Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Erotica Without Romance

A recent amicable rejection from an erotic publisher and reading this blog post really got me thinking...

I am not a romance writer.

Not even a little bit.

I write erotic poetry and cheesy love letters for my boyfriend...but that's about it. Romance novels embarrass me...but erotic literature doesn't. Whenever I look at those pink glossy covers at the bookstore, the same uneasy feeling passes over me like whenever I'm at Victoria's Secret.

From the moment I walk in, everything I see is wrapped and propped up for display in bright, hideous pink. The delicate laces appear foreign to me as I stop in the middle of the store. The nauseating smell of perfumes gets my heart racing. I look around at all the happy, smiling women, effortlessly selecting their see-through panties and gel-cupped bras, and I start sweating and feeling really uncomfortable--dizzy, even.

It's more than embarrassment, I think. I genuinely feel a "disconnect." I understand I'm supposed to like those pink frilly thongs...but it's all I can do to keep from bolting out the store when approached by one of the sales associates.

None of it makes sense to me--I don't need ten million sparkles and unicorns on my underwear, and I can't understand why anyone else would either. I like colorful panties, sure, but do I really need one hundred hearts and rainbows stitched across every square inch of my crotch? It's so...overkill it literally makes my head hurt.

I feel the same way about writing and reading romances.

For those who have read my stories, you're familiar with my style.

My main character almost never makes it out alive in 95% of my horror stories. My erotic pieces seldom end with wedding bells.

Perhaps I'm too much of a cynic, but I just can't seem to write an erotic piece with a happily ever after (HEA) ending without forcing myself to do it. I like happy for now (HFN) endings because the HFN is the more "realistic" outcome. HEA endings rot my teeth out, and they're just so gawd-awful corny, don't you think? But women seem to love them. And so do most erotic publishers.

Erotica without a HEA is a guaranteed rejection in some markets, and I really wish it didn't have to be that way.

Sex is sex. Does it always have to be romantic? A bra is still a bra without the pink lace and satin ribbons.

I don't want porn or romance...just give me sex. There's no in-between, it seems, between the tawdry and the syrupy-sweet. Sex can be so many things beyond those two labels.

Although I find most novels in the romance genre to be embarrassing (or overkill) I won't go so far to say I hate them or can't appreciate the stories. I consider myself to be a hopeless romantic, believe it or not. I've filled journals with dozens of romantic poems and sappy drawings for my boyfriend. I hide romantic messages in his car and like to hold his hand and coo and snuggle and all that jazz.

I'm not an ice woman, I just think dismissing all erotic stories that don't have a HEA ending is like only buying underwear if it has a million pink ribbons on it. The point gets lost. It becomes more about the unrealistic, unnecessary, and flowery parts of the garment, and less about whether or not the underwear fits right and makes your boobs look good.

Or perhaps my androgynous, tom-boyish ways are clouding my ability to see the issue like a normal person. Until I find a publisher willing to accept my erotica without the corny "prince charming" part, I'll have to grit my teeth and force myself into the pink fairyland of sparkle puffs and rainbow turds that is HEA and HFN. *sigh*

In my next post, I'll post an excerpt of one of my erotic stories. Happy writing, everyone!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Working on a new project

I've been hit with inspiration! And I'm working on a new project. Can you guess what it is?

*drum roll please*

I'm starting on a NOVEL, guys! I've decided to hunker down and just DO IT! I've been inspired by some of the new writers I've met (through blogging/networks) and I'm gonna do it. (Robin, I'm looking at YOU! Your struggles have really inspired me to write something great!)

This is a big deal for me because I have a fear of writing novels. I have a habit of finishing a novel and then deleting the whole thing (without saving it) due to my perceived "lack of talent or skill." My last attempt at writing a novel was when I was a senior in high school and I ended up trashing that as well. These were long novels too, like, 100K+ words. My teachers (and now university professors) have told me I am good, but for some reason I always found a way to psych myself out.

I'm pretty sure I DID suck back then. But I've gotten better, and I'm ready to try again. To ease myself back into the "novel writing" mode, I've decided to do a compilation of vignettes. I don't seem to freak out as much when I'm writing a "novella/short story."

Maybe it's my age (like I talked about in my last post), but I tend to doubt myself more than I should. Like an idiot, I listen to the morons who tell me "You're too young to write anything great," "What could you possibly have to say at just 21?" and I get really depressed about it sometimes.

But now I've decided to shrug it off and do my thing anyway. Despite what the haters say, I have to believe in myself and do what I gotta do. And I'm going to do it. It may take me many months to do it right...but I'm going to do it!

