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Friday, January 16th, 2015 • No Comments on Pretty New Books
I sent out acceptance letters today for two anthologies: The One Who Got Away and Pillow Talk. I love writing acceptance letters– it’s such a thrill to be able to tell an author I love her/his work and want to include it in one of my books. The only better feeling is receiving an acceptance letter.
Speaking of– I’ve recently received several contributor copies from editors who’ve bought my work over the last year or so. Isn’t that a pretty picture?? After all these years, I never get tired of seeing my name in a table of contents. I’m very lucky to get to do what I love (the only job I’ve ever wanted to do) and experience it from both sides of the fence, as both author and editor.
Clockwise from the top left, the books above are:
The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, edited by Rose Caraway for Cleis Press (includes my story “Vivi and the Magic Man”)
The Big Book of Domination, edited by D.L. King for Cleis Press (includes my story “Make Mine Rare”)
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica Volume 13, edited by Maxim Jakubowski for Running Press (includes my story “The Love We Make”)
As Kinky As You Wanna Be, by Shanna Germain for Cleis Press (includes my story “Knit One and Tie Me Up, Too”)
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 • No Comments on Stories to Tell
(Several months ago I tried a time management technique using Lego blocks. It was fun– and more effective than I expected.)
I’ve been writing a little bit. Here and there. Words. It’s a nice feeling. My heart in writing fiction– and I think I have many more stories to tell, but I feel as if I’ve reached a point in my life where maybe I have more to offer than fiction. My nonfiction credits have been few and far between, so I’m not sure what I should tackle. Parenting, marriage, sex, my complex, complicated relationship with my mother? An advice column? I’m full of it– advice that is– just ask anyone who knows me.
Writing nonfiction has always been a challenge for me. I’m much more comfortable creating characters than I am in revealing myself. I’ve blogged off and on since 2007 (I think), but I’ve always kept a careful distance. Which is probably why my blog hasn’t had a steady readership in years– and why I lost interest in it myself.
My first magazine piece was for CATS Magazine, which might not even be in existence now. It was the 1990s, when I was writing greeting cards and other ephemera (which was actually the name of a greeting company, I believe). Then I sold my first novel to Harlequin and my focus remained solidly on fiction for more than a decade.
In 2009, as one of my New Year’s resolutions to try new markets and genres, I wrote a piece for Megan McMorris’s epistolary collection P.S. What I Didn’t Say (Seal Press). It was called “The Last Letter” and it was written to a very dear friend, who also happened to be my husband’s grandmother. It was the first– and so far only– nonfiction piece I’ve had published in an anthology and it meant a lot to me to see it published.
Last year was the release of Bedded Bliss: A Couple’s Guide to Lust Ever After (Cleis Press), probably the most complex and difficult project I’ve ever tackled. While it’s a mix of fiction and nonfiction from a dozen authors, I did write a sizable chunk of the book and there’s a lot of me in there– stories and anecdotes about me and my relationship with my husband. It’s a very personal book and I’ve been pleased with the reader response. I have been labeled a “relationship expert” and while I’m not terribly comfortable with the word expert, I suppose a successful, happy twenty-four year marriage qualifies me as at least pretty knowledgable.
In contrast to how long I’ve been married, my five years of parenting seem like nothing at all, but I’ve been very happy to have a couple of pieces published with Brain, Child in the past year. Wanting More than Enough is about being a new mother, my relationship with my own mother and overcoming the past. It’s a short piece, but it was a difficult essay to write because it’s so personal. Anchors Aweigh was a short piece about life as a Navy family– a part of their “What is Family?” series last December.
For awhile, I was part of Oh Get a Grip!–a group blog with some talented authors–and I wrote some of my most honest, personal writing there. The most difficult piece I ever wrote was about my mother’s death: July 25, 2007, but there were other posts that tackled writing and parenting, survival and love and so many other things. It’s a terrific blog and I was honored to be a part of it because the other authors challenged me to go places I might not have gone with my writing. That’s something I need to do again– push myself. But in what direction?
I feel pulled toward nonfiction, but I also feel pulled toward writing a ghost story. Returning to my early reader roots of Stephen King and Dean Koontz and the stories that kept me awake at night and scared the daylights out of me. I have a character whispering to me, though I can’t be sure if she’s the protagonist or not. Hopefully she’ll keep whispering until I can get her story told.
Where to go, where to go? The path lies before me…
Friday, May 23rd, 2014 • No Comments on Call for submissions: Pillow Talk
This is my last call for submissions for awhile. Get your stories in!
Pillow Talk: Erotic Romance for Women
Editor: Kristina Wright
Publisher: Cleis Press
Submission Deadline: June 15
Payment: $50 per story and 2 copies of the book, on publication
E-mail: [email protected]
Between-the-sheets love and lust, from morning romps before work to stolen afternoon delights and midnight fantasies fulfilled. Stories of lovers in bed and all the delicious things that happen behind closed doors. Think sexy, playful, edgy and erotic and you will know what Pillow Talk is all about.
According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. In erotic romance, the sexual component is critical to the development of the romantic relationship. To get an idea of what I’m looking for, I strongly recommend reading my previous erotic romance anthologies.
The collection will be primarily heterosexual with a female audience in mind. However, stories may include bisexual or lesbian encounters as well as polyandrous relationships or group encounters. I have a preference for realistic stories with contemporary settings for this series, but any time period will be considered. No incest, nonconsensual sex, bestiality or underage characters, please.
Please be sure to follow all of the submission guidelines: I will consider up to two stories per author. Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. Please do not send me a story that is being considered elsewhere. The desired story length is 2,500-5,000 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Send your submission to [email protected] with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address. The deadline is June 15, but earlier submissions are very much appreciated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 72 hours, please query or resend.
Payment will be $50 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their work and Cleis Press has final approval over the stories selected for the book. Authors will be notified upon approval of the manuscript from the publisher. If you have not received a response by November 1, please feel free to query me.