Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Next Big Thing - M. Christian

Even punks jump up to get beat down and M. Christian is no different!  One of our senior editors has a lengthy career and since taking over duties at Sizzler Editions has done amazing things to help the company and our authors.  But what about his own endeavors?  We sat down to find out more!

1) What is the working title of your current/next Sizzler Editions book?

2) Where did you get the idea for that book?

Well, to put it mildly I have written more than my fair share of queer erotica and fiction – starting with "Stroke the Fire" that was picked up for Best Gay Erotica 1994 – and ending with this brand new best-of-my-very-best short gay erotica: Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!

The book is made up of my handpicked favorite stories from three of my queer erotic collections: the Lambda Award finalist Dirty WordsFilthy Boys, and BodyWork. What's even cooler than this brand new best-of-my-very-best book the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions – that also published Stroke the Fire – have re-released not just Dirty WordsFilthy Boys, and BodyWork, but my queer novelsThe Very Bloody Marys, and (the rather controversial) Me2 as part of a whole "M.Christian" imprint: The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection ... pretty cool, eh? 

3) What's the genre of the book?

Even though Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is basically queer erotica is also contains a lot of stories that run the gamut from horror (like "Wet," Boy," "Echoes" "Matches" and others) to science fiction ("Blue Boy," "Utter West," "Counting," etc) and even stories that, sure, might be gay and erotic but are more-than-a-but off-the-map (like "How Coyote Stole Sun" and "Coyote And The Less Than Perfect Cougar").

I also kept the introductions to the three books that were used to make up Stroke The Fire: my own from BodyWork  Felice Picano's from Filthy Boys and Patrick Califia's from Dirty Words

4) How would you describe your book in one sentence (25words or less)?

Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is quite literally a collection of the best-of-the-best of M.Christian's short queer erotic fiction, taken from his acclaimed collections Dirty Words (a Lambda Literary Award Finalist), BodyWork, and Filthy Boys

5) If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick?

Since the book is a collection that's really tough to say ... though I sometimes visualize actors when I write (like Christian Slater and R. Lee Ermey for my novel, The Very Bloody Marys) I rarely do it when I write short stories. But if I had to pick some actors to appear in Stroke The Fire: The Movie I'd have to pick Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee, Nathan Fillion, the boys from Supernatural -- sorry, girls, as it's a gay male book there aren't many roles for women, not that I wouldn't love to get Emma Thompson, Gina Torres, Judi Dench, in there somewhere ... if just because I think they are wonderful and it would be a blast to meet them. 

6) Now this movie needs a soundtrack – what songs/tracks best fit your book?

Hum ... as it's a collection, I'd say everything from Johnny Cash to Daft Punk.  It all depends on the story you're reading ;-)

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

As the book is a collection – made of other collections – that's really tough to answer. Dirty Words came out in its first edition back in 2001 ... with the other collections coming out every could of years since then. But then the earliest story in the whole book, "Stroke The Fire," first appeared in Best Gay Erotica 1994 so you could almost say that the book took both a month to put together but the content took 18 years ... and, boy, does that sound like a long time when you think of it that way. 

8) What other books within your genre are similar to yours?

For me, Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is a way of putting everything I've felt proud of writing – that's queer and erotic – into one juicy bundle of pages. Sure, there have been other collections but, as far as I know, there hasn't been a collection that's a collection of other collections ... so I think that Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is more than a tad unique. 

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

The wonderful Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions asked me to put this book together as part of their launch of their special The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection – to be the one place, if people interested in my queer erotica needed just one place, to go to get the best-of-my-best. If you like what's here, in other words, then you'll no doubt love the other books, collections, and anthologies I've done. 

10) What about your book will pique the reader's interest?

Well, probably the most unique thing about Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian – and the other queer books and stories I've written over the years – is that I'm a straight guy.

It always takes folks more than a bit aback then I say that but – really, honestly – that's what I am: sure I might write about gay characters (and even gay sexuality) but, more than anything, I'm a writer ... and books like Stroke The Fire (and the books that make it up) are just part of what I do.

Now I want to be absolutely clear that I never, ever, lie to editors, authors publishers, or readers about my own sexuality – though there have been a few odd situations over the years, of course. To this day some people simply think that I'm lying to myself about my own sexuality ... but, honesty, unless you’re a woman (especially a BBW) then Mr. Happy just doesn't salute. Sorry, guys....

