Submission, Taken to the Extreme

It should not surprise readers of any of my titles to hear that I find submission erotic. Most of my books are told from the point of view of submissive characters; most of the character arcs follow a journey toward accepting, in one way or another, a more submissive role than the character began with.

Not a lot of heroes or heroines walk out of A. Vivian Vane stories feeling empowered, I guess is what I’m saying here.

My “erotic dystopias” are where I take this to its logical extreme: submission not just as a personal kink but as a government-sponsored, tax-subsidized cultural value. (Usually, because I try to write worlds that feel familiar to a modern reader, with a hefty hint of corrupt corporate influence behind it all.)

Remedial-ProgrammingMy newest title, Remedial Programming, (which you can preorder on Amazon for $2.99 right now, saving 40% on the final cover price) has a whole generation of humans brought up relatively mindless and obedient, and while the story focuses on one earmarked for specific sexual training, it’s clear throughout that the non-sexualized “zeroes,” as they’re called, aren’t much better off. Doing what you’re told and enjoying it are very, very important in the world of Remedial Programming.

There’s disagreement as to the best way to get humans to go along meekly, of course, and that provides much of the plot, but the sexual themes are solidly submissive. I like to think of it as a fantasy escape for people who are really tired of making decisions.

Because that’s all we’re really talking about, right? It’s the freedom from responsibility, including responsibility for one’s own body and sexuality. A lot of people find that freedom very, very arousing. Maybe they can’t help wondering what life would be like if the submissive many all acted that way and let the dominant few run the world.

It’s not everyone’s fantasy. But it’s certainly some people’s. I hope they get a chance to check out Remedial Programming (and its more breeding-focused cousin, SLUT for the State).

Because if submission is sexy, why wouldn’t we take it to a culturally-permeating extreme? Only in our fantasies, of course…

~

“Remedial Programming” is available on preorder for $2.99, with delivery Nov. 28. Or, if that’s not your cup of tea, try a frolicsome steampunk lesbian adventure full of thoroughly consenting cunnilingus in “Princess Serena and the Captives of Castle Cagebird.” And as always, visit the bookshelf at A. Vivian Vane Talks Dirty for the full catalog, or join the A. Vivian Vane mailing list for all the latest releases, special offers, and more. 

Que Sera Sera…

…whatever will be, will be.

That song is stuck in my head. It’s kind of fitting though, because today is my last post on this awesome website.

I have some personal issues that will be taking up quite a bit of my time, plus the holidays are swiftly coming as well, and since writing is now my full time job, it is FaceBook, blogs and forums which I need to cut.

Plus, I just suck at this blogging stuff.

One of the reasons I joined, besides loving the site and wanting to be a part of it, was that I knew it gave me a deadline. Post twice a week, come hell or high water. I figured that would help me stay on top of it, but man, I just really suck at it. I haven’t missed a single post, but it has become a strain instead of a joy.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for having me, for reading me, for putting up with me, lol.

Normally this is where I’d leave you with a freebie or something, but I have nothing running free until Friday, so alas, I can’t even gift you with free smut upon my exit.

I wanted to say good bye with some awesome, kick ass, inspirational post, but… did I mention I suck at this?

My heart is heavy, for many reasons. Please, pray for me if you are a praying sort, and keep me in your thoughts if you are not.

Perverted Minds

Is there money in just sappy romance stories? Y’know, love stories that aren’t just about whipping one of ‘em or some other kink?

That’s a question I asked my wife and partner recently.

It’s funny how wrapped up in the world of erotica and all its kinks that I found myself asking that question.

I write stories, not kinks generally. So when Michelle Keep wants to harness my WRITING POWERS for the sake of erotica, she makes me dig through my endless reams of story ideas to find one that’ll fit or already contains a certain kink. Readers wanna read their kink, what gets them going, and they don’t care how good the story is if it’s gonna throw a kink at them that they’re not into.

This is what she’s been trying to hammer into my brain for years now.

Me? I just want to follow an interesting story. That just so happens to be arousing. Maybe. I’m good either way on that last point. I’ve written plenty of stuff with no intent to arouse after all! And plenty of stuff where arousal was incidental, like the horror novel we wrote, Theodora’s Descent.

