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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

Between the Lines


Ashley Lister talks with Kristina Lloyd

 

Kristina Lloyd

Kristina Lloyd is the author of the novels Asking For Trouble, Darker Than Love and Split.  Her short fiction has appeared in countless anthologies,  including Sexy Little Numbers Volume 1, from Black Lace, and Alison Tyler’s recent collection Pleasure Bound.  Aside from being intensely erotic, Kristina’s fiction does not shy away from taking sex to extremes.  And all of this accomplished with a literary finesse that makes her writing truly distinctive.

Ashley Lister: Your fiction often seems to draw on a strong literary heritage.  Split had echoes of Wuthering Heights in its composition.  Your short story ‘Rebecca’ in Sexy Little Numbers Volume 1 was a riff on Daphne DuMaurier’s novel of the same name.  Are you a big fan of classical literature?  Do you feel that, in the asexual representation of characters in established literature, the reader is only getting half the story?

Kristina Lloyd: Yeah, sex is missing from an awful lot of fiction. I find the absence most bewildering when I notice it in contemporary fiction. The Victorians, well, you can understand their reticence since they were writing in an era of sexual repression. We're not, so the lack makes no real sense. I'm always thrilled to see good sex writing in mainstream fiction. I wish there were more of it, especially from women who I think still struggle against cultural expectations limiting their sexuality.

My background is literary – I have a first class degree (hey Ashley, snap!) and a Masters in Eng Lit. My main interest right now is in gothic fiction, so the Brontës and Du Maurier score highly there. I find many of the tropes of the gothic – theatricality, darkness and mystery, woman in jeopardy, man you mustn't trust – resonate strongly with the kind of sex I like writing about. Plus it's fun to take a classic story and pervert it.

Ashley Lister: I mentioned in the introduction that your fiction often takes sex to extremes.  You’ve recently placed a short story in Alison Tyler’s first eBook anthology (from Pretty Things Press) Slut.  The story’s title is ‘How I was Once Kidnapped And Gang Raped,’ and the content is extreme BDSM.  Similarly, in ‘Black Tulips,’ from Alison Tyler’s Pleasure Bound,  your protagonist is humiliated and verbally abused at great length. 

The setup in both stories is simple, yet effective.  The relationship between the characters is shown to be fully rounded and needs sex with such dramatic power dynamics.  How do you go about crafting a scene of such intensity? 

Kristina Lloyd: Interesting question! I tend not to analyse how my fiction works. Like many writers, a lot of what I do is intuitive. But I'm going to try and pick it apart a little, since you asked so nicely!

I think that intensity resides in both the language and content, and tensions within both of those. My work gets described as 'beautiful' or 'literary' and simultaneously grubby, raw and filthy. I like that juxtaposition. It's how sex feels for me, a robust physical vulgarity, something crude, mundane and often ridiculous, in combination with something delicate, precious, tense and amazing. It's the weight and lightness of sex that I think I'm trying to replicate in the language, in the mix of graphic and careful. I'm not necessarily doing this consciously. At some point, I guess I started writing this way because it felt right and true. Now, I'm more aware it's part of my style or voice – mainly because other people have pointed it out.

In terms of the content, yeah, a lot of the sex is fairly full-on! Basically, that's what I kink for. I like forced submission, degradation, rape fantasy and nastiness, and I just want to write that as honestly as I can. I wasn't sure if 'How I Was Once Kidnapped and Gang Raped' would ever get published. It's pretty borderline and had been turned down a few times so I'm really happy to see it in Slut.

A lot of the time, in depicting my kind of hot, hard sex, I'm trying to show that it's driven by female desire, and that a woman can submit to a guy and still be his equal in a culture where we don't have gender equality. And, in showing that, I'm hoping that I, as an author, can have a positive impact on that unequal culture. I mainly write about sex between total strangers or between people in love or at any rate, obsessed. There's not much in the way of casual dating or lifestyle role-playing. I try and generate a level of suspense that'll keep a reader reading, even if they're not that interested in the kinky stuff. For me, the outcome of a good dirty story has to be more than an answer to the question, "will everybody come?" Cos hey, it's smut! Of course they will!

Ashley Lister: It’s characteristic of your BDSM fiction that your characters are not defined by their actions but are more likely to be defined by their reactions.  At the conclusion of ‘Black Tulips,’ after the heated and passionate exchange between the central characters, the true nature of the couple’s intimate relationship is revealed (or, at least, a facet of their relationship that hadn’t been previously shown).  Do you find that erotica is a strong medium in which to showcase the complexities of relationships?

