Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

Watch my first and favorite book trailer for Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica. Get Spanked in print and ebook

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Preview - Jamye Waxman's adult entertainment video Personal Touch

Okay, I haven't watched this yet but I plan to very soon. I'm answering some interview questions about what videos I recommend for couples, and this is one of them - it's about sex toys and is by Jamye Waxman.

Best Sex Writing 2008 party footage and Q&As at The Publishing Spot

My friend Jason Boog over at his excellent writing/publishing-themed website The Publishing Spot did a 5-part Q&A with me (last one's up tomorrow) and also has some footage from the Best Sex Writing 2008 party:

How to Build a Better Reading Public

How to go from short stories to a novel

How to cope with the stress of freelance life

How to write about sex without sounding like a spam email

Also, in separate but related news, Jezebel (a multiple Bloggie nominee!)has a great post up by Jessica Grose, with lots of debate in the comments, called "Shiksa Studies: Why Don't Jewish Women Get Any Pop Cultural Love?" and it includes an excerpt from my interview with Rachel Shukert about Jewish girls and blowjobs.

From Jezebel:

Radar is declaring, in its typically amusing and tongue-in-cheek fashion, that this year's hottest accessory for shiksas is a Jewish husband. You know what? Tongue-in-cheek or not, I'm over Jewish dudes getting all the love. You never hear about Jewish women being the hottest, well, anything; while Woody Allen is off bagging WASP goddesses Mariel Hemmingway and Diane Keaton in Manhattan, cultural stereotypes of female Jews show us to be fleshy, frumpy, sexless overbearing mothers with big noses and unruly hair. Rachel Shukert, the far from frumpy sex writer, thinks that "Jewish men have really had a large part in disseminating those [negative] stereotypes" of Jewish women.

Read the rest

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Are books "broken" on the web?

Tim from LibraryThing, in a post about their partnership with Portland's famed Powell's Books, writes:

The big picture. On the web, books are broken. A few small parts are solved or on their way—Amazon,, Google, Powells—and this gives many the illusion that books are a solved problem. But the rest of the "bibliosphere" isn't where it could be. Libraries and publishers, authors and most bookstores are adrift, and not part of the conversation.*...

*My correspondent at Powell's asked me for examples. Here's my rant/reply:

You can't Google a book and find out where in town to get a copy. You can't Google a book and find out whether your public library has a copy. Your library doesn't know the author is touring the area. The author doesn't know which independent bookstores are selling the most copies, and so where to read. Bookstore software is crap and most independent bookstores aren't online at all. The second-largest US bookstore chain—Borders—is less online that Powell's! Libraries are absolutely *terrible* online; you will rarely get a library in the first ten pages of a Google search because search engines can't "see inside" library websites. Library data is largely inaccessible and dominated by an inflexible data monopoly. Book data is mostly from Amazon or from a welter of other companies that don't or can't help any but the largest providers. Publisher websites a seldom more than 1990s brochure-ware. Small presses sometimes have good websites, but aren't included in the book-data game. There's no online network for authors and agents. There isn't even a decent "works" system for books—and to the extent there are systems like this, publishers and libraries have completely different systems.

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Bloggies reminder - voting deadline is tonight at 10 pm EST

Cupcakes Take the Cake is a Bloggie finalist!

A reminder that today's your last day to vote for my group cupcake blog Cupcakes Take the Cake in the 2008 Bloggies. As I said, I won't be at SXSW, but that doesn't mean I don't really, really want us to win, so spread the word, please. To everyone who already voted for us - thank you!

You can check out our awesome Flickr pool of cupcake photos, join out NYC Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup (next one is February 16th), visit the Cupcake Alliance for other cities with cupcake meetups, read interviews with bakery owners and other cupcake fans, buy cupcake clothing at our Cafe Press store, and, of course, visit the blog for daily cupcake inspiration.

image via Flickr user crazycupcakes, get more info at Cupcake Recipes

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I never get tired of being called a "cupcake expert"

New article from the Austin American-Statesman, "Cupcake business thrive in Austin," - sadly, I'm not going to SXSW this year, but maybe I can go next year or do a reading there (at the most excellent Bookpeople perhaps?) and visit Hey Cupcake! - it's the cupcake stand in a trailer pictured below (see our interview with owner West hurt at Cupcakes Take the Cake). And while we're on the subject of cupcakes...don't forget to vote for Cupcakes Take the Cake as Best Food Weblog in the 2008 Bloggies - deadline is Thursday, January 31st at 10 pm EST!

From the simple to the gourmet, new cupcake businesses are prospering in Austin.

With a trend that began with New York City's Magnolia Bakery, which was partially made famous by its cameo on HBO's "Sex and the City," cupcake-centric businesses are now popping up nationwide. Austin is already home to three cupcake-delivery services, a cupcake cafe and a cupcake stand, and more businesses are on the way.

Cupcake expert Rachel Kramer Bussel attributes the trend to portion size and childhood nostalgia. She began her Cupcakes Take the Cake blog in December of 2004 and the site now lists more than 100 bakeries in the U.S. and internationally. She said cupcakes are ideal for small businesses because they don't require a lot of baking experience or overhead costs.

"There's something about cupcakes," said Bussel, an editor and writer in New York City. "The amount of growth I've seen in the last three years is pretty amazing."...

"There's just been bakeries popping up really all over," Bussel said. "So I think there's even more of a market for people who are wanting to open bakeries."

She also refutes the idea that cupcakes are a passing fad.

"I keep thinking, 'Oh, eventually I'm gonna get sick of cupcakes.' I haven't at all because there's always something new out there," Bussel said.

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The "pinch me" lineup

If you've ever seen me read in the last, oh, 7 years or so that I've been doing readings, you probably know that being onstage is not my natural habitat. While I love hosting In The Flesh, and am going to Miami next month to read at Lip Service (and finally visit Books & Books, and Miami, and K.), there is something about getting up in front of a crowd of people that never fails to unnerve me.

I'm getting much more into these teaching gigs, and am looking forward to the classes on erotica I'm teaching at Dark Odyssey: Winter Fire and Sex.2.0, because there isn't that everything is staring at me element. There's not a microphone. It's not so fraught.

