Monday, December 31, 2012

Author Interview: Jason Rubis - Author Of Strangely Made

Here's an extra-special treat: a great Q&A with the wonderful Jason Rubis, author of the critically-acclaimed collection of dark erotica, Strangely Made

Fetish fantastique! Dark sexuality from the midnight land of our most lurid thoughts. Vampires, dominatrixes, ogres, princesses, and others find ways of inflicting pain, or having pain inflicted on them in this startling collection of erotica from the pages of Garden of the Perverse, Needles and Bones, Fetish Fantastic, Like Crimson Droplets, The Best Fantastic Erotica, and other publications.   As the author writes, "I can't explain any of these stories. The people you'll meet in these pages – whores and androgynies, vampires and beastfolk and various combinations of the above – are voices I heard in the shadows, but the darkest of those shadows I cast myself." 
No wonder editor and critic M. Christian raves, "Jason Rubis is a writer to be admired, a writer who does everything – from plot to dialogue, description to sensuality, sophistication of emotion to wit – with tremendous skill.

1) What is the title of your book?

The book is called Strangely Made

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, it’s a collection of stories, so there are as many “origins” as there are individual pieces. A few examples: “Dancer, Daemon” ultimately had its origins in a Gene Wolfe essay on obscure words in hisBook of the New Sun. The word that caught my eye was “matachine,” meaning a masked sword-dancer. That brought some beautiful, sexy images to mind and I set about trying to explore them. Eventually it gave me a story. “Singapore” was directly inspired by a real restaurant I used to go to, and the beautiful, fascinating woman who owned it. I talk about the origins of one of the book’s vampire stories, “Gather Together Tonight,” in the book’s introduction.

3) What genre does it fall under?

It includes a number of different kinds of stories—sf, “slipstream,” heroic fantasy, fairy tale, vampire, SM--but I personally think of it as erotic dark fantasy.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d love to see Meryl Streep play the Ogress in “Beauty Thrasher.” Maybe Emma Thomson as Alie in “Day Journey, With Stories.” And this is kind of off the wall, but I could see Tia Carrere as Kaso in “Dancer, Daemon.” I would be fascinated and rather afraid to meet the actor who could play Darien from “Darien Sucks.” Ralph Fiennes? Naaah.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I can’t do any better than the publisher’s very short description: “Fetish fantastique!”

6) Was your book self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither; it was published by Sizzler Editions, an imprint of Renaissance e-Books. I’m very happy to see these stories out from the same publisher who has revived Lord Dunsany, William Morris and George MacDonald, as well as putting out some extremely fine contemporary erotica.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?

The earliest of the stories, “Lioness,” dates back to the early 90s, when I was living in Seattle. The more recent stories were finished just before the book was submitted, so collectively you’d have to say it was nearly twenty years in the making! Some of the individual stories took years to get right; “Circe House” took about three years, “Dancer, Daemon” took seven, as I recall (!).

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

As a collection of SF & fantasy erotica, I’d love it if people found reason to compare it to books like M. Christian’s The Bachelor Machine, or Cecilia Tan’s Black Feathers, both of which I’ve read and admired very much.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve been privileged to know a lot of very sexy, passionate and fascinating people, and to have had some lovely, sometimes frightening experiences. They are all reflected in Strangely Made, as well as my lifelong interest in fantasy literature.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, it has an absolutely beautiful cover, I think, and a very flattering introduction by M.Christian. And I don’t think you’ll find another collection that combines ogresses, steampunk, vampires, a transgendered heroine, and two very different takes on “The Island of Dr. Moreau.”

Out Now: Zeke Kincaid's Woman By Betty Carlton

This is no argument that Betty Carlton is one of the best writers of romantic erotica out there - and this, her new book, proves just how good she can be: Zeke Kincaid's Woman


On the musical stage in 1856 Lori Ann a singer extraordinaire impresses the audiences with her voice. Male admirers line up for a chance to meet her. An enamored Zeke Kincaid is one of them. A dominate man as well as honorable he proposes marriage and foolishly she refuses. Once a Kincaid man chooses his mate it’s a done deal as far as they are concerned. Zeke does the only thing he knows. The same as many men in his family before him have done. He spirits Lori Ann away, and begins to train her to be submissive and obedient in the Kincaid tradition. In all ways Zeke can think of Lori Ann will learn to please him. He will return to the town of Paradise to finish her training. All goes well until the day Lori Ann vanishes.

Out Now: Strays and Other Stories By A. F. Waddell

Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions is extremely pleased and proud to be able to bring you this, a cutting-edge collection of erotica by a wonderful new author.  Pick up Strays and Other Stories by A. F. Waddell and you will not be disappointed!

- and be sure to check out a juicy excerpt from Strays right here.


An extraordinary and pungent collection of sensual tales! Strays encompasses vivid erotic storytelling, characterizing both the infamous and the everyday. From California to New Orleans and throughout the environs of the American Southwest, Strays sizzles the scenery. 
A. F. Waddell writes short fiction including humour and erotica. Waddell's work has been selected for The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, The Mammoth Book of the Best of the Best New Erotica, Sexy Tales of Strong Women, Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers, and other anthologies and magazines.

Out Now: Bad Girl By Jason Walker

Here's a real treat for fans of well-written - and hotter-than-anything - erotica: a brand new book by the great Jason Walker: Bad Girl


Money and power had lost their charm for Rena. Her marriage was unfulfilling. Her life lacked excitement until he died. Rena knew it was wrong but didn’t or couldn’t stop. It took extreme circumstances for Rena Talbot to realize that it wasn’t the things around her that she needed to feel alive again; it was the hands of a strong confident man, a man who had been there all along. The price must be paid, but redemption can be found, if she is willing to give herself over to him.
Jason Walker was a professional broadcaster for nearly 25 years.
 
After the death of his wife in 2008 he finally acted on her advice and turned his attention to writing in a more serious way. Now he lives with his twenty one year old son in a quiet rural community and has devoted himself to making his wife’s desire for him come true, to write quality stories to entertain. Everyday is a learning experience and he hopes to get better with every word. This, just as everything he writes, stands dedicated to that most wonderful and perfect woman.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Seven Weeks Of M.Christian: Week 3 - My Mission In Life



Continuing his seven (possibly terrifying) weeks of self-exposure, here's M.Christian's newest installment:

My reasoning behind this is that I haven't really talked a lot about myself for a while so I thought it would be a fun little experiment to post - once a week, for seven weeks - a series of essays about little ol' me: where I came from, my professional journey, being an editor, being a publisher ... and even my hopes and dreams for the future.

Hope you like!