Wish me luck!


Feeling my age

I'm 21 years old...and feeling it, y'all.

I don't bitch about a lot of things, but's tough to be so young with some of these established (older) writers.

If you're under 25 and wanting to publish something, a lot of other writers will just shove you in a corner, pat you on the head and say: "Well, isn't that cute? Now sit down and shut up while the grownups are talking."


Granted, because of my age, I haven't been publishing for very long, and I don't claim to be a "prodigy" I don't have a lot of "credits" under my belt just yet. But an older writer (say someone in their 30s or 40s) with the same number of credits (if not less) has more "weight" or "status" than I do just because of their age!

I mean wtf?!

It's like...because I'm young, there's this assumption I'm somehow more "unpolished" and "immature" than everybody else in the room. Seriously, that shit gets old after a while (no pun intended) and I'm tired of hearing about it on some of the forums I frequent. Nobody is any more "talented" than anyone else based solely on their age alone! I mean, come on! Talented writers come from all walks of life, young and old, black and white, male and female, rich and poor, etc.

There really is an "elitist" attitude in some writing/publishing circles. I'm so sick of the "genre vs. literary" debate...I could just throw up. It's a bit like high school all over again. Everyone is in their little clique and no one wants to accept "outsiders" or help anyone else but themselves.

We're all writers. We all share the same dream of "making it big" and getting published. The odds are so stacked against us too! So why can't we just be happy for a fellow writer when someone does well? Why does it have to turn into a big cat fight?

I just don't get it. And it's really starting to irritate me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Medieval Cat Tarot

My new tarot deck came into the mail on Wednesday! So happy! *insert girly squeal here* I was looking for an all-around "neutral" deck to add to my growing collection of cards. I have two Rider-Waite knockoffs already and although I thought about buying the legendary Legacy of the Divine deck by Ciro Marchetti, I'm still in desperate need of...oh wait.

...I can see by the surprised look on your face, you have no idea what I'm talking about. And I bet you weren't expecting me to be into the tarot/fortune teller thing either.

Sorry about that. Here's what I'm talking about:

I broke in my deck of kitties with my first reading! The card I pulled? Six of pentacles. Good tidings coming my way! Feeling good about my pending submissions!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Horror Blogger Alliance...I'm in!

Heya, folks! I'm part of the Horror Blogger Alliance now! Huzzah!

Go check it out--it's a very cool network for aspiring horror writers and horrorphiles alike. There's
dozens of blogs to choose from! Get all your horror news, writing, info, etc. with the horror blogger alliance!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Horror Writing 101

I spoke a lot about erotica in my previous posts, but what about horror? I've neglected this topic, surprisingly enough! I mean...I'm a cannibal. I live and breathe horror everyday!

So...I'm offering a crash course in horror writing. So all you aspiring horror writers better listen up!

Before we begin, we first must cover...

What is "scary?"

This is a tricky question, but every good horror writer knows the answer. What one person might find utterly horrifying, another might yawn at. It is the horror writer's job to frighten both the skittish reader and the horrophile-veteran.

So what makes a story scary? How do you define it? What kept you up at night as a child? Do you still remember?

For me, it was Stephen King's story/movie It. My obsession with clowns (or rather, my desire to KILL and EAT them) stemmed from the many weeks I spent beneath my covers, praying and hoping Tim Curry wouldn't slice my throat open while I slept. It was reading Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" in the second grade, and playing Bloody Mary at girl scouts. It was the Brothers Grimm's dark fairytales, Roald Dahl's, "The Land Lady," Ray Bradbury's, "All Summer in a Day," and my early fascination with asian horror movies and comic books. Alfred Hitchcock movies, fantastical Lovecraftian monsters, and the psychological thrillers from Rod Serling's, "Twilight Zone" series, frightened me as a child.

So I'll ask again. What is "scary?"

The answer is surprisingly simple. Amateurs rely too much on the gore and splatter and not enough on the psychology behind fear. Fear is a primal emotion and is universal throughout every culture, nation, and race. Fear is intrinsic to our survival as a species. Tap into those primal reservoirs of the human psyche, and regardless what you write, you're going to scare the shit out of people!

1. Threat of physical harm (death, pain, injury, torture, etc.) or the loss of resources (food, shelter, land, wealth)
2. Isolation or disruption of social bonds (death/injury of a loved one, separation, abandonment, exile, betrayal)
3. No security/control of surroundings/self (the unexplained or unexpected, powerlessness, chaos, vulnerability, etc.)

