DragonCON 2013 Tentative Schedule

The fabulous Kiernan Kelly and I have assembled the DragonCON 2013 panels schedule for writers attending the EFF Track.  Come by, see us, watch us drink!  Oh, and learn a few things about digital publishing while you’re at it…

Oh and we have Jennie Breeden from The Devil’s Panties with us!  I’m excited!

For those of you familiar with the layout of the hotels, it’s going to be FUN watching some of us hustle back and forth…DragonCON won’t buy us Segues.

Fri 10:00pm Hil201 Interracial Discourse in Erotic Romance
Kiernan Kelly,  Adrian, Me, Fionna Zedde, Stephanie Burke

Fri 11:30pm – BDSM Authors (me, and others)

Sat 10:00pm Hil201 WriteSex
Kiernan Kelly,  Stella Price, Stephanie Burke, Sascha Illyvich

Sat – 11:30 GLBT Panel (Kiernan)

Sun 7:00 PM Down and Dirty Marketing for Authors – Crystal Ballroom
Jennie Breeden, Randal Schwartz, Gail Z. Martin, Sacha Illyvich, Kiernan Kelly, Cage, TC Blue

Sun 10:00 PM Pronoun hell
Kiernan, Adrian, Me, Cage Allen, TC BLUE, Me, Kayelle Allen(?)

Sun 11:30pm BDSM 201 Crystal Ballroom – (Yes I’m possibly wearing the pink thing I wore for Bill and LaDonna’s wedding…)
Romily (moderator), John F Sokol, Sascha Illyvich, writergirl, Kiba32b, Sir_Crovax, AtlLoki, saltygoodness

Mon 1:00pm Hil201 Kirk’s Communicator: Where Do I Submit?
Jennie Breeden, Scott Sigler, Sascha Illyvich (moderator), Adrian, Kiernan Kelly, TC Blue, Cage Allen

Male POV Class being taught for Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA

***Permission to Forward Granted and Encouraged***


Don’t miss any of these great class brought to you from the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA!  Classes start Monday.

Check our full sizzling summer lineup here:




Writing from the Male POV to Create Stronger Heroes – Sascha Illyvich  http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=820

$15.00 for FFnP members and $20.00 for non-FFnP members

June 10-16, 2013

Erotic Romance author Sascha Illyvich shares with us tips on how to create more memorable heroes, avoid some common pitfalls and have more fun with our writing!


We’ll cover a large range of things from emotion to action, archetypes and pairing, along with some basic plotting techniques that will help create memorable heroes much faster!



Leslie A. Dow

FF&P Workshop Coordinator

Director, SavvyAuthors.com


5 Questions and Answers

Nerves of an erotic author

My nerves are a little shot.  Less than two weeks from today I leave for Atlanta to attend DragonCON, the largest science fiction/fantasy convention in the US.  This itself is nothing new as I’ve been on panels the past few times I’ve gone but this time I’m on four panels, plus I’m teaching a bullwhip/singletail workshop so I have to maintain slightly more sobriety than normal ;)

But on top of that is the Vegas show, Sex in Sin City.  Again, no problem.  A bunch of old farts in the business meeting in public for the first time at a trade show designed for…I think writers.  Again, no problem.  Minus the back to back travel and my health.

But the big news for me is that Stalker has been sitting on my desk now for almost a full day, as the edits came back from my agent.  They’re not much, not heavy or bad.  And I welcome them but the thing is, this is the next level for me.

It’s a little terrifying. I’m not sure why yet.  I mean I fully intend to make a TON of money as a writer, and I have dedication and passion but I guess I got suckered into all the fear and bullshit every other writer gets when they realize Oh My Goddess this is fucking real.  Someone with some pull can actually SELL this story and make me much more money AND jump my career. This is actually a good thing but I’m nervous.  Not sure why.


That is my problem.  Here’s an excerpt for you fine readers though!

Hired by the Unseelie government to court an ally, Millie makes her way to Earth to strike alliance between the Unseelie court and The Protectors, before the Seelie court finally begins the battle between the two kingdoms of Faery.

As royalty of his pack, Prince Faolan and his Protectors are responsible for maintaining balance in the universe.  After being sent out one night by his assistant, he spots Millie, the ever so sexy faery and decides one night with her is a must until she reveals a desire for a different type of fun.  Image copyright by owner

An unknown enemy stalks them both, turning one night into a dangerous hell as truths are revealed, tables are turned and nothing is safe anymore.



