Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Contest! Books & Brownies

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I say it's worth a very sweet little prize package. I'm looking for photographs of Fairy Tale Lust in the wild-- on the shelves in your local bookstore or in your hand as you check out with your very own copy.

E-mail your photo (along with your name and location of the bookstore) to and I will post it here and credit you for the find. On August 1, I will choose three lucky winners to receive prize packages that will include five anthologies that feature my stories, along with some chocolate goodness from Fairytale Brownies. (I make excellent brownies. Ask anyone. But these... oh my, they are good.)

Please note: I will not be giving away Fairy Tale Lust as part of these prize packages because I want you to buy the book! ;-)

18 and over, please. Other than that, anyone anywhere can enter. I'd love to see photos of Fairy Tale Lust in bookstores all over the world!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust is in bookstores NOW!

I spotted Fairy Tale Lust at Barnes & Noble last night! So exciting!

Which gives me an idea for a contest...

Check back tomorrow!

Interview: Alana Noel Voth

Alana Noel Voth is one of those writers who goes where other writers won't go. She doesn't just push the envelope, she shreds it to pieces and makes confetti out of it. I have loved Alana's work for years and will read anything she writes-- twice. Her story "Big, Bad Wolf" is an excerpt from her novel-in-progress. To say I'm anxiously awaiting the novel would be an understatement.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

To quote T.S. Elliott, "Good writers borrow. Great writers steal." A year ago, I had this dream about the most amazing looking woman I'd ever seen in my life having sex with a man who looked very much like Sam Merlotte from True Blood, who happens to be the most amazing looking man on the planet, and during my sex dream the man notices tufts of fur in the woman's hair and thinks she smells like blood, and because I like Sam Merlotte and wolves so much, I woke to my magnum opus. But this answer has nothing to do with fairytales. People are so screwed up and then you throw them to the wolves. A wolf disguises itself in a woman's body. Or the woman defends herself as a wolf. The big, bad wolf motiff has a lot to do with identity. It has a lot to do with power. This appeals to me.

How long have you been writing erotica?

Since I was thirteen. But what I wrote at that time had less to do with sex and more to do with power.

What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?

"Big, Bad Wolf" is my favorite because it's all I've worked on since June 2009. Makes sense, right? I'm obsessed with it, haunted by it, and overwhelmed by it.

What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?

If you're a student, never sit in the same desk twice. If you go to an office everyday, never park your car in the same spot. And masturbate.

What is your writing routine like?

I suffer. I suck. I persevere. I prevail.

Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

No, I'm not a full-time writer, and people who are complain about it, so nothing's perfect. By day, I'm a nine-to-five licensed insurance producer who does everything from sales to customer service to education and marketing. In addition, I'm a single mother 24/7 and also on call. I'm tired. That's what I am. Mostly tired.

Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?

I'm not writing to music right now. I'm writing to the exhuberent cadence of my son swearing at his video game on the Xbox. But mostly I write to music. "Big, Bad Wolf" (the novel-in-progress) is so full of song references and bits of lyric, I'm going to have to cut 84% of them. Songs particularly important to the story are "Fire Lake" by Bob Segar, "Do You Know What I Mean?" by Lee Michaels, and "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin. I'll never get tired of "Fire Lake" or red lipstick.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Interview: Aurelia Evans

Aurelia Evans is relatively new to the erotica genre, but she has a writing voice and style that guarantees we'll be seeing more from this talented author. Her story "Frosted Glass" is a bittersweet and erotic retelling of "The Snow Queen" and I'm delighted to have been able to include it in Fairy Tale Lust.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

I started out wanting to write an erotic retelling of The Snow Queen because I re-fell in love with it during a fairy tale literature class in college. It’s a story that speaks to me mostly because of Andersen’s religious undertones that I’d like to turn on their heads. But I ended up writing quite a different story than I planned, and maybe I’ll write that version later, but this is the one that came out.

If you are new to erotica, what brought you to the erotica/erotic romance genre?

I don’t remember exactly how I came to write original erotic fiction. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with sex, but I would say that it’s something that occupies my mind a little too much, and I like the way sex can more than just sex in literature. I love reading about sex, writing about sex, learning new things about sex … I suppose it was inevitable that I at least dipped my toes into writing erotica. Because sex is never just sex in literature. There are statements, politics, emotions, subversions, power exchanges … there’s always something. It makes sex a very useful way of moving a character or the plot forward, while having a little fun as well.

