Friday, June 28, 2013

Back up and stay tuned!

Well this is awkward. Now, I'm not sure exactly how many people this will honestly affect, but I just heard about the following. I haven't had it in an email, maybe you have, but it's something to be aware of anyway. This is from Blogger, the platform that runs this blog/library.

Please be advised that on June 30th 2013, we will be updating our Content Policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger. After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.
If your adult blog currently has advertisements which are adult in nature, you should remove them as soon as possible as to avoid any potential Terms of Service violation and/or content removals.

Just like that! So, well. I'm not really sure what it means since of course people are never as clear about their policies as you might like, but it can't hurt to go back up your blog if there's any doubt. Right now. The 30th is only a couple days away and backing up blogger didn't take long. A bit sad to consider how small the backup is after how much time and effort got put into putting it together but anyway.

Similarly, if this blog/page disappears in the coming days, you'll know why and I'll do what I can to keep things up to date. Follow me on Twitter and Google+ with buttons to the right to not lose track of me any time soon.

Original article: Blogger is leaving adult + sex bloggers out in the cold; what now?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A rant on morality of content in erotica (Becca's Birthday Wish)

Well that's been annoying. My latest book's published fine just about everywhere, no problem, no ADULT filtering. All's well and good... UNLESS! For once, Smashwords has been the more restrictive of places and I think just a little over-sensitive. They seem to think implication that someone under 18 could but didn't have sex, in their words "exploring such things" is unacceptable. 

Now I don't want to give them too much crap about it since I can understand where they're coming from and they are keeping open review dialogue with suggestions to add clarification that all characters are over 18. If it was Amazon I'd probably just get some rejected marker and have to ask some obscure email address why and they'd just go "Because it's unsuitable. We are able to offer free shrugs". I do like that Smashwords cares, but maybe a little too much this time. 

But maybe it just got a bit risque and scary, all these age numbers flying, it could get pretty crazy and try to fly something under the radar, right? Sure, but not here. Underage sex isn't publishable and I'm never going to try to, between people of the same age range or whatever. The point was to acknowledge that it does happen, and can be a very serious thing to young adults, but that peer pressure to participate in any sort of sexual culture isn't necessary to be seen as attractive or whatever. You'll find someone you love and want to have sex with at whatever age and they'll be worth the wait, but perception of time and age is different when you're younger and "everyone's doing it". 

The moral was very anti-underage sex exploration.

That's where things start falling apart here though, and what's bothered me enough to go on a rant about it. Ideally the fixes I've done are enough since I'll admit there was a couple other button presses that needed fixed too, and I don't know how I missed those, but all in all could have made it look a bit suspect. So far, I've just removed the age number from the synopsis and made a patronisingly obvious content warning that there isn't any sexual content involving minors (and won't ever be), just reinforcement of proper morality. 

Otherwise, I know it might not be the best avenue to make a moral out of it but it was a simple plot device rather than some grand crusade I was looking to devote a message to. And no, I'm not really writing to 'educate' and change the world but when you're open to writing sexual lifestyles and morals, you kind of expect to have the freedom to write "it's okay to not be pressured into having sex early" and not get it brought to questioned for being unacceptable. You expect it to make people smile and appreciate the modesty of the advice. The key point is not everything in (my) erotica is written for sole purpose of sexual gratification just because it's erotica. There's purpose, plot and feelings behind actions and plot drives that people think should be censored for sanctity through silence, as if "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" really means no evil will occur.

This really isn't a world of rainbows and wish fulfillment where cute buzzwords that people "need" will herald enlightenment and world peace. I might be being slightly hyperbolic about it all but really, I'd have expected other places to shoot it down faster if it was actually an issue of suspect content. Blargh ranting, I should be writing 17th century sisterly incest instead.

Bonus moral: Teach and practice sanity and equality free of any form of impersonal discrimination at your discretion. Don't expect something else to do it for you.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Becca's Birthday Wish (May/December Daddy Daughter Incest Erotica)

Promises and birthdays are two important things in life. Some birthdays are to be celebrated more liberally than others, too. A year after the man who became Rebecca's Daddy since she was little misses her eighteenth and the promise she made with him, she still hasn't given up on loving him. 

