Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust on Doubleday Book Club

I popped by the Doubleday Book Club today and look what I saw in the sidebar:

I'm not sure how long books are "featured" on the front page, so I had to do a screen capture for posterity.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Sightings!

The incomparable Kristina Lloyd posted this picture of Fairy Tale Lust to my Facebook page along with a note:

Brighton Waterstone's today! This is the main bookstore in town and it has only two small shelves of erotica so it was nice to see you there!

And Sheri sent me this picture of FTL in the Borders on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, shelved in the B's for some inexplicable reason. (I was also amused to note that I have stories in all but one of the anthologies around mine.)

Finally, Nick in Chesapeake, Virginia posed at Barnes & Noble with his copy of Fairy Tale Lust that I later autographed at my Norfolk reading:

Keep sending those pictures of Fairy Tale Lust out in the world! There are books and brownies in it for three lucky winners!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reviews and Sightings

Fairy Tale Lust is making an appearance in various places. Author Erin O'Riordan gave the collection a glowing review:

'Fairy Tale Lust' is something different. Yes, some of the tales are set in a faraway land of long, long ago, but there are also contemporary tales so realistically told they might be happening next door, right now.
(Read the rest of the review here.)

Fudge Jumbles, the awesome website of bargains and entertainment in Hampton Roads, covered my reading at Bean There Cafe on July 9 and had this to say:

The book is a compilation of classic fairy tales {18 stories in a little under 200 pages} that have been reworked with a modern & erotic twist.

As if the reading weren't enough, there was also a live body painting demonstration by Jeff Edney of Jeff Edney Studios. The BRAVE model {whose name currently escapes me} wore only a latex bikini bottom, pasties and a smile as she stood in front of the HUGE windows of Bean There for over an hour while Jeff transformed her into a 'pixie'.

Finally, Fairy Tale Lust got a brief mention in the East Bay Express and quoted A.D.R. Forte's sexy quest fantasy "The Stone Room":

New from Berkeley-based Cleis Press is a raft of erotica anthologies, including Fast Girls: Erotica for Women, Girl Crush: Women's Erotic Fantasies, and Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women. One tale in that last volume begins: "James went seeking his fortune. ... He'd been gifted with a well-made sword, one of notable length and girth."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust reading

Some pictures from my first Fairy Tale Lust reading Friday night at Bean There Cafe in Norfolk, Virginia. It was a lovely evening with champagne, fairy tale cake, chocolate, a signature "Lusty Latte" (dark chocolate, cherry and amaretto), body painting by Jeff Edney Studios and a lively and supportive crowd of friends and strangers.

I read Charlotte Stein's deliciously spooky "The Return" and my own demonic "In the Dark Woods." I was in a dark mood, apparently.

The woodland faerie Pyper and me after the reading

Pyper and Fairy Tale Lust

Taking a reading break to enjoy a Lusty Latte

Advertising the event

My book on a cake! (And beautiful flowers from my best friend Sheri.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust in Yorkshire!

The lovely Saskia Walker sent along this picture of Fairy Tale Lust in Waterstones in Yorkshire, England!

My Books & Brownies contest runs through the end of July, so send me those pictures of Fairy Tale Lust in the wild for a chance to win some yummy prizes!

Interview: Andrea Dale

Andrea Dale is a prolific author in a variety of genres. On one level, her story "How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back" is a fun, sexy D/s romp. On another level, it is a story of sexual redemption and discovery. It is a lovely woman-centered (mermaid-centered?) story that gives the mermaid the happily ever after she deserves.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

Han Christian Anderson’s tales upset me as a child because of their unhappy endings. I later realized the woman always gets the short shrift in his stories. For example, In “The Little Mermaid,” the mermaid gives up her voice for legs, which cause her astonishing pain…and she still doesn’t get the guy. WTF?

I wasn’t so much trying re-tell “The Little Mermaid” as I was trying to re-frame it and give the mermaid the opportunity to get back what she lost. In my story, the main character is kinky, but her former lovers told her that her desires are perverse and disgusting. She sacrificed that part of herself (in essence, her voice) in an attempt to find acceptance and love. Then she meets a man who nurtures her darkest desires, giving her the chance to regain her voice and her tail, and to find true love. And they lived happily kinky ever after!

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

Since we’re on the subject of Hans Christian Anderson, how about “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” or “The Little Match Girl”? But, really, I’m fascinated by any story that goes deeper into the tales we think we know and teases out a deeper meaning…especially with a twist.