Being a writer – or, to be a bit more precise, the way I became a writer – has really affected how I view the writing life ... well, actually any kind of creative life. Part of it, of course, is that it took me a long time to actually become a professional -- but more than that I think it's the transformation I went through during that far too lengthy process.

Like a lot of people, when I first began to write with an eye to actually getting published, it was a very painful process: the words just didn't come, I was always second-guessing my stories, felt like my characters were dead-on-arrival, and doubt was around much more than confidence or even hope.

But, as we read in our last installment, I kept with it and was able, finally, to step into the word of professionalism. But an odd thing happened during those years: I actually began to like to write.

Shocking, I know (and, yes, that was sarcasm), as that is what writers are supposed feel, but when I wrote like I should have said loved: sure, the words were still clumsy, the plots a struggle, the characters stiff and uncooperative, and I thought more about being out-of-print than ever getting into-print, but somewhere during those years something just clicked and I began to look forward to losing myself in my own tales, having fun with language, playing with characters ... I began to see the joy in actually telling stories.

But, more than that, I began to see the magic – which gets me, in a rather convoluted way, to the title of this little piece. Working on my stories, before and after being a professional, I developed a real appreciation for what it means to be a creator. Distilling it down a bit, I began to see writing – or painting, music, etc – as very special: what a creative person does is truly unique, incredibly difficult, and immeasurably brave.

Think about it for a second: how many people out there, milling about in their lives, have ever even considered doing what a creative person does. Sure, they may think about it, dream about it, but very few actually take even the simplest of shots at it: a creative person is a rare and special treasure. Now consider this: not only are creative people one percent (or less) of the people walking this world but they are willing to actually get off their day-dreaming clouds and do the work – often against overwhelming odds. We hear of the successes, of course: the award-winners, the 'names,' the celebrities – but we don’t hear about millions of others who tried their very best but because of this-or-that they just weren't in the right place at the right time with the right creation. Lastly, even the idea of stepping into a creative life – especially a professional one – is awe-inspiringly courageous: not only do we do the work, struggle with every element, fail and try and learn and fail and try and learn but, despite it all, we keep going.

I call this installment "My Mission In Life" because I've been there, I know the pain of rejection, the struggles of trying to create something from nothing and so when I work with, talk with, or teach – though my classes – anyone doing anything creative I always remind them of their rarity, their dedication, their courage.

I once wrote a little piece that kind of got me into trouble – especially with other writers. In it I laid it on the line: you will never be famous, rich, or have one of your books made into a movie, no one will ask for your autograph ... but, if you remember that what you are doing is rare, special, and brave then some of that might actually happen. The trick is to remember the magic, to forever hold onto the pure enjoyment that comes from creating something that no one has ever seen before.

I don't use the word magic lightly: when it happens just right, when we put it all together, what creative people do is transport people into another world, show them things that they may never have ever considered, and – if we are very lucky – change their lives. If that is not magic then I don't know what is.

So, "My Mission In Life" is (1) remember my own lessons and not lose sight of the joy in creation, the specialness of what I am trying to do, and the courage I have in sending my work out into the too-often cold and uncaring world; and (2) to tell as many creative people the same exact thing.

Sure, some of us might be 'known' a bit more than others, sell more books, make more money and all the rest of that crap – but I sincerely believe that anyone who has dedicated themselves to creation, of any kind, deserves support and respect. No one who creates is better than any other person who creates: we all face the same difficulties, the same ego-shattering failures, the same Sisyphian tasks of trying to get out work out there and noticed.

What writers do is magic -- pure and simple: we are magicians using only our minds, imaginations, and lots of hard to work to use only words to transform, enlighten, transport, amuse and maybe even enlighten.

As a writer, an editor, a friend, and now as a publisher, it is my heartfelt "Mission" to remind anyone who creates that they are truly special: published or not, 'successful' or not, rich or not, famous or not, we are all magicians – and that we are all in this together and that there is absolutely no reason to make an already tough life tougher through needless competition, arrogance, conceit, or just simple rudeness.

We magicians should stick together – and never forget why we are all here: to experience the joy in telling stories.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Excerpt from Strays and Other Stories By A. F. Waddell


Here's an extra-special treat: an delight series of excerpts from A. F. Waddell's brand-new book (out now from Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions): Strays and Other Stories.


An extraordinary and pungent collection of sensual tales! Strays encompasses vivid erotic storytelling, characterizing both the infamous and the everyday. From California to New Orleans and throughout the environs of the American Southwest, Strays sizzles the scenery.  
A. F. Waddell writes short fiction including humour and erotica. Waddell's work has been selected for The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, The Mammoth Book of the Best of the Best New Erotica, Sexy Tales of Strong Women, Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers, and other anthologies and magazines.

In the Thelma and Louise-inspired story, Tina and Lucille hit the road

"Lucille, don't look now, but there's a police car behind us." Lucille took a left turn off an I-40 frontage road, cruising the gauntlet of apartments, duplexes, and ranch-style homes. They viewed a perversion of nature: harsh desert turned lush by extensive watering systems. Some homeowners simply rolled out astroturf. Others landscaped with stone. 


A Southern California screenwriter works and plays. 

Darkness was beautiful I thought: the deep reds of roses and blood and wine; the tan-to-brown of bread and chocolate and exotic skins; the dark liquid of brown, drowning-pool eyes pulling one in. Contrast could be interesting. I thought of sophistication and innocence; vanilla-cream swirling with caramel-tan.



Homicide detectives Strode and Harris investigate a well-known New Orleans author

My apartment was near the river. I was between a liquor store and a voodoo supply. I could conveniently shop the odd assortment ofwines at Jimmy's or drop in at Rita's for herbs, gris gris and candles. Local real estate could be a mishmash of residential and commercial, eye candy and eyesore. Buildings seemed slightly askew, threatening implosion, cartoon-like: from the inside, seemingly spacious - from the outside, smallish, individual frontage mere slits in the block. N'awlins was sinking. The delta was eroding. The buffer zone was going. The big storm was coming.



Culinary bikers travel the American West

The Road Killers had a growing rep. They'd kicked a bunch of ass at a bar outside Tulsa. They'd been minding their own business, having a dance together when the local opined on their motto. " 'Waste not, want not'? What kinda sissy stuff is that? Y'all one a' them anti-litterin' groups?"


The Metzlers enjoyed hot dog casserole, The Twilight Zone, plastic on the furniture, and cashmere. 

