Pillow Talk Secrets: All About the Dirty Deeds

It’s time for another Pillow Talk Secrets, everyone!

Today I’m quite excited as Malin James, Tamsin Flowers and I—your host for the day, Jade A. Waters—have a spicy new topic for you. We’ve been wanting to get back to the dirty, seeing as we are Erotica Writers Talking Dirty, so today I’m delighted to be leading our discussion on the best erotic scenes and acts to write. That’s right—you’ll be hearing all our favorite pairings, naughty deeds, and explicit (literary) moments, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride. (Eh-hm. Pun intended.)

So without further ado, welcome back to…

Pillow Talk Secrets

Jade: Hello, ladies! How are you both today?

Malin: I’m doing really well, thanks! How are you, Jade? Tamsin?

Tamsin: Very well, thank you.

J: I’m so glad to hear you’re both well. I’m very excited for our session today, and I suspect there’s some real dirtiness ahead. ;) Shall we get to it?

M: Sounds good!

T: Fire away, Jade.

J: All right then. Today, we’re talking about favorite pairings and acts to write in erotica. Hot! Let’s kick off with pairings: one-on-one, threesomes, different gender combos, etc…any particular preferences?

M: Well, I’ve always loved writing m/m/f threesomes—my WIP is about how one develops longer term, (among other things). That said, I just wrote my first m/m last fall and kind of loved that too.

T: Yeah, I enjoy the old m/m/f—my novel Her Boss & His Client was about one—and that was so much fun to write. Double penetration and the rest! ;)

J: Right! You know, I haven’t written a ton of threesomes myself, but I did love penning the few I tried. So far I’ve only run with m/m/f. Have either of you given f/f/m a whirl, and if so, what do you feel are the differences in actually writing them (besides the obvious, of course)?

M: I wrote an f/f/m very early on—the story is awful, though the pairing was fun. I think the biggest difference, (for me), is that with m/m/f I feel free to just go to town, whereas with f/f/m, I’m very conscious of the fact that the f/f portion can accidentally come off as a bit performative, (as in “bi for his benefit”). While there’s nothing wrong with that in print or in life, there are other aspects of that dynamic I want to explore more.

J: That’s a really good point, Malin. That performative piece is so ingrained as a societal fantasy, it’s something to be mindful of.

M: It’s true…that said, I’ve read a lot of stories that dig into powerful, sexy stuff with f/f/m’s. There are a lot of different power dynamics to play with—same with m/m/f.

T: One thing about writing anything with three people involved is the need to be a little more specific about whose body part is whose—you can’t just say “his cock” if it could be Tom’s cock or Dick’s cock. And you need to be really clear for the reader on the logistics—it can certainly get confusing when there are six hands, six arms and legs, and multiple genitalia!

The kissJ: And that’s the same for more than three, too—I wrote a fourway orgy (in space, no less). It was three men and a woman. Mind your pronouns was the name of the game!

M: Absolutely—pronouns and body parts get really interesting when there are more than two people to manage. Same with action—it’s easy to accidentally focus on two of the characters and leave the third (or fourth) in some sort of sexy holding pattern. It’s like juggling balls (ha). You’ve got to keep all of them in the air.

T: Smart analogy!

J: Yes. Body part circus! :) It’s something we have to pay attention to no matter what, but it’s certainly heightened in the three-four-five-(whoa wouldn’t that be fun?)-ways. So, while all the pairings are lovely, it’s clear we tend to gravitate to one-on-one for the majority of our writing. Let’s focus on specific acts in couple erotica then, no matter what the gender pairing. Shall we start at the beginning? They meet, they make eyes, and then…there’s the kiss! What are your thoughts on writing the kiss?

T: I love how a kiss can give away so much about a character—people can kiss romantically or passionately but they can also kiss in anger or kiss dismissively. It can say so much without words.

M: Yes! In fact, kisses are one of my favorite things to write, precisely because so much can be communicated through them. Also, the build up to the kiss can speak volumes as well.

T: Actually, now Malin, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head—to be honest it’s the build up—to the kiss or to any other sex act—that is actually the most interesting thing to write. Once you get down to the nuts and bolts, well that’s just like the payoff to all the build up!

J: This parallels real life—we spend all that time wondering what the first kiss will be like, and all the steps that come before it are critical to that wonderful heightening of anticipation. Perhaps that’s why we enjoy writing the kiss. So much hinges on it—they do say a kiss reveals a lot about the lover, right?

M: That’s it—the kiss reveals something. Chemistry, attraction, lack of attraction (though hopefully not), in both fiction and real life. I read some erotica where they skip over the kiss and get right to the sex and I’m always left a bit cold by that. I want that kiss to set the stage, even if what follows is really filthy. Actually, filthy, hot kisses are fabulous.

J: Yes they are! Sometimes those filthy, hot kisses reveal even more than the “traditional” first kiss—there’s so much lust and fire there.

M: Totally—it’s the romance in the unexpected that I like. Kisses with a little edge always get me.

J: No matter what, I think kisses are key. You hit on it a moment ago, Malin—erotica without the kiss feels like it’s missing something.

T: This is interesting to me because my main protagonist in Alchemy xii, Harry, is obsessed with kissing—everyone, all the time. It’s how he reads people and his own kisses give away so much to Olivia about what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling. It makes their connection much deeper than if it was just about fucking. (Though god forbid he ever gets a cold—the whole of Alchemy would go down with it!)

