Friday, May 8, 2009

Women in Publishing to Host

We've been invited to give a presentation at Women in Publishing on May 12th. Holly Schmidt and I will show you how we started the company, and where we hope to take it! And everything we've learned along the way.

When: Tuesday May 12th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Where: Time, Inc. 1271 6th Ave. The entrance is on 50th street. Make sure you have ID.

Tell your publishing friends.

Please RSVP to

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Physics of Vampires

I love Facebook. People who are as strange as you find you, so one of my "friends,"Rae Lori, whom I have never met, linked to this fascinating article.

Did I ever mention that I love vampire novels? That I've sold at least 200 of them?

And right now, it's vampire week at, where the vampire novel of the day is 20% off. We have 5 vampire series.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ask Me Questions About Feminist Smut NOW

I'm over at Crave More Romance answering questions about Happy Endings and Feminist Smut. Join me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Praise of Feminist Smut

I've appeared at a lot of writers’ conferences in the past 6 months (Romantic Times, Las Vegas, San Diego, Florida, ) and am set to do a bunch more (Writer's Digest, Lori Foster's, Necon, Killercon). I usually end up on an editors’ panel where I try to explain where Ravenous Romance is coming from editorially, and what sets us apart.

I got a phone call today from a major trade publisher, who is buying a number of our titles for reprint. He gushed about how much fun our books were to read, and how he thought he knew what to expect and yet was pleasantly surprised. He also said that the sex in the books was as good as any erotica he'd ever read, and he's been reading erotica for decades.

Whenever I do one of these panels, I always tell people that I have wanted to start an erotica company for women since I was a teenager coming of age in the 70s. I was completely blown away by Anais Nin and her Delta of Venus and Little Birds (and later read her diaries, twice), as well as Nancy Friday's various sexual fantasy collections. Erica Jong and Marilyn French didn't grab me as hard, but I was fascinated by the burgeoning genre of “clit lit.” The Anne Rice Beauty books came out when I was in college, and I was sure feminist erotica would soon rival that of the bad boys of American letters - John Updike, Philip Roth, Henry Miller.

But then there was nothing. Or more of the same male erotica, but nothing more by women, for women. Where was the feminist “smut”? I kept on reading the New York Times Book Review, but couldn't find a thing.

And then, out of left field (or, more accurately, Ohio) emerged Ellora's Cave. As a reader, I was thrilled to find this empowering online bookstore of erotic stories for women.

I was also looking for the thread that would link this new erotic readership to the not-so-distant literary tradition of erotica, but this new material was more about opening the bedroom door in the romance novels of my teens, which I also endorsed.

At Ravenous, we want to merge these two powerful (and commercial) erotic sensibilities, widening the readership of this female-pleasing (even if they're M/M stories) entertainment. We are reaching the readers of explicitly erotic romance, as well as the erotica reader, offering a guaranteed Happy Ending (which is what both these forms of fiction demand).

And I firmly believe that if Anais Nin were writing today, she's be writing for Ravenous and other digital erotic romance publishers, and making a small fortune

Sunday, April 26, 2009

RT from the Eye of an Agent and Editor

I have been going to writers conferences as an agent for two decades, and we all know it's a traveling card party - you see the same players year after year and you feel as though you could step into the card game right where you left off the last time you saw these folks.

The fact that I am an agent places me so squarely in the middle of the publishing perspective. I am just amazed at how I can see the big picture of the print publishing world, the epub world, as well as the crossing over genre to genre that most working writers do. It always amazes me when I see one of my horror or sci-fi writing pals selling his or her erotic romance at one of these conferences under a pseudonym.

Publishing is a big small world, and many of the people in it have never looked out from the other side.

And right now, it is growing and changing in ways very few saw coming, but it is so exciting.