[Amazon | UK] [Smashwords] [B&N] [Lulu] [Kobo]

You have no idea how annoying the ribbon on the cover was to set. Pretty simple cover for a change too, but still took some time to set up. I like it, anyhow. While I like everything I do, since otherwise it isn't fit for publishing yet, I'm quite happy with how this story has developed. It's also been a little longer than I'd like since my last release but like I mentioned last time, I've been involved with a great interview and enjoying E3, the electronic entertainment expo. Things have been all over the place.

Becca's Birthday Wish is something I've wanted to write for some time - something a little fundamentally different. Initially, as I make a point of in the back-of-book author note, it was initially very different to how it's turned out, now. Initially, Rebecca was much more sinister, dominating and in charge. Basically the theme I was going for was that she was really the upper hand power player, and had the man in her attention literally by the balls. It would involve carefully shaving around his crotch to intimidate and using an aphrodisiac poison to keep him hard so that she could have sex whether he wanted to or not. 

I actually read a while back while this story was in the back of my head that the venom from Brazilian wandering spiders can cause erection for hours. Not as fun as it sounds past four hours, but still, the suspension of disbelief that a man can be forced to erection for a woman's interests and effectively raped is there. As I said, this started off a lot darker than it ended up, so bear with me if that doesn't sound like your thing. I'll admit it's something I play with in the back of my mind though, as much for the interesting reversal, subversion of common themes and writing femdom as because people are often adamant it's not possible, but it's not really present in this book.

So anyway. Things always change as you write and develop a story, that seems to be a pretty insistent fact of inspiration and development, and that's fine. I still have a good time and place for the things in mind, perhaps better than here, and so instead, Becca's Birthday Wish unwinds at a more natural and gentle pace. Her Daddy isn't completely against the idea of having sex with her, but he knows he's really disappointed and upset her the past couple of years, so - aside from being strapped down to a chair - he doesn't really try to get at her, or get out. If this is what his little girl wants, he'll let the birthday girl have her way.

There's more open dialogue this way, and it lets Becca open up to him about how the whole thing makes her feel. It's her first time having sex, so it's a very special occasion she's saved herself for since she was sixteen when she got cold feet over a boy wanting to go too far. Her Daddy calmed her down, and the young girl realised she loved her Daddy in a way that never faded. Confronting him now, she's still very much that little girl, but she has an edge of maturity and upset about her that lets her be the one straddling his lap and the one in charge, but still very much the inexperienced little girl wondering how she's going to make herself appealing to this older man who's slept with her Mother and whoever else.

I think she does a good job of it, and the more she gets into the pleasure of sex after the initial pain, the warmer she becomes with her Daddy while still being the one that calls the shots and set up the whole scene. Becca might only be a sweet little nineteen year old girl, but it's her birthday so she's the boss.

Excerpt follows the pagebreak:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ellen Dominick's Interview with a Vampire

I recently had the opportunity to write something a little different. Rather than directly erotica, I was asked if I'd be interested in an interview with Ellen Dominick - talking about myself. Dangerous thing with how I can carry on given the chance, but so it was, and I took up the opportunity quite happily. It's a touch different to what you may usually expect from an author interview, but I think that's what made it quite nice and interesting. 

Being more of a look at the life behind the writing and what gets it out there than the content itself, it gives you a different sort of look into an author's workings. Everyone has their own processes and tools. Regardless of what genre they get out, there is a lot of work and tech behind making the magic of storytelling work. This interview brings a little light to the method behind my madness.

It's also been one of the things keeping me busy of late that doesn't quantify as a direct publication, so the next to release are coming a bit slower. You can always find what I've been doing with the Author Feature search tag and browsing the Library here, and rest assured I'm still at it. There's a number of things I'm itching to work on and a number I can't begin to wrap around the vastness of options open to me. It's a fun time.

One of the other things seeking to distract, of course, has been E3, rather special once-a-year thing for people with gaming at heart. Thief going back to its roots after fifteen years and a new Batman keeping the core of what made the previous games work so well? Very happy. 

Today Leona D. Reish joins us for the very first installment of the How I Write Erotica interview series. It's a little different than your normal interview. If you're a writing geek like me, I think you'll enjoy this in depth look into how one erotica author gets the job done. 

- Ellen Dominick
Read the full interview here.

Give it a look, share it around and leave some comments for us here and there. It's great to be able to share some insight less tied to a specific publications and more to the general process and touch on the timeless love for storytelling.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Daemonique: The Darkest Memories (Dark Fantasy Erotica Short)

Today I have something a little different I want to share. I'll start off by being clear; it is dark and does contain a scene of rape, threats and violence. While not overtly graphic or focal, I don't want to upset or offend anyone with that point.