Hard lines and angles meant for exploring struck her as a complete opposite of her small feminine self.

Fingers yearned to stroke the planes of his face.

The predatory glint in his eyes sent a tremor of fear through her.

She squeezed her thighs together in an attempt to alleviate the aching desire she now felt.

Millie couldn’t believe her luck!  Just moments ago she’d stood outside, telling Trevor she had no idea how to find Prince Faolan, and the bloody bastard shows up at her favorite Goth club!

Geral would be pleased at her progress.

His vest hung open, giving peeks at his broad chest and very well defined six pack abs.  Tight denim hugged thick thighs while dark hair hung down to his hips.  Boots that rode just above the knees gave him a menacing look that made her clench her thighs together in response.

Magick called to her, forcing her attention away from Trevor momentarily.  She turned and met Faolan’s eyes.  She had to squint to make out the large outline of the source where the magick came from and when she did, adrenaline rushed through her system.  Even through the smoke and scents of perfume and sweat, she could feel his power flowing down the stairs like a living thing, so welcomingly warm and predatory.

Trevor must have sensed it too because he had moved directly in front of her before the other wolf come downstairs. The stranger stood, hands on hips looking amused at Millie

She licked her lips at the size of his arousal.

He’d offered her his hand and bowed.  Long hair fell on each side of his face when he bowed and made for a perfect scene out of the Seelie Kingdom.

Her nipples peaked beneath her corset, rubbing against the liner, eliciting a soft moan.  Her breasts ached and tingled, wanted to be fondled and touched by this wolf.

She followed Faolan up the spiral staircase and past the row of leather chairs and couches, before stopping in front of the bar on the second floor.  A myriad of woman stood with jealous boyfriends.  The women had obviously been paying more attention to Faolan than their boyfriends, many of whom were attractive in their own right but lacked that special prowess wolves possessed.

Eyes on Millie’s body made her flesh tingle.  Other women were staring daggers at her back in contempt. Her lips pulled into a haughty smile that made her stand up straighter, sway her hips a little more and lean in almost possessively towards Faolan just to incite those glares.

Humans were once born with magick but had pushed it all away in an attempt to explain it. Depending too much on what they could see, touch and taste. Blind faith in the otherworldly had fled, replaced by hard logic and scientific fact. The Fae didn’t explain things, they accepted them. At least that was the way it used to be before the new dictator took over the Unseelie world.

Millie took the drink handed to her.  “How do I know you haven’t drugged this drink?”  She arched her back slightly, forcing her breasts against his very muscular arm.

“Why would I waste my time drugging a Faery?  You have far deadlier drugs than I have access to, Millie.”  His voice was low, commanding without being overly dominant.

She grew wetter between her thighs at just the tone of his question.

What she wouldn’t give to be pinned to the mattress and fucked through it while his mouth ravaged and bit at her flesh until she lay covered in bite marks, sweat and cum.

If she were lucky, she’d get his allegiance to the Unseelie court.  They would have the largest pack in America on their side against the Seelie court should the Seelie court try to mount an attack

Damn, what was she doing pondering political crap when there was a sexy beast to seduce? Why couldn’t she for once make this about her own personal needs?

“Drink,” he ordered, his eyes never left her form, as though he were devouring the sight of her body.

Millie scoffed.  “Excuse me?”

Faolan lifted his drink to his lips, took a long slow sip.

Millie kept her eyes on his throat, enjoying the play of his muscles as they worked with each sip.

Narrowing his eyes in a dominant posturing move, he looked over the rim of his plastic cup.  His eyes darkened, reminding her just how untamed and wild wolves could be.

Deciding to humor him, Millie took a sip from her drink, let it wash down her throat slowly, savoring the taste of anise and fennel on her tongue.  The scent of the forest mixed with mint wafted over her nose.

“Absinthe?”  She cocked an eyebrow

He nodded with a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes.  “My charge didn’t lie.  They do serve it here.  Point for them, though this is a weak brand.”  Finishing his drink, he set the empty cup down on the bar, ordered another and slapped down a large bill.

The bartender brought him another round a moment later before going back to his other customers.

“Come.” Faolan extended his hand out to her.

