Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Stately Pleasures of Lucy Felthouse

Lucy Felthouse is with us today to discuss Stately Pleasures, which has been called "a delicious tale of kinky debauchery" and "a masterpiece."

A Blurb: Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs.

Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, then throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal.

When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, though, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.

An Excerpt:

Alice took a deep breath, in through her nose and out through her mouth. Repeated the process once more. Then, realising she could sit there all day doing it and not feel any calmer, she forced herself to step out of the car and close and lock the door.

She bent to peer into the wing mirror of the vehicle and checked her hair and make-up. Satisfied, she straightened, then turned on her heel and walked quickly across the driveway to the great house before her nerve failed her.

Davenport Manor was currently open for visitors, so she walked in through the front door and was met by a smiling elderly lady.

‘Can I help you?’ the woman asked kindly.

‘Yes, please.’ Alice twisted her hands together nervously. ‘I’m here to see Mr Davenport. I’m here for an interview for the property manager’s role.’

‘Yes, of course,’ the woman replied, ‘that’s today, isn’t it? Follow me; I’ll take you to Mr Davenport’s office. But just hang on one second.’

She ducked through the doorway into the next room and spoke with her colleague. Alice guessed she was letting her co-worker know she’d be gone for a few minutes. A few seconds later, she was back. ‘OK, follow me, Miss …’

‘Brown,’ Alice said, then fell in behind the other woman as she led her to Mr Davenport’s office, and the interview that could change her life for ever. It was hardly surprising that she was shaking like a leaf.

Alice quickly felt lost as their journey took several twists and turns along dim corridors – their blinds drawn to protect paintings, tapestries, and furniture from the sunlight – and up a flight of stairs. She had a few seconds to worry about finding her way if she was lucky enough to get the job, then, suddenly, her guide stopped outside a door and turned around.

‘Here you go, Miss Brown. Mr Davenport’s office. Good luck with your interview.’

Alice smiled and thanked the elderly woman, then smoothed down her skirt, which also conveniently helped wipe the nervous sweat off her hands. She stood up straight, gave herself a mental pep talk about being more than qualified for the role, and knocked on the door.


Alice knew that voice could only belong to Jeremy Davenport. The posh accent, and the fact he’d said “enter” instead of “come in”, screamed money and an upper-class upbringing. Alice was suddenly nervous of her broad Midlands accent and lowly background, despite the fact she’d worked her backside off to get into a decent university in order to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Master’s degree. No matter what she sounded like, or what her past was, she had all the skills necessary to do the job she was about to be interviewed for.

Suddenly, she realised that she’d left rather a long pause before opening the door, and she turned the handle before the occupants of the room thought they were about to interview some kind of simpleton who couldn’t follow a simple instruction.

Fixing a polite – but hopefully not inane – smile onto her face, Alice stepped into Jeremy 
Davenport’s office. Her first thought – which certainly did nothing to help her nerves – was good 

God, he’s hot.

Jeremy sat behind a desk, with a heavily pregnant woman sitting beside it. Alice barely noticed the woman. All she saw was him. A man with cropped dark brown hair, hazel/green eyes, a jawline you could cut bread with, and lips that looked capable of doing incredibly wicked, sexual things to a woman. Or a man. Alice had no idea what his sexuality was, but she found herself hoping he liked women.

She chastised herself. Even if he did like women, he wouldn’t go for someone like her. A Plain Jane, with mousy brown shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, average height and above average weight. Alice had always known she’d never be a supermodel, so she’d worked extra hard academically, and here she was. About to be interviewed for her dream job.
And now here's the part where I go all nosy!

Alison Tyler: Do you need a certain mindset or tools or other to enable you to get into your writing, and if so, what?

Lucy Felthouse: I need it to be pretty quiet, but that’s not usually an issue. It’s easier if I’m feeling in the mood to write and not distracted by lots of other things, but deadlines normally give me the kick up the arse that I need.

AT: Do you have a writing ritual or routine? Do you need quiet or noise? Can you work at a café, or do you have an office? Are there ways you like to warm up?

LF: Oops, think I answered this already. I don’t have a ritual or routine, just sit down and open the document. I need quiet, or music. But not general outside noise.

AT: What's your favorite season?