J: *Giggles* Okay, so I think we can all agree the kiss is an imperative precursor to the tale we’re trying to tell. But as we write erotica, things tend to go much, much further—and dirtier. Let’s move to another act: what about oral sex?

T: Oh, that’s definitely one of my favorites and I write a lot of it! In both directions.

J: Me too. And I can never decide which way I prefer to write better. Let’s talk about each one individually. How about the blow job?

T: I write a lot of blow jobs. One of the biggest challenges about that, however, is keeping them fresh and different—a challenge with writing a lot of erotica, but particularly I think with blow jobs. How do you two find it?

M: I think it’s a lot like in porn—there are generic blow jobs, and there are blow jobs that, like kisses, communicate something of the relationship between the characters. As long as you’re focusing on the individuals, I think there are a lot of ways to keep it fresh.

shutterstock_116966374T: Yes—it may always involve a cock and a mouth, but different characters and context can make it different every time.

J: I would agree with that. There’s the way the characters make eyes over the blow job, the words that are used, the different sensations described. For instance, is it a blow job with a power dynamic between the pair, in which case where does the power lie? Or is it meant in more of a romantic, slow way—a sensual build to show their feelings?

M: Ooh! Yes! Power dynamics with blow jobs are fabulous! Receiving one can definitely establish dominance, but it can also establish the power of the person giving it, because let’s face it. When you give a really good blow job, you’re in control of the pleasure, and that’s powerful stuff. Also, whether or not you let the receiver finish, or leave him hanging a bit, shall we say…

T: That brings in trust issues as well—I guess you probably have to have some level of trust in someone before you’re going to be happy to let them blow you. Or certainly for some people, maybe not others…

J: That’s true for some characters too, I think. Would you say that’s more or less true for going the other way—to her?

M: That’s an interesting question. I think that the same principle of trust and potential power play does work the other way. A lot of women feel very vulnerable being gone down on so that can be a big deal. And as far as power goes, there are lots of ways to play with a man eating a woman out in a D/s dynamic—face-sitting for example. That said, just like with blow-jobs, going down on a woman can be anything from challenging to massively sweet.

J: I have to say—I love writing both ways, but there’s something I particularly love about the going down scenes where there’s some description of the cunt. Call it female pride, I’m not sure…I love when someone can creatively (or prettily) describe all that’s going on. It might be because it’s more hidden than the cock. Do either of you feel that way?

T: Yes, actually, I find it much more interesting as a writing proposition than the blow job—it takes a little more imagination and it can be so delicious when you get it right.

J: I agree. And Tamsin, I have told you before I love your descriptions of cunts in your writing. :)

T: Aw, thanks—no-one’s ever paid me such a sweet compliment before! *blushes*

M: Cunts really are kind of lovely, and as a writer they’re a wonderful way to indicate sexual response. You can ramp up the heat in a scene by a little physical description—is she wet? What’s her clit feel / look like? How is she responding?

T: There’s the potential to use some wonderfully descriptive language when talking about female arousal, that’s for sure.

J: Yep. All five senses! I would be curious what our readers think on this—in particular because most readers of erotica are women. Perhaps we might encourage some to comment. *Wink wink* *Nudge nudge* But, moving on…we should discuss the main act in erotica: le sex. :)

M: Ahhh, le sex! Yes. Where shall we start? There are a lot of options there ;)

J: Yes indeed, there are. So, let’s focus on vaginal today.

T: Absolutely—there’s so much scope there. So many different positions for a start—does anyone know how many there are in the Kama Sutra? Hundreds probably!

M: Ha! That might be one of humanity’s most enduring pursuits—how many different ways can two people fuck? Do either of you have a go-to position in your writing?

J: Well, I think that while there are a lot of ways to do it in real life, some of those positions are tricky on the page (especially since some of those positions are not known to the vast majority of people). But, I think for me, I gravitate between a few of the main ones—missionary, her on top, reverse cowgirl, from behind with her flat (does that have a name?), doggie… There are more of course, but these are the more commonly appearing ones. What about you, Tamsin?Man Over Woman Pinning Her Down

T: Obviously, missionary gets a good look in, but I always like to write about my heroines being bent over something and taken from behind, possibly when they’re not quite expecting it! And in a variety of random places—like car bonnets or kitchen counters!

M: Ha! I love that, Tamsin! And I have to admit that I love writing missionary too—it’s my clean little secret. That said, my favorite is having the couple leaned up against a wall in some sort of standing position. I like how desperate and hot the sex gets when they’re like that.

J: Oh I *love* the standing-against-wall sex scenes. Those are fun!

T: Me too!

J: But the really great part about writing the actual penetrative sex is how it all goes down, and the sensations as we write them.

M: Yes, yes! And part of that is whether or not they’re wearing condoms, or how established their relationship is. Are the sensations familiar or is it new and revelatory? And how does that play emotionally too?

T: Then of course, just like with oral, there can be a whole power dynamic at play as well. Who’s in control? Who’s driving the whole act?

J: Right. I’d like to hit on the emotional aspect again, too—because, power play or not, sex and how it’s shared between two people is an incredibly powerful thing. That on the page can be beautiful and romantic, or painful, transformative, and hard…

T: Of course, it’s that aspect that makes erotica distinct from porn.

