Thank You, Readers Who Buy!

I’m not American, but I know Thanksgiving is coming up, so I thought this would be a good time to post and thank the people who actually buy my books. Thank you!

One of the top searches that brings people to this blog is ‘read Hot, Rich and Dominant online free’. That makes me kind of sad, because I spend forever working on my books – planning, writing, editing, creating covers, writing blurbs, uploading them to online bookstores. Hot, Rich and Dominant is self-published, and there are no corporations getting rich from sales of my books (well, minus the percentage retailers take, I guess). It’s just me, and I rely on legitimate sales to help me pay my bills and rent.

I could go on about piracy all day, but that’s not the point of this post. The point is… Thank you so much to the people who do buy my books. I know you have the option to seek out a pirated version, and I’m very grateful that you don’t.

Mega, ultra, giant thanks to people who then review! I can’t even tell you how happy that makes me – even if it’s not the greatest review in the world. Hearing that people have read and hopefully enjoyed my books is such a rush. I love getting feedback of all kinds – constructive criticism included – and I always appreciate everything I get. It also helps me to get motivated to write more. 😉

The biggest thank yous ever go out to people who, having bought and read a book I’ve written, then go on to recommend me to friends. That’s like the ultimate yay. Word of mouth is powerful advertising, and every little bit helps.

So, again, if you’re a legitimate ebook customer who buys from reputable sites… thank you so much. You make a kinky girl very happy!

Weighing in on the Controversial ‘Clandestine Classics’ Issue…

You might have noticed the current media storm going down around the Clandestine Classics, Total-E-Bound’s new line of erotic fiction. Basically, it’s your old favourite classic novels – Jayne Eyre, Pride and Prejudice et al. – with the subtext made text. As in, ‘Reader, I married him’ becomes ‘we had a torrid sexual BDSM relationship beforehand, and here are the details’.

Oh, the degradation! *snort*

Seriously? I think it’s a great idea. The books are out of copyright, so there’s no infringement issue there, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. If you do like it, the entirety of the original book is there, nothing’s been cut out, and you get extra smutty goodness.

So far, the list is:

Jane Eyre
Pride and Prejudice
Northanger Abbey
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet

Someone online made a comment about how the original authors would be spinning in their graves ‘if they were still alive today’. Let’s just enjoy that concept for a second – live people in their graves hundreds of years after their dates of birth. Now we’re done laughing at the commenter, yes, it’s a valid point. However, the whole point is that society was a lot less sexually liberated than it is now. If the authors had written these stories in the modern day, they might have been full of sex. And who knows? Maybe the authors wanted to write smutty scenes in their books, but didn’t feel they could do so because of the outcry. Maybe they wrote them for their own personal enjoyment but didn’t include them in their manuscripts because it would have been scandalous.

Even if the original authors would have been shocked and apalled, people didn’t react with the same amount of horror when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out, which is the same idea with an added zombie apocalypse instead of erotic scenes. Or when Disney turned Shakespeare’s Hamlet into The Lion King. Or even when Peter Serafinowicz made those Holmes and Watson gay sex sketches. The reason seems to be that it’s all about that naughty sex, and if sex is talked about at all, it should be in a comedic way or in a whisper.

I wonder how many of these critics will sneakily buy the Clandestine Classics, read them and love them, yet never be able to admit it because they’re so sexually repressed? Probably more than a few…

Plus, I suspect that when the hardcore erotica writer crowd gets hold of this story (I’m talking full-on erotica, not romance with erotic scenes – there’s very little romance and a lot of smut in hardcore written erotica!) we’ll start seeing titles like Breastfeeding Mr Rochester, Dracula’s Dirty Little Whore, Frankenstein Fucks the Twins and Mr Darcy Does Anal – and then the classics fans will really have something to bitch about! At least the Clandestine Classics have sex that reinforces the romance, whereas I think the 5,000 word shorts that are sure to start popping up on Amazon will be alllll about the sex.

***

I was asked if I’d like to do a Clandestine Classic F/F version of any of the books, and I’m still giving it some thought. I’m not a classics fan, as a rule, and the books I would have liked to give lesbian relationships to have already been snapped up by M/F authors (Jane and Mrs Rochester #1 in Jane Eyre, and Mina and Lucy in Dracula.