Millie sipped her drink again, enjoying the taste of the herbs before she took his hand in hers.  Large fingers wrapped around her smaller hand, tangling in hers at last while he pulled her along the walkway past another couch and set of chairs.

They came to the stairs.

She motioned towards the stairs with her head.  She whispered against rough skin, “Down and out?”  She scanned the crowd for Trevor or Virus.  Neither was spotted among the masses of bodies in the club.

A flutter went through her stomach.

Millie followed Faolan into another room with tables, red couches lined up along the wall, a bar in one corner and a set of doors opposite that corner.  Several televisions hung over the bar; playing various graphic light shows while the DJ in this room spun early trash 80’s music.

Faolan led her past a few curious onlookers and out through the patio door onto the wooden deck she’d been at earlier with Trevor.  Several folks stood talking.

There were other wolves about, and even a few Fae but none of them talked or even acknowledged her at first.  The second their eyes met hers and trailed up the line of her body to the large hand and imposing figure who captured her, they looked away indignantly.

A few people coughed and abruptly turned away when Faolan’s harsh gaze settled on them.

Faolan looked at her, speaking stern yet quietly.  “Kneel before me.”

Her eyebrows rose, her mouth gaping in a small expression of surprise.  “What?”

Faolan straightened and lowered his gaze.  “I will not repeat myself.”

His low voice thrummed over her body like a bass speaker.  Despite her rebellious nature, she found herself kneeling before Prince Faolan, looking straight at his girth.  She licked her lips and reached for him.

He slapped her hand away. “I did not say touch me yet.”

She gave him mock puppy dog eyes and a pout.  “Oh. I’m sorry.”

The amused gleam in his eyes told her that he found her fighting spirit somewhat attractive.  Sending out a magical feeler told her even more.  He was quite capable of holding his own in this realm.  He’d probably still have trouble in her world.

But in the Unseelie Kingdom, she wasn’t certain.

“Kneel and spread your legs.”  Faolan growled.

He wanted to play that game, eh?  Fine!  Millie lowered herself to the desk, her knees acting from the hard wood.  She had to lift her skirt up a tad, giving the world a view of the bottom of her well toned ass.

His booted foot slid between her thighs and kicked at her knees, spreading her legs farther apart, hiking her skirt up even higher.  “Very nice,” he licked his lips and crossed his arms.  “Bow your head, Miss Millie.”

Millie lowered her head and hair fell over her eyes, blocking him from sight.  A breeze blew over her bare skin, making Millie wish she’d worn a garter belt with thicker stockings.  Goose bumps appeared on her skin.  Or were those goose bumps from the raw masculine power Faolan emitted?

Prince Faolan stood before her with his arms crossed over his impressive chest.  He cupped her chin with one hand, tilting it upwards, and then ran his other hand through his hair.  “Very nice indeed.  Tell me, Miss Millie, would you like to come back home with me?”

Millie gasped.  Her hands became trembling fists.  It was now or never with him.  Take him, seduce him, and coax his allegiance to the Unseelie Court.

She needed this.  More than anything else, she needed him inside her. They could deal without her for one night, right?  She didn’t have to use the full force of fae lust magick on Prince Faolan, right?

Faolan touched her chin gently, then forcefully lifted her gaze to meet his.  “I asked you a question, Miss Millie. I expect an immediate answer.”

She looked at his eyes, the sternness in them and understood that he was used to playing Alpha.  Still, as annoying as that was, she had to admit that she loved the reflection of the streetlight off his steel blue eyes.  She inhaled deeply and let out a long, slow breath. “I’d love to come home with you.”

“Good.  We’ll leave immediately.” Prince Faolan turned and started towards the door.

Millie started to stand but waited a beat instead.  She gathered that Prince Faolan was the type of dominant to demand her to stand on his command and only on his command.  It suited her just fine for now.

“Oh,” he glanced over his shoulder, “you may stand and follow.  My car is in the parking lot.”

Millie nodded.  This was going to be fun.  She had a surprise in store for this lovely wolf though.

Standing, she smoothed her skirt down her thighs and felt the immediate stare of several onlookers.  She did have a nice ass but did half the people on the deck have to notice she wasn’t wearing panties?  Being fae it didn’t matter but she always seemed to adopt the humans belief in modesty at the oddest of times with no reason or explanation as to why.  Back in Faery, nobody questioned public nudity.

Humans were so uptight about sexuality even amongst the Goth crowd.

