Thursday, October 10, 2013

Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker: Writing Coaches and Teachers


Check this out: the fun article I wrote for the new - and wonderful - WriteSex site has just gone up at the equally wonderful Erotica Readers And Writers site.  Here's a tease:


For new writers, the temptation is obvious: after all, if you don’t know something, shouldn’t you seek out a way to learn about it? The question of how to educate yourself as a writer is a necessary and important one, of course, but an often-invisible second question follows: how do you sift through the piles of would-be writing coaches, teachers and other purveyors of advice to find the ones who will lead you toward genuinely better writing? The problem isn’t that there are over-eager teachers galore, but that far too many of them are preaching from ignorance—or just dully quoting what others have already said.

This is particularly true of erotic romance. Now, I have to admit I’ve been more than a bit spoiled by other genres, where you can write about whatever you want without much of a chance—beyond clumsy writing—of getting rejected for not toeing the line, so approaching erotic romance has been a bit more of a challenge. Romance authors, after all, have been told time and time again that there is a very precise, almost exacting, Way of Doing Things … and if you don’t, then bye-bye book deal.

But times have changed, and while a few stubborn publishers still want erotic romantic fiction that follows established formulas, the quantum leap of digital publishing has totally shaken up by-the-numbers approaches to romance writing. Without going too much into it (maybe in another column…), because ebooks are so much easier to produce, publishers can take wonderful risks on new authors and concepts, meaning that they don’t have to wring their hands in fright that the new title they greenlit will go bust and possibly take the whole company with it.

Because of this freedom, erotic romance can be so much more than it ever was: experimental, innovative, unique, challenging, etc. These are no longer the Words of Death when it comes to putting together a book.

One of the great, underlying tasks of teaching—one I love, but with some reverence and an occasional pang of dread—is challenging the boring, formulaic, way that so many talk about writing (which is also to say that a huge part of the reason I love to teach is that it’s a weird form of revenge against all the bad writing teachers I’ve had over the years). There are, however, far too many writing teachers who relentlessly parrot that erotic romance has to follow a strict formula to be successful. They spell out this formula in stomach-cramping detail: what has to happen to each and every character, in each and every chapter, in each and every book.

[MORE]

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

I'm Going To Be At Dark Odyssey: Surrender

(from M.Chrstian's Classes And Appearances)


There's cool then there's cool: I'm very (ahem) 'excited' to be a teacher/participant at the renowned kink fest Dark Odyssey: Surrender here in San Francisco. Stay tuned for what I'm teaching and on what day but in the meantime check out their wonderful site.

On a side note I'm worked with a lot of events but the folks at Dark Odyssey are a real delight to work with! Thanks!
Bridging Kink, Sex and Spirit

Nearly a thousand people came out for Dark Odyssey's West Coast debut last November, and now we are thrilled to announce the return of DO: Surrender to the City by the Bay for 2013! Come learn, explore, and play in a no holds barred, sexually charged atmosphere. Interactive workshops fill your days, while at night you'll explore dark dungeons, powerful rituals, passionate scenes, and mind-blowing ecstasy all under one roof in a proven scene friendly hotel in downtown San Francisco.

Join us as we combine sexuality, spirituality, education and play in an immersive environment where fantasy becomes reality. We are omnisexual - straight, gay, bi, queer, trans, and genderqueer. We are leatherfolk, kinksters, swingers, cross dressers, sex educators, Tantra practitioners, Pagans, and perverts. We are vanilla and kinky, beginners and veterans, singles, couples, triads, and more.

Dark Odyssey: Surrender features:
  • Over 40 local & national educators, authors & activists
  • 80+ unique & dynamic workshops & special events
  • Classes on BDSM, polyamory, sex, tantra & spirituality
  • 20,000 sq ft of fully equipped dungeons
  • Sex-O-Rama play space
  • Parties, events & open play until 3:30am
  • Little Miss Littles SF contest
  • Animal show & agility course
  • Meet & greets, speed dating and sensual exploration events
  • Queer & gender queer mixer
  • Sacred sexuality rituals
  • Hook suspension experiences
  • Burlesque, drag & kinky performances from local & national talents
  • Downtown San Francisco kink friendly hotel
Join us on an adventure where we play, discover, and learn to achieve more ecstatic states of love, awareness, and personal sexuality. Dark Odyssey Surrender will immerse you in an atmosphere of sexual energy and experimentation that will add excitement and passion to your relationships and create deeper levels of connection between you and your partners.

For notices about future events — just ask to be added to our mailing list!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I'm Going To Be At Convolution

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)


This is going to be a blast: I'm going to be attending - and on various panels, etc - at the upcoming Convolution event here in the Bay Area.  Click here for more info ... and when I get my schedule I'll post it here, of course.



Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker: Save the Frog


The coolness continues!  Check out this brand new column I just wrote for the fantastic WriteSex site - where I'll be contributing a monthly piece.  Here's a tease - for the rest you'll have to check out the great site.

#

For new writers, the temptation is obvious: after all, if you don’t know something, shouldn’t you seek out a way to learn about it? The question of how to educate yourself as a writer is a necessary and important one, of course, but an often-invisible second question follows: how do you sift through the piles of would-be writing coaches, teachers and other purveyors of advice to find the ones who will lead you toward genuinely better writing? The problem isn’t that there are over-eager teachers galore, but that far too many of them are preaching from ignorance—or just dully quoting what others have already said.

This is particularly true of erotic romance. Now, I have to admit I’ve been more than a bit spoiled by other genres, where you can write about whatever you want without much of a chance—beyond clumsy writing—of getting rejected for not toeing the line, so approaching erotic romance has been a bit more of a challenge. Romance authors, after all, have been told time and time again that there is a very precise, almost exacting, Way of Doing Things … and if you don’t, then bye-bye book deal.

But times have changed, and while a few stubborn publishers still want erotic romantic fiction that follows established formulas, the quantum leap of digital publishing has totally shaken up by-the-numbers approaches to romance writing. Without going too much into it (maybe in another column…), because ebooks are so much easier to produce, publishers can take wonderful risks on new authors and concepts, meaning that they don’t have to wring their hands in fright that the new title they greenlit will go bust and possibly take the whole company with it.

Because of this freedom, erotic romance can be so much more than it ever was: experimental, innovative, unique, challenging, etc. These are no longer the Words of Death when it comes to putting together a book.

One of the great, underlying tasks of teaching—one I love, but with some reverence and an occasional pang of dread—is challenging the boring, formulaic, way that so many talk about writing (which is also to say that a huge part of the reason I love to teach is that it’s a weird form of revenge against all the bad writing teachers I’ve had over the years). There are, however, far too many writing teachers who relentlessly parrot that erotic romance has to follow a strict formula to be successful. They spell out this formula in stomach-cramping detail: what has to happen to each and every character, in each and every chapter, in each and every book.

[MORE]

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Better Teacher: Step Off The Cliff

 

This is very fun - especially with the re-release of my erotic romance Brushes by the wonderful Sizzler Editions: a brand new column on romance writing by myself just went up at Romance Beat.

Here's a tease - for the rest just click here,

#

“Love is a better teacher than duty.”–Albert Einstein

It’s unfortunate that romance has been labeled … well, let’s be blunt and say ‘formulaic.’ Part of this, of course is more than a bit true – but then it’s the truth for every genre in every form of entertainment: the audience wants what it wants and so the business side of things wants to give them that.

From comic books to television, from science fiction to erotica, from movies to food … if you want to create it there always seems to be ‘the way’ to do it. In the case of romance, though, ‘the way’ for many authors/editors/publishers seems to be been boiled down to such a A to B to C to D formula that there’s little, or absolutely zilch, room for innovation. Even more than quite a few publishers of romance have taken to spelling out this recipe for success in their Call For Submissions or on their Write For Us websites.

Now there’s nothing wrong with knowing your audience – in fact it’s a universal key to success both critically and financially: if you look, say, at blockbuster or bestselling [Insert Genre Here] you can see, in hindsight, how the creator(s) looked right into the heart of their readers/watchers/eaters and delivered exactly what they were looking for.

Which is where those formulas always seem to spring from: hindsight. But the problem with hindsight – and I know this is an old chestnut – is that it means looking backwards. The books/movies/TV shows that rocket off into the stratosphere, yes, may have known and respected their audience but they also did something that’s even more important:

They took risks.

[MORE]

Friday, September 27, 2013

Brushes - Out NOW In A New Re-Release From Sizzler Editions

Okay, I'll try to gush too much but, to be honest, I've worked with a lot of publishers over the years and one of the very, very best - and not just because I work with them as an Associate Publisher - has got to be Sizzler Editions. 

Just take a look at this gorgeous new edition of Brushes - my erotic romance - they just re-released.  Wonderful!  Check it out ... and if you want to get a review copy don't hesitate to write me.

"We can never know how lives will intertwine; the mystery of it is one of the hidden joys of life. M.Christian has captured perfectly the symmetry and surprise of lives that mesh together -- whether the people living them like it or not. …a gorgeous tapestry of words."
– Gwen Masters, author of One Breath at a Time

To most of the world he's a genius, a master of color, form, and shape, a brilliant talent who stormed the art world and shook its pillars with his talent. But some, including his wife Constance, see him as undeserving of his fame, others as arrogant, and a few even as a fraud. But Escobar is misunderstood. Lost, alone, he longs for the simple life he once shared with Constance before he allowed his lust for talent and success to come between them, He wants her back desperately but doesn't know how to put his feelings in words. Is it possible he can reach out to her with the most powerful language he knows, the very art that came between them, and reconnect with Constance before it is too late?