I mean, think about it. In Jane Eyre, Mr Rochester’s first wife is locked up in the attic for being ‘mad’ – and during the period it was written, women who liked women were considered insane. There’s a gold mine there!

As for Lucy and Mina in Dracula, they were very close and it would only take a little bit of a squint to make them occasionally unfaithful to their partners with each other – and when Lucy becomes a vampire there’s sexy vampire lovin’ to be had. But sadly, I don’t think I could bear the mentions of how weak and inferior women are compared to men. That’s one of my biggest problems with the classics as a whole, I guess.

It’s likely I won’t contribute anything to the line, since my first idea – to convert The Turn of the Screw – petered out when I reread the book. It’s a great story, but the author’s written style is so convoluted. I couldn’t make myself twist and turn sentences that way, especially not when it came down to sex!

I’m just a contemporary girl, when it comes down to it. Maybe I could do a modern rewrite of a classic with smutty scenes, but I just don’t really tune in to historical time periods when I write. I’d love to write some ancient Egyptian erotic romance, but I don’t think I could pull it off!

Ebooks vs. Tangible Books

There’s something about ‘real’ books, isn’t there? I know it’s not just me. I much prefer to pick up a physically present, printed book when I read. I also prefer paperbacks to hardbacks, because they’re smaller and easier to fit into my bag when I go out, but I digress…

Whenever I’m feeling out of inspiration, I just visit a book shop. That sounds bad, I guess – ‘when I’m out of ideas, I go look at other books and steal some!’ But it’s not like that, really!

There’s just something about standing in a book shop that gives me the motivation to keep writing. I think my two big writing milestones are to be published in print format – which will be happening with Dominance and Deception, and I can’t frickin’ WAIT to hold a physical copy! – and to be available to buy in book shops. Wandering into Waterstones and going ‘oh, hey, there’s my book!’ would just be the most surreal, amazing experience…

They say that ebooks are the future, and I can see why. Everything’s digital nowadays, and it’s better for the environment, space-saving and cheaper. But being able to turn the pages is a big part of my love of reading, so I hope books don’t die out entirely before I manage to write something mainstream enough to be available in shops.

The Face of Amy Valenti

As you probably know by now, Amy Valenti isn’t my real name. It would kind of defeat the object of having a pseudonym if my real face was up on the site, but I found a screenshot of a Sim someone made of me a while back, and thought, ‘Okay, that works!’

So, this is the sort-of face of Amy Valenti. Pretty good for a Sim – my hair isn’t really like that any more, though.

Telling the Family… or Not.

Every now and then, I think, “Hey, I should just come clean and tell my family I write this stuff. I mean, I’m published and they’d love to hear about that. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Then I remember a few things:

  1. The common perception of erotica writers is that we sit there with one hand down our pants at all times. That’s not how I write, personally – how am I supposed to type properly? – but any assertion of this would be seen as protesting too much.
  2. I have a D/s novel coming out… which is heavily accurate, seeing as I have actually been in a submissive position more than a few times. It’s pretty obvious from what I’ve written that I know what it’s like firsthand. Not something I need my parents to know!
  3. After getting over the initial shock, my family (which consists of mischievous types) would then take the piss out of me. Pretty much incessantly.

And then I decide it’s probably not worth the effort. 😉

I’ve told my younger sister (and sworn her to secrecy, on pain of revealing to her very disapproving father that she has a tattoo), but the rest of my family are going to remain in the dark for as long as possible.

Off-Topic: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

Firstly, for any kids reading this: you’re fine to read this post, but any of the others… you probably shouldn’t be here. Avert your eyes! You’ll find no other young adult content here!

That said, I’m now going to promote a book that’s close to my heart: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres.

It’s a Gothic YA novel that’s not set in the world as we would recognise it, but has strong ties to it. It’s fast-paced, filled with original characters and concepts, and contains a hot not-exactly-vampire. ;D I’ll let the book trailer speak for itself, since it’s much better at summing things up than I am!

Want to read the book? Well, unless you’re in Australia or New Zealand, you currently can’t. If you have a moment, head over and ‘like’ the new campaign to show publishers that the rest of the world wants Burn Bright. Just click here. Or this banner:

This has been a brief PG-13 rated post, and we shall now return you to the usual smut. 😉