LF: Summer. I love being warm—though I must admit, England’s 2013 summer was rather too hot!

AT: Do you hang out with other writers for inspiration and critical feedback or do you self appraise?

LF: Not day to day, sadly, as my erotica and erotic romance writing pals don’t live close by. But we see each other at least a couple of times a year, which is great, and I do have non-erotica writing pals, too, that I hang out with occasionally. We do inspire one another, and on my  bigger projects I get feedback, but mostly I just get on with it.

AT: Describe your ideal lover.

LF: Jared Padalecki.

AT: Describe your ideal meal.

LF: I have incredibly simple taste when it comes to food. Steak, chips and garlic bread will do me just fine. And something delicious for dessert.

AT: What color are your sheets?

LF: Purple.

For more information about Lucy, please check out her website, her Twitter, her newsletter, and her Facebook.

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati.  

Thank you so much for stopping by, Lucy!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Slow Seduction with Cecilia Tan

You know that feeling of anticipation that glitters through you before something delicious happens? That's how I've been feeling about my latest guest to the Trollop Salon. I wish I had billboards, neon lights, champagne (oh, wait, I do have champagne!)—to demonstrate how truly excited I am. Here is Cecilia Tan—founder of Circlet Press and major voice in erotic literature. She's stopped by the salon with an excerpt from her latest novel and an interview that knocked me off my pouf. (Okay, I don't actually have that pouf. But I'd like that pouf!)

A Blurb:

Slow Seduction: The second installment in the journey of Karina Casper into the world of BDSM and her own desires. In Slow Seduction, two months have passed since Karina's painful departure from James, the mysterious lover who awakened her darkest desires, and she'll do anything--anything--to locate him and win him back. Her search takes her to London, where she finds herself immersed in the world of fine art and forbidden pleasures. And soon, Karina meets another enigmatic man who promises to help her find James . . . for a price. Damon George is rich, gorgeous, and a member of a secret society that caters to the sensual thrills of the wealthy and powerful. Though Karina insists her heart will always belong to James, Damon is determined to have her, body and soul. By the time she finds James, Karina has been "trained" to please another. Will James reject her . . . or find her more irresistible than ever?

An Excerpt from Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan

A moment later the door opened. A slender woman in a pillbox hat and stylish suit, her skirt tapering to her knee, looked me up and down. Her eyes were shadowed by the netting from the hat, and she looked like the starlet of a noir film. "Your name?" she said coolly.

"Karina. Karina Casper."

"Come in." She stepped aside so I could enter and then shut the door firmly behind me. I was in the plush-carpeted front hallway, a large staircase led upward and parlors were off to either side. She cleared her throat. 

"If you'll go forward and to your right."

I went down the hall and then into a sort of library or sitting room. One wall was built with cabinets up to waist height and then bookshelves going up nearly to the high ceiling. A rolling ladder was attached to one side. In the middle of the room was a large table with a sculpted edge. Three chairs sat on one side of it, a single chair on the other, with a folded napkin in front of it.

She gestured to the single chair and I sat in it, my knees suddenly feeling a bit shaky. What was about to happen? Were they going to ask me to do anything? Or were we just going to talk?

She stepped up beside me then and picked up the napkin. "Call me Vanette. This is a blindfold." She snapped it in the air and it unfolded.


"You don't have to wear it if you don't want to, but I think it actually makes things easier."

"All right."

She went around behind me and smoothed my hair with her hands, then lowered the cloth in front of my eyes. She tied it snugly, but not too tight. I wondered how she knew how snug to make it. Maybe she had a lot of practice. She was right, though. I felt more secure with it on. Maybe it was like calming a horse by putting something over its eyes. I felt my breathing deepen in the peaceful dark. It was time to let whatever was going to happen, happen.

I heard voices, then, two men talking. They must have been coming down the stairs.

As they came into the room I recognized one of the voices as Damon's. "That's something for the finance committee to work on," he was saying.

"No doubt you're right," said the other man. He sounded older, and his accent was different from Damon's, with more r sounds. "Ah, and here she is. Good to see you, Vanette, my darling."

"Good to see you, Director."

I heard the sound of the chairs being pulled back on the carpet and them settling themselves. Vanette cleared her throat again. "State your name and that you are here of your own free will, that no one coerced you into appearing here, and that you are not being paid or compensated for your attendance."