I do readings both because I feel like it's bad writing karma to say no to them; in part, I got my book deal and some subsequent ones because one editor, who represents some of the best of the romance business, Lucia Macro, at Avon Red, saw me read at Galapagos once. Okay, that's not the only reason, but her encouragement made the small part of me that had big hopes and dreams convinced that I could actually write something longer than a short story (and now I'm editing an anthology for her too!). Anyway, my point is, that I think there are good reasons to do readings. I hope that in 7 years, I've improved somewhat. I can get into it, if I really love the story, especially if I've read it before. But really, I'd rather be behind my laptop, safely tucked away. Sure, you have to field inane emails sometimes, but that's fine, that I can handle. All this to say that seeing this lineup below gave me that "OMG, me, with all these big names?"

But you know what? Those six words I wrote for that book are probably more real and honest and true and pertinent than most of what I've written. Any time I get to write about babies, I'm happy. So please join us! For once, my heart won't be racing (hopefully) and this looks like an awesome lineup. Also, I have read the book, but want to reread it. I've hooked up with at least one contributor, and made out with another, though I have to double check it to see if there are any others. I'm so excited to see this book getting mega buzz, and it has a big (to me) print run (35,000, I believe I read), and I have a feeling it's gonna be all over.

Tuesday, March 11, 7:00 PM

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous And Obscure (Harper Perennial)

With editors Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith

And contributors Rachel Kramer Bussel, Nell Casey, David Rakoff, Amy Sohn, Anthony Swofford, and others

Legend has it that Hemingway once wrote a novel in six words—"For sale: baby shoes, never worn." In the 21st century, the six-word story has evolved into the six-word memoir, a form explored in myriad ways in the collection Not Quite What I Was Planning. The book began as a contest on, an online magazine about personal storytelling, and contains over 800 memoirs from regular folks from around the country and the world; as well as from celebrity contributors both literary and otherwise. The collection's editors and several of its contributors will show a video of the variety of memoirs collected, and read from their six-word memoirs this evening, and audience members will be invited to create their own version of this addicting literary form.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis Blog Day

I'm taking in part in today's blogging for the novel The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis, a book I had meant to finish by today to give you a review, but alas, I've been way too busy. I can tell you that about 30 pages in, I'm totally intrigued, especially by Ali Mather. Below is some info about the book and tour; you can read more at Susan Henderson's brilliant site Litpark and about Patry battling cancer at her blog Simply Wait:

One thing I learned was that for every ounce of trouble I was forced to drink, I would counter it with two ounces of bliss. Not the cheap bliss I attempted to find in a wine bottle, but the real thing. The kind I saw in that thin shell when I held it up to the light. The kind we all have inside us if we choose to draw on it.

I really think this is where we so often go wrong . When bad things happen--whether it's disease, rejection, mistreatment, percieved or otherwise--we allow it to control us. In other words, we pour ourselves another glass of poison when what we really need is the antidote--a double shot of BLISS!

Do read her book, her blogs, and explore some of the bloggers posting today. I'll have that review when I'm done with the book, and I'm honored to be a part of this writing and blogging community, not to mention to be introduced to a book I probably never would have come across otherwise (as I don't read mysteries that often).

All content below from Lit Park, which you should bookmark and read anyway, and you'll notice that many bloggers are using the new author-resource site Red Room - I haven't really checked it out yet, but it looks promising.

Whether you like text, audio, or video, I have a taste of the book for you. Let's start with an audio clip of THE LIAR'S DIARY. This audio clip comes courtesy of Eileen Hutton at Brilliance Audio.

This video for THE LIAR'S DIARY was created by Sheila Clover English, C.E.O. of Circle of Seven Productions, who was moved by Patry's story and volunteered her lightning-speed creativity!

Here are the publisher's words:

Answering the question of what is more powerful—family or friendship? this debut novel unforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.

They couldn’t be more different, but they form a friendship that will alter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne’s “perfect” husband as well as their teenaged son.

At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home—and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali’s soul.

When a murderer strikes and Jeanne’s son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women . . . but only one of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar’s Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.

And now, here are Patry's words, which I lifted off her blog: "Though my novel deals with murder, betrayal, and the even more lethal crimes of the heart, the real subjects of THE LIAR'S DIARY are music, love, friendship, self-sacrifice and courage. The darkness is only there for contrast; it's only there to make us realize how bright the light can be. I'm sure that most writers whose work does not flinch from the exploration of evil feel the same."

Ready to buy the book? Why not buy one for yourself and one for a friend? And if you like it, tell people!

Here are links to THE LIAR'S DIARY at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's. You can also buy directly from Penguin to save 15% (after you add the book to your cart, just enter the word PATRY in the coupon code field and click ‘update cart’ to activate the discount).

Patti Abbott

Mario Acevedo

Susan Adrian

Mary Akers

Samina Ali

Christa Allan

Amazon Shorts - Featured Author


Joelle Anthony

Jorge Argueta

Vicki Arkoff - MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon, MW Book Review

