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'Aphrodite's Pen: The Power of Writing Erotica After Midlife'
East Coast Launch of Aphrodite’s Pen

What a special night! 

Our East Coast launch of Aphrodite’s Pen on October 2nd featured marvelous co-host  Mya Thomae, great marketer/photographer Graham Bird, a terrific venue (Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill), and a fabulous interactive audience. The evening included Mya and me in conversation, as well as writing exercises and a Q&A session with everybody in the room.

It was generous of Mya to travel from her home in Wisconsin for the launch. She and I have known each other for decades (we were both technical writers for Chiron Corporation, an early biotech company in California). We quickly agreed that writing erotica is a lot more liberating than writing FDA submissions.

Mya is a new erotic writer, who first tried her hand at one of my day-long workshops. In her Aphrodite’s Pen interview, she encourages other women over fifty to give it a try. Mya herself keeps on sizzling. She recently published a story called “Chemerotica,” about the erotic experience of a cancer patient while in clinic. Her reading from “Chemerotica” spurred us to talk about the interweaving of health issues and joyful erotic experience, in our stories and in life. My story about a woman’s return to sexuality after hysterectomy (“The Scotsman’s Birthday” in Aphrodite's Pen: The Power of Writing Erotica After Midlife) is another example.

The audience tried out the Character Generator game from the book, with amusing results. Then Mya and I fielded questions from the audience. Here are some highlights:

  • Do you think writing erotica comes more naturally to European than to American women?

    Mya recounted a conversation she had with a French woman, who was surprised it was at all controversial for older American women to write erotica. So it seems the answer is yes.

  • Does women’s erotica tend to be about something else, as opposed to erotica written by men, which tends to be more like a plumbing manual?

    Stella referred to Joan Price’s anthology, Ageless Erotica, as an example. The book is a collection of erotica by people over fifty, about half women and half men. Stella claims that if you read the stories without looking at the author names, you can almost always tell the stories by men because they pay more attention to mechanics.

  • Do you worry that your grandchildren will read your book?
    Stella said yes, a tiny bit; that’s why Stella is a pen name. And then there’s Stella’s mother, who is reading Aphrodite’s Pen at age 93 and is apparently not embarrassed! Mya, on the other hand, is using her real name, and her daughter is fine with it. 
  • Is there a line between erotica and porn? If so, what is it?

    Stella explained that in erotica, sexuality is part of what drives character development and plot. In porn, sex is the point of the story.

  • Do you use whether or not you are/become turned on by your work as a litmus test?

    Mya said yes, she can tell how good an erotic story is by how aroused it makes her when she writes it. Stella said writing anything is libidinal for her.

  • How do I figure out what I like?

    Try it and see! It’s just like how you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice!

  • How do you decide what to call sexual body parts?

    Stella said this is a dilemma for many women who write erotica. Some of the clinical words have harsh sounds, while poetic terms can be unintentionally humorous. What you choose depends on the tone of your piece.  Mya, on the other hand, favors anatomical terms.

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Learn How to Write A Sexy Story in a Week.

I’ve recently launched a FREE mini-writing class online to develop a sexy story from start to finish in a week. 

Each day Monday through Friday, you'll get an email prompt to write about a different story element – character, setting, sensory experience – and then at the end of the week on Saturday & Sunday, instructions to bring together the elements into a finished story. 

It’s a fun and easy way to write story, and you can enroll here
Please share this link with any friends who'd be interested.

New From Stella's Blog
Writing Sexy Memoir Scenes

You may be tempted to skip over sex when you write your memoir, for all kinds of reasons, chief among them being, What would the grandchildren say? Which is ironic, because the grandchildren would not be here if you’d never done the deed. But if you would like to try writing about this aspect of life (and I hope you will), the very first thing to do is write a draft that neither the grandchildren nor anyone else will ever see.

Your first draft is a safe space, like a play room full of favorite toys that you never need to share. The toys in this case are memories, which belong only to you unless you decide to present them in memoir. 

Read More..........

Starting an Erotic Writing Group

"I wish that for other groups, they discover within themselves and each other a wild mystery, an untamed imagination." - Billie Berlin

Imagine meeting each month with a circle of older women as co-creators, joining together to celebrate our power and creativity. What could be more fun, and more liberating, than that? And there is no reason – none – why you and your friends, and your friends-to-be, should not have that in your life.

When we explore erotic writing from our vantage point as older women, we draw on a rich life experience. We can look honestly at what we desire, and how our desires have played out through our lives.

Read More........

More Blog Posts

You know that fifteen minutes of fame thing; well it seems to be happening!  I'm so delighted to partner with all these wonderful women and their web sites.

Thanks to each and every one of you.

Stella in the media

Crunchy Tales Article

Aphrodite’s Pen is attracting notice in the press. Michela Di Carlo of Crunchy Tales Magazine had this to say on her Facebook page:

“If you ever played with the idea of writing erotica for seniors but don’t know where to begin, you can find inspiration from the first book of its kind for aspiring middle-aged and older women writers: Aphrodite’s Pen by Stella Fosse . Be Wise, Age Playfully!”

Listen To Stella

I also enjoyed being interviewed by Marcia Meier for her podcast, “Girl Talk: Women, Aging and Sex.” We had a wide-ranging discussion about why and how to write erotica after midlife. Marcia’s own book, Unmasked: Women Write about Sex and Intimacy after Fifty, is one of my favorites. And, it being a small world, Marcia’s co-editor, Kathleen Barry, wrote one of the endorsements on the back of my book.

Goodreads Review

One of the great things for authors about the internet era is that each reader has the power to add their thoughts to the conversation. Here’s a reader review of Aphrodite’s Pen:

"If you’re a fan of the Kensington Ladies Erotica Society or the ‘Best Women’s Erotica’ series, and you ever wondered whether you, too, could craft writing that sizzles, this book is for you. Although targeting women who are past mid-life, this book’s step-by-step writing advice and memorable examples serve as excellent guides for writers of any age. Empowering and thought-provoking, ‘Aphrodite’s Pen’ encourages the reader to let her imagination soar and her inhibitions fade. Pour a glass of your favorite beverage, grab paper and a pen, and settle in for a fun read."

A Halloween Story on Crunchytales

My guest post on CrunchyTales (twice in one month!) is published for Halloween.  It's an erotic short story - The Pumpkin Child -  that I specifically wrote for Halloween.  
Check it out
, I think you'll find it amusing.

The Joy of Writing about Older Sex

Joan, a fireball of activity who is about to turn 76, invited me to write about the joy of writing erotica.  You can read the article here, and if you don't already follow Joan and her advocacy for senior sex, you should.  She is on Facebook, or check out her fabulous new website.

Erotica for All

I was asked to write about why we should write erotica as mature women. for another UK publication, Erotica For All. This is the third UK blog guest post in as many weeks, I wonder if they somehow sense that My Other Half is a Brit!

How to Write Erotica After 50

Xanet Pailet, who has a fascinating web site and marvelous blog, asked me to submit an article for publication.  I love how this one turned out, a few simple steps that can transform your erotic writing.
The article is here.

I would love it if you would consider writing an honest review of Aphrodite’s Pen on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you review books. Believe it or not, this really helps to get the word out!

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Stella Fosse

125 S Estes Drive #4311, Chapel Hill
United States

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