M: That’s a key point. Much more than the physical acts portrayed, it’s the emotional tenor that defines erotica. Porn is great, but it doesn’t tend to dig into the emotional or psychological contexts, whereas erotica uses sex to do just that.

J: I know that’s why I write it—and I suspect that’s why you both do, too. It’s the drive behind it all, isn’t it? The connection.

T: Totally!

M: You nailed it.

J: Well, I feel like we could cover about a hundred more sexual acts right now (yes, a hundred!) but perhaps this is a good place to stop—we could go on forever!

T: I think we’d better finish—but at least we know we haven’t exhausted the subject! (Nor could we!)

M: Agreed. It would actually be fun to revisit it at some point, but for now, I’d say we made a good start.

J: For sure. And readers, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you like to read in erotica—what acts are your favorite? What levels of description do you like in the acts you do read? Please share in the comments section below. And in the meantime, thanks for joining us today!

M: Thanks everyone!

T: Yes, thanks—and see you next time!

XOXO,
Jade, Malin and Tamsin

Small Breasts – A Musing from Malin

Hello Everyone!

A few weeks ago, Jade started us off on a new series wherein she, Tamsin and I will occasionally share a post, a story or a bit of news with you here on the Pillow Talk site. She started us off with a snapshot in time called “When It Rains,” a post that originally appeared on her site and which I thought was absolutely lovely.

I’m going to take a turn now and share a post I did a little while ago called “Small Breasts”. It was just selected as an Elust digest judges pick, and mostly addresses my feelings on breast size in erotica and romance, as well as in real life. It also features a portrait done by the beautifully talented artist and writer, Tabitha Rayne.

You can read the whole post here, or catch the link at the end of the excerpt below. Either way, thanks for joining us here at Pillow Talk. I hope you enjoy!

xxx.M

Small Breasts

Portrait by Tabitha Rayne

Ah, breasts. They’re lovely, right? Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about breasts, (I know, it’s hard not to), mostly because I realized that the only time I ever describe them in my erotica, is expressly to say that the breasts in question are small.  If I don’t describe them, it’s fair to say that the character’s breasts anywhere from average-sized, (whatever that means), to large and that they are, of course, lovely.

However, if I take the time to actually describe them, it’s almost always to say that they are small or “delicate” just as the bodies that go with them are “boyish” with “subtle curves.” I don’t do it often because most of the time, I want the reader to slide herself, (or himself), into the story and, for better or worse, tiny tits are not very common. At least, they never were, especially in the erotic content I read when I was younger.

In many ways, popular erotica tends to traffic in ideal body types, which means that the genre has been graced by an abundance of full, heavy, goddess-like breasts – the sort of tits a man can lay his head on after fucking the slender yet curvy woman they’re attached. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. Erotica is, in many ways, a fantasy driven genre, and for many people, slim bodies and large breasts are the fantastic ideal. Recently though, we’ve seen more stories featuring women with true-to-life proportions, which I think is wonderful. These women are sexy and hot despite not being a size-4. They rock those goddess-like breasts in a whole new way, and it’s wonderful to see the slow integration of realistic body types in erotica. But this left me wondering about those of us who do not have full, goddess-like breasts; ladies who, rather than rocking a pair of D’s, are sitting pretty with a set of A’s?

Click Here to Read the Rest on Malin’s Site

When It Rains—A Snapshot in Time, from Jade

Hey everyone!

Seeing as how it’s a new year, we of Pillow Talk have decided we’d like to give you a little more to read over at this blog. We’ll still be sharing our Secrets sessions every six weeks or so (and you can catch the latest episode here), but between them we thought it would be fun to occasionally give you a bit of our individual news, posts and stories!

That said, I am very excited to be the first to launch our new adventure—and I’m delighted to be doing so with a personal post that appeared on my site earlier today. It’s a snapshot in time of a transformative experience for me, and I hope you enjoy it. You can catch the full post right here, or, you can read along below and click the link at the end if you’d like to continue.

Malin, Tamsin and I are looking forward to sharing more with you. Thank you so much for joining us!

XX,
Jade

When It Rains

Many years ago, I had a friend with early arthritis who mentioned that whenever it rained, everything changed for him—his body slowed, his joints ached, and he remembered how old he was (his words).

While I’ve no definitive physical reaction to rainy weather, I have noticed my own unique response to it. It’s beyond the casual gaze out the streaked, foggy window, or the perfunctory lean toward the scent of nature drenched in rainfall. Instead it’s a deep-rooted thing—a snapshot in time of an incident that shaped and changed me.

And so sometimes, when it rains, I remember.

Picture of journals

Usually, the memory comes fleeting and fast—and always, I push it aside to write about another day. But during a rainstorm a few weeks ago, I went combing through my files. I’ve been a recorder since I was a little girl, and I’ve saved most everything—I have the diary I kept from ages seven to eleven, the bounty of journals I locked in a drawer as a teen, and those I have on my nightstand as an adult. So when I found the story that’s popped into my head here and there over the last two decades, I felt inspired to finally commit the experience to words—this time as the vivid imprint that occasionally flares, something I recognize as the start of a transformation far deeper than raw, young me saw when she wrote it in calculated detail back then.

