The Next Big Thing (Round Deux)

When the enigmatic, talented, and also, very, very sweet, Aisling Mancy asked me to participate in a second round of The Next Big Thing, it was impossible to refuse (no, really — Mancy had me suspended over a pool of electric eels). Actually, this blog Daisy chain is a pleasure to participate in — it gives us writers a break from what we do for hours on end, every single day — surf the web writing. So make sure to follow all the writers tagged in our posts, because you never know…you may just discover the next big thing.

What is the working title of the book?

Well, I am still working on One for the Money as I was last TNBT, so I won’t discuss that one again. As an editor/publisher, I’m working on Permission Granted, an erotic thrillogy by debut author, DJ Storm as well as a follow up to Miami Beat, a mystery published by my small press earlier this year.

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The inimitably electrifying Aisling Mancy invited me to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop and I couldn’t resist. Authors blog about their favorite thing — their work, specifically their Work in Progress. Enjoy!

1. What is the working title of your book?

One for the Money
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea is a result of several factors. I love mysteries, detective stories, whodunnits, etc. My brother is an investigator who for years worked as a private dick. And lastly, the family dynamic between myself, my brother, and our mom. Truth truly is stranger than fiction.

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The Final Buzzer

I don’t know how I kept this tour going. Oh yes I do — barely.

My life is Diana Ross upside down. After being grounded nuclear family-style for the past several years, all my stuff has been sold, given away or is in storage, and I am utterly mobile. I’m working on my small press, a documentary that will screen in a few months, several works of fiction, still contributing nonfiction to a couple of publications, and getting ready to travel half of Florida promoting my book — and it’s a big fucking state. I need a low-maintenance lifestyle right now and a 4-bedroom house in the country wasn’t providing that.

If it weren’t for the extremely-fucking-brilliant writers who make up Girls Who Score, I would not have set up a blog tour. But exactly because I was blessed enough, not only to have some of the most prolific, intelligent, well-known, admired, and respected erotica authors in the world, but all the authors that I personally admire in a geeky, fan-girlish way, contribute a story, I would have been remiss if I hadn’t. Each of the writers in this book has made me come…very far in my admiration for them. I would like to thank them for making my first foray into the hallowed halls of editordomshipness a very easy process. You will always be my starting lineup. Continue reading

Sign Up for JT Langdon’s Boot Camp

I know nothing…

When new writers ask seasoned writers for advice one of the biggest clichés tossed out there is, “Write what you know.” To newbies, this sounds like sage advice.

But it’s really just bullshit.

Okay, maybe not complete bullshit. But it IS too often misunderstood or misinterpreted. The aspiring writer will take that to heart, sit in front of blank Word document and realize, much to their horror, they don’t know anything. Or know very little.

Which is why this tired writer’s advice/cliché needs some explaining.

What you know is not limited to your own personal experience. You don’t have to live it to know it. If a friend tells you a story about a hot sexual encounter they had over the weekend with the guy from AAA who changed their flat tire on the highway, going into vivid detail, you now know it. If you read an article about landscaping the backyard, even if you never actually do it, that information is added to the well we writers dip into for story material.  Continue reading

Sommer Marsden Takes a Seat

Writing a story about sports is pretty hard for a girl like me. I’m not what I’d consider sporty. I’m not what anyone would consider sporty.  Let’s see. I have…crashed my bike into a telephone pole, crashed my bike into a mailbox (same street, different bike), fallen off a skateboard and sprained my knee (I was sitting on the skateboard) and I once threw myself down the steps—multiple times, actually— to avoid gym class. No. You did not read that wrong.

P.S. I failed in my mission to avoid my nemesis and was totally fine and had to take gym class anyway.

The fastest I ever ran in softball (which I only participated in because my sister did and my dad was coach) was because I had a rock in my shoe and wanted to get back to the bench and take it out. My Jiu Jitsu instructor once yelled “This isn’t ballet class! Stop pointing your toe!” However, in my defense, I still remember out entire routine (is it called a routine?) that can be performed perfectly to “Eye of the Tiger.”  The nasty painful athletic cherry on top of my non-sports career…my mother almost came to blows with a snarky gymnastics teacher who called me “Melissa Mule” (and no, my name is not Melissa. She was being a bitch.)

There was one phys ed teacher—one magical unicorn of a teacher— in high school who I adored. She loved me because I was ‘willing to try’ and that was only—to be honest—because she was one of my favorite teachers in school. I mean, there are only so many times you can get stuck upside down on the uneven bars and have to get a push to keep going and keep your dignity. She wanted me to play basketball (on a team!) because I was tall and had an insane three point shot—a fact we all found out by accident. I was more surprised than anyone. But I am the most noncompetitive person you’ll ever meet (in sports, that is). I always had the insane urge to just hand the ball to whoever was coming toward me.

So…as you can see, athletics…not my forte. Not even a little.

When GIRLS WHO SCORE came along I had to ask myself what could really get me going? What would give me the right amount of inspiration to perform?  And you know there’s not a clean thought in my head, so…


From “Chairs” by Sommer Marsden: Continue reading

Elle Shows School Spirit

[“Game Over” my story in Girls Who Score is about two cheerleaders and based on real life events]

Give me an…

I never much liked cheerleaders. Too peppy for my taste. But, as all rules have exceptions, so does my ‘Cheerleaders Suck’ rule.

I met them in high school. We were all juniors and I had Jaysa for first period Honors English. The fact that she was in an advanced class should’ve told me that she was a different breed of cheerleader immediately, but it took me a couple of weeks to find out that not all cheerleaders were vapid, jock-fucking, tits on legs.

She hung around with Maria, like, all the time. They made a stunning pair. Brown, lithe, Latin Jaysa and blonde, fair, curvy Maria. And soon, I was hanging out with them too.

Please note that although I attended high school in a ‘metropolitan’ area, and even though I went to high school during a pretty ‘progressive’ time, androgynous punk rock dykes with shaved heads did not hang out with cheerleaders. But hey, it was the nineties, Bill Clinton was president, and miracles happened. I went with it.

As it turned out, both of them had advanced classes in every subject. They were bright. And funny. And insightful. Sometimes sweet, sometimes caustic. And both gorgeous. They were awesome.

I’m not sure what attracted them to me; their other friends fit the mold that I had broken, stomped on with steel-toed Doc Marten boots, and tagged up with red spray paint. But I guess that was the attraction. As much as they appeared like their friends on the outside, they were more like me on the inside.

The allure for me (besides the fact that they were sexy and funny, whimsical and mischievous) was the subversive nature of our friendship. My parents couldn’t rag on me about hanging out with the ‘wrong crowd’ — I was the wrong crowd. But my alternative, Gen X-y, slacker-y, flannel-clad, Birkenstock-wearing, rainbow-haired friends, could nag me about hanging out with cheerleaders. And it felt good to shrug and say, “Whatever. They’re cool. You just don’t know them.”

I never had sex with them, but looking back on it later (as I did after high school and then again when I came across the call for submissions to Girls Who Score) I realized that I could have. They would sneak into my house and surprise me while I was in the shower. They asked me pointed questions about how it felt to kiss a girl and suggested that I show them. One day, Maria told me that she’d had a dream in which her and Jaysa were on all fours in a white-tiled steam room and that I came in sporting an impressive strap-on and proceeded to take turns fucking each one of them. I jokingly asked her about my performance and she told me that I made them come like crazy, but that she imagined it would be the same in real life. “Do you think we could do that?” she asked. “What?” I replied, nervously. “Make that dream a reality.”

Like I said, I never fucked them, but I could have. I was completely overwhelmed. Maybe if it had been just one cheerleader and not a tag team, I would have gone for it, but two? Two smart, sassy, stunning cheerleaders? It was two much.

I regret it though. Even to this day. They were fucking cheerleaders! And I was an androgynous punk rock dyke with a shaved head. Doesn’t that sound like a story? Maybe my next one. This one is based on them:

“Game Over” Excerpt: Continue reading

Shanna Germain Serves And Scores

I suck at tennis. I always have (unless it’s on the Wi, in which case I kick some serious ass). But I love to watch it. In fact, it’s one of the few sports that I would rather watch than play. There’s something so fast about it, so inherently primal and sexy. Not to mention that, unlike most other sports, there is a lot of room for flexibility in sportswear. No bulky padding, no look-alike uniforms, no knee pads. I think tennis is second only to beach volleyball on my list of gorgeous sports to watch.

It isn’t just the outfits and the players that makes me lust after tennis so much. It’s also the language. Keeping score involves saying the word love over and over again.  Even “Hail Mary,” the title of my story, comes from the language of the game; a hail mary is a very high lob, used for defense.

I created Mary, my narrator’s love interest out of a combination of Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova. She’s blonde, beautiful and spunky as hell. But she’s also much older now. She’s changed and grown. She no longer plays tennis, she no longer loves the narrator, she has a different life and a different look.

In “Hail Mary,” I was hoping to explore the way that sports bring us together, how they change us and force us to grow, to become our true selves. But I also wanted to touch on the ways that the world forces us from the things and people that we love.

Here’s the opening scene: Continue reading