Turning a page

I’ve been quiet for some time. Bringing up kids, painting, nesting.

But I woke up early this morning with some thoughts squabbling in my head. So.

Hiatus over. Time to start thinking of new things.

Off we go.

How To Write Erotic Fiction – five tips

How to Write Erotic Fiction is a book that I’ve wanted to write for a long time. It contains my thoughts on the most exciting genre on contemporary bookshelves and it includes examples of good practice from writers I’ve honestly admired.’

– Ashley R Lister

I’m honoured to be part of Ashley’s new book, ‘How To Write Erotic Fiction‘. Today, over at the book’s blog, I’m sharing five tips on writing fiction.

These are quite broad tips about writing, not necessarily specific to erotic fiction. Hopefully they may be of some use to anyone fighting the writing beasts.

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing by fellow writer Moira McPartlin whose first novel, The Incomers has recently been short listed for The Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award 2012.
I’m instructed by Moira to tell you all about my next book by answering these questions and then I tag five other authors about their Next Big Thing. So here I go!

(My, it’s been a while since I memed. To be honest, I feel a bit vulnerable posting about the wip right now, too. It’s half formed! It’s a mutant! Be gentle.) Also, I have no idea if it’s A Big Thing or even if it’ll end up being next. So don’t anybody sue me if it turns out to be something completely different, okay? Okay. Here goes:

What is the working title of your next book?
Summer Storms. This is dreadful, I know, and will definitely change, but the central image of the book is one of those unbearably hot, still, close summer days with a dark, sultry sky and lots of tangled undergrowth.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
uh … idle hands and one of those unbearably hot summer days, etc.

What genre does your book fall under?
Erotica. It might be flirting with some other genres, too, but I’m not going to frighten it by telling.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Aruna Shields, I think, for the female lead, who’s an Indian-Scots actor. Not so sure about the males. I have pictures of them in my head and some images ripped from the web, but they are, so far, of nameless people. (And it’s no good trying to tempt me to go and trawl the web for suitable people, either, I’m not falling for that trick, Mr Procrastination – you devil you.)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Well, as its in its early stages the plot is still growing. It’s an exploration of animalistic desire, of morals, of nature v civilisation. Indulgence, appetite, desire. What we allow ourselves to want and what dangers desire can expose us to. That’s not one sentence, or even very coherent, is it? It boils down to: One woman caught between desire and a need for security. Or: one woman, two very different men. God. Hot summer love tangle triangle? Fucky-fucky-sticky-sucky? Can I pass on this question?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ve been lucky enough to be asked by a couple of publishers to submit, so I don’t know if an agent would make much difference. We’ll see.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Oh god. Years, and it’s not done yet. If I had a good clear run at it, I’d probably take about four to six months for a first draft. As it is, I’m snatching hours here and there, when I can.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Swimming Pool Season, perhaps?

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Hormones, sunshine, overwhelming greenery and the whiff of possibility. I’m also digging up inspiration as I go – Rousseau’s paintings have become a theme that I’m planning to weave into the book, as has Modernist architecture. I don’t know how this will translate into pages of dirty sex, but we’ll see. Expect tigers mating in the ruins of a concrete priory. I’m only half joking.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Exhaustingly lavish and indulgent amounts of sex? Miniature houses? C’mon, what’s not to love?

Here are some lovely authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing!

Alana Noel Voth
Ashley Lister
Shanna Germain
Kirsty Logan

(Check their blogs next week for posts about these writers’ Next Big Things.)

Poems on Pointless

these days I am writing poems

with my back to my boyfriend

picking at my fingernails until they hurt

shuffling clauses. growing varicose veins

like poor man’s tattoos. ruining

my eyesight. Losing myself

in research about coal mines. I hate

coal mines. Being underground

is the opposite of what I want. I dig

further, hoping to find something

flammable, a seam that will catch

fire and unzip the world, make it

less life like, less fucking poetic.





Today’s wordcount

Today I am ill enough not to muster the energy to go visiting relatives, so I have been left behind. It is a glorious crisp and bright autumn day and the first time in probably a couple of years that I’ve had so much time to myself. All to myself. For some reason I feel like crying. Imagine all the words I could write – think of them running through my fingers like sand. 

I eat biscuits that are too sweet. I sit in the flat and look out at the beautiful day, the beach and the trees. So much time is spent not doing the things we love.

Earlier I spend some time in a shit shop, under fluorescent lights, being pounded by music, feeling ill and inhaling the plastic smell off of everything. I do not look the way I wish I looked. My life is not the life I wished I lived. The world always meets me wrong. The day is wasting. I looked in a bookshop for books about writing, how to write, what to write, what to do.

I spend so much time waiting. I am waiting for things that never come.

This is neither good nor bad. There is no need to write or to avoid writing. There is no need to go out and greet the sunshine, to be covered in gold light. There is no need to hide in the dark. There is no need to follow your dreams or anything else, to believe in opinions, to listen to anyone, to do what you should. There is no need to buy anything else or to save money. There is no escape. 

I sit in the flat and wait for myself to leave.

Better than a thousand hollow words

After a bit of thought, I’ve decided it’s time to spend less time on the internet.

So, I’ll be scaling a few things back. FeatherLit will be publishing four times a year now, instead of monthly. I’m aiming for one issue every season. Submissions will remain open all year round. I’ll be scrapping the FeatherLit facebook and twitter and keeping everything sweet and simple.

I won’t be deleting myself from all the places that I maintain a profile, but I don’t expect to be there much. If you wish to contact me, best do so here, or via email – although I also plan to check that far less frequently.

Meanwhile, I will be writing into the silence and sending words out into the void, as ever.

The Beep.

Kiss Of Shame in The Mammoth Book Of Erotic Quickies

I’m proud of this wee story. It was inspired by the story of the Osculum Infame, and is the desperate, romantic and quite dark story of a witchhunt.

‘I kissed his arse, yes, I did, you pea brained cat faced bastards. I tore my clothes from off my back and beat myself about the body. With the dirt ingrained under my nails, and the leaves in my hair and the smell of eggs and smoke on my skin. I swayed towards him like I was drunk, knowing he wanted me, knowing he cared not for a polished rump sweet as a windfallen apple, nor the fine soft hair of a noble woman.
I know what he wanted. My hardened bones and my open, loud calling mouth. The ferocious heat between my legs, how it burned and burned. Tie me to the stake and I’ll shiver with joy. I’ll feel the flame lick up my legs, feel the fire snap at my buttocks. I’ll fuck your fire. Watch me.’

The book is edited by Maxim Jakubowski, and out in 2013.

Thank You For Thinking Of Me at Supermodel Summer

I’m delighted to have a very short story up as part of Extie Ecks’ Supermodel Summer.

I used to draw. I have this sketch, in blue biro. Me and Elle and Trudy – Superstars. Cheeks like dents. Painted mouths, see-through clothes. We were perfect dolls. Really, we had no breasts or periods. Our cunts were dry. Trudy carried Vaseline in her purse. Once I borrowed it – put it on my lips and got a faint smell of her other, hairy, animal mouth. The scent lingered all day.

Read ‘Thank You For Thinking Of Me’ in its entirety here.