Posts Tagged 'Erotica'

BSB Author Interview with Alexa Black


What made you decide to become a fiction writer?


I’ve always told stories and always loved words. I’m told I learned to read very early in my life, and I’m pretty sure I started writing soon after that. I’ve always loved imagining other worlds and how the people in them live. So I’ve always been drawn to science fiction, fantasy, or stories with magical elements. If it’s a world different from our own, I’m talking about the people who live there.


Steel and PromiseI’d always wanted to write novels but struggled to do it. My mind would wander off to another world before it bothered to finish a story. But with Steel and Promise, I just kept wanting—needing, maybe—to tell the stories of these two characters. Before I knew it, that became an overarching plot. And I went like this: “This is a novel. I can do this. I am doing this.”


What type of stories do you write?  And why?


Almost everything I write is speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, or some blend of the two). I love stories that take me to new places, that engage me to imagine what life would be like if the things we take for granted about daily life don’t quite work the way we expect them to.


A lot of what I write has a dark tone. There’s a lot of intense stuff in Steel and Promise. That’s always been something I’ve wanted to play around with. We often love stories of monsters: vampires, werewolves, and the like. Love and lust that’s red in tooth and claw.


If you look at my character, Teran Nivrai, she has claws, and she likes to use them. She’s a little twist on a vampire story. How can I take a legendary creature, like a vampire, and bring her into a science-fiction story? What’s she like there? How’s she the same, and how’s she different?


What do your family/friends think about your writing?


My family and friends are proud that I write. My family sometimes wonders why I write the things I do, but everyone has been hugely supportive.


Where do you get your ideas?


Honestly, I often get ideas from things I’ve read. I love to reread my favorite books and stories and find some obscure character or plot point and ask: Is there a story here? What might a very different character make of a plot twist like this? What might a character like this one do and say if I plopped her into a very different setting or situation? Very often when I ponder things like that, a whole universe opens up in my head, one that ends up very different from the one that inspired me originally.


How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?


I start off just writing, definitely. Steel and Promise began as a handful of short stories about a courtesan attending a mysterious woman with claws. Before I knew it, the characters grew a history, and a plot connected them. They went from just seeing one another out of mutual attraction to having a whole political and personal connection.


What makes Steel and Promise special to you?


It’s the first novel I’ve ever finished writing! I’d say that makes it special.


I dreamed up Teran many years ago. I always had a strong sense of a character who retreated into herself because of a swirl of rumors about her cruelty and coldness. I felt a deep need to explore that situation: what happens when you really are a little iffy, a little sinister, but aren’t quite the monster everyone makes you out to be?


Cailyn was a little more difficult. I knew I needed a partner for Teran who was patient, kind, deeply connected to others–everything Lady Nivrai was not. I also knew I needed to tell the story in her voice, to show why her compassion extended to Ms. Vampire Recluse.


But I found that it was very healing to write. All the dark things I wanted to explore with Teran made it into the story, and all the kindness I wanted to show to people who’ve been cast out or rejected by others made it in, too. I was in a bad place when I started writing the stories that became Steel and Promise, and writing it soothed a few of those hurts.


How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?


I think there’s a lot of me in some of my characters. I’m not sure about other people I know. I think it goes back to the alternate-world thing. I know what it might be like to drop someone like me into a different world. Or at least I can guess, because I live in my own head. But I don’t know as much about how that would work for someone else.


I do notice that many of my characters end up with histories of trauma. That’s from my own life too, I think. I’ve had some rough experiences, and I know firsthand how they change you and the way you look at things. I don’t enjoy writing about horrible things happening to my characters, but I do enjoy writing about how they protect and support each other.


Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite of this author(s)?


Clive Barker, definitely! Not just because he writes otherworldly stuff, but because he has a gift for making dark stuff beautiful. He’ll be talking about something absolutely disturbing or violent or bizarre, and yet he’ll write about it using this rich, lavish prose that makes it sound attractive. Enthralling even.


That’s always fascinated me and inspired me in various ways. My character Teran is almost a vampire, pricking and cutting with her claws. That’s a little dark, a little sinister. What are sex and love like from the point of view of someone deemed a monster and for the woman who falls for her? For me, those kinds of questions make a story. They provoke us to ask what desire and love are, and how they look to people who don’t quite look like us.