Kristina Lloyd: Absolutely. Again, it's back to the dynamics of that emotional, psychological delicacy or lightness, and how two (or more) people might negotiate that space. When we have sex, we're at our most vulnerable, trusting and revealing.

Having said that, I don't wish to imply I've chosen to write erotica in order to most effectively reach some truth of human relationships. My priority is exploring sex and sexuality, in terms of both personal relationships and society. I also want people to be able to wank to my work because if it's not hot, then I've failed as an erotica writer! Underpinning a lot of my fiction is how to be a woman who kinks for sexual submission without betraying or rejecting feminism. It's an extraordinarily complex issue and, for me, it isn't answered by, say, the simplicity of arguing women should be able to do whatever they want; or by writing a story where the dom gets topped at the end. I don't mean that to sound as if my fiction is full of feminist tub-thumping; it isn't at all. It's just that my political sensibilities guide my work. Quite often, that's expressed by what I don't and won't do in fiction as much as by what I actually do.

Ashley Lister: Correct me if I’m wrong, but your work seems to be influenced by the literary greats (Bronte, DuMaurier etc).  Are there any contemporary authors who also influence your work?

Kristina Lloyd: Oh yes, although it's generally the language of contemporary fiction which has an impact on me rather than structure and story. I'm a fan of Angela Carter and The Magic Toyshop was very much in my mind when I wrote Split whose setting is a remote puppet museum. Hilary Mantel's Fludd affected me because it's dark, grotesque and strange, and I'm in awe of Patrick McGrath's writing. Again, these are all authors with gothic leanings. Asking for Trouble, my second book, is a noirish suspense-thriller. I was trying to capture the atmosphere of Brighton's sleazy underbelly in that, inspired in part by Graham Greene's Brighton Rock.

I don't think you need to be steeped in the literary greats in order to write but I do believe all writers should be readers.

Ashley Lister: Aside from writing erotic fiction, you’re also one of the authors behind the Erotica Cover Watch (ECW) campaign.  For those readers who are unfamiliar with ECW, it’s a campaign to raise awareness (and hopefully change) the disparity of the model’s gender on book covers for works of erotic fiction.  The majority of erotic fiction titles, with the obvious exception of gay male fiction and erotic romance, most often show a female model.  How did ECW come about?  And, has the campaign yet seen any success?

Kristina Lloyd: I am so, so proud of what we've achieved with ECW! Mathilde Madden and I started the blog about a year ago. We'd been muttering about the sexism in erotica's marketing for some time and finally decided to fight it. We did receive some flak at first but support has grown massively since then. Anyone with half a brain cell can see it's deeply sexist to keep on putting women on the front of erotica books but never guys. There was a time when erotica's main readership was men. Not any more. The publishing industry needs to wake up to this and start acknowledging its female consumers; start recognising that women have desire and are not there simply as objects of desire

ECW has achieved major reach within the industry and our blog followers are readers, writers, editors and publishers. We've had a couple of opinion pieces published in The Guardian, addressing other issues but from the same political stance. And our greatest, concrete success to date has been Xcite books who, in direct response to our campaign, have started to feature sexy guys on their covers. Alison Tyler is planning to put guys on the covers of future publications too. And so many people have said, "Wow, never really thought about it before. But you're right. More muscle, please!"

I have to say, my biggest disappointment has been Cleis Press. They're a progressive, liberal publisher, championing marginalised groups, and they're one of the worst offenders. We've written numerous posts about their covers, have even contacted them directly inviting them to respond, but we've been totally ignored. Cleis are a major publishers of erotica and though their books are wonderful and they have many fantastic writers on board, their failure to engage with the debate about sexist covers does them little credit. But hey, ECW isn't going away any time soon so maybe Cleis will sit up and take notice. I really hope so.

Ashley Lister: What are you currently working on?  Where can readers go to find more of your work?

Kristina Lloyd: Apart from a top secret project (sorry!), I'm mainly working on short stories. I'm thrilled to be in Violet Blue's forthcoming Best Women's Erotica 2010 and Best of Best Women's Erotica, and equally thrilled to be in Alison's Wonderland, a sexy fairy tale book edited Alison Tyler and published by Harlequin Spice in 2010. Right now, I'm working with Alison on putting together Kiss My Ass, an ebook featuring anal sex stories which will probably be available by the time this interview runs. Things move fast in the e-world!

Readers can keep up to date with me on my blog and can check out the campaign to get hot men on book covers at Erotica Cover Watch.

Thanks Ashley!

Ashley Lister
September 2009

______
"Between the Lines" © 2009 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author:  Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753511355), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashley's non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica.  Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto.  He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
Websites: www.ashleylister.co.uk / ashleylister.blogspot.com



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister