Tag Archives: writing

I’ll think of it as a mixtape, shall I?

Younger readers are, of course, excused for not knowing what the old bat’s on about this time.  Thing is, I do have one particular clear memory from nearly 40 years ago, of sitting in the garden of a hotel somewhere in Wales with pen and paper, absolutely labouring over the order in which I was going to record the various songs I was currently obsessed with onto a C60 cassette when the holiday was over. I gave all my compilation tapes titles, and drew cover illustrations for them, and all sorts.

Cassette

It’s on my mind a bit just now as I am similarly labouring, and obsessed, about the order in which to place the stories in the Who Thrilled Cock Robin anthology. I have eight fabulous stories, all inspired by or based on different folk songs.  (Well, to be brutally honest, I have seven and a half as I have not finished my own – or at least my Other Self’s – contribution yet). They are gloriously diverse in theme, pairings and tone and I am desperately trying to get the order just right, like any band struggling over the tracklisting of their latest album. Even though I am fairly well aware that many a reader will look at the contents page and and decide to read the contribution of his/her favourite author first, no matter whereabouts it comes in the sequence. I’m trying not to find that prospect as infuriating as I suspect bands do when their sweated-over sequence is randomly overruled by the shuffle function on someone’s iPod. I am now on about the 40th arrangement of story titles and therefore not fully responsible for my actions.

Actually, perhaps the way to make the final selection is to play all the songs the authors picked, and structure the contents page as though it were the cardboard sleeve of a mixtape…

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My Writing Process – FINALLY HERE

Thoroughly pleased to have been tagged by Kristina Lloyd for this little bit of fun. If you’re of a mind to do so, you can follow the links all around the Interweb and find out all about the different ways writers write. Admittedly this post should have been up about 36 hours ago, but there’s the very first glimpse into my, er, writing process. It sometimes involves being unable to get online at intended times…

1) What am I working on?
Right now I’m in the middle of a steampunk-erotica story, though that’s really Other Me (as in it will be published under my other pseudonym – if the publisher likes it, that is). But I have just heard today that the novella I wrote about sex and Morris dancing (yes, really) has been accepted by Xcite, so that should be out soon. Watch this space.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think some of my characters are a lot more sweary than some people’s, for one thing. I tend to write more about characters who are slightly non-mainstream, such as tattoo artists, bikers, pagans and Morris dancers, because those are the sort of people I’m most comfortable with in real life. I can’t really be arsed with the handsome-billionaire-bastard types. And my heroines tend to be quite tough, as well – or at least, they’re not going to fall hopelessly in love without checking out what’s on offer.
I do ‘dabble in politics’ a bit with my stories, partly because I think that writing erotica at all is a bit of a political act and always has been.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Funnily enough, when I was an unpublished (and unpublishable) teenage novelist, I read an interview with an author (I think it might have been Sally Beaumont, but it may have been someone else) who said that it was important to show what your characters did in the bedroom, or if you didn’t describe it in detail, you should at least have thought about it, because otherwise you couldn’t really know who they were. At the time I was a bit, eww! Not for me, thanks! Everyone knows how to do sex and does it the same way! I hasten to add that I hadn’t really acctually had any sex myself at that point. Later on, when I started writing about sex and sexuality I found it was more interesting than other stuff, and I’ve been doing it for a couple of decades at least, now. Also, as a relatively new genre, erotica allows you to play around and experiment, and there’s that other very important aspect, which is that erotica publishers are actually seeking out new authors all the time.

4) How does my writing process work?
It’s changed a lot over the years. It used to be a rambling first draft in longhand and then, if I ever actually finished everything, I would type my second draft and edit fairly heavily. And I never used to have a plan, I’d just start with an idea and go blundering along. Then, when I started paying more attention to what was going on and submitting properly, everyone wanted a synopsis and I started to write those before I wrote the story, and still do. These days I only make vague notes in longhand as I have arthritis which has completely buggered my handwriting. I type straight into the laptop every evening… well, most evenings, and then when it’s finished, or nearly finished, I print it out and sit with the printout and a coloured pen, marking the bits that need changing
I have a day job which involves a lot of walking, delivering leaflets, and I find I get a lot of ideas and solutions to storyline problems when I’m wandering the streets. It stops me getting a saggy arse and cabin fever, and does wonders for my Vitamin D levels as well.