Stuart Metzler sat in his 1959 Pontiac Chieftain on his Maple Street driveway. Mmm . . . that new car smell. One day they’ll bottle and sell it. He pulled a small memo pad and pen from a suit pocket and made a note. ’New car smell — replicate and market!’ He took in the car’s interior. ‘Dashboard needs more knobs! Bigger!’ he jotted. As a Strategy Formulation consultant, he had diverse information and ideas but felt occasionally envious as he watched clients succeed in theirprojects. He experienced random, uncontrollable urges to lie, and enjoyed gauging reaction. Stuart anticipated the day’s work, and wondered what his secretary Vicky would be wearing.



Marilyn Monroe experiences her last summer on earth

"Oh, I absolutely love negative ionization. It makes me high!” Marilyn squealed. She wore a low-cut black silk dress and black heels. Her skin well took the sun. The tip of her nose had been shortened and narrowed; concavity below her cheekbones had been enhanced by the extraction of a few back teeth. Short platinum blonde locks contrastedwith tan skin, like vanilla frosting on a caramel cake. The mole on the right side of her face seemed an asymmetrical accent to her physical perfection.
“Marilyn, darling, are you sure it’s not the margaritas?” laughed her small blonde companion.
“Truman!”
“Would you believe who’s here tonight? Am I hallucinating, or is that the president of the United States standing near the buffet table?”
She laughed. “Perhaps you ARE hallucinating."



A couple vacations at a Louisiana bed and breakfast, encountering literary ghosts

A dark man in a white linen suit, brown wingtips, and white Panama hat chain-smoked Pall Malls, downed Wild Turkey and animatedly talked to a small blond man seated opposite him.
"Just listen to them go at it, would you? Their paroxysms of passion make me positively dyspeptic. It's always the same, people from the other side inhabiting our special places and invading our space. And entities capitalizing on our names. The Southern Gothic. Indeed! How long have we been here now? I wouldn't have predicted qualities of the afterlife. It takes a period of adjustment. "
"I suppose. I was here for weeks before I figured it out. I have difficulty keeping track of things."

Monday, December 24, 2012

M.Christian's Stroke The Fire On Cecilie Smutty Hussy's Place


(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)


Very cool: as part of the Stroke The Fire blog tour, the very fun Cecilie Smutty has just posted a brief Q and A with M.Christian truly about his best-of-his-very-best queer erotica: STROKE THE FIRE: The Best ManLove Fiction of M.Christian (part of the special Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions M.Christian ManLove Collection)


I am pleased to say that M. Christian has graced the Lair with his presence... Please put together a warm, smutty welcome for our guest today!

Since you are a new to me author, I am hoping to bring you to the light of others! So let’s share!


Why don't you tell us a little about yourself.... Something that we cannot Google about you, lol!

Well, let's see ... I began with fertilization (thanks, mom; thanks, dad) then quicly moved along to being a zygote and then to cleavage before going onto blastocyst differentiation. Nine or so months and I was on the scene as a – according to mom – rather big infant.

From there to about high school is not really worth talking about -- bullies, zits, voice cracking, hair where there hadn't been hair before, hormones – the usual stages of development from sprout to young adult.

I'd always been a creative kid – thus the bullies – but didn't really have much of a direction for it, but then in High School I was struck (almost literally) by the idea of being a writer. When I say struck I mean it almost literally: I went after being a published author with a serious vengeance. Reading somewhere that the best way of becoming a writer is to ... well, write I set myself a rigorous regimen.

In the end it paid off ... though in a rather usual way: in 1993 (or so), on the spur-of-the-moment I took a class in writing erotica taught by Lisa Palac (who was editing a magazine at the time called FutureSex). Spur-of-the-moment (2) I handed her a story I had just written ... and was totally, completely, utterly shocked -- and totally, completely, utterly delighted – that she bought it for her magazine. A short time later the same story was picked up by Susie Bright for her Best American Erotica 1994.

Just like that I was a published author: a pornographer, sure, but after struggling with my rigorous regimen for (yes, you may gasp) a little under ten years I was ecstatic. After that first story I write another and another and another until...

...here I am: 400+ published stories in anthologies like (the already mentioned) Best American Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica – and even Best Gay Erotica, and Best Lesbian Erotica – plus a whole lot more. I've edited over 25 anthologies – including the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and lots more.

My short stories have been collected into many books covering a wide variety of genres, including the Gay Literature/Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys, and BodyWork; also collections of non-fiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed Bachelor Machine.

I've even written quite a few novels: the queer vamp novels Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Fingers Breadth and Me2.

I'm even an Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books, where I (really) try to be the publisher I want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world. My site is www.mchristian.com.

Tell us a little about your book?

The book I'm pushing right now is called STROKE THE FIRE: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian and it's the best-of-the-best of my queer erotic short stories – taken from my previous collections Bodywork, Filthy Boys, and the celebrated Dirty Words. In addition to the best stories from each book I also included the introductions to each book as well: Me from BodyWork, Felice Picano from Filthy Boys, and Patrick Califia from Dirty Words. A lot of the stories have been in books like Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, and the like.

What's rather odd (to be polite) about this book is that while it's queer erotica –and I've written a lot of queer fiction in general – I'm straight.

The way it happened – me being a straight author of queer fiction – is actually rather simple: one day an editor friend was doing a book of gay erotica and wanted to know if I could write a story ... so I did, and he bought it. A few dozen or so stories later I got an offer by a gay publishing house to write a novel, which led to move novels, some anthologies and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history.

Being serious for a second, I am always very clear with every editor and publisher I work with that I am not gay. In fact when I teach my Sex Sells: How To Write And Sell Erotica class – and what I also say in my How To Write And Sell Erotica book – is that fiction is fiction and that writers should always stretch themselves creatively but when it comes to be a writer talking to a publisher they should never, ever pretend to be someone they are not.

I cannot begin to say how touched I am by the queer community for being (1) to supportive of my work and (2) so understanding of who I really am. A great friend of mine – a publisher of many of my books – once said, and I totally agree with him, that love is love: meaning that even though I may not be sexually queer I adore my gay characters and friends. The mechanics are secondary once you realize that all of us – gay, bi, straight or otherwise – have more in common than less and that we all share the same, basic emotional landscape.

Oh, and just for shits and giggles, here's the table of contents forStroke The Fire:

Stroke The Fire
The Greener Grasses
Hollywood Blvd.
The Hope Of Cinnamon
Suddenly, Last Thursday
That Sweet Smell
Utter West
Friday Night At The Calvary Hotel
Spike
How Coyote Stole Sun
Echoes
Blue Boy
Matches
Wet
Coyote And The Less Than Perfect Cougar
Counting
About The Author (which is actually the title of a story)

How easy do stories come to you?

