Leicester Libraries is hosting Erotic Fiction authors C.M Kempe and Lucy Felthouse for readings followed by a q&a session on Tuesday 28th June 6:00-7:30pm at the Central Library.
During Lucy’s first year studying Creative Writing at the University of Derby, she was dared to write an erotic story. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing and Xcite Books. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Margery Kempe is a writer of erotic romance distinguished by its humour, intelligence and fearless sensual pleasures. Her stories range from contemporary thrillers to medieval era fairy tales. An English professor by day, she also writes on medieval literature, film, creative writing and New Media, as well as humor, drama, mainstream and genre fiction under her real name and non-explicit romance as Kit Marlowe.
So today we have another special guest … one I’ve not yet met. She is a friend of our own Kate Laity and C. Margery Kempe, which means she’s bound to be trouble on the hoof. In the best possible way, of course!
I don’t know what Kit’s post will be about as this is a case of me begging for someone to write something for today’s RR Wednesday. Yes, someone lost track of the time, day of the week, home address, you name it… So luckily for me Kate and Margery said they’d do the equivalent of a literary press gang and get Kit to be our guest.
I do know Kit is a writer of historical fiction with humor. How do I know? It says so on her website here. Being Kate and Margery’s friend, I’m betting she enjoys a tasty alcoholic libation now and again. I will be very disappointed if all she wants is a pot of tea. I won’t know this until a bit later – I’ve been told Kit will be sending me a post later this evening, which means this intro might serve as a placeholder to let everyone know we are indeed having Ravenous Wednesday today, but SOMEone (BAD Inara/Dana) didn’t get her act together this week…
Ooh, and the placeholder can now give way to the actual post, so please welcome Kit Marlowe to Un:Bound!!
Cant, Argot and Jargon
I love language!
I know, I know: all writers do, but I love the superfluity of language that supplies slang. I think in part it’s like knowing a secret handshake or being part of an exclusive club.I specialize in rather obscure languages: for my graduate work I studied Old English, Middle English, Old Norse, Old Irish, Old High German, Middle High German, Modern German, Modern Swedish, Modern Icelandic and Latin (whew!).
But what I really love most are informal vocabularies that define a time or place. In my forthcoming novel, The Mangrove Legacy (coming in November from Tease Publications) I used a lot of Regency era cant even though I often stretched the narrative to a later time period. But the cant from that period was so much fun! I first learned it from the pen of Georgette Heyer, whom I first learned about from the fabulous Stephen Fry, who listed Heyer among his guilty pleasures on his 50th celebration.
The slang from that time is so rich: “foxed” means you’re drunk, as does “disguised” and “tap-hackled”—how quickly slang dates!But some terms can be easily understood even much later, like “swimming in lard” which refers to someone with considerable wealth, and “making a cake of yourself” which describes someone making a fool of themselves.
Often Cant and slang belong to a different—and often lower—class, marking out their standing verbally in any social situation, like rhyming Cockney slang—if you like your Tilburys pulled up as you head up the apple and pears or have done for yonks [I love the word “yonks”].Like the thieves cant in the 18th and 19th centuries, the secrecy was a necessary part of things to keep from being caught.
Of course you can go to far and I always think of the Monty Python RAF sketch that shows what happens when people try too hard to develop a special patois for a given group and end up being completely incomprehensible. Sometimes, too, it comes back: a lot of the jazz age hipster terms I used in the novella I have coming out next month from Noble Romance, “The Big Splash” have not gone out of fashion.
Here’s an excerpt:
It would have been quite impossible for Constance to account for such a thing, but about forty-five minutes later she slipped into the table next to Mr. Wood at the Lorne Acorn. “Darling, what a day I’ve had!”
“How late you are, Constance,” Mr. Wood drawled, exerting as always as little effort as possible to make conversation, though his dark eyes caressed her form.
“I would have been much later had salvation not appeared this afternoon,” Constance said, perusing the menu with an eager gaze. “You’ll never guess what happened!How many martinis have you had?”