I tagged Meg Philip for next week, along with a Mystery Author who will be doing her number on this blog, as she’s so new to the scene she hasn’t got a blog up yet.
Meg’s latest collection of extremely saucy short stories, Monique’s Tumescent Tantrums, is available now. She draws her inspiration from daily sights, her travels, those naughty but nice conversations she overhears. So, if Meg ever leans her head and smiles at you, you may have just inspired her next piece.

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My Writing Process – FINALLY

Thoroughly pleased to have been tagged by Kristina Lloyd  for this little bit of fun. If you’re of a mind to do so, you can follow the links all around the Interweb and find out all about the different ways writers write. Admittedly this post should have been up about 36 hours ago, but there’s the very first glimpse into my, er, writing process. It sometimes involves being unable to get online at intended times...

 

1)     What am I working on?

Right now I’m in the middle of a steampunk-erotica story, though that’s really Other Me (as in it will be published under my other pseudonym – if the publisher likes it, that is). But I have just heard today that the novella I wrote about sex and Morris dancing (yes, really) has been accepted by Xcite, so that should be out soon. Watch this space.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think some of my characters are a lot more sweary than some people’s, for one thing. I tend to write more about characters who are slightly non-mainstream, such as tattoo artists, bikers, pagans and Morris dancers, because those are the sort of people I’m most comfortable with in real life. I can’t really be arsed with the handsome-billionaire-bastard types. And my heroines tend to be quite tough, as well – or at least, they’re not going to fall hopelessly in love without checking out what’s on offer.

I do ‘dabble in politics’ a bit with my stories, partly because I think that writing erotica at all is a bit of a political act and always has been.

3)     Why do I write what I do?

Funnily enough, when I was an unpublished (and unpublishable) teenage novelist, I read an interview with an author (I think it might have been Sally Beaumont, but it may have been someone else) who said that it was important to show what your characters did in the bedroom, or if you didn’t describe it in detail, you should at least have thought about it, because otherwise you couldn’t really know who they were. At the time I was a bit, eww! Not for me, thanks! Everyone knows how to do sex and does it the same way! I hasten to add that I hadn’t really acctually had any sex myself at that point. Later on, when I started writing about sex and sexuality I found it was more interesting than other stuff, and I’ve been doing it for a couple of decades at least, now.

4)     How does my writing process work?

It’s changed a lot over the years. It used to be a rambling first draft in longhand and then, if I ever actually finished everything, I would type my second draft and edit fairly heavily. And I never used to have a plan, I’d just start with an idea and go blundering along. Then, when I started paying more attention to what was going on and submitting properly, everyone wanted a synopsis and I started to write those before I wrote the story, and still do. These days I only make vague notes in longhand as I have arthritis which has completely buggered my handwriting. I type straight into the laptop every evening… well, most evenings, and then when it’s finished, or nearly finished, I print it out and sit with the printout and a coloured pen, marking the bits that need changing

I have a day job which involves a lot of walking, delivering leaflets, and I find I get a lot of ideas and solutions to storyline problems when I’m wandering the streets. It stops me getting a saggy arse and cabin fever, and does wonders for my Vitamin D levels as well.

 

I tagged Meg Philip for next week, along with a Mystery Author who will be doing her number on this blog, as she’s so new to the scene she hasn’t got a blog up yet.

Meg’s latest collection of extremely saucy short stories, Monique’s Tumescent Tantrums, is available now. She draws her inspiration from daily sights, her travels, those naughty but nice conversations she overhears. So, if Meg ever leans her head and smiles at you, you may have just inspired her next piece.

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I Call Mine The Box

As in, it all goes in the Box. I mean those concepts, sights I’ve seen, things I’ve overheard, things I’ve done or have happened to me which might, at some point, end up in a story. Sometimes they don’t stay in the Box long, and emerge almost unchanged, like the visit from a repairman that sparked the happy little tale that ended up in the HoE Valentine collection (get yours here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Be-My-Valentine-Scarlett-Knight-ebook/dp/B00I0B18ZC/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1390566316&sr=1-6&keywords=be+my+valentine)

Sometimes something remains in the Box for years, gets taken out, shaken about, put in a story that doesn’t work for some reason and stuffed right back where it came from. There’s a dream I had about 20 years ago that’s possibly resurfacing and revealing that what it actually needs is a bit of steampunk in the mix to make it work.

And sometimes something just happens that is a total gift, like today’s little incident. There I was, queueing to pay for the book I’d picked up in a charity shop, when I noticed what the man in front of me was buying, and the delicious dissonance between him and his intended purchase. I engaged him, very briefly, in conversation about his find and his evident joy in it. And the entire plot of a novel jumped into my head in about three seconds.