I’m not completely new to the erotica world. My story “In Circles” was featured in Amber Dawn’s queer woman’s horror erotica anthology Fist of the Spider Woman, which is still my favorite. Erotic romance doesn’t come naturally to me, actually. I tend toward the darker side of things. My next short story, a gay male vampire short called “Stained Glass” in the anthology Queer Gothic, edited by James Rasmussen, is also on the publication route. So I’m not new new, but I’m hardly established. But I’m not going away. :)

What is your writing routine like? Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

I wish I could say I had one at the moment. Right now I’m pecking away at things little by little, here and there, but nothing that makes me feel really productive. I’m working and going to school full-time, and that’s frying my brain. I’m still making an effort to find brain power to write, but it’s not easy.

Like most writers, I wish this were my day job. Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky at this juncture.

Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?

I think there’s an underlying sexual tension underneath the proper romance and moralistic warnings, a salaciousness even the most uptight of old wives couldn’t help but add to these tales. And while we don’t always see it in our stories and fairy tale movies when we’re younger, as we get older and more sexually aware, those bits of suggestiveness start becoming more obvious. Also, fairy tales are things that we have in common over great distances. Not everyone’s versions are the same – sometimes Cinderella’s shoes are leather, glass, fur, etc. But there’s that familiarity just the same, the same archetypes that stayed with us since we were children, we bring with us as adults.

Also, it’s fun to play in a supernatural arena, and fairy tales give us a way to bring some fanciful magic to our more prosaic, carnal magic.

What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?

I’ve finished a supernatural erotic novel and need to polish before sending it out for editorial consideration, but I’m really excited about it. I’ve also got a few (mostly) non-erotic supernatural/horror/apocalyptic novels on my hard drive that I also need to polish and/or finish. There are a few erotic short stories as well. Lots of work that needs to be done, but not a lot of time. You can see why I’m frustrated! Still, I persevere.

(This pendant is called Frosted White Glass. Isn't it fit for a snow queen?)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Interview: Janine Ashbless

Janine Ashbless blends fantasy, horror and erotica into some of the most breathtaking stories to be found. Her story "Sleep Tight" is a wicked retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

"Sleep Tight" is based on Sleeping Beauty, and the protagonist is set to work strimming down a thicket of brambles around a spooky old house. It seemed an ideal way of using my own experience working with petrol-powered strimmers. Little details like the smells, the vibration of the machine, the horror of doing it in areas where dogs have fouled...

Are there any other fairy tales you’d like to see retold? Why?

I want to retell all the fairy stories! That’s what started me with erotica in the first place: reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber when I was at college. It’s my favourite sub-genre of erotica.

How long have you been writing erotica?

12 years at least. But I’ve been telling myself these stories since I was in my teens – I just took a few decades to write them down.

What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?

Argh, don’t ask me to pick! My novel Divine Torment is very close to my heart, very personal, my vision of the erotic romance I wanted to read. My favourite short story - at the moment – is either "Janissaries" or "The Red Thread" (both to be found in Dark Enchantment) because they are both in different ways brutal and honest, and they still shock me.

What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?

Write well: write the best stories you can – just because it’s erotica that doesn’t make it an excuse for sloppiness or insincerity.

What is your writing routine like?

Insufficiently disciplined. I always have a hundred little jobs to do first...

Are you a full-time writer?

I’m a full-time procrastinator.

Do you write to music?

No: I can’t have any music on while writing – it interferes with the rhythm of the words in my head.

What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?

My favourite authors are Angela Carter, M R James, H P Lovecraft ... all dead now, I’m afraid.

I love reading travel books, particularly those which deal with people thrust into extreme life-and-death situations where choices really count. My favourite is “Into Thin Air” by John Krakauer, which is a simply mind-blowing account of disaster on Everest.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your writing?

That photo was taken in 1990 – I was playing a demon for a LARP event. Dig that perm!


Janine Ashbless Bibliography :

Cruel Enchantment (2000) – erotic short story collection: fantasy, fairytale and horror
Divine Torment (2002) – erotic fantasy swords-and-sandals novel
Burning Bright (2007) – erotic fantasy novel, sequel to Divine Torment
Wildwood (2008) – contemporary paranormal erotic novel about fairies and earth-magic.
Dark Enchantment – (2009) – erotic short story collection: fantasy, fairytale and paranormal

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Very Special Delivery

Look what came in the mail today!

