Addressing White Privilege in Writing

As a relatively aware White person — that is to say, an individual who was raised in a dominant White culture and socioeconomic group, who both presents as White on the outside and identifies as White on the inside — I am on a personal mission to challenge myself in this world where, through no merit of my own, I have been handed privilege on a silver plate. Whatever your feelings on issues of race relations, or the social construct thereof; the heavy weight of history, the state of politics, or globalization, the simple fact remains: White Privilege is real. (Still not convinced? Take a look at the classic Invisible Knapsack checklist, by Peggy McIntosh.)

While there is plenty to be said about how White Privilege manifests in the larger world, my focus today is bringing it down to the arena in which writers and artists can make a difference: noticing, identifying, and addressing White Privilege in writing. And, oh, it’s there in a big way!

Remember when The Hunger Games movie came out? And there was all this racist sputtering from people who expressed surprise and annoyance that the character Rue was Black? If they’d actually read the book, they might have figured it out on their own… but maybe not. The author Suzanne Collins included information that a thoughtful reader could use to visualize Rue as the young, dark-shinned girl she was intended to be, but because this was not explicitly stated, people were able to form their own ideas. And those ideas populated the story entirely with White teenagers, because that’s what people expect. Hollywood reinforces this with their whitewashed casts of characters, and if we are not careful, book characters can easily suffer the same fate. Poor Rue.

White Privilege is precisely that: a normalization of white-looking people; the assumption that they are “normal” and everyone else, therefore, is “different”; the classic exotic Other. (By the way, this goes for Ablism too… when was the last time you visualized a character in a wheelchair? Or with leg braces? Or an amputated limb? Yeah, you didn’t, because disabled folks are also relegated to the “other” category.) The challenge for a reader is to remove themselves from the story. However tempting it is, we cannot imagine ourselves as the protagonist in every tale, because in some cases, the main character is vastly different from us. Then, the challenge becomes one of molding yourself into another person’s body, trying to live and learn from their experiences.

This especially irks me in historical fiction. I firmly believe — and research supports — that history has always been far more diverse than typically portrayed in mainstream media. When we think about cowboys, why do we always imagine them as tall, fit, white and blue-eyed, when a large proportion of them were, in fact, Black, Latino, or mixed-race? (The answer? Hollywood. And the general, ongoing white-washing of history.) People of all shapes, sizes, and colors have shaped this world, and continue to do so. Historical fiction should reflect that.

So what can writers do? Well, the first step, I think, is to combat the assumption that characters, unless otherwise described, are de facto white people. Take the time to describe your character in a rich, illuminating way: everything from the shape of their body, the texture and style of their hair, their features, their skin color, and everything else that makes them stand out. Each person is an individual, and as a character, should be presented as such. Next, push the boundaries of what kinds of characters you’re writing. Historical fiction can be a great avenue for this, since you can research and create authentic characters of various backgrounds, without necessarily digging into the can of worms that is modern-day racism and society. (Need some ideas? Check out my blog post on writing characters of color – for white writers.) Story by story, character by character, little by little, we can change people’s expectations and views. Push White Privilege to the background by putting diverse characters first. Right where they belong.

Flowers working cover.jpgI’m trying to do my part through writing. Some recent examples include my Flowers for the Ancients collection, which features women from ancient societies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In writing this, I was able to develop characters from diverse cultures and backgrounds, all set in fascinating periods of history.

major arcana coverAlso, I am currently working on a Tarot-inspired erotic romance set right here in my hometown of Seattle. Free to read on Wattpad, Major Arcana features a cast of characters I am rapidly coming to love. I had fun thinking about the diversity of my city and how that could be reflecting in writing, from the free-love Hippie momma (inspired by a friend’s mom… I’ll never reveal her name!), to the blended family and sibling relationships (there’s one in every family, right?), to the sexy, sensitive hero, a UW student from Yakima who also happens to be in a wheelchair. I had fun researching sex for paraplegic men, oh yes indeed! (Porn as education. Enough said.)

Anyway, I hope I am on the right track toward addressing and correcting White Priviledge in writing. (And in my everyday life, though that, as they say, is another story.) I would greatly appreciate any feedback and advice on how to do it better. We’re all works in progress, just trying to make this world better for everyone in whatever ways we can.

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Sexy shower scenes and a giveaway with Siren Allen!

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Oooh, those dreadlocks… drool…

You all know I love my SciFi romance, right? Ooh, yes, I do enjoy a good Big Bang! (Hehehe… okay, yeah, there’s a reason I’m not a stand-up comedian.) Anyway, I am excited to introduce to you a new author on the hot SciFi/romance scene: Siren Allen. She’s got a sizzling new book coming out, and you need to take a look! The excerpt alone gets me hot. Time to go buy it!


Siren says:  Hi guys. I’m so excited about my new release, Silver, a Sci-Fi romance. Silver is available on Amazon and free with Kindle Unlimited. The two main characters, Malia and Silver, are now my favorite people. Watching them fall in love was fun, sexy and sometimes heartbreaking. I’ve included an excerpt from one of my favorite scenes. It’s a shower scene. Enjoy!

A sexy sneak peek:

He tried to recall the last time he’d bathed.

Silver lathered his chest with an unscented bar of cleanser. He hadn’t bathed once while on Venus. They’d stolen a tank of water from a nearby store and had used that to wash their face, hands, and other junk that got sweaty.

But a full shower. He hadn’t one of those in a long time. It felt nice. And with Malia only a few clicks away from him, it felt naughty, especially since he was showering in the dark. In a rush to get back to her, he bypassed the light switch and headed straight for the stall. His mate was awaiting him in bed. His heart leapt at that thought and so did other things.

With hot water falling over his frame, Silver slid one hand down to his cock and gripped it tightly. Stars, he was rock hard, his body yearning for his mate. Silver stroked himself. Closing his eyes, he let his head fall forward as images of his mate masturbating while dreaming filled his mind.

Sex with her would be spectacular. He knew it would. He wasn’t an untried male. He’d been with plenty of females. None had ever stoked his desire the way his mate was doing. And it wasn’t just the mating pull forcing him to feel things for her. It was her, the little things she did. The way she smiled, they sound of her laughter, the way she cocked her head to the side when she was thinking about something he’d said. She was perfection.

He couldn’t wait to rub his hands over her flesh and feel her shiver underneath his touch. He was going to take great pleasure in making her moan all night long as he kissed and licked every inch of her. Silver thrust forward, pushing into his palm, wishing it was her heat he was sliding into. She would be wet. Oh so wet. He groaned as he thought of her wetness sliding over his cock. His dick jerked. He stroked faster, pumping his length.

He was going to come. That was probably for the best, to take the edge off before he climbed in bed behind his mate. Behind his mate. That thought caused images of him taking her from behind to form in his head.

The doorknob to the bathroom turned. His head jerked in its direction. Had he locked the door? Nope. In stepped Malia.

“Silver, are you okay? I heard noises.” She flipped the light switch on and her mouth fell open in shock.

He wanted to stop. He really did. He couldn’t. His orgasm was too close and the sight of her sent him over the edge. Silver came hard, groaning as his hips jerked until every last drop was ripped from him. Shit. She was still standing there.

Silver stared down at the shower floor watching water and his semen wash down the drain. This was the ultimate embarrassment. He heard her clear her throat. He didn’t look in her direction.

“Uh, okay,” she told him from the doorway. “I see that you’re okay. Um, I’m going to let you finish… showering. Take as long as you need.”

Silver nodded and waited on the sound of the door closing before he began cursing. “Shit, fuck, fucking shit.” He banged his head against the wall.

Get the book!  …on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZJG2P3   …and check out Siren Allen’s author website!coolbnw

Aren’t we artisans?