At 14, I was gangly and awkward. I had thick, bushy eyebrows hidden behind gigantic blue-framed glasses, and I wore baggy shirts and loose jeans to hide developing breasts and hips that had grown far wider than my mother’s. I’d already had braces for the first of two times, so I’d endured much of the teasing that came with them for years prior…but while my teeth were straight, I felt crooked. I felt small. I had a mind bursting with curiosity, but I, like many young teens, was just coming to understand this strange body of mine. I’d heard and read of what it could do, but I was timid, observing all the goings-on around me with a pair of huge, inquisitive eyes. Still, my body ached, somehow, for more—and at school, in my art class, I found it.

His name was Rob.

Click here to read the full post at Jade’s Site

Pillow Talk Secrets: Happy New Year

Hello!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And welcome to the first Pillow Talk Secrets of 2015! As your host today, I (Tamsin) am going to grill my two Pillow Talk colleagues, Jade and Malin, about the year that’s just closed and about their hopes for the coming year. But I don’t want to hear about all the things you already know about – the stories they’ve had out and the crazy professional triumphs… No, I’m going to drill a bit deeper with a few impertinant questions, so you can find out what it’s really like to be an erotica writer! Let’s not waste anymore time but dive right in…

 

Pillow Talk Secrets

Tamsin: Hello ladies. How are you both doing today?

Malin: So good! How are you Tamsin? Jade?

Jade: Great! So nice to be here with you both.

2015T: It certainly is good to meet for the first time in 2015 – Happy New Year to you both and to all our readers!

J: Yes, Happy New Year! *Blows party whistles* *Throws confetti*

M: I love the New Year – it always feels good to start fresh. *removes confetti from hair* ;)

T: It is great to have a fresh start. Now, let’s get going on today’s business – our look back over 2014 and our look forward over 2015. I’ve got a few questions to put to you two – starting with what was the most surprising thing writing erotica taught you about yourselves last year?

M: Oh boy.. Well, I think the  biggest thing it taught me was that I’m far more comfortable with myself sexually now than I’ve ever been. I don’t seem to have the hang-ups that plagued me as a younger, non-erotica writing woman.

J: It certainly does have that effect, doesn’t it? Something about writing erotic things adds to one’s erotic nature, I think.

T: I agree. And on a similar note, the more erotica I write the more comfortable I am with the fact that I’m an erotica writer. At first I didn’t want anyone to know – but now I take the opportunity to tell more people and most of them receive it very well.

J: I just love that feeling! I find the reception being positive is true, too.

M: Yes! It’s kind of funny to realize how much apprehension you can have about writing erotica when you first start playing with it. It’s nice to let that go as you develop as a writer.

J: I wrote about that acceptance of myself as an erotica writer back at the end of 2013 – and this year, having been one with it and really truly loving it, I would say the most surprising thing I learned is what a damn work horse I can be. I mean, I know I go at it sometimes, but I’ve had to pull back from working myself to exhaustion a few times. That was a shocker. I’m sure you both can relate to that, too.

T: Absolutely – that was one of my answers – I’ve surprised myself with my sheer doggedness when it comes to getting stuff done!

M: I never would have called myself a workaholic until this past year, but I’ve been surprised, like both of you, by how much it’s actually true. I guess loving your work brings that out!

J: Yes. But one of the things that’s helped is that you both have been around to “talk me down” when I’m taxing myself. I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve done for one another (besides all the “talking up,” of course).

M: Yeah – that support really has been critical. It’s easy to push too hard, or get too low. Having two partners/friends who can offer that bit of perspective is just invaluable.

T: It is a wonderful thing, and I wouldn’t be without you two! Now, what’s the most interesting or surprising thing you’ve learned about the industry over the course of 2014?

M: For me it was a fairly general realization. I was surprised by how unstable the market has gotten recently, and yet, within that, how many other options writers have. That and how unfailingly supportive other writers are.

T: That was totally going to be my answer – just how fantastic the erotica community is. We might supposedly be competing against each other but every writer I come across is generous with their support.

J: Yes. It’s a tight-knit group – probably the most lovable and delightful group of all the writer groups I’ve worked with. Considering how much flak the genre can get, it’s wonderful to have that support.

T: If we don’t help each other, who will?

J: Right!

T: Now, turning to what we’ve all been writing, tell me each of you, what was your hottest sex scene of the year?

J: I don’t know if I can pick one! One? Hmm…Malin, what’s yours?

M: Hey! Look at you tossing me the ball!

J: It’s a damn hot potato!

M: Well, okay…. Let me see. I’m not sure if it’s my hottest, but one of my favorites is in a story coming out in Best Women’s Erotica 2015. The story is called “Star F*cker” and the heroine has sex with a hot actor in an elevator. I really, seriously loved writing that scene ;)

J: Oh my god, I love “Star F*cker.” I’ve read this one, people – you’re going to die it’s so good.

T: It was definitely super hot! Let’s just have a couple of sentences to give our readers a little taste…

 

Sexy coupleExcerpt from “Star F*cker”:

Our fingers lace lightly, back to back, as we stare straight ahead, right into our reflection in the soft, polished brass. We look old-fashioned and lovely. You’re lovely, I think. By the time the doors open, my thighs are slick and I can barely breathe.

 

J: Oh yeah. That was *great*. Wow…okay, pulling it together here…so for me, I’m torn (in case that wasn’t obvious by passing the ball to Malin just now). It’s between some scenes in the book I’m getting ready to write a sequel for, and a couple of the shorts I wrote during The Calls. Do you both remember The Calls? Holy crap, that was a month.