These three things are at the core of every good horror story. The fundamental hook of your horror plot must strike a chord in one of these primal fears to be effective.

Don't believe me?

Think of some of your favorite horror movies. Recall the underlying "thing" or "characteristic" that was "threatened" or "taken away." 9 times out of 10, I bet that threat tapped into something personal safety or the helplessness the characters felt about an event beyond their control.

Horror has to be relatable, which is why it MUST be universal.

We've all been frightened by the possibility of bodily harm, or felt the pain from the death or ailment of a spouse or loved one. As children we were terrified when separated from our parents and left alone in a strange and unfamiliar place. But as horror writers, we FORCE our readers to confront the unpleasant. The idea of confronting something unpleasant strikes "fear" in a lot of people. It is what makes the horror genre work.

So we place the murderer in the nursery with the sleeping infant. We maroon the shipwrecks on a desert island populated by ravenous demons. We throw our readers at the edge of a cliff and prod them towards the precipice, we force them into situations a sane person wouldn't want to be in, lol.

Horror is all about psychology. The sooner you learn what the PRIMAL FEARS are, the better you'll be at exploiting them and scaring people.

In Horror Writing 102 I'll discuss the common mistakes new writers make and what you can do to be a successful story-teller!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You are cordially invited to...

My blog is ONE MONTH old today! Know what that means?!


I have a total of 524 unique visitors! 600 total hits! 11 followers! And 13 comments! (I plan to do some renovations to this blog over the next couple of days).

So go ahead, sit down...enjoy the cake (it's baby-free, I promise), pop some balloons and let's watch this tooth-decayinging sweet video together!

Consider it my gift to YOU for being such awesome fans!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cannibalistic Confessions

It's spring break and I'm stuck in my apartment with an empty fridge and a lonely, breaking heart. I have no friends nearby (as I commute to my university) and I have no plans to travel this spring.

My boyfriend works during the day, leaving me to fight off a nasty bout of writer's block all by lonesome with only the pitying stares of my dog to encourage me. Haunted by an insatiable appetite for clown flesh, I found myself drooling incomprehensibly at my laptop while enduring long hours of trashy daytime television simultaneously.

I'm not going to lie. I'm an emotional eater.

So I ate all the salad yesterday. Then the boxed cereal and the rest of the soy milk. And in a desperate attempt to avoid cooking today, chugged down a can of black beans and canned corn for dinner.

No vegetables are left in the fridge, save for the two frozen packets of edamame in the freezer. And I still can't think of anything meaningful to write for my carnival story! This writer's block is kicking my ass, guys! I have maybe 1000 words down for a story that's supposed to be 10K!

I'm not proud of what happened next. Really...I'm not. But I was so so hungry I couldn't help myself! I baby-snatched a kid out of one of the shopping carts at the grocery store.

*sigh* And so the "cannibal sobriety" countdown begins... again.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stuff Black People Dig

I'm talking about the BLOG.

Supposedly it's a spin-off of Stuff White People Like but I've yet to read this one. (Maybe I'll have my boyfriend look through it)

Now, I was introduced to the "Stuff Black People Dig" on a black website I like to visit. It's a light-hearted blog with the usual black jokes you'd expect. I've looked through it and decided to share my thoughts on the subject. With that said, can I assure my readers that this blog is politically correct and won't offend anybody?


Does it enforce negative stereotypes about black people?

Mostly yes than no.

So why am I blogging about it?

Mostly, I'm blogging about this so we can laugh at how incredibly STUPID and FALSE these stereotypes are. I'm not condoning this blog by any means. I'm shedding light on a serious issue by using humor. And though there were more things on the list I disagreed with (didn't apply to me) I'll share the few that were true or ones I found particularly amusing.

#59 Warm weather

#56 Movies where the black guy gets the girl, kills the bad guy and saves the world

#41 The idea of Tiger Woods

#36 Cookouts and barbecuing

#24 Discriminating against interracial couples

#21 Lotion and chapstick

#6 Giving their children made-up names that are hard to spell and pronounce

#6 is particularly funny to me because I happen to have one of those hard-to-spell-and-pronunce "black" names, hahaha! As a black writer, I try to "hide" this fact by going by "TK."

Unfortunately, an "ethnic name" really does make a difference in how you're perceived by 1. potential publishers and 2. readers.

But that's for another post!

Although "Stuff Black People Dig" is amusing, we must remember the dangers that come with "telling a single story" of a certain race, culture, or religious group. Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, eloquently describes the "single story" in her speech below.

As writers (and readers) we have to think about the messages we put out and receive. The danger of a "single story" affects us all and it is up to us to change the way we think and perceive the world around us.

