Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I gladly left the heat of NJ for the 57 degrees of a San Francisco ‘summer’. Touching down at S.F.O. and whisked right to the hotel on Van Ness I wasn’t in my room more than an hour before jumping down to meet my buds, peers and possible business acquaintances at this year’s Cybernet Expo, 2010.
My second year attending this conference for those of us who write, market, monetize or generally work in the adult industry, literally the first person I ran into was the always smiling, oh-great-scribe M. Christian and we exchanged two hugs (I haven’t seen the guy in a year). I grabbed my badge (though I didn’t really need “no stinking badges”, since I was working the convention this year) and I glad-handed Connor Young, President of Ynot.
This morning of our first day there was a training session on Effective Adult Website Design, another on Worpress then Jay Kopita (Ynot V.P.), put me to work making sure everyone had a badge for our first day’s lunch buffet, paid for by eMerchantPay. The ever wonderful Oceania from Radiodentata.com even made me a plate that I ate at my post![MORE]
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Logical-Lust Publications Releases "Best S & M Erotica Vol. 3" edited by M. Christian
Logical-Lust Publications, UK publisher of erotica and erotic romance fiction, announces the release of its latest anthology "Best S & M Erotica Vol. 3: Still More Extreme Stories of Still More Extreme Sex" edited by M. Christian. In these pages you'll find light stories, dark stories, powerful stories, subtle stories, fierce stories, and even romantic stories—but all of them dealing with the basic idea of consensually giving up, or taking, sexual power and control. Featured contributors are PM White, Sharon Wachsler, Kane, Jean Roberta, Jason Rubis, Shanna Germain, Cecilia Tan, Xan West, Craig J. Sorensen, Ralph Greco, Jr., Theda Hudson, Jerry Rosen, Jan Vander Laenen, Mykola Dementiuk, Jude Mason, Billierosie, and Oatmeal Girl
Logical-Lust publisher Jim Brown said, “After the great success of volumes 1 & 2 of the Best S & M series, we were proud, and excited, to be the publisher of the latest volume. Best S & M Erotica Vol. 3 continues our tradition in publishing erotic anthologies that bring together some of the most talented authors and editors of erotic fiction. M. Christian has compiled a sharp collection blending many aspects of the lifestyle sure to impress both the curious and the connoisseur.”
"Best S & M Erotica Vol. 3: Still More Extreme Stories of Still More Extreme Sex" is available in both print and ebook formats at Logical-Lust.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other fine online retailers.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
And here's extra thanks out to the other fun folks I met there. Alas, there are far too many to name here but it really was a kick and a half ... can't wait for next year.
I tell ya, it means a LOT to me when people are excited about being in the pages of the anthologies I edit, and it's an extra-special treat when they go out of their way to help out the book and the other writers in it. My pal, and a great writer, Xan West, has gone above and beyond and has started a tweet feed for the contribs. Now I just have to get on twitter (sigh)
- and here's something equally special: this Thursday, July 15th, the the great folks at Cyber Launch Party will be featuring the release of Best S/M Erotica 3. So swing by and take a look - and be sure to check out the comments as I've asked all the fantastic authors in the anthology to come in and chat about the book, their experiences, and everything betwixt and between.
Characters are the heart and soul of any fiction, erotic or otherwise. You can have a great plot, vivid descriptions, and nuances up the wazzo, but if your characters act like sock puppets – spouting endless clichés, doing stupid things for stupid reasons, and in general acting nothing like real people – the reader’s disbelief is not suspended and the story doesn’t work.
So how do you breathe life into a character? In my experience as an editor, I can tell you that stiffness instantly shows in a poorly written character. What is stiffness? Well, some of the best examples I can think of aren’t in writing, but in movies or television. You’ve seen it: an actor or actress gives a bad performance, being stilled or monotone with no inflection. On the page, that shows up when a character thinks, does, or says something wooden, lifeless, or obviously forced to get the author’s point across.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Do you know how to make a character live on the page? It’s kind of scary, which is why I suppose a lot of writers don’t do it, and it shows in their work. Are you ready? Are you REALLY ready? Honestly? Okay, here goes: look inward, my child.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
If you're going to dream, the old saying goes, then you might as well dream big. But Friedrich Wilhelm I did more than dream because, as another expression says all too well: It's good to be the King.
Friedrich, born in 1688, was just one in a series of notable Prussian leaders. Friedrich, though, unlike his father, Frederick I -- who achieved much during his reign, including wearing the crown for the first time, or Friedrich's son -- Frederick II, who was a reformer and fervent supporter of reason and the arts – Friedrich, to put it mildly, loved a man in uniform … in a secularly big way.
Friedrich, you see, had this thing about the military. Oh, sure, he did, during his reign, improve his then-tiny country's defenses, and carefully – almost pathologically – controlled Prussia's economy to the point when he finally passed away he left behind an awesome surplus. But Friedrich's military obsession wasn't really about keeping his people safe, or even about acquiring new territories: Friedrich liked – really liked -- a grand spit and polish display.
How big? How grand? Well, Friedrich's all-consuming passion was for his grenadiers, a Regiment hand-picked not for their skill in battle, their heroic abilities, but for being tall.