M: I do remember The Calls. I can’t believe I cranked out that many stories in five weeks.

T: Please don’t remind me of it! I was demented!

J: Yeah, but I read a lot of the stories both of you put out that month of submission call madness – they were brilliant. It was definitely a month of creativity! All right. Let’s see…decision time. I’ll go for a scene in the book my agent is marketing right now called The Assignment. It’s a scene set in Maya’s kitchen, when she’s earned her reward for following Dean’s earlier instructions.

 

Kissing coupleExcerpt from The Assignment:

He yanked the skirt of my dress up around my ass. The stainless steel of my fridge fogged with my breath, and I shuddered as he guided his hand between my thighs. Having handed over my panties, I had no barrier to stop the greedy search of his fingers. Dean slid his fingertips along my crevice and I gasped.

“Christ, you’re wet.”

 

T: Phew! I can vouch for it – that’s a damn hot scene!

J: Thanks, sweetheart! Now what about yours?

T: For me, there’s no doubt that the year’s hottest scenes were all stacking up in the Alchemy xii episodes I’ve written so far. But which to pick…

M: OH MY GOD YES!!! Alchemy is so hot. That scene in the prologue, when Harry spanks Olivia for the first time is insane, and I’m not even really into spanking. Good god, woman. Harry…

J: Ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first: Alchemy, Alchemy, Alchemy!

T: Thank you, lovelies – but goodness, I hope no one heard it here first – I’ve been pimping it everywhere for months!. And, Malin, that’s an interesting choice – I was thinking of other scenes…I love their first encounter in the Silver Room… Anyway, this little excerpt is how it all kicks off…

 

The kissExcerpt from Alchemy xii – New Year’s Eve:

Harry put one palm flat against her cheek, then leaned in to whisper in her opposite ear.

“I’m going to take you back to my club now and tie you up. Then I’m going to hurt you,” he said. “Is that what you want?”

When her mouth closed around his and her tongue pushed between his lips, when her kiss became ferociously deep, Harry Lomax knew his hunch about her had been spot on.

 

J: Yep. That was smokin’. *Wipes brow*

T: So those were our hottest scenes – now what’s the strangest sex scene you two wrote last year?

J: You know, I wouldn’t say I have a strange one, but I had one that was so dark I kind of floored myself. It’s coming out in Rose Caraway’s Dirty 30 Audiobook – it’s in a story called “The Bells,” which is an alt-history retelling of a certain noble’s fate. I wrote it, came out of my trance, and uttered, Where the fuck did that come from?

M: “The Bells” definitely appeals to my darker tastes. It’s really quite incredible.

J: Aw, thank you.

T: And what about yours, Malin?

M: Strange… let’s see. Oh! Yes! I wrote a story for an anthology of theater erotica. In it, two actors becomes so attuned to their characters that they become sort of empathetically possessed and end up having the sex their characters are desperate to experience.

T: Oh, I want to read that please…

J: Oh it’s gooooood. Now, what about you, Tamsin?

T: I have a little short, languishing in my pile, that’s set on a golf course – and it gets pretty strange…

J: Tell us more!

T: Suffice to say, a golfing mad husband finds a novel place to put his tee… *dirty snigger*

J: *Snort*

M: Okay, yes. I *definitely* want to read this!

T: I’m sure that can be arranged! My next question is – what were your biggest achievements of the year gone by?

M: The whole year has been a bit overwhelming as far as that goes. I think the two biggest for me were getting a story into Violet Blue’s Best Women’s Erotica, which was a long term goal, but even more so, it was getting picked as one of Molly Moore’s 20 of 2014 sex bloggers. I had no idea the year would take me in such a strong sex writing / nonfiction direction, but they have and I’m incredibly happy.

J: Both are fabulous successes! Your sex writing is really killing it, miss. You have so many strong, thoughtful things to say.

T: Yes, your essays have been thought provoking and moving in equal measure – I love reading a new post from you.

M: Thank you – I just want to keep going! What about you both? What are your biggest achievements?

J: For me, it’s a two parter – I think it might be expected that I’m going to say getting an agent, but really it’s the precursor to that: drafting the novel I wrote in six weeks. I’m still not entirely sure how that happened, but my former mentor said he thought I could write two books in a year, and when I thought about how much of a work horse I am, and then how loud this book was buzzing about in my head – I just went for it. It took six weeks with outlining, which sort of blew my mind. Now I can’t wait to write the second book!

T: That really was a truly amazing stint of writing you did then! And I’m so looking forward to the sequel.

M: Me too – you created a really intriguing arc, Jade. I want to see where it goes! But you said your achievement was a two-parter – what’s the second half?

J: Thank you, girls! The second half was finding the lovely Jessica Alvarez, my new agent. She’s a dream. :) I’m bouncing off the walls working with her!

M: Ah, yes! You did strike gold there! And so did she!

T: I have to say that was one of the most exciting moments of the year here at Pillow Talk Towers!

J: You both are so sweet. And sharing that with you two was also gold! I’ve never felt so supported. Like a trio of sisters around here! Okay, so, moving on…what about you, Ms. Flowers?

