Sunday, June 21, 2009

A “Ravenous” Review

Ravenous Romance, an online eStore for romance fiction, has a number of Gloucester connections. The photography for their sexually-charged book covers is done by Allen Penn whose studio is on the third floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building overlooking Pavillion Beach. Next weekend he'll have the best view in town --- the best!

And one of Ravenous Romance's editors is Skye Alexander formerly of Gloucester and now living in Texas. Some months back she emailed me and asked if I was interested in writing a story for a green anthology she and Ravenous Romance. What is a green anthology? you might ask. A green anthology is a collection of short stories all of which have a “green”, i.e. environmentally-conscious theme. Oh, and, lest we forget, each story has to be erotic using specifically erotic language and .... well, you get my drift.

My first book, My Last Romance & other passions, is a collection of romantic stories but none of them are explicit --- well, not very. I'm not in the habit of writing explicitly erotic material for the simple reason that it is really difficult to write anything creative or original in doing that. We all know the dynamics --- I hope. What is interesting about sex is what comes before AND what comes after. But the act itself... well, how many interesting and creative ways can you describe Tab A being inserted into Slot B? So it was quite a challenge for me to write a story that I loved and felt good about and then add in the specific details. A male reader once told me that he wondered why I always stopped short of completing sex scenes he asked if I was embarrassed. Well, yes, I am but not embarrassed by sex. I'm embarrassed by the thought of writing something trite that leaves no room for creative writing. Most fiction writers shudder in horror at having their creativity constrained. Where is it more constrained than in writing the same words for the same acts that has been done a gazillion times before?

But I did it. It hurt a little but I did it. I wrote an erotic story about a reporter for a green newspaper being sent to interview a Gloucester fisherman about the environmental impact of fishing practices and what happens to her. I used the descriptive words required and don't think the story is any more interesting for it but.... hey, I gave it a shot.

Yesterday I received word that the book "Green Love" was reviewed in Coffee Time Romance. This is what they had to say about my story, "Gone Fishing":

Lobster fisherman, Greg Conrad, is used to getting beaten down from reporters and people who do not understand how he works. When one of the female reporters watches him with hungry eyes, Greg decides that maybe leading by example is the best way for her to see his side of the story. When the reporter goes fishing for lobsters with Greg, she is surprised with how great a feeling she gets from being on the boat and close to nature. Even better is when the swaying boat has her body rocking against Greg’s.

One of the best parts of this story was how Greg got the reporter to see his side of things. However, the fact that the female did not have a name put me off a little bit. Ms. Valentine did a good job of keeping me aware of the conflict between the reporter and the fisherman. A good read with a funny ending that kept me happy and entertained.

I was a little surprised by her comments about my heroine being nameless. That is something I have often done for one simple reason, to allow the reader to more easily put herself in the heroine's place but, clearly, it didn't work for the reviewer.

Otherwise, I have no complaints. It's a good review. I have been wondering about the advisability of issuing the stories currently available at Heart Throb Books in paperback. One of the stories, Sailor's Valentine, is similar in theme to Gone Fishing. I'm told by readers it is steamy, even though I leave the inserting tabs into slots to the readers imagination.

Well, I think I may have had enough of explicit erotica. I'm getting older, it is true, but I still remember how it all works. nd my imagination still works just fine, thank you very much.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Tab A into Slot B...that made me laugh. So very true, though.

    I'll bet you could interview hundreds of people about their most erotic experiences the majority of the descriptions would be about the circumstances that led up to the act, not the act itself. You'd probably get all kinds of rapturous descriptions of settings and conversations followed by "..and then, well, you know."

  2. I absolutely agree. I'm sort of astonished when I am asked to write explicit "instructions" --- have people no imagination any more?


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