“Only two,” Mr. Wood said, leaning toward Constance to rest his rather large hand upon her thigh.
Constance hid a smile. “Do be a dear and order me one immediately. I think I ought to have some kind of beef for lunch. Meat will bring me back down to earth after my extraordinary good luck. I am quite giddy!”
Mr. Wood nodded to the waiter who whisked himself off to accomplish this task. Her companion’s fingers slipped across the ruffled length of her skirt to hook under its edge and begin drawing the fabric back to expose her stocking.
“Need I remind you that we are under the bright glare of luncheon lights, Mr. Wood?” Constance said severely even as the familiar tingle of desire warmed her thighs.
“I don’t know what you mean, Constance,” Mr. Wood said with a nearly believable tone of innocence.
“Why don’t you order the brisket?I have enjoyed it many times.”Why did nearly every thing he said seemed aimed to raise a blush?Or could it be merely his hand on her leg?
Constance closed her eyes to enjoy the sly touch of his fingertips along the top of her stocking and sighed happily. To think only this morning her life had been in disarray. Now everything had gone back to normal—well, as normal as her days ever got.
“Your drink, miss,” the waiter murmured, setting the delicate stemmed glass before her.
“Very good,” Constance said with a sunny smile, picking up the beverage with her slim fingers. “I shall have the brisket.”With practiced ease, she threw back the martini, which struck her throat with a cool thrill then warmed the path to her stomach. “And another martini,” she added. The waiter smiled, took her glass and backed away in silence.
“You’re lucky they have long tablecloths here,” Constance scolded quietly. Mr. Wood said nothing but leaned in to kiss her cheek sweetly even as his hand slipped deeply between her thighs, his pinkie just tickling the silk of her knickers as he did so. With an effort, Constance maintained her composure.
“Care for a cigarette?” Mr. Wood asked, a wicked smile curling his lips.
“Not at present,” Constance said. “I feel a trifle warm. Ah, here comes my second martini.”She put the cold glass to her lips and tried to ignore the insistent touch of Mr. Wood. “Don’t you even want to hear my news?”
“No, not especially at present,” Mr. Wood said, wiggling his defiant finger in such a delicious manner that Constance no longer wanted to discuss the changes in her household staff, important though they might be.
“Can we have the brisket to take away?” Constance asked the waiter with a sweet air when he arrived with the steaming plate. Within a few moments, the two were headed out onto the busy street where a cab arrived at once as if aware of their urgency. They made it all the way to her parlour before Mr. Wood dropped the neatly boxed lunch, grabbed Constance and pulled her into a kiss that was anything but polite.
“My mother does not approve of you,” Constance whispered fiercely when Mr. Wood extricated his tongue long enough for her to do so.
“Your mother can go hang,” Mr. Wood said unfeelingly as he reached under her skirt to run his hand down the front of her knickers, slipping two fingers under the elastic band and putting an end to any further commentary from Constance apart from a very quick “oh” that sprang from her lips…
Is it just me or does our Succubus mascot here kind of look like Kate Winslet? Why I only now just noticed this is one of life’s little mysteries and one that does not need to be solved. For we have far more important things to discuss today, the first being welcoming the lovely C. Margery Kempe back to Un:Bound!
First we had to get her and her evil twin, Kate, back from England where they gallivanted around the pub scene with our own Adele. For those of you who think I’m just a LITTLE jealous about this gallivanting … you’re totally right. 🙂
For those of you who’ve visited us here before, or, who are Ravenous Romance readers or writers, you will remember Margery as the author of one of my fave RR books, CHASTITY FLAME. Hopefully we’ll see a sequel to that in the near future! In the meantime, Margery and her evil twin (or is Margery the evil twin? I get so confused…) have been busily writing and publishing other stuff (see below for a list and links!). But luckily not so busy that she was unwilling to write a post for us today and stop by for drinks! Vodka martini, Margery?
Today’s post is about the lure of fairy tales. And may I just say I grew up reading the original Grimms Fairy Tales and was mightily disappointed at the lack of bloodshed in the Disney retreads.