Interview: Alegra Verde

"The Pub Owner's Daughter" is Alegra Verde's delicious story of a sexually empowered woman. It has the tone of an authentic fairy tale, which is what initially drew me to it in the first place, but a very contemporary message. In Alegra's fairy tale, the princess doesn't have to remain passive in the realization of her own pleasure, she makes it her mission to find what makes her happy. And that is what makes "The Pub Owner's Daughter" so perfect for Fairy Tale Lust.

Give the basic premise for your story. Is it a contemporary, historical, fantasy setting? What do you think makes your story a fairy tale? How does it fit in the fairy tale genre? Did you have a particular inspiration for your original fairy tale?

"Pub Owner’s Daughter" has a vaguely medieval setting. It centers on the idea of the quest, a common theme in fairy tales and myths. I wanted to empower Treasure, the protagonist, but I also wanted to convey that her quest for sexual fulfillment is healthy, good and pure. Therefore, the tale is not as sexually audacious as some. The idea is that she gets to choose rather than be chosen.

If you are new to erotica: What brought you to the erotica/erotic romance genre? What authors have inspired, influenced or mentored you?

I am relatively new to erotica. I’ve had a couple of stories published in Virgin Black Lace anthologies and I have a couple that are soon to be published by Harlequin Spice. My previously published work consists primarily of poetry and essays. In 2005, Swank Press published a book of my poetry. A few of years ago I began reading romance/erotica by Brenda Joyce, Susan Johnson, and Emma Holly. After discovering the intensity and the sensuality of their work, I became a voracious reader of the genre.

What is your writing routine like? Are you a full-time writer?  What is your “day job?”

I teach college comp and lit. It pays the bills. I read and write all the time. However, during the semester when I get bogged down with preparing lectures and reading student papers, I still try to read at least one book a week. My peak writing time is during the summer when I’m not teaching, May to August. I’m usually on the computer about five to ten hours a day, depending on how well a story is going. Contrary to all the best advice, I usually work on several projects at once. Currently, I’m working on two novels and when I get stuck on one of them, I’ll work on a short story. The short stories are the most fun to write because often the initial idea comes in a dream and frequently they propel themselves. Recently though, I’ve acquired an agent and I’ve found that my writing habits have changed. I’m forced to work on and complete a specific project and I must admit its not as much fun, but getting the work out there is a new kind of incentive.

(The fabulous necklace above is called Tip the Bartender. I love it!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interview: Saskia Walker

Saskia Walker lives close to the windswept moors of Yorkshire, which might explain why so many of her stories are imbued with paranormal and romantic elements. Her story "All in a Day's Work" is a fun, kinky day-in-the-life of a fairy godmother. What's not to love?

I wrote a story based on a fairytale character, the fairy godmother. When I saw the call for FAIRY TALE LUST I was intrigued. I decided to write about a fairy godmother because she is often seen as a secondary character in fairy tales, but rarely has a story of her own where we get inside her head. I wanted to give her that moment, but with a modern twist. The story is true to the nature of the fairy godmother—she’s nurturing and giving, and she knows what is good for the people she helps—but with a modern, erotic slant.

I’ve been writing erotica since 1996. How time flies! For several years I only wrote short stories, and then I graduated to longer work, novellas and novels. I still enjoy working on short stories and get an enormous sense of achievement when I write something that works as a self-contained short.

What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?

I say have fun with your work, because it shows! Stephen King has described writing as a kind of telepathy between the author and the reader. If you have fun with it, your sense of joy in the creative act will come across to the reader. That means you are going to show them a jolly good time as well!

What is your writing routine like?

My writing “routine” is very fact I use the word “routine” with some embarrassment. :) I tend to write in stints of about 40 minutes, and then I zip off and do other things. The story I am working on is always turning over at the back of my mind though. 99% of writing goes on in the imagination, it’s getting it out and onto the page that’s the hard part. I write across the day and into the evenings, in patches. I honestly wish I could do office hours and contain it. I've tried, but it just won't happen for me.

Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

I’m now a full-time writer, yes, after many years of scrabbling for the odd writing hour here and there. I was able to gradually go part-time with my day job as I began to get more publishing contracts, and around 4 years ago I took the plunge and became a full-time writer. Some days it’s hard, like any self-employed work you have to motivate yourself adn it can be lonely, but I’m a much happier person as result. I love my job!

Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your
Fairy Tale Lust story?

Always with music, yes. It was industrial dance music for this one, bands like Rammstein and Gravity Kills. Because my character is a modern twist on the fairy godmother, I imagined her as a leather-clad, kickass kind of a woman. She’s drawn to kinky characters and helps them live out the erotic fantasies they aren’t brave enough to manage
on their own. I figured she’d enjoy something punchy and powerful, much like myself! (teehee!)

Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?

Pure escapism, I guess. I respond to erotic fairy tales because they mix fantasy and reality, and that means I can engage in the fantasy at a deeper level.

What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?

I read a lot in the fantasy and paranormal genres, especially anything that has an erotic slant. One of my favorite paranormal romance writers at the moment is Kresley Cole. Her Immortals After Dark series has me eagerly awaiting the next book. I’m also a big fan of Janine Ashbless (who I see has a story in FAIRY TALE LUST – can’t wait to
read the whole book!) Janine writes terrific erotic fantasy and her novel WILDWOOD is one of my all time favourites

What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?

Next up from me on the Spice line is THE HARLOT, an erotic novel due out in June 2011. This is a historical paranormal erotic set in Scotland during the time of the witch trials. It’s a very bawdy, raunchy tale, and possibly the most intense hero/heroine relationship I’ve written to date.

I also have a series of shorter erotic novels about three psychic sisters on the go. This series is called EROGENOUS ZONES and the first book, MONICA’S SECRET, will be published by Total-E-Bound in October 2010.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If You Like Fairy Tale Lust, You Will Like...

Fairy Tale Lust is my pretty, pretty book and I hope you will buy it, love it, hug it, squeeze it and call it George (and tell everyone you know to do the same). But Fairy Tale Lust is not the only book tapping into the eroticism of princesses in castles and beasts in the woods. In fact, erotic fairy tales are hot right now and there are several authors and editors putting their own spin on this sexy new sub-genre.

So, if you loved Fairy Tale Lust and are lusting for more naughty fairy tales, you might want to check out these other pretty, pretty books:

Alison Tyler has edited the wonderfully titled Alison's Wonderland, a veritable feast of 27 erotic fairy tales. I'm delighted to say that several of the authors in this collection also have stories in Fairy Tale Lust, including: Shanna Germain, Allison Wonderland, Janine Ashbless, A.D.R. Forte, Andrea Dale and Saskia Walker.

In Sleeping Beauty's Bed is a collection of erotic fairy tales by the talented Mitzi Szereto. Bonus for academics and fairy tale geeks: each story includes an introduction detailing its historic origins.

Enchanted is another single-author collection of erotic fairy tales. Nancy Madore followed up this wildly popular collection with Enchanted Again, a collection of erotic stories based on nursery rhymes and Enchanted Dreams, a collection of supernatural erotica. I can't wait to see what she enchants us with next.

Finally, if short stories only whet your appetite for something longer, you might want to take a look at Cathy Yardley's Enslave: The Taming of the Beast, a novel length erotic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Yardley's previous erotic fairy tale novels include Crave: The Seduction of Snow White and Ravish: The Awakening of Sleeping Beauty.

Enjoy this banquet of fairy tale lust and please add your own erotic fairy tale recommendations in the comments!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Interview: Jeremy Edwards

The first thing I discovered about Jeremy Edwards is that he has a wicked sense of humor. The second thing I learned was that his talent with crafting puns and double entendres is but one of his gifts with words. Winning the most creative award for his story title, "Gildi and the Unwieldy, Ineffectual Committee of Bears," Jeremy has written a very different kind of Goldilocks story.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

I liked its potential for blending the erotic with the comedic. With the Goldilocks story in my mind, it was very easy for me to envision a protagonist wandering around a strange house on a sexy mission, and having misadventures en route to accomplishing it--while being sort of underfoot with respect to the characters who live there.

How long have you been writing erotica?

I began writing some erotica in 1995; but for the most part I didn't disseminate it, and I only wrote in the genre very occasionally. It was a full decade later that I began writing erotica regularly, and for publication.