How long have you been writing erotica?

Does doing kinky things with my Barbies count? If not, then since college, writing letters to Penthouse Forum and Penthouse Variations for beer money.

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

Evil woman, asking me to choose! In the spirit of fairy tales, where three is a magic number, I’m going to say…

1. “Frozen.” A rare story in that, when I was partway through, the entire thing unfolded for me. It’s romantic as all get-out and makes me tear up every time I re-read it. It’s also been reprinted not once, but twice—the second time when an editor approached me and requested it.

2. “The Queen of Christmas.” Such a fun story to write! I combined Martha Stewart, Manheim Steamroller’s Wizard of Winter video, threw in a dash of an episode of Home Improvement, and topped it with a cherry of a spanking. I laughed the entire time I was writing it.

3. “Queen’s Up.” My favorite story to read aloud…except I have to read it in a (probably dodgy) Western accent. It starts with “It was my daddy who taught me to play poker,” and involves a ranch lost in a bet, a cross-dressing heroine, an almost mustache-twirling villain, and a sexy saloon girl. What’s not to love?

See my bibliography at www.cyvarwydd.com for info on where to obtain these stories, if you’re so inclined!

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

Remember that it’s about the characters. It’s not just another sex scene—it’s about these people having sex, and how that encounter transforms them.

What is your writing routine like?

How kind of you to assume I have any sort of “routine!” I’m on a never-ending search for a routine that works for me. I write almost every day, and recently discovered keeping a calendar to note which projects to work on when has been very helpful. (A list doesn’t work the same way in my brain as a calendar does. Who knew?)

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

Writing and editing is my full-time job, but since I’m not yet making a living at it, a more accurate job title is Kept Woman.

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

I sometimes write to music; it depends on my mood. (See above re: routines, or lack thereof.) I didn’t create a soundtrack for “How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back,” but I do have a “sexy songs” playlist to help me get in the mood.

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

Right now? You mean they haven’t been for ages now? :-) Look at Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy from the 1980s, for example! But I think the recent resurgence is an offshoot of the popularity of paranormal romance/erotica: vampires may rule, but fairy creatures are never far behind.

Plus, haven’t we all lusted after some fairy tale character? I remember when Sleeping Beauty was re-released in theatres, and my best friend and I making lustful comments about the Prince. And the kiss in Beauty and the Beast was hot!

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

I’m one of those people who’ll read anything, as long as it’s good. Growing up, I was a hardcore fantasy reader, and I still love urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Right now I’m reading a variety of mysteries for a workshop I’m taking in July, and in the last year or so I’ve been devouring any modern gothic I can get my hands on.

Favorite authors: Guy Gavriel Kay, Barbara Hambly, Carol Goodman, Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, and about a million more…

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

I’m currently working on a humorous, spicy contemporary romance with one of my coauthors, and finishing a couple of my own novels and getting them circulating. I also have something like six short stories deadlines over the next month and a half…

Upcoming publications include…

“The Broken Fiddle” (not a fairy tale, but it involves an Irish legend) in Alison’s Wonderland (Harlequin Spice, July 2010)

“Flash!” in Fast Girls: Erotica for Women (Cleis Press, July 2010)

“All She Wanted” in Orgasmic: Erotica for Women (Cleis Press, August 2010)

“Lost & Found” in Lesbian Lust: Erotic Stories (Cleis Press, August 2010)

“Darlene’s Dilemma” and “The Twelve Fucking Princesses” (another erotic fairy tale!) in The Mammoth Book of Threesomes and Moresomes (Running Press, October 2010)

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

I think I’ve rambled on enough… For those who are interested in learning more, please stop by my website, www.cyvarwydd.com. There are links to my blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc., where you can follow my journey through writing, showing up in the front row of countless Styx concerts, traveling, and working on a 1911 house. Among other things. :-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Interview: Justine Elyot

Justine Elyot has woven (quite literally) a delicious little tale of a princess in jeopardy in "Three Times." I love this story because it pays homage to the classics while being naughty enough to make the Grimm Brothers blush. Here, Justine shares her inspiration for "Three Times" and offers some terrific advice to aspiring authors.

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

"Three Times" takes a variety of different fairytale themes – a smidgen of Sleeping Beauty, the recurrence of the number three, the tension between magical and human worlds – and meshes them together whilst also subverting the traditional Happily Ever After. I think a lot of children grew up, like me, absorbing that faux-medieval Germanic world of the Grimm fairytale, full of weary shoemakers and wicked stepmothers and talking cats in half-timbered houses – I could set endless stories there.

