Malin James Talks ROADHOUSE BLUES!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so excited to share a visit with a very special guest today. As you are likely aware, the lovely Malin James and I are the best of friends—which is why I’m pleased as punch to have her here! If you have been under a rock, and somehow aren’t aware of Malin’s work, then please know you are definitely missing something. Fortunately, I’m going to let you in on her amazingness right here and now. See, here’s Malin in a nutshell: her words are extraordinary, her style is exquisite, and most importantly, her mind is brilliant! Her stories range from erotic to literary, always exploring people, their place, culture, and, well, life and its many expressions, ins, and outs. No matter what Malin’s written, it often gives you pause to think and reflect, think and reflect… It’s fairly impossible for her work to not evoke something from deep within yourself. It’s just that good.

So, with all that in mind, today I am tickled to have her answering some questions about her writing as well as her brand new anthology, Roadhouse Blues! The book came out yesterday from Go Deeper Press, and I assure you, you’re not going to want to miss it.

Before you order up this anthology (if you haven’t already), please enjoy the clever mind of Malin James as she answers some burning questions I had about both Roadhouse Blues and her writing life…

An Interview with Malin James

Welcome Malin! I’m thrilled to have you here, so I’m going to dive right in… When you started Roadhouse Blues, did you have a particular vision in mind for where you wanted to go with it, or did it fall into place once you wrote a few stories?

The collection came together pretty organically. The first few stories set a tone, but the themes emerged slowly as the world developed. When I started, the only thing I knew for sure was that the stories would all be connected in some way. Having that relatively flexible structure as a foundation gave me a lot of room to explore.

What is your favorite story in the bunch and why?

That’s hard…. I’ve been sitting with a few of these stories for over a decade, while others were immediate emotional catalysts, so there’s a lot of feeling attached to all of them. That said, I think the two I feel closest to are “Krystal’s Revenge Fuck” and “Marlboro Man.” “Krystal” is audacious, angry and funny. It was so much fun to write. On the other side of the spectrum, “Marlboro Man” is the only story that has ever made me cry the keyboard. Both resonated with me in a very instinctual way. Writing them was like having a conversation with the characters.

Which story was the hardest for you to write? Can you give us a little insight into why you think this might be?

“Good Love” and “The Waitress” were definitely the hardest. “The Waitress” is about a woman confronting her abusive ex, and I drew on a lot of my own experiences for that. “Good Love” was even harder though—it’s about starting to heal after sexual trauma. It came from a very personal place, and it took a long time and a lot of drafts to get right.

Of all the characters in this anthology, who would you most want to hang out with in person? Why?

I think I’d want to hang out with Sam from “Good Love.” She has a deep well of compassion and quiet joy. I have a feeling that hanging out with her would be a really lovely experience. Also, Tom from “Marlboro Man.” He’s all kinds of tragic, but he has a really solid, good core. He strikes me as a great guy to grab a drink with. Plus, he’s sexy. Tragically sexy.

You’ve written numerous short stories over the years, so I’m not surprised that we now get the joy of an entire collection of your work. (Squee!) How was it putting together an entire anthology rather than a short for various different anthologies? What’s your preference? Was it challenging to keep them tonally and/or thematically connected?

I really enjoy contributing to anthologies—it’s a wonderful, collaborative experience. That said, putting together my own collection has been amazing. It’s given me a chance to following narrative threads and possibilities that you just can’t in a single story.

As for keeping them tonally and thematically connected, I was lucky in that the setting provided a contextual link that united the themes in a very natural way. Same with the narrative tone, which is very different from my own. It’s almost as if the Styx (the town the collection is set in) has its own voice, and that voice told each story.

What was your biggest challenge in writing this anthology?

Finding balance. Some of the stories are light and even funny, while others are darker and more serious, sometimes even challenging. It took me a while to balance the light and the dark so that each story stands on its own, while contributing to a larger whole. That’s something that I was really conscious of—portraying a wide spectrum of kinks, sexualities and emotional contexts in a way that felt right and honest for each individual story, but also knit the stories together, even when one is about joyful sex in the back of a Camaro, and others are about everything from mortality and revenge to finding unexpected love.

You and I have talked a bit about craft. Would you share a little with readers how you develop a character, and then how you go about writing their tale?

I love our conversations about craft! This won’t come as any kind of surprise, but, for me, it’s all about the characters. I was formally trained as an actor and spent the better part of my twenties on stage, so every story starts with a character and something the character needs. Whether they’re male or female, straight or gay, the characters I write generally come to me like big blobs of clay. I have a general idea about shape and size, but I find out more as they take me through the story, so the story and the characters form each other, and I refine them both through revision. For me, drafting is a necessary first step, but the real writing happens in revision when the characters start coming to life.

Say one of your stories is auctioned off for a movie deal. Which one do you pick, and who are your lead actors to carry the roles?

Oh…that’s a great question. Let me think…okay, I’m going to go with “Marlboro Man,” only because it’s the one I have the biggest soft spot for. There’s a lot that gets implied but never quite said in that story, and I’d love to see how a film director went about unpacking it. Plus, I’d kind of love to see a young Paul Newman or Matthew McConaughey play Tom, and an actress like Emily Blunt play Maybelline. There’s so much interiority to both of them. It would be amazing to watch good actors bring that interiority to life.

I have the privilege of knowing that a bonus story was added to this collection, late in your work. Can you explain more about this story and why it was important to you to add it in?