For a recommendation, I’d have to say Cabal. It’s about an undead monster with mental illness. (He’s straight, but his romance is awesome.) The story focuses on a city of monsters—their culture, their identity, their art. Not only does that remind me of Teran, but I think it also speaks to many LGBT people’s experiences and support networks as well.


Do you have any suggestions for new writers?


Write! Don’t let anyone tell you that the story you want to tell isn’t the story you should tell. I never imagined that Steel and Promise would be published. I worried it was too niche, too weird, too intense. But all of a sudden my book had a future, and an audience, and a place to live.


When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?


Gaming! I play a lot of Magic: the Gathering with family and friends. Once again, it’s fantasy. But it’s also a tool to jog the mind. You can’t play well unless you think, and think a lot.



by Connie Ward


What made you decide to become a fiction writer?


I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood, and doesn’t every kid who likes to read want to be a writer? I became a literature professor, so books are a major part of both my professional and personal life. My PhD studies and early academic career put my creative writing on hold for about a decade, and now that I’m back to writing fiction, I’m thrilled to be doing it again.




What type of stories do you write?  And why?


I’ve published romance, primarily, but I also love mystery, horror, and science fiction, so I might explore these genres down the road. I love to read all of them, so it makes sense to try writing them.




What do your family/friends think about your writing?


They’re as thrilled as I am and, in some cases, if possible, more. I have a very strong support system, and I think my happiness means a lot to them.



Where do you get your ideas?


A Palette for LoveA Palette for Love is very, very vaguely based on Fifty Shades of Grey and came from a conversation with my wife after we both read E.L. James’s series. We asked each other what a lesbian Fifty Shades would look like. That question was the catalyst for the book and the sequel, Canvas for Love, though again, to even say that these books are “inspired by” the Grey series is probably a stretch.


My next novel, Love in Disaster, takes place during Hurricane Katrina, an event I lived through. At the time, it was, of course, an awful experience for those of us in the areas Katrina affected, but I remember wondering what was happening to the tourists that couldn’t get out of there on time. I took that kernel of an idea and wrote a novel about it.



How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?


Recently, I’ve had to work a little more with a plan because I’ve been writing a sequel, and the sequel needed to tie up a lot of loose ends in the first book. Usually, however, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda woman. I tend start with one small idea and expand from that.Love in Disaster_final


What makes A Palette for Love special to you?


The idea that people will read something I’ve read and be entertained and possibly moved is a genuinely incredible feeling. Having my fiction published also fulfills a major bucket-list category, so that’s one more check mark.



How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?


I would say very little, except I’m sure that’s probably not true. I tend to have academic main characters, since that’s the world I live and work in, and some of their experiences are based on my own or those of the academics I know.



Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite

of this author(s)?


Asking a book-nut to name some favorite authors is like asking me to name my favorite heartbeat: I like them all and couldn’t do without any of them. That said, Radclyffe, Georgia Beers, and Emma Donoghue have certainly written some of my favorite contemporary lesbian novels.


I also study early twentieth-century literature and have read some great lesbian fiction from the twenties and thirties by authors like Virginia Woolf, Molly Keane, Radclyffe Hall, and Gale Wilhelm.



Do you have any suggestions for new writers?


I tell my current students and used to tell my less-senior graduate students (when I was a graduate student) that half the battle is simply sitting down and writing almost every day. Half an hour a day, or an hour every other day—whatever—that’s how books, dissertations, and essays are written. Prioritize writing like you do anything else (taking a shower, going to the gym, watching MacGyver reruns), and you’ll find that it becomes a habit quickly.


Once you’ve won that battle and you’re actually sitting down most days of the week to write, don’t get hung up on outcome—just write whatever comes out of you. You can worry later about editing, about plot holes, about “audience,” and about everything else, but don’t let all of that get in the way on a first draft.


Just sit to write and you’re already a writer.



When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?


I play and coach a local roller-derby team and like brewing hard cider. I also play a lot of computer games and tabletop games with some other nerds like me.

Slaves of Greenworld



Slaves of Greenworld Poster


The Post

I’m excited to broadcast that Slaves of Greenworld, my latest novel from Bold Strokes Books, is coming out this very month. In fact, I’m brimming over with pride—which is revolting and messy—that I created Slaves of Greenworld. This novel involved complex world-building, mythological invention, and imagining an alien species quite unlike their human invaders.


Slaves of Greenworld is SF—science fiction, speculative fiction, and speculative fantasy—and then came the plot and the sub-plots that twist and weave through the narrative.