So I’m a storyteller, which means I’m particularly bad at writing a series of erotic shorts that just stick to the same kink. Or at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

bigstock-Portrait-of-loving-sensuality--41492659Next up on my horizons: writing some heart wrenching romance about two people in love and neither of them is the dom and neither of them is the sub and it’s highly unlikely anyone is whipped or treated badly by the other.

It’s radical I know!

Red-headed Stepchildren

I had planned something quite different, but you’ve all heard the words of Robbie Burns, no doubt. (“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.”)

I read with some interest the post previous to mine, and heartily compliment Selena Kitt on her enterprise and intention to bring forth a place to sell our erotica.

See, another forum has lately proven a less than welcoming place for writers of erotica. Long story short: the owner of the forum is monetizing his site by allowing Google Adwords to place their ads upon it. Google Adwords, according to the owner, does not allow its ads to be placed on pages where erotic content is present or where links to erotica are present. So, any author with risqué covers in their signatures or in their posts must either delete them or change them to something more “family-friendly”, and all links to even the books’ product pages on Amazon (or elsewhere) must be deleted.

The site is touted as a friendly place for readers and authors … well, all authors except us. We’re left feeling like bastards at a family reunion: we have every right to be there, we belong there, but no one seems to want us present, as reminders that some of the ‘family’ is of a lower class than the rest.

It’s kinda hard seeing that authors of stories involving murder & mayhem, blood & guts, horror and slaughter, are welcome to advertise their books through links to their books’ product pages, to post their covers (though excessively violent ones are discouraged), to discuss their arts freely, while we, the red-headed stepchildren, are not.

Were I in the owner’s position, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t sell my soul for the ad revenue. But I don’t know his situation; perhaps he finds it necessary. And who can argue with necessity? Perhaps, also, he’s glad of the opportunity to ‘clean up’ his site of the disgraceful graffiti we’ve deigned to write on his walls. I don’t know; he may equally well be sorrowful that he’s been forced into this stance.

The thing is: It’s his site. He has every right to make these choices, whatever his reasons. However, it kinda hurts on this end. Thus, again I applaud Selena’s endeavour: making a home for books that are rejected elsewhere due to subject matter; making a friendly place for the authors thereof. Why not take a look, and pass the word around.

www.excitica.com

Next post I’ll try to be all happy and touchy-feely again.

Till then, live well

Delta (who also writes as Echo Chambers)

* * * * *

Echo Chambers’ books

Delta’s Books

Excitica – New Erotica/Romance Storefront – Selena Kitt

EXCITICA

exciticalogo

www.excitica.com

exciticascreenshotNOV2014

After a rocky start in March of 2014, we’ve now opened our doors again with a fully functioning web site that will become THE home for erotica and erotic romance!

EXCITICA is run by Selena Kitt (that’s me!) New York Times bestselling and award winning author of erotica and erotic romance fiction with over one million authored books sold. She has run her own publishing company at eXcessica for six years and has been one of the most vocal authors against the corporate censorship of erotica. She has developed eXcitica to create a home for erotic works of all flavors.

EXCITICA like the rest of the distributors, still doesn’t allow underage sex, bestiality (although shifters are fine, even sex in shifter form!) or necrophilia (vampires excepted!) but we do allow many of the things the other distributors don’t, like incest, pseudoincest and nonconsent.

What does EXCITICA do for erotica and erotic romance authors?

First and foremost, we give you 60% of your profits! W00T! Cha-Ching! Secondly, with Selena Kitt’s brand and name behind it, EXCITICA will soon be known far and wide as the place to go for HOT reading!

Small Publishers: You are welcome! We have room for your entire catalog and the uploading interface is simple!

Taboo writers: EXCITICA is home for you! EXCITICA will be known among readers as the place to go for the books they can’t find anywhere else. Like yours!

Erotica writers: Even if you publish “just vanilla” erotica (and we all know that’s still HOT!) EXCITICA will be your home too! Readers who read taboo don’t JUST read taboo erotica and your books will be there to discover when they want something a little bit different!