Catching up to Faolan took her breath away.  Keeping up with his long stride was tough but worth it since she’d been keeping an eye on the way the jeans hugged his ass.   Millie made her way through the crowd, following him out of the parking lot.  She wondered if she should say goodnight to Trevor or Virus but Faolan probably wouldn’t give her the chance.  It was for the best anyway, most wolves were so territorial.

Faolan stopped and retrieved a set of keys from his pocket.  He clicked the button and a loud chirp went off before a pair of headlights flashed from the car in front of her.  The car was equally deadly in appearance.  The newest model of Bentley stood before her in sleek black, making her wonder just how wealthy Faolan really was.

The door opened and he slid in.  “Well,” he turned to glare at her, “what are you waiting for?”

She ran around to the other side and slid in the passenger seat.  The smell of exotic leather wafted over her senses and made her realize yet again how nude she really was.  Though the fact that she was with another other worldly being helped.

“You’re very pretty,” he started the ignition and pulled out of the lot.

“You’re very stupid to drive something like that in this part of town.  You could get mugged or raped.”  She rested her head against the plush leather.

He shifted his weight in the seat.  “I’ve been told that before.  I’ve also been told that good girls only speak when spoken to.”  Faolan steered the car onto Good Latimer, gradually increasing speed.

Her heart raced when they sped onto the North Central Expressway.  “I’m anything but a good girl.”

He snorted.  “So I’ve noticed.  What’s a faery doing on earth?”

“You cut right to the chase, don’t you?”  She smirked.

He nodded.  “I do indeed.  The fae are welcome here but only if they do not cause trouble.”

“I wasn’t causing any trouble.”  She smirked.

“Hm. The Unseelie are always causing trouble.”  Faolan looked at her and frowned.  With her enhanced night abilities, she saw the steady, steel gaze of his eyes, saw flames of lust dancing in those gorgeous eyes.  Powerful shoulders relaxed against the seat while one hand remained on the steering wheel, the other on the shifter at his side.

Faolan appeared to be studying her.  When their eyes met, he resumed looking at the darkness on the freeway.

She couldn’t deny that her brethren often caused a lot of trouble wherever they went.  Some of the trouble they caused was on purpose, but most of it was just by poor association with the dregs of society.  The Unseelie were the darker cousins of the Seelie court, never truly understood, wanted or cared for by anyone.  Of course after they embraced technology, they’d become even more hated by the Seelie court and many of the other magical creatures in their realms

The breathy tone she spoke with held just a hint of magick.  “You want me.”

“I do.  And I plan to have you, little girl.  And I plan to redden that sexy little ass of yours before I shove my cock inside it.”  His tone was matter-of-fact.  There was no room for negotiations in his world, it appeared.

No room in hers either.  She planned to have a real wolf tonight, one who would rock her world, leave her sore and begging for more.  There would be no Unseelie court tonight, no mission of convincing him to join her side for any sort of alliance other than that of two naked bodies writhing in ecstasy and pure pleasure.  It’d been too long since she’d had a good hard fuck.  Trevor could help her if she’d have let him.  And it wouldn’t have been bad, either.  Well, by different standards of course.

She grinned at the thought of having both Trevor and Faolan in her bed.

“So, why are you a prince?”  Her fingers found his hand on the shifter and began stroking over his skin.  A thin layer of soft fur covered his forearm.

“Because my people made me one.”  His fingers found hers.

Their hands interlocked.  His thumb began stroking the palm of her hand, sending waves of pleasure humming throughout her body.

She shivered at the tension easing off her back.  “Well Mr. Prince, where are we going?”

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught her wide grin.  “I have a home in highland park.  It’s a large lot with enough room around it that nobody will hear you scream.”

An eyebrow rose.  “You think you can make me scream?”

Faolan chuckled.  “Yeah.”

Millie nodded.  The scent of lupine hung thick in the car between them along with her hormonal aroma.  No doubt Faolan could smell it too.

Lights from the freeway loomed overhead, reminding Millie of the similarities between her world and this one.  True, there wasn’t nearly as much tech here as in the Unseelie Kingdom but humans has an interesting way of developing things and adapting to them.

She still recalled her mission. Seduce Faolan, coax his cooperation by any means necessary.

Licking her lips, she faced forward and intended to do just that.  But first, she’d have a little fun.