"Karina Casper, and yes, I'm here of my own free will and no one is paying me."

She then addressed the other two. "American, as you can hear. Turned twenty-seven recently. No known family in the UK."

"What's she doing in London?" the director asked.

"Working at Tate Britain," Damon said. "That's where I met her. Karina, why don't you tell us why you're interested in serving us in the society?"

Well, it was your idea, I wanted to say, except now that I had decided on checking the place out to try to find James, I couldn't very well say that. "You made it sound very intriguing," I said. "And so did Nadia and Juney."

"How would you describe your experience?" Vanette asked, her voice sharp and serious, like her clothes.

"You mean, my sexual experience?"

"With service or other S-type roles."

"Oh." How should I describe my relationship with James? "I don't know if I'm really what you could call submissive, but I do follow instructions well. I've done some rope bondage." Let's see, what were the other things I'd seen described on the Internet? "Medical play and shaving. Orgasm denial. I've been…played with in public a fair bit—"

"In front of the general public?" Vanette asked. "Or at play parties?"

"Mostly the general public," I admitted. "Secretly, like going to a restaurant with my…partner, when he had me wear a sex toy, and also at things like performance art."

"Performance art?" The director sounded a bit amused.

"At an art gallery in New York. Well, it was invite only, so I don't know if you count that as public or private, but I was sort of a spectacle. People in the audience could pick up a riding crop and try to hit me on the ass."

"Did you enjoy it?" Vanette asked.

"Yes. It was very intense. And arousing." How much of my arousal was caused by the sensation of being struck, how much was the thrill of being naked and exposed, and how much was the fact that James was in control? I wondered.

"And your partner, did he also perform more, ahem—" the director cleared his throat, and I was amused that a man who was the head of a secret sex club seemed to stumble over these words, "overtly sexual acts in public?"

I paused before answering, trying to figure out which things would be considered overt or not. I decided the best thing to do would be to give a frank description. "If making me come in public, like in restrooms or public libraries, counts as overtly sexual, then yes."

"Did he fuck you?" Vanette asked, and I heard a bit of a smirk in her voice.

"Yes. Once." I pressed my hands together. I hadn't realized that cataloging everything I'd ever done with James was going to make me miss him even more. I didn't think it was possible to miss him more than I already did, but now I felt his absence like an ache all over my body. Oh, James, does it have to be this way? And is it you I need so much, or the things you used to do to me?

I drew a deep breath. Was I ready to find out the answer to that question? One more reason why I had to find him. I had to know. Did he miss me as much as I missed him? If he didn't, then maybe it really was over. Maybe it was time to move on. But I had to believe, deep down, that he felt the loss. He was running scared from how much he loved me and how vulnerable that love made him. Right? He was a man of masks, but love stripped them away—or at least I had stripped them away. I had to believe he wouldn't have let me go that far if he didn't love me too.

And I had to believe that if I could find him, I could break through the wall he'd built around himself. I could make him see he didn't have to run.


Alison Tyler: Do you need a certain mindset or tools or other to enable you to get into your writing, and if so, what?

Cecilia Tan: I actually trained myself to the opposite, to not only not need anything in particular but to be able to write in writing-adverse circumstances. When I first started my career I needed to be in a room alone to write (especially erotica). In fact, I almost felt like maybe "being alone" meant I needed to be not in a relationship. Thankfully, I quickly figured out I didn't actually need to be single to write, but looking at my life I thought, damn, if I need to be in the right room with the right music and the right light... I am never going to get anything done! If I'm going to write as much as I think I'm going to need to, to meet deadlines and make ends meet, I better be able to write anywhere. On trains, on planes, in lobbies, on airport floors near the only electrical outlets, my mother's living room in the middle of the night. You use the word "mindset" and that's the one thing I do need: the mindset that Now Is Writing Time. That means shutting off Twitter, not checking the headlines, not even answering the phone if it rings or if a text comes. Which isn't to say it isn't a fantastic luxury to sit and write at home in my nice office with a pot of tea and a cat. It is. But the delineation of Writing Time is the most important thing. 

AT: Do you have a writing ritual or routine? Do you need quiet or noise? Can you work at a café, or do you have an office? Are there ways you like to warm up?