Erotic/Romance writers: No one can live on taboo alone – and if you are an author paying attention to the market, you know that dark erotica readers don’t just read taboo and dark erotica – they read romance too. A lot of it! And they’re going to like yours! And if you write dark erotic romance? (And we all know how hot that genre is right now!) You’ve found your real home with EXCITICA!

What does EXCITICA do for readers?

One of the biggest problems with erotica at the big distributors is categorization. Some have none at all. Amazon, the largest distributor of ebooks, added a few token categories to erotica – two years after Fifty Shades of Grey was first published! It’s hard to find the erotica you want on the big distributors (especially since places like Amazon often go out of their way to actually hide it from you, using the ADULT filter on certain titles!) and it’s even harder if you’re looking for anything out of the ordinary or taboo.

That’s one of the things EXCITICA has strived to do – categorize things for readers (and writers) so that every fetish, every niche, has a place and can be found. The better a writer categorizes their work, the easier time a reader will have of finding it. From incest to pseudo incest, to cuckold to dubcon, to gangbang, pregnant, or creatures, EXCITICA has categorized it ALL! And if you write it or read it and you don’t see it? Contact us, we’ll add it!

Am I worried about EXCITICA being censored or shut down?

Only mildly. Of course, writing in the genre has its risks. I think we all know that, and it’s been proven over and over as the corporate jackboot of censorship has come down harder and harder on our necks.

But my goal in creating EXCITICA was to give all erotica, in all its different flavors, a real home. A SAFE home. A place where almost everything was welcome, and readers nor writers would feel ashamed about it. To do that, I had to be sure that we wouldn’t go through any more drama like we did during the Paypal fiasco.

But the good news is that, since Visa clarified its position about paying for the WRITTEN WORD when it comes to erotica (and Paypal reversed its decision not to pay for “certain” type of fiction) Paypal has nothing to fear, and neither do we. EXCITICA will accept Paypal – and Paypal has publicly stated they are fine paying for any and all erotica that doesn’t have nudity inside the ebook.

That means EXCITICA does have a few tiny rules:

  • We do not publish picture books of erotica. Graphic novels and comics are welcome, but photographic stories inside ebooks are not.
  • We do not publish bestiality (shapeshifters are fine) necrophilia (unless you count vampires) or underage sex.
  • No sexually active characters under the age of 18. References to past relationships and sex before the age of 18 is fine, but no detailed sexual content with characters under the age of consent in the U.S, is allowed. We require that your work have an legal age disclaimer stating that all characters are above the age of 18.

What do I need to do to get my book on EXCITICA?

Sign up HERE for a SELLER ACCOUNT!

You should be approved right away and you can start uploading your books!

NOTE: We are in a soft launch right now – we’re still working out a few bugs here and there, taking feedback from authors and readers alike. We won’t fully launch (with big time advertising, contests and all that exciting stuff!) until the beginning of the new year. But we DO want to hear from you, so please contact us if you have any feedback for us!

And we would LOVE it if you’d check out all our social media profiles, “like” us and spread the word! And if you want to keep up with what we’re doing?

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST!

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOOGLE PLUS

PINTEREST

Selena Kitt
Erotic Fiction You Won’t Forget
www.selenakitt.com

I want the fairy tale

After a long day cleaning house, doing crafts and writing I decided to chill and watch some television.  As I flipped through the channels I came across one of my favorite movies of all time ‘Pretty Woman’.  Now I’ve seen this movie probably a few hundred times, yet I found myself wanting to watch it again.

As I watched Vivian and Edward’s story evolve I began to analyze their story and why exactly I love it so much.  Now I’m a huge fan of the underdog and I love a good story that’s funny and romantic. This story is both those things and a bit more.  Lessons such as ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover’ and ‘drugs drag you down’ are there which are subtle and add depth to the story.

Still there’s something more.  Then Vivian spoke the line that made me realize exactly why I love this story.  ‘I want the fairy tale.’

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m good with my life.  I have a loving husband, great kids, a good job (not counting the writing gig) and a wonderful house.  We struggle a bit, but over all I have a good life that I wouldn’t change for anything.

When I say I want the fairy tale, I’m referring to my entertainment.  Whether it be in the pages of a story or on the big screen, I want to see the heroin swept off her feet by the hero.  If they have sex and it’s hot, so be it.  While some will say that how hot the sex is in the story is the deciding factor in whether a story is good or not, I disagree.  For me it’s about the journey that gets the hero and heroin into bed.  When I sit down and read a story I want to feel the passion and love shared by the characters and I want to pretend for at least a little while, that fairy tales to come true.

Speaking of fairy tales.  My BBW story Breaking Boundaries will be included in an amazing box set of titles from some fantastic authors that will be on sale tomorrow.  It’s an amazing deal so be sure to pick it up ASAP.

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The Wonder of the World

This is going to be a bit abstract, but I wanted to get it all down, because sometimes thinking of these things and writing them down really helps me maintain a healthy perspective on life, and a fuller appreciation of the world.

I’ve created a character named Alicia. She’s a bit of a ditz in public, and really slutty, but she’s also very into higher-plane-of-thinking stuff.

Some of this is inspired by those who push the mind-opening potential of drugs, particularly hallucinogens, as a way of truly experiencing the world. There’s been a link between spirituality and drug use for thousands upon thousands of years, and probably longer.

I’ve never done drugs, because I’m a fuddy-duddy, but I can understand that appeal of wonder, of openness, of experiencing the world from an entirely different angle and perspective.

So Alicia, she likes drugs. She likes opening her mind to new experiences, to trying new things, and experimenting.

And sometimes, when she looks around, she feels herself become very small, and the world is very large. This isn’t something I need drugs to feel. Sometimes, reading Carl Sagan, I get these glimpses of monumental insignificance of our failures, of our successes, and I feel as though in those moments, I’m free to actually enjoy life.

But they’re seconds, blips, before the worries of reality and daily life and depression and anxiety take hold of me and put me in my place.

Still, I find those little rare moments to be fascinating to me. The summer I spent reading Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World was probably one of the most mind opening experiences of my life. I look at the world differently now. Not as something huge and scary that wants to crush me, but as something that just is. Something that will continue to exist, long after I’m gone. Something that would continue to exist if I were never here. Something that existed long before I was born.

I’m not that important, and that is such a relief to me. The pressure I put on myself is monumental.

I can not watch this snippet without feeling such a sense of childish, optimistic wonder.

This is what I keep hoping to capture in Alicia. This sense of wonder, this knowledge that the world is something that is.

The odds of you being alive, the odds of you living, are so phenomenally small. Your life is so phenomenally short. Everything we do has a time limit on it before we are forgotten to the ages.

And that’s so absolutely freeing. We’re free to break those bindings, to look at our life and know that it isn’t what we want to spend those short moments on. We’re free to make the decisions we think are better, rather than safer, because there isn’t a lot of time.

We can accept the mistakes we make, because there isn’t a lot of time.

We’re all grappling with this knowledge. This desire to make our world smaller, more in our control. We stress and we worry and we fret, but in the end, we’re all stardust. We waste our lives feeling not good enough, as if we haven’t taken enough risks, gotten enough rewards, done the things we want to do. We hurt others, and we hurt ourselves, because this world is terrifying and how meaningless we are can be so scary, and so freeing.

So writing Alicia is my constant reminder of the wonder of this world, of how infinitesimally small our chances of existence are, and how grateful we have to remain for this world. For our chance to make a positive mark on it, to add some beauty and hope to an otherwise short existence.

Whenever I feel like my writing isn’t going anywhere, when I’m unhappy with a negative review, when I feel so out of control I could scream, I have to remember this. I have to know that I have no control, and to just let those fears wash away into the abyss, forgotten.

On writing and self-doubt

Do you ever suffer self-doubt as a writer? I do. I have a feeling that this is going to be a difficult post to write, not least because a little way in I’m going to be completely honest about a not particularly attractive facet of my character. As the title makes clear, I’m going to be tackling the subject of writing and self-doubt—and yes, self-doubt is already creeping in as I type this first paragraph.

I believe that every writer on the planet is plagued with self-doubt about their writing. Or maybe there’s a tiny fraction of a percent that have no self-doubt whatsoever, but I would question whether anyone that is at all times supremely confident of the worth of their words is actually a genuine writer at all. So, yes, we all suffer self-doubt and some of us are quite open about it, possibly more so than necessary, while others hide it behind a façade of confidence and bluster.5834034_s

Self-doubt and writing have always gone hand-in-hand. Sylvia Plath said, “The
worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” (I’ll explain why I don’t necessarily agree with her in this later.) This is what William Goldman had to say about it in Adventures in the Screen Trade: “Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.”

However, prior to the internet, perhaps writers were a little easier on themselves. Yes, they would write in solitude, doubting every word, but when they submitted their manuscript and it was accepted for publication, self-doubt could conveniently evaporate. They had proved themselves.

Now things are different. Most writers have to do their own marketing, out on the Internet, across the social platforms, day after day. And why this feeds writerly self-doubt is perfectly obvious. Comparison. As I go about my daily business of posting and tweeting, sharing things on Facebook, adding images to Pinterest and Tumblr, I can hardly help but compare myself on an ongoing basis to other writers. There are thousands of them, all working away to achieve the same goals as I am—connecting with our readers and selling books.

Naturally, there’s always someone—in fact, a lot of someones—doing it better than me and achieving more. Making it onto the bestsellers list. Being nominated for and winning awards. Signing a new multi-book contract. Winning numerous plaudits and legions of fans. While I sit and wait to hear from the next publisher on my list and count my retweets on the fingers of one hand.

And now we come to the bit I alluded to at the beginning of this post. Thing is, it’s even worse, the closer you are to a writer who’s winning the game. Gore Vidal famously said, “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.” I can admit to feeling that. And I really hate myself for it—but it’s entirely true.

KissyFaceTalkingDirtyLast week was a superb week for my two Pillow Talk colleagues, Malin James and Jade A Waters. Malin wrote a searing and brilliant post about women, sexuality and feminine relations on her blog, Erotica, Sex, Culture. If you haven’t read it yet, I would urge you to go and read it. It was widely disseminated and commented on, and I was thrilled for her because I absolutely believe she’s one of the best writers, anywhere, in this field today. But deep inside, a tiny voice whispered to me, “Why don’t I ever get a reaction like that to anything I write?” My own post that week, on the problems of repeatedly writing descriptions of orgasm, barely raised a comment, apart from one reader who complemented the legs on my avi and asked me to wrap them around his head. A couple of days later, Jade announced on her blog that she’s been signed by an agent. I couldn’t be more excited for her and I’ve read the manuscript that got signed—it’s superb and when it comes out, because it will be snapped up superfast by a big publisher, I’ll be first in line urging you all to buy it and read it. So why was that little voice inside me saying, “Why don’t you have an agent?” Logically, because I haven’t submitted anything to an agent—but when you’re racked with self-doubt, where does logic come into it?

Please don’t get me wrong—I really love these two girls and they know it. And they know that I want nothing but stratospheric success for both of them. And I know they’ll understand that little voice because, I’m sure, they both have similar voices of their own. But it made me feel bad. I felt bad about my own work and (my perceived) lack of success. And it also made me feel bad, because there was something disloyal about harboring such feelings even for a moment.

Self-doubt brought about by professional envy. Not pretty is it? Why not throw in some self-loathing for good measure?

What can I do about it? In the past, I have found one way of easing self-doubt and making myself feel better about my writing. For a while I kept a little notebook and jotted down, each day, my own small successes. For example, when a short story was accepted for an anthology, when I got a good review, when someone tweeted something complementary about me or when I posted a contract back to a publisher. They’re not big things—but they do add up to the story of my success, step by step. However, they’re things so easily forgotten in the onslaught of self-doubt and the tidal wave of other people’s successes being broadcast across the net. So I need to start that little notebook again and remember that, actually, I’m doing okay.

And the other point I want to make, in direct contradiction to the Sylvia Plath quote at the beginning of this article, is that self-doubt is one of the things that spurs me on. I want to succeed. I want to become a better writer. I want to snatch as many of those joyful moments of success as I can. It’s up to me to harness the doubt that threatens to pull me down and actually use it to power my way forward.

It’ll always be there but I need to remember, I can rise above it if I set my mind to it. And so can you.

Rock star romance cover reveal: Let’s Make This Thing Happen by PJ Adams

Backstage Pass (Let's Make This Thing Happen 1) A Hundred Ways to Break Up (Let's Make This Thing Happen 2) Why Does it Taste so Sweet? (Let's Make This Thing Happen 3)

A new rock star romance serial, to be published at weekly intervals during November 2014:
Let’s Make This Thing Happen by PJ Adams.

Available now, part one: Backstage Pass

Tonight on stage, Ray Sandler was all those old fantasies come back to life. Emily Rivers soaked up his every move and she felt alive again for the first time in what felt like years. She never thought he would actually notice her, though.

Emily is a successful woman in the tail end of a failing marriage. Ray is the reformed wild boy of rock, back on stage again for the first time in years. As a teenager Emily had Ray’s posters all over her bedroom wall so when she gets backstage tickets it’s as if her dreams have come true. Actually meeting him is an unexpected highlight of the evening, but that’s as far as it could ever go. They come from such different worlds: what could an international star ever see in a grounded, curvy woman like Emily?

A story of secret romance in the world of the super-rich: an international celebrity and his unlikely BBW love. Steamy and passionate and full of the twists and turns familiar to readers of PJ Adams’ work, including the bestsellers Winner Takes All and Black Widow.

Available for 99c for a few days only, from:

Also available free on Kindle Unlimited!

Where “Romance” Ends and “Erotica” Begins

Romance. Erotica. E-rom. Points along a sliding scale? Discrete entities and ne’er the twain (thrain?) shall meet? Somewhere in between?

You decide, but for my part, I’ve never been much on drawing a clear line. I tend to find romance erotic, and eroticism romantic, which probably accounts for my highly enjoyable and socially dubious love life.

Still and all, Amazon has decided that there are two different genres, romance and erotica, and that ebooks have to belong to one or the other. As soon as you select “erotica,” that’s it — the title is permanently ghettoized, ineligible for any other categories. Romance, on the other hand, can be categorized as such and still also filed under other categories, even once you tag it as “erotic romance.”

Princess-SerenaIt’s a topsy turvy, Lewis Carroll sort of world, and one I mostly hadn’t dipped a conflicted toe into until recently. All my prior works have been firmly in the “erotica” camp (by which I mean “porn,” but Amazon doesn’t offer that as a literary category). It’s only with my most recent title, Princess Serena and the Captives of Castle Cagebird, that I’ve even started dabbling in character match-ups that are sweet and loving in addition to horny and interested in fucking.

I wouldn’t call it “romance,” myself, since the interest on everyone’s part is still whose naughty bits are or are not going to rub against other people’s. But it’s done with a sweet, loving heart, so I guess that makes it romantic.

Or maybe it doesn’t! This is sort of my point here: authors must, at some point make a call between “erotica” and “romance” if they’re selling on Amazon. And that’s silly, because a lot of completely filthy erotica is also romantic, and a lot of romances are heavily, steamily erotic. The twain meet all the time, hip to hip, with lots of bumping and grinding.

Princess Serena just went on sale today, categorized as an “erotic romance,” and I’m genuinely interested to see how that will work out as compared to a “Victorian erotica” like A Noblewoman’s FallThe two are functionally the same genre (“cocks and corsets,” I like to call it, although in the case of Princess Serena it would be more accurate to say “corsets and cunnilingus”), but they ended up filed under different headers on Amazon because of slight differences in how sugary the love scenes got.

At the risk of sounding shameless, you’re going to have to tell me, because I honestly can’t tell for myself: where does the “erotic” part start and the “romance” part end, and which one is Princess Serena and the Captives of Castle Cagebird?

Either way, I hope you like it, because it’s full of lesbians and airships and steampunk silliness, and who doesn’t like those things, really?