Melanie Avila

Tricia Ares

Neil B



Terry Bain

Gail Baker - The Debutante Ball

Anjali Banerjee

L.A. Banks

Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Elizabeth Bartasius

Carolyn Burns Bass

Brett Battles


Laura Benedict

Pinckney Benedict

Janet Berliner

William Bernhardt

Alexander Besher


Marcie Beyatte

Brenda Birch

Roberto Bonazzi

Jason Boog


Raven Bower

Laura Bowers

Beatrice Bowles

Tara Bradford

Gayle Brandeis

Stacy Brazalovich

Susan Breen - Gotham Writers Workshops

Heather Brewer

Eve Bridburg - Zachary Shuster Harmsworth

Sassy Brit

Heatheraynne Brooks

Debra Broughon

Josie Brown

Pat Brown

Ruth Brown

Ken Bruen

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Aldo Calcagno

Austin S. Camacho

Bill Cameron

Lorenzo Carcaterra

Vincent Carrella

Karen DeGroot Carter

Rosemary Carstens

Alexander Chee

Lee Child

Circle of Seven Productions

Cynthia Clark - Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine

Jon Clinch

Kamela Cody

Oline H. Cogdill - Sun-Sentinal

Tish Cohen

Eileen Cruz Coleman

Myfanwy Collins

Dan Conaway - Writers House

Laurie Connors - Penguin

Eileen Cook

Richard Cooper

David Corbett

Auria Cortes

Peter Coyote

Bill Crider - Pop Culture Magazine

Kim Cristofoli

Ann Mare Cummins

Sheila Curran

Kristie Cutter

Jordan Dane

Josephine Damian

Daryl Darko

A.J. Davis

Kelli Davis

Alyssa Day

Alma Hromic Deckert

Jim DeFelice

Mike Dellosso

Katrina Denza

Bella DePaulo

Karen Dionne

Felicia Donovan

Julie Doughty - Dutton

Gerry Doyle

Terri DuLong

Firoozeh Dumas

Xujun Eberlein

Christine Eldin

J.T. Ellison - Killer Year

Sheila Clover English - Circle of Seven Productions

Kate Epstein - the Epstein Literary Agency

Kathryn Esplin

Gayle Etcheverry

Sean Ferrell

Rachel Fershleiser at SMITH Magazine

Ryan Field

Michael A. FitzGerald

William Floyd

Natasha Fondren

Brian Ford

Jamie Ford

Connie May Fowler

Heather Fowler

Therese Fowler

Jenifer Fox

Thaisa Frank

Michelle Gable

Gary Gach

Leighton Gage

Neil Gaiman

Colin Galbraith

Jayson Gallaway

Jane Ganahl - Red Room

Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Linda Gerber

Shane Gericke

Tess Gerritsen

Karin Gillespie

Dara Girard

Anne Glamore

Kathi Kamen Goldmark

Jewelle Gomez

C.W. Gortner - Historical Boys

Susan Helene Gottfried

Deborah Grabien

Elizabeth Graham

Caroline Grant

Robin Grantham

Bob Gray - Shelf Awareness

Nancy O. Greene

Robert Grudin

Lisa Guidarini

David Habbin

Jim Hanas

Lynette Hart

Melanie Harvey

Michael Haskins

Melanie Lynn Hauser

Bill Hayes

Maria Dahvana Headley

Susan Henderson

Heidi the Hick

Georgia Hesse

Billie Hinton

Vicki Hinze

Jenn Hollowell

Lori Hope

Khaled Hosseini

Sharon Hurlbut

Eileen Hutton - Brilliance Audio

Gina Hyams

International Thriller Writers

David Isaak

Susan Ito

Lisa Jackson

Lori James - All Romance eBooks

Arachne Jericho


Allison Johnson

Jen Jordan - Crimespree

Jungle Red Writers

Lesley Kagen

Polly Kahl

Andrew Kaplan - Media Mensch

Jessica Keener

Charles Kelly

Lisa Kenny

Beth Kephart

Jackie Kessler

Merle Kessler

Kristy Kiernan - Southern Authors Blog

A.S. King

Jeff Kleinman - Folio Literary Management

Sandra Kring


R.D. Laban

Rebecca Laffar-Smith - Writers Roundabout

Clair Lamb

Daphne Larkin


Judy Merrill Larson

Caroline Leavitt


Virginia Lee

Leslie Levine

Mary Lewis

Richard Lewis


Sharon Linnea

Jessica Lipnack

Julie Anne Long

CJ Lyons

Jonathan Maberry

Amy MacKinnon - The Writers Group

Tim Maleeny

Ric Marion

Kerstin Martin

Nancy Martin

Adrienne Mayor

L.C. McCabe

Damian McNicholl

Ellen Meister


Christa Miller

Kyle Minor

Jacquelyn Mitchard

P. A. Moed

Terri Molina

Pat Montandon

David Montgomery

Alexis Moore

Joe Moore - Inkspot

Michelle Moran

Amanda Morgan

Sarie Morrell


Amy Nathan


National Post

Tia Nevitt


Carolyn North

Aurelio O'Brien

Martha O'Connor

Andrea Okrentowich

Lori Oliva

Jodie Osinga

Aimee Palooza


Michael Palmer

Stephen Parrish

Marie Peck

Marcia Peterson - WOW! Women on Writing

Jason Pinter

Anthony S. Policastro

Douglas Preston

Publishers Marketplace

Edie Ramer

Terese Ramin

Reader's Entertainment TV

Jody Reale

Martha Reed

Janet Reid - FinePrint Literary Management

Kamilla Reid

Lance Reynald

Linda L. Richards

Michelle Richmond

Maria Robinson

John Robison

James Rollins

M.J. Rose - Buzz, Balls & Hype

Renee Rosen

Jordan Rosenfeld

Russell Rowland

Anneli Rufus

Hank Ryan

Marcus Sakey

Harris Salat -Visual Thesaurus

Rachel Sarah

Maria Schneider - Writer's Digest Magazine

Nina Schuyler

Michele Scott

Dani Shapiro

Rochelle Shapiro

Charles Shaughnessy

Jessie Sholl

Robert Siegel

Clea Simon

April Sinclair

Lynn Sinclair

Jen Singer

Shelley Singer

Single Mom Seeking

Sisters in Crime


Robin Slick

BPM Smith - Word & Bass

Bridget Smith

Claudia Smith

Kim Smith

Stephie Smith

Alexandra Sokoloff

Char Solomon

Samantha Sommersby

James Spring

Emilie Staat

Kim Stagliano

Maryanne Stahl

Bella Stander

Kelli Stanley

Marta Stephens

Bronwyn Storm

Jennifer Talty

Judith Tannenbaum

Mindy Tarquini

Alice Tasman - the Jean Naggar Literary Agency

Charles R. Temple

David Thayer

The Book Pirate

The Outfit


Veronica Towers

Joyce Tremel

Danielle Trussoni

Louise Ure

N. L. Valler

Barbara Vey - Publishers Weekly

Bev Vincent

Nury Vittachi

Brenda Wallace

Therese Walsh - Writer Unboxed

John Warner - Tow Books

Gary Wassner

Brenda Webster

Jennifer Weiner

Sarah Weinman

Laura Wellner

Kimberly M. Wetherell

Diane Whiteside

Dan Wickett - Emerging Writers Network

Susan Wiggs

Liz Wolfe

Patricia Wood

Cheryl Wyatt

Stephen Wylder

Irvin Yalom

Belle Yang

Dawn Yun

Michele Zackheim

Victoria Zackheim

Ernie Zelinski

Crystal Zevon

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

A sexy way to eat a cupcake

Originally uploaded by Anya Garrett
Photo by and of the brilliant and beautiful Anya Garrett, who I hope to shoot with again soon. Check out her Flickr account. It's so worth it.