Anyway, onto Margery’s post!
The Timeless Lure of Fairy Tales
My latest story for Noble RomanceLove Me Like a Reptile is another fairy tale narrative. This time it’s set in the modern world, unlike my last one, Spinning Gold, an M/M tale set in the Middle Ages. Madeley, a young woman who works in a pub Thameside, wonders why it is that she always seems to be kissing frogs instead of princes—and then she meets a talking frog who promises he’s something more. Should she believe him?
Setting aside the Motörhead song that did inspire the title (no, not a big fan of Lemmy, it just got stuck in my head and ended up a story, as so often happens J), the real inspiration is of course the fairy tale of the Frog Prince.Spinning Gold grew out of Rumpelstiltskin. I’m already working on a Cinderella story, too.
That’s not all: under my real name, I have a fairy tale novel Pelzmantelout as well, based on All-Fur (also known as Thousand Fur) and my previous short story collection, Unikirja/Dreambook was also based on myths and fairy tales from Finland. But I’m not alone: my colleagues at Ravenous Romance and Noble Romance also write an awful lot of fairy tale stories, too, like Bednobs and Beanstalks and Rapunzel’s Release.
Why do fairy tales eternally return? We never seem to get tired of them. While most people know the Disney versions best (shudder), surprisingly few have read the Grimm versions upon which they were based, in turn based upon oral retellings of German and Alsatian women which were then shaped by the brothers to form a “national” heritage.The Kinder- undHausmärchen had a political intent as well as a literary and linguistic one. The idea of a German nation (as well as many other European nations) did not exist until the 19th century. Just as a Neapolitan wouldn’t consider herself that same “nation” as a Sicilian at that time, the various republics had a local outlook, which the Grimms and many others thought should be united.The stories were a rhetorical device for forging that identity through a shared heritage of stories.
If you read the actual tales, you may find yourself surprised at all the clever servants who outwit their masters, parents who kill their children and siblings who actively fight against one another to the death. We forget how harsh life was in fairly recent times. In our time of relative comfort where children are coddled and made the center of their parents’ existence, it’s hard to imagine a time when parents might have to choose between children and survival.
But these are the stories that have sunk into our bones: tales of survival and magic. Across the world versions of these stories are told and re-told with different names and different details, but they have the same power. These narratives explore how we cope with danger, with grief and with opportunity—how we make choices at those pivotal moments. And that’s why they’ll never go out of style.
Excerpt from Love Me Like a Reptile:
Why do I always get the frogs?Madeley wondered for the umpteenth time as she wiped down the bar. They come on as such charmers, but once they move in—ah, well, it was the same old story. For the first few days after he left, the extra expanse of mattress was luxury enough, but the lack of sex was taking its toll. While she’d gotten rather creative with her sex toys of late, she had to admit there was no substitute for the real thing.
Marshall had lasted in her flat as long as he did only because he lasted so long in bed each night, bringing her to several exquisite peaks before coming himself. Of course, the way he always screamed, “Rock and roll!” when he came got up her nose, but compromise was part of life, or so her mum always advised. Good sex outweighed an annoying tick or two.
She sighed. It had been really good sex.
“Madeley, can you take the rubbish out to the tip?”
Mr. Dudek poked his head out from the kitchen, his bland face looking concerned.
Madeley grinned. She was the only one who knew his secret—her boss was afraid of the dark. This strapping guy with the barrel chest, whose very presence could discourage the most belligerent drunk, trembled at the thought of facing the dark passage behind the pub.
“Yeah, all right.”
Madeley heaved the two bags into the skip and stretched her tired arms over her head, looking up at the sky. Not even a star to wish upon. Damn light pollution. She turned to head back into the pub when something caught her eye. Bending, Madeley squinted to see what had caught the thin beam of the security light.
It was a frog.
The pub lay so close to the river that it wasn’t a bit unusual to see all kinds of skittery creatures hanging around the bins. A salamander even appeared in the gents one night, but Noel swore someone had smuggled it in. Was there a large international ring of salamander smugglers, she’d asked him.