For a long time, I distributed my writing for free. It was the usual routine: I wrote a story for fun (and because it got me hot), gave it a cursory once-over, then plastered it on Literotica or — and I fully admit to this — WAY back in the day, on Fanfiction.net. (Yeah. Legolas was my guy in those heady days of the early 2000’s…) Anyway, at that time I considered myself an amateur. And I was; an amateur, of course, is someone who does something for the love of it, and nothing more.

I ceased to consider myself an amateur when I began investing more concentrated time (and money, too) in perfecting my work. I connected with beta readers, hired a proofreader, designed book covers, wrote and polished blurbs, edited, revised, and rewrote until I was sick of my own work. All of this was through a desire to make my writing the best it can possibly be. And in the process, I realized it had value. Real value: the worth of my time and effort.

So now, I consider myself an artisan. This is not the same thing as a professional. Professionals make their income from their work, whatever it is. Probably they have invested a large chunk of their life into their career, specializing in a profession, taking workshops and focused trainings, putting their nose to the grindstone and climbing the ladder. I do that, too, in my professional life. This is something I separate from my art, however.

Get it? Profession = professional; Art = artisan. So, unless you happen to be signed with a big publishing company, who pays you regularly and buys your work in advance, you, too, are an artisan. (There are professional artists, of course. My grandparents were; they struggled their whole lives with it. Hence, my preference for keeping art and work apart!)

Think about cheese – one of my favorite things! You can buy tasty cheese from professionals. Say, Tillamook. No matter where you are, you can get a nice brick of cheddar, knowing it has been made in a large, reputable plant, wherein they have been producing quality cheese for generations. Tillamook is a professional cheese-making business. They make TONS of cheese and maintain a level of quality we expect from professionals

Now imagine you’re at the local farmers market. Cheese can be found here, too, but this time it’s artisan cheese. You might find a small-batch herbed chevre, or fresh mozzarella. It’s all been lovingly made by hand, the product of individuals or small groups working in quite a different system than the big companies. Oftentimes artisanal cheese is delicious, far richer and more tempting than the grocery store variety. Other times, alas, it is less than amazing. In any case, it is likely to surprise you.

Lots of people say artisan is better, for this reason. Others prefer the consistency of professional products. Neither is right or wrong; they’re just two different ways of producing, buying, and enjoying cheese.

Keep that in mind when buying indie books. Self-published authors are artisans; we don’t work for any big company or publisher. There’s no safety net. We just quietly producing our work — our art — in the hopes that customers (that means you, gentle reader!) might prefer to buy a small, artisanal product rather than a predictable grocery store bestseller. Just know that, whichever you choose, there’s an artist behind it. But when you pay that artist directly, more of the benefit stays with them.

So buy from artisans! Shop at your local potter, beekeeper, couturier, farmer, bakery, woodworker, candlemaker, art gallery. Support us Indie authors, too. We may not sell at the farmers’ market, but we are artists and craftsmen, just the same.

Because Beards keep you warm… in more than one way!

I’m one of those women who happens to love beards. Don’t get me wrong; there are many handsome, smooth-faced men out there, and I appreciate that many cultures do not admire beards (mostly, cultures where most of the men can’t grow one… just sayin’). In my younger years, I was attracted to boyish good looks. You know, charming young men wit lots of hair on their heads and practically none anywhere else. Thinking back on it, I believe that was because they seemed “safer” to me, less virile or masculine, more familiar to my girlish eyes. Now that I’m older, wiser, and far sexier, however, I have decided that the woman in me is most aroused by a mature man. By which I mean the kind that grows hair. Everywhere.

Yes, hairy chests are my thing, and hairy faces too. Alas, my husband will never have a Viking’s capillary talents, but I do enjoy his scruffy beard after a week or two. (And the fun part is, when he shaves it off I get to enjoy all the stages of its regrowth… almost as much fun as having an affair with a clean-shaven guy, and not nearly as much trouble!)

For all you ladies (and gents) who, like me, love a man with a beard, I am delighted to announce the upcoming release of a beard-themed erotica anthology: Because Beards. What’s even better than that? Why, all profits go to charity! So now you can actually feel good during your feel-good sexy times.

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Read on for author bios, a sexy sneak peek, and more!

***

beards4Be it a little scruff or a full length beard, there’s nothing more attractive than a man with a well-groomed face. Masculine. Powerful. Sexy. Devoted. Lose yourself in this tantalizing collection of original short stories by your favorite romance authors in support of a great cause. Hipster CEO, bartender, best friend, baseball player—just to name a few—these men all have one thing in common: they’re bearded for your pleasure and deliver one hell of a happy ever after.

All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to The Movember Foundation, an organization that supports charities in the research and treatment of prostate and testicular cancer as well as other men’s health initiatives.

Written by Alexis Alvarez, Faith Andrews, M. Andrews, Jeannine Colette, Hayley Faiman, Angelita Gill, Ace Gray, Ruthie Henrick, Scott Hildreth, Evie Lauren, Jerica MacMillan, R.C. Martin, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, Leslie McAdam, Maria Monroe, Adrienne Perry, J. Quist, Renee Rose, Kacey Shea, Martha Sweeney, and Tom Sweeney.

beards1Sexy Excerpt: The Beard Made Me Do It by Scott Hildreth

I grabbed my purse, turned toward the bathroom, and began to walk away. Carefully placing each foot in front of the other, and at least attempting to look sophisticated, I intentionally walked past the bearded wonder positioned between me and the restroom.

As I walked by, I glanced over my shoulder.

I would have sworn our eyes met.

Maybe it was because I wanted them to.

Either way, he was the most handsome man I had ever seen.

His beard?

Perfection defined.

After relieving myself of the afternoon’s alcohol, I stood at the sink and stared blankly into the mirror. Mentally preparing to talk to the magnificent stranger, I was convinced I had what it took – short of a little courage – to impress him.

I turned toward the door, inhaled a breath of bravery, and pulled it open.

Oh shit!

Standing on the other side of the door stood the bearded wonder. Wearing a shitty little smirk, it appeared he knew I was coming. Although I had many things planned to say, and many more I wanted to say, I executed none of my plans.

Instead, I stepped to the side, gazed at him with wide eyes, and muttered a half-hearted apology as I passed. “Sorry,” I squeaked.

His hand gripped my shoulder lightly. “Wait.”

Oh God.

My legs began to shake. I turned around.

“Yeah?”

“You’re single, adventurous, and have no problem keeping a secret,” he said flatly. I couldn’t help but notice that his teeth seemed as white as the winter snow, but it was his beard that commanded my attention.

I stared back at it – and him – in disbelief.

His eyes narrowed slightly. “Am I right?”

My eyes were still fixed on his beard. I nodded. “Uh huh.”

He reached for my hand, turned toward the back door, and paused. “You’re going to come with me.”beards2

Author Bios:

About Kacey Shea

Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and indie author who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot. She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It’s just hot and on occasion she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store. Kacey’s contemporary romance novels are a mix of humor and heat, all the while weaving a story that brings readers joy and keeps them guessing every turn of the page! (Website www.kaceysheabooks.com )

About Angelita Gill

Angelita is the author of fun, sexy contemporary romance, where the heroes tend to drop sexual innuendo, and the heroines have all the real power.

When she’s not torturing them to their happily-ever-after, Angelita loves volunteering for the arts, spending time with her own alpha hero and dancing with her friends while she tries not to spill her wine. Sign up for her newsletter here. (Website: www.angelitagill.com )

About Ace Gray

Ace Gray is a self-proclaimed troublemaker and connoisseur of both the good life and fairy tales. After a life-long love affair with books, she undertook writing the novel she wanted to read, which culminated in her first release STRICTLY BUSINESS then the remainder of the MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE SERIES and now the TWISTED FAIRY TALE series. Often she is referred  to as the creator of adult Highlights and the Oprah of D. Insert winky face emoji here…

When she’s not writing, she owns her own business teaching Pilates and slings brews at Deschutes Brewery. She loves rainy days, shellac manicures, coffee shops and bourbon—all of which are bountiful in her adopted home of Portland, OR where she runs amok with her chef husband and two huskies. (Sign up for the wild and crazy newsletter here: http://www.ace-gray.com/extra-extra-read-all-about-it/ )

About Alexis Alvarez

Alexis Alvarez is an author, photographer, and digital designer who loves writing steamy romances.  Her female heroines are always strong, intelligent women who fall for the sexiest guy around…and get the happy-ever-after ending of their dreams.

You can usually find Alexis hanging out with her family or her sisters, who are also romance writers, at their website, Graffiti Fiction.  The three of them love to drink wine together and laugh like hyenas while making dirty jokes and inappropriate comments. Their mom is very proud.

Alexis loves meeting new people on Facebook, so please come on by and say hello. Thanks and happy reading! (Website:  http://graffitifiction.com/ )

About Scott Hildreth

Born In San Diego California, Scott now calls Naples, Florida home. Residing along the gulf of Mexico with his wife and children, he somehow finds twelve hours a day to work on his writing. A hybrid author who has published more than two-dozen romance and erotica novels, his three book Mafia Made series through Harlequin is due to start release with the first book in summer 2016.

Scott has spent his entire life pushing boundaries, and his writing is no exception. His books are steamy, however, they always include an HEA, and have no cheating, no sex outside the relationship, and no OW OM drama.

Addicted to riding his Harley-Davidson, tattoos, and drinking coffee, he can generally be found in a tattoo shop, on his Harley, or in a local coffee house when not writing.

Loyal to the fans and faithful followers who allowed him to make writing a full-time career, Scott communicates with his followers on Facebook almost daily. He encourages his readers to follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (Website: www.scotthildreth.com )

About J. Quist

Whether growing up with five sisters in a small midwestern town (population 700), cleaning campground restrooms (yes, totally gross), teaching patients to walk again (awesome career), J. Quist is always surrounded by interesting people. Where there are people, there are stories. So many stories to tell.

Some of her favorite things include Duran Duran, iced tea, all sports, books, musicals, soccer boys and neuroanatomy. Oh, and tacos. Don’t forget the tacos.

Quist lives in the concrete desert metropolis of Phoenix with her husband and three daughters. You can find her on the sidelines of her kids’ soccer games, working with special needs children as physical therapist, reading all the books and cheering for her beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers and Liverpool Football Club.

About Faith Andrews

Faith Andrews is living out her dream right outside the greatest city in the world, New York City. Happily married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two beautiful and wild daughters, and a furry Yorkie son named Rocco Giovanni. When she’s not tapping her toes to a Mumford & Sons tune or busy being a dance mom, her nose is stuck in a book or she’s sitting behind the laptop, creating her next swoon worthy book boyfriend. Coffee addict, lover of wine and cheese, and sucker for concerts and Netflix, Faith believes in love at first sight and happily ever after. (Website : authorfaithandrews.com)

About Renee Rose

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE is a naughty wordsmith who writes BDSM and spanking romance novels. Named Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won The Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance, and Spanking Romance Reviews’ Best Historical, Best Erotic, Best Ageplay and favorite author. She’s hit #1 on Amazon in the Erotic Paranormal, Western, and Sci-fi categories and is a contributor to Write Sex Right and Romance Beat. She also pens BDSM stories under the name Darling Adams. (Website: www.reneeroseromance.com )

 

About Martha Sweeney

Martha Sweeney is an Amazon Best-Selling author for her Just Breathe trilogy and her writing has just begun.  She plans on writing in a variety of genres other than just romance, some of which will overlap into mystery, suspense, and science fiction, and has already released a book themed coloring book entitled “Bookish.”