Love letters workshop

Thanks to everyone who came out to the love letter writing workshop. We shared some really intense examples, some sexy, some sweet, and I hope people continue writing their letters after the starts we made. I was very nervous about the class but I'm so glad it turned out well. In my research, I found some great sites, including:

The Romantic (famous love letters)

300 love letters project

These are shots by Stacie Joy of me right before the class, surrounded by papers (and my books, which Babeland SoHo is now stocking!).

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Tonight's love letter workshop at Babeland and recent press

Very busy around here so another quick update - more this week about the incredible Ida show I went to the other night. You can listen to their new song "Lovers Prayers" off the new album, also called Lovers Prayers, on MySpace. Beautiful.

There is a LOT going on; tonight's workshop is being covered by a local magazine and other media nibbles are in the works. I'm wrapping up two big articles and am at the tail end of my novel. I am still, believe it or not, getting over my evil cold, thanks to Cold-Eeze lozenges and lots of water and sleep. I had a pretty rough week last week mentally/emotionally but feel a lot better about the week ahead.

Tonight is the love letter workshop at Babeland! If you haven't registered but want to come, I'm pretty sure you can just show up tonight, but call them at 212-966-2120 to check. And if you missed my lover letter example, there it is.

Babeland logo

Sunday, January 27, 8 pm - 10 pm
Love Letter Writing Workshop
U R HOT. Want to express your feelings to your Valentine, but just can’t find the words? Spend the evening with Rachel Kramer Bussel penning romantic notes and sweet nothings for your special someone. Rachel is a novelist, editor, and columnist; editor of more than a dozen erotic anthologies, including "He’s on Top", "She’s on Top", and "Hide and Seek". Pen and paper will be provided, and a handout with suggested readings will be passed out. You will have the opportunity to read your work aloud (but are not required to), and will leave with a letter you could send to a lover (real or imaginary).
Babeland, 43 Mercer Street, NYC
Call 212-966-2120 to register or visit the store

And some recent press:

I'm interviewed by Em & Lo at Conde Nast's sex blog Daily Bedpost

E&L: What if you're afraid that your love letter will be totally cheesy, how can you avoid that?

RKB: First of all, I think some cheesiness is okay, but then again, I'm a big dork. But to combat that, make it personal. Include private memories or inside jokes and really highlight why they're so special. It can be something silly that only you find charming about the person--in fact, all the better. Most of all, be honest. I think the most heartfelt, moving love letters are perhaps the toughest to write, because you lay bare all your real emotions, sometimes ones you might be too nervous to tell someone in person.

Also, it doesn't all have to be about how perfect the person is; loving someone's flaws, or seeing them in all their complexity, good and bad, is ultimately what loving someone is all about, and I think at the end of the day, while it's nice to get compliments, more than that we want to be known and loved for who we are, not who we might be. So by showing that you know that person inside and out, that you are there for them through thick and thin, that you appreciate things about them that they may not appreciate about themselves, you make the letter into something they will treasure. I'm not saying to make it all dark and depressing, but if you make someone cry (tears of joy), they're gonna want to hold onto your letter.

Miriam Datskovsky reading "Absolut Nude" at Best Sex Writing 2008 reading

The Columbia Spectator looks at Best Sex Writing 2008 and Barnard alum and contributor Miriam Datskovsky

That’s the thing about sexuality, this book, and its authors at large: they’re all hard to pin down. Even the collaborators managed to gain just as much wisdom as they imparted through each other. “I certainly learned a lot,” Bussel confided. “I found so much out there that truly expanded my vision of what sexuality is and means to people.” This was especially shocking considering her hometown: “I live in New York and I think it’s very easy to assume that we’re more open-minded or liberal or kinky or whatever, and that’s not necessarily true at all,” she said. “So I hope people who want to learn about sex will check out the book and that it might start some conversations in their lives about their own fantasies, desires, and outlooks around sex.”

Best Sex Writing is, in the end, a misnomer, because the word sex means so much more than just intercourse. One gets a sense, as Bussel puts it, of “the breadth of human sexuality ... and how sex changes people over time.” It’s not the easiest ride for white-bread America—as Datskovsky admitted, “If I wanted to be honest, I had to be completely unafraid.” This fearless and exultant look at the spectrum of human eroticism is thrilling and enlightening, an excellent return by a gutsy alumna—way to make us proud.

And also at the Columbia Spectator site, catch up on Miriam's old columns also wrote about BSW and soon should have video interviews of us up

And check out the February issue of Zink - I'm quoted in Jamye Waxman's article on bisexuality, and the fabulous Hitha Prabhakar also has an article there.

And in cupcake news, you can check out my Flickr set from January's cupcake meetup at Out of the Kitchen and Jacques Torres. I'm about two weeks behind on all things photo and still figuring out my camera/Olympus Master/Flickr Uploader, but getting the hang of it. And rkb1 on Flickr is slowly dying (will probably not be adding many new photos to it) and being replaced by new accounts, like rkbcupcakes, that anyone can see.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

A quickie

Photo by Stacie Joy

A quick note to say THANK YOU to everyone who came out to Tuesday's big reading for Best Sex Writing 2008 - I'm told the line was out the door, everyone read spectacularly, and I was so touched by seeing people I know (and don't know) in the crowd. The Columbia Spectator is covering it and afterwards we went across the street and did a group interview for Ed Champion's podcast The Bat Segundo Show that I'll post when it's up. Photos in this post by the amazing Stacie Joy; see her Best Sex Writing 2008 reading Flickr set for more, and I'll have a bunch more up this weekend. That was definitely the highlight of my week; the rest of it's been very up and down emotionally and I've got mad deadlines, but I'm pulling them off, one at a time.

Other stuff - biggest thing is that Cupcakes Take the Cake is a finalist for Best Food Weblog in the 2008 Bloggies! This is HUGE for our little blog and I strongly encourage you to go VOTE for us - you can only vote once, and voting ends Thursday, January 31st at 10 pm EST.

More updates this weekend, but I'm up for a new gig, so keep your fingers crossed for me. And of course, unlike Claudia Lonow (does the irony of David Blum's incessant firing, then hiring, then splashing sex columnists across the covers of his papers make me laugh? yes!), I will use actual sources if I get this job. I highly urge you to go read Judy McGuire and her new book How Not to Date instead.


The Resident asked us to pick our top 5 Manhattan cupcake bakeries so I gave them our faves

Radical Vixen interviewed me on Sex Worker Solidarity

And don't forget! Sunday from 8-10 pm is my Love Letter workshop at Babeland! There will be handouts and exercises and it's gonna be a lot of fun.

Love Letter Writing Workshop with Rachel Kramer Bussel
Sunday, January 27, 8:00-10:00, $20
Babeland SoHo, 43 Mercer Street, NYC
U R HOT. Want to express your feelings to your Valentine, but just can’t find the words? Spend the evening with Rachel Kramer Bussel penning romantic notes and sweet nothings for your special someone. Rachel is a novelist, editor, and columnist; editor of more than a dozen erotic anthologies, including He’s on Top, She’s on Top and Hide and Seek. Her work has been published in the Village Voice, Penthouse, Bust, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

About Babeland:
Babeland is recognized around the world as a friendly place to shop for sex toys, books, and videos. Founded in 1993, Babeland has received numerous honors in its fifteen years of business, including Zagat Survey Awards for "Top Service" in New York City in 2003 and 2006. It was voted "Best Place to Buy Sex Toys" by The Village Voice, New York Magazine, New York Press, Miami New Times, Seattle's The Stranger, and the Seattle Weekly. Self Magazine has hailed co-founders Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah as “new generation sex gurus."

REGISTER in person at Babeland or by calling 212-966-2120.

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Unlock Your Creativity - tomorrow in Berkeley

Brooke Warner, my Dirty Girls editor at Seal Press, and Krista Lyons-Gould, publisher of Seal Press (do check out their great blog - all publishers should have a blog, I think!) are teaching this workshop in Berkeley, California, where I went to college, on how to Unlock Your Creativity. If I was there, I'd go!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Scrabble is sexy

Well, I actually think Boggle is sexy, but oh my goodness...this is one of the hottest photos I've ever seen! It's of comedian Jen Dziura and taken by Bill Wadman of 365 Portraits on his new must-read blog On Taking Pictures. You should click here to see the other sexy Scrabble shot - there are high heels involved!

"Jen is Scrabblicious"

(Reposted with the permission of Bill Wadman.)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Best Sex Writing 2008 party tonight! (and interview)

I'm still a bit under the weather - way better than before, but still waking up coughing/with my throat ticklish and just not right. Basically, it sucks but I am doing my best to fight it, mentally and physically. Am gonna be doing some major Dayquil/Nyquil this week and am still moving pretty slowly, but I'm getting there and hope to be fully better by next weekend.

Please come out tonight if you can, it's gonna be fun and I'm so thrilled to have these women reading with me!

Here's the first of a few interviews I've done about Best Sex Writing 2008, with Funky Brown Chick. We're also being interviewed tomorrow for a new website and for the Bat Segundo podcast. Also see the Best Sex Writing 2008 blog for contributor interviews and sex in the news roundups.

Best Sex Writing 2008 cover

So please don't miss our reading and party, where there will also be cupcakes like the ones pictured below (those are peanut butter chocolate, there will also be strawberry cream cheese ones, free!):

Tuesday, January 22, 7 pm - 9 pm

At Rapture Cafe, 200 Avenue A (between 12th and 13th), NYC, FREE
Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, Rachel Shukert ("Big Mouth Strikes Again: An Oral Report"), Lux Nightmare ("The Pink Ghetto"), Miriam Datskovsky ("Absolut Nude"), and Liz Langley ("Sex and the Single Septuagenarian"). Free cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery will be served, and books will be available for sale and signing.

With Kumquat Cupcakery's peanut butter chocolate cupcakes

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

I heart Michael Thomas Ford

Not only is Michael Thomas Ford an amazing (and amazingly prolific) writer (and blogger at but he has the most amazong photos of himself up on Flickr. Here are some of my favorites:

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Out of it

I'm having a pretty off weekend - still fighting the lingering cold, which leaves me pretty drained of energy, wrapping up some writing, and feeling utterly stupid for not being able to figure out Olympus's digital photo upload system; I've got the photos on my laptop, I think, I just don't know precisely where they're located.

In other ditzy news, I managed to leave my phone at Happy Ending on Thursday, but there was a silver lining - I got to bring the staff some cupcakes from the brand-new Upper West Side Magnolia Bakery, and found out I was invited to their staff party! That's kindof how things have been going lately, and I'm not really sure what to do about it. I need better coping mechanisms for when things invariably fall apart, and need both more time and more focus during the time I do have for writing.

More updates once I knock a few things off the perennial to do list. I am moving at a snail's pace in 2008; tasks that used to take me 1-2 hours now take 4-5. I think my brain and body just decided to go on work strike or something. My memory's shot and creativity is low but I'm working on it because so many good things are in the air and I just want to be able to take advantage of as many of them as I can (while learning the art and wisdom of saying no, something I'm horrible at but vow to work on until I've perfected it).

Here's a shot of me from Magnolia that Nichelle took. If I can ever figure out how the hell my new camera works, I'll have London photos and Magnolia ones to share too. For now, here's our report from pre-opening night.

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Rachel Shukert on Jewish girls and blowjobs

Do read my awesome interview with Best Sex Writing 2008 contributor Rachel Shukert, pictured below, about Jewish girls and blowjobs.