I got into being a 'gay' author pretty much the same way I became a horror/fantasy/non-fiction, etc., writer: I saw an opportunity – or was asked to participate in some project-or-other – and, since writers and regular human beings grow through challenges, I gave it a shot and (bingo!) I found that I wasn't just comfortable writing queer fiction but that people actually wanted more of it. No dummy, that's what I did: and so I have a few novels, collections and, with Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian, my own best-of-my-best collection of short queer erotica.

Speaking of other things, I also write 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 – as well as the erotic romance novel Brushes, the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll, and over 25 anthologies like 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. 

Sure you don't want to stroke the fire now?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Excerpt From Libby Shores By Jason Walker

Here's a wonderful treat from not just a fabulous author but from his great new book: Libby Shores by Jason Walker

Between the locals confined for the winter and the summer visitors on the prowl, the women of Libby Shores find it a hotbed of sex the year round. In particular five women who meet every month to share their amorous adventures. Elaine thought she had all the young men who lived or visited the town under control, till she found herself under the control of an older man and discovered she loved the special kind of treatment he gave her. Patricia was the personal assistant to a wealthy and powerful Socialite, no one ever noticed her, till she met Troy, who saw something in her that others ignored and was quick to show her just how special she really was. that she was the special one and deserved so much better. Plus three more stories of the very sexy women of Libby Shores.


“You know that door is open and it is warmer inside. Want to get out of this rain?”

Elaine did not speak as she slid open the door and stepped inside the dark space. Of course she knew the lay out well, it was her house, but she still acted as if she were peeking around the corners and exploring the space. Elaine made her way to the spare bedroom and motioned for Scott to follow. The light shone through the large windows and Elaine cleared boxes off the top of the bed and sat on the edge. Scott walked into the room, looked around and tossed his damp trunks on a nearby chair.

“Well it doesn’t look like they are ever in here; maybe it is time we put this space to good use?”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Play some cards, or just take a nap?”

“I bet we can find something more fun than Gin Rummy.”

“I don’t know about this.”


“You are a complete stranger and you might not like the same things I do.”

There was a slightly more serious tone to Scott’s voice.

“What are the things you like to do?”

“Oh the same things everybody else does, I just usually go about it differently.”

Elaine considered what he could mean but came up empty.


“My last girlfriend said I was too rough for her. You see I like to take what I want and do things my way. Being that we just met you might not be prepared for that.”

Elaine was prepared for anything. She was well inebriated and extremely turned on. Scott slowly paced around the edge of the room. Elaine watched him as with each step and word his cock would flex and bounce and the muscles of his behind grew taut and relaxed. Elaine’s confidence was high as she stood from the bedside.

“Young man, I can’t imagine that there is anything you might like to do that I haven’t done. I am ready for anything but if you are too scared to do what you want I understand. We can go back outside, get dressed and go our separate ways if you prefer.”

It was the challenge that Scott had apparently been waiting for. Elaine had given him the approval he was wanting.

“Lady I am not scared of anything, especially a hot pussy like yours!”

Scott stepped quickly up to Elaine. He grabbed the sides of her face and held her head tightly. She saw him look to make sure the bed was clear before picking her up slightly by his grip of her head and tossing her onto the bed with real force. It startled Elaine and she grunted loudly as she hit the mattress. Elaine bounced up to the head board before she stopped moving. Scott moved to the side of the bed and grabbed her by the ankles. He jerked her to the edge of the bed and pulled her hips up as he pushed her over onto her stomach.

“Most women usually learn not to challenge me.”

Elaine grunted her response.

“I’m not most women!”

Scott slapped her upright ass hard and Elaine yelped. Scott pulled her closer and with a free hand jammed his diamond hard cock into her. With one forceful shove his hips slammed against her behind and his cock hit bottom. Elaine exhaled hard but before being able to grab a new breath Scott grabbed her hips and began fucking her hard and fast. It was an incredible feeling for Elaine. Scott pounded her pussy with all the force he could muster. It was rough and violent and exquisite. Elaine grabbed handfuls of the covers to try and hold on but it was useless. Scott’s treatment caused her to flail about. She flopped and twisted like a rag doll under his pounding cock. He held her hips and picked her up off the bed with each thrust.

“Oh God . . . FUCK ME . . . !”

