Erotic writing

I had six stories published this year as stand alone titles or in anthologies split between two publishers, Forbidden Fiction and House of Erotica. My output was certainly varied – I’ve gone all around the world and dipped into different historical periods. I’ve written about an 18th century captain of a slave ship and a voodoo goddess (Maman is Brigitte ,and in the anthology Divine Desire), a steampunk Edwardian dominatrix (Lady Sally and the Automaton Horse), a tale set in Ishfahan inspired by the Tales of the Arabian Nights (The Nemesis Bird),  a contemporary political satire mixed up with fairy tale (‘Richard Whittington and His Cat’, or ‘Pussy in Boots’ as I prefer to  call it, in Once Upon A Time), a sexy Elizabethan spy story set in the court of Mary Queen of Scots (‘A Great Conspiracy of Spies’ in Spy Games) and the love story between a Crusader Knight and a sultan’s daughter based on a folk song (‘Lord Bateman’ in Who Thrilled Cock Robin?). Phew, I’m exhausted just summing all that up!

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I was also chuffed to get a couple of my poems published in the anthology of erotic verse edited by Ashley Lister (Coming Together in Verse). I don’t write much poetry and find it harder to write than prose so it was both a surprise and pleasure to get some poems into print.

In Verse (200x300)

My next book, ‘La Contessa’ is two-thirds finished and crawling forward at the moment. It’s set in a decaying and debauched 18th century Venice and features a cruel dominatrix,  La Contessa, a  character from one of my earlier published short stories. I got distracted by too many interesting calls for submission early in the year so it hasn’t progressed as quickly as I hoped, but completing it has to be top writing priority for 2016.

Author promotion

I’m a regular attender of Smutters events organised by the indefatigable and amazing Victoria Blisse and her husband Kev, and this year was no exception. I was at a Taste of Smut in March on a platform of readers with K D Grace, Ashley Lister and Liv Honywell and complete with pole dance (no, not by me I should add! – from the fab Bea Noir).

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I was at Smut by the Sea in Scarborough in May where I not only did a reading but also ran a workshop called ‘Kinking up the Past’ on putting erotica stories in historical settings. There were a few exercises to do and I introduced people to my rogue’s gallery of Victorian characters including the Edwardian lady balloonist, Dolly Shepherd.

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Then I was at Smut Manchester where I read from Pussy in Boots, which has a bit of political satire in it, in order to get some mileage out of the David Cameron piggy-gate story. Proof that reality can be weirder than fiction!

I also contributed to Erotic World Book Day in March. This is the prize I offered for their raffle.

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Highlights of 2015

So apart from my writing, what else have I got up to this year?

Well in November I had a fabulous trip to Peru. I spewed up over the Nazca lines! I am prone to motion sickness, and the little planes you go in to fly over these ancient lines in the desert tilting at 45 degrees did for me. In my defence I wasn’t the only one – indeed, they kindly provide big bins for people to deposit their sick bags! Putting that experience aside, I saw incredible landscapes, amazing Inca architecture, stayed with a family on an island in Lake Titicaca, wallowed in some hot springs and saw some condors. Of course, I got to Machu Picchu and it’s every bit as amazing as I imagined. I didn’t do the Inca trail, struggling up to the Sun Gate in high altitude was quite energetic enough for me!

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In August I went to the Wilderness Festival. This was more than just a music festival as there was all sorts going on. I went to an opera of Alice in Wonderland, I listened to Deborah Moggach talk about writing screenplays, I saw an amazing Touareg guitarist called Bombino, a filthy vaudeville act called the Tiger Lilies….and the headline act, who was Bjork, dressed as an insect and complete with fire balls.

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The music of the 60s west coast band The Grateful Dead has given me so much pleasure over the years, right back to when I was a teenager and went to see them at The Empire Pool, Wembley in 1972. They have produced some magical and inventive music – their live concerts and recordings, and their ability to improvise are out of this world. Even though they haven’t toured the UK since 1991 and their lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia died in 1995, it was still sad to hear that they were never going to play as The Grateful Dead again. I could not go to Chicago to see their final gig but it was broadcast at cinemas in the UK, so I saw them in Hull! “Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell,  Listen to the river sing sweet songs,  To rock my soul” ….Brokedown Palace

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In February I went to the Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival. This is a wacky festival, which originated when some locals were caught with fishing nets in the canal (they were pulling contraband goods) and fooled the Customs and Excise men by telling them that they were trying to fish the moon out of the water where it was reflected. The customs men, believing these Yorkshire men really were that stupid, left them to it. This event is celebrated every other year in the town of Slaithwaite with a re-enactment of the raking of the moon from the canal and a procession of amazing lanterns.

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In July I organised another tour of Pagan sites for Leodis (Leeds) Pagan group. This one took us to places in the Ripon and Masham area of Yorkshire including a Green Man trail at Ripon Spa Gardens, Thornborough Henge, a rather spooky stone circle folly called Druid’s Temple, Hackfall Woods…a pub of course, and this rather amazing piece of Neolithic rock art at a place called West Agra.

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I was a God again – for the second year running! I shouldn’t make a habit of it in case I get delusions of grandeur! I took the role of the God and did a reading at the Leodis Pagan group’s Beltane ritual.

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….And talking of Gods (tee-hee), I met Roy Hodgson, the England manager. The background to this is that I play walking football for Cottingham Rangers football club. Now, this is quite a new thing, and our club won an FA Community Award because of what we’d done to build these walking football sessions up and get loads of old codgers active and doing sport again! The prize was a Mars bar (they sponsor the scheme) and more significantly an outing to the swish England team training centre near Burton on Trent where all the guys got the chance to meet Roy Hodgson. And a very nice and genuine man he is too. He posed for photographs with us, as you can see.

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And the year finished with a bang because I celebrated New Year’s Eve at the Flamborough Fire Festival dressed as a Viking Skald, complete with a parade of Vikings, fire balls, a Viking long-boat being pulled through the village and climaxing with a firework display at midnight.

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