I like to say I have it bad -- I'm not just a writer by profession but in every way, every part of myself: I just absolutely love to think about stories, plots, characters, novels, settings ... you name it. Sure, writing can still be a trial (to put it mildly) especially when you have to hammer your head again and again and again against things like publicity and the other awful, icky parts that come with the professional side of writing, but when it does get difficult I always try to get back to the joy I feel when I'm writing ... when I'm tellingstories.

What is your favorite part of the book?

I don't really have any favorites ... mainly because I always try and look forward rather than backward when I think about stories and novels and all that.  When I'm feeling cute I say that my favorite story is the one I haven't written yet.

You can only pick 3 words for your main characters ... what would they be?

Hum ... I do know that my stories and books and characters have a tendency to be bittersweet – which kind of reflects my view of life, I guess: that there really aren't happy, shiny endings but, instead, shiny, happy moments in what can be dark and stormy lives.

That being said I'm actually working on a new book – a sequel to my science fiction erotica collection The Bachelor Machine – where my goal is to write not just hot science fiction erotica but stories where the future is depicted as being a very positive place. Part of my reason for doing this is noticing that the stories in I wrote for the original Bachelor Machine were a tad ... stormier than usual, but also because I've noticed a lot of people seem to be reflexively negative about the future. So I want to show that the future could just as easily become a wonderful, positive place – even with scary things like genetic engineering, artificial intelligences, memory alteration, and so forth.

Which was the easiest character to write and the hardest -- and why?

Characters themselves, believe it or not, can sometimes be the problem. I usually write as more of a storyteller, who keeps his characters really tightly in check as what they are doing is usually more important who they are. I know some writers who let their characters roam free, and say that their books or stories aren't done until the characters tell them so ... but that's just not the way I work.

But I should also say that I'm a huge fan of pushing yourself in all kinds of ways: professionally, personally ... you name it. So one thing I'm planning for the future is a book where the characters are running the show – if just to see how it all goes. After all, I didn't know I could write erotica until I tried, didn't know I could write gay fiction until I tried, didn't know I could edit books until I tried ... you get my gist. Who knows what I – or anyone – might be good at until you give it a shot?

What are you currently working on?

Well, I just mentioned a book that is more character than plot-driven as an experiment, and I also chatted a bit about my follow-up to The Bachelor Machine ... but I'm also planning in starting a new novel very soon. I really enjoyed writing the books Me2 and Finger's Breadth – as they touched on a favorite theme of mine: playing with the unexpected and unusual way we human beings act and interact with each other -- the roles we unconsciously play, the dark (and light) sides of our natures that come out under adversity, mob psychology ... all that fun stuff.

Do you have anything due to release soon?

The great folks ay Renaissance/Sizzler Editions (who I also – ahem – happen to be an Associate Publisher for) are going to re-releasing a new edition of my erotic romance, Brushes, and a collection of my non-queer short stories. I'm also finishing up my first shot at a comic book, called Masquerade (with incredible art by Wynn Ryder), and an anthology I edited – about food and sex – called A Lover's Feast, and a new edition the transgender anthology I edited a few years back, Trans Figures.

In other words I like to stay busy – and then some! I'm also getting out there more as a reader/teacher/performer. Just check out my sub-site at mchristian-teaching.blogspot.com for info on all that fun stuff.

What's one thing that you enjoy about writing?

Well, as I said I have it bad. I see writing as an almost spiritual thing – that, somehow, my one little brain can create characters, worlds, tales ... all kinds of things ... that, if I do my job right and/or am damned lucky can reach out and truly affect people's lives. And if I really do my job right and/or am lucky my words will outlive me by decades or maybe even hundreds of years.

When I teach my classes I tell my students – and tell myself when things get dark and depressing – that writers are true and real magicians: our spells are our words, our stories, and they can literally change the world.

I truly love to explore, learn and more of all play with language and story. It's not just what I do as a living but who I am as a person. I don't think I could ever not be a writer.

What do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks?

I actually started my 'career' in the days of paper so I'm one of those folks who can actually look at both pretty clearly ... and I have to say, without hesitation, that eBooks are better for both writers as well as readers. Sure, writers won't get those advances again, but they always seem to forget that's just what they were: money givenagainst the sales of their books, and the brutal truth is that if their books didn't make that money back – and more – their 'career' could very well be over. With eBooks there is no pressure to make your book into a bestseller in the first month – in fact, eBooks can sit on their virtual shelves for a very long time before taking off and it in no way affects how the publisher feels about that author's work. This also means that publishers can take books that are more ... experimental, as they don't have to invest thousands of dollars into printing, distributing and promoting them – just to break even!

eBooks are great for readers (and authors as well) as books don't have to die. One of the man things I love about working for an eBook publisher is being able to re-release books that otherwise would be either out-of-print or practically out-of-existence. I think that is marvelous as there are so many fantastic books out there that otherwise people would never have a chance to read. With eBooks they can!

Is there a genre you would like to write but are a little apprehensive to try?

Well, I always try to push myself in all kinds of ways – you've already heard my little rant about "not knowing you are good at something until you try" so, with that in mind there are a LOT of things I'd love to try: I have plans to try my hand at either a one-act play or a screenplay, a more (ahem) optimistic romance novel, a straight-up horror novel, plus a few really out-there-experimental projects that will hopefully push the boundaries of what a book can be. We're seen a little bit of this kind of stuff with augmented reality games but I want to do so much more with it.

Okay ... personal time! Oh yeah, I go there: If you thought you were safe ... Nah ... Forgot it ... Not a chance! We will start off slow and easy, I promise!

What is on your night stand/dresser?

I really don't have either: I live in what I call an artist's colony – which is really just a big, crazy house I share with a musician, painter, and a gardener. My room is small but – as mom was an interior decorator – it's really very nice. I only have room for a small bookcase (comic books) a large bookcase (books), my desk, and a bed. I do have a few odd things, a pair of model Theo Jansen strandbeests, another pair of models but this time from Hieronymus Bosch's Garden Of Earthy Delights, a miniature terrarium, and two huge stained glass windows my father made.

What are you listening to you right now?

Actually I don't write to music: I'm much more of a visual person so I watch movies while I work. I don't have cable – in fact I can't stand broadcast TV – but I have a great Internet connection so I have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a whole bunch of other great sources of entertainment and information. Right now I'm watching Roger Corman's War-Gods Of The Deep on YouTube (with Vincent Price) but later I'm planning on watching one of my all-time favorite films: Seconds by John Frankenheimer (starring Rock Hudson).

What are you reading right now?I have an iPad and a rather huge eBook library but, thanks to a nice sale on Amazon, I scored a bunch of Philip K. Dick books for a buck each, so I'm halfway through my favorite of his: Eye In The Sky.