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

Something that worked wonderfully for me was ‘playing’ with story-writing on peer-review archive sites before I began to aim seriously for publication. I was able to gain invaluable feedback, benefit from a supportive community and build up a modest following so that eventually the time felt right to move forward and submit to anthologies – the leap in the dark became a leap in the dim light! Modern writers are incredibly lucky to have this huge web of resources available to them – join sites, post stories, take in what reviewers say and, above all, make sure you enjoy what you do.

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

Outside of erotica and erotic romance, I rarely stray from historical fiction. I’ve been a lover of Victorian Gothic since I read The Secret Garden at about seven, and I devoured the Brontes, Victoria Holt and so on. Nowadays I’m keen on Sarah Waters (Fingersmith is in my all-time top ten), Michel Faber, Philippa Gregory, oh, and Wolf Hall was bloody marvellous. I just love a good story well told.

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

Well, I’m very excited to have recently joined the stable of excellent authors at Total E-Bound, so I’m hoping to work with them and their lovely editors as much as possible. Various short story ideas are bobbing about on my hard drive, and my second full-length book The Business of Pleasure – linked short stories with a narrative strand about an exclusive agency dedicated to fulfilling women’s wildest fantasies – is released in September by Xcite Books. So I’d better get my promotional hat on as soon as I can find it underneath all the writing hats!

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

Just that the reason I can’t supply an author photograph is that I’m very, very famous and have to keep my identity top secret. Only kidding :D. Really, I’d just like to thank Kristina for being such a wonderful editor and putting together such a gorgeous feast of a book – and then letting me be in it! It’s a great honour.

Thanks so much, Justine!

(Run Quickly ink and watercolor by swanbones)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Interview: Louisa Harte

Louisa Harte's story "Ellie and the Shoemaker" is the kind of sexy, frothy tale I envisioned when I first came up with the concept for Fairy Tale Lust. As a fan of Sex and the City, it wasn't hard for me to imagine Ellie and her many pairs of to-die-for shoes. Throw in a very appealing (if somewhat clueless) shoemaker, and Louisa's story has all the makings for a Hollywood fantasy.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

I love the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. I remembered it from childhood and always loved the magic and charm of the dedicated shoemaker being surprised by the elves secretly at work in his shop. When Kristina put out the call for submissions for Fairy Tale Lust, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give this story a sexy contemporary new twist. I had a great time writing the story – it gave me a chance to indulge my love of fairy tales, romance, magic and passion! I hope the readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :-)

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

I’ve always been fond of Beauty and the Beast, so enjoy reading erotic retellings of this particular story, although I enjoy reading fairy stories altogether! The Fairy Tale Lust anthology was great in that it actively encouraged contemporary retellings, which I thought was quite novel. As for other fairy tales I’d like to see retold, I’m looking forward to reading all the great stories in this collection!

How long have you been writing erotica?

I’ve been writing erotica for approximately two years. After winning placings in competitions held by For the Girls.com and Better Sex.com, I was inspired to submit stories in response to calls for submissions for erotic anthologies. My first published story was ‘Prime Suspect’ in the Cleis Press anthology Best Women’s Erotica 2010, followed by ‘Ellie and the Shoemaker’ in Fairy Tale Lust. With three more stories scheduled for publication in upcoming Cleis Press anthologies, I’m really delighted by the response my work has received.

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

I love all the stories I’ve written for different reasons. They’ve each allowed me to experiment with different tones, settings and erotic scenarios. Writing erotica and erotic romance is escapism of the best kind! I enjoy seeing where my imagination will take me and working out how to insert a bit of sizzle into the unlikeliest of places.

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

Above all, be yourself. Let your voice, your interests, your words come across on the page. Learn from those writers whose work you love, but at the end of the day recognise who you are and write about your interests and passions. In addition, if you’re writing for a call of submissions, make sure it’s something you’re interested in and stick to the brief. Don’t write to be published, write for enjoyment. Write because you want to and because you enjoy it. Embrace your own erotic viewpoint – that way your stories will be authentic and readers who love your work will hopefully seek out more. Write for the love of writing and don’t ever give up on your dreams!

What is your writing routine like?

I write in the afternoons. Usually, I’m inspired by an idea, a photograph, a piece of music, or a specific call for submissions. The idea or characters come to me first and then I sit down and let their story filter through me as I write. I’m not a big planner. I like to let myself be carried by my muse. I’m often pleasantly surprised by the outcome! Usually, I start by writing a first draft, letting the words flow without censoring or editing and then I print off the story and read it through, pencil in hand. After several more drafts and refining, I put it aside for a while. Then I reread it aloud, share it with a few close friends for second and third opinions and then I send it off. I like to write for calls for submissions that interest and inspire me and give me an opportunity to celebrate my own erotic viewpoint on love, romance and passion.

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

I don’t usually write ‘to’ music, but I am inspired ‘by’ music. I didn’t have a specific song or soundtrack for Ellie and the Shoemaker, but I do like to use music to get in the mood for writing sometimes. It’s a bit like getting ready to go out somewhere – you might play a particular album to get yourself in a particular mood for the night. It’s the same with writing – certain tracks can inspire certain moods: sexy, humorous, romantic, dramatic etc. Music can be a great inspirational tool.

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

I read all kinds of fiction and non-fiction. With regard to erotic romance, I particularly enjoy Angela Knight’s work. She has a great sense of story, pace, sensuality and romance. I also enjoy reading stories by many of my fellow writers in this anthology and I feel blessed to be amongst such good company.

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

Currently, I have three more stories scheduled for publication in upcoming Cleis Press anthologies: ‘True Colors’ in Smooth: Erotic Stories for Women, ‘Seeing Stars’ in Orgasmic: Erotica for Women and ‘Changing my Tune’ in Best Women’s Erotica 2011 (to be confirmed!). It’s an exciting time!

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

Readers can stop by my website for more information and to keep up to date with what’s coming next. I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to drop me an email at www.louisaharte.com. :-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust Kindle for iPad

Oh, look! A Kindle version of Fairy Tale Lust on an iPad! I love technology! Thanks to the very talented Fran Saperstein in Phoenix, Arizona for snapping this shot of my pretty book in digital form!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Interview: Carol Hassler

I'm delighted to have published Carol Hassler's first story! "GIngerbread Man" is an eerily delicious tale that shares some similarities with Charlotte Stein's "The Return." There is something about a man who is more than what he seems that is incredibly appealing. Carol's contribution to Fairy Tale Lust demonstrates the power of love... and desire.

What inspired you to retell this particular fairy tale?

A few years ago I had a very vivid dream and when I woke, I scribbled it down in the journal beside my bed.  Many of the elements of Gingerbread Man are still true to that dream: a grieving widow, a spice-choked kitchen and swift, desperate sex.  I knew I had to tell it eventually.  But how?  Dream logic almost never works in a sharable story. 

When I thought about turning my dream into something usable, I turned to the old stories of the gingerbread man.  In the children's story, the gingerbread man runs from each pursuer taunting, "you can't catch me," until he is finally defeated by a wily fox and a frightening river.  The story format was far too short for a fox-like enemy (and I wanted a happy ending), but the destructive threat that water posed caught at me and ultimately became both enemy and savior.

Beyond the gingerbread man (who was created, chased, then met his end in the river), I also nabbed elements from other fairy tales.  The most obvious is Pinocchio, where the character must do something unselfish to become real.  (In my story, husband David braves the rain to save his wife Emily from death by car.)  Anyone who's read any small number of fairy tales will also recognize the kiss as magical instrument, when Emily wakes her husband-sculpture with a kiss.

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

Twelve dancing princesses.  I have always loved this story about a band of sisters sneaking off and dancing every night in a mysterious subterranean kingdom. There's so much creative room in that tale.

If this is your first published story, share your path to publication.

I used to be dreadful about finishing stories.  Like many people, my hard drive and notebooks are littered with story fragments.  But recently I hit a crisis point.  I'd been talking a lot about wanting to write but not actually writing much of anything at all.  Around the time I saw the call for submissions to Fairy Tale Lust, I knew two things.  1) If I was going to seriously write, I had to write and send in a story for this anthology.  NO excuses. Otherwise, I decided, I was just a poser who needed to move on.  And 2) sexiness and gingerbread men were unforgettably intermingled after that dream I had and I knew that Fairy Tale Lust would be a terrific home for my story.

What authors have inspired, influenced or mentored you?

I have recently started reading Emma Holly's fabulous Demon books.  I'm a fan of Meg Cabot's flirty dialogue and Julia Quinn's Very Nice characters.  I love finding unique takes on the common supernatural, like the werewolves in Jacqueline Carey's Santa Olivia.  I even admire (in the astonished round-eyed way) Susanna Clarke's dissertation-like approach to storytelling in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.  I'm always on the lookout for inspiration.

What is your writing routine like?

I light a candle, fill a glass of wine.  Turn on some music.  And then I'm ready to write.
Just kidding.

I'm busy and, as nice as it sounds, a routine has not yet happened.  Instead, I carry a variety of small to tiny moleskin notebooks everywhere I go and I cuddle up with my computer in the garden or in coffee shops after I have set down a basic story outline.  I write where I can, when I can.  I've learned that a break in a story can come at any time and if I don't write it down, it's lost. The biggest change I made since I set my personal ultimatum about a year ago is that once the story is outlined, I set myself a deadline to write and edit it, and then I send it out somewhere right away.

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

If I do listen to music, it's usually because I need to jump start a writing session.  I begin with the same music I use to run.  My heart pumps and my fingers jump.  More importantly, the adrenaline kills my strong critique reflex.  I rock out until I get absorbed into the story, at which point the sound gets knocked down to nearly inaudible until the next writing lull.  Then up goes the volume ...

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

I have adored myth and fairy tale for my entire life.  I see fairy tale references everywhere across genres so I'm more inclined to say that there are more erotic fairy tales because there is more erotica in general. 

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

I love fantasy, science fiction, romance, pop-science and history books, and just about everything else.  I love authors who paint rich, strange worlds with a dose of humor, like Neil Gaiman.  Or who craft finely tuned, analytical tales, like Rosemary Kirstein.  I adore Laura Kinsale's romances, and any other romance that rolls off the usual track.  This week I finished reading the fascinating pop-science Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer.  It was fabulous!

Thanks, Carol!

You can follow Carol's thoughts on her Twitter stream at http://twitter.com/dreamysusan.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

For One Brief Shining Moment...

The Kindle version of Fairy Tale Lust was #11 and the print version was #36 on Amazon's Books>Literature & Fiction>Short Stories>United States list. I know, I know, that doesn't seem like a big deal given the many, many categories and genre lists. However... please note the books below the Kindle version and above the print version. Holy cow, the company we're keeping!

Kisses for Fairy Tale Lust

Raven Nelson in Chesapeake, VA sent me this sweet shot of her puckering up for Fairy Tale Lust. Thanks, Raven!

Keep the pictures coming for your chance to win books & brownies!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Interview: ADR Forte

ADR Forte's erotic tale "The Stone Room" is the closing story of Fairy Tale Lust. It is the story of a man's quest for happiness and the woman who gives him his heart's desire. Not all of the stories in Fairy Tale Lust have a "happily ever after" ending, but "The Stone Room" certainly does (albeit a kinky happily ever after!), which makes it the perfect conclusion to a collection of naughty fairy tales.

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

I think of 'Stone Room' as a modern fairy tale. The setting is actually a contemporary city. The towers where James seeks his fortune are the high rises of office buildings, the dark rooms where his desire for pain first awakens are found in a private S&M club. But just like any fairy tale hero James is on a quest to find true love. The nature of that true love just turns out to be a big surprise for him!

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

Well there is the quest aspect. And there are also the "tests" James faces from his enchantress/dominatrix love. Fairy tale heroes have to prove their worth, and James is already at a disadvantage because his enchantress works with him and knows all about his philandering nature. I think I envisioned James at first being the pretty-boy, player type, but over the course of the story as he explores bondage, submission, and even his own bisexuality as the giant and enchantress break him in, he "grows up" from a horny boy to a sexy, mature, submissive man. Just like a fairy tale hero, only hotter. And of course, he lives happily ever after with his enchantress! Gotta have the happy ending!! :)

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

A big part of the inspiration for James' story came not from an actual fairy tale, but from a legend of Sir Gawain from King Arthur legend. There's a great version of it in a poem called The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle and the Wife of Bath's Tale from the Canterbury Tales is another, similar version without Gawain.