Scott continued the violently rapid pace for several minutes before abruptly throwing Elaine off of his cock. She flopped onto the bed panting and gasping for air. Rolling onto her back she could see him fumbling with his trunks. Elaine wiped her eyes and tried to catch her breath. Scott stepped back up to the bed side and Elaine could see that he had put on a condom. Before she could speak a word Scott grabbed her again. He tugged her across the bed by the left leg as he climbed onto the end of the bed on his knees. Once in position Scott lifted Elaine’s left leg upwards and straddled her right leg. Her everything was exposed to his assault. Scott pressed her leg against his chest as he leaned forward and over her.

“I’m gonna fuck that old ass!”

Before Elaine could protest or resist Scott guided his sheathed cock into her anus. Elaine screamed as the head popped inside her ass. Scott paused only a moment to make sure she was ready and as Elaine looked at him she smiled slightly. Scott pulled his knees up a little and with one rough and hard forward motion shoved the entire length of his cock into her ass. Elaine felt the pain and surprise of his violation but also reeled at the filling and the pleasure. Scott grabbed her left thigh to steady himself and began fucking her ass harder and faster than he had fucked her before. The grunts, whimpers and pleas mixed with the sloppy sounds of slapping skin. Scott grabbed at her breasts and pulled hard on her nipples. Elaine grabbed at his skin but could not reach him. As her hand extended towards him Scott grabbed her by the wrist and pushed her hand to her pussy. Scott held her wrist against her pubic bone.

“Finger yourself while I fuck you!”

His deep voiced command wasn’t to be ignored and Elaine began matching his motions with her fingers. Elaine fell into a state of euphoria. She couldn’t focus on anything. She could barely see through the tears both of pain and ecstasy. Scott’s assault was relentless and seemingly unending. Elaine had no concept of time. She was being rattled by this man’s ruthless cock. Suddenly Scott pulled his member free of her and shoved her leg aside. Elaine continued to plunge her fingers into herself while he repositioned. Her eyes were squeezed shut in yet another orgasm when Scott grabbed her by the hair. He roughly and somewhat painfully pulled her around to the left by her hair. Elaine opened her eyes in time to see his cock inches from her face. She opened her mouth to speak but was cut off when Scott pushed his member into her throat. Elaine gagged and sputtered. She gasped for air as he withdrew the hard thing a moment before shoving it forward once again. Elaine placed a flat palm on the front of his hip but also curled her other free hand between his legs and under his behind to pull him closer. Elaine had abandoned any pretense of resistance as without care or concern Scott unceremoniously fucked her mouth.


Scott pulled his cock free of Elaine’s throat as he started to explode. Elaine wrapped her hand around his as he pumped his member. Scott bucked as hard as she had earlier as the first shot of his seed exploded across her lips. Scott rose slightly and aimed his cock downward at Elaine on the bed below him and squirted forth shot after shot onto her face and hair. Elaine could only close her eyes and take what he was giving. She felt his hot come splash onto her forehead, cheeks, chin and tongue. Elaine lapped at the air as he squeezed the last drops from his cock and they fell onto her face. Elaine couldn’t open her eyes without getting the stinging come in them. She felt him move. Scott pressed his member against Elaine’s face and used it to rub his spent seed across her face.

“You like that don’t you? You like feeling my cock. You like it when I smear my come all over your face with it, don’t you?”

Scott used his still firm member to slap Elaine’s face several times. She loved it. Elaine was out of breath and panting but managed to mouth the word yes and nod slightly. Scott took a corner of the sheet and rubbed his seed from her eyes and Elaine opened them tentatively.

“That was amazing.”

“Was? Who said we were done?”

Elaine looked at Scott as he still stood over her. He smiled and pushed his semi-hard cock against her lips.

“Scott we can’t stay here. What if the owners come home?”

Elaine didn’t want to give the impression that this could go on forever.

“If they do we will hear them come in upstairs and we’ll make a run for it. Until then, we aren’t done.”

Scott pressed his cock hard against Elaine closed lips and she relented. She stared up at him as he fed his turgid cock into her mouth again. It was slightly easier to take the length as his member wasn’t rock hard at the moment. Elaine felt his balls come to rest on her chin and she extended her tongue along the underside as he made short plunging motions into the back of her throat. Her face was sticky with his come as he rose from her mouth. Scott moved over and sat on the bed. Elaine took the opportunity to wipe her face on the sheet as she rolled out of his way. Once on his behind, Scott moved up to the headboard and spread his legs wide. He grabbed Elaine by the hair and pulled her between them. Scott pushed her head towards his rising cock and held it as he pushed her face over it. Elaine opened her mouth and took it inside once again. Scott held her head tightly as he began rhythmically pushing his cock upward into her mouth. He used her head as a toy while he twisted and pushed his member into her mouth and throat. Elaine gagged and coughed. Her saliva ran down his member and balls and between his thighs uncontrollably. Scott lifted her mouth off his cock and Elaine gasped for air as he pushed her back slightly and down. Elaine rested on her chest as he pulled her closer.

“Lick my balls.”

Elaine did as she was told. Scott ran his fingers into her hair to hold her head and took his member in his fee hand. Elaine looked up and watched him stroke his cock while she licked the clean shaven skin. Scott made a motion without words. Elaine felt him pushing her head downward. She continued to lick his skin. She kissed and sucked at the skin below his balls and Scott groaned loudly. Elaine knew what he wanted and she had no hesitation. Elaine pulled one arm up and she began lifting and toying with his scrotum as she licked and played. Scott’s breath was deep and husky as she extended her tongue and barely touched his asshole. Elaine ran her tongue from the edge of his puckered brown hole up to the base of his cock and looked at him. Scott smiled broadly.

“Good girl, you know what to do.”

Elaine’s eyes rolled back in her head as she lowered her face anew. She licked and stabbed at his asshole with her tongue for several minutes. Scott’s pace stroking his cock was steady and firm. He moaned and groaned as Elaine rimmed his ass. She felt his balls tighten and knew his release was near. Taking that sign, Elaine picked up the pace with her tongue. There was no teasing, she ravenously licked his ass. Scott grunted that he was coming and Elaine shoved her middle finger into his well lubricated ass. She plunged it in to the last knuckle as the first shot flew from Scott’s engorged member. Elaine rose enough to see that Scott’s head was thrown back and he was bucking with each eruption and shove of her finger.


Scott grunted loudly as he practically jerked his cock off his body as he stroked it hard and furiously. Elaine reached and grabbed his balls and squeezed and tugged at them as he erupted over and over. As the final spasms caused Scott to twitch Elaine pulled her finger from his anus. She watched as the last dribbles of his seed ran over his tightly clinched fist and down the shaft. Elaine nuzzled against his bare skin and rubbed his seed into her skin and all over his crotch. As Scott released his cock it fell and slapped against Elaine’s forehead. She rose and took it back in her mouth despite Scott’s protests that it was too sensitive. Elaine swallowed the length of the softening member and Scott jerked hard before roughly pushing her off and to the side.

They both lay motionless for a couple of minutes trying to catch their breath. Elaine grabbed a handful of sheet and wiped her face clean of his come and her sweat. Scott climbed from the bed and grabbed a towel to wipe his face. Elaine sat up on her elbows and watched him. Scott was extremely masculine and she enjoyed how his cock bobbed and his muscles flexed as he wiped his face and head.

“We had better get out of here.”

Elaine nodded and climbed from the bed. As she passed Scott grabbed her by the arm and pulled her hard against his chest. He kissed her. Scott shoved his tongue into her mouth and held her head still by the hair. Elaine could feel his member pressing against her tummy and noticed it flexing and filling with blood once again. She marveled at this young man’s resilience. He pulled her head away from his and smiled.

“We don’t have time for it but if we did I’d fuck you again.”

“I know we don’t have time for this but if we did I’d let you.”

“You don’t have to let me. If we had time, I’d fuck you whether you let me or not.”

“I know.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seven Weeks Of M.Christian: Week 6 – What Is Success?

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!

I was recently introduced as a successful writer: which immediately got me thinking – always a good thing. 

What is a successful writer?

We really should start by clearing the board a bit and admit that success is a pretty meaningless word.  I know a few writers who have only written three or four books but have made indecent amounts of money from them, I also know writers who have written dozens and dozens and dozens of books, and I even have a few writer friends who have won amazing awards – so which one is the most successful?  The reality is that for every literary success story there's usually a dark side: the author who makes a lot of money may very well be trapped by the genre that brought them that nice, juicy income – they simply can't afford to write anything else; the writer who has written dozens and dozens and dozens of books may be respected but has to live in their parents' basement; and the author with all those awards may be terrified by the thought of it's all downhill from here.

When I teach my (commercial begins – Sex Sells: How To Write And Sell Erotica class – commercial ends) I always take a few minutes to remind my students that writers are professional liars: it is, after all, our job to convince people that we are everything from aliens from the dark nebula, a serial killer, a turn-of-the-century grand dame, or whatever/whoever else – meaning that when I writer opens their mouth about anything you should always take what comes out with more than a grain of salt.

Writing, without a doubt, can be a very tough life.  Sure, as I mentioned, what we do is special, brave and even magical, but it can also regularly, methodically kick you in the gut: bad reviews, poor sales, rejection, rejection, rejection ... it is not for the weak.  It's not a surprise – though it is a bit shameful – that some writers deal with the harsh reality of being a writer by wearing an armored suit of arrogance.  They are the ones who love to tell you about their great new sale (though it took them a decade to do it), their amazing award (though no one really respects the quality of their work), the thousands of words they just wrote (that is nothing more than gibberish), or the huge royalty check they got (but will never see again). 

I have a rule: if I happen to have a fellow writer in my life who doesn't make me feel good about me or my work then that person can no longer be in my life.  Yeah, that might be a bit harsh, but anything or anyone that keeps me from working at what is already a damned hard thing to do is someone not worth having around.  The same holds true for blogs, twitter-twits, Facebook 'friends' – if you are not a positive thing in my life then you are simply not going to be in my life.  Writing can be tough, as said, so there's no reason to keep people around who make it any tougher.

So what is success – especially for a writer?  If you've been kind enough to read these little pieces you probably know where this is going ... but bear with me.  I really don't think success has anything to do with awards (I love this quote: "Awards are like hemorrhoids: eventually every asshole gets one"), money (which is extremely slippery for anyone doing anything creative), books or stories written, fame (just watch All About Eve), or anything similar.

For me, success is ... have you ever seen The Paper Chase?  For those that haven't, it's about a student (Timothy Bottoms) facing a very difficult time (to put it mildly) in law school.  It’s a great film (hey, it's got John Houseman so it has to be) but the ending has always resounded with me: after spending hour after hour, day after day, night after night, our student works and studies and studies and works – and, at the end, his girlfriend hands him an envelope with his final grade in it.  But rather than open it he simply tears it up, scattering it to the wind: he doesn't need to know what it says because he knows, without a doubt, that he has not just passed but understands the law.

Now I'm not a lawyer (thank god) but that scene, for me, is my personal definition of success.  Sure, money would be nice; an award would be flattering; having a nice, fat Wikipedia entry would be sweet; but what I really want is for one day to write a book that I finish with that same glorious moment of artistic satisfaction: the unshakable knowledge that what I have done is truly, inarguably wonderful.

It's subjective, of course: your version of success if not mine – but I hope this had made you think a bit about what you want your own, personal, artistic journey to be. 

But before I close I have one final piece of advice – one that I tell as many writers as I can, as well as hold very close to my heart: we all might have different ideas of what success is, but the only time a writer truly fails is ... when they stop writing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Out Now: Libby Shores by Jason Walker

Jason Walker is a real kick-ass writer ... and his books are truly wonderful, and not just for the sizzling erotic content.  With his new book, Libby Shores, he shows just how good he can be!

Between the locals confined for the winter and the summer visitors on the prowl, the women of Libby Shores find it a hotbed of sex the year round. In particular five women who meet every month to share their amorous adventures. Elaine thought she had all the young men who lived or visited the town under control, till she found herself under the control of an older man and discovered she loved the special kind of treatment he gave her. Patricia was the personal assistant to a wealthy and powerful Socialite, no one ever noticed her, till she met Troy, who saw something in her that others ignored and was quick to show her just how special she really was. that she was the special one and deserved so much better. Plus three more stories of the very sexy women of Libby Shores.

Out Now: Sisters To The Chain By Clare Seven

Fans of wonderfully-written BDSM fiction will be thrilled by this brand new release by Clare Seven: pick up Sisters To The Chain and you will not be disappointed!

