I always look forward to going up to London to read erotica at the Sh! Women’s Store. Okay that’s not entirely true- there is one little bit I don’t like – the bit when I have to decide what the hell to wear! Although, looking on the bright side, the first charity shop I come to during these frenzied moments of sartorial indecision, usually does very well out of my visits to Sh!- any red or black skirt in roughly the right size, can consider itself sold, stuck over some hold-ups, and worn for the occasion. – Anyway – I digress!
This visit to Sh! Hoxton was extra special, as on her first trip to the UK, the cupcake queen herself, Rachel Kramer Bussel, was in town.
Editor and writer extraordinaire, Rachel had flown all the
way from the New York to promote her impressive collection of anthologies
published by the Cleis Press.
The sweet tooth is always indulged at Sh! This time, as you would imagine with Rachel on the premises, the cupcakes were particularly impressive, and there was no chance of refreshment passing you by. I quite possibly consumed my own body weight in confectionary- but hey, I needed the energy- reading to an audience can be a stressful business. I’m sure my nerves must have burnt off every calorie.
The customary champagne the delicious Sh! Chix always serve helped to lubricate the vocal cords, and kept the evening running smoothly.
Four books were on Rachel’s promo hit list; Orgasmic, Smooth, Gotta Have It, and Best Bondage Erotica 2011). I was beyond chuffed to be asked to read my story ‘The Advantages of Working from Home,’ which features in the Gotta Have It collection of 69 mega quickie sex tales.
I was in sterling company. KD Grace, Justine Elyot (on her very first, and very successful, public read), Jacqueline Applebee, Janine Ashbless and Carmel Lockyr all entertained the diverse and packed audience with a wide variety of stories, from the dark and kinky, to the gently sensual and funny, and on to the downright hot; brilliantly showing how diverse erotic can be.
The audience itself was a mix of fellow writers (including
Lucy Felthouse Scarlett French, Lexie Bay and Victoria Blisse), aspiring writers, bloggers, journalists (inc. Rubyyy Jones and Suzanne Portney), as well as many members of the curious public.
Reading my work out loud is always a pleasure- albeit a nerve wracking pleasure- but fun nonetheless. One of the best bits has to be meeting people who have read and purchased my work! I can never quite believe it when people ask me to sign books for them, question me about how I got started, and ask for advice to help them write. I feel unworthy! It is incredibly flattering though!
Once the readings are over, purchases have been made, the audience has taken its last sip of champagne, and the cup cakes are history, we writer types reward ourselves with a meal at some local eatery. By this time, we are always starving, and trust me- you will never see any group of people eat pizza as fast as a collection of hungry writers- the food is more hovered up than chewed! The drink flows- water naturally- and plots and plans for future stories, readings, and other dubious enterprises are cooked up – be scared dear reader, be very scared- with perhaps, the hint of an erotic shudder…