The steady silence hum of the engine remained the only thing audible for moments.  It was refreshing to Millie to not hear the buzz of so much electricity and static.

Faolan’s gentle tone interrupted her thoughts.  “I hear you’re breaking Court Laws in this seduction.”

She stiffened.  “You might say I have friends in high places that allow for these…transgressions.”

“Why does that rule exist?”

Shrugging, Millie spoke dryly.  “I hear it’s because too many of your kind have killed ours and the Court likens it to genocide since wolves tend to hate the Fae.”

Snorting, Faolan maneuvered the car past a few slower drivers.  “Not true.  If I hated you, you’d be dead.”

A flush of power rippled through the car, making Millie shiver.  She made a mental note to be on guard for her trick later when it was time to bring him to her way of thinking.  “I doubt you can take me.”

The power grew around her, threatening to choke her.

She reached for her throat but Faolan kept her hand down on the clutch.

She couldn’t move.  “What are you doing?” She coughed out the words.

Faolan looked at the road, his mouth the only thing moving.  “Does this scare you Millie?”

Millie made a crude noise.  The Unseelie were far more threatening than his earth magick could ever hope to be. “Not in the least.”


“Why?”  The power released her.  She took a deep breath and slumped her shoulders back against plush leather.

“Just curious.  I’m not afraid of the Unseelie, nor do I harbor hatred for the overall race.  That push of power would have told me your true intentions, had you been here to cause trouble.”

Trying hard to reign in her own magick, Millie took another deep breath.  Letting it out slowly, the collected energy circled around her and found the channel she intended it for.

Her lust.

Her lips curled upwards in a slow smile and her scent began to fill the car.  Nipples still aroused, a cold blast of air would fill the car in a moment.  Thankful that Faolan was a strong wolf, she let out her power slowly in a manner designed to seduce.

It crawled off her skin and caressed Faolan’s body so much that he reacted though his response was so quick that it couldn’t be detected by the naked eye.

Pleased with herself, Millie pushed just a tad bit more sex magick into the air.

Faolan’s nostrils flared but he remained calm.

More Paranormal Romance – Pushing Forward RE: Sherrilyn Kenyon

This is something all of us need to read.  Since I didn’t ask for permission, I’m only posting the first paragraph or two of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s keynote speech to the RWA Nationals crowd.  It’s important because she outlines the struggles of all writers, be we big or small.  For those who don’t know, Miss. Kenyon is the author of the Dark Hunter series, a paranormal romance series that’s sparked a huge fandom and readership base because of the world she has created.  It’s different, but very much like ours.  It’s hot, it’s sexy and her characters are just as intense as romance heroes and heroines should be.


A lot of people asked me to post the speech I gave at RWA and I promised that I would. So here ya go :)

You know, I often joke with my hubby that one day he’s going to come home and I’ll have #1 NYT bestselling author tattooed across my forehead.

I’m seriously not joking. It is the most miraculous and surreal thing imaginable to me. Kind of like when they handed my sons to me after they were born and actually let me leave the hospital with them. What? Are you people nuts? I don’t know what I’m doing with this. OMG, it’s leaking out both ends! Help!

I wish I could say publishing was easier than parenting, but it’s really not.

I spent many years attending writers conferences as both a published and unpublished writer, sitting at big round tables, wondering… well A) will I ever be published and B) what would it be like to have the honor of being a keynote speaker.

I have to say it seriously doesn’t suck… but it is very scary  Read More on her facebook NOTES page.

Published in: on July 13, 2011 at 2:15 am  Comments (2)  
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After the YNOT Summit and writing update!

BDSM Romance


Published in: on June 27, 2011 at 2:46 am  Comments (2)  
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Tricks to learn the publishing business for New Writers

For new writers, breaking into the erotic romance market may seem overwhelming but here’s what I suggest:

Pick up the following authors and devour their work:

Angela Knight, Morgan Hawke, Christine Feehan, Laurel K. Hamilton (not exactly traditional erotic romance) Julie Templeton, Kate Douglas, Candace Havens, Dakota Cassidy, Joey W. Hill, Lori Foster, Diane Whiteside, Lora Leigh, Christina Dodd. Don’t bother with Dodd’s historicals (this is a bias against historical romance novels on my part) but her contemporary and paranormal stuff is excellent. That’s just print stuff. For E-books, Lora Leigh, Joey W. Hill, Marianne LaCroix, Kiernan Kelly (We just put out her second collection of m/m erotic romance stories) Stephanie Burke, Treva Harte (writer and owner of Loose ID) Marty Rayne (one of my students)Joanna Wilde, Celia Kyle, Alexandria Rayne, Em Petrova, (hell, go pick up any of the Secrets Anthologies out from Red Sage) Sascha Illyvich, Cherise Sinclair (another student of mine) Brenda Williamson, Brenna Lyons, Belinda McBride, Barbara Karmazin (RIP) Marie Harte, MaryJanice Davidson (over at Loose-ID) Suzanne Rock, Cheyenne McCray. That should get you started learning about Erotic Romance. Most of those authors mentioned I’ve either mentored, grown up with (sort of) taught in my classes or read their work, interviewed for the radio show and they are dynamite writers. At the local library, hit up the print stuff and find yourself in the romance section. You want to go no “less” hot than Harlequin BLAZE. That’s their “attempt” at erotic romance and they are the gold standard in publishing, with numerous authors who go onto bigger, better and more lucrative careers.

Join the Romance Writers of America. If you’re a male romance author, attend meetings, regularly and get over any nervousness that may occur because the chapter members are predominantly female and many are where you want to be already. And many of them are gracious enough and kind enough to pay back as well as forward. Be warned RWA is still jumping (slowly) on the ebook bandwagon but that’s a national issue, not a local chapter issue. The local chapters are very supportive of their members and share a TON of information. If you can afford it join Passionate Ink, the erotic/spicy chapter of RWA. Next year I plan to be speaking at their annual club meeting at RWA Nationals since it’ll be in Anaheim CA.

Find and follow Deborah Riley Magnus on Twitter and Facebook That’s my publicist. She’ll help you (via her blog) with marketing tips, tricks etc. She isn’t geared towards this genre but she IS geared towards the trends in publishing and collecting information that is geared to help the author become a better success.

I’ll have more tips next week. Stick around!

Lifting Spirits, an erotic m/m romance
$3.99 from Sizzler Editions

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Comments (3)  
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New release and POV From the Editor

As many of you know, I’ve been editing stories now for Sizzler Intoxications, the new Erotic Romance line Sizzler Editions. It’s been fun and a learning experience when it comes to dealing with authors both old and new.

For starters, the newer authors don’t always need guidance and hand holding. Thank GODS! The ones that do, usually just need a well placed kick and some more sound advice so being flexible in communication helps here.

Having to corral authors into getting you information such as “where do you live” should be done up front for contract purposes. Also, it’s important to make yourself reasonably available during business hours, and if needbe, outside of those normal hours since most of us don’t work a regular 9-5 in our author schedule. But set boundaries. Or try to ;)

New authors and old ones are REALLY excited when you send them the contract. That’s a good feeling all around. As an editor, anyone I okay for publication gets just that, a chance to make an impact both financially and emotionally towards their readers and themselves. I’m encouraging new talent, guiding instead of being guided, meeting some really neat people and bringing something to the table that was needed.

For starters, my first published anthology has no story in it from me but rather, four talented authors, two new, two old hat, of erotic romance centered around Valentine’s Day.

In this anthology we have:

Em Petrova
Michael Mandrake
Ike Rose
Daisy Harris. You’ll have to read the editing blog to get info about their stories but they’ll gladly share if you catch them on twitter or other social media outlets.

In other news, I updated my RomanceWiki page with some new information and background. This is an important part of an author platform. I’m half tempted to move part of it to the regular wikipedia but we’ll see.

And for those who remember “Forced Pleasure” my two bdsm novellas about women needing to submit to loving dominants, I’m almost done with the second story. I’ll post an excerpt later next week :)

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm  Comments (8)  
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Fuck You NaNoWriMo

Not really.  But I thought I’d catch your attention and that would be the fastest way to do it. The thing about National Novel Writing Month is twofold for me.

On the one hand if you’re a real writer, you’re already cranking out the novel that will sell.  If you’re not, then you’re jogging your muse until you realize you’re a real writer who may or may not be getting paid.

Then there’s my friend Tambra Kendall, a romance writer you’ll be hearing a lot about in the coming months as she submits and is accepted to Sizzler Editions.  She’s doing NaNoWriMo to jog her muse after a bout with health issues and a stupid divorce (I told you to get an insurance policy and take him fishing!)

