Monthly Archives: September 2015

Taboo Busters: Sex, Eroticism and Critical Lenses

Green Taboo Busters logo for episode 4 with Malin JamesThere are certain people that, when you meet them, it’s like picking up an old friendship you hadn’t realized you had. Meeting Stella Ottewill was like that. She and I met through Molly Moore on a different podcast and we quickly bonded over books, writing, recreational thinking and epic letter writing.

Stella recently began Taboo Busters, a podcast dedicated to exploring ideas that often get brushed aside. As she says, no taboo is too big or too small – from cutting and prog rock to whether or not Ringo is the best Beatle (clearly not). It’s the sort of podcast I’d listen to even if I didn’t know it’s creator – it revels in discussion and there are no limits to what’s on the table.

For my chat with Stella, “Sex, Eroticism and Critical Lenses”, we settled on talking about something we’re both passionate about – sex in literature. There is a great deal of debate regarding the erotica market, porn, censorship and what exactly erotic literature is. There are many ways to answer these questions, but behind them all is what I believe to be the underpinning issue – that of the value of sex in literature and the lack of a critical framework through which to engage it. I love this subject and I loved talking about it with Stella. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I did.

To listen, either click on the green link above, or go HERE.

Pillow Talk Secrets: Genre Blending

KissyFaceTalkingDirtyHello everyone! Welcome back for the newest edition of Pillow Talk Secrets! Today, Jade hosts Tamsin and I as we tackle the subject of genre blending. We had a lot to say about genre crossovers and stories that blend different conventions to make something new, so without further ado, we hope you enjoy…

Pillow Talk Secrets

Jade: Hello ladies! So nice to be back again. How are you both doing today?

Malin: Doing well! How about you, Jade? Tamsin?

Tamsin: Very well, thanks—and better for being here with you two! :)

J: Aw! I agree. And I’m well too, thank you. So…today we have a very interesting topic on hand—erotica crossovers and genre blending. Shall we get right to it?

T: Absolutely!

M: Sounds great. I suspect we’ll have a lot to say.

J: I agree. Initially, I’d thrown this topic out as an option during our first year recap. Then, by random happenstance, we all ended up getting asked to join in on a special anthology that I know we’re all excited about! We’ll get to that in a bit, but for now—let’s start with the idea of erotica crossovers. What styles have you both blended so far? And how did you find it went for you?

T: I think by now, nearly everyone knows that I’ve written zombie erotica—and it’s probably one the most fun projects I’ve worked on. The obvious challenge being how to make something so totally squicky even remotely sexy!

M: The fact that you did make a zombie apocalypse a believably sexy scenario is a testament to your talent. It’s a high bar and you hit it!
J: I agree—and I think what was most interesting is that you really humanized a really inhuman being. Even though we wanted to squirm over the grotesqueness of the zombies, we ended up rooting for them in a few of those stories.

T: Wow! Thank you both. I think the challenge with any crossover is staying faithful to the essence of the two original genres but somehow making the sum even more than the two parts.

M: I agree. Most genres have a set of recognizable conventions. They’re sort of like markers for the reader. When you blend genres or write crossovers, you almost have to choose which conventions from each best serve the story you want to tell….

To read the rest of the conversation, click HERE!

New Release: The Athletic Aesthetic

Cover for The Athletic Aesthetic. A female gymnast's curved back.

The Athletic Aesthetic, edited by Kojo Black

Sweetmeats Press does literary pornography like few publishers do. They pull inspiration from everywhere and anywhere to produce titles full of filth and utter gorgeousness. So, when Kojo Black asked me if I’d like to contribute to an anthology of sports erotica, I said yes, of course.

Fencing is one of my favorite Olympic sports, possibly because, in an odd way, it reminds me a lot of ballet (I was a dancer into my late teens). It’s a sport the hinges on precision and muscle control. It’s also intensely competitive. Add to all of that the fact that I have an in-house fencing expert, and settling on a sport to write about was pretty easy, especially because fencing requires years of high level training and massive amount of physical, emotional and mental discipline.

So I came up with a training scenario that capitalized on discipline, and I put a woman in the position of training five, top level male athletes. There were so many interesting ways to play with D/s, pain and sexual fluidity that writing “The Master” was it’s own pleasure. Add in a high stakes, competitive environment, contained in an isolated mountain chalet and the story came together in a way that I’m very proud of.

The Athletic Aesthetic is the newest in a long line of beautiful anthologies edited by Kojo Black for Sweetmeats Press. In addition to “The Master” it also features stories from Lisa Fox, Vanessa Wu, Emerald and Lexie Bay and is available in both paperback and ebook form.

And now, just to tempt you, here’s an excerpt from “The Master”. I hope you enjoy.

The cover for The Master by Malin James. Female gymnast's curved back.

The Master, Book 5 of The Athletic Aesthetic by Malin James

From “The Master” by Malin James:

Elle Mason nodded and stepped forward without, strictly speaking, appearing to move. Tom’s awareness shifted, driven by a subtle twist of lust. Unlike Donati, she possessed a stillness that was unsettling in someone so young. Looking at her closely, Tom realized that she couldn’t have been more than twenty-two or twenty-three.

“As Signor Donati implied, this is a rather unorthodox method. The goal is not to teach you technique, but rather to dominate your opponent— physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Bisset nodded knowingly. Tom rolled his eyes. Bisset was good, but he was also wired tight. He could be played, just like anyone else.

“However,” Elle Mason went on, “for all of the benefit, there is a price to pay. You must obey, without question, all instructions that you’re given.”

Tom’s eyes narrowed. It was a subconscious reaction—the word obey had many implications …

“Excuse me,” Tom said, dulling the edge in his voice. “What, exactly, are we consenting to?”

Donati nodded sanguinely.

“An excellent question,” he said, all fatherly sweetness. “Fencing is a sport, yes? If you lose, the only thing hurt is your pride. But it wasn’t always so. This is good for civilization perhaps, but not so for the fencer. Without a sense of immediate consequence, the fencer can lose perspective. Pain, or the threat of pain concentrates the mind. Pain brings with it distraction and anger. By transcending distraction and anger, the fencer attains control. This training method is designed to instill a sense of consequence, while developing the ability transcend it.”

“Yeah,” Tom muttered, “that’s what I thought.”

“Mr. Granger. Something to add?”

Elle Mason was eying him. Her mouth had curved, sharp and cold as the moon. Tom gave her a self-deprecating shrug.

“No, not really. Just sounds like this method pulls from other disciplines.”

“Everything has a source,” she replied.

The Athletic Aesthetic is available at Amazon and Amazon, UK in print and ebook.