Absolutely. The story is called “Good Love” and it’s the one I struggled with the most. It’s about a woman named Leigh who experienced trauma in her childhood and her relationship to her childhood best friend (and first love) Sam. There were two challenging elements in this story. The first is that Sam is a trans woman, which took me out of my immediate experience, so it felt especially important that I get her right. Luckily, Lana Fox and Jake Traveres at Go Deeper were incredibly helpful and supportive as I worked through finding and portraying her.

The second challenge was far more personal. Leigh’s struggle draws on my own experiences with trauma and recovery, so writing her was, at times, incredibly painful. In fact, I stopped more than once because of that. In the end though, it felt too important to leave out, so I made one last big push. Luckily, it worked and was able to go in.

Pick a line, any line…yes, one line that you really love from any story. Please share what it is and why you picked it!

Agh! That’s hard! Not because I’m in love with my own prose (because gah), but because the stories have been whittled down to the point where each line feels like a little brick in a large wall…. Okay. Let’s see. One line…. All right, this is the one that popped into my head. It’s from “Love in the Time of War,” which is about two women grieving the same man. Carly tells Sarah, her boyfriend’s widow, that she was always the pretty one, and Sarah responds by saying,

“There’s no pretty one, honey. Not between us.”

That line says everything I wanted to say about how lovely sex between two women can be. There’s a deep cultural emphasis on jealousy and possession in romantic relationships. Sarah’s response to Carly’s shy compliment subverts any notion of competition between them, and sets up the healing, comforting, meaningful sexual connection they then go on to make.

Any chance we’ll see an offshoot book and/or short in the future with any of these stories/characters involved?

There’s definitely a possibility. If nothing else, I love the setting so much that I could easily see writing something else set in that town. And just between you and me, I feel like Sam (from “Good Love”) and I still have quite a lot to do.

All right…inquiring minds want to know. What’s your favorite time of day to write and where?

My desk! I love my desk. I love my desk so much. As for my favorite time to write, it’s late at night, when the house is asleep, but having a 6-year-old makes being a night owl pretty impossible, so I write after I drop her off in the mornings, until I pick her up in the early afternoons.

What’s next for you?

It probably sounds boring, but the next thing for me is a little break. I put so much into writing this collection that it’ll feel good to rest a bit and do something completely different for a while. I’ll probably work on essays and stories in a different genre for a bit. Not that I’m closing the door on erotica. Erotica has been very good to me, and I’m definitely leaving that door open.

Wonderful! A giant thank you to Malin James for joining me today! Be sure to pick up your copy of Roadhouse Blues at one of the buy links below!

About Roadhouse Blues:

Welcome to Styx—a blue-collar, American town where people can do whatever they like, so long as they don’t advertise. From a 1950s diner to the back of a rocking Camaro, the stories in Roadhouse Blues reveal sex that is by turns romantic, raw, triumphant, and desperate. Meet two women grieving the same man, a bartender looking for anything but love, and a hot, brash newlywed who knows she married a cheat. The local garage is run by a kick-ass woman who gives as fierce as she gets, and the strip club is a place full of whiskey and smoke, where memories are exposed as easily as skin.

“In the end,” writes author Malin James, “sex is about people, and people have motivations, and sometimes those motivations surprise them.”

This is Roadhouse Blues. Surprise is just the beginning.

About Malin James:

Malin James is an essayist, blogger, and short story writer. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Bust, MUTHA, Queen Mob’s Tea House and Medium, as well as in podcasts and anthologies for Cleis Press, Sweetmeats Press and Stupid Fish Productions. Her first collection, Roadhouse Blues, releases this summer with Go Deeper Press.

Find a longer biography at

Buy Roadhouse Blues at: 

Go Deeper Press


B&N Nook


The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Pillow Talk Secrets: It’s Been a Year!

Hey everyone! Welcome back to our newest edition of Pillow Talk Secrets. Today, Tamsin FlowersMalin James, and I celebrate our first year together as co-bloggers, and the lovely Tamsin leads us through more musings on all the sex and erotic topics we just love to talk about! This time we reflect on some of our favorite posts, and also consider the recent release from E.L. James, Grey. We hope you’ll join us!

As usual, I’ve included a snippet here with a link at the end for you to hop on over to our site to continue. Or, feel free to head there now to read the post in its entirety.

Thanks for reading!


Pillow Talk Secrets

Tamsin: Hello Jade, hello Malin, how are you both this afternoon?

Jade: Hello, lovelies! I’m well. How about you two?

Malin: Good morning / afternoon, ladies! I’m doing good – happy to be here with you!

T: Excellent! Yes, it’s been a little while since we all got together. But we’ve made it through our first year, so yay for us! How do you two feel about that?

Cakes on ass

It’s our anniversary so the cakes are on us!

J: Definitely a yay to that! I am tickled we’ve gone a year strong, and that it’s been such a fabulously fun year, too!

M: Agreed. I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! Our anniversary snuck up on me!

J: It was officially the 4th, yes?

M: Yep! So we’re already into our second now. We’re growing up!

T: It may only have been a year, but I feel like I’ve known you two for a lot longer! And I have to say, we’ve done some great posts during that time. Any favorites? Anything we’ve missed out on so far?

M: I think my favorite was the one we did on details in erotica, if only because there are so many ways of approaching and responding to description. But I also loved our taboo discussion. There’s so much there. It feels like we touched on a lot, but only scratched the surface.

