Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Eroticon 2013

The first weekend of March in the UK has been a very special weekend for the last couple of years. Why? Because it's Eroticon time!

Eroticon is Britain's only conference dedicated to sex writers - fiction and non fiction authors and bloggers - and has quickly proven itself to be an event not to be missed.

Last year Bristol played host to this moisture of erotica writers (yes, I know that isn't the correct collective noun but it was the best we could come up with - thanks Lucy) but this year we had the treat of heading to London, not only that, rather than a one day event, Eroticon had reproduced into a two day spectacular!

I suppose the girls and I - Victoria Blisse, Lucy Felthouse, Kay Jaybee, Kd Grace, Lexie Bay and Tabitha Rayne - could have travelled to Southwark on Saturday morning, but it would have meant early starts all round... Oh... who am I kidding? We wanted to party! So we all arrived on Friday afternoon, knowing if we didn't get the excitement of seeing each other out of our systems we'd end up sitting at the back chattering during the conference and getting black marks against our names - we'd be the naughty ones and we're already naughty enough!

Kay Jaybee, Lucy Felthouse, Kd Grace and Victoria Blisse

The Northern Lasses were last to arrive, and having slipped into gladrags and heels we headed for the bright lights of the city. We were of course buzzing with conversation and on The Tube no doubt raised a few eyebrows - a theme of the weekend as it turned out! After only a brief bemused stagger in our stilettos  we arrived at Volupte, our destination for the evening. Volupte is a burlesque lounge and cabaret club Kd Grace had enjoyed on previous occasions and recommended.

If you can call a place delicious, then that describes Volupte, think bergundy velvet curtains, shy, shadowed corners and sparkling chandeliers all wrapped up a warm chocolate ambience and a taste of days gone by.

We were soon sat comfortably with a selection of Porn Stars, Screaming Orgasms and Mojitos  and introduced to our host Dave the Bear - who not only made us laugh till we cried with his version of burlesque, but boy the man can sing with the best of them! Huge fun :-)

The female talent on the stage was soon flowing as bountiful as the cocktails we were sipping.  Divine dancing, sumptuous singing and magnificent magic all sprinkled with glitter - yes, literally - and delivered with the most wonderful aplomb from the Kittens.

They might not have whiskers but these pretty ladies have style in bucketsful, completely stealing the stage and all so gorgeous I hardly knew which one of them to look at while they were twirling and pirouetting, shimmying and teasing. If you ever find yourself in  the Chancery Lane area of London I highly reccomend an evening of feline fun!

The next morning we were up and ready for action like good little bad authors, but were again on chatter overdrive when we reached Eroticon in Coin Street and met up with other authors, Janine Ashbless, Jacquline Brocker, Josephine Myles and Jennifer Denyse  to name a few, over tea and biscuits.

Workshops and lectures were varied and after learning about XES one of the event sponsors, I made a beeline for Kristina Lloyd's creative writing workshop. Kristina writes with vivid eloquence and I was keen to see what tricks she kept up her sleeve. Turned out a sex machine is part of her cunning plan to be so brilliant! Sex Machine! A way of thinking out of the box by writing in boxes - great stuff!

After an interesting group discussion about erotica and erotic romance's role in relationships I went to listen to publisher Hazel Cushion of Xcite - I have a few titles with them, hopefully more in the future. She talked about pitching. I've pitched to publishers lots but Hazel has her finger on the pulse of what's hot at the moment and I was keen to find out. And...drum roll... it's romance with lots of hot sex and flawed characters. It seems readers are enjoying good old fashioned wooing and seduction again, but not with perfect heroes and heroines, they like them a bit messed up! So go, get writing, pitch that story!

Brains full of new information, the girls and I headed to Sh! A women's sex emporium. The Sh! ladies always welcome us with open arms and are very supportive of authors, so how could we not pop in and say hello? We caught The Tube to Hoxton, burst into the shop in a whirlwind of hellos and hugs, signed our books that were on the shelves, chatted to some customers - even persuaded one couple to attend Smut by the Sea in June - and treated ourselves to some sexy London souvenirs!

With aching feet - high heels had been the wrong choice - it was decided a glass of wine was in order before we negotiated our way to a restaurant. Again, forgetting where we were our conversation turned to erotic anthologies, and why wouldn't it? Last year at Eroticon 2012 this scrap of paper...

Turned into this book...

So what would we do this year? There were several ideas being bantered around as we sat in a Hoxton pub, to be honest they got sillier as the glasses emptied, someone, I think it may have been Lucy, suggested an anthology of Sex Noises. Sudden inspiration hit me and I leaped up, hand in the air shouting 'I'm having fanny farts' (fanny means pussy to us UK girls). Well, the whole pub turned and stared at me! What could I do but grin as the girls fell about laughing!

London called, as did our stomachs, so we wandered along the South Bank of the Thames, admiring the view and feeling sure we'd find a good place to eat. Which we did, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Yum!

St Paul's Cathedral

The hotel bar was the venue for late chatter and Kd Grace's lovely husband joined us as we continued to talk all things smut, which he is pretty used to :-) You'd think we'd be running out of things to talk about, but oh no, it wasn't until the clock showed the wee small hours that common sense sent us to bed.

Sunday dawned, mercifully hangover free, goodness knows how! And Eroticon kicked off a second day of sexiness. First up was the anthology panel, run by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and our very own Lucy and Victoria. All these guys have published my work in their anthologies in the past but I was keen to hear about new calls for submissions. I love writing for anthologies, they were my stepping stone into the world of being an author and now they are a brilliant way to get work out to new readers. If you want to check out the current calls for submissions, the best place to go is ERWA.

SEO Love was my next lecture, considering I'm not very technical this was really interesting and gave me some new ways of boosting traffic to my website and blog. The speaker was Michael Knight who also took my next workshop with his gorgeous wife Molly of Molly's Daily Kiss. Lexie and I grabbed front row seats and were thrilled to get out hands on various BDSM tools of the trade including vampire gloves. Ouch!

The lovely due talked about safe BDSM practice, what they'd like to see more of in fiction to promote safety and Molly even offered her delectable rear to be used in a flogging demonstration. Brilliant fodder for our over active imaginations!

I just managed to squeeze in MK Elliot's talk on promoting self published books - I have a few including The Glass Knot and Scored - and was thrilled that she'd beamed Guy New York from New York with the power of Skype to join in the discussion.

And then it was time to head back to Paddington Station. There were sad goodbyes wrapped up in a wealth of 'this has been so much fun' and 'I can't believe it's over,' and then we were all shooting across the country in different directions. As I write this on the train, dashing across Southern England in the dark, I'm already itching for Eroticon 2014! A million thanks and this big bunch of flowers to the wonderful Ruby Kiddell for all her hard work in organising this great event - whatever did we do with ourselves before Eroticon?


  1. Oh, what a fun time we did have, eh? Can't wait for the next one!

  2. Wow! You ladies sounded like you had an absolute blast! I will certainly be joining you for burlesque and cocktails next year when I am able to drink again! :-)

    1. MK - yes you must come and PARTY with us next year. So sorry to have to nip out early from your brilliant session, but making the first half was well worth the run for the train, I managed to scribble down a page of tips on marketing - thank you :-)

  3. Fab write up, hon! It was indeed a fabulous time, for partying, chatting and lots of giggling!

    Roll on next year x

  4. What a fun time! I'd love to see what you write about after this meeting of the minds! :)

  5. It was the best fun- topped off with a sneaky G of W!!!

  6. I was laughing along with you as I read this. Sounds like a wonderful weekend of friends and writing inspiration!

  7. Sounds like fun! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)

  8. You made me feel as though I was right alongside you gals while you were eroticizing your way through the weekend. Great report! Thanks for sharing it.

  9. It all sounds amazing. Might take me a few more years to save enough to get there - but it's definitely going on my wish list!! <3

  10. Sounds like a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing it with us. (No, my skin isn't a tad green with envy ... I think it's just the flu bug. *vbg*)I'll have to put it on my bucket list.

  11. Thanks everyone for stopping by and reading and leaving your kind words. It really was a great time and it would have been sooooo cool to have you all there as well. One day hopefully :-)

  12. Brilliant, brilliant weekend! What a lovely saucy bunch you all are - thanks for the fabulous round up, Lily x x

    1. Oh, Tabitha, didn't we have fun, I can't remember the last time I giggled so much. None more so than when we were having our picture taken - the back of our heads - but were still grinning from ear-to-ear and being careful not to blink! LOL

  13. I am SO jealous! Sounds like a fabulous conference! Definitely on my bucket list, too!

    (Loved the photos, Lily!)

  14. Sounds like a great conference! And not just because of the cocktails, they did look yummy! What a shame it's not on when I'm in the UK in July.

    Will have to put it on my bucket list too!