Sunday, October 14, 2012

Enough Discussion, Let's Write!

So I recently logged onto for really the very first time and surfed around.  I find it very interesting to see what the most popular movies are for fan fiction writers.  Star Wars is the clear winner here.  I surfed around a little, logged into the mature-theme pieces for one of my favorite movies of all time, The Princess Bride.  Honestly I'm quite surprised this movie isn't higher up on the list!

I even clicked into the miscellaneous folder.  This is for fan fiction that isn't based on a movie, book, comic, etc.  I thought, wow, what am I going to find in a 'miscellaneous' folder on a fan fiction site!  Very interesting.
Then I decided, hey, this would be a great writing exercise! So take this writing prompt and run with it.  And let's me it mature-themed erotica.  Ready?  Since it's my favorite movie let's say...

Write and post a mature-themed piece of fan fiction based on The Princess Bride.  There are only three on!  Let's add more!  Shoot me an email if you post one, so I know.  I'll go check it out and comment on your piece both there and here!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why Are People So Afraid of Erotica

In the last few weeks, as erotica has become a mainstream topic of conversation, I've heard so many different takes on the matter. Some usually sensible folk have referred to it as 'porn.'  Simply and flatly just included it, for themselves, into the same subject-basket.  At a restaurant at dinner with a few friends, suddenly they were talking about the politics of dom and sub and who-is-really-in-control.  For the first time in, what twenty years, we were discussing 9-1/2 Weeks.  Someone said, see women aren't any better than men, maybe now they'll stop complaining about us enjoying porn.  Which led into a conversation about how men are more visual, therefore, they like porn.  Women are more into the romance and story of it, so they like erotica.

And of course, with a few publishing professionals, the whole thing was, why now, why suddenly is it such a big seller, a hot topic? Why this book? You know, let's face it.  It's always been there. Just like young-adult novels had always been there before Harry Potter. And vampires were there before Twilight.  What's amazing is listening to the reactions of different people on the subject. It's most fun to hear about mothers of adults, these 60 and 70 year old women who are voraciously reading That Book. And then talking about it with their adult kids. And they bring it up so nonchalantly, 'Oh, have you read...?'  That, folks, to me is the most refreshing aspect of it all. Mommas around the country are tapping into their interest in sex. And I don't mean, the Mommys with little children, the ones we all assume are the ones scooping up the copies all over the place. For me I think it's more exciting to note the Mommys of Mommys who are reading erotica. It's not Mommy Porn. It's G-ma Porn. But no, I don't want to see her in leather pants.

But I do worry about the people who are perplexed, puzzled, concerned, worried, or downright offended by this 'sudden interest' in erotica.  You hear the audible ugh.  They immediately deride the whole topic by saying, 'Well I heard it really isn't that good anyway.'  As if the entire genre is just one book.  One woman said, when being asked if she'd read it, 'Why would I ever want to read that?'  Indeed. It does make me sad when people are just so absolutely unable to talk about sex. It's such a taboo, to them, it seems the entire subject is dirty, secret, embarrassing, inappropriate.  And how did you get on the planet, dear?  Oh you started with a good fuck.  All, right, I'm assuming, maybe it wasn't all that good.  Oh but I digress... the only thing newsworthy to me here is, I'm mildly surprised that it was a BDSM novel that had the huge break-out.  Not a cowboy erotica or menage or werewolf pack gangbang story.  It wasn't erotic suspense or paranormal.  Maybe because those were already featured at the top of the bestseller charts.  But still, ten million copies in a matter of months.  I would have bet on a more general erotica subject area.  But you know what?  Then the media would not have jumped all over it like they did this one, specifically because BDSM is so juicy and gossipy.

Oh well, most of the people who bought these books who haven't purchased or read another book in the last five years, they won't be buying another book until the next craze any way.  How many, I wonder hadn't read a book since Twilight, and Harry Potter before that, and The Da Vinci Code before that?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Editor Seeks Author for Meaningful Relationship

You know you have an ultimate fantasy.  That one scenario that plays out in your mind over and over.  Or maybe you're like me.  Maybe you have quite a few.  Situation is a key element in erotica. It's like that porn scene set-up.  Interviewee comes in and will do 'anything' for the job.  A vacation resort is more than it promised in the tourist brochure.  The cop that came by because someone tried to break into your house is always a walking dreamstick, yeah?  You can always see the handyman working next door through your window, right?

As the editor of a new erotica line, I'm looking for fresh talent, creative and unique stories.  Yes, you heard me.  I am open to fielding submissions from new writers.  Crazy, I know.  You all are gong to inundate me with proposals, right?  Well, here I'll say it, that's okay.  Be part of an exciting new publishing venture!  Send me your questions or pitch your product to me in 500 words or less.  Get published in eBook and maybe even in audio.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Much Is Too Much? Or even worse...

As an editor, I've heard several authors who were writing erotica or erotic romance or just straight up romance ask me the all-important question, 'Do you think there's too many sex scenes in my book?'  While I will say there is definitely a point at which some reader somewhere might be making her way through your book and think, 'Wow, enough is enough already,' I just wish I would hear just one author one time ask me the way more important question of, 'Do you think I need to add more sex?'

The only fatal problem I've ever found in the areas of erotica or erotic romance with regard to how much sex is in the book is 'not enough.'  I slogged my way through one terribly written cliche after cliche novel recently that was supposed to be erotic suspense, and at the end I realized that in about 250 pages there were 2 sexual situations, and one of them was a blowjob.

I've heard so many people try to explain it a certain way.  Answers I've heard range from 'every other chapter' to 'every character at least one' to 'every X number of pages.'  I actually like using that last one just as a writer's check in revising, but I do not profess it as an overarching rule.  Yes, I will suggest to a writer, go back and read through your entire book and mark the frequency of sexual situations, but overall, I hope no one approaches the telling of a story with a strict measuring stick for the juicy parts.  Sometimes one sexual scene will actually lead straight into another one, whether by effect of the plotline or placement of characters or whatever the reason.  Other times you will need to further your story along a little bit in order to get it told.  I mean, if you have your heroine lost in the woods all alone, not knowing if she'll ever get out or get found, you can't really throw in a sex scene.  Unless you're going to go with masturbation, dream, or flashback, but those are really really hocky constructs if there's no plot reason for them.

So I hope that's enough contradiction for you today.  Ever notice how writing advice never gives you a clear answer and tends to contradict itself?  Don't plan your sex in a per-page way, but when you finish writing your manuscript, go through and see for yourself how often the sex happens.  I know, I"m not very much help.  So let me just leave you with an old adage and a new one.

You've heard the old adage, 'Less is more.'  Right?  Well fuck that, here's your new adage, 'More is more.'  Geez, did I really juse use the word adage?  What an old fart.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Judging a Book by Its Cover

One of the worst sayings ever is 'Don't judge a book by its cover.'  Well, I've known many book cover designers in my life, and let me tell you, they take their jobs seriously.  So actually, you really should.  One of the biggest things that people were afraid of in the transition to eBooks over print, buying online instead of browsing in a real bookstore, was the power of the book cover.

Interesting that we still put so much into creating a selling image for a book, even though it's an eBook downloaded digitally directly from the Web onto a device.  We've even maintained close to the standard sizes and dimensions.  I am one of those people who doesn't believe the physical book is going to disappear anytime soon, but I love that even eBook exclusive originals have covers that are in a 6x9 perspective.  Really, what are the dimensions of an eBook?  But you know what?  We still need a visual image to market and sell the book.

So the cover remains.  And it's more important than ever.  Even if you're self-publishing, direct to eBook, I really urge you to put a cover image to your book.  It's your opportunity to create a selling tool, paint a picture of your story.

Now we're supposed to be talking about erotica on this blog, so let's talk about hot naked man torsos!  I may be extremely biased here, but it really is all about the pectorals and the abs and the inguinal ligament, isn't it?  Or big giant biceps wrapped around a woman with ecstasy face.

There are so many standards in book cover design depending on the genre.  From man with briefcase running.  Wrought-iron fence at an interesting angle.  Adirondack chairs at sunset.  In erotica, you got the hot man torso or the hot woman with man torso.  There's man in cowboy hat leaning on fence.  Why do the cowboys always lean on fences?  There's the black and purple lit torso.  There's the realistic photographed torso.  And now there's the article of clothing on black background.  Just about the only no-no is the all-text cover.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Old Standards

One of my favorite things about erotica is that all the men have jobs or backgrounds that are icons of masculinity.  In a general overview it gives a great insight into what turns us on.  You still go home to the boyfriend, lover or husband, or out on a date with a guy who works in insurance or accounting, but when you lose yourself in a steamy novel, don't you want to read about:

Cowboys, ranchers, Navy SEALs, Marines, special ops forces, firemen, cops, CIA operatives, spies, Highlanders, vampires, vampire hunters, shapeshifters,  dukes and lords, pirates, rebels, tattooed bad boys, professional athletes, personal trainers, even immortals, gods and lesser gods, demons and angels, rock stars, CEOs, billionaires, astronauts, pilots, and senior editors.  OK, I made that last one up.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Relaunch of fagblog -- new topic!

Hello all,

This was my original blog, but you know, I still love the name of it, so when I decided to launch into a new topic, actually I think the name of this one is perfectly fine.  So without further blathering, let me announce the relaunch of the fagblog blog.  I'm Bob, and I am the senior acquisitions editor for a new line of... erotica!

Yes, yes, it's true.  And this blog is my personal journal, resource, contact point, and informational site to find out what I'm working on, what I'm publishing, what I'm looking for, and where you can find out all my deep thoughts on erotica and erotic romance.

Now, I know, most of the folks that found me here previously were more connected with fantasy and horror.  I still love those subjects.  I'll acquire books in ANY genre for publication, so feel free to contact me with your query in any area.  But for the purposes of this blog, I'm going to focus on the subject at hand.

And as always, and actually more so now, since I am now an active acquiring editor, if you're a writer, email me and talk to me.  I get a lot of spam and junk mail, so please put FAGBLOG in the subject line so I know you're a reader from here.

Now let's get started talking about SEX!