Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hello america...

and Canada too...the book is out there! Released today - I wish it luck. Feeling strangely protective of it...

Have woken with a sunny day and a stirring desire to start on the new book. When I look at other author's pages, they all seem to be much more industrious, but maybe when I get into the swing of it I'll be bashing out 2,000 words a day quite happily.

This week I'll be digging out some snips of erotica to post up here - taster size pieces. At least, I intend to. Should not make rash promises, a voice in my head says! Watch this space...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What makes a book tick

That old conundrum - where's the line between proper literature and erotica. Or porn for that matter. I found a collection of Barbara Kingsolver's essays in the library - beautiful and very human. One of them is detailing her exploration of sex in a book she is or was working on: 'Taming the beast with two backs'.

She seems to find herself strangely unsettled by the fact she's going to add sex in her book, rather than 'spacebreak sex scenes', (to paraphrase). Why is this more intimate than writing about strong emotion? She quotes, and notes, the names of a few (male) greats who've included full-blown sex in their books - Miller, Updike, Roth. I love these writers, and their vivid, searing scenes. There's a pushiness about all three of these writers that I find entrancing. And they lay open sex in graphic, masterfully crafted ways.
What none of them have done - at least, in my memory of their stories - is showed any much tenderness. Searing confessional style is respected. Ripping the guts out of a scene, laying bare the author or narrator's weakness, looking at it under a magnifying glass and musing on the historical resonances. Fabulous writing, yes.
But what you take from Kingsolver or Carol Shields is a different kind of honesty. I'm treading the line here of the old man-woman debate. I'll be careful. These writers will admit to warmth, to compassion, to a humanity.
Is writing always flavoured by sex (as in gender)? Are we just more squishy, more emotionally involved, weaker? What you resist, persists. The only way to join in properly is to take up a pen and make - more iconic characters who are female and many faceted, with strength and weakness. To try and avoid a knee jerk reaction or merely an emulation of the male way of doing things.
Is this turning into a manifesto?
I ought to be writing the synopsis of the next book. In order to do that, I need to work out A) the meaning of life and B) my characters. I feel for the heroine. She's got a lot to live up to. I don't presume to aim for the same high ground as the previously discussed authors, nor even anywhere near. But what they do and have done affects this girl.
She'll have to work hard.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

X rated gardening

I played a game once, with friends, where we had to inject as many double entendres into a normal conversation as possible, without letting on to the other people present.
What we found was that virtually every word we uttered could be construed as louche - it's not what you say so much as (wink, wink, nudge nudge) how you put it.

The point is, sex can permeate every situation, and when you're writing erotica you're wearing lewd-tinted glasses. I'm thinking about the setting for the next book, and wondering if botany can be remotely construed as sexy. There's mud, of course, which could be good. All that heavy toil can work up a sweat.

The sticking point, I suppose, is the characters. Bob Flowerdew on Viagra. It's a strange and disturbing image...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My beautiful new typewriter

You can keep your blackberries. I just got this beautiful bright red Olivetti and it makes the best clickety-chunk noise, plus it has a shiny red case so I can carry it round wherever I go...

Real life is a pale imitation...

...of the circus that goes on inside your own head.

First proper post, so I thought I'd wax on about writing.

After immersing yourself in the vast expanse that is a blank page, frittering about with hieroglyphics and ellipses and unreliable narrators, occasionally you think maybe it's time to open your front door and take a look at the outside world. But reality often disappoints, for the following reasons:

Humans have front-positioned eyes, which mean that unlike when you're playing omniscient narrator, you can't see in all directions. Looking only forwards is unnerving, like you've got blinkers on. And god knows what's happening behind you. I mean, what a design flaw.

Time just keeps moving relentlessly bloody forward. Whereas in your fevered imagination, it can rewind, freeze, skip hop and do cartwheels, out there in the real world it ticks onwards, in one direction only.

There's no proper way of editing real life. Apologies and retractions are just not as clean as cutting and pasting - which means you're liable to make glaring errors at any minute, and there's no way of undoing them.

And most of all, unlike a story, life just keeps on trucking...things coagulate sometimes into what looks like a neatly turned-up narrative, but before you know it, something else goes off the boil and the denouement turns into a tangent, which opens up another kettle of fish which drifts off into a very unsatisfactory non-conclusion, which begs the question...

Why bother with reality?


Out in August... Short story 'All I have to do' is in there, and it's one of my favourites. It's about one of those wild, romantic affairs that can never last but kind of linger in your head.

Circus Excite

This is my erotica cherry - the story of a dancer, Julia, exploring her own sexuality and creativity while she works her first summer at Circus Excite. The ringmaster is a bit of a devil, and the performances are calculated to shock. I got to visit some very cool shows while researching this book!
(In response to your next question, no, there are no bearded ladies in it.)

Just out in the UK, and hovering on the horizon in the US and Canada, published by Black Lace and findable at Amazon - Enjoy!

x Nikki

Good morning

Hello people...welcome to my brand new blog!

It's a lot of cyber for a girl to get her head around, so bear with me while I fiddle with the knobs and tweak the buttons. Pretty soon there will be dazzling insights into the mind of a porn writer, witty comments and heartfelt *sighs*

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a writer living in Glasgow, Scotland, clinging desperately onto this side of thirty, and courageously battling dirty words, day in, day out, in an effort to create beautiful erotic fiction.

I look forward to a long and happy blog with you all...

Nikki x