Greetings to you at this transitional time, when not wearing a mask could mean folks are confidently vaccinated or misguidedly unvaccinated. This time when we begin to remember how much we have forgotten about civil discourse in our isolation; this time when we need more personal space than we did BTP (Before the Pandemic), yet others, unaware, close in. When the pace of life lurches and slows like a defective movie projector back in the days of reel to reel. We have no map for a time such as this; we write the recipe even as we cook.
Here at home, there is progress on the health front. I won’t bore you, just to say that in the meantime I am thankful for the blog series on Publishing Without an Agent that we could repurpose from my prior writings, and even more thankful for guest blogs coming up. In July, look for a guest blog from Doriana Chase. Doriana has been writing erotica since her teen years, and her reminiscences about that journey are thought-provoking. As an aside, if you would like to share your thoughts or ideas in a blog, please email me.
Also coming up is an online (so you can join us from anywhere) book launch hosted by Flyleaf Books here in North Carolina. I’m thrilled that North Atlantic Books, publisher of Aphrodite’s Pen, has invited me to interview Dr. Alexis Conason about her new book, The Diet-Free Revolution. Conason’s expose of the Diet Industrial Complex is an essential read and is truly eye-opening. As a veteran of the Fat Liberation movement, I’m thrilled that Alexis has put together a program to empower women to take agency about our bodies. There are plenty of parallels between owning our shape and owning our sexuality, just as there are intersections between ageism, sexism, and fatphobia. Please join us on July 6 for what is sure to be an intriguing and informative evening.
Unfortunately my health issues slowed several things down, including the collaboration with Lynx Canon on our as-yet-unnamed periodical to publish erotica by women over fifty. I do hope you are thinking about which of your sexy stories and poems you would like to submit when the time comes. And the time will come! In the meantime, keep writing, and if you have suggestions for an engaging name for our periodical, please do send me an email.
Editing and publishing my next novel, Brilliant Charming Bastard, is another project delayed by my health. But I wanted to share a taste of the novel in its current incarnation, for your enjoyment. I hope this will whet your appetite for more.
When Rose went to shut down her computer, she saw that Brendan had left his email open. I should shut it down, she thought. Without looking. This isn't right.
On the left side of the screen was a folder marked “Personal.” A subfolder listed her name: Rose Bingham. There were two other names. Who were these women? She clicked one of the subfolders: Maxine Vargas. She opened an email called "The Two of You." It was dated just a week ago, and the title was familiar.
My Darling Maxine... it began,
Yes, I agree we should talk, but only if we can interact productively.
If you can set aside your doubts, your negativity, your mistrust, then we can have a positive conversation.
If you cannot do that, then perhaps I am not the one for you.
Rose opened the other subfolder, the one marked Joyce Farrell, where she found the same email:
My Darling Joyce, Yes, I agree we should talk, but only if we can interact productively…
“Self-plagiarism: The lowest form of flattery,” Rose said aloud to the empty house. She opened her own account and found an email Brendan had sent to her, also called "The Two of You."
My Darling Rose... it began, Yes, I agree we should talk...
Rose pressed Forward, added email addresses for Joyce and Maxine, and a brief introduction.
"Greetings to the two of you," she wrote, "This email I received from Brendan Burns may sound familiar. Best regards, Rose Bingham."
The cursor hovered over Send. So tempting. But was it a good idea? Would it be kind or cruel to contact these women?
The sun was up. She must get ready to deliver her morning lecture. That would give her time to cool off.
What do you suppose happens next? Do these women meet? Do sparks fly? Will there be sex in this book, and lots of it? Stay tuned for the adventures of three sexy women scientists in their sixties as the Brilliant Charming Bastard gets his comeuppance.
And in the meantime, keep the pen moving (or the keys clicking). All of us have stories to claim, stories to create, from our wealth of life experience and our vivid imaginings. We are building a community of strong, fascinating, wise women, one sensual tale at a time. I’m so glad to be a part of it!
I publish two blog articles (published online on the 10th and the 20th) and this newsletter every month, so you hear from me (or a guest blogger) a couple of times a month. Below is a brief extract from each of last month's blogs - click the links for the whole enchilada! If you've ever considered getting your voice out there, I welcome suggestions for topics, or a fully written guest piece in line with my philosophy for the site. Drop me a line......
Some of us who are writers don’t quite know what we think until we write it down. So writing our erotic stories is liberating, even if we never show them to another living soul. If you would like a boost to keep the pen moving, you’ll find two FREE self-taught courses on my website: One for writing our erotic histories and the other for creating sexy stories.
Each course encourages writing freely, in a spirit of play. When you try them, you may be surprised by how much you learn about who you have been, who you are now, and into what new personhood you are growing. And we do keep growing. As Grey Panther founder Maggie Kuhn famously said, “Learning and sex until rigor mortis.”
Welcome to the third part of this series on publishing your sexy novel. Here is where you can find Part 1 and Part 2.
Now that you’ve signed a contract, it’s time to move from manuscript to published novel. At this point, some agents become less involved, handing off the author to the editorial and marketing professionals at the publishing house. Other agents stay involved, acting as a sounding board for the writer as she progresses through editing and design into the launch phase.
If you are publishing without an agent, it’s important to know what to expect in this part of the process.
You may remember the terrific guest post by my friend Simone LaBerge, “Sexuality Down the Decades,” where she reflected on her own sexual development from childhood to her seventies and talked about her hopes for the years ahead.
Her writing inspired me to create a free short course to help you to reflect on your journey so far and your hopes for the days to come.
Sign up for a fascinating interior journey, and share the details with your close friends and on social media please!