I am delighted to say that today I am hosting my very first guest blog! To co-inside with my review of her anthology, Transported- Erotic Travel Tales, I welcome Sharazade to my site for a wee chin wag.
First however- here is my review of her stunning collection- you might get the impression that I really rather liked this book!
Review- Transported- Erotic Travel Tales
I could easily make this the shortest review in history. I believe the word HOT sums things up nicely where this anthology is concerned.
Comprising of 9 individual tales, Transported centres its theme on various elements of the travel experience. Arrival lounges, trains, conferences away from home, and airport shops, form the backdrop for the sexual adventures within its tempting pages.
To me, good erotica is always set somewhere that is accessible to the audience’s imagination. If an author can combine everyday locations with scenarios’ that are sexy, interesting, and original, then you have the makings of an excellent story on your hands. Transported achieves just that. Combine this with Sharazade’s ability to relate the chapters within her collection to all of her readers, not just to the studs and stud-esses out there, and you have a winning formula.
I am torn between telling you two much about each story, and not telling you anything. I could wax lyrical about each piece, but I will hold back, so I don’t ruin a good read for you.
The strongest of the nine tales for me were Flaws, and After Dinner Show.
I could identify with the woman in Flaws so well. Her own fears and insecurities as to the imperfections of her body restricted her actions during sex; the way she allows herself to lie, the way she stands; so that she does not risk putting off a potential lover with her, perfectly normal, physical flaws. This lack of self-confidence however, is quickly checked when she meets a very interesting man on a train ride- not to mention his friend…
After Dinner Show takes us to a sales conference in Alaska, where a cleverly engineered lack of chair space, forces one of the delegates to have his girlfriend sit on his lap during a slide show. This may sound a little predictable- but trust me, cliche it isn’t. As the story takes us from a not-so-private finger sex session, to a delicious encounter in a wooden cabin, I swear I could almost feel the touch of the participant’s fingertips…
Beginning our erotic journey with Schiphol, where a woman meets her lover in an airport lounge in Amsterdam; travelling around America and then visiting Japan, we then disembark with Layover, where the heroines need for her lover is simply too deep to bother with dressing properly.
Welcome Sharazade, and thank you for agreeing to chat with me today. I know your workload is huge, and I’m pleased (and amazed, seeing as I know how much you juggle each day), that you have found time to pop over to say hi! As you can tell by the above review- I really was impressed by your first book, Transported, and it prompted me to want to ask a little about your work. So…
When did you first start to write erotica? Was it something that happened consciously, or by accident?
I think I set it up for myself while involved with a very trying project the year before. At particularly bad moments I was prone to announcing to anyone who’d listen (and some who wouldn’t) that I was just going to chuck it all and write porn. I guess I had the mistaken idea that somehow “writing porn” would be easier and more lucrative than the sort of writing I normally do. At least I wasn’t mistaken about it being more fun.
Later that year I found myself holed up in a hotel in North Africa. I couldn’t leave the hotel (except for work) because of security conditions, and then the Internet stopped working, and the one snowy French TV channel never stayed on long enough to finish a program before dissolving into static… so without any outside entertainment, I wrote my own.
Once I had a few stories written, then I wondered what I should do with them. I sent three to an online contest for erotic fiction, and all were accepted; one went on to be a finalist and brought me $100. Well, that was fun, I thought, so I sent them to a publisher (Fanny Press—I couldn’t resist that name, given what it means in British English!), who offered me a contract on the condition I fill out a collection with more stories. That’s Transported.
The anthology- travel- is based around the various lead characters being in or around transport venues, airports, trains, away on conferences etc? Do you travel a lot? Did your own trips inspire you?
Yes and yes! I do find travelling sexy—full of possibilities and newness and a chance to break from routines and meeting new people. I like to say I’ll go anywhere I’ve never been before. I also have a weakness for… I guess you’d say difficult circumstances: cramped hotels, developing countries, rattling train cars, crowded airports, lack of sleep. Occasionally I get put in sort of anonymous Western upper-middle class hotels, and while I know that they’re more comfortable, still… I just don’t enjoy them as much as ones with more character but perhaps without hot water. Travelling also gives me my best chances to write—something to do on the plain or train, or in the hotel when the Internet is down.
The settings in Transported, the specific ones, are all real—I have stayed in that little capsule hotel in the Amsterdam airport, at the inn in Japan, taken that train trip across the US (although I went from coast to coast and back again).
The second story in your anthology, Flaws, is one of the best short stories I’ve read- mostly because it is so easy to relate to. How like the lead character are you (or would you rather not say!)?
Only one of the specific flaws is mine (readers are free to guess! but I’m not confirming or denying), but the feeling is one I’ve wrestled with off and on at various points in my life–that idea that you’re attractive when you’re confident, but then you’re confident when you feel attractive. If you’re off that wheel, how do you get back on? Confidence is trickier than just telling yourself firmly that you’ve got to get some. A handsome stranger helps sometimes. 😉
Can you tell us about your other publications?
Not the non-fiction ones, sorry; but don’t worry, they’re not all that interesting. One of the stories from Transported (“Layover”) is a part of Bondage by the Bay, a collection edited by M. Christian for Renaissance books, and I’m on the verge of announcing the acceptance of another story (a non-travel one! can you imagine?) by an anthology, but I have to wait for official permission. I also review erotica, both on my blog site and for Oysters and Chocolate. Since my reviews tend to natter on for a bit, I think they count as “writing.”
What is your next project?
More travel stories. The next collection will feature more overseas locations—Costa Rica, Guatemala, Turkey, Libya, Yemen, Morocco, Jordan, Japan, and possibly England. England is the trickiest, though, because I haven’t been there recently (and yes, to me, it counts as “exotic”). If I go for 10 stories, that means I’d need one more country… I’m open to suggestions!
I’m also considering a collaboration with a friend on a series of domination and submission stories, whose plots interleave. All I need now is the time to write everything.
Many thanks Sharazade- Congratulations on the competition win. I’m so glad it inspired you to write more!
It makes me smile that you think England exotic! It is unquestioningly a beautiful in places- but exotic? Although, if it’s shabby you want, then I point you in the right direction with ease!!!
Good luck with the new projects- I await them with interest. If Transported is anything to go by, then the wait will be well worthwhile.
If you’d like to visit Sharazade’s blog page, then just follow this link.