What is your favorite season? Holiday?

My family is just my brother (my mom and dad both passed away) and so my family is all my friends -- so we don't have a lot of traditional holidays. I like to say that we have a celebration every time any two of us get together ... that and holidays and such just feel a bit too stiff and 'traditional' for me.

You know you do ... Quickie time ... Think fast ... Dark or Milk Chocolate?

Dark, absolutely. Vosage's bacon dark when I can afford it, Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups when I can't

Whipped or Melted?

Definitely melted: cheese is one of my big weaknesses – though I have been trying to cut down on it a bit.

Straight up or with a twist - sex?

Even though I've written quite a lot of queer fiction (erotic or non), I'm straight – and even though I've written a lot of kinky sex I'm actually a very meat-and-potatoes straight guy ... though I have a weakness of big, beautiful girls. But I never let my libido run the show: I fall in love with a woman, first, and her body second.

What's your fave drink - in a glass or on her?

Can I say in her ... I'm more than a tad orally fixated when it comes to sex.

Spank or Flogger?

Neither, but I teach classes in both ... as well as bondage, caning, nipple play, cupping, and a whole lot more.

Junk or Health Food?

Neither, as I'm kind of a foodie – though I do try and eat as healthy as I can. At home I've been experimenting (be afraid ... be very afraid) to give me better options than just quesadillas, but I love to get out and try new places and new cultures. There's this Turkish place in Berkeley I'm seriously in love with....

Leather or Lace?

Either is fine with me. I'm a very empathetic lover so if my partner lives something and gets turned on then I get turned on ... even though, like I said, I'm really a very simple guy when it comes to sex.

Control or Be Controlled?

I say controlled: I'm a pleaser – especially in bed. Oh, I know how to top and am quite good at it but my heart is never really in it ... though, again, if my partner is into it then I will definitely try anything.

Vampire or Werewolf?

Neither – even though I wrote two vamp books (Very Bloody Marys and Running Dry) and plan on working on a sort-of werewolf book – I really am quite bored with the whole paranormal thing. Come on, folks, let's be a bit more original!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Praise for Mistress Kitty!

From Kevin Tipple - Peacock Blue:

"An unhealthy submissive is a useless submissive."

 A code that Mistress Kitty lives by in this interesting collection of stories penned by the author. According to the introduction, these stories were created by the author when she was submitting works to the list Males In slavery Stories. These did not fit the list. They are also not the usual thing where the Female Dominant "was a bitch, liked to beat her slaves, senselessly, etc." as the author puts it. This author wanted to do something different where romance plays a strong role and the couple is just a little bit kinky.
She certainly succeeded and the romance comes through loud and clear. As does the kinky and the entire project works. Space limitations preclude me going into great detail about each of the twelve stories. Each one has elements of romance as well as bondage including the use of a certain instrument named Allison, various other fetishes, and often are holiday or seasonal themed. 

See the full review here


From Sensual Reviews -

MISTRESS KITTY is an intense voyage into the world of the Dominante female and her submissive man. The unwavering love between these two people is tested by their lifestyle on a daily basis. Even though some of the scenes made me cringe slightly, the ultimate outcome is the steadfast connection between the characters. Kitty is the sexy Dom, and commands her subbie with underlying tenderness and affection; while Trent is the eager sub, willing to do anything to please his woman, preferring her power over him, body and soul. In all, I recommend MISTRESS KITTY AND TRENT for fans of erotic romance, paired with lots and lots of spice and naughty BDSM play.

Reviewed by Marianne LaCroix for Sensual Romance.

Purchase Mistress Kitty From Amazon
Purchase Mistress Kitty From  Sizzler Editions (Note the covers differ, that's all and should be fixed by the time this post is up!)

Seven Weeks Of M.Christian: Week 2 - Queerer Than You Can Imagine

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)



Continuing his seven (possibly terrifying) weeks of self-exposure, here's M.Christian's newest installment:

My reasoning behind this is that I haven't really talked a lot about myself for a while so I thought it would be a fun little experiment to post - once a week, for seven weeks - a series of essays about little ol' me: where I came from, my professional journey, being an editor, being a publisher ... and even my hopes and dreams for the future.

Hope you like!

(this week's piece was also run on Buffy Kennedy's site "Buffy's Ramblings" as part of the Stroke the Fire Guest Blog Tour that the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions were so kind of set up for me)

#

Wanna hear a funny ... well, if not funny then at least odd ... story?  In our previous installment you heard of my journey from amateur to professional writer.  Pornographic (mostly) but a professional writer, nonetheless.

Since I published by first story in 1993 I've been – to put it mildly – writing up a storm.  I'm not going to inflict my entire bio on you (that's at the bottom of this piece as well as on my site at www.mchristian.com) but let's just say that I've written quite a few stories – that have been collected into quite a few collections – as well as more than a few novels.

Onto the funny: quite a few of those stories, more than a few of the collections, and most of those novels – plus a serious number of anthologies where I've been an editor – feature gay or lesbian characters.  In fact I've had stories in the celebrated Best Gay Erotica, Best of the Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Transgendered Erotica, and I was even a finalist for the gay literature award, the Lambda's...

Anyway, I think you get the build-up, so here's the punchline:

I'm straight.

Not even bisexual.  Oh, sure, I've gotten more than a few offers (very flattering) but, as I like to say, Mr. Happy only responds to women.  Now I also like to say I'm politically gay in that I vote a very purple ticket and consider gay rights to be the litmus test for any politician, nation, city, and so forth; socially bi in that I have no problem kissing and telling my male friends that I love them; and sexually ... like I said: straight. 

Now I want to be very clear that my reason for being a non-queer author in a queer world did not spring from any kind of deception: I am very out about being a straight guy (though a few of my gay friends don't believe me), and when I teach classes in smut writing I tell my students – with great emphasis – never to lie about who they really are to sell a story. 

How I got to where I am is actually a simple – but important – story, especially for writers.  It started very simply: a friend of mine suggested writing a gay story for a special anthology.  Now, I had never thought about anything like that – hell, I'd only just selling stories so I hadn't considered much of anything – so I gave it a shot.  Surprise: it was bought.  This put me on the gaydar, so to speak.  Soon I was not just writing gay (and lesbian) stories but editors and publishers were actively seeking me out to write for them.  No dummy, I wrote what people wanted to buy ... which puts me close to where I am now.

While I may, at worst, be a literary opportunist – one of my taglines is, after all, is that I'm A Literary Streetwalker With A Heart of Gold – I truly feel honored to be not just accepted but in many ways honored by the gay and lesbian community.  I've been brought to the verge of tears more than once by a gay, lesbian, bi, or transgendered person telling me that anything I wrote has touched them, or when a member of the community asks me to write for them.