In a time when the average height was probably around five foot something, the grenadiers – which quickly became known by the Prussians as the "Lange Kerls" (Big Guys) – began at six feet and went up up from there.
The Big Guys – and some of them were very big, coming in around seven feet – were the king's all-consuming passion, to the point where it became common for foreign dignitaries to use 'gifts' of very tall men to curry favor with Friedrich. But even these presents, many of them with little say in the matter, weren't enough to satisfy Friedrich's obsession: his agents, promised huge rewards, were dispatched to the far corners of Europe to get, by any means necessary, the tallest people they could find.
To say these agents were zealous would be an understatement: there are tales of them kidnapping farmers from their fields, innkeepers from their taverns, an Irish priest in the middle of a sermon, and they even had the audacity to try to grab a Austrian diplomat. There's even the story of one poor soul who was snatched off the streets of some foreign city and shipped back to Prussia, but who arrived stiff and cold because the agents forgot to punch air-holes in the crate.
Friedrich was so determined to fill the ranks of his grenadiers he even began his own program of selective breeding, offering tall women and men rewards to produce even taller children – and heaven help you if you knew someone nice and tall and didn't tell the king about it.
Oh, how the king loved his grenadiers: he would lovingly paint their portraits from memory, or order them to march for hours and hours around his palace courtyard just so he relish in their military tallness, and, if the king was feeling under the weather, he would even have them thunderously circle his bed until he got better. As he told the French ambassador: "The most beautiful girl or woman in the world would be a matter of indifference to me, but tall soldiers -- they are my weakness."
Yes, it was very good to be the king – but, alas, it was not so grand to be one of his grenadiers. Even though Friedrich doted over them, many of his giants were in agony from diseases related to their gigantism, were painfully depressed after finding themselves in a unfamiliar land and unable to speak a word of German, or who -- again as a tragic effect of their great height – were mentally the age of a young child. Desertions were common, but since the giants were, well, 'gigantic' they were quickly caught and subsequently, and brutally, punished. Some, sadly, made the ultimate escape – but even suicides didn't dissuade the king from begging, borrowing, or out-and-out stealing tall men for his grenadiers. At its (excuse me) 'height' the flamboyant regiment numbered over 3,000 men.
Not surprising, considering how incredibly infatuated Friedrich was with them, the grenadiers were never sent into battle.
Eventually, though, the king died, and with his death the kingdom, and Friedrich's beloved Potsdam Grenadiers, were passed down to his son, Frederick II. But while his father adored brass fittings, a good uniform, and everything else stern and military, the son – having been raised by a stern and military father -- absolutely did not. Ironically, though, Frederick II did attack neighboring Austria, putting into practice some of his father's teachings. He also, after a time, put into actual combat what few of Friedrich's grenadiers remained.
There was one problem, though. Because they were considerably taller – very considerably taller – than their fellow soldiers, these surviving grenadiers didn't survive very long: they were too much of a perfect targets.
Absolutely, if you’re going to dream you should dream big. But if you're lucky -- and you're a king -- you don't have to settle for only dreams: you too, like Friedrich, can have your own marching, thundering fantasy brought to remarkably, and legendarily, tall life.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Welcome to Best S/M Erotica Vol 3: Still More Extreme Stories of Still More Extreme Sex!
In these pages you'll find light stories, dark stories, powerful stories, subtle stories, fierce stories, and even romantic stories – but all of them dealing with the basic idea of consensually giving up, or taking, sexual power and control.
If you've only been interested in what S/M is and can be, or if you’re an old hand to the scene, these stories will open doors to unexplored sexual and sensual worlds, expand your erotic horizons to new and maybe even challenging new ways of looking at, and experiencing, sex play.
Featuring Stories By:
Craig J. Sorensen
Ralph Greco, Jr.
Jan Vander Laenen
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
What's even better is that Jean Marie has asked, and I've accepted, to be an Associate Publisher for her and Renaissance E-Books, Sizzler Editions, and PageTurner Books (her other imprints).
Here's the official announcement and thanks again Jean Marie!
As ebook formats, reading devices, and sales, along with the number of authors whose work we publish, have increased significantly over the past two years so has my workload. With the launching of four new ebook reading devices this year, and various time spent interfacing with Sony, Kindle, B&N, etc., in the Spring I found myself falling almost two months behind on my email, while working quite late every night. It was clear something had to be done.
Therefore we have hired M. Christian to work part time to begin with as an Associate Publisher to help take some of the work load off me. He has already begun uploading our books to Fictionwise, from whence they downstream to Barnes and Noble, and is learning how to use a new software we have just acquired that converts an rtf file into six major formats (doing in about ten minutes what it once took me an hour to do in the Paleolithic of ebook publishing). He will also be responsible for mailing out review requests for our PageTurner ebooks, and other aspects of PageTurner promotion and publicity.
M. Christian, or "Chris" as he is known to friends, has the ideal background for becoming a publisher for Renaissance E-Books: Like myself, he is a big science fiction and mystery geek, and knows the classic and contemporary authors as well as I do, and has written more of both than I have. We published the first collection of his sf/f/h this spring. His editorial credentials in erotica are equally strong. An acquisitions consultant for the late Erotica Book Club, he has published over three hundred stories in the field, and edited many anthologies. And he is solidly grounded in mainstream publishing as well, having worked for an independent print business publisher.