I Was Interviewed For The Balticon Podcast!

On the writing/podcasting/would-be professional front, I was interviewed this past weekend by Paul Fischer of the Balticon Podcast. The interview is Nobilis about erotica podcasting, writing sexy stories, family values for erotica writers, and everything in between. We also talked a bit about what we’ll be doing at Balticon this coming Memorial Day weekend, where Nobilis and I will both be guests working on the adults’ new media track for the convention. We had a great time discussing all the naughtiness we plan to get into, so take a listen to the interview and check out some of the rest of the Balticon podcast. Also stop by and listen to Paul’s podcast (one of my all time favorites), the ADD Cast.

Keep in mind, we are talking about erotica here, and the talk naturually gets rather explicit, so don’t listen to this any place where you might get into trouble, like say… church or work?

The Mad Month Of June In Review

Usually, when I don’t post much, it means there’s so much going on I don’t have time to sit down and breathe, let alone blog. This past month has been just such a case. So to quote Innago Montoya, “Let me explain… No, no that would take too long. Let me sum up…”

2 June – Sam’s first birthday.

9 June – Michael’s birthday (all I gave him was a CD because…)

9 June – the same day as Michael’s birthday is also the deadline for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association theme week this month. And the theme was speculative fiction erotica, and there’s no way in hell I’m missing that particular theme (they liked my story, by the way, and will be publishing it on their website next month. More details later). Of course, the writing came in the midst of…

24 April to present – picked up some actual paying work that is eating up all my free time!

15 June – Cassie’s first karate belt test. She was so cute! Hiya! Pictures later, I promise.

17 June – Father’s day. Michael got a picnic, my Dad got nothing, nadda, zip (see note above about having paying work which eats up all my free time).

19 June – our 14th wedding anniversary. I spent the evening at home feeding dinner to the kids. Michael spent the evening at the dojo getting ready for…

21 June – our 2nd degree black belt test! Which left us so exhausted that we barely made it to…

23 June – our next door neighbor’s wedding, which was followed by…

24 June – Sam and Cassie come down with a cold.

25 June – I come down with a cold. One of my cats is also very, very ill, so I take him to the vet. Now I have to keep him in the garage and feed him food with crushed up pills in it six times a day, which is a lot of work, but it beats cleaning up cat diarrhea six off the carpet six times a day.

27 June – my cold is now a sinus infection. I am so dead tired…

And that is a quick review of the month of June in the Madden household. Now you know everything, so go to bed!

I Have A New Blog On Writing Erotica

Just because I don’t have enough to do with my time…

Actually, it’s because I need a proper venue for discussing erotica writing and art. I added a blog to my erotica website HelenEHMadden.com. I’ll be using this blog to discuss what’s going on with my writing and artwork, plus as a place to discuss what I see going on in the world with regards to sex and erotica. The rest of the site includes an art gallery (mostly male nudes) and will have a story gallery up by the end of this month. Stop by for a visit if you’re so inclined!

Book Lust vs. Writing Lust

A month or so ago, I bought a book reading journal. It’s very cool. The title of the journal is Book Lust, and it’s full of blank entries for me to record all the books I read. Each entry has a space for the title, the author, and the date I read the book, and then a page of space for my comments on what I thought of the book. I was really excited about this idea of recording what I’ve been reading, because lately I’ve changed interests. I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. In the last few years I’ve added horror and historical mystery to that as well. But very recently I’ve dropped all that for more “literary” stuff. By literary I mean I’ve been picking books that show up either on the NY Times bestseller list or on the “What’s New” shelf at the library and book store.

It’s quite a change, like suddenly going from eating meat to being a vegetarian. But I like it. I was getting tired of reading a lot of the same stuff over and over again, to the point where I had quit reading all together because I couldn’t bring myself to pick up another sci-fi book. Of course, I don’t always like what I pick up in the “literary” section either, but then I made a deal with myself. If I don’t take a shine to a book within the first two chapters, I don’t have to keep reading. This means I’m getting most of my books from the library, because I can’t afford to buy a bunch of books and then put them down after two chapters, but my local library does keep a pretty good selection, so I’m good.