J: I would have to say I’m torn between two – the taboo talk is definitely one of them. We covered a lot of interesting ground with what we did talk about, but I have a feeling we may need to go there again, big time. Also, I honestly really enjoyed our end of the year / New Year’s post. It felt very cozy. 🙂

T: I’m trying to remember our very first post – it was a little introduction to ourselves – and looking back at it, what a sweet gang of newbie writers we were!

J: Yes we were!

M: What about you, Tamsin? Any favorites or topics you’d like to get more of?

Alpha maleT: Early on we did a post on boys, alphas and Doms – it was fun! So maybe we should do a post about some of our favorite types of erotica heroines…I’m sure we’d have a lot to talk about on that subject. What about you, Jade?

J: I think that would pose some good ideas, for sure. I also think it would be interesting to talk about crossover things…how erotica merges with other genres and such. And perhaps word choices? There are just so many great avenues to explore when talking dirty, wouldn’t you say?

M: There’s an almost endless supply of topics, it’s true. I’d also love to talk about how sex can be used in fiction. Of course, there’s the obvious turn-you-on motive (nothing wrong with that!), but it can also deeply affect character motivations and further plot. Sex is powerful in writing. It would be fun to explore why and how.

Read more at Pillow Talk!

The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Pillow Talk Secrets is All Taboo Today!

Hey everybody! Malin James, Tamsin Flowers, and I are back again with our newest Pillow Talk Secrets…and this time we’ve had a lovely conversation about everything taboo—from the underaged and adulterers to the beasts and undead! Oh my! Please join us as Malin lead our highly controversial conversation. And as usual, I’ve posted a snippet of our session here with a link to continue back to our site at the end, or you can hop on over now to read Secrets in full.The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Thank you so much for joining us!


Pillow Talk Secrets

Malin: Hello ladies, how are you both doing this fine day?

Jade: Great, thank you. How are you both?

Tamsin: I’m very well – we have the sunniest day here and it’s positively balmy! A bit of a shock to the system!

J: Oh, same here! I’ve got the loveliest glare on my computer screen. 😉

M: Ah, yes! My relationship to the sun isn’t quite so friendly, but I’m always happy for those who love it…. So, we’ve been thinking about discussing taboo in erotica for awhile. Shall we tackle that today?

T: Yes, let’s. It’s an interesting subject. Every publisher has a list of taboo topics – incest, bestiality, rape/non consensual sex, underage sex and so on. It’s interesting that some subjects are taboo because the acts are actually illegal – necrophilia, for example – while others are widely held to be taboo on the grounds of taste, such as scat or watersports. But that begs the question, should publishers be acting as arbiters of taste in this way?

M: I think that’s a great place to start, Tamsin. I like that you brought up the fact that “taboo” covers a lot of things, from serious consent issues (like rape and pedophilia) to different kinks and sexual tastes. It strikes me that putting rape in the same general categories as two teens having consensual sex is a bit disingenuous, but that’s how many mainstream publishers handle the issue. Better safe than sorry, I suppose, but it feels like a slippery slope. After all, rape is not the same thing as a consensual golden shower…

J: Right. And then we have lighter (and not necessarily illegal) taboos like the “dreaded infidelity.” Oh dear…

M: Exactly. Some acts are simply more taboo than others. Cheating in erotica (and certainly romance) is taboo, but you can get away with it, while incest is a much harder sell in mainstream publishing…unless you’re George R.R. Martin, of course.

T: I find the whole cheating thing a bit weird. This seems to be a reader taboo rather than a publisher taboo – and why not have it in a story if the cheater gets their comeuppance?

J: I agree – but it seems that, to increase readership, publishers follow the tendency. This is very strange to me, since it’s actually such a common event in real life. Plus, cheating is not necessarily a one-time thing for characters – often there’s so much more depth to it.

T: I’ve never seen it on a publisher’s list of no-nos.

M: I don’t think I have either. It might just be one that writers (and readers) shy away from, particularly in the romance / erotic romance market.

J: Maybe because we have to keep our good guys and girls looking good?

M: Possibly…personally, I’m more interested in seeing people be people, which means bad / grey area behavior, but that’s definitely not something everyone wants.

T: Actually, this whole discussion makes me want to run off and write a hot cheating story in which the cheating heroine always gets away with it! (Actually, I have had one in mind for a while!)

M: Ha! Yes! And I would read that!

J: I wrote one a long time ago that’s still awaiting some tender touch-up…it’s got the hint of some sort of affair going on, and I’ve never quite decided if I want to keep that or cut it. Time will tell, I suppose. It’s definitely not the taboo that the others are, though, for sure.

M: My story in Chemical (se)X is all about the dynamic in an affair. I guess it all depends…. Okay, so now, I’d love to actually tackle a taboo Tamsin brought up in a Skype – the difficulty with underage protagonists.

Because this is as sexually active as teens get, right?

Because this is as sexually active as teens get, right?

T: Yes, this is one that drives me mad. I think it’s perfectly valid to want to write about teenagers having sex with each other – not with adults – but within their own peer group, because of course this is what happens. And I’m sure loads of teens would want to read it – to discover more about sexuality and relationships. But it’s totally not allowed.

J: Right. We must keep the children safe, or whatever the theory is…. I get it, on one hand – but I also think it’s strange that we can have so many violent books available for teens, and yet, the concept of them having sex (which we all know is totally happening) is strongly unacceptable on the page.

