The Big Book of Orgasms

There is so much going on for today’s post I hardly know where to begin. I’m proud to announce that my first inclusion in a print anthology has been in Cleis Press’s recent release, The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Since I began writing, I have been independently publishing straight to eBook, so this is a big first step for me into the world of “big girl publishing.”

Somewhat Related Teaser: I have another story in an unrelated print anthology, coming soon through another publisher, but I can’t talk details yet. 😉 I can say that fans of my work and of femdom BDSM will be very pleased, though!

Today I’ve got an interview with Rachel, an excerpt from my story, and a giveaway. I don’t know how much more you could possibly want out of one blog post! And just look at this cover. I’m getting hot just looking at it.

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Interview:

Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for the interview. How did you start out as a writer, and what led to your transition to editing?

I’ve always written, since I was little, in one form or another. My earliest published writings were letters to the editor. I started writing erotica in 1999 at the tail end of attending law school. I got into editing erotica based on writing it; I was first asked to co-edit an anthology and then from there to edit my own and now get to pitch brainstorm and pitch my own ideas for anthologies that focus on topics I’m interested in, such as spanking. I like doing both because writing is so solitary and involves being so utterly in my head, and even though I also do my editing alone at my computer, it involves interacting with other people and discovering and getting to publish writing I never in a million years could have written myself.

I’m really excited about the release of The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories. What was the inspiration for this anthology?

It was sort of a mashup of two other books I’d edited that readers liked, Orgasmic, which features 25 stories featuring female protagonists and Gotta Have It, which also features 69 short stories of 1,200 words or less. That book was a new format, smaller and more compact, so I and Cleis Press thought it would be interesting to combine them, but this time expand beyond just female orgasms and female authors. I like having the opportunity to work with three times as many authors as I do in a typical anthology. It also made me value each and every word, since the stories are all short, those words have to do a lot more work to create a full story with a beginning, middle and end and still be arousing and on the theme of orgasm. I also love the variety of writing styles and characters and settings and orgasms and creativity, as well as hearing which stories resonate with which readers. There are some very loving tender stories and some extremely kinky ones, there’s heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, and I’m not even sure how to classify the gender change in “Remote Control” by Logan Zachary.

Will there be book readings/signings, and when/where?

There will be a San Francisco reading (https://www.facebook.com/events/186231794893318/) on November 6th at Good Vibrations at 1620 Polk Street at 6:30, with me and 9 contributors, Lily K. Cho, Malin James, Crystal Jordan, Sinclair Sexsmith, Donna George Storey, B.D. Swain, Virgie Tovar, Jade A. Waters and Xan West , and one in New York on January 3 at reading series Between the Covers (http://betweenthecoversnyc.wordpress.com/) at the Museum of Sex at 233 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, with me, yourself, Andreas Amsterdam, Jeremy Edwards, Drew Griffiths, Thea Landen, Lillian Ann Slugocki, Suleikha Snyder and possibly a few others. [Yes, I’ll be reading live in New York City! If you’ve been wanting to meet me, this is the time and place to do it! -LL] That’s all as of right now, though I’m looking for a way to host a virtual book party and if I can round up enough authors I’d love to do another reading. I’ll also be teaching erotic writing workshops in the next few months in Albuquerque, Austin, Portland, Maine and New York, and workshops March 14th for CatalystCon (http://catalystcon.com/register/pre-con/ ) attendees.

Do you think you’ll always be an erotica writer? Are there other genres in which you’re interested?

I’ve always told myself that if I get bored writing erotica I’ll quit, but that hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes I write more or less erotica, but I always come back to it and love the moment of insight when a new story idea comes to me. I do hope to write a young adult novel and possibly branch out, but as of now erotica and erotic romance are the only fiction I’ve written, though I also do a lot of essays and journalism, which I think helps balance me.

I get this question myself a lot. Do you have any advice for aspiring erotica writers?

Write in a style that’s true to you about characters and topics you’re interested in. Be aware of but don’t pander to the market. Everyone’s sexuality is different and the more you can tease out your own voice and style and passion, the more that will come through in the writing. I’d also encourage people to utilize any specialized knowledge they have about the world and find a way to incorporate that into your erotica. For instance, I’ve played in a lot of chess tournaments, so I’ve used that as a setting for an erotica story. Use as much sensory detail as you can, without giving just a literal play by play, and use all five senses. Make the reader care about the characters not just when they’re having sex, but before and after; that will make the sex scenes more rewarding, powerful and memorable.

Is there anything special you do to celebrate once a project is finished, be it a story, novel, or anthology?

I don’t do anything special per se, but I am always very relieved when I hit send on a story submission or an anthology manuscript. Then I’m usually on to the next thing.

“Write drunk, edit sober.” True or false?

Save for extremely rare occasions, I don’t drink, so I don’t write drunk. Though there are definitely times when I’m in a bit of a writing trance, because I’ll later look at a story I’ve written and wonder where it came from and how I wrote it.

I think it’s like that for any kind of artist, despite the medium. I’ve experienced it myself countless times. I think there’s a reason why the ancient Greeks believed in Muses, and that “trance” is it. Anyway, final question. What was it like writing for Penthouse Variations?

I was an editor for over 7 years at Penthouse Variations. That was my first magazine job and it taught me so much about being a careful and sometimes ruthless editor, about how to gloss a topic and do it justice, and about the variety of fetishes and kinks out there.