Rachel Shukert

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Sugasm 114

Sugasm 114

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #115? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks


“You bite my tautish thighs passionately, and drag my thong off with your teeth.”


“Naked now, I turned her towards him, running my hands across breasts, midriff and down between her legs.”


“She’s hot, where only seconds ago in the throes and tears of her ecstacy she shivered.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself

Pimpin’ Presidents

Editor’s Choice

“Coming out” for spankos

More Sugasm

Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

(Sugasm participants should re-post all the links above within a week. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)

BDSM & Fetish

The business trip - Chapter Four

The Captive Princess

Dark Odyssey Summer Camp: final roundup

Fetish: Fifteen Fifty-Word Stories

Higher the voltage

Hot Summer Night


In my place

Pro-Dommes: Good Or Bad?

Profile of the Week

“Put Your Mouth On It”

Three Boys in three days… Part 2

Sex Advice

What to Do If Your Man’s Penis Is Too Big

NSFW Pics & Videos

I Feel Myself

Fucking on Film

Lucy C

Pornsaint Ashlynn Brooke

Sexy New Years Eve HNT

Sex News, Reviews & Interviews

Brotherhood Of The Traveling Panties

Filling Your Bondage Toolbox: Advanced - The Stainless Steel Anal Hook

Happy January 2008 Blogiversaries!

Interview with Jen Cross on gender roles, butch/femme, sexual abuse and writing

Lesbian Psychotherapists, Part 1

Masculine, Sexy, and 100% Naked - Welcome to The Garden of Adam!

My Cat Watches Us Shag!!!

Thoughts on Sex and Relationships

And the Winner of Best Hot Safer Sex Scene Is…

Disgusting Comment

Friends Who Fuck

I’m Easy

Impertinent Question of the Week: What Song Did You Lose Your Virginity To?

Sex: Is That All There Is?

Yeah, But What About Swallowing It?

Sex Work

Sex Worker Confessions: The English Courtesan

Sex Worker Solidarity: Secondhand Rose

The Ugly Side of the Sex Industry

Erotic Writing and Experiences

Big Bad Wolf

Cuckolding happens as we write

First anal…continued

Guest Poster #1!!! - Siren presents “Slick Stuff”

Rampant Ruf

Sex after Marriage: The First Time

She smiled when I kissed her

So, I hacked it off

Unicorn Sighting


Yellow Sofa


Friday, January 18, 2008

Love letters...

I'm teaching an erotic love letter workshop on Sunday, January 27th at Babeland that I hope some of you will come to! Details at the end of this post. There will be an emphasis on the erotic, but it will also cover regular love letters.

To that end, I've been thinking about lots of things, some of which I'll write more about this weekend, among them James Joyce's erotic love letters to Nora from 1909. And some of my own. It's been a long time since I've been in love, and so I haven't had much practice, though I do tend to write to the people I fall in love with. Not always, but the big ones, yeah, I just can't help myself.

Here's something I wrote a long time ago, that I think now is safe to own up to. We never did kiss, and that's okay, and it's funny because while part of me rereads this and thinks about how foolish I was over this person, part of me knows that I fell for him for a reason, and this is still one of my favorite things I've ever written.

Is it possible to love someone before we've even kissed? Even if we never end up kissing? Before we've even spent more than a few moments alone? I don't even know what it is about you that so attracts me. I get totally flustered around you. I've been told that my face gets red when I talk about you, and I'm sure it's true.

Maybe it's because for all your brilliance, you seem to have some of the same insecurities I do. When you open up to me, I feel incredibly protective. I want to wrap you up in my arms and kiss you all day and night, ply you with encouragement, make you a superstar. I find it really easy to believe in you, more than in myself. I find it infinitely cute when you talk about babies or kids; boys don't usually openly declare they've found anyone under 15 remotely adorable. I'm skittish, nervous to tell you things, yet filled with the converse desire to tell you everything because, somehow, I think you'll understand.

You're charming without trying to be. It's in part your selflessness that endears you to me. I'm shocked there aren't girls lining up around the block for the chance to talk to you. (Wait. Maybe there are.) I promised myself for New Year's I would stop thinking about you, would banish you from my mind once and for all, but I can't. The way you smile, the way you laugh, the way you manage to surprise me, whether with a tattoo or a risk, are all unforgettable. Maybe I'm totally crazy and seeing what doesn't exist, mirages spun solely from my imagination. Maybe there's a good reason I haven't been able to focus on anything or anyone else for months now. I guess that's up to you to decide. Whenever you're ready, even if that day never comes, I'll be here.

Love Letter Writing Workshop with Rachel Kramer Bussel
Sunday, January 27, 8:00-10:00, $20
Babeland SoHo, 43 Mercer Street, NYC
U R HOT. Want to express your feelings to your Valentine, but just can’t find the words? Spend the evening with Rachel Kramer Bussel penning romantic notes and sweet nothings for your special someone. Rachel is a novelist, editor, and columnist; editor of more than a dozen erotic anthologies, including He’s on Top, She’s on Top and Hide and Seek. Her work has been published in the Village Voice, Penthouse, Bust, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

About Babeland:
Babeland is recognized around the world as a friendly place to shop for sex toys, books, and videos. Founded in 1993, Babeland has received numerous honors in its fifteen years of business, including Zagat Survey Awards for "Top Service" in New York City in 2003 and 2006. It was voted "Best Place to Buy Sex Toys" by The Village Voice, New York Magazine, New York Press, Miami New Times, Seattle's The Stranger, and the Seattle Weekly. Self Magazine has hailed co-founders Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah as “new generation sex gurus."

REGISTER in person at Babeland or by calling 212-966-2120.

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Photos from last night

There will be more, but for now, some pics from last night's In The Flesh...all photos by Stacie Joy

A group shot of all the readers:

Group shot from Blogger Sex Night at In The Flesh January 17, 2008

L to R: Dashiell Bennett (Fleshbot), Jen Dziura (Jen is Famous), Martha Burzynski (Alice Ayers), Nichelle Stephens Nichelle Newsletter), Rachel Kramer Bussel (Lusty Lady), Allison Bojarski (CrossFitNYC), Lolita Wolf (Lolia's Predictions & Predilections), T.A. Hines (Funky Brown Chick).

