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Posts Tagged ‘erotica’

Cecilia Tan: Multiple Partners, Multiplying Plots

I think it’s wonderful that “menage” and other forms of multiple-partner relationships are finally gaining some acceptance within romance. The realization that true love doesn’t only have to come in a two-pack is one I’ve experienced in real life and truly enjoy reading in fiction. What makes fiction exciting is the conflicts and unexpected twists. Realizing that there are various ways things could go and that it’s not a given who ends up with whom in exactly what configuration in the happy ending adds some of both!  

Since I enjoy multiple-partner relationships, love triangles that become triads, pairs that meet to become quads, and maybe even—as I joked on Twitter with Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan the other day—the love trapezoid, it only made sense for me to start writing them as well. In the Magic University series, our hero arrives at Harvard to his own “Harry Potter” moment—the shocking news that he is magical, and will actually be attending Veritas, the hidden university of arcane arts on the campus.

 

Thus begins a fantasy epic, but since it is paranormal romance, rather than a quest to defeat evil, I have turned the series into a quest for true love. I already knew at the outset that our hero would have a different love interest in each book of the series. In THE SIREN AND THE SWORD, the very first girl he meets seems absolutely perfect for him, and he spends much of the book trying to be perfect for her. But you know a quest doesn’t just end in the first book. By book two, THE TOWER AND THE TEARS, his search needs to move on.

 

Originally I had planned for Kyle to just have one partner per book, but he has not been very good at doing what I want. He was supposed to start dating a girl named Marjory in book two, but before the second chapter was out, he was making a date with a girl named Ciara from his sex magic class! Marjory was not to be denied, though. As a tutor in sex magic (known in academic circles as the “Esoteric Arts), Marjory gets involved with both Kyle and Ciara, both sexually and emotionally. At one point they even have a foursome with Kyle’s best friend, over the holidays when all four of them live together off campus.

 

This may sound like all fun and games, but it actually becomes a challenge to give each of the important characters enough “screen time.” In a typical fantasy, the camera is nearly always on the protagonist. But in a romance we are already doubling the difficulty, as modern romance readers want to know what is going on in both the hero and the heroine’s heads. Now add a third or a fourth character to the love mix, and you have a whole additional layer or two of backstory to be told, and limited pages within which to win over the reader with a new person.

 

To succeed, each character must have an emotional arc that carries them in the story from one place to another. If characters do not grow or change, they are more like scenery than people. The larger the cast becomes, the more difficult it is to make them anything more than spear carriers. The reader wants to go on an emotional journey while reading a romance. They become invested in the characters, and the writer wants to give them good return on that investment!

 

This is probably why each of the Magic University books has been longer than the previous. In THE SIREN AND THE SWORD there was just one major love relationship to explore. In THE TOWER AND THE TEARS, it evolves into a threesome. In book three, THE INCUBUS AND THE ANGEL, things are complicated further as Kyle is essentially in a love triangle, but when he discovers lucid dreaming, he ends up carrying on the equivalent of four relationships, not two, as each has a waking and a sleeping version.

 

I’m writing book four now. Maybe this one will end up with a love trapezoid. We’ll see.

 

About the Author: Cecilia Tan is a writer, editor, and the founder of Circlet Press. She is the author of many books, including Mind Games, The Hot Streak, White Flames, Edge Plays, Black Feathers, The Velderet, and Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, as well as the Magic University series of paranormal erotic romances, and the currently ongoing web serials The Prince’s Boy and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles. She has the distinction of being perhaps the only writer to have erotic fiction published in both Penthouse and Ms. magazines, as well as in scores of other magazines and anthologies including Asimov’s, Best American Erotica, and Nerve. Learn more at http://blog.ceciliatan.com.

 

Related Links:

The Magic University Series: Info page http://blog.ceciliatan.com/?page_id=318

 

Print Book buy links:

The Siren and the Sword: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159003208X

The Tower and the Tears: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159003211X

 

Ebook buy links:

Mind Games: http://www.ravenousromance.com/breathless/mind-games.php

The Siren and the Sword: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/magic-university-book-one-the-siren-and-the-sword.php

The Tower and the Tears: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/magic-university-the-tower-and-the-tears.php

The Incubus and the Angel: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/magic-university-the-incubus-and-the-angel.php

 

Ask the Sex Expert!

Do you think of yourself as an expert? Apparently Mr. Tweet thinks I’m an expert in Erotica – here’s the message he sent me a couple months ago: “Hi Adriana! You are invited to the Erotica community because members nominated you as an expert they’d love to hear from.”

 

Sounds enticing! I’m happy to claim being an expert on many aspects of sex and erotica – what turns me on, what fantasies I can’t resist, what I love to read – and these are the elements my husband and I take pains to put into the stories we write under our pen name Adriana Kraft. We hope you find them as entertaining and tantalizing as we do!

If you’re tempted to turn some of those fantasies into reality?? Hubby and I aren’t the experts here, and we don’t run an advice column, but we’ve found the perfect source for you: Ask Dan and Jennifer! Have you run into them? I found them on line when we were talking to friends about Swinging Games, our Extasy series on the Swing Lifestyle. I Googled some swing terms to demonstrate the range of what’s out there – and up popped a video of Dan and Jennifer explaining how one half of a married couple could start the conversation about swinging without being threatening or scaring the other partner into the next universe. Very nicely done, I might add!

