Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Story Soup and Sexy Readers

The April ERWA columns are up today, and there isn't any fooling around this month for yours truly. My "Cooking Up a Storey" continues its sexual and culinary meditations with Story Soup: Forbidden Fodder, Mystery Spices, and Very Embarrassed Eggs. First I muse about the way our pasts inform our writing and how, ironically for writers working with often taboo subject matter, it is taboo to acknowledge the roots of our work. As I was writing this month's column in the midst of my own focus on the creative process, I came to this realization about the self-reflective nature of this year's "Cooking" project:

The more I stirred the stewing pot of my own psyche, the more I realized how many different elements nourished my imagination. Some were obvious, some secret and subtle, but the bubbling brew began to seem very much like a homemade soup, crafted without a clearly defined recipe but rich with the freshest produce at hand and piquant spices from my cupboard. In short, when I write, I really am cooking up a story. Who knew?

It's nice to know I can at least convince myself of the relationship between cooking, writing, and sex! Then at the conclusion of my soul-searching taboo talk, you'll be rewarded with some juicy descriptions of Sunday dinners at my grandma's and an old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch recipe for a way to use up hardboiled eggs.

This month's "Shameless Self-Promotion: Websites, Blog-sites and the All-Mighty Reader" talks about the importance of seeing our readers as people, not sales stats, and ways to make your website reflect your sensibility, which is what readers connect with when they buy your book. I take a quick tour of some websites and blog-sites I like by Lisabet Sarai, Susan DiPlacido, and Jeremy Edwards and I also interview Lisabet Sarai at the ERWA blog about what she's learned from her recent website redesign.

The other day I was looking through notes and saw that my one-day publicist, Lauren Cerand, recommended an author actively promotes her book for one year. I'm not sure if she meant I should start counting from the pre-publication work I did, which would mean I should stop now, or that the clock starts ticking from the publication date (which gives me until June). Writing the Shamless Self-Promotion column is definitely helping me figure out what worked, what didn't and what I want to do next time, so that's been very helpful for me!

Tomorrow brings the start of another very exciting event, the all-star blog tour for SWING! Adventures in Swinging by Today’s Top Erotica Writers. I'm the host on April 3 with an excerpt from my story and lots of secrets to share. It's truly a fabulous roster of writers and we'll be blogging all month long. Come hang, and swing, with us!


Erobintica said...

ooooooo, sounds very interesting - will have to head over there pronto

Erobintica said...

and then there's your interview over at Lusty Lady - just saw it! - guess I'll read that and then the ERWA column.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Wow, Donna, another brace of brilliant columns!

Your self-aware insights about the roots of your sexual curiosity as a writer make for fascinating reading. (I love the "nested Russian dolls" image!)

As for the promoting column: Well, I know I'll be referring back to this repeatedly in the course of promoting my forthcoming novel! As I read it, item after item gained a mental asterisk or arrow in my mind, for future reference. What a great resource. And thank you so much for featuring my blog-site! I'm truly honored.