CT: I have a home office, but I do a lot of things in the office besides write. Email, marketing, editing, freelance work, etc. Sometimes I find it's actually harder to write in the office than elsewhere. I discovered while writing Magic University that I really love writing in coffee shops. I was never a "coffee shop writer" before, but something about the energy in those books clicked with the coffee shop atmosphere. I like that a coffee shop forces me to focus. I figure I have 90 minutes before the pot of tea I drank runs out, so it's like putting money in a parking meter. You don't want to waste the time. Also, I go to shops where you have to pay for the wifi. That keeps me from being tempted to surf the Internet instead of making words! 

I've also recently become a fan of writing in bed. I had severe anemia for a while, so bad it was affecting my heart as well as giving me ridiculous fatigue and chills. So being in bed under a blanket and a hot laptop was great. I could still write perfectly fine and illness was a good reason to simplify my life and make writing a priority. 

AT: What's your favorite season?

CTI was going to say Summer, but now that I think about it: Autumn. I live in New England so that's the time of year the weather's the best and everything's beautiful. The sunsets are like a Maxfield Parrish painting every day, the local vegetables are incredible to eat, and it's cool enough to wear all the clothes I like. 

AT: Do you hang out with other writers for inspiration and critical feedback or do you self appraise?

CT: Both. I think the balance every writer has to find is in how much to believe your own internal idea of what your writing is like and how much to believe others. When the muse and I are in synch then my evaluation of what I'm doing to a reader and the experience readers actually receive should be fairly close. When the muse and I are not in synch then I have no idea whether it works or how, and the feedback of other writers is really helpful then. There are some books where I have a whole bunch of beta readers (most of whom are writers but a few might be fans), and others where I'm flying solo.

AT: Describe your ideal lover.

CT: My ideal lover is bisexual, adaptable, and an initiator. My ideal lover would understand I'm a workaholic who needs sex but that I'll almost never get up from the keyboard seek it out. I'm just not an initiator--took me years to understand that and other people still have a hard time understanding it. They say "but you're so liberated and sexually forthright and unrepressed!" It doesn't matter. When you're not an initiator, the reason you don't make the first move isn't because you're repressed. It's because someone else making the first move is what fuels the engine. 

AT: Describe your ideal meal.

CT: It's funny. I feel like my whole generation of BDSM kinksters has moved into being foodies. In our 20s we were on the forefront of taking/teaching classes and designing new SM toys and combining our geekery with sensual adventuring. Now that we're in our 40s it's the same only we've replaced kinky sex with gourmet food. We used to seek out the best dungeon or play party in a city when we traveled. Now we seek out the best restaurant. I went from being a connoisseur of St. Andrew's crosses to now having eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world. So the ideal meal? Should have an element of whimsy, delight, and surprise, should engage all the senses, should impart a sensual thrill akin to the best sex while simultaneously engaging me as artistry. As art. 

AT: What color are your sheets?

CT: Black. But before people get wild ideas about satin, I should break it to you: they're flannel. It's 10 degrees F outside right now and I'm writing this from bed. 

Bio: Cecilia Tan is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. Tan is the author of many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers (HarperCollins),White Flames (Running Press), and Edge Plays (Circlet Press), and the erotic romances Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever), Mind Games(Ravenous Romance), The Prince's Boy (Circlet Press), The Hot Streak, and the Magic University series (Red Silk/Ravenous). Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov's Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2001, and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for crowdfunded fiction in 2010 for Daron's Guitar Chronicles. In November 2013 she was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award in Erotica by RT Magazine (and won't find out until May 2014 who won). She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.

Thank you so much to Cecilia for stopping by! For more information, please...

Check out her website:
Follow her on Twitter: @ceciliatan

Friday, November 22, 2013

Red Velvet Cake with A.M. Hartnett

Visiting today is A.M. Hartnett, who has a sexy new release called Here for a Good Time! Read down for a sultry excerpt and an enlightening Q&A.


When Alexis booked her work retreat at The Deveaux, the most she had to look forward to was a bit of spa time on the company dime, but flashy salesman Chris Kendrick has an even better suggestion. For years they’ve had a hot and cold working relationship with a bit of flirting mixed in, and now is the perfect time to get that spark out of their systems.
Three days hopping in and out of beds (and other convenient places) shows Alexis that Kendrick’s smooth demeanour is more than just talk, and that aromatherapy and soft-tissue massages have nothing on Kendrick’s firm hand.