Basically the story goes that Sir Gawain was charged with the quest of discovering what women most wanted or else both he and King Arthur faced death. Gawain comes across an old hag in the forest who says she will tell him the answer if he promises to marry her. He promises, she solves the quest by telling them that what women most want is to be able to make their own decisions, and poor Gawain has to keep his vow to marry the hag. Sir Gawain is always portrayed as the resident stud muffin Casanova of the Round Table, so of course he's not at all happy with the situation, but he keeps his word and is prepared to do his manly duty like a good knight on his marriage night. The hag then transforms into a beautiful woman and tells him this is her true form and says she can keep appear as her true self either at night when they're alone together or during the day around others. She asks him which he wants her to do and Gawain (smart boy that he is!) tells her that she should decide (see, he was paying attention). The sorceress then tells him he did good and he can have her beautiful always and-we can assume- much naughty romping follows.

The Dame Ragnelle type of character shows up fairly often in fairy tales as the mysterious hag who makes life difficult for the hero/heroine, but turns out to be a powerful fairy or sorceress in the end and ends up helping the protagonist out, or rewarding him/her richly for all the earlier trials and tribulations. That's who James' enchantress is. She's a slightly mysterious, powerful female character and she's incredibly beautiful to James, but she's not just omg! gorgeous perfect. And she's also the  true-love princess of the fairy tale, but she's definitely she's no damsel in distress.

I think maybe the story is a little feminist. But it's also a little masculinist (I totally didn't made that word up. There's a Wikipedia article, I swear!) because, like Sir Gawain, James himself is not entirely the typical dumb, dragon-slaying jock. He's smart, open-minded, sensitive. He's even got a few noble tendencies in there because he respects the enchantress. But he's also still very much the alpha. I really, really like the idea of alpha males being sexually submissive. Tis hawt!

How long have you been writing erotica?

Eons! Or more like since junior high. I remember reading those silly teen series and thinking "Are you kidding me? I can do better than THIS!" But then, I'd also read De Sade by then which probably influenced my opinion just a wee, teesny, tiny bit ;) I've been writing professionally now for about 8 years.

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

Noo. Don't make me pick!

I think the stories that have a fantasy element are probably my favorites. I really like Flashback from Lust at First Bite and "Once an Addict..." from The Sweetest Kiss, both vampire stories and Carnival of the Grotesque from Like an Animal was my first ever werewolf smut story. The idea of werewolf smut bothered me a lot before I wrote it, because I worried about the line between paranormal sentient creature giving consent and bestiality. That's probably what I got for reading too much bad pr0n on the interwebz. But the characters in Carnival showed up one day and demanded to tell me their story and it was so beautiful and not squicky at all!

In "The Queen's Jewel" for the Like a Queen anthology, I got to rewrite the Princess and the Pea in a wonderfully passionate, naughty way. I always thought the prince in that story was useless and it was all about the Queen and the lost Princess. So I finally got to figure out what their relationship was all about... and it was yummy!

I also have an Alice in Wonderland themed story in the upcoming anthology Like a Vorpal Blade. In that one, the white rabbit showed up as the dashing Finn Leverett, Alice has a thing for black eyeliner, and the story straddles (no pun intended) this world and Wonderland. It was very much guilty indulgence to write that story because Alice is one of my favorite books ever, but I think it turned out really well, and I fell in love with both characters.

Out of my non-fantasy stories, I'm very fond of Urban Fairytale from Where the Girls Are. Like The Stone Room, the story doesn't have actual magic, but it's also told with the fairy-tale style. I think what geeks me about both stories is that, although nothing out of the ordinary happens, there's still a sense of magic in the way the characters find each other.

What is your writing routine like?

Write now. Sleep later ;)

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

Sadly I do not write full time. I spend my time, like James and the enchantress, in a tower spinning gold out of nothing but words. Which means I make up a lot of numbers and convince people who convince other people that they should pay me for making up more numbers! What a gig. Although spending time out in the real world dealing with all the Muggles who've never even read a book that wasn't written by Stephen Covey isn't very much fun, it does give me insight into people and situations and ideas for stories. I think writers do thrive on the misery of having day jobs because it fuels our plotbunnies. Kind of a love-hate thing.

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

Do I have to admit this? Ok so I do a lot of my smut writing to 80's music or symphonic goth metal. (no surprise my characters have the angst now, is it?). I think I'll go hide under the writing sofa out of shame now.

