seriously?”
“I had a bad year, so something that means a new beginning maybe. Perhaps a few words or a quote.”
“Where would you have it?”
“Not on my arm or leg. Somewhere more private. My hip, maybe?”
The room seemed suddenly smaller, hotter. Colt stood up.
With shaking fingers Bradie popped the top button of her jeans and tugged the zip halfway undone. Then she pushed the waist band down a way to expose the jut of her hip bone.
“Here,” she said. It came out a whisper.
Colt came closer. He ran his thumb over the place she indicated, brushing the top of her black lace panties. His warm skin hummed against hers but his touch sent a red hot jolt of current up through her. Her breath caught in her throat as she was suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to stroke his skin in return.
“It’ll hurt, across the bone there.”
He moved his thumb a little closer to her navel, pushing the black lace and denim down a fraction further.
“Whereas here would be less painful.”
Bradie’s eyes met his. Colton Bassett. Her teenage crush. And now with his hands back where they’d been once before. Their eyes locked and his face came closer. Bradie took a deep breath as a surge of adrenalin, lust and anticipation flooded through her. Was this about to happen?
The Christmas Tattoo is available at Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Kobo, and Xcite Books.
Tamsin Flowers loves to write light-hearted erotica, often with a twist in the tail/tale and a sense of fun. In the words of one reviewer, “Ms Flowers has a way of describing sexual tension that forces itself upon your own body.” Her stories have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and she is now graduating to novellas, for publishers including Cleis Press, Xcite Books, Secret Cravings and Totally Bound. This year, she entered NaNoWriMo, with the intention of penning her magnum opus in the very near future. In the meantime, like most erotica writers, she finds herself working on at least ten stories at once: while she figures out whose leg belongs in which story, you can find out more about her at Tamsin’s Superotica or Tamsin Flowers.