‘Give it to me good,’ she said, pushing the words through her teeth. ‘Show me what you do to bad girls.’

His cock twitched and he lurched forward with a choking sound. It was the eye of the hurricane, the hushed, throbbing lull in which his belly heaved against her stinging ass and that glorious shaft pulsed.

‘Get that gag on now,’ she urged, and tipped her head back. ‘I don’t want to explain this to security.’

It wasn’t the only reason she wanted to be gagged. She wanted him to own her completely, including her voice.

She expected a hard ball, but instead her mouth was filled with a pliant sphere she could bite down on and with holes she could breathe through.

Behind the mask, Alexis squeezed her lids shut as he clamped down on her waist and resumed his punishing pace. He held back nothing, shoving deep and pulling out almost completely. She sucked one hard breath after another through her nose and pushed it out with a gurgle around the gag.

Just as the sting from one smack of his palm turned to heat, he delivered another one and sent her reeling. She’d never experienced anything like it. He’d tied her up and turned her into his hole to fuck.

Her climax erupted deep inside. It raced through her blood and rippled along her cunt, so powerful she saw gold and red bursting out of the nothingness behind the mask and rolled her eyes up into her head. Alexis screamed from the burning back of her throat. The gag did its job, stifling the lunacy that threatened to undo her.

The way she squeezed around him, she marvelled that he was able to keep going, but keep going he did. He gave her no reprieve. He worked into her pussy as unrestrained as ever, hand on her hip and fingers delivering smack after bruising smack on the ass.

‘This is what I do to bad girls,’ he said, his voice demonic. ‘I give them just what they have coming to them.’

Alison Tyler: Do you need a certain mindset or tools or other to enable you to get into your writing, and if so, what?

A.M. Hartnett: When I was younger, I could write in complete chaos. The problem is that I rarely finished anything in chaos. Since my last move, I've discovered the value of order and quiet. Before I start to write, I need to take a shower: I have a day job, so the shower is all about symbolically scrubbing the day away. I can't write before going to work like some: the sense of completion must be there; that I've done everything that needs to be done so now there is nothing left to do but write. From a more practical point of view, I've discovered Scrivener this year -- it's a non-linear writer's best friend.

AT: Do you have a writing ritual or routine? Do you need quiet or noise? Can you work at a café, or do you have an office? Are there ways you like to warm up?

AH: I'm a rover when it comes to writing. One day I can sit at a desk facing the television and knock out a massive chunk of words while watching a Breaking Bad marathon, and the next day I have to be at the dining table with my favourite radio station playing, or I need total quiet and so I move into the bedroom with my laptop, a pair of earphones, and some nature sounds. I also recently made a home office out of a second bedroom, so there’s option #4. I can't work anywhere there is people noise -- libraries, cafes, or even my office during my lunch break; nothing breaks my concentration like the sound of a human voice prattling on. No warming up, I jump right into it.

AT: What's your favorite season?

AH: I used to be a curmudgeonly winter girl, but in the last few years I've become one of those creatures that become zombie-like in mid-January and stay that way until that first glorious day when the spring coat comes out of the closet at long last. I think it has more to do with my love of long drives. I’ve been known to run out for a bottle of Mr. Clean and end up an hour away in some little country market.

AT: Do you hang out with other writers for inspiration and critical feedback or do you self appraise?

AH: I do the Twitter thing and the Facebook thing, but there's only one writer I'm really chummy with. We don't really write in the same genre and we don't even interact a whole lot on social media, but she's my guru, my cheerleader, my fangirl, and my editor.  She also uses the word “ass” more than anyone else I’ve ever met in my life, and that makes me happy.

AT: Describe your ideal lover.

AH: One that knows the value of silence. I like dirty talk, but without knowing how to sync with silence, it's just reciting a meaningless lexicon of filthy words. Like political leanings and how he takes his coffee, the way a man talks dirty tells me whether he’s worth a second round.

AT: Describe your ideal meal.