Daemonique has always erred on the darker side of sensuality, but this is something a little separated. I wrote this after publishing the fourth volume of Daemonique for my own ends. I'd felt a bit stifled and wanted to write free of constraints, which this gave me a chance to do.

Having said that, and in retrospect, I do wonder if this might be 'borderline' enough to be publishable. I have a few things to think about and work on, so I'm not going to worry about adding it into volume IV for the moment, but there's a chance when I come around to doing the single novella release, it may be added in. Perhaps if only in part, we'll see.

So, if you're still with me, what is it? This is an extra scene of independant content that slots into a transition of events in Daemonique IV: The Darkest of Things. It's a look at Sylenna Lightstride's history, an expansion of the world outside the island and just how her kind are treated among others. This is the scene that sets her on the path of being able to fend for herself and find reason to live. It's what takes her to the cathedral to find faith and purpose, and ultimately to the Wardens of Sarandin Isle to feel she belongs among people who don't resent her.

If you've read any of the volumes in the series, the events here should ring with some familiarity and sense of connection to who and what she's become. As Sylenna witnesses the events now, they're more a memory of those things that happened playing out before her. To what ends and what becomes of her for it all is entirely another matter.

You can find more information on, and where to find Daemonique with the Daemonique post tag, or at the following:
[Amazon | UK] [Smashwords] [B&N] [Lulu] [Kobo]

The Darkest Memories follows the pagebreak:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Understanding the Amazon ADULT filter?

I feel like I may - MAY - have come to a sort of understanding with Amazon's ADULT filter, today. I'd always wondered why some titles didn't get filtered since they had pretty risque and filterable keywords like tentacles, breeding, pseudo-incest, but they fly while others got shot down fast for having words in parenthesis like BDSM or... hand-holding. Okay no, but oh hey, now I kind of wonder if it would get filtered.

Seriously though. Why do I think I understand it a bit now? I found this following image on CreateSpace, Amazon's paperback publishing avenue while working on releasing a paperback edition of a recent republish, Hot, Wet and Tied Up. Exciting times, it's been quite fun to work on the paperback book cover. Reminded me of old times working on video covers and performance booklets. The following is the image from CreateSpace.

This is an option you are given to tick, filtering yourself. Why would you do this? Don't ask me. Why isn't it on the KDP page for ebook authors? No idea. Whoever handled the GUI for the ebook version probably forgot it, and they've been too busy rolling around in all the free royalty to notice it wasn't there. Maybe it's too late to fix it for whatever reason, so they just go about doling out some sort of mildly coherent if inconsistent and not at all communicated sense of content judgement?

I don't know. "Transparency" isn't part of Amazon's "customer-driven" ideal in this sense. Yet for whatever reason, the definition they seem to be applying is there. Except you only see it if you had business to be that far through creation of a paperback in the first place. The vast majority of independent ebook  publishers don't, and I don't really blame them. I'm for the moment treating paperback publications as a thing for special releases, too. You might not want to hit up the process every time, and the production cost might not make it a practical endeavour to begin with. 

All the same, I think if people keep both this and all prior considerations in mind, it'll become less of an issue. I'm not going to get into a rant about who or what it's "protecting" again, I'm going to ignore how to understand the "guidelines", we have to discuss them among ourselves through mass trial and error instead of there actually being any information shared openly. 

Yeah, okay, I'm bad at this "not going to" thing, but still. When designing your cover and product detail page in general, keep "not suitable for minors" exaggerated in your mind with a pinch of salt for effect, and put whatever in keywords since they're never publically seen, so not publically offensive. This is as much a rant and sense of comfort for me since I've been getting more nervous and upset over things being filtered than publishing at all. Though considering Hot, Wet & Tied Up republished has sold four copies in one day as opposed to zero in a month, it's for good reason that you'd get upset about it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Daemonique Covers

Playing around with covers last night and a bit today, after having done the cover for 4 I wanted to try something a little more thematic. I like it, too. I think it tells the story a little better, for one. Originally I didn't have the brushes, models or couldn't make them work the way I wanted. For instance I wanted to use II's cover model but couldn't settle happily on the skin-tones and such. This is good, though.

Half the reason I went back to them was that just about the whole series has been hit by the ADULT filter on Amazon, which I'm getting really tired of being afraid to bother doing anything in thanks to, so I'm reworking and republishing after I do the extra style and edit passes for the singular novel version.

