Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Monday, September 26, 2016

I've got a brand new story in anthology For the Men edited by Rose Caraway

I have been focusing more on essay and article writing than my own erotic fiction lately due to time constraints so I'm thrilled to have a brand new story out in the world, the male point of view tale "Picturing You Naked" in For The Men And The Women Who Love Them edited by Rose Caraway. It's told in the second person and is about a very sexy speech given in a room full of people but with some erotic double entendres intended for one special person. I love experimenting like that and I was inspired by an article, which I no longer have handy, about how to give a speech. This is one way that might not fly in real life but was perfect, in my opinion, for fiction. Here's the first paragraph: "I'm picturing you naked, every lush curve, those lips that seem glossy and bee-stung even when you have nothing on them, the strip of red hair that matches the locks that drape against your shoulders. I'm picturing the way your ass juts out perfectly, especially when you stand in that way you often do so it reaches toward me, begging me to lay a hand on it. I'm picturing the gold ring emerging from your right nipple, the one that always tempts me to tug or flick or suck on it." It's out now as an ebook (and soon as an audiobook) and you can get it for Kindle, Smashwords and iBooks.

For the Men_cover_final

Follow @ForTheMenAntho on Twitter for updates. Hope you enjoy the book! Rose is wonderful to work with so writers, if you see a call for submissions from her out, I highly recommend submitting. She's @RoseCaraway on Twitter and her podcast is The Kiss Me Quick's.

Official blurb:
The Sexy Librarian, Rose Caraway presents an anthology intended for the fellas and the women who have an appetite for bold, adventurous erotic storytelling. Escape into the fantastic, the outlandish, and the literary. Get ready for; a space pirate, a cowgirl, an anxious odd man out, an undercover agent, lonely ghosts, a taxi driver with an unexpected topsy-turvy fare, a burly biker who just wants to be cuddled, a bride-to-be with one last oat to sow, The Devil offers a golden deal, a mysterious hitchhiker, strangers and a spontaneous three-way, and a reluctant hitman. You will find these and many more audacious characters playing out intense encounters.

Featured stories by: Allen Dusk, Jade A. Waters, Terrance Aldon Shaw, Tamsin Flowers, Landon Dixon, Sonnie de Soto, Adrea Kore, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Chase Morgan, Charlie Powell, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, Marc Angel, Rachel de Vine, D.L. King, Dorothy Freed, Rachel Kramer Bussel, T.J. Christian, and Emmanuelle de Maupassant.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hear me talk about erotica writing and editing on the Sex Gets Real podcast

I had a fabulous talk with Dawn Serra (officially, it was an interview, but I consider it more of a discussion) on her Sex Gets Real podcast, all about the power of writing erotica, what I look for as an editor, how erotica can affect our sex lives, the larger cultural observations and political messages we can send with erotica and the Best Women's Erotica series. Plus I read a little excerpt of Comic-Con erotica story "Starstruck" by Lazuli Jones. I hope you'll check it out, and you can subscribe to Sex Gets Real on iTunes and/or listen directly on the show's website. Here's a few quotes (and with the George Constanza/5'3" quote, I believe we were specifically talking about men; I don't think it's that unusual to find short women starring in erotica, but it is unusual in my experience to find men on the shorter, or fatter, or balder side). The hour or so we chatted flew by and I had a wonderful time talking to Dawn and hope you enjoy it too and that perhaps it sparks your imagination and gets you writing, whether that's one sentence or a hundred pages.

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We also discussed my erotica classes, and I have two coming up: live in person Sunday, January 29th from 4-6 at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City (LA), and February 7-March 7 will be my online LitReactor erotica writing class Between the Sheets. The Ripped Bodice class is limited to 20 people and the LitReactor one is limited to 16 people.

Lastly, the deadlines for my two upcoming Cleis Press anthologies are coming up soon! Click on the book titles for guidelines. December 1 is the deadline to submit to Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 and January 10 is the deadline for The Big Book of Submission, Volume 2. Happy writing!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Early bird discount for my February-March 2017 LitReactor online erotica writing class

I'm thrilled to share the news that I'm teaching my next LitReactor online Between the Sheets erotica writing class from February 7-March 7, 2017. I had to bow out of teaching this fall to focus on other work and I've missed having a class of students and the close attention we all share for a month as they focus on making their words as sexy and polished as they can be. Registration is open now for $350; the price goes up to $375 on December 2. The class is limited to 16 people in order to make sure everyone gets the attention they deserve and thorough and prompt critiques.

litreactor-erotica-writing-class-february-2017

What happens during the class? I provide weekly written lectures and writing assignments; when you complete each homework assignment, provided you do so by the deadline, I offer a thorough line by line written critique and content and marketing suggestions, and your fellow students also offer feedback. Additionally, I have conducted over a dozen interviews with erotica publishing professionals, including literary agents, editors and successful authors, both traditionally published and self-published, such as Sommer Marsden, Tiffany Reisz, Cecilia Tan and others, that I share exclusively in the class. While no one is obligated to submit their work for publication, this class is definitely geared toward those interested in having their work published, as we focus on both writing and what publishers are looking for and how to optimize your chances of having your work accepted. Many of my former students have gone on to be published. Here are two examples of student publication success stories.