"A multi-layered treat for the mind and the senses. M.Christian transports us to glittering Paris where we follow the adventures of… an acclaimed artist … his muses … and desperate wannabes. As their lives brush up against each his, serendipitously, inevitably, all experience a compelling sexual encounter that changes their lives forever. A deliciously sexy tale of mystery for anyone who’s intrigued by the power of the creative - and the erotic-spirit." –Donna George Storey, author of An Amorous Woman

Brushes is a romantic, erotically-charged portrait of a master artist, a stroke-by-stroke look at a man who lost his love and then made a last reckless gamble to win her back. It is also the story of the sexual and romantic currents that run through the lives of the people around him - his manager, his model, his brother and others – who all played a role in his break-up with Constance and in keeping them apart.

"Great erotica set in a romantic setting. A multi-layered look at love, Paris and the world of art. The intriguing characters and the way they come in and out of each other's lives is handled brilliantly. All is not always what it seems to be and surprises lurk and wait. This is a gorgeous book to be savored." – Amos Lassen

"Compelling, masterful, complex, fascinating..." – Nobilis

I'm Going To Be At Convolution

(from M.Christian's Classes & Appearances)


This is going to be a blast: I'm going to be attending - and on various panels, etc - at the upcoming Convolution event here in the Bay Area.  Click here for more info ... and when I get my schedule I'll post it here, of course.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

WONDERFUL WriteSex!



This is tremendous news: WriteSex - which I've written for in the past - is being ramped up to 11 with a new look, fantastic new contributors, amazing new features ... and more!  A big round of applause goes to Jean Marie Stine for her spearheading of this new and improved WriteSexWay to go, Jean!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: "Oh, How Beautiful-"

Check it out: I just posted a Streetwalker column on the always-wonderful Erotica Readers And Writes site. It might be an old one but it's also something a lot of writers need to hear. Hope you like!
 

Funny that these columns are called Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker because ... well, I have a confession to make.

I'm very much on the fence about the whole thing, and am still dealing with doubts about whether or not I've made the right decision but - in the end - I think it will end up being a good thing.
I've joined Facebook.

I know, I know: I've been a rather vocal - if not strident - opponent of that particular corner of the social media universe, but a very good friend of mine pointed out that, to call down The Bard, I "doth protest too much."

It hasn't been easy: I tell ya, nothing like having a nearly (gasp) twenty year writing career resulting in only 433 'friends' and 68'likes' on my author page to really make the dreaded depression demon really flare up.

But I'm sticking with it - not because I think that I have to, or that Facebook is the end-all, be-all solution to all my publicity needs - but because it was something I really, honestly, didn't want to do.
Obviously, explanations are in order. See, I'm a firm believer in pushing yourself in all kinds of ways: as a person and, particularly, as a writer. Sure, you have to like what you are doing - both in how you live your life as well as the words you put down on 'paper' - but growth comes not from comfort but from adversity, from challenge.

I didn't set out to be an pornographer, but then an opportunity presented itself and (surprise!) I was actually pretty good at it. I didn’t plan on being a 'gay' writer - because, no duh - I'm not, but (surprise!) I not just did it but came to really enjoy it. I didn’t think I could be a teacher, but (surprise!) I've found that I really get a kick out of it.

I may have hated Facebook - hell, I still hate Facebook - but I had to at least try it. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won't, but at least I'll have stretched myself.

[MORE]

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Taste of "On The Rooftop" from Von Gutenberg Magazine: All the Words a Rage!

Here's a fun little teasing taste of my superhero fetish story from the extremely-excellent new release from Von Gutenberg Magazine!

You definitely cannot say Internationally known photographer and publisher Erik Von Gutenberg hasn't worked diligently over the past decade to present his unique vision though his quarterly magazine, social media presence and interactive website. Von Gutenberg showcases provocative, cutting edge styles paired with fashion trend reporting and featured writing by acclaimed writers, designers and photographers. Von Gutenberg's brand encompasses everything “fashion, latex, and lifestyle”, says Erik.

Now the Von Gutenberg brand is branching out to publish its first eBook aptly entitled All The Word’s A Rage featuring the same themes such as ‘comic’ ‘steampunk’ and ‘fetish’ that have made Von Gutenberg a world wide read.

