October 30, 2006

Surrounded by Sluts

No, I’m not talking about politicians, although I. AM. DY. ING. TO. I could probably do five hundred miles of narrative and opinion blog pages all by myself between now and November 7th regarding our current politicians. But I’ll be quiet and just let The NY Times and The Washington Post and The LA Times and The Boston Globe and Newsweek take care of all that. I do have my standards.

By the way, I’m not including The Chicago Tribune, that’s all local politics and it’s all just disgusting. The only good thing I’ve seen come out of Chicago lately is Barack Obama, and I’ve already told you the minute he decides to run for President, I’ll be first in line to volunteer to man the phones. Then again, that might not be a good thing for Barack, but we do what we can. Our hearts are in the right place most of the time, even if our heads are in the wrong place all of the time.

What I am talking about this week are my crit partners, all of whom laughed and said I could call this week’s blog Surrounded by Sluts as long as I spell their names right. Typical writers, no shame whatsoever. We’re all book whores when you think about it.

I have five of the most talented, hilarious, competitive, intelligent, street-smart-type crit partners in the universe. I think I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by them even if they are sluts. Or maybe because of it, I don’t know. They’re all just terrific.

I write crime fiction. I’ve written romance, mystery, suspense, I even whipped out a historical saga (that would be Second Generation, which is about a woman who wants to be President of the USA, the idiot). Now you’d think, wouldn’t you, logically I’d have surrounded myself with mystery writers.

But that wasn’t to be. I chose wallowing in sluttery instead.

First, Sloane Taylor. Sloane writes erotica. Hot erotica. She has one of the wildest, most diabolical senses of humor I’ve ever seen or heard anywhere. It’s a riot just being around her and she doesn’t let us get by with anything. “Just shut up and do it” is her mantra, and we all listen because we’re all afraid of her. 😉 I’ve gone on several fun but probably illegal capers with Sloane that would fill several books if we dared to write them. Hell, I don’t even dare blog about them.

Second up, Erika Kire. Erika writes erotica. Hot Chika Erotica. She also has one of the wildest senses of humor I’ve ever seen or heard. Erika doesn’t let me get by with anything either and in fact, she’s worse than all the rest combined, because She Loves To Find BooBoos In Other Peoples’ Manuscripts. Oh, not hers, no way! She’ll fight like a demented salmon swimming upstream to keep every single word she wrote or ever thought of writing. But after she thinks about it, which usually takes a day or so, she’ll say okay, you’re right, I’ll fix/change it. Then she gets even when she gets her hands on something we’ve written. Tit for tat or something like that. Whatever it is, I’m happy, because she’s an absolute BIRD DOG’S BIRD DOG when she’s critiqueing. Thank God.

Third on the list, Jenna Marshall. Jenna writes erotica. Hot erotica. (Are you detecting a pattern here?) I’ve known Jenna for many, many years, and I never once dreamed underneath all that Sweet Southern Charm there was a Boiling Red Hot Mama lurking in the weeds, or wherever Hot Mamas lurk. In fact, after critiqueing HER new book, I’m just amazed at what she comes up with, if you’ll pardon the expression. Who’d a thunk it. Not me. She surprises even me, and I’m hard to surprise.

Fourth, we have Yasmine Phoenix. Now to date, Yasmine hasn’t exhibited many erotica writer tendencies, but that woman Does Love to Talk About It. At this point in her writing career, she’s working on a paranormal with romantic overtones. But I’ll tell you a secret. She’s a closet erotica writer if I ever saw one. I shudder to think about the day she breaks out of that closet.

Fifth, Melissa Bradley, who hasn’t yet chosen a pseudonym so I’m outing her here. Melissa writes fantasy. Long ago fantasy. Actually, long ago historical fantasy. At least that’s what she’s working on right now and her story is phenomenal so far. BUT. Melissa READS erotica like Halliburton reads government contracts. She can probably recite every name of every good erotica author in the universe, AND the names of all their books AND the page numbers of their hottest scenes. Mel likes to say it’s all just research, but it truly has me wondering what she’s researching. Whatever it is, I’m convinced it has something to do with loads and loads of good hot yummy sex.

These ladies, and I use the term VERY loosely, are fantastic to work with. Even though I probably bore them to tears with my little gothic/suspense/thriller/mystery/younameits, they sit politely and listen while I read the latest murder or abduction or coroner’s scene, and then they all critique nicely, although they probably want to put duct tape over my mouth and stuff me in a closet while they get to the good stuff.

But yanno (T/M Miss Snark), good writing is good writing, and they’re all good writers. And over time, I’ve (unfortunately) trained them to speak up whenever something doesn’t sound right, or even quite right. I’m thinking I have a mile-wide masochistic streak to even be in this business, much less let erotica writers critique my gothic/suspense/thriller/mystery/younameits.

However, dang it all, these women are GOOD! They truly know what they’re doing! They’ve helped me at least as much as I’ve helped them, even on days when helping me consists of handing me the Kleenex and listening to me bitch and moan and write my Last Will and Testament because I figure I’ll die trying before I Ever Get It Really, Really Right.

I truly don’t have a clue what I’d do without them. They’re amazing.

So here’s to critique groups and all inhabitants thereof. May all of you be as thrilled with each other as we are. May you all have many, many loud, raucous debates that last far into the night because you’re having so much fun you’ve forgotten what time it is. May you all have International Bestsellers.

I know my critique buds will.

Sorry I was so late getting this done, folks. My crit group, those wonderful, long-suffering ladies (koff koff) have just wet-nursed me through another traumatic week with my book, The Scoutmaster’s Wife, doing their darndest to help me over the hump even though it contains no erotica–although if it did it would have sold by now–and I just didn’t have enough time to sit here and give y’all a proper blog until this evening.

One of these days I’m going to take a page from THEIR book and write y’all an improper blog. I bet if I do my readers will quadruple that week. Right? Call your friends and neighbors.

Love y’all, you KNOW I do. Come back again over the weekend, I’ll have something else new for you by then.

The Hotclue, whose next book is going to be a…guess what?

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  1. We’re erotica writers and you think we’re going to duct tape your mouth shut? Not a chance! Something else is going in there! Bwahahahaha!

    Really, we do enjoy reading your work, when you let us read it! You be first in line for Obama and I’ll be first in line for your book. You’re writing a children’s story next, right?

    Your Bird Dog,


  2. Oh, right. A children’s story.

    Actually, I did think about it once or twice this past week. It’s gotta be easier than suspense thrillers.


    Hey, come back by again, Erika. It was really loads of fun hearing from you. Next time bring Truffles, willya?

    Cheers and Love,

  3. Yeah, a children’s story. Sort of like Sleeping Beauty gets revenge on the evil witch by cutting off her head and using it as a punch serving bowl. Sure. As for me, Yasmine Phoenix here, since you haven’t been in my closet there are several very good reasons why I’m still in there. Feather boas, silk whips, candy thongs and let’s not forget my wardrobe. Well, let’s not forget about it, let’s just not talk about it. Hotclue can imagine.

  4. I LOVE your idea about the punch bowl, that’s GOOD. But then, all your ideas are. And you have boas? I didn’t know that! What color? Mine’s purple. Oh yeah, I can imagine your wardrobe. I have some pretty cool stuff myself. Remember reading about my spandex leopardskin leotards?

    That big mouthed Beth, she can’t keep quiet about anything!

    If Gabrina brings the truffles, you can bring the shrimp and horseradish sauce, okay?

    Love y’all, Hotclue

  5. So I read erotica like Halliburton reads govrnmnt contracts eh? ROTFLOL It’s research I tell you. all research. Not necessarily book research but research nonetheless. You know what they say: Knowledge is Power. Besides, I only use my power for Good.

  6. Keep on writing, Melissa. Your stuff’s really good. And welcome to Cyberblogworld! Okay, you bring the chips and dip. This is for our cyberconference, right?
    Thanks a million for dropping in and learning how to use blog comments, LOL! You come back soon, ya hear me?

    Hugs and all that good stuff,

  7. Slut? Slut. Slut. A beautiful word that rolls over the tongue like pure honey. I like the title – Sloane Taylor, Resident Slut. Do I get to wear a crown, Hots? Please? I love anything that has to do with head.

    You’re writing is wonderful and we love having Mama there to keep us in line, especially when you bring out the feathered 2×4. Ooh, ooh, the pain is sweet. Do it again!

    We are a great group who rip each others writing apart then build it back up to some marvelous heights.

    Thank you, Hots and Beth, for starting the whole thing. We love you both!

  8. Sloane, you’re more than welcome to borrow my platinum and diamond crown, which Count Babbalallapaloozo gave me a few months ago while we were in Cannes. I’m sure he won’t mind.

    And I love y’all too! YOU bring the champagne next time we have a side meeting on this page. 😉

    Hugs, Hots







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