That's my "food for thought" for the day, and as always, feel free to leave comments if you have any!


Friday, March 12, 2010



^ click on lo.

The man singing is Edward Hill, also known as Eduard Khil', or, better yet, Эдуард Хиль.

(Yes, I know, but viral videos are FUN, dammit!)

Enjoy the video...if you can. It's kinda creepy.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vampires Are Lame.

Perhaps I'm going to get a lot of flack for this. But I'm just going to come out and say it.

I boycott anything with vampires in it. Be it books. Movies. TV shows. Comics.


I don't write it. I don't read it. And frankly, I've had all I can stand with the entire "vampire subgenre." It wasn't interesting when Anne Rice did it. Wasn't interesting when Laurell K. Hamilton did it. And hasn't gotten any better with Stephanie Meyer's latest rendition.

If I have to hear one more thing about that goddamned Twilight book I will go insane! I might just have to kill someone...and eat them. I've been so good about my vegetarian diet...I'd hate to fall off the wagon now!

I hate vampires because they're BORING! They aren't scary, and the theme has been done a million times before! There's only so many variations of VAMPIRES you can do before you've seen it all!

Let's see. They turn into bats. They burn in the sunlight. They fetishize virgins...and on occasion...bite a few people.

Give me something different!

Is that so hard?

Are writers so brain-dead, so stunted in their creative development, that they are incapable of writing their own monsters?! As a horror writer, I want to weep! It's as if the entire horror genre has morphed into this teeny bopper cliche! Sparkling vampires don't cut it in my horror stories. In fact, anything that "sparkles" in direct sunlight shouldn't cut it anywhere.

Bring back the creatures of hell! Bring back the Lovecraftian creatures of old! Do away with the romantic subplots! Just give us the monsters, the carnage, and all the cheap thrills that made us stay up at night under the covers with flashlights!

GIVE US BACK THE HORROR GENRE!!!! And let the "un-dead" vampires stay dead.

For good.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reading Erotica Can Improve Your Sex Life!

No, really! It can! And I'm going to tell you how!

For all my gay/lesbian couples reading out there, these tips apply to you guys too! Don't tune me out just because I prefaced this post with an image of a heterosexual couple! :D I'll get to you guys in a minute! I promise!

Now as some of you already know...I'm an erotic author. I specialize in multicultural bisexual erotica...meaning I write interracial f/f, m/f, and m/m situations. Sometimes I combine all of these elements together in the same story! But that's for another post...onto how erotica can improve your sex life!


Guys, reading erotica scores you extra points. You benefit the most from reading it. Why? Because to women, erotica and romance novels are the equivalent to your porn. By using erotica as your unofficial Sex Manual, you can get into the minds (and hopefully, pants) of your lady without even trying! It's an easy gimme!

Women like erotica/romance novels because there's always something new and different. The guys are always sensitive and hunky, and he is usually in tune with the heroine's emotions and feelings (meaning, he knows where and when to touch and how hard). He can be a space pirate, a computer geek, a medieval sorcerer or even the guy next door! It really doesn't matter what he is or what he says, it's how he does it that makes it erotic and sexy! Learn how he does that and you will have the ladies lining up at your door!

Female authors dominate the romance/erotica genres (while bored, curious, or sex-deprived females make up their target audience) so as men, you benefit the most by applying these trends into your love life. How many women have you heard complain: "It's not fair! Men just aren't like that in the real world!" after coming back from a cheesy romance movie or putting down a romantic book?

Ha! Well, not anymore! You can be that man! Or at least fake being him in the bedroom!

Besides, reading erotica is an encyclopedia for sexual poses, scenarios, and activities. Surprise her! Try to incorporate some of your favorite scenes into your routine! The more creative you are, the better! Ladies want give it to her!

Want to score extra points?

Try writing your OWN erotica! Women are suckers for the written word! So try writing her a cheesy love letter or a naughty poem! Write an explicit story about the two of you if you're feeling brave enough! However, there's a difference between erotica and porn, so if you're unsure, please revisit my post about Erotica Vs. Pornography. You may think you're being sexy with: "I stuck my penis into your anal sphincter so we could fuck doggy style" but to impress a woman, less forceful language and a slow buildup to the main event works best! For gay men, the above would be just fine...although the word "sphincter" isn't very sexy, now is it?


Alright, ladies. For those of you who already read erotica, this section isn't for you! I don't need to tell you what you already know! So I'm dedicating this section to the women out there who 1. think erotica is nasty or demeaning 2. have never read erotica or 3. don't know what erotica is.