AH: I'm a cheap date: nothing beats some great pub food. Maybe it's just the atmosphere and the laid back company that makes a good burger and a beer the best thing in the world. You want to charm the pants off of me? Follow up with a tasty red velvet cupcake, but don't be skimpy -- real cream cheese frosting, thank you very much.

AT: What color are your sheets? And are you going to send me a picture of your bed?

AH: Don't judge me, but I have grey jersey sheets. They're not sexy until you're between them and realize how comfy they are, and then you can't help but want to roll around in them. My bed is cheap so no pictures. Seriously, the slats are one velvet cupcake away from becoming kindling. You can take that any way you'd like.

AT: Ah, simple can be so fucking sexy! Thank you so much for stopping by the salon!

Join A.M. Hartnett's Social Circle!

A.M. Hartnett began writing in 2006 and has published more than thirty short stories. Her work has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, including Cleis Press’s Sudden Sex: 69 Sultry Short Stories (Ed. Alison Tyler), and The Big Book of Orgasm: 69 Sexy Stories (Ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel). She has also written three novellas and a novel as Annemarie Hartnett. For more information on her publications, please visit 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Greta Christina is in the Salon!

"Delighted" doesn't even begin to describe my emotions at hosting an interview with Greta Christina. Rather than call her as a "femme fatale," I'll call her a "word fatale." 

Here is a snippet from "Changing the Scene," a story in her new collection, Bending:

It is important to her that this should be about punishment; that he should be pitiless but fair; that he should be correcting her, and inspiring her to do better. So he counts out her offenses, and marks them on a chalkboard in her line of sight, and erases the marks as he proceeds through her punishments. Offenses against the world, and against him. Her offenses against him are few, but he counts them for much more.

It is important to her that she be exposed. But she is overcome with sudden shyness when he instructs her to do it, to lift her skirt and lower her undergarments. He generally likes women to expose themselves for him -- it makes him feel desired, and powerful -- but it soon becomes clear that she can't. So he does it for her. He only gives her the barest hint of a withering look, and two marks for her disobedience in the "offenses against me" column. One for her skirt, and one for her panties.

It is important to her that this be a little bit hard. Not too hard, but a little. She wants him to be a little forceful, to make her a little afraid, to make her take a little more than she thinks she wants. So he holds his black rage tightly in check. He limits himself to his hand, and to a wooden ruler at the very end. Her bottom turns bright pink, and then bright red; but it should fade soon, with no bruises. And he keeps his tongue in check: keeping his language harsh but not brutal, his tone biting but not vicious. She has tears in her eyes when he is done, but her pussy is wet, and she seems essentially fine.

And now that I have you in the mood, here is a little bit more about GC:

Alison Tyler: Do you need a certain mindset or tools or other to enable you to get into your writing, and if so, what?

Greta Christina: Tools, for damn sure. I am very attached to writing on my own laptop. It would feel weird to write on anything else.

As for mindset: It definitely helps to be in a certain mindset for certain kinds of writing. It helps, for instance, to be horny when I'm writing dirty stories. If I'm not horny, I'll generally do other kinds of writing instead: like atheist rants, or cat blogging.

That being said, though: A deadline for paying work is powerful inspiration. If I have a deadline for a specific piece, I just bloody well work on it, whether I feel like it or not. I flesh out the skeleton if I haven't yet started a piece, or work on polishing and revisions if I have. Starting to write a piece can get me in the mindset to write it. And starting to write porn can definitely make me horny enough to write porn. If I can't get revved up any other way, then I'll read some of my older porn. It can get me very... inspired.

Alison Tyler: Do you have a writing ritual or routine? Do you need quiet or noise? Can you work at a café, or do you have an office? Are there ways you like to warm up?

Greta Christina: I have a routine, more or less... but I need to be flexible with it. I travel a lot -- I do a lot of public speaking -- and my schedule is often seriously wonky. If I were deeply attached to a ritual or routine, there would be days, and indeed weeks, when I couldn't work at all.

