Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I don’t believe in a god, not in the traditional sense anyway. I guess that’s what being raised Catholic has done to me. But I do believe in energy. I do believe in right and wrong. I do believe in kindness and truth. And not everyone else is like that. I’m learning that. I’m learning that there are some really ugly people in this world and I’m not talking about their outsides. I’m talking about their souls, their essence, the people they are.

I am not perfect. Far from it. And I have accomplished a fair share of mistakes in my short time on this Earth already. But I have never gone out of my way to hurt a person deliberately. I know that there are two sides to every story. I’m not stupid. I’m a good listener. I care about the feelings of others—sometimes too much and that is what gets me into trouble, caring for the wrong people sometimes. But I don’t have a malicious bone in my body. Some people may call that weak. True or not, it is simply the person I am. And if others choose to view me as weaker, there is really not much I can do about that....
TO CONTINUE, click here: R.B. O'Brien's Blog

Sunday, August 28, 2016

MEET AUTHOR NIA FARRELL as she launches her release of Replay Book 2: TRIPLE PLAY.

Who are your favorite heroes/heroines in real life? ​This life, the Dalai Lama. I haven’t yet met him, but I did spend a day in his presence when he was teaching the Kalachakra Tantra in Bloomington, Indiana. Past life, Joan of Arc/Jeanne d’Arc.  In my lifetime as Christine de Pisan, I came out of retirement to write about Jeanne because she was my vindication, proof of the worthiness of women because God had chosen her to be savior of France.  She’s not one of my main spirit guides but she does pop in every once in a while.

To read the entire interview and MANY others,or to get to know Nia more, visit: R.B. O'Brien's Website: FEATURED AUTHORS

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm a WRITER, Imagine That?
Over the last couple of weeks, the topics of writing erotica, and erotic romance in particular, keep coming up. Questions of what constitutes the different genres of writing--erotica, erotic romance, dark romance, and the like—are being asked and with good reason. Somewhere out there in the collective minds, even among some in the erotic genres themselves, the prevalent idea is somehow that writing erotica or erotic romance is not “real writing.” And that ruffles my feathers. I have had several interactions that led me to write this blog. Quite frankly, I’m sick of the stereotypes. Let me be clear: I. Am. A. Writer.

For those of you who know me, I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare. During a fun romp on Facebook, a Shakespearean insult meme made its way around, and we all commented and tossed about some insults and admitted how much the Bard has affected us all one way or another.
I sent a friend request to someone who I particularly enjoyed reading his Shakespearean wit and repertoire and he immediately responded with a (and yes, I will overindulge here): “Hey. You may be an okay person, but you write erotica. I write REAL books. Sorry. I can’t be friends with the likes of you.”

It wouldn’t be the first time something very similar has happened. “Sorry. I have to unfriend you. My girlfriend might get suspicious.” Or: “My circle of friends just wouldn’t understand that I talk to a writer of erotica.”

You may be laughing. But I’m not making this stuff up—that somehow I’m some horny degenerate who only thinks about sex or having sex with others, that I couldn’t possibly have a mind or a flare for writing anything but smutty, pappy trash, that I am going to share nude photos of myself at the turn of a dime. Because, of course, what else would an erotic romance writer possibly be capable of?

Let me tell you. We who write erotica or erotic romance care about the same things every writer cares about. Are there holes in my story? Does the dialogue work? Sound realistic? Do my verb tenses match? Did I use the right word choice? Does my story make you care about the characters? Does the imagery do it justice? Are there places that didn’t make sense?

But more than that, we ask: Can you see and feel my characters’ emotions? Did you feel their feelings as they were happening to them? Their love? Their lust? Their angst? Their sadness? Their anger? Is there pathos or hamartia in the protagonist’s or antagonist’s journey?
Yeah. Sounds like real writing to me. Don’t tell me because I choose to include graphic sexual content in my writing that it is now somehow subpar or without merit. Sex, love, lust, passion—THAT is part of feeling alive. That is part of living. You don’t get much more emotion or feeling than that. It’s really the point of life—to find love, to feel alive, to be brought to unimaginable feelings of both pleasure and pain, love and loss, desire and repulsion, sadness and triumphs.