M: What’s also interesting is that it really is the technicality of age that determines that taboo. Ella Dawson writes beautiful stories about college age students / people in their early 20’s and they are brilliant, but if someone were to shave the ages down to 18, the same stories would not be acceptable in most publications, and would certainly get censored by Amazon.

T: Amazon is crazy – they took down my book, Zombie Erotoclypse, because one story is called “I Was a Teenage Zombie Virgin.” The character was 18 – but just the words ‘teenage’ and ‘virgin’ in the blurb got it thrown off the site. When I changed the blurb it became once more perfectly acceptable, even though it was about humans and zombies having sex – another taboo, necrophilia!

Please click here to read more!

On Elephants and Landmines, and the People Who Help You Through

I’ve been in a really funny headspace lately. It’s one that did more damage than good, but I think one we all go through from time to time, to one degree or another (or maybe I’m only saying that so I don’t feel crazy). But in truth, life happens—it’s just that sometimes, it’s full of giant elephants blocking your way between the landmines that can blow your path to smithereens.

Move it, Bertha.

So let’s see. Where do I start?

I’ve been working on this book. It’s an exciting one for me, a standalone story that I started as what I’d intended to be a quick detour before I sat down to draft the sequel of the book my agent is currently shopping around. This baby’s got a lot of elements going for it that have my engines revved…first, there’s a bunch of exhibitionism (as I’ve said before, I am a bit of an exhibitionist). Then, there are a few relationships happening for my darling lead female—not in a poly way, but in a super complicated way I’m enjoying navigating. And then, there’s said lead character—a woman who definitely doesn’t fit the current mold of female protagonists (read: naïve virgins), and who is instead a highly educated divorcée ready to break free of her troubled old life. Score!

But here’s the thing: this poor book has been taking a beating from day one.

It took seven weeks to draft my last book, but this one has had a perilous path, interrupted in more ways than I can count. There was the one-month break. Then the two-month break. Then that other break. Then the rewriting that had to happen since I kept trying to write while I wasn’t sleeping much, or while I was sick. Or…well, you get the picture. It’s just that, for some reason, I can’t seem to get my time and focus into the game on this one.

Okay, truth be told, I laughed as I typed “for some reason”—because my life has been a hot mess for a few months now. For the last five I’ve been contending with an oil-leaking car (finally fixed…I think) and the HOA waiving threats of fines about for the spot I “took too long to clean” (too long was a week, guys, a week) and now the manner in which I’ve cleaned it (because “soap is bad for the environment”). I’ve still been running Jade’s Cat Hospice, which strangely sucks up a lot of time when you consider chasing cats down and medicating them multiple times a day, with one of them using the litter box as her hiding spot when she’s on to me (oh my god STOP that, kitty, stop!), and twice weekly email correspondence with the vet tech. Then there was the cold from hell that completely knocked me out, ironically, for the few days I took off from work to get some editing in on the damn book. I can’t seem to solve my plantar fasciitis problem, and spend a surprisingly large amount of time working on that (stretching, icing, ordering new shoes, returning crappy shoes, wondering if I’ll ever run again, stretching, icing…). My sleep is fortunately not as bad as it was during my 6-week chronic insomnia run last year, but my trick of moving to the couch if I can’t fall asleep and waking up there with a messed up back in the morning is getting kind of old. Then there’s family drama happening that’s kind of boggling my mind, and on top of that, some shit went down at my day job that was serious enough I might need to consider legal help, but I’m not sure if—with my tendency towards insane stress levels—this is the route to go yet.

But all this is neither here nor there. There are children starving in Africa, right? This is what I learned growing up: my problems are not real problems because there are children starving in Africa. It’s a mantra I repeated to myself for decades, one that left me unable to acknowledge until way later that witnessing my parents’ terribly messy divorce when I was a child actually did have an impact. It was a mantra that prevented me from realizing that raising my sister for two years while I was 11 and my parent worked graveyard did force me to play the grown-up when what I needed was to be a little girl and cry. It was the same mantra that had me putting on my game face after a series of emotional and physical traumas in my teens and twenties, because it was easier to just smile, laugh it all away, and keep it quiet than handle it for what would be about a decade. And later, it would be this very same mantra that, when I was performing aerial circus stunts as I mentioned in my interview with Molly Moore, would lead me to break myself in the middle of a performance because I didn’t believe pain could stop me—or should stop me. Ps-shaw. Hell no. I didn’t do pain. I was a superhero and had no time for pain, relaxation, feeling hurt, any of that.

There were children starving in Africa, for fuck’s sake.

Well, the good news is now that I’m 35 and oh-so-wise (did you hear me chuckle just now?), I am less inclined to resort to the children starving in Africa mantra when I’m hurting. I totally feel pain, and I cry; heck, I even have meltdowns that could, I suppose, be hormonal, but holy shit. They happen. It’s rather bizarre, having been the levelheaded one in the family for so many years [decades], that now I actually cry and have to lay boundaries and stuff.

But that relaxation thing? That part where, when I see a big brick wall—or, say, a field full of elephants and landmines blocking every clear route—I know that I need to slow down and accept that this might be trickier than expected and that’s okay, because sometimes tricky things take time?

Yeah, that part I’m still working on.

So I think you might be wondering where the fuck I’m going with all this. Let’s cut back to the cold/chasing cats/work thing/family drama/limping on my foot on the way out to scrub more oil off the goddamn pavement moment: I finally had a whole day free to write and I simply couldn’t. I froze. I cried. I got myself caught in this loop over the fact that I was wasting my productive time to mull over all this bullshit that shouldn’t be stalling me. It was Meltdown City, and I kept wondering if I was PMSing, or worse, bipolar—because hell, that runs in the family—and before you know it, I’m on the internet taking a quiz to determine if maybe I am (who fucking does that?).

I suddenly felt like I did once upon a time, even without the Africa mantra, but damn—was I being hard on myself!

Then three magical things happened.

First, I put a call in to the wonderful and lovely Malin James. Many of you know I adore this woman—she’s like my long lost twin separated at birth—so she felt like the right person to call. She needed a few minutes to call me back, and that was okay. While I waited, I texted my other friend—a non-writer with whom I share other similarities (including some astrological traits, if you’re into that). As she texted me back, I randomly found this article by James Clear about not striving so fucking hard for goals and instead reaching for the process and savoring that. Because that’s attainable. That you can’t fuck up, or bemoan not reaching. Because it’s all about the journey, remember?

So about the time I’d gotten the gist of Mr. Clear’s very clear point, my phone went off with a text and a phone call all at once. My two dearies had come to the rescue. The texter hit me with some sweet words telling me I was going to do just fine with the book, and then some encouragement to go on a long walk and drink more (she’s an exercise fiend and a wine connoisseur) and remember we’re Geminis (and thus naturally a tad bipolar). Meanwhile, the fabulous Malin chimed in with her extraordinarily calming and logical approach to tackling huge missions while circumventing bitchy elephants and dangerous landmines in a way that made sense to me (the twin thing again).

Bring It, Journey.

Bring it, Journey. Konrad Bak ©

And I’ve got to say—between these three events, I was suddenly okay with putting my story down for the day. I took a deep breath. I closed the browser telling me I was potentially bipolar. I calmly enjoyed the rest of my afternoon. I even went karaoking with another great friend (my version of the walk and drinking…instead I danced and drank) until something like 2 in the morning.

Because you know what? There are children starving in Africa. And elephants are awfully big to walk around. Also, landmines can be treacherous.

So sometimes you’ve just got to slow down and go with it.

Things are still stupidly chaotic in my life, but I’m not panicking on the book anymore. It will happen. And writing this post reminded me of a passage I scribbled from a phenomenal book I read last summer, Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke:

“I don’t have far to go.”

“That may be…or it may be that you have a greater distance than you think. But either way, you’ll get there eventually.”

You know what?

I will.


Jade and Malin at 50

Malin and I Talk Fifty Shades of Grey – in Stereo!

As you may well know, Malin James and I are the best of pals. We have a knack for chatter, laughter, and ridiculously good times. So for Valentine’s Day this year, we opted to take ourselves out to see the hugely hyped and widely discussed Fifty Shades of Grey. I mean, we do write erotica and all, so it made sense—and by golly, we were going to go into it open-minded and with the intent of making the best of it.

Here we are before the show:

Jade and Malin at 50

Pre-Fifty Shades in Our Super Shades

Since we’d both planned to write blog posts on the movie, we had some things to bounce around afterward. But when we found ourselves chatting over our usual Thai lunch with so very many things to say, we got to thinking…what if we just had this chat over a microphone and shared our thoughts in audio with all of you?

So, that’s exactly what we did. We ended up having a smashing good time (so much so that we should probably apologize in advance for how loud the cackling got), and we hope you enjoy our take on this highly debated erotica blockbuster.

Also, I should mention: outtakes. 🙂

And with that…

Malin and Jade Talk Fifty Shades of Grey:

Thank you so much for joining us!


The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Pillow Talk Secrets: All About the Dirty Scenes!

The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillowIt’s time for another Pillow Talk Secrets, everyone!

Today I’m quite excited as Malin James, Tamsin Flowers and I—your host for the day, Jade A. Waters—have a spicy new topic for you. We’ve been wanting to get back to the dirty, seeing as we are Erotica Writers Talking Dirty, so today I’m delighted to be leading our discussion on the best erotic scenes and acts to write. That’s right—you’ll be hearing all our favorite pairings, naughty deeds, and explicit (literary) moments, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride. (Eh-hm. Pun intended.)

So without further ado, welcome back to…

Pillow Talk Secrets

Jade: Hello, ladies! How are you both today?

Malin: I’m doing really well, thanks! How are you, Jade? Tamsin?

Tamsin: Very well, thank you.

J: I’m so glad to hear you’re both well. I’m very excited for our session today, and I suspect there’s some real dirtiness ahead. 😉 Shall we get to it?

M: Absolutely!

T: Fire away, Jade.

J: All right then. Today, we’re talking about favorite pairings and acts to write in erotica. Hot! Let’s kick off with pairings: one-on-one, threesomes, different gender combos, etc…any particular preferences?

M: Well, I’ve always loved writing m/m/f threesomes—my WIP is about how one develops longer term, (among other things). That said, I just wrote my first m/m last fall and kind of loved that too.

T: Yeah, I enjoy the old m/m/f—my novel Her Boss & His Client was about one—and that was so much fun to write. Double penetration and the rest! 😉

J: Right! You know, I haven’t written a ton of threesomes myself, but I did love penning the few I tried. So far I’ve only run with m/m/f. Have either of you given f/f/m a whirl, and if so, what do you feel are the differences in actually writing them (besides the obvious, of course)?