What is your writing routine like?

Typically, my stories first go through a "preproduction" phase where I'm making notes as things occur to me--little bits of dialogue or narrative for a story that I'm planning on writing, but haven't yet focused on. Often the first paragraph or so of the story will be drafted in this phase. Then, when I sit down to work on the story in earnest, I tend to write in chunks, not necessarily drafting things in order. As I add content, I'm continually looking at what I have, and revising as I go along to polish things and make sure all the chunks transition well into each other.

So by the time I have a complete draft, I've already done a lot of revising. At that point I go through one or two more times to polish. Then I print the manuscript out and go through with a purple pen. This is a "fine-tooth comb" phase, where I try to catch anything that's awkward, and also mark any words whose spelling or precise meaning I think I'd better double check. (It's also where I tend to replace character names with pronouns wherever I've repeated a character name unnecessarily.) Then, of course, I take the purple-pen mark-up and go back to the digital file, to deal with all this.

Finally, I run a "concordance" program over the file to generate a list of words contained in the story, in descending frequency order. I scan this for words that I may have overused, finding alternative vocabulary where it's called for.


What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?

Outside of erotica (which I read a lot of!), my reading tastes run to comic novels (think P. G. Wodehouse and E. F. Benson), humor essays (think Robert Benchley and young Woody Allen), whimsical children's books, and stage farces. Much of the literature I enjoy most dates back several decades, or even a century.

What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?

Thanks for asking! I have an erotic-story collection coming out soon: Spark My Moment, an e-book from Xcite (which may also appear in print down the road). Meanwhile, my erotocomedic novel Rock My Socks Off (also from Xcite, in print and e), which was released in the UK earlier this year, is scheduled for U.S. release in the fall.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: 4.5 Stars from RT Book Reviews

RT Book Reviews (formally known as Romantic Times) gave Fairy Tale Lust a 4.5 star review! My publicist at Cleis Press sent along the tear sheet, so I thought I would share that rather than retyping the whole thing.

Thanks to Gail Pruszkowski for this terrific review!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Interview: Shanna Germain

Shanna Germain is one of my favorite authors, hands down. She is a self-described "Writer. Editor. Leximaven. Geek. Gamer. Biker. Wanderluster. Knife-licker." She is also an inspiration. Her ethereal tale "Her Hair is a Net, Woven" will stay with you long after you read it. I promise.

If the original fairy tale isn’t well known, please share the origins.

This is based on a Polish/German fairy tale that revolves around the Nix (water-man) and his wife, a water-woman. The Nix lures passerbys into the water in order to drown them, and his wife plays a role as well, often visiting the market to bargain in butter and tempt men back to her husband. I read a line about how you could tell a water-woman because her hem was always wet, and the story took off from there. I imaged what it would be like if she fell in lust or love with one of the men and refused to lure him back to her husband's clutches.

How long have you been writing erotica?

Since about 2001, in any kind of serious sense of the word. That was also the first year I had an erotic story published. Since then, I've just been unable to stop!

What is your writing routine like?

As often as I can. I usually go to a coffee shop and settle in for a few hours. For me, it's really hard to write at home -- the call of the dishwasher and the laundry and everything else is far louder than any coffee-shop ruckus ever is!

Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

Yep! And delighted to be able to say that. My days are filled with editing (magazines and books), writing (articles, fiction and poems) and teaching (fiction and memoir). It's very piecemeal, but I love it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview: Michelle Augello-Page

Michelle Augello-Page's story "The Kiss" is an original fairy tale with artistic and mythological influence. It's the type of story I come back to again and again for its subtlety and depth. I'm delighted Michelle took the time to explain her inspiration for this lovely tale.

Describe the basic premise for your story.

“The Kiss” is an experimental and original fairy tale which centers on the encounter between a man who is a shape shifter, and a woman who is lost. Conceptually it is a story about body and sexuality, steeped in the non-verbal core of dreams, eroticism, and breath. I consider my story akin to the negative image of a photograph; basic story and plot elements of a fairy tale stripped bare and turned upside down. This is literally reflected beginning the story with “and they lived happily ever after”, and ending it with “once upon a time”. I also experimented with the way the story was told. I attempted to mirror the pleasures of the flesh and convey through language what is communicated almost solely through body and mind, an experience heavily based in the primal, in call and response, through the senses, and all the states of consciousness, and filtered through fragments of memories, experiences, and flights of imagination.

