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Eroticon 2012 – What Really Happened

Eroticon2012

It was 5.30am when my alarm went off, resulting in a “Uhhhnnnerrr!” type noise from me. I am sooo not a morning person. However, I was getting up early for a good reason – it was time for Eroticon 2012! It seemed like it had been in my diary for ages and that the date would never arrive – but it did. So off I went to the train station for my 6.59am train, convinced I’d forgotten something, and terrified that I’d fall asleep on the first train and miss my connection, which would have left me stranded in Reading. However, I needn’t have worried. Fear kept me awake, and I successfully changed trains at Birmingham New Street, where I found Victoria Blisse and we settled in and nattered the entire way to Bristol Temple Meads train station (which, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, is a beautiful building). A quick taxi ride took us to Armada House, and then it was time for the day to begin!

We got there without too much time to spare before the first panel, and so after dumping our bags and grabbing our name tags and goodie bags, there was only time for quick hellos to Paul and Matt from House of Erotica, Kay Jaybee, K D Grace, Hazel Cushion and some others I’m sure I’ve forgotten before heading into the main room for the official conference welcome.  Then it was time to check out the day’s schedule (which I’m glad I did, because it had been updated since I’d last printed it out!) and decide where to go, and when. Here’s a rundown of the panels/sessions I attended:

Going indie, self-publishing by MK Elliott

Although I’ve already self-published some titles, I certainly don’t profess to know everything, and so happily attended this session to find out what MK Elliott had to say. I’m very glad I did. Naturally there was information that I knew already, but there were some things I didn’t, and of course it’s always useful to hear other  people’s experiences of things. MK Elliott was confident, knowledgeable and highlighted the main points of her talk with a PowerPoint presentation. She also happily answered questions and I came away feeling as though I’d learned something – and conversations with other attendees confirmed that they did, too.

Writing Workshop by Maxim Jakubowski

From the title of this session, I was expecting that we’d be doing something interactive and hands on, and so had my notebook and pen at the ready. Instead, this was a discussion led by Maxim which covered his career, the different genres he writes in, censorship and many more topics which affect the erotica and erotic romance writing genre. There were many questions from the audience, which he answered fully and usefully, and although as I said, the session wasn’t what I expected, it was certainly informative and interesting.

Convincingly Queer with Aisling Weaver and Josephine Myles

This was probably my favourite session of the day (with the exception of mine, of course!). Aisling and Josephine ran a session on how to write stories about things that you don’t necessarily have any experience of. For example, if you’re a different gender, sexuality or have different kinks. This included tying up and blindfolding members of the audience, discussing research methods and books, figuring out if certain pieces of writing were penned by men or women, and much more! It was a fun, laid back session and I came away with plenty of food for thought!

Publishers’ Panel with Maxim Jakubowski, Hazel Cushion, Monique Roffey, Paul Andrews and Richard Eadie

This was a lively panel with publishers and published authors – as well as people who have stradded both sides of that particular fence. Ruby started with asking some questions that had previously been sent to her, then it was opened up to the floor. Topics covered included what publishers would like to see more of (Victorian spanking, unusual fetishes), some chat on the PayPal debacle and how they’re censoring what people can read, whether you should write for the market or write what you want to write, whether erotica writers should use pseudonyms and more. There were some varying opinions, which made for interesting viewing, and again, I came away with lots to think about.

Marketing your Work with Lucy Felthouse and Victoria Blisse

Ah… yes. That would be me. Victoria and I dashed upstairs after the Publishers’ Panel to get set up for our session, desperately hoping that we’d get a good turn out, particularly as we were at the same time as two other sessions. Much to our relief, by the time we’d sorted out the laptop and projector, got our presentation up on screen and marvelled at the fact it had a remote control, the room was filling rapidly. That worry over, we waited patiently for any stragglers, then began. As marketing and promotion is such a huge topic, we couldn’t cover everything, so we centred in on blog tours, with me providing the “marketer” side of things, and Victoria filling in from the “author” perspective. There was lots of nodding and taking notes from the audience, then we opened up questions. The audience didn’t want to talk at first, but once they started, they didn’t want to stop! Luckily, Victoria and I were well equipped to handle the questions and there was some interesting discussion before we had to wrap it up. Not, however, before we gave a pimp to the Smut by the Sea anthology and encouraged people to come and grab some business cards! I had a few people express interest in my services (don’t be rude, I’m talking PR & Marketing here), as well as meeting some people that I’d chatted to via email and even worked for without ever having met them! I felt it was a really positive session and would definitely do it again. So, Ruby, if you want a similar session for Eroticon 2013, you know where I am! 😉 Also, special thanks go to Victoria Blisse for being my partner in crime. You rock.