M: I wrote an f/f/m very early on—the story is awful, though the pairing was fun. I think the biggest difference, (for me), is that with m/m/f I feel free to just go to town, whereas with f/f/m, I’m very conscious of the fact that the f/f portion can accidentally come off as a bit performative, (as in “bi for his benefit”). While there’s nothing wrong with that in print or in life, there are other aspects of that dynamic I want to explore more.

J: That’s a really good point, Malin. That performative piece is so ingrained as a societal fantasy, it’s something to be mindful of.

M: It’s true…that said, I’ve read a lot of stories that dig into powerful, sexy stuff with f/f/m’s. There are a lot of different power dynamics to play with—same with m/m/f.

T: One thing about writing anything with three people involved is the need to be a little more specific about whose body part is whose—you can’t just say “his cock” if it could be Tom’s cock or Dick’s cock. And you need to be really clear for the reader on the logistics—it can certainly get confusing when there are six hands, six arms and legs, and multiple genitalia!

The kissJ: And that’s the same for more than three, too—I wrote a fourway orgy (in space, no less). It was three men and a woman. Mind your pronouns was the name of the game!

M: Absolutely—pronouns and body parts get really interesting when there are more than two people to manage. Same with action—it’s easy to accidentally focus on two of the characters and leave the third (or fourth) in some sort of sexy holding pattern. It’s like juggling balls (ha). You’ve got to keep all of them in the air.

T: Smart analogy!

J: Yes. Body part circus! 🙂 It’s something we have to pay attention to no matter what, but it’s certainly heightened in the three-four-five-(whoa wouldn’t that be fun?)-ways. So, while all the pairings are lovely, it’s clear we tend to gravitate to one-on-one for the majority of our writing. Let’s focus on specific acts in couple erotica then, no matter what the gender pairing. Shall we start at the beginning? They meet, they make eyes, and then…there’s the kiss! What are your thoughts on writing the kiss?

Click here to read more at Pillow Talk!

Jade reads Coming Together in the SF Botanical Garden

Coming Together: Among the Stars…Goes Traveling!

Okay, everyone, confession time:

Rose Caraway, Malin James and I got sneaky!

Today we want to let you in on it.

See, the fabulous Lynn Townsend pulled together some kick ass stories for our recent release, Coming Together: Among the Stars. The book is a collection of sexy sci-fi erotica stories from fantastic authors, all of them curated in the name of charity—a good one, too, as proceeds for the book go to the International Still’s Disease Foundation.

What’s Still’s Disease, you ask? The disease is a more severe version of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and can affect both children and adults (though the disease is more prevalent in children under 16). It is characterized by, among other things, intermittent salmon-colored rashes, spiking fevers, and swelling of internal organs and arthritis. It also remains a bit of a mystery in terms of causes and risk factors. There is much more to learn about it, and if you would like to do so, please visit the International Still’s Disease Foundation website.

Among the Stars

We of the book believe this is a great cause, which is why we’re all thrilled to be included in its pages. Sex and space is already a stellar combo, but sex and space for Still’s? Superb!

But okay, seriously, alliteration aside—Rose, Malin and I believed this was such a big deal, we wanted to do a little something extra for the book and its cause. Rose, in her infinite wisdom, gathered the three of us together to surprise Lynn Townsend with a special traveling SIGNED edition of Coming Together: Among the Stars. That is, this lovely book has been bouncing between us in California at various locales. It’s been on the road, out to lunch, out to coffee, and, before its final trek home, it made a guest appearance at a picnic party in San Francisco!

I even have pics to prove it—here’s me reading the book right next to the entrance of the Moon-Viewing Garden at the San Francisco Botanical Garden Park (appropriate location for a book set in space, wouldn’t you say?):

Jade with Coming Together in the Moon Viewing Garden

To be honest, I didn’t get much reading in at this party—but I can definitely say the book got more viewing than the moon did in the middle of the day. 😉

So, there you have it: our big secret. The book is signed by all three of us, and Ms. Townsend, we’re tickled to tell you it’s on the next leg of its journey—in the mail to you!

Readers, if you haven’t already, please check out this fabulous anthology to support a wonderful cause. You can read an excerpt and the back story for my contribution to the collection (“The Joy Ride”) right here, and then we hope you’ll pick up your very own copy on Amazon.

Thanks for your support, everyone!


The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Pillow Talk Secrets: Blowing Kisses to 2014 and Celebrating 2015!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Well, we’re on the second day of 2015, and to celebrate, Pillow Talk has a special New Year’s Secrets for you! Today, Malin James, Tamsin Flowers and I recap the year that was and usher in the excitement of the next one. Tamsin is our host this time around, and she’s thrown us some fun questions about our experiences as erotica writers, memorable writing moments, and other sexiness we’ve found in the industry. As usual, I’ve posted a bit of the session here with a link to continue, or you can hop on over to our site to read Secrets in its entirety.

Thanks so much for joining us—2014 was a great year, and we can’t wait to share more secrets with you in 2015!


The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Pillow Talk Secrets

Tamsin: Hello ladies. How are you both doing today?

Malin: So good! How are you Tamsin? Jade?

Jade: Great! So nice to be here with you both.

2015T: It certainly is good to meet for the first time in 2015 – Happy New Year to you both and to all our readers!