I update these with each class to keep it current and add new information. At the end of class, I also invite you to my private online group to continue the conversations, camaraderie and support of the class; that group is a great place to keep current on what's happening in the erotica world, find beta readers and generally ask questions of me and your peers. I know the class is a big commitment, and I would only suggest taking it if you have at least five hours per week to devote to it in order to get the most out of it. That being said, you will have access to the classroom materials, including all lectures, assignments and additional interviews and postings, forever (well, as long as LitReactor is online, which I don't see changing anytime in the near future). This means that if there's one week you can't keep up with all the items I post, since I add daily information on everything from pseudonyms to branding and marketing to agents and more, you can always go back to it later.

Here's what some of my previous students have said (click on the LitReactor image above for more student quotes):
"I will apply what I learned in 'Between the Sheets' to create stories that arouse and connect. With Rachel’s detailed ‘how to’ writing instructions, I completed six stories. My final product is tailored to a specific call for submission and ready to go. Rachel eased this newbie erotic writer into her world providing a comfortable environment to explore sexual ideas creatively. She gave me what I wanted even when I did not know what that was. I’m headed down a new path. Take her, it’s worth it." Donna Jennings
and
"I gained the confidence to just be fearless on the page." Z
and
"Rachel has been incredibly generous in giving us students insights into the world of erotica writing with tons of useful information and helping us hone our writing abilities through her homework assignments and on point corrections for them." Ruby McLovelin
Prefer an in person class? I'm teaching a two-hour erotica writing workshop on Sunday, January 29 from 4-6 pm at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City, California (Los Angeles area). This live class is limited to 20 people.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Washington Post Solo-ish essay on baby fever and why I want to be a mom

I wrote about the subject I think about every day, and an incident recently that made me think about it in a new way: wanting to be a mom, and why being childless feels worse than being single ever did, for the wonderful Solo-ish section at The Washington Post. If you're not a regular reader, I recommend it; I learn a lot from the pieces I read there, which are always insightful (I don't mean that as a brag, humble or otherwise; I'm referring to the other writers, like Nicole Hardy on being a "female bachelor" in her forties and travel as her suitor and Laura Barcella on being a "crazy cat lady" and all the bylines you see there).

Here's a snippet of my piece:
In the minute or so that I helped her to those gulps of water, which still managed to spill down her dress despite my carefulness, I felt an overwhelming urge to pull her close and give her a hug. Her mix of delicateness and strength, her ability to communicate nonverbally, her gorgeous eyes staring back at me as if we weren’t strangers, all completely sucked me in.

If I could feel so much for a child I didn’t even know, who belonged to someone else, how much love would I have for a child I named and fed and cared for every day? That question haunts me.
Read the whole essay

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What it's like to have a sneezing fetish

My latest interview for Elle.com is with a woman who has a sneezing fetish. She offered an insightful look into a sexual phenomenon we don't hear about too often, and I found it fascinating.

sneezing-fetish-elle

I'm also looking for more women to talk to about sex and dating (you can of course be anonymous, as the fetishist and almost all my interviewees have been) for this sexuality interview series. I want to hear from women with unusual/off the beaten path fetishes or sexual practices or dating/relationship structures, or who've been through particular dating drama, like this San Francisco woman on dating tech guys who have a Peter Pan complex (and because I know someone will ask, I'm focusing on women because Elle is a women's magazine, but I of course think people of all genders have just as fascinating sex lives). Email me at ellesexstories at gmail dot com if you fit the bill and are interested in talking; the interviews take about half an hour and feel free to pass that on to anyone you know who might be a good match.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

How to follow me when I'm not blogging

So if you've been reading this blog for even a short period of time, you have probably realized that while my blogging intentions are good, my execution is lacking. I'll brainstorm daily post ideas but especially this year when I'm being pulled in so many directions, I haven't had as much time to devote to this blog as I'd like. I keep thinking I'll get to some magical "caught up" point but that hasn't happened yet. So while I will still be blogging here and will soon have news about my January and February mini book tour for Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, in the meantime, I wanted to share other ways to keep in touch and get info if you're interested.

My email newsletter - it's a monthly newsletter that includes giveaways, news about my writings and events and whatever else I feel like sharing. September's will go out this week and then October's will have a really special, huge giveaway, so stay tuned!

Twitter - I Tweet daily and post more there than I do on any other social media platform.

Facebook author page - I share my writings and news as well as articles I think may be of interest by other people.

Instagram - While my daily life isn't that exciting, I do post a lot when I'm traveling, such as my recent trip to Pittsburgh and this weekend in New York, where I went to the Adoptapalooza pet adoption event in Union Square and saw this:

Adoptapalooza!

A photo posted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (@rachelkramerbussel) on



If you want to be notified of my new book releases (or any other author's), follow me/them on Goodreads and Amazon (click on the "follow" button below my photo on the left while you're logged into your Amazon account). With Amazon, if you follow an author, as I do writer LN Bey, you'll get notifications like this when a new title is released, and if a book publishes early (before the official on sale date), you'll find out:

Amazon author notification LN Bey

My publisher frequently puts my ebooks on sale for $1.99 and you can get notified of those by following me on BookBub, where I encourage you to also sign up for your favorite genres so you can find out when other authors have free or very cheap sales. They send one daily email rounding up the sales in the categories you've chosen, or you can search by category, such as erotic romance.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

My best writing advice for publishing in anthologies

It's been a whirlwind month, with my recent amazing vacation to Pittsburgh and then back to juggling my two part-time jobs, finalizing Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2 and booking tour dates (more to come, but we'll be at Skylight Books in Los Angeles January 31st at 7:30 pm!) and working on some new articles. So I'll just share my recent Lady Smut post on how to get published in anthologies, offering my top five pieces of writing advice if you're looking for a byline. And a reminder: I have two current Cleis Press calls for submissions and need many more stories to consider: Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 and The Big Book of Submission, Volume 2.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Visiting 4 Boston bookstores in 24 hours

After my brief but fun August family trip in Cape Cod, I tacked on a 36-hour trip to Boston. Mainly, I wanted to visit bookstores. Why? Two reasons. One, I love books, and two, I wanted sing the praises of the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series, both supporting the bookstores that have stocked Volume 1 (Volume 2 pubs December 13th) and asking other stores if they would consider carrying it.

My original plan was to visit 6-7 Boston area bookstores but with my limited time, I wound up going to four: Porter Square Books and Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Brookline Booksmith in Brookline and Papercuts J.P. in Jamaica Plain. All of them I follow on social media, but that doesn't tell you precisely what it feels like to walk around a bookstore, to take in its energy and color and arrangements. I got to see how they shelved their romance and erotica and other categories and simply got a feel for what books they value. I can say with certainty that if I lived in Boston, I would shop at all of these stores on a regular basis. I'm so glad I got to browse and shop at these stores; I bought one or two books at each, because I think I have a much better chance of getting a store to listen to me if I'm also a customer, not to mention the fact that they all had amazing books.

When I'm going to have time for my giant to read stack, I'm not sure, but I will find the time by the end of the year. I sometimes walk around my neighborhood with a book in front of my face so I can multitask (yes, it's safe, I don't go in areas where there's lots of car traffic). During my trip, I also saw some wonderful art at the ICA museum. If I go back, I'll visit some of the ones I missed.

Here are the stores in the order in which I visited them.

Porter Square Books was a wonderful Cambridge bookstore that had an interesting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump display. I bought the essay collection Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole.

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porter-square-books-teju-cole

Harvard Book Store - I'd been eager to visit this bookstore, in part because I applied to Harvard for undergrad and got rejected, in part because I've enjoyed Cambridge and Harvard Square the times I've visited, and in part because online they seem like they have a lot of erotica. I could have spent much more time here browsing their shelves. I liked that they had romances by authors such as Sonali Dev and Sarah MacLean, among others, and several other Cleis Press titles in their romance classics and erotica section, including my beloved BWE anthology! I bought the YA novel Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy.

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harvard-bookstore-learning-to-swear-in-america

Brookline Booksmith - this was a store I also wanted to visit because I knew they stocked my book which interestingly enough is in the sexuality section alongside titles like The Joy of Sex, science and sex book Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski and The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex by Jenny Block. I loved the layout and design (and it's right down the street from Good Vibrations and pizzeria Otto, which I know from my Portland, Maine visits). I bought the novel Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck because it's set in Berlin and I'm planning to make my first trip there next spring. After the sex books are some funny titles they had by the counter, including Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores and the excellently titled Women Who Read Are Dangerous.

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brookline-booksmith-best-womens-erotica

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brookline-booksmith-women-read-dangerous

Papercuts J.P. - I took an Uber from Brookline to Jamaica Plain and was so excited to visit Papercuts I forgot to take a photo of the outside of the store. This is a small bookstore, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. I've been following them avidly on Twitter and was excited to check them out, especially because they have a podcast and their very own anthology. What was very cool is that even though it's a small store, it's super welcoming and even has a couch!

I wound up buying two books, breaking my one book per store rule (because my shelves at home are bursting), because while I bought their The Papercuts Anthology: What Happened Here, Volume 1, which includes work by authors who've read at the store during their first year, which I think is an awesome idea. I did see it at other bookstores but obviously had to buy it where it originated. I wound up also buying An Exaggerated Murder by Josh Cook, who actually works at Porter Square, because as a frequent mystery reader, I loved the idea of such an over-the-top concept and also the Chinatown reference, which cropped up last year in the play my boyfriend wrote, where he not so subtly shamed a character who largely resembles me for not having seen classic movies. As I told him, I finally get the joke on the page from the book pictured below.

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