And another friend of mine who is finally putting pen to paper because it’s about damn time they didd and yo’ll all be happy to read what they wrote.  And I could go on in this vein actually.

NaNoWriMo has a place amongst writers. For some of us it’s a break from our hardcore routine that forces us to see what we’re made of. Can we do like Candace Havens suggests in her Fast Draft Workshop and crank out 50k in a month?  Can we then go back and revise in another month?  How close do we get?  Anticipation builds.

The fun in it for other writers is just that, fun.  I’ll be honest. I’ll never understand it.  But other writers do and they get something out of it.  So while I’ll complain about it being November and NaNoWriMo and how the “real” writers are busy working, the rest of you doing NaNo, should push hard and be proud.

Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 4:59 am  Comments (4)  
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Lessons for New Generation of Authors

I’ve been spending a lot of time talking with my publicist and discussing the work habits of this new generation of romance authors.  The astounding thing is that observing this generation of new authors gives me both good feelings and bad.

For starters, with the growing E-book revolution (and it IS a revolution) and social media we’re able to get published faster but so many authors don’t take a hard look at the houses they’re submitting to.  If they did, we’d end up with less crap out on the market. The lesson here is to not only research the house but other authors who WRITE for that house. This will avoid mistakes.  Take a new publisher that has been courting me lately.  They don’t have a solid reputation entirely due to mistakes made because the owners didn’t understand the business model of the E-book industry from the outset.  They admitted this and this has been confirmed by a friend of mine who is one of the most respected names in Erotica today.  And other authors have come forward to share good experiences about this house as well as a few bad ones.  That’s fine.  Talking to the authors of the house gives you a well rounded view of how they operate.

Total E-bound has a huge and successful stable of happy authors. Before I signed with them, I looked at the website, got some feedback from some of the authors and felt that I had done my due diligence.

Next up, work ethic.  Raise your hands if you’re a new generation author and you struggle to make that word count every day while trying to promote your books with all the Web 2.0 nonsense.  Tell me it’s a pain in the ass.

It is. But I do it and have done it for years. I’ve had to grow and learn to utilize different technologies while still embracing the old ones.  Not only do I have to do that, I have to recognize and jump on opportunities that come my way all while writing, doing PR, blogging, doing my Radio Dentata show and attempting to keep a clean house.  I threw that last part in because for the sake of argument (and let’s face it, my S. O. is NOT) I am Alpha Homemaker.  So I cook dinner, do dishes, clean (somewhat) all while maintaining a successful writing career.

The key is determination and the fact that even as technology improves and makes our lives easier, we need to do the things that make us successful regardless of what they are.  Otherwise we’ll get lost in the shuffle.

Work Ethic:  I’ve seen too many new writers get by on turning in stories that are basically crap other than the bones.  Listen.  I had to bust my ass (uphill in the snow both directions) to get a good first draft finished and then sold.  This goes back to my earlier point about researching the Houses you write for.  A bad house will take a crappy first draft.  A good one will reject it with comments.

Piracy Complaints:  Saw this one coming didn’t you?  How many of us reading this have had our work pirated?  I have.  I was flattered on one hand and pissed on another. Sure I’ve spent time chasing these jackanapes but it’s useless.  Another blogger/author posted a great blog about piracy and she’s right in suggesting that we’re not going to convert pirates to readers or shut down the sites.  Let it go. Hell, call it free publicity and don’t forget to write off the loss as a tax deduction.

Writing and Excerpt sharing:  The concept of an excerpt is NOT to give me 500 words of your 10,000 word story.  That will NOT get a book sold no matter HOW great an author you are.  Christ himself would NOT sell the bible on 1,000 words.  Give us something of value to entice us.  If your story is 5k or less, why?  Learn to write longer.  Take the shorter pieces and sell them to e-zines, throw them up on Literotica for free marketing or put them together in a short story collection.  Then give us a lengthy excerpt from the story.  Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and mine.

If you have a 10k story, that excerpt can and should be 2500 words of HOT. And DON’T GIVE US THE ORGASM.  If you’ve got more than 10k, that excerpt should be no more than 5k.

I know some of this seems harsh but I’ve been around a long time.  And I’ve at least been tactful here compared to my blogs on Midnight Seductions about cross dressing or fellatio!

What say you? Care to share other lessons for this new generation of authors?

Published in: on June 8, 2010 at 7:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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