Pen to Pen: Liv Rancourt on researching historical romances

Vintage glasses and photos with an open blank notebook

For this week’s Pen to Pen Column, Liv Rancourt has stopped by to talk about the ins and outs of researching historical romances. The process is fresh in her mind, as she’s just released Aqua Follies, a gay romance set in the water ballet scene of 1950s Seattle. You didn’t know there was a Seattle water ballet scene? That’s not all her book covers, and keeping track of the historical trivia was quite the task. She has some great advice for digging up the details that movies and history books might not tell you. … Read more

Book Review: On His Knees by Adira August (proceeds through May 31 go to Russian LGBT Network)

On His Knees by Adira August book cover

Proceeds from On His Knees by Adira August go to save lives of gay Chechens through May 31. This erotic drama is gritty and gut-wrenching as it portrays the psychological effects of a gruesome crime scene on a seasoned homicide cop. … Read more

Author Interview: Shira Glassman talks about Treasure Hunt

When the Empress sends her Imperial guards Vasily and Aleksei into the dragon’s cave to steal treasure, they doubt the existence of the dragon and take advantage of the time alone in the dark to drink vodka and fool around. Little do they know, the dragon is watching Vasily’s expert domination, and he likes what he sees! … Read more

Author Interview: Suanne Schaefer

I recently had the opportunity to contribute to Licked, a wonderful pansexual anthology of short stories about oral sex edited by Jillian Boyd. One of the other writers to contribute to the anthology is Suanne Schafer, who wrote a moving piece about a lesbian couple dealing with breast cancer (excerpt above).

Suanne was born in West Texas in the midst of the Cold War. She remembers with some fondness that grade school drills for tornados and nuclear disasters were the same: crawl under your desk and kiss your rear-end goodbye. She is now a retired family practice physician and in October 2014 she completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Certificate Program. Oddly, her Stanford certificate is framed and hanging on the wall. Her medical school diploma is still sitting in the closet. She is currently fiction editor of Empty Sink Publishing, a literary magazine.

Enjoy this short Q&A with her!

What’s your story about?

In “Feeding Her,” two women must come to terms with one partner’s breast cancer.

What made you want to write a story for Licked?

I actually thought my story was too “serious” for erotica, but Rachel Kramer Bussel (Passion: Erotic Romance for Women, Best Bondage Erotica, Hide and Seek: Erotic Stories) encouraged me to submit it.

What was the inspiration behind your story?

A line from Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector in which her male protagonist, George, wants to feed Jess, his much younger love interest.

When did you first become aware of oral sex being a thing people did?

As a teenager eons ago.

Do you think oral sex, in all its forms, gets fair coverage in the media? Or do you feel it’s still something that people need to reconsider their attitudes about?

Oral sex tends to get bad press and be associated with some sense of “deviance.” Oral sex should be viewed as part of the repertoire lovers use to satisfy each other, no different than missionary sex.

Do you like incorporating variations of the act into your stories? Or was it something you wanted to try specifically for this anthology?

I have incorporated variations on most sexual positions in my work; this was my first attempt at writing lesbian erotica.

How can readers stay in touch with you?

Author Interview: Jessica Taylor

I recently had the opportunity to contribute to Licked, a wonderful pansexual anthology of short stories about oral sex edited by Jillian Boyd. One of the other writers to contribute to the anthology is Jessica Taylor, a versatile writer of erotic romance and literary fiction. Enjoy this short interview with her!

What’s your story about?

“Vapour, Venom, Oleander” is a historical erotica piece set in ancient Greece and is an exploration of the final prophecy of an oracle of the Temple of Aphrodite. Located just down the laurel lined lane of the Temple of Delphi, the oracles of Aphrodite tell prophecy through spit and spunk.

What made you want to write a story for Licked?

I think oral sex is brilliant. As soon as I heard about this anthology, I started pondering ways in which oral sex acts can have a double meaning or double function. In all of my writing, I aspire for the sexual encounters I write to have a transformative effect for my characters.

What was the inspiration behind your story?

At the time that I had started writing this piece, I had just fallen deeply in love with a new partner. Oddly, our pen/stage names both have the same last name. Anyway, I was extremely inspired by my massive new passion for him and our overwhelming new relationship energy. This story incorporated many of his totem and anthropomorphic facets.

When did you first become aware of oral sex being a thing people did?

I first became aware of oral sex in my middle teenage years. I remember discussing how to perform fellatio at like 14 and 15 years old. What’s the best oral sex scene you’ve ever read/seen (in any form of prose or film, not just erotica or pornography)? The best oral sex image I have ever seen was a photograph that Elle Chase had on Lady Cheeky. It was a man with his jacket, tie, and shirt on with his pants off standing on a bed with his back to a wooden headboard. Below him was a woman in her cotton nightie at his feet, staring up at him with love and passion, about to suck his bright, engorged cock. That photo is usually my oral sex writing inspiration, and it actually was what inspired my story “Mid-Life Career Changes” featured in Spy Games Anthology. I love the devotional and lustful expression of the two people in the photograph. They both know something is about to happen, some major dick is going to be sucked with great joy and enthusiasm.

Do you think oral sex, in all its forms, gets fair coverage in the media? Or do you feel it’s still something that people need to reconsider their attitudes about?

I think that oral sex needs more coverage of a deeper nature. There is a lot of information on the basics of giving oral sex. I would really like to see more advanced topics in oral sex for those of us that have the basics down.

Do you like incorporating variations of the act into your stories? Or was it something you wanted to try specifically for this anthology?

My stories always include oral sex. I think oral sex is epic. I want people to embrace all of the fluids, scents, textures, and nuances of the entire experience.

If you could ask your main character one question, what would it be?

I get the sense that you had a deep connection with Romulus. You dreamed of him and knew him before he even came to you. Is it sad that you won’t see him again? Is it sad that this was your only interaction?

What’s your favorite euphemism for oral sex, if you have one?

Suck. As in “I want to suck you off.” Or, “I have a list of dick sucks going that I am giving you as rewards for the good deeds you have done.”