That being said, the ritual/routine that I have when I'm able to is: Wake up. Pee. Come back to bed and meditate. Get up for real. Make breakfast and coffee; consume. Open computer. Check blog comments, email, Facebook, Twitter. Then start: either writing, or working my way through my to-do list and the business-y things I do for my writing career, depending on which is more pressing that day, and on how much of a hellscape my email inbox is. I work on my laptop on my sofa, which is horrible for my neck but seems to be wonderful for my writing. Somehow, writing at a desk or in an office paralyzes me. It feels like, "Now you have to be writing! Now is your responsible work time!" Which is the worst mindset for me for getting any writing done. If I'm on the sofa, it just feels like I'm dicking around on the computer, and I can ease into actual work without freaking out my brain.

And yes, I love writing at cafes. I have a whole set of cafes around San Francisco that I know and love. If I need a break, or a little outside time, or just a shift in perspective, moving from home to a cafe often does the trick. Also, cafes let me squeeze a bit of writing into a busy day of running around doing errands. (Also, I have a cat who loves to chew computer cords, so I can't charge my computer while I'm working, so I only can work a few hours at a time before I need to either take a break or move to a cafe.) It does need to be a quiet cafe, though.

Alison Tyler: What's your favorite season?

Greta Christina: I know that the proper poetic answer is autumn. But honestly, I go back and forth between summer and spring. I love taking long walks, not in the freaking rain. And I love the feeling of air on my bare skin, and in San Francisco, you don't get that very often. I treasure it when I can. So really, the answer is summer. The only reason spring is on the list is that in spring, summer is still coming up. In summer, there's not enough summer left.

Alison Tyler: Do you hang out with other writers for inspiration and critical feedback or do you self appraise?

Greta Christina: I run everything I write by my wife Ingrid if I possibly can. She's a great copy editor. She's more nitpicky than I am about the standard rules: I don't always do what she tells me, but she's always worth listening to. And she almost always has good suggestions, about both form and content. The only downside is that I often asking her if there's something I can cut... and she almost always ends up with new things she wants me to add!

Other than that: I'm a blogger, and the name of the game in blogging is speed and volume. If I tried to run everything I wrote by other writers, or even a significant amount of what I wrote, I'd never get anything done... or I'd get it done days after anyone stopped caring. And my colleagues would get fed up with it, fast. But if I have an especially important piece, or a tricky piece on a delicate or unusually controversial subject, or just a piece where I'm not sure I've gotten it right, I usually run it by writers and friends I respect. And of course, one of the great things about blogging is that you get instant feedback from readers/ commenters! My commenters have shaped my writing significantly.

Alison Tyler: Describe your ideal lover.

Greta Christina: Ummmm... human?

Honestly -- I don't think I have one. So much of what I like about sex is (a) surprise and (b) human connection. I don't think I could get that from an ideal. Within that framework, though: My ideal lover is smart, funny, sexually imaginative, sexually open-minded, a basically decent and ethical human being with politics that don't make me nauseous, comfortable talking about sex, comfortable asking for what they want in bed, caring and generous about what I want in bed, not hung up on gender norms, and kinky as fuck.

Alison Tyler: Describe your ideal meal.

Greta Christina: It really depends on my mood. Sometimes it's a huge salad with loads of healthy delicious unpredictable tidbits. Sometimes it's a slice of toasted cherry chocolate bread, generously smeared with mascarpone, and a big bowl of raspberries. Sometimes it's some pretentious locavore foodie thing, asparagus soup with fennel and cardamom garnished with creme fraiche and smoked salt and served with Indonesian flatbread, or something. (I'm totally making that up. I don't even know if Indonesian flatbread is a thing.) Sometimes it's macaroni and cheese. Sometimes it's two cups of coffee and a slab of flourless chocolate cake. Sometimes it's vegetable korma with onion naan. Sometimes it's broiled salmon with roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Sometimes it's a honeycrisp apple and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Sometimes it's a grilled peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich.

As I guess you can see, I like variety. I'm like the character Jack in my novella "Bending." Variety is my fetish.

Alison Tyler: What color are your sheets? And are you going to send me a picture of your bed?

Greta Christina: Most of my sheets are cream-colored. I have some in midnight blue, though.

And no, I don't think I'm going to send a picture of my bed. I have a definite zone of privacy, especially as I become more of a public figure, and I think that crosses it. Thanks for asking, though. And thanks for the interview!

Alison Tyler: Thank you very much for stopping by the salon. 

"Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More" is currently available an an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. Audiobook and paperback are coming soon!