Erotic fantasy bondage! Betrayed by her evil sister into a prison cell far from her homeland, Meline Talvallin wakes, naked and in chains. Thus begins a series of events in which she is treated as a slave and publically punished for a minor crime. Then Meline is allowed passage back home, where she is determined to confront her evil sibling. First book in a thrilling new saga. 
Clare Seven divides her time between writing erotic fiction, being a management accountant and training for, and taking part, in local triathlon events. Hailing from one of the more remote parts of the United Kingdom, her ideas emerge from many sources (including the twisted fantasies of her ex-boyfriends). Her particular favourites in terms of erotic fiction include, swords and sorcery, slavery and hard labor and dark, dank castles (with obligatory vile dungeons of course).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Next Big Thing - Amber Rose Thompson

I don't have a proper lead in for our up and coming Amber Rose Thompson post, but let's just say fans will NOT be disappointed by the quality and caliber of his darker work.  
1) What is the working title of your current/next Sizzler Editions book?
Bite Club

2) Where did you get the idea for that book?
After seeing all the books and movies about vampires seducing humans, I wondered why no one ever told the other story. If vampires and humans are sexually attracted to each other, couldn't a human seduce a vampire and make him beg for blood?
3) What's the genre of the book?
Paranormal bdsm erotica

4) How would you describe your book in one sentence (25words or less)?
Seduction is a two-way street and once the blood starts pumping any one can fall to passion.

5) If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick?
Jennifer Garner and Michael Ducovny

6) Now this movie needs a soundtrack – what songs/tracks best fit your book? 
Heavy metal with a driving drum beat.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
About two months.

8) What other books within your genre are similar to yours?
Books by J.R Ward and Joey Hill

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I've always been one for breaking the rules of passion and seduction, and I like my characters to unleash their sexual power without societal rules.
10) What about your book will pique the reader's interest?
Vampire and human? What else do you need? :-)

Indeed, what else?  Wait!  You can get the book on Amazon!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

First Two Sizzler Blog Tours Big Success

Coordinated by Nikki of BTS Virtual Tours, our first author blog tours were smashing successes. Increase in sales and visibility for both authors. Very different though their work is, M. Christian and Betty Carlton both found themselves and their books on nine very different but appropriate blogs. Copies of each author's featured book were given away as prizes - with s grand prize winner receiving copies of all that author's books! The next tour will feature Olivia London's erotic romance novels and collections.

Thanks Nikki and the great people at BTS!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Seven Weeks Of M.Christian: Week 5 - Being A Publisher

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!

In our last installment we chatted ... well, okay I ranted a bit about what it's like to be an editor, especially as I wear a writer's hat as well.

But, recently, I added another sombrero to my hat rack when I was hired by the (prepare for heaping of praise in ... 1 ... 2... 3...) amazing, fantastic, wonderful, Renaissance E Books as an Associate Publisher. This makes me a very rare critter in the writing world: having my hand in not just writing novels and short stories, but also selecting stories for anthologies, and now books for publication. I often kid that one of these days I'm going to get so confused about who and what I am that I'm going to accidentally reject myself.

Being a publisher, though, has been a tremendously enlightening experience. When you’re an editor – for a site, magazine, or anthology – you’re really just there to pick what you think are good stories and then assemble the whole shebang. But being a publisher is a whole (prepare for cliché in ... 1 ... 2... 3...) kettle of fish.

Now I've dealt with a LOT of publishers in the years since I sold my first work – I lost count at somewhere around two dozen – so I've seen them at their best and, alas, at their worst, so when the amazing, fantastic, wonderful, Renaissance E Books hired me I knew more than a bit about the kind of publisher I wanted to be.

I thought (foolish me) that I knew all about how the business side of writing worked. I even knew that the real power behind the throne of publishing are the distributors: it is they who decide what can and cannot be published, as they are the ones who bookstores (in the past) and ebook resellers (now) go to for content. If they don't carry your book, in short, your book will never see the light of day. It used to be companies like Ingram but now it's ibooks and amazon.

But what working with Renaissance has taught me is there is a whole other side to the business of getting books out into the world – a side, I am rather ashamed to say, I wish I had known about when I was just trying to sell my own books. Now, I was never a cranky writer – in fact I developed a kind of a reputation for being very easy-going – as I trusted my publishers to know what they were doing when it came to dealing with my work, but there were a few times where, in retrospect, I just should have let them do what they thought was best.

This is particularly important now, what with the surge of self-published books.  Okay, I might be a tad prejudiced, as I now work for a publisher, but there are a ton of things that a writer has no clue about when it comes to publishing and, most of all, selling books. Authors far too often see the decisions a publisher makes as capricious or even insulting – though that is not to say that there are quite a few publishers out there where that really is the case – but what is actually happening is that the publisher simply has special insight into what can make a book really fly.