T: Mine’s pretty damn predictable. At the start of 2014, Alchemy was just a twinkle in my eye. Now I’m at the wheel of a bloody great juggernaut and sometimes I feel like I’m careering out of control! It’s taken most of my energy this year but as it only launched a couple of days ago, I can’t gauge the results.

M: Well, from what I’ve been privileged to read so far, that juggernaut is firmly under your control. I’m so ridiculously excited about that project!

J: It really is something. I swear, sometimes I think Tamsin says, “Look, there’s a mountain. I’m going to go scale that…barefoot. With a hand tied behind my back. And maybe a blindfold. Tally ho!”

M: Ha! Yes!

T: But the truth is, I would not have managed to get it going without you two at my back for the whole wild journey! Thanks, girls!

J: Oh. I’m going to get all mushy now. I just adore you both. I’m SO glad we formed this trio!

M: Me too. If I’m to be totally honest, the best things about the year have to include the two of you. I know it sounds maudlin, but it’s absolutely true.

T: Okay before this melts into mush – a quick-fire question. Where do you see yourselves at the end of 2015?

J: Do you want a serious answer or a true fiction writer answer?

T: That’s up to you…

M: Okay, I’m going to jump in and try to be serious, (because I’m ever-so-serious, *snort*). By the end of 2015, I want to have finished my first novel, The Briary, and be shopping it around. And on the nonfiction front, I’d like to start getting pieces into some of the larger outlets, so that I can move more firmly into sex writing and cultural criticism.

J: These are lovely plans, Malin. I expect we’ll see you there, for sure. As for me, I want to have written the second book of my series, and as I’m aiming to write more personal stuff on my site on a regular basis this year, I hope to have a bank of that up. What about you, Tamsin?

T: I think I’ll be resting! 2015 is going to be a bit of a roller coaster for me, so I just hope I get through it! And at some point, I’d like to get back to my little sexspionage novel and get that out into the world… So that just about wraps things up as far as my questions for you went. What’s coming up in the next newsletter?

M: Well, it would be hard to top our massive holiday edition, but a Spring newsletter is in the works. If you don’t already subscribe, sign up on the left!

Snow bunniesT: I’d also love to hear from our readers about their 2014 triumphs and 2015 plans…so on that note, I’ll sign off! See you next time!

J: Yes, thanks for joining us!

M: Thanks, lovelies! See you next time!

XOXO,

Tamsin, Malin and Jade

Pillow Talk News: Holiday Edition

Hi everyone! Our newest edition of Pillow Talk News went out to our subscribers today, and it’s a special Holiday Edition! We really, really appreciate people signing up, but as we want to provide you with a peek in case you’re still unsure about signing up, we’ve posted a little sampler below. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing—you can sign up by clicking right on that link in the left side bar. You can also have a look at the entire month’s newsletter by clicking here.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the Holiday Edition!

XOXO,
Jade, Malin and Tamsin

PILLOW TALK NEWS

Hello and welcome to the sixth edition of Pillow Talk News—the special holiday bonus edition! We’ve got holiday cheer, news galore, and lots of free reads from Tamsin Flowers, Malin James, and me, Jade A. Waters, your editrix this time around! 

We are so excited as it’s practically Christmas! Fires are blazing, snow is falling, and…look up! Is that mistletoe dangling over your head? Well then pucker on up, snicker doodle, because we’ve got all sorts of holiday kisses for you!

This time of year is all about friends and family, so we want to send a very special wish to everyone to enjoy the holidays and time with loved ones. But while we’ve got you here, the three of us have warmed our spiced egg nog and are cozied up in the back of a sleigh to share all the freshest news with you!

Click HERE to view the rest of this newsletter!

Pillow Talk Secrets: Tell Me Who You Love

Hello all! Welcome to the newest session of Pillow Talk Secrets! I’m Malin, your hostess for this round. Today my lovely colleagues, Jade and Tamsin, and I, are going to talk about influences – namely the books and authors that have most influenced our work. There’s erotica in there, of course, but other genres too, so please read on to find out who has gotten under our skins and into our heads. Fair warning though – when the three of us start talking about books, gushing and wells of enthusiasm are inevitable, so be prepared. And on that note, here we go!

Pillow Talk Secrets

Malin: Hello ladies! How are you doing today?

Jade: Hi you! Just lovely. How about the two of you?

Tamsin: Hello lovelies, I’m just fine thank you!

M: Excellent! We’ve all been so busy, I’m glad we’re getting to chat today. I’ve been looking forward to this topic since we decided on it a few weeks ago. We’re talking about our writerly, and readerly, influences. Shall we jump right in?

J: I love this topic. Let’s dive in!

T: Ah – I have to say, I’ve not been so sure…you both know but the readers might not, that I actually wrote my first published erotic story before I’d really even read any! So, I can’t claim to be well read and I think I’m playing catch up with you two!

J: To be honest, I hadn’t read all that much erotica before I started, either. In fact, I wrote my first piece when I was like 16. I’d only read a handful of stories by then.

M: Same here. While I read erotica, my real influences fall outside of the genre… So, in that case, if we’re all influenced by work outside the genre, let’s start with non-erotic fiction. Without thinking too hard, which books or authors come to mind?

Owen MeaneyT: I just have one go-to writer – John Irving. Well, obviously there are others, which I’ll come on to but for me, he’s a genius. The characters he creates literally stay with you for years, and they’re all totally individual and intriguing. And he’s one of the very few writers that can have you crying with laughter on one page and then sobbing your heart out on the next. His talent is extraordinary and he has a lot in common with another of my favorites, Charles Dickens. They both write long, involved, complicated stories which you can really sink your teeth into.