In this, I feel, is a lesson for any writer: I did not know – at all – that I could write queer stories until I tried.  Who knows what you could be good at until you try?  I tell my students all the time to try, experiment, with everything and anything – even if it’s something you may not even like.  The worst that happens is that you find out that a certain genre is not for you, but then you could be wonderfully surprised that you not only enjoy, but are quite good at, writing for that genre.

Stretch, play, have fun, try, experiment ... in writing but also in life, to get a bit philosophical. 

Before I close, I want to touch on one final thing.  Often I get asked is how I can write about characters that don't share my sexual orientation.  Now, writing beyond yourself is what fiction is all about: horror writers don't really kill people, science fiction authors don't – mostly – come from other worlds ... you get the idea.  Fiction is fiction, and good fiction suspends our disbelief to the point where we forget that what we are reading isn't exactly true.

But I do have one bit of advice that's come from being a straight guy in queer clothing: I don't write about queer characters ... I write about people.

While I may not know what being a gay man is actually like, and I'm not equipped to know a lesbian one, I do know about hope, fear, delight, wonder, the giddy thrill of arousal, the nervousness that comes with the first few moments of sex, the lightheaded joy that comes when lust turns into love ... I may not know a few (ahem) details but I know what it means to be a human being, and no matter what anyone says we are all, down deep where it matters, more alike than not.

Yes, I write about gay characters, but – following my own advice – I am also constantly trying to expand my repertoire: challenging myself as much as possible.  I've tried my hand at romance, horror, science fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, historical ... sometimes I succeed, sometimes I feel I need a lot more work ... but no matter what I write, and where my life goes from here, I will always hold in the depths of my heart a love for all the gay men and women who have been so kind and supportive of me and my work. 

I may not know everything about what it means to be queer – but I certainly, absolutely, totally know what love feels like. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Savvy Authors - Basics of Male POV by Sascha Illyvich

The increasing competitiveness in publishing is forcing authors to take a good, hard look at all the factors that go into a bestselling (or even just a selling) book. Those factors include story, plot, and characterization. Yes, skill in the Craft is a huge part but all of that is apparent from the starting blurb all the way to the last page of the book.

Cross gender characterization is often the most difficult for authors because the resources are limited, biased or just not all that thorough. Yes, not all that thorough and limited are different here.

Some of what culture has put forth can be applied in the proper context. The Sex In The City girl has a place in romance novels where the heroine isn't looking for serious commitment and the story overall is not heavy. Most of my stories do NOT fit this profile, and even when I write contemporary I still put more depth in my heroines than what comes out in that particular example. There are reasons for why those women act that way and an understanding of those reasons makes for a better writer as you learn to craft characters with depth.

In this article on Savvy Authors, I’ll be giving you a few tips on creating characters and writing from the Male POV. These tips are pulled straight from my workshop: Writing from the Male POV and Creating Better Heroes.

Savvy Authors - Basics of Male POV by Sascha Illyvich

Sascha Illyvich is slated to teach Male POV for Romance Authors at Savvy Authors starting January 13th!  Sign up at their site!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Seven Weeks Of M.Christian: Week 1 - Intelligence Is Imagination With An Erection


The thought of that makes your blood run cold, doesn't it?  Well, rest assured, there's no reason to be scared of our Associate Publisher ... well, maybe not that much of a reason to be scared...

M.Christian has decided to share with us, here at Sizzler, a fun little experiment to post - once a week, for seven weeks - a series of essays about little himself: where h came from, his professional journey, being an editor, being a publisher ... and even his hopes and dreams for the future.



WEEK 1 – Intelligence Is Imagination With An Erection

I didn't always want to be a writer.  Sure, I was one of those kids: the ones who are too bright, too creative, too curious – and, yes, in case you're interested, I was bullied ... a lot – but actually doing anything with that brightness, creativity, curiosity didn't pop into mind until high school.

But, boy, did it POP.  In retrospect it's more than a bit ... odd (to be polite) how enthusiastic and disciplined I became about writing.  In hindsight a lot of it probably had to do with trying to find an escape from a less-than-perfect family dynamic – but another big motivator was that I'd always been the kid who didn't just talk about doing things: I did them.  Perfect example: I remember, in early elementary school, discovering that the science classroom had a darkroom ... so I went home and over the weekend read every book I could on photography so when I came back on Monday I developed my first roll of film and did my first few test prints. 

Alas, discipline and enthusiasm are fine and good – actually they are absolutely essential in a writer – but my discipline and enthusiasm was focused on Mount Everest: selling a story to the likes of Fantasy & Science Fiction.   Early rejections didn't stop me – in fact nothing stopped me – and I kept trying, kept writing, kept submitting: my goal was a short story a week and/or three pages of writing or three pages of just story ideas.

And, you know, it worked -- sort of.  I've never sold a story to Fantasy & Science Fiction but all that work, all that passion, paid off ... abet in a very unusual and totally unexpected way.

Eventually I made my way to the Bay Area, got married, and – on a total whim – took a class from Lisa Palac who, at the time, was editing a magazine called FutureSex.  When I discovered ... well, sex, my stories got a little more (ahem) mature.  It was one of those stories I was brave enough to hand to Lisa.

What happened next is, to resort to cliché – and hyperbole – is the stuff of legends: Lisa not just liked the story but bought it.  A year later Susie Bright also liked the story and bought it for Best American Erotica 1994.

Sure, it took me ten years of trying (and, yes, you may whistle at that) but that wasn't important.  People often ask me why I write what I write -- lesbian erotica, gay erotica, bisexual erotica, kink after fetish after stroke after stroke – and the answer couldn't be simpler.

I am a writer ... and for someone who lives to tell stories, who worked so hard to hang onto that brightness, creativity, curiosity, discipline, and enthusiasm, finding a way to do what I love to do and be recognized for it, in demand for it, and even paid for it there is simply nothing better.

My name is Chris, my main pseudonym is M.Christian, and I am a pornographer ... and I couldn't be happier.