Excerpt from “Icing on the Cake,” by Lula Lisbon, one of 69 stories in The Big Book of Orgasms:

I knew she had something devilish planned, but I couldn’t imagine what it might be. It was my birthday, and she’d baked me cupcakes; I was to report to her on my knees at her door as per usual. She loved to toy with my orgasms, denying them, forcing them, coming up with any number of ways to make them humiliating for me and exciting for her. For two full weeks she’d denied me release, and it had been hard—very hard. Teasing me, testing me, she’d sent me pictures of her body, described in detail what she wanted to do to me, how she wanted me to please her. I wasn’t allowed to touch my cock, because she wanted me ready to celebrate my birthday.

I’d unintentionally disobeyed her around the one-week mark. In a vivid dream, she fucked my ass hard with her purple strap-on, something she only did as a reward when I’d been very good. Her fingernails dug into my hips, and when I felt her starting to come inside me, screaming her delight, I couldn’t hold myself back.

When I opened my eyes, still feeling the delicious pulsing in my balls, there was a pool of creamy come on my abs and chest. My heart sank. I wanted to call her and immediately confess, but I already knew what her orders would be. Filled with guilt, I dipped my fingers in, a kid stealing a taste from the mixing bowl, once, twice, again, until it was all gone.

Giveaway:

Enter to win a free copy of The Big Book of Orgasms by posting one of your favorite lines from one of my short stories (not from the excerpts online, that’s cheating!) into the comments section. Hint: I have one free story, so purchase isn’t required, but I have lots of other stories from which to choose, starting at only $2.99, if you’d like to support an independent author! Fine print: Cleis Press will have final say over the winner and distribution of prizes. Retail value of prize: Kindle version $9.99, print version $12.34. Deadline: November 30, 2013.

NaNoWriMo: The Race is On!

I’m writing my first novel this month for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, and I’m out of the gate at 1900 3023 words. The goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month, and frankly, I think it will turn out longer than that. It is as of yet untitled, and I’ve had the idea in my head for quite a while now.

It’s at its heart a lesbian romance, but it is so much more than that. Central to the plot is time travel and a bit of ancient magic, set in Revolutionary France and post-Revolutionary Philadelphia as well as modern Philadelphia. Intrigue, betrayal, suspense, love, and loss. Artists, smugglers, thieves, bastard royalty, and even a pair of goddesses in a secret tryst. The heights of golden Versailles and the politics of the few female art students allowed into Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The crushing solitude of newly-built 18th-century Eastern State Penitentiary, and the austerity of its walls as a present-day living museum. The bustle of gritty, modern Philadelphia, the wind in the flowing hair of a cyclist deftly navigating its crowded streets. Dreams of ancient temples and lover’s tokens, the constant creaking of an oaken ship carrying aristocratic emigres fleeing France for the New World.

I might post some excerpts over at Smashwords in a week or two, which is featuring a showcase of works-in-progress throughout the month. I’ve added a word count widget so you can see at a glance where I am. If you’re of a statistical and/or nosy bent, you can click on it and check out detailed stats and more information about the novel.

Cheer me on, won’t you? I’m sure I’ll appreciate the positive words at some point or another this month! 😉

My Interview & Reviews on BDSM Book Reviews + 3 Chances to Win!

I was recently interviewed on BDSM Book Reviews! If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win one of three prizes, a free ebook copy of my title, Begging For A Spanking. By the way, it has a sequel entitled Spanking on the Subway.

Please click here to read the interview and enter!

My titles, Begging For a Spanking and Back Alley Slut, were also recently reviewed and you can read them here and here, respectively.

❤ LL

May 17: International Day Against Homophobia Blog Hop

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point: self-love, self-acceptance, and the ability to be open about who I know myself to be inside. I have Philadelphia to thank for being the setting against which I finally felt free and comfortable enough to be able to come out, both to myself and the people in my life at the age of 28 — three years ago. I’d suffered for a long time before that, wondering why I was miserable, hating life, always angry. But my conflict had mostly been internal; I can only imagine how much harder it is when you have to fight the world at the same time as yourself. Coming out isn’t easy, but as Anais Nin wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” 

It breaks my heart that so many people across the world still have to hide who they are, simply because of who they love. In my writing, I always try to portray my characters as real, emotional, and beautifully flawed, and as people who have a genuine connection with their partner. In my own way, I am fighting against homophobia not only through my everyday life and who I am as a person, but how gay people are portrayed in popular media — in love and sexuality as well as emotion.

It’s a wonderful thing that the International Day Against Homophobia exists. It’s a dear wish that one day, we may all be free to live the lives we ache for, and to love and marry whomever we wish.

In honor of this Hop, I’m offering up as contest prizes three copies of my ebook, Pumping Teen Iron Cock #1. To read an excerpt, click here.

Blurb: Former nerd Drew is now a buff 19-year-old college athlete who has a huge crush on sexy jacked Gabriel, university coach and trainer. What he doesn’t know is that Gabriel’s been watching the tight teen’s physical progress with interest, and the older man plans a steamy seduction after the lunchtime gym rush is gone! Shy virgin Drew quickly discovers that there’s more than just heat in the sauna! First in the popular “Pumping His Iron Cock” series!

To enter, simply respond with a comment to this post, or in response to the following questions. Please include your email, and although it is not mandatory, I’d very much appreciate if you clicked “Follow” on this blog.

Questions for thought: Has homophobia affected you, directly or indirectly, and how? What have you done personally to be an ambassador for acceptance? How do you envision the worldview to have changed or stayed the same 20 years in the future?

You must be at least 18 to enter this contest, as the book contains graphic sexual content (well, it’s erotica, so I’d hope so, right?). Other blog hop participants are welcome to enter. Winners may choose any of the following formats: .pdf, .epub, .mobi, .lit, .htm. Three winners will be chosen at random from the comments to this post on or after May 21st.