Sacred Kink with London Fairie and Lori Smith

This was a spanking demonstration set to music. Honestly, I’m not sure what else to say about it. It was an eye-opening, new experience which resulted in Lori Smith getting a very red bottom, and sparked lots of questions and comments from the audience. I came away having seen something new.

Drinks Party

Much to my disappointment, the author readings were cancelled due to timing, but the raffle draw went ahead. Attendees won sex furniture, sex toys, vouchers, and lots of lots of books. Ruby then closed with a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors, speakers and attendees. Unfortunately for me, the only alcohol on hand was wine, so I was ready by this point to go out and eat and nab myself some vodka, which was soon remedied.

The After Party

Ah, the “after parties” are often my favourite parts of such get togethers. It means we all get to chat about things in general and get to know one another. Sadly, as we left the venue a couple of the original party dropped out due to illness or having to get home, but myself, Victoria Blisse, Lily Harlem, K D Grace, Jacqueline Brocker, Josephine Myles and Maxim Jakubowski soldiered on and ended up in Gourmet Burger Kitchen where we ate a delicious meal and probably had people listening to our conversation. I don’t blame them. We were talking about all facets of erotic fiction, sex furniture, reviews, publishers, pseudonyms, the difference in the US and UK markets, and much more.

On leaving the restaurant, myself, Victoria Blisse, K D Grace, Lily Harlem and Josephine Myles headed back to our hotel – where we’d been told there was a 24 hour bar. This wasn’t strictly true (apparently only soft drinks were 24 hour), but we managed to get in a few swift drinks before Josephine had to leave. And then there were four. Since we were all staying in the same place, we didn’t have to worry about getting anywhere other than to our rooms, so when a very loud, drunk moron started singing at the top of his voice in the bar, we went up to mine and Victoria’s room and continued the conversation. I won’t divulge all of our girly chat, but needless to say we talked lots about writing, the industry, future plans, and more. So beware – we’re planning to take over the world! 😉

We finally fell into bed around 2.30am (separate beds, before you get all excited), and due to more loud, drunk morons I couldn’t sleep right away, but I finally dozed off until around 8am when it was time to have breakfast and hit the road. I had a lonely train journey this time, so I plotted a novella on the train up to Birmingham New Street, where my beloved picked me up (though not before me dashing into WHSmith’s and seeing K D Grace’s The Initiation of Ms Holly and Explicit Encounters, which contains one of my stories, on sale) and took me home.

I fell into bed very early and slept like a log. Today, though, I find the events and information swirling around my head, and keep grinning when I remember certain things – particularly some of the late night girly conversation and plans for the future. I met so many new people (and spent more time with people I already knew) that I can’t possibly name them all, but if you’re reading this and we met and chatted – hello! 😀 I hope you had as good a time as I did.

It was a fab weekend – and I can’t wait until the next one! 😉 Thanks and well done to Ruby Kiddell for pulling it all together!

P.S. I was so busy that I didn’t end up taking any photos, but the professional photographer will be supplying them to Ruby very soon, so check out the official website or Twitter feed for more information.

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Eroticon 2012 – It’ll Soon Be Here!

With Erotica 2011 being over for another year, it’s now time to start looking forward to the next event, which for me is Eroticon, in March. You may have noticed the button in my sidebar, which you can click for more info.

Here’s the skinny on Eroticon:

Lucy Felthouse will be helping sex bloggers and erotica writers write sex right at Eroticon 2012.

Lucy Felthouse is on the speaker line up for the UK’s very first sex blogger and erotica writer’s conference, Eroticon 2012.  The conference, on March 3rd in Bristol, will be helping experienced and aspiring writers to right sex write with discussions, workshops and inspiration sessions.

The schedule is packed with inspirational sessions and speakers, including writing and photography workshops, a publishers’ question time panel, tech sessions and discussion panels on sex in the media and identity and ethics.

Lucy Felthouse, who will be a part of the marketing your work session and publishers’ panel says;

“I was really excited when Ruby asked me to be a part of the first Eroticon. We don’t have enough events like this in the UK and many of us can’t keep skipping over to the US all the time, so it’s brilliant to have something in the UK for sex bloggers and erotic writers. I’m looking forward to it.”