Relatively "not much" has actually been filtered, and things I would have expected to get filtered over others haven't. I guess their sense of judgement really is skin deep and shallow, so I can just be more careful to work with that. A bit stifling and frustrating to feel like walking on thin ice with work you want to be proud of.

Cover for Volume III is a little intentionally sarcastic since (upper, of course) male nudity is fine, so have TWO. There is actually two naked men involved in the book, but still. Female with breasts entirely covered by hair instead of clothing, though? Nope, get out, filtered. I also didn't dare risk how pedantic they are about how much ass being shown is "too much" and turned the rear-end cleavage mark into a black void zone of doom. Her rear is clothed, and it's not much, but really...

It's a couple other things, too. For one, it's a precedence. I want to do some wallpapers out of covers, the sort of thing where I'm not restrained by bounds. I figure people might enjoy something like that. An secondly I wanted to make a string of the four covers to send to Ellen Dominick for the coming interview. Not this string, it'd need some more tweaks, but still. That was also very fun.

Putting them all next to each other is good for comparison's sake, too. I've just noticed the subtitle for Volume I is a touch higher than all the rest. OCD, easy to manage layers and ruler guides triumph again.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Deity of the Desert II: Discipline (Monster Girl Breeding Erotica)

The morning after ‘Arrival’, Astrid already has her man tied to the bed in their guest chambers, ignoring what they ‘should’ be doing. The desert’s Queen will wait, Astrid’s instinctive need to feel Nathan inside will not. The spanking that follows for “being a bad girl” is worth every minute of the pleasure. Little do they know, soon Lady Naiqeth will show them the harsher discipline of a monarch.

Add to your Shelfari & GoodReads

This release has some interesting story behind it, and I'm really happy with how it's all worked out. It's been a bit of a challenge for me, but very enjoyable. Initially I pushed to see if I could finish it off in May so I could have four published in that month. Didn't quite hit the mark, but considering when I really got down into it, the turnaround has been very good - even for the better.

While I don't really expect anyone to know of 'Monster Girl Quest', the massive 'eroge' RPG series from Japan, it's something with a pretty big fan base worldwide and acclaim for its story and music as much as erotic content. The third installment - reportedly larger than the prior two games combined - released yesterday on June 1st. Once I'd found that out, I made it a mission to release this next installment of my own 'Monster Girl' erotica in tribute, and just managed to hit the mark.

'Monster Girls' in general is a pretty big take on classic fantasy creatures like the more commonly known mermaid and minotaur, and many others like the half-snake lamia I have planned for the next volume. While there's nothing Japan won't turn into a cute girl, it creates some interesting mythos and creatures (that can of course have male equivalents penned in) you might not have considered. Kind of a step beyond the standard paranormal vampire and werewolf fare. While my mascot sprite is a vampire, it's the model from 'Monstergirl Encyclopedia', so there's some subtle ties to that broader range of mythical creatures and fantasy for me. 

Now while I draw inspiration from those mythical fantasy cross-races, and do cameo some of them in unaltered form to give a relatable, 'different' world, I do what I always intend to do with my writing. I adapt and take it further out into being purely original content and my own work. As you might see from the cover image or having read either volume of Deity of the Desert, there's nothing all that 'monstrous' about Astrid. She has a pretty mean temper sometimes and a monstrous desire to breed, sure, but she's very human. What I've done in Astrid is taken one of those fantasy races and shift several generations of breeding with humans down the line with it. 

This makes her more accessible and sexy while keeping her wild and exotic nature. It also gives her some backing to what she's doing and how vulnerable her character can get. She's neither ancient salamander or perfectly human, but Nathan still loves her. Similarly, the race she's descended from is little more than legend now, so the desire to breed and continue her bloodline is pretty strong in her on that bestial level.

Content wise the synopsis covers it to the most part. I'm reluctant to use words like 'breeding' and 'Daddy' on Amazon incase it triggers getting filtered, but that's a big part of it. With how the couple relate, there is a bit of a 'Daddy dom' or 'Daddy's little girl' air between them that Astrid enjoys playing with all too much. I had to stop and consider whether I wanted to tag it as pseudo-incest, but not quite. I used Daddy's Girl as a keyword, so I'm sure people will get the idea without crossing too many wires

Excerpt to better explain follows the pagebreak: