Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stories for Our Food & Sex Anthology

Editor Jesse Blair Kensington is looking for submissions for Ravenous Romance's anthology "Food & Sex: Stories of Passion and Appetite."

She is looking for well-crafted, creative sexy food stories. The food included in the stories doesn't have to be labeled an aphrodisiac--it can be any food. She is not against using whipped cream, for example, if it's done in a very creative way. (She says whipped cream, of course, because it's become such a cliche.) Also, the food doesn't have to be a part of the "act." It can be just an important part of a sexy setting. All persuasions of sexuality are welcome. Ravenous Romance guidelines apply.

She is looking for stories about 5,000 words. Email at jesseblair2@aol.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ravenous Romance on Lust Bites

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
All About Ravenous Romance
As most of you know by now, LUST BITES will be coming to an end soon. What's next for Jamaica Layne, you may wonder? Well, I'll be writing for an exciting new erotic epublisher, Ravenous Romance. Exciting why? Because unlike most of the other startup erotic epublishers out there, Ravenous was founded by a group of seasoned US print publishing executives, along with legendary literary agent Lori Perkins. In addition to a combined forty-odd years' experience in traditional publishing, the folks at Ravenous have startup venture capital and a very successful PR firm at their disposal----along with a distinguished stable of authors, several of whom are New York Times bestselling authors in other genres. Even more impressive, Ravenous has already built this set of credentials before they launch next Monday, December 1st with their first set of books and stories.


How do they do it, you might ask?



Well, first let me tell you a little bit about the books I'll have out from Ravenous beginning next month.


I've Been A Naughty Nurse, Volume 1 of the VITAL SIGNS series, will release on December 7. VITAL SIGNS can best be described as Gray's Anatomy with the sex left in! There are currently five books slated for the series, with new titles set to come out approximately every three months. No more waiting a year or more between print titles!


My other upcoming novel for Ravenous will be Knight Moves, an erotic time-travel romance. The heroine is a toll collector for the New Jersey Turnpike who just happens to get caught up in a time-vortex trap that sends her back in time to twelfth-century England, where she is made to work as a concubine in a powerful knight's castle. She learns to make the best of a bad situation, though, and not only has a grand old time, she falls in love with a fellow time-travel prisoner, foils her captors and manages to get herself---and her newfound love---back to their own century.

I've been very impressed with how professional and well-administered this new erotic epublisher is behind the scenes----but what about you, the reading public? I'm sure all our Lust Bites readers will be interested in just how this new publisher will distinguish itself, so I recently sat down for an interview with Holly Schmidt, one of Ravenous' founding partners and it's editor-in-chief.




Jamaica Layne: What is your prior publishing background? Why did you decide to start Ravenous?


Holly Schmidt: My publishing background is in non-fiction. I started my career at Rodale, where I ran the book clubs, then moved on to be Publisher of Fair Winds Press, a division of London-based Quarto Group, Inc. While I was there, I launched the Quiver sex imprint. Then I left to start my own book packaging company with an exclusive contract with Sterling Publishing, which is owned by Barnes and Noble. After 15 years in print publishing, I knew the time was right to make the leap into digital publishing, and (my longtime business partner) Allan Penn and I were exploring the romance genre about the same time legendary literary agent Lori Perkins contacted us with an idea for starting a new company. We hatched the Ravenous idea, researched and developed a business plan, were lucky enough to have the advice of great consultants from inside the e-book industry, and the rest is history.


Jamaica Layne: There are a lot of erotica e-presses out there. What will distiguish Ravenous from the pack?
Holly Schmidt: Look at how many print publishers there are. Look at how many Chinese restaurants there are. Generally, when there is a lot of competition, it means the market is viable. I would be much more worried if there weren't a lot of other e-presses. That said, it can also mean that the barrier to entry is low, which generally means the barrier to success is high. We will be distinguished by our product mix (audio, short stories, as well as novels), our pricing, our marketing, our visuals, and ultimately, the quality of our material and retail interface. I think, when we launch, it will be pretty clear how we're different.


Jamaica Layne: What can erotica readers expect from Ravenous? Will there be a unique"feel" to Ravenous books?
Holly Schmidt: Since Lori Perkins and I both have strong editorial backgrounds, our books are characterized by well-edited good writing. I'm not saying all of our books will win the Pulitzer, but you won't find a lot of sloppy passive voice or other amateur constructions in our work. Also, our books are story-driven. The sex scenes are certainly there, but they aren't the point of the books. The point is the love story, and the sex exists to further the plot and character development. We are also publishing some well-known authors who come from outside the romance genre, and they bring a different perspective as well.


Jamaica Layne: A lot of erotica writers read Lust Bites. What are you looking for from writers who want to submit to Ravenous?
Holly Schmidt:We're looking for creativity and good writing. Beyond that, we will consider all types of erotic romance. We don't publish straight erotica--there has to be a love story.


Jamaica Layne: I know Ravenous is releasing all its titles in both written ebook form as well as audio ebook simultaneously, which is unusual. What can you tell us about Ravenous' audiobooks?
Holly Schmidt: We're really excited about our audiobooks. They're being produced by the top audiobook production company in the U.S., who does work for Audible and the major NY trade houses. They're being narrated by professional actors, and they are of terrific quality. I think the audiobooks will bring this type of content to an entirely different customer, and will help to broaden the genre. It's been fun to hear from the narrators how much they enjoy the books, too!


Jamaica Layne: There seems to be a lot of mainstream media interest in the Ravenous launch. Can you tell us about that?
Holly Schmidt: We've been pleased with the response we've had so far, especially considering the website isn't live yet. We hope the buzz continues post-launch.


Jamaica Layne: How will Ravenous appeal not just to existing romance and erotica readers, but to a broader market as well?
Holly Schmidt: I think that our books, with a few exceptions, like the male/male and kinky ones, are pretty mainstream. They are very, very sexy and steamy, but they are great stories first and foremost. I think we'll attract a customer who might not think of herself as an "erotic romance" buyer, but who likes a good love story. And, ultimately, who doesn't? We have a number of well-known cross-genre authors who will bring a completely different readership to Ravenous, and we hope, will help increase the visibility and credibility of the erotic romance genre as a whole.


Jamaica Layne: Anything else you'd like to add?
Holly Schmidt: I think this business is ready to move beyond the wild-frontier stage. Ebook and digital audiobook sales are exploding, and print publishing is dying. I predict that in five years, the major retail chains (the ones left standing, that is) will have drastically cut their inventories, and will stock mainly best-sellers. Publishing will go from producing 150,000 books per year to 75,000, and it will be very difficult for new and midlist voices to be heard. I hope we can offer these talented writers a successful outlet for their work, one that offers an opportunity for creativity and keeps working writers working, without the environmental waste and exploding costs of print publishing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Romance Writers in Sci-Fi clothing

I have been amazed at the genre-bending that is going on at Ravenous. We are getting these really creative stories and novels from writers I've known for decades who decided that they'd try their hand at erotic romance, and have become enthralled themselves.

So it should have been no surprise to me that at last night's annual cocktail party for the Science Fiction Writer's of America, I should have met a prominent erotic romance paranormal and sci-fi writer who proceeded to analyse RR's line-up and give us the thumbs up. It was quite exciting, considering that she was the first real outsider I had described the details of the pub program to.

And it was so much fun to watch her eyes grow bigger and bigger, and to see her get more and more excited about what were doing.

She's been writing erotic romance for the past four years and is so successful that she quit her day job. She writes for four epublishers and one print publisher (but she said she makes most of her money from the epubs, but uses her print publisher to get new readers, who then find her backlist and buy all 20 of her epub titles).

After trading shoe stories (she had on the most divine pair of stripper Mary-Janes I have ever seen), we got into the nitty gritty of what makes RR unique. When I told her our M/M titles were reworkings of classic romance films and novels, she loved that. She also loved the crossing of genres, such as the erotic Star Trek concept, and she absolutely loved our anthologies titles (SEX AND SHOES and MEN IN SHORTS).

I know she's booked solid with her existing publishers, but I do hope that some day she writes a short story for us (maybe one with shoes?).

I cannot believe launch day is less than a week away!

The website looks fantastic!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Call for Vampire Erotica Submissions

Call for Submissions: Vampire Erotica

I'm reading for a new ebook of vampire-themed erotica for Ravenous Romance.

Deadline February 1, 2009. You may submit anytime before then, but note some acceptances won't be made until close to the deadline because I may want to consider multiple stories at a time before making individual determinations.

What I want in stories, in short:
Vampires
Heterosexual, gay & bi characters ok, threesomes ok)
Love or a romantic element integral to the story
3,500 to 10,000 words

In detail:
So, vampires, first and foremost. (Not werewolves, not ghosts, etc.. although your definition of a vampire and how the mythos works can be your own. There are plenty of variations on the myth out there already between Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Charlaine Harris alone. You may get away with an incubus or other demon/spirit who is vampire-like.) Love or romance must also be present in the story.

NOTE: This is NOT a horror anthology. This is an erotica anthology being published by a romance publisher.

I'd like to see the absolute allure of the danger in the vampire, and that means blood is OK, and killing is OK in the story, but not the main characters, please. (We're not here to fetishize snuff porn. No.) When it comes to a love story, established relationships are always a nice twist instead of starting with two strangers. Keep the focus on the erotic fire and the emotional kick. Plotty and intricate is good. I know it's hard to do something "new" with vampires, but do try. Think seduction, think how a bite is akin to penetration, think how the Victorians feared the power of lust as a supernatural force (but our readers don't). Period pieces are welcome. We can have the vampire as object of lust and fascination, and the vampire's lust and fascination for the mortal, the living. Play off that tension.

What I do NOT want: Any story of the following plot: Two people meet, they have, sex, one of them turns out to be a vampire! No! Don't do it! Also don't be tempted to change this plot to: they BOTH turn out to be vampires! NOR, one of them turns out to be a vampire hunter or killer! No. Do Not. Also do not think that your story has to be set in a goth bar or in New Orleans. Generally speaking some pain and suffering are good plot elements but No misogyny, rape, or necrophilia! If we are creeped out by your story it is probably horror and not erotica! Please don't try to justify it by telling me vampires are supposed to be horrifying monsters—just send your story to SOMEONE ELSE.

Sex-positive, woman-positive please.

To submit, please send an attached document to the Gmail address: ctan.editor. Be sure Your Name, Address, and Email appear as PART OF your attached document (not only in your email). Also please include a BIO suitable for publication with the story. WORD COUNT should also be on your document.

Terms are Ravenous Romance's standard terms. RR editor Lori Perkins has a nice explanation of the rights here: http://ravenousromance.blogspot.com/2008/10/our-short-story-rights-and-contracts.html

If you'd like a look at what kind of vampire stories I've bought in the past, the Blue Moon Books editions of "Erotica Vampirica" and "Blood Surrender" are both floating around for cheap on Amazon. But remember those books were not for a romance publisher, so the "love story" angle was not being sought then.

Cecilia Tan
Freelance Editor
Mobile: 617-290-9043
Twitter: ceciliatan
AIM: pinstripepen
Submissions Email: ctan.editor at gmail dot com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo

I am sure that most of you know that this November is the 8th annual National Novel Writing Month, where both established and new writers are encouraged to write a 50,000 word novel in a month (which would be 1666 words a day or about 6 and a half pages a day, which is do-able).

I asked one of my editorial interns to post on the official NaNo board (www.nanowrimo.org) that RavevenousRomance was looking for 50,000 word novels to publish (since I thought this would be a great answer to the question, "I've written the novel, now what?" or "who's going to buy a 50,000 word novel?" I am hoping we get some good stuff this way, as I love getting new writers published, and it sure is fun to have the back-story (which I would hope would be an inspiration to other writers). If you know someone who is NaNo-ing, and might have something that is right for us, or could be re-worked for us, do remind them to query us.

Buying and editing all these creative and diverse novels has been fascinating, since so many of the writers who are working with us come from other genres. I am having a blast seeing how the science fiction writers weave in the romance and teaching some of the more traditional romance writers to let their pants down, so to speak. My editorial letters would make you blush!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two More Anthologies - Sex & Politics; Sex & Science

CALL FOR SHORT STORIES: SEX AND POLITICS

Erotica author Jamaica Layne is editing a "Sex and Politics" anthology for Ravenous Romance. Seeking short erotic stories, 2000-4500 words in length (flexible) on the convergence of sex and politics. Sex and politics go together like wine and cheese, after all, so let's see those stories! Any and all interpretations of the "Sex and Politics" theme considered-----from a local election for the wastewater-treatment department all the way up to the President of the United States. International political settings are welcome too!. We'll even consider office politics! Male-female, male-male, female-female, menage, BDSM, all are welcome. Quality writing is what matters most. Submission deadline is December 1, 2008; the anthology will be released on Inauguration Day 2009, just in time for our new US president! Submit your stories to jamaicalayne@yahoo.com in MS Word format.

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: SEX AND SCIENCE

Erotica author Jamaica Layne is editing a "Sex and Science" anthology for Ravenous Romance. Seeking short erotic stories, 2000-4500 words in length (flexible) on the convergence of sex and science. Interpretations of the "Sex and Science" theme are wide open------it can mean erotic science fiction, sex in a science lab, cybernetic sex, holographic/virtual sex, sex therapists doing experiments, sex in a medical setting, you name it! Show us how creative you can be with this theme! Male-female, male-male, female-female, menage, BDSM, all are welcome. Quality writing is what matters most. Submission deadline is January 1, 2009. Submit your stories to jamaicalayne@yahoo.com in MS Word format.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sport Sex Anthology Call for Submissions

Sweaty Sex Anthology Guidelines

For this anthology, I’m looking for stories that span the broad range of the sporting world and about the men (and women) who participate in them. I’d like to cover each major North American sport such as football, basketball, hockey, and baseball for certain, but I’d like the range to remain wide open otherwise. Tennis players, sexy swimmers, soccer players, pool players, dart throwers, bowlers, skiers and martial artists are just a few possibilities, but you are certainly not limited to them.

In the interest of representing the broadest range of sports possible, I only want to represent each sport once.

A story about a lesbian orgy set at the Dinah Shore golf tournament is a concept that is particularly desired.

Gay and lesbian themes are more than welcome.

If you cannot watch a New England Patriots game without having guilty fantasies about Tom Brady, or if you’re a Rafael Nadal fan without being partial to tennis, chances are this is a good anthology for you. Stories can be anything about any type of athlete and sport that the author and reader will find irresistible! Let your imagination run free with this one. Hopefully it will be something fun to write about too.

Stories in the 4, 000 word range are desirable.

Deadline is December 8, 2008. Submissions made sooner than that would be greatly appreciated.

It’s okay to e-mail me and ask if a sport is “taken” before you sit down to write something.

You can send submissions to derek_clendening@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blown Away!

We're in the crunch now. Between the two of us, Holly and I edited 12 books last week.

And it is truly amazing how good they are! And so different from the sweet to the gripping and some just downright riveting.

We've signed 120 novels, 20 serialized novels and at least 75 short stories.

And they continue to come in! from everywhere. We have one of the leading writers for a day-time soap, a best-selling horror writer, screenwriters with major Hollywood credits under their belts, one of John Updike's proteges (who comes with a quote for her erotic romance novel!), and a number of best-selling genre writers who just wanted to put the sex in that everyone else wanted left out. The anthologies are incredible too.

And our covers are awesome! They're all up on my facebook account, so go visit!

I can't wait until we launch.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Erotic memoir, romantic suspense and spy novels

I just finished editing the first of our books in the erotic memoir category. Renowned anthologist Rachel Krammer Bussel is doing an erotic essay collection for the first installment of THE LUST CHRONICLES. These hot and kinky true sex tales are a great start to this line, but we need more.

We really want to do an erotic memoir a month, either as an anthology or a true love and sex story. So, if you've been holding back on that sex memoir about the older man who introduced you to BDSM or that college frat orgy that made you a lover of multiple partner sex or your story of sex in pubic places, please send us a discreet email. We'd love a his and hers swinger memoir too.

Or, if you've been reading someone's really kinky blog (that has some romantic element), forward us a link.

Or, if you've got an idea for an erotic memoir essay collection, raise your hand.

We also find ourselves in the odd position of having very little romantic suspense, which stuns me. Didn't everyone on the planet want to see Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd get it on in Moonlighting? So where's that book now?

And we still don't have a single spy tale - not a straight one or a gay one? How can this be?

I personally have fallen in lust with Chuck Bartowski, and would love a nerd girl spy tale.