“The eBook focuses on the most popular fiction, expert columns, photo-essays, reviews, 'how-to' articles, model interviews and of course the most loved photos from the past 7 issues of the printed magazine and our multitude of blog fashion posts. We combined what our readers enjoyed the most into one best-of-the-best eBook.” explains Erik. “It's perfect for the existing fans and also for those new to the Von Gutenberg brand. It gets them up to speed.”

Erik continues, “We did add one or two pieces commissioned specifically for this eBook to give our regulars some unique content. Being unique is something we always strive toward.” he chuckles. “I think the mix of the old and the new works perfectly to make All the Word’s A Rage a definite one-of-a-kind offering.”

Look for All The Word’s A Rage today on Amazon; For Kindle Fire Readers, at Barnes and Noble for Nook and Apple

Special offer for Apple customers: Buy All The Word’s A Rage for an introductory low price of $4.99 until August 31, 2013 (reg. price: $7.99)
#
 
On The Rooftop

Dust flew, sparks – lingering flashes from the ignition and subsequent explosion of a car or two -- streaking along with the debris, up and over the brick-lined rooftop: a brown and firefly storm blasting dramatically up from the street below.

Wiping the back of her hand across her forehead, FoxFire glanced down at the result, seeing far too much of the explosion mixed in with the sweat she'd already worked up ... well, working over Doctor Ghostly's less-than-ghostly thugs.

Her whistle at her realization she'd been standing far too close to the edge of the roof was surprisingly loud, especially against the lingering cacophony that was the last, smoldering remnants of the battle. 

"If I may be so bold," came a voice from behind her, "you performed quite ... effectively, seƱorita.  Bravo!"

"As did you," she said, not immediately turning around.  There was only one man working the circuit who sounded like he could be an announcer for the local Spanish cable channel. 

As The Eel smoothly glided up, weaving in and out and in and out of the forest of dishes and useless aerials, as-always skating elegantly on his near-frictionless shoes, she finally swung a bit to smile at him.  "Always a blast to see you work."

He bowed, deep and smooth, arms swaying out from this lithe, latex-clad, body ever-so.  "A feeling I do hope el doctor's minions also appreciated."

Stepping away from the edge of the roof, also moving between the rusting antennas and the this-way, that-way, cants of the dishes, she flicked her head back towards the dying glow of that last, though still echoing, explosion.  "Oh, I think they'll be talking about tonight for a long time – depending on good behavior, of course."

The Eel grinned, showing the corners of his slickly precise mustache rising in accompaniment to the brightening of his bright blue eyes – or what she could see of them around his classic domino mask.  He canted his thin body to lean back against the battered roof access door.  "Ah, the satisfaction of a job well done.  I take it the ... shall we say, 'heavy hitters' took care of the el doctor?"

FoxFire sighed, catching herself only towards the end of the sound that she might be sounding less-than-professional ... well, she thought immediately after, screw that: "You got that right.  The Big Bomber took him down – subtle as always -- with Razor Wing and Cutter right on his tail."

"Ah, yes," The Eel said, his grin widening by a touch.  "Luckily there are always enough of the fodder for us humbler ones to deal with – and, of course, the usual street delincuente."

Knowing enough Spanish to understand what he meant, FoxFire nodded as she rubbed her forehead again.  With the gesture came a wince from her wrenched shoulder.  "I don't know where he's getting them, but Ghostly's got some higher-class stooges.  That one with the mustache was a real motherfucker."  With the profanity, she blushed.

 [MORE]

Out Now: IN CONTROL!

Remember how just I mentioned my upcoming brand new collection of outrageous and extremely kinky short stories, In Control?  Well - ta da - this very special book has just been released by the fantastic folks at Sizzler Editions!  It will be up in all kinds of ebook markets very soon - but right now you can get it on amazon for the kindle!

And, naturally, if you want a review copy - just ask.

Not merely kinkier than you think, but kinkier than you can think!

M.Christian’s fiction has a sexy logic all its own. He’s inventive and he’s irreverent. His language can seduce, surprise, and body-slam you.
-Cecilia Tan

From M.Christian – the acclaimed ... and rather notorious writer of such books as The Bachelor Machine and Dirty Words – comes this brand new collection of his short BDSM and kinky straight erotica. In these pages you'll find hardcore male doms and luscious female subs, tough-as-nails Lady doms and obedient male submissives, plus a wide variety of other outrageous fetishes and sexual adventures. In this very fun – and very, very hot book – you'll also discover delightfully twisted stories such as the lesbian vamps of "The Curse," the heartstring-tugging erotic romance of "The Waters Of Biscayne Bay," the sexy ghost story "The Tinkling Of Tiny Silver Bells," the bisexual heat in "Watercolors" and many, many more!

"M.Christian is one of the finest living writers of erotica. Between these covers is a wealth of imaginative, well-crafted, smoothly written fiction that sings with joy. It's yummy."
-Patrick Califia