30 September 2006

I got Cover Snarked!

I suppose it's a badge of honour to be Cover Snarked. In the ebook world there are lots of web sites ready to take the piss out of ebook covers.

This one and Smart Bitches are the most famous. Ah, well. You have to have a sense of humour about all this and really, it is pretty funny.

I seem to be getting a bit of a rep as publishing lesbian romantic erotica and while I do like lesbian erotica, that's not all I write.

I'm working away at a fantasy novella. The idea for it came in one of those half asleep states, which is where I get a lot of my ideas. I've never done world building before so it's a good writing exercise for me. One of the problems with it, which is becoming increasingly clear, is that the hero is too good. Even I want to slap him and muss him up, give him some dark, hidden secret. Maybe like this:

This is a photograph of Max Dupain an Australian photographer. It was taken by Olive Cotton, his then wife, probably in the 1930s. She was also a well know Australian photographer. I've always found it incredibly erotic.

29 September 2006

Another ebook to buy!

Isle of Desire
by Eden Bradley

Is it really possible to fulfill the fantasy of a promise made in the passion of youth? On a beach on the small Venezuelan island of Isla de Margarita, Isabel Asher meets once more the love of her life, Rafael Cruz, the man she left behind twelve years earlier. Desire ignites, but can the sultry tropical nights spent in his bed lead them back to love? She’s about to find out, and maybe to have her heart broken in the process.

Available September 29th from Cobblestone Press

I met Eden in Atlanta and she's a terrific person. A Romance Diva and soon to be published with Berkley. And if you go to her blog she's got this cute promo video for Isle of Desire.

28 September 2006

Go and buy Gift of the Goddess!

Do yourself a favour. Run, not walk (cyberly speaking) over to Ellora's Cave and buy Gift of the Goddess by Denise Rossetti. Denise is one of the few Oz Ellora's Cave writers and I've read bits of this. It's hot. Great story and good writing too. And she has a cover to die for.

27 September 2006

Reading and writing

Now that I've finished The Story of O, one of the aspects of it that no one mentions much is it's lesbian undercurrent. O is very keen to have sex with other women. She experiences herself as powerful in those moments unlike her experiences with Rene or Sir Stephen where her experience is more to do with freedom and liberation.

Which of course is the essential dichotomy of BDSM. Nearly everyone who writes about their experiences talks about the sense of freedom, of having the space to be truly who they are. I've blogged about this before and still remain fascinated by the spiritual links between pain and sex. Must be the ex Catholic in me.

I've also been reading Gail Dayton's The Compass Rose, a romantic fantasy from Luna. I liked it so much it's inspired me to write a fantasy novella. I'm about 3,000 words in, so I'll see how it goes.

24 September 2006

Good Intentions

Every now and then I vow to eat well, get fit and generally shape up. Today I decided a walk with friends in the bush would be just the ticket. After all I live in a World Heritage listed National Park, so I should get out there and commune with nature.

It's not a great day here today. Very hot for September (the bushfire season has started early) and very windy. But after some planning, my friends and I decided to go for a walk at Blackheath. The first part was a short, flat walk along a creek that had recently been cleaned up by, I assume, the local bush care group. It looked great with little waterfalls and black cockatoos in the trees over head.

But me being me, I of course took a tumble and ended up with a cut and bruised knee. That wouldn't be so bad but then I had to walk 750 meters straight up to get to Govetts Leap. It nearly killed me.

I exaggerate of course. In fact I had a great sense of achievement and sat at the lookout gazing at this.

Yes, it is very green. We've had some heavy rain in the last few weeks but essentially we're in drought. We also haven't had a big burn since 2002/2003 so everyone's expecting this year will be bad. A great reminder to me to back up all my writing on a memory stick everyday.

But for now I'm reclining on a couch reading The Story of O.

22 September 2006

Fantasy v reality

Lately I’ve been pondering a range of issues to do with POV in writing. Not just first, second, third or omniscient but more about identification and imagination.

Gay male erotic romance written by women for women is growing in popularity. I’ve never been all that turned on by it because I can’t visualise myself in that relationship. I can’t see myself having sex with a gay man or two gay men. And I realise as a reader that’s what I want to do – insert myself, however ghostly, into the story. It’s not a conscious process, but I think it’s an important part of my reading experience.

So while I can read a gay male erotic romance and enjoy the quality of the writing and the story, I can’t feel terribly aroused by it.

Lots of women can make that imaginative leap. Which brings up the whole notion of sexual identification and preference. Most people have a sexual identification - gay, straight or bisexual. But the shifting and changing in their imaginative lives is a lot more complex.

In discussing male/male erotica with women who like it and get sexually turned on by it, it’s pretty clear they are sexually attracted to gay men. In their fantasies they see themselves as part of that sexual/emotional world. It doesn’t matter that it’s extremely unlikely that in reality they would ever be, or want to be in such a relationship, in their imaginative fantasy lives, that’s what they like.

I don’t know why I’m so surprised by this. After all, I have a range of sexual fantasies myself that I’m unlikely to ever act on (some would be physically impossible). I think it has something to do with reciprocity. I’m not interested in sexual fantasies where the players are not interested in me. Total narcissism on my part.

Now when it comes to female/female erotic romance, that’s a whole other issue. And again, one I find fascinating. There is no growing popularity among the predominantly female erotic romance reading world for female/female erotic romance even though realistically, their access to sex and love with women is more possible than with gay men.

When I talk about this to women, they all say the same thing – they are just not turned on by women. Which only goes to show - and you may think this obvious and me a slow learner, that reality and fantasy have virtually nothing in common. Which I find comforting.

Why comforting? I often struggle with internalised political correctness. It's part of my history as a feminist. My move into adulthood came at a time when feminism was in a strident phase. It was necessary I think, because there was a lot to fight and be concerned about (there still is). But there's no doubt that a lot of women got strong messages their sexual imaginative lives were wrong or worrisome if they strayed too far from consensual reality. So no rape fantasies, no BDSM and no wanting to fuck gay men!

I need to be constantly reminded that fantasy is fantasy and a rich part of the internal lives of most people. And in the end wonderfully fascinating.

Here's a picture of a story of mine soon to be published at Forbidden Publications. Yes, it's female/female erotic romance.

07 September 2006

Another Aussie writer published!

Members of Romance Writers of Australia are having a good run lately. Today my friend and crit partner Paula Roe got The Call (or the email in her case) from Silhouette wanting to publish her book The Wife He Never Knew in their Desire line. Paula's been writing for about fifteen years and is a great example of persistence paying off. I've read bits and pieces of her book and if you like Desires you'll like her story. Congratulations Paula!

05 September 2006

Life does tend to get in the way

I was going to post something about the intimacy of the net and how it's a mixed blessing. In the writing world if your favorite author (or even a few you read now and then) maintains a blog, the opportunities for conversation are more immediate than they ever have been. Pre the www, if you liked an author, you might write a fan letter via their publisher. Nowadays you can find their blog and chat away about all and sundry.

And then there are the review sites and commentary sites and bloggers who don't hold back about what they think. Over at All About Romance there's a summary of the great flame wars over the past few years.

I'm not sure what I think about all this. Part of me finds it distasteful and trivial and another part is highly entertained by it all. I also put my oar in every now and then.

But on the whole I'd rather read then participate. I like that romance takes itself seriously but occasionally it takes itself too seriously.

And in the end there are other matters that occupy my time. Last night I had dinner with friends and of the three of us, two had fathers in hospital, one's mother had just come out of hospital and the partner of one was overseas visiting her father in intensive care.

We are all at an age when the mortality of parents looms large. Tends to put things in perspective.

On a lighter note, for a writer of erotica and erotic romance my blog is very dull. So I thought I'd post an image of one of those sexy vintage ladies. They are so much more alluring than the plastic barbie dolls of today.