2012 31 Oct
Richard Jeffrey Newman asked me to participate in a Blog Hop in order to introduce new authors to new readers. If you’ve come here from the link posted on Richard’s blog, welcome! If you’re a regular reader of mine or came upon my blog by chance, I’m about to talk about my upcoming projects and then link you to some other writers.
Oh and also, Happy Halloween! I’m Selina Kyle this year (the new Anne Hathaway version). And I get to be in San Francisco for Halloween 2012, which is my favorite place to be for the holiday, and also my favorite holiday. I’m in such a great mood. So before I answer questions about my writing, I want to show you one of my favorite costume pictures:
An image from Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland series of photographs. Click the image to embiggen, or go to her site to see much larger versions of many photos.
* * *
Now for questions!
What is the working title of your next book?
The title is smartsex: S&M For Everybody or maybe smartsex: S&M Overview.
(Anyone have better title ideas? Let me know in the comments if you do! I’m so bad at titles.)
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s the first in a series of short ebooks, and I’m not writing them all myself — I’m recruiting some talented writers to work with. When I published The S&M Feminist: Best Of Clarisse Thorn earlier this year, I went through everything I’ve written about S&M, and I was struck by how much I know about the topic that has never made it into my articles. I also sometimes present a long S&M Overview lecture, and people have suggested that I make it into a webpage or something.
Plus, I’ve had an interest in larger cultural issues for a long time — a lot of the essays in The S&M Feminist aren’t actually about S&M or feminism; instead, they’re about polyamory or HIV or manliness or some other gender/sex topic. So I’ve been looking for ways to branch out. For example, I just co-edited an anthology called Violation: Rape In Gaming that talks about both S&M and feminism, but mostly talks about Internet culture and game technology and virtual identities.
So I was thinking about my desire to branch out, and I came up with this idea for a series of short ebooks about sex and culture from various perspectives. The series is tentatively titled smartsex, and right now I’m working on the S&M overview essay, which will include S&M cultural observations and S&M history, and also the usual basic S&M communication questions, et cetera. As near as I can tell, there aren’t any comprehensive S&M 101 documents that cover all those different things at once.
And I want to do the same kind of thing for other sexuality topics — I won’t reveal what else is in the works right now, but I will say that I’m excited to see it all come together. I think that readers will be surprised by some of the topics I’ve chosen.
What genre does your book fall under?
I always have to put my books in categories for marketing purposes, and it can be surprisingly difficult. For example, I put Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser in Amazon’s “Feminist Theory” section, and then I wasn’t sure what to pick for the second section, so I picked “Sexual Instruction.” The book is about investigating a subculture of men who trade tips and tactics for seducing women. It’s also about my own concurrent and relevant experiences with sex and relationships. So it’s not like other books in the “Sexual Instruction” section … but the category kinda works? (The Smashwords version is easier to label, because they have a “Sex & Culture” section.)
Anyway, I guess the S&M overview will probably go in “Sexual Instruction” too. Not sure about other categories yet.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I always thought that if a movie is made of one of my books, I want to play the main character myself. But I guess they probably wouldn’t let me do that. I suppose I’d settle for Nicole Kidman … especially if she wears that incredible red dress that she wore for Moulin Rouge. Or Anne Hathaway. You know, if you twisted my arm. ;)
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Between Rihanna and Fifty Shades, it seems like S&M is everywhere we turn nowadays; learn the basics about its history, culture, and complexities from sex educator Clarisse Thorn.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ve been doing well with self-publishing (not that I’d turn down a major book deal). The smartsex series is also great for self-publishing because each piece will be short, yet thematically linked to the others. Incidentally, if you’re interested in self-publishing, then you should totally read my primer on how to do it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on it. There’s a lot of awesome, intense stuff going on in my life right now — I hoped to be done with this by now! — but I really should be done with the first draft sometime next week.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre?
I have a list of recommended S&M books on my S&M resource page, and I continue to stand by all those recommendations.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
There are lots of amazing books and educators discussing S&M, and I owe a debt to so many of them. I try to give credit where credit is due, to thank the people who have gone before me, and to promote the work of others. But — this is going to sound so corny, but when I really have to thank someone, I try to thank my audience. I receive the most incredible feedback at my lectures, in comments on this blog, and from fans around the Internet. It keeps me sharp and motivated.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
People consistently say that my work is very interesting even for people who aren’t into the things that I’m into. (My favorite review of The S&M Feminist is titled “20 Things You Can Take Away From The S&M Feminist Whether You’re Into S&M Or Not.”) I have always believed that there are huge lessons to be drawn from S&M — general lessons about culture, relationships, and non-S&M sex. I hope that non-S&Mers will be willing to read and learn from this piece.
Here are the writers whose work you can check out next:
Andrea Zanin — S&M, polyamory, general sex geek
Charlie Nox — feminist pickup artist guru
Kitty Stryker — sex worker, S&Mer, activist
Ozy Frantz — feminist masculinity writer
Peter Tupper — S&M historian
* * *