Sex South of the river

I was delighted to be asked to speak at the excellent Eroticon 2013, run by the very talented Ruby Kiddell of WriteSexRight.

But it was south of the river.  I’m a committed north-londoner (in exile admittedly).  I got off the bus at the wrong stop.  I argued with google maps.  I managed to somehow ‘not see’ a huge brightly coloured building that was clearly labelled with the name I was looking for.  I got lost IN the building.  Twice.

Can  you tell I wasn’t on top form?  It didn’t matter.  I could just lie back and think of Erotica as the day swept me along regardless.  I could write a full report on everything I saw and heard on the day, but it’s been expertly done by the other delegates, so I’ll concentrate on the writing and publishing elements.

The Family Planning Association (along with the Brook Advisory Service) were there to raise awareness of some truly horrendous budget cuts, but also to ask authors to incorporate safe sex in their writing.  As an erotic writer – do you do that?  As a reader, do you find it adds or takes away from your enjoyment?

Maureen Scott from EtherBooks was talking about short pieces being read on a mobile app, fascinating stuff, particularly for a global market as smart phones and tablets are becoming essential kit all over the world.  I’m going to be examining their model very closely (there’s an app relaunch happening soon) as I think there could be some very interesting opportunities for authors coming up there.

My talk was on the importance of editing erotica, the particular elements you need to consider when writing sex scenes and editing in general.  In short, it was an excuse for us all to laugh at some terrible euphemisms and descriptions.

Remittance Girl then blazed through a blistering  and hugely intelligent talk about the cultural history of pornography and erotica which I won’t do justice to, but there will be a drop box on the Eroticon site so I hope you’ll be able to get it from there.  She tackled the thorny question of the distinction between porn and erotica, with erotica doing something to your brain as well as your other organs.  I think the distinction once you have writers of quality is becoming more blurred, but it’s always interesting to ponder.

Hazel Cushion from Xcite books gave a talk on how to submit to their publishing company.  It was very interesting to be on the other side of the fence, listening to a talk I often give.  I’m not sure we have exactly the same view of the industry but it’s a growing company that’s worth checking out if you’re an author looking for an erotic home.  They seem to focus on e-books, with some titles being available through a print-on-demand system, which I’ve not seen from a mainstream publisher before, but it could work as a model.

The last talk of the day before Ruby’s closing words was a summary of self-publishing, from the successful M.K.Elliott.  The promised hook-up with an American writer fell through due to technical difficulties, but MK (Marissa) gave a very competent summary of things to consider when self-publishing, including navigating the tricky tax issues of publishing in America.  She also explained her professional relationship with her editor, someone she described as essential – always nice for an editor to hear!

I was sorry not to be able to come to the second day of the conference, but I’m hoping to be able to attend again next year.


If you’d like to use my editorial services, you qualify for a 10% discount!  Just mention something about the day when contacting me, and use the code HUGGYPOPE.


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March 7, 2013

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