Martha has been creative since she was little, always drawing, coloring or making crafts. When her adult life kicked in, her creative outlet disappeared until she discover Adobe Creative Suite products. Now, Martha is a self-taught graphic and website designer, works with her husband on their business, and writes into the wee hours of the night.

She lives in sunny California and has recently begun to enjoy reading in the past few years, unlike in high school or college which has sparked her new creative avenue of writing. (Website: www.marthasweeney.com )

About Maria Monroe

Hi! I’m Maria Monroe, contemporary romance author. I’m honored to be part of this anthology, which benefits such an important cause.

I hope you enjoyed Tessa and Ben’s adventure participating in the Wife Carrying Competition (which is actually a real thing)! Tessa’s friend Jessica is the star of my book The Rescue, which takes place in the same fictional town of Deerfield, ME, as this story does. And my novel  Julian & Lia is about an innocent freshman at Maine University at Deerfield (MUD), who meets sexy college senior Julian. (Website: www.graffitifiction.com )

About Jeannine Colette

Jeannine Colette is the author of the Abandon Collection, a series of standalone novels featuring dynamic heroines who have to abandon their reality in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way.

A graduate of Wagner College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment Producer for television shows on CBS and NBC. She left the television industry to focus on her children and pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in New York with her husband, the two tiny people she adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley. (Websitewww.JeannineColette.com )

About Leslie McAdams

Bestselling author Leslie McAdam writes about the men you fantasize about. Her first published novel, The Sun and the Moon, won a 2015 Watty, which is the world’s largest online writing competition. She lives in a drafty old farmhouse on a small orange tree farm in Southern California with her husband and two children.

Join her active Facebook fan group, Southwinds Coffee, for near-constant mancandy and giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthwindsCoffee/ (Website: www.lesliemcadamauthor.com )

 

About R.C. Martin

R.C. Martin is a dreamer of stories and a writer of words. Forever a Colorado girl at heart, the Rocky Mountains is where her characters come to life and their journeys begin. For more from R.C. Martin, be sure to visit her social media pages! (Website: www.rcmartinbooks.com )

 

About Hayley Faiman

Hayley Faiman is an only child, born in California. She currently resides in Texas with her husband, of twelve years, their two boys, and a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime. (Website: http://hayleyfaiman.com/ )

About Ruthie Henrick

Ruthie’s an Arizona girl, married to her high school sweetheart and mama to three grown sons. She writes contemporary romance with heroes who make you swoon, yet might live right next door. She’s a true romance junkie and a lifetime avid reader who spent far too much time shushing the voices in her head—until the day she sat down at her keyboard to see what all those voices had to say.

She’s a big fan of coffee and easy to cook meals, and she loves country music. It’s generally the soundtrack to whatever she has going on. At work, doing housework, in the car—the music is always on. Except when she writes—that she does in silence.

Ruthie loves chatting with other readers, sharing her favorite books and authors, and discovering those new to her. Go by and hang out with her on any of her social media! (Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/XHh0Oo )

About Jerica MacMillan

Jerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance.  Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after.  She is the author of six books in two series: Players of Marycliff University and The Rebound Series. She was named a semifinalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.

Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children.  She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling.  Sign up to join her Book Club at www.JericaMacMillan.com and get a free book!  you can hang out with her in her closed reader group on Facebook—Jerica MacMillan’s Book Junkies.