My fellow cupcake bloggers in our blinged-out cupcake t-shirts from Newark, Delaware's Sweet-N-Sassy Cupcakes:

Allison, Nichelle and me in our blinged-out cupcake t-shirts

Me with Funky Brown Chick T.A. Hines:

With T.A. Hines, aka Funky Brown Chick, at In The Flesh

Me with Kumquat Cupcakery's peanut butter chocolate mini cupcakes:

With Kumquat Cupcakery's peanut butter chocolate cupcakes

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Come to In The Flesh tonight!

And mark your calendars - 2/21 has Nick Flynn, Stephen Elliott, Michelle Robinson and ZANE!

Tonight there will also be chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from Kumqat Cupcakery that look kind like this (but these are chocolate/chocolate). Seriously, it's worth coming out just for the cupcakes (but my readers are gonna rock too).

(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey,
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

In The Flesh hosts its first all blogger night, with a range of readings from sexual memoir to erotica. With Dashiell (Fleshbot), T.A. Hines (Funky Brown Chick), Nichelle Stephens (, Martha Burzynski (Alice Ayers), Allison Bojarski (, Lolita Wolf ( and Jen Dziura (, who will read from the recently released anthology Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories. Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Lusty Lady blog, editor of Best Sex Writing 2008, Hide and Seek, Sex and Candy). Free candy and cupcakes will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne PortnoySofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times's UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern's Happy Ending Reading Series.

Allison Bojarski is ready and waiting to kick your ass and have you pay her for the honor of doing so, at the best damn gym in New York, CrossFit NYC. Allison's also blogged her way through Brazilian music and dance, cupcakes, the New York food scene, and marathon training. Equal parts sensual hedonist and clean-living advocate, she savors life to its fullest without looking or feeling crappy the next morning. and

Allison Bojarski reads at Blogger Sex Night, January 17

Martha Burzynski a writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, Publisher's News (UK), and online for, Gawker Media, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, and She has written about drinking and bars in the popular Drink Up column for Gothamist, and daydreamed crimes, dead cats, and unsent love letters, among other things, elsewhere. She photographs city life, events, including weddings, and portraits. She has an eponymous portfolio site at and is obsessed with Flickr, too, where she can be found at

Martha Burzynski reads at Blogger Sex Night, In The Flesh Reading Series, January 17

Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for and, and wrote the popular Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she's edited numerous anthologies, most recently Best Sex Writing 2008, Hide and Seek, Crossdressing, He's on Top and She's on Top. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmo UK, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York and Velvetpark.

With a skeleton cupcake at The Brooklyn Kitchen

Dashiell is currently the Associate Editor of Fleshbot, but has been writing in various forms on the internet for nearly eight years. No, that is not his real name, but please don't ask him to explain. He wishes he had something more to say here, but that's pretty much it.

Jennifer Dziura is a comedian and blogger best known for hosting the Williamsburg Spelling Bee?a real, cabaret-style adult spelling bee, as featured in the New York Times. Jennifer tours nationally as a comedian with her one-woman show "What Philosophy Majors Do After College," and recently returned from a
three-week tour entertaining the troops in the Middle East. She has written for McSweeney's, appeared on the Bob & Tom Show, debated professionally for Dewars Scotch, and has sold her eggs to gay men, twice.

Jen Dziura, reading at In The Flesh, Blogger Night

T.A. Hines is a writer and blogger who has lived in London, Chicago, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and The Hague. She is a contributing blogger at, host/producer of the Internet radio talk show & podcast Dating Roadkill, and editor/publisher of the blog She enjoys passionate love affairs with far-away lands and intelligent men. Her writing frequently covers interpersonal relationships (online and offline), sex & dating, contemporary lifestyle, arts & entertainment and travel. She has traveled to more than 15 countries, and she speaks English and Dutch fluently as well as conversational French and Italian. She currently resides in New York City.

Funky Brown Chick to read at Blogger Sex Night, In The Flesh Reading Series, January 17th

Nichelle Stephens is a blogger, comedy producer of Chicks and Giggles, cupcake enthusiast, freelance publicist and small business accountant. She's semi-broke, but she has the most amazing, wonder-filled friends.

Nichelle Stephens, reading at In The Flesh Blogger Night

Lolita Wolf describes herself as a poly switch who plays pansexually. She is an activist who defends the rights of S/M practitioners, spreads the word about S/M, and helps the community grow and flourish. Yet, her goal remains "to have fun." Lolita has many specialties including bondage, impact play of all sorts, hot wax, poly relationships, social skills, communication and negotiation, CBT, etc. Lolita has presented workshops for universities and organizations across the country and she has authored two books: CBT In A Nutshell and Spanking. She is an Emeritus Board Member of both the Eulenspiegel Society (TES) and Leather Leadership Conference, former Chair of Lesbian Sex Mafia, an honorary member of GMSMA, and she is active with National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and Leather Pride Night. A six year old Princess who lies about her age, Lolita manages to stir up trouble and get her own way (most of the time). She blogs about relationships, sex and BDSM/Leather as well as life in NYC. and


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hot blurbs from Dr. Gloria Brame

The wonderful and very smart Dr. Gloria Brame, pictured above, whose blog is an absolute must read, just gave me great blurbs for Yes, Sir and Yes, Ma'am (which are now all done and will be out in March!). There will be pretty postcards for these books, as there already are for Dirty Girls, and when it gets closer I'll be doing a big mailing. As well as walking around with umpteen flyers/postcards in my bag (but mark my words, by March I'll be down to one bag!). Check them out:

Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance cover

"This literate and beautifully edited collection of femsub fiction delivers the mesmerizing mental foreplay that erotica readers love."

Yes, Ma'am cover

"A wet, hot paean to the infinite charms of dominant women, as told by some of the best erotic writers working today."