The Plot, Characters, and Setting

Slaves of Greenworld depicts an alien landscape with unearthly creatures, a lurking hostility from an extinct alien species, and environmental dangers. Human versus nature always makes for an interesting theme. However, as is typical in human activities, the greatest dangers to people come from other people. As a result, the most essential conflicts in Slaves of Greenworld involve human versus human, and the fights, skirmishes, and battle scenes in this novel are colorful, sad, glorious, and convincing.


Humans settled Greenworld more than a thousand years before the events of this novel take place, and at some undetermined point in that past, humanity lost its technology. No one living on Greenworld knows why they lost their science, nor do most even know that it was lost. Some texts from the old Earth exist, but the Greenworlders don’t possess texts that explain their downfall.


Greenworld is riddled with justice, and cruel capital punishment. Of course those are all human institutions, which are abhorrent to the two surviving native species. For reasons unknown to them, Greenworld’s humans have settled into a caste system and slave economy with the xeng, the slaves, being at the bottom (where slaves customarily end up). One of the several plot threads in Slaves of Greenworld involves a violent slave revolt.


Just prior to the beginning of that murderous slave revolt, the novel’s narrator emerges naked, after nearly drowning in a stream, only to discover that not only does he not know how he came into the stream, but also he cannot remember his own name or anything of his past.


When the narrator encounters Paun, an old and fanatical hermit, something prompts him to declare that his name is Dove, although he cannot imagine why. Paun rescues Dove, and by the next afternoon, Dove is claimed as a young lover by a wealthy woman, Lalayla. It is in her house in Rivertown (see map below) that Dove meets the great love of his life, a male slave named Raret.


Raret and others teach Dove about Greenworld’s society, while Lalayla teaches him the basics of commerce. Soon Dove commands a caravan of riches, with Raret as his choice of personal slave. Dove’s caravan must travel to New Marth on the south coast, but along the way, Dove increases his personal wealth and knowledge.

Map of Greenworld

Map of Greenworld


Dove and Raret travel together over much of Greenworld, sharing adventures as they seek out Dove’s origins. Along the way they gather friends and enemies, and they are surrounded by intricate webs of treason, trickery, and political intrigue. Dove, Raret, and their companions survive attempted assassinations, judicial malfeasance, and marauding sex slugs (orgasmic but unsexy).


Finally, Dove will discover his origins, his true name, and his destiny as this dramatic, sweeping, picaresque SF saga winds to its close.



Cruelty—I don’t like it, so I depict cruel acts as being as repulsive as possible.

Slavery—I’m against it, so I emphasize the ill effects of owning people upon both the owners and the owned.

Love and devotion—I’m all for them, and I show self-sacrifice and enduring affection.



Yes, sex happens. There is male/male sex, female/female sex, male/female sex (though he’s thinking about another male while he does her), solo sex by everybody, and even some interspecies sex (not disgusting, but joyous and contagious, while being ultimately tragic—if I’m not giving too much away).


More, More, More

I’d like to talk more about the battles, the courtroom scenes, the prisons and execution yards, the throne rooms, and the conclave, but further description might spoil it. I’d like to describe the lurid encounters and the horrific tortures, the strange and terrible beasts and the wondrous beauty, but those must be enjoyed in reading the novel.


In between editing, cutting, and proofing Slaves of Greenworld, I’ve read my own book three times in this past year. And as soon as I get a print copy, I plan to read it again for the pure enjoyment of this story. I hope that you will do the same.


David Holly

Happy Valley, Oregon

March 2016


by Connie Ward


What made you decide to become a fiction writer?

I don’t know that it was a choice. I’ve always wanted to write a novel. Then one day a friend from work told me about her writers’ group and the novels she’d written. That moment was a catalyst for me. I suddenly felt very silly about not writing, like I couldn’t think of a single good reason why I hadn’t already done it. And then I started writing.


What type of stories do you write?  And why?

That seems like it should be such a simple question to answer…

I write lesbian romance. Sometimes suspense. Sometimes erotica. Always lesbian.

Why? Because lesbians kick ass. Clearly.

What do your family/friends think about your writing?

Most of them haven’t read any of my books. Or if they have, I don’t know about it. That’s my doing, not theirs, by the way. I just can’t imagine being able to have a normal conversation with my mother-in-law after she’s read a sex scene that I’ve written.