(by the way, the quote that starts this is by Victor Hugo ... and is a kind of personal philosophy)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Annual NLA-I Bondage/BDSM Writing Award Nominations Open

We believe this will be of interest to some of our authors:

Nominations: NLA-I Writing Awards

(Columbus, OH)—NLA-International, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual leather community, is now accepting nominations for its annual writing awards for excellence in SM/leather/fetish writing for books, articles, novels, and short fiction first published between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010. The deadline for nominations is 31 January 2011. Winners will be announced on April 17 at the National Leather Association’s Annual General Meeting, which will be held during Spring Iniquity XX (April 15-17, 2011) in Houston, TX and mark the National Leather Association’s 25th anniversary. The five award categories are:

    Non-Fiction Book (Geoff Mains Award)
    Non-Fiction Article (Cynthia Slater Award)
    Novel (Pauline Reage Award)
    Short Fiction (John Preston Award)
    Anthology (Samois Award)

Nominations for the Cynthia Slater Award (non-fiction article) may have appeared in print or online publications (which should indicate a specific date of publication). Eligibility for all other awards (short fiction, novel, non-fiction book, and anthology) requires print publication. If you or someone you know has published a book, article, or story dealing with any aspect of SM, leather, fetish, or kink sexuality please consider nominating it for one of the above awards. Authors and publishers are encouraged to nominate themselves by submitting copies of their work. Nominated works should foster education and promote awareness and a positive image of the leather/SM/fetish community. They should entertain and educate, while building awareness and tolerance of the community and showcasing the talents of its members. There are no submission fees, but the judges will require either three print copies of the nominated work or a digital copy (PDF). Nominations may be sent to the committee chair, Steve Vakesh, at: stevevakesh@gmail.com.

NLA-I has convened an award jury of nine readers, whose number include noted erotic writers and leading community activists. The judges are rotated regularly and their names withheld until after judging is complete to prevent lobbying by nominees. Last year they reviewed more than 100 submissions.

Now in their fourth year, the NLA-I’s writing awards have received widespread appreciation and support. A “leather first,” they have become the preeminent awards for SM, leather, and fetish writing. Past winners include Gloria Brame, Jack Fritscher, Lee “Bridgett” Harrington, Anneke Jacob, Jeff Mann, Jack Rinella, david stein, Cecilia Tan, Claire Thompson, and Alyson Tyler. NLA-I President Vince Andrews hopes that these awards will “continue to recognize, celebrate, and inspire the best in SM, leather, and fetish writing as the NLA celebrates its 25th anniversary.”

Ways to jog the imagination process - Elizabeth Kolodziej


 I hate when people tell me to step back from the piece I’m working on or do something else. Yes, I know these work most of the time, but I just get sick of the same response. So, let’s think up some new ways to get that imagination going!

Driving – especially long distance. When going to book signings or conferences I put in a new playlist and listen to the CD over and over again. Because I pick songs that are new and meant to inspire. I am so lucky I drive alone. It might drive a passenger crazy!

Watch a movie – yeah, sounds mind numbing. However, I swear to the goddess, I could not think up a synopsis for one of my stories. I put Push in and ten minutes in it just hit me! That has been my “lucky” movie for writers block ever since. I think I’ve seen it over a hundred times. That doesn’t say much for me though…. <wink>

Sleep – why doesn’t anyone ever mention this? I have actually gotten some of my best ideas for a book in my dreams. So cram a pill or drink a bottle of whatever and hit the hay! Or bed. I prefer coffin… <grin>

Have sex – lmao. It works! I swear. Not only does it relieve stress, but it’s suppose to kick up your endorphins to make you happy and all that. Just make sure you try out a new move or position. If your not imaginative in the sack you’re not going to be imaginative on the type. I’m totally coining that phrase.

Basically what it comes down to is this: Lighten up. Ask my friends and they will tell you I am the bitchest most uptight PITA (pain in the ass) when I can’t write. So you are taking advice from an expert. Laugh, love and cry…or so they say. It’ll help to get your juices flowing.

<3’s and fangs,
Elizabeth J. Kolodziej

Website: www.vampyrekisses.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ejkolodziej
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Elizabeth+J.+Kolodziej
Twitter: @ejkolodziej

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Amos Lassen Likes Stroke The Fire


We are very pleased to announce that Amos Lassen just posted a very flattering review of M.Christian's new best-of-his-very-best short erotic fiction, Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!


I do not read a lot of erotica but I do read a lot of M.Christian and I have, in fact, been reviewing him for almost eight years. “Stroke the Fire” is some of his collected erotica and the stories here are the writer’s own personal selections. Here we have hot sexy men having hot sexy sex, bad boys having sex with good boys and good boys having sex with bad boys. This is just what you need when you cannot get the real thing to keep you warm on a cold winter night.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lisabet Sarai Likes Technorotica

We are extremely pleased and proud to be able to share this flattering review of M.Christian's Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo - a print-only special edition, made up of the Rude Mechanicals and Better Than The Real Thing ebooks - by the always-great Lisabet Sarai.



Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo by M. Christian 
Barbary Coast Editions, Renaissance E Books, 2012
One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an author is that you get to invent new worlds. Sometimes those worlds strongly resemble our so-called reality; sometimes they deviate wildly. Even the most bizarre fictional world, though, needs to feel real. The reader needs to see, smell, taste, and touch the alien environment in which she finds herself. Against all logic and common sense knowledge, she needs to believe. 
Pulling this off is tough, especially in genres like paranormal and science fiction, where the story by definition is set somewhere other than the world as we know it. M. Christian is a master of this trick, as he demonstrates in Technorotica, his new collection of stories concerning the erotic connections between humans and machines. 
I'll admit up front that I've long been a fan of M.Christian's work (I even edited one of his books, ComingTogether Presents M. Christian) and that I'm deeply in awe of his imagination. Despite what might be considered a positive bias, I still feel totally comfortable and justified in asserting: this is a fantastic book, in both the literal and figurative sense. 
The stories in this collection could loosely be called science fiction erotica, but they vary a great deal in focus and tone. Several of them (“Hot Definition”, “Speaking Parts”, “Hack Work” and the excerpt from Christian's novel Painted Doll) are set in a shadowy, perilous, cyber-punk world where everything is for sale and everyone lives on the edge, staying alive through crime or luck or sometimes both. Prosthetics, holographic doppelgangers, constant electronic surveillance, mind-jacking and body snatching – fans of Gibson, Sterling and Cadigan will feel right at home. However, this author isn't primarily concerned with gadgets and technology (never mind the title of the book) but with feelings: fear, hunger, desperation, desire and love. These stories explore how humans reach out for one another, as the mechanical invades and erodes the meaning of humanity. 
“Blow Up” and “I am Jo's Vibrator” are lighter in tone. The former lets us into the mind of a man with a peculiar fetish. The latter, as suggested by the title, is narrated by a sex toy. Both will make you smile (or at least, that was my reaction) though “Blow Up”, the first tale in the book, has a subtle darkness that's a preview of the more serious stories to come. 
I've read the tale “State” in several other M. Christian collections. It remains one of my favorite erotic stories of all time. A human woman/sex worker impersonates a blue-skinned, state-of-the-art Japanese sex robot. The neat logical flip here satisfies the intellect. The woman's arousal at becoming the ultimate sex object provides satisfaction in other dimensions. 
“The Bell House Invitation” is a fabulous new take on ménage, or more accurately, polyamory. Four individuals – two men, two women – live together and share a group mind. Together they seduce another woman with the aim of convincing her to join their communal consciousness. The sex scene in this tale succeeds in exploring all the participants' experience simultaneously, pulling the reader into the mix. It's lusciously explicit without losing the sense of wonder that derives from a level of communion most of us only dream about. 
In contrast, “Billie” includes no overt sex at all yet still manages to convey an intense feeling of desire. This vignette of a butch woman speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway on her vintage 1977 Harley Davidson details a synergy between human and machine so strong it becomes erotic. 
“A Light Minute” focuses on communication over a distance, as a reclusive woman terrified of the world outside opens herself to the lover she knows only via electronic missives. 
Finally, “KSRN” is a dream-like reverie about speed and sex, chrome and compassion. If I'd been the author, I would have put this story last in the book. It leaves you feeling haunted and yet somehow complete.
Overall, my reaction to this book was “Wow”. But then, I'm seriously turned on by originality. If you share this trait with me – get yourself a copy of Technorotica.