One of the things I’m most interested in reading right now are books put out by the major publishing houses that are billed as “erotic.” Now you know I write erotica, so I have very particular ideas about what is and isn’t erotic. To me, an erotic story means a tale with sexually explicit writing whose purpose is to arouse the reader. There is no “fade to black” when the sex takes place. There are also no veiled euphemisms or purple prose used to describe sex acts and genitalia. Things like that only smother what’s erotic. They don’t add any value at all.

So I’m reading what the big wigs in the publishing industry consider to be erotic. And my conclusion is these guys have no frikkin’ clue about what’s erotic. I’m not saying the books I’ve read are bad. One book I read, Vertigo by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, was actually quite good. Vertigo is the story of Emma, a Victorian housewife, who makes a resolution one year to be a better person. Her husband, a novelist working on a book about prisons, suggests Emma write letters to a prisoner he’s met during his research, to boost the man’s morale and act as a friend. Of course, Emma falls in love the prisoner, named Chance Wood, and the rest of the story focuses on their affair and Emma’s discovery of her sexuality. The book was interesting, thrilling and suspenseful in fact. I do not think it was erotic though. There were sex scenes in the book, and to Ms. Baratz-Logsted’s credit, she covered sex acts that most folks won’t discuss even in the privacy of their own bedroom. But the way she wrote those scenes made them seem wooden and dull. Again, I blame the use of euphemism and purple prose. She came close to going into detail about what was going on, but never really hit the target. It was like watching ants mate – biologically interesting perhaps, but in no way arousing to me.

I have this fear that all the “erotic” big sellers I intend to read are going to be like that, and it annoys the hell out of me. Why won’t people write about sex in a way that shows how exciting it can really be? We write about murder and violence with so much abandon, but sex? No, we can’t do that. Or maybe I should say, they can’t do that. You know I can. I do it all the time. In fact, I’ll be busting my ass today to finish up a short story I intend to submit to Best Women’s Erotica 2008. An older woman with a porn addiction seduces a much younger man. Hot stuff. And you better believe that the sex scenes are explicit. In fact, I have more sex scenes in this one 7,000 word short story than Lauren Baratz-Logsted had in her entire book, a fact I find to be quite funny. And once I’m done writing this short story, I’ll be starting on another erotica book. I’ve been e-mailing my editor at Mojocastle Press about some ideas I have and she’s very gung-ho, so I’m feeling pretty good these days. In fact, I’m feeling like a professional writer, which feels better than I ever possibly imagined it could feel.

I love reading. I love writing. I may never get published by a big printing house like some folks, but that’s okay. I love getting up each morning and knowing that I’m going to be doing the stuff I want to do. So life is good, folks. Life is very good.

Must Have Been Something I Said

We went to the pediatrician on Wednesday for a follow up appointment for Cassie. That makes seven visits in two weeks. The pediatrician joked that she was going to start charging me rent, I spent so much time there. I said I was just going to find an empty office space nearby and set up shop there. That way I could write between doctor visits. That led to her asking how my writing was going, and she was overjoyed when I told her I had a contract for my pornographic novel.

“Is that what you write?” she exclaimed. When I said yes, she grinned and asked if I wrote from experience.

“Oh god no,” I replied. “I’m not a gay man.”

She laughed so hard she almost couldn’t walk out of the examining room.

The Queen Of Porn Rides Again!

I got some great news last night. My erotica novel, Demon By Day, is being picked up by an e-publisher. I won’t divulge too many details, but I’ve got a contract to sign and mail in so I’m feeling very good. Demon By Day (originally titled “Helen’s Very Gay Fantasy Novel”) is a work of lus- er, love, for me. I spent ten months writing the first draft, another three doing the second draft, and another two putting together synopses and query letters for publishers. I think I came out lucky on this one, as it found a publisher far more quickly than I had any right to expect.

In other erotica writing news, the Erotica Readers and Writers Association is pleased to announce the release of
, an anthology of the best of ERWA’s story galleries. Yours truly has a piece in there that will curl your hair and probably kill the faint of heart. “A Man In A Kilt” is another work of lus- er, love, and I’m very proud of it.
Winter is coming folks, so if you’re looking for something to read AND keep you warm at the same time, you know who to come to.