This creature, however, was no ordinary frog. For one thing, it was enormous. Madeley couldn’t be certain, but she would easily guess it to be more than twenty centimeters long. Gold streaks along its back glistened in the weak light, but the rest of its skin was a kind of olive green like fatigues. Most startlingly, its yellow-gold eyes appeared to be following her every movement.
Don’t be daft; it’s just scared. Madeley put her fists on her hips and took a step forward.“Shoo,” she said, her voice too loud in the darkness. The frog picked up its forefeet and adjusted its position slightly to follow her movements. She could almost hear the wet sound of those little green feet on the tarmac. A shudder of revulsion passed through her. Disgusting creature!
“Love me like a reptile,” Madeley said the words out loud to assuage her sudden discomfort. “Don’t make me laugh.”
“Frogs aren’t reptiles, you know.”
Madeley’s heart jumped into her mouth. She jerked her head right then left, but there was no one to be seen. Her eyes narrowed as she leaned toward the creature. “Who’s doing this?”
“I am,” the frog said, its mouth snapping with finality on the second word.
“Pull the other one,” Madeley said with a snort. “Noel?” It would suit his sick sense of humor, but as she cocked her head to listen, there was only the rush of the river out of sight, the gabble of passing crowds, and the cars whizzing by on the Embankment.
“Seriously,” the frog continued, its voice as reasonable as if the two of them had been chatting about the weather. “Frogs are amphibians, not reptiles.”
“Well, I guess you have your category for Mastermind.” Madeley shook her head, but it didn’t get any clearer. And the frog was there still, blinking its giant golden eyes at her.
“Will it help to tell you I’m enchanted?”
C. Margery Kempe writes sexy stories for people who appreciate alittle humour with their steamy romance. Visit her website(http://www.cmkempe.com) or stop by Sundays at Nights of Passion(http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com) for more.
I was at the brilliant Magus event at the weekend and our own (yup, she visits us therefore she is ours) Kate Laity was presenting. So it should come as no surprise that at the end of the first day we took off to a local pub where I suspect the barman deliberately turned up the bad music since it wasn’t exactly busy but there we are, you are used to the random background noise in my interviews by now.
Kate and I started out discussing her academic career and why it is that Medievalists were such quick adopters of the internet. Working in such a specialised area the internet made a huge difference to the accessability to texts and ideas. Since we were at the Alan Moore conference we discussd comics and performance and the work she does with her students, creating a visual narrative and drawing performance into their work. She forces them to use social media in their studies, wish i’d had lecturers like that.
Kate’s presentation was focused on geography, Moore is very focused on place, particularly Northampton while Kate loves to travel and move around so we talked about literature and resonance of place which is just a gorgeous phrase.
We moved on to Kate’s fantasy writing and her love of fairy tales and working medieval magic into her stories. If you don’t know what a donkey skin tale is, it’s not gross, just go listen, she is fascinating on every subject but it was a real pleasure hearing her talk about mythology and female perspective.
We also talk about C.Margery Kempe, Kate’s alternative identity under which name she writes erotic romance, but who is named after a fascinating historical character.
Kate is a wonderful interviwee so go and have a listen.
Kate’s coverage of Magus, the Alan Moore conference can be found on her blog with posts here.
Kate Laity is an awesome chick. She has put her professional info at the bottom of the post so I shalln’t repeat it except to say that I had no idea that I was talking to the same person under two names for a while until she told me. Her alter ego has been a guest on Un:Bound’s Ravenous Wednesday but this is all about Kate. So without further messing about….
“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.” — Desiderius Erasmus
I must admit that I am reluctant to show you just how bad it is. I include a few pictures, but I should explain but not actually SHOW you that in addition to the couple thousand books in my flat, there are a couple thousand more in my office on campus (including the closets) and at least that many (okay, more) in a storage space that I dream of simply abandoning. How did things get to this level? Mostly a lot of moving — although the influence of a real job cannot be overlooked (“I can pay movers!”).
