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Janine Ashbless

Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Guest Author


Janine Ashbless

Why do I choose to write erotica, as opposed to, say, straight-up romance or fantasy or cookery or something?

Well, first of all, because I just love sex … and you’ve got to write about what interests you! It never fails to excite and interest me – physically, aesthetically , imaginatively. I love the drama, the anticipation, the power-play, the danger, the sense of almost numinous awe that overwhelms one when in the grip of sexual desire. Unlike some, I never write characters who get jiggy out of ennui or existential despair:  my protagonists are possessed by primal lust. The consequences might be frightening, but they have to do it.

Of course, fictional sex isn’t exactly like real sex, which in my experience involves an awful lot of giggling and making terrible jokes … though that may be just me!  Fictional sex, on the other hand, has the amp turned all the way up to 11. It’s make-or-break, salvation-or-damnation. It changes your life forever. Which leads me to …

Secondly, I write about sex because I think it’s important. So often our society tries to dismiss sex, mock it, and belittle it. It’s treated as something you grow out of when you become a Real Adult and start worrying about the important things like money. But that’s not true; we know it isn’t. People in real life will do incredible, heroic, or awful things for sex: they will destroy their careers, marriages, families and reputations for sex. They’ll defy the most tyrannical of governments. They sometimes die for it.

It is not trivial. It is one of the strongest forces in the human psyche.

So I write sex, sex with plot, with people who have something at stake. And sometimes the sex does involve romance – true love and emotional angst and the whole malarkey. But sometimes it’s full-on hardcore filth . Sometimes it’s compassionate, thoughtful adult sex. At other times it’s reckless and  ill-advised. Just occasionally it does involve cookery!

But it’s always great sex. Because that’s what makes me happy.”

Janine Ashbless

Janine Ashbless has been writing erotica - mostly involving fantasy , paranormal or fairytale themes - since her first story was published by Black Lace in 1999.

She’s had five erotica books published by Black Lace: Cruel Enchantment (2000) and Dark Enchantment (2009) – both short story collections. Divine Torment (2002) and Burning Bright (2007) are linked Game of Thrones-style fantasies. Wildwood (2008) is a contemporary fantasy about earth-magic.

More recently she has written for Ellora’s Cave – The King’s Viper (2011, erotic romance), for Samhain Publishing  - Heart of Flame (2011, Arabian Nights  romantic adventure) , for Mischief Books  - Red Grow the Roses (2012, vampire erotica) and for Sweetmeats Press – Named and Shamed (2012, a contemporary erotic fairytale set in the same world as Wildwood).

She’s had short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Catscratch, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, Seal Press, Ellora’s Cave and Racy Pages. She is co-editor of the nerd anthology Geek Love (out 2012, fingers crossed), alongside Shanna Germain.

Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage, and any movie or TV series featuring men in very few clothes beating hell out of each other. She’s a roleplaying geek and can still sometimes be found running round in the woods hitting other geeks with a rubber sword. It is unlikely she will grow up anytime soon. She’s always used elements of fantasy, mythology and folklore in her writing, with occasional forays into horror. She particularly enjoys sneaking references to H. P. Lovecraft into completely inappropriate stories.

Janine lives in Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two rescued greyhounds, and is trying hard to overcome her addiction to semicolons. You can catch up with her by visiting her website at and her blog at

  • "Hardcore and literate" (Madeline Moore)

  • "Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love. "   (Portia Da Costa)

  • "One of the hands-down masters of erotic writing."  "Janine Ashbless showed me that erotica can be literature."     (Violet Blue)

  • "Writer of the Year 2009" (Jade: the International Erotic Art and Literature Magazine)

  •  "The best erotic fairytale writer around,"  (Saskia Walker)

  • "One of the most talented, original and brave authors in the erotica field" (Shanna Germain)


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