A person may not like my genre. It may not interest them or titillate them for whatever reason, but it doesn’t make me any less of a writer. I don’t particularly like paranormal. So what? The person who writes that is suddenly not a “real” writer just because it doesn’t suit my tastes?

So let’s stop with the stereotyping. Please. Is there terrible erotica out there? You bet. Are there some erotic writers who are sexual deviants and only think about sex? Of course. But there are deviants and shitty writing in Every. Single. Genre. Don’t single out mine. And don’t judge it until you read it.

Read my books and then have an opinion. If you still hate my writing, so be it. I welcome constructive criticism. I care about growing, improving my craft, choosing that exact, right word, and creating characters who are round and alive, characters we know in real life, characters we relate to and want to follow along on their journey.

Wow.  Holy shit. I actually sound like a “real” writer. Imagine that?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Taken from my website: My websiteAfter months of hoping and waiting for my first series to go to print, The Natalie Edge Series, I finally received the galley print to review. I am ecstatic. All three books will be in one large, printed compilation…so for all those reading on the beach, now is your chance!

Imagine that? Him? Being caught with my book in his hands? Oh the thought makes me squish inside!

What you may not know is that Natalie came from scribbles in my diary. An old-fashioned, pen and paper, no one better get their hands on this diary. What do I mean by that? Well—I felt a deep void inside of me. I knew there was something missing in me, even if outwardly I seemed to have it all. And so, I tried to get back to self-discovery by writing.

I had always kept a journal/diary, since about age 13—quite religiously. The problem? I wrote for myself. I didn’t ever want it to see the light of day. Each week, I would destroy what I wrote. And I mean that quite literally. Destroyed it just in case my parents found it. And when I began teaching, I wrote with my students daily in class and destroyed that as well. We all did. And it was invigorating. I remember students looking at me with a crazed look in their eyes—“Is she fucking for real? All this work we’ve done this semester and she wants us to destroy it if we choose? She’s nuts.” Yup.  I am.

That first time my students starting tearing apart their journals with glee, it was a giddy, cult-like experience. It caught on. There was this nervous energy, not said, but shown in our actions. And after it was done, they realized. She means it. She wants us to pour our souls onto this very paper. She means it. Writing is cathartic. She means it. Write. For. No one. But. Yourself. And they were right. I meant it. Authentic writing can only come from truth. From true writing without censorship.

Publishing is another ballgame. (Funny I make a sport analogy when I hate sports.)  But I do censor myself often when I write for publication. I am actually thinking of a new pen name, one without censorship, one without social media attached, one where I can just write freely without any worries about sales or who likes it and who doesn’t. I may have already started. ;)

So for those of you who consistently ask about my inspiration, what is real/what isn't (and I welcome the questions even though I am extremely private for myriad reasons), I will answer the most common ones here for you about Natalie that I get. It's about time for you to see a little of my diary...

  1. Yes. The places and people of Natalie are based on my real life to an extent. I never danced professionally. I like to think it is because I am too short. I am petite as well and don’t have the typical dancer’s body. But it never stopped me, and I still dance every week to this day for fun and exercise and yes, I have been in productions, but I mostly work more in the community theatres to help with directing and choreographing. I have been known to do a bit with Shakespeare – ahem-- and to be roped into filling in.
  2. No. I have never owned my own business.
  3. Yes. I have lived in and around Boston my whole life.
  4. Yes. I have been to Paris.
  5. Yes. Giselle was the first ballet I ever saw and yes, Nutcracker was a family tradition.
  6. Yes. Redemption is loosely based on real-life events. The first two are fictional based on the emotional rollercoaster of previous relationships.
  7. Yes. Bette Davis is my idol. She was born in Lowell, MA.
  8. Yes. I was raised Catholic and deathly afraid of horror movies and still am.
  9. Yes I have both submissive and emotional masochistic traits.
  10. Yes. I love the dominant male.

Okay. Phew. THAT was cleansing—as if I just got out of the confessional box itself! If you want to know more, ask! I may or may not answer. You’ll have to get your hands on my diary. But sadly, that, my friends, is buried deep into the confines of an endless landfill, somewhere in Massachusetts. For now, enjoy reading the series.

The Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog: Sexy Snippets for August

The Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog: Sexy Snippets for August