I have too many days filled with daydreams of walking out the door and getting in my car with my cat and my computer and never living in a fixed place ever again. I go through periods where I try to “simplify, simplify” as Thoreau exhorted, but I have to acknowledge that I have been a bibliophile since childhood and it’s a difficult habit to end. But after the last couple of cross-continental moves (and as I contemplate moving across an ocean), I know I need to divest myself of a lot. I have begun to try. But as you can see in the above picture, bookshelves seem to be magnets for other things like Hello Kitty playing a guitar, Durga lunchboxes, neat cards my friends send me, Lament Configurations. Each shelf has an insidious whisper, “Put things here!”
There are discreet collections within the larger madness: for example, here are the books that fueled my writing of Unikirja, my collection of stories and a play inspired by Finnish myth and legend. This is the primary source of most of my books: topics on which I write. So there’s the Finnish bookcase, there’s the myth case, esoterica, two for witchcraft, films/drama/ritual & drama theory, pulps, two for horror, two for fantasy, music, erotic and romance, and of course, the Liverpudlians.
What can I say? Obsessed much? On campus there are the subjects I teach, so two big bookcases that have Old and Middle English, Old Norse & Icelandic, medieval drama, then there are the closets that have the remainder: medieval history, drama, film, horror – oh, and my collection of vinyl LPs which was culled before the latest move, but not enough. I’m working on the divesting: here’s the horror PB bookcase post culling:
You’ll note the books are stacked two deep. Those are pieces of my Halloween costumes (yes, I always need more than one) left atop the shelves because I have no Jeeves to look out for me. I’ve got a plan where I put things on my blog to give away for the price of shipping. If I can give things to people who will enjoy them, I can give them away. I’ve been doing it a little — need to do it a LOT. I keep reminding myself how once my belongings all fit in my car.
But then I have so many cool books! How am I going to get rid of these?
One shelf I won’t be getting rid of, something every writer probably has, is the brag shelf to show off all your publications. Okay, in my usual excessive manner, I have two. The brag shelf in my office has more of the gigantic tomes, mostly encyclopedias in which I have entries. It’s the one shelf I want to grow.
I have a pile of books on each of my desks, part of whatever I’m working on at a given moment. I also have folders for each project (hey, parts of my life are organised!) and my bulletin board of things that I need have visually accessible. This is the home one. There’s the Vonnegut picture that inspired the novel I’m finally getting ready to send out; my press pass for New World Finn; pictures from my childhood that my folks sent; Peter Cook as Drimble Wedge badge; Lost Souls badge (Clive Barker fan club); various notes for future projects or things to remember. Unlike the more polite “Just say ‘no’!” sign on my office bulletin board, cautioning me against taking on projects, you’ll note this one has much more peremptory language (“Do not fucking say ‘yes’!”). When I was working my way out exile in Texas, I took on anything that would bolster my CV. It’s been a hard habit to break.
Of course the one place that maintains a Spartan simplicity is my fridge. Erasmus was on to something, eh? You see, I need a Jeeves to look after me. Jeeves would weed out the unnecessary. He could get my life back in order, effortlessly remove the extraneous — and make sure I ate better. He’d probably make me dress better, too. Maybe I should add a Paypal link to my website, “Help me hire a Jeeves!” I need to get rid of a lot of these books (and tchotchkes and bits of paper and whatnot).
— and let’s not even commence talking about the extensive CD and DVD collections…
*Apologies for the crap phone pix; I fell and broke the view screen of my camera in London last summer. I am pleased to say I did NOT drop my Magnum, however. Ice cream is important. The man who helped me up could not hide his admiration.
K. A. Laity (www.kalaity.com) is the author of Unikirja (Aino Press 2009) and the forthcoming Pelzmantel: A Medieval Tale (Immanion Press 2010), as well as numerous short stories, academic essays, plays and more. She’s a tenured professor of English and a columnist for BitchBuzz.com, the global women’s lifestyle network. Visit her blog, Wombat’s World http://katewombat.blogspot.com or read her ongoing comic Gothic serial, The Mangrove Legacy http://kalaity.blogspot.com, or her comic web jam with Elena Steier, Jane Quiet http://janequiet.com. It’s been said that she bears a striking resemblance to erotic romance author, C. Margery Kempe http://www.cmkempe.com, but it may just be the hats.
Yup, after a month long hiatus, it’s time to start up Ravenous Wednesday for 2010! Only two years until 2012, when (according to the Mayans and the makers of such fine disaster flicks as Day After Tomorrow and … well … 2012! I love watching sentient earthquake faults and crumbling buildings chase after ONE FRIGGIN’ FAMILY…) the earth will end!
And wasn’t that a really long parens? Heh.
Anyway, I am pleased to start off the new year with C. Margery Kempe, author of one of my favorite Ravenous Romance books CHASTITY FLAME. So please help yourself to the copious snackage and beverage buffet, pull up a chair and say hi to Margery!
I fought with my twin, that enemy within, ’til both of us fell by the way.
— Bob Dylan, “Where are you tonight?”
It’s a strange thing writing under different names, as many of us do in the romance and erotic romance fields. I have other reasons to do so, too.As an academic, I write the occasional column for a snarky academic blog that reveals the true frustrations of the dim-witted students (with luck, a minority), boneheaded administrators (again, with luck, a minority — oh, but let’s admit it’s not), intolerable colleagues, ridiculous hoops through which we jump from grad school onward, and the low pay, poor compensation and generally low regard for education that mystifies me.
Which is the long way of saying, I won’t be telling you that name.
Publishing Chastity Flame reminded me that the first novel I wrote in high school was not only a spy novel, but also that I had chosen a pseudonym for the novel. Why? I think I just liked the idea of secrets.Secret names, secret clubs, secret languages, secret gardens: these were the things that gave life a touch of magic.Things only I and my friends knew somehow made us special, I thought.
I don’t much care who knows my true name and I am not too bothered by my colleagues finding out what I do under this name. Perhaps it’s because my tenure package at my small, historically Catholic, college has already been submitted and voted on (though the results have not been announced); perhaps it’s because I’m already actively considering other job options; and perhaps it’s just because I’m too busy to care about other people’s disapproval.
It’s useful to have different names to distinguish types of writing: people know what they’re getting when they pick up a story by C. Margery Kempe: sexy, steamy and explicit encounters in a romantic context. I have a new name for non-explicit romance (I’ll let you know her name once she’s published). People picking up books with my true name on it – well, they know to expect the unexpected.
But there are other reasons to enjoy my twin: “we” have fun commenting on each other’s posts on Facebook. People who know get to laugh along too, and kid with my alter ego. CMK has a larger network of people she doesn’t actually know – mostly other romance writers – and doesn’t post as much random quirkiness as I do. She’s a professional. I am, too, but I have other interests and responsibilities. Yes, there are things that I want to share but don’t feel are appropriate to my profile as a public academic as well as a multi-faceted writer.CMK gets to post those.
Of course, I help share her news as I do with all my writer friends. We link to each others’ new publications and reviews.We help each other out – not bad for an evil twin, eh?
In honour of the theme, I offer a link to a story of mine that’s available at present for free and comes with some lovely photography, too. I choose this one because it’s set in the secret garden in Regent’s Park in London, one of my favourite hideaways in the midst of the bustling city. The story is “Park Larks” and appears in the latest issue of Bunnie which has as its theme “The Great Outdoors”; I read the first half of this story at the Waterstone’s in Notting Hill in June, my first reading as CMK. It went well. 🙂
I’ve said it before (yesterday in fact) but Kempe is a delightful writer.
Chastity Flame is a british spy, sexy, smart and kickass, James Bond in a slinky low backed dress and killer heels. Like all the best spies the high adrenaline lifestyle leaves her with a simple option for burning off the excess and there are some hot men and a hot girl that that are happy to provide a release, or several.