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

I think erotic fairy tales go through surges of popularity every now and then but never go out of style completely. Like vampires and werewolves, there's something timeless about the fairy tale. Maybe it's because we all grow up on fairy tales, or maybe fairy tales are a reflection of us. I'll have to navel gaze some more on this one and get back to you. ;)

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

Everything! I read everything from romance to fantasy to smut to thrillers to Mr ADR's history textbooks. I've even been known to read the back of the shampoo bottle in the shower, in all the different languages! Okay, so maybe just once. And I really didn't read the other languages, I just cross-translated. Ahem! So some of my favorite authors are Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip and Tanith Lee. They are all such mistresses of their craft, and are probably the greatest influences on me. I want to someday get to that same level of beauty and emotion in my own writing.

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

I'm always busy! Check out my blog at http://adrforte.blogspot.com or updates on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ADRForte.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fairy Tale Lust: Introduction

Introduction: Once Upon a Time…

When I first put out a submissions call for erotic fairy tales, I did so with some apprehension. Ask anyone to name his or her favorite fairy tale and the answer is swift and decisive—these are the stories that stay with us our entire lives. So, I was nervous about what the response would be when I asked authors to take those beloved stories and spin them into erotic tales. I had fears that I would be answered only by the endless echo of my own voice in an abyss.

I needn’t have worried.

The response to Fairy Tale Lust was overwhelming. Submissions started pouring in almost immediately, often accompanied by notes from the authors giving me background on their stories and reminiscing about their favorite traditional fairy tales. The submissions themselves were impressive in their variety. The reinterpreted versions of the classic fables had been lovingly crafted to remain true to the originals while giving them a new (and often kinky) twist. The tales that were new creations were written in voices that rang with an authenticity in the spirit of the classics. I was delighted with the stories that floated into my mailbox each week! And yet…a new apprehension grew in me. I felt like the princess presented with too many handsome beaus: how would I ever choose which ones to take? Would that every princess might suffer as I did!

The appeal of fairy tales is much like the appeal of erotica: both tap into our own deep desires and allow us to explore the boundaries of the taboo. When we are children, the whole world is foreign and new and fairy tales give us a way to safely explore that world through imagination. As adults, often more jaded and cynical than we’d like to be, erotica lets us explore and redefine our ideas about sex and sexuality. We are given permission to want, to need and to try new things through the stories we read. Our imaginations are sparked by stories that surprise us with their ability to arouse. So many of those classic fairy tales are already layered with a subtext of sensuality. Beautiful women imprisoned; handsome men tortured; heroes and heroines undergoing tests of strength and will, seeking out the forbidden and exotic. It seems a marriage of lusty convenience to pair fairy tales and erotica. At last, those dusty old tales can come out of the closet and share their secrets!

The end result of my quest for erotic fairy tales is the book you hold in your hands. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the wonderful Brenda Knight at Cleis Press for the many brainstorming phone calls and emails that led to the creation of this collection. Likewise, I cannot gush enough over the fabulous authors who took chances and pushed boundaries to write these one-of-a-kind stories. My only regret is that I couldn’t have included more of the uniquely erotic tales I received.

From Andrea Dale’s playfully naughty “How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back” to A. D. R. Forte’s tale of a man discovering the depth of his submissive nature in “The Stone Room,” and every story in between, Fairy Tale Lust has been compiled with the utmost love for the two genres it combines. The eroticism that was only hinted at in the original fairy tales is now laid out in naked splendor for your perverse pleasure. Take a walk in these dark woods and you’re likely to come across all sorts of naughty mischief lurking in the gray shadows. Don’t be afraid; the only pursuit here is one for your pleasure. Which story will be your favorite? Which one will speak to your darkest desire?

I invite you to turn the page and find out…

Kristina Wright
The dark woods of Virginia

Out Now! Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women

Foreword by Angela Knight
Introduction: Once Upon a Time…
The Obedient Wife by Delilah Devlin
How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back by Andrea Dale
Ducking by Craig Sorensen
Three Times by Justine Elyot
Ellie and the Shoemaker by Louisa Harte
The Pub Owner’s Daughter by Alegra Verde
Sleep Tight by Janine Ashbless
Her Hair is a Net, Woven by Shanna Germain
Mind Your Peas and Qs by Allison Wonderland
In the Dark Woods by Kristina Wright
Gildi and the Unwieldy, Ineffectual Committee of Bears by Jeremy Edwards
Frosted Glass by Aurelia T. Evans
Gingerbread Man by Carol Hassler
All In a Day’s Work by Saskia Walker
Big Bad Wolf (An Excerpt) by Alana Noël Voth
The Kiss by Michelle Augello-Page
The Return by Charlotte Stein
The Stone Room by A.D.R. Forte