So you think the above picture is too much, do you? Yes, then, I'm most certainly talking to you! I hand-selected him off the internet myself. Are you pleased? Offended?

For the women who think erotica is first question is, do you like/enjoy sex or are you a sexual person? If the answers to these are no, then erotica most certainly isn't for you! Erotica-fans generally like or are interested in sex. If all sex is "nasty" to you, then of course erotica will turn you off too! Erotica celebrates sex! Erotica is a homage to sex! So...if you hate sex...reading erotica won't do you any bit of good, now will it?

My second question would be, have you ever read erotica? Most women who tell me, "Erotica is nasty" haven't even read it! This boggles my mind! Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but don't knock something you haven't tried! Like I said to the men, erotica is NOT pornography! And good erotica is never demeaning to women or any other population. If you read erotica that was demeaning, don't support that publisher by buying their filth! Most publishers don't publish that kind of crap but there are a few who do.

I, for one, NEVER write erotica that involves rape-fantasy (or capture-fatasy), torture, incest, racism, or derogatory depictions of any race, culture, or religion. If you want kosher erotica, find erotic authors who specialize in those areas before making your purchase.

Erotica is great because it empowers women! Erotica provides a safe outlet for women to take ownership of their sex, as well as an avenue to explore their sexual curiosities without shame or apology to the patriarchal society we live in! There's nothing WRONG with being a sexual woman! Unfortunately though, women have a long ways to go until we have the same social freedoms as men. If a woman chooses to sleep with a lot of men she is still viewed as a whore or a slut. But a man with same number of partners is hailed as a "stud."

Women are told conflicting messages in regards to their sexuality. Some examples:

1. "You have to be a size 2 to be attractive...but without a Double D chest, you aren't curvy enough."

2. "Submitting to a man's sexual desires is a sign of femininity...but if you should enjoy it or initiate it yourself, you are a whore or a slut!"

3. "Men are supposed to have lots of sex, but once a woman gives him what he wants she is "used goods" and no longer "pure" or "virginal."

4. "Men want women who are "ladies" in public but "freaks" in the bedroom."

5. "Women should push themselves in their careers, but haven't accomplished anything unless they've earned the coveted title of Mrs. or Mom."

6. "A woman is entitled to her body, but if a man asks for it or provides security/finances she is expected to forfeit her rights or risk being labeled a "prude," "unloving," or a "tease.""

7. "Women are supposed to wait until they are married...but are expected to "put out" on the third date or if a man has done something for her."

8. "Women are beautiful in all colors and sizes...until they hit 35. Then they become "old" "undesirable" and "unworthy." Women are only good for their looks, and once they're gone, they have nothing.

9. "Any woman who stands up for women's sexual rights must be "a flaming liberal," a lesbian, a feminist, or all three because there's no need to fight for women's rights in the 21st century!"

Erotica pushes past these unfair gender stereotypes. It tells women they can be just as sexually active as men and that enjoying sex is not only normal, but HEALTHY!
Ladies, you have that right! And don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It's your body, you can do whatever you want with it! Don't be ashamed of your sex. Take ownership of it. Empower yourself!

Aside from empowerment and personal freedom, erotica offers creativity and understanding for women and their bodies. You can communicate with your partner things you wish to try or use erotica as a way to enjoy your alone-time when your partner is away!

Erotic authors write erotica so our readers can indulge themselves in any way they see fit! It's safe, (you can't catch a STD from an erotic story) it's effective, and you don't even need a partner to enjoy it! Pamper yourself, ladies. You deserve it! Let your fantasies run freely!


I promised I would get to you guys! I'm a woman of my word!

Erotica is a wonderful thing for those in the GLBT community! Many many many publishers include m/m and f/f titles! For you guys, the world of erotica is like a candy store! Just close your eyes and pick one! I write more f/f than m/m (as male sexuality seems to be the "preferred" even in homosexual markets).

Erotica helps us in the GLBT community feel validated and appreciated. We have just as many sexual needs as the hetero-population, and publishers are beginning to see that! Also, because GLBT is still considered a taboo, it sells like crazy! It's a hot genre many erotic authors want to get in on. Like I said in the other sections, most markets only publish stories with favorable GLBT-themes (nothing mean or derogatory).

I'm in the movement for f/f markets (there are sooooooo few in comparison to m/m and m/f). I hope this post has inspired all of you to buy erotica! If not for yourself, do it for your partner! It'll improve your sex life AND boost your confidence and self-esteem!

I guarantee it!

Happy reading, everyone! And as always, feel free to leave comments!

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