Aside from the well written and mostly casual sex, this is at heart a romance and a spy novel. The book is at it’s raunchiest early on, later as our heroine gets drawn further into the plot and the romance the sex lessens, but that’s fine, by that point we’ve had our fun and want to know what is going to happen to Chastity.
There is a suprisingly good plot, Chastity and her team trying to protect the country from a smooth, in control villain and now she has to untangle her feelings and figure out what to do about finding a man she can’t forget as soon as she leaves the room. It has some tense moments and some genuinely tender ones aswell as the very sexy ones.
A triumph I reckon, a genuinely intelligent, entertaining read; romantic, raunchy and *ahem* satisfying. I read it in one sitting, couldn’t put it down, which is saying somethin given reading on the laptop is not the easiest thing ever. I believe some of the Ravenous Romance books are now available in paperback too which I am going to have to investigate.
I’ve been reading ravenous romances lately, ever since Dana/Inara moved across to them i’ve tentatively begun exploring the genre. It’s helped that I am so fond of some of their authors already. I have developed a habit of dipping in and out of the books, so with the exception of Ripping the Bodice, these can not be considered reviews, but I wanted to share my impressions so far.
Ripping the Bodice – Inara LaVey Ok well this one i read cover to cover in one sitting. I loved out overly romantic herione, too busy swooning over the handsome hero to notice the really sexy boy who she should clearly be with. Inara has a humerous and affectionate tone and her characters are a delight. Having written outside the genre she brings an atypical attitude to her story that drew me in and convinced me there might be more to romance novels than Mills & Boon covers suggest. If you want something a little more relaxed and natural with a bit of a wink to the camera then Inara is your girl.
Stilettoes Inc – Lexi Ryan This is more of a sexy adventure, the Stilettoes girls are kick ass chicks and hotter than hell, I am looking forward to getting back into it and seeing where it all goes. There are some people who want the stiletto girls tied into them and won’t trust them as long as they remain independant, there are other people who just want them dead. Lexi writes well and it’s been an action packed and entertaining start.
I Kissed a Girl – Anthology edited by Regina Perry I’ve not read all of this yet either, but it’s short stories so i’ll tell you about the ones I have read. Freckles – CM Kempe adorable, sexy, brilliant. I am now a certified fan of Kempe’s writing. There is something sweet and innocent about our girl in this one which oddly doesn’t vanish when she gets involved in a threesome with her boyfriend.
Two’s Company – Louisa Bacio A fairly standard student experimentation story, entertaining and solid but not a stand out among the others.
Champagne – Inara LaVey Well since I followed Inara from another life into romance i think it goes without saying that I loved this one. I was reading the anthology with a few glasses of rose and did find myself rather wishing my husband was around to… well read it. As always I adored Inara’s characters, or at least the ones i’m supposed to.
Get thee to the Nunnery – Samantha Jones Based around catholic boarding school experiances, this was fairly standard boys fantasy stuff to my mind an didn’t really have the impact of some of the other stories. Suitably raunchy though so will be exactly right for some readers.
Ladies Maid – K Ann Karrison There was something gentle and tender about this tale and although it didn’t absorb me as completely as my favourits or stay so firmly in my mind, it was enjoyable and makes a good addition to the anthology.
The Tigers Tale – Kilt Kilpatrick Ok, I should point out that by this point i was quite well oiled and nearly down to the bottom of the bottle, making a slightly unusual tale downright surreal. I really loved this story, i liked that Kilt gave a sense of the time period and of consequences. He touched on love and loyalty and it was a deeply memorable and utterly wonderful tale, sexy and strange and also where I stopped for the night.
Time for yet another RavenousWednesday here on Un:Bound! Today I am more than delighted to introduce C. Margery Kempe, who muses about what she calls ‘The Writer’s Dull Life.’ Having hung out with Margery on past Un:Bound posts and quaffed many a cyber shot of vodka with her, I suspect she’s downplaying things a little bit as to avoid shocking our gentle readers, but she makes an excellent point regarding the unrealistic expectations people tend to have when talking about the lifestyles of creative types, be they writers, artists or actors. While I’d love to live up to a glamorous stereotype, I reall do spend most of my time either at work or in jammies, curled up on the couch with computer and felines. But we all can dream. 🙂
To start the dreaming, what can I get anyone to drink? I’ve upgraded the bubbly to The Widow (Veuve Cliquot) just to lend more glamour to the atmosphere. Nothing but the best high-end booze (unless you like Rebel Yell, in which case I’ve got that too), whatever delicious snacks your imagnation can conjure, and good company!
So please welcome the ever-glamorous and multi-talented writer, C. Margery Kempe, and do please share your own idea of what a writer’s life should be!
The Writer’s Dull Life
C. Margery Kempe
I teach a course called “Writers in Motion” that looks at how writers are portrayed in film.I spend the semester arguing against the depiction of writers as drunken philanderers who, on the rare occasion they actually sit down to do it between debaucheries and delirium, simply write out the adventures of their lives in thinly-veiled roman à clef narratives.
It’s not really like that, I swear to them.
Naturally enough, they remain unconvinced.After all, Hollywood is far more seductive than their instructor (more’s the pity, eh?).They want to believe that Shakespeare in Love is how it really happened and that George Sand was as cute as Judy Davis.They don’t want to hear me tell them that the writer’s life is mostly incredibly dull because it largely consists of sitting at a desk for hours writing.Most writers’ lives would make films that would rival Warhol’s real-time schnooze-fests like Sleep for sheer inaction.
But the myth is persistent because it’s not those typical writers whose lives get turned into racy biographies and sexy movies; instead we get those like Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde whose lives are full of turmoil and drama.Of course, they make for a good story with a lot of engaging excitement.They seldom make the point that these people are writers in spite of all that drama.
I can sympathise with my students because I used to be the same.I moved from my Northern home town to Los Angeles when I was young in part because I wanted to be warm for a bit , but mostly because I thought that in that big city at last I would have adventures worth writing about.I tried — perhaps a little too hard — to manufacture them for a while, until I finally got caught up in the real work of writing.Then I no longer had time for that kind of dissipation; in fact, I moved away to New England because it was too exhausting to stay there.
What I eventually figured out is that it was my boring life that really prepared me to be a writer. Unlike a lot of my friends, I had a very boring childhood. I am of the last generation of kids who were just sent out to play, who were left to their own devices to invent games and activities.We were largely unsupervised, too. I often yelled over my shoulder, “Going for a bike ride,” as I pedaled off for miles and hours.
I played with my toys and made up stories and backgrounds to explain how they had all come together. Walking home from school I would sing long narrative songs that I would immediately forget just to entertain myself as I walked along. I played My Side of the Mountain all one summer long, gathering food and making a shelter and longing for my own peregrine falcon.
It was perfect training for a writer. I learned to make stories out of nothing.Because at the heart of it all, writing fiction is lying.You have to learn to tell a convincing argument.And as we all know, truth is messy and often unconvincing, which is why we have to start some of our wildest adventures with, “you’re not going to believe this!”
In quizzing my fellow erotic romance writers, I was not too surprised to find they all experienced pretty much the same thing. When asked whether they wrote from experience or from fantasy, most giggled and said fantasy for sure.While we all like to write about having wild international affairs with mysterious strangers in exotic locations, most of us lead rather quiet lives, often with husbands and kids nearby, a cat or dog underfoot and dirty dishes in the sink.
And that’s all right; there’s a lot to like about the quiet life.Besides all we need to do to whisk ourselves away from that mundane life is to sit down at the computer and start typing those lovely, sexy lies.Best of all, other folks like to read them, too.So what if
they never make a movie of my life?I’m having fun.
C. Margery Kempe, author of Chastity Flame and assorted short stories released by Ravenous Romance, was born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, but traveled extensively throughout the first years of her life, including trips to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands. She graduated with a degree in religious studies from a small Catholic college, and now lives a quiet life with her husband and children in upstate New York, where she runs a small bakery.