M: Ahhhh! John Irving is wonderful. Which of his titles is your favorite?

T: The first Irving I read, and still one of my favorites was Son of the Circus. And then of course, A Prayer for Owen Meany – the nativity scene is my favorite all time scene in any book.

J: So, nobody smack me, but I never read John Irving. Or much Dickens, for that matter, so I’m impressed.

T: Oh, missy, get to the library now!!!

M: I’m sorry – my geek is getting activated. I’m going all single-minded! Tamsin, for Dickens, if you could only pick one Dickens ever to have read, which would it be?

T: Dickens? Bleak House. Oh, and Great Expectations!

M: I love Bleak House! I’m going to admit something here – Bleak House is actually one of the books I had in mind when I started conceiving of The Briary, (my WIP). That and a couple of Wilkie Collins novels and Dracula. Always Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

dracula-coverJ: Yes to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Wow, I loved that one. I read it in high school and couldn’t put it down.

T: God yes! And, of course, as a woman who’s written two vampire novels, Stoker is an inspiration. And Collins too!

M: Oh, I love Wilkie Collins! The Woman in White is still a big favorite! Jade what about you? What’s stayed with you?

J: See, I was all caught up in Margaret Atwood and a few too many rounds of Jane Eyre, (I read that about 12 times by age 10). Plus, I tended to read a lot of more contemporary authors – Anne Rice was one, but more Carol Goodman (LOVE that woman), and Anne Bishop on the spec fic side. Oh and V.C. Andrews. But weren’t we all influenced by V.C. Andrews?

T: No, – I read V.C. Andrews but I didn’t really care for her.

M: I read a couple of V.C. Andrews novels – Flowers in the Attic because EVERYONE read Flowers in the Attic, but I wasn’t a huge overall fan either, though I did like the gothic luridness of the books I did read. Going back to Atwood, what was it about her work that stayed with you?

Robber BrideJ: Well, I read Atwood in high school – my senior year English teacher and a couple friends of mine formed a lunch book club around The Robber Bride, since we’d already discussed The Handmaid’s Tale. Robber was more “mainstream” – but I loved the feel of it all. Atwood has this spectacular, haunting voice, and she tackles real issues in a fictional space. I love that ability to focus the reader on a serious question of how we interact under the guise of fiction.

M: I’m in complete agreement with you on everything you just said, particularly her ability to examine cultural questions through fiction. What about Goodman?

J: Goodman was a totally different influence for me – I started with The Lake of Dead Languages, this goth-lit tale centered around a liberal arts college, and I fell in love. Her writing is packed full of beautiful imagery and prose. It’s also a little haunting, now that I think about it. And for bonus points, Goodman started writing spec fic under a pseudonym a few years back – so now she’s writing with that same compelling weight but in an alternate world. Love that.

T: So, Malin, tell us what books kept you reading into the small hours?

M: I was really, really into Anne Rice – Interview with the Vampire, The Witching Hour… Later on though, came down to Angela Carter, particularly her collection, The Bloody Chamber. I still re-read it once a year.

J: Oh, The Witching Hour. Amazing. Can you tell us more about how Rice and Carter influenced you, though?

Bloody ChamberM: Anne Rice was pivotal because I had never read anything that sexually charged that had so little sex in it. I’m thinking of Interview here, and later The Vampire Lestat. There was so much latent sexuality in those books, but the effect was subtle. It got right under my skin. Plus, there were a lot a implied taboos – homosexuality, vampiric incest, (with Claudia and later Lestat and his mother) – I’ve always been drawn to characters and stories that dance along the edges of those themes. For Carter, it was her fierceness and sexual frankness. The stories in the The Bloody Chamber are unapologetic and powerful, literary, but again, intensely sexual. I think I was always looking for sexuality, especially in books that, on the surface, had little to do with sex.

T: Can I just get a bit trashy and throw in Jacqueline Suzanne? Reading Valley of the Dolls under the covers was pivotal!

M: Yes, I think Valley of the Dolls was important in a lot of ways. Plus, deliciously trashy. Actually speaking of trashy, are there any sort of guilty pleasures in your influences, (outside the fabulous Ms. Suzanne?)

J: Yes! I loved Erica Spindler for a long time, and still pick up a book by her occasionally. She writes those NY Times Bestsellers in which a female detective or the like falls for a man who happens to be the serial killer she’s investigating. Drama! My utter fave was Shocking Pink.

M: I’ve never read any Erica Spindler. I’ll have to check it out.

T: Me neither!  I have to admit to loving anything by Carl Hiaasen, as well. Because of him, I now have a desperate urge to visit the parts of Florida most holidays don’t reach!

M: I’m in the Carl Hiaasen camp too, Tamsin. He’s so clever. For me, trashy pretty much came down to… oh, god, I’m kind of embarrassed.. Harlequin Historicals. It’s just true. It was the trashy stuff I could get my hands on at 16 and it taught me a lot. Ahem.

J: See, for me, I was sneaking in a lot of horror stuff. Stephen King, and the one I loved for such a long time – Christopher Pike. That was my “trashy” until Erica Spindler, though I still read him.