J: Yes, Happy New Year! *Blows party whistles* *Throws confetti*

M: I love the New Year – it always feels good to start fresh. *removes confetti from hair* 😉

T: It is great to have a fresh start. Now, let’s get going on today’s business – our look back over 2014 and our look forward over 2015. I’ve got a few questions to put to you two – starting with what was the most surprising thing writing erotica taught you about yourselves last year?

M: Oh boy.. Well, I think the  biggest thing it taught me was that I’m far more comfortable with myself sexually now than I’ve ever been. I don’t seem to have the hang-ups that plagued me as a younger, non-erotica writing woman.

J: It certainly does have that effect, doesn’t it? Something about writing erotic things adds to one’s erotic nature, I think.

T: I agree. And on a similar note, the more erotica I write the more comfortable I am with the fact that I’m an erotica writer. At first I didn’t want anyone to know – but now I take the opportunity to tell more people and most of them receive it very well.

J: I just love that feeling! I find the reception being positive is true, too.

M: Yes! It’s kind of funny to realize how much apprehension you can have about writing erotica when you first start playing with it. It’s nice to let that go as you develop as a writer.

J: I wrote about that acceptance of myself as an erotica writer back at the end of 2013 – and this year, having been one with it and really truly loving it, I would say the most surprising thing I learned is what a damn work horse I can be. I mean, I know I go at it sometimes, but I’ve had to pull back from working myself to exhaustion a few times. That was a shocker. I’m sure you both can relate to that, too.

T: Absolutely – that was one of my answers – I’ve surprised myself with my sheer doggedness when it comes to getting stuff done!

M: I never would have called myself a workaholic until this past year, but I’ve been surprised, like both of you, by how much it’s actually true. I guess loving your work brings that out!

J: Yes. But one of the things that’s helped is that you both have been around to “talk me down” when I’m taxing myself. I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve done for one another (besides all the “talking up,” of course).

M: Yeah – that support really has been critical. It’s easy to push too hard, or get too low. Having two partners/friends who can offer that bit of perspective is just invaluable.

T: It is a wonderful thing, and I wouldn’t be without you two! Now, what’s the most interesting or surprising thing you’ve learned about the industry over the course of 2014?

M: For me it was a fairly general realization. I was surprised by how unstable the market has gotten recently, and yet, within that, how many other options writers have. That and how unfailingly supportive other writers are.

T: That was totally going to be my answer – just how fantastic the erotica community is. We might supposedly be competing against each other but every writer I come across is generous with their support.

J: Yes. It’s a tight-knit group – probably the most lovable and delightful group of all the writer groups I’ve worked with. Considering how much flak the genre can get, it’s wonderful to have that support.

T: If we don’t help each other, who will?

J: Right!

T: Now, turning to what we’ve all been writing, tell me each of you, what was your hottest sex scene of the year?

Click here to read more!

Malin and Jade with BBOO

One Year Ago Today…

Today is a very special day. It’s an anniversary of sorts, one I can’t let pass by without a mention of its significance.

See, a year ago today, Rachel Kramer Bussel gathered nine writers together to read The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories at a Good Vibrations store in San Francisco.

I was ecstatic. It was my first ever reading of my first ever published story, a little flash piece called “The Flogger” that I practiced over and over again in my living room (in yoga pants and heels, no less). I have a theatre background, so while I was slightly nervous, I wasn’t too terrified. I just wanted to put on a good show and make sure not to turn beet red should I make eyes with a cute stranger while I said the word “cock” out loud. And more importantly, I really wanted to meet all these other cool authors reading from the book with me.

One of them was a lovely lady named Malin James. She wore really sexy boots and seemed to stand eight miles taller than me, despite my five-inch heels. She was ever so nice, and when she read her story “Hard Knocks”—one of my favorite from the collection—I could tell she had a theatre background, too. She was so damn good, I had to talk to her more. We ended up exchanging email addresses, and within a week we started spilling our guts to one another. A few weeks after that, we discovered we’d lived nearly parallel lives. We had so much in common it was less like we were sisters than we’d actually been conjoined twins separated at birth, and we both recognized immediately that we might well have found that one friend that gets everything about you, and who will support you no matter what, flaws and all, and love you till the end. It was, quite frankly, one of the coolest friendships I’d ever formed in my entire life.

Malin and Jade with BBOO

With our book while out for one of our monthly lunches! March 2014

Since that first reading, so many wonderful things have happened. I’ve met and worked with more amazing authors and editors. I’ve written bunches more stories. I’ve signed on with an agent for my books. I’ve also read more in public (watch out if you’re in my eye-line when I say “cock” now). And then of course, there’s the other dear erotica writer Malin and I know, the talented Tamsin Flowers—the three of us talk all the time, sharing insight, opinions, trials, and laughter, whether it be via Skype, email, or in one of our Pillow Talk Secrets sessions. Sure, the writing aspects are fantastic, but it’s the connections and friendships I’ve formed in this last year that really ice the cake. It may have taken a third-of-a-life crisis to figure out that erotica was what I wanted to write for real, but it was the reading on November 6th that made the true magic happen for me.

Cover of The Big Book of Orgasms

“The Flogger”

So today, I just want to pay homage to the juggernaut that was The Big Book of Orgasms and the amazing Rachel Kramer Bussel for taking my writing into the world of publishing. Without that, none of this would have happened. I also want to say I adore all the connections I’ve made throughout this year—in particular, the mighty friendship I share with Tamsin Flowers, and the bond I’ve formed with someone I openly refer to as the platonic love of my life, Malin James.