That said, they all think it’s cool. For sure. How many are lucky enough to write books AND have them published? That’s totally badass. My family and friends are suitably impressed. 🙂


Where do you get your ideas?

I have no idea. Everywhere? Life? I think about characters I would like to know, and then it all just sort of goes from there.


How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?

I have a vague idea how it’s supposed to go. I know the beginning and the ending. The stuff in the middle unfolds as I go.


What makes Uncommon Romance special to you?

That question makes me laugh. For those who haven’t read Uncommon Romance, BSB-UncommonRomanceor know what it’s about, let me offer a little background. Uncommon Romance is a collection of three erotic novellas. It’s by far the smuttiest thing I’ve written, and it was a blast.

But it still makes me giggle to think of it in the context of why it’s special to me. I’m enough of a prude (my mother’s influence) to turn into a fourteen-year-old, incapable of doing anything but blush when thinking about how incredibly dirty it is.

Is it special to me? Sure. It was empowering to write these incredibly graphic scenes about women claiming their sexual power.

Also, Uncommon Romance was a total experiment for me. It’s my first release that’s straight-up lesbian erotica, not romance with erotic elements. Also, it’s a collection of three novellas, rather than one longer story. If I do another erotica release, I think it’ll follow this format again. I like the tight density of a novella. It packs a really solid punch without getting tedious.


How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?

I don’t model my characters after people I know, for the most part. I do grab certain characteristics that I like and give them to my characters, but I’m not sure that’s the same thing. I don’t have a single character who, as a whole, could be claimed as a tribute to a living person.

Let me explain. My mom was very conservative, yet one of her staple beliefs was that you treat people with love and respect, no matter what. She believed that people have the right to choose their own path. And it wasn’t her job to act as judge for those decisions. So, even though we were at odds about a lot of things, we were also able to maintain a close and loving relationship.

The moms in “Love and Devotion,” “Split the Aces,” and “Chaps” all share that in common. They treat their children with love and deference and don’t try to live their lives for them. But none of those moms would ever be mistaken for my mom. Ever. They share that one characteristic, but everything else is different.


Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite book of this author(s)?

Wow. So many. Cate Culpepper, Gill McKnight, Yvonne Heidt, Andi Marquette, Lynette Mae, Ashley Bartlett… The list goes on.

The important thing I want to illustrate here is that every one of those women writes in a way that touches me. But more than that, they also have done so much to support me as a writer and to support lesbian fiction as a community.


Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

Find a good writing group. Participate. LISTEN.


When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

A perfect day involves time on my bike. I’m not in great shape, but riding my bicycle makes me feel like I can do anything.


Which is the favorite of the books/stories you’ve written and why?

Wow. That is such a tough question because everything I’ve written was incredibly important and filled a specific need when I wrote it. Objectively, though, Love and Devotion is my favorite right now. I expect that will change in the next ten minutes.


I wrote that book after taking a two-year hiatus from writing. I lost my mom, and it took me that long to get to a place where I could even think beyond the grief of that loss. Writing that book meant that I was healing. And I’m really proud of the results. 

Get The Picture

by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Note: All tumblr links are for those over 18 years of age

I don’t know what these panster folks are smoking, but I’m a plotter. I need outlines. I need a plan and for some strange reason, before I sit down to write a story, I need a contrete picture of a character in my head. So I take to Google, and then when I’m bogged down with porn and offensive stock images, I usually take to tumblr. Thank god for its search feature. Some times I’m watching a movie or a television show and I see an actor who just speaks to me. When I saw Quatum of Solace, Gemma Arterton immediately jumped out to me as the perfect Ginger. Over time, I saw other redheads who fit Ginger’s character as well. I love Kate Mara, but I think I’ve finally settled on Emma Stone. Never mind Better Off Red has been out for months.

Camila came to me as singer/model Cassie right away, but then there’s Demi Lovato, and Naya Rivera who looked ridiculously sexy in that horrible episode of Glee where Will had the kids in New Directions propose to Emma for him. Yaris Sanchez inspired Camila’s hot bod.

I have an unhealthy obsession with plus-sized model Tara Lynn. She was Benny before Benny had a name. The same thing happened with Cleo. When Daughters Of The Dragon first hit the shelves I could not get this depiction of Misty Knight out of my head, but it wasn’t until I met my tumblr friend Susy that Cleo had a face. Susy said I could share her face here.