(And by the way - the book includes a great preface and afterword, too!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Writing No-No: Capitalizing Pronouns and Nouns in BDSM Books


Jim Lyon is the author of two femme domme novels for Sizzler Editions: Unexpected Domme and Uncharted Territory. He also reviews frequently for eroticaforall.co.uk, bdsmbookreviews.com and kinkybookreviews.com.

While reviewing a lot of BDSM-themed e-books lately, I noticed that a surprising number of them don't appear to have been proofread very well or at all. Some have so many typos, misspelled words, grammatical errors, and omitted punctuation marks that they resemble a rough draft rather than a polished manuscript. Such sloppy editorial practices on the Internet have long been a fact of life, but electronic books that people are paying for really should be error free, or close to it. What is truly baffling about this is, we live in the age of ubiquitous word processing software with spell check, grammar check and find and replace features designed to make writing and editing easy.

Granted, the worst offenders are the self-published books, but the remainder passed through the hands of at least one editor on their way to market. One can only wonder whether any editorial input transpired on those books beyond deciding yay or nay on publishing them if so little attention was given to producing a finished professional product. It may be that this is simply a reality of digital publishing, of which I was blissfully unaware until recently.

My current immersion in BDSM literature has also made me aware that one of my least favorite writing conventions, capitalizing pronouns and nouns referring to masters and mistresses, has spilled over from the Internet and is alive and well in BDSM e-books. In case you've been spared being subjected to this affectation, it manifests itself thusly: "When Master came into the room, He ran His fingers through His hair and pursed His lips." Perhaps you can appreciate that an entire book of that would become tiresome.

Lamentably, often these stories also use lowercase letters for pronouns and even names of submissives, which results in the likes of: "james and i scurried to Mistress' side and handed Her a glass of water, which She sipped then poured over james' head." This convention becomes truly dreadful when the tone is always reverential when the master or mistress is mentioned even in the most mundane circumstances. Thankfully, not many BSDM authors are enamored of this affectation, but it is out there - forewarned is forearmed!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stroke The Fire Blog Tour: The Jeep Dviva




This is very fun - as part of the Stroke The Fire: The Best Manlove Fiction Of M.Christian blog tour that that we setup for M.Christian, the very first stop has just gone up: a very nice interview with Chris by the great Jeep Diva.

The tour also includes a contest to get some freebie books: so check it out and see what might happen ;-)

Here's a taste of it - and just clock here for the rest:


The Jeep Diva:

Vanessa: Would you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I’m a male human born in 1960. I have green eyes, black hair, am circumcised, have a rather thin build, and am a little short of six feet tall.

I am a writer. Yeah, I know there are a lot of people out there who say that they are writers but when I say I am a writer I mean that I eat, drink, breathe, telling stories. I first caught the bug in high school and (yes, you may gasp) ten years later I sold my first story.

Okay, it as a pornographic story – sold to the magazine (now defunct) Future Sex, and then picked up for Best American Erotica 1994 – but that doesn’t bother me: I am a writer and I love to write pretty much anything for anyone. Sex, as the old maxim goes, sells and – no fool I – I write what people want to buy. Oh, I write all kinds of other things, from non-fiction (Welcome To Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica) to science fiction/fantasy/horror (Love Without Gun Control) but erotica is where I’ve done my most work.

Here’s a quickie bio:
Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In erotica, M.Christian is known and respected not just for his passion on the page but also his staggering imagination and chameleonic ability to successfully and convincingly write for any and all orientations. 
But M.Christian has other tricks up his literary sleeve: in addition to writing, he is a prolific and respected anthologist, having edited 25 anthologies to date including the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and many more. 
M.Christian’s short fiction has been collected into many bestselling books in a wide variety of genres, including the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys, BodyWork, and his best-of-his-best gay erotica book, Stroke the Fire.He also has collections of non-fiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed The Bachelor Machine. 
As a novelist, M.Christian has shown his monumental versatility with books such as the queer vamp novels Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Fingers Breadth and Me2. 
M.Christian is also the Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books, where he strives to be the publisher he’d want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world. His site is www.mchristian.com.
Vanessa: What is one thing about you that your readers would find surprising or never guess about you?

I think the biggest thing that ‘throws’ folks is that, even though I have written a lot – and I do mean a lot — of queer fiction and erotica (both gay as well as lesbian) I’m actually … wait for it … a straight guy.

I’m not even that kinky of a straight guy … okay, I have a fondness for big beautiful women but I always fall in love with a woman’s mind before I fall for her body.

Now I have to be serious (for a second) I never, ever lie about my own sexuality when I write gay fiction: I am very out about being a heterosexual who happens to write quite a bit of gay fiction. It all happened rather simply: I had a friend who suggested I try my hand at writing gay erotica so I contacted the editor of a gay erotic anthology and asked if he wouldn’t mind getting a story from a straight guy – and he not only said sure but also bought the story … which then ended up in Best Gay Erotica 1994.

To use the cliché, the rest is history: one story lead to two, three, four, being offered to edit my own anthology, then a novel offer and … well, here I am. Stroke the Fire, in fact, is my own, personal, best-of-my-very best gay erotic short stories, taken from three of my best-selling gay erotic collections, Filthy Boys, BodyWork, and the rather-celebrated Dirty Words. I even kept the very touching introductions to each of the three books in Stroke the Fire: Felice Picano’s from Filthy Boys, and Patrick Califia from Dirty Words.

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