The conference is the brain child of erotica author Ruby Kiddell, who explains;

“Having attended other blogging and writing conferences this year I felt there was a need for a safe and inspiring event wherein sex bloggers and erotica writers could meet, learn and talk about their genre and all to do with it.”

Speakers and sessions confirmed so far include:

  • Maxim Jakubowski : Writing workshop, Publishers’ panel
  • Zoe Margolis : Identity, ethics and sex blogging panel, Sex and the media panel
  • Hazel Cushion of Xcite books : Publishers’ panel
  • Lucy Felthouse : Marketing your work, publishers’ panel
  • John Tisbury :  Photography workshop

The conference will close with a cocktail party which promises to be an evening of sublime sauciness with readings from the UK’s most exciting emerging writers.

With such a fantastic line up Eroticon will be 2012’s must attend event for aspiring and experienced erotica writers and sex bloggers.

To find out more about Eroticon 2012 or to book tickets please visit http://conference.eroticnotebook.co.uk

Smut at Sh! Hoxton, Erotica 2011 and Men in Uniform

I am still recovering from the craziest, most exhausting and yet totally fun weekend! Yes, it was Erotica 2011 weekend!  The show is on at Olympia, London, once a year and I trekked down from Derbyshire to be there with lots of my author buddies, editors and publishers. Victoria Blisse and I also took advantage of the fact we were already in the area to do a reading at the super Sh! Women’s Store in Hoxton Square on Friday night.

So, Hoxton was the first stop. That’s me, complete with my yummy A Bit of Rough t-shirt and a copy of Seducing the Myth. The OH and I headed across London on the Tube and met Victoria Blisse, her lovely hubby and friend in Blu Bar, just opposite the sexy pink shop of Sh! Then K D Grace, fresh from an exhausting day at Erotica dashed in and met us too. So we chilled for a little while, then headed over the road to see the lovely ladies of Sh! and get everything organised for our evening of smut.

And smutty it was! Fellow Northern Bird Victoria Blisse was launching her new book, Tempting Rendezvous, published by Xcite. Therefore she treated us to some lush excerpts from her tale about rubenesque chick Leanna and her hot American hunk, Joe. It was sprinkled with Victoria’s usual humour as well as the totally hot sex and fab storyline and the audience, including myself of course, hung on to her every word, as well as giggling at the appropriate moments. Ms. Blisse herself struggled not to smirk a couple of times, too, but she maintained her resolve throughout. It was a fun-filled evening, in which Victoria read from Tempting Rendezvous and a recent Xcite anthology we both appear in, The Look of Lust.
I read my erotic mermaid tale, Down by the Pool, from Seducing the Myth, as well as an excerpt from The Look of Lust. Both stories seemed to be received well by the audience, and I got a few sniggers of my own from some humorous bits in my own tales.

As well as reading, Victoria and I also had some goodies for the attendees, as well as a raffle. We also followed up our readings with a fun Q&A session which included lots of questions, including ones about our favourite genres, our muses, how we got started writing, and whether or not we like Twilight (an allusion to our respective vampire tales). Finally, we signed copies of our books and sent our lovely customers to give the fab Sh! Girlz some cash! Speaking of the Sh! Girlz, they were on fine form as always, making sure us authors and our wonderful audience were well lubricated (with champagne!) and fed. We enjoyed cupcakes, homemade cakes courtesy of Ms. Blisse and homemade Rhubarb & Custard Chocolate Cups and Clotted Cream Fudge courtesy of my skilled OH. Let’s just say there wasn’t much food left over!
It was then around the corner to The Breakfast Club where more food and drink was consumed, and more fun was had. Our group consisted of myself, my OH, Victoria Blisse, her OH, K D Grace and her OH, who slipped into Sh! straight from work, bless him. The influence of the three erotic writers was obviously enough, though, because the conversation was enough to turn some heads and have us dissolving into giggles on a frequent basis. Luckily, we didn’t get into trouble and were allowed to enjoy our meals and drinks, before paying up and hitting the pavement to make our way back to our respective hotels for the night. It wasn’t a sad goodbye, as it so often is as we knew we’d all be teaming up the following day for more smut-mongering. Hurrah!

And smut-mongering we did. En-route, OH and I bumped into Victoria and her OH at Earl’s Court Tube station, then Lexie Bay and her fella outside Olympia Tube station. Once inside, we hit the Xcite stand, where Hazel Cushion was holding court and sellling smutty books at a very impressive rate. K D Grace soon arrived and there was much posing for photographs and perusing the naughty books, as well as exploring the show in general.
More smutters soon showed up, including Kay Jaybee and Rebecca Bond. Much chatting and catching up was done, but soon it was time to go and do some authorly stuff. The Xcite Reading Slam was held in the London Room, an echoey expanse of room which wasn’t ideal… but still, reading is reading. There we were treated to tales from Victoria Blisse, yours truly, Kay Jaybee, K D Grace, a newbie author who’s name I’ve forgotten and Lexie Bay – who bravely volunteered at the last minute, thusly popping her public reading cherry. Well done on your reading from Immoral Views, buddy! Unfortunately, towards the end there were multiple interruptions from people wandering in and out of the room and sitting down and chatting over the readings which was both rude and infuriating but we all kept smiling! It’s just a good job looks can’t kill 😉
After the Reading Slam, there was an impromptu posing session with a bunch of soldiers. They were there on behalf of the “Soldiers Off the Streets” charity, and I’d already bought a wristband from them earlier in the day. But then I had the bright idea of giving them some business cards with Uniform Behaviour on them, due to the link with charity and helping returning soldiers. Then I had yet another idea for getting the Uniform Behaviour authors in attendance to do a group pose with the soldiers, thus getting some fab photos to help promote our mutual good cause! A good giggle was had by all, though it was impossible to get everyone to look at the same camera at the same time, so I’ve picked the best photo of the bunch!
Following our random photo shoot, there was time for more wandering of the show, photo taking, seeing people attired in all manner of clothing, and very little clothing, having a quick peek at the stage show, loo breaks and a mass sit down and drink/eat! All too soon, we were summoned back to the Xcite stand as myself, Victoria and Kay would be appearing on the afternoon’s panel, along with Kitti Bernetti, and chaired by the inimitable Jane Wenham-Jones. We dropped off our bags and respective friends and other halves and sneaked off together to have a quick briefing about what to expect and how things would work, before heading back into the London Room to arrange the room how we wanted it. What followed was a very lively, fun panel which I really enjoyed. It consisted of Jane asking us questions, us asking each other, and also lots of input from the audience. We talked about writing in general, specific genres, pen names, inspiration, getting published and much, much more.
Overall, it was a very good experience with some very interesting questions raised, and answers given. I think everyone on the panel, as well as everyone attending definitely took something away from the session, and you really can’t ask for better than that! After packing away, a debrief was given back at the Xcite stand, and then we all disappeared off for more looking around the show, and some fun photo ops. Me and my fabulous author buddies posed along the “Erotica wall” as we called it and I actually felt rather famous as multiple cameras were pointed at us. Granted, they were all being pointed by other halves and friends, but still! It was a tiny taste of what it feels like to be in demand, and it was good fun. As you can see from the pics, there was lots of giggling going on and I believe at one point we almost knocked the wall behind us over altogether, which would have been an interesting experience! Luckily, we all emerged unscathed, then the rest of the day/evening consisted of a second launch of K D Grace’s super-steamy new novel, The Pet Shop, which flew off the Xcite stand at the speed of light, and more wandering around the show. Finally, we all reluctantly split off to go our separate ways for the night, and myself and my OH ended up in a restaurant in Hammersmith with Victoria Blisse and her OH, enjoying an absolutely delicious meal and more amusing chat, which also included some more plans for world domination. Good times!

All in all, it’s been a fabulous, fabulous weekend for so many reasons. Seeing the Sh! Girlz is always a delight, so a huge thank you to them and the lovely attendees of the reading on Friday night. You all rock! It’s also been great to spend time with people that I consider to be my buddies but I sadly don’t see anywhere near often enough! Geography sucks! Then of course there were the fab events that Xcite let us loose on, and the signing opportunities on the Xcite stand, so a big thanks also goes to Xcite, who also rock. I met some great people too, including a few readers on the Xcite stand, so if you’re reading this thanks for stopping by and saying hi to us all, and of course buying our books. We couldn’t do it without you!

Now it’s time for me to wrap up as this has to be the longest blog post ever – if you’re still here, well done! I end with this:

Link to more photos on Facebook, if you’re so inclined.

K D Grace’s Book Launch at Sh! Hoxton

Last Friday, I attended the launch of K D Grace’s wonderful new novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, at the Hoxton branch of Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium.  It was the first time I’d met K D, though we’d previously done lots of chatting via email and Facebook – and it was lovely to finally meet her face to face!

I also met Kay Jaybee (another fab erotic author) for the first time, and also caught up with Sarah Berry (editor of Foreplay Magazine) and Hazel Cushion (owner of Xcite Books). There was champagne and cupcakes, sex toys galore to set the scene, and of course, K D’s wonderful reading…

K D Grace

I don’t want to give too much away about the book, but you can see an excerpt over on Erotica For All. I’ve heard the excerpt read aloud, as well as a couple of other sections of the book, and let me tell you… it’s a red-hot read! I’ll be reviewing it soon enough, so watch this space if you don’t believe me!

So, what with all the networking…

Lucy Felthouse, Kay Jaybee, K D Grace

…larking around…

Lucy Felthouse

…and erotic fiction… a fabulous evening was had by all!

My congratulations go to K D – and I hope to be able to attend similar cool events in the future!

Erotica 2009 ‘n Stuff

27th November 2009 – Apologies for not blogging much of late, but I’ve been a busy bee! I’m still in the process of moving the Fantasy Nuggets blog of old over to this site, and I’ve been tweaking bits and bobs that I wasn’t happy with. I’m finally happy with my Links page – I’ve amalgamated my erotic and non-erotic links. I doubt very much I’m going to offend anyone, as chances are if they’re visiting my site, they’ve already got a fair idea of what they’re going to find.

I’ve also imported all my RSS feeds into Outlook, because I’ve seriously dropped out of the whole blog-reading thing due to not finding a feed reader I was happy with. This way, the stories pop into my inbox as they’re posted, meaning I’ll be back up to speed on people’s blogs and commenting away!

In writing news, my exciting news of recent times is the publication of Temptations Vol. 2 – an Xcite book with a tasty man on the front cover and one of my stories nestling between the covers! There’s even a tiny extract from my story on the back cover…

It appeared the posh boy was also deliciously dirty…

Hopefully that’ll draw you in enough to make the purchase – go on, it’s only £2.99 – purchase link [intlink id=”953″ type=”page”]here[/intlink].

I’m working on lots of new stories –  but not in the most productive way. I seem to keep starting stories, then starting something else – so I’m getting nothing finished! So I must make some headway and send things off. It’ll soon be time to put out calls for submission for the Cars & Girls issue of Bunnie, which I’m guest-editing, so I won’t have so much time for writing when the closing date rolls around!

Finally, I was at Erotica last weekend. In good old London town, at Olympia, to be precise. I knew it had been scaled down from last year, but I was still quite surprised. It’s only the second time I’ve been, and last year I was there on the Saturday, rather than Sunday, but it was very quiet. There weren’t many stands, there was a lot of space between them, and visitors were thin on the ground. There just wasn’t much of a buzz (pardon the pun). So that was a little disappointing, but it did give me chance for a good look around without having to push through crowds.

Which brings me to the two most interesting parts of my visit. I got to see my good friend Jackie Adshead, erotic artist. No – let me rephrase that – fabulous erotic artist. Jackie’s headline art (can you call it that, I’m not sure – you know what I mean!) this year was her Fantasy Fannies. And yes, they’re exactly what you think they are. Close up paintings of lady bits. But far from being graphic, they’re painted in such a way that they’re almost abstract. So if you were to buy one and put in on your living room wall, nobody would instantly know what it was. Of course, the smuttier-minded ones amongst us (and I’m guessing you’re one, or you wouldn’t be here) would guess, but depending on their level of politeness, wouldn’t say anything. Not being arty, I’m probably doing a rubbish job at describing them, so just head on over to her website and take a look. And, if you ask her nicely, she’ll do a painting of yours. 🙂

Secondly, I got to meet a man whose name is legendary in erotic writing circles – Adam Nevill. He was with the lovely Hazel Cushion on the Xcite stand. I was lucky to catch up with him, meet him in the flesh and have a good old chinwag. It’s nice to meet people for real because you tend to have more ‘normal’ conversations about anything and everything – whereas when you’re emailing someone in a work capacity, you just get to the point. So that was a highlight of my day – that and seeing all those lovely Xcite books displayed so prominently with Hazel looking proudly on. So she should – joking aside it’s a fabulous range with lovely bright eye-catching covers and totally sexy writing. And with the passing of Black Lace, it’s just going from strength to strength and it’s something I’m delighted to be a part of. Nice work, Xcite!