M: Oh, yes. Christopher Pike! I loved Remember Me.

J: So good!

lure-of-dangerous-women2M: Let’s talk more about the erotica writers who have really stayed with us. I know Jade’s got a serious favorite.

J: Well, technically, I have two. Alison Tyler (but I think we all love Ms. Tyler) and one who is fairly quiet on the scene but so fucking brilliant – Shanna Germain. She’s just…wow. So incredibly literary and lovely with the erotica she writes.

M: I’m cherry picking my way through The Lure of Dangerous Women at your recommendation Jade. It really is incredible. “Trill” is phenomenal. How has her work influenced your writing?

J: Yes, that. Oh my god. She took a real risk with that one and it was perfect, but the whole collection is splendid, really. For me it’s all about the weight thing – there’s a depth and complexity to her writing; she makes you think. The characters aren’t just sweet people having sex – they’ve got a density, with real pasts and issues that are clear beyond the pages. One of the things I love about her is that if you removed the sex, you’d still have an amazing tale and vivid characterization. “To Be In Clover” is one of hers that blows my mind – it’s in one of the Best Erotic Romance installments, and it’s this sweet tale about a man being completely taken with a woman from their youth into their older age, but it’s got all this memory and imagery built in. I’m a sucker for imagery, I guess. And gorgeous prose.

M: I think our favorites are tonally quite similar. Remittance Girl for me is really pivotal. The first story of hers I read was “Pleasure’s Apprentice.” It was in a Best Women’s but you can find it on her site now. It literally cracked open what was possible in the genre for me. It was also the first story I’d ever read featuring D/s. I still remember the sense of control that ran through the whole story. To say it made an impression is an understatement.

J: Oh yeah. Her words are so powerful. She gets to the grit, I think. What is it about her that draws you in?

M: I think she has the same sort of appeal for me that Angela Carter does. She has a fierce, unflinching approach to her characters and sexual dynamics, but she executes everything with a fine, considered hand. Her stories are full of humanity – sometimes beautiful, sometimes profane. There’s a balance in her work that I really love and hope one day to develop myself. Tamsin, who do you love?

Venus in FursT: Anais Nin, Pauline Reage, Nabakov (well, Lolita is practically erotica) and Sacher-Masoch. Yes, God, I love Venus in Furs. That book simply transports me!

J: Oh my word, where was my head? Yes to Anais and Pauline!

M: I’m an idiot! Of course, Anais! I read the first volume of her diary four times in college! And Venus in Furs… soooo good.

J: I think we’re just so in love with everyone right now, it’s slipping our minds.

M: Tamsin, how did they influence you and your work?

T: Actually, that’s a tough one to answer, because I couldn’t begin to hope to write like any of them. So their influence is not so much stylistic as in terms of – and this must hold true of all writers – when you read something you really love, something that moves you and stays with you, it inspires in you the great desire to write and create something of your own.

M: Yes, I understand that. It makes you want to find and develop your own voice, and write with as much strength as you can…. God. I was just scanning this conversation and between the three of us, we cover A LOT of ground – both on the mainstream side and on the erotica side.

J: Definitely. There are so many amazing authors out there!

M: There really are. On that note, I’d like to invite our lovely readers to tell us some of their favorites in the comments below. Who do you love, both in erotica, as well as in other genres? Who are we missing? Tell us! We want to know!

J: My curiosity is piqued! Yes, readers, we’d love to know. Tell us more great authors to read – and thanks for joining us as we talked about our faves!

T: I know when we see the suggestions, we’ll be like *face-palm* – how did we forget that one?!? There are just too many totally brilliant books out there.

M: Too many for one lifetime, but I still love knowing they’re out there! Thanks so much for joining us again for another conversation! A new edition of our newsletter is in the works and should be out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we hope you’re cuddling into November with coffee, tea, wine, gin or whatever you happen to have on hand, and a lovely book of your own.

XOXO,

Malin, Tamsin and Jade

PS – If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter you can take a peek at the last one or sign up here!

 

 

Pillow Talk News: October Edition

Hello all! Last week, the latest edition of Pillow Talk News went out to all of our lovely subscribers. We really, really appreciate that people are signing up, but we also realize that it’s sort of a hard thing to ask people to sign up for something they’ve never seen. So, here is the October edition of our newsletter so that anyone can take a peek! If you like what you see, please consider subscribing  – you can sign up by clicking right on that link in the left side bar. You can also have a look at the whole thing by clicking here.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the bite-sized treat! Happy Halloween!

Jade, Malin and Tamsin

xoxox

PILLOW TALK NEWS

Hello and welcome to the fifth issue of Pillow Talk News – your cutting edge news source for information and updates on Tamsin Flowers, Jade A. Waters and me, Malin James, your editrix this time around!

It’s nearly Halloween and we’ve been as busy as succubi at a sleep study. Between the book tour for The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, guest posts, blog tours and the Pillow Talk Erotic Poetry Challenge, (which went quite well, we must say!), it’s been go-go-go.

Now, with the whirlwind that was September behind us, we’ve been settling in with projects, work-in-progress and a veritable witch’s brew of goodies that will soon be coming your way. Don’t be fooled, though – we’ve always got time for one more trick…er, treat, including an upcoming release. But before I get too far ahead of myself, read on to find out a bit more about what we’ve each been up to.

Click HERE to see the rest!