Titles, for instance: if you're writing an erotic romance, for example, and give it a title that does not say that the book is an erotic romance it is all but guaranteed to flop. Knowing this – by looking at the sales figures – has put me in the very odd position of having to tell other writers that we need to change their title. It's not a very comfortable thing to have to say, but most authors come around when I tell them the logic behind it.

The same is true of covers. An author might have a very clear idea of what they want their cover to be but unless it the artwork immediately reaches out to the reader and screams erotic romance then the book will have a much lower chance of selling well. So, again, I am in the odd position of having to often tell a writer that they may not love their cover but that we have chosen one that says what their book is actually about, that speaks – loudly – to people interested in that kind of book.

Publishers – no duh – are a business, and as such many of their (our) decisions are based on trying to get work out there as efficiently, affordably, and comprehensively as possible. Efficiently in that we often have to really streamline the publishing process – and this is even more important with the new word of ebooks: so we look for writers that are easy to deal with, that trust our decisions, that are dependable, and who trust our decisions are really in their best interests. Affordably in that we would love to have covers that are 100% accurate but to do that is far too often too expensive – which gets back to a book saying, as quickly and as loudly, about what it is. Yes, the characters on the cover may not be exactly how the author pictured them but to do that would mean having a cover created that would be time-consuming as well as expensive ... and, again, the goal is to grab the reader as quickly as possible. Comprehensively in that the new game are ebooks ... now I won't get into the whole shebang about why they are better for authors, publishers, and readers ... but I will say that the publishers that are winning the ebook battle are not the ones with the most titles, the best writers, the best covers, the largest Facebook presence, that tweet like mad but, instead, have worked very hard to get their ebooks everywhere: if your book is just on amazon, for example, then your reach will be very limited. I'm pleased and proud to say that Renaissance prides itself in trying to get its titles in as many markets as possible – which is good news for the company as well as the writers.

Another big shock – and one that a lot of people really don't want to hear – is that very often publicity (including social media) has very little to do with a book's success. I've seen the numbers, people, and some of the best-selling titles our there are by authors who have a very minimal internet presence – they simply have written books that happen to – by luck or design -- perfectly reach their audience.

BUT that does not mean that publicity, social media, and all the rest isn’t important. To put it simply: all the reviews, publicity, social media that-and-that will not sell a bad book (50 Shades of Grey is a rare exception) – but not having a good Internet 'face' can seriously limit a writer's reach and, ultimately, sales. To put it even simpler: PR is not really about selling a single book but much more about keeping your name, and work, in people's minds. That's why we at Renaissance work very hard on publicity and marketing, and really encourage our authors to do the same, but we also know that overnight successes are few and far between so it's important to keep in mind that professional writing can be a really long term endeavor.

This is especially true with ebooks. One of my jobs – as I see it – is to be the publisher I would want to work with as a writer, and as such I routinely tell a writer not to focus on Facebook or Twitter or whatever-else, not hover over their amazon ranking, sales, etc., but, instead, to keep writing. The reason this is something I like to say, and hear, is that if a writer keeps writing then all if takes is one of their books to take off and then – here's the glory of ebooks – all of their books will also become best-sellers.

This is also why, as a publisher, I am more than willing to tell an author what’s the 50 Shades of the moment – but I also vehemently dissuade them from trying to copy that blip of 'success.' It is much better – professionally as well as artistically – to write what they want to write. If they keep at it, get better and better with each book, stretch their range, and – most of all- -- have fun then success will more-than-likely come. If they try to chase the best-seller all they'll end up doing is creating shallow copycats and not the next next next big thing.

In the end, being on the other side of the publishing fence has been not just been educational but has also been a very positive thing for me, artistically: the lesson being looking behind the curtain at the machinery doesn't ruin the art of writing but, instead, can reveal the naked reality behind literary 'success.' Knowing how twisted, odd, strange – if not totally weird – this industry can be sometimes has made me a lot less sensitive to how my own work is progressing ... and I remind myself to take my own advice and not pay attention to the best seller's list and instead have fun, play, experiment and, most of all, keep writing.

Sascha's Saturday Secrets - Adult Stories So Hot they Must be Whispered

More Fun with Mistress Kitty - Tales of Romantic Female Domination

 One of the great things about this collection is that it's timeless.  Ever read stories that feel dated?  Erotica can be very dated, but some folks like that.  The historical aspects of any Anais Nin story still titillate many women these days and those were written well before the advent of the E-book revolution.

I won't lie, there was some inspiration from those stories in Mistress Kitty too.  I wanted to create a world where readers could slip away into the darker aspects of Kink, find themselves lost in the world of eros and understand that at the end of the day, "I" brought them there, only to have them come back again and again.

Trent isn't an average submissive, nor is any part of him truly based on me.  Odd for a man who writes bondage stories for the Mistress he once had and loved, but when she died in a car wreck on the way to a parade in Columbia Elvis impersonating midgets who happened to be celebrating the release of this very book amongst the drug cartels (true story!) I gave up all thought of putting myself in that position.

Back in the good old days of erotica, I wrote to a LOT of Sevendust, Cold, and other heavy metal acts whose lyrics matched the pain I felt Trent should observe in his growth for becoming Mistress Kitty's perfect submissive. 

Hell, I even pulled out an ideal of what a "bad" mistress would be and how she'd act, with wounds of her own that needed healing, just to contrast her against Mistress Kitty but  she ended up getting only one spotlight in the original MS.

Then the woman I based her off died in a freak accident involving carrots, peas and other various fruits.  

This is one book somehow no matter how hard I try, though I'll never escape it.  I'm grateful for Sizzler Editions picking it up and re-releasing it as a brand new revised edition.  We'll see if the stories can stand the test of time.

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!)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Out Now: Hunger: A Feast Of Sensual Tales Of Sex And Gastronomy

Sizzler Editions is extremely pleased and proud to announce another fantastic anthology - especially one edited by the great team of M.Christian and Alyn Rosselini. Pick up Hunger: A Feast Of Sensual Tales Of Sex And Gastronomy and satisfy both your love of food and your love of ... love!

Food and sex – sex and food: two great things that can be even better together! From soothing chocolate to spicy meatballs the stories in this brand new erotic anthology edited by two masters of the genre - M.CHRISTIAN and ALYN ROSSELINI - feature stories by the crème-de-la-crème of sexual and literary cooking and will tickle your sensual taste buds and stir your pot of erotic thrills. 
Basting lovers, cooking orgies, steaming hot encounters, straight as well as queer taste treats ... the stories in HUNGER: A FEAST OF SENSUAL TALES OF SEX AND GASTRONOMY will push boundaries everyone's pleasurable buttons – both erotic and gastronomic: these are stories that will arouse, amuse, amaze, and whet your appetite for more! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Post DragonCON Panels 2012 - 50 Years: The Future of Writing

Moderated by Sizzler Editor/Author Sascha Illyvich, this panel featured Sizzler Author and occasional cover artist Kiernan Kelly, PR Person Gail Z. Martin and author Cynnara Tregarth.

We discussed the future of publishing, lessons learned from our mistakes and what we've accomplished to date, all while taking questions and speculating just how far publishing can go.

Click HERE for audio

Special thanks to Scott and the folks at EFF for hosting us.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Author Interview: A. F. Waddell On Her New Book, Strays

Here's an special treat: the very hot - in many ways - author A. F. Waddell on her brand new Sizzler Editions book 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.
What is the working title of your book?

The book title is Strays and Other Stories

Where did the idea for the book come from?
Given that my work consists of a selection of short stories, it was simply a matter of bringing the material together, which was satisfying.

What genre does it fall under?

I think that genre can be limiting to a writer – though Strays and Other Stories falls into the erotica genre. I think that erotica has evolved into more complex storytelling.

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

Oh, fun! A proposed film entitled Rooms could include actors Jeffrey Irons, Cate Blanchett, Javier Bardem, Susan Sarandon, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Lange, Jeremy Lawrence, Phillip Seymour Hoffman... 

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Strays and Other Stories: Wherever you go ... there you are.

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

Given that my book is a story collection, it was a matter of organizing the work over a period of a couple of months.

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

I’m unsure. One book that comes to mind is Fear of Flying, a postmodern classic that resonated with me.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration has been biographies, dreams, and love of artists and writers; the joy of speculative writing; artists and writers who write about their creative endeavors.

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

I’m unsure. Taste is very individualistic, isn’t it? I enjoyed writing the book and hope that others will enjoy reading it.