1 May is a great holiday. This used to be considered the first day of summer, until those commie pinkos decided to make it a day to celebrate labor, and damned if the US didn’t have to turn around and say, “Nope, not gonna play that game!” So they created two new ones of their own, just because . . . well, they could.
But the truth is, like just about every other holiday, the present era ripped it off from ancient people who had made Beltane the first day of summer something to be thankful for–and still do, for that matter.
I have a lot to be thankful for. ’Cause it’s May, and you know what that means? May flowers, did you say? Where’s my stick?
No . . . I have a story being published this month. A short–for me–story called Captivate and Control. It’s special for me, and not because it’s just erotica, or because there is a meaning behind the story, but because it was the first story I’ve sold to a publishing company. It’s the one thing I’ll be able to look at forever and say, “Yep; that was the one that got me started.”
And really, how I got to that point–it really didn’t take as much work as one might think. I was fortunate, though: I managed to have a very sympathetic publishing house in my corner–
To be honest, I’m not sure how I met Gina. My memory is foggy, but then that’s normal. What does matter is that we befriended each other, and sort of talked about non-literary things before we ever got into the story telling things. I can say she’s been one of my longest fan, and that means a lot to me.
She had a publishing company: Naughty Night Press, a house that made no bones that it was publishing erotica. ”Oh, sure,” some will say, “That’s just smut, right? Porn? That sort of shit.” Wrong-o, people. Gina knew he kink, and so did the people around her, and if you understand erotica, you’ll understand it’s not porn, it’s not smut–hell, it doesn’t even have to be about sex. The thing to remember, however, it that it has to make sense. It’s just like any other kind of story: you need plot, you need characters, and you need to make it all believable. Of course, you can make it fantasy, with sexy vampires and hot werewolves, and the like, but all the previous stuff still applies: whatever rules you set up, it better all make sense in the end.
Gina was also good too me. Even though I wasn’t, at the time, writing erotica–or much of anything, really–she brought me into the Facebook groups and let me hang out. Most of the time I didn’t have anything to say, and I’d watch and listen–and learn. In this time I met other people affiliated with NNP. I met Penny from Australia, and Tessa from England, and the woman who would eventually be my editor on Captivate and Control, Annabelle, who didn’t live that far from me. Gina lived up in Canada, so in a very short time I made friends with four different women in four different countries on three continents.
It was great hanging with them, because I was learning things–and, because, I was slowly getting . . . I guess you could say I was becoming part of the family. I was ask to do a guest blog post with Tessa, and that was one of the first moments when I started to feel as if I was getting somewhat established, because here I was, pretty much a nobody, and I was talking BDSM fantasies with one of NNP’s published authors. I have to say, as we were Skyping that Sunday morning (for me), I was enjoying the vibe I was getting.
I would get kudos from Gina ever so often, particularly when she’d read something on my blog. I didn’t bug her too much, but then I’m like that. I was just happy to hang out, and be a very small part of the party.
Then 9/20/2011 came around, and that’s when I thought things might get a little . . . different.
It was then that I told a friend, “Hey, you know, I can write good erotica, I’ve just never really tried,” and it was then that I opened up a Scrivener file I called Erotic Nights, and that later became Captivate and Control. I started in, then got side tracked a little by getting ready for NaNoWriMo, then I got into it again and finished it off before I put myself through the insanity of writing a novel in 30 days–excuse me, 25 days for me. Actually, I had enough time to get the story edited, because it was short–again, for me–and I did have help.
But I was done with it–what next?
The thing was, I hadn’t sent a story out in a very long time–like 25 years. I just wasn’t sure if I should submit it anywhere, or not. I thought, I don’t have anything to lose, and I contacted Penny, and asked her to read the story and give me an honest opinion.
She got back to me a few days later with a very short comment: ”Submit it to Gina.”
Well, thee you go. I thought, “Okay, this could be good enough,” and I got the submitting guidelines from the NNP website. The funny thing was I had found out that, at the time, they were accepting submission for an anthology, so that was another push for me. I spent a day or so getting the manuscript in shape, then, with everything as good as I thought it was going to be, I sent it off to Gina.
Then I got into NaNo and didn’t think too much about anything else.
One day, 12/01/2011, I’m sitting around, on the computer–where else?–and I see an email pop in. It’s from NNP. I open it up . . . and it took me a few moments to realize there was more to the email than just, “Hey, thank you for the submission . . .” It was an acceptance letter, and there was a contract attached.
I was really sort of in shock. I knew what this meant, and yet . . . it took me about ten minutes to totally comprehend what was going on. I knew the moment I signed that sucker, things would be different for me, like it or not. I read it. And read it again. And again. By the time I signed on the line that is dotted, I knew what I was getting into.
And I knew what I wanted.
I did thank Gina, because this was a break for me. I knew it would take some time before the story saw the light of day, but that was fine–there were always going to be things to work on. I eventually discovered the story would be published in May, and so I semi-held my breath and waited for May to roll around.
It’s rolled, baby. It is here.
Since the first of the year, I’ve pretty much uprooted my life in a few major ways. I’m working again, but I’m writing like mad. Since signing the control for Captivate and Control, I’ve written another novella, a second novella that is now a novel, and I finished a novel that had been sitting for a very long time. I’ve had an interview; just last week I did my interview with NNP, which should be released on the 12th of May. I’ve got the cover of my story on my computer, on my author’s page on Facebook–oh, and let me tell you, when I saw it, I wanted to jump up at start yelling, because it was a thing of beauty. Maybe that’s just me, filled with newbie juice, still hyped up over it–but every time I look at it, I wanna go and find My Muse and fill them with a little something, if you know what I mean. It gets me that stoked.
And now, very soon, I’m gonna see that story up for sale, and I’m gonna post those links and say, “Hey, buy my story!” And the fact it’s erotica–who cares? It’s my story, and it’s a good story–
Gina felt the same, and that’s why she gave me the chance to publish with her and NNP.
Now, about some things I hinted at yesterday . . .
Yeah, there have been some . . . things going on of late. Things that only an anti-matter fueled ninja douche rocket could contemplate undertaking. Sure, I was planing to rant; I so wanted to rail. I wanted to say some nasty things, and jump up and down on bodies with really cool looking but overpriced Doc Martins.
But, you know what? Screw it. I mean: why? Why give anyone who is hell bent on being a jag the satisfaction of maybe finding this post and thinking, “Oh, fantastic! I’ve pissed off another of the minions!” as they rub their hands together and cackle wildly like a bad Venture Brother’s villain.
Some people are very unschooled in something I have learned over the years, which is: ”Don’t believe your own hype.” See, I might think I’m a cock-eyed wonder, that I can sling killer-ass stories with the best of them–nay, with the Upper One Percent of the Writing World! Those who can walk into any publisher and say, “I want my next book set in 18 point Urdu!” and the editors and suits and everyone else in the office can’t bend over fast enough to kiss your ass. Stephenie Meyer, move your ass out of that chair! I’m takin’ over!
Naw, what we see every so often are fools behind the wheels of lorries carrying a big, full tank of petrol. And they’re driving said lorry over a bridge the size of the Sunshine Skyway, dumping petrol the entire way, and laughing like a maniacal jackass all the way to the end, where they’re going to put a match it all. They just don’t care what happens after the match drops: as a famous butler once said, “Some people just wanna watch the world burn.” (You know, come to think of it, in that movie, for the main characters you have a Welsh guy, two English guys, two Australian guys . . . can’t we get any Americans to act in our superhero movies any more?)
As for me, I’m beyond the Sunshine Skyway. I’m published, folks. It’s just a start, but it’s a start that Gina and Naughty Nights Press gave me. So, in a few years, when I’m rolling about in a Stephen King-ish sized pile of money, and someone goes, “Hey, you started in erotica, right?” I’m gonna say, “Yes, I did. You looking to break in? I know just the place to start, let me see if I can hook you up . . .”
I don’t need to rant to those out there who may or may not have their noses out of joint over something that, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty insignificant. Instead, I’m going to let someone else get naughty with the blue words–that someone being comedian Patton Oswalt, who, in the process of destroying a heckler who’d screwed up one of his bits as it was being recorded, delivered about as brutal a kill shot as anyone has ever delivered to a clueless bastard:
“You stupid douchenozzle. You truly don’t fucking get it, do you? You poor motherfucker. You’re gonna miss everything cool and die angry.“
Yeah . . . that’s pretty much says it all.