It will go in the Box. He will go in the Box, with his archetypally English upper-class face, and his Barbour, and his nice smile. And his nostalgic, wistful, look as he ran his fingertips over his purchase.

And I’m not going to tell you what he bought, because this is going to be MY story. MINE. And anyway, you can probably come up with even more entertaining possibilities yourselves. Enjoy your weekend and, if you fancy it, let me know whether you have a Box and, if so, what you call yours.

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Easy Asking

A friend of mine told me she’d read one of my books (which is, of course, always a delight to hear) and then she mentioned the unexpected pleasure she got from ‘working out which bits all those questions referred to.’ Because I have a habit of posting questions on Facebook when I’m not sure of something, such as a correct job title, or the year in which a particular innovation came into being, and she, being a Facebook friend as well as a real-world one, had been following my various yelps for assistance.

Someone else advised me, during the process of writing the last book, that I could also count my research as book promo, because ‘it gets people talking about the book.’ All good, as well, but it also makes me wonder how on earth I or anyone else managed to cope before we had the Web to bail us out of all those maddening temporary halts when we can’t proceed at all until we can find out the difference between the day time and night time Number Nine bus route or some such bit of trivia.

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Having been roundly teased for over a decade about a classic cockup I made in a very early novel (getting confused between two different types of computer game console) I’m possibly a little oversensitive to the possibility of making little errors here and there, but I know how much it annoys me when someone else puts something in a book that’s just… wrong. And I do prefer asking my mates rather than Just Fucking Googling It, as you never quite know what you might be getting with a Google, given the number of pranksters online. (Bernard Matthews did NOT play the saxophone solo on Baker Street and giant green lizards do NOT rule the world and Prince Philip isn’t one.)

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(pic from newsbiscuit.com)

Mind you, given the number of pranksters among my friends, perhaps I should tread more carefully when asking them, as well. Catch you later, everyone, I’ve got to rush off and fact check something about Morris dancers…

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It’s 2014, let’s get stuck in!

With the empties stacked up in the recycling bin and the last of the interesting bits and pieces eaten, it’s time to get back to work. I decided decades ago that the sort of New Year resolutions which involve giving up enjoyable things are not for me, so I intend (and pledge and affirm and all that) to write more this year and get the hang of marketing myself. I’m starting a Special Project very soon, but will update on that when there’s more information to offer.

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In the meantime, I thought I’d ask other people what they have planned, and several fellow authors have been kind enough to oblige me here.

Elizabeth Coldwell:

My resolution for the coming year is to try and keep my writing as hot and adventurous as I can. I have a list of projects to complete – Steel City Seductions, the first part of my man-on-man trilogy, Steel City Nights, came out a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m hard at work on Book Two, which will see a footballer hooking up with the Steel City club’s head barman (because I really don’t need any excuse to write about hot football players!) I’ve also got a novel to write, part of which will be set in Amsterdam, which means I’ve resolved to spend more time in that fabulous city – to help with the research, you understand, and not to wander round the zoo and visit all my favourite bars… 
With my editing hat on, I resolve to look for the best erotica and erotic romance novels by new writers as well as established ones. I’d like to hope that in 2014 I could give an author or two their first taste of what it’s like to be published and to have that great feeling when you see your book in print.

Elizabeth is a prolific writer and editor; find out more about her at http://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com/

 

Justine Elyot:

Ah, well, I’m not sure most of them would be printable, but chiefly not to make the same mistakes I made this year And spend less time obsessing about stupid trivial things on Twitter!

To find out more about Justine go to http://justineelyot.com/

 

Victoria Blisse:

My resolution is to take my writing more seriously, to dedicate 3-4 hours to writing and promotion every day of the week (I might give myself a day off!)and treat it like a business!

Victoria’s latest book is Really Cooking, check it out here. http://victoriablisse.co.uk/books/really-cooking

 

Lucy Felthouse:

I haven’t got a resolution as such, more a goal. Suppose it’s almost the same thing. I’d like to write at least one novel this year

Lucy’s another very prolific writer – to see what she’s been up to go to http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk

 

Kay Jaybee:

Kay’s New Year’s Resolution is not to overwork this year!! A maximum of 3 books only will be written!

Kay is one of the UK’s top erotic writers, check her out at  www.kayjaybee.me.uk

 

Oh, and you’ll probably be glad to know that my other resolution is to work out how to do links properly.

Happy New Year, may it bring you what you wish for and what you deserve.

 

 

 

 

 

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