In short? Best anniversary ever! 🙂



My personal optimist motto pencils, a gift from Alison Tyler

You Win Some, You Lose Some (But Then You Win More)

It is finally October.

*Breathes enormous sigh of relief.*

My Sexy Optimist Pencils from Alison Tyler

Alison Tyler got me these pencils from Carbon Crusader as a participation prize—with my own personal motto on them!

To be clear, September was probably the most brutal month I’ve had in years. I had a gazillion things going on (no, really, a gazillion), and I felt more challenged than the proverbial hamster on a wheel. See, I was a runner on a treadmill asked to juggle fireballs, kittens, and jello with one hand tied behind my back, wearing a blindfold and chewing gum while also singing Christmas carols. It was nuts! My day job went full-tilt chaos; I had so many events scheduled I turned insomniac again; I had a jury duty run that, to be honest, was extremely emotional and brought up some old “stuff” for me (fortunately, I was dismissed after two days); and on top of all that, I wasn’t getting my words in. I’m an extremely fast writer, but when you don’t have the time, you don’t have the words. I also try not to write when I haven’t been sleeping, because bad things happen—I get forgetful. Plot points disappear. Characters lose important traits. Dialogue gets painful. And on and on…I mean heck, even outside the writing, I was so tired I had two conversations with a friend in one day and completely forgot it was her birthday. OMG. I don’t do that, like, ever—I’m the Keeper of the Birthdays! (Fortunately, she’s not a big birthday person. She laughed the whole thing off and told me to get some sleep.)

So all stressful things aside, here’s the deal—I’m generally a super optimist. I admit, I struggled to hang on to that as the month continued, and I had to keep reminding myself what a certain family member of mine always says: “How do you eat the elephant, honey? One bite at a time.

I would never eat the legendary Bertha, but you get the idea.

I would never eat the legendary Bertha, but you get the idea.

So I kept repeating that to myself…

One bite.

One bite.

One bite.

Come here, Bertha baby, you’re mine.

In truth, some of this figurative elephant eating was pretty kick-ass, and since there was so much goodness, I’m going to list it out for you:

♦ I got to join Rose Caraway in a bunch of readings for The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica. It needs to be said I love reading out loud, plus, I got to read my girl Tamsin Flowers’s delightful story, “POW! It’s Shibari Girl!” Great story, great events, AND, as it turns out, reading with Rose is better than ice cream with brownies and fudge sauce on top. It’s so much fucking fun! It doesn’t hurt that she and her fabulous husband, Big Daddy, are like the nicest, sweetest people on the planet, so every event I attended and participated in was fantastic!

♦ I hung out with other amazing people at all these events, too! Of course there was the lovely Malin James (whom I’m so close to I’m convinced she is my twin separated at birth), the sassy and delightful social media guru Eva Gantz, and the charming and sweet Sinclair Sexsmith. I had so many incredible conversations with each of them!

♦ Malin James and I went to one of Rose Caraway’s events as viewers, and we ended up having drinks with Rose, Big Daddy, and the legend that is Rachel Kramer Bussel. Guys, seriously—I had drinks with Rose, Big Daddy, Rachel KB, and Malin! Holy smokes!

♦ I finished my edits for Coming Together: Among the Stars, a sci-fi erotica anthology edited by Lynn Townsend and coming soon to benefit International Still’s Disease Foundation. I’ll have details on the book and my story, “The Joy Ride,” in the near future!Cover of Among the Stars

♦ I joined a randy group of wild writers for an upcoming anthology called Chemical (Se)X. Details forthcoming, but for now I’ll just say chocolate and sex.

♦ I got to support my graphic memoirist friend, MariNaomi, in the release of her new book in San Francisco! Mari is a personal friend and mentor in many ways, so I loved seeing her celebrate the release of her book. So proud!

♦ I celebrated my soon-to-arrive niecey #2 or nephew #1 (to be determined!) at a baby shower. (I love being an auntie.) 🙂

♦ I wrote several erotic poems inspired by the challenge Tamsin Flowers issued at our last Pillow Talk Secrets session. This was fun and fabulous; I got to stir up my poetry roots while getting in some smutty words in seriously short time increments—and I even started a page for it! This was the bulk of the writing I did all month. You know what? It wasn’t a ton, but it still felt like a win. And speaking of wins…

♦ I shared more fabulous moments with my Pillow Talk girls. Malin James and Tamsin Flowers are, quite simply, the loveliest. I’m a happy camper having the both of them in my life. (MUAH to you both!)

♦ And then there was the ginormous feat…I completely transferred my website to a self-hosted space. This involved a whole heck of a lot of design and setup work behind the scenes that could not have been possible without my awesome teacher, DomSigns. When his dreamy wife, Molly Moore, initially offered to help, I had no idea what I was in for—namely, a bevy of delightful Skype sessions that resulted in (a) me learning a ton and (b) us laughing a lot (mostly at naughty jokes). I can now proudly say that this site is damn near done and censorship free. There are a few other little things I have planned and/or need to fix, but holy torpedo, Batman, transfer complete!

So basically, despite all the chaos, I came out smiling. I may be ragged and tired, but I’m happy and have time again—which means I can get back to the book I had half-written before The Attack of September. Yeah!

Now, I just have one more thing to say:

October, baby—you’re my bitch.