When I came up with the character of Anna-Jade, Selena Gomez, who looks fifteen on a good day, immediately came to mind. For Dalhem, in human form of course, I found Sendhil Ramamurthy from Heroes.

When I started on The Fling, Oksana had hair. For like five minutes. Then I saw some naked pictures of Amber Rose online, pierced nipples and all, and I knew Oksana had to be bald. Annie started off as Elisha Culbert of 24 fame, but Melissa Debling kept popping up naked in my tumblr feed. It was easy to picture her and a naked Amber Rose together. This is one of two pictures I found of Melissa with her clothes on.

Right now, I’m working on another erotic, BDSM romance that I’m calling Suzy & Pilar. I’ve found Korean-Jamacian model/actress Tae Heckard for Suzy and Sara Ramirez for Pilar. Tae takes a ton of instagram pictures of herself and posts them on her blog. I’ve never seen someone so photogenic in sweatpants and a hat.

So this is where I start, with pictures. Lots of pictures. It helps get the writing process moving.

You can see the rest of what I had in mind for the girls of Alpha Better Omega and their sister-queens here:

Pictures of various Annies, Oksanas and Kats can be found here:

Consider all pictures to be 18+.

Every Experience You Have is Potential Material

by Greg Herren

Many years ago, I picked up a single author collection of erotic writings by a very respected name in the field. I’d read some of his work over the years and been favorably impressed by it, and was very happy to be able to read more of it in one sitting. One lazy Sunday afternoon, I sat down with it on my couch and started reading the introduction.

In a matter of a few paragraphs, I was so deeply offended I stopped reading—and have never picked up the book again.

You see, this author opined that in order to write about hot sex, you had to have hot sex with hot men. Otherwise, you could never, under any circumstance, be a good writer of erotica. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you were not fucking hot men, you could never write about it.


I now realize that this was nothing more than another way of stating that incredibly tired truism of write what you know, which every writing instructor and every book on ‘how to write’ tries to shovel down the throats of writers. I’ve always had a problem with this; obviously, Kathleen Winsor had not been a courtesan at the court of Charles II before she wrote Forever Amber; Isaac Asimov had never been to outer space, and I doubt very seriously Agatha Christie ever solved a murder. Ergo, how could such writing advice be valid? It also does not take into consideration that some of my absolute favorite writers of gay male erotica are women.

This advice was something I hated and thought would never truly apply to my own writing. It discounted imagination and creativity; two of the most important tools of any writer.

Yet, older and wiser as I am, I’ve had to rethink my stance on this bit of writerly wisdom. The vast majority of my published work is about gay life in New Orleans; something I know very well. A lot of my erotica is built around the eroticism of wrestling; something else I know quite well. Obviously, I had unconsciously been following that advice in my own career and with my own work. Yet there are also stories I’ve written which required a bit more imagination: I am not an empath, nor do I know one, yet I wrote the story The Sound of a Soul Crying. I am not a merman, but I wrote The Sea Where It’s Shallow. I’ve never had a pool boy, but I wrote a story about fucking one. So, where does write what you know stop and imagination begin?

I believe that life experience does come in handy when you are a writer. When I write in the first person, generally what I do is simply take myself and put myself into the character’s mind. My character Scotty Bradley (Bourbon Street Blues, Jackson Square Jazz, and Mardi Gras Mambo) couldn’t be more different than I am; he’s much more in tune to other people’s feelings, he’s kinder, sweeter, and overall, just a better person than I am. However, when I created Scotty, I had a definite idea in mind of what kind of character I wanted to write about, and the best way for me to define him, to get inside of his head, was to imagine myself to be him; and the rest of it came together from there. What kind of family would I have had to have in order for me to grow up into this person? What kind of experiences? And thus, he was born.

When I write about sex, I do draw from my own experience. What did this feel like? Did I enjoy the sensation? Where was I in my head as I experienced this?

So, yes, all these years I’d been writing what I know. Yet this advice needs a caveat; one they never give you in class or in those ‘how-to” tomes. Experience is where you start; and then you let your creativity and imagination take over.  As I said, I’ve never been a merman nor have I ever fucked one, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t write about one.

Besides, coming to the realization that everything in life is fair game and possible material makes the shitty stuff easier to deal with. Just shrug and think, “ah, this would make a good story.” Someone’s an asshole? That’s a possible character in another story or in a novel. Emotional or physical pain? Again, you can funnel that into a character to make them breathe and come to life.

Write what you know is just a place to start; not a place to finish.

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