**warning, epic blog post ahead**
This year, Eroticon took place in Bristol. Even before arriving it promised to be an awesome weekend as seven of the eight Brit Babes (me, K D Grace, Kay Jaybee, Lily Harlem, Victoria Blisse, Lexie Bay and Tabitha Rayne) were in attendance, as well as lots of other good writing buddies, respected colleagues and all-round fun and interesting folk. I shall skip over the journeys as nothing of interest happened except for two very chatty taxi drivers and me very nearly throwing a wobbly on a crowded train. *ahem*
On arrival in Bristol, it was a quick check in, a dash to the room where Lexie Bay had already turned it into a branch of Boots – such was the number of cosmetics and hair care products. After a freshen up and a change of clothes, I headed to Lily Harlem‘s room where everyone else was gathered nibbling goodies and drinking bubbles. Hugs and catching up ensued, before we headed to a restaurant called Browns to eat delicious food, drink delicious drink and earn sidelong looks from fellow diners and staff as we discussed everything from anal fisting to golden showers. We even left a Brit Babes business card on the little plate along with the payment for our bill, adding cheeky to our list of misdemeanours!
Next, a gathering in the hotel bar, where we continued to traumatise other folk, I suspect. By this point we were so engrossed in our conversations that we didn’t care. The night wore on, though, as it is wont to do, until there were three. Finally, Lily, Lexie and I admitted defeat and headed to bed, where Lexie and I chatted about all sorts of rubbish until the wee hours.
Saturday dawned bright and way too early. I met Victoria and Kev Blisse for breakfast, then we headed to the venue to get the book stall set up and organised. I’m not much of a morning person so it allowed me to be busy without having to provide stimulating conversation. As time went on, more folk arrived, hugs and kisses were given, new introductions were made and then Eroticon started officially with the first session. I stayed on the book stall for a while, not venturing into a session until good buddies Victoria and K D Grace gave their talk on sex and spirituality in the afternoon, by which point I was awake enough to venture some opinions and even got a laugh. Not bad.
Then it was back out into the thick of things, grabbing conversations here and there, learning new things and taking frantic notes. I always find at these events that the networking and the random chats are just as informative and useful as the official talks and workshops. This was definitely no exception. I always like learning new things, and given how many awesome brains were around for me to pick, I came away very enriched.
Saturday evening and night is a little bit of a blur. Not because of alcohol, I hasten to add (it takes a lot more than a single vodka and coke to render me drunk!), but because tiredness hit big style. I readily admit I’m not the most fun person when tired, so I stayed quiet, especially for me, and hid with Victoria and Kev Blisse who know what I’m like and (hopefully) don’t think any less of me for it! Bed was a necessity, given the two talks I was taking part in were on Sunday. And sleep…
Another yummy breakfast was had on Sunday (many thanks to Molly’s Daily Kiss for the tip!) and we scuttled to the venue, getting uber organised as Victoria, Kev and I had to dash off as soon as our last talk was finished to start our journeys home. I still managed chats with lots of people, including Fran and Paul from House of Erotica, where we discussed devious future plans and awesome stuff. Watch this space.
It was soon time for mine and Kay Jaybee’s talk on making the move from short stories to novels (as soon as I get chance, I’ll collate our notes and make them available, either here or on the Eroticon site). We were a tad paranoid nobody would turn up as we were in the same time slot as the awesome Kristina Lloyd. Much to our relief and delight we had plenty of bums on seats. What’s more, they were very interested in what we had to say, asked lots of questions, volunteered opinions and were a bunch of very engaged and awesome folk. We didn’t get through everything we’d planned to, but we’ve had very positive feedback from the attendees, saying we’ve inspired and helped them. Naturally, this makes me very happy and I’m really glad we gave the talk. If you’re reading this, thank you very much for joining in with us, and get writing those novels! 😉
The day flew past, and there was more talking, even more plans made, including lots from The Brit Babes. Between us, it’s going to be a very exciting year and beyond. I can’t wait. World domination is within our grasp.
Next up was the Blisse Guide to Smut. This comprised of myself, Victoria Blisse, Kev Blisse, Kay Jaybee and K D Grace. We were the last two hour session so folk (including us) were winding down and energy was waning, but it didn’t matter. We still had a great session, covering everything from bad cover letters to upcoming anthologies. Kay Jaybee gave a great mini-presentation on inspiration, where she headed around the room with a Paddington Bear bag (I kid you not!) asking folk to pull items out and come up with an idea based on that item. Some ideas were better than others, but it’s very hard when you’re put on the spot! Again, this was another successful session as I’ve had tweets and messages from folk who were inspired and are looking to submit to future anthologies – I look forward to reading the smutty tales!
It literally was a case of closing the last session and running out as our taxi was waiting outside, so goodbyes were either super brief or non-existent. But this is why social media is so fantastic. The conference carried on for hours after I’d left on the Twitter hashtag so it kind of felt like I was still there for a while.
As is always the way with these events, the time goes incredibly quickly, there’s never enough time to talk to everyone you want to talk to, and if you do talk to them, it’s not for long enough. But I managed to put some faces to names, catch up with folk I don’t see very often, hatch plans with friends new and old, learn new things and even impart some knowledge of my own. All in all, another fantastic Eroticon event put together by Ruby Kiddell – well done, that woman! There’s no Eroticon in the UK in 2015, but based on the conversations I’ve had over the past few days, I think there are going to be other events that will make up for it. Starting with Smut by the Sea on the 14th June. Now one conference is done, I can start thinking about the next. I can’t wait!
P.S. Fantastic news today. Stately Pleasures is in the February Read of the Month poll on the Smile, Somebody Loves You website. Would LOVE your votes if you’re so inclined, as the competition is FIERCE! http://sslyblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/february-read-of-the-month-poll/ – thank you! x