So we thought it would be fun to give our readers a taste of some of the expertise Dan and Jennifer have to offer. Here’s one of my favorites: How to find your swinging comfort zone:

 

Here’s a little more about them, from their website: “Ask Dan & Jennifer is a very popular and respected Love & Sex web show, advice column, online magazine, and relationship support community.”

Their mission? “We will answer your questions openly, honestly, and without bias or judgment. Question Everything! Our mission is to help people create conscious relationships based on love and acceptance rather than fear, jealousy, anger, and ownership. It’s time to move on from outdated ideas about love and sex.” Sounds a lot like our mission, and we heartily applaud!

Check out some of their hottest topics:

How To Enhance Your Sex Life – http://bit.ly/aNnk3G

First Time Sex Tips – How To Lose Your Virginity In Style – http://bit.ly/b8gV82 

A Little Sexual Tension Can Be Just What A Relationship Needs http://bit.ly/bRPCD9

1,001 Best Places to Have Sex #172: In the Closet at a Friend’s Party – http://bit.ly/ce11Zn

How To Give A Woman Her First Orgasm (Video) – http://bit.ly/bC0AzI

Fun Sex Games To Try With Your Partner – http://bit.ly/9MIqPI

Bondage Basics – http://bit.ly/cYXPcc  Including Video & Pics!!

One Way Successful Couples Make Love Last – http://bit.ly/bAJdef  

Where to find Dan and Jennifer:

Website
YouTube channel
Dan and Jennifer TV
Dan and Jennifer on Twitter 

Have fun and play safe!

 

Sascha Illyvich ~ Guest Blog: Lessons for New Generation of Authors

Lessons for New Generation of Authors

I’ve been spending a lot of time talking with my publicist and discussing the work habits of this new generation of romance authors.  The astounding thing is that observing this generation of new authors gives me both good feelings and bad.

For starters, with the growing E-book revolution (and it IS a revolution) we’re able to get published faster, but so many authors don’t take a hard look at the houses they’re submitting to.  If they did, we’d end up with less crap out on the market. The lesson here is to research not only the house, but other authors who WRITE for that house. This will avoid mistakes.  Take a new publisher that has been courting me lately.  They don’t have a solid reputation entirely due to mistakes made because the owners didn’t understand the business model of the E-book industry from the outset.  They admitted this and this has been confirmed by a friend of mine who is one of the most respected names in Erotica today.  And other authors have come forward to share good experiences about this house as well as a few bad ones.  That’s fine.  Talking to the authors of the house gives you a well rounded view of how they operate. 

Total E-bound has a huge and successful stable of happy authors. Before I signed with them, I looked at the website, got some feedback from some of the authors and felt that I had done my due diligence.

Next up, work ethic.  Raise your hands if you’re a new generation author and you struggle to make that word count every day while trying to promote your books with all the Web 2.0 nonsense.  Tell me it’s a pain in the ass. 

It is. But I do it and have done it for years. I’ve had to grow and learn to utilize different technologies while still embracing the old ones.  Not only do I have to do that, I have to recognize and jump on opportunities that come my way all while writing, doing PR, blogging, doing my Radio Dentata show and attempting to keep a clean house.  I threw that last part in because for the sake of argument (and let’s face it, my S. O. is NOT) I am Alpha Homemaker.  So I cook dinner, do dishes, clean (somewhat) all while maintaining a successful writing career. 

The key is determination and the fact that even as technology improves and makes our lives easier, we need to do the things that make us successful regardless of what they are.  Otherwise we’ll get lost in the shuffle.

Work Ethic:  I’ve seen too many new writers get by on turning in stories that are basically crap other than the bones.  Listen.  I had to bust my ass (uphill in the snow both directions) to get a good first draft finished and then sold.  This goes back to my earlier point about researching the Houses you write for.  A bad house will take a crappy first draft.  A good one will reject it with comments.

Piracy Complaints:  Saw this one coming didn’t you?  How many of us reading this have had our work pirated?  I have.  I was flattered on one hand and pissed on another. Sure I’ve spent time chasing these jackanapes but it’s useless.  Another blogger/author posted a great blog about piracy and she’s right in suggesting that we’re not going to convert pirates to readers or shut down the sites.  Let it go. Hell, call it free publicity and don’t forget to write off the loss as a tax deduction.

Writing and Excerpt sharing:  The concept of an excerpt is NOT to give me 500 words of your 10,000 word story.  That will NOT get a book sold no matter HOW great an author you are.  Christ himself would NOT sell the bible on 1,000 words.  Give us something of value to entice us.  If your story is 5k or less, why?  Learn to write longer.  Take the shorter pieces and sell them to e-zines, throw them up on Literotica for free marketing or put them together in a short story collection.  Then give us a lengthy excerpt from the story.  Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and mine.

If you have a 10k story, that excerpt can and should be 2500 words of HOT. And DON’T GIVE US THE ORGASM.  If you’ve got more than 10k, that excerpt should be no more than 5k.

I know some of this seems harsh but I’ve been around a long time.  And I’ve at least been tactful here compared to my blogs on Midnight Seductions about cross dressing or fellatio! 

What say you? Care to share other lessons for this new generation of authors?

Kinky Erotic Romance by Sascha Illyvich

                  

 
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