-- Dr. Gloria Brame, sex therapist, blogger, and author of Come Hither: A Commonsense Guide to Kinky Sex (which I reviewed in like 2000 or something for the sadly now defunct On Our Backs)

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Recent press

There's been a lot going on, and I am a bit overwhelmed of late, so sorry if blogging has been light. So be it for the time being. There's a bunch of book reviews forthcoming and some cupcake press, some of it national glossy, but I don't want to jinx it. I'm also up for an ongoing writing gig that I'd love to get, so please keep your fingers crossed for me on that one. Here's a little press recap:

This week's Village Voice picked Tuesday's Best Sex Writing 2008 reading as a Voice Choice, which is totally awesome, and I'm thrilled Eudie Pak wrote it up. However, I did find it odd that there's no mention that I'm a former Voice columnist, nor that the book contains work from the Voice by Tristan Taormino, and also includes Michael Musto's work, but still, I'm thrilled. I'm having Kumquat Cupcakery make their special peanut butter chocolate mini cupcakes and some strawberry cream cheese ones, so there's added incentive. Here's what the Voice wrote:

Sex Uncensored
Big mouths, red sheets, and sacks

If romance novels have lost their luster and clicking on isn't providing the same spark, come to a reading and
signing of Best Sex Writing 2008, a nonfiction series jammed with
explicit articles. Want to know if Jewish women's mouths were made to
give better head? Then check out Rachel Shukert's "Big Mouth Strikes
Again: An Oral Report." Trixie Fontaine's "Menstruation: Porn's Last
Taboo" will no doubt have you thinking differently about your white
bedsheets. And if you're the asexual type, then explore how far
eunuchs will go to destroy their lustful tedencies in Ashlea Halpern's
"Battle of the Sexless." (Ouch.) At 7, Rapture Café & Books, 200
Avenue A, 212-228-1177.

And at Audacia Ray's Live Girl Review," Best Sex Writing 2008 gets a video review. That's a first for me!

Time Out New York gave In The Flesh a shoutout in their "it's-all-connected detox planner."

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories cover

Forum UK reviewed Crossdressing: Erotic Stories:

There's a lot more to crossdressing than simply a desire by men to wear women's clothes, and this intelligent anthology covers it in thrilling detail. Yes, there are trannies here, most vividly brought to life in Tulsa Brown's Temporary, the tale of an unexpected liaison between a drag queen and one of the kitchen staff in the sleazy venue where she's performing. But there's also a straight girl who fulfills her dominant lover's request to dress as a boy (Alison Tyler's Like a Girl), a butch femme who finally embraces her girly side by wearing a beautiful evening gown (Teresa Noelle Roberts' Tough Enough To Wear a Dress), two couples who attend a fancy dress party as James Dean, Sal Mineo, Clara Bow and Joan Crawford and discover how much it is when boys will be girls and girls will be boys (Helen Boyd's Halloween) and even a woman whose fantasy is to have sex while dressed as a Yeoman of the Guard (Lisabet Sarai's Beefeater). Throw in an introduction from Veronica Vera, the head of Miss Vera's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls, and a high quotient of stories featuring men in panties (always guaranteed to keep me turning the pages!), and this is one short story collection which doesn't need to be dressed up as anything other than really hot read. -- E.C.

ForeWord Magazine covered the Independent and Small Press Book Fair and had this to say about my panel, though I will interject and say that I don't remember exactly what was said (the panel was taped tough), but I'm sure I didn't say there aren't any male erotica writers. I always namecheck my favorites like Stan Kent, Thomas Roche, Simon Sheppard, Maxim Jakubowski, Michael Hemmingson, etc., and there are others. Not enough, it seems, but there are plenty out there. I'm excited about my upcoming July release Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica because it may have the most male authors proportionally of any of my books.

In the Flesh: Writing and Publishing Erotica

Four prolific writers of erotica discussed how in different ways they came to write in the genre. The diminutive Tsurah Litzky is the most senior of the group. "You have to go deep into yourself to speak the truth," she says. "In a conservative Christian country, we have to set the libido free!" Her work has appeared in more than eighty publications.

Sofia Quintero, president and founder of Sister Outsider Entertainment ( believed there was a need for erotica for Latinos. Asked about her thoughts on writing she said, "You have to do it because you are compelled. If you want to do the great novel tomorrow, give up writing."

The relevance and scope of erotica was defined by Polly Frost, author of Deep Inside, published by Tor (978-0-7653-1587-8), who said, "If you don't write about sex, you don't write about America." ( Panel moderator Rachel Kramer Bussel who laid it out by saying, "Pretty much anything you are interested in can be merged with sex."

Bussel is a prolific writer, editor, blogger, reading series host, senior editor at Penthouse Variations and the author of the "Lust Lady" column for the Village Voice ( Among her books are Hide and Seek (978-1-57344-291-6), He's on Top (978-1-57344-270-1), She's on Top (978-1-57344-269-5), and Best Sex Writing 2008 (978-1-57344-302-9), all by Cleis Press.

While the distinction between "erotica" and "pornography" is often in the eye of the beholder, this writer believes they meet in a continuum bounded by nuances of storytelling and artistry, and unadorned prescription and demonstration.

I asked the panel whether there were any well-known male erotic writers working today and got no suggestions. There seems to be an opportunity here.


My grandfather's book deal!

I have been waiting for the official word, and here it is, straight from Publishers Marketplace. I could not be more thrilled and am so thankful to everyone who posted comments on the excerpt from his memoir at Memoirville. This is more exciting for me in its way than anything I'll ever do, and has brought my grandfather and I much closer together. I'm so honored to have played a role in this book deal. I don't know when the book will be out but I believe it's a Spring 2009 title and I will of course keep you posted!

Above is a photo of him with Congressman John Hall, and below is him testifying in front of the Subcommittee on Disability & Memorial Affairs of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs in June 2006 (the audio of the testimony is online somewhere, but I don't have the link in front of me right now).

Norman Bussel's MY PRIVATE WAR: LIBERATED BODY, CAPTIVE MIND-A WWII POW'S JOURNEY, after being held as a POW in Nazi Germany, the author struggles to reintegrate with civilian life at a time when post-traumatic stress disorder was an unknown phenomenon, to Jessica Case at Pegasus, on behalf of Helen Zimmerman at the Helen Zimmerman Literary Agency (World English).

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