Did you have any particular inspiration for your original fairy tale?

I was inspired by the artwork of Gustav Klimt, in particular; Danae, Medizin, and The Kiss. These paintings are highlighted in different areas of the story and were used to frame certain scenes. Towards the end of the story, I described the painting of The Kiss in detail: “He caught her in his embrace and held her so close, so completely, their bodies entwined in glistening gold. There was only a moment; he reached for her tranquil face, upturned and angled, and strained his neck and shoulder to place upon her cheek a kiss.” This homage to Klimt’s work is also a functional part of the story, in which the characters inhabit a space without language, steeped in image, a snap-shot of being fully present before the spell is broken.

The other inspiration for this story was the Greek myth of Danae. Danae was locked in a tower by her father. It was foretold that she would bear a son (Perseus) who would in turn kill his grandfather, Danae’s father. Her father locked her away basically so she wouldn’t get pregnant. Nevertheless, Zeus happened upon Danae, and wanted her so much, he came through the shafts of light through the window in a shower of gold. This way, he inhabited her. She gave birth to Perseus, who did indeed kill his grandfather and found fame as the one who beheaded Medusa. Danae retired to the folds of mythology as Perseus’s mother, and the beauty who was impregnated by Zeus in the form of a “golden shower.”

This myth is resonant in the story in many ways; it served as some background for the character of Danae, and the connection/disconnection of the father who bound her in some way. Also, this character connects with, if not a god, then a supernatural being. This myth is also mirrored in the painting Danae by Klimt, a celebration of sensuality and sexuality, embodying and evoking an erotic response through non-verbal image.

What do you think makes your story a fairy tale? How does it fit into the genre? Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?

My story is a fairy tale by both the nature of the tale and the plot elements that constitute a fairy tale. Fairy tales are set in an alternate reality, where fiction is real, and the lie is truth. There is a certain suspension of belief that occurs in fairy tales; we believe that there is a wolf in the bed when Little Red Riding Hood comes to visit grandmother. In reality, such a thing would be too impossible to believe. But we understand the wolf in the fairy tale, not in the literal sense, but the wolf as a symbol, and all that represents. We understand that, as surely as we understand the phrase “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. It is language telling something essential, infused with metaphor.

Fairy tales are a way of teaching children how to work out issues, about showing them alternate paths, and allowing them fancies of the imagination and the certain pleasure derived from language and from reading and being told a story. An important aspect to fairy tales is the multilayered effect of the tale, which allows one to re-read any number of written tales with the basic parameters of one story. This is a very interesting way to tell stories, and features mostly in fairy tales, mythology, and folklore. The fairy tale is something flexible and organic, encouraging a continued re-visitation of the text, which should change in response to evolving perceptions of the self and the world.

“The Uses of Enchantment” by Bruno Bettelheim is an excellent book for those interested in the deep meaning and importance of fairy tales through a psychoanalytic lens. Fairy tales are written for children in our modern times, though we all know the Brothers Grimm and that fairy tales were often told to adults and have been sanitized for exclusive use in the realm of childhood. Therefore, in our present time, adults outgrow fairy tales.

I think that erotic fairy tales are popular because they are a place for adults to revisit the basic elements of the fairy tale story with adult content. The adult content still allows for the adult reader to connect with the tale, as a place to work out some of the mysteries and subtleties of our human experience. Sex is extremely mysterious. There exists an entire literature devoted to comprehending sex and even this falls short of tapping into fully understanding the sexual experience. So, it seems natural that we would turn to erotic fairy tales, and be interested in stories that work out certain issues, show us alternate paths, and allow fancies of the imagination, through language and the creative mental process of reading.

What is your writing routine like? What do you enjoy reading? What’s next for you?

My writing routine has always varied, because it is based on mostly external factors. Time is the biggest factor. Having a full-time job and a family, I write when I can, which makes for a rather erratic schedule. I enjoy writing during the night, when the house is asleep and the world quiet. But I also love writing in the day, when the sun is bright and everything is awake and alive.

I write in different genres, so there are many different threads I can pick up, depending on the amount of time I have. I usually draft poems and story ideas, revise, and edit in short but focused periods. Long stretches of time are mostly spent developing stories and poems and doing research. I prefer to type my creative writing, but I write longhand in a journal each day.
Perhaps some parts of my writing routine have seemingly nothing to do with the act of actually writing anything. I read a lot. I know that affects my writing. I read a wide variety of genres. One of my favorite things to do is to go to local library book sales and pick up a random selection of interesting books to read.

I like reading vastly different genres, mostly because I am ridiculously in love with language and am interested in the transmission of thought and creativity in a multitude of ways. I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, especially books on psychology, philosophy, and science. I also read a good deal of fiction, short stories, poetry. I like stories that are different and provoke thought, that really promote creative thinking, and flirt with the nuances and receptions of language. Nabakov, Adrienne Rich, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde. Lovecraft, Jung, Madeline L’Engle. I like books that encourage imagination, growth and reflection.

What’s next for me? I am always publishing poetry and short stories in a very seemingly random sort of way. I am at work on a collection of short gothic tales, which will be finished in 2010, and I am also at work on an evolving collection of poetry.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: 4 Stars from Dirty Sexy Books

Rebecca at Dirty Sexy Books gave Fairy Tale Lust a lovely 4 star review. I'm thrilled!

She singled out a few stories as her favorites:

There are too many stories for me to review them individually, but I will say that they were all decent, with several rising above the rest. My particular favorites were “The Pub Owner’s Daughter” by Alegra Verde, which closely mimicked a traditional fairy tale, “Sleep Tight” by Janine Ashbless, where a blue collar worker finds a sleeping beauty, “In the Dark Woods” by Kristina Wright, with a woman who may or may not be sleeping with a demon, and “The Return” by Charlotte Stein, where an unhappy wife is seduced by a man masquerading as her husband.

Thank you, Rebecca!

I'm delighted at the overwhelmingly positive response Fairy Tale Lust has received pre-publication. July is going to be a very exciting month!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interview: Craig Sorensen

I love Craig Sorensen's writing because there is an inherent honesty to every story he tells. His blog is filled with vignettes from his life and are as likely to inspire tears as laughter. His story "Ducking" is a terrific and sexy retelling of the classic "The Ugly Duckling."

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

Self image is so deeply tied to external perceptions in our society, and external perceptions are so very malleable. I started "Ducking" with the notion that this was a woman "whose time had come." Her perceptions of herself were as other see her. Initially I worked more from the external angle; the woman became beautiful because social perceptions had shifted. But this could only be a part of the story. Blending the dynamics of shifting societal standards with self realization resulted in a story that kept to the spirit of the original tale, but cast them in a new, more modern light.

How long have you been writing erotica?

I have been writing erotic stories since I was a teenager. Granted, they weren't very good, but I stuck with it, and sometimes drew nasty pictures to compliment them. I've written all my life, but started getting stories published in 2006. Though I write in a number of genres, my favorite is still erotica. It is a fertile ground for character development. People say so much about themselves by their sexual behavior, and while this can be explored in less explicit descriptions, but not with the same impact.

What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?

Obey the story. It's a cliche, but be yourself; tell an honest story that represents your vision. Resist the urge to "conform" to convention. I think that sometimes people look at rejection of a story in the wrong light. I'd rather be rejected for a story I love than be accepted for a story that I crafted to suit what I think someone else is looking for. Certainly, when writing for a call, make the story appropriate for that call, but don't be afraid to let your own perception of the call guide you. When you write with that spirit, the acceptances are particularly sweet. The rejections are just a disconnect; it's not that your story was wrong in general, just wrong for this editor. It's akin to being accepted for what you are.

What is your writing routine like?

I'm an insomniac. My particular brand of insomnia is characterized by being able to fall asleep very easily, and sometimes sleep very deeply, but not for very long. So I get up early most of the time. "Sleeping in" for me means I somehow managed to fall back asleep a couple times and didn't get up until 5:00. As I've become more dedicated to my writing, I've come to view this as blessing. It seems I do my best writing in the wee hours of the morning. Within my early-in-the-day writing, my process tends to be free form. I follow inspiration as best I can. Sometimes I'm in the mood to write "raw prose," sometimes I'm in editor mode, sometimes the creative muse isn't whispering in my ear, so I do "project management" and update paperwork or do research for things I'm working on or craft ideas for my blog. While I have a fairly routine time that I write, I tend to think of my process once in that time to be somewhat loosely defined.

Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

By day I'm a career computer geek for a direct to the consumer merchant with an internet presence. I think that much of my writing process is influenced by my business experiences, which include user interaction, personnel management, analysis and project management.

Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?

I love to write to music. My tastes tend to be eclectic. For "Ducking," specifically, I was listening to a lot of jazz. Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Dave Brubeck figured prominently.

What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?

I have a completed an erotic novel drawing from my experiences while serving at a US Army NSA installation in Germany, and I'm working toward publication of it. In the meanwhile, I've started writing another erotic novel. I continue to write short stories, but with less frequency than I used to when I was first getting published. My plan is to continue to grow my focus on longer pieces, but my biggest aspiration is to follow the muse wherever she leads, and have fun along the way.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Interview: Charlotte Stein

Charlotte Stein is a talented and prolific writer of erotica and erotic romance. Her story "The Return" is one of the eighteen fabulous fantastical tales in Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women. Blending mystery and eroticism in a modern setting, "The Return" leaves the reader pondering what she might do if the man she married returned from a long trip and was not at all like the man she remembered...

Give the basic premise for your story. Is it a contemporary, historical, fantasy setting?

It's a contemporary story, and though it's not really based on a fairytale, it's based on something very fairytale like (for me, anyway)- The Return of Martin Guerre.

[Editor's note: The true story of Martin Guerre is a fascinating tale, indeed.]

What do you think makes your story a fairy tale? How does it fit in the fairy tale genre?

Personally, I just think the idea of someone returning from somewhere, suddenly not the person they were before, is very fairytale-ish. The Return of Martin Guerre is so rich with what I think of as the visuals of fairytales, but it's the story at the heart of it that I find somehow creepy and romantic and magical and twisted all at the same time. That, to me, is the essence of a fairytale.

How long have you been writing erotica?

Seventeen years. Two of them actually trying for and getting published. Yeah- I know. I was a scaredy-cat.

What is your favorite story you’ve written so far? Why?

Tigerlily. It's technically a novella that should be out through Total-E-Bound in July, and it's my favourite because it's about that fairytale world I love so much, and because it made me sob at the end. I have others that made me cry writing them, that pushed me to carry on, that meant a lot to me, but Tigerlily means more because it's about all the things I loved as a child- Labyrinth, Return To Oz...all of that nonsense.

What advice would you give to aspiring erotica/erotic romance authors?

Love it. Don't try writing erotica/erotic romance unless you love it. And no matter what, don't give up. You are always, always two minutes away from someone somewhere saying yes.

What is your writing routine like?

Like the routine of a mental case. I work in the afternoons and evenings, come home, start writing around midnight. Then I write until sometimes as much as 11am, before sleeping until 4-5pm.

Some days, I don't see the sun. I stumble out into it, like a mole.

Are you a full-time writer? What is your “day job?”

I lecture in creative writing at a local college.

Do you write to music? Did you have a song or soundtrack for your Fairy Tale Lust story?

Over At The Frankenstein Place, and the soundtrack to Starman. The usual things.

Why do you think erotic fairy tales are so popular right now?

I think it's in part because all those little girls like me who loved Labyrinth and Princess Bride and Company of Wolves and all of those great eighties fantasy films are now grown up and wanting more!

What do you enjoy reading? Favorite authors? Favorite genres? Recommendations?

I love anything fantasy, sci-fi, horror. Any mix of those and erotic romance/erotica and I'm all over it. But in particular I love Emma Holly, Stephen King, Christopher Pike, Madison Hayes, Margaret Atwood, Megan Hart...

What’s next for you? Upcoming publications and current projects?

There's Tigerlily, a sci-fi/futuristic thing, and a Menage novella with Total-E-Bound. Another sci-fi space thing with Ellora's Cave. And my novel, Control, with Xcite.

Am exhausted, but so thrilled at the idea that I'm actually going to be published more.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust Postcards and Hardcover Editions!

Fairy Tale Lust will hit the shelves in just a few short weeks. If you'd like a postcard to remind you to pick up a copy, email me your address! []

Also, if you'd like to own a hardcover copy of Fairy Tale Lust, you can join one of the following book clubs and get it as part of your membership.

Doubleday Book Club

Science Fiction Book Club

Rhapsody Book Club