About Evie Lauren

Evie Lauren resides near the beautiful mountains of Arizona, but was born and raised in Florida and is a beach girl at heart. She writes young adult fiction under the pen name R.S. Reed. While her passion has always been her young adult series, L.I.A., romance at any age is a story that she loves to tell, and the characters from her short story Hometown Prince have quickly become two of her favorites. Thank you for the support and the love, and for taking time to spend a few minutes in Hannah and Rhett’s little corner of the world. To keep up to date on all of her new projects, check out her website, and follow the links on that page for her social media. (Website: http://www.rsreedbooks.com )

About M. Andrews

Andrews resides in the suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two daughters. She is a self-proclaimed cupcake hound and coffee addict who loves to write sticky sweet erotic romance. M is the author of the Gambling on Love Series and the Sticky Sweet Series. (Website: mandrewsauthor.com )

About Adrienne Perry

Adrienne Perry writes contemporary erotic romance with plenty of heat and humor.  When she’s not writing fiction, she is a professional science writer and in her spare time she likes to warp young minds (but only those of her own children and sometimes her nieces and nephew).    

For more information about Adrienne and her two real-life sisters, who also write romance novels visit http://graffitifiction.com.

About  Tom Sweeney

Wanting to expand his creativity and storytelling skills beyond music, Thomas has now added being an indie author to his repertoire.  He’s already working on two new stories, one of which is a continuation of his first novel, “The Harem.”

Thomas has read a lot of great and inspiring books over the years. From training and experience in this wonderful thing we call life, he was inspired to become an author. (Website: www.theharembook.com )

About Emmanuelle de Maupassant

Emmanuelle de Maupassant lives with her husband (maker of tea and fruit cake) and her hairy pudding terrier (connoisseur of squeaky toys and bacon treats).

She is best known for her ‘Noire’ series: named by Stylist Magazine as among the sexiest reads of 2015. Her latest work, a feast of the unsettling and the erotic, is Cautionary Tales, inspired by Russian folklore and superstitions. (Website: www.emmanuelledemaupassant.com )

Author Interview – Fionna Guillaume – Romance & Erotica Author

Just in case you just can’t get enough of reading my witty answers to interview questions, here is another author feature with one of my favorite people: Me! (And it’s a fun one. Hop on over and check it out!)

Source: Author Interview – Fionna Guillaume – Romance & Erotica Author

Remembering Tokyo

Several years ago, I had the amazing good fortune to live and work in Japan for a year and a half. There, like so many Anglophones, I taught English (and French, as it turned out) in a public high school. I absolutely loved it. Japan remains one of my favorite places on Earth. (And yes, I have been around a time or two!) The people were incredibly welcoming and kind, eager to share their culture with me, bumbling foreigner that I was. Somehow, the Japanese people have managed to find a balance between a rich and valued history – still very much alive in their customs, manners, and traditions – and the modern world.

When I lived there, I was in a ballroom dancing club, learning to waltz and tango with the delightful middle-aged (and older!) ladies and gentleman of the town where I lived. They had a snack break, and one of the grandmas would produce a jar of homemade picked daikon. She laughed in delight when I exclaimed, in my terrible attempt at Japanese, how good it was. “Oishii!” was all I could really say, but it was enough. “Dai suki desu!”

At the same time, my Japanese tutor (poor woman; I was a terrible student. However, I helped her kids study English, so it hopefully evened out) invited me to her home for a gorgeous traditional meal. Afterwards, she dressed me in one of her kimono – quite a process, I can attest – and guided me through the tea ceremony. (For me, the kimono remains one of the most beautiful of all traditional garments. Crisp and tidy as an origami creation, it covers almost everything and takes many knots, tucks, and folds to put together. However, with a couple tugs of a cord it falls to the ground in a silken heap. Now that’s sexy!)

TokyoAREcoverWhile I didn’t live in Tokyo, I visited the city many times. It struck me as the perfect capital for Japan. Like the culture, it is a blend of old and new, tradition and modernity. I wanted to write a travelogue sort of piece about it, highlighting some of my favorite things. But then I thought, hey, this has to have sex in it! Plus I always had that fantasy of being splayed out high above the city, staring down into the endless lights while a nameless stranger fucks me from behind… Tokyo: A Job With A View is the result. While certainly a work of erotica, it is also